Author Topic: Trying  (Read 473 times)

OhOh

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Trying
« on: February 21, 2020, 01:52:07 PM »
Hey Hey,

Back again. I was here with a very similar name, but I've been doing extraordinarilly badly since my last posts. I posted the forum introduction just as a reminded to myself as to what to do.

I'm still 49 years old, based in the UK, and a work-from-home content writer.

The last thing I posted in my old journal was a copy of the forum introduction as a reminder to try to start again properly.

So, I'm going to try to do it.

This is my first post:

I have been using porn compulsively for a long time. In fact, long before I had access to high-speed internet I was buying and hoarding large amounts of hard-copy porn.

The first time I ever went onto the web I tried to look at porn. But it only really became a problem beyond having a secret when I moved to where I now live with full-time, high-speed fibre internet.

I'm wary of psycholanalysing myself (though also extremely attracted to so doing!), but I do see some "issues" in my past that have helped to lead me down this path. I had a very delayed puberty, and was - as a result - scared of intimacy for a long time. My parents were conservative and even puritanical around sexual matters and I got no sexual education as a youngster: there was no "talk".

I've had two long-term relationships. Both with wonderful women. Really, I was (and am) very lucky.

I tend to think of my porn use, having been around another recovery forum for a while, as rather vanilla by some standards. That may be true in terms of escalation and that my porn use has stayed in relatively mainstream waters. That's how I like to think of it, but it's not entirely true, and there are parts of my sexuality that I am not comfortable with and don't fully understand.

I also went through a spell of visiting sex workers. This was mostly in a relatively short period of time concentrated around the breakdown of my first long-term relationship and is now firmly in the past. I genuinely believe that.

I was tremendously self-destructive for a while (and, indeed, I have made several suicide attempts in my life, though only one was serious enough to hospitalise me). I'm now in recovery when it comes to drugs (largely alcohol, but I don't use any drugs now), and I haven't drunk for nearly 7 years, smoked cannabis for a similar period, or smoked tobacco for around 3 years.

I am still in my second long-term relationship. We are not married, but the hope and expectation is that we will spend the rest of our lives together. I have told my partner once - tearfully, in the wake of discovery - that I was "addicted to porn" (this was back in the old DVD days). She disapproves of pornography entirely.

The longest period of time I have managed to stay off online porn is less than 30 days. I used the NoFap forum for a while, but found that I started to use that rather addictively.

I have broader problems around internet use more generally, and social media use, and news consumption most specifically.

I gave up Facebook in June 2016 (the proximity to the Brexit referendum in the UK when the site became extraordinarilly toxic is not coincidental). I would use the site for hours every day. I have succesfully stayed off Facebook. But I found Twitter. I have been on and off that site for the past year or so. I really would describe my relationship to it as addictive - I'm scared of deleting my account even now. I largely use it for political content, I've never really had a great deal of an issue with sexual content on social media fortunately, and I've never engaged too heavily with any other social media sites.

However, as I quit them now I'm concerned that I will run into exactly that problem.

Since around 2010 I've been working from home doing various sorts of content writing and editing. I am fortunate not to have any pressing financial or housing concerns.

I'm doing poorly though. I'd switched my concern around addiction to social media and excused porn use as a lesser issue for the moment. YouTube is also an issue with me.

I'm disengaged from my work and from the world. My work has gone completely to pot. I dislike most of it intensely (it is unrewarding and some of it ethically questionable (to me - it's gambling content, I know I'm feeding an addictive business) and I simply don't bother to do it a lot of the time. The house. Gardening. Our relationship. They're all neglected.

I'm nearly 50. I'm really so lucky and blessed in a lot of ways. And really a complete failure in others.

This is familiar territory I'm sure. There is an element of what would be recognisable as a mid-life crisis in this whole situation, I'm sure. I've been treated for depression and anxiety since my early 20s, but for the past few years (really since stopping drinking), that picture has been much more positive: I haven't taken any medication for a few years now.

The small bits of success I've had in the past have been greatly helped by using K9 as a blocker. That seems to be gone as an option now. I tried Cold Turkey but it caused me tech problems. I have Freedom now, but it's not got a comprehensive adult filter that I'm aware of and it's easy to get around. I've also been using a programme called FocalFilter that is quite a good blocker.

My sticking points are:

Having to be online all day every day for my work. Which bores me and which I dislike. I get behind with the work. I get worried and angry. I look for something to make me feel better. . .

My goals are simple. I want to give up porn forever.

This is quite a negative-sounding first post. There are lots of positives for me though:

I've got experience with recovery

I'm quite well-informed in this area already. I spent a long time round NoFap (I even wrote and researched some content for them), I've gone through all the Gary Wilson material and read Noah Church's book.

My life has been improving generally. I have ups and downs but since quitting alcohol (and to a lesser extent other drugs, largely canabis) has put me on an upward curve. I started to exercise, I took up meditation, and I've done tai chi and yoga classes. I write music and I'm learning how to record. I did a creative writing course and a song-writing course online.

