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Journals => Ages 40 and up => Topic started by: Jay2019 on July 20, 2019, 05:12:55 AM

Title: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 20, 2019, 05:12:55 AM
My name is Jay.  I'm 43 years old.  I've been compulsively using porn for around 25 years. 

In those two and a half decades, I have had very intense periods of acting out, characterized by long binges of several hours, with strong ritualistic elements, including smoking heavily (when I don't smoke any other time), wearing headphones, locking doors, and a darkened room.  During those hours, I am absolutely and completely detached from everyone and everything that matters to me.

I don't need to spell out the details of my acting out - I'm pretty sure most of you will get it.   But I will say that I can 'tick off' all the elements of porn addiction (or whatever your preferred term) that are described in this forum and elsewhere.  Compulsive use, check; continued use despite mental, physical and relational consequences - check; viewing of increasingly bizarre and sometimes grotesque genres - check; interest in images that have no correlation to my sexuality and sexual preferences - check; shame around behaviour - check; sleep interference - check; porn induced erectile dysfunction - check; Salience of porn above my natural interests - check; several failed attempts to stop - check...

And on it goes.

Porn always held an intrigue to me.  As I child, I found magazines in the local woods and quarries.  That was my introduction to porn.  In my very early years, I looked for images of women in underwear in catalogues and magazines.  Pretty innocent stuff compared to much of the porn I've accessed since the internet opened everything up.  But that's where it started, in those found magazines, in the underwear section of my mother's catalogues.

In reality,  it all probably started with a childhood trauma, one I had many hours of therapy to overcome.  I do believe I overcame the trauma, but the habit of porn I have never lost for longer than a couple of weeks.  But I'm not here to battle with trauma, because I am at peace with that part of my life, and I will no longer hang any of my behaviour upon past events.  I stopped being a victim to that some time ago.  I mention it only because it is part of my story.

Excessive porn use piggy-backed into my life on the shoulders of heavy drug use in my teens and early twenties.  Stimulants mostly.  I used these because they temporarily eradicated all my self-doubt and self-loathing.  That stopped a long long time ago.  Today, I don't hate myself - far from it.   But I do hate my compulsion to use porn.  Porn has overstayed its welcome.

My compulsion to use porn is the monkey on my back.  Porn is the thing that stops me from connecting to my friends and family.  Porn is the toxic secret in my life.   Porn is the thing that prevents me from fulfilling my potential.  Porn is the place in which I dissociate from pain, anxiety, doubt, tiredness.  Porn is the thing that hijacks my thoughts and steals my days.   
Porn is the major threat to my personal world.

I'm here to take my life back. 

I know I need others to help me.

I wish and hope for success for me and everyone in this forum. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Dutchguy on July 20, 2019, 12:37:35 PM
You sound strong Jay. It is very hard to overcome pur addiction on our own but together we can!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 20, 2019, 05:19:00 PM
Hey.  Thanks for replying.  This compulsion has been much stronger than me.  I'm shocked by its power.  The amount of time I've lost to it is hard to come to terms with, but I don't want any more regrets related to this problem.  I'm just going to try to use a bit of the wisdom and experience of others in here, and take one day at a time.

Thanks again for replying - I appreciate it.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 21, 2019, 02:38:02 AM
So this is day one.

I've stopped using porn before, for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks, never longer, but I've never tried to do it this way.  By 'this' way, I mean using this forum, reaching out, journalling, and trying to educate myself as to the neuroscience of this compulsion.

I'm not sure how I feel yet, it's early.  I guess I'm hopeful, but a little fearful.  I have no cravings this morning.  I know they will come, and I know that 25 years of porn use means I have a whole bunch of cues that fire up my brain with dopamine.  I need to start identifying and learning about these triggers - internal, such as thoughts, mood states, etc., and external.

I'm grateful for one aspect which I read about in Gary Wilson's book YBOP this morning.  I know that I had a relatively healthy sexual relational map with women in my early days - so I think I would have laid down some neural pathways for 'real partners'.  I'd seen porn before I started having sex, but the whirl of internet porn came a little later for me, after I'd already had a number of sexual relationships.  So, I hope I can recover faster from the subsequent conditioning.

I've come to rely upon medications for erectile dysfunction with real sex.  I don't even know the extent of the problem, because I haven't risked having sex without medication in my current (three year) relationship.  I hope I might one day not need to use meds anymore.  I'm in a relationship, and, like most addicts, I've got good at hiding certain aspects of my life.  I've been with my partner for three years, and she has no idea that I use medication to get it up...lying has become second nature.

Anyway, my thoughts are wandering.

The best to all of you out there trying to address this problem - be it one day, one year, or one decade 'sober'. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 21, 2019, 05:03:26 PM
I made one day.  A few minor cravings, as in very fleeting thoughts of porn.  If I can do one day, I can do another. I know from experience much stronger cravings will come, but today is a blueprint for sobriety.

Supporting factors today:   

1. being with my children for long periods.
2. being busy.
3. watching Noah Church videos.
4. seeing a friend.
5. posting on here.
6. limited time alone.

