Any Addicts Out There? Need Help!


#1

I have had the problem of being impure with myself for quite a few years now and I am desparately in need of some good advice from anyone who has struggled with the same situation. My question is how do I call someone or not follow through with the temptation when I want it but I know it’s wrong and want to do it anyway? What could I do to help me rufuse the temptations, something that will help me to not follow through with it. My wife knows about the situation and she is trying to help me out the best she can. This is consuming my life and I want to put an end to this struggle. I would appreciate any advice you may be able to give me. Thanks!


#2

First, get a good confessor. That is crucial and will make a huge difference. Make frequent use of your confessor. The sacrament of penance is a channel of grace that Jesus gave to us as gift so that we could overcome sin.Confess early and often. It will take a few times, but you will find that grace does make a difference.

Then, make some time to be with the Blessed Sacrament – Jesus doesn’t have to be exposed – think about it – a little metal and wood are nothing to the Savior of the World. He will stregthen you and help you find the mercy and strength you need.

Receive Jesus often – I live in a city with many opportunities for Mass or communion services before work or in the afternoon. Make it a point to get the best help your soul can get. It is worth the effort and sacrifice. Offer the sacrifice on that altar and get some grace from that too.

Develop a devotion to St. Michael the Archangel. He is wonderful to help you overcome sin and temptation. He is also there to strengthen your guardian angel. Call on them and ask them to help. It isn’t just an empty devotion, St. Michael vanquished the devil – he can help you to do that too.

A nice devotion to the Rosary is also very good. Our Blessed Mother is so tender and kind – she will help you. Infact, I have read that one Hail Mary said in the presence of the Eucharist is the most powerful weapon to fight evil that has ever been known to mankind.

Of course there is also. Mary Magdalene. Not only did she accept the wonderous mercy of Christ, she was loyal and strong enough to be with Jesus as he was crucified – big burly men weren’t – she was. She was also the first human Jesus showed his ressurected self to. She has a special place in interceding to Jesus for you.

I will pray for you. You are not the only who has struggled and you have made a beautiful start by asking for help. You will overcome this problem.


#3

Find use for idle time. If you won’t, Satan will.

Pray 15 decades of the Rosary – that’ll normally take an hour. Most people lead very busy lives and it is extremely difficult to squeeze in an extra hour for something everyday. Do it! Give yourself a mandate that you will pray 15 decades of the rosary every day. Not only will you be obtaining blesssings and graces from saying the rosary but by making room in your life for that extra hour, it should leave you little time to engage in unpure activities.

If you still have free time, consider joining the Knights of Columbus. They WILL definitely keep you busy. Plus, most of their work is charitable in nature and scripture tells us that charity atones for a multitude of sins.


#4

A good confessor can also assess your culpability and it might give you some peace about whether or not your sins are truly grave–vice is habit, and once the sin becomes habitual, or will is (or can be) impeded.

If you truly feel that you are addicted, you might consider joing SA–Sexaholics Anonymous. This type of support group can be very helpful for anyone struggling and feeling alone. Do an online search–I know that other such groups are online (with online meetings, even) and you might be able to log on and go to a meeting when you feel tempted, as well as perhaps get a sponsor–someone you can call and talk to, and he will understand very well. These meetings are also, of course, face to face, if you prefer.

You might even consider counseling from a very Catholic perspective. catholictherapists.com has some excellent options from very faithful therapists who will only lead you in the truth. It might give you insight, too, as to why this is such a struggle with you. St. Thomas Aquinas called this type of impurity “self-abuse.” Maybe there are some psychological wounds from your childhood or young adulthood that cause you to feel this need. Or maybe not :wink: Just hypothesizing.

Also, maybe calling someone is not the answer for you. Maybe you need some sort of physical activity to release the physical tension. Run around your house! Go outside and play basketball, kick around a soccer ball, go to the gym, take a run, etc. Each time you feel the temptation–do something else! :slight_smile:

God loves you.


#5

My problem is how do I get myself to want to not sin? Here I am it is Saturday morning and I’m about to go to confession again. I think I am sorry yet I continue to do this. I know it is wrong yet I continue to do this. How do I get myself to pray when I’m tempted? This has been the problem. I hope someone can help me. :banghead:


#6

Talk to your confessor about this.

Begin by developing your prayer life. Meditate on the suffering of Christ. Watch Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” and see the wounds inflicted upon our Lord for the sake of taking our sins upon his own flesh. When you are tempted, call to mind the AGONY of our Lord on his cross–remind yourself that each sin we commit is akin to nailing Him upon the cross.

