Reboot Nation

Journals => Ages 40 and up => Topic started by: Detente on September 30, 2016, 11:30:38 PM

Title: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on September 30, 2016, 11:30:38 PM
Hello, I'm new here.  I'm a 40-year-old male, single, never married.  I found this forum after Googling "internet porn addiction" or something to that effect.  I don't believe I'm a complete internet porn addict.  I don't use porn and masturbate every day, and my use of visual porn completely by myself has really waned over the years.  There have been times in the past where I've been gripped by porn, but never to the point where it's really affected my day-to-day functioning.  When I was (and am) using porn, it's almost always amateur porn, and I think I've rationalized it a bit because of that -- i.e., it's "real," not fake, and something I can learn from.  It was a bit eye-opening to me to see similar rationalizations spelled out by someone quoted in "Your Brain on Porn."

More recently (in the past few years) I've been introduced to Reddit, and there are certain subreddits I've found that are giving me significant problems.  I hope I don't trigger anyone by spelling these out.  In fact, I won't use the actual subreddit names.  First it was the various ones where Redditors post nude or partially nude pictures of themselves.  What got me going was not just the pictures, but knowing that the posters were getting off by showing themselves off.  Then I got into one where Redditors discuss true (supposedly) stories from their sex lives, involving classmates, strangers, others' girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands, bosses, subordinates, teachers, students, neighbors, etc.  Reading these was a big turn-on for me, but they'd leave me feeling like I was missing out on wild and hot sex (as if what was being described in these stories was the norm), as well as inadequate.  There are other ones for setting Redditors up for real-life encounters, and when one happens, the participants will sometimes describe in detail what happened.

Subreddits I've discovered in the past few months are really making me think that I have a problem.  There's a subreddit for people to exchange messages to talk about their kinks, engage in role plays and stories, and get off with one another, and another one for exchanging internet porn.  I'm finding myself going back to those subreddits often, and getting sucked in for hours.  I've gotten compulsive while in these forums because there are always new people posting, and because of the scarcity of women.  Because the number of women who post to those forums significantly smaller than the number of men, and because the women who do post get inundated with private messages, I've found myself reloading and reloading the forums nonstop until I see a woman's new post.  Then I respond as fast as possible, so that I beat out all the others who are going to write her as well, and hopefully she'll chat with me.  It's like I'm fishing for a chat partner, and it takes considerable time.  There's a hit of excitement when the Reddit private message red envelope icon appears showing that someone has responded.

Because I'm so desperate to connect with one of these women, I'm not discriminating in terms of sharing the same sexual tastes.  So I've found myself chatting and exchanging videos and gifs of things I normally have no interest in and really aren't me.  Some of it is arousing for sure, but some is way out there.  Even when it's material I find arousing, again there's that compulsive element to find someone to chat with, then another, then another.  I literally have stayed up all night doing this, several times, during the work week.  Once I start I just can't pull out of it.  I'm always looking for another person to chat with.  That is probably the worst part -- how much time I've wasted doing this. And feeling exhausted the next day, leaving me unproductive at work.  And feeling like a loser.  And alone.  Unworthy of respect.  And feeling disgusted at myself for acting like such a different person online than in real life.  in real life, I come across as calm, nice, reserved.  But online I'm a lot different, talking about and sharing images of disturbing things I may actually find erotic but would not want to happen in real life.  And in real life I want to be "clean" -- wholesome, thoughtful, considerate, etc.  This seems to be the complete opposite of that.  And completely isolating.

I've literally created and deleted 3 or 4 Reddit accounts, each time saying I was done with this.  But obviously I'm not.  Last night after returning from work trip (and after finishing "Your Brain on Porn"!), I did it again, and was up until around 5 a.m. online.  Triggers seem to be free time, boredom, and upcoming work breaks/free time (for instance, I knew I would be working from home today, so it was easier to stay up late the night before).

I think I need to go on a 90-day PMO fast.  I am not sure about an MO fast.  As I'm single, an O fast is likely in the cards anyway.  I hope that abstaining will get me to focus on developing a real relationship.  Actually, when I do this, I feel like such a loser that I can't understand how any woman would respect me and want to be with me.  Stopping may help turn that around, although I've had this sort of negative attitude about myself for a long time, and not just related to porn use.

I plan to return here about once a week and provide an update on my progress or any relapses.

(In addition to this issue, I've really come to believe I have a general smart phone/internet addiction, and I'd like to work on that as well.)

Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: sjbtx on October 02, 2016, 09:43:55 PM
I went through a phase of about.....a year or so of chat room type of interactions that let to camgirl sites.  The only reason I stopped was because someone tried to hack my account and they blocked my credit card and it was a hassle to get it unblocked.  After a few weeks, I lost the urge to go back to the sites.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: middleagedos on October 03, 2016, 03:45:16 AM
Hi Detente, welcome to the forum. I hope you find it as useful as I have. I too am in my 40s, never married, and spent much of my life in an imaginary porn world. Good luck with your reboot! Maos.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on October 03, 2016, 05:10:43 AM
Hi Detente,

Good to hear from you.  What you describe sounds highly addictive.  Not only is there the endless novelty (Do you know about the Coolidge effect?  It explains how the endless sexual novelty makes the internet the crack cocaine of sex addiction) but also a kind of 'slot machine' element - just keeping on putting the coins in in the hope of an amazing payout!  And slot machines are very addictive, aren't they?

Basically, I wanted to say don't feel too ashamed about what has happened; you got involved with something that was so addictive many, many people would have ended up in your predicament if they had found their way to the same web pages.  The important thing is that you have recognised that you are in a bad place, and have made a decision to move away from that.  That takes courage, and is admirable.  Well done!

The only question I would have, is what is your worry about 90 days no MO?  Worth thinking about to work out how best to proceed.  Not everyone does it, but many find 90 days no MO useful, because it is hard to seperate MO from fantasies related to compulsive internet activities, and having a little break gives them the space in which they might be able to seperate MO/sex from compulsive fantasies in the future.  Fantasizing about what you saw on Reddit is likely to be as addictive as watching Reddit - and is likely to increase your cravings to loo at the site too.

Those are my thoughts anyway - take what's helpful and leave the rest.

All the best,

AT.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on October 18, 2016, 01:46:37 PM
Guys, thanks so much for responding, and sharing your support.  And sorry not to acknowledge it earlier.  I'm glad that I'm not alone.  I've lived in a fantasy world for much of my life, middleagedos, whether I knew it or not.  Maybe I'm just realizing it now.  I've avoided the risk and work of real relationships, along with some stubbornness and maybe a few other things that's lead me to remain single and not try.  Well, I know there are other things.  Activity like this may be some form of escape.  Or it may be the lure of this kine of activity is what's causing me to avoid relationships.  Sjbtx, the chat rooms you described mirror what I've been doing I think, though it's more exchanging email-like messages than live chat.  But people do go elsewhere to chat.

Anotherty, you described it perfectly.  It is very much like a slot machine, maybe worse.  It's extremely compulsive in the way it's rigged.  Women who post wanting to exchange messages or pictures/gifs/videos get deluged by responses from guys (like women do in the online dating world).  So in order to "catch" one, you have to respond immediately or within a few minutes.  A small percentage will respond back, so you have to keep hitting refresh until another woman posts and again immediately respond, until you have success and she responds back.  I have no doubt this is addictive, because of the  novelty factor (I did hear about the Coolidge effect in "Your Brain on Porn") and the gender dynamic.  Also, I think there is a third factor: that the people who are posting there are having hugely erotic experiences and connecting sexually and enjoying getting off with each other, and if I don't participate, I'm left out.  Also, I have rationalized it by thinking that it's a relatively harmless sexual release for someone who is currently single (probably  something a lot of people say about porn in general). 

Thank you again for your very supportive words.  It means a lot to me right now ...

... because I had a complete relapse last night.  It's unbelievable.  I ventured back to those subreddits on my phone as I was going to bed!  I had a book next to me I was sort of reading, but also flipping through and refreshing those pages on my phone at the same time.  I couldn't stop until I "caught" one.  Then another, then another.  With one woman, I ended up exchanging messages literally all night.  I didn't go to sleep at all.  I felt completely ashamed and disgusted with myself again.  Angry how much I messed up this workday because of how exhausted I am.  I made an excuse for why I needed to come home early, and between the shame, loneliness, and exhaustion, I had a deep cry.  Things feel hopeless to me (not necessarily about this particular problem, but life in general). I think the exhaustion and regret and shame is piling on and helping me to lose perspective.  I once again just canceled my Reddit account, because Reddit doesn't let you delete messages as far as I can tell.  I don't think I can handle having a Reddit account!  Those subreddits are just a click away.  I am going to delete the Reddit app from my phone.

I am at square one again.  I'll give a 90-day MO break a try.  If I do MO, I will try to focus on the physical sensation.  I'm not sure about fantasizing about anything, perhaps only about someone in real life who's an actual romantic prospect.  At least that would be a real person.  I need to get back to real life, the real world, real relationships, and their ups and downs, and not retreating so much into my head (although that's what I naturally do as an introvert) and fantasy, where everything is perfect and the real world can't compete.

Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on October 18, 2016, 02:57:45 PM
Follow-up: It's Tuesday.  I intend to abstain from all O from at least until Sunday, and post here whether I succeed or not.  I hope to keep coming back here to provide regular updates.  I'm noticing that I'm not able to get an erection on my own, or not with at least some extensive stimulation plus a fantasy (non-internet).  I just tried, and it took a lot of effort.  I had to think about someone I had been on a few dates with and imagine that we were beginning to get physical for the first time.  I hope that when I do get back into the dating world, this will not be a problem for me.  I didn't get into high-speed porn when I was in my teens (too old), and I never developed a daily habit.  So I don't know how much PIED I may be dealing with.  I will say that probably 99.9% of my orgasms in life have been through M, often with the assistance of the internet.  So I may have more of an issue than I think.  I was able to have sex in February without any problems.  On top of feeling disgusted with myself for letting myself get out of control, this would be another source of shame and embarrassment.  Of course, I know that a lot of the men here are dealing with this very thing.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on October 19, 2016, 05:37:32 PM
Inspired by other member's journals, I think a better idea is to try to post here every day.  I've decided to aim for the 90-day abstention from all O, except in the case of meeting a woman and having sex in real life.  Reading some of the entries has led me to reflect on some related issues around viewing women as objects, numbing my emotions, and overusing technology.  As I go along, I will address these and other topics.  I have never developed a journaling practice on my own, so this will be a useful outlet on these issues.

Today is day 1.  I woke up with a terrible headache, an effect of having been up for about 28 hours straight as a result of my relapse, and having some deep cries about it.  Feeling better now.  No desire to MO or view anything online, given that it's only day 1.

I've given some thought to Reddit.  It can be a good resource, with lots of useful subreddit communities I'd like to access.  However, I've gone through multiple accounts, each time having to delete them after messaging people on the NSFW subreddits.  I think my solution will be to bookmark the subreddits I'd like to view and view them without setting up an account.  The downside is that I won't be able to post questions or comments.  Also, there are plenty of NSFW subreddits that provide porn videos and photos without needing an account, so there is some risk there.  But lately I'd been drawn to ones where interaction with women users is required, and the interaction is what provided the thrill for me.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: getagrip on October 20, 2016, 12:08:00 AM
Hi, Detente, I haven't been on this forum in awhile and your thread was the first one I saw. Seems we have some things in common, although I'm much older (66) than you. We are both single and live alone (at least I assume you do). My porn problem really started getting huge after my second divorce... or perhaps I should say when I moved out of the house, which was almost seven months before the divorce was final. For lack of a better term, living alone means living without adult supervision. No worries about a wife or anyone else catching you in your addiction.

I sure know the feeling of utter disgust and remorse after one has stayed up the entire night engaged in watching porn. There have probably been a half-dozen nights in the last several months when I did not go to sleep at all. If it was the night before a day off, all my plans for the day were ruined. If it happened the night before a work day, I called in sick. That makes me feel even more guilty. It's always the feeling of "just one more scenario," "just one more search phrase," and before you know it, it's 5am or 7am.

I have an app on my phone called "Days Since" where you can track to the second the last time you did anything. It also has a count-down function for an upcoming event or goal. I use the app to track all of my many compulsions, including watching porn and jerking off to porn. This way, I get an idea of how I'm doing.

You are courageous to be aware of and expressing your situation. You are not alone. I look forward to your future updates.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: laalee on October 21, 2016, 02:22:34 AM
Wow man it is an Addiction by reading your posts relating to it all.  Just because it is not porn you are looking at you are still getting that dopamine hit from this web site you speak about. I am on here and i also have a problem Addiction to anonymous sex so same goes for  the PMO members just a different thing you are Addicted to turn it off for 90 days good luck ;D
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on October 21, 2016, 12:24:18 PM
Hi Detente,

You have clearly been doing some courageous and honest thinking about this - well done, that is the first step to recovery, I think - seeing what a problem Reddit is causing you.  Well done also for committing to 90 days no MO too - that's big.  And I suspect you will find it worth it.

I mostly wanted to post to encourage you!  I suspect if you can tackle this problem you will feel brighter and more confident - and more able to figure out what to do about any other difficulties you are facing in your life.

I did have one question however - which is about using the Reddit sub accounts.  Given how major a problem Reddit has been for you, and how focused you are on it...isn't that playing with fire a little?

I wonder if it would be safer to completely avoid anything to do with Reddit for 90 days.  My own experience is setting rules like that can feel unfair and frustrating, but be very helful. For example, I have a rule that I don't use the internet at home, and keep my internet connected devices in a public place.  If, very occasionally, I really need to use the web at home, I let a friend who knows about my addiction know what I am logging on to do, and then text him when I have logged off.  I make sure I only do what I have told my friend I will do.

I find this a pain in the ass, i I'm honest.  I want to watch you tube videos teaching me how to play certain songs whilst I have my ukulele in my hand, instead of having to remember them after watching them in Starbucks.  I want to check facebook.  I want to watch movies.  But setting this boundary keeps me safe.  And, when I get to a point that I am confident I've put my addiction behind me, I can always change the rules.

I wonder if a good rule for you would be no Reddit related activity at all for 90 days....just a thought,

Best wishes,

AT.



Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 04, 2016, 12:44:53 PM
Well, I haven't been posting every day as I'd planned. The good news is that I have not PMO'd (or MO'd) since I restarted two weeks ago. Also, I had been worrying about ED. My erections were not all that strong while engaging in this online activity, and I was wondering whether I'd have trouble without it or thinking of something similarly kinky. But over the weekend, while engaging in a "healthy" fantasy of sex in a loving relationship, I had a normal erection. The bad news is that I have peeked at those sites, at the end of last week and this week. I was at work (but using my phone) and didn't set up an account an message anyone. I did briefly see some actual porn that one user on the site linked to. Because it was brief and I didn't PMO, I'm not going to count this as a relapse. I think boredom when it's slow at work and in general is partly what leads me there.

Getagrip, I think you make a good point about how being single and without "adults supervision" makes it a lot easier to slip.  There's no one there to hurt or upset and so there's less guilt, not to mention less alone time. When I have been in relationships, I generally haven't looked at porn or MO'd alone. When single, using porn seems more justified as a healthy outlet. Maybe it can be, but if it's cumpulsive it's definitely a problem. What you said about "overnighers" is exactly what happens with me. I hate feeling exhausted and ruining the next day, and just wasting time. I want to feel healthy, eat right, exercise, sleep, and all that goes out the window when this happens. Thanks for the app suggestion. I'll check it out.

Laalee, yes, this one does grip me when I engage in it. There have been other things too. But this one is more intense because it involves communicating with real people. That's what makes it a turn on for me. In a sense it's like anonymous sex, just with people online (words only though). And a chance to share intimate thoughts that probably otherwise wouldn't be shared with anyone else. It's an erotic experience without the work of a real relationship. Also, because there are probably hundreds of men for every woman, it takes a lot of time and effort to find someone to chat with.  That's partly what cause the cumpulsivity.

Anothertry, thank you for your encouragement. I think this issue is tied to other difficulties I have in my life. If I work on this issue and prove to myself that I can be disciplined, it might give me the confidence and optimism to make other changes. In a way when I do this instead of something productive, it's like giving up on life. I started bookmarking useful Reddit sites but you make a good point. If I could get K9 to block the NSFW ones, that would be the best solution. For some reason it isn't working. I don't really frequent the useful Reddit sites, but I would want to visit them. I might unbookmark them for now. That's a pretty elaborate set of procedures you have. It's great that you have a friend you were able to confide in and help keep you accountable.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 14, 2016, 12:54:07 PM
Another relapse. :-(  It's really unbelievable.  I'd actually had a smaller relapse again, but again in a public place I believe.  But last night I did it again, creating a new Reddit account just to chat and share with women.  I got an additional web site blocker that lets me add specific pages to block, but didn't set it to Google's "incognito" function.  I let the last time slide, but this one again was a very late-nighter.  I haven't MO'ed at all since I previously relapsed (including last night), but because it went so late last night, I have to call this a relapse.  So I'll restart as of today, and add the blocker to the "incognito" function.  I'm embarrassed to confess to this, but maybe it will help me stay on track.

I'm very lonely and this is a major reason why I do this. I've had low-self esteem pretty much all my life, I'm introverted, and depression always in the background.  I feel broken and it's hard to put myself out there to date.  I'm afraid that when the real me is revealed, women will not want to be with me.  When I do this, there's some connection, and I at least feel validated by helping women get turned on by what I send them. 

I'm really tired today after the late night and started the week off on a bad note.  Thankfully things are slow at work today.

Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: getagrip on November 16, 2016, 12:13:20 AM
A couple of thoughts: I don't know anything about reddit but if you are having actual online conversations with real women, I think it's a good start, kind of like practice. Having said that, it does seem like reddit is a problem for you. I have had some interesting, but mostly platonic, relationships with women I met online. I, like you, am a little nervous around women in person but I happen to be a good writer. I feel as though maybe my best first impression is through email. I have used a couple of very nice G-rated pen pal sites. Just get away from the blatantly sexual sites.

Another thing I wanted to mention is your low self-esteem and depression issues. ALL of us here have a dopamine-based neurochemical problem that's caused by watching porn. But not everyone on here has underlying emotional issues. I myself carry a heavy load of emotional baggage. I think people like you and me have to stop the porn-dopamine cycle like everyone else does, but we also should address our emotional stuff. I say that because we run to porn not only for the dopamine rush, but also to escape the emotional pain we feel. I hope you can work through these emotional issues, perhaps with the help of a therapist.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: laalee on November 16, 2016, 07:31:11 PM
A couple of thoughts: I don't know anything about reddit but if you are having actual online conversations with real women, I think it's a good start, kind of like practice. Having said that, it does seem like reddit is a problem for you. I have had some interesting, but mostly platonic, relationships with women I met online. I, like you, am a little nervous around women in person but I happen to be a good writer. I feel as though maybe my best first impression is through email. I have used a couple of very nice G-rated pen pal sites. Just get away from the blatantly sexual sites.

Another thing I wanted to mention is your low self-esteem and depression issues. ALL of us here have a dopamine-based neurochemical problem that's caused by watching porn. But not everyone on here has underlying emotional issues. I myself carry a heavy load of emotional baggage. I think people like you and me have to stop the porn-dopamine cycle like everyone else does, but we also should address our emotional stuff. I say that because we run to porn not only for the dopamine rush, but also to escape the emotional pain we feel. I hope you can work through these emotional issues, perhaps with the help of a therapist.

Good luck and keep us posted!


This post is really helpful thank you. 
I also have deep emotional pain but can use anything to keep it down but that does not work i feel it makes it worse.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: cuppatea on November 17, 2016, 02:36:55 PM
Hello, my husband is 39, he has a long standing problem and not just with porn. Part of his problem was an infatuation with celebrities. He also has underlying issues. He had ocd, social anxiety and low self esteem etc before turning to porn etc. He's in therapy, you may find that helpful too along with stopping. There are also some great self help books. Sex addiction 101 is quite good as he talks about making yourself boundary plans and ways to identify and deal with triggers but also underlying causes.
Paula Hall is another great authority in sex addiction, she has a book too and I think you would find it useful, she gets into a few reasons for it, different types of acting out, underlying causes etc and again ways to stop and get into long term recovery.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 19, 2016, 07:19:37 AM
Thank you Getagtip and cuppatea. Yet another relapse last night/thus morning. It's very humiliating to admit. No MO but the same compulsive messaging on those Reddit sites. I'm exhausted and today I'll be dragging. This is tied to low self-esteem and yes, numbing out. It's crazy because I easily forget how bad I feel after (like now) yet start up anyway, thinking a few exchanges will be ok. And I'm lonely and disengaged at work, so this feels like a least some connection and excitement. If I sit with the loneliness and not escape like this, maybe I'd take some positive steps to improve my life.

I do feel much more relaxed and open via email/chat than in person at least at first. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I think it contributes to this problem. Online I can be more confident and imagination and writing ability is highly valued, where in real life "live" interaction skills and the ability to connect are more important. An online penpal that's a true relationship might help, as opposed to these"one night stands" I'm having. I do see a therapist. But I have to make changes on my own or nothing will happen.

What penpal sites have you used, Getagtip?
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: cuppatea on November 19, 2016, 01:38:59 PM
I'm dealing with abuse and assault from my past that was triggered by walking in on my husband viewing porn. Now I will state he wasn't watching anything abusive, it was the feelings of being betrayed that triggered my past back up. I had repressed my memories and those I hadn't repressed I had compartmentalised and disassociated from (I.e I viewed them in 3rd person, with hardly any detail and no emotions attached to them). After I was assaulted I did many things to try to feel better, escape my own pain. I'm not going to get into my own drama here, but anyway my counselor has said I need to learn to go through my pain instead of pushing it to one side. So yes I firmly believe you do need to sit in your uncomfortable, sad, and probably overwhelming feelings and allow yourself to actually feel them, and to acknowledge them fully. And I wish you lots of luck with it, I know it feels terrible, every fibre of your being will want to escape it, it always has and to sit in it feels so much worse, but it's temporary, remember it's temporary. It's short term pain for long term gain lol, a cliche but it is true.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on November 19, 2016, 02:07:36 PM
Hi Detente,

Firstly, well done for keeping on posting, despite the shame when you slip.  We all have the same problem here - and most people slip up quite a few times before they make it.  Don't give up, and you will get there in the end!

