Reclaiming My Life

Hi Everyone. Today is my first day here on this forum. Today, I write this entry coming off watching porn and masturbating during my work day at home. I have decided it is time for me to reclaim my life.

My therapist had introduced me to the YBOP site, and then through browsing that site, I found this forum. I have been addicted to pornography and masturbation since 12-13 years old. I am now 28 years old. It has been just over 16 years of pornography controlling every aspect of my life. I remember as a kid, before pornography being a happy and confident kid. When porn entered my life, I became self-conscious and insecure, shy, disconnected from reality, depressed (at times suicidal), and entering into my adult life, I am convinced that I have pornography-induced attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, even being medicated for it. I don't want to hide this anymore. I struggle with shame, and I need to get rid of that feeling.

I am a husband to a wonderful wife who has been with me on my journey through pornography. We have been married for almost six years, and early on in our marriage, I confessed my pornography addiction to her. She was so gracious, understanding, and kind. I began going to therapy, and I pretended to get better, but I wasn't getting better. My wife now thinks I am porn free, and I am far from it. Our sex life is almost non-existent for multiple reasons. Our sex life is hard on a typical day because I struggle with performance anxiety and shame regarding my porn addiction. I find it hard to be present in those moments and put the shame and guilt beside me. As a result, my erections are weak, and I have not had morning wood in probably a decade. When we were dating, I felt this shame, and we never had sex while we were dating, we fooled around at times, but we never experienced an orgasm together before marriage. I even felt so much shame on my wedding night because I masturbated the morning of and was so anxious, ashamed, and nervous that I could not get it up for a few days into our honeymoon. This is partially due to our religious upbringings to which we no longer subscribe, yet sometimes the religious shame lingers still. I want to feel connected to her sexually again. I want to have that ravenous and exciting honeymoon love sex life that we never got to have. I love her dearly, and I am here on the forum to confide in all of you instead of her. I don't want her to bear the burden of my sexual baggage anymore. She deserves better than what I can give her. But I need help becoming that person.

I am a father. I have an 18-month-old son, and I have a newborn baby due in November of this year. I love my son so much. It is ridiculous how much I love him. He has the most excellent parts of both my wife and me. Yet, I know that my baggage weighs on him too. Although I don't often think outside myself of how my pornography affects others around me, this journal is helping me to do that, and it feels nice. I want to be confident and healthy for my children so that when they inevitably face the dangers of internet pornography and unrealistic sexuality through social media, tv, etc. I can be there for them. I need this and desperately want to be better for them.

A little more about me, I am currently about a year away from completing my Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. After that, I will be a licensed professional counselor in my state. Being a therapist is my absolute dream job. I love the brain and how it works and how it heals. The journey of my master's program has been challenging to say the least, not only academically but emotionally. It has caused me to look introspectively and initially start going to therapy. Therapy has helped me do more deep emotional healing, but I need a more accessible community to help me through the extensive addiction to porn that has stuck with me for so many years. Ironically, one of the classes I am currently taking is an addictions counseling course, which has been challenging.

To be honest, I am not even sure where to go from here. I don't know how to stop myself from watching porn. I don't know how to prevent relapse. I don't know how to get free from this because it is all I know, and I can't imagine a life without it. It has stolen so much from me. It has arrested my brain development, emotional connections, career progress, self-esteem, etc. So I am hoping that this community will be a great place to find the healing and progress that I need.

Thank you for reading this, listening to my story, and connecting with me.
 
Last edited:

TryingHarder

Active Member
Welcome aboard. I'm also relatively new here, but this forum can provide you with a lot of information and support.

To be honest, I am not even sure where to go from here.
Browse all of the posts here. Soon enough you'll find inspiration, advice, and encouragement. Read everything you can about porn addiction and how to stop it. Knowledge is power. If you haven't already, get copies of "Your Brain On Porn" and "Love You, Hate The Porn". You will need them both!

My wife now thinks I am porn free, and I am far from it.
That's one of the first things you will have to deal with. Have an honest conversation with your wife and admit that you're still struggling with porn addiction. Not easy to do, but lying and deceiving her (and yourself) is much worse.

I need this and desperately want to be better for them.
Then that's your inspiration, man. Fight the addiction. Beat it. Crush it. I'm currently 46 days into a 90 day reboot, and although it hasn't been easy, it feels great.
 

