Author Topic: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me  (Read 680 times)

Strikeatruepath

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Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« on: June 18, 2017, 05:56:54 PM »
Here I am, struggling with an addiction to porn. I had always been attracted to it, but its availability was limited for most of my life (thank God -I feel so sorry for all these young guys who have been exposed to this shit from such a young age)

In my forties I got a computer and I thought all my birthdays had come at once with all the free stuff available. It took me a long time to realise that I had a problem with it

Once I started watching I couldn't stop clicking away looking for more and more exciting images and scenes. Hours would go by and I would get angry with myself for wasting so much time -that I could be using for healthy and productive things such as art and music, time with friends and family etc. I became more and more bad tempered and reclusive, losing more and more motivation and confidence. Horrible!

Couldn't wait for my partner to go out so I could get back on the porn and Ive been feeling crap for betraying her and having this "dirty secret" that I am so scared she will find out about. I really hope I can move on from this as soon as I can so it will be in the past.

My pattern of use has not been to masturbate to porn, but to seek out more and more stimulating pictures and films and to acquire them. I realise that this is a way of drugging myself ("edging"), and it all keys in to natural urges. The porn hijacks my powerful natural drives. I have the "thrill of the hunt" seeking out this stuff and I capture it by downloading it onto my computer -I very rarely watch it again! It all gets deleted when I regain control and decide to continue in my effort to stop using.

I realise that this stuff is really TOXIC. It leaves me feeling like shit and poisons my whole being, taking me further away from who I am and the person I want to be. IT IS NOT THE DIRECTION I WANT TO GO IN MY LIFE.

I feel so ashamed and alone. I don't feel like I can tell anyone in my life about it and theres nowhere I could write about it at home where my writings wont be found. So here I am on this forum to let other people know my story and the ups and downs of my recovery. I'm thinking it will be good for me and good for all the other guys who are in this position to share our experiences and ideas.

Although I have relapsed many times, I have reached the stage where I feel like I am recovering. I have handled my last two relapses really well -much better than in the past. I have managed to stop the binge from lasting so long and Ive been able to avoid berating myself for my lapses. For me these are major steps forward and give me hope for the future.

This is a really tough thing to go through as all the guys on here know. I beat a ten year smoking habit and it was dead easy compared to this!

Anyway, I have just come out of another relapse and wiped all the porn off my computer. Back on track again thank goodness. My plan now is to have a look at what happened and learn some lessons from it.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your own recovery process



« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 05:42:19 AM by Strikeatruepath »

Detente

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 12:28:55 AM »
Hi Richard, just wanted to say welcome.  Looks like you know what's going on and where you want to be.  Good luck on your journey!

workinprogressUK

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 03:43:09 AM »
Good luck today, Richard. It's the only day that matters. Have you got yourself some plans and safeguards in place for when the urge strikes?

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 03:18:38 PM »
Thanks guys for the welcome and your encouraging words.

"Have you got yourself some plans and safeguards in place for when the urge strikes?"

My plan for when the urge strikes is mainly to get off the computer right away. If I must use it then it will have to be in a public place or at home only when I'm in the same room as my partner. When my partner leaves the house I will get off the computer and do something else.
My last relapse was caused by using my life drawing as an excuse for searching the internet for pictures of naked women "to practice my drawing with" It wasn't long before gifs and videos of sex started appearing and for a while I was able to ignore them but of course in time I gave in. I think it was because I was tired or stressed or bored maybe -but looking back it seems it was inevitable. Like an alcoholic sticking his head into the door of a pub repeatedly inhaling the aroma or having "just a couple of sips" of beer.

So, I know I have to avoid ANY sexually stimulating pictures or videos. And also to work on dealing with tiredness, stress and boredom
I have meditated for 30 mins every morning for a while now and this has really helped with the stress and the tiredness, so I am intending to find time to do more of this. My sleep is better than it was a few months ago in that although I nearly always wake up in the early hours, I find I can get back off to sleep fairly quickly. Ive been taking more exercise this lately too, which is very good for me.

