Author Topic: 5.5 YEARS PORN-FREE!  (Read 197843 times)

lyon03

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THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #775 on: October 30, 2017, 04:45:32 AM »
Three years + 1 day porn-free: Thank you everyone for your well wishes. I couldn't have made it this far without your love and support. Here is my very first post:

"Here is my story: 42 years old, first discovered porn/masturbation around age 12, went from magazines, to video, paid streaming porn, then free and highly addictive porn sites. What was a flirtation became a full-on obsession in 1994 and heroin-like addiction in 2005. I'm starting this journal on day 23 of my recovery with a goal of hitting 90 days initially before stopping forever. My addiction has now cost me: my career, my business, my marriage, and was well along to destroying my relationship with my three kids. On October 30th, I finally said "f*ck this". I've not watched porn since and never will do it again. I've started a reboot with no-fap and no television. I've also read pretty much everything I could about my addiction, namely it's harder to give up than meth. (Scary!) But there are temptations, particularly in the form of rock-hard erections at night and geyser-like pressure because I haven't had an orgasm in roughly two weeks. I'll post daily to keep motivated. Glad to have found this site and very happy to share with others."

My addictions are like icebergs: 9/10ths of my real problems were below water. I reckon porn was just the visible tip. After all, I had recovered from my porn addiction in just a few months but I still felt an overwhelming need to use some other "crutch" to manage my emotions. So the hard work began post-porn addiction. That's when I didn't have anything to distract me from working on the root causes of my addictions to porn, masturbation, and sex. And these root causes were fear, shame, and a total lack of self-esteem.

I believe porn was nothing but a drug, a distraction from my real problems. So what I'm about to share is how I overcame my porn addiction and remained porn-free for the past three years. I'm going to divide this into three phases: phase 1 was when I stopped porn; phase 2 was when I addressed the root causes of my addictions; and phase 3 was about bettering myself (or becoming the man I truly wanted to be).

PHASE 1: REBOOT (3-4 months)

I did the classic "hard 90" which I believe was more like the "hard 100." That meant no porn nor masturbation for the first 100 days. Here is how I made it through the first 3+ months porn-free:

1. Adopted a 'PORN IS NOT AN OPTION' mentality
2. Posted here daily, almost to the point that recovery became a new addiction
3. Joined www.pornddictsanonymous.org (or "PAA"), a 12-step program for porn addiction
4. Through PAA got a sponsor and sobriety buddies to contact in case I felt triggered or close to relapse
5. Exercised daily
6. Gave up TV
7. Read "Your Brain on Porn"

PHASE 2: EMOTIONAL REBOOT (first 18 months)

This was the most challenging part of my reboot. Why? For some reason, I never really learned to properly feel nor express my emotions. I was completely incapable of just honestly experiencing and sharing my feelings. From a very young age, I denied my emotions which caused me a lot of self-hatred, pain, and shame. Later when these negative feelings risked overwhelming me, I'd turn to food, TV, then later porn and sex to artificially "feel better." While porn initially made me feel better, over time it just made me feel worse due to porn-induced f*cked up brain chemistry (insomnia & anxiety for example), deep depression, and PIED/erectile dysfunction. This is how I made it through my emotional reboot:

1. Healthy living: exercise, sleep, and eating well.
2. Therapy: I found an incredible therapist and did about six months of regular therapy.
3. Reading: Books like "Breaking the Cycle" about addiction and "Loving What Is" to re-learn how to express my feelings to avoid falling back into denial.
4. Coming out: I came out as gay to my (then) wife, my parents, sister, and extended family.
5. Improving Relationships: I separated and divorced from my wife, met a boyfriend (now together 5+ years), and started the slow process of detaching from everything toxic in my life.

PHASE 3: SELF-IMPROVEMENT (1.5 years porn-free to today)

This is where I am today. I see this phase as a period of self-improvement. As a recovering addict and formerly closeted gay man, I'm trying to find the inner strength to live a happy and fulfilling life. While in active addiction, it was all about trying to find happiness via external means. For example, the first four years of my new (gay) relationship were very rocky because I wanted my boyfriend to love me; an impossible task because I was incapable of loving myself. I've spent most of my life hating myself for being gay while also feeling resentment towards others, mainly because I wanted what they had or I wanted them to do for me what I was incapable of doing myself. In the past, I just gave off this "fix me!!!" aura whereas now I'm slowly learning to fix myself. This is how I'm working through my current recovery phase:

1. Healthy living: exercise, sleep, and eating well.
2. Healthy relationships: I read "The Velvet Rage" which is the best book about the coming out process and then worked very hard on self-acceptance. For a time I joined CODA (co-dependents anonymous) to get over my lifelong people-pleasing. This helped me lovingly detach from all the toxic people in my life while also detaching from my toxic thinking.
3. Fear Management: I'm currently working through a hit list of lifelong fears in an attempt to better myself. For example, I've always feared violent team sports so I joined a gay rugby team in a nearby city. It's been painful but ultimately a great experience.
4. Self-Esteem/Integrity: I read and re-read "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem" and "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" to re-learn the value of honesty, integrity, and hard-work. These books also helped me with communication and boundary setting. For example, now that I can pro-actively set boundaries in my personal relationships, like with my boyfriend, I'm much happier.

