Journals > Ages 30-39

ending my 15 year long addiction

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rabug:
Hi Everyone,

I'm 30, and I first came into contact with online porn roughly at the age of 15, I believe, although I can't remember precisely. First I was only watching still images as our internet connection was poor, but nevertheless my mind was pretty much blown by the variety of sexual impulses available. A few years later I moved onto videos, and by the age of 20-ish I had an almost daily habit of downloading new content. I believe that was the time when my real addiction, something I can't control, started but I was unaware of it. I was single most of the time and it just seemed natural to "entertain" myself this way. ED first appeared in my life around the age of 24, first only occasionally, and I thought it was simply due to my drinking habits as I had quite frequent nights out at the time. Then I got the first girlfriend with whom it started to become a real problem. Se was absolutely georgous but I could only get an erection occasionally when I was with her. Unfortunately, I was hesitant to seek advice at the time and I haven't heard of porn addiction for a long time afterwards. I had a couple of girlfriends since, and after some time I kind of started to accept it as a fact that I have an ED problem, not knowing that it may well be porn induced rather than physical. I had a couple of girlfriends since and I used to take viagra (I found out it is pretty easy to get prescribed, at least in the UK) which helped having sex with them. I noticed however that I am constantly thinking of the whole experience as a porn movie and want to play out the most arousing scenes I have seen. I wasn't really with my partner most of the time in bed but in my fantasies instead.

Then finally, last year I came across a TED talk on porn addiction by accident. I learned the basics, and more-less believed that this might be my problem too, but until now I was not strong enough to admit how bad this addiction is and did not act. Despite the fact that I had a girlfriend last year I was consuming more and more porn. I just couldn't stop myself downloading like half dozen new videos every day, sometimes even when she was near me. My hard drive was filling up with that crap. I needed to switch between videos more and more often to keep my erection. I couldn't have sex with my gf without viagra any more. Two months after I broke up with her and had time to reflect on myself I decided to end this. I wanted real relationships not ones that are driven by sexual cravings only. In fact, I believe in many cases this was the reason the whole relationship went wrong, because I couldn't stay focused on the person behind my partner's body due to the unhealthy wiring of my brain.

I started rebooting a week ago, it is my 8th day. So far my experiences are as follows:

* The first 3 days were surprisingly easy. After 3 days I thought that my determination is so strong that it will be no problem to give up porn and heal my brain.
* From the 4th day I felt strong craving for porn or porn related fantasies. I already deleted all porn/related material from my hard drive but my imagination worked. It was really hard to keep my mind off porn.
* From the 5th day I noticed I wake up every morning with an unusually hard erection. Not like it never happened before, it is a normal thing, but it definitely did not happen every day and I am sure I rarely had such a hard erection (without pills).
* From day 6 the occasional craving for porn/masturbation/sex became almost constant and even though I stayed focused, it was very hard and I observed my brain firing the same sensations as when I used to watch porn, just by thinking of the lower part of my body. Then immediately my imagination starts to work... It is quite stressful. I can see now how much of an addiction it really is and how my brain is hard-wired on this.

What I try to do is to get my mind off this by doing exercise and learning new stuff, but it is hard to focus. My mind wanders off all the time. When I can't resist I try to keep it away from porn imagery and try to think about my ex gfs' bodies instead which may still be better, but I nevertheless feel bad about it. I was also thinking about going out and quickly trying to get a girl but because I know for fact that she will only be a mere sex object for now, I try to resist that as well for now. Sex with anybody would not be much more than masturbation at the moment.

To summarize, it is harder then it seemed on the first days, but I take the fact that I haven't masturbated for 7 days, something which haven't happened since I was a teenager, as a good sign. My first goal was 7 days, now I am focusing on the 10 day and 1 month goals. I really need these regular milestones to keep my motivation. Sometimes it is the only thing that keeps me from giving in to the temptation.

I have been reading this forum for a couple of days now. I didn't plan on posting my experiences, just find motivation here, but now I feel differently. It feels good to summarize my thoughts in writing, even if it is only for myself.

dc6:
Welcome and congrats on the progress thus far.

Your mindset is good and finding effective ways to deal with the cravings is important. The cravings and the flashbacks will eventually decrease in frequency and strength as time goes by. Stay strong. Better days are ahead.

Blue Bird:
Rabug:

Congratulations. You have taken  the right decision. Stopping PMO.  Most of us are in the same boat !  We will do it together and help each other to have enough strength to go ahead and have a life free of ED. All the bests for you.
Blue Bird

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