Unveiling My Depression

Recently I sunk hard in depressive and even suicidal thoughts. I felt unlovable, I felt shameful, and I felt guilty for my actions. I began to lose interest in things in life. I didn’t think I was allowed to be happy because of my sins. And it hurt me a lot. It hindered my relationships with my family, specifically my wife and my son. They had to deal with an emotionless being that was me.

But I finally came to a conclusion. If I wanted change, I need to confess what I knew I was doing wrong in life. I needed to change what I was doing wrong and push toward something right.

Since high school (possibly even before that, but my memory can’t stretch that far back much) I dealt with an addiction to pornography and other things that came with that. It was an escape from reality when i was stressed or angry, and it eventually just became a bad habit that I didn’t even enjoy anymore. I’ve tried to quit from it too many times, all on my own. I hid the addiction and tried to beat it in secret because I was too afraid of what would happen if someone found out. But eventually, I got to the point of where I knew if I didn’t change, I would never amount to something more. I would never reach my dreams. i would never reach any form of potential that is good for me. I would never be able to fully enjoy my life with my family. So a little over a week ago, I confessed my addictions. I confessed it privately with God and asked for forgiveness, and I confessed it to my wife as well and begged for her forgiveness too. I look back and see that I shouldn’t have been afraid. I know she was hurt by it, and I know she’s still working through things as we deal with this together. But all I could imagine was her leaving. Her never looking at me the same ever again. Her leaving and taking our son with her. Or even making me leave. I couldn’t tell her for so long, but I finally did. I think I may have ever cried in front of her at least once, but when I confessed this to her, I was a mess. I was bawling, moaning, and yelling just in sheer panic and disgust with myself. And she held me. She forgave me. She promised to work through it with me.

I cannot explain the feeling fully enough, but in that moment, it felt like I was wearing weights all over my body, and they just fell one by one. A weight on my back, my arms, my neck, my legs. I felt light as a feather…I felt nothing but freedom. It was the most difficult thing I think I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t go back to the shame and hiding of my sin. That would’ve been even more difficult.
I say all of that to get to this point. I’ve been just over a week in a recovery process. I’ve come to a point where I believe I can share this in a public but safe space and not feel shame or guilt or fear of being demonized or ousted. I feel free. And I feel a joy that I cannot express. I feel my relationship with God mending. I’ve prayed more than I have in the last week than I have in probably ten years. I’ve read my Bible more in the last month than I have in years. I know that this was the right thing for me to do. I want to celebrate a victory that I could not do on my own.

I have so much more to work through. Temptation is real, I believe relapse is real, and though I fear it, I am ready to work through recovery. I’m praying over who I can trust to be allies that work with me in running toward righteousness. I need to run in the opposite direction of sin every day or I will fall back into bad habits, and it’s really hard to do 24/7. But I believe that I can by God’s help surround myself with people, especially Christians, who will help guide me toward the path God has for me.

I want to thank everyone who’s responded to my posts recently, to those who have checked on me and prayed for me. I wouldn’t be here without you. I may not have responded to you directly, but you kept me encouraged when I wanted to disappear. Thank you. I hope to write a weekly journaling post here to show progress and hopefully encourage anyone else dealing with this. If you are, tell someone. You don’t need to be alone. You don’t need to suffer in silence. You don’t need to run and hide in shame. I did for too long and it almost killed me. Come into the light, and let’s run together.

Thanks again <3

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Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on shedding the burden of your secrets!

Supportive loved ones really are the embodiment of God’s grace. I went through the same thing with my wife. I felt unworthy of her love, but she said that she was proud of me for admitting it to her, and that she still loved me and always would. It feels amazing!

Capitalize on the light feeling you have now. Run fast and dive deep. I started my recovery journey enthusiastically, then took a break between programs, got back into bad habits, and while I’ve gotten back into a recovery program, it’s not with the same gusto as before.

It’s so great that you’ve found your voice in prayer! That’s one thing I haven’t found yet, and one thing I wish I could find. I’m really happy for you that you found yours!

Remember, you are not alone. Not in life, and not in the battle with porn addiction. Not in your world, and not in this forum. I’m proud of you for telling your story here. Keep us updated. Our sins and negativity thrive in darkness and wither in light. Happy trails on your way to recovery! :hrtlegolove:

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Hi eranwest9, Thank you for sharing I can’t imagine that was an easy post to write but the fact that you went into great detail with your addiction I find very impressive. It’s no secret that every person deals with some sort of addiction in their life whether its alcohol, drugs, porn or the many other things. I think the hardest thing in addiction is admitting you have a problem. You made a huge leap for help by talking to your wife and now posting to the support chat. It’s important to remember you’re not alone and that at anytime you need support we are here for you. The thousands of people on Heart Support are here for you and to help you stay on track and not relapse. Keep going strong and be true, be you, you’re amazing!

