no more to and fro

Joel

Active Member
Thanks for the reply, Guitar

I'm hoping to get further into recovery first and start feeling like I can stay away from porn for a while on my own, but then I think I'll have to sit down with her and talk.


Yeh, I know what you mean. We're more in control and confidant with a streak. I was vulnerable, and in that cycle of shame and humiliation when I had to reveal myself. Not fun.

I do worry that confessing this problem will end up being the thing that ends our marriage. I'm sure many feel this way. I'm not so sure that is necessarily a bad thing.

That's really tough. If you can beat this on your own - or at least get a really long streak, you might see a change in the relationship. Porn numbs my love, empathy, life force... , so you may become very motivated to save the marriage in time. well done on 40 plus days - that is great. I'm following your journey and hope for the best for you.

day 6
I'm still post-confession SOBER. Telling the wife was like a bucket of cold water. those 50 50 moments of 'should I?' don't exist - I can't rock this boat. Wife had a couple of tearful moments over the weekend. It's 'good' to see the damage I've been doing in the clear light of day. This is the consequence of my actions. Man, it wasn't easy though. The thought fleeted through my mind - i wish i hadn't told her. She's disappointed in me, it would have been easier to soldier on by myself.

There are some appealing things I'd like to look at. But all I have to do is not indulge, and i'll be winning this battle I've been in for years, a battle that's been dominating my life. Sounds like a pretty good deal. first real challenge is home alone tomorrow evening. As Phin said a week ago, it would be good to enjoy this time, instead of feeling like a prisoner or hostage. I've sent out some social offers, had no reply, but if I'm alone, i'll plan activities and be mindful with my time. Cheers!
 
Good for you Joel. I guess we all have to figure this out in our own ways. I do worry that confessing this problem will end up being the thing that ends our marriage. I'm sure many feel this way. I'm not so sure that is necessarily a bad thing. We haven't been on the best terms for a long time. I'm aware that this is mostly on me and what I've done over the years about about sex and intimacy. I would prefer that we get back to caring for each other, having meaningful sex that actually has a connection and enjoying each other's company. But again, for me, it's too early to think about anything other than my recovery and getting a little further away from the problem. I have to prove it to myself first and heal myself first. This is a me a problem and always has been. I have a lot to think about as I go through this journey.
Guitar, I find myself replying to you again, as I can see consistencies with you and I.

I never confessed the full extent of my fapping to my wife but she must have know, in fact I'm sure she did know I used to use porn, but I can't imagine she knew to what extent, and that I shared images so as to make connections with people and use the chat to get myself off to, which is pretty horrendous behaviour.

Recovery is the aim. I want to feel a normal erection as a result of being excited by an actual person, and to enjoy that rather than spend time trying to keep images from porn out of my mind.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Joel, congrats on 6 days!

Now you have a new motivation for self-change, and I share that with you. Although its been years ago for me, my various moments of revelation (1994, 2001), and though I now generally keep my battles to myself, I am still reminded and motivated by the pain on my wife's face, the tears she cried, and, oh yes, the fights..! Those times serve as deterrents in themselves...

One thing to keep in mind is that at the end of the day, these things are primarily habit. So, when the smoke clears, and the 'coast is clear' so to speak (that's how my mind worked), the brain will still demand its dopamine hits. Dismissing the urges mindfully, and consistently will change this habit over a relatively short time.

If she needs it, there may be resources out there for her that will help her to makes sense out of your struggles.

Standing beside you, brother.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, Phin. Yep, I've read enough posts to know that this confession is a only a temporary bucket of cold water!

Things came to a head a week ago when the PA in managed to wipe out all my blockers on one of my devices. Making it safe again is on my to-do list.

Last couple of days I’m feeling depressed and such low energy it feels like a dull ache. Feel just so tired. Too tired to look into pulling out my travel PC to make it safe – I don’t want to / don’t feel like I have the energy to even go near it right now. hopefully my inner tools and learning can get me by before I feel strong enough to work out how to do that job. As for this low, I know these things pass. Looking forward feeling better.

