I am well aware of the impure and evil nature of masturbation and I recognize it’s status as a mortal sin, but for years I’ve tried to cure my addiction, but I’ve failed every time. I’ve tried so many things, but I end up relapsing and placing myself in sin again. I always confess it in confession then try to prevent myself from committing the sin again, but after a month or so I return to it. What are some of the ways any of you with this addiction have cured yourselves? Answers preferred from men, as I am a man and believe the best advice on this topic would come from others like myself. Thank you!
I still fight this battle. I’ve been clear from up to 6 months at a time - trying to get to a year. What I’ve had some success with is trying to ruin the pleasure if it. I will picture Jesus or Mary are there and I can’t hide from them no matter hard I try. The thought of the VM or JC watching me kinda kills the moment if you know what I mean.
Steer clear of all triggers - movies with too much skin, going to the beach and eye balling all the skimpy suits, erotic songs, daydreaming about the wife/gf in her lingerie, getting into the shower with anything you can use. Don’t do it - avoid those triggers.
Don’t give yourself idle time, keep busy. Replace that energy with something new. Spend time volunteering, or helping out a friend so you not at home as much.
You can try extreme method #1 mix sand and superglue and apply it to your palms. Guarantee satisfaction or your money back.
I hope you don’t mind if I share with you all some things that have helped me greatly.
(On a side note, I would also recommend getting a scapular if you have not already got one, Mary offers protection against great temptations among many other things through it, I have the crusaders brown scapular from here - freebrownscapular.com/order_page.html)
Motivational Tips to Help You Quit -
Keep the following 3 Ds in mind when you have a craving
Delay: remember that the worst cravings last for only a few minutes and will become even less frequent the longer you have quit.
Deep breath: this should help you relax and focus your mind on something else.
Do something else: you could listen to music or pray (prayer is usually the best). Try to find something that keeps your mind busy and distracted and focus on it, don’t let your thoughts to go into temptation, when tempted, do not give the temptation any attention, instead give it your back.
I believe it’s important to ‘recognise’ as soon as possible when you are being tempted and to ‘switch on’ or ‘bear arms’ so to speak to defend yourself against the temptation with these ‘weapons’ that have helped me greatly.
1) A slip up doesn’t mean you’ve failed. What’s important is to work out how you can stop a slip up from happening next time.
2) Don’t say “this is my last time” say “I’m not going to give in today” and take one day at a time.
**3) **Each craving only lasts a few minutes. Say to yourself “Don’t let this be the day that I blow it, I only have to hold out for a couple of seconds for the temptation to pass.”
**4) **Once you have quit for a while, the desires to give in will be much less intense and frequent.
**5) **It’s important that it’s your decision to quit. That you want to quit and that you feel confident you can succeed.
**6) **Be clear about your reason to quit. It will motivate you to keep going.
**7) **The most dangerous thought you can have is. I will just give in this one time.
**8) **You may feel as if you have just lost a friend, but really you have just lost your worst enemy.
**9) **Remember the sooner you quit. The sooner you will reap the benefits.
**10) **The more times you try to quit. The better you will get at it until you quit for good.
**11) Immediately get rid of any provocative magazines/images etc anything that reminds you of giving in (Otherwise It’s like those who say “I’m going on a diet” yet fill their cupboard with junk 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).
**12) **Practise saying to yourself “No thanks, I’m chaste/pure”
**13) **Avoid challenging occasions.
**14) **If you are feeling tense doing some exercise will help.
**15) **The most common quitting method for most people is to stop suddenly Go cold turkey.
**16) **When you quit you might feel some different withdrawal symptoms This is because your body is re-adjusting to being without, don’t worry, it will pass.
When it comes to such desires, I believe they are addictive in nature much the same as things like smoking are, so if you view it as an addiction like smoking, I believe there are dozens of very, very affective resources out there to help you quit. Remember the worst cravings only last a few minutes and they become less intense and frequent the longer you have quit.
Remember to simply take one day at a time and tell yourself “don’t let this be the day that you blow it.”
Also on a side note, don’t fear you will lose your sex drive, I believe that’s like thinking an alcoholic can be cured this is why motivational tip number 7 is "The most dangerous thought you can have is. I will just give in this one time."
I believe this site is also helpful - chastity.org/
Never Give up Giving Up - quit.org.au/keep-quitting/
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I would also like to share with you two extracts out of the book ‘Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas A Kempis on temptations.
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Jesus fell three times carrying His cross to Calvary, The first to show sinners who are use to sinning that they can convert and have the strength even though they have fallen into sin. The second for those souls who fail because they are frail or those souls who are blinded by sadness and restlessness that they can get up and embark with courage upon the path of virtue and the third for those souls who depart from sin at the hour of death.
“The sinner who feels within himself a total deprivation of all that is holy, pure, and solemn because of sin, the sinner who in his own eyes is in utter darkness, severed from the hope of salvation, from the light of life, and from the communion of saints, is himself the friend whom Jesus invited to dinner, the one who was asked to come out from behind the hedges, the one asked to be a partner in His wedding and an heir to God… Whoever is poor, hungry, sinful, fallen or ignorant is the guest of Christ.” — Matthew the Poor
Diary of St Faustina -
“My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain…”** (Diary, 1777).
"Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My Goodness" (Diary, 300).
"My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy" (Diary, 1485).
Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy" (Diary, 1396).
I hope I have helped
Thank you for reading
Try a 12 Step support group such as Sexaholics Anonymous (www.sa.org). They have free meetings both on-line and face-to-face. Click on their “meeting search” menu to find a meeting.
