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Topics - KeepUpTheGoodWork

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Success Stories / 300 Days Sober!
« on: December 26, 2017, 04:28:41 PM »
Hey everyone,

It's been a long while since I've posted on here. I've had a really tough 2017, starting off with my father's passing last January.

I've spent the last year exploring my sex addiction (and other compulsive behaviors) and I ended up seeking help with therapy and a 12-step program.

I'm super happy to report that yesterday I was gifted 300 days sober from compulsive sexual behaviors.

Some of the things that have helped me are:

1) a 12-step program. One of the first things that I learned in my program was that my addiction was a coping mechanism. By getting into a support program, I have learned that I am not alone in my struggles, I can get help, and I don't need porn to cope with life. Another important thing I learned was that going to meetings in person got me away from my computer. I don't want to poo-poo the forums, because that's where I started, but getting out of my house and having actual human interaction with other sex addicts was HUGE.

2) therapy. I speak weekly with a therapist about EVERYTHING. Talking about problems is a great way to cope with them and I'm learning how to communicate both my needs and concerns better with all those around me.

3) getting a sponsor. On the forums, I had a buddy, which was great, but I have an experienced sponsor in my program (5 years sex addiction free, 25 years alcohol and drugs free) who has really helped me get over the shame of my addiction and learn more about healthy sexuality in the real world.

After two and a half years of struggling through nofap on my own, the extra work that I've undertaken has paid off.

I'm also happy to share that my relationship with my girlfriend is better than it has ever been. We have sex often and I've learned to take "no" for an answer. Heck, I'm even okay with telling her that I'm too tired. I've seen a great reduction in obsessing and planning for sex. I've also started playing drums again - as an actual career, not just for fun.

The gifts I've received have gone far beyond my "super powers". I encourage you all to keep going!

I guess that's it for now. I just wanted to share with you guys that this disease is possible to overcome. If you find that you are struggling to get a solid streak going, don't be afraid to take this to the next level and start seeking more help.

For me, realizing that the scope of a 90-day reboot wasn't enough, was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.

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Porn Addiction / Some hope after relapse
« on: October 13, 2016, 12:17:02 PM »
Yesterday was supposed to be day 57, but instead, while drunk in the wee hours of the morning, I decided that I could get away with some edging to images online. That escalated to finding clips (that my porn blocker couldn't detect). I think you all know the rest.

I was/am really disappointed in myself because up to that point, this really has been the easiest string of abstinence I have experienced. I truly thought I had this thing by the throat and I was going to win this time.

I was depressed most of the morning after tearfully fessing up to my girlfriend. She was overly supportive and it helped a lot. I decided not to wallow in the depression and I hit the gym then practiced my drums for a few hours.

Then, last night I attended my first Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting. It was really good and I felt even better for going. Like here, it's just a bunch of men and women in the struggle. I was even more happy to see that most of the people there have been clean for over a year. I went in being all cocky about my 56 days. Well, we all need some humility.  Anyway, I picked up a bunch of reading material and I am really learning some new things from it.

I came on to highly suggest that if you need more help, to seek out a support group in your area. One important thing I learned was that while I had identified as being a porn addict, I am truly a sex addict and even though I had been clean from porn, I was still acting out with other behaviors (for example, planning sex). I think in realizing that I was still acting out, even though it wasn't in porn, I've taken a much bigger step toward recovery.

Good luck folks.

https://saa-recovery.org/

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Porn Addiction / This made me laugh
« on: September 16, 2016, 02:05:41 AM »
I try not to make a habit of poking fun at religion but this couldn't have been worded any funnier...  And with that... good night folks!



4
Success Stories / Today is day 30!
« on: September 15, 2016, 11:22:02 AM »
In a few hours, I will hit day 30 of no PMO! In the last two years, my longest streak was 21 days, so I am extremely proud of myself. It hasn't been easy and I've found myself edging a lot in the last week (to feeling, fantasy and a once to a twitter account). I was able to stop myself every single time without O. Special thanks go out to my accountability partner, Dontgiveup7, for walking me away from the edge of the cliff after that Twitter episode.

So in honor of my 30th day, I'm kicking it up a notch and adding a new counter - no M or edging for the next 7 days. Wish me luck and good luck to you all in your journey. It's been completely worth it to me, and I look forward to continued progress.

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Porn Addiction / Pamela Anderson's Anti-Porn WSJ Op-Ed
« on: September 06, 2016, 09:52:55 AM »
Anyone check this out yet? I actually can't read it, but apparently it's creating a lot of pro-porn backlash from people denying the science and results behind rebooting.

