Author Topic: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict  (Read 4640 times)

Stp215

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My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« on: April 16, 2016, 05:28:41 AM »
I never thought I'd say those words in the title, but here I am. Learned about this site through the TIME magazine article and while reading it I kept thinking, "OMG, that's me." In my 40s now and realize I have been an addict for PMO for the better part of 30 years. And despite being married with 2 children, PIED has been a struggle since my 20s.

I could go on about how seductive and gratifying PMO has been to me. I've been fairly successful getting women over the years and had several long-term relationships. But PMO was like a security blanket the whole time, and it was so easy. Getting a girlfriend and lining up sex required a certain amount of "work." PMO was easy access, with the most beautiful women on the planet available for your eyes. Over time the mental high of PMO became intense, far greater than from real sex eventually. There was never any awkwardness or bad experiences with PMO. You could lose yourself in this fantasy world where everything was perfect. How could anything that feels so good be bad for you? I always rationalized it by telling myself it was a normal physical function. It wasn't like drugs or alcohol where you were harming your internal organs, right? Boy was I wrong.

Over time the PiED got progressively worse. It caused massive problems in my relationships. One of my biggest regrets in all this is that my PIED was probably the main factor in ruining several relationships. I can think of at least two former girlfriends that I almost certainly would have been married to by now if not for PIED. And every time there was an awkward, embarrassing situation with a woman, I would retreat to PMO as a reassurance that, yes, I could still perform and get some pleasure. In time I think my mind came to associate real sex with PIED-related awkwardness and PMO with pure joy, which only made the snowball roll downhill bigger and faster. Sex with my wife has become so awkward and unpleasant that we rarely if ever do it. For that and other unrelated reasons, the marriage is rocky to say the least. I haven't talked to her about PIED or PMO, as I think it would just create another fight and a barrage of judgments and criticismsc  directed at me, really the last thing I need to hear right now.

Another problem was that, until now, the concept of PIED didn't exist, at least not in my world. I went to doctors about it but didn't dare tell them that I engaged in PMO multiple times daily. They gave me Levitra and it did have a positive effect, but not consistently. Some nights it would result in a raging hard-on, other times nothing. In a culture where men tend to brag about sexual conquests, I got a sense that this was a problem unique to me. What a revelation here that so many others are dealing with the same thing.

I stopped PMO on April 12. In some ways it's been easier than I thought, in other ways harder. I think I'm in flatline stage now. So from a strictly physical standpoint, my body isn't screaming out to O. Mentally is different. It's so clear to me now how this is 90% about the chemical release in the brain and 10% about the physical gratification. When I am busy with work and other things I am mentally distracted and don't think about it. When driving in the car or other times, my mind starts thinking about PMO, about some of my favoite porn images, and the desire is there.

I've tried quitting in the past but never had a resource like this as a guide. I'd hit flatline and, not knowing what was going on, reverted to PMO just to remind myself I could still do it. I also convinced myself that O was an important physical and mental process and without it I was making myself less mentally and physically healthy. I read somewhere that not regularly exercising your prostate through O allowed toxins to build up there and increased your chances of getting prostate cancer. That was all the justification I needed to hear to validate my pedal-to-the-metal PMO-ing.

Not sure where all this is headed. I think I can continue to be PMO free, but I'm wondering, to what end? My goal is to be able to perform well sexually with a woman and feel normal and whole again. But with the dysfunctional state of my marriage, the idea of having real sex any time soon is unlikely. That makes me wonder, "then why bother?" Life is too short to deny myself; just do something that makes me feel good. It's a struggle. I will continue to post here and read others' posts. I will offer whatever sharing and support I can. Thanks.

gummianka

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 05:42:55 AM »
That is the same thought that I struggle with all the time. "Why bother".

Brother, If I had a smart answer to that, I would share it, but truth of the matter is, that I don't have one. My only motivation so far is simply pride and honour. I don't want to be a slave to something, and even if the rest of my life is useless, I want to be able to walk away from any habit if it serves my interest. You and me seem to be at about the same time span. I have not experoenced any flatline yet (oh God, do I hope to get that soon) but timewise we are comparable.

