In college an area of psychology that truly intrigued me was the area of addiction, mainly how addiction rewires the human brain and changes the way human behave. I’m pretty sure what stopped me from fully pursuing the route was the amount of schooling and debt that I’d rack up at the end of all. Still, however, the area still fascinates to this day. And something that came to my attention recently was the idea “hijacker”.
That is, in simple terms it’s very much like a voice in the human brain that tells us it’s okay to go back to the things that give us comfort. It doesn’t have to be things as extreme as drugs or pornography. But it can be things as simple as food, spending money on things you don’t need, binge watching a show and so on.
The “hijacker” is the voice that says “it’s okay, go back to whatever substance it is, you’ll feel better after.” And that’s the lie, you might feel better after. But your still stuck in the same old destructive cycle. Still filled with shame, regret and feeling hopeless…
And yet we are not hopeless. Recently I heard a therapist say that the hijacker isn’t you talking. The Hijacker is the one you can feel starting to raise its voice in the certain contexts that make us want to run back to fake comfort. The apostle Paul had an extremely similar thought process in Romans 7:14-15 when he said:
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
Paul understood that this wasn’t necessarily him, but something else trying to take over. And that’s the key to winning the battle. We have to start to be on watch, so when it does lurk its head up. We can notice it and quickly shut it down.
You can heal. You can overcome. But it won’t be own your own or on your own strength.
I believe that one of the hardest elements of fighting any addiction, be it porn, sex, food, drugs or what have you. Is actually believing that you can fight back against it. The truth is that when we have been bogged down by addictive patterns for so long it can be extremely difficult to believe that anything better can become of your life.
Being that I fight my own addiction daily (porn), there was a time when I deeply believed that I couldn’t break free from the grasp that addiction had on my life. So I basically surrendered myself to this addiction, believing that it was now my master. Eventually though, I became sick of looking at pornography and quickly realized that it was never really that satisfying as people made it sound.
And if we’re honest, we might very well say the same thing. We also have to remember that simply because people choose porn over a real person, yes very little to do with them actually being “satisfied” and more to do with the wiring in their brains being so high jacked.
There are some therapists who claim that there are some people, whose brains will never be the same because of how much exposure they have had to pornography. While that might be true, it does not mean that things cannot get better. Far too many in medical/ helping professions have very little belief in faith and what inner strength and courage can actual do.
When I first started walking away my own addiction, it was the most difficult challenge I have ever had to face. Everyday that I fought the temptation grew stronger. There were many times when I had no choice but to get on my knees and cry out to God for help. There were many times when I would call a friend or spend lots of time in the gym. Anything to get myself through the tempting moments. Slowly but surely, days started to stack on top of one another.
By God’s grace, my desire to look at poronagraphy became less and less. And I began to desire a real relationship, with a real woman. Change is possible, healing is possible, hope is possible. You just have to be willing to commit to a daily fight. One that you will not win on your own.
As a psychology major, one area of study that has caught my attention of the last few years is substance abuse. Also known as chemical dependency. Ironically enough, Christians have questioned why a biblically centered college has a program like this.
Shouldn’t it be obvious? Every single one of us is addicted to something, the question then lies in whether we know it to be true of ourselves and whether we are willing to admit it as well.
What’s my addiction then? Pornograpy, yes I am a Christian and I struggle daily against the temptation to view pornography. How hypocritical right? I’m not afraid to say so myself, the fact is no is consistent with how they live their lives all the time.
I am not proud of having this vice in my life, in any way. Yes I’m aware that sex is a gift. One to be enjoyed and even to be longed for. But in a certain context. The context of marriage with a real person. The research is very clear that pornography is extremely harmful to the brain
The amount of shame, guilt and regret that has stemmed from this has almost been too much. God’s grace has been the only way that I have gotten through this. It hasn’t been easy, I’ve made it over 90 days without it in my life. However, I have recently relapsed back into the habit again.
It’s sucks and I feel horrible about it, but I’m not giving up the fight. And neither should you. I don’t care if you addicted to overeating, and you recently filled your stomach with so much food you couldn’t get out of bed the next day. Get back on the saddle.
The last thing we need to is to enter a cycle of self hatred and abuse. Know that you are forgiven and cleansed.