It all began on a hot summer evening.
It was the last day of school. I had just left all my middle school friends for the last time as we were all going to attend different high schools in the fall. My mom drove my sisters and me to go grab our Friday-after-school treat and discuss our summer plans. I was so excited. My last summer before high school. I couldn’t wait to relax and sleep past 6 a.m.
My phone rang, and it was a guy friend down the road asking if I could come to his house to shoot hoops and swim. I put on my favorite Roxy two-piece swimsuit and floral dress and rode my purple mountain bike over. I loved how smooth the road was. It made peddling easy. The breeze gently cooled my red freckled cheeks under the blistering summer sun.
When I got to my friend’s house, we played a few games of “PIG” and swam in the pool for hours. We were close. We both loved basketball. Our teams were rivals and we would throw jabs at each other, but all in good fun.
Then I could see the burnt orange sun start to sink down over the lake.
“Bye,” I told him.
I jumped on my bike and went home to have supper. I felt happy, anticipating a great summer.
The Text That Changed Everything
All of that came crashing down over one text—one inappropriate text from this guy I called my friend. I could not believe the words I read. I had to read the words over and over until my mind became numb. At the time, I had no idea this was the start of my 10-year addiction to pornography.
That whole summer we exchanged rather raunchy texts. Then he started asking me to give him sexual favors. He was no longer the friend I once knew. He became aggressive and mean. He would stop talking to me for weeks (when he had a new fling), only to pick it right back up after it ended. This happened for almost a year.
We both started the same high school together, and he would either avoid me or pretend he had no idea who I was. Then he would text me after school while his mom was still gone to ask for sexual favors. It all ended on a cold February evening when I finally had enough. I wanted to be his girlfriend, not a friend with benefits. He told me he didn’t want to be seen out in public with me because his “cool friends” wouldn’t approve.
Hearing that cut me to my core. But he had the audacity to ask for a sexual favor.
“NO,” I said angrily.
As I got to leave, he grabbed my arm and pulled me so hard that I hit my head on the windowsill. I regained my composure and ran out of that house as fast as I could. I never went back.
Moving On and Getting Stuck
The day he moved away, I sighed with relief. I was finally ready to put him behind me. However, I craved his infatuation with me. I was only 14 and never had a boyfriend. My hormones were at an all-time high.
So I made a Tumblr account. I’d heard from other kids at my school that the best hardcore porn was on there. I wanted to see. I thought that maybe there was something I could change or learn from those videos that would help me be more desirable to boys. But the more boys broke my heart, the more I turned to porn for comfort.
Chains clasped me—I wanted more. More than just kissing or cute relational quotes, I wanted action. I found some explicit gifs (moving pictures). I knew in my heart it was wrong, but my mind craved it. I felt the chains pulling me under. I stopped for a while when I was in a relationship, but pornography was grabbing my attention. I felt like I was being torn in two.
I watched and watched. All. Day. Long.
Hitting Rock Bottom
I had lost all control. I let my secret sin consume me. I watched the light drift away as I sank into darkness. I had enough. I wanted out. To escape. To be free. It was a dark secret I kept to myself. I felt consumed by it. It was my way to escape the reality around me.
2016 was the worst year for me. I was in a dead-end relationship while being verbally abused by two addicts living with us. Every day took a mental toll. I had gained 60 pounds, I stopped taking care of myself, and my job was stressful. On my days off, I would spend about 6-7 hours a day watching porn. I craved it. I felt like if I couldn’t watch at least one video per day, I was going to go insane. Once I left that relationship, I finally hit rock bottom.
My soul became like dust. I had allowed my heart to slip into the silkiness of sin. At first, it felt comfortable and beautiful, but then the silk started to itch and hurt my skin. I wanted to run away. I wanted to do anything to make the pain stop. At some points throughout these last few years, I wondered how much my life was worth and considered ending it.
My breath sharpened like a knife. My sight became foggy and unclear. My skin cracked and bled. I thought I was done. I thought this was the end.
Through that blinding pain and silence, I felt the touch. The touch penetrated the gnawing agony in my brain. Jesus took those chains off as I cried aloud on my bathroom floor. I just wanted to be free.
There are moments to this day when I want to watch porn. I know the Lord has been patient with me. He has interceded for my soul. He’s breaking the Enemy’s fabricated thoughts that I keep believing. I am pushing through this. I confide in my husband when I feel tempted. He knows every single detail of my porn addiction and has been so supportive. I need that accountability, otherwise, I can easily fall down the dark hole again.
Sweet friend, let these words sit with you. If you are a porn addict or recovering porn addict: You are not alone. Reach out to a trusted friend or counselor. You are loved, redeemed, and worth so much.