You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 136, What’s Possible with David.
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.
Sara: All right, you guys, welcome to today’s episode. Today we have David. David is a member of Overcome Pornography For Good and we’re doing another really fun What’s Possible interview. David, do you want to say hey to everyone?
David: Yeah, hello. I’m so happy to be here. I’ve been a huge fan of the podcast and now the program. I’m so happy to be here. I look forward to sharing my story and I hope that it touches some people in some way.
Sara: Yeah. Cool, thank you. And Jessica is here too. Jessica is a coach in Overcome Pornography For Good and she coached one on one coaching and Jessica helped him with that. And so we invited her on too. Do you want to say hey, Jess?
Jessica: Hey, yeah, I’m so excited to be here. This is awesome.
Sara: Yay. Have you been on the podcast before?
Jessica: I don’t think so. I think this is the first time.
David: First for both of us, awesome.
Jessica: I know.
Sara: Why have I not had you on yet? Okay, I’m putting you down because anyways, Jessica is awesome. I freaking love her. Do people call you Jess? Is that okay if I call you that?
Jessica: It’s usually Jess, yeah.
Sara: Okay, good. It rolls off the tongue easier for me.
Jessica: It does. It’s true.
Sara: Do you want to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and what you do as a coach and what some of your favorites, like your specialties on coaching are?
Jessica: Yeah, I’ve been coaching for about five years now. I love coaching on relationships. That’s kind of where my heart is. And before I started working here at Overcome Pornography For Good I worked in my own business helping couples where one of the spouses is struggling with mental health issues. And I still do that. I love doing that. So I do both, this and that.
And I just love working in this program, in Overcome Pornography For Good. It’s just such powerful work, right? It’s just life changing stuff and I love seeing that happen in real time. And it’s just amazing.
Jessica: We have the best job in the world, like seriously.
Sara: Yeah, we love it. And we get to meet cool people like David. So we love it. We love our job.
David, today is about you though and we want to celebrate you. That’s what I love to do with these What’s Possible interviews, is just celebrate and bask in all the work that you’ve done, celebrate yourself, share your story. Most people come on to share their stories because they want to help other people who are going through something similar.
And so do you want to introduce yourself and tell us about you and tell us a little bit about your journey?
David: Yes, absolutely. I guess to start out just kind of at the beginning, kind of where things started. I grew up in a pretty traditional Latter-Day Saint household, pretty common. Pretty strict, kind of hush hush when it came to sexuality. And I just remember there was a lot of curiosity about sexuality in general.
My parents, they did the best with what they had, I think is how we could say that, and with the knowledge they had. But there was not much conversation around sexuality. And so that left me kind of wondering a lot of things and unsure about a lot of things.
Kind of an example of what that was like and how it kind of was growing up was like we’d go to stores and I remember my mom would make me close my eyes when we walked past the bras. And there was just a lot of like, why not? What’s wrong with it?
And, again, I just want to clarify, I had awesome parents and they did the best with what they knew and they had the best intentions. But there was kind of that shame towards sexuality and women and bodies. And anyway, so there’s just kind of that whole weird kind of elephant in the room for many, many years.
Sara: Yeah, I do remember my brother when he was young my mom would always try to steer him away from the bra section because he would just go and squeeze all the cups. Just aisle by aisle, just squeezing all the cups. Like of course.
David: My mom never let me get that close. But yeah, that kind of gives an idea of kind of what it was like. Good intentions but just kind of let’s not, we’re not going to look at those, we’re not going to think about those things. And I think at age 11 is when I first viewed pornography. And I didn’t even know the word pornography, I don’t think, at the time.
I kind of sought out pornography out of just curiosity. Like I said, there was a lot of curiosity and I had some questions and there was the internet. And so I looked things up. And I remember it took quite a while to put together what it was I looked at.
And to clarify, that became more of a consistent thing from a few times a month to a few times a week to a few times a day sometimes when I was younger. And that’s kind of where the coping mechanism, which I didn’t know at the time was, but that was a cooking coping mechanism for me.
