Hi, I’m Chris I have recovered from twelve years of being addicted to porn & and online-gaming. That sparked a fire that inspired me to train as an addiction recovery coach, and help people fight their addiction to porn, one by one through my own recovery business.
__The stigma around porn
There is a massive wall around porn addiction. This wall is built by many layers of:
A common belief system that doesn’t even recognize an addiction to porn to exist or to be taken seriously.
I’ve even heard some of my closest friends say that” you would have to be VERY stupid to believe you can be addicted to porn”.
A common myth that porn can spice up the sex life.
Anyone that is doing something for porn addicts such as helping them through recovery or presenting new science studies on the topic are just being” moral-police”.
Reaching out for help with any struggle and addiction is hard to do. Add all of the above and the result is that most people that actually summon the courage to reach out for help have been struggling to quit on their own for many years before taking the important step out of isolation and the stigma.
__The present time
Today my wife Maria and I are running an online addiction recovery business. We have a family with three children. We share the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly together. Our passion is self-development and we share the goal of being the best possible versions of our self.
It really is an exciting and fantastic existence where we challenge our self, set goals, overcome obstacles and celebrate both reaching goals but more importantly, the process of getting there.
We are living an active lifestyle in terms of that we are making active choices about our health, family, carrier as well as who we socialize with.
It has not always been this way for me though!
__The childhood begins
I used to live a very passive life, and I used to look at myself as the sum of my background and the circumstances around me.
That self-image grew a strong need to escape within me.
The circumstances I’m talking about is my mother that suffered from more than 30 severe depressions during my upbringing and my father worked two jobs to provide food on our plates.
Being the oldest of three I took it upon me to guide my mother through these hard struggles. At that time, I felt massive shame and did not want anyone to know any of the struggles me and my family were facing.
The combination of my mother being sick so often, and my father working very hard to provide, fueled very frequent fights between them. At the time I blamed them for the harsh climate at home. Today I fully understand that they gave it their all to make the most of what life put in front of them.
The first time I encountered pornographic material was as a very young boy whose passion at the time was exploring the woods with my best friend and riding my bike around seven years old.
One day when the weather was exceptional in the middle of the Swedish summer, we took a path in the woods we never followed before. It led up a small mountain hill with some trees. We spotted something we hadn’t seen before up in one of the trees. It looked like the coolest hideout he had seen. Turns out it was what hunters call a blind. We climbed the ladder leading up to the opening in the floor. When we got up, we noticed that all the walls were covered in pictures that was ripped out of pornographic magazines that was piled all around the floor.
We had no idea how to process what we encountered or what to make of it, but we quickly determined that this was best kept as a secret.
__The childhood continues
I wasn’t that outgoing, so much of my feelings of frustration, guilt, shame and being utterly unable to process what I was going through was directed inwards. I often turned to music and drawing as a young kid. To date I very much appreciate music and the creative process of drawing. The result is not at all the point, it’s the liberation, freedom and escape from the outside world while letting my creativity flow from me through the pen to a paper. I always doodled on “scraps” or already used
papers when I was young because I had no belief in my ability to create. It wasn’t until I reflected during recovery that I saw that I still draw on scraps. Now I draw less, but when I do, I make sure I do it on the finest paper I can currently find.
Being born in 1985, I grew up mostly during the 90’s when video-games and the internet emerged and bloomed.
At first, I was just playing games for fun as an added hobby along with other things I valued such as friends and the outdoors. I literally grew up with the forest as my neighbor, and I still love the nature.
It took an ugly turn for the worse when I tried World of Warcraft in 2004. I was instantly hooked by it. I entered an entirely new world where everything and anything was possible. I could be whoever I wanted, get as good as I wanted, and I wanted to be VERY good. People inside the game noticed my ambition and wanted to play with me and I received confirmation.
Ultimately, I ended up deep in gaming- and porn addiction.
