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173: Pornography, The Addiction Nobody Will Talk About with Author Joshua Shea
17th November 2021 • The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
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Joshua Shea is Dr. Brad Miller’s guest on Episode 173 of “The Beyond Adversity Podcast.”

Joshua is a coach, author, and speaker sharing his story and educating about pornography addiction. He specializes in coaching both men and women who are pornography addicts or are the partners of a pornography addict. He also coaches people dealing with trauma, is a certified betrayal trauma coach through the PBT Institute and has a life coaching certificate through KEW/CTAA.

In this episode, Joshua shared his experience of alcoholism and porn addiction. He talked about how he dealt with the consequences and turned his life around.

Joshua talks about how he became a porn addict at the age of 12. He dealt with emotional, sexual, and mental abuse as a child because of his babysitter.

After getting out of her babysitter’s care, he became exposed to the world of pornography. Seeing a pornographic magazine for the first time, he felt a warm glow inside him that’s very similar to how drug addicts feel. From exposure to pornography and alcohol at an early age to the point of his recovery at the age of 37, nothing mattered to him. Alcohol and pornography were the things he could count on to feel better.

Joshua says that “sex or porn addiction is not about what’s going on between your crotch. Food addiction is not about what’s going on in your stomach. Cocaine addiction is not about what’s going on in your nose. Addiction is addiction. It takes place in the brain.”

His pornography addiction worsened where looking passively at photos or videos wasn’t enough anymore. He would go to peer-to-peer chat rooms to get women to remove their clothes and do sexual things. At that point, he just made an illusion of control in his life.

The consequences of his actions finally caught him when the authorities came knocking on his door. The Maine State Police stated that Joshua was in a chat room with an underage female.

The idea of going to jail the idea of breaking his bail scared Joshua. He then moved away from pornography and went into rehab and hours of therapy. Through that, he realized that it wasn’t about his addiction. But about why he became an addict.

“Alcohol was just about numbing. Pornography was about feeling powerful.”

Not hiding his background of alcohol and pornography addiction, he decided to write his book based on his experiences to give back and help others like him.

Joshua Shea’s story of addiction is one of the many that is often overlooked in society. Often, it’s not even talked about by addicts themselves in fear of embarrassment. Whether it’s Alcoholism, Drugs, Pornography, or whatever addiction it is, one should never be denied help. So by knowing the consequences of his addiction, he decided to become the voice of the people that cannot speak.

Joshua truly turned his life around. With the help and support of the people around him, he now offers coaching and helps people to become a better version of themselves. 

Episode 174 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must-listen for any individual going through challenges in life. If you find it hard to turn your life around, listen to this episode because Joshua’s story will surely help you.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose.

Website: https://paddictrecovery.com/

Joshua’s Book: He's a Porn Addict...Now What?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PAddictRecovery

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paddictrecovery/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-shea-7b9932194/

Transcripts

Dr. Brad Miller:

pornography, the addiction nobody will talk about. Join me Dr. Brad Miller, as I talk to the author of the book of this same title. Joshua Shea from paddictrecovery.com on episode number 174 of the Beyond adversity podcast.

Joshua Shea:

Addiction that you see you have to have you have you build a tolerance to because you are not you know sex addiction porn addiction is not about what's going on between your crotch addiction is addiction. It takes place in the brain.

00:39

Hi, this is Dr. Rebecca Louisa Smith, the author of born to do it, where I help you tap into your sole purpose and become a leader in a business niche using powerful spiritual techniques. Dr. Brad Miller has a powerful podcast probably under adversity which will help you to overcome adversity to achieve peace of mind.

