Walking on the Water

Artemus

Active Member
I had another journal I started a month or so ago, but I started it without any direction or focus, no theme. I want my journal to better reflect a different mind set and a different attitude. This journal is going to be a better representation of where I am now. I'm looking at a first goal of 40 days, not some white knuckle strength of will, but a peaceful and calm walk on the water. After that will come 80, 120, ... I know that RN recommends 90 days and I agree with that as a physiological resetting point as well, but doing 40 days for me as a first mile-marker I think is important as the bible sees it as a "time of testing". Replacing old habits with new habits, establishing routines and feeding my mind proper nourishment. No more, "Garbage in, garbage out", as it were. Let us begin this journey of a thousand miles by taking step #1. I already have a few days I've logged since my last tumble down fools hill and I'd attempted to begin a water fast prior to that but was interrupted, so to get things in sync(because I'm somewhat OCD) I'm resetting my counter to 000.

For those who never read my story I'll give a brief summary. I was introduced to porn magazines at age 8 by a neighborhood friend, began regular PMO at age 12 after getting cable tv. Continued in this pattern until age 17 where I met a girl who shared with me all her sexual experiences and I wrote them down as an erotic story I composed. At 18 I began renting adult VHS tapes. I met my future wife at age 22 and during this time things all but stopped. We got married when I was 25 and then in an effort to spice things up I introduced her to porn. This only lasted briefly and then for the next 3 years things were pretty quiet, we had a healthy and vigorous sex life during this time and life was good. Then in 1998 when I was 28, we got the internet and almost right away I began looking at porn again. During this time we were living a pretty stressful schedule. She was in college and working, I was working up to 3 jobs at times and I fell into the habit of using PMO as a stress reliever and a salve for boredom and loneliness. This habit carried on steady until 2004 at which time I read a book about a girl who was killed during the Columbine High School shooting entitled, "She said, Yes." I was home with the flu when I read it, I became so convicted over how'd I'd been living my own life that I dropped to my knees and begged God to forgive me for what I'd been doing. I told him to do whatever was needed to help me escape this habit that I knew was unacceptable to him and a sin.(1978-2004)

That week while I was still at home sick my boss called to tell me they'd sold the company and within 2 months I was out of a job I thought I might do for life. Because of my impulsive behavior while I was PMO'ing I had a tendency to rack up debt; cars, credit cards, a race car, etc. So when the floor fell out from our financial lives we had to sell everything, the house, my truck, my race car, our vast DVD collection(regular ones) and everything we could do without. We bought a smaller house, worked on paying down our debt and by the end of 2007 we were flush and then came september. The stock market went into free fall and jobs dried up. Unfortunately for us I had just purchased a new "used" truck to replace the beater I'd been driving while we paid off the debt and that turned out to be a mistake. That truck got really bad MPG's and we live in a rural area so you drive a ways to everything and suddenly gas was $4+ per gallon. Overnight it seemed the debt started pilling back on, only this time it was just to stay alive. My wife decided to go back to school only to find out halfway through she'd have to transfer to a different school. She applied to a new school closer to us, but they sent us a letter stating that her grades were perfect and she was a perfect candidate but that because she was NOT a minority they didn't have a spot for her(not the first time that's happened). Anyway time rocked on she lost interest in going back to school, but we still had the debt from the first half to pay for. Move ahead a couple more years and my wife blew out her knee and had to have surgery and was out of work for like 3 months on 1/3 pay. Rehab, Doctors visits, Home repairs, Car repairs, CCP-19, etc. Debt continued to mount and here we are, smashed flat under a mountain of debt, but I have faith we are now turning a corner, our metaphorical time in the dessert is coming to and end. We've never missed a payment and even though this hole is so deep I can no longer see any sunlight I have faith. The time for debt is over, the time for PMO is over, promised land here we come.(2004-2021)

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JerryTX

Active Member
Thanks for sharing @Artemus . Lot's of arrows flying your way over the years. I made the decision 101 days ago and found this site which has truly been a blessing and one of the reasons I have made it this far.