Should also mention, things are good between the wife and I. There's a lot of love between us, and we're being careful, cautious and sensitive around each other - wanting the other to have the support they need. I mentioned in an old post, I thought I was owning up to something she already knew, but actually it was a big shock for her. Part of the 'careful, cautious and sensitive' job I have is not to burden her with how hard a time I'm having. So I'm not burdening her with how low I feel right now. I'm just having a 'low energy day' as far as she's concerned.
 
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Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
I know that low energy place...

Grateful for the good between you and your wife! While in this situation we must accept whatever reaction from them as their right to feel, it's good right now that she's expressing support and sensitivity.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, Phin. Very happy to say my mood and energy picked up in the afternoon. I did a EFT (tapping) meditation on an app I'm paying for. They talk about 'instant shifts' - I certainly didn't feel that. But after I did it, I calmly decided to do something I'd previously decided not to do. I went to my wife with a cable and said: this is the cable to an unsafe device. If you took this with you when you go out, it's going to make my day a lot easier. She seemed sympathetic and positive and said of course. And of course it's created a safe environment I can relax in. Yesterday evening I was fine alone, and I'm home alone again today - so far so good.
 

Joel

Active Member
on day 9 and working through an online recovery course. Mood and energy have dipped again. Having issues with my work productivity - so tired and unmotivated, it makes me so frustrated. I remember hearing the advice once - early days of reboot are like gear 1, we can't take too much on or expect too much from ourselves. But I've circled back to this place so often, I wonder if I can ever feel any differently. Have to remind myself not to get frustrated with myself as far as work is concerned. while I keep going back to P, I won't be at my best - it affects my brain, mood, motivation, confidence, energy, etc in so many ways. Guess I'll focus on the course, self-development, and picking low hanging fruit for a period. stay clean out there and have a lovely weekend all
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
For everyone one on the fence about telling or not telling, I would like to say a couple of things. Telling takes away the risk of “discovery”. Discovery is very emotional for both. And for most wives and SOs it is the secrecy that hurts most. Yes we also get caught up in comparing us to them. But the secrecy and the how many other secrets is the tough one. Remember when you are married you two become one. And having two halves working with the same goal, makes it much easier. My go to if you do this, is get the book, Love You Hate the Porn by Mark Chamberlain and Geoff Steurer. They have a lot of information in there to help both understand Porn Addiction. Mark has a blog by the same name, Geoff has a website and is also on Facebook. Geoff also has Youtube videos. Work through this together. Yes there are tears and there is anger, but in the end, working side by side together gets you through this.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, Gracie. I'll take a look at those resources.

No serious urges yet. In fact, the P content that seemed so urgent that I decided I had no choice but to confess 2 weeks ago has faded. I had an amazingly 'normal' weekend - a walk with a friend, time and talks with the wife, and we went out to meet a couple of her friends. And it was all quite nice. If only the mess that was me in my 20s could see this functioning adult taking pleasure in simple-life things, I think he'd be pleased.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, Guitar!

Just journaled the below and thought I’d share it. Might be a little disjointed.

I’ve been in the porn back-and-forth for over 5 years, trying to stop but not giving it up, knowing it derails my life, career, relationships, etc. A low point for me includes missing a family member’s milestone birthday because I felt too low/ anxious/ moody to turn up; and I’m sure it was porn use that frazzled my confidence, motivation to go out, love for family, empathy for others... I can step back and see as clear as day that when I use porn, it’s like having a lobotomy.

