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Journals => Ages 40 and up => Topic started by: Stp215 on April 16, 2016, 05:28:41 AM

Title: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 16, 2016, 05:28:41 AM
I never thought I'd say those words in the title, but here I am. Learned about this site through the TIME magazine article and while reading it I kept thinking, "OMG, that's me." In my 40s now and realize I have been an addict for PMO for the better part of 30 years. And despite being married with 2 children, PIED has been a struggle since my 20s.

I could go on about how seductive and gratifying PMO has been to me. I've been fairly successful getting women over the years and had several long-term relationships. But PMO was like a security blanket the whole time, and it was so easy. Getting a girlfriend and lining up sex required a certain amount of "work." PMO was easy access, with the most beautiful women on the planet available for your eyes. Over time the mental high of PMO became intense, far greater than from real sex eventually. There was never any awkwardness or bad experiences with PMO. You could lose yourself in this fantasy world where everything was perfect. How could anything that feels so good be bad for you? I always rationalized it by telling myself it was a normal physical function. It wasn't like drugs or alcohol where you were harming your internal organs, right? Boy was I wrong.

Over time the PiED got progressively worse. It caused massive problems in my relationships. One of my biggest regrets in all this is that my PIED was probably the main factor in ruining several relationships. I can think of at least two former girlfriends that I almost certainly would have been married to by now if not for PIED. And every time there was an awkward, embarrassing situation with a woman, I would retreat to PMO as a reassurance that, yes, I could still perform and get some pleasure. In time I think my mind came to associate real sex with PIED-related awkwardness and PMO with pure joy, which only made the snowball roll downhill bigger and faster. Sex with my wife has become so awkward and unpleasant that we rarely if ever do it. For that and other unrelated reasons, the marriage is rocky to say the least. I haven't talked to her about PIED or PMO, as I think it would just create another fight and a barrage of judgments and criticismsc  directed at me, really the last thing I need to hear right now.

Another problem was that, until now, the concept of PIED didn't exist, at least not in my world. I went to doctors about it but didn't dare tell them that I engaged in PMO multiple times daily. They gave me Levitra and it did have a positive effect, but not consistently. Some nights it would result in a raging hard-on, other times nothing. In a culture where men tend to brag about sexual conquests, I got a sense that this was a problem unique to me. What a revelation here that so many others are dealing with the same thing.

I stopped PMO on April 12. In some ways it's been easier than I thought, in other ways harder. I think I'm in flatline stage now. So from a strictly physical standpoint, my body isn't screaming out to O. Mentally is different. It's so clear to me now how this is 90% about the chemical release in the brain and 10% about the physical gratification. When I am busy with work and other things I am mentally distracted and don't think about it. When driving in the car or other times, my mind starts thinking about PMO, about some of my favoite porn images, and the desire is there.

I've tried quitting in the past but never had a resource like this as a guide. I'd hit flatline and, not knowing what was going on, reverted to PMO just to remind myself I could still do it. I also convinced myself that O was an important physical and mental process and without it I was making myself less mentally and physically healthy. I read somewhere that not regularly exercising your prostate through O allowed toxins to build up there and increased your chances of getting prostate cancer. That was all the justification I needed to hear to validate my pedal-to-the-metal PMO-ing.

Not sure where all this is headed. I think I can continue to be PMO free, but I'm wondering, to what end? My goal is to be able to perform well sexually with a woman and feel normal and whole again. But with the dysfunctional state of my marriage, the idea of having real sex any time soon is unlikely. That makes me wonder, "then why bother?" Life is too short to deny myself; just do something that makes me feel good. It's a struggle. I will continue to post here and read others' posts. I will offer whatever sharing and support I can. Thanks.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: gummianka on April 16, 2016, 05:42:55 AM
That is the same thought that I struggle with all the time. "Why bother".

Brother, If I had a smart answer to that, I would share it, but truth of the matter is, that I don't have one. My only motivation so far is simply pride and honour. I don't want to be a slave to something, and even if the rest of my life is useless, I want to be able to walk away from any habit if it serves my interest. You and me seem to be at about the same time span. I have not experoenced any flatline yet (oh God, do I hope to get that soon) but timewise we are comparable.

