Masturbation Is a Crutch

This is the story of one anonymous RECLAiM Online Recover Program student...

I started masturbating when I was about 13 and I did it regularly all during my teen years. A lot of times I did it with porn and other times just to fantasies in my mind.  Sometimes I did it for a quick rush or just to get to sleep. I thought that it wasn't a big deal and it wasn't hurting anyone; it was convenient and free; it was just a natural, normal urge  Eventually it got out of control where I couldn't "not" do it and I got so angry, like something was controlling me and I was a slave to it. I don't like to be controlled.

I signed up for the RECLAiM program so I could get my freedom back, so I could get back in charge of my own life.

About the time I started looking at the RECLAiM website, I was also taking a psychology class in college. We were studying about how the human brain and body follow a kind of "use it or lose it" approach. As we talked about it I started to make a connection to masturbation. I know that sounds weird but hear me out. Our body is majorly efficient. If we stop using something, it shrinks or totally shuts down all together.

Here's an example. I have a sister who was in an accident and messed up her knee. She had an operation and was on crutches. She was supposed to go through physical therapy and start putting weight on her leg gradually and build it up. She didn't like the work and pain so she stayed on the crutches and didn't follow through on the physical therapy. The result was very limited range of motion, lost muscle, scar tissue built up and she can't walk well to this day. Because she wouldn't do the hard work and took the easy route of relying on her "crutch," her body didn't use all of its healing and building capacities and powers. Yeah, she can get around, but now she has to have her crutches just to function at a super basic level.

Compare this to what would've happened if she hadn't totally relied on the crutches but had done the physical therapy work. It would have taken longer and a lot more work, but today she would be walking, running, doing recreational stuff:

She would have the freedom to do whatever she wants instead of being a slave to her crutches.

So how does this compare to masturbation? Every time I felt stressed, pressure, depressed, bored, lonely or just wanting a rush I ran to my crutch, masturbation, which was quick and easy and free. But every time I turned to that I became more dependent on it, like my sister's crutches, and at same time I wasn't developing any other skills to deal with my challenges. So like muscles not being used, those other capacities and powers and abilities shriveled up and became mostly useless. So when I was lonely or bored or stressed, instead of dealing with those in a self-building and developing way I took the easy, quick route of masturbation. This made me a really narrow person who became weaker and weaker and more and more dependent on my crutch or my drug. To put it bluntly, I was a slave to it.

I tried just fighting the urge, just forcing the thought out of my head but that was a joke. I could only fight it so long until I gave in every time. Then the RECLAiM
program taught me how to start using my other coping skills and abilities, how to stop relying on my crutch and start developing and building healthy skills. The trouble is that masturbation releases a ton of natural chemicals in the brain just like with a drug addiction and my brain became wired to rely on the chemical release for all kinds of situations in my life.

As I learned to use other outlets and responses I noticed that the urge to masturbate lessened more and more. At first it was pretty tough, but I just kept at it and over some time I felt myself breaking free. This was so amazing because I never thought I could get to that point. I still have some times where I fall back into it, but they are fewer and fewer. It's getting to the point where it's just not that big of a deal and really there are a lot of other things I enjoy more. The biggest pay off of all this is:

I don't feel like a slave any more—I actually have my freedom back and that is worth everything.

You can find the same freedom this student did! The RECLAiM resources and RECLAiM Online Recovery Program will teach can how to implement the Brain Science of Change, faith practices and Theology of the Body to break free from habitual masturbation.