Letter to myself:
Okay here’s the deal. I’ve had a problem with pornography addiction for quite some time. Many in society would not see it as a problem but something fine and indeed needed but for me and so many others it becomes a great problem where our whole being is affected. I am a Christian and I know this is not the life God wants for me. I walk so often in disobedience to His will that guilt consumes me. It eats away my joy, my future and my very selfhood.
I’ve taken up a challenge from xxxchurch which calls for a 30 day abstinence period from pornography use. One of the first exercises is to write a letter to my addicted self, so here goes!
My Addicted Self,
I am writing you from the standpoint of being on the outside, being free from addiction and porn. I know this is what you want so dearly but you give in time after time while always swearing it off for the last time. The cycle repeats itself over and over again each time destroying what little will left you have. At this point you are in total despair over your inability to quit, to have some control and peace back in your life. It seems every time joy, and peace enter your heart, and you have times of great closeness to the Lord you crash and you crash hard. Those familiar feelings of deep guilt, despair, darkness and a world without God come back and dominate your mind. This is your false self but it is real enough, it has happened. You seek God with all your soul as you cry out in pain. Sometimes you do this and are tempted even then, giving in again for a little more. Then you are left cold, lonely, and in ruins to face your day. And that day carries much of it own problems and stress.
I need to ask why this happens because I am your true self, the one forgiven and bound for everlasting life with Christ. You know He cares for you and you know He forgives You but so often you doubt this. After the things you see and consume, the evil you take in understandably you feel there is no room for the righteousness of Jesus in your life. I mean look at what you like, what you enjoy yourself in. You are married but do not really keep your marriage vows, you instead share your intimate mind with multitudes of women. These are real sins to be sure but look who is talking to you. It is me, your “real self”. The self that will last forever. Your sins will surely be defeated and forgotten. When you indulge so deeply in porn your mind is saturated and consumed with self, the false self. It does not see God, but only condemnation.
What are some practical reasons you use porn? Why are you addicted where you turn to it over and over again even though you know what kind of poison it is? You know what you reap so why do you turn to it again and again. Well this is what I see happening. You might tell me that it feels so good, the images are so sweet and alluring, the activities so interesting and novel, how could I not give everything up for just that short time of intense pleasure? You know what comes after but from your point of view it is worth it for that moment in time. But how wrong you are and you sorely admit that after the fact. What’s going on?
You live a life of stress as do most people. You have a spouse that is constantly anxious, does not show much care or affection for you and is often at war with you. Your relationship with your wife is up and down. Your kids the same way, very intense emotion and conflict. You find yourself tired, emotionally lonely, isolated and experience a dull pain and ache that remains with you much of the time. Now to be honest some of your relationship problems stem from your porn addiction. The guilt drives you into depression and despair. You are in a sunken attitude and take this out on others around you. You are quick tempered and quick to see the negative, quick to argue. This is an honest assessment. We all have our problems and stresses, you deal with yours by indulging in mindless fantasy. Seeing the sexual nakedness and activity of strangers excites you greatly. You are taken from your world during that time and enraptured in a world of sweetness, desire, and absolute indulgence. It is rewarded with the drug if orgasm which is more intense and fantastic than your true sex with your wife. In fact your sex with your wife has become dulled and you find her less and less attractive because she does not do the things that your fantasy girls do.
After the business of porn you are left in pain. You have suddenly reappeared in the real world with the knowledge of what you seen and done. Sin after sin after sin. You really didn’t want to see all that you have seen but you have become a participant in the darkness. This is the real crutch of the matter and where you find yourself even at this moment. You are in great despair and pain. You are lonely, you only want to be loved and helped. You want someone to come into your life and guide you towards Love and Peace. I see you here at this helpless juncture. I live with you and coexist with you. I want to help you but I find my voice silenced so often. So I could tell you that God cares about you and your life. He understands what you are going through and even your temptations. (Can you even imagine that!). He knows that you are a sinner and that you will struggle in this life. I can tell you that He has offered His very own life for you and that He has suffered as much for you as for anyone. He wants you to find victory in this struggle not just by your eventual death but victory while living this life of struggle. So much of what I say you cannot really believe because your guilt is shouting so loudly, but it is the Truth nonetheless.
Where do you go from here? How are you going to in actuality defeat this enemy of peace in your life? There is hard work ahead, some of it unpleasant, some of it humiliating. You know you have idols in your life. They are strong but do not have to be. Pray against the strength of these idols and their power in your life. They will lessen and then your will will increase in its strength to be able to overcome them. Stay with your new connections, with xxxchurch and their programs. Work through them, give them a chance. Why not, what do you have to lose? You always enjoyed the idea of new things in your life. Well this is something new in your life and can only lead to goodness, joy and peace that is lasting, not a false peace and joy that is immediately replaced with the sense of guilt, death and despair. So here it is. And you know what you will probably fail time to time. Don’t you realize God is greatly at work in life even now? He has not given up on you. Do you realize this. The fact that I am talking to you and leading you on this new crusade is proof of the goodness and presence of God in Your life. Praise God! Worship God in the midst of your pain and sin. He is here and He is saving you even in this hour, this day. You do not have to live in darkness, evil, false life, false self. It is not the Good, the Truth. It is falsehood. No need to live there, it is a lie and in time all will be vindicated. God loves you! God is fixing you! Find Him in humility and true meekness. Do not be afraid to call your sins as they are. You will face this world of sin and falsehood with the Hand of Christ.
Letter from my sex addict:
Help me because I cannot help myself. I have created this method of dealing with the stress of life and it has gotten out of control. I do not want to view porn. I am saved, I love God but I continuously turn my back on Him and jump right into my sin for selfish needs. Give me the strength and the Grace to overcome. I want joy, I want peace, I want salvation. I am afraid to take big steps. I like the secrecy, the “medication.” Help me stop!