Author Topic: From Darkness to Light - My Journal  (Read 103 times)

Elvis on Velvet

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From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« on: November 06, 2019, 12:32:35 PM »
Hi everyone.  I found this place about a week ago and decided to post my journal today.  I'll tell my story here, but first just want to say I am 11 days porn-free today.  It's probably the longest period I have not used pornography in 20+ years, with the exception of an involuntary period after a serious motorcycle accident 5 years ago (I don't count that anyway).  I've been addicted to porn for a long time, and it's going to stop now.

I'm 47, married for 23 years, and I have two children.  After reading so many other peoples' stories here, I realized that mine is very similar to so many others.  I started looking at porn at about 12 years old, at first just Playboy, Penthouse, etc.  This was before the internet, of course, and options were limited, especially for a 12, 13, 14 year old kid.  I have no history of childhood abuse, my home life was pretty good actually, my parents were together, not always super happy, but they made it work with three kids and not a lot of money.  I grew up in Los Angeles, so porn, in the form of magazines and later videos on VHS and DVD, was always readily available.  My biggest problem was just finding privacy to do my PMO thing in peace.  In the early days, it was probably a once a week affair, and I got bored with my little stash of magazines pretty quickly.  I'd get my hands on a VHS tape once in a while, which provided the novelty/dopamine hit that fed my nascent addiction.  As so many of us came to learn, the advent of the internet changed everything.

I used porn sporadically through middle school and high school.  I met my future wife freshman year of college, and we dated through all four years.  My porn use and PMO during that time was probably 1-2 times a week; sometimes more, sometimes less, it was all dependent on privacy, which was pretty limited with multiple roommates.  Never once did it enter my mind how disrespectful I was of my girlfriend by doing this.  I was an entitled little shit.

Fast forward to the year after college, we got married and moved in together.  This was the early days of the internet (mid-1990s), and dial up was the norm.  I had limited exposure to internet porn, I still mostly relied on DVDs for my PMO fixes, which despite being married now had not reduced in frequency.  Things remained like this for several years.

We had our first child in 2000, and I was by now well into a near daily PMO habit which was fed by widely available internet porn and increasingly fast connection speeds.  Another child followed in 2003 and if anything, my addiction grew stronger.  My wife and I had a decent sex life, as much as can be with two small kids in the mix.  We were pretty vanilla as far as sex goes, but my proclivities online were becoming increasingly more fetishized.  Things went on like this for several more years.

Fast forward again and I started a job which required me to travel frequently.  I think this is where my porn use started to get out of control.  I was away from home and alone on the road 3-4 nights every week, living in hotels.  PMO became a 1-2 times a day thing.  Still, when I got back home, my wife and I would have sex pretty regularly, and I never encountered an ED issue at all.

Again this went on for several years, then smartphones became popular and, coupled with high-speed internet, my porn addiction exploded.  In the past several years, my PMO habit was daily, and I almost never missed a day.  Home, work, basically wherever I could get away with it.  Also, my porn subject matter became increasingly hardcore and fetishized, oncluding things I would never consider in real life.  I've been struggling at this stage for probably the past 5-7 years.

About 2 years ago, my doctor switched by blood pressure medication (I have genetic high blood pressure).  I'm pretty fit, healthy weight, work out pretty regularly, no smoking, social drinking, no drugs.  I had a bad reaction to this medication and experienced a couple of epic anxiety attacks that also coincided with several episodes of ED.  I still don't know if the medication was the cause, or if it was PIED.  I freaked out about the ED but never made the connection to porn.  My doctor put me back on the old medication and gave me a prescription for sildenafil to deal with the ED, which we both assumed would be temporary.  I've been using it for sex pretty much every time since then, it works well, and my wife doesn't know.  The times I don't use it, I can get a semi-erection or occasionally a full one but it doesn't last long and I need to orgasm quickly or it goes away.

I should add I never experienced the need to do marathon PMO sessions as I've read about here.  I've always just been into getting my PMO done, but it was taking increasing variety and increasingly weird stuff to get the job done.  Just recently, I experienced VR porn and I was actually a little scared about how dangerous it could have become for me.  On day 12 of being clean now, I'm thinking about VR a lot.