01:00

Welcome to the Beyond adversity podcast with Dr. Brad Miller, the show dedicated to helping you crush adversity and succeed in life. Rad believes you deserve a life that is fulfilling and impactful. And this show is designed to help you navigate beyond adversity and achieve your life of peace, prosperity and purpose. Now here's Dr. Brad.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Hello good people and welcome to Beyond adversity. This is the podcast where we help you to grow through what you go through helping you to navigate add verse, life conditions, and to emerge to your life of peace, prosperity, and purpose, you can head over to drbradmiller.com. There you can find over 170 episodes of this podcast, which will help you to get through and overcome adverse life conditions in your life. Lots of helpful tips there and we have a free gift for you as well.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Adversity takes all kinds of forms. It can be depression or divorce, or debt or death. It could even be disease. And one form of disease is addiction. There are lots of different types of addiction. There is certainly drug addiction and alcohol addiction, but there's also a addiction to pornography. Our guest today has dealt with a couple of these addictions. His name is Joshua Shea. And he is indeed the author of pornography, the addiction that nobody will talk about, subtitled how my pornography addiction, hurt people and destroyed relationships. He has been author and co author of several other publications and, and workshops about addiction, particularly pornography and alcohol. And he is also helpful to people who have had betrayal, trauma in their life, having special certifications in those areas of research and of of helpfulness. He's appeared on many, many television shows and radio programs, and on podcast, and he's all about how to learn how to deal with the power of addiction. This is going to be a fascinating subject. Today, folks, because many, many, many people deal with addiction, either personally or with a family member. I suppose that many of you listening to my voice today are dealing with this as a great form of overwhelming adversity in your life. We're going to address it here today, including this form of addiction which is often kept in the shadows, the addiction of pornography. We're going to learn a few things here.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Today, we're going to learn the power of addiction overall, the roles of shame and denial, and avoidance and addiction. And we're going to understand the incredible power that this mental disorder has on people's lives and how it can be a complete disruption. That's what you're going to learn you're going to feel the emotion. As Josh shares with us his story in depth about how his addictions to pornography and alcohol, nearly destroyed his marriage and his family, ruin his businesses and his career, gave him had great ramifications for him financially, and even landed him in jail. You're going to hear his emotional story about all of this. When we come back after the interview, we're going to take what we learned and what we felt, and we're going to talk about what to do about it. So I really want to encourage you to come back to me after the interview with Josh, and we're going to talk about practical applications of what you can do Right now I just encourage you to stick with this interview. Because there's lots of intensity to it. There's a few laughs. But there's just so much you can learn whether you're going through addiction issues yourself. Or if you have some questions about it, or need some direction in your life about how to address addiction of a loved one, or someone who's betrayed you. He His name is Josh Shea. He blogs it paddictrecovery.com. He's our guest today on beyond adversity. Let's get into that conversation. Right now.

Dr. Brad Miller:

We will welcome to Beyond adversity. Joshua Shea.

Joshua Shea:

Thank you so much for having me, Brad. I appreciate you allowing me some time today.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Awesome, awesome. Well, Joshua, you've been through your website. And we you and I have had a little conversation about what you are about, and you've had just a lot of pretty intense stuff happen in your life. And I just really would like to focus in for a minute or two about, you know, how you got started in life. And I know that you have a lot of stuff going on. Let's just focus on on kind of the, the addiction piece here. Some we like to focus on here on vast adverse adversity, how people get through it. So tell us about some bad stuff that happened in your life. And that kind of what led you to what you're doing now. So tell us about your story.

Joshua Shea:

Absolutely. Well, as quickly as I can tell it, because like you said, there is a lot there. Ultimately, I became a pornography addict at 12 years old. This occurred because between the ages of three and four, and probably about seven and eight, I was taken care of every day at a babysitter's house along with my younger brother and a couple of other children. And this was ultimately a house of horrors that none of our parents knew about there. At this home, I remember sexual abuse. I remember mental and emotional abuse both on myself on my brother and watching it happen to other children. It was, you know, the scariest experience of my life, I've never been terrified to the level that I was then, because she was one of the most unconventional, unpredictable people on Earth. She was a morbidly obese woman, who was very sexually inappropriate, who I can look back now and recognize was very ill not an excuse, but had a lot of mental health issues going on and shouldn't have been taking care of children. So after I got out from under her thumb, few years later, I was with an older cousin of mine, he had a couple of pornography magazines. first time I'd ever seen hardcore pornography. And I will tell you that something just came over me it was like a warm feeling a warm glow, you almost you hear it from heroin addicts, how they take it in, and it's just a warmth. And that's how I felt the first time. The only other time I ever felt this kind of feeling was about two years later, when I got drunk for the first time at a wedding. And from that point forward, 1214 years old. From that point forward, up until I got into recovery at 37. It didn't matter where I was in life, whether I was high school, or college or career, it didn't matter if I was dating or had nobody or was married. For all of that time, those 2425 years. Alcohol and pornography were the two things I could count on. And pretty much the only two things I could count on to ever make me feel better. And if you look at my timeline, like any other attic, you can see that there was a lot more use of both the alcohol and the pornography when things were worse when I was stressed out, and especially when I feel like I didn't have a lot of control in the world, because pornography for me was about control. And then I made the biggest mistake of my life when I was 3536 years old. This goes back to the very beginning of 2013. So we're coming up on GS nine years now. I was a publisher of a fairly successful magazine here in Maine where I live. And we actually had three titles that we published. And after about six, seven years, this company started to plateau. I am a great writer. I'm a great editor, great designer, not a good businessman. And if I have a lot of money being thrown at me I can hide that fact for a while but we got to the point where revenues plateaued and they started to decrease and our expenses kept increasing. I saw that the writing on the wall of where we would be six to 12 months away if I didn't turn things around as

Dr. Brad Miller:

well. I just saw those stressors you were talking about.

