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Forgetting and putting addiction behind versus embracing and managing
By rmww
12/13/2013 12:37:27 PM
It seems that a lot of people that struggle with addiction comment in terms of wanting to "put it behind" them so that they can move on and forget about this painful aspect of their life. I had similar desires for a lot of years. All I wanted was to put my addiction behind me and forget about it forever.

I've taken a different approach this year, and it seems to be making a big difference for me. It's been 9 months since my last p*rn binge, and I feel a sense of peace at a level that I haven't experienced in years. What's different this time around? Well, rather than trying so hard to give up my addiction so I can forget about it, I've instead embraced the fact that I have an addiction that MUST be managed every single day from now on. In a strange way, embracing and managing my addiction has helped me to put it behind me in a way I never thought possible.

I once read something that compared p*rn addiction to a disease like Diabetes, and the analogy really stuck with me. Diabetes is a serious issue that affects you for the rest of your life. However, there are things you can do DAILY to manage the disease (insulin, diet, exercise), that can help you to live a relatively normal life. If you stop managing your disease though, it can lead to serious issues. Sound familiar? For me, I've (finally) accepted that my addiction will be with me the rest of my life. However, there are things I can do DAILY to manage my condition (prayer, scriptures, exercising faith in the atonement, 12 steps, recovery material), that will allow me to live a relatively normal life. And I know that if I stop managing my condition, it can (will) lead to serious issues.

For those that have lots more experience with recovery than I do (or with Diabetes, for that matter), does this analogy seem accurate, and does it hold true over time?

Comments:

Rings true    
"I think your comments make amazing sense. I need to pass this on to my husband. Thank you for sharing. I'm happy for you and how well things are going. Keep up the wonderful attitude and work."
posted at 16:02:51 on December 13, 2013 by Anonymous
More true than you say...    
"Like diabetes, the list of dailies for porn addiction also includes diet, exercise, and adequate rest.

If you don't take care of yourself, your body craves a quick fix every time, guaranteed. If you really take care of yourself, you cut down the cravings drastically."
posted at 22:58:24 on December 13, 2013 by beclean
So true    
"I agree with you 100%. It has been 10 months since my last prn binge. It is something you have to manage every day. Thankfully I have identified what I call the innocent "entry points" so I can consciously recognize the path that I am taking will lead to where I will have no control. Best of luck to you."
posted at 22:46:32 on December 15, 2013 by Anonymous
Entry Points    
"Anon - Ha! Totally! I was just thinking about entry points this morning. In my 15+ year struggle with prn, it was actually pretty rare that I consciously said "you know, I think I'm going to go look at prn today". Instead, probably at least 95% of the time I started out flirting with temptation, often trying to see how close I could come to the line without actually going over. What I failed to realize though is that as soon as you start entertaining temptation, there is a chemical aspect that kicks in where you are then trying to fight chemistry instead of just temptation. Fighting actual chemistry is a lot harder.

I too have really worked hard to identify my own "entry points", and to avoid them completely. I make a conscious choice every single day to manage my addiction and do my dailies (along with diet, exercise, and rest as BeClean accurately pointed out), and that has made a huge difference."
posted at 13:03:16 on December 16, 2013 by rmww


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"Brothers and sisters, stay on the straight and narrow path. No, stay in the middle of the straight and narrow path. Don't drift; don't wander; don't dabble; be careful. Remember, do not flirt with evil. Stay out of the devil's territory. Do not give Satan any home-field advantage. Living the commandments will bring you the happiness that too many look for in other places. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006