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Lynne

By February 17, 2021No Comments

Episode 37

Lynne

Athlete, Activist, & Recovering Porn Addict

Lynne was first exposed to pornography when she stumbled upon it on the family computer when she was 8 years old. She didn’t seek it out again until she was a teenager, when at the age of 16, she experienced a traumatic event that resulted in her turning to porn as a coping mechanism. Her porn consumption escalated throughout her years in college where it affected her relationships and pursuit of hobbies. Her addiction pushed her deeper and deeper into isolation, until she got the courage to tell the truth about her struggle to her boyfriend. Hear Lynne explain to podcast host, Garrett Jonsson, about her experience struggling with pornography and how the understanding and support of loved ones has lead her to be porn-free for over 270 days.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Fight the New Drug Ad: Regardless of age, ethnicity, gender sexual orientation, religious affiliation, political persuasions, or any other diversifying factor porn can impact anyone. If you’ve recognized the harmful effects of pornography in your life or recognize the harms pornography can cause in society, we welcome you to become a Fighter and take the Fighter Pledge as fighters. We strive to be bold, understanding open-minded and accepting. If you’re ready to become an official Fighter, we invite you to read the full Fighter Pledge and sign it at FTND.org/FighterPledge. That’s FTND.org/FighterPledge.

Garrett: My name is Garrett Jonsson, and you’re listening to Consider Before Consuming a podcast by Fight the New Drug. And in case you’re new here Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects, using only science facts and personal accounts.

We want these conversations to be educational, uplifting, and hopeful. As we sit down with experts, influencers, activists, and people with personal accounts, we cover a wide variety of topics that may be triggering to some. You can refer to the episode notes for a specific trigger warning. Listener discretion is advised.

Today’s episode is with Lynne. Lynne is in her twenties and grew up in Texas. Her first time-exposure to porn was at the age of eight, but her porn consumption didn’t escalate until she was 18. During this episode, Lynne talks about how her porn consumption negatively impacted her and her relationships and what she did to finally quit for good.

With that being said, let’s jump into the conversation. We hope you enjoy this episode of Consider Before Consuming.

That was a quick jump on. After I sent the email, I feel like you jumped on like 16 seconds later.

Lynne: [laughter] Yeah. I had everything pulled up, so I was ready.

Garrett: Nice. That’s good. Do you have any questions before we get started?

Lynne: I had a couple and now my mind is like blanking.

Garrett: [laughter] That happens.

Lynne: Yeah, I did have a question for you. I saw on your Instagram, you get in that ice bath.

Garrett: Oh, yeah. Um, yeah, I do get in the ice bath every day.

Lynne: Oh my gosh. I just, I was an athlete for 16 years, so I, um, I know what that ice bath feeling is like I did not enjoy it, so I can’t believe you can do it so often. [laughter]

Garrett: [laughter] Really? Well, that’s cool that you’ve done ice baths because a lot of people don’t know what it’s like. Um, what did you do in… what sport did you play?

Lynne: I played softball for 16.

Garrett: Oh, wow.

Lynne: Yeah. I played in college.

Garrett: That’s impressive. That’s really cool.

Lynne: Yeah.

Garrett: What position did you play?

Lynne: I was a catcher, which is why my lower half was in an ice bath all of the time.

Garrett: For sure. That’s intense. That’s really cool. Were you good at the plate too in regards to hitting?

Lynne: Yeah, I was, I actually am a full-time softball instructor now, so I teach hitting for a living.

Garrett: Really?

Lynne: Yeah.

Garrett: Wow. That is really cool. And are you teaching kids or adults?

Lynne: Uh, kids. So I, um, I teach hitting, catching, um, infield, outfield, and I have my age ranges from like five to 18. Um, and I have about 30 girls I see on a weekly basis, so.

Garrett: Wow. Well, that’s cool. So that’s one of your big interests then? What else do you like to do?

