VIDEO: What is the Opposite of Addiction?

What is the opposite of addiction?

How did I become addicted to pornography and all the other crap that comes with it?

Why have I struggled for nearly my entire life to truly connect with other people and feel safe?

Have you ever ask yourself these questions?

They’re important questions for me to ask myself.

The video below is titled: “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari.”

It’s a TED talk and I feel like it’s SO APPLICABLE to my life as an addict.

The talk isn’t specifically about pornography addiction, but as you watch it (I turned off suggested videos at the end so just watch it here on the site if you’re worried about Youtube), think about how you relate to what he’s sharing.

Highlights from the Ted Talk

Almost everything we think we know about addiction is wrong.

What we think we know about addiction:
– Your body becomes dependent on your drug of choice
– If your grandma had a hip replacement, she didn’t become a junky on heroin (even though the doctors gave her the purest form of that drug to treat her) – why didn’t she?

The Rat Park Concept: (see 4:25)

Isolation vs. Happy and Connected Lives

Addiction is an adaptation to your environment.

Addiction could be the lack of true bonding with others.

A core part of addiction is about not being able to bear to be present in your life.

“We live in a culture where people feel really increasingly vulnerable to all sorts of addictions: their smart phones, shopping, eating…”

Disconnection is a major driver of addiction.

The connections we think we have are parody of human connection.

If you have a crisis in your life…Your Twitter followers won’t help you; Your Facebook friends won’t reach out to help you turn things around.

How many close friends can you call on if you’re in a crisis?

In our world today, we’re trading floor space for friends.

In our world today, we’re trading stuff for connections.

We are one of the loneliest societies there’s ever been.

Social Recovery!

“I love you whether you’re using or not…if you need me, I’ll come sit with you. You’re not alone – we love you.”

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety.

The opposite of addiction is CONNECTION!

Why leave a comment below?

I’m grateful for the comments that are shared after a discussion topic. To me, this is part of the community and connection I’ve been lacking for most of my life.

Please share your experience, strength, and hope so we can all learn and grow together.

18 thoughts on “VIDEO: What is the Opposite of Addiction?”

  1. I appreciate this post as I have been finally able to see how my addiction is directly related to my need to connect with others. By not having these connections or isolating myself, I used to resort to my addiction and often still struggle with that. I was never before able to manage my lack of connection and my strong emotions and those both lead me straight to acting out in my addiction to lust. By finally understanding that when I have a strong emotion (anger, frustration, loneliness, hunger, tired) I need to make sure I take a moment to reflect on the origin of that emotion and then turn that over to the Lord. Once I turn that over, then I don’t feel the need to “connect” or “bond” to pornography. The same applies to feeling isolated. I don’t have to turn to porn, I instead can push myself to reach out, or walk away and connect with another person and that always helps me get my balance back.

    1. I think this is critical. I have a large number of people that care for me. When i choose to isolate and ignore those connections i struggle. When i reach out as you said i get the balance back. Sometimes it takes many times. I also surrender often. Sometimes continuously.

      1. I agree Tony. If I think about it, I have about 40 guys that are willing to listen to me whenever I’m feeling isolated or alone (these guys are from the SAL groups I go to). If I’m willing to humble myself to reach out to them and admit my own nothingness (Step 1), recognize that I can’t do this on my own and that I need a Higher Power to help me (Step 2), and then surrender my feelings to my Higher Power and other addicts who know what I’m going through (Step 3), I “get the balance back” and am practicing real recovery.

        It’s a practice just like anything else that’s important. I never arrive. I never overcome. I practice and live it. And when I don’t, I’m ultimately isolating and practicing my ego and pride which has only taken me down ugly paths.

        Thanks for your comment.

    2. Amen Luis – for me addiction has always equaled lack of real connection.

      Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I was not connected with others, including my parents, until about a year or two ago. This realization is where real recovery started for me.

      What’s also ironic to me about this video is how it helps me realize that, even though I thought I was emotionally connected with my wife all the time throughout our 15 year marriage, when I was dealing with a lot of negative emotions, especially fear, I isolated inside, didn’t talk to her about these fears, and went more and more inward.

      I like how you said “I take a moment to reflect on the origin of that emotion and then turn that over to the Lord.” Pushing myself to reach out to others has also been so helpful to me. For me, that’s the practice of being humble, honest, and accountable.

      Thanks for your comment and experience!

  2. I like this quote – “A core part of addiction is about not being able to bear to be present in your life”. It makes me want to pray about what it is about my life that has been unbearable. Hopefully I learn something that will provide healing.

    1. I feel the same way Jayson. Digging up all the stuff I’ve buried for so long in my unhealthy life is tough to do. The eBook “Sitting in a Rowboat Throwing Marbles at a Battleship” helped me realize that the addiction has a pretty clear path: A leads to B and B leads to C.

      A is debilitating negative emotions.
      B is lust.
      C is acting out.

      If I can dig at the core of the addiction – the isolation, the fear, the ego, and all the other emotions I’ve tended to stuff most of my life, I don’t resort to lust as a way to cope with these negative emotions. When I don’t resort to lust as a way to cope, the C – acting out – has lost it’s power.

