Journals > Ages 40 and up

Journal - Hope for a better future

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SerenityWisdomCourage:
My Reboot date is 1/1/21 - One day at a time, I am not watching porn and I'm not j/o.
It has taken a long time for me to see the truth about myself and my behavior, but I know it's never too late to change. I am grateful for two things that happened on 1/1/21; I was scrolling YouTube looking at TedTalk videos and I came across Eli Nash - TedxFortWayne and I was blown away!! - I knew I had a problem watching too much porn, but I never considered that my social, sexual and inter personal challenges were a consequence of my porn viewing. The next YouTube suggestion was an early RebootNation video, with Gabe telling his story - I had so much identification with the feelings he described, that I was moved to tears.

It feels like a huge window of opportunity has opened for me to make a major change in my life - I can't describe all the conflicting feelings, but the most powerful feeling is hope. I am filled with hope for the future and scared shitless at the same time, lol. I have done four things to start this journey; I have deleted all porn and bookmarks from my technology, I have stopped bringing my laptop into the bedroom, I have made a decision, a promise to myself to follow through, and I have started this journal.

I am reading and watching everything I can on the subject of porn/sex addiction.

jixu:
Glad to hear of your taking advantage of the window of opportunity as you stated.  You are making a wise decision in implementing this change.  Like you said, it is never too late to change.  It is also never too late to start doing what is right.  Looking forward to watching your progress.  Stay with it, and stay in touch.     

SerenityWisdomCourage:
Thank you for your support!

Phineas 808:
Wishing you the best, Serenity!

Hope is a good thing, and sounds like you're taking advantage of the newness of the year to turn things around, and be a new person, a new you!

You can do it, and we're here to support you. Helping others will also help yourself.

SerenityWisdomCourage:
Today I am 21 days No PMO - it's the longest time I've been off porn in many years. Grateful.

My Story;

I remember my first experience with 'porn' when I was about 10 years old. It was a Playboy or Hustler magazine that I found in the trash by our house. I was amazed by the pictures and the feelings it generated, I hid it under the mattress and looked at it every night before going to bed. It 'disappeared' after a few days - Mom must have found it when she was changing the sheets, lol. My parents never confronted me about it, looking back they must have felt scared/disappointed/angry?

A few years went by with no porn. At 13 I hit puberty and started masterbateing to fantasies I had about my schoolmates. A year or so later, in 7th grade I had my first sexual experience. A group of friends in the neighborhood (male & female) stole beer from one of the parents and we all drank it. Soon it was 'I dare you to kiss ---' which turned into 'I dare you to pull your pants down... Which turned into I dare you to j/o ---. I dare you to finger her---. I dare you to j/o someone else...
It never happened again, and the only comments we ever exchanged in the next few days were 'I was so drunk I don't remember what we did?

At age 16 I got up the nerve to go into a newspaper store and buy a Playboy magazine. I was so scared to walk up to the counter to pay for it. I kept it hidden in my closet and j/o to it several times a day. After a few weeks, it was found. I walked into my bedroom, and there was the magazine laying on top of my bed. Oh Sh*t... But again, my parents never said anything.

My next memories of porn use are after University. I was living on my own for the first time, making good money, dating a little, focused on building my career. In those days porn VHS videos were available by mail-order -- I can see now that this is where my addiction took off. I'd buy one, but quickly tire of it and buy another... Soon I had dozens. And they were expensive, lol. My taste began to change, and I became fascinated by Bisexual, Lesbian, and Gay porn, and I was staying up for hours at night watching the tapes.

I never stopped to think about the consequences. I never thought that staying up all night was impacting my career, my health, or my friendships, but now I can clearly see that this is where I began to have a problem - and I was 24 years old and clueless.

