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It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.

I’ve shared my story of overcoming a porn addiction numerous times. I’ve done public speaking for roughly twenty years. The audience was a friendly audience. And yet I was on edge.

I became familiar with Crissy Moran’s story when I was recovering from porn addiction. Over the years, I’ve heard her share her story on news outlets and with Mark and Grace Driscoll at Mars Hill Church. It was cool to hear what God was doing in and through her.

As well, hearing Crissy’s story was a good reminder that behind the illusion of porn are real people who are in despair. When in the throes of addiction I often had to lie to myself about the individuals involved with porn. It would be difficult to enjoy porn if I knew the person in the picture/video was suffering. I didn’t entertain those ideas when addicted. Now, it’s good to be reminded of the reality and stories with porn to help keep me in check.

I’ve suggested having someone from XXX Church come and share at the church for a few years now. I learned about XXX Church when in recovery, and was fascinated by their approach. Craig Gross’ (XXX Church Cofounder) presentations were great, and it was cool to see him debate porn star Ron Jeremy anywhere over the issue of porn.

The timing seemed to never work out to bring in XXX Church, but that started to change. I’ve worked with Tim Perry on a number of projects, and last fall we were discussing possibilities with guest speakers. I mentioned XXX Church and Crissy. Tim was game for it, and started telling me about the human trafficking initiative he would be leading at CCC. Addressing pornography was a natural topic with trafficking.

At the beginning of the year, I contacted Crissy about the possibility of sharing her story at Christ Community Church. She responded she was open to the idea, and the event started to develop. I reached out to XXX Church as well, and we lined up to have the cofounder come and speak.*

*At one point, Tim and I kicked around the idea of bringing in The Porn Debate and hosting it somewhere offsite. It never materialized, but maybe next time around.

Charlie was born in the spring, so I handed off to Tim the conversations I was having with Crissy and XXX Church. He continued to develop the weekend event we’d have in September around pornography.

When I circled back around to helping Tim fine tune some of the details with the event, I wanted to be involved in some way. I had helped line up the speakers, but with my story I am passionate about helping others overcome their own porn-related issues. We thought it would be good for me to interview Crissy at Gathering. I had interviewed Roddy Chong and Kathy & Derek Brown, I had been on a Skeptic’s Challenge Q&A panel, I thought I would be more than prepared for interviewing Crissy. And, I thought it would be intriguing for people to have a former addict interview a former porn star.

The idea was interesting, but the ripple effects of it didn’t resonate with me until I was on stage interviewing Crissy. In the days leading up to it, I became more hesitant to interview Crissy. There were a number of logical reasons for this, and I did not view it as me being on edge or afraid about it. I wanted the event to be a success, and I wanted to highlight Crissy’s story. I wondered if it might be better to have a woman do the interview. I started to push for this, thinking with the subject matter it might be better. No, everyone thought I would do well. Even when I talked with Crissy before, and her manager Emily Hibard, they all thought I should do the interview. (Sigh.)

One thing that can be difficult in recovery is admitting weakness. Admitting certain things are difficult and can trigger you to use porn. Part of my story is being condescended when I confessed to struggling with lust early on as a Christian. That was part of what turned me inward and isolating myself from others. Admitting weakness is hard. Plus, I confessed to this addiction over six years ago. I’m supposed to have my stuff together now.

But I don’t have it together. If I do, it’s only because of God’s grace. It’s a constant fight.

I underestimated how difficult it would be to share, and to interview Crissy. Subconsciously, I didn’t want to admit that. I was engaged in a mental battle. Doubting myself and what I would say. Wondering how others might respond if I tried to back out.

It all clicked when I was on stage introducing Crissy and sharing my story. I was panicky. A story that is easy for me to share was now difficult. I realized I had no idea where I was going with what I was saying, but I needed to string something together so I could get to the interview.

When I finally introduced Crissy, I thought I had bombed. As I am conducting the interview, I am thinking to myself how I’m going to be reprimanded by Mark Ashton and Tim for my long, rambling story and introduction. I had to tell myself to focus. I couldn’t get distracted and really derail the night’s proceedings.

Crissy did a fantastic job sharing her story. People connected with her and realized she’s just like them. The things that drove her to working in porn, looking for love and acceptance, are things that drive us to various bad things/choices as well. They are the same things that drove me to use porn.

Toward the end of the interview, I was still a bit scatterbrained. I was worried I wasn’t going to get to some questions in the allotted time, and went back to blaming myself while on stage still conducting the interview. I was a bit of a mess.

The Q&A portion of the event came, and I started to relax a little bit. So much so that looking back on it I don’t recall what was said.

It ended, and I was formulating my apologies to the necessary parties for my performance. Surprisingly, people were gracious and commended me for how I shared and handled the interview.

In a spiritual sense, the self-doubt was an attack to get me distracted and submarine the night’s proceedings. This is an issue that affects everyone.* It’s understandable why the enemy would not want the evening to go well.

*Of course, now the stats come to mind clearly when last night I was struggling to recall the right numbers with addiction!

After the event, I hung out and talked to various individuals. They were encouraged by what they heard, and were grateful CCC was continuing to address the topic of pornography and bring it out in the open.

I was grateful the event went well. And, I was glad it was over.

There are many times I wish I wasn’t engaged in this ongoing battle with pornography. When I started recovery I thought I would be beyond this, but I am not. I am grateful. It continues to refine me and keep me humble. I identify with Paul and his “thorn in the flesh”.

There are times I think I should be beyond the root issues that in the past have caused me to go to porn as a way of self-medicating. But I’m not. It is daily I fight these battles. I have to be aware of situations I’m in. I have to put myself in position to succeed. I have to continue to retrain my brain to handle situations in a healthy manner.

I continue to walk this journey. I am grateful my story has helped others. I look forward to sharing again.

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…”

3 thoughts on “Former Porn Addict (Me) Interviews Former Porn Star (Crissy)

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