What’s my first step towards recovery?
Taking my first steps towards recovery was something very difficult for me because I didn’t know where to start, who to turn to, or how to build a new life. Like most of us wanting to learn more about addiction, I began to do my own research. I wanted to study my enemy and to learn where it weak spots were.
I read dozens and dozens of articles, blogs, research papers and they all explained addiction as the result of the brains chemical dependency on dopamine, our reward system, and you guys know the rest.
A YouTube video helped open my eyes
But in one of my many research sessions, I ran across a YouTube video of a guy talking about his addiction and how he was depressed and lonely. In this video, he was crying, and I remember seeing this dude cry on my iPhone screen, and being completely honest about his feelings. I remember thinking, how is this dude crying and expressing his feelings without feeling less of a man? Why was nobody making fun of him in the comment section? So it’s okay to cry?? And all these other questions began to run through my head. I was awe…
I always thought that crying in front of others meant you were less of a man. I thought people would make fun of you and not respect you.
I heard myself say out loud, “See, he’s crying and I don’t see him as any less of a man then before.”
(I was confused, because I had been taught growing up that expressing any kind of negative emotion was a sin. My family was very religious back then, and emotions such as depression, anxiety, and anger meant a person was being moved to act this way by the devil. Both my mother and father’s sides of the family’s suppressed all ‘flawed’ things that make us human, so we all carried a lot of emotional scars and baggage around.)
While I was pondering this, I had a flash back. A flashback to a time I was sitting and talking this girl I liked in high school about our feelings but I can’t remember how the conversation went exactly. And while talking, for some unknown reason to me at the time, this sadness suddenly snuck up on me and I began to tear up and almost cry, just like that, out of nowhere!
I had a break down
I frightened myself! I was confused, embarrassed and ashamed as I heard this girl ask me in a worried tone, “Are you…are you crying??”. I got up and started walking away from her and towards the double doors that led out to the parking lot. She got up and went after me asking, “what wrong, tell me what’s wrong??”. Even she was startled by my sudden outburst emotion. I pushed her aside and made it outside where I leaned by a railing and began to concentrate on my breathing to calm down. But this felt like a heavy sadness that had come from deep down inside me. I was so confused.
I realized where it had stemmed from
‘Man what is wrong with you! Get it together‘ I thought to myself. Little did I know, that all this bottled up depression, self-hate, anxiety, bullying I endured, and addiction been through and suppressed for many years had finally reached its maximum pressure point and I was a ticking time bomb ready to explode like a soda can that had been shaken and left in the hot sun.
As I sat on my bed remembering that moment, I felt the gears in my head begin to turn and myself began to try to put together a puzzle. A puzzle I had no idea even existed. All of a sudden I realized that addiction had stemmed from something deeper than just dopamine. I realized, porn had been my way of coping with my problems.
That there, was my first real insight into what my addiction was actually made up of. And I knew that someday, in order to beat this addiction, I would have to open up about my dark past, and expose all of myself, in order to take away the power this addiction had over me.
Addiction is made of many things, your suppressed past being one of them. I advise you, like I did, to start bringing back these memories, and begin to talk about them with someone. This could be a school councilor, a close friend, or even parents. I know it’s hard, and it will wake up many dormant negative emotions, but it’s crucial for your recovery. It’s all part of cleaning out the filth in the attic.