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Messages - unchained

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1
Four weeks today.  Feels good to have a little distance between me and porn.

The restlessness, jitters and anxiety seem to have subsided for the most part.  The cravings still come and I feel a slight but constant desire to seek out my favorite porn.  There is a draw to go back to my favorite sites to see what new ladies have been posted in the last month that I have been away.  For the most part, I've been able to recognize those thoughts and have been successful in focusing my attention elsewhere.  However, I also recognize that there have been a couple of times that I probably would have slipped if it wasn't for Covenant Eyes on all of my devices.  I use no filters at all but the knowledge that my wife gets the report of all sites I visit was enough to keep me clean in those instances.  I take heart in the knowledge that the accountability software has helped me make the right decisions, but at the same time feel a little discouraged when I reflect on my own weakness.

Also, I think that I may be in a flatline at this point.  My dick seems small & lifeless and my balls are small and scrunched up all the time.  They basically look like I've been swimming in cold water.  I know this is part of the process, but I'm ready for it to be over.  Initially after quitting I had consistent MW but that has basically gone away for the last week or two.

Overall I feel pretty good.  I've lost 6.5 pounds by eating healthier and exercising.  I've been sleeping better.  Hopefully the flatline will be short-lived.  In the past, when I've had success staying away from porn, my wife and I were very sexually active.  Mentally, I feel ready to be there again, but I don't trust a dick that looks like it is trying to shrink itself back into my body...lol.  Oh well, I still have faith in the process but I sure wish it would heal quicker rather than slower.

2
Ages 40 and up / Re: 15 days now
« on: January 22, 2018, 05:06:25 PM »
Congratulations making it past a month.  You are doing great.

3
Ages 40 and up / Re: The party is over
« on: January 22, 2018, 05:01:39 PM »
Hey Seneca.

January through September is an impressive feat and a really long stretch.  There's no way you did that on willpower alone.  You must have been doing things (many things) right.

I know what it's like to start again and feel that it's hard to get traction.  Look back at what was working for you before and reimplement some of the tools that you helped you succeed last year.

Good luck

4
Ages 40 and up / Re: New to this
« on: January 22, 2018, 04:45:28 PM »
Good job getting past three weeks.

A flatline is not always such a horrible thing.  Sometimes the low libido makes it easier to not think of porn.

5
I have the same problem...basically for the same reason.  I clenched during pmo while edging to stay right at the point of no return.  I would edge sometimes for a couple hours straight.

When pied eventually started to creep in, I began clenching during sex to keep an erection. At that time I had DE as well.
Sometimes I would loose my erection during sex because it took too long. Clenching helped keep en erection, but it also helped me achieve orgasm.  Unfortunately, eventually this led to PE.

I have quit porn for long enough that pied is not so much of an issue, but the PE is still here. I would love an answer to fixing it.

6
Ages 40 and up / Re: New to this
« on: January 18, 2018, 08:24:55 PM »
It is generally accepted that the process is faster if you stay away from MO as well as porn.  That said, it is porn that has fucked up your brain, not MO.

The problem I had in the past was that MO led to fantasy which drew me back to porn.  Eventually I gave in to the fact that I had to quit MO as well.

7
Thanks for the encouragement Bob.  Good to hear from you again.  I posted in your journal.  Let us know how you are doing.

I'm back to 21 days today!  It's been a while since I've been here.  Still PMO free for 2018.

8
Ages 40 and up / Re: New to this
« on: January 15, 2018, 11:15:43 AM »
Hi Skeeter,
What you are experiencing is pretty much normal.  Try not to worry about or overthink what is happening.  Just relax and stay away from porn, you will be fine.

When I made my 1st attempt to quit porn I worried about my dick constantly.  Even though I wasn't using porn I couldn't resist the urge to test my erections when in the shower which usually led to MO.  Later I finally realized that this process becomes easier if you just learn to leave it alone.  Don't worry about checking to see if it works and you will see real results quicker.

Good luck.  So far you have had a porn free 2018.  Congratulations!

9
Ages 40 and up / Re: Yes I Can!
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:43:29 AM »
Hey Bob,
Thanks for posting in my journal.  The encouragement is appreciated.  It's also nice to see familiar names after being gone a long while.

I see that you have posted a bit lately but not in your own journal.  How are things going for you?

