Numb Inside

joepanic

Well-Known Member
Joepanic-

And this is why I post things here on RebootNation... I really think your response to both my fears and Gracie's comments are so important and relevant for me in my situation and I greatly appreciate what you have shared.

I think the most important thing that really stood out to me was the following statement, "I would say you "used to live a lie" but you no longer are." This is so true and I have never stopped to think about it that way. I am no longer a slave to porn - I am no longer living a double-sided hidden lifestyle that is, and was, and will always be a lie. You are correct. I """""used"""" to live a lie. Your statement free's me up from the mental overload I had so Thank You for that incite.
Yes I truly believe there is no point in looking in the rear view mirror perhaps thats why its so small and the windshield is so large. Its one thing to never forget who you were,,, that way you won't repeat it. But to base your future on your past is counterproductive. Your not that person anymore. No one sets pout to be a porn addict. We were pretty much dragged out of a what could have been a good life and dragged into this shit life of a porn addict. Many people may or may not have been hurt as a result but in my opinion no one was hurt more than the addict himself. In my story my wife knew I surfed a crap load of porn. She doesn't know I was outright addicted to it for so many years or some of the genres I was into and it shall stay that way. She does have some idea of why I watched it She couldn't care less that i watched it as long as I didn't involve her in it which i haven't. It never affected our marriage, She knows I gave it up for my own reasons. It's mentioned many times here the hurt that a porn addict causes to a partner, and yes all of it is true. But that is the only hurt that is allowed to be discussed here at rebootnation. Many times an addict might mention how their partner might have hurt them in some way along the way but it really doesn't get discussed in any depth, Porn addiction needs to be a much wider conversation. Less judgmental and a more supportive. I mention this mainly because the mandate of this site is to help people rewire their brains by supporting them while they withdraw from porn. But many of the topics seem to gravitate towards fixing relationships or fixing the damage to partners. Unfortunately am injured soldier can't drag another injured soldier off the battlefield

Post often it helps me it helps you
 

SimonM

Active Member
SimonM - question for you. So since your wife is aware of your struggle, does she ever ask you any questions about how you are doing? Do the two of you ever have any conversations about 'the struggle'? If yes, then what is that like for the two of you?

She does ask me how it's going sometimes. I dread it. I don't like lying really so it's always been a hard topic when it comes up. I don't LIKE to talk about my addiction. It makes me feel like a loser. I also know that it hurts her. But to be honest, the part I hate the most is that she always wants to know what I'll do about it. She wants to see some action on my part - going to a addictions group, talking to my counselor, etc. She also says she just wants to know if I fail right away. She hates finding out after the fact. She's actually quite supportive, but she wants to see that I am taking it seriously and figuring out a way to get help. Man - I'm lucky she's so supportive! But...

For the last few years I haven't wanted to do anything about it. I just wanted to tell her that I didn't think any of her suggestions would make any difference or I didn't have the time for them. I just thought I needed to solve this on my own. So - I hate that question. Because then she's left feeling let down by me, and I feel guilty.

The last time we talked I honestly just told her a bunch of BS (I'm much better now bla bla) because I was SO deep in a hole that I could not tell her the truth. I wasn't willing to face how bad it was, and I am actually certain that despite her support for over a decade she would NOT be ok if I told her the full truth of what I've been up to. It would be the end. It's that bad.

So now I am on this journey on my own. I have decided to fix it. Finally. I am here to do that and she doesn't know. Because she'd ask why I need to be here... and I don't want to BS again. I just want to change for good now. I don't want to lose it all - and I was damn close to that. If she does ask I'll probably admit that I'm on a forum again but I'll tell her that it's just to put the finishing touches on overcoming my addiction. I won't tell her about the dark abyss I was in. It's not very honest and I'm honestly a bit disgusted by the coward I am. But the longer I can be my true self again the better it is. If I can TRULY leave this in the past then I can maybe let the past be the past and just live the rest of my life as an honest husband. If I can't then I truly don't deserve her.

Long answer to a simple question sigh!
 
