Author Topic: I am a Stone  (Read 606 times)

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
I am a Stone
« on: May 11, 2019, 10:49:31 PM »
Journal Entry 1

I am a 26 year old full-time American college student. I have been aware of my addiction for 4 years now.

I grew up as a fundamental Christian with very strict rules on socializing with the opposite sex. I was not allowed to date and was often discouraged from socializing with girls. When I was maybe 14 years of age, my youth pastor began preaching on the moralities of sexual behavior and pornography. He mistakenly increased my curiosity into the female body. One night, I waited for all of my family to fall asleep and used the family computer to search for pornography. After I had seen the images, I turned off the computer and went to bed feeling extremely guilty for what I had done. Unfortunately, This was the start of my voyeurism. That first night, I only sought still images of women not actually engaged in any sexual acts. The content from then on escalated quickly as you can imagine.

After I graduated high school and left the house, my beliefs were challenged greatly and my beliefs became so much more liberal. The guilt from using porn left me completely and I was encouraged by my peers to seek it. I continued this habit for years.

I have, including to the present, never been in a relationship. My peers always just said it was because I was shy and that it'll happen when it happens or they would try to give me advice that just didn't work for me. I eventually succumbed to peer pressure and took on the hookup culture that was so counter to my values. I still never had any success with women. At the age of 21, I decided that I needed to lose my virginity. I was living in Nevada at the time and went to a legal brothel where I paid a woman to sleep with me. My experience was disappointing. The woman was beautiful. She didn't look like a pornstar which fortunately didn't detract me. What was disappointing was that the sex just didn't feel that great. I was expecting something to feel much greater given how all my peers talked about sex. I couldn't orgasm inside her, and at her suggestion, I finished by fapping. She asked me if I fapped frequently and then told me to wear a condom for now on when I do believing that I was not accustomed to wearing a condem hence the inability to O. After that, I began attempting to date more women. I still did very poorly, but I brought one girl home with me. She was overweight, but still pretty. I met her through a dating app, the only way I have been able to setup dates. We fooled around for almost two hours, but I could not get a lasting erection. I told myself that it was obvious that I was not attracted to her because of her weight. I never called her again.

In 2015, I came across a buzzfeed video on the topic that porn could be harming sexual lives. I watched the video and began traveling down the rabbit hole. I read Gary Wilson's book Your Brain on Porn and became convinced that I needed to give up porn.

I kept trying to date, but I still was having poor luck. I went on a date with one girl who was gorgeous, but she was a little overweight and I never called her back. That is a decision I regret greatly. You should note that I was still of the mindset of the hookup culture at the time though that was beginning to change for me. I went on dates with three other girls. I went on a date with one girl, and called her the next day to apologize that I had been merely attempting to get in her pants. I went on two dates with another girl while simultaneously going on dates with another. At this point, I knew that I was moving far away and that I was likely not seeing them again so I began to wane in my efforts to court one of the girls. How I chose between the two, I don't remember. I did put more effort into creating a relationship with the other woman than I ever have before. This is when I was realizing how much porn was effecting my views of women. Unfortunately, she began to withdraw which hurt my self-esteem at the time. That was the last girl I dated back in the beginning of 2016.

I kept battling my porn addiction never having a lasting streak. After a year living in my new residence, I finally made it to three weeks. I have never felt better about my sexuality and confidence. I had a set back because I was going back to Nevada for a visit and decided I was going back to the brothel. I visited the website to get certain info and ended up fapping gently. Even so, I was still feeling more confident than ever. I went to the brothel and slept with a girl. No problems getting erect and I O'ed inside her without taking very long at all. What was disappointing still is that the sex itself just didn't feel as good as fapping.

Since then, I have not attempted to date anyone and my battle with porn has continued. I have never reached three weeks since then. For a year, I became depressed with my use of porn and gave up on trying to stop. Only recently have I taken up the battle once again. My views have changed a lot since I stopped dating, and I now know that I do not want to just hookup with women.

Because of my strict religious background, it is no wonder how I became an addict. With no other place to do so, I could only explore my sexuality through porn. I used porn before I ever dated and before even fapping. Given all that, I see now more clearly than ever that I struggle to connect with women because of the porn, and I believe I am sensitized to deathgrip fapping becuase sex with women hasn't felt nearly as good as fapping.

