10 Steps to Quitting Pornography Addiction

Here’s an interesting perspective from one of my followers in the Middle East.

If you’re reading this, then you either struggle with pornography addiction, or care about someone who does. Please know that you’re not alone, and with the help of Allah, it is possible for you or your loved one(s) to overcome it.

How to quit a pornography addiction
1 – Accept that you have an addiction
Healing always begins with acceptance. Nobody likes labels, but accepting that you have a pornography addiction is the first step of your healing journey. You are not alone, and countless of people around the world have overcome their pornography addiction.

2 – Find a trustworthy support group
I strongly recommend the online resource, Purify Your Gaze. The founder, Brother Zeyad Ramadan has both sincerity and years of expertise in this field. Recovery from addiction is a lifelong journey, and that path doesn’t have to be a lonely one. There is strength in community, and Purify Your Gaze offers both that as well as the safety of anonymity, through clients using online nicknames.

3 – Be gentle and patient with yourself
Recovery is a lifelong journey, so don’t expect instant results! The more pressure you put on yourself, the more likely you might actually fail. Think of recovery as a marathon instead of a sprint. It is normal to feel disappointed when you relapse, so use that as an opportunity to surrender to Allah, repent and start again.

4 – Understand what drives your behavior
What are your triggers? Are you more likely to relapse when you get stressed about exams, feel lonely after attending weddings, or after you argue with difficult friends or family members? Try your best to notice the patterns in your behavior. When you notice the patterns, then you’ll be better able to look after yourself during those stressful moments. There isn’t a foolproof way to completely prevent stress, but it always helps to be aware of what presses your buttons.

5 – Cultivate a rich spiritual life
A closer connection to Allah will help you feel better connected to yourself. Struggling with addiction is often a sign that you find it really hard to stay emotionally present, and don’t have better coping mechanisms. Think of what you can do on a daily basis to help you feel more connected to Allah. Is through regular dua? Regular recitation of Qur’an? Fasting regularly? Everyone has different paths to Allah.

6 – Practice daily self-care
Check into your moods throughout the day until it becomes a habit. Use your five daily prayer times as a way to mindfully slow down and check into yourself. How often are you able to exercise every week? Is your diet healthy and balanced? What kind of books and media are you consuming? Make conscious decisions to choose to consume what is good for you, so that your heart and limbs can also manifest what is good.

7 – Choose your friends wisely
Don’t keep the company of people who indulge in pornography. Instead, spend time with God-fearing people who do good, and invite you to do the same.

8 – Buffer yourself during times of extra stress
When you know that you’re going to go through a rough patch, then do your best to prepare for it. Schedule in rituals into your daily and weekly routine to help you feel more balanced. It could be working out at the gym, going for a walk, or meeting a good friend for coffee.

9 – Forgive yourself when you relapse
Only Prophets are protected from sin. Everyone else is wired to make mistakes. Repentance is how we find our way back to Allah. Instead of beating yourself up and losing yourself in guilt, pick yourself up again, and consider it a learning experience. What can you do better next time?

If you were to commit sin until your sins reach the heaven, then you were to repent, your repentance would be accepted.” -Prophet Mohammed, narrated from Abu Hurairah (Sunan Ibn Majah)

10 – Reflect on how you can give back
One of the biggest gifts of striving to overcome pornography addiction is this – having empathy. And from this empathy comes the ability to support others along their own recovery journeys. This is is a lot better than shaming, blaming and judging fellow Muslims for having pornography addiction

Consider the childhood roots of pornography addiction
Maybe you came across pornography by accident. Maybe you were curious about sex, but looked for information through pornography. Whatever the reason, being involved in a pornography addiction may point to some difficult realities about your family home. In his must-watch video Brother Zeyad Ramadan describes the childhood home of pornography addicts having three unspoken rules.

