My First Year of Sobriety from Porn (Scholarship Essay)

Each year Covenant Eyes awards thousands of scholarship dollars to students who demonstrate integrity. This year, we’re doing it again! Check out the application information and pass it along to a student you know or apply for the scholarship today. Applications are due by May 31.

The essays below were written by one of last year’s winners.My First Year of Sobriety from Porn

1. In 2-3 paragraphs, please explain how you use Covenant Eyes, and how it has impacted your life.

I had been struggling with pornography for over ten years devoid of any lasting success. I had gotten rid of my smart phone and laptop in the past which helped slightly, but I always found a way to get my fix if I really wanted it. As time progressed, it became more necessary for me to have a computer and smart phone for work and school. This terrified me. It felt like I had to choose between being a hermit or looking at pornography for the rest of my life.

Finding Covenant Eyes gave me hope that there was another option. I quickly installed it on my phone and computer, with my dad as my accountability partner. I have still had my struggles, but I’m happy to say that last month, after using Covenant Eyes for almost two years, I was able to gain a year of sobriety from pornography for the first time in my life. Covenant Eyes has been a huge part of that process.

This newfound freedom has provided many opportunities and helped me overcome the biggest struggle I’ve had to deal with so far in my life. I’m able to participate in school and work using technology for good rather than for evil.

Having used filters in the past, I found this tended to make me feel like there was a challenge: could I find a way around the filter? This was not very effective in aiding me in my recovery from addiction.

But with Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability, it wasn’t a challenge. It was a humbling experience where I had to make the decision to surrender my desire to seek out pornography and be accountable. Inviting trusted people to aid in my recovery has been one of the main contributors to my success, and this software helped me take that step with my dad. Because of Covenant Eyes, I have been able to stay clean and get to a point where I was ready and able to be married, something I thought I would never be able to do because of my secret sin.

2. Part of the Covenant Eyes mission is to equip men and women to live lives of integrity, to assist people in their commitment to set no worthless thing before their eyes. In your academic, social, and spiritual pursuits, describe how you strive to demonstrate a life of integrity.

One of the biggest character flaws that I developed over the years of being an addict was dishonesty. Hiding, deceiving, and lying became an everyday thing. As I have remained sober from pornography, I have been able to acknowledge and address this and other character flaws. Being honest with my wife, church leaders, friends, family, and most importantly, myself I have been able to regain dignity and integrity in the way I live my life. I don’t have to hide and lie about everything that I’m doing. I can talk to people, share my opinion, give advice, and declare and defend my morals without feeling like a hypocrite.

Another way this dishonesty played out in my life was through cheating. I would take self-worth from feeling important and smart and looking perfect to other people, especially in school. I would often cheat, even if it was just to get 100% instead of 98%, just because I thought that if I was smart, then I was worth something. I did this because I knew deep down I had a problem and I was ashamed and thought that I could make a right with two wrongs. While gaining sobriety I have been able to find self-worth in healthier ways which helps me be honest in situations where I want to appear perfect. I’m not perfect. Using Covenant Eyes helped me see that it’s okay that I’m not perfect, as long as I’m progressing.

Growing up in a spiritual home surrounded by a strong spiritual community, I have always had a sense of God and how I should act to be a good Christian and do His will. Since it was so engrained in the culture I was immersed in, I hardly thought twice about what I truly believed. I thought that I believed everything I had been taught. As I began to abstain from pornography and regain my moral conscience, I realized that most of my life I had just been believing what I was taught and basing my faith on those around me without searching to gain a conviction for those beliefs for myself. This level of honesty with myself was painful, thinking that I had ignored my feelings, thoughts, and questions for so long. I don’t want to believe in something because other people think I should, although the draw to please other people is a strong temptation that has its roots in my addiction.

This part of my spiritual pursuit is still underway. I don’t fully understand what spirituality means to me yet, or where I stand with God. I do know, however, that I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my Savior and I’m immensely grateful to Covenant Eyes for helping me remember that. For like Job, I too have “made a covenant with mine eyes” (Job 31:1), and I intend to keep it.


Are you or someone you know in college? Check out the Covenant Eyes Scholarship and pass along the information to a student you know or apply for the scholarship today.

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