Author Topic: A Better Life  (Read 332 times)

ZiggyBoo

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A Better Life
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:23:14 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I am a 41 year old porn addict. (might as well start there!)

Firstly I want to say thanks, have spent the past few days reading a lot here on this forum. People's journey, thoughts, experiences and honestly it's been great for my hope and drive to rid myself of this secret side of my life. Seems like there's a super supportive, knowledgable, transparent and honest community here!

My journey to P addiction is not too dissimilar to many others here. It's started with finding P magazines under my Dad's bed, then the introduction of DVDs in the 90s right through to high speed internet P of today. I remember some of my first exposures to P and how excited I was, this IS and has always been my poison! Growing up I never realised the effect that p was having on me (or more importantly my brain) and it was so common amongst my friends that I didn't think much about it.

Fast forward to my 40s - I'm married to the kindest women you could ever meet with 3 incredible kids. On the outside things are good, decent job, great circle of friends etc. However this struggle is a huge part of my life and it's slowly killing me. I hate the person I have become when I am wrapped up in the addiction. I hide away and all I can focus on is my next chance to act out, it leads me to disconnect from my family and become a selfish asshole! It's not the way I want to live the rest of my life. I guess that's my "why" for change. To be the best version of myself and lead a great life.

Roughly 6 years ago I realised that my P habit was beginning to affect my life and I began what turned out to be a loosing battle to quit looking at P. Over that time I have tried many many times (over 100 I would guess) to quit looking at P. If you're reading this you may be thinking I didn't try very hard, it would be an understandable assumption. However I have tried, I have joined groups, I have created plans, I have made big promises to myself, I have set boundaries, I have blocked access, I have confessed my addiction to my wife, I have cried my eyes out in despair on many occasions...

But here's the really pathetic part... I have never made been able to get past 30 days without PMO in all those attempts to quit. I would shamefully consider myself the ultimate serial relapser. I am astonished that this thing has such a tight grip on me that I cannot even get past 30 days without PMO. I have however learned a lot in the past 6 years about myself and the addiction and I am ready to battle this again.

I would like to check in here regularly as a way to stay accountable to others and learn from the experiences of the group. They say the opposite to addiction is connection!

My plan is to take this one day at a time. Today is day 5 of no PMO.

Thanks for reading.  :)






BigChanges66

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 04:58:18 PM »
Hi Ziggy,

You are already on track in looking to others here for accountability and knowledge.  It has helped me in my short time here and hope it will do the same for you.

Thanks,
BC66

TheNorman

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 07:42:12 PM »
This forum has been a huge part of my recovery. The support, the feeling of connection, the seeing things in myself through the experiences of others. It's all been incredibly helpful. I'm also in therapy as porn was both a problem and a symptom of other issues. We are all in the same boat, all without judgement. Just a bunch of guys who are making an effort to make their lives way better by ridding ourselves of the burdens of PMO. Welcome to the team!

ZiggyBoo

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 08:28:12 AM »
Thanks for the welcome BC66 and and TheNorman. So far things have been going okay. This is day 7. I had my first wobble over the past 24hrs, well I wouldn't quite describe it as severe as a wobble, more an old thought pattern.. Having a little bit of an argument with  my wife, nothing serious just normal stuff, differences of opinion, stubbornness on both sides. Anyway in terms of my recovery that mean there's no chance of some "time" together...

So last night and again this morning I had the old thoughts of "well if she's not available.." In situations like this I would always wait until she's gone to bed before spending hours PMOing.. It wasn't too hard to fight the urge on this occasion but it was interesting seeing it for what it was.. an old pattern!


UKGuy

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 01:17:57 PM »
Welcome Ziggy, and great first post. Lots I can identity with. You’re in good company here. We help, support and don’t judge each other. I was stuck in a cycle very similar to yours (I struggled to make it past 14 days) and have found that this forum has given me something that I was missing before, that’s helped me enormously in my own journey. Just having somewhere to be 100% honest with others who can relate to my experiences has been fantastic. Welcome aboard!

Rookie

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2020, 07:39:39 PM »
Greetings Ziggy...