3 potential triggers I'm aware of today (I need to start knowing these, being more aware):

1. Staring at women when I'm driving or at the gym.  Summer is much more challenging in this respect.  I think I need to work on not focusing on women in this way.
2. Tiredness - undoubtedly a trigger, more so against particular contexts, such as being alone.
3. Tailing off from journalling here...maybe more of a relapse warning sign, as opposed to a trigger...a path that will lead me to be more exposed to, and less aware of, triggers.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: idunno on July 21, 2019, 07:24:26 PM
It sounds like you're in a good place mentally, Jay2019. I feel I started my current journey (the no-porn one) from a similar place, in some ways. It's good for me to read, so thanks for posting your thoughts. I wish you good luck. It's a really worthwhile effort.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: jjacks on July 22, 2019, 06:38:47 AM
Hey, Jay,

Sounds like you are on the right track. The triggers that you cannot just turn off are hard to fight, but if you keep recognizing them and writing about them here, you may find them progressively easier to overcome (or ignore). Stay vigilant and keep journaling. It works.

-JJ (1000 days no PMO)
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 23, 2019, 12:57:29 AM
Hey, Jay,

Sounds like you are on the right track. The triggers that you cannot just turn off are hard to fight, but if you keep recognizing them and writing about them here, you may find them progressively easier to overcome (or ignore). Stay vigilant and keep journaling. It works.

-JJ (1000 days no PMO)

Thanks for the advice and encouragement, JJ.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 23, 2019, 01:13:07 AM
Two days, yesterday...I had to work long hours yesterday, so didn't get home until late, and then I spent time talking with my partner (so unable to journal yesterday) - I have to be careful not to slip out of the habit of coming here, collecting my thoughts, and trying to connect a little with others who understand this challenge.  The structure of the day helped to keep me away from porn, and cravings weren't an issue, but I know they will come because they always do.

The main learning point for me yesterday was the importance of not staring at women when I'm out and around.  I've realised that I'm getting a bit of a dopamine release by staring at and fixating on women, and I'm sure it's part of my addiction.   It's like the alcoholic who has stopped drinking but goes into a shop and stares at the alcohol on the shelves - well, that kind of thing probably isn't going to end well.  So, I was conscious of dealing with that aspect of my addiction, and I'm grateful for that insight, as I think it can help me to recover.   
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 23, 2019, 01:34:22 PM
Day 3 of no PMO.

On my own this evening, catching up on some work, emails, etc., on laptop...and I've definitely had a few cravings to watch porn.  I'm quite tired and I realise this is a trigger.  Tiredness, being alone, being on a device - three triggers in one, so no surprise my brain is spraying a little dopamine here.   So I'm here, journalling, reminding myself of why I want to do this.   

My porn use has strangled the life out of me for too long.  I'm on the verge of some big changes in my life, and this process is central to all of these.  I won't use porn tonight, because I want my agency back - somehow I'm comforted by understanding that this battle has something to do with the pre-frontal cortex and hypofrontality, even if I don't fully grasp it.  So, tonight I'm applying the brakes, playing the tape through and recognising the pride I will feel at taking control of my life once more.  One day at a time.

I noticed I craved a lot of sugary things this evening, too, which isn't so unusual for me at this time, but a bit more extreme this evening.  Maybe my brain searching for replacements?

Anyway, hope you all have the strength to keep working on this today. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: TomWood on July 23, 2019, 08:13:13 PM
Hi Jay, I can certainly relate to the childhood trauma and any childhood like that makes us more susceptible to addiction but we also can overcome it as we know we don't want not be in a position of helplessness again. Well done for being on here. I am glad I found the forum.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 24, 2019, 07:25:27 AM
Thanks for the identification, Tom.

I've been a victim to my childhood, but not for some time, and I never will be again. 

Hope to catch up soon.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 25, 2019, 02:04:24 AM
Day 4.  (written in retrospect)

The main threat again seemed to come from my instinctual tendency to stare at women.  The hot weather amplifies this, obviously, as everybody is wearing less...I have to keep working on this, turn my attention away.  Mindfulness practice might be the way to go.  The structure of my days is about to drastically change (in a few weeks time), and I will have more time on my own.  This feels like, both, an opportunity and a risk factor.  I want to build some new habits into my routine, including mindfulness practice and more regular exercise.  It's difficult to do so with my current busy schedule, although I made it to the gym yesterday morning for a short work-out at least.


Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 25, 2019, 02:07:58 AM
Day 5

This period in my life feels like the most obvious and significant attempt to mould the life I desire.  I'm trying to influence the things in my control, and work with the things I can't.  It's an exciting time, possibilities are opening up.  Abstinence from porn and related behaviour is at the core of my endeavours.   I know there are challenges to come in relation to this addiction...the challenge to deal with today, though, is today...today I am a little tired, with a long day ahead, and tonight I will be alone at home...I know these to be conditions that can trigger cravings, so I have to be mindful.  It is a priority to come back into the forum this evening, once I have finished my day's work, and to post, to break that 'alone-ness' and to go through and read some of the success stories shared here. 

