Dealing with Shame, PIED and Addiction!

Nico

Member
Today is day 13, I only just found this forum and can see how useful it is.

I feel this amazing energy behind quitting porn this time, after a long struggle - of course it is early days still, and the temptations are with me today. I have been in recovery since 2001 with a relapse in 2010/11, for serious alcoholism, and even help people with addictions in my job - but this addiction to porn is more insidious because unlike alcohol the consequences of using are less catastrophic and obvious so its been easier to hide and deny. However Ive had a hard look at myself and my life and can see that there are consequences: Ive had PIED (well I hope its PIED!) for a long time, failed relationships, a sense of shame and low worth...I was definitely escaping difficult feelings with porn. This is so frustrating because Ive been in recovery a long time, practised buddhism and meditation for years, but after a breakup and suffering burnout at work, I slipped back into full blown porn addiction/fetish engagement over the last couple of years.

, but would love to find support and accountability with the reboot :)
 
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Nico

Member
Welcome Nico. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on day 13!
Thanks :)
Good luck @Nico and welcome to the ‘hood. It’s effing brilliant here. Write as often as you can.
Ok I will do thanks! Day 14 hard mode - was meant to have a date with someone i have been seeing casually but decided I need to focus on this and put everything else aside. In the past I have done the soft mode and used 'mindful masturbation.' and energy circulation which is actually really beautiful and maybe even more enjoyable than using porn. 14 days ago I was doing this, and ejaculated by mistake lol..but from experience I know that sometimes I wanted or needed just to look at a soft image, or use fantasy or something to get it going and of course that would lead back to escalation of the need for stimulation.
My goal, which I expect many of us have is to become naturally aroused by a partner without needing to be off in my head somewhere..I really want embodied present sex, and would love to practice tantra in a relationship.
I think the biggest problem is that my fantasy or fetish seems so deep rooted, but has caused me so many issues (its not illegal or harmful to others but is harmful to me!) I initially shared all about it but then felt I had overshared. Maybe I need to at some point when I feel more trust in this forum. I don't know if this will change, but I do know a reboot might help.
I find myself wondering when its ok to reintroduce mindful practices or connecting with a partner, and this reminds me of when I was in rehab for alcohol, obsessed with the idea that one day I could drink normally. Its a sign of the obsession and the addiction, so just for today I will not worry about that, just for today I will do some meditation, reading and exercise instead..
 

Nico

Member
So day 15 - start of third week. I think my record for no MO is 21 days, so here goes smashing that. Im at work overnight so shouldn't be too tempted. I noticed Ive had some night time or liminal wood, and have felt tinglings a few times in response to women or scenes on TV. I had some sexy messages from the lady I am a little obsessed with but not compulsion to act out, which is kind of a miracle. I genuinely feel something has shifted.
Im trying to focus on the being i will become, or am becoming rather than what I am moving away from. Ive booked in a few friends to practice breathwork and shamanic healing this week, and have been going through the coursework i have recently finished. I had serious burnout over the winter and settled into unhealthy routines of PMO, gaming, netflix and isolation, and while I still do a bit of tv or gaming, i am emerging from this with a lot of extra energy from Nofap. Ive a few social things booked this week, and have started going dancing again which I love! I also have this app that counts steps, and earns crypto from the steps so Im making sure I walk and run on the spot especially if Im feeling any cravings.
 
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Nico

Member
Well day 16, not much to say, feeling strong. Ive noticed sensations in my penis like bruising, and wonder if that is healing from the harsh treatment Ive given it. I looked into SA, as I know how much AA helped me, and simply meeting with people trying to do the same thing..but the email I got back from them said they insist on no sex or solo sex outside of marriage which is a big no from me thanks, not bloody getting married again!! How strict is that!? I wonder if there is a less puritanical support group..?
Im not sure yet whether I will wait for a girlfriend when this is done or do tantric solo sessions as well..but that is in the future. Just for today there will be none of any of that lol..but I notice my desire for sex is stronger than when using porn which is good, but not something i am ready for just yet.
 

Nico

Member
Since this is a journal kind of thing Im just going to note some stuff; I noticed my chain of thoughts after seeing a sexy woman in the park, which was ooh Im going to look for images like that later..find porn for that body shape or whatever. Im not going to act on it but interesting to note. Also, I hadn't realised how frequently images on social media or youtube or tv are sexually stimulating, since Im accustomed to so much more - and trigger that thought of using porn. Its a conscious effort to pull out and remind myself what Im achieving, how hard it is, and focus on who I want to become..
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Your last phrase is everything: focus on who you want to become. That’s totally it. Keep that one phrase in mind and the doors will open so wide.

