My addiction is a disease
11/19/2009 1:41:17 AM
I’m in the middle of working on my fourth step inventory, and I recently read part of a very thought provoking discussion that Sierra and Robin had about calling a pornography addiction a disease, so I figured I would kill two birds with one stone by typing out some of my thoughts on the matter. Here is a disclaimer: this blog could make some people uncomfortable (although I doubt it will trigger anybody), and this blog will be very honest, very open, and very long.

So what got me thinking about all this was when I read that Sierra doesn’t consider a porn addiction to be a genetic disease like diabetes because people with diabetes are not at fault for their disease, whereas porn addicts are because they voluntarily exposed themselves to pornography. In my case, I have to respectfully disagree with this sweeping generalization about all pornography addictions and say that my addiction is in fact a genetic disease, or in other words, I didn’t choose pornography and masturbation, pornography and masturbation chose me.

I think I have been masturbating my entire life. The first memory I have of masturbation was when I was alone in my room, and I must have been younger than four because my brother didn’t live in my room at the time of the memory. Although this type of masturbation was obviously different than the kind I try not to indulge in now, the basic principles of it are the same. I was touching myself because it felt good, and I knew it was naughty, which somehow made it more fun. I didn’t do this very often until I was about twelve, but I did do it off and on throughout my entire childhood.

I know that my relationship with lust started well before I turned eight, because I can still remember some of the sex daydreams I had when I was bored in my Kindergarten class. Although the details of these daydreams are not important to share in this setting, I remember them well because they were unusual and very detailed. The interesting part of all this is that I was having lustful sex daydreams long before I had any clue what sex was. It’s also interesting to me that I still resort to thinking about these exact same fantasies if I let my guard down.

I can't remember the first time I looked at explicit pornography, but I know I have always enjoyed looking at immodest women in catalogs and on TV. I don't know why such things would be appealing to a very young boy, I just know that they were. Obviously my fascination for masturbation, lust, and pornography grew like a wild fire when I had to deal with the stress and hormones associated with puberty.


Part 2    
"Oh yeah, it’s important for me to note that I have no recollection of ever being sexually abused or exposed to sex in any form as a young child. Such a thing might have occurred, but if it did, then I have absolutely no memory of it.

It’s also important to note that I come from an amazing successful family that has always been strong in the church. All four sons in my family have served missions (my younger brother is in the middle of his!). All of my married siblings were married in the temple, and they currently have amazing families and relationships of their own. My Dad has served in Bishoprics, and my Mom is currently serving as a Relief Society president. That being said, my father is addicted to porn and masturbation, as are three out of the four sons in my family. We have all had a difficult time with our addictions, but we are all doing what we can to put the Lord first and live good lives, despite our shortcomings. I’m especially proud of my father, he’s a facilitator at a recovery group back home, and he’s always set an amazing example for the family, even though he has struggled at times.

Here’s what I’m getting at with my long story, it’s not fair to assume that the majority of porn addicts are addicted because they CHOSE to look at porn. Many of us never had a choice. Our affliction is a compulsion that we cannot control. I was lusting and masturbating well before I hit the age of accountability, so I just don’t see how it’s fair to say that I brought this upon myself. Even if I am responsible for the very first time I ever looked at something and lusted after it, it’s still unfair that I developed this cursed addiction as a result.

Before I write this next part, I want to make it clear that I do not resent Robin and Sierra in any way, nor do I judge them, but I will use parts of their stories and assumptions to contrast my own experiences and beliefs. Sierra wrote on one blog that she spent some time looking at a few of the pornographic web pages her husband had seen, and she never became an addict (at least I certainly hope she didn’t, for her own sake). How is it fair that she didn’t become an addict when she was exposed to pornography, but I was an addict long before I even knew what pornography was? How is that my fault?

I read that some people think the disease theory of addiction is false because it suggests that God did not give some of His children the right to choose. I can’t speak for all addicts, but in my own case, I feel that God not only denied me the right to choose, but He actually placed this affliction upon me, which is actually wonderful in a way! I feel that God knows that I deserve the opportunity to recover from something so devastating and overwhelming. Before I started my recovery, I had absolutely no compassion or patience for people that I considered to be inferior to me. I was so prideful, so hateful, so selfish, and so carnal. I saw my ability to excel at everything I try my hand at as proof that I’m better than most people. Without the opportunity to rely on others, and to mourn with those who mourn, and to truly depend on the Savior, who knows what kind of monster I might become? "
posted at 01:42:31 on November 19, 2009 by ETTE
Part 3    
"Although I, along with many addicts (I think Gondor might fall into this category with me, but I could be wrong), did not choose this compulsion, and we cannot change it, I would like to believe that we can still choose whether or not we will act out on the compulsion, I know that I can in any case. There might be those who are much worse off than I, and they might actually have no choice at all, but I hope that such cases are rare if they exist. This means that calling our addiction a disease and saying we can’t help it every time we act out, is a lie and a lame excuse for failure. We need to take responsibility for our actions, but our loved ones need to have at least a little patience with us. Just as a side note, I wonder if a non-addict would ever be able to relate to the physical burning/itchy sensation that masturbation addicts have to live with if they choose NOT to act out. Although it’s not a big deal if our thoughts are in the right place, it’s still extremely annoying and tends to wear down one’s ability to abstain after a few months of chronic suffering.

Here are my concluding thoughts on the matter: I hate my desires to act out. I have spent many, many, tear filled hours in prayer throughout my whole life begging Heavenly Father to take these urges away from me, and I have yet to experience a day without the desire to lust or act out. In spite of the fact that I will probably never live without these urges, I accept my fate and look forward to spending the rest of my life as a sober recovering addict. Losing my addiction might be impossible, but choosing not to act out on it is absolutely possible through the grace of Christ.

The reason I typed all this out, is so that non-addicts can have a glimpse into the life and thought patterns of a grateful recovering addict. My greatest hope from taking the time to write all this is to encourage people to be more understanding and less judgmental. I am still working on this, and it’s extremely hard not to judge, but we have no right to judge each other, because we lack the perspective to understand what our fellow brothers and sisters have been through. "
posted at 01:44:22 on November 19, 2009 by ETTE
Very well put... ((Either 12:27))    
"Wow, I totally agree. Some of us may or may have not had agency in the beginning of this matter. Some are innocent before the age of accountability, and some may have broken into curiosity as a teenager. All I know is it deeply saddens me. I still sit here wondering what I could have done back then. Back then when I was 12 years old, when I finally got the courage to talk to my bishop about masturbation. I still remember feeling so confused. ((am I broken?! Why can't I stop?!)) He must have been wondering why I was crying, I guess he thought it was something that would be easy to give up.