I am so thankful for this forum and all of the men that have responded to my posts and encouraged me along the way. I have been learning a lot through this journey. For example, back in June, I was under so much stress that I crashed and burned by going on a week-long PMO death spiraling binge. I allowed all the triggers that went with those stressful moments to control my actions. I gave up and gave in. I felt so weak and hopeless. I relinquished all responsibility to the stress and triggers that were going on at the time. I felt worthless.

Starting next week, my wife and I will begin walking down a whole new path together. We will be taking our son back to college, we will start a full kitchen and dining room remodel. There will be a garage sale, new carpet in four rooms of our current house, putting our current house up for sale, and then getting ready to move into a brand new home we are building out in the middle of a corn field, all while networking for new clients for my photography business. I can't wait. lol

Yes, this will be stressful. BUT... I can look back on some major stress-related things that happened over the summer and I can see that I made it through just fine. I'm going to take the new attitude that "I can do this!" The only reason I can make that statement confidently is because of the foundation I have been building:
  • My relationship with Christ is more important than porn
  • My relationship with my wife is more important than porn
  • My relationship with myself is more important than porn
One of the most important things I will have to remember and implement is each day to focus on taking care of myself first. Get my cup of coffee, take time for my daily devotions, finish at least one lesson from ReMojo, email my AP, and post here on Reboot and YourBrainonPorn. Then, and only then, can I begin to tackle the other things with both of our homes.

If you're interested, get the YouVersion bible app and look for the Stormproof Men devotional. It's awesome and really brings to light some very powerful thoughts.

Day 48 - Zero PMO | By the Grace of God
 
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As I reflect back on my PMO addiction, I remember how selfish and closed in I was. Often, it felt like I would crawl into the darkest corner of my room, sitting in the fetal position on the floor with absolutely no hope. I was self-absorbed and at times couldn't wait until I could get alone with my phone so I could feed the dopamine rush (I didn't know what it was called back then) and edge for hours. I would only engage in social or family events to just make an appearance and then retreat to my room.

I'm now on Day 51 and feeling so much better about myself. I don't feel a lot of the old emotions, or I don't feel them as intensely anymore. I still struggle a little bit when I'm around people I'm meeting for the first time, but I'm working on it. Even though my brain wants to remind me of all the things I could have said differently during those first-time conversations, I try my best to quickly acknowledge the thought and then tell myself, I can't go back and change anything. It's done and over and it's time to move on.

Yesterday, my wife and I threw a nice size going-away party for our son who is heading off to college in a couple of days. Normally, I would have been in my room completely exhausted from all the prep work and social interaction. Instead, I helped clean the house, fix some of the food, set up tables, chairs, and tents, and socialize with our friends and family. It was actually fun to take my eyes off of myself and find out what is happening in the lives of everyone else. My wife and I were exhausted at the end of the day - heck, who wouldn't be? But I made a choice to step out of the old ways of retreating into my room and start focusing on others instead of myself.

The moral of the story, for me, is two-pronged. First, I need to take care of myself so I have a healthier mental, physical, and spiritual foundation. Then, secondly, I need to stop focusing so much on myself and learn more about the other important people in my life. Every single person that was at our house yesterday brought something "fun" to the party and it was so rewarding to be a part of it.

So, if you're starting out on Day 1, and feeling like there's just no way you can make it. I get it. I've been there and you can make it. In the beginning, it feels like you're just trying to get through the next five minutes of your self-induced death-spiral porn addiction that is full of depression and anxiety. BUT, you can do it. Get through the first five minutes, then you can get through the next ten minutes, and so on. You can do it. I highly encourage you to figure out what tools work best for you and USE them on a daily basis. Start building your strong foundation so that you can begin to enjoy your own company and the company of those around you.

Remember, YOU CAN DO THIS!

Day 51 - Zero PMO | 8/15/2022
 
Yes! I'm still here. Life has been really busy with all sorts of things and I haven't been able to post as often as I would like. I will continue to post when possible even though the next couple of months are going to be very busy for my wife and me.

First things first... a couple of days ago I finally told my wife. Before I share how that conversation went I think I might need to provide more background information to help everyone understand why I was so afraid to tell her.

Several years ago I was able to have about 6 months of a PMO-free life after being addicted to porn for several years. I was feeling really good about how things were going and I told my wife about my porn addiction. I also told her that I had 6 months under my belt and I was doing much better. She obviously was very upset and that caused a lot of problems in our marriage for some time. Then, unfortunately, and like a lot of men, I began going through a lot of high-level stress-related things, both medically and mentally to the point where I lost my job. I gave into porn one night thinking that I was strong enough to only look just once and I would still be okay. Well, we all know that one look lead to absolute failure on my part and that one moment eventually grew into PMO sessions 3 - 4 times a week. This went on for several years and my life continued to get worse. More depression and anxiety set in. The porn-addictive death spiral kept getting worse and I was being taken down deeper into a darker place.

When I posted several weeks ago about how afraid I was of telling my wife, those were real feelings. I really was afraid if I told my wife about my relapse then it would destroy our marriage.

So, here's to being transparent. Call me a chicken or a coward but this is how I explained things to my wife the other night. Since we are in the midst of remodeling our current house so we can sell it to move out to a brand new house we are building, I'm under a lot of stress. My wife works full-time and I'm at home on disability. I've told her that I will handle dealing with all of the contractors: emailing, texting, calling, etc. and she continues to focus on her job responsibilities. The other night I told her that I don't want to relapse so I have put up some very strong defenses such as these forums and the support I get from them, my daily devotions, journaling, and going through the lessons on ReMojo and having an incredible Accountability Partner. I explained that I have put porn blockers on both my phone and pc and if she did look at my phone or pc history she will find PMO-related searches so that I can learn more about this addiction and stay on top of things.

Since telling my wife, I have felt more confident as a man, husband, and father. I can now look my beautiful wife in her eyes knowing I do not have anything to hide and we laugh more with each other.

So, that's my story. That's my journey.

Day 55 - Zero PMO | By the Grace of God
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Congratulations! My husband, in the midst of my roller coaster feelings in the beginning, told me he was glad I found out. That statement let me know he wanted to quit. Yay to you and your wife!
 
I'm thankful for the stress! I think...

My wife and I are in the midst of remodeling our current home so we can sell it and move to the new home we are building. Obviously, there is a lot of stress with all the phases of these projects. I think I'm becoming thankful for the stress though. Let me explain.

Today, while painting our current living room, I reminded myself to just focus on the moment and not everything else that is going on. Put some good music on and just start rolling away with the new color for the walls. I had to remind myself that today was going to be a good day. I have a calendar in place for all the different meetings, phone calls, emails, and texts I have to attend or send out. I have a binder full of notes to rely on when needed. I don't have to worry and become anxious about tomorrow, which isn't even here yet. I can just focus on painting the LR and have fun with it. I tried asking my dog if he wanted to help me paint and he just looked at me with a blank stare and then walked off. Hmmm.

I am learning that through all of these projects, I have to trust the process. We have fantastic contractors involved in all steps of the remodel and building. They know what they are doing. Yep, my wife and I plan out the details and work with the contractors accordingly, but, I have to trust them and the process. By feeling okay with trusting other people, I can settle down and focus on having fun while painting even though my dog still won't help me out.

I think recovering from a PMO addiction is very similar to the projects I'm involved in, or the amount of stress I'm experiencing because of them. There's a lot of stress that can happen when giving up an old bad habit. Dealing with triggers, emotions, lies, and the ever-so-popular dopamine rush can all be extremely daunting. It's clear to see why it can be so easy to relapse. But, if I continue to build on the three-pronged foundation I've created: My relationship with Christ is more important than porn, My relationship with my wife is more important than porn, and my relationship with myself is more important than porn, then I have to begin to trust the process. I have to make the intentional decision to take care of myself first by reading my daily devotions, journaling when I can, listening to and responding to my ReMojo lessons and Action Steps, posting here when I can, and checking in with my Accountability Partner. I have to trust this process that I'm creating. As I continue to develop and build on my foundation each day, focusing on each new day, then I'm finding the stress and anxiety no longer have control over my life. The triggers no longer have control over my life. I may be eating more dark chocolate to compensate for the dopamine levels but, hey, I'm not surfing the internet for a quick fix.

It is a process and we are all at different places on our journey. Let's keep building the foundations we have created and trust the process.

