Looking for advice and someone to relate to.
By Seeker
1/10/2013 3:53:01 PM
Okay, I am a bit nervous typing this since I'm a girl and I have never talked with anyone about this, but I read through some blogs here and I believe I can get some support here. I was raised in the church and had been a strong member until I was about 12. I apologize ahead of time if this is long.
Since I was little I have had sexual problems. I don't remember where I first seen porn or what made me watch it or continue watching it. My family has had issues with younger children being abused sexually and I seem to have memories of something happening to me, but I guess I have tried to forget them. I went further in the hole when I started masturbating around the age of 11, along with watching pornography and then even further in the hole when I started using drugs and alcohol. Lately the drugs havent been as bad as a problem, but the sexual issues and alcohol have been. I recently moved back with my parents because I was afraid of what I was becoming. I would drink insane amounts of alcohol daily and do things that I knew werent right. I feel guilty for what I've done and I know I need to repent and talk to my bishop but I havent been to church in almost 5 years because I was afraid of what people would think. Now I seem to think only about how bad of a person I am and how worthless I am. I turn to everything but the gospel in hopes I can forget things or as a way to run away in hopes I can get over my guilt but things are getting out of control. I havent said anything to my parents because they expect so much from me but I feel like I cant do anything because Im torn between doing what I know is wrong and taking the first step in doing something right. I know this seems like a lot but I left out telling stories so I could cut to the chase here. Has anyone had this issue before? And how did you overcome this? I am now 21 and have kept this problem to myself for about 10 years. Any help would be appreciated.


Your parents really don't know?    
"Welcome, Seeker! I hope you find help here! You are not alone.

You've mentioned drugs, alcohol, and no church for 5 years. And you mentioned your parents, who have allowed you to move back in with them, expect so much from you. Do they really not know you are struggling? Are they really not worried about you? If not, I feel bad for you that you could go through so much without your parents caring enough to see your struggles.

But I'm going to assume that your parents love you, care about you, and DO know that something is wrong. Perhaps they don't know what, but they know something is wrong. And they are probably happy that you have come home, because they think it might mean you are going to figure things out now.

I would encourage you to trust them and love them. Think what it would mean to them if you went to them and said, "Mom and Dad, can we talk? I want you to know why I moved home. I wanted to be near you because I need your help. I'm still young, and I have made some mistakes. I'm not ready to tell you about all of them yet, but I want you to know that I need your help. I'm sorry that I have disappointed you. I want to get back on the right path. I won't be perfect, but I want to change. Will you please help me? Please! I need your help, love, and support."

It might even help to say, "And just let me say that my problems were caused by me and not by anything YOU did." (Even if you don't believe that right now, it can't hurt to say it.)

I can't imagine ANY loving parent rejecting that kind of request. Getting it out in the open might be a huge first step that will go a long way for you. After that, tell your parents you will tell them HOW to help when you, yourself, figure out how they can help you (which you might learn by attending 12 step meetings, talking to your bishop, and posting on this site, etc.).

Finally, you need to know that you are not alone, and NO ONE expects you to be perfect. Your parents don't, Jesus doesn't, and we certainly don't. You should NOT expect yourself to be perfect. Of course you have made mistakes. We all have. Lots of them. But we are still children of God.

You said, "how did you overcome this?" We didn't. We don't. God does. And he will overcome it for you, too. It's hard to explain how. It's like water's hard to explain. We can tell you over and over what to do (and lots of people on this site will try), but you will just keep saying, "I'm trying that, and it's not working; I keep falling in the water." Then, suddenly, you will be up on your skiis, and you will say, "Oh, THAT'S WHAT YOU MEANT!"

Please start true repentance by getting a hold of an Addiction Recovery Manual from the Church and by attending 12 step meetings and AA. Don't be afraid to do what it takes to overcome and be free.

