Author Topic: I think I have a problem  (Read 21217 times)

Detente

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I think I have a problem
« on: September 30, 2016, 11:30:38 PM »
Hello, I'm new here.  I'm a 40-year-old male, single, never married.  I found this forum after Googling "internet porn addiction" or something to that effect.  I don't believe I'm a complete internet porn addict.  I don't use porn and masturbate every day, and my use of visual porn completely by myself has really waned over the years.  There have been times in the past where I've been gripped by porn, but never to the point where it's really affected my day-to-day functioning.  When I was (and am) using porn, it's almost always amateur porn, and I think I've rationalized it a bit because of that -- i.e., it's "real," not fake, and something I can learn from.  It was a bit eye-opening to me to see similar rationalizations spelled out by someone quoted in "Your Brain on Porn."

More recently (in the past few years) I've been introduced to Reddit, and there are certain subreddits I've found that are giving me significant problems.  I hope I don't trigger anyone by spelling these out.  In fact, I won't use the actual subreddit names.  First it was the various ones where Redditors post nude or partially nude pictures of themselves.  What got me going was not just the pictures, but knowing that the posters were getting off by showing themselves off.  Then I got into one where Redditors discuss true (supposedly) stories from their sex lives, involving classmates, strangers, others' girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands, bosses, subordinates, teachers, students, neighbors, etc.  Reading these was a big turn-on for me, but they'd leave me feeling like I was missing out on wild and hot sex (as if what was being described in these stories was the norm), as well as inadequate.  There are other ones for setting Redditors up for real-life encounters, and when one happens, the participants will sometimes describe in detail what happened.

Subreddits I've discovered in the past few months are really making me think that I have a problem.  There's a subreddit for people to exchange messages to talk about their kinks, engage in role plays and stories, and get off with one another, and another one for exchanging internet porn.  I'm finding myself going back to those subreddits often, and getting sucked in for hours.  I've gotten compulsive while in these forums because there are always new people posting, and because of the scarcity of women.  Because the number of women who post to those forums significantly smaller than the number of men, and because the women who do post get inundated with private messages, I've found myself reloading and reloading the forums nonstop until I see a woman's new post.  Then I respond as fast as possible, so that I beat out all the others who are going to write her as well, and hopefully she'll chat with me.  It's like I'm fishing for a chat partner, and it takes considerable time.  There's a hit of excitement when the Reddit private message red envelope icon appears showing that someone has responded.

Because I'm so desperate to connect with one of these women, I'm not discriminating in terms of sharing the same sexual tastes.  So I've found myself chatting and exchanging videos and gifs of things I normally have no interest in and really aren't me.  Some of it is arousing for sure, but some is way out there.  Even when it's material I find arousing, again there's that compulsive element to find someone to chat with, then another, then another.  I literally have stayed up all night doing this, several times, during the work week.  Once I start I just can't pull out of it.  I'm always looking for another person to chat with.  That is probably the worst part -- how much time I've wasted doing this. And feeling exhausted the next day, leaving me unproductive at work.  And feeling like a loser.  And alone.  Unworthy of respect.  And feeling disgusted at myself for acting like such a different person online than in real life.  in real life, I come across as calm, nice, reserved.  But online I'm a lot different, talking about and sharing images of disturbing things I may actually find erotic but would not want to happen in real life.  And in real life I want to be "clean" -- wholesome, thoughtful, considerate, etc.  This seems to be the complete opposite of that.  And completely isolating.

I've literally created and deleted 3 or 4 Reddit accounts, each time saying I was done with this.  But obviously I'm not.  Last night after returning from work trip (and after finishing "Your Brain on Porn"!), I did it again, and was up until around 5 a.m. online.  Triggers seem to be free time, boredom, and upcoming work breaks/free time (for instance, I knew I would be working from home today, so it was easier to stay up late the night before).

I think I need to go on a 90-day PMO fast.  I am not sure about an MO fast.  As I'm single, an O fast is likely in the cards anyway.  I hope that abstaining will get me to focus on developing a real relationship.  Actually, when I do this, I feel like such a loser that I can't understand how any woman would respect me and want to be with me.  Stopping may help turn that around, although I've had this sort of negative attitude about myself for a long time, and not just related to porn use.

