The struggle towards freedom

Day 6

Hello everyone!

My first post. My first entry in my journal titled "The struggle towards freedom".

This is the first time when I write openly about my addiction, although I'm still anonymous it still gives me some comfort that I know I'm not the only one, not the only one with a life ruined by this terrible addiction.

I'm 38 and I'm addicted to PMO for 15 years. Looking back I think it all started quite early.

I came from a broken family.

My father was a sex addict and alcoholic. I was exposed to porn since I was I think 11. I still remember those days in the 1990s when boys from school used to share porn on VHS.

I remember the "video sessions" and enormous arousal.  I think it all started back then.

Most of my adult life was full of shame, guilt and misery. Not only because of my addiction but also because my issues related to low self-esteem, co-dependency, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, OCD, depression, drugs and alcohol abuse.

My relationships with women didn't work out. I was either obsessively in love with someone who was not there for me or in dull relationships with women that I didn't really love or care for. It was fake. I have never experienced anything described as "passionate great sex"....in real life, not on the PC screen. "My sex life" was on the PC screen. I could "edge" for hours...and lost so much time.

In real life sex with one of my steady girlfriends was so plain and dull. That was something that I tried to avoid at all cost. I had no desire to be intimate with her whatsoever. Yes, PIED, with her and with other women I tried to have sex with. In the end, I just stopped caring and got back to PMO.

I can't live like that anymore, with no control over my life and wasted years. That's why I'm here. This is my journey. This is my struggle. I came here because I would like to have some support and be supportive. I want to be out of isolation...

This is day 6. I'm slowly entering "flatline" (been there before). Mood swings, depressive states, apathy, that's all for now. My cravings on day 3 were insane....but I went through it.

Thanks and greetings to all of you! Be strong! 



 

benb

Member
Hey addictionbreaker,

This is a though road you had since your early years. I can relate to what you have experienced in the past. PIED is really hard on the mood, because it affects your relationship and your self-esteem as well. In my couple attempts to stop PMO and reboot, I found out that the first two weeks were really the worst. But after a while, the cravings will fade.

I think you already have done the hardest, that is to overcome the 3 or 4 first days in the reboot process. I know it varies a lot from one addict to another, but at some point, YOU WILL experience joyful and truthful sex with your girlfriend.

Safe travel bro!  :)
 
Thanks a lot, BennyB. for encouraging words! Hope you're doing ok as well in your recovery. I'm getting better every day. Details in my next post here.  8)
 
Day 10

Last days were really hard. No energy, brain fog, lack of motivation, flu-like symptoms, pulsating headaches and mild sexual urges which weren't that annoying compared to the withdrawal symptoms. Lot's of anxiety with melancholic sad thoughts which brought more sadness and misery to the mix. On the day 8 I enjoyed a relief. Happy energetic mood. Too bad it only lasted a couple of hours.  Big improvement yesterday on the day 9.

Finally had some energy to do the right things and enjoyed almost all of my day. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos about the "No Fap" challenges and have installed for the first time a porn internet blocker which is also an accountability software. I have entered sexual flatline now. Libido went to celibate.

I don't worry about this (this is not the first time I try to quit my addiction), it's a blessing actually as my brain is not flooded with sexual imaginary and obsessive thoughts about sex. Completely dead down there...

I'm feeling better with every day, motivated to stay on the track and be healthy. This filth I'm addicted to just crushed my soul and taken many years of my life. I won't get them back, but I will save the rest!

Stay strong everyone. Thanks for reading!

 
Day 15

Victories so far here...but the road to freedom is though. This is my best streak so far as I can remember. I could abstain from PMO max 15-20 days in the last years, but I cheated...I "edged" and often looked at porn during short sessions. Now I went cold turkey!

Last week it was hard, really hard. Had mood swings, days when I was full of energy, followed by times of lethargy, apathy, tiredness and depression. Headaches and an enormous need to rest or sleep. It was really, bad, but today I started to feel quite normal. I guess this is how my addicted mind adjusts to the lack of PMO sessions. Hopefully, better days ahead?

