From 18-year addict to The Addiction Crusher, my name is Channon Bailey and I'm here to show you how to crush your addictions so you can get more out of your life and business. After 6 years of failed traditional methods, I now preach against the grain by using unconventional strategies and methods cause I believe you're not a label and not in recovery forever.
In my world, an addiction is anything that is costing you results such as time, energy, focus, money and/or relationships. What's it costing you?
My Original Testimony
“I missed the sermon yesterday, but I heard the word pornography was involved. It was also requested of me that I lead another group dealing with my past. A big part of my past deals with pornography. I honestly don’t know who this is for, but I felt I needed to write this out and put it out there. May God use it to help someone. I don’t care if you share it. All I ask is if you start it… then finish it.
A word a lot of people are scared of. Some people can’t even say it. Most churches never speak of it. Pornography. Porn. I call it a #1 killer. It kills your relationships. It kills your mentality. Your emotions. Your spirituality. Your sexuality. Your marriage. Your friendships. Your plans. Your dreams. Your life.
I feel I can say a whole lot to you because I have been through it. I come to you today as a survivor of it. People don’t like to talk about it because a lot of people are going through it. It may make someone feel weird or uncomfortable. It may make it uneasy. It may make you feel awkward telling someone about your addiction to it.
My addiction and obsession to it came at the age of 12. My dad had nothing against it. I knew where he kept his tapes and his pc discs of it. This was the early days right when computers were getting big, so the internet wasn’t my initial source. I would scan the ole black and white fuzzy stations, and if I was lucky I could make out a glimpse of some action. This was middle school for me; 6th grade. Of course all of this fed into my raging hormones, and no one told me exactly what I should be feeling or doing or not doing.
By high school, this obsession led into the Internet taking precedence. I would stay up till 4 or 5 in the morning before school in chat rooms and having cyber sex. At that age, this was all fun and great. It was awesome. Looking back, of course my family life was always in disarray. I didn’t have a girlfriend at this time either. So, porn was where I looked for love. I guess it was an escape. It was the only thing I could go for that made me feel something.
I didn’t know at the time what porn would do to my future relationships. Once I got a girlfriend I thought I would be good, but porn was always nearby as well. Actually, it never went away any day. After broken relationships, porn was always still there. It was there through the good and the bad. It was there before my marriage to Nicole and after we got married. She could be in the other room or even the same room, and I knew how to look at what I wanted without her knowing.
What does porn do? It takes away love. It completely kills intimacy. Porn typically portrays a man being pleasured and not the woman. For the majority, it is a fake world where men rule. This is what I was taught from viewing porn. How else would I know any different? I didn’t have any good examples in my family or anyone else I knew. I found myself using it as a catalyst to have sex with Nicole. The devil told me I couldn’t be with her unless I looked at something else first. It became a habit. It became a crutch. It can also make you think things you never would. At one point I even thought I would like to be with a man. Another time I thought I would like to be with a transgender. Now, I never pursued those things, but porn made me think that was what I needed.
I am not afraid to tell you this. I want to be totally transparent with you all because numerous people are experiencing the same things and probably a whole lot more and worse. The devil really uses porn to mess with a man’s mind and women too. I know they say 90% of men look at it and about 75% of women do. There are so many crazy and unusual things out there. It makes you think sin is okay. It is a complete trap. It tricked me from age 12 to 25. Once I was married, I knew looking at it was completely wrong. I knew what it was doing to my relationship with Nicole. Sadly, it took so long to overcome it. I went through many groups to try and get it out of my life. The groups helped, but the porn was still there. It would pop its head out every now and then. If it wasn’t me purposely searching for it, then it was lust, or it was something on TV or elsewhere. The devil likes to change it up.
The next step that really helped was having an accountability partner. Having someone there each week asking if you have looked at anything is pretty tough. I don’t like lying, so it puts me in a position where I have to face up and tell him, “Hey, I messed up. I looked at something.”
Now, this day and age, I can sign on to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or turn the television on and see something easily. What I am mainly talking about here is us that go searching for it on purpose. It is hard to avoid seeing anything these days, and many of us can fall prey to that, but I am specifically speaking on finding something and making that choice.
Accountability helps tremendously. Some weeks you mess up. I would sometimes call my partner immediately and have him pray for me. I wasn’t embarrassed. I was mad I messed up again. He isn’t there to badger me. He is there to support and encourage me. I know a lot of this generation today is not into the accountability partner thing, but I have met almost every week either in person or by phone for the past 5 years. We have other questions we ask each other too, and your questions should pertain to each other. We all don’t have to have the same questions. But this holds you accountable. The same thing as having software on your computers that flag sites you shouldn’t be at. But now we can view things on our phones and other devices. It is so easy. So, that leaves us with a choice we have to make. To look or not to look?
Even with an accountability partner, the devil would trip me up a few times a year. There is always a good reason to look. You can’t get it up. You and your wife are fighting. You will only look at something for a second. You’re not really searching but you know something may just pop up if you search for whatever it is.
