More and more research is being done on the neurological impact on the brain...the following video from Gary Wilson/TEDx is a great resource showing the problem of porn and its addictive features. The great dilemma / juxtaposition is responsibly vs addiction. Porn is addictive therefore someone caught up in porn / sex addiction becomes powerless. But there still exists responsibility because others are always impacted. So where does this leave the person caught up in addition as well as the family? The most important step is asking for help. That is where change starts to happen.
Fundamentally, I view our struggles not as mental disorders but rather as relational wounds. For many of us, these wounds didn't occur in our adult life but rather in our early childhood. But understanding our childhood can be very difficult. I liken it to walking into a movie halfway in and trying to understand what all you missed. For so many, there were no distinct memories of abuse, trauma, or chaos in the family. If you relate to this, then you are not alone in trying to understand what happened. In fact, it can be very shaming in the sense that you don't have any specific thing / event to tie your addiction / struggle too. For others, there was overt abuse, and that brings its own set of challenges and pain. Regardless, part of counseling is to make sense of your story so that you can understand your life story accurately. The goal is to name not blame. It is too look graciously at oneself and your past.
It is relationship that heals us. It is learning a new set of language, tools, and approach to doing relationship that allows us to enter into healing. The goal is to never "try" harder. Rather, it is more letting go and than anything. That is a great paradox in recovery.
What if we could live in a community where there was no judgment? What if we could be surrounded by people that would not label us as such and such? What if we could walk into a room of 50 people that knew every detail of our story and accept us just as we are in that moment? There is a place for naming our struggles because it helps us name the problem.
We have to remember though that these names don't define us. These names are not our essence. I love a quote by Brennan Manning which says, "I'm Brennan. I'm an alcoholic. How I got there, why I left there, why I went back, is the story of my life. But it is not the whole story."
We are more than a label because a label doesn't do justice to our story and our humanness. I have been refreshed by the approach used in Emotionally Focused Therapy that we see people in a non-pathologizing way. This means that we first see the person not the problem or diagnosis. Otherwise, the relationship could end up not being safe. Certainly, there is a place to talk about the struggles and all that comes with it. It is important to name the problem but it doesn't have to end there. The main thing is that we can't lose sight of who we are and whose we are.
I believe this is a general truth in life. It is connection over correction.
There has been a quote from Richard Rohr that has stuck with me for some time. He says, "the young man who cannot cry is a savage and the old man who cannot laugh is a fool". I connected with this quote because I felt like I was that young man before I came into recovery. I researched that quote and found that it was found in a speech given to Yale's Medical Students. The speech was titled "Sadness" and was centered on male initiation and men as learners. He found that across every society both current and historical, young men had to be taught how to cry. That leads me to the question then, "how do we learn how to cry?" Here is Rohr's article..."Sadness"