Author Topic: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time  (Read 2439 times)

MindOverModem

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Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« on: June 01, 2019, 04:00:55 PM »
DAY 1

After countless attempts to do this on my own, after a long streak that ended not long after I stopped posting here, I'm trying again.

I just turned 30, and I don't want P to continue robing my of my time the way it did in my 20s.

Day 1 has been all over the place. I feel immensely relieved to have 24 hours free from it. At the same time, the cravings have been overwhelming. As a wise man once said, and the founder of Reboot Nation quoted, "If you're going through hell, keep going.

I'm well aware of that truth in recovery that if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got. This time, I'm going to try to do it in hard mode at least for a little while. The timing works out since my girlfriend and I are doing long distance at the moment.

 I've never gone more than 7 days without M, so we'll see how that goes. I'm trying to just focus on one day at a time and know that a much more satisfying sex life awaits.

I'm so grateful RN is here. Thank you all for your support.

Johnny Trailer

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 04:08:34 PM »
Quote
I feel immensely relieved to have 24 hours free from it
you rarely went 24h without porn and 7 days without M is a distant memory?

do you have a PIED with your gf?
My last relapse: 24.Oct.2019 // My total # of relapses in the last 30 days: 2

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 05:28:02 AM »
Quote
I feel immensely relieved to have 24 hours free from it
you rarely went 24h without porn and 7 days without M is a distant memory?

do you have a PIED with your gf?

No PIED but it has definitely had a negative impact on my sex life and level of intimacy. I'll tell my story in full here at some point.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2019, 06:16:13 AM »
Looking at my past relapses, I've noticed a pattern. I never went straight back into P by looking at P. Every time I've stopped looking at it for a while and gone back, the relapse starts with sexual podcasts or articles. I want to get off and I tell myself that what I'm doing isn't the same thing as looking at P.

This is something to be mindful of moving forward. The simple rule would be this: if it's stimulation that comes from a device and not another human, it's out of bounds.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2019, 12:42:03 PM »
DAY 2

Today was a good day. I went for a couple of long walks and spent some time in nature. Cravings did come up, but I felt like I could observe them at a distance, watching them come and go. I did a long meditation session this morning and that helped a lot.

I also started reading The Porn Myth. It's so good. Not only does it smash the delusion that my porn use "wasn't that bad..." but it emphasizes the harm caused by the industry as a whole. Ultimately, my decision to stop looking at porn is an effort to live in a way that is more in line with my values. The book illustrates that side of the anti-porn argument beautifully.

I am grateful for the help I have in rebooting: from RN, Fight the New Drug https://fightthenewdrug.org/, and The Porn Myth.

Reformed Fapper

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 10:33:02 PM »
Congrats on making it to day 2!
It doesnt sound like much but given your porn usage its a long time!
Its usually around the 3 or 4 day mark when you really start to feel the withdrawal symptoms, so just be aware of what hey are and why they occur so you can ignore them.
Try to develop a physical aversion to porn. Use your imagination. Tell yourself something like the women on the videos you watch are all filthy disease ridden whores, whove had more cocks in all their holes than youve had haircuts in your life. theyre awful people with no feelings and shouldnt be treated as human beings. theyre only there to try and get you to relapse and ruin your life! and the scumbags that film the porn are just as bad and are at the same level of scumbaggery as the actresses themselves (unless its amateur porn, then its whoever turns the camera on)
something like that, something that makes it unbearable to even think about.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 10:35:32 PM by Reformed Fapper »
Un-fuck your life, quit porn now! Today!

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 02:16:00 AM »
Thank you for your encouragement, Reformed. 2 days feels like a big deal. I've gone longer before, but that's not the point. There's an intention and a structure to the way I'm approaching my reboot today that was absent in my previous attempts where I was just white-knuckling and counting days.

I see what you're saying about creating an aversion. One tool I learned from The Porn Myth is to think myself through my reasons for quitting any time a craving strikes (which has been a lot these past few days.) One technique is to "finish the fantasy." In AA, we call this "playing the tape through." Instead of just focusing on the pleasurable feeling you crave, think about the entire experience. Think about the shame and sense of defeat and the clean up after. Then think about whether that's what you really want.

If thinking about these people as disease-ridden scumbags works for you, that's great. I'm not criticizing your approach. I try to come at it from an angle of compassion. Whether the women on screen are good or bad or slutty doesn't matter. The truth is that when I fap to them, I'm treating them like objects whose sole purpose is to help me get off. I don't want to do that.

I believe every human being should be treated as a human being, and when I look at P, I'm treating people as objects, not human beings. Bottom line.

I don't want to get into a big thing about whether porn performers are good or bad people. The way I see it, they are often vulnerable, unhealthy people. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. I don't see someone out in public with obvious signs of mental illness and think "that's fucking hot."