I want to stress that I'm not the perfect rebooter, so my recovery from addictions to porn, masturbation, and sex has been rocky at times. I've detailed a lot of these struggles in previous posts. For example, I can still lose myself in Facebook or YouTube. This is something I need to monitor because losing myself in screens can look a lot like a porn substitute. After decades of darting around the internet, I continue to have trouble concentrating. This has negatively impacted my business (I'm self employed). And under the guise of an "open relationship", I have often used anonymous sex/hook ups to avoid feeling negative emotions (such as loneliness and fear). So yes the road to recovery is rocky, but these secondary problems (or middle circle behaviours as we call them in 12-step programs) continue to melt away. So I feel I'm on the right track.

Thanks for reading my rambles friends. I also wanted to thank Gabe Deem and all of you for making Reboot Nation such an integral part of my recovery from porn addiction. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 07:13:33 AM by lyon03 »

TakeActionNow

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #776 on: October 30, 2017, 08:56:54 AM »
I'm proud of you Lyon.
Your words ring clear and true.
We of any form of addiction all suffer some emotional issues. I know mine should be anxiety, and PMO was a form of coping, of avoidance and denial.
You speak of fear management, and that is probably something we need to do. And now you chosen to face it head on, and I'm very proud of you.

Even after reconnecting with ourselves through abstinence, it still takes much time to reveal what are the silent impulses that define or deny us. But discover we all eventually will, and that will bring closure to the gap between our image and who we really are. It is in alignment where we be happiest and most contented.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 08:59:25 AM by TakeActionNow »
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

negativity > depression > ACTION > non-self pity > Goals > growth > STRENGTH > REALITY > Attention > Interests > Challenge > Choice > COURAGE > I LOVE MYSELF > Masculinity > UnBlock > selfheal

camus

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #777 on: October 30, 2017, 04:27:41 PM »
Thanks for posting this Lyon. As well as giving me hope, it has provided me with thoughts as to what I may need to do for my recovery. It's so true that PMO is only the tip of the iceberg, a coping mechanism for deeper issues.

I'm only at the beginning of my journey to be PMO free, but I am looking forward to finally growing up and facing my problems porn free.

A BIG CONGRATS on getting to 3 years. That's an amazing achievement!!

TrueMe

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #778 on: October 31, 2017, 04:56:02 AM »
Appreciate you taking the time to share your reboot journey so clearly Lyon. Your unselfish, positive and 'tell it like it is' honesty is adding up to an incredibly helpful resource we can all take guidance and inspiration from.

lyon03

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #779 on: October 31, 2017, 05:51:34 AM »
Thank you everyone for your kind messages of support. If you are ready to live porn-free, I'd urge you to post here daily, encourage others, keep working/asking questions, and systematically dismantle your porn addiction (and its root causes) until you prevail. This may or may not include getting help from a 12-step program (like www.pornaddictsanonymous.org) or from a mental health professional. I used both. For some of us, we can successfully reboot our first time. I envy these people. For others like me, it might take months or years of failing our way to success. PLEASE KEEP TRYING. I tried and failed for years to stop watching porn. I just happened to join this forum after stumbling again and again. So yes here I've detailed a mostly porn-free time period, however, I didn't detail just how many failures it took me to get here. If you're like me, you probably want an easy, effortless, and perfect reboot. I was so naïve to think that I could cure a 20-year addiction in just a few months. STUPID ME! As I've learned, addictions are like those ocean-going mega-freighters, they don't just stop nor turn on a dime. Addictions take a very long time to change course and an even longer time to stop. For me, reboot was a question of making small daily course corrections which over time completely changed the direction of my life. And that started with daily posts here. When my motivation would wane, I'd remind myself that I carved out 3-4 hours EVERY DAY for wanking to porn, so I needed to use that same amount of time and effort to post here. And it seems to have worked. I might post again. I might not. Regardless, I urge you to put in the effort to live porn-free. Why? Life without addictions is so much better and you're worth it my friends. Love Lyon.

Gracie

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #780 on: October 31, 2017, 06:17:18 AM »
Lyon,   I ave watched you and walked with you through this site the last three years!!  I am proud of you !  I know this was not an easy road for you.  But here you are, strong in the broken places, tested and true.   Your insight is invaluable to those going through this process!

