You played pretend your whole life.

There was something going on with you, and even you did not know it. The other day, your mother’s soft footsteps heralded her coming. Your hand jerked off on its own accord as you tried hard to steady your breathing. Your mother called out your name as she stepped into your room, her eyes found yours instantly.

“You’re out of breath.” It wasn’t a question. And the way she looked at you was like she knew something was off.

“I’m okay, mother.”

Lies. Lies. All lies. But she didn’t push. She left you alone.

You were the perfect definition of a happy child. You were the definition of carefree and outgoing and happiness and liveliness. You were goffy, smiled a lot, friends with everyone, a star student and even so much more. But the more you spent more time with yourself, all by yourself, the more and more detached you and the things you thought you knew about you became.

Thirteen years old you wasn’t ready for the books you picked up back then. Your unguided curiousity didn’t help as well. All you read, you wanted to practice. Those perfectly ingrained images spiked your imagination. Your thoughts became clouded by those feelings. You finally gave in at fifteen. You watched and watched. On your first watch, you reached in, and slowly drove yourself to pleasure. That was the start, the beginning of a continuous cycle.

Fast forward to eighteen, you wished you had freezed the time at fifteen. You wished you had listened to your brain and not your vagina. Your conscience yelled at you. You felt too much. You became too much. You got stuck, way too much.

You wanted to be done with the sin, but the sin ain’t done with you. You felt lost, you no longer know what could be termed true anymore, including yourself. When it happened and you knew it was happening, and you knew you should stop it, you didn’t. You let it run its course until you were too deep to step away. And you didn’t want that anymore.

From the very first time you met Chima, you treated her like she was some kind of puzzle. You wanted badly to discover her rough and burned edges, the scars and bent parts. But you found nothing, and that irked you greatly.

She was the perfect roommate, sweet and kind. You lived together peacefully, and slowly you found yourself liking her. Every morning after your pleasure-derived nights, she would smile softly at you, accompanied by warm greetings. She never made mention of those nights and you lived as though they never happened. While you had your head buried in the erotics, hers were buried in the Scripture. While you moaned, she groaned. Her perfect time to weep was always when you reached your height. You craved shame, but it refused to find you. Cause, of a truth, no one wanted to abandon a perfectly good sin. Many times you’ve heard that soft whisper, “Speak up, don’t hold back.” But how do one talk about something that people don’t often talk about? How do one speak up about something that has a lot of shame wrapped up in it?

You loved your pictures in black and white. Some issues though, couldn’t be classified into black and white. You knew you had to seek help, but you were scared of having the words “I opened up to you and you judged me” come out of your mouth afterward. You made resolutions, vows and promises. You penned down many pledges and countless promises in your journal. You kept on trying in your power to fight it. Until the day you stumbled on a piece of writing by Chima’s bedside:

“The arms of flesh can fail one anytime.”

You got tired of hiding. You refused to justify your problem. You confronted denial. You told you “I have an addiction and I’m getting out of this shameful mentality.” You went to Chima.

She listened while you shared your struggles. You told her how it all started and the many times you’d stopped and gone back. You showed her the porn sites you had on your phone and revealed that while you had never used an object on yourself, you had always used your fingers to stimulate pleasure. You cried and cried.

“Disgusting and disgusted with myself, that’s how I feel.” you said in response to Chima’s question. You grinned widely at the rhythms. You could write a fucking poem. You could write a story about you if you wanted. In it’s twisted ways, that comforted you.

“Do you know the story of the woman caught in adultery?”

You nodded. Of course, you did. You were from a Christian home, your parents highly respected and well-known in your local church. You were your mother’s only daughter, and had been brought up in the ways of the Lord. You were not overly religious like your parents, but you knew the Lord. You loved Him. And you had struggled to please Him even while enslaved by your sin.

Chima passed you her phone to read the highlighted verse on her YouVersion Bible app.

“‘…Well, then,’ Jesus said. ‘I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again.'”

“I have no right to judge you, Tife. Jesus already proved here that condemnation only leads to death, but conviction leads us to a life free from sin.”

She sighed and seemed hesitant to continue, as if holding on to a truth she did not want to admit, not to herself, not to anyone else. You watched her expressions till it cleared.

“I’ve made my mistakes. I’ve been a sinner too. And while I don’t know what it’s like to be you, I’ve battled addiction before also.”

That wasn’t something you saw coming. Surprised would be an understatement.

She smiled gently.

“The first person I confided in made me believe it was okay. ‘Porn is everywhere now. We all watch porn. Everyone masturbates, Chima. And if not masturbation, sex itself.” I believed her, sadly. Not because I agreed with what she said, but because I badly needed something to justify what I was doing. Those words were all I needed to ignite. I lost all sense of reasoning. I shut off my conscience that kept screaming ”wrong” and allowed myself to get messed up.”

“The other time I told a friend my struggles, she only looked at me, shrugged and said, “Norms, it’s not strange.” and continued with what she was doing.”

“I was the most confused. My grades were failing, my thoughts all messed up. Every episode became a shredding away of my self-worth. Yet, I kept getting commended on my innocent appearance. No one knew I had the most guilt-ridden mind of all. I wanted help, but I was scared of being judged.”

“My elder sister saved my day, Tife. She heard me one night, and came into my room the next morning before our parents woke up. “Is there anything you want to tell me, Chima?” She asked, after having made a show of searching for something in my room. I opened up my heart to her then. I told her how I fell, confessed and prayed until I eventually stopped being so transparent since it wasn’t helping. She never judged me. She made me acknowledge that the addiction existed and understand that I wasn’t alone.”

You listened with an open heart as Chima explained how she overcamed her addiction. The first step she took was to trust the only One who can conquer sin. And you did just that. You went to God, you seeked His forgiveness, you trusted Him to help you overcome.

Chima made you recognize that you can’t conquer flesh by flesh. To overcome sin, ‘willpower’ won’t cut it. You need a power beyond yourself, a power you can only find in God. You need to yield your will to God’s will in order to be truly liberated.

Over time, with Chima’s help, you discarded all pornography in your possession. Whenever you wanted to view it, you reminded yourself of how it has affected your life. You invested yourself in God’s Words, released your faith and took authority over the habit. You stopped letting guilt prevent you from talking to God when you need help.

You gave yourself time to work through the process of recovery. “It’s a process,” Chima had said, “…it won’t just happen overnight. So don’t give up too soon.” There was a difference to before as you practised self-control. It wasn’t just your strength anymore, you had the Holy Spirit in you, the best companion and helper. You knew God better than before.

“Habits can’t be handled alone. Habits are diligently advised and spiritually counselled away.”

~ Dr. A.A Aderibigbe.

“Different fruits, same root. Different symptoms, same sickness and same cure; salvation, the word, a renewed heart, a heart submitted to the Spirit.”

~ Goodness Adegbola.

18 thoughts on “Ignited.

  1. Hmmm…Wow
    I really love this, ‘The arm of strength can fail anytime’.
    While i was reading through the Holy spirit was showing me a different side to the story…
    You can be addicted to wasting time, you can’t really pin point what meaningful thing you do and time keep getting away from you
    Thank you so much, May God continue to increase your capabilities

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so inspiring!! ❤️
    And must say so well written! I was thoroughly enjoying reading it! Loved the whole write-up
    Especially the line : The arm of strength can fail anytime”
    Lots of love and courage to you!
    Thanks for the beautiful piece❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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