I got an addiction


#1

I can’t believe I’m writing this…

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m addicted to sex, masturbation and pornongraphy. I don’t even know how I got like this. I feel so ashamed of myself. I feel like a horrible Catholic. And my sin is affecting my relationship with my girlfriend. I am being a horrible boyfriend. I know how I’m suppose to act and behave, but ever since this year in college, I don’t know what’s come over me. I can’t look at myself in the mirror. This all just started to happen within the last couple of months. I’ve lost my virginity, I’ve sinned against God, I haven’t been loving my girlfriend the way Christ intends me to…I’m a complete mess-up. I don’t know what to do or even how to get myself back on track. I don’t know how to live a chaste life anymore. Can someone please help me?


#2

[quote=junostarlighter]I can’t believe I’m writing this…

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m addicted to sex, masturbation and pornongraphy. I don’t even know how I got like this. I feel so ashamed of myself. I feel like a horrible Catholic. And my sin is affecting my relationship with my girlfriend. I am being a horrible boyfriend. I know how I’m suppose to act and behave, but ever since this year in college, I don’t know what’s come over me. I can’t look at myself in the mirror. This all just started to happen within the last couple of months. I’ve lost my virginity, I’ve sinned against God, I haven’t been loving my girlfriend the way Christ intends me to…I’m a complete mess-up. I don’t know what to do or even how to get myself back on track. I don’t know how to live a chaste life anymore. Can someone please help me?
[/quote]

I am so glad you are writing this! While I do not share this addiction with you, I do know that the first step into recovery from ANY kind of addiction is having the courage to

  1. admit you have an addiction
  2. admit you are absolutely powerless over it
  3. cry out for help

As a Catholic, it is important that you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible. Do a very thorough examination of conscience and then go and receive that Sacrament. Perform the penance that is given to you, and start to put Christ back into the center of your life. Perhaps start by going to daily Mass and receiving the Eucharist daily.

But please do not stop there. This is an addiction and you will need some help. There are appropriate 12 Step programs that deal with sexual addictions and there are Catholic Counselors and Therapists available that will see people on a sliding-scale fee basis. You can usually get this information from your priest or from your college ministry - is there a Newman Center at your college?

Please do not despair. You are not alone and you are not a horrible Catholic. You are a Catholic in trouble. God permits evil because out of all evil comes great good. Some day you will be able to help another man out of a similar situation. But right now you need to continue to climb out of the pit - you have made an excellent start…keep going. Do not stop. Put on your Big Boy Pants, stop whining and get to work.

BTW - you are loved. Now go to Confession.


#3

Aside form everything just listed, try this guy’s site:

http://www.trueknights.org/

He was on the Journey Home a few weeks ago, and seemed not only genuine, but helpful.


#4

[quote=junostarlighter]I can’t believe I’m writing this…

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m addicted to sex, masturbation and pornongraphy. I don’t even know how I got like this. I feel so ashamed of myself. I feel like a horrible Catholic. And my sin is affecting my relationship with my girlfriend. I am being a horrible boyfriend. I know how I’m suppose to act and behave, but ever since this year in college, I don’t know what’s come over me. I can’t look at myself in the mirror. This all just started to happen within the last couple of months. I’ve lost my virginity, I’ve sinned against God, I haven’t been loving my girlfriend the way Christ intends me to…I’m a complete mess-up. I don’t know what to do or even how to get myself back on track. I don’t know how to live a chaste life anymore. Can someone please help me?
[/quote]

You might want to check out the website of Sex Addicts Anonymous at sexaa.org/ They have lists of meetings and resources that might be helpful for you. My husband has a sex addiction but has been sober for two and half years. He was addicted to the same things you were. He had this addiction before we got married and it eventually led to him losing his job. I did not realize that he had this addiction until he lost his job though. It has taken a while to overcome but he has managed to overcome it with hard work and diligence. Even though he hasn’t done any of that in two years, he occasionally has to fight temptations. For your sake and for your girlfriends sake, you must seek help. I felt utterly betrayed when I found out that his addiction was the reason for the lack of intimacy in our relationship. My prayers are with you. It is not an easy road but there are tons of people out there that can help you. There are also books that might be of help. You can find some of them at the Book Store in the Self’ Help/Addiction section.

You are in my prayers. I know how difficult this is for you.


#5

[quote=ConcernCatholic]You might want to check out the website of Sex Addicts Anonymous at sexaa.org/
[/quote]

There are a variety of types of 12step groups for sexual addictions. Consider their definition of sobriety, if that matters to you. It could affect you, or it might not. Some groups let the individuals define sobriety for themselves (for example, so that it can include masturbation).

SA (sexaholics anonymous) is a good group.


