I want to succeed at this as bad as I want to breathe

Warhawk88

Member
I am making this journal because I wanted a place to be able to post when I am having tough times, and want to be able to track my progress. I am not really sure how much I will use this forum, if I'm honest, but being in the first few days of a reboot, which are the hardest (figuratively not literally), I'm seeking some sort of lifeline to help get me through.

A bit on my background. I am a full blown porn addict. I am 34 years old, and have been watching porn since I was around 10, when my family got our first computer. I remember discovering the beginnings of internet porn then, and it was a thrill to me, and I have been sucked in ever since. I've had my ups and downs over the years. Of course, given the time period, there were periods of time in which I wasn't watching porn every day, because smartphones were not a thing when I was a teen, so porn use was sporadic, though still something that I would binge on when I ended up at home between parties, etc. In my teens, I really didn't understand the damage that porn would be doing, but I did have a few occurrences with girls where I had performance anxiety, which at the time, I didn't really put together that it was likely due to my brain already being roadblocked by my porn addiction. As a result, my confidence took a serious blow, which made it only easier to turn to porn, since porn never cared if I had issues getting it up (though I never have with porn)

Fast forward to my late 20's. At this point, I have made the connection that porn is causing harm to me. It is causing PIED, and is hurting the relationship with my long term partner, who is still with me today. At this time, I've discovered "yourbrainonporn" and reddit's "NO FAP" community, though I never got involved, just read up frequently. I started working on overcoming porn addiction on my own at this point, and I had varied levels of success, always ending up in relapse. I continued to struggle. My PIED was getting worse, but I was still able to perform to some degree at times, though I knew I was going downhill.

A couple years ago, I finally broke my silence. I was fed up, and decided I was going to let my partner in on my addiction, and look to her an an accountability partner. This was a very awkward experience at the time, and it really led to an awkward period of time for a bit. She knew what I was working on going through. I was honest when I would relapse, but we would still try to work through it. I had much better successes, and at one point, I felt that I had finally kicked porn for good.

Unfortunately, this period did come to an end within the year, though it was likely my most successful run to date. Her and I have been together for 15 years now, and I think trying to be adventurous led me down a slippery slope, and opened up my mind to things that made it easier to get closer to porn. We had been having lots of really healthy sex, and my PIED seemed to be gone, but one night we had had some drinks, and she went to bed after we had sex, and I craved more. I broke the barrier, watched porn, and was back to binging again very shortly thereafter. I was disappointed. I know she is disappointed. We didn't even talk about it. Our sex life became distant once again, and she knows exactly why that it. It's my fault. It's my addiction, and lack of control.

As of the past year or so, I have been leaning onto medication to get erections. I do not get them on my own any more. I'm not 100% sure if she's aware, but she must be. The sex is infrequent. I don't have much direct drive, but if she indicates that she wants to have sex, I am always able to make some excuse as to why I can't be home for 30 minutes, or have a quick errand to run. I take my pills discretely, then come back. I feel pathetic. I know I'm better than this. I know she deserves better than this. I am grateful for the fact that she's been with me so long, but know I'll lose her eventually to this if I don't get it together. If I don't, we're still doomed to a non-spontaneous love life that causes me more shame than joy, and while we don't speak about it, I'm positive she knows what's going on here, and feels the same.

So, this brings me to today. I have not PMO for 2 days, which is nothing to be proud of yet, especially given my history of failures. I have been putting serious thought into this again for the past few weeks, building myself up. "You can finally do this" "You HAVE to do this". These thoughts are obviously always paired with thoughts of self-doubt, since I've failed so many times in the past. Tonight I sought out some of the same info on porn addiction that I have in the past, as it's a good motivator for the first week, which has always been tough for me, and I came across this forum in the process. I thought, "perhaps it's time to do something different this time". I want to expand on the things that have brought me varied levels of success in the past. One of those things will be to document my struggles here. Another thing that I haven't done in the past, is to uninstall instagram from my phone. The app creates too much digital sexual excitement due to women posting such revealing photographs and reels. I also plan on staying off of other socials more, exercising more, and eating better.

