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Stories of Addiction Recovery

Sharing your story (available anonymously) is a great way to express your feelings and possibly relieve tension knowing that someone will read it and know.

Stories about addiction, recovery, and continued relationship with God help others know that they are not alone in their addiction, encourages many, and shares ideas.

Sex Addict Stories by:

> Men

> Spouses of addicts

> Women

> Young Men

> Young Woman

Former Senior Pastor

by John D.

It was Friday, September 9th  2005, when three leaders from my church came into my office to confront me about my sexual sin.  What made it so difficult for them was they were not just coming to confront their friend…they were coming to confront their pastor.  That morning I resigned my position of Senior Pastor and felt my sinful choices not only cost me my job but ruined my career and forfeited my calling from God.  In my devastation what I did not know was if it would cost me my wife and family.

With the explosion of the internet in the late 1990’s my use of pornography grew into a serious addiction.  Eventually this led to my becoming involved in all kinds of sexual sin.  I hated myself for what I had done but I never found the courage to confess my sins and seek the help I needed.  I convinced myself that it would destroy my wife if she ever found out what I had done.  I knew I needed help but I kept lying to myself that things would get better and I would be able to stop.

However, it was not until God sent those three men into my office…and my sin became exposed that I began to be healed.  Unfortunately, for me to be healed I would have to cause incredible pain to my wife, our four children and hundreds of others who had looked up to me for years.

That morning I resigned my position as pastor and came home to wait for Mona to return  from teaching school.  I thought about getting in my car and just driving away.  I thought of taking my own life...but instead I decide to stay and face the consequences of my sin. 

When she came in she know something was seriously wrong.  She sat on one couch as I sat on the other and I poured out my confession to her…each admission of my sin cutting another wound into her heart.  I felt I was vomiting up the truth from somewhere deep in my soul.

Later that evening our 23 year old son Micah came home and he sat down next to his mother and I confessed to him.  Soon after that our youngest child, Erin, our only daughter who was 16 came home after going to Steak and Shake after the football game.   She could tell something dreadful had happened.  She sat down and with disbelief in her eyes and I confessed to her as well. 

On Sunday we drove to Indiana Wesleyan where our 3rd son, Caleb,  had just started college and I told him.  He put his head in his hands and wept.  Later that night we finally reached Nathan, our oldest, who was teaching school in Mexico and I told him over the phone.  He was filled with anger and told his mother she should throw me out and divorce me.

So all around me…the people I loved the most…the wife I promised to love and cherish…the children who trusted and looked up to me…they were all deeply wounded.  What I did not know was if the wounds would be fatal or not.  Had my sin killed my relationships with my family?  Was the damage beyond repair?  Would Mona choose to divorce me?  Whatever happened I deserved…so I threw myself before the Lord and before my family not knowing what would happen. 

For 26 years I had been serving the Lord full time in the ministry.  However, slowly but surely sexual sin had been growing in my life.  I was first exposed to pornography when I was in elementary school.  My brother found some in my fathers nightstand and shared the secret with me. 
I was raised the youngest of 3 sons.  My father was a high ranking officer in the Navy.  He and both my brothers graduated from the Naval Academy and were successful at everything they attempted.  Added to that my mother was highly critical of anything less than perfection…which pretty much defined my life.  Early on I was the one who developed allergies, asthma, very poor eyesight and in 4th grade began to manifest symptoms of Tourrette Syndrome. 

I remember pornography being readily available in our home from Junior High on.  It did not seem to matter to my parents that my brother and later myself had it in our room…so during high school and college it was frequently around me.  While in college, I received Christ and three years later headed off to seminary and had virtually no contact with pornography for years.

Mona and I met in Seminary and we were married four days after graduation.  God blessed our marriage and soon our family began to grow and God was blessing us in the ministry.  I figured my battles with sexual temptation were done.  However, as the years passed and the stresses of life increased I began to turn to sexual fantasy and masturbation as a way of dealing with the stress and medicating the pain I was feeling deep within.

Of course my sexual sin was for Mona was a form of abandonment.  Her brother committed suicide when she was 3 and both of her parents had passed away.  Everyone who was supposed to love her left her and I was no different.  So there we were two completely broken and devastated people not knowing if we would survive.  As one who battled with depression for years I was in the darkest and blackest hole of my life.  The next day I called a friend and asked him to come pick up my shotguns because I seriously did not know if I could hold it together.

Finally I think God had us right where he wanted us.  Completely broken and prostrate before God we were ready for him to start putting us back together again both as individuals and as a couple.  I told Mona that I would do whatever she wanted me to do…that she could ask me anything she wanted to ask me and I would tell her the truth.  It was horribly painful and difficult to go from being a deceitful liar to telling the truth but never were the words “the truth shall set you free” more important in my life.  Truth became a beautiful healing salve in the wounds of my soul.

Over the past 5 years and 10 months God has brought significant healing into my life and into our marriage.  Mona and I have a marriage that is better than it has ever been.  We share a deep intimacy and love for each other and have modelled many significant things to our 4 children.

I tell you this story because I know that many of you in this room are using pornography and turning to sexual sin to medicate your pain.  Some of you are addicted...some of you act out of compulsion...others use it to deaden the pain you feel in your heart..and for others it just may be an act of rebellion. You are digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole of isolation.  You have tried to stop countless times and maybe have lost hope.

I want you to know that there is a place you can go to find healing.  It starts with Jesus and giving Him complete control of your life.  Vineyard has two ministries for men like us... 180 - meets on Monday nights and Men Building Integrity meets on Tuesday nights.

I have not looked at pornography for almost 6 years.  The addictive cycle has been broken and I work everyday to walk in the freedom that Jesus gives me.  My healing has not come in a sudden flash or answer to prayer.  Instead it has been the steady one day at a time, left foot, right foot walking out of a life completely surrendered to the Spirit and applying the biblical principles of freedom.  There is hope for all but you are going to need help.  I urge you to break your isolation...get the help you need...and find the freedom you desire.  Wretched man that I am who will free me from this body of death ... thanks be to Jesus!!!