Author Topic: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It  (Read 10089 times)

carlson

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Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« on: June 01, 2016, 08:43:42 AM »
I'm 51 years old, and have spent nine years like a zombie - not knowing why I was so depressed, not knowing why I felt so distant from my beautiful, loving wife and brilliant daughter.  I assumed it was financial stress, getting old, a bad relationship with my parents, or a growing realization that I was no-where near as brilliant, interesting, or admired as I thought.  Those things might have been true, but that wasn't what drove me away from what I had - the love, care, and respect of my life.  It has dawned on me that the porn ate away at my personality, my brain, and any sense of joy - it was slowly killing me.

43 days ago, I admitted to my wife that I thought I had a problem with looking at porn and compulsive masterbation.  I had masterbated since adolescence, when I memorized the images in my brother's porn magazines.  I used masterbation to distract from worries, to feel good, to escape, to experience sex in my mind.  Even after marrying a beautiful, captivating dynamic woman, I continued to masterbate here an there - in the shower, when alone on a business trip, sometimes without even realizing I did it.  I saw a few pornographic images here and there - but never bought anything, never wanted to admit that I was a user.

Then came free Internet porn - specifically porn site previews - 30 to 60 second snippets of pornography that year by year became more and more compelling, more stimulating.  I remember nine years ago viewing a preview that was so disturbing and so exciting that I felt I should stop.  But weeks later, I returned, trying to find that same stimulating experience again.  I didn't find that video, but found countless others instead.  It became a regular part of my life - 2 or 3 times a week, I would wander around porn sites looking at previews.

ED became a problem quickly thereeafter - and performance anxiety with my wife caused me to avoid making love to her - and almost never to initiate making love to her unless it was completely clear that she was feeling neglected or abandoned by me.  I assumed the ED was because of poor health, stress, lack of sleep, too much alcohol or coffee - anything but that the porn was rewiring my brain.  I came across an advice column years ago that suggested that too much masterbation can interfere with sexual performance - so I tried to back off on masterbating.  That always seemed to help, but I didn't stick with it.  Instead, I thought that going back to a few views of porn might get me aroused enough to be a good lover, at least for one day. 

It didn't work of course.  Two years ago, disgusted by what the porn industry actually is, and how women are treated - not to mention disgusted that I was looking at it - I decided to stop looking.  Stupidly, I allowed my self to keep masterbating (and fantasizing with remembered porn images) so even though I stopped viewing porn, I was still using it in my head.  Without fresh stimulation, I lost even more ability to maintain an erection even during masterbation and had less interest in sex.  I killed my own desire.

I relapsed a few times over the two years - was disgusted, then went back to just masterbating with fantasy.  I wasn't solving any problem - just controlling it, somewhat.

Excuses - I had plenty of them.  I wasn't actually watching porn, I was just looking at the free previews and a few images.  I wasn't betraying my wife, I was just getting rid of tension.  I wasn't ignoring all the daily concerns of life or how I needed to do more for my family or work - I was just taking a quick break.

And it changed me.  I became constantly irritated, constantly depressed, distant, and manipulative.  I wanted everyone to think I was this great nice guy.  If that was every challenged, I became angry, and even threw temper tantrums.  I was out of control - stressed out - depressed - mean.  I became a jerk.

And then, after I admitted to my wife that I had a problem, everything changed.  I felt like my entire ego collapsed - I realized that I was the problem.  In just a few minutes of searching, she found this site and diagnosed my problem.  After a little reading, I completely agreed with her. 

I started a hard reboot - no fantasy, no porn, no masterbating - for ever.  I hope and pray that at the end of 100 days - I will be able to once again have a loving relationship with my wife and daughter - who are constantly at the center of my thoughts, dreams, and hopes for the future - but there is no guarantee.  There is no option for failure.  I must undo the damage done to my brain, my psyche, and ultimately to my family to the absolute best of my ability.

Have jumped into therapy and couples therapy - and am attending SA meetings - but am frustrated by the lack of people that are dealing specifically with this problem, versus issues around prostitution, affairs, and other "real" world problems vs. the specific difficulties of escaping into virtual fantasy worlds.

