How Shall We Escape?

guitar1968

Active Member
These journals are really a great way to post things that are all about us, but with the benefit of getting some feedback from others. Where else can you talk about these things? I'm a guitarist in a band. I'm not going to go over to a band practice and just start talking about this stuff. Maybe we should be able to, but this place feels safe and of course the anonymity of it really helps. There are a lot of brave people putting their faces on this issue. Bravo to them. I'm not one. At least not now. I also own a business in the community. It should be a great thing to let people know that I'm working on recovery for porn addiction, but I'm not sure everyone would feel the same way. A lot of people have hangups with people in AA or NA. I think a recovering porn addict might turn some people off. Sadly, the idea of porn has become so main stream that it's joked about and mentioned all the time on TV and in movies. I hate to see this because it validates people who are watching it all the time as it being o.k. I thought it was ok. for years until I realized what it was doing to me.
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
These journals are really a great way to post things that are all about us, but with the benefit of getting some feedback from others. Where else can you talk about these things? I'm a guitarist in a band. I'm not going to go over to a band practice and just start talking about this stuff. Maybe we should be able to, but this place feels safe and of course the anonymity of it really helps. There are a lot of brave people putting their faces on this issue. Bravo to them. I'm not one. At least not now. I also own a business in the community. It should be a great thing to let people know that I'm working on recovery for porn addiction, but I'm not sure everyone would feel the same way. A lot of people have hangups with people in AA or NA. I think a recovering porn addict might turn some people off. Sadly, the idea of porn has become so main stream that it's joked about and mentioned all the time on TV and in movies. I hate to see this because it validates people who are watching it all the time as it being o.k. I thought it was ok. for years until I realized what it was doing to me.

The porn culture among men is so ingrained, that the guys when I was growing up that didn't watch porn were the "weirdos". Until I realized what it was doing to me, I didn't even see it as wrong to watch porn. I never ever felt remorse or the like. Even worse, it never ever crossed my mind that it would be the source of my persistent PIED. It is so unintuitive. Who knew that I was frying my brains and my nutsack.

It's a great thing that this community exists indeed. Power to you!!
 

guitar1968

Active Member
The porn culture among men is so ingrained, that the guys when I was growing up that didn't watch porn were the "weirdos". Until I realized what it was doing to me, I didn't even see it as wrong to watch porn. I never ever felt remorse or the like. Even worse, it never ever crossed my mind that it would be the source of my persistent PIED. It is so unintuitive. Who knew that I was frying my brains and my nutsack.

It's a great thing that this community exists indeed. Power to you!!
I'm the same as you. All my youth friends shared dirty magazines. We talked about it all the time. It was just totally what we did. I never thought there was anything wrong with it. But I started to have the realization when I stopped being able to have sex with my wife and I started watching weirder and weirder porn in order to cum. The last video I watched is what brought me here about 6 weeks ago. I just felt so ashamed of myself. I couldn't do it anymore. So glad to have this community and others. There is hope!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thanks, guitar and otanerferguson!

...but this place feels safe and of course the anonymity of it really helps.

Yes! The anonymity is so helpful! I had no one, still have no one to talk to about this stuff. I used to just wish I can unload all my burdens on some listening compassionate ear, but (outside of God) that didn't seem to exist!

This place serves that purpose, safely and anonymously (the way I like it)!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I knew that I might think of things that I missed in my list on the previous page, but I'm so surprized that it was such a huge issue as lust in public!

I will be able to gage my level of seriousness by how I respond to the opposite sex in public. Yes, I'm grateful that at least I was looking at 'real women' as opposed to pixalized images, but still, I know from experience that if this remained unchecked, it would only lead back to riskier unwanted behavior.

Also, in relation to this, there's an emotional tie involved in lust for me, and what may be anxiety based.
 
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guitar1968

Active Member
Lust in public is a thing that will take a while to get over. Recently I've had to be out of the house/office and seeing a lot of women now out in summer wear. I spend way too much time looking and thinking about sex. Hopefully the further I get from porn, the better this will get. But I would prefer to be turned on by women in the real world than on a screen. All part of the process I guess.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Lust in public is a thing that will take a while to get over. Recently I've had to be out of the house/office and seeing a lot of women now out in summer wear. I spend way too much time looking and thinking about sex. Hopefully the further I get from porn, the better this will get. But I would prefer to be turned on by women in the real world than on a screen. All part of the process I guess.