Keep going. You’re doing just great.
 

Nico

Member
Thanks GBS, its true!



Day 17, feel a bit vulnerable this morning as its my birthday, and I had a wall of self pity this morning waking up alone. Luckily a friend of mine kind of insisted I join her and some others later, as normally I don't arrange things and have a tendency to isolate - last birthday I was working then alone, and I tell myself I don't care about birthdays then get into self pity or obsess about who's wished me happy birthday on facebook (ffs lol)

Ive got a few days off work, which is potentially dangerous but I have stuff arranged and have written out my triggers and strategies. I fear the fuck it button - you know that feeling when it just doesn't matter and whatever story Im telling myself reinforces that - like well Im just broken or destined to be single, or worthless or whatever. In AA theres this acronym HALT, hungry angry lonely tired..which are the danger zones for acting out. For me the big one is tired, I have fatigue anyway, brain fogs and horrible headaches, and since quitting its improved a little bit.

Anyway Im meeting a few friends for a walk and some food, so am looking forward to some time in nature and with people.
 
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SimonM

Active Member
Happy Birthday! I hope it's a good one.

Maybe this day can be a milestone that you can use to help motivate you on your journey? From this birthday until next year, could you go a whole year without porn? :) Could be a good challenge!

Or maybe there's something you've always wanted / wished you did - as you are on this healing journey maybe this next year of your life could be when you tackle it? I find that having something to replace the P with is very important. Something else to do at those times we might have gone to P.

All the best!
 

Nico

Member
Thanks - good idea to think about the year - yes Ive thought of various things to do if tempted in the moment - some healthy or spiritual, some distractions like tv or a game. In general yes I have a lot of goals or projects as well, getting fitter, starting a healing practice, and of course finding a lovely woman to have amazing sex with lol..although I am actually feeling chilled about that, maybe I'm in flatline but I have pretty much accepted this will take time.

Day 18. Lovely day yesterday, felt good talking to lots of women, felt a pull towards a few, but no serious lust or anything. Just enjoyed their company and energy. As it happened, a guy I talked to is also struggling with porn, and so I might have an in person accountability buddy. Anyway, just for today, I will not act out. Got a horrible headache this morning and feeling very tired, but it will pass. Have to pop into work even though its a day off, just to do an interview, then seeing a friend today to practice breathwork or shamanic healing with (and giving a session tomorrow on donation basis) This feels good - since quitting done quite a bit and although i feel shitty this morning I feel better about my life. Yes life has given me a bit of a beating in the last 18 months and on paper my life situation is not great, but I have more hope and energy and drive. I know it's the sexual energy being transmuted into action. I have been pulling it up the spine when I feel blue balls or tension, and I will keep doing that.
 
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Nico

Member
Day 19..feeling good, bit of morning wood. I notice some thoughts about how this has not been too difficult so therefore a little session would be fine, but its only been made easy by becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired, and through determination to change. I know one session has the potential to put me straight back into regular use and all its consequences. I have no idea how long it will take to reset and if PIED will disappear, or if and when to reintroduce M..but all that matter is I am doing what it takes to heal it and just for today I choose to feel good about that
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Keep going @Nico - don’t presume you can dip in and out. Not possible. Here’s an anecdote I read on RN a few weeks ago: some guy I think 200 days clean thought he would try for an experiment (I believe him!!!) to see if he could watch porn once and MO to it. He thought after 200 days it was surely possible to do it once and once only. He said it was indeed possible BUT the urge to watch again was SO strong. Way stronger than he imagined - he said it was like heroin. He couldn’t believe the pull and he had a huge struggle to get back to his abstinence. He says it’s so dangerous and do NOT be tempted.

I think that’s a salutary tale and one I keep reminding myself of.
 

Nico

Member
Wise words thank you. Day 21. This is a milestone as in the past I tried this 21 day challenge thing, and it took me 3 or 4 attempts but I managed it - it didn't do any good though! So this is a new record in terms of going without orgasm - funny thing is I don't feel as good as I thought. I felt good Friday night at dance, as I was close to 21, and then realised that next weekend it will be a month. I think I am just tired today, haven't had enough sleep this weekend so Im going to have a nice easy day.
My mind definitely feels solid about it which is new and interesting, so i feel grateful for the men who have made content that inspired me and for this forum. I just know this is for the long term (definitely porn, still ambivalent about MO) but for now it feels good to be doing hard mode, and I am going to do it until everything is reset and healed. Anyway I don't need to worry about it I will keep it in the day.
 
