The addiction I had was eating away at my self-esteem, and there was very little about myself that I was happy about.
Allow me to tell you a story. A few months ago, I found myself breaking down in the lavatory of an airplane I was on. I was crying and sobbing uncontrollably, and I had to fight the urge to bawl out loud. I was on a red-eye back to LA; I did not want to disturb other passengers.
My breakdown on a plane tens of thousands of feet up in the sky was my own doing. I was in the lavatory, masturbating to some random porn video I looked up online. I was about three minutes into the video when the realization struck me. I was an addict and was no longer in control of my body.
After calming myself down and getting back to my apartment, I decided to quit cold turkey. I had to reclaim my agency, and I wanted to do it quickly. Little did I know that suddenly ceasing all forms of self-stimulation would manifest the same symptoms as a meth addict undergoing withdrawal. I needed help. I needed someone to help me.
After talking to my closest friends, we all agreed that I should go on a yoga retreat in an attempt to find spiritual refuge and counseling. The addiction I had was eating away at my self-esteem, and there was very little about myself that I was happy about. After four days in that yoga retreat filled with more crying and plenty more realizations, I felt I had a spiritual awakening.
The one thing I learned and took to heart from my experience was that I needed to remember that this was a process. I needed to bear in mind that my road to recovery was going to be a series of highs and lows that I had to experience and learn from. The first few weeks were hard, but over time, and especially with the help of my spiritual advisors, I soon learned to deal with it.
I would unwind and meditate every single time I got the urge to masturbate. Fighting that urge was hard, but over time I learned to extend the time it took between the urge and when I acted on it. I knew that most of the time I would act on those urges when I had nothing to do or when I was alone, so I filled my day with activities–yoga, making art, even going outside and hanging out at the closest coffee shop–to help me take my mind off of masturbation.
I know some people might say I’m in the wrong, but I truly believe that aromatherapy played a huge part in overcoming my obsession with masturbation. One of the yoga practitioners I went to the retreat with gave me some essential oils she got from nhc.com. I bought an oil diffuser and would use it whenever I had urges and needed to meditate.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still do believe that masturbation is perfectly normal and healthy for an individual to do, but when you don’t have control over when and where you decide to do it (like I did), that’s when it becomes a problem. Yoga gave me my spiritual awakening; it helped me reconnect with my body, and it allowed me to feel like myself again.
This content is sponsored by Mian Azhar.