Its ironic to me that just a couple of days ago, I had been writing about living in freedom, about being vigilant against temptation and the traps laid out for us in the world. Its ironic because I haven’t really been doing very well – spiritually, physically, emotionally. This week has been a struggle.
I’m feeling the constant urge to do other things while there are BETTER things to be done. Procrastination is leaving me unproductive and unhappy. I feel like I’m carrying so much baggage and lately, I haven’t really been ‘pressing forward’ in this race of faith – its more like a slow walk, okay… a drawn out crawl… its exhausting.
I’m physically tired, emotionally unstable, and hormonally imbalanced – its a cocktail that used to spin my life out of control – on a monthly basis (girls, you know what I mean). But the world is a stressful place – how are we supposed to survive in it? All I need is a trigger – to set things into motion – for ‘coping mechanisms’ and ‘learned behaviours’ to take over…
Its different for everybody, ‘choose your poison’, they used to say…
Some drink, others smoke
Some go out to parties and others hole up in pity
Some work themselves to death
Others wade in procrastination…
Some go and ‘serve themselves’
And others pretend to serve others or worse, “God”
All in all, whatsoever thing you choose – if you’re not turning to God for the real stuff, you’re turning to something else – that’s called a ‘drug’ which is nothing more than a ‘substitute’, that’s called ‘idolatry’ which is also known as ‘sin’.
When I was depressed and stressed – I would ‘escape’ through fantasy. At first, it was just TV shows or movies, then it was fanfiction, anime/manga, music and then when those things could no longer relieve my stress… I started watching pornography and seeking ‘like-minded’ people who understood what I felt…
In the beginning, a little would be enough. Just a peek, just a taste… but then, the darkness in me began to grow. There was a hollowness that I could not shake – a bottomless pit that needed filling. Little did I know that in the darkness laid a monster that I fed every time I succumbed…
I used to reassure myself that it would be alright, I could always stop. Someday, I would. But for now, I needed relief. I needed “something to give”.
But after years and years of following the same pattern – my cycle of ‘self-medication’ became the vicious cycle of addiction. There was no stopping – the cycle, the patterns just went on and on. I had no control over my own actions, no control over my own life.
Today, I’m recovering from that lifestyle of addiction and abuse. But like any addict, I suffer from withdrawals, from compunctions that often lead me (not to conviction and change) to other kinds of compulsive behaviour. Even when I’m no longer ‘self-medicating’ on pornography, I still seek the escape of fantasy in other things instead of going to God for strength to face REALITY.
These days, I’ve actually been avoiding reading my Bible too deeply (Yes, there is such a thing as ‘shallow reading’) or praying… I’ve been listening to my ‘darker playlists’ instead of good uplifting music – matching my mood yes, doing good for my soul – no.
Dragons – we shouldn’t feed them. They ought to be sought out, slaughtered and surrendered to God.
Yesterday night, I cried out to God whilst listening to Michael W. Smith’s ‘I Surrender All’ – and in my heart I felt so much comfort.
Lord, please… you know I’m weak right now… I haven’t been doing the things I should have been. I’ve been feasting on food that rots instead of food that replenishes… I can’t do this. I can’t fight this thing inside of me. Please, help me…
And if you’re in the same boat as me – I’d encourage you, even if it seems like the furthest thing from your heart and mine – pursue God even more… He is the only true salvation.