Elbow: Help Me! I'm An Addict!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Help Me! I'm An Addict!

What am I going to do about my pornography use? I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!

I was sitting in my office yesterday, and I was clicking on different links and just before I could even think of it, I was looking at naked men. I don't know what my mind did to go on autopilot, but without my consent...there I was. And so I looked. I kept looking and I noticed that I didn't even have an erection. I kept clicking on sights that would provoke my sexual faculties more, but nothing worked. So naturally I thought well if this isn't doing anything for me physically then what am I doing? So I told myself to change the screen to something that wasn't homoerotic. I couldn't change it. I don't know why but I kept looking and finally decided to just masturbate to get it over with. I didn't even have an erection and I was pulling on myself to give me one. Why? I felt like I was making myself masturbate and look at pornography and I didn't want to. Does this make sense to anyone?

It frustrated me. And the more I thought about it I realized that it had happened a couple of other times before where I wasn't turned on or stimulated but I was looking at it because...that's my habbit, it's an addiction. Sometimes I sit at the computer and I'm like "What am I doing? I'm not enjoying this. Why am I doing this?" It's crazy. So I need help. I guess I should talk to the bishop, but what can he tell me. Should I go to an addiction clinic or something? What do I do? I don't want to do it anymore. I don't want to be addicted anymore.

This is what is frustrating too, I love having sex with my wife, and if it was up to me I would want to have sex almost every other day. So why do I need to masturbate? When we make love I don't even have to worry about getting an erection...it's just there. And yet I sit at the computer and I have to work at making myself hard so that I can do something that I don't want to do anyway. I'm frustrated with this.

That's all. I'd appreciate any advice as to how I can elimiate this practice from my life entirely.


Blogger Beck said...

A few thoughts:

1. The Church is full of very weird and peculiar people. You are one of them!

2. Congrats on giving Church another try... There is strength in trying to offer yourself to others in the community of saints. You benefit "tenfold" in return.

3. As for the porn thing... I refuse to get into the hard stuff - I just won't go there. My solution is to lock in only on the PG-13 links. But, I'm deceiving myself in thinking I'm not addicted to the soft-stuff. If you find a cure, let me know.

4. As for the masturbation thing and doing it just because... I think we've all been there. Whether you're getting enough with your wife or not, you're still not in the right place at peace with yourself sexually. (I'm acting as if I know from where I speak - hey, I don't have answers, but I feel for you).

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elbow... I wish I knew your true first name, even if I still called you Elbow here. It just seems impersonal. Anyway, back to my comments.
I understand completly and 100% what you are talking about, all except the having sex with your wife part. I haven't had sex with my wife for, I hate to say so, but years. It isn't that I don't love her, becaue I do very much! I am just not physically attracted to her "vagina"???
I am a 44 y/o who has not attended church for about 3 years now. The people in our ward in Bountiful are absolutely wonderful. Sometimes I think there are 1 or 2 that are "putting on an act", but all in all, they are very nice, caring and loving people. Not one has been judgemental of me not attending church, and far as I know, and all treat me with great kindness and respect.
In my 44 years I have been active and taken part in leadership rolls. I served a full time mission to New Zealand. I was sealed in the temple. I have 3 beautiful children. I have been a member of a bishopric. I have been in an EQ presidency. I have taught young mens, cub scouts, Sunday School, etc, etc.
Over the years I have learned a great deal about the church and how it works. I have studied the scriptures and know the gosple principles fairly well.
The church is awesome, and a huge resourse for the millions of faithful members. I am extremely greatful that I live in an area that has a very high percentage of members.
Although it is hypocritical, I pray that my children are active and have testimonies. I am greatful that my wife attends faithfully every week. I am greatful for her parents, whom are serving a second full time mission in Australia.
My point is this... I have been involved and have had some very "spiritual" experiences. I have experienced miricals that should make me attend church and give it my all. However, I don't. I have asked myself many times why I don't go to church knowing the things that I do. The answer for me is that I am gay, and I do not want to put myself in a position where I may hear how being gay is a serious sin. I don't believe it is a sin. I am at peace within my heart and soul, and I know for a fact that God loves me and understands. I am not a bad person. I do my best, but I am human. Heavenly Father knows this better than anyone, even myself. An even with this knowledge, I know that he loves me, and that I am okay.
Elbow, church is great. If you can make it work without making yourself uncomfortable (miserable) will attending, then I say do it. There is a lot of good that can be added to your life by doing so.
As far as the porn addition. I understand. I am addicted myself, however, I am fortunate that my employer has strong filters that don't allow me to view anything even close to porn while at work.
If you would like some help, my suggestion is to find a Licensed Clinical Social worker that you are comfortable talking to and working with. My experience with LDS Social Services has not been good, at all! However, there are many others that are good in the SLC area. If you would like me to send you the name of one that I worked with that I really liked, please email me and I will give you the information. ckmickelson@msn.com Please put Elbow in the subject so that it doesn't get deleted on accident.
Regarding the masterbation... that goes hand in hand with the porn. They are tied together and one leads to the other. I don't believe it has anything to do with enjoying sex with your wife. It is simply the fact that you are gay, and although you don't get an erection, are attracted physically to them.
I am going to stop writting my book ;0) Please know that I truly do care about you, and although don't know you as well as perhaps I should before making a statement like this... I love you!
If you need anything you are more than welcome to call me at work (I am not out to my family so home is not good), or you can email me at work or home. If you are interested please email me at the email address above and I will provide you the numbers and addresses.
Good luck and God bless you. Please remember that Heavenly Father loves you, as do many that read and can identify with your life.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Ignore my spelling and the many other errors in my posts! English was never my subject in school, and it shows ;o)


9:07 PM  
Blogger Loyalist (with defects) said...