Masturbation chose me too... However I know God wants to help me... Either Chapter 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Unless I could replace the "thing" that I got from masturbation, I'm pretty sure I felt doomed at that time. Sure I wanted masturbation out of my life, but it's like a drug addicted wondering what he is going to do with his life after he doesn't have any more drugs. Here's my life...I'm only 19 years old today, not doing well in college, I don't really have a productive life, I don't even have a job. :( I fear least I have dependent personality ((being another character flaw like my passiveness)) But at least recover from this addiction is possible right!?!? ((day 22))

I hate the past. It's filled with sorrow and regret. “Theoretically” I had a choice to not indulge in masturbation back when it was first a problem, back when I was 12. However the lack of communication and understanding didn't help. I still wish my parents would have had the courage to talk to me about this fully way before this age. I didn't know at that time of indulgence that I was actually setting myself up for years of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, loss of self-esteem, loss of self-respect, complete confusion... yeah. I would even hate being a young man... like as if being Male automaticly meant I was a uncontrolled sexual being... Really!?! I wonder if it would have been better to be neutered!?! The sadness... loss of self-esteem... years of despair... Does every young man have to send hundreds of emails to his bishop just to recover from this? ((I'm starting to become upset... sorry... switching subject.))

I have this morbid fantasy, ((I'm sure I've posted about this before)) That it is possible for young men to never masturbate, that it is possible for a young man who was taught by his parents to make a choice to not indulge in that behavior, a full talk by his parents... but I feel this standard is unfair, I neither say it can be true or false... I wish I could be ignorant of it ((not fair for me to say)). I hate having a full knowledge of this stuff, it's like that drug addict who has had drugs, “now I know why it's addicting it, it feels good.” You know what I've said in the past.... just work in the present. What's important is that we can choice not to masturbate today. ((I think I am quoting BECLEAN now : ) )) I've said this before but that book I read... (Every Young Man's Battle)... Has helped me give up a lot of this misery in the past and present... I acknowledge I am a sexual being, I know what I need to do.

We feel the effects of the sin of the Fall Of Adam... That doesn't mean we are guilty of this first sin. Because of it, God has been merciful to us and has provided the atonement to EVERYBODY under the affects of the Fall Of Adam. We can ignore that natural man because of it, rather or not we had agency at that time, today we can be clean.

One day I hope... I can be a father... I'll talk to my kids. I will love them. I will not be afraid to talk to them about these issues. I will not guilt trip them... My purpose will be to help them progress and to feel good about themselves... We are children to God. I know Jesus Christ has helped me in my life. Just 1 year ago I couldn't stop for 1 single day... But now magically?? It's like not that bad anymore... I give that to God... and everything else.

That is all..."
posted at 07:51:49 on November 19, 2009 by Gondor44646
Thank you for this post!!    
"I’m always telling my husband I want to get in his head. This post is exactly what I’m talking about. Thank you for posting this!! I need to understand as much as I can…this is my problem too. Thank you for being so open!! It hurts to hear the pain my husband has endured all by himself for so long…I wish he would have come to me for help so long ago.

I can understand the concept that sexual addiction is a disease…But is the lying that often comes with it a disease too?...Because that part that is hardest for me to grasp. A cancer patient isn’t going to get better if they are in denial and refuse treatment…they need help (as does the sex addict). I understand not every sex addict lies, I have received so much hope from the addicts on this site who are open and honest. But dishonesty seems to be a trend among many sex addicts…Is there a connection? I think I understand a little bit (of the desires sex addicts have)…I feel I have a pretty healthy sex drive (I have felt a physical burning/itchy sensation, I’m sure mine is just a normal healthy feeling…so the addicts sensation must be horrible!), I was a teen that got pregnant because I couldn’t control my urges. As a young girl I tried masturbation, it fizzled out. I have also put myself in inappropriate places where I have been subjected to pornography…am I addicted? No. Could I be? Maybe if I really wanted to be…But I have a choice, many of you did not…I’m so sorry for the pain this brings into your lives. I feel like I am somewhat addicted to my husband and what I thought we had. I am also recovering from OCD…I am seeing a counselor and make conscious decisions every day to try to get away from the OCD tendencies I have. I have also struggled with anorexia…yeah I know…I’ve got some problems. So I think to some degree I can sympathize with the sex addict…but the lying and denial has to go. My husband has always known I have had a history with anorexia…and at times in our marriage I have confided in my husband that I am struggling...Do I always confide in him? No, sometimes I want to keep it to myself because I don’t want to fix it…But I have made a decision to never hide this from him again, even if I am wasting away…I will be honest. I don’t want to side by side compare, but it is also really embarrassing to tell someone you just made yourself throw-up. I too have learned a lot about not judging, you should have seen my husband’s face when I told him I was on a blogsite talking to sex addicts. You are my brothers and sisters and I love you and pray for you. I owe you all so much for helping me see clearer. I feel that in some ways as a woman I have too been judged. Often men (including my husband) feel they cannot confide in their spouse because they are too delicate and won’t understand. How will you know if you don’t try?…we all deserve a chance…we all deserve the truth.

My heart goes out to all of the addicts and loved ones out there that are struggling each day...I pray for you. I look up to you for your righteous desires. Thank you for all the help you have given to me and my family."
posted at 15:35:32 on November 19, 2009 by summer
"What a beautiful and heartfelt post. Thank you for your honesty and understanding. We all have "something" to overcome, don't we?"
posted at 18:12:14 on November 19, 2009 by Anonymous
I appreciate all the honesty,    
"I feel like I’ve just been through a session of group therapy. I would gladly pay fifty dollars a month, or more, for this website because it’s as beneficial to my recovery as the expensive visits to my therapist are. Derek is a saint for making this possible without charging a membership fee.

I’ve thought a lot more about this post since last night, and I’m glad that you have brought up some of the issues I’ve been pondering. I also feel like I need to share some more of my story. Most of it will be directed towards Summer, since it answers some of her questions, but everyone is welcome to read and comment on it.

Gondor – Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts on the matter. I was making a pretty big assumption when I said that you might not have ever had a choice, that’s just what I gathered from reading your story, and I also assumed that your addiction would be a lot like mine because you remind me so much of myself.

