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Hi, I'm New Here...
By Zero
4/23/2011 3:48:46 PM
Hi everyone. I just stumbled across this site and thought it would be good for me to join since I'm currently struggling with problems of addiction to prn. I guess mb goes along with that.

Anyway, here's my story. I discovered mb when I was 12. It's actually a funny story of how, but for another time. I didn't even know what it was at the time. I didn't figure it out till later that it was what I had done. It wasn't really on my mind till I was about 13 or 14 when my friends started to really talk about it and I heard about it at school and stuff. Did anyone else here think at first that they were the only one who did it? I did and it made me feel like crap. But eventually I learned that pretty much all boys did it and that made me feel a little better, but I still always felt guilty after doing it.

I first looked at prn when I was 17. Cursed internet. I don't think it would have ever been an issue if it weren't for the internet. But I shouldn't blame anyone but myself cuz it was my choice and I need to own it. Well, it only happened once or twice at that time, then I went on my mission and thought it would never be an issue again. Unfortunately, mb still was an issue. Not at first. It's just that you get discouraged out there and I guess I learned to go to mb when I felt depressed and stuff so that was what I did for comfort. Bad idea, yeah? I was actually caught one time, but my comp never said anything. Funny thing is, I caught my next comp doing it as well. Guess I'm not the only one who struggled as a missionary, eh?

After I got home, prn still wasn't an issue till I got my own computer for school. It became too easy to get to it and the temptation was too great and I totally fell into its trap and became a victim. For years now I've been struggling to break free, with no success at all. I feel like I've been in darkness for so long and only now am I feeling the light again. I'm 89 days free from prn and I'm going strong. I've confessed to my bishop and family so I have a lot of support. I haven't been to any groups cuz I'm a really anxious person and that makes it hard for me to do that sort of thing.

I still mb though. Is there anyone here who has successfully stopped mb? If so, can you share with me how you did it? Any keys or tips that really helped you?

Comments:

My Thoughts    
"Go to a group. It is hard to walk through the doors the first time, but I now think of my group as another family. It is so good to have support through the good and the bad. Get a sponsor if you can. Work the steps. Work on your spiritual stuff (prayer, scripture study, church meetings, etc.) MB is hard to stop, but you can do it. If you search through here you can find lots of tips. Besides what I already suggested, a bishop once told me to keep my hands and mind busy. If you can, counseling can be helpful to.

Congratulations on the time free from porn. You can do the same with mb. It's hard work, but it is so worth it. I had almost 8 months sober a couple of times. I'm back to 5 weeks now.

D"
posted at 00:01:47 on April 24, 2011 by dstanley
Welcome Zero    
"good for you for being honest/real and reaching out - I feel like that's half of it for me... just being unashamed and willing to talk about it.

For me.. nothing has worked but a complete, 100% total reliance on the Savior. I give him credit at least 10 times a day... just a nod to heaven sometimes.. saying thank you.
The other day I 'released' while I was sleeping... and I didn't have any crazy sexual dreams. (first time in 10 years) so that was a huge win... and I haven't stopped thanking god for that.

That said... I have failed countless times in my life as well. learning ways to release stress in healthy ways seems like it would be big for you... there is some encouraging brain research that talks about how the brain can 're-wire' itself in 90 days.

I hate the doom/gloom that gets preached from the pulpit... it's as if sometimes if you make one mistake.. you will not go on a mission, not be worthy of marrying anyone, and (we're not going to spell it out for you.. but this is 2nd to murder) type of stuff.

Blech!

This can totally be overcome... Congratulations on making it 89 days free of porn...
That is awesome!

clearly as men (I can't speak for women) we have a biological urge...to release.... Boyd K Packer in the 70s's talked about this as a factory. He always gets a bad rap for talking about it, but I think this concept is VERY, VERY underdeveloped.... this drive, initiative, passion, balls, whatever you want to call it... is really at the root.

Learning how to channel this energy is really one of the big tests of life for me (as a man). (There is a success book called Think or Grow Rich - that identified a common trait among the super successful that there were able to 'subjugate' their sexual drive towards projects/businesses/relationships,etc...

There is another book I'm working through right now... "Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth" - on the idea that your sexual health is very important, if not foundational, to your overall health.

