I Feel So Alone: Why You Need Community While Battling Addiction
I’d never felt so alone as the day my wife caught me in the midst of
a near two year long online relationship and thirty year tryst with
pornography. The mess I found myself in was unlike anything I’d ever
experienced. Who could I turn to? Who would understand and not
further condemn me more than I was already condemning myself?
I felt absolutely alone, completely helpless, and lost. I’ve
discovered feelings of hopelessness commonly accompany the feeling
of being alone. If that’s you, worry not. It’s normal.
Loneliness and being alone are not the same things. I could
be in a room full of people, or even with just a few others, and
still experience profound feelings of being alone. I wasn’t lonely
because of the coworkers, family, and close friends who stuck with
me, but I sure felt alone.
The Beginning of the End of Aloneness
In the midst of our marriage hanging on by a few thin threads, God
providentially began to change my circle of friends. For the first
time, I met men whom I discovered I could trust and confide in. I
expected to be called a sicko, or even worse, and sent packing as a
pervert. That did not happen.
More lies, masked as fears, fell flat of my worse
expectations–a pattern that continued throughout my journey of
freedom from porn’s addictive grip. By the way, Satan still tells me
those same old lies. Except now I’ve wised up to his snake-in-the-
garden-like tactics, and so can you. Shame is the voice of lies and
the chief liar is Satan himself.
Statistics Tell Us We’re Not Alone
A recent Barna study reveals that 65%+ of professing Christian men
are using pornography at frightening frequency (as are increasing
number of professing Christian women). Pastors and youth pastors
also struggle at lower levels, but it’s just as real for them.
We also know that the divorce rate among professing
Christian couples is essentially the same as non-Christian rates,
and pornography is listed among the top three causes in both
segments of the American population.
Not that this is to be celebrated, but it’s pretty clear you
and I are not alone in the battle for our sexual integrity and
health. Porn, much like cancer, knows no socio-economic, racial, or
religious boundary. Porn and sexual failures have taken down the
common and powerful man alike.
Start by Sharing Your Story
I shared my story with a close friend from high school, who had just
come to faith in Christ, and another man I met in our church.
Through their journeys, I quickly began to see that I was not alone.
They too had their own battles with pornography and sexual
The fears of being completely alone, and therefore finding
no one who would understand, started to dissipate.
It’s critical that those you initially share your struggle
with are people you can fully trust. I like to refer to them as
“foxhole buddies.” Friends that will come running when the bullets
are flying and you are in need of life saving help (metaphorically
speaking…sort of). Here’s how I guide the men I mentor today to
choose an accountability partner (foxhole buddy): Choose men you
would trust with you and your family’s lives, and this I mean
Be Strong and Courageous
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and
courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the
Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Being courageous does
not mean having no fear. It means forging ahead through the fears by
making better decisions and healthy risks to confront the fear.
Opening up and sharing your story is an example of a healthy risk.
Installing Covenant Eyes on your computer and all Internet
accessible devices is another example of healthy risk and good
I understand that telling your story, especially the first
few times, will not be easy. I can tell you that each time you do,
you loosen shame’s grip over you and your recovery process. Shame
wants to keep you living in isolation by believing lies.
Put Isolation Behind You
I’ll leave you with a few activities you can engage in today to help
you confront aloneness and embrace community. Look at this entire
topic this simply:
God created us to live in community, not in isolation.
Get connected to a men’s purity small group for weekly
Engage 2-3 men (or ladies, if you’re a woman) as accountability
partners. Meet with them weekly for connection.
Journaling: Begin daily journaling of struggles and successes, with
emphasis on progression and not perfection toward greater purity.
Pray with a heart of thankfulness. Thankfulness and shame are not
Daily Bible reading: Start with five minutes if this is not a
regular habit now).
Consider seeking a Christian/Biblical Counselor (I urge you).
About the author, Dan Wobschall
Dan serves as the Director of Gateway to Freedom, a 3-day intensive
for men, and also serves as a Sexual Integrity and Recovery Mentor.
Gateway to Freedom is a ministry of Be Broken Ministries. Dan speaks
nationally on Sexual Integrity Leadership team. Prior to his
engagement in ministry, Dan spent 32 years in public safety. He &
his wife Julie have been married for 34 years and live in Orlando,