When discussing my history with porn and sex addiction and my subsequent recovery, I’m often asked what my turning point was.
What was the catalyst to change? What made me finally turn my life around?
I cannot say that it was a singular moment that sparked the change in my life from being addicted to seeking recovery. It certainly wasn’t a Hollywood style “I’ve seen the light” experience or anything like that. But there was an event that led to the start of God changing my heart.
Here’s the story.
For almost ten years, I had two very good friends with whom I was incredibly close. We were the type of friends people would call a “Bromance”. They had walk-in privileges at my house and I did at theirs. I was known as “Uncle Timmy” to their kids. Our families vacationed together and we were all but inseparable. These two guys had been my support and my accountability partners through my years of addiction. They would check up on me and encourage me to keep trying to get better. One would give me tough love and the other would support and encourage me.
But throughout my addiction, I lied to them just like I lied to everyone else. When I would get caught, either by my wife or by them, I would give this heartfelt apology and say I was determined to get better. I would say all the right things to talk my way out of it. I talked to them and manipulated our friendship just like I did with my wife.
Until the last time I got caught.
Are you ready for some real honest disclosure here?
A girl I had been texting (sexting would be a better description) screenshot our conversations and sent them to my wife. My wife then forwarded them on to my two friends.
My wife was obviously devastated. She thought I had been doing so well with avoiding porn and seeking out other relationships. It was all a ruse.
My friends too saw that I had duped them. At that point, they gave up on me. They washed their hands of me and cut off all ties with me. I haven’t spoken to either since.
On one hand, it hurt. I lost my best friends when I needed them most. At that point, I felt like the loneliest person in the world. But on the other hand, I can’t really blame them. I had lied to them and manipulated them for years.
It was this event that woke me up and was the turning point in finally facing my addiction and getting serious help.
Looking back on it, it breaks my heart. It wasn’t all the damage I caused to my family and all the pain I’d caused my wife that got me to change, it was losing these friends that woke me up. It was losing my drinking buddies, my golf partners, and my hang out friends that led to change.
That was eye-opening to me. The damage I did to my marriage should have woken me up. The guilt and shame should have woken me up. The years of depression, anxiety, lies, and cover-up should have woken me up. It didn’t.
But, I thank the Lord every day that this happened. Because without having consequences for my actions, without losing something tangible, I probably would have continued living the sinful life I was living.
After this, I started getting serious help and guidance for my addiction. I realized I couldn’t keep trying to fight this battle alone. I had hoped this problem would just go away and no one would ever know my secrets. But it doesn’t work that way.
I received great help from some mentors, pastors, and counselors. I began to understand WHY I was addicted. It wasn’t that I just had a higher sex drive or was a pervert. It was because I was seeking something through porn. I wasn’t seeking sex. I was seeking acceptance, love, purpose, and fulfillment. I was just looking in all the wrong places.
I learned that I had a fear of rejection, a fear of not being good enough, and fear of losing control. I used porn and sex to escape from those negative feelings. Sex was a drug. My addiction was self-medication to treat those inner emotional wounds instead of finding healthy ways to cope with and process them.
Once I dealt with those core issues causing my addiction, I started to find freedom. I stopped searching for fulfillment through sex and sought it through living for God. Instead of masking my pain and trying to escape it, I found peace through healing. I confessed who I truly was and found grace through God and forgiveness from my family. My wife and I were able to repair our marriage, restore trust, and rebuild our lives.
In our individual battles with addiction, we all need a turning point.
We need to hit rock bottom. We need an awakening. I didn’t provide it. God did. He put those two men in my life for that purpose. They were my “Nathan” from 2 Samuel 12 in the story of David and Bathsheba.
What was your turning point?
Was there a specific event that you can refer to as the moment you decided to change? What led you to seek redemption? What unique circumstances did God use to finally speak to you?
At some point, we all turn from the path we’re traveling on and go down the road towards redemption and recovery. That moment should be celebrated; no matter how long it took you to get there.
I’m thankful for my turning point. It has led to God opening many other doors for me, including this blog and coaching.
Without it, I would still be held captive by addiction. But now I’m free. And you can find freedom too.
Feel free to contact me if you’ve reached your turning point. I’m more than willing to help you through one-on-one coaching or simply through a quick chat or word of advice. There is information below on how to reach me.
God has a turning point planned for all of us. But it’s up to us to steer the wheel.
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