Author Topic: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn  (Read 660 times)

jthomas

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38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« on: October 21, 2018, 07:10:20 PM »
Hi Folks, I'm 50+ years old, married with grown children.  I've been using porn with increasing frequency since I was young. I've used it I think as much for pleasure as distraction from life stresses.  In the last few years, I have lost the ability to make love to my wife and had increasing anxiety problems to the point I missed a few weeks of work last month.

In a desperate attempt to restore my strength and stop the self-harm, I stopped using porn 38 days ago tonight.  It has been one of the most difficult addictions to break in part I think because it is so personal/private and I have decided to do this by myself.

I've beat other addictions: I quit smoking pot back in the 90's when I was starting a new career and my wife and I were discussing having children.  I quit a 14 year cigarette smoking habit around the same time because I was turning 30 which seemed like a good age to give it up for long term health reasons.

I stopped drinking alcohol two years ago as a result of a heart attack that very nearly took my life - left main.  I'm much healthier now thru exercise and responsible diet.

Despite all these successes, quitting porn is still a daily struggle.  I love my wife very much and want our passion back.  I believe quitting porn will ultimately lead to this.

I have returned to work and seen subtle improvements in my sexual energy for my wife. Not sure how many months ahead before the passion is back, but considering almost 40 years of porn use, I'm trying to be open minded.

I appreciate anyone's thoughts especially if you feel your journey to life after porn is at all similar to mine.

Strength Together,
J.




Reformed Fapper

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 07:20:15 PM »
Hi J.
Congrats on your impressive streak!
I think we all have similar journeys to life after porn. We all have different reasons and motivations. But I think something we all have in common is just how much life improves afterward. Not just in erotic ways, but all aspects of life. It is then that you can really grasp just how much porn has fucked you up.
Not only will you and your wife get your sexy passion back, but therell be so many more amazing things that will happen as a result of your reboot progress!
Un-fuck your life, quit porn now! Today!

bob

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 09:30:58 PM »
I appreciate anyone's thoughts especially if you feel your journey to life after porn is at all similar to mine.

Let me reassure you that you are not alone here. I do believe all of us are in a similar boat. Keep at it is really what it is all about.

Peace

TakeActionNow

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 01:20:55 AM »
Porn is a much more difficult issue than chemical addiction because it is a social addiction.
Unlike substance abuse, porn abuse underlies:
Craving for external attention
Craving for success and accomplishment
Disconnection and denial from reality
It is a relationship that is never satisfactory, but very hard to end.
Unlike substance abuse that has withdrawal periods, porn doesn't.
Its insidious. Its price is not your health, but your emotions.
It is like the casino fruit machine con job: you put in a dollar, it takes away 70 cents and gives back 30 cents while making you feel like a massive winner. Over time you are robbed of all your possessions.

Thats porn.
So to break away is not simply about denial and abstinence.
Because the false feel good is so strong and compelling.
How does one overcome something as natural as orgasm?
It is to question what is important to you.

I need to break away because it is driving bad behaviors and belief in me:
Avoidence
Unwilling and unable to change
Unable to see reality, therefore cannot act decisively
Overly accommodating towards others.
No self opinion or identity.

I come to see i may have anxiety and self esteem issues and porn was the way for me to avoid and overlook them. Whcih of course doesnt help.

I dont know what are your key drivers towards porn but i hope this gives you an alternative view.

I have some new goals in my life which requires me to change hard in order to acheive. They are the driving factors for me to come clean. They are more important than gaining external attention, orgasm or avoidence.
It is real self love
Maybe defining your next half of your life could be helpful.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 01:30:33 AM by TakeActionNow »
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

negativity > depression > ACTION > non-self pity > Goals > growth > STRENGTH > REALITY > Attention > Interests > Challenge > Choice > COURAGE > I LOVE MYSELF > Masculinity > UnBlock > selfheal

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2018, 06:04:12 PM »
Thanks all for the insightful responses.  I've started reading others stories and am sure will draw strength thru their experiences as well.   I think defining the second have of my life to serve as personal guidelines for future decisions is a very good idea. 

