CARE VS. CURE
Why does that matter?
Because that was the first time in weeks I was able to lift weights due to a back injury I sustained prior to Christmas. More importantly, it meant that I was able to start getting back on track with my workout schedule after two months of limited activity due to heart rate irregularities I had been experiencing.
Truth be told, as a guy who likes to go to the gym it’s been a frustrating season of life. Because no matter how much you enjoy doing something, if your health dictates that you need to stop those activities, you are forced to comply.
But during this time, when I had to limit or even stop certain activities, my main goal was always to get back into the gym. Because while self-care required me to change my fitness regimen, I never viewed the cessation of my exercise routines as a cure for my problems.
Additionally, I also knew that there was other work to be done if I was to fully recover from my ailments and injuries. Rest alone would not do the trick because my back pain was not the real problem, it was a symptom of the problem.
– Maybe you’ve been struggling with unwanted sexual behavior for a long time.
– Maybe you’ve never gone more than a couple of days without slipping up or “relapsing.”
– Maybe the idea of sobriety for more than 72 hours seems like a fantasy.
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– Installing filters and blockers on all your browsers and smartphones
– Limiting where you take your phone
– Enabling strict parental controls on your phone, computer, and streaming devices.
– Turning off the TV before and after certain hours of the day.
– Staying off social media and video platforms such as YouTube.
Because if those are trouble spots for you, why not eliminate the access and opportunities you have that usually lead to trouble?
So then why not?
Well it depends.
Are you taking those steps as a matter of care, or do you see them as a cure?
The truth is this; sometimes we need to do these things to allow for healing and recovery. There is no getting around the fact that your brain needs a break from exposure to porn if it is to regain proper function. And so if you feel that there is no other way to care for your brain and yourself, then wisdom tells you to take the necessary steps to secure some sobriety so that you can focus on deeper work.
However, if you think that by locking down your access you can get rid of your unwanted sexual behavior, you will be sadly disappointed.
Just like my situation, there are certain realities you need to acknowledge if you want to experience freedom and life the way it was meant to live.
You need to understand that…
1) Porn, masturbation, etc. are not the real problem. They are just symptoms of the problem.
2) Sobriety is a necessary component of your recovery journey, but it’s not the destination.
3) You may need to take a break from certain things like social media for the purposes of self-care, but such actions will not fix you.
4) There is a lot of other work needed to be done if you want to experience freedom beyond the limitation of Internet access and the like.
5) This is a season of life. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but you need to be patient with the process, so you don’t make things worse.
Do what you need to do to care for yourself, your mental health, and your relationships. But don’t stop there because more work needs to be done.
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