Anonymous wrote:

My addiction to pornography has turned my life upside down. My first exposure to pornography was through a childhood friend at the age of 8 but the curiosity exploded when the internet made its debut.    That curiosity  became addictive in nature when it became a quest to find what was so taboo about sex.  This all out quest was hidden from my parents while I used  their computer to access these inappropriate sites.   This downward spiral began with chat rooms through America Online©.   Like all young people, I developed a normal desire to know more about sex.  My parents and church taught me nothing; the only knowledge I had was from health class at school so I turned to the internet to find that knowledge. What I didn't realize was that those beginning moments of searching  the world wide web for information on sex soon snared me in it?s web of addiction.  I was as hooked as any drug addict, becoming engrossed in searching the internet for entertainment any chance I could get.  In my teens, it started with the chat rooms but also led to searching for erotic stories.  In my 20?s,  the search exploded as I became  desperate for more. I began actively searching  for pornography to fill my growing needs.  What started with  pictures soon led to videos, all being readily available on my  parent?s unfiltered computer. Then, as if the struggle with pornography wasn't enough, I was now  adding masturbation to this ongoing struggle.  Words cannot begin to convey the amount of shame I have endured while living with these  sexual sins.   These golden chains had their grip on  me since the tender age of 8 years old yet, despite this  shame (or because of it), I became a follower of Jesus Christ at 15 years old.  Now fifteen year later, as a 30 year old Christian woman, I am still fighting these chains and, let me assure you, It is not easy being a Christian woman struggling with this highly taboo sin of pornography.   I did not date much in my teens or 20?s. I didn?t need to since, in my world, pornography was my relationship.  I didn?t need anything from anyone. Pornography was a constant friend which now I label as False Intimacy.   Pornography is a drug of the mind. I could use it and no one needed to know. Unlike street drugs, however, I never had to interact with anyone so, on the surface, I could maintain the ?goodie-goodie? label.  As time elapsed, the addiction became a daily routine but, as with any addiction, there were often days where I had to search out deeper and darker things to get the same result.   I have now begun to realize that the addiction to pornography was a band-aid to a deeper issue, that being confusion about my sexual identity.  That confusion began in early adolescence and continues today thus leading to more confusion, isolation, despair and shame. In late 2009 I reached the end of my rope with this crippling addiction to pornography. Living with this oppressive shame and guilt,  in combination with my profession as a flight attendant,  severely affected my health. Because I?d spend hours a night searching out pornography,  I was sleep deprived in a job that already had its own challenges of sleep depravation.  My spiritual sickness was now leading to physical sickness but I still couldn?t seem to stop. In early 2010, I was desperate to make a change.  In February, 2010, I turned 30 years old and I didn?t want to go one more decade addicted to pornography.  The biggest jumpstart in this process of ending my  addiction to porn has been accountability. I have a wonderful spiritual mom who mentors me and has held me accountable. I placed filters on my computer and even went to the radical extreme of giving up my laptop computer for 9 months since I had to remove all access.  Computers that are not filtered or protected are dangerous to the pornography addict much like giving an alcoholic a beer to hold and expecting him not to drink. And, while accountability is a great step in the right direction, I also need fellowship and tools to manage my addiction.  For me, personally,  fellowship in a church body is critical yet my job as a flight attendant causes me to work many weekends thus curtailing the very fellowship I need and crave.  There has also been the need to belong and, thankfully,  this past spring the Lord led me to Dirty Girl?s Ministries where I found other women (believers/non-believers) who struggle as I have. Many stories are identical to mine.  I have continued my journey by joining a Recovery Group for sexual addictions and have combined that with Christian counseling.     Truthfully, I feel like I am moving at a snail's pace but I know God?s desire for me is to be whole and I will not give up no matter how seemingly slow the process seems.  Interestingly, I?ve also discovered I am an impatient person!   And while I have my days of feeling this journey or addiction will never end, I?ve also tasted huge chunks of freedom too. The enemy of our souls wants us in isolation and in the depression pit but, with Christ's strength and grace, I will not remain in that pit anymore.  Sadly, this addiction has consumed 22 years of my life . I lost part of my childhood, my innocence, time, energy, relationships, potential relationships, my walk with God and now my health.   I know this addiction can be broken because I?ve seen and heard the testimonies of others. That's why I know that this journey is not meant to be walked alone.   In the midst of it all, we must remember the words of Song of Solomon 1:5 ? I am black but comely.?    AmyChristine (30) Flight Attendant