43 days in - and I NEVER want to go back.  Disgusted by who I was and what I did - eager to become who I always should have been.  Ready for all the discomfort, all the pain, and all the joy of living an authentic life.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 04:26:44 PM by carlson »

Porn2Bmild

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 08:52:31 AM »
Wow, good for you, Carlson.  43 days!  That is amazing!  I think it's terrific both your wife and daughter are involved in your healing process.

You got this and you (and I and everyone else here) will beat this thing!  Stay strong and positive.  Your story is motivating me to make it to 30 days.  With you as inspiration, I know I will get there!

If your mind can conceive it,
And your heart can believe it,
Then your body can achieve it!

PF58

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 03:52:43 PM »
Rooting for you! One day we will look back in amazement at how enmeshed and controlled our lives were by porn!



malando

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 03:58:27 PM »
Rooting for you! One day we will look back in amazement at how enmeshed and controlled our lives were by porn!

As an Aussie, this phrase always makes me laugh. "Rooting" has a very different meaning in OZ.  ;)

Arian

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2016, 04:06:50 PM »
It's a wonderfull site 4 this stuff. :)

carlson

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2016, 11:13:23 AM »
Thank you for the comments - I was surprised to see anyone reply in such a short period of time - but very grateful.

Another day slogging through the wreckage (day 44).  My wife and I talk at length every day about the recovery and the reality of what I did- often for hours at a time, without stopping.  She is working through a lot of trauma, anger, and loss.  For 8 years, I was checked out of our relationship - and putting my energy into masterbation and porn. I am disgusted and horrified by what I did and the amazing ways I managed to justify it, sidestep any concerns, or even ignore the depraved nature of doing this, just so I could get another hit. 

Talking through this with my wife - as painful and as difficult as it is - seems to be what she needs to work through her pain and perhaps find a way to heal, whether she stays with me or not.  At the same time, this process of examining every element of what I did and why - is helping to clarify in my mind what is wrong with my personality, my habits of thought, my psyche, my ego - everything.  Together, we are engaging an an intense inventory of what I did and why - and at the same time disclosing it to her.

It is enforcing a radical form of honesty that I've never engaged in before.  No shading, no making things seem better or more palatable...no lying.  I'm not very practiced at this.  As a constant and compulsive people-pleaser, I am not even aware of how much I exaggerate, soften, or even create the truth.

In other words...I'm a lying porn addict who objectifies women, betrays the people he loves to feed his addiction, and uses images created by an industry that hurts young women's lives in order to feed my addiction.  I have not been the nice guy I thought I was.  I am a bastard - a villain - an unkind and selfish addict.

But...that can stop.  No one's forcing me to look at porn at gunpoint.  I am not required to masterbate.  My withdrawal symptoms, though unpleasant, are not life threatening. 

I can change.

I can deal with discomfort - and become stronger and wiser for it.

I can manage uncertainty - without debasing myself.

I can be a better man - whether my wife and daughter forgive me or not.

RecoveryJunkie

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2016, 01:00:16 PM »
Hey carlson,

What you ar doing now is what real men do every day. Keep up the good job, easy does it. What we did was horrible but to spend too much time thinking about it and not changing the behaviour is dangerous. You have started taking action, more of this is required, more courage is needed. The nice thing about R overt from this is afte some time out motivation returns and you can use that to fuel your recovery. You are not alone brother!
RJ

carlson

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 10:47:10 AM »
Thank you sir!  Your comment is well taken - stay positive, stay focused.

Brokenbutredeemed

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 05:11:09 PM »
Carlson:

Glad to see you that, too, were honest with your wife.

Rebuilding trust  takes time.  I encourage you to go out of your   way to show  love and affection to your wife in non-sexual ways:  bring her home some flowers, a card from time-to-time, leave her a note before you go to work, etc.'

Learn what her 'love language' is.  If you are not familiar with this expression, google it and buy the book.

Rebuild that emotional bond with your wife little by little.  I, too, had checked out of my marriage several years ago, and started the process of checking back in four years ago.

