The Power to Choose

When I was active in my addiction, I lost my power to choose to do the right thing. Instead I chose to persist in doing the wrong thing while acting out with pornography, masturbation, and drinking excessively. I have come to realize the greatest wrongs I committed were not the acts themselves, for example masturbation, but the effects those acts had on my other choices. While acting out I persisted in choosing to resent others, to deny others my help and assistance, and to be irresponsible with my time and finances. These choices always seemed to lead to feeling disconnected, isolated, and afraid that my life would never be better. I really didn’t know there was another way, a better way to deal with these feelings so I could make better choices. I continued to act on the outside with masturbation and pornography and act inside harboring resentments, fearing failure and being discovered as a failure and pervert, and disconnecting from others. My rock bottom came when, after another binge on pornography on my parent’s computer, a virus infected their computer. Knowing I would be discovered, and realizing for the first time, my behaviors had consequences on others, I confessed what I had done, told them I needed their help, and I would get help for my problem. God had given me a great opportunity to choose a better way, and do the right thing by admitting my wrong,  asking for help, and taking the action of getting help. In getting help for my addiction, I learned tools to resist triggers, especially non-sexual triggers like resentments and fear of failure. I also learned to trust that God could do for me what I couldn’t do for myself, if I sought Him through prayer and regular participation in the Sacraments. The powerlessness of the addiction doesn’t mean I cannot regain that power to choose to do things right. God so loved the world He sent His Son to give me the power to be free from my sins. When Jesus asked the woman at the well for a drink, Jesus was showing that he thirsts for me, and he comes for me to give me a water so I may never thirst again for something that doesn’t sustain me. I have before me now, the same choice Moses gave to the Israelite’s. I can choose the blessing of God’s infinite mercy and love, or the curse of sin. I choose the blessing. I pray you have the courage to make the same choice.

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