Thanks to all you out there who are sharing your journeys as I make mine. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 25, 2019, 07:12:27 AM
Lunch.  Just wanted to reaffirm that I'll keep sober today.  I can do that, we all can.  One day of not using is achievable.  Cravings are there in the background, maybe 3 or 4 out of ten in intensity.  I can ride those out.  Going to phone my daughter, because that seems like a pretty healthy thing to do, right? 

Positive thoughts to all of you out there - stay strong.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 25, 2019, 04:05:41 PM
I ended day 5 very tired, which is usually a trigger.  I didn't particularly crave, maybe just low-level, passing thoughts, but I did get a little impatient with my girlfriend on the phone.  Not sure if it was tiredness or some withdrawals - I don't want to assume this was about withdrawals, nor discount the possibility that it is.  Either way I apologised, and I will watch this space.

Pleased to get to five days sober, but I also want to stop paying so much attention to the amount of days, because I want my recovery to be much more than the accumulation of days free from porn.  I want this process to bring richness to my life, to allow me to grow, to allow me to reach my potential, and to restore my natural enthusiasm for world around me - and that's definitely my direction at the moment.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 26, 2019, 05:52:33 PM
Day 6.  Sober.  Very busy.  Cravings have been minimal.  I keep feeding my brain with knowledge around this problem, and I can't get enough of that.  I have a couple of books lined up, including Noah Church's, and I can't wait to get into them.  I feel very far away from porn today.  I feel driven, motivated, excited to be alive...juxtaposed with an anxiety about having something precious taken away from me.   Joy in life is a double-edged sword.   Maybe that is one of the internal dynamics I have hidden from, in drug use early in my life, and then porn...the awareness of the fragility of life.  When I enjoy life, I fear losing it.   

Still, I'm happy to be on this path. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 27, 2019, 01:43:02 AM
Today is day 7.   A milestone I'm happy to reach, but I will keep taking this a day at a time.

I will be travelling on a train for a few hours with my son this morning and afternoon, then driving back in a new car for 4-5 hours, so the whole day is far away from risks around porn.  I will be tired, but when we return home, my girlfriend will be here,  so the day is full, connected, and it will be a sober one.   I will enjoy the people in my life today, free from the distraction and dissociation in some porn fugue.

I hope it's going well out there for all of you.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: jixu on July 27, 2019, 06:57:00 AM
Congratulations on your new commitment and solid beginning.  What a great way to spend the day!  Keep up the good fight!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 30, 2019, 01:19:33 AM
Congratulations on your new commitment and solid beginning.  What a great way to spend the day!  Keep up the good fight!


Thanks for the encouragement - it means a lot.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 30, 2019, 01:36:45 AM
Days 8 and 9 were spent away with my girlfriend, and I remained sober from porn.  We had sex a couple of times, and I'm having some mild-to-moderate cravings to watch porn or masturbate this morning, but, really, there is no need.  I realise now this 'feeling' is just a neurochemical reaction.  It's so empowering to reduce it to what it is, and to not be overwhelmed by an urge.  Probably everyone out there knows this, but Gary Wilson's book YBOP is essential reading for anyone who has battled with this problem.   

The intimacy and closeness with my girlfriend during sex is the polar opposite to the cold isolation of watching porn.  So, today I'm not going to act on the neurochemical reaction that is happening in my brain.  The craving is mild, tolerable, but previously I would have automatically acted on it.  Instead, today I'm going to be grateful for being close to my girlfriend.

I am mindful that I have become dependent on ED medication for the past couple of years to have sex.  I lost confidence in my ability to keep an erection, because I started to suffer with some degree of PIED, and a possible next step will be to stop using that.   One step at a time, but it's in my mind as a definite future goal.

 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 30, 2019, 03:01:16 PM
Day 10 almost over.  Porn free.  I'm tired tonight, and alone, which have been triggers in the past.  I don't feel triggered at all tonight, but I won't get complacent...I have struggled for too many years to think this is all over...but I do feel strong, determined and heading in the right direction. 

Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on July 31, 2019, 02:38:45 PM
Day 11. 

No porn, but I have felt more cravings tonight, and now, than I have at any point on this streak.  I was trying to think about why this might have happened today...I do know that Gary Wilson talks about an intensification of cravings, in connection to neurological changes that can happen around this period when trying to quit porn...

"Worse yet, during abstinence the sensitized “goosing” pathways grow even stronger. It’s as if your pleasure center is screaming for stimulation…but only the addiction can hear the call. The branches (dendrites) on nerve cells processing addiction-related reward signals become “super spiny.” This overgrowth of little nubs allows for more synaptic connections and greater excitation. It’s like growing four extra pairs of ears while being stuck at a “Spinal Tap” concert. When cues or thoughts (glutamate) hammer your reward circuit, the craving scale hits eleven."  This Gary Wilson stuff probably explains what I'm going through tonight, and probably the reason I have never really got passed a couple of weeks in the past.  It make sense to me.