      When I don’t deal with the negative emotions in healthy, connecting ways, I seem to become a magnet to lustful triggers. Reaching out to another addict has been crucial if I want to maintain sobriety and real recovery.

      1. Thank you, anonymous. I love Row Boat and Marbles. I haven’t read the book yet, but the authors blog of the same name sent me on a deeper course of recovery than I had ever experienced up to that point. I have found that resolving my inner negative beliefs has made working through lustful triggers so much more bearable.

  3. I love this video! I saw it a few months ago and it really helped me to see how important the connections in my life are. Over the past year I’ve noticed that I would run from connection out of fear of many things. I’m grateful that I now know what I need, (even if it’s still just as hard to do). I know that’s how I get the help that I need. Thanks for sharing this video!

    1. Thanks Devin. It is so out of my “comfort zone” to reach out to others too. What if they think I’m being stupid? What if they’re busy?

      That’s the benefit of having real friends in recovery – we all need each other. And sometimes the best connections I have are when someone reaches out to me in a time of need, I take the call, and I’m reminded how broken I am, how powerless I am.

      Keep reaching out!

  4. This is something that my wife and I have been discovering over the last couple of weeks. We saw this video about a month and a half ago and it’s been helping us develop a greater understanding on addiction and how it has impacted my ability to healthily connect with people instead of pornography, drugs, or other material objects. Just today I realized that my connection with God is my first priority, because it is that connection with Him that allows me to feel safe and truly comfortable inside my head and thoughts. Furthermore, that healthy connection with God allows me to feel safe connecting with other people.

    1. Thanks Charles. I agree 100%. It’s like the Circles Model concept: if I have my center on anyone or anything other than God, I’m going to be disappointed. With God at my center, I’ve found that everything else will fall into place or fall out of my life. With God at my center, my connection with others – my wife, my kids, people I work with, all of these connections are much more positive where before I was pissed off at pretty much everyone.

  5. Who has found success in connecting with people outside of the “recovery world” and having it provide the needed connection to stay away from their addiction? I hear a lot about, and have personal experience with, connecting with other addicts and receiving an enormous amount of strength and support from them and being able to maintain sobriety and recovery. However, I’m struggling to find the same benefits through connection with non-addicts.

    1. Hey Jeff, for me, connecting with people outside of the recovery world has only gotten better as I’m trying to connect with God first. Otherwise, it’s really just frustrating. I’ve realized that many people, although they may not be addicts like me, are unconscious – they are always thinking about the future or the past, never the present moment. It’s hard to connect authentically in this way.

      The hardest people for me to connect with can be those closest to me, especially my parents. They want to connect and want to be there for me, but we don’t speak the same language.

      This model, as I try to apply it, is the answer for me when it comes to connection with others:

      the circles model

  6. I hope I’m not breaking a rule by reading through the “For Him” section. I’m the wife of an addict who “isn’t addicted, and completely changed” due to reading his scriptures daily. 🤔🧐That being said, I’m just seeking out what truth feels and sounds like, and wanted to thank you guys. I so look up to all of you willing to not only seek out true healing and recovery but to then comment on articles, it helped me so much reading all of your responses. You’re all my hero’s – and I’m grateful for you. I feel it in my bones that my husband (whom is a wonderful man, but feels zero amounts of emotional connection) has no idea what he is missing in not wanting or refusing to admit to needing do this work. I trust the will of my Father in Heaven and it may take years of spiritually navigating manipulation, learning to set boundaries, in order to make the best decision for my children and I -and fight to focus on me and what issues I bring to our unhealthy pattern and my natural “savior” tendencies.
    If you had any bits of advice for me I would be so grateful. I have extreme fears of contention and abandonment issues that I can quickly end up in the insanity of “I hate you, no I don’t- don’t leave me!” And then apologizing for some reason. Oh hells bells— This comment is quickly becoming a cry for help lol I’m so sorry- I’m embarrassed, I really did just want to say thank you.
    Still sending this! (Don’t judge🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️)

    1. I am so glad you had the courage to push “send.” Thank you for your thoughts and authenticity. All I can say is continue to work your program, attend 12 Step meetings, reach out to your sponsor and others, seek qualified therapy, learn and practice what it feels like to have God at your center…and your path will unfold one day at a time. There is hope and you are not alone!! ❤️

  7. I like this article. One thing I’m trying to do in my own recovery right now is based off one of Roy K’s suggestions to “learn to connect honestly, intimately, non-sexually and selflessly with the opposite sex”. I think there may be a part of my divine design that was created to connect in this way with woman, but it’s been perverted through my sexual addiction. I remember one time in high school, I got a date to the school dance. I don’t remember having any kind of genuine or friendly conversation with my date. I spent the whole night using my date for the Big Fix. I hope that someday I will be in a position to encourage young men to grow into their masculinity through not only sobriety but also through wholesome, honest, selfless connection with women. So many young men right now are told that they are nobody unless they “score” with their female peers, but it’s a lie. Thanks for reading.

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