But always know that whatever you DO will not free you. Only God will. Turn completely to him and seek every day to draw nearer to him and turn your life over to him. Tell him you can't fix these problems you have created and you need him to fix them for you. Then, be VERY patient as he fixes them in your life in small, simple steps.

With love,"
posted at 21:32:17 on January 10, 2013 by beclean
Thank You.    
"I read through the help you posted and I certainly understand what you mean. Talking to my parents is one thing I never and still dont want to do though. I have been in rehabs when I was younger and I had a lot of talks with them, it usually ends up in an arguement and me making matters worse, since I seem to always mess things up. I just dont know how I can tell them that I have dropped even lower than before when they act as though nothing is wrong. It is hard for my father when he tries to keep up appearances, to have a daughter who messes things up. I have always tried explaining to my mother and she says "its natrual. People do this all the time." She also tries to make it seem cool in front of some people, even encouraging me to go out and drink with some cousins who I recently have tried avoiding so I dont get asked to go out.

I know getting my parents help would be lovely, but I dont think Im going to get it. If I tell them now I am likely to get booted from their house. It has happened before and the way my father is it will likely happen again. As a family we tend to sweep issues under the rug or ignore it in hope it will go away, but I cant do that anymore.

Also, is it normal to feel like I want help one minute and feel guilty then the next I feel like I've got it under control and I haven't done anything wrong? I know Im wrong, but I get these feelings like I should just forget about it. Sorry for all the questions, but I find talking on here is giving me a little more strength. Since Im on here and not doing something I shouldnt be."
posted at 23:50:40 on January 10, 2013 by seeker
I see. That's different.    
"I didn't know you had talked to your parents before or been in rehabs. You said, "I haven't said anything to my parents." And you hadn't talked to your Bishop, either. I assumed you were just starting down the recovery path, reaching out for the first time. Sorry, dumb assumption.

But, even if you can't talk to your parents (which I now understand better), you need to be open and completely honest about everything with someone other than this site.

You and your feelings are completely normal. But, notice how inconsistent they really are. First you say, "As a family we tend to sweep issues under the rug or ignore it in hope it will go away, but I cant do that anymore." Then you say, "I get these feelings like I should just forget about it." That's hoping it will go away.

Again, all of those feelings are normal, but they need to be examined and sorted out and turned over to God. Keep writing. Keep seeking help. You can't do it alone!

But you CAN do it! You can be free! Turn it over to God one day at a time, and one day you will look back and see how free you have become!"
posted at 00:30:00 on January 11, 2013 by beclean
Confusing myself.    
"I know I say one thing then another, but thats whats going on. Im confusing myself here. Right now I am using this site as a means to get the courage to talk to someone else. You're assumption wasnt a dumb one since I left out alt of history, I thought I could skip parts but it seems like every little thing has affected me somehow.

I was placed in rehab at 15-17 for drug and alcohol abuse. The longest span of being sober I have had was for 2 years. Yet I have never talked to anyome about my other addictions. I have been clean from drugs for over two years now. My biggest issue is I use alcohol when I feel guilty and watching porn makes me feel guilty, but I still keep going in between the guilty and comforting myself stage. Overall Im just afraid. Afraid of talking to a bishop I have only met once and that was a hi amd bye. Afraid my family will disown me and even more afraid that the Lord has already disowned me.

Thank you for the time and effort and words of encouragement. I look forward to eventually being free from where I am. I just seem to be afraid of taking that first step. I am also confused as to how I turn something over to God. Can you please explain?"
posted at 01:59:52 on January 11, 2013 by seeker
Turn it over to God    
"As I mentioned, "turning it over to God" is hard to explain. It's like trying to explain to people what the Spirit is like or like explaining salt or how to water ski. It IS the 12-step repentance process. It is letting God take your burdens and worries from you, while you take upon yourself HIS light, easy yolk (which keeps you from straying).