I'm in a flatline, but my libido is not quite turned off. Occasionally thoughts about sex appear. Thoughts about real-life females, not porn, so it's good at least. No reaction down there. I don't remember what is like to have a hard-on.

I'm disgusted by my porn habit and often worry about what will happen in the times of my weakness....

Stay strong everyone and thanks for reading!



 

Raymond84

Member
Hey,
Thanks for sharing this. Its really brave. I'm right behind you in my challenge to become free and to manage my urges and compulsions. Just know that however tough it is, sharing your story is giving others confidence and inspiration.
Cheers
D
 
Last days were really hard. No energy, brain fog, lack of motivation, flu-like symptoms, pulsating headaches and mild sexual urges which weren't that annoying compared to the withdrawal symptoms. Lot's of anxiety with melancholic sad thoughts which brought more sadness and misery to the mix.

When I first discovered my PA (via the Your Brain on Porn website) I was so **** scared about what i'd done to myself over the previous decade that I went tee-total immediately. After maybe 4-5 days I experienced awful withdrawal symptoms. My emotions were all over the place (happy, sad, angry, confused, scared etc.), I had terrible brain fog, I had horrible headaches, I felt hungry but didn't want to eat, I felt nauseous, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate, and had aches and pains. There were even points when I thought I was losing my mind... Of course all the above things didn't all occur all at once but I experienced all of them across maybe a period of a week. Not knowing about or appreciating at the time that these were withdrawal symptoms, I went to see my GP because I was that worried, particularly in relation to the headaches. After around two weeks, everything calmed down considerably and then I went through a prolonged period of flatline - I think it was at least two months and was probably longer, I can't remember exactly. Basically, we all can relate to what you're battling through right now (re: the withdrawal symptoms) and in the case of the flatline, try to forget about it and the sense of feeling empty inside (arousal-wise) will be over before you know it.

And in relation to the negative thoughts you mention, I too had the same. In fact, whenever I consume porn now, the subsequent days become heavily populated with really negative thoughts and emotions. It can sometimes be up to a week before my mind clears and the negative thoughts go away.

The one thing I will say is that now you're on this 'journey', you will likely never have the same relationship with porn again. The period of blissful ignorance is over and you actively know that whenever you consume porn that there will be consequences. Do I still slip from time to time? Absolutely. Will I ever go back to those porn consumption habits and levels that were present prior to learning about PA? Absolutely not. And nor will you. You can't unlearn about your porn addiction so no matter how hard or how difficult times may be, your brain is now permanently aware of porn's addictive qualities, the damage it does to our bodies and brains, and how important it is that we quit porn and stay clean.

All the best!
 
Raymond84 said:
Hey,
Thanks for sharing this. Its really brave. I'm right behind you in my challenge to become free and to manage my urges and compulsions. Just know that however tough it is, sharing your story is giving others confidence and inspiration.
Cheers
D

Thank you Raymond. I hope you're still doing ok on the path to recovery. Yes, you are right. There are a lot of benefits from sharing your story and be supportive to other guys here. It's comforting that you're not alone in this struggle.
 
happydude619 said:
Last days were really hard. No energy, brain fog, lack of motivation, flu-like symptoms, pulsating headaches and mild sexual urges which weren't that annoying compared to the withdrawal symptoms. Lot's of anxiety with melancholic sad thoughts which brought more sadness and misery to the mix.