Everything you mentioned...yup. But you have 2 things going for you that I didn't. First, you were able to reach the 30 day marks. Before my current streak (Check my journal under "New Start"), I wasn't able to make 3 days. So you have more will power than I did.
Second, you confessed to your wife...once again, if you're up for a long read, get into my journal. I can't bring this up to my wife for various reasons that are listed in my "blog".

All this to say that I'm NOT bragging in my journal, just saying you have a huge advantage over some of us.

Looking forward to some more progress report. And NO MATTER WHAT, post here. Successes, failures, close calls, everything. Sure some stuff some of us might think "why the heck was this posted here". But guess what, it's not our journal, it's yours. So no matter how minor or major the even is/was, if it makes a difference on your end. Post it.

We're all here to support you, but ultimately, it's your personal recovery.

Cheers!!



ZiggyBoo

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2020, 05:13:57 AM »

Thanks for the welcome UkGuy and Rookie, it genuinely means a lot - you both have experience that is hugely relevant to my situation and reading through your journeys so far has given me hope and encouragement!

Glad the weekend is over (it was a public holiday here in Ireland so it was along one) Weekends are typically a bit more tricky for me in terms of staying clean, alone time when my wife goes too bed, sometimes a few beers followed by bad decisions, sometimes a hang over, coupled with bad decisions etc. Happy to be facing into a new week with a little bit of a sober streak behind me, but really want to keep my guard up 100% this week.

I feel some inner peace, glad to be here on the forum!

ZiggyBoo

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2020, 01:57:25 PM »


I've been reading constantly over the past few days and picked up some incredible valuable nuggets of information. It's been these pieces of the puzzle that have helped me keep my focus on recovery over the past week. Alone time recently has me glued to the forum and reading others experiences - Not all new information and as we all know, there's no silver bullet. However there has been so much that I needed reminding of.

One of the big reminders for me was the concept of "either you're moving towards recovery or you're moving towards relapse" - this is so true - ALWAYS

I think the "disclosure to the wife" subject is particularly interesting.
I disclosed to my wife and I honestly regret doing so.
I thought maybe I'd share my experience:

My wife always knew I watched P and never had a major problem with it. I was caught by her a few times very early in our relationship and I think she just felt sorry for me being caught in the act more. The fact that I was viewing P wasn't a big thing for her.. However she didn't know the extent of my use!

I came clean to my wife about my addiction a few years ago (5 years maybe). It wasn't too long after I realised P was a BIG problem for me and I couldn't quit. I was at a very desperate time and felt that if I disclosed everything to her I would have no option but to fully commit to recovery. After all she would know everything so there would be no more hiding, no more lying, and most of all no more P!!

I remember I told her over a text message - Very cowardly I know! At the time I was seeing a sex therapist about my addiction and I told her that I had been struggling for this for some time. The conversation continued when I got home and obviously she was upset that this was a big thing for me. She had a lot of questions about the extend of my viewing and of course the content of my viewing. It was an awkward conversation and to be honest even at that point I didn't feel the support and understanding that I think I was seeking. Eventually she told me that she would help me and support me through this as much as I needed.

To be fair to her I think she has helped me over the years as best she knows how. However here's the problem - The P addiction didn't stop and I slipped back into the old cycle of relapse. Now and then she asks me "hows your addiction thing?" That's hard, because most of the time I have to look her straight in the eyes and lie to her.. I say "ye it's good at the moment" What else can I say..? "no I stayed up for 4 hours just last night while you were asleep and acted out" This would just open up a big can of worms and to be completely honest (rightly or wrongly) it's easier to lie! I'm not proud of it but that's where I find myself right now.

Also when we watch something that has anything that remotely involves sex or nudity I feel SUPER uncomfortable about what she might be wondering about how I'm feeling about the sex scene.. she is wondering whether I'm getting excited (which obviously I'm not) It's like watching a sex scene with your parents when you were 12.. It's awful!

Everyone is different and has different circumstances - But for me I think this is MY problem and one that I should never have raised with her. Maybe if i had followed through completely with my "honest" approach it would have worked but that's not how it unfolded unfortunately.

