"Some may regard the quality of character known as honesty to be a most ordinary subject. But I believe it to be the very essence of the gospel. Without honesty, our lives... will degenerate into ugliness and chaos" (Gordon B. Hinckley, "We Believe in Being Honest," Ensign, Oct. 1990, 2.)
I lied to myself a lot about my addiction. I would tell myself it wasn't that big a deal, I told bishops I was over it, I told myself it would even help my sexual response in my marriage. This is a lie I got from reading worldly advice, which often gets things backwards. I was told that female masturbation was a healthy thing to enhance sexuality and understand your own body better.
The exact opposite is true- as I tried to improve my response in this practice it only made it harder for my body to respond in the right way at the right times, and made me prone to turn to self gratification more instead! How frustrating!
But dwelling on the behavior only makes more behavior. So let's focus on the doctrine.
Let's be honest. I am not over it. It might be less often, but it still has happened. Hopefully never again, but it's still a big deal. It's ruining my life because it's created a wedge in my marriage. That reminds me of the story President Monson once told about the tree where someone stuck a piece of wood in it and the tree grew around it until there was no way to get the wedge out and it had major damages. I found it here! And I guess the story goes back a long way, because I found that it was first told in a 1966 Conference Report by Spencer W. Kimball! I love it when I have something come to mind that seems so timeless because it testifies to me the truthfulness of the concept. But I never thought about his story in this way before, but it's true. Addictive behaviors do just that, drive a wedge. They must be removed or it someday can seem impossible to change, and can have devastating consequences.
As I humble myself and be honest, it softens me enough to receive the help I need to receive. There is hope for anyone softened to repentance.
I believe I am now ready for step 2.