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Defeat Lust & Pornography 5 minute read

If I Could Get Porn Out of My Life, Anyone Can: Ken Anderson’s Story

Last Updated: July 15, 2024

I’ve always struggled with feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and anxiety. In high school, I also began struggling with depression, which eventually led to a breakdown at age 34. I say this to paint the picture of someone who was struggling deeply but didn’t know how to deal with all the powerful emotions and heaviness I was feeling.

In retrospect, it seems almost inevitable I’d begin looking for a way to numb these feelings.

My Introduction to Porn

I was first introduced to porn in 6th grade at a sleepover but was more curious than attracted to it. When I saw it at another sleepover in 7th grade, puberty was in full swing and I was entranced by it. This led to masturbation, and a few years later when our family got dial-up internet as I was entering 9th grade, to a more regular surfing the web for pictures of women wearing very little.

Eventually, I began searching the internet for more explicit images, then videos, and staying up late to watch adult programs on cable.

At first, I told myself what I was doing was ok, and even normal. But I was getting more and more sucked in, and deep down, I knew it was wrong. By the time I was a senior in high school, even though I had recently become a Christian, I was watching porn for hours on end each week, always hoping to stop but never able to. Any time my parents were out of the house there was a magnetic pull to the computer and to hours of lust and acting out.

My Struggles Through College

I continued to struggle all throughout college, although I finally began talking about it with others for the first time in my life after my sophomore year. I also struggled for the first few years of my first job after college as a full-time campus minister with the Navigators. I didn’t know how to stop, and I was too ashamed to open up consistently about my struggle.

Eventually, at the age of 25, I was sitting in a coffee shop, and it dawned on me that I had been struggling with porn and masturbation for a decade. A decade. The weight of doing something I despised for ten years but not being able or willing to stop was one of the most sobering moments of my life.

It was also a turning point. I was finally ready to make a change.

My Extreme Measures to Get Rid of Porn

I began taking extreme measures to get porn out of my life (I put Covenant Eyes on my computer and phone, didn’t watch TV alone, and texted a friend every single night to let him know how I did that day in terms of purity). In addition to this, at the urging of my housemate Dave, I began sharing my emotions and confessing my sins with him weekly.

Almost immediately, this practice in particular took my normal level 10 temptation levels (to look at porn and masturbate) and cut them to a MUCH more manageable 4 or 5. I didn’t understand why it was helping so much at the time, but I now realize that confessing my sin to a person and hearing them say that they still loved me, God still loved me, and that they weren’t going anywhere melted my heart.

I was truly known for the first time in my life and suddenly had zero shameful secrets stalking and haunting me every step of every day.

I was finally really beginning to understand and believe and feel that Jesus loved me, and it felt like a death blow to the dragon of lust. The dragon wasn’t dead yet, but he was dying, and his power over me was dwindling. It was the beginning of a rebirth for me, and the beginning of the end for the beast who had been controlling me for so long. Victory no longer seemed impossible.

I had hope.

Where I’m at Today

Today, I have been free from pornography and masturbation for 8 years. I had to count back to figure out how long it’s been, which still blows me away because when things were at their worst, if I could go three days without acting out it felt like a miracle.

I am married, have a son, and a stinker of a dog.

I have continued the practices my friend Dave taught me, and make it a priority to always have someone in my life who knows EVERYTHING about me, where I’m currently at, and how I’m really doing.

I always have someone nearby with whom I have zero secrets.

These relationships involve consistent confession of sin and sharing of struggles, emotions, and challenges. In addition to this, I’ve been seeing a counselor off and on for the past six years. This has continued to help me in my journey so much because it has taught me how to understand my past and uncover some of the lies I have believed from my youth. These lies have been the driver of so many unhealthy behaviors, including acting out sexually, and through counseling I’ve been learning how to bring truth and light into these places and find the grace of Jesus and others.

I am now, still, very much a work in progress. As I got rid of porn and masturbation, other sins popped up just like the fuzzy critters in a whack-a-mole game, because some of the drivers of my sin are still alive. And so, I’m always at work growing and fighting.

Even though porn and masturbation have not been a struggle in years, I still have to actively keep my guard up, which I do by having others in my life who I check in with regularly. In many ways, I now see more than ever how much more I have to grow (a never-ending, grace-filled pursuit until heaven), but I would also say I am the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life emotionally, spiritually, and overall as a husband, dad, son, brother, friend, and worker.

Something amazing that naturally began happening after some of these breakthroughs is that when I would share my story with other guys, they shared that they were currently struggling with porn and masturbation, and wanted my help. Over the years I’ve led men in purity groups, and even helped someone on one, teaching them the things God and others have taught me along the way. I’ve seen many have massive transformations, and are now either free from acting out sexually and looking at pornography or well on their way to freedom. I still marvel at how God can use broken people, like me, to help others. I was so trapped in my unwanted sexual sin that at times I felt like getting it out of my life was impossible.

And because of the transformation that took place in my life, I love telling the men I meet with 100% sincerity, that if I could get porn out of my life (with so much help, of course) ANYONE can.

If I had to describe how my life feels now, I would use the word “free,” and I want to help other men experience this freedom too. This is why I decided to start Deep Waters Mentoring, and why I’m so passionate about helping other men.

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