On Saturday, October 26th, I was home alone, as I have one child away at college, the other was at a friend's house, and my wife was on a business trip.  I had just finished a PMO session, getting off to some particularly disgusting filth, and I had to go pick up my younger child from the friend's house.  On the drive there, something snapped in me and I became overwhelmingly disgusted by my addiction, almost to the point of physical illness.  I pulled over to the side of the road, and then and there permanently deleted every porn picture and video on my phone, cleared my browser history, deleted all porn bookmarks, and eradicated every bit of porn content or references I could find on my phone.  Thankfully, my phone is the only device I used to access porn, so it was essentially out of my life at that point.  I just had to deal with my mind now.

So here I am 11 days later, still clean and doing my best to stay that way.  I haven't talked to my wife about this and probably won't tbh.  I feel like it would hurt her too much to hear about the extent of my addiction.  We've had a couple discussions about porn in the past when she's seen stuff on my phone, and they were really hard on both of us.  She felt betrayed and I felt like a piece of shit.

Wow, this was longer than I thought, and I probably left out a lot.  I've been reading stories here for the past several days, and it's really helped me realize I'm not alone in this.  Gabe Deem's videos have been a huge help, too.  I'm looking forward to posting here regularly about my progress.  Haven't experienced any real withdrawal symptoms yet, but I know it's early in my recovery.  I'm grateful for this community.

Thanks for reading.

Elvis on Velvet

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 01:58:27 PM »
I also noticed my cravings for sugar increased.  It was bad timing I did this during Halloween  ;D

PurpleDaze

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 08:13:14 PM »
Hi,
As the wife of a recovering PA, I'd like to offer some unsolicited advice if I may. We have been married for over four decades. It turns out hubby gradually increased in his addiction over the past decade, but I didn't discover it until earlier this year. He had the attitude of "what she doesn't know won't hurt her" and that was a big lie! I had some suspicions based in the bedroom (again, we know each other's preferences, styles, habits in bedroom very well, having been married for over 40 years). He just excused them rather than 'fessing up. in the meantime, I was wondering if I was the problem in some way....He allowed me to think that, rather than 'fessing up. Fast forward to March of this year when I found some historical stuff on tv, computer, phone, etc. I confronted him and he admitted. Yes it hurt (like you mentioned your wife was hurt), but what hurt even more was the deceit, coverup, etc to supposedly avoid my being hurt. That made it even worse! I didn't feel trusted at all. Didn't our love and long-term marriage count for anything? And to top it off, I am in the counseling profession. I know this stuff cannot be solved alone, it takes a village. We are still working through this, as my trust is trying to rebuild. I offer this info to you as you say you probably don't plan to tell your wife. You want to spare her the devastation and hurt. Chances are, like me, she has some nagging suspicions. I hope you respect her enough to face the music and have a true heart-to-heart with her, yes it will be difficult. But, if you don't, chances are good that she will discover it, through intuition or whatever, and your having deceived her will just complicate matters even more. Let her be a part of your recovery, that is really the only way true recovery in a married couple who want to stay married, can occur. I just wish my husband would have talked to me, rather than me quietly blaming myself unnecessarily, and then discovering his deceit on my own. From my experience, what she doesn't know CAN hurt BOTH of you! Just my two cents, I wish you the best on your journey to healing together. Thanks for listening and for sharing your story.

Elvis on Velvet

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 11:45:45 AM »
Purple Daze, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I very much appreciate the perspective of a partner to an addict. I'm going to take your advice to heart and have a serious think about including my wife in my recovery. As you mentioned, I'll need to confront the shame and the guilt of doing that, and the possibility that she may not want to continue to be married to me.

I'm on day 13 of my recovery.

Elvis on Velvet

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2019, 01:48:07 PM »
Day 14, no PMO.  Thank God!

I feel like I'm experiencing the so-called "flatline". No real interest in sex, though I am enjoying seeing my wife naked more than I remember in the past.  We did a little cuddling when she got out of the shower this morning and I felt some stirring down there, but no erection or anything like that.  I do find myself thinking about her body more often, probably because I haven't seen a naked female body other than hers in two weeks.  We watched a movie the other night that had a pretty explicit sex scene, and I subtly looked away from the screen.  Trying really hard not to experience any artificial stimulus if I can help it.

