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  • Writer's pictureLisa Jones

Be a careful driver

If you are in recovery from porn addiction and have locks on your internet, or if your partner is monitoring you and has access to all your devices this is a positive step in changing the behaviour that you want to stop.

However, there are a few issues with this as a long-term strategy. The goal of recovery is to remove yourself from the cycle of addiction and remember the compulsive behaviour as something you used to do.

Stopping the behaviour by knowing you are being watched helps initially but is problematic in a number of ways. It’s like driving a car. We all know there are speed cameras everywhere and often where we can’t see them. Getting a speeding ticket is expensive and inconvenient, not to mention the danger associated with driving too fast. So, do you drive to the speed limit BECAUSE you know there are cameras and you don’t want a ticket? Or do you drive to the speed limit because you are a safe driver?

If you are a safe driver you may not even know or care where the cameras are. You don’t engage in the conversations about them being a “money making scheme” or a nuisance because YOU can drive faster safely. They just don’t feature in your life. You drive according to your own values and they happen to comply with the speed limits set.

If you can use the internet safely (according to your own values) and not because you are being monitored, consider yourself a “safe driver”.

The analogy extends further, driving fast is a risky behaviour and those risks are high. You may tell yourself you can handle it, but your rational side knows its reckless behaviour. These lies we tell ourselves to justify reckless behaviour are cognitive distortions to allow your irrational side to take over. Which side of your self do you want in the driving seat of your life? Driving a vehicle requires your rational side to be in charge, that’s why we need to take a break if we’re tired, we need our minds to be fully focussed on the task. In the same way, if you have experienced the harm that internet addiction can cause, you need to use your rational brain when going online. Look out for those cognitive distortions and reduce the risk of lapsing into old behaviour by evaluating what frame of mind you’re in when going online.

Forget the speed cameras and use your own values to drive safely.


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