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.

The following story by a female Fighter from Scotland shines a light on how a porn struggle is often coupled with crippling feelings of shame, and how making lasting change means breaking free from both.

I honestly can’t pinpoint the very first time that I saw porn. That’s how much we are exposed to it in daily life, we hardly even realize it. It’s like it slithers in through the cracks, through the walls, underneath the doors and floorboards.

It happened so subtly in my life that I didn’t know what hit me. But I do remember that at 15 years old, it had already clenched its jaws into me and took a strong hold.

My Mind-Numbing Escape

Somehow, watching porn made everything else not so bad. I began drowning myself in parties, drinking, smoking, having sex. I became that out of control teenager that every parent hopes theirs doesn’t turn into. I would find myself locking myself in my bedroom late at night to crack the laptop open and plug my headphones in so no one would hear. It became routine, it became just another part of my every day, sometimes twice or even more. It became “normal” and it became “okay” just like society said it was.

The more I watched, the more it dulled my senses and skewed my vision of the world to the point that I just didn’t care about anything. It became such a habit in my life that I would use it to even help me sleep at night. It led to out of control emotions, erratic behavior and self-harm in the form of cutting.

RelatedWhy Watching Porn Can Make You Feel More Isolated, Depressed & Lonely

Porn gave me unrealistic views on what relationships look like and it created voids and holes in my life that I would strive to fill with literally anything. Yet, nothing at all ever came close to what I wanted or what I truly needed. It led to failed relationship after failed relationship and eventually even a failed engagement at 18 years old. For four years, I continued like this.

I Hated It, But I Couldn’t Stop

The second semester of my freshman year of college I met a guy who was a “good guy,” and in my mind, I still considered myself a decent person. So, I decided that it was time to grow up, change my life, and drop my party lifestyle in order to be with him. I stopped drinking, smoking, cussing, the promiscuity, I stopped it all and he began to like me. I was happy, but the one thing that I could not seem to drop was the porn. No matter how much I tried, it gripped at the core of me. The more I fought, the more it clung to me.

The more I tried to get rid of porn, the more my taste in what I watched grew darker. I am straight, but I would watch same-sex porn. I believe in monogamous relationships, but I would watch group sex. I hated what I had become; I was disgusted with myself and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get rid of this. I couldn’t believe that I had allowed this to take such a hold in my life.

RelatedTrue Story: My Difficult, Lonely Struggle As A Female Porn Addict

I came to realize that this wasn’t “normal” anymore, but I felt trapped and alone. I couldn’t open up about it. I would tell myself that no one would understand and I would lose friends if they knew. I definitely felt like this wasn’t a problem women struggled with, because that’s what society told me. I knew I was alone in this and I told myself that I could figure it out on my own. I would go a week or maybe even two being porn-free. I would feel refreshed and good about myself, but usually at night when I couldn’t sleep I would find myself going back to it and I would fall right back into the same pattern. Everything had finally caught up with me. It led once again to another failed relationship and for two more years I lived like this. Happy on the outside, but suffering quietly on the inside.

Suffering In Silence, And Shame

For a total of six years, I suffered deeply because of my struggle with porn. Finally, at 21 years old, I was reading a book that talked about how if we keep our burdens secret we will never be free from them. And it took me reaching the bottom of myself to know that I could no longer do this on my own. I needed to reach out.

After completely breaking down one day, I had to make a choice to continue living like this in silence or let my struggle be known. I reached out to a friend and I spilled my heart to her. Literally as the words “I have a problem with porn” left my mouth it was as if a physical weight was lifted from me.

Related5 Women Who Struggle With Porn Break The Silence With Powerful Messages

After choosing to release my private shame and lay down the burden I carried, I am now three and a half years free from pornography and have never looked back. Since breaking free, there has been an abundance of healing, love, and forgiveness in my life. I now get to hold fast to love and feel its true meaning.

Shame Worsens The Struggle

Pornography is not something to be taken lightly. Many people suffer in it longer than they need to because of shame. Just because the world says it is “normal” doesn’t mean we must let it be.

RelatedWhy You Should Stop Feeling Like A Bad Person For Watching Porn

People don’t see what it does in the heart and mind of those that it affects. They don’t see what it does inside the homes and relationships of those that it holds captive. They don’t see the lives that it ruins and destroys. But many of those struggling, especially women, feel that people would say “oh, that’s normal” or “you’re disgusting” if they knew. So, we stay trapped and we let it consume us.

Let it be known, there is absolutely nothing normal about pornography! It’s not just a problem for men or an “adult only” problem. As a 15-year-old girl, I was still just a child when I began a long, painful road of addiction. It’s a cultural and world problem. Men, women, and children get exposed to porn every day and it seems to be “normal” in society. But it doesn’t have to be.

RelatedShame Made My Struggle With Porn Much Worse, Not Better

Now, at age 25, I proudly and openly share my story in hopes of shedding some light on what porn can do to your life. I fight because I have successfully kicked porn out of my life and I will continue to stand for those who suffer in silence because they feel like they can’t speak up out of shame.

No Fear And No Shame

Porn is not a word we should fear. The reason why people don’t talk about porn is because they know there is something wrong with it. The reason why the word “porn” makes many people uncomfortable is because people know it isn’t right. In the wise words of Dumbledore, “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”

RelatedWhy Being Anti-Porn & Anti-Shame Go Hand In Hand

When we stop giving porn power over our lives, that’s when we can break free from it and let true love and healing in. It was opening my mouth and saying it out loud that helped me overcome my struggle with porn and brought me to where I am today.

Keep fighting!

-Keeley
Edinburgh, Scotland

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Why This Matters

Shame is part of the porn problem. So many who watch porn feel an enormous amount of shame brought on by others or themselves, which pretty much always makes the issue worse, like what Keeley experienced. Many feel like they’re a bad person, worthless, or permanently broken.

Not only is all of this untrue, but these feelings of shame can also cripple people’s self-esteem and stunt their progress. And we realize this is a complex issue, since remorse can be a healthy part of finding freedom and healing wounds. But too often, shame is used as a beating stick that weakens and demoralizes instead of strengthens and motivates.

By choosing love and understanding, instead of shame, we are helping to promote true change in this porn-saturated society. Continue to spread the word that pornography is harmful to individuals, relationships, and society in a way that will inspire and motivate others to choose love, too.

We are proud of Keeley and her vulnerability in opening up about porn’s impact on her life. This is what the fight is all about: exposing the harms of pornography and shining a light on the hope that exists in real love that’s free from shame.

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Shame and hiding are part of the porn problem. SHARE this article and spread awareness that porn is an everyone issue.

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