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Me Pre-Reboot: Here is a snapshot of me on October 29, 2014, before rebooting:

- Porn, masturbation, sex addict
- Depressed
- Suicidal
- Severe erectile dysfunction and drippy ejaculations
- Insomnia
- Broken marriage
- Unhappy children
- Pathological liar
- Completely unable to work (my attention span was 3 minutes)
- Addicted to fleshy reality TV
- Addicted to video games
- Suffered from paralysing migraines
- Complete *sshole: angry, full of resent
- Isolated and alone, very anti-social

Me Following Reboot:

- No porn nor masturbation
- In a serious and monogamous gay relationship
- Gaining strength and happiness daily
- Junk works just fine and geyser-like ejaculations
- Insomnia cured: for the first time in my life, I fall asleep when my head hits the pillow and wake up exactly 7-7.5 hrs later
- Divorcing but have a wonderful relationship with my ex-wife
- Kids living with their mother in a nearby town but they are safe, happy, and well-adjusted
- I see the kids all the time and eat at my ex-wife's house 3-4 times a week
- I am brutally honest with myself which helps me be honest and genuine with others
- Getting back to work (career reboot started a few days ago)
- No longer watch TV (prefer reading)
- No longer play video games
- Migraines gone
- Anger gone
- Very social, gaining in confidence (but not arrogance), and feel a real connection to people

My Story: Tomorrow I'll turn 43. Rebooting is the best present I've ever given myself. I felt the tingle of porn addiction as a pre-teen, then started masturbating compulsively at around 14, then graduated to magazines, VHS movies, and eventually the heroin-like high of high-speed internet porn in my early 30s. So I have been a PMO addict for roughly 10-15 years. I married a wonderful woman in 1999, am the father of 3 terrific children, and own my own business. This idyllic life was almost destroyed by a daily porn addiction that I know would have killed me. I used porn to live a virtual closeted life. As a gay father/husband, porn was my only gay sexual outlet. But it gets worse. As many of you know, the brain needs novelty to get the same dopamine high. As such, I graduated from straight porn, to gay porn, to hard-core porn, to deviant pornography. When that no longer worked, I gravitated to the dangerous world of gay hook up sites like Grindr, followed by a string of meaningless hookups and affairs. I came out to my wife in May 2012, f*cked my way through every guy in a 40-mile radius, and still continued to surf porn and masturbate daily. In December 2013, my world came crashing down and I contemplated suicide. On October 29, 2014, 90 days ago, I decided to make a change.

How I did it: Before starting my reboot, I decided to make a complete break with the past. With this in mind, I made the following resolutions: 

1. Lying was no longer an option.
2. Porn was no longer an option.
3. Masturbation was no longer an option.
4. Hook-ups were no longer an option.
5. TV was no longer an option.
6. Toxic relationships were no longer an option.
7. I could not beat this alone.

I had tried, and failed, to stop my chronic PMO habit in the past. The reason I failed was simple: I didn't want to stop. I would stop with the porn for a few days but would creep XXX Tumblr photos. I'd stop for a few weeks but erotic literarture was ok. Rather than surf porn all day, I'd surf a gay hook up site called Grindr. Hookups weren't porn in my mind. I was seriously f*cked up. I call this 'lite beer syndrome'. An alcoholic is an alcoholic even if she switches to lite beer. I was essentially a porn addict but rationalized I had quit because I was f*cking a guy, reading pornographic literature, or jerking to still photos rather than videos. I was lying to myself. My reboot had four distinct phases which I'll now detail.

Phase I: Rock bottom/time for a change: Caution graphic content to follow. There is a great passage in the 'Big Book' of Alcoholics Anonymous which I will paraphrase. The passage reads something like, you can't help an alcoholic until he first wants to help himself. And to do so, he has to hit rock bottom. Two episodes made me want to change my destructive life. The first happened last summer during another day just surfing porn at the office. I was on tumblr and was looking a photos of gay group sex. I stumbled upon a photo of gay men in a 'scat' orgy. This was a picture of naked gay men, arm-in-arm, covered head-to-toe in their own sh*t, following a bareback orgy. I almost vomited. I was a father, husband, and respected business owner looking at filth on my computer. I looked at the picture of my three smiling children and felt an overwhelming sense of shame. Rock bottom for me had two parts. While the revolting picture struck a chord with me, I was still 'enjoying' gay hook ups. My second revelation was just another Saturday at the gym. While I told my wife and children I was at the gym, I would from time to time have a threesome with a gay couple about 30 mins' drive from my house. During our last (and final) encounter in October 2014, we were f*cking away when I caught a glimpse of myself in their floor-to-ceiling closet mirror. I thought, "What the f*ck am I doing?" For me, I needed these epiphanies, these life-changing moments, to change. My point is this: you need to be 100% committed to reboot, otherwise you will fail. In my case, I needed an overwhleming reason to break with the past and the above episodes did just that.

Phase II: Early Reboot/Withdrawal: On October 29, 2014, I joined Porn Addicts Anonymous "PAA" ( By joining, I accepted I had an addiction, could not control it, and needed a community to beat it. This was no easy realization. I posted on their website daily, participated (nervously) in weekly Skype meetings, and in mid-November joined Rebootnation. My porn/sex/masturbation habits felt both obsessive and strangely omnipotent. This was then followed by an obsessive need for recovery. What saved me in early reboot was reading everything I could about porn addiction. Gary Wilson's book, "Your Brain on Porn" was a lifesaver. Understanding the science and brain chemistry of my addiction helped me fight it. My judeo-christian programming wrongly made me see my addiction through the fog of catholic guilt, shame, and a lack of moral conviction. Thankfully these were replaced by a deep understanding of dopamine, pleasure centres, DeltaFosB, etc. Through my research, I could better understand and accept withdrawal: my shaking hands and feet; head rushes; flu-like symptoms; aches/pains etc. Knowledge gave me the strength to understand that withdrawal and flatline were healing. They were part of the process rather than permanent. This saved me. But nothing could prepare me for the third stage of reboot.

