I’m not in a great place in my head right now. I’m a little bit of a mess — not nearly as much of a mess as I’ve been the last month or so, but still a bit of a mess. I’m writing this now because some of the folks who come here are a bit of a mess too — sometimes a very big mess, so there might be something in this that’s easier to relate to than some of the other stuff I’ve written around here.
Quitting porn and masturbation is difficult in the same way that quitting any addictive behavior is difficult — not at all. Most addicts quit hundreds or thousands of times. Quitting is easy — staying quit is the hard part.
And staying quit is what recovery is all about. I’ve quit several times in my life that stayed quit. I quit masturbating slightly before I was married, and masturbated once in eight years of married life. I used porn with my wife not just a few times over that time, but, when my marriage fell apart, I cleared that all out and stayed porn-free and masturbation-free for more than five years afterward.
My next major period of staying quit was after I’d been disfellowshipped for pursuing sexual activity after my girlfriend at the time didn’t want to continue with it. I had a short period of quit that started right then and continued over the few months it took to get through the Disciplinary Councils and come to the conclusion of disfellowshipment, and a few months after that as well, but that doesn’t really count much to me. It was in that time period that I found LDSR, and got serious about recovery. After some months of trying and giving up and trying and giving up (because there is no failing in recovery — just giving up), I got to a place where I was able to say quit some more — this time for over three years. It had its ups and downs, but it lasted through my return to full fellowship.
My last period of quit lasted about eighteen months, and ended a couple of months ago. I gave up, and binged in my own style for about a month. I had no desire to try to quit — thinking about quitting was painful. Facing pain without my drug of choice was something I just didn’t want to go through. I knew that, with God’s help, I could quit again, but I didn’t want to talk to God and face what I’d done.
So I thought I’d come here and talk about quitting again.
Quitting doesn’t start at the end of your last slip. Quitting starts the first time you want to slip and don’t. It’s when you get the craving and you do something positive instead.
Quitting again this time was tricky to start, because I was very aware of when I was quitting. The last few times I quit, I wasn’t really aware that I’d quit — I was just busy doing other things and realized I’d gone a week or three. This time, I had to think about it. I was well aware that I was at the place where I wanted to act out, and that I was choosing not to. And there was General Conference for me to listen to instead, and that little bit of a boost got me through and a little momentum.
Momentum is a blessing and a curse in quitting. It’s a blessing in that it can get you through a temptation with “I’ve gone for so long without acting out, I can get through this.” It’s a curse because it can keep you going when you’re not doing anything else to move your recovery along. The purpose of addiction is to allow you to be humble, so you can humble yourself before God, and momentum gets you thinking that you don’t really need God, because you’re doing so well on your own. I deal with this in more detail in another post, and this post isn’t really about staying quit.
It’s about quitting again. About getting your stuff together and intentionally quitting, whether you quit the day before, or the week before, or whatever. Whether you’ve decided to quit, or have just discovered that you have.
Inspirational Thoughts and Scriptures
Treatment and Healing of Pornographic and Sexual Addictions
An Equal Harm
Are You Addicted?
From Muck to Miracles
How to Comment
“My Precious, My Stash, My Precious”
Heart and Soil
After Many Days
Repentance/12 Steps Comparison
More Subtil Than All the Beasts of the Field
How to Prevent a Relapse
What Do You Think of This Weather?
Personal Stories: Stephen Rex Goode
Delivered From Bondage – Personal Story by Duane
The Supremacy of the Personal
Counting Days of Sobriety and Staying Sober
Quitting. Again. Revisited
How to Be a Successful Newbie on LDSR
Overcoming Discouragement One Day at a Time
Change the Way You Do Your Compulsive Behavior
The Key to My Peace
In the Space of Not Many Years
Weary in Well-Doing
Focus on Changing Our Hearts, Not Just Our Behavior
The Supremacy of the Internal
A Long Walk Down a Cold Hall
A Gentle Path
The Value of Willing