My behavior continued to change for the worse. I lived in a big city which had an area with porn theaters, bars with 'dancers', porn shops, and booth stores. The booth stores had small rooms in the back where you could watch porn and j/o. ... or get a bj - In no time, I became hooked on the thrill of going to that neighborhood and having an anon encounter - sometimes with a woman and sometimes with a dude.

I was so into the thrill of doing something dangerous and exciting that I never thought about the consequences - lucky for me, I never caught an STI or was robbed. I also never thought about the impact that the shame of living a double life was starting to have on me. That behavior went on for about two years. I told myself I had to quit doing that, and after a few 'slips I never went back.

When I was 28 I met a really great guy and we began dating. I put the porn down. I threw out the VHS tapes and magazines. I was so happy. I was in love for the first time in my life.

After dating for a year, we moved in together. Both of us were having great success in our respective careers, we were really happy and supportive of each other. And I managed to mess it up - at about two years together I started looking a magazines again, and then DVD's. When he was out of town I'd stay up all night watching porn - I was back to where I was 10 years earlier. I told myself 'it's not so bad, it's not like I'm unfaithful to him' - I'm horny and I need to get off - before I realized it, I had dozens of DVD's and I couldn't wait to have my 'alone time' with the porn.

Eventually, he saw my stash of DVD's - he laughed, a little uncomfortably 'wow, those must have cost a fortune'? I felt like a complete loser assh*le - I never thought I was hurting anyone else by watching porn, but I realize now that I was being dishonest by hiding it - and I was destroying myself in the process. My shame and low self esteem started to appear in other parts of my life - I became resentful of the success that my friends and partner were having in their careers and personal lives - I started to drink too much - I became so self centered I only thought about myself - I was depressed and in a foul mood frequently.

The relationship ended and I was heart broken. My drinking and bad mood drove him and most of my friends away. I lost my job. I began drinking everyday. I got fat and sick and depressed. When I was at the lowest point I went to a therapist to try and get help. But I had a bad attitude. I was so angry and hurt and arrogant that I couldn't see my part in any of this. I was so blind - so unwilling to take responsibility - so filled with regret and shame. The therapist helped me to see things from a different perspective, and over time my life started to get better. I quit drinking, I started to exercise and eat properly, and life got better. I started a new career, my confidence started to come back.

I felt so good that I started to date again. The therapist thought it was too soon, but I didn't listen. Within a few months, the dates I told myself I was ready for became a series of one night stands. And porn.

Internet porn became a daily thing. When I was 'lonely' or bored I went online and edged. Sometimes for 15 minutes other times for hours, I had no sense of time once I got online, even on those days I told myself - only 10 minutes - I could never trust myself to stick to a limit. This went on for years....

Fast forward to Feb 2020 and Covid - I made a promise to myself to stop looking for sex and not to put myself at risk. I deleted all apps and phone numbers of hook-ups. I felt confident that I could manage my behavior. To date, I have not broken that promise. I have not had sex for almost a year now. But, in the process, the porn took over my life.

My behavior was worse than ever - it's exactly what I've read from all of the rest of you... more extreme content, more time in front of the screen, never j/o without porn. I felt so sick and damaged and I saw how uncontrollable my life was.

A window of opportunity opened for me in late December 2020 - a moment of clarity, a slight willingness to be and do things differently. I saw a YT video of Eli Nash talking about his porn addiction - it shook me to my core. I knew this was my issue, and I took this as a sign to take action. YT led me to Reboot Nation, and Gabe's videos inspired me to take responsibility. I am so grateful that he had the courage to tell his story - One day at a time I am getting better - It's never too late - I believe I can change. I will post my journey here and am open to suggestions from those who have struggled with this - My goal is No PMO, today I have 21 days of Recovery, I have deleted all porn, apps, images, and bookmarks from my devices. I do not bring my laptop or phone into my bedroom (old behavior). I don't go online after dinner period. I have deleted all Social Media accounts (sh*t just gets me all worked up), I pray to God every morning to keep me safe today, and I say Thank you every night... to be continued.




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