If I come up with another answer for that question I will let you know.
No PMO for 50 days, and counter stopped now as I am off the net for God knows how long.

Boo

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2016, 06:18:44 AM »
Stp,

Welcome. I appreciate the transparency of your post and you did well saying some difficult things. Your story and progression mirrors that of many here. I'm a bit older than you but otherwise it's the same. You raised a question that many of us do, ; Why bother?

The "why" is going to be somewhat different for all of us. This usually evolves as you start to keep a journal. Sometimes I hate to write. But, it seems to help, even if you support others with your efforts here. Try to be on here whenever you can. I have a lot of experience with these PMO forums and have mistakenly left while saying "why bother?". You seem to know about flatlining and other concepts. That's good. Education is the key. As you say, this place and the support here is a good resource. You add other tools to your war chest as well. This is a battle you'll need to be well equipped for.

PIED is very troubling and a damaged marriage even more so. Those are my issues as well. I also have business problems. Life hits hard. Sometimes we hit ourselves hard and don't even realize it as we're doing it until the damage is done. You can repair things and achieve a sense of balance and normalcy if you don't give up. Put some streaks together and don't let the slips affect you because they will probably happen. Few of us quit for good even after SEVERAL initial attempts. The longer your streaks go, the more progress you're making rewiring your brain. Just don't give up on yourself and you'll be okay .
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 06:24:28 AM by Boo »

Robert2.0

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2016, 10:51:22 AM »
STP,

Welcome to the forum. I want to congratulate you on admitting to yourself that PMO is an issue in your life and seeking help. This forum has a wealth of knowledgeable members who are willing to share their experiences and offer help in what ever way they can. Your "why bother" comment really hit home as I am in a very similar situation with my relationship. I have had the same question run through my mind. My personal answer is, it pisses me off that I have been controlled by this addiction and wasted so much time engaging in it that now that I have started recovery, I am damned if I am going to let this thing win. Yes it is difficult, but it is temporary, the withdrawal symptoms will pass, and the benefits will far out weight the short term discomfort you may experience. It took years to get to this point, don't expect a quick uneventful recovery. Use the information here and educate yourself, knowledge is Power. Reach out to members here with questions or concerns. We are all fighting the same battle, and by sharing our knowledge and experiences we can help each other win this war.

We can do this!

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2016, 12:18:22 PM »
Thanks for all the words of support. I am here to encourage you as well to stick with it. Today I opened up my iPad with the intention of deleting some of the P on there. I felt a pang of hesitation like, "I need these." But once I deleted one, it got easier and easier to keep deleting. There really is a sort of power P can have over you. I have memories of seeing Playboy magazine  for the first time as a kid. Even then I remember the feeling like those pictures were different from other ones. They created a reaction inside of your mind and body. The PMO cycle probably starts at even that young age.

The "why bother?" question is something I think about a lot. If I had a partner who was warm and understanding it would be easier, but I don't. I have to come up with reasons to do it. I want to be a better man, a fully-functional man. I don't want to be on my deathbed someday and think that my whole life was spent in the grip of this addiction and I should have/could have  done something about it but didn't. Will post more later. 

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2016, 03:39:51 AM »
I'm up to a week PMO free, and it's been educational for me. In all honesty, I thought I would have caved by now. My addiction was so fierce I had convinced myself that I "had" to do it at least twice a day. The thing is, with the P out of the equation, the desire level drops so low that I couldn't do it without P even if I wanted to, so that actually makes it easier. I thought being in flatline was hell but it helps you deal with being cold turkey, if that makes any sense. What is required is the ability to swear off P and your body takes care of the rest in a way.

I read some posts on here that said, your relationship between your dick and your hand is over. That's tough to accept, as that relationship has been in place almost my entire life. The next question for me is, I feel like I've navigated the first step, removing P from my routines. My next question is one I see on here a lot, namely, when will I see some normal behavior down there? I've seen estimates of more than 90 days. That seems like a long time. I just wish I knew what my threshold was. It's such a murky process.