Keep the faith, Brother. I want you to be able to fulfill your dream of being a righteous and loving father. I know you’ll get there if you keep moving forward one day at a time.

It’s interesting to me that 1 year ago, neither one of us could go more than one day without acting out. We have made a ton of progress; I think it’s important that we recognize that.

Beclean – Thanks for coming forward and sharing your story and your family’s background, it makes me feel good to not be alone in my situation. In my weaker moments, I sometimes wonder if I’m a child of darkness – by this I mean one of the people in the pre-existence that didn’t choose a side, but said they would go with the winner -instead of a child of God, because if I were a child of God, then I wouldn’t have this evil addiction. Your post gave me so much hope that I can be a child of God, a good person, and still struggle with addiction at the same time.

I like your comments about this being a curse for the intel… never mind, it looks like you edited that part out, so I won’t bring it up again. If you know what I’m referring to, then I just want you to know that I started laughing when I read that. I think a better way to convey the thought behind that statement would be to say that anyone who is serious about recovering from sexual addiction is showing a lot of intelligence by doing so.

I also appreciated the unexpected complements about my ability to communicate through writing. If I am intelligent and talented in any way, then I’m sure it’s because God has been gracious enough to bless me, and not because I’m naturally inclined to succeed.

Summer – Your direct honesty is admirable. I’m so glad you answered my rhetorical question about the physical burning/itchy sensation. I honestly didn’t expect anyone to be brave enough to respond to that. Now I can put an end to my pity party and move on with life. Apparently, sexual urges can be frustrating for all human beings, addicts and non-addicts alike.

I have several thoughts about the connection between dishonesty and addiction. Lying can be compulsive, but in my case it is not. I chose to lie about my addiction, because I was so tired of not being able to pass the sacrament as a deacon, and I was sick and tired of trying to explain to people why I couldn’t. I was also tired of getting extra chores at home, because my parents thought I would stop acting out if I had less free time and energy.

I am pretty good at lying, because I got years of practice when I deceived my parents and the priesthood leadership from the time I was a brand new deacon until the first few months of my mission. Even after coming clean, I never told all the necessary details until almost three years after my initial confession on my mission.

I was terrified of telling the whole truth because of the sick nature of what I had done. I was so shocked when my bishop told me that the things I was so afraid of confessing were relatively common and far from surprising, and actually weren’t even as bad as looking at pornography. This proved to me that we really are only as sick as our secrets, and that the devil will do ANYTHING to keep us from confessing.

I think lying is usually a learned behavior for addicts, although it is extremely common because our addictions can be so shameful for us. A compulsive liar would not only lie about addictions, but would probably lie about EVERYTHING all the time, even when telling a lie would be completely unnecessary. Since I don’t lie about everything, I don’t think I’m addicted to lying the way I’m addicted to porn and masturbation, but once again, I can only speak for myself. Either way, I think there is just as much hope for recovery for the compulsive liar as there is for the compulsive sex addict.

I didn’t realize you were going through so much, Summer, but I guess it makes sense that you also struggle with demons. Now I have a better understanding of why you care so much about the recovering addicts on this site, it sounds like you know exactly what we’re going through, because you’ve experienced similar problems.

I’m sorry if you feel like you’ve been wrongfully judged as being incompetent on the mere basis of being a woman. I feel sorry for men who think women are incapable, because they are only cheating themselves with that kind of an attitude. One of my strongest sources of support actually happens to be a wonderful middle-aged Swedish lady who is slowly dying of emphysema. I call her whenever I’m in trouble and it’s too late to call my sponsor or the people at group because calling Sweden at night works out great on account of the time change. She’s the person who has counseled me to stop judging people. It’s so nice to have a good friend that I can say anything to. When I told her about my struggles with pornography and masturbation a few months ago, she really empathized with me and stood by me with undying loyalty. She listened to me and told me that she would pray for me. She never judged me or condemned me for being such an unworthy missionary.

Anyway, I’m just rambling now, but I hope you know that I believe everyone deserves an equal chance because we’re all human. I feel so much pain for you because of your sorrows, but I also feel a lot of hope for you because of your firm testimony of the Savior (your willingness to help the brokenhearted speaks volumes about your devotion to the Lord). May God bless you and your family."
posted at 18:19:35 on November 19, 2009 by ETTE
A different point of view - part one    
"I don't want to create contention, but I have a different point of view. I can see why a person could feel that addiction is a genetic thing and they didn't have a choice, but I respectfully disagree. My story is much the same. I don't know how early I started. In trying to piece together a time line for my addiction I know that I was a willing participant in acting out with others at no older than 6 years old. That may have been going on for a couple of years by the time I was six, I just don't know. Without giving details we were Innocent to some degree because we had no idea about sex at that time, but we knew what we were doing was wrong without anyone telling us. I believe it was through the light of Christ that everyone possesses. I did't ever see real porn until I was in my early teens, but I was fascinated by the female form. I used Archie comics, JC Penney or Avon catalogs and anything else I could get my hands on. When I saw my first real porno magazine it was like my body caught on fire without even looking inside it. In fact I tried to act like I wasn't even paying attention to it, but my mind was racing with ideas about how I could steal it. The theft attempt failed. My mother once explained that people in our family were "over sexed". I should say that I also come from an active LDS family. 50% of the kids have served missions which is pretty good considering that we have a 50/50 split between boys and girls and one boy went inactive instead of serving a mission. All of us have been married or sealed in the temple. On the other hand, all the men have had problems with pornography and one sister was pregnant before marriage.

I used to think of myself as a sexual being as well. I didn't think I could live without sexual stimulation. My "problem" postponed my mission. I wanted to get it in control before I went in to talk to the bishop. I did have 9 months clean at the first of my mission and 6 at the first of my marriage. Porn was more open in my mission area. During that clean period I walked into a shop one time and saw a magazine display. My body shook so uncontrollably that I was afraid my companion would notice even though he was a bit ahead of me. That happened even after being clean for about six months. When I got into recovery I still thought I couldn't live without sex. When I saw guys who were single or divorced, I decided God would never put me in that situation because that would be exposing me to temptation beyond my ability to resist. The only thing that changed my mind was going through six months of self-imposed celibacy. Prior to entering the 12 Step program I had been married for over 14 years and I had never been able to go without porn and masturbation for six months during that time even with my relationship with my wife. There were also a number of times after getting in the program that I didn't make it that long.

