Over the past few years I’ve been struggling with one thing. I feel that I have grown a lot in other aspects of my Catholic life but this thing really keeps holding me back a lot.
Unfortunately, I have been struggling with pornography and masturbation over the past few years (I know this topic is kind of awkward…). I guess it would help to mention that I’m pretty young, going to be a sophomore in high school this year, and that I know a lot of guys struggle with this. I really kind of feel that I have been battling this forever but I don’t want to give up. I started realizing what I was doing wrong about a year ago last summer when I went to a Catholic youth conference and I really started to grow in my faith from then, and I’ve been battling it from that moment on.
It’s pretty much like I get the ‘Jesus shot’ from going to retreats, conferences, confession, etc. but then a few days after I always fall into it again. One of the main problems is that I always say, whatever, I can go to confession again so it’s no big deal, and then once I do it again, it comes to be a situation where it’s like, well I’ve done it, why not some more?
I think I’ve discovered what helps from keeping me away from pornography and masturbation; it’s staying active in church things; preferably all day things. Last week I volunteered to help with the Totus Tuus program at church (it’s like a week program for kids Grd. 1-6; lots of fun, games, water fights, pouring chocolate syrup over people, haha). It was from like 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, then I went to the program for Grd. 7-12 for myself from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., where they also talked about pornography, masturbatoin, and chastity, which also helped a lot (in separate guys and girls talks of course!). So I was pretty busy with church stuff for that week and I really barely thought about pornography and masturbation for a while. But then when the week ended I kind of hit a brick wall and it’s getting pretty tough; I’m getting in that mentality where I’m saying, whatever, I can just confess this next time at confession…
I love staying busy with the church and being surrounded by great Catholic people and it’s a ton of fun. However, I don’t really get a chance to be at the church a lot helping out because I’m actually a pianist; not like a hobby thing but like wanting to go to Juilliard, practicing all day, I actually just played at Carnegie Hall last month. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing the piano, but it keeps me at home a lot rather than elsewhere and I think that kind of is influencing the problem.
I’ve prayed a lot about this and I don’t really know what else to do other than battle it as hard as I can. I try to get to adoration frequently, going to get to confession next week, so I really want to take the next step to stopping it. I’m actually going to another Catholic youth conference next week (Steubenville of the Rockies!), so I’m hoping that will keep me on a roll and give me another Jesus shot that will last!
So yeah just wanted to share my experience with this problem and would really appreciate any advice and prayers also!