That was not hard at all, I had the strong need to escape, to feel confirmation, and to function in social environments. What I did not have was the knowledge and motivation to make positive changes in my life that would have met these needs with long lasting positive results.
I chose the destructive path down into addiction patterns, that in the beginning seemed like everything I ever wanted.
Today I can see how I only had an illusion of everything I always wanted. I was good at my role and I was appreciated for it. It is a false promise of the life I dreamt about and desired, where I could be me and at the same time be great at something and be appreciated for it.
This illusion about my dream life is really nothing more or less than an addiction to gaming, and it’s about to show its ugly face and consequences, but I choose to ignore them. Why? You might wonder. Who am I in the real world if I’m not a part of the fictive realty where I have these “cool skills” I´m appreciated for?
The consequences that stared to show were:
- • School results were dropping because I was spending time on the game instead.
- • My general health was getting worse. I used to workout 3-4 times a week and had good routine for sleep. The workouts stopped and my nights got longer and longer in front of the game.
- • I used to hang out with friends, that stopped slowly but steadily. Because people grow tired of calling someone who rarely answers, and close to never calls himself.
It got harder and harder to look away from the consequences of the gaming addiction and it became a sadness for me that my health, friends and all big aspects of my life were suffering. This was where the true dangers of gaming addiction were showing.
I justified these consequences to myself with the phrase “the real life is not as important and fun as the life I am living in the game”.
The parallel world I stepped into and created my identity in had gotten all my time and effort at the cost of my real life, so naturally the grass will look greener on the side where all my attention and effort went.
During this time, I had also developed an addiction to porn from spending all that time in front of my computer.
Even before playing games I had been shy around women, and that feeling was enhanced by now being someone who is spending a lot of time playing games.
The two addictions now got me in what is called the “pleasure trap”. All my time was spent in front of games and porn, which were skyrocketing my dopamine levels. The game I was playing is carefully designed to trigger our natural reward system. Porn and masturbation are off course having a big impact on the reward system as well to encourage reproduction.
In other words, I was alternating between two activities that is highly effective at raising dopamine levels. This makes other activities that normally seem fun and important look useless, like social interaction, working out and perform well at work. Those activities do not appear as fun and important as they normally do because they do not provide the same effect they used to, now that my levels of dopamine are so high that my body actually cannot process all of it.
__ The love of my life
Many years later, now 29 years old I find the woman of my life. She opened up my eyes and showed me what is truly worth living for.
This was one of those things I “knew” I would never get to experience during my days on this earth.
This new experience of true love lifted me emotionally to be happier than ever before. At the same time, I’ve never been more scared in my entire life.
By that time, I had won the battle against my addiction to gaming, but it probably is no chock to you that my porn addiction made it impossible for us to enjoy our relationship and build a strong foundation of trust.
The time was now. I declared to myself with more force than I had ever declared a new years-resolution that from here on I would leave porn to my past and quit for good. Please understand that I was being sincere, nothing was more important to me than to make this change for me and my new life in love.
Holding on was not hard to begin with. I was so utterly committed and motivated. After nearly a week I didn’t recognize me anymore it felt like I was drawn towards situations I knew that I could “act out” in. Sleeping was very hard because I just couldn’t relax. My stress levels had skyrocketed, I was adjugated and ready to snap at anyone or anything will full force just to let this thing out.
Having no personal experience with drugs, but with nicotine I figured that this is actually me reacting to withdrawing from something.
The battle inside me went on for about two weeks when I couldn’t take it anymore and broke my promise.
Overwhelmed and washed in shame, guilt, self-doubt, disgust and fury I declared once again to never go back.
I kept giving promises to quit a promise I intended to keep every time, but it was too hard on my own and I keep failing.
That went on for about one year. One sunny day in the car with the family she found out about my addiction. She was just going to help one of the kids with going back to the YouTube app on my phone when she saw traces of my behavior.
After some digging to be sure of what she thought she found, her ultimate fear had come true. She felt Deeply wounded, betrayed and cheated.