As to the boredom well I think that is because I don't seem to feel any actual strong sexual urge -its not my raging sex drive that makes me head for the porn but more a lack of it! I want that powerful alive feeling (you know -that feeling that porn in reality destroys!) I am finding it hard to accept that my sex drive is so low these days. The years have gone by (53 now) and I am slightly overweight so I would expect a bit of slowing down but not this much. Not really sure what to do about this. Maybe the only thing is to stay off the porn and wait to see what happens in the long run? And to remind myself that it is always better to stay off porn whatever level my libido is at.
I draw and paint and play musical instruments and really want to spend more time and energy on these things.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 05:47:00 AM by Strikeatruepath »

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 06:05:38 AM »
A little depressed today. I have no urge to use though -if I did feel the urge I wouldn't be here on the computer as I am alone in the house this morning!

All my life I have suffered from feelings of sadness and anxiety, entwined with notions that I am inadequate, useless, untrustworthy, a disappointment, and that I am essentially a bad person.

I think that these false beliefs and painful feelings are what I have been trying to escape from by using porn. I have the tears behind my eyes right now but no urge to use; instead I am choosing to experience my feelings because they are there underneath whether I use or not. Using would just drive me deeper and deeper into the vicious spiral downwards of bad feelings leading to porn use, leading to more bad feelings leading to more porn use and on and on and on.

Ive made quite a lot of progress over the years in 'dealing' with this stuff ie increasing my awareness of it and how it affects me, through counselling and meditation.
In my twenties I was full of anger and it was a force that controlled my life at the time and I got in trouble with the law a few times. It drove me because I didn't really know what it was or where it was from. In the end I came to realise that it was from my childhood sense of helplessness and experience of the abuse of authority. My anger homed in on anything symbolic of this, notably the government/establishment. It felt so good and powerful to defy them. In time I came to realise this and to see the harm I was doing to myself -and the anger was no longer in charge. I knew where my anger came from and came to accept and live with it.

I am hoping that my increasing awareness of my feelings and the mechanism of using porn to medicate them, and of the harm that it does to me (and others ) will lead to a situation where I am in control again, as happened with my anger all those years ago

Well time to get off the computer now as Ive no need to be here now Ive finished this post! Best wishes to you who are reading
-Richard



Firstbigstep

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 06:32:29 AM »
Hi Richard, and a belated welcome. Loads of parallels to my own situation - particularly the self hatred aspects. I won't bore you with  (another) account of how I got here - if you have a look at my journal, it's all there!

What I will do is endorse this forum. If I'm entirely honest, not everyone is at the same point in their journey.  I find myself challenged by those who appear to be entirely focused on their sexual prowess and equally by those whose entire journals appear to be a sequence of lapses.

From what you've written,  you seem to be aware of the wider implications of your porn use - there are many here who will offer you support, guidance and compassion throughout your journey.

Wishing you all the very best with the process.
I'm here to help and be helped, support and be supported.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 04:38:18 AM »
Well, I have been porn free for 12 days now, which is great. I have the opportunity right now as my partner is out for a couple of hours, but I am making the choice to write in here instead, then I'm going to get off the computer and go for a walk.


I've been feeling a bit down and stressed at times and the dreaded "Dead Dick Syndrome" has been here -but it is slowly coming back to life.
I find the dead dick syndrome very difficult to deal with, especially when there are long or recurring spells of it. Life can feel very dull and flat, and in the past I have used porn again to try to force myself to get aroused -always a bad move!

So far I have not had any strong urges to use; I know from experience that a month or so in is when it starts to get tougher for me. Last couple of times at this stage I have started searching for and looking at pictures of nude women and it has gradually led to full on porn videos. It has taken a week or two to get there, but it is inevitable, so this time round I will avoid looking at any stimulating material, however "soft" or "mild" it may be.