1 – The Don’t Trust Rule (I don’t trust my parents)

2 – The Don’t Feel Rule (I survive by not feeling, my parents feel threatened by my feelings)

3 – The Don’t Talk Rule (Denial, we don’t speak the truth, we don’t talk about problems)

Grieve for the little wounded child inside you. You were an innocent and trusting child, and you deserved a safer family home. No matter what your parents did to hurt you, you are an adult now, and you are responsible for your own healing journey. Take ownership of your actions, and decide that it’s time to break that cycle. Your own future children will benefit from your courage and commitment to change, inshaAllah.

Benefits of insight
When you become a parent some day, then you will be a strong advocate for your own child’s emotional health. Because of your own lived experience, you’ll also be much more prepared to protect them from the dangers of pornography. There’s no running away from the reality that the tide of pornography is a growing one, so through your own healing journey, you will help your own children navigate their way to safety, in this world and the next.

 

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Tales of Rock – Special Report – James Hetfield

Metallica’s James Hetfield Relapses and Enters Rehab, Band Postpones Tour: ‘We Are Truly Sorry’
http://va.topbuzz.com/s/YQMspk

Medical Minute: Sex Addiction

Jada Pinkett Smith is opening up about her “unhealthy” addiction to pornography before she met her husband Will Smith.

The 47-year-old actress revealed her addiction on the latest episode of her popular web series Red Table Talk.

Jada said she had an “unhealthy relationship to porn” when she was “trying to practice abstinence.”

“It was actually, like, filling, like, an emptiness. At least you think it is, but it’s actually not,” Jada said.

She said the intense effects of her addiction gave her a false sense of expectations as far as sexual interactions.

“Actually reading, like, some of the effects of pornography, like the idea that it gives you false expectations as far as sexual interactions, I can definitely see that with men,” Jada said.

“In pornography you’re never tired. There’s never a ‘no,’ so I can definitely see how that can create an unrealistic expectation.”

 

What is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is the repeated, compulsive participation in sexual activity, particularly sexual intercourse or anal penetration, despite negative consequences.

Like most addictions, the negative impact on the addict usually increases as the disorder progresses.

Over time, the addict has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.

Viewing porn or pleasuring yourself daily does not necessarily mean you are a sex addict.

Like food, sex is necessary for human survival. A healthy abundant sex life is normal. In fact, lack of interest in sex can indicate a medical problem or psychiatric illness, according to Psych Central.

About 71 percent of child molesters are sex addicts. Their urges and desires to increase the intensity of their predilection for children is so severe that life imprisonment is the only way to ensure society’s safety against them.

Not all sex addicts become sex offenders. About 55 percent of all sex offenders are sex addicts.

Access to the Internet is increasing the number of individuals – including children and teenagers – who engage in a variety of unhealthy sexual practices, such as viewing porn websites, online escort services and dating websites.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of sex addiction include:

  • Self hate or self harm
  • A pervasive preoccupation with sex or porn
  • Practicing unsafe sex without regard for consequences
  • Sexual fantasies that need to be fed more and more
  • Excessive masturbation
  • Inability to maintain healthy sexual relationships
  • Feeling powerless without sex
  • Exploiting others for sex

Sex addiction becomes a problem when it affects your social life, your job, and your medical and mental health.

People who are distressed or conflicted by their increasing addiction to porn or sex should contact their physician or healthcare provider for a referral to a mental health professional who can help you.

This has been your Medical Minute.

More Info On the Web

What is Sexual Addiction? | Psych Central

Is Sex Addiction Real? | WebMD

What is Sex Addiction? | Healthline

 

DISCLAIMER

Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. Phicklephilly and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following information found on this blog.

 

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Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 20 – Addicted to Tanning?

“UV light may trigger the same reward pathway in the brain as drugs such as heroin.”

I think Kita is addicted to tanning. I decided to do some research.

Experts have long wondered why many people tan regularly despite the known risk of skin cancer. Past studies suggest that the motivation is not just vanity—some tanning buffs have symptoms of dependence and withdrawal. Now a study in Cell adds more evidence that tanning is addictive. It showed that mice become dependent on beta-endorphin, a drug-like opioid molecule made by the skin under ultraviolet light.