Lynne: Um, I really like music and movies. Um, but recently I’ve learned, I like podcasts a lot more. I started listening to them and got really hooked on them and I think it’s because I like to learn. So, um, podcasts are really like informational, so I really enjoy that. But for entertainment, I really like Office Ladies. Cause I love the office.

Garrett: Oh, nice.

Lynne: Yeah, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are doing a rewatch. So every week they break down an episode and um, has like some behind the scenes stuff on it. So that’s just like an entertainment one that I like.

Garrett: I love The Office too. So I need to listen to that. I’ve watched The Office through probably four times, you know?

Lynne: Yeah, me too. [laughter]

Garrett: That’s awesome. And where did you grow up in Texas?

Lynne: I did. I grew up in the Austin area.

Garrett: Nice. Texas is a good state. What do you love about Texas?

Lynne: Uh, I love the pride that comes along with it. The, um, Texan pride people that move here don’t understand it until they get there. Um, but it’s, it’s a big, like, it’s just awesome to say you’re from Texas. Um, and I realized that I was more, almost more proud to be a Texan than an American because when we, uh, my family and I went to Germany a couple of years ago and everyone asked me where I was from. And I would say “Texas.”, I would not say the United States, but they knew exactly where it was. So,… [laughter]

Garrett: Interesting. Yeah, that makes sense. What was it like growing up in Texas, um, in regards to your, your situation, what was your family life like and those types of things?

Lynne: Yeah, so, um, I had a really supportive home life as a kid. Um, you know, I have some have two siblings and we all were athletes. We all had a really good, um, supportive systems with our grandparents. Our parents, um, Texas is a really big football state as everyone knows. And, um, baseball and softball go along with that. Um, so we all just had our own sports and, um, that was a big part of our life and just a really healthy support system.

Garrett: That’s cool. You’re lucky. You’re fortunate in that way.

Lynne: I am.

Garrett: Um, while you’re on the podcast, you know, the, the name of the podcast is Consider Before Consuming and the goal here is to put forth information that people can consider before consuming pornography. So I wanted to jump into your experience a little bit in regards to, um, your experience with pornography. I guess we can start off kind of talking about how you first were exposed to pornography?

Lynne: Sure. Um, I first was exposed when I was around eight years old. Um, completely unintentional. I kind of stumbled upon it. I think that’s pretty common with younger kids. Um, cause they don’t really know how to seek it out or have a desire to, so when they’re that young, they just kind of stumble on it. Um, and I remember my family had like a family laptop and there was a camera on it. So my brother and sister, and I would make like these little plays and skits with it, um, and watch them back. So, um, I remember I was logging on and I like knew I was very tech savvy. I knew where to go to look for like the saved videos. And that’s when I came across a pornographic video. Um, and I had no clue what it was at the time and I instantly felt like I’m not supposed to be seeing this. “This is a secret.” Um, and it also made me feel really guilty for stumbling upon it, even though it was a complete accident. Um, and so it’s kind of funny at eight years old, my first thought was “My siblings cannot see this.” Like they, they can’t see it. So I deleted it off the computer. I knew how to do that. And um, I had, no, I, like I said, I had no clue what it was and the secrecy and guilt that came over me was really heavy. Um, didn’t know how it got there, where it came from, what it was called. Um, and I did not ever bring it up to anybody for years.

Garrett: Hmm. And are your siblings younger than you?

Lynne: They are.

Garrett: So you were trying to protect them?

Lynne: Yes. And I think that’s an older oldest sibling thing, for sure.

Garrett: You mentioned that you felt an overwhelming sense of guilt and then you turned to secrecy. Um, can you talk about that a little bit more? Why you think you had those feelings?

