By Jody VanDrimmelen, LCSW, MSW
According to Tech Addiction, a treatment center and information service for adults, teens, and children who struggle with controlling their use of technology, every second, approximately 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography worldwide. More than 40 million Americans claim to be regular visitors to porn sites with 33% of those users being women and 67% being male. These astounding statistics highlight the excessive use of pornography and its relation to the growing number of porn addicts in today’s society. In this ever-increasing battle, we need strategies and battle plans to fight the addiction and achieve the victory of recovery.
To get started on your road to recovery there are 3 simple steps where you can begin:
1. Come Out of Hiding
Isolation is one of the most common—most significant—stumbling blocks faced by addicts. To come out of hiding, we suggest that you seek out a therapist who has been trained in and has experience with the treatment of sexual addiction. You may also consider joining a 12-step program or group specific to sexual addiction. This addiction thrives in secrecy and isolation.
2. Develop a Battle Plan
Developing a battle plan is a written schedule that will help you stay committed and consistent in your recovery. It is a method of tools you’ve learned to implement goals in a regular and organized daily program. Oftentimes the addict has tried and failed to control the porn addiction many times through the years. If that is the case, they may need to work with someone who is experienced in the treatment of sexual addition to learn new battle strategies and methods. Addictions of any kind can “rewire” the brain with unhealthy habits and patterns of behavior. Sexual addiction recovery is taking steps to replace unhealthy wiring with new, healthy wiring.
3. Self-Care – The Daily Program
Choose at least 1 and not more than two to implement in your battle plan.
– Keep a battle journal with a daily personal accountability of how your battle looked today. This daily look back can help you to see patterns of failure and success and help you to evaluate your current battle plans for effectiveness.
– Develop a passion project you can use to create positive experiences of growth or accomplishment. Start a new hobby such as gardening, recreational reading, playing a musical instrument, and so forth. Take a community education course or express creativity, such as artwork, writing poetry, and so forth. Use the passion project in times of boredom or when tempted to isolate or as a stress reliever.
It is important to understand that when the body is strong the mind is strong. When the body is compromised it is harder to win your battles against the addiction.
– Exercise – 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. Beginning at 20 minutes, the body starts to produce endorphins that trigger feelings of being calm, happy, content, focused and in control. This can help you to self-soothe when facing the negative emotions (i.e. stress, boredom, rejection, inadequacy, etc.) that are triggers for porn use. * NOTE when you exercise 40+ minutes you create a HALO effect and the effect of the endorphins can last up to 2-3 hrs depending on your metabolism. For this reason exercise can also be used proactively when anticipating a particularly stressful event or usually triggering activities.
– Eat healthy meals and snacks to give the body fuel instead of depending on the short-term fix of sugars and fats. Get enough water. Check your water requirements as per your body weight and make an effort to hydrate throughout the day.
– Get adequate sleep so the mind functions well and has the greatest problem-solving capacity each day. Do not self-medicate tiredness with caffeine or sugars! Learn to power nap if needed!
– Prayer daily
– Meditation- daily
– Scripture or religious reading- daily
– Service to others
It is important that you do not overdo these dailies and that you take them at your own pace.
To get more information and resources to help those you care about find the help and healing they need, we invite you to attend the next LoneSTAR Coalition Against Pornography Conference:
“Porn is a human issue—deep in the heart of Texas”
October 19, 2019 9am-2pm
Collin County Community College, Spring Creek Campus, Plano, TX
Jody VanDrimmelen has a Master’s degree in Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has a private practice working as a Child and Family Therapist in Arlington and Plano. Shortly after opening her private practice in 2012 she found many of her clients and their families were being destroyed by pornography addiction. She has helped with the LCAP conferences in Dallas the past 3 years and continues to work to educate the community and work to restore families affected by pornography addiction.