Author Topic: 5.5 YEARS PORN-FREE!  (Read 197820 times)

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #150 on: January 01, 2015, 01:06:02 PM »
Swam in the Dead Sea today. Great fun. Poker the only difference between us is time. I hit rock bottom a year ago. The good thing about bottoming out is you slowly start to climb out of the muck that is depression, anger, guilt, and shame. Hard and exhausting at the beginning, but it gets easier. Be well brother. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #151 on: January 02, 2015, 08:49:45 AM »
What a powerful environment for renewal, Lyon.  For me, that's akin to traveling to Tibet or somewhere very Buddhist-ish. 

I'm finding ritual to be very helpful in my climb out of the murky depths.  After all, I guess we all had PMO as rituals in our lives for years, so replacing one ritual with a more positive one is the idea.  Bring home some of that Wailing Wall/Dead Sea intention and spirit with you.  It'll serve you well as you settle back in at home from this powerful trip. 

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #152 on: January 02, 2015, 11:15:13 PM »
Day 66: Shalom from Israel everyone! Day 5 of my trip to Israel and am having a fantastic time. I've finally had the opportunity to write from a hotel computer with an update. I have been keeping up with your posts and trying to post 1-2 lines from my tablet. Being succint is not my strong point. Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and kind messages. First and foremost, I am clean and sober after 66 days no PMO and this wouldn't have been possible without the love and support of Reboot Nation. I landed in beautiful, sunny Tel Aviv last Tuesday and then spent four memorable days in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a study in contrasts: from seeing the church of the Holy Sepulcre (the very spot where Jesus was crucified), to the Wailing Wall (the most sacred place in Judaism), to swimming in the Dead Sea, and then dancing the night away in Jerusalem's only gay bar with a drag queen named 'Lady G.' Israel has certainly been a wild ride. My favourite moment was placing a prayer card in the cracks of the sacred wall at midnight. There were dozens of Jews chanting, singing, and meditating on the wall. That's something I won't soon forget.

I needed to travel alone because I wanted a holiday from myself and my addiction. Solo travel can be a sort of mini-reboot from your former life. I've found through solo travel that I could wipe the slate clean and just do what I wanted. It also gave my ex-wife and three children a much-needed break from me. Addicts like me are very egocentric, destructive, and self-centred people. While in the depths of addiction, we are essentially drowning and bringing everyone down with us. When I stared to heal, I was rather annoyed everyone wasn't just automatically healing with me. This too was self-centred. Therefore it was a good idea to get away to give my family a break too.

I have made some very big personal steps while away as well. Thanks to the wonderful Horpio, I worked my way through a book called 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' and started my mental reboot yesterday through writing my own obituary. If you haven't done this, I highly recommend it. Starting with the ultimate end in mind wasn't easy, I put it off for weeks, but the exercise forced me to re-define who I want to be and what I want to accomplish in the 30-40 years I have left. This short but exhausting exercise forced me to think of my life in terms of the impact I want to have on the lives of my friends, family, and community. These three pages made me realize that porn has no place in my life. I simply have too much to do.

Another big step was reading 'Breaking the Cycle' by George Collins. While I have yet to finish the book, I highly recommend it for anyone who has finished withdrawal and is starting to work through the emotional side of addiction. The book is rather unevenly written and some aspects were just a bit too 'hey dude Californian popcorn spiritual' for me however he has some interesting ideas. For example, I found seeing your addict self as a separate person inside your mind very helpful. He also suggests dialogue with your inner addict, either through written conversations or mental exchanges as a means of separating yourself from addiction. This was a huge help for me and may help others.

I am not the same person I was just two short months ago. The addict still exists within me and always will, however, my addict self no longer dominates my life. My transformation hit me when taking the bus from Jerusalem to the Red Sea resort of Eilat where I'm currently staying. I put away my tablet and started chatting with the Israeli man sitting next to me. We talked about a wide range of subjects during which he taught me a little Hebrew, discussed Arab-Israeli relations, and just generally got into it. At the end of our conversation, he look piercingly into my eyes and said, "You are a good person." I am crying as I write this because my first mental (addict) reaction was, "No I'm not." As I head out to watch the sunrise over the Red Sea, I'm going to wade into the warm waters and say to myself, "I am a f*cking great person."

