Recommended Posts

A year and a half ago I overcame an addiction to pornography and masturbation, the addiction had lasted over a year long. I overcame the addiction having no problems from the day I saw my bishop, and I was then ordained a priest, I was truly repentant and forgiven. I haven't had any problems since then, I am much more mature now and understand things much better than when I first ran into the problems. I am very active in the church, read my scriptures every day, say my prayers, go to church, but I admit I haven't really felt the spirit super strong lately, but I hadn't done anything wrong. I haven't had temptations of any sort until tonight. I was working on a school research project, but was very distracted on other websites. I was started to watch a video about how bad the pornography industry was, but it lead me, after hours on the computer, to watch some videos talking about sex, though I never watched any sexual acts. Continuing on I eventually looked at some nude photos of a woman. I didn't masturbate exactly, I left my clothes on, but it led to the same result if you know what i'm saying. I feel horrible that I slipped up, I want to go on a mission, I want to have a relationship with my savior, but at the same time my mind is craving to see more. I've overcome this before, and I haven't started watching pornography again. I know I can overcome it, but the urge is very strong. I guess a large reason i'm here is just to let out my feelings. But I ask for any advice.?? And I plan to see my bishop soon, when I first recovered from pornography I didn't have to tell my parents, this seems to be the standard, I'm hoping that since this was a minimal slip up it will be easy to recover from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

get a filter for your computer? only work on the computer in the living room (or other public room) when the folks are home? create an environment for success. the best way to overcome temptation is to prevent the situation in which it occurs to begin with...

remember we were not expected to be perfect in all things... we were expected to strive for it... sounds like you are still on that path...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest tomk

You can visit the link in my signature. Heart-t-Heart is a 12 Step program based on having a close relationship with the Savior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I know the feeling. I take it on a daily sometimes hourly basis and as long as I am still striving to do what is right, even if I have messed up, I still feel good. Cause I know it is about the race and not necessarily if I win. I just have to finish. I think you sound like you have the same attitude. That is good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find other endorphin inducing activities to do. Orgasm releases endorphins and that is part of what your body really wants.

Maybe restrict your computer time so that you're not on it for hours. Were you tired as the hours went on? I find that the more tired I am the more likely I am to make stupid mistakes and view things that I shouldn't out of curiosity. That's my big issue. I get too curious about stuff and Satan uses that against me.

If you stay up too long or keep shorting yourself on sleep you find yourself falling asleep when you really need to stay awake. Whether that's being in an instance in World of Warcraft (in my husband's group someone literally fell asleep over their keyboard during an instance), during a test, or being more susceptible to temptations or pressure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I feel like temptations are getting stronger and I am becoming weaker, often times I will perform a fast and it seems to help quite a bit.

I also like Gwen's idea of putting the computer in the living room and only using it when other people are around.

Keep trying and you will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I know the feeling. I take it on a daily sometimes hourly basis and as long as I am still striving to do what is right, even if I have messed up, I still feel good. Cause I know it is about the race and not necessarily if I win. I just have to finish. I think you sound like you have the same attitude. That is good.

A war consists of small battles, and even the best army doesn't win every battle. Never give up, don't get down, hold you head up, and train (scripture study and prayer) for the next battle ahead. I'm rooting for you.

:viking:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited) · Hidden
Hidden

Filters will slow you down and are necessary. The actual addiction will not go away through avoidance. There is training and exercise that needs to be done. I find myself on the edge of that, closer than I care to admit at times. Get help. Candeo | Overcome Pornography, Masturbation and Sexual Addictions is good. I am signed up on that one. They have a 95% success rate, so if you want to, you can succeed. All the advice is relatively backwards, though. It is not about more discipline and self control. It is more about what you really want. Not so much about what you don't want. Think of a magnet sticking together verses repelling. If you seek to repel pornography, you will find the magnet flips and sticks to it as it were. It is much better to point your mind AND emotions (that underlying drive even when you think you got your mind off it) where you want to be. Stick them to that rather than repelling what you are trying to avoid. It will be more effective. In a nutshell anyway. More info in the training than will fit here. Basically they give 3 lessons showing how we are in a pit, there is no escape, the cycle spirals down, we are in a cage with our back stuck to fly paper. Keep fighting, pulling on the chain, and it will get stronger. They explain on a neurotransmitter level why this is. Then in level 4, they slip you a hack saw, as it were, and so you stop pulling the chain to break it and start cutting it as it were. Very non intuitive. Not about discipline. Not about fighting it. More about directing with mental, visual, and emotional techniques, to take yourself where you really want to be, in some ways it has nothing at all to do of where you aren't headed. Has nothing to do with not thinking about whatever it was you were talking about. Don't think about the yellow school bus. Oh, wait. You are now. At least 4 deep breaths, 6 count in, 6 count out. With each breath, think of something you are grateful for, let your heart fill with gratitude. On the out count, feel that gratitude move through your body. Do it again. It can wash out that temptation and leave you more in control. Brain monitoring shows it stabilized brain centers, gets you back in control. Focus on the breath, like the meditators. Somehow that bridges to the subconscious, that part running seemingly beyond your control. There is more, much more, but that was probably the single most helpful thing. Oh, and literally enjoy your small victory. You won this one. Enjoy it, appreciate, bask in it and feel the success. This rewards your subconscious for this behavior and increases good circuitry and is one of many exercises one can do. The addiction circuitry needs to shrink, the healthy circuitry needs to grow. This can be done. I expect spiritual preparation such as prayer and scripture study is a given around here, but don't forget those things as well. Practice this technique in a controlled environment. When you're not at a computer, sit down where it is quiet, bring your temptation to your mind (also counter intuitive and against some instruction), and at that moment you feel it is going to grab you, start that deep breath. Lock your hands behind your head if it helps. Get comfortable. (You also can't touch the mouse this way) Really, though, you have to make yourself accountable to something you can see, so sign up for help. It's a doozy.

