Crawling from the wreckage

TryingHarder

Active Member
I figure that's a cool/dramatic name for my journal. ;)

My story:

I'm a 53 year old trying to break a 25 year porn habit. Like most guys in my 20s, I masturbated with Playboy a few times a week, and it was no big deal at the time. Then came the internet, and within a year I had access to so much porn I couldn't help myself. My addiction was coupled with loneliness and depression. Addictions are usually about pain, and so that's why I got addicted to porn: it helped ease the pain of life in general. By my late 20s, I was deep into the addiction, with long PMO sessions almost every night.

It was only 10 years later that I fully realized what a problem I had and sought professional help. I found a psychologist who was very helpful. I was diagnosed with mild depression and an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Unfortunately, I never discussed the porn addiction. I guess I thought if I could improve my depression, the porn addiction would vanish. Big mistake! Years later, another psychologist helped me understand my depression even more and what a deep, evil grip my porn addiction had on me. But since that time, despite the new-found clarity, I have continued to be an addict. While it has "improved" over the past few years (less PMO, no porn saved on my computer), I'm still an addict.

I've lost count of how many times I have tried to quit. 5 months clean is the longest I've ever been able to do. Just over a week ago, I found the strength to try again. Joining this forum has been a real help. Other than confessing to psychologists, I have never discussed my porn addiction with anyone.

Some reflections:

The world of porn is a seductive one. It's a weird fantasy world where you're in charge, nobody will say no, and you will always get your way and have a good time. It's disturbing how you develop a "relationship" with your favourite girls. You collect their photos and videos. You imagine conversations with them. But ultimately, you're just a very disturbed guy who's fapping in front of his computer. These girls aren't real. They're not your friends. They're cogs in a gigantic, awful machine: the porn industry.

As of today, I'm 8 days clean. My goal at the moment is to not masturbate for 60 days as part of a serious reboot.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
12 days clean and still feeling pretty good. Although some of the shadowy urges are floating around in my head...
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Keep going. Every time you get a craving look at your diary - helpful to put a physical hand written “X” on each day you’re clean. I find doing something physical helps too. Exercise or gardening?

The shadowy urges are the devil who prowls around like a lion seeking who he will next devour. We remain steadfast in the faith we have in each other. You keep going, and I tell you what….I will keep going too.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
It's often like one of those old time cartoons where I have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The devil is saying "do it, you know you want to, it's fun" and the angel is saying "goddamn it, don't be a fool!" :LOL:
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Yeah, right. The thing is it’s not a joke. I focus on the hurt I have caused slightly too much because that makes me mildly depressed while we soldier on. I think my therapist would tell me to focus on loving myself.

Keep going mate. I will if you will.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Okay, 14 days with no porn and no MO.

I focus on the hurt I have caused slightly too much because that makes me mildly depressed while we soldier on.
I think in a situation like this, we all have to be firm and stand our ground. I try not to be too hard on myself, but I certainly can't be too easy on myself. In a word: discipline. Don't hate yourself, hate the addiction. Maybe instead of focusing on the hurt you might have caused, vow that you'll never let that happen again, so that it's a positive goal instead of a negative reminder.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Thanks that’s useful.

it’s two big hurdles for me. One to beat this addiction and two for my wife to start trusting me again.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
16 days clean. Still a few urges, but so far, so good.

Here's something I came up with to remind myself how I want to live my life, overcome my depression, stop anxiety eating, etc. Of course, never looking at porn again is at the top my list.

The Promise


I will never look at porn again.

I will not eat junk food in an attempt to feel good.

I will take care of myself with good food, exercise, meditation, and a good night's sleep.

I will reject the things that are negative, trivial, grotesque, and a waste of my time.

Instead, I will concentrate on what is positive, productive, creative, and a good use of my time.

I will remember that the past doesn't exist any more. Any unpleasant memories or people who have hurt and disappointed me simply do not exist any more.

I will explore my emotions instead of being overwhelmed by them.

The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Every day I stay true to this promise is a step in the right direction.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
18 days clean. I got some troubling family news yesterday, and so the PMO urge has been triggered, but I'm staying strong and resisting. That has been the pattern / trigger of my addiction - stress or anxiety manifests in sexual urges that lead to PMO.

Some thoughts on the shame of a porn addiction (inspired by Eli Nash's must-see video)...

