Author Topic: My Journey  (Read 124606 times)

notgivinup

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My Journey
« on: January 29, 2015, 11:55:17 AM »
hi...glad i found this place.
i'm a long time reader of the Art of Manliness blog, and one thing led to another...and i'm here.

i'm a father...married 20 years. children...all still at home.

and i have been addicted to porn....how long? i'm figuring it out....i guess when i was 12 i stumbled on some magazines and books that described it all....in a dumpster. i actually climbed in and started reading, and searched around in the muck for more. it pretty much captured me. normal for a 12 year old boy.

so....it was pretty much my imagination, and the Sears catalog after that....and too much time in the bathroom with that catalog.

fast forward....and i have known that there is a problem. ED is a problem. I have said it was due to stress and/or lack of sleep...which i know have contributed...but i know the real problem.

About a week ago, i got to the end of myself...and i know i have to quit.

i have been about a week w/out.

already i am feeling better, and a little clearer headed...clearer thinking.

but, i'm really glad i am here...and i will need contact with the guys here to keep going and keep moving.

i'm not giving up. glad i'm here.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 12:13:58 PM by notgivinup »

ready2go

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 12:27:17 PM »
Awesome you found the site and us Scott.  You will find amazing men here, many with stories just like yours.  I've only been here a few days, 12 now, and been PMO free.  Life is still hard many days, but it is better, clearer, more engaging.  My brain is a little less foggy.  And the men here are incredibly supportive.  I guess it's because despite our differences, we are all the same.  We're experiencing the same problems with ED (really where else can you talk about this?  I don't even like talking to the doctor about it to get a hit of Viagra).  Knowing we are all connected, all the same, yet different, sharing and holding each other up in our successes and our trials - it's pretty great.

So glad you are here.  Feel free to look me up anytime.  Keep posting here.  It helps you get it out of your head and look at it, and it really helps us as well by providing us the chance to see our own lives mirrored in someone else, and the act of trying to be helpful and caring for someone else is very healing. 

And it keeps me from slipping backward and firing up the porn. 

Welcome.  Keep going man.  You're in the right place.


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savingmysoul

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 12:35:32 PM »
Welcome to the Nation,

Same here - mid 40's, married to an incredible wife, two kids.

ED sufferer, still at times even after 13 months. 

You can break this addiction - you can do this for you, for your wife, and for your family.  You have a week under your belt, that is a good start - but some days will suck, others not so bad - but over time it does get better, gets easier.  You need to educate yourself on everything - yourbrainonporn is the perfect place to start if you haven't already.  Also, you need to put a plan together on how you will deal with triggers/urges - they will happen - and you need to understand what you will do to deflect/dismiss them when they happen.  Read as much as you can on this site - many of us share your story, you are not alone.  You can get alot of information from others stories.   

You can beat this!

SMS

notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2015, 01:27:26 PM »
Hey...you were the first to comment in my journal...so thank you.

It seems like there is great support here. I have had my share of dysfunction in life...and like so many others, I ran to the pixels online. I watched a couple of the videos yesterday, the TEDx talk about the brain and addiction. I am relieved to know that the brain can actually reboot.

I can't go back....there is no end to the madness going back, and it's a slow descent into blackness if I go back. I see that now...so I'm not going back.

About 3 months ago, I did something that I couldn't imagine I would do....I stopped drinking coffee...completely stopped. I was drinking a lot of it every day - thinking about it, and looking forward to the next round even before I was finished with what was in my hands. But, I stopped. I was pretty sure that it wasn't a healthy habit...so I stopped.

With all the other changes in my life, this was one thing that I felt I could count on...one thing that I DID have control over....NOT drinking coffee. I haven't had a sip since that day in October. This actually is giving me hope...that I can and will do the same here.

This is part of the reason why I set my goal at 180 days. I am looking to June....when it's warm out again...and when I hope I will be able to fearLESSly grab my wife and make love without any fear of not being able to do it.

I'm going to say it here....I haven't had sex with her in months....and yes, we have talked about it...but I have racked it up to stress, etc., and she has been going along with it. But it's not right. I want to feel the raging power inside again that I can hardly control...the power to just take her and make love to her.

I plan to be here daily....I have to come here. I think I will find help here.

So glad you wrote. What is your first name? Do you mind sharing that? I didn't see it anywhere.

