How I broke the cycle of shame and addiction by Reflecting Forward

me as a dapper young chap, age 5 ish
climbing in Moab , age 14
self portrait at the summit, utah
top of Mt. Rainer, age 18 — I found some strangers to climb with
rollerblades were my jam, age 8
  • Don’t take the sacrament for a few weeks
  • Keep a calendar and mark the days you look at pornography and mark the days you don’t. Over time, try to make the days you don’t more than the days you do.
  • Pray and read your scriptures
self portrait, age 15, no one else was around
the only climbing wall in Korea, on my mission, age 19–21
mountain biking in Moab, our 3rd date. 5~ days later I proposed and she said yes
  • Put blockers on the computer
  • Attend addiction recovery classes
  • Meet with therapists
  • Continue to meet with Bishops
  • Seek help from friends
Mt. Engineer, CO, age 16. all I wanted to be was an outdoor photographer
rock climbing in Moab, age 17. I missed my brother’s wedding for this trip
ice climbing in Ouray, age 17. I showed up alone, found someone to belay me. I had never held ice axes before in my life. What in the hell was I thinking…

Your husband being drawn into pornography has nothing to do with how you look or who you are and has everything to do with trauma from his past that is unresolved.

You may or may not believe it, that’s up to you but it’s the truth.

  • The drive to seek out vices maybe coming from unresolved issues and trauma from your past. I totally understand it could be coming from other places, you’ll need to seek professional help to fully understand what’s best for you.
  • Avoid identifying with yourself as an ‘addict’. That’s one thing I completely disagree with the LDS church on during recovery classes is that everyone has to sit in a circle, say their name, and say, ‘Hi I’m Adam, I’m an addict’. The deeper you identify with this label the harder it is to seek recovery.
  • Communicate what you’re going through with someone. Holding it inside only causes more damage and buries what needs to be revealed even deeper.
  • Make sure to get healthy. Being unhealthy makes you feel slow, gross, and unenthusiastic about daily routines much less tackling massive trauma from the past. I was hovering at a 28% body fat and was able to bring it down to 15%. I couldn’t imagine going through this process in the state I was in before.
age 37, 15% body fat, I feel good
  • If you are Mormon, just know that Bishops while well intentioned are not trained in this topic. They do not have the tools to help with long term trauma. Visiting with them is up to you but I can’t say this enough — you must meet with a trained professional who deals with trauma management. Of the 20+ Bishops I met with, only two really come to mind that offered sound advice, which was to meet with a professional.
  • If you are victim of narcissism know that I was also. This is so common and there is a lot of helpful information on this topic. As you go down this road just be prepared to setup very difficult boundaries that may feel completely unnatural. Know that these boundaries are also part of the recovery process.
  • That block function on your phone isn’t just for telemarketers. If there are a people in your life that drag you down, block them. If there are people that are pulling you away from your goal, block them. It doesn’t have to be forever but it should be intentional.
  • Know that you need to ask for help. You must deal with it and enter the crap storm. And when I say crap storm I mean it. It’s the absolute most difficult thing you will experience but will absolutely help you.
  • There are deeper meanings as to why men are addicted to pornography. While the podcasts and pundits out there claim ‘your brain this’ and ‘dopamine that’, they are completely missing the giant point of the deeper cause. Yes — when one looks at pornography dopamine does hit. But wouldn’t you want to know why you’re seeking it out in the first place? No one talks about this and it drives me effing bonkers.
  • Be ready to let go of pornography. Similar to coffee, it was like a friend that had stuck with me for so many years. As I’ve let go of it I actually mourned the loss of it. Crazy right? I also had to actually say that I enjoyed it to let go of it. Crazy right? That was definitely a weird few weeks but was an important piece to the puzzle.
oregon, age 36, no longer alone



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Adam Buchanan

Adam Buchanan

Marketing and Business Consultant | Public Speaker | Influencer Marketing Strategist | Author | Beekeeper