Romans 15:13
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Great share @Artemus - sounds like you have had some challenges. Hopefully you can put porn behind you and have one less thing to deal with. From reading your other journal it does seem like you have a good handle on this thing. Sure, you may have slipped, but your mindset is good and you get right back on the horse. That is what it's all about.

Best of luck to you and your wife.
 

Artemus

Active Member
Its nice to be in the place I'm in, spiritually and emotionally, without PMO I'm much more in the room and even tempered. Stress hasn't abaited, big storm came thru our area last night and rain came pouring thru my ceiling into my office and I'm on the first floor... Was on the phone with my dad over the weekend and he's having obvious cognitive issues. For 25 minutes I listened to, "Uhhh..." and stuttering and I had to keep finishing his sentences for the entire conversation. He sounded slow and sluggish to an alarming degree. He won't listen to me, so I called my sister and told her what was going on, he listens to her as they are cut from the same cloth. She texted me and said that she thought the issue was he was tired and needed someone to mow his lawn...(what!?) This solution made little to no sense to me, that and he fired his lawn man and was actively shopping for a new mower because he wanted the exercise. Neither of them can face a problem, they evade and make excuses until they end up on some operating table. And then its still someone else's fault. He called me later to tell me he'd taken some B12 and had a glass of wine and that had fixed him up and that he'd had this issue for 40 years, but I hadn't noticed... Enough on that.

On a positive note, on a few occasions when my stress has gone into the stratosphere my brain or habit pattern kicked in and tried to roll some porn images thru my brain, but honestly they made me nauseous and sad. Its nice not feeling desperate to PMO, but being in the inverse is a little weird too. What I mean is sex is natural, its normal to want it and to appreciate the beauty of the female form, but to now have reason to see it negatively is slightly unsettling, but good. I guess its coming to the reality that the beauty we appreciate, can be abused and misused and that is whats so off putting.

Ecclesiastes 3 English Standard Version (ESV)​


A Time for Everything​

3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:


2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.


There truly is a time, a place, a season and a proper way of doing things. I think this to me says it all. Sex is a gift and the women we love, and thank God for them. Several years ago the band at the church I was going to played this 60's song during morning worship, the Byrds I believe. Well that night during evening worship I was sitting behind a group and this lady began to tell the woman with her that she should've been there in the morning to hear the song. She asked if they had put Christian words to it... ROFL It amazes me how little people who go to church actually know about scripture. I didnt for many years, I just went and listened, but I think one reason I've begun to make progress on PMO after so many years is because I've begun actually studying scripture for myself. But even back then I knew that song was word for word from scripture. If more church goers actually knew and understood scripture they'd live and vote differently, maybe this world wouldn't be so jacked up right now.

Be well my brothers.

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JerryTX

Active Member
Great post and scripture! Reading and studying the bible has definitely helped me as I'm sure you have read in my journal. John 3:30.
Sounds like your in a better place which is good. I have had some struggles this past weekend but did not give into the temptation. This is a battle and my faith has allowed me to persevere and build endurance to win. I'm positive you will as well.

God Bless
 

Artemus

Active Member
I was reading someone else's journal this morning who'd recently slipped and he was looking for pointers on dealing with shame and remorse. While I pondered his position a memory crossed my mind from several years back, back when I was so given over to the pmo, so under water, when I was sure I'd never get free. What came to mind was a statement I'd made to myself and possibly shared with my wife, it was this, "If I had one life to throw away, I'd throw it away doing porn." Back then porn seemed so full of pleasure and beauty, and even though I recognized it hurt people I felt powerless to leave it. My thinking was if I can't escape it, I might as well go headlong into it and stop playing around. Now the memory of an image fills me with sadness and I feel sick. God really has changed my heart and he continues to do so. He can do that for you as well. 1 John 1:9

006
 
I understand what you are saying. I used to think "If I can't quit this fuckin porn, I might as well drown myself in it and enjoy it." I'm depressed because I can't make it work. I just relapsed after 50 days without porn...
 