10
30 degrees...snow on ground outside...just got out of cold shower...as cold as it would go for a full 5 minutes.  At this moment I can take on anything and everything.

11
Woke up this morning and I'm back to two weeks

12
Ages 40 and up / Re: Another try at an old problem
« on: January 09, 2018, 06:07:52 PM »
Hi,
I'm back after being gone for a pretty good while and can relate to journal, especially the on-again off-again roller coaster of successes and failures.  After reading through your journal, each of your last three posts resonated with me:

I have also set my DNS to opendns which has a built in family filter.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I plan on installing OpenDNS on my router tonight.  Covenant Eyes works really well for me and is on every devise that I have access to with exception to my PS4.  I am hoping OpenDNS at the router level on my home network will be an effective way to make the PS4 safe.

day 9 of my latest try.  This time as soon as anything pops into my head I immediately push it out, I never use to do that. 

Consider reading a bit about breath meditation.  It can help you become better and better at what you just did.  Over time it becomes much easier to focus your attention away from unwanted thoughts.  It's just like working out a muscle...you will become better at directing your thoughts with practice.

funny as soon as my wife left for work at noon my brain began to tempt me to do what I shouldn't.  I fought it off and came here to read instead.  Obviously I have trained my brain to look for PMO when she goes to work, sort of like Pavlov's dog.

My wife leaving for work in the morning is the #1 trigger for me, too.  It's just like you said...Pavlov's dog.  I can hear the garage door go up and my body begins to react.  The two days a week that my wife works means that I have an hour and a half of alone time with an unprotected PS4 that has been my stumbling block over and over.  Hopefully, your OpenDNS suggestion will take it off the table.

13
Ages 40 and up / Re: Dirty Little Secret
« on: January 09, 2018, 05:09:12 PM »
Way to go!  For me the withdrawals are much more manageable once I get past four weeks...and you are there.  Keep up your momentum.

14
Ages 40 and up / Re: Jay's log
« on: January 09, 2018, 01:45:45 PM »
Congratulations on 400+!

Thanks for posting.  Sharing your success gives others hope.

15
Thanks for the replies guys.  I'll look into the book you suggested TruthSeeker.

Today is day 12 and things are going pretty good.

I've made some changes to the devices I have available to me and it has helped.  My only available access to porn at this point is a PS4 and I plan to install OpenDNS on my router tonight to block all adult sites on any devices at my house at the router level.  All other devices have Covenant Eyes installed, but they don't have a version for the PS4.  The PS4 has tripped me up quite a bit in the past, however it is in my bedroom and obviously I could only act out when the wife was not at home.  My wife works 2 days a week and leaves the house early on those days.  As such, I would tend to act out in the past every Monday and Tuesday morning.

Aside from securing my devices with accountability software, I've restarted doing some of the things that truly help me in the past.  So far I've done the following:

* Got back on the cold shower routine.  This one has been rough...it's cold here in January and the water is crazy cold.
* Journaling here.
* Exercise.  I've began running again.
* Spreadsheet.  I track moods, feelings, days without PMO, record exercise & note anything of relevance to how I feel.
* I have downloaded all episodes of Pornfreeradio and listen to them in my car on my commute to work and on the way home in the evening.

I plan to change my morning routine up a bit and start meditating again tomorrow.  I also plan to go back and revisit some of the books that have helped me in that past, both on the science of addiction as well as those about putting plans into practice that help to overcome addiction.

I also want to join a group.  I've not done this in the past and feel that it would help immensely.  Evidently, there are either no active porn recovery groups in my area or I've not been successful in locating them.  Instead I plan to reach out to one of the online groups that are out there even if it costs a little bit of $$.

For now, I'm optimistic and feeling pretty good.  I usually start this process with tons of energy and run on adrenaline for the 1st few weeks.  This time around I just decided I'm not happy with my direction and want to change it.  I'm ready to do the work to get some distance between me and my old habits.

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Introductions and story
« on: January 09, 2018, 10:15:47 AM »
Hi Greg.  My name is Adam.

Withdrawal symptoms differ widely, but for me they have always come in the form of extreme anxiety, nervousness, unease...and as you say jittery.  The 1st time I managed to quit long enough to actually experience withdrawal I was scared and almost to the point of freaking out, even though I knew that they may happen and also knew they would eventually subside after reading other men's journals.