If I come up with another answer for that question I will let you know.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Boo on April 16, 2016, 06:18:44 AM
Stp,

Welcome. I appreciate the transparency of your post and you did well saying some difficult things. Your story and progression mirrors that of many here. I'm a bit older than you but otherwise it's the same. You raised a question that many of us do, ; Why bother?

The "why" is going to be somewhat different for all of us. This usually evolves as you start to keep a journal. Sometimes I hate to write. But, it seems to help, even if you support others with your efforts here. Try to be on here whenever you can. I have a lot of experience with these PMO forums and have mistakenly left while saying "why bother?". You seem to know about flatlining and other concepts. That's good. Education is the key. As you say, this place and the support here is a good resource. You add other tools to your war chest as well. This is a battle you'll need to be well equipped for.

PIED is very troubling and a damaged marriage even more so. Those are my issues as well. I also have business problems. Life hits hard. Sometimes we hit ourselves hard and don't even realize it as we're doing it until the damage is done. You can repair things and achieve a sense of balance and normalcy if you don't give up. Put some streaks together and don't let the slips affect you because they will probably happen. Few of us quit for good even after SEVERAL initial attempts. The longer your streaks go, the more progress you're making rewiring your brain. Just don't give up on yourself and you'll be okay .
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Robert2.0 on April 16, 2016, 10:51:22 AM
STP,

Welcome to the forum. I want to congratulate you on admitting to yourself that PMO is an issue in your life and seeking help. This forum has a wealth of knowledgeable members who are willing to share their experiences and offer help in what ever way they can. Your "why bother" comment really hit home as I am in a very similar situation with my relationship. I have had the same question run through my mind. My personal answer is, it pisses me off that I have been controlled by this addiction and wasted so much time engaging in it that now that I have started recovery, I am damned if I am going to let this thing win. Yes it is difficult, but it is temporary, the withdrawal symptoms will pass, and the benefits will far out weight the short term discomfort you may experience. It took years to get to this point, don't expect a quick uneventful recovery. Use the information here and educate yourself, knowledge is Power. Reach out to members here with questions or concerns. We are all fighting the same battle, and by sharing our knowledge and experiences we can help each other win this war.

We can do this!
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 16, 2016, 12:18:22 PM
Thanks for all the words of support. I am here to encourage you as well to stick with it. Today I opened up my iPad with the intention of deleting some of the P on there. I felt a pang of hesitation like, "I need these." But once I deleted one, it got easier and easier to keep deleting. There really is a sort of power P can have over you. I have memories of seeing Playboy magazine  for the first time as a kid. Even then I remember the feeling like those pictures were different from other ones. They created a reaction inside of your mind and body. The PMO cycle probably starts at even that young age.

The "why bother?" question is something I think about a lot. If I had a partner who was warm and understanding it would be easier, but I don't. I have to come up with reasons to do it. I want to be a better man, a fully-functional man. I don't want to be on my deathbed someday and think that my whole life was spent in the grip of this addiction and I should have/could have  done something about it but didn't. Will post more later. 
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 19, 2016, 03:39:51 AM
I'm up to a week PMO free, and it's been educational for me. In all honesty, I thought I would have caved by now. My addiction was so fierce I had convinced myself that I "had" to do it at least twice a day. The thing is, with the P out of the equation, the desire level drops so low that I couldn't do it without P even if I wanted to, so that actually makes it easier. I thought being in flatline was hell but it helps you deal with being cold turkey, if that makes any sense. What is required is the ability to swear off P and your body takes care of the rest in a way.

I read some posts on here that said, your relationship between your dick and your hand is over. That's tough to accept, as that relationship has been in place almost my entire life. The next question for me is, I feel like I've navigated the first step, removing P from my routines. My next question is one I see on here a lot, namely, when will I see some normal behavior down there? I've seen estimates of more than 90 days. That seems like a long time. I just wish I knew what my threshold was. It's such a murky process.

I was just thinking how twisted and cruel this addiction is. What got me into it in the first place was a lust for women and a desire to have sex with them. And what does it do? Basically make it impossible for you to have sex with women. Something really f-ed up about that. I just want to be normal again. And undoing what took decades to create is going to take time, and that is tough to accept.



Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Boo on April 19, 2016, 10:17:57 AM
Remeber Aesop's Fables, slow and steady wins the race. Just don't give up.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 28, 2016, 04:41:44 AM
Been hitting some low points the last few days. Pretty much the only reason I've committed to rebooting was so that I could reach a point where the PIED was under control and I could have sex with a woman and do it well. My marriage since then has reached the point where it is almost nonexistent. Constant screaming and tension on issues not related to any of this. The point is, the idea of my wife and I ever having sex again seems like a remote possibility at this point. So again the question, why bother? If I'm holding out for the day when my marriage has officially ended and I am back in the world meeting new women, that seems so far down the road it's not even worth thinking about.

As a result, I have MO'd a few times, and feel a lot of guilt and shame about that. When you have something to shoot for, i.e. a partner who will be there for you and give you incentive to reboot, it's a lot easier. When you have the opposite of that--stuck in a marriage with no intimacy and a wife who constantly tells you that you are a worthless POS--it seems ten times harder. I'm in the valley, looking for a way out.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Robert2.0 on April 28, 2016, 06:27:15 AM
Stp215
just wanted to share this post, I made the other day, we are in similar situations. Have a great day brother

Day 65
I have come to a cross roads, not just in my reboot but in my life. I am now stand in front of a fork in the road. One fork is labeled "Your wife is hurt beyond forgiveness and wants a divorce" so why bother continuing with the reboot process. The other is labeled "Pick me, Pick me I am the path to self esteem, self worth, self respect and self love". In the real world, energy follows the path of least resistance. However, in this case the path of least resistance is the path to self destruction and certain dying alone. My marriage may be over, and I will never be able to take back the pain and hurt I have caused my wife, but I will be damned if I am going to let this fucking addiction totally drag me to the depths of hell and beyond. I am determined to fight to keep PMO out of my life and find a way to rebuild my brain and regain the ability to have and express emotions and feelings, release the judging of people based on porn related stereotypes. I am humbly taking the path of most resistance to save myself from utter and complete self destruction.  Good night brothers.

We can do this!
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 28, 2016, 11:15:56 AM
Good thoughts, Robert. Thank you.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on May 10, 2016, 12:49:07 PM
Hello All,

Haven't been here in a little while and need to update. I reset my counter because I've been relapsing lately. There has been so much stress and pressure in my life the past few weeks, I feel like I can't manage all that and quit PMO at the same time. Financial pressures, marriage bad and getting worse by the day. At this point my interest in rebooting is for the woman I will meet after my divorce, not the person I'm currently living with. Seems that ship has sailed. I feel stuck in this state of limbo. I'm with a woman where there is nothing resembling intimacy going forward, yet I can't go out in the world and begin the process of meeting someone else. Sucks.

I was in reboot mode for about 2 weeks and it was going well. It's hard to describe the psychological process where you fall back into it, but most of you probably already know. I see the greater good of rebooting and want to get back there. Guess I shouldn't be surprised that I relapsed. It took more than 30 years to get this way; the idea that it would be remedied in a few weeks is kind of absurd.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on October 05, 2016, 10:31:00 AM
Back on here after several months away. I'd like to tell everyone that I have been PMO free all this time, but that's not the case. The truth is, it has been a roller coaster.

The marriage has been up and down. There was a stretch there where my wife and I actually had sex a few times. Thanks to a Levitra assist, I was able to perform although I didn't get off through intercourse. The sensation of vaginal intercourse simply doesn't compare to the dopamine rush of PMO at this time. Just being able to have sex again was something of a relief. But to be completely honest, it wasn't nearly as satisfying as the PMO experience. The infrequency of sex has had more to do with busy schedules, kids, etc., than a lack of interest. In the meanwhile it was and is so much easier to just PMO rather than waiting for the planets to align correctly where sex can be fit into our schedules.