By the Grace of God
 
Today is another huge milestone for me. Today is Day 60 of Zero PMO. Tonight just might be "ice cream" night. lol

A lot of intentional hard work has gone into rejecting the addictive death spiral of porn. I'm so glad that 60 days ago I made a deliberate choice to walk away from it. I've learned so much more about myself by building my foundational vision/goals for my life. The biggest thing I've learned is that I must want freedom from porn, and the benefits it provides, more than porn itself and the problems that come with it. Am I, we, willing to give up a destructive behavior so that we can lead a better life, and have better and more fulfilling relationships? Am I willing to pay the cost of making this change for the better?

Well, I think of it this way, I already paid the cost for so many years when I was addicted to porn. I gave up my self-worth. My poor decisions toward porn affected my job, my wife, my kids, and my relationship with my Lord and Savior. So, with all confidence and joy in my heart I consciously, and intentionally decided to continue the journey of freedom from porn.

Tonight, I might even add some chocolate syrup to the ice cream. It's celebration time.

By the Grace of God...
 
So,... I need some advice. Please and thank you.

Right now I am under a lot of stress and pressure. We are currently in the midst of a huge remodel of our current house while building a brand new house about an hour and a half away. My brain is numb from dealing with all of the details, phone calls, texting, and emails. At the same time, I'm trying to do some networking in the new area for my small business as well.

The other night I was extremely stressed to the point that I wanted to revert back to watching porn and let one off. I texted my AP and at first, everything was going well. He was very encouraging and supportive. However, the longer we texted, the worse things got. We both started texting about our past porn use and sexual lifestyles. It got to the point where we were both edging while texting. To be honest, I was so numb from everything that was going on that I didn't care. Yet, on the other hand, my heart was beating so fast and hard that I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. I knew what I/we were doing and it felt great. Once we stopped texting for the night, I was still very excited and finished things off with a quick MO session. I have blockers on both my phone and pc so I did not view any porn.

The next day, we both apologized to each other and promised not to "go there" again. I'm really confused as to what to do at this point... just because I'm so numb from all that is going on. My AP and I have a lot of things in common and seem to really connect with each other. However, I cannot allow this type of support to continue as I have about a month and a half more of this stress before we move.

I need some suggestions on how to handle this situation. I would like to continue with this AP but...

Any thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Day 67 - Zero P

By the Grace of God
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Hello my friend, I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties.

At this time I am also doing some home related matters:
House remodeling
Help moving a family member to another place
Getting that place ready with cleaning clearing and painting etc.

So its been several dusty, labor intensive and lots of traveling weeks.

My learnings during this period were:
Don't over stretch yourself. Treat it like a 9 to 5. Stop when you're really tired and rest.
Sleeping early is the best.
We easily make mistakes when we're over stretched, and in the moment of desperation, start cravings and indulgence.

I can't comment about your relationship with your AP, but about our addiction, this I know:
Don't indulge
Don't reminisce
What we need most is distance from a old addictive habit. Nothing about it is beneficial.
For me, I would avoid all discussion about it, mostly because I'm in the program of moving forward, and leaving this awful habit behind.
Perhaps you can ask to limit the duration of your sessions with your AP and focus what is needed:
Rest
Recovery
Redirecting

We need to train ourselves for better independence and internal care, based on limitations and goals

Most importantly, rest and recover. Sleep was my best recovery. Had 9 awesome hours last night. Felt great today.

You got this.
 
Last edited:

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Well you are still doing great. Two things stand out: You didn’t use porn and you recognized what happened. That is awesome! Maybe, try writing a schedule. I know, I know I am a “seat of my pants” planner. But if you have something you look at that says, from this time to that time reach out to new customers. Before have time to review what you want to say and who the reach out is to. If the emails are over whelming, put a time to look at them. Don’t get alerts for everyone that comes in. Schedule lunch and breaks for you. Schedule a quick walk or even a nap. I have found I am less tired if I do this myself.
 
Hello my friend, I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties.

At this time I am also doing some home related matters:
House remodeling
Help moving a family member to another place
Getting that place ready with cleaning clearing and painting etc.

So its been several dusty, labor intensive and lots of traveling weeks.

