Tag: WordPress

10 Blogs I Love That You Should Follow, But Probably Don’t Know About

I appreciate every person that follows me and based on my hits, I know a lot of people read the site regularly even if they don’t want to raise their hand and admit it. That’s fine. I just sometimes wonder if the people who have 2,349 followers recognize how lucky they are. Conversely, I also wonder if the people with 18 followers are doing something wrong but don’t know it. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

There used to be a great page on WordPress called the Swimming Pool, run by the company itself. Every Monday, people could post their pages, asking for feedback to what they wrote, the look of their site, or anything else in general. It was where I met a lot of the people who I first followed and who first followed me.

They closed down the page and it left a big gap for introducing people to one another. Now, I only learn of new sites if I specifically search for them on the Reader page or if I check out what commenters on other sites have to say.

Anyway, I follow about as many sites as follow me and many of them, like me, have a decent following, but deserve to be introduced to a wider audience. So, in the spirit of giving back, but since I hate those dumbass awards, I’d like to share some links with you.

The following links have between 25 and 300 followers. They have posted in the last month and post with regularity. I apologize to anybody if it offends them that I didn’t list them here. Dry those tears while reading these blogs:

Life Advice

Coaching Skills International – Quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs. It may just be a meme reminding you how to stick to new habits or a well-written article on relationship issues, but I always know I’m getting a quality post when this site pops up in my reader.

Tony Overbay’s Official Site – OK, I’m breaking my rule by sharing a site with less than 25 followers (as I write this) but Tony’s got one of the best podcasts out there and links to his episodes here. He’s a brilliant licensed marriage and family therapist. He’s also the co-author of my new book, so I’m probably biased.

Health/Fitness

Revfit – Jason Leenaarts hosts a great podcast, but also provides great inspiration in the areas of fitness, diet, weight loss, philosophy and shares plenty about his own life. I don’t understand how he doesn’t have 500 times the followers. Inspirational and fun to read.

Defeating Stigma Mindfully (DSM) – Dr. Alexander Sinu breaks down all subjects health-related from addiction to to supplements to dementia. He keeps things short, has supporting links if you want to read more and writes with a level of respect and care toward every subject.

Life Happenings

Return of Conflict Girl – Holly is dealing with a lot right now, but somehow, she keeps her wits about her. She’s an introvert dealing with an uncertain future and is a real testament to having inner strength.

Suicide and Sex Work – Hope is a woman 100 times braver than most of us. She went through unspeakable horrors being sex trafficked as a small child by a family member. The fallout all of these years later sticks with her, but she’s open to sharing it and spreading understanding. It’s sometimes very hard to read, but her honesty is powerful.

BetrayedWife.net – This site was one of the big inspirations for me to write my new book and I think is a real gem. Any woman who is dealing with a husband or partner that is trying to navigate recovery from sex or porn addiction should really be reading this blog.

A Mix of Everything

Sophybless – I wish I was as good at writing short fiction that has a message to it as you find here. She’s able to craft vivid characters quickly and leave me both entertained and thinking about what she wrote. I’m not a big fan of poetry, but hers is quite good, too.

Even Christians Get the Blues – Rollie Anderson was one of the first people to embrace me on WordPress and let me know I wasn’t the only recovering porn addict here. Every Monday, he shares Bible verses, his interpretation behind them, and how they fit into the modern world of religion and spirituality. Even a guy like me who isn’t religious and only kind of spiritual gets a lot of out his writing.

Food.For.Thoughts – This has become another one of my recent favorites to read late in the morning. Most of it centers around mental health, with recent posts about social media, insomnia and therapy, usually tying the topic into depression by the end of the post. I very much appreciate how she refers her sources, but also gives her opinion on the facts.

Is There Anything Wrong With Following Blogs of People You Disagree With?

I’ve been adding a lot of blog sites to my Reader list recently and I have noticed a trend that many of them actually stand in contrast to my core beliefs, or are so out there philosophically that I’m drawn to what these people have to say.

I first came in journalism in the mid-1990s. While Rush Limbaugh had figured out it was a good business ploy to play to the right claiming that the media was bias, we really didn’t have sides in the media at that point. Today, I have a bit of a different opinion about how things have changed, but that’s not the point of this.

