I am sure by some poeples account and my story that one day I just said “that’s it no more porn” and it all went away. The fact of the matter is that the temptations, desires, thoughts, and images stayed with me for some time. I even have thoughts and temptations still to this day but, I have set things up in my life to either divert my attention or eliminate these thoughts. I have listed a few below and I hope that they help.
The fact that I had four people to hold me accountable right after I came out and made the decision to be clean made a huge difference in my recovery. The four people were my next door neighbor, friend down the street, my own church pastor, and my wife. These are people who saw me often and also had the ability to ask me at any time how I was doing in my recovery. Along with them being able to ask me how I was doing some of them were receiving accountability reports from my computer via X3 Watch. They would get a report every week and if I had looked at anything that week the would know about it and that would open the door for a conversation. So knowing that I would have to not only explain to these guys but, my wife what I was looking at put a huge damper on my willingness to look at porn when the temptation would arise.
Another way that I have been able to keep my sobrity is to be a part of accountability groups or small groups dealing with sexual temptations. Being involved in a group of men dealing with the same struggles reminds me that I am not alone in this battle. All to ofte we have spent many days and nights thinking that I am the only one dealing with this. Please know that you are not the only one. A group resource and tool that I have been using for a while now is X3 Groups. This is an online accountability program with XXXchurch.com. It is an honest and open group of men who meet weekly at the same time to challange, grow, and support each other in their struggle to gain sexual purity.
When I have days that I get stressed out or find myself just pushed to the limits or at times get feelings or thoughts that “hey a little porn will not hurt. Go to it; you know it makes you feel better”. I have to be able to be open with my wife and my accountability partners. I make sure to talk to them and tell them everything I am feeling and be completely hones and open about everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!!!!
In Every Mans Battle it talks about hating your sin. So many tell of how they do not care for how porn is playing out in their life but, many do not talk with tongues of hate for this sin. I had to go into this battle hating everything about it and what it does and had done to my life. This is a war against this sin and if you go into any war with a ho hum attitude you are going to get killed.
When you have done something for so long your mind becomes programed to do things, habits. Just like smoking, drinking, or eating we train our bodies to think it needs or wants something. After extended periods of looking at porn we find our shelfs becoming numb to the fact that we are heading down hill faster and faster. I had so many images in my head that they did not just go away over night but, man how I wish they had. I had sex dreams that would wake me up at night because it was so real. I would be walking down the store aisle shopping and see this very attractive woman and the undress her with my eyes. It had gotten so bad that I would some times find myself looking at women in church or even have random images just pop in my head during the sermon. This at one point made me so sick to my stomach that I had to leave a service or two because I was disgusted with myself. Over time the images have resided and I very rarely have these images pop into my head. The fact that I had stopped looking at these images was a part of re training my brain from seeing these images. When I see a girl that makes guys turn their heads and look I may still look but, I have learned to bounce my eyes and regroup on what I need to be doing. As I get further and further away from porn I now have less of a tendency to even look at other women in that way.
Serve Others: – Share
The biggest thing that I have done that has kept me on solid ground and have come to realize is a very vital part to recover is; share. I have be very humbled and honored to share my story with so many at XXXChurch at Porn & Pancakes, Porn Sunday events, blogging, and other ways. By doing this I no longer have just the four accountability partners but, now I have hundreds if not thousands. By sharing our stories we can help others who may have had that same feeling of being alone in this battle. Allowing them to see that there are others and that there is hope. Below is a video from Brandon Heath for his song “Give Me Your Eyes” This is a song that brought me to my knees and made me realize that I needed to help others with this problem in our world today. How many times have we heard people who are struggling with pornography say that they felt so alone. Better yet how many times have you heard yourself say these same words. Serving others who have felt so alone in this battle and letting them know that they are not alone. Letting them see and know that they can beat this and that yes their marriage too can be restored to its original shape and maybe even stronger than it was before. Do not let others continue to thin that they are alone. If you have been through this before share with others allow them to be free and no longer feel like they are alone.
I pray that He will give the eyes to see. the eyes to see that guys life that is falling apart because of his addictive behavior. Eyes to see that one of your girlfriends is in so much pain because her husband is lost in porn. Eyes to see that your church may not be doing anything to confront this issues and that you step forward and start the conversation. Also that we too can be like Jesus and be that servant who is willing to wash the feet of others.
John 13:14-15 – Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.