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Like a lot of guys, I got into watching porn when I was very young. It was tantalising, forbidden, and felt like a short-cut to adulthood. Turns out it was also addictive in its impact and variety.⁣

By the time of my first girlfriend I was deep in it, and it in me. A pornographic overlay on real life, changing my perspective. My girlfriend wore the smallest miniskirt to my Confirmation and I thought it was epic.⁣

By my early twenties that overlay was permanent, my perspective filtered through porn. Women were imagined, assessed, mentally deconstructed, imaginatively exploited. The brain automatically and immediately calculated the most effective way 'in' with any girl I liked. My gfs did anything, I was popular, they loved it…the system worked!⁣

Except, it didn’t work. Such lives have a cost. At my lowest, I’d be up watching porn until dawn. I slept badly, ate badly, lost weight, drank a lot, and ruined relationships - with friends and girlfriends. Porn clouded everything.⁣

Vanilla sex was for losers, but that category grew with my boredom, hunger and impatience. Nothing was quite enough. Numbness set in and the messiness of life degenerated into pathetic self-destructiveness.⁣

By the end I was hollowed out. I’d searched for a “good life” and found shadows and evil. No more. I stumbled back to the Church.⁣

I found a new girlfriend and vowed not to ruin things. I said "not yet" to sex, and she didn’t leave me. As I came clean about my habits, the glamour of it was replaced with disgust and then – over the passage of

years – recovery.⁣

We married, clinging to the Church like a life raft. We threw ourselves on God’s mercy, and He allowed us new lives. ⁣

The freedom and the relief were beyond anything I could have imagined. ⁣

There is always hope and redemption is always possible. ⁣

But let us be clear: porn is absolutely destructive, not just to those who take part in it but also to those who 'just' watch it.⁣

If you don’t watch porn, be grateful and be compassionate to those who do.⁣

If you watch porn, stop. It is a poison from the Enemy. Reject it.

Confess, do penance. Return to the light.

Reach out if you want support. Our emails are always open.

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