I'm going to get after it

This isn't really the beginning of my recovery journey. I'm 30 years old and my battle against porn began around the age of 18. My life was really jacked up back then and it was clear to see that porn causes a variety of negative issues on-top of all the other addictions I had going on. Today, I'm free from all other bad habits except porn and it is high time I fully wage war against this addiction.

The first time I saw porn was probably my first memory as a kid. My dad always had some kind of materials laying around or hidden away. Penthouse, Playboy, nude playing cards. It always excited me...but I never knew why. I figured it out at age 13 when I discovered masturbation. It became an obsession, like it does for most guys at that age. Then it went from soft materials to hardcore online porn. I'd spend a couple hours every night searching for that perfect high online, then committing the act and feeling absolutely wretched inside. Shame, guilt, and feelings of worthlessness flooded me. Fast forward to my first relationship and it was truly sad. I had horrible PIED and did not know why. This was before there was a lot of awareness on the subject. There was something wrong with me--I was defective. This adding on top of the ever increasing feeling of shame until I had my first panic attack. That really changed things.

Fast forward to today, I am free from all other vices except pornography and masturbation. Although I've had some good successes (a few month streaks here and there), I've never truly overcame it. It is my longest and strongest addiction and I've tried just about everything except full accountability and writing about it. Maybe that's my key?

The biggest reasons I want to quit...

I'm going to be a father in about a month and I'll be damned if my son is exposed to these kinds of materials at a young age.

I still have slight anxiety, and deep down I know that pornography is the cause.

Porn is not compatible with my faith. Objectifying women, seeking self-pleasure, being unfaithful in a way to my wife, lying.

Honestly though, I want victory. I want to see myself FREE from anxiety and this pull that keeps getting WORSE. I know it's goin to be tough, grueling and relentless at times. But I know that If I can get this under control there is light at the end of the tunnel and good will come of it.

I'm gonna get after it.
 
Day 2 over--on to day 3

Somehow my body knows that I'm serious this time. I say that because I can feel the pull more than normal, like my mind is giving me a fit. I also started listening to the Universal Man series on quitting porn and he suggests a hard reset, which Im still debating If I should do. Porn and masturbation are one thing, but to cut out all sexual activity as well seems near impossible.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Reading your story, PIK, and rooting for you.

A total reset (hard mode) is only necessary if you have extreme PIED, and can’t have sex with the wife.

My approach, maybe as part of my faith, is to ‘rewire’ With the wife whenever we make love: at least it’s real sex with a real woman, namely the one we’re to bond with anyway. Do what feels right for your circumstances on this one.

I like how you recognize between your body pulling and your mind giving a fit. That is your lower brain screaming for its dopamine hit. But thankfully you can always veto the “addictive voice” with your more rational self.

Welcome to the forum and good luck in your journey.
 
Phineas 808---Thanks for your input. I haven't had PIED for years (only back when I was constantly using hardcore porn all the time with little to no real interaction). So maybe I will continue having sex with the wife.

My only predicament is I always revert to using porn if "shes not in the mood" etc. Im definitely going to have to do some serious self-denial here...and I'm not used to that. Especially when the urge is strong.
 
Day 3 complete, on to day 4.

The urges have not been very strong. Yesterday was my day off and I made myself a plan to stay busy all day with various activities. Like most people boredom is a huge pitfall for me. This means I need to plan EVERY day that I have off. Make sure my wife is present or I'm not fully alone.

From my past observations I can expect the next few days to be difficult. My brain is very tricky and I've seen in the past with my half-hearted attempts that I fall either in boredom, frustration, anger, or exhaustion. Sometimes these things are unavoidable. My biggest resolve right now is quitting this filth so I need to remind myself that no circumstance is worth throwing away sobriety from porn.

Benefits from actively and repentantly seeking recovery have been a stronger sense of God. I do not have that nagging conviction in the back of my mind when I pray and it feels good.

