Breaking the Internet Trance

by Jeff Fisher on July 1, 2015

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When I get on the Internet, it is easy to fall into a trance and lose track of where I’m supposed to go. 

 I was sitting in front of my computer the other day I answering emails, responding to comments and reading blogs.  Before I knew it, an hour had gone by.  I stopped what I was doing to go get something to eat and then a very familiar feeling hit!  I felt myself fading back into the reality of my day.

 I had been so absorbed in the Internet world, I lost touch with reality, and time.  

I feel this other times too:

  • Playing video games
  • Watching TV shows
  • Seeing movies
  • Reading books
  • Listening to music or podcasts

video_games_on_page When I was heavily involved in Internet porn, this would happen a lot.  I would start clicking and get absorbed in looking at images and sites.  Then 2 or 3 or 4 hours would fly by.  Here’s the official, scientific, PHD formula for it (I think): 

My alone time + lust + searching stimulating sites = BAD NEWS 

 
Even if I’ve got my filtering and accountability software in place, I can still fall into a searching trance.  I’ve got to have a strategy in place to keep me from the trance. 

 
HELPS IN BREAKING THE TRANCE
1.  Do your other important work first – Your job and important work has to come first. 

 2.  Set a timer – Get a real timer and put it by your computer. 

 3.  Go to the Internet with specific goals only – Think ahead of time the specific sites you want to go to.  Only go for work purposes.  Only go for making a certain purchase. 

 4.  Have a checklist – Take 30 seconds to write down what you need to accomplish and check them off. 

 5.  Only go online when someone’s in the room

 6.  Only go online at a set time each day – Structure it.  Make it part of your routine. 

 7.  No idle searches – When you’re done, your done. 

 8.  Internet should not = Entertainment – You can’t afford to “chill out” on the computer.  It’s too dangerous.  We are too prone to giving in to problems.  Find something else to “veg” out one and to entertain you. 

9.  Give your spouse the password – If your spouse has to log you on he/she is conscious of your being on the computer.  It will take care of a load of problems. 


WHAT ABOUT YOU?
I’m sure I’ve left some good ideas out.  What advice would you give to others that would help them stay focused when on the Internet?  Leave your suggestions in the comment section on this blog.

Race Day: The Lowest Lows and the Highest Highs

by Jeff Fisher on June 30, 2015

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** I’ve been taking a different approach to our Porn to Purity blog this week.  I’m reflecting on my experiences training for and running the Buffalo Marathon in 2003.  There are many parallels to being successful in our sexual purity journey.   

Perhaps this marathon metaphor will help you think about your purity journey in a different light?   

It was so exciting to get to race day in the Buffalo Marathon!  I had trained for 5 months.  

GET TO THE STARTING LINE
The first goal of training for a marathon is get to the starting line.  Train hard.  But train smart.  Train in such a way that you maximize your chances of not getting injured.  

AN EMOTIONAL MOMENT
It was such a thrill to get to the starting line.  There’s such an excitement.  But I was surprised at the emotions that welled up in me.  A little teary for a moment.  So much training and commitment to arrive at this moment.  

THE FIRST MILE IS EASY
The first leg is the easiest.  The party had started.  Emotions were running high.  Music was playing.  People were talking and cheering.  

I felt no pain during Mile 1.  I think I ran the first mile a little faster than normal out of sheer excitement.  

THE NEXT 24 MILES ARE HELL
Then the reality of the race kicks in.  After Mile 1 the spectators thin out.  Many runners move ahead of me.  And very quickly I can feel isolated on my own.  

The pains didn’t kick in for a while, probably mile 7.  But at some point you realize you’re not running a fun run, you’re in a marathon.  

The marathon starts to bite back when…

Pains come – My first pain was a tight calve muscle that I had to stop and nurse. 

You hit significant mile markers – Getting to Miles 3, 6, 10 & 13 were challenging.  Those were places I’ve all gotten to before, but I knew I still had a long way to go.  

Other people succeed and you’re still going – The Buffalo Marathon course was laid out badly.  The halfway point for the full marathon was also the finish line for the half marathon.  So I got to mile 13, people were cheering, then the full marathoners were steered around the building away from the crowds — still with 13.1 miles left to go.  It was very difficult emotionally.   

Hitting a Wall – I hit a personal Wall at Mile 18.  

A “Wall” is the place where your body has had enough and is trying to give up.  Sometimes runners can’t go on and pass out.  This is the tough place where you have to find strength.  

Physically, emotionally and even spiritually I wanted to give up at Mile 18.  This is where I had to call on God for strength and decide if I really wanted to finish or not.  

It seems like this is the place where I had to keep going “one step further”.  Just put one foot in front of the other.  I did a lot of walking at mile 18.  