For me, it is teaching my mind not to focus so much on my sins and not to worry about every little mistake I make. It's noticing when I feel uneasy in ANY WAY and going to God in prayer to say, "Lord, I don't feel my best, and I'm worried that these feelings of dis-ease will cause me to seek out self medication. I can't make these uneasy feelings go away. Will you please take care of them for me, while I my scriptures, or walk the dog, or do the dishes, or play with my kids, or work on this project?" Instead of fighting the bad feelings and temptations and saying, "Go away, go away, don't think like that, just stop it, uh-oh, here they come again, etc." I say, "Well, this is normal. I have conditioned myself to think and feel this way. I can't change it. God, help me, because I AM POWERLESS TO OVERCOME."

To me, surrendering involves all of that and more. Perhaps other successful recovering addicts on the site can explain what it means to them. It would help everyone.

To me, surrendering to God and turning my life over to him means acknowledging before my wife, my children, my parents, my bishop, God, and many, many others that I am NOT perfect. That I make so many mistakes. That I need God EVERY HOUR. And then doing my absolute best to stay close to him, although (as i just said) I won't be perfect at it, but I don't worry about that, because no one expects me to be perfect.

To me, turning it over to God means complete Honesty in everything. If I slip, I don't dwell on it, I honestly confess to SEVERAL people and move on. i am completely honest, and that keeps my problems and imperfections in the light, so that I have no desire to hide them. Hiding them makes them worse. Shining light on them makes them better.

To me, turning it over to God means being willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get these problems to go away. And since they may never go away for good, WHATEVER IT TAKES means serving God and staying close to him for the rest of my life, because only HE can fight my battles for me. WHATEVER IT TAKES involves things I don't want to do all the time, like being completely honest with my wife (which hurts her--but keeping it a secret hurts worse) and like talking to my bishop (which is scarey, but it's scarier not to talk to anyone).

I hope that helps.

I encourage you to talk to your Bishop, even though you don't know him. Reread the words I used above to talk to your parents. Use pretty much those same words to talk to the Bishop. He will be filled with the spirit of love for you, and he will only want to help."
posted at 13:30:20 on January 11, 2013 by beclean
dont fear your bishop. he can help    
"Your story is sad and I could feel your pain and shame and frustration over trying to stop.

I bet your bishop has heard worse. Don't worry. He will see your brokeness and have conpassion for you. He will be more concerned about helping you get better. He has resources if you ask for them. He can cover the cost of therapy. He will encourage you to attend some meetings.

I am reminded of the savior when he saw the sick, afflicted, lame, possesses, diseased. He didn't despise them, he had compassion and healed them.

you can be happy again. Its hard work but if you want it and do the work, you will make it. There is no such thing as "too far to save".

go look up a song on YouTube. "you are more" by tenth avenue north it will make you feel better."
posted at 15:06:23 on January 11, 2013 by Anonymous
Thank you for the advice    
"I have decided to meet with my bishop no matter what. I will admit I am worried about being disfellowshipped ( I think that is the correct term) but I am willing to accept what my bishop tells me or the advice he gives me. I figured I shouldnt put this off any longer since I have been putting this off for over 10 years. I know Im going to need the spirit in my life because times ahead are looking dim and I dont think I could survive going around in the cycle again. I also know that I need help because if I had my way I wouldn't be here, but I could never put my family through the heartache again.

I hope to continue to post here and recieve advice cause I know I am going to need it. So I want to thank you guys again for the advice and well wishes."
posted at 23:10:51 on January 11, 2013 by seeker
Went to church today.    
"Today was a good day mostly. I went to church for the first time in years and I am happy to say I feel wonderful. After church was another story but I dont want to focus on that. I didnt meet with my bishop yet but I am making the call to get an appointment first thing after scripture study tonight. I am still having some issues, but I feel like its something that can be delt with.

