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  • Erik Frederickson - Life Coach and Recovery Coach

In 1935 the Federal Government erected the first Drug Treatment Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The Narcotic Farm was purposed to treat and find a cure for addicts, primarily heroin addicts. Many patients came from prison and shortly thereafter more followed that willingly checked themselves in. “For years the Farm was the world’s foremost center of addiction research,” stated Sam Quinones in his must-read book titled Dreamland.

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Sadly the success rate never climbed over 10%.


Even today with decades of research most treatment centers don’t rise above a single-digit success rate, although their bank accounts soar far higher than single digits. Tens of thousands of dollars for a 30-day stay is the norm. The world of drug and alcohol treatment centers rakes in tens of billions on a yearly basis.


Strangely, 1935 also produced a powerful movement of recovery right up the road from Lexington, Kentucky. 1935 was the inception of a new international movement called Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob, an Akron Surgeon, started an effective movement under the spiritual guidance of Episcopal Minister Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.

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Based upon 12 biblical principles and alcoholics helping alcoholics the early years of AA produced a proven track record of well over 50% of people that took the program seriously achieving long-term or even permanent sobriety. Although hard to document, it is safe to say that AA is now producing more of a single-digit percentage of success rate in the present day.


I find it no small coincidence that in the same year, and most likely oblivious of each others’ birthing, The Narcotic Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, and Alcoholics Anonymous, in Akron, Ohio, (a morning drive from each other) set out to bring a solution to the deadly addiction issues that plagued the land nearly a century ago.


Approaching a century later this same region of our beautiful nation boasts the worst statistics for drug overdose rates in our country’s short history.


When it comes to addiction it seems the Midwest has had a quicksand-like underworld of addiction issues for years and years. This dark reality of addiction has simultaneously been growing alongside a desperate hope for a movement of recovery, and the two have been active for decades right alongside each other. Sadly the efforts for recovery have yet to turn a corner on a real solution.


But I can tell you another movement is rising. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers are helping, but they are not producing big results. AA’s approach of alcoholics helping other alcoholics still caught in the “grip of the grape” is helping, but is not bringing the results it once boasted.


This rising new movement is about YOU and I.

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Whether you are personally fighting the beast of addiction or not, this movement hinges on the average citizen claiming some responsibility and engaging in the fight. You can help your neighbor, and you can pray in faith. You can reach out and let the addict and alcoholic know they are loved and we haven’t written them off to suffer in isolation and dreaded darkness.


It’s you and I that hold the power to help our nation turn the corner on this issue. It’s the love and power of God working through all of us as we intentionally involve ourselves in the mess that rests around us. It’s our helping hand and believing heart that is stirring a generation of people into action.


One day at a time. One person at a time. We can shift the course of history and walk with the addicted soul into freedom, wholeness, and purpose. God wants this more than you and I combined, and as we ask for His help we can rest assured knowing it is here.


God wants to use you and me to be His hands and feet that love our struggling communities into His healing arms.


Join the thousands of people that have gone through our FREE YouVersion Devotional, "Freedom from Addiction" - JOIN HERE


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Set up a time to connect with Erik about one on one coaching/support for pornography addiction - info@recoveringreality.com


If you, or a loved one, is struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction please set up a time to connect with us. We have been coaching people into freedom from addiction for over 8yrs now. Let's talk... - text or call - 619-880-6935

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  • Erik Frederickson - Life Coach and Recovery Coach

There I was five months into a very intense addiction treatment program. I was young (21yrs old to be exact) and naive but in my mind which had been warped by addiction, I was certain that I had life all figured out.

This particular addiction program I had begrudgingly entered into was called Odyssey House and was located in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. The typical length of stay was 9-12 months and they decided when you were finished.

Five months into the community/dormitory style treatment living I was doing rather well. Around 40-50 men packed into a large house had amplified the intense nature of early recovery, but in five months, I had reached the third level of a four-level program.


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It was then that my insides started on a slow boil. This new psychobabble and long-drawn-out conversations about feelings and childhood issues were stirring an unbearable discomfort that bothered the very core of me. The nature of change and growth was too new and too fast. I was accustomed to a dark cloud that constantly hovered over me as if it was attached with hooks to my very soul.


Maybe you can relate?

These new glimpses of freedom were foreign and peculiar to me, and this new unknown reality of facing my issues was different. I had done a pretty good job of following rules and sidestepping the deep needed processing of my internal turmoil to that point, but as the levels progressed so did the intensity of my addiction treatment. I was beginning to feel exposed and vulnerable. This rehab wasn't like having a one-on-one sober coach, no, this group setting had me feeling vulnerable.

It was like looking through a peephole out of my self-imposed cage of addiction. From the inside looking out, I felt I didn’t deserve freedom. And if by some chance I did deserve it, it felt strangely irresponsible.

My internal dialogue went as such, “What if these people find out everything I’ve done? Why am I trusting these people? I’m a fake, I can’t live free from my addiction and the mess I’ve already created. Why try...”


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The internal slow boil of emotions was jumping up a few degrees moment by moment. My inner world couldn’t handle the heat, and I needed a numbing agent to cope with the uncomfortable feelings within.

Then it happened.


I walked right out the front door of this drug and alcohol treatment center. I didn’t get my stuff, and I didn’t talk to anyone. I had to go. Where was I going? I didn’t know, but I had to leave the environment that was inching closer and closer to breaking down my defenses and making real progress in my healing process.

This decision to run, instead of face my fears and recover, sent me into five more years of destruction. I was high that same night and in less than a month I totaled my car while blackout drunk.



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Before I ran out the door of the Odyssey House I was most likely only a few more uncomfortable conversations away from a little more freedom and a little more healing, but the friction of early recovery was too much to bear. I wasn’t ready at that time.

It would be five more years of destruction, five more years of chaos, five more years of extreme spiritual darkness, and five more years of guilt and shame before I would taste the purity that life truly has to offer when walking in recovery and being in a relationship with God.

The tension is real in early recovery, but the freedom on the other side is more real. Face it now, whatever you’re facing, just face it and get on with living in recovery. It's worth it. You may not make it back to get another attempt. Life is too good to let it pass by without ever truly living.


 


Join the thousands of people that have gone through our FREE YouVersion Devotional, "Freedom from Addiction" - JOIN HERE


If you, or a loved one, is struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction please set up a time to connect with us. We have been coaching people into freedom from addiction for over 8yrs now. Let's talk... - text or call - 619-880-6935

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  • Erik Frederickson - Life Coach and Recovery Coach

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

I don’t know if I’ve met anyone that came limping into recovery that wasn’t carrying multiple addictions with them. I wasn’t any different.


Roughly 13yrs ago my recovery journey began and a year and a half or so into my recovery I was still hooked on pornography, and I hated it. The shame, the guilt, and hiding in the shadows felt the same in many regards as drug and alcohol addiction did.


Once I finally began to try and face this dark addiction I would sometimes be able to refrain for a week, a month, maybe two months but it would always come back. It felt like I was wearing an invisible jacket that was filthy and stunk of B.O. when I was actively looking at pornography.


One may ask, what does sexual addictions have to do with drug and alcohol addictions? Far more than one might realize.



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Recent research on this subject gives us some good insights into how porn addiction and drug and alcohol addiction are very similar in their effects on the brain and body.


In 2013 a Documentary was released called, “Porn on the Brain.” The documentary cites, “Cambridge University Study: Internet porn addiction mirrors drug addiction.”


In the same way that drugs and alcohol activate feel-good chemicals in our brain and body, so does porn. Our brain and body go wild with “feel-good chemicals” when pornographic images hit the mind and light up the brain, and these “feel-good chemicals” that are released are the same ones that drugs and alcohol release into our brain and body.


Watching porn releases dopamine in the part of the brain responsible for our emotions. This is why many people that have subjected themselves to porn often have trouble communicating their emotional state to their loved ones. Norepinephrine is also activated, which increases alertness and focus, followed by a crash in energy.

Viewing porn also triggers the release of oxytocin, the love hormone. This is why many people that struggle with porn have a hard time maintaining long and healthy relationships. When someone engages in an unnatural activity (watching other people act out sex is not natural) it tricks our brain. Oxytocin is a healthy chemical that helps us bond with people we love. Well, when our brain starts to register a release of oxytocin by viewing porn our brain gets tricked into thinking that cheap sex is what real love is all about.

Watching porn also releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer. And, of course, watching porn also causes the feel-good chemical serotonin to be released. Serotonin is the main hormone that stabilizes our well-being, mood, and happiness. When someone creates the habit of viewing porn to activate this natural "feel-good chemical" we form a way of thinking that tells us that we need to watch and engage in unhealthy and unnatural sexual acts in order to feel good.


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The effects of porn can go a step further and darker. What do serial killers Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, David Berkowitz, and more all have in common? Every single one of them went on record to state that their porn addiction fueled dark and violent fantasies that led them to dark and violent actions. Why? Because it's never enough, once that door is open the addiction just gets darker and heavier.