Yes I'm gay, divorcing, and a former porn addict, but that is my history, not my destiny. I am more than my mind and f*cked up thoughts, I'm going to start fulfilling every damn word of what I wrote on that obituary and make the second half of my life beautiful.

Thank you for reading. Love your no-Fap warrior princess.   

 

 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 11:38:11 PM by lyon03 »

Patrick

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #153 on: January 03, 2015, 02:00:19 AM »
Thank you so much for this beautiful post. Yes, you are a good man. You have already helped me SO much here, I cannot thank you enough. Good luck on your journey, I am happy to have you by my side during my reboot. We can do it!


Poker

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #154 on: January 04, 2015, 10:00:07 AM »
Life really is beautiful.  Hope you are enjoying yourself my friend.

Cheers,

p.

Jimmy James

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Re: PORN IS NOT AN OPTION
« Reply #155 on: January 04, 2015, 01:44:53 PM »
Dear Lyon03 -

I am gobsmacked with your journey. You, my out-and-living-an-authentic-life-of-honesty-and-acceptance-of-ALL-your-beautiful-faults have got your sh*t if not together, at least in small accountable piles.

SORP

LOL!  I think I will have to make this a goal in my life; getting my sh*t into small accountable piles!

Great work Lyon03.  Very inspirational.

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #156 on: January 05, 2015, 07:35:14 AM »
Thanks boys! Your support keeps me going.

Day 68: Tomorrow I head home after a week in Israel and I wanted to post while certain things were fresh in my mind. If anyone is considering a trip to Israel, I highly recommend it. Far from the car-bomb, armed conflict images we see on television, I found Israel very safe, welcoming, and dynamic. Another advantage is almost everyone here speaks some English and most speak it very well. While I am in the very early stages of recovery/sobriety, I am a changed man and this trip simply reinforced that fundamental change.

I now understand that world around me hasn't changed, but my way of seeing things has. I think I speak for everyone on this website in writing that in the depths of my porn addiction, I hated myself with a passion. After 15-20 years of almost daily porn use and masturbation, I was so adrift in a sea of self-loathing, addiction, and anger that just looking at myself in a mirror often made my stomach turn. This is no way to live. I am slowly chipping off the barnacles of addiction to reveal the real me. That is a very good feeling indeed.

In coming to Israel, I wanted to change everything and did. I traveled alone for the first time in 25 years. This I wouldn't have thought possible just a few months ago. I traveled light with just 1 small backpack which is heaven! I can recall a recent family trip to visit my parents in Florida where the border guard asked us if we were immigrating to the US we had so much luggage. This is highly symbolic. (I work in tourism and often say the more baggage people have, the more emotional baggage they're carrying. This is true.) I was patient, listened to people, and just went with the flow. In the past I was always hurried, self-centred, and quick to anger when things didn't go according to plan. In essence, I was taking a permanent holiday from myself.

If you haven't read "Breaking the Cycle" by George Collins, get it now. The book is about sex/porn addiction. While the writing style is a bit uneven, the book changed my life and I'm not surprised I read it during this trip. Collins taught me three simple but life-changing things:

1. My true and honest self is not an addict.
2. I am not my mind nor my mind's thoughts.
3. Addiction can be controlled through various tools and techniques.

While just months ago I would have thought self-help was complete bullsh*t, Collins taught me one invaluable tool. That tool is to visualize your addicted self as a completely different entity. I saw myself at age 18 when I started to discover porn and masturbate heavily. When you feel a trigger or urge, Collins suggests we look at this as simply our inner addict talking to us, taunting us, tempting. He suggests dialoguing with the inner addict and even writing down the dialogue. I know this is completely out there but it certainly helped me. Whenever I got a trigger, seeing the hunky Finnish guy on the beach (man he was a God!), staring at my hot diving instructor, or simply sitting in my room getting horny, I would visualize my 18-year old self, talk through it with him, and then walk him to some imaginary door, and calmly close it. I've used this technique for the various addicted sides of my personality: impulse guy; angry man; etc. Hot damn if it doesn't f*cking work like a charm.

