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18 and Losing hope 3 years on

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LankyStoic:
I'm 18 years old from Scotland. I have been trying to reach a 30-day streak for 3 years now. The most I have gone is 14 days, on a few occasions. I started watching port at 12 and it felt wrong at the time but everyone around me was also starting to watch it. It never felt like a problem and I don't remember feeling any effects until age 16. At age 15 I wasn't using it much at all and got a girlfriend which went really well until I started watching it more. I also got a job and was surrounded by negative influences (people who took drugs and watched a lot of porn) making it seem ok. This period of lots of porn use and bad people around me led to a breakup and the first time in my life where I didn't try at school. I had lost all hobbies, grades, girlfriend, and most importantly my values. My attitude towards women was toxic. It had developed over time. I used to be the most respectful guy ever and was always called 'good guy (my name)'. I slowly became unlikable. I became shy, socially anxious, pathetic, annoying and had no sense of humor. I wondered what was wrong with me.

Over the past 3 years I have had some good and bad moments but never making it past 30 days. I have definitely improved, I notice a personality change but I still have a long way to go. I eventually spoke to my girlfriend about it but it was never brought up again for a long time, then I was watching far too much and it caused the breakup. We got back together and things seemed ok again but soon I slipped into bad habits again and wasn't treating her right, I was never there for her or showing enough love. I confessed my problems to her again and she was heartbroken and this obviously added to my pain but I read about betrayal trauma.

So right now, I have convinced her that I am clean and have been for a few months. Which isn't true. I have been on 1 and 2 weeks streaks with bad chasers in between. I also promised to seek help from an expert near me but I never did. I can't bring myself to hurt her by telling her but I also know that she is being hurt indirectly because she knows something is up. I tried to find therapists near but I have read on forums that they arent useful. I am hoping that joining this forum will help but I am really struggling and I cant seem to beat this.

Right now I have been trying cold showers, journaling, eating clean, reading YBOP and forums. I haven't tried contributing to this forum, speaking to a therapist, proper exercise (as I have postural problems which cause extreme pain).

penguin_36:
Hey buddy. There is no need to lose hope. First of all-you are wonderful. You are a very good person. Porn does not make us bad. It was your natural curiosity as a child that brought you into this and your brain is made in such a way that it got addicted to it. So first of all we need to stop shaming ourselves and realise that we all are good people. What is bad Is this porn. But now as we have realised this, it is our responsibility to overcome this addiction. You falling prey to this evil as a child was not your fault. But Even after knowing that porn is killing our Love and relationships and destroying our life, if we continue to let it eat us, then it is definitely our fault.

Also you need to first educate yourself completely about the harms porn is posing to your brain, relationships and the society. I got this education from the website Fight the new drug. I'll also advice you to use the app FORTIFY which will help you recover. Also keep updating your journal at reboot nation regularly and stay connected with other people as it will be extremely difficult if you do it alone. So first of all please EDUCATE yourself as much as you can on the harms of porn.

And DONT lose hope as the brain is continuously changing (neuroplasticity) and no matter how much you have watched porn, recovery is more than possible. Although it may take time and feel difficult, but surely you will be able to beat this villain and experience true love. We are always with you. All the best. Feel free to contact me whenever you feel like.

LankyStoic:
Thank you, appreciate this. Didnt see your reply until today but I actually discovered fight the new drug (which is a fantastic website) and also Fortify. I have joined fortify and managed to complete a 13-day streak (longest in months). I MO'd today to instagram picture, which was triggered by stress at work and back pain. I still count this as an improvement since I didn't watch actual porn. Feeling really heavy just now after this relapse but going t get back on the train and make it to 30 days next. Thanks again.

penguin_36:
Hey buddy,
    13 days is a very good streak. I will strongly advice you to stay away from all social media In the first few weeks of your reboot. Please delete instagrsm and other social media. They are major triggers. I have relapsed lot many times because of Instagram. Since I've deleted it, rebooting has become possible for me.
All the best!

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