My friend invited me to speak to a group of young men at church today about pornography. I didn’t feel ashamed to do it. I wanted to warn those boys. I want them to see what pornography can do to a man and his family. It gives Satan power to destroy everything.
I read to them from my journal. Felt like the best way to capture what addiction was like for me when I was still deep in its clutches. I hope it helps them in some way.
The journal entry was titled, “Days Sober: 155”. I read it now and I feel a deep sorrow for that man. I know his pain and I remember it well. I’m still working toward lasting recovery, but oh what gratitude fills me when I see I am no longer that man! How far my choices and my God have brought me! Since then I have lost my marriage. But by the grace of God I am not broken beyond repair. I still have His support, and I have a strong network of friends and fellow brothers in recovery. And I am progressing. I am not alone.
Here’s the entry:
I’m not sure what I’m feeling. I’ve been feeling it for the past few days. It’s like I’m in the addiction again, but I haven’t acted out.
No, I have been acting out. I’ve been a dry drunk. Taking drinks mentally. I’ve been lusting and fantasizing, sometimes without restraint. I’ve been entertaining thoughts of adultery.
What the hell?!?!?! What is wrong with me?!
I’m still sick. I’m still addicted. I feel more free than ever before but I’m still tethered to this.
I’m so tired of being addicted. I want to be free. I want to be free once and for all. I want to be healed. I feel so very tired.
I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to pretend that I’m okay. Well, part of me does.
Is this too much to ask? Why am I not free yet? Why do I have to go through this? Why the hell did I ever choose to indulge in pornography? Why did I do all that stupid crap as a teenager? kissing, dancing, necking, petting, sex… WHY. WHY DIDN’T I JUST FREAKING LISTEN. WHY DID I THINK I COULD SIN AND BE HAPPY?
I wish I could go back. I wish I could say no. I wish I had listened. I would have listened. If I had known then what I know now, I would have listened.
Today I feel tired. I feel sad and depressed. I want to be angry. I want to feel angry and mad at everyone. I just want to blame everyone else for my problems. I want to focus on their weaknesses and mistakes and rage over them. I like feeling angry. It burns off whatever crappy emotions build up inside of me.
I think I could run. That might help.
I know I need to turn to Heavenly Father with a willing heart. I’ve been turning to Him but not willingly. I think those prayers helped though. I think they were a cry for help when I didn’t want to be helped. And I think Father in Heaven heard me.
I want to feel close to my wife again. I want to feel confident about life. I want to be filled with hope for my future, even if only for tomorrow. I want to look forward to it all. I want to think about my life and not feel overwhelmed and heavy.
I feel tired. I’m sorry for all I’ve done. I’m sorry for my selfishness.
What can I do? How do I deal with stress and loneliness? How do I handle feeling inadequate and ashamed?
God, please help me! Please. Please, I need Thee. I need help.
A good thing that happened today: God softened my heart so that I would repent for leaving Isla in her bedroom tonight before bed. I got impatient and frustrated with her so I left her in her bedroom with the light off and the fan running. She was sitting on the floor trying to change into different pajamas. I felt a prompting to go back to her and apologize but I didn’t want to. I wanted to be angry. After a while she started crying. I ran up to her bedroom as fast as I could. I turned on her light, knelt down in front of her, and pulled her close to me. I’m so, so sorry for leaving her like that. She said, “You leaved me, Daddy. You leaved me here.”
I want to be done with this. I want it so badly! I want to be a good father and husband. I want to love my dear ones the way they need and deserve. I love them so much and so often I don’t treat them accordingly.
Please forgive me, Father. Please have mercy on me and change me so that my daughter and wife will have the man they need. I’m sorry.