Trying yet again

I'm a 57-year-old guy who has been struggling with porn addiction for most of my adult life. I'm also a therapist, and I've had hundreds of clients with all kind of substance and behavioral additions. None of them know about my own battle. I've tried and failed to maintain sobriety so many times that I feel like an imposter at times.
I discovered Reboot Nation a few years ago, and have recommended it to dozens of clients. About a year ago, I managed to go seven months without using porn - at least, without looking at it on my computer or phone. I was still using it, though, in the form of pornographic fantasy when I masturbated. I have concluded that this doesn't work for me. I believe I can't really reboot if I'm keeping those pathways in use.
I see my own therapist, but I've been mostly trying to fight this battle on my own. As a therapist, I have to be careful what I disclose about myself. I haven't even told my wife. I think she would be supportive, but I also think the temptation for her to tell her friends about my situation would prove to be too great. Or maybe I'm just too ashamed.
I told my therapist about my last relapse, and she said I needed to access support if this was going to be successful. I feel like I've conquered a lot of issues in my life, but this seems to be the toughest hurdle, and I don't think I can be truly free until I am rid of this affliction. So here I am. I've read some of the forums here, and they never fail to give me hope and inspiration.
With love,
Just Some Dude
 

Crackers1

Member
Just some dude mental imagery is probably worse. I get what you're saying because I go through the same thing. Regular porn Didn't have the genres and the so called kinkiness that I enjoyed from creating my own fantasies. Recently I just heard about mirror neurons. It creates like a Novel in your brain, Of permanent images. It's almost like a squirrel gathering nuts every day for the Winter. I feel powerless like you. I'm an ivy league graduate, and I'm still searching for somebody to help me with therapy. Not that it makes me any better than anyone else, I just thought maybe I would have better connections. No therapist is going to help you a 100% other than talk therapy. You have to do this 100% by yourself. About 10 years ago I went in for some blood work and I was talking to a friend of mine who is a Physician. He was doing hormone therapy and testosterone supplementation for half the population. I asked him who comes in To see you. He told me I get Them from 18 to 80. I said 18? He said yup. It's just ironic door at times that high speed pornography just started gaining popularity. He actually said something that was so poignant. He laughed and said most of the guys that come in here are porn addicted.
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Welcome to some of the most generous and caring people. I just want to say in your worry about your wife telling friends, in the many years I have been here partners did not go out and tell everyone. I chose one friend because she would not tell me to leave. That was it. I understand you have to be careful what you say. I am in a helping field so my husband and healed from this without professional help.
 

Crackers1

Member
Welcome to some of the most generous and caring people. I just want to say in your worry about your wife telling friends, in the many years I have been here partners did not go out and tell everyone. I chose one friend because she would not tell me to leave. That was it. I understand you have to be careful what you say. I am in a helping field so my husband and healed from this without professional help.
I'm gonna say something that maybe some people might not like to hear, especially Just some dude. His wife might be hurting inside and feel betrayed and this was her way of venting. Sometimes when you're frustrated, especially with love and intimacy you tend to talk to any ear that will lend it. Him talking to her about it probably made her feel bad inside. I'm sure they're some anger too. When we 1st start this rebooting process we become super apologetic. Apology is usually half sincere and the other half is out of fear and regret. I know I'm guilty of it too so I don't wanna be judge and juror. There are no ethical,good people in pornography. They are the heathens of the world, and also the broken and abused.The broken and abused are the ones that our hearts should go out too. The heathens that exploit these poor souls , we should all have no use for and shame on them.
 
All right, today marks eight days of sobriety. I've been here many times before, but this is my first time using this journal. So far, no serious cravings to use, but I know from experience that they will get here sooner or later. My biggest trigger is usually an online ad featuring a sexy woman (of which there is no shortage). When I see one of those, by best course of action is to get offline immediately and go do something else. Also, virtually all of my previous relapses were preceded by "prelapses" of doing off-limits behaviors that weren't PMO, but that's where they would eventually lead. More on that later.
 
Today is day 17. No P, M, or O during that time. The cravings have set in, so I decided I needed to get off the computer. But then I remembered to journal, something I've never done while I'm in the midst of cravings. So here I am. Very little sleep last night, so I'm tired. The plan is to take a shower, do some chores around the house, and then go to bed early. Peace, everyone.
 

Rain2000

Member
I completely get where you are coming from. It's only been recently that I realised MO was just as bad as PMO. I did six months PMO free but used MO throughout and relapsed. It's weird, but I can easily imagine a life PMO free but I'm only just coming to terms with the fact that my life has to be MO free too.
 
Today is day twenty without having an O. As I've mentioned above, experience has taught me that a "soft reboot" simply doesn't work for me. I didn't want to accept that at first, but reality has a way of crashing down on us. I just re-read the article, "Start Here: Evolution has not prepared your brain for today's porn," on yourbrainonporn.com. VERY highly recommended, if you haven't read it, and if you have, consider reading it again. That kind of stuff strengthens my resolve, as does journaling and reading other people's journals.
Porn has been my drug of choice since I was about 12 years old - that's 45 years of basically non-stop use. When I went through withdrawal in the past, the main withdrawal symptom was anxiety. There's a pretty strong history of mental illness in my family: my father was a depressed alcoholic, my mother struggles with anxiety, and a maternal aunt was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. That, combined with a childhood marked by high levels of stress and emotional abuse, left me pretty susceptible to anxiety - just like a lot of other people on this site, and millions who aren't. Anyway, knowing that my anxiety level is likely to spike as a result of rebooting, and knowing it is temporary, helps me cope with it. Knowledge is power. Keep it up, y'all!
 
Well, it's been almost two weeks since I've posted. Still on the wagon as far as not using P goes. Two weeks ago, I had sex with my wife, courtesy of viagra. I still had to use pornographic fantasy, however. The next morning, I noticed the viagra hadn't worn off, so to speak, so I did MO. The following week, I did MO twice in one day, in violation of my own stated intentions. I felt like it was a setback, but not a relapse on P. Since then, I've been back on track. I know for me, MO is still feeding the beast. The goal is to starve it to death, and while P is its favorite food, MO keeps it alive.
One huge difference when I'm not using PMO is how much happier I am. When I use P, I feel a ton of guilt, for a variety of reasons. One, I don't think it's something God wants me to do. Two, I feel like it's a form of cheating on my wife. Three, I know it has hijacked the reward center of my brain, and I know for a fact that I will never be truly happy while I am using it. It's a choice between pleasure and happiness, a choice I have failed countless times in my life.
I had a session with my therapist today and told her I've now gone a month without P. Something she tells me repeatedly is, "You can't do this alone." I have plenty of evidence this is true, so I'm back, posting this. I hope everyone is doing okay. Cheers.
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
I'm also a therapist, and I've had hundreds of clients with all kind of substance and behavioral additions. None of them know about my own battle. I've tried and failed to maintain sobriety so many times that I feel like an imposter at times.
That's interesting... The psychologist who really helped me with my porn addiction had also struggled with porn addiction, so he could speak from experience. He certainly helped me understand the addiction much better. Best of luck with your reboot and getting porn out of your life, Just Some Dude.
 
Today is day 48 of no P. I feel like I've gotten off-track, as there has been some MO over the past couple of weeks. Again, using pornographic fantasy, keeping those pathways open. The urge to use P was very strong today but I didn't and won't. Time to re-commit myself to recovery, and this forum is a major part of how I do that. Wishing the best for everyone.
 
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