Thank you, again.

lyon03

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2015, 01:54:21 PM »
Welcome brother. You are not alone. Share openly and often. This is a community where no one judges, scolds, nor mocks. I look forward to following your journey. Stay strong. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

savingmysoul

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 08:30:40 AM »
Hello my brother.

ED is tough, some guys have success a few month in, others take some more time.  Like myself.  But the one thing that is amazing, is how life can be when not ruled by P & M.   A clear conscience is an amazing feeling.

The other thing that is even more amazing is having the support of your wife.  May I ask if she knows about your addiction?   If not, you may want to think about sharing with her, but only you can answer that question.   My wife caught me, again, but even in the horror of all this has found the strength to support me.   Her being there, both good and bad days, I swear have been a cornerstone to my success.  Without a doubt, one thing for sure coming from you rather than her finding out some other way will mean a lot to her.  Think it over.

I too have removed other vices, I have quit smoking, and recently gave up sodas.  All have helped develop my mental strength to not only stay free from P & M, but continue to grow and heal.  Being better men is what this is about. 
Keep journaling, keep reading.  Have your plan ready, enjoy the early successes and find your strength, embrace it.  You can free yourself, you can beat this.

Take care,

SMS

Phase2

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 10:17:53 AM »
Why don't you show your son the yourbrainonporn.com site? Once I had understanding of what porn was doing to my brain, it was pretty easy to stop. Maybe it will be for him too. Knowledge is power.



notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 10:34:56 AM »
phase2...thank you. Awesome idea.
I will do this.

lyon03

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 02:07:35 PM »
Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly Scott. You are not alone. While I'm no expert, there is a common thread with men like me addicted to PMO, namely:

1. Realizing the addiction is beyond our control.
2. A troubled marriage because of the addiction.
3. Hiding, guilt, shame.

My first 30 days PMO-free were hell. But it got better. You seem to be a man of faith but I'll caution you that faith/prayer alone are not enough. I'd suggest reading "Your Brain on Porn" by Gary Wilson. If you've been viewing porn for more than 3-5 years, you will likely suffer from some level of withdrawal. For me, understanding that on a neuro-chemical basis porn is more addictive than meth was quite a wake up call. It helped me deal with the night sweats and shaky hands.

With regards to your relationship, your wife has every right to be angry. Don't make the mistake I did. When we are broken, or lost in the depths of addiction, you should put major life decisions on the back burner. For example, changing jobs or mending a broken relationship are often too much to take on in the first 90 days.

Anyhow brother. I just wanted to reach out and write that you no longer need to fight this alone. Posting here saved me. I learned as much through posting as I did through reading the posts of others. Stay strong. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 03:37:32 PM by lyon03 »

notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2015, 03:33:15 PM »
Lyon...thank you. Your posts are helpful to me. Just connecting with other men here is a major help to me.

I am so thankful to have this site. I'm thankful for Gabe and the guys who started this and who run it. Wow, what a gift this place is.

I have been using p for some time...angry that I have been doing it for so long. Angry that I have wasted so much of my life with it.
Angry that it has damaged my relationship with my wife and with my children and with so many other people....there is no way for me really to know the true depths of all that has been wasted and lost because of this. But, for the first time in my life I know that pm is truly NOT an option for me. It's just not an option. It's not on the list.

I know there may be tough days ahead...but I am focusing on other things...and am making a weekly "Mind Dump" list where i get everything floating around in my head down on paper, and then I plan on how to tackle it in the coming week. This is a new thing for me....something I wish I would have started a long time ago...but I am on it now.

So...thank you for being here. Thank you for taking time to read, and then to write.

You are a huge encouragement to me. There is hope. Thank you.

Phase2

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2015, 05:11:24 PM »
I just want to add this: everyone's experience here is different. And I too expected this journey to be super difficult. But for me, at least the first 50 days, have not been all that terrible. I see a lot of newbies posting doom and gloom about how excruciating no PMO is going to be, but that isn't necessarily going to be the case. It may be for some, but you should be open to an easier ride as well. After all, I was very thankful and relieved to have found out why I have ED, and I was able to use my disgust with porn and my ignorance about it to propel me to completely and without reservation, reject porn. There really was no turning back once I was educated to the science and understood what porn was doing to me. Yes, I have had moments of boredom or anxiety where it felt natural to relieve myself by jerking off, but I didn't do it and it passed. I'm just saying this because I would hate for someone out there to not start this journey just because they think it's going to be The World's Most Difficult Three To Six Months. The time I have put in has actually been incredibly educational, positive and interesting--which has helped balance out some of the challenging parts. Go forth, men. Jump on board! Success awaits.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 05:14:52 PM by Phase2 »



notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2015, 11:16:23 PM »
Phase2, thank you. I, too, have been propelled by finding out just what this has been doing to me. I have determined and made up my mind that I am not going back. It's not an option for me any longer.

