Garrett Jonsson stared at the ceiling, unable to sleep, and unable to hold in his secrets anymore. At that moment, he decided that it was time to tell his wife of six years his darkest secret.
A pornography addiction was shaking him to his core.
Garrett works as a podcast host and public speaker for the Utah based anti-pornography nonprofit organization ‘Fight the New Drug.’ He describes his challenge on the latest episode of ‘Project Recovery.’
Garrett’s curiosity for pornographic content begins
Garrett says he began to obsess about pornography at the tender age of ten. His earliest memories traced back to watching it with friends.
“I was with my football buddies and we were at a sleepover and there was a show on … I was exposed to pornography,” he said.
He still remembers everything about it, even though he is in his mid-thirties.
“To this day, I can still remember the scene that I saw,” he remembered. “I can remember exactly how I felt.”
According to Garrett, he fantasized about that scene for many years. He realized that he needed to see more and his friends were going to be the perfect outlet to help.
“We would all look at porn…I remember going to a friends house after school…and we would look at Playboy magazine,” Garrett described.
Technology’s shift alters the pornographic landscape
Garrett began to try and navigate this new curiosity, but at the same time, technology had begun to innovate the way he consumed visual-based content.
He also still believes he did not become addicted to porn until the rise of cell phones and personal computers made viewing more accessible.
“Even at 16, 17, I wasn’t addicted. I probably had a compulsive behavior, some type of unhealthy habit but it wasn’t an addiction until 2007,” Garrett said.
Instead of magazines, VHS tapes, and DVDs, Garrett shifted to watching porn every day on his computer and cell phone. Consequently, he says, his addiction was evolving while Garrett was floundering.
And yet, he dove in deeper, without realizing the harm he was putting himself through.
Addiction begins to eat away at Garrett
Throughout his teenage years, Garrett started to date and create relationships.
On dates and in the moment, he was alert and present. But all the time, the thought of watching porn ate at him. He ultimately realized he wasn’t going to be able to stop his addiction.
He found a new feeling that he wasn’t fully aware of — shame.
“I didn’t want to talk about how I was relying on pornography, for whatever reason I was hiding [it],” Garrett said.
This shame caused him to compress all of his feelings and never tell anyone about his challenge.
Unfortunately, addiction eventually bled into his marriage with his current wife. As a result of the shame, it took him six years to finally tell her about it.
Garrett recalled the night that he finally decided to tell his wife.
“This specific night, I was just on my back, looking at the ceiling…sitting in silence,” Garrett remembered.
He told her everything. Not only did he open up about his addiction, but he also finally explained how he felt. Mostly, he tried to ease his own pain. Ultimately, his wife was stunned and left speechless.
Finally, they spoke about his addiction weeks later. Furthermore, Garrett believes they have come out stronger than ever.
Garrett turns a new page
Now working as a podcast host and public speaker for ‘Fight the New Drug‘, Garrett credits the organization for ultimately pulling him away from the dark slide of his addiction.
The Utah-based organization claims that it “exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography.”
Garrett now spends his days raising awareness surrounding pornography addiction. He hopes that his work can help save someone who is ashamed and struggling to understand their own challenges.
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