Why is COVID-19 Causing Me to Relapse?

Classic PKL

By Shawn Bonneteau

Like most of us, COVID-19 has caused some tremendous change in our everyday life. You may be feeling emotions, experiencing things, and dealing with situations you have never had to deal with before. When our world gets turned upside down, sometimes we do too. This may look very different for each one of us, but let’s focus on one of the most significant attacks that you need to fight during this pandemic, and no, it has nothing to do with toilet paper, I am talking about the attack from the porn industry.

Amidst all of this chaos, you may be feeling tempted to act out in ways that you know are not healthy. Being stuck at home, off of work, or even sick in quarantine can be recipes for boredom, lack of purpose, fear, and several other triggering thoughts and emotions. With porn websites giving out free access to their content that usually comes with a cost, and the news feeds being full of hysteria and fear, it’s easy to find yourself falling into a state of relapse with no idea what to do.

COVID-19 is a virus that will make you sick with respiratory issues for roughly a period of two weeks if you are in the 85% or so of people that recover. However, what the news is not telling you is that the repercussions of something like COVID-19 include shame, guilt, self-hatred, anger, self-objectification, addiction, defeatism, and so much more. No, I am not blaming COVID-19 for this…But, what I am doing is I am choosing to do my part to ensure you are aware that in times of high stress, isolation, boredom, and uncertainty, bad things inevitably happen.

Let’s take the rest of the time to focus in on pornography addiction and understand why the COVID-19 pandemic may be causing you to relapse. Some of the primary triggers to someone falling into porn and getting stuck in a binge cycle include a lack of purpose, boredom, fear, anger, defeatism, shame, and many more. When considering why someone is addicted to porn, it’s also vital to look at one’s past in the way they were raised, treated, communicated with, and cared for. There are so many factors that fly under the radar when asking the questions, “Why can’t I quit porn” or “Why am I relapsing so much right now”…

No, I am not blaming COVID-19 for this… But, what I am doing is, I am choosing to do my part to ensure you are aware that in times of high stress, isolation, boredom, and uncertainty, bad things inevitably happen.

Let’s look at three reasons why someone might be stuck in relapse during this COVID-19 season of life:

Unidentified Triggers:

As I mentioned in the beginning, you may be dealing with things right now like never before. This alone can bring up a lot of turmoil, pain, and trauma. These wounds can come from all sorts of experiences in life, but some examples may be your upbringing, an abuse, or a loss you have experienced. When there are things such as the COVID-19 pandemic that are so far out of our control, it can often reveal things about us that we may not have been aware of previously. I want to encourage you to see this as a positive because it is your heart longing to find what it truly needs, and let me tell you, porn is most definitely not what it needs.

Garbage in, garbage out:

We can look at the body as a perfect example of a return on investment. If you eat McDonald’s, it may taste good for the time being, but let’s be honest, it will slow you down, cause weight issues, and deteriorate your health in the long run. On the other hand, if you eat something with the right macros, you will feel energized, alert, and will experience long-term health benefits. There are many more examples of this, but there’s only one question I have for you – “Why do you treat yourself like a trash can if you know what it leads to?”. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, but it is simple. I want to reframe your mind and help you think differently! One thing you are likely taking in that’s causing you to relapse is too much social media. Not only is it negative in this season due to fear, hysteria, and uncertainty, but its also full of sexual images, temptation, and a display of how your life is worse than everyone else’s. This is garbage in, which will always lead to garbage out.

The wrong recipe:

If you are stuck at home, working from home, quarantined, or whatever else, and you do not have a plan for how you will seek what is good and healthy over what is harmful and unhealthy, then you are in trouble! The old saying is, “If you aim for nothing, you will hit it,” and unfortunately, the world’s “nothing” is an addiction, obesity, and so on. You MUST have a battle plan to combat these tough times. If your recipe is blank, then your finished product will be non-existent, and if your recipe has the wrong ingredients, then your finished product is going to be a fail. Don’t let this be you, please do your due diligence and plan for success. I’m not saying its easy, but I am telling you its worth it!

Healthy tip and take away:

Talk to yourself, THEN listen… So often, we listen to ourselves when we need to be speaking to ourselves. If you feel a certain way, it’s because you are thinking a certain way! Our thoughts control everything, not our circumstances, and not our feelings, it’s all about our thoughts! So how do you change your thoughts? Well, you need to talk to yourself and speak truth, encouragement, compassion, and facts. This will begin to change the way you think, and if you feel yourself going back to the lie, the fear, or the pessimism, reel it back in and speak to yourself again and again. This exercise truly works wonders, and it’s something I want to leave with you as you step into the reality of what is going on and what you can do about it.

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