W4tchmak3r

Member
Welcome! May this place be of learning and of utmost self honesty for you. Thanks for sharing your story and I’m keen to see updates as you end your relationship with porn :))
 
Welcome aboard. I'm also relatively new here, but this forum can provide you with a lot of information and support.


Browse all of the posts here. Soon enough you'll find inspiration, advice, and encouragement. Read everything you can about porn addiction and how to stop it. Knowledge is power. If you haven't already, get copies of "Your Brain On Porn" and "Love You, Hate The Porn". You will need them both!


That's one of the first things you will have to deal with. Have an honest conversation with your wife and admit that you're still struggling with porn addiction. Not easy to do, but lying and deceiving her (and yourself) is much worse.


Then that's your inspiration, man. Fight the addiction. Beat it. Crush it. I'm currently 46 days into a 90 day reboot, and although it hasn't been easy, it feels great.
Thank you! I appreciate your advice.
 
Hi everyone! I did not get a chance to journal yesterday and was very busy. However, I did not use porn at all. I took proactive steps and deleted all my social media, and I am happy I did it. I feel slightly freer already! I made it one day, and am about 8 hours away from hitting 2 days.

Day counter: 1
 
Great stuff dude, this is just the beginning

you mentioned not knowing how to not relapse, see below:

  1. Read this if you feel tempted -- https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/reb...r-am-in-danger-of-relapse-emergency-measures/
  2. Avoid triggers. Somewhat obvious but literally just avoiding the triggers (i.e. watching only shows without heavy nudity, ad blockers preventing porn ads while you're browsing internet, etc). When I was testing the waters some months back with what a reboot might look like, I was waaaaaay hornier because I was continuing my habits as if I wasn't rebooting (except for the P). Figure out what / why / where you get triggered and stop that. For me, I stopped watching anime for the period of my reboot (and even afterwards am wondering if it's time for me to wind it down) as it was a potential trigger.
Where to go from here, what to do / learn:

- Read the YBOP website (see above link), tons of great info / research / success stories on there. You can even browse the success stories when you feel tempted to see what's waiting for you on the other side
- Keep posting on here on how days feel, whether they are tough or easy days. It'll help a ton, as someone who wants to be a therapist you know the value of journaling. Helps me a TON to unload my feelings & lot of wonderful, supportive people on here
- Set small milestones for yourself, 90 days or 180 days is super long. Having it in chunks makes it easier, so 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 1 month, 6 weeks, 2 months, etc

You got this brother!
 
Great stuff dude, this is just the beginning

you mentioned not knowing how to not relapse, see below:

  1. Read this if you feel tempted -- https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/reb...r-am-in-danger-of-relapse-emergency-measures/
  2. Avoid triggers. Somewhat obvious but literally just avoiding the triggers (i.e. watching only shows without heavy nudity, ad blockers preventing porn ads while you're browsing internet, etc). When I was testing the waters some months back with what a reboot might look like, I was waaaaaay hornier because I was continuing my habits as if I wasn't rebooting (except for the P). Figure out what / why / where you get triggered and stop that. For me, I stopped watching anime for the period of my reboot (and even afterwards am wondering if it's time for me to wind it down) as it was a potential trigger.
Where to go from here, what to do / learn:

- Read the YBOP website (see above link), tons of great info / research / success stories on there. You can even browse the success stories when you feel tempted to see what's waiting for you on the other side
- Keep posting on here on how days feel, whether they are tough or easy days. It'll help a ton, as someone who wants to be a therapist you know the value of journaling. Helps me a TON to unload my feelings & lot of wonderful, supportive people on here
- Set small milestones for yourself, 90 days or 180 days is super long. Having it in chunks makes it easier, so 1 week, 10 days, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 1 month, 6 weeks, 2 months, etc

You got this brother!
Thanks, man! Thanks for the article. I have started setting small milestones where I set a timer on my iPhone for 24 hours and so every time I go to look at my phone I see that timer counting down on the home screen and it has motivated me to keep going so far.
 
I am two, almost three days into this. This morning is challenging. I’m feeling a lot more urges this morning than I have in the last two days. I think I’m just tired from how busy I am and I want the release of watching porn and masturbating. I know I shouldn’t do it though so I am just powering through. About to take a cold shower!