I was just thinking how twisted and cruel this addiction is. What got me into it in the first place was a lust for women and a desire to have sex with them. And what does it do? Basically make it impossible for you to have sex with women. Something really f-ed up about that. I just want to be normal again. And undoing what took decades to create is going to take time, and that is tough to accept.



« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 03:43:46 AM by Stp215 »

Boo

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 10:17:57 AM »
Remeber Aesop's Fables, slow and steady wins the race. Just don't give up.

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 04:41:44 AM »
Been hitting some low points the last few days. Pretty much the only reason I've committed to rebooting was so that I could reach a point where the PIED was under control and I could have sex with a woman and do it well. My marriage since then has reached the point where it is almost nonexistent. Constant screaming and tension on issues not related to any of this. The point is, the idea of my wife and I ever having sex again seems like a remote possibility at this point. So again the question, why bother? If I'm holding out for the day when my marriage has officially ended and I am back in the world meeting new women, that seems so far down the road it's not even worth thinking about.

As a result, I have MO'd a few times, and feel a lot of guilt and shame about that. When you have something to shoot for, i.e. a partner who will be there for you and give you incentive to reboot, it's a lot easier. When you have the opposite of that--stuck in a marriage with no intimacy and a wife who constantly tells you that you are a worthless POS--it seems ten times harder. I'm in the valley, looking for a way out.

Robert2.0

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 06:27:15 AM »
Stp215
just wanted to share this post, I made the other day, we are in similar situations. Have a great day brother

Day 65
I have come to a cross roads, not just in my reboot but in my life. I am now stand in front of a fork in the road. One fork is labeled "Your wife is hurt beyond forgiveness and wants a divorce" so why bother continuing with the reboot process. The other is labeled "Pick me, Pick me I am the path to self esteem, self worth, self respect and self love". In the real world, energy follows the path of least resistance. However, in this case the path of least resistance is the path to self destruction and certain dying alone. My marriage may be over, and I will never be able to take back the pain and hurt I have caused my wife, but I will be damned if I am going to let this fucking addiction totally drag me to the depths of hell and beyond. I am determined to fight to keep PMO out of my life and find a way to rebuild my brain and regain the ability to have and express emotions and feelings, release the judging of people based on porn related stereotypes. I am humbly taking the path of most resistance to save myself from utter and complete self destruction.  Good night brothers.

We can do this!

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 11:15:56 AM »
Good thoughts, Robert. Thank you.

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2016, 12:49:07 PM »
Hello All,

Haven't been here in a little while and need to update. I reset my counter because I've been relapsing lately. There has been so much stress and pressure in my life the past few weeks, I feel like I can't manage all that and quit PMO at the same time. Financial pressures, marriage bad and getting worse by the day. At this point my interest in rebooting is for the woman I will meet after my divorce, not the person I'm currently living with. Seems that ship has sailed. I feel stuck in this state of limbo. I'm with a woman where there is nothing resembling intimacy going forward, yet I can't go out in the world and begin the process of meeting someone else. Sucks.

I was in reboot mode for about 2 weeks and it was going well. It's hard to describe the psychological process where you fall back into it, but most of you probably already know. I see the greater good of rebooting and want to get back there. Guess I shouldn't be surprised that I relapsed. It took more than 30 years to get this way; the idea that it would be remedied in a few weeks is kind of absurd.

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2016, 10:31:00 AM »
Back on here after several months away. I'd like to tell everyone that I have been PMO free all this time, but that's not the case. The truth is, it has been a roller coaster.

