Author Topic: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery  (Read 1618 times)

mym8marty

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20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« on: April 09, 2019, 11:29:13 PM »
Hi everyone! I just found this forum through the RebootNation youtube channel.

I've been using porn since before I hit puberty. I think earliest I sought out porn online was around 8 years old, and I was regularly using by ~10 years old. I am 20 years old, about to be 21, and I can't keep going with this.

I have a long term girlfriend, and we used to have a very regular sex life. In the past couple of years we have slowed down a lot, and I think that's because I used to be the main initiator of sex in our relationship but I have fell out of that role because of my addiction to porn. I am desensitized and lack libido. Today, we tried to have sex but I couldn't even become slightly aroused. This has happened multiple times in the past but this time it was beyond embarrassing and despite what she said, I know it hurt her pretty deeply.

I have tried to quit in the past but I kept relapsing, and eventually I completely gave up. I decided it wasn't a big problem and that everyone does it. Clearly, I was wrong, and this IS a big problem. I have ADHD so I am definitely predisposed to seeking out dopamine rushes, so I easily get addicted to video games, Youtube, Reddit, mobile games,  stuff like that. The way I deal with those is to go cold turkey and usually I am able to kick the habit. I have never been able to kick porn for more than 14 days.

I don't feel emotions as strongly. I don't feel attracted to real people day to day except for my girlfriend but even then just fleetingly. Not that I don't find her attractive, but I don't physically FEEL the response that I remember feeling. It used to be a physical reaction. That is completely gone.

One big problem I had with quitting was that the last community I used was /r/NoFap on Reddit but that's also where I found the majority of my porn... It's like attending AA in the back of a pub. I want to stay off Reddit completely during this journey if I can.

Today is my first day without PMO. I am committed to quitting and I will try to update this journal regularly.

Thank you all for giving me this platform to keep my journal!

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 12:52:29 AM »
Lol alright so this update is pretty soon after the first one but I'm experiencing some insomnia which I would normally turn to PMO for (I've been using it to sleep for years). Instead of going on my phone I pulled out my laptop (which I almost never use for porn) and came back to this forum to look for help. I read some stuff about treating any nighttime urges like insomnia and just to get out of bed, leave my room/go outside, or do some work. I'm going to try that out right now and hopefully I'll get some rest tonight. I've been sleeping through my alarms which leads to me not going to classes (I'm in school now) because of depression/anxiety/lack of motivation whatever but tomorrow I will push through and just make do with however much sleep I manage to get tonight. Most important thing is that I don't turn to PMO.

Redfire03

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 05:18:20 AM »
Just never look back my friend... and as hard as it may be...you need to open up to your girl about the issue.. if she loves you she will help you man. Trust me I wish I had done so before it was to late.. open up to her about the issue.

deminounrae

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 07:24:00 AM »
I agree with Redfire03 talk to her about this for two main reasons:
1) for personal experience I can tell you that girls tend to think they are the problem in this and can get very sad about that. So if not for other reasons at least to give her some relief.
2) she can give you all the energy you need to overcome this!
And she will be comprehensive no doubt.

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 09:03:39 AM »
Thanks guys. I have spoken with her about this in the past and when it happened yesterday, I told her that it was because of PIED and have been keeping her updated on my new resolution. It is still difficult though, because it 1. shows that I am still consuming porn despite us having spoken about it damaging our relationship in the past and 2. shows that I am weak willed. I know that it's an addiction and its just how my brain works but the fact that she knows I have tried to kick it many times in the past means she also knows that I failed that many times.

I'll keep talking to her about it as I go though. I think keeping her in the know about it will motivate me more down the line when I have less motivation and the withdrawals get worse (like if I'm keeping her up to date every day on my progress and then suddenly I slip up I'm going to have to tell her about it)

Last night I ended up just going to bed without doing any of those things I said I would try. The moment I put my laptop away I realized how tired I was and just went to bed. I'll still keep those strategies in mind for the future.

Redfire03

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 02:06:25 PM »
Focus on her. Get off social media take a break for awhile. Get in the gym focus your energy else where... come home. Cook dinner, watch movies together, cuddle kiss, tease without the intentions of sex... but to build up that barrier for you to want more.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 08:19:08 PM »
Welcome to the forum  man, good thing you are getting serious about this at ~21. I wish I had handled this sooner. So definitely go absolutely all out in fixing this. For me the insomnia was an issue for sure, the key foundation is

* Accepting it. It is likely you may end up with the rare night when you literally will not sleep. Just accept this and be okay with it. Is sleep important? Sure. But Navy seals and other military guys go literally like 4-5 days with NO sleep and perform at a high level. You'll be okay if that ever happens.

