011: The Joys of Living in Recovery

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Sometimes, the term “recovery” gets a bad rap. Some view it as some kind of impairment or flaw if you’re walking in recovery from an addiction. But the reality is that there’s MUCH joy that we can celebrate in recovery. This week, Frank encourages listeners to focus on the joys that one can experience as they walk away from the kind of lifestyles that kept us in bondage for years! Through brokenness, self-discovery, and hard work, joy can prevail as we become the men & women God has created us to be. Enjoy the podcast!


If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

009: Hitting Rock Bottom Hurts Pt.1

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How do you know when you’ve really reached rock bottom? A place of brokenness where you can finally see the damage that your addiction is doing to your life? This has been one of the most intriguing questions for me as I’ve worked with men in recovery from sexual addiction. In this episode, I share my thoughts on what rock bottom looks like and how we can continually live in a place of complete transparency before men and before God.


Show Notes:


If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

Expediting Your Recovery

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As we progress in our recovery journeys, sometimes it can feel that we go from one battle to another. And, in essence, this is true. One day the onslaught of fantasy & lust is as intense as it’s ever been. Some years later as we grow and heal, that battle doesn’t have the power over us it once had. The battles that once plagued us become as natural as breathing. And then what pops up? Another battle! Shame, anger, fear, insecurities…you name it, we have to deal with it. I’ve talked to so many men who want to “expedite” the process of recovery. Of course, they only “think” they want to do this. The real riches lie in the process…the journey…the day in, day out walk that takes place. That wholeness that the Lord wants for our lives is only found by going through, not around the challenges. Don’t try and rush the process today. There’s GREAT joy that can be found by simply trying to see what you’re learning through fear, through anger, through insecurities. It’s not only about how you can get out of it, but WHO you become because of it.

The Opposite Of Addiction is Connection

While the following article is secular in nature, it presents some VERY interesting observations on addiction and perhaps some answers to help individuals find more freedom than they ever knew. Enjoy!


 

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Do Stronger Human Connections Immunise Us Against Emotional Distress?

Right now an exciting new perspective on addiction is emerging. Johann Harri, author of Chasing The Scream, recently captured widespread public interest with his Ted talk Everything You Know About Addiction Is Wrong, where he concluded with this powerful statement:

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. – Johann Harri

These sentiments are augmented by a growing number of experts, including addiction specialist Dr Gabor Maté, who cites ’emotional loss and trauma’ as the core of addiction. Compare this ’emotional loss’ to Johan Harri’s idea about lack of connection and it is clear they’re talking about a similar emotional condition.

Limbic Resonance

If connection is the opposite of addiction, then an examination of the neuroscience of human connection is in order. Published in 2000, A General Theory Of Love is a collaboration between three professors of psychiatry at the University of California in San Francisco. A General Theory Of Love reveals that humans require social connection for optimal brain development, and that babies cared for in a loving environment are psychological and neurologically ‘immunised’ by love. When things get difficult in adult life, the neural wiring developed from a love-filled childhood leads to increased emotional resilience in adult life. Conversely, those who grow up in an environment where loving care is unstable or absent are less likely to be resilient in the face of emotional distress.

ow does this relate to addiction? Gabor Maté observes an extremely high rate of childhood trauma in the addicts he works with and trauma is the extreme opposite of growing up in a consistently safe and loving environment. He asserts that it is extremely common for people with addictions to have a reduced capacity for dealing with emotional distress, hence an increased risk of drug-dependence.

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“Humans require social connection”

How Our Ability To Connect Is Impaired By Trauma

Trauma is well-known to cause interruption to healthy neural wiring, in both the developing and mature brain. A deeper issue here is that people who have suffered trauma, particularly children, can be left with an underlying sense that the world is no longer safe, or that people can no longer be trusted. This erosion (or complete destruction) of a sense of trust, that our family, community and society will keep us safe, results in isolation – leading to the very lack of connection Johann Harri suggests is the opposite of addiction. People who use drugs compulsively do so to avoid the pain of past trauma and to replace the absence of connection in their life.

Social Solutions To Addiction

The solution to the problem of addiction on a societal level is both simple and fairly easy to implement. If a person is born into a life that is lacking in love and support on a family level, or if due to some other trauma they have become isolated and suffer from addiction, there must be a cultural response to make sure that person knows that they are valued by their society (even if they don’t feel valued by their family). Portugal has demonstrated this with a 50% drop in addiction thanks to programs that are specifically designed to re-create connection between the addict and their community.

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“Human connection is crucial in in the immediate task of clearing trauma”

Personal Solutions To Addiction

“Ask not why the addiction, but why the pain.”
– Gabor Maté

Recreating bonds is essential in the long term, but human connection is crucial in in the immediate task of clearing trauma. When a person decides to finally face and feel the pain that they may have been avoiding for years or decades, the first steps cannot be done alone.

