Author Topic: A Better Tomorrow  (Read 1868 times)

NewStart04

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A Better Tomorrow
« on: August 04, 2019, 08:34:38 AM »
Hey there fellow rebooters,

I am a 31-year-old male who has been suffering from porn addiction since a very young age. I first started looking at internet porn when I was ten (circa 1998) and got hooked on it soon after. As I entered my mid-teens, I underwent a big change in my life, and, because of this, I was able to completely stop looking at porn and masturbating. Unfortunately, I fell back into the habit a year later. I can still remember that day. I was walking back home from the bus stop after school when the thought, "hey, you want to masturbate?", popped into my head. After getting back home, I wound up masturbating in the shower, and while this didn't immediately lead to me looking at porn, things quickly snowballed, and I found myself heavily looking at porn again soon after.

At that time, resources like this website, YBOP, Your Brain Rebalanced, and Addicted to Internet Porn were not available. I really wish they had been, but I also know it doesn't do much good sitting around regretting the past.

Now while I had wanted to quit ever since I fell back into the habit at 16, I was never able to go the distance when I tried, and this made me both jaded and exhausted. There was even a period for a few years when I gave up on the thought of quitting entirely. After that, I had various attempts here and there, but they all proved unsuccessful as well.

Fast-forward to 2015, and I am now 27 years old. Some difficulties I was experiencing in life then made me look at myself to see what about it was problematic, and one of the problems I flagged was my frequent and unhealthy porn use. This got me to start poking around online, and I came across some videos of Gabe Deem on The Reboot Nation's YouTube channel. It opened my eyes to the addictive nature of porn, and this was a fantastic realization because, before that point, every time I tried to fight my porn habits, I would always have a voice in the back of my head saying, "no matter how long you try to abstain, the distress you feel from doing so will never go away" and "all men are just naturally horny, so there's nothing you can do about it." The magnitude of this realization notwithstanding, I have still been struggling with recovery over these past four years, and recovery itself has become more difficult due to the countless relapses I’ve had. This is in spite of the fact that I became more informed, first with Noah Church's book Wack: Addicted to Internet Porn (and his YouTube channel Noah B.E. Church), and later with Gary Wilson's website and book Your Brain on Porn.

Now take into account that I had various difficulties in my past and developed other destructive habits along the way, so I can't chalk up all my problems to porn use. I have come to terms with some of the trauma from my past and have done away with some of my other destructive habits, but these changes have not been enough to release me from the clutches of this addiction, at least so far.

Now I know this doesn’t provide you with a complete picture of who I am, my struggles, my failures, my efforts and my achievements, so if any of you are interested in learning more about me and my history, please feel free to ask in this topic or via message. But I have a tendency to ramble, so I'd like to get on to the meat of this topic.

As mentioned at the beginning, I am a 31-year-old male. I live alone in a foreign country, have no familial ties, the few friends I have live in different countries, I lack any prominent work skills and specialized knowledge, don't have much of a career, my savings are limited, I suffer from poor physical health (damaged joints, multiple GI problems, tissue loss on penile shaft due to years of unchecked aggressive masturbation), I suffer from mental health problems (OCD, ADHD, and talk to myself when I am alone), poor cognition (brain fog, verbal fluency), anxiety, depression, and low emotional intelligence, among other things.

I know we all have our own problems, and I am not trying to wallow in despair. I am just trying to give you all some idea of what I am going through.

I am currently on the cusp of a big change in my life. My current contract is about to end, so I am now looking for another job, but I don’t have much time to find one. To make matters worse, I am only allowed to stay in my current country of residence if a company sponsors my work visa. This is extremely stressful for me.