And over time I kind of started to pile on more and more shame. As I learned in church, you know, as I was in church and going to lessons and there would be people talking about pornography and I’d kind of put together what pornography was. And oh, that’s what I’m looking at. Oh, and it’s bad. Oh, and I’m bad. And oh, I feel shame about that.
And I didn’t know that it was shame necessarily, but I knew the feelings were very dark and I felt like I had to be secretive about it. And a lot of swelling of developing so much shame and so much guilt and insecurity. And I think I went on probably for about seven years without telling anybody, not a single soul, that I was viewing pornography.
And obviously, later into those years I became pretty aware of what I was doing, that it was an issue and that I wanted to stop. I knew I wanted to stop, but kind of putting all those thoughts together wasn’t something that was necessarily, it didn’t happen for a long time.
And I bottled up so much shame I seriously thought that I was the worst person ever. I really did. I remember hearing from leaders in church about how just evil pornography was and how I needed to talk to my bishop to repent and to change. And for some reason that just was like the scariest thing that I had ever heard of.
Just the idea of talking to anybody, but especially a church leader was just the biggest worst thing that could happen to me.
David: And so that’s why I pushed it off for so long.
Sara: I just relate to that. Yeah, I remember that feeling and there’s nothing worse than having to go talk to your bishop about something. That’s the ultimate. That’s the ultimate punishment. No, not punishment, but that’s when things have really gone bad. Yeah, I just know that feeling.
David: Yeah. And I like what you said, too, about it does feel like a punishment. It feels like, oh, I’m in big trouble. I’ve got to go talk to the big guy. I didn’t ever see it as a beautiful, I don’t know, change of direction that it is that I see now. It was kind of just like, I’m in big trouble.
Anyway, so let’s see, I’m just looking at my notes. I have a few highlights of things. Yeah, so I had a pretty clear direction of where I wanted to go in life and I knew what I was doing with pornography use, and even with my friends at the time in middle school and high school, I just knew it wasn’t it. It wasn’t where I wanted to go.
And then I was dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety and all these things. And little did I know that pornography was a coping mechanism that I had been using for years and years.
David: So that leads up to preparing to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I had always wanted to go, but I knew that in order to prepare to go I needed to stop viewing pornography. That was kind of the big elephant in the room.
And I remember there was so much pressure to prepare to go because in order to prepare to go, for those who don’t know, you have to go meet with your bishop and kind of start the process of filling out paperwork. And there’s like a worthiness interview, going through a series of meetings and things like that.
And I knew that I would not be able to do that because I didn’t know how to talk about my pornography use. And that was a big worry to me. Anyways, but after feeling so much push to do it, I can remember my bishop was really wanting me to start meeting with him to start talking about going on a mission.
And so we did eventually just kind of out of feeling like I had to. And we did and I didn’t talk about pornography, it didn’t come up, didn’t want to talk about it. But to clarify again, I mean, that was seven years of doing that.
Obviously, I had met with the bishop before. I had talked to the leaders before, but I had never brought it up and so it was just easier not to talk about it. And a little while after that meeting, at this point we were kind of just ready to move on and continue on in preparing for my mission. I was just sitting in my room and I remember thinking like you can’t do this, you can’t keep pushing this down.
And I think it’s important to add, too, at this point I think my biggest intentions were wanting to quit just so that I could be the person that I was supposed to be. That it was expected of me to be to be on a mission and to eventually get married. Now I’m able to identify this, but I don’t think at the time I was wanting to really stop viewing for me, deep, deep down. It was kind of more external so that I looked the part.
Sara: That’s super good awareness, by the way.
Sara: That’s awesome. That’s really good awareness.
David: Yeah. And I wasn’t aware of that at the time. At the time it was just very, very I just wanted to look like the person I’m expected to be and look polished and good and all that. But now I know there’s a lot more to that and a lot more beneath the iceberg of intentions that are important to understand.
So after this meeting, I remember a few days after I was sitting in my room and I just knew I couldn’t go through with it without talking about it. And so I actually texted my bishop and I said, hey, I’m just not sure if I feel right right now about moving on with the process. And that was kind of that. And he was like, okay, that’s all right. I think he might have mentioned, love to talk more.
