Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cause to Celebrate

Today I am feeling better, physically and emotionally. The Tamiflu and abundant rest are doing their parts to heal my body.

After three days without (eww) I took a shower this morning and that felt good, though I was disturbed to have to spend about five minutes trying to remove WHITE hairs from my beard.

I've had a dramatically diminished appetite for the past 5 days and it looks like I have lost about 4 pounds in the past couple of days (though this is not a suggested method for weight loss). I remember reading a book (juvenile fiction) where they talked about having a fat kid they picked on but had to give it up after the kid got double-pneumonia and lost 20 pounds as a result of the illness. :)

The emotional high comes from the culmination of a week-long battle as part of a 25-year war I have been fighting. It's me versus pornography. I believe it is a more-pervasive threat than alcohol or drugs because it attacks the spirit more than the body and it is a lot easier to conceal the problem. What is worse is there is an overwhelming shame that helps it go unchecked because those in the grip of pornography are ashamed to admit the problem and afraid to ask for help due to the ridicule that will likely accompany their pleas. I am not looking for praise, and I fear some condemnation, especially someone thinking "I don't want a porn addict near my family." I will simply say going public with this was not an easy decision.

I said 25 years a moment ago, but as I think back, I know where we lived when I first found magazines my father kept in our house, so that would be between the Summer of 1980 and the Summer of 1982. I remember my brother and I looking at them and to me I thought it was hilarious that a lady's butt was being shown. I didn't know what else to make of it because I was between 9 and 11 years old at the time.

Adolescence hit and understanding of the images developed. I knew where my father's stash was, and as I moved through my teen years I started to buy some of my own (remember the Madonna scandal in Penthouse?). Late in my teen years I came to Christ, and I threw away my stash, but eventually new purchases were made, and through the college years there were strip clubs in Atlanta and Orlando. In Atlanta I was never denied entry despite being 18 and the law being you had to be 21.

The mid-a990's arrived and with this time period so came the Internet. The Internet is the biggest threat to man's (women's too) struggle against pornography. A movie I like includes the quote (paraphrased) that the Internet is a communications tool created so that individuals can complain about movies and exchange pornography. It's no news flash, it's out there.

My new inspiration came with a sermon series I started listening to about two weeks ago. I had recently been discussing my problem with a friend who has the same issue and is fighting it. Another friend I know can hopefully join us in accountability to fight this evil. As a result of the message CDs and my will to fight back, I deleted the files I had hidden on the PC in our house. Wanna guess how many there were? Would you believe over 5000? I look back and wonder to myself what can one person do with that many pictures?

Last night was the second to the last step, removing the few paper magazines that were in our house and putting them out for the trash pick-up this morning. My wife knew I had some magazines, but I rarely looked at them (heck, with 5000 computer images who needs a handful of magazines). So the evacuation of our house is complete and it has been cleansed.

As with any other addiction, food, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, it is never a 100% you are done and free situation. I ask for your support as for the rest of life I fight to honor my wife and my God by NOT giving in to the temptation, and I thank you for taking the time to read this and that you will hopefully accept me despite this part of my life that I did not ask for.


April said...

I give God praise for you today!! How awesome that He is moving in your life, empowering you to stand firm against the Devil and his schemes. I am proud of you! I will continue to pray for you!!

FRIGGA said...

You asked not to be praised, but I'm certainly not going to condemm you for making a very positive life change. I know this one is a particularly hard addiction to walk away from, seems how the internet's right there. I do want to praise you for having the courage to be so open. If you could post this then I have no doubt that you have the strength to overcome temptation. :-)

Bubba's Sis said...

We all struggle with something - I heard a sermon once calling them our "secret sins". I, too, am praising God that He has given you the strength to make this step! I will continue to pray for you, Michael. Stay strong.

Faith said...

I don't know you; I came over for your Friday Feast. But I just had to say, way to go! It is an addiction, and it can cause so many problems in relationships. I know you'll be blessed!!

Amy said...

Michael, nobody said being a christian was going to be easy, huh? I love your wife too (not as much as you I am sure, but still!) and I will be praying for both of you as you fight this battle together. Just remember that our God loves you more than anyone ever could and is on the side of VICTORY!

Ih His Love, Amy

Skittles said...

I came to thank you for dropping by my blog and then I read this.

I am an adult survivor of child abuse and at first I admit I flinched. But as I read on I realized what a HUGE step you've taken.

It is indeed a disease and I applaud you! Putting it here on your blog was an amazingly brave thing to do.