But you know what? As extremely painful as this all is, I am putting in, for me at the very least, some solid effort in facing the situation before me without running away from it. Instead of getting overwhelmed by anxiety and running away from my problems, I am doing the following: a.) I am currently on my fifth day of no PMO on hard mode, which is indeed quite short, but it’s amazing to me that I haven’t relapsed with all the stress engulfing me each day, b.) I have decreased the amount of time that I talk to myself (a habit that I’ve had since I was 14) over the past two weeks, with the last few days being close to virtually free of self-talk, c.) I used to have problems with substance abuse, all of which I was able to quit (1 year or more, depending on the substance), except for caffeine, which I have been off of completely for about 2.5 weeks now, d.) I have been able to maintain my daily schedule of work, cooking, chores, etc., without letting it all morph into a chaotic, unregulated mess, e.) I am staying strong with my 20 minutes a day of insight meditation (the Waking Up app has been great for this), a habit which I started developing at the beginning of this year, f.) I am slowly dealing with my OCD by thoroughly going through a treatment book (though I am putting this on hold until things settle down and I find a job, I don’t want to rush through it), g.) I am more proactively and considerately interacting with others (currently just my coworkers since I don’t know anyone else out here and job-hunting is not giving me any time to go out there and meet new people at the moment) g.) I am trying to respect sleep more, even if I don’t sleep well, by not staying up too late, and h.) I plan on reaching out to my family soon (after almost five years of no contact).

I am still really scared (embarrassing though it is to admit it), wracked by anxiety, and I feel like I am being tossed about by the waves, but I also feel like I may have realized something that I had been blind to all these years. By exposing myself to this incredibly overwhelming fear and anxiety, I will, in time, be able to habituate myself to this feeling and live more comfortably with it. And, by changing how I respond to this fear, i.e. by not resorting to porn, fantasy, substance use, talking to myself or obsessing over negative emotions, past mistakes and missed opportunities, I can become increasingly able to live a life where I don’t feel some form of misery, emptiness or anxiety most of my waking hours, but instead feel happy and positive overall.

For your reference, I am including a list of my top 5 streaks below (not including the year I quit when I was 15-16):

1.) 8 weeks (early 2018) *Was still fantasizing
2.) 6 weeks (mid 2017) *Was still fantasizing, started looking at porn again during week 4 and masturbating without climaxing during week 5
3.) 5 weeks (late 2012)
4.) 5 weeks (late 2011) *Was having sex and orgasming multiple times a week, so I wasn’t giving my brain any recovery time
5.) 4 weeks, 6 days (relapsed June 13, 2019) *Looked at porn on four separate occasions, fantasizing present

Sorry for the essay length introductory post. I understand we are all busy and have our own problems, but, to anyone who does read this topic and follow my journal posts, I hope that you will wish me success and send some goodwill my way. It would really mean a lot to me, and I am going to work on doing my best to become a better, stronger human being, regardless of how my future turns out. I hope that I can one day serve as someone others can look to, along with Gabe Deem, Noah Church, and the many others who have overcome this disease, as an example of successful recovery.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 05:05:46 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2019, 08:36:21 AM »
July 31, 2019 - Day 1

Urges: Nothing too strong. I nipped any that appeared in the bud.

Emotions: I was snubbed multiple times by a colleague today, so that obviously had a negative impact on my mood. Thankfully, I was able to remain civil and friendly, both toward her and others, which was a relief. I felt some anxiety throughout the day, but that was due to some physical pain that surprise-attacked me at work and concerns over job-hunting. Some of these feelings carried over after work, but I think I was able to tolerate them and successfully complete what I wanted to do for the day.

Cognition: Thinking was a little slow, with some haziness at work. Verbal fluency was a bit dampened, but overall I was ok.

Pain: Moderately deep, aching pain today. Noticeable but not dominating.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:25:54 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2019, 08:39:46 AM »
August 1, 2019 - Day 2

Urges: Thankfully nothing too bad today. The few urges I did have were quickly nipped in the bud. I did have one incident of urges flaring up, but I didn’t indulge, not even for a moment, and that really helped. Two days down…I know the journey is long and it can and will get a lot worse, but I refuse to die an addict.

Emotions: I felt moderate anxiety and fear (health-related) throughout the day, but it got a little better after work. Some feelings of incompetence, worthlessness and depression were peppered throughout the day as well.

