Amor Fati (Recovery Journal)

Jswizzle

Active Member
Hello,

Glad to be here. I have tried to stop using porn multiple times throughout my life. I'm currently 38 years old, been married for 17 years, and have a four-year-old daughter. I'm an alcoholic in recovery for nearly 10 years. I'm also an adult child of an alcoholic and came from a dysfunctional family. Familiar with the 12 steps and have done a lot of emotional work to recover from other vices.

I'm currently on day three of no porn and no PMO.

I would like to quit porn for good as it has damaged my life in multiple ways. I essentially have a sexless marriage with my wife due to PIED. I cannot even get an erection when using porn anymore.

I have used porn nearly daily for most of my adult life, seldomly ever going longer than 3-4 days without it. My longest streak is 2 months. I'm truly powerless over my pornography addiction and have been denial for a long time.

My wife has known I have struggled with PMO for a long time, but has no idea of the extent, breadth, or depth of my use. Despite knowing that trust is foundational in our marriage, I fear telling her the complete truth as I know it would destroy her.

I'm tired of living a LIE. I am a hypocrite and cunning master of deception of the worst kind. As a professional, I have helped people better their lives preaching the same shit I know I need to be doing. I wear a bullshit mask of moral fortitude like I really have my shit together.
This is not self defamation. IT IS A FUCKING FACT! I can't do this anymore. No more denial.
 

BrahmaC

New Member
I sympathize with you a lot. And I know you can overcome this for yourself and your family.

What I have found for myself - don’t know if it would be for anyone else - is that I have used porn to drown painful feelings. I don’t mean necessarily profound feelings of sadness or despair; even a little headache or frustration or stress. If I can temporarily get rid of those kinds of feelings through porn use, I sometimes go for it. It is a lot like scratching at your athlete’s foot. You know it isn’t making things better, and almost certainly making things worse. But there is a kind of fleeting relief you feel from scratching at it. In the end, it isn’t worth it. The difference is that porn use and associated behaviors can be extremely damaging to our personal lives and well being, and can also negatively impact others.

Anyway, if I’m correct that porn is often used to dull or numb discomfort and pain, then perhaps the answer is to mindfully endure such pain and discomfort when it comes up, instead of acting out of it. The discomfort will not last forever, and we can find healthy ways of coping (exercise, hobbies, etc…). the key is to recognize that the discomfort is there, and to know precisely the moment we are getting close to slipping, and to make an effort to bring the mind back to its wholesome intention to abstain. The act of abstention from pornography or anything else, should become generally easier over time. We are training in patience and endurance, and get stronger over time.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. It is good that you recognize the dissonance in your life and that you are moved to make things better. Even if you have not always followed the good advice you give to others, at least you do give them good advice. That is better than leading people astray by giving them bad guidance!

sorry for the long rambling post. I hope you find healing and overcome this once and for all. I am 100% convinced that you CAN do so, though I know it is easier said than done.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Brah
I sympathize with you a lot. And I know you can overcome this for yourself and your family.

What I have found for myself - don’t know if it would be for anyone else - is that I have used porn to drown painful feelings. I don’t mean necessarily profound feelings of sadness or despair; even a little headache or frustration or stress. If I can temporarily get rid of those kinds of feelings through porn use, I sometimes go for it. It is a lot like scratching at your athlete’s foot. You know it isn’t making things better, and almost certainly making things worse. But there is a kind of fleeting relief you feel from scratching at it. In the end, it isn’t worth it. The difference is that porn use and associated behaviors can be extremely damaging to our personal lives and well being, and can also negatively impact others.

