Ep. 63 - Podcast Thumbnail Title: Podcast Thumbnails

#63 – Who Joins A Recovery Program?

Ep. 63 - Podcast Thumbnail Title: Podcast Thumbnails

Pornography, like any other freely available drug, has the potential for misuse and overuse. Not only is it accessible, but it’s being actively used at an alarmingly high rate.

Overcoming porn addiction isn’t as easy as one, two, three. It needs commitment, patience, hard work, determination and  perseverance. Especially in today’s culture and society where the stigma of porn addiction is still there, overcoming porn addiction is increasingly challenging.

The stigma of porn addiction can make it especially difficult for many people to decide to enter a recovery group or program.  The main barriers to seeking treatment for porn addiction are fear of what people will think and how those in need of help will be treated by peers and the society at large.

In this episode, Sammy and Andrew talk about who High Noon programs are made for and who can benefit the most from joining this program, as well as why some people hesitate to join these recovery programs. They’ll also be sharing the testimony of Benny who overcame his porn addiction by the help of High Noon programs and community. 

Listen to this episode to get help in regaining your sexual integrity or help others in their journey because it’s much easier to face that stigma and concentrate on the challenge of healing when we work together.

  • The main barrier is that people stop right before they’re about to make a big change in their life, for one reason or another.
  • Using porn as an escape from isolation when what they really needed was connection.
  • Porn addiction is a sign of weakness and puts into light their behavior that they don’t want to acknowledge or to address.
  • HN Recovery program not as therapy but a gym for sexual integrity to work it out, to have strength and power and clarity.
  • If you hang out with the right people, then your standards automatically go higher.
  • If you surround yourself with greatness, greatness is inevitable.
  • Strength is when you’re building integrity even in the face of adversity.
  • If you’re doing well in your life of sexual integrity, it’s important to give other people help as well.
  • The real way to reinvent yourself is attempting to be you.
  • Strive to change things not on the outside but actually transforming yourself from the inside.
  • Growth is not possible internally without other people.
  • When you join groups, you create relationships with yourself and with other people.
  • Your testimony is extremely valuable.

Episode Transcript:

Andrew Love  

Welcome back to Love, Life and Legacy, a podcast that helps you win, just win everything all the time, especially in the area of sex. In today’s episode, Sammy and I tackled the issue of who High Noon programs are for, because there’s a lot of misinformation there. There’s a lot of scare tactics that people are giving themselves. What we want you to understand is that the criteria is a lot broader than you think, and that there’s a lot more people who should be in this program who think that they shouldn’t because they have a misunderstanding. So let’s clear some stuff up and enjoy today’s episode. 

Andrew Love  

All right, everybody, welcome back here in this time and space where we exist right now. Sammy and I, we collectively exist in the beginning of the new year. This is our first podcast in the new year. There’s a wall for some people, when they meet us, they’re like: Wow, this is really cool. And then when they hear that they could maybe have a better life, with more sexual integrity, they can get rid of some bad habits, they get excited. But then when they look at the potential solutions, a lot of people stop and they say: No, I don’t know if I can join a group, I don’t feel like it’s for me. So we have this ongoing issue. It’s not just us, it’s every recovery program. This is the main barrier for a lot of them, is that people stop right before they’re about to make a big change in their life, for one reason or another. The story that a lot of people are telling themselves is: I’m not one of those people that need something like this. I can deal with it by myself. So we wanted to get into that and unpack who would be a good fit for High Noon University, for our Ascend Recovery Program. If you’re already in it, we want to hear your testimony because the more people hear testimonies, the more that they are encouraged because: Oh, that person’s like me, I should do this too. To start us out, Sammy is going to blast your mind with an amazing testimony we just got today from a young man. So Sammy cueing you up, bruh.

Sammy Uyama  

Yes, so shout out to Benny, our boy Benny, for sending this in and letting us use it. Also props to him, he had no idea that we’d be using this way but it’s such a great story, and just perfectly illustrates this point that we want to make with this episode about breaking concepts about who actually participates in our groups and the kind of people that should consider joining High Noon group. So here we go. 

Sammy Uyama  

Hello, hello, my name is Benny. I’m 22 and I’m from London, UK. I’m currently studying physics at a University. Last year during the lockdown, I fell back into an old habit of watching porn with a desire to restore my sexual integrity. I signed up for the Ascend Program on High Noon’s website. It helped to a certain degree, but somehow I kept slipping up again and again. At the end of every daily lesson, there was an invitation to join a weekly group call. I was very skeptical about these calls. I felt that only a real addict would join the calls, and was also worried what my family would think of me if I joined. I saw the invitation every day but had no intention of joining. Eventually, however, I reached a very low point where I lost all hope. I believe that there is no way out of the self destructive cycle of porn addiction. I was heartbroken, I thought there was no way for me to heal and that it would always be an issue for me. At that point, and with nothing else to lose, I decided to join a weekly call for three months. 