Again, not criticizing your view. I respect anything that helps someone not look at P. I just know for me, an attitude of shame and judgment is a little too close to how I see these women when I'm using them to get off. Ultimately my reboot is about love and respect for myself and others.

Thank you for your comment. I'm not sure I would have thought all this through otherwise.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 09:38:20 AM »
DAY 3 --The Three-Day Hump is Real

Interesting day today. Before work and during breaks, I worked on recovery journal prompts. I finished reading The Porn Myth which has some excellent practical suggestions, and I started Out of the Shadows which is easily the best thing I've ever read on sex addiction. With both of these books, I keep underlining things that make me say "this is me!" I can relate to reaching for P in moments of stress and loneliness, a behavior which only makes me lonelier and therefore craving more P and isolation. Another habit is remorse and picking a start date to be "done with P forever" which of course never works out.

I feel encouraged by these books to take a more structured approach to my reboot.

Today has been a good day overall even though I dealt with a lot of craving. I woke up (with morning wood, yay!) Thinking about a woman from real life. A part of me wanted to M and was thinking "what's the harm, thinking about her isn't the same as looking at P." But I reminded myself that the behavior I'm trying to overcome is the habit of seeing people as means to an end for sexual gratification. I watched that craving pass and got on with my day.

Here are a few things I did to work on my reboot today.

I listed my negative motivations:
What do I lose by pursuing P?
What is it costing me?
What could it cost me?
What is it costing the people I love?

I listed my positive motivations:
What can I gain from rebooting?
How will rebooting improve my life?
What kind of person do I want to become?

I made a plan of action
I listed some things I can do when I feel a craving coming on.

I listed my triggers
Everything from certain social media accounts (which I muted or unfollowed) to feeling nervous about going to the doctor. I wrote down each one and what I can do instead of looking at P when these come up.

I "finished the fantasy"
In AA, we talk about "playing the tape through" this means if you're going to think about having a drink, you better think about everything that will happen as a result. I'm nearly 5 years sober. Occasionally I think about drinking or taking drugs, but I have trained myself to finish the thought and remember where that leads. It might start out as fun, but a hospital bed and a lot of shameful conversations and excuses is where it leads.

To "finish the fantasy" I walked myself through what a porn relapse will look like, how I'll feel, what it will be like to get back on RN and reset my number of days. So yeah, a little PM might be fun, but the more I put work into my reboot, the less I want to give all that up for a few seconds of pleasure and a few hours of mindless browsing.

* * *

I hope sharing this helps someone out there. It's helping me stay away from P one day at a time. I'm grateful for this outlet and this community. Thank you all for reading.

Pete McVries

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2019, 11:52:09 AM »
Hi MOM (I never imagined, I'd write that in a porn addiction recovery forum ;D)!

I'm wishing you all the best in overcoming your addiction and I'm glad you've picked up The Porn Myth. It really helped me a great deal.
ten months clean and counting...

BootLoader

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2019, 12:00:38 PM »
Quote
So yeah, a little PM might be fun, but the more I put work into my reboot, the less I want to give all that up for a few seconds of pleasure and a few hours of mindless browsing.
There is not even a second of pleasure with P. We are just M alone in a dark room. I believe after a very long abstention without PMO and MO the M thing is the worst act I ever did in my life. PMO and MO is a very elegant enemy, it destroys our lives without even getting know it.
Porn turns a man into a scared boy.
"5-5-2016" The day I realized Ι was a PMO addict.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2019, 12:22:15 PM »
Hi MOM (I never imagined, I'd write that in a porn addiction recovery forum ;D)!

I'm wishing you all the best in overcoming your addiction and I'm glad you've picked up The Porn Myth. It really helped me a great deal.

HAHAHA I just realized that. Hilarious. Thank you, man. It's a treasure of a book for sure. The very nature of my addiction is a lack of structure in relation to a natural impulse. Books like that help provide structure.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2019, 02:37:24 AM »
Seeing through a craving

I had a vivid image from P pop into my head while I was meditating this morning. The urge to watch P or at least M to the image in my head came on strong.

Instead of reacting to that impulse, I examined it for what it really is. First, I reminded myself of the purpose of my reboot. Then I asked myself a few questions.

Would it be truly satisfying to look at that image or fap to it, the way making love is satisfying?

Would that single image even do it for me, or would it just be the beginning of a long, pointless internet search for the 'right' pic?

Does that image contain all the things I like about sex? Is there intimacy, touch, smell?

Can I talk to that pic after and laugh with it and be vulnerable with it?

These questions might sound ridiculous, but then it's pretty ridiculous to think some pixels on a screen can satisfy a basic human need.