Live your life true to yourself with compassion for  others and you will continue to grow

lyon03

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #781 on: November 01, 2017, 10:39:30 PM »
Thank you so much Gracie. Be well friends. I probably won't post that much but will come back if I find myself stumbling or working towards a new milestone.

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #782 on: December 22, 2017, 11:00:37 AM »
Lyon, are you still out there? I'm back trying to climb back on the wagon. Seeing you still here doing well is encouraging. Hoping you made it through your lonely spell alright. Check in with me if you have a spare moment.


lyon03

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #783 on: December 24, 2017, 02:08:46 AM »
1152 days porn-free: Merry Christmas everyone! Hi Chiefmitch. Unfortunately, I don't post here regularly brother but I do continue to post, attend (phone-in) meetings, and sponsor porn addicts on www.pornaddictsanonymous.org. Check me out there if you want my friend. Good luck with your journey. Life is better porn-free my friends. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 

IWantToLive

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #784 on: December 24, 2017, 09:40:09 AM »
Lyon,

You are an inspiration for so many of us here. We are striving to be porn free and you've shown that it can be done. Thank you for sharing your experience and inspiring us. Do drop by sometimes when you can.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and everyone here,

-I
When the going gets tough, the tough get going

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #785 on: December 24, 2017, 10:02:47 AM »
Nice to see you checking in with us Lyon. All the best for 2018

William

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #786 on: December 25, 2017, 08:32:48 PM »
Merry Christmas, lyon.  Keep going.  Porn is not an option.

Will I AM.

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #787 on: December 27, 2017, 08:20:12 AM »
Your doing awesome lion. You and I started here at almost the exact same time. I've not been that successful yet. I'm still trying.  Reading your posts sure does give me hope that I can change. Thank you for being here. I'll get it right one of these times. I know one if the most important things for me is exercise.  That seems to be working for me right now.
mg][/url]

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #788 on: December 31, 2017, 10:18:34 PM »
Hello Lyon!!

grats on your success - i am 4 years porn free this day!

continue to do your good work, success is out there for us all!!

happy new year my old frienc

lyon03

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #789 on: January 02, 2018, 08:32:40 PM »
Happy New Year friends! Hey SMS...great hearing from you brother. Congratulations on 4+ years porn-free. What an accomplishment. I'm now at 3 years and 2+ months porn-free, just another 10 months before celebrating 4 years porn-free. In the beginning, I counted my recovery in days, weeks, and then months. I never thought I'd be counting my freedom in years but here I am. I welcome all of the new members and encourage the long-term members to keep coming back. There is no secret to my recovery:

1. Doing the hard 90 (or 100 in my case)
2. Daily posts and encouraging others
3. Reading everything I could about porn addiction, addiction, self-esteem, self-improvement, etc.
4. Attacking my addictions to porn, sex, and masturbation from every angle until I prevailed.

To give you a snapshot of where I was, I was heavily addicted to dopamine [read up on it if you don't know the term] for about 15-20 years and masturbated to porn 1-2x daily for about the final ten years. There was a time when I couldn't go three whole minutes without a porn fix...I know because I timed it. Because of my screen/dopamine addiction, I suffered from depression, erectile dysfunction, anxiety, anger, and a whole host of other porn-related problems. Around Christmas 2013, I seriously contemplated suicide as my only way out. Had I not stopped watching porn and using hook up applications like Grindr (often while driving), I know I'd be a dead man. 

I joined this forum in November 2014 with a "porn is not an option" mentality and have not watched porn since. But I didn't do it alone. This forum and its kind members were a lifesaver. I also joined www.pornaddictsanonymous.org, a 12-step program for people with porn addictions, got a sponsor, now sponsor others, and still participate in their weekly phone-in meetings. So what's my point? If you attack your addictions from every possible angle, you will eventually prevail. It might not happen immediately and you might stumble from time to time, but you'll eventually get there.

Thanks for reading friends. Be well and remember...PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #790 on: January 05, 2018, 10:35:43 AM »
Happy New Year, Buddy. Always nice to hear from you.

lyon03

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #791 on: April 10, 2018, 01:09:17 AM »
1257 days porn-free (3 years 5 months porn-free): Good day nation! It's been a while my friends. I'm just checking in with an update and to encourage any new members to keep fighting the good fight. I don't have a lot to share other than life is much better porn-free. Mine was a roughly 20-year porn habit that also morphed into sex and masturbation addictions as well. There was a time not too long ago when I couldn't go three minutes without looking for a porn hit. (I know because I timed it.) Read my thread if you'd like to follow my road to recovery. Here is how I made it to 3+ years porn-free:
 
