Sometimes you look for a little place to write something that’s hidden away from all but a few in this world. This blog was my place in early recovery. I looked at my stats the other day for the first time in a while, and two things jumped out at me. First, 2023 is the seventh calendar year that I’ve been operating this blog. It started back in late 2017. Second, 2022 was biggest year, despite only putting up 9 postings (compared to 41 in 2021) and 2023 is already on track to be an even bigger year.
This happened because I’ve been very busy building some kind of business/brand around pornography addiction and betrayal trauma education and coaching. I’ve written four books to this point, did a TEDx Talk, have been interviewed more than 400 times for various TV, radio, print and podcast outlets, have nearly 110,000 followers on TikTok and my coaching business is finally starting to pay all the bills.
In the beginning, there was just a blog
When I sat down to write my first book in 2016, I had no idea where this would all go, but I must say that I am overall pleased. The money is OK, and the recognition soothes a giant ego, but I genuinely most enjoy when somebody says that I’ve helped them get better. For the first 37 diseased years of my life, I would have laughed and mocked someone who said that. The reality is recovery worked. I became a better, different person.
I think a lot of that growth happened early on when I was first writing this blog. Even though I quit porn in early 2014, I think the real work on me becoming a better person was just starting and regularly writing here and getting feedback from a small but loyal group of readers was a big part in how I did it. I learned so much about empathy, compassion, caring simply through this blog community.
Back in 2018 I was just trying to get on any podcast with three listeners I could. Last week I was asked to appear on comedian Jim Norton’s podcast, and it’s already got something like 15,000 listeners. It was a big deal back then if 100 people read a blog entry over a week. Now I consider it a failure if 1,500 people don’t view a video I made on TikTok that day. I’ve built something here, but I didn’t realize how much I truly have changed as a person over the years.
A reminder I’m human
Recently, I had a big piece of my world torn apart, and it caught me completely off-guard. I don’t want to use porn or drink to soothe myself. Those coping methods are a thing of the past. This lifequake I’m experiencing is proving to me that I’m as recovered as one can get. I would have used if this happened 12 years ago. I am not inclined to use at all today.
This massive life change I’m still in the early stages of processing has left me in tears many days and my heart aching every minute of every day. I’m feeling things that I’ve never felt before. I guess these are the things that healthy people feel. I’m sorry I was never compassionate enough to realize. I wasn’t capable of those feelings back then.
When I look back over the last six or seven years, I can see the growth of me both as a person and as a brand. Neither of them would have happened without this stupid little WordPress blog that almost nobody can even find on my website these days. And it wouldn’t have happened without that amazing group of people who were regulars back then. I hope that at least a few find their way to this entry. It may be the only one in 2023.
Nothing but gratitude. Thank you.