Kudos to Pam for bringing this subject some attention:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/take-the-pledge-no-more-indulging-porn-1472684658

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Porn Addiction / My friend showed me a P Sub last night
« on: September 03, 2016, 01:49:22 PM »
And I felt nothing.     8)

We were at the bar and he wanted to show me some bikini model on Facebook that he saw in real life. I braced myself for the potential trigger and even planned to kinda slap the phone away and make fun of his tastes in an effort to smoothly look away from it, but I didn't need to.  She was pretty for sure, but I just saw a sad individual, trying too hard with lots of surgery. I saw a real person witha different type of problem. I wondered if she was fun to be around, or a total drag. We looked through some more of her pics and he was loving it, but I didn't care. It could have been that his reaction grossed me out - or that it was like looking in a mirror - but I was able to look, bust my friend for his tastes anyway because that's what friends do, and I went on with my life. I'm very happy about where I am today, and hopefully it's a sign that I'm on my road to recovery.

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Porn Addiction / Extremely Unfocused This Morning - Need Advice
« on: August 26, 2016, 11:21:26 AM »
Hi guys, I'm going through some stuff this morning and could use some insight. I was just journalling about this and I figured I would ask you all directly.

So yesterday I had nothing to do for once and I decided that I could give in to a prolonged video game session. For me, prolonged is 4-5 hours. I do that maybe twice a month. More often, I play for an hour or two every few days but mostly read and do other things. I don't know if this is relevant, but just setting up the story.

When I went to bed, I fell asleep easily but then had crazy dreams all night. One was about the game. One was this distorted memory about an ex-gf and this gross situation we were in. The dream was non-sexual although the situation was a sexual one when it happened. There were others - like Laura Dern was arriving at the airport, but she was an amputee. Yeah....

When I woke up, it was about an hour earlier than usual at 5:30 AM, and I wasn't really awake. I had this extreme tunnel vision that was very dream-like and I could not stop playing with myself. I would M for a few minutes while thinking of my current gf, then start dreaming again and fall asleep for about 45 mins. Then wake up and do it again. I didn't O and I didn't escalate to P. I would have semi-erections, but they went away quickly.

Eventually, I really woke up - it was like clarity out of a fog - and I got up and started my routine. I meditate in the mornings, but I just had no focus whatsoever during it. My brain is on hyperdrive and I'm really struggling to stay focused on any one thing at all. I'm already an hour late on my typical morning stuff. (I'm out of work at the moment, so there's no rush to do anything. I just like to stay on a schedule.)

I'm imagining all these conversations that haven't happened - like confronting my roommate about dirty dishes, or what I would say in an interview for a job I haven't applied to yet. Throughout my meditation, all I could think about was what I would say when I wrote on the forum this morning.

Fortunately, I'm not feeling any urges to PMO, but I know that if I start getting frustrated I will. It's one of my triggers.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

8
Porn Addiction / Purity Is Possible
« on: August 24, 2016, 10:54:27 AM »
Hey folks,

I thought I would share this website that I've read a few times called www.purityispossible.com

It's run by cognitive-behavioral psychiatrist Kevin Majeres, MD, who is currently on staff at Harvard Medical School teaching cognitive-behavioral therapy.

If you've read through the articles and watched the videos here and elsewhere, there isn't a whole lot of new information here, however I found it to be a nice refresher because of its somewhat simplified explanations and easy to use interface.

I presume the audience is young Christian men (hence the idea of purity) but if you're into 12 Steps, you will have come to believe in a higher power anyway. It's not in your face Christian and I didn't even realize it until I was most of the way through the articles. Kinda like when you first listened to Creed and thought they were cool, and then you realized you don't want your friends knowing you own the CD. Not that I do, I just assume that's what it would be like...  :-[ :-X

Anyway, not only is it an easy to follow refresher on the basic concepts of the addiction, the doc offers actual tips for dealing with cravings.

For me, it's helped connect some lines between how we might feel and what we should do about it.

Here's a brief summary from the site:

"The purpose of this website is to apply the wisdom and science of behavioral therapy to the challenge of overcoming addictive sexual behaviors. In the modules that follow, you will learn step-by-step how to gain mastery over cravings, anxiety, and distraction. You will be introduced to cutting-edge research in neuroscience, psychology, physiology, and medicine. And you will find, along the way, many reasons for hope."


