Episode 94: Nurture vs. Numbing

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2022

I recently spoke with a client who was going through a rough transition period at work. He wanted to figure out how he could feel the emotions he was experiencing without getting bogged down by them or turning to pornography when I asked, “What are you doing to nurture yourself through it?”

The truth is that turning to pornography is not the only option available when you’re feeling stressed, under pressure, or anything else. There are so many ways for you to nurture yourself through a difficult time instead of turning to numbing or escaping, and the great news is that you can absolutely create a plan for it.

Join me this week to discover the difference between nurturing yourself and numbing. You’ll hear some questions you can ask yourself to identify what you need most in moments when you are tempted to numb with pornography, and why nurturing yourself is not the same as running away from your emotions. 

If you’re ready to do this work and start practicing unconditional commitment toward quitting your porn habit, sign up to work with me! 


What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  •  The difference between nurturing and numbing. 

  •  Why offering yourself some indulgence isn’t a problem, but when it actually becomes an issue. 

  •  How to develop a relationship with yourself where, instead of punishing yourself by numbing, you choose activities that nurture you. 

  •  Why, if you honestly asked yourself, you know whether you’re nurturing or numbing. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 94, nurture versus numbing.

Welcome to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, the show that will teach you how to stop viewing pornography and never go back to it. If you want to learn how to train your brain out of a pornography habit, completely shame-free, then this is the show for you. I’m your host Sara Brewer, a certified life and faith-based coach.

Hey, you guys, welcome to the podcast episode this week. I’m so, so glad you’re here, excited to talk to you about nurture versus numbing today. A little life update, I just got back from France, and it was so amazing, oh my gosh. It is amazing. A really, really cool experience, I loved it. But I’m also excited and, you know, excited to get back into a little bit more of a routine.

I want to say thank you to those of you who have left me reviews recently. Thank you so, so, so much. That’s one of the best things that you could do to support me and the podcast, is leave a review.

I want to give a shout out to one of you who left this awesome review, it says, “This podcast has been incredible, I’ve struggled with porn since I got home from my mission three years ago. I seriously felt no hope and very worthless as a human being. I didn’t know how to get out of this trap until I found Sara.

Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle sometimes but let me tell you, the shame I feel has decreased exponentially. I no longer believe the lie that something is wrong with me after I slip up. I can mindfully learn from those slip ups and just keep trying. I look forward to the day where I can have these skills mastered and can process any urge that comes my way. Listen to this podcast if you want to learn how to quit porn.”

Love it, thank you so much. Really, really appreciate that and great job. I like to start the episodes with either a review or a win just because it helps build up energy. Win and celebration energy is so important to cultivate, it helps us to create more wins and more celebrations. So take a moment and celebrate yourself, celebrate a win that you’ve had, celebrate the things that you’re doing right, and you’ll create more of that than if you’re just focusing on what you’re doing wrong.

So let’s chat about nurturing versus numbing. This came up this week during one of our coaching calls. I had a client who was talking about how work is the hardest time for him with pornography. Right now he has his two weeks in for his job, he is just waiting to start his new job.

At work right now while he’s finishing up he feels stressed, he feels pressure, he really just hates it. He’s just waiting, grinding out that last few weeks to be over. And it seems like when it just gets too much he uses porn as an escape and then goes back and finishes the work day.

And his question to me was, “How can I just feel these emotions instead of getting so bogged down by the dislike and the pressure and the stress?” And my answer to him was, yeah, we can do some thought work around you liking your job a little bit more for these last two weeks, but what are you doing to nurture yourself? What are you doing to nurture yourself through this?

It’s not like when you’re feeling stressed and pressure and you’re just hating it the only option is to go and look at porn, there are a lot of other options to nurture yourself through this difficult transition. You can go on a walk. You can go get a drink. You can take a break. You can massage your hands. You can listen to music. There are a lot of other things that you can do, what are you doing?

And he was like, “Well, I haven’t thought about it, and I haven’t made plans for this because I don’t want to just escape the emotion. I want to learn how to sit with the emotion and breath through it so that I’m not just escaping it.” And that’s when I talked about nurturing versus numbing.