The porn industry is also a business, a huge business as a matter of fact. "Worldwide pornography revenues were $100 billion annually in 2010. This is more than the combined revenues of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, and Netflix. In the U.S., the porn industry makes $13 billion annually. That is more than the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association combined." -Dr. John Foubert


 

My addiction to porn got its hooks in me during the same window of time that the drugs and alcohol did. I remember the first time I was introduced to pornography. I was about 14yrs old. A group of us were at a friend's house and we had just smoked weed.


His father had a collection of pornography magazines and my friend pulled a bunch of them out, and we all started looking through them. That seemingly innocent act of sexual exploration left me addicted for the next 13yrs.


Fast forward 13yrs and there I was a little over a year into my journey of freedom from drugs and alcohol and I was still addicted to pornography. Many people wouldn’t see a problem with that, but as I sought God more and more this filthy and repetitive behavior didn't feel right anymore. It made me feel like active drug and alcohol addiction did in many ways.


What I didn’t know at the time was that watching porn fired up the same brain chemicals as drugs and alcohol, and brought about the same feelings of shame, guilt, and remorse. It felt far too familiar, always hiding and “feeling good” for a short period of time followed by quickly feeling gross thereafter.


This wasn’t God’s intention for my life. I prayed and prayed and wanted it gone with everything in me, but it would always creep back into my mind and actions. It was when I started talking with other men about it and relentlessly praying that God (as He always does) brought victory.


Then an encounter with God changed my life. As I lay in bed one night after another day of sobriety those dark whispers began to speak to my heart. Thoughts of sex and pornographic images started shooting across my mind like broken reels in an abandoned movie theater.


I lay there dreading what I was certain was coming next. Up until that point, even with all my praying and calling out to God for help to defeat this demon, I was defenseless when this onslaught targeted me. I didn’t have the power to defeat this on my own. I lay there trying to fight off the idea of “feeling good” for a moment, only to be followed by feeling disgusting until I fell asleep and into the next day.


At that moment the only thing I could think of was to get on my knees and plead for help from above. So I crawled out of bed with images flooding my mind, and my brain and body screaming out for a shot of “feel good” chemicals, and I got on my knees on the end of my bed. What happened next was glorious, and unexpected.


As I knelt there on the floor in my little room praying, time froze for a moment. All of the sudden, God showed up.



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I was pleading for freedom. I was pleading for help. I was pleading for strength. I was just pleading, period. “Help me, God,” I was internally screaming. And at that moment it felt like someone was standing over top of me and began steadily pouring a giant pitcher of warm oil over my head.


I could feel the warmth drip down my whole body as it made its way to my feet. It probably lasted 10-20 seconds, but it seemed like it lasted 10-20 minutes. Tears of freedom pushed their way through my closed eyes as my whole body felt lighter and stronger.


The images ceased and being a slave to the dark master named porn left my life that night. It hasn't returned.


If you are fighting this battle, don't be ashamed. Millions of men and women are fighting the same battle. Know this though, God can and will set you free. Keep seeking help, keep praying, and keep believing that God loves you and wants this gone from your life even more than you do.


3 Keys For Breaking Porn Addiction Off Your Life


1- Get help

James 5:16 "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." (ESV) Bring it into the light and get help and prayer from someone that lives free from this addiction.



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2- Believe God can and will do it

In my pursuit of freedom, I never stopped praying and believing that God wanted that addiction gone from my life and that He could do it. James 1:6 "But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (NASB) God loves you. He wants you free more than you want to be free. Keep pursuing Him and keep pursuing His freedom. He will do it!


3- Get back up if you fall

Proverbs 24:16 For the lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again. But the unrighteous are brought down by just one calamity and will never be able to rise again. (TPT) There were times when I'd fall into the temptation of viewing porn, and I'd pray right after and keep on praying. I just didn't stop praying and believing until it was gone.


My experience is most likely not going to be your experience, but God will do for you what He did for me. God is going to do it for you, don't give up!


 

Set up a time to connect with Erik about one on one coaching/support for pornography addiction - info@recoveringreality.com


Join the thousands of people that have gone through our FREE YouVersion Devotional, "Freedom from Addiction" - JOIN HERE


If you, or a loved one, is struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction please set up a time to connect with us. We have been coaching people into freedom from addiction for over 8yrs now. Let's talk... - text or call - 619-880-6935

Follow us here -

Recovering Reality Facebook

Recovering Reality Instagram

Recovering Reality Podcast

Recovering Reality YouTube



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