Anyway, if I’m correct that porn is often used to dull or numb discomfort and pain, then perhaps the answer is to mindfully endure such pain and discomfort when it comes up, instead of acting out of it. The discomfort will not last forever, and we can find healthy ways of coping (exercise, hobbies, etc…). the key is to recognize that the discomfort is there, and to know precisely the moment we are getting close to slipping, and to make an effort to bring the mind back to its wholesome intention to abstain. The act of abstention from pornography or anything else, should become generally easier over time. We are training in patience and endurance, and get stronger over time.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. It is good that you recognize the dissonance in your life and that you are moved to make things better. Even if you have not always followed the good advice you give to others, at least you do give them good advice. That is better than leading people astray by giving them bad guidance!

sorry for the long rambling post. I hope you find healing and overcome this once and for all. I am 100% convinced that you CAN do so, though I know it is easier said than done.
BrahmaC,

Thank you for the kind words. I see you're new to the forum as well. Plan on following you as well. Thanks for your support.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021
Day 4 no porn. 2nd day posting in the forum.
Noticed some patterns in my porn use through self-reflection.
I tend to use late at night or early in the morning.
Seems like I use porn as a “reward” after doing something stressful. A form of stress relief.
Mainly use my cell phone as a viewing device. However, I have used my wife’s cell phone when I have put filters on my phone in the past. Often taking her cell phone while she is asleep and viewing incognito.
Today has been a relatively good day. I was visually triggered a few times, but was able to distract myself. One trigger was a tic Tok ad that popped up after an online chess game. Another trigger was a YouTube ad.
I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been provided to be a father. Spent much of the day with my 4yo while her mother was at work. Went to a movie together.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Day 5 no porn.
Haven't had any temptations today as I have been at work from 11am to 8pm.

Feeling emotionally drained and tired from work. I have got filters on my Android phone to act as a buffer from acting out. Going to commit to not act out (view porn) on my wife's cell phone as she is currently sleeping.

I'm grateful for my wife and daughter, my house, job, the opportunity to provide for myself, transportation, and my dogs.

Going to do some meditation tonight, listen to a podcast and go to bed. I will also work on my story thus far to post at a different time.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Friday, December 24th, 2021
Day 6 no porn.

Christmas is hard for me emotionally. Depressing. Lonely. Been so for a long time. My wife has told me I sabotage holidays for years. Trying to get out of this funk since I woke up this morning. I thought I would journal about it. Not really tempted to look at porn or act out.

My wife is at work and I'm watching my daughter at home. So the thing is, my wife is gone from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Trying not to dwell in self-loathing or pity. Both my family and my spouses have been decimated by addiction/disfunction and therefore we keep our distance for our own sobriety and sanity.

Potentially another thing that contributes to my low mood is I'm trying to cease all social media and news and I am going through a dopamine detox from that. In my opinion, news and social media are cancerous to our society and do just as much harm to interpersonal relationships than porn.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I'm grateful for Christmas presents under the tree, my wife and I both have jobs to support our family, I'm thankful for recovery in other aspects of my life (alcoholism and emotional sobriety from being raised in a dysfunctional family).

I'm thankful for this country in which I live that grants me much freedom. I'm grateful for struggling and pain that I've been through in the past that has allowed me to show compassion toward others.

Merry Christmas. Wish you all well
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Saturday, December 25th, 2021
Day 7 No porn

Today has been a good day overall as I have enjoyed the spirit of the Christmas season. I'm grateful to be able to enjoy my daughter's face as she opened up her Christmas presents. I'm grateful for my wife's eyes tearing up with joy from the gifts she had gotten from me.

As I have taken some time to self reflect I am beginning to understand why Christmas comes with mixed emotions for me. I feel like Christmas brings about a time of grieving for me as I miss connections with my family who have moved on in their lives. I think my inner child yearns for the luster and wonderment that Christmas morning used to bring. Not necessarily the gifts, but the anticipation of the unknown and the excitement of knowing there would be others coming by to visit and connect.

I am now in a stage of life where my father has passed away, my mother is incapable of traveling to see my family and I, and my grandparents are too elderly and feeble to leave the assistive environment of my aunt's house who lives 7 hours away.

