Did I ever think it would get out of hand? This badly? At Bible College? Never in my life did I think I would return to pornography – yaoi, to be exact. I had spent three – almost four – years clean and during the final year, I was also clean of masturbation. After a few small relapses during my junior year, I spiraled back into my old habit just as though it had never stopped while I was in the fall semester of my senior year. I was back to playing the same old game, one I knew so well: secrecy.

So now I’m tearing down the walls of secrecy and shame. This all started when I was four. Masturbation was a release; it felt good. Then curiosity about sexual issues came at 11, where I found hardcore pornography online and was hooked that summer’s day. I’m 22 now and have been dealing with various parts of my sexuality for between 11 and 18 years, respectfully.

First and foremost, I believe that as a Christian on a journey of life and faith, the way I have dealt with my sexuality has been a misuse of what God has given to me. To the world, this is normal. Not so in the Kingdom of God. I believed for about two years I was called to celibacy. That was two years ago, and I’ve chosen to broaden my idea – I don’t know what God has in store for my future. Right now, I do know I am called to abstinence. As someone who knows very well that she is a sexual being, this is more difficult than I can put down to words – perhaps you understand.

I’m also fresh in my gathering my thoughts and ideas about where I’m going in life. You see, in March I was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for the severity of how suicidal I was. I had self-injured nine days prior to that, and all of this comes together in a vicious cycle of self-hate. My own hatred is used in a way to soothe my pain and escape reality. Now I am medicated, in therapy, and doing my own self-help through Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy workbooks. All of this is very familiar, as I have been in college to become a counselor someday.

I believe that God’s purpose for sexuality is in marriage between a man and his wife. That comes pretty standard, stemming from Genesis 2:24. Sexuality is beautiful in its right context. I have found hope in this – that God is good; He is sovereign in my addiction. You see, while I was in the hospital, I was diagnosed with paraphilia because of my porn use and masturbatory activities. I often feel out-of-control when these things attack my mind, but I realize now that they stem from my self-hate and I decide to allow my addiction to crop up and take over instead of staying in reality.

I hold myself accountable by having X3Watch/Pro on every device that I can connect to the internet with – my phone, my iPod, and my laptop. Going Pro was the best thing I have done in my journey in recovery and sobriety. My best friend of 13 years – my accountability partner – agrees with me
that this has been highly beneficial and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for help out of their porn problem.

The issue then comes out of the heart, which is often resistant to change. I have found that prayer helps when it comes to being honest, and it’s out of a heart of prayer and gratitude that I find myself writing now. I still struggle, but I’m facing the deep hurt within me, and with God I am finding my faith journey is more important to me than masturbating to porn will ever be.

Let it be known that while I have this diagnosis, it will not be my identity. I am first a child of God, striving towards the Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. Every day is a brand new day, a celebration to behold. Perhaps today this battle will be over, and our captive hearts will be freed.