It sounds like you are sinking into despair, and instead you must pick up your weapon (the rosary) and begin fighting your spiritual battle. Stop looking for a magical answer. You are doing the leg work–going to confession; now pray! :slight_smile: Ask your spiritual Mother–Our Lady, the Virgin Mary–to protect you from the snare of the devil.

If a Catholic therapist is 3 hours away (as per another thread you started), then consult your diocese’s Catholic Charities. They will have a counseling program on a sliding scale. If that is not an option, ask your parish priest for a solid Catholic therapist referral.


#7

Thanks for your advice and comments. Sometimes I have good days and I am very inspired. Do you have any suggestions on how I can continue on that path of inspiration? How do I keep my spirituality high. Everyone tells me to pray, I find it hard to concentrate or focus while praying then I seem to be rushing through my prayers. What are good prayers and devotions to say for sins of impurity, also are there any Saints who intercede for impurity? I appreciate all your help. Thank you!


#8

[quote=Sir Knight]Find use for idle time. If you won’t, Satan will.

Pray 15 decades of the Rosary . . .
If you still have free time, consider joining the Knights of Columbus. . . . charity atones for a multitude of sins.
[/quote]

What GREAT advice! Shameless, you have received an enormous grace today. Take advantage of it! The Rosary is a forceful weapon: use it! And God bless you.


#9

[quote=Shameless]Thanks for your advice and comments. Sometimes I have good days and I am very inspired. Do you have any suggestions on how I can continue on that path of inspiration? How do I keep my spirituality high. Everyone tells me to pray, I find it hard to concentrate or focus while praying then I seem to be rushing through my prayers. What are good prayers and devotions to say for sins of impurity, also are there any Saints who intercede for impurity? I appreciate all your help. Thank you!
[/quote]

I like to listen to the rosary on the ewtn’s website and pray along with it, it helps me stay focused. I find it easier than doing it on my own.
ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/selectseries.asp

There are also great audio clips of devotionals.
ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayer_saint.htm

Surround your self with Lord. I would have fairly large size crucifixes about you house with a life like corpus (not brass or other metal) I think it would be more difficult with Jesus on the cross staring you in the face. Also pictures and/ or statues of our lady.

Schedule a holy hour into your regular activities preferable more than once a week and force yourself to go even if you don’t feel like it. Sit before the blessed sacrament in prayer, also you could read scripture or other religious material.

Listen to good catholic music or gregorian chant thru out your day, especially when you feel tempted Also please check this link for the divine mercy chaplet. I own adudio tape version of this and play it my car on my way to work or especially in times of stress. It is one of my favorites.

marian.org/divinemercy/ewtn_chaplet.html

St Jospeh is one you can look to for help, he remained chaste thru out his married life with the blessed virgin Mary.


#10

[quote=Shameless]Thanks for your advice and comments. Sometimes I have good days and I am very inspired. Do you have any suggestions on how I can continue on that path of inspiration? How do I keep my spirituality high. Everyone tells me to pray, I find it hard to concentrate or focus while praying then I seem to be rushing through my prayers. What are good prayers and devotions to say for sins of impurity, also are there any Saints who intercede for impurity? I appreciate all your help. Thank you!
[/quote]

I like to listen to the rosary on the ewtn’s website and pray along with it, it helps me stay focused. I find it easier than doing it on my own.
ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/selectseries.asp

There are also great audio clips of devotionals.
ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayer_saint.htm

Surround your self with Lord. I would have fairly large size crucifixes about you house with a life like corpus (not brass or other metal) I think it would be more difficult with Jesus on the cross staring you in the face. Also pictures and/ or statues of our lady.

Schedule a holy hour into your regular activities preferable more than once a week and force yourself to go even if you don’t feel like it. Sit before the blessed sacrement in prayer, also you could read scripture or other religious material.

Listen to good catholic music or gregorian chant thru out your day, especially when you feel tempted Also please check this link for the divine mercy chaplet. I own adudio tape version of this and play it my car on my way to work or especially in times of stress. It is one of my favorites.

marian.org/divinemercy/ewtn_chaplet.html

St Jospeh is one you can look to for help, he remained chaste thru out his married life with the blessed virgin Mary.


#11

[quote=Shameless]My problem is how do I get myself to want to not sin? Here I am it is Saturday morning and I’m about to go to confession again. I think I am sorry yet I continue to do this. I know it is wrong yet I continue to do this. How do I get myself to pray when I’m tempted? …
[/quote]

In addition to the ‘positive’ advise that I offered earlier, here is some ‘negative’ re-enforcements to consider … it has been reveiled by the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints that the greatest number of souls lost to hell are there because of “sins of inpurity”.