I have a fairly clear idea of what I need to do, that at various points I've put into writing. It really boils down to:

Daily exercise,
Daily meditation/comtemplation,
Finding meaningful work,
Getting outside every day.

That's a sort of daily routine. In the longer term I need to address isolation and find something that will give me some sort of purpose.

That's a lot of words. I enjoy writing. I might well post too much. I might run off again. When I first got interested in really escaping I registered a website that I had hoped to use as a job of sorts. I've done nothing with it.

It's nice to meet you all. Please call me Owain.

Thank you.

OhOh

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Re: Trying
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 02:03:24 PM »
I should have added:

I've been relatively lucky with ED. I've had a couple of short-term episodes. However, porn has had a long-term detrimental effect on our sex life.

I don't have a smart phone. This has been one of my saving graces. Knowing my problems and being able to say, correctly, that I don't want internet access at all times because of my work, I've stuck with a dumb phone.

I'm porn free as of 4pm today.

Simonly

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Re: Trying
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2020, 03:46:09 AM »
Hi Owain,

I've just turned 50, and also from the UK.  Your introduction to porn seems to be very similar to mine.

Before I started my reboot, my use of porn was either triggered as a "stress relief", or habit … after surfing the net I'd get bored, and if the opportunity presented itself, I'd end up venturing to the porn sites.

Without wanting to branch into a political discussion, the UK has become a very toxic place since the referendum.  I can't see it getting better anytime soon.  I scaled down my social media use for the same reason as you.

My Facebook "friends" are just that … people who I would feel comfortable inviting in to my house.  Acquaintances, and folk that I couldn't relate to were removed from my profile.  I've deleted my Twitter account.  Some of stuff I was reading was nasty.  It now takes me a matter of minutes each morning to read my social media update.  I'm pretty much sure that social media addiction must also be having an impact on the wellbeing of many people.

My employee offers the opportunity to work from home, but I prefer to go to the office.  The environment by virtue stops my thoughts wandering off.  Are you able to work out of an office … your employer's or client's office?  Could you go and work in the local library?

I've now started on a home improvement project, much to the relief of my wife, to fix the jobs around the house and garden that I neglected before.  The focus is helping me during the reboot.

Keep trying … and don't give up :)

OhOh

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Re: Trying
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2020, 05:25:01 AM »
Hi Simon,

That's very kind of you. And encouraging! I appreciate it.

Let's see how I go.

I'm away for the weekend now, and hoping to stay offline.

Day 2 I guess. :)

OhOh

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Re: Trying
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2020, 07:45:47 AM »
It'll be 7 days today. That will be some sort of record for me in recent months.

I'm still not fully engaged with Recovery (with a capital R) here I don't think.

I've been engaging slightly with twitter, though I haven't got an account, and need to turn my blocking on.

I have just turned my blocking on! (Freedom and Focal Filter - neither of which are perfect, but both of which help.)

I've come here now because I was somewhat "triggered" as they say. My work is online, and I have to research all sorts of things, some of which have triggering imagery. I felt myself craving porn, so... yes, here I am. I remember in the past using a browser extension (I use FireFox) that completely blocked all images unless you allowed them on a particular site. That might be something to examine.

I'm OK. I've done some exercising. I've started to meditate and am three-days in to a month-long "challenge" (I know there's something of a contradiction between the idea of meditation and doing it as a "challenge", but I'm hoping it'll get me started again).

I hope everyone is doing fine. :) 

GottaReboot

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Re: Trying
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2020, 03:11:37 PM »
I too do my work totally online and spend 8+ hours a day on my computer and the internet for research etc. Do that has meant that occasionally P and Psub images will pop on my screen. Working with my psychologist (and others here may disagree with me) I come to learn that as long and I don't linger and don't go down the rabbit hole that I am still making progress. I can honestly say when those images do pop on the screen, I quickly click away and try to not look at all if it can be helped. I'm 40+ days in with a small replase at day 20 and the physical improvements I am seeing are amazing. I had PIED when I started this, and now have no problem getting it up without visual aids or even thinking about P - that is a huge improvement! Keep up what your doing, it's worth it.

OhOh

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Re: Trying
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2020, 11:44:48 AM »
Hey GottaReboot, thank you for the advice, I appreciate it. And I admire your strength. I'm not sure I have that yet. In fact, I relapsed not long after that post to PMO - though not in a particularly spectacular way.

I still feel like I'm rather bouncing along at the moment. Not bouncing along the bottom, but in a rather mediocre way.

I'm back looking at Twitter. Without posting.

I have good things going on: exercise, meditation, more interest in my passions (music, reading, my relationship).

I feel the need for something to happen. That might not be a good or right thing to feel. But it is what I feel.

I hope to get more engaged here in time. At the moment, I don't feel like I'm in either recovery nor in full-blown relapse.

All the best, friends.