No Longer Slave To Porn
No longer slave to pornography
For seven long years I have fought against a pornography addiction. In 2011 I experience Gods intervention and deliverance and became a freed man.
I am an addict!
At 4 o clock in the morning I woke up with thoughts running through my head. How should I tell my wife? For a few days my thoughts had been plaguing me and I mustered up the courage to tell my wife. “ The truth has to come out” I said to myself, “I can’t live like this any longer”. So I stood up, sat down at the kitchen table and wrote a letter.
You must wonder why I am writing you this letter. Something has been bothering me for a while now. I want to shine a light on my wrongdoings. I wanted to talk with you about this, however I never quite found the right moment and I was worried that I would hurt you. For a few weeks now I have been having more problems with pornography. I am very ashamed of what I have been doing behind your back and I only wish that I could write something better about myself. I have sinned against you haven’t honoured you as my wife. Please forgive me. I am so sorry.
I don’t want to hide stuff from you any longer. I will repent and with Gods help I want to become a new man. Therefore, I have signed up for counselling. To see the truth is very painful, however the truth will set me free. I have written this letter because I can’t live like this anymore. I hope you will understand.
I love you with all my heart.
In truth, I was not a bad person. I was successful in a lot of ways: I loved my wife, was successful in my career, active in my church and had a good social life. However, something wasn’t right: my sexual drive. I was addicted to porn. This was clear to me just a few days before I wrote the letter to my wife. Though the addiction started much earlier.
As a child I discovered that through pleasuring myself I found comfort that I would otherwise not find in my daily life. Although I was raised in a Christian family I didn’t experience the emotional security that I truly needed. As such I searched for it elsewhere. I continued this search for emotional warmth and security in later life. I often experienced an unexplainable inner emptiness, that in turn caused me to search for something that could fill this emptiness.
One day as a Teenager, I discovered a porno magazine and from that moment on my life seemed predestined. I regularly experience the deep desire to look in these magazines and it was not long until I could not control the feelings any longer. I found myself again and again looking at these pictures. With this came feelings like shame, guilt and revulsion.
When my brother moved out the situation improved for a short while. My inner turmoil lead to me hearing the call to follow Jesus. I experience again and again his grace and mercy. I was also active in my church youth group and worship team.
Temptation of the internet
When I moved out of the family home I bought my own computer with internet access. This sealed my fate and increased the temptation to watch porn. I noticed that I began to live a double life. On the one side I wanted to live my life for God and on the other I was drawn in by the practically irresistible power of **** *****. As the time went by the material that I watched became more and more extreme because I was no longer able to experience the Kick I otherwise would experience from soft porn. My thoughts were ultimately consumed by the perverse images that I had consumed. It was often the case that I experienced intrusive sexual thoughts about women that I met in daily life. Pornography reduces women to sexual objects – and I was no better. I hated myself for this and my mind was condemning me.
Every time that I consumed pornography I swore to myself that I would never do it again. I said to myself: “It will be the last time!” I asked God for his forgiveness and renewal and on the following Sunday lead worship in church. I was full of shame over my life. I thought again and again about what a hypocrite I was. Nevertheless, in the evening I found myself again looking at the same websites that I had the day before condemned. I couldn’t seem to find away out of this compulsive behaviour.
The same pattern continued for seven long years. Self condemnation and bad feeling were a daily routine. I knew, that with marriage my problems would not just go away. My hope was that if I just had enough motivation for a change, that I would overcome my problems. However just 9 months later came the abrupt end to this illusion. It hit me harder then before and finally realised that: I am addicted and I need help. I realised that I would never stop if nothing fundamentally changed. I decided that I must stop lying to myself, buying into the illusion that somehow someway it would just get better. I needed help and I needed it urgently.
So, I wrote my wife a letter and promised her that I would go to a councillor with my problems. I got the address for the salvation army councillor off my friend and signed myself up to counselling. However, by this point I had little hope that I could change.