I have heard that it takes the average porn addict 3-5 years to recover. That was somewhat discouraging for me after having been in the program for 8 years and I was going through a period where I couldn't put together more than 3 months of sobriety. Until this summer I don't think I had ever gone a whole month without getting to a meeting and usually I was attending at least two meetings a week. Once I went to 30 meetings in 30 days. And yet I still relapsed. I worked each of the 12 Steps multiple times. I still relapsed. About seven years ago a therapist who was a specialist in porn addiction declared me cured. I still relapsed. Once after my wife caught me in a relapse I realized as clear as anything that I was taking my family which I love dearly and dangling them over a cliff. I still continued to relapse. When I was a teenager I thought I had multiple personalities because I was so torn between evil and good. That seemed to be the only thing that could explain the battle that was raging within me.

Never once in all the years of my addiction did I ever decide that it was OK. I was always trying to stop. When I first got into the program I made a conservative estimate that I must have tried to quit over 300 times. It finally beat me down to the point that I gave up the battle I thought I was supposed to win, and threw this problem at God while admitting that I was a complete failure. It isn't like I am a weak person either. I lettered in two sports in high school and ran track for a year in college. I served a two year mission knocking doors every day even though I was deathly shy at the beginning. I was in special ops in the military. I had the highest GT score on the ASVAB test of anyone I ever ran across in the military. They use it to determine what specialties you can qualify for in the military. I took the Winslow personality test once and my persistence characteristic was off the chart. I once was arrogant enough that I claimed that all I needed was the right book and I could figure out and do anything. Well, except for this one problem. I guess I'm lucky though, I did find the right books for that, 12 Step books and the Scriptures together.

I've shared all this to help others know that I really do understand not being able to remember a time when this wasn't a part of my life. I understand being driven by uncontrollable urges to things that would make me loath myself. I understand the insanity. I understand being driven by forces beyond my ability to resist like a dog back to its vomit. I understand being driven to do something regardless of physical or emotional pain, stress or fear of consequences. I understand being driven to the brink of insanity and wanting to die."
posted at 03:01:34 on November 20, 2009 by justjohn
A different point of view - part two    
"Having said all that, I believe that God gives us all weaknesses. Ether 12:27 is one of my favorites. I believe some of us make choices that turn those weaknesses into addictions. I don't believe we are born that way (addicts). I don't believe homosexuals or alcoholics are born that way either. I don't believe it is a genetic disease, just a highly contagious one. I've heard the theories, but every homosexual that I've ever gotten to know well enough to verify was created just like Patrick Carnes describes in "Out of the Shadows". And I've known quite a few homosexuals for someone who is a flaming heterosexual. I believe that some of us have tendencies toward addiction and that is why when we try it we become addicted very quickly and others can experiment and pull out. Some us can't be social drinkers. I don't believe God would create an addict. He would never force anyone into a sinful life. Force is never His way. Personal agency was the only plan He would accept. We are born with strong sexual urges and I believe that even those of us who start innocently before we are accountable have a point in time, before we are addicted, that we know we are doing something wrong and make a choice to continue. Because sexual desires are God given Satan is able to trap people he couldn't get in other ways. He takes those Natural desires and nudges us just a few degrees off course and before we know it we can't even see the course. It is amazing how many strong, active members you will find in the pornography recovery meetings. I've seen addicts who've had every type of calling in a stake except Stake President or Patriarch. I think it is the greatest threat to the Priesthood of God that exists.

I believe we all had a choice prior to addiction. We probably had no idea how devastating our choice would be. It probably seemed minor at the time.

I like to hold up Joseph of Egypt as an example of one who had all the makings of an addict and chose the other path. It's just my personal opinion, but I can't wait to find out in the here after. I was reading about his experience with Potiphar's wife once and wondered why he ran and left his garment with her. Surely he was strong enough to resist her efforts without leaving an article of clothing for her to use as evidence against him. Then the thought occurred that maybe he knew he couldn't trust himself a moment longer in her presence. Maybe he was afraid he would give in. Since she was married to such an important man she was probably quite attractive. I like to call it the Joseph Sprint. If the urges are strong and you are afraid you'll give in, don't fight it, get yourself out.

Those are my beliefs. I'm thankful that regardless of how we got to where we are, each of you mentioned that you accept responsibility for making the choice to recover through the power of the atonement. In "A Gentle Path Through the 12 Steps" Patrick Carnes said, "You may be powerless over your addiction, but you are responsible for your recovery."

As far as the lying, our double lives are a lie in themselves. We lie to cover our shame. We lie to avoid hurting or disappointing others. We lie to avoid embarrassment. We lie to keep up appearances. We lie because we aren't ready to be confronted. It will be so much easier if we can get some time behind us. Soon lying becomes as natural as swimming to a duck. Once you have been lying about everything for decades it is hard to stop."
posted at 03:02:24 on November 20, 2009 by justjohn
Very Good Thoughts too!    
"Yes, JustJohn... Your thoughts are appropriate too! I think it is good to note the complexity of the situation. Rather or not we have agency, rather or not it is genetic... I think it is an important to notice that all humans are inherently subjected to the effects of The Fall of Adam (( I think I already said this... oh well )). We are not guilty for the Sin of Adam, and again, the atonement is here to counter-act the fall.

I also noticed whisperings of my sexuality way before I was even mature. It's hard to say rather agency played a part when we were 3, 5 or 6 years old. But I know this! We are human, and we are imperfect. Naturally and carnally we are born, and the natural man is an enemy to God. And ((( The Moral of the story!!))) !! Unless we put off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ we must remain in our carnal state... which state of nature is confined by the devil.

I always wish I could be the perfect one... Another one of my on going character flaws...
Perfectionism. Jesus Christ is our perfect Savior. There is no other perfect man, I'm not saying the sin of Adam is hereditary, but because of its affects we obviously all sin inherently even with our agency, and this is according to God's plan, else we could not progresses according to his purposes. For it is written that Adam fell that Man might be, and Men are that they might have joy. ((I'm quoting a scripture... err... I forget what it is though.))

Ultimately what I am trying to say is that in the end, Jesus Christ is both Justify and Merciful. We have felt the effects of sin regardless, it sucks...

There is another scripture that I am thinking of... Old Testament I think. It talks about how the children of Adam have learned the bitternesses of sin inherently and they don't like it and they learned to fallow God's commandments, knowing both Good and Evil too...