Sammy Uyama  

I’m so moved and comforted when I looked back on those three months. The progress that I’ve made is incredible, and I’d never have done it without the awesome brothers in my group. My heart is so relieved now. I firmly believe that there’s a path for me, and indeed for anyone to heal can make it through if I have my brothers by my side. The weekly calls have been phenomenal for me so far, and I tend to stay involved with them for a very long time. We’ve made all the difference is knowing that I’m not alone on the path of recovery. I see now that I was never going to master the addiction by myself. I was using porn as an escape from isolation when what I really needed was connection. Now I feel like I don’t need pornography anymore because I belong to a tribe. I’m grateful for the work that High Noon is doing and looking forward to going along the path of sexual integrity with them in the future. And I thought for you to consider, if you’ve heard about the weekly calls but haven’t joined one yet and ask yourself why? All the best, Benny.

Andrew Love  

So good. Now Sammy and I, we’re going to record this podcast regardless, and then this testimony came in beforehand. Perfect timing, because it’s from somebody’s mouth, who’s experiencing it in real time. The need for this group, even though it was the last thing that they wanted, it’s the first thing that they needed. Sound familiar? 

Sammy Uyama  

Yes. And this topic, it just hit us suddenly. It is such a relevant and simple thing. For me, this is just a misconception. Andrew, you expressed perfectly the attitude that a lot of people have with joining a group, is that everything looks great and I think it’s awesome. They just have this concept about the kind of people who would do something like participate in a porn recovery group, and the resistance of identifying is whatever that kind of person looks like to them. They don’t want to be that kind of person, a person that can’t handle something by themselves maybe. It’s a sign of weakness, or it puts into light their behavior in a way that they don’t want to acknowledge or to address. 

Sammy Uyama  

For me, it makes me take a step back because when I look at the people in our groups, they’re just the coolest dudes. 

Andrew Love  

Yes. 

Sammy Uyama  

How many people deal with a porn habit and don’t want it? And then how many of those people actually break through whatever barrier is, to sign up and to participate in a group with other people and to talk to them weekly about how they’re doing with porn?

Andrew Love  

Yes. 

Sammy Uyama  

It’s just like the people that take their lives the most seriously, that they recognize the effect that is happening in their lives, and they want to grow. They want to be good husbands, they want to be good fathers. We got people who have children, we got people who are married and blessed, we got people who apparently married and blessed or who want to be one day.

Andrew Love  

Yes, I think this is the interesting thing because in the realm of therapy, it’s like: I don’t need therapy. I’m not crazy, so I don’t need therapy. That’s bad marketing, I guess, on behalf of therapy. Because if you think about it in different contexts like: I want to be physically fit but I’d never go to a gym because that’s where fat people goes, like: No, that’s where people go to get fit, or I don’t want to go to a school because that’s where stupid people have to go. It’s like: No, that’s where you get smart, ideally, if it’s a good school. 

Andrew Love  

So if you think about it in that context, it’s really silly and it’s just baggage that we have from the world of wanting to look perfect and not feeling like you don’t want to admit that you’re not perfect, even though nobody’s perfect. But that there’s something wrong with you, this stigma. There’s still stigma about mental health and stuff like that, because there’s still a lot of unanswered questions. I think, if people could see this as not therapy more as a gym for sexual integrity to work it out, so that you can have strength and power and clarity. That’s way better. So much better analogy, much closer to reality, because you’re just with a bunch of gym buddies. 

Andrew Love  

I’m telling you, when I was in high school, late high school, I had these buddies, they’re all taller than me. All stronger than me, and whenever we would go anywhere we go on our bicycles. If we’re going anywhere, even at night, we’d always take our bikes, and they would always go so fast and I could never catch up to them. I felt like a little wiener dog chasing after greyhounds. I was always way behind them, and I always felt such a baby. And then when I was with anybody else, I was lightyears ahead of them, because I had been training with these guys that was so like all they did was bike. That was like their life, and so they were so good at it. I was bad compared to them but compared to everybody else, I was amazing. This is the same thing, as if you hang out with the right people, then your standards automatically go higher, and you might not be able to reach them at first but if everybody’s striving for these standards, and pushing each other and embracing each other, supporting each other, you’re going to get there so much faster. If you just try to do it by yourself, it’s so easy to give up on yourself. So it’s a framework to experience what our groups are really like.

Sammy Uyama  

I have the exact same experience growing up actually. I always thought I was so averagely bad physically or at sports, and I realized what’s bad is the people I was hanging out with. Two of them now were pro frisbee players, and another one is on the  cusp of becoming a pro cyclist. I was just hanging out with 0.001% physical specimens.