I think II have reached the point where I believe that porn isn't an option for me and I'm feeling a bit scared and vulnerable -this is a natural way to feel I suppose, because I am leaving a hiding place/letting go of a crutch that I have grown to depend upon when life is tough.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 05:57:10 AM »
Seventeen days now without using! I am very pleased with this but I know from past experience to never let myself get too complacent...the really testing times will be when I get strong urges.
So far I have just had small temptations to look at sexy images and these have been easy to resist.
I have been taking regular exercise and I have improved my diet, and I am feeling good generally (although I have been quite low at times)
I am feeling more relaxed with my partner too -which is a blessed relief as our relationship is so important to me. I love her dearly and I don't want this shit to get between us.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2017, 07:12:02 AM »
Still going strong -0ver 20 days now. I am aware sometimes of a feeling of emptiness/hunger/stress. Not sure what it is about, but maybe it is the feeling I have covered up with porn use? Or withdrawal symptoms? I don't know, but no doubt I will find out in time. Aside from this feeling, the main problems I'm having are disturbed sleep and Dead Dick Syndrome. I have felt depressed and inadequate at times, too.
BUT...I have a whole lot more energy, I am focussing well on my creative goals and I am free of the terrible guilt and shame that I was feeling.
I really feel like I am on track and going where I want to go.

js2004

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 07:18:29 AM »
Keep going!  For me not feeling the guilt and shame was huge. Once I got over that it really became about the feelings I was covering up with my P&M use. Now I am learning how to deal with those feelings and it hard as shit. First time in 20 years I have to feel instead of finding something to cover up my emotions. But it's what I need to do to stay free of the crap online.
We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 07:32:02 AM »
Yeah js doing what we have to do to stay free, dealing with the underlying feelings. I'm guessing we just have to feel them, which takes courage. Really they are there whether we use porn or not, and the porn makes them a whole lot worse and so more difficult to face...then its more porn and even worse feelings and so the vicious cycle goes on. I am so glad to have broken out of this pattern.
My plan is to take time to focus on the feelings and experience them, to write about them on here, to talk to a close friend of mine about them. If they are too intense I will look for some counselling.
Onwards to a better future!

js2004

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 10:48:39 AM »
Better future is the key for me and I think it's a great attitude to have to be successful.
We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2017, 07:17:59 AM »
This has been a great week for me. I am feeling so much better about myself and I am getting out in the world more. Meeting new people, doing new and worthwhile things.
No signs of the sex drive returning, no life down there at all -its total Dead Dick Syndrome. Just have to trust that it will return in time. It feels very strange not to have that sexual energy, but I suppose it is good to be able to focus on things better without the distraction.

js2004

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2017, 02:49:20 PM »
Good to hear.  I'm pretty sure it will return in time. Take care of yourself mentally first.
We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2017, 06:32:51 AM »
Thanks js.
 I've had a great weekend with lots of time spent with partner and friends, I'm feeling better about myself and more confident. The weight continues to go down......and there are signs of life 'down below'!(at last)
Had a few urges but resisted them and stayed off the computer when they happened.
Things are going great, but I am on my guard for when I get a low mood or stressed, as this is the time when I am most at risk. Instead of the instinctive reach for porn I plan to feel my feelings and to take care of myself. I want to learn more about those feelings - where they come from and how  I can respond to them in a healthy positive way. To undermine the urge to use, rather than being undermined by it.

js2004

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2017, 07:52:00 AM »
Glad to hear you had a good weekend and that things are more alert in your libido. I had a decent weekend myself. It really is amazing that the further away from this garbage you get the easier it becomes to manage. I'm at day 40 and feeling great about where I am at.
We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2017, 07:34:54 AM »
Thanks js.
I am at the 30 day mark now! Life and my self confidence have improved enormously already. Temptation is getting more intense though as it has in the past at this stage. I am on my guard and staying away from any kind of images that turn me on.
Off on holiday for two weeks at the weekend, so wont be posting for a little while as no computer/ internet. This also means no temptation either -look forward to forgetting about the whole issue for a week or so.