J.


jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 06:20:06 PM »
43 days tonight with no porn.  My wife and I try to have intimate time together once a week but we haven't been able to make love yet. Some weekends she's not willing so 2 weeks go by with no real sex.  I still MO a few times a week, but no external artificial anything.  I'm not ready to give up the fantasizing when I MO and miss porn ALOT but no serious risk of PMO relapse for now.  Not sure how much the fantasizing during MO plays a role in reboot time, but appreciate any feedback.   I'm not ready to go without the MO, but it may be possible down the road.  One hurdle at a time.

Strength together,
J.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 06:21:37 PM by jthomas »

uncreatedlight

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 07:41:54 PM »
43 days is an impressive streak.  Congrats on that!

Sex every 2 weeks does not seem sustainable to me.  Have you all discussed this with a counselor yet? 

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 08:47:06 PM »
Thanks uncreatedlight.  I'm starting to feel a little emotional strength and improved mental clarity 44 days in. Nothing dramatic yet but it's early.  From what I'm reading, it may take several months for measurable healing.  Per my last post, I haven't beat the MO monkey yet.  That may be stage two for me down the road. Each day is still a challenge, but being on the right track feels good.

My wife and I are very private people when it comes to our love life so talking with a counselor would just be too difficult.  It's the anonymity here that makes it possible for me to share such a private subject and I'm grateful for the opportunity. I attribute our infrequent intimacy in large part to my trouble performing and I understand why that makes it more difficult for her to engage and enjoy our time.   The biggest step in the right direction is changing what I do when I'm alone.  I need to fix the behavior first.  I accept that.  I think once I can bring the goods again, she'll likely find renewed interest.  Thanks again for your reply. 

J.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 08:49:08 PM by jthomas »

uncreatedlight

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 08:21:22 PM »
It has taken many years for us to get where we are.  It will take time to get out.  FWIW, you may experience faster traction by abstaining from MO.  There seem to be anecdotal reports to that effect.

If you haven't seen a doctor or a sex therapist individually (if visiting as a couple feels too embarrassing), I would recommend it.

Keep up the fight.  The changes come slowly.  The good days will slowly outnumber the bad days.  You can do this!


bob

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2018, 09:12:00 PM »
I haven't beat the MO monkey yet.

I haven't either, at least it jumped on again. But I would recommend dumping the masturbation as well.

Peace

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 09:31:00 PM »
Thanks, I've been thinking more about the 90 day hard plan the last few days.  At least I'm not laughing at the thought anymore.  I'm not up to that yet but at least thinking about it.  Still (successfully) struggling with no porn 45 days and counting and hoping that will ease up in the weeks to come. If it does, that could help me find strength to attempt the 90 day plan.   

Hope everyone had a good weekend.
J.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 09:54:11 PM by jthomas »

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2018, 07:56:41 PM »
Evening All,
47 days tonight, 0 porn.  I think about it often, but staying the course.  I've read more journals from folks navigating the 90 day hard and it sounds miserable. I don't think I can handle the additional stress with the demanding schedule I have.  The abstinence from porn is hard enough for me for now.  I know I need to start exercising again and that will undoubtedly help.  I'm on vacation next week which may be an opportunity for me to start an exercise schedule.  I used to swim a lot, and need to get back to it.

One challenge I have is my wife is a very loving person but infrequent sexual interest, more the nurturing motherly kind of love which in itself is a very special thing, but doesn't fill the sexual void.  I've shared with her some detail about how I'm trying to transition from sexual "self-reliance" to focusing on our intimacy and said if we were to spend time together weekly, that would really help. She sort of agreed, but two weeks in and we're already back to "sleep well".  Loving, but not fulfilling.

She also has the bad habit of planning intimate time with me, then not following through far too often.  I think it's become a significant source of anxiety for me which further fucks with my head when we are actually together.  When she does offer herself to me,  I have no idea when will be the next time which is frustrating and a bad distraction when I'm trying to focus on her.

