Just picture this for a moment. For many, many years, You have maintained sobriety from pornography addiction.
I didn’t know my impulsive sexual behavior had a name. I couldn’t decipher my sexual feelings. I did know that a continuous river of explicit nudity and sex acts flowed through my mind. I had an addiction. The disease affected my mind, body, and spirit and progressed as the months and years passed along. The consequences were evolving into severe danger.
My acting out influenced my consciousness. The intense sensuality altered my state of mind to have more of the gratification. After an episode, I experienced an intense high satisfying me for a week; then, only a few days; a day; a few hours to only a few minutes. I’d spend four hours or more surfing the internet for new porn to get the intense high. I began to act out. I knew this wasn’t good. I then started to evolve and find strength in becoming a normal person. I discovered …
The Evolution of the Five Mental States
- Pre-Consideration – I was not ready for change. I wanted pornography. I knew that I was fooling myself, but I felt I couldn’t change. I can’t or I won’t.
- Consideration – I thought about stopping quite frequently. The disadvantages of stopping outweighed the advantages. I may.
- Preparation – I knew I had to stop. I prepared to take action. I read articles and books on how to change. I will.
- Action – I took responsibility. I acted on what I had to do. After visiting three counselors, I picked the right person. I am.
- Maintenance – After three years, I continue seeing a counselor. I joined a 12-step program, SAA. I still am. (Prochaska, 2008).
Now, I am going into my second year of sobriety, using the Five Mental States in other areas of my life that may affect my sexual addiction. However, at this stage, for my porn addiction, maintenance is most important to me.
Please Note: The Mental States are universal; however, how you apply them is totally up to you. You make them work for you.
Prochaska, J. (2008). Decision Making in the Transtheoretical Model of Change. mdm.sagepub.com; February 5, 2015. Retrieved from http://mdm.sagepub.com/content/28/6/845.full.pdf.