I was the girl who went to church, who said enough, did enough and never got caught in any wrongdoing. And of course when it was time for my baptism, I was right there reciting those vows like I had no care in the world with the rest of my friends. Nobody knew my secret.

I never thought that I would be the girl that got to write this story. It could turn out to be a spin-off tale about depression and loneliness and a fight so hard it almost tore my soul out. I know what it is like to feel so alone that you cry yourself to sleep every single day of the week. I know what it is like to want something so much that you will do crazy things just to get it. I know what it is like to fall in love with wrong person that your life soon becomes a living hell. I know what it is like to wear your heart on your sleeve, and that is where my story begins:

I was only eight and I remember my brother having two of his friends coming over to our place to play video games, but they soon turned out to be R-rated movies. There were times they would literally kick me out of the house to watch their ‘horror movies’. Being the little girl that was scared of monsters under the bed, of course I obliged, but after a while my curiosity got the better part of me. That is when I had my first exposure to the porn world. Soon after he left for boarding school, I knew where he hid his stuff, so it was only natural that the nosy little sister went fishing for the good stuff.

I was addicted soon enough, and I was careful enough to never get caught. I was the girl who went to church, who said enough, did enough and never got caught in any wrongdoing. And of course when it was time for my baptism, I was right there reciting those vows like I had no care in the world with the rest of my friends. Nobody knew my secret. No one could see anything wrong with what I was doing.

But things like this tend to affect one in ways that you cannot imagine. I became a recluse, because half of my time was spent in search of videos or romantic novels.  My relationship with any guys was practically non-existent because in my eyes, none of them fit the bill. None of them were as hot as those I saw in my movies ,or even came close to the tall, dark, and handsome ones in my books.

Crazy enough, it was around this time that my pastor talked to my youth group about the importance of waiting until marriage to have sex. And who was I to be left behind? I jumped right in and even had my ‘purity’ ring made. I went out a few times but they all fled when I told them I wasn’t going to sleep with them. That is when my depression kicked in. On one hand, God was tugging on my heart – and on the other I had all this stuff in my mind with no way of venting it out. Who would this little ‘miss perfect’ tell about what was really going on? I was too keen on maintaining that image that I wasn’t going to let this ‘stuff’ ruin it.

College didn’t make anything easier. Even though my hideaway was still the church, all my spare time was spent ‘researching’ ways to make sure I could keep my future husband. (Read: porn.)

The problem is that you can’t serve two masters at the same time. You will end up loving one and hating the other. I ended up blaming God that the problems I was experiencing were His fault. He was supposed to be so powerful, but I felt that He had somehow forgotten me.

I had met a guy and fallen so much in love with him, only to realize that I was the rebound from his breakup. When he left, my world came crashing down. Really. I started drinking, and my depression got worse with each passing day. I couldn’t sleep because the images I had been watching over the years began tormenting me. There were a few times I contemplated suicide because everything was falling apart. I had no one to talk to,  because I had worked so hard in pushing people away. I was tired and miserable and the guilt was eating away at my soul, chipping away at everything I once held true. Masturbation somehow became my outlet. Some crazy form of comfort.

Even when I thought He had forgotten all about me, He still knew who I was and He fought to have my heart back. Of course, I fought back like crazy, because I had vowed to never ever love again – even though He was the creator of the universe. The walls I worked so hard to build around my heart? He slowly chipped away, and now I am believing again. He has sent me amazing friends, people who have helped me get through the dark moments. Now, I can smile again. The journey to recovery is not easy and there are days I crave the feelings again – but I know that someday He will replace it with something that is genuine and that is true.

I will not fear to be alone anymore because He really is my solace, my shelter, and above all, my greatest love.

I may not be where I want to be, but I am getting there, one steady step at a time, with my Father holding my hand.