I plan to return here about once a week and provide an update on my progress or any relapses.

(In addition to this issue, I've really come to believe I have a general smart phone/internet addiction, and I'd like to work on that as well.)

Thanks for reading.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

sjbtx

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2016, 09:43:55 PM »
I went through a phase of about.....a year or so of chat room type of interactions that let to camgirl sites.  The only reason I stopped was because someone tried to hack my account and they blocked my credit card and it was a hassle to get it unblocked.  After a few weeks, I lost the urge to go back to the sites.

middleagedos

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 03:45:16 AM »
Hi Detente, welcome to the forum. I hope you find it as useful as I have. I too am in my 40s, never married, and spent much of my life in an imaginary porn world. Good luck with your reboot! Maos.

Anothertry

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 05:10:43 AM »
Hi Detente,

Good to hear from you.  What you describe sounds highly addictive.  Not only is there the endless novelty (Do you know about the Coolidge effect?  It explains how the endless sexual novelty makes the internet the crack cocaine of sex addiction) but also a kind of 'slot machine' element - just keeping on putting the coins in in the hope of an amazing payout!  And slot machines are very addictive, aren't they?

Basically, I wanted to say don't feel too ashamed about what has happened; you got involved with something that was so addictive many, many people would have ended up in your predicament if they had found their way to the same web pages.  The important thing is that you have recognised that you are in a bad place, and have made a decision to move away from that.  That takes courage, and is admirable.  Well done!

The only question I would have, is what is your worry about 90 days no MO?  Worth thinking about to work out how best to proceed.  Not everyone does it, but many find 90 days no MO useful, because it is hard to seperate MO from fantasies related to compulsive internet activities, and having a little break gives them the space in which they might be able to seperate MO/sex from compulsive fantasies in the future.  Fantasizing about what you saw on Reddit is likely to be as addictive as watching Reddit - and is likely to increase your cravings to loo at the site too.

Those are my thoughts anyway - take what's helpful and leave the rest.

All the best,

AT.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 01:46:37 PM »
Guys, thanks so much for responding, and sharing your support.  And sorry not to acknowledge it earlier.  I'm glad that I'm not alone.  I've lived in a fantasy world for much of my life, middleagedos, whether I knew it or not.  Maybe I'm just realizing it now.  I've avoided the risk and work of real relationships, along with some stubbornness and maybe a few other things that's lead me to remain single and not try.  Well, I know there are other things.  Activity like this may be some form of escape.  Or it may be the lure of this kine of activity is what's causing me to avoid relationships.  Sjbtx, the chat rooms you described mirror what I've been doing I think, though it's more exchanging email-like messages than live chat.  But people do go elsewhere to chat.

Anotherty, you described it perfectly.  It is very much like a slot machine, maybe worse.  It's extremely compulsive in the way it's rigged.  Women who post wanting to exchange messages or pictures/gifs/videos get deluged by responses from guys (like women do in the online dating world).  So in order to "catch" one, you have to respond immediately or within a few minutes.  A small percentage will respond back, so you have to keep hitting refresh until another woman posts and again immediately respond, until you have success and she responds back.  I have no doubt this is addictive, because of the  novelty factor (I did hear about the Coolidge effect in "Your Brain on Porn") and the gender dynamic.  Also, I think there is a third factor: that the people who are posting there are having hugely erotic experiences and connecting sexually and enjoying getting off with each other, and if I don't participate, I'm left out.  Also, I have rationalized it by thinking that it's a relatively harmless sexual release for someone who is currently single (probably  something a lot of people say about porn in general). 

Thank you again for your very supportive words.  It means a lot to me right now ...

... because I had a complete relapse last night.  It's unbelievable.  I ventured back to those subreddits on my phone as I was going to bed!  I had a book next to me I was sort of reading, but also flipping through and refreshing those pages on my phone at the same time.  I couldn't stop until I "caught" one.  Then another, then another.  With one woman, I ended up exchanging messages literally all night.  I didn't go to sleep at all.  I felt completely ashamed and disgusted with myself again.  Angry how much I messed up this workday because of how exhausted I am.  I made an excuse for why I needed to come home early, and between the shame, loneliness, and exhaustion, I had a deep cry.  Things feel hopeless to me (not necessarily about this particular problem, but life in general). I think the exhaustion and regret and shame is piling on and helping me to lose perspective.  I once again just canceled my Reddit account, because Reddit doesn't let you delete messages as far as I can tell.  I don't think I can handle having a Reddit account!  Those subreddits are just a click away.  I am going to delete the Reddit app from my phone.

I am at square one again.  I'll give a 90-day MO break a try.  If I do MO, I will try to focus on the physical sensation.  I'm not sure about fantasizing about anything, perhaps only about someone in real life who's an actual romantic prospect.  At least that would be a real person.  I need to get back to real life, the real world, real relationships, and their ups and downs, and not retreating so much into my head (although that's what I naturally do as an introvert) and fantasy, where everything is perfect and the real world can't compete.

Thanks for reading.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 02:57:45 PM »
Follow-up: It's Tuesday.  I intend to abstain from all O from at least until Sunday, and post here whether I succeed or not.  I hope to keep coming back here to provide regular updates.  I'm noticing that I'm not able to get an erection on my own, or not with at least some extensive stimulation plus a fantasy (non-internet).  I just tried, and it took a lot of effort.  I had to think about someone I had been on a few dates with and imagine that we were beginning to get physical for the first time.  I hope that when I do get back into the dating world, this will not be a problem for me.  I didn't get into high-speed porn when I was in my teens (too old), and I never developed a daily habit.  So I don't know how much PIED I may be dealing with.  I will say that probably 99.9% of my orgasms in life have been through M, often with the assistance of the internet.  So I may have more of an issue than I think.  I was able to have sex in February without any problems.  On top of feeling disgusted with myself for letting myself get out of control, this would be another source of shame and embarrassment.  Of course, I know that a lot of the men here are dealing with this very thing.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 05:37:32 PM »
Inspired by other member's journals, I think a better idea is to try to post here every day.  I've decided to aim for the 90-day abstention from all O, except in the case of meeting a woman and having sex in real life.  Reading some of the entries has led me to reflect on some related issues around viewing women as objects, numbing my emotions, and overusing technology.  As I go along, I will address these and other topics.  I have never developed a journaling practice on my own, so this will be a useful outlet on these issues.

Today is day 1.  I woke up with a terrible headache, an effect of having been up for about 28 hours straight as a result of my relapse, and having some deep cries about it.  Feeling better now.  No desire to MO or view anything online, given that it's only day 1.

I've given some thought to Reddit.  It can be a good resource, with lots of useful subreddit communities I'd like to access.  However, I've gone through multiple accounts, each time having to delete them after messaging people on the NSFW subreddits.  I think my solution will be to bookmark the subreddits I'd like to view and view them without setting up an account.  The downside is that I won't be able to post questions or comments.  Also, there are plenty of NSFW subreddits that provide porn videos and photos without needing an account, so there is some risk there.  But lately I'd been drawn to ones where interaction with women users is required, and the interaction is what provided the thrill for me.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

getagrip

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2016, 12:08:00 AM »
Hi, Detente, I haven't been on this forum in awhile and your thread was the first one I saw. Seems we have some things in common, although I'm much older (66) than you. We are both single and live alone (at least I assume you do). My porn problem really started getting huge after my second divorce... or perhaps I should say when I moved out of the house, which was almost seven months before the divorce was final. For lack of a better term, living alone means living without adult supervision. No worries about a wife or anyone else catching you in your addiction.

I sure know the feeling of utter disgust and remorse after one has stayed up the entire night engaged in watching porn. There have probably been a half-dozen nights in the last several months when I did not go to sleep at all. If it was the night before a day off, all my plans for the day were ruined. If it happened the night before a work day, I called in sick. That makes me feel even more guilty. It's always the feeling of "just one more scenario," "just one more search phrase," and before you know it, it's 5am or 7am.

I have an app on my phone called "Days Since" where you can track to the second the last time you did anything. It also has a count-down function for an upcoming event or goal. I use the app to track all of my many compulsions, including watching porn and jerking off to porn. This way, I get an idea of how I'm doing.

You are courageous to be aware of and expressing your situation. You are not alone. I look forward to your future updates.
Keep it real. As in real women.

laalee

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2016, 02:22:34 AM »
Wow man it is an Addiction by reading your posts relating to it all.  Just because it is not porn you are looking at you are still getting that dopamine hit from this web site you speak about. I am on here and i also have a problem Addiction to anonymous sex so same goes for  the PMO members just a different thing you are Addicted to turn it off for 90 days good luck ;D



Anothertry

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2016, 12:24:18 PM »
Hi Detente,

You have clearly been doing some courageous and honest thinking about this - well done, that is the first step to recovery, I think - seeing what a problem Reddit is causing you.  Well done also for committing to 90 days no MO too - that's big.  And I suspect you will find it worth it.

I mostly wanted to post to encourage you!  I suspect if you can tackle this problem you will feel brighter and more confident - and more able to figure out what to do about any other difficulties you are facing in your life.

I did have one question however - which is about using the Reddit sub accounts.  Given how major a problem Reddit has been for you, and how focused you are on it...isn't that playing with fire a little?

I wonder if it would be safer to completely avoid anything to do with Reddit for 90 days.  My own experience is setting rules like that can feel unfair and frustrating, but be very helful. For example, I have a rule that I don't use the internet at home, and keep my internet connected devices in a public place.  If, very occasionally, I really need to use the web at home, I let a friend who knows about my addiction know what I am logging on to do, and then text him when I have logged off.  I make sure I only do what I have told my friend I will do.

I find this a pain in the ass, i I'm honest.  I want to watch you tube videos teaching me how to play certain songs whilst I have my ukulele in my hand, instead of having to remember them after watching them in Starbucks.  I want to check facebook.  I want to watch movies.  But setting this boundary keeps me safe.  And, when I get to a point that I am confident I've put my addiction behind me, I can always change the rules.

I wonder if a good rule for you would be no Reddit related activity at all for 90 days....just a thought,

Best wishes,

AT.




Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2016, 12:44:53 PM »
Well, I haven't been posting every day as I'd planned. The good news is that I have not PMO'd (or MO'd) since I restarted two weeks ago. Also, I had been worrying about ED. My erections were not all that strong while engaging in this online activity, and I was wondering whether I'd have trouble without it or thinking of something similarly kinky. But over the weekend, while engaging in a "healthy" fantasy of sex in a loving relationship, I had a normal erection. The bad news is that I have peeked at those sites, at the end of last week and this week. I was at work (but using my phone) and didn't set up an account an message anyone. I did briefly see some actual porn that one user on the site linked to. Because it was brief and I didn't PMO, I'm not going to count this as a relapse. I think boredom when it's slow at work and in general is partly what leads me there.

Getagrip, I think you make a good point about how being single and without "adults supervision" makes it a lot easier to slip.  There's no one there to hurt or upset and so there's less guilt, not to mention less alone time. When I have been in relationships, I generally haven't looked at porn or MO'd alone. When single, using porn seems more justified as a healthy outlet. Maybe it can be, but if it's cumpulsive it's definitely a problem. What you said about "overnighers" is exactly what happens with me. I hate feeling exhausted and ruining the next day, and just wasting time. I want to feel healthy, eat right, exercise, sleep, and all that goes out the window when this happens. Thanks for the app suggestion. I'll check it out.

Laalee, yes, this one does grip me when I engage in it. There have been other things too. But this one is more intense because it involves communicating with real people. That's what makes it a turn on for me. In a sense it's like anonymous sex, just with people online (words only though). And a chance to share intimate thoughts that probably otherwise wouldn't be shared with anyone else. It's an erotic experience without the work of a real relationship. Also, because there are probably hundreds of men for every woman, it takes a lot of time and effort to find someone to chat with.  That's partly what cause the cumpulsivity.

Anothertry, thank you for your encouragement. I think this issue is tied to other difficulties I have in my life. If I work on this issue and prove to myself that I can be disciplined, it might give me the confidence and optimism to make other changes. In a way when I do this instead of something productive, it's like giving up on life. I started bookmarking useful Reddit sites but you make a good point. If I could get K9 to block the NSFW ones, that would be the best solution. For some reason it isn't working. I don't really frequent the useful Reddit sites, but I would want to visit them. I might unbookmark them for now. That's a pretty elaborate set of procedures you have. It's great that you have a friend you were able to confide in and help keep you accountable.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2016, 12:54:07 PM »
Another relapse. :-(  It's really unbelievable.  I'd actually had a smaller relapse again, but again in a public place I believe.  But last night I did it again, creating a new Reddit account just to chat and share with women.  I got an additional web site blocker that lets me add specific pages to block, but didn't set it to Google's "incognito" function.  I let the last time slide, but this one again was a very late-nighter.  I haven't MO'ed at all since I previously relapsed (including last night), but because it went so late last night, I have to call this a relapse.  So I'll restart as of today, and add the blocker to the "incognito" function.  I'm embarrassed to confess to this, but maybe it will help me stay on track.

I'm very lonely and this is a major reason why I do this. I've had low-self esteem pretty much all my life, I'm introverted, and depression always in the background.  I feel broken and it's hard to put myself out there to date.  I'm afraid that when the real me is revealed, women will not want to be with me.  When I do this, there's some connection, and I at least feel validated by helping women get turned on by what I send them. 

I'm really tired today after the late night and started the week off on a bad note.  Thankfully things are slow at work today.

Thanks for reading.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

getagrip

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2016, 12:13:20 AM »
A couple of thoughts: I don't know anything about reddit but if you are having actual online conversations with real women, I think it's a good start, kind of like practice. Having said that, it does seem like reddit is a problem for you. I have had some interesting, but mostly platonic, relationships with women I met online. I, like you, am a little nervous around women in person but I happen to be a good writer. I feel as though maybe my best first impression is through email. I have used a couple of very nice G-rated pen pal sites. Just get away from the blatantly sexual sites.

Another thing I wanted to mention is your low self-esteem and depression issues. ALL of us here have a dopamine-based neurochemical problem that's caused by watching porn. But not everyone on here has underlying emotional issues. I myself carry a heavy load of emotional baggage. I think people like you and me have to stop the porn-dopamine cycle like everyone else does, but we also should address our emotional stuff. I say that because we run to porn not only for the dopamine rush, but also to escape the emotional pain we feel. I hope you can work through these emotional issues, perhaps with the help of a therapist.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Keep it real. As in real women.

laalee

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2016, 07:31:11 PM »
A couple of thoughts: I don't know anything about reddit but if you are having actual online conversations with real women, I think it's a good start, kind of like practice. Having said that, it does seem like reddit is a problem for you. I have had some interesting, but mostly platonic, relationships with women I met online. I, like you, am a little nervous around women in person but I happen to be a good writer. I feel as though maybe my best first impression is through email. I have used a couple of very nice G-rated pen pal sites. Just get away from the blatantly sexual sites.

Another thing I wanted to mention is your low self-esteem and depression issues. ALL of us here have a dopamine-based neurochemical problem that's caused by watching porn. But not everyone on here has underlying emotional issues. I myself carry a heavy load of emotional baggage. I think people like you and me have to stop the porn-dopamine cycle like everyone else does, but we also should address our emotional stuff. I say that because we run to porn not only for the dopamine rush, but also to escape the emotional pain we feel. I hope you can work through these emotional issues, perhaps with the help of a therapist.

Good luck and keep us posted!


This post is really helpful thank you. 
I also have deep emotional pain but can use anything to keep it down but that does not work i feel it makes it worse.



cuppatea

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2016, 02:36:55 PM »
Hello, my husband is 39, he has a long standing problem and not just with porn. Part of his problem was an infatuation with celebrities. He also has underlying issues. He had ocd, social anxiety and low self esteem etc before turning to porn etc. He's in therapy, you may find that helpful too along with stopping. There are also some great self help books. Sex addiction 101 is quite good as he talks about making yourself boundary plans and ways to identify and deal with triggers but also underlying causes.
Paula Hall is another great authority in sex addiction, she has a book too and I think you would find it useful, she gets into a few reasons for it, different types of acting out, underlying causes etc and again ways to stop and get into long term recovery.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2016, 07:19:37 AM »
Thank you Getagtip and cuppatea. Yet another relapse last night/thus morning. It's very humiliating to admit. No MO but the same compulsive messaging on those Reddit sites. I'm exhausted and today I'll be dragging. This is tied to low self-esteem and yes, numbing out. It's crazy because I easily forget how bad I feel after (like now) yet start up anyway, thinking a few exchanges will be ok. And I'm lonely and disengaged at work, so this feels like a least some connection and excitement. If I sit with the loneliness and not escape like this, maybe I'd take some positive steps to improve my life.

I do feel much more relaxed and open via email/chat than in person at least at first. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I think it contributes to this problem. Online I can be more confident and imagination and writing ability is highly valued, where in real life "live" interaction skills and the ability to connect are more important. An online penpal that's a true relationship might help, as opposed to these"one night stands" I'm having. I do see a therapist. But I have to make changes on my own or nothing will happen.

What penpal sites have you used, Getagtip?
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

cuppatea

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2016, 01:38:59 PM »
I'm dealing with abuse and assault from my past that was triggered by walking in on my husband viewing porn. Now I will state he wasn't watching anything abusive, it was the feelings of being betrayed that triggered my past back up. I had repressed my memories and those I hadn't repressed I had compartmentalised and disassociated from (I.e I viewed them in 3rd person, with hardly any detail and no emotions attached to them). After I was assaulted I did many things to try to feel better, escape my own pain. I'm not going to get into my own drama here, but anyway my counselor has said I need to learn to go through my pain instead of pushing it to one side. So yes I firmly believe you do need to sit in your uncomfortable, sad, and probably overwhelming feelings and allow yourself to actually feel them, and to acknowledge them fully. And I wish you lots of luck with it, I know it feels terrible, every fibre of your being will want to escape it, it always has and to sit in it feels so much worse, but it's temporary, remember it's temporary. It's short term pain for long term gain lol, a cliche but it is true.

Anothertry

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2016, 02:07:36 PM »
Hi Detente,

Firstly, well done for keeping on posting, despite the shame when you slip.  We all have the same problem here - and most people slip up quite a few times before they make it.  Don't give up, and you will get there in the end!

I really think it might be worth looking into the whole process of a slip, and learn to recognise when you are getting into a dodgy place, and withdrawing from it.

I used to go to a twelve step fellowship for sex addiction (like alcholics anonymous, but for sex).  I didn't find everything about it useful, but they did have some helpful ideas.  One of them was the 'three circles'.

Essentially they suggest we addicts have three circles of behaviour.  An 'inner' 'middle' and 'outer' circle.  Outer circle is all the good things your addiction keeps you away from: getagrip's penpals, exercise, good food, friends, music, time outdoors - the genuinely good things in life.  You want to spend as much time as you can in this circle.

Middle circle is where you are moving towards addiction.  Perhaps hanging around the internet for longer than you really need - because you are longing for that hit, but haven't quite weakened enough to gove it to yourself yet.  It is looking for a bit too long at that woman on the train, and starting to drift into a fantasy world, which in turn leads you to drift towards reddit.  If you pay attention, you will notice when you are doing something that you tell yourself is 'ok' but is really about moving yourself towards your addictive behaviours.  It is part of the ritual we all have around our behaviours.  You want to notice what these behavours are, and when you get close to one, say 'hell no! I'd better go and do something else'.  The longer you indulge them, the harder that would be.  Get out of that middle circle!

Inner circle behaviours are the ones at the heart of your addiction - the ones you came here because you were desperate to give up.

It might be worth spending some time mapping these three circles in your life.  You can do it in about 20 minutes usually - you can always add to what you've got later.  That will help you notice when you are on the journey to the inner circle - and give you an opportunity to stop yourself before you get there.


The other thing I wonder is if you might benefit from keeping a list of reasons - perhaps in your wallet - of why you want to give up.  Then, when the urges hit you strongly, you can look at it to remind you why you had decided not to give in.

Keep on keepin on, you've got this!