I don't think counseling is an option for us since she is a strong willed woman and generally not open to therapy.  We've been together 30+ years so know one another well.  Not sure what to do other than stay the course and hope I can eventually bring more fire when the opportunity arises (pun) which in turn may rekindle hers.  Bigger picture, I'm grateful this is our biggest problem.

47 days, planning on as many more as it takes.

J.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 07:59:17 PM by jthomas »

bob

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2018, 05:34:26 AM »
I understand and feel your pain. At time it seem insurmountable.  My heart goes out to you.

Peace

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2018, 08:41:09 PM »
Thanks Bob. I appreciate the kind words.  I've noticed the last few days, my libido seems to be hypersensitive to visual queues.  I see an attractive young woman in tight clothing (so, so many) and feel a new disproportionately strong sexual attraction.  I've always noticed the fairer sex but my body and it's involuntary responses have always been in check.  I feel like a real knuckle dragger with this kind of physiological reaction, but am hoping this is just a sign of progression to more positive days.  I think I read somewhere this can be part of the reboot experience. 

48 days tonight, no artificial stimulation.
J.

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2018, 03:19:33 PM »
Afternoon All,
Something else I've noticed in my journey to be free of porn 51 days in, I'm attempting to foster a mindset of giving instead of taking as my default approach. This is in an effort  to stop letting unhealthy desires control me.  I'm also just trying to be a better person. 

My sexual energy for my wife is still on the mend but is improving.  I'm more focused on my her now and the truer intimacy we're experiencing is a wonderful thing.  This goes beyond the bedroom.  I'm happier to be around her all the time. 

In the spirit of giving first, I am finding new happiness and a lighter heart.  Sounds corny, but for me it's very true.  The old burden of guilt from my past porn use is slowly starting to lift.  I know I've really just started and have a long way to go, but the even small indications of progress are very reassuring.  Hope everyone has a good weekend.

J.

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2018, 07:57:54 AM »
Good morning / evening all.  Day 55 has arrived.  Still a struggle staying on the path, but no hiccup's yet.  I've started collecting some thoughts that struck a cord with me so am echoing here. 

"Your values are those principles in your life that you use to derive meaning and fulfilment. They form the foundations of your identity. If those values are consistent,
your identity will reflect consistency. If those values are in conflict with one another, your identity will reflect conflict.
" source: RN forum.

To me the above translates, if we know we've been bad, it will hurt our self image and our relationships.  Doesn't matter that no one actually knows what we've been up to.


My distilled thoughts based on the excellent articles on MBOP and the powerful personal journals on this website:

* Understanding the ΔFosB (Delta FosB) protein role in addiction empowers us to realize the positive life changes we desire most. 

* Persistent, positive behavior conquers the negative and becomes our new joy and desire.

Hope everyone has a good day.
J.

uncreatedlight

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2018, 02:26:26 PM »

* Persistent, positive behavior conquers the negative and becomes our new joy and desire.


It sure hope so.  This is what keeps me going.

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2018, 03:36:06 PM »
Well on the 60th day with no porn, the longest streak in my adult life, I relapsed.  Was a rough day, lots of stress and the porn monkey on my back was screaming in my ear how to feel better.  I'm trying not to be too hard on myself but I do feel pretty disappointed.  I'm trying to focus on the bigger picture and getting back on track.

I've tried countless times over the years to quit out of respect for my wife, myself and out of a sense of moral obligation for my family.  My common sense says "just quit!" but my mind/body still depends on the dopamine rush from PMO to manage the sometimes persistent stresses of work/family life. It's so hard, because it feels soooo good for those brief moments.  I know it also causes a lot of problems which I've experienced first hand, but like any established addiction, the rationalization is "I feel terrible and what will make me feel better right NOW?".  Beating a dead horse here I guess. Nothing new.

I can blame the precursors sometimes associated with behavioral addiction, physical (father) and sexual (stranger) abuse as a child, divorced parents, highly stressful work life for many years, though much better in recent years, but the victim mindset never helps anyone heal. I am seeing a therapist about some of this emotional baggage, just not including PMO in our sessions and don't think I will. I'm approaching it as if I can rise above all the family/social bullshit I was subjected to as a child, I can tackle the PMO on my own without making it more public knowledge.