My thoughts mirror Beck's as well. I don't have the answer but I know what works for me (although I get around my personal blocks when I'm in the mood).

I set the windows filter that blocks everything except what's in the Favorits file.

My computer is in the high traffic area of the house.

I don't do it at work -cuz I lost a great job once because of it. Which I'm still damning myself about in more ways than one.

When my wife is out of the house I turn off the computer. The damn thing takes to long to reboot once down so it acts as a deterant.

As I said these work for me to some degree.

I wish you luck my friend. Let me know if you come up with any other ideas.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the better my over-all relationship with my wife, the less likely i am to look for porn. i almost think that porn is a 'safe' repository for anger that develops in the relationship. or it may be as simple as not wanting to disappoint her if she knew what i was doing. also, the busier i am with projects of any kind, the less tempted i am. and that includes blogging, which can be an immense consumer of time that might otherwise be ill-spent.

1:41 PM  
Blogger iovan said...

Just wanted to let you know it takes three days to read your blog. Well, parts of three days anyways.... Pretty intense to read about what you have been going through in a number of months within just a few days. I admire your strength and also your ability to find the words to describe how you feel.

My situation isn't exactly like yours, for one thing I'm not married, but so many things I read are so familiar! Finding people with similar feelings and challenges is giving me a great deal of energy and comfort at the same time. So really, thank you so much for sharing! Wish you anything that's good...

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite many negative comments about Church-related therapy, I don't know if you've heard of the Addiction Recovery Program, but it's for anyone who's addicted to anything. I've been attending meetings for a year, and even though I'm sad to say I haven't abstained from my addiction, it's in a group therapy setting so you can all share feelings and experiences. It helps me to know there are others out there like me, struggling with addiction.

As far as stopping completely, you won't be able to until you make a firm commitment to stop. I don't know if that makes sense, but you've just got to say "Enough!" and even when you start viewing that first porn link, you click away, or you turn off the computer completely.

Once you stop the porn addiction, the masterbation issue will be easier to concentrate on.


9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been to counseling for pornography and found it very helpful. I even used LDS services. The first counselor I had was just what I needed, but I switched because my insurance would pay for this other guy. After one session, I switched back and decided I would pay for it because so much of the success depends on the connection you have with your counselor. That said, one on one counseling can help to a certain degree. What he taught me was invaluable. First of all, pornography isn't the real problem here. Pornography is really a mask for the real problem. In order to understand the real problem, you have to turn and face "P" and run through it and see what is on the other side. In my sessions, I was given exercises to do that would open my mind to the real issues. It worked! I learned how to re-connect my head to my heart, and I learned how to resensitize myself. That said, after stopping counseling, the problem came back. So much so, that I too lost my job over it. That was the single lowest moment in my life. I called my old counselor and he referred me to a group session specifically for sex addicts. I went and that was just what the doctor ordered. You see, the trick is, once we have the information on how to overcome something, it is then up to us to forever exercise that information and throw ourselves at the feet of the Lord for strength. But we are human and prideful and want to just stop doing it sometimes--and who knows why? Not me. I'm guilty as anyone. But, magically enough, when I'm back following the exercises etc. I don't have the same urges. The Lord gave us weakness to make us......HUMBLE. Once we are humble he can make those same weaknesses strengths. Pretty cool stuff.

Now, onto a topic I'm VERY familiar with, although I don't struggle with it myself--we refer to it around here as "the gay". My brother-in-law struggles with (in his words) "the gay". But, one thing he has in common with you is that he loves my sister and therefore has no problem getting it up so to speak. I also have another brother-in-law (my wife's bro.) who is "out and proud" and living the "life" having sex with all sorts of men, and has left the church. Is he happier??? He doesn't seem it, but I'm not him. Lastly, one of my closest friends came to me and a group of other close friends and let us know he was gay. This was post mission and I had yet to have a lot of interaction with gay men. Anyway, he gave us all a book to read, and informed us of exercises he absolutely HAD to do to feel any type of hetero feelings toward women. Long story short, it was an awful, painful, LONG journey--but he made it. He called us after his first true sexual feeling about a woman. He has since married in the temple and informs us he has no probs. having sex. However, just because he found success doesn't mean he's out of the woods--actually, he still has struggles with porn and same sex thoughts. But, with the help of his wife (yes she knew going in), friends, and exercises, he's able to be ok. As time goes on, it will get easier, and does. I can attest to that. Anyway, all things can be overcome. We just have to want it bad enough to humble ourselves enough to do enough to make it happen. Telling my spouse about my prob. or telling my parents, or my friend telling 12 of his friends and his family and others--is NOT easy. When we are willing to break the secrecy always, is when we'll ultimately find success. So, here's to all of us struggling--may we humble ourselves long enough to make it happen. Good luck Elbow!!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Kengo Biddles said...

Hey Elbow...reviewing the comments, yes, it's an addiction, and it will take time to "detox" as with all others. It's also possibly a way of medicating... I mean, I had IT earlier today, and yet 4 hours later I'm thinking of seeing to myself. It could just be that you feel out of control in part of your life, or you're needing to "validate" some part of yourself.

I think what it boils down to is it's fulfilling a need that might otherwise be filled.

From the sound of it, you may be slightly sex-addicted, and I think a church-run group could be helpful to you, although I worry that it might be more destructive than good, if it follows what I heard Evergreen was like...skeezy lech's trying to pick up on one another, and such. Rather scary.

I think getting help is important, and I think that reading the scriptures is even more-so. That's the first thing to go and the most important.

All the best!

10:01 PM  

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