Free From Sexual Addiction Free From Sexual Addiction

By Steve Gallagher, as told to Bob Davies

I degenerated into a steady diet of hard-core porno movies.Conviction ate at me like a cancer, But I couldn’t quit. I grippedthe phone harder, hardly believing it was my wife at the other end.

“I don’t love you, Steve,” she said coldly. “I’m with another manand I’m not coming back.”

“Fine,” I jeered. “Then you can listen to me blow my brains out.”I pulled out my off-duty revolver, spun the cylinder around andclicked it in place, right next to the earpiece. Then I pointed it atmy head.

“Don’t do it, Steve,” I heard her yell. I hesitated, then put downthe gun. Somehow, it didn’t really seem to matter whether I lived ordied. Life seemed so meaningless.

I think my problems started when I was small. My dad was analcoholic and he emotionally abused me.

“You’re never going to amount to anything,” he’d often say to me.I was crushed. My mother was a sweet Christian woman who took me tochurch. But as I got older, I began to hate it and refused to goanymore.

I craved attention and did all kinds of daring things, just to getpeople to notice me. I started taking drugs at 14, and became totallyrebellious against authority-especially teachers and cops.

During the tenth grade, I had so many three-day suspensions thatthe principal finally sent me to a continuation school. I quicklybecame one of the ringleaders there. We ran that school; theauthorities didn’t dare mess with us. We smoked marijuana in class,and even grew it in the teacher’s plant boxes.

I took LSD over 100 times during the next year. Then I startedshooting up heroin. Burglarizing homes and businesses paid for myhabit. I was arrested several times.

My next big discovery was girls. Soon my virginity was gone, and Iwas seducing girls, one after another. It was my way of yelling outto the world, “See what a great man I am!”

At 16, I was doing juvenile time. One day, another guy there toldme, “I’ve become a Christian.”

Oh great, he’s got religion, I thought.

“It’s really neat, Steve,” he said. “I accepted the Lord Jesus asmy Savior.”

“Oh yeah, I know,” I replied. “I went forward in the Baptistchurch. I went up and got baptized. I’m covered, man!”

“But it’s not like that,” he told me. “To believe in Jesus meansto follow Him and commit your life to Him. You’re going to hell ifyou die.”

I didn’t like that idea, so I agreed to go with him to a meeting.Afterwards, I went forward and accepted Christ.

For awhile, there was a difference in my life. I stopped some ofmy wild behavior, but I was trying to change through my own strengthand self-will. I obeyed the Christian rules, but I didn’t have ahealthy relationships with God. Prayer and Bible study seemed dull. Iwas just treading water spiritually, trying to stay afloat.

My biggest problem was pornography. It started with “girlie”magazines, and soon degenerated into a steady diet of hard-core pornomovies. The resulting conviction I felt ate at me like a cancer. ButI couldn’t quit. Porn gave me a high and I craved it every day, justlike some people crave alcohol or drugs.

I entered my 20’s and sex became my whole lifestyle. I watchedlewd movies whenever possible, and seduced as many women as I could.I’d act the perfect gentleman and get a woman to fall in love withme. As soon as she really cared, I’d dump her for the next one. Iwent through dozens of relationships that way.

I didn’t feel worthy of love. And I certainly couldn’t give love-Ididn’t even know what it was. All the sexual activities neversatisfied me for long, either. There was an empty spot inside that Iwas trying to fill.

I lived for a time with one gal, and we eventually got married. Wemoved to Los Angeles and I was hired on as a Deputy Sheriff. I becameincreasingly cold, cynical, and judgmental.

Both on and off the job, I got deeper into immorality. Even as amarried man, I couldn’t stop seducing other women. I even gotinvolved in homosexual activities in bookstores, just for the sexualrelease as I watched dirty movies.

Finally, my sexual obsession took its toll, and my wife left me.”I can always get more women,” I told myself, and began jugglingthree girlfriends at one time. I tried hard not to think about myfailed marriage.

Like the prodigal son, I was down in the pigpen, wallowing in thefilth of this world. All I could think of was how to use otherpeople, especially women.

One morning, I woke up really missing my wife and feeling sick ofmy sin. What in the world am I doing? I thought. I’m getting nowhere.

That night at work, I knelt down and gave my life over to the Lordagain. It was no dramatic thing, just a quiet realization that it wasright. I called up my girlfriends and broke off the relationships.The next day, my wife Kathy happened to call.

“I’ve turned my life over to God,” I told her excitedly. She’dbeen trying to serve the Lord all during our marriage, so she agreedto come back to me. We spent that night together and had a wonderfultime of restoration.

Kathy also told me about this guy she’d met after she left me. Timseemed the perfect Christian. He was always happy and helped herforget the misery I’d caused. She began to wonder if God wanted herto marry him. But after several weeks, she found herself praying forme. She knew we belonged together.

The next day, Kathy went over to the house where she’d beenstaying to collect her things. As soon as she left, I startedworrying.

I should have gone with her, I thought. Several hours went by, andI was frantic. I sensed something was terribly wrong. I startedpleading with God to bring her back. It got so bad that I was lyingon the carpet, grinding my teeth and crying out to God. I’ve neverbeen in such agony. I was overpowered by despair.

Somehow I knew Kathy was in deep trouble, and I was right. Whenshe went to get her clothes, Tim was waiting for her. They talked forhours, and he convinced her to leave me. When she phoned to tell me,I put the gun to my head and threatened to pull the trigger.

As I was putting the gun down, Tim whispered to my wife, “If Stevewants to kill himself, let him do it. It’s not your fault.”

Right then, Kathy knew she was in the wrong place. She managed toeventually get away and finally came back. It was six hours since I’dseen her. I can’t explain why, but that six hours broke me. I was achanged man.

I’d always felt so unlovable, and couldn’t accept love fromothers. But now I saw that God really did love me. All the hatredthat earned me the name “maniac” as a cop was gone. It was a newbeginning for Kathy and I, even though we both had a lot of hurts andproblems to work through.

The biggest issue for me was pornography. After a brief respite,the compulsions came back. I was unprepared, and found myself rightback into my old habits. I loved God and begged Him to heal me, butfelt powerless.

I would repeatedly repent and resolve never to fall again, only tofind myself overwhelmed with temptation. I listened intently toministers, talked to counselors and read Christian books. Nothingseemed to help.

Then I discovered a book on sexual addiction. It described my lifeperfectly. The understanding I gained was my first step down the roadto freedom.

I learned that no-one was to blame for where my life was at-exceptme. I had chosen my sinful actions, and I had to choose to quit. Iknew I didn’t have the strength in my flesh to stop, and that’s whenI learned the power of God’s Word. I began really studying the Bibleevery day. When I started off with a quality time of Bible study, mywhole personality was different that day. I found that the bestprotection against a lustful thought was Scripture I had committed tomemory. When Satan tempted me, I used the Word of God against thetemptation.

There were times of failure. But I didn’t let myself get condemnedand discouraged. I picked myself right up again and went on. Itwasn’t long before I could look back and see that I had come a longways. I was beginning to have hope.

I learned to be truthful with others, especially my wife. There isgreat healing in confession. Being open helped my resolution tochange. My secret double life was over.

Over time, I no longer even felt vulnerable to the temptations Iused to indulge in. Looking back over the years since my conversion,I can see that God has truly set me free.

I once held a gun to my head and didn’t care if I lived or died.Now God has given me a purpose in life. I can’t praise Him enough forall His love and goodness!

Copyright (C) 1988 Bob Davies. Distributed by Love InAction, PO Box 753307, Memphis, TN 38175-3307; 901/542-0250