We haven't had sex in two weeks, which is pretty unusual for us, so I think it's probably going to happen this weekend.  I'm nervous and likely to fail, so I have a feeling if we're going to talk about my reboot, it'll probably happen this weekend.

Will keep posting.  This is helping me tremendously.

Thanks for reading!

discobolus

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2019, 03:21:00 PM »
Good job so far. I’m on the same day as you, October 26th was also my last day. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky since we’ve had sex 5 times since then. I’m still using Viagra but hope to taper down the dose as I have longer sobriety and also get in better shape. Do you use Viagra still? Everyone is different but I feel like my PIED and especially DE is improving pretty rapidly so this weekend may be a pleasant surprise or it may end up being frustrating, but hopefully not.

jixu

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 08:15:52 AM »
You are going to make it-your depth of conviction and concern for your family will assist you.  Keep going strong!

Elvis on Velvet

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 07:38:12 PM »
Day 17.  PMO free by the grace of God.

Thanks to the people who have given their support and encouragement.  This community means a lot to me, and I truly appreciate you taking time to help me.

It was a tough weekend.  My father in law passed away on Saturday, and there was a lot of family stress, grieving, etc.  We were all busy and honestly that probably helped keep my mind off porn.  No relapse!

Slight triggers ahead, please proceed with caution:

Wife and I had sex Saturday morning (before we found out about her dad, of course).  In answer to your question Discobolus, I do still use viagra most times.  I used it Saturday and everything went well.  I tried hard to just focus on my wife.  She's beautiful and has a spectacular body, so you wouldn't think this would be hard, but in the past I've felt my mind wandering to various porn actresses when we have sex.  I tried hard to focus only on her and what I was feeling in the moment.  I'm also beginning to realize that I've often been trying to have "porn sex" with my wife, replicating things I've seen in videos.  So this time I tried to just go slow, be more intimate, and enjoy her and her pleasure.  It was good, and I'm looking forward to the next time!  I'm especially looking forward to getting past my PIED and being able to enjoy spontaneous sex with my wife without having to pop a pill ahead of time.

I haven't experienced much in the way of withdrawal symptoms, but I do think about porn a lot and I notice I have some specific triggers.  Unfortunately, I pass a strip club on my way home from work every day.  I was never into strip clubs, and I've never been inside this one, but they advertise the name of the feature porn star dancer every week, and I of course always recognize the name.  In the past, seeing that name on the sign would lead me to look up her scenes and then head down the rabbit hole.  It's been challenging to see those names every week and know I won't be watching her in action later, not even in my mind if I can help it.

Short entry for today, hopefully I'll post again tomorrow.  Once again, I sincerely appreciate everyone who reads this and responds.  Our strength is in each other.  Cheers!

Elvis on Velvet

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Re: From Darkness to Light - My Journal
« Reply #8 on: Today at 01:28:42 PM »
Day 18 and I'm porn-free by the grace of God!

I had a mild anxiety attack last night.  It was a stressful weekend with the death of my father in law, and I assume the anxiety was due to that and all the family stress it created.  In the past, when I woke up with anxiety, I would always reach for my phone and look at porn.  Last night, I instead picked up the book I'm reading and read for an hour until the anxiety passed.  It's a small accomplishment, but this is something I would not have done in the past while in the grip of my addiction. 

One thing that's helped me a lot is not having my phone near me when I go to bed.  It now gets turned off and left in another room at night.  I got in the habit of sleeping with my phone on the nightstand during the years I traveled, so my wife could reach me if there was an emergency at night.  That very rarely happened, and instead I used it for PMO most nights.  No more.

On a good note, I've been waking up during the night with pretty solid erections, something I haven't experienced in a long, long while.  They don't last long, but just waking up with some wood is a novel experience for now.  I find myself thinking a lot about having sex with my wife without having to take a pill.  I don't think I'm there yet, but that's the main motivation for me right now.

Thanks for reading!  Stay strong, guys!