Joshua Shea:

This was a stressor like I have never had before. Because as I was going through this stress it I knew I drank too much I hadn't even recognized I had an pornography issue at this point. And I made the horrible decision to pull myself off of my bipolar medication. When I was 22 - 23 years old, I was diagnosed bipolar dead on accurate diagnosis. And I was on meds after that. I think that I romanticized the mania. And I decided when I was 35 - 36, that I needed that energy I needed that creativity that I had when I was 21- 22.

Dr. Brad Miller:

anymore, you had your note take.

Joshua Shea:

I don't, I don't need the meds what I need is the creativity and ability to sleep a couple hours less every day, if I'm going to save this company. Because I looked at the Met I looked at the medication almost like a restrictor plate on a racecar that it was holding me back. So I took myself off of it, believing that this would help. And within two, three weeks, my alcohol was double or triple what it was my intake and then my pornography use quickly became double, triple even more. I used both at times I never did before I used much longer, I got much more extreme. And it got to the point that I started to speak with women in chat rooms that I'd find.

Dr. Brad Miller:

We would say yes, you know, only embrace, you know, embrace the mania. You escalated and he took it to be rocket ship into your.

Joshua Shea:

Yeah, it's like, it's like every addiction. You know, imagine most people are familiar, you know, even if you're not an alcoholic, you've had a few drinks. And you know that, you know, after a while one drink doesn't do to you what it used to. So you need to and then you just build a tolerance and every addiction that you see, you have to have you have you build a tolerance to because you are not you know, sex addiction. porn addiction is not about what's going on between your crotch. food addiction is not about what's going on in your stomach. cocaine addiction is not about what's going on in your nose. addiction is addiction is addiction. It takes place in the brain.

Dr. Brad Miller:

It's swapped between your ears, what's going on there, nature, your head and your heart, your emotions, and your your physicality are all integrated together in this process and comes out. So continue on. But I'm going to bring it back around here just a second, but continue on. I want to get to the place where you found yourself. You were a left? Yeah, do I want to finish this part of the story, you started reaching out in inappropriate ways to people online.

Joshua Shea:

I did, I started I started just looking passively at photos or videos wasn't enough anymore. I needed to interact with women. So I would go into these chat rooms. And these were not like camera rooms that people use. Now. This was way back just peer to peer, you could hit a button. If you want to talk to somebody else, they could hit a button if they didn't want to talk to you. And I developed a technique for getting women to remove their clothes and do sexual things. And that's kind of I did that in the middle of the night. And that's how I kind of created an illusion of control in my life.

Dr. Brad Miller:

It must clarify we were you did you have a partner were married at this time.

Joshua Shea:

Yes, I was married for over 10 years at that time got married in 2003. As I said this was happening in 2013. Ironically, I stopped doing this late in 2013 because I had to start focusing on another business I had which was a International Film Festival that I created. So while I ironically got I ironically got out of these chat rooms. Three months later, in March of 2014. There was a knock at my door. And it was the Maine State Police. And they told me that they believed that I had spent time in a chat room with an underage woman or an underage female. And I kind of shook my head a bit. But I said come on in because that's what you do when the police have a search warrant. And they sat down and they showed me the evidence and it's not like I could say, Hey, you're wrong or hey, you know, I got an excuse because regardless of the fact that taking myself off the meds and my increased addictions brought me down a road where consequence was not quite, you know, probably cloudy in my mind. The reality is, I did this, you know, and I can't hide it. I did this horrible thing. I try when I discuss it not to minimize it or rationalize it because there isn't a rationalization or any thing for it. But what I what I do, what I do say is that I am the one who's responsible, no matter how drunk or high on porn I've ever been. I know the fact that 16 year old girls look 26 I know the fact that 26 year old girls look 16 That's never escaped me. I wasn't checking IDs, I wasn't being careful. And I went down this absolutely heinous road. And I ended up for the next two years, I actually went into rehab, I did first alcohol rehab, then I did porn and sex rehab, I did you know, hundreds of hours of therapy. And being a journalist, what I ultimately when I ended up going to jail, and I served six months in jail in early 2016. And rightfully so I never tried, I never tried to, to get out of it or make any excuses. I recognize that I could sit in jail and learn how to play spades and other guard games, or I could do something decent, and try to make the world a better place. So I wrote my story while I was in jail, I thought that would be the only thing I would do. But the story ended up coming back at me. When all kinds of wives and girlfriends and mothers and concerned dads and sisters wrote to me and said, Oh, I can't believe you got through this. I have a blah, who is having issues with pornography? Can you help me that evolved into talking to the partners who I learned about betrayal, trauma, and I learned about what my wife was going through. And so that evolved into coaching. And here we are now, you know, three years after three, four years after my first book came out, I've written three, I'm a full time coach, I still speak whenever I can about the topic of porn addiction. We need to talk about this as a country if we're going to start addressing it.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, it's a reality that is pervasive, you know, it's just not talked about too much. And addiction. Generals really dealt with a whole lot, a lot. Not to the extent it could be. But I am if you one of the things I'm interested in learning more about is you mentioned about betrayal. The betrayal aspect of this. And you know, I and I know that you more than likely had to do something surreptitiously. I'm not saying a good word. They're in the shadows, so to speak with your wife around and things like that. How have you had that shake out with your wife? And so process? Did you were able to save the marriage? Tell me a little bit about this.

Joshua Shea:

How about she Oh, she I mean, and when I met her, I had already been a porn addict for 12 - 13 years. So you know, this is one of the things that when I coach when I coach partners of porn addicts, who are feeling ripped apart, like I'm not enough in bed, I'm not pretty enough. All of these things that, that they first believe I have to explain you. In most cases, we've been porn addicts for long before we ever met you. You had nothing to do with this. Because this isn't about you. This is about what's going on in our head. And it could have been anybody as our wife, and this would have happened. But anyway, with my specific with my wife, specifically, she had the attitude towards pornography of Well, boys will be boys. And she know I looked at it once in a while, but had no extent to what I really looked at it. And no, no idea that I had a problem because alcoholism was what she thought my problem was. That's real obvious. When you're an addict to alcohol. Yes, smell your slur. All that you can't really see a porn addict. You can really look for it and maybe see, but nobody looks for one. So she had no idea that after I was arrested, she was the one who actually bailed me out. And I got to the car, and that she was in and I said, Listen, I'm not going to stand in your way here. You want to divorce. It's yours. You want the house, you want the kids, you want the cars, you want the pets, it's all yours. What I just what I am putting you through is nothing that any wife stuff to go through. So I'm not going to fight you on anything. She said to me. Can you tell I have one question. Did this involve little kids? And I was like, Oh, absolutely not. This was teenage girls. This was a teenage girl. And I had no idea she was a teenager, although I probably should have known but no, no little kids. And she looked at me and she said, Well, I think everybody in this family knows you've been sick for quite some time. We've tried to talk to you, your business partners have left you there have been so many red flags lately and you just won't pay attention. Maybe this is the thing that will cause you to get some help.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, and so that that's amazing that you had I'll just I'll put the word out there and I'm always who's So the word grace, you had a grace, a very Grace filled wife there. And you've had a blessed life in the sense that you had this all said to kind of come to Jesus moment or whatever you want to say a dramatic moment of being caught and being deal with the consequences. So let's talk for a minute, Josh, about Joshua about what you did about it. You know, okay, you've been addicted to porn, you've been addicted to alcohol, you're you've been caught by the law, you've spent time in jail. You Your wife is knows about it, your business, you've lost your businesses, or you've had great stress, financial, I'm sure. What do you do about it? You know, I know you wrote the book. But tell me about either. What when did the write the book? Or what were some of the actions you took to break the addiction or delete to manage it?