Cognition: Verbal fluency was quite poor in both languages. Thinking was moderately slow, a little confusion was present, focus was ok, thoughts were pretty hazy, forgetfulness was bad but not terrible.

Pain: Some aching in my penis. Noticeable throughout the day, but no severe pangs.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:25:38 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2019, 08:40:53 AM »
August 2, 2019 - Day 3

Urges: Lucked out again today because I didn’t have too many noticeable urges. Anything that popped up was immediately nipped in the bud. This has got to mean that I have some big ones in store for me sometime soon, but for now I am just going to count my lucky stars.

Emotions: Elevated anxiety, some worthlessness and a bit of depression. Felt a bit of irritation from an incident that occurred after work as well.

Cognition: Verbal fluency was downright terrible in both languages. All members of the brain fog ensemble where in town today: slow thinking, difficulty focusing, confusion, forgetfulness, and hazy thoughts.

Pain: Felt some aches here and there throughout the daytime, and then felt some more pronounced ones accompanied by a little burning during the evening.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:25:11 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2019, 08:42:25 AM »
August 3, 2019  - Day 4

Urges: The first round of heavier urges hit today. Thankfully, they were only moderate ones, but I think part of this was due to the fact that I did an amazing job of not giving them even a second of indulgence once I was aware that they were occurring in consciousness. I think most of them emerged during periods of staggering emotional distress, which may hint at how much I have been using this addiction as a way to cope with intense emotions, like anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. Sitting alone with these emotions without any escape was pretty painful, but it is undeniable how helpful it was to go that route instead of giving the urges power.

Emotions: Waves of various emotions throughout the day: anxiety, fear, worthlessness, helplessness. As mentioned above, I did my best to endure them without avoidance and go about my daily tasks. I think I did a bit of mental reassurance after I got back home for work, but I took them head-on for the most part.

Cognition: Same as yesterday. Terrible verbal fluency in both languages, and full blown brain fog (slow thinking, difficulty focusing, confusion, forgetfulness, and hazy thoughts).

Pain: Penis pain not too noticeable today, which is quite welcome. I hope this continues.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:24:57 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2019, 08:57:37 AM »
August 4, 2019 - Day 5

Urges: The urges definitely ballooned up today. I was feeling high levels of fear, anxiety, and helplessness (due to thoughts of my upcoming job transition and uncertainty about the future), and my body wanted a release from this torturous agony so badly. They were pounding on me internally, beseeching me for some way out, and they tried their best to turn the PMO faucet on. Thankfully, I once again nipped them in the bud, though I did have a few instances of me indulging in a fantasy for a second or two, but there were no instances longer than that. Today has been so draining and exhausting. I really hope tomorrow feels a little better.

Emotions: As I mentioned above, I felt high levels of fear, anxiety, and helplessness today. While this was caused by my current circumstances, I do wonder how much (if any of this) was caused by my body throwing a tantrum because it couldn’t get any dopamine.

Cognition: Verbal fluency and brain fog were in the gutter (but this may be due in part to the fact that I couldn’t fall asleep last night and was pretty sleep-deprived).

Pain: A little bit of a dry sticking with a burning sensation, but nothing too noticeable.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:24:42 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2019, 09:35:27 AM »
August 5, 2019 - Day 6

Urges: I woke up in the middle of last night (after I had already posted my entry for the fourth), half awake but totally engulfed in fear and anxiety with intense urges on top of them. Unfortunately, since I was half awake, my guard was down and I did indulge in fantasy for about 15-20 minutes (the overwhelming fear and anxiety didn’t help), but thankfully I was able to put my urges in the background, and, eventually, I was able to fall asleep again. This led to yet another night of inadequate sleep (I hope this isn’t going to start forming a pattern). The first 2-3 hours I was awake, I did fantasize a little and was occasionally sticking my hands into my shorts to kind of flick my penis from its base, but I took another nap, and after that I had my fantasies pretty much under control for the rest of the day. I feel like today was the first day that I didn’t have a great response to my urges, but at the same time, the fact that I made it through the monstrous urges that hit me in the middle of the night feels like a miracle. It is a great relief knowing I made it through that hellacious ride.