Oddly when I would spend a whole night not sleeping due to an urge, normally I'd feel good the next day.. Wheras a relapse meant awful withdrawals for days after.
 
Anyway man, go hard on this and get it handled! Having that awful experience of the PMO with a girl you care about sucks but can be a great motivator to kick this damn habit. Also, in my somewhat critical opinion, reddit sucks. So yeah, stay off it.

Also as far as the ADD/dopamine kick. I 1000% relate. I am the same way, everything ends up compulsive. The simple solution is to cut ALL that shit out. It sounds extreme but it works. I think like this, all the famous scientists we know Newton, Ben Franklin, probably Einstein; had the tendency to be compulsive about things. But they didn't have garbage like youtube the internet etc. available so that tendency ended up in healthy avenue like learning reading, building things. When you cut the stuff out, people on the outside think it is crazy dedication but for people like me (and I think you), it is actually pretty easy to just never do something once it's cut out and put all of that energy into other things once it's gone. I cut out all screen time not for work or pure utility when alone, and I don't miss it one bit. It got replaced with reading. Sometimes I'll go on a reading binge, but instead of feeling anxious and shitty after I feel damn good and relaxed.

Redfire03

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 08:37:52 PM »
^^^^^ dude is on point. I got off Facebook and I dont regret it one bit. I focused on myself and continue to do so. Einstein said It many times he was worried about technology effecting the generations to come... and boy was he onto something.

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 09:07:40 PM »
Also as far as the ADD/dopamine kick. I 1000% relate. I am the same way, everything ends up compulsive. The simple solution is to cut ALL that shit out. It sounds extreme but it works. I think like this, all the famous scientists we know Newton, Ben Franklin, probably Einstein; had the tendency to be compulsive about things. But they didn't have garbage like youtube the internet etc. available so that tendency ended up in healthy avenue like learning reading, building things. When you cut the stuff out, people on the outside think it is crazy dedication but for people like me (and I think you), it is actually pretty easy to just never do something once it's cut out and put all of that energy into other things once it's gone. I cut out all screen time not for work or pure utility when alone, and I don't miss it one bit. It got replaced with reading. Sometimes I'll go on a reading binge, but instead of feeling anxious and shitty after I feel damn good and relaxed.

This is a really big point for me. I am terrible with moderation (as many people w/ ADHD are) and so I am usually either 100% or 0% with things, but once I cut it out completely I have very little trouble avoiding it. Porn has been a different story... probably because it's so deeply wired into my brain at this point. Like I said, the longest I went was 14 days, after which my relapse was not with what I would normally watch but instead it was crazier/weirder stuff that I am ashamed to remember. It's almost like the pent up frustration from abstaining led me to act out in a more intense way. This time I will be hyper conscious of my weaknesses and try my best to remember my short & long term goals, as well as my relationship.

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 11:05:45 PM »
Day 2 done!!

Writing this really quick before I go to bed. Made sure my meds are more than worn off by now and I just took a cold shower, so hopefully sleeping won't be too difficult. I really appreciate all the advice from everyone, please keep it coming :)

I am worried about when I inevitably become disinterested in rebooting and switch my focus to something else. ADHD has killed any long term habits or hobbies I have tried to pick up throughout my life. I'm not willing to give this one up, so I need to have strategies for when I feel myself starting to care less about the journey and give back in to my old, unhealthy habits.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2019, 08:30:46 AM »
Thanks redfire, glad to hear it works for you too. Hearing it works for others reaffirms it for me so it's motivation to keep up this lifestyle.

Yeah marty, that why were here. The PMO is the tough one to kick, so the goal is to get it in that "not a part of life" category like the rest of them. Also, I have had the same experience with lapses, they can be worse then our usual habit, so it's important to avoid the hell out of them! Or at least be aware of that.

Congrats on getting through the day! Well the fact that you are aware of that is really good. A dangerous thing is overconfidence " I am good now I won't forget___________" thats when I always end up forgetting about some hobby or goal.

For me writing on this forum helps, I left before, I thought my pmo problem was solved, then had some bad lapses. Coming here helps one to remember imo. I have had struggles with fantasy and consider it a lapse at this point but thankfully, otherwise when on this forum I stay totally on track.