#6

If you are resolved to correct things here are few suggestions:

  1. Go to confession very often (every few days?) and truely promise God in your act of contrition to resolve not to commit the sins again with the help of His grace. Do not fall prey to the sin of presumption (that you will in fact be able to get to confession before you die).

  2. Remove the pornography. The only way to effectively do this is to remove yourself from the near occassion of sin. If that means you cannot watch TV when you are alone, then guess what? You cannot watch TV. If its the computer, then use a computer in a public place. If it is a physical location that you drive past, then change your route.

This is a very important step. In reality, once you’ve identified the situations in which you are vulnerable to viewing pornography, do you realize the sin is in deciding to put yourself into that position (because you already know the end game)?

  1. Surround yourself with Christian media. Find a Christian radio station to have playing in the background in your room, your car, etc. Come here, browse and interact with other Christians (with your computer in a public place :slight_smile: )

  2. Do not let the devil fool you into thinking that once you are in the state of mortal sin, well you might as well continue to sin. Each sin offends your God, Who maintains your life.

  3. You must begin to pray more. Do not fall into the trap of feeling like “I can’t pray now…think of what I’ve just done…etc” If you are like most men, you are disgusted with yourself immediately after you have committed the sin. You may feel hypocritical, but pray. Say your sorry. Commit to confessing the sin at the earliest convenience. And contemplate how you got to this point once again.

  4. Last one, then I’ll quit with the suggestions. Always be considering Sunday. This may seem strange, but it is very helpful with addictive sins to think “it is already Friday, Sunday is only two days away…if I don’t gt to confession then I’ll need to not take communion…and that’s uncomfortable wheneveryone else goes up…etc”. Then on Tuesday you will think “but i just went to mass on Sunday…that was only two days ago that I took Jesus into this temple that is my body”

…I’ve…uhmmm…read a lot about this sort of addiction…yah thats it…I’ve read about it.


#7

[quote=Chris W]If you are resolved to correct things here are few suggestions:

  1. Remove the pornography. The only way to effectively do this is to remove yourself from the near occassion of sin. If that means you cannot watch TV when you are alone, then guess what? You cannot watch TV. If its the computer, then use a computer in a public place. If it is a physical location that you drive past, then change your route.

This is a very important step. In reality, once you’ve identified the situations in which you are vulnerable to viewing pornography, do you realize the sin is in deciding to put yourself into that position (because you already know the end game)?
[/quote]

Couldn’t agree more here. Purge all pornographic files from your computer; you’ll be doing yourself an enormous favor and you’ll feel the guilt and shame begin to subside with this important first step. Also purge those images and videos which most of society would not consider pornographic, but still make you want to masturbate.

Also, go through and cancel every last online porn membership you have. This includes every mailing list, Yahoo! group, and monthly recurring $19.95 membership fee through ccbill or whatever the online enabler is. If you’re not careful, online pornography can cost you an awful lot of money. Believe me. I know.

There are few things that thwart a “pleasurable” surrender to your pornography addiction more than having EWTN on the tube. Believe me. I know.

Never give up this fight. Not to discourage you, but if you are like 99% of other men, you will stumble from time to time. It is absolutely paramount that you pull yourself back up and return to God. Don’t worry. He’ll forgive you.

Seriously, try praying the Rosary, and while doing so, ask the Blessed Mother, the Holy Spirit, and the entirety of Heaven to help you in this fight. I usually make my petitions at the very start, after the Sign of the Cross, but before the Apostle’s Creed. I once prayed ten decades of the Rosary every day for a week to help fight my porn addiction. In the battle of the Blessed Mother versus porn…ha! It wasn’t even close! This was like your favorite football team scoring twenty touchdowns and beating their most hated rival by the score of 140-0. It thoroughly vanquished! crushed! annihilated! any desire I had to use the stuff. If only I had continued…ah, well…

Again, never give up.

Very interesting! I’ve never thought of it that way. Keep in mind that we are three weeks from Christmas. Think of how magnificent it will feel to take communion at Midnight Mass knowing that with the help of that little baby in the manger, his mother, his father, and all those cheering you on from Heaven, you will have won the Battle of Advent 2005 against vice.

Funny, I think I’ve read the same books you have. :wink:


#8

And remember this: The Lord loves you and is with you.


#9

I’m really glad you posted this and am amazed at your courage. I’m even a little nervous to post my reply. I think my husband may have the same addiction. From the woman’s perspective, let me encourage you in your battle against it. My husband is agnostic which i think makes it more difficult for him to see this as harmful. But it does take a toll on our intimacy. It is hurtful to me and makes intimacy seem dirty and ugly after finding the sites he visits. So for the sake of your soul, your loved ones and any sons you may have in the future, fight this and fight hard. Please know that my prayers are with you.