Collins also borrows heavily from the steps that I have started thanks to Porn Addicts Anonymous. Namely, he writes about finding the original wound (or wounds) we are trying to drug using porn/sex/masturbation addiction. The sum of what I took away from the book is I am my own enemy. I am the only one to blame for my addiction, my life, and my many mistakes. But through his techniques, I have learned to identify my various negative personalities and quiet them. I have since found an inner peace I didn't think possible since I was 5 years old. Last night I was just content to sit alone, enjoying a great steak dinner, without being consumed by mental chatter: "What do people think of me?" "Why am I alone." "Isn't he hot!" "Let's get back to the room and jerk off." Until I read "Break the Cycle", I would have never thought of myself as schizophrenic but if the shoe fits!

It's not surprising that the day after I finished the book, I did a 1 hour reef dive in the Red Sea. If anyone hasn't tried diving, I highly recommend it. You are so laser focused on being under water, checking your air, breathing properly, following the dive master, and just b*lls out enjoying the wonderful sea life teeming all around you, you don't have time to be an addict. Diving yesterday was one of the highlights of my trip because my mind was at peace. I will work every day to find that inner peace through prayer, meditation, or just being with those I love.

As my pilgrimage to Israel comes to an end, I wanted to thank you all for being so loving and supportive. I can calmly and clearly write that PORN IS NO LONGER AN OPTION. Thanks for reading. Love and prayers from the Holy Land.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 07:41:34 AM by lyon03 »

chiefmitch88

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #157 on: January 05, 2015, 09:04:51 AM »
Really glad to hear that the book was helpful for you Lyon. Your Isreal pilgrimage experiences are so uplifting and inspiring. I admire your ability to live life without the safety net. Keep up the good work my friend.



horpio

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #158 on: January 05, 2015, 09:13:25 AM »
Thanks for sharing your wonderful experiences in the Holy Land. A sacred place in so many people's minds and so befitting the rebirth you're experiencing. Forward to the rest of your journey, we're here with you even if it's only in mind and spirit.

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #159 on: January 06, 2015, 03:54:21 AM »
Day 69: Just at the airport after clearing Israel's infamous security checks: spoke to no fewer than 3 security staff, 2 passport checks, and the most thorough baggage check this gay has ever experienced. Unlike the end of most holidays, I am raring to get home and start the next chapter of my life. Israel has been so uplifting and life-changing, but not without it's temptations/triggers. I was tempted by the steamy club dancefloor in Jerusalem's only gay bar, felt angry/alone on the Red Sea, resisted eating myself sick at Tel Aviv's only Cinnabuns franchise, and last night spurned an offer for a threesome with my hunky gay Airbnb hosts. By far the Cinnabuns was the biggest temptation! I can now resist and will continue to do so because porn/masturbation/sex/sugar and all my other impulses are no longer my coping mechanisms. I now have a choice. This trip gave me the serenity to confront my inner demons. Only I can love myself and this is enough. Without this peaceful self-awareness, others can't possibly love/appreciate me because I can't show them how. So I have journeyed through full-blown sex/porn addiction, to white-knuckle withdrawal, flatline, then white-hot horniness, to emotional turmoil, to hard-earned self awareness, and now glorious inner peace. I am looking forward to a happy and healthy future....with an occasional Cinnabun! Be well nation. INNER TURMOIL IS NOT AN OPTION.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 04:20:21 AM by lyon03 »

Patrick

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #160 on: January 06, 2015, 04:03:20 AM »
So inspiring man. I had to laugh about your fending off the tempataions, yes cinnabuns are the worst for me as well, haha...wish it was like that...gnnnn... Dopamine is f*ing everywhere, I can even become hyper-excited by some of the posts here. I know where I want to go, that's important. I'm really happy for you that Israel has been a treat for you. Good luck on your journey, lyon.


lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #161 on: January 06, 2015, 05:42:36 PM »
Day 69 (cont'd): Just home after a wonderful trip. Usually you feel down after a great holiday, but now I'm motivated to get back to work. I'm also seeing my boyfriend tomorrow after an extended absence and can't wait to work off some of this accumulated sexual energy. On my way home, my ex-wife was kind enough to invite me over to dinner. This kids are happily moved in to their new home/rooms and were crawling all over me for attention. I am awed by how quickly children can recover and their smiles/happy faces made me feel even better. Before you think I fart rainbows, I had a quick flash of my former addict self when my ex-wife teared up while saying goodnight as I left to sleep at our former home. Rather than stay with, "Oh here she f*cking goes again!" I was shocked to hear myself saying, "I understand this is hard and that you're in pain and I'm here to help in any way I can." It felt so unreal to be kind/caring that I stunned myself. Good night Reboot Nation! Remember: PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.


horpio

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #162 on: January 06, 2015, 06:40:30 PM »
 ;D Way to go buddy. The rewards are coming in for you. And they aren't quick-fix cinnabun-like rewards, they are of the long-lasting kind that really matter.
PS. Not that I have anything against cinnabuns of course  :P

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #163 on: January 07, 2015, 12:21:45 AM »
Thanks Horpio. I'm awed by your 91 days. You'll be in double digits in no time. I wanted to thank you again for recommending the '7 Steps' book by Stephen Covey. I finished listening to the audiobook on the plane back from Israel yesterday. It changed both my perspective and my life so thanks. I will no longer communicate with people the same way thanks to the chapters on 'win/win' communication. 

Day 70: Well hot damn if this porn-free princess hasn't reached 70 days. So much has changed in my life in the last two months I am very much looking forward to the future. Before farting another rainbow, I was starting to obsess about kissing some random guy in a gay club in Jerusalem. So I talked through it with my sponsor because I could feel my inner addict coming to the fore again. My inner addict, who I see as myself at 18, tends to present a happy/positive exterior, while quietly raging on the inside. There was a 24 hour dip in my recent trip to Israel when I started to act through the addict's playbook: angry; self-centred; impatient; lonely etc. I now know my triggers: sexual overdrive (the club); booze (getting drunk New Year's Eve); lack of sleep (dancing until 4 a.m.); and lack of exercise. These negative feelings often lead to relapse so I countered with relaxation, a good night's sleep, rented a bike and rode my legs off, and then swam with dolphins in the Red Sea. While I can't play mermaid every day, it's very hard to remain angry and self-centred while swimming with dolphins.

There has been a new development in my life. I now need less sleep than before. I sleep a maximum of 6 hours every night and no longer need an alarm clock. I wake up very motivated to get things done whereas in the past I would sort of pour myself out of bed and think to myself, "Happy f*cking morning." What did I have to look forward to in the past? Another day of jerking off and feeling like sh*t in front of a computer screen? Now I leap out of bed and think about what I'm going to accomplish today.

Anyhow, I'll read a few more of your posts and then get back to work. Be strong nation. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.


Poker

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #164 on: January 07, 2015, 12:43:47 AM »
You really need to consider writing a book of your own, once you,re ready.  You're a very inspirational person, and you actually have something relevant to say.

Cheers,

p.

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #165 on: January 07, 2015, 04:28:07 PM »
Thanks Poker. Day 70 (cont'd): Just about to turn in for the night. I keep starting my days with the best intentions only to see the reality fizzle out. Perhaps I should set more realistic daily goals? I'll have a think on that before drifting off to sleep. Saw my boyfriend today for lunch. Here was the score: stomach 1 / penis 0 because we didn't have sex (he's nursing a bad back). Ahhh the joys of being gay and 40-something. I got a bit mentally pissy because I was REALLY looking forward to having sex and even pushed him a bit. But I had enough self-control to back off because it takes two to have an intimate moment and few people equate pleasure/intimacy with back spasms. I now see how I've relapsed in the past because I convince myself "I'M FINE" with something and yet dwell on it all day. Then I started to miss my kids, wondered what I'm doing living abroad, should I stay with my BF and down it went. Finally I killed the PMO-bitchiness with a hard workout (back today) at the gym. I find pushing myself physically clears the mind. I'll eventually install a gym at my place for easier access. So today was a 6/10 on the old life scale, but still porn-free so a minor victory. Thanks for reading my stream of consciousness. PORN IS STILL NOT A F*CKING OPTION.

savingmysoul

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #166 on: January 07, 2015, 04:37:31 PM »
hi

glad you are having a great trip!