I'm careful to make the distinction between admiration and lust. To admire beauty is not lust, but perhaps 'shameless' ogling is...? But I definitely hear and agree with what you're saying. I think it's something that is on some level 'needed' that I interact with and enjoy the beauty of woman in public, as long as I don't disrespect my wife about it.

I can't fully explain it, and to some outside observer it may sound like I'm making up some 'mystical excuse' for lust (lol...!) but, there's a certain dynamic and magic about it all... Porn of course corrupts and distorts this natural admiration for beauty. So, in agreement with you, I'm so grateful that it's not pixalized women on a screen (artificial) but real women in real life.

For me, however, I can find myself overly depending on this to satisfy some anxiety or insecurity. I can tell the difference too, though it's sometimes subtle.

Excited for the changes in your own journey, guitar, and wish you all the best!
 

EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
Reminds of like staring at a nature landscape. Like there is some waterfall and you can get mesmerized.

Or a good example would be a flower. You want to appreciate the beauty of the flower...but you don't pick it. Just like you don't have sex with a waterfall.

Just today at a store at a checkout. There was a young lady with a beautiful face. I also see nothing wrong with appreciating beauty. Lust is when you want to just have sex. Leech energy. Like I am incomplete...I need you to complete me. I am lacking. That is selfish.

I don't know. Just my stream of thought.

Wishing everyone well
EW
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Tricky one for sure. We should be attracted to woman we see. That is just a natural fact. My problem is I sit there imagining them naked, what they look like, how their boobs hang, are they hairy, shaved... sorry, I don't need to really paint the picture. I'm sure you all get what I'm saying. The point is, letting my mind go to the "porny" place instead of just thinking wow, what a beautiful woman. I don't have to strip them in my mind and start a porn fantasy. That's what has caused such issues in my own marriage. Expecting my wife to be a porn star. It's just not the way to treat or think about anyone. I hope this fades. I never want to stop being attracted to beautiful women. I just don't want to always go there in my head. And honestly, it has diminished some in the last 40+ days but I do have a long way to go.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
@EW:

Yes, perfect analogy. Or, that's what it literally is, we're basically enjoying nature. It's natural to appreciate and even be mezmerized by beauty, as one would with a waterfall or a sunset. Definitely.

Your contrast made with selfish vampyric lust, too, is perfect. Are we admiring from a place of strength and selflessness, or are we lusting from a place of insecure weakness, and leeching?

@guitar:

I appreciate how this one (well known) user worded it back in the day. He said that every time he goes to the gym, and sees folks working out, he tells himself that he's not on a porn-set for his own personal indulgence.

That's sometimes how I'll snap myself out of it. I'll ask myself, "What, am I just to take this lady down an aisle (at the grocery store, etc), and have sex with her right there?" Or, I'll ask myself, "Okay, so she's incredibly beautiful! What do I do with that?" Then I'll turn potential lust into an appreciation for her, a prayer for her, and grattitude.

I think that as we become stronger, in control of ourselves, it will be natural to simply appreciate women as human beings, as the mystery that they are. And, as a natural effect of this self-control is that this becomes a 'turn on' for the opposite sex. Women can some how sense our inner strength, and they're automatically drawn to that. Before, women seemed naturally repulsed by me, and I think self-control is what makes the difference. But, given a time of abstinence from P/MO, and they seem very attracted...

Good thoughts, all.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Day: 10

This is 1/9 toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.

This is also 1 week, and 3 days into this recovery effort, building on previous streaks (139, 19, 53 [19, 35], 2).

Today I hit my mini-goal of 10 days without P, PMO, MO, and with earlier episodes of p-subs and edging.

I have only 8 more mini-goals to hit before reaching 90 days!

How do I feel?

I feel better, like my efforts toward recovery are normalizing, stabalizing. The edging has stopped, and I am consciously dismissing any urges or desires to do so deep in the night.

