The Genesis of Our Addiction
Our lust started as an overpowering desire for pleasurable relief from inner pain, emptiness or insecurity, with which we could not cope. At first, it worked. For a time, sex with ourselves or with others dissolved the tension, relieved the depression, resolved the conflict, and provided the means to deal with, or escape from, seemingly unbearable life situations.
Eventually, our quest for relief became an addiction, and the addiction took on a life of its own. Pleasure and relief were gradually replaced with tension, depression, rage, guilt, and even physical distress. To relieve this new pain, we resorted to more sex and lust, losing more control in the process. We were driven to spend more time thinking about and carrying out our addiction, and lived in denial to avoid recognizing how much of our life our addiction controlled.
Finally, our addiction came to take priority over everything: our ability to work, live in the real world, relate with others and be close to God. What started as the cure had become the sickness. The Answer had become the Problem. We were hopelessly addicted to lust.
Overcoming Lust and Temptation
A new loneliness overwhelmed us as we realized that we had become increasingly separated from God and our loved ones. We began to seek sobriety, and as we stayed sexually sober for some length of time, we discovered that even though we may not be acting out our compulsion, our obsession was still with us.
We began to recognize the many disguises the Enemy uses to trick us into lusting. We learned not to rely on our failed and weakened selves, but rather, to turn to God's pure love and absolute power. With increased reliance on God, we worked on recovery with altered attitudes and growing humility, and we gained progressive victory over lust.
As we yielded to God, temptation began to lose its control over us. When we admitted we were powerless and gave our lives and our will over to God, He worked in us, and we to began enjoy a new balance in our lives. Leaning on and learning from others in the program, we continue to walk in His strength, gaining true freedom from lust and sin through obedience to Christ our Lord.
Are You Sexually Addicted?
1. Do you go from one relationship to another?
2. Do you feel the right relationship would fulfill all your needs?
3. Do you use sex as an escape?
4. Do you make excuses to leave your partner as soon as possible after the act?
5. After a sexual experience do you feel guilty?
6. Has your pursuit of sex interfered with your relationship with your spouse?
7. Do you find you are unable to resist a sexual overture?
8. Have you ever sought out help to change your sexual behavior or thinking? Have you ever wanted to?
9. Have you ever tried to limit or stop acting out but been unable to?
10. Do you put yourself or others in dangerous situations in pursuit of sex?
11. Have you found that you are unable to resist sex or sexual images?
12. Do you have trouble concentrating or completing tasks at work because you are always thinking about sex?
13. Do you spend time on the internet viewing pornographic websites?
14. Do you take time away from work to pursue sexual activities?
15. Do you feel you have lost control of your actions to fulfill the need for sex?
16. Have you ever been arrested for a sexual offense?
If you checked at least seven of these questions, you might consider exploring this area of recovery.
We have accepted that we cannot control our lustful thoughts and behaviors in our own strength. We have learned that through the power of Jesus Christ we can live sober lives, one minute at a time and one day at a time. If you identify with these issues, and if you are weary from your struggle, then we invite you to fellowship with us at Celebrate Recovery as we daily seek the Lord's guidance on our journey of recovery from sexual addiction.
Celebrate Recovery meets every Friday night at River Valley Christian Fellowship Church in Bourbonnais.