Addicted and Ashamed

Addicted and Ashamed

**Please be aware that this blog covers some sensitive topics and may be a trigger for those who have struggled with purity, porn, or lust. If you are struggling with a porn addiction check out http://xxxchurch.com/. **

Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorite Bible verses. The verse goes as so, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I know that a verse can speak to people differently so I'm going to share a little about how this verse speaks to me personally.

For many years I had always used this verse as an encouraging outlook for my future. However, very recently I was able to view this in a different way. Instead of looking at it as a way to get through my near future, I started thinking about how I can apply it to my life now.

It also reminds me about how Christ has given me strength to overcome fear, doubts, negativity, depression, suicidal thoughts, addictions, statistics and many other things. Although I could talk about the thousands of times I have been fearful, how many millions of doubts I have had, the countless encounters I've had with negativity, the years of depression and thoughts of suicide, I want to focus on how this verse has helped me with one of my addictions.

It started the summer before my senior year in high school. I often borrowed a friend’s laptop to watch movies. One day I'm snooping through things and stumble upon a folder with an odd title. I became very curious and decided to check it out. There were videos galore and I had an idea of what kind of videos they were, but I decided to watch one anyways. I didn't realize then how that one video would change my life.

At a young age of 17, I had watched my first porn video. At first I was disgusted and upset. I wanted to confront my friend, but didn't know how. It wasn’t long until I became intrigued by them and was soon imprisoned. I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I actually liked them. I had never heard of a girl who actually watched porn, let alone liked it.

Although there are so many, maybe including yourself, who know what it's like to be addicted to pornography, let me tell you what it's like to be a porn addict. I am a Christian girl. Girls are not supposed to like porn, watch porn, talk or even joke about porn. This addiction tormented me. I was so alone and knew of no way to escape this addiction although I desperately wanted to quit.

This addiction has been the most difficult life experience of my life. I finally understood what it was like to have a constant craving like no other. I understood the urge to do whatever I could to get my fix, my high. I felt filthy, dirty, unclean, and impure. I had to be as discreet as possible in order to not get caught, saying whatever lie I needed to say just to watch one more video. I won’t even mention some of the places I've watched pornographic videos.

It took a long time to realize the hold it had on me and my life. It kept me away from family events, church, friends and sleep. It was just one more reason to stay in my bedroom all day. It even led me to believe that I was worthless and a loser. It even made me feel ugly and insecure. I began to hate myself.

I can't imagine what it will be like if I ever get married. The thought of even possibly comparing my husband to the men in those videos terrifies me. You know, people always say that porn isn't that big of a deal. I don't think they realize what it is doing to them. Addiction is like the strings that connect puppets to the puppet master. What I didn’t realize is that I had become the slave and not the master. Addiction makes you feel incredibly helpless no matter how many people say otherwise.

I spent hours and hours constantly thinking about what it would mean if I were to stop. I knew what this addiction kept me from, I would feel accomplished and free to do the things I missed out on. I began to think that I would never be free of this addiction. I tried memorizing verses and praying, but I had to completely come to the end of myself and cry out, "God, I need you! There's no other way."

That was the first step to my freedom.

It took a lot of time and patience. I had to trust the Lord completely, because I knew I couldn’t free myself. I prayed for help and strength. It took constant diligence. I really had to limit myself on what I watched, listened to or joked about to protect my mind and heart. But let me tell you something, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. After spending five years of being imprisoned, I am now free. You don't have to feel ashamed or be secretive and you most definitely no longer have to be a puppet to sin. You, too, can be free, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

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