Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 10472 times)

BlueHeronFan

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Not gonna go it alone
« on: December 30, 2018, 01:48:51 AM »
Here's me in a nutshell: I really fell into heavy pornography use and masturbation through high school (probably at least one session every day). I started to struggle with it (tried to stop) when I went to college and have continued to make incremental progress in overcoming this problem in the years that have followed. I'm in graduate school, and it's been a couple years since I've actually looked at anything with explicit nudity--but I've still found substitutes for explicit material and have found myself spending a big chunk of time, like one night about every one to three months, looking at non-explicit material and edging.

It's been a frustrating point in my journey. It's like there's a switch in my head that gets flipped "on" every couple months. For the most part, I feel like I function normally without thinking about porn, without wanting it, easily being able to say no when an urge or opportunity passes me by. But, every so often, it seems like it grabs me and won't let go until I waste a night edging to non-explicit stuff. Then I feel defeated, sort of like I haven't really made all that much progress. Lately, though, things have started happening more frequently (a few times in the last two months), and I've found myself looking up explicit things but then looking at the corner of the screen or something like that (not looking directly at the nudity on-screen). I'm not sure what I think about that, but I know that I can't quite bring myself to cross the line into explicit pornographic images or masturbation to orgasm. So I guess I feel like I'm stuck in a weird sort of limbo. I know I want to quit, and I feel pretty successful at it most of the time, but then I slip up every so often, and I worry that it might be getting worse rather than better right now.

I've learned a lot about myself over the years in battling this problem. I've learned that it most often comes at me when I'm feeling frustrated or hopeless about the future (especially in the context of my hopes for a marriage and family sometime in the future, like porn tries to fill that gap in its own terrible way). So I guess I've started spending more time paying attention to my emotions since it seems like it's negative emotions that fuel thoughts of porn that eventually lead to acting out. I've been working on my emotions through meditation, yoga, and more dedicated religious practice. I think I'm starting to turn a corner on how I feel about myself and my relationship to other people. I still wonder, though, sometimes about the balance between being compassionate with myself but not letting myself off the hook for bad behavior.

Anyhow, a long story made short, I was listening to something the other day that said a community is important in overcoming things like addiction. I found this place in my search for a community and hope that being a part of this group will be one of the things that's been missing in my recovery

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 12:30:12 AM »
So, now that last week's weirdness is out of the way (and because the new year has begun), I'm starting myself on going the next 100 days without any sort of pornography or masturbation. Ultimately, the goal is to go all year, but 100 days feels both attainable and like a reasonable stretch, so it's where I'm going to start. I'm excited to begin this time knowing that there are other people working towards a similar goal along with me. Here's to our success!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 12:13:00 AM »
Another day (I guess day 2). It was pretty uneventful, mostly just getting ready for the semester that's about to start. A couple of images came across my social media feed that I could have done without, but I just blocked them and moved on.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2019, 12:20:11 AM »
Keep on keepin' on. It was a quiet day with family--I go back to school tomorrow, so it'll be a day of flying across the country. Not a thrilling plan, but probably a pretty safe day tomorrow.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 09:26:31 PM »
Travel day for me, so it ended up being a pretty safe one. Frankly, though, I never usually run into trouble during the day. It seems more like pornography and masturbation get me during the night--like waking me up out of sleep when they come. A lot of the time, then, I'm not really sure what to do. It seems like they just happen, once the switch flips, I'm not really sure how to switch it back off without looking at things I'll regret.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 07:26:18 PM »
Day 6/100: Sundays are usually pretty chill days for me. Church helps me keep my head screwed on straight, which has been helpful for me.  School and work start up for me again tomorrow, and I'm excited for that. I'm sure it will bring stress, but I've been working on more productive ways to deal with it (meditation, yoga, etc.) rather that resorting to pornography to escape it

changemylife

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2019, 10:24:33 AM »
Day 6/100: Sundays are usually pretty chill days for me. Church helps me keep my head screwed on straight, which has been helpful for me.  School and work start up for me again tomorrow, and I'm excited for that. I'm sure it will bring stress, but I've been working on more productive ways to deal with it (meditation, yoga, etc.) rather that resorting to pornography to escape it

That's right, mate. This is my day 1/90, hardmode, no excuses.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2019, 08:26:22 PM »
Day 6/100: Sundays are usually pretty chill days for me. Church helps me keep my head screwed on straight, which has been helpful for me.  School and work start up for me again tomorrow, and I'm excited for that. I'm sure it will bring stress, but I've been working on more productive ways to deal with it (meditation, yoga, etc.) rather that resorting to pornography to escape it

That's right, mate. This is my day 1/90, hardmode, no excuses.