One thing I was confused about at first was the idea of modules, but basically the site is interactive and each module is kind of like a short class or interactive work book. There may be an accompanying video, then the reading material and then it has questions interspersed that ask about your behaviors, or check to see if you're following along, etc. It's not long - I think you can read the whole thing in about 2.5 hours or so.

Enjoy!

9
Ages 30-39 / How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
« on: August 18, 2016, 10:06:40 PM »
Hey everyone. I wrote a really long rough draft of this, and hopefully I can get it down to a readable length. I'm 34, originally from New Jersey, now living in California. I was laid off from my job of 12 years in January. I am currently studying for my PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification in hopes that it lands me a super sweet job that pays twice as much as my last one (one can hope, right?).

I'm one of the generation that is on the digital cusp. I had a computer in the house because my Dad worked in computers since I was young, but I didn't need to have one of my own until after college. My first cell phone spent most of its time dead in my truck's glove box.

I started seeking out porn when I was about 11 or 12 and discovered my Dad's mail-order VHS catalogs. At first the images (regular ol' sex) turned my stomach, but I still liked going back to look at them. Eventually I found some hidden tapes and I can still remember parts of them. At this point though, I didn't really know what I was doing and I didn't actually PMO for a few months into this whole discovery phase.

It was maybe a year later that I started getting more into the computer and I was doing simple game mods and writing my own MIDI songs to put into them. The music part stuck and I still write and play music to this day. Unfortunately, the other thing that stuck was internet porn - although I don't know if it exactly counts as high speed when you're waiting for an image to load....one.... pixel.....at......a.....time.

At this point, it almost wasn't worth it to find images online, and I think I had a fairly normal adolescence of just thinking about sexy things in my imagination. But soon the tech got better and I could find video clips (30 second clips were like a gift from God!) and I think you can guess what happened from there.

I lost my virginity at 15 years old but I also kept up my habit and it just escalated as the tech got better and better.

By the time I was in college, I would sometimes sneak a peek on my roommate's computer or I would use my Dad's when I was home.  Eventually I had my first regularly sexual relationship with a girl who had a boyfriend, and man was that exciting.  Not long after that stopped (read as: we got found out), I had my own girl and we had sex all of the time.

This is when I first started noticing some ED issues. I'm chalking that up to having some sort of sexual encounter, either sex or PMO, every single day.

Fast forwarding a little here - After college I had a rough patch - that girl dumped me and I started drinking more. I was living on my own and that's when I can confirm for a fact my daily habit became ingrained - morning and night, in bed. The truth is, it was probably already a daily habit, although I specifically remember being excited about having my privacy when I got my place.

I had two or three sexual encounters during that time, but each one was plagued with a little ED, really delayed ejaculation and all the accompanying anxiety about it.

Now, it's been about 10 years since that time. I've been dating a new girl for the last 2.5 years and I'm sure she's the one. It didn't take too long into our relationship to discover that we both masturbated daily. So we decided "hey, let's stop that and save it for when we get together". And that's when it hit me. I couldn't stop.

My longest abstinence streak in the last 2.5 years has been 21 days. I would tell my girl occasionally when I slipped, but not often enough. I actually stopped having my ED symptoms and otherwise, I function just fine down there, so it really hasn't been a physical issue. Emotionally however, it's taking its tool. I am showing all of the distance, objectification and other anti-social behaviors that go along with prolonged porn use. It's messing up my relationship.

In recent months, I've started trying filters and website blockers, but then I started using P-subs, and other work arounds.

Finally, two days ago, I was frustrated that I just couldn’t stop and I started reading yourbrainonporn and watching the reboot videos. It hit me like a bolt of lighting - I am out of control. And again, I confessed to my girlfriend as if it was all new to me. She reminded me of the other times I already figured it out, and I was shocked that I hadn’t actually remembered how badly I had hurt her in the past. I allowed myself to completely forget in my day-to-day and it slipped away. Using porn became more important all over again.

Despite that, she’s still supporting me and my decision to reach out for help.

Back in 2011, I ended up in AA as a part of a court order for a DUI. I sat and listened and thought, "I’m nothing like these guys." And honestly, I truly believe I don’t have a drinking problem. I can drink or not drink, I can have one, I can be social, and it doesn’t become an obsession. Not like porn does. I can’t dip my toe in these waters.

So with that...

My first goal is 7 days and then 30. I've never seen 30.


Oh and in case you were wondering, yeah my draft was longer...  :o :-[ :-X


Edit: eh, I had my real name in there and decided to take it out.

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