Elizabeth was only 11 years old when she first came across pornography. That encounter sparked a long struggle with addiction, fear, and hopelessness. It was only when she believed in Jesus Christ’s power and desire to heal her that she felt miraculous hope.
Though she spent years suffering from addiction to pornography, she never told anyone.
“I was angry all the time at my family. They didn’t know why,” she says. “Sometimes I felt like they didn’t really know me, and if they did that they wouldn’t love me.”
She secretly researched information on dealing with her addiction, but found that most of it was geared toward men.
“It just made me feel more alone. ‘Am I the only woman struggling with this?’” she wondered.
People of all genders, ages, and faiths are currently drowning in the debilitating effects of pornography addiction. Elizabeth’s personal experience is a reminder that no matter how lost in darkness one feels, hope and light are available to anyone who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ.
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Part of me wanted so much to hide what was going on inside of me. I didn't want anybody to look at me and be able to guess that I was struggling with anything. I was just a normal kid. I loved sports and always wanted to be a writer. I enjoyed plays because I felt like I could be somebody else for a minute, and it helped me forget what was going on in my life.
I came across pornography when I was 11 years old. At first it felt like curiosity, and then it became out of control. I couldn't not look anymore. I didn't want to tell anybody because I thought they'd look at me different. At church, teachers started out by saying, "Now I know none of you look at pornography. I know you're all good girls, but I have to give this lesson about pornography."
I felt another level of shame, and I'd say, "You just told every girl there they are not good if they've done that." I was angry all the time at my family. They didn't know why. My sister said many times, "Why don't you want to spend time with us?" and I could never tell her. Sometimes I felt like they didn't really know me, and if they did, they wouldn't love me.
It just hit me that this addiction felt more important to me than they were, so I know I just had to--I had to stop. I did a lot of research on how I could stop, but it was all geared toward men. I didn't know how to make it relate to me as a woman. It just made me feel more alone. Am I the only woman struggling with this?
I got to a point where I felt like I was hopeless, beyond repair. I remember the first time I knelt in the most sincere prayer where I actually believed that Christ could help me. I remember praying and just setting small goals and praying for what I needed right then. And it was the first time that I felt that God was listening to me and that He was real and would help me.
Feeling hope at all was a miracle because it takes up so much of your life, and you feel so out of control and helpless that having any amount of hope that there can be an end to it makes all the difference in the world. The healing process began simply. It was just literally one day at a time, until I was thinking about it less, I was acting on it less, until it was just gone. I had no more desire to do it ever again.
Addiction knows no bounds. It could affect anybody--man or woman. Christ and His saving grace also knows no bounds and can heal any heart and lift any person out of the depths of despair they feel that they're in.