The marriage has been up and down. There was a stretch there where my wife and I actually had sex a few times. Thanks to a Levitra assist, I was able to perform although I didn't get off through intercourse. The sensation of vaginal intercourse simply doesn't compare to the dopamine rush of PMO at this time. Just being able to have sex again was something of a relief. But to be completely honest, it wasn't nearly as satisfying as the PMO experience. The infrequency of sex has had more to do with busy schedules, kids, etc., than a lack of interest. In the meanwhile it was and is so much easier to just PMO rather than waiting for the planets to align correctly where sex can be fit into our schedules.

So I haven't PMO'd in a few days and am trying to get a streak together again. If I can PMO and still have sex with my wife, I am  wondering why I have to give up PMO altogether. I'm sure the sex would be much better if the PMO was out of the picture, but I read on here how guys have gone over a year without it and are still not healed. That sounds horrible. If I could re-wire and heal faster than that I would jump at the chance. Just have no idea how long it will take and if I have the resolve to make it happen.   

Gabriel1960

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2016, 03:46:32 AM »
Dude, read YBOP.  It was written for *you,* specifically.   

I read it every day.  It's my daily meditation book.  It was written for me, too.

YBOP page 152:

"A young psychiatrist, himself newly recovered from porn-induced sexual dysfunction, pointed out that the internet porn phenomenon is only 10 or 15 years old, and way ahead of the research. He notes:

Medical research works at a snail's pace. With luck we'll be addressing this in 20 or 30 years....when half the male population is incapacitated. Drug companies can't sell any medications by someone quitting porn."
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 04:48:31 AM by Gabriel1960 »

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 02:43:39 PM »
My counter says 6 days but it has actually been 8 since my last PMO. In the depths of the addiction, it is almost always the mind telling the body to PMO, even if the body isn't asking for it. In my experience, once you get over the initial mental urges in the first few days, the flatline kicks in and you wonder what's going on there.

Having said that, I have had times where the body is telling the mind it wants release. That raises another question: I'm sure not doing any release other than actual sex is the best thing, but what about occasional MO without the P? I have read here that just fantasizing about P in your mind is almost the same as using P, but what about envisioning sex with your significant other? I ask because going from extreme levels of PMO to absolute zero can seem like a big hill to climb right out of the gate. 

Jbow

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2016, 08:45:12 AM »
Why bother? I think you answered a couple of them, I have some more for you.  Pmo, pied, guilt, shame, anxiousness, and probably more I didn't mention. That is why we want to stop this horrible addiction. I'm about 110 days clean.  That's a record for me. I have to be honest l, I have never felt this good mentally,  and physically. When you say why bother, that's your brain trying to trick you. Don't fall for it. I promise you, if you do the work, it will be worth it. Please brother give it a chance. Porn is never an option. I'm on my fourth try, and so far I'm having great success.
mg][/url]

balanced

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2016, 08:35:17 AM »
Jbow said as simply as anyone can...If you do the work, it will be worth it.

But you have to commit to doing the work, and it's called work because it takes a great deal of effort, it is not fun, it is a real struggle at first, but you have to be truly committed to changing, and then exercise the resolve to become a different man.


Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2017, 01:15:43 PM »
I'm back to work on my PMO problem. Hit bottom again and feel a lot better about getting to a better place. I reset my counter late so it's actually been 6 days clean today. Today is the first time since quitting that I am feeling withdrawals. It's so weird because all the impulse to fap is coming from above the neck. Below that it's flatline. Reading YBOP has helped with understanding the chemistry of what is happening.

Yesterday I went through my phone and deleted about 30 porn pics I had saved on there. Before I deleted the first one there was a hesitancy like, "I need these." But after deleting the first one it felt like a snowball rolling downhill and I deleted them all. Felt good, like I was in control of the situation.

This problem has been compared to a drug addiction, and that's exactly what it is. Except the drug is already in your brain, and it's not something you smoke, snort or inject. I would love to get to 100 days clean just to see if there are some real positive changes. 

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2017, 04:21:28 AM »
Woke up at 5 am today, just because I went to sleep early the night before. Everyone else in the house is asleep. In the past, it was a given that I would PMO in a situation like this. I'm not doing it now, instead coming here and sharing.