Lynne: I think, um, I, it’s hard to explain. It’s like, I felt like it seeing, seeing it next to all of the videos of my siblings and I playing around it, it was like, “Okay, this is healthy. That’s not.” um, cause you know, they have little thumbnails of videos and I saw it next to all of my siblings videos and I was like, you know, “This, this doesn’t look right. Like this is wrong.” Um, and that, that secrecy it’s also like I wasn’t supposed to find it. Um, but yeah, eight years old, it’s hard to process that as an adult processing it now I can understand it a little better, but when I was a kid, it was so confusing. Um, because you know, an eight year old’s not supposed to see stuff like that.

Garrett: Right. Are you able to look back at your eight year old self and try to identify why you felt like you couldn’t turn to your caregivers?

Lynne: I think, um, part of me knew that maybe they were connected to that somehow. Um, cause I there’s no way I could have thought that that was, um, my siblings or mine, you know?

Garrett: Yeah.

Lynne: So I, I felt like, “Oh…”, like “I wasn’t supposed to see this, this is adult stuff. Like this is, you know, mom and dad’s stuff. This is not mine.” Um, and so I, um, I felt that way. And even as an adult looking back on it now, now I understand the guilt and shame that’s associated with that. Um, personally, so looking back on that, um, that would be really difficult to bring up.

Garrett: Right.

Lynne: Um, and I, I trusted my family completely with everything, but again, it was still like, “I’m not supposed to see this.” type of thing. Um, and I think that that was really hard for an eight year old who had never experienced anything like that before to just suddenly see. And then how do you process that?

Garrett: Yup. That makes sense. From there, how did your pornography consumption develop?

Lynne: It’s kind of funny cause I I’m listening to others’ accounts on this and a lot of like, it seems like most of the time, once they’re exposed, like they constantly want to seek it out. Um, and that was not my experience at all. I, um, I realized my consumption development was really different. Um, I deleted it because I was so shocked and didn’t want my siblings to see it, like I said, and then I didn’t really even know like what to search to find it. I never desired to look at it again. Um, my pornography consumption developed around 18 years old. Um, I had a traumatic event happened within my family. Um, and I started using pornography as a coping mechanism, um, to kind of help process some of that trauma. Um, I was 16 when I witnessed an affair happening, which led to my parents’ divorce. Um, and I, like I said, 18 years old, about two years after that, when I first went to college is when I started using that as a coping mechanism.

Garrett: Did you notice that in college, um, other athletes on your team were also consuming it? I guess I don’t want to call out your, your teammates, but I don’t, I don’t know if you feel comfortable talking about if it was normalized within the locker room?

Lynne: Um, I don’t, I’m going to say no just because I’m not sure if there was, um, also being a female it’s very different. Um, I know that it, now I know that it’s prevalent within, you know, the female community to have a pornography addiction, but, um, I don’t, I don’t want to speak to anyone’s experience cause I’m, I’m just not sure. Um, I do know that it was, uh, it was an issue with, um, some of the boys locker rooms. Um, but again, going back to being a female with this addiction, it’s a very, very different, um, and it almost seems like it’s more isolating just because you don’t really hear about females struggling with it.

Garrett: Right. And you mentioned that you, it was a coping mechanism. I think that if I put myself in your, in your position in that, uh, moment, you’re 18 years old, you’re leaving home, you’re transitioning into college. Um, and then also you have that traumatic event. And so that make that makes sense that you needed that, that coping mechanism in that moment and you didn’t really know where to turn. Would you label your pornography consumption at that moment around the age of 18 as a dependency?

Lynne: I think so. Um, I think it, it always starts as a dependency. Um, I, I’ve tried to explain this to people and I don’t know if some people that don’t struggle with addiction don’t really understand it, but no one wakes up in the morning and says, “I’m going to get a pornography addiction today.” Like that. That’s not how the process works.

Garrett: Right.

Lynne: Same thing with drugs and alcohol, like it, it becomes a something you kind of depend on and then you realize you’re really in deep. And then that’s when it’s an addiction because you can’t stop. Um, you feel like you constantly need it.

Garrett: And when did you come to that realization that you had a dependency to pornography?

