My compulsive consumption of pornography started at 11 years old. I never thought then I’d be writing this today. My addiction took me farther than I ever wanted to go, hurt me and others more than words can describe, and almost cost me my life.
I turned 30 a few months ago and still can’t believe that God’s grace has allowed me to be open about my darkest secret.
When my wife Charity and I were dating, I told her about my sexual brokenness that had come from my use of pornography but assured her it was in my past. We were married at 22 years old and because I could compartmentalize and lie, she had no idea that sexual addiction controlled my life.
Two years into our marriage, she discovered pornography on my phone. We sought help from our pastor, but unfortunately, the advice was terrible. His words led me to experience deeper shame and created feelings of guilt as he blamed Charity for not pleasing me enough.
We didn’t know where to get help, and as time went on, I fled back to my addiction to cope with life. Two years later, she again discovered my acting out and threatened to leave with our two kids if I didn’t change.
By 26 years old, I viewed pornography daily, suffered from erectile dysfunction, constant paranoia, anxiety, and mild depression. I felt alone, scared, confused, and angry.
I had no idea where God was in my addiction but knew that I would no longer have my wife or my two sons if I didn’t change.
I know I needed to dig deep out of shame and step up for my family and myself.
I attended a Christ-centered recovery group and discovered hope for the first time as I met other men who were winning the battle against sexual addiction. Once I knew freedom was possible, I dove headfirst into doing all that I could to learn how to live my life without medicating my emotions.
I removed all access to pornography, set up blocks on all my technology, found a CSAT therapist, and was graced with a fantastic sponsor.
During this time, I discovered my addiction wasn’t the problem but that it had become my unhealthy solution to the deeper pains, hurts, and negative core beliefs I had carried all these years.
God’s grace is the first thing to give credit to. Without His constant drip line of grace, I wouldn’t be able to write this. His grace has allowed me to walk in freedom and approach my addiction with a curiosity and desire to understand what led me to have an addiction in the first place.
Once I started to understand the core beliefs like inadequacy, not being enough, believing I was unsafe and unlovable, I could treat the actual wounds instead of the symptoms. I still have a lot of growing and healing to do, but every day is new ground.
I am thankful not to be where I was.
I hope that as you read this you would be encouraged and you would know that you’re not alone in the struggle.
Until recently, I had very little hope that I would ever walk in freedom from pornography and masturbation. There is help out there and I pray that you don’t give up but seek to understand the root issues and beliefs that have led you to use pornography in the first place.