Finally posting

Dungalef

Active Member
Hey guys, this is my first time every posting in a forum like this. Been fighting this battle on my own for a long time (with occasional conversations with real-life friends, but not enough), and I need some encouragement and accountability. Would love to get some people who can check in on me here regularly!

I'll try to tell my story briefly...porn has been a part of my life since I was probably 12 years old or so. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but as a Christian it has been something that has always been very very shameful for me, hard to acknowledge and talk about. This is something I've done a lot of working through and have improved tremendously in, but I think the secrecy and shame around it for so long did a lot to make this harder for me. I have learned to receive the grace that God gives me, and to extend that to myself, but it's still not easy to remember that all the time.

Anyway, I'm a bit of a chronic relapser. Have had streaks where things have gone well, sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, but often shorter. Last December I had a shift in mindset where I just told myself...no, this is done. I managed to shift out of the fatalism I have felt for so long, into a real confidence that I could and would do this. Made it to almost 90 days before I started a slide downwards. Accepting more and more "little" things into my life until I was basically watching porn again, if not very often. Since then I've had a hard time making it past a couple of weeks, and I don't know how to get back into that confidence again. It was the first time in years that I really felt hope for conquering this, and I want to get there again. So here we go.

Any words of advice or encouragement, guys?
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 5!

So far so good. :) Feels like I'm back on the train again, and I think part of it is that I've been browsing these forums lately. I think some of the issue for me lately hasn't been that I've been overwhelmed by powerful urges, but just that my diligence has slowly been eroded. Lingering on a picture on Facebook, then reading a salacious news article, then it slowly escalates but never really crosses that "red line" that I arbitrarily have for myself. I know that way doesn't work, but it's hard to hold on to that urgency over the long haul. I'm gonna try regularly posting in this journal, maybe not every day but somewhat regularly at least.

Here's to 90 and beyond!
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 6

Feels good to be this far along...starting to feel the urges, though. Saw an image from a movie on twitter that triggered me a bit, made me want to look up images of the actress and see more of her. That's been a problem for me in previous reboots...just browsing Google Images looking for how much skin I can find. Just tame enough that it feels ok, but causes problems in the long run. Came here to post instead.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 9
Still going strong...

Also, I'm feeling really exhausted today. Lots of stuff going on in life (travel with kids, lots of sleep lost) and I'm feeling it. I know that can make me more vulnerable... I'm also really busy right now though, and that helps! Gotta focus on keeping busy with the right kind of things and not turning to porn for comfort or relief.

I did open one news article today that probably wasn't smart... Gotta keep an eye out for that. I know I have to keep away from ANY form of artificial sexual content, no matter how mild. Escalates so quickly otherwise.
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 9
Still going strong...

Also, I'm feeling really exhausted today. Lots of stuff going on in life (travel with kids, lots of sleep lost) and I'm feeling it. I know that can make me more vulnerable... I'm also really busy right now though, and that helps! Gotta focus on keeping busy with the right kind of things and not turning to porn for comfort or relief.

I did open one news article today that probably wasn't smart... Gotta keep an eye out for that. I know I have to keep away from ANY form of artificial sexual content, no matter how mild. Escalates so quickly otherwise.
Being tired or exhausted is something I also feel makes it so much easier to make the wrong choice. It’s so important to figure out some things you can go to in those downtimes.

Agree that it’s crucial to keep away from any form of replacement for porn. It can almost be anything that sets me off on the wrong path: an album cover, a person in a movie or series, a specific Instagram account. The right thing can be totally innocent, but ends up spiralling out of control in no time, like you say.

Stay strong!
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
That’s exactly right, porn will only make things worse even if it feels easier just for a moment. It’s self-sabotage.

You’re doing well, it’s so easy to convince yourself to make the wrong choices when tired or sick. Keep going, almost as two weeks now!
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 14

Urges were a bit stronger yesterday, but not too unmanageable. They've been coming when I have my phone in the bathroom with me, I've been noticing. Maybe I should avoid using my phone in the bathroom? That's a tricky one that has never really worked in the past though, since i never remember to leave it behind, and if it's in my pocket I'll always end up using it eventually. Maybe I'll focus less on avoiding phone use, and more on finding good habits. Having a book to read in the bathroom reduces the boredom, and if I have an e-book on the phone that helps. Lately I've been browsing this forum in the bathroom, which also helps.

It's always been so tough for me striking the balance between setting up precautions to protect myself from myself, and not relying on them too much. In the past I've tended to lean on them too much, and I've found that having fewer precautions (but still a few) has helped. It's my way of telling myself that ultimately the choice to say no is mine, and no amount of barriers will stop me from using porn if I'm trying to.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 18

Did have a close call a couple days ago. Saw an ad for a TV show on Facebook, and looked it up on IMDb to read the parental reviews. That's a thing that can be a borderline porn substitute for me, just thinking about the sorts of scenes that I could find if I looked up the show. It's so easy for that to progress to looking up pictures of actresses, and hunting for scenes I read about.

Anyway, this time I backed out after reading on IMDb for a bit. Not smart, but I stopped well short of a relapse. Wanted to note it here because that sort of thing has in the past sometimes ended up being the first step down a path that ends in relapse, or in an eternal game of flirting with the line. So no more IMDb, unless it's legitimately to check for triggers before watching something, and in that case I can read it with my wife or even just get her to read it.
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Just read your story. Urges are the devil’s best mates. I can’t give you the cure but do just log into Reboot Nation. We’re hear to Help.
 

Dungalef

Active Member
Day 21

Nice to hit 3 weeks! Getting close to 30 as well.

Feeling a bit meh these days, like I'm having a hard time finding good dopamine-rich things to fill my time with. Some of that is just how my life is these days—lots of mundane stuff to do. Trying to find ways to engage in meaningful activities where I can feel a sense of accomplishment. It's this sort of time when porn can suck me in, but I'm determined not to let it. It doesn't help...it gives a hit of dopamine, which can sound so nice when I'm feeling starved for it, but it's just an illusion. Just gives me a burst feeling of meaningful engagement without the real thing. Also, it fades so fast and comes at so high a cost. If I can push through, though, I'll be able to find real rewarding things to do that actually accomplish something, and where the feeling doesn't fade and leave me feeling gross.
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Well done on 21 days! One day behind you. :)

You're right about the dopamine, and I know it can be difficult. Your brain tries to tell you it's the thing you should be doing - but you know it's just an empty rush and that you won't benefit from it at all.

Keep at it, and the more mundane things will seem better to you in time. Just make sure you try to replace the "bad habit" that is porn with habits that are good and constructive. It can be almost anything, like exercise or reading a book. It depends on what you like to do I guess, or what you would like to be doing with your time! And it doesn't need to be mundane things either. As an example, something like mountain biking shouldn't be too dull. :)
 
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