Some of the eastern traditions have methods/ideas for using this sexual energy (excess sexual energy) for enlightenment,service. etc...

it's true that a large portion (some even say a majority) of missionaries mb at least once throughout their mission)

I think we sometimes don't laugh enough at ourselves... It was pretty darn funny how I 'discovered fire' for the first time myself."
posted at 21:04:31 on April 24, 2011 by gracefull
Appreciate It    
"Thanks for the support. I really hope I can be of help to others here too.

@Gracefull, Yeah, there really does seem to be some sort of biological need to have a "release" of that sort. I hear so many different opinions about mb, both in the church and out, and sometimes it's hard to make sense of it all. I know that talk by Pres. Packer and always thought it was kind of weird. Not bad just...why is it that we can never just come out and say what it is and whether it's okay or not? It seems like even in our church this is something that we kind of just skirt around.

I've confessed about doing it to my bishop, my stake president, AND my mission president, but none of them really had much to say about it and none of them ever followed up on it, almost like it wasn't that big of a deal. I want to get to the point where I no longer feel the need to do it and I'm going to try to get there, but should I be way concerned if I succumb to it every now and then? I don't know...I'll try and figure it out.

Those books you mentioned sound interesting. I might have to check them out."
posted at 22:52:50 on April 24, 2011 by Zero
yep totally agree    
"Zero:

totally know what you are saying about priesthood leadership... I would NOT want to be in their shoes however... just imagine anything you say gets twisted and used against you... AND this problem is much bigger than we even realize I think. so if they are going to come out and say that masturbation is a sin - it would create all sorts of interesting issues I think.... I mean a bishop can only hear so many confessions each week :)

I personally believe it is a sin... it's kept me out of the temple mostly for the past 8 years (with a few exceptions).

Packer gave the talk in the 70's - so things have changed quite a bit since then. I think he had a lot of guts to give the talk back then (nobody else did before or since) - but yeah.. it would have been nice to hear him just mention the word! M-A-S-T-U-R-B-A-T-I-O-N...... ooohhh... I just said it. ha!

don't check out those books unless your gut or the spirit tells you to. honestly... what works for me might not work for you.. I would never presume that anything I'm doing is going to help anyone else out... but hey... I have to be real.. and this site gives me a chance to do that... I'm kind of a nerd.. I just love learning about this stuff.... I guess I just have this belief that the more I learn about the ROOT causes the better off I'll be

however, somebody once told me "Understanding is the booby prize"

which means that if you find recovery/Sobriety/happy life... that is the most important thing by far... and that who cares how it works... it just does.

abettermormon.org has free stuff that I've liked.

We totally skirt around sex in our church! It's time we started changing that... and I think if we did... people would start to respect us Mormons for having the guts to talk about something that hasn't really been talked about for 100's (if not 1000's) of years. It's just going to take a few bold people to step up... and start doing it. I think we would then become even more of a church that sinners would find hope in.

after all EVERYONE thinks about it!"
posted at 23:58:25 on April 24, 2011 by gracefull
Agreed!    
"I like what you said, that understanding is "the booby prize" because I've recently been learning all this new stuff about me and learning why I am the way I am and it's helped me to realize that I'm not actually the person I thought I was at all. If that makes sense. I totally agree. It's like the G.I. Joe motto, that "Knowing is half the battle." I really believe that's true because I see myself in a whole new light and I just feel more capable of continuing onward.

I also agree that we're a little too repressed with the topic of sex in our church. I mean, it's supposed to be something that's sacred and beautiful, yet we treat it as something that's dirty and don't ever talk about it. I think that's damaging in a lot of ways, actually. Because I don't think it's right that so many boys and men m~sturbate and feel such turmoil over it. It doesn't seem like God would want us to feel so torn up inside over something that's so common and so frequent. To the point of suicide for some. I have to wonder how much guilt is from the act and how much is self-inflicted.

I'm not saying that m~sturbation is acceptable and I don't want to downplay it. I do think it's something that needs to be overcome, but, in my opinion, it's a process. As we come closer and closer to God, the desire for it will diminish more and more until it's no longer an issue. I guess I just really don't think it should be something that we treat like the plague. The Church doesn't seem to treat it as such. If it was so terrible and needed to be eradicated, wouldn't you think they'd come right out and say so? They mention p~rnography all the time. Well, you don't usually have p~rnography without m~sturbation so why don't they ever mention it?