Nobody likes to think about their own death and while it is unlikely, people die unexpectedly everyday – a fall down the stairs, a car accident, etc. Think about the consequences of dying with an unrepentant AND unforgiven mortal sin on your soul. Would those few minutes of pleasure be worth an eternity of punishment? Yet our faith teaches us that no one with an immortal sin on their soul can enter the kingdom of God.

Make your life busier so that you have very little idle time on your hands …

[quote=Shameless] … Everyone tells me to pray, I find it hard to concentrate or focus while praying then I seem to be rushing through my prayers …
[/quote]

… pray as much as you can. Once your mind starts to wander, it’s time to move on to something else. The most important thing is to find work for idle hands. Consider stewardship to your church & parish. There must be something that you are good at doing and enjoy doing which the church will have need of that they are either lacking today or are paying someone to do.

You’ll be killing two birds with one stone. It’ll keep you busy thus keeping you from sinful activities plus you’ll be performing acts of charity which scripture tells us will atone for a multitude of sins.


#12

I know exactly how you feel. As a person who has been “delivered from evil” from the sins of alcoholism, I can understand what you are going through. I too knew it was wrong to keep drinking, but had no control over what I thought was a “necessity” to drink. Drinking numbed my problems, to the point that I drank almost every day of my life for 15 years. Starting 4 years ago, I began praying to God to help me overcome this addiction. After many years and many drunks, God answered my prayers. It took time, courage, and of course, a lot of praying. For me I was at the end of my rope. This past January, I had curtailed my drinking down to less than 3 times a week, but my 2nd marriage was crumbling around me for this and other reasons. I hit, as they say, rock bottom. The only thing left for me was totally surrending my life over to God. I had wished God would take my life because I was misrable. Then one day, it was like I just woke up from being addicted to not being addicted. This is why I used the phrase, “delivered from evil” to explain my situation. I don’t miss a day of drinking alcohol. In retrospect, to be completely honest, my life is not completely great. I have many problems to overcome, not related to my past addictions, but with the grace of God, He is making it easier for me to handle my problems. Having this board to come on and participate in has helped me in many ways that I could never have done by myself. My advice is to keep the faith and God will prevail.

When feeling really down remember this:

“Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace and taking, this sinful world as it is, as He did, not as we would have it, AND trusting that He will make all things right if we surrender to His will”.

Good luck and May God bless you abdundantly as He has blessed me!


#13

Try Steve Woods website www.dads.org They have a lot of info on pornography and a keeping your mind pure.

If you do think you have an addiction you can join a 12 step program (Sex and Love Addicts Anon.) Its just another source of accountability.

I also suggest going to Patrick Carns (sp?) website. He has a “test” to see if you are addicted as well as alot of resources.


#14

I too struggle with this. I don’t think there is a magic answer but I have learned some things.

  1. Pray the rosary. I recently realized that I had a 20 min commute to and from work which was a perfect length to say a rosary. When I do this I find I face less temptation and it is much easier to push aside.

  2. Go to confession often. Don’t live in your sinful state. I have found it breeds more sin.

  3. I think one of the reasons this sin is so hard to overcome is because it is such a secret sin. Find someone to be accountable with…COMPLETELY. The times in my life when I have had this have been the least sinful. (A strand of three threads is not as easily broken)

  4. Conquor this before you get married. Some will tell you that it will go away when you do. This is not necessarily true, but if you don’t conquor it before getting married, your marraige may.

I’m thinking about putting together a accountability group. Send me a private message or email if you are interested.


#15

I would say, if you can, go receive the eucharist daily. There is nothing that you can do to overcome this on your own, but the grace that comes from receiving Jesus daily, will strengthen your ability to “go and sin no more”. Again, it is God, not you, that will end this cycle of sin. It isn’t about willpower, it’s about going straight to the altar of God to fix this.


#16

First get a Baltimore catechism and read it, no matter what the pablum puking modernists think, this IS a mortal sin and is ALWAYS tied to pornography. With the internet and the sex saturated idiot box displaying constant titillation it’s made it much more difficult to avoid this sin. Daily Mass and Eucharist is the best way to avoid it and dedication to holiness and God. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may not come, are you ready to meet Jesus today, keep it in mind at all times.


