Porn Recovery: My Part

2003, it was a scary time for me when I finally came clean on my addiction.

I was full of shame and yet, ironically, relieved I didn’t have to hide it anymore. My wife, at the time, found websites I had visited, even camped out at. There were rendezvouses  I had arranged with other people for sexual fulfillment. She confronted me with a slap to the face and a rage of emotion… so much hurt and pain I’d inflicted on her and our marriage. Eventually, it all blew up.

No one realizes the influence of porn when they’re in it. The wasted hours with thousands of clicks, all in pursuit of the next image or video. Slowly, a fetish kicks in. My preferences for getting off have specific description, appearance, even position. Addiction.

I couldn’t look at women without battling some perverted imagination. I couldn’t look in the mirror without a sense of disgust. Addiction.

Before I knew it, an actual woman could never get me off like the virtual world I craved. (Sorry to be blunt) A woman’s mechanics simply couldn’t squeeze my appendage to the degree hours in front of my computer screen could. I would feel guilty, shameful… even avoiding eye contact with ladies. And like anyone trying to hide a secret, I would mask my remorse with an over-compensated happy veneer… surely I’m the only one with this problem. No one else could be as filthy as I’m feeling right now… I’m the ONLY ONE.

If I didn’t quit, my tormented conscience would have continually sabotaged relationships around me. Fortunately, when I hit rock bottom, I discovered a website: xxxchurch.com

This site introduced me to SO MANY other people’s struggle, stories of REDEMPTION, and resources to help me find a way out. This is where I first installed accountability software to address my addiction. Later, I moved to Covenant Eyes to further my commitment in healing my heart.

I didn’t realize how my crummy beliefs about my shame were evolving into self-hate. Deep in my thought process, I was chipping away at my self-worth. Little by little, I trained myself to despise me. I hated who I was. I hated what I did… and if I don’t like me, why should anyone else?

Porn is self-destructive. You eventually hate you, women or both.

After the software was installed, I had been in counseling and then progressed into a faith-based men’s group specifically designed for sexual issues. I was able to learn how to talk about my stuff… owning my junk without being defined by it. Having someone to talk to about my struggle was such a powerful, cathartic expression. I was able to not only articulate the pain, but identify what prompted my desires.

It was during this time I became a reading machine.

With all of this new-found time of being porn-free and going through a divorce, I devoured all of the information I could to understand my heart and struggle. Here’s some titles I pounded into my brain:

Every Man’s Battle” – By Arterburn, Stoeker, Yorkey
Becoming the Person You Want to Be“- James B Richards
Wild at Heart” – John Eldridge

I bookmarked websites that would challenge me, encourage me, even expose me (in a good way). Sites like:

http://www.xxxchurch.com
http://www.everymansbattle.com

And even today:   http://www.potsc.com

I wish I could say that this is all behind me. I wish I could tell you how perfect I’ve become. I can’t. On a very real level, I still have to maintain a small degree of self-control. I still have my software installed. I am still very aware of this struggle.

However, I have been redeemed. I have been liberated. I have experienced forgiveness… especially forgiving myself.

It is through my brokenness that I became whole. I’ve become self-aware, vulnerable, and confident. When I began to knowing myself, my propensities, and pain, I discovered a power to live with transparency.

No longer manipulated by my emotions… or fears… or shame.

Liberty can be really scary… yet, it never felt so good.

Next post, I’ll write about the part God played in all of this.

What other books or websites do you recommend?


Where are you in your journey towards wholeness?


 
  • http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/ Luke

    I talk a little about my recovery on Ashley Weis' blog: http://www.morethandesire.com/2010/07/porn-idol.h

    Thanks for sharing your story, Angus. It's encouraging to read.

    • http://www.angusnelson.com Angus Nelson

      I appreciate your story too Luke. It's great to know "I'm not the only one."… that's a bigger revelation for people than anyone realizes. Keep up the great work with CE!

  • http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/ Luke

    I talk a little about my recovery on Ashley Weis' blog: http://www.morethandesire.com/2010/07/porn-idol.h

    Thanks for sharing your story, Angus. It's encouraging to read.

    • http://www.angusnelson.com Angus Nelson

      I appreciate your story too Luke. It's great to know "I'm not the only one."… that's a bigger revelation for people than anyone realizes. Keep up the great work with CE!

  • http://stephenbateman.com Stephen Bateman

    Covenant Eyes has been a life saver for me for a long time. Jesus is faithful.

    • http://www.angusnelson.com Angus Nelson

      Right on Stephen… and yes, he is!

  • http://stephenbateman.com Stephen Bateman

    Covenant Eyes has been a life saver for me for a long time. Jesus is faithful.

    • http://www.angusnelson.com Angus Nelson

      Right on Stephen… and yes, he is!