XXX Church: People need friends beside them in their journey to be free from porn and sex addiction

One of the biggest lies people tell themselves is that they can go through life alone. XXX Church—an online ministry dedicated to helping people with porn and sex addiction—understand why people say this to themselves since we all often crave independence.

"We're threatened by losing our autonomy. The most triumphant modern narrative is, 'I'm my own person and I call my own shots.' And certainly there's great truth in valuing individuality," J.S. Park writes in the group's website. "But just as much as complete dependence on others is a dangerous trap: so complete independence is a romanticised fairy-tale."

He says no one is meant to live life alone, and sharing your life with other people is certainly enriching. A person recovering from porn or sex addiction needs to have a friend, Park says.

With a friend around, he says, a recovering addict will be in touch with reality. A friend will be able to help the addict understand the hard truth, and will hold him accountable for all his actions.

"If you're only surrounded by yes-men, you'll fall off every cliff," he says. "You'll drift into complacency and you won't grow. If this makes you mad or makes you uncomfortable, you might be heading that way."

"A friend brings another perspective, another point of reference, another angle, another voice. It can be enough to sober us up. When we get out of character, we need someone who brings us back. We need to be held true to who we really are and who we can become," he says.

At the same time, a good friend will hold a person up every time they feel weak. More often than not, people travel alone during trials because they feel too embarrassed, shameful, or proud. It is difficult to open up about failures because it makes a person look weak.

But Park says true friends never see a person as weak when they admit their mistakes. "We're each just as busted up as the other. We could each say, I know what this is like. And being able to say out loud that this hurts creates a freedom to fall, to know that failure is not the last of me, and to know we have each survived failure and have started over again," he says. "When vulnerability is normalised and weakness is our common story, the inverse result is strength and a glimmer of hope."

And lastly, being with a friend can open up lots of laughter and light moments. "I absolutely believe accountability and constancy are important, and they're the bedrock of friendships. But it can't be all about truth and trials. It's not always that serious," he says. "We need each other to laugh. I mean to really, really let go and laugh. Without joy, what's the point? I don't think friendships are always giggles and games, but if we can't have a good time, then the other stuff won't matter."