So it kind of opened up that possibility and it was kind of like the first time in seven years that I’d ever felt like I reached out for help and for help in a way without asking for it. Because I felt like he kind of knew there was something going on, but I didn’t have the strength to quite ask for that help yet.
And then a few weeks later I remember during church I got pulled out – I was a leader working with some young adults in the ward and I remember my bishop came and asked if he could meet with me. And we went down to his office and it just all came out, the flood of tears and a flood of emotions. And that was the first time I’d ever talked to somebody about my pornography use.
And since then I’ve kind of been on a journey of dealing with my pornography through receiving help from people and through actually doing things to really try and work on correcting my direction in life and where I want to go.
So I want on a mission, the best experience ever, but I know now that I definitely just willpowered through my mission. 100% willpower. Made it through, awesome mission, came back and got right back into it. Same habits, not as often but still it was a habit I began to slip into again.
Sara: Yeah, you’ve probably heard me talk about this story on my podcast, because it feels like you’re the only one in it. But it’s a common story.
Jessica: So many people.
Sara: Yeah, so many people.
David: Yes. Totally, 100%. And at this time now, after a few years of opening up about it, I do remember it felt like there was some hope knowing that I wasn’t the only person. Just because as far as I knew before my mission, I was the only person struggling with pornography is what it felt like. The only other person I’d ever heard of was Ted Bundy, and that’s who I was going to become if I didn’t stop.
Sara: No, not the Ted Bundy example.
Sara: No. I don’t know if I’ve talked about this on the podcast, but I’ve talked about this on my Instagram. If you view porn you’re not going to become a serial killer. That is not your destiny if you view porn.
David: And you laugh about it, but it’s a real thing. I really think people – I genuinely thought that I was going to become a bad person.
David: I never had the intention to ever become a murderer. And I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but I just knew that I’d be seen as a bad person and that there was like this great unknown of where I’d end up if I didn’t stop.
Sara: Yeah, a lot of fear. Yeah, you’re right, I do laugh about it, but that is a very common fear. What am I going to do?
Sara: Like I’m going to do something horrible.
Jessica: So much fear wrapped up in all of it.
David: Absolutely. And so after my mission at this time I was kind of in this weird, like, well, that’s not where I wanted to go, I kind of thought I was done with that. Kind of a confusing time.
And I was dating a girl that I dated before my mission and kind of through a mission and so I knew that marriage was coming in the near future and I definitely wanted pornography not to be a part of any of the rest of my life, especially our marriage.
I’m super grateful for my wife now. We’re married now and since then I’ve been open with her about that. And it makes all the difference to have somebody you can openly talk about with those things, especially a close friend or a spouse in your life. So I’m super grateful for her.
But I remember kind of starting to feel like I had to willpower a little bit more and keep going and just make it till marriage was another common thing I’d hear. Well, just hold on and wait till you’re married and you’ll be okay. Almost every bishop told me that. I had so many great bishops, but kind of a common, I think, thing was just that they didn’t have quite the right material to help those who are struggling with pornography.
Anyways, I remember in that kind of time of wanting to get married and all that, I was just looking for something, a new thing to try, a new form of motivation. And that’s when I found Sara’s podcast. It was the beginning of, I think, 2021. And I don’t remember how I found it, I think I was just on Spotify. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I just found it. And since then I’ve listened to it every Monday.
Sara: Oh, cool.
David: I don’t know, is that two years?
David: It’s like my little ritual, I always run while I listen to it. So I’m so grateful for your podcast because that was literally – And I was thinking about this earlier, that was the first source I’d ever found that was focused the way that yours is, as far as the shame-free and the sex positive and not minimizing the issue that pornography is but bringing so much hope to me after struggling for so many years.
I felt just like it was such a good – It just felt like this is true when I heard it, that’s just how it felt. I was like, this is the right thing. And so I have listened to that every Monday since then. And a few months into listening to the podcast I hadn’t made a whole lot of progress, but my mindset was totally changing.
I remember feeling kind of lost as far as my habit and use of pornography, as far as still using it. But I remember my mindset for the first time was changing as far as what pornography is, what it means about me, what it means about my future and all of that we learn from your material and your podcast.
