Stop calling yourself an addict!!!

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by ilovesex, May 13, 2019.

  1. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    Use what works for you. No reason to debate about it. Each person who struggles with porn addiction can choose to decide whether or not the "addict" label is constructive for their recovery.

    For folks like the OP, "addict" feels like a condemnation and a self-fulfilling prophesy. It brings them down and makes them feel horrible about themselves, which can trigger further PMO.

    For others (like myself), "addict" is a recognition of my vulnerability and reminds me of the need to be consistently vigilant about my recovery. It's also an experience in practicing humility by admitting my own imperfection, and working toward progress. For me, it's a positive thing.

    There's nothing wrong with encouraging people to consider their mindset when it comes to the "addict" label. But I don't think it's constructive at all to tell people they're doing it wrong simply because they have a different mindset than you do.

    Adding this edit, because it's important:

    Embracing the "addict" label can also help reduce the shame that's inherent in the addiction. When I first sat down with my CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist), he said, "the first thing I want you to know is that you don't have a moral problem. You have a brain problem."

    I think every porn addict needs to hear that. If you're addicted to porn, it's not because you are a weak-willed person. It's not because you can't live up to your values. It's not because you're a "beta male." It's because you've done serious damage to your brain chemistry, to the point where you're so conditioned to cope with PMO that you always come back to it, no matter how hard to try.

    When you dig into the brain chemistry of addiction, you'll learn very quickly that this has nothing to do with living up to your values or having strong enough willpower. It isn't about loving your spouse or your girlfriend/boyfriend enough. It's completely about your brain chemistry, and the sooner you can embrace that, the sooner you can give yourself some grace and work toward getting your brain back to a normal state of balance.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  2. ilovesex

    ilovesex Fapstronaut

    Whatever works for you mate :)
  3. Old Fogey

    Old Fogey Fapstronaut

    Very, very well said.

    I honestly think a lot of "recovery" programs out there make their money either through people paying to participate, or through government funding that is dependent on the number of participants. The bottom line being that they are incentivised to keep people in the program rather than recovered. Hence if people keep saying "I'm a porn addict, I'm a porn addict" over and over again, what do they really expect to happen? Asking someone to say they're a porn addict and then telling them to abstain is just like the old trick of trying not to think of a pink elephant. Yeah, sure, you can go for a while if you use a huge amount of willpower (not an option for me as I'm incredibly weak willed), but ultimately you're better off finding something else such as new hobbies or interests to occupy your time, and creating an identity through your new interests.

    Instead of saying "my name is John and I'm an alcoholic", learn to say "my name is John, and I go to the gym six days a week". Then make sure it's true.
    ilovesex likes this.
  4. Awedouble

    Awedouble Fapstronaut

    Lets back up to the very beginning though - calling yourself something is an activity. This is significant.

    We don't say "I'm a labeler" - we label. What people don't seem to consider is being whatever is also an activity.

    I don't really have an issue with the practice of calling oneself an addict, what I wish they did was have a broader context. A label or series of labels, like all of the qualifying addictions simply doesn't explain the phenomenon known as Bob/John/whoever as we have it today. If there was a broader context then this would not be an issue, for the simple reason there's recognition that nobody is only a particular label that is used as a general descriptor, even if it is an addiction they more than qualify for.

    Just want to add, what is an activity and yet not something we can label is a sense of pure potential, call it being high on human potential. Potential doesn't or hasn't taken any particular form, but I find it exciting and think it helps greatly in my recovery in any case, just this sense and instinct there's greater possibility down the pike is a kind of high that fapping cannot possibly compare with. Fuck orgasms, how about this:
  5. plzrlzme

    plzrlzme Fapstronaut

  6. fapequalsdeath

    fapequalsdeath Fapstronaut

  7. ilovesex

    ilovesex Fapstronaut

    I like how you think :)
    You can just compare and judge for yourself.
    Success rate of Aa meetings compared to for example coaching or therapy.
    I personally wouldnt presume bad intentions...its just the same problem like always. Something worked for that time and nothing better was there, but adapting the new is always a struggle. I really recommend Eckart Tolle!
  8. ilovesex

    ilovesex Fapstronaut

    Why do you think you are willing to keep something what is maybe damaging you more then the fun is worth?
  9. arkad1

    arkad1 Fapstronaut

    This "i am not an addict" way of thinking is very dangerous, do never think like that, ever.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  10. wolflarsen88

    wolflarsen88 New Fapstronaut

    I am a healthy dude who lives pornfree because i enjoy having real sex!
    ilovesex likes this.
  11. SuperFan

    SuperFan Fapstronaut

    Well, essentially, you did.

