Hi everybody. I have tried to write this post I don’t know how many times already. There’s a lot I feel I need to say but I feel so overwhelmed and apathetic towards myself that it’s hard to phrase. Bear with me if this is long or nonsensical, I am grateful for the platform just to air my thoughts. Let me preface this by saying I am a Christian guy and so I align myself with a lot of traditional Christian values, which is part of what makes this really hard.
My first exposure to pornography and masturbation was at age 11. I was curious about sex, as most are as pre-teens, and so I was google searching around the topic when I found videos. I found myself enjoying these videos but not knowing how to respond to them, often watching them in the cover of dark but not using them for physical pleasure. At age 13 I first tried to experiment with my body and I really enjoyed the experience. I don’t think I was immediately addicted but the rush of pleasure was just a high I really enjoyed so I kept at it regularly. Eventually as time past I found out through youth and other areas the dangers of porn and masturbation and I became concerned: part of me wanted to stop entirely. Whenever I would try to stop I would notice that after 5 days or so the compulsion to masturbate would just be overwhelming, so I wouldn’t think any further and just go for it. I realised how much trouble I was in around 16 when the word addiction rang over and over in my ears whenever I heard it. I tried reaching out to various parties: pastors, friends, leaders in my church to just have support and accountability. I also started seeing a counselor. Unfortunately, even with all this I made no headway. All of these relationships eventually dissolved and I now find myself in my 20s still stuck with the exact same addiction.
What is clear to me is that my issue is less porn and more masturbation - the actual physical response of my body. That’s what I am hooked on. I can go without videos and pictures but not the act. I hate myself for even saying these things. I can see that my mentality is incredibly dark these days - I used to be able to bounce back relatively quickly, trusting God’s grace as sufficient for me. However, as time has developed I have grown increasingly destructive in response to my addiction. Apathy has become my greatest ally: I disconnect from everything around me, I put in less work at varsity, I lash out easier at friends and I stop pursuing the things I love because I just can’t bear to process the things I do and the person I have become. My mental pathways revolve around negative talk and self loathing most days: I am not even remotely convinced by positive thought about myself, often denying it as people trying to make me feel better about the mess of a person that I am. I am so tired. Tired to my bones. I have to get out of this rut. I have to, but my drive is so little and weak that I barely make it a few days before I divulge myself again. I know you have to be in it for the long haul but it seems like limiting the act doesn’t work: one slip and I inevitably end up right back where I started. This year has been so scary: I have had multiple consecutive weeks where I don’t engage with God at all or people in any meaningful way and I fear what I will become if it continues. I can see I’m slowly tossing my life away. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what steps I can take to make this better, to make things work. I feel like I am constantly going to be stuck in this same rut and that it will forever prevent me from having a normal life. How could I ever meet and love someone if I’m so obsessed with sex? I don’t know anymore and I just really wish it would all stop.