I remember the first time I saw porn of any type . I was about nine years old . I was with my younger brother . We were staying at a cousin’s house for a sleepover . It was late night and my cousin woke up my brother and I from our sleep. I don’t remember his exact words of invitation, but he turned on the tv , turned the channel to HBO and I sat there in silence watching a soft core porn video . I don’t know how long it was I sat there in silence , feeling strangely enamored with the women on the screen , but it wasn’t too long. However long , it was all the time necessary to place an indelible mark on my heart . From that point on, my curiosity was peaked. These women , this world had my attention.
This spirit of lust was somewhat dormant through age 9-12. There were times I caught glances of inappropriate movies or something in a magazine. However , as I got older , the desire to see and watch more pornography grew. Once I found about masturbation and porn together , it became a powerful vice in my life . And although it was my secret lurking in the dark, it was quietly changing me from the inside out.
I never thought of my self as addicted to porn. Whenever I think of the word addict , my mind goes to the most extreme spectrum of submission to a certain vice. I heard of guys binging all weekend , missing work , maxing out credit cards or unable to function without getting a fix every day. That’s never been me. With this measuring stick of relative health I’ve moved from childhood , to a young man , to a man, all the while carrying this burden.
I think the reason I never really dealt with this issue is two fold : On the outside , I have been fully functional . I’m solid at work , I’m good with people , have good friends and a great family . So the stability and outward things that addiction threatens to destroy ares seemingly intact. Secondly, because my relationship with Christ has been out of order , I haven’t been walking with him closely . So my addiction to porn wasn’t perceived as a detriment to my outside life and my spirit man wasn’t hurt my offense toward God because I wasn’t walking closely with Him; you can’t realize the pain you cause someone if you are distant from them. Lastly I didn’t have an outside relationship with a woman in which my involvement effected my relationship.
Over the last few years , porn for me acted less as merely a placeholder for real intimacy , but rather as a refuge . I have always been a planner . My mind is constantly racing with ideas of the man I need to be at this age and the things I need to accomplish . This strong ambition has driven me through some tough times , it has also been the source weakness . Given that after college I wasn’t making any money I found validation and comfort in just moving , writing business plans , talking to people about what I had planned about what I was about to do. The reaction from people and the perceived movement towards some direction , satiated my desire to be successful . When I didn’t accomplish something on my mental list of things that I needed to accomplish , I would fall into depression. I would become angry and ashamed at my current state in life . Porn at this point made me feel good , it we my escape from the sad reality of all the things I spoke and all the things that I didn’t accomplish . The more that I spent time looking at these videos, my perception of women was slowly changing . Soon looking and masturbating didn’t do it for me anymore . I wanted the real physical thing . I started looking online for hookups and I acted on the desire once after I broke up with a girlfriend . I thought that acting out would ” clear the pipes” and I would be fine afterwards but it wasn’t enough , I thought meeting “the one” would change me and my habits , it did for a while . Things were going great , yet I was still looking . She asked me about it and I told here about my struggle ; she was devastated and yet I still didn’t reach out for help. Things finally came to a a head when my actions and demeanor toward her started to change . The me that was secret to everyone , was starting to show its self out side beyond the shadows and it she didn’t like it . When she decided she needed some Time off , I was angry and devastated . I felt that if we are thinking of marriage , how can you desert me at my weakest hour? Every relationship has issue right? I felt judged and unapproved . I prayed and asked God to open my eyes to the root of my issue . It always occurred to me that it was merely stress. But I never looked at what caused the stress . The source was me. My ambition, my need to be validated in my work , my the words of people , by my girlfriend, had me drown In a narcissistic spiral of self- aggrandizement . In my mind , every thing that I would be and that I am was a product of the work of MY hands, and when what I spoke did not come into fruition, I would fall into anger, into fear, into self-doubt. Stress would overwhelm me and my only way out became the company of my girlfriend or porn. My girlfriend had moved from a beautiful relationship to a remedy for my ailments . Man, when I realized this , it became so clear to me what had to be done. I had to die . I had to let go of the thought that it’s me who will see me through. It’s my intellect that will make a way. When die to ourselves and give God his rightful place in our lives , that proper hierarchy brings peace , clarity and a boldness in knowing that HE will guide you and see you through . I also realized something very important . The Holy Spirit brought to my attention that it wasn’t just porn that affected your relationship it was my lack of relationship with Him. My priorities in life were out of order . My source of validation and trust became everything on the outside that I believed I was in control of . My source of peace , joy and hope were founded in ambition , relationship with my girlfriend and my dreams and ideas I held of myself . Church and my relationship with Christ had become an obligation rather than real relationship . I spoke with God through prayer and gave him praise and worship when I had time . I was fighting to grow in business , then fighting to please my girlfriend then giving God what I had left .
This disorder brought distraction , I couldn’t focus at work , I was running around not being productive , I would go see my girlfriend half-asleep and exhausted and then leave her with nothing . I became irritable and angry at times as my lack of progress was making me frustrated . This all boiled down to feelings of self doubt , depression and anxiety . With my guard down , I would fall into temptation of pornography.
A perverted pursuit of Talents, dreams and relationships, transforms goal and aspirations into idols . Such a strong expectation and fulfillment put on any thing other than the name of Jesus is bound to lead to failure. I just turned 29 years old this year , and to come to this realization now seems somewhat embarrassing , but it also feels so liberating. Two scriptures that I have been meditating on are Proverbs 19:21 and Matthew 6:33 . My mind is always racing with new ideas and plans and God has been speaking to me letting me know that “you’re ideas are cool and all, I like the ingenuity , but let’s try seeking ME first and I will determine what’s the next step.” I worship a good Father. He knows the words I wrote down on paper 8 or so years ago for a college homework assignment, professing the type of man I wanted to be. It’s taken a lot of heartache and hitting my head against a wall, but He has been preparing me for such a time as this. What the future holds for me is really not of any concern right now. I just want to be assured that where it is that I am directed , it is a product of HIS hands moving. A life laid captive in His perfect will, there is no better place.
-Life after Death.