I started using alcohol at age 15 and it felt like the perfect solution to my childhood trauma and dysfunctional home life. My values changed almost immediately, and I went from having LDS background to the other end of the spectrum. I got a DUI when I was 16 and many underage alcohol misdemeanors. I was kicked out of high school and was ashamed that I had a GED and not a high school diploma. I was pregnant at age 18 and was able to stop drinking but started again shortly after my daughter was born. I didn’t have any more legal consequences after that first DUI, mostly because of luck. My biggest consequence from drinking was that it stunted my growth as a human being.

My recovery from alcohol has really been about recovering from the reasons why I drank, which I can address now that I am not drinking. My threshold for being unhappy was fairly low, in comparison to others’ stories. This is not to undermine or deny what I went through. I had withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, shitty relationships, and no sense of self. When people in AA say, “If I drink, I will die,” I don’t entirely relate. If I drink, I may die eventually and my disease will continue to progress, but more likely, I will be miserable in my existence. I won’t achieve my purpose, be connected to a higher power, or have fulfilling relationships. I have learned that my addiction to alcohol is a symptom of trauma, and drinking was merely a coping skill.  Alcohol worked very well to numb my pain and it helped me disassociate. I didn’t even know I was disassociating until I started my recovery journey. It becomes more and more apparent that I didn’t know how to cope with my feelings or know how to be comfortable in my skin.

My personal work and successes have been on self-forgiveness and love, forgiving others, learning healthy boundaries, and being the best mother possible. I am in recovery from alcohol and co-dependency. I am learning how to feel my feelings, cope with life, and stand up for myself and my worth. I live in Idaho, and I am a single mom to 3 amazing, beautiful daughters. I am so proud of myself for breaking the intergenerational patterns in my family.

My curiosity about sobriety started about 3 years ago. I started listening to podcasts in the beginning of my recovery and found The SHAIR Podcast with Omar Pinto. I loved his voice and his energy. I have found his interviews to have a profound impact on my ability to see my addiction as an opportunity and not a dirty secret. I eventually became a member of his FB group and then joined the SRC where I have connected with so many amazing people in recovery. I feel the SRC group has kept me sober.

I can access meetings via Zoom which has been crucial to me since I am at home with my kids and haven’t found an AA group in my community where I feel connected. The connection with others in the group has saved me from loneliness and isolation. I have found a sponsor in one of these groups who was willing to complete the 12 steps with me which has been transformational!  I am almost 5 months in my recovery from alcohol and 95% of the time, I don’t even think about drinking. I am so grateful for the SRC, the SHAIR podcast, my sponsor, the step work, and online recovery.

What is porn and sex addiction, really?

What does the reality of this problem look like for a person?

How do you know if you’re watching too much porn?

What are the consequences, and why is it so hard to stop?

Our guest today reveals how consuming porn is just like abusing any substance.

But unlike drugs and alcohol, porn is available in our modern age for free. 24/7.

There is no need to walk to the liquor store.

Or call the dealer.

All that is needed is the human body and a fantasy.

So how can a person quit when their drug of choice is available to them any time, any place?

And how can someone get help despite the shame and stigma?

Porn and Sex Addiction

Historically, society has avoided talking about sex and porn addiction. Not only is it cloaked in judgement and shame, it is so complex and misunderstood that people are baffled as to what it is and how to deal with it.

But now we are faced with the problem like never before. Our children have access to every kind of pornography, 24/7 on their smartphones, forcing us to face the stigma and open the conversation about sex and porn addiction.

Today’s guest is Beny Schonfeld. He is a porn addict in recovery and an advocate for empowering parents in the porn age. Beny believes that porn and sex addiction is the most heavily denied, misunderstood, rationalized, and minimized epidemics that humanity has ever faced, and he is bravely taking the risk to educate people with his story.

In this interview, Beny shares the innocent beginnings of his porn addiction, how it escalated over 25 years, and what made him finally get to the point where he decided to get help.

Beny Schonfeld

Beny Schonfeld was born in Venezuela in 1977. He was introduced to porn at 11 years old in the 1980’s, well before the internet boom, and that early experience marked the beginning of a 24 year addiction to pornography. As he grew through puberty and adolescence into adulthood, his dependance on pornography grew as well as each technological advancement of our age removed more and more barriers for accessing and consuming pornography. Finally, at age 35, at risk of losing everything he held dear, Beny hit his bottom found help and recovery. Beny now has become an advocate for sexual recovery, sharing his story to contribute a constructive conversation about Porn and Sex Addiction by removing the shame and stigma that are synonymous with these topics. With the current normalization and rampant consumption of Internet Pornography in our society, Beny has made it his purpose to break through our collective denial to create room for recovery, and to educate and empower parents to proactively have constructive, open conversations with their children, so they may stand a chance against perhaps the greatest threat to their hearts, souls and happiness.

Useful resources

Get the facts about Internet Pornography:

Tools to help educate and guide your children:

Upcoming talk in Miami, FL!

Now I Know Better: Unexpected Wisdom From a Recovering Porn Addict – With Beny Schonfeld

Date: Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 @ 7:30 PM

Connect with Beny

instagram.com/benyschon

fb.com/benyschon

twitter.com/benyschon

 

MENTIONED EPISODES:

Escaping Porn Addiction with Eli Nash

The Power of Letting Go in Sobriety


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