I feel one of the biggest reasons I have used porn in the past is due to loneliness. I have carried with me throughout my life feelings of not being enough, inadequate, or not worthwhile. Part of this potentially stemmed from being adopted as an infant in the very beginning of my life. However, I think many of the feelings of being less than stemmed from going up in financial hardship. I remember my parents fighting consistently in my toddler years and feeling helpless. I also developed myopia in my left eye when I was a toddler and needed to wear specialized glasses and eye patches which made me a good target for scrutiny from my peers. I was held back a grade in kindergarten due to severe symptoms of ADHD, which I am now convinced was a form of complex trauma.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Read this from one of my daily readers and wanted to share.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Growth

Just as when we were children and grew out of favorite toys and clothes, we sometimes grow out of things as adults—people, jobs, homes. This can be confusing. We may wonder why someone or something that was so special and important to us last year doesn’t fit the same way in our life today. We may wonder why our feelings have changed.

When we were children, we may have tried to fit into an outgrown article of clothing. Now, as adults, we may go through a time of trying to force-fit attitudes that we have outgrown. We may need to do this to give ourselves time to realize the truth. What worked last year, what was so important and special to us in times past, doesn’t work anymore because we’ve changed. We’ve grown.

We can accept this as a valid and important part of recovery. We can let ourselves go through experimentation and grief as we struggle to make something fit, trying to figure out if indeed it no longer fits, and why. We can explore our feelings and thoughts around what has happened.

Then, we can put last year’s toys away and make room for the new.

Today, I will let last year’s toys be what they were: last year’s toys. I will remember them with fondness for the part they played in my life. Then, I will put them away and make room for the new.

Quoted from the app Language of Letting Go.

Find recovery resources at Hazelden.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Sunday, December 26th, 2021
Day 8 no porn

Today has gone well so far. I had a pretty intense craving mid afternoon to view porn as I had a random image pop into my mind. However, I was able to distract myself and went and done some chores around the house.

I had some pretty intense emotions earlier as my wife and I went over to my neighbors house as she is moving Tuesday. I'm grieving pretty hard for my 4 yo daughter as her friend is my neighbors daughter. My daughter is an only child and her friend that is leaving has been a part of her life for two years. They have become close as sisters.

Also, my sister called to see if my wife and I would look after our nephew who's 8yo for a week. I held a boundary and addressed we were uncomfortable with doing so. My sister has expressed in the past that my nephew is hypersexual for his age and has potentially been molested. My sister seemed understanding. However, as the phone call progressed I became very overwhelmed with shame as we talked about our childhood growing up. I ended up sobbing on the phone with her apologizing for not being a better brother. The phone call ended awkwardly as I don't think she knew how to respond.

Through doing much of my own therapy work, I have realized roles I fulfilled in my dysfunctional family (hero, mascot). My sister, however, took on the roles (scapegoat, lost child). It was I was the tree who absorbed all the sunlight from my parents through overachieving, control, perfectionism. My sister was always in my shadow, only getting glimpses of attention through negative behaviors.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On a more positive note, I have noticed more sensitivity returning in my dick. I have semi erections upon waking, which is a hopeful indicator I'm doing the right thing.
 

Attachments

  • 1f2921295aac9b3e50559a9978ecb0d4.jpg
    1f2921295aac9b3e50559a9978ecb0d4.jpg
    83.7 KB · Views: 8

Jswizzle

Active Member
December 29th, 2021
Day 9 no porn

Going to come clean as I feel brutal honesty is key for any program, 12-step or otherwise. Yesterday and today I masturbated due to increased sensitivity in my penis. However, it wasn't with pornography. No visual stimulation, auditory stimulation, or recalled memories of pornography I've seen in the past. It was only once on both days.

With this being said, the addict in me is justifying the behavior. " It's only masturbation. It's natural. Not like you used porn. It's all good." However, my higher self (true self) is recognizing this and I am aware this is a warning/ red flag behavior which could lead to relapse of PMO.

Additionally, I know this violates a true porn reboot. It does. No justification, minimization, or denial on this one.