I am also a big fan of Either 12:27 God knows we are imperfect little silly children, so he puts this huge bright spotlight on us, and it comes out in many forms, sometimes addictions... but he is here to help and humble us... and it is said that his grace is sufficient for those who humble themselves before him, regardless of our situation and past... We can let go of the things we could not control such as inherent or accidental exposure to porn, rather or not we recognize the past, we all know today that we can take responsibility for our actions right now.

I can still understand both Ette's and JustJohn's opinions, we can all still recover. I admit I don't fully know if either are both true, either or, or nor. However! Today we have our agency! I'm such a control freak! Look at me!! I'm not going to Masturbate!!! MUHAhhahaha!!!! And I have my God to thank, and I give him all the glory for having helped me root out this evil and natural man. Sure I am still imperfect, but for today... just 1 day... I will not be addicted to these evils... (( just one day... and one day... one day.... one day...)) : )

That is all..."
posted at 08:28:01 on November 20, 2009 by Gondor44646
Mental Health    
"You have a great perspective, John. I appreciate you taking the time to share your story as well.

I think what it all boils down to is if you believe addiction is a mental health issue or not. In my case, I feel that it is. I have OCD, and it’s manifested itself through sexual addiction. If I had been neutered, as Gondor suggested, I’m sure it would manifest itself in some other terrible way.

John, if you feel like you’ve always been given a choice your entire life, then I believe you. You’ve exercised amazing discipline and determination throughout your life, and I’m honestly impressed with your excellent service in the military (special ops – that’s commendable!); however, I do not think you have the right to say that God doesn’t make addicts, because you do NOT understand the situation of every addict out there. Some people are born with mental illness, just as some people are born with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, etc… All of these people have something in common, they did not choose their illness or their situation in life.

If God only created strong capable children who have the right to choose, then who created everyone else? Is God so weak that He can’t protect His children from these diseases, or are these diseases actually part of God’s plan? If you choose to believe the former suggestion, then you and I will have to agree to disagree.

I believe God can help me cope with my mental health issues, because I’m not that bad off, but it would take a miracle for my issues to disappear. I believe in miracles, and I would love to have my compulsion taken away from me, but that’s entirely out of my hands. Although I can't control my compulsion, or my disposition to act out, I still feel that I can choose how to respond to the compulsion, but that's just me, there could be other people who have such severe mental problems that they have no control at all.

Once again, thanks for your perspective. I think we agree with each other on everything except for whether or not God creates addicts."
posted at 11:02:46 on November 20, 2009 by ETTE
"Interesting topic. I can see both points but I have to agree more with John. I think the main difference in my mind between the addict and those suffering mental illness, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and the others mentioned is the whole thing about agency and choice. You see, a person with MS can't wake up in the morning and say "Today I will not give in to my weak body. Today I will be strong." No matter what they will always have MS. A disease no doubt given to them to make them humble, strong, patient, ect. The difference is the element of sin involved. It's not sinful to have MS. Having it won't keep you out of the celestial kingom. Did God make these diseases? Yes, absolutely. He could have made everyone perfect but He wanted us to be tested. I don't believe, however, that God would make anyone a sinful person. I believe we are all innocent spirits at birth and through the influences of Satan become what we become. Agency is our gift. Logic defies the thought that our creator took that gift from some and made them born addicts. I just can't believe that. Once addicted we no doubt lose that gift of agency. I just don't believe that's the way we were born though. Does he give us challenges? Yes. Does he make us do bad things because he created us that way? No. That's Satan, not God."
posted at 11:53:12 on November 20, 2009 by Anonymous
In case it didn't come across...    
"I'm not sure I made my point above. I'm talking about the choice to SIN. I know that a lot of agency is taken away with disease but the choice to sin or not is what I was refering to."
posted at 12:03:35 on November 20, 2009 by Anonymous
I want one…    
"I want a wonderful middle-aged Swedish lady to talk to. That’s what you guys are to me. Thank you for being my support system. My counselor has asked me to think about someone I can confide in…But I come up empty…I don’t believe it would do any good to confide in anyone that I know…I don’t think they would understand. So I come here…Thank you! I agree Ette…Derek you rock for making this website available to us!

I appreciate everyone’s comments on the link between lying and sex addicts. The thing is I knew my husband had a lying problem…I would hear him lie frequently…even when it made no sense to lie…But I always just assumed I was different to him, that I was important enough to tell the truth to. My husband grew up in a very troubled house…He had to lie just to get by. I’m not giving him an excuse…but he has risen above his upbringing in so many ways, I know he can get past this. He knows of his lying problem and is working on it every day. There are times when he asks me… “I can say that right? Or is that a lie?”…At first I thought he was trying to bug me and prove that telling the truth really is that hard…But now when he asks me if it is a lie, or not…I know he is genuinely wondering, and I answer as best I can. It’s hard to stop doing something you did for pretty much your whole life. I’m quoting Beclean here: “The sex addict can go decades without anyone knowing; that's why people are so surprised when their nice neighbor is suddenly a convicted pedophile.” My husband’s addiction blew me out of the water…The thought to me was (and still is) impossible to believe. My husband is always so respectful of women (at least in front of me), if there was ever anything inappropriate on TV he would change the channel…so to hear he is actively searching out “stuff”, is really hard to me to wrap my mind and heart around. My counselor is having me work through the stages of grief… denial, anger, bargaining and depression…I can do all of that, and I bounce around between those emotions. But the acceptance is taking more time than I would like. My sweet husband also is a “people pleaser” and perfectionist…it’s hard to have him see that it’s ok to be human; I love him no matter what!

I know in my previous comment I dumped a lot on you guys. But just so you know…the OCD and anorexia tendencies (which FYI I’m doing really good in both areas) I’ve lived with for a long time…and really it’s just a part of who I am. I brought them up because I wanted you to know that I somewhat understand self-destructive issues.

Ette- I didn’t realize I wasn’t supposes to answer your question about the physical burning and itching sensation. My bad :) …But I thought you knew by now that I put it all out there. I know I cannot fully comprehend the level of your discomfort. Don’t put my answer as the new normal…I think we all know I don’t exactly fit into the “normal” category."
posted at 12:59:12 on November 20, 2009 by summer
Now I'm just confused...    
"Six months ago, I wouldn't have believed a single word I wrote about pornography addiction being linked to mental illness. The reason I feel that way now is only because of things my Bishop and my psychologist have told me.

