Viewpoint: It’s an enslavement


I don’t remember when I first viewed pornography, but I was very young. The details of my story aren’t important, but it ends like this: I became an addict.

I’ve struggled with this addiction for years now, and I like to think I’ve learned a few things along the way. I hope you can learn from my mistakes, so you can be wiser than I have been.

To those unfamiliar with pornography addiction, allow me to explain a few things. Addiction is not what most people think. It’s not a desire you can turn off with sheer willpower, and it’s not something you decide to participate in. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

When I was in the depth of my addiction, my brain couldn’t have cared less about what I wanted to do: I was enslaved. I had given my agency away, and those early choices continue to restrict my life. For example, I never allow myself unfiltered access to the Internet, I rarely watch television, and I severely limit my exposure to popular media.

If you, like me, are an addict, I feel your pain. Having stood in your shoes, let me share some thoughts that have been helpful for me on my journey.

First, see your bishop, but recognize that confession will not solve your problem. It is incredibly unlikely that you will be able to recover simply by meeting with your bishop.

Second, embrace honesty. Now, don’t be that guy who confesses to the ward during testimony meeting, but be honest with yourself, God, your spouse and your bishop.

Third, attend a support group. I’ve interacted with hundreds of pornography addicts and the only common denominator I’ve found in their recovery has been attendance at a support group meeting. LDS Family Services offers multiple group meetings in Provo each week.

We’re not creepy old guys with mustaches. We’re good people who are dealing with a problem, just like you. Come and see.

The author’s name has been withheld due to the sensitive nature of this topic. This viewpoint represents his opinion and does not necessarily represent the opinions of BYU, its administration or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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