The more research I do, I learn about the most efficient way to restore the neurological dopamine threshold in my brain to respond to normal non-pornographic sexual intimacy. Masturbation only impedes that efficacy that I'm looking for in a true reboot.

Therefore, I feel it's time to clarify my goals.

1.) Starting today, I will refrain from masturbatory behaviors and evaluate nightly.

2.) I pledge rigorous honestly with reporting engaging in masturbatory behaviors as I know it's a trigger in the desire to view porn.


Today has been another emotionally charged day as my daughter's friend departed to go live in another state with her dad. I grieve for my daughter. It's difficult for me to see my wife and daughter cry due to the pain of losing a friend and adopted (not really adopted, but my wife has been a mother-like figure) daughter.

I want to be strong for my family and dependable to fulfill their emotional needs right now. Despite the emotional toll it takes on me, I pledge to be there for them. Not engage in pornography to numb my own feelings of grief.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I pray I am continue:
To grow in understanding and effectiveness;
To take daily spot-check inventories of myself;
To correct mistakes when I make them;
To take responsibility for my actions;
To be ever aware of my negative
and self-defeating attitudes
and behaviors;
To keep my willfulness in check;
To always remember I need Your help;
To keep love and tolerance of others as my code;
And to continue in daily prayer how
I can best serve You,
my Higher Power.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
December 28th, 2021
Day 10 no porn

No temptation today. Went back to work and there 11am to 8 pm. Feeling fulfilled and accomplished.

Read this quote today which resonates with me.

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -Albert Einstein

What this means for me is that pornography is a symptom of a way of being, therefore for myself to change I need to change my way of being.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Wednesday, December 29th, 2021
Day 11- no porn

No temptation today. Went back to work and there 11am to 8 pm.

Physically tired. I came home from work and my daughter (4yo) was sobbing in my office and my wife was tearful and crying in the hallway. I think my daughter is grieving her friend moving out of state. However, my daughter told me she's crying because the "light burned out in my room." Feeling sad for my daughter. Shitty to watch my kid hurt.


Found this video, which motivates me to stay the course


I'm grateful for my family and the blessings within my life such as my job, my health, my home, and my dogs.

I'm grateful for this community and the vulnerability that is shared that gives me strength and Hope.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Thursday, December 30th, 2021
Day 12 no porn

Today has been a really good day. My wife worked today and was gone most of the day. I spent the day with my daughter. Went to the mall and had a good time. After the mall, I took my daughter over to one of her friends houses for a birthday party. That went well despite driving home in some snowfall afterwards in which my wife had gotten home around the same time.

I haven't had any temptation today to view pornography and I'm grateful for that.

I'm going to end the night with some reading, maybe listen to a podcast, and do some meditation.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Saturday, January 1st, 2022
Day 14- no porn
Happy New Year

Last night it was intending on finishing my post on RN, but was extremely tired, so I just posted I hadn't used pornography at all. I had worked and come home to a wife who wasn't feeling well. We went to the urgent Care and it was closed due to New Year's Eve. I myself have not been feeling the greatest as well. Pretty low on energy with the slight headache, runny nose, and sore throat.

Today has been a weird day to start the new year. I took my wife to urgent care this morning at a different location which was open, she was tested for covid-19 and it came back positive. I was not tested but I'm pretty sure I most likely have it. I have spent much of today allowing my wife to rest and I play games with my four-year-old daughter.

Crazy thing is both my wife and I have been vaccinated. I hear makes things about this virus in the media and I don't know what to trust. I just hope that we both get better and symptoms subside rather than get worse.

Since Thanksgiving I have been trying to make an effort to do different goals such as no more vaping or smoking, lose weight through intermittent fasting, and stay on top of taking supplements and vitamins. I have been vape free now for approximately a month and a half. However, I still use oral nicotine pouches that contain nicotine salt. I want to get off the nicotine completely.

I've lost 16 and 1/2 lb since Thanksgiving. Today marks 14 days since abstaining from pornography.

I have noticed lately that my sexual desire has increased and I have found myself fantasizing usually when I'm tired. However I have had enough will to not act out by viewing pornography and will just go to bed.

