Journals > Ages 30-39

The voice I always hear - "What's one more day?"

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Hi all,

I'm 32, single, and have lived by myself for the last 9 years.  I've known for a long time P could become an addiction, and I know that I historically become addicted to things that give me any kind of escape, yet for some reason, I never thought this would be an addiction of mine, or even that it was slowly becoming one.  I only realized this now, as in the last 18 months I've gotten a good handle on all of my other addictions, yet somehow completely missed this one...and I'm paying for it.  And really, my addiction isn't so much P, or alcohol, or any one thing, but more so self soothing.  Something I unfortunately learned very young, was how to check out of the moment (and more importantly, the pain) and feel better.  Sadly, this behavior, once you start trying to function like a person who actually wants to experience life, just becomes painful self loathing memory (at least for me).
That is where I currently stand, being flooded with memories of ways I self soothed that make me feel inhuman now.  Make me feel like a monster.  Make me feel like all the worst things I always thought of the world.  The best part, if anybody confessed these things to me as if they had done them, I would of course say "Hey, it's not good to do this, not appropriate," but immediately remind them they really have nothing to feel so bad about as their intention was not to hurt anybody, they actually did not hurt anybody, and it wasn't behavior they repeated over and over again.  I've just described all of these memories accurately, and yet, despite me not wanting anyone else to be hard on themselves or feel pain (outside of maybe initial guilt that comes with clarity and awareness, and of course repentance (not necessarily in a religious sense)) I am constantly beating myself down.  Frequently telling myself that I'm unlovable, or unfit for society, or if anyone knew these handful of things, they'd no longer love me or want anything to do with me.  It's insidious.

Anyway, coming back to the PMO, I can clearly see it has become an addiction, and it got a violent shove this year in the isolation due to Covid.  I'm not necessarily addicted to M by itself, but I have definitely used it as an escape at inappropriate times as I will detail below.  But PMO for sure is an addiction of mine.  I check all the boxes from what I've read on this site and YBOP (just bought the book and excited to read it).  I do not suffer from PIED, although I've not been with a woman in nearly 4 years (also another reason I'm sure the addiction has grown as a substitution).  I've been trying to "cutback" for the last 45 days or so, and I've made it at most 9 days in that time, and then I promptly had a bad memory of something I did (which I know is in part to get me to hate myself so I will self soothe) and then had a binge and a breakdown.  The most I've made it since is about 2-3 days.  Right now I'm sitting at about 24 hours, and I'm tired of hurting, and hurting myself, so I decided to stop just lurking on this site and make a post.  Which is why I chose the title I did.  Anytime I try to do something new, cut back on P, cut back on alcohol, adopt a decent diet and exercise program, I always hear, in the most seductive voice, "What's one more day?"  And even more so "There's always tomorrow."  Now there is always tomorrow, however, it can't be an excuse to engage in self destructive behavior today.  I heard the voice last night, and it even said "You already watched P earlier today, why not just close the day out with it?"  This was the first time I said to myself "Fuck you, I'm tired of hurting, I'm not doing it."  It felt really good...for about 10 seconds.  Then I couldn't sleep and cried most of the night.  The phrase "beggars can't be choosers" comes to mind here.

I tried SAA for a bit, but it just wasn't for me.  I didn't necessarily resonate with the acting out piece, and more so, the consequences that followed from their actions.  My only consequence is self hatred, which is damning enough in its own right.  I did love the people at SAA though, so warm and welcoming, and it gave me hope that even as self destructive as I am, I have a chance of coming out of this thing on the other side.  I'm hoping posting here and doing the reading and working with my therapist will be enough.  When I first came to this site and YBOP, it really clicked, and I'm ready.


I will not go into any graphic detail, but what I touched on earlier, the memories that are coming back to me, all surround M.  I have a memory of M when I was sleeping in the same room with someone several years ago (was probably 25), someone close to me.  I cannot remember this next one for sure, but I may have M'ed when I was sleeping in the same bed as someone (around the same time as the person in the same room, but different person).  The same bed I can't remember if I actually did or not (yet no alcohol or anything was impairing me either).  Both of these times I was in a place I did not want to be, I was not happy.  I was uncomfortable and did not want to be there.  I'm not excusing my behavior in the least, I know it is wrong and a violation, but given my mental state, I was self soothing as I always do.  Really had nothing to do with the people who were near me (though I was attracted to the person who was in the same room with me, but it was not the reason I started...but I have no doubt it added to the need to do the M).  Two or three other memories I have are M-ing while on the phone with someone, most recent being sometime earlier this year after Covid.  Again, it had nothing to do with them, they were long phone calls I did not want to be on, but felt I had to be out of obligation to the person on the other end (not the same person on each call).  I wasn't getting off on being on the phone, nor did I ever proactively call someone with that thought in mind.  But again, not excusing the behavior, I know it is an extreme violation.  I knew these things weren't proper behavior at the time, but I've always been able to rationalize with myself, that if something doesn't hurt another person, meaning it does not have any impact on them, then who cares?  If I'm the only one who knows about it, then what's the harm?  Well now that's biting me.  The other rationalization I had was that this would only take a matter of seconds, literally 45-60 seconds each memory I described (unfortunately given chronic PMO, I've become "efficient").  So, not hurting anybody, I'll only know, takes one minute tops, and there you get dumb decision and self loathing behavior.