Being intentional with you wife in the ways that I described above may help you in rebuilding your relationship with your wife.  A rewarding sexual relationship with be the fruit of your labor, too.

Fight for your marriage - it's worth it!

carlson

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2016, 10:24:30 AM »
Thank you so much for your thoughtful words.  I hope that you and your wife are making good progress as you go through all this.  I agree with you that the work is very hard and very much worth it.  My wife and I struggle every day with what I did and how it wrecked what was once a good marriage. 

It is worth every once of strength I have - and every bit of willingness to change if I can only be with her.  Over the last several weeks, I've written her at least one letter a day, as a way to focus my mind on who she is and to let her know, if I can, how important she is to me.  We've been going to couples therapy, which has been somewhat helpful - at the same time it has dredged up long ignored problems.  I have discovered - so late in life - that the one thing I want is intimacy, to feel truly part of a marriage, a community, a family - that the only thing keeping me apart is me.  Everyone may not like me, but instead of working so hard to fool people into liking me, it's better that I am authentic, present, and able to connect to the people who might want to be with me - and deal with anyone's dislike or even disapproval if that is what they feel.  It's not about me - but others. 

I've changed in spirit, but old habits don't go easily.  There's a reason that people rarely change much.  And yet, after a lifetime of regular fantasy and masterbation, I've spent the last month and a half not doing it - and not wanting to.  That's a change.  Now I must stop retreating into my thoughts, stop lying to make things sound better, empathize with others, be a better man.

When I'm feeling confident, I know I can do it.  When the mood drops, I worry.  Rebooting gives me focus, and hope that I can live a good life, one with love, joy, and purpose.  Rebooting gives me hope that I won't be miserable and alone for the rest of my life.  Rebooting gives me a chance to save a marriage and be with the best woman in the world. 

RecoveryJunkie

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 01:26:01 PM »
I've been rebooting for 2 months today. When my ex fiancée left me a year ago April, I started to acknowledge my problem but I was a day late a a buck short to save the relationship. I believe she loved me but couldn't live like that any longer. The intimacy was completely gone and she was so filled with pain that she decided to be with someone who told her and showed her how great she was.
I finally told her about my addiction but she said she did not want to come back. Even then, longest I went without PMO was 2-3 days. Might have gone a week at the most. I continued isolating and PMOing until I met another beautiful woman just over two months ago. I told her about my addiction within two weeks of dating her and she decided to stay with me. She is truly an angel sent from heaven. I only pray that I don't hurt her as I did my ex.
She told me she appreciated my honesty and said she would not tolerate a relapse. As a result, today I am 61 days PMO free having only had a handful of Os with her due to PIED.
In the last day or two, I've really been feeling the affects of my addiction on my ex partners and it really makes me sick what an ass I was.
Nevertheless, all I can do is move forward. I feel stronger and more self confident since starting on this journey about 9 weeks ago.

Good luck with the reboot and especially good luck with the relationship rebuild. One thing I know for sure is she is worth it!
RJ

carlson

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 07:56:55 AM »
Congratulations on the two months reboot - thank you for your kind encouragement.  As hard as a reboot is for us, it is difficult to perceive just how difficult it is for a loving partner.  Any effort by them to face all the pain and offer support is truly heroic.  I am humbled and grateful for all that she has to face. 

Good luck with your reboot and relationship as well.  Their love is worth anything and everything.

carlson

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 01:07:02 PM »
Day 50 today.  Halfway to my goal of a "hard 100".  Feeling alright symptom-wise, other than dramatic mood-swings.  Depths of despair and euphoria all in a 24 hour period.

Starting to realize something.  Underneath this addiction there may be another one - an addiction to depression and self-loathing.  Even before porn trashed my life, I was busily trashing it by removing myself from life, by thinking that I was unworthy of joy or love.  Somehow that kept me in a secret box of hating myself and trying to get others to like me.  I rarely experienced joy, I rarely allowed myself to feel good about myself or anything.  I fuel a spiral of depression with constant self-talk about how much I stink, how pathetic I am, how unlikeable I am. 