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #167 on: January 08, 2015, 04:06:12 AM »
Trip's over SMS. But thanks for writing. I've now come crashing back to reality. Day 71: Had a great night's sleep and feel much better. Just about to head to the gym and buy a few things for the apartment that my ex-wife took (washer for example). We agreed to this arrangement so I'm not walking around with clenched fists. While I got a bit down yesterday, I realized this morning that I'm managing my feelings/emotions without even thinking about porn. This is a victory. I can't get too analytical about minor skirmishes (feeling down) as this is simply part of life. Not every day is sing from the mountains 'Sound of Music' swim with dolphin-like highs. I'm still winning the f*cking war (no-PMO)! I have to keep reminding myself:

I am not my mind (an addict)
I am not my thoughts (sex/porn addiction)
I am not my history (pain that resulted in above)
PORN IS NOT AN OPTION

I think I got too used to viewing each day of my life as a sequence of shameful failures, rather than a step towards a meaningful goal. Here is how my addict-self felt at the end of yesterday:

I didn't get to have sex. Sex is very important.
I felt lonely because my kids have moved to a new home. This is my fault because of the divorce.
My boyfriend wasn't paying enough attention to me. Why am I in this relationship?
I didn't get enough work done because of the above. I'll never succeed.

Wow that felt good to write the negative feelings down. Here is my revised version:

Yesterday was a victory because I didn't view porn nor masturbate.
Yes I wanted to have sex, but I had intimate and non-sexual contact with several people who mean a lot to me.
I had a very meaningful conversation with my ex-wife, during which we decided to take time to heal, but still agreed to remain close. She kindly said, "My door is always open when you want to see the kids."
Someone I love invited me over and made me a wonderful lunch.
He asked about my recent trip, was kind and affectionate, and did all of this while in terrible pain.
He could have cancelled, given his terrible back pain, but still had me over because he loves me.
I set some very important life goals yesterday, creating a life mission statement, and came very close to closing a few deals.

The above are two versions of the same day: the first written from the viewpoint of an addict (self-centred, negative, angry); and the second written from the viewpoint of my true self. So today I'm choosing to be the better me. I'm going to give my inner addict the day off and if he comes back, a swift kick in the b*lls should shut him up. Be well nation. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #168 on: January 08, 2015, 06:33:41 AM »
Keep up the posts.  I'm reading for the first time and trying to get out from porn after say 35 years of it.  The motivation helps.  I like you view on history.  Its just that history not today.  Safe travels.  Thanks for the posts.

ntg

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #169 on: January 08, 2015, 12:25:58 PM »

I think I got too used to viewing each day of my life as a sequence of shameful failures, rather than a step towards a meaningful goal. Here is how my addict-self felt at the end of yesterday:

I didn't get to have sex. Sex is very important.
I felt lonely because my kids have moved to a new home. This is my fault because of the divorce.
My boyfriend wasn't paying enough attention to me. Why am I in this relationship?
I didn't get enough work done because of the above. I'll never succeed.

Wow that felt good to write the negative feelings down. Here is my revised version:

Yesterday was a victory because I didn't view porn nor masturbate.
Yes I wanted to have sex, but I had intimate and non-sexual contact with several people who mean a lot to me.
I had a very meaningful conversation with my ex-wife, during which we decided to take time to heal, but still agreed to remain close. She kindly said, "My door is always open when you want to see the kids."
Someone I love invited me over and made me a wonderful lunch.
He asked about my recent trip, was kind and affectionate, and did all of this while in terrible pain.
He could have cancelled, given his terrible back pain, but still had me over because he loves me.
I set some very important life goals yesterday, creating a life mission statement, and came very close to closing a few deals.

