How did you overcome porn addiction?

Hi,

I’ve been battling porn addiction for some time now. I’ve tried putting porn blocking software, tried some supposed herbs and stuff that minimise libido, tried sleeping pills to just sleep early, tried reflecting on how bad it is etc. I also pray a lot to over come this.

If there are any of you out there that has gotten out of this, please let me know how you did it.

Dear brother, though I never suffered from an addiction to porn, I did for a while masturbate daily. I advise you to go to confession first. I went to confession, and have not masturbated at all since then. The sacrament is truly overflowing with graces. Secondly, though it might seem a bit odd, tell yourself that THIS IS WRONG. TELL YOURSELF THIS IS DISGUSTING. IT IS WRONG. Lastly, read the Theology of the Body for Beginners. Excellent book. It really changes one’s perspective on the human body.

One of the main ideas is how the body is constantly represented as BAD. EVIL. Though the body is capable of evil as a result of original sin, the body itself is not evil. That is not the way God intended for it to be.

The word “addiction” caught my eye. For any addiction:

  1. Confession gives you a “new start.” Accept that you need God’s grace and give your fiat, your submission to cooperate with His will.

Start with simple things, Morning Offering, Grace Before Meals, and simple Nighttime Prayer.

Convict yourself that this is dangerous to your eternal salvation. Check out Matt Fradd: m.youtube.com/watch?v=E9RzJGuUdOE
and: catholic.com/video/overcoming-pornography-addiction

Your prayer life will grow eventually, but start with asking God for the strength to get through the day in the morning, and verbalizing gratitude at night.

  1. Train your mind toward new things.

Find a fascinating hobby. Study a favorite topic. Take a course. Feed your brain as a reward for new behaviors. Don’t like to read? Build birdhouses. Start a mini hydroponic garden on your fire escape. Become involved in your community. Use your voice to sing, your hands to build, your back to carry.

  1. Condition your body to a new routine. Get out of the house. Exercise. Go window shopping. Go to a car show. Pick up the penny saver and find local events. Make new friends. Get yourself so tired out that you don’t have time to feed your addiction.

  2. Figure out the root of your addiction and address it. Most addictions, possibly in addition to a genetic predisposition, come from poor coping skills or as a means to temporarily “escape” one’s present circumstances.

  3. Identify your triggers. You are responsible for replacing harmful behavior with positive behavior. When you find a trigger, redirect your attention, attitude, and behavior. Avoid triggers until you have consistent healthy coping skills.

  4. Surround yourself with support. Start with a Google Search for
    catholic+ministry+pornography

More than these came up, but here is a start:

My House Initiative
ncregister.com/daily-news/catholic-ministries-combat-pornography/

RECLAIM
reclaimsexualhealth.com/

L.I.F.E. Ministries (Living in Freedom Everyday)

Etc…

And don’t forget the groups here on CAF. You may find an “accountability partner.”

God bless.

Check out this resource:

Impurity Addiction Support Group

a forum in CAF. There may be other groups as well here.

First, prayer, lotsof prayers, Ask God for help.

Don’t despair, I’ve heard that 3 weeks is what takes to make a new habit, so don’t think for it as a lifelong battle, set short term goals, Live day by day, aim for the 3 weeks when you want to think more in future, but try to keep it a day by day thing.

Second try to not be alone or not busy, get something to do, and no this not means only work, try something fun that takes your energy and time when you are not working, and besides makes you happier.

You should read/watch the resources here on Catholic Answers: catholic.com/browse/all/pornography/all/all

A lot of men and boys will have a curiosity with pornography, but it doesn’t turn into an addiction. Most people with an addiction are using it to fill some void in their life. They are not satisfied with something. So I think a first step is to discover what that is:

  1. Examine your life story; think about all the major events in your life.
  2. Pick out those events that left you really sad, angry, depressed, or disappointed. It could be a single bad experience or several bad experiences.
  3. Realize the core reasons why you felt sad, angry, depressed, or disappointed in those situations.
  4. Pray to God for healing, to fill the void with love.

This can be hard to do because a lot of these feelings could be subconscious. You may need counseling. There are groups that can help with this, such as SA mentioned above. SA would be group counseling, but you might be able to find a Catholic counselor for individual counseling if preferred. The goal of counseling is to slowly peel away all your protective layers until everything is out in the open. It is hard to expose yourself this way, but you can get a lot of healing out of it. You will really know what it is you hate about your life or yourself and can then start making changes to your life to move past the addiction.

I have said a short prayer for you and have hope that God will help you through this. Feel free to join the Impurity Addiction group here and also to keep asking questions for help. Just never give up because God is always ready to help. He will either help you directly or through the actions of people around you, including us on the forums.

Although temptations are so troublesome and grievous, yet they are often profitable to us, for by them we are humbled, cleansed, and instructed. All the Saints endured many trials and temptations, and profited by them; but those who could not resist temptations became reprobate, and fell away. There is no Order so holy, nor place so secluded, where there are no troubles and temptations.