What the hell am I doing?  I have a wonderful life - and I didn't value it.  I wasn't going hungry, had a nice house, a beautiful wife, an extraordinary daughter.  Work that wasn't heinous.  People liked and sometimes even admired me.  What right have I to be depressed - and what right have I to debase myself and others with PMO?

So at day 50, I have a new reboot to add to this mix:  No lonely spirals of depression.  Instead, when I start to go down, I have to acknowledge it to myself and others - and then do something about it.  No lonely monologues - instead, go for a walk, exercise, talk it out - ANYTHING but do not go down the spiral.  Connect to people.  Talk to them - be concerned about their problems - not yours.  Become a loving human being - not a senseless robot.  BE A PERSON!

This is tougher than PMO to kick, but there is no option for failure on this one either.  Depression isn't just killing me, it's killing everything that matters in life.  Have to kick it.

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 07:10:06 PM »
Carlson, your posts are amazing. I'm the partner of a recovering PA who's doing very well, but it's been tough for us both. It's clear you're really wanting a life after porn and working really hard at it. Congratulations on getting through the first 50 days. As you've discovered, quitting is just the beginning. All addictions are a symptom of a disordered life fuelled by distorted thinking patterns. I recognise so much of my partner in what you say – prone to depression, people-pleaser, wanting to come across as the "good guy", conscious of his public persona but can be quite morose in private. This is so much in contrast to me, I'm very much what-you-see-is-what-you-get. I don't have a public/private, I'm straight talking and if some people don't like me, then so what? One thing I hate is lying and people not being straight with me. Unfortunately it goes with the territory when a relationship has been blighted by porn addiction.

The recovery of the relationship is quite a different thing from your own personal recovery. Your wife also has her own recovery which is something quite different from your own. It's not just a case of quitting but repairing and rebuilding. I'm impressed by your commitment to honestly with no minimizing or telling half-truths. This was my partner's way of dealing with me and it just created more problems. He would only admit to the bare minimum he could get away with, only for me to discover he'd lied to me. Just about every question I had was answered with a lie and it was impossible to progress when he wouldn't be honest with me. He was a fool. I don't say that lightly. The porn was bad enough but the lies caused even more damage. I can't trust a liar. Nobody can. At least you have committed to being completely honest. If anything has disrupted my recovery as a partner and our recovery as a couple, it's been his lying.

In spite of the lying, I've still tried to see the reasons why he felt that was the "right" thing to do. The emotional reasons behind the lying. He's been pretty good at understanding the emotional reasons which made him vulnerable to porn addiction in the first place. I've been sympathetic and patient to the best of my abilities. I've really worked at understanding his "story". But that's not to say I don't have my own issues too. Of course I do and they don't vanish overnight. I've worked hard at my own recovery. His porn put me in a very bad place. I've had a lot to deal with. My very womanhood was cast aside in favor of that garbage. If there's anything that makes a woman feel like shit it's a total lack of sexual interest, the absence of compliments and admiring glances – and you know exactly why, because the man you thought was your husband is actually married to a ****ing laptop.

Like you, his life wasn't/isn't all that bad. But in the past few months I've realised how "addicted" he is to negative thinking, complaining, fault-finding etc. He gets fixated on people and goes on and on and on and on about how they did this or said that, and I'm like "Is that all?" Some days I just want to tell him to STFU. Its like he seeks out reasons to get depressed or angry for that matter. It's also very wearing on me because I have my own recovery and he never asks me how I'm doing or how I'm feeling. So perhaps there is something in what you say about being "addicted to depression".

Good luck, and please check out the partners forum when you are ready to think about the other side of the relationship.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 07:18:53 PM »
Thanks for your honesty. As someone who has also suffered from mild depression I can relate to a lot of what you've said. I'm not sure how much of it relates to the porn use and how much is just "regular" depression. I won't know for sure unless I remove the porn and unhealthy sex from the mix so that is job one. I read somewhere a line from someone who had suffered from long term depression, that he had learned that he could live with depression without it becoming debilitating. To me this means that I can acknowledge a depressive mood and know that it will pass and there are things I can do to lessen its effect, without it becoming a completely debilitating, weeks long depressive episode.
I never use porn or masturbate Now.  I am in charge of my life.