Artemus

Active Member
I understand what you are saying. I used to think "If I can't quit this fuckin porn, I might as well drown myself in it and enjoy it." I'm depressed because I can't make it work. I just relapsed after 50 days without porn...
I feel you, I know your pain, frustration and shame. PMO is a cruel mistress, she promises 24/7 pleasure and that you will never be rejected and that you are always welcome. What she doesnt say is it comes at a price and that what she is offering isnt real and it never, ever satisfies us.

I myself have fallen so many times I lost count. My first assisted attempt was done thru a website that provided free help and an advisor who'd also been thru that program. Unlike RN it was I believe a 60 days program, no science involved, just the Bible, which is fine, but I think their approach was incomplete. They've since ceased operations.

I signed up and went like 21 days before I fell the first time. Now with their setup we did a different bible study on the website every single day, which was nice, but in hindsight was more focused on how I, "should stop" IF I actually love God. It was an honor system so I reported my fall to my advisor and in turn he told his superior. They had a rule if you fell more than once you had to start over. So I continued on made it to like day 32 or something and crashed again. I reported this and it was sent up the chain and I was prepared to start over. My advisor went to bat for me and pleaded that he thought I would be ok to keep going and they agreed, but I chose to restart. At some point I failed a third time and my advisor's superior told him, "That I must not be saved and to cut me loose". Hearing someone pass judgement on you like that is crushing, but my advisor refused and stuck with me and I voluntarily started over again. This time I went all the way thru, but I didn't feel strong about it, I had been using a filter that prevented me from accessing PMO, but inside I knew I still wanted it.

After completion I got a certificate that I still have, but within a month of getting it I crashed again and I didn't go back to them. After that fall I went on my own, some good days, some bad days. This pattern went on for a few years before I discovered RN. RN is based in science, maybe a loose experimental science, but science none the less. With RN I've had a best run of 128 days, but once again this was with a filter and an image blocker. Both approaches have taught me things, as have the many books I've read, but knowing all the science and feeling guilt towards God for my failings did zero in getting to my problem. Sure I knew on just about exactly which day I was going to be weak because the chemicals were changing in my brain. I also knew that if I was stressed or bored or feeling anxious or lonely, I was in danger of giving in. I had never gotten down to the root of my problem. Why did I keep crashing, even with all my knowledge and experience, Why?

In hindsight I could see clearly that even with the knowledge of Science and Scripture, that at the very center of my problem was, "I wanted to PMO", I enjoyed the rush, the excitement and the thrill of getting away with it. Bottom line, "I WANTED IT."(period) When I came to that honest realization is when things started to change for the better. You see if you want something, eventually you'll give in to it and combine that with a habit of using it to salve my uncomfortable feelings and it became obvious what needed to happen. I need my heart changed, I needed to see PMO for what it really was and not the glossy perfection that is shown. For me as a Christian it meant confessing that I wanted what I was looking at and asking God to change my heart as he promised he would. I then set about learning the truth about the porn industry, their ridiculously young death rate, the high propensity towards death from murder, suicide, overdose, disease, abuse and slavery. I needed to change my POV, its not glamorous, its vile, deadly and tragic. The average westerner lives to 72, the average porn stat lives to 37. Many are coerced or forced to perform and some receive permanent disfiguring injuries. They even have special doctors who help put their parts back together... So if a person has any love for their fellow man, if you have a daughter, a sister a loved one, would you want them to go into this industry, an industry that for all intensive purposes is a meat grinder. My soul can't bare these horrors any longer. I'm aware there are exceptions, but they are NOT the rule. Come on out into the sunlight and leave this garbage in the darkness where it belongs.
 