Joshua Shea:

Well, I'll tell you a great come to Jesus moment was actually the day after I was arrested. I went to see my lawyer for the first time. I went with my father and I went with my wife. And his first question was, you know, is this a litigation game or a sentencing game? And I said, No, it's sentencing. They got me. I did this, and I don't want to try to pretend I didn't. And he said, Okay, do you have any drug or alcohol issues? And I looked at him, I said, No. And both my father and my wife were like, he's an alcoholic. And you think so? And they're like, are you serious? I was like, Okay, I may drink too much. And he said, Well, we have a list of facilities we can get you into and get you some help. And I said to him something to the effect of okay, hey, you know, that's cool. Four weeks, get me a certificate, I'll show it to the judge. And he looked at me and he said, Hey, that could help with the judge. But you're about to be on a long road here. We don't know if you're going to get jail or not. We don't know if you're going to get a long probation or short one. We just don't know what's happening right now. And we know won't know for a while. But one day, all of this legal stuff is going to be over. Do you want to be the same kind of frankly said a hole? Do you want to be the same kind of a hole that you are now? Why don't you take this as an opportunity to get better. And I took that to heart. And I went off to rehab in California, and that it took me about a week. But then I realized, oh my god, I'm exactly the guy they're talking about this. I am a classic alcoholic in the purest sense of the word. And it was a chance for me to meet other alcoholics but to meet other to meet drug addicts, to meet people who I otherwise wouldn't have got to meet and to start to learn everybody's stories and being able to let that guard down and get out of my element Get out of my routines was so important. So I spent 10 months in the desert in Cali or not 10 months, sorry, 10 weeks in the desert in California trying to get through this. When I got back, I started to see the therapist, I still have today, a lot of intense stuff. After about five, six months of that I went to we decided that it would probably be best if I went to a sex and porn rehab in Texas, because there was still a lot of work to do there. When I got there. It wasn't hard. The staying away from porn wasn't hard, because I'd already done it for a year. And frankly, the idea of going to jail the idea of breaking my bail, any of that scared the hell out of me. So I didn't sure look at any pornography. But I went to I went to the rehab. And that was where I started to do the trauma work. And that was such a big deal, where I realized, you know, it isn't about the addictions. It's about why I became an addict how I became an addict. And I started the process of uncovering that stuff.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And that's probably what took you all the way back to your into your child who I didn't know maybe.

Joshua Shea:

Absolutely. I was in it was I was in alcohol rehab for seven weeks before my case manager said, you know, I think you have some issues around sexuality, specifically pornography. I'd like you to see this guy off campus who was who I know, he's a colleague of mine. And I went to see him and I saw him probably eight times in the last three or four weeks I was at that rehab. He was the one who introduced me to the phrase of pornography addiction. He was the one who made me realize I had an addiction, where it came from, and the fact that it predated the alcohol and probably ultimately caused even more trouble than the alcohol. And that's when I understood that I wasn't dealing with just one addiction. I thought the pornography use was a bad choice when I was drunk. Turned out it was a completely different thing. And when I started down that road, that was where I really started to understand my problems because alcohol was really just about numbing. Pornography was about feeling powerful.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, you both emerged or once a depressant once a stimulus and so you were self medicating on both sort of BayCare. Yeah, exactly what let's talk for a minute or two, Joshua about solutions here we talk about the actions you took. Now let's talk about process to get through it. And one of the things that I'm a believer in is that, in course, if you went through alcohol treatment and the 12 steps, or whatever you did, they're a part of the process, then, is to get connected out to you know, you were an alcoholic, a sex addict, anybody addicted is fairly self absorbed in your own world, your own problems, that type of thing. So what kind of connection? Or what role did play any kind of a sensibility about a higher power something greater than yourself? Spirituality, it could be religion, meditation. Anything else? Tell me about the role any of that played in your process of transforming?

Joshua Shea:

Well, I tell you, what's, what's interesting is that I was raised Catholic here in Maine. And my parents are very old school, conservative Catholic. So I was dragged there every Sunday kicking and screaming, whether I wanted to go or not. You know, I went through all of the sacraments are whatever you call them up through. Yeah, I went through confirmation. And then once I started living on my own, I walked away, because I was never able to get answers about spirituality that I wanted when I was at church. So I walked away in for probably 15 years, I made the joke that I was a non practicing atheist, because I just didn't think about the about spirituality. It wasn't until I was actually in jail, writing my first book, and I had to write this book with like mini golf pencils into a notebook. It was a horrendous experience actually writing it. But I noticed about halfway through the book, as I was, when I was writing, I would say like, all of a sudden, the universe came and told me to say this, all of a sudden, the universe, part of the skies, and it was a sunny day. And as I kept writing, this, I recognized, I'm just allergic to the G word, God, I use the word universe, I've always used the word universe. And when I think about it, I'm one of the most faith filled, optimistic people I know on Earth, and I just haven't attached it to a religion, or to a spirituality. I haven't put labels on it. But my goodness, all this time, I thought I didn't believe in anything. I actually have this great reservoir of faith. And ever since then, when people you know, do you have a higher power? I say, yes, it's, it's not necessarily attached to any book or religion. But I absolutely believe that there is a power out there and energy out there that is keeping things in check and balanced. And it does have a big piece to do with karma.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Yeah. And it's a part of the transformation process. That's really one of it. Yes, process and how people do this, and you've mentioned your wife and a few and your therapists and the people at the, at the treatment centers that you were at. So tell us about the role that positive, healthy relationships play in transformation, in your case, and some of the things what you teach, because we know there's and you transfer unhealthy relationships when you were a child. But tell us about the role that positive productive relationships and accountability play in a healing process?

