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This thread is going to be heavy stuff

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by ☦Marius☦, Jan 26, 2018.

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  1. Glaucus

    Glaucus The Lay Monk

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    Thank you for sharing.
     
  2. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    I am in my 50s, hetero, & single and still struggle with my passions.

    Probably the most important matter to deal with is physical adultery. As I already said, I still struggle with the spiritual & psychological aspects of it. The thing is with adulterous sex, we are dragging another person down with us ( despite our placebo that it is “consensual”).

    This is not easy but if we truly love our neighbor we do not want to defile her for our gratification. At the same time I do not judge others on this either; most of us fail to really get these ramifications. I do not view most sexually active singles as denizens of sodom & Gomorrah. I do not view myself immune from falling back on this point either.

    My alternative to this is trying to live as simply as possible. I do not want to spend my money ( & resources) on excessive indulgence when I could try to be helpful in alms giving ( Ephesians 4:28 ).

    In prayer, I ask for forgiveness and repentance and for the salvation & well being of others.

    I am just a simplistic warehouse worker so I hope this 2 cents can be of some help.
     
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  3. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    Dear Marius,

    Brother, I’m not at all surprised you are undergoing this attack by Satan. Not in the least! Many people are attacked by Old Nick right after Chrismation or Baptism into Orthodoxy! My theory is that Satan is a bit like Sauron the Deceiver in the Lord of the Rings. His eye is always watching. Once you convert to Orthodoxy, you're NOW A THREAT and WORTH DESTROYING!!!! You're now on his radar, brother.

    Imagine if you're Satan and you see this young man who struggles with porn and gender crisis and the occult, but he is fighting the good fight and enters into that edifice that Satan finds more terrifying and dreadful that anything, THE TEMPLE, and is anointed and united to the Orthodox faith!?! What would you think? Time to fight BACK! You're like Frodo carrying the ring to destroy it, Marius. You're on the Eye's radar.

    I know this because some sins I struggled with (that I'll keep private) became temporally HARDER to deal with after my conversion/chrismation. I could palpably feel Satan after me. He was yanking, tugging, pleading with me. He was going full-on ghetto. He'd hit me with anything in his path, a crowbar, a brick, dust in the eyes, man. Whatever he had on tap! I actually left Orthodoxy for a while and went back to Catholicism. So, I get it. We get attacked. Satan also used some people in our parish to attack me. He used A DEACON of all people! And eventually his attacks turned from me to that deacon. He was able to successfully bring that deacon DOWN! The guy walked away from our church and renounced Orthodoxy. From what I hear from others around him now, he's a miserable soul, and not himself.

    Let's take a look at what's going on from a Satanic, strategic point of view. I truly will play Devil's Advocate:

    I'm Satan and I've managed to:
    a) confuse the victim's gender
    b) pull him out of his one definite lifeline---Holy Orthodoxy
    c) convince him his porn problem is unwinable
    d) pull him into MY religion---the occult!
    e) convince him of my most powerful tenet---DESPAIR

    Yes, he's on you like white on rice.

    Everyone in this forum has sins they struggle with---some more than others. St. Augustine of Hippo was a serious addict to the flesh who turned to Orthodoxy and TRIUMPHED in Christ. He had the right friend, St. Ambrose. St. Paul was a Christ-persecuting arrogant putz who found his spiritual mojo in Christ in spades and was nothing short of a WARRIOR for God! Total transformation. You might think you're in deep right now, and maybe you truly are rock bottom. But know that the people in this forum love you, and I'd like to plant this thought in your mind....

    don't under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE COMMIT SUICIDE!!! DON'T. You won't just be killing your own soul, you'll rob everyone in this forum, your parish, your diocese, the Orthodox Church, and Christ's Kingdom of your light. The Church is better and more beautiful with you in it. You out of it is a loss to us all. It would be a theft, a robbery of something we've all been gifted with---you.

    Christ thought you were worth fighting for. He is the Good Shepherd who hunts down every sheep and fights to bring them home. The fact that you came to this forum to talk to us amidst your struggle and hurt and confusion shows the Good Shepherd is fighting and trying to reach out his hand....

    But there is another hand being extended to you----and that hand represents CHAOS, CONFUSION, DARKNESS, MOCKERY OF THE HUMAN CONDITION, AND SUFFERING. You will never be happy if you change your sex biologically. You will never be happy with porn. You will never be happy with the Satanic occult. And should you take your own life, this need for empty things that don't satisfy will be your eternal destiny. You will leave the earth with a parched throat that can't quench its thirst. Satanism, porn, transgenderism, these are the fruits of Satan's vine, and they CANNOT quench. It's like drinking salt water in a basketball game.

