Hello, I am a 15 year old boy, and I am currently at a very hard point I’m my life right now. I just recently turned 15, and made my confirmation last weekend. I hate admit it but I have masturbated for a very long time. Before my confirmation I went to confession and confessed this horrible sin. I then set a goal to be clean till my confirmation and hopefully be 100% clean from then on. I made it about a week before succumbing to the temptation. After that I did it a few more times. Then I set a goal to be clean at least a week before my confirmation. I upheld it and did it. But then the day after my confirmation, I hate to admit it but I succumbed again. I am a straight A student and I am reaching a point in my life where things are very stressful for me, it’s become hard to not do it. Every night I promise to myself that I won’t do it again, then the next day I fall into temptation. I am truly sorry for this sin this thave committed, or else I wouldn’t have gone this far to post this here. I’ve grown to hate myself for commuting this sin. I want to stop, especially now that I am confirmed in the faith. I want to go to confession again but I don’t want my parents to take me, because they will think something is up because I just went last month. Also I embarrassed myself in front of the priest I am close with, as the confession was face to face. I don’t know what he will think if I went back in there and confessed the same thing. Again, I am so sorry for this sin and I want to stop, no matter what it takes, I want to be saved and experience Gods love, but every time I succumb to this temptation I realize I am pushing him further and further away. I really need guidance, I want and need to stop. Please if you could offer me any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
Pasting (with slight edits) this from an older post to a similar question.
Keep going back to confession–don’t worry about what the priest will think. In all likelihood, he has had other people come in repeatedly for the same thing, because this is such a common struggle! Plus, the sacrament will give you a little more strength each time you go.
Also, what MarcoPolo said.
The reason we keep succumbing to our own particular sin (gambling, gluttony, & etc) is because Satan knows us too. He knows our weak spots and he goes for them!! Confess your sins, take cold showers or pray the rosary (great YouTube vids) when you get the itch… It’s a tough battle… I’ll be praying for you
Here are a couple of things I want to share with you.
For thousands of years millions upon millions of young men and women in their teens have been tempted by desire and surcummed to the temptation by masturbating. You are not the first and you will not be the last. You are human and moved by a very powerful biological instinct.
I can assure you the priest (even though you know him) does not think ill of you. He rejoices that you are sorry for your sin and that you confess it. The priest does not judge; that is not his role. He knows of your remorse and your resolve not to do it again but he also knows that temptations of the flesh are strong and you may slip (more than once).
So, do the very best you can. It is a constant struggle. But, if you slip, get up dust yourself off, confess your sin, and resolve to be a better man from that time on. Repeat as many times as it takes until you are successful.
I agree, keep going to Confession, and pray for the grace to overcome this.
#1. Stop thinking about it. Of course you shouldn’t do it, but if you spend your energy focusing on “not” doing it then you are more likely to fall into it because you’re still thinking about it.
I also don’t think marking a calendar is helpful. That will just make it easier to fall at the beginning because the number of days since you last did it is so low that it won’t matter if you have to start over again. After a month or so it might be a good incentive to not have to start over again but getting to that point is the difficult part. Just make a habit to turn your thoughts away from it and eventually you’ll be able to avoid temptation.
#2. Find your trigger. What are you thinking about or doing when you start? Avoid those thoughts and situations.
#3. Find a new way to relieve stress. Now is the time to be strengthening your will, not succumb to sin. Win these battles so you’ll be strong enough for the coming ones.
This will not be an easy task. Your brain literally needs to be re-wired and it’ll be an ongoing battle for a while. But it’ll be more difficult the longer you’ve had this habit so it’s best to kick it as soon as possible.
It is embarrassing, but I think you should tell your parents or at least your father (assuming they are devout Catholics). I’ve read about some fathers who tell their sons that everyone does it and not to worry about it. That is not right. If your father is like that, telling won’t help you. If your father is a faithful though, tell him you have this problem. He probably went through it too and can offer support.
In addition to prayer, the best way to avoid this sin is to not let yourself be alone to even have the opportunity to commit this in. I bet you wouldn’t do this if someone else is in the room. You should be able to condition yourself not to do the sin when using the restroom or taking a shower, so you only have to worry about sleeping. Worst case, you can sleep on the floor in your parents’ room until you have been without this sin for a few months.
