Don’t Give Up! Josh’s Honest Journey to Gain Sexual Integrity
This is a story from Josh, a fearless young man who understands that having integrity doesn’t mean being perfect.
Hey Everyone! This is the story of my struggle against pornography and it is a tough story for me to share. My problem with porn didn’t exactly start with porn itself. This story is to show that the struggle of sexual sin is a problem that does not start with just pre-teens to adulthood, it impacts little kids too.
When I was about 5 years old, I grew up being pretty close with another child from church. When we were kids, we would play together a lot and these playdates often ended up with us kissing. As a kid, I didn’t see what was wrong with this, and it still shocks me that it was something that we enjoyed doing since we were just kids. I mean, usually we are supposed to find girls gross at that age, aren’t we? This habit continued until we were about 8 or 10 years old. Our parents had educated us about the Divine Principle from a young age, so we got to a point where we realized that this was something that we weren’t supposed to be doing.
After stopping the kissing sessions with my childhood friend, something came and took its place. When I was 10, I was at my best friend’s house and he was telling me how he found some really gross magazines in his dad’s room, so he ripped them up and threw them behind his TV. I was curious as to what he found, so when he left the room I looked at what he ripped and found a porn magazine. This was the first time that I realized what porn was, and it stemmed a great demon that started ruling my life.
It started with watching videos on YouTube, where I would look for more and more sexual content. The problem escalated a lot when my mom went to Italy and I had time to watch more things on YouTube every time I was home alone. This was as far as I went while living in the States, as our computer was always in the family room. When I moved to Canada, there was a lot of stress in our lives in the first year we were here. This impacted me on a mental level, as well as on a physical level. I also got a laptop when we first moved to Canada. I was 12 years old and now I had a private computer that nobody else could touch. I started watching porn a lot more. This progressively got more and more in-depth and worse as I got older, and I wanted more and more. At some point, I discovered masturbation through watching porn and things got much worse. I started watching porn multiple times a day and masturbating most of the time that I would watch. I always knew that it was a terrible habit, but I got to the point where I accepted it into my life because I couldn’t see any way out of it. I didn’t think there was a way out, and I thought I was the only person who had this kind of problem. The things that happened in my early childhood made me believe that nobody could be as bad as me. But eventually, there was a turning point that changed my life.
When I was 15, I was supposed to go to this event at a local Christian church, but I was causing a big fuss because I didn’t want to go, which caused me to have a big fight with my mom. When we got home, I wouldn’t stop crying and eventually, something made me confess my problem to my mom and dad. It didn’t really come as a big shock to my mom because she had a feeling that I was hiding this kind of problem just based on my behavior. This was a good thing because my parents did not judge me for the problem but instead tried to help me out of it. Since then I have been fighting and going on and off with this addiction. I would go through periods of a couple months being porn free and then I would go through periods where I would watch porn every day for a few weeks. This battle still continues to now, and at 20, I still fight every day to try and rid myself of this issue. The Top Gun workshop in 2017 really helped me in my quest to overcome this addiction, as they spent a few days talking about this issue and helping us understand that we are not alone. At that workshop, I was able to finally tell my sister and my friends that were there about my struggle. I have tried to build a support group around me and I can say that it has definitely helped me calm my problem down a lot, but it is still extremely prevalent in my life.
Now I lead an accountability group through High Noon and I am really trying to support my group through any struggles that they have. I can be the figure to them that I always needed and that is inspiring to do. This inspiration even led me to give a small seminar on the effects of porn at a workshop recently, which is the first time I have spoken publicly about this issue.
I know that this may be a problem that has caused a lot of pain in my life, but I also know that as long as I keep fighting there will always be hope to escape this addiction. This group is now my focus and I wholeheartedly believe that I can take this issue by the throat within the next few months while going through this course. I want to overcome my struggle to show others that no matter how hard things may be or what caused this problem in their life, there is always a way out.
I have to say thank you to everyone who is here trying to overcome their struggle as well. It’s inspiring to hear everyone’s story and their battle to win back their purity. It makes me want to keep on going and no matter how many relapses I have, I just can’t give up! This may be a bitter journey to go on, but together we can win this!