The title of this article is a quote I recently heard that resonated with me. It speaks to the idea that emotional trauma lies at the heart of addiction. It is a deep-seated discomfort that fuels addictive behaviors, whether it’s drugs, overeating, or pornography. The stimulant serves the purpose of distracting from unpleasant emotions that lie within. The problem is it only exacerbates the situation and makes it even more difficult to process once the individual has “sobered up.”
Lust can give anyone an immediate rise, regardless of whether their baseline state is depression or relaxation. It follows that not everyone who watches pornography is addicted. Some do it because it feels good, and claim to see nothing wrong with it. However, what about those who are aware of its numerous harmful effects? If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the millions of people who struggle with pornography. You know it is extremely bad for you, but you keep resorting to it, whether it’s daily or once every 2 weeks. You have a problem and the earlier you go to work on it, the better off your life will be.
There is an environmental approach to getting free, which future articles on this site will address at length. It involves putting restrictions on your phone, establishing accountability relationships, taking breaks from technology, and avoiding bad company. But even more important is the individual approach. It examines your own internal motivations for doing things. Are you watching pornography simply because it’s fun or do you lack connection in your life and/or have unresolved emotional issues from the past? You need to address these issues, because they will fuel unwanted escapist behaviors until they get resolved. It’s not uncommon to get free from one addiction only to pick another one up.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.Proverbs 18:24
Outlining exactly what steps to take to get healed is beyond the scope of this article. But healing is something you should actively seek out. One thing you need to do is develop healthy relationships. Relationships are an investment–you get out what you put in. A lot of us are so busy in our own worlds that we don’t even attempt to connect with other people. Relationships are messy, but isolation is always worse. There’s a reason why inmates in solitary confinement are known–literally–to go insane. Finally, if you’re a Christian, remember that healing is a promise from God himself.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.Luke 4:18-19
Pornography addiction is a behavioral addiction–its underlying mechanisms become programmed into the fabric of who we are. Anyone who wants true freedom needs to take a holistic approach–an approach that takes into an account the whole of that individual’s life. Only then can deep healing take place and true freedom be experienced.