Tonight I plan on doing some reading, meditation, and maybe some painting before I go to bed.

I would like to start exercising again. However, I don't necessarily believe in New years resolutions. Personally the gym scene really turns me off this time of year to going out and starting a new exercise regimen. Maybe I'll start doing stuff at home with some of the equipment I have here. I haven't said that with much commitment because I feel like shit. Also I'm trying to juggle other goals.
 

Jswizzle

Active Member
Monday, January 3rd, 2021
Day 16 no porn

Today has been an off day overall. I have mainly worked from home today as I have been exposed to covid-19 via a family member who was tested on New Year's Day. I have been slightly sick for the last 3 or 4 days with an itchy throat, sinus drainage, and moderate fatigue.

I slipped on my goal to not engage in masturbation yesterday. I went to take a nap while my daughter and wife were downstairs playing and ended up slipping.

Although I have not engaged in viewing pornography for 16 days I have found it difficult not to fantasize sexual acts. Usually I have been good to catch myself but yesterday I struggled when I laid down to take a nap. The fantasies are not prior pornographic scenes I have witnessed, but are more personalized around attractive females I have interacted with in my everyday life. I want to hold myself accountable and I am posting this in an effort to do so.

I am internally conflicted as I feel guilty for fantasizing and masturbating about other women outside of my marriage. However, realistically I know I am a human being that is not perfect and masturbation is viewed somewhat psychologically healthy. I want to recommit to not engage in masturbation as I know it can be a slippery slope and will ultimately impede my efforts to abstain from pornography use long-term.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to share some inventory work I have been doing from a book I purchased for pornography addiction.

Below I have detailed my first experiences with pornography.

As I vaguely remember I was probably 7 or 8 years old when I found a pornographic magazine in my mother and father's dresser drawer. Although I did not masturbate to it I found it intriguing and it began to spur sexual curiosity.

I recall two incidents in my early teens with porn. (1) I was 12 or 13 and my mother brought home a porno mag from cleaning hotel rooms at the quality inn she worked at. She kept it for my dad in the dresser drawer in her bedroom. I remember sneaking in there to look at it. At the time it was very exciting. I remember getting aroused and feeling a physiological response of my heart beating faster and a surge of adrenaline prior to PMO.
Incident two was staying the night at a friends home and he had Cinemax. I remember waiting for him to fall asleep and then I watched softcore porn which led to PMO. Physiologically, it gave me the same feeling as I described before.

When I was around 15, I remember going over to my friend B's house and he had a pornographic magazine he would let me look at. At sleepovers I would often wait until my friends would fall asleep and I would take magazine to stimulate myself to.

As I got a little older into my teens, I remember my friend J having a pornographic magazine he allowed me to look at one day. I remember over the course of a summer I would sneak into his house when nobody was home and take the magazine only to later return it after using it to PMO still while nobody was home.

When I was approximately 17 years old some older neighbors asked that I care for their dogs while they were out of town. I remember snooping around in their house looking for pornography and discovered videos that they had. Several times when I knew that they were at work I would sneak over to their house and watch the videos.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20220103-233400.png
    Screenshot_20220103-233400.png
    950.9 KB · Views: 0

Jswizzle

Active Member
Tuesday, January 4th, 2021
Day 17 no porn

Today has been a good day overall. My daughter went back to school and seemed happy after we picked her up. My wife and I are still feeling pretty shitty as Ormicron may have gotten us. I have had a headache all day, been really fatigued, and have felt pretty foggy mentally. Both I and my wife had elevated anxiety throughout the day as we don't know what to anticipate. However, we were sexually intimate when my daughter was at school which felt pretty good. Tonight before my wife went to bed we watched Cobra Kai on Netflix, a pretty damn good show in my opinion.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
SAA Three Circles Exercise (attached)
 

Attachments

  • image000000 (1).jpg
    image000000 (1).jpg
    1,017.8 KB · Views: 9
Top