The cold, sharp pain pierced the very core of my soul. It was a feeling that I had grown quite familiar with. It was a feeling that I dreaded. I wanted to run before this beast could overpower me, but I knew better. I knew that there was no escape. I had become accustomed to the chains that constantly had me shackled in place. So I surrendered yet again, slowly shuffling into the endless torment that was now known as my life. The loneliness feasted upon any happiness or hope that I had to spare, leaving me empty and alone.
So often in addiction, we become so entranced in the loneliness that we feel and let it consume every part of our life. We let ourselves get inside our heads – a place where there are no limits to cruel words and doubt. And this is one of the most dangerous places that we can ever be in when fighting addiction. Your mind starts to turn on you, breaking you down until you have no hope left. You stop fighting and accept your fate and destruction. I have been in this very place. There was a point in my pornography addiction where I felt like I had nothing else to give. I was done fighting the battle. I was exhausted, broken, and torn to shreds. I accepted the fact that I was going to have to walk this path alone.
When I first became addicted to pornography, it relieved – or at least numbed – many of my painful feelings and emotions. I was able to avoid the problems that I had to face every day by resorting to my addiction. I almost felt free of my fears, worry, loneliness, anguish, and pain. But as I sunk deeper and deeper, it became more difficult to abstain from looking at pornography. The addiction had me trapped. As President Russel M. Nelson once said, “Addiction surrenders later freedom to choose. Through chemical means, one can literally become disconnected from his or her own will.” And this is so true! You become so lost in your addiction that you lose any ability to make your own choices. This is right where Satan wants you to be. He knows that if he can cut off your ability to choose, he can use you as a warrior on his side. And this is a very slippery slope that can be so difficult to overcome. Once you realize that you have a problem, you don’t want anyone to know about it. If you are like me, you try to overcome your addiction on your own. For the longest time, I thought that I would be able to become completely sober without any help. But boy, was I wrong! I soon found out that the mountain of recovery was much more treacherous and difficult than I could even imagine. There was NO way I would be able to do this alone.
I have come to know that we are not meant to go through the challenges and trials of life without seeking help. If you are in an addiction, I want you to know that you are NEVER alone. You can and will overcome this battle that you are fighting! But don’t forget to rely on the support that you have all around you.
First and foremost, you have a loving Heavenly Father who loves and cares about you more than you can even comprehend. He knows the pain and heartache that you are currently experiencing, and He is right by your side with open arms. Look to Him. Rely on Him. He will give you the strength to fight each day. He has also given you the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. Our Savior and Redeemer knows so deeply the struggles that you are going through. He has experienced every emotion, feeling, and pain that you will ever have in this life. Don’t forget that! You are never alone because Christ will always be walking right beside you. He will be with you through every trial that you face. He is only one prayer away. Use the Atonement in your life! The one thing that I have found that will heal you from the pain and anguish that addiction can bring is the Atonement. The power of the Atonement is so incredible! I am so grateful for the love and healing power that Our Savior and Heavenly Father have given me. It is because of this love that I will always know that I am never alone.
Also, as you are fighting for soberness, don’t forget that you have family and friends who love and care about you. Lean on them. The support that you can receive from your loved ones as you are climbing out of that awful pit of darkness can really help you in your times of need. If it wasn’t for the love that I received from those that I care about the most, I would not have been able to rise above my addiction. It can be very hard to have the desire to let others help you. You don’t want to bother them or be a burden. But I promise you that as you rely on your loved ones for support, you will be given an extra strength as you fight your daily battles. I am so grateful for the overwhelming amount of support that I have been given as I combat my addiction. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love of those family members and friends who have reached out in some way. I especially am so blessed to have Brittani as my eternal companion. Her love and support throughout this battle has been remarkable and has given me so much strength. Hold tight to your loved ones! Don’t exclude them from your battle. By including them for support, you are not being a burden to them. They love you and want you to be happy!
There are so many resources out there for addicts to take advantage of for help. No matter what your addiction may be, there are programs and support systems that can help you along your journey to recovery. I owe so much to the LDS 12 Step Program! In my very darkest and loneliest times, the support I received through this program allowed a light into my life that I had been seeking for so long. What warmth and comfort I received as I began to work on each step! Recovery is a very difficult road. But, as you use the resources that are available to you, you can rise above the darkness and find hope. Seek the help that you need! I know that it can be very scary to open yourself up in that way, but you can’t fully heal from addiction without being honest with yourself and confessing that you have a problem. You are not meant to work through this battle alone!
I want all of you who are reading this post to know that you are loved so deeply by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. God does not give you these challenges as a punishment or to hurt you. He gives us trials so that we can learn and grow during this time on earth. Our trials bring us closer to Him and helps us find an appreciation for the blessings that we are given. I promise you that if you will put your trust and faith in the Lord, He will empower you and give you the strength that you need to win the battles that you face! As you walk this path of life, please remember that you are NOT alone. You are loved by so many people! You are an example to many and can be a light in someone’s life as you fight your daily struggles. Look to the Lord for guidance and rely on the support that is all around you! For any of you who are in a very dark place and need some help, I am always willing to be a resource for you. Please reach out! I love all of you!