Lynne: I think, um, it was probably when I was around 20 or so. Um, so about two years after I started, um, that’s when I, my life changed a lot. I switched schools. Um, I didn’t have a lot of friends at this new school. Um, I was living further away from my boyfriend, so I didn’t get to see him a lot. Um, and there was just a lot of change happening in my life that added stress to everything. So that’s, I think that’s kind of when it developed and I realized that because anytime I was having a stroke, having a stressful day or feeling emotional or a loss of control, I would start thinking about it and I’m planning to like when I was going to consume it, um, which that was kind of a wake up call, like, okay, this is a problem.

Garrett: Yeah. That makes sense. I guess one of the questions I have is regarding the escalation of the consumption?

Lynne: Um, it was pretty gradual. I don’t remember, um, one day just having like the epiphany that I was consuming a lot more of it. I, I do remember, um, over time I would like find that the hours of my day would slip away pretty quickly. And it was because I was spending a lot of time consuming it. So, um, I think it was, it wasn’t the type of pornography that escalated or the, um, or the, I guess the type is the right word. Um, it was just the duration of how I would use it. So it just, it took more time to get that high.

Garrett: Right.

Lynne: Um, so that’s kind of when I realized it was becoming more of an addiction.

Garrett: Okay. So you would label it an addiction or how do you refer to your, your challenge with pornography?

Lynne: I think it, it was an addiction and I say was because I’ve found success with it. Um, I don’t, I don’t like the, um, the way certain addiction programs were, “I’ll always be an addict.” or “I’ll always be an alcoholic.” I don’t like that. Um, cause I think there’s a lot of power in what we speak over ourselves. Um, so I, you know, or if you want to say recovering, that’s another way to put it. Um, I think I definitely did have an addiction, but I’ve been, um, really strong with it. I haven’t had problems with it in a while, so I’m, I feel a lot more healthy now, but back when I did struggle, I would say yes, it was an addiction.

Garrett: That’s awesome that you’re doing so great. Um, can you talk to the harmful effects of pornography and how they affected you as an individual?

Lynne: Yeah. Um, so when you experience a traumatic event, um, automatically you’re going to be experiencing depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, energy. Um, so with that event that I had witnessed in high school that was already kind of on my radar, um, as something I was battling, um, and addiction is really sneaky. Um, it seems like it’s helping, uh, that’s why a lot of people use it as like a coping mechanism because for that split second, it makes you feel like you’re okay. Um, it, but in reality, it’s creating a really large wound to mend and it’s just digging deeper. And so I found that pornography would let me forget and feel something other than that sadness and hopelessness for just a second. And then that depression, anxiety and lack of energy would swing back more intense than before I watched it. Um, it would be, it would kind of sink you deeper cause you felt the guilt and the shame on top of your depression and anxiety.

So, um, I was already battling that stuff, but I think the pornography addiction just made it tenfold kind of like way more than you, um, that I was originally planning on battling. And I remember when I finally was able to open up to people about it, um, and kind of do research on it. I’m like, “Wow, this is a big issue.” Like this is something that is like, like your name is Fight the New Drug. Like this is, uh, like a drug. It is something that needs to be discussed. And so, um, the shame that originally kinda overcame me was “I can’t talk to anybody about this.”, um, “You’re a female. You’re probably the only female in the world struggling with this.”, um, “This is a men’s issue.” You know, all that stuff. So, um, that became a big part to overcome too. I think that was probably the biggest step was to try to overcome that shame and try to be vulnerable with somebody about it.

Garrett: Yeah. Did you feel hopeless at times throughout this process?

Lynne: Oh yeah, big time. Um, I, uh, I never had, um, suicidal plans. I never had any attempts on my life, but I do remember there were days where I was like, “You know what, this would be a lot easier if I just didn’t have to deal with it.” Um, and I have opened up to my boyfriend about that. Um, and he’s been very, very supportive about that, but, um, I, like I said, I never was in any crucial state, but that it did push me down to where I’m, I’m like, “There’s no way I’ll ever be able to win this. It’s too hard.”