For sure, let's do it! Today's been a decent one. I was doing some reading for class (and it was boring), and I noticed that my thoughts started turning to porn--sort of out of the blue. It's making me think about environmental cues that I hadn't thought about before. I can't help but wonder if there are some changes to my desk area, etc. that I could make so that my brain doesn't go "Oh yeah, this is the place for pornography."

changemylife

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2019, 05:18:01 AM »
For sure, let's do it! Today's been a decent one. I was doing some reading for class (and it was boring), and I noticed that my thoughts started turning to porn--sort of out of the blue. It's making me think about environmental cues that I hadn't thought about before. I can't help but wonder if there are some changes to my desk area, etc. that I could make so that my brain doesn't go "Oh yeah, this is the place for pornography."

That's right. Porn pops up in our minds just like that. It's annoying because you can never really stay away from it. It invades your thoughts, dreams etc.

I support the idea of doing some changes to your environment because I've seen how this worked in my case. I would be outside, having no urges, but coming back to my bedroom, where my computer was and where I always masturbated to porn, and hard urges would hit me.


BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 09:50:16 PM »
For sure, let's do it! Today's been a decent one. I was doing some reading for class (and it was boring), and I noticed that my thoughts started turning to porn--sort of out of the blue. It's making me think about environmental cues that I hadn't thought about before. I can't help but wonder if there are some changes to my desk area, etc. that I could make so that my brain doesn't go "Oh yeah, this is the place for pornography."

That's right. Porn pops up in our minds just like that. It's annoying because you can never really stay away from it. It invades your thoughts, dreams etc.

I support the idea of doing some changes to your environment because I've seen how this worked in my case. I would be outside, having no urges, but coming back to my bedroom, where my computer was and where I always masturbated to porn, and hard urges would hit me.



Hey thanks! Yeah, I think there's something to it. I remember days when I would go on a walk to clear my head only to have it all come back as soon as I was inside--so I think I'll do something about changing things up. It can't hurt

Today was a busy day (school until late), so I didn't have any real trouble. Just time to hit the hay and carry on

Kaingang

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 08:10:56 PM »
very interesting your journal. you have situations very similar to mine. in this 1 month and 1 week without pmo I got caught sometimes seeing some kind of non-explicit material too. the difference for me is that I can get rid of this material much easier, but I also feel bad and feel its harmful effects.

it is true that the effects with heavy porn are much greater and I get sutck on it for much longer. besides that I suffer a lot more with brain fog and lack of attention after heavy porn session, let's say.

however, I feel that I am avoiding these triggers like Instagram or non-explicit material much more easily in this last month and I hope improve more and more on it too.

I also share the fact that difficult emotional moments make me more vulnerable to this kind of behavior. boredom and even a peak of happiness has also been times when I should be alert.

I am glad that yoga and meditation have been helpful in improving your mood and times of emotional difficulty and anxiety. I have also sought support in this.

Tks for sharing your experiences and good luck on your journey!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 09:08:09 PM »
Thanks for your support! The  more time I spend here the more I realize that my situation isn't unique. There are a lot of people facing very similar situations, and it's been a relief to know that I'm not alone in it. I think one of the things that porn does is isolate us--so reaching out and being involved with other people, even here, is a good way to fight back. I really do appreciate the responses I've gotten here.

Today went well for me. I'm fighting a little bit of a cold, so I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. That and homework made for a pretty uneventful (but also clean) day. Onward!


changemylife

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2019, 10:14:19 AM »
Thanks for your support! The  more time I spend here the more I realize that my situation isn't unique. There are a lot of people facing very similar situations, and it's been a relief to know that I'm not alone in it. I think one of the things that porn does is isolate us--so reaching out and being involved with other people, even here, is a good way to fight back. I really do appreciate the responses I've gotten here.

Today went well for me. I'm fighting a little bit of a cold, so I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. That and homework made for a pretty uneventful (but also clean) day. Onward!

Porn makes my anxiety worse so automatically I end up isolating myself. Maybe also because of low energy and mood that I have, which makes interacting with people a drag. If I've understood one thing is that our sexual energy is everything for us. PMO eliminates it. It's like grabbing it and throwing it away. And when I am low in sexual energy, I don't have energy and mood for anything. I just want to lie in the bed all day and sleep.
Now you eliminate this energy through sex as well, that's why the person should deserve this from you. She should deserve you giving away your energy (that you want to use for doing other things). And here I'm speaking like a normal person, not like those brainwashed hedonistic young people today: "What are you talking about, man? You should fuck everything that walks! How can you refuse sex? What's this shit about energy?" I don't want to follow this mentality. Fuck 'em. That's right, and if they are offended by me saying fuck 'em, I couldn't help myself.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2019, 09:17:29 PM »
Another decent day: 10/100

Interesting, I haven't thought about it like that before.

