Reclamation

Reclamation

New Member
I'm 28. Over the past 18 years, my porn addiction has evolved into a sex-seeking addiction. It's not just porn that's the issue anymore. It's:
  1. Attachment issues and sexual obsession, hyper-sexuality and a constant sense of missing out - Hyper-focused on obtaining external mates, approval and desire from females - A motive to do everything in my life in order to attract someone instead of focusing on myself
  2. An interest in real life voyeurism and novel sex (recreating porn interests), joining kink, poly and swinger sites, browsing and visiting escorts, seeking encounters, using dating apps and chats addictively. Confusion around commitment and desires
  3. Changes in sexual orientation interests at times, have acted on it a bit
  4. Penis/penis-function based worth and trauma - Bad masturbation habits at a high frequency - Chronic pelvic pain and dysfunction (numb)
  5. Fantasy (reinforces the issues)
  6. Warped, unnatural interests, taboo themes, hardcore and novelty for dopamine highs
  7. Coping with craving, withdrawals and discomfort
  8. Snooping on social media (girls, exes etc.) and getting triggered
  9. A core addiction to technology - Porn, porn references, triggers and ads everywhere
  10. Seeking and fishing in general... (looking for it anywhere I can find it)
Seeking itself is the issue. That's the role dopamine plays. It's not the porn but the behavior that needs addressing in every place it arises. I've always been hypersensitive emotionally and nervous-system wise. My whole life and all my relationships have been a series of small traumas. There is a loneliness and lack of belonging I feel. There is an emptiness in my life porn creates and fills. I do all this to self-soothe.

Core emotional issues and themes:
  • Attachment issues. Unprocessed relationship grief, resentment, sadness, confusion, attachment, longing, jealousy
  • Lack of purpose on an ultimate level, mundane level and career/life level
  • Aging and appearance - Clinging to youth, relevance and what they mean - Apperance based worth
  • Highly sensitive plus a noisy ruminative mind - issues around self-regulation
  • Being behind in life, executive dysfunction, overwhelm, paralysis, addiction/default to planning but not initiating - Not in the career I wanted
  • Loneliness, No real hobbies, trouble initiating them based on the above. Lack of belonging
  • Regret
  • Chronic invalidation
  • Chronic pleasing and reassurance seeking - Low assertiveness and self-defense
  • Highly sensitive with emotional dysregulation
  • Childhood neglect, conflict and immature parent, family dysfunctions and conflict growing up
  • CPTSD - Many small traumas
  • Chronic shame all tied in and low sense of identity - Using criticism, perfection and pressure as motivation. Extreme self-pressure - Not good at dropping things to focus on the important. Everything is important (also an executive function issue)
 
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Reclamation

New Member
Gonna try a question based format based on the intro post and adjust it over time.

Did I act-out today?
In the middle of the night yes. After waking, no, not porn, but I'm still on dating and sexual sites and seeking out casual sex semi-successfully. By that I mean I've found interested third-parties. But deep down, based on my sexual dysfunctions, I'm terrified. And an aspect of my intuition tells me it's all porn inspired and self-soothing. A way to get my dopamine because porn doesn't cut it anymore. There is a lot of artificial sexual content and triggers in the process. A lot of dopamine driven seeking. Just work and being burnt out is probably the only thing stopping me most the time. Bed is usually the issue.

What are some patterns I engaged in?
Just what I mentioned about

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress?
With sugar. I also noticed how bad my tendency is to seek reassurance at every moment.

Anything else on my mind?
I use porn as an escape from reality. I need to change my focus to nonduality, oneness, unity. I need to seek truth. I need to meditate and rewire my brain that way. Use my suffering. Make exploring my experience my main focus and refuge. Instead of external things, I need to look inside. I need to make my constant moment to moment experience and existence my refuge.

What am I grateful for today?
I'm living in a nicer place than I used to with nicer people and I'm lucky. It's clean, modern, tidy and I feel more like I belong here. I'm looking forward to a holiday soon where I'll see my family.

Lessons going ahead?
Charge my phone away from my bed. Quit all the dating and sex sites but keep in touch with the nice people. Delete Snapchat and similar chat apps. True satisfaction comes from the mind/oneness and break from being "you", not from material objects or fleeting sensations based on reactions to externals. I need to re-read dopamine nation. Sleep and eat better. Simplify my habits. Get the baseline down. Focus on oneness. Use firm-self compassion and nothing else to move ahead. Refuse to do it any other way.
 