“You have to be with that pain, but you have to have support.”
– Gabor Maté

This support is essentially the reintroduction of the care and support which is so important in creating the neural structure of emotional-resilience in early life. By doing so, we begin to replace what was missing, and thanks to the revelations of neuroplasticity we now know that you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks; neural rewiring is possible in adult life. Though it is essential for addicts to feel supported in order to finally face and feel the pain they have been trying to avoid, this is ultimately an inner journey that must be taken by the individual.

“Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from pain creates more pain.”
– The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying

The Roots Of Healing

When we are young, our parents care for us until we are able to do it for ourselves, after all they won’t be there to do it for us forever. Perhaps, on an emotional level this is also true: our parents love us so that we may learn to do it for ourselves. The programs in Portugal have demonstrated that addicts do remarkably well when they feel valued by their community. Whether they realise it or not, the Portuguese are creating positive limbic modelling by valuing the addicts so they can learn to value themselves. When people are there to provide loving support for an addict wishing to face the emotional pain they carry, they are loving them and caring for them until they can learn do love themselves. With this in mind, perhaps the neural-wiring of emotional resilience developed through the loving reflection of another, once fully developed, could simply be called self-love.

21 Lies Porn Uses to Keep You in Bondage

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Certain people have a tell-tale sign that makes it easy to recognize when they’re lying: their lips are moving.

In other words, some folks lie continuously. If their mouth is open and producing sound, it is the sound of deception.

They might lie to get out of trouble. They might lie because they are trying to tell you what they think you want to hear–or what they think will get you to do what they want. Or they might lie simply because they don’t want to have to stop and discern the truth before speaking. Just loosening their jaw and letting words fall out seems so much easier.

Pornography is a liar. Only it doesn’t even have to move its lips. Yet, it’s always lying. 24-7. 365 days a year. 366 days on leap years.

But I have found that recognizing some of the many lies porn tries to sell me has grown in my heart a deep distaste for it–mostly because I’ve come to recognize how much porn detests me.

You may know or even care deeply for someone for whom lies have become a way of life. They don’t mean any harm–certainly not towards you. They just can’t seem to help it. Some folks have lived in deceit so long, they probably don’t even know what the truth is anymore.

This is not the case with porn. Porn has an agenda, and it includes your destruction. Total destruction. Further, when you consider its many lies head-on, I hope it helps you to resist its deceptive allure, the same way it has for me.

21 Lies Porn Uses to Keep You in Bondage

See if you recognize any of these lies porn uses.

Porn says, “Live your fantasies.” But that, of course, is impossible. That’s why they’re called fantasies.

Porn says, “Let me take your mind off all of that,” as it takes over your mind.

Porn says, “I think we’re alone now.” But by “we” it means just you.

Porn says, “It’s not that bad.” But how bad is it?

Porn says, “Everyone’s doing it,” as you hide it from everyone.

Porn says, “Let’s have some fun!” But the joke’s on you.

Porn says, “I know how you feel,” as it deadens your ability to feel.”

Porn says, “I’m here for your pleasure.” But no one’s there. Except you. Pleasuring yourself. Alone.

Porn says, “I can make your dreams come true,” but there’s nothing true about it. Except the nightmare of addiction.

Porn says, “No one will find out,” as if you aren’t someone.

Porn says, “Take me,” as it takes you.

Porn says, “Help yourself,” as you hurt yourself.

Porn says, “Give yourself a break,” as it breaks you.

Porn says, “Don’t worry,” but if it wasn’t wrong you wouldn’t have to.

Porn says, “I’m yours,” but nobody’s really there.

Porn says, “No one’s watching,” but the problem has to do with what YOU are watching.

Porn says, “I’m here whenever you need me.” But when you’re done, your need remains.

Porn says, “Satisfy your lust,” but by definition lust can never be satisfied.

Porn says, “I can give you a release,” while it holds you in the bondage of addiction.

Porn says, “I’ll make it all better,” but in the end it will leave you bitter.

Porn says, “Just live in the moment,” but afterward you’re deleting your history and then desiring your next hit.

Don’t be fooled by porn. It’s lying to you. Even if its lips aren’t moving. And, as you can see from the lies above, there’s a method to its madness. Which means you need a method to your sanity. You need a plan to defeat the lies of porn with the truth of who you are and why you’re here.

That’s why Covenant Eyes exists, not merely to help you see through the lies porn is telling you, but to enable you to live a life of freedom and integrity. Learn more about how porn rewires your brain and what you can do about it by downloading their free e-book Your Brain on Porn.

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