So I haven't PMO'd in a few days and am trying to get a streak together again. If I can PMO and still have sex with my wife, I am  wondering why I have to give up PMO altogether. I'm sure the sex would be much better if the PMO was out of the picture, but I read on here how guys have gone over a year without it and are still not healed. That sounds horrible. If I could re-wire and heal faster than that I would jump at the chance. Just have no idea how long it will take and if I have the resolve to make it happen.   
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Gabriel1960 on October 06, 2016, 03:46:32 AM
Dude, read YBOP.  It was written for *you,* specifically.   

I read it every day.  It's my daily meditation book.  It was written for me, too.

YBOP page 152:

"A young psychiatrist, himself newly recovered from porn-induced sexual dysfunction, pointed out that the internet porn phenomenon is only 10 or 15 years old, and way ahead of the research. He notes:

Medical research works at a snail's pace. With luck we'll be addressing this in 20 or 30 years....when half the male population is incapacitated. Drug companies can't sell any medications by someone quitting porn."
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on October 11, 2016, 02:43:39 PM
My counter says 6 days but it has actually been 8 since my last PMO. In the depths of the addiction, it is almost always the mind telling the body to PMO, even if the body isn't asking for it. In my experience, once you get over the initial mental urges in the first few days, the flatline kicks in and you wonder what's going on there.

Having said that, I have had times where the body is telling the mind it wants release. That raises another question: I'm sure not doing any release other than actual sex is the best thing, but what about occasional MO without the P? I have read here that just fantasizing about P in your mind is almost the same as using P, but what about envisioning sex with your significant other? I ask because going from extreme levels of PMO to absolute zero can seem like a big hill to climb right out of the gate. 
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Jbow on October 12, 2016, 08:45:12 AM
Why bother? I think you answered a couple of them, I have some more for you.  Pmo, pied, guilt, shame, anxiousness, and probably more I didn't mention. That is why we want to stop this horrible addiction. I'm about 110 days clean.  That's a record for me. I have to be honest l, I have never felt this good mentally,  and physically. When you say why bother, that's your brain trying to trick you. Don't fall for it. I promise you, if you do the work, it will be worth it. Please brother give it a chance. Porn is never an option. I'm on my fourth try, and so far I'm having great success.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: balanced on October 14, 2016, 08:35:17 AM
Jbow said as simply as anyone can...If you do the work, it will be worth it.

But you have to commit to doing the work, and it's called work because it takes a great deal of effort, it is not fun, it is a real struggle at first, but you have to be truly committed to changing, and then exercise the resolve to become a different man.

Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 14, 2017, 01:15:43 PM
I'm back to work on my PMO problem. Hit bottom again and feel a lot better about getting to a better place. I reset my counter late so it's actually been 6 days clean today. Today is the first time since quitting that I am feeling withdrawals. It's so weird because all the impulse to fap is coming from above the neck. Below that it's flatline. Reading YBOP has helped with understanding the chemistry of what is happening.

Yesterday I went through my phone and deleted about 30 porn pics I had saved on there. Before I deleted the first one there was a hesitancy like, "I need these." But after deleting the first one it felt like a snowball rolling downhill and I deleted them all. Felt good, like I was in control of the situation.

This problem has been compared to a drug addiction, and that's exactly what it is. Except the drug is already in your brain, and it's not something you smoke, snort or inject. I would love to get to 100 days clean just to see if there are some real positive changes. 
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 16, 2017, 04:21:28 AM
Woke up at 5 am today, just because I went to sleep early the night before. Everyone else in the house is asleep. In the past, it was a given that I would PMO in a situation like this. I'm not doing it now, instead coming here and sharing.

Today is 8 days clean. Trying to stay focused on the big picture: arriving at a place where I can perform with a woman the way I want to and not have this addiction constantly intruding in my life.