Eventually, I got my second wind.  Instead of walking and hobbling, I was mixing in some jogging.  I knew that it would be over eventually and I would find the finish line.  

CROSSING THE FINISH LINE
Crossing the finish line was a moment of pure elation mixed with exhaustion.  There were very few people there to greet me.  I was someone had stuck around to call my name out on the microphone.  But my wife and kids were there to cheer me on.  

It’s amazing how seeing the finish line and seeing my family cause me to pick up and run again, even after completing 26 miles.  

SOME OBSERVATIONS

  • My commitment to run and train was probably more important than running the race. 
  • The early miles are easy, the later miles can be very difficult. 
  • The test for many marathoners comes when they hit “the Wall”. 
  • The finish line is reward enough for the marathoner. 

A BLISTERING FINISH TIME
Below is my official time of 6:39:57.  Third from last (see below).  The only two people I beat were a lady in her 80s and a guy in his 30s that had not trained much.  

It’s laughable.  But it is, hands down, one of the most proud moments of my life.  

I had accomplished a life goal.  I was not able to run even 1 mile three years earlier, but had trained hard enough to finish a marathon!

Marathon / Sexual Addiction Posts:
1.0  – Running a Marathon on 5k Legs 
2.0 – Training For a Marathon:  3 Essentials That Will Save You
3.0 – Training For a Marathon:  Hurting in New Places & Finding Balance
4.0 – Race Day:  The Lowest Lows and the Highest Highs

** I’ve been taking a different approach to our Porn to Purity blog this week.  I’m reflecting on my experiences training for and running the Buffalo Marathon in 2003.  There are many parallels to being successful in our sexual purity journey.   

Perhaps this marathon metaphor will help you think about your purity journey in a different light?   

I had run for several years before I started training for a marathon.  I had run several 10k races (6.1 miles) and a couple of half marathons (13.1 miles).  So I knew a little bit about how my body reacted to big challenges.  

But there were a lot of unexpected consequences to preparing for a marathon.  I never thought I’d learn all of the places my body could hurt.  And I was surprised how long it took me to find the right balance so my body wouldn’t give out.  

  • My body would quit on me if I didn’t get enough rest.
  • My feet would hurt if my shoes were too tight.
  • My clothing would cause chaffing if I didn’t dress properly. 
  • My heart rate would get too high if I ran too fast
  • My knees and joints would have problems if I ran too much, too soon.
  • My muscles would tighten if I didn’t stretch before hand.   

If I pushed myself too hard, too soon, it would actually have a negative effect.  

RUNNING WITH “SUPER DAVE”
A good friend of mine named Dave would run with me sometimes.  He and I ran a couple of half-marathons together.  

Dave used to be in high school football, His coach’s philosophy of training was to “run as hard as you can, for as long as you can, until you can’t run any more.” 

Sounds great for the football player?  (it’s not really)  

But it’s terrible advice to follow when training for a long race.  

Dave and I pushed each other in our training.  He pushed me to be a little faster.  I pushed him to slow it down and go longer.  It was hard for both of us.  But it worked for us.  

I needed a push.  Super Dave needed to slow down. 

We both became better runners.  

OBSERVATIONS 

  • I had to become a student of my body to train successfully.
  • My body was capable of more than I expected.
  • I needed someone else around to push me. 
  • Good marathoners are constantly trying to find the balance between training and rest. 


Marathon / Sexual Addiction Posts:
1.0  – Running a Marathon on 5k Legs 
2.0 – Training For a Marathon:  3 Essentials That Will Save You
3.0 – Training For a Marathon:  Hurting in New Places & Finding Balance
4.0 – Race Day:  The Lowest Lows and the Highest Highs

Support Group Excuses – SQUASHED!

by Jeff Fisher on June 28, 2015

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Support group is such a great place to find healing from your sexual struggles.

I lead a group on Saturday here in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.  We meet from 9 – 11 am every week.  The group is  full of newbies and veterans.  All of us are working on our sexual struggles and seeking God’s help.

Don’t let excuses or wrong beliefs stop you from getting help and support.squashed_tomato

  • You’re never too old to start… we’ve had guys in their 80s start
  • You’re never too young to start… attendance requirement for our group starts at 18.  We have had several 18-24 year olds.
  • You’re never too far in your struggles to start… God will help you dig out shovel by shovel with the help of a group.
  • You’re sins are not too bad to start… we have had guys who deal with same-sex attractions, voyerism, exposure, child porn, and adultery.  God has helped them all.
  • You’re never too strong to not need support… you never master it. You get better, but always carry a vulnerability to sexual struggles.
  • You’re never too remote…  online groups are a great option for those who live far from face-to-face groups.

