The following was sent to me by a very brave woman. I thank her immensely for her candor, courage and willingness to share her story to help other women who are struggling with an addiction to pornography. May she be greatly blessed and always know how loved she is.
I was twelve and browsing on a website my sister showed me. A harmless website, she thought, just little quizzes, “What Superhero are you?” “What planet are you most like?” One day, I clicked on a link and my life changed. There were stories on the website too. Many of them were harmless stories, but several of them were hard-core erotica. The first one I clicked was a fairly tame story, but soon I was into some very depraved stuff. I soon found other websites, easier to navigate, more stories. I didn’t admit to myself that I had a problem or that it was a sin for two years. By that point, I was reading and watching porn almost every day.
My addiction to pornography led to other problems, even before I admitted it was a problem. I had such strong feelings of self-hatred that I frequently cut myself and periodically stopped eating. After I admitted I had a porn problem, the cutting temporarily got worse. I thought I was disgusting and horrible and cut to make myself feel better. Then I would feel horrible for cutting and eventually cut again to punish myself for being horrible. It makes no sense, but if there is one thing I’ve learned its that I, like every other human, am not always rational.
Recovery is an ongoing process. I am both blessed and cursed with a wonderful memory and porn is designed to stick in your head. The images and words still come back to me, generally when I least expect it. Confession is a weekly must and I make it to daily Mass as often as possible. Every night I make an examination of conscience paying close attention to the slightest lack of purity. I ask St. Joseph’s intercession daily for purity and try to pray the Rosary every day. Every night I read the Bible and a chapter or two of some spiritual book. And most of all, I have patience with myself. When I fall, I remember how far I’ve come and how much God loves me. Then I rush off to Confession to try again.