    I will echo the wisdom of the previous posters:

    PRAY
    PRAY
    PRAY
    Read the life of St. Augustine of Hippo
    Read Father Seraphim Rose. He was ensnared by same-sex attraction and found Orthodoxy, and became a changed man.
    Meditate before your icons and use holy water and holy oil
    Read Scripture
    Smash your modem if you have to! Get away from that blasted porn. It's a reverse icon----a window into hell, not heaven.
    Fast.
    Go to Confession----the antidote to all spiritual poisons
    After Confession, tomorrow taste the Body and Blood of Christ if your priest permits this early on after confession. Taste the Condescension of the Maker of the Universe who loves you SO MUCH!
    Exercise and get out of the house!
    Meditate on the futility of sex addiction. It is a cycle that is futile. It hungers, gets fed, instantly hungers, gets fed, and so forth. It's ugly. It lacks beauty. It is warped and so far from the light of Christ.
    Finally, quit beating yourself up. God thinks you're worth fighting for. So do I. So does TAW. Dust yourself off, stand up. Get back in the marathon. Be a warrior, brother....

    We love you.

    Lord, have mercy on your servant. Strengthen him!
     
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  4. nutroll

    nutroll Veteran

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    I have a few thoughts that I thought I might share, but they are no substitute for discussion with a spiritual father.

    My first thought is that when we are in the midst of trials, it can seem hopeless in a way that it won't once we are through the trial. That thing that seems like it could never work might be just the thing that makes all the difference. Sometimes we just need a little time away from our sins to get enough perspective and enough breathing room to escape from them. So the advice to fast and to do something physical (prostrations can be a good thing in such cases) can weary our bodies and make us turn toward God for strength. The goal is not to make these things permanent necessarily, but to use them to help reorient ourselves toward God and help us to cause the demons to retreat enough to come up with a more permanent plan of attack.

    With sexual attraction, either in pornography, or in real life with either sex. When we notice the beauty of another, we can offer a prayer of thanks to our Creator for having created beautiful things in this world. By doing so, we don't deny what is clear to us, that someone is beautiful, but we also interrupt the line of thought which takes us into sin and lust. Similarly, we can pray for the souls of those who have given their bodies over to pornographic depictions. Again turning our attention to prayer that is honest and sincere even if the occasion for the prayer is not ideal.

    Another thought that occurs to me is that we often advise people to confess, saying that the priest has heard everything before and we should not be ashamed to confess. This is true and good advice. But you might also consider confessing your struggles to someone who might not understand, who might not have heard such things before, who might think less of you if you do. The reason for this is that sometimes we need really lay bare our sin, and safe places can mitigate the effect. I had to confess a persistent sin to my future wife at one point and doing so was what broke its hold on me.

    When struggling with sins that we commit in private, we should make efforts not to be alone. So if you are watching porn, choose instead to go out. the best choice would be to attend as many services as you can, but even going out with friends can be a help (depending on your friends) If you are tempted to sexual activities, go out in groups. If you must be alone, keep the saints close by in their icons. Again, even just interrupting what has become a sinful habit for a short time can help us to gain control over the situation by God's grace and mercy.

    The last thing I would say is that there is no shame in seeking help for depression. Sometimes it is very much a physical illness that needs to be addressed, and so long as it is not addressed, it can make spiritual progress all the more difficult. My family all struggle with depression and/or anxiety to some degree or another. I don't think for a minute that it is coincidental, but inherited at least partly. I know that my spiritual life helps to alleviate much of my symptoms, but it is a constant struggle. I know others who need medication, and I can't say that I haven't considered it myself. Please get the help you need. It sounds like you have quite the struggle, and you should arm yourself for that struggle with all the available weapons: physical, psychological and spiritual.
     
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  5. KernelPanic

    KernelPanic New Member

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    Hi Marius,

    Are you seeing a therapist for your depression? It's important that you have your mental health in order as much as you can and that you're on the right medication. I have a sibling who has anxiety and depression, so I'm familiar with how hard depression can make daily life to be. Priests are good for spiritual growth, but don't rely on them to make a medical diagnosis.
     
  6. ☦Marius☦

    ☦Marius☦ Murican Supporter

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    I was recommended meds when I was in the Navy mental ward. I refused because I do not want to have that kind of outside influence on my brain chemistry. My dad was on them and a few others I know and all they could talk about was how much they hated being on them. I would much rather overcome my depression by alternate means if at all possible.

