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Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:17 pm
by selderane
A proper response would simply derail this thread, and this issue has been addressed in other threads.

So let's keep this thread dedicated to people struggling with their addictions.

I do, however, appreciate your reply.

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:06 pm
by Lazarus
Fair enough.

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:23 pm
by neighborhoodotaku
I'm not angry at God. What's He ever done to me? People may have mislead me when it comes to religion, but even then they're just as misguided as I was, so I don't get too upset at them either.
The crucifixion story never made sense to me even when I was a Christian. It's not justice to punish someone for another person's transgressions, nor is it a true sacrifice if Jesus came back to life. Also, I don't believe most of the "sin" that many people commit is worthy of death, so it was overkill to begin with. Nobody should be tortured to death for minor crimes.
Your entire argument is lifting yourself into the judgment seat of God, and frankly that is sacreligious. When you say that one sin is not worthy of death, you are making opinions based upon your own morality. Did you know that everyone's morality is different? An ISIS bomber has different goals from a Wall Street business man and from a McDonalds worker. Everyone has their own morality that they find within themselves, and using that to judge sin isn't correct at all. God's Word reveals absolute truths or moralities that we follow and are not from ourselves, and that is the only way to correctly judge sin. Ultimately, judging sin by human standards instead of Godly standards is all sorts of wrong and makes no sense at all.

The death of Christ has been very difficult for me to grasp for a while as well, but recently I have gained the wisdom and revelations that I needed to understand it. What you need to see first and foremost is that death is punishment for sin, whether big or small in our eyes. God sees all acts of the sin the exact same and takes the place of a judge because it is His character. Only when you see this can you know that Jesus's death on the cross was completing our death sentence and giving humanity the opportunity to reconcile with God. I wouldn't consider this justice, but instead unfair grace that we never deserved in a million years. This is an excerpt from Philippians 2 and really captures Christ's love and humility for us.

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!"

I've been in your place not too long ago, but if you ever want to ask any questions that you have, I'd be happy to answer them!

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:27 pm
by neighborhoodotaku
It happened when I was young. I was in middle school, I think. My memories of my youth are faded and patchy at best but what I can recall tells me I was somewhere around middle school age. We moved in with my mother's good friend and he became our step-father, if not in the legal sense but for all practical purposes.

I don't recall how it happened, but its effects still plague me to this day and only grew worse and more pernicious with time. My addiction grew in lockstep with the internet.

I am, of course, talking about pornography. That thing that was once kept to your father's or grandfather's dusty shoe box shoved in the attic somewhere has mainstream acceptance. You watch porn? Who doesn't? What's the big deal, amirite?

My introduction to it was my step-father's modest collection of VHS tapes and old Playboy magazines. Pedestrian by today's standards but effective nonetheless. It colored my attractions ever since. Ask me what I find sexually appealing (don't actually ask me... weirdo) and I can point to the movie and Playboy issue that planted the seeds. One movie, one issue. That simple.

Even after he died a few years later (suicide after it came out he'd been sexually abusing my sisters - and me albeit in a different way I wouldn't understand until adulthood) I kept those things and consumed them regularly. But I felt in my heart something was wrong. It wasn't right. And I eventually bagged it all up for trash collection.

Then retrieved them before the last moment.

This consumption, shame, purging, and retrieval cycle is a pattern I am intimately familiar with. I'm somewhere between the purging and retrieval stages right now. But how do you truly purge something that is literally at your fingertips any time of the day? Drug addicts, alcoholics, they have to make an effort to get high or drunk. Or at least make a purchase. Obtaining pornography is as effortless as flipping a light switch.

What pornography does is both rewire how your brain responds to sexual stimuli as well as warp your sense/expectation of what healthy sexuality looks like. And from a Christian perspective it turn the act of sex, which should be loving and giving, and turn it into selfish gratification.

Like all good things created by Yahweh and twisted inward by darkness, sex become less about your partner's pleasure and more about using your partner to masturbate. But the thing is, women don't act like the actresses in pornography. It's unnatural and, in many cases, demeaning.

"It's fantasy!" they say. Your brain doesn't know that. And I have been training my brain to respond to sexual acts no real woman (short of strong financial incentive) would ever perform with an appetite that is ludicrous to expect. Now, I know there are women out there with strong sexual impulses but that is not the norm. The simple biological reality is that men are far more sexually aggressive, the initiator of most sexual acts, and are wired to simply think about sex more often.

I say this because what will eventually happen when you do find a woman is this: Once the endorphin high wears off (and if you're having pre-marital sex) you will return to pornography. The reasons why you do will probably be different than my own, but it will happen, and it will slowly begin to destroy your relationship. It will plant the seed in your mind that you are unsatisfied with the woman you have at your side and, eventually, you'll act on that. It may take years but it will happen.

I cheated on my wife twice in the past month or so. We've been together 18 years and it came to pass. You may think you won't cross that line but I think we know it's a lie. You can't stop watching porn, can you? What do you think that is doing? Is that bringing your closer to your wife or further? If it's the latter what else could happen?

I'd been struggling with my addiction for over two decades and just about a year ago I told my wife about my problem. I told her that I'd consume porn several times a day, I'd consume porn at work, I'd wait until she fell asleep and sneak to my PC and take care of things there.

Even after sex I was ready for porn.

I told her that with this addiction came the desire to be unfaithful. That the temptation to do so was high. She said she understood and was supportive. I don't know if she truly grasped what I was telling her. The reality of it. That I was telling her, "Listen, if this keeps up I will cheat on you. If the opportunity arises I will sleep with another woman."

