Urges are moment in time and the moment will pass


Hi There,

My name is Daniel. I'm 36 and from the UK but now live in Germany. I'm an artist working and studying part-time and I'm having issues with pornography and have been for sometime. I'm sharing my story and struggles because I want to stop and the process had led me here after hearing Gabe talk on Fight The New Drugs' Consider Before Consuming Podcast. I've always been shy, struggled with self-doubt and anxiety and found it hard to relate to others and the world around me. I become overwhelmed easily and crippled with fear and I often find myself 'escaping' into porn as a way to gratify myself and find some simple pleasure. A sense of control that differs to the real world which has so much I can't control. I realize the limits of this pursuit, the discomfort, desperation and depression this causes me and the extreme disconnection that follows each time I engage with this unhealthy and compulsive behaviour.

I guess like most people, I started to view porn as a teenager via the internet and the erotic films that used to be shown on TV on Friday nights back in the early 2000s in the UK. I wouldn't necessarily say that my consumption at this time was unhealthy or irregular but it certainly filled a void that substituted for real connection. I was shy to talk to girls, unable to view myself as valuable or attractive and had such a low opinion of myself that engaging with this material allowed me to pursue fantasy over the strains and rigours of reality.

Things changed as I went to university, my social connections grew stronger, I met people, I met girls, I had experiences and from the age of 18-25 I would say that my consumption levels decreased immensely. My engagement with the real world became stronger and as a result and on reflection my need for this substitute became less and less.

This changed again around my late 20s. I had a crisis of identity, not knowing what to do with my life? After working a job and finding myself in a career that brought little satisfaction or feelings of self-worth, I fell into a deep depression. I managed to overcome this and make positive change. I enrolled in art school in London, determined to do something that made me happy, to pursue a passion. Something I always knew I had a degree of talent for but which I never had the confidence to undertake before. Things started to change, I felt better. I met a girl, someone so beautiful and so perfect that again my consumption levels for porn basically disappeared. Until they returned. The relationship hit rocky grounded as my girlfriend struggled with her own depression and PTSD and unable to cope I found myself falling into negative behaviours patterns and bad habits. Around the time the relationship ended, I started to use online roleplay chatrooms. Something I had briefly flirted with as a young teenager but which became a prevalent force in my life. The connection I had lost with my girlfriend was replaced by talking with strangers in sexual scenarios using a combination of this and pornographic videos and images to explore and delve into scenarios and fantasies that helped me to forget about the deep pain and grief I was feeling. I became disconnected from reality and began to spend more and more time exploring this realm, at points also moving from the chat rooms to voiceplay with girls. All in secret and all very compulsive. There were times I couldn't get out of bed and couldn't function. I started an online relationship with one particular girl and treated her with a disrespect that I would never show a person I had met in real life.

This continued and I got deeper and deeper into this behaviour. And not grieving properly for the ending of my real relationship I fell into another deep depression. The more I couldn't cope, the more I logged onto the chatrooms to try to escape my feelings, which only worsened the situation as I avoided my reality. I needed a change and with therapy found the strength to apply for art schools in Germany to undertake a second degree in fine art. I hoped the new adventure abroad, embracing a new culture, learning a language and living a new life would bring positive change. I had been living a secret live and I want to escape this and start anew.

At first, things were great. I was excited by the adventure. I had been accepted to a great school, I met a great girl and fell in love again and I avoided these chat rooms and porn altogether. But again, as my difficulties grew I started to struggle with my compulsions again. My relationship hit some tensions, which in combination with a difficult first year in a new country found me logging back on and engaging with these chatrooms again. I struggled financially, found it hard to adapt to a new culture and language, found myself frustrated with my artwork. I was pulled in a lot of different directions and as a result found myself unable to cope and close to a breakdown. All the time the escape was there, as I roleplayed and interacted online to cleanse myself of my difficult situation and escape my pressures. My relationship with my girlfriend suffered as a result and it is only in hindsight that I realize that this secret life I was leading was a form of infidelity and made me unable to connect to her fully, which I know caused her great pain and anguish. I was never fully present and I only realize now the effect this secret was having on me, it ruined my relationship not to mention causing psychological and neurological damage as I continued to pursue this engagement.

I decided to take time out. The relationship ended. I wasn't able to cope and I started to work, to clear the debts I had accrued and get myself into a better position to return to my studies with better financial security. My time away from my art studies and my art work was difficult and on the back of an extremely difficult first year in a new country I fell into a crippling depression. For about 3 months I was unable to get out of bed and I didn't work. I couldn't face my job, my struggles or myself. At no point did I think that it was my engagement with this material and this behaviour that might have been contributing to my issues, I thought it was only my other struggles. I now realize that this isn't the case. I have been in therapy again for the last year and I have made a lot of progress. I have been dealing with my issues of self esteem and depression and I can challenge these issues. But I have not yet been brave enough to share my struggles with pornography and chatrooms with my therapist, not comfortable with the idea, too ashamed to come clean about it. I know at some point I need to. That I can't get well, If I don't tell her the whole story.