Our mutual trust was crushed. The feelings of betrayal were as intense as those caused by physical cheating.
It’s that betrayal of trust that causes the deepest wound for a partner to a sex- and porn addict.
Naturally a sexual act with someone else is hurtful by itself, but at the very core of the pain you find that crushed trust.
We talked a lot about this, being still active in the addiction I downplayed the extent ant intensity of my behavior and the consequences they had on me.
She decided that she wanted to see this through IF I could quit.
This time the isolation was broken, and the truth was out there. It actually felt kind of calming, I no longer had a massive lie to carry, hide and protect.
Enforced with new found strength I promised Maria and myself to once and for all fight of porn addiction.
Up until this point I did not see myself as an addict to porn. Why? Because I had not seen its true force. It’s when I gave my all to distance myself from it, that I saw, felt and fought against its full force. It’s like the alcoholic that can carry the lie that “I can quit when I want to”. You don’t know that’s a lie until you fully commit to doing so and fail miserably.
Over and over again I failed to stop for more than two three-week streaks. In the middle of this uphill battle, we found out that we are expecting a child. The same day we checked the gender and learned that it’s a daughter on the way, we named her Maxine. The name Maria always wanted to name a girl, and I had never heard a more beautiful name.
Maria struggled so hard with the broken trust and a baby on the way. At the same time my self-image worsened dramatically for every broken promise to the woman I loved so dearly.
After a long talk about how we can’t go on like this with a child coming to the world, I made the ultimate promise. On my unborn daughter Maxine’s life, I promised to successfully end my addiction by the day Maxine is born.
When that day came, and I had still not been victorious we were desperate.
We decided to summon the courage and ask for professional help.
It turns out to be harder to find good and effective recovery then I thought that actually works.
It all took a turn for the better when we finally found a recovery treatment that helped me set goals and also gave me the tools and support to reach them. During the time of my recovery I educated myself on porn addiction and behavioral addictions in general to fully understand what I’m up against.
I’m a firm believer of giving your enemy a face. Once you know what you are actually up against, you can take educated actions to succeed.
For those of you that is wondering, yes, the relationship held up through the enormous pressure, and today we have a big family and coaching business together.
We got off to the worst possible start because of my addiction, it was impossible to build trust and affection with my addiction present.
We got through it and have risen from the ashes and reevaluated ourselves and our relationship from the ground up, that is the best thing that has ever happened to me!
__The time of my life
Today we have a relationship strong enough to survive setbacks and rough times. We are individuals that has been through hell and we now know that we are NOT the sum of our backgrounds and circumstances, but it is what we do despite them that defines our character.
For the rest of my days I am fully dedicated to the path of becoming a better man, husband, father and to help others to fight of their porn addiction for good, one individual at a time through the addiction recovery business we started.
What I want to say above all else is that deciding to fight an addiction is not about the end of something. It marks the new beginning of a future of positivity that you can’t even foresee.
Yes, my main focus was to battle porn for myself to save my relationship and enjoy the family we had created together. Other effects it had on me that I did not see coming was:
Since I recovered from porn addiction myself I have so much time to spend on what matters to me.
– I’ve lost 64lb (32kg) from prioritizing my health.
– Together with my wife I’ve started two businesses.
Undisputed PRN Recovery is my labor of love. It allows me to follow my passion while showing the path for others that have decided to take on the fight against porn.
Undisputed PRN Recovery and Twin Rivers Rehab offer unique recovery options that ensures long term sustained results for people that want to end their addiction to porn and for partners to overcome and heal.
Whether you are a busy person that need to work your recovery from home by video sessions or are in need of residential treatment followed by aftercare we provide the solution for you to quit porn for good.
Your comeback story is our passion.
Help is available now
Contact me by phone, Skype or email to get answers, sign up for one of the recovery options or to schedule your free 60min recovery session
Call: +46 73 140 21 03
Skype: Chris – Undisputed Recovery
Founder and recoverycoach
Personal experience with addiction to porn and gaming