fighting for free hearts

The Porn User’s Real Ache

Every addict knows the power of a Pull toward acting out.

The addictive impulse for porn or sex feels so strong that it must be satisfied immediately. It is overwhelming, to the point that all thought and energy is directed towards satisfying the craving.

Some addicts also know about the Ache, the pain and longing that lie deeper in the soul and which actually provide the main source of fuel for the Pull.

While the Pull says, “You need this,” and even the addict’s physical body seems to confirm that, it is actually an impostor.

The Pull distracts us from dealing with the Ache, which is often too deep for words and remains mostly hidden.

We hunger for wholeness and life and beauty.  We were designed in the image of God to experience relational intimacy with Him in paradise.

We live very far from that now.

We also Ache for affirmation, acceptance, validation, security, and a host of other relational things that — due to the brokenness of the world — often go unmet unwittingly, or are actually stolen from us.

Trauma and abuse are all too real, and they mark us. None of us escapes some degree of trauma in this world.

The degree of brokenness in us, and therefore the world, is staggering. And that makes us Ache.

We don’t know what to do with it, so we take it in all sorts of directions looking for the satisfaction of our souls.

To no avail.

Our music, our movies, our relationships, and our quiet moments of self-reflection (if we dare allow those moments in our lives) are well acquainted with the Ache.

We are working out what it means to live fully aware of the gap between who we are and who we long to be.

One of the great moments in the life of a man dealing with compulsive sexual behavior is when he begins to grapple with the Ache. When he realizes that the core issues of his soul are so much deeper and more significant than simple lust, he enters new territory.

This is territory through which he must walk on his journey to lasting freedom.

Everything changed for me once i got this.  When i saw that my running to porn was actually a search for life, it transformed me.

Ironically, i think somehow i knew it was a search for life all those years i was in my addiction, but i couldn’t see it or understand what was happening.

The reality of my true Ache was below the surface of my life.  Periodically it would reveal itself through a movie or a song that grabbed me but still left me confused.  Even my own songwriting, something with which i dabbled in the years of my addiction, had a mysterious and prophetic aspect about it.

About five years before all my S*&$! hit the fan, i wrote this:

Ache

Why must i ache for your acceptance?
Why must i cry for your approval?
Why must i yearn for affirmation from behind your hollow stare?
i’m drifting on an ocean of a thousand desperate claims to be someone.

For all my effort at achievement;
For all the pain of having failed;
For all your well-meaning compliments that leave me feeling pale;
Still i feel the sting of all the ugliness that seeks to bring me down.

In my dreams, i am so much more than this.
In my dreams, i would never miss.
In my dreams, i am so much more than this.

What is the answer to the question?
What is the reason to the rhyme?
Can this passion for a savior be fulfilled in time?
i need a resurrection from the grave of doubt that never lets me go.

In everything that i’m lacking;
In my trying to grab hold;
This cyclical rejection; and so on i flail
An errant pendulum between insatiable rage and despondence.

In my dreams, i am so much more than this.
In my dreams, i would never miss.
In my dreams, i am so much more than this.

2 Responses to “The Porn User’s Real Ache”

  1. cmars1@comcast.net

    Thanks, JC. LOVED this! I think it’s your most powerful posting so far. I needed it today.

    CM

    Reply
    • james tarring cordrey

      thanks, Chris. it felt risky. i think it’s good to be vulnerable when we write, but that is easier said than done.

      Reply

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