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Nico

Member
Starting the fourth week, day 22, new territory.

This weekend I was undisciplined, there are times when I am at my laptop, and the compulsion is there, so I switch on a game or box set as a kind of replacement, and stayed up very late as I often don't know when to stop, or can't! Other than dancing on Friday night thats kind of what I did all weekend, and as a result feel a bit low and tired. I want to be prioritising spiritual practice, work on my healing business, reading and exercise, not wasting time on short term pleasures. I remember from my early days in alcohol recovery realising that the only thing that is important is getting well and breaking the addiction, but the suffering of that time led me to become addicted to self help, meditation, and other things which served me very well. I am going to try to do the same thing again, just choosing the things that lead to happiness - a day at a time.
 
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Nico

Member
Was just reading a bit of The Porn Trap; interesting section on relapse. It said that relapse can start through entering trigger territory, sometimes unconsciously. I decided to list mine, and strategies:

- Blue balls/pressure; coldness, exercise, a walk, circulating energy by pulling it up the spine..
- Fatigue; often after a long shift, I feel tired and crappy about my life and want to escape or numb. Tiredness reduces strength, willpower and motivation. For now anything will do, tv, a game, but ideally I would lie down and listen to a guided meditation or hypnosis..and nap maybe.
- Horny; read my WHY, remind myself what Im doing and why. Circulate, walk, exercise.
- Stress/anger; recognise the desire to escape it, journal, meditation, hypnosis, emotional release or breathwork..writing it down helps me see through it.
- Low mood/dissatisfaction/hopelessness; sometimes this lowers my motivation to exercise or do something healthy, so self-care, sitting with feelings, releasing emotion, doing breathwork. Prayer. Write a gratitude list. Do something for others. Exercise. Remembering impermanence of thoughts, feelings, urges..trusting that the path I am walking may go through dark areas but will eventually lead somewhere more beautiful. Faith.
- Seeing a hot woman or image, or having a fantasy; remind myself that confidence and a happy relationship will come if I keep going. Mindfulness. ( If I expand my awareness thoughts have less power - so trying to open up into the body, field of senses, the open and unlimited field of awareness..meditation helps with this)
- Cravings in general; watch something motivational or videos about PMO. Recognise the craving, recognise it is impermanent and will pass, recognising that what I crave is an illusion, and will not give the satisfaction I may think it does. Recognise that craving is simply a thought, a pattern interpreting horny sensations or responding to difficult feelings - eg tingling in the penis can lead to thoughts about PMO or MO or sex, but in reality it is just a tingling and can be experienced as simply a sensation. The only thing that can make me relapse is a thought, and thoughts come and go, so again expanding awareness will reduce its power.

And if I cant manage doing something healthy and beneficial I will settle for distraction - a good book, film, a game, whatever takes me through the urges or difficult feelings. The more I exercise, meditate, eat healthily, the more entrenched good habits become, the easier they are to do, and the more powerful their benefits. Especially with meditation - I used to be hardcore into buddhism, and I know that the amount I meditated over the years equates to happiness levels. Even just a little helps rebalance, refresh, and open.

That's all I have for now, I will add to this I am sure, and welcome other strategies people have
 

GBS

Well-Known Member
Hi @Nico . You are doing all the right things. Listing your temptations and strategies. That in itself is really helpful. You sort of emotionally blackmail yourself by doing that. I used to use an old fashioned calendar and I put a huge X on each day I kept going with a big marker pen. It was so simple but helped me psychologically. All your other strategies are great. My main one now is simply looking back at what I was and thinking how crazy it would be to like that again…..just for a little thrill. I laugh at it now.

Now in your 4th week you will have changed. Your brain will be so annoyed with you and will fight back real hard. Keep that battle in mind and think that any relapse could be absorbed but that’s a goal for your devil sided brain. Why let a goal in? Tell your brain to fuck off. The changes that lie ahead are quite unbelievable. Check out @Blondie ’s thread in the 30s section. I am not saying he is a god, but he is ahead and can testify to changes beyond your belief. The will power required to do all this is great. I didn’t think I had it in me. I do. So do you.
 