The craving passed like a cloud in the sky. I'm writing it down right away because I probably wouldn't even remember it otherwise. But in the moment, the craving feels all-consuming and worthy of all my attention.









BootLoader

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2019, 04:18:56 AM »
These questions are reality. If you searching for answers do the right questions. Human beings we are made to perform with other human beings not with pixels or with imagination. You are in a good path keep going and stay strong. Good luck.
Porn turns a man into a scared boy.
"5-5-2016" The day I realized Ι was a PMO addict.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2019, 06:09:50 AM »
Thank you. Best of luck to you too. That's very true about "asking the right questions."

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2019, 05:00:43 PM »
DAY 4

I didn't have to use P today, and it was the kind of day when I would have. I had a medical scare and a trip to the doctor's office--something I absolutely dread.

I felt all kinds of uncomfortable and frightened, and the answer seemed obvious: retreat into P... NOT TODAY!

I worked through multiple cravings and implemented my plan of action.

Now I'm working in my journal on a personal history of my relationship with porn, sort of a 1st step.

The cravings were so fucking intense today but so was my commitment to rebooting. I had to go out for a walk like a dozen times, but it was worth it to get to the other side of those cravings.

I am grateful for another 24 hours. Looking forward to fighting this battle again tomorrow.

zazen

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2019, 05:25:57 PM »
Hi M)
Here to support you on this journey. You seem very introspective and mindful of your actions.. that is great! And you have an amazing questioning process.. Took a screenshot of those questions so I can use them so thnx:).

This line made me stop reading and think..  “Ultimately my reboot is about love and respect for myself and others.” Didn’t think about it in those terms before, respecting others (objectification)..
Very interesting perspective, will read more about it.

Day 4, yess! keep it up!

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2019, 01:56:57 AM »
Z,

Thank you for your reply. It helps to know that sharing my truth helps others. When you've tried and failed numerous times as I have, it's only natural to compare your attempts and look at what's different this time. One thing I notice right here is that I'm more engaged with the forum, and my journal is more interactive, not just a monologue about what I'm going through.

Human connection is the opposite of compulsive behavior and solitary wanking. If all I do is cut out P and don't replace it with positive things, I'm still the same guy but without his outlet. The goal is to be a different guy.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2019, 03:45:48 PM »
DAY 5

Cravings were strong today, but I felt better prepared to deal with them. It makes all the difference when you can clearly recognize where you are in the "launch sequence" or whatever you want to call it that leads up to using. By recognizing when danger is approaching, I can take action to change course and steer clear of using. This is very different from just holding on for dear life and trying to fight back against the urge.

Instead of fighting harder, I'm fighting smarter. Here are two different ways I dealt with cravings today.

I implemented my Plan of Action

At the first sign of trouble, I go for a walk, call a friend, or do one of the other things on my plan of action. I practice mindfulness and watch as the craving passes and I am no longer in its grip.

I Stood my Ground

As they suggest in Fortify (the guide to quitting porn from Fight the New Drug) another way to fight a craving is to just observe it coming and going. They call this "urge surfing," It's a powerful experience. You prove to yourself that cravings don't just get worse and worse until you give in. They leave you along eventually if you stand your ground.

Knowing my Own BS when I see It

In past slips, I've noticed that I will try to rationalize using P. I'll tell myself, "okay, but just pictures" or whatever. I'm trying to focus on knowing my excuses and bullshit when I see them. 

It's like that scene in Fight Club when he's trying to call off his own henchmen and they're like, "you said you would say that..."

Looking at History isn't Easy

Today I wrote a detailed history of my relationship with P in my journal. I took breaks to breathe, but it brought up a lot of painful emotions. It also triggered a kind of shame that I found arousing. Fortunately, I recognized the craving and dealt with it.

I'm grateful for another 24 hours, thanks for reading.

--MOM



MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2019, 08:39:50 AM »
REBOOT READING LIST

I've had a lot of free time this week, which is good because it's allowed me to absolutely binge on reboot reading. Here are a few books that have helped me so far.

The Porn Myth by Matt Fradd

An amazing book about the personal and social impact of porn. A must-read for anyone who thinks porn is harmless. He does a very good job at bridging the gap between religious and non-religious views of porn and sex conduct.

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes

This is a masterpiece when it comes to understanding sex addiction and developing tools for recovery and a healthy sex life. This book examines the ways in which broken personal truths formed early in life can lead to habits of isolation and numbing. Not everything in this book is going to apply to everyone (thank god, because some of it is pretty extreme) but it's easy to see how the features of sex addiction apply in one's own life.

How to Quit Porn By Brett McKay

A short and simple guide to breaking the habit loop of looking at porn written by the founder of the Art of Manliness. Like the AOM blog, the writing style is fun and approachable and at times a little "aw shucks" and old fashioned. He gets into some quasi-moralistic objections to masturbation in general that seem ridiculous to me, but overall, his argument is sound.