Emotions: As mentioned above, I felt strong fear and anxiety in the middle of the night. These were still present after waking up, but they weren’t as strong. They lingered in the background throughout the day, but I got some important time-consuming errands done (I went to immigrations to get the ball rolling on extending my visa, which should buy me a bit of time) without procrastinating them, so that felt somewhat rewarding.

Cognition: Verbal fluency was mediocre, but not terrible. Some difficulty focusing, some difficulties with memory, some haziness, etc. Overall I felt impaired but not terribly so. The same could be said about my social interactions. I think I was overall pleasant and communicative but a bit awkward as well.

Pain: A bit of that dry, burning pain again, but I probably irritated it a little when I was doing the abovementioned flicking here and there after waking up. The strong urges may have also stimulated my shaft a bit, so this may have added to the discomfort. It wasn’t too noticeable for the most part though.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:24:26 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2019, 06:53:54 PM »
August 6, 2019 - Day 7

Urges: Because I unwittingly fantasized the night before, and thus broke my streak of essentially no fantasizing, I found it was a little more difficult to completely avoid fantasies today. They weren’t terrible, and I don’t think I overindulged, but I noticed myself having slightly extended fantasies here and there. Thankfully they weren’t excessively sexual. Overall, urges were medium strength and not frequent. I think today was fine, but I hope that I am back to nipping them in the bud when they appear tomorrow.

Emotions: Anxiety was there as an undercurrent throughout the day, but thankfully the fear I have been experiencing recently wasn’t very present. I did have a pocket during the day where I felt like everything was bleak and pointless, but I was able to bounce back and get a lot of tasks done (I spoke with an employment agency representative who introduced me to a couple of available positions, shopped for some clothes, submitted the remaining documents for my visa extension, and got my first physical in over three years).

Cognition: Verbal fluency felt better but still impaired, the same with memory. Thinking felt slow at times, with a bit of haziness in the background.

Pain: Slight aching here and there, but overall not very noticeable. It is nice that this is grabbing my attention and distracting me less.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:24:06 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2019, 09:06:02 AM »
August 7, 2019 - Day 8

Urges: I had some moderate urges throughout the day. Indulged a little here and there, but I kept them at arm’s length for the most part, which is great, but I really want to push fantasizing as close to zero as possible. I think limiting dopamine spikes as much as possible will help me recover faster. Today is a minor milestone for me because I looked at porn for a little on the same day of my last streak (about 4 weeks 6 days, ended about two months ago), so compared to that I am already doing better, with no intentional searching for erotic content and very limited fantasy.

Emotions: Felt a bit amped up after work started, later began feeling moderate anxiety, and after that a bit of depression and worthlessness. After getting back home from work, I felt some moderate anxiety and helplessness.

Cognition: At the start of the workday, verbal fluency was alright, but after an hour or so in, it started dropping, and it plummeted during the second half of the day. This was really disheartening for me. I feel that the same thing was happening simultaneously with memory, thinking speed, and thought haziness. The effect this addiction has on brain fog and verbal fluency is really crippling. It makes me feel like I am defective, and it’s extremely hard to cope with at times.

Pain: Very minor today. I feel like I am seeing the quickest improvement in this area.

Pdub

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2019, 11:39:48 AM »
I like the format of your journal.  It's easy to see what you care about and how you're doing.  That said, keep it up man!