Joshua Shea:

Well, the reality is, I understand that if I started drinking, again, if I started looking at pornography again, I can't really hide it from my wife, not that we have filters on everything, but I'm just not a good liar. And I seem to get worse at as I get older. And so she would leave me if that happened, my kids would probably stop talking to me if that happened, there is no picture of any naked person doing any naked thing in this whole naked world, that would get me to trade in my family for that. So that's a big motivator during my recovery, the early recovery, which is especially you know, challenging, because you're changing your life and changing your attitudes. You know, I knew that if I wasn't doing the hard work, she was not going to stay around. And I also in early recovery, I lost a bunch of weight, I started to feel better. I just I felt better, you know, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, mentally, every way you can feel better I started to and it was like, this is fantastic. As I was going through my recovery, because I'm a Research geek as a former, you know, journalist, I can go and I can read academic papers, and I like the New England Journal of Medicine and this stuff, but I know for most people, it's like reading reading Shakespeare is to me, I just don't understand it. I will never read Shakespeare for fun. But I do read these other books for I read these other journals for fun, and I started doing a lot of research about pornography. I learned how bad truly is as far as addiction, and what it can do to people and the numbers in society while pre pandemic and I just realized that with my story, which also was very publicized, it was all over the newspaper, it was all over TV, I had TV vans in my front yard when this went down. And what I realized was because I couldn't hide from this, I was not anonymous. In my area, I was also a city councilor. So I was very well known in my area, it was everywhere, it's not like I could hide from it. And I really am a decent communicator. So it's time for me to give back, it's time for me to take that very difficult language to understand in those medical journals, and take my personal experience, and try to put it out into a digestible form for the average person. And I did that and then it just snowballed from there. And it's, it's taken off in a life of its own.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Let's take but let's talk about how that's manifested itself and how you've been taken all of this and be able to process it and put into some books and to your researcher, you're smart guy and you kind of had you had a cognizance about what was happening to you even while you were doing it are so many people just, you know, dive into the bottle or dive into the porn sites or whatever and just get lost there you at least Cognis was about was going on? So your process, it's so what did you come up with Josh, for some of the processes are habits or tactics or practices that you learned either from your own experience or from your research that are helpful to people who may be addicted?

Joshua Shea:

Well, the most important thing is to you know, recognize that you are addicted. You know, it's people talk about how addicts are the biggest manipulators and biggest gas lighters out there. And that's absolutely true. I should have had a doctorate in gaslighting, but we gaslight and manipulate and lie to ourselves more than anybody else, that we don't have a problem that everything's fine. And what I really had to learn was to be completely honest with myself recognize that, you know, I have these issues, and I have plenty of other issues. But they are there they need to be addressed. They can be managed. And I'm not a unique snowflake, there are hundreds and 1000s of people who have recovered before me. So this isn't like a hill that no, I'm too special to climb. And this isn't a hill only I can climb. Just so few people out there. If this adjustment alcohol, I wouldn't be talking to you now. It was a matter of I felt so alone with the pornography. And when I went to the bookstore, the first time to find a book about it. There were books on it addiction, there were books on alcoholism, there was nothing on porn addiction. So I just felt like that's what I could do to give back. And as I said, I thought that would be it. I'd put it out. I'd go into freelance writing ghost writing, from my home. And and, you know, I would have you know, that would have been my little penance against, you know, for the universe to try to help other people.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But first number, isn't it? They've responded, the need is there.

Joshua Shea:

Yeah, people sought me out because I was the only guy out there saying I had a problem. And that's still kind of the way it is unfortunately, that you know, I'm willing to admit it and not enough other people are so people can understand just the breadth of this issue.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, in that process, and you've had people reaching out to you, and you provided books, you have other counseling or other things that you've done, or group facilitation and so on, rehab rehabilitation that you offer, tell us about a person or situation that you've worked with, obviously no names here, but a person where you've seen kind of, okay, something we've done or something we've been here has been helpful, either by reading your book or something you've done, that you've seen a bit of a transformation. I'm looking for a story here.

