Dan Johnson is a husband, father, and founder of the website New Paths. During his younger years, Dan was introduced to pornography by a friend. As he got older, the addiction intensified. During his college years, Dan used the internet as a way of accessing porn and felt the guilt and shame of his actions.
Before Dan got married, he told his then girlfriend that he was addicted to pornography. After the couple got married, they implemented filters on their devices to prevent him from falling into temptation. Unfortunately, he was unable to resist, and he fell off the wagon again. Once Dan realized that he had to make a change, he joined a peer group to keep him accountable.
With any addiction, it can be easy to fall back into temptation and continue the cycle. However, having a sense of community drives you to be better and helps you to understand that you are not alone. With porn especially, comes a great amount of guilt and shame. What Dan has done is implemented a three-step process that helps you recognize those urges, process them, and actively count the reps of your resistance. The action of recognizing the urges, saying them out loud, and then counting each rep that you resisted the urge to watch porn has allowed Dan and many other men to overcome their addiction.
What You’ll Learn:
Dan recalls his childhood and how he had the best childhood ever; he was raised in the Church and attended youth group regularly. When he got to junior high, his friend showed him pornography on his computer.
Dan recalls his college years when he really got into pornography at an addicting level.
Dan talks about confessing to his wife of his addiction before he proposed.
Dan recalls confessing years later that he was still watching pornography. It takes a lot of courage to bring up a topic like that with your spouse.
After his first daughter was born, Dan’s wife had cancer in her uterus and had to have a hysterectomy. The couple looked at adoption and there was a question about sexual addiction in the application. Dan decided that it was time to tell the truth and come clean to his wife.
Community can make the biggest difference. Dan joined a peer group and saw a counselor.
In order to stop an unwanted behavior (such as watching porn), stopping the behavior is not the hard part. The difficult part has to do with the feeling you are left with when you don’t do the behavior.
When you feel the desire to do something, and you decide not to do it, you have to try to resist it. This relies on willpower, which can vary from day to day.
Instead of relying on willpower and rejecting that feeling, turn toward the feeling and face it head on. Acknowledge the urge and let it be there. The more you fight against the urge, you tend to turn toward it and give in.
Emotions and feelings are messengers. They have a message that wants to be heard. If you fight against it, you’re going to get more resistance.
There is a three-step process that allows you to process these messages and make decisions. Step one – You notice the feeling is there, and you acknowledge it. This allows to step outside the feeling and separate yourself from the feeling.
Step two is immediately setting a timer for 10 minutes. During this time, you allow that intense feeling to be there. You’re not going to give into it, but you’re also not going to try to resist it or push it away. You give it permission to be there and scream its message at you.
The third step is to count each rep that you’ve done so that you can see your progress, just like at the gym. Each of those reps is like a step to freedom.
Dan talks about replacement behaviors, which entails taking those emotions and directing them somewhere else.
Know when you’re going to be triggered and have a plan in place.
With porn, you tend to feel like no one else struggles with it, which generates a lot of shame. Community takes the edge off the struggle. It makes you feel like you aren’t alone and that other people are struggling with you.
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