Speaking two languages fluently is difficult.  Sometimes you just have to accept that you won't be perfect.  Don't let -good- be the enemy of perfect in that regard.  Your native language is always a bit easier to hear and speak.

mranoym31

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 04:53:56 PM »
Your last post is very well worded. Especially the emotion and cognition part. Inspiring reading your journal. Keep it up!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 01:02:24 AM by mranoym31 »
AUGUST 3RD 2019
AUGUST 26TH 2019

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2019, 07:34:25 AM »
Pdub:

Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your words of encouragement. I'll try to keep that in mind if I find myself being overly critical. Unfortunately, my verbal fluency has been poor in both languages. Have you ever noticed any negative effects that porn use has had (or is having) on your verbal fluency?

mranoym31:

I am really glad to hear that you found some inspiration here. Sometimes I feel like I can be very repetitive with my word choice, and this makes me worry that I might be making people less interested in reading my account. I suppose that I was just overthinking things. Thanks for giving me some perspective.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 07:40:59 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2019, 07:36:25 AM »
August 8, 2019 - Day 9

Urges: Moderate urges again today. I think I did a good job not giving them much of my time or energy. Probably a little better than yesterday.

Emotions: Moderate anxiety. The rest is hazy.

Cognition: Verbal fluency felt a little better and brain fog felt a bit lighter. Felt less socially awkward.

Pain: Pretty mild today.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:22:27 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2019, 08:19:55 AM »
August 9, 2019 - Day 10

Urges: This morning, I had to submit some paperwork to my liaison at the employment agency, but I was experiencing more difficulty than I would have liked trying to finish it. This was extremely stressful for me, and, toward the end, I felt some strong urges building up within me. I once again did more of the penis flicking that I mentioned earlier in my journal and may have even brushed my fingers across the glans a few times as well. None of this was premeditated, but it was frustrating every time I noticed it happening. The urges continued to intensify, and once I noticed that I started having an increasing desire to type in an erotic string of words into a search engine, I knew things had become too dangerous. I rushed the last bit of my paperwork, sent it out, and then separated myself from the computer. During the rest of the afternoon, I felt moderate urges here and there, but after getting back home I fell into a darker mood, which made me gravitate toward stronger urges. Sensing the danger, I decided to eat out tonight and go for a walk after. I am now back at home, but I still feel them in the background. I just want to go to bed and get this day over with. Hopefully tomorrow is a bit better.

Emotions: Stress, frustration and helplessness in the morning. Depression and anxiety in the afternoon. These two emotions have continued into the evening, but now they’re amplified by fear and the return of helplessness.

Cognition: Brain fog is definitely worse than yesterday. Verbal fluency was down as well, but not as bad as the brain fog.

Pain: A bit more burning today. Probably from the flicking I did this morning.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 08:23:26 AM by NewStart04 »

mranoym31

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2019, 08:58:53 AM »
I am 31 like you and feel your pain. It's helpful reading other people comments and following journals. Keep strong!
AUGUST 3RD 2019
AUGUST 26TH 2019

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2019, 10:44:25 PM »
mranoym31

Thank you for the empathy. It's a shame that this addiction has followed us into our thirties. I find it difficult at times not to think about all the damage it has caused and all the opportunities I have wasted because of it. But I also know that fixating on the past isn't helpful, and the best thing that we can do, regardless of how hard it is, is to focus on changing what we can in the present.

Best of luck. I hope your streak is going well.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2019, 11:09:16 PM »
August 10, 2019 - Day 11

Urges: Moderate to strong urges throughout the day. Thankfully, I wasn’t hit by any extended periods of them, but I believe I was able to avoid this because I often went outside for walks when I was feeling overwhelmed, and I did my best to avoid fantasy, which I was very successful in doing (only a few flashes here and there).

Emotions: This anxiety and fear about the future are just terrible. They do vary in their degree, but at times they feel downright relentless. I understand that the uncertain nature of my current circumstances is a big part of this, and that if I am able to secure something, these emotions will be somewhat alleviated. I suppose one frustrating part of it all is that I am unable to determine how much of these feelings is because of external stressors and how much of them are because of PMO withdrawals. I feel so much resolve to recover, but it’s when these emotions peak that I feel some of my resolve start to wither. I still think I am ok, but I am worried about how trying these next three weeks are going to be. Damn, I really wish I had made more PMO progress before reaching this crossroads in my life. Inconvenient doesn’t even begin to capture it.