I really think it might be worth looking into the whole process of a slip, and learn to recognise when you are getting into a dodgy place, and withdrawing from it.

I used to go to a twelve step fellowship for sex addiction (like alcholics anonymous, but for sex).  I didn't find everything about it useful, but they did have some helpful ideas.  One of them was the 'three circles'.

Essentially they suggest we addicts have three circles of behaviour.  An 'inner' 'middle' and 'outer' circle.  Outer circle is all the good things your addiction keeps you away from: getagrip's penpals, exercise, good food, friends, music, time outdoors - the genuinely good things in life.  You want to spend as much time as you can in this circle.

Middle circle is where you are moving towards addiction.  Perhaps hanging around the internet for longer than you really need - because you are longing for that hit, but haven't quite weakened enough to gove it to yourself yet.  It is looking for a bit too long at that woman on the train, and starting to drift into a fantasy world, which in turn leads you to drift towards reddit.  If you pay attention, you will notice when you are doing something that you tell yourself is 'ok' but is really about moving yourself towards your addictive behaviours.  It is part of the ritual we all have around our behaviours.  You want to notice what these behavours are, and when you get close to one, say 'hell no! I'd better go and do something else'.  The longer you indulge them, the harder that would be.  Get out of that middle circle!

Inner circle behaviours are the ones at the heart of your addiction - the ones you came here because you were desperate to give up.

It might be worth spending some time mapping these three circles in your life.  You can do it in about 20 minutes usually - you can always add to what you've got later.  That will help you notice when you are on the journey to the inner circle - and give you an opportunity to stop yourself before you get there.


The other thing I wonder is if you might benefit from keeping a list of reasons - perhaps in your wallet - of why you want to give up.  Then, when the urges hit you strongly, you can look at it to remind you why you had decided not to give in.

Keep on keepin on, you've got this!

AT.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 19, 2016, 05:34:55 PM
Thanks Cuppatea.  Sorry to  hear about the trauma you went through and then had revisited when you discovered your husband's issues.  I think you're right about feeling the pain -- in my case, loneliness, sadness, lack of connection.  The online sex chatting helps me escape that.  That's probably why I turn to it.  I lose sense of time, and the hours fly by.  That's an indication that there's a problem.  Of course, it's also stimulating and erotic.  I also think the daily grind and week-to-week grind numbs me to bad feelings.  We have to stuff things down to some extent to get by.

Anothertry, I've been to few ACOA meetings but never had the need to go to any addiction-focused meetings.  I've never heard of the three circles but that is a fantastic model to think about.  Part of the huge regret when this happens is all the time I lose and lost opportunities -- to get in shape, eat better, visit friends, feel healthy, just get errands and chores done.  Outer circle stuff.  Middle circle for me with this is taking a peek at those subreddits I use and starting to send private messages and getting some back.  Then I don't seem to be able to pull out of it, and I descend into the inner circle.  Thanks for this. 

I'm back home after a visit with friends that I had to power though because I'm so exhausted from staying up all night again.  I'm home now alone and will be online, so I came here to check in because this situation is a danger zone for me at the moment.  But I'm so exhausted I don't have any interest in repeating that tonight.  The bigger test is whean I'm rested and also alone and have no plans.  I've failed several times now but will keep on fighting.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on November 20, 2016, 12:59:33 PM
Celebrate every day you get through sub-Reddit free I reckon!

Each day is a victory.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 22, 2016, 11:06:38 PM
Thanks Anothertry.  Just checking in to the journal.  No new issues so far.  I was working from home today so that was a risky situation, but no relapse of any sort.  I'll be traveling to see family over the Thanksgiving holiday so there will be zero risk there I would hope.  Then traveling for work the following week.  That could be risky but I don't expect to fall into this again while being busy on travel.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on November 23, 2016, 01:10:51 PM
Well done on getting through a risky day and keep ploughing on.  You've got this!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 23, 2016, 05:11:54 PM
Thanks sir. Appreciate the support.

I saw this interesting take on the root cause of addiction. A lot of it resonates with me. I do feel disconnected, and that's probably why I have this issue. But it's hard for me to believe there's no brain chemistry component.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-choice/201411/addiction-disease-isolation

I installed a blocker on my phone (the last episode was wth my phone) and ironically it blocks this site...
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 23, 2016, 05:34:34 PM
Actually this is the article I was thinking of:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201509/the-opposite-addiction-is-connection

Both resonate for me.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on November 24, 2016, 05:03:11 AM
Me too!

The Johann Hari TED talk linked to in the article you post is well worth a watch, by the way.  And in fact, this is not a seperate issue from brain chemistry and structure.  Let me give you an example:  taxi drivers in London literally have different brains from the rest of us!  They learn something called 'the Knowledge' - literally creating a mental map of every major street in London (the whole city - not just the centre!).  See a study below if you are interested - their brains literally grow in a very specific way!
http://holah.co.uk/study/maguire/

Equally, if we learn as we grow up that we are not loved, or encounter emotional coldness, anger,, rejection, or excessive anxiety in those close to us this learning process too actually changes the structure of our brains.  Adults who have grown up with extreme trauma and abuse have identifiable differences in their brains that even a layman can see in a brain scan!  Certain areas are smaller, which will make dealing with emotions and producing 'good' brain chemicals difficult.

A guy called Alan Schore writes a lot linking the fields of attachment theory and neuroscience if you're interested....

To sum up: sure.  Some people may perhaps have genetically 'funny' brains that pre-dispose them to addiction.  Others may have had social environments that changed their brain to create the disposition.

Either way, the good news we know is that the brain can change, it is very flexible and can create new connections at any age.  Think of those taxi drivers, and their expanding brains!  Whatever the cause of addiction, through effort, you can change your brain in to a  non-addict brain!

And whatever the cause, finding ways to connect with others that leave you feeling happier and less isolated seems to be beneficial for every addiction - that process itself literally re-wires your brain, and changes the chemical balance!

Hope that's a helpful thought,

All the best,

AT.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 28, 2016, 08:40:50 PM
Thanks Anotherty.  Never heard of that taxi driver study.  Very interesting. 

Checking in because it was another "risky" day for me, having worked from home.  Now home alone and don't have anything to really do until I catch a flight tomorrow.  But I haven't really had any urges today, and think I'll be fine tonight, having now checked in.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 29, 2016, 07:39:27 PM
Checking in again. Feeling some temptation being alone in a hotel room. It would be really bad if I gave in because I have to be alert tomorrow and am already pretty tired.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: laalee on November 30, 2016, 01:55:10 AM
Good luck i can imagine alone in room being triggered could you get out.

I realize i cant get proper erections due to medications.  So no P or M Pmo or meeting for real.  This is making me crazy
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Mikel on November 30, 2016, 03:33:23 AM
Hey there. Just been reading your journal and of course, there are similarities.

I've deleted a few reddit accounts myself. When I've been trying to stop using porn, I've craved sex instead. This has lead me to seek out ads on craigslist and similar sites like that, looking up escorts, using chat lines (that definitely makes me feel like a loser) and using the nsfw personals on reddit. If I don't find what I'm looking for on one, I move on to the other, then the next one and the one after that etc etc etc. It's mental as I wouldn't be able to have sex anyway due to pied and sometimes I've edged whilst looking at profiles anyway. If there are no photos available, I still feel the dopamine hitting my brain and when I've stopped, my head feels fuzzy as hell. Eventually, it leads back to a full on relapse. Whether it's to porn or personals.

This time around, I'm cutting out everything. I can't even use normal dating profiles until I know I'm 12,000% sure I can use them safely.

Like another user has mentioned, if a website is causing a problem, cut it out completely. You don't need it hindering your recovery and being a possible trigger. I recently had an hourly reminder on my phone simply stating: 'NO PROFILES'. I work on my own whilst I'm at work and it's easy to convince myself that I'm only going to look up women to date. However, my mind wonders when I'm in such a position so it's not (currently) healthy for me.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on November 30, 2016, 04:39:08 AM
Hi Detente,

Good luck with the alone time - I can relate, I find that hard too.  It might be worth having some strategies for what to do if there are times you are particularly triggered.  Have you come across 'urge surfing'?  If not, and you're interested I can probably find you some links.  It is about knowing how to surf the waves of craving (and cravings do tend to emerge, rise, and then fall back again, like waves in a sea) without giving into them.

  That is one option.  Also distraction, but particularly meaningful distraction.  Is there an old friend you long to talk to but have never had the time?  Well maybe now's the time.  Do you pray (realise this isn't everyone's thing) well, maybe now's the time.  Do you love nature?  Are there nice places to walk, that would get you out of the hotel room?  This could be the time...

and so on,

Good luck with it, whatever you choose to do!  And remember, if you are sure, in your heart, you really want to be free of an addictive behaviour - nothing can make you do it!

All the best,

AT.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 03, 2016, 12:33:41 PM
Thanks AT and Mikel.  Unfortunately, I have to report another relapse from last night.  I didn't really want to have to report this one, and I had sort of justified it to myself as being OK, but objectively it wasn't.  This was in line with what you're talking about, Mikel.  I'd gotten home from my work trip, was home alone, and tired (a risky combination), and I went onto one of Reddit's NSFW personals boards, looking for someone who'd be where I'll be during my next trip, next week.  I created a new profile and, amazingly, a girl replied, we started chatting, and she sent me photos and videos of herself.  I again stayed up all night chatting, or waiting to hear responses from her.  I thought I could justify this because it was trying to connect and have sex with a real person, as in a legitimate way to relieve the "drought."  But I really wasn't into what she wanted to do, and I'm sure that if I actually met her in person (it wasn't likely because of our schedules) I'd feel completely empty and lonely and disgusted afterward.  Like before, I was just sort of telling her what I thought she wanted to hear, so that she'd keep chatting with me.  (I actually think I'm a pretty vanilla person, sexually.)  I felt bad immediately after I finally said goodbye to her online and returned to the real world.  To end the night, I MO'ed to a photo of someone on a dating site who had looked at my profile, a "wholesome"-looking girl who I'd imagined would be sweet, kind, and loving, someone who deep down I think I would want to be with.  Of course I again now feel empty, lonely, and disgusted this morning. 

I hate to ban Reddit entirely but it might be necessary.  Mikel, glad to know someone else has had issues with Reddit.  I think I'm OK with dating sites.  They can be time-wasters and cause problems for other reasons, but I don't see them as contributing to this problem I can't seem to shake.  In fact, if I get serious about trying to date someone, a dating site is probably the best way for me to make that happen.

AT, hadn't heard of urge surfing but I just Googled it.  As for distractions, walking would be a good one to implement.  It's easy and gets me away from the computer in general.  Even without this stuff, I'm online reading a lot, checking email, etc.

This is really a shame because the time seemed to pass pretty easily while being with family and being busy on the road.  And it's sad how I can go from being around family, spending time together, not thinking all about myself for once, feeling more connected, and therefore not having any interest in this kind of crap ... to one week later being back in the gutter.  Now it'll be until at least March before I can hit 90 days.

I'm discouraged, but I have no choice but to start again.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Mikel on December 04, 2016, 06:18:00 AM
Yep, been there. Chatted to people purely because they are 'there' so to speak. The desperation and loneliness can be crushing at times, hence seeking out avenues we wouldn't normally seek. Online dating is probably my only source to meet the opposite sex but as I've already mentioned, it's not healthy at the moment and maybe it never will. I'd rather focus on getting well than try something which could possibly hinder my recovery.  It sounds like you may not be comfortable being in your own skin or at the very least, spending time on your own. What do you think?
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on December 04, 2016, 06:51:31 AM
Hi Detente,

Well done for coming back after another slip!  There are many people who slip many, many times before finally getting this out of their lives.  I hope that you never do again - as it obviously does not make you feel good.  But I think one thing that can happen is that people feel so ashamed of their slips, they slink back completely into the addiction because they can't face telling people that they have 'failed' again.

Do you know the story of Robert the Bruce and the spider?  If not here is a link:

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/warsofindependence/bruceandspider/index.asp

Lesson: losing a battle isn't a failure.  You haven't failed till you give up the war.  Keep fighting, man!

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on December 04, 2016, 06:54:15 AM
And one last thought:

Getting off the internet and into the world seems to be really helpful for most of us.  One option would be to put a time limit on your web activity.  Spend the rest of the time walking, meeting family, dancing, singing - whatever floats your boat!  Web connections aren't as satisfying as face-to-face as it sounded, from your last post, like you are discovering...
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 04, 2016, 12:07:44 PM
Day 2.

Quick check-in before I go on my next work trip.  AT, thanks again.  I started reading your journal and see some similarities there and am very impressed with your thinking.  I've also seen your struggles (at least early on, I'm only halfway through the journal), which makes me feel not so bad about my slipups.  I'll check out that link next time I log in.

Some moves I've made:

- Blocked Reddit on my laptop.  My blocker on my computer nicely blocks all of Reddit, so I don't have to block each NSFW subreddit one by one.

- Downloaded a smart phone usage tracker that also allows you to schedule times for apps and Internet to be blocked.  I'm going to experiment with blocking it starting at 9:30 pm and until 5:30 am.  This would lessen the risk of falling into this again and pulling an all-nighter.  Also would help with sleep hygiene.

- Deleted one "swipe" dating app and thinking of deleting Tinder. I don't have problems with these in terms of pursuing sex (at least not seriously) but they are addictive, a time waster, and I tend to "collect" matches and not act on them.  These apps are mainly based on photos, so you have no deep sense of what a person is about based on the profile.  When I use them I'm not really being serious about pursuing a relationship.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on December 10, 2016, 06:19:39 AM
Hi Detente, those sound like really good moves.

If I am honest with you, I sometimes feel like the last person who should be giving people advice, as I am still struggling myself!  On the other hand, I have learned a thing or two over time about what does help me stay PMO free, and I like to offer that to others to see if it helps them.

Ultimately, each of us will be free of this I believe, when for a consistent period of time, we want to be free more than we want PMO.  I am in that place alot of the time - but not all the time,and that is why I slip.

So my journey is about building consistency of motivation, and making it as difficult as possible for myself to slip up when my motivation does go. 

I have found a slow but consistent improvement - certain places I no longer look at P - e.g. in public, certain things no longer trigger me, much less likely to 'pull an all-nighter' etc.  I believe I will get their in the end.  My attitude is 'never give up '.  Each PMO free day is worth achieving!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 11, 2016, 08:13:49 PM
Day 9.

Thanks again AT for reading and commenting.  You're continuing optimism despite struggling is inspiring.

The phone blocker is nice.  It's interesting to see how much I use my phone and it's been helpful to not have it available each night depending on how I've set it.

No real P temptation this week being on the road with a busy schedule.  I did slipup somewhat on Friday night, where I got really drunk at the hotel bar.  I was blowing off some steam after a long week, wasting my time flirting with women and talking to people the more drunk I got, and I paid for it the next day with an early flight.  Felt horrible all day and still feel bad, physically.  And I M'ed that night.  Because it wasn't PMO, I'm not resetting the tracker.  But like PMO, this sort of thing feels out-of-control, wastes time, and comes with a physical toll.  And I really don't like myself afterward.

But onward.  Home alone all weekend and not feeling any desire to get on Reddit, so that's good.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on December 12, 2016, 05:51:22 AM
Yeah - onwards and upwards.  I also find it hard to stay clear of this stuff if I  have a hangover.  Sounds like you did really well to avoid Reddit!

Reading your post makes me think about my 'drinking policy'.  Generally, I avoid having more than one drink for the above reasons.  But I don't want to say I'll never get a bit 'merry' - at a close friends birthday party, for example, or something similar.  Maybe it's good to have  a plan for the next day - 'kill or cure' breakfast with a friend, a walk in the woods - something that helps with the hangover but keeps me connected to others, rather than withdrawing into a PMO fest....
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 12, 2016, 04:44:55 PM
Day 10.

AT, yeah, I felt so crappy and exhausted having been hungover, gotten no sleep, and flown back home that I had no interest in porn or anything that didn't involve me sitting on the couch watching TV.  My drinking is sometimes very similar to my PMO habit -- I don't do it everyday by any stretch, but when I do do it, I can binge and go to the extreme.  But with drinking, it's not nearly as often the case as it is with PMO on Reddit.  I certainly can and do have a drink or two and call it a night, on the occasions when I do drink.

I noticed a very slight inkling of interest in checking out P today, a day I took off from work.  Just noticed it but no real thought of following through.  With the blocker on my laptop now it's too much of a pain anyway, ha.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 13, 2016, 06:51:50 PM
Day 13.  Some slight temptation as I was working from home today, but nothing major.  I think I forget about the previous "I'll never do this again" episode right around this mark.  Hoping the computer and phone controls will help if the temptations rise.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on December 15, 2016, 01:50:19 PM
Your going great Detente!  I'm rooting for you!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 17, 2016, 03:05:26 PM
Day 14. (I guess my counting was off -- I last rebooted on 12/3, and today is 12/17). 

Thanks AT!

No serious urges.  Did some more working from home, and there was some slight urge when I got bored, but nothing serious.  Feeling sick has helped lessen the urge I think.  I've had some more intense dreams lately.  Maybe because I'm not zoning out on the Internet as much?  Last night I actually had a pornographic dream.  A lot of the dreams I'm having are ones where I'm in a bad or awkward situation, and I feel very relieved when I wake up  and realize it was just a dream.

This weekend I have a lot of plans, and my phone and laptop blockers are still there, so I expect no issues in the next few days.

Onward...
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 20, 2016, 10:57:34 PM
Day 17.

No real serious urges.  It helps to have had things going on and a regular work week this week.  With the holidays coming up I think I'll be OK also.

I do have to report another bad drinking episode this past weekend.  After having several drinks at a party, I stopped in bar on my way home and drank there until closing time.  Another hangover, another day of dragging the next day.  This time I think I did this because I had been "revved" up by the drinking at the party and didn't want to end it.  But I might do this as another way to combat loneliness.  Who knows.  But again a waste of time and money, and acting foolish.  Also, I MO'ed when I got home.  Hope to nip this type of behavior in the bud as well.

Also not doing as well with the overall digital detox as I'd like.  But one thing at a time I guess.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 22, 2016, 10:44:59 PM
Day 19.

Absorbing some scary news related to a family member's health, and I therefore have zero interest in P right now and feel ridiculous and bewildered for ever having any.  Seems so selfish and childish in the overall scheme of things.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on December 23, 2016, 06:52:39 AM
Sending you good wishes....remember how I felt in similar situations.

All the very best to you and yours....
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 23, 2016, 08:59:50 PM
Day 20.

Thanks AT, this is new territory for us.  Zero temptation under the circumstances.  I expect it to be like this for a while.  It almost feels like "cheating" without the need to fight any real urge.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 29, 2016, 03:14:44 PM
Day 26.  Back home and not working this week, and feeling an uptick in urges today.  It's been a lazy day.  Time to do something productive.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 29, 2016, 11:07:58 PM
Still Day 26. Been really feeling the urge to look at porn today.  Not sure what it is.  I think it's partly because I'm away from family now and "free" again.  Also away, physically and therefore emotionally, from the family health issue.  When I'm around family, I also feel more "wholesome" and feel a sense of responsibility.  Sort of brings out my higher self.  Not as much when I'm alone and far away.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 30, 2016, 01:25:59 PM
Day 27.  Took a slight risk yesterday opening up Reddit on my phone to look at a non-porn subreddit, something that might be helpful to me in my life.  Not too much temptation there but a little bit.  Feeling sad all around about being back home away from family and having to return to a job I really don't like.  So I feel stuck.  Also woke up this morning really yearning for a companion, but scared to initiate something.  I imagined having sex with a loving partner, which was better than indulging in a porn fantasy.  And my erection was pretty hard, which was a nice sign.  Resisted the urge to masturbate.  Almost at one month since the last PMO relapse.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Maximus76 on December 31, 2016, 05:22:51 PM
Hi Detente!

Just wanted to drop by and say hello. I will read thorugh your jouornal tomorrow and cath up withyour story but I already saw that you are a 40 year old, single man too like me. It's a good thing that these kinds of forums and communities excists.

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 31, 2016, 05:23:31 PM
Day 28.

Not too much temptation today.  While on my computer, I saw that a photo I'd downloaded during one of my binges was in my downloads folder.  It wasn't a pornographic photo per se, no nudity but an "arty" photo of a woman with a look of pleasure on her face.  I deleted it.

Last night was another "binge" of a different sort.  Not looking at porn, but airplane accident documentaries and videos of all things (after watching the movie "Sully").  I stayed up really late doing this.  I'd like to cut out this sort of mindless binging.  At least it wasn't porn-related.  I think it stems from my main issues -- loneliness, aimlessness, feeling stuck, and feeling bad about being single at this age.  One thing weighing on me is that I really need to switch jobs, and the prospect scares me.  I don't really like the field I'm in, and switching to something better-suited would probably require me to take a large pay cut.  So it's weighing on me.

Before I forget, I wanted to mention one other nasty thing about the sex chatting and porn exchange I was doing with women on Reddit.  In addition to feeling bad about myself, screwing with my health, and wasting time, I was communicating with several young women who, based on their postings to other subreddits, were "damaged" in some way -- suffering from depression, past abuse, low self-esteem, etc.  So  it felt almost abusive in a way to be chatting like that.  It's not my responsibility for them participating, but I think that they might be doing that if they felt better about themselves.  Like me.

