How Long Does It Take To Quit Porn?

Jan 06, 2020

FREE CHECKLIST: THE PORN-FREE PATH



Have you ever felt tired of trying to quit porn?

In today's episode, we're talking about timelines. You will learn:

  1. How long does it usually take somebody to quit porn?
  2. What are three ways to accelerate the healing process?
  3. My #1 secret to longterm sexual sobriety. No quick fixes, no temporary solutions. Lifelong permanent freedom is coming your way right now.

Personally, my freedom journey took me from 2008 to 2014 (if you measure behavior alone). I started trying to quit porn back in high school, but it wasn't until after I graduated college that I had my most recent relapse. But to be honest, I feel like that's a shallow surface-level indicator. I was healing at every step of the way, and the relapses didn't change that.

Sometimes I hear guys say, “I fell” to describe a relapse. Like, “Oh, I've fallen off the cliff and now I'm at the bottom and I lost all my progress.” I've learned to look at this journey less like a cliff that you're climbing up and more like a road that you're driving down. When you're driving on that road, sometimes you might swerve and you'll end up on the shoulder…or even in the swamp. When you end up in the swamp, don’t try to go back all the way to the beginning of the road. Pick up from where you left off and keep going.

Now how long does it usually take people to travel that road? That's what we're talking about today and we are going to start with Patrick Carnes.

Patrick Carnes could be my grandfather, and he is the grandfather of sexual addiction treatment. He invented the term “sex addiction.” He wrote the first books on it, baed on years of groundbreaking research. He found that usually it takes people between two to five years to heal.

Two to five years is a long time. Wouldn't it be great if there was a simple way to speed up that process? Well, I'll give you three.

1. Change Your Habitat. This is common sense. If you want to learn to surf, go live somewhere close to a beach—like me in Santa Barbara! But if you want to learn to quit porn, you might have to move out of your parents' house. You might have to move out of your frat house. You might have to go somewhere that actually helps you heal. This is why residential treatment can be so effective: because it completely transforms your environment.

When you just don't have porn available to you, you won't use it. And when you have other people who are helping you, who you're in contact with every day, that is going to totally accelerate your momentum towards freedom. Now, the drawback of residential treatment is when you come home, a lot of times you go back into the same old environment. So one of the first things I do with clients is help them change their environment: to cut off the danger zone of sexual temptation and to create a new lifestyle of healthy habits and relationships.

If you want to change your habits, first change your habitat.

2. Change Your Habits. Once you have the right environment, you need to develop the right lifestyle. Self care is a huge part of the healing process. When you feel filled up, when you feel energized, when you feel motivated, when you feel close to God, close to other people, and in touch with yourself, you are far away from the danger zone of being at risk to use porn. You need to learn how to meet your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in better ways. When you have a healthy rhythm, a healthy lifestyle, that is when you zoom on by on that road to recovery. You might take a long time to quit porn if your habitat and your habits are not right. 

3. Heal Your Heart. The last way to accelerate your healing process is to heal your heart. If you have never done the deep heart work of going back into your past, examining your wounds, and receiving love in those places, you will never feel completely free from porn. Even if you're trying really hard, and even if you feel like you're doing all the right things with your habits and habitat, but your heart is not healed, your healing process will slow down.

Healing the wounded parts of your heart is not easy or fun. But when you find, "Wow, I'm feeling more whole inside, I'm feeling more fulfilled as a person,” you’ll finally accelerate into that freedom and healing from porn you've always wanted. And this kind of healing can only happen in relationships. Whether it's through therapy, counseling, 1-on-1 coaching, or even group coaching, you need to find someone who can help you heal. And when you do, God will come into those wounded places and unleash a deeper level of freedom than you’ve ever known. 

Now, what's my #1 secret to long-term freedom? What's my secret to preventing relapse for years? Well, it's very simple. Never stop healing. If you are always gaining momentum on that road of recovery, it’s going to be a lot harder to knock you down. If you’re always doing your own work and saying “Yep, I still have flaws. I still have growth areas,” and you're pushing into those, then I’m not concerned about you going back to your old ways because you're continually becoming a new person.

If you want more training on this, check out The Porn-Free Path. This is a free 3-part video series and PDF where I outline the difference between people who succeed longterm in quitting porn and the people who never seem to make any progress. If you feel like you've been trying tons of stuff but you're not getting anywhere, then this training is perfect for you. It outlines the roadmap for this road that we're talking about and gives you some really practical next steps that you can take.

Check it out here:

FREE CHECKLIST: THE PORN-FREE PATH

FREE CHECKLIST: THE PORN-FREE PATH

 

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