I'd like to say that I decided to quit, powered through the withdrawals, swore never to look at porn again and lived my life happy and free of addiction forever.  In reality I have experienced several long periods of sobriety followed by full blown long-term relapses that were long enough that quitting meant withdrawals again.  What I tend to experience is the following:

1st week riding high on motivation to quit.  No real withdrawal symptoms to speak of.
7-10 days in...anxiety starts to build.
2-3 weeks it peaks.  For me, this part is the worst.  Extreme stress, anxiety, jitteriness.
At 4 weeks or so it slowly tapers off.

Once they have subsided a slip here or there did not ever make me re-live the full-blown withdrawal experience, but it has caused increased stress levels afterwards for short periods of time.  I hope you never slip, but if you do don't let a reset turn into a full-blown relapse.  An extended relapse has always meant going through the withdrawals all over again, at least they have for me.

One positive that has come with multiple attempts to quit is now I can better cope with the withdrawal symptoms when they come.  I know that they will subside because they always have...it just takes time.  Going through withdrawals really sucks the 1st time.  Hang in there, they do not last forever.

To help deal with them in the mean time it helps to be active.  Go exercise, go for a jog...just do something and keep moving.  Also, cold showers are at the top of my list...not to take away any sexual desire but because they are empowering.  When you take a cold shower you feel like a man who can do anything.  It reinforces the mindset that you can tolerate and uncomfortable situation and overcome it.  If you still feel "jittery and on edge" when you read this, I challenge you to go straight to your shower, turn the water as cold as it will go, walk straight in and stay completely in the cold water for a full 5 minutes.  If you do that I'd bet a nickel to a hundred-dollar-bill that you'll feel like a million bucks when you are done.  Lastly, look into breath meditation.  It truly helps if you practice and you'll find as you get better at meditation that it becomes much easier to direct and re-direct your thoughts.  Keeping unwanted thoughts at bay will help keep your anxiety manageable as well.

...also, don't make the mistake of believing that addiction is conquered when the withdrawals have subsided.  I've made that mistake.  It is just the beginning of the process.

17
Hi again everyone.  I've been gone for a while but see a few familiar names are still active.  I hope everyone is making progress in their recovery.

For me...I've basically fallen into a cycle of abstaining a week or two here, maybe several weeks and then slip into 2-3 pmo sessions in a week and then start over again.  It is a cycle that I am tired of.

I managed to find ways around some of the things I set in place to keep me away from porn.  Some are still in place and effective and are most likely the only reason that my pmo habit has been limited to a couple of times a week.  My opportunities to act out are limited but still present none-the-less.

Basically, it seems apparent that I am stuck in a quagmire of half-heartedly quitting porn while at the same time trying to keep it in my life as well.  All the while I worry about PIED creeping back in.  While it hasn't been an issue yet I must admit that there have been times I have chosen not to pursue sex with the wife because I was afraid that it may be an issue.

I feel the need to rededicate myself to the active pursuit of recovery, not just trying to abstain.  Part of that pursuit will be journaling here.  I also feel that a big missing piece from my plan has been getting involved in a group.  My approach has always been to try to solve all of my problems alone.  I see now that doing this all alone will probably not ultimately be successful for me.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop a note to say that I'm back.  There's more to say, but I tend to get long winded.

BTW...where did all the counters go?  I'm at 8 days and counting.

18
Ages 40 and up / Re: 47yo, addicted to Porn and Masturbation since 13ish
« on: February 16, 2016, 12:54:21 PM »
I still cannot believe that I've gone 26 days without M&P. 

I've been reading some but one question that I haven't really found an answer too is, when one is single, how does one find out of the reboot is working to bring back the ability to get an erection again?

Congratulations!  26 days is no small accomplishment.

As stated, morning wood is a sign of improvement but don't get too caught up in worrying from day to day if you are waking up with an erection or not.  They kind-of come and go throughout the night and you may be getting erections but simply waking up in between them.

I'd like to say that I get spontaneous erections like when I was a teenager, but it hasn't happened.  To be honest I'm kind of glad because being horny all the time would make this process that much tougher.  In the end, you want an erection when it's time to have an erection and not be bothered with a constant hard-on when it is not appropriate.

