The more I talk with girls and women who are dealing with porn addictions the more upset I get (and that is putting it nicely). The destruction that an addiction causes to someone’s life is huge and so painful to witness. The hopelessness in their voice and their perceived isolation haunts me. I remember that. 7 years ago really isn’t all that distant in my memory.
Recently, I was made aware of a woman’s experience that is probably far too common. When she was in high school, she told a few of her closest friends, women who attended her church, that she was addicted to pornography and masturbation. After her initial disclosure, they never talked about it again. Her friends never brought it up, never mentioned it, and for all practical intents and purposes went on living as though she had never said a word about it to them. To this day, some 6 years later, she is still in the midst of these addictions.
To those of you who have had a friend tell you that they struggle with porn or masturbation and have chosen to ignore the subject, STOP IT. The worst thing as an addict is when you somehow muster up the courage to tell someone about your shameful, dirty secret life and they act as though you’d never told them. To me that’s worse than someone telling you to “just stop” looking at porn or masturbating. At least they are acknowledging that you shared your struggle with them even though they aren’t doing it in a helpful or effective way.
I understand that it may be uncomfortable for you when your friend tells you about their addiction. If you don’t know what to say or how to best support them, find something or someone who can help you help them! There are books and online resources to read and pastors and counselors for you to reach out to.
Most girls going through an addiction don’t want to tell their friends because they don’t want to burden them with their problems. By ignoring them or being silent about the issue you are affirming that idea.
Let this be your friendly reminder: don’t notice your friend is drowning and choose to look the other way.