Addictions can include the use of substances such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and drugs (both prescription and illegal), and behaviors such as gambling, codependency, viewing pornography, inappropriate sexual behavior, and disorders associated with eating. These substances and behaviors diminish a person’s ability to feel the Spirit. They harm physical and mental health and social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “We should avoid any behavior that is addictive. Whatever is addictive compromises our will. Subjecting our will to the overbearing impulses imposed by any form of addiction serves Satan’s purposes and subverts our Heavenly Father’s. This applies to addictions to drugs (such as narcotics, alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine), addiction to practices such as gambling, and any other addictive behavior. We can avoid addictions by keeping the commandments of God” (“Free Agency and Freedom,” Brigham Young University 1987–88 Devotional and Fireside Speeches , 45).
What substance or behavior has brought you to the Addiction Recovery Program?
I’ve been addicted to pornography, masturbation, lust and sex for nearly my whole life. The addiction started back when I was in 6th grade and has been something I’ve dealt with off and on since then. I didn’t realize, or admit, that it was an addiction until 2007. Since then I’ve been in and out of recovery, or at least abstinence. Today, I feel better about being in recovery – working on a day to day, moment to moment basis to submit my will to God.
Has it diminished your ability to feel the spirit? Describe.
Absolutely. Especially during this last major relapse I really felt “past feeling.” I didn’t have the Spirit, I was angry all the time, and I resented anything that questioned or contradicted my decisions.
When I was involved in spiritual things, I didn’t really feel anything. Instead, I went through the motions, acted as if everything was ok, and lied to myself and others. I also was notorious for talking down my addiction to myself – telling myself “It’s not that bad, it could be worse,” and things like that.
I’m grateful that today I’m able to be completely honest with myself and others.
Has it harmed your physical and mental health and social, emotional, and spiritual well-being? Give examples of each.
Mental, social, emotional and spiritual health and well-being for sure. I haven’t been able to think clearly. I haven’t felt the spirit in the past. I didn’t even know or realize what I was needing emotionally or socially.
Today though, I feel like I have the spirit again. I feel I’ve learned, or become more aware, of what I need as far as emotional and social connection. And, I am trying to exercise to keep myself physically fit.
I’m grateful to be aware of these feelings and how they affect me in my addiction.
I’m grateful to not be today where I was a year or so ago. But I recognize that just as quickly as I let down my guard and stop submitting my will to God, Satan is right there to bring me back to the pain and entanglement of the addiction.
Today I will continue to submit my will to Him.