Victims who spoke up and opened up my eyes
In 2016 I opened a twitter account under the name of Fappnosity, really just expecting to motivate addicts with updates on my recovery. A couple weeks later I received a DM from a woman asking for advice on how she could help her husband as he struggled with porn. A couple weeks after that, I received another message from another woman asking the same question on what she could do to help her struggling husband.
At the time I was at a loss for words and had no advice to give them. I felt very bad.
As my account grew a bit more, more messages from people with porn addicted loved ones in their life started to come into my inbox.
Now, I had opened up a page to help addicts as I thought that they were the only victims, but here I was, frantically scrolling through the emails, trying to figure out an answer to this new problem that I had just been made aware of.
“How had I missed this??” I asked myself
“How had it never occurred to me that addicts were not the only victims of porn?”
Over the next few days, I wrote responses and saved them to my drafts instead of sending them so that I could have time to really think and adequately answer all the questions that wives and relatives so desperately needed.
And to be honest, I also took the time for myself. I didn’t feel I could help others when I myself had been oblivious to this problem until now!
I took my time and let the realization sink in.
One night, I laid in bed, closed my eyes and just thought back. Then it all made sense. Why I had never had meaningful relationships. My friendships, all surface level, like cardboard, as I had never showed love back to those who loved me.
I sunk into my bed, feeling smaller and smaller.
NOTE TO THOSE EFFECT BY AN ADDICT (The Apology)
Now, from the very bottom of my heart, I want to say to those who have put up with us, thank you.
I am very thankful that you are trying to get into the shoes of addicts. I thank you for trying to see life from our perspective. I thank you because despite you also being a victim, you try to do the best to understand us, even though we hardly even understand ourselves.!
I am sorry that we aren’t there for you. I’m sorry for all the moments you feel ignored and unloved. I am sorry we are emotionally unavailable and sometimes all we want to do is sleep our problems away. I am sorry for all the hurt and pain we have caused you.
But I want you to know that we are trying.
Even though this addiction takes a toll on us and drains our life and energy away, deep down we really are trying.
Our try is hidden in our search history, “how to quit porn addiction”, “nofap challenge”.
Our try is hidden in our fake smile that we wear, letting you know it’ll all be okay, even though we ourselves are unsure if things will be okay at the end.
Our try is hidden in those random drives we take at night, were we try to destress so that we don’t snap over small things durring withdrawal.
Our try is hidden and unnoticeable. Unfortunately, our try will never be enough. we are weak from battling in secret, but what we will never ever do, is give up on you because you never gave up on us.
What can I do to help a loved one struggling with addiction?
I don’t know, nor think I’ll ever figure it out.
I will say though, that there are things that my loved ones did during my recovery that helped.
During recovery, they never asked what day I was on, and I loved that. When I felt confident in my progress I let them know.
Simple questions such as “how are you doing” or “how are you feeling” helped a lot. I felt free to talk about my progress if I wanted to, but also could give a simple “its going good”, if I was struggling but didn’t want them to worry.
Family being with me and offering to do activities like taking walks, gardening or going out to eat really helped a lot, especially after a long day.
Being there for an addict without forcing help on them is most important. Recovery is really on us, and when someone makes themselves available for an addict, it makes it easier for an addict to reach out and ask for help, which has to be the hardest part of recovery for an addict.
Lastly, something my parents did for me everyday which lead to my recovery, was pray. They prayed everyday for me and I honestly think that without their prayer, I would still be battling on my own to this day.
Thank you for reading.