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 09:50:17 AM »
Re depression. I've actually had to seek professional help for depression as a consequence of having to deal with the damage caused by my partner's porn addiction. I recognise the techniques you are referring to, about acknowledging that negative feelings can be challenged and that times of acute emotional distress will pass.

Anyone can suffer from depression. It can happen to anyone. I'm not prone to negativity. I'm pretty much a forward-looking, optimistic type and my depression was a reaction to the years of rejection, emotional neglect and deception that was part of his porn addiction. Meanwhile life goes on and there is still plenty to deal with too. It's just that its so much easier when you've got the emotional support of a partner. Porn made him withdraw from me and become emotionally distant. I was left to deal with everything alone whilst he was sneaking off to his fantasy world. If I'd known just how much damage his porn habit could do I would have insisted that he kick it to the curb years ago.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 10:04:59 AM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Gracie

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 11:28:18 AM »
Yes Emerald so true.  I too had to seek help.  I could not function.  I was so lost.  And I too had had moments over the years and let him know I did not like it.  When I discovered the use the last time, it was quit or I walk.  But it was work all the way.  He turned into an ugly person when it came out.  I did not know him.  But then I thought I would give him some time.  If at the end of a year, I still hurt so bad I would leave.  I still hurt at the end of that year, but I could breathe. 

carlson

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2016, 02:17:24 PM »
Thank you everyone for all your comments.  I was away for a couple of days an was so surprised to see such thoughtful posts from people I've been following on their threads for some time.

Emerald Blue - thank you for your comments.  I have read your thread and comments over the last few weeks, as has my wife.  There are quite a few similarities here - and as we try to figure out how to both heal together, your straightforward and honest comments have been helpful for both of us to understand what is going on here.  I don't know if I completely deserve your praise.  I have not always been able to be completely honest, and sometimes have not been entirely sure what the answers to questions have been...in great part because I have not been honest with myself.

The cold hard truth about what I did is overwhelming.  The harm done to my family, the betrayal of my wife and the debasement of myself can send me into a depressive tailspin.  I turned myself into a dirty old man and a creep.  How on earth do I live with this?  To make matters worse, the performers that I watched, young girls in misery, often addicted to drugs and alcohol, depressed themselves, physically and emotionally abused, and then put aside in a couple of years or less to fend for themselves in a world that doesn't offer fabulous jobs or opportunities to former porn performers.   Look at how much harm created by this!  And I was a part of it.

And then, there's the depression thing.  Depression was probably always there, long before the addiction, but it was a manageable thing - not a clinical, can't get out of bed thing - just a tendency to retreat and take things hard when I was down.  But the addiction used the depression as a tool to hy-jack me further.  As I continued using, the depression continued to rise - until I felt almost nothing all the time. 

Now, as I've denied my brain its fix of dopamine for almost two months - it's pushing the depression button HARD - and I'm going down old pathways of self hatred that ultimately lead to numbness - and perhaps even relapse.    In the process, the depression is making me even more impossible to live with.  When I drop (which I've done three times this week), I withdraw, I behave strangely around others, I stop listening, I shut down.  My wife's insisting that I come out of it has kept me from staying there - but she can only do so much of that.  Nor should she.  This is not a way for someone to be in a marriage.  This is not an environment for her to safely heal from her trauma.  There is NO WAY that I can allow this pathway for the addiction.  Every time I drop, I hurt the relationship further.

Which kills me.

The relationship is everything.  When the addiction started to be on the retreat from me, what flooded back into my heart was my love of her - my joy at seeing her every date, the memories of all she is and all she has done over the years.  All I want now is to be with her - and to be a husband that does not cause pain - rather someone who puts her first, that expresses his love with actions every day, who makes her feel safe and happy with my words and my behavior.

The depression sends me into myself - away from her - away from love - away from life.  I must stop it, I must walk through a door to happiness somehow.  I have to believe that I deserve happiness despite all I have done.