I know it sounds impossible, but try not to think about or worry about your dick too much. For me, worrying led to testing which led to MO which eventually led to PMO which is what caused it not to work in the first place.

Just take it easy, focus on what got you this far and keep up your awesome progress.  Your dick will work soon enough.  There is too much proof and too many healed men out there for you to think otherwise.  Have faith and stay strong.

19
So, I wrote the counsellor who ran that only non-12-step men's group for porn addiction that I could find in my home town.  She wrote me back and said the group is temporarily not meeting because it was too difficult to find a time that enough men could meet consistently.

She seemed nice and asked if I was interested in one-on-one counseling, but I truly feel I need to find a group of men who are dealing with the same issues.

I must admit it's a bit depressing because the group sounded promising on her website. Today, I wrote my local SA group to see if I could attend.  I'm not really into the 12-step idea but think some real life eye-to-eye fellowship will help.  Fighting this addiction is sometimes as lonely as being immersed in it.

20
Thanks for your guy's (and gal's) responses.  I truly appreciate them.

I've been feeling awfully alone lately.  Not so much alone in my life with family and friends, but alone in my addiction.  Sometimes it feels like there is no one (outside of this forum) that I can relate to.  My wife knows what I am dealing with, but she has no point of reference.  Sometimes I feel so alone that I have to force myself not to cry.

Not to be one to wallow in self-pity, today I reached out, through email, to a local sex therapist (who works specifically with pornography addicts) that has a weekly mens group meeting.  I hope something comes of it.

21
I've just started to read this book. I recommend it. Harry

I'm all for cold showers but don't know if I'm ready for anything that extreme just yet.

I would appreciate input from any of you other guys out there with experience beating other addictions aside from porn, specifically alcohol.  I'm a pretty heavy beer drinker.  I drink every night after work until bedtime.  It's not caused any real negative consequences and the wife doesn't even complain, but I'm not getting any younger and don't want to destroy my liver.  Also, I've noticed that many nights as everyone else is in bed and I sit on the couch getting drunker and drunker that I'm rather miserable.  However, in the same way that we porn users keep on seeking that one pic to finish to, I'll finish my beer and say "just one more".  In learning about porn addiction I heard something that struck a nerve with me a while back...but it got me thinking as much about alcohol as porn.  It was said that wanting does not equal liking.  That was/is profound.  That is exactly how I feel every night.  I really want the buzz, but once it comes I don't really enjoy it anymore and I'm afraid it will eventually destroy my health.  I've known for a while that I would eventually need to address it, but have been putting it off.  I was worried that tackling two issues at once would be too much to handle.  However, as I learn about brain changes like how addiction affects grey-matter, I'm beginning to wonder if a lack of will power from one addiction would slow down the ability to strengthen the pre-frontal cortex as it relates the another.

Specifically, if I have decreased grey-matter because of alcohol abuse, then it stands to reason that all of the efforts like meditation to specifically reverse the same changes that occurred because of porn abuse may be either slowed or ineffective.  I do feel like I'm making progress in distancing myself from porn but wonder if the alcohol abuse is a hinderance.  In the end I want to be free of both, but decided to address one at a time...I'm beginning to wonder if that is a successful strategy.

Year's ago when I was 20 I got in trouble for drinking and driving.  At the time I was hardly a heavy drinker, just a typical college student weekend partier.  Because of the episode I had to go to AA meetings, DUI school & a county run consultation for drinking recovery for a few weeks as part of my punishment.  I remember people at these programs earnestly trying to overcome their alcohol addictions...and 95% of them smoked.  The smoking came up more than once and I can remember people saying that it was advised that they only attempt to conquer one addiction at a time...that more than that would be too stressful.

Remembering that I decided to take on porn then addiction.  Again, I don't know if this is smart in the long run.  I want to be addiction free and I want to be free now.  Should I not start the process as soon as possible?  Why keep kicking the can down the road?  I also see that it would be very easily to escalate one addiction and make it much worse than it was to begin with as we use it to medicate to fill the void of the other.