Day Count: 2 days and 16 hours
 
Doing really well so far. Masturbated this morning without porn for the first time and it felt great. It felt good to be strong. However, I am not sure I like masturbating still. But I am celebrating that I resisted any form of pornographic intake, even fantasy in my mind. It was full attention on my body, and was such a new experience for me.

Still going strong without porn and loving it! Might be experiencing some withdrawal at this point. Unsure though.

Day Count: 5 days and 17 hours.
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Great job on getting to almost 12 days!

If you're unsure about masturbating, maybe it's a good idea to avoid doing it as much as possible during your reboot?
I was masturbating during my first streak of almost 60 days, but it slowly drove me towards watching substitutes and eventually porn. It probably helped in a way, and it was great to feel like everything was working like it should, but I also think it hindered my progress. At least for me, after doing it a few times I started thinking about sex and visualizing past experiences, which sort of tied in with porn and made it more difficult for me to make that change in my head.

How is it with your wife these days? Are you physical with her, like holding her hand, hugging, kissing, smelling etc.? Stuff like that should be very helpful to rewire your brain during the reboot, even if you don't have sex.

Anyways, keep on going strong! You seem to have solid personal reasons to make a change, and a good foundation for making it.
 
Great job on getting to almost 12 days!

If you're unsure about masturbating, maybe it's a good idea to avoid doing it as much as possible during your reboot?
I was masturbating during my first streak of almost 60 days, but it slowly drove me towards watching substitutes and eventually porn. It probably helped in a way, and it was great to feel like everything was working like it should, but I also think it hindered my progress. At least for me, after doing it a few times I started thinking about sex and visualizing past experiences, which sort of tied in with porn and made it more difficult for me to make that change in my head.

How is it with your wife these days? Are you physical with her, like holding her hand, hugging, kissing, smelling etc.? Stuff like that should be very helpful to rewire your brain during the reboot, even if you don't have sex.

Anyways, keep on going strong! You seem to have solid personal reasons to make a change, and a good foundation for making it.
Thank you for responding! Yeah it’s tough with the masturbation because I know I need to prioritize re-wiring to real human connection. My wife and I are not as physical as we could/should be IMO. It makes it more difficult that she is 20 weeks pregnant and starting to become physically uncomfortable most of the time. But I like what you said about just holding hands, hugging, smelling. Just really trying to connect physically with her on a small level even, and that it doesn’t have to eventually lead to sex. Did you find this helpful for you in recovery? I’m also starting to really feel depressed, I notice in the afternoon every day the last 2-3 days I feel really down in the dumps emotionally. Hoping this is just withdrawal and it will pass.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
You're doing great, @ddrjcb2020 ! I'm 60 days into a 90 day reboot and have experimented with masturbation. Long story short: I was thoughtful about it, but realize that I made a mistake. Best to cut out masturbation for at least 30 days as part of the reboot. Your brain and your body need time to heal and recover. Keep up those cold showers when you feel the urge! ;)
 

anubu0

Active Member
I’m also starting to really feel depressed, I notice in the afternoon every day the last 2-3 days I feel really down in the dumps emotionally. Hoping this is just withdrawal and it will pass.

Hey dd. This is pretty normal and it may just be a part of the reboot process. Every time I attempt a reboot, I go through a cycle where I feel really energized and motivated, and then the following week I can just feel really horrible, lethargic, and sad. Unless you have a reason to believe that these feelings of depression originate from a different source, I would say that's just some symptoms of the reboot flatline. Keep going strong and happy father's day!
 

podvig

Member
Hi Everyone. Today is my first day here on this forum. Today, I write this entry coming off watching porn and masturbating during my work day at home. I have decided it is time for me to reclaim my life.

My therapist had introduced me to the YBOP site, and then through browsing that site, I found this forum. I have been addicted to pornography and masturbation since 12-13 years old. I am now 28 years old. It has been just over 16 years of pornography controlling every aspect of my life. I remember as a kid, before pornography being a happy and confident kid. When porn entered my life, I became self-conscious and insecure, shy, disconnected from reality, depressed (at times suicidal), and entering into my adult life, I am convinced that I have pornography-induced attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, even being medicated for it. I don't want to hide this anymore. I struggle with shame, and I need to get rid of that feeling.