And I remember very, very clearly, it was probably, I don’t know, I was married now so this is like going on like a year or so of listening to your podcast. I was married and kind of willpowered through things a little bit. And I was running, again listening to your podcast, and it was an interview with I want to say Kat, I don’t remember who it was with.
But she basically kind of just called me out a little bit. She called all of us out and said, listening to podcasts is great and absorbing material and learning these things is great, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if we’re not applying it, was basically what she said I think.
David: And I remember just stopping and thinking, oh my gosh, I’ve got to do something. I’ve tried so many things and obviously these things aren’t working, and kind of the big answer and the big thing I knew I needed to do was to look into joining your program. That seemed like the best way to kind of apply all the things that I was learning and learn more as well.
So I asked my wife about it and she was very, very supportive about joining the program and we made it work financially. And I met Jessica, my awesome coach, and it’s just been the best thing ever. I completed my six months a few months back of doing one on one coaching with her and it’s completely changed everything for me in my life. So I’m forever grateful for the experiences I had with talking with Jessica.
Sara: Yeah, awesome. Thank you for sharing. And we’ll dive into some more specifics because I want to hear more details, but for people who maybe don’t know what the program looks like, when you join you can also there’s an option to have a one on one coach if that’s something that you want to do alongside the program material and the big group calls.
So you got to work with Jess, who’s awesome. Tell us a little bit about the challenges for you that you experienced in quitting porn that you had to work through.
David: Yeah. Well, like I mentioned before, I think a lot of my intentions weren’t quite there yet as far as why I wanted to stop. And I don’t think they were quite at the right place until I heard, like I said, Kat talk about the importance of applying what we’re learning. And for me, I knew at the time that that would be to join the program.
And that’s kind of when I started to think about my intention and I kind of realized that I felt like I was in a place where for the first time I wanted to really kind of just face this thing that I had dealt with for so long, but for me. Not because I needed to get married. Not because I had to go on a mission. Not because I wanted to look the part or be the part.
I literally felt like I could care less about all of that, about being the part or the person I was supposed to be. I literally just felt like deep down I was like, I’m done. Like I’m ready. And I remember I got an email from, I think, you. It was about your program and that there were openings coming up and I was like, oh my gosh, this is it. This is so it.
And so I think my biggest challenge before that was just not having my intentions quite ready yet. And then kind of facing that and changing some of the beliefs and the goals that I had and realizing that my intentions deep, deep down had changed and that I was really wanting to quit. Viewing pornography was kind of a challenge I was able to work through and that really helped me going forward, and to this day it’s still helpful.
Sara: Yeah, so when you joined and you started working with Jess, were you like ready? Was it like you had the right intentions now or was that something you kind of had to work through?
David: I mean, I think over time my motivation and my readiness improved, but I think for sure when I had that epiphany I felt pretty ready to begin changing. Obviously, I had tons of work to do and I wanted to make a lot of changes, but it felt like I was totally in the right mindset as far as wanting to head generally the right direction of where I wanted to go.
Sara: Cool. Okay, sorry.
Jessica: Can I add to that really quickly?
Sara: Absolutely. Sorry, Jess. Yeah, go ahead.
Jessica: Yeah. No, I think he’s right. When we started working together, David, I remember you were just like, you were really committed. You were like this is going to be it, this is it, this is the thing. And then as we started working together, I remember the first few weeks, the first few sessions we had together it kind of sneaks in in sneaky ways.
And I can’t remember exactly the specifics, but I remember just like we would talk about stuff like how your family was growing up, kind of like what you’ve already mentioned here. But you would describe it and we would talk a little bit about it and be like, oh. We would kind of point out, oh wait, okay, I see. I was doing that because of them and because of the fear that I had been taught.
And so it was kind of like I think you did come in very, very committed, but there was this kind of unraveling process of discovering all the sneaky ways that it had kind of been pushing you.
David: Yeah. And it’s funny too, because I remember going into it I was like, okay, we’re going to get this pornography issue out of my life. And I had the best intentions, but that was kind of it. That was like, that’s the problem, we’re going to get it out of here.
And then going into coaching it kind of went from like I saw the very tippy top of the iceberg, which is pornography, and we went deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper. And I was like, how much is down here? There’s so much going on.