Anyway, I'm here now. Getting this story out has made me feel a bit better, even. At this point, I keep telling myself that I can do this, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a bit (lot) of doubt in my mind accompanying this thought. Either way, I am going to do the best that I can with it, and I know I've had great streaks before, and the only thing keeping me from such a streak (and hopefully permanent success) is myself. I'm going to do the best I can to keep up here with this, but I'll be honest, I'm torn on how I feel about actively being a part of a forum like this. My hope for success is to keep it out of my mind altogether, and I'm not sure if regularly visiting a forum on the subject directly this will help, so I think this may be more of a place for me to go get a grasp on things when I'm feeling like I may relapse if I don't. I would also love to revisit this in 2 years and provide an update that I'm no longer sick with addiction, and that I'm better, and that you can do it too. I am not sure exactly how I will use this tool, but I hope to make use of it, if it makes sense to.

I know the cure is possible. I've been there, I just didn't stay there, but it was awesome, and I want nothing more then to be back to feeling free from this addiction again. Anyway, thanks for being a resource for me, and I promise to use it to help keep me on track. I also wish success to anyone else who may have a similar story.
 

Onmyway19

Active Member
Welcome, and thanks for sharing your story. This forum has been the difference in my current reboot. Before I found this place, I had a very similar story to yours.
You're doing a wonderful thing for yourself and your family. We've all got your back here
 
D

Deleted member 28870

Guest
Stay strong bro. I just turned 34 myself, and my addiction has led me to where I feel like I can never attain a stable relationship anymore. I hope abstinence is the key here.
 

tl23

Member
So, this brings me to today. I have not PMO for 2 days, which is nothing to be proud of yet, especially given my history of failures.
Hey there. I really enjoyed your post but I think you should re read this. As someone who struggles with self doubt, what about this reframe?

I have not PMO for 2 days and given my history of failures, I’m proud of my progress, albeit small so far.

It’s okay to feel proud each day. That’s how you’ll snowball into something bigger.

When I first started my journey I was afraid to “celebrate” or be proud of myself because my guilt and my shame or my fear that I’d relapse and feel stupid.

But every single action you take toward healing yourself is valid and something to be proud of, no matter the size or length of time.

Stick with it. You’ve got this!
 

Warhawk88

Member
Thanks all.

@tl23 I really appreciate that feedback and insight. You're right, mindset is everything. I know I'm coming from a place where I feel ashamed, but I also know that having the right mindset will help propel me to a place where I can feel proud. Thank you for the challenge to look at things more positively.
 

Warhawk88

Member
First week has been a success!

This first week wasn't as bad as it could have been. I've had reboots where the first week is a constant drag, and it's all I can think about, and I've had first weeks where I wasn't really phased. This is closer to the latter. I have still had moments where I've had mild temptations, but I very quickly moved past it. A curveball for this reboot is that I literally just started a new position at work this week, and it is an executive level position that requires a LOT of focus and decision making. Going into this week had me nervous, and worried that I would be filled with emotional clutter and disconnect when I needed to connect the most, but I've actually done quite well so far. I've been able to focus properly. I've found that I can be as cut-throat as I need to be when needed, while also being sensible enough to navigate delicate subjects appropriately.

There is something unique about this reboot. To be fully transparent, this is not the first addiction I've dealt with. I quit smoking cigarettes several years ago, after being a 2 pack a day smoker for about 10 years, I quit opiates in my early 20's, though I would state that I wasn't too deep down that rabbit hole at the time, but still bad enough to get full on dope-sick for weeks when I quit, and I quit smoking marijuana about 18 months ago, which, interestingly, was one of the harder things to quit to date, being that I've smoked it daily (all day) since I was 14 years old. The reason I bring these up, is because I tried to quit all of those multiple times, unsuccessfully, until I hit a point mentally where I told myself "I'm done" and when I hit that moment, there was no stopping me, and all three were quit cold turkey with no return afterwards. I am feeling a similar way on this journey with PMO. With this said, I'm still cautiously optimistic, as I do not want to set myself up for a total mental crash if I fail. Part of me wants to say "let's take this day by day" and part of me wants to say "I'm officially fucking done forever, and that's THAT"

I really don't know where the coming weeks take me. I know that my mind and emotions are likely to change as my brain starts working things out, but as of today, I'm feeling good.

On a side note: After really looking through the forum a bit this week, I really appreciate this forums existence, and the members who take their time out to share their stories, advice, failures, and success. I've always felt that I was on my own through this, but having a good resource like this seems to be a huge value for this process. I'm thinking that I will turn to this resource quite frequently through this process while I work on healing. It's great for accountability, and great for helping to understand that you're not alone.
 