I do want to say that today has been a very difficult day for me...in my job. It was one of the worst days I've had in my job. Today was also the anniversary date of my first year on this job. It was a pretty bad day.

In the past, I would have wanted to run to pmo...and today, I had a very short moment of remebering things I used to do, and my brain stood at the open door, and wanted to just walk in. I threw cold water, so to speak, on the whole thing. I got up from my chair and did as many pushups as I could.

I then did dips off the edge of my chair. I just kept at it. I also put up a wall in my memory and just stopped.

It was still a bad day as far as work, but I did not pmo.

I did yell at my son today....I went too long without eating, and my wife is sick, and it was all in all a difficult day.

I later apologized to him...not for what I said to him...because it needed to be said, but for yelling. I should not have yelled at him. He said to me, "It's okay, Dad. I know you're not mad at me, and I know you are stressed." He's an amazing son. He really is.

Well...again, I'm glad for the men here, and so glad I have found this site. I have wanted to be here all day today, but this has been the first chance I've had to get here.

Thank you again. I'm so thankful for this place.

ready2go

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2015, 11:24:18 PM »
I think we were having the same kind of day; just a bear of one.  The last few days had been going so much better I was very much unprepared for the roughness today brought.  My refuge was the cold shower and that did change things up.

We're glad you found the strength to do some physical activity and blow that pmo stuff out of the realm of possibility, because for us, it is not an option.

Great going!  Keep it up man.


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notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 11:40:43 PM »
oh yeah...cold showers are incredible. I'm on day 3 of doing the cold shower thing...and the water is freezing cold...but it's helping my body. Gonna keep at it.

lyon03

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2015, 12:33:05 PM »
Keep going brother: cold showers, push ups, whatever works. I'd be ready, and perhaps get your family ready, for heavy withdrawal some time around the two week mark. As Phase2 wrote, we all react differently but it's best to be prepared. Be well my friend. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2015, 11:44:36 PM »
Lyon,

I will take your advice seriously. Two weeks out, I will have a plan in place. For me now, pm is no longer an option. It is not on my list. It is not an option.

The cold showers continue to be exhilarating. When I first get in, it's almost painful....but then it eventually feels very good. The after affect is really nice. I love how I feel after I have been in the freezing cold water.

I will continue to stay engaged here as well.

I'm just glad for the men here, and glad I found this place. I am nearing 2 weeks in my reboot and so glad for this place.

Thank you, men, for reading and for writing here.....and i thank God for bringing me here as well.


lyon03

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2015, 05:30:17 AM »
My pleasure friend. I look forward to following your journey. Remember this: you are not alone. What helped me was sharing deeply, honestly, and frequently on this website. My addict brain had little capacity to manage my life so I put it all on here...everything! Stay strong. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

Dharmabum

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2015, 06:35:54 AM »
Just now reading your story, notgivinup.  Great work and congrats on two weeks under your belt. 

So much of what you're sharing resonates.  You're not alone here - keep coming back to find and to offer support.  You'll find strength for the journey.

Keep going. 

notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2015, 11:02:42 AM »
Dharmabum...thank you for your note. I appreciate it.

I am finding that I'm not as "odd" as I thought. I even laughed when I read the other day about someone's take on getting into the freezing cold shower. First one arm, then the other, then one leg....it was as if they had witnessed what I do when i'm trying to force myself into it.

It's good to realize that I'm not alone in this, and that I'm not the odd guy out after all....I guess that's one of those things I told myself for such a long time.

Lyon...thank you for your thoughts, as well. You said you just "put it all out there." I appreciate you saying that. I have covered so much of myself for so many years of my life...in fear that I would appear "less than" compared to other men. So, I taught myself to present a picture of me that looks good. Whatever the setting, I could case the joint in record time and then present myself in the say that would make me look good to everyone there.