I am a husband to a wonderful wife who has been with me on my journey through pornography. We have been married for almost six years, and early on in our marriage, I confessed my pornography addiction to her. She was so gracious, understanding, and kind. I began going to therapy, and I pretended to get better, but I wasn't getting better. My wife now thinks I am porn free, and I am far from it. Our sex life is almost non-existent for multiple reasons. Our sex life is hard on a typical day because I struggle with performance anxiety and shame regarding my porn addiction. I find it hard to be present in those moments and put the shame and guilt beside me. As a result, my erections are weak, and I have not had morning wood in probably a decade. When we were dating, I felt this shame, and we never had sex while we were dating, we fooled around at times, but we never experienced an orgasm together before marriage. I even felt so much shame on my wedding night because I masturbated the morning of and was so anxious, ashamed, and nervous that I could not get it up for a few days into our honeymoon. This is partially due to our religious upbringings to which we no longer subscribe, yet sometimes the religious shame lingers still. I want to feel connected to her sexually again. I want to have that ravenous and exciting honeymoon love sex life that we never got to have. I love her dearly, and I am here on the forum to confide in all of you instead of her. I don't want her to bear the burden of my sexual baggage anymore. She deserves better than what I can give her. But I need help becoming that person.

I am a father. I have an 18-month-old son, and I have a newborn baby due in November of this year. I love my son so much. It is ridiculous how much I love him. He has the most excellent parts of both my wife and me. Yet, I know that my baggage weighs on him too. Although I don't often think outside myself of how my pornography affects others around me, this journal is helping me to do that, and it feels nice. I want to be confident and healthy for my children so that when they inevitably face the dangers of internet pornography and unrealistic sexuality through social media, tv, etc. I can be there for them. I need this and desperately want to be better for them.

A little more about me, I am currently about a year away from completing my Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. After that, I will be a licensed professional counselor in my state. Being a therapist is my absolute dream job. I love the brain and how it works and how it heals. The journey of my master's program has been challenging to say the least, not only academically but emotionally. It has caused me to look introspectively and initially start going to therapy. Therapy has helped me do more deep emotional healing, but I need a more accessible community to help me through the extensive addiction to porn that has stuck with me for so many years. Ironically, one of the classes I am currently taking is an addictions counseling course, which has been challenging.

To be honest, I am not even sure where to go from here. I don't know how to stop myself from watching porn. I don't know how to prevent relapse. I don't know how to get free from this because it is all I know, and I can't imagine a life without it. It has stolen so much from me. It has arrested my brain development, emotional connections, career progress, self-esteem, etc. So I am hoping that this community will be a great place to find the healing and progress that I need.

Thank you for reading this, listening to my story, and connecting with me.

Got a chance to read through your story this evening. As your accountability partner I'll be here to give you a boost when you need it and motivate you until the finish line. Are you going for the 90-day mark to start with?

Also, how often do you plan on doing a journal? Is it only 1-2 a week? It's good to have a rough plan so you have some schedule that keeps you accountable. I'm aiming for at least every other day. Even once a week is fine I reckon, but the more you contribute, the stronger your mindset will be. I'll keep checking for updates :)

I'm amazed by your story. So you're the same age as me but I'm single living at home with parents, whereas you're married with two children and another on the way! You struggle with porn addiction yet you still managed to settle down with a family through all of this. With the support of your wife, and it sounds like she is very supportive, and the people on this forum and whomever else you wish to share this with, then you can beat this, no problem. Your kids will serve as enough inspiration, as you've said.

In a quirky sort of way, being a therapist while struggling with an addiction is kind of like being a surgeon with a broken leg -- you get a chance to study yourself! This could be of huge benefit to your future career, because you will know exactly what goes on in the minds of patients who struggle with addiction, because you can say with confidence that you've been there too. Once you conquer this, you will have set the example, that if you can beat it, so can they. It's a big responsibility but you are more than capable of this, by the sounds of it.

One tip I'll give today to defeat any urges: stay engaged. Keep focused on a task, anything, have a schedule, and plans and things to do, even if they're basic things, but it will eliminate any idle moments where you might give in to temptation. I made this mistake recently. Idleness = temptation. Channel the creative energy from your P habit into something else, drawing, writing, cooking, whatever. The mornings and evenings are likely the most difficult, so wake up with purpose (try the NoSnooze challenge) and go to bed tired. Even moderate exercise, a brisk walk, can shake off the temptations in the morning or before bedtime.

