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Ashamed and Hopeless
By booklover
2/28/2015 4:02:54 AM
I am addict. I'm addicted to written pornography and masturbation.

I started masturbating when I was four, I think. I was really young and had no idea what I was doing. My mom caught me once and told me to never do it again, but she didn't tell me why, so I continued without her knowing. No one ever told me about it or that it was bad. I didn't figure out what masturbation was until I was 13. I heard someone mention it and I looked it up online and found out how bad it really is. I stopped and talked to my Bishop and never did it again until last year when my doctor messed up my anti-depressant medication and accidentally halved the prescription and I was in a really low place. I hate myself. I told myself I'd never do it again. I keep trying to stop, but I can't. I'm weak and I feel disgusting and dirty. I talked to my bishop in my ward last year and he just told me to stop and that I was okay. That didn't help at all. I know I should talk to my new bishop, but he's so nice to me and he thinks I'm a good person and I don't want him to know. I don't want to see him at church and know that he knows. I know I should trust God and just tell the bishop. I worry, because I haven't found anyway to stop that I can't and that talking to the bishop or checking out this site will be useless. I worry that I'm pass redemption. Which is awful, because logically I know that isn't true and that it probably makes Christ sad that I think that.

When I was in Jr. High my friends shared some inappropriate books with me. They told me it was fine because it was only one scene or it wasn't descriptive or they would tell me what pages to skip, so I'd miss the bad parts. I was curious though and I would read them, even though I knew I shouldn't. I was afraid because my friends already said I was too naive and innocent. I thought that since they were LDS too that they wouldn't lead me wrong. They used to tell me things during Youth Conference or Girl's Camp about what they read and would tell me all sorts of nasty things to shock me and I'd be curious and I'd look them up online to see if they were tricking me. Eventually I found some fanfiction sites that were very inappropriate and got really addicted to reading them. I used to feel sick afterwards, but now I'm numb. I lied to myself so many times. I don't know what to do. I also found some books that my mom had and read them in secret they had some sex scenes in them and I figured that if my mom read them that they can't be that bad. I'd heard that sin is a slippery slope, but I never thought that would apply to me.

My mom mentioned LDS addiction recovery, not for me, she doesn't know, but for friends from my homeward who all read pornography. I started to read through it, but the second it mentioned talking to a bishop I panicked. I don't think I can heal myself or start progressing towards recovery until I confess my sins, but I'm scared. I don't know why. I've done it twice before for the same thing. I don't think it will help. I know God is all powerful and that He loves me and has a plan for me and that I need to trust Him and know that I can become clean.

I don't go to church anymore, because I feel so dirty. I've isolated myself from my friends and family, because I don't want them to know. I'm afraid they'll see into my soul and be disgusted. I'm so ashamed. This has ruined my soul and my self esteem. I don't know who I am anymore.

I know people can repent. I know so many people who have done awful things in their lives, but who have repented and practically glow with the Spirit of Christ. I want that. I want to be like Alma the Younger. I don't want to be lost anymore. I'm almost scared to pray, because I don't feel worthy enough which I know is Satan messing with me. What do I do? How do I abstain? I've blocked my computer. I only go on it when people are around yet I still end up reading porn. I should give my password to someone else, but I scared to admit it. My parents are so proud of me and I can't stand to think how disappointed they'd be.

I told my parents the first time I stopped, but that was months after I had repented. They weren't mad or anything, but I still don't want them to know. They weren't angry with my little brother either when I caught him viewing pornography and he told them, before talking to the bishop. Although I know this I can't help, but think that they won't love me anymore if they knew and my dad's birthday is coming up and that the next time I'll see him. I can't tell them. I can't even tell my mom, because I know she'll tell Dad.

Someone help me. How do you stop? How did you get the strength to talk to someone? How do you let yourself trust the Lord? How do you avoid temptation? I tried meditation, exercise, or keeping myself busy, but those only help for a short while. I've tried telling myself how it's a sin and how much emotional pain I'll be in, but it doesn't work. I don't have the strength of will to stop. Is there any hope?

Comments:

Wecome    
"Booklover,
Welcome thanks for sharing. i hope you find hope peace here. I have been trulyl blessed by association here as well as my association with the SA program and the Church's 12 step program. Though it is only seven months of sobriety,it is probably the longest true serious sobriety I have had in my life. It is a miracle, something I couldn't do myself, but by letting God into my life I have begun the healing process.

i have also learned for me at least, the addiction has been a crutch for me to deal with life. While p@rn helped me escape my life, as I have had some sobriety from that other things like overeating, online gaming have taken its place (I don't say that to be negative but to help you understand that there is process of changing in life).

In answer to your questino about stopping I would recommend you get in touch with the local SA program, if you are serious about changing. Getting to know other people, their history reading the literature I believe you will realize that your story has already been written, that while you might think that you are 'unique in your addictino' in fact everything you are dealing with has been experienced already and more importantly the Savior has already experienced.

Bottom line - i would recommend you get in touch with the local SA program as well as the Church's 12 step program if you have one nearby. Getting out there, hearing people's stories will help you understand that you are not alone.

I would also let you know that the addiction needs to be looked at though three views: Physical Emotional Spiritual. If you miss any one of those areas, i would imagine that you probably wont have the success that you are looking for (in my humble opinion).

It is possible to change. i have about 25 years of p@rn and m@st addiction. With only 7 months of sobriety, there is a lot of work to do, but God is powerful, if you let him into your life, by taking inventory of the blessings you have in your life, I would imagine that you have a lot to be grateful for, that God is aware of you, that he loves you, more than you can imagine. As a parent of three girls I am learning now what that might be like, but can only be a shadow of God's perfect love as well as the Saviour's love perfect for you for me even with our sins.

God bless you for your desire to change. Keep coming back."
posted at 20:08:32 on February 28, 2015 by sjanderson
Thank You    
"Thanks you so much for commenting. It is nice to know that I'm not the first one going through this and that there are programs to help. I'll go and see if there is a program near me that I can attend. Do you just show up at the meetings or do I need to sign up somewhere online before I go?

I agree with you. I use my addictions as a crutch or an escape from depression. (which logically doesn't make sense, because it only makes me more depressed in the end) I like what you wrote about looking at it three different ways. I never really thought about that. I'll have to think about it and how to go about it spiritually, emotionally, and physically."
posted at 00:53:52 on March 1, 2015 by booklover
Hi and welcome    
"Well hello and welcome to the site!

First of all, I just want you to know something....you are normal. Ok, let's repeat that. You. Are. Normal. Totally normal. The more I learn about addiction and recovery and the more I talk to people, the more I fully realize that it touches all of our lives in one way or another and that it is part of the human experience. There is nothing more shameful about having a pornography and masturbation addiction than there would be about having an eating disorder or alcoholism. We all have our trials and that is the way it is supposed to be to help us humble ourselves and find our way back to God. It's ok and you have nothing to fear.

I really want you to have hope for an amazing future and optimism about the journey there. Both my teenage kids have gotten mixed up in porn and masturbation and it doesn't worry me or bother me in the slightest. I just see it as part of growing up and learning. They are wonderful kids and wonderful people and I couldn't love them more! Knowing about their issues is a blessing in our family and it has brought us a lot closer together.

You are awesome and amazing. Do what it takes to fix this in a fearless and hopeful way. Truly you really only need to tell your bishop but I would suggest telling your parents. Trust me that the Bishop has heard this same story because, like I said, you are in the majority. There is nothing you have done or seen that Jesus can’t and hasn’t already overcome. All each of us need to do is let all our pain and sins fall into His waiting hands. Please have no shame. Shame causes us to pull away. It cause us to hide. Guilt and a sense of responsibility calls us to change. It motivates and strengthens us. Reject shame….it is the tool of Satan to make you give up on yourself. Acknowledging our wrongs, no matter who severe can be done with hope as long as we keep our eyes on the Savior.

There is so much freedom waiting for you. Light and truth will help liberate you in ways you can’t imagine. Don’t be afraid.

Again, welcome. We want to help!"
posted at 19:07:47 on March 1, 2015 by maddy
What I Needed    
"Thank you Maddy.Today was really bad. I had planned to tell the Bishop, but I chickened out and didn't even go to church. I was wondering if I was beyond hope. Then today Sister Bishop (that's what we call his wife) came over and talked to me for an hour and told me that she has been thinking about me all day. She said that God loves me enough to be thinking about me today and to send someone to help me. Now I'm not scared to talk to the Bishop. This is his job and it's his job not to judge, but to help.

I'm starting to think that God really does send us angels when we are in need. Today he sent me two. Sister Bishop and you, Maddy. Thank you so much. I'm going to call my parents right now and tell them. I need help and I need to stop hiding from this.

What you said about shame is so true. It is shamed that kept me from church today and shame that kept me from confessing to the Bishop. It is time to make some changes in my life and it is good to know that I am not alone in this. I am so grateful for the atonement and that God has not forsaken me. God knows me and He knows what I need. He has a plan for me and He loves me. I realize now that Christ is willing to heal me I only need to open the door. He has not forgotten or given up. I was so worried that He had. Thank you Sjasander and Maddy for replying to my post."
posted at 00:01:51 on March 2, 2015 by booklover
-    
"I have fought with masturbation and written pornography for over 15 years. I went six years without indulging in masturbation and then had some relapses. What I realise lately is that I was focusing so much on not doing the sin that I would end up doing it again. Instead I now focus on what I want in life and NOT what I don't want. Get a clear picture of what you want and work diligently everyday for it."
posted at 00:11:28 on March 4, 2015 by Anonymous
anonymous has spoken wisdom    
"."
posted at 06:40:23 on March 4, 2015 by beclean
Come to the Light    
"Two thing you need to understand. First off beings ashamed of yourself is good. Letting others be ashamed of you is not, shame is where you do something but you are not sure why it is wrong. You need to go to your Bishop, it is step 5 of the Twelve Step program. https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/videos?at=s&lang=eng&page-length=9&prefs=&start=1&v=MTgxMTE3NTE4Mjc2Njk5NzgwMzUtZW5n"
posted at 05:22:44 on March 7, 2015 by Anonymous
?    
"can someone please explain to me where we saints get these bizarre-o ideas about shame? everything I read in recovery material - and maybe I need to brush up on the literature - seems to suggest shame is a fruitless pursuit. it's only in church circles I see people hailing it as some kind of utility. on any level. maybe I just don't understand their definition of shame or their interpretation of scripture. in my own experience it has only seemed to contribute to my ultimate demise. I have a really hard time seeing it as positive or useful at all. the irony of "come into the light...be ashamed...be very ashamed" is hilarious. I've never entered the light out of shame. only darkness.