So how am I going to make it different this time?  Well, I'm here, journalling, and reading through some other people's experience.  And I'm reminding myself that this is a neurochemical reaction, and that it will pass if I don't act out on it.

I've felt a bit lonely at points today, then slightly bothered by thoughts of my girlfriend's sexual past...and I'm a little tired (my work schedule will dramatically improve in a few weeks, but for now at least I have to work long hours).  I also found myself slipping into the habit of staring at women as I drove past them today - I have to get back to not doing that, as  I know it is part of my addiction, and a big trigger for acting out.   I'm just trying to piece all this together, to learn what happens in me to drive me towards porn.  Uncomfortable feelings - jealousy, loneliness, stress, insecurity, anger, sadness - are a trigger.  I have dissociated through multiple means over the years, and porn and sex became the predominant way.  Well, I'm not giving in to these cravings...I want my life back, and I want to reach my potential, so tonight I'm not using porn.  I will read now, I will sleep, and then I tackle tomorrow...but tonight I am not acting out.

All the best to everybody out there...keep working, keep battling.

Night all.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 01, 2019, 04:38:32 PM
Day 12

The intense cravings of yesterday passed, like a wave.  I'm still here, nothing terrible happened in not acting out...in fact, something really good happened - I learned that I can ride out strong cravings.   Journalling, acknowledging the truth of my emotions at that point, educating myself around the neurochemical cause of the feeling, and contacting my girlfriend to say goodnight...

...three simple steps for tackling strong cravings...write the experience down in an honest way, remind myself of the brain chemistry behind the cravings, contact someone I love...

I'm going to learn what it takes to be free of this addiction.  I'm finally going to learn about my full capacity in this life.  Porn is not an option.



I noticed myself thinking a lot (the beginnings of obsessing) about sex earlier in the day, and I caught myself looking at women.  I pulled back from that, consciously reminded myself of the need to self-impose boundaries in this respect.  I'll go on doing that tomorrow.

Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 03, 2019, 02:03:42 AM
Day 13 was a busy one, with no time alone, so no opportunity to act out with porn. 

Spent the evening out with my girlfriend.  We had sex when we got home, and had a late night, so I have to watch the chaser effect, plus my tiredness (I'm too old for late nights and my mind wakes up at the same time, regardless of the time I go to sleep - I can't afford too many late nights as I attempt this reboot).  I've never had a bad sex life with my girlfriend, far from it, but it feels so much better as porn fades in to the background for me.  I'm glad I had the benefit of setting up some 'actual women' pathways when I was younger, before porn truly got hold of me - I'm grateful for that.

So, day 14 is today, and I will be with my girlfriend, and later on my son will join us.  No time alone, which is a good protective factor for me, so I'm going to try to get past my tiredness and enjoy reaching two weeks of sobriety from porn and acting out...this is undoubtedly my most serious attempt to address my problem. 

Hope it's going well for anyone out there trying to recover. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 04, 2019, 03:40:13 PM
Day 15 of sobriety. 

I'm not sure of the longest I have been without porn over the past two and a half decades, but it might not have been more than 15 days if I'm brutally honest.  I'm not totally sure, but I know this is something like the longest period of my life without it, and  I feel like I've moved to a different phase with porn.  The idea of watching it is starting to feel repellent to me, and I'm aware of moving further and further away from it.

That's not to say I don't feel cravings for 'something'.  I had sex with my girlfriend a couple of times over the past couple of days, and undoubtedly I feel an urge to masturbate this evening, which I am resisting.  I know 'healthy masturbating', i.e. not fantasising to porn, might be a normal part of a healthy sexuality, but I don't want to go there just yet.  I want to continue to exercise self-control over the urges, which I suspect is just about that dopamine surge and the chase for the buzz that my brain grew used to, and almost certainly this is triggered to some degree by having had sex yesterday.

It's a double-edged sword having a girlfriend and having sex during this process.  I'm really starting to feel the benefits of my energies focused on my partner and the actual sensations involved in sex, and this is a wonderful benefit of not clouding my sexuality with the extreme images of porn that I had resorted to by the end of my addiction.  On the other hand, there is definitely a chaser effect following sex...but maybe it's good for me to learn to control those urges, too, and maybe this will strengthen my recovery.  What I can say, with surprising ease now, is that having sex with someone I love is so so so much better than the helpless chase across the tube sites to find the 'perfect scene'...how could I have ever doubted it?

I'm so grateful for starting to find my way with all this, and for the help received in this forum by the stories and struggles you all convey.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 05, 2019, 03:09:29 PM
Day 16.

I am still far away from using porn.  I'm not feeling any interest in it at all; in fact, I feel a bit disdainful towards it.  I'm amazed at the hold it had on me...except, I guess I've come to understand that it wasn't really the porn holding me, but the neurochemical chase.  I've always looked (unconsciously or otherwise) for some way to dissociate and move away from uncomfortable feelings.   