#10

Wow, there is a lot of good advice on here about the fighting of the addiction to pornography! I am a recovering pornography addict, and I can attest that staying close to Jesus and His Church was one of the key supports in my recovery. My turning point was when my wife found out that I had been using pornography. We would go to confession weekly and daily mass. On top of that I started making a point to say one set of mysteries a day.

         Another suggestion is to have a sponsor.  Someone to talk to about the addiction openly and someone to keep you accountable.  My wife was my support during my fight, and made it easier knowing that I wasn't alone fighting.  Ask for people to pray for you.  It takes a lot of COURAGE to come on here.  I am sure that I speak for all posters here that we will pray for you.

         Last suggestion:  I got a book on sex addiction and a way to help in the recovery.  Everytime that I read it it helped reinforce my fight against pornography addicition  The book was "In the Shadows of the Net" by Carnes, Delmonico, and Griffin.  God Bless you in your fight!  Pray for the intercession of St. Michael!  He is a GREAT Help!

#11

[quote=Monica37]I’m really glad you posted this and am amazed at your courage. I’m even a little nervous to post my reply. I think my husband may have the same addiction. From the woman’s perspective, let me encourage you in your battle against it. My husband is agnostic which i think makes it more difficult for him to see this as harmful. But it does take a toll on our intimacy. It is hurtful to me and makes intimacy seem dirty and ugly after finding the sites he visits. So for the sake of your soul, your loved ones and any sons you may have in the future, fight this and fight hard. Please know that my prayers are with you.
[/quote]

I feel your pain. I dealt with this for the first 3 years of my marriage. Thank God my husband got a wakeup call and was able to find sobriety. He got caught looking at porn on his work computer and was forced to resign immediately. I will pray for you because I know how difficult your struggle is. Pray that your husband gets a wake up call. Addictions have nothing to do with religion.

Even though my husband has been sober for 2 and half years, I still struggle with the trust issues. This is why it is so important that the brave soul who posted this question get help now before getting in a serious relationship. To put things into perspective: The first morning we spent together in our new home as husband and wife, I woke up to find him on the Internet looking at pornography. I can’t begin to tell you the pain that this caused me. I blew it off at the time because I wasn’t willing to admit that I had just married somebody who would rather look at pornography than be with his brand new wife. I never had a clue that things were this serious when we were dating and going through marriage prep. I went to all the meetings with the priest. We went to Engaged Encounter. I did everything I had to do in order to have our marriage approved by the Church. He was such a devout Catholic that I had no clue. I was a lukewarm Christian at the time but I have since joined the Church. It has been 2 and half years since my husband and I had to face his addiction. Until finding this forum, I had nowhere to share my feelings. If he was an alcoholic, I could tell my family and they would give me sympathy. Any time I have even broached the subject with anyone close to me, I get the sense really quick that it is not OK to talk about. I am fortunate that I was able to talk to his mom about it. Of course, that was very awkward. I don’t want to talk to people for fear they will judge my husband and me. It is very important for me to protect my husband at all costs and help him overcome his addiction. I don’t want my children to EVER know this about their father.


#12

If you were truley messed up, as you say, you’d have no idea of that fact.
You’re not messed up, you’re human. and humans make mistakes, go to confession and as Jesus said "Your sins are forgiven, go sin no more"
welcome to imperfection, uncomfortable place when you’ve fallen, a great place when you find grace.


#13

Oh…
God always turns good from bad. case in point, you think some people have problems with porn at work, WELLLL… let me tell you a story - i worked a job where the boss would bring strippers in to do a show in the office for Christmas parties, bring porn magazines in to work his magazine vendor buddies gave him (once a week at least)… i was 23 and unmarried at the time. I was the odd man out, because i was the only one who continually would leave work promptly at 5 when the girls showed up, telling him and my coworkers i wasn’t staying for the ‘show’ because it was morally wrong and they were messed up for being such pigs, his actions promoted the girls to continue this behavior… and this kind of perversion was just wrong. He’d do this 2 or 3 times a year, once, when i was leaving at 5, one of the girls was just getting there, she said to me “aren’t you gonna stay?” to which i replied to her…“I’ll stay for your show if you come to mass with me on Sunday and listen with an open heart to the words of the priest” - she said ‘‘no’ and just walked away. I’d get the porn mags and personally take them to the dumpster before anyone saw them… i kept this fight up for 5 years… the result, two of the guys converted to being Catholics, one fallen away Catholic became much stronger in faith, and my boss never again had a stripper in the shop, never again took the guys to strip clubs, and is somewhat interested in learning about Christ… he occasionally goes to church with his wife… it’s a start.
I havent’ worked there in years… but i’ve noticed as I drive by there is a big sign outside that now read "put Christ back into Christmas"
When the devil rears his pathetic, beaten head, there has to be some people willing to throw him the finger and tell him to go back where he came from.