Thank you to Chip as well for your comments.  I'll look into the section by William that you recommend.  It seems interesting.

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2016, 03:19:05 PM »
Thank you everyone for all your comments.  I was away for a couple of days an was so surprised to see such thoughtful posts from people I've been following on their threads for some time.

Emerald Blue - thank you for your comments.  I have read your thread and comments over the last few weeks, as has my wife.  There are quite a few similarities here - and as we try to figure out how to both heal together, your straightforward and honest comments have been helpful for both of us to understand what is going on here.  I don't know if I completely deserve your praise.  I have not always been able to be completely honest, and sometimes have not been entirely sure what the answers to questions have been...in great part because I have not been honest with myself.

The cold hard truth about what I did is overwhelming.  The harm done to my family, the betrayal of my wife and the debasement of myself can send me into a depressive tailspin.  I turned myself into a dirty old man and a creep.  How on earth do I live with this?  To make matters worse, the performers that I watched, young girls in misery, often addicted to drugs and alcohol, depressed themselves, physically and emotionally abused, and then put aside in a couple of years or less to fend for themselves in a world that doesn't offer fabulous jobs or opportunities to former porn performers.   Look at how much harm created by this!  And I was a part of it.

And then, there's the depression thing.  Depression was probably always there, long before the addiction, but it was a manageable thing - not a clinical, can't get out of bed thing - just a tendency to retreat and take things hard when I was down.  But the addiction used the depression as a tool to hy-jack me further.  As I continued using, the depression continued to rise - until I felt almost nothing all the time. 

Now, as I've denied my brain its fix of dopamine for almost two months - it's pushing the depression button HARD - and I'm going down old pathways of self hatred that ultimately lead to numbness - and perhaps even relapse.    In the process, the depression is making me even more impossible to live with.  When I drop (which I've done three times this week), I withdraw, I behave strangely around others, I stop listening, I shut down.  My wife's insisting that I come out of it has kept me from staying there - but she can only do so much of that.  Nor should she.  This is not a way for someone to be in a marriage.  This is not an environment for her to safely heal from her trauma.  There is NO WAY that I can allow this pathway for the addiction.  Every time I drop, I hurt the relationship further.

Which kills me.

The relationship is everything.  When the addiction started to be on the retreat from me, what flooded back into my heart was my love of her - my joy at seeing her every date, the memories of all she is and all she has done over the years.  All I want now is to be with her - and to be a husband that does not cause pain - rather someone who puts her first, that expresses his love with actions every day, who makes her feel safe and happy with my words and my behavior.

The depression sends me into myself - away from her - away from love - away from life.  I must stop it, I must walk through a door to happiness somehow.  I have to believe that I deserve happiness despite all I have done.

Thank you to Chip as well for your comments.  I'll look into the section by William that you recommend.  It seems interesting.

carlson, your honesty, painful as it is, is something to admire and respect.  You're way ahead of me in time porn-free, but I will offer a bit of advice.  If it's helpful, fine.  If not, let it go.  I think you need to devote some time and energy to forgiving yourself.  I think, as many others do, that guilt is good.  It's an honest admission of wrong doing, and it's part of being accountable.  And it's natural for anyone with a conscience.  But don't let shame get the best of you.  It can drag you too far down.  After all, being porn free, facing demons, working to get better, taking responsibility--it's all about healing, not locking yourself in a dungeon of shame.  A truly bad man could not have written the post you wrote today.  Find it in your heart to forgive yourself and focus more fully and clearly on what's in front of you.

Just a thought, something to consider.

Wishing you well. 

Branch

carlson

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2016, 03:56:42 PM »
Branch,

That is wonderful advice - thank you.  I am working on that quite a bit.  Not always easy, as everyone knows, but important to do.  At my best, I can get there - at my worst, it is difficult to see.  Mood swings have been my biggest challenge so far.  I wonder how many other people have had similar challenges with their swinging moods.  I very much look forward to a day when I don't have tears in my eyes.