I am getting better and after 2 years I have recently returned to school as well as found a job which supports me in my studies and my pursuit of a career in the arts. But there are still bad days and still a lot of times where I am spending time on chat sites when I should be doing other things and pursuing my artwork. I have found that I am avoiding this and pouring my creative energy into these roleplays, which are self serving and offer little in the way of real connection. Now that my other issues are being dealt with it is clear to me that over time and as a result of my social anxiety and my inability to connect, that porn has affected me and made me act in bad ways that go against my moral code and my own sexual taste and preferences. In short, I have developed an addiction. This too has caused anxiety, firstly I felt I had a sex addiction and I joined an SA meeting in order to combat this issue. I did this after I had met with two guys for two very brief real-life encounters and immediately I knew something was wrong. I am aware that sexuality is fluid and I obviously hold no prejudice towards same sex encounters but I also know that I have never had attraction to men before and that I have always been exclusively attracted to women. When I look back on these incidents I can see that there was never a curiosity or crisis at play, never a questioning of my sexual preferences. What was happening was a deep lack of connection that I wanted to cure in the easiest possibly way. In a way that I knew would be easier than trying to attract women, which I find difficult with my lack of self-confidence and self-esteem. I can see now that sex addiction is not what I am struggling with but pornography addiction and a lack of connection.

Meeting with the SA group, I found the notion of sobriety and abstaining form sex difficult to grasp. I have found that my engagement with pornography has never been about an urge to satisfy a high sex drive or a need to have sex all the time. It has been about escaping from my inability to deal with real life. What I found with my recent girlfriend is how much I enjoyed sex and the deep connection that existed between us. And though, I have no plans to me promiscuous, I would like to experience more real sexual engagement in a healthy way with a sexual partner once I have overcome my struggles with porn and found coping mechanisms to help with my inability to manage my anxiety and the challenges that the world throws my way.

Currently, I am still engaging with porn but I am recognizing that a change needs to be made, which is why I am here. I can see the depression it causes, the disconnection I experience and the way that these images and behaviours are changing my thoughts and feelings in a negative way. I want this to stop and I want to be a better person who can exist in the real world and not online in my own fantasies. I want to take my creativity and use it for my artwork and for good and not for a part of in a mindless roleplay that serves nobody but myself in a loop of despair and discomfort. I see this long drawn out revelation as a first step. I still hold this secret inside and I want to be free of it. I have shared my story with only one person in real-life and it felt good but I want to move beyond this entirely. I don't want it to dictate my life like it has done for nearly the past 10 years.

I recognize that when things get tough I go straight into this sordid world of self-destruction. I also recognize that there is no trigger in my head to combat the urges, no voice to tell me to breath for a moment to stop the urges. That the urges are just a moment in time and that the moment will pass. I want to learn this and also find a partner here that can help me hold myself accountable so that I can become responsible for my own recovery. Currently I feel disconnected and isolated and I need connection and support and I also want to provide this in return. My goal is to move beyond this. To stop these roleplays and exercises in escapism, to engage in life and draw pleasure from that instead of meaningless images and scenarios. I want to reconnect with my ex girlfriend who I love very much. I want to grow with her, build a life with her if possible if she will allow me and to one day explain this to her, to provide her with an explanation of my behaviour and lack of presence that I know has caused her so much pain and anguish too. My hope too is that she might find a way to forgive me and understand as I try to be better and do better.

Today I haven't used porn. In the back of my mind there is this idea of doing so, as a one last time type of deal but already there have been many of those and it has always left me with the same feelings of failure and self-loathing as I constantly fail to control my urges. My triggers come at times when there are difficult events in my life that leave me unable to cope. Things that leave me feeling as though I am small, the dear that people will think I am stupid, unintelligent, ugly and undesirable. I often avoid situations and encounters where there is a risk of feeling these things and when the capacity to control my own fear becomes to great. And when I do, I always go to that one place. Too much time on my hands, not being active or busy, not following through with the tasks I set myself. These always leave me feeling like a failure and then I give in and go to that one place. Not taking care of myself, not exercising or eating right. This fills me with guilt and leads me to go to one place. Feeling lonely, not seeing people, not pushing myself just a little make me connect with people in real life, always leads me to that one place. And there are other things too and I am sure I will write about them in time and as they happen.

I can soothe myself by being connected by making effort, by helping others, by engaging in my artwork and by being a decent person and by working on myself more. I am grateful that today I started on this journey. That already gives me hope and strength and a desire to be better.