Today is 8 days clean. Trying to stay focused on the big picture: arriving at a place where I can perform with a woman the way I want to and not have this addiction constantly intruding in my life.

I know 8 days is just the beginning and it's a long process. I feel much more empowered in this reboot than previous ones. Maybe because I'm starting to take charge of my life in other areas as well. Would love to report on here that I am 30 days clean. That's my next milestone.

Jbow

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2017, 09:51:32 AM »
 would love to get to 100 days clean just to see if there are some real positive changes. There you brother, it's all up to you. You can do it
mg][/url]

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2017, 02:54:42 PM »
would love to get to 100 days clean just to see if there are some real positive changes. There you brother, it's all up to you. You can do it

Thanks, brother. Appreciate the support. I really want to see this through.

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2017, 12:10:24 PM »
Got through the weekend with no PMO. Nine days and counting. It might sound sacreligious, but the biggest triggering opportunity for me came not from P, but going to church on Easter Sunday. It was 84 degrees and sunny, and the women came to church dressed to the nines in summer wear. It was a huge distraction to sit through that with visuals everywhere. I had to force myself to look away a few times, as there was stimuli in every direction. Thankfully the drive home allowed me to reset and there were no relapses. Just a reminder that there are pitfalls everywhere in this journey. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 12:33:35 PM by Stp215 »

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2017, 09:46:19 AM »
Arrived at 13 days clean today. A little surprised I've gone this far without succumbing to relapse. I still think about PMO at times throughout the day, but as long as I'm in flatline, I haven't come close to going bad. At this rate, I think I can start pushing PMO to the sidelines in my life t the point where it's irrelevant. That would be a great thing given the destruction it causes. 

The thing that concerns me most is the time it will take to return to normalcy. I started in my teens, so I have no illusions that this will be an overnight fix. However, the prospect of going a year or more in a a flatline state is disturbing. At that point the idea of staying PMO clean might be more difficult. Are there any signs to look for along the way to indicate that healing is taking place? That would provide a lot of incentive to stay the course.   

NewMe48

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2017, 12:31:42 PM »
This book on Audible was very helpful to me called "Feels Like Redemption - The Pilgrimage to Health and Healing"
It was written by a recovering porn addict and really helps get at the underlying causes of PMO not to just "quit".
https://www.amazon.com/Feels-Like-Redemption-Pilgrimage-Healing/dp/0692217355/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493283003&sr=8-1&keywords=feels+like+redemption

I don't have the patience to read so audio books and podcasts are a lifesaver!

Stp215

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2017, 01:31:49 PM »
Today is a milestone for me: 30 days without PMO.  :)

This is the longest I have been clean. Feels good, like I am in control of that area of my life now. For many years I felt like I was just reacting to urges with no strategy. It does get a little easier the further down the non-PMO road you go.

That said, I am still deep in the flatline stage. There is some mild wood here and there, but nothing exceptional. The whole purpose of this for me is to be fully functional with a woman again. My biggest concern is that I get into a situation with a woman and there is still nothing going on down there. The huge unknown for me is, how long will it take to get back to the "original factory settings." I don't expect it tomorrow, but hope it won't take forever.

workinprogressUK

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Re: My Journal - Yes, I'm a PMO Addict
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2017, 03:15:06 AM »
Congrats on your progress so far, Stp. Great work! Looks like you're moving in the right direction and everything is lining up. You've got a bit of a virtuous circle going on, right? Do me a favour though, please, my friend; try not to focus yet on doing this "to be fully functional with a woman again". Not yet. Thirty days clean is a great achievement, but it's still early days in the bigger picture. If you can, please keep on fighting because you want to live clean, and you enjoy feeling good, and you enjoy being in control. Stay focused on the process and the behaviours that have kept you clean for the last thirty, and your outcomes will stay positive. And after a while... perhaps a fair while longer yet.... your factory settings will restore. For what it's worth, I was over 100 days P&M free before I cracked my PIED. Just stay focused on recovery. You'll get your wood back in time.