Garrett: Wow. Thanks for sharing that. Um, the reason why I say thanks is because I think it’s more common than we think to have some of those negative negative thoughts. And so I just admire your strength for talking to some of those.

Lynne: Yeah.

Garrett: How did your going back to, you’ve talked about your boyfriend a couple of times. Um, how did pornography consumption affect your relationships, whether it be with friends, um, family, or your significant other?

Lynne: Um, there were two kind of areas of relationships where I kind of put my friends and family and one, and then, um, my boyfriend and another, um, because my friends and family got the same treatment from me. Um, my boyfriend took the brunt of it. Um, and it’s really hard for me to think back sometimes about how, um, how I mistreated him and we’re still together and he’s the love of my life, but he, um, he took a lot of, um, emotional and verbal abuse from me for awhile. Um, I became really distant and cold and I was constantly creating fights where there was like nothing to fight about. We, um, we were a long distance couple for a long time, um, which is, you know, only about three hours away, but you know, that’s still pretty difficult with work and school. So, um, I would, you know, we would talk to each other FaceTime and everything, but I think I was looking for him to fill voids in my heart and that were really, really messed up.

And I don’t think… I was putting an unfair expectation on him. And, um, I was creating these relationships standards that I wanted us to reach, but I was putting all the expectation on him. I was not even trying to do my part. Um, and he took that for a long time and I, um, I don’t know how I did it because I think if I was, you know, looking back, I think if someone were treating me like that, I don’t know how I’d be able to stay with them. Um, but you know, he’s, he’s been super supportive and he’s, we’ve been together for about four years now. Um, and he’s been amazing with everything. So, um, that was a big, big help for sure.

Garrett: That’s awesome. That makes me happy. That’s really cool.

Lynne: Yeah.

Garrett: I’d love to see people work through their challenges. Just get some kind of stoked. It’s inspiring.

Lynne: Yeah.

Garrett: Um, what about other areas of your life? Uh, you talked about how pornography has affected you as an individual. Um, some of your relationships, are there other areas that we haven’t mentioned?

Lynne: Um, with my, with regard to my friends and family relationships, um, I never treated them as poorly. Um, I didn’t have this expectation that they should, you know, help me heal or anything. Um, I just became closed off and distant. Um, didn’t talk to anybody really, um, which is really unlike my family because we were so close. Um, so that was something that they all kind of noticed, but they did not, you know, they’re like, “Okay, she just was going through something.” but that, you know, that the mistreatment never happened with them. Um, with regards to other areas of my life, I think, um, I’ve struggled with this as a student with class and then also as an adult with a job. So, um, with both my job and my classwork, I noticed I just was not motivated to go. Um, and as someone who loves to learn and loves to work, it was really, um, hard for me because I just realized that I would rather just lay in bed all day, then go do something I’m really passionate about or learn about something I’m really passionate about.

Garrett: Wow. That’s interesting. One of your passions is coaching and also engaging in sports. Do you feel like pornography even negatively impact your desire to do those things?

Lynne: Yeah, it, um, it took a lot for, I always, I try to think back on, um, everything it took from me and that was a big thing. Um, because I’m, you know, anybody that knows me, I’m either my boyfriend will joke about this. I’m either a hundred percent into something or I could like not care less.

Garrett: [laughter]

Lynne: So it’s kind of funny, like the things I’m very, very passionate about. Um, I had no desire to do them at all and it was bizarre because like I said, I’m, I’m a hundred percent into things. And so, um, that was a big deal was I didn’t want to go do my job. I didn’t want to, you know, go learn in class about something I was really passionate about and just, it took that passion from me. Um, and I think that that’s where it creates a lot of isolation.