David: And as frustrating as it was at times to discover so much from my past that I hadn’t really dealt with before, it felt so exciting the whole time because it was like there’s so much down here beneath the iceberg that I’ve never dealt with before. And it felt so good to finally face it and to talk about it. And things I wasn’t even aware of, it wasn’t like I was intentionally ignoring things.
Some of the things I think I was not facing and I was neglecting a little bit. But so much of it was just totally blind spots and things I had no idea about. And so to talk and work through those things with you was a total game changer in how I felt about the past and the future, and the present as well.
Sara: Yeah. Do you remember any of those like breakthroughs, transformations?
David: Yeah, I’m just trying to think of a good one. Do you know of any, Jessica? I’m trying to think of what would be good.
Jessica: I think we talked a lot about church. Like just different concepts in the church and beliefs.
Jessica: And kind of just tweaking them a little bit, because a lot of what you came in with was a lot of fear-based approach to gospel principles.
Jessica: And so we just kind of tweaked a little bit of them to be more compassionate and more loving and more, just more gentle for the process. Like allowing for that space of, okay, yes, this is the direction that I’m heading, but I’m not there yet. I’m in the process and that’s totally, totally okay. That’s even like the plan. So we worked through a lot of those kinds of concepts. I’m trying to remember the specifics.
David: No, totally, yeah, I remember I had so many great moments talking with you about those things. And I think one common thing too, that kind of goes with that is I had so much black and white thinking.
David: And I think I had a bunch of epiphanies when it comes to kind of the all or nothing thinking that I had and the black and white thinking. And that was a lot of, for me, what I feel like I was working through was kind of opening my mindset as far as it’s not just black and white, in life in general. And I think over time it literally felt like I was just adding more color to my life.
And the lens that I was looking through, just like I was seeing more colors and that black and white was kind of fading away a little bit. And as we worked through some of those issues that I had, it just provided me with an entirely different lens and way of looking at not just pornography, because that’s what I thought it was going to be, but it was all of life. My family, with my wife, with work, with church, it was everything.
Sara: Yeah, I love that. I love that you guys bring up religion because in every interview I do it’s always – Well, maybe not always, but there is often, even people who aren’t – A lot of people who listen to this are members of the Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a lot of people aren’t, but there’s always some religious deconstructing to do. And not in the sense, always, sometimes. But sometimes it’s deconstructing the whole religion. Sometimes it’s just some beliefs here that are really harmful, we’re learning how to think of them in new ways.
And there’s a place for where, just I’m thinking of listeners, there are people who really, really struggle with their religious beliefs and have religious trauma and are deconstructing, and that is totally valid. And that is important work. And that is beautiful work. And we can support you in that too.
And there are people who they want to hold on to their religion and they want to hold on to those beliefs, and you can still do that and deconstruct the beliefs that were, honestly, it’s hard to beat around the bush, they were just harmful.
Some of the ways we were taught, some of the things people taught was just harmful. And to pretend like it wasn’t is almost a little like gaslighting towards ourselves. It keeps us from healing. But it’s not so black and white. Go ahead, Jess.
Jessica: No, I agree. And I love that you mentioned that we can hold space for all of it, right?
Jessica: Like no matter where you’re at in that process or what you’re wanting for moving forward, we’re there, we’re here for you either way, right? No matter what, where you’re at.
David: Yeah. And that was something I was so grateful for, throughout the coaching and even listening to Sara’s podcast beforehand it always felt like the contrast was always like fear-based, before anything I heard from the program was all fear-based, it was kind of scare tactics.
And then once I heard about your program and was listening to your material, it was like a warm blanket being put over me. But it was motivating, it wasn’t kind of like accepting and not wanting to deal with everything. It was like accepting and like okay, but you’ve got this, here’s what we can do.
And just that feeling of comfort, and hope, and reassurance and understanding that it’s just a matter of changing the way we think about things. And that was just a big game changer for me. And that’s something I still feel about everything, is just a lot more hopeful about things. And I’m super grateful for that.
Sara: Oh, cool. So tell us a little bit more about that. Like how has that impacted other areas of your life? Relationships, impact.