When I first discovered my PA (via the Your Brain on Porn website) I was so **** scared about what i'd done to myself over the previous decade that I went tee-total immediately. After maybe 4-5 days I experienced awful withdrawal symptoms. My emotions were all over the place (happy, sad, angry, confused, scared etc.), I had terrible brain fog, I had horrible headaches, I felt hungry but didn't want to eat, I felt nauseous, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate, and had aches and pains. There were even points when I thought I was losing my mind... Of course all the above things didn't all occur all at once but I experienced all of them across maybe a period of a week. Not knowing about or appreciating at the time that these were withdrawal symptoms, I went to see my GP because I was that worried, particularly in relation to the headaches. After around two weeks, everything calmed down considerably and then I went through a prolonged period of flatline - I think it was at least two months and was probably longer, I can't remember exactly. Basically, we all can relate to what you're battling through right now (re: the withdrawal symptoms) and in the case of the flatline, try to forget about it and the sense of feeling empty inside (arousal-wise) will be over before you know it.

And in relation to the negative thoughts you mention, I too had the same. In fact, whenever I consume porn now, the subsequent days become heavily populated with really negative thoughts and emotions. It can sometimes be up to a week before my mind clears and the negative thoughts go away.

The one thing I will say is that now you're on this 'journey', you will likely never have the same relationship with porn again. The period of blissful ignorance is over and you actively know that whenever you consume porn that there will be consequences. Do I still slip from time to time? Absolutely. Will I ever go back to those porn consumption habits and levels that were present prior to learning about PA? Absolutely not. And nor will you. You can't unlearn about your porn addiction so no matter how hard or how difficult times may be, your brain is now permanently aware of porn's addictive qualities, the damage it does to our bodies and brains, and how important it is that we quit porn and stay clean.

All the best!

Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, withdrawals are awful. Headaches, brain fog, tiredness, are not the worst. The worst are the psychological states. Anxiety and depressive states really brought me down, almost to the state of a breakdown. For me, this mental ordeal was not only limited to the withdrawal symptoms. On few occasions after hours on edging, being spaced out high on dopamine I had panic attacks. This was back on my binging days. This is day 16 and since yesterday my psychological state is balanced. I fell like I'm alive again. It's really good. With every day I feel stronger and more confident.

Thanks for your comments guys. Be strong! Take care of yourselves. Give yourself love and compassion. That's all we addicts miss in our lives.
 
dude, i'm right there with you! I started at about age 11 as well. I'm 36 now. I'm married with PIED, 3 years married. I definitely had those days when i was like, yep this thing is useless right now. I can't wait til it's over. I'm actually thinking the BIGGEST motivation to never watch SCREEN stimulation is this flat line period! I just feel broken with this PIED. Knowing it'll pass is what i'm holding onto and what is keeping me going! Let's keep journaling and progressing!
 
happydude619 said:
Last days were really hard. No energy, brain fog, lack of motivation, flu-like symptoms, pulsating headaches and mild sexual urges which weren't that annoying compared to the withdrawal symptoms. Lot's of anxiety with melancholic sad thoughts which brought more sadness and misery to the mix.

When I first discovered my PA (via the Your Brain on Porn website) I was so **** scared about what i'd done to myself over the previous decade that I went tee-total immediately. After maybe 4-5 days I experienced awful withdrawal symptoms. My emotions were all over the place (happy, sad, angry, confused, scared etc.), I had terrible brain fog, I had horrible headaches, I felt hungry but didn't want to eat, I felt nauseous, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate, and had aches and pains. There were even points when I thought I was losing my mind... Of course all the above things didn't all occur all at once but I experienced all of them across maybe a period of a week. Not knowing about or appreciating at the time that these were withdrawal symptoms, I went to see my GP because I was that worried, particularly in relation to the headaches. After around two weeks, everything calmed down considerably and then I went through a prolonged period of flatline - I think it was at least two months and was probably longer, I can't remember exactly. Basically, we all can relate to what you're battling through right now (re: the withdrawal symptoms) and in the case of the flatline, try to forget about it and the sense of feeling empty inside (arousal-wise) will be over before you know it.

And in relation to the negative thoughts you mention, I too had the same. In fact, whenever I consume porn now, the subsequent days become heavily populated with really negative thoughts and emotions. It can sometimes be up to a week before my mind clears and the negative thoughts go away.

