Letter to myself:

Dear Porn Addict,

You must be so pleased. We’ve known each other, what… 12, 13 years? And every day of it, I’ve fed you, encouraged you, stoked your fire.

For 13 years, you have convinced me that the only safe place for me is in the dark. You’ve taught me how to hide, how to run, how to give up and give in. You’ve gorged yourself on my worth, speaking lies to me about my value in the eyes of the Lord, my family, my girlfriends over the years, and even myself. You’ve kicked me to the ground, you’ve put me in a box. You have been completely in control.

But here’s the deal, deceiver. I’m not the same 7th grader you met 13 years ago. I’m a man with ambition, strength, and courage; a man who has had enough. I’ve had enough of your tricks. I’ve had enough of your lies. I’ve had enough of your venomous voice telling me “You’re too lazy to change”. I’ve had enough of the heartache you have caused me, the pain and brokenness you have left me to sort out on my own. For too long, I’ve listened to your lies that I am unlovable, unworthy of intimacy, and beyond hope of freedom.

So I’m taking off the gloves. I’m throwing down the gauntlet. I’m unlatching the door of the cage that for the last decade or more, you have convinced me is locked, And I’m going to dig your grave. You have no power over me any longer. And your voice has lost all credibility. And with each of the following resolutions, I will heap dirt on your coffin:

1. I will be a truth-speaker. I won’t dwell in the shadows with you any longer. I will live honestly as a beloved son of the most high God. I will be honest with my accountability partner, my friends, and my family. When I recognize my dishonesty, I will come clean, no matter the consequence.

2. I will not compromise my purity by way of rationalization. I will not take my phone or computer out of the living room. I will not buy into the trap of believing “I can handle it”. And I will check in with my accountability partner to let him know I am going to bed without my phone or computer or tablet, to ensure I have accountability.

3. I will not delay my recovery! It will not and CAN not wait “until tomorrow”. I realize now what you have tried to keep me from realizing for all these years: that freedom never has to wait until tomorrow.

4. I will not be disqualified from being used by the Lord simply because I “don’t have my own stuff figured out”. I will remember who has called me and why– not because I have met a standard, but because He has already met the standard for me.

5. I will speak value to myself, understanding that I am loved just the way I am. That there is nothing I need to do to earn the favor of my heavenly father, my friends, my family. I will live as someone who understands that my identity is not found in others, save in the cleansing blood and justifying blood of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of Jesus Christ.

I’m not lazy. I’m not worthless. And I’m certainly not hopeless. You see, I see you now as you really are; not as the looming shadow casting itself over me, but as the puny, powerless ghost you are. Because here’s what I continue to find as I cast the light of the Gospel on your sickly face: you’re already dead and have been for a long time. So go on. Get back to where you belong.

Get back in the grave.

Letter from my sex addict:

Hey there little guy,

What’s wrong? Are you angry that the big, bad addict got his way again? Please… Will you cut the bull? You can try to put on as brave a face as you can muster. You can pound your fists, point your finger, kick and scream all you want. But we both know the truth.

I still own you.

You said it yourself. It’s been 13 years! Isn’t it time to just give in to the truth that this is just a part of who you are? I’m as much a part of you as any other part of your personality. Really. How many times have you been here before? How many times have you made similar speeches? What makes you believe this time will end any differently than the countless, empty promises you have made in the past? Could you be any more naive?

You say you’re a “man” now? Will anyone who’s buying that speak up? Do you hear all those crickets…? You are the same spineless, hopeless, lazy, and unworthy 12 year old I met more than a decade ago. NOTHING has changed and nothing will EVER change. Do you hear me? NOTHING! We DESERVE each other.

Don’t forget that WHEN you fall again, it will be the last straw. You won’t ever find intimacy in relationship, you won’t ever find love, and you most certainly won’t ever find a wife. You are mine. I am yours. That’s it. When we get down to it, I’m the only one who has offered even a glimmer of the validation you’ve thirsted after from people.

Or have you forgotten middle school so quickly? Who was there when you were bullied? Who was there when your “friends” called you by all those slurs? Who was the one to help you escape the pain of girls disappointing you in High School and College? Oh that’s right. ME!! So cut the religious act. You can’t outrun your past.

So here’s how this is going to work. Eventually you’ll get tired of trying so hard to fight me, the memory of this cute little exercise will have faded, and since we have been good friends for such a long time, I’m going to pretend that you never wrote that letter. I’ll let it slide. You’ll crawl back in your cage like the pathetic animal you are, and you’ll listen to me. When I say “watch,” You’ll watch. When I say “do it”, you’ll do it. And sure, you’ll feel some shame, some guilt, for awhile, you may still try to kick back a little. But sooner rather than later, you’ll get on board with my plan for you. And one day, you’ll wake up, and you’ll be the shadow of the guy you were. You’ll be known only as a liar, a creep, a pervert, and a fraud. You’ll be totally alone, with no one to blame but yourself.

So go on. Enjoy your moment. Enjoy your passionate speech, blah blah blah. Because I’m not buying what you’re peddling. And when you are ready to lie back down in the grave with me, where you belong, I’ll be ready to take you back into my cold, dead arms.

You’ll see me soon,