My learnings during this period were:
Don't over stretch yourself. Treat it like a 9 to 5. Stop when you're really tired and rest.
Sleeping early is the best.
We easily make mistakes when we're over stretched, and in the moment of desperation, start cravings and indulgence.

I can't comment about your relationship with your AP, but about our addiction, this I know:
Don't indulge
Don't reminisce
What we need most is distance from a old addictive habit. Nothing about it is beneficial.
For me, I would avoid all discussion about it, mostly because I'm in the program of moving forward, and leaving this awful habit behind.
Perhaps you can ask to limit the duration of your sessions with your AP and focus what is needed:
Rest
Recovery
Redirecting

We need to train ourselves for better independence and internal care, based on limitations and goals

Most importantly, rest and recover. Sleep was my best recovery. Had 9 awesome hours last night. Felt great today.

You got this.
Hello, my friend...

It's always good to hear from someone else who is in the trenches with me. If I read into your post, I think I'm really hearing how important it is to take care of myself first. If I can't or don't do that then I'm no good to anyone and the chance for relapse is even greater.

This week has been huge for my wife and me in that our kitchen remodel is kind of coming to a close but we now have a living room and three bedrooms worth of furniture all stuffed into our dining room so we can have new carpet installed. Yep, I just want my house back but while the carpet is being installed I get a few hours all to myself to check emails, texts, forums, and journaling. I get some "me" time for a couple of hours. Then, this afternoon I drive two hours to attend a business networking conference and then drive two hours back home.

I'm trying my best to "dance in the midst of the storm". Yep, I'm maxed out on the stress but little by little things are getting chipped away and we will be back to whatever our normal is. I'm learning to trust the process and trust God that he will see me through this craziness.

In regards to my AP... I have put the kibosh on things and told him that I will not go back to my old lifestyle again, no if's and's or but's about it. I want to focus on my recovery with a Christ-centered foundation. If he is willing to walk down that road with me then great. If not, then we can part ways.

Thank you again for your kind and supportive words.
 
Well you are still doing great. Two things stand out: You didn’t use porn and you recognized what happened. That is awesome! Maybe, try writing a schedule. I know, I know I am a “seat of my pants” planner. But if you have something you look at that says, from this time to that time reach out to new customers. Before have time to review what you want to say and who the reach out is to. If the emails are over whelming, put a time to look at them. Don’t get alerts for everyone that comes in. Schedule lunch and breaks for you. Schedule a quick walk or even a nap. I have found I am less tired if I do this myself.
Gracie-

How ya doin' today?

Once again, spot on advice and I really appreciate it. As I continue this recovery journey, each day I am able to recognize more boundaries, limitations, and new paths I can implement. I am constantly trying to remember my three-tiered foundation during all of this stress: My relationship with Christ is more important than porn. My relationship with my wife is more important than porn. And lastly, my relationship with myself is more important than porn.

Thanks again.
 
The further and further I get away from my Day 1 post I am able to see that I am stronger than I originally thought, and obviously, that's a good thing. :)

After about two weeks, our kitchen, dining room, and hallway remodel is finally done. The brand new carpet has been installed as well. They were a lot of bumps in the road with all of these projects, BUT, I was able to get through everything. I might have done it by the skin of my teeth, but hey, I did it. That's what matters. I did not give in to any triggers, especially the trigger of stress. Yep, I am mentally and physically exhausted from all of the decisions and problems that happened, but once again, I made the right choices during all of it.

I am realizing that life is not always about me and that sometimes it's better to give than receive. I'm finding that it's okay to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people, try new things, and stop and smell the roses regardless of how scary it makes me feel. Learning that it's highly important to take care of myself first on the mental, physical, and spiritual levels is so crucial to how my day goes. It's okay to stop and take a deep breath so I can re-focus on what I'm doing. It's okay to take a step back and re-examine why I'm doing something and the overall impact it will have on my life.

For those that use a counter, today is Day 80 for me. There have been a lot of struggles during this journey and I would expect nothing less. Each one of these struggles has taught me something new about the process of giving up porn and about myself. I don't like the reason why I'm here, but I do like the better me. I'm excited about what today and tomorrow bring.

By the Grace of God
 
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