I have been sober for two days now. For me sober is not seeking/using any artificial stimulus (pornography, suggestive content, prostitutes, strippers, or anything else that is not a human physically present) and, for the time being, masturbation. I seem to have trouble around the one week time frame more recently. I have installed Pluckeye on my computer which seems to be promising and have ordered an android phone so that I can use Pluckeye on it also. I am nearly read though the second edition of YBOP and will finish The Porn Trap by Wendy Maltz after. If you have not read those books, I highly recommend them both. I also plan on beginning psychotherapy with a SASH-certified sex therapist.

I would like to start a family within the next few years which means I would also like to start dating again. I can't seem to bring myself to dating again, however, because my confidence is shot in that area now that I have realized that porn has prohibited me from connecting emotionally with women and also because I am afraid that I will hurt someone emotionally. I now realize that dating for me will be an important part for recovery, but I still cannot get over the before-mentioned hurtle. That is something I hope to address in therapy. I am also not sure if I want to return to online dating, but I fear that I do possess neither the environment nor the social skills to meet and setup dates with women.

Two unrelated things:
1. My username is a reference to a concept of the philosopher Nietzsche. It is not a reference to willpower, the strength to carry out decisions, desires, goals, etc.
2. The title of my journal is the same as the title to a song by the band Demon Hunter. The song speaks to me personally in respect to my battle with porn. It is a beautiful song.

I appreciate the time you took to read this. I welcome any support, constructive criticism, or tips that you have to offer.
I wish you success!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 09:25:58 PM by WilltoPower »

Quitforeverthenwin

  • Member

  • Online
  • ****

  • 410
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2019, 12:09:25 AM »
Hey welcome to the forum! You have quite the interesting background and back story. The fact that you could orgasm after three weeks PMO free is a good sign. I don't have too many comments, just give it your all to quit the stuff for good! That is the key to everything else.

Helpful things are:
Exercise
Have activities PLANNED for when you get an urge ("if i get an urge I will go for a walk"... for example)
Writing about the negatives of porn and the benefits of stopping and reflecting on it from time to time, helps with motivation and I think even decreases urges sometimes.

I recommend also, stay posting in the journal! Even if you have struggles, it really helps to post.

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 08:07:40 PM »
Thank you! The physical dysfunctions are actually pretty secondary to my concerns. I am mostly disturbed by my social and emotional repercussions to using pornography. I remain hopeful nonetheless.

I'll take those tips into consideration for sure!

Take care of yourself while you're at it!

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 09:26:14 PM »
Journal Entry 2

I've stayed clean so far.

I received my android phone today and installed Pluckeye which turned out to be a bust. The developer really needs help with that project. It is the best thing to happen for porn addicts on PC. I almost contacted the seller to receive a refund since my iPhone SE works completely fine. I discovered SPIN however which is mainly a parental filter, however, the developers have a self-management app that is only available on android. I'll have to play around with that in the morning to ensure it works for my needs.

The urges are returning which seems to be like clockwork right around the 1 week mark. This morning I was tempted and I've been tempted since I received the new phone today. The "dark side of my consciousness" keeps justifying it saying, "Its just one last time." "Just one more time looking at a few photos and then you can really start." What a fucking lie that is!

Sigh... I've got to get through this. It is so difficult though. I've got to keep the reminders from Wendy Maltz's poster in mind: http://healthysex.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/hazards-poster-8x11.pdf
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 09:26:20 PM by WilltoPower »

Quitforeverthenwin

  • Member

  • Online
  • ****

  • 410
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 11:11:31 PM »
Keep up the good work! Do what ever you need to do to get through the urge clean! And if you don't get right back on that horse! Man, I think I posted like 5 times in a day, some of it sounding like nonsense to get through a day of intense cravings and MAN does it feel good. It always feels good to beat the urges. And yeah there is something about the one week mark.....

Better to get through it now, rather than have to do it all over again and over and over etc.

Joost!

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 53
    • View Profile
    • My journal.
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 02:49:15 AM »
Since you're familiar with the word of God i'm going to put this out here.

