So…where do I start..
This is perhaps a much more personal blog entry for me to include and it has sat as a blank page, a draft with only the mere title attached to it for at least four months now.
The idea of meddling in a seemingly-forbidden topic when all I am here to do is share photography stories and advice. Something about it seems like career suicide yet it feels quite right to touch upon this subject.
It is something only my closest friends would know about, and something I definitely have not discussed in a public forum such as on this blog or elsewhere.
Society has normalized the idea of consuming high speed, online pornography to the fact where many people who defy this notion are seen as “weird or unnatural.”
Both pornography and photography happen to be visual mediums, and for the longest time I have accepted the tradeoff of risqué novelty over beautiful nature.
Yet this is a dangerous way to live when you have an addictive personality. Soon it begins to consume you whole over the years, yes years, since early adolescence. Many young millennial men and women in their 20’s and 30’s can relate, as we were exposed to this new form of entertainment and recreation.
On and off, it has robbed me of my creativity, energy and motivation countless times. Walking through daily life being constantly preoccupied by these intrusive thoughts. Seeing people around me as objects and body parts, I have hurt those who I brought in close to me for my own selfish gain.
To some extent, the problem isn’t what I consume, it is what I am substituting it for.
The lack of love and purpose in many relationships and my career were apparent over time. I found a quick fix for this, a seemingly easy and effective cure. This cure may have only lasted a really short time before turning me over, and then it took me a long time to realize this is not a healthy alternative. You simply cannot replace one for the other.
I started to realize that viewing pornography for me is akin to a slow death, where my memory, speech and social skills deteriorate till I am this numb and emotionally flat human. For example, stumbling over saying the simplest of sentences with friends and strangers alike, something that anyone can end up doing, is an insurmountable task of anxiety and fear.
My focus is fixated basically at all times whether alone or not on how to get that quick relief I seek. Soon it becomes a chase, where you’re chasing a bigger “high” until you crave more and more extreme forms.
Eventually this bubble bursts metaphorically speaking and nothing quite pleasures as much as the start. The compulsions start to lead your everyday choices; nothing else quite matters as much as “the next time you get off.”
So, what does any of this have to do with photography?
Photography and art has taught me over the years that I don’t need this garbage in my life. A cheap way to get off and see some novelty has tried to replace the long term work ethic and passion of taking photographs out in nature, starting up a small business and getting my work out into the general public.
When I am free of it, my focus and time management skills improve tenfold. Anxiety and worry about speaking in front of the camera or simply saying hello to a passerby whilst hiking seems to melt away. Learning about the different flora and fauna I see out when hiking and photographing becomes a better use of my time.
I’m not fixed nor am I broken, still I fall however each time I get back up with a newfound clarity as to how to tackle this issue. I owe photography and art for being the catalyst to my personal freedom and creative expression.
Every day brings me closer to being on the right track. Due to a lot of proper changes and personal habits changed over time, I am finding my way. The camera has always been there by my side to see this through, and this is a much healthier pursuit for me.
In a weird way, photography has been like therapy over the years to help pick me up like it always has during times of stress. A healthier “distraction” and to engage in something more productive whenever alone.
I am finding my way towards a greater life purpose and way to express myself in a healthier and constructive manner, and I am doing that from pornography to photography.
And plus, a nasty habit cannot stop me from creating beautiful imagery to share with the world.
For more information, please feel free to check out these online resources and communities.
Do you have a similar story or struggle of yours you’d like to share? Send me an email or leave a comment down below. Thank you for your continued readership and support.