The one thing I will say is that now you're on this 'journey', you will likely never have the same relationship with porn again. The period of blissful ignorance is over and you actively know that whenever you consume porn that there will be consequences. Do I still slip from time to time? Absolutely. Will I ever go back to those porn consumption habits and levels that were present prior to learning about PA? Absolutely not. And nor will you. You can't unlearn about your porn addiction so no matter how hard or how difficult times may be, your brain is now permanently aware of porn's addictive qualities, the damage it does to our bodies and brains, and how important it is that we quit porn and stay clean.

All the best!

happydude, even though it sounds like you still occasionally consume PMO from time to time, have you maintained improvements in energy level, mood, and etc. regardless? How long was your initial recovery or how long did you abstain from PMO before starting to use it again, even on an intermittent basis?

To OP - I'm very interested in your journey, it sounds similar to mine. I'm going through the same things right now. I'm on day 13, myself. For me, these kinds of things have been going on for a long time now - chronic fatigue (my worst symptom), wildly varying emotional states, depression, apathy (I care about nothing other than video games and my guitar), etc. It's been somewhat insidious but I feel like this started really ramping up like 3-4 years ago. I can go back in my fb messenger history with friends and see where I've complained about these symptoms (primarily the fatigue) up to ~3 years ago or so. What's interesting is that I used to think it was related to allergies because it seems to get worse in the warmer months and better in the colder months. I wonder why that might be, or if it's just in my head. I DO feel better after/during a cold shower; I wonder if the colder ambient temperatures affect endorphins/dopamine in some way?

Anyways, I got tested for allergies and while I do have some, I think they're relatively mild and can't explain why I feel so utterly devoid of energy 24/7. Besides, I've tried treating them and it produced no appreciable results. Then I thought I had a sleep disorder. That theory also would make a lot of sense. However, I got two sleep studies (one at home and one in a lab), and the doctor found nothing substantially wrong with me. While it is still possible that they missed something (perhaps I have a more subtle sleep disorder), I'm moving more into the "less likely" territory at this point with that idea.

What haven't I ever considered? Porn. I'm in my early thirties and have been using it since sometime in my mid-to-late teens I'm sure. I can't remember exactly. Although I haven't escalated to viewing things that disgust me (the stuff I prefer to view is pretty vanilla by most standards I think), I most definitely have engaged in viewing an extremely large number of different women - the novelty factor - which is apparently quite important when it comes to this addiction. It could be that I've fucked my brain up quite well regardless of the fact that I have never really escalated to anything that I think would be considered very extreme or deviant.

And this is all stuff that I had absolutely no clue about until literally two weeks ago. Over the years my PMO habits have varied I'm sure. My default is probably using it 3-4 times per week, at least. Some weeks probably daily. I've been in a handful of relationships over the years and during those times I decrease or stop usage b/c I feel guilty about it. But it could be that I've made things worse by effectively stopping then resuming (intermittent usage). Some guys seem to think this produces worse results than just continuing to use during that time.

Of course I didn't know what I was doing to myself, I had no fucking clue. Now that I know, I am more than ready and willing to address it. I faltered 2-3 times when I first began two weeks ago but at this point I've been going strong for 13 days now. I faltered at first I think largely in part because I was still coming across content I was deleting from my phone and computer. I've been journaling as well (not always daily but quite frequently) and this helps me substantially. Been trying to identify and address triggers. For example, the morning is when I'm most likely to use PMO, right after waking up. So I've made a rule for myself to not bring my phone into bed with me; it stays on a desk about 6' away from my bed.