Edited by RobertP

Share this post


Link to post

You should probably be aware of Candeo: A powerful and anonymous online training program to help individuals understand and overcome pornography addiction. I don't see it mentioned here. They have a 95% success rate, so if you want to quit, they can show you how to get there. Talk to your bishop. He may be able to help you pay. I of course can't vouch for that. You will need help to get out. It can be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pornography has cycles. Every cycle is different some of our clients have cycles that are every day, some every month, some year and some even longer but it always cycles back around. Will power is not enough!

Most people that view pornography feel like they are two different people. One person that abhors it and thinks it vile and disgusting and the other side who just wants to watch it again, and again.

You need to understand how the brain works with addiction. We have posted a presentation called, "Pornography the Perfect Poison" that discusses the effect of pornography on the brain. I would encourage you to watch it.

It is great that you are going to go see your Bishop. I would also encourage you to keep the computer in an open place. The desire to watch porn is brought on when you are: Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stressed or Tired so make sure you are getting good exercise, good sleep, keep busy with activities, learn to control your anger, remove some stress from your life. I know this is easier said than done but not only will it help you with this issue, it will improve your life overall.

InnerGold

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is the second time you've state will power is not enough, considering my body don't purchase anything, or get online without the cooperation of my will (basically, viewing pornography is not an autonomic function) whether I view pornography or not is solely based on my will (baring somebody strapping me into a chair and taping my eyes open). Maybe there is a nuance I'm missing, but to say will power isn't enough means one doesn't have a say as to whether they watch pornography or not, if one has no choice one isn't responsible for it. It is like saying one was tempted beyond their ability to resist, the influence/compulsion was so strong they could not not do it.

I can understand that will power can suffer from a horrible exchange rate with our pet sins and thus simply telling somebody, "Use will power, don't do it." doesn't fall in the realm of helpful, but all programs secular or spiritual fall into the category of either increasing the will power as a total or getting a better exchange rate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact-of-the-matter is that if sure will power was enough, we would not have a need for the 12 step programs, etc. However, will power, with knowledge and the atonement you can accomplish miracles. Which is why these programs work.

After we have shown our commitment to change and we have done everything in our will, the Savior steps in to help. The Savior will help in many ways, a lot of times it is through other people, other programs, other sources.

A person does have will power but it is predicated upon their choices (agency). For example, someone who is addicted to sex, drugs, alcohol, it doesn't matter. They have given up their agency or the will power to overcome their addiction. That is when other choices become available, i.e. 12 steps, AAA, rehabilitation clinics, etc. An addict has lost will power, that is why they are an addict. They no longer have the will power to stop but they have the will power to get help, because they know they need it. They use that will power in doing research, finding out options, choices, sources and then they make their own decision. Again, they have the will to change but don't know how.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact-of-the-matter is that if sure will power was enough, we would not have a need for the 12 step programs, etc

Technically we don't need them (in the same way that we need the Atonement), there are people (admittedly a minority) who have overcome addictions without 12 step programs (nobody on this earth has overcome the fall without the Atonement). That said they are still useful, being able to stop and stopping are two different things, just because you can resist doesn't mean you will, and like I mentioned such programs help by either bolstering the will or helping with the 'exchange rate' (in my personal experience the Savior did both for me when I prayed about overcoming my pornography problems) therefore making it easier and more likely you'll cross the line from, could stop to have stopped.

Anyone (baring medical disorders) to loose weight only has to consume less calories then they burn, straight forward and simple, doesn't mean diet plans and support groups don't help with that goal, or exercise for that matter, and as always its easier said than done.

