In Alcoholics Anonymous, they put a spin on the words “Pour me another drink”. They have a saying — “Poor me, poor me,… pour me another drink.”
We know from experience that the more self-pity we have, the more we delude ourselves into thinking that our drug-of-choice will solve all our problems.
Self-pity is very different than healthy self-love or self-compassion. Self-pity is viewing ourselves as victims, and it always serves to spur on our addiction.
For many years, I was totally unaware of the connection between my porn abuse and my emotional state. During my many years of active addiction, and even when I already advanced on the path of recovery, I always thought I succumbed again and again to watching porn just because I loved porn.
I had no idea that I always caved in because I was lacking the tools to deal with my emotions. It took me a long time in recovery to understand that my difficulties in dealing with my emotions was what fueled my porn use.
Now, I can barely fathom how could I have been so blind? Thinking back, I clearly see the direct correlation. When I had a hard day, fought with my wife, messed up at work, or had the slightest stress — I automatically began seeking to indulge in porn.
For me, the Twelve Steps can’t just be a technical to-do list. They need to spark a mindset shift. I need the psychological change. If I’ve worked the steps and still don’t experience self-compassion and self-acceptance; if I’m still stuck in resentments and self-pity; then apparently I didn’t work the steps properly, and I’ll probably not be able to stay clean.
Personally, I found that my recovery begins with accepting myself fully as God’s special creation, worthy and deserving of love, despite my porn problem or all my other limitations. When I accept myself as lovable and worthy, I cease to wallow in resentment and self-loathing.
I can’t stress enough how central working on our emotional well-being is for recovery. There is almost nothing that pays-off more than developing a life plan for enhancing our spiritual and emotional well-being. It can make the whole difference in our battle with porn.