Anyways, just wanted to share some of my own experiences with you. As far as withdrawal effects, the most substantial things I've noticed have been mood swings/emotional states, increased irritability/agitation, and flashbacks (to porn and previous experiences with real women). A few nights ago I lashed out at my friends while gaming. I can get angry of course, but I never direct that anger AT my friends. And I never really get all that angry. This night was different. I was angry AT them. I experienced so much rage that at one point I muted my mic and slammed my keyboard with a closed fist, breaking my spacebar. I felt like a fucking idiot. Since then I have apologized to all of them, and the one that I'm closest with I've explained in more detail why I think it happened. I've told several people in my life about this b/c I feel like it helps me to get it out there and talk about it, and so far everyone has been very supportive and kind, even if they don't necessarily understand what's going on. I can tell some people just aren't really sure if they believe porn can cause such issues, and maybe it doesn't depending upon the person and their individual usage habits. But for me, it seems that it has caused substantial issues. However, I'm proud to be on the road to recovery and am looking forward to changing my life for the better.
 
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Speaking of all those symptoms...

I have been feeling really unbalanced for years. Chronic fatigue, lack of motivation, lack of focus (I used to read a sentenced from a book a couple of times just to grasp what's all about).
I could sleep for many hours and be still tired. I completely lost all the joy and was feeling depressed. For some strange reason, I still managed to function.
I was working and creating (I'm a musician, recording artist). Although I always felt I could do more. Eventually, I got used to it.

I attribute it to ageing (how stupid it was?) or my overall mental health issues (was struggling with OCD, panic attacks, depression). Although the latter surely contribute to it, I completely didn't have a clue that the main reason for this was my severe PMO addiction. I was aware I was an addict, but I didn't know how much this contributed to my states. Now it is clear...

This is day 18. I'm clean, no porn, no jerking off, no stimulation. What happened? By now I think the withdrawal symptoms are behind me. I have more energy, I'm enthusiastic about life. Have less anxiety. I'm more balanced and for the first time in years, I felt joy from just being. I'm still early on my journey, but so far I noticed significant improvments. Guys, please stick to it. Go cold turkey, hard mode. This really helps. It will save your life.

My last week before November 4, when I quit it was a fucking nightmare. I went insane, I was unbalanced, way out of my mind. My porn use escalated so much that I considered acting out stuff that didn't really match my preferences. It was so sick, when I look back, even from the perspective of over two weeks, that it's just frightening.

Be strong, urges will pass, brain will heal. Freedom will come.

 
addictionbreaker said:
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Speaking of all those symptoms...

I have been feeling really unbalanced for years. Chronic fatigue, lack of motivation, lack of focus (I used to read a sentenced from a book a couple of times just to grasp what's all about).
I could sleep for many hours and be still tired. I completely lost all the joy and was feeling depressed. For some strange reason, I still managed to function.
I was working and creating (I'm a musician, recording artist). Although I always felt I could do more. Eventually, I got used to it.

I attribute it to ageing (how stupid it was?) or my overall mental health issues (was struggling with OCD, panic attacks, depression). Although the latter surely contribute to it, I completely didn't have a clue that the main reason for this was my severe PMO addiction. I was aware I was an addict, but I didn't know how much this contributed to my states. Now it is clear...

This is day 18. I'm clean, no porn, no jerking off, no stimulation. What happened? By now I think the withdrawal symptoms are behind me. I have more energy, I'm enthusiastic about life. Have less anxiety. I'm more balanced and for the first time in years, I felt joy from just being. I'm still early on my journey, but so far I noticed significant improvments. Guys, please stick to it. Go cold turkey, hard mode. This really helps. It will save your life.

My last week before November 4, when I quit it was a fucking nightmare. I went insane, I was unbalanced, way out of my mind. My porn use escalated so much that I considered acting out stuff that didn't really match my preferences. It was so sick, when I look back, even from the perspective of over two weeks, that it's just frightening.

Be strong, urges will pass, brain will heal. Freedom will come.
This is really great to read, and very motivating.

I am on day 14, myself. I'm still struggling with most of these symptoms. The worst of which seems to be sleep quality.

