Even as a Soldier, Porn Stole My Purpose

Even as a Soldier, Porn Stole My Purpose (David)

Tell us a little about yourself?

20-year-old single guy. For about half of my life, “porn addict” was a self-assigned label. I am currently in the Army as a healthcare specialist, trying my best to be a Christlike example to those around me.

Tell us about your struggle with acting out and what led you to seek transformation?

Cue the typical story of a goody-two-shoes church kid who has that one secret problem that nobody knows about. I found my first pornographic image when I was in fifth grade, doing a research project for history class. I don’t think it was actually an addiction until I was about fifteen, but it definitely got to that point.  As with many who struggle with porn, – or any addiction, for that matter – it slowly got worse over time.

My relationship with Christ is what caused me to seek transformation. I never contemplated suicide, but I came to a point where I began to consider the fact that I had no purpose. Porn had drained all the life and purpose that I had. I was basically a zombie living for the next orgasm. It came to one point when I thought, “God, what am I doing with my life? I know You’re there, but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt Your Spirit. I’m tired – no, I’m done – living this life by myself. I know I’ve turned my back on You an embarrassing amounts of times, but, if You would take me back, I’m ready to come alive now.” I wanted that intimacy with Christ that I had destroyed so many years ago. I had felt His love before, and since then I had been trading the love of my Creator for a cheap burst of dopamine that He infinitely surpasses. And so began a long, hard journey to recovery.

What were some of your low moments along the way?

Every time I slipped back into my old habits felt like a low point. – “David, you’re better than this. You have Christ in you. Why is this still tripping me up?”

My worst low moments probably happened during those initial months where I was trying to keep from masturbating or looking at porn. Victory came at such a painstakingly slow pace. I wanted a quick repair, but there is no such thing for an addict. I hated realizing how weak I was. Especially as a soldier, weakness is one of the things of which I am most critical.

Each time I looked at porn was yet another reminder that I was so weak, so incapable of fighting this battle on my own. And yet, that was probably the most common thing I told myself: “You’ve got this. No one else needs to help you. You’re strong enough to handle it.” The feelings of inadequacy and weakness and failure during those first few months made it very difficult for me to see that victory was possible through Christ.

What are some of the things that have helped you the most on your healing journey?  

I’ve done pretty much everything, from counseling to small groups to accountability software to the rubber band method. Hands down, the most helpful and practical tool I have utilized is brutally honest accountability with a few other guys that I trust. We have a weekly meeting, but the rules are as such:

1) They have the right to ask me any question that they see fit.

2) They have the right to keep asking the same question until they are satisfied with my answer.

In all honesty, it is a little awkward and frustrating the first few times. It’s uncomfortable to let people into the most intimate and vulnerable areas of your thought life. It requires an incredible amount of trust. I know. I’ve had to tell people that I don’t trust them because they’ve shared confidential information with others when I specifically asked them not to.

But the rewards are worth it. If you are fortunate enough to have someone that you trust with this information, I am telling you from personal experience that I saw little victory until I brought my son and shame before others. The ironic thing was that I found no shame in telling them; instead, I found love, strength, and freedom. I did not find rTribe until about two weeks ago, but it is hands-down one of the best addiction recovery apps I have ever seen.

Where do you hope you will be in a year if your recovery continues to stay solid?

I want to be a success story. I want to tell my future girlfriend and wife that I used to be addicted to porn, but now I am living a life of purity. I want to be proof that there is freedom from addiction. I want to be able to help others out of their own addictions. But, most of all, I want Jesus to be proud of me.

In Hebrews 11:16, the writer tells us about a beautiful image: “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” I want God to affirm me as man after His heart, a man who hates evil with a passionate and will stop at nothing to defeat it in his own life and he lives of those around him, all for the glory of the One who set him free.

What words can you offer those who are reading your story and feel stuck?

Believe me, I know that recovery can seem impossible; in fact, I would say that it is impossible – if you try to do it by yourself. Please get into an accountability group.

Force yourself to spend time with the Lord each day. The first Bible study I did during my initial recovery told me to pray at the end of every session for five minutes. Try it – every night, or morning, or whenever you can find five free minutes – try praying. If you don’t know what to pray, I suggest the Daily Prayer by Ransomed Heart. The only way this sin can flourish is when it is unknown, and you are the only one who can choose to bring it to light. Bring it into the Light, and let Christ renew you.

It’s humbling to admit that you can’t do it on your own, but it is the only way that you will experience victory. I spent a very long time figuring that out.

 

David, Thank You for sharing.  We appreciate the openness and thought you put into writing this down for others to learn from.  It’s great to understand the level of commitment you have to being open with your accountability group.  It’s also a positive sign that you were able to look past the faults of others even as they broke your trust.

Tribe on,

Alex, Josh & the rTribe Community

 

P.S. Want to share Your Freedom Story? We’d like to publish a new Freedom Story every week and if you have something you want to say to the entire Tribe, let us know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *