If I did not tell you about how spirituality helped me more than anything when overcoming addiction then I would be hiding something very important from you. I initially considered keeping this site religiously neutral. However, I found this difficult to do without leaving out some important parts of the subject. Spirituality is very important as addiction is a battle for your mind and heart, not just control over your body. I can honestly say, that if it wasn’t for my faith I would have had very little success in overcoming my addictions such as porn addiction. I also would have had very little knowledge on HOW to overcome addiction.
Faith in Yourself
Faith in yourself is something that no one can give you. They can encourage you but you still have to make the decision to believe that you can do what you need to do otherwise you will have no progression. That being said, I can say that nothing helped me more to have faith in myself than having faith in God. Developing a realistic faith in God helped me develop a realistic faith in the powers that he has given me. Addiction wanted me to feel powerless while God wanted me to feel empowered. This is how I fought the darkness of addiction and won.
Every day I was able to get wake up and have hope again, after previously having a bad day, because I had faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I believed and still believe that He suffered for all my mistakes. I believed that nothing I was suffering was more than he suffered. I believed that as long as I was sorry and asked for forgiveness then I was forgiven. With this belief and hope I really did feel like every day could be a new and fresh start. Any spiritual debt or weight I was carrying was taken away by Christ. With this belief it was easier to pick myself up and say, “Let’s try again.” I was able to more quickly forgive myself with this belief too. Perseverence was possible because of my faith in God and the Atonement.
It is so important for someone overcoming an addiction to feel loved. The inherent belief of the addict is “no one would love me if they knew the real me.” Of course that’s not true. Heavenly Father loves me no matter what mistakes I have have made. Of course he wanted me to stop making those mistakes but He still loved me the same and waited patiently for me to return to him. I believed that, though He is a just God, He is also very merciful and loves me so much that He sent His Son to suffer for my mistakes so I could return to be with Him again.
Healing of Pains from the Past
I had stored up pains from my childhood, my own mistakes, and broken relationships. The pains caused me to seek a a temporary escape through sexual acts. I needed to be changed from the inside out. So I turned to Jesus Christ, who I beleived could heal me of all my pains since he had already suffered for them. I simply asked him to heal me and then had faith that this was happening. Over time the pains were taken away and I had less inclination to turn to addiction Therapy helps uncover the past for those who have difficulty pin-pointing the cause of their current problems. Healing is still needed after this.
New Ideas and Knowledge
There were several times during my addiction that I needed a better plan or needed to understand something about my feelings and actions. I really had nowhere to go for these answers because no one had them. So I prayed and pondered my questions a lot. I expected answers and I got them in many different ways. My prayers were always answered and I always thanked God for giving them to me.
We all know knowledge is power when applied. Addiction is partly caused by being blind to the truth of reality. Whenever I was confused about something or didn’t know what to do about my problems I would pray and get answers.
Another thing that helped me tremendously was waking up every morning and reading the scriptures. This was a source of truth and strength for me. It kept me from believing the lies that come with addiction. For ten to twenty minutes in the morning I was reading and writing down thoughts that came to my mind as I was reading. I learned so much and the light cut through all the darkness in my mind. This was the rope I held onto to slowly pull myself out of the quicksand. I really did feel like the truth was making me free. I still do this as it keeps me focused and happy.
By reading the scriptures every day and praying I was able to remember who I really was instead of what the addiction made me feel like. I could remember that I was a son of God with much potential instead of the dark self-image associated with addiction.
I was also able to more easily see women in a better light. Instead of sexual objects I could look at them as daughters of God who also had much potential. I was able to continually look at women with an attitude of love and compassion instead of the dark and carnal vision that comes with filth.
If You Are Not Christian or Religious
There are many options to gain inner or spiritual strength if you are of a different religion or not religious. It still involves seeking out answers and truth, but its more of a matter of what or who you believe is the source of truth. Good books and wise people of the world are certainly not an adequate substitute for God. However, this is not a religious debate so I will just give some pointers that will help you gain inner strength through this battle.
Get a great motivational book like “Chicken Soup for the Soul” or anything written by Anthony Robbins. Stevepavlina.com is also great. Next, spent five, ten minutes or however long every morning, before you do anything, reading this material and gaining motivation and strength for the day.
Take a few minutes after reading to close your eyes and visualize the day. Visualize yourself avoiding tempting situations and being proud of yourself.