Physiology of my addiction
By HumbleMatt
11/23/2013 8:26:10 PM
In he Miracles of forgiveness, Spencer W Kimball wrote that in order to start true repentance, we must give up everything that is associated with the sin. To cut off all programs, cut ties with individuals, past haunts and habits; this means including deleting pornographic web sites on your computer, avoiding areas that would cause an arousal such as old neighborhoods, even sexual partners and relationships. We must trade our old way of doing things and create new healthier ones, so that we can start a road of recovery that is everlasting.

This has been an ongoing struggle with me.

Especially when I have spent so much time in the online gamming with my alter ego. I'm afraid that by being in the online world too long my body has built a certain physiological dependency based upon my actions. The cravings that started out as cravings and lustful desires has grown much more than just a thought; my body, through acts of my own choosing, has grown accustom to signing in with my avatars name. The muscles in my back, stomach and hips are weak and my muscles and tendons in my arms are week as a result of repetitive stress injury and typing. Let alone the addictive side affects of viewing and masturbating to pornography and to the digital images on the screen.

It is true what elder Bidnar said, that in the virtual world, if one is emerged too deeply, the mind cannot distinguish between the emotions of what is real to something that is not. If given the chance and prolonged exposure the brain will release the same amount of chemicals, if not more so because it is reacting to a digital image which the individual wishes or desires it to become reality.

This then was the danger, that Elder Bidnar stated in his talk " What is Real," was attached to these online worlds.

In theses worlds, many people use these world's to commit sin in diverse places and in all sorts of manners. In the Book of Mormon we read that there is all manner of sins, so many that cannot list them all. Be not deceived my brothers and sisters, anything that entices us to rebel against Heavenly Father and against the light of Christ is a sin. No matter what it may be or fall under the scope of the green commandments or not. Sin is sin. It comes from the devil. No amount of rationalization we many give to the act, if it goes against the light of God and Christ it is a sin.

In my time in the virtual world, my rationalisation was that t was okay to participate in such behavior, because I of myself would never commit the physical addict of adultery or go out and have an affair with someone i must online. But I was fooling myself thinking this would protect me physically and emotionally. However much i tried to justify my behavior, my brain and body reacted the same way as if i committed the actual physical act.

I have since deleted all my accounts. But I am still struggling.

For myself I am struggling with the affects of withdrawal. It is hard not to think about these things in my everyday life now. I struggle constantly with a battle that not only is mental and spiritual, but has become physical as well.


How do you eat an elephant?    
"One bite at a time. Recovery is a lifetime process. But it can take years to feel true recovery and to build healthier habits. I believe in you, Matt. You can do this. Been to a meeting yet? Those help a lot. And get a sponsor.

The measure we give is the measure we receive."
posted at 05:51:45 on November 25, 2013 by Anonymous
Thanks for your honesty    
I really appreciated your introspection, it got me to thinkig about the need for a full change of heart, a turning away from all past things. I am working to overcome a different addiction, but it I believe it has similar roots, a desire to escape or get away from reality. I appreciated the comments from Elder Bednar about the blurring of the lines between reality and fantasy and the inabilty to tell one from the other.

I am really frustrated right now because I am stuck in a dead end job, which makes me susceptible to the desire to escape and be somewhere else. In fact I think I've been able to endure this job for a lot longer than I realized. The finances and the mind numbing tasks associated with the job have just finally started to wear me down. A friend commented to me several months ago as I shared with them about how frustrated I was, that this was challenging time that I needed to develop good habits of self-discipline and turn to the Lord to try and get through the challenges.

One thing I have tried really hard to do is surround myself with good musice. Because I am able to have a computer on at my desk I have selected positive uplifting music that can help me at times turn to the Savior. I am also trying to keep a grattitude journal, the emphasis on that is trying. What I have found is when I grateful, or the more I see the Savior in my life the, the more likely I am to be able to keep going.

One last thing I would share from a group meeting I attended years ago. The senior missionary couple shared the fact that by overcoming the weaknesses that we have, we can become helpers to those around us. That when you have overcome with the Savior your particular challenges, your a little softer and kinder to the people around you. I found it interesting in my scripture study recently that in the book of Alma and Heleman the people after all those years of war either became hardened or softened to the Spirit. My previous actions lead me to harden my heart against God because of the hurt that I felt. It has been scary to open my heart up to both my wife and my Savior to invite them back in. When I think about the rest of my life staying sober, it is really really depressing. I have tried to combat those feelings of depression by turning my life over to God, repeatedly like it says in the manual.

I sure hope you have success, and most importantly that you have peace through your Savior. It is the same thing I am looking for and hoping for. When I am tempted I try to remember the people from my 12 step group and pray for them and myself."
posted at 09:31:07 on November 25, 2013 by sjanderson

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"Jesus rejected temptation. When confronted by the great tempter himself, Jesus "[yielded] not to the temptation‚ÄĚ. He countered with scripture. Gospel commandments and standards are our protection also, and like the Savior, we may draw strength from the scriptures to resist temptation."

— D. Todd Christofferson

General Conference October 2006