Artemus

Active Member
Almost forgot some scripture I wanted to share. For those of you who are Christian's I think this will help us get a proper perspective. We do have some responsibilities in working out our salvation, but we can not do it ourselves, He makes the changes, but we must have faith enough that he will do what he says he will do. You see this is what was pivotal for me, in James 1:14 it clearly says, "we are enticed by OUR own desires..." Why did it take so long for that to become clear, I wasn't a victim, I was just being offered what I truly wanted. If we ask in faith he will change that desire, but we must endeavor to walk in the light.

Gotta go Bro's!

James 1:13-15 English Standard Version (ESV)​

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

1 John 1:5-10 English Standard Version (ESV)​


Walking in the Light​

5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 English Standard Version (ESV)​


23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
I was reading someone else's journal this morning who'd recently slipped and he was looking for pointers on dealing with shame and remorse. While I pondered his position a memory crossed my mind from several years back, back when I was so given over to the pmo, so under water, when I was sure I'd never get free. What came to mind was a statement I'd made to myself and possibly shared with my wife, it was this, "If I had one life to throw away, I'd throw it away doing porn." Back then porn seemed so full of pleasure and beauty, and even though I recognized it hurt people I felt powerless to leave it. My thinking was if I can't escape it, I might as well go headlong into it and stop playing around. Now the memory of an image fills me with sadness and I feel sick. God really has changed my heart and he continues to do so. He can do that for you as well. 1 John 1:9

006
I feel like my entire life has already been thrown away to porn. My entire life. Once I started at such a young man, even before I was masturbating, I was looking at porn. I think that is why it is so difficult to get it out of my head. I'm glad scripture works for you. It's not my thing, but I know how much peace and resolve it gives many people. Sounds like you are doing very well and you have been able to change your path.
 
I feel like my entire life has already been thrown away to porn. My entire life. Once I started at such a young man, even before I was masturbating, I was looking at porn. I think that is why it is so difficult to get it out of my head. I'm glad scripture works for you. It's not my thing, but I know how much peace and resolve it gives many people. Sounds like you are doing very well and you have been able to change your path.
I feel you. I know what it's like to invest all your life so far in this shit. I've been a slave to "comfort" and "medication" since I was 7. But things started to get crazy at 14. I became a slave to my porn world and my drive for life started to go down. I'm almost 31. I don't even know if I could ever escape this shit but I will regret more not trying. That's why I have to keep trying.
 

Artemus

Active Member
I feel like my entire life has already been thrown away to porn. My entire life. Once I started at such a young man, even before I was masturbating, I was looking at porn. I think that is why it is so difficult to get it out of my head. I'm glad scripture works for you. It's not my thing, but I know how much peace and resolve it gives many people. Sounds like you are doing very well and you have been able to change your path.
I know what you mean, I started at age 7 or 8 when a neighborhood friend told me about some magazines his father had. I remember the day and where I was standing, he said, "There are people doing normal things, only without clothes". I busted out laughing and told him he must be putting me on. He replied that he wasn't and that he could show me pictures of a lady playing the piano without clothes. so i dared him to show me... We went downstairs in the basement of his house and to a large closet. Inside this closet was what equated to a shrine to porn. His father had 4 stacks of magazines, each about 2 feet high and on the walls he had taken centerfolds from magazines and had them professionally mounted on wooden plaques. This wasn't some dirty backroom or garage it was painstakingly maintained and put together, so it didn't feel seedy or dirty to me. We stayed in their more than an hour, it was unbelievable to me then what I was seeing. I remember when I walked out of the room I felt almost drunk, some what confused feeling, like my mouth was hanging open and dry, I assume this was from extended dopamine in the brain. Just dumbstruck.