I tell myself I've beat alcoholism, years of daily pot use (another powerful behavioral/psychological addiction), and nearly a decade of cigarettes all well in my past. 

Looking forward: My path to success must be different than what I've done before and not just repetition.  I need to adopt new/healthy forms of stress release such as exercise for one.  I am more recently aware it's not the pornographic images on the screen, it's the resulting sensitized dopamine reaction in my brain I currently rely on and need to control.  This does translate to no more porn, but am trying to approach it objectively this time. 

The 90 day hard reboot plan scares the hell out of me, but I'm thinking more seriously about it.  For those who successfully completed the 90 day plan, I have some questions:

1. Are you truly, fundamentally happier?
2. Do you feel emotionally stronger?
3. If your inclination to use PMO before your reboot was 10 on a scale of 1-10, where is it now?  (lower is better)

I've watched several video and read many articles on the subject and hear the message, life is better.  I just need to hear it a few more times I guess.  Thank you so much for any feedback!

Day 1 and trying again,
J.


« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 03:43:20 PM by jthomas »

uncreatedlight

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2018, 08:45:27 PM »
It is a positive sign that you are still posting.  That means there is still hope.

I have relapsed more times than I can count, but I feel that something is different this time.  By the grace of God, I will remain sober.

I am 113 days into hard mode.  I think that it is easier because it extinguishes hope and expectation.  For me, the rollercoaster of longing, disappointment, and satisfaction subsided after 70 or 80 days.  I still feel urges, but they have less power over me.

My urges to PMO now bounce from 1 to 5.  They are usually around a 2.  I don't feel a cloud of euphoria, and I did have a panic attack recently because of a spiral of catastrophic rumination.  That said, I am steadier, calmer, and more consistent now.  I am more empathetic.  In short, at 43 I am finally developing character.

I am proud of myself and who I am becoming.  I know that I can easily revert to unhealthy old patterns, but I am finally experiencing freedom.

Also, 60 days is a LONG time.  You were getting close to the point where many experience a dulling of the urges.  Just do what you did again.  You will get there.

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2018, 02:05:39 AM »
Thanks and you are right, the urges were settling down most days. Maybe a 3-4 out of 10 until the recent relapse a few days ago when the cravings hit 10.  I did MO a few times a week during the 60 days with no porn but was finding fantasizing more difficult since the fading porn memories were no longer fueling my fantasies. 

Maybe all the MO was counter-productive but it was the compromise I felt I could manage at least the first round with no porn. It was still a very difficult 2 months.

I did notice many interpersonal and social positives during those several weeks, they just weren't enough to stop the recent relapse.  I'm trying again, determined to ultimately succeed.

I'm glad you're feeling good with your accomplishment.  113 days hard mode is impressive. I don't think I could do it.  Thanks again for all your feedback.

Mayer

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2018, 03:17:31 AM »
For me I couldn't have rebooted without support. I was full on into my addiction when my wife caught me watching porn, so I had never tried to quit on my own before, or never even realised I had an issue. So I am proud that you guys can get there more or less on your own

One big thing I get when reading about your relapse is why you had access to porn in the first place. I would put software on all your devices and lock them up good, get your wife to password it, if she's willing to, or get a close friend you can confide in to control you online behavior.

Also you spoke about MO but you couldn't do it without fantasizing. If you are fantasizing about porn or porn-subs then it's still PMO. The same neural pathways are still being triggered, it's kind of cheating the reboot system.

90 days is just a number, there is no biological reason that you will be fixed after 90 days. Some guys it's sooner but most it's longer, when you get to 90 you won't be suddenly free. Porn will challenge your sobriety for a very long time. I am more than 2 years sober but every now and again i get triggered by something, but I have much better control now, I have learnt coping skills, got hobbies and have a life to lead, porn was taking my family away, my time, my energy, my mind.

