How to Handle a Porn Relapse to Finally Break Free from the Addiction

It doesn’t take somebody with a PhD to tell you that porn addiction is hard to break free from. Just do a quick Google search for ‘porn addiction’ and you’ll find several articles, people talking about the dangers, and ideas of how to break free. Porn addiction can be one of the most difficult to get rid of, simply because of the psychological effects it has on you and the way it changes your brain’s chemistry.

Unfortunately, the number of people struggling with porn is staggering. In fact, more than half of the pastors who responded to a recent survey admit they either have previously dealt or are currently dealing with a porn addiction. And it’s not just pastors. People from all walks of life are coming to terms with the fact that they’re addicted.

So, you’ve decided you’re going to quit watching porn for good. This could have come about as a result of you being caught, or because you’re beginning to feel the effects it’s causing in your relationships. Maybe it’s the fact that the guilt and shame have been wearing you down for so long that you can’t take it anymore.

Whatever the case, you’ve decided you’re ready to break free. And you’ve been doing great – until now. Something happened. There was a trigger, or stress of the day caught up with you, or maybe the novelty of quitting porn wore off. Whatever the case, you went back. And right about now you’re probably beginning to feel pretty disgusted with yourself.

Perhaps it played out for you like this: you’ve abstained from porn for the last few days or weeks. Things have gone well. You’ve begun to feel better and you’ve got an extra pep in your step. You’ve felt really proud of the fact that it’s actually felt pretty easy for you.

But then, you slipped up. The trigger happened. Your boss was a jerk. Something made you really irritated. Whatever the case, you’ve found yourself back at square one and you’re so frustrated that this could happen when you were doing so well. Unfortunately this can feel like such a setback that sometimes we want to give up and throw in the towel.

Eventually, we wind up in this place that we’re so fed up with ourselves and so disgusted that it pushes us back into this place where we swear we’re going to quit porn again. And then we do, again. And then we mess up, again. The truth is, though, what you’re going through is incredibly normal. A lot of people go through cycles of dry out periods followed by relapse when they’re trying to break free.

The problem is that dry-out periods rarely work. And if the only thing you’re doing is trying to will yourself to stop watching porn, chances are high you’ll fall flat.

It is possible to completely rid your life of porn, and finally get your life back to the way you want it to be. You can find the peace you’re searching for – not living in constant worry that you’ll be found out, or the constant thought that it’s ruining your life. When we learn to truly find freedom from pornography addiction, we find this peace and contentment we never considered before.

Keep reading to learn how to finally break free after a relapse, and how to stay free from porn addiction.

Continuing with “dry-out” periods from porn will only feed your addiction more.

Porn is just like any other addiction – it’s really, really hard to quit cold turkey on your own with no help. You see, the problem is that we’re trying to jump to the end and achieve the final result of being porn-free without doing a lot of the work. Basically, we’re skipping all the steps in between.

We’re not putting the safeguards in place to protect ourselves from relapse if we’re just quitting cold turkey. At the very least, we can find ourselves frustrated and disheartened every time we go back to watching porn. Living in this endless cycle of quitting porn and going back to it after a few days or weeks only feeds the addiction even more. In fact, many people who quit and return to pornography frequently report each time their addiction ends up growing stronger.

For 95% of people, this approach will do nothing but leave you in an endless cycle of disappointment.

But it’s not hopeless. Finding freedom from porn addiction is possible – and it creates a life full of hope, peace and contentment.

Although you’re struggling with a porn addiction , you have the ability to completely free yourself. In fact, not only can you truly find freedom from porn addiction – you can go through life and not even be phased by your former triggers. Stress won’t push you back to porn. Irritation won’t make your mind wander.

When we choose to truly begin breaking the negative cycle of porn, we find ourselves no longer held down by the chains that porn has us bound up in. We’re really allowing our brain to heal from the change in chemistry we created by watching porn.

You have the opportunity to break the cycle and truly find complete and total freedom from watching pornography.

Take a look at these steps to help you finally find freedom from porn addiction.

The Solution: Stopping Porn’s Control of Your Life Once and for All

One of the reasons we struggle and relapse is because we don’t know how to implement the steps of truly breaking free. It’s not just telling ourselves we’re going to never look at porn again – it’s putting safeguards in place to protect from all sorts of things – the triggers, the frustrations, the times of loneliness and more.

At this point, it makes sense that you’re probably thinking there’s no hope for you. Maybe you’re feeling completely helpless. But I want to challenge you on that. If things were completely helpless -and hopeless- why have you kept trying?

It doesn’t have to stay this way.

Step 1: You’ve got to tell the truth to somebody.

This means you’ve got to let someone know what you’ve been struggling with. It means being accountable. Find a trusted friend, mentor or pastor and let them know what you’ve been struggling with. Becoming accountable with somebody means you’re giving them permission to check-in and ask you if you’ve been watching porn. And you’re telling them you’re going to be honest if you’re struggling.

Allowing somebody into the challenge with you helps you to learn to lean on support systems in place. If you find someone who you can trust and allow yourself to be honest, you’ll find that having that support goes a long way in your recovery.

Step 2: Find community support and don’t do this alone.

It shouldn’t be surprising at this point that a LOT of people struggle with porn addiction. And as you can probably imagine, there are a lot of great support communities around helping people break free from porn.

One of the best resources is Sex Addicts Anonymous. The great thing about SAA is that they offer “telemeetings” in addition to local meetings. So, if there isn’t a meeting in your area, or the idea of going to one in person is uncomfortable, you still have a chance to connect with others who truly get what you’re going through.

At these meetings, there’s no requirement to participate – you’re welcome to sit back and listen if you like. You can find a meeting here.

Step 3: Realize that therapy is probably a good idea.

Listen, I get it. I’m a therapist telling you to go to therapy. I KNOW. But, consider the fact that you’ve already been trying to do this on your own without much success.

What we do in therapy is not only figure out what’s happening and what got you here, but also how to finally put a stop to those triggers that push you to the point of watching again. We figure out ways to end the frequent masturbation and porn watching, and really find peace and hope.

Together, you and a therapist find real ways and real solutions to bring an end to the addiction, once and for all. In fact, clients I work with have a 94% success rate in finding freedom when they’re willing to do the work.

You are not alone. And you don’t have to continue doing this by yourself.

Achieving freedom from porn addiction IS hard, but it’s not impossible. With the right support and safeguards in place, you too can find the freedom you’re desperately searching for. Just take the first step.

Zakk Gammon, PhD, LCPC
Zakk Gammon, PhD, LCPC specializes in counseling for pornography addiction and infidelity.

Breaking free from a pornography addiction is a challenge, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

Together, we can learn how to get you past this and help you find real freedom. I work exclusively online with Christians who struggle with pornography, and I’ve got a spot waiting just for you. So, take a deep breath, and schedule your appointment with me right now.

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