I'm more on a point of principle then practicality, colloquially we use the phrase, "I couldn't help it." all the time and I'm not about to start calling an addict who says, "I can't help it." a liar, its how they feel. Its the difference between being able to win the lottery, technically true of everyone who enters, and actually winning it, just because you could win doesn't mean its likely or easy.

Its just whenever somebody starts going on about how will power isn't enough I think of 1 Cor 10:13, if will power is not sufficient to overcome temptation I would call that being tempted beyond your ability to bear, admitted that's my interpretation.

P.S. Regardless of our differing opinions on this point we both agree that programs are double plus good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad that you were able to overcome your specific situation. I honestly wished more people could have that same strength. It is heart wrenching to hear the stories of people who has allowed porn to destroy them, mentally, physically, socially and emotionally.

We have seen miracles with InnerGold with people that literally were on the verge of suicide because they have been praying, reading scriptures, talking to their bishop and still not able to kick it. I really truly wish they had the faith you have shown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Innergold. I went years as a porn addict thinking I should have the "Willpower" to be done with porn. I even went a couple years after getting married but fell again. Technically, will power should be enough. If we (or I) were perfect than that would be the case. We are human and imperfect. I was a porn addict from a young age. I went 3 years before and during my mission as well without porn.

There are a few addicts out there who through willpower and church leaders do overcome. The problem is that it is very few. I went to more than 10 Bishops trying to become completely free from this. My story is very common. Some Bishops would take my Temple recommend, others would tell me to get my rear end in the Temple next week and go more often. I was confused as my addiction kept creeping in from time to time.

Point is that I went through counseling and have found sobriety. I, like most addicts, needed to be educated and given tools for recovery. I used those tools and still do. I have found that sobriety now and am doing very well.

Recovery can be different for people. Most do need a program or real treatment though in pornography addiction. For those who do it through "willpower alone"... that is great but realize that being clean for a couple months or even a couple years does not mean you are completely free. One must always be watchful, aware, mindful, and keep on the armor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited) · Hidden
Hidden

Addiction is addiction. You don't get what you need from what you need. To lose weight, it is not as simple as eating less calories than you burn. You can reduce your fat levels in much the same way you can reduce your oxygen levels. It will work while you are paying attention, but when the survival system designed to balance what it thinks you need for oxygen, you will do it. When it balances what it thinks it needs for fat using things like perception of leptin levels (versus actual level) to calculate how much thyroid stimulating hormone should be made for metabolism to fire up, or turn it down because of a perception of low energy, and fire up ghrelin for appetite, you find eating less calories only fires up the survival mechanisms of hunger, impulsiveness, and lethargy. If weight is lost, the body will make up the difference when you look away with a yo-yo effect. There is room for a little complexity here. If you don't have this, thank the Lord, seriously.

How much will power does it take to not go to a bad site right now? Hopefully none, because you just don't want to, all the time. There is no will power involved at all for the non addict, or very little. If you 'want' to, but you don't 'want' to, then the minds are somewhat out of synch and they don't synch up quite so well. Addiction recovery has to do with synching the minds back up, higher and lower, among other things, and will power can be effectively be used to recondition the base response to temptation rather than actually resist temptation, although that can be a part of recovery. Truly though, if will power is being used, it refers to the discomfort of the temptation, and that releases adrenaline, which is a memory neurotransmitter among other things, and it burns the idea in rather than making it go away, and starts or continues the OCD cycle. Will power is not the answer at all in this context. Certainly not directly, although it possibly can fill in gaps during the recovery time. How much will power does it take me to not buy cigarettes every time I shop compared to a recovering addict to cigarettes. There is quite a difference. We are talking about a base survival mechanism gently out of line or possibly berserk. Some people need help to find out how they can recover. It is a trap by design and not all find it in them to free themselves, even with lots of prayer and other spiritual things alone and no help. But for them, there is hope and there is help for those who need it, for a modest fee. :) Talk to your bishop if help is needed on the financial front. It seems nothing worth anything is free. They need to exist to help you I'm afraid, so they need to be paid.

I really am glad you have gotten through this without help Dravin, at least from this sphere that is more visible to us. Keep up the great work!

Edited by RobertP
End more positive.

Share this post


Link to post

Addiction is addiction. You don't get what you need from what you need. To lose weight, it is not as simple as eating less calories than you burn. You can reduce your fat levels in much the same way you can reduce your oxygen levels. It will work while you are paying attention, but when the survival system designed to balance what it thinks you need for oxygen, you will do it. When it balances what it thinks it needs for fat using things like perception of leptin levels (versus actual level) to calculate how much thyroid stimulating hormone should be made for metabolism to fire up, or turn it down because of a perception of low energy, and fire up ghrelin for appetite, you find eating less calories only fires up the survival mechanisms of hunger, impulsiveness, and lethargy. If weight is lost, the body will make up the difference when you look away with a yo-yo effect. There is room for a little complexity here. If you don't have this, thank the Lord, seriously.