If I can overcome this, It will be my greatest achievement. I feel good about writing this and empowered. I thank anybody that reads it. I know its long but I had to get it all out. I wish everyone the best of luck with their recovery and my thoughts are with you as you stick to your goals and I hope I can show you support and be of service as well as an inspiration by sticking to mine.


Hey Dan,

Quite a story you just shared with us. There is a lot to consider here for a successful reboot (and the last needed in your life, I hope). One word that came up while I was reading your story is TRIGGERS! Certainly, you have been able throughout the years to identify a pattern that drives you back at PMO (and related fetishes). For what I understand here, your main trigger - and the one that you will have to fight the hardest - is the difficulty that comes with daily life. There seems to be a strong association here between your day-to-day life-difficulty (e.g., not being satisfied with your artwork, being shameful as you stay in bed all-day long, giving up your responsibilities, not being at work when it is requested, etc.), and going back to PMO.

During your reboot, 1) try to work on your triggers as a priority. This will be very hard at first, but you will find that, as time goes, it will be easier to manage these urges. 2) Share, share and reshare your stories with the people around you and on this forum, and that without being a shame of yourself, 3) work on your thinking and related anxiety (for that I would recommend a couple of books by Albert Ellis or David D. Burns), 4) engage in activities that drive you forward (for instance, all the interest that you may find in art studies is crucial here), 5) find, not just one, but many partners that will accompany you in your journey, and 6) battle this addiction with psychological resources and therapy as well.

Here's a link to my journal if you want to share more and get inspired by others story: http://legacy.rebootnation.org/index.php?topic=19227.0

You've just begin your (real) life. Step forward and venture forth!

Safe journey bro! 🙂


Hey Benny!

Thanks for the message and for taking the time to read my first journal entry. I know that it was super long but I wanted to get everything out. Its the first time I've really been able to open up fully on this matter and I didn't want to leave anything out.

I appreciate you sharing your post too and for your suggestions. If possible could you provide me the full titles of the books you suggested?

After last night posting I did use, but today I've been totally free. I had urges but I kept myself busy with my work, cooking and watching some films. I also spoke with people today. Family and friends. I heard someone say recently that "Connection is the antidote to addiction", I think this is true, I definitely feel much better when I speak to people and connect.

I'm going to post each day. I think the daily ritual will keep me disciplined and accountable, while I look partners with whom I can share this journey.


Well-Known Member
I agree with the four points Benny makes.

At the beginning porn makes us feel good. However, as our addiction escalates we find we need more extreme to risky material to give us the same hit. After some time even those hits just don't give us the same pleasure, which I think leads to some form of depression. Once you get into the dark, dark place, it's very difficult to crawl back out. We feel shit, and the only think which comes close to raising our mood is porn. The problem is that your mood is only elevate for the duration of your session. The darkness returns.

My advice is to give yourself achievable goals. Something I've mentioned here a few times is that fact that we sleep on average 8 hours a day. That means we only need to avoid porn or any of its substitutes for 16 hours a day. It doesn't seem so difficult to go without porn or masturbation for 16 hours, does it? If you can go 16 hours without porn, simply resolve to do the same the next day.

If you relapse, don't binge! Just do what you have to do as quickly as possible, clean up the mess, and get back on track. I've relapsed so many times. I almost went a whole year without porn then relapsed. I'm on day 92 of this reboot. I don't intend to relapse, but if I do I have to be sure it doesn't turn into a binge.

Depression is a serious issue and I think you should be speaking to a medical professional about it. I'm not sure about pharmaceutical ways of dealing with depression. I've suffered from depression and the drugs I was give just masked the depression and never got to the root of the problem. I stopped taking the drugs and decided to rid myself of depression through other methods. Everyone is different, so I think speaking to a doctor is the best bet.

Regarding shyness and lack of self esteem. These are just stories you tell yourself. I've also suffered from both of these personality disorders. At some point in my life I just decided that I didn't believe the story I was telling myself and decided to tear up the pages of the book and create another story for myself. It wasn't easy, but it can be done.

I urge you to come to the forum and post often. I find it helps as a psychological laxative. Just write how you feel. It might give you some perspective on your problem.

Lastly, stop using porn or porn substitutes. The problems you face now can't be addressed until you have porn out of your life for a lengthy period, but hopefully forever.

I wish you luck.



This is also helpful advice and I will definitely take it onboard. If you could share a link to your journal that would be helpful too as it was reassuring to read Benny's.

Thankfully I am seeing a therapist so I am on top of my mental health. The next big step there would be to admit my challenge with porn to her and to detail how this is contributing to my depression. It feels like a bit too much at this stage but I am working towards this.