Professional therapy from a trained CSAT (Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist). Go to www.iitap.com to find a therapist near you.
Avail yourself of all the spiritual help found in the sacraments and sacramentals.
God bless you.
Zach, I quit over fourteen years ago. As a matter of fact, I started going back to Mass and confession and Communion, and I have a joy now in knowing that my actions are pleasing to God that I didn’t have before when I was misusing my sexuality.
Make sure you get rid of any and all porn you’ve got. The whole matter is not easy, but you can do it. Nothing is impossible with God’s help.
May He bless you.
Thanks for your advice. Definitely going to go around looking for any remaining triggers and get them out of my house. I do try to keep myself busy and away from home already, but I’ll look into more volunteer opportunities. No extreme method for me LOL
What did you do to quit? Was there anything you did that aided in curing your addiction? You can private message as well.
You know what else can you do? look for the causes.
First what are you doing when you fall? do you see a pattern?
Secondly altough the best is that you volunteer to occupy your time I also reccomend you do something you like. it will be easier for you if what you are working is something you enjoy, that will make it easier, and also spend time on something fun for you, not everything has to be work.
Lots of good advice here already. Particularly, do something else when the thought arises. Avoid even entertaining the thought (ie. don’t spend time thinking, “No, I need to avoid this”); just change what you are doing and thinking about. Say a quick prayer.
Also: praying the rosary as frequently as you can.
Going to daily mass helps as well, although that’s not always feasible.
If you fail, do not be distraught.
I will pray for you.
Thank you for your prayers, and yes I think I will take up the rosary.
In my experience, this is totally not true. Maybe it depends on the person, but for me (last 15 years having the habit) the temptation lasts all day, from morning to night, and only goes away briefly. Oh how much I wish this only happened once a week like the original poster, for me it’s every few days I give in!
Commend yourself for undertaking a challenge secularism has judged as unnatural and absurd. As I understand it, mastering one’s sexuality will be a life-long struggle, but will also become easier with age. I have found that I must listen to my conscience when it alerts me of “near occasion” of sin. Dwelling and considering the sin makes it much more difficult to overcome. Try to grow in your faith everyday by studying, scripture, prayer, etc. In the past, (I am 27 now), I never thought I would be able to stop with sexual vice, and although it is not completely eradicated, I also never thought I would be conquering it like I have been. Reconciliation weekly with the same understanding and friendly priest/spiritual director will greatly help. Try not to let a lustful thought plant a seed, but have a sense of humor about being a natural male human, and be confident and delighted that you are slaying such a monstrous dragon.
Someone has said very aptly “Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength.” First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight and consent. Thus because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he becomes each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.
Say to yourself, even if this next craving is severe, I will not give in and take one day at a time, or even every couple hours at a time (if need be) I believe the tempter gives up as soon as he realises that it’s not a simple matter of ‘voltage’ with you, I believe if someone turns completely away when they have a craving, than it will only last a few minutes and than dissipate, but I believe if they toy with the idea of giving in, than it will last alot longer than a few minutes and become more intense. Remember the 3 D’s when you have a craving, Delay, Deep Breath, Do Something Else (In other words, put your mind elsewhere, try not to give the craving any thought, otherwise I believe you are toying with the temptation, which only makes it stronger).
I would say, following everything in my previous posts here, confessing the sin and prayer (especially the ‘Hail Mary’) helped me greatly to quit and remain chaste.
I hope I have helped
Thank you for reading
Pray- all those obscure novenas and devotions you see actually help. Keep them written down and even if you cant complete the little office of whoever every day, at least contemplate them and make it a point to try!
Teach others- I may seem hypocritical but it works. you know what they say, “the best way to learn is to teach others.”
Punch stuff- don’t look at your self as weak, actually your body is just trying to find a release for testosterone. So go out there and do manly things like punch inanimate things, grow a your self a nice mustache, and eat rare steaks!!
Get ANGRY!!!- Get angry at the very notion of masturbation. Become that angry evangelical mega-church guy telling how bad Obama-care is. …just leave out the evangelical mega church part and interject Catholic warrior of god
Be that church nerd guy with a rosary on your back-pack.- You may feel wrong at first knowing that your being hypocritical for being that guy, but the more people perceive you as something, the more you will become it. It doesn’t sound fun but seeing that you are born in the year of champions (1996) you are likely still in high school. Remember if people abandon you because they have a changed perception of you, you probably don’t need to be around them. Sigh…brutal teen reality.
fill your computer windows with catholic stuff!- it is hard to get distracted by porn when you see a window titled “forums.catholic.co…” <- true story bro!
I will pray for you!
Just know that we all have faults and no one on this forum is perfect, or for that matter better than you!! I know I’m not :). I would never have the guts to come out right and ask complete strangers for help.:tiphat:
We all, my self included, suffer from these problems. Just don’t give up!!
(point 2 completed for today)
I’m pretty embarrassed to be posting this here, but I thought I would share what greatly helped me stop masturbating. First, because it happened most often when I was bored and alone, I decided to spend my free time looking for ways to surround myself with catholic media. I would listen to catholic answers live, search for good catholic vloggers on YouTube, and learn more about my faith through keyword searches on catholic.com. This helped prevent the opportunity from presenting itself.
Second, when I was tempted, I committed to saying the rosary instead. There have been many times that I have been delivered from temptation by saying the rosary, and it definitely helped break the habit.
Thank you for sharing that advice LadyLisa, all of what you have mentioned here helped me greatly too, espeically the Hail Mary and Brown Scapular.
Thnak you for reading