I'm aware of obsessive compulsive thoughts trying to take hold in my mind, predominantly around my girlfriend's past, but I am consciously trying not to pursue those thoughts down the dark alleys of my mind...I know that pursuit too well, and I recognise that it has been part of what I run away from by drowning in dopamine.  My mind can be intense and heavy at times, and that has led to the need to shut it down somehow, but I'm older and more mature now, and I have so much more agency over my thoughts and moods.  So the time is right to finally remove this drug from my life.

The gym is a difficult trigger point for me, in terms of obsessing over women's bodies.  i just got back from a work out, and I was definitely too interested in the bodies of some women.  It's natural to look and be attracted, nature has to do its thing, but I have to keep on working on not obsessing.   This feels like the hardest part of my recovery at this stage.  Porn is not interesting me, but I have to be aware of other behavioural elements that are risky and unhealthy. 

On occasions over the years my addiction has moved to real women - a couple of affairs whilst in previous relationships, a handful of escorts...so I have to address the whole 'complex' of issues surrounding this.  I have no desire to ever repeat those behaviours, but I know if I don't revolutionise my sexuality, rid it of all unhealthy components, then I am at risk of going down that path.  I don't need any of it anymore.  I don't need porn, I don't need lies, I don't need to make myself feel wanted by sleeping with a sex worker or having an affair...I don't need any of that stuff.  I need my freedom, and I need to realise my capacity as a man.  Today I am grateful for being on the right path. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: hope2reboot on August 05, 2019, 07:10:27 PM
Way to go Jay!! Keep on keeping on. Sounds like understanding what’s going on in your brain is helping you a lot. That’s what also helps me tons. In fact, the first time I learned about what was happening in my brain because of PMO, I was able to quit for almost 3 years. Unfortunately I didn’t really stick with this site and the learning and remembering what the addiction did to me that I probably became complacent and ended up falling off the wagon. Was off for about 6 months but back on again fighting the good fight. God bless and stay strong!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 06, 2019, 04:40:22 PM
Way to go Jay!! Keep on keeping on. Sounds like understanding what’s going on in your brain is helping you a lot. That’s what also helps me tons. In fact, the first time I learned about what was happening in my brain because of PMO, I was able to quit for almost 3 years. Unfortunately I didn’t really stick with this site and the learning and remembering what the addiction did to me that I probably became complacent and ended up falling off the wagon. Was off for about 6 months but back on again fighting the good fight. God bless and stay strong!

Thanks man.  Really good to have people like you around during this process, and I so appreciate your encouragement.   
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 06, 2019, 04:48:49 PM
Day 17.

Porn free and minimal cravings. 

I spent the day at work, having an interview, then with family this evening.  Busy day, and no extended periods alone, which helps.  I have been busy this week, and there is no obvious let up until the weekend, so I'll need to watch out for tiredness, which can be a trigger.

Anyway, another day without porn, another day towards freedom.  Tired tonight, so I'll just go with that and sleep...as opposed to waking myself up with porn and feeling shattered in the morning... that's progress.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 06, 2019, 04:55:18 PM
Great job, man! We have almost the same number of days! I don't know why but I don't relapse when I'm tired.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 08, 2019, 04:32:06 PM
Great job, man! We have almost the same number of days! I don't know why but I don't relapse when I'm tired.

Thanks Lero.  Appreciate it.   
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 08, 2019, 04:40:41 PM
Day 18 fell on my son's birthday.  All good.  Dinner with with him and the family, and no threat of watching porn.

Day 19...still sober, and feeling far away from porn.   I have been busy today, and feel pretty exhausted...couple more weeks of this schedule, then I'll have less work, and more time...so a new set of circumstances to handle.  I'll think more about this over the next couple of weeks, but for now, one day at a time.   

It was tempting not to come in here and post, but I know it has been a valuable aspect of my early recovery, so I'm not going to abandon it.   I'm pretty sure I am very close to entering the longest period of my adult life with porn - and may have already exceeded it.   I don't know exactly how long I have gone previously, but I suspect not longer than a couple of weeks.   Too tired to collate my thoughts, but just want to acknowledge my progress, and give thanks for this site and the people attached to it.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: hope2reboot on August 08, 2019, 08:42:46 PM
Way to go Jay. Keep going, the long term rewards outweigh the short term pleasure by an enormous amount. There’s no comparison!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 09, 2019, 04:12:11 PM
Way to go Jay. Keep going, the long term rewards outweigh the short term pleasure by an enormous amount. There’s no comparison!

Absolutely none...such a feeling to be taking control of my own life again.  Thanks for the encouragement.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 10, 2019, 03:16:08 AM
Day 20 - was so tired and busy, but sober.

Day 21 - okay, today is three weeks.  That's worth celebrating to me.  Three weeks without porn...new ground.  So, now I'll go to the gym - I have to be conscious and aware, because it is definitely a trigger to me.  The visual stimulation, and my tending to look for it, along with the feel good chemical release definitely combine to create an urge in me.  My plan to manage it is this:

Work hard on focusing on my work out, not on the women doing theirs!  Head straight to the coffee shop afterwards, not home where I would be alone.  From the coffee shop I will collect my son.  Tonight my girlfriend will be around.  So I should have no time at home alone following the gym, which is definitely a set of circumstances that has historically led me to binge on porn.