Garrett: Right. Some people are under the impression that it’s an easy thing to just stop consuming pornography. Um, maybe someone might be skeptical and they might just say, “Why would you just stop then, Lynn?” And so I want to pose that question to you. And I don’t want to say it in an insensitive way because I know how challenging it can be, but what would you say to someone who had that perspective “Just stop.”?

Lynne: I would kind of laugh at first, to be honest with you because that’s not, that’s, it’s so much more complicated. Um, and I think, um, especially as a female, um, but you know, all, all people that, you know, struggle with this, the isolation it creates is very strong. Um, but the way any addiction works is their brains. You know, our brains have been trained to pursue what feels good and give that momentary high. Um, and you know, no one watches pornography and thinks, “Okay, well… “ you know, “… after the high, I’m really excited for the depression.” Like that doesn’t happen. It’s not something that we actively pursue. They’re just looking for that momentary, what feels good. And so, um, even after that depression, it, the high almost seems worth it. Cause we continue to go back to it. And so I would say to someone who asks, “Why can’t you just stop consuming it?”, that it is a process. Um, it’s not easy and the way our brain was formed to want to consume pornography, it has to be formed to not want to consume it, um, and kind of retrained in a way.

Garrett: How many times did you attempt to walk away from that dependency unsuccessfully?

Lynne: Oh gosh. Um, I’d say, um, I struggled with it for about five years and I, I was actually counting because, um, I remember each one distinctively and I think there are about 27 times unsuccessfully, I attempted in five years.

Garrett: And so how did you finally overcome it? What was the, the thing that changed?

Lynne: Um, I finally, um, it was actually a conversation with my boyfriend and, um, he, we had, you know, had one of those dumb fights where I was just starting something out of thin air.

Garrett: We’ve all had one of those before. [laughter]

Lynne: Oh gosh. And you know, they, I’m not struggling with it anymore. They still happen. And it’s just part of relationships. [laughter]

Garrett: Yeah.

Lynne: Um, you know, he, he looked at me and he said, you know, “I know something’s going on and you’re not yourself. And whatever it is, we can work through it, but something has to change. Like we can’t keep doing this.” And I remember the sentence that he used was “I can’t keep doing this much longer.” And, um, he was completely unaware of this at the time. And, um, that’s when I literally broke down and told him everything. And, um, I remember a made me so weak to even like, I couldn’t even stand when I was telling him I had to be like seated or laying down.

Like it, it took physically, it took so much for me to tell him everything that had happened.

Garrett: Wow.

Lynne: Um, and he just wrapped me up and was like, so supportive and told me, he’s like, “Whatever, you need to fight this. Like, I’ll be here. Thank you for telling me.”

Garrett: Wow.

Lynne: And I was, I was so mad at myself for waiting so long. I was like, this was his reaction the whole time, like the first time or the first time I realized that it was an issue. I could have brought this to him. And I realized that my fear was well-founded because it is a heavy thing to talk about, but I just, I think that that reaction can be more supportive than we think it will be.

Garrett: Yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah. That puts a smile on my face to hear that. That’s cool.

Lynne: Yeah.

Garrett: Um, after that first step of that first step of honesty and vulnerability, what was next in your, as you transitioned, you talked about how “It’s a process.” What was, what were some of the next steps you took to, to transition your mindset away from pornography?

Lynne: Um, I actually, I reached out to a second person because, um, I wanted someone who was more knowledgeable on it. And, um, he was actually the one who introduced me to Fight the New Drug. And, um, I had reached out, he was a good friend of mine from college and, um, I reached out to him because he was constantly sharing, uh, Fight the New Drug’s posts on his Instagram story. Um, and I always thought they were really interesting and I started doing my research, but I realized I’m like, “Okay, if he’s sharing that, he’s passionate about it.” And, um, so, you know, I shared with him and he instantly was supportive as well, not judgmental. Um, he was really straightforward, which is something I always admire in people. I don’t like people that beat around the bush. Um, and the first thing he did, which I think is really important when dealing with such a sensitive topic, especially with relationships, the first thing he asked me was, “Have you told your boyfriend about this?” And I said, “Yes, I have.” And he said, “Does he know that you’re speaking with me about this?” And I said, “Yes, he does.” And I think that says a lot about this because, um, that can create secrecy, um, that if I’m discussing something so sensitive with another male, that my boyfriend would have something to worry about, you know, how that can be misconstrued.

