The past year has been quite the journey. When the year started I was quite the mess but I have grown so much since. I have learned to see myself in a completely new light. I see myself more the way God does, not the way my porn addled brain taught me to see myself.
I use to see myself as dirt, I now see myself as fearfully and wonderfully made. I use to see myself as unlovable, I now see myself as loved by God and worthy of that love. I use to think I don’t have anything to contribute to others but writing this blog has proved otherwise.
The road has been difficult but worth taking. In the beginning I was miserable and would constantly put myself down. But as my head started to clear because I was no longer corrupting my brain with porn and was filling my mind with God’s word instead I began to feel better about myself.
I was also learning ways to stop my thoughts when they would start to head down the old road. I learned to replace those thoughts with God’s word, praise and worship songs and prayers. Some days it is easy and I don’t have to fight. But other days it still seems like a constant battle. It is a matter of setbacks followed by rebuilding steps. Fortunately the setbacks have gotten smaller and easier to come back from.
The hardest thing was learning to love myself again. I think the only way to accomplish this is by first accepting the fact that God loves me first. God loves me because that is who He is, not because of anything I have done or could ever do. His love towards me is truly unconditional. His love cannot be earned or bought. That’s a good thing for all of us. I mess up quite frequently and if my past was criteria for Him loving me I would in no way be eligible. Thank you for saving me Jesus.
Once I was able to accept God’s love and begin loving myself again I was able to start working on accepting the love of others. I say start working on because I am still working on this one. I believed that if people got to know the real me then they wouldn’t like me let alone love me. There were times I would let others in but I always had that thought somewhere buried in my subconscious. It would always eventually surface and I would either push them away or just shutdown.
I was so afraid that people would run away from me when they found out about my porn addiction. It was when I came clean by writing about it in my blog and talking about it with some friends that showed me otherwise. No one left. Nobody was horrified. I didn’t lose any friends. In fact I feel closer to some friends than I did before they knew about my addiction. I have also made new friends and brothers in arms through my recovery.
What have I learned from my experience over the past year? To rely on God and to let Him love me. I have learned that my friends are more understanding and supportive than I could have ever imagined. I have learned that I am not alone in my fight against porn addiction. This problem is more widespread than I ever knew. I’m sure most people reading this have any idea either or are struggling alone unnecessarily.
I think the most important or at least useful thing I have learned is that I can’t do it alone. Trust me I’ve tried for about half of my life. Recovery will not work if you try to go it alone. If you are struggling with this then get help.
How is life different now? I am free! I no longer feel trapped and controlled by my addiction. Instead I am free to experience the love of God and the love of others. I have friends I can truly count on. They have my back. They always have, I just couldn’t see it through my self inflicted shame. I no longer feel ashamed, I feel loved. I am so glad that I finally reached out for help. It was and is the best thing I have ever done.
I want to thank my sponsor/accountability partner for all his help and support, and for putting up with me. I also thank my friends who have been there for me. Also, the men in my recovery group who fight right along with me. And thank you to those of you reading this.
I almost forgot to tell you the best part. As of January 1, 2017 I will have been porn free for one year! Definitely reason to celebrate!