Doing this, and living this way, by the way, takes a HUGE amount of energy. I'm really tired of living like that.

So....here's a bit more. If anyone reads this or not...it's still good to just get it out here.

I'm from a large family...lots of siblings....parents who stayed together....but a mother who was sick more days than she was well. She was a diagnosed schizophrenic who heard voices. I later learned that people with this illness have issues whereby the centers in the brain for aural (hearing) and, for some, visual processing is stimulated and their brains actually perceive that they are hearing things and seeing things which in the physical world outside their brains does not exist.

So, like any other human being, because they hear voices when no one else is around, they attribute it to the supernatural...either "God" or "the devil." My mother would say, nearly every day, "God told me to...." or "the devil is telling me to....."

She was not uneducated, but she was a Christian and she knew the Bible.....but she heard voices, and it was difficult for her to distinguish and understand the difference between what was illness and what wasn't. So, my life was a bit crazy in that regard growing up.

My father was weighed down with it all....and so I can "get" that he had a lot on him that kept him from connecting with me as a boy growing up.

So, it was what it was. My father was stressed and easily given to anger. My mother was "in another world" most of the time; her "condition" was treated with drugs which pretty much knocked her out. The more stressful the illness, and more prevalent the voices, the more medicine she took. It was like living with a drunk much of the time...and she was in bed most of the time. The house was dark and depressing. My siblings and I got out of the house as much as possible.

I have spent most of my adult life since leaving home at 18 in learning social skills, and how to relate to people. I brought small windows of relief to our family system by making good grades and excelling in musical skills.

I never revealed to anyone what was really inside me, however. This wasn't safe.

Couple this with being molested by a man at the age of 9, and having a father who was disconnected from me, and all that I've written above, and it was a perfect storm.

I will say, however, that the redeeming part of my life was our involvement with our church and exposure to good people who loved us. I believe God was merciful to my mother through her illness. Oh, and after having as many children as she did, and taking all the medications that she did...she gained weight, and developed a malady of other physical illnesses in her later years.

So.....I hid out inside myself for many many years. I learned early to to m and p...whether from magazines I found, or my own imagination.

As a young adult, I had my first sexual encounter in a rest stop along an interstate....I didn't know they happened, but I just stepped into...or fell into it. I wasn't intending for it to happen, but when the situation presented itself....as surprising as it was, I knew what it was...and just stepped in.

Adult bookstores followed...and anonymous sex...about a dozen times.

Then, there was the adult gay magazine that someone had stashed in the shelf when I was simply looking for a student dictionary. I had never seen anything like that before...but there it was in the "family" bookstore in the mall....and the hot rush of blood in my face and my heart racing....I tucked the magazine into my coat....and walked out with it (I stole it). I was too ashamed to have actually purchased it.

I spent the next 4 days masturbating and looking at the images and calling the 1-900 numbers.....it was like "Excellent" (as Gabe said in one video).....but it was the beginning to learning things I would later, and to this day, regret.

so....okay. I'll write more later. I have to go.

But, again....I am no longer doing pm. It is no longer an option for me.

I am here today because I am walking away from it. I'm done with it.

I am thankful for the men here who also are walking away from it. Hooorah.

Thanks.

ready2go

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2015, 11:27:36 AM »
We're right here with you Scott.  And your story is by no means unique, even if it used to seem like it.  The details are a wee bit different at the edges, and I grew up during the AIDS epidemic so there were modifications to suit the times in order to stay alive and well, but we could be brothers.  In fact, we are.  Each of us here has different goals to some extent, and we all share the goal of no porn.  That is my only goal, and as I go through the days not porning out, or masturbating, or orgasming, or edging I see a huge change in my ability to relate to the world, and it to me.  Who I may or may not have sex with later is not relevant to me now since I'm in flatline.  It's only a concept, having sex.  (Although I did get an erection touching myself earlier today and stopped right away.  That's the first one so at least I know I'm not completely dead.)  I'm only sharing this so you know you're not alone, the experience of going non PMO is amazing and I think we've made the right decision by being here and hanging out together with all these men going through the same reboot/rewire learning new ways of being in ourselves.
Awesome you're here with us man.  I'm so glad I'm not alone, it actually moved me to tears several times already.  Thanks.


