Like with most addictions, you get to a point where you feel like you can’t stop and you have no control. What you once enjoyed doing here and there for “fun” has now become your life—consuming you and taking control of everything you do.  What you once did for fun has now become your prison.  You feel as though you have no choice but to be consumed by what has become your addiction; and the high that you once got from that video or picture no longer satisfies, because you’ve “already seen it.”  You want something new, something “crazier” than you have seen before.

Yeah, I’ve been here… and I’m guessing maybe you have too?

Though I pray that you haven’t, because it’s an awful place to be – I know.

There is a point where, if you were forced to be honest and face your true feelings instead of stuffing them, you would beg for an escape.

However, you feel as if there is no longer a way out, so you continue on your normal path: acting like you’re okay with everything and doing it because you “want to.”

The truth is: you don’t know how to stop and you feel out of control.

I was there not too long ago, depressed because life was a mess and the chapter of my high school career was closing. My sexual addiction became worse than ever before and took over my life. I wanted to stop and I tried really hard, but I couldn’t. My parents were pressuring me to get a job for the summer and I tried, but work was hard to find and I waited too long to apply. I already felt depressed, like I wasn’t good enough, college was a long three months off and I missed my high school family.  I felt alone.  I had tons of time on my hands since I was just sitting at home—and probably as most of you know…

 Extra time + being alone x being depressed = trouble.

Naturally, we turn to what brings us pleasure for a release or escape from the world we are forced to face. Granted, my addiction didn’t get worse right away, but it never does. It’s a slow fade, one that starts out “just for fun,” then it’s a habit, then a routine… BAM! You’re hooked! Welcome to theLandofAddiction.

By mid-summer I was a complete mess. I didn’t know what to do! I felt completely helpless. I decided to just “embrace” my addiction and still somehow try to keep my relationship with God. I knew that Christ was the way to freedom, but I had no clue how to get to that point. Even when I would try my hardest to stop, even putting up safe guards, I usually found myself breaking through it all to fall once again. What advice I did hear, kept saying, “Read your Bible, memorize verses, pray more…” Yeah, it didn’t help. I just felt worse. 

I’m this “sweet, quiet, innocent, Christian girl” to everyone, but behind closed doors I wasn’t as innocent or as “Christian” as so many people believed. I prayed, “Lord! Help me! I can’t stop! Take this from me!” 

I heard about the Apostle Paul and how he had a thorn in his flesh (which many guess was poor eye sight), but it was something that He prayed many times for God to take away from him; but God didn’t, because He was using Paul’s weakness to work though Him and to proclaim His glory.  So I finally came to terms with the fact that this was probably my “thorn in the flesh” and God wasn’t going to take it away from me, but He was going to use it … somehow.

I have heard other peoples testimonies telling of how when they came to Christ they lost all taste for their addictions and were healed that day. But I was already following Him — The best I could. I had prayed for years for Christ to take my sexual addiction away… even my free will, in hopes for escape. Everyone is different, so of course He would have different passions and purposes for our lives.

 I finally came to a conclusion that Christ probably wasn’t just going to do any miraculous healing in my life, that He was going to let me depend on Him instead, look to Him for answers and He was going to use it in some special way to bring glory to His kingdom. So I quit asking for Him to take my struggle from me; instead, I prayed for help, knowledge and strength. 

Then one day, I came across this broadcast from Focus on the Family called Pornography: Not Just a Men’s Issue. This was the first time I had heard of anybody talking of women struggling with pornography and sexual addiction! They had good advice, and they understood what I was going through–it was as if I had told them! Not only did they understand, but they also gave ACTUAL advice to combat all the bad advice I had gotten. I cried. I was at a complete loss since I knew deep down that I had to find a way to beat my addiction before I got to college. I finally found a glimmer of hope.

Then a few months later, through a Facebook post I found XXXChurch. Yeah, I knew that I had found the exact place I had been praying for! Praise the LORD!

I’m still figuring it out for myself, but I do know for a fact –

That surrendering FULLY to Christ is key.

I figured out in the long run that none of these half-hearted surrenders, half-hearted repenting or any of the other games I’ve tended to play do anything but waste time. To tell you the truth, you’re not making any real difference because we for sure are not fooling God! He is the only one who knows our heart, and just like Adam and Eve in the garden, we can’t hide from Him… or even try and trick Him. 

 As I look back at all the things I see, it wasn’t me, but Christ working in my life to bring me to the place I needed to be in order for Him to work in my life. But I do know that you cannot fight this alone. With months of counseling, opening up to different people, years of unsteady perseverance, and repetitive surrender to God with the idea that I would not be “healed” from this… somehow, ONLY by God’s grace I found my way to healing.  Though I wasn’t led down the most “typical” road, it was still a hard road. But one of the first and most important steps is to speak out.

Break the silence. Break the chains.