It's funny, when I was drinking booze years ago my mind was convinced that I could never quit...and here I am nearly 5 years later. When I was SO addicted to nicotine my mind tried to tell me I'd never be free...and here I am. Porn is the same. My mind is trying to tell me I cannot be free, that this is to powerful...but it's not. I can be free. If everyone here is actively doing it--getting 30, 60, 90, 100, 200 days...then I can to! I just need to resolve that this is like all the other addictions...I'm going to fail. I don't want to fail, I dont want to have relapses, but it's going to happen. I just need to keep moving ahead in recovery.
 
Today is day 5 and I'm feeling well. My body is much more calm and somehow I feel as if I'm sleeping better. Maybe because Im not guilt and shame ridden? I still have the resolve inside of myself to get this worthless habit out of my life. I'm starting to feel the slight nudges from my body to think about it.... But I've done my best to not give myself a chance to dwell on it. My worst times of failure are directly after work and in the evenings/nighttime when I'm alone. I've been able to make a plan the past few days and it's helped tremendously. These times and places are triggers for me.

I started reading easypeasymethod and I'm about half way through. I cant give my full opinion quit yet, as I'm not done, but thusfar it's made some great points. This addiction gives me absolutely nothing--and takes a tremendous amount. I've also been brainwashed into thinking that I "need" this or that I will suffer without it. I have a good feeling about the book.
 
Quick question for anyone reading, has quitting porn helped with your anxiety? Was it a cause of your anxiety?

For whatever reason these past few days have not been as difficult as I imagined.

I've been here before. I've tried quitting porn at various times for over many years ( shoot--I even remember feeling bad about using the VERY first time at age 13!!!)....and remember probably 6-7 years ago getting 3 months of sobriety. But these past few years of watching porn have really worn on me. I gave up. I saw myself and my close friends fail so many times--what a downer. The past year I've had absolutely no brakes on my porn use. I used at least once a day.

I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for anxiety...because without that returning in my life then I wouldn't be attempting to quit porn again. My gut tells me this horrible worthless habit is the cause of anxiety returning to my life, and that theory was kinda reaffirmed yesterday. I dont know if its more testosterone in me, but yesterday I felt...super confident, motivated, solid, and not anxious whatsoever. Im thankful for that! I'm thankful that the past week hasn't been a nightmare, that it's been somewhat "easy" for me.

But I know how it goes. This is a tricky beast and it will get me to relapse far before I ever open up that computer screen. Hard times might not be here now, but they could appear at any moment. I need to strengthen my resolve. I need to stay connected here.

I did have a couple times where my mind wanted to fantasize and just think about using, but I didn't give myself a chance. That really works for me. Having a thought but not pondering it or chewing on it--simply allow it to leave.

Today is day 6 I'm gonna get after it.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Quitting definitely helped with anxiety for me, as it meant less secrets, less guilt and shame.

Good job in dismissing thoughts/urges.
 
Day 7 - a little milestone

I am starting to feel some urges and my mind wants to dwell on lustful thoughts. Yesterday was successful--I got a 3 mile run in, mowed grass, and got stuff done around the house. I also had a martial arts class last evening and am noticing that I'm more motivated and aggressive, which is a big help to me, since I'm usually more timid. I hope this surge of confidence lasts--because if this is what staying away from porn gives me its gonna be a HUGE motivator to not go back.
 
Back to square one - it's now day 1

I isolated last night and the temptation came on me like a flood. My brain justifies it so easily when its at night, almost as if I cannot reason with myself--i just obey the urge. I slept like crap after I PMO'd...which is yet another reason to stay away from it. Im not going to allow guilt rid me of picking myself up and moving on.

Benefits from the past 7 days were surprisingly excellent. I noticed in just a few days my voice got a little deeper, I was much more comfortable in social situations and I was much less timid in my Jiu Jitsu class. This is encouraging.
 
I've been binging the past couple days (this weekend). I made it all day yesterday, so today's day 2.

It's crazy how this stuff pulls. The battle is a lot more intense since I am actively trying to quit. More shame, guilt, etc.

I'm going to keep persisting.
 
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