Cognition: As if these intense emotions aren’t bad enough, my continually poor cognition and verbal fluency beat down any confidence I build up and make me feel incompetent and worthless. Were they the worst they’ve been during this journey? No, but I really do hope that I see some relatively consistent improvement with them over these next few weeks. It is difficult to hope for a better future when I feel like they are weights strapped to my feet, dragging me down to a hopeless future.

Pain: Probably the same as yesterday, a bit of burning. I didn’t stimulate it all today, so I wonder what the cause is. Maybe I had some erections while I was sleeping?

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2019, 11:34:20 PM »
August 11, 2019 - Day 12

Relapsed


I can't believe it. After how much I fought during such a stressful period of my life, I ended up flushing this short but significant progress down the drain.

What happened was essentially I went for a walk to dispel some of the urges I was feeling, and I stopped by a store to get something to drink and eat. I passed by the magazine section, and saw one with a cover showing many young women in bikinis. It caught my attention and amplified my urges, but I moved on to look for something to buy. I couldn't find anything I wanted, so I decided to leave the store, but decided to exit the store passing by the magazine section on my way out. I glanced at the magazine again, remembered it's name, and then continued on my walk. I wanted to look up other covers, but fought against it until I was just about to go back into my apartment. This is when I whipped out my phone, and looked at some of their past covers for about 20-30 seconds. Even after doing so, I was still ok for a time, until stress and urges hit again and I decided to go for another walk. Now nearby where I live is a red light district of sorts, and this reminded me that I could schedule a prostitute to come to my place almost any time of the day. They even have websites for doing so. I have never done anything with a prostitute before, I don't think I ever will, but the novelty of this thought made my urges shoot up and I started browsing some of the local prostitution websites, entertaining the thought that I could get someone to come to my place if I wanted. While doing so, I came across and started searching for nude pictures and occasional demo videos (essentially pornographic, including handjobs, blowjobs etc.). This in turn escalated into me looking at more sexual videos and eventually porn. This browsing ultimately lead to me masturbating and orgasming.

It all started with that magazine. It's one thing for us to come into contact with a sexual trigger by accident (difficult though that may be), but it was that second pass by the magazines that really did me in. I knew that intentionally looking at triggers/fantasizing are always a risk and that I was still too early on in recovery, but for that short moment, I ignored all the self control that I had built up over this past week and a half and did something I knew could potentially throw it all away.

I know almost all of us have fallen back to the bottom of the hole, but this relapse feels completely devastating, and the stress of everything surrounding me feels like it's going to swallow me whole. But I don't want to give up. No, I can't give up. I'd be consigning myself to a life not worth living. But the one major thing I had going for me right now was the resilience that I was cultivating to resist porn regardless of the circumstances I find myself in. Things are only going to get harder, and this time around I won't be able to look back and say "at least I have made it through 12 days of this hell."  I'm scared guys, I really am.

malando

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2019, 06:58:37 AM »
I'm sorry to hear that, NS. And yes, we all know the feeling of relapse. I understand the devastation. You'll have to give it a day or two for that feeling of anger and remorse to dissipate. But it will. So just make sure you don't relapse again - it's really easy to do when you've been doing really well and you feel like you've let yourself down in a big way. In can activate a quitter's reflex (you want to quit quitting porn), and cause you to act out in protest and frustration. I don't think you're thinking that way now, but be on guard for that type of cascade of thoughts. It can lead you down the same rabbit hole as the one the magazine lead you down.

You have learned a valuable lesson from this. It will strengthen your resolve once you are through this feeling crisis. You'll know to avoid that trigger next time, and anything that resembles it. For now, you just have to ride out the feelings of frustration, let it go somehow, and recommit to your goal. I think you can do it. Best wishes, M.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 06:14:51 PM by malando »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2019, 10:53:49 AM »
Malando

Thanks for the great advice. I was worried about the quitter's reflex both last night and this morning, so I did all that I could to keep myself preoccupied and avoid being idle or alone too long with my thoughts.