Andrew Love  

What does that say about us? That’s a classic kind of self help tactic to surround yourself with greatness. But there is no such thing, formally, for sexual integrity. Except, now there is.

Sammy Uyama  

The guys in the groups, even in other areas, they’re so accomplished. Just looking at Benny, he’s a super smart dude studying physics. He’s such an eloquent writer, handsome dude, writes music, he’s just a stud. That’s just one of so many guys in the people in our groups. There’s one guy, he was on the verge. He’s shooting from a pro soccer player. People working for the Department of Defense. People who have really awesome careers, who have awesome hobbies and are just really good at different stuff. 

Andrew Love  

Yes. 

Sammy Uyama  

Even the coolest is I think some of the funniest people I hang out with.

Andrew Love  

Yes, absolutely. It’s just important to understand that if you surround yourself with greatness, greatness is inevitable. It just becomes the air that you breathe. We have some people in some groups, honestly, who are pretty hard on themselves too. People who haven’t made a lot of progress. But had they not had that group, I can guarantee you that they’d be in a very dark place. Maybe they’re not in a place in their life yet to really catapult, they need to let some stuff go before they really experienced that growth they’re looking for. But this is like their lifeline. These groups are their lifelines. I do know also some other people are like: Yeah, I’m just not really growing as like them. 

Andrew Love  

Look at what you’re able to do. You’re able to show up, even when you made a mistake, you still show up the next week. That’s amazing. You’re building integrity even in the face of adversity, that strength. You’re building a strength that you can’t buy anywhere, you can’t fake it. That’s real strength, is when shame is looking at you in the face and yelling at you saying: No, give up. You’re not, because you’re showing up, and there’s something to that. There are muscles being developed there that are so deeply important for becoming a person that you would want to be, that you could be proud.

Sammy Uyama  

Yes. For so many people, sexual integrity is the final frontier. It’s really I think is the cream of the crop that is willing to face this issue head on, and that takes a lot of courage, the kind of character that that takes. I think you can have a better crowd. It’s just one thing I’d want to convey with this episode, it’s changing that concept that people have of fun. The weirdo loser guy that’s living in the basement, where it doesn’t do anything all day to engine terms, what we’re dealing with pro athletes here, from my perspective.

Andrew Love  

Yes, and also for women too. There’s women’s groups of all ages, we have men’s groups of all ages. There’s no excuse, and even if you’re in a decent relationship with yourself, when you’re hanging around with inspirational people, imagine you’ve trained your entire life to be a basketball player but you never have anybody to play basketball with. Well, now you do. If you’re doing well in your life of sexual integrity, then it’s important too that you give other people help too. Regardless of where you’re at in the spectrum of your own journey to be in and amongst other people who are focusing on their internal growth is keeping something alive in you that makes life worth living and makes things exciting. It was in that testimony that it was that camaraderie that’s the missing element in our society today of why so many people are in a very dark place in their life.

Andrew Love  

People are getting mentally ill, physically ill, spiritually ill,  and so much of that is because of isolation, not feeling connected to themselves through other people. We need to connect, and that’s what these groups are for. It’s talking about the best and worst of yourself and allows you to be you in the true sense. If you think about your life, day to day, how many conversations do you have that you were allowed to talk about the darkest part of your life? It’s weird, when you just bring it up at work like: Hey guys, you want to hear what I’m struggling with? They’re not ready for it, they can’t handle it, and most likely can’t help you. But if you’re in a group of people who are dedicated to caring about you, then you can get it out and then you can move on. 

Andrew Love  

You can then redetermine then say: Okay, that was your last week. How’s your next week going to be? And that’s really exciting too, because then you can experiment trying to be the person that you want to be. And that’s really cool, too. When I was in middle school, I was really trying to reinvent myself but I was trying to do through fashion and through all sorts of stupid stuff. It’s really embarrassing because I was trying it out, but not really in a safe place. I remember I borrowed my sister’s bell bottoms once because I thought that might work, and that totally flopped and I got made fun. I was like: Alright, come back. I’ll come back swinging. So then I came back with some other goofy outfit, I thought it was going through a sarcastic phase in sixth grade, and I wrote “You’re a loser” on the bottom of my pants, because I thought that would be cool. But I misspelled loser, and I put two O’s in it. 

Sammy Uyama  

Who’s the loser now?

Andrew Love  

My mom and my sister have just been so harsh. So that’s the not safe way and the fake way also, trying to reinvent yourself is through fashion or through trends. The real way to reinvent yourself is attempting to be the you, the vulnerable you, the joking you, the support of you, the one that you want to be. You can test that out in this group, because in a way you’re shedding your old skin which was the fake you, that was addicted to escaping who you really are, and then you can try out being your true self. And that’s super exciting… 

Sammy Uyama  

I was going to wait for it. I was going to let it build up, but Andrew, you’ll never be a loser in my book. 

Andrew Love  

That was just the beginning of my disaster, but you can move on.

Sammy Uyama  

But what you’re saying it’s the difference between changing the things on the outside but actually transforming yourself from the inside, and then that affecting how you’re on the outside, rather than just trying to find the right analogy, this isn’t that rather just finding the right diet, right exercise programs, just changing your mindset about your health and about why dessert be healthy and why it’s necessary for you to be healthy. The kind of person you are is someone who just lives a healthy life.

Andrew Love  

Yes. And as you go on your health journey, if you’re getting really serious, and we’ll stick with this analogy. When you get really serious about your health, you don’t stick with the same regimen forever. That’s insincere because our bodies change, information changes, and it’s important to always keep pushing yourself to be healthier and healthier. As you do your definition of what it means to be healthy changes as well. It adapts, as you grow, your understanding of it grows as well, and then ideally, your implementation grows. So same with your sexual integrity journey is, as you’re reinventing yourself, what you think is possible grows. It changes, it morphs, and then you want more and more free life until you just become a really happy person. 

Andrew Love  

I was thinking about this today, happiness at the end, the older you get, if you’re really working on what is really happiness, it ends up being a lot more like what you remember being when you’re a kid, which is just being you and having fun and being sincere, and when you feel like crying, crying And when you don’t, you don’t. Not holding things in and just with the inclusion of responsibility doesn’t mean we just go back to stealing people’s candy in the playground. But more just to be a real authentic version of ourselves actually resembles a lot more like what we started out as, and a lot less like all the stuff that we’ve adapted in a way to compensate with what we’ve been missing in our heart. 

Andrew Love  

So we want you to experience this journey. Growth is not possible internally without other people. That’s one thing that I think most religions miss out on, because they really talk about individual perfection a lot, but they don’t talk about what happens next. What happens after you’ve reached Nirvana? Let’s say, in some religions where you go to a mountain and you meditate for 20 years. Let’s say you get to the point where you can levitate, and you can just be happy all the time, and then what? What about your family? What about the people who are suffering? That’s what I love about our faith is that it really is actually perfection including other people. It needs to, and it’s the perfection of relationships that we’re after. Relationship with yourself and with other people, and that’s what happens when he joins these groups. 

Andrew Love  

You learn how to relate better with yourself and with other people. So everybody needs help with that. I hope we’re selling you on this, because we just want everybody to be a part of it. Because it’s something so simple that anybody can do. It takes about an hour a week, and then you can experience growth. Absolutely. If you put in the work. It’s not complicated, but it’s just hard for a lot of people to fit it into their mind, because they just like: Next time or maybe later or whatever, these are all just excuses for wanting to stay stuck, because at least you’re used to being stuck. You don’t have to do that scary thing, like going to school for the first day. That’s scary for a lot of people. 

Sammy Uyama  

That’s all we got for you guys today. Just the bottom line, you should be in a group and you will have a fantastic time being in a group. 

Andrew Love  

And if you are in a group and you’ve had a great experience, give us your testimony and tell other people about it. It’s really incredible to see the power of a testimony. And it’s also really saddening to see when some people do make a huge turnaround in their life, and then they run out the door. We never see them again, that again, it’s not just about you and that’s what you realize more and more that when you go on this journey it’s like the more you want to give back, the more that you heal, it means that you have extra room in your heart to care about other people. 

Andrew Love  

So please don’t be shy to testify about what you’ve been through. When you meet with somebody, if they’re struggling, your testimony is extremely valuable. Even if you’re not perfect and nobody’s perfect, you’re still ahead of somebody, and your testimonies are really valuable for them. So please, if you haven’t joined a group, join a group. And if you have joined a group, help other people join a group. Let them know about it, hug them. Let them know that there’s a community out there for them. There’s a tribe, like Benny said, there’s a tribe.

Sammy Uyama  

It’s all we got for you guys today. I guess we’ll see you next time. All right, guys. Take care.

Andrew Love  

Hello, everybody, Andrew Love here for one last announcement and that is, I encourage you to join our newsletter. We don’t spam people, we give you the goods. We give you good quality information once a week in your email. And so we send out newsletters probably Saturday’s mid morning on average, and these are filled with blogs, the latest content, everything you need to know in order to get to your week with High Noon Light. So let us light up your inbox, join our newsletter by going to highnoon.org. It’s all right there. It’s super easy, we won’t spam you. We just want to let you stay connected to this High Noon providence. So go to highnoon.org and sign up for our newsletter.

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