The above are two versions of the same day: the first written from the viewpoint of an addict (self-centred, negative, angry); and the second written from the viewpoint of my true self. So today I'm choosing to be the better me. I'm going to give my inner addict the day off and if he comes back, a swift kick in the b*lls should shut him up. Be well nation. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

lyon, I think this is fantastic man.  To be able to separate what's going on in your life, and take a step back and see it from an addict's point of view vs. a healthy point of view is really a sign of growth.  I want to recommend NLP to you if you're struggling with painful emotions.  Working with sub-modalities really can help in the way we feel about things that have happened to us.  I think you're doing fantastic though, and you're a real inspiration to me man.  Keep up the good work!
There’s one thing that is guaranteed to increase your feelings of control over your life: a bias toward action.  - Mel Robbins

savingmysoul

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #170 on: January 08, 2015, 02:51:43 PM »
really loved your post!

Read it a few times. 

I do not struggle with the P or the M - not at all.  My struggle continues to be the self loathing, self hatred at having arrived at this point.  I re-read your post to help me understand that these negative emotions do me no good, the negative emotions do not serve me.  They keep me from proactively moving in healing direction with my wife.  I have to step up channel everything into a positive light, with this I can win my wife back, I can earn her back.

thank you!

lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #171 on: January 08, 2015, 04:25:48 PM »
Day 71: End of the day here in Europe my friends. Thanks to everyone for your posts and encouragement. While work was rather sh*t, I'm not getting down on myself. Not everyone can simultaneously manage a business, children, divorce, and coming out at the same time. Sticking with my strategy to stop seeing things as an addict has helped immensely. I can feel this positive attitude helping and, quite honesty, I am my own fan club at the moment so I need it. I've also started trying to work on my relationship with my ex-wife and have had great conversations with her over the past few days. She wants me over more but I'm giving our relationship a 90-day reboot as well. We both need to heal from that co-dependent f*cked up addiction for a marriage. For everyone struggling in a bad relationship or considering divorce, I can honestly tell you that some people (like us) are just happier apart. While everything and everyone is trying to keep you in your sh*tty marriage, sometimes you just have to call time and then perhaps move on. I have. Rather than cry myself to sleep, which I did most of September before quitting porn, I'm seeing this next chapter as a challenge. I'm using the alone time to regroup, heal, set new priorities, and (finally) learn Spanish. (I do a lot of business in Spain but don't really speak the language.) Great things are coming, I will do great things, but nothing great comes from jerking off in front of a computer screen. Put that in a greeting card! I've rambled enough. Goodnight RN. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 

ntg

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #172 on: January 08, 2015, 06:17:02 PM »
Congrats on 71 days man!  That's a milestone I think.  You've got a lot on your plate, and you're doing really well.  I'm glad to hear you and your ex wife are working on your relationship.  It really helps when it comes to the kids if nothing else.  My ex and I are still friends, and because of this, we've kept custody stuff out of the divorce legalities, and it's so much better that way.  We don't really fit together either, so I know where you're coming from.  Just take this time to improve yourself, and don't worry about your future.  Focus on the here & now and what you can do today to make your life better.  That's what the future is all about...the present.  Keep it up man!
There’s one thing that is guaranteed to increase your feelings of control over your life: a bias toward action.  - Mel Robbins

Patrick

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #173 on: January 08, 2015, 06:20:58 PM »
Hello lyon, Thank you so much for sharing. Your posts are always inspiring and I am happy to take part in your journey. Well done...71 days, that's awesome, man. I can feel your love and honesty, and it heals me as well. Wishing you happiness and contentment.


lyon03

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Re: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
« Reply #174 on: January 09, 2015, 06:13:44 AM »
Day 72: I am a changed man today. I feel at peace and haven't felt this serene in a very very long time. Today, day 72, marks the day I no longer feel like an addict. No that's wrong. Today is the first day I feel like myself...that's who I truly am. Let's call it 'genesis'. It took me this long to strip away all of the sh*tty things that hid my true self, namely:

1. My self-hatred
2. Hiding my homosexuality
3. Addiction
4. Toxic Relationships
5. Obsessiveness
6. Materialistism

1. Self-hatred and 2. The Closet: These had everything to do with low self-esteem. I am now proud to be openly gay but that wasn't always the case. I feel for people struggling with their sexuality, many of whom have contacted me through private messages. I know too well the anxiety of how your friends and family will accept it. Once again, I was my own worst enemy. People who genuinely care about me just want me to be happy. So I am lucky to have both love and acceptance. I learned I could not truly love another until I honestly and genuinely learned to love myself. I don't care where you are on the sexual spectrum - gay, straight, bi-sexual, transsexual, celibate - but only you can honestly determine where you land. One you have accepted the truth, as I did just 2.5 years ago, you are then ready to love others.

