We're grateful for his willingness to share his 'Letter to His Addict Self' here:
First of all I would like to say thanks for all that you have given me. You have allowed me to be what I thought that I needed to be. You have allowed me to be even and hide my emotions when I thought that I needed to do that. Any time that I have been lonely or bored, you have been there to provide excitement and a secret rush. Even though you have been the source of much of my shame and pain, you have been there to mask the hurt and hide the sorrow.
I thought that I needed to fit into a nice even emotionless box. I thought that I was not allowed to show emotion, that it was not part of my personality, and that I needed to hide from anything that was too dark or too light. I thought that I didn’t need the full range of emotions. I thought that it was better that I be even and centered. You gave me that. You let me bottle up my emotions around everyone else, so that I wouldn’t have any anxieties or worries. However by doing so you also bottled up my joy and happiness. I have lived an emotionless life for way too long and I now know that I am better for having, feeling and expressing my emotions.
While you have been there to help me cope through some tough times, you have caused me significant shame and pain. You have cost me the trust of the woman that I love. You have made many things in my life dirty and unclean. You were there when I was married to my wonderful wife. You were there when each of my children were born. You were there when I acted in my role as a husband and father when I was feeling the shame and pain of what I had become on the inside. When I was troubled and when I was hurt all you offered me was a cheap thrill and more shame and more pain in an attempt to escape the emotions that could have set me free.
You were there when I needed to connect with others. You gave me a false connection that felt real and felt whole. You let me pretend that I didn’t need friends. When I didn’t have anyone close to me you let me believe that it was ok. You were always there for me when I didn’t have anyone else. When I was alone. When I was in need. Yet you never gave me anything that lasted. Every time that I turned to you, all I was handed was cheap and painful. You never gave me anything that was real or of value. Even though you were there as a crutch that I leaned on and even liked, I see now that I don’t need you, and that I am infinitely better off without you.
You have been there through my career. You have let me think that it is ok to go to work each day, and then do nothing. You have been there with me in the hours and days alone on the internet that I have wasted looking at porn and other things on the internet. I have given you too much say and too much control throughout my life.
I realize now that none of what I thought that I needed from you actually helped me. You just caused me to be less of a man. Instead of dealing with my troubles and trials, I just ran to my drug and hid from my problems. None of what you have ever given me has actually helped me to be a better person. You have always given me the easy answer and have let me hide from my shame. This has never let me grow or heal from my pain.
I am done with you. I want to feel. I want to have sorrow that I may know joy. I want to feel the pain of life so I can know what love is. I want to face life and grow rather than pretend that I can have my secret addiction and not let it affect me. I want joy in my life. I want to have a life that is worth living. I want to be able to feel that I can go to my Savior and say that I have done my best. That I have turned to Him for help when I have needed it rather than turned to you.
At least you have given me something that will be useful throughout my life. You have given me the chance to have compassion. You have let me know what the dark is like so I can see the light. You have let me see my own weakness so I know how I need my Savior, and how I can be there for someone else who is in pain. Because of you, I can be one of the lower lights for another that is lost at sea. I can help and be there for another that, like me, is in pain and has this burden in life. Because of you, I can be there for another to help him turn to Christ.
So while you have pretended to be there for me for many years, I am done. I don’t need you. I don’t want you in my life. I never want to rely on you again. Get out of my life. Go away and never shadow my door again. I have learned what I need from you, and have gained the understanding of my weakness that helps me to have humility and turn to my Savior. I am sick of your ways. I want to have light and love and emotion in my life, and you are not able to to give them to me. I want to feel the highs and lows. I want to be whole and healed, and you can’t make that happen. I want to look at my wife and feel the love I have for her, and not be burdened by the shame of what you have given me. I want to be the father that my children need me to be so that they have the best chance of becoming good wholesome children of God, and you can’t be a part of that.
You're not needed anymore.