Will Community Really Help Me Quit?
Do you just think about a group of people, or do you see community as an effective path to healing and freedom?
A while ago, one of our Live Free members posted that he had been avoiding porn but was still struggling with fantasies and masturbation. He continued on, saying that while he once valued the community we offered, he was skeptical about its real effectiveness in helping him find freedom.
After all, how can posting in our app compare to the feeling of an orgasm (his words)?
So here are a few thoughts I want to share with you if you find yourself asking the same question or find yourself hesitant to join a community like Live Free or Small Groups Online due to similar reservations.
First, at the end of the day, porn, masturbation, and indulging in sexual fantasies are all basically the same thing.
They are all unwanted sexual behaviors we turn to as an unhealthy way to cope with difficult emotional experiences.
See, whenever we face challenges in life, we all have a choice. We can either cope in a healthy way or in an unhealthy way. Just because we aren’t turning to porn does not mean we aren’t still using other unhealthy methods to deal with stuff.
Medication is medication.
Numbing pain is numbing pain.
It doesn’t matter what the name of the drug is on the label of the prescription bottle. It still serves the same purpose and indicates a need for continued healing and emotional growth.
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Second, community is not going to be as immediately rewarding as porn, masturbation, and especially an orgasm.
Let’s not kid ourselves.
When it came to my personal recovery journey I didn’t see any real progress until I stopped my short-term thinking.
And this holds true regardless of the context.
A donut is always gonna sound more enjoyable and more pleasurable than going to the gym, right? At least at the moment.
But the pleasure of eating a donut cannot hold a candle to the long-term benefits of going to the gym. That’s long-term thinking.
And it’s the same when it comes to unwanted sexual behavior and embracing community.
Sure, today an orgasm sounds a whole lot more appealing than engaging in a support community, but the long-term benefits of the latter far outweigh the short-term benefits of the former.
Lastly, we need to understand the real benefit of community.
Community is not an alternative medication to porn. It’s not a substitute or some type of methadone-like solution.
Community is something we all need to be emotionally healthy.
– It helps increase emotional resilience.
– It contributes to greater self-awareness.
– It promotes trust and empathy.
– It provides healthy accountability.
All of these things will, in the long term, help us become healthier people, which in turn will help us face life without the need for maladaptive resources such as porn, masturbation, and the like.
Understand that community helps us feel like we belong. Community helps us heal. Community reminds us that we are not alone and that we are worthy of love.
Ultimately, community helps us leave shame behind and supports us through life’s roughest moments.
When our unwanted sexual behavior seems too good to pass up, community reminds us that we have purpose and worth; but community is not, nor will it ever be a substitute for medication
It’s not a maladaptive resource.
It’s an adaptive resource.
It’s something we require.
Community will not numb your pain. Rather, it will help carry you through the pain in a healthy way.
This is what Live Free is about.
And this is why community can help you truly “quit” your unhealthy behaviors. But it’s a process and not something that just happens overnight.
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