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John919

Member
Wishing you the best of luck man. I started looking at porn at a similar age and it really screwed my brain up. PIED is no joke. A week completely free is huge! Remind yourself how well you're doing even if the steps seem small.
 

Warhawk88

Member
Thanks @John919!

Day 8.

While I've been through this many times before, I've never journaled my way though this process in the past. I figure this is a good opportunity to use this thread to note some observations that maybe I'll get the opportunity to look back on someday to reflect on.

  • While I am comfortable with my ability to maintain my status as of today, I do notice that women in person and on TV stand out to me more-so than usual. My eyes are immediately and subconsciously drawn to them. I feel like a robot with AI identifying targets amongst the crowd. I know this is my mind grasping for something to latch onto since it doesn't have porn. It's an interesting feeling knowing how programmed my brain is, and feeling it shoot out signals in desperation. I have been really good at pushing my mind elsewhere when this occurs, and keeping my focus. I find myself looking away just to make sure I don't feed that craving. I know that my success, at least at this point, relies on full abstinence, which includes any fantasy, or thoughts. What starts with me telling myself "I'm just appreciating her natural beauty" always snowballs into something that pushes temptation too far. At this stage, I know I just need to block it out.
  • I've noticed that I have periods of agitation that feel stronger than usual. This doesn't necessarily mean that I'm completely unreasonable, or a total asshole, just that I can feel a little more fire in my belly that I know I need to keep contained. Again, I've been through this many times before, so I have a bit more practice in keeping it under wraps, but it's definitely something that I cannot ignore. I noticed this in a couple discussions today at work, and at home. As I spoke my way through these discussions with others, I felt like my words were much more thought out and clear, but I know that if I'm not careful, they can come off as agitated, and opinionated, so I want to be careful, and aware of why I am bringing more energy to my discussions. It could be really easy to come off as an ass if I don't check myself.
Anyway, heading into the weekend now. The weekdays are easier to handle, for me, because work keeps me so busy that I don't have idle time. It's easy to escape my personal thoughts and feelings during the week. The weekend is certainly tougher, but I'm going into it with confidence. While I know it may be a tougher period to get through, I have to get through it. I'm going to try to seek opportunities to stay occupied somehow, and just try to keep my mind busy. I just have to make sure I maintain my mental state and confidence.
 
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Warhawk88

Member
Day 11

Never did I think I'd be so happy for it to be Monday!

The weekend was a drag, in that, I spent the majority of the weekend feeling off, knowing what I'm working my way through. I know this starts to become easier to accept and deal with soon enough, but this last weekend really was a drag. To elaborate, just like anything I've kicked in the past, including reboots of my past, there is a period in which my mind is desperate, and while I am not necessarily thinking of porn or sex, I am hyper-aware of the fact that I feel "off". I can feel the constant drive to feed my urges, while simultaneously playing mental blocker on any thoughts or consideration of providing myself that relief, because I know it is not an option any more. This is very frustrating, and is significantly harder to deal with when I'm not mentally absorbed by something else. The positive thing here is that I still feel quite confident in my goal, and my mental state has me feeling strongly that "going backwards is not an option", so while I struggled with how I felt this weekend, and definitely battled my mind wandering into territory I know it didn't belong, I felt confident I would make it through. I just knew I had to accept the pain associated with the recovery process. It's a good burn, I suppose; the kind that will eventually turn into more strength.

Fortunately, I'm back into the work week, and my job is typically quite mentally demanding, so it helps me get through. It's a night and day difference for me from the weekend, as it relates to my ability to feel comfort in what I'm going through. Today, I stayed busy as ever, and was able to stay focused on work all day, without thinking about porn or my reboot at all. I feel normal, and I'm grateful for that.
 

Warhawk88

Member
Day 13

I feel like my anxiety is starting to taper off a bit, so that's good. Obviously, I'm not at a point where I'm unaffected, but I'm not as aware of the fact that I'm going through my reboot. I am able to stay focused at work. In fact, I feel like, overall, I am able to stay very focused, and my focus is actually helping me to do better at work.

I noticed I'm not looking at all women the same as I was less than a week ago. I feel like my eyes aren't drawn immediately to a woman's cleavage or areas where she is showing some skin. I mean, I am to some degree, for sure, but not as bad and robotic as I felt a week or so ago.

