Lindsay went away to a Life Coach conference. It cost “a lot” of money. She would be gone for several days. We had just barely finished moving and a very busy week of accounting deadlines for her. I was tired and was bugged that I’d be taking care of the kids alone for a few more days. Just because I’d progressed leaps and bounds didn’t mean my anxiety didn’t still pop up.
Is this worth it?I thought. I want to support her. She is so excited. But does it have to be right now? Turns out I survived (unlike my brain told me would happen).
Lindsay came back walking on air. She was lighter, smiling more, energized, motivated, more confident. Not that she wasn’t already amazing. But something was different about her, in a big way. I...
As part of my mental illness, I had some suppressed memories arise from my childhood. I was sexually abused.
I would wake up to nightmares, sweating and panicking, unable to go back to sleep. My sleep quality and quantity became worse than ever. My anxiety would get triggered by the smallest things and then go from 0-60 instantly. I couldn’t even make decisions on my own when it was really bad. Lindsay would have to decide for me like, which sandwich to order from the restaurant, even simple things like that would overwhelm me.
I was incredibly jumpy and easily startled. My heart would race. I was experiencing PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). For whatever reason, my body was finally ready to process trauma from the abuse. And it was not something...
Lindsay started working. That it had come to this was completely unacceptable in my mind. I should be the one providing. That was the plan. That’s what The Family: A Proclamation to the World says (at least that’s how I interpreted it). That’s what I promised her. I’m a failure, I thought.
I struggled with this. And even though I started including Lindsay in my struggle, and was receiving all this help, I still resorted to porn at times. Less frequently, but I still struggled to find success with this.
One therapist early on told me I wasn’t an addict. I was so relieved. But wasn’t getting the help I needed. Later on, a different therapist told me I was an addict. I tried this hat on for a while.
If we fix me this will all be better. I went to therapy weekly. I saw a psychiatrist for medication. I tried so many things: neurologist, endocrinologist, exercise, yoga therapy, naturopaths, supplements, chiropractor, acupuncture, neurofeedback, energy work, gluten free and sugar free and dairy free diet. There’s more.
My psychiatrist said he’s never seen someone try so many different things as I had. I was in a hurry to fix me. If I just get better, I can get back to work and Linz will be happy.
Why do I have this problem with pornography that makes things so hard for Lindsay? Why couldn’t it be alcohol? Or just anything els!.
I couldn’t handle Lindsay being upset about anything, but especially if she was...
My shaky hands got worse, not better. I could not work. Would I ever be able to practice dentistry again? All that school/training/money. Even if my hands did stop shaking, my anxiety was so out of control that I could barely leave the house. I could barely interact with Lindsay and the kids, let alone another person.
I had struggled with occasional suicidal thoughts for years at this point. But now they were really regular. I never got serious about planning or attempting. But would have the idea pop in my mind. Then I’d beat myself up for even thinking it.
I would go into deep depressions, feeling helpless and out of control and like there was no way this could ever get better. If I felt good, I would sabotage myself thinking it would slip away at any minute....
The week after telling Linz about my problem with pornography, I had a full on panic attack. I saw a doctor to help with my anxiety. He gave me medication. I met with a therapist. I never knew that my emotional health was out of wack and could be affecting my life the way it was.
My hands had been getting progressively shakier for months (very intermittently, never during a dental procedure). I had been able to do my work as a dentist. But the way my hands were that day, I knew I couldn’t work. I immediately cancelled the rest of my appointments for the day and went home. This terrified me.
My sleep had been getting worse for years. I started trying to learn to connect with my emotions better. Turns out I was feeling some level of anxiety...
I thought I could just figure out how to stop on my own and Linz wouldn’t need to know. It made her so upset that one time; I wasn’t going to put her through that again. And I’ve heard all of her comments through the years about other husbands who have struggled with pornography. I knew she disapproved, didn’t understand, thought divorce was justified sometimes, was disgusted.
I’ve been successful at so many other things in my life, I’ll be successful at this. As true as that may be, approaching it alone, the same way, over and over, was giving me the same results. I thought I was going to hell. I thought I wouldn’t be with my family in heaven.
I met with my bishop and lied to Lindsay about what it was for....
Linz and I are doing an 8 part series of posts describing how pornography has affected me, her, and our marriage and how we have found success and healing. Our marriage is now better than it ever has been before.
Each post will have a:
We met volunteering for a non-profit in Thailand in 2005. See this picture? It actually was snapped the day we met! We enjoyed being around eachother from the beginning, even in a 3rd world country doing manual labor all day every day. Danny had cheesy jokes and Lindsay had worms in her legs. It was a good sign that we could do anything together and love each other all the way through. We haven’t stopped wanting to be together since. We got married 10 months later with plans to...
I am sure we have all had those thoughts pop into our head one time or another. Thoughts like, I should have figured this out by now. That I should already know how to do this like other people. That this really shouldn’t still be a problem for me.
I remember feeling terrible. These thoughts made it so hard to do anything useful in the moment, and it definitely didn't help me change my habits. They didn't promote growth, or happiness. They didn't help me be curious and present to my life and the world around me.
If anything, these thoughts were a hindrance. They slowed my learning and my progress. They lowered my self esteem, and they did not serve me.
So I decided to make a change for myself. I started trying to think new thoughts.
I thought, there’s no such thing as being “behind.” That I’m right where I’m meant to be in my progress.
I was kinder to myself, and my thoughts were kind to me.
And I felt better.
I felt more motivated and...
Some people think porn is freedom.
Some resort to porn when the rest of their life feels like it’s trapping them.
As though porn gets you out of the cage.
And if you don’t do it, you are surely missing out on something.
But what about that voice inside of you?
You know the one.
It’s your intuition (call it what you want)
That voice that says:
“I think I am missing out on something much bigger than I can even imagine right now.
There is something more, something greater, here.
Something that is more authentic to the real me.
Something that honors my truth.
Something that unleashes my genuine side, allowing me to pursue my highest self.
Something that truly would set me free.”
If your intuition is telling you this, are you willing to believe it right now, in this moment?
What is it costing you to not believe it?
How much longer am I willing to experience this pain and uncertainty...