So, how did I make it go away for good? First let me say. If you are single, you need accountability and checks in place. But I want to speak to those of us that are married. I am a man so I can’t speak for the women but to the men I asks… are you in love with your wife? How did I make it go away? I fell back in love with my wife. Now before this happened, what was I doing? I was pursuing God. I became bored in my life. I felt no growth. No spiritual growth. I had grown before, but I knew it had been a long time since I had grown more. So for me, I planned on doing the men’s group I do. I wanted it deep down for me. I knew I could do better as a man, as a husband, and as a father. I knew growth was optional. It is a choice. I wanted to taste that again. I was tested and tempted until I became depressed, emotionally drained, and even suffered physical pain. I held myself even more accountable. How could I lead a group and be looking at this crap? It made me have to stand up even more even if no one outside of me knew what I was doing. This led into my marriage. I wanted it to grow too. One day it just switched. Now there was and is a lot of hard work, but when you want change and growth, the heart changes. When you pursue God, your heart will change. It wasn’t until then that I was able to fall back in love with Nicole.
This year is our 6th year married. Each year has slowly improved. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but I would say mostly downs in our relationship. People are like no, but I 100% believe I was the problem. I honestly have nothing bad to say about her or anything she ever did. Men, you have to take responsibility. Man up.
Staying on the porn topic. Porn made me not love her. Porn removed any and all intimacy from our marriage. I didn’t even know what that was until this past year. Porn is not about making love to your woman. Porn is about taking and getting all you can get. I mean that is usually how porn is portrayed. And did you know, cause I didn’t for the longest time, porn is not even real. It is just like a movie. I researched it a bit cause it helped me realize it was all fake. Yes, they are having sex, but it is not what love is. There are people all on set just like a film crew is for movies and television. When I realized that, I thought I was even stupider. I was tricked and lied to again.
Porn is an illusion. It makes men think they know what they want. It paints a wrong picture. It will never ever give you what you really need. It is not about giving or sacrificing. I was pissed off when I found out the truth.
Fall in love with your wife. Fall in love with God. Sex is great, but intimacy is even better. Sex. Making love. When you tap into the notion that it is completely sacrificial, then you find something amazing and better than any porn. I have zero desires to go out and search for porn. It doesn’t even cross my mind. Yeah, it is hard to dodge visuals with all of the electronic devices and media and shows, but it doesn’t even faze me anymore. I only have eyes for my wife. I am not out looking for anything else anymore. I only want to be with Nicole. I am sure I will be tempted once again, but you have to stay on it. Keep fighting.
I want to insert something here. Men. We are so conditioned to think we only need sex and need to be pleased or have our woman do something specific. Forget all of that. Go into making love with one goal in mind and only that one goal. How can I please my woman? My lady. There was a time when my only goal was to please her from start to finish. I had to put away my pride and desires and not even care if she took care of me. That may be the farthest fetch thing you have ever heard. But it works. Instead of wanting her to do what you want, focus on just her. It may take weeks or months. I say do this because men have a problem that a lot of women don’t have. We want what we want, and we like to take or receive. Now you can’t go into this thinking I will please her and then she will give me exactly what I want. Here is what happens. As you fall back in love with her, sex becomes sacrificial for both of you. Intimacy arises. Both parties give. Men. Sex is not just about you. I always thought it was for years. I was conditioned to think that. Now whenever we make love, I am never thinking about myself. It will open up a world you have never known.
I don’t want to branch too far off. So, porn kills. Get plugged into a group. Get an accountability partner to keep you in line. Love your wife. You may be like, “I do.” I thought I did too. If you love your wife, then you have no business looking at porn. I know it is hard. I was addicted for 13-14 years, and then it took me 5 years to kick it. Every person is different. But I am here to tell you it is possible. Now after revealing this, I am sure the devil will go after me and attack me more. It always happens. But you have to fight it. Once you get to the other side, you will never want to go back. You can fill in other words for porn too… alcohol, drugs, affairs, lust, workaholism, etc. Everything I wrote still applies.
Don’t give up before it is too late. Talk to someone. Do something. Generally my words are to married persons. I come from a dysfunctional family that has seen many broken relationships and divorces. I have seen and been through some of the nasty of the nasty. Men. You have to fight. I feel I am still young and learned this, thankfully, early in my life. Don’t let it be too late for you, your family, or your kids. The world out there is full of this mess. If you don’t stand up and help the fight, then who will? Don’t you want to be a man’s man? A warrior? A king? A lover? A friend? You are living on a battlefield. I don’t see many men fighting at all! Stand out from the rest. Don’t you want to be a hero? This is your chance. Doesn’t anyone want to even do it for the kids? I don’t see it. I just don’t. It doesn’t matter what you have done or haven’t done. You can make the switch right now. Change it. Do it. If you are still breathing, then it is not too late! Don’t be fooled by the devil. Don’t throw it all away. Quit being selfish and prideful. Be a man. You are about to destroy so much around you. Do the right thing. Then look at how amazing you will look. God wants you to be a man. It is all over scripture. Your wife wants you to be a man. I don’t care what the world says or does. You aren’t supposed to be a part of it. You are God’s man. You are part of his army. Doesn’t that excite you? Doesn’t that make you feel invincible? Your kids need you. My parents divorced right before I graduated high school. The divorce was dragged out for three years. That really messes a kid up no matter the age. You will show them an example they should be ashamed of, or you can show them something unbelievable. The ball is in your court. You can still make the choice. It’s not too late. Don’t let it be.
Don’t feel alone. Talk to someone. Talk to me. I am proof you can get through it. I am usually the one who feels alone on this. Let’s fight this thing together. No one else wants to talk about it. Remember, “But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NLT)