Speaking of which, I'm just tired of all this self medicating.  The thing is I don't know what Im medicating.  I have never been abused.  I have supportive loving parents.  No divorce, no trauma.  I've never heard my parents say an unkind word to one another...and it's not like they avoided one another either.  Our family was and is close.  Not only did my folks never miss a ball game growing up, they never missed a practice either.  I grew up in the smartest classes and made all A's.  My folks didn't pressure me...just said "do your best" and it all came easy to me.  I grew up in church and my church life was always positive and supportive...I never felt repressed, shamed or any of that stuff.  I am still close with many kids I grew up with in church.  I played sports, had lots of close friends.  As a matter of fact, I still see my closest childhood friends all the time...lifelong good friends.  I was relatively popular in school...known to be the funny guy and never had problems meeting, talking to or dating girls.  Now, I own my own business and would be considered quite successful by most, have a beautiful loving wife and two great kids.  I cannot point to a single thing in my past that I am using porn or alcohol to medicate away...not one thing happened to cry about on some psychologists couch.  I can honestly say from the first time I looked at porn...I just liked it.  Alcohol...same thing.  I had fun.  I suppose I just never wanted the fun to end and overused to the point of making my reward system a train wreck.  I get really tired of reading stuff like people who get addicted must be broken in some way first and then are on the lookout for something to medicate the pain.  I'm sure that happens...it may be the cause for most addictions...I get that.  I, however, am the poster child for the asshole who has no excuse, no reason aside from being selfish enough that I want to make myself feel good all the time.

Anyway, sorry for the rant.  Any advise would be appreciated.

22
You may be onto something with the cold shower thing. I tried it this morning and found it strangely exhilarating for the few moments I was able to handle it at the end of a cool shower. I did some research, and there is a lot data on the benefits of it. I will do it again tomorrow; hopefully, I can add few more seconds to my time. Thanks for the suggestion.

I can't take credit...It's not like I dreamed it up.  While it may sound cliche to take a cold shower to limit being horny, cold showers have actually been recommended for people dealing with all sorts of addictions.

IMO, cold showers are probably the single most effective thing you can do in early recovery to ease the anxiety.  They are known to stimulate your dopamine receptors which help you feel better even though your dopamine levels are depleted because of the addiction.  They help your body respond to the dopamine that you do have.  Cold showers make you feel better from day one and the benefits only get better over time especially if you are able to increase your time to 5 or 10 minutes.

Listen to this podcast by Gary Wilson when he interviews Todd Becker.  Part of their discussion is about cold showers, their benefits and why they are beneficial.

http://ia601704.us.archive.org/3/items/Cyber20130409/cyber20130409.mp3

23
It's not that a taper down method can't work in addictions, it's just that it almost always backfires.  It's like your trying to control something that you know you can't control.

If your goal is to be free of the addiction, then make a clean break.  I speak from personal experience and personal failures when I say to you that it is best to save your dick for your wife.  If good healthy sex with her is your true desire then don't let anything other than her be your desire.  Don't even fantasize about her and MO, just use it with her.  Train your body that if it wants sexual contact then there is just one place it is going to get it.  Just like I know from experience what doesn't work, I can tell you that this does.

People will tell you differing things about when it is ok to have sex.  I suppose if you have bad PIED, then it's best give it some time.  If you are functioning ok, then have sex whenever you feel ready.  Again, very very cautious of the chaser effect...it is no joke.  I've found that if I'm horny the day after sex I just have more sex.  Isn't having an active, healthy and frequent sexlife kind of the goal anyway?  Just be aware of your thoughts.  Having lots of sex can get you thinking that everything is ok and overconfidence can cause stumbles.

24
Congratulations for getting back on track Unchained!

Hey Chile...did you abandon your journal?  How about an update on your journey?

25
Ages 40 and up / Re: Who knew...?
« on: February 04, 2016, 01:06:29 PM »
Congratulations on 60 day away from PMO & 30 days free of MO!  That is an awesome achievement.

It sounds like you are struggling because you are missing the MO.  It's like you are longing for something you love.  Try not to think about quitting like something is being taken away from you.  Sometimes if feels that way to me as well.  To be honest, if I let me mind take me where it wants to go I'll think about porn as something that I truly love and want it back in my life.  That kind of thinking keeps it alive and leaves the door open in our brain to someday use again.  Instead, look at this process and you are learning to live free of porn.  Porn & MO have not been ripped away from you, instead you have put them down and you are walking away.  When times are hard and you stay on the path it's not so much that you fought off the temptation, but rather you are learning the skills necessary to live free from addiction.

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