David: Yeah, yeah. One thing that came up, I remember with Jessica, was I had so much fear around – How we worded it was I remember feeling like I needed to make it or I needed to figure it all out in order to be successful. And Jessica was able to help me kind of understand that we never necessarily figure it out or make it in life.
I think there are for sure ways we can be successful and figure things out, but not necessarily like we’ve figured it all out, we’re good, we’re good to go. And so that was a big fear I had, was feeling like I needed to figure everything out in my life. And, like I said with Jessica, it was kind of like that hope of realizing that I’m never going to necessarily figure everything out, but that’s okay and I’m just going to take it one day at a time.
And with pornography, with work, with my marriage, I just felt like there was so much hope with all those things. And it was never like –
Sara: Can I hop in for a moment?
Sara: I just want to say, even as you’re just saying that I can just, ah, like feel it in my body. I don’t have to have it all figured out. In fact, I’m never going to. Because sometimes, in my position sometimes I feel a little bit of imposter syndrome because people are like, this is really helping me, I’m a coach, I’m helping all these people. And then in my own life, I don’t have it all figured out yet. Even though I know all the tools.
Anyways, I’m not. I’m not that great is what I’m saying. I don’t have everything figured out. And I’m not going to and even the most brilliant people and people who have been psychotherapists for 35 years, like they don’t either. No one does. It’s okay. And that’s almost like the point. The point is to become okay with that.
Sara: Not to have it figured out.
Jessica: Wow. I remember when we were talking about that, and we were talking about like what would this look like if it were all just fun? Like what if we just approached all of this, like trying to figure out your relationship with pornography, your sexuality, your job, your relationship with your wife, what if we just looked at it as just a fun adventure, right?
Like we’re just going on this adventure and we’re just going to try out different paths and see which one is the most fun. And I remember in that session you were just like, oh, that feels so much better.
David: Yes, yes.
Jessica: It’s just so much lighter and like it should be fun. It should all be fun.
Sara: Love that.
David: I’m glad you bring that up because I remember feeling like there was some kind of reality that I had to face when it comes to adulthood.
David: And I remember kind of feeling like, and deep down I still feel it sometimes, like, well, I can be happy but then I’m going to face reality and there’s going to be like the smack in the face with work or with whatever it is for you. But for me it was especially with my career and with work and feeling like I had to face this kind of like, just adulthood is not fun and here we go. We’ve got to just grind through the hard parts.
But Jessica helped me realize that, yeah, there’s hard parts, of course. That’s a part of life. Life is 50/50, like you talk about, Sara. But we can make it fun. And it’s so important to be able to be considerate of our inner child and that it’s still in there and we still need to have fun and enjoy life.
And learning that and thinking about life in that way was a really helpful thing for me.
Sara: I love that. You say inner child, I’m curious, how has your relationship – And if this question doesn’t make sense, let me know. How has your relationship with your inner child changed since you’ve done this?
David: Oh my gosh, so much. I don’t think I had ever tried to have conversations with my inner child or I was never considerate of my inner child and the needs that my inner child had. And I think through coaching I was able to, and there was one specific coaching call we had when she had me go through a meditation exercise of breathing and kind of closing my eyes.
And she had me describe what that area in my life felt like or that part of me, I think, is how she talked about it. How that part of me felt and what that part of me, like what the colors were and what colors I felt, what feelings I felt towards that part of me. And kind of just questions like that. And it was the first time I’d ever dealt or faced or ever tried to engage with thinking about that part of me.
And that was super helpful to realize that my inner child in me has needs that aren’t always being met. And that the pornography use was something that I had kind of just for so long used as a coping mechanism and was what was being used as a way of seeking out freedom almost or doing a fun thing. And I was able to learn that I can replace that with something else. I can do other things for fun and I can do other things that feel freeing that are much better for me and myself.
So that was one of the things, I think, as far as my inner child, was just understanding what that is and what part of me that is and what it means and knowing the needs that I have as well.
Sara: Yeah, I love that, and not shaming it. It’s like, oh yeah, you were using this because it gave you these things that you needed.
David: Yeah. Yeah, 100%.