On the note of cravings, this morning I opened up my old tablet,  which I mostly used for watching porn.  I had to try to make an order for my mobile phone that was not going through on my laptop (which I didn't tend to use for porn)...so I needed a different device.  I noticed that it stirred cravings...not unbearable ones, but certainly my heart-rate increased and my brain thought it was getting a 'treat'.  Not today, though, because I am taking back agency over my life.  Three weeks, and I'm celebrating by treating myself to being porn-free.  One day at a time.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 10, 2019, 04:58:36 AM
Good job, man. 3 weeks. Tomorrow I'm there too.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: hope2reboot on August 10, 2019, 03:26:10 PM
Way to be strong Jay, keep going. Two weeks for me tomorrow. We can do this.....one day at a time.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 11, 2019, 05:14:15 PM
Way to be strong Jay, keep going. Two weeks for me tomorrow. We can do this.....one day at a time.

Thanks for the encouragement.   Anyone can abstain for one day, right?  Keep going, too.  This is all worth it.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 11, 2019, 05:30:27 PM
Day 22.

Urges to watch porn are minimal, ad I'm grateful for the lack of severe cravings.  Porn seems a bit small and pathetic at this point, when it has previous seemed so big as to eclipse my life and everything important in it.  I think something has clicked this time, and the moment has come for porn not to be an option.  It's complacency I need to guard against, because I know how much of a stranglehold porn has had on me...except, I kind of realise that it was really only neurochemicals, dopamine, etc. that built up porn into some great edifice or institution.  Porn is not that at all, and it does not have a hold on me.  I am readdressing the balance in my brain, and will keep working on the behaviours that might push me back closer to porn.

I'm grateful for all of you out there fighting back.  Keep going. 
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 12, 2019, 04:55:16 AM
If you think about it, porn is just a button that we push to get a dopamine hit. It definitely helped me to look at it this way. I don't want porn, I want the dopamine and, unfortunately, only porn knows how to do that cause this is how I trained myself.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 12, 2019, 04:55:57 PM
If you think about it, porn is just a button that we push to get a dopamine hit. It definitely helped me to look at it this way. I don't want porn, I want the dopamine and, unfortunately, only porn knows how to do that cause this is how I trained myself.

Hey.  I completely agree with that.  For me it is one of the most useful insights I've gained during this process.   It's dismantled porn for me, reduced it from this domineering monster in my life to a mere source of dopamine.   
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 12, 2019, 04:59:10 PM
Day 23 and porn-free. 

Life is opening up.

Hope all are out there taking back your lives.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 13, 2019, 05:31:04 AM
Good, man. I have 23 days too.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 13, 2019, 04:59:25 PM
24 days without porn...no cravings, beyond very mild, fleeting thoughts...
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: jixu on August 14, 2019, 06:51:37 AM
25 days is huge, a great milestone.  Keep going, it is worth it!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: hope2reboot on August 14, 2019, 08:57:43 PM
Awesome Jay!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 15, 2019, 03:32:31 PM
25 days is huge, a great milestone.  Keep going, it is worth it!

Thanks for the encouragement - it means a lot.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 15, 2019, 03:43:33 PM
Day 25 - porn free.  Orgasm with partner.  Everything is so much more sensitive sexually...I feel like I'm regaining my body and sexuality.  Without a doubt I am now into the longest period of my adult life without porn, and I'm loving not having it in my life...

...Day 26, the morning after being with my partner, I had the dreaded chaser effect...I was tired and had little willpower.  I had no urge to watch porn at all, but I did MO.  I made a point of clearing my head and not thinking of porn, just focusing on the sensation, but I don't like that I felt out of control for a minute.  There was none of the rituals associated with porn, no edging, no smoking, no images, no mentally recalling porn, but I treat it as a behaviour to watch, and I have to be mindful of the potential trigger and slide.  It's a learning curve, and I'm still going.  Porn is not an option.


Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 17, 2019, 01:03:38 AM
Day 27:  I definitely felt some slight increase in cravings.  I thought, albeit momentarily, about watching porn.  I banished the thoughts from my head pretty quickly, and I know I now have the capacity to do that, rather than obsess about it, and allow the thought to escalate into action. 

Without a doubt, the chaser effect influenced me yesterday.  In addition, I was exhausted.  Thankfully my fairly gruelling work schedule will come to an end next Friday, and I will be posed with some different challenges, including more time alone at home; on the plus side, I will have space to structure my day with some of activities that provide structure, e.g. the gym, mindfulness, catching up with family and friends.  I have at least laid the foundations for a porn free life.  So much to be excited about right now.


Day 28 - So today is four weeks...wow...there were times when I thought I would never be able to live without watching porn.  I was wrong.  Four weeks without doing so gives me the confidence to know it is completely possible.  If I can do it, anyone can do it. So, for anyone out there trying to do this, believe me when I say that you can.   