I am seeking to be more vigilant and keep my recovery efforts in my 'right hand', like they matter, like I am to take this thing: seriously.

I am happy and hopeful that I will walk this out toward a new sweet spot beyond the 90 days, where I don't have to count days but that I simply live life in abstinence. I'm a ways before I get there, but what else would I be doing? I want to end this in my life, and counting days right now makes sense. Again, I would be living each day in abstinence from unwanted and former behaviors anyway, so may as well count for now to ensure that this is the direction I'm going.

Deeper Issues or Concerns?

Grateful to report that my daughter and I were recently able to iron out several issues surrounding certain unfortunate events in her life, and the fallout regarding these. We were out of town at another graduation party, and were able to talk and to cry together. She and I have let go of any anger toward each other, and have come to a deeper mutual understanding. Our relationship is better now than it's been in years... Seeking to build on that.

During the 139 days of abstinence from November 6, 2020 to March 25th, I'm sure I endured several other stressful and emotionally challenging times, such as fights with the wife, and other stressers. What was different about this time? Perhaps it was effectively having to wrestle a 'big kid' to prevent them from taking pills, yeah, that wasn't fun- and very traumatic. I already say too much there, and so won't get any more specific. I'm just trying to figure why things unfolded (and along with it, my focus on abstinence) as they did...

Going forward, I need to expect that life will have its ups and downs, its smooth and calm rivers along with the occassional rapdis that need to be carefully navigated. But to determine that ...none of these things move me- as the apostle Paul said.

Generally, I'm feeling better. I'm excited about the post I recently made where I sought to paint what a successful reboot should look like for me. This gives me something to read each day, and especially as needed, to help me focus and have vigilance (without being hyper-vigilant) that I need to have that edge, that fire, in overcoming this.

Blessings, All.
 
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Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day: 10

This is 1/9 toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.

This is also 1 week, and 3 days into this recovery effort, building on previous streaks (139, 19, 53 [19, 35], 2).

Today I hit my mini-goal of 10 days without P, PMO, MO, and with earlier episodes of p-subs and edging.

I have only 8 more mini-goals to hit before reaching 90 days!

How do I feel?

I feel better, like my efforts toward recovery are normalizing, stabalizing. The edging has stopped, and I am consciously dismissing any urges or desires to do so deep in the night.

I am seeking to be more vigilant and keep my recovery efforts in my 'right hand', like they matter, like I am to take this thing: seriously.

I am happy and hopeful that I will walk this out toward a new sweet spot beyond the 90 days, where I don't have to count days but that I simply live life in abstinence. I'm a ways before I get there, but what else would I be doing? I want to end this in my life, and counting days right now makes sense. Again, I would be living each day in abstinence from unwanted and former behaviors anyway, so may as well count for now to ensure that this is the direction I'm going.

Deeper Issues or Concerns?

Grateful to report that my daughter and I were recently able to iron out several issues surrounding certain unfortunate events in her life, and the fallout regarding these. We were out of town at another graduation party, and were able to talk and to cry together. She and I have let go of any anger toward each other, and have come to a deeper mutual understanding. Our relationship is better now than it's been in years... Seeking to build on that.

During the 139 days of abstinence from November 6, 2020 to March 25th, I'm sure I endured several other stressful and emotionally challenging times, such as fights with the wife, and other stressers. What was different about this time? Perhaps it was effectively having to wrestle a 'big kid' to prevent them from taking pills, yeah, that wasn't fun- and very traumatic. I already say too much there, and so won't get any more specific. I'm just trying to figure why things unfolded (and along with it, my focus on abstinence) as they did...

Going forward, I need to expect that life will have its ups and downs, its smooth and calm rivers along with the occassional rapdis that need to be carefully navigated. But to determine that ...none of these things move me- as the apostle Paul said.

Generally, I'm feeling better. I'm excited about the post I recently made where I sought to paint what a successful reboot should look like for me. This gives me something to read each day, and especially as needed, to help me focus and have vigilance (without being hyper-vigilant) that I need to have that edge, that fire, in overcoming this.

Blessings, All.