I know I've felt pretty down on myself and low-energy on the days that I've viewed porn. There might be something to what you've said about sexual energy. Part of it, though, seems to be about feeling disappointed in myself and treating myself harshly. One of the things I've been working on is self-compassion, treating myself with forgiveness and understanding, even when I mess up. For well over 10 years, porn has been the thing that my brain and body turn to when I feel like I'm in trouble. They've been an escape, a relief. It's ultimately done more harm than good, but, frankly, it's the best I knew how to do at the time.

I was listening to someone the other day who said it like this. Imagine if you walk up to a dog and try to pet it, but it lashes out at you and tries to bite you. You might be angry, harsh, offended. But what if you saw that that dog's leg was caught in a trap? What if you could see that it wasn't lashing out because it is a bad dog but because it was in pain? The speaker said that we are often caught in a trap, and understanding that can help us deal with ourselves better.

Porn has been a defense mechanism for me, and it's one I'm trying to replace. In a weird way, it's something I think my brain used to protect me--it was wrong--but it was trying. The task now is to find better ways of dealing with pain--and not being too hard on myself when slips do happen. I'm only too ready to hate myself when I mess up and to assume that other people would love me less if they knew what I really dealt with, but I'm learning to leave that aside and to love myself anyway, to treat my pain with gentleness rather than harshness so that I can find healthier ways to deal with it.

Wow, I wasn't planning on saying this much. I think I'm making progress towards higher self-esteem and getting to know the real me underneath the porn addiction. I wonder if we're not all our own harshest critics...

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2019, 07:59:33 PM »
Another day, another dollar (so to speak). I got off work before noon (I always do on Fridays now), and I spent most of the afternoon relaxing, which was nice. I did some homework but not a lot. Still fighting off the tail end of a cold. The weekend should be pretty chill, and I"m looking forward to that.

Onward!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2019, 08:18:00 PM »
Lots of snow and homework today, so it's been an inside day for me. I did a lot of things to get ready for next week, but I'm a little annoyed that I didn't get more done. I think that's just unfair irritation, though: I did a lot, and I spent some time relaxing, which is what weekends are for. Still have a hard time shaking the feeling that I could have accomplished more. Probably something else to work on.

Nowhere even close to porn, though, so that's been good. But, frankly, going a week or two hasn't been unusual for me lately. It's after three or four that I need to be on the lookout. So I guess the trick will just be not checking out and getting lax.

Kaingang

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2019, 08:22:33 AM »
happy to know that you've been well in the past few days.

interesting your comment about having more compassion for our failures and mistakes. it is true that we are often very cruel to ourselves and this can be something bad in our recovery process.

I think everyone here had their motives for porn addiction. difficulties in dealing with emotions, difficulties at home, difficulties in socializing, etc.

in my case I believe it all started with my parents' numerous fights. as I was very young, it was very difficult for me to deal with all that. I always felt very bad at every fight I witnessed.

porn and masturbation then made me feel good at least temporarily. and as I did not find much pleasure in other things, it became something of the utmost importance and I became addicted.

the difference is that I am now an adult and I'm aware of all the problems that this addiction causes for me. I have compassion for the boy who entered this not knowing very well what he was doing and seeking a certain relief for his pains. but now as an adult I feel more responsible and I have been charged much more to deal with my problems in a different way.

I also know that I am human and that mistakes I will always commit. I also know that those difficult moments in my childhood are still engraved on my body and memory. but I believe it is possible to learn from mistakes and bad experiences and try to deal with problems in a wiser and more balanced way. That's what I've been trying to do.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2019, 07:25:48 PM »

the difference is that I am now an adult and I'm aware of all the problems that this addiction causes for me. I have compassion for the boy who entered this not knowing very well what he was doing and seeking a certain relief for his pains. but now as an adult I feel more responsible and I have been charged much more to deal with my problems in a different way.

I also know that I am human and that mistakes I will always commit. I also know that those difficult moments in my childhood are still engraved on my body and memory. but I believe it is possible to learn from mistakes and bad experiences and try to deal with problems in a wiser and more balanced way. That's what I've been trying to do.

All of that is really great--thanks for sharing it with me! I think I agree with you. I was pretty young when I started experimenting with porn and masturbation, too young to know what I was getting myself into. Now that I know, though, it's my responsibility to shake it off and deal with life more productively.

I've been thinking a lot about something else I heard a couple weeks ago: the way we live today is the way we live our life. In addiction and in everything, all we can do it live each day at a time. I hadn't thought before about how our life is the sum of each day. If we can live each day well, we'll end up living our life well. So I'll just keep trying to live each day well. (Today is 13/100)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2019, 07:29:44 PM »
14 days in, but not much to say about today: school and homework--typical Monday stuff.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2019, 10:31:40 PM »
A quiet day for me, just school and stuff. On we go

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2019, 09:07:21 PM »
I was noticing today that little fantasies flash across my mind from time to time. I guess they haven't ever seemed like too big of a deal to pay attention to, but I realized that they might be getting me into trouble. I think I've only ever relapsed after entertaining fantasies, but I've always thought of fantasies as harmless...which they aren't. Anyway, something to think about and work on.

I was listening to something yesterday that was talking about how our brains rely on habits and patterns of thought and behavior and about how, when our brains have habits for a long time, it takes a long time to change those habits. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that it's taking years to fully shake off an addiction that I didn't even fight for more years. It's okay that it's taking time. All progress is progress.

changemylife

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2019, 08:14:27 AM »
I was noticing today that little fantasies flash across my mind from time to time. I guess they haven't ever seemed like too big of a deal to pay attention to, but I realized that they might be getting me into trouble. I think I've only ever relapsed after entertaining fantasies, but I've always thought of fantasies as harmless...which they aren't. Anyway, something to think about and work on.

I was listening to something yesterday that was talking about how our brains rely on habits and patterns of thought and behavior and about how, when our brains have habits for a long time, it takes a long time to change those habits. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that it's taking years to fully shake off an addiction that I didn't even fight for more years. It's okay that it's taking time. All progress is progress.

Even fantasizing or pictures that appear in the mind are connected to porn addiction. That's what the addicted brain does. If we indulge in them, thinking they are harmless, we could move on to something stronger, to looking at real pictures or straight to porn. It definitely takes some attention to notice every subtle thing the brain does to push us back to porn. What you said about habits is very true. Mine are like routines: Every morning I fantasized and edge by rubbing my dick against the bed (back in the days when quitting porn wasn't even a thought). And this is so well tattooed to my brain. Every morning, when I wake up, I have to fight to brush away the fantasies and I have to turn face up to avoid rubbing against the bed. It's one of those things that drive you crazy and push you into cursing impulses about why you had to become a porn addict in the first place. But as we didn't choose deliberately to become addicts in the past, now it's not the type to despair crying about it. There is only a way out.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2019, 08:42:57 PM »
Yeah, you're right. As I think about it now... The addiction is a real thing, so I have to be vigilant, but it's also not something I really chose (I was too young understand what I was getting into), so I can't be too frustrated with myself. And I love that last thought. The only way now is the way out.

Today was good, busy but good. The weather's pretty bad, but I'm warm and inside, so I can't complain.

Decaptare

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2019, 10:55:15 PM »
We are our actions, it is good remember that if we are trying being a better person :)

Kaingang

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2019, 09:37:39 AM »

the difference is that I am now an adult and I'm aware of all the problems that this addiction causes for me. I have compassion for the boy who entered this not knowing very well what he was doing and seeking a certain relief for his pains. but now as an adult I feel more responsible and I have been charged much more to deal with my problems in a different way.

I also know that I am human and that mistakes I will always commit. I also know that those difficult moments in my childhood are still engraved on my body and memory. but I believe it is possible to learn from mistakes and bad experiences and try to deal with problems in a wiser and more balanced way. That's what I've been trying to do.

All of that is really great--thanks for sharing it with me! I think I agree with you. I was pretty young when I started experimenting with porn and masturbation, too young to know what I was getting myself into. Now that I know, though, it's my responsibility to shake it off and deal with life more productively.

I've been thinking a lot about something else I heard a couple weeks ago: the way we live today is the way we live our life. In addiction and in everything, all we can do it live each day at a time. I hadn't thought before about how our life is the sum of each day. If we can live each day well, we'll end up living our life well. So I'll just keep trying to live each day well. (Today is 13/100)

sorry for the delay in answering I've been involved with quite a bit in recent days. that's true. our mind tends to make everything much more complex.

but the truth is that our future is built every day like you said.

and if we do not change our old habits NOW we will never do it. change can only happen in the present moment, but we are deluded that it will happen at some future time in a magical way. this illusion that in the future things will improve prevent us from acting instantaneously and makes us carry on with our old problems...