This is your first relapse, isn't it? Don't be hard on yourself, 51 days is great. You now need to look at why you relapsed and put things in place that will prevent it from happening next time round, you may relapse in a different way for different reasons next time, eventually you will get to know all you triggers and issues and be able to stay sober. It does get easier the longer you stay sober, and the intimacy with your wife will get better. I can't say how much as me and my wife are still working on that area but things are definitely getting better.


bob

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2018, 09:00:49 AM »
You speak words of wisdom. I hope we all can glean positive vibes from your thoughts and comments.

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2018, 05:07:46 PM »
Hey folks, it's been a while since I've posted.  After my initial 60 days of no porn, I went thru a relapse that lasted 3-4 days. Here's where I am today 1 month following the relapse.  No porn (caveat below) and I reduced my average MO from 3x per week to once every 10 days.  I'm coming to terms with how essential the increased discipline is because  I still have trouble with PIED when I'm with my wife. 

The last few days have been murder.  Last night I slipped and downloaded one of my old favorite videos.  Watching even a few seconds was like being lifted from suffocation to being granted all the air I need.  It was deceptive euphoria.   Something interesting happened though. I was able to stop watching the video before there was any nudity.  Just a few minutes of watching the provocative posing lifted the pressure enough I was able to find my strength.  I deleted the video and was able to go to bed with no MO. I even slept ok.

While I stopped the video before there was nudity, I know it was still artificial stimulation and wrong.  I know I can't use this strategy of peeking as a means of managing the sometimes brutal emotional and physical challenges of the reboot process, but I'm wondering if my being satisfied with no nudity and OK with no MO represents progress.  I'm hopping it does.  Again, I'm not looking to justify slipping, just hoping to interpret my abstinence from MO after the slip as an indication of progress.  24 hrs later and I still feel more in control than I did before the slip. 

In the past few weeks, I've watched several video by Mark Queppet a.k.a www.universalman.com (what an articulate motivator) and just started reading his "The Reboot Regiman" guide.  Very insightful. An excellent read to help find and develop your inner discipline.  I  highly recommend it.

Thanks for any thoughts.

J.





« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 07:34:35 PM by jthomas »

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2019, 02:14:25 AM »
Day 8 hard mode.  The past 3 months with several week long spans of no porn but there had been a few relapses and reduced MO but still at least once or twice a week.  General anxiety had gotten pretty bad.  The last relapse ending 9 days ago. Watching porn was both thrilling and felt like emotional suicide at the same time.  I felt extreme euphoria and on the verge of an actual anxiety attack. These are very rare for me. Time to go hard mode. Time to face this head on.

I told my wife I felt the 90 day hard was the only option for me now.   We don't openly discuss my porn use, but she's a smart woman and is just giving me the courtesy of not making me say it.  She's grateful I'm taking more drastic measures to heal myself.   

Physical/emotional discomfort, worst at night, but manageable.  Some advice that's helping is not relying just on will power, but just accepting/experiencing the discomfort as a necessary part of the path to success.  At least the MO chasers have settled down.  I'm hoping my past 3 months of reduced PMO will help me get thru the next 3 without.

My anxiety has been down and I'm finding it easier to make eye contact with anyone I meet.  I use my internal and external voice (when alone) to coach my thoughts away from unhealthy/unproductive subjects and reaffirm goals.   I am afraid of what's ahead but reminding myself potentially profound positive life changes are ahead if I stay on track. 

Other aspects of my life are already in place such as career and social and I'm stepping up my exercise frequency as a necessary part of this process.  I know this isn't just stopping PMO, it's building healthier lifestyle overall and filling the porn void with more worthwhile and rewarding interests. 

J.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 02:16:43 AM by jthomas »

jthomas

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Re: 38 Days Tonight with No Porn
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2019, 05:27:34 PM »
Day 10 hard mode.  Despite the persistent discomfort down south, I've slept better than usual the last few nights. maybe due to reduced anxiety or just cutting out MO has made for a more peaceful routine before bed.  Anyone else had the same experience?  Sleeping any better at night as an upside to our daytime battle within?

J.