Joshua Shea:

Yeah, well, you know what, I'll tell you. This is this isn't any great story of success, and I have had those but the thing that still gets me and this actually happened earlier today, so it's it's still fresh in my mind. It's amazing. I had a first timer today. And it's amazing when I sit down with what is usually a man probably 90% of my porn, addiction clients are men. And about 90% of my betrayal trauma are females. But among the men and I experienced this myself when I was in rehab, I think that's why it's so so powerful to me, is when I'm talking to a man like I'm talking to you right now. And I start to talk about pornography in a very matter of fact, way And they spent to recognize, you know, when I let them know, I don't care what you looked at, I've probably seen twice as bad as what you have, and twice as much as what you have. I don't care what it was because I understand more than anybody else. We are not the pornography that we look at, especially those of us who are addicts that need to escalate the material.

Dr. Brad Miller:

you cut through the shame, is that what you did?

Joshua Shea:

Yes, exactly, there's gonna be no shame, there's going to be no judgement, there's going to be no embarrassment, I had this problem, too, I got through it, because people didn't make me feel bad. When you make somebody feel bad, they're not going to communicate with you. So to see, these guys, it's almost a physical Ha, I'm, I can talk to this guy about my problem. I've never talked to anybody about this. And when they start talking, you almost get them talking a mile a minute, because they have never discussed this problem they have for so long. And it's it's almost diarrhea of the mouth, they can't stop talking. And it's such an amazing thing to witness. Because it is just like a decompression. And, you know, it obviously takes quite a while and it's all on their shoulders. If they are going to be successful. I help people color between the lines, you know, at best, because this is on the addict. But knowing that there's somebody out there who's been through this, who isn't going to judge and who has been successful in getting through this means so much to so many men who have never met that guy before. And that's really that's really where I feel the best on a on a day to day basis is when I see a guy just finally not feel alone anymore.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, it's that transformative moments, which make all the difference. So you kind of pull the plug on things or open the floodgates whatever metaphor you want to use. I used to call it I worked with people, they are bleeding all over the place. I mean, they just kind of it's like this, you stuck on ourselves. And all sudden they gush out because they've been holding things in. Yeah. And that's amazing when that happens, and hopefully, and sometimes people bleed all over the place, and they don't recover. But you're offering a process here, Josh, that is greatly needed out there addiction overall, and porn addiction in particular. And you know, I love the betrayal piece you're doing as well, because I've seen my share of that as well. Wow. So some good stuff here. I just want to thank you for being a bit of a risk taker and being vulnerable in what is an area of shame for so many people. And I think, you know, we could talk all an old other episode about that, but about how you have been a risk taker, and obviously people are responding. And so how can people be in contact with you if they want to reach out to you about learning more about what you offer your books or anything you're about, that people can connect up with? Tell us about that?

Joshua Shea:

Yeah, best place to find me is at my website, where there are links to everything I do. There's also a lot of resources, a lot of information that I've written over the years. In addition to my books, that's there as well. That ispaddictrecovery.com P like Paul, addictrecovery.com. And if you want to find me on Twitter, or Instagram, that's paddictrecovery.com as well. If you have any questions you can reach out to me through any of those ways. You know, I I'm out here to answer questions, provide interviews, propriety information, try to help people. We need to understand this problem in society. And until we can talk about pornography like grownups, we're not going to talk about pornography addiction. So you know, you one of the things I try to always, you know, bring up to people is that we've had a 30 - 40 minute conversation now, and we have not talked about any even R rated content in pornography, you don't have to talk about pornography, the content to have a discussion. And the other thing I just quickly say out there to parents is the stay away from pornography for your kids discussion is not the birds and the bees. It's much like staying away from cigarettes, staying away from alcohol, staying away from the dangerous stuff that you don't want your kids touching, you may need to start thinking about making pornography part of that, because we have 4.8 billion smartphones in the world. Not all of them have filters. And it's not a matter of if your child is going to see pornography, it's a matter of when and if you can prepare them for it, you're going to be better off part of me and part of what drives me is I wonder if my parents or anybody who was a teacher or a doctor or anybody along the way, could they have said anything? Or showed me anything that wouldn't have resulted in me being a porn addict? I don't know the answer for that. But at least I can try to put some stuff out there and maybe help some people out. So they don't go through What I did. And the other thing or the other, I just want to say one more thing, please, is that anybody who's listening and thinks this guy really went off the deep end? That's not me. I never thought I would go that far. Do you think I thought a guy with two kids, two businesses a local politician? Do you think I'd end up in a jail cell for pornography? If I can get there anybody can get there?