Garrett: That’s cool that he was asking those questions.

Lynne: Yeah. And, um, I appreciated that a lot because he, he said, “You’re going to have to be really open and honest with me. That’s the only way this was going to work.” And so, um, I don’t feel comfortable with that until your boyfriend is aware. And, um, that I felt instantly safer.

Garrett: That’s cool.

Lynne: Yeah, because he, yeah, he was like so straightforward about it. And, um, he’s been a huge part of my recovery as well.

Garrett: That’s amazing. We shouldn’t have him on the podcast.

Lynne: [laughter] Yeah.

Garrett: Not to talk about your experience, but just to talk about his own experience. That’s cool.

Lynne: Yeah. He, um, I told him I was doing this and he’s been sending me the little GIFs about how proud he is of me and stuff. So he’s, he’s pumped about it. Yeah.

Garrett: That’s cool. And then what other steps have you taken?

Lynne: So, um, like I said, he introduced me to Fight the New Drug. So, um, that was my first place where I started looking just at the statistics, you know, there’s people that are pro pornography and, um, but the statistics are really hard to argue with. And so that’s when I started realizing like, “Okay, I fall into this percentage.” Um, and, uh, my friend from college, the next thing he offered for me was, um, an app called Covenant Eyes. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that?

Garrett: Yeah.

Lynne: Yeah. So basically for everyone else listening, um, I highly recommend it. It’s really, um, it’s keeps you accountable. It’s like an accountability software where you put it on your phone and then you have an ally, um, that it basically the app will block pornographic images and videos and sites on your phone. Um, and if you attempt to look at it, it will it’ll say allow website, so you have the option, but what it’ll do is send a notification to your ally.

So, um, and then every morning we both get a email saying, you know, “No suspicious activity detected” or something, or if something were to come up, he would get a notification about it. And so, um, he set that up for me and that automatically helped because even if I wanted to, I couldn’t without repercussions. So, um, that was really awesome. He, you know, he’s my ally and, um, he has helped, and I liked that name too, that they named the person that’s in. It’s not like an admin, it’s just an ally, you know, just like a buddy helping you.

Garrett: I like that.

Lynne: Yeah. Um, and then the last thing I did, um, with regard that I recommend this for everybody, but, uh, I, I started therapy with a C-SAT, which, for people that don’t know it is a certified sex addiction therapist. Um, and they don’t, um, they don’t just specialize in sex addiction, because I don’t have a sex addiction just to pornography addiction, but they specialize in all kinds of, um, all kinds of stuff like that. So, um, she has really been able to help me dive into the deeper issues that started this, um, which I, I think a therapist would be able to do, but when they’re specialized to work with pornography addiction and sex addiction, I think it’s real, they really understand the different layers to it. Um,…

Garrett: That’s awesome.

Lynne: Yeah. So that’s, and I still see her from time to time just to make sure there’s nothing left uncovered.

Garrett: Yeah.

Lynne: Yeah.

Garrett: And as you’ve met with either your C-SAT, have you discovered anything that you think our audience would find valuable?

Lynne: Yeah. Um, like I said, they, they kind of identify, um, why are you watching it in the first place? Um, you’re not watching it for pleasure because it’s making you feel miserable, you know, there’s that tiny hit of pleasure, but it, it, it, it overall, it makes you feel absolutely horrible. So, um, there’s a co there’s something you’re trying to heal and something you’re trying to mend. Um, and so I think that that was a big deal for me. And she kind of has helped me go back through things that have happened in my life, that the stressors, the, uh, traumatic events and has really unturned that and be like, “Okay, look, this is why, so let’s process this. And then that desire to watch that will go way down.” And she was absolutely right.