I know 8 days is just the beginning and it's a long process. I feel much more empowered in this reboot than previous ones. Maybe because I'm starting to take charge of my life in other areas as well. Would love to report on here that I am 30 days clean. That's my next milestone.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Jbow on April 16, 2017, 09:51:32 AM
 would love to get to 100 days clean just to see if there are some real positive changes. There you brother, it's all up to you. You can do it
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 16, 2017, 02:54:42 PM
would love to get to 100 days clean just to see if there are some real positive changes. There you brother, it's all up to you. You can do it

Thanks, brother. Appreciate the support. I really want to see this through.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 17, 2017, 12:10:24 PM
Got through the weekend with no PMO. Nine days and counting. It might sound sacreligious, but the biggest triggering opportunity for me came not from P, but going to church on Easter Sunday. It was 84 degrees and sunny, and the women came to church dressed to the nines in summer wear. It was a huge distraction to sit through that with visuals everywhere. I had to force myself to look away a few times, as there was stimuli in every direction. Thankfully the drive home allowed me to reset and there were no relapses. Just a reminder that there are pitfalls everywhere in this journey. 
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 21, 2017, 09:46:19 AM
Arrived at 13 days clean today. A little surprised I've gone this far without succumbing to relapse. I still think about PMO at times throughout the day, but as long as I'm in flatline, I haven't come close to going bad. At this rate, I think I can start pushing PMO to the sidelines in my life t the point where it's irrelevant. That would be a great thing given the destruction it causes. 

The thing that concerns me most is the time it will take to return to normalcy. I started in my teens, so I have no illusions that this will be an overnight fix. However, the prospect of going a year or more in a a flatline state is disturbing. At that point the idea of staying PMO clean might be more difficult. Are there any signs to look for along the way to indicate that healing is taking place? That would provide a lot of incentive to stay the course.   
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: NewMe48 on April 27, 2017, 12:31:42 PM
This book on Audible was very helpful to me called "Feels Like Redemption - The Pilgrimage to Health and Healing"
It was written by a recovering porn addict and really helps get at the underlying causes of PMO not to just "quit".
https://www.amazon.com/Feels-Like-Redemption-Pilgrimage-Healing/dp/0692217355/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493283003&sr=8-1&keywords=feels+like+redemption

I don't have the patience to read so audio books and podcasts are a lifesaver!
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on May 08, 2017, 01:31:49 PM
Today is a milestone for me: 30 days without PMO.  :)

This is the longest I have been clean. Feels good, like I am in control of that area of my life now. For many years I felt like I was just reacting to urges with no strategy. It does get a little easier the further down the non-PMO road you go.

That said, I am still deep in the flatline stage. There is some mild wood here and there, but nothing exceptional. The whole purpose of this for me is to be fully functional with a woman again. My biggest concern is that I get into a situation with a woman and there is still nothing going on down there. The huge unknown for me is, how long will it take to get back to the "original factory settings." I don't expect it tomorrow, but hope it won't take forever.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: workinprogressUK on May 09, 2017, 03:15:06 AM
Congrats on your progress so far, Stp. Great work! Looks like you're moving in the right direction and everything is lining up. You've got a bit of a virtuous circle going on, right? Do me a favour though, please, my friend; try not to focus yet on doing this "to be fully functional with a woman again". Not yet. Thirty days clean is a great achievement, but it's still early days in the bigger picture. If you can, please keep on fighting because you want to live clean, and you enjoy feeling good, and you enjoy being in control. Stay focused on the process and the behaviours that have kept you clean for the last thirty, and your outcomes will stay positive. And after a while... perhaps a fair while longer yet.... your factory settings will restore. For what it's worth, I was over 100 days P&M free before I cracked my PIED. Just stay focused on recovery. You'll get your wood back in time.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on May 09, 2017, 08:54:14 AM
Thanks for the words of encouragement, Work. You're right, the focus now should be more on staying clean and being in control. Trying to focus on next steps: getting to 60 days, then 100. Appreciate your support.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on March 18, 2019, 05:00:00 AM
Hello brothers, it's been a while for me on here but need to share and hear any feedback. My struggle is ongoing. I've gone up to 4 months PMO free but still struggling to get off the roller coaster.

The flat line phase is still brutal and confusing. I've read many accounts on here about what it's like for others, but it still tough. How long does it take to heal? It's different for everyone, but I still have no idea how long it takes for me to start real healing.

My marriage has also been on a roller coaster. We have been trying to make it work, but there are difficulties. We have sex occasionally. I use Levitra for a boost, but it doesn't work as often as it does. I can perform with about a 60% erection but still don't finish during it. The sensation of real sex still doesn't compare to PMO. We have had other issues besides my PMO, and I still don't know if I want to stay in the marriage. One concern is that if we got divorced and I met someone else, the PMO issues would still be there.