Sorry for the long read, I hope everyone is well.  :)

Icandoit

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2020, 04:37:52 PM »
Not all new information and as we all know, there's no silver bullet. However there has been so much that I needed reminding of.

That's right. I know that I used to look for the magic formula to beat this but after some time, you learn everything there is. It gets trickier though when you relapse and ask yourself "Why? Because I know what to do, why do I keep relapsing?" This is something I've had a hard time with. It's like I know what I have to do but something is not right. I hope this time it works.

Rookie

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2020, 11:16:35 PM »
I don't know if you guys read my full journal. But I'm in one of those marriages that I refuse to tell my wife. She has severe anxiety and severe body dysphoria. So, if I mention that I was deep into porn (very vanilla and never went beyond that) just the thought of me looking at women that maybe had nicer more desirable bodies than her...maybe not suicide, but a long, long time before anything would happen between us.

Now I'm approaching 150 days without PMO...while on the one hand, it's fantastic...and I feel a bit stronger in the fight every day....the urge is still there, not as strong as before...but I have to keep alert.

My big thing was, "hit 5 days"...once you get to that...then you got a bit of a streak going. Mind you my Christian background (reformed baptist) plays a huge, huge part in it...I still have to do the effort of fighting it.

Remember, NEVER try to hit 100 days if you can't do 5...go for 6 hrs...then another 6 hrs...then the 24 hrs. Now you have 1 day under your belt...next, 36 hrs...next 2 days...all of a sudden, you're at 5 days.

Just don't count every minute and every hour. That will torture you, and you're going to try to find something to do...which might lead to a relapse. Keep busy with something else, and just go for half day records. Eventually, you'll have a few days.

Hope I didn't ramble on too much, keep the right and stay in the ring. One of you has to go down...and stay there. You might get knocked down once or twice, just keep getting up.

ZiggyBoo

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2020, 07:16:14 AM »


Day 12

Nothing much to report. I have experienced some urges over the past few days, to be expected at this stage. Some P related dreams too which I think is normal in the early stages of recovery. I have been making an effort to not entertain any thoughts related to fantasy, edging, "circling" or any dangerous behaviour.

In previous attempts I have rarely relapsed straight back to P... I have usually allowed myself to be tricked, just a harmless internet search, or some channel surfing or some Netflix surfing.. My mind would be like "this is okay, it's not P" What's the say again? "The words are different but the melody is the same" - But all that unsound behaviour ultimately leads back to P (usually very quickly)

Today I am focusing on a zero tolerance approach to recovery. No unsound behaviour!

Joel

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2020, 10:04:39 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Zig.

A little something I feel I've learned on this journey - I noticed your lines like...

"My plan is to take this one day at a time."
"really want to keep my guard up 100% this week."

These remind me of the positive my ultimately vague mantras I used to tell myself. eg 'Never again!' I've been listening to 'no porn radio' podcast - great resource; he points out how a REAL strong and evolving plan (that you've sat down and thought through) is an important tool to win this. Have you ever failed even though you were 'keeping up your guard up 100%' ? for example, after a tiff with the wife? Maybe part of your plan would be meditating in those moments. He goes into it all in more depth.

well done on the streak. onward!

TheNorman

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2020, 06:13:50 PM »
Congrats on the dynamite dozen days Ziggy! It's not a small feat by any means and something to keep building on. I am with you on the zero tolerance. Porn is such a pervasive thought pattern that it will latch onto anything and start dragging you back.

Rookie

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Re: A Better Life
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2020, 11:20:16 AM »
Day 12 is huge!!! It's the foundation of the start of the streak. It's the proof that you do have the strength to fight it. Those are the positives.

It's also where your mind starts playing tricks on you, and starts throwing some wicked temptations (most people anyway) and you really start doubting yourself.

If I can throw a few words of caution...

Celebrate this 12 days!!! Make it count.

Be extra vigilant. For the next couple of weeks, the temptations are going to throw everything at you. It's like the addiction knows there's a fight now, and will do everything to bring you back.

Don't fall for it. It's all lies, and then the remorse. Keep fighting, and let's see this streak get to 20!!!