Maybe you guys are right, and my Bishop (a judge in Israel) and psychologist (a licensed mental health professional) are misinformed, I’m just not sure. Maybe I am ultimately responsible for all of my problems and I should stop blaming the fact that I've been addicted to masturbation since before the age of accountability. Maybe I brought my OCD on myself because I'm such a sick sinner, even though both of my parents happen to have it and over half of my siblings also suffer from it.

Before I accepted the disease theory, I felt absolutely hopeless because I've already broken countless covenants, lied repeatedly, gotten endowed unworthily, gone on a mission unworthily, baptized and confirmed people unworthily, given blessings unworthily, and no matter how badly I wanted to stop, I just could not. Five months ago, I was on the verge of writing myself out of the church and leaving BYU, because I felt that my constant desires to act out made me unworthy to be a part of something so beautiful, and I thought the church would be a better place without me. Aside from all that, I had also convinced myself that the atonement was meaningless for me because no matter how many times the Lord forgave me, I would always end up acting out again.

After accepting the disease theory I've been able to find healing and renewed faith in the Savior, because I've been able to accept the fact that the desires to act out are beyond my control. I still have no idea if I'm right or wrong, but I'll continue to go with this school of thought because it works for me, and my Bishop and Psychologist seem convinced that I should stop blaming myself for my addiction and focus on recovering from it instead.

I made this blog to begin with because this way of looking at addiction has been so beneficial to my recovery, and I just wanted to let other people know that their addictions are not necessarily their fault."
posted at 13:06:53 on November 20, 2009 by ETTE
Sorry, Summer    
"Not a single word of that last comment was directed towards you.

I was in the middle of typing it all out, and you beat me to it.

I hope you can also find a good friend you can confide in, it makes such a difference.

I didn't mean that you shouldn't have answered my question, I really am glad that you did. I just meant that I didn't expect anyone to answer it.

As you can probably tell, my fourth step inventory is driving me crazy, and I have a lot to say about it, but I guess I have to let it all out. Thanks for being so patient, everyone."
posted at 13:18:16 on November 20, 2009 by ETTE
"What’s up?! I thought this website was all about me? I’m totally kidding by the way! I appreciate you being so mindful of me and my struggles. I’ve gotten so much out of this post and string of comments…Thank you for this post!!

My thought on diseases…As I dumped on you earlier I have a few “diseases”. Do I think Heavenly Father gave them to me?...Truthfully I really never thought about it…Either way I have to deal with my diseases. But if it helps someone to believe one way…than that’s the way they should believe. I believe every situation is so different. My poor husband is going to have me questioning him when he gets home…So were you born with it? Or what?

I’m sure the 4th step inventory is quite challenging. I’m praying for you brother!"
posted at 13:55:54 on November 20, 2009 by summer
"If it helps you to believe a certain way and it is speeding along your recovery then you should keep believing that way. Shame and doubt never benfit anyone. I think what makes people question the whole " I was born this way" school of thought is that it can be seen as a cop out. It can be easy to rationalize behavior if you were just born that way and you can't help it. I'm not talking about you specifically Ette, but addicts in general can find ways to make it okay when it's not. That's all. I'm sure we'll never know which side is more correct until we get to the other side and have a clearer understanding. Whats important now is to make changes necessary to be worthy of all blessings that Father wants to give us."
posted at 14:20:27 on November 20, 2009 by Anonymous
Cop out    
"I appreciate everyone's perspective. I can see how it could look like I'm trying to justify my behavior, but I'm only trying to figure out why I am the way I am and what I can do to improve myself. I have absolutely no desire to give up because I was "born this way," but it helps me to believe that I never chose this horrible curse.

Without realizing it, I've typed out nearly everything for my 4th step inventory. This was made a lot easier because I was using my experiences to try to prove a point. Regardless of whether or not I proved anything, the good news is that I have an inventory now.

I am deeply touched by all the people who took time to comment on my story, even though my words don't always convey my emotions. I realize that this forum has its limitations, and that we often misunderstand each other because written English can easily be taken out of context, but I think it all turned out ok in the end."
posted at 14:50:20 on November 20, 2009 by ETTE
We ALL suffer the effects of The Fall    
"Fallen Man develops Fallen Afflictions. I don't think God created our addictions. I think He allowed them as a way of humbling us. I believe that before we came here, during that Grand Council in heaven, we were all shown the things we may have to go through. We were shown that we might be tested by certain afflictions, many of which had were dependent on the choices of our parents, our physiological composition, and other poeple we came into contact with. I believe that we still chose, whole-heartedly, to come to earth. This isn't mormon doctrine. I stole it from Colleen Harrison. I like this scenario because it sugests that I DID have a choice and that my agency wasn't infringed upon by my addiction. I imagine that we were also shown that there would be a Way out of our afflictions and that in the end it would be supremely worth it.

They told me at my first meeting, "It's not your fault that you have this addiction...but from this point on it is your responsibility." That really helped me because I really felt bad about myself."
posted at 17:42:20 on November 20, 2009 by Anonymous
We all have something    
"I think that everyone has something that tries our faith, and our faithfulness. I don't know whether there is a genetic predisposition to addictive behaviors. But I kind of think that it doesn't matter. Everyone who has ever been successful at doing ANYTHING, has succeeded because they do not let themselves become victims of their circumstances. We all have challenges and whether we have brought them upon ourselves, been handed them without warning, or a combination of both, this is not the question we need to be answering. The question we need to answer is "What am I going to do about it?". We see people all around us blaming everything and everyone else for why they "can't" do something, and even if it is true, are these the people that we look up to and admire? NO, it is the people that come from horrible circumstances and CHOOSE to rise above them that we honor and that we want to be more like. We may not choose everything that happens to us, but we can choose how we respond to those challenges.

Personally, I do not believe in the words "can't" or "impossible". Anything is possible, some things just take time and a lot of hard work. I think that is the way it is with addictions, it is not easy (sometimes it is almost unbearable), but it is possible, with the Lord's help, to overcome this problem. I know that for myself, I made zero progress in overcoming my addiction as long as I had excuses why I "couldn't" do it. As soon as I changed my attitude about it and started thinking "Yeah, maybe there were thing in my childhood that I didn't choose, maybe I have an 'addictive personality', maybe I can blame it on something or someone else, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, I can't do anything about my past, only my present. I CHOOSE not to be a victim any more. I CHOOSE to let the Lord help me. I CHOOSE to be clean." As soon as I made the shift 100% to thinking that with the Lord's help I could have control over myself, everything changed, and I started to have success.