I won't get complacent though.  One day at a time, I will go on living without porn.  Today 28 days will be behind me, and I will just concentrate on making sure I don't use porn today.   I have my son here now for a few hours; then I'm with my girlfriend and family.  I won't use porn today, and that's a great feeling.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 17, 2019, 03:51:19 AM
Awesome, Jay! We have almost the same number of days. You're doing great. Now you know you are able to kick out the porn thoughts. Contrary to what the addiction tells us (because it's got a reason to), we actually don't need to follow the porn thoughts and urges and search for porn material. Fuck porn, choose life. Porn is the complete opposite of living. "Porn" and "Poison" start with the same letter for a reason.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Free-man on August 17, 2019, 07:23:26 AM
I'm also doing my second reboot guys. I'm in my day 29th. The first one was 51 days and I hope to surpass it. We're all fighting the Dopamine monster that lives in our minds. follow your diaries with a lot of interest guys. Keep strong!

Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 17, 2019, 07:36:33 AM
I'm also doing my second reboot guys. I'm in my day 29th. The first one was 51 days and I hope to surpass it. We're all fighting the Dopamine monster that lives in our minds. follow your diaries with a lot of interest guys. Keep strong!

It's hard but it's possible. Only time will make the addiction go away.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 18, 2019, 04:39:35 PM
Day 29:

Today was a significant one for me in a quiet way.  I woke up, alone, did a little work, went to the gym...nothing spectacular, BUT when I got out from the gym, I noticed a couple of things: 1. I hadn't spent my session scanning for women to stare at; 2. Despite knowing I had the entire day ahead to myself at home, I didn't come out of gym thinking I might go and get myself a packet of cigarettes and watch porn for hours on end (which would have almost certainly happened in those conditions before I started this process).   Small victories which I have to acknowledge. 

Then, I spent my day working on a project for my business.  I spent several hours doing this on my laptop...and no thought of watching porn.  I had a brief, passing thought about masturbating, but it passed quickly, and I continued with the work.   

The point is, I'm finally experiencing the freedom to spend my time productively, without losing my time to porn and acting out...I'm ending today with a sense of agency, of being the author of my own life...I have ideas, motivation, drive...the compulsion is finally loosening, and the positive consequences are pretty good, I have to say  :)

I'm so grateful for finding my way here.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 18, 2019, 04:46:32 PM
Fucking great, Jay! This sounds good. You are on the right road, I believe. Small victories count. Small steps still move you forward. Almost 1 month for you.  8)
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: hope2reboot on August 18, 2019, 08:31:14 PM
Good job Jay, very inspiring, keep going!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 20, 2019, 04:45:10 PM
Day 31:

A month without porn...wasn't sure this was possible a very short while ago, but now I know that I can stay free from porn one day at a time.  The days become weeks, become months...but I don't need to worry about the weeks and months, only about today.  Today, I have not viewed porn.  Today I am free of an addiction that has held me vice-like for over two decades.  That should give at least some hope to people starting out today.  This is possible, people, we can recover.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 20, 2019, 04:47:57 PM
Fucking great, Jay! 1 month without poison (1 month for me too). You got this. When you abstain from porn for a longer period of time you realize that you can actually do it.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 20, 2019, 05:00:03 PM
Fucking great, Jay! 1 month without poison (1 month for me too). You got this. When you abstain from porn for a longer period of time you realize that you can actually do it.

Yeh, I believe it now, Lero.  I believe in myself.  I won't underestimate this shit - complacency is the enemy - but I am going to keep working to take back my life.   I'm invested in your recovery, too.  Thanks for the support, means a lot.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 20, 2019, 05:27:17 PM
Yeh, I believe it now, Lero.  I believe in myself.  I won't underestimate this shit - complacency is the enemy - but I am going to keep working to take back my life.   I'm invested in your recovery, too.  Thanks for the support, means a lot.

That's right, man. Never let your guard down, always be serious like day 1. We need to get our energy back from this fucking poison. And thanks for thinking about my recovery. I appreciate this. I'm thinking about your recovery too, as we have almost the same number of days (you are 1 day ahead).
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Dutchguy on August 22, 2019, 04:01:50 PM
Great performance Jay! I know you can do it and have confidence in you, but be careful to think you are there already. I know from experience that there will be times your overconfident mind will try to lure you back in. Hope this isn’t true for you but a warned man counts as two!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 23, 2019, 01:58:50 AM
Great performance Jay! I know you can do it and have confidence in you, but be careful to think you are there already. I know from experience that there will be times your overconfident mind will try to lure you back in. Hope this isn’t true for you but a warned man counts as two!

Hey.  Thanks for posting and for the advice.  I am guarding against complacency, because I know it is so dangerous in any addiction.  As soon as you think the problem has disappeared, that's when it sneaks up on us and takes the reins.  I've seen it so many times being around people with various addictions, and I've also lived it with other addictions and bad habits.  Hope it's gong well with you?
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 23, 2019, 02:06:59 AM
Today is day 34 without porn.