    As for all the other wonderful advice you all have given, which I am grateful for- I have but one response. How can I do all this if I am so depressed and hopeless that I have neither the will to pray or resist any longer. My anger after failing can carry me about half a day anymore, and after that I am just weak and don't even care. I know this addiction is killing me- but I am too exhausted to do anything about it. Its been literally the only source of good feeling in my life for years. I block out the pain with entertainment, and I give myself a bit of pleasure with porn. I feel like I've dug a hole so deep that I don't even know where to start.

    To top that off I am in a destructive financial cycle from the fight. I will but a bunch of books or electronics related to my vices, then feel guilty and throw them out or smash them. But I can only take a few weeks of withdrawal before I give in and repurchase all of them again. I've probably spent thousands of dollars at this point and I don't feel there is anything I can do. Its like my brain just switches frequencies and I go from caring and wanting to improve, to feeling nothing and wanting everything I know isn't helping.

    I'm just so tired and feel the lack of will to fight. I feel like I'm 50 and I am only 21.
     
  7. Goatee

    Goatee Jesus, please forgive me, a sinner.

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    With me, its adultery, with the same lady. I am divorced now, but, its still adultery. She is married.

    I can go a few weeks without seeing her but boom! I start lusting after her and then we meet up. MASSIVE guilt straight after! I go to confession. Wash and repeat! 3 years this has been going on!

    Depression is high. That started 15 years ago. I am on meds. I am glad i am on the meds as they do help.

    I am addicted to sex with this lady. But. I really do care for her. BUT! I know it is VERY wrong indeed. Satan has a hold on me too my friend. He wins many battles but i am determined that he wont win the war! NO!

    I myself feel like dying. I continuosly ask God to take me. Suicide? Yes, i have thought of that every day. Would i? No.

    I love God so so much. Yet i fail continuosly. But, i keep getting up and going to God. I will not let satan win. However hard it gets. I will always turn to God. I know that God will help me. Maybe He already is? In His own way.

    We all have our cross to bear. Remember one important thing. As you carry your cross, Jesus is carrying you! Dont give up on God. Dont give up on life. Continue to run to Jesus. However many times you fall. Get up, and run to Jesus.

    God bless you
     
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  8. KernelPanic

    KernelPanic New Member

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    I understand the hesitancy with going on medications, but depression is equally a physical problem as it is what's going on in your head. If you have clinical depression, then it's something that you really shouldn't be dealing with by yourself.

    What causes depression? - Harvard Health

    It took my sibling a while to find something that allows her to cope. She had to go through a few therapists, one of which was a quack and gave her meds that caused her to overdose on them several times. Don't be afraid to look around for therapists and find one that knows what he or she is doing. While my sibling still has moments where she doesn't want to get out of bed, what she has now allows her to least socialize and work. I'd expand on Boris89's advice and try to get some kind of low-stress part or full-time job (if you don't have one). It'll force you to get out of the house and limit your access to your bedroom/personal computer.
     
  9. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    Are you bipolar or schizophrenic? Have you been diagnosed? Have you met with a mental health professional lately? Shouldn't the use of medications to help this be something you're open to IF a medical professional advises it in a psychiatric conversation? I'm not giving medical advice here as that is against forum rules, but I HIGHLY recommend you get to a psychiatric professional and jump all over this ASAP!!! This sounds like it goes beyond porn and dirty thoughts. Lots of us guys have those. This is suicidal thoughts, profound depression, and dark places. I beg you to seek help!!! The Lord DOES love you, He CAN save you, but perhaps you need to consult a doctor now? God uses people to save. He doesn't just click his fingers and we're healed every time. Sometimes God brings people before us to rescue us.

    I know you're saying you don't have the will. Well, you better dig deep, brother! You might thing nothing is worse than where you are mentally right now. You would be mistaken. Suicide IS worse. It doesn't end with suicide....it only begins.....you will take that pain with you. Please, please, please go to a professional!! Call the suicide hotline. Do what it takes! Don't give up!

     
  10. Lily of Valleys

    Lily of Valleys Well-Known Member

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    When Elijah was depressed and asked God to take his life, God's response was to let him eat, drink and sleep until he regained his strength. So I would suggest try focusing on your physical health first, put your life back to a regular routine, eat healthy, sleep well, exercise if you could. These all would help with your depression and put your life back on track.

