My name is Addiction Conqueror and I am addicted to pornography. I have only admitted that to a few people, and even right now, writing this in a public library, I am a little nervous about the people that might walk by and read this over my shoulder. I've been addicted to pornography since I was as a child--maybe 5 or 6 years old and for years I had no idea I had a problem. All growing up I wrote off my behavior as weakness, and I filled my head with lies about my self-worth.
I spoke with church leaders about it, and their common advice was to "stop," or "have better self-control," or to "Get serious" about my behavior.
I spoke with my parents about it, and though they were loving and patient, they had no idea such a thing as pornography addiction even existed. There council was full of advice about respecting women, about the difference between pornography and real intimacy, and the importance of keeping myself clean.
All that advice was sound, and I believed all of it, yet I kept viewing pornography. This, of course, made me feel awful because I knew what I was doing wrong, but I couldn't stop.
I shook the problem for a few years after graduating from high school and serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but after coming home and getting married, my addiction to pornography showed back up in my life.
It was at this point, when as a newly married man I discovered that I was feeling a regular compulsion view pornography, that I admitted to myself that I had an addiction.
I spoke with my bishop, who suggested I read Spencer W. Kimball's Miracle of Forgiveness.
I signed up for and attended a group therapy session with other men like me who suffered from pornography addiction.
I thought that would be the scariest moment of my life.
Then I decided to tell my wife.
That was the scariest moment of my life.
As a testament to her, she has supported me in my healing, and for that I am grateful.
It has been several years since I attended that group session on pornography addiction. I am healed.
Though not entirely.
I am addicted to pornography.
And I will always be addicted to pornography.
Every day I have to make a conscious choice to avoid pornography. Most days I am strong. Some days I am weak. Some days I am so angry with myself for my weakness that I shout at myself, I slap myself in the face. I want to put on a pair of running shoes and run forever.
Part of me wants to blame others for this reality. But blaming others limits both my own acceptance of my responsibility and my acceptance of my sickness.
Today I read the introduction and first chapter in this book, and I felt prompted to start this blog.
I completely accept, admit, and confess that my addiction is beyond my control. I cannot conquer it alone, yet I know that through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, I can conqueror any weakness, any fear, any temptation, any sickness, any trial.
And that's a good thing, because I have no greater weakness, no greater fear, no greater temptation, and no greater trial.