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...
One time when I was feeling down, like really depressed, part of me thought "well, may as well look at porn."
So I mapped out my real options to the best of my current understanding. And I want to share it with you.
That all men will have the tools to change and shape their minds to create whatever results they want, with unlimited possibility.
That all men will have the amount of control they want to have when it comes to their habits (porn).
That men will see and understand how much more satisfying, enriching, and sustaining life can be without false pleasures (porn).
That learning to control your habits (porn) becomes a rite of passage for men.
That no matter how loud the opposition (porn industry) screams, no matter how much they give away, men will know that they themselves have the power. And that porn itself (false pleasures) has no power.
That when men hear the word “pornography,” rather than be filled with shame/regret/embarrassment/avoidance, their bodies will experience sweeping feelings of pride, power, gratitude, confidence, love, strength, openness, and resolve.
That all who choose to will become the experts...
Everything you could ever possibly want, have, or need is available inside of you.
When part of you wants porn, it’s not about the porn.
When you understand how to solve those same problems that you thought porn “solved”, but solve them without porn, porn is no longer “needed”.
When we use porn to address our problems, it leaves us worse off.
In the long run, using porn as the “solution” creates other problems.
There’s a better solution available to you.
And it it’s available inside of you.
A solution that actually leaves you better off than before.
A solution that is sustainable in the long run.
If this sounds new, or weird, to you, that's a good thing.
Familiar gets you more of the same results.
New and weird gets you new results.
You’re not broken.
Your machinery is fine.
You are powerful.
The power is already built in.
It’s just a matter of accessing it.
Are you ready to learn how?
How good would your real...
If an urge comes and all you do is resist it, your willpower will deplete. Then you will end up looking at porn and rewarding your brain for this pattern. The same thing over and again.
Urge comes -> resist with willpower -> willpower runs out -> give in to urge (look at porn) -> reward yourself for resisting the urge.
It doesn’t work in the long run.
I love basketball. I love to watch it, play it, talk about it. Whether they’re good or bad, I watch most of the Utah Jazz games, and have for years. I am truly an all-weather fan.
So I’m going to use a basketball metaphor to help teach about managing urges in a way that is effective in the long run.
In basketball, there is something called posting up. When you post up you are on offense, you have the ball in your hands, you have your back to the basket, and you are close to the basket.
There are several options from posting up that can put you in a good position to...