Up, Up & Away

aristo

Member
So... Guess it's time for me to make a journal and starting to write down about my successes and failures dealing with pornography. I'm 26 years old and I started to watch pornography in my early teens. Discovered in May 2020 that it was a bad habit and horrible for my brain and health. I managed the first time to stop cold turkey for a year but now I'm struggling going a week or two without falling back to my old habits.

I miss the feeling of being porn free. I was more calm, happier, more engaged, present. Overall just a better version of myself. I feel like setting myself free of this addiction/habit is one of the last things i need to do the reach my full potential. I'm generally happy. I got a good job. I'm financial secure. I have lovely friends and my family is great. I'm working out several days a week and got a fine physique that I'm happy with. I have a fairly social life. Everything sounds fine right?

However... My love life has always been non-existent. I've never been confident speaking to women. I've never been in a relationship with a human being - I had a relationship with porn throughout all my teen years and early twenties without me even realising before I discovered Reboot Nation and Your Brain On Porn. Then it all made sense. I need to let this go. I had no desire to seek relationships with women when I was using porn everyday. It wasn't "worth" it to my brain - I could just resort to porn and evade dealing with feelings and emotions.

The few times I've had the opportunity to have sex it has always been a bad experience. Erectile dysfunction.. No excitement because of desensitization.. Lack of confidence..

When I was PMO free I absolutely started to get interested in women again. I had desire. I could maintain eye contact and conversations - I didn't feel like I needed to escape. I want that feeling again.

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aristo

Member
Week 19, 2022
Week 1 completed. No strong urges this week. Watched a lot of Youtube material regarding porn addiction and porns effect on your brain. It seems to help me stay away from porn, educating myself regarding its effects. However week 2 and 3 always seems to be the hardest for me. This time around I really want to try and focus on my urges when they arise and try to understand why the appear and in what state of mind i'm in. Before it has always been an afterthought and not in the moment.
 
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aristo

Member
Week 20, 2022
Week 2 completed. Bit stronger urges in the end of this week. No relapses however. Was fairly busy all week which might have played a factor. Going strong. When I get urges I try and tell myself the quote of Jordan Peterson: "It's an easy way out". I don't want to persue the "easy" way and just watch porn. I want the feeling and desire to chase love. Onwards and upwards!
 
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downhillfromhere

Active Member
Great work so far! If you’ve quit once before I would say you’re in great shape to do it again. Reading about addiction, about others’ experiences here is a huge benefit.

What you’re saying about relationships and about women really resonates with me. I somehow found myself in a 7 year long (dysfunctional) relationship, but other than that I don’t really have any experience with women in that way. I get nervous, uncomfortable, can’t keep eye contact, tense up and pretty much make them uncomfortable I think. There’s a strong chance this can be traced back to my porn use and how it’s caused me to see women. My mind immediately goes somewhere it shouldn’t, and I really want to start seeing women as the people they are and treat them like human beings with thoughts and feelings.

Great to see you well on your way though. Stick to it, and it will be well worth it. You know it will.
 

aristo

Member
Great stuff man! Realized we're both in a pretty similar timeline, I'm 11 days in, looks like you're 16 days in or so? We're also the same age funny enough. Looking forward to following your journey

We will both become better men
Thank you mate! I'm 21 days in at the moment since my last relapse. It's been a very long time since I've gotten to three weeks without relapsing so I'm really excited about that and I'm feeling good. I think it was a very good idea for me to share my journey and experience with like minded people such as you guys and also have some kind of accountability for my actions.

I wish the best for you on your journey to become a better version of yourself. Stay strong.
 

aristo

Member
Great work so far! If you’ve quit once before I would say you’re in great shape to do it again. Reading about addiction, about others’ experiences here is a huge benefit.

What you’re saying about relationships and about women really resonates with me. I somehow found myself in a 7 year long (dysfunctional) relationship, but other than that I don’t really have any experience with women in that way. I get nervous, uncomfortable, can’t keep eye contact, tense up and pretty much make them uncomfortable I think. There’s a strong chance this can be traced back to my porn use and how it’s caused me to see women. My mind immediately goes somewhere it shouldn’t, and I really want to start seeing women as the people they are and treat them like human beings with thoughts and feelings.

Great to see you well on your way though. Stick to it, and it will be well worth it. You know it will.
Thank you so much for your kind words.

I absolutely believe it's beneficial or even crucial to keep your mind busy and ajour with the harmful effects of porn. Especially in the initial phase after a relapse. Personally i feel like my brain almost everyday is having an internal fight or flight battle regards wether to cave in to the urges or stay on my chosen path. To help those internal battles it really helps me to read and learn about the harmful effects. I think it gets easier over time though.

I really resonate with what you're saying aswell regarding relationships. I absolutely had (and still have to some extent) the same experiences. All I wanted to do when I met girls who showed any kind of interest was to escape. I've been told a few times in the past that I often felt careless or un-interested when being approached and it broke my heart to hear. I also want the feeling of talking to a human being and not just seeing a "hot object" that you want to have sex with. Hopefully over time this will happen. But for sure I can feel that I'm in a much better place now than before May 2020.

Good luck on your journey my friend.
 
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aristo

Member
Week 21, 2022
Week 3 completed. 21 days. The longest i've gone in a very long time without relapses. The urges has not been strong this week. Has been busy most of the week on a holiday trip with my friends. I definitely feel this time around that I've better control of my feelings and emotions but I also know from past experiences that the urges in this timeframe are very strong and your mind can cave in very quickly.
 
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aristo

Member
Well.. So.. I fucked up last night and today and relapsed. I kinda recognize a pattern. First of all my relapses seems to be further apart which is nice and the afterwards binging is lesser and lesser each time so thats a plus. One of the things I've noticed now is that almost all of my relapses is after I've been going out and drinking. I think my brain is in a kind of "at ease" mode when I get home and it seems easier for me to accept the fact that a relapse is fine for some reason. Has anyone else experienced that before? That after being intoxicated relapses seems more likely to occur?
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Sorry to hear it. You'll be fine though, there's nothing to do but just go from here and try again!

It hasn't happened to me personally, but it does seem to be a common occurrence to relapse after drinking. I think it makes sense, since judgement is probably impaired and you lower your guard.
 

aristo

Member
Week 22, 2022
Bumpy week. Had strong urges and relapsed two times. Gotta get back into the zone again.
 
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aristo

Member
Sorry to hear it. You'll be fine though, there's nothing to do but just go from here and try again!

It hasn't happened to me personally, but it does seem to be a common occurrence to relapse after drinking. I think it makes sense, since judgement is probably impaired and you lower your guard.
Yeah it sucks. I still see and sense improvement though so that's positive. I definitely think drinking is messing with my brain and lowering my guard. So many of my previous relapses has been after drinking. I don't think it's the worst kind of relapse because it's sort of a one and done kind of thing instead of binging for many many hours and relapsing a lot.
 

aristo

Member
Week 23, 2022
Back on the plan. Signed up for Brainbuddy which has helped me a lot. Focuses on achievements, learning and meditation. Currently almost 7 days PMO free. Feeling I have better ways to handle urges now since the app has been helping me with meditation.
 
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