First step

Giving It Up – Even Though We Can’t

Our acting-out with pornography can end up becoming the very source of our healing.

For all of us, it starts out as a love-hate relationship. On one hand, it was our very best, most precious friend. On the other, we also hate it. We protected it vigilantly with lies, hiding, and faking. We struggled all on our own in secret.

We stick with this method because although we are so ashamed that we can’t admit having this issue, we are also so proud that we still fantasize that we can beat it. We also keep it private to protect it! Secrecy allows the fox (us) to keep guarding the hen house (our habit)!

This way will most likely not lead us out of our porn problem.

But, as time goes on and we get into more pain, and as the familiar bitterness grows – porn eventually stops being such a good friend. Porn and sex with self stop working for us. And THAT IS when we have a chance at braving it and betraying our sweet friend. We start to consider giving it up! Not ‘stopping‘ or ‘quitting‘ – we have all done that hundreds of times, right? But at this point, we are becoming ready to give it up.

Until then, what we actually meant with our prayers was: “God, take away my desire so that I will not have to suffer giving it up… because I really can’t imagine living without it. So please, please help me!” That does not work very well. We do not get the progressive freedom that way.

Our porn habit itself leads us to this stage when we are truly ready to give it up. As an alkie once said: I needed every drink I took, in order to bring me to this point – to my knees.

Giving it up – surrender – is completely different than anything we tried to do before. We recognize that surrendering our habit will take a miracle. We will need God, for a change. Till now some of us had faith but we never really trusted Him with the whole job. This time, we know we cannot do a thing about our problem without His help. Without His direct help, we will most likely fail. Changing a habit of many years that also has hormones behind it and a culture, porn food, and a well-practiced fantasy engine will not always be something we can change by ourselves. We will need help. And God will help us and will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

The first part of the first step is the inner giving up of our fight, and agreeing to get help, since our own track record proves beyond any doubt that when it comes to porn we cannot win by ourselves.

“We admitted that we were powerless over pornography—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Recovery is not a religion nor is it a place for dogma. There is nothing ‘righteous’ about coming to the admission of the first step! Either we believe it is true, or we do not. There is no ‘advantage’ to being powerless – recognizing the truth is advantageous, that’s all.

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