You see, your body is addicted right now. You might think that resisting this sin will always be this hard, but it gets much easier if you go a long time without it. The body will get used to not having this “crutch”. You will still be tempted but will know how to avoid the circumstances that cause you to sin. And when you are tempted, the compulsion will be much weaker.
First, Congrats on your confirmation
Second, don’t be embarrassed by this. This sin is probably in the top three sins the priest hears in most confessions. And he has heard a lot more too.
Commit to pray the Rosary everyday. I heard that you can either be praying the Rosary daily or masturbating but not both.
Know that this struggle is not something that will end instantly. you will likely struggle with it most of your life. So continue to make steps toward controlling yourself. And just go one day at a time.
Also maybe find an accountability partner. Someone you can be honest with. Perhaps your priest or a friend.
Take the Eucharist seriously. If you are in mortal sin, don’t partake of the Eucharist. Period until you go to confession. To do so is just adding more mortal sin to your plate and is profaning the body of Christ. Use this as an incentive to avoid masturbation.
I was like once in your shoes, tried the calender thing also, didn’t help much. You are fighting yourself, and until you conquer your self (mind and flesh), you’ll keep blaming the devil (am not saying he isn’t tempting you).
REMOVE yourself from any situation that will encourage the act,
GET BUSY, get involved with group activities(i dare you to do it in public).
STOP reading/veiwing anything that would trigger the urge. You are going through the period where your emotions/feelings are all over the place right now, just CHANNEL it into something positive and energy consuming. Whenever you get the urge, try PRAYING, if you find it hard to focus, get out of your immediate surroundings,don’t be ALONE find someone to talk to,to take your mind away from the problem.
And as another poster said, stop thinking about it, and stop marking the days, if you fall again, don’t be afraid or ashamed to go for confession, JESUS knows how hard you are trying,keep going back to Him, he’ll keep welcoming you, that’s His endless love.
I’ll be praying for/with you. God bless you and strenghten you,Amen.
By our sins, Christ fell three times on the road to Calvary, but he got up each time for our sake. Likewise, we need to rise up each time we stray and fall.
When I was fourteen, I struggled with masturbation, but I was too afraid to tell any one. I let pride enter my heart, and the facade of self-righteousness reigned for a time. I was deeply tormented, with no release. I commend you for being so honest about what you’re going through. Rest assured, we will keep you in our prayers. Keep fighting the good fight!
May the Peace of Christ be with you!
Go to confession as often as you can---- if parents wont take you maybe you can catch a bus, bicycle, or walk to the closest Catholic church?
You do not have to confess face-to-face to the priest. Sit behind the screen for anonymous confession.
God bless you!
:hmmm: Was wondering when this topic would come back…
must be 3 weeks since the last… its often someone of this age…and always there first post… just think it’s interesting…
Good on you for realizing at such a young age what a grave matter it is. If you only knew what it does to your mind, relationships, etc. you’d quit in an instant. Once the first month of abstaining is up you’ll be golden and wondering what you were thinking before. That month is hard to get through no doubt but will be one of the best things you could do for yourself. Last time I had to confess it the priest humiliated me about it. At first I thought what was said was wrong of him but in hindsight he did me a huge favor as it’s not something I ever want to have to confess again.
I believe you should remember that ‘masturbation’ is very similar to a drug, considering it’s addictive nature, I believe it acts like drugs do. So if you view it like that, there are dozens of resources online to help you quit, very, very effective resources.
Personally, I relate it to smoking to help me (I have never smoked before btw).
Quit smoking ad: Never give up giving up - youtube.com/watch?v=FQpcK5gL5W8
Never Give up Giving Up - quit.org.au/keep-quitting/
If you relate it to alcoholism, drugs, smoking or anything addictive in nature, than you have dozens of fantastic resources out there to help you quit, simply apply them to ‘masturbation’ because it is addictive all the same.
