It’s been 25 years since I was first introduced to pornography, upon my accidental discovery of explicit magazines which my father had been hiding in his cupboard. It was an event that would cause incalculable damage, heartache and chaos in my life. The single-minded preoccupation with pornography meant that I struggled to form long-term intimate relationships and ultimately caused the disintegration of my marriage and a highly acrimonious divorce.
Because using porn involved such high levels of dishonesty, shame and secrecy, I felt trapped and caught up in it. I often felt isolated, ashamed, depressed, phony and morally compromised. I often found that my personality changed as I became easily angry, irritable and unable to sleep. As I fell more into the use of pornography, it led me onto a more dangerous path as what I watched became more sadistic, viewed pornography at work and ventured into having an affair and.
What I found most troubling is that I was unable to stop using pornography even when I was aware of the massive negative consequences it was having. I never realised how truly addicted I was to pornography. I was surprised how easily porn transformed from an occasional diversion or harmless fantasy to a habitual problem that had the potential to destroy almost every aspect of my real life. What began as a fun, escapist sexual entertainment, or a brief but thrilling visit to a taboo world, became a trap. Like quicksand, pornography sucked me in so steadily that I did not even notice that I was sinking.
But it was not only me that was caught in this trap but also my wife and family whose lives were also torn apart. My involvement with pornography directly resulted in the disintegration of my marriage where my partner felt emotionally abandoned, powerless and unable to help me with my addiction. Porn very nearly cost me my relationship with my children whom I love dearly.
Pornography has been an incredibly intoxicating addiction and was incredibly sticky to get out of my system. Thirty years ago, getting your hands on pornography required time, money and effort. Today, it takes time, money and effort to get away from porn.
Seeing the growing impact porn was having on my life and those of the people whom I loved, I knew that I had to do something and seek help, as I was powerless to get rid myself of pornography. I had tried and failed numerous times to get and remain abstinent, but I was always sucked back into my old bad ways.
As I could not only rely on my ability or willpower, I reluctantly embraced the help of an addiction therapist, a support group, and a twelve-step addiction recovery programme. This was the lifeline that was offered to allow me to finally return my personal freedom and integrity and give me a solid footing to enjoy my life. I truly hope that you too can also find the peace and serenity that comes with returning to sobriety from the scourge of pornography.