Before you can break out of prison, you must realize you are locked up.
Addictions are not about pleasure. Instead, they’re about the secondary gain of escape. Non-addicts drink, use drugs, and engage in potentially addictive behaviors (sex, porn, gambling, etc.) because these things are, first and foremost, pleasurable. For non-addicts, pleasure is the primary gain. Not so for addicts. We are more interested in the secondary gain of escape. For instance, a normal, non-addicted person looks at porn to experience a bit of sexual pleasure and release. We, however, look at porn for hours on end to escape the world and everything in it. And we go back for more of the same, day after day, seeking and finding this same secondary gain, eventually getting stuck in an endless loop of feeling bad, using porn to escape that feeling, and then feeling bad again—possibly worse than before because of the regrettable things we did while acting out. Which leads to more porn (or whatever else it is we’re doing). This stuckness is the crux of our addiction.
Task for Today
Think about the number of times you told yourself, I’ll only go online for a few minutes, only to lose yourself in sexual behavior for hours on end.