Any time my mind is trying to think about sex, it is primarily about my lady. While I think this is a good thing, I'm still trying to keep from thinking about sex, in general, to avoid my mind going downhill. I still need to be firm with myself in my goals of mental abstinence during this period. I feel that this is important to my success. This will change in time, but for now, I'm still in early stages of my reboot, and need to stay strong while I navigate the early stage mental gymnastics of porn addiction to make sure I don't fuck up again.

Final note, I woke up with an erection last night, which was interesting to me. I was having a dream about something completely non-sexual, and just woke up like that in the middle of the night. This is honestly kind of surprising, as my dick feels lifeless and useless when I'm awake at this time otherwise. I didn't take any action, let it subside, then rolled back over for some more, much needed, sleep.

Keeping at it. Taking it day by day.
 

Warhawk88

Member
Well, had a weird (almost?) wet dream last night that was basically nothing but vivid porn fantasy. Not thrilled about it, and woke up feeling guilty. I didn't actually O in the process, just woke up with an erection, and feeling like I was just on the verge of O. Had I woke up 5 seconds later, I surely would have. I feel like this set me back a bit this morning, in that, it's awoken a drive I've been really good at keeping suppressed the past week or so. That's ok, I was able to keep myself contained after I woke up and until now, and will continue to do so. This was beyond my control, but a real eye opener to how hard my mind is trying to fight itself in this process.
 
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Warhawk88

Member
Today, I've hit two weeks without porn or MO, and I'm pretty happy about that. I think journaling has been a larger help for me than I initially thought it would be.

I will say, my dream last night really threw me off, and I think that's primarily due to the fact that I almost released, but didn't, and that has kinda given me blue balls today. This is where the real discomfort, mental and physical, comes in on these journeys for me. This is why I've tried to hide from thoughts of fantasy, because once I feel "built up", I feel weaker, and it takes time for this feeling to subside. Unfortunately, though I've been good with control when conscious, my unconscious mind took over and really screwed my plan up.

I am going to keep at it, though. I am driven to succeed this time around. I do not plan to let weakness take me over this time.
 
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Warhawk88

Member
Day 15

I feel significantly better, mentally and physically, today. I know the weekend presents a heavier struggle for me though, due to idle time and boredom, so I made sure to prep for this weekend by getting some supplies this week for a hobby I enjoy. This way I have something to build and focus on through the weekend when I am at home between other activities.

I am mixed between confidence and uncertainty. I know I need to get through this, for myself, and for my relationship. I need to be better.
 

Warhawk88

Member
Day 16

Had a lil bit of sexual encounter with the lady this morning. Without going into too much detail here, she basically gave me a handy this morning out of the blue. To be up front, I wanted more from the encounter, but frankly, I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to get it up, given the point of my reboot. I thought I was going to have to break my silence, and explain to her that I was rebooting from porn again, and I was really nervous about doing that, though I know I shouldn't be. To my surprise, I didn't have as much issue as I thought I was going to, though admittedly, was still not 100% where I'd like to be, functionally. Still, I didn't fantasize or think about anything, just enjoyed the moment itself, rose to the occasion, and I'm proud of that. While this encounter wasn't really in my immediate sight as it relates to my goals, and I was hoping to save my release for at least 30 days, I am not disappointed by it at all. Really, the whole point of my reboot and kicking porn is to get closer to her, so this was fully in line with my long term goals anyway, albeit a baby step.

I do know from experience that this is going to kick off more sex drive from me, so with power comes responsibility, and I intend to use that drive towards our relationship only, and not toward porn, remnant thoughts of porn, or fantasy. Only the real deal. I am going to stay strong on my goals of no MO at all either. The only release I care for at this point is with my lady.

Anyway, I can tell I am making some level of progress, exemplified by the fact that I wasn't plagued with full on ED today, and that gives me a ton of confidence in what I'm doing. I can't wait to see these results amplify as I get further along in this journey.
 

