Fight the New Drug

Fight the New Drug Video: My porn recovery story

***To see my featured talk "How Love Defeats Porn" given at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. click here. ***

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"What's one more?": The Epidemic of Escapism

Ever seen that Gatorade commercial with guys in the weight room or football field yelling “one more”, as they do one more rep, one more squat, one more fall-and-back-up on the football field.  “One More” is even written on the ceiling as a man weight lifts on the bench.

            I’d venture to say that we’ve all experienced a kind of “what’s one more?”, but maybe of a different nature.

"What’s one more potato chip?"

What’s one more scoop of ice cream?  One more Oreo?  One more French fry?  One more brownie?  One more Diet Coke?  After all, it is diet.

What’s one more YouTube video?  One more pep talk from Kid President.  One more Breaking Bad episode?  One more music video.   After all, what did the fox say?

What’s one more game? One more level on Minecraft, World of Warcraft, or Final Fantasy?  One more dominance on Madden, Call of Duty, Halo?  One more touchdown, sniper shot, chance at capturing the flag ---red team wins.

What’s one sitting of Thursday Night Football?  Well, my real team plays Sunday at 1.  And my Fantasy quarterback is playing at the 4:25.  I have to catch Manning, I mean, Brady, I mean, Rodgers for Sunday night.  And everyone looks forward to Monday Night Football.  What’s one more check on my Fantasy team?

What’s one more drink?  One more shot?  One more Coors?  One more Miller?  One more Bud to keep us company?

What’s one more press on the snooze button?  One more timer of 20 minutes?  One more hour?  Or another?  Or another?

What’s one more porn video?  The first one was out of curiosity.  While we’re here what’s another one?  Or another one?  OK, let’s stop, but let’s end on a better one. ...What’s one more?

Once you pop...
What’s one more time in the bedroom with her, with him?  We should probably stop, but it’s not like he wants to stop yet, she wants to stop yet?  We’re being safe, responsible.  What’s one more time?

What’s one more cigarette?  Or one more hit?  Just one more to escape for a moment.  To escape.  Just one more. 

Whew, I’m hungry. 

What’s one more potato chip?


            If you’re like me, you’ve told yourself “one more” to one, or two, or many of these instances in the past as recent as last month, last week, or the last hour.  It’s not like all of these things are intrinsically evil in themselves.  There is no harm in that one chip, one YouTube clip, or even that one hit on snooze.  Nor is a cold one during a celebration.  But what’s happening when it becomes one more, or another, or another? 

            One word: escapism.  What are we escaping from?  It’s that hard question we do not want to deal with.  That wound in our life we do not want to face, that insecurity, that fear, that “am-I-good-enough?” feeling.  The let me “feel-good” for just one moment.  Let me escape.

            Maybe it’s the lack of purpose.  The feeling of “does-this-even-matter?”  The “when-will-I-ever-use-this-formula-again-that’s-what-calculators-are-for” feeling.  (Shout-out to my lovely wife, a math teacher).  The feeling of “why-dress-up-it’s-not-like-I’ll-talk-to-any-guys-and-will-never-get-married”The feeling of “what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-anyway?”  Let me escape.

            Or maybe the hardest, a lack of discipline.  An unset schedule between classes or a span of afternoon work with no deadlines (given to you or given to yourself) is just asking for a distraction disaster. The "I-know-I-can-do-this-in-an-hour-so-I'll-wait-until-tomorow" which actually turns into doing it 30 minutes before it's actually needed.

            The answers?  Dealing with our wounds?  Dealing with purpose and motivation?  Dealing with discipline?  Another post.  (Although hint: going confession to start over again, fasting for a cause or a person,  falling in love with God in your own personal way, paying attention to positive things we love like music playing, reading, and exercising, and setting specific time schedules with accountability and are all places to start). 

            But it begins with that desire to want to.  It’s not like the distractions come to us, we come to the distractions.  It’s St. Augustine all over again: “Give me chastity, but not yet.”

            Maybe I’m talking to you.  I’m definitely talking to myself. 

Until then: what’s one more?


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