I came across feedtherightwolf a couple of days ago and I'm up to stage 8 in the book.
Anyways, here's my story:
Unfortunately I've been addicted to pornography for 11 years now. It started when I was 13 and me and a couple of friends watched a dvd from his brothers stash. It was a hardcore film, and I remember feeling quite violated whilst watching it. I live in the UK, and had already seen softcore porn before on shows such as 'Eurotrash' and Channel 5 after midnight, accompanied by masturbation; but this dvd was something quite different!
It wasn't long after this that my friends and I made a regular habit of watching porn together and masturbating, and it soon became a thing that I did on my own. By aged 14, my friends, his brother and myself began downloading porn through a file sharing product, and after downloading the software myself at home, the slippery slope downhill began. I was now addicted to porn and masturbation.
Growing up in my teen years however, no-one ever said that porn and masturbation were harmful. All the guys at school would brag about doing it and it became part of the 'norm'. I once read that we sometimes go to our addictions to medicate pain in our lives? I can see that being true for me. If I can give you a brief overview of my life you may see why -
I was born into an unstable family. My Dad was an alcoholic who struggled with anxiety and my Mum was the only bread-winner, providing for 3 children. At 6 months old my Mum left him and me and my sisters moved in with my Grandparents. I'm happy to say that these are some of the happiest memories of my life. At around aged 5/6 however, my Mum met some-one else - lets call him 'Aaron'. Aaron was a successful business man and swept my Mum off her feet. My Grandparents were impressed with him too, and he soon became a part of all our lives. One of my earliest memories of Aaron was the night before my 6th birthday. All my presents were at the foot of my bed, and so like a daft little boy I moved my pillow to the other side of my bed so I could be closer to them. Aaron then walked past my room, scowled at me and snarled "Get to the proper side of your bed, stupid boy"! I remember feeling scared and embarrassed. Mum's and Aaron's relationship soon grew and eventually he asked her to move in with her. We all made the move to this old cottage in the middle of the countryside away from the beautiful atmosphere of my Grandparents home. This is where Aaron really started showing his true colours. He would often get very angry at all of us, shouting and eventually aggressive, particularly towards me. I remember being around 7 and waking up one morning having wet the bed. My Mum is a hypocondriact and immediately began telling me off. Aaron then came into the room and went crazy! He threw me outside in my wet pj's (it was raining) and then ripped out all the drawers from my cupboard with my clothes and threw them out after me, yelling something like "f**k off". I was crying my eyes out, and when I was allowed back in, I was made to feel that it was 'my' fault...
Abuse such as this (never sexual) unfortunately went on for years. It must have affected my school life also, as I was often left out and bullied, and had no confidence whatsoever in my academic work. On Christmas Eve 2000 however, Aaron admitted to my Mum that he had been having an affair and he didn't love her any more. Me and my sisters found out on Christmas Day, and we had to move back in with my Grandparents for a year. This time though, it wasn't a happy time at my Grandparents - the damage had been done.
You can probably see now why porn and masturbation acted as a sufficient escape for all my stress.
The nail finally hit me on the head when I was 16 as to how bad the addiction had got. I was masturbating near enough every day and on pornography weekly. Me, my friend and his brother eventually began masturbating one another and got into really dark pornography - I'm ashamed to say that the porn addictions started here are still with me today. I'm not gay, it just felt so 'physically' good to be 'truly' accepted by someone else at the time. My Mum had been through so much bad stuff that she just closed down on me emotionally and devoted her life to her work, and I became (and still am) hostile to being loved and letting people in. The masturbation that occurred with my friend and his brother was something that I could control and it felt physically amazing. Even so, it always leave me feeling disgusted and ashamed after climax.
By aged 17 I just wanted to be 'normal' and like my friends at college. I began sleeping round a bit in an attempt to feel normal and 'one of the lads', but again it just left me feeling ashamed and empty.
I guess now is a good time to say that I'm a Christian and I take my faith very seriously. I even work in ministry! It was not until I was 18 however that God really began to move in my life. I caught wind via a website about a Christian healing retreat. By this point I was desperate for recovery, so I signed myself up for it. I attended the retreat later on that year, and was given two counsellors for the weekend. It was literally the first time I had told my story to anyone else (out of fear of being condemned) but these counsellors and the rest of the team received me with the utmost love and care - it was incredible! On the last night there, they prayed for us to be healed. I had never really gone to church up to this point and my past experience of it had been very Anglican and structured. So when they called for the Holy Spirit to come down I was absolutely terrified! People all around me were crying and falling on the floor. The lady at the front then called something out and my counsellor behind me said "right, that's you". My knees then buckled under me and I too ended up layed out on the floor! My body went into a state of paralysis and I couldn't move a muscle - I was trying to clench my hand but it just wouldn't budge. As you can imagine, I was scared senseless. But then something else happened. I began to cry... I cried and cried and cried for about an hour. I then realised that this had been the first time I'd cried in around 5 years!
God did a lot of healing in me that day, but he didn't take my porn addiction away.
I guess I've always looked a that 'quick-fix'. I've always wanted God to just snap His fingers and it will all be done with. I believe that God could do that, but I guess that we're not meant to be free from temptation this side of Heaven.
So here I am, 24 years old, single and living on my own. Still addicted to the same thing and getting evermore depressed about my future. Because of my fear of intimacy it's hard to watch all my friends get engaged, married and having kids. It makes me wonder of the same will ever happen for me? My heart desires it so much, but if I never get this addiction under control, and if it's not in God's will, then maybe it'll never happen.
I've had counselling and have read a lot of self-help books, but this addiction has become such an ingrained part of my life, it feels almost impossible to let go of it!
I'm currently trying the ERP technique, so we'll have to see how that goes.
Here's to being sober for one day. Sorry for the long post!
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
30 days bronze achieved!
60 days silver achieved!
100 days gold achieved!