One last thing: Something I am still working on but that helps is reading the same shit. 1st of all You can write down goals, motivation to quit pmo etc. and read that periodically. I am thinking of experimenting with a weekly check in with myself. I have done this with a friend, we talk each week about what we are working on, I kept my pmo  problem private but I think it really really worked for keeping me on track more in the areas we did talk about. I think using a notebook on a certain day and time would be helpful too. If I try it I'll let you know how it goes

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2019, 06:39:45 PM »
Quick update before my nightly recap... I had a headache through the morning despite getting about 8 hours of sleep. I've been taking melatonin for the past month or two to help me sleep but I've started to notice its effectiveness dropping (leading me to PMO most nights) but this morning was the first time I've gotten enough sleep in a while where I started to question whether or not its actually hurting my sleep somehow. The last two nights I've woken up at about 4am, going to bed "early" (compared to what I used to sleep at, which was ~3-4am).

I'm going to experiment with skipping the melatonin and jut trying other methods. I really liked my cold shower last night, it helped me clear my mind and while it definitely wakes you up, getting into bed and warming up right after makes me super sleepy.

Otherwise, to try and remedy the headache I went back to my dorm and tried to nap for just 15-30 minutes... WOW that is dangerous. I think I was able to avoid any urges I had (which I very much did) because I am so fresh to this new journey and I am still pumped with motivation. I will DEFINITELY be avoiding napping by myself unless absolutely necessary in the future because it is SUCH an easy trap to fall into.

I found the podcast "Porn Free Radio" yesterday and listened to an episode titled "The Biggest Warning Sign of a Relapse"... he basically said the biggest trigger to a relapse is not seeing a beautiful woman on the street, or accidentally seeing something pornographic, or anything you would think it would be; the most fatal trigger is isolation. This is nearly unique to a porn addiction, because most others can easily be woven into a social life (e.g. going out drinking every night, gambling, etc). Being at home, or anywhere else, completely alone and with an internet connection is the fastest way to a relapse.

Of course, it didn't help that I was in bed and had my phone. Honestly this was really stupid, because the neural connections are still strong and that's exactly where I used to PMO. Glad I learned this lesson early without a relapse.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2019, 11:50:48 PM »
Yeah good lesson for sure, most of the time I avoid the bed as much as possible. I have done an occasional nap there lately (not many urges lately) but am always careful. Even napping elsewhere then the bed, like in the park/ on grass if it's warm enough can be great. Really refreshing and I never get urges doing that

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2019, 04:56:53 PM »
Guess this is Day 4?

Didn’t do a nightly recap for Day 3 cause I was up till 6am writing a paper I procrastinated on. Good lesson for me because in the last few months reverting back to that habit of procrastinating and then not turning stuff in, which is what I did all through high school. Need to get back in the mindset of it being completely unacceptable to miss a deadline for assignments.

Anyway, I’ll do my nightly recap before bed. Thanks to everyone for your input! I really appreciate having this journal here... it’s so much easier to talk about this to people who have a similar mindset about porn/PA. Otherwise it really sounds like I’m making a huge deal out of nothing since to most people porn is super normal and not unhealthy.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2019, 12:40:19 AM »
Congrats on day 4! Yeah, being exposed to the like minded is super helpful

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2019, 12:46:10 AM »
Day 4 done!

School week is over but I’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow.

Today was really good, spent almost the entire day with my girlfriend, we ended up having sex (successfully) but I could really feel myself struggling in terms of PIED. Just gotta keep at it.

Keeping her updated as well which is really good, and I think she’s really starting to understand it from the more scientific perspective we (reformed porn users) have, in just how much porn can screw up someone’s mind developmentally. She also found out today just how early in life I had started watching porn which was pretty shocking but I think helped drive the point home.

I’ll check in tomorrow night for day 5. Night everyone!

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2019, 11:03:13 AM »
So I was just gonna watch something on YouTube before bed and then I ended up watching videos for like 3 hours. Went to bed super late, like 4:45am. Obviously it’s not a relapse BUT still an unhealthy habit I should be avoiding. Still made it to the gym though!

Redfire03

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2019, 01:19:00 PM »
I have certain channels I follow on YouTube. I just focus on those and that is about it.

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2019, 02:05:00 AM »
Day 5 done but I’m doing it again, 3am here BUT I’m gonna put the phone down right now and sleep.

I can feel the crazy motivation I had in the first few days slipping away. Need to prepare myself for that, especially tomorrow. Sundays usually end up being super unproductive for me.

Part of my motivation being down is probably my messed up sleeping schedule. I get so low and indifferent to everything if I’m not running on enough sleep. Need to be better about this.