I don't know why we have the problems we have, but I do know that there is NOTHING in this world that we can't overcome if we allow the Lord to help us, and we believe in his power as well as our own power."
posted at 18:39:40 on November 20, 2009 by ican
Just another point to confuse the issue...    
"the book of Job suggests that much of disease is caused by the devil."
posted at 14:14:55 on November 21, 2009 by Anonymous
"The devil wasn't allowed to touch Job without God's permission, and GOD gave that permission. Who's ultimately responsible for what Job went through?"
posted at 02:52:58 on November 22, 2009 by Anonymous
"is allowing the same as inflicting? And did the book of Job even really happen or was it a parable to make a point?"
posted at 03:07:51 on November 22, 2009 by Anonymous
Job's answer    
"...The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." -Job 1:21-22

I think the devil is absolutely powerless to go against God's will. He made his choice in the pre-existince, and now the only thing he can do is what God lets him do. We should not fear the devil, we should fear God."
posted at 10:46:44 on November 22, 2009 by ETTE
"I want to apologize for stirring the pot and then leaving. Work got crazy. I really wanted to get back to this because as someone pointed out above it is so easy to misunderstand the written word. You can't pick up on facial expression or voice inflection etc. Fortunately it doesn't look like I have offended anyone terribly and if I have I am sorry.

The main thing I believe is that Our Heavenly Father would never make us sin. His effort is focused on making "a way to escape" temptation. (1 Cor. 10:13) I'm glad Anon was here and expressed the same feelings I have.

I do believe that many of us come into this life with the deck stacked against us. When you look at heredity, environment issues like family circumstances, mental illness etc. etc. even if you aren't an addict at birth your chances of making it clear through puberty without becoming an addict are somewhere between slim and none. I find it interesting how many of us deal with similar issues. I'm of the ADD/Depression variety. Last night I was at a pornography recovery meeting and a guy mentioned he deals with Bipolar and Anxiety issues. Watching him reminded me of many drug addicts in the early phases of recovery while they are still detoxing. I think it might be a chicken and egg type of thing, which came first? Whatever it is, addiction and mental illness seem to coexist a lot. The mental illness makes it that much harder to achieve recovery. "One at a time please!" It's like cooking with six burners going at the same time.

One thing I want to make perfectly clear is that how we got here isn't near as important as taking personal responsibility for getting better, and I think you are doing a GREAT job at that. You're here sharing, you are working with your bishop and therapist, you are working the 12 Steps. You're even working through Step 4 which often kills recovery dead in its tracks. Nobody can do that for you. I applaud your efforts. That is why I added the Patrick Carnes quote, "You may be powerless over your addiction, but you are responsible for your recovery." That is what really matters. When I felt compelled to throw in my two bits I wasn't even really concerned about you or anyone that had added their thoughts. I was more concerned about someone who may be reading and not talking. Someone who subscribes to the "I was born this way" theory as a cop out. I've known way too many people who get stuck on that and use it as an excuse to shift all blame away from themselves and never change or make amends. I have a former brother-in-law whose story is like ours. He told my sister that this was just part of his nature. He was born this way and she just needed to accept it. It led him to throw away his testimony, a 20 year temple marriage and 6 kids with hardly a second thought. To many people "I was born this way" and "I can't, and don't need to change" are two inseparable pieces of logic. Thankfully for you, the two have no connection.

After reading your "Now I'm Just Confused" post I'm glad you've come to this conclusion and wouldn't suggest you change your thinking. Unless I misunderstood it helped you achieve a very important milestone in your recovery journey. You were finally able to put down the stick and quit beating yourself. I think it is the same kind of experience I had when I realized this was a real addiction. From the time I got the shakes at the sight of that porno magazine display on my mission, I thought this was like an addiction, but if I sat down with a real addict I would have to explain to them how it was similar. As long as Satan had me convinced I just had a filthy habit that I was too weak to overcome, but really should have been able to, he could keep beating me up emotionally. I was just a huge waste of potential! I was worthless! Why couldn't I change like the people in the scriptures? There weren't any stories of repeat offenders. When they saw the error of their ways, they all changed and never looked back. What was wrong with me? I was sure I was the lowest of the low. I am so thankful there weren't pornography meetings in the Church's recovery program at the time I started. I had to attend with alcoholics and drug addicts. I always introduced myself as a porn addict. I quickly found that they understood my struggle and I never had to explain my need for addiction recovery. I had many people validate that I had a real addiction. I'll never forget after one meeting when a cocaine addict walked up and said, "I'm sorry, that's a tough one." A coke addict was feeling sorry for me! That blew my mind! Once I really understood what a monster I had been fighting all those years, I was able to be a little more empathetic with myself and put down my stick. I thik many of us who aren't in denial beat up ourselves way to much. Somewhere in there I realized it hadn't been my job alone to get cleaned up. This all helped me realize my need to completely rely on the Lord's strength if I was ever going to make it out of this alive.

Don't change your thinking for me. That John has been crazy for decades :) Like I said earlier I wasn't really talking for your benefit anyway. I think you have your recovery head screwed on right. Whatever gets us to decide that we can't do it, God can and wants to, and we are going to let Him, is a good thing."
posted at 00:13:06 on November 26, 2009 by justjohn
Thanks for the clarification, John.    
"Wow, I can't tell you how upset your last post made me. I thought you were attacking me and basically saying that I was full of it. I'm so glad you explained yourself a little better, because now I don't resent you at all.

So after our long discussion here about being born as an addict, I did some research on what the General Authorities had to say about it. I couldn't find anything directly related to addiction, but they do have a lot to say about same gender attraction, and honestly I don't think there's much difference between the two problems (I actually struggle with both of them, which is part of the reason your comments made my blood boil). So here's what Elder Bruce C. Hafen has to say about it:

"The blessings of the Atonement include its healing and compensating power when one has been separated from God by sin, by unintentional mistakes, or simply by adversity. I classify same-gender attraction within the category of “adversity,” because typically you haven’t brought it upon yourselves."

If Elder Hafen thinks that people who struggle with same-gender attraction (and I would also throw pornography and masturbation addiction in there as well) typically haven't brought it upon themselves, then that's good enough for me. My favorite part of his quote is when he says that the atonement can cover unintentional mistakes and adversity. I don't think I've ever heard it phrased that way before, but it brings me more hope than I can explain.