In trying to not take sides, I was always taught to cover both sides of an issue, without making any value judgments in what I was presenting.

Sometimes that wasn’t simple. I heard the Grand Wizard of the almost-defunct Maine chapter of the Ku Klux Klan lived a couple of towns over, so I basically knocked on his door and asked to interview him. Despite the fact he was well spoken and treated me with kindness and dare I say, warmth, I still found his core beliefs repugnant. Nonetheless, I reported what I saw and what he said, talked to a couple of anti-hate groups, wrote down what they said and was done with it.

Up until that point, I couldn’t tell you what the modern KKK stood for, or against. I just knew it as the southern cross burning and lynching group of 50 years earlier. Was it wrong that I learned this information and shared it?

I loved being a reporter. I met famous people, got to experience things for free people spend a lot of money on, have seen historical, dangerous, exciting and tragic events unfold in front of me and genuinely felt a duty to be the eyes and ears of the community – the entire community.

More than two decades later, I still like to get both sides of the story and learn people’s takes on what is happening in the world. I find people, especially those who disagree with me, fascinating. I think that I should be able to hear what the KKK guy has to say without it making me racist or pro-KKK. Allowing someone to share a differing opinion does not, by default, mean you share that opinion.

But it seems like today, we live in a culture where you have to agree 100% with whatever ideological camp you’ve assigned yourself to and if not, you’re a traitor to some indefinable cause.

Here’s a thought for you: Somewhere out there, you will find somebody who has the completely opposite world viewpoint as you. How you feel about Donald Trump, education funding, military exercises, sexual culture, religion/spirituality, abortion, the death penalty, etc., there is somebody out there who opposes you on each of those things.

Are they completely crazy? If they’re half crazy, doesn’t that make you the other half? Are they not crazy at all and just wrong? What makes them wrong? What makes you right? Can you intellectually, and not emotionally or ignorantly, defend your positions?

Many liberal people were freaking out this week when openly gay liberal talk show host Ellen Degeneres was sitting with former President George W. Bush at a Cowboys football game. Why? Because Bush has beliefs that don’t completely line up with Ellen’s. Many people feel that their beliefs are in lockstep with Ellen’s and for her to sit with a Republican that hasn’t prioritized an LGBTQ agenda makes her a traitor.

I loved her response: ““I’m friends with George Bush,” DeGeneres said. “In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different, and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK.”

Michelle Obama seems very close with George Bush and has said he’s a warm, wonderful man, despite their political differences. I’ve read accounts from CIA agents who say that he was their favorite leader to work for because he was the most decent, respectful President.

George Bush probably made the most mistakes as president since Jimmy Carter – who by all accounts is another amazing human being – yet is that any reason to shun him? These days, many say it’s the very reason you should shun him.

In real life, I don’t know anybody who blogs on WordPress, despite sometimes knowing a lot about them. I don’t know if I’d enjoy their company or become genuine friends regardless of our similar or different beliefs.

It’s easy to read the blogs of people who have beliefs I agree with and would be even easier to stay away from people who I think have fundamentally flawed viewpoints.

I follow blogs from many people who live in Africa or South America. They seem like wonderful people, although most of their views on marriage and sexuality differ than mine. I follow blogs from a few who do not believe the way the mental health community handles medication is correct, despite the fact I know my bipolar medication has saved my life. I disagree with them vehemently, but still read one blog from somebody who thinks all addiction is nonsense. I read blogs from Scientologists, anti-vaxers and conspiracy theorists. Despite not being religious, I read blogs from people who constantly refer to their religions or religious texts of different varieties.

I would not want to get in a talking head opinion/fact debate with them, and don’t usually leave dissenting messages. Those are the things that turn me away from traditional news these days. Let’s talk, not argue.

The only thing I don’t think I could read is a blog that advocated violence against children or animals or anything containing actual hate speech; real hate speech…not disagree-with-me speech. People confuse the two these days.

We’re living in a world where “cancel culture” is all the rage these days. If your tribe finds something that somebody else did offensive, you attempt to boycott them into oblivion. This allows us to skip due process and punish who we decide are offenders of our opinions directly. Why deal with the courts when you can just render a verdict on Twitter?