"For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (Romans 7: 18-19)

For me this pretty much sums up my whole struggle with pornography. If you read carefully it states that good doesn't dwell in our sinful (fallen) nature. Yet the desire to do good is somehow there in you and all of us. The problem is our broken nature. And as you likely know that's what Jesus came to amend, so now every human has the choice to be renewed in his (spiritual) nature through the belief in Jesus Christ. ;)

You probably have heard it all since your from a strict religious background. Yet the good message remains the same. You can absolutely be set free from bondage, find a good wive and have a joyful satisfying relationship. Don't get caught up in the lies of the world. The promise of (will)power over the self is seductive, but seeking power without God is a foolish attempt.

One little book that greatly helped me be victorious over my addict life is: "Freedom from Addiction" by Neil T. Anderson and Mike Quarles. It's nothing flashy but it will put you face to face with the reality of this life. So if you're up to that, go read it. I didn't want to read it at first since my 'religious' dad handed it to me, but now i'm very grateful that he did, for it came at the right time at the right moment and provided the spiritual breakthrough I needed.

LeanAndBop

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 111
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 07:50:57 AM »
Hey, best of luck. Thanks for sharing your story. I like your deep  user and journal names!

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 09:46:08 PM »
Keep up the good work! Do what ever you need to do to get through the urge clean! And if you don't get right back on that horse! Man, I think I posted like 5 times in a day, some of it sounding like nonsense to get through a day of intense cravings and MAN does it feel good. It always feels good to beat the urges. And yeah there is something about the one week mark.....

Better to get through it now, rather than have to do it all over again and over and over etc.

Thanks QFTW! You have been very supportive! You would make a great accountability partner in a support group outside the web.

Since you're familiar with the word of God i'm going to put this out here.

"For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. (Romans 7: 18-19)

For me this pretty much sums up my whole struggle with pornography. If you read carefully it states that good doesn't dwell in our sinful (fallen) nature. Yet the desire to do good is somehow there in you and all of us. The problem is our broken nature. And as you likely know that's what Jesus came to amend, so now every human has the choice to be renewed in his (spiritual) nature through the belief in Jesus Christ. ;)

You probably have heard it all since your from a strict religious background. Yet the good message remains the same. You can absolutely be set free from bondage, find a good wive and have a joyful satisfying relationship. Don't get caught up in the lies of the world. The promise of (will)power over the self is seductive, but seeking power without God is a foolish attempt.

One little book that greatly helped me be victorious over my addict life is: "Freedom from Addiction" by Neil T. Anderson and Mike Quarles. It's nothing flashy but it will put you face to face with the reality of this life. So if you're up to that, go read it. I didn't want to read it at first since my 'religious' dad handed it to me, but now i'm very grateful that he did, for it came at the right time at the right moment and provided the spiritual breakthrough I needed.

Joost, I checked the forum rules, and you are in violation. Conversion preaching is not allowed. I am aware that you have good intentions, but if American fundamentalism was a major contributor to my downfall. You'll have to forgive me if I'm not receptive to simple explanations to just give my all to you god and expect to be better.

I sincerely wish you the best and I have no intention of discouraging your belief in god. I'll accept any support you give me here on out as long as it pertains directly to porn addiction. I don't even have a problem with inspirational Biblical quotes. Best of luck to you!

Hey, best of luck. Thanks for sharing your story. I like your deep  user and journal names!

Thank you, Bop! I'm glad you found enjoyment!

Quitforeverthenwin

  • Member

  • Online
  • ****

  • 410
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2019, 11:00:10 PM »
Thanks for the kind words! Really feels good for me to hear that.

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 09:24:14 PM »
@Quitforeverthenwin
You're welcome. Keep taking care of yourself!

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 09:24:48 PM »
Journal Entry 3

7 days clean today. I'm thankful for it.

SPIN is extremely promising. Their extension, manage SPIN, is the way to go. $40/year is well worth it as long as it doesn't crash incessantly. A lot of the reviews report this, but they released an update more recently and I have yet to have any issues. Let's keep it that way.

Urges are few between right now. Seems like after day 4 and 5, the addict in me decided to take a breather. Still had an urge today, could have given in. I need to get this iPhone out of my home sooner rather than later.

I start a job tomorrow which will be good. I've been keeping myself busy, but being in the house for too long even so is not healthy. This will get me moving on my feet and interacting with people more which I need.