I had sex with my girlfriend yesterday with no ED medication...this is monumental, as I've never done that with her.  In nearly three years of being with her, I've only had sex with the help of medication...I'll quietly celebrate my return to normality in that department, but posting on here, smiling to myself, and enjoying my last day at full time employment, before I become solely self-employed and finally start working on carving out the life I want - and not the life that is imposed on me by the limitations of porn and sex addiction.

Wishing everyone out there the best in their own fights.  Congratulations on finding your way into recovery.  Keep going, it is so worth it.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 23, 2019, 04:27:04 AM
Awesome, Jay!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Free-man on August 23, 2019, 05:56:32 AM
34th day for me too Jay…that's awesome

I think you are seeing the benefits of stay away from that shit.
I read all your progress as many others like Lero, Malando…I learn so much of all of you that you're struggling with this shit and all the problems with came along with like anxiety, social anxiety, depression, shyness, loneliness, emptyness…

We're all going to overcome this.
Congratulations for it man!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 23, 2019, 09:38:05 AM
This is great. Me, Jay and Free-man have the same number of days (okay I am one day behind).
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 23, 2019, 11:07:14 AM
34th day for me too Jay…that's awesome

I think you are seeing the benefits of stay away from that shit.
I read all your progress as many others like Lero, Malando…I learn so much of all of you that you're struggling with this shit and all the problems with came along with like anxiety, social anxiety, depression, shyness, loneliness, emptyness…

We're all going to overcome this.
Congratulations for it man!

Thanks - means to a lot.  Congratulations for where you are at, too.  It can be done.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 26, 2019, 02:50:43 AM
Days 35 and 36 were busy, in a good way.  I spent the days and nights with my girlfriend, having coffee out, seeing beautiful places, watched the new Tarantino...time to relax, switch off, and porn was not even remotely near to my mind. 

I did have, though, an automatic thought that came into my head about having sex with someone (someone non-specific, other than my partner).  My addiction sometimes moved away from porn, to a couple of affairs in previous relationships, and a handful of times I saw escorts.  I have to guard against those elements, and be honest about those thoughts cropping up.  Porn feels far far away, but that doesn't mean this is done by a long shot.   Addictions have a way of finding the back- and side-doors into our lives.  Those past destructive behaviours have no place in my life now, with this relationship, and I refuse to disrespect my girlfriend with that shit.   Honesty helps, posting here helps. 

Anyway, I hope all is going well out there, and you're all fighting to take your lives back.   Today is day 37, porn-free and coming alive.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Iloveicecream on August 26, 2019, 03:50:24 AM
37 days is a good Thing!!! Be proud of yourself!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 26, 2019, 03:55:08 PM
37 days is a good Thing!!! Be proud of yourself!

Thanks a lot - appreciate it.  Longest porn-free stint in my entire adult life, and I'm loving the freedom.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Dutchguy on August 26, 2019, 04:12:52 PM
37 days is a good Thing!!! Be proud of yourself!

Wow, great job Jay! You can do this!
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Lero on August 27, 2019, 12:37:26 AM
Good stuff, Jay. Keep the streak going.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Free-man on August 28, 2019, 02:48:36 AM
Great to hear that Jay, keep the streak strong.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 29, 2019, 12:05:50 AM
Thanks all for the supportive messages.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Jay2019 on August 29, 2019, 12:25:09 AM
Today is day 40. 

The past two days, I have been busy between work (now fully self-employed, and developing a business - something I'm sure I couldn't do if porn was still how I filled much of my spare time) and my girlfriend.  There's some tension in our relationship this morning, as yesterday ended with a bit of a breakdown of communication, so I have to manage that today, not reach for the 'fuck-it button'.  I don't feel like using porn, but I know there has been at the core of my porn use a need to lock myself away in the emotional sense.  Porn use felt good, but going into that neurochemical bubble also meant I wasn't thinking about relationships with others.  Relationships are emotive, in one direction or the other, and so being truly present involves emotions...and emotions can be triggers for people like us.  So, I have to be grown up, act like a 43 year old, and not run from the conflict into the clutches of one addiction or the other.   

So, day 40, and I have to keep working on this, thinking about likely triggers, preempting, or preparing for, situations that  might trick my mind into thinking porn use is a good idea.  It's not.  I know this at my centre.  40 days without watching porn is something of a miracle.  One day a time though.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: Iloveicecream on August 29, 2019, 01:03:23 AM
"Today is day 40. " - that is excellent

" now fully self-employed " also excellent


"but I know there has been at the core of my porn use a need to lock myself away in the emotional sense.  " - totally I true I locked myself away, not daring to for a Long time.

"Porn use felt good, but going into that neurochemical bubble also meant I wasn't thinking about relationships with others.  " - Porn use felt powerful. I agree


"So, I have to be grown up, act like a 43 year old,  " - you do not have to, you want to. that would be better.

"  One day a time though. " -  that is excellent.


You have a great attitude.
Title: Re: Journal of Jay
Post by: jixu on September 08, 2019, 04:29:16 PM
Hi Jay, how has it been going lately?  Stay in the battle-take care.