#14

If this thread does not prove that there are

A) good, solid Catholic Christian men in this world who care about themselves, their families and being as close to Jesus as possible and

B) that the OP was guided by the Holy Spirit to reach out for help to the people on this forum

then I am a 6 foot tall brunette super model from France who drives a Porsche to work every day…

written by the short, chubby, blonde who drives a PT Cruiser -

and is a recovering alcoholic since May 4, 1992…


#15

If she is Catholic and you are still friendly with her, I’d also suggest that you let the girl to whom you lost your virginity know that you’ve been to confession and hope she will consider it, too.

Aside from all the other wonderful advice, I’d recommend putting your relationship on hold and seeking regular counsel with a priest.

“I’m not being the boyfriend I need to be to you, and even though I have strong feelings for you, I think the best way for me to respect and love you is by becoming the man I need to be before I offer myself to you to discern as your future husband. I’m truly sorry for my behavior, and I hope you can forgive me.”

Of course, it really depends upon the dynamics of your relationship with her. She might welcome the idea of seeking similar counsel if she has been agreeable to your addiction. It goes without saying that if she is in favor of this addiction, you might be better off ending things for good anyway.


#16

Chrismyster,

<<When the devil rears his pathetic, beaten head, there has to be some people willing to throw him the finger and tell him to go back where he came from.>>

Thank you for sharing that. If more people did this every day, in all areas of their Christian walk, many people would be witnessed to and open their hearts to the Lord.


#17

I do not have much to add but I am praying for you.


#18

Wow, a ton of fantasic responses.

I’m a struggler myself, however my situation revolves around the fact that my spouse is wholly uninterested in intercourse after our second child (maybe my wife can look at some porn? I kid I kid!). So I have moments where I struggle and will lapse into online porn. Very very unfortunately, it’s free, anonymous, and easy. It’s Satan’s “nuke” against Christiandom.

The only thing I would add, as a bit of consolation, is to remind yourself that we are living in a country that is massively saturated in sexual immorality. There is almost nowhere to turn. I got back from South Korea recently to visit in-laws. It truly was a “vacation from temptation” because their soceity is not soaking in sexual immorality. Generally speaking, it was like the US in the 1940’s or so. The commercials, the TV shows, the very fabric of society is filth free so to speak…you get the idea.
I have to say, I did feel liberated for that week, was so refreshing to be able to watch TV and not be bombarded with filth. Coming back to the States, as a struggler with porn, I was dreading coming back to all the rampant immorality and lewdness in all media here. Soon after I got back, was channel surfing and landed on Boston Legal to find a soft core porn scene…remembered thinking, geez, let me go back to Korea…

But the general point I’m making is that we live in an unprecedented era of immorality. Celebrate every success in your war on pornography. And also, get on Morality in Media’s mailing list and help them out financially if you can.


#19

JD - you make an excellent point in terms of this culture. But I am going to challenge you … if this is a real problem with you, you may need to just immerse yourself totally in the Church and what she has to offer you as alternatives. When I first started my sober life I had to jump right into the middle of the lifeboat that was AA…and that meant I was totally immersed in meetings, service and the steps. Today my life is the Church, AA and my family and all that entails. I barely have time for television anymore and I am amazed at how that has helped shield me from temptations in all aspects of immorality. I am not unaware of the issues of the day, I know what is going on in the world but I am starting to understand what is taught in Holy Scripture that Catholic Christians of in the world but not of it…if that makes any sense whatsoever…I applaud you in your fight against this evil and I hope the OP continues his fight against this addiction. You are in my prayers and I am with you, one day at a time.


#20

[quote=junostarlighter]I can’t believe I’m writing this…

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m addicted to sex, masturbation and pornongraphy. I don’t even know how I got like this. I feel so ashamed of myself. I feel like a horrible Catholic. And my sin is affecting my relationship with my girlfriend. I am being a horrible boyfriend. I know how I’m suppose to act and behave, but ever since this year in college, I don’t know what’s come over me. I can’t look at myself in the mirror. This all just started to happen within the last couple of months. I’ve lost my virginity, I’ve sinned against God, I haven’t been loving my girlfriend the way Christ intends me to…I’m a complete mess-up. I don’t know what to do or even how to get myself back on track. I don’t know how to live a chaste life anymore. Can someone please help me?
[/quote]

You poor thing! :frowning:

I’ll be praying for you tonight when I go to Mass for my first Holy Day of Obligation!

Remember, the dang devil is out to get you!! DON’T LET IT HAPPEN!!!

If you’re starting to feel tempted to do or even THINK about something that you know is a sin (especially mortal), try saying a Hail Mary or quickly turn to God…sometimes this helps me when something “bad” is coming or tempting me, and when I think about God or say a Hail Mary or think of the CC, the temptation weakens. Might work for you. Try it.

But again, I’ll be praying for you!


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