Hi everyone! I've decided to start a thread on here and keep it updated, in the interest of overcoming my PMO addiction through accountability.
I'm 25, and I've been struggling with PMO for at least 12 years. The whole time, I've been vaguely trying to stop, but I started taking it much more seriously and tracking my progress early last year. Since then, I've seen some success and my P use has seriously decreased; I've had 3 streaks of more than a month P-free, including one 87-day run. Recently, I realized that I need to completely quit PMO for at least 90 days, not just P. It's clear that PMO is negatively impacting my mental health, and a full reboot is necessary. Quitting MO has been really challenging for me; I recently achieved my longest run of no MO at just a week.
My main motivation for this journey is my mental health, which I'll get into more later, but there are more reasons. I am happily married and have been for almost a year now. As long as I'm off of PMO for at least a day or so, I'm able to have sex, but of course it gets better and easier the longer I abstain. While I haven't told my wife that I still struggle with porn, I have spoken with her about taking a break from MO and she thinks it's a good idea and is happy to support me. Another motivator for me is religion--I am a Modern Orthodox Jew, meaning that I am an observant Jew in many ways (keeping Shabbat and Kosher, etc.) while being engaged with the modern world. Jewish law is pretty firmly against PMO. I'm on a Jewish site for PMO addicts as well, but I like the scientific perspective as well and this site is far more active, so I'm going to use this thread also. I hope to share some insights from Jewish tradition that can be of use to people of all backgrounds. Feel free to ask me questions in here if you're curious.
Mental health has been a struggle for me since my teenage years. My official diagnoses are ADHD (inattentive type) and Bipolar II, though I don't know for sure if that's totally accurate. In any case, I struggle with symptoms including irritability, depression, anxiety, and inability to focus on a regular basis. I'm currently transitioning off of meds for the first time in 8 years as they aren't really helping--I see my mood improve when my I improve my habits (exercise, meditation, being productive at work, no PMO). I have a great therapist who supports my journey 100% and is very aware/educated on the issues with PMO. I suspect that many of my symptoms are triggered by PMO--I feel down, I PMO, then I feel down more often as my brain craves the PMO.
Finally, one of the big things about me is my powerful drive for self-improvement, and a strong image of the man I want to be. Needless to say, PMO is not part of that picture. I strive to be a motivated, productive member of society; a pillar of my Jewish community with a strong involvement in religious life; a good father and husband; and a well-balanced, calm person. My journey has already helped me move in this direction. I meditate almost daily now and have gotten decent at it, I attend synagogue more often, I've spent more time on my hobbies, I'm more productive at work, and I'm more attentive to and caring for my wife. Still, I know I have a ways to go.
I've had some strategies that are helping. This journey is also part of using my phone/computer less overall, so I've put my phone in grayscale, blocked most apps for 20 hours out of every day, and am keeping my phone out of my bedroom. I also quit all social media recently. I'm trying to read or listen to something about recovery from PMO addiction every day to keep me honed in on this goal. I will be updating this thread regularly and try to be as open and honest as I can. Today is day 1 porn free and day 0 MO free. Here we go...