Phase III: Emotional Reboot: Only when the porn fog lifts do you see the full devastation of your life. I now understand something about addiction: all addictions are an attempt to avoid pain. In my case, I first used porn to hide my homosexuality. Then it became an outlet to avoid all pain, including mundane work-related tasks. I couldn't go 3 minutes without looking for a porn-fix (I know, I timed it). I think this is why so many people relapse when they feel the pain of withdrawal, the uncertainty of flatline, and the crushing reality of our sh*tty lives without the porn fog. Following withdrawal and flatline, both physical, I started the longer and more difficult process of dealing with the emotions, memories, and habits that resulted in my addiction. I posted obsessively on this website and on the PAA website. I got a sponsor/sobriety partner. I read several books about addiction but the best by far was "Breaking the Cycle" by George Collins. In my case, I needed to soberly deal with the memories and episodes in my life that triggered my addiction. I won't go through them all but I had to deal with: traumatic childhood memories; my toxic, co-dependent marriage; a painful firing in my early career; and so on. "Breaking the Cycle" gave me the strength to no longer run from my pain. This part of reboot was the most challenging and it took me almost two months from day 30 through today to identify, confront, and eventually conquer the fear, self-hatred, isolation, and guilt that all fed my PMO addiction. I could not have done this alone.

Phase IV: Early Recovery/Career Reboot: I never in my wildest dreams thought my life could change so much in just 90 days. I went from suicidal to self-posessed. Before reboot, I hated myself so much I wanted to take my own life. How selfish and f*cked up is that? Now I am filled with hope and an incredible sense of purpose about who I am and what I want to accomplish. I devoured the book '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' recommended by a fellow rebooter. And I finally had the courage to write my own obituary just a few weeks ago. Did I want people to eulogize about my d*ck and show photos of me hunched over my computer, fapping away? Hell no! I want a life filled with love, memories, the arts, literature, success...a life filled with happines. Through reboot, I have accepted I am not my mind, nor my sad memories, nor some gay deviant. I am a wonderful person who has so much to contribute to my family and community. Reboot gave me my life back.

Where I am now: Symbolically, I sign my divorce papers on my birthday tomorrow. This will mean freedom from the pain of my toxic marriage. It also frees my ex-wife to find true love and frees our children from living the daily pain of our broken relationship. My ex-wife and I remain close: like a brother and sister. We continue to raise our 3 children together even though she has primary custody. As with any family, there will be struggles but I'm no longer running from life's challenges. One of my hookups actually turned out to be more serious than I thought. So I have found love and have been seeing the same wonderful man for 2.5 years now. We have no secrets and he supports me which is wonderful. We have an amazing sex life and I enjoy an intimate connection with someone rather than my former laser-like focus on mechanical things like erection and orgasm. Through the love of others, I am learning the strength to love and be myself. My business has slowly rebooted along with me. Symbolically, yesterday was one my best sales days ever. I am slowly re-learning how to manage my employees, re-connect with my clients, and set meaningful goals. My goal is not to be rich as this is a hollow aim, but I want to be richly happy and fulfilled by both my professional and personal lives.

So thank you Gabe Deem, Gary Wilson, and the entire reboot community for giving me the tools to take back my life.

PS - Just when you think you couldn't appreciate your life anymore, something wonderful happens. Shortly after posting the above message, I hit the gym as I do most mornings (I live in Europe). Three years ago before rebooting, I decided to get back into shape. I can see this was a necessary and integral part of my recovery although I didn't mention it above. I've been working out religiously for the past 3 years and with an almost fanatical intensity since starting my reboot. In short, I went from a pear-shaped slob, to a v-shaped gym bunny. This young guy was looking at me today, then followed me around a bit, asked a few questions, and so I started to chat with him. He's 27, walks with a pronounced limp, has a partially paralyzed right arm, and told me he suffered brain damage due to a motocross accident a few years ago. "How do I get a body like your's?" he asked rather sweetly. "Your pecs are huge." I was speechless. I almost looked behind myself to see if he was really talking to me. He said that the day after he'd graduated with a commerce degree, he felt invincible and so did some reckless things on his motocycle. After crashing, he was in a coma for 7 weeks, then wheelchair for 2 years, then crutches for 6 months, and is now working out to regain his lost mobility. This put things into perspective for me. I have no problems. Or what problems I do have are of my own creation or are largely imagined. This chance meeting reminded me to be thankful, to stay hungry (for happiness, success, friendship, love etc), and most importantly to be kind and caring towards others. So during my next work out, I'm going to help this brave kid in any way I can. He gave me the best gift ever today: he reminded me that while I too often take things for granted, someone, somewhere is dreaming about and hoping for what I already have. Thanks for reading everyone. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

John Smith:
Congratulations, thanks for sharing  :)

--- Quote ---He gave me the best gift ever today: he reminded me that while I too often take things for granted, someone, somewhere is dreaming about and hoping for what I already have.
--- End quote ---
Right on.

Thanks brother.


Just... WOW! What a success story! I mean, man you've overcome some powerful stuff. Your humility is key, this makes you so great. Humility is the thing and it does it for everyone. I relate to what you wrote on so many levels. I'm heterosexual and what you write reminds me once again that there really is "one way" to recovery, regardless of creed, race, religion, sexual orientation. It's something I always knew, but your story... just WOW :)

I'm so happy for you.

Please take care of yourself, keep posting and visiting. Your experience is very important for the community, that's what I think. And I think myself I will come back to you ask some questions or rather exchange some experiences.



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