Sara: I love it. Okay, so tell us a little bit like just where are you at now? Before you were struggling, there was lots of shame. There was lots of worry around porn. You talked about the before, but tell us a little bit now. What’s been the big transformation for you?
David: Sure. I think removing so much of the shame, for sure has been a huge part of it. I feel so little amount of shame in my life right now with pornography and it feels so good. It just feels like I could just jump up and just scream. It just feels so freeing and just light to feel that heaviness and that weighted amount of feeling to kind of just be taken off my shoulders.
So that’s one big thing, is not having that shame there anymore in the same way that it was before. A big change that I was able to make as well at the very beginning was to stop tracking days I’ve gone without viewing pornography and to switch that to focus on urges. And so that’s been a huge game changer to just think about everything in terms of the progress I’m making and focus on the things that I’m learning.
And one thing I’m super grateful for in your program is the learn and move on tool. I think that’s a perfect example of instead of running away from things that you’re dealing with, just facing it and learning from it and moving on.
So that was something that was really helpful for me and changed my mindset with a lot of things in my life, even outside of pornography. Just things that I was struggling with and things that I wanted to work on instead of hiding from it and running from it, which is a lot easier to do, to face it and think about it.
And now I journal, I journal every single day. That’s one thing I started during my coaching was to journal. And that’s kind of been something that’s been kind of feeding my inner child a little bit. Just to have a free space to jot down notes and to write down things that I feel and I’m frustrated about.
And just to kind of find things like that in my life that allow me to feel free and that there aren’t restrictions as far as being strict with myself. And just kind of having a free space to think and to play has been something that’s been really helpful in the last few months.
Sara: Yeah, cool. Thank you, I love it. A lot of people find that even just that learn and move on tool that you talked about and counting the urges, that just takes away so much of the fear of having the urges in the first place.
And so now it’s just not ruling our lives and we’re just so afraid that we’re going to view porn or we’re afraid we’re going to have urges. It’s kind of like accepting, yeah, sexuality is a part of me but now it’s not controlling my life. And I know exactly what to do if I slip up, and I know exactly what to do to decrease the slip-ups and increase my ability to sit with those.
David: And that’s something else, I’ve kind of touched on that little bit before. But something I think is so important is for anybody listening who is struggling with pornography, just to realize that that’s such a small part of the issue.
David: And Jessica was able to teach me that if I’m a tree, I think that’s the analogy she gave. If I’m a tree, pornography is just one small little branch on the tree. And I was like, oh my gosh. And at first I was kind of like, no it isn’t. It’s the problem, it’s become a part of me, it’s such a big part of me.
And now I’m like, no, that’s such a small part of me. And that’s literally like the teeny tiny little part of me that has had a big impact on me, and at the same time though I have learned so much because of that little tiny, teeny branch and that issue I’ve had.
I can’t imagine not ever listening to your podcast or not being in a coaching program because there’s so much I’ve learned from all that and from the things I’ve struggled with. It has not been easy. It sucked a lot of the times, but there’s so much beauty to embracing a new way of thinking and kind of experiencing the change of, like I said, shifting from black and white to so many colors and seeing all of those beautiful, different colors and ways of looking at life.
And so I’m just so grateful for the things that I’ve learned and the things that I’ve been able to kind of switch as far as the way of thinking about those things and what pornography means about me.
Sara: Love it. Anything you want to add, Jessica?
Jessica: No, I think he just did such a good job of encapsulating that, I think. Because I think we do get stuck in the black and white thinking and we think, oh, this is such a huge part of me. And like you were talking about before you went on your mission, right? It seems like this big, huge, just thing that you have to carry on your back. And it takes so much of the focus.
And as you kind of pull back and really put it into perspective, when you do that, that’s when it can become a learning tool. It can become this thing that you learn so much from and that you learn so much more about yourself.
You learn about you, you learn about what you really want and what you want to become, what you want your life to look like. And that’s when, like when you’re able to take away that shame and put it in that perspective, then it becomes this thing that can actually be a really wonderful catalyst in your life for good.
Sara: Yeah, I love thinking of porn that way, as a catalyst. And because we get to the point where we can’t change our past and we have this porn habit. There’s nothing we can do about it and we had all these teachings and beliefs and this is just part of my life. Now what?