AT.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2016, 05:34:55 PM »
Thanks Cuppatea.  Sorry to  hear about the trauma you went through and then had revisited when you discovered your husband's issues.  I think you're right about feeling the pain -- in my case, loneliness, sadness, lack of connection.  The online sex chatting helps me escape that.  That's probably why I turn to it.  I lose sense of time, and the hours fly by.  That's an indication that there's a problem.  Of course, it's also stimulating and erotic.  I also think the daily grind and week-to-week grind numbs me to bad feelings.  We have to stuff things down to some extent to get by.

Anothertry, I've been to few ACOA meetings but never had the need to go to any addiction-focused meetings.  I've never heard of the three circles but that is a fantastic model to think about.  Part of the huge regret when this happens is all the time I lose and lost opportunities -- to get in shape, eat better, visit friends, feel healthy, just get errands and chores done.  Outer circle stuff.  Middle circle for me with this is taking a peek at those subreddits I use and starting to send private messages and getting some back.  Then I don't seem to be able to pull out of it, and I descend into the inner circle.  Thanks for this. 

I'm back home after a visit with friends that I had to power though because I'm so exhausted from staying up all night again.  I'm home now alone and will be online, so I came here to check in because this situation is a danger zone for me at the moment.  But I'm so exhausted I don't have any interest in repeating that tonight.  The bigger test is whean I'm rested and also alone and have no plans.  I've failed several times now but will keep on fighting.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Anothertry

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2016, 12:59:33 PM »
Celebrate every day you get through sub-Reddit free I reckon!

Each day is a victory.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2016, 11:06:38 PM »
Thanks Anothertry.  Just checking in to the journal.  No new issues so far.  I was working from home today so that was a risky situation, but no relapse of any sort.  I'll be traveling to see family over the Thanksgiving holiday so there will be zero risk there I would hope.  Then traveling for work the following week.  That could be risky but I don't expect to fall into this again while being busy on travel.
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Anothertry

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2016, 01:10:51 PM »
Well done on getting through a risky day and keep ploughing on.  You've got this!

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2016, 05:11:54 PM »
Thanks sir. Appreciate the support.

I saw this interesting take on the root cause of addiction. A lot of it resonates with me. I do feel disconnected, and that's probably why I have this issue. But it's hard for me to believe there's no brain chemistry component.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-choice/201411/addiction-disease-isolation

I installed a blocker on my phone (the last episode was wth my phone) and ironically it blocks this site...
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Detente

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2016, 05:34:34 PM »
I abstained from PMO for 458 days, until June 29, 2018. After several relapses, I have had to start again, last PMO session being on March 31, 2019.

Anothertry

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Re: I think I have a problem
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2016, 05:03:11 AM »
Me too!

The Johann Hari TED talk linked to in the article you post is well worth a watch, by the way.  And in fact, this is not a seperate issue from brain chemistry and structure.  Let me give you an example:  taxi drivers in London literally have different brains from the rest of us!  They learn something called 'the Knowledge' - literally creating a mental map of every major street in London (the whole city - not just the centre!).  See a study below if you are interested - their brains literally grow in a very specific way!
http://holah.co.uk/study/maguire/

Equally, if we learn as we grow up that we are not loved, or encounter emotional coldness, anger,, rejection, or excessive anxiety in those close to us this learning process too actually changes the structure of our brains.  Adults who have grown up with extreme trauma and abuse have identifiable differences in their brains that even a layman can see in a brain scan!  Certain areas are smaller, which will make dealing with emotions and producing 'good' brain chemicals difficult.

A guy called Alan Schore writes a lot linking the fields of attachment theory and neuroscience if you're interested....

To sum up: sure.  Some people may perhaps have genetically 'funny' brains that pre-dispose them to addiction.  Others may have had social environments that changed their brain to create the disposition.

Either way, the good news we know is that the brain can change, it is very flexible and can create new connections at any age.  Think of those taxi drivers, and their expanding brains!  Whatever the cause of addiction, through effort, you can change your brain in to a  non-addict brain!

And whatever the cause, finding ways to connect with others that leave you feeling happier and less isolated seems to be beneficial for every addiction - that process itself literally re-wires your brain, and changes the chemical balance!

Hope that's a helpful thought,

All the best,

AT.