3. Addiction: My porn tastes were almost always homosexual. Clearly I was living a parallel existence: straight exterior but a gay fantasy life. My very first internet search was for gay porn. I can actually recall the very first images I saw. Through the dirty lens of addiction, I saw my homosexuality as something deviant and evil. This was wrong. Human sexuality is a gift from God. Unfortunately, #1 and #2 resulted in me lying about who I truly was. I then lived a gay life virtually, before becoming consumed by both porn and sex addictions.

4. Toxic Relationships: We teach others how to treat us, and how they treat us is how we see ourselves. I surrounded myself with people who treated my like sh*t. Some were evil, most were just following my self-deprecating humour. I would excitedly bash myself so they simply followed suit. I married a lovely but emotionally unstable woman and then proceeded to starve her of intimacy, then pulled the rug out from under her life. (It's a miracle she still speaks to me.) It isn't enough to rid ourselves of porn, we also have to clean out the bad relationships that feed addiction. While this took time, I'm glad I ended my marriage, no longer see my jaded in-laws, and thereby relearned some self-respect.

5. Obsessiveness: Porn addiction gave me the attention span of a goldfish. While I could spend 3-4 hours edging to XXX videos, I couldn't work for more than 3 minutes at a time. I am still trying to re-train my brain to work effectively. I have no trouble doing things I consider pleasurable, but once it gets work-related I feel like I'm moving through mud. My porn obsession often spilled over to obsessions about sex, relationships, compulsive spending, you name it. OCD is something I will struggle with my entire life. For example, I have posted close to 400 messages on this website. And yet I have trouble responding to emails from potential clients. I am now struggling to convert that energy into productive efforts for my business, health, service etc. I will eventually get there.

6. Materialism: This is linked to obsessiveness. I thought money = happiness. After all, everything pushes us to consume more based on the idea that more things equals greater joy. How misguided. I have made/lost a lot of money in my short career but never found happiness in either process.

So while I looked at my day in a different light, I'm now looking at the rest of my life in a different light as well. I now see the world in the following light:

1. Honesty: Gone is the lifetime pathological dishonesty. This is such a blessing. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'll never tell another lie, but I no longer lie to myself. These boards are a huge help with honesty. I'd forgotten how good it feels to be honest with others.

2. Building Relationships: Addicts like me only think of what I'd get out of any situation. I was always taking but never giving back. This has changed. I no longer see the world through rat-like darting eyes. With less to hide and living honestly, I find I want to know more about people and, most importantly, what I can learn (rather than take) from them. This is a game changer for me.

3. Love/Intimacy: A recent trip alone taught me to love myself again. My self-hatred often took the form of blame. I'd blame my wife, my kids, the weather, anyone. I now find myself enjoying life so much more because I love myself, and show others how to love/respect me as well.

4. Independence/Self-Confidence: This is a work in progress. For too long I looked outside of myself to find happiness. Unfortunately, porn/addiction/sex was my external outlet. Now living on my own, I'm going to take 6 months to 1 year just re-learning who I am and what my true priorities are. I have a boyfriend and he's wonderful but I no longer obsess every moment whether he loves me or think, "Where is this going?" I find much more joy in our shared time together when I just enjoy the present, rather than obsess about the future.

5. Health/Spirituality: I am an unabashed gym rat. I work out regularly and am happy to have gone from pear-shaped to v-shaped in the last few years. I find exercise an excellent outlet for stress, anger, and lingering sexual urges. Exercise results in better sleep, which gives me the quiet moments to reflect, meditate, and pray. I am enjoying this new serenity.

Well KUMBAYA b*tches! This post is turning into an Oprah Lifeclass. In closing, I have starved my inner addict of the emotions and stimuli that resulted in my decades-long porn obsession. This is letting me get back to who I really am. And I'm happy to write I really like that person. Thanks for reading my rambling post. Be well nation! PORN IS NOT THE REAL ME.   






« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 07:03:03 AM by lyon03 »