    Exhibit A:
    Exhibit B:
    If the fun of drinking beer is better than the damage it causes, then why do you have a problem with it? If the fun is better than the damage it causes, why do you need to abstain for periods of time?

    You have a problem and you choose to abstain because you recognize that the potential damage is serious enough to adjust your behavior.
  12. Habbapop

    Habbapop Fapstronaut

    You can't create everything. And you are NOT god. No one is a god.
  13. SoberSquirrel

    SoberSquirrel Fapstronaut

    I agree with what you have to say. If you keep saying that you are an alcoholic, you might stay like that. I think a good sentence would be "I am John and I am an alcoholic, but I am recovering". Like that, you have a negative and a positive. At the same time, you know you have a problem but you are fixing it. When I do something bad, I always trying to find something positive to keep me going. Is that what you meant by twisting it up?
    In case of a relapse, it's always good to compare how you are doing better TODAY than in your past. There is always progress being made, no matter what.

    If people don't agree with you, too bad. There's no good or bad way. You have to figure out what's good for YOU.
    ilovesex likes this.
  14. ilovesex

    ilovesex Fapstronaut

    Oh heavy trigger. Good luck with your life man :)
  15. ilovesex

    ilovesex Fapstronaut

    There is the pain and the ego talking. I was there. Good luck man, if you want to talk privatly im here ✊
  16. TimeToQuitNow

    TimeToQuitNow Fapstronaut

    I have heard this advice before and I think it is really good.

    I used to be an alcoholic. I never needed 12 steps. Instead of saying "I'm an alcoholic" I just would say to myself and other "I don't drink" and worked. I haven't drank in over 2 years. We should do that with Porn. Don't say you are a Porn addict. Say "I don't watch Porn". Eventually your brain will believe it.
  17. skibum71

    skibum71 Fapstronaut

    For about 15 years I drank myself into oblivion 3/4 times a week. Probably the last 5 years I accepted I was an alcoholic, but ultimately I found this label wasnt helpful. Telling yourself you are an addict legitimises the behaviour of an addict.
    Whenever I found myself sat in a bar, alone, barely recovered from the previous binge and starting the next one and id ask myself "why am i doing this?", my answer would be "well, I'm an alcoholic, and this is what alcoholics do". The label gave me permission to carry on the cycle of self destruction.
    And, I think labelling yourself an addict, or a xyz-aholic programs you to believe you are helpless and have no influence over the decision to indulge. When I found myself walking towards the pub, and a voice inside me is screaming "turn around! Go home! Don't do it!" Id think "well I'm an addict, I'm not choosing to do this, I have no power to stop this". Telling yourself you are an addict programs you to believe you do not have a choice, which is wrong.
    I can understand people who feel it is helpful to tell yourself "I am an addict" it has a seriousness which makes you face up to the situation. But I don't think it's helpful, it gives you the green light to behave like an addict, and most importantly it programs you to believe that you do not have a choice.
    The shift from identifying as an addict (and therefore behaving like an addict) to someone who is making a conscious decision to indulge, when I equally have the option to not indulge (you don't fap 24/7, there are times when you chose not to fap right?) was largely what help me quit.
    ilovesex likes this.
  18. I have also read the power of now. 10+ times. It is a great book. Be careful though. At most I could meditate 8 hours a day. I had a lot of wonderful experiences and some scary ones. It sounds like you have had a few glimpses of this. Keep reading and watching Eckhart Tolle. Dont meditate too much without proper guidance. It can make you loose touch with the world around you, even throw you into a psychosis.
  19. ilovesex

    ilovesex Fapstronaut

    interesting that worked for you. from what i know the subbrain doesnt know the word no or not. dont imagine a white cat...
    TimeToQuitNow likes this.
  20. ilovesex

    ilovesex Fapstronaut

    you understood this! no one was talking from denial in the first place. but i understand its a hot plate for people from the other extreme perspective where they are finally opening up to the problem :)

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