A team at Massachusetts General Hospital scrutinized the opioid system, the reward pathway hijacked by drugs such as heroin, because the researchers had earlier found that beta-endorphin and the skin pigment melanin originate from the same protein. Other studies have also pointed to the opioid system; in one, frequent tanners showed withdrawal symptoms when they took a drug that blocked opioid receptors.

In the new study, shaved mice got a daily dose of UV light long enough to tan but not burn—on a par with 20 to 30 minutes in midday Florida sun for a fair-skinned human. After a few days, levels of beta-endorphin rose in the mice’s blood. Then the researchers rated pain tolerance, a marker of opioid dependence, using heat and touch. The UV mice had a pain threshold up to three times higher than mice that had not tanned. As levels of beta-endorphin rose, so did pain tolerance, suggesting the endorphin played a key role.

When the UV mice received an opioid blocker, their pain threshold reverted to normal, and they showed withdrawal symptoms such as shaking paws and chattering teeth. The mice even modified their behavior to avoid withdrawal: those that received opioid blockers in a dark box preferred to spend time in a white box, despite rodents’ natural penchant for darkness.

Humans and mice share these chemical processes, so the researchers believe beta-endorphin may cause addiction in people. Getting sun may be rewarding to the brain because we need vitamin D, explains David Fisher, a co-author of the study and director of the melanoma program at Mass General. Next Fisher hopes to investigate whether this pathway is involved in seasonal affective disorder, possibly providing a new therapeutic target.

 

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Sabrina – Surprise Visit – Part 2

I take her back to the Versa Spa spray tan machine. I show her where to put the barrier lotion. (Between the fingers, beds of the nails, palms, between the toes and soles of the feet.) That’s where you don’t want the solution to go. I show her how to wear the hair net. (Above the hairline so you don’t get a weird crescent on your forehead below your hairline.) Then I show her the four poses you have to do while getting sprayed. It looks like we’re “Vogueing” in the hallway together.

I tell her there’s a woman’s voice that will guide her through the whole process.

“How long is the process?”

“The whole session is only four minutes. If you can follow directions, you can get a great spray tan. Any questions?”

“I think I got it.”

“Then go to it Sabrina.”

In she goes, and I head back up to the front of the salon. I’m thinking how great Sabrina looks. She’s come a long way at thirty-four years of age. I remember she told me she was addicted for ten years! How did she survive and look as good as she does? That’s fucking heroin! I’m so proud of her!

Fifteen minutes later, lovely Sabrina emerges from Room 8 and approaches the counter. I tell her she has to stay dry for the next 6 hours. She thanks me profusely and gives me a hug.

She’s so sweet to me and tells me that she wants to go to Gran Caffe L’Aquila for dinner for her 1 year anniversary of sobriety.

I’m honored to be the man that will sit across the table from this beautiful woman on that day. (God, my blog has gotten so much better and so have I!)

Sabrina heads out and I wish her a Happy New Year and I remind her she must stay dry for the next six hours for the tan to develop.

——————————————————————–

Later Update: Sabrina wrote a glorious 5 Star Yelp review about me and our salon. (Better than money!)

I text her and thanked her and wished her a Happy New Year. She texted me back that she had done something bad.

I was terrified. Had she re-offended with drugs?

“What happened?”

“I slept with my ex.”

Oh… But technically you’re not divorced yet so you just slept with your husband.”

Oh yea.. Thank you for that. But now he’s not texting me or anything.”

“I know you said the sex was fire between you guys and I get that, but if you guys hooked up, I think that’s all it was.”

“Oh.”

“You’re relationship was toxic and dangerous for over 10 years. If you slept with him I think that’s all it was. I’m sorry. But steer clear so you don’t re-offend. He’s not going to get back to you because you can never go back to that toxic relationship that destroyed you. ”

“But…”

“No. Resist and stay sober. I hate the holidays.”