For me, PMO is all about the dopamine kick. It really is a drug addiction in that sense. I have shown myself that I can go months without PMO, but when the flat line period is so dormant with no sign of light at the end of the tunnel, I get frustrated and give in. And if you give in once, you mind starts talking to you. "If you've done it once, why not do it a couple more times?" Next thing you know, you're back to full PMO mode and starting from scratch again.

I still have a strong desire to be healthy and functional, but the ups and downs of this are a bitch. Not knowing how long the process will take. Battling with your internal demons along the way. Triggering images all around you in the world, even when you're not seeking them out. The shame and self-loathing that comes with relapsing. If there was a medical operation or a chemical treatment that would be a short-cut to healing, I would gladly volunteer for it. 

I'm still in the fight. Wish I had a better story to tell, but I'm not giving up. Will try to post here more regularly.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: cranm329 on March 18, 2019, 09:57:30 AM
Hi Stp215
There is hope for you and your marriage. Chemical or surgical interventions are not the answer. Even Levitra etc can cause problems as well as being a temporary help. I have mentioned a new approach to at least one guy on here that, potentially, can be a highly pleasurable, easy, free, healthy and healing method of solving your (both partners) problems. Please have a look at Kindle and search for Diana Richardson ' The Heart of Tantric Sex'.
I know that it sounds weird and New Age. Tantric sex suggests kinky massage/ prostitution. It's something completely different. I am not trying to promote DR's work but my wife and I (both sexually conservative and mainline) have benefitted tremendously from reading this. It has helped me understand sex and manhood/womanhood differently. It has helped me move ahead with PMO avoidance and PIED. Strongly recommend at least reading the excerpt on Kindle. She has written stuff specifically for men as well.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on March 23, 2019, 06:34:22 AM
Today I circled the date of March 17 with a red marker. That is the day I stopped PMO, and I want it to be a new beginning. I feel more confident than ever that I want to change my life and live better, and differently. All provocative digital images have been deleted from my devices. My iPad has become synonymous with PMO to me, so I have put it in a drawer and don't intend to use it again.

The first few days clean felt normal, then yesterday I had a distinct buzzing sensation in my brain. It's still here right now. I'd like to think that is the first stages of deprogramming from P, the rewiring process starting.

I wish there was a calculator that would let you compute, "X amount of time in PMO = you will need this much time PMO-free to heal." The inexact nature of it is very frustrating. In one sense, it's a good thing that flatline means there is no arousal happening right now, because it would increase your desire to MO. On the other, the lack of arousal makes you wonder if it will ever come back.

I'm not only giving up P, but changing the way I perceive the world. Thanks to P, I saw everything in a hyper-sexualized way. All women I came in contact with were evaluated based on their appearance and attractiveness to me. If there was a good-looking woman on the street, on a train, I had to look at her with lust on my mind. I see now that nothing productive comes from that. Now I am simply not looking.

Last night I was watching a movie on Netflix. Unexpectedly there was a graphic sex scene. It produced a reaction in my brain that was not positive and did not feel good at all. I turned it off.

The process for me is more than just walking away from PMO. I'm eating healthier. Exercising at a gym 2-3 days a week. Not putting myself in situations that have led to PMO in the past, like locked in my bedroom surfing the internet.

YBOP is a great resource. I've been reading the articles and so many of them describe my condition in amazing detail. There's no uncertainty. I have been a PMO addict for more than 2 decades and have PIED symptoms. I've been down this rabbit hole for so long, its almost hard to imagine I could reach a place where I am healed and fully-functional. Reading the testimonials of guys who have been as bad as me or worse and healed themselves gives me hope. Thanks.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: cranm329 on March 23, 2019, 10:24:21 AM
Hi Stp215
You have done well starting to take back control of your thoughts. The Netflix experience was a good move. Keep going; it will get better but it will take time as you said.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on March 25, 2019, 08:42:42 PM
Today I looked at my calendar and figured out when it will be 100 days clean for me: June 24. That's my target. I will keep going beyond that, but 100 days seems to be a benchmark many people use on here. I'm 10% there and feeling good about it.