Thanks as always everyone

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2019, 06:07:56 PM »
Getting pretty bad urges right now. It really is when I’m feeling stressed or tired, I just turn to it as a coping mechanism. Gonna go do my laundry and push through.

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2019, 10:40:03 PM »
Day 6 done!!

Writing this an hour before midnight because I'm gonna be with my gf the rest of the day.

I went to take another nap today because I was feeling really sleep deprived, the kind you feel before you get sick. I didn't end up napping (ADHD meds make that a little difficult) but the time relaxing in the dark did help. However, I cannot stress enough how much I could feel myself teetering on the edge of relapse. Feeling down, stressed, and exhausted all lead to my brain seeking the comfort of PMO, and I was enabling those feelings by putting myself in a position where I could easily relapse: isolated, with easy internet access, already in bed. Like I said in an earlier post, this is the exact same context I would always be in when turning to PMO, and those brain pathways are STRONG. Fighting them was super hard, and honestly this is my second reminder since I started this journal that I really shouldn't be risking it. Maybe it's better that I'm putting myself in the same context but without the PMO and I'm rewiring my brain? But I think that's unhealthy thinking. It's always going to be better for me to avoid PMO and to avoid putting myself into compromising and vulnerable situations.

I did see something triggering earlier today. I had turned off the reddit filter I have on my phone to keep me off it during the day so that I could research something the night before, but I forgot to turn it back on. As a result I was mindlessly surfing reddit when something popped up (on /r/all, so it was just a mixture of everything popular on the site at the time) that was not necessarily porn but was definitely something that would have led me down the PMO path before. After seeing that I put the filter back on and got a move on with my day but it's been lingering in my head for forever.

Honestly this addiction is fucking scary. The fact that I am so weak to it, so vulnerable, and so easily manipulated by it is terrifying. I think everyone would like to THINK they're in control of their own behaviors, but ask them to stop something like PMO and it becomes clear how little they really are.

I know I cannot control my thoughts, but I can control my behavior, i.e. my reactions to those thoughts. I am strong, I am powerful, and I can get through this.

Tomorrow is day 7, which means 1 week! Exciting stuff. It's been a long time since I've gone a week without this, and I'm looking forward to breaking my previous best of 14 days. I think my goal for week 2 is going to be staying on top of my sleep schedule, as it has clearly had such a negative effect on me this week.

EDIT: BTW if anyone has good meditation techniques they recommend I would love to hear them. Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 01:08:40 PM by mym8marty »

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2019, 11:14:34 PM »
7 days done!

Feel like crap because I was drinking today though. Big party day at my school.

I had a dream while I was taking a nap earlier to sober up and I dreamed about watching porn. Really sucked to wake up from because in my dream I knew I shouldn't be doing it but I didn't stop. Obviously this was in a dream and I can't blame myself for it, nor do I count it as a relapse, but damn if it isn't super demoralizing.

Anyway, goal for this week like I said yesterday is gonna be staying on top of my sleep schedule. Going to bed in a bit, waking up early to catch up on some homework I skipped today.

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2019, 11:17:48 PM »
8 days done

Last night was real bad. Finally fell asleep at 6:30am, I guess the nap I took and all the drinking really messed my sleep up. I was really tempted during this time awake and started to seek out porn, saw a few things but nothing too bad. I stopped and thought “Is this really what I want to be doing?” and stopped there.

Today I saw my psychiatrist, talked about addiction and PMO and how it relates to my ADHD. Through that conversation I realized I am really bad with downtime, and not having stimulus at all times. She recommended having designated times where I’m not on my phone or anything else, just time where I sit and “be”. Like eat a meal without doing something while, just eat. Not necessarily meditation, but I do want to give that a try.

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 08:56:40 AM »
At the end of 9 days I broke my streak.

I couldn’t sleep and I have had a lot of sexual energy since quitting that I didn’t know how to handle. I ended up doing PM without O. All of that energy is gone and I’m pretty upset with myself. Back at day 1.

Seeing a therapist through my school today. Going to talk to them about it and see how it goes.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 10:19:31 AM »
Sorry to hear that man! The downtime to just be (not necessiraly meditation) sounds like a great idea. I may try that as well.

At the point I am at in my recovery, fantasying about porn (intensively) is a lapse and messes with me, which I did the day before yestarday. Yeah it does stink. But a KEY I have heard over and over, realize how shitty it is and how much we want to CUT IT OUT OF OUR LIVES but at the same time not being hard on ourselves....

Tomorrow is a new day and you're not alone in the struggle! Even with the lapse you're still progressing.