This disease really is insidious and tries to find whatever avenue it can to bring us back into the cycle. I quit alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and video games completely, and none of them came close to the difficulties I have had with this addiction. They weren't easy to quit, but porn addiction is just next level difficult, at least for me.


NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2019, 11:17:40 AM »
August 12, 2019 - Day 1

Urges: Some medium strength urges scattered throughout the day. I may have had a flash of strong ones once or twice. Keeping myself occupied, almost never idle and alone with my thoughts, was very helpful and led to zero urge indulgence.

Emotions: Felt really low but keeping myself constantly occupied helped me to not get caught in the undertoe.

Cognition: Ok I think. I tried not to think too much about it today to be honest. Didn’t want to give in to the quitter’s reflex.

Pain: Some pronounced burning, sticking etc. Not surprising seeing as I just relapsed.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 10:26:27 PM by NewStart04 »

Pete McVries

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2019, 11:46:14 AM »
Sending you some strength! I like the way of your journaling even though, I, as a reader, don't get to know you more despite your lenghty opening post. Your situation seems to be difficult which makes it extra stressful and difficult to reboot succesfully. Regarding the recent relapse, I'd like to add the following: Firstly, once you've stacked a few clean weeks, it will get alot easier to not act out when come across triggers. You will learn how to deal with them. The earlier you manage to snap out of a possible relapse, the easier it is to stay clean. When somebody relapses there are always a lot of red flags and warning signs along the way. One does not magically end up in front of the computer with their pants around their ankles with a few videos loaded. The start of relapse is much earlier. Your relapse began when you came across that magazine. And even though you sort of realized what was happening, and even though you were battling against it, your addiction still won in the end. The trick is, to realize what is happening as soon as possible and then act accordingly and find solutions to the urges so that you won't end up relapsing. I hope you find ways that work for you. It's also helpful to look at the ways you relapse and prevent them as good as you can. And to answer your question in my journal, almost all of my mental problems either dissolved or got way better that I don't feel like a picture of misery anymore.

I have two suggestions: Since you are dealing with a lot of adversity, maybe it would be helpful for you to add to your form of journaling a short passage where you either note something positive that happened to you that day or something that you did good that day. Or both ;). You are focussing on a lot of negative things like urges, negative emotions, negative cognitive effects and pain. While I think, these things are noteworthy, perhaps it would be helpful to shift your focus to more positive things. And even though there seema to be a lot of darkness in your life, I'm sure there are some rays of light.

Take care, and don't lose hope! You are not on your own!
ten months clean and counting...

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2019, 10:24:10 PM »
Pete McVries

Thank you for the words of support. It's gives me some relief hearing that triggers will affect me less a few weeks in. I felt like I was being pretty mindful during my last attempt, but I think the important thing that I forgot was that I need to consistently be mindful, because I will never be sure when a trigger or urge appears. I am even more relieved to hear that many of the mental difficulties will either disappear or considerably weaken. I think this piece of information will help take some of the edge off of this next attempt.

Also, thanks for the advice about including something positive in my daily entries. I will definitely start doing that.

Wishing you all the best. Take care.

CB

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2019, 11:42:58 AM »
Keep going, a relapse is just a bump in the road. Not a wall you can’t get through.
I think every addict will relapse while trying to quit. It’s scary to quit and let go of something we have used to comfort us when feeling stressed or down.
I have been looking on escort sites in my area too, I did that as some new sort of way of getting a high. I have never been going to prostitutes either. But the ”forbidden” thoughts of doing so got my brain in to a dopamine rush.. as many other things when coming to sex.
In the beginning there will be 1-2 or 3 weeks of strong urges, and then if you get a flatline don’t get scared and try if your dick still works. I did as many others and relapsed. It will get better week by week. My lust has come back more and more, and it feels comforting to know. One step at a time you will make it!

Thanks for sharing your story!

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2019, 12:38:47 AM »
CB

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I really appreciate the support, and I really needed some to be honest.

Good luck with your recovery.