Crawling from the wreckage

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 165 (no PMO), day 1 (no MO).

Well, it's been an interesting two days. Stress and anxiety building up since the weekend saw me giving in to MO yesterday. Shouldn't have done it of course, because I knew that the urges were about depression and not libido. However, I had my first good night's sleep in a long time and generally felt relaxed today. I'm confused about whether the end justifies the means at the moment. If I can only use MO to truly relax, that's still an addiction or at least a serious problem.

Previously, I have mentioned women at work that I find attractive. Now usually, I will see one or two of these women briefly once in awhile and either we have a very brief, friendly conversation or just say hi to each other. Today, I had encounters with five of these women.

If these encounters had tickled my libido and led to MO, I would be fine with that. I know that MO inspired by these circumstances seems wrong, but anything is better than being inspired by porn. But instead of being aroused or - calm down, you stupid, horny bastard - simply pleased that I had moments with these nice women, I felt like I should bolt. I didn't want to see them, or their bare shoulders, or their nice eyes, or their tight jeans.

And now, I feel like someone trying to eat soup with a fork.

No relapses, no retreat.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Don’t be too hard on yourself @TryingHarder - It is a learning process. Your sobriety from porn is the key thing. You only did an MO, it’s not a big deal. As for wanting to bolt from the women I am guessing these women are possibly not wife material so you are not going in all guns blazing for fear of something casual that will open up your porn inclination. Pop psychology- sorry.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
It gets very complicated in my troubled mind, @GBS ...
  • I will never look at porn again, so that outlet to "get a high" is no longer an option
  • Despite exercising and taking care of myself, I don't know what can (or should) replace the dopamine rush and/or sense of relief from PMO
  • I find women at work very attractive, but they are generally 20 years younger than me
  • Therefore, I can be friendly with them but know we will never have a relationship and/or sex
  • That leads to feelings of loneliness and wanting
  • Being inspired to MO by sexy women in real life is better than PMO, but it also feels wrong
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 170.

It's too complicated to share here, but over the past couple of weeks, some family matters have pushed me to the brink of relapsing. Serious differences of opinions with some family members have led to frustration and a sense of losing control over something.

Well, guess what gives me a sense of control? A sense of I'm boss and everyone will do what I want? Porn. How awful.

I have remained strong and stayed clean, although I have done more than one inappropriate image search. It felt like my wheels were skidding on an icy road. No relapses, no retreat, I keep on telling myself. As I wrote earlier, it's like all I want is a good night's sleep, but I have noisy neighbours. I know it's progress that the urges have less power over me now, but they certainly are persistent.
 
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Phineas 808

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
...but I have noisy neighbours. I know it's progress that the urges have less power over me now, but they certainly are persistent.

Good job on ignoring the noisy neighbors, Trying! The stressful interactions with family are reminding your brain of what was familiar in the past, like you said, to put you 'in control'.

Ironically, P makes you feel in control, but then one is out of control when it's in control. But what you do have control over is whether or not you react to the urges.

Breathe through the urges, without reacting for or against them. Just silently observe yourself, without judgement. You can outlast any urge.

You got this, TryingHarder!
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 174.

Took a day off work for a mental health day and spent the morning in deep meditation.

I have come to realize that I am trying to deal with an awful lot right now. Beating an addiction, the death of a parent, a job that can be stressful, family issues, and significant loneliness. Any one of those things would be a heavy burden, but all of them at the same time is killing me.

I've realized that some profound life changes need to be made. I've made an appointment for a first therapy session next week, and am working on a plan to generally lighten my load and do things differently.

One of those things is limiting my time on the internet. It almost always ends up being mindless scrolling or scatterbrained browsing instead of actually doing something. Like porn, it seems to be a lot of wasted time looking for something that doesn't exist, or won't help me be a better, happier person.

So although this forum is a terrific and valuable resource, and I certainly appreciate the support I get here and value the support I give others, I simply have to be here (and on the internet) a lot less from now on.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 176.

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” – Anais Nin
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Day 178.

This is my first week into making a serious attempt to cut down my internet use. Not just to avoid porn, but to get away from the endless and useless act of scrolling, browsing, and looking for... What, exactly? I'm doing my best to limit my time online to just 3 days a week. And when I am online, I'm trying to make sure whatever I do has a purpose. Otherwise, I'm just loitering in cyberspace.

Still find myself doing some image searches I shouldn't be doing. Ugh. As always, I say: no relapses, no retreat!
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Something I just posted on @SimonM's journal that I will also share here...

With a porn addiction, you are always on "the hunt" for the material that you will PMO to. These days (almost 6 months clean) I find myself still "hunting" online: scrolling through YouTube or Facebook, looking for - what, exactly? Most times I don't even know what I'm looking for, but my troubled mind finds some kind of stupid satisfaction in the scrolling and hunting.

I believe this part of the porn addiction - the looking - has been hardwired into my brain. I think about what it would be like to do this in real life: spend an entire evening walking up and down a street, looking in shop windows for nothing in particular, but I'll know it when I find it! What the hell? That's no way to spend your time.

And the "call of the sirens" can be a real challenge. For years, certain girls got burned into my brain. Memories of them just reappear in my mind. I know that I have to forget them. And after many years of a porn addiction, sadly that will take time. I just remind myself that these girls aren't real, and I would be a fool jerking off in front of my computer if I listen to them. :cautious:
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Keep going @TryingHarder - it is a struggle for us all. I am sorry you still metaphorically window shop. I don’t have a magic pill, but my “go to” territory is the new me who resists. Rejoice in who you are becoming and wonder what a giant turd you would be to go back being the person you were before. I know you possibly slightly struggle with the concept of the new you, but you obviously are in part. Your brain has some scars and you’re threatening your brain that you’ll be dealing with the depth of those scars soon.

Your brain is saying - WTF no way you’re getting rid of that last vestige of his addiction. It’s a straight fight to the death now. Take it on. It’s really hard, but it can be done.
 
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