Guess what? This can become a catalyst to create, and this is why I say quitting porn is about so much more than quitting porn because there’s so much healing to do. You get to heal not just the part of you that’s viewing porn when you don’t want to be viewing porn, but you’re healing inner child, you’re healing beliefs about worthiness, you’re healing beliefs about shame beliefs.
And then you can take all of this and you can be like, what else do I want to create in my life? Because whatever I want, it’s available to me with these same tools of feeling discomfort, of being willing to fail, of learning from mistakes and just going after it and being committed, literally anything. Anything you want, you can create with these tools.
David: Yeah. Yeah, it’s the coolest thing. It’s so cool. And then this tool that I wasn’t even aware that I had as well starting out, and now to have a very clear understanding about that tool in my life and being able to strengthen it and apply it not only to pornography but, like you said, everything, everything in life that we face. And that’s such a game changer.
Sara: Yeah, what other areas – Well two last questions for you. I just want to ask, what do you think is possible for you now as a result of the work you’ve done to quit porn? And then the last question is just going to be any last insights?
David: Sure. I mean, I think everything’s possible now. I feel limitless as far as what I can do in my life because of the mindset that I have now and the ability I have to stop running away from things and to start facing things that feel uncomfortable and confusing. To be able to face them and kind of head on just nip it in the bud with good intentions and with the understanding of being considerate of my inner child needs and realizing that I don’t have to be perfect and that I can just take things one day at a time has been such a helpful thing for me to understand.
So I feel, as far as thinking about the future now, I feel more hopeful than I’ve ever felt before. And I can say that with 100% certainty, I feel so hopeful about the future. And I feel so grateful for everything that I’ve learned.
Yeah, I guess in closing, the last few things I wanted to add was just the importance and understanding, and I touched on it before, but just that pornography isn’t you and that it doesn’t define you as a person. And from someone who had held it in for so long and who I just felt like I had the label on my forehead of I’m a pornography user or a pornography viewer, to totally change that to like, no, not at all. Literally that’s just a small part of you.
And I think that same thing can apply to all other areas of your life or things that you deal with. And I think it’s so easy to feel like everyone around you is more successful than you and looks better than you and is doing better than you, but to realize that, first of all, that doesn’t matter. And second of all, they don’t have it figured out either. And they aren’t perfect, you’re not perfect. And just to face the future knowing that no one’s perfect and that they don’t have to figure it out, you don’t have to figure it out, has been something that’s been helpful for me as well.
Sara: Yeah, beautiful.
David: Just one last thing too, one last thing I’d add would be I remember in the past I’d hear people talk about in your interviews how they feel like they’d pay 10 times the amount they paid for the coaching program. I want to add to that and also say that I would pay 10 times what I paid for the program because there’s truly no price you can put on the knowledge that can be taken away from the program.
And it doesn’t come just by clicking apply or whatever, I think so much of it is the work you put into it. And I’m still putting into it, but I think there’s a limitless amount of knowledge you can gain and tools that you can obtain from the program as long as you’re willing to put in the work.
Sara: Yeah, thank you. Thanks for saying that. That’s funny. Anyways, when I hear people say that, it’s almost like I manifested it a little bit because that’s the goal. Like when I was creating the program, that was my goal throughout the whole thing. I’m like, I’m going to make this worth 10 times at least what people are going to pay for it.
So I love it when I actually hear someone say those exact words. It’s like, oh, that’s cool. So thank you for saying that. And I love your insights, love your story. Thank you so much for coming on today, David. We really, really appreciate it.
Anything you want to add, Jess?
Jessica: Just to echo kind of what you were saying, that it’s the work that you put in. And, David, you did so awesome. You were committed from the beginning and you always did all the homework assignments. And you showed up ready to be honest with yourself and look. And it’s just beautiful to see where you were to where you are now and the huge changes that have happened. And I’m just so stinking proud of you.
David: Thank you, Jessica. I appreciate that.
Sara: I love it. All right, you guys. Thanks for tuning in today. We’ll talk to you next 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 in to urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.
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