@anon I looked up the song you suggested and I cant thank you enough for it. Music had been my life and that song has now been on repeat almost nonstop for a few days it really helps me realize I am not too far gone to come back. Again, thank you."
posted at 19:16:40 on January 13, 2013 by seeker
"Good for you for taking proactive steps to start your healing journey. Today we had stake conference and the elder speaking spoke of how music can heal a broken heart and say what a thousand words could never convey. Good music invites the spirit to dwell with you."
posted at 20:26:39 on January 13, 2013 by rachp
The bishop will help    
"Glad to hear are doing better. I just joined here and i am glad we have people on here that can help. I have been involved with porn and masturbation for 17 years. I just now decided that i have a problem. It is going to be hard but with the bishop and people on here i know i will be able to get over this. The lord loves you and wants us to win. I will be here for you if you need to talk. What a great example you are. Keep doing great."
posted at 12:20:04 on January 29, 2013 by Joshbc
"In hopes to save time and jump straight to the point, I didn't read any of the other comments. Fair warning. :)

First off, your story is heartbreaking. Seeker, you are awesome. Don't let ANYONE tell you different. Seriously, the amount of courage and strength it takes just to turn yourself away from the darkness is insane. So good on ya!!!

As for the discouragement, I have a suggestion. A little homework for you to do that helped me just about more than anything. It may be a little bit awkward at first, but just jump in and see how it works for you. Find somewhere that you can go for a walk by yourself where you can talk out loud to yourself (even if its just under your breath). I am lucky to have a park with pond a couple of block from my house, so I did this there. Take something to write with you.

So when you get there, just starting talking to the Lord. You could technically call it a prayer, but really just consider it a conversation. Use regular language like you would in a typical conversation with your friends. Tell him about your problems, what is really bothering you about life, and what you really truly want. Explain your addictions to him, and feel free to rant. Trust me when I say he REALLY just wants to hear from you, and he's there to be a shoulder to cry on or rant on if you need it. After you pour your guts out for a while, find somewhere to sit and listen. Start writing the things that come to your head, and it will amaze you the love you will feel and the inspiration that will come. If the only thing that comes is "I Love You" I guarantee that will be enough for you to get through the next rough patch. Stay strong, Seeker, and take courage in your successes, learn from your stumbles, and always stay moving forward."
posted at 14:24:05 on January 29, 2013 by fatherofone
Not losing hope    
"Thank you to everyone who has given me advice. I admit I almost forgot about this place since lately its been rough. I still havent even talked to my bishop. I dont want to make excuses, but Im not sure who my bishop is since no one has my records. It seems all the moving and not being active has shuffled me around a bit. Again I want to thank everyone here, even thoug I had forgot about this site (almost) I had taken some advice that stuck to me this week. I dont know how I will ever pay back the kindness I have found here."
posted at 17:29:40 on January 29, 2013 by seeker
"Have you tried AA or NA? I know some of us have a bad taste in our mouth if we were exposed to these 12 Step programs prematurely but there is magic in these programs. I would suggest going to several until you find a few that suit you. There are meetings out there that are great, but you have to go to quite a few to find the ones that have good recovery. You can do it! Three things I would also suggest practicing as you're on this journey, HONESTY, OPEN-MINDEDNESS, and WILLINGNESS. When you try these meetings, listen for the SIMILARITIES in what other people are sharing. Our natural instinct is to listen and look for reasons why we are different than other people attending.

This is a personal preference but I have found better recovery at AA meetings, even though my drug of choice is opiates. Good luck, sister! You can do it! I have been clean and sober for 11 years and if I can do it, ANYONE can. :)"
posted at 20:35:41 on January 29, 2013 by Anonymous

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"Each one who resolves to climb that steep road to recovery must gird up for the fight of a lifetime. But a lifetime is a prize well worth the price. This challenge uniquely involves the will, and the will can prevail. Healing doesn’t come after the first dose of any medicine. So the prescription must be followed firmly, bearing in mind that it often takes as long to recover as it did to become ill. But if made consistently and persistently, correct choices can cure. "

— Russell M. Nelson

General Conference, October 1988