First Thought Wrong

In the process of your recovery from porn addiction, you might begin to notice a strange phenomenon. You want to do better, you want to recover and get well, but someone keeps telling you that you can’t do it. It’s not a friend, or brother, or your partner, or your boss — it’s you.

Your mind can be a worthy adversary. Each time you make the decision to better yourself, a little voice tries to tell you things like “you’re a fraud,” “you’re weak,” “you can’t do this.” That’s your addict speaking. Your addict is absolutely desperate for you to believe that his story is the only story you have. If you find out that you have an essential self beyond the fear, shame, doubt, and self-hatred that your addict has been feeding you, he knows that he doesn’t get to stick around anymore. After knowing what you know, why would you let him?

So in reality, the voice of your addict may get meaner and nastier at this point in your recovery. In order to combat his negativity, we employ a tactic called “first thought wrong.”

Comedian Mark Lundholm made this phrase famous, and it rings true for many people in recovery. Doubt/intimidation will continue to try to work its way into your life via your addict. So, when you hear this voice lying to you or trying to get you to feel the way you used to feel, you simply say to yourself “first thought wrong.”

A Few Examples

You get into a fight with your wife or girlfriend, and it’s a bad one. There are hurt feelings on both sides, and nothing was really resolved.

“I’m going to go watch some porn. After the fight I’ve just been through I’m certainly justified.”

First thought wrong.

During your recovery you had a revelation that you want to go back to school and finish your degree. In the process of applying to a local college, you pause.

“What am I doing? Too much time has passed, and there’s no way I can actually do this. Forget it!”

First thought wrong.

You’re progressing through your recovery, and you are hopeful that it will continue to go well. You have had several major changes of heart, and have finally worked up the courage to contact the woman that you are romantically interested in. As you are working up the courage to ask for her number, you suddenly get cold feet.

“Why would she like somebody like me? I’m disgusting. What am I even doing? I’m going to go back to porn, that’s so much easier than real women.”

First thought wrong.

If you have begun to notice situations where you suddenly lose faith in yourself, you are not alone. Consider this the death rattle of your addict. In a last-ditch attempt to try to keep his hold over you, he’s pulling out every last insult and dirty trick he can think of. In these moments, you can always think “first thought wrong” and proceed past the negativity.

Give yourself the chance to have a second thought, because that’s the one that will be coming from the real you.

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