I think it’s fine to have opinions and I think it’s natural to find yourself drawn to others with the same opinions. I just think you’re missing out on a lot of perspective, and potentially some genuinely good people, if you allow your opinions to rule out learning about those who are different than you.

 

It’s a Good Time to Talk to Your Children About Pornography; A Lull for Porn Addiction Information?

I guess being away a couple of months really did recharge my battery as I have 101 pornography addiction-related things I want to talk about. Seems like a good time for one of my multiple-subject articles.

Keeping Kids in the Loop

First, it’s back-to-school time. There is no better time to talk to your children about pornography since their peers are the most likely people to introduce/distribute pornography to them.

Keep the discussion age appropriate. I don’t think any kid under 10 needs to be told more than, “If you see naked pictures of men or women, let mommy or dad know about it, OK? Just like we’d want you to tell us if you found a cigarette.”

I think you can step it up for ages 10-to-13 and let them know that pornography addiction is a real thing, just like drug addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, etc. Recognize that a lot of the power is in their hands as you can’t police them 24/7. Let them know you’re there to talk and that you believe they’ll make the correct decisions.

With the 13-to-18 crowd, which I think is the most critical, I believe your message has to be two-fold. First, with the boys, it’s time to introduce them to the concept of porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED). Explain that there are many guys their age – and now in their 20s – who grew up looking at so much Internet porn, it has negatively affected their ability to have a normal physical relationship with a partner. Second, for both genders, it’s good to remind them that the moment they take a nude picture of themselves or someone else, even if they think it’s safe, there is no such thing as safe when it comes to cell phones, the Internet or trusting your “friends.” If they wouldn’t pull their pants down in school, they shouldn’t be doing it in front of a mirror because it could end up being seen by everyone in school, and countless others. It’s also good to remind them that looking at such pictures, along with making them, is against the law and people do get in trouble. Sadly, the biggest producers of child pornography are actually the children. They need to know it can come with dire consequences.

Where’s the New Information?

I don’t know if it’s just a natural lull, but since returning from my hiatus, I’ve been searching for articles, studies and blogs about pornography addiction and it appears there are fewer new ones than ever. I hope this isn’t an indication that porn addiction is becoming either normalized or talking about it has just been a passing fad.

My life, and the lives of so many people I have met in the last 5-6 years, have been radically altered by pornography addiction. Some, like mine, have endings where the user became a happier, healthier person with a family that stuck by them. Most however – especially those who are unable to conquer their addiction – are tales of woe, where the addict lost everything and was largely shunned. Both groups have to rebuild their lives into something new, but it can go in very different ways.

I think both stories need to be told. I know mine is more of a success story that the addict early in recovery can strive for, but I also think we need to hear those stories of broken lives to serve as a warning to people who are debating getting help.

With my PornAddictCounseling.org site, I deal with many people who after talking to me for a few weeks or months will throw up their hands and say they are the unique specimen for whom recovery is impossible. This is when I’ll have them read both the success and not-so-successful passages I’ve seen out there.

I think both stories can be very meaningful, but I’m not seeing much out there that’s new. Searches through Google and WordPress are just turning up what I’m already familiar with.

If you’ve had an experience with porn addiction, please consider sharing your story. This can’t be something we don’t talk about. There are too many people suffering out there who need to get help and feel that they are alone. Too many of them mistakenly think they’ll be ok in the long run because their addiction isn’t to drugs or alcohol.

Communication and education are key. Considering being one of the voices.

A Final Request

Finally, if you see some kind of article, blog or study out there that is relatively new, I hope you’ll let me know about it. As I’ve mentioned, my next book is coming out later this year (or early next year) and I’m starting to stir ideas around in my head for the third one.

The concept of the new book – a professional and a former addict answering questions for partners of addicts – came directly from reading blogs on WordPress. I’m always looking for inspiration and education, so let me know if there’s something out there I’m missing.

And of course, if you’ve got an idea for a book that you’re not planning to write, I’d love to hear it. Ideas can come from anywhere and only a fool thinks theirs are the best.

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