I am a sexual addict, among several other compulsive behaviors. Early in my recovery, one of my action steps was to write a good-bye letter to my sexual addiction and pornography use. Here is that letter:
February 2009 (transcribed in my journal, written in 2008, [with some minor edits])
Thank You for all you have done for me in the past. Yes, you were there to keep me company, to be my friend and “lover”, to keep my secrets safe.
But it is time for you to leave. You are not welcome nor needed anymore. Go away and do not talk to me again. You cannot help me. I do not want you.
The love you gave – was literal pain.
The secrets you kept – left me in isolation.
The thrills you provided – were dangerous, freaked out, and illicit.
Your touch left me with very real scars.
I choose the light – you can only offer darkness.
I choose to be honest – you forced me to have to lie.
I choose to be proud – you left me in shame.
I choose life and love, with real flesh and blood people – you were only ever in the mirror.
I have a wife who loves me, who cares about me, who needs me whole, in one piece. [I want to be fully] hers now, [my body and my heart].
I have children who depend on me, who look to me to guide them and protect them. My focus and attention is theirs now.
I have friends who care and enjoy my company. My time is for them now.
And I have God, who forgives all you talked me into. I choose Him.
I do not need nor want you or what you have to offer.
[I want] my [wife], my children, my friends, my God, my Life.”
Yes, a thank you. Addictions are very real, nearly tangible things. They are alive, and for a time, they are our closest friends, giving to us the love and acceptance we so greatly crave. But, of course, these habits are not what we truly need. We are desperate for the very touchable love of our fellow human beings, and of God, our Creator. We need both to give and receive this unconditional love.
Although we are born with this sense that we need something to survive emotionally and spiritually, we must learn from where to get it. Our culture tries to aid our development and maturation in physical, mental, financial, occupational, and somewhat in emotional ways, but, in losing the daily presence of God, we are completely bereft of spiritual formation. Yet it is one of the most important foundations for “successful” living. We must know the “why” of being alive.
This is the most important piece of my recovery journey. My friends, God is. He made us and everything around us. He is why He made us and everything around us. When I was unaware of Him, I was truly lost. In that instant of my literal rock bottom, I became aware that I am not alone, and my search -for true life – began.