I am on the verge of giving up... please help

So, this is an embarrassing topic. I am having issues with masturbation. No matter what I try to do, I keep coming back to the same old habit. I’ve prayed every day for the last year about this and God has not helped me at all! Please note: about 2 years ago I was confirmed and baptized on the same day. For about 1 and a half years after that point in time, I hadn’t masturbated at all or even had dirty thoughts(before the baptism, I had done it 3+ times a day). Then about 1 and a half years later, it started happening again. I had gone to confession so many times about that sin, that I can’t even count. I prayed so hard on occasions that I started crying like a baby! (I’m 15, by the way). I understand that puberty may have partial effect to this habit, but I can’t stop the urge. :mad: I am almost wanting to give up and die! Me and God are nowhere close anymore. It makes me sad. You have to understand: I pray so hard about my issues and offer them up to God. I have also said rosaries when I have the urge! Nothing helps! I feel lonely and abandoned. I’m in the state of mortal sin for the past few weeks. On top of that, I’ve been going to communion! It seems that whenever o try to sneak out of my house to go to confession, my Mom wants to know what is so bad that I have to go to confession for. What can I do? I have had enough!

Perhaps you can find some inspiration in such threads as this

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=620768

I guess you’ll just have to keep at it, with prayer, the sacraments, sensitivity.
I do not consider it mortal sin. Precisely that you’re trying to do something about it proves otherwise – there is no complete intent to do evil.
Strive for perfection, humble about your limitations (hey, sinner!!!) … a complete surrender to grace… take strength in your love of God, and to spread his goodness.

From one sinner to another… all the best. Pray for me, too.

First of all, your not alone a large percentage of men are suffering from this sin and many don’t even try to stop, so by trying to stop you are a head of the game. Now while masturbation is a mortal sin, not each and every act is, due to mitigating circumstances like the fact that it is a habit. So those times that it feels like your not in control may mean that your not in control and your free will is not involved. This is something you will need to talk to a holy priest about for guidance. Now because this is a habitual sin it is really hard to break, duh like you didn’t know that already. Don’t beat your self up every time you fail, the anxiety will only make it worse. The best thing to do is acknowledge your guilt ask the Lord for forgiveness and try to do better. You may just want to plan on going to confession once a week for a while, even when you go a week masturbation free and when you break the habit again go at least twice a month. Now a few hard facts. If you asked a priest what the most confessed sin for men is, he is most likely to say masturbation and or porn. So your not alone most men even into old age struggle off and on with this. At 15 your still maturing and every once in a while your body kicks off the next round of growth by releasing a lot of testosterone, which makes the urge stronger or come back if it has gone away. Oh and don’t think God isn’t helping you, he is you might not have noticed or why else is your mom asking questions, the Holy Spirit might have prompted her. and one more thing, you can’t do this on your own, reach out to anyone God sends your way. Oh and the fact that a 15 year old is masturbating isn’t going surprise many people. The surprising thing is that your mature enough to want to quit.

God bless and don’t lose hope.

I understand how frustrated you may be feeling right now. All I want you to know is this, every human being will face temptations one way or the other. Nobody is immune from this. St Paul suffered it, even our Lord passed through it while on earth. Our imperfect nature makes us vulnerable to sinful acts and temptation. But here’s the good news! Just as nature makes us prone to these temptations, so Grace has equipped us to overcome them. You may not know this, but you already have all it takes to kick this habit. It’s not going to be easy, it may take months or even years. You might have relapses from time to time, but the important thing is to NEVER QUIT TRYING. You can do it! God is your strength!

Even if you are not aware of it, this sense of intrusion by your mother may be contributing to your problems. Masturbation is often a means of escape.

I recommend that you start taking some steps to escape your mother’s protection/influence/dominance. Start by going to confession when you need to, and don’t worry about what your mom thinks. If she asks, just say “I am going to confession. It’s my business”.

I recall advising the same to another teenage male about six months ago.

It always amazes me as to why people are so concerned regarding this subject,
It’s ok… We get a sense of the guilts over absolutely nothing,
There are more important things to worry yourself about,like your education and career building,

One year? ONE YEAR?

