April 27, 2016
Mike, the author of the fantastic porn addiction and recovery blog Hi my name is Mike writes about what he calls “bottom lines.” “A bottom line” he writes, “is a line you draw around behaviors and daily patterns to create a buffer zone between healthy living and living in the ‘danger zone’ where you might become triggered and ultimately slip or act out.”
This tool seems very useful to me, and I decided to compile a list of the behaviors that most often lead to a slip.
- Allowing myself to do a Google image search when I’m bored.
- Allowing myself to do ANY kind of Internet browsing when I’m bored.
- Allowing myself to get on the computer for any reason when I’m alone and tired, angry, hungry, stressed out or lonely. Even if I have work to do.
- Using the computer for entertainment, unless specifically sitting down to watch a movie.
- Reading the news for entertainment.
- Watching TV for any reason, especially (since I don’t have a TV at home) when I’m travelling alone.
- Allowing myself to get to a place where I’m physically depleted, especially hungry, when I can be alone with a computer.
- Allowing paperwork to pile up at work, so that I have too much to do (and avoid doing) at the end of the day.
In large part, I notice that what comes up for me again and again is wasting time. Almost everything I do on the computer, except for work or blogging or intentional entertainment (almost always with my wife), seems to fall into the category of wasting time. It is basically procrastination, and looking at porn is procrastination par excellence: it is not just an avoidance of work, but of life itself.
My bottom line list, then, is fairly simple:
- Do not use the computer or other electronic media for entertainment.
- Do not use the computer for any reason (even if I have work to do), when I am alone and tired, stressed out, angry, lonely, or bored.
- Do not allow paperwork or other bureaucratic chores to build up. If something needs to be done, do it as soon as possible.
- Do not allow myself to get to a place of depletion. Bring snacks to work and program in appropriate breaks.
I will probably have to add to this list, but I think it’s a good start. I’m actually pretty sure that if I follow these guidelines, I can avoid a real slip entirely.
Thank you, Mike!