#17

Hi. I have tried a lot of these suggestions. I seem to be in a rut. My problem is I don’t pray when I am tempted, WHY??? I think I want to stop this yet I continue in the same patterns. I go to confession when I need to, I go to Sunday mass, I even go twice during the week, I go to Eucharistic Adoration. When I am tempted it usaully is when I’m really tired or stressed out. I have struggled with this sin for 18-19 years, I’ve only gotten serious about stopping 6 months or so ago, I have made a lot of progress, however I am not even close to where I need to be. I guess my main question is why am I NOT praying when I am tempted? I know prayer during the temptation is the only way out, but the sin looks so good to me I’m not thinking rationally. I can’t afford to see a shrink. What can I do. How can I get myself to want to pray during a temptation? Sometimes too when I do pray during a temptation , the temptation keeps coming back stronger and stronger until I cave in. Can someone help?


#18

Here’s the real dillemma as I see it…

The more you want to quit, the more emotionally attached you become to success in quitting, thus raising the stakes.

The more emotionally attached you become, the more anxiety you experience over it.

The more anxiety you experience over it the more helpless your will becomes to being swayed by your feelings, and the less strength you have to carry out your convictions.

The more you beat yourself up over this, the more it piles on. That is contrary to the way we normally think the world works, where to solve a problem we have to give it our constant attention and become rigid in our determination.

Alcoholics at an AA meeting admit that they are powerless over alcohol. I believe that may be the case for them, but it doesn’t have to be. With God all things are possible. Know that Christ loves you even when you fall, and whenever you fail just get up, go to confession, and move on.

A feeling of guilt is a good indicator of sin, but if you nurse that guilt and beat yourself up or become frustrated, etc then that guilt has gone from being in indicator to being an inhibitor of change.

Alan


#19

Draw an ink cross, large but unobtrusive, onto the palm of your hand, on both if necessary but particularly the hand that causes you to sin most often. When you pray, open your palm and stare at the cross. When you are tempted, look for the cross on your palm. Let it be a visual reminder of our Lord and Savior and how much He desperately wants you to turn to Him and combat this sin. Refresh the cross on your palm again and again to remind you to pray, pray, pray.

If you feel a cross is too obtrusive, begin with a large red dot. (To signify the wounds of Christ.) When you see that red dot and are tempted, think of the nails being hammered into his palm and remind yourself that this sin only drives the nail in deeper.

Something Alterum often posts is the asphorism, “Lord, Save me or I perish!” This is very good to repeat to oneself in the throes of temptation. Visualize Our Lady’s face. Beg your mother to save you from this evil.

It sounds like you have made remarkable progress and are cultivating a very sound spiritual life. This is a habit going back almost 20 years!!! Do not expect a mere six months to take away your attachment and the way you cope with it. Keep trying. :slight_smile: God loves your fortitude.


#20

[quote=Shameless]Hi. I have tried a lot of these suggestions. I seem to be in a rut. My problem is I don’t pray when I am tempted, WHY??? I think I want to stop this yet I continue in the same patterns. I go to confession when I need to, I go to Sunday mass, I even go twice during the week, I go to Eucharistic Adoration. When I am tempted it usaully is when I’m really tired or stressed out. I have struggled with this sin for 18-19 years, I’ve only gotten serious about stopping 6 months or so ago, I have made a lot of progress, however I am not even close to where I need to be. I guess my main question is why am I NOT praying when I am tempted? I know prayer during the temptation is the only way out, but the sin looks so good to me I’m not thinking rationally. I can’t afford to see a shrink. What can I do. How can I get myself to want to pray during a temptation? Sometimes too when I do pray during a temptation , the temptation keeps coming back stronger and stronger until I cave in. Can someone help?
[/quote]

It sounds like you are trying to rely too much on your own strength to resist the temptation when feeling most vulnerable. The spiritual principle, whether from 12 Step programs or scripture, recognizes that when the power to break from addiction/sinful habit is not within, then the power must be derived from without.

For Christians this Power is God, and one must surrender one’s will to God for the power of the Holy Spirit to be at work in him. See steps 1-3 from the 12 Steps principles for recovery from addiction:
[list=1]
*]We admitted we were powerless over _________-that our lives had become unmanageable.
*]Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
*]Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
[/list]………and from the letters of St. Paul and James:

**Romans, *****Chapter 7:15,21,25 “***What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. Therefore, I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin.”

James**, [font=Comic Sans MS]Chapter 4:6-8 “[/font]**But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.”

2 Corinthians**, [font=Comic Sans MS]Chapter 12:7-9 “[/font]**Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “**My grace is sufficient **for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.”

1 Corinthians**, [font=Comic Sans MS]Chapter 15:10 “[/font]**But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective”


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