Buddy, I have been a perpetual wanking machine for about TEN years, and only in the past THREE have I actually been addressing the issue, and I’m nowhere near to close to “clean”!

Masturbation is a touchy issue; it is a mortal sin, and yet these days it is so easily become an acquired force of habit. I am 22, and I saw my first pornography when I was all of ten.

But Saint Paul once mentioned that the Lord had given him a “thorn in his side”, and he had asked God thrice times to have it removed. You know what God replied?

“My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”

And Paul also noted: his harasser kept him from being proud and stuck up, as if he has any power. My friend, perhaps Saint Paul and Our Lord is calling us to the same thing: to rest in Christ’s power, and not beg for our thorns to be removed. Because, I can tell you, I don’t think I will ever be free of this sin save by the power of Our Lord Himself, and He will perfect us as He sees fit, not as we see fit.

But I do understand your concern. How do you know you are not working in complicity with the Evil One? The mind is a strange and complex thing, not easily ignored. This is why we need confessors, spiritual directors, and if we can afford them psychological help from reliable Catholic psychologists.

Friend, you can’t do this on your own. No one can. God made us to work together, as men, and to work with Jesus.

It took me months of resistance and continual prayer and the Grace of God through Mary to overcome this habit.

Keep at it and NEVER give up.

People please read the forum rules, this does not belong on the “Traditional Catholicism” forum. The Moral Theology forum would be a better place.

I’ve struggled too my brother!
Understanding mortal sin is very important here. When you start to realize that Jesus is not abandoning you or will send you to hell because you have a weakness, you will be at peace.

Sometimes it feels like God is not helping, when He is actually teaching us something. He is letting us learn that we don’t overcome worldliness on our own. We can’t. I know you are trying to rely on Him. He will help. You are young! Others here have told you that having regret and remorse do NOT put you in a state of mortal sin. Amen, It is true. When you receive Communion, do so in such a manner. Be sorry for your sins, have hope that God will help take those sins away. Don’t think you are receiving unworthy because you haven’t gone to confession, YET, about something! God cares about your heart, not about the order of religion.

That said, I am impressed you are making these efforts to go to confession so much:) now just stop beating yourself up about it. Sometimes God works slow, because there are reasons for us to learn different things. Struggle is good. Sometimes He just takes an addiction out of a person in an immediate way. It is His doing and both are His supernatural wisdom. Be at peace, knowing He is at work in you.

Proverbs 24:16
“For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.”

You will be healed, it is His will. He who takes away the sins of the world. You are righteous in your desire to depart from evil. Thanks for sharing your struggle with us. I will pray for you;)

Michael

Don’t worry about it.

Please do not feel embarrassed. Many have struggled with this - including me…
Yes - habits are like that…and such sexual temptations are things that we all deal with to one extent or another most of our lives…
It’s good that you bring your thoughts here for some objective input.

My first piece of advice is simple. Take heart…God Knows your struggles and He more importantly He knows your desires and your efforts. As a loving Father he is more interested in how hard you try than He is in how successful you are on any given day.

I’ve prayed every day for the last year about this and God has not helped me at all!

This thought…that God has not helped is a signal of despair…something that the evil one would love to draw you into. Yet this idea that God has not helped is disproved by what you say next.

Please note: about 2 years ago I was confirmed and baptized on the same day. For about 1 and a half years after that point in time, I hadn’t masturbated at all or even had dirty thoughts(before the baptism, I had done it 3+ times a day).

So - here we see a period of 18 months where, byt eh grace of God, you were able to avoid the sin.

Then about 1 and a half years later, it started happening again. I had gone to confession so many times about that sin, that I can’t even count. I prayed so hard on occasions that I started crying like a baby! (I’m 15, by the way). I understand that puberty may have partial effect to this habit, but I can’t stop the urge. :mad: I am almost wanting to give up and die! Me and God are nowhere close anymore. It makes me sad. You have to understand: I pray so hard about my issues and offer them up to God. I have also said rosaries when I have the urge! Nothing helps! I feel lonely and abandoned. I’m in the state of mortal sin for the past few weeks.