I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud here. I'm not fighting to make it acceptable or good, the way the world is. The world says it's "natural," but we're trying to overcome the natural man so clearly it's not something that we can hold onto if we want to better ourselves. But, again, I hate to see so many people so torn up inside about something that's so common. I think it would help to take the viewpoint that it's a process, to seek to grow closer to God and see that it will eventually fade away on its own. Some can probably do away with it fairly easily while others (yours truly) can't seem to get away from it. For me, though, it's not productive to tear myself apart mentally should I end up m~sturbating. I'd rather view it as a misstep, straighten myself up, and keep on walking."
posted at 00:53:16 on April 25, 2011 by Zero
Good viewpoint    
"It's best if you can keep from tearing yourself apart mentally when you fall, if you can. I'm having a really hard time with that tonight. I know I have to get myself to the point where I can say that it was a mistake and move on instead of beating myself up which is what I'm doing now. All that does is make me want to act out more"
posted at 01:05:49 on April 25, 2011 by dstanley
mention the word    
"There are dozens of general conference talks where the brethren outright say the word masturbation.President Kimball had a few rare talks where he didn't mention it (well it seems to me). Our bishop and our stake president have used the word from the pulpit recently. I have a lot of the same issues and similar history to you brothers. I am coming to peace with it now. It is wrong. It is a sin. It is also very common. It is also a fairly serious sin. I can overcome it. I think I have it beat, but one thing is true. I don't think I will reach a point where I don't have the urge to do it. I think life is about learning to manage my urges. I was never able to really quit until I was brave enough to go to meetings.

One thing our ARP missionary said last night was that if we quit any drug or behavior, and ever have even the tiniest inkling that maybe someday in our lives we may do it again, we will."
posted at 15:04:41 on April 25, 2011 by lawrence
Its not just words    
"There are several books that talk about the affect addiction has on your brain. One was ritten by a brain sergion and his wife. He sais that when a drug addict endulges the part of your brain that releases the endorfines that lets you "feel" the spirit is rerouted to your addictive behavior. It goes into overload and craves those endorfines you feel. Pornography affects 5 times as many parts of the brain that drugs do. that is why pornography and sexual addiction is so hard to overcome. It takes time for your brain to come out of overload and recover. the longer you can refrain from the act the less your body craves the overload, and you can start to "feel" the spirit agian. There is no set way to do this. You will go through withdrawals just like a drug addict. You will have the same cravings. Something can set you off after long months of sobriety just like an alcaholic. Dont give up, expect the withdrawals, and work through them Every Time! You can do It! We are here for you! A group is perfect for this. The 911 hot line on this site is the most amazing thing for this I have ever seen. Guard yourself at all times. Unlike alchahol sex is everywhere, and the tools for mb are always with you. Change your patters, stay away from what tempts you at all costs, and expect relapses and withdrawals even without the actions! This is the hardest thing to understand. I know I am going to catch some flack for this comparison, but it has changed my addiction for me. For the first time in 30 years I understand my never ending pattern and I can avoid the actions of viewing porn and mb. I still have times I fall, but I can shorten the pattern and stop quickly. I can get up and carry on. It took the lord and lots of reading and prayer to finally understand what it is to be an addict, not just an over indulgent man. The Lord can littary carry me when my addiction takes over. I can feel my body healing but I cant do it on my own. Find support in defensive patterns, join a group, Stay focused, and never forget you are a real addict! Good luck my freind. our prayers are with you!"
posted at 00:27:04 on April 27, 2011 by 30years
I was told that group therapy works really well for men    
"I live in texas and I attend SAA meetings. I was VERY anxious about attending them. However, I found some larger groups that were easy to start off in where I could blend in and not be noticed.

Its really awesome that you are at day 89. I wish I was in your shoes! If you start feeling like you are locking horns with the devil over prn and mb, you should consider an ARP meeting or a SAA meeting to get clarity.

Find the peace and then you will beable to resist all"
posted at 08:08:20 on April 27, 2011 by Hurtallover
Thanks All    
"I appreciate everyone's support here. I haven't had a chance to use the 911 alert on here, but I will if I need it."
posted at 19:51:54 on April 27, 2011 by Zero


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"By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but “gave no heed unto them,” we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations “such as [are] common to man”. Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us! Turning these unwanted lodgers away at the doorstep of the mind is one way of giving “no heed.” Besides, these would-be lodgers are actually barbarians who, if admitted, can be evicted only with great trauma."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987