Applying Steps 1 and 2
Applying steps 1 and 2 are not things you can do in a day. It took me several weeks to apply step 1 and about three months to apply step 2. Where should you start? If you take my advise the first thing you will do is prepare to fast. It is very likely on the first day of your fast you will realize you are not ready for your fast and set aside the fast and build your walk with God some more to get you ready for the fast. The fasting alone part of this book could take two months to complete.
As you prepare to fast and after you fast you will be praying that God helps you overcome your addiction but a big part of that is getting stuff out of your life that draws you to the addiction. You will begin doing this one thing at a time. Lots of tv shows, video games, books, movies, friendships will go away over the course of the next year. The first draw will probably take around a month or so to totally get out of your life and as God shows you more things pulling you to porn you will have an easier and easier time getting it out of your life. You will not get everything out of your life today, consider it a victory if you get 1 thing permanently out of your life this month.
As you pray and look for someone to council you or be your accountability partner it may take a month or two to find someone at your church. As you share your heart with them about areas that need improving in your life pay close attention as to whether they blow you off, or help you, or gossip about you. It is very possible that nobody at your church is able or willing to help you, in such cases pray about going to a different church. Once you find someone it will take at least a month to develop the type of relationship you need to share your addiction with them. Again it takes that long because you are finding out if they will bear other minor burdens you have, if they will not help you with them then they will not help you with the crushing weight of porn.
Until you have your councilor help you shoulder the burden of porn you will not overcome it. O you are going to try. You are going to fast, read your Bible, pray, get some things out of your life, build a relationship, and get a couple days of peace hoping beyond hope that you can keep your addiction secret but after 3 or 4 days you will be overwhelmed by the lust of the flesh and go back looking at porn. After doing everything you can by yourself you will realize the absolute necessity of having a brother help carry the load of this addiction with you.
Do not reveal your addiction to him until you have at the very least done the three day fast. If you are struggling with getting that part done, let him know that you need to fast about an issue for three days and share with him your struggle to fast. Once you have fasted for three days wait at least two days then reveal to him your addiction.
This fast does three things. First of all it puts you in a place where you have a solid walk with God which is very necessary for you to overcome your addiction. It allows you to recognize whether you have the Bible reading and prayer life you will need in your alone time. Then the fast will give you a taste of the long term fast from sexual immorality that you are about to enter into until you are married. Finally the day after the fast you will easily recognize at least one thing that draws you to porn. Likely several things. Because the focus of the day after the fast should be recognizing what draws you to porn that should not be the day you reveal your addiction.
Two days after your three day fast is the soonest you should reveal your addiction, because now you recognize three things. 1 your walk with God, 2 how it will feel to fast, 3 some of the things that draws you to porn. 1 is very important because now your spiritual councilor does not have to waste time teaching you how to have a very basic walk with God as he is helping you with all the withdrawal symptoms from porn. 2 is important because as you describe what fasting was like it will get you in the mindset to describe the difficulties in your fast from porn. 3 is important because you can specifically tell your councilor specific areas of your life you are changing or struggling with changing.
When you finally confess your sin it will be a relief to let someone know your pain and struggle. It will be a great relief as they agree to help you with your burden. It will be wonderful to come up with a plan together on how to combat this addiction.
For the first week I suggest chocolate. Every time you masturbated your body released dopamine, endorphins and other feel good chemicals. We are not going to masturbate at all, so there is no new release of dopamine, endorphins and other feel good chemicals. Your body is addicted in part to those feel good chemicals so we are going to get chocolate in order to help our body release some feel good chemicals. Its okay if you eat a box of chocolates at a time. I suggest the good stuff.
For the first month of counseling I fasted every Wednesday and Sunday, it helped me immeasurably. Remember even though you have a counselor or accountability partner they are only helping you carry this weight, its still a heavy burden to bear (read Galatians chapter 6). This is the cross you are bearing now. Fasting really helps with this along with council. There were several weeks I fasted every other day in the week. And once I fasted 3 days after my confession. This is one of the reasons why I suggest fasting before you find a counselor. Both together are a lot more powerful in your life.
Some way somehow Christians, trusted Christians are going to put porn in front of you. Probably by accident. Your goal here is simply to turn away, to not look. Some way some how you will come across porn. Again your goal here is to turn away and not look. You will likely find porn somewhere in your house or on your computer/cell phone. Your goal is to turn away and not look.
As your councilor gives you advice be sensitive to any advice he gives you that draws you back to porn. It’s likely your councilor has been married for many years and cannot remember being a virgin/abstinent/single. If he says something that begins to pull you toward porn let him know. Furthermore open up a dialogue about why he would give you that advice. Simply put if he is telling you something that draws you to porn trying to encourage you to stay away from it many other Christians will do the same understanding why will be helpful to both of you. It took my pastor 3 months to begin to understand that as a virgin I had a very different view on sex than he did, taking the time with your councilor to help him understand your position will be worth it for both of you.
I found that about every 3 days my flesh attacked me in different ways. Talking with your councilor about this is extremely helpful. Some days your councilor will not be around to help you. Fasting is a great thing to do on those days.
You will have what is called a flatline, where your libido dies for a few days. It is so odd for your body to scream for porn for a week or so and then bam nothing. Your flesh will tell you that you will be a virgin for the rest of your life here, that you will never get another erection and you should look at porn to find out. Don’t listen to your flesh. Most of the time when the flesh fights you it tries to push you around but the flatline is when the flesh tries to pull you instead. It is odd and different but talk to your councilor about this, and thank God you got this far.
Sooner or later on this journey disappointments will come into life and you will be depressed. While you were looking at porn depression was handled with masturbation and lots of porn, but now that you are overcoming porn you have to deal with whatever has you down. This is again what the councilor is for, to help you bear your burdens, not just help you with a porn addiction. Even a day or two of depression here is really hard because one of the big draws to break free from porn is that porn makes you depressed.
Sometime after you stop looking at porn and stop masturbating you will have wet dreams. This is not a failure. For me it felt like failure and it is something I talked with my pastor about. What happens is that your brain is finally starting to process all that junk you have been putting in it since you first started looking at porn. The biggest problem I had with this is the dreams would stay with me a day or two and it was hard to get the images and thoughts out of my head. Again its not a failure. You will find after a few weeks or months the graphic dreams will stop. Granted during this time they may get more graphic week after week. That said if your like me even without graphic dreams wet dreams will still pull you toward porn. Its annoying but very tolerable especially once you are past your hump.
As you overcome this problem many other issues in your life will reveal itself. As long as you looked at porn and masturbated you were feeling depressed and ashamed of yourself. That depression and shame hid other issues you had in your life. Sooner or later as the desire to look at porn diminishes (and it does diminish) and your shame and guilt and depression goes away you will realize you have several other issues in your life. It could be other addictions, it could be problems with family members, it could be laziness it could be anything. As these issues come to light share them with your mentor. The burden of dealing with these issues will be far less than the burden of overcoming porn. With the porn monster out of your life you will have an opportunity for amazing spiritual growth.
Your councilor will become your mentor, and in many ways you will come to see him as a father. During the course of months as you overcome this addiction you will get closer to your mentor than anyone else in your life. You will be closer to this man than you will be to anyone other than your future wife. Again I think this is part of why God has allowed this addiction in your life he wanted you to get close to a mentor and this addiction forced the issue. It is something to be grateful to God about.