My Journey so far

Basic info – 44 yrs old, watched porn for past 2-3 years, frequency was 3-4x a day for last six months – out of control.

My Why

Coping, Avoiding. I never learned how to face my problems or be open with others, stress in my life during my second marriage, led me to depression, feeling alone, and seeking comfort anywhere but with those I cared about most. This led me into porn and withdrawing from my family, damaging relationships with my wife and kids over the past 2-3 years. I became selfish and obsessed with sex, and anything related, it was on my mind constantly. Yet, I couldn’t tell my wife and didn’t feel worthy enough to ask her for sex. I created a story in my head that we were distant and she didn’t want me. I created that distance with my addiction. Porn addiction is a horrible, horrible addiction that eats at the roots of relationships. I never realized how important emotional connection is for relationships, and never allowed myself to be close to anyone. It’s still extremely frightening to me that I almost lost the love of my life and the woman of my dreams because of this addiction and the journey in stopping porn. Not looking at the porn was the easy part for me, my ongoing battle is the emotional growth and learning to be vulnerable with my wife and family. I wish every day I could take it all back and never looked at any porn in the first place.

Sensitivity to Alcohol – had several times where I felt one drink as if it was two or three, would feel a buzz from very little. This would vary throughout the recovery process for at least the nine weeks I have been through. Some days even coffee would give me a buzz from a cup or two, with alcohol, sometimes one drink and I would feel unsafe to drive and hand the keys to my wife if we were out, it was as if I had no tolerance. It got better as time went on, but still seems to pop up. I started limiting alcohol, realizing it was my body’s physiological response to recovery and low dopamine levels, porn had conditioned me to getting blasted with dopamine.

Withdrawal
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and shame, weeks 7 and 8 were extremely bad, I thought about ending my life at times – if it would have taken the pain away from everyone else.
  • Extreme fear and anxiety, I was afraid of choosing the wrong parking space or a small group of people talking, saying the wrong thing, everything.
  • Flatline – weeks 7 and 8, nothing – my dick was limp, no MW, no anything, it was useless.
  • Defensiveness and Avoidance – I would argue stupid details and dive in deep denial that I had done anything. I still continue to struggle with being emotionally open or vulnerable. This is the change I have been unable to make over the past 90 days. The porn was easy to drop and I don't even have the slightest temptation to return.
General Week by Week – below I have tried to provide some general information about my journey over the past nine weeks, it has been the absolute best moments of my life with connection and sex with my wife, and the absolute worst, where I thought about ending my life so I wouldn’t cause her anymore pain. I hope this helps anyone else struggling with porn to understand how devastating this addiction can be, and that there is a way out, and a better life without porn.

Week 1 – This week was split between being extremely painful after telling my wife about my porn addiction and how hurt she was, and how awful I felt for what I had done. I broke her emotionally. We talked and started being open, after a few days, and our relationship was amazing for the rest of the week. Little did we understand how bad the withdrawal and betrayal trauma would be. This was the start of a scary roller coaster of emotions and changes for our relationship.

Week 2 – This week the withdrawal started to kick in, lots of brain fog, inability to think, extreme fatigue, I was taking naps in the middle of the day – exhausted.

Week 3 – I started to experience more anxiety and fear, I started to close off again, not communicating to my wife, I started to have 2 or 3 days of extreme confidence mixed with the rest of the week being depressed, anxious and afraid. I argued and was defensive with my wife, she was upset and angry with me, I had been open and then I found it impossible to feel my emotions or share them, it seemed out of my control if I didn’t wake up feeling good. Still some withdrawal symptoms, lingering brain fog some days, general tiredness. Again, 2 to 3 good days, followed by depression, anxiety, me arguing and not being open, and just numb to everything.

Week 4 – The roller coaster continued

Week 5 – Still ups and downs each day – anxiety started to get worse.

Week 6 – Tons of Anxiety, Fear, Nervousness, fighting with my wife and arguing over insignificant details about my porn addiction. It was awful and I thought our marriage was going to be over several times. I also entered the dreaded flatline – no erections at all, no feeling in my dick, no morning wood. It was lifeless.

Week 7 - Tons of Anxiety, Fear, Nervousness, fighting with my wife and arguing over insignificant details about my porn addiction. It was awful and I thought our marriage was going to be over several times. Still in flatline, my dick was useless.

Week 8 – Overall good, I had a breakthrough with my therapist after he said he couldn’t do anymore for me. I left pissed off and alone, my fear vanished, I was overcome with sadness for a day or two, then peace, and no fear, I started to feel more like myself and ready to grow as a person. Still some insomnia and no MW. Did fool around and everything was working when it came to it.

Week 9 – This week has been better, there has still been some underlying anxiety and difficulty for me in recognizing it, and starting to close off sharing my feelings and emotions with my wife. She has been understanding, I have been so afraid of feeling numb again or hurting her again after all we have been through. It has been a long journey so far, and each day I gain more awareness of my feelings and the ability to deal with fear, anxiety, defensiveness and learning to open up to my wife, but it has been far from easy.

Weeks 10-12 – Determined porn was never the issue, my ability to be open and emotional in relationships is, I have nearly destroyed my marriage and am holding on by a thread trying to improve emotionally by being more open and vulnerable. I have so much work to do. Porn was the easy part, I stopped and never looked back after I saw how hurt my wife was. Now I keep sabotaging the relationship over and over, I’m on my last leg and lost.

I still continue to recognize more each day and gain more awareness about my own thoughts and feelings. I realize this is going to be a journey I am on for quite some time, and I will have to continue to grow and work to be a better person, and be who I want to be and who I am. I hope that this helps others, and the resources below help someone out there looking to make a change.

All the best to everyone on this journey,

Resources

Escaping Porn Addiction – Shame


Gary Wilson – The Great Porn Experiment


Your Brain on Porn by Gary Wilson

Treating Sexual Addiction by Dr. Kevin Skinner

Pathformen.com – great online resource with hours of videos and helpful resources to address addiction and behavior.

Help.Her.Heal: An Empathy Workbook for Sex Addicts to Help Their Partners Heal
 
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