Reboot Nation Forum > Porn Addiction

Dealing with regrets


Hi guys,

one part of this reboot journey that I still really struggle with is how to come to terms with everything I have lost as a result of this now decades-long addiction. When I think of the life that I could have had if I hadn't wasted so much of it on porn. Now that I am aware of the science of how harmful porn addiction is, I see the results of that in my own life (especially anxiety, depression and lethargy, not to mention 1000s of hours I could have spent doing something useful) and I wonder what my teens and 20s could have been if I hadn't fapped them away for no reason and no benefit.

On the one hand, I rationally accept that pining for what could have been is a useless waste of time, at least until someone invents a time machine. I know that I need to instead focus on what a porn-free future will look like etc...But at the same time I can't escape the feeling that even if I never look up porn again from now until I die (here's hoping!), still there is so much good that I could have done, so much life I could have lived that I wasted on garbage.

Does anyone else ever feel this way? Do you ever at least wonder what your life might have been like if you'd said 'no' to porn that first time and lived a life without it? One positive at least is it is part of what drives me to give it up now in my 30s - no way in hell am I going to waste any more of my life to that poison, now that I know better and know how to escape.

I think everyone wonders about what life would be like had they not succumbed to porn. This addiction has a funny way of creeping up on you...and you realise one day "where did all those years go?". It's a huge time waster.

The way I see it you just have to grieve it, and move on.

The positive's are that now you have a chance to turn things around, and be whoever you want to be. You'll also appreciate everything a lot more because you've had to work for it, and for some us - have to overcome some very dark and lonely times which is a brave thing to do.

And to consider ourselves lucky, many people are born into poverty, war, disease or have physical or mental disabilities etc - be grateful you can have a normal life.

Good luck.

There are things in my life that I regret, and my porn consumption is not one of them.

I encourage you to not beat yourself up over it.  Learn from your experiences and try to make fewer mistakes going forward.

I, on the other hand, as Aussie can attest, am in denial about being addicted to porn, so when I look back on all the hours I have fapped away, I am reminded of important bits of wisdom I learned when I was a small boy:

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
"Moderation in all things, and all things in moderation."
I ran the numbers on my life, and concluded that I have spent something like 1.5% of my life consuming porn.  I can live with that.  If I wanted to beat myself up, I could say that, since I am a Certified Old Guy, and that total represents a little over 8000 hours, I could feel really awful about all the things I could have done with 8000 hours.

People also kill themselves by working too hard and not taking enough time to themselves.  Then they get even less accomplished.

My journey here at the Reboot Nation is to discover if there is such a thing as "recreational use" like having an occasional beer, or even having a beer or two most nights after a hard day, which I am thinking may be different from drinking the whole case because I can't stop myself.  Still looking for the answer.  Meanwhile I am choosing to abstain from porn, both for myself and out of respect for the thousands of other men who are struggling and making the effort to learn and improve.  Today is Day 45.  When I get to day 90 I am not sure what I will do after that if I can't find the answer to my question.


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