Interestingly, I have a device called Moona which is a cooling pad you put in your pillowcase (it uses water; it's pretty neat). It also has an accelerometer built into it and smartphone integration, so it records movement while you sleep and displays it on a graph on your phone. Most nights I seems to move quite a bit, and it feels difficult to sleep. A few days ago however I had a GREAT day and the night before I apparently didn't move AT ALL while sleeping (or very, very little) according to the graph.

I wonder what's going on. I hope that as I continue in this journey my sleep quality will improve and I'll have more of those nights/days.
 
Interestingly, I have a device called Moona which is a cooling pad you put in your pillowcase (it uses water; it's pretty neat). It also has an accelerometer built into it and smartphone integration, so it records movement while you sleep and displays it on a graph on your phone. Most nights I seems to move quite a bit, and it feels difficult to sleep. A few days ago however I had a GREAT day and the night before I apparently didn't move AT ALL while sleeping (or very, very little) according to the graph.

I wonder what's going on. I hope that as I continue in this journey my sleep quality will improve and I'll have more of those nights/days.


Very interesting device, never heard of it. Hope it will be of use to you. I guess sleep deprivation comes in various forms. It might be related to the addiction, and hopefully, it will pass.
I never had major problems with sleeping. Well...I used to be always tired. I could go to bed and in a matter of seconds I would fall asleep.
 
Day 20

I'm clean for 20 days and life feels good again. Although I'm still early in my recovery process I feel a lot of benefits. I didn't expect to feel that good at day 20, taking into account that I abused myself with PMO for the last 15 years.

Noticeable changes? I feel grounded, more relaxed and emotionally balanced. I'm no longer emotionally dysregulated, always on the search for a new distraction.
My memory improved, my focus sharpened and I don't remember when I felt that energetic. I can work for hours and multitask without a need for a major rest.

Also, my awareness sharpened and I can distinct between impulses and strong emotions. I started to notice, that before I went cold turkey, my sexual impulses led to wanking in front of my PC screen (if I had a chance to do it). Now it's different. I sense the sexual energy and while not trying to suppress it, I just let it be and see that I might not act upon it.

I'm still in a flatline but have mild sexual desires. They are not "porn cravings". They are just my sexual needs. I don't desire porn, but real-life females.

What I also discovered that breaking this addiction it's actually not about kicking  "a porn addiction", it's about healing your damaged sexuality often driven by fetishes and compulsivity.

I'm sure a lot of you had this feeling after shooting your load. WTF? What did I do? This is not what I desire! This not who I'm! This is crazy! And the cycle of shame goes on.

Thanks for reading and interacting so far. As an addict, you can never be too confident when it comes to sobriety, but as long as you are willing to be free, you're on the right path.

Be strong, urges will pass, brain will heal. Freedom will come.


 
addictionbreaker said:
Day 20

I'm clean for 20 days and life feels good again. Although I'm still early in my recovery process I feel a lot of benefits. I didn't expect to feel that good at day 20, taking into account that I abused myself with PMO for the last 15 years.

Noticeable changes? I feel grounded, more relaxed and emotionally balanced. I'm no longer emotionally dysregulated, always on the search for a new distraction.
My memory improved, my focus sharpened and I don't remember when I felt that energetic. I can work for hours and multitask without a need for a major rest.

Also, my awareness sharpened and I can distinct between impulses and strong emotions. I started to notice, that before I went cold turkey, my sexual impulses led to wanking in front of my PC screen (if I had a chance to do it). Now it's different. I sense the sexual energy and while not trying to suppress it, I just let it be and see that I might not act upon it.

I'm still in a flatline but have mild sexual desires. They are not "porn cravings". They are just my sexual needs. I don't desire porn, but real-life females.

What I also discovered that breaking this addiction it's actually not about kicking  "a porn addiction", it's about healing your damaged sexuality often driven by fetishes and compulsivity.