After that, I believe it was spiritually related, but whenever I'd go in someones home, if they had porn stashed somewhere, it would call to me. I don't mean it literally spoke, but I instinctively could go almost right to it. Not like I was looking for something else and found it, I'd just know where it was. I went to the grocery store with my mom one time, we pulled into a spot and when I opened my door to get out, there laying on the ground was a homemade porn photo of somebody's girl. I snatched it up and hide it under my seat. The MO part of PMO didn't begin for me until age 12, around the time we got cable TV. Shortly there after I modified my box in my room, had all the channels and wanked myself silly every night.

I know about feeling we've wasted our lives on something so terrible and we did waste a lot of time and energy and money in the pursuit of our own pleasure. We all have pasts, this we can not change, but that past affords us a great deal of wisdom too. It reminds me of the old maxim, "those who've never failed, have never tried." Did we choose wrong? Yes, but speaking for myself, "I am NOT done." Something I did once that was very therapeutic was I sat down and looked back over my life. I looked back to every moment I considered a mistake and I wrote it down on some paper. Under each mistake I also wrote what action I should have taken. I continued this right up to the present. Once I was done and satisfied with my conclusions and updates, I took it outside and burned it. Up in smoke, gone, nothing but today to deal with and tomorrow to look forward to. Use you wisdom, accept your short comings, make the needed adjustments and push on. Don't be defined by your past, you define your future.

007
 

guitar1968

Active Member
I know what you mean, I started at age 7 or 8 when a neighborhood friend told me about some magazines his father had. I remember the day and where I was standing, he said, "There are people doing normal things, only without clothes". I busted out laughing and told him he must be putting me on. He replied that he wasn't and that he could show me pictures of a lady playing the piano without clothes. so i dared him to show me... We went downstairs in the basement of his house and to a large closet. Inside this closet was what equated to a shrine to porn. His father had 4 stacks of magazines, each about 2 feet high and on the walls he had taken centerfolds from magazines and had them professionally mounted on wooden plaques. This wasn't some dirty backroom or garage it was painstakingly maintained and put together, so it didn't feel seedy or dirty to me. We stayed in their more than an hour, it was unbelievable to me then what I was seeing. I remember when I walked out of the room I felt almost drunk, some what confused feeling, like my mouth was hanging open and dry, I assume this was from extended dopamine in the brain. Just dumbstruck.

After that, I believe it was spiritually related, but whenever I'd go in someones home, if they had porn stashed somewhere, it would call to me. I don't mean it literally spoke, but I instinctively could go almost right to it. Not like I was looking for something else and found it, I'd just know where it was. I went to the grocery store with my mom one time, we pulled into a spot and when I opened my door to get out, there laying on the ground was a homemade porn photo of somebody's girl. I snatched it up and hide it under my seat. The MO part of PMO didn't begin for me until age 12, around the time we got cable TV. Shortly there after I modified my box in my room, had all the channels and wanked myself silly every night.

I know about feeling we've wasted our lives on something so terrible and we did waste a lot of time and energy and money in the pursuit of our own pleasure. We all have pasts, this we can not change, but that past affords us a great deal of wisdom too. It reminds me of the old maxim, "those who've never failed, have never tried." Did we choose wrong? Yes, but speaking for myself, "I am NOT done." Something I did once that was very therapeutic was I sat down and looked back over my life. I looked back to every moment I considered a mistake and I wrote it down on some paper. Under each mistake I also wrote what action I should have taken. I continued this right up to the present. Once I was done and satisfied with my conclusions and updates, I took it outside and burned it. Up in smoke, gone, nothing but today to deal with and tomorrow to look forward to. Use you wisdom, accept your short comings, make the needed adjustments and push on. Don't be defined by your past, you define your future.

007
Great words of wisdom and very well put. Yes, we can't change the past. No denying that. We can only move forward and we are not done yet! I will certainly keep that in mind. Thanks!
 