1. Hard 90 (no porn nor masturbation)
2. Daily posts for the first 100 days
3. Read "Your Brain on Porn" (a lifesaver)
4. Joined www.pornaddictsanonymous.org (a member to this day)
5. Encouraged and connected with others
6. Lots of gym time, sleep, and otherwise healthy living

There is no one way to recover. Some see reboot in religious terms, others are atheists, gay, straight, vegan etc. We all have our own unique perspective. No one dances the same way and recovery means moving to our own music as well. But I will share this: attack your addiction from every possible angle and you'll eventually prevail. I came to this forum with a "porn is not an option" mentality that served me very well. It meant that from day 1, I was willing to do whatever it took to recover. I attended 12-step meetings, posted here 2-3 times a day, read countless books about addiction/recovery, and just b*ll-out bludgeoned my porn addiction to death.

If you're wondering what life is like addiction-free, trying watching a 50s-era black and white film on a grainy old TV then go see an IMAX movie. That's the difference. My addictions meant seeing the world in black and white. I saw everything and everyone through the smeared lens of sex. These days, I never tire of seeing things in pure colour again. It's taken me years to heal from my porn addiction and it was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. But I'm a better person for it. You'll get there friends!

Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #792 on: April 10, 2018, 11:06:38 AM »
Hi Lyon, Great to hear from you! Be well, my friend. I'm happy that you're doing fine.


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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #793 on: April 15, 2018, 09:43:58 AM »
Incredible to read that there are people achieving these numbers. I am again on day 1. I wish I was where u are.
Total addict, perpetual rebooting. Trying my best. Been introduced to porn since 6yrs. In perpetual cycle of rebooting that lasts far to short.

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #794 on: April 15, 2018, 10:47:40 AM »
Thank You Lyon for all of your inspiration. I'm committed to the same outcome. Porn Is Not An Option.

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Re: THREE YEARS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #795 on: April 15, 2018, 12:45:32 PM »
(3 years 5 months porn-free)

Thanks so much for the update Lyon!

Just to clarify...

1. Your erections no longer worked before quitting.
2. Now your erection works every time you feel like being intimate and it stays?

lyon03

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Re: THREE YEARS NINE MONTHS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #796 on: August 16, 2018, 10:03:55 PM »
1387 days porn-free / 3 years 9 months 18 days porn-free: Hey nation! It's been a while between posts. In just 10 weeks, I'll reach the major milestone of 4 years porn-free. What started as a journey to have boners again has become so much more. Just a few days ago, I celebrated 6 years with my boyfriend. It's been quite the journey my friends. In addition to addressing my decades-long porn addiction, I have also: come out of the closet, separated, divorced, and found love again. I don't have a lot to share my friends other than that porn was simply the tip of the iceberg, the acting out if you will, 9/10ths of my problems remained under water. I'm not the same person I was when I started this journey. After a lifetime of shame and self-hatred, I've re-learned to love myself, am no longer angry all the time, sleep better than I ever have, and now connect with people almost instantly.  I'm 100% myself which is so much easier when I'm not carrying around the pervvy porn aura I had in the past. Living with the dual shame of being a closeted gay man AND porn/masturbation addict almost drove me to commit suicide. As one of my favourite books writes, "Suicide is a permanent solution to life's short-term problems." Amen to that. Life still has its challenges for sure, but I no longer turn to porn nor masturbation to cope with them. Speaking of masturbation, I probably wank about 5-6 times a year, compared to 1-2x daily during full-blown PMO addiction. Someone asked above:

1. Your erections no longer worked before quitting.

Correct.

2. Now your erection works every time you feel like being intimate and it stays?

Not always my friend, but that's life when you're 46 like me. Most of us start this process because we want puberty-level rock-hard erections...on command. Now 4 years later I understand this process was always about my brian, not about my junk. I'd suggest you read, "Your Brain on Porn" to better understand that what we have is a brain/dopamine addiciton, not limp d*ck obsession.

If you want to learn more about me and my journey, just read my thread! Be well friends. And remember: PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 10:07:28 PM by lyon03 »

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Re: THREE YEARS NINE MONTHS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #797 on: August 17, 2018, 08:14:40 AM »
Quote
1387 days porn-free / 3 years 9 months 18 days porn-free

You inspire me, lyon03!!

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Re: THREE YEARS NINE MONTHS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #798 on: August 18, 2018, 11:49:32 AM »
Hey!  Good to see an old familiar face!   Good to see you are still doing well and showing others it can be done!!!!!  Peace and much love to you.   It is important to know in this walk, whether the addicted or the partner to know there are those you can count on.

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Re: THREE YEARS NINE MONTHS PORN-FREE!
« Reply #799 on: August 22, 2018, 11:54:36 PM »
Great to hear from you, lyon, and much love to you!