Tonight I found another device of mine that had a lot of P on it. As I was deleting the images, I literally had to look away from the images as I was deleting. The glances at the images I did catch were causing me discomfort. It literally hurt my brain to look at them. Now I have zero digital P messages on any of my devices. Feels liberating.

This process reminded me of a scene from the movie "A Beautiful Mind." The main character played by Russell Crowe suffered from schizophrenia and saw things that weren't there. When asked how he deals with it, he said (paraphrasing): "Like a diet of the mind, I abstain from certain appetites." That applies here too. It's almost impossible to go through life today without triggering images around you. The trick is to not put yourself in situations that will trigger you, and if you see them anyway, abstain from seeing any more.

Another thought: one of my favorite personal coaches is Tony Robbins. He talks often about helping people beat addictions. He has said it's all about creating the right associations in your mind. If you can't stop eating chocolate, you need to associate eating chocolate with bad things instead of pleasure. Once you truly do that, you will not want chocolate any more. Not hard to see how that translates to PMO. So far I have had negative associations with seeing a P image even for a moment since quitting. If that can become permanent, it will make lifestyle change easier.



Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on March 29, 2019, 10:20:00 AM
Now at 13 days PMO-free. Feeling great about it. Can’t wait to reach 100 and beyond. I will not be a slave to this any longer.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 02, 2019, 10:17:35 AM
17 days clean. Removing P from all devices is something I didn’t fully do in previous attempts, and it makes a huge difference. Reducing the opportunity to break bad keeps you out of bad situations.

Still struggle with the flatline. Very little activity down there. I’m taking a blind leap of faith that it will come back.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Jbow on April 02, 2019, 12:44:42 PM
Good job at cleaning all your devices up. That's a big step. I know when you do that it makes you feel like your naked, and on your own.  Just know that will pass. Its something new to you. No more porn is a big step. Congratulations.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 03, 2019, 08:43:53 PM
Thanks, jbow. The stories on here are so inspiring, as well as the encouragement. I still believe. 
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: workinprogressUK on April 04, 2019, 06:34:58 AM
That spring-clean's vital, don't you think? I think of past efforts to reboot when I knew that i had a little USB hidden, or a dormant email account that i knew i could re-open. Until I destroyed everything that could link me back to my P habit, and put as many physical barriers as possible in the way, I couldn't really commit. It's bitter-sweet to see you back, Stp. Bitter that you're still suffering. Sweet that you're still fighting.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 04, 2019, 07:29:13 AM
Thanks. Yes, I can recall the sequence of events every time I relapsed. It started with a little peek at P here and there, creating a snowball effect. The addictive mind can be a devious liar. It’s like a devil on your shoulder, convincing you that there’s no harm from a bite of the forbidden fruit. The truth is we all have the power to control our environment as relates to access to P. When the environment is controlled, the chances of relapse are greatly reduced. Tackling a reboot with more information and wisdom than you had last time is what gives hope imo.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: jixu on April 04, 2019, 08:47:17 AM
I like the way you described the sequence of events.  It reminds me of the proverb that states something like "can a man heap coals upon his chest and not be burned?" If we want to stay out of harm we have to stay out of harm's way!

I have noticed that for me I have often inserted a step even before the "peek at p" that you mentioned in that I'll find something that is not technically p and is "ok" but that starts the motor running in the same manner.

Keep up the good work!     
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: workinprogressUK on April 04, 2019, 10:39:49 AM
I have noticed that for me I have often inserted a step even before the "peek at p" that you mentioned in that I'll find something that is not technically p and is "ok" but that starts the motor running in the same manner.

Agreed. I recall reading that it was all part of the same "cognitive distortion" process that Stp talks about. Sometimes nobody believes our lies better than ourselves!
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Jbow on April 04, 2019, 02:47:28 PM
I've do e this more than I care to admit. I look at something on YouTube and next thing I know, I'm on my favorite streaming site. Not anymore.  I know that now and shut it off immediately.  It's so easy to fall in that trap. Stay strong.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 04, 2019, 03:52:04 PM
I have noticed that for me I have often inserted a step even before the "peek at p" that you mentioned in that I'll find something that is not technically p and is "ok" but that starts the motor running in the same manner.

