Skip to main content
  • Will's story

    Will is someone who has battled an addiction to pornography that pushed him to ‘cross borders of morality and legality’. He says he spent tens of thousands funding the habit that drove him to the brink of suicide.

    Now, he’s receiving help through Sex Addicts Anonymous SAA but wanted to share his story in the hope that anyone on a similar path might get the help they need.

    Nearly driven to suicide

    Over time, that progressed from magazines to videos and things that were graphic and stronger.

    “As a young person, I wasn’t popular at school but I had feelings of low self-esteem, low self-worth, I didn’t feel part of the crowd.

    “My coping mechanism was to use pornography to escape the feelings of sadness, of loneliness, and this bereavement.

    “It became a habit, it became a ritual, and it grew from there.”

    At that time, there wasn’t the ready availability of internet pornography that we have today, which made his habit not only all-consuming, but incredibly expensive.

    “I would envisage that there’s been a lot of money wasted over the years on my sexual addictive behaviours," he told us.

    “So, I did try to estimate but it’s in the many thousands, maybe £10,000 and £20,000.”

    The financial impact wasn’t the only problem, as Will quickly found himself out of control, eventually crashing to rock bottom and finding himself in criminal trouble as a result of the content he was seeking, ruining his life and leaving him unable to look his family in the eye.

    “I really felt like an absolutely worthless human because – and this isn’t an attempt to gain sympathy – my secret was out and it was completely unacceptable.

    “At that point, I wasn’t in a position to give any sensible answers, or any answers.

    “I was in shock. Numb, really. It’s all a blur.”

    Will added: “I won’t go into the gory details, but it’s taken me to very dark places where there have been isolated thoughts of suicide.

    “That has kept me trapped in the addict cycle.

    “If you’d have asked me 20 years ago if I’d end up there, I would have said no chance.

    “It’s a very progressive condition, it can be a very progressive illness or disease.”

    Now, Will is in recovery and is completely abstinent from sexual behaviour, but he wants to encourage others to seek help if they are struggling.

    He hopes that his tale will remove the ‘taboo’ around the addiction and get people talking.

    Will said: “This has really broken my mental health.

    “There is still a big taboo about sex addiction.

    “People who are trying to cope with addictive sexual behaviour [often] don’t have an outlet to talk about it in a safe place, there is a lot of secrecy and a lot of shame in how they are feeling.

    “This is why it can lead people down to suicide, because they can’t cope with the feelings about themselves or what they are doing.

    A place to get help

    “That’s where the SAA is a very good place for people to come to in a non-judgemental forum and share their stories, talk about their issues, and get support.

    “I’m in a very good place, I’ve had a sponsor and worked the 12 steps, but the greatest thing for me now is the peace and serenity that I find.

    “When I do get angry or sad or feel a bit lonely I’ve got different mechanisms for dealing with it, not using porn or acting out.

    “I stay abstinent from use of porn, there have been relapses, very infrequent, but I always do an analysis of it and use the tools to change things."

    “Myself, I’m abstinent from any kind of sex. That’s OK – I’m happy with that.

    “There are other people who are married and have partners, sex addiction isn’t about abstaining from any sex, it’s about enjoying a healthy sexuality and healthy sexual relationships.

    “I’m not in a place where I’m desperate to seek a girlfriend or develop that side of a relationship, I’m actually happy with the friendships I’ve got and I don’t feel alone or like I need a girlfriend.

    “The friends I have are enough for me.”

    You can read the rest of Will's article here

    If you think you might benefit from the SAA fellowship, or if you simply want to find out more, meetings can be found here or you may call 07585 091502 or write to us here for more information.

    If you have a story you'd like to tell, submit a story here [email protected]

    Find out how we approve stories.

    Last updated: May 17th, 2023