I have gone 2 days now in rebooting. My first time doing this with any type of support structure. Earlier this year I managed 51 days with the aim of getting to 90. It was going well and some actions affected my discipline and focus and then I did binge, which I haven't fully recovered from. Currently I am relaxed and I am going to look at it just 1 day at a time. Nothing more. I am keeping busy and when I feel any urge or a trigger I am trying to get into a habit of self talk that includes breathing and telling myself that it is just a moment and that if I'm patient, the moment will surely pass.

I'd be interested to find out about people's interaction with SA groups and similar and whether they feel this helps. As mentioned before I feel my issue is more to do with porn and less with a sexual addiction but i'm curious to hear other people's stories concerning this.



Active Member
Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate to a lot of it.

Two thoughts that might help.

On self-esteem, I also struggle with this. I've read a few books on this only recently (not sure why it took me so long to figure out -- right there an example of negative self-esteem! oops). Anyway the author I recommend is Nathaniel Branden. He has some great exercises you can do regularly to start building your self-esteem. None of the therapists I saw really focused on self-esteem -- maybe a little? But it's super important I think.

The other thing is secrecy. This addiction, and I guess all addictions, thrive on secrecy. It is hard to talk about with other people, and doesn't always work, but it helps reduce the power of the addiction. I think the behaviour is much more powerful if it's all 'inside your head'. There is a good saying: "A problem shared is a problem halved". It's kind of funny but it's quite true. So I recommend that when you feel up to it, you share with someone - especially your therapist. That is what you are paying them for after all!


Thanks Sebz,

You make a good point and I definitely feel the need to share with someone. This feels very scary at the moment as I have only really been able to admit this to myself in the last few months. I will try though as you are totally right about shifting the power and control dynamics. Next week I will join an SA group online to tell my story. I'm kind of uncomfortable to do this because I think there's a big different between sex and porn addiction. I am also worried about a number of the other aspects attached to this groups, which is why I asked if other people had experience.

I will certainly take up your reading suggestions though. This is my 3rd day. I haven't even thought about porn today, which I'm very positive about. I have kept myself very busy and it hasn't crossed my wind. But I have been at the 3-5 day point a number of times recently so I am mindful of slip ups and remaining super vigilant!


Day 4. For the time being I need to post regularly it is keeping me accountable. I'm worried because this is usually around the time I want to use and I felt that a bit tonight but I haven't staying busy reading instead.

Thanks for the support here so far.


I got to day 5 and I relapsed. But I'm happy to say that rather than spiralling out of control I got straight back onto the path and now I'm 2 Days free again. This site helped me to do that and I also feel good now that I recognize that days 3-5 are the tough ones for me. If I can get past them I will be gain more and more motivation. I'm determined to move past this.

Also... I don't entirely trust myself not to go onto my preferred sites. If someone could share some software options with me that would be great.


It's been a while since I posted and I'm starting all over again. This gets harder but i'm determined to overcome this issue and struggle. I know how it's effecting me in such negative ways.

One thing I need to know about in the short-term is some anti-porn software. I know there is some mixed views on this subject but I think it would help me personally. I have set this up on my phone, which was my main source of interaction and its worked but just forced me towards my computer now. And so I want to find a way to stop my access here too.

any suggestions would be great!


Active Member
Hey Ray84, I can defo relate to some of your story. Ive also come back here to try n overcome this addiction. Good to see your back and hope to hear more on your journey. Posting on here daily helps me to keep strong at my most vulnerable times. Ive just made a week clean and still going (something I've had struggles doing). Be strong friend


Thanks Readytoreboot!

That means a lot and I hope you're staying strong still! I'm still having problems and relapsing. I have shared my story with a friend recently and she has been so supportive. I also have made the decision to share my issue with my therapist in my next session, which i'm very scared about for fear of judgement but I know that is what she is there for and I want to be completely transparent and stop living this secret double life.



Well-Known Member
So I had fixed the issue 80%% and even wrote a success story in the forum but then relapsed, so here I am Raymond. It is a tough beast but it can be done. As someone mentioned above, porn and porn SUBSTITUTES are off limits. I say this because I have relapsed thanks to porn substitutes. My porn addiction got pretty bad, so much so that I went from watching softcore to hardcore to gay porn and then the only thing shocking enough to me was gay porn. I think I had to say it here. I am also 36 years old incidentally and have a wife and couple of kids. I can't tell you how much i feel awful having disappointed wife with my PIED and behind her back binging on gay porn to get off. The first successful reboot had fixed me 80% and then a friggin relapse. Then there have been many tries and many relapses.

Like you i have also experimented with men because they are easily available. I am not quite addicted to porn anymore thanks to my first reboot but my problem has been fantasizing and edging recently. Also talking dirty to men on texting because they are far more easily available. It's awful. But this awful behavior needs correcting and I hope I can get out of this once again and this time for good.

Thanks for sharing your story with us and I hope you will be staying here for a successful journey.