Recovery is Possible
My addiction to pornography started at a very young age, when I was about 11 years old. It was first introduced to me by a family member who would show it to me whenever I went to his house.
I continued my addiction for many years, through school and a first marriage, divorce and second marriage. As I went through my second divorce, I felt like nothing was left for me. I had nowhere to go and life had no meaning. I felt that this addiction would never end. I had tried many times to quit on my own, with some success, but I always fell back into the dark abyss.
Because of choices I had made due to my addiction, I was eventually disfellowshipped. It was hard to admit the things I had done. I felt empty. But my branch president was very in tune with the Spirit. He handed me the Addiction Recovery Program guide and expressed strong feelings that I needed to go to the ARP meetings. Going to the first meeting was hard. I felt alone and afraid. I drove by the location of the meeting several times before I decided to go in.
When I finally went in to the meeting, I felt the Spirit for the first time in a long time. I realized I had felt so alone because I hadn’t experienced the warmth of the Spirit like this for much too long. I decided that I wanted to have my Savior back in my life. I knew it was going to be a difficult and hard journey, but one that I was willing to make because of the love I felt at that first meeting. I learned that I shouldn’t be afraid of going to the meetings, but that I should be afraid of the blessings and opportunities I would miss out on for not going. At the meetings, I only felt love and acceptance by those going through the same struggles, and I leaned on them for strength.
The events that followed and things I experienced since then were so amazing it is hard to put to words. Others had told me that I would always be an addict and that I could not recover. But I felt the cleansing power of the atonement, and I knew I would be able to overcome this addiction.
My addiction had held me back because I didn’t feel good about myself, but today I am worthy member of the Church, my career has taken off in a direction I have always dreamed, I am remarried, and have since had a beautiful little girl.
The peace I feel in my life is one of gratitude. I am humbled to know of the sacrifice of my Savior. I had previously taught about the atonement in Sunday school classes, but to actually live the atonement and use its principles brought me peace for the future. I felt so much love and compassion during the repentance process.
I continue to attend ARP meetings as time allows so that I can feel the Spirit there. The Addiction Recovery Program gave me the tools I needed to overcome and stay focused on being free from addiction. Recovery is possible.