“But I…”

“I know Sabrina. Go forward. I know it’s hard, but let go of the bars of your addiction and walk out of your cell. You’re doing great.”

“Thank you! I love you and value our friendship! Hope you know I plan on being in your life for a long time.

What a lovely person.

“Promise? Because that’s what I want Sabrina!

“Thank you… Hey, I know what I did was wrong but because of my awesome spray tan I looked awesome naked thanks to you! (And thank you for that delicious visual, Sabrina!)

I love Sabrina and I would love to see more of her because she’s a beautiful person. Not just on the outside.

I can’t wait to see her again.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Sabrina – Surprise Visit – Part 1

Sabrina texts me out of nowhere and wants to cash in her free spray tan.  She lives out-of-town but works down at Penn’s Landing at a marketing company. She loves her job and is doing great. I’m happy she’s doing well and has been sober for over 9 months.

She sees her kids every Saturday and is trying to get on better terms with her sort of ex husband. (They’re still legally married but have been split for over a year. But she refers to him as her Ex) According to her their marriage was toxic and she can’t be with him anymore. She lives in the house they own together but he pays the mortgage and I’m assuming some sort of support.

This is a woman I met at the salon with Jill. (See Jill – 2016 to Present – Client) Jill is an ex stripper/escort that can’t stop drinking. Sabrina met her in a halfway house and they have remained friends. Jill is a full-blown alcoholic and Sabrina is a drug addict. Jill told me Sabrina’s drug of choice was heroin but she’s done an amazing job rising from the ashes of her own destruction to live anew as a sober person.

Sabrina once told me that if she even took a sip of beer she’d be right back into it again. That’s addiction. But I know a few addicts that come in the salon that have been sober for decades and they are incredibly great people who have risen above and sustained their lives. Many are professional people like doctors and lawyers. Addiction doesn’t care who you are. It just tries to steal who you are and sledgehammer your life.

Jill is the one that told me that Sabrina wasn’t an alcoholic. She was heroin addict. But like I said, addiction is an insidious force that doesn’t choose between nationality, race, or social status. It just takes some of them.

I can drink wine every day and not lose my shit. It loosens my mind to write, kills my anxiety and depression, helps me sleep and is a social lubricant. But some people’s wiring just can’t take any foreign substances.

I could drink with someone who is an alcoholic and drink the same thing pound for pound all night long. I will maintain my buzz and go home and go to bed after a fun night.

They will in turn change in mood and personality. Lose their sense of time, sense, verbal ability, motor skills, and eventually black out and do bad things and never remember them. They will not destroy themselves. They’ll destroy everything and everyone around them. That’s addiction.

We’re all different. We all have the same chemical make up that makes us human, but all of our chemicals react differently to introduced to outside forces. Sometimes stimulation… sometimes absolute destruction. Booze is probably the worst because it’s legal and beloved by so many. Nobody high on marijuana ever aggressively hit a cop. A drunk guy who’s losing his shit with his wife would. The worst thing that happens when I’m around people who smoke pot is a boring endless story and I want a drink to get through listening to them.

Here’s the difference between weed and booze. I was friends with a great sensitive drummer named Rich back in the 80’s. He loved weed. I like booze. Here is the conversation when we’re banged up on our substances of choice walking down the street:

Rich: (Stoned) “Hey man… what if the color blue to me isn’t the same color blue to you?”

Me: (Whiskey) “I don’t fucking know. Check the crayon box, asshole.”

See the difference?

 

Anyway, my girl Sabrina wants to come in and get a spray tan. She’s middle eastern and is as brown as a penny and hot as hell, but her legs need color. I tell her we can help her. We can help anybody!

I’ll make all of you girls beautiful and tan. Leave it to me!

She says her legs are always covered and she wants to even out her look. I tell her the best way to do that is to go in a UV sunbed. Cover up the parts you don’t want tan and bake up your legs to match the rest of your delicious self.