I meet monthly with the councillor and had to give an account to the councillor of my abstinence from pornography. Every time I would sign a promise that until the next meeting I would stay clean. At the beginning, I had lots of success. After 3 months I began to realise how my thoughts had changed. I was no longer bound by the compulsion, to look at women’s cleavage and didn’t continuously have perverse thoughts when women were in the same room as me.
However, there were days when I came home and had only one thing on my mind and that was to look at porn. I missed the kick. In order to keep my abstinence and not to break my promise. I would lock myself in the spare room and pray. With all my strength I fought against that inner pressure until I felt release. Sometimes, I would go directly after work in to the forest and kept myself busy there because I knew my wife wasn’t at home. In this way I protected myself from the stupidity on the internet. I also secured my computer with filter software so that I could no longer visit any **** *****. To resist my addiction required a lot of resilience and perseverance. I was extremely hard on myself. I felt very empty on the inside.
No person can for an extended period of time be continuously harsh to themselves and also be happy. My intricate defences began to break. At first it was the suggestive advertisements of the fashion magazines that seduced me. Then I had to bring a video back to the video rental shop and was overcome by the urge to look for porno films. In the end I didn’t rent a film, only browsed what was on offer. However, from then on the enemy had me in his grasp. I used every trick in the book in order to watch porn. Again, I was in the throws of addiction. Although I had visited addiction counselling for over a year and was actually on the way to recovery. Everything went wrong. I felt a deep sense of hopelessness and began to doubt. I thought I was untreatable, a totally hopeless case. I was doubtful and didn’t know what I should do. It was now clear to me that: either a miracle would happen or I would have to come to terms with being untreatable. In my hopelessness I began to cry in my bedroom and was brought to my knees. I prayed to Jesus and demanded a miracle. That I would be freed from the chains of my addiction. Then I opened the Bible and read Ezekiel 37: 23
„They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.“
Somehow, I knew that God, through this verse, had spoken to me. This gave me new hope. I rang my councillor at the salvation army and said to him that I urgently needed help and he invited me to the next church service, where the church would pray for me. I felt I did everything right. Most importantly, I would be free. I was prepared to pay any price, irrelevant of whether I would blame myself or not. I just wanted to be free. I held on to that ray of hope that Jesus would perform a miracle.
During the prayer for deliverance on Sunday 10th July 2011 I felt that something had happened within me. Something unknown and dark seemed to leave me. I felt suddenly free and as if a weight had been lifted. I could breath deeper than I could in a long time. I knew that something had happened. I knew I was free.
My fear was only that this would suddenly go away. I couldn’t trust myself anymore. To often had I disappointed myself. To often had I said that I would change. Three weeks after the experience in church, I felt God very strongly again. A deep sorrow and pain filled me, because I saw, how badly I had hurt myself.
For a whole week I went walking every free minute I got and prayed to God that he would change my heart and that I could turn my back on my damaging inner ways. I recognised that if I didn’t fundamentally change on the inside, I would fall back into addiction. God showed me that for the whole year I had run to the wrong source to fill up my inner emptiness.
At the end of the week I was filled with the knowledge that I would no longer have to go back to porn. From then on, I experience a never before felt freedom. I experience that what Jesus meant when he said:
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.“
For a whole year I was not tempted once to watch porn. My thoughts were also completely free. I could look at a beautiful woman and celebrate that God had made such a person, without having perverse thoughts. I even forgot, that in the petrol station shop you can by porn. This was for me unthinkable. My relationship with God fundamentally changed and I experienced his unfailing love for me. The feelings of emptiness and loneliness were gone and the feelings of shame and inferiority had no place in my life. I experienced what my father in heaven had in store for me. Real joy and meaningfulness suddenly had a place. My life and my faith are now completely changed.
Since my deliverance I have had to go through some hard times. I have had to learn how to live as a free man, in order not to revert to old habits. The process wasn’t without painful relapses from which I had to learn. Freedom doesn’t mean that you can play with fire with out burning yourself but it does mean you can chose not to play with the fire in the first place. Today I am completely free of my addiction and I do not consume pornography.
How are you? Are you free? Or have you lost your freedom whilst searching for acceptance and love?
What Jesus did for me, he can do for you!