Phineas,

While I wouldn't claim that I understand the family situation entirely or indeed the emotional stressors & pressures that a father & husband faces having never been either, I can observe in your post (and i'm sure you have too) that while these situations were overwhelming at points, you have been present as a father, a husband & a member of your family through these recent tough times and, despite periodic lapses, you did NOT use the addiction to run away from the issues you were facing. I feel this is a decisive victory for you in this battle/journey and something from which hopefully further growth in your life, family & self can stem from.

I guess it just goes to show often it isn't the numbers that count the most.

Keep up the great work!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I can observe in your post (and i'm sure you have too) that while these situations were overwhelming at points, you have been present as a father, a husband & a member of your family through these recent tough times and, despite periodic lapses, you did NOT use the addiction to run away from the issues you were facing. I feel this is a decisive victory for you in this battle/journey and something from which hopefully further growth in your life, family & self can stem from.

I guess it just goes to show often it isn't the numbers that count the most.

Thank you, Orbiter! These words mean more than you can know, and in that regards, your words have been instrumental a time or two in giving me a motivation I might not have had otherwise. So, thank you.

What you say is an important perspective I needed to see, that despite the recent lapses, they weren't me 'checking out' and escaping from the recent trying times in our family, but were perhaps more residual (?). They were kind of like licking wounds in the dark, but not necessarily escaping from the battle itself, especially as regarded these challenges.

An update:

While I'm here, I'll provide a brief update...

I was sullen yesterday, down emotionally, for perhaps a few reasons. I did have to challenge myself to be otherwise minded, but this seemed to fuel a 'need' to view p-subs and edge. There was an episode of edging deep in the night, and this was followed with a time of viewing p-subs. I was able to stop after a while (30+ minutes!), and I was to go back to bed...

But, in keeping with my recent list, I treated this more as high-risk behavior (which it was), and addressed it in prayer in my office. This was in line with a more spiritual prayer, as well as seeking to soften my heart in terms of 'repentance' in turning away from this. Above all, it was more like turning away from broken wells that don't hold water, coming before Him with my need, my thirst and hunger, and drinking in from the Spirit, the Living Waters.

I was able to turn in to bed afterwards. There was no more episodes, and thus, no fault.
 

JerryTX

Active Member
Way to seek out GOD. I find that what you read in my latest post is something I read sometimes multiple times per day. Then dive directly into scripture! This and worship music have helped tremendously. Sometimes when you get heading towards high risk behaviors it can be tough to turn to GOD and I do something as simple as close my eyes and repeat the name JESUS over and over. He has never failed me when doing this even in my darkest time. There is POWER in the name of JESUS. Praying for you brother!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, Jerry!

If I'm in an habitual cycle, it's hard to 'remember'- but when I do, He's faithful. It used to be for me that because of whatever I was doing, I allowed shame to keep me from praying. But knowing the grace of God now, I try and include Him in all my struggles and temptations. He's not at all squeemish with the sordid details, and He never shames us. He's already forgiven our sins, and knows our temptations.

A prayer that has actually saved me many times was,

Lord, I know that even if I do [X, Y, or Z], You have already forgiven me, and have already given me righteousness as a free gift.

This actually had the effect of keeping me from doing X, Y, and Z. It's counter-intuitive, almost like we're making license to sin, but the exact opposite is what occurs.

Praying for you, too!
 
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Chris Oz

Well-Known Member
Yeah it does seem counterintuitive, but it's true and if it works for you that way, then all the better.

Whenever I have triggers these days, I find myself just saying these words:
"I surrender my thoughts, my will and my life to you Jesus."

It helps me in some way and kind of dis-empowers the triggers, especially when I mention the name Jesus.

I also agree that shame can be a big factor in recovery. Learning to accept that we are not perfect and just surrender our shortcomings to God is a big deal. Those who dwell in shame find it hard to receive the power they need...hence the continuous cycle of relapse. That's what I have noticed.

For a successful Reboot or progress in recovery, we need to have power over shame of every kind. We need to have a powerful mindset, system or program that powers us through it, whenever we fall or begin to judge ourselves because of past, present or the fear of future misdeeds.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Have a success to record. This is during what has been a strange but perhaps predictable situation I've been in...

