A trusted friend taught me that stressful, painful situations in life act like the negative end on a battery: when it butts up against the positive end of another battery, that completes the electrical circuit so that the equipment can function. If the negative and the positive ends don’t connect, the electrical device doesn’t work. Likewise, as we assess the condition of our lives (the happy and the sad aspects) and identify needed changes, we connect to the bigger picture that involves our relationship with others. In this way, our painful experiences (like the negative end of a battery) can serve to motivate us—to power us forward.
We live in a world of opposites: black/white; hot/cold; happy/sad. Our environment is one of continual change—nothing stays the same. Understanding about these contrasts can be comforting in our stress filled lives. How? There is a rhythm in nature that we can rely upon, e.g. the tide comes in and goes back out, day follows night, etc. When you’re feeling “low,” know that it’s only a matter of time, combined with your effort, and you’ll experience feeling good again.
Since you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you or someone you care about is struggling with a pornography addiction. You’re probably thinking, “Well, that all sounds reasonable, but I don’t believe anything can really make me feel better—ever.” And guess what? You’re right! Nothing or nobody can make you feel better. That’s for you to decide. Happiness is not based on a geographic location—it’s a choice—a feeling we choose to have inside of ourselves. No one can take that away from us. Not ever! And we take it with us wherever we go.
How do we go from feeling miserable to feeling good? It doesn’t happen all at once. It took you awhile to get where you are, and it will take time to arrive at your new destination. It’s a step-by-step process, not a single event. Overwhelmed you might ask, “So, where do I begin?”
The answer is: “You already have! You’re right here, right now, reading this article. You’re becoming more aware that you’re responsible for your life and you have some choices to make.”
Pornography addiction is rooted in thinking miserable thoughts and the resulting miserable feelings from thinking those thoughts. On a piece of paper, list the things you’re truly grateful for. Sometimes, that’s difficult. There’s a quote that goes something like this: “I wished for shoes until I saw a man that had no feet.” Practice relating your situation to something much worse and yours will always look good. Once you’ve identified what you’re grateful for, reach out and help someone less fortunate. It may be as simple as holding the door open for an elderly gentleman as he leaves the grocery store.
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Dr. Sondra Shepherd