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lyon03

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2015, 12:14:26 PM »
Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly Scott. That took a lot of courage. Many of us share similar histories. We also share a common goal: freedom from addiction. Here you will find love, support, and a group men who will never judge you. But I think you're already well on your way because you possess two things I believe are integral for reboot and recovery: honesty and an iron-clad commitment to be free from pornography. I really look forward to following your journey brother. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2015, 02:08:44 PM »
My 2nd visit for the day. I just re-read what I wrote earlier. Feels good to see that on the screen.

So....I spent days, weeks, years and years and years doing regular pmo.

At this point, it feels so good to not be turning to it. I feel like my brain is breathing....and my eyes and body feel more energized and rested...more than I can remember feeling in quite a while.

I took another cold shower this morning....at first I told myself that I wasn't going to do it. I just couldn't imagine actually doing it again this morning...the electric shock feeling of water that cold on my body.

But...I did. and as always, I'm glad I did. It's like a kick-start...and I'm glad I did it.

I usually ease into it, however. Start out kinda warm water, then slowing change it over.

I want to experience the full shower ice cold. I think I may do it tomorrow...and you know what? I won't do it unless I commit to it right here and now.

So, here goes. Tomorrow morning...ice cold all the way. Not trying to prove anything...I just want to do it. So...that's what I'm going to do.

Again...so glad I'm here and so glad you men are here with me.

Thanks.

notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2015, 11:06:05 PM »
It's been almost 2 weeks since I have been pmo free. My counter says 9 days, I think.

Time is flying for me, tho. I can't believe it's been that long.

Tonight, my brain is trying to play tricks on me...it's like the scenarios keeps wanting to present itself, saying...it's okay. Won't it be okay to just look at some things online and masturbate? imagine how good it will feel....blah blah blah blah blah.


NO.

It will NOT be good. It will only open up the flood to more destruction and more blackness. It will be like encasing my head in cement again, and it will harden, and only after I have wandered around in a fog again...may for YEARS...while my children grow up and leave home and my wife become completely depressed and tired of this...then, MAYBE then, I'll begin to chip away at the cement again and try to get out.

NO...it will NOT be good to do pmo. It will NEVER be good to do pmo again. NEVER EVER EVER.

porn and m is NOT an option.

I just wanted to get that down on the screen and in record again tonight.

I am not going back.

I am thankful for the men here.

Thank You all, guys.


notgivinup

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2015, 02:52:35 PM »
so...for the record...this morning's shower was all cold water. It was not the completely freezing water at first...but it was COLD. Then, full cold...freezing cold. But the crazy thing is that it was easier to get used to.

I enjoyed it, actually.

I feel so energized today. I feel almost euphoric today...I am enjoying the freedom from pmo, and looking forward to wild sex again with my wife.

Funny thing...I have been realizing that it's really not just about sex with her. Yesterday and today I was just thinking that I love her. I was realizing that I want to be near her...and if it goes to sex....excellent.

I want sex....I really do. But, I love her and I want to be near her. The way men are wired (and I know this because it's my experience as a man) is that we feel most loved and accepted when our woman opens up her body. I will personalize this....I feel most accepted by my wife when she opens up her body to me. It's how I feel accepted and affirmed by her more than any other way.

I still desire to connect with her emotionally...but it's pretty vulnerable...and scary.

I am looking forward to being past the flatline feeling which I still feel most of the time. I was thinking it was just because of aging, and stress. But, I feel like my brain is breathing again and I feel like I am living again, and I just want to keep moving.

So glad to be here.

Leon

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Re: Scott's journal
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2015, 06:00:20 PM »
Glad you're here, Scott. I felt your pain as I read your story- I've gone through a Christmas or two after divulging to my wife my struggles, feeling free in the moment (relieving my own guilty conscience) only to spend the next few weeks or months with an angry wife, during a time when there should be the 'joy of the season'.

It does get better, and the wives themselves begin to recover, right along with you as it were. Just remember to give her space- it's a lot for them to take in, the feelings of betrayal, of loneliness (now explained), of being lied to, etc... Remember (and I know this is difficult) the pain in their eyes, when they initially realized, and use that as a motivator, as something you NEVER want to put her through again.

Stay strong- and draw your strength from Christ, from your fellow rebooters here.