    As for your addiction, try weaning it off by first replacing it with something healthier that you enjoy to do. It is better to have a healthy addiction than an unhealthy addiction for the meantime until you can totally replace your addiction with more focus in life.

    You don't need to fight. All you need to do is to totally surrender yourself and your life to God, and rest in Him:

    Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)​
     
  11. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    this is actually a good point. St Porphyrios teaches that we actually can't fight off the darkness. rather, open up to the Light of Christ and the Light will naturally dispel the darkness.
     
  12. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    Just one comment about meds, because we cannot give medical advice on the forum. But ... there are a range of them available. If your family members hated their experience of being on them, I. An understand your hesitation even more. But I've seen people need to try one kind that might not work well for them, then switch to another that made all the difference in the world.

    Ok ... one more possibility. Again, not advice. Depending on the action needed (again, these are physical chemical reactions in the brain) there are natural herbs that replace some actions. Some people go that route.

    But don't give up on the idea if they are needed. Just as some people need medicine to regulate their thyroid levels, or blood sugar, or heart rate. Just because it happens in the mind does not mean force of will can properly balance the chemistry. And if one type affects a person in the wrong way, there are others to try.

    God be with you.
     
  13. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    King Solomon got depressed and lost and fell into great sin in his life. He was completely clueless as to why he was even alive for a while. He had his failings and sure fell on his face, but we remember him for his wisdom, building the Temple, and keeping the House of David strong as well as his justice, not his moments of idolatry and stupidity. Depression can be a fact of life. It SUCKS, but Christ is the ultimate healer and rebooting agent of our spiritual and physical lives. Underestimating his power is a serious mistake.
     
  14. SaNcTaMaRiA

    SaNcTaMaRiA I am a man...who loves our Lady! Supporter

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    Lots and lots of great advice on here. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I was hesitant to go on meds. I am thankful every day that I finally tried them. You need to seek medical help as well as spiritual. You are young. You have an entire life in front of you. I know what those dark places look like. I know that I am just a stranger on an online forum, but I implore you to trust me I have seen the darkness you are feeling.

    Porn addiction is hard. I worry about the part where you said some of it border on illegal. You should stay away from that at all costs. When it comes to porn and carnal pleasure you must understand that you are going to make mistakes and slip up. Pray. Confess. Keep fighting. This is not something that stops overnight. You must keep your expectations reasonable and our goals achievable or all you are going to do is disappoint yourself. I am not orthodox, but I know there are some great prayer disciplines in your church. Use them. Get a prayer rope and wear that thing out. Read your scripture. Be in prayer as much as possible. Speak with a church father whom you trust. Take his advice serious and commit to his plan for you. See a doctor and talk about your depression and mental illness. You have to fight this brother. You fight, you pray, you repeat. If you mess up its okay. We all mess up bro! Christ came to save the sick not the healthy.

    I am praying. Always.
     
  15. SaNcTaMaRiA

    SaNcTaMaRiA I am a man...who loves our Lady! Supporter

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    I was doing my liturgy of the hours reading and came across this verse and instantly thought of this thread and of you:

    Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.

    The word of God is amazing. Believe brother. You got this!
     
  16. SeraTaru

    SeraTaru Member

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    "Sometimes the Porn borders or crosses into the illegal as well."

    On a purely practical note :

    I can think of one "illegal" form of porn and not many others. I appreciate the desire to be open and honest...but on a public forum where you don't know anyone?

    All it takes is a concerned parent - like me for instance - to pass your post to the authorities and they can have you under arrest based on your IP and email in about Oh...30 minutes.

    I'd seriously advise you for your own good to ask for the thread to be removed, or else edit your original post to remove that line. That's a free piece of advise that may spare you some jail time.
     
  17. Glaucus

    Glaucus The Lay Monk

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    Do we call the police when someone on here is, let's say, a heroin addict, and posts desperately seeking prayers and deliverance? No! Come off it! We don't know what it is or isn't that he is referring to. Pray, don't scare or threaten. He's young.
     
  18. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    He isn't saying he would, but there are definitely others who would. I agree with his advice.
     
  19. Glaucus

    Glaucus The Lay Monk

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    Ugh, true. Anyone has access to these forums. Any stranger, any inquirer, any wanderer, any troll. Far too many people will not see things as we do. Quickly to call the police, not taking into account the human condition, desperation for God, prayers.
     
  20. Glaucus

    Glaucus The Lay Monk

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    With that in mind, the story of Saint Paisios and the Alcoholic Monk hits far closer to home, with what people see vs what God sees.
     
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