Last week I wrote about the insidious yet widely ignored dangers of porn addiction. I want to write a part 2, this time focusing on the more subtle aspects of what makes this such a difficult problem for so many people.
In my last entry, I wrote about how I felt I had discovered the root of my own addiction, namely my anxiety. I’ve been trying to hold on to that epiphany, although like everything else it seems to be fleeting.
I think breaking down the problem into its smallest parts is very important. Like a plant, an addiction can be summed up as a root, a stem, and the fruit or flower.
Roots hidden underground
The root will be an underlying difficulty or emotional ignorance, often unnoticed or at least very vaguely recognized. In my case, it’s anxiety. Especially anxiety concerning social issues, but also other kinds of anxiety, like anxiousness over health, safety or life trajectory.
Everybody deals with anxiety at one point in there lives or another, but fewer experience the hell of chronic anxiety. Chronic anxiety is sinister. It will be the death of me, unless I find an effective way to manage it.
The stem grows out from the root
Addiction to pornography is, I believe, a very gradual process. At least in my case. It started out as curiosity, first and foremost. It’s not until I started to use it as medication, albeit unconsciously, that the addiction started to escalate.
In the same way people dealing with chronic pain develop addiction to opiates, I, with my chronic anxiety, developed an addiction to the only sedative (maybe not a traditional sedative, but a sedative nonetheless) I had easy access to as an adolescent.
The stem is the activity itself, the action we take to diminish or hide the root. I could have become addicted to cigarettes or Xanax, but my poison happened to be porn.
It’s not really rocket science, is it? I mean, it’s sex, for crying out loud. The highest priority of all higher lifeforms, after food and shelter.
That’s one of the most cogent aspects that makes this addiction so insidious, because pornography taps into the most primal instincts humans possess, the drive for reproduction.
The flower blooms after the roots are strong and stable, i.e. the anxiety has become more of a constant state than an acute annoyance, and after the stem has grown high and hard enough, as when porn use escalates more intense and novel images and videos as well as longer time spent perusing it overall.
The flower is the result of a lot of time and energy directed in the wrong direction. The flower is the consequence of not pulling the disgusting weed out of the soil when you had the chance.
Consequences of pornography abuse are numerous, but I’ll outline the most salient of them: Social isolation, dopamine desensitization and, as a direct result of the first two, deep depression. Not to mention that as time goes by, porn tends to exacerbate, instead of curb, the anxiety it was used to overcome in the first place.
This is a vicious cycle, a desperate joke. Except it’s in no way funny.
I know I’m not the only one dealing with this. In fact, I believe this is the new crack epidemic, the new opium. The results have been devastating in my own life, and in the lives of many others I’ve spoken to or corresponded with.
I think it’s time to stop living in shame. It’s time to overcome this shit.
It’s time to take responsibility for what is happening, for how we’re feeling. Only by taking full responsibility will we gain full power to change it.