I'm sure a lot of you had this feeling after shooting your load. WTF? What did I do? This is not what I desire! This not who I'm! This is crazy! And the cycle of shame goes on.

Thanks for reading and interacting so far. As an addict, you can never be too confident when it comes to sobriety, but as long as you are willing to be free, you're on the right path.

Be strong, urges will pass, brain will heal. Freedom will come.
It's great to read this. Please keep the updates coming; I'm really interested to see how things will unfold for you over the coming weeks/months. I would say, don't be surprised if you're not out of the woods yet. After all it is only day 20. It may be up and down for a bit, but in any case I hope you're doing well.

As for me I'm on day 16. It's getting to the point where I want to stop counting the days; I feel like it's counter-productive. I need to make a more concerted effort to establish healthier habits (better diet and exercise for example) instead of just watching the days go by waiting for something magical to happen. I do feel like "something" is changing in my head. Throughout the course of the day I can be extremely emotionally labile and go through a wide range of emotional and psychological states. I try to just accept them with the knowledge that they will pass, and hopefully one day in the future I will feel a little more grounded (and also not perpetually tired and without energy).
 

Bilbo Swaggins

Active Member
Just found this journal, it?s a really good one. Keep it up, addictionbreaker, this is inspiring. I can relate to many things you have written, so I will definitely keep an eye on your journal. Good luck. And good luck to lukeman as well.
 
Bilbo Baggins said:
Just found this journal, it?s a really good one. Keep it up, addictionbreaker, this is inspiring. I can relate to many things you have written, so I will definitely keep an eye on your journal. Good luck. And good luck to lukeman as well.

Thank you very much! Glad you find inspiration too. Looking forward to reading your posts as well.
 
Yes, it happened. It's the part of the journey, part of the healing process. I felt bad. I relapsed on day 28 today, really close to a month of sobriety.
It wasn't a typical relapse, but it can be considered as one. It didn't involve P, and it didn't involve M. Actually, it was a bizarre experience which only had occurred to me once before...

Before I will get into that, I will try to explain what had happened in the last week on my journey.

It was all going well. I think I recovered from a flatline, straight into a high libido mode which got me into trouble. I'm not sure it was part of the healing, a healthy libido or some weird thing going on my brain. From libido being completely shut down I went to a hyperactive state. I was away from porn and I didn't have even urges to watch it. I craved sex more than anything else. Sex with real females. For a few days, I was obsessed. The tension, the energy and blue balls. This was becoming a burden.

What did I learn from this relapse? The importance of triggers even those "innocent".....and fantasies .

In my sex frenzy, I began to look at Tinder profiles. The number of females, some of them wearing revealing clothes made things worse. But it was not the worst.

The worst were fantasies.

Probably the fact that I didn't watch porn for almost a month made my fantasies really elaborate, very visual and arousing. I couldn't get rid of them. It was becoming really bad. Maybe I could just turn away my attention and not focusing on them? Then I felt like...yes, the only way is to..... I made myself do it with the power of my imagination. Seriously I didn't use hands. I remember the same thing had happened to me about 12 years ago. The same scenario, when I was about 60 days free of PMO. The orgasm was intense and brought me relief.

Luckily as for now I didn't turn to porn and I don't feel like binging. I think that this incident won't cause much damage to my recovery, but it's a relapse. My counter is set to 0 because I voluntarily made myself cum. It didn't happen through a wet dream. Hope that this time I will learn from my mistakes. I'm still on my journey...better streaks ahead!

Be strong, urges will pass, brain will heal. Freedom will come.

 
You've reset your counter, but are you also keeping track of how many days you have used PMO versus how many days you haven't?

I think this this is crucial. Personally, I think the "streak" mindset invites guilt, shame, and binging. I do keep track of consecutive days but I don't place too much importance on it, and I also keep track of every day otherwise.

I highly recommend checking out the spreadsheet at the top of this thread here. You can easily keep track of every day you use PMO, and every day you don't.
 
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