Quarantine and porn: 10 tips to not fall into the trap

Quarantine and porn:
10 tips to not fall into the trap

However small or big, addictions concerns us all. Take a closer look, aren`t we all hooked (at least a bit…) to something? Work, screens, food, sport, smoking, videogames, shopping, etc.: whether it be a substance or a habit, each one of us have a weak spot!

During this time of quarantine, let’s be cautious: our uncontrolled and invasive habits are likely to get worse. Subsequently, new compulsive behaviours may appear – especially if we are vulnerable. As a matter of fact, for addictions, quarantine is a period of abundance unhoped for. Every passing day, gives a silver platter of unpleasant experiences: discontent, unpleasant emotions, upheaval of our routines, arguments, privations…

In this agonising context, a guilty pleasure can take be dangerous for oneself: pornography. Careful! This guilty pleasure is in reality a trap: the snare being…. Porn. And its deception, is to make us believe that it’s for our own good. Here are 10 tips to not fall… with our eyes wide open into this trap.

NB: This article speaks about pornography but the tips proposed are valuable whatever your weakness may be. To consume without any moderation!

#1 – In response to the pandemic… You are not in war!

In general, addiction is an unconscious strategy to escape unpleasant experiences: thoughts, emotions, etc. Sadly, this struggle is always inefficient and creates more pain than relief. Moreover, these thoughts and emotions are not the enemies! So, like one says in judo: mate! Stop…! The struggle is over.

#2 – Move away… from the exhaust hood

During the quarantine, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The sales of flour has exploded. It’s good…. But pay attention to bad grub, to stodgy food and especially the exhaust hood. Porn is a false addictive promise, a bad publicity that seduces each one’s weaknesses. Just like in a lottery, 100% of porn addicts… have tried their luck. It’s better to pass your turn!

#3 – Vaccinate yourself from the #pornovirus… by exposing yourself to your emotions

However unpleasant, emotions do not kill. They inform us about our needs and helps us to adapt ourselves. For example, fear calls us to be vigilant. Hence, emotions means life! Do not seek to anesthetize them! For you to expose your emotions, here is a very concrete step: in the heat of the moment, during an emotional turmoil, stay alert to your physical sensation. There is just one question to ask yourself: “What do my emotions do to my body here and now, and in which place?”

#4 – Apply social distancing i.e.… your mental barriers

Good news: porn addiction is essentially psychologic.

Concretely, the dependence takes root in the brain. The main obstacle to overcome, is your mental barrier. So block all thoughts that imprison you. Your thoughts are not orders! When that “little voice” whispers “I’m in need”, you reply “Are you sure”! Make a list of your embarrassing thoughts, not your desires. This selective sorting requires practice but it’s not complicated. It’s good for the planet (less time spent on the internet…) and most importantly, good for you.

#5 – Stay connected to the basics and take action step by step

In the face of addiction, people mistakenly believe that they lack willpower. To get out of this mentality, one needs motivation. And do you know what the foremost propellant for this? Values! In this word, there is no religious, philosophical or moral connotation. Values are everything that is important in our eyes, which are important in our life. We often forget, a rolling stone gathers no moss. The time has come to get a grip of things. Then, to take concrete actions step by step, even modest and simple ones. By which, pointing in the right direction, gives more meaning and focus to everyday life and makes it possible to raise one`s head.

#6 – Be a lab-rat … and smile

« Do you know yourself? », says the saying. Are you conscious in the manner you function? Have you noticed that sometimes you are on auto-pilot and you lose control of things? Use this time in containment to discover and examine further the reasons and mysteries of your behaviour: Which are the trigger situations? Which thoughts are automatic and which emotions arise and interact? Which impulse pushes me? Which actions are voluntary or involuntary? By dissecting such your actions, you will realise that the behaviour is not just a single block, but more like a jack-in-the-box. The only pilot in the plane, is you. You can keep control.

#7 – Facing the uncertainty of the after-coronavirus, live the certainty… of the present moment

To be rooted in one`s present moment is an extremely efficient method to not fall into the trap of compulsive behaviour patterns. Being anchored in the present moment prevents one`s thoughts and emotions to run wild….and avoids the need to hide from them. This attitude of being present to oneself requires training, but it’s available to each one. A regular practice routine results in quick and good habits. The key point is being mindful of the 5 senses and being aware of physical sensations. In spirit, it means to connect with oneself, to finally live the de-containment… but towards the interior.

#8 – Catch yourself in infraction without an attestation

When it comes to observing other people`s shortcomings, we are all big brothers. Less often do we have the habit to catch our own infraction of sleepwalking “in a delusional infraction” says Raymond Devos. In fact, self-disclosure could have some good… Find a stable position from which you can “auto-observe” and detect your triggers of auto-pilot. The advantage of this “point of view”, is that it can also constitute a safe-haven to isolate when there is an interior crisis.

#9 – Prepare an exit plan from addiction

I will mention just four measures. Find “your” high-risk situations: circumstances, places, contexts, etc. What high-risk situations can I suppress or eliminate? How to cope with others? The first high-risk situations, is like a problem on a navigational device… Elaborate a protocol “post-accident”. List the reactions to have that will help me bounce back after an uncontrolled escalation: to de-brief, to de-dramatize, to find an activity that (really) cheers me up and makes me feel good, etc. Elaborate a protocol “to manage desires”: identify trap thoughts, welcome unpleasant emotions, being aware of physical sensations, etc. Scan your lifestyle; cleanse your sleeping habits, body hygiene, diet, relaxation, physical activities, etc.

#10 – Take example… on the penguin

Don’t get mistaken: I’m not asking you to cut your arms! The penguin is not only anthropomorphic in its walk, we are to learn a lot from its behaviour as well. The life of penguins is fascinating (my daughters are going to make fun of me…) For example, do you know that their two main predators (of the penguins, not my daughters) are the seal… leopard and the killer whale… interesting? You can’t make this up! On the sea ice, the penguins are clumsy. They often slide out of control. But at the end of the winter, when it leaves the confinement zone to join the coast, he gets up after every drift and continues his way no matter what… Yourself, sometimes, you may feel a little out of balance. Like the penguin, you are first and foremost someone who is lovable, sympathetic, brave, courageous and clever. And on top of that, you are a human being, not an animal… So get going, safe travels! The winter is over.

#11 – Bonus: and Jesus in all this?

In your initiative towards change and liberation, your faith constitutes both a value and a resource.

A value: it reinforces your motivation.

A resource: it is an additional means of support. You can rely on the sacraments, on the support of your brothers and sisters in Christ, on prayer. The Word of God, can particularly reach you: it gives you advice of prudence and encouragements.

Help yourself… Heaven will help you (this is not taken from the Bible… but a fable by LaFontaine. It does not take anything from relevance.)

Tanguy Lafforgue,
coach and therapist.

You suffer from addiction to pornography and/or masturbation. Due to the coronavirus crisis, you are confined to your home, maybe confined with others. It’s a mess… this uncomfortable situation could make you all the more fragile. But quarantine can also be an opportunity to do some beneficial work on yourself.

Get help!

 

LE PARCOURS “LIBRE POUR AIMER” (in French)

This course in French, available by book or by email is designed to be followed for 40 days. It accompanies people taken into pornography towards a path of freedom.

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