Signing off to say:  I deserve a healthy, loving relationship, and I can make that happen.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Maximus76 on January 01, 2017, 07:56:05 AM
Just read your journal from the start to finish. I have no doubt that the reddit messaging with girls, hunting, getting that dopamine ping when a notification shows a new incoming message, is a real addiction for you. Just as you yourself have realized. On a positive note though it is a good thing to come to realizaion about it, even if it feels bad, because then we can do something about the problem. Just like you now are doing.
I too have the same problem, not with reddit but another site where I get hooked into trying to get to write with someone of the opposite sex and then I escalate into all sorts of writing about stuff I actually would not want to do in real life. After i'm done I often feel a bit disgusted about myself and the way I wrote with her. My real sexual taste is vanilla sex and I'm not interested in shemales, guys or old/young age play yet those are the stuff I find myself writing about again and again, just to get a reaction from them, and in someway amp up the dopamine levels even higher for myself because of that, when they start asking me questions about it. (they think I actually has done any of those very kinky and unusual things I describe to them yet I'm only making it up)

For me, I know I must keep that site blocked, becaouse it is there I have programmed my brain to be this way. So I think it is good that you try to avoid reddit at all costs!

Stay strong!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 01, 2017, 09:20:44 PM
Day 29.

No temptation today.  Tired after a few drinks to celebrate the New Year and staying up late, but with friends.  I also think posting here regularly helps, and knowing people are reading this.

Maximus, that site sounds pretty cool -- can you PM me the address?  Just kidding.  What you've described is very much like my experience.  Acting like I'm interested in things I'm really not, to get interest and conversation from women who do get turned on by those things. Blocking Reddit on my computer and getting an app that lets me shut down my phone has helped.

I deserve a loving, healthy relationship, and I can make that happen.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 02, 2017, 08:27:10 PM
Day 30.

No real urge to go on Reddit or look at porn, but I was feeling a strong urge to masturbate this morning.  I think going without a release for weeks on end is going to pose a challenge.  On a positive note, my thoughts were more in the realm of sex with a partner, not a fantasy based on porn I've looked at or discussed with women.  So more "wholesome" thoughts.  Also, hopefully this reflects a reset, and my normal libido is returning.

Not doing so well on reducing my technology use.  Still wasting lots of time looking at videos, etc.  Having trouble motivating myself to get productive things done.  Need to work on that.

Next week I have another work trip.  I think there will be some risk of at least masturbating, and possibly going on Reddit.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 04, 2017, 12:41:07 AM
Day 31.  No real risk today of going on Reddit or finding other Internet porn, but I thought a lot about sex today, mainly about past experiences I've had with women.  I feel a lot of sadness around that.  The vast majority of my sexual encounters did not take place within a relationship -- they've mainly been one-offs or casual situations, or situations where I did not envision the relationship progressing and I was too weak to be upfront about it.  Sadly, I've probably had sex with more women than normal (which I'm not proud of) and at the same time I am definitely less sexually experienced than normal.  Explaining this to a potential girlfriend is a scary prospect.  However, I do see my interest in sex as a positive sign.  Without porn, I direct that  sexual energy in a real relationship.

I still find myself acting out with technology in a way that seems to be a substitute for my compulsive Reddit issue.  I'm mindlessly swiping through profiles on dating apps, and focusing on women's answers to sex questions on OK Cupid.  Most ominously, I've bookmarked or "liked" or even written to some women mainly based on the potential to have sex with them.  I'm wasting my time and not focusing on women who would probably be a better fit for me (i.e., kind, sweet, down-to-earth).  Part of me does want some kinkiness in a relationship (I think -- or maybe it's just what I think when I'm not in one), but that may be possible with someone who's a good fit for me.

Not using porn in 30 days has, despite my continued tendency to binge on technology, freed up some emotional space, and it's helped me realize how lonely I am.  That's not necessarily bad.  Without porn to distract or numb me, that feeling of raw loneliness may compel me to really go out and find someone and something real.

The job situation continues to weigh me down.  But maybe if something positive was going on in my love life, a real connection, I wouldn't feel so demoralized and would have more energy and optimism to make a change there.

Signing off for today by saying: I will find someone who will love me for me.
 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 05, 2017, 10:38:54 PM
Day 33.

No urges to view porn or chat with women.  Been pretty busy with work.  Still screwing around with excessive technology use.  I came home after a late night at the office and stayed up listening to music into the late hours, then getting up late and getting into work late.  Hoping to get to sleep at a decent hour tonight and up at an early hour to be at an appointment on time.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Maximus76 on January 06, 2017, 05:18:08 AM
Quote
I still find myself acting out with technology in a way that seems to be a substitute for my compulsive Reddit issue.  I'm mindlessly swiping through profiles on dating apps, and focusing on women's answers to sex questions on OK Cupid.  Most ominously, I've bookmarked or "liked" or even written to some women mainly based on the potential to have sex with them.  I'm wasting my time and not focusing on women who would probably be a better fit for me (i.e., kind, sweet, down-to-earth).  Part of me does want some kinkiness in a relationship (I think -- or maybe it's just what I think when I'm not in one), but that may be possible with someone who's a good fit for me.

Be a bit careful with this because it mimics the addictic behaviour and beacuse of that it can fire up the same pathways in the brain. Those pathways should, if at all possible, fire as little as possible as to soon weaken and give place for other, more natural ones.

Day 33 already, you are doing great man! Keep rocking!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 07, 2017, 04:52:15 PM
Day 35. 

Thanks Maximus.  I really do need to look at my overuse of technology.  I do think it's addictive, especially with my phone.  Constantly checking games I have, news, my finances, etc.  Doing that must be affecting by brain, even if I don't get the same reward from M'ing.  It's also a soothing source of relief from having to concentrate and work.  I can barely read a book anymore.

Yesterday I probably felt the biggest urge to go back on Reddit and chat with women since this 35-day period began.  It's definitely tied to the end of the work week and the feeling of freedom that brings.  Plus being tired I think.  The temptation began at work late in the day.  Luckily there wasn't much risk for me, especially knowing I have the blocker on my computer.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 08, 2017, 08:34:53 PM
Day 36.

No real risk or temptation today.  Pretty good weekend of hiking yesterday and going to a meeting of some people with a common interest.  Working on some new nutrition approaches.  Going out of town this week, but right now I don't feel too worried about a relapse.  Still need to delete some dating apps.  Still wasting my time a bit on some.  Not sure why I'm not able to do it.  I guess I have several "collected" matches that I don't want to give up, even though I haven't initiated any conversations with them.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: le_petit_moster on January 08, 2017, 09:42:21 PM
Day 36.

No real risk or temptation today.  Pretty good weekend of hiking yesterday and going to a meeting of some people with a common interest.  Working on some new nutrition approaches.  Going out of town this week, but right now I don't feel too worried about a relapse.  Still need to delete some dating apps.  Still wasting my time a bit on some.  Not sure why I'm not able to do it.  I guess I have several "collected" matches that I don't want to give up, even though I haven't initiated any conversations with them.
Dear Detente....I wish you well.. you have killed the 'little monster' the brain chemical stuff. You seem to be good with the 'big monster' the brain wash stuff. However, what I have seen is when you start avoiding people, things or situations ( phone in your case) you are transferring too much power to this illusory monster PMO. Please be aware of this. The strange thing is once you become aware of this..you can still check news as often as before but your mind will be clear that you are there only for news. You get what I am saying ? Wish you the best.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 13, 2017, 11:03:35 PM
Day 40, and unfortunately I have to report another relapse.  I was doing so well and just blew it last night.  I'm on the road for work again, the work we needed to do was finished, and I had a free night to myself by myself.  I'd started chatting with a girl I matched with here on a swipe app, with the hopes of getting to have sex.  Ended up texting her over the course of the remainder of the night after I'd returned to my hotel.  Once again had drink after drink at the hotel, generally in the hopes of meeting someone there who'd want to hook up.  When the girl wasn't working out, or the hotel guests, I started going back to those Reddit subreddits on my phone, and eventually on my laptop back up in my room. I figured out how to turn off my blockers even in my drunken state.  At the time I thought I could get a pass because I wasn't actually chatting with anyone on Reddit, but eventually I was.  So again feeling hungover, gross, ashamed.

The triggers here were being alone, having freedom from any work responsibilities and free time, and drinking.  Have to keep all that in mind.  Idle hands are the devil's workshop and all that.  Also, this time I think I could really sense the brain "rush" I was getting by doing this -- especially when seeing new messages come in.  It did occur to me in the middle of this episode that I was experiencing the addictive process in real time.  I don't know if that's true, but it felt like it.

I emerged from it scared that I'll never turn it around and get into a healthy, loving relationship.  I couldn't imagine myself being capable of it right now.  I couldn't imagine choosing a loving, decent path.  That feeling has ebbed a bit with some time having passed.

It kills me to have to report this, knowing that there have been a lot of viewers on this thread reading this.  I had thought of this site as I'd started to peek in at Reddit again, trying to remember how I'd hate to have to report an other relapse, and sort of bargaining with myself by wondering at what point I would have crossed the line, requiring me to fess up.  I must confess that I did think about not reporting it all.  Once I did know I'd gone too far, I went all the way and gorged, like when someone breaks a diet.

I don't want to beat myself up too much. I did get to 40 days, which I think is a record for me since I've started.  This might be one blip on the road to wellness.  I'll reset the counter with a smaller day goal, and also keep track of the Dec. 3 start date.

Le_petit_monster, I think part of the problem here is making a big deal out those sites I visit, making them into a monster as you say.  When I go back the floodgates open.  It's like I've gotten into the cookie jar.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: laalee on January 14, 2017, 07:30:55 PM
Good for you being honest. A lapse is difficult to report i feel like i let my self and others down. 
I want to be perfect not sure what that is.  In 12step they say "progress not perfection"
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: le_petit_moster on January 14, 2017, 07:42:30 PM
Day 40, and unfortunately I have to report another relapse.  ...
Le_petit_monster, I think part of the problem here is making a big deal out those sites I visit, making them into a monster as you say.  When I go back the floodgates open.  It's like I've gotten into the cookie jar.
Dear Detente...
I request you to not feel MaG - miserable and guilty. It keeps you down. Do not to let a silly slip become a slip-lapse-relapse. It is not yet a relapse.
You remind me of a recent comment I received from a reader of the hackbook, he said he was a PMOer but now he is confident of quitting.
" It's only been two weeks since I finished it and I've been staying out of town for work away from my fiancé in a hotel room alone four days out of the week. Fighting the urge was ridiculously easy because the book helped me to assure myself I would never watch porn again."

As with MaG, it is important not to feel MaD -miserable and deprived on night when you abstain.
You need to feel ' Yippee ! Isn't it great that I don't need to PMO any more ? I am free !! I am not a prisoner"
ps: the little and the big monsters I refer in the hackbook is the chemical withdrawal and the illusion/brainwash.

I wish you well in your journey.
Cheers.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 06, 2017, 06:37:55 AM
Checking in again to report another relapse.  Just took place.  Same thing -- Reddit chatting.  It's 6:30 am on a Monday and need to face the day.  I took today off, but I have some appointments I need to keep that would be more effective if I showed up awake and fresh.  I had stayed away from this site since the last one to build up some clean time before returning.  But the clock re-starts.

I felt I had been turning a corner a bit.  One of my appointments today is about career/job ideas, moving that forward.  Did some decent organizing.  And I've all but stopped using those swipe dating apps, and I contacted one girl on a more substantive dating site and had a nice date yesterday (although it feels like today, since I haven't slept.)  So feels like self-sabotage.  I was finally starting to think of myself as normal, respectable, not pervy, and now I do this again.  Why?  Just lonely and horny?  Afraid to give up this "dirty" part of myself to be in a relationship?  Refusing to let go of selfishness?  Refusing to let go of the freedom that comes with being able to do this sex chatting as a single man?

Le_petit_monster, after the last one I told myself I wouldn't make myself feel miserable and guilty.  I didn't at first, but then I did pretty angry at myself.  I don't know how I'll feel now.  Right now, not so good.  Damn though, I thought I was moving things in the right direction.  BTW, what's the hackbook?  Sorry if it's obvious -- I'll check the site and your post history.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 06, 2017, 06:44:31 AM
Duh -- the hackbook is in your sig...

I've reset my counter with a goal of getting through the end of the month clean.  Dammit, I really want to hit the 90 days!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 19, 2017, 09:06:33 AM
I did it again. Only made it 13 days. Jesus. When am i ever going to grow up and have respect for myself?
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 12, 2017, 01:30:20 PM
Made my goal of getting through the rest of February without a relapse.  Now aiming to get through March.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: lyon03 on March 14, 2017, 05:04:36 AM
Well done detente! You're off to great start. Keep going, keep posting, and keep encouraging others. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: getagrip on March 16, 2017, 09:17:01 PM
Sorry I've been away from this thread for awhile. Sounds like you are doing very well these days, and as I got caught up reading the thread, I was inspired by your continuing honesty and disclosures. A long time ago, you asked about penpal sites, but guess what? I'm not going to tell you! I say this because I have found that for me, they are just another excuse for avoiding real contact with real women. I have had E.D. for about a year now, unknown whether it is PIED or medication-related, or a combination of those and other factors. But for whatever reason, I found myself unusually (and refreshingly!) horny tonight and I did look at some images, but I have not PMO'd and with the grace of God and this forum, I won't. Getting back to the penpal sites and for that matter, a lot of dating sites (especially if you're like me and belong to some sites but rarely if ever initiate any contact), I actually believe I make a better impression on people in person than online. I say this even though I can be quite shy. I do belong to meetup.com which I think is an excellent site but unfortunately I have not been to any get-togethers yet. But I think guys like you need to get out of the house more, just to escape the demons in our minds, and to at least be around real people, real women.

Please keep us updated!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 23, 2017, 09:25:09 PM
Lyon03 and getagrip, thatnks for your support.  I agree that this stuff is about avoiding real contact with women and the risk that comes along with that.  And avoiding living in the real world, with a real relationship and its ups and downs, rather than in fantasy.

Unfortunately I have to report another relapse.  Same thing, same subreddits.  I won't go into the details of what happened, but I was horny (I guess that's good), I had a justification of sorts for going into Reddit, and then I realized I hadn't deleted my last account, so it was right there. I made it 32 days.  Reset, and it begins again.  My goal right now is to finish up March.

Also, I had MO'ed maybe a week or so ago.  Maybe not giving that up entirely will help.  The primary evil here is the click click black hole of the Internet.  Looking at porn and communicating with women online about it is a big rush for me, that's clear.  It's probably messing with my head.  Actually I know it does, because I'm a different person when I'm in the midst of it.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on April 14, 2017, 12:50:38 PM
I've made it through the end of March and now mid-April.  The next goal is to finish up April.  I have had a couple of times where I've been tempted to relapse, but have withstood it.  I've been MO'ing more lately, and I thinik that is fine.  Better than PMO.  And without artificial stimulation, although I have had a couple of incidents I feel are regrettable recently -- visiting a strip club (and getting a lap dance for the first time) and going out and drinking too much.  MO'd after each, and felt bad (more physically, from the drinking and late nights).  But that won't be a regular thing I know.  I think the best course is if I get tempted to go online, just MO if necessary for a release.  The issue in all of this is online porn.

Onward!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on April 22, 2017, 02:38:30 PM
I'm up to April 22.  Planning to get through this month, take it one month at a time.  I had some slight urges to get back online but held off.  Mainly because I had a three-day weekend and time to myself.  Specifically, a night to myself. 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on May 03, 2017, 08:32:46 AM
I made it through the rest of April without looking at porn or going to those Reddit subreddits.  I felt the biggest temptation I've had since I've been on this streak Monday night.  I had that "freedom" feeling because I'd be working from home the next day.  So with no commute it was an opportunity to stay up later and relax.  And I had been texting with a high school classmate from long ago, and I think she was being flirtatious, so I was getting into a sexual mood.  But I resisted and moved on.  I still MO without artificial stimulation from time to time.

Outside of this issue, I'm trying to take steps to get myself organized and set up and follow a more regular schedule.  I've been drifting for a while.

Right now another month seems like too long before reaching another milestone, so I'll set May 15 (halfway through the month) as my next  PMO-free goal.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on May 20, 2017, 12:09:46 AM
I've made it past mid-May without any relapses.  No real serious temptation to go back online.  I'm allowing myself to MO when I want to (without P), and I think that lessens the temptation.  Just more efficient to go straight to that instead of wasting an entire night online first.  Still struggling with too much Internet use and screen time in general.  Trying to work on that.  Next goal is to get through the rest of the month.  I've made it to 57 days without PMO, which I think is the longest since I created this journal.  Onward.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on June 02, 2017, 05:24:56 AM
Made it through the end of May without any relapses.  So far so good.  It's been 70 days.  The next goal is to get to June 17, two weeks from now.  I'll be traveling again for work, which is good in that I'll be busy, but somewhat risky in that I'll be on my own.  However, I don't expect a relapse.  I haven't had too much temptation as I go along, and I have been allowing myself to MO when I want, which isn't very often.  But knowing I can do that helps I think.  I can go straight to that and use my imagination, and save the time and shame of using the Internet.

I'm still struggling outside of this, trying to get out of this rut of cynicism and general apathy.  I've replaced my escape through using P with other types of escapes, like reading the news obsessively.  I think I'm escaping feelings of loneliness and discouragement.  I'm trying to get in touch with my feelings more.  I'm just slogging through life.  My schedule is still off.  I keep late hours and get up late, and get into work late.  Overall, I'm still pretty isolated.  I work, go home or hang out at a coffee shop alone.  I don't initiate social activities much.  I think part of it stems from not liking my job.  It takes up the biggest part of my life and it's hard to fake it in the office.  It's also draining to be looking for a new job while holding down a job.

On the dating front, I'm still avoiding really pursuing it seriously.  I have been trying to match with women who are in open relationships or looking for sex only, which I was able to do and meet in person with one woman.  I also met someone at a club, got drunk, and nearly went home wit her.  A couple times we MO'd together over the phone.  Afterward I don't feel great about it, kind of empty.  It's not really intimacy and just feels empty, very transactional.  I've sort of forgotten the good aspects of relationships -- closeness, support, fun -- and just grown cynical about them.

I'd like to get back to being interested in life, being a decent person, and trying to grow.  I was thinking about how character is destiny yesterday, and one each day we have to choose certain actions and thoughts to steer life in the right direction.  I haven't been making good choices for a long time.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on June 17, 2017, 11:57:07 PM
I've made it to 85 days.  Just 5 away from the big 90 milestone.  The urge to go online and PMO is really lessened, but I still struggle with wasting my time on the Internet and not focusing on the things in life that would increase happiness.  I also don't think I'll ever declare full victory over this.  I don't want to let my guard down.

The next goal is to get through June.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on June 23, 2017, 10:13:28 PM
Made it to 90, 92 to be exact.  My counting must have been off a day.  So this is a milestone.  I actually had some temptation earlier today, with the weekend coming up and free time, but I guess that passed.  Also, while I still understand why what I've been caught up in is so enticing, I've done a pretty good job lately of recognizing, ahead of time, that that is a dead-end.  I still have to be on guard.  I've thought I'd "beaten" this several times now only to relapse.

I think this problem of mine has been a symptom of a lot of underlying sadness, loneliness, and fear.  I used to be more in touch with those feelings and felt them a lot more, but not so much anymore.  Apathy and cynicism overlay them now.  I think going online and exchanging porn with women represents that apathy and cynicism -- basically giving up.  If I can continue to keep this Reddit habit at bay, I hope I can start making better choices and get my life back on track.  I'll use this thread to mark my progress.  The three main things I need to work on are  developing a romantic relationship, getting a new job, and taking care of my health through exercise and a better diet.

The no-PMO mini-goals seem to help me, so I'll continue to set them.  I'll keep the current goal of no PMO through the end of this month in place.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: AndyNJ on June 24, 2017, 06:06:20 AM
Hi, Detente.  You're very inspiring!  I've never been able to get to the point you're at, but I'm trying once again.  It's useful for me to see that you've done that by setting mini-goals and staying mindful of your own emotions. Thanks for sharing your journey here.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Strikeatruepath on July 03, 2017, 06:05:02 AM
Détente I Have to echo what Andy says -inspiring. You are doing really well. You obviously have a lot of self knowledge/awareness about your feelings and this addiction, and you also have some clear, worthwhile goals to work towards. Great stuff!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on July 19, 2017, 02:40:04 PM
Thank you AndyNJ and Strikeatruepath.  The mini-goals do seem to help me.  Starting out, a week or 15 days seems a lot more manageable than a daunting 90. 

I have to say that yesterday I came pretty close to relapsing.  I created an OK Cupid account specifically for targeting women interested in "hookup" and who might be willing to chat online.  I guess I rationalized it by telling myself it would be chat, and not involve porn.  I didn't go into Reddit, knowing that there is easily accessible porn videos and images there.  Once I've open that up, I go into a tailspin.  With OK Cupid, I did notice the scuzzy feeling fairly early on, and I also recognized the compulsivity I experience with my Reddit escapades.  I'd write someone, write someone else, etc., and refresh often to see if anyone wrote back.  I think what stopped me from spiraling was that I wasn't having much luck catching any fish.  It's a lot easier on that Reddit board. 

So the temptation does arise, and actually I feel it somewhat as I type.  Maybe I should channel this sexual energy into actual dating.  And keep posting here, even when I think I've got this licked.

I'm going to reset the counter and set a goal to get through the end of July.

Thanks for reading!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on July 20, 2017, 06:56:14 AM
Detente,
you may not realize this: by reaching 90 you have become a role model for us.
And we are all grateful to you.

Please keep a piece of paper on you always.
List down on it
1. all the important things that matter to you
2. all the goals you want to achieve
3. all the alternative actions you can take what triggers hit

Keep on taking action towards your goals all the time
keep on referring to your note whenever you need to
keep on helping others like you have helped yourself
keep on loving and respecting yourself fully and unreservingly.

Be your own hero by being our hero too.
Thank you for being strong  !
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on July 22, 2017, 04:45:10 PM
TakeActionNow, thank you very much.  That is a great idea.  I'll work on developing those lists and keeping them handy.  I may report back and set them out here if they're not too personal.

Knowing that people are reading this and have seen me get to 90 is also a good backstop against temptation.  But I have been feeling tempted lately.  Hopefully it's just an interim phase between PMO fantasy and relationship reality.

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on July 23, 2017, 03:40:44 AM
Detente,
you are a good person and i am very proud of you.

I would like to share with you:
our temptations may be managed better through better understanding of the full cycle.

our actions are not singular in nature.
the process is usually   
Triggers -> decision -> action -> outcome
Frequent repetition of behavior turns it into habit which we do then repeat unconsciously

Unless we manage the full cycle,
- it is very difficult to break the habit by simply addressing one component, eg abstinence
- because it is a habit the likelihood of repetition is very high.

to break a habit, we need to bring in motivation, price, deterrents, alternatives so that we become more mindful of what we are doing, catch the triggers early and chose an appropriate action

I made a list here today.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=13720.msg139509#msg139509 (http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=13720.msg139509#msg139509)
Please have a look and add whatever you think can help in our thought & management process.

Thanks !
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on August 01, 2017, 11:00:25 PM
I took a look at your extensive list.  Very well thought-out.  I think times when I'm bored and/or stress-free are really dangerous for me, trigger-wise.  Keeping an "effects/consequences" list would be helpful.  Right now, having not done PMO for so long, it's hard to remember the horrible feeling I have after going on a bender.  It's like I was another person.  I forget that at any time I can descend there again.

Today actually I had another slippage, but not full-on PMO.  I viewed a sex video that was related to something in the news.  So pretty much porn, but newsworthy in a sense.  (Not that I had to view it in order to understand the story.)  Basically an excuse to view something.  I overrode my computer's adult content blocker and viewed it.  I didn't M, but just viewing it put me in more dangerous territory. 

A powerful motivator, as you've listed, is not breaking the no-PMO streak.  I'm well past 90 now and have made it through another month.  It would be a shame to blow up that progress and have to start over.

My next goal is to get to August 16 (two weeks from now).
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on August 02, 2017, 04:25:47 AM
Detente,

thank you for going through the list.
Let's call it our list.

Your post made me think more about the clean day number.
I realized that in the process of honoring the number, we are not just RESPECTING our past efforts, we are also developing STRENGTH to continue on.

Whenever we say no to PMO, we are exerting and developing the strength, resilience and endurance required in real life to see our vision and purpose through.
These efforts to deny instant gratification and focus on long term improvement goes directly to developing character and building confidence.

It is more than a number.
It represents who we are and what we stand for.

Take care my friend,  I'll hear from you soon.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on August 20, 2017, 08:49:08 PM
Still PMO-free.  I do feel stirrings at times, though, to go back online.  I know that I'm not necessarily ever going to be out of the woods.  I think I'm noticing a regular sex drive coming back, one not influenced by P.  Or, more that I'm not using P to ramp up the sex drive, and thinking more about getting out of the fantasy life and into real life. 

I'm still struggling with being distracted electronically, with my phone, reading the news, etc.  I would like to get back to a routine of turning devices off or not making them accessible after a specified hour.  And a solid morning routine with some meditation, maybe some yoga, some inspirational reading.  Getting up and getting into work on time has been a major issue for me.

I've made good progress on the career front and am starting a new position.  I've also been exercising a bit more, and plan to set some goals down.  And I'm dating a bit, but would like to get serious about it and not just go on dates for the sake of it, but to develop a relationship.  Not sure what the reluctance is there.  Probably has to do with giving up the full autonomy I have.  But the alternate path is being alone.

TakeActionNow,  I haven't created my list yet.  I still think it's a good idea.

My mini-goal is to get through the end of August -- 11 days.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on August 20, 2017, 09:23:59 PM
Detente,

reading your post is inspiring.
you are doing great !
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on September 04, 2017, 06:31:26 PM
Thank you sir! Still abstaining. Lots going on right now as well. Still need to get more serious about dating and finding someone I click with.

Next goal is to get to September 17.



Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: lyon03 on September 08, 2017, 10:12:04 AM
Hey Détente. Thanks for your posts my friend. I've just read through them. How are you these days brother? I look forward to your next update. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on October 08, 2017, 11:28:36 AM
Hey Lyon, been a while but here's my update. Still PMO free, but with what I'll call a serious "blip." I connected with a woman on a pen-pal site that's supposed to be clean and free of sex talk -- that's the selling point of it. We didn't talk about sex there, but she said she likes chatting and we moved to Facebook. We've chatted there several times, and eventually it did turn to sex and then explicit sex chat. She is divorced with a couple of kids, so maybe that's an outlet for her.

I did M after that, and we had another session where I didn't M if I remember. I am not counting this as a full relapse because it didn't involve porn and we have chatted about other things, so it's not just sex. And we did connect a bit, so she is/was not a complete object to me. Porn is the thing I'm most worried about because of what it does to the brain, and those Reddit sites also are really bad for me because of my compulsive behavior with it. However, this is not good or healthy. She lives around the world and I have no expectation that a real relationship would develop, so what am I doing? It seems like another attempt to avoid putting myself out there and try to connect with someone. And the best test is how I feel afterward -- did I feel good about myself? No. Empty and lonely. And tired and regretful. I have not chatted with her for over a week now I think We have chatted about 5-6 times.

Overall, I'm not doing so well emotionally I must admit. I'm adjusting to a new job, which I think was a good move, but it's not perfect and it's hard being the new person. So there's stress there. I'll have to remember all the reasons I took it when things feel tough. I also tend to put a bit more pressure on myself. At the same time, I've started to show up late, even though I have a great commute now. I do work late and then end up staying late, so it's a bad cycle. I have trouble getting off the computer and consuming news and going to bed at an early time. I think part of that is all the bad news out there that I feel I need to keep up on, but also possibly another avoidance mechanism -- avoiding going to bed with my own thoughts, alone, reminding myself that I'm alone. When I'm locked into work and reading the news, I'm not really connected to myself and what I'm feeling. What I'm really feeling may be loneliness and regret. Although there are times it hits me, which I actually think is a good thing. I'm good at grinding it out, going to work, focusing on the  practical things, being robot-like, but months and years go by.

I'm also not exercising and sleeping well or eating well. A result of the late night, late morning cycle.

However, I think I can get a handle on this. I'll be moving, so there will be more upheaval, but once that's done I'll have an even better commute, which will give me more time that I hope to make good use of -- exercising, cooking, sleeping 7-8 hours a week, socializing, and dating.

So perhaps my PMO-free streak needs an asterisk, but I think it's still alive. My next goal is to get through the end of this month.

Wishing everyone lots of progress and strength!

PS -- I guess the trackers aren't working anymore? I added a sig and will have to track that way. It was nice though to see the number of days.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: lyon03 on October 09, 2017, 12:30:29 AM
Thank you for sharing so honestly my friend. You make an excellent point about borderline or questionable behaviour: "How did I feel after?" My rule is simple: am I seeking sexual stimulation via screens? When I focus on the virtual, this takes away from any real-world connections. Thanks for reminding me of that my friend. I too miss the trackers! PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on October 09, 2017, 07:47:01 PM
Thanks, and thanks for reading. I actually feel pretty crappy today, emotionally. But I think in good way -- feeling lonely and knowing it. So hopefully that will prompt me to do something about it.

Wish you all the best.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: lyon03 on October 10, 2017, 05:27:18 AM
Thanks for sharing friend. You've reminded me that loneliness can't kill me! Keep posting/coming back. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Strikeatruepath on October 11, 2017, 04:29:05 AM
Hi Détente,
Good that you are in touch with your feelings -even if they are not pleasant ones right now.
I used to automatically go for the porn when I felt bad -it was such an instant automatic knee-jerk response that I didn't have chance to feel hardly anything. Which I guess is why I did it. Now though, I can feel these feelings, decide to avoid using and to do something else more healthy. Experiencing my feelings has given me chance to gain control.
Hope today is better for you
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on November 12, 2017, 12:07:12 AM
Gentlemen, I'm back for another update. Still no PMO, although I must say I have had some temptations at times to go back on Reddit. And I had another sexual chat with the woman overseas I mentioned before. I am PMO-free in the sense that I did not look at P and the person I've been chatting with has not been a "one-off" -- we've chatted about other topics and have chatted without it turning sexual.

But I must stay I don't feel good about it. I go back to how I feel after it's over -- empty, lonely, immature. And guilty or icky in the sense that deep down many of the women I've chatted with want something more in their lives I'm sure.

Questions to ponder: Why am I not aiming higher for myself? Why do I think chatting with many women or having actual sex with many women will bring me happiness? Why am I being so arrogant, assuming as the years go by I'll still be a "catch"? Why am I being so choosey? Why won't I share or compromise? Why do I act as if staying alone will work out in the long run? Why don't I think about the fun, security, laughter, romance, and connection a relationship can provide?

I fear that I've just been an autopilot too long and won't be able to overcome this sense of cynicism or weariness I feel about relationships, and really life in general. Got to get back to the basics -- trying to be a good person, kind, generous, humble, healthy, good-intentioned. The last one is probably the most important to me right now.

Next commitment is to get to the end of this month PMO-free.

Thanks lyon03 and Strikeatruepath and all for reading.


Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on November 12, 2017, 02:43:02 AM
Detente, i am on the same page as you.
after coming out of pmo, our earlier choices that lead us to today is clear as daylight.

Dive deep.
Keep asking the most difficult questions.
Find your answers. They are there.
I'll say this... We don't have what we want today is because we did not aggressively pursued it yesterday with greatest urgency.
Pmo has a calming, completing effect.
It makes it very hard for us to take risks, go for broke.
It robs us of time to discover more things new or about ourselves.
It changes our opinion of completeness from internal to external.
Stopping pmo is only 10% of the activity.
True recovery is the 90% thereafter soul searching, reevaluation choice making afterwards.

Be strong my friend. There is much about us needed to be restored. But the rewards are definitely there.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 27, 2017, 10:16:47 PM
Checking in again.

TakeActionNow, I really like this statement of yours: "We don't have what we want today is because we did not aggressively pursue it yesterday with greatest urgency." We indeed are the product of our focus and choices.

I felt that exquisitely over the Christmas holiday, being around family but being alone, still. It puts into sharp relief the kind of life I'm living, where I've ended up, what I've missed in life. I wish I could bottle up the raging depression, fear, panic, and embarrassment I felt this past weekend, and keep it handy as motivation to make changes. I wish I had updated this thread during the worst of it to create a record of it. I did re-read this entire thread while in the throes of the emotional crisis I was having. I saw how this thing really did/does have a grip on me and, upon reflection, the emptiness it produces. It shows how lost I can get.

Now that I'm back home and again, on my own, away from family, and returning to work, the intense feeling of dread has already faded away, which means I may risk slipping back into the day-to-day grind and habits that keep me stuck.

I have remained PMO-free, Reddit-free. It's now been 279 days since my last PMO relapse on March 23, 2017. But as noted, I've had a couple of sex-chat episodes with someone I've met online.

I hope to remain PMO-free and use this space to track my efforts to examine myself, improve myself, face fears, and develop a meaningful relationship with someone.

A goal this week is to write to the online friend, and another I've met through OK Cupid essentially for flirting purposes, and be upfront with them that I'm not interested in a relationship and that I don't want to treat them as a sexual outlet, which essentially was the case. I've only truly been interested in chatting when I've been in the mood, or merely bored. It's rude to leave them hanging, especially the OK Cupid friend, who I met in person once and could have become physical with but didn't, knowing I would have regretted it.

The other goal is to delete all messages and bookmarks I have on OK Cupid with women that I am not serious about potentially dating -- the ones in open relationships, looking mainly for sex, attractive but not likely a good fit, etc. I need to seek connection, meaning, and love -- what I see in my family, which shows me what I'm missing.

An ongoing goal of course is to remain PMO-free. My next goal is to reach January 14, 2018 with no PMO.

I'll develop other goals I'll track here around health, work, and other topics, but this is it for now.


Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on December 28, 2017, 12:28:28 AM
Thank you for returning, old friend.

I realize that as we leave the old world of external dependence behind, we start discovering the stronger, more resilient inner world that is ourselves.

This inner resilience is so important in our wellbeing.
It defeats depression, negativity and neediness.

It gives us faith and confidence in ourselves and our future.

I am stronger simply by loving myself better.

I know you will shine through too.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 07, 2018, 07:54:59 PM
Thank you, Take Action Now, and thanks for reading.

I must say my confidence in myself is in the shitter at the moment. Mainly around my new job. It's going to be more challenging than I expect, and I fear that I'll fall into helplessness and figure out a way to meet the challenge. I must say though a lot of people are feeling pressure, not just me, and some of my coworkers seem beaten down.

My fear is that this job will wind up being all-consuming, driven by my anxiety over it. Working late, working weekends, etc. I have done that in the past with stressful jobs (or jobs that felt stressful to me). I've also sort of numbed myself through work. I used to spend weekends at the office just screwing around, not really getting anything done. I really want the job to be steady so that I can focus on dating, which will bring stress as well.

I must say I'm feeling pretty damn lonely right now, and isolated. Writing here is one way to connect in some fashion.

Of the tasks I laid out in my last post, I wrote to one of the women (who's local) to say I didn't want to pursue anything, and I think it was not unexpected, and not a big deal to her. She's a bit of a free spirit. I must confess that if she was open to flirting again I probably would have. Haven't reached out to the other one or cleared through OK Cupid.

On health/spiritual front, I've been meditating every day so far this year, and hope to keep that going.

So the biggest issue right now is the job. I really don't want to have it overwhelm me. When that happens I sort of shut down and feel trapped. It becomes my entire focus because it's what keeps the basics of life (food, shelter) on track. Also, I think my "approval addiction" kicks in - it's very stressful for me when I feel my boss/managers are disappointed in me. Not so good at just feeling I did my best and

It's been busy period with a new job and moving, so I have to recognize that. A couple of big stressors there.

No PMO or looking at P. I've found my way to Reddit actually, just through a Google search on investing (I'll have a chunk of money after selling my place), job options, etc. No real temptation to go over to the forbidden subreddits, but I recognized the risk.

Any self-employed Rebooters out there? :-) I fantasize about that, but that's got to be much more stressful than a steady paycheck and probably not the best idea for me, at least not when I'm alone. Trying to do everything alone is really unhealthy and probably very limiting. I imagine I'd try more and live more if I had a partner. Who knows.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 23, 2018, 02:40:11 AM
I haven't updated in over two months. I went up to a line recently but didn't technically cross it, but it was the closest relapse yet. I connected with a woman on OK Cupid who wanted to share photos and videos, and she sent me several over several days. I even downloaded Snapchat at one point. Some of the same Reddit compulsion was there with this -- refreshing the anonymous email account I'd set up to if she'd replied, etc. And generally feeling scuzzy about it. I say I technically didn't cross the line because I didn't M. But I didn't feel good about myself, and it was easier to recognize that earlier on now, seeing how empty it felt. I deleted Snapchat and the anonymous email account.

I'm almost 365 days PMO-free, not counting this blip and the other sex chatting things I've mentioned.

That's good, but I've just fucked something up in real life that I think is sort of related to PMO in the sense of avoiding real relationships and intimacy. It's also left me feeling extremely ashamed and regretful, but worse than PMO in the sense in that real people are involved. I don't know if I want to detail it here, but I'm putting it out there just for some support. If anyone is reading this and can just reply and say anything supportive, I'd appreciate it. I made a big mistake when otherwise I had things going in a good direction. I don't know how this situation is going to play out. Massive regret right now.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Marco60 on March 23, 2018, 03:34:43 AM
I'm almost 365 days PMO-free, not counting this blip and the other sex chatting things I've mentioned.

That's good, but I've just fucked something up in real life that I think is sort of related to PMO in the sense of avoiding real relationships and intimacy. ....
Just a short presentation: I posted my recovery story here too and in the "Success stories" section, you should know that I am quite old (57 yo) and I think I recovered enough in 63 days.
Now: 365 days PMO-free is a GREAT success, I think! CONGRATULATIONS  :) !! Yet, I do not understand your comments: you mean that in order to stick to the reboot prescription you continue to avoid intimacy ?
I can tell you my own experience. I was totally destroyed by PIED when I started reboot, on December 30th past year. At day 63 of hard reboot I decided to try to have a sexual intercourse, and that night I had not one but three.  Then another one day 72, thus I am  reasonably confident that reboot worked well. I did because I wanted to test myself, and indeed the tests were successful. Why you do not try too? The worst could happen is that the test will not work, but after 365 days if this happens at least you will know that you need to do more reboot. I think it is better to know than living long time in the uncertainty.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 23, 2018, 03:43:37 AM
Marco60, thanks for replying, and congratulations on your reboot and conquering your PIED.

I don't think my last post was all that clear. I'm happy to be PMO-free (with some close calls though). But just tonight I did something I'm going to regret in real life, not with online porn. Basically, hooked up with someone I shouldn't have after a happy hour. Different from PMO, but still a strong sense of shame and regret, and unhealthy.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on March 23, 2018, 08:19:59 AM
Detente,
We're humans, not robots.
We were meant to make mistakes.
Dont be so hard on yourself.
You've recognized what you've done, made amends, so now its time to move on.
Remain strong my friend.
You're alright
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 23, 2018, 10:47:41 AM
Thank you Take Action Now, but this is pretty bad, and not sure how it's going to turn out. I really appreciate your support. I need it right now. Not sure I want to explain more on here, but it relates to me not moving in the right direction, and involves others, not just me and PMO.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on March 23, 2018, 06:08:28 PM
Detente,
You dont have to explain.
You just have to be responsible.
Do what needs to be done, and move on.
Dont dwell on the past. Thats over and done with.
Take appropriate action for the future.
And be committed to your responsibilities
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 23, 2018, 08:07:34 PM
Thank you. I'll try. Just so difficult right now. I guess the effects aren't in the past yet. I am working to do what needs to be done to resolve/settle this issue. Maybe just the passage of time will help, once things seem more settled. But I will have to work on trying to force myself too.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on March 23, 2018, 11:16:35 PM
There is no force.
Be clear with what and why you need to do something.
Let the reasons guide you.
Because you know the outcome is beneficial for you. Ego has no place in purpose.

Dont over think or over analyze
In a fire, firemen are trained to put out fires, not strategize.
Take action and go put out your fire now.
The rest will take care if itself.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 24, 2018, 07:59:32 AM
Thanks. I think that there was an autocorrect fail there - I think I meant "forgive" instead of "force."

I will try to focus on what needs to be done and getting that done. I hope for some progress today.

If/after the immediate situation settles down, the bigger thing will be forgiving myself.

It's a shame because I really felt I was moving in a positive direction in life.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on March 24, 2018, 04:54:38 PM
Hi Detente,

when my father passed away, he left me a gift of awareness:
Kindness, Forgiveness, Compassion
KFC, its easy to remember :)
These are the things you must always constantly gift and give yourself in order to move actively and positively in life.

Not forgiving yourself is an indulgence.
Even after knowing and having a plan, people not taking action or want to punish themselves are indulgent in self hurt and self blame. This is a waste of time.
Like PMO, stop indulgence
Only Action matters.

The past is over and done with.
Only the present and future matters
You know what you need to do.
Stop hurting and punishing yourself.
Move on and forward positively and let the past go.
This is the best thing you can do for yourself
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 24, 2018, 06:59:49 PM
I’d been hoping to write a triumphant post celebrating a year PMO-free, with some small blips, and other progress I’d made. This recent episode seriously dampens that.

On the episode—I had a drunken hookup with someone I shouldn’t have. She’s married, but she said she’s bisexual, as is her husband, and in an open relationship. However, it’s clear she and her husband are not on the same page with how it’s supposed to work. Although it seems they’ve been having a lot of problems, I fear that I may be the straw that breaks the marriage. And I’ve learned that she has some serious anxiety and emotional issues. I hate that I was part of adding to her pain and stress, as well as her husband’s, although she does not seem as regretful as I am about this. She may have been angry about how things are going with her husband. I don’t know.

To make it worse, she’s a coworker, someone I can’t avoid seeing every day. So I have to hope we can get an understanding on what to do—hopefully be able to quickly move on from it, not dwell on it, almost forget it ever happened. With this, she again might not be as agitated about it. She said she’s hooked up with coworkers before. I have avoided it, for good reason. What if people find out, especially given she’s married? Would HR or our managers have to talk to us? How awkward is it going to be between us? What if she wants more from me and feels hurt? What if I’d have to quit? The job is already stressful as it is.

Like PMO, I hate this because it was out-of-control, sad and empty. It was a late night, I was drunk, and I was physically intimate with someone I’m not emotionally intimate with. We didn’t have sex but went pretty far. There’s always a tender, vulnerable moment afterward that doesn’t seem right, knowing the other person will leave and I’ll be alone again.

I couldn’t get any sleep that night, castigating myself for what happened and worried about the consequences. I posted here in the middle of that, desperate to reach out. I was a wreck the next day, and when she didn’t show for work, I grew terrified.
What if she didn’t make it home? What if her angry husband got violent with her? What if the marriage really did end and she was distraught? What if she’s so upset she won’t be able to work at all, killing her career? I reached out to her several times that day, and what a relief it was when she finally did respond. It doesn’t seem she’s crushed by this. Again, this may not be as big a deal for her. I still have yet to talk to her.

For me, this adds another blot on my sexual “record.” I’m ashamed at the number of women I’ve had sex with (let alone hooked up without actual sex) and that, along with my lack of long-term relationship experience and age, make me terrified about what prospective partner will think of me.

It’s also reflects who I don’t want to be. I’ve talked about this before in the context of PMO. It’s unhealthy, unhinged, undisciplined, pathetic, lonely, meaningless, immature, unloving. Harmful to my self-esteem.

All this is a shame because I was making progress. Aside from the recent woman who send me photos and videos, which I ended after a couple of weeks and kept myself from M’ing to, the online sex chatting I’d done with another several months ago, and also phone sex chatting recently with yet another person I’d hooked up with, I had generally avoided unsavory sex practices. Including PMO for a year. PMO I think is the worst because it includes the damage to the brain on top of all the regret. I’m not sure the other stuff does.

The non-PMO progress included moving to a new apartment, decluttering, meditating every day, taking up a new sport, exercising a bit, doing some personal development workshops, and generally allowing my heart to open a bit more than it has been for a long time.

It’s amazing what one bad decision can do. I hope I can mitigate the damage, forgive myself, and keep moving in a positive direction.

Thanks for reading.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: TakeActionNow on March 24, 2018, 08:27:43 PM
Detente,
You're a human.
You have human needs and wants
You have feelings and emotions
You have strengths and weakenesses

One episode does not measure you
One setback does not fail you completely

When we are learning to walk, we fell down innumerous times, but that did not deter us
Whe ln we are learning to play soccer and miss the goal innumerable times, that did not deter us
When we are learning ro drive, missing rhe clutch, bumping the curb, that did not deter us.

And neither should this.
Life is a journey, and journeys are meant to go on and on until that faitful day that will not go on anymore for us
Until thern there is no end and no beginning.

Where you are now is a huge improvement from where you were yesterday.
That you recognize all the details you feel you've needed improvement in, is huge.
Most people dont even know what they've done wrong.
So dont worry about her. She can take care of herself well enough. She is a consenting adult and she choose it freely. You do not owe her anything.

Don't worry about work. Keep diligent and work hard. You are measured by your output, not intimate moments with coworkers

Keep your life aimple.
Stop worrying over things you cannot control.
Focus on those you can.
This includes continuingly being the best you can, day in and day out.

The reboot number is just a number.
So what if you pop the champagne on day 90 and wank one out on day 91?
The number is meaningless.
What is more important is the internal transformation these 90 days have done for you.

And i can see it has done a whole lot of good for you.
Focus on your goods
Only your good matters
The rest leave them behind with the rest of the things we've left behind
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Anothertry on March 25, 2018, 08:29:54 AM
I think that was beautifully put, TakeActionNow.

I wonder, Detente, if it is possible that the worst thing about all this is the shame and anxiety that you are putting yourself through?

What happened, it sounds like, is that you got physically intimate (not even to the point of sex), with someone who was willing to mislead you about the nature of her  relationship with her husband.  In terms of the damage you did - well, it was her choice too, and it doesn't sound like you were the first person she did this with....I someone suspect you won't be the last!

I think your job is only a problem if your being intimate causes a conflict of interest for your company.  Say, you were both solicitors representing different but connected clients.  In most cases, this is unlikely.

Shame and anxiety are massive drivers of addiction.  Self-compassion is a wonderful gift to give yourself that makes daily life so much more wonderful...

And I think you should still celebrate all your achievements this year.  It is really tough on yourself - really tough - not to celebrate them because of this one thing.  I wonder if it helps to think what you would say to a good friend who had been through this?  Sometimes, those words are exactly the right words to say to yourself.

Take care of yourself,

AT.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: seneca on March 25, 2018, 10:20:30 AM
I could not say it any better.  Read and reread Anothertry.  You’re being way too hard on yourself. 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 26, 2018, 09:59:19 PM
Thanks TakeActionNow, Anothertry, Seneca. Your compassionate responses meant a lot to me. Yes, one setback does not define me, I am human, and I went home with a beautiful coworker who I thought was available.

Anothertry, I was reflecting a bit on what you said about shame and had this idea that punishing myself so much might actually be considered egotistical, in the sense that it might show that I think I'm above making big mistakes. As in, "other people get involved with married women, other people get involved with coworkers, but not me -- I'm more disciplined and in control than those people." I'd never considered that harsh self-hatred and shame might also be a sign of arrogance, too. In a way, it's arrogant to think I don't need to be compassionate with myself when I would think it'd be necessary to be compassionate with a good friend in the same situation.

I also must be honest and say that much of the dread and anxiety I felt was based not only on the fear that I had ruined her life or marriage or career, but also of what might happen to me.

In any event, I'm feeling a great deal of relief after today. She didn't seem depressed or distraught at work at all. She and I were able to chat, and I think it went as well as possible in a situation like this. She didn't blame me, and while I don't know the details, she said she's working things out with her husband. We both acknowledged it's awkward at work now, but we'll treat each other like regular coworkers do. And we of course won't mention it to anyone else. It feels to me this will all fade into the background as time goes on. This could have turned out much worse.

Thanks again for your support.

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on July 01, 2018, 01:54:19 PM
After 458 days of abstaining of PMOing by chatting with women and exchanging pictures and videos on those Reddit boards, I’m back to report a relapse. Actually three. The first was last Friday. I’m not exactly sure what prompted it, but I started at the end of the day at work after a long, stressful week and amid some tension with my boss. I think I was happy the week was over and kind of curious and thought I’d just take a peek. I probably would have gone on bender if I hadn’t had plans to go out with friends that evening. It wasn’t as bad as past episodes in that sense, but certainly nothing I could rationalize away. But it was bad, and I was even trying to keep it going even when out with friends.

It was easy to fall back into it. It felt very familiar and, sadly enough, I think I may have recognized some of the posters – the “regulars.” I did sense the rush. I did think about reporting it here, but I guess I in fact did think I could rationalize it because I didn’t M at the end of the night. (Then again, I’d had a lot to drink, so I kind of just crashed when I got home.)
Then on Tuesday, I did have a bender. At this point I can’t remember the details. But it was the exact same dynamic. Constantly refreshing the page, emailing women ASAP, getting exciting when seeing new messages appear. Repeating and repeating and not stopping. It’s amazing; I don’t feel tired at when I’m in the middle of it with my brain so stimulated. It was another all-nighter, and on a weeknight. I felt the familiar regret, shame, and exhaustion.

At the end of that episode, I got a message back from a young woman who had written about something I’d really connected with, and she said what I’d written to her really resonated with her. So in a sense there was a real connection there, and she said she’d write back later on. (And as always, I’m assuming this is a person who is who she says she is.) So I didn’t delete the anonymous account I’d created right away, like I’ve done when I got caught up in this in the past, thinking maybe we’d start a regular correspondence. When I didn’t hear back, I deleted it. Then a day later I created another account to get back in touch with her, and she did respond. We wrote back and forth, and I wrote a long message Thursday evening that she didn’t respond to. I guess because I was waiting/hoping for a response and therefore sitting online with my account open, I went back to those subreddits. And another all-night bender resulted. I deleted that second account.

Even if we had developed a correspondence, I surely would have ended up feeling like I have with others I’ve gone back-and-forth with. Eventually, it feels empty and sad. But as we know, we don’t recognize that in the midst of a binge.
As I’ve written before, my new job is pretty intense for me, and it really hurts me to come in late and especially without sleeping of course. My work certainly suffered. And of course it was a blow to my self-esteem.

But I’m intentionally going with a self-compassionate approach on this one and keeping it in perspective. I did make it well over a year, and I have progressed in several areas, including nearly daily meditation, daily spiritual reading, a new job, a new apartment, spending time with friends, etc. One thing I wanted to do is reread this entire thread (reread it again, I realize – I hadn’t remembered I’d done that in December). I can see that I had been in a very unhealthy place, and I don’t feel nearly close to that now, even after this stumble. I’m also saddened to see all repeated reports of drinking and, really, carousing, tech addiction, and not getting out there and dating. I see someone who has been afraid to develop intimacy and doesn’t think he deserves the good things in life.

Likening a setback like this to meditation helps me. The instruction usually is to focus on your breath, and when you start thinking, just try to notice the thought and gently return your focus to your breath. Here the focus is on being the person I want to be, and when I drift away (through PMO like this, or growing cynical, or binging on reading the news, or eating poorly), gently bring myself back to the right path. Self-flagellation not being helpful and, as I was reminded rereading this thread, in a way a form of self-indulgence. I do get a sense of connection with humanity knowing I struggle and stumble just like anyone else, and I move forward.

What got me out of the depths were those mini-goals, aiming to abstain even for a week. I don’t want to focus so much on the day count this time, but I will set abstention goals anyway – for this one, July 15. I’ll also set goals to do something, not just abstain from doing something. That goal will be to update my dating profile by that date.

Onward.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on October 14, 2018, 08:39:55 PM
Another relapse yesterday afternoon, then all-night overnight into the late morning. Same Reddit boards, chasing after women to chat or role play with. Same complete immersion and lost sense of time.

I didn't realize it, but according to my tracker, it had been 90 days since my last relapse. On this one I consciously opened up Reddit with the intention to go back to those boards. It wasn't like I just wandered over to them after opening up non-porn boards.

I again realize why this attracts me. I do feel a connection and sense of excitement talking to women about sex, reading about their sex lives, and swapping porn. And it's an escape from reality for a bit, which I think I do need from time to time. But I know this is extremely unhealthy for me and not something I can handle. The compulsiveness, the loneliness, the wasted time, and of course the brain-altering effects, especially with the images. The same story.

Again I'm going to try the approach of keeping this episode in perspective. A setback on the way toward a healthier life.

I didn't follow through last time on checking in and setting goals here. I think for now I'm just going to sit with this and see how I move forward.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on October 17, 2018, 09:57:37 AM
Well, that was a quick relapse. Might be time to reinstate the mini-goals. My goal will be to get through October. Basically, I did something I’d done before. I remembered one woman who I’d connected with who had similar interests as me, and I starting thinking I missed out on a good long-term chat partner. So I created another account to wrote to her again. Having open the door again, I started chatting with others,  after not hearing back from that one woman. Another extremely late night, and I’m tired today and won’t be as productive as I could be. I’ve deleted that new account and set up my blocker again, which clearly too easy to override.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: huckleberry on October 17, 2018, 07:06:30 PM
I read your story and wow, this is tough. Do you have a hobby that you can turn to when you've got that rare bit of free time? I also have a stressful job and I found that I turned to PMO when I was very stressed from work or family responsibilities (my life is great, but I'm in about as deep as you can get)... The crazy thing though was how ashamed I was of myself when I would go on a PMO bender... and even worse when I was dealing with a really stressful project at work and I started looking at porn in the men's room. How depraved and pathetic is that?

Unlike so many on here, I've been lucky that I have destroyed (or even damaged) my home life, but I know that is the endpoint of all this. So I stopped.

What has helped me the last few weeks since I stopped is focusing more on my hobby. It is computer related so it gives me something to do besides porn. That has been helpful.

Best of luck Detente.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 08, 2018, 05:47:10 PM
Huckleberry, thanks for reading this saga and responding. Sorry I haven't responded, I don't have notifications on (and not really sure how to set that up). Believe me, I've done the same, looking at porn/chatting at work, even in the bathroom. It's bad.

I take it you meant to say you haven't destroyed or damaged your home life? I'll look over your profile. You say you stopped? Do you visit here still for continued support or resolve, like an alcoholic may attend AA for a lifetime?

I don't really have a hobby I guess. I've picked up indoor rock climbing though and can pursue that more. And I'd like to take some language classes. Given my issue with Reddit, I don't think I could have a computer hobby, ha. The thing is I have plenty of free time as a single man. I've started back at a different job now and, depending on how things shake out, I can see it not being very stressful, which might help. I guess stress can be a trigger for me, as well as boredom, or just a bunch of free time.

Thanks again for reading.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 08, 2018, 06:01:52 PM
And I'm back again to report that I've relapsed again. Once during the week, resulting in another late night and exhausted workday the next day, and now this afternoon. I had a middle-of-the-week day off and I don't even remember now how I fell into it, but it was toward the end of the day. Once I started back on those Reddit boards, the floodgates opened. I kept my newest Reddit account active until today in the hopes of reconnecting with someone I was chatting with. All the while seeking to chat and share porn with other women. I was exhausted this week and wasted the afternoon today. I deleted the account and said I needed to come back here.

I feel ashamed and weak, but the scariest thing is that my feelings aren't all that intense. It's like I've given up on life, living a fuller life with love and self-respect. There must be something deep in me that is telling me I don't deserve love and connection.

I had a taste of it having dinner with a female friend, also single. We met on a dating site but have just been friends, although I think she may be interested in more, and I'm not sure how I feel. But it was nice, sharing a meal and wine and having some laughs. And I sort of get scared of that I suppose. Of really opening my heart.  But I need to risk and try.  PMO'ing is the opposite of that.  It's safe, comfortable, easy, but also stimulating.  I dunno...

I guess I'll commit now to  writing here tomorrow. One day at a time.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Rex on December 08, 2018, 06:33:51 PM
And I'm back again to report that I've relapsed again. Once during the week, resulting in another late night and exhausted workday the next day, and now this afternoon. I had a middle-of-the-week day off and I don't even remember now how I fell into it, but it was toward the end of the day. Once I started back on those Reddit boards, the floodgates opened. I kept my newest Reddit account active until today in the hopes of reconnecting with someone I was chatting with. All the while seeking to chat and share porn with other women. I was exhausted this week and wasted the afternoon today. I deleted the account and said I needed to come back here.

I feel ashamed and weak, but the scariest thing is that my feelings aren't all that intense. It's like I've given up on life, living a fuller life with love and self-respect. There must be something deep in me that is telling me I don't deserve love and connection.

I had a taste of it having dinner with a female friend, also single. We met on a dating site but have just been friends, although I think she may be interested in more, and I'm not sure how I feel. But it was nice, sharing a meal and wine and having some laughs. And I sort of get scared of that I suppose. Of really opening my heart.  But I need to risk and try.  PMO'ing is the opposite of that.  It's safe, comfortable, easy, but also stimulating.  I dunno...

I guess I'll commit now to  writing here tomorrow. One day at a time.

Detente,

Don't beat yourself up.  You have done the right thing posting about your relapse and making a new start. That's half the battle.  What I always did in that situation was go back into a PMO marathon after a relapse which put me further down the abyss but you have done the right thing by starting over.  Hit that virtual reset button and start again on your reboot, don't focus on the fall, leave it behind where it belongs. Think of it as a Super Mario Bros. game where you made a wrong move and you have to start back over again however when you hit the obstacle again in the game you'll know how to maneuver around it.

PMO pretends to be such a comforting friend when the stress, anxiety, and other tough events hit but after falling to it, PMO becomes your greatest critic beating you up. You now have started over, this time you are going to make it.  I'll pray for you....

 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 08, 2018, 07:47:40 PM
Rex, thank you.  Support is what I need right now.  A little while after last posting, I'm feeling the sadness, which I think is good. I want to feel, I want to realize this is serious and loneliness is serious.  When I'm chatting and swapping porn online I'm in another world, numbed, oblivious, escaping.

I guess I had a mini-PMO marathon this week, with two major episodes. To be honest, I shut down only after finally M'ing today and after it was clear I wouldn't hear back from someone I was chatting with. I don't have a daily struggle. I have fairly long stretches in between, but when I backslide I really binge.

Thanks for you prayers, that really helps.

--

Huckleberry, if you're reading, my apologies. I see that you are still working on overcoming your addiction. I should have checked your post history earlier. In fact I see I posted once on your thread. I hope you're doing well.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Rex on December 11, 2018, 01:11:34 PM
Rex, thank you.  Support is what I need right now.  A little while after last posting, I'm feeling the sadness, which I think is good. I want to feel, I want to realize this is serious and loneliness is serious.  When I'm chatting and swapping porn online I'm in another world, numbed, oblivious, escaping.

I guess I had a mini-PMO marathon this week, with two major episodes. To be honest, I shut down only after finally M'ing today and after it was clear I wouldn't hear back from someone I was chatting with. I don't have a daily struggle. I have fairly long stretches in between, but when I backslide I really binge.

Thanks for you prayers, that really helps.


Detente,

The same thing would happen to me after a fall I would go into a PMO marathon.  When I was successful back in early-2014 going 24 days free.  When I fell I dropped off this board (later came back very briefly) and didn't come back until last week.  I was ashamed.  I was then able to go 28 days free in early-2017 and then fell.  Now I am 77 days free from PMO.  You did the right thing staying on the board, instead of giving up.  Don't give up, you can get back on your feet.  The deeper you go back into a PMO marathon the harder it will be.  You did the right thing and posted your feelings.  Think of right now as a new start.  Pray when those temptations hit, and keep yourself busy with activities and those triggers that caused your recent falls, try to stay away from them.  You can do it..  I wish I had back in early-2014 done what you are doing by getting back on the wagon and staying on the board, I wouldn't have lost over 4 years.

You can do it!  I will pray a Rosary for you tonight...

 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 15, 2018, 06:29:15 PM
Thanks Rex. I appreciate your insight and your prayers. And welcome back to the board. I'm glad you're here and congratulations on hitting 77 days (hopefully now that's 81 days, just 9 days away from the big 9-0!).

So I didn't write the day after my last posting as I said I would. It's been on my mind. I think it'll be important to stay here, even if I successfully abstain again. When I was on my long hiatus I thought I had this beat.  I've never had a substance abuse problem, but I suppose this addiction requires treating it like one and never assuming I'm 100% over it. I'm setting a reminder on my calendar to post something here next weekend. I'll be busy next week and don't expect any problems, but I want to post either way.

I've been anxious and sad this week. Anxious and sad over a work-related decision, sad about a female friend starting to date someone (I don't think we'd be compatible but I'm just sad about maybe losing her time and friendship and, to be honest, not having someone of my own), and just overall sad to be single during the holidays. I know I had a major post last year around this time saying the same things if I recall, and resolving to do something about it. Can't believe a year has passed.

I think at the root of it I don't feel worthy of love or respect, that I'm defective at a core level. I really felt that way strongly when I was much younger and kind of fought through it and have improved and realized a lot of that is in my head. But I think that's what stops me from going out there and dating. But I think I'm also too choosy and maybe stubborn, stuck in my ways. Or that I still need to improve myself to a higher level before dating someone. But time is ticking away, and I've realized every one of us is wounded, no one is perfect, and I'm more comfortable with my flaws as well as my strengths. I do wish when I'm enjoying my free time, as well as when I'm tempted to PMO and am PMO'ing, that I'd remember that I'm living a lonely life and being with someone would make life richer, despite the struggles that a relationship can bring.





Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 15, 2018, 07:42:43 PM
Detente, I read through your journal some and I relate to too much of it.
The chat and the dating sites, which became my demon far more than P. The rush when you see you got a message, or even multiple messages on ok cupid.The feeling like you are "fishing" Trying to get a bite. I unfortunately was catfishing as other people which was a whole other sad mess for me. I also have been intimate with married women, and it is not something I am proud of. I think it was a way of being with someone as the "fun" part of her life while her husband deals with the actual real life part. That was some time ago, but I still remember like it was yesterday meeting one of the husbands at an event and feeling like a giant scumbag.

Mostly I relate to every bit of your last paragraph here

I think at the root of it I don't feel worthy of love or respect, that I'm defective at a core level. I really felt that way strongly when I was much younger and kind of fought through it and have improved and realized a lot of that is in my head. But I think that's what stops me from going out there and dating. But I think I'm also too choosy and maybe stubborn, stuck in my ways. Or that I still need to improve myself to a higher level before dating someone. But time is ticking away, and I've realized every one of us is wounded, no one is perfect, and I'm more comfortable with my flaws as well as my strengths. I do wish when I'm enjoying my free time, as well as when I'm tempted to PMO and am PMO'ing, that I'd remember that I'm living a lonely life and being with someone would make life richer, despite the struggles that a relationship can bring.

Keep pushing sir
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 16, 2018, 02:27:20 AM
NewVerse, thank you for reading my story and chiming in. I just read your journal: "I'll pass on the fantasy today. Thanks." So well put. Welcome back and I wish you all the best in your fight.

I hadn't even thought about dating sites lately, because I haven't been dating, but they have been a bit of a problem for me as well. I know the rush of getting a new message from someone new, or just matching with someone new. And then keep swiping or searching for more. Avoiding any kind of earnest effort to meet someone to develop a real relationship. I've also had some meaningless or regrettable encounters, leaving me feeling empty.

I'm in emotional pain right now. I've been to several holiday gatherings in a row, feeling overwhelmed, lonely, and the odd man out. And tonight with my female friend at another party, hearing about  the guy she's dating, see her text him. I know for certain we are not compatible, but I have to acknowledge I feel hurt and jealous and lonely and deficient. I just said in my last post how I've become more comfortable with my flaws and strengths, but man, certainly not tonight. It's times like these that I have so much remorse about wasting my time, including with PMO, instead of pursuing love. But at least I feel something. It shows I'm starting to care again and open myself.

It's time to open my heart up to love and reconnect with who I am. And somehow, someway, develop a true feeling of self-acceptance and worthiness.

To ask for prayers for me is putting that into action. Why should I deserve anyone's prayers when billions of others have it worse off than me, around the world and among friends and family? Because we all have worth, and therefore I'm worthy of compassion for my suffering as well.

I'm not very religious and in fact am pretty much agnostic, but I'm asking for your prayers.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 16, 2018, 05:01:58 AM

I'm not very religious and in fact am pretty much agnostic, but I'm asking for your prayers.

Done. And thank you  as well for your well wishes.
I fall on the agnostic side myself. Well really, I don't know what I would call myself. I usually don't react well to anyone trying to convince me either way. There are times I pray, there are times I feel like an athiest. There have been times I have literally dropped to my knees cried and begged God to help me with this addiction. Whether I found it useful is another story, but it's something I can look back on when I have urges on how much I want to not give in to them.

I'm sorry to hear you are going through a hard time. I know what you mean about the holidays. I went to a gathering tonight of people close to me. Most of them are married or have children. I have been single for well over a decade. I mentioned in my journal a couple years ago sneaking out of a wedding reception due to feeling like the odd man out. That night I binged on chat. Now I'm trying to take the other route, and use times like this as motivation. I have never had too much of a problem attracting women generally, but fear of ED has kept me from many opportunities. At other times like you I have met women I don't feel would be a good match, then get bothered once they move on to someone else. I get bothered or sometimes even panicked wondering what people think of me. Like possible whispers that maybe I'm gay. Which I wont lie would bother me, but I would rather they think that than ever know the truth of why I have been avoiding opportunities.

All we can do is keep pushing and try to stay as clean as possible. No PMO isn't a magic key to happiness but I do know 100% I feel better clean than not.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 16, 2018, 02:32:35 PM
Thanks NewVerse. Knowing someone is out there thinking of me or praying for me and wishing me the best helps a lot. It takes the loneliness away a bit. I'm moved by your description of calling out to God in desperation. I've been there with regard to PMO and loneliness and shame in general. I've also been in the situation you faced last night. It can be torture being the only single person among couples and families. I've suffered through wedding receptions as well. I also have wondered what family and friends think of my solo life, whether I'm closeted or immature or selfish or just weird. That fear has lessened in recent years, but might be a sign of resignation, which is not good. That's more numbing.

If I recall, I was feeling somewhat similar to how I feel now a year ago at this time. I think it was triggered by another year with family alone at Christmas. Like you, I want to use these episodes as motivation. What trips me up is the weekly grind I think. Living week to week, and soon months start passing by with no change. Then I get numb and stop feeling highs or lows, and I think at that point I'm at risk of relapsing. Chatting with women online does provide stimulation and a sort of connection that I don't generate in my day-to-day life.

No PMO isn't a magic key to happiness but I do know 100% I feel better clean than not.

Amen. "No PMO" to me seems simply the removal of a symptom of the illness. Other symptoms that arise out of my feeling defective include reading the news online for hours at end, wasting time at work, avoiding making plans with friends and, most significantly right now, not trying to develop an intimate relationship with a partner. Like you, NewVerse, I also am generally successful at attracting women, especially online. My fear is the rejection and embarrassment I might encounter after letting a woman into my life and seeing my flaws and weaknesses. (But in my gut I think of those outcomes as things I can expect to encounter.) Like when I attend a wedding or a holiday party, I'm suddenly jolted out of my day-to-day, low-risk, comfortable life and am confronted with where I've ended up and what I don't have. It's like that when I meet someone new, and in that situation there's no hiding it.

I stumbled into a few relationships earlier on in life with women who developed strong feelings, even love, for me after getting to know me. Pathetically, I remained in them long past the time I should have, causing painful breakups later on, simply because I'd gotten past the terror of being rejected early on.

At the same time, once accepted by someone, I can become complacent, cocky, inattentive, judgmental, withdrawn, etc. I certainly can take someone for granted.

In the end, I just have to make a go at intimacy and see what happens.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 16, 2018, 04:23:24 PM
I relate to most of what you wrote here, especially about time passing, and how chatting provides that form of connection you are missing. I have been there too many times, and unfortunately they are usually artificial connections. I would search for that constant feeling of when you first meet someone, then I would delete my account and feel like the biggest piece of trash because I'm pretending to be someone else. Some of the people I chatted with were as well. I was almost relieved knowing  I found another "pretender" just so I knew I wasn't screwing someone over out of a human connection.

The feeling inadequate thing once they get to know you is another thing I can relate to. I always either feel like I'm not good enough, or I can do better.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 16, 2018, 10:02:47 PM
Yes, those connections are usually artificial.  For me, the thrill is (or "was," hopefully) being aroused by a woman's arousal, if that makes sense.  Getting turned on by chatting with women are who getting turned on.  So I'd often seek out images and videos to share or respond to postings that held no interest to me just so I could get the chance to connect with horny women.  On rare occasions I connected with women who shared similar sexual interests/fantasies, but either way I emerged exhausted, ashamed, and lonely.  Actually those were in a sense worse because it sometimes led me to keep my Reddit account alive, write to them, and pathetically recheck my inbox to see if I'd gotten a reply.  Ugh.

Well, I wrote/rewrote the intro portion of my dating profile today.  I have several sections left.  I'm kind of overdoing it.  Some perfectionism at play, but progress being made.

I've said this before I think, but I'll try to document my dating highs/lows/fears/adventures/progress here.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 17, 2018, 11:49:57 PM
More progress on my dating profile.  There's going to be a risk here as I get back into dating.  It's been a while since I've been on these dating sites.  I can already feel tempted to pursue women interested only in sex or into open relationships and whatnot.  I went from a depression and fear and loneliness last night to confidence and excitement today over the prospect of meeting someone and making a genuine connection, but now I can sense a pull toward pursuing something that isn't a genuine connection.  I'll need to keep in mind how much more meaningful and rewarding it would be to in a real, loving relationship with someone.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 18, 2018, 10:29:48 PM
I completed my dating profile and it's live. I'm very confident that I'll get responses and dates. The question is, what kind of intention I set when I go back out there? Will I seek a real connection and relationship with someone? And if so, will I be able to again face my fear of rejection and let someone get to know me? And will I not become a complacent asshole if someone accepts me and falls for me?

Also, can just have some fun with this process and not take myself so seriously? I suffer from analysis paralysis a lot.

Today I'm back to feeling a bit blue, still thinking about my friend and her dating someone new. I know we're not compatible, but it's still gnawing at me. We met through a dating app a while ago, so I feel this undercurrent of romantic connection even though it didn't go anywhere romantically.

This is good though, because I'm feeling vulnerable and somewhat rejected. It's good to be in this space because it keeps me humble and more committed to finding something real.

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: uncreatedlight on December 21, 2018, 09:22:36 AM
It takes a lot of courage to be where you are right now.  I'm going to have one last conversation with my wife in a week or two then I am going to get in the game again too.  I'm nervous about dating complete strangers.  It has been a long time!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 21, 2018, 11:16:59 PM
Thanks Uncreatedlight. I'm not sure I am courageous at the moment but I need to be. Like you said:

I'm nervous about dating complete strangers.  It has been a long time!

One thing I think we can take heart in is that the women you meet will almost certainly be nervous, too. And they have to be on guard, more than me, about true psychos. But yes, I understand. I hope to document my journey here.

I had dinner with my friend tonight who started seeing someone. It was tough for me. I'm jealous that she found someone, and someone not like me. I can't tell if she's rubbing it in, but she talks about qualities of his that I don't have. (She is the type I think to sort of passively aggressively try to one-up people. I've seen it, and that's one reason I know we wouldn't be a good fit. I wouldn't be able to trust her.) But I might be imagining things. But I'm again feeling like a loser again, alone. It was so easy for her to find someone and I've spend a lifetime agonizing and also fucking around. Either chasing something superficial or, more lately, wasting time with PMO. My self-esteem is in the shitter right now, after feeling fairly OK.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 21, 2018, 11:23:34 PM
I've had a few drinks in me and it's revved my emotions. Now might be a time I'd go back on Reddit and start the downward spiral, only this time it would be out of severe loneliness, and not boredom. Usually when I've done that it's out of boredom and, I'd say, arrogance, when I feel everything is fine and I can indulge. Now though it'd be to truly escape loneliness and connect in an albeit dysfunctional way. But actually I'm already feeling so bad I have no desire to do that. I know it would make me feel so much worse. This is a good feeling, this feeling vulnerable and a bit hurt. I'm feeling again.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 22, 2018, 02:10:32 AM
I've had a few drinks in me and it's revved my emotions. Now might be a time I'd go back on Reddit and start the downward spiral, only this time it would be out of severe loneliness, and not boredom. Usually when I've done that it's out of boredom and, I'd say, arrogance, when I feel everything is fine and I can indulge. Now though it'd be to truly escape loneliness and connect in an albeit dysfunctional way. But actually I'm already feeling so bad I have no desire to do that. I know it would make me feel so much worse. This is a good feeling, this feeling vulnerable and a bit hurt. I'm feeling again.

Very familiar feeling. I tend to fall from boredom or restlessness or overconfidence. Sometimes I just crave a connection even knowing it's not real. It only makes everything worse, and robs you of actual connection. Embrace the pain and recognize it for what it is
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 22, 2018, 02:52:41 AM
Yeah I'm in pain alright.  I desperate to chat with someone, and I have a friend on the other side of the world I've chatted with, sometimes about sex, but I needed anyone right now. So she was there and gracious and understanding.  She is a real person and has hurts and dreams and joy and everything.  We didn't talk about sex.  She just listened to me.

I feel somewhat rejected, but I think I'm also sad simply that I'll be losing a connection with my friend (the one here, not overseas). She'll spend more time with her new partner.  But to be honest I'm sad I don't have a partner.

And I'm freaking out about scared and hopeless I feel.  It's crazy how I can go to feeling generally OK to desperate.  I'm reading things like this after Googling "I feel defective":

https://www.whywesuffer.com/are-you-hopeless-of-ever-finding-love/#more-1862

I've been down this road before.  Panicking and binging on self-help/psych material to try to find a way out.  I did this last week as well.  I haven't done that in ages.  Maybe it's similar to my PMO binges, a way to escape or deaden my feelings.  But I do know that at the moment I'm absolutely terrified of meeting woman and letting her into my life and seeing who I am.  I used to discuss this in therapy but haven't gone in ages.  I stuffed all this down and now that I think about dating again, it's all coming back.  I was in my safety zone where I wasn't risking or trying at all.  I know I've been talking about it with some resolve and confidence, but Christ I'm scared.

I'll take more prayers please...
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 22, 2018, 05:14:51 AM
Yeah I'm in pain alright.  I desperate to chat with someone, and I have a friend on the other side of the world I've chatted with, sometimes about sex, but I needed anyone right now. So she was there and gracious and understanding.  She is a real person and has hurts and dreams and joy and everything.  We didn't talk about sex.  She just listened to me.

I feel somewhat rejected, but I think I'm also sad simply that I'll be losing a connection with my friend (the one here, not overseas). She'll spend more time with her new partner.  But to be honest I'm sad I don't have a partner.

And I'm freaking out about scared and hopeless I feel.  It's crazy how I can go to feeling generally OK to desperate.  I'm reading things like this after Googling "I feel defective":

https://www.whywesuffer.com/are-you-hopeless-of-ever-finding-love/#more-1862

I've been down this road before.  Panicking and binging on self-help/psych material to try to find a way out.  I did this last week as well.  I haven't done that in ages.  Maybe it's similar to my PMO binges, a way to escape or deaden my feelings.  But I do know that at the moment I'm absolutely terrified of meeting woman and letting her into my life and seeing who I am.  I used to discuss this in therapy but haven't gone in ages.  I stuffed all this down and now that I think about dating again, it's all coming back.  I was in my safety zone where I wasn't risking or trying at all.  I know I've been talking about it with some resolve and confidence, but Christ I'm scared.

I'll take more prayers please...

Hang in there  Detente. May I ask why you stopped going to therapy? Was it helpful when you went? I am asking because I hve never gone but have always considered it. I cant imagine telling anyone in person about my weird online activity. My substitute online connections were all phony. I was playing a role and being  deceptive which always made me feel like a scumbag but I did it anyway.  Many times pathetically chatting with another phony which at least brought on a sense of relief because I couldn't hurt anyone. The more I chatted the more I would have to up the stakes with fetishes which brought far greater highs (and lows).

With real relationships my early ones ended the same way with her thinking less of me than in the beginning. Looking back this was partrtially because I wasn't being myself to begin with and uncomfortable in my own skin. Other times I'd feel I was too good for my partner,  and others I would end early out of fear of being hurt or rejected. This addiction took me back to square one since I at least need to be able to get it up to go back to any of it. Even thinking about any of this drives me to binges because it seems overwhelming.

I guess this is my way of saying I relate to feeling defective . We can only try to push through it
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 22, 2018, 10:26:14 AM
Thanks NewVerse, I'm trying. It's really hard right now. I haven't been back in this emotional space in a while. I know being back in my heart and yearning for love again is necessary, but it's scary and it hurts. I forgot how tough this is for me. I feel a bit foolish thinking I could get into a relationship by simply following a process (Step 1, online profile, Step 2, contact women, Step 3, go on dates, Step 4, develop trust, etc.).  There's the whole fear and risk of rejection element that I need to confront.

I've been in therapy off and on pretty much from 18 on. I was a regular in the counseling center in college, then saw various therapists in my early- and mid-20s. In my 30s, I saw one fairly regularly, with breaks in between.  I stopped last year when I took a new job and felt I needed to focus my energy on that.  That company ended up being a shitshow and now am back where I was, with a lot less stress.  I had thought of working with a life coach but this emotional storm makes me think I should go back to therapy, but focused on support as I go out and date.

Writing this out reminds me for the first time in a while how much I've struggled in life with low self-esteem.  At my core I feel defective, and that leads to depression, anxiety, loneliness.  Being in therapy was helpful.  There were times he was really the only person I could talk to.  I pretty much had no friends, or no close friends I felt I could talk to.  There were times he talked me off the ledge.  Sometimes I felt I was just wallowing in my muck and just talking, checking off the "I'm in therapy" box and not making any progress.  Sometimes I'd feel more hopeless and terrified after a session.  But for me I think it might be good to see someone to keep me in touch with my feelings.  All of us, and maybe men especially, have to stuff our emotions down to some extent to get through day-to-day life -- work, chores, etc.  I've done that when I felt I had to, but I can't get lost in the grind anymore.

I may try someone new this time.  I've never really tried cognitive-behavior therapy.  But I think there are some practical tools they use to explore one's global attitudes toward self-worth and self-esteem, as well as addressing fears and negative thoughts.

This is getting long.  I'd really urge you to not let the fear or discomfort of opening up to someone about your online activities stop you from pursuing therapy.  I know it wouldn't be easy.  I felt ashamed when I brought up porn use, and I'll feel ashamed if I go to someone new and explain I'm a never-married 43-year-old terrified of meeting women to date.  But these folks are empathic and their goal is to help.  And certainly they've worked with people dealing with all sorts of issues.

When you are dating women these days, are you now able to be yourself and more comfortable in your own skin off that bat?
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 22, 2018, 06:08:14 PM
It's always a scary feeling to put yourself out there. I think you should continue to push forward in dating. I have never handled rejection well. I haven't dated anyone in almost 7 years, partially due to having to deal with other things in my life that required most of my time and energy, and more realistically out of fear of PIED. I don't want to go through that again, and not wanting to go through that drove me to the safety of the thing that caused PIED surely making it worse. I am not the kind of person who has a hard time being alone so it's not a terrible existence for me but I don't want to live this way forever. I have had women interested in me within that period who I had to find an excuse to turn down. A few years ago, one girl I had dated a couple times in the past but was never intimate with wanted me to come out to las vegas to see her. She was out there on business and it isn't terribly far from me, she had a room. All I had to do was go. My weekend was wide open and I could have gone. Of course I didn't go because I was knee deep in a binge using a phony dating site profile. It sucks remembering these things.

As far as being comfortable, it always depended on the person. The pattern was usually the less interested I am in her, the more comfortable I am with me. :(

Therapy continues to be a consideration.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 22, 2018, 08:17:22 PM
I know that pattern well -- if I"m not all that interested in a woman, then I'm comfortable because there's much less risk of getting hurt; I'm in the "driver's seat" so-to-speak.

Have you dated women when dealing with PIED (even if they only knew it as ED)? If so, were they understanding? I'm worried because I don't seem to be able to get it up these days on my own. I hope with a woman there it would be different. It was when I had that episode with a coworker last spring.

If you had visited the girl in Vegas, do you think you would have felt good about it? Would you have pursued a relationship do you think?

I friend of mine who I am 100% sure is interested me is in town next week and weekend and we're getting together. But I've felt conflicted about the idea of dating her. I've broken hearts in the past (once I get past the terror of letting a woman in), and I'm scared of repeating that.

I will push forward in dating, but the terror I'm feeling tells me I need some support around this, through a therapist that can help me confront my thoughts about being a loser, worthless, how horrible rejection would be. Otherwise I would feel utterly alone. I have this space here, but it's not quite the same. And dating is not really on topic, although I realize my PMO'ing is a result of feeling so bad about myself.

Thanks for reading NewVerse and everyone and for your support.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 22, 2018, 11:40:54 PM
I MO'ed, which I think is ok. I thought of a loving scenario, not porn. Really I wanted to see if I could get an erection. It took effort. I may have PIED. Does it matter that I have long times (a few months or many months between brief relapses? I thought that maybe my brain is less messed up because I wasn't a heavy user, i.e., not daily or weekly.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 23, 2018, 03:53:46 AM
I know that pattern well -- if I"m not all that interested in a woman, then I'm comfortable because there's much less risk of getting hurt; I'm in the "driver's seat" so-to-speak.

Have you dated women when dealing with PIED (even if they only knew it as ED)? If so, were they understanding? I'm worried because I don't seem to be able to get it up these days on my own. I hope with a woman there it would be different. It was when I had that episode with a coworker last spring.

If you had visited the girl in Vegas, do you think you would have felt good about it? Would you have pursued a relationship do you think?

I friend of mine who I am 100% sure is interested me is in town next week and weekend and we're getting together. But I've felt conflicted about the idea of dating her. I've broken hearts in the past (once I get past the terror of letting a woman in), and I'm scared of repeating that.

I will push forward in dating, but the terror I'm feeling tells me I need some support around this, through a therapist that can help me confront my thoughts about being a loser, worthless, how horrible rejection would be. Otherwise I would feel utterly alone. I have this space here, but it's not quite the same. And dating is not really on topic, although I realize my PMO'ing is a result of feeling so bad about myself.

Thanks for reading NewVerse and everyone and for your support.

My very first attempts at sex as a teen were failures. My first try was a one night stand, my second was my first ever girlfriend. We dated months and I never was able to do it. She cheated and I broke up with her. The third try around 19 or so I had successful sex with a girl in my car the first night we met. The next one was a longer relationship. I failed at first and she was understanding and we worked through it, and it was never a problem through a few of years of our relationship. After we broke up for other reasons, smooth sailing for over a long time, and not even a concern until high speed internet and my own fetishes and compulsions eventually ruined it. The last time I tried, she was understanding but I could tell it ruined everything. I can't say I ever had a detailed discussion about it with any of the partners I "failed" with.

With the girl who was in Vegas the ball has always been in my court. I've always been confident around her mainly because I'm not all that interested in her. It sounds like a similar situation to your friend who is coming to town (Driver's seat as you said). She's a great person and there are things about her I really like, but in many ways I don't feel we're a good match. In her defense I never gave it a real shot. Much of it is probably due to the ED fears. Knowing her and the kind of person she is, she would be understanding about it. It's hard to say if a relationship would come of it.

My first try at rebooting, i considered trying an escort as "practice". It's not something I have ever done and it's still a consideration honestly. The problem was when searching, I got that same "fishing" rush I got from chat and porn so I stopped looking.

The last woman who was interested in me before this current streak, I coudn't risk it because she is so close to my circle of friends. I can't handle everyone knowing if I fail. Even if she told just one person, it would get out and I found it too terrifying to risk. But it did motivate me to stay clean this long
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 24, 2018, 09:44:53 AM

My very first attempts at sex as a teen were failures. My first try was a one night stand, my second was my first ever girlfriend. We dated months and I never was able to do it. She cheated and I broke up with her. The third try around 19 or so I had successful sex with a girl in my car the first night we met. The next one was a longer relationship. I failed at first and she was understanding and we worked through it, and it was never a problem through a few of years of our relationship. After we broke up for other reasons, smooth sailing for over a long time, and not even a concern until high speed internet and my own fetishes and compulsions eventually ruined it. The last time I tried, she was understanding but I could tell it ruined everything. I can't say I ever had a detailed discussion about it with any of the partners I "failed" with.

With the girl who was in Vegas the ball has always been in my court. I've always been confident around her mainly because I'm not all that interested in her. It sounds like a similar situation to your friend who is coming to town (Driver's seat as you said). She's a great person and there are things about her I really like, but in many ways I don't feel we're a good match. In her defense I never gave it a real shot. Much of it is probably due to the ED fears. Knowing her and the kind of person she is, she would be understanding about it. It's hard to say if a relationship would come of it.

My first try at rebooting, i considered trying an escort as "practice". It's not something I have ever done and it's still a consideration honestly. The problem was when searching, I got that same "fishing" rush I got from chat and porn so I stopped looking.

The last woman who was interested in me before this current streak, I coudn't risk it because she is so close to my circle of friends. I can't handle everyone knowing if I fail. Even if she told just one person, it would get out and I found it too terrifying to risk. But it did motivate me to stay clean this long

Those first tries, do you think it was tied to porn or fantasy habits or more youth or nerves or whatever? With the high-speed-internet-related-PIED, did you actually talk about how internet porn may be causing the issue? I hate to pry but I learn a lot here about how men navigate relationships in general and on this issue in particular. When, not if, I get into a relationship, I'm not sure I'd ever bring any of this stuff up, especially if the cravings to binge go away and my body is working.

The girls who would be understanding about this stuff are probably the keepers, but there still has to be a connection. I'm 100% sure the girl coming to town would understand and I would be able to trust her to be sensitive about it either me not getting it up or, more likely, PE.  That's usually been my problem, at least very early on.  Looking back, I'm pretty grateful that women have been understanding about that with me.  But in college, after drunken sex with a girl who was in a group of friends I was with freshman year, I knew word got out after that I didn't last long. For some reason it wasn't as devastating as I think I'd feel today.  So I understand about staying away from the woman who's in your circle of friends, as hard as that must be.

As for "practice," I understand about the idea of seeing a prostitute. Have you considered a sex surrogate? That would be ideal, but I think there are very few of them, and I believe it would have to be coordinated with a regular therapist, so it'd be complicated. You could also try out a therapist that focuses on sexual issues.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: uncreatedlight on December 24, 2018, 12:27:55 PM
Praying for you, man.  I think that taking drugs to fend off some of the anxiety for the first few times in bed is fine.  You will be fine after that.  Keep bringing yourself back to the moment and away from your fears and let the interaction come naturally...
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 24, 2018, 04:05:53 PM
Praying for you, man.  I think that taking drugs to fend off some of the anxiety for the first few times in bed is fine.  You will be fine after that.  Keep bringing yourself back to the moment and away from your fears and let the interaction come naturally...

Thanks. It's one of those issues that I will just have to address is it happens. But I can draw on my experience of having PE go away pretty early on. I have not dealt with ED and I fear that a bit, but we'll see. The most pressing thing is getting the courage to go out there and try.

I'm with my family now, and it's painful and semester to see and hear about people moving forward in life, like family friends younger than me and even my niece. This is a challenge to see if I can maintain self-respect and self-worth regardless of where I am in life.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 25, 2018, 12:14:30 AM

Those first tries, do you think it was tied to porn or fantasy habits or more youth or nerves or whatever? With the high-speed-internet-related-PIED, did you actually talk about how internet porn may be causing the issue? I hate to pry but I learn a lot here about how men navigate relationships in general and on this issue in particular. When, not if, I get into a relationship, I'm not sure I'd ever bring any of this stuff up, especially if the cravings to binge go away and my body is working.

The girls who would be understanding about this stuff are probably the keepers, but there still has to be a connection. I'm 100% sure the girl coming to town would understand and I would be able to trust her to be sensitive about it either me not getting it up or, more likely, PE.  That's usually been my problem, at least very early on.  Looking back, I'm pretty grateful that women have been understanding about that with me.  But in college, after drunken sex with a girl who was in a group of friends I was with freshman year, I knew word got out after that I didn't last long. For some reason it wasn't as devastating as I think I'd feel today.  So I understand about staying away from the woman who's in your circle of friends, as hard as that must be.

As for "practice," I understand about the idea of seeing a prostitute. Have you considered a sex surrogate? That would be ideal, but I think there are very few of them, and I believe it would have to be coordinated with a regular therapist, so it'd be complicated. You could also try out a therapist that focuses on sexual issues.

The first try was a shock to me. Not being able to perform was the last thing I expected. After that it definitely became a fear. For a long time I chalked it up to nerves, and being uncomfortable with my body because I was kind of skinny. Once I was more able to perform, i know on some level porn had a part in it which was why I kept those habits under control. Looking back now, it was more porn than nerves. I could always MO then thinking about me and a girl, but my porn viewing has just about always been girl/girl.  So "natural" for me meant me thinking about her, or watching two girls on a screen. In many ways I always enjoyed it more than real sex, even though I enjoyed real sex a lot. When high speed came around chat took the fantasies to another level. But no, to this day I never talked about it with anyone, partner or otherwise.

I relate to what you were saying about family members whose lives are moving forward, or people younger than me seeming like more of a "grown up" than me.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 25, 2018, 12:20:24 PM

The first try was a shock to me. Not being able to perform was the last thing I expected. After that it definitely became a fear. For a long time I chalked it up to nerves, and being uncomfortable with my body because I was kind of skinny. Once I was more able to perform, i know on some level porn had a part in it which was why I kept those habits under control. Looking back now, it was more porn than nerves. I could always MO then thinking about me and a girl, but my porn viewing has just about always been girl/girl.  So "natural" for me meant me thinking about her, or watching two girls on a screen. In many ways I always enjoyed it more than real sex, even though I enjoyed real sex a lot. When high speed came around chat took the fantasies to another level. But no, to this day I never talked about it with anyone, partner or otherwise.

I relate to what you were saying about family members whose lives are moving forward, or people younger than me seeming like more of a "grown up" than me.

At some point my MO'ing, even without porn, mainly became based on fantasies I'd conjured up, maybe based on porn scenes I'd watched or just my own thoughts. I think it would be better to get back to becoming aroused about the thought of being with a real woman in a real relationship, thinking at least of a real person and a real connection, like when I was a more innocent teenager, even if that's a fantasy for now. Or a past experience, if doesn't bring up emotional pain. I was able to get fairly aroused while driving the other day just thinking about a one-night stand of sorts I'd had with a friend. It wasn't a real relationship, but the experience was real, and more touching and emotional than what my fantasies are.

On seeing others move forward, yes, I'd seen you post about that and I really identified with it. It's hard not to get down on myself and not think I'm a loser. I also feel some sadness and envy, which I don't feel as much as I did before, when I see the young adults and kids in the family so confident and outgoing and happy, when I didn't usually feel that way and struggled.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 25, 2018, 01:05:30 PM
It's really up and down being with family. Hard not to feel like a loser. And hearing or thinking about friends, present and past, who are married and have families. Hard not to think about how much time I've wasted, how weird and left out I feel.

At the same time, I get some hope in thinking about pursuing therapy again and particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy, which I've read about and understand, but never really applied it. I hope it could help me when I deal with emotional storms to come in the dating world. And with these feeling of loneliness, low self-worth, pessimism. On the other hand, a typical pattern for me has been to get to a point of despair, frantically search for some technique or plan or method or philosophy that might be "the way," and then basically not follow through and give it a serious try. Just get caught up the week-to-week life, work, groceries, working out, a happy hour maybe, movies, game nights, etc. Kind of go into a hypnotic state until I'm confronted again with how I'm living life, like seeing family during the holidays.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 25, 2018, 03:47:47 PM
Therapy might do you some good, especially since you have had some experience with it. This is my first experience being "clean" during the holidays. It sucks that It either came at a time where my momentum has stalled or if everything caused it to stall. I get that left out loser feeling that you speak of and it's yet another thing to fight off. I don't want to dwell on it, because it never makes anything better. I hope you push through and find a helpful groove to get into.

As far as MO'ing to a person and relationship as opposed to fantasy, I have tried that route. it usually starts out that way and my mind starts searching for fantasy because I get bored in a way. I'm hoping as my brain heals that can change. As much sex as I have had in my life, it has been so long I feel like a virgin sometimes. I'm glad I didn't grow up with high speed internet, because I'm sure I would be.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 26, 2018, 08:55:03 AM
As much sex as I have had in my life, it has been so long I feel like a virgin sometimes. I'm glad I didn't grow up with high speed internet, because I'm sure I would be.

Yes, same here.

It was excruciating being with family on Christmas. I feel left out in my family, always have, and moreso as an adult who's single and childless. I'm saddened how things ended up this way for me. Now I'll go back home and be away from them, go back to work, grind it out week to week, then come probably come back for the next holiday and again feel like a loser and vow to change, and then do it again.

I reread this thread from the top last night. It depresses me. I've been saying the same things over and over for years and not making any changes. And time marches on, and the older I get, the harder I'll be able to find someone.

I do feel that maybe this time a real shift or wake-up call has occurred. This month feels like it broke me open a bit more than at any other times in the recent past. Maybe I can hold  on to that this time to keep me motivated. But overall I'm not optimistic right now.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 31, 2018, 10:16:05 AM
I'm back home and having my ups and downs. I'm trying to make good use of my time off to get some things done, but I'm struggling at bit with motivation and depressed moods. Sometimes I feel hopeless, other times I feel that I've simply blown things out of proportion. I've gotten some hope with making an appointment with a therapist who focuses in part on love and relationships. That could be a great combination if I'm able to work with her. And I think her being a woman could help me get some perspective on what women may think of my "stuff."

Yesterday I had coffee with my friend in town who I think is or would be interested in dating me. I'm going to a party at one of her friends' houses tonight. She is in a rough spot with her work and having moved to a more isolated area. She teared up quite a bit. It was feeling down and didn't really show it, but I'm sure she would understand if I opened up. I have mixed feelings about her and I don't think I should try to start anything when we're both in sort of a vulnerable place. For me, it would be, again, being with someone simply because I would likely be accepted and there'd be a lower chance of being rejected, rather than feeling an actual, strong connection. When she was talking about how isolated she was feeling away from her friends, I suggested we talk regularly on the phone, like weekly. I'm a bit worried that if we do so, she'll start feeling close to me, and I might hurt her if I start dating someone and sort of drift away. I don't know. I guess there's no reason to stop being friends with a woman just because I'd be dating someone.

Actually I'm on the other end of that, with my other friend now dating someone. I haven't handled that well or really maturely I don't think. There are times when I think of her with him physically (who I've never met) and I become jealous and depressed. It's mainly because I'm alone and I just miss having someone myself. As it relates to here, there's also a danger in thinking about her with another man. (Again, we only "dated" a few times after meeting on Tinder, and then became friends when she moved here.) When I am in fantasy land binging on chatting with women and swapping porn, one of the kinks that would come up is cheating/inadequacy/humiliation. So that's sort of at play here when I think of her with someone else. It also makes me think about sex and feeling that I'm missing out, that I should just flirt and have fun and have sex without getting all emotional about it.  Anyway, my response, which I think is OK, is MO'ing to thoughts of real experiences I've have had that went well.  Real women, with real connection and some passion.  That's certainly healthier than MO'ing to something that feels emotionally painful.  And I've been able to achieve full erections with these memories, which is reassuring.

Regarding PMO, I haven't felt any urges since my last relapse. I do think I'm in a different space now, actually thinking about getting into a relationship, and that's causing the urges to lessen. When I PMO it's me basically giving up on life and any sense of self-respect. Pursuing a relationship and facing fears and focusing on my emotional life represents not giving up on life. 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on December 31, 2018, 01:08:14 PM
I'm back home and having my ups and downs. I'm trying to make good use of my time off to get some things done, but I'm struggling at bit with motivation and depressed moods. Sometimes I feel hopeless, other times I feel that I've simply blown things out of proportion. I've gotten some hope with making an appointment with a therapist who focuses in part on love and relationships. That could be a great combination if I'm able to work with her. And I think her being a woman could help me get some perspective on what women may think of my "stuff."

Yesterday I had coffee with my friend in town who I think is or would be interested in dating me. I'm going to a party at one of her friends' houses tonight. She is in a rough spot with her work and having moved to a more isolated area. She teared up quite a bit. It was feeling down and didn't really show it, but I'm sure she would understand if I opened up. I have mixed feelings about her and I don't think I should try to start anything when we're both in sort of a vulnerable place. For me, it would be, again, being with someone simply because I would likely be accepted and there'd be a lower chance of being rejected, rather than feeling an actual, strong connection. When she was talking about how isolated she was feeling away from her friends, I suggested we talk regularly on the phone, like weekly. I'm a bit worried that if we do so, she'll start feeling close to me, and I might hurt her if I start dating someone and sort of drift away. I don't know. I guess there's no reason to stop being friends with a woman just because I'd be dating someone.

Actually I'm on the other end of that, with my other friend now dating someone. I haven't handled that well or really maturely I don't think. There are times when I think of her with him physically (who I've never met) and I become jealous and depressed. It's mainly because I'm alone and I just miss having someone myself. As it relates to here, there's also a danger in thinking about her with another man. (Again, we only "dated" a few times after meeting on Tinder, and then became friends when she moved here.) When I am in fantasy land binging on chatting with women and swapping porn, one of the kinks that would come up is cheating/inadequacy/humiliation. So that's sort of at play here when I think of her with someone else. It also makes me think about sex and feeling that I'm missing out, that I should just flirt and have fun and have sex without getting all emotional about it.  Anyway, my response, which I think is OK, is MO'ing to thoughts of real experiences I've have had that went well.  Real women, with real connection and some passion.  That's certainly healthier than MO'ing to something that feels emotionally painful.  And I've been able to achieve full erections with these memories, which is reassuring.

Regarding PMO, I haven't felt any urges since my last relapse. I do think I'm in a different space now, actually thinking about getting into a relationship, and that's causing the urges to lessen. When I PMO it's me basically giving up on life and any sense of self-respect. Pursuing a relationship and facing fears and focusing on my emotional life represents not giving up on life.

I can relate to this. I am probably not the best person for advice in regards to your friend. It's usually not a healthy thing to make decisions based on both of you being vulnerable, or being in an emotional state. I have a semi similar situation with the woman I mentioned who had invited me to vegas a while back. She's still around and still occasioally invites me out, and I nearly always have an excuse. I'm surprised she still bothers, honestly. There are times I beat myself up and think why don't I just be with her (or try).  I feel like she deserves someone better than someone who treats her as an option. I like her as a person but it's never really been there. I can't explain it. There could be part of me who is just rationalizing out of ED fears. I can't tell you if you should or shouldn't give this girl a shot. Perhaps look at it when you are less vulnerable, like you said.

It's good you made a therapist appointment.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on December 31, 2018, 05:59:21 PM
Thanks. Yes, I'm hoping the therapist will work out. I'm all over the place. Sometimes feeling confident that I'll make some changes and really move forward, and sometimes extremely depressed and lonely and hopeless. All in the same day.

I don't think I'll attempt to start anything with her, but I guess I could see how things go when we talk on the phone regularly. But yes, I'm in a bad place and she  is too, and it wouldn't be good for me to start something just to relieve the pain and loneliness. But I am very much lonely. I just want someone to love me and accept me. After peeling back the onion, the layers of PMO and workaholism, I see how sad I am and how scared I am. But I'm also feeling, so that's good.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 01, 2019, 09:42:17 PM
I didn't have too much fun at the party, but I guess I'm glad I forced myself to do something. My friend is younger, so the people there were too, and I felt old. I think I've reconfirmed for myself that I'm not interested in dating her.

I spent the early part of the day very depressed and despondent, and watching videos on various counseling approaches and concepts again with the hope of finding a path to get myself "fixed." I'm pretty sure I know where my tendency to isolate and feel alienated from people comes from. The prospect of being able to overcome that at this age is daunting, maybe it's too ingrained. And I felt it strongly again, from last night at the party. My tendency to close off and not trust certainly will come up in dating. But watching some of those videos gave me some hope. And I have more perspective now than I did when I was younger. I'll see how it goes when I see this therapist, as well as another one I might go with.

An attractive woman "liked" my profile on a dating site. Normally I'd sit and analyze and rank possibilities and all that, but I think I should just write her and say hello and see what happens. I have to change up my approach to life. Stop trying to manage everything and go with the flow a bit.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on January 02, 2019, 04:26:44 AM
I didn't have too much fun at the party, but I guess I'm glad I forced myself to do something. My friend is younger, so the people there were too, and I felt old. I think I've reconfirmed for myself that I'm not interested in dating her.

I spent the early part of the day very depressed and despondent, and watching videos on various counseling approaches and concepts again with the hope of finding a path to get myself "fixed." I'm pretty sure I know where my tendency to isolate and feel alienated from people comes from. The prospect of being able to overcome that at this age is daunting, maybe it's too ingrained. And I felt it strongly again, from last night at the party. My tendency to close off and not trust certainly will come up in dating. But watching some of those videos gave me some hope. And I have more perspective now than I did when I was younger. I'll see how it goes when I see this therapist, as well as another one I might go with.

An attractive woman "liked" my profile on a dating site. Normally I'd sit and analyze and rank possibilities and all that, but I think I should just write her and say hello and see what happens. I have to change up my approach to life. Stop trying to manage everything and go with the flow a bit.

Are you not interested in her because she's younger? Just about everyone I attract is younger than me. The "opportunity" that presented itself 2 days into my relapse is really attractive and 26 years old. I can't believe that's damn near two decades younger than me! I won't lie that on a physical level that attracts me greatly, but outside of that I can't see myself hanging out with a bunch of 20 somethings and being the old guy. We probably don't have much in common, on the other hand she's not some kind of party girl. She has two kids, so she's in that way more of a "grown up" than I am. I mostly tend to attract women in their 30s which works for me. I don't look my age and I only ever feel old when people actually ask how old I am and am forced to remember I'm old. And if I'm going to be the older guy, i certainly can't be the older guy with ED.

Hopefully you'll message the woman who liked your profile. Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 02, 2019, 02:06:09 PM

Are you not interested in her because she's younger? Just about everyone I attract is younger than me. The "opportunity" that presented itself 2 days into my relapse is really attractive and 26 years old. I can't believe that's damn near two decades younger than me! I won't lie that on a physical level that attracts me greatly, but outside of that I can't see myself hanging out with a bunch of 20 somethings and being the old guy. We probably don't have much in common, on the other hand she's not some kind of party girl. She has two kids, so she's in that way more of a "grown up" than I am. I mostly tend to attract women in their 30s which works for me. I don't look my age and I only ever feel old when people actually ask how old I am and am forced to remember I'm old. And if I'm going to be the older guy, i certainly can't be the older guy with ED.

Hopefully you'll message the woman who liked your profile. Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Way to go man. That's awesome. Good motivation to get and stay clean. I'm like you. I look much younger than I am. I don't really feel my age either. People are surprised when they know. Sometimes that's embarrassing, given I'm not married and not really in a higher-level position at work. But that might be in my head. Anyway, looking young vastly outweighs any self-consciousness. Does this girl know how old you are?  Being a parent would seem to make her mature beyond her years.

This friend of mine is in her low 30s. It's not necessarily the age gap that gives me pause. I just don't think we'd be a good fit. She's kind of different one-on-one than in a group or on the phone. Hard to explain. I feel the most connection one-on-one. Like you, I'd feel old and out of place among most of her friends, at least going by those at the party. In fact I thought many of them were younger than they were. It felt a bit like I was in college again.

Can I ask, when do you think you'll know you're over PIED? Have you had it before and overcome it?  If so, how did you know you were ready to be with someone in person? Or is it sort of a calculated risk? When I am in fantasy world I'm not even sure I'm hard most of the time. That's why I became worried about PIED. Fantasizing about real women I've been with has helped reassure me. However, the next time I'm with someone, someone I'm really interested in and therefore when I'm vulnerable, it's possible i wouldn't be able to perform. But no reason to worry about that now.

I'm getting closer to finalizing an appointment with the therapist. I'm discouraged though about how far she is away from me. In-person appointments would be tough to get to. She works over the phone, but I think in-person is vastly better for therapy.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Rex on January 03, 2019, 10:05:12 AM
NewVerse and Detente,

The quest to find "the woman", a perfect mate and the downs of the dating scene have been in the past one of my biggest triggers to fall to PMO. When I would encounter setbacks in the dating scene or with a relationship it was PMO that I always fell back on to ease the pain and give me the comfort I sought.

With a woman, don't focus on the age difference, it's irrelevant. It's about mutual trust and love and being on the same wave length and having similar goals.  You can find a woman your age to be immature and one 20 years younger to mature and a better match for you or vice versa. Be the good guys that you are, always treat a woman with respect and like a lady (always be a gentleman).  The right woman will love you for it.  There's a great women waiting for both of you right around the corner, and you can be your best for her by continuing to be PMO free.  The problem with PMO is it's selfish self love that destroys us, once we purge ourselves of it we can truly be available to commit ourselves to a relationship to a deserving woman.



Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on January 03, 2019, 03:47:04 PM

Can I ask, when do you think you'll know you're over PIED? Have you had it before and overcome it?  If so, how did you know you were ready to be with someone in person? Or is it sort of a calculated risk? When I am in fantasy world I'm not even sure I'm hard most of the time. That's why I became worried about PIED. Fantasizing about real women I've been with has helped reassure me. However, the next time I'm with someone, someone I'm really interested in and therefore when I'm vulnerable, it's possible i wouldn't be able to perform. But no reason to worry about that now.

I'm getting closer to finalizing an appointment with the therapist. I'm discouraged though about how far she is away from me. In-person appointments would be tough to get to. She works over the phone, but I think in-person is vastly better for therapy.

I assume it will be have to be a calculated risk. I suppose there are other variables, or clues that I'm improving. MW being the earliest sign, or do I get aroused thinking about her or by physical contact,  Then there's the question of how much of it is simply performance anxiety. How much am I enjoying the moment, as opposed to worrying about having to "perform". These have all been factors in success and failures in the past. I haven't tried since I've known PIED was an actual thing, but I always had some idea that porn affected my sex life negatively.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 03, 2019, 11:02:18 PM
NewVerse and Detente,

The quest to find "the woman", a perfect mate and the downs of the dating scene have been in the past one of my biggest triggers to fall to PMO. When I would encounter setbacks in the dating scene or with a relationship it was PMO that I always fell back on to ease the pain and give me the comfort I sought.

With a woman, don't focus on the age difference, it's irrelevant. It's about mutual trust and love and being on the same wave length and having similar goals.  You can find a woman your age to be immature and one 20 years younger to mature and a better match for you or vice versa. Be the good guys that you are, always treat a woman with respect and like a lady (always be a gentleman).  The right woman will love you for it.  There's a great women waiting for both of you right around the corner, and you can be your best for her by continuing to be PMO free.  The problem with PMO is it's selfish self love that destroys us, once we purge ourselves of it we can truly be available to commit ourselves to a relationship to a deserving woman.

Thanks Rex.  I'll have to see if dating drama triggers me.  I haven't really been dating since I realized I had a problem with PMO.  I think dating, if I'm going out there with an intention to really connect and not just screw around and waste time, will make me less likely to PMO actually.  I'll be interacting with real women on a real level, being my best self, like you said.  When I've fallen into PMO, it's been when I'm not trying to be my best and basically am giving up on life or taking it for granted -- being lazy, or staying home and being bored, or being arrogant and selfish in the sense that I think I have all the time in the world and spend it not connecting with anyone.  When I have been in relationships, I haven't looked at porn at all or even M'd I think.  But we'll see, and I'll be on guard.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 03, 2019, 11:06:19 PM

Can I ask, when do you think you'll know you're over PIED? Have you had it before and overcome it?  If so, how did you know you were ready to be with someone in person? Or is it sort of a calculated risk? When I am in fantasy world I'm not even sure I'm hard most of the time. That's why I became worried about PIED. Fantasizing about real women I've been with has helped reassure me. However, the next time I'm with someone, someone I'm really interested in and therefore when I'm vulnerable, it's possible i wouldn't be able to perform. But no reason to worry about that now.

I'm getting closer to finalizing an appointment with the therapist. I'm discouraged though about how far she is away from me. In-person appointments would be tough to get to. She works over the phone, but I think in-person is vastly better for therapy.

I assume it will be have to be a calculated risk. I suppose there are other variables, or clues that I'm improving. MW being the earliest sign, or do I get aroused thinking about her or by physical contact,  Then there's the question of how much of it is simply performance anxiety. How much am I enjoying the moment, as opposed to worrying about having to "perform". These have all been factors in success and failures in the past. I haven't tried since I've known PIED was an actual thing, but I always had some idea that porn affected my sex life negatively.

Got it.  Hopefully when you do re-engage, you'll be with someone kind and trustworthy, taking some of the pressure off. 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 05, 2019, 06:40:01 PM
Back with family. Still a bit tough but not as bad at Christmas. I have some appointments set up with therapists. Motivated to make changes.

It's been almost a month since my last relapse, but I don't really care about the numbers this time. I really feel something is different now. This last one, plus the holidays and my friend situation, really broke me open. Also, my job situation has settled. Like stress there, and that will help. It'll open the door for dating/relationship stress.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 05, 2019, 06:40:44 PM
*less stress
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 15, 2019, 09:41:34 PM
Checking in. No real PMO temptation. A slight one at one point if I recall, but nothing major. Thinking about dating and women and relationships basically kills the motivation to PMO for me.

I met the dating coach and am encouraged. I really need someone in my corner as I put myself out there. I feel all alone otherwise. I'm also starting to see a therapist. I world like to work on keeping things in perspective when it comes to dating and the risk of letting people get to know me.

I'm chatting with two women now on a dating site, one I reached out to first, which is good.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 22, 2019, 11:17:58 PM
Had a first date tonight with one of the women I've been chatting with. I think we had some things in common and I was very interested in her work and approach to life, but I didn't feel a physical attraction. In retrospect she had one photo on her profile, just of her face. But it was good to get out there and try.

No PMO or temptation.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on January 23, 2019, 01:52:55 PM
Detente,
Glad to hear you are seeing a therapist and starting to date a bit
One picture profiles always have me weary haha, but it's great that you are putting yourself out there!
Do you think you'll see her again?
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 23, 2019, 07:16:27 PM
Detente,
Glad to hear you are seeing a therapist and starting to date a bit
One picture profiles always have me weary haha, but it's great that you are putting yourself out there!
Do you think you'll see her again?

Thanks. No, I wrote her and said I only had platonic feelings. I'm really disappointed because we had a lot of commonalities and had done a lot of messaging up until we met. And just being out there in a date really triggered my low self-worth, self-criticism. I'm actually in a bag place even though I think she was interested in me and in that sense the date was successful.

This whole thing seems like such a mountain to climb. I'm pretty scared and lonely. Also I'm pretty sick right now.

No PMO urges, so that's good.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on January 24, 2019, 02:03:28 PM

Thanks. No, I wrote her and said I only had platonic feelings. I'm really disappointed because we had a lot of commonalities and had done a lot of messaging up until we met. And just being out there in a date really triggered my low self-worth, self-criticism. I'm actually in a bag place even though I think she was interested in me and in that sense the date was successful.

This whole thing seems like such a mountain to climb. I'm pretty scared and lonely. Also I'm pretty sick right now.

No PMO urges, so that's good.

It's rough when you build up hope in your head about someone, especially since you seemed to be connecting prior to the date. I wish I was less superficial to be honest. I let a couple good ones get away over the years, but seeing that I've had PIED with attractive women, there isn't much hope with someone I have zero attraction to.

It sounds like you are being too hard on yourself, though I understand how you feel. I Hope feel better soon
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on January 26, 2019, 12:04:19 PM
Yeah, thanks. It didn't help too that I was really sick on the date and the rest of the week. And it's funny how my perspective can change from day to day. I was in despair sheet the date and when I met with the therapist this week. Now I'm less pessimistic after listening to some cognitive behavioral therapy podcasts and thinking that if I keep with it I could make changes. And pinpointing some of my problems. Ultimately I may have anxiety about simply being myself with others, even friends. And anxiety in general may be based on a perception of danger that is inaccurate. If I could get myself to believe being myself isn't dangerous, or it is worth the risk of rejection or ridicule, that could be a big help. Similarly, with depression they say there's almost always some sort of unhelpful it inaccurate thinking involved. Anyway that's how I'm feeling at the moment. Next week I'll probably feel hopeless again and tell myself I was foolish for feeling any optimism, ha.

But I credit myself for getting out there again and making an initial effort, as well as reaching out to someone and initiating contact. And I've realized again that it's best to avoid profiles with only a single photo or face photos only. That'll guide me going forward.

No PMO or temptations to report.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 02, 2019, 07:19:48 PM
Just checking in. No PMO or temptations to report. Feeling blue right now. Has to do with my friend who started then stopped dating someone that threw me into the tailspin. One day this week she was pouring her heart out to me and I felt connected to get and sort of ... useful to her. But today back to her more judgmental mode, which in turn makes me feel I don't measure up. Not that we're dating or anything. It just makes me question myself, my interests and personality and reserved self.

I have another date this upcoming week, but to be honest I'm not all that excited. She wrote to me first. But I'm really trying to just get out there. She's got some interests in common. Not as attractive as I'd like, but at least I have more photos to look at than the first girl.

I really need to take control of my life and move it in the direction I want.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on February 02, 2019, 08:53:29 PM
Just checking in. No PMO or temptations to report. Feeling blue right now. Has to do with my friend who started then stopped dating someone that threw me into the tailspin. One day this week she was pouring her heart out to me and I felt connected to get and sort of ... useful to her. But today back to her more judgmental mode, which in turn makes me feel I don't measure up. Not that we're dating or anything. It just makes me question myself, my interests and personality and reserved self.

I have another date this upcoming week, but to be honest I'm not all that excited. She wrote to me first. But I'm really trying to just get out there. She's got some interests in common. Not as attractive as I'd like, but at least I have more photos to look at than the first girl.

I really need to take control of my life and move it in the direction I want.

Sorry to hear you are feeling blue. It does sound at least from your posts that your friend feels a connection to you, but she's a judgy kind of person which reminds you while you are not dating her, but also makes you feel kind of shitty? Im not sure if I'm reading that correctly?

Good luck on your date. Give it a shot. You never know, especially since your expectations are different this time.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 05, 2019, 08:57:47 PM

Sorry to hear you are feeling blue. It does sound at least from your posts that your friend feels a connection to you, but she's a judgy kind of person which reminds you while you are not dating her, but also makes you feel kind of shitty? Im not sure if I'm reading that correctly?

Good luck on your date. Give it a shot. You never know, especially since your expectations are different this time.

I don't know if I've explained it well.  I'm too lazy to go back and read my old posts, but I might have said I thought at one point she was interested in me, but I definitely don't think so now.  We met through a dating site.  We've become friends since she moved to my city and in my neighborhood, and now we're coworkers.  I've kind of helped her out a bit as she settles in and struggles to get connections going here, and I think I still feel foolish and a bit of a loser because she and I didn't go anywhere.  And then it really hurt when she started dating someone and telling me about him, including that they'd slept together.

When he basically ghosted on her, she was crushed, and I listened to her and offered advice, and I saw her more vulnerable side.  But then she was back to being very judgmental the last time I hung out with her, about the city, the people here, nightlife, coworkers, etc.  Some of the things she was judgy about made me question myself, as I don't live up to her standards.  And she is passive-aggressive at times, and I feel she's making digs at me, although I could be imagining things.  I also feel vulnerable about her seeing me and my life -- the quality of my life and relationships, and basically the kind of the defectiveness I feel about myself, that if someone gets to know me they won't like me.

Bottom line is we just don't share the same values and interests and tempermant, and instead of simply recognizing that for what it is, I'm beating myself.  And when she'd judgmental and complaining, I get more reserved and withdraw, and also realize it's just a negative vibe that brings me down.  So I think based on all the above, it'll be good to pull back a bit.  It's not my responsibility to get her life set up and be her sounding board, especially on dating.  I can help out but it's also important to life my life according to who I am, my interests, my style.

Date #2 of 2019 is tomorrow.  I'll try to go into it with an open and curious and optimistic mindset.   In any event it'll be good practice.

Still no PMO or temptation. 
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on February 06, 2019, 04:20:54 PM

I don't know if I've explained it well.  I'm too lazy to go back and read my old posts, but I might have said I thought at one point she was interested in me, but I definitely don't think so now.  We met through a dating site.  We've become friends since she moved to my city and in my neighborhood, and now we're coworkers.  I've kind of helped her out a bit as she settles in and struggles to get connections going here, and I think I still feel foolish and a bit of a loser because she and I didn't go anywhere.  And then it really hurt when she started dating someone and telling me about him, including that they'd slept together.

When he basically ghosted on her, she was crushed, and I listened to her and offered advice, and I saw her more vulnerable side.  But then she was back to being very judgmental the last time I hung out with her, about the city, the people here, nightlife, coworkers, etc.  Some of the things she was judgy about made me question myself, as I don't live up to her standards.  And she is passive-aggressive at times, and I feel she's making digs at me, although I could be imagining things.  I also feel vulnerable about her seeing me and my life -- the quality of my life and relationships, and basically the kind of the defectiveness I feel about myself, that if someone gets to know me they won't like me.

Bottom line is we just don't share the same values and interests and tempermant, and instead of simply recognizing that for what it is, I'm beating myself.  And when she'd judgmental and complaining, I get more reserved and withdraw, and also realize it's just a negative vibe that brings me down.  So I think based on all the above, it'll be good to pull back a bit.  It's not my responsibility to get her life set up and be her sounding board, especially on dating.  I can help out but it's also important to life my life according to who I am, my interests, my style.

Date #2 of 2019 is tomorrow.  I'll try to go into it with an open and curious and optimistic mindset.   In any event it'll be good practice.

Still no PMO or temptation.

That's right, I do recall you saying you weren't a match, and I may have interpreted as her being interested, and you weren't. This makes sense. She was at least slightly in the very beginning given the way you met, but not now. Given what you have told me you may not be imagining or overthinking that she's also judging you or taking passive aggressive shots, and I would imagine that triggers certain self-worth issues you may have, but it's obviously hard to tell her intention not being there. It's probably better you know now if you are not a good match if it ever would come down to her expressing interest. It doesn't sound like she's healthy for you to be around, but again I can only go by what I read here.

Hope your date goes well!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 07, 2019, 09:50:28 AM
Yeah I think if she ever expresses interest, it would be because she's lonely and wants to be with someone, not necessarily because we'd be a good fit. She's struggling being in a new city and kind of put her hopes in the guy she was seeing to help her with that. When taking about that, I really felt for her. She's revealed some of her insecurities, and that made me feel close to her and that I could trust her. But then the next time I saw her she was in her negative, judgmental mode. Also, she can be manipulative. It's best if I pull back a bit. She has other friends and family she's in contact she can lean on.

The date went well. We had things in common to talk about. The conversation didn't really seem forced. I kind of knew going in I wasn't all that physically attracted to her, and I bet that lessened my anxiety. My dating coach said to not make that a huge focus because that might develop I'd there's an emotional connection. But I don't think a physical attraction would develop here. Just getting out there and practicing and experiencing dates helps.

My counter says I'm at 61 days without PMO. No urges as I focus on really meeting someone and trying out living with self-respect.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on February 07, 2019, 10:51:14 PM
Yeah I think if she ever expresses interest, it would be because she's lonely and wants to be with someone, not necessarily because we'd be a good fit. She's struggling being in a new city and kind of put her hopes in the guy she was seeing to help her with that. When taking about that, I really felt for her. She's revealed some of her insecurities, and that made me feel close to her and that I could trust her. But then the next time I saw her she was in her negative, judgmental mode. Also, she can be manipulative. It's best if I pull back a bit. She has other friends and family she's in contact she can lean on.

The date went well. We had things in common to talk about. The conversation didn't really seem forced. I kind of knew going in I wasn't all that physically attracted to her, and I bet that lessened my anxiety. My dating coach said to not make that a huge focus because that might develop I'd there's an emotional connection. But I don't think a physical attraction would develop here. Just getting out there and practicing and experiencing dates helps.

My counter says I'm at 61 days without PMO. No urges as I focus on really meeting someone and trying out living with self-respect.

Glad the date went well even if there weren't sparks. Sometimes I wish physical attraction was less important to me than it is. Years back I let someone get away who was on every other level as close to my soulmate as one could get, but physically the complete opposite. I always wished I could get past it, because looks are ultimately meaningless, but seeing that I have enough trouble "performing" for someone I find attractive, there wasn't much hope. She wound up hating me but I tried to make it as much about me being screwed up as possible and not her ,but she's smart so I'm sure she knew on some level.

61 days is awesome. I have actually never heard of a dating coach. Is it something that happens through therapy or a separate thing?
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 08, 2019, 07:28:22 PM
Damn, there's something about this friend that sets me off. She said she's got plans to meet a guy she just met tomorrow and also that she meet a "cool guy" at a networking event last night. And I got really jealous again. And feeling inadequate. Like I wasn't able to get her situated and integrated here, but these guys can because they're so outgoing, successful, etc. And I'm wondering if she's rubbing it my face, or just genuinely excited and wanting to share. Just brings up a lot of shit. Still a good idea I think to keep my distance and work on myself. And find my tribe, as she is doing.

I'd first heard of a dating coach many years ago and thought it was weird. But here I am, and I think it's a great idea, especially for men, and especially for introverted men like me. I'm not exactly an alpha male. This coach seems experienced and knows what she's talking about, and caring. The thing is, me and I think 99% of guys have no one to talk to about fears about dating, feeling inadequate, feeling hurt, ashamed, etc. I can bring that to her and my therapist. The coach also does therapy. But she's too damn expensive to see each week! And too far away anyway.

Yeah, with this recent date I really didn't feel any real physical attraction. I do think I need to lower my standards a bit, as I'm not a model either. But I can't discount looks entirely.

Did you actually date your friend, or just sort of talk about being a couple? I imagine you dated because she ended up so hurt?

Thanks, yes, 61 days is a good mark. The PMO temptation has really not been there. A better measure of success for me now may be how many dates I've been and women I've asked out this year...

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 11, 2019, 05:29:33 PM
Well I'm feeling some slight temptation today. I'm just really bored at work, sick of being single, and have Fear of Missing Out (of sex) right now. PMO by chatting online would be what I'd indulge in and justify in situations like this. I'm confident I won't, but I wanted to document this. Instead of PMO I'm going to work out.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 12, 2019, 10:33:11 AM
I followed through on working out. It kind of drove out any pmo urge. I did mo, but I don't think that's a problem as long as it's not tied to p. I go from feeling very lonely and hopeless to feeling, at times, optimistic. That if I focus my dating on making a real connection, I'll find someone I click with, and my fears about being a bit of a loner, a lack of relationship history, won't be a factor. Or at least less of one. Trying to focus on my good qualities and what I can offer. Also on what I want, which is something I often don't think about, due to low self-esteem. I think people with healthy self-esteem feel is their, and other's, right to pursue why they want. Seems obvious but really hasn't been the case with me.

One positive thing is I've gotten into really good shape going to the gym and doing workout classes. That feels good.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 13, 2019, 09:55:35 PM
Checking in to say just how sad and angry I feel about how shabbily I've treated myself all these years. How I've denied myself the basics in life. I guess I'm coming out of the fog and realizing how insane my limiting beliefs are and how unfair I've been to myself.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: NewVerse on February 16, 2019, 01:54:22 PM
p. I go from feeling very lonely and hopeless to feeling, at times, optimistic. That if I focus my dating on making a real connection, I'll find someone I click with, and my fears about being a bit of a loner, a lack of relationship history, won't be a factor. Or at least less of one. Trying to focus on my good qualities and what I can offer. Also on what I want, which is something I often don't think about, due to low self-esteem. I think people with healthy self-esteem feel is their, and other's, right to pursue why they want. Seems obvious but really hasn't been the case with me.


I relate to this part so much. I can feel on top of the world and then be around people who will have a conversation that immediately makes me feel like a kid who was allowed to stay up late and talk to the grown ups at the party. Usually people a little bit younger than me, I get plunged down to earth and I start thinking escape which often leads me back to binging.

I have stopped worrying about flat out admitting to someone I haven't been in a relationship in quite some time. Watching people who seem to function normally, and effortlessly can be disheartening. You never really know anyone though.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on February 17, 2019, 01:03:35 PM
I had some typos in that last post, but yeah, a big thing with me is feeling left out and thinking it's so much easier for other people to interact and go with the flow with others. A lot of it is in my head, and I think deep down there's a sense that not only can I not connect with people, it's not safe to do so. Actually I know I can connect, but I keep my guard up for some reason. And I think deep down I also believe I don't deserve love, respect, success, etc. And yes, other people have their own "stuff" ... and their own way of dealing with it. I isolate while other people may cling to others or do anything to be with others, for example.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 04, 2019, 11:18:09 AM
Just checking in. No PMO or temptation. I think since I wrote last I've been on one more date, three on the year. Not something I want to pursue further, but the experience helps. But I'm feeling down and discouraged right now. Need to stay focused on finding a connection and feeling I'm someone worthwhile and have a lot to offer. Which I think is true, but I need to keep reminding myself of that.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 07, 2019, 09:58:09 PM
Checking in with a slight blip. A day or two ago I was on a chat site that a 12-step organization I'm looking into uses for online meetings. It's a general site, so that have chat rooms for every topic I suppose. I briefly dropped into an adult one, but didn't stay.

Also, today I definitely started to feel temptation and thoughts of porn. I think it was boredom and the freedom from working away from the office.

Tomorrow I'll hit day 90 of this latest reset. I hadn't been counting before but it's nice to mark that milestone.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: workinprogressUK on March 08, 2019, 07:02:54 AM
Congrats on your milestone. Inspirational. Hope you're feeling good on it. And as for your blip.... you have more time served than me and than most of the people on here, so you know best how to categorize it. Enjoy your weekend!
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 08, 2019, 11:34:29 AM
Thank you! Yeah, it's a blip to me because I didn't engage in chatting and left almost immediately.

I'm still feeling temptation though. I'm at work but it's quiet and slow. So I'm relaxed and bored, which can lead me to into chatting and PMO.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: olafthewise on March 15, 2019, 05:35:11 AM
you got a brain stim problem.
find more healthy brain stimulations to do...sci/fi movies, hobbies, etc.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on March 31, 2019, 11:56:21 AM
Regretfully, I must report another relapse.  I had made it to 114 days PMO free.  I was making good progress on the dating front I felt, about to turn a corner in my mindset about really trying to get serious and earnest about finding someone.  I still am, but this is a setback.  It feels like self-sabotage, like my old, immature, selfish self wants to hold on and not let a better self emerge.

This is disappointing, but I hope it's just one step backward as I continue to take steps forward.

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on April 06, 2019, 11:09:53 AM
PMO free, but it's fairly easy during the week.  I felt a bit temptation at the end of the day, a slow day.

The biggest test is the weekend.  I exercised this morning and have plans this afternoon, but nothing planned so far for the evening.  Tomorrow more plans, so I think I'm safe.

Strange that I'm already feeling temptation only a week out.  I had an off week all week, not exercising or eating right, getting into work late, and slacking off.  I'm aiming to correct that next week.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on April 15, 2019, 06:10:02 AM
No PMO.  I guess some slight temptation.  I feel like I'm still in the cusp of leaving my old ways and attitudes about myself behind, but I still also feel pulled back to the familiar painful, lonely, pessimistic, and self-absorbed ways (which includes PMO).
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: workinprogressUK on April 15, 2019, 07:59:50 AM
Wonder what it is that pulls you back? Is there part of you that doesn't want the better life that you've worked so hard for? I know that a part of my brain wants me to go back my dirty old ways. Really hope you can pull through and stay strong, Detente. I agree with you about weekends being worse. Maybe when there's less structure, more opportunity, guard down? Good luck for the next few days and then maybe get a tight grip of your thinking on Friday, mate?
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on April 16, 2019, 12:15:25 PM
Workinprogress, yes, there's definitely something deep down that holds me back and doesn't want a better life. Probably some deep-seated shame or defectiveness that says I don't deserve a love life, respect, intimacy (with a partner and friends). I generally know how it developed, but it'll take work to overcome. There's also maybe resistance to being a mature man, giving up my old ways that in some sense rewards me. Also, let's face it, PMO, at least in the middle of an episode, is exciting and an escape from the day-to-day.

Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: olafthewise on April 27, 2019, 05:57:01 AM
get off the computer after cleaning any saved sites. Remain off of it for a week. Habits are hard to forget. just re-tune your brain.

find other stimulus like movies, exercise, construction stuff, etc.
Title: Re: I think I have a problem
Post by: Detente on April 27, 2019, 08:37:12 PM
find other stimulus like movies, exercise, construction stuff, etc.

This is key.  Keeping busy helps.  Specifically, planning ahead and getting things on the schedule.  One thing that's lacking in my life I think is learning.  Signing up for a class of any sort will help me get excited about something and not just muddle through week to week. 

No PMO or real temptations.  It's been 27 days since my last binge.