But that is the challenge - see the depression and the guilt as one more issue to face, understand, then move beyond.  Thank you, Branch.

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2016, 05:27:16 PM »
Hi Carlson, I read your thread to post #9... I have been a people pleaser too, and my mission is to become authentic also (well, part of it!)... I'm finding that I drop into old habits too (absolutely, they die hard) and yep I agree there is a reason lots of people don't change; as it takes hard work. BUt... It sounds like you have the bit-between-your-teeth from what I've read. Great stuff and nice to 'talk to you'. Well, talk at you. Ha ha :D


Cheers.
H.A.L.T - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired
Wherever water flows it creates ruts. Where is your mental water flowing?
PMO increases DeltaFosB in your brain, which in turn makes you crave the next PMO even more. DON'T DO IT! Your future self will thank you :)
PMO & excessive MO fux up your Prefrontal Cortex

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2016, 01:10:10 PM »
Branch,

That is wonderful advice - thank you.  I am working on that quite a bit.  Not always easy, as everyone knows, but important to do.  At my best, I can get there - at my worst, it is difficult to see.  Mood swings have been my biggest challenge so far.  I wonder how many other people have had similar challenges with their swinging moods.  I very much look forward to a day when I don't have tears in my eyes.

But that is the challenge - see the depression and the guilt as one more issue to face, understand, then move beyond.  Thank you, Branch.

No problem, Carlson.

As I've grappled with my porn addiction, "Mood Swings" has been my middle name.  My motivation and attitude could change from one extreme to the other in a heartbeat.  I've finally realized that the reason was my ambivalence.  It's only been a couple of days since I crossed over from quitting to quit, but the world looks very different as a result.

Having said that, I'm not sure it's relevant to your situation.  Tears can be cleansing, but tears everyday obviously are something else.  Having suffered from depression, and having recovered from it after a year or more of counseling (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) with a wonderful counselor--this about 12 years ago--I wonder if your shame is somehow bound up in the depression you've been facing.  I'm not a psychologist, so I can't say for sure.  At the same time, given the intensity of your mood swings and shame, I think you should seriously consider seeing a psychologist and/or a psychiatrist.  In the practice where I got therapy, I saw a psychologist regularly and a psychiatrist every so often.  I was staring into the abyss, and they changed my life, especially the psychologist.  Even during my porn addiction, I've used what I learned and haven't fallen back into depression. Our generation was raised to believe we can solve all of our problems ourselves, and getting counseling carries a stigma.  If that was true, none of us would be on RN.  We've learned better.  I can tell you that mental illness is real and the right therapy works to heal it. 

Of course what you do is up to you, but I think seeing a counselor is something for you to consider very seriously.

The good new is you're staying away from porn--for which I salute you!

Branch

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2016, 04:53:03 PM »
Branch,

I agree that a therapist is essential for managing the depression.  Working with one - and despite what was a very difficult week, I'm starting to feel better about managing or avoiding the depressive spirals. I agree that shame and guilt are huge parts of this - and the dopamine withdrawal is only making it more acute.  This has to be managed - just like the quitting.  I can't let depression lure me in any more than I can porn.


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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2016, 05:52:39 PM »
carlson, I agree with Chip that there are better days ahead.  Hang in there!

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Re: Trashing a Life Without Knowing It
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2016, 09:07:23 PM »
Thank you, Chip, for your inspiring comments.  You are right, every day is a gift.  And each day is an opportunity to be in the world, to love it, to care for it, and to leave the shadows behind.  Thank you.

Learning how to better avoid the downs these last few days. Thank you, Branch, for your supportive words as well.

Beware everyone if you haven't hit these rocky shoals yet.  The depression and self-loathing will start to seem rational, or even righteous - but it is a yet another perverse trap set by brain suffering withdrawal.  Fight it before it get's large.  Meditate, exercise, smell a rose...do anything but don't fall into a spiral of depression.  It won't help make you any better - it will only hurt you and the people around you.  Believe me, I know from experience.

Another day without PMO is a good day.  And the days will only get better.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 10:39:00 AM by carlson »