Nico

Member
Hi @Nico . You are doing all the right things. Listing your temptations and strategies. That in itself is really helpful. You sort of emotionally blackmail yourself by doing that. I used to use an old fashioned calendar and I put a huge X on each day I kept going with a big marker pen. It was so simple but helped me psychologically. All your other strategies are great. My main one now is simply looking back at what I was and thinking how crazy it would be to like that again…..just for a little thrill. I laugh at it now.

Now in your 4th week you will have changed. Your brain will be so annoyed with you and will fight back real hard. Keep that battle in mind and think that any relapse could be absorbed but that’s a goal for your devil sided brain. Why let a goal in? Tell your brain to fuck off. The changes that lie ahead are quite unbelievable. Check out @Blondie ’s thread in the 30s section. I am not saying he is a god, but he is ahead and can testify to changes beyond your belief. The will power required to do all this is great. I didn’t think I had it in me. I do. So do you.
Thanks GBS, I am making my way through it and thanks it is inspiring, as are you.

Day 23 - I do sleepovers at work and didn't get much, meaning its a 26 hour shift with four hours sleep. So I already know that after work will be a bit of a danger zone, getting home wrecked and stressed because when this happens the day gets to me more. I work in frontline mental health, and over the last years its been tough and Ive had a lot of burnout and fatigue. I love it sometimes, but it does me in. I know I need to leave and make changes, but also feel attached to the job and the people.
Porn was part of a complex of low self-worth - probably both a symptom and a cause. I feel that finally grabbing this bull by the horns I am stepping into my power, and hope and believe that this will affect other areas of my life. I have faith that it will lead to more successful relationships, and the energy and empowerment to set up my own business, finish some projects like a novel I was working on..

So after work my plan is to lie down and do some kind of hypnosis or meditation..and eat something healthy and get an early night. No fucking porn thanks!! If I need to I will get on here and journal again as well, this really helps me, as well as reading others' journey and struggles and successes.
 

Nico

Member
Day 24. Last night I was so tired, tried to read and do other things but had to nap in the end. Then got a pizza, but rather break my diet than my PMO recovery. It is recovery too, I really believe that I can do it now from reading threads and getting inspiration from guys here. If i can get through feeling like that I can get through anything, and boy I felt low - when I was unable to nap I was literally just praying for help. So I guess I can add pizza to my strategies if all else fails! Food can be a trigger for me though, as my fetish is being fed by women and women who want me to gain weight. I have done a lot of work around that and understand the roots of it in childhood. I initially posted about this but felt shame after, but I am gaining trust in the forum and this is an important part of my PMO addiction and I feel to risk sharing about it and risk judgement.

Porn and various related sites seemed a safe way to keep it at a distance, but always created distance in my relationships as well. It felt like my real sexuality was missing from vanilla relationships, but I see how that was fed by porn. I saw a sexual therapist last year who suggested I enjoy it and experience it, and this coincided with meeting a really hot woman who was into that. It felt like a good choice, even though logically its a terrible one, but the relief of accepting it for a while, enjoying what seemed to be my sexuality and sharing it..but so dangerous as well.

I put on a fair bit of weight with her, which was erotic for both of us, and it was hot (more chemistry than I have ever experienced) but its so clear the two paths I can take from here - live and die governed by my wounds or step into my power and get back into tantra, health, innocence, and embodied sexuality. That so far, has been the only viable solution to issues with fantasy - mindful touch, being in and circulating sexual energy, mindful masturbation or connection. But anyway communication with her, and others I know, is another trigger to work with. We are still in touch, but I have pulled back my energy and power from her.

Perhaps in a way the do or die aspect to this is helpful, I needed that urgency to break alcoholism and have to adopt the same mindset with recovery from fantasy and porn. As if it isn't enough to choose between porn/PIED and good sex, shame or power, addiction/recovery! I know that early life left a hole in me, as Im sure it did for many people here, and I also know the only way to fill that hole is connection, to others, to a higher power, to nature, to the all.

I am reminded of an analogy an old teacher of mine shared - similar to the two wolves. There is a poison tree in my garden, and also a smaller healthy sapling. The trick is to ignore the poison tree, cease to water it, and turn my attention to watering and nurturing the healthy one. Eventually the healthy one will grow strong, and out-shadow the poisoned one, which will in time turn to dust.

Back on the saddle today - I will exercise and eat something healthy today. Just for today I will be porn and fantasy free, I choose health and vitality and healing.
 
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