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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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Charlene – Spiritual Innocence

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I was walking down the stairs from my building to Suburban Station. I don’t even remember why. There was a bunch of people coming through and I held the door for a group of ladies that were coming down behind me. This one attractive black woman wearing a hijab and a tunic was very appreciative that I was holding the door for everybody. She thanked me and actually stopped to chat. There seemed to be a very simple instant connection.

Charlene is obviously Muslim. We chatted awhile and I think she felt surprised that we were connecting. But she is very nice and has a pretty smile. I’ve had two girlfriends in the past that were black. I look forward to telling you those stories on here at PhicklePhilly. So we chatted and I exchanged numbers with her. I thought we could meet for lunch and I could get to know her better. I have had almost zero contact with any Muslim women. They simply don’t socialize with anyone outside of their circle. Someone once told me that if you saw a woman walking around in a burka that meant her husband was in jail, because once a black man entered the penal system he usually joined the Muslims that were already in the can. But frankly I think that might be bullshit. If anyone knows the reason, please send me a message or leave a comment.

There was some texting but nothing concrete. Apparently she had been laid off from her job and that’s why I met her at my building. There was some sort of job service, career training agency on the 2nd floor. They had so many people going there everyday, that the building gave them access to their own elevator. Which ironically, when you saw who the majority of people who were going to the job center, it almost felt like segregation.

A few weeks passed and I ran into her again in Suburban Station. We went to the food court at Comcast and had a nice little lunch. It was obviously noisy but we didn’t mind. We were happy just to be sharing a meal.

Charlene seemed fascinated with me in general. She kept asking why a businessman like myself would be interested in her. I told her it didn’t matter. She seemed sweet and nice. She took my hands across the table and looked at them, turning them over to look at my palms and feel them. It was as if this was her first physical contact with a caucasian man. But I kind of liked the attention. We decided to make a date. I asked her if she’d like to see a movie with me on the weekend. She has two daughters, like eight and thirteen. She said if she could get a sitter we’d go out.

This was some groundbreaking stuff for me. All I’d seen of her was her face and her hands. That’s it. The rest of her was completely covered up. I asked her if she was always Muslim and she said the last man she was with was so she got into character. She had expressed that she was debating whether to go back to wearing her regular clothes. But that’ll be her choice. When do you ever see a white guy walking down the street holding hands with a black muslim woman? I’m going to go head and say never! I asked her why she was no longer with that man and she said he was too controlling.

Insecurity is a bitch, guys. Believe in yourself and trust your woman.

So I told her I had to get back to the office and she had to go as well. I walked her up the steps and into the vestibule on 16th street to say goodbye. That’s when I took her face in my hands and kissed her on her soft full lips. She seemed surprised but I saw a green light, so I went for it. She smiled and I could tell it was all okay. I told her I’d be thinking about her and that I’d see her soon. It was a pretty bold move to kiss a black Muslim woman on the lips in public.

But fortune favors the bold.

That Saturday I set up where we were to meet. We were going to see “Meet the Patels.” A wonderful film by the way. See it. It was playing at the Ritz theater in society hill on Walnut Street. I love the Ritz theaters because they always show quality films and it’s quiet and full of responsible adults. Plus the seats are really comfy.

Charlene was driving in, and she seemed to be really struggling to find her way into the city. I was on the phone with her and it was very stressful for both of us. I’m a stickler for being on time when I go to anything related to the arts in any way. And when I say “on time” I mean 15 minutes early. Anyway,  we finally got her there and made it into the movie.  We got some popcorn and settled in the back of the theater and watched the film.

It was a bit of a chilly day. Overcast I remember. After the film we walked around Society Hill a bit. She was a little chilly so I put my coat around her. I was still wearing my signature blazer so I was fine. Normally I’m impervious to the cold so no worries there. We sat down on a little bench and chatted. There was some kissing and cuddling but she was getting cold and it was late so we headed back to her car. More kissing and grabbing ensued. She even said things like “when we have sex” and great things like that. So this was all very exciting to me. She was kind enough to drop me off in Rittenhouse.

There is something simple and sweet about Charlene. She isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but I would rather spend time with someone who is genuinely a nice person than some one that is smart but not a nice person. I’ve met plenty of those assholes. We all have. But there is something to say about the simplicity of Charlene. She’s really happy to spend time with me. There are many things she doesn’t know or understand, but she doesn’t really need to know all of that stuff. She works at her job, and takes care of her house and her two daughters. (Whom I have not yet met.) I kind of like that she seems proud that I’m interested in her. She also seems a bit submissive which is refreshing. Sometimes it’s nice to just spend time with someone who never says shit like “My kind of crazy…” or “I’m a raging feminist.” I think Charlene is the kind of girl who is just happy not to be controlled by some insecure man. She really feels special when you take her out and is very appreciative. It makes a man feel good that he’s with her. That’s rare these days.

So I kept in touch with her but schedules were off so I didn’t see her for a while. I don’t know if I reached out to her or if she to me but I remember speaking with her on the phone. She seemed upset. When I inquired what was wrong she said that they were somewhere and somehow her thirteen year old had gotten in her car and started it and smashed into something. Her kid was fine but that is some alarming shit. She said that she couldn’t deal with her eldest daughter and she wasn’t listening to her anymore. I’m thinking regardless, how did the kid get the keys? I think she wanted me to give her some assistance, but I couldn’t do that at the time. I don’t know if she didn’t have anyone to turn to or what, but I couldn’t do that. I mean, we’d had lunch together. I took her to the movies. I can’t be giving her $500 to fix her front end. I’ve paid out so much in my life, it just didn’t make sense. I like to help people and I’ve been described as a giver, but it was just too early in the game.

I still liked her and was sorry I couldn’t help but that sort of puts you off a person for a bit. But she was still on my mind because she was such a sweet gentle woman and I was attracted to her!  Some months went by and she texted me out of the blue. That was two weeks ago. We’re supposed to meet up for lunch again soon so I’ll continue this saga then. If she doesn’t bail.

Update: She got a job! She had a work conflict so she couldn’t come down. Maybe we’ll go out again sometime.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday at 9am EST.

I publish new Dating content every Monday at 9am EST. I publish Updates and bios and stories about related characters, such as male and female friends and acquaintances on Wednesdays at 9am EST.