No man can be entirely free from temptation so long as he lives; for the source of temptation lies within our own nature, since we are born with an inclination towards evil. When one temptation or trial draws to a close, another takes its place; and we shall always have something to fight, for man has lost the blessing of original happiness. Many try to escape temptations, only to encounter them more fiercely, for no one can win victory by flight alone; it is only by patience and true humility that we can grow stronger than all our foes.

The man who only avoids the outward occasions of evil, but fails to uproot it in himself, will gain little advantage. Indeed, temptations will return upon him the sooner, and he will find himself in a worse state than before. Little by little and by patient endurance you will overcome them by God’s help, better than by your own violence and importunity. Seek regular advice in temptation, and never deal harshly with those who are tempted, but give them such encouragement as you would value yourself.

The beginning of all evil temptation is an unstable mind and lack of trust in God. Just as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so a careless man, who abandons his proper course, is tempted in countless ways. Fire tempers steel, and temptation the just man. We often do not know what we can bear, but temptation reveals our true nature. We need especially to be on our guard at the very onset of temptation, for then the Enemy may be more easily overcome, if he is not allowed to enter the gates of the mind: he must be repulsed at the threshold, as soon as he knocks. Thus the poet Ovid writes, “Resist at the beginning; the remedy may come too late.” For first there comes into the mind an evil thought: next, a vivid picture: then delight, and urge to evil, and finally consent. In this way the Enemy gradually gains complete mastery, when he is not resisted at first. And the longer a slothful man delays resistance, the weaker he becomes, and the stronger his enemy grows against him.

Some people undergo their heaviest temptations at the beginning of their conversion; some towards the end of their course; others are greatly troubled all their lives; while there are some whose temptations are but light. This is in accordance with the wisdom and justice of God’s ordinance, who weighs the condition and merits of every man, and disposes all things for the salvation of those whom He chooses.

We must not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but earnestly pray God to grant us his help in every need. For, as Saint Paul says, “With the temptation, God will provide a way to overcome it, that we may be able to bear it.” So, let us humble ourselves under the hand of God, in every trial and trouble, for He will save and raise up the humble in Spirit. In all these trials, our progress is tested; in them great merit may be secured, and our virtue become evident. It is no great matter if we are devout and fervent when we have no troubles; but if we show patience in adversity, we can make great progress in virtue. Some are spared severe temptations, but are overcome in the lesser ones of every day, in order that they may be humble, and learn not to trust in themselves, but to recognize their frailty.
-The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, Chapter 13

Confession!

I was able to beat alcoholism with it. The guilt became overwhelming by God’s grace. I got away from porn because of it too. It’s an amazing sacrament- utilize it.

[LIST]
*]Frequent confession, like once a week if possible.
*]Frequent communion, more than once a week if possible.
*]PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER!!!
*]Spiritual reading like The Imitation of Christ, Abandonment to Divine Providence, Story of a Soul, etc. Notice I gave you a direct link to each of those. No excuse now if you don’t read them! :smiley:
*]Daily Scripture reading and meditation on what you’ve read
*]Avoid the near occassions of sin, talk to your confessor to figure out what these may be for you.
*]PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER!!!
*]Stay busy with work, volunteering, reading good books
*]Severely limit TV, like one show per day. Television these days is overflowing with sexual images and stories.
*]Fasting and possibly some other form of penance, make small sacrifices like St. Therese of Liseux whenever you remember
*]Ask God to teach you to love Him above everything else, as He deserves to be loved.
*]Ask God to make you a saint, and trust that He has the power to help you work out your salvation
*]Oh yeah…PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER!!! Seriously, without developing a regular and consistent prayer life, you will not overcome this. Period.
[/LIST]

If this seems like a lot…well it is a lot. :smiley:

But ask yourself each day:

How much do you want to go to Heaven? How much do you want to avoid the eternal fires of Hell? Just a little? Kinda, sorta? :wink: How much did Jesus love you, you specifically Josh, when He accepted death on the cross for you?

Also, keep coming back to these forums and asking more questions when you get off track.

Two things helped me. One was reading Every Mans Battle. The other was thinking about the Great Commandment

You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart,
and with your whole soul,
and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.
And the second is like it:
you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The question that I would pose to myself was;

If I would not want my neighbor looking at or getting off on my mother, sister, brother or father in that way, then why would I do it to my neighbor who has a mother, sister, brother or father too?

When I looked at it that way, it was much easier to decrease/eliminate the addition.

Good luck and God Bless

One other piece of advice that a priest gave me - obsessing over it can actually make the problem worse. What you should do instead is focus on God and make the firm decision that you don’t want to do anything to offend Him. That’s what we’re supposed to do each time we go to confession anyway.

Start with mortal sins obviously. You have to say “from today on I will never commit mortal sin again”, and when you fail at that jump right back up and go to confession again. But you need to make it your life’s goal to completely eliminate venial sins as well. Not saying that’s achievable, but if you try to compartmentalize your sins - saying “I’ll get rid of some, but others aren’t so bad” - then you’re not seeing the bigger picture.

For additional advice and insight, please see the following threads:
[LIST]
*]List of Catholic Websites for Battling Impurity
*]Specific Questions About an Old Topic: Masturbation
[/LIST]

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