The night before last, I lay awake in bed with strong urges to edge (which may be more neurlogically damaging than PMO!), but I didn't react to the urges, for or against. I just laid there until the urges passed, which they invariably will (you can outlast any urge!).

The next day, yesterday, I was home alone as my daughter went to her place and my wife went to some other place. I had purposed to pray during that time. But as I began to walk about the house, I had a strong urge come on me to watch P, and perhaps even to PMO! The urge was such that, if I entertained it at all, I would've went all the way...!

The urges were strong, the anticipation of lapsing was strong, but I had to stand up and fight! I uttered a few verses of scripture that would ground me in the moment, snap me out of it, or get me in the right headspace. Then I began to pray in tongues, and worship the Lord. The worship aspect is so important for me, because it's a shifting away from the false-answer to a real need, the thrist and hunger deep within me- for God.

Yes, I was thirsty- but No, the answer isn't to run to the broken wells and draw dirty water to quench a thirst it's unable to. I went to the Living Waters, in the well within myself.

The urges passed with no incident.

I'll have different ways of fighting this, sometimes through mindfulness, other times it will be through the science of habit-change. But in keeping with my recent post focusing my approach, spirituality is becoming more prominent in dealing with this. Whatever tools we find to be helpful, it's good to have multiple approaches handy.

Be well, All.
 
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guitar1968

Active Member
So great for you Phineas. We have to use the tools that work. Coming here, reading and writing have been my tools so far and they are working. Picking up my guitar instead of my junk is also one of my tools. You are right, we can outlast any urges. We can. It's just not true that we can't. I thought that for many years, but I really don't believe it anymore. Sure we can give in to the urges and sometimes it's much harder to resist, but we can.

So congratulations to you. I love hearing success stories. They just make my day so much easier.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Have a success to record. This is during what has been a strange but perhaps predictable situation I've been in...

The night before last, I lay awake in bed with strong urges to edge (which may be more neurlogically damaging than PMO!), but I didn't react to the urges, for or against. I just laid there until the urges passed, which they invariably will (you can outlast any urge!).

The next day, yesterday, I was home alone as my daughter went to her place and my wife went to some other place. I had purposed to pray during that time. But as I began to walk about the house, I had a strong urge come on me to watch P, and perhaps even to PMO! The urge was such that, if I entertained it at all, I would've went all the way...!

The urges were strong, the anticipation of lapsing was strong, but I had to stand up and fight! I uttered a few verses of scripture that would ground me in the moment, snap me out of it, or get me in the right headspace. Then I began to pray in tongues, and worship the Lord. The worship aspect is so important for me, because it's a shifting away from the false-answer to a real need, the thrist and hunger deep within me- for God.

Yes, I was thirsty- but No, the answer isn't to run to the broken wells and draw dirty water to quench a thirst it's unable to. I went to the Living Waters, in the well within myself.

The urges passed with no incident.

I'll have different ways of fighting this, sometimes through mindfulness, other times it will be through the science of habit-change. But in keeping with my recent post focusing my approach, spirituality is becoming more prominent in dealing with this. Whatever tools we find to be helpful, it's good to have multiple approaches handy.

Be well, All.

Great going Phineas! You clearly identified the need & the longing within yourself and, instead of falling into habits of old, you reached out to God to fill that need within yourself. That's connection both with a higher power and I feel like something the true, authentic, ideal Phineas would do.

Of course each urge, need & situation is different right? Therefore they need to be addressed in different ways but for this, clearly familiar feeling & situation, it seems like you may have found an answer.

Keep up the great work!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
@guitar1968

Thank you, brother! It is encouraging to read of others doing it. It feels really good, too, having a lengthy streak between the last lapse and the unknown yet hopeful life ahead!

@Orbiter

Yes, the urges can arise from any source or cue, whether circumstantial or emotional, eternal or internal. But in a way, the urges all come from the same place, the lower brain (the limbic system) trying to get its dopamine hit. Separating these urges as coming from a place that is 'not us' helps to identify it as 'neurological junk' that we can simply dismiss.

Thank you.

 
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