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Porn Addiction Relapse During Lockdown – 6 Tips To Cope With It!

You may have recently decided to quit porn for whatever problems it was causing in your life. You were dedicated to not using it anymore and fought hard to stay clean for quite some time. Then, a global pandemic came along, forcing us all into a lockdown. Locked in your house, with nowhere to go, you ended up giving in and consuming pornographic content. 

Why do relapses occur?

Many recovering addicts find it almost impossible to quit internet porn, especially at the beginning of their reboot journey. Unlike real-life sexual behaviour, people get hooked on to internet porn very quickly and it can have a powerful hold over a person, leading to frequent relapses. 

Sexual imagery is everywhere you look, it might sometimes even flash-up on your screen when you least expect it. Undeniably, we live in a very sexualised world. The world market has figured out that sex sells, and as a result of its advertisement you come across or movie you watch, it will at least have the slightest sexual undertones. 

During a reboot, your mind and body are both in a very sensitive state. At such a time, almost anything can trigger you into a relapse. Especially in current times, when you’re quarantined and stuck in a lockdown, it can understandably be hard for one to focus on the recovery process. Do not beat yourself up over the fact that you just relapsed. Relapses are inevitable. They can be reduced in number, but cannot be completely wiped out. 

Instead of moping around, feeling guilty for using porn. Here are 6 practical tips to help you recover from a relapse:

1. Notify

At the beginning of your journey to recovery and sobriety, you would’ve decided on an accountability partner for yourself. This is a very important step that shouldn’t be missed. In case you haven’t yet chosen a friend/family member, you want to make yourself accountable to, there’s still time. Do it!

Your accountability partner must be someone you regularly talk to and trust completely. So then, when you relapse, the first thing you’ll do is turn to them to break the news. This step holds more importance than you realise. Remember this always, what gets brought out into the open gets dealt with and what remains in the dark, stays uncorrected. Instead of keeping the information to yourself and letting the guilt build-up, it’s always better to open up to another person. 

2. Identify the cause

Figure out what went wrong and why this will help you in the future. This shouldn’t be as hard, it’s often no mystery to you why the relapse occurred. Once you have pointed out the cause, you can now stay focused on not letting the same mistake repeat itself. 

If it is a common reason that has caused relapses in the past as well, it’s about time you take some strict measures to ensure you do not fall into the same trap again. For example, if you’ve noticed most of your relapses have been triggered from content you came across on Facebook, take the step of deleting the app from all your devices and block the website as well.

3. Make long-term plans

A good tip that can wire your brain and stop it from a trap of leading to a relapse again is setting up long-term plans and goals for yourself. This will take some effort as it requires you to visualize yourself succeeding in the future and having an overall positive outlook. This doesn’t refer to a fantasy, like winning the lottery. Instead, set realistic goals. 

Now, just for a few days instead of solely focusing on your recovery from internet porn addiction, focus on achieving your life goals. 

4. Get yourself out of your daily routine

This might be a little hard during a lockdown, when we compare this to how easy it would normally be. Nonetheless, it is still possible. 

For a lot of porn addicts, the problem is often related to being in a rut. This is usually in the form of a daily routine that is predictable from start to finish. And as predictable as it is, with such a routine the day will inevitably end with you in front of your computer screen, opening up a pornsite. 

No matter what rut you’re currently in, stop using it as an excuse to victimise yourself. This will only end up taking you straight back to PornHub, and thus begins the vicious cycle of attempting to reboot every few months. So instead take the time out, to flip around your daily routine. Even if it’s just one thing you can change in your entire routine, trust me it’ll make a huge difference. 

5. Reclaim the idea of a good and healthy relationship

This is essentially one of the most important changes a porn addict can make. Often porn addiction is a result of a lack of healthy happy relationships in an individual’s life. The lack of intimacy and love often wires your brain, making it crave these elements from other sources like porn for example. 

Relationships that had failed in the past, can often discourage a person. It can make them give up on the whole idea of having a fully engaged intimate relationship. What you must do in this situation is to imagine a realistic picture of what a good relationship would be for you.  This means that it includes a good sex life, so you have to imagine that too. In the most realistic way possible. 

6. Reset

One relapse doesn’t mean you give up on the whole idea of recovery. Instead, use the above-mentioned tips to focus on your reset. In a way, reset is another opportunity you give yourself as a means to prove your strength and will power. It means, restarting your challenge with a fresh and positive mindset. 

Use this reset as an opportunity to work on your willpower and move forward towards a life free from the clutches of this addiction.

You’ll know you are out of the woods with porn when you’re making energetic changes in your life and in your way of thinking. The new behaviour is your friend. Be patient with yourself, but be dogged about making changes and doing things differently. Above all catch yourself lapsing into old ways of thinking.

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