In the last chapter, I mentioned a tough decision that I had to make. That decision was turning the control of my Internet filter over to somebody else.
By that point I had used the filter for at least a year, but I kept the password to myself. I viewed the filter as a tool that I could use to block out bad stuff whenever I wanted it to be blocked.
Not surprisingly, every once in a while, I would convince myself to take off the filter for a seemingly good reason. Yet when the filter was gone, I would end up doing something that I did not consciously plan on.
After a few slips, I finally was ready to step my program of recovery up a notch. One of the things that I realized I had to do was to let somebody else manage my password.
This decision provided 2 benefits:
1. I could no longer disable the filter when I was tempted.
2. I knew at all times that I WILL BE accountable for my actions.
Remember that saying that you are only as sick as your secrets?
Having a filter and another person monitoring my Internet use has taken the anonymity out of my online presence.
I must say that I do occasionally find myself around unfiltered computers, and still manage not to act out. I am able to do so because I have a completely different frame of mind than when I use filtered computers.
On unfiltered computers, I stay very careful with my actions, because I know that I am only one click away from making a mistake.
When I am on my filtered computer, I don’t have to monitor my actions – 99.99% of the time the filter does its job, so I am able to browse the healthy side of the Internet without taking too much risk.
Let me talk a little about the software that I use:
For the filter, I use K9 Web Filter : http://www1.k9webprotection.com/
This filter is completely free and works really well. I keep it at default settings, which blocks everything that needs to get blocked. Additionally, the filter keeps a detailed record of my Internet activity.
Last but not least, the filter is configured to disable my access to the Internet, between the hours of 11:30pm and 6:00 am, since I find this block of time to be the most dangerous. It also helps me to insure that I get a proper amount of sleep everyday.
I also use Mozilla Firefox as my Internet browser: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/firefox.html
The reason that I use Firefox is that it has a very important add-on that can be installed inside the browser – Addblock Plus : https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865/.
This add-on blocks most of the Internet adds. This is very important because the Internet marketers are very well aware of the fact that sex sells, and they are trying to use this knowledge as often as possible.
When I had a work computer on which I could not install Internet filter, I opted in for the next best thing – accountability software.
The program that I used was called Covenant Eyes:
This program is not free, it costs $8 per month, but I believe it is worth the price.
The way this program works is that you install it on your computer, and it tracks your Internet use. Once a week, Covenant Eyes emails a detailed report of your Internet use to your accountability partner.
There is a free alternative – X3 Watch: http://x3watch.com/
But in my experience Covenant Eyes is a much better program. It provides much more accurate reports and it is much more reliable. In other words, you get what you pay for.
I advise you to take the next day to experiment with all 3 programs. I am not saying that you should give up your privacy now. I simply want you to be familiar with these programs, so you know where to go if you ever need them in the future.
In two days, I am going to share with you one of the last pieces of knowledge that I used in my recovery. It has to do with the “feeling of emptiness inside of me” that I have had since I was a teenager, and how I was finally able to realize what was causing this feeling.
Please let me know if you run into any difficulty with the software.