Stratton Creative Technologies
My Story

My obsession with pornography and sexual fantasy began during my early teen years. I discovered masturbation from my friends and soon became hooked on it. By the time I reached high school, I was masturbating frequently to playboy and other soft porn magazines. I was really hooked. My “habit” had become an obsession and my security blanket. It was my secret source of comfort when things didn’t go well and when I faced difficult situations

But there was a very dark side to all of this.My Catholic training since I was a child held that my actions were gravely wrong. I wanted to stop, and prayed to God to stop-- but I couldn’t. I would confess my sins to the priest, but only to come back each week confessing the same sin over and over. My shame was huge, but it didn’t help me quit. My addictive behavior continued into my adult life and my shame continued to grow. I stopped going to confession because of the shame and because I couldn’t believe any more that my sins were actually forgiven. I thought then that marriage would be an answer to my prayers and an end to my addiction.I did stop for a short while after I was married, but after a while I resumed my old behavior.

Throughout my addictive period, my shame grew and continued to torment me.Finally my shame became so great, I entered into a new phase of my addiction—Denial. For me, such shame without any hope of recovery was driving me to despair and depression. Denial seemed to be the only way out for me. So, I came up with all kinds of reasons why my behavior was not that wrong.
But God, in his love for me, wouldn’t let me hide this way.The turning point in my life came on a Saturday over 9 years ago. My wife went out of town for a day. I used this opportunity to surf the internet for pornographic sites. But when I was finished surfing and finally acted out to a porn site, I suddenly realized how low I had sunk. I had spentsix hours straight pursuing my lustful desires without a break. I couldn’t believe it—I had been in a trance all the time. I felt tremendous shame and despair as I realized how wrong it was and that I couldn’t stop. But, God was with me that night as I felt the pain; and, by His grace, I did something that I thought I’d never do---I confessed everything to my wife. It was a deeply painful experience and I felt great remorse as I could see the hurt on her face and realized how much I had hurt her.

But, this low point in my life turned out to be the beginning of my recovery. It was a turning point because of several things. I came out of denial, I realized that I was powerless to stop what I was doing, and my addiction was no longer secret. The three things that kept me in bondage were broken that day: denial, secrecy and falsely believing I was in control of my life. But, the most important thing that I subsequently discovered was that my wife loved me even in spite of the truth about me. She has never condoned my past behavior, but throughout my recovery, she has loved and supported me despite the hurt I’ve caused her. This has been the key for me in overcoming my shame and accepting God’s forgiveness. Through her acceptance of me I could begin to feel God’s acceptance and forgiveness. From that moment on, things began to change in my life. I sought help from a Catholic counselor who referred me to the STEPS Program at Salem Alliance Church. This put me on the path to recovery.
Since I have been in recovery over the past 9 years, I have been learning to surrender my life over to God. But, in doing this, I have had to confront all of the things in me that had driven me to my addiction in the first place. I have had to face all of my fears, resentments and all of my character defects: the things I had learned to escape from by turning to my drug of choice—pornography and sexual fantasy. Also, I have had to confront how my behavior has harmed those around me, especially my wife and family. So, in my recovery, I have had to become a different person. I believe I am a different person today because of my recovery and because I have been allowing God to work daily miracles in my life. I never received the “instant cure” that I often prayed for. Instead I believe that God has worked a much greater miracle in me through my addiction.

While my recovery has been slow and often painful, I am experiencing a greater peace in my life, and a closer relationship with Christ. My recovery has been through the grace of God. He has shown me his love through the love and support I have received from my recovery partners, my sponsors and my loving wife. Through them, I am truly experiencing God’s love and healing grace in my recovery journey.