There are a lot of things going on here - Your age, hormones, changes in your spiritual condition and growth…It can all become very complex and difficult and disheartening.
But there is good news. It will get better.

First of all - the feeling that God is far away is not an uncommon feeling at all. In fact many great saints have written about this feeling of abandonment - of God being distant.
These periods are often referred to as spiritual dryness or aridity and stem from two interrelated spiritual sources.

  1. We become use to a certain level of grace. That grace becomes “normal” to us and so we don’t necessarily recognize God’s work in us. It’s sort of like becoming use to a certain temperature in a room - we can feel “chilly” in such a room but if we go out in the cold for awhile and then come back in…that same room and that same temperature feels warm and comforting.
  2. The second source and one that the great saints have described, is the idea of God inviting us to a greater reliance on Him. To a deeper understanding. This is a much more complex aspect and good spiritual direction is of great help in this.

The above is obviously complicated by things like hormonal changes, societal / cultural issues and peer pressures.

Obviously this mix of things is complex and delicate in their interplay so it is good that you desire to go to confession and discuss these things with a priest.

On top of that, I’ve been going to communion! It seems that whenever o try to sneak out of my house to go to confession, my Mom wants to know what is so bad that I have to go to confession for. What can I do? I have had enough!

It’s too bad that you feel the need to sneak out and that your mom feels the need to question you like this. While I’m sure that she has only a loving concern for you, it seems that she should be glad that you are seeking the guidance of a good confessor.

Perhaps you could tell your mom that confession isn’t just (or exclusively) about things that are “so bad”…but that confession of even lesser sins brings grace and the input of the confessor gives wonderful guidance that is highly useful to anyone.
Regular confession should be encouraged - not discouraged.

As for taking communion in these circumstances…since you struggle to get to confession…again, Our Father understands your efforts and your desires. So please do not add a greater burden on yourself - or cut yourself off from this avenue of grace through the Eucharist.

The bottom line in all of this is that the Lord is actually nearer than you think right now and is watching your struggles with loving care and in the perfect knowledge that such struggles will help you to grow stronger. Not unlike the runner or the weightlifter who is pushed by his coach to run further, or to lift more…the struggle and the pain of such exertion can seem pointless at times, but later the benefits come.

Hope this helps some…

Peace
James

In my post above I covered a lot of ground but didn’t really provide anything immediate and specific. Below is something that helped me to finally break away from masturbation.

I developed a “visual prayer”…After all, if we can “visualize” toward lust - why not “visualize” away from it…
So I prayed, “Father, take me to the foot of the cross”, and then began thinking, visualizing myself there. Gazing on the scene of the one who died for my sins.
Hot, dry, dusty day.
The foot of the cross buried in the ground.
The wood of the cross stained black from blood and sweat.
The feet of our Lord.
Filthy and stained and dripping blood and sweat.
I did this - I put Him there - Not alone - but I helped.
Every time I sin, it is increases His pain.
If I refrain, it eases His pain.
Feel the heat of that day, the dryness of the air.
How thirsty He is…
…and so on…

How could I possibly sin while standing at the foot of the cross.

As a corollary to the idea of our sin putting Him there, consider how his cross is the accumulation of our sins. Each time we sin, the cross gets heavier…Each time we resist sin, the cross gets lighter.

Peace
James

Hang in there. This is a difficulty that many males (especially teenager and young men) struggle with. Just keep praying about it and going to confession. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember that God loves you.

Avoid the “near occasions of sin” as much as possible, For example, if doing certain things–such as viewing certain websites–cause you to commit this sin, then start avoiding them as well.

Thank you, everyone! Does anyone have any tips on what to do of you have the urge?

get some exercise. healthiest way to relieve stress.

Just laying in bed causes this sin :(. Do I have to sleep standing up now? Haha. I don’t have so much of a problem with pornographic things. I try to not do that, as it makes me feel gross and uncomfortable. Is there any specific prayer that can be said in aid of my addiction?

I hike often and ride my bicycle pretty much everywhere

Just trying to give the moderators a break:

From the moderator

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.