Why are they so mean?

Mean or feeling guilty?

Why do my loved ones snap at me, say mean things or criticize me? When this happens I tend to fall back into my old coping mechanisms of hiding and feeling fear and anxiety.

My support groups tell me that my loved ones lash out at others because they feel guilty. Sometimes I just wonder why they are so mean. I don’t know why they do and say as they do. It could be for many reasons.

I do know that when I can just let it go, like water running off my back, then I am much happier. When I take it personally it can send me into an anxiety and fear episode that can be difficult to extract myself from.

Today I want to be happy and have peace and joy in my life. So, I take a deep breath, remember all the tools I have learned, choose one that applies and practice using one of my new coping methods. Soon I am able to relax. I am happier, more peaceful and joyful!

knowledge is power Continued

Knowledge is power 4.

Addiction loses it’s power as you learn about it. Knowledge is power.

Addictive behaviors are often triggered by negative feelings. Many people do not know how to handle their negative feelings. If I know what to do and how to handle negative feelings, then I can choose healthy ways to deal with bad feelings. Many addiction counselors talk about the acronym HALT or BLAST: Hungry, Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stressed (Sad), Tired. These are negative emotional or physical states that the feeling brain wants to escape from. If the brain has a strong pleasure memory (such as the excitement of seeing pornography) stored in the hippocampus, it brings that out and turns it into a craving.

I like good feelings, it’s the bad feelings I have trouble with. I can teach myself and my children and grandchildren about feelings and how to deal with them. Family home evenings are good times to learn about feelings and positive ways to deal with them. We can play charades, role play events and emotions and positive responses.

It is important to teach children about pornography and how to have an internal filter. When my children were young I did not even think about teaching them about pornography and about having a plan to know what to do when they came across it. I did not think about teaching them about emotions and choosing healthy ways to deal with them. I was doing to the best I could at the time. Today I know better. I am trying to teach those around me.

Learn more at arp.lds.org and pornproofkids.org.

Knowledge is Power Continued

Knowledge is power 3.

Addiction loses it’s power as you learn about it. Knowledge is power.

Pornography almost always leads to thinking of women, children, young men etc, as objects rather than people with thoughts and feelings.

Addicts withdraw and are preoccupied. They think they are acting the same, but relationships deteriorate and the spouse often feels like their partner is far away emotionally and that something is wrong.

Addicts often talk down to the loved ones in their family and look at them as objects. This can lead to mental and emotional and even physical abuse. The addict can be critical of everything their partner does, says and is. The spouse will react in different ways depending on their personality. The spouse may react with anger and loud arguments can occur. They may believe what the addict is saying and their self-esteem will go down. They may try and do everything right and be perfect – but that is impossible. They may feel like they are always walking on eggs. They may try to control everything and everyone around them and be hard to live with. They begin to feel hopeless and helpless and that their life is unmanageable.

The addict’s behaviors impact everyone around them. Spouses may experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder including fatigue, depression, sleeplessness, confusion, indecisiveness, loss of appetite or over-eating, shock, denial, and anger. This can lead to a downward cycle of feeling fear, anxiety, shame, and obsessing over the addict’s addiction.

Learn more at arp.lds.org and pornproofkids.org.

Knowledge is Power Continued

Knowledge is power 2.

Addiction loses it’s power as you learn about it. Knowledge is power.

Addiction causes changes in the brain. Research is showing that viewing pornography can lead to a lifelong addiction that can be more difficult to overcome than addictions to drugs, alcohol or tobacco.

Studies have shown that pornography addiction leads to the same brain activity as alcoholism or drug abuse. Brain shrinkage has been documented in people addicted to pornography. Pornography can damage the brain just like drugs do.

We all have a thinking brain and a feeling brain (or survival brain). This is normal and they work together.

When an addiction develops, the part of the brain that controls the feeling brain (survival) takes over and is convinced that it needs the substance (drugs, alcohol, pornography) in order to survive. The feeling brain sets up extremely strong cravings to push us to get what it feels we need. Addictions end up taking away the addict’s freedom.

Freedom is taken away because with an addiction, the feeling brain gains control over the thinking brain. The feeling brain wants instant gratification – getting what it wants right now even if it can hurt you now or later on. Pathways are developed in the brain that are extremely difficult to break out of. When there is an addiction these pathways cause strong out of control cravings. Guilt – which is normal and from God helps us decide to change and return to God. But, often in an addiction, guilt turns to shame – which tells you that you are bad and cannot change.

Learn more at arp.lds.org and pornproofkids.org.

Knowledge is power

Knowledge is power. Addiction loses it’s power as you learn about it.

I’ve found it helpful to learn about pornography and addiction. Learning about addiction has helped me to have more compassion for my loved ones and has also given me hope that they can overcome this evil. This knowledge has given me hope that we can teach ourselves and those we love how to stay pure and clean even with the increasing evil in our world.

Pornography and addictions are hard subjects to talk about. I’d rather not think about them, much less discuss them. But, we live in a world where pornography is everywhere. Adults are addicted to pornography and children and teens are growing up addicted to pornography. None of us can afford to turn our backs to this. Having an internet filter is not enough – we must teach ourselves and others to have internal filters. We must talk about pornography in our families and teach ourselves and others what to do WHEN we are exposed to pornography. This knowledge makes pornography not a bad word, but an evil that we can fight.

What is pornography? Pornography is sexually explicit material that is intended primarily for sexual arousal. Pornography may include pictures in books, magazines, video games, and images on the Internet or your phone. It may also include lyrics in songs, movies and inappropriate conversations.

Pornography can lead to addiction just as cigarettes, alcohol and drugs can.

Learn more at arp.lds.org and pornproofkids.org.