You’ve decided that the grip that pornography has on you has to be broken. You have realized the devastating toll it has taken on you, your family, your friends, your job, and every other area of your life.
You have searched out ways to get help, and have learned that you are not alone in your struggle with porn. Even men in your church view pornography. In fact, 68% of all church-going men admit to watching porn. You’ve tried to break free on your own, but you find yourself back in that same place you said you’d never return to. Thankfully there are tools and a process to help prevent relapse.
Soak In Grace
The first step in your recovery and ongoing sobriety is to understand God’s love for you is greater than your struggle with pornography or any other sin. He knows about every time you looked at porn; He was with you when it happened. But when you ask Him to forgive you, He does so instantly.
Never forget that His grace, mercy, and love are the foundations of your recovery, and He has promised to be with you through every step of your journey. The Apostle Paul said that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39).
You also probably know that the likelihood of overcoming your pornography addiction by yourself is very slim. That’s why connecting with a small group of godly men who have personally battled porn addiction is so critical to your recovery.
Community Is Essential
The best way to avoid relapse is to have men in your life who care about you and want to help you. Imagine that your recovery is like a long journey. There will be winding, hard miles to travel and also some smoother, easier parts. Having someone on the trip with you is a great help to get you to your destination.
Steps To Avoid Relapse
Sexual images are everywhere, so you must be aware of temptation. In addition to small groups, there are also proven steps that you can take to avoid relapsing, which means to fall or slip back to your old ways.
- Admit that you have a pornography addiction.
- Be honest with yourself and others. Lying is a major part of an addiction.
- Figure out what your ‘triggers’ are. What images, words, actions, sounds, situations, environments, or other factors create thoughts in your head to seek out porn?
- Learn skills to help you deal with desires and cravings that are certain to come up.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help. You need men you can call at any time of the day or night who will be there for you.
- Consider installing accountability software like Covenant Eyes on your computer and electronic devices. They allow only the people you designate to know exactly what sites you have visited, so they can contact you if you’ve been visiting sites you should be avoiding.
- Become aware of your patterns or rituals. For instance, do you come home every day and head for your computer to ‘medicate’?
- Keep your computer, phone and TV in an open area where you are not secluded from other people.
- Don’t neglect the Christian basics – read your Bible, pray, go to church, spend time with other Christians.
- Never think you can take ‘just one look’ again and it will be fine.
- Always remind yourself of how far you have come in your recovery, and what you stand to lose if you go back to using pornography.
A Couple of Helpful Tools
Here are two handy tools you can easily remember to help keep you from relapsing.
Bookending – Maybe you know that you are going to be entering a stressful situation. Call one of the men in your small group before you go. He can help you come up with a plan to help you get through it and give you encouragement and support.
Then, after the situation is over, call him again to go over what happened, what you are feeling, and what you may need to do to better handle it the next time.
H.A.L.T. – There are four physical conditions that make you irritable and may cause you to seek a quick fix by watching porn. Be extra alert when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Grab a snack, call and talk with someone, take a nap. Do whatever you can to break out of these conditions.
Use the FASTER Scale
Viewing the Conquer Series cinematic study and joining one of the small groups are excellent tools to help you overcome your pornography addiction. You’ll also find the Conquer Series Journal a powerful tool in your daily journey to freedom.
One of the best tools in the Journal is the FASTER Relapse Awareness Scale (FASTER Scale). This tool helps you understand your emotional triggers that lead to relapse. Using the FASTER Scale daily lets you actually see where you stand that day based on the level of behaviors, attitudes, and feelings that often cover or mask true emotions of pain and fear. The Scale depicts how easily our behaviors progress, on a slippery-slope, ending in relapse.
The FASTER Scale categories are:
- Recovery/Restoration – Accepting life on God’s terms, with trust, grace, mercy, vulnerability, and gratitude.
- Forgetting Priorities – Start believing the present circumstances and moving away from trusting God. Denial, flight, a change in what‘s important; how you spend your time, energy, and thoughts.
- Anxiety – A growing background noise of undefined fear, getting energy from emotions.
- Speeding Up – Trying to outrun the anxiety which is usually the first sign of depression.
- Ticked Off – Getting an adrenaline high on anger and aggression.
- Exhausted – Loss of physical and emotional energy; coming off the adrenaline high, and the onset of depression.
- Relapse – Returning to the place you swore you would never go again.
The Conquers Series videos and Journal will be powerful weapons in your battle against pornography addiction and your ability to avoid relapse. You really can live a porn-free life and experience the fullness of God’s grace and love.
Sean Winship of Ashland City, Tennessee said,
“God brought me to a place where I was introduced to the Conquers Series and I have been 100% sober ever since!”
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
Want more great articles like this?
Sign up for our blog newsletter to ensure you never miss a post.