Hi, I’m Kaleb, 18 years old. I’m in RCIA currently. I came to the Church about a year and a half ago, before which I masturbated everyday, sometimes more than once a day, for pleasure and other reasons. I have had alot of stress in my life, from an abusive mother, to emotional abuse at school, anxiety and depression disorders, and a speech impediment. As I have come to the Church, my conscience has been clarified, and I now definitely believe that masturbation is a sin. But, one difficulty I have with it - not masturbation being a sin, I know it is - is that I tend to have alot of stress, anxiety and depression in my daily life, from various causes, and before I came to the Church masturbation offered me, despite my shame at admitting it, a form of pleasure-based escape. I could do it, nothing would come of it, and it let me get my mind off of my problems, relax and release.
But, since I got in RCIA, I have been trying to not do it, especially within the past couple weeks. Unfortunately, my stress has only gone up over that time, from some family and money problems, and I am very nervous and anxious. I wish that I could masturbate; it helps me to release and clear my mind, despite my guilt afterwards. But I also don’t want to, because I know it’s a sin. Would there be any culpability lessening that could be given to me, especially while I’m just in RCIA and can’t even go to confession yet, to do masturbation like once a week or something, just to help my anxiety problems? I know this is selfish, perverse and wrong - trust me. But I would love to be able to do it. Any help would be much appreciated.