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From: ManekiNeko

really proud of you for being open and honest about your struggle. It’s not easy to talk about something that’s been weighing on you and has had a hold on you.

addiction comes in many forms and it’s valid and something that is always a work in progress. Unfortunately it’s not easy to just let it all go. One thing I can say that even if it feels like you’re taking a step back, you’re never back to square one. It doesn’t erase the progress made and the guilt that sometimes weighs and comes with it can be enough for people to give up all together. As sheetmetalhead has said, embrace that light feeling you have right now and run with it. And just know you have some great people here who love you and support you!

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Thank you for sharing this with us today.

I understand something guilt manifests and obsesses over becoming to the point it’s overwhelming, especially with a bad addiction like that. It sounds like being able to speak about it to your wife and ask for forgiveness was liberating for you.

Just remember, if you do relapse, they say it is part of recovery. I would advise to just keep honest with your peers and your wife if that does arise. Have you thought about writing your day-to-day thoughts in a journal? It might help you cope in rough times like these.

Don’t feel shy to keep us updated like you have been, we’d love to be part of this journey of progression for you. :slight_smile: Take care, friend.

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Hey @eranwest9,

I’m really proud of you for doing the right thing even though it was tremendously hard.

I’m also really proud of you for sharing this on this forum in hopes of giving inspiration to others. That’s not easy either.

Through my life I’ve learned a lot of things. Most of them the hard and painful way.

Within your post is an incredibly powerful lesson that can be used anywhere in life or work.

“What’s in the way, is the way.” A quote from Marcus Aurelius that instills the powerful wisdom of facing the challenges in life head on.

Though very spiritual, i’m not really religious, but know that there has to be a verse in the bible that describes the same kind of thing.

… With courage, you faced something that terrified you. An issue you were dealing with in isolation consumed you in fear, but still you acted on the right thing to do.

As a result, god, the universe is unfolding life for you - because you acted on the right thing despite the potential fallout that you knew could have been possible.

You’ve taken an incredible step to becoming the best version of yourself.

“I am the sculptor and I am the marble.” - there’s a masterpiece in there.

I also wanted to be forward and say that going through these things without proper support groups can make the challenge even more difficult to push through. Burdens aren’t meant to be carried alone.

one of my very best friends identified with his own additions and joined Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. It’s provided him the guidance, mentorship and religious aspect he’s needed to continue making the right decisions despite temptation. The individuals in this organization are people who have gone through what you’re now beggening - a powerful tool to continue being the best you, that you can be.

And Please do keep us posted on your journey. The highs AND the lows.

Stay Strong my friend. You got this!

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Thank you, everyone who replied. Not sure if you’re tagged automatically so I’ll just do this quick @SheetMetalHead @CaptYeti @DiscordReply @lunxaire @I-Am-Reclaimer

It’s calming knowing I was never alone. Seeing proof of that helps so much. Knowing there’s a brighter side is so helpful. Thank you for encouraging and pushing me forward. for those who asked, I’m using an app called Covenant Eyes to be able to not only protect myself and be monitored by people I trust, but there’s another app with the same organization called Victory that I’m using to walk through recovery. It has me use a journal to write out thoughts, work through courses, and take action steps in recovery. I’m going to share some of those thoughts on here in different journaling posts. Understanding the roots of addiction and learning about how to avoid triggers is something I’m dealing with currently and it’s difficult, but doable.

Thank you again, everyone. Keep holding fast. :hrtlegolove: :ag_icon:

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Good work on being ultra proactive with this! Those apps sound like powerful tools.

Keep us posted, friend! You got this!

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That sounds like an awesome game plan you got going for you already! Definitely sounds like some apps I may want to check out for myself as well. We’ll be here for you every step of the way. <3

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s incredibly courageous to say these things out loud. I am so proud of you. I hope that you continue to explore things that will help you improve your mental health. Your story and your experiences are so valuable. Please keep us updated on your progress. Its truly inspirational.

@eranwest9

It brings such a huge smile to read this beautiful post of yours. What a wonderful lesson of bravery, vulnerability, and inspiration. Thank you for not letting shame take over your relationships, your well-being, the way you value yourself, your life, because it’s not a place you ever deserved to be stuck in.

You’re a good man, a good dad and a good husband. Thank you for being you, friend, and for continuously encouraging this community alongside you.

It’s always a privilege to share life with you. :hrtlegolove: