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Journals => Ages 20-29 => Topic started by: mym8marty on April 09, 2019, 11:29:13 PM

Title: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 09, 2019, 11:29:13 PM
Hi everyone! I just found this forum through the RebootNation youtube channel.

I've been using porn since before I hit puberty. I think earliest I sought out porn online was around 8 years old, and I was regularly using by ~10 years old. I am 20 years old, about to be 21, and I can't keep going with this.

I have a long term girlfriend, and we used to have a very regular sex life. In the past couple of years we have slowed down a lot, and I think that's because I used to be the main initiator of sex in our relationship but I have fell out of that role because of my addiction to porn. I am desensitized and lack libido. Today, we tried to have sex but I couldn't even become slightly aroused. This has happened multiple times in the past but this time it was beyond embarrassing and despite what she said, I know it hurt her pretty deeply.

I have tried to quit in the past but I kept relapsing, and eventually I completely gave up. I decided it wasn't a big problem and that everyone does it. Clearly, I was wrong, and this IS a big problem. I have ADHD so I am definitely predisposed to seeking out dopamine rushes, so I easily get addicted to video games, Youtube, Reddit, mobile games,  stuff like that. The way I deal with those is to go cold turkey and usually I am able to kick the habit. I have never been able to kick porn for more than 14 days.

I don't feel emotions as strongly. I don't feel attracted to real people day to day except for my girlfriend but even then just fleetingly. Not that I don't find her attractive, but I don't physically FEEL the response that I remember feeling. It used to be a physical reaction. That is completely gone.

One big problem I had with quitting was that the last community I used was /r/NoFap on Reddit but that's also where I found the majority of my porn... It's like attending AA in the back of a pub. I want to stay off Reddit completely during this journey if I can.

Today is my first day without PMO. I am committed to quitting and I will try to update this journal regularly.

Thank you all for giving me this platform to keep my journal!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 10, 2019, 12:52:29 AM
Lol alright so this update is pretty soon after the first one but I'm experiencing some insomnia which I would normally turn to PMO for (I've been using it to sleep for years). Instead of going on my phone I pulled out my laptop (which I almost never use for porn) and came back to this forum to look for help. I read some stuff about treating any nighttime urges like insomnia and just to get out of bed, leave my room/go outside, or do some work. I'm going to try that out right now and hopefully I'll get some rest tonight. I've been sleeping through my alarms which leads to me not going to classes (I'm in school now) because of depression/anxiety/lack of motivation whatever but tomorrow I will push through and just make do with however much sleep I manage to get tonight. Most important thing is that I don't turn to PMO.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Redfire03 on April 10, 2019, 05:18:20 AM
Just never look back my friend... and as hard as it may be...you need to open up to your girl about the issue.. if she loves you she will help you man. Trust me I wish I had done so before it was to late.. open up to her about the issue.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: deminounrae on April 10, 2019, 07:24:00 AM
I agree with Redfire03 talk to her about this for two main reasons:
1) for personal experience I can tell you that girls tend to think they are the problem in this and can get very sad about that. So if not for other reasons at least to give her some relief.
2) she can give you all the energy you need to overcome this!
And she will be comprehensive no doubt.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 10, 2019, 09:03:39 AM
Thanks guys. I have spoken with her about this in the past and when it happened yesterday, I told her that it was because of PIED and have been keeping her updated on my new resolution. It is still difficult though, because it 1. shows that I am still consuming porn despite us having spoken about it damaging our relationship in the past and 2. shows that I am weak willed. I know that it's an addiction and its just how my brain works but the fact that she knows I have tried to kick it many times in the past means she also knows that I failed that many times.

I'll keep talking to her about it as I go though. I think keeping her in the know about it will motivate me more down the line when I have less motivation and the withdrawals get worse (like if I'm keeping her up to date every day on my progress and then suddenly I slip up I'm going to have to tell her about it)

Last night I ended up just going to bed without doing any of those things I said I would try. The moment I put my laptop away I realized how tired I was and just went to bed. I'll still keep those strategies in mind for the future.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Redfire03 on April 10, 2019, 02:06:25 PM
Focus on her. Get off social media take a break for awhile. Get in the gym focus your energy else where... come home. Cook dinner, watch movies together, cuddle kiss, tease without the intentions of sex... but to build up that barrier for you to want more.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 10, 2019, 08:19:08 PM
Welcome to the forum  man, good thing you are getting serious about this at ~21. I wish I had handled this sooner. So definitely go absolutely all out in fixing this. For me the insomnia was an issue for sure, the key foundation is

* Accepting it. It is likely you may end up with the rare night when you literally will not sleep. Just accept this and be okay with it. Is sleep important? Sure. But Navy seals and other military guys go literally like 4-5 days with NO sleep and perform at a high level. You'll be okay if that ever happens.

Oddly when I would spend a whole night not sleeping due to an urge, normally I'd feel good the next day.. Wheras a relapse meant awful withdrawals for days after.
 
Anyway man, go hard on this and get it handled! Having that awful experience of the PMO with a girl you care about sucks but can be a great motivator to kick this damn habit. Also, in my somewhat critical opinion, reddit sucks. So yeah, stay off it.

Also as far as the ADD/dopamine kick. I 1000% relate. I am the same way, everything ends up compulsive. The simple solution is to cut ALL that shit out. It sounds extreme but it works. I think like this, all the famous scientists we know Newton, Ben Franklin, probably Einstein; had the tendency to be compulsive about things. But they didn't have garbage like youtube the internet etc. available so that tendency ended up in healthy avenue like learning reading, building things. When you cut the stuff out, people on the outside think it is crazy dedication but for people like me (and I think you), it is actually pretty easy to just never do something once it's cut out and put all of that energy into other things once it's gone. I cut out all screen time not for work or pure utility when alone, and I don't miss it one bit. It got replaced with reading. Sometimes I'll go on a reading binge, but instead of feeling anxious and shitty after I feel damn good and relaxed.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Redfire03 on April 10, 2019, 08:37:52 PM
^^^^^ dude is on point. I got off Facebook and I dont regret it one bit. I focused on myself and continue to do so. Einstein said It many times he was worried about technology effecting the generations to come... and boy was he onto something.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 10, 2019, 09:07:40 PM
Also as far as the ADD/dopamine kick. I 1000% relate. I am the same way, everything ends up compulsive. The simple solution is to cut ALL that shit out. It sounds extreme but it works. I think like this, all the famous scientists we know Newton, Ben Franklin, probably Einstein; had the tendency to be compulsive about things. But they didn't have garbage like youtube the internet etc. available so that tendency ended up in healthy avenue like learning reading, building things. When you cut the stuff out, people on the outside think it is crazy dedication but for people like me (and I think you), it is actually pretty easy to just never do something once it's cut out and put all of that energy into other things once it's gone. I cut out all screen time not for work or pure utility when alone, and I don't miss it one bit. It got replaced with reading. Sometimes I'll go on a reading binge, but instead of feeling anxious and shitty after I feel damn good and relaxed.

This is a really big point for me. I am terrible with moderation (as many people w/ ADHD are) and so I am usually either 100% or 0% with things, but once I cut it out completely I have very little trouble avoiding it. Porn has been a different story... probably because it's so deeply wired into my brain at this point. Like I said, the longest I went was 14 days, after which my relapse was not with what I would normally watch but instead it was crazier/weirder stuff that I am ashamed to remember. It's almost like the pent up frustration from abstaining led me to act out in a more intense way. This time I will be hyper conscious of my weaknesses and try my best to remember my short & long term goals, as well as my relationship.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 10, 2019, 11:05:45 PM
Day 2 done!!

Writing this really quick before I go to bed. Made sure my meds are more than worn off by now and I just took a cold shower, so hopefully sleeping won't be too difficult. I really appreciate all the advice from everyone, please keep it coming :)

I am worried about when I inevitably become disinterested in rebooting and switch my focus to something else. ADHD has killed any long term habits or hobbies I have tried to pick up throughout my life. I'm not willing to give this one up, so I need to have strategies for when I feel myself starting to care less about the journey and give back in to my old, unhealthy habits.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 11, 2019, 08:30:46 AM
Thanks redfire, glad to hear it works for you too. Hearing it works for others reaffirms it for me so it's motivation to keep up this lifestyle.

Yeah marty, that why were here. The PMO is the tough one to kick, so the goal is to get it in that "not a part of life" category like the rest of them. Also, I have had the same experience with lapses, they can be worse then our usual habit, so it's important to avoid the hell out of them! Or at least be aware of that.

Congrats on getting through the day! Well the fact that you are aware of that is really good. A dangerous thing is overconfidence " I am good now I won't forget___________" thats when I always end up forgetting about some hobby or goal.

For me writing on this forum helps, I left before, I thought my pmo problem was solved, then had some bad lapses. Coming here helps one to remember imo. I have had struggles with fantasy and consider it a lapse at this point but thankfully, otherwise when on this forum I stay totally on track.

One last thing: Something I am still working on but that helps is reading the same shit. 1st of all You can write down goals, motivation to quit pmo etc. and read that periodically. I am thinking of experimenting with a weekly check in with myself. I have done this with a friend, we talk each week about what we are working on, I kept my pmo  problem private but I think it really really worked for keeping me on track more in the areas we did talk about. I think using a notebook on a certain day and time would be helpful too. If I try it I'll let you know how it goes
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 11, 2019, 06:39:45 PM
Quick update before my nightly recap... I had a headache through the morning despite getting about 8 hours of sleep. I've been taking melatonin for the past month or two to help me sleep but I've started to notice its effectiveness dropping (leading me to PMO most nights) but this morning was the first time I've gotten enough sleep in a while where I started to question whether or not its actually hurting my sleep somehow. The last two nights I've woken up at about 4am, going to bed "early" (compared to what I used to sleep at, which was ~3-4am).

I'm going to experiment with skipping the melatonin and jut trying other methods. I really liked my cold shower last night, it helped me clear my mind and while it definitely wakes you up, getting into bed and warming up right after makes me super sleepy.

Otherwise, to try and remedy the headache I went back to my dorm and tried to nap for just 15-30 minutes... WOW that is dangerous. I think I was able to avoid any urges I had (which I very much did) because I am so fresh to this new journey and I am still pumped with motivation. I will DEFINITELY be avoiding napping by myself unless absolutely necessary in the future because it is SUCH an easy trap to fall into.

I found the podcast "Porn Free Radio" yesterday and listened to an episode titled "The Biggest Warning Sign of a Relapse"... he basically said the biggest trigger to a relapse is not seeing a beautiful woman on the street, or accidentally seeing something pornographic, or anything you would think it would be; the most fatal trigger is isolation. This is nearly unique to a porn addiction, because most others can easily be woven into a social life (e.g. going out drinking every night, gambling, etc). Being at home, or anywhere else, completely alone and with an internet connection is the fastest way to a relapse.

Of course, it didn't help that I was in bed and had my phone. Honestly this was really stupid, because the neural connections are still strong and that's exactly where I used to PMO. Glad I learned this lesson early without a relapse.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 11, 2019, 11:50:48 PM
Yeah good lesson for sure, most of the time I avoid the bed as much as possible. I have done an occasional nap there lately (not many urges lately) but am always careful. Even napping elsewhere then the bed, like in the park/ on grass if it's warm enough can be great. Really refreshing and I never get urges doing that
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 12, 2019, 04:56:53 PM
Guess this is Day 4?

Didn’t do a nightly recap for Day 3 cause I was up till 6am writing a paper I procrastinated on. Good lesson for me because in the last few months reverting back to that habit of procrastinating and then not turning stuff in, which is what I did all through high school. Need to get back in the mindset of it being completely unacceptable to miss a deadline for assignments.

Anyway, I’ll do my nightly recap before bed. Thanks to everyone for your input! I really appreciate having this journal here... it’s so much easier to talk about this to people who have a similar mindset about porn/PA. Otherwise it really sounds like I’m making a huge deal out of nothing since to most people porn is super normal and not unhealthy.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 13, 2019, 12:40:19 AM
Congrats on day 4! Yeah, being exposed to the like minded is super helpful
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 13, 2019, 12:46:10 AM
Day 4 done!

School week is over but I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow.

Today was really good, spent almost the entire day with my girlfriend, we ended up having sex (successfully) but I could really feel myself struggling in terms of PIED. Just gotta keep at it.

Keeping her updated as well which is really good, and I think she’s really starting to understand it from the more scientific perspective we (reformed porn users) have, in just how much porn can screw up someone’s mind developmentally. She also found out today just how early in life I had started watching porn which was pretty shocking but I think helped drive the point home.

I’ll check in tomorrow night for day 5. Night everyone!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 13, 2019, 11:03:13 AM
So I was just gonna watch something on YouTube before bed and then I ended up watching videos for like 3 hours. Went to bed super late, like 4:45am. Obviously it’s not a relapse BUT still an unhealthy habit I should be avoiding. Still made it to the gym though!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Redfire03 on April 13, 2019, 01:19:00 PM
I have certain channels I follow on YouTube. I just focus on those and that is about it.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 14, 2019, 02:05:00 AM
Day 5 done but I’m doing it again, 3am here BUT I’m gonna put the phone down right now and sleep.

I can feel the crazy motivation I had in the first few days slipping away. Need to prepare myself for that, especially tomorrow. Sundays usually end up being super unproductive for me.

Part of my motivation being down is probably my messed up sleeping schedule. I get so low and indifferent to everything if I’m not running on enough sleep. Need to be better about this.

Thanks as always everyone
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 14, 2019, 06:07:56 PM
Getting pretty bad urges right now. It really is when I’m feeling stressed or tired, I just turn to it as a coping mechanism. Gonna go do my laundry and push through.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 14, 2019, 10:40:03 PM
Day 6 done!!

Writing this an hour before midnight because I'm gonna be with my gf the rest of the day.

I went to take another nap today because I was feeling really sleep deprived, the kind you feel before you get sick. I didn't end up napping (ADHD meds make that a little difficult) but the time relaxing in the dark did help. However, I cannot stress enough how much I could feel myself teetering on the edge of relapse. Feeling down, stressed, and exhausted all lead to my brain seeking the comfort of PMO, and I was enabling those feelings by putting myself in a position where I could easily relapse: isolated, with easy internet access, already in bed. Like I said in an earlier post, this is the exact same context I would always be in when turning to PMO, and those brain pathways are STRONG. Fighting them was super hard, and honestly this is my second reminder since I started this journal that I really shouldn't be risking it. Maybe it's better that I'm putting myself in the same context but without the PMO and I'm rewiring my brain? But I think that's unhealthy thinking. It's always going to be better for me to avoid PMO and to avoid putting myself into compromising and vulnerable situations.

I did see something triggering earlier today. I had turned off the reddit filter I have on my phone to keep me off it during the day so that I could research something the night before, but I forgot to turn it back on. As a result I was mindlessly surfing reddit when something popped up (on /r/all, so it was just a mixture of everything popular on the site at the time) that was not necessarily porn but was definitely something that would have led me down the PMO path before. After seeing that I put the filter back on and got a move on with my day but it's been lingering in my head for forever.

Honestly this addiction is fucking scary. The fact that I am so weak to it, so vulnerable, and so easily manipulated by it is terrifying. I think everyone would like to THINK they're in control of their own behaviors, but ask them to stop something like PMO and it becomes clear how little they really are.

I know I cannot control my thoughts, but I can control my behavior, i.e. my reactions to those thoughts. I am strong, I am powerful, and I can get through this.

Tomorrow is day 7, which means 1 week! Exciting stuff. It's been a long time since I've gone a week without this, and I'm looking forward to breaking my previous best of 14 days. I think my goal for week 2 is going to be staying on top of my sleep schedule, as it has clearly had such a negative effect on me this week.

EDIT: BTW if anyone has good meditation techniques they recommend I would love to hear them. Thanks!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 15, 2019, 11:14:34 PM
7 days done!

Feel like crap because I was drinking today though. Big party day at my school.

I had a dream while I was taking a nap earlier to sober up and I dreamed about watching porn. Really sucked to wake up from because in my dream I knew I shouldn't be doing it but I didn't stop. Obviously this was in a dream and I can't blame myself for it, nor do I count it as a relapse, but damn if it isn't super demoralizing.

Anyway, goal for this week like I said yesterday is gonna be staying on top of my sleep schedule. Going to bed in a bit, waking up early to catch up on some homework I skipped today.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 16, 2019, 11:17:48 PM
8 days done

Last night was real bad. Finally fell asleep at 6:30am, I guess the nap I took and all the drinking really messed my sleep up. I was really tempted during this time awake and started to seek out porn, saw a few things but nothing too bad. I stopped and thought “Is this really what I want to be doing?” and stopped there.

Today I saw my psychiatrist, talked about addiction and PMO and how it relates to my ADHD. Through that conversation I realized I am really bad with downtime, and not having stimulus at all times. She recommended having designated times where I’m not on my phone or anything else, just time where I sit and “be”. Like eat a meal without doing something while, just eat. Not necessarily meditation, but I do want to give that a try.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 18, 2019, 08:56:40 AM
At the end of 9 days I broke my streak.

I couldn’t sleep and I have had a lot of sexual energy since quitting that I didn’t know how to handle. I ended up doing PM without O. All of that energy is gone and I’m pretty upset with myself. Back at day 1.

Seeing a therapist through my school today. Going to talk to them about it and see how it goes.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 18, 2019, 10:19:31 AM
Sorry to hear that man! The downtime to just be (not necessiraly meditation) sounds like a great idea. I may try that as well.

At the point I am at in my recovery, fantasying about porn (intensively) is a lapse and messes with me, which I did the day before yestarday. Yeah it does stink. But a KEY I have heard over and over, realize how shitty it is and how much we want to CUT IT OUT OF OUR LIVES but at the same time not being hard on ourselves....

Tomorrow is a new day and you're not alone in the struggle! Even with the lapse you're still progressing.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 18, 2019, 12:54:24 PM
Tomorrow is a new day and you're not alone in the struggle! Even with the lapse you're still progressing.

Thanks for this! It is something I have to keep in mind, as when I get down about my failures it tends to be a downward spiral. Have to keep my head up and keep my eyes forward.


I gave some thought to my relapse, and I heard some advice earlier that made a lot of sense to me: treat your relapse as a positive learning experience rather than a negative failure. So I wrote this list down:

What Worked:
What Didn't Work:

What Could Help?


I'm going to try to shape my behaviors from now on with these lists in mind. #1 thing to remember is, I DON'T WANT THIS IN MY LIFE, so stop letting it back in.

Will update tonight with my new Day 1 post.
       
[/list]
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 18, 2019, 10:55:35 PM
Day 1 done! (Again!)

Quick update before bed since I got a lot of my thoughts out earlier. One big thing I learned today is if I am gonna use melatonin I should use a lot less (.5mg vs the 3mg recommended dosage on the bottle) because it’s causing me to have overly vivid dreams and wake up during the night.

Hard rule for the phone is midnight so that’s 5 minutes. Thank you all for your support and kindness.

Goodnight!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 19, 2019, 06:22:09 PM
Great list! I always find it uncanny how similar this addiction is in everyone. Literally the list is word for word what happens to me... Staying in the bed, the gray areas, eating junk food. Yup. Yup. and Yup all the things that would precede lapses. Then avoiding the phone, stopping checking it leaving the room exercise all the bomb. Literally everything on the list is how I have found it too.

Congrats on getting through the day! Yup, you want this OUT of your life. Good to always remember that, same for me here...
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 20, 2019, 03:04:10 AM
Day 2 done

Had a really amazing day today spent with my girlfriend, went out to dinner and saw a movie. I’m not feeling anything close to how I was in terms of sexual energy (or any other kind of energy) before the relapse which is upsetting, but is testament to the fact that edging is just as much of a relapse as full on PMO is. Completely forgot reset my progress, but that’s ok.

I also started cleaning my room today, getting things more organized. I think having the space be less chaotic will help my life be less chaotic as well.

Once again have to watch out for Sunday, it always trips me up in terms of getting started for the day and wasting my potential time to be productive.

Night dudes will update again tomorrow with day 3
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 20, 2019, 03:08:23 AM
Great list! I always find it uncanny how similar this addiction is in everyone. Literally the list is word for word what happens to me... Staying in the bed, the gray areas, eating junk food. Yup. Yup. and Yup all the things that would precede lapses. Then avoiding the phone, stopping checking it leaving the room exercise all the bomb. Literally everything on the list is how I have found it too.

Congrats on getting through the day! Yup, you want this OUT of your life. Good to always remember that, same for me here...

I completely agree. While not everyone has the exact same addictions or triggers, everyone struggling with PMO has such similar stories in terms of the challenges they face during their recovery, and everyone (even different kinds of addicts) benefit from the same things we do. I think it really helps us have solidarity with one another, and hope that we will be able to achieve what we see people who have gone years without it have been able to, since we know they started out just like us.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: LeanAndBop on April 20, 2019, 05:58:06 AM
Hey, interesting point about keeping your space tidy. It is surely productive and healthy to tidy up and live in an uncluttered environment. For me it feels good once I get loads of dishes done, for example. Though, supposedly a cluttered desk is a sign of genius... Who knows.
Sunday can be a real struggle! I've been advised to plan to do something with another person on such days.
Wishing you all the best, your last entry seems really positive.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 20, 2019, 01:58:14 PM
Had a wet dream last night, wasn’t good at all I don’t really remember the context but I’m pretty sure I was watching porn in my dream, although I don’t remember any porn itself just the act and context of PMO in general, like I remember putting my phone down and feeling a lot of shame/guilt. Woke up and turned out it probably happens cause I needed to use the restroom
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 20, 2019, 02:45:49 PM
Hey, interesting point about keeping your space tidy. It is surely productive and healthy to tidy up and live in an uncluttered environment. For me it feels good once I get loads of dishes done, for example. Though, supposedly a cluttered desk is a sign of genius... Who knows.
Sunday can be a real struggle! I've been advised to plan to do something with another person on such days.
Wishing you all the best, your last entry seems really positive.

Thanks! I think while that might be true it doesn’t mean that a cleaner area wouldn’t help haha. It’s a big thing for me with my ADHD to naturally be messy and use “piles” but having a clean space to counteract that is super helpful for me. For instance, I used to lose my keys and wallet constantly, but now they live in a tray on my bedside table and aren’t allowed to go anywhere else in my room. Haven’t lost them since.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 20, 2019, 11:46:13 PM
Hey, the wet dream sounds unpleasant. But sometimes relapse dreams are good! Motivation for you to keep moving forward.

Yeah, tidyness is huge. I have heard messy=genius too. But if we think about it, it's a myth for sure. Like half of people have messy desks, not half of people are geniuses. Being organized doesn't prove your a genius, but it sure makes life a lot easier!

Besides, even if it is true (messy desk= genius) I doubt cleaning our desks will make us lose our genius powers  ;)
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 22, 2019, 03:36:45 AM
Yeah, tidyness is huge. I have heard messy=genius too. But if we think about it, it's a myth for sure. Like half of people have messy desks, not half of people are geniuses. Being organized doesn't prove your a genius, but it sure makes life a lot easier!

Besides, even if it is true (messy desk= genius) I doubt cleaning our desks will make us lose our genius powers  ;)

I think you said this the way I tried to but I wasn’t really able to get my thoughts out in the right way haha
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 22, 2019, 03:43:36 AM
Day 3 & 4 done!

Updating at like 5am because I didn’t want to skip two updates in a row. Skipped day 3 cause I was up late and slept over at my girlfriends, was overall a good night. I spent my Sunday working on a project that took way longer than I thought it would, so I’m going to bed now (finally) and wanted to give a quick update.

So much for keeping the sleep schedule...

I blocked Facebook on my phone today. I had already blocked reddit but after not regularly using Facebook for years I was back on it multiple times a day. I guess I just crave something to scroll through. After blocking it, it was super weird, like I had nothing left to do on my phone. Just put it away, I guess. Hoping this will help me be more present and in the moment, as well as helping to keep me away from anything triggering (although fb was never really a trigger for me).

Will update tomorrow with day 5 (full business week!)
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Redfire03 on April 22, 2019, 06:11:46 AM
Facebook is a great start. When I got off I understand where being used to scrolling threw things is something you crave... weird I know.  But I started using my time in the gym and be more active.. I spend a lot of time reading on here and focus on me.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 23, 2019, 12:24:48 AM
Day 5 done!

Almost had a wet dream during the nap I took today (very positive though, was imagining my girlfriend so not only was I not watching porn but my subconscious was being faithful!) but I woke up to my alarm right as I think it was gonna happen. Just needed to pee, gotta be better about doing that before bed. It’s kind of weird because that’s never something I had to think about before, I mean I just never got wet dreams. But I’m excited because this is a huge sign of recovery! Only 5 days from my relapse too.

Hoping to get to sleep soon but my sleep schedule is still a little janky. I’ll see how it goes.

Thanks everyone!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 23, 2019, 09:09:36 PM
Great stuff man! That is great, to have a good dream like that. Keep up the good work. And yeah wet dreams by all accounts, especially a healthy one like that are considered a sign of progress!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 24, 2019, 12:21:00 AM
Day 6 done

Almost at the full week. Honestly my mind has been very off of porn lately, not even thinking about it as something to turn to. Good progress in terms of those mental pathways that have been built up.
 
So, not much to say about today, other than that I’ve been putting a lot of  energy lately into learning Spanish and it’s going really well. Something to replace the time I used to spend with PMO.

Will update tomorrow with 1 week!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 24, 2019, 11:32:00 PM
Week 1 done!!

7 days in today. I’m feeling really good and I’m my libido is ridiculously high. Honestly it’s kind of bad how much it is, I guess I’m just not used to it. I just need to remember to focus that energy into productive things, especially school stuff in the weeks leading up to finals.

I’m thinking of toning down my posting frequency but I can’t decide. Is it better to start doing this every other day since my day to day entries aren’t that significant? Or is it better to do it every day as a daily recap and a way to keep me on track?
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 26, 2019, 07:34:36 PM
Congrats man! Keep it up! That is awesome that it is getting easier.

Do it however you want BUT, daily insignificant entries are actually really great..... The journal is not meant to be entertainment for us reading! I think having little check ins daily that are insignificant is a GREAT SIGN. That means you are steadily making progress not having too many ups and downs, just steadily moving forward and FURTHER away from PMO.

To me that sounds like the daily posting is really helpful. That doesn't mean you need to post everyday, if you want to do every other day thats fine, if you miss day also fine. But, it sounds like the daily posting is working really well and you are in a good place so why change?
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on April 27, 2019, 12:58:46 AM
Day 9 done!

This is the number where I stumbled last time, so I’ve been extra vigilant today haha

Spent the day with my girlfriend which was awesome, just hanging out. Spoke with my therapist earlier today and we talked about my compulsiveness with not just porn, but phone usage in any way to keep my mind busy. I think I honestly use it way more as an emotional defense than I thought, I thought it was purley just the ADHD and I was getting bored very easy. But I sort of use it to run away from bad thoughts, especially anxious thoughts that I let run wild if I am not distracting myself.. Something to think about for me.


To me that sounds like the daily posting is really helpful. That doesn't mean you need to post everyday, if you want to do every other day thats fine, if you miss day also fine. But, it sounds like the daily posting is working really well and you are in a good place so why change?

This is a great point! I might go back to daily then. I think I’m just feeling a little worried that I’ll have to write in this journal, or feel this way forever if that makes sense. Like I’ll never truly be over it. I see people with journals that are years old.. I don’t want to still be struggling years from now. Even if I’ve been clean the whole time am I ever going to be able to just forget about it completely? Or will I have to keep writing about how I didn’t masturbate again every night, and if I don’t I’ll just fall back into it?

I guess this is too much to think about at 9 days in LOL I am probably over thinking this.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on May 06, 2019, 12:23:44 AM
Hey everyone

After Day 10 on my second streak I intentionally broke my streak, relapsed in the two days following, then stopped for 3-4 days. Tonight I relapsed again.

My initial post talked a lot about how I was no longer the initiator of sex in my relationship because of my lack of libido due to my porn dependency. In later posts I described how I got my libido back, and I had a lot of pent up sexual energy from going for multiple days without PMO.

I’m beginning to realize that my relationship is not (nearly) sexless because of my porn dependency.

I fully expected for us to start having regular sex once I got my libido back, and I was actively trying to initiate sex again. Instead, we maybe did it once, but not nearly as much as I had expected.

The thing is, my attempts at initiation almost felt like I was annoying her, and that hurt.

This drove me back to porn. At first I just wanted to get rid of the excess energy that caused me to constantly try to initiate things, because if she didn’t want to then I didn’t want to bother her.

Then, I did it because I just because I wanted to and I didn’t want to go in and be shot down.

Tonight I went back and reread my first post on this forum. I realized that my dependency on porn is not the cause, but the result of the state of my relationship.

So why is it sexless?

Me.

Looking at how I tried to initiate sex in the past few weeks, I have been treating sex the same way I did PMO. If I wanted the release, I’d pester her, feeling her up a lot, expecting it to just happen. That’s not a bad thing inherently, but is that what gets her in the mood? Not at all.

I was doing nothing for her and expecting everything from her. That is NOT how a relationship works. Relationships are about mutual emotions, attraction, trust. Sex is the same way. It is not something that one does for the other, but a shared experience.

If I want to initiate, how the fuck do I expect to do that just by doing what makes ME happy? I need to reassess myself and my approach to sex in my relationship. It is not a tool for myself to get off. That’s a disgusting mindset but it is the one I am realizing I’ve had.

I love my girlfriend more than anything, and I honestly believe I might lose her if I don’t change myself for the better. That means more than just quitting PMO. I need to be the right partner for her in every aspect.



So with that all being said, tomorrow is Day 1. I’m going to start posting daily again. Thank you all for your support this last month, or however long it’s been.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 06, 2019, 09:44:11 PM
Sorry to hear that man, great you got some insights as to how you can improve your relationship and sex life with your girlfriend.


It is your recovery and you know yourself best, but... I am partial to blaming pmo for a lot of these problems. You hit the nail on the head about treating sex with her like it was pmo. I have had that experience as well. The pmo and addictive way of being, leads to being impulsive and, for me, just being kind of "off" sexually and girls can tell it. So in my opinion it's still PMO is the problem. The PMO fucks up the relationship. That doesn't mean there aren't growing pains and adjustments BUT that the pmo going should be a big priority.


Also This drove me back to porn. At first I just wanted to get rid of the excess energy that caused me to constantly try to initiate things, because if she didn’t want to then I didn’t want to bother her.

Also, are you sure about the bold part? Could it have been your mind rationalizing a reason to use PMO? I find that lapses normally come with rationalizations....

One more thing: I think there is a difference between healthy sexuality and impulsive sexuality... you seem to definitely get this, there is a difference between long periods pmo free, where I suddenly feel connected and this healthy enjoyable desire for sex versus the implusive need something now! Feeling. Just trying to point out how, I don't think it's one sexual energy. There is unhealthy impulsive PMO and there is sex. It's a weird feeling and process, rewiring... if I haven't had sex in awhile the first few times I am getting pmo cravings during all of foreplay....

I am not you of course, so let us know if any of of my deductions are wrong...
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on May 07, 2019, 02:59:43 AM
I think you’re 100% right about everything you just said.

I think the reason I was trying to take the blame for the problem was to remind myself that these are decisions I am making of my own volition. It is an effect of PMO but ultimately I am in control, and I can’t blame away my behavior on it. That being said, I am probably being too harsh on myself and that might not be great for my recovery.

I also agree that it was a rationalization. While I did have a lot of that energy that’s not a good reason to relapse. There’s never a good reason to relapse!

On healthy/impulsive sexuality... I think that I had begun to get this on my own but seeing it laid out in your words is very, very reassuring. I resent my impulsive need for sex because it reminds me of my connection to PMO and it makes me feel like an asshole. Why do I feel like deserve to just take whenever I feel like it?

In the end, I think my goal is not to be without PMO, but rather to use my abstinence from it to achieve that healthy sexuality. I really desire a life where I am in the drivers seat, rather than just responding to impulses. This is true for my whole life, and is probably because of my ADHD... but I think it’s especially important with sex and relationships.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 07, 2019, 06:44:10 PM
Great  :). I think the healthier sexuality will come with time, it's just a process and we have to be aware.


One idea: Instead of thinking like :
"I think my goal is not to be without PMO, but rather to use my abstinence from it to achieve that healthy sexuality."

Think like this: " My goal is 100% to quite pmo no matter what cause it's the goddamn devil, and an awesome benefit to that is that having quit, I can then achieve healthy sexuality and more self control which is important to me!"

It's really really similar. Your phrase actually is more rational and level headed BUT something I have found is, it's helpful to have the core be NO PMO and then the benefits and things you want for quitting the pmo to be extra motivation for quitting PMO.

Why?

Because this closes off room for rationalization! The addictive thoughts are crafty, they aren't rational. Say you quit pmo for a month, you are having sex with the girlfriend and it's not healthy.... that can lead to the rationalization to PMO. "Well I am stopping PMO to have healthy sexuality and my sexuality is not healthy... so I can do it once"  or " I am cumming too fast with my girlfriend, so I can PMO or MO once a week to fix that". OR You get in an argument or *knock on wood* have a break up or you get some bad withdrawal and feel really really down and hopeless (hopefully not but it happens to some people in recovery, it passes). Then your brain is like "well, I don't have healthy sexuality, the world is coming to an end yadda yadda,might as well pmo". 

Any of those thoughts if the lead to PMO, then destroy your ability to have that healthy sexuality and the thoughts are bullshit, then you have to start over and when you run into difficulties again, you can run into the same thoughts, so you don't get to get to the point of enjoying those "real" reasons for quitting pmo. Which can suck.

It's so weird how it works. Me, for example, my brain would think "I only want to stop pmo so my dick works". Then I will have no women in my life...." so I guess I can PMO or maybe fantisize about porn (which harms my erections) and clean up when I meet a girl" then goddamn it, that next day was nearly always when I finally met a girl lol. Then my confidence would be shit or my dick wouldn't work. Then the girl is gone. BUT: If I had the foundation being " I will never pmo no matter what, I don't care if I have no girls or am miserable"---> Then have the other motivations as EXTRA. - healthy sexuality - my dick will work - feel more confident etc. It's a bonus and may have kept me away from PMO and I could have had the healthy sex with that girl and all those benefits, make sense?

Basically it's just a way to make it more robust, because bad times happen, bad periods of sex. This way having a core idk like motivation that can still be there, when the benefits aren't can more allow us to get through the bad periods, that come and go (or may be constant early in the recovery) so that we can get those benefits (like healthy sexuality, self control etc.)
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 07, 2019, 07:07:44 PM
I think you and Quit have some great points. Sorry to hear about the rough patch in your relationship, but it's good to see you back here.

One of the things that has surprised me most about my recovery is discovering that PMO is not my only issue, or even my main issue. For a long time, I thought that I would be fine if I could just quit PMO. But then I started trying to quit, and I've realized that there are a lot of things at the root of my addiction that need attention as well as a lot of things that my addiction has affected that also need work. It's been like opening a can of worms, but it's been really helpful too and has given me more success than just focusing on PMO alone.

So I would just add that it might be good to think about what is at the root of the issue, whether it's PMO or maybe thinking of sex more selfishly. I know people sometimes talk about "sexual energy," but I never relapse because I just have too much sexual energy. It's always because I've been disappointed by something or bored or sad, something that I think PMO will either fix or let me escape from for a while. Of course, PMO doesn't fix it, and then things are just worse after. But, on some level, PMO has been a way for me to cope with difficulty in life.

Also, and I'm the last person to give any kind of relationship advice, but you might talk about it with your girlfriend if you haven't. Maybe even apologize for the way you treated sex in the past. If you do think it has been damaging your relationship and you're worried about losing her just being honest and talking it out could be good. A pre-emptive apology seems better than a last-straw fight in my mind. I don't know your situation or relationship, so you'll have to make the call. But, since it's something that involves both of you, it might be good to involve her in the process. (Again, not my area of expertise, but just what comes to mind)
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on May 08, 2019, 12:07:16 AM
Day 1 Done!

Bringing back the day counter, I think it helped a lot.

Unfortunately last night I relapsed after staying up and being on my phone. Quit’s point about rationalization is honestly the best explanation I have for why. Even after my post, I still felt bad about myself and threw away my day of progress.

I am going to re-adopt the mindset of no PMO above all else. You make a great argument and I feel like you are really in tune with how addiction can affect us. You were able to analyze that in my post so thank you for that, and honestly I love this forum because every time I get a response from one of you I learn a new way to look at something or to think about this journey.

Blue, I wouldn’t put yourself down for inexperience. You make a great point. I did speak to her about my compulsiveness with sex recently and she said that she appreciates the attention but she does feel less valued as a partner, more as an object (not in those words, she definitely put it a lighter way than that) but she understands why. We’ve been together for a long time and we are teammates above everything else, so I’m really lucky to have her.

About the sexual energy, I’m starting to think I used it as a way of “self medicating” my ADHD. My brain is constantly moving and I’m physically unable to sit still, but when I PMO a lot or I don’t get much sleep I am so much calmer and it’s easier to just deal with myself. When I’m abstaining and I’m being healthy I don’t know how to react to the overwhelming amount of input... this is definitely some food for thought. Thank you both for your input, I appreciate it more than you know.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 08, 2019, 07:08:25 PM
Sure thing! Everything starts with Day 1, glad you're going to stick with the counting since you know it works for you. It definitely helps me (if you want to read a post that's way too long about counting days in my journal...) This whole process only works one day at a time, and a day is only wasted if you didn't learn from what went wrong or commit to do better the next day.

That's awesome that you were able to talk things through with her. The fact that you can talk about this issue and work things out with her is really great. PMO tricks us with sex on-demand, but that's not how life works.

One thing that has been huge for my recovery recently has been learning to deal with my emotions in more productive ways. Overwhelming emotions have definitely triggered my relapses in the past, so I've been focusing on working with my difficult feelings. I don't know if you've spent any time with meditation/mindfulness, but it might be worth looking into if you haven't. I was pretty skeptical early on, but it has made a huge difference for me in my recovery.

Keep it going: we're rooting for you!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on May 08, 2019, 11:21:24 PM
Day 2 done!

Didn’t sleep last night cause I was hella nervous about my final this morning (not the best strategy lmao) but PMO wasn’t on my mind at all. But with my final done the semester is over, next few days are chaotic in terms of packing for home but peaceful, not stressing about school anymore so I’m hoping I can have more time to implement some more good habits like exercise and reading.

I have definitely thought about meditation, tried it once. I definitely don’t discount it as an effective strategy and I know it works wonders. I have never implemented it into a routine, though. I think I’m going to try now that I’m done with classes, see how it works for me. Thanks for the suggestion!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 09, 2019, 08:01:47 AM
Congrats on the day 2! Really glad the insights are helpful for you. That is great you went through a night without sleep... thats the sort of the thing I was thinking of. Going through the uncomfortable stuff but still PMO free!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 09, 2019, 05:30:14 PM
Congrats on finishing a semester! That's a big sigh of relief.  And it's definitely a good chance to start focusing on implementing some healthier habits. I know things (like diet and working out and sleep) always go out the window for me at the end of a semester because of finals and everything. But the start of a break is a good chance to get things going again.

Way to make it through another day (and a stressful one even)!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on May 10, 2019, 12:21:43 AM
Picked up a gig job moving boxes for move out so I’m too exhausted to make a real post

Just a quick day 3 done and I’m gonna go to sleep now goodnight
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 10, 2019, 11:30:29 PM
Congrats on the gig and day 3. That's actually a good spot to be, just soo tired, in a good way and going right to sleep.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 12, 2019, 07:05:51 PM
I agree, busy and tired is probably a good way to start a reboot. It's a lot harder to relapse when you don't leave time in the day for it.

Hope you're doing well!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on May 22, 2019, 10:39:55 AM
Day 15 done!

Been super busy trying to find a job for summer, cleaning up my house and all that. After my last post I was in a flatline for about a week which I was grateful for, one less thing I’ve had to worry about. Since it ended I’ve been just resisting any urges because it’s been too long to give it up now.

Hope you guys are all doing well, sorry I just disappeared, I’ll try to be better about posting!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: LeanAndBop on May 22, 2019, 01:14:24 PM
Hey sounds like you've been productive! Keep it up! Managing urges can be tough so we'll done.
All the best
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on May 27, 2019, 11:49:06 PM
Day 21 done!

21 days means 3 weeks so I thought I'd update. Longest I've ever gone which is sweet.

Reinstalled instagram today to post a photo, scrolling through I'm honestly kind of shocked at how naked people get on it. Probably going to uninstall it again, no reason to have that lurking.

Keep grinding everyone!
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on June 08, 2019, 05:50:33 PM
Nice job on the 21 days! Yeah I'd say to hell with instagram, those things even aside from the pmo are designed to waste our time.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on July 08, 2019, 03:59:29 PM
Hey everyone!

Been quite some time since my last update. Recap on the last month and a half is that I made it to 30 days but lost track afterward, relapsed more than a handful of times but each time I was still going at least a couple days in between. Right now I’m back to about once a day which prompted my return to this forum.

I have had a lot healthier attitude about sex lately and I think I can really do well if I commit to quitting again.

Biggest problem right now is I have a couple hours after my gf leaves for work before I do. I need to find a way to not let myself fall into the trap of being alone and attached to my phone.

Good to go back to the journal. Will be updating regularly.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Redfire03 on July 08, 2019, 06:09:59 PM
Get your ass in the gym.. get up with her.. make coffee breakfast.. what ever it is. Go to the gym in the morning and turn it into positive energy.
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: mym8marty on July 10, 2019, 12:47:32 PM
Day 2 done

Have had a few urges here and there, just keep reminding myself I need to push past it and they will go away eventually.

Speaking of the gym I have actually started going and working mainly on my posture and mobility. Definitely helping my confidence!

Thanks again everyone
Title: Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 11, 2019, 06:08:19 AM
You're doing a good job and you're improving. I'm proud of you  :)
Stay gold my friend  :)