Warhawk88

Member
Day 17

This morning was strange. I definitely felt my brain trying to justify going backwards. I am not giving in to it, but I can feel it trying. This morning I was on Facebook, which I think I've been pretty good about as it relates to avoidance of triggering material, but got caught off guard this morning a bit. There was a video of someone doing some sort of wacky dancing, and it was kinda cool, so I was watching along as entertainment. Suddenly scene cuts to them dancing with an attractive girl in tight clothing, and I could feel my brain immediately try to make the justification to MO about it. Not that I was going to, or even tried to actually consider going through with it, just felt that "instinct" that I've felt in the past. I quickly broke away from it, and took a moment to reflect on the situation, and if I'm honest, it made me mad. It made me mad that my mind has been so foolishly tricked into thinking this is acceptable action any time I see an attractive girl in a video. It made me mad to feel so pathetic that my minds first thought is to please myself after seeing her on video. Surely, she did not partake in this video so random strangers can MO to her. While I know there will always be a primal instinct to acknowledge that a female is attractive, thinking in the way that I did in that moment is bothersome and unacceptable to me. I know that these types of triggers have lead me to PMO in the past, and today I was really bothered by that as I thought about what lead me to that type of thinking.

Anyway, I just found the change in my thoughts on this to be interesting. I normally try to wait until later in the day to journal, but I'm at home alone today for a few hours, and being that I've found strength through documenting my issues, figured this was as good a time as ever to journal my thoughts. While I am doing this for myself and my relationship, I will admit that, perhaps selfishly, it makes me feel good to come here and state that I've knocked down another day. I don't know anyone here, and don't have a ton of interaction with others, but I still feel a strengthening pride in sharing progress, instead of regress. I've found inspiration in reading of others on here making it to significant landmarks, and staying clean for great lengths of time, so I aspire to be on that level at some point.

Side note: My weekend hobby project was great. I had a little project, but ended up staying up late last night working on it, and can't proceed any further at this point due to supply needs. I will definitely be looking to plan projects for my weekends to help get through them. While I feel I can get through idle time with the right mindset, it sure helps to have something to do to stay distracted, and I get to build a skill, so double plus.
 

Warhawk88

Member
Day 20 no PMO or MO

Controlling urges has been very manageable, so no big concerns there. Not that I'm not having urges, just that I'm not feeling tempted to the point of feeling worried I might take action on them. At this point, I'm more just dealing with shame for being in this situation, and for putting my lady through her side of this situation. I'm embarrassed to be going through this again. I wish I could have held on better in my past attempts. I know I can't do anything about that now, I think it's just easy for it to be on my mind in this moment. I'm still feeling very confident in my ability to abstain for the foreseeable future.
 

Warhawk88

Member
Thanks @TakeActionNow .

It's not my intent to be negative, and I am focused on my accomplishments. The interesting part of journaling for me is just being brutally honest or open, and digging deep to find out what I'm struggling with, getting it out there, then letting it go once I have done so. To me, it's therapeutic. I am not being eaten up by negative thoughts, but they do exist, and that's ok for me. It's also ok for me to acknowledge my dark days, and know where my future goals lie. Frankly, living in the moment is what got me here in the first place. With this said, I do genuinely appreciate the challenge and opportunity to look at my dialogue differently, and think about what I might be able to do to keep the best outlook as I make my way through this journey and beyond, so thank you for that, truly.

Anyway, on that note, I am at 21 days now. Three weeks clear of any P, PMO, or MO. While I am happy about this, I'm more happy with where my mindset is at this time. I've been through this a handful of times in the past, and I've never felt as driven to succeed at this point of abstinence as I do on this reboot. I am driven, focused, and confident, and I don't intend on taking a step back at this point.
 

GeminiMan

Active Member
Thanks @TakeActionNow .

It's not my intent to be negative, and I am focused on my accomplishments. The interesting part of journaling for me is just being brutally honest or open, and digging deep to find out what I'm struggling with, getting it out there, then letting it go once I have done so. To me, it's therapeutic. I am not being eaten up by negative thoughts, but they do exist, and that's ok for me. It's also ok for me to acknowledge my dark days, and know where my future goals lie. Frankly, living in the moment is what got me here in the first place. With this said, I do genuinely appreciate the challenge and opportunity to look at my dialogue differently, and think about what I might be able to do to keep the best outlook as I make my way through this journey and beyond, so thank you for that, truly.

Anyway, on that note, I am at 21 days now. Three weeks clear of any P, PMO, or MO. While I am happy about this, I'm more happy with where my mindset is at this time. I've been through this a handful of times in the past, and I've never felt as driven to succeed at this point of abstinence as I do on this reboot. I am driven, focused, and confident, and I don't intend on taking a step back at this point.
Inspiring…
 
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