Help. Hope. Healing.

Quitting. Again.

By Tim B


I’m not in a great place in my head right now. I’m a little bit of a mess — not nearly as much of a mess as I’ve been the last month or so, but still a bit of a mess. I’m writing this now because some of the folks who come here are a bit of a mess too — sometimes a very big mess, so there might be something in this that’s easier to relate to than some of the other stuff I’ve written around here.

Quitting porn and masturbation is difficult in the same way that quitting any addictive behavior is difficult — not at all. Most addicts quit hundreds or thousands of times. Quitting is easy — staying quit is the hard part.

And staying quit is what recovery is all about. I’ve quit several times in my life that stayed quit. I quit masturbating slightly before I was married, and masturbated once in eight years of married life. I used porn with my wife not just a few times over that time, but, when my marriage fell apart, I cleared that all out and stayed porn-free and masturbation-free for more than five years afterward.

My next major period of staying quit was after I’d been disfellowshipped for pursuing sexual activity after my girlfriend at the time didn’t want to continue with it. I had a short period of quit that started right then and continued over the few months it took to get through the Disciplinary Councils and come to the conclusion of disfellowshipment, and a few months after that as well, but that doesn’t really count much to me. It was in that time period that I found LDSR, and got serious about recovery. After some months of trying and giving up and trying and giving up (because there is no failing in recovery — just giving up), I got to a place where I was able to say quit some more — this time for over three years. It had its ups and downs, but it lasted through my return to full fellowship.

My last period of quit lasted about eighteen months, and ended a couple of months ago. I gave up, and binged in my own style for about a month. I had no desire to try to quit — thinking about quitting was painful. Facing pain without my drug of choice was something I just didn’t want to go through. I knew that, with God’s help, I could quit again, but I didn’t want to talk to God and face what I’d done.

So I thought I’d come here and talk about quitting again.

Quitting doesn’t start at the end of your last slip. Quitting starts the first time you want to slip and don’t. It’s when you get the craving and you do something positive instead.

Quitting again this time was tricky to start, because I was very aware of when I was quitting. The last few times I quit, I wasn’t really aware that I’d quit — I was just busy doing other things and realized I’d gone a week or three. This time, I had to think about it. I was well aware that I was at the place where I wanted to act out, and that I was choosing not to. And there was General Conference for me to listen to instead, and that little bit of a boost got me through and a little momentum.

Momentum is a blessing and a curse in quitting. It’s a blessing in that it can get you through a temptation with “I’ve gone for so long without acting out, I can get through this.” It’s a curse because it can keep you going when you’re not doing anything else to move your recovery along. The purpose of addiction is to allow you to be humble, so you can humble yourself before God, and momentum gets you thinking that you don’t really need God, because you’re doing so well on your own. I deal with this in more detail in another post, and this post isn’t really about staying quit.

It’s about quitting again. About getting your stuff together and intentionally quitting, whether you quit the day before, or the week before, or whatever. Whether you’ve decided to quit, or have just discovered that you have.

4 people like this post.

4 Responses to “Quitting. Again.”

  1. InnerGold said:

    What I have noticed is that a lot of people struggling with pornography and sexual addiction issues does not really understand why. InnerGold teaches you why, “Pornography is the Perfect Poison” You can learn more at everyone we have come in contact with is seeking help in dealing with this addiction.

    Everyone wants to be cured. The fact is that it is an addiction and once addicted there is no way to quit. A person needs to change their thought process and realize they can manage it and be sober for the rest of their lives but to not just say, ” I am going to quit forever. ” This thought process actually causes the survival part of your brain to go into survival mode.

    Addicts have trained their brains to use pornography as a method of survival. Now a person needs to retrain their brain. For years pornography has been the support for many when they are: B.L.A.S.T.:

    This is when the desire to view porn is fueled. You must learn how to manage it. I am not here to sale you can go to and learn as much as possible but the point is this: if you can an understanding of sexual addiction, you can learn how to control it.

    We have an LDS page on our site which is:

  2. Rex Goode said:

    Good analysis of your situation, Tim. I especially like the observation that using the success you’re experiencing to move beyond the next moment of temptation is good except when the momentum becomes the substitute god. Only God can conquer this. We may have temporary successes along the way, but only sustained reliance on Christ will bring about a lasting change of heart.

  3. Latter-Day Sexual Recovery » Quitting. Again. Revisited said:

    […] just re-read Quitting.  Again. and had some more thoughts about the quitting business based on how things went from the time I […]

  4. patches said:

    I’ve never thought of quitting in that way before. I worry that one day God will just say ‘That’s enough, here is a mighty judgment’.

    I worry that I can’t get up one more time.

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