js2004

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2017, 10:19:52 AM »
That two week stretch will be helpful for you. I flatlined at about day 30-35 so if that hits you embrace it. It made a week or so way easier and I felt like my brain took a week off of thinking about P&M and sex in general.  My libido I do is just now starting to return but not near the level I was at on day 5. Have fun on your holiday!
We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2017, 05:31:06 AM »
Back from my hols with my other half. Had a great time and the libido is really improving, which is great.

On my first day back home I felt tired and depressed, and found myself beginning to slide down the road to relapse. I searched on the 'net for pictures of nude women for practicing my drawing. I have got no need to do this as I already have more than enough reference pictures. Luckily I had  enough awareness to realise where it was leading and got off the computer.
 I remember how my last relapse began this way and gradually I looked at more and more explicit material, thinking I was strong ignoring videos and things that showed up -but after two weeks or so I was back where I really didn't want to be. It wrecked the feeling between me and my love, and killed my libido. Fucking hate it!
Well I have absolutely no healthy need to be on the internet looking for pictures of women. So that's it -I'm not going to do it. I remember recently dishing out some advice to someone on here about staying away from "sexy pictures" because they only lead back to porn use -how it is like an alcoholic sticking their head in a bar and inhaling the smell of alcohol. So, from now on I will follow my own advice!
I am going to be generous and not count it as a relapse -but I it was a close thing and it has reinforced my knowledge that this is really dangerous ground for me and I must avoid it.

js2004

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2017, 10:02:48 AM »
STP - Glad to to hear you had a good holiday. As fo the sexy pics you are 100% correct on where it will lead you. I had the same issue last week in the airport but made it through and didn't count it as a slope as well. In fact I took it more as a learning experience and evaluated everything that lead me down the path. Anyways glad to hear everything is well. 
We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2017, 07:58:42 AM »
Thanks js.

Been busy these last few days and no chance to post on here. The other half doesn't know about my struggle with porn use, so I have to do my posting when I get time alone.

I have a couple of days at home alone now that she has gone away to see some friends. I have the urge at times to search for stimulating pictures/ videos on the internet and really need to be on my guard in this situation. In my bad times I would have seen this as a golden opportunity to binge, but I don't this time. I have made a decision and a commitment to stay clean, and know the danger of surfing for exciting pictures of women: it has always led me sooner or later to using porn again.

So, I'm going to watch some videos about porn addiction instead, spend some time out walking and visiting friends, and get on with  my drawing and music practice. Watch a film or two maybe. Enjoy some alone time.

Feeling strong and positive on this my 61st day.

js2004

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2017, 06:07:59 AM »
Hope all is still going well with you!
We can accomplish anything we put our minds to.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2017, 09:11:27 AM »
Yeah thanks js. Still off the porn and on with my creative stuff. Diet and exercise going steadily too. Felt down for a day or two, but much better now. I reckon that as time goes on I am becoming more and more able to focus on the really worthwhile things that I want to make happen in my life.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2017, 06:07:38 AM »
The sex drive seems to be somewhere over the horizon. I feel like theres nothing I can do but wait in hope -or at least just get on with life and see what happens in time. I understand that this is what people go through when they give up porn use.
Managing to resist the urges to view porn on the internet -this time round I am avoiding the trap of using it to try and revive my sexual energy.
Don't ever want to go back to the porn

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2017, 05:52:16 AM »
Sex drive back! Enjoyed sex with my partner, but I know my dick could be go into hibernation anytime!
Hunted for 'sexy' stuff on youtube yesterday, thankfully I managed to stop myself after a couple of minutes. This kind of thing leads to relapse for me -I need to be very careful managing these urges. Stay off the computer when I am alone, unless I am on this site.