I would also like to quote for you what I have learnt from Dr Phil’s book ‘Lifecode’ that I believe is very good, I will use ‘Smoking’ in this case, however all you have to do is simply apply it to ‘masturbation’
A good point in Dr. Phil’s book, is that “If you want different, you have to do different” you have to identify the payoffs you recieve from smoking, then you can change them by changing the payoff’s or removing the payoff’s.
It’s like those who say “Im going on a diet” yet fill their cupboard up with unhealthy food, it isn’t going to work, you can’t rely on will power when it comes to these things, you need to set your environment up so that it pulls for your success.
You need to change your environment so that it pulls for your success, so that especially when you don’t have the will power to quit smoking, you have set your environment up so that the payoff of not smoking out ways the payoff of smoking.
For example when you really want to smoke, yet you have no cigarette’s the inconvieniance of driving all the way into town to buy a packet of cigarette’s might be enough to out way the payoff of getting to smoke a cigarette. Don’t allow yourself to have available resource to your addiction.
Remember using only ‘motivation’ doesn’t work, motivation comes and goes, people cannot rely on just motivation/will power to quit an addiction, they have to make the payoff they get from an addiction no longer a payoff, the payoff of not giving into an addiction needs to outway the payoff of giving into the addiction (That’s why they send drug addicts to rehab, because they do not have available resource to their addiction and that environment pulls for their success) motivation is the first step to want different, but the next step is to do different, most struggle with how to do different when the motivation/will power goes away as it always does.
Also from the quit smoking site linked below.
Keep the following 3 Ds in mind when you have a craving (It was originally 4 Ds. but the 4th D … drinking water, isn’t going to help when it comes to masturbation :)).
Delay: remember that the worst cravings last for only a few minutes and will become even less frequent the longer you have quit.
Deep breathe: this should help you relax and focus your mind on something else.
Do something else: you could watch a movie or listen to music.
These links contain absolutely fantastic advice (Simply apply it to your addiction) -
I wish you the best of luck in quitting, we are all struggling with it, but there are dozens of resources out there to help you by simply relating it to other addictions.
Also when I am tempted into viewing women sexually, I usually remind myself of the following quote -
“The woman came from the man’s rib, not from his feet to be walked on, not from his head to be superior, but from his side to be equal, under his arm to be protected and next to his heart to be loved.”
I hope I have helped
p.s. please let me know if the ‘quite smoking’ links do not work, if they don’t work for you, I will quote the advice on here for you.
Thank you for reading
Thank you for sharing that bit from C.S. Lewis, I had been looking for that piece from C.S. Lewis for a long time. Thank you.
Thank you for reading
Praying for you to overcome your temtations. Keep going to confession.
Another thing that helps me when I am tempted is from the book ‘Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas a Kempis
God Bless and remember, never give up, giving up. I wish I had started at your age.
Thank you for reading
The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath and try to be at peace. Know that God’s love is stronger than your habit and He will help you break it.
This is a common sin and a habitual sin, and it require a habitual spiritual life to break it.
First, start going to Confession regularly. Regardless of whether or not you’ve committed the sin, get in the habit of going to Confession regularly. I’d suggest as often as once a week or more if needed. The idea is to get in the habit of going to confession often. This will help you overcome any fears you may have of confessing this sin.
Second, start a devotion to the Blessed Mother. Get in the habit of praying the rosary daily, and saying a Hail Mary whenever you are tempted to lust. The Blessed Mother is a powerful advocate against the sin of lust.
Third, try to discover what makes you more tempted to commit it and avoid those things. For instance: if staying up late makes you more likely, then start getting up early so you’re more likely to go to sleep earlier. If you’re tempted in the shower, start taking cold showers (or at least lukewarm ones) so you’re less tempted to stay in the shower. You mentioned stress as a factor, try to exercise more or take on a hobby to help you relax.
Finally, try to regularly see a priest about it. I’m talking about getting a spiritual director or a regular confessor. This will greatly aid you as it makes you more accountable to your sins. Don’t worry about the priest’s opinion of you, it’s a common sin and he will be able to help you.
I hope you find this advice helpful. Whatever you do, NEVER give up!
For additional advice and insight, please see the following threads:
*]Specific Questions About an Old Topic: Masturbation
*]List of Catholic Websites for Battling Impurity