I've been going to therapy for anxiety for several months now and tomorrow was supposed to be my last session. I had to cancel it because of the new job though and it turns out it was my therapist's last day. I'm feeling down about that because I got a lot of good things out of it. I'm confident that I'll be okay with my anxiety from here on out though so its not too bad of a loss anyways. Plus, I was waiting for this to end before setting up with a different therapist specifically for my porn addiction so at least I'm not waiting on that anymore.

Well tomorrow's Friday which means I got what is historically a rough few days ahead. Weekends have predominantly difficult though the years. Too much time spent at home. I'll have to think of something to get me out of the house. Maybe I'll be working this weekend though. I'll have to stay vigilante and put forth effort. Take it one day at a time. Take it just a few hours at a time. Whatever it takes to get though this. I am a stone.

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2019, 07:54:19 AM »
Journal Entry 4

9 days clean. It hasn't been too bad. I did have an intense urge yesterday. I threw on urge surfing audio. I give thanks to my anxiety therapy for making these exercises effective.

During the urge surf, I meditated on why I was really feeling the urge. I'm feeling anxiety about my future right now and I was feeling lonely. Porn would have subsided the feeling yesterday, but it would have only done so temporarily. I know that if I had given in, my anxiety would have only increased.

I emailed a therapist on Friday late afternoon/early evening. I don't expect to hear back from her until tomorrow.

Big day at work today which should leave me tired when I get off this evening. That'll be good for falling asleep fast and keeping the temptations low.

Quitforeverthenwin

  • Member

  • Online
  • ****

  • 410
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 09:04:12 AM »
Great job! Really good insights, that is so true. Giving in to the urge just makes the problem waayyyy worse. Keep it up!

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 812
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2019, 06:29:15 PM »
Hey, just reading your story now. Glad you're finding success these last few days!

I've been working on my recovery for years with varying levels of success, but I know exactly what you mean about wanting to work through the emotional and social issues of addiction. It's something I've been focusing more in the last few months, and it has made a big difference in how I think about and deal with addiction and urges. It's one thing to quit PMO, but it's another thing to address the underlying issues and work towards real healing. I think the second leads to more long-term success, so it's a great thing to be paying attention to.

Congrats on making it past a week! Here's cheering you on for an even 10!

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2019, 08:49:24 PM »
Thank you @Quitforeverthenwin! I wouldn't have thought of it had it not been for the audio.

@BlueHeronFan
Thanks for reading. I definitely see now more than ever see how its more than just stopping porn use. I can't wait to talk to a professional to get me on track. Thank you for the support! I hope for continued success on your end!

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2019, 10:07:33 PM »
Journal Entry 5

Had a dream that I went back to porn. It was eerie. I'm really glad it was only a dream. Got triggered watching television. Nothing suggestive, but something did remind me of porn. That's fantastic. Gotta love that porn is twisting innocent things in my mind. I've also noticed an increase in irritability.

The first therapist I contacted didn't have any openings. I called another therapist who can't see me for almost a month, but she immediately told me to check out fightthenewdrug.com, Reboot Nation, and books by Patrick Carnes. If this therapist is already that familiar with these materials, I feel good about perusing treatment through her. She also told me to attend Sexaholic Anonymous meetings which I don't feel very comfortable attending, but I emailed the local chapter anyways. I really hope my schema is very wrong.

I also sold my iPhone tonight so it is officially out of the house. I really don't have any convenient way of accessing porn as far as I know now. Still though, I need to not slack.

11 days clean.

Lero

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1062
  • Personal Text
    "Porn" and "Poison" start with the same letter.
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2019, 09:18:05 AM »
It sounds good, man! Keep up the good work!

LeanAndBop

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 111
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2019, 12:25:35 PM »
Hey,
Well done on 11 days, that's great!
With getting a therapist, it can take time, be patient. I've had three in the last few years. First two weren't for me, third time lucky!
The second therapist I saw basically said: 'go to SAA'. She didn't really provide any other solution, she was a member of a 12 step group herself. My experience with 12 steps wasn't great. In helped in a way. But I don't go anymore. But for some people it seems to be a massive help. I think it's worth doing some reading about 12 steps, the drawbacks and the positives. I'm not coming from a neutral perspective.
All the best
Bop

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 812
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2019, 06:31:21 PM »
Congrats on the continuing progress!