How much will power does it take to not go to a bad site right now? Hopefully none, because you just don't want to, all the time. There is no will power involved at all for the non addict, or very little. If you 'want' to, but you don't 'want' to, then the minds are somewhat out of synch and they don't synch up quite so well. Addiction recovery has to do with synching the minds back up, higher and lower, among other things, and will power can be effectively be used to recondition the base response to temptation rather than actually resist temptation, although that can be a part of recovery. Truly though, if will power is being used, it refers to the discomfort of the temptation, and that releases adrenaline, which is a memory neurotransmitter among other things, and it burns the idea in rather than making it go away, and starts or continues the OCD cycle. Will power is not the answer at all in this context. Certainly not directly, although it possibly can fill in gaps during the recovery time. How much will power does it take me to not buy cigarettes every time I shop compared to a recovering addict to cigarettes. There is quite a difference. We are talking about a base survival mechanism gently out of line or possibly berserk. Some people need help to find out how they can recover. It is a trap by design and not all find it in them to free themselves, even with lots of prayer and other spiritual things alone and no help. But for them, there is hope and there is help for those who need it, for a modest fee. :) Talk to your bishop if help is needed on the financial front. It seems nothing worth anything is free. They need to exist to help you I'm afraid, so they need to be paid.

I really am glad you have gotten through this without help Dravin, at least from this sphere that is more visible to us and directly from the Lord. That suggests great faith. Keep up the great work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very close friend of mine had a similar problem. I watched him (not literally...) go off and on off and on his addiction, having to re-modivate himself many times. Sexuallity is such a powerful part of our mortality its hard to stay away from it...trust me, being raped and molested for 4 years and now addicted to sex myself, I know.

This is why there are seemingly "strict" boundaries as far as chastity and dating go. For our protection. But if we mess up there is ALWAYS hope.

#1 DONT beat yourself up. This is a sure way of you abusing yourself again ie: viewing pornography again.

#2 Don't give up. I got in the mess I am in because I got sick of it and gave up. Not really me, but a moment of weakness can overtake us when we least expect it.

#3 Keep reading your scriptures and praying. They will give you the POWER to resist temptation better.

#4 Work with a bishop. Remember, he is your presider in the name of the Lord who does whats best for you....

#5 Watch what you are thinking. Perhaps you didnt know it but you let some things play in your mind and thats why you haven't had the spirit?

Just remember Heavenly Father won't abandon you. keep working at it, you seem to have your heart in the right place so I know you can be successful. Sometimes I feel like we slip based on our agency but also as a test/another lesson....do your best and move forward and you will be blessed. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sexuallity is such a powerful part of our mortality its hard to stay away from it...trust me

Ivy, you are spot on! Sexuality is part of our divine nature. Procreation was given as a part of who we are. It is in our nature to be sexual beings. Unfortunately, man has distorted, twisted, and abused this wonderful part of our lives and now our brains are confused with all of the sexuality around us. It doesn't know what to do with all of the stimuli it is constantly receiving about sexuality.

"It is not an easy thing to seek help for pornography and/or sexual addiction. There are typically great feelings of frustration and shame involved – especially as a member of the church. Usually before seeking help, most people have tried countless times on their own to stop the addictive behavior. This is especially true for those who pride themselves on willpower. Pretty much everything we are taught about success and achievement in our culture is based on will power. We are given messages from our early years on up that the harder we try the more likely we are to succeed. In most areas of life this approach bares fruit but when dealing with addictions issues it just doesn’t seem to be very effective in the long run. In fact the harder one try’s without the proper education the more one tends to become stuck in the cycle of relapse – guilt – confession – relapse and so on. I recently had a client tell me about one of his friends who is an active member of the church that has risen to the top of his field as an athlete by the exercise of willpower, effort and determination. Yet in the one area of dealing with pornography addiction, he seems to fail over and over again." Excerpt InnerGold Manual LDS Edition

Increasing the strength of our logical, thinking brain will give us even more strength.

Here is a good quote that I think you will like:

Overcoming sexual addiction is a process and not an event. Many have become frustrated with this reality and wish that in one great battle it could all be over. “It is not given to the rest of us, nor was it given to Jesus, to meet the foe, to fight and overcome in a single encounter, once for all time. The strife between the immortal spirit and the flesh, between the offspring of God on the one hand, the world and the devil on the other, is persistent through life.” (James Talmage, Jesus The Christ. Covenant Communication, American Fork, 2002 100.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this