I'm a big kid in many ways and I try to hold onto the past... or at least try to push away the changes in my life, or use porn as a coping mechanism for changes. Years ago, ‘childhood’ quite suddenly ended for me. My once robust dad got a fatal illness, mum was in such a state she couldn’t even put herself to bed at night, and the devastation led her to getting ill and dying shortly after. I moved home for a while, put her to bed that first night, and thought – wtf? What the hell is happening? Then I got a cold beer from the fridge, turned on the tv – some P was playing on cable, I took a drink of beer, watched some naked women, and some chemicals buzzed within me, and I thought: this isn’t so bad. I think I’ve found a way to cope with all this. I guess that’s been a pattern for me ever since: ignoring life, death, aging, discomfort, and going to an addiction that makes me feel safe, like a boss, where I can forget about mortality.

I surround myself with the harem so that I can't see or feel anything beyond. In fact, I've had some pretty 'comfortable' periods over the last few years of using my 'drug', then watching nofap YouTube videos, writing in forums, working on myself and building streaks. Even this struggle/ back and forth with recovery/ porn perhaps feels safer than reality that lies beyond it. But while I stay in the virtual porn world, my real life is breaking apart. If I let go of the toxic habit, let my brain clear out all the addictive pathways and connections, there is happiness that lies beyond it.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Powerful thoughts you share above, Joel!

In a similar manner, I can say that during down and dark times in my life, porn or illicit sexual stimuli of some kind or other, always seemed to appear (some times in uncanny ways!) as a 'savior' of sorts. Escapism, numbing, insulating, all to avoid the pain of life...

And that's really the crux of the matter toward our healing and recovery, is that while we can stop the behaviors successfully (more and more), we take away this insulation, and then we find ourselves facing life's ups and downs 'nakedly', and we feel things that we're not used to. This can be in itself upsetting, to feel raw emotion without our 'drug of choice'.

But in true Stoic fashion, we can now learn to deal with life, feel what we couldn't before, endure what we couldn't before, and withstand uncomfortable environments, situations, and even inward emotional states, in ways we couldn't before.

We find that without our habitual escapism, we've become stronger.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, Phin. So true.

I won a struggle yesterday. It was quite an epiphany.

Lots of stress in the day. Then a P memory appeared in my head - it was very appealing. The stress turned into a serious urge. (stress translates to urges for us PA's - and having P urges triples my stress levels). Then the wife goes out all night, then my computer says it wants to reboot, which often means it will come back on without the P blockers on. The urge to go to that P memory in my mind became urgent. There was a real danger, heart rate and adrenaline was going etc. But a key thought was:

this is serious, my wife knows now – I’d have to tell her I failed, or lie, then where am I? ...and all this temptation is, is a hit of pleasure. Reject the short term hit of pleasure and everything in your life gets better.

It was a serious, physical urge, but it wasn’t something I had no control over. Once I framed it right, I was okay: ‘it’s not worth it.’

(I did use EFT (tapping) meditation along the way to relieve physical stress). And also, without the P issue, I was able to think about the other stressful things - and I'm on my way to sorting them out.

I'm feeling stronger for this. But I'll take each day and challenge as it comes.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Good for you Joel. I haven't had a huge trigger day myself yet. My triggers were being up in my office alone. That still happens every day. Or when my wife and daughter were out. That happens a lot again now that Covid is calming down and we're all vaccinated. But I still haven't had a real hard time choosing not to look. I'm really hoping this continues for me. I also hope your triggers greatly reduce as well. Sounds like you are taking the right path and are dealing well with it.

Congratulations.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Awesome on answering those urges, and dismissing them, Joel! You used rational thought to confront the irrational fantasy, and the EFT helped ground you in the moment.

It feels good when you don't have that 'secret' to hide from the wife, or have something to confess! And most importantly, you won a victory for yourself, and your freedom.
 

JerryTX

Member
My triggers were being up in my office alone. That still happens every day. Or when my wife and daughter were out. That happens a lot again now that Covid is calming down and we're all vaccinated. But I still haven't had a real hard time choosing not to look. I'm really hoping this continues for me. I also hope your triggers greatly reduce as well. Sounds like you are taking the right path and are dealing well with it.

Guitar your spot on! I home office and my son is off to college already. This used to be a huge problem but now at day 58 I don't have the issues.