Any addiction is bad news and destructive. If you were to confide to someone that you had a drinking problem or a drug problem, they would most likely be concerned, and ask how they could help. And there would be a familiarity; most people drink, and anyone who drinks has been drunk before. Your confession would probably conjure up images of you sitting at home, drunk, drowning your sorrows. Unpleasant, but also familiar thanks to personal experience and the way that drinking and being drunk is often glamorized in TV and movies.

However, confessing to a porn addiction would conjure up images of you sitting in front of a computer with your pants around your ankles fapping.

That's truly grotesque and disturbing, and your friend would likely be repulsed (unless they have a porn addiction, too). What kind of porn are you watching? What kind of disgusting things are you looking at to get your kicks? And so this is why so many addicts can never confess their porn addiction. It's too shameful.

Drinking is a relatable analogy. I drink alcohol, but nothing stronger than beer, and I rarely get drunk. I enjoy a few beers on the weekend or out with friends, and I don't have a problem with alcohol. With porn, however, there is no equivalent of "social drinking". Guys don't just look at porn and say "hey, that was fun, but I'm keeping my pants on, time to go to bed now". Any porn viewing will lead to PMO 99% of the time.

And, to extend the alcohol analogy, most of us porn addicts start out "drinking a couple of beers" but then find we don't get enough of a buzz. So we "have a few shots" of something stronger and like how that feels. Before long, we are constantly drinking, drunk, and addicted - to porn.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Trying Harder, a well thought out piece you wrote. Sorry you had bad news. Don’t make the news worse by relapsing. Imagine starting from 0 again. I need you to be strong right now. And I am the mate you can tell like you would confess about drinking too much. I don’t care how low you got and how grotesque your PMO was. I only care that you see the light and continue with the day to day battle against this devil.

Stay strong buddy
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 21. Man, the sexual thoughts and kinky stuff I used to fap to is trying real hard to make a comeback in my troubled mind, but I'm keeping clean. Interesting that the urge isn't to look at porn, but fap. And it's the same hateful scenario: when triggered by stress or anxiety, my addicted mind only wants one thing: PMO or MO.
no-dummy.jpg
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Nice artwork man. Humour is what’s lacking here. Up to a point one can think back to the times (thousands literally) when we grabbed our cocks to give ourselves pleasure. We’re pretty base really. And funny!

Meanwhile your urges are just like mine and everyone else on here. Sorry if it’s bad but I truly understand. Keep going and keep me updated. I get a great deal from your posts. So you are doing good not just for yourself but for me and doubtless many others reading this.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
I have never joined a forum before, literally. This one is so important because (as you said) this ain’t a subject one can really tell one’s friends about. It’s so important. Just keep going and keep posting.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 23. So far, so good. Still having urges to MO, but I am resisting. At the moment, no PMO urges to speak of.

Regular exercise and a good night's sleep are helping. All of us want some kind of magic bullet in life to lose weight, deal with depression, help beat a porn addiction, etc. But guess what? Exercise, a good night's sleep, and staying away from fast food and junk food really do wonders.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Doing great. You’re so right about exercise and sleep and good food. Here’s another one: don’t look at a screen past 8pm. Tricky I know. At least don’t take a phone/laptop/tablet to bed.

I find the forum is me backbone when I get an urge. I am not blessed with great amounts of will power so this helps me stay on the straight and narrow. That’s as well as doing this to save my marriage.

Keep posting- it helps you and it helps me.
 

Gooner

Member
We done your doing great, your right about the exercise & good nights sleep, also what GBS said about the screen, I've started leaving my phone downstairs & now have no TV on in my room in the evening.

Keep posting, it's inspirational to read how others are doing 👍
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 25. Still doing good. Desire to MO continues, but I am resisting. And no PMO urges to speak of.

Further to the comments above, it's so important to find ways to change up your daily routine and habits. Take a walk, exercise, get together with friends, read a book, listen to music. Anything that messes up the trail of breadcrumbs that could lead you back to porn.

Also, when you get the urge to PMO, take a moment to ask yourself why. Did you have a bad day at work? Is there a problem you're trying to solve? Do you really want to slide backwards back into your addiction? Visualize yourself fapping in front of your computer or phone, instead of travelling to the fantasy world of porn, and realize how disturbing that is. Taking that moment is easier said than done, but it's crucial during a reboot!
 
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