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Reclamation

New Member
Did I seek or act-out today in any way? What are some unhelpful patterns I engaged in (not just porn)?
Again it's subtle things. I linger on sexual content during mindless browsing. I still check accounts I should have deleted by now and feel conflicted about even though I know deep down what to do. I haven't let go of my seeking of sex. It's been a long time since I've had it. I've been super socially anxious lately. Porn contributes. And I've been interested in too many girls at once and giving off the wrong impression to some that I really like them a lot. Other unhealthy habits include beating myself up over things. I always get overwhelmed and depressed how behind I am on everything at this time of year and how much older I am. None of this is new. It's all a loop I've been in for years.

What do I still need to gently practice being more accepting of?
My progress. My life up until this point and all the influences on me that have led to this point which haven't fully been in my control. The external standards I measure myself up against. The things I think I should be doing. My appearance and age. The fact things take time and the stages I'm truly at, not where I want to be. I need to keep starting where I am. I need to be more accepting that I also can't do everything I want at once and to go easier on myself in general. I feel really down on my age.

What am I justifying too much? What are some blind-spots I can think of?
The dating apps and seeking sexual partners online

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress?
I didn't really. Just sugar again.

Hows my sleep, nutrition, hydration and exercise?
I do go to bed each night at a reasonable time but my phone and nervous system are an issue. I also tense up a lot in bed. Nutrition is bad. Lots of sugar still Avoiding cooking. Hydration needs work. I walk heaps as I always do but do need to do more posture work.

Anything else on my mind?
I hate how tense I am after social interactions. I hate how much I have to force my personality and calmness these days. I really do inhibit how much of me I share with the world and then resent myself for it. I'm too ashamed to be my full self with others in terms of vocabulary, interests, humor etc. Confidence is very low.

What am I grateful for today?
I have a good workplace surrounded by great people. Had one workmate really open up to me about panic attacks he had in the past after I mentioned I do meditation. I have a nice easy job.

Lessons for resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
We need a balance of equanimity, wisdom and compassion. Addiction is a selfish pleasure based behaviour even if we don't fully control it. Recovery is for others too. It's also for the sake of everyone we are gonna have an impact on. We need to connect to heal. Equanimity is an objective nonjudgemental awareness of things as they are. Not getting too attached to good feelings just as much as the bad. Just accepting the flow of life stoically. Mindfully. The kind of Radical Acceptance seen in DBT. We need to be more aware of our minds through mindfulness, self-awareness and meditation. Dopamine, pain and pleasure are all linked in the brain. The world bombards us with it all.

Lessons and actions going ahead?
Accepting reality. I still need to live life and if I don't accept reality as it is, it's just going to get harder and harder. I need to accept what levels of control I have and take the recovery seriously. Digital minimalism is an area I also need to get back into exploring. With sex, I think it's not bad I want it, but it's difficult to reconcile the dating app stuff. I need to learn also not to hide my true self so much. Going way, way easier on me. Giving myself more time in life and being more forgiving of my regrets, progress and appearance. Working on the roots of the addiction matters most. The traumas and sensitivity. The mindfulness. The list in my first post. I need to let go of the past to move forward. I need to come into alignment with my new direction towards seeking nondual awareness and oneness which is already present. Remember the difference between pain and suffering!

Here are the 10 steps to practicing Radical Acceptance according to DBT’s founder, Marsha Linehan:
  1. Observe that you are questioning or fighting reality (“it shouldn’t be this way”)
  2. Remind yourself that the unpleasant reality is just as it is and cannot be changed (“this is what happened”)
  3. Remind yourself that there are causes for the reality (“this is how things happened”)
  4. Practice accepting with your whole self (mind, body, spirit) - Use accepting self-talk, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and/or imagery
  5. List all of the behaviors you would engage in if you did accept the facts and then engage in those behaviors as if you have already accepted the facts
  6. Imagine, in your mind’s eye, believing what you do not want to accept and rehearse in your mind what you would do if you accepted what seems unacceptable
  7. Attend to body sensations as you think about what you need to accept
  8. Allow disappointment, sadness or grief to arise within you
  9. Acknowledge that life can be worth living even when there is pain
  10. Do pros and cons if you find yourself resisting practicing acceptance
 
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