And I think it’s really good for me to talk about on the podcast because I don’t think I’ve talked about it much here. And I actually saw this on Tiffany Roe’s Instagram this last week, this really great post about this, nurturing versus numbing. We’ll link her account in the show notes, Tiffany, her Instagram account is @heytiffanyroe, she’s a great therapist in the Utah area. Seriously I love her. And I want to read to you this post that she did, nurturing versus numbing, okay?

Nurturing is looking for connection and support on social media. Numbing is disconnection and escape on social media. Another example, nurturing is watching some Netflix. Numbing is you have a headache and foggy lethargy from so many episodes.

Okay, are you starting to see the difference here? It’s not a bad thing to watch Netflix and to relax, and to, you know, if you’re stressed go and take a break. Where it becomes harmful is when we start doing it so much that it becomes numbing behavior.

Nurturing might be enjoying girl scout cookies, while numbing is restricting, bingeing, purging because of girl scout cookies. So it’s enjoying a treat, versus using that to numb out and punishing yourself for that, okay?

Nurturing might look like a drink or two with dinner, numbing would be binge drinking or blacking out. Nurturing is buying a few items for fun, while numbing is shopping to excess and sabotaging your budget. Okay, these are from that post, those examples. I love that.

It is not a bad thing to take a break, to offer yourself some love, to indulge a little bit in something that makes you happy. That’s not a bad thing. Where it becomes a problem is when we’re using it numb and to escape.

So with this client who is going through this rough transition period at work, when you are in a rough transition period, when you’re going through something that’s just miserable, you can absolutely create a plan to help you enjoy it more without just having to sit in all of that. Ask yourself, how can I nurture myself and love myself through this difficult period? Instead of just restrict, restrict, restrict, push away, push away, push away so that I have to go and view porn in the middle of the day in order to make it through.

You get to choose the activities that you use to nurture yourself. You can choose any of those activities. So choose ones that feel good to you in your life instead of pushing it down, pushing it away to where you just explode and choose activities that you’re trying to quit, choose activities that aren’t helping you have the life that you want to have.

What will be so helpful is if you can develop a beautiful relationship with yourself, okay? And so instead of always punishing yourself and always looking for a way to push yourself to the point of exhaustion, you can ask yourself, “Hey, I love you and what do you need? How can I nurture you? How can I love you?”

Instead of being like, “Oh, I should be able to just push through these two weeks that are difficult. What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t be struggling this much at work.” Instead, “Hey, everyone has moments like this, it makes sense that you’re struggling, and it makes sense why you hate this job so much, and how can I nurture you? How can I love you and help us get through this period?”

That is not the same as running away from your emotions. I should never feel this, I shouldn't ever feel stressed, I should never feel disappointment. I should never feel whatever. No, we're letting ourselves feel those emotions. And we're nurturing ourselves while we're feeling them.

So yeah, I'm stressed and I'm feeling pressure from my job. And I'm going to breathe, it's okay to feel those emotions. And I'm also going to go get a drink because that's what I need to do to nurture myself today. I'm going to go get a Diet Coke, I'm going to go get a smoothie, whatever it is. It's something a little bit for me to nurture myself today.

And that not alone will help you so much with that unwanted porn use of you just restricting, restricting, push through, push through, push through, oh, I can't. Give up, go look at porn in the middle of the day, all right, come back. It’s okay to nurture yourself. It's a really beautiful, good thing.

And I know some of you might have this question, well, what about this, Sara? What about this? Is this nurturing or is this numbing? Is this nurturing or is this numbing? And what I want to say to you is you know, okay? You know if it's nurturing or if it's numbing. Ask yourself and trust the answer, okay?

If it feels like love and acceptance of where you're at, and a little bit of help, that’s nurturing. If it feels like escape, if it feels like hyper indulgence, if it feels like it's coming from a place of I hate myself, it's probably numbing, okay?

All right you guys, have a great week. This is such a great short, quick episode for your week. Implement this and even like today, how can I nurture myself today? What's one thing I can do to love myself and nurture myself today? Build that relationship with yourself. Build it of love and acceptance, and, hey, I'm going to do what's best for you, body, I love you. Okay. All right you guys, have a great week. Bye bye.

I want to invite you to come and listen to my free class, How To Overcome Pornography For Good Without Using Willpower. We talk about how to stop giving into urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.

We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn't have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent.

If you're trying to quit porn, this class is a game changer. So you can go and sign up at Sarabrewer.com/masterclass and it is totally free.

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