Defeat Lust & Pornography A young man embracing his wife.
Defeat Lust & Pornography 3 minute read

I Overcame My Fear of Abandonment

Last Updated: June 10, 2024

My struggles have been with pornography, masturbation, fanaticizing, objectifying, and lying. It started after dealing with intense feelings of loneliness following my graduation from college and first job in ministry. I was spending a lot of time on my own and was in an
environment where it was difficult to make friends after spending years in an environment where I could find friendship quickly and organically. However, as time passed, I realized my struggle was not solely about loneliness. Instead, I have also learned that it is rooted in a need for intimacy that is far greater than I could have imagined.

I Felt Abandoned

I have connected many of my struggles back to fear and feelings of abandonment and, ultimately, guilt that I have felt around my relationship with my dad and other male authority figures. My parents are divorced. My dad disappeared from life altogether for a while. Several youth pastors came in and out of my life. I have leaders from other organizations invest in me, only to have them leave and break contact with me after a period of time.

I internalized this as my fault because I still think highly of the people involved. “I must have done something to make them leave. I was not good enough.” These thoughts have left me dealing with some woundedness and feelings of inadequacy, ultimately preventing me from making healthy connections. If I do not let people in, it does not hurt as much when they leave or decide not to invest in me anymore.

The battle against these thoughts and feelings has led me to deal with bouts of depression, anxiety, and intimacy disorder, all of which led me to look for a way to avoid and medicate my pain. Pornography was the perfect pill because it allowed me to feel connected to something and develop a false sense of intimacy. Both things I was searching for in a difficult season, and both things I still struggle with.

I Learned Authenticity

I have been in active recovery for almost four years and have found some freedom, health, and victory. I have had several long stretches of sobriety from my primary forms of acting out. Through long-term therapy and recovery groups, I have found various levels of healing and connection with others who can relate to my struggle in some way. I also have been given tools, like Covenant Eyes, through these resources that have allowed me to blaze a trail for health in my life. Therapy has given me coping skills and a place to be rigorously honest with myself and others. Recovery groups have taught me the value of honesty and authentic relationships. In my mind, these are all victories.

Through accountability software and allies, I have been able to actively cultivate some authenticity and honesty in my life, especially with close friends and my spouse. In addition to this, I have also been able to develop a better method for communicating and sharing feelings
with my spouse and others in a healthy way. This has been crucial for my recovery process and the repair of my marriage relationship. Again, these are all things I consider to be victories.

I Regained Empathy

Finally, I have regained some semblance of empathy in my life. I did not realize I was losing this; it has been a crucial tool for my ministry, effectiveness as a recovery ally, and other human relationships. I also have been able to release some guilt and shame I had been carrying with me through life. The longer I lied and used it, the more guilt and shame I felt. It feels good to have compassion for myself and see that I am not the broken, horrible person I thought I was. I am just a human being with issues. I am a child of God who God profoundly loves and lives in God’s unshakeable kingdom. This realization has also been a victory and a helpful tool for my recovery.

I Cultivated Honesty

Covenant Eyes and personal accountability have been crucial to my journey because they have cultivated honesty in my life. They show my allies, spouse, and even myself that I can live with integrity and honesty. Also, the longer this process goes on, the less I rely on reminding myself that others will see my online activity. Instead, I can choose to do the right thing and use the internet to build integrity and other healthy relationships. Covenant Eyes has restored my integrity with others and allowed me to have faith in myself and my ability to choose holiness. I control my choices, and when I mess up, it is up to me to live with integrity in these situations. Covenant Eyes has been a helpful tool to encourage me to discuss good and bad choices with those who care about me. This has made it easier to live with honesty and taught me how crucial honesty is to overcome my aversion to intimacy and fear of abandonment.

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