Garrett: Cool. Do you still have moments that you, when you want to turn back to your dependency?

Lynne: Um, not, not really. I don’t have, I, everyone has down days, you know, where they just don’t feel themselves or feel a little depressed and I definitely will still have those, but, um, my, because I’ve dealt with a bunch of this stuff that has been hard in my life. I don’t have that dependency like that. “Oh, I need to watch pornography.” Um, I ’cause, I’ve, I’ve kind of made a list of things I could do instead or stuff that actually fills me up instead of just completely drains me.

Garrett: I like that.

Lynne: Um, yeah.

Garrett: What are a couple of those things. If you don’t mind, Sharon that do energize you instead of drain you?

Lynne: Uh, yeah. I, um, I guess I love to watch The Office that’s going, um, I love to work out. Um, I’ve actually, uh, that was something else I was going to share was when I stopped consuming pornography, I started taking care of myself a lot better. Um, and working out was a big thing. I kind of neglected that after I quit playing my sport. And so I started working out again, which is something I really like. That’s also healthy for you. Um, and, um, I love to, you know, read, talk with friends. Um, I love doing like lunch dates with all my friends and stuff. So, you know, just finding things that, um, supply good stuff to your life instead of, you know, that secrecy is a big deal.

Garrett: Yeah. That’s great. Um, are there any other resources that you think our audience would find value in?

Lynne: I think there’s something I thought of myself. I hadn’t really like seen anyone else do this. I’m sure there are, but, um, I downloaded an app called Countdown. Um, and it’s cool because you can set a date in the future or in the past and have it count up or countdown to it. So I set a date on the last time I consumed pornography and every day it just grows my day account until since I’ve watched it.

Garrett: Cool.

Lynne: Yeah. And that’s really encouraging. Um, I have it on like a widget on my phone, so like I can just swipe left and look and quickly how many days it’s been and today is 287.

Garrett: Wow, That’s inspiring. That’s cool.

Lynne: Yeah. And the first time I remember, um, I texted my friend from school that helped me with covenant eyes. Um, the last time I consumed it and he, I didn’t know this, but he had also set a timer without asking or telling me at all. And he, um, he texted me the other day and he’s like “Happy 200 days.” I’m like, “How do you know that?” [laughter] But he had been tracking my progress with me? And that made me really happy. Cause he was like super into it, you know, and um, into my recovery with me. And so he, uh, and he’ll occasionally just randomly send me screenshots of it. Like I don’t know, but you know, it’s awesome to have him, you know, track that with me.

Garrett: That’s really cool. I do want to give you the opportunity to have the last word in this conversation. Um, do you have a final thought that you’d like to share with our audience?

Lynne: Yeah. Um, I’ve come to think of addiction… it’s, it’s really a battle. Um, and it’s a long process. And so the best way to win is to just fight really, really hard. Um, and if you can turn your mess into a message and turn your struggle into a weapon, um, in that way you can help others fight and it no longer controls you, you control your situation.

Garrett: That’s amazing. Well, Lynne we are so grateful that you took the time to be with us today.

Lynne: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Fight the New Drug Ad: Looking for a way to spread awareness on the harms of porn. Why not rep the movement in one of our conversations, starting teas with over 20 tees and various designs and phrases, you’re bound to find something that speaks to you and will spark conversations with others. Plus because we’re a 501C3 non-profit, there’s no taxes on your purchase and the proceeds help to mobilize this movement. Get your gear today at FTND.org/shop, that’s FTND.org/shop.

Garrett: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Consider Before Consuming. Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight the New Drug. Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful facts, using only science facts and personal accounts.

If you want to learn more about today’s guest and the conversation we had, you can check out the links included with this episode. Again, big, thanks to you for listening to this conversation. As you go about your day, we invite you to increase your self awareness. Look both ways, check your blind spots and consider before.

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