Those porn dreams can be super strange and can sometimes throw me off the next day. And it's weird how random things like little things from TV can trigger you. Sometimes it's hard to understand why a trigger is a trigger. But you're stepping back from them, thinking through them, and making progress, so that's awesome! Keep it up!

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2019, 05:22:08 PM »
Thank you for the support, Lero, Bop, and BHF.

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 05:22:37 PM »
Journal Entry 6

I screwed up. I honestly don't know what happened. I just lost control. I was telling myself stop, but my actions just weren't matching my thoughts, at least that's what it seemed like at the time. I went through a small binge the last two days. I honestly just wasn't using my filters properly. I knew I had my delay on my computer too low, but I justified it because I'm doing a lot of research right now. I increased the delay so that side shouldn't be a problem anymore. I also learned more features of SPIN after my relapse and increased the guard on it. Overall, I'm happy with the filters I put into place. I just lent myself more trust than I should have.

In the moment I was beginning to relapse, the only thing that I could think about was calling someone who could help me to think clearly. Its really frustrating knowing that I am missing that part of my recovery. I still need to wait a whole month before I can contact that therapist. I left an email to SA requesting info a few days ago and received an automatic email saying I should I either wait to receive an email back or call a number. After getting my head together just a few minutes ago, I called the number. No answer. Just instructions to leave a first name and phone number. I am supposed to get a call back within 3 days. It took a lot of nerves for me to call that number. I want nothing than to be left alone right now. It stings that I got a machine.

I'll be alright, I suppose. I received the books by Patrick Carnes today, and I'm putting things in place so I can't say that I am being defeated. I'm just feeling down right now is all.

0 consecutive days clean.

LeanAndBop

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 111
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2019, 07:16:51 AM »
Hey don't worry. I can really relate to your experience. Feeling out of control. Be patient things will work out. I know it doesn't feel good to relapse but with practice I believe this happens less.
All the best

Lero

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1062
  • Personal Text
    "Porn" and "Poison" start with the same letter.
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2019, 07:50:01 AM »
A relapse is a part of the process. In fact, some people only like this could evolve. We are not talking about flying a plane here, where a mistake might cost us our life. Here, we have the freedom to make mistakes. Only that we need to learn from them.

We must not let a relapse go to waste. We need to pay attention, see the mistake and avoid it. Slow but steady improvement over time. Maybe this is what we need. Take me, for example. I'm coming from about 20 relapses every month. It's crazy to start with the idea that I will not relapse once in a month. Last time when I've done this happened a few years ago. I didn't jump into a brutal trial, but took it slowly. I said: If I could reduce those 20 relapses to, let's say, half of that, this is progress. It's less PMO sessions, less watching sessions. I don't do the same damage to my brain.

Instead, if I start the journey with the idea of not relapsing at all in 90 days, a relapse will be brutal, make me beat myself up and say what a failure I am. It will make me see the progress lost for one relapse. It's not true. Reducing 20 relapses to 5 it's fucking amazing! How can you be a failure for this? Eventually, the brain will rewire for those 5 relapses only and you will not feel the need for 20. Then 5 will eventually go to 0. Don't worry, man.

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 812
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2019, 05:47:40 PM »
Sorry about the lapse! But keep it going: it's all part of the process, as long as you learn from it and don't make the exact same mistake again.

I really know your feeling of being in the middle of a lapse and telling yourself to stop and wanting to stop and just not stopping. At some point, our addicted brains just take over, and then we're really in trouble. For me, that means that I've spent time retracing my steps and figuring out where the relapse really started. It's never when I click onto a porn site, and it's always way before. Becoming more aware of my early triggers has helped me to deal with it when I still have control, and it has also made me way more aware of the little things throughout the day that I used to think were just harmless or even fun but that actually quietly start pushing me over the edge.

On to bigger and better things!

WilltoPower

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 18
  • Personal Text
    "I am a stone. Unaffected. Rain hell down onto me"
    • View Profile
Re: I am a Stone
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2019, 10:53:44 AM »
Thank you everyone for your support! Sorry I haven't replied until now. I hope everyone else is doing well.