Dr. Brad Miller:

Sure. Well, that's part of the deal. When you get wrapped up in your addictions or your adversity, as we like to say here, you can either use it but a ditch or you have to really work hard to get out of it and to move on, beyond adversity to something better for life, we like to say, a place of peace and prosperity. Yes. And we're gonna put a connection, we're gonna put links to everything you're about here, Joshua, and drbradmiller.com. And I encourage people to reach out and to connect with you. Because basically, you know, everybody knows somebody, well, you know it or not everybody knows somebody who's somehow in addiction process. So I want to thank you for being helpful here to our audience today here on Beyond adversity. And I wish you well, and continue with the recovery process for you and your family. Our guest today, on the beyond adversity podcast, Joshua Shea, from paddictrecovery.com

Dr. Brad Miller:

I just want to be, say just a word of thanks to Josh Shea from pa edit recovery.com for sharing, in depth his story here today it takes that just takes a lot of guts to share his story. And a part of what he's about, of course, is getting addictions, out of the shadows and out into the open and to deal with it forthrightly, as an adult, he is what he would say, if not keep it in the shadows. So let's talk about it for just a moment hear about practical applications, the things that you can do remember, we we talked about what learning and feeling and doing here on the beyond the diversity podcast, we learned what addiction is, and the power that it has we felt the emotion is about destroyed his life, what are you going to do about it? In Josh's case, he decided to write about it. And he decided to create programs and to be involved with teaching other people about the addiction and what they could do about it. So he has got his accreditations. He is a certified betrayal trauma coach. And he has been on many different television programmes TEDx talks, podcasts where he speaks into this area, and he's not afraid to do it. Because he knows that the opposite of reaching out and making himself exposed this way, is staying in the shadows. So that's what I'm going to share with you is the action point, you got to get out of the open, if this is a part of your life. If it's a part of your life, you can't you have to deal with it like an adult, you have to get it out in the open and to deal with it personally and interpersonally. And sometimes we hear about folks who helped to help their beloved one, to see the light as it were, but just to get it out of the shadows and get it into the light. So that can be disaffected that way. So let's talk about a couple of ways you can do that. Joshua, Josh Shea has a few books that you can get that you can get your hands on, it could be helpful to you. The primary book we've been talking about here today is the addiction. Nobody will talk about how my pornography addiction hurt people destroyed relationships. That's a great place to start. But also, I would encourage you to go over to his website, Paa recovery.com. And we'll put a link to that at Dr. Brad miller.com. And he lists a number of questions there which can help you begin this process there. You know, questions like Is it time to in your life make unnecessary changes? Is it time to stop making to stop making excuses and ask for help? And he goes on to ask the are you questions? Are you unsure? If pornography is addiction and you need an expert opinion in your life? Are you dealing with the portrait for the betrayal trauma for a partner who can't admit that they are addicted to this? Are you looking for a way to get out of this addiction? Maybe Josh Shay or someone like him is someone you need to be thinking about working with. Sometimes it's really a good idea to have another party involved when these things come along. So that's my encouragement to you face the facts, get out of the shadows, and then seek help. Here at the beyond adversity podcast. With Dr. Brad Miller. We are a source of help for you to deal with adversity in your life. We are all about the process of people getting them from wherever they are stuck. Maybe they're stuck in an addiction. Maybe they're stuck in depression or going through relationship issues or financial issues or death in the family. These are some of the areas where people get stuck in the ditch and they need a way out. And we have over 170 episodes of the podcast with Dr. Brad Miller with many many people boohoo teach you processes to get you out of the ditch and on your way to the place we like to call the promised life, the place of peace and prosperity and purpose, you can do it. We're here to help. I have a doctoral degree in transformational leadership. That's where I can help in my teaching as well. We can always go to Dr. Brad miller.com for not only the back catalogue, but we got a free gift for you there that can be helpful to you as well. We're always here to be helpful, and to help you to always grow through what you go through. So till next time, friends, blessings on you. And remember to always do all the good that you can.

45:42

Thank you for listening to the Beyond adversity podcast with Dr. Brad Miller. You can find a complete archive of all episodes at drbradmiller.com. That's drbradmiller.com or subscribe for free through Apple podcasts and never miss an episode. Each week we bring you a message to crush adversity and live your life of peace, prosperity and

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