Letter to myself:

Dear Addict,

You have held me in your thrall for years. You have compelled me to violate my beliefs and hurt myself and others. You have warped my sexuality. You have provoked me into indulging my lust. You have manipulated me, lied to me, convinced me that I can’t live without porn, masturbation, sex. You have persuaded me that I’m unlovable, doomed to loneliness, unworthy of God’s’ love. You’ve made me ashamed, miserable, and lonely. You’ve made sin alluring and prayer difficult. You’ve turned me into a person I don’t want to be. You’ve made me incurvatus in se. You have encouraged self-loathing. You have instilled fear in me, making me afraid to ignore you by telling me that you provide the only comfort I can find.

I’m now beginning to summon the courage to talk back to you, to tell you that you’re a deceiver and a fraud. No longer will I mindlessly listen to you. I’m going to counter your lies with the truth that I am unconditionally loved by God and cared for by others. The inner hurt, the deep psychic wounds you exploit for your satisfaction–these I will put before God and address in healthy, life-giving ways. I’m not going to lie anymore to protect you. I’m not going to pretend in front of everyone that you don’t exist. I’m going to expose you to people I will learn to trust. Exposed to the light, you will shrivel as I confront you. No longer will I be afraid of you.

You are tenacious. Your mellifluous voice, while it utters falsehoods of all kinds, is still alluring. Breaking free from you will not be easy. But I will become better equipped to detect the emptiness of your promises, the hollowness of your threats. After half-hearted efforts in the past, I will fully commit to recovery. I will erect barriers that will hinder me from acting out. I will enlist supportive people who will assist me in my recovery. I will fully engage in therapy. I will be honest with others and with myself. I will pursue activities that will provide opportunities for growth. I will learn to cherish my sexuality as a gift instead of a burden. And, most importantly, I will nurture my relationship with God through prayer and spiritual disciplines.

I will no longer be afraid of you.

Letter from my sex addict:

I’m going to continue to tempt you, to convince you that you’re incapable of being loved even by family and friends, that God has abandoned you, that I can give you the only solace you can find. I’m going to work hard to derail your recovery, to get you back into old habits, to make you miserable, to bring you to despair. I’m not going away so easily. You’ve been in my grip for so long that I’m not ready to let go. Can you really live without me?

Your addict