Growing up I was always considered the “good kid”. I grew up going to church and learning about God. I got good grades, was involved in multiple sports, band and choir, and I never really got into trouble. But I had a secret.
In 7th grade, I was first exposed to pornography when I found some magazines in my older brother’s room and I was hooked. It started with those magazines but led to searching for and finding it on the Internet. Every time I would look at pornography it made me feel miserable afterwards. I knew it was wrong and that I shouldn’t be doing it, but I kept falling back into it again and again. I was also too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone about it. What would people think of me if they knew? So I just kept on struggling.
I gave my life to Christ my sophomore year of high school and I thought things were going to get better. And it did for awhile…but eventually I fell back into the same traps. On top of the pornography, I was pushing the boundaries in my relationships. While I was praying and seeking God for purity and strength, I didn’t have accountability. And the whole time I thought, how could I struggle so much with all of this when I claim to be a Christian. Surely no one else has this problem like I do and no one would understand.
So I kept it hidden, too afraid to seek help for fear of what others would think. I continued to struggle, experiencing occasional times of success but always falling back into it. Finally, I came to a point where I knew I couldn’t do this on my own. I had failed enough times to see that it didn’t work. I needed to trust God, open up and seek help even though I feared the repercussions. I shared my addiction with two very close friends who came around me and helped hold me accountable. I realized that I wasn’t alone in this struggle. We began to check up on each other weekly to make sure we were in the Bible consistently, praying for each other and staying pure. We also set up monitoring and locks on our phones and computers to hold each other accountable. It was freeing to get this out in the open, to know I wasn’t alone and that I had help. I could beat the addiction because I wasn’t trying to hide it any longer. Because of Christ in my life and the accountability of those friends, I have been free from pornography since the end of 2009.