I've been travelling for work and there's a girl I was very fond of. She was funny, smart, very easy to like. And very attractive. Out of my league. But the thing was, and I didn't really understand this until later, was that she had her own issues and would deal with them with copious amounts of alcohol. Well, there was a lull in the work and we took a short day trip to a national park. I got a room for us with two beds that we'd share for the night. We went out drinking, came back to the hotel, and stuff happened.

The thing was I wanted it to happen. I was excited to be alone with her and I hoped something like it would happen. Got my wish and I've been miserable since. She and I talked later and she made it clear that what had happened was because of the drinking and it meant nothing. I was crushed.

Later the project moved to Canada and I discovered that escort services were essentially legal. Miserable about what had happened with my co-worker, desperately wishing it would change, and missing home and wanting just to be in my wife's arms and make the pain go away, I called an escort up. I was a nervous wreck. I'd never done something like this before. How does the whole deal even work?

She was a sweet woman, honestly. After we finished we simply talked. About crappy fathers mostly. She noted, however, that she could tell what I wanted wasn't sex but affection. And that was true. It was simply about the desire to be desired by someone.

But I already am, aren't I? I'm married. But that wasn't enough. After the escort left I was struck by how completely hollow the experience was. I couldn't understand how anyone would regularly pay for sex. What was the point? Then I recalled an article I'd read about prostitution and in it the writer noted that the women he spoke to said that most men they slept with were simply lonely.

I'm married and I felt utterly and completely alone. And my experience with my co-worker only hurt because I cared about her beforehand.

This is what pornography does. This is what pornography is. It's self-medication. It creates the disease and presents itself as the treatment. You become so focused inward on a fantasy that you will eventually destroy any healthy relationship you have with your spouse. And if you don't have one yet it is the poisonous seed you will plant with one.

Unfortunately the Church has done little to address this issue and has ensnared millions of men and, yes, women. If you're a woman and reading this don't think I don't know you exist. I'm just a man relating my own thoughts. But, yes, plenty of women are addicted to pornography as well. Awareness is growing but it is slow.

If you're addicted to pornography GET HELP. Get it now. You can find Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous groups in your area. They're 12-step programs based off the Alcoholics Anonymous model. If, however, you're like me and want a more Messiah-focused treatment program there's Celebrate Recovery. It's structured like AA but it draws from Scripture every step of the way.

Even if you don't use these resources, talk to someone. If you're married or dating your partner should be high on that list. Talk to your pastor. Talk to a friend. Talk to someone because you need help and you need someone to be there with you.

At the end of the day you have to make a choice. We all do. We have to choose life or choose death. Indulging your addiction is choosing death. Being an addict isn't a death sentence, but indulging it is. And when those voices come, those desires scream for your attention and tell you how miserable you are, choose life. Choose love. Choose the man or woman you love and repeat it over and over in your mind until it's real to you.

Cry, scream, fail (and you will fail... addicts relapse and you're an addict) but choose life because our time here is short and we're all meant for something greater.

Get help.

Choose to live.
I can totally relate with you because your story that you shared is nearly the same as my father, who also struggled with pornography and dishonesty in marriage. Now, it has shattered my family, brought about divorce, and caused my younger brother to turn atheist. I understand the effects of pornography and I'm not ashamed to say that it seeped its way into my life during crazy transition and anxiety when I was fourteen years old. I still feel the effects today and am trying my hardest to break the addiction cycle. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND NoFap, which is a secular organization working to help people break their addictions to pornography. There are a group of believers on there and it can be your equivalent to Celebrate Recovery when you are on the road, because I understand that you are very busy.

God bless and know that I'm rooting for you! I know your pains man! Keep fighting!

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:12 am
by selderane
I looked at NoFap a little. It's interesting. I don't know how I feel about the "no orgasm" bit. Even during intercourse. It seems like it's a permanent thing and, unfortunately, I can't seem to find more information without signing up for their program. I'll go to the forums next and see what they say.

I did find a book through clicking around and doing other searches called Your Brain on Porn. It's pretty solid so far and reinforces what I said porn does to your brain, and then some. I knew that the brain responded to porn the same way it does when you looked at food. There's a connection in men, in the brain, between physical and sexual hunger. I don't know if there's a parallel for women.

Porn-induced erectile dysfunction was new to me. That's scary but it makes sense.

So, yeah, good book. Definitely worth checking out. Only $5 on Kindle too.

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:28 pm
by ArcticFox
I'd also strongly recommend a book called Willpower is not Enough for insights on how to deal with addictive and immoral behaviors. Excellent and very insightful resource.

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:36 pm
by Partyninja
I dont judge you its a really hard temptation I'll pray for ya your not invisible in the world God hears your cry for help lean on Him and trust Him :D

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:06 am
by selderane
Thanks everyone for the prayers but that's not why I made the post. To be clear: I made it so someone who might be struggling with the same issue on these forums sees it and gets help.

You don't need to pray for me. If anything, pray that the person who needs to read what I wrote does.

That's what I'd like most.

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:55 pm
by lokik21
Oddly enough I kinda have myself. Right around when this topic was posted I did join a group to get help for it. It's not a well known thing but I am glad it's getting more attention from people, I don't know if I said this already but the Old Spice Guy also had to go in for being addicted to porn and is trying to bring to light the problems that can cause.

Re: I Am An Addict (Mature Subject Matter)

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:33 am
by Bruce_Campbell
What you tell your wife is your business, but I hope you at least got yourself tested before you came home to her.