This just happened to me today. A female friend emailed me with unsolicited pics of her bust augmentation surgery (not nude). Needless to say it was fairly triggering. After feeling a brief twinge, I deleted them without incident. Not long ago I would have taken my phone to a private place and PMO’d to it. It is nearly impossible to totally isolate yourself from all triggers. I’d say the time I already have in the bank, plus the resolve from several relapses, was the difference.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: jixu on April 04, 2019, 06:21:02 PM
Wow Stp, that was some challenge-awesome response.  You appear to indeed have some interesting friends.

I guess Deputy Barney Fife was right: "You have to nip it, you have to nip it in the bud."   
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 12, 2019, 06:07:27 PM
Will be clean 28 days tomorrow. Feelings some urges but have been swatting them down. No P within reach so confident it will keeping rolling.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on April 15, 2019, 08:06:27 AM
Today marks 30 days PMO free. Before going clean I would take Levitra with decreasing effectiveness. It was difficult to maintain and I could not finish. Yesterday my wife was in the mood and I took a pill. The difference between trying to have real sex with PMO addiction vs. doing it with 29 days clean was noticeable. Was able to maintain and finish. I want to get to a point where I can do it with no assist at all, but wanted to share this experience. Staying clean clearly makes things better.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: cranm329 on April 15, 2019, 10:25:15 AM
Well done going 30 days and glad for you that the response is returning to normal. Hope that the medication becomes unnecessary. Tip: try a high nitrite/ nitrate diet ...details can be found on line. For me it works and is definitely not just a mental thing.
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Jbow on April 15, 2019, 11:17:38 PM
Good job stp. That is just one more incentive to stay clean. Every minute of every day you get stronger and your brain heals a little bit more.  What a good feeling to know your hard work is paying off.  Keep up the good work
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Stp215 on September 12, 2019, 03:06:03 PM
Hello all, thought it was time to post an update.

The good news: since my last post I went over 100 days clean. Marked the milestones on my desk calendar and stuck with it. The flatline is very confusing and difficult. As I got closer to 100 days, I discovered that the flatline started to go away. The veterans on here are right. I was going on blind faith but have seen the results. I even began having sex with my wife again, and did so without ED medication. I considered it a great achievement, thanks in part to this forum and to the support.

The not-so-good news: I did slip off a bit and PMO sporadically. In total candor, I get bored with the routine of life. My wife and I both have time-consuming jobs and three kids, so the opportunities for sex are limited. If she has to go out of town for a work trip, I am indulging in PMO.

One of the hardest things is how your mind manipulates the situation. Ok, you broke your good streak and did it. Now my mind is thinking, you already did it once, might as well do a few more times before you start clean again. It’s wrong, but it happens IMO from being alone and bored. The old saying about idle hands.

Trying to see this as, I went a long time clean and saw the good results. I know I can do this with the proper focus. The challenge is staying on the right path over the long haul. Thanks
Title: Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
Post by: Chicagocold on September 12, 2019, 05:36:50 PM
Great job on 100 days.  Don't dig yourself deeper in the hole though if you slipped up.  It's a crappy thing when your mind is actively working against you.  If you add a "few more" sessions since you've already slipped up it will be that much harder to stop tomorrow.  I've had it happen to me several times.  The urges will come back x 10 because you made a mistake, then you made the choice to do it.  Bad deal.

Boredom is my killer too.  For me if the subtle urges or subconscious suggestions to "just take a quick look" hit when I'm alone and bored, I have to move.  Get out of the house, go to the grocery, hit the gym, trim the bushes, whatever.  If you can't leave then try to get out of the chair, the room, put the phone down, clean something, fix something you've been neglecting.  I think frequently the trigger isn't an image or video - it's sitting in the same chair, in the same room, during the same time (evenings, whenever) that you used to watch porn.  Your brain recognizes the physical pattern and goes right into trying to get its fix. 

Good luck.