I feel so gross with the above.  I realize now the violation these things are and it's making me absolutely hate myself.  As I said earlier, I feel unfit, unlovable, and so so gross.  Telling myself I didn't hurt anyone, nor would I have, doesn't even help anymore.  If I felt there was the slightest chance I'd get caught, I wouldn't have done it, but I knew I wouldn't and I knew it wouldn't hurt anybody, so decided to be stupid.  As my good friend points out, these things did hurt someone  That is true, because I am suffering as if I did hurt someone in far worse ways.  What's worse is my mind tells me I should suffer.  That I am gross and disgusting, which of course makes me want to give in to any kind of self soothing.  But I'm trying not to.  I also realize the pattern, as I started to cut out P, memories started coming back, memories that allow me to think of myself as these unforgivable labels.  I can't imagine this is purely coincidence.

My issue all my life, I'm realizing, is being hard on myself, not liking myself.  Not liking myself so much that I would do gross things (my friend also does not like the word gross, he prefers inappropriate, which I'm trying to use, but gross is how I feel now).  But of course, only do them, if no one else knew.  It's almost the perfect way to torture myself, do something that is indeed of a violation of someone, but do it in a way they would never know, so they can't hold me accountable, and then I can use it later to self soothe...or now that I'm not self soothing, use it as a way to really hate myself.  Hopefully anyone reading can see why I chose the username I did...right now it's all just pain, and what's worse, self inflicted truly is worse when you have nowhere to look but in the mirror...but I've also been told when you start to do this, life becomes much more enjoyable.

I'll close.  My goal is obviously not just to quit PMO, but more so to actually care for myself and not hate myself.  Escape the shame, and put all these things behind me.  The hardest part is not feeling like me.  I love to joke around and laugh.  I love caring for people and helping people (though this was also a method I used to avoid dealing with myself).  But everybody can see it and hear it in my voice.  I want to be me again, but a version of me without the bullshit.  P does feel like my last addiction (at the moment) outside of being addicted to hating myself I suppose.  I look forward to being free of both and I look forward to sharing all of it here.  And I really want to change that voice in my head from "What's one more day?" to "What's today?"  A bit corny I know, but it's where I want to be.

Thanks for reading!

Hi hakid, welcome to the forum. I wish I could tell you there was an easy way to quit PMO, but unfortunately there isn't. You just have to slog through for a number of months directly facing the beast of PMO and not giving in. Just know that once you go past the 60 day mark, it generally gets significantly easier for most people. Good luck.


--- Quote from: akpal2 on January 06, 2021, 09:59:09 AM ---Hi hakid, welcome to the forum. I wish I could tell you there was an easy way to quit PMO, but unfortunately there isn't. You just have to slog through for a number of months directly facing the beast of PMO and not giving in. Just know that once you go past the 60 day mark, it generally gets significantly easier for most people. Good luck.

--- End quote ---

Thanks ak, appreciate the encouragement.  It is very hard, any time I get bored or stressed, the thought to PMO comes into my mind.  I'll look forward to 60 days for sure!  I'm assuming this is much harder for all of us right now given the lack of options to get out of the house too.

Day 2:

Still having thoughts to PMO.  In particular, I have the same thoughts telling me how gross I am, and how bad of a person I am, and then my mind will start to wonder to P, and I can actually feel some relief in the moment.  I have to shake the thought out of my head, but then the self loathing thoughts come back.  Fun little circle.  I won't give into it, just keep trying to remind myself that I did some inappropriate things in my addiction, but it was the addiction and self soothing taking over.  And again, I hurt no one, except myself, although I can't seem to forgive myself anyway.  I keep judging myself from an external viewpoint.  Some imaginary audience where these acts that I did are read off and the crowd is disgusted by me and labels me a creep, and sick, and that I shouldn't be allowed around anyone.

I also overlooked how boredom played a role, particularly with the two incidents I described in my first post on the phone.  When I'm bored, I always start thinking about sex and P.  And that's what it was on the phone.  Only one of the incidents was P involved, the other time was just massive boredom and I M'ed.  Again, not excusing behavior, but I can see now that addiction was driving the behavior.  I've been reading a lot on here how boredom often plays a role in the decision to PMO.  It makes sense.  When we're bored we have nothing to occupy our mind, and in my case, when that happens, and I'm not obsessing over something, or thinking of some way that I'm a bad person, I do stupid shit that I described previously.  I've done it with my other addictions too.  Another fun circle.

Right now, just hoping the self hating thoughts can subside.  I know they're in part driven by my addiction, but it's also what I've done my whole life, hate myself.  I've only just now realized it.  It's brutal though, all these bad things my mind says I am and then I hear that seductive voice asking why do I bother fighting it, if I'm already such a shitty person?  Like I said, I won't give into it, but the days are really hard and long.

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