One thing I really liked is the way he argues against giving porn too much power in your life. By looking at it as a bad habit, like junk food, instead of a monstrous demon of addiction, it's easier to simply leave it alone.

Some of the book's negative reviews said that there's nothing new or earth-shattering in this one. Even if that's true, so what. It's a message I need to hear again and again. 

Fortify: the Fighter's Guide to Overcoming Pornography Addiction By Fight the New Drug

A how-to guide for quitting porn. It's clearly designed for younger guys, but I got a lot out of it. At the end of the day, P has stunted my emotional development in some ways, and it helps to read something that keeps it simple. I'd strongly recommend this one  to anyone who tends to beat themselves up and could use some practical self-care tips.

The Butterfly Effect (Audible original) by John Ronson

Not about quitting P exactly, and it could be triggering for some people. This is a look at the unintended consequences of the rise of tube sites. Like The Porn Myth, he looks at some of the ways P damages or even ruins lives. One moment that stood out was his description of a P set where the male performers were watching P in order to get hard so they could have sex with an actual woman. Insanity.



MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2019, 03:13:47 PM »
DAY 6

Today was a good day. Friends, good food, exercise. I'm gonna just chill and enjoy feeling how I feel. Grateful for another day.

jixu

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2019, 03:39:52 PM »
Being clean is its own reward, and it can push one forward if harnessed properly.  Keep it going, and keep up the wide-ranging reading, another activity that also has its own reward !  Enjoy your enjoy!! 

TallTree

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2019, 12:13:04 AM »
Really enjoyed reading through your posts. It sounds like you have a great perspective on things, and your approach is thoughtful and compassionate towards self. Looking forward to reading more about your journey.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2019, 03:55:13 AM »
Being clean is its own reward, and it can push one forward if harnessed properly.  Keep it going, and keep up the wide-ranging reading, another activity that also has its own reward !  Enjoy your enjoy!!

Thank you! "wide ranging" reading is key. That includes reading that has nothing to do with rebooting. A big part of the "why?" that motivates me in my reboot is wanting to enjoy my life and be more well-rounded.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2019, 03:57:24 AM »
Really enjoyed reading through your posts. It sounds like you have a great perspective on things, and your approach is thoughtful and compassionate towards self. Looking forward to reading more about your journey.

Thank you for reading and for your kind feedback. It's helpful to know I'm reaching people on here. It's important to not just subtract P from my life but to add things like meaningful connections (online and in person) and to make time for others who are struggling on the same path.

MindOverModem

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Re: Starting my 30s Porn Free, one day at a time
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2019, 10:29:37 AM »
DAY 7

Today was wonderful and challenging. The low point which made me feel like I might use was a phone call to customer service over my phone bill. I just took the whole thing too personally and felt bored while I was on the line and felt like I had earned a release when the call was over. I went for a walk instead and watched that feeling pass.

The wonderful part was going out and being in the world. I went to a farmers' market today, and that involved talking to a lot of strangers. I was amazed at the difference in my eye contact and presence. I felt a compassionate connection to others, no shyness or yucky feeling as if they might be able to see all my secretive P use in my eyes.

The past few days, phone calls with my GF have been awesome. Just so much more present and appreciative. Our connection feels stronger than ever, and her voice alone is enough to turn me on. There have also been some flatline type moments this week, but you take the good with the bad. I'm trying to stay open to this whole experience, since trying to control and micromanage my feelings was the heart of the entire P issue for me.


Week 1

I got some awesome advice from a friend who fasts. He said you don't get progressively hungrier. The first 24 hours of a 72 hour fast is the hard part, but 72 hours isn't much harder than 48 hours. I'll take his word for it, I can't imagine 72 hours without food. But I can say that's definitely true for PMO cravings. The second half of this week was much easier than the first couple of days, and it's not like 7 days was harder than 6.

Tomorrow morning, I will wake up to the longest I've ever gone without M since I was young. P wasn't always involved, and I'm not going full nofap, just trying to do it hardmode for as long as I can. Anyway, that's pretty cool. Instead of feeling like I can't do it, I feel excited to be entering the unknown.

That book Fortify talks about this, how cravings come in waves that intensify but gradually pass. When you're in a moment of craving or a day full of cravings, it feels like the urge is just going to keep building until there's a release, but this isn't true. It always goes away eventually, sometimes just a few moments after you notice it.

A week might not sound like much, but it feels like a big deal for me, especially since I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone this long without MO before. Anyway, I'm not here to compare my experience to someone who's farter along. Anyone who's gone the distance has been in my shoes and knows how 7 days feels.

--MOM