How do I “Unsee” All Those Pornographic Images?

In Brokenness, Consumption, Formation, Freedom, Freedom from Porn, Habits, Pornography, Sex and Violence, Technology by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Have you ever wondered how to unsee all those pornographic images you’ve spent years viewing?

If so, you’re not alone.  In fact, that’s a common – and often misunderstood – part of the journey.  Especially when you want to make the transition from a life saturated by free-porn to a life that’s finally porn-free!

Once you decide it’s time to live a porn-free life, you begin to notice how hard it is to get all those images out of your head.

Many of us find ourselves fighting images every moment of the day.  Many find that pornographic images also haunt our dreams at night.

In my experience, the toughest part of the battle is unseeing what we’ve seen!

Unseeing What I’ve Seen

Maybe your struggle sounds something like mine.

I finally decided to quit porn when I saw how badly my addiction/consumption hurt my wife.  We were newly married with our first child on the way.  One night she caught me.

Yes.  You will get caught.  A rabid dog only draws attention to himself.

So, with the help of Melissa, a small group of others, and a variety of resources, we began the journey out of porn’s grip.

This was in the late 90s.  Back then, finding help was extraordinarily difficult.  But, we found the help we needed and set out on a journey that we are still on today!

One of the first things I did is what I’ve come to call the Visual Detox Pathway.  Or, in other words: Unseeing What I’ve Seen!

Visual Detox: The Unseeing What I’ve Seen Pathway

You need to begin by adjusting your life so that you can avoid all pornographic images.  This is not that easy to do, especially in today’s world (email me, and I can share all the many steps I took and still take)!

There are so many decisions that you need to make at this point.  If you fail to make even one of them, the journey could come to an abrupt.

Most men I counsel will NOT take this step.  I hear all the ridiculous arguments:

  • Well, I can’t live without my smartphone.
  • I am always alone in my office.
  • I can’t close my eyes and workout at the same time.
  • But, I love Game of Thrones.

Your flashpoints, or triggers, maybe none of those I mentioned, but you have to identify the avenues through which porn has access to your heart and then close them off!  I am basically advising you to embark on a Visual Detox Pathway!

Unseeing What You’ve Seen is More Like a Journey than a Destination

This Visual Detox Pathway requires, pending the degree of your addiction, sometime between six and nine months of faithful discipline.  Remember, I am not a physician or psychiatrist.  I am a practitioner.  A survivor.  One who has lasted on this up-and-down journey for over twenty years.  So, I am not offering science as much as experience.

Now, here is what you’ll likely experience:

During the initial stage, you will find that you porn (sexually objectify) nearly every image and person you see.

It doesn’t matter where you are: school, work, church, neighborhood, etc.  You will discover that your mind is so skewed by pornography that you (men) can’t look at a woman without objectifying her in some way.

I dealt with this by way of a practice called negative reinforcement.  That means that I placed a rubber band around my wrist and, any time I thought of a pornographic image or began to porn (objectify) a woman in my mind, I snapped the rubber band.

Of course, you’ll have to answer hundreds of questions regarding the rubber band around your wrist.

Snap, Crackle, Pop You’re Way Tu Unseeing What You’ve Seen

The sudden and slightly painful jolt to my body caused a negative reaction closely associated with the image I had porned.  At which point, I focused my mind on things of beauty.  First, of course, my wife, but then my children, and other people or things that brought joy.

Over time, you will find that you are porning (or objectifying) people less and less.

The next reality to face is the random pop-up images and thoughts you silently endure in your mind.  You don’t know where they are from or why you have them.  But you know you cannot stop them.

Remember, you viewed porn for years.  Your mind and body are going to be purging those images for many, many, months.

Don’t get discouraged, but don’t entertain them either.  Pop the band, speak it out loud, think on beauty. Over and over and over again!

Then, after a more extended period of a disciplined and faithful journey on the Visual Detox Pathway, you’ll find one last fortress where porn still holds sway: your dreams.

Why Does Porn Haunt My Dreams?

At this point, you will be tempted to despair.  You’ll believe that you are now still where you once were.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I believe the night-time dream world is porn’s last-ditch effort to tighten its weak grip.  The last-ditch dream-world phase is a sign that better days are coming your way.

Most men I counsel (and yes, I know that nearly three out of ten women now struggle with this) begin to doubt their freedom at this point and question their strength.

That’s porn’s goal here.  Don’t give in.  Keep fighting.  Find someone and share the struggle (more on accountability later).

Whatever you do, don’t quit.

Remember, it’s more of a journey than a destination (though it’s also both).

It’s a Disruptive journey that always brings renewal!

Disrupting to Renew!

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