A great audio interview over at NPR with neuroscientist David Linden. In it David talks about his new book Compass Of Pleasure, detailing the brain on a neurochemical level when we interact with addictive substances and behaviors. One of the most interesting things I took home from this interview was how his findings point to STRESS as a major contributor to sudden increases in cravings for the addictive substance or behavior.
‘Compass Of Pleasure’: Why Some Things Feel So Good [NPR]
While most people are able to achieve a certain degree of pleasure with only moderate indulgence, those with blunted dopamine systems are driven to overdo it.
“Any one of us could be an addict at any time,” Linden says. “Addiction is not fundamentally a moral failing — it’s not a disease of weak-willed losers.
Hi everyone! I just wanted to share this amazing Reddit Gold caliber article, a harrowing self account of misery to freedom from one man who has passed the 2 year mark of life without porn. It is touching and informative, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
“I was 34 years old when I decided to quit, after having done porn pretty continuously, and increasingly, from the age of 13 when I found my Dad’s magazines in his bedside drawer. By the time I decided to quit, I was married (unhappily – though I wasn’t totally conscious of that fact), and had a two-year-old daughter. I was a software engineering manager making a bunch of money, I had a big house in a posh neighborhood. I had all the outward signs of success…. (click here)“
Q: What is the opposite of a porn habit?
A: To me, it’s creative energy and intimacy.
Porn is fake intimacy, and we all crave intimacy. Life without porn mean you find more natural sources of intimacy, like with real people. Intimacy can be comradery, friendship, family, love, trust, respect, joy.
Creative energy comes to us when we gain our sensitivity to life back. We do hobbies, sports, crafts, tinkering. With porn we feel dead, no energy to be creative or do much of anything.
Combine creative energy and intimacy and you get things like community, fundraisers to help people in need, collective art projects, running workshops for free, and other creative ways to help uplift your community.
These are things I have experienced from quitting porn.
Neuroscientist Kelly McGonigal speaks about her book “The WillPower Instinct” and describes the importance of supercharging your prefrontal cortex as a means to better decision making. This video is packed full of amazing scientifically researched and study based tools to help overcome addiction and achieve goals by strengthening this part of the brain. Her approach is based on mindfulness, acceptance, and forgiveness, and I wholly indorse her methods.
Some of the methods she prescribes are similar to the Identifying Triggers tool, and the Equanimity Meditation. I hope you try them out!
Picture this: You’ve been addicted for decades. You use porn as your main outlet for intimacy and a pacifying mother in times of stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, anger, and general dissatisfaction with life. Always accompanied by a tendency towards isolation. Your emotional stability has become dependent upon porn, influencing your hobbies, habits, and attitudes. Now imagine someone took that away from you, your precious dependency, you would be left a thousand feet in the air with nothing under your feet. This is what happens when we begin the process of recovery. Recovery is not just the absence of porn, it’s also the beginning of a new and healthier life, a New You. Continue reading
“The Secret of change is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
This quote is extremely simply, yet addresses a wide range of issues relating to habit and addiction. I’ve interpreted it into two related teachings, ‘not fighting the old’ and ‘building the new.’ Continue reading
So you have enough CDs and DVDs to hold up your coffee table, or enough downloads to warrant buying several new disk drives. You’ve spent hundreds of hours collecting it and hundreds of dollars purchasing it, some videos dating back to before your children were born.
But, you’ve decided to go porn free, no more looking back. You have begun to Continue reading
Alone in the woods, Red Riding Hood walks the path.
In the distance, two eyes gleam in the darkness, the wolf is near.
It’s OK to travel here, all the while aware of the wolf, and all its tricks.
Like a ghost or shadow, I know you are there, and I accept you for what you are.
Goodnight sweet Riding Hood, goodnight sweet wolf.
Image: Little Red Riding Hood by Cathy Delanssay.
A poem about addiction by me.
Take a deep breath. Feel. What you are feeling in this moment will always be OK. Know that pain is always an acceptable part of life. We cannot have the beautiful flower without the mud.