Anyway, hope things have been going well and catch up again soon brother, you've got this. (y)
 
Got a chance to read through your story this evening. As your accountability partner I'll be here to give you a boost when you need it and motivate you until the finish line. Are you going for the 90-day mark to start with?

Also, how often do you plan on doing a journal? Is it only 1-2 a week? It's good to have a rough plan so you have some schedule that keeps you accountable. I'm aiming for at least every other day. Even once a week is fine I reckon, but the more you contribute, the stronger your mindset will be. I'll keep checking for updates :)

I'm amazed by your story. So you're the same age as me but I'm single living at home with parents, whereas you're married with two children and another on the way! You struggle with porn addiction yet you still managed to settle down with a family through all of this. With the support of your wife, and it sounds like she is very supportive, and the people on this forum and whomever else you wish to share this with, then you can beat this, no problem. Your kids will serve as enough inspiration, as you've said.

In a quirky sort of way, being a therapist while struggling with an addiction is kind of like being a surgeon with a broken leg -- you get a chance to study yourself! This could be of huge benefit to your future career, because you will know exactly what goes on in the minds of patients who struggle with addiction, because you can say with confidence that you've been there too. Once you conquer this, you will have set the example, that if you can beat it, so can they. It's a big responsibility but you are more than capable of this, by the sounds of it.

One tip I'll give today to defeat any urges: stay engaged. Keep focused on a task, anything, have a schedule, and plans and things to do, even if they're basic things, but it will eliminate any idle moments where you might give in to temptation. I made this mistake recently. Idleness = temptation. Channel the creative energy from your P habit into something else, drawing, writing, cooking, whatever. The mornings and evenings are likely the most difficult, so wake up with purpose (try the NoSnooze challenge) and go to bed tired. Even moderate exercise, a brisk walk, can shake off the temptations in the morning or before bedtime.

Anyway, hope things have been going well and catch up again soon brother, you've got this. (y)
Wow, thank you so much podvig. This is really encouraging. I am reading this right after having a relapse and I needed to hear this. I get stuck in a rut of relapse when I feel disengaged, bored, and exhausted. But the hard part is I can't get that motivation back. I made it 14 days with no porn at all and that is huge for me. But now I can't make it past a day or two.
 
I am posting coming off of a relapse. Feeling really discouraged and not really sure what to do with it. I am losing motivation and don't feel equipped to prevent relapse. I feel like shit. I can't shake the shame. I know that the one or two relapses don't negate the 14 days of freedom I had. But I just want to get that momentum back and feel in control again.

Current Streak: 0 days
Best Streak: 14 days
 

podvig

Member
I am posting coming off of a relapse. Feeling really discouraged and not really sure what to do with it. I am losing motivation and don't feel equipped to prevent relapse. I feel like shit. I can't shake the shame. I know that the one or two relapses don't negate the 14 days of freedom I had. But I just want to get that momentum back and feel in control again.

Current Streak: 0 days
Best Streak: 14 days

Now you've conquered fourteen days... can you make fifteen? I believe you can. Or what about fifty? Five hundred? Nothing is impossible :cool:

I had a similar experience to you this past week, don't be dismayed. Keep focused and engaged. Idleness is your no.1 worst enemy!

The shame you're experiencing is actually a force of good in this situation. It shows me that you have a conscience. If you experienced no shame after these acts, then why would you care about quitting? The shame is guiding you towards a life where you are free of this addiction. Allow it to move through you. If you were shameless, then you'd be "not sorry for having done wrong", according to the dictionary definition. I think we're all ashamed in some way by being on this forum, but we seek a higher calling and shame can help us along the way.

Also I've read somewhere, and general experience proves this, that it is those first 1-3 days after a relapse or P session where it is the hardest to break free. I often find that I'm extra sensitive or easily turned on a day or two after, as if I've opened a gateway or portal to this sexual energy. After those initial few days, it becomes far easier to stay on top of the urges. Be prepared for a bumpy few days until you get out onto the open plain.

And remember always, as Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
 
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