You have heard it said that it is always darkest before the dawn. I have lived this saying in the past week. See, I have been battling an addiction to pornography for about 14 years now and finally succeeded (my book Set Free 100% will be available on Amazon and Audible soon).
As most addicts know, there is more to addiction than meets the eye. I can not speak for all addictions since I have not experienced them. But, pornography and sex addiction are borne of lust and typically give birth to other things like gluttony, greed, self-condemnation, and bitterness. There is no formula for this. It will differ from person to person. The constant, though, is that porn addiction will always come with a little extra sauce on the side.
Hopelessness is one of the most universally felt emotions by addicts. That, and shame and guilt. This is more common in Christians dealing with addiction (like myself). Knowing your identity in Christ and understanding how the addiction works will go a long way in helping you in this battle. This, however, is a post for another day and is also detailed in my book.
The lie of hopelessness
That down-on-your-luck feeling is one of the devil’s favorite weapons against you and me. It can come after a relapse or viewing someone’s social media (and a whole bout of comparison) or failure to achieve a goal you set. Hopelessness can set in at any time. It doesn’t need a cue or perfect scene.
As I took an evening walk one day, I felt my heart get heavy and my soul became downcast. I was walking because my knees have not been doing too well after I completely disregarded the doctor’s advice for recovery after surgery. Desperate to look a certain way, I was pushing my body further and faster than was good for my knees. This undid most of the healing and caused pain in my uninjured knee as well. Walking is my only cardio option now. When that truth sunk in, the feeling of hopelessness began to well up in me with each step.
If you really think about it, walking is not so bad. I could still do exercise (just not what I thought would shed the pounds faster). This is what the devil latched onto and exploited. Insecurity came rushing in as I became weirdly aware of the girth of my torso (this had been the biggest source of insecurity on my body).
I also knew that this was a byproduct of forgoing pornography. The devil has no chill. It would really help if you noted what was causing these feelings. That keeps you alert though there will be unguarded moments.
Hopelessness and Hyperbole
The thicker the fog of hopelessness gets, the more magnified any and every problem in your life will seem. This is the principle hopelessness works on. Everything seems worse; the pile of unfinished assignments, the weight struggle you never seem to win, the money problems at home, that pile of debt… you get the idea.
The truth is that these are things that you are dealing with and cannot run away from. Hopelessness makes it sound something like; Dude, all these problems will never go away! No matter how hard you try.
This is something you can keep in check once you learn to recognize it. Learning to speak truth into your situation always goes a long way in dispelling the shadows of doom and gloom hopelessness threaten to drown you with. This should also help with the
I am still learning more lessons about my mind and how it is reacting to this porn-free life God has granted me. Of Life and Things will feature them as they come. I hope this helps you stop feeling helpless when hopelessness comes a-knocking.
Until next time,