For a lot of people, struggle forms a large part of the porn addiction recovery experience and one of the primary reasons for this is because people simply don’t know any better.
When struggle is literally all you know, because you’ve experienced nothing but struggle up until now, then inherently it’s going to become a frame of mind which you will continually come to expect.
Every single step of the way.
I suppose a key thing to understand about struggle is that no one wants to struggle.
Which is to say that struggle is simply what takes place when people become desperate and clueness, in a final attempt to cope without actually knowing how to cope effectively at all.
It’s equivalent to screaming at a brick wall in an attempt to knock it down.
Part of it’s appeal is that it helps us create the feeling and emotion of progress, without actually helping us truly change, remain calm or develop control over our minds.
Which is to say that it’s a form of distraction at best.
So rather than struggle, what we aim to do instead is learn how to cope effectively with our emotions, so we can thrive, grow and accomplish as human beings.
Rather than continue to get nowhere.
And one of the biggest ways we struggle is when we fight ourselves.
How do we fight ourselves exactly?
Well, there's no hard-or-fast answer, however for many of us it's usually through some kind of self-judgement or reaction.
To better understand this, it can help to understand that in most cases our first response when we struggle or face difficultly is to react.
We think “Okay, things aren’t working out and I’m not feeling too great, and I need to do something about it.”
Inherently problems can arise when we don’t know what to do, and so in trying to react it simply makes us feel anxious, frustrated and depressed, as we try to scramble for a solution we do not have.
In other cases what happens is that we can even begin to self-criticise in our hopelessness, usually as a form of motivation or reasoning to our struggle.
“Why can’t I do this? Why is this so hard? Why am I so stupid for not being able to figure this out?”
Now the reason why I describe it as a fight is because much like screaming at a brick wall, reacting or being self-critical will always be a one-sided battle against yourself.
Which is to say that it will be a constant struggle until you learn to let go and simply refrain from these behaviours.
Because that truly is the alternative to fighting yourself: To simply be present with yourself and not to engage with these behaviours.
In other words, to simply remain calm and present with yourself, rather than pursue the judgement and reaction inherent in struggle.
Which can be difficult at first, especially if these behaviours have become habit overtime. However these are vital skills which must be learned at some point, so it’s either now or never.
You know, there’s a quote that goes something along the lines of “You are your own worst enemy” and this rings particularly true when it comes to porn addiction recovery.
When you fight yourself, whether it be resisting your daily meditation or doubting the recovery process, you engage yourself in struggle and you’re all-the-more poorer for it.
Put in the hard work and you’ll be fine.
For this exercise what we want to do is identify the ways with which we fight ourselves.
Perhaps you’re particularly self-critical. Perhaps you react to your emotions and feelings, rather than simply let them go. Maybe you frequently doubt yourself.
Essentally anything you do which makes your recovery more difficult is a form of fight against yourself.
And so for the next week or so, I want you to be thinking about these ideas in back of your mind throughout the day, so you can become more familiar with your own strengths and weaknesses.
Ultimately the idea behind this exercise is to help you build your awareness of how and where you lose balance in your life.
In essence, so you can learn to let go of these behaviours and truly be free with yourself, although that’s something we’ll address in later exercises.
In most cases, simply becoming aware of your own behaviours can be enough to help you stop, however when it comes to things like self-limiting beliefs, a little more work may be required to truly put an end to these destructive patterns.
In addition, in order to help you identify how you fight yourself, it can help to understand that it takes two to tango, and that you are solely responsible for engaging in fight.
Which is to say that you actively pursue those behaviours whether you’re aware of it or not.
Regardless, happy hunting and I wish you best of luck with your journey.