Guess what, James - you won't be allowed to "satisfy yourself" within a monastery, either.
I know that, but at least I'd be receiving the spiritual guidance and harsh treatment I'd need to battle the urges. I don't want to go to a monastery because I think it'll be a fun vacation or something, but because I think it's the only treatment that can help me and the only lifestyle where I can really be spiritually productive.
What, so you're not getting spiritual guidance on this from your priest/confessor?
Yeah I am, but there's not really much he can do. All he does is tell me what I should do, but ultimately, it comes down on me to do it. It's not like at a monastery where I have people constantly looking out for me, reminding me, checking up on me and making sure I do the right thing. I'm pretty much on my own.
I understand your struggles, James. I have had similar experience with being told what to do, but not really how
to do it. That is something which we all do need to work out for ourselves. Our confessors may know a lot about us, but they aren't mind-readers.
I think you should be aware, however, that it's all right to tell your spiritual father more about your life situation that may help him to find the right "remedy". I'm saying you should make excuses for your sins, but for instance, if you are addicted to pornography, maybe mention the kinds of situations that you find lead to the temptation to view pornography. That kind of self-examination could help you to avoid the sin in the future.
Your spiritual growth is a joint project between you, your spiritual father and God.
Here are some positive things I can point to in what I hear you say:
First, you recognize that you are in a bad spiritual situation, that you have spiritually harmful addictions that you need to overcome. This is MUCH better than being in a state of denial, trying to justify your addictions, making excuses and so on.
Second, you recognize that constant vigilance is required to overcome this.
Here are some cautionary remarks:
Don't think that you will solve the problem just by joining a monastery. When men and women decide to leave the world to become monastics, if they are successful they have typically ALREADY made individual lifestyle choices to abandon worldly pleasures and pursuits. They don't expect the monastery to do their spiritual growth for them.
That being said, I certainly encourage visiting monasteries. Think about how you feel when you are there. Do you feel spiritually uplifted, or relieved of burdens? Think about what it is you can do in your own life, in your own place, that can achieve the same tranquility.
Ultimately, as my spiritual father told me, you will overcome these addictions because you want to
. It sounds like you're still at the stage where part of you wants to indulge these impulses, even though another part, your conscience, recognizes the harm. You need to get to the stage where you don't even want to indulge the impulses.