Why is recovery so hard?
Well, there are a lot of reasons. You are swimming upstream against what you have trained your brain to do and want. There are chemicals that you now crave in a very real way. You may have used porn to avoid negative feelings so much that you no longer know how to deal with things like stress or negativity. But perhaps most of all, recovery is hard because it requires you to be completely vulnerable.
That can be scary.
What Dr. Brown suggests in her TEDxTalk is that we become a “whole-hearted” person. Vulnerability is the opposite of what we do when we watch porn. Porn creates a cheap and temporary pleasure that numbs us emotionally. It numbs all the bad (and the good) and leaves us feeling empty. Then when we come down from the high and feel things that we don’t like, we turn back to our addiction to escape and around and around it goes. If we are open and honest with ourselves and others about our situation we will discover a way to live where we can handle the bad and enjoy the good.
Here is a custom version of Dr. Brown’s to-do list, specifically for Fortifiers. Follow these tips and you’ll have a whole heart in no time.
Let Ourselves Be Seen
Addictions make us want to hide but that isolation is dangerous. Reach out to those closest to you for support. Give them the chance to prove that they accept and love you. Remember: recovery is not about being perfect, it’s about learning how to live in a healthy way. We all have flaws and we always will; flaws make us who we are.
Love With Our Whole Hearts
This one is a big deal and it goes both ways. As you take steps toward recovery, you are regaining and relearning your ability to love. It is a skill and it requires practice. Trust and love, even if it’s scary. Believe that you deserve that trust and love in return.
Practice Gratitude And Joy
Another way to say this is to practice positive self talk. Don’t get down on yourself, even when it’s hard or you’ve messed up. Celebrate your victories and learn to embrace the struggle. Like we said earlier, you are escaping the numbness that porn has created and instead of temporarily self-medicating, you are learning to live with the good and the bad. Be grateful for both.
Believe You Are Enough
You are and always have been enough. You are learning more and getting smarter and that says something about your desire to recover. You have struggles and triumphs just like everyone else, but all these things are yours. Own the fact that you have what it takes, the capacity to be the best version of yourself. Start with that and you will be in the right place to make the right changes.