Need a local group?  Come to Raleigh and join us!

Need an online group? Email me at jeff@puritycoaching.com and I’ll tell you how our groups work.

** Today I’m continuing to reflect on the marathon I ran in 2003.  There are obvious applications to our sexual purity journey and sexual addiction recovery.  I’ll leave them to you to make the connection.   

Yesterday’s Blog:  “Running a Marathon on 5k Legs”

DISCIPLINE AND SACRIFICE
How can a busy person who works 40 hours a week train for a marathon?  

It’s not so bad for the guy running the 5k race.  A few sessions in the gym each week for a couple of weeks.  A little more time on the tread mill and your there.  

Not so with the marathon!  Marathon training require structure, discipline, accountability, and structure.  I had to be very intentional in my training.  

  • I had to have my goal in mind.
  • I had to start training several months back in order to build up my running.
  • I often went to the gym early in the morning.
  • I gave up my Saturday mornings to go on my long runs.
  • My family had to be supportive of me and my being out for a run.
  • I would sometimes run with a group of buddies. 
  • My body would often be sore.
  • I would have to eat right.
  • I would often be tired after my long runs and have to rest.
  • I would have to go to be early to get the rest I needed.   

Running a marathon is a great goal to have, but the personal sacrifice to get there is tremendous!  The discipline required is way more than I’m used to. 

FUEL MY BODY WITH THE RIGHT THINGS
The other thing that surprised me about preparing for a marathon were the changes to my diet.  

If I didn’t eat the right things it would affect me in my training.  I was very aware of my body and how I responded to food.  

I also had to learn to eat on the run.  When you’re running for a long distance your body can’t produce enough fuel.  So I had to learn to eat before I got hungry and drink before I got thirsty so I could continue. 

MORE OBSERVATIONS

  1. A big goal keeps me focused as I’m training for the marathon. 
  2. Marathon runners have to sacrifice a lot.
  3. Marathon runners need discipline and structure. 
  4. Others around me might have to sacrifice to help me achieve my goal.
  5. Marathon runners learn the value of rest and fueling the body. 


Marathon / Sexual Addiction Posts:
1.0  – Running a Marathon on 5k Legs 
2.0 – Training For a Marathon:  3 Essentials That Will Save You
3.0 – Training For a Marathon:  Hurting in New Places & Finding Balance
4.0 – Race Day:  The Lowest Lows and the Highest Highs

Running a Marathon on 5k Legs

June 27, 2015

** This week I’m going to share my reflections of my preparation for running the Buffalo Marathon back in 2007.  As you read this series of blogs, think about your own journey toward sexual addiction recovery and how it applies to you.  In 2007 I ran the Buffalo Marathon.  It was by far the hardest physical […]

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Help For Wives of Sexual Strugglers: Marsha Fisher

June 20, 2015

Hi Ladies, my name is Marsha Fisher.  I’m Jeff’s wife. If you’re the wife of a sexual struggler, it can be so hard.  Who do you talk to?  Who understands your unique pain and struggles?  Who’s has been where you are now and found God’s healing?  Where are the best resources. I talk with wives […]

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Help Now For Your Sexual Struggles: Mudwalking

June 19, 2015

Hey Guys – Jeff Fisher here with PorntoPurity.com and PurityCoaching.comHey Guys – Jeff Fisher here with PorntoPurity.com and PurityCoaching.com Some of you need a buddy in the trenches with you.  You don’t have anyone day in / day out to walk with you, talk with you and help you through the weight of your struggles. […]

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Help Now For Your Sexual Struggles: Accountability

June 17, 2015

Hey Guys – Jeff Fisher here with PorntoPurity.com and PurityCoaching.comSo many of us who struggle sexually don’t have any accountability.  We don’t have ANY safe person we can talk to about our struggles.  No one who is asking us the key questions we need to be asked.  We created this great program called Accountability Jumpstarts. […]

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Help Now For Your Sexual Struggles: Support Groups

June 16, 2015

Hey Guys – Jeff Fisher here with PorntoPurity.com and PurityCoaching.comSo many of us who struggle sexually are all alone, or at least we feel like it.  We don’t yet have friends we can hang out with who understand our struggles.  We have an instant solution for this.  Online & Phone support groups.  We have guys […]

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Help Now For Your Sexual Struggles: Purity Coaching

June 6, 2015

  Hey Guys – Jeff Fisher here with PorntoPurity.com and PurityCoaching.comThe heart of what I and my wife do is coach sexual strugglers and their spouses.  Coaching is not the best word.  Discipleship is.  We disciple and train strugglers to discover sexual purity and find God’s healing.  Coaching is support on all the key levels: […]

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