Long term that would work for her. Her legs could catch up with the rest of her pretty brown skin.

But Sabrina wants to do a spray tan to just to even herself out and look good. I tell her it’s a temporary fix, but she’ll look great.

She comes in and we have a lovely chat. I tell her about my recent date with Bailey on Christmas Eve and how I’m seeing her again tonight  for some wine and Gelato when I close the salon. Sabrina is surprised and delighted that I’m going on a second date with Bailey. (See: Bailey – From Texting to Connection) 

She doesn’t know about Cherie so I tell her I adore her. “I can’t wait forever for you, Sabrina.” (Only half joking because I would totally love to date Sabrina and haven’t completely ruled out accomplishing that goal in the near future.)

“You’ll have to text me how it went! Have you kissed Bailey yet?”

“No. I hope to this evening.”

“You’ll have to text me if you do!”

She looks amazing and gorgeous. I wish she lived closer to the city so I could spend more time with her. I tell her how great she looks and how amazing her luxurious hair looks. She thanks me and attributes it to being sober.

I love that.

She tells me that Jill is about to be kicked out of her current residence because she’s drinking oceans of vodka and sleeping around. Jill is out of control. Sabrina tells me that Jill wants to come live with her.

I tell Sabrina the following: “You’ve been sober for 9 months. You see your kids. You have a great job now. You’re doing well. You can not bring Jill, the broken drunk into your house. EVER. You have to cut her off.”

Sabrina tells me that she can’t bring that shit into her house after finally getting clean and moving forward with her life. She’s going to have to have the “Talk” with Jill.

It’s sad because in Sabrina’s phone, Jill is still listed as “Roomie” from when they were in a halfway house. Sabrina has been an elegant Phoenix that has risen from the ashes of her own destruction, whereas Jill started drinking and whoring once she got out of rehab and the halfway house.

Jill is being kicked out of her present living situation because she can’t stop drinking and whoring.  Jill plows vodka and jumps from guy to guy. Screwing them and staying at their cribs until they kick her out. I’m sure she cares for her son but her behavior screams she doesn’t give a shit about him because she’s always loaded and riding cock somewhere, blackout drunk.

“The best place for her is to go back to the halfway house.”

Sweet Sabrina’s words ring like lovely bells on New Years day. The words from a mother that is struggling everyday to make her way in this life.

 

I’ll continue this story tomorrow…

 

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Sabrina – Hopeful

Poor girls and their substance abuse.

So the dust has settled and Jill is back tanning her ass at the salon and all is forgiven. She shows up with hot Sabrina the other night and I totally want to date her. I’ve actually been texting her that we should go out and do some sober fun things.

I figured it would be good for the blog. Drunk dude takes drinkie girl out for sober date and ice cream.

I have been talking to this old guy that comes in and tans and he works at the Walnut Street Theater. He wants to get me tickets because I helped him with a problem he had with his new phone and I’m the only one that listens to him complain. (He’s said this to me!)

He has access to tickets to shows at the theater and I want to take Jill’s hot friend Sabrina to them.

Thing is, Sabrina lives in a halfway house with Jill and is an addict like her. I talk to Sabrina and Jill clears the way with the coolness factor. But all drug addicts are liars and so is Sabrina. It’s ok. She says that her last boyfriend got her into drinking and it just took her like Jill. I get that. It’s okay. It happens, you have the gene and that shit takes you. I’ve met dozens of addicts.

But one day Jill is tanning and she tells me that with Sabrina her thing is heroin. Holy fuck. She’s super hot. She doesn’t look like a former junkie.

What do I do?

I go out with her. She’s been clean for over seven months. So could she have a drink or will the high of alcohol make her want to go up to Kensington and score some smack? I need to find this out before I go out with her. Maybe I’ll just stick to a show and some ice cream.

I’ll write more when and if the date happens.

 

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