Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

This woman's true story shows how feelings of shame can worsen a toxic porn habit and spiral the consumer into isolation. Her story reminds us that there is always hope to be found in true friendship and genuine support.

Hi FTND!

I think that what you guys do is so great—there’s a need in our society today for people who are willing to bring attention to all the many problems with pornography.

I have been struggling with pornography for about a year and a half now. Consuming pornography has always been against my personal values, and for a long time, I was consumed with shame. I didn’t tell anyone about it for six months, thinking that I could overcome it myself and that no one else needed to know what a disgusting, horrible person I was. I had never heard of a woman struggling with pornography, and I felt completely alone.

Eventually, I decided that I would do anything to overcome my addiction, even if that meant that I had to get outside help. It took me a few months to get up the courage, but I went to see a trusted friend of mine. Saying the words out loud was harder than I thought—“I have been struggling with pornography.” But talking to someone about it left me lighter and freer.

Related: Is The Problem Porn Or Shame (Or Both)?

My friend told me I wasn’t alone. He said that I hadn’t messed up more than I could fix, that I was capable of overcoming my addiction. That was something I hadn’t thought was possible before. As we were wrapping up our conversation, he said, “You know, talking to me about this takes a lot of courage. These problems are so personal and cause so much shame that it is hard to admit them out loud. Thanks for coming and talking to me.”

I’m in such a different place than I was a year ago. It’s still difficult, and I still fight against my addiction every day, but I’m doing better and have so much hope for the future. One of the biggest things that helped me start to change was developing the courage to tell someone about my addiction.

Brene Brown, a psychologist who studies shame, said, “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: ‘Who has earned the right to hear my story?’” Had I chosen to confide in someone else, someone who wasn’t supportive or who made me feel worse than I already did, I wouldn’t have made it this far in my recovery process. I am so grateful that, when I decided to confide in someone, that person was able to give me all the empathy and support I needed to start overcoming my addiction.

Related: 3 Reasons Why People Who Watch Porn Are Not “Bad” People

For those of you struggling with pornography, I want you to know that you aren’t alone—I, and many others, know what it’s like. When you’re ready to talk about it, find someone who can support you in your process, someone you can trust to lift you and believe in you.

Good luck! You deserve to live a life that you can be proud of.

L.

Live a life of freedom and real love

We love it! Not only did she build up the courage to speak her struggle out loud and take away the power of isolation, but she was met with support and love from a friend who was there for her. How cool is that?

As a movement, we strive to be that friend. Whether you’re a partner who feels betrayed, or someone who is in the middle of a difficult battle with giving up porn, we’ve got your back and we’re here for you. There is always hope, and there is always help. If you’re reading this, no matter who you are or what your story is, hear this: you deserve to live a brilliant life filled with genuine love and healthy supportive relationships and friendships. Porn can never get you those things, and in fact, it will only drive a wedge between your relationships and even between you and the love you can give to yourself.

Related: So You’ve Struggled With Porn? That’s Okay, Here’s Why

Porn and its normalization is the ultimate problem we’re fighting against, not those who are struggling to break free. We’re fighting for love by exposing the hollow counterfeits of porn and showing people the awesomeness of a real relationship.

In the end, awareness and love can break the cycle that porn can create in someone’s life, and change can start with a single conversation.

Get Involved

People are not defined or confined by their porn struggle alone. SHARE this article and speak out that shame is part of the porn problem.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with an obsession or addiction to pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at Fortify, a recovery-focused platform that will allow you take a step toward freedom. Anyone 17 years and younger can apply for a free scholarship to the site, and it's an inexpensive fee for anyone 18 and older. There is hope—sign up today to get the help you need and join with an encouraging community.

Spark Conversations

This movement is all about changing the conversation about pornography. When you rep a tee, you can spark meaningful conversation on porn’s harms and inspire lasting change in individuals’ lives, and our world. Are you in? Check out all our styles in our online store, or click below to shop:

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