Oh yeah, I realize I've specifically mentioned having trouble keeping my thoughts pure around women, and I wasn't lying. Although I struggle with same-gender attraction, I would say that only one out of every ten of my lustful thoughts have to do with men. The other nine thoughts are focused on women. I'm also really homophobic, so I've never looked at gay porn, and my same-gender attraction scares me and disturbs me quite a bit. So I guess by the world's standards, I'm a homophobic bisexual, which makes me sort of unusual, but I prefer to think of myself as a child of God who has a shot at recovering through the atonement.

By the way, John, I never thought about the implications of my original post. I was just venting because I was so upset by what I had read from Sierra and Robin. I never stopped to think about who might end up reading what I had posted, and whether they would use my theories to excuse their own behavior or not."
posted at 01:01:43 on November 26, 2009 by ETTE
SGA and the Atonement    
"I have firm testimony that God knew what we would deal with in this life and designed the Atonement to cover it all; whatever has happened to us, whatever we have done, whatever we have to face. IT IS INFINITE!

As I mentioned earlier I've known a number of men that deal with SGA. Fortunately there are a number of them that are good examples of recovery. Three of them have served as facilitators in the LDS Recovery Program. One of them, the best friend I have had in the program, was the second facilitator in the Church's first pornography meeting. I got his permission a long time ago to share his story whenever I felt the need. He is an example of how far the Atonement can reach. He is still on the state register as a sex offender. He had it all; return missionary, married in the temple, high councilman, stake young men's president, Scouting's Silver Beaver, etc. He molested his son, was excommunicated and later re-baptized. When he had problems again he was disfellowshipped, divorced, went to prison and barred from his career. After he got out his family wouldn't have anything to do with him. Fortunately after 3 years in prison the light came on and he started the recovery process. In the early days of the LDS pornography recovery program I considered him one of the best examples of recovery. It was nice having him there because regardless of what someone had been through we could always point them to him and they had an example that it could work for them too. He was also molested when he was young and since prison has been through cancer and is now on at least his third artificial hip. He used to say, "I know we are supposed to be patient and long suffering. I just want to know how patient I have to be and how long I have to suffer." On the bright side he has now had his full membership and all his priesthood blessings restored. Some of his children have re-established relationships with him as well. Even before those positive things started to occur he would tell the guys at the meeting, "Where I have been you never want to go. Where I am you all want to be." And that was because he was enjoying the blessings of the Atonement and had found peace. I asked a couple of these guys once how far over they had gone as far as their preference to men and women. The other one said that he was about 50/50, but this friend said he definitely preferred men at one time. He doesn't any more, because the 12 Steps applied to the Atonement has turned him around. If I needed to talk to someone about a rough time I was going through or get advice in years past I often turned to him. Both he and Patrick Carnes agree with you (Ette) that SGA is a form of sexual addiction. Just a different drug of choice if you will. Recently I started attending an SA4LDS meeting and one of the reasons was to find a sponsor. I did find a sponsor and turned out he has dealt with SGA. Both of these guys are now counting their sobriety in years. I haven't kept in touch with the others to know.

Unless we qualify for perdition the Atonement has us covered and the Savior has a remedy that provides complete healing. He never left anyone half healed of any physical infirmity. He is the Master Healer and He can heal us regardless of what is required as long as we do our small part and let Him. And I don't think it matters what is required, whether it is a change of heart, genetic manipulation, bringing us back into chemical balance or rewiring our brain. He can build a human body from dirt. To Him this is a minor repair job with amazing results.

I hope you all keep plugging at it. It really does work.

posted at 23:25:29 on November 26, 2009 by justjohn
I'm afraid. Please help me.    
"I am 14 years old. I hold the priesthood and a temple recommend. I have been involved in pornography and masturbation for more than a year now. I've been trying to stop, but I'm afraid I'm addicted. I don't have a very good relationship with my parents, and I'm afraid they'd severely judge me if I told them about my addiction. In my ward, the teachers pass the sacrament because there are no deacons. I have to pass every week. I would tell the bishop about my addiction, but I'm afraid if I did that, everybody would find out. My parents would find out when I get my temple recommend taken away. All of the teachers and more would find out if I refused to pass the sacrament. I really don't want anyone to find out, because they all think I am a good person, and my peers look up to me. It would be devistating if they found out I was not a good person. There's also a girl in my ward that I have a big crush on, and it would be devistating if she found out. I ever since I started masturbating and looking at inapropriate pictures, my life has been falling apart. Every single component of it. I feel like the only hope of quitting I have is telling somebody, but I can't! I feel so alone, and trapped, and scared. I've always been such a good person until I started these nasty habits. Somebody please help me! I need advice on what to do. This is the first time I have ever told anyone about my addiction."
posted at 19:44:59 on June 30, 2012 by Anonymous
anon you are at the perfect time to end this!    
"Welcome! It's good that you came here. Congratulations on seeking help when you are so young. Keep seeking help and seeking to choose the right.

But you need to stop being afraid that everyone will find out. Many of them will understand, because everyone has problems. If you keep this secret hidden, It will turn into a full blown addiction that could take years to overcome. If you shine light on it and get help, you can make huge progress towards stopping it.

You are a normal teenage boy with normal temptations and problems you don't need to be ashamed of. But you do need help. Go talk to your Bishop. Pray for strength. Don't be afraid. Don't keep it a secret anymore.

Keep posting on the site, but be careful, as you are young. Good for you for seeking help. That means you are truly a GOOD person. These problems do not make you a bad person. You are normal, but you can't overcome alone. We are here to help."
posted at 10:21:31 on July 1, 2012 by beclean
Anonymous....Start a new thread    
"Post a new blog entry rather that responding with a new issue...Lots of guys here to help and encourage you.

First...This does not make you a bad just makes you human. I am MUCH older than you, and was exposed to Porn at an early age. It controlled me most of my life until just a few years ago. I have also been a Bishop. I can tell you that whatever you tell him, stays between the two of you. He won't tell your parents, trust me. In our support group meetings, we say that a person is only as sick as their secrets. Used to be when a Bishop had a young man with your problems he would tell him to pray harder, and read his scriptures more. Those things are great, but you need to sit down with your Bishop and talk to him. He can help. Don't underestimate a father's love for his son. If your dad has ever struggled with porn or MB, he will respect you for coming to him. This may be the bridge needed to repair your damaged relationship . Good luck Anon."
posted at 13:16:16 on July 1, 2012 by chefdalet

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"Are you battling a demon of addiction—tobacco or drugs, or the pernicious contemporary plague of ography? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma's testimony is my testimony: "I do know," he says, "that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions."

— Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April 2006