"quick! hide!" -Lucifer"
posted at 11:26:37 on March 7, 2015 by they_speak
Shame    
"Booklover,

Being ashamed of yourself is not good. It serves no purpose, but to discourage. Evaluating your life and deciding to make positive changes is good. Feeling ashamed and dirty does nothing to help you.

Maddy is right, you're normal.

Yep, that's right. Normal. Not a thing wrong with you. Not a thing to worry about. Your curiosity about sex and fascination with it is part of what makes you human. Masturbation is also very normal. Anybody who says otherwise is wrong.

Take a long look in the mirror. You are not some special daughter of God who can't make any mistakes. You're just another member of humanity. Most of us have done worse than you. Most people wouldn't think less of you even if you told them everything you've ever done. Luckily, our society is generally moving away from shaming people for being normal sexual humans.

I wouldn't worry too much about confessing. If you do, fine. If you choose not to confess, don't worry about it. Jesus loves you with the same infinite love whether or not you choose to confess. You're really not doing anything that needs to be confessed in my opinion. As others mentioned, your biggest problem is being so focused on feeling guilty."
posted at 12:11:38 on March 11, 2015 by ette
Agree with Maddy and SJANDERSON    
"Booklover, I think most things have been covered by others. I would just like to share some insight on shame/guilt (this is not doctrine as far as I know, just my own thoughts and those of friends). Shame, as I understand it is from Satan. It's of the "I'm such a terrible person!"/"people will hate me if they find out"/"I'm dirty because I think/watch/read/do ______" (fill in your own blanks) variety. Guilt on the other hand is of the "I shouldn't have done that"/"I need to repent"/"I'm better than this!" schools of thought, and so can motivate us to do better - we are more than our actions. Addictions may be part of life, but they need not define us.
Having had the need to speak to Bishops in the past, I know that I spent time trying to ignore the issue and even searching everywhere to prove that I didn't need to confess mb. What a foolish waste of time! The guilt will not fully go away until we have dealt with the sin; part of which is confessing to our bishop. The sooner this is done, the sooner you can feel clean again and work on recovery properly.
Keep pressing forward and remember you are never alone!"
posted at 20:05:46 on March 16, 2015 by Anonymous
Agree with Maddy and SJANDERSON    
"Booklover, I think most things have been covered by others. I would just like to share some insight on shame/guilt (this is not doctrine as far as I know, just my own thoughts and those of friends). Shame, as I understand it is from Satan. It's of the "I'm such a terrible person!"/"people will hate me if they find out"/"I'm dirty because I think/watch/read/do ______" (fill in your own blanks) variety. Guilt on the other hand is of the "I shouldn't have done that"/"I need to repent"/"I'm better than this!" schools of thought, and so can motivate us to do better - we are more than our actions. Addictions may be part of life, but they need not define us.
Having had the need to speak to Bishops in the past, I know that I spent time trying to ignore the issue and even searching everywhere to prove that I didn't need to confess mb. What a foolish waste of time! The guilt will not fully go away until we have dealt with the sin; part of which is confessing to our bishop. The sooner this is done, the sooner you can feel clean again and work on recovery properly.
Keep pressing forward and remember you are never alone!"
posted at 20:55:39 on March 16, 2015 by Anonymous
Thumbs up    
"Well said Anon. Well said."
posted at 15:27:02 on March 17, 2015 by maddy
Agree with Maddy and SJANDERSON    
"Booklover, I think most things have been covered by others. I would just like to share some insight on shame/guilt (this is not doctrine as far as I know, just my own thoughts and those of friends). Shame, as I understand it is from Satan. It's of the "I'm such a terrible person!"/"people will hate me if they find out"/"I'm dirty because I think/watch/read/do ______" (fill in your own blanks) variety. Guilt on the other hand is of the "I shouldn't have done that"/"I need to repent"/"I'm better than this!" schools of thought, and so can motivate us to do better - we are more than our actions. Addictions may be part of life, but they need not define us.
Having had the need to speak to Bishops in the past, I know that I spent time trying to ignore the issue and even searching everywhere to prove that I didn't need to confess mb. What a foolish waste of time! The guilt will not fully go away until we have dealt with the sin; part of which is confessing to our bishop. The sooner this is done, the sooner you can feel clean again and work on recovery properly.
Keep pressing forward and remember you are never alone!"
posted at 16:40:17 on March 18, 2015 by Anonymous


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"Brothers and sisters, let's sell that summer cottage in Babylon. Let us be not "almost" but "altogether" Latter-day Saints. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006