Artemus

Active Member
Its hotter than Hades here in the south, not doing much outside till closer to dark. Me and my wife ran errands this morning, but aside from that things are quiet. I know coming up is a special zone biochemically, 10-14 days so I'm aware. She's taking a knap and I'm prepping for the market open on Monday. I feel good, no lingering twinges of urge, just clicking off days. 2 Days ago I had an urge, in the moment I started to do a search, my fingers were hovering above the keys and I just stopped for a moment. As I sat there I thought to myself, "what are you doing? Why do this?" and I as I sat there reviewing myself, how I felt and my motivation I concluded, "This isn't what I want, I don't have to do this anymore." I closed my browser search, que'd up my work site and went back to work. In the moment I just sat their analyzing my feelings, letting them wash over me, but not engaging with them. I realized in that moment it wasn't like it use to be, back when I was a courier and the urges would overwhelm me, it was more like a buzzing gnat. PMO has no power over me except what I chose to give it and I chose not to. The thoughts come, I recognize them for what they are and I dispose of them quickly so they don't take root. I'm not a victim anymore. The urge slowly fell away and I went back to work. In times past that was a hard thing for me was recognizing the early steps, because those first steps, the first thoughts are usually tame by todays standards, but they form links in a chain of thoughts. You can't allow the first link to be built, because once you've begun forming the chain its near impossible, at least for me, to turn back or break it. For me it was easier to just give in, binge and temporarily satisfy the urge long enough to regain my footing and start fresh. Kinda like getting all ready for sex with a partner, you make out, get undressed, begin working towards the grand moment and then trying to convince yourself to halt... Ain't gonna happen in my experience, after a certain point its game on and far too late to abort the mission. This is why its best to never take the first step, no matter how seemingly innocent on its face. Hope that wasn't too triggery for anyone, Be well.

009
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
It's so important to know our patterns, our ritual, how we 'get there'- even if it begins with p-subs, or a bad mood. We can hack into our habit when we can recognize the series of causal chains, and begin to break them, interupt them, and change it up.

Good job, Artemus on walking away from that 'almost search'.
 

Artemus

Active Member
Today is one of those days where my stress level is elevated and in the past I would've retreated to PMO. I do confess I felt the initial habitual kick, but I just let it lay there, I didn't engage it, I didn't ponder the possibilities, I just was like, "Whatever, I'm not interested." Its one of those days where me and my wife just aren't clicking, seems no matter what I say its inflammatory. Made the mistake of using some hyperbole earlier about our shopping yesterday and she just ran with it. We've been married since 95', in that time even when its, "That Time" she's always been pretty even, maybe weepy sometimes, but the last few months, just very flammable, but I don't dare mention whats causing it to her... Oh no, that would be DEFCON 1. So like a good and experienced hubby I take it in stride, make the occasional peace offering and suggest a nap for her. Its really for me, but we both get benefits from it. Today is my 10th day and tomorrow begins a new week.

Be well my Bro's

010
 

Artemus

Active Member
Its Monday, day 11 and if I'm honest, as expected, I'm feeling the twinge, the desire to get off. Instead of obsessing about it or getting worked up I'm just letting the feeling run its course and focusing on my work and writing this post. It started before I got up this morning, I was still somewhere between dreaming and awake, that place where you know its a dream but you can still influence its direction. Mine was a blending of some memories of actual events from around the time we were dating. Good times. Well suddenly I realized that the memory was morphing from reality to something erotic with alternate characters from the time. I was just at the moment of letting myself sink into the cauldron of brewing sensual feelings when it occurred to me what was happening. My eyes popped open and I halted the progression and got out of bed.

That was kinda amazing, tempting, but still amazing. In times gone by I would've relished the opportunity to dive into the sensual hot tub my mind had bubbling, but not today. I've been praying a lot about it, asking God to help me realize when those moments are happening before its too late and I believe that's exactly what happened this morning. I give Him all the praise, honor and glory for it, not me. As I'm typing the twinges I was feeling when I started this post are fading, the sun is rising in the morning sky and the market will open in 10 minutes, time to go to work.

Have a blessed day, Men.

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