Congrats Joel on fighting this off! Awesome job and like I mentioned in the post I just wrote.. You are building ENDURANCE to fight! Keep up the fight!
 

JerryTX

Member
Good for you Joel. I haven't had a huge trigger day myself yet. My triggers were being up in my office alone. That still happens every day. Or when my wife and daughter were out. That happens a lot again now that Covid is calming down and we're all vaccinated. But I still haven't had a real hard time choosing not to look. I'm really hoping this continues for me. I also hope your triggers greatly reduce as well. Sounds like you are taking the right path and are dealing well with it.

Congratulations.
Guitar and I playing the same toon!! ::D
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks a lot, guys!

I haven't had a huge trigger day myself yet.
That's what happens when you're bought in, Guitar. When you're not in a tug of war, there's no need to pull at anything!

Wife went away for the weekend and I didn't want to post here - I didn't want to wrote a 'uh oh! I'm vulnerable' post. I was focused, a little anxious, but perhaps quietly confidant.

A nice aha moment, (though similar to my last post). I was feeling anxiety: ooh dear, think of all those temptations, urgh, this isn’t comfortable... Hold on, that isn’t pleasure. P provides physical pleasure. It’s not a stress reliever, or a mood improver, it distracts you temporarily from those things by flooding you with pleasure (more than your brain can handle) . As dobber said recently, it’s like chocolate cake, so shift your thinking to realising that the true pleasure comes from not using it. instead of shitting myself about this weekend, failing, the shame, the helplessness, the hangover, the addictive habit puppet show (ie – the addiction using me like a puppet), say – I reject that shot of pleasure, that’s all I have to do. it feels good, but it’s not worth it. I won’t do it, like I won’t pig out on fast food that gives me food poisoning.

Anyway, the weekend is over. I had a great time in my own company! The above was again written for myself so excuse the language mess.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
That is great Joel. Fantastic stuff. You pretty much summed up The Easy Peasy method in one paragraph. I read the book, but I thought it was way too long. In essence, you're not giving up porn you are gaining so many things. Focusing on what you are gaining is the key. Feeling better about yourself, more time, more productive use of that time, a healthier body, potential for a better sex life and so much more. You get a few minutes of joy when you use porn and masturbate but gain so much more by not using it. And for me, when I finally decided to quit, I wasn't even getting the few minutes of joy. I was feeling ashamed, my orgasms could take forever to get to, I used more extreme and weird videos to get me there and I was holding a half flaccid penis the whole time. There was nothing good about that situation and I finally had enough.

Honestly, I still envy the guy who can fire up a nice normal porn clip a couple times a year to pleasure himself. But, I have proven in the last 53 years of my life that I'm not that guy. So, I'm on to better things now.

Glad to hear you are as well!
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, guitar!

Day 25 and I'm feeling great. I'll stop counting days at the day-30 milestone and focus on a P-free life. This is just a personal preference borne out of my experience and knowing how effective counting is for me.

EFT (tapping meditation) has been so effective for me getting rid of physical/ emotional states (including difficult moments not associated with P), and my rationalizations to stay clean have been really effective because I feel a big attitude shift: I don’t really want another life where I live on an island with a harem; I wouldn’t choose to live in a fantasy P world if I was granted 3 wishes. Blimme, it took a long time for this full buy in to take place!

Wanted to share that I recently did Noah Church's no-porn course, which helped a lot.

Also wanted to share another aha moment. I recently read the line 'addictive sex is connected to trauma'. I've never suffered sexual abuse, and had no trauma as a child - I'm so fortunate to be able to say. As an adult - I've been in tricky situations, I've suffered 'abuse' of sorts in work situations, have been mistreated, exploited... I realize my toxic porn fantasies/ fetishes all revolve around these difficult issues. A big motivation to stop the addictive cycle; and stop feeding this negativity into my sexuality, but to process it in other ways and let it go. Have a great, porn-free day all :cool::ninja:
 
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