For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Friday, April 1, 2011

My name is Enduring and I'm a sex addict

The first time I uttered that expression was hard. Every part of me resisted its utterance. But I did. At some level I always knew that. My attractions to men and the shame I attached to those attractions (growing up in the church), contributed my sex addiction.

My sex addiction did not cause my attractions, and my attractions did not cause my addictions, though they are correlated. One brings shame, pain, and loneliness; the other tries to medicate that pain, to cover the shame, and fill the void of loneliness.

I am completely and utterly powerless over lust in all its forms. I became painfully aware of this fact a week ago when I last sought out anonymous sex. A week prior, my brother was coming to visit to ordain my nephew to the Melchizedek Priesthood. I was started to feel stress because I knew I could not participate. The last my brother knew, I was a Temple Worker. I fretted over the visit and schemed of how I could get out of it, without having to tell him.

He came with his family, I spent the day with them, but was stressing over this the entire day. They left me alone in the afternoon, so I could work. I couldn't I nerved over what to do, it was a feeling of being alone, a feeling of being ostracized, a feeling of being abandoned, a feeling of despair. In the those feelings, I got online and started to view harmless images of men. The last I had engaged in anything sexual was a month and half before. The images are harmless to most people, but not to me. I realized I went there to escape from my feelings, to allow myself to fantasize of a life with a man, and how much better my life would be...

I did not stop this feeling, it continued to gain momentum. The next day (Sunday), I tried my best to be late to church so I would miss the ordination, but they waited for me. I unfortunately participated, because of my ego. This produced more shame and guilt. That night I started viewing youtube movies of images that were trigerring for me only. I realize I was doing this to cover my guilt, to escape from it. I stopped and went to bed. That whole week was one escalation after another. On Friday, I had made contact with people on Craigslist and was setting up appointments. But I called people in my program who helped talk me back to sanity. The next day (a week after my brother's visit), I made contact with a guy. After it happened I called people to tell them what I did, as part of trying to not do it again.

I sought out this encounter to numb the pain, to feel the warmth of a man's touch (thinking somehow that would be fulfilling - it wasn't). However, shaking the lust within was hard. On Tuesday I sought out another encounter. It was this encounter that allowed me to see how powerless I really was, but also how much shame I had about being attracted to me. My distorted view of God represented much of that shame, my distorted view of others and myself represented more of that shame.

I have made contact with this person and set up a time to meet. After that email was finished, I called people in my program telling them what i was going to do. As I was driving, I was telling them "I'm on the road" "I'm pulling in to the parking lot." Yet, I was completely powerless. My ability to choose on my own seem paralyzed, I had tunnel vision, I was desperately seeking some help or intervention, but I had lost my ability to think rationally, logically, and my ability to choose was severely weakened.

I ended that encounter realizing that I was defeated completely and utterly. I realized how I had used these encounters to fill the void of loneliness, to cover my pain, resentment, anger, frustration, lack of confidence, and so forth. I had never allowed myself to feel. That sounds odd, but I never allowed myself to feel pain and to allow it pass through me. I was always searching for a means to escape from pain - my way, however, has been through masturbation, pornography, webcamming, and now anonymous encounters.

It is painful to admit how powerless and unmanageable my life has become. Yet, in all this I was searching for love, for someone to love me completely and deeply in profound and intimate ways. Yet, I sought this out in my compulsive behavior. Allowing myself to feel for the first time has taught me that I am not really who I thought I was for the past 32 years.

I am coming to know God again for the first time. It's scary and painful, but extremely hopeful.

While I know my attractions to men will probably never leave, I'm excited by the prospect of accepting the fact my yearnings for fulfillment can be filled in healthy and holy ways.

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