Porn use wreaking havoc

seano

Member
Hey there,
I'm 25 and have been using porn for around 10 years.
Like many, I've wanted to stop countless times and have not been successful, slipping back into the comforts of porn use time and time again no matter how much I know it's affecting me and those around me.
Over the years, I have gradually escalated to more extreme and more frequent porn use.

I want to stop for good this time. I am in a beautiful realtionship of 3.5 years and my compulsive porn use has very nearly driven my partner to break up with me. In compulsively masturbating to porn multiple times a week, I have much lower sexual desires towards my girlfriend. We have sex a couple times a month. My keeping my porn use secret, and spending hours a week consuming porn and masturbating has left my girlfriend feeling unimportant and unattractive along with bringing up other traumas.
She asked me recently, why do I keep doing this and I did not have a response. The truth is my porn use has taken over and I have not been in control for a long time.
My porn use has gotten worse the longer I allow it to continue, to the point of jerking off to porn almost the moment my gf leaves the apartment and even, at times, while she's been home, taking a nap or in the shower.
I know some of my triggers are stress, anxiety and depression. All of which are symptoms of porn use disorder, so I feel I have been caught in this cycle of using, feeling bad, which causes me to use, which makes me feel worse and it cycles and cycles.
I do not want to lose another romantic relationship due to my compulsive porn use (yes, my previous relationship was also highly stressed by this issue and eventually came to an end largely because of it)

In any case, I think that is long enough of an introduction. I do not even know what my life will look like without porn, but I am excited to find out. I am commiting to no artificial sexual stimulation for the next 30 days and posting here everyday to hold myself accountable. Also, a side note, I have started seeing a therapist to help me and it has been hugely beneficial so far.

Thank you all for being here. Reading other journals has greatly heartened me and helps me remember I am not alone in this.
 

seano

Member
Day 1/30

I have had cravings and have thought of recent sexually explicit images and videos I have seen. I've already had moments where I've thought "Maybe I can just look at something briefly" , but I know what that can turn into... The point of this is for me is to not consume any sexually stimulating content at all these next 30 days.
I am stronger than this addiction. I can overcome and choose what I know to be best for me.
 

seano

Member
Day 2/30

Experienced cravings today that were at times intense, but I was able to move past them. Triggers today were attractive girls I saw in public and pictures of attractive girls on news articles while on my phone. Things to watch out for.

Part of me doesn't know if I can give up porn for good. I've been using it for so long, it almost feels like an old friend that I can always turn to.

I need to keep reminding myself the pain this addiction has caused me and my loved ones and that life is too short to spend, at times, hours a day watching porn. Porn is fake, its not real life and it is affecting my real life in a multitude of negative ways.

I want to put more time and energy into real things: my relationship with my gf and my family, my friendships, my health, my career, new experiences. I feel like I've wasted so much time watching porn over the years and it's hard not to feel guilty about that.

Also, I had therapy today which was very helpful.
 

Ingibjörg

Member
I read you have doubt about being able to go a life without p. But you can, you should not doubt that decision. Abstain, and then time will solve the rest.

You dont have to worry about going a life without P. Only thing you have to do is this moment/day
 

seano

Member
I read you have doubt about being able to go a life without p. But you can, you should not doubt that decision. Abstain, and then time will solve the rest.

You dont have to worry about going a life without P. Only thing you have to do is this moment/day
Thank you for the reassurance! I think I do know that deep down. One day, one decision at a time. I built these porn use habits over 10 years, so it will take time to undo and that's ok
 

seano

Member
Day 0/30

While I did not have a full on relapse by any means, I feel I need to hold myself accountable and reset my streak.

I went about deleting my tumblr account since it has previously been a source of sexually explicit material for me. Rather than going right to the settings page and deleting my account, I figured I could just briefly scroll on the main page. (I don't know why I thought this was ok) Sure enough, I shortly came across a sexual image. I immediately clicked away and finished deleting my account.

The goal I set for myself for this reboot was no consumption of sexually stimulating content for 30 days. No matter how brief it was, no matter that it didn't lead to anything further, I followed my old pattern of searching for and finding a sexually stimulating piece of content.

It's time to move forward in a new way and let these neural pathways I've conditioned over the past 10 years wither away.

Part of me feels a bit down that I only lasted 2 days on this first attempt, but I know self pity will not help me forward.
Trying to stay positive. I know I can do this. I know I am stronger than my urges.
 

Ingibjörg

Member
Congratulation on having the balls to post here after you reset the counter. Being honest to yourself in most important part in my opinion. Like I mentioned in my other post, maybe you could check out the metascript method by universal man. So you can learn where it went wrong.
 

4Nick

New Member
Rather than going right to the settings page and deleting my account, I figured I could just briefly scroll on the main page. (I don't know why I thought this was ok) Sure enough, I shortly came across a sexual image. I immediately clicked away and finished deleting my account.
I've definitely been there before, and I understand that last attempt by the brain to get one more hit. Congrats on recognizing it and being accountable! It's really easy to feel down about shorter periods without relapse, but remember that you're already in the process of healing, and those two days are a victory in themselves. Don't downplay two days clean! I don't know about you, but at my worst, I was lucky to have a few hours clean. Proud of your progress!
 

seano

Member
Congratulation on having the balls to post here after you reset the counter. Being honest to yourself in most important part in my opinion. Like I mentioned in my other post, maybe you could check out the metascript method by universal man. So you can learn where it went wrong.
Yes, I haven't heard of that journaling method but will definitely check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

seano

Member
Day 1/30

Some strong urges to watch porn today, but was able to let them pass and not act on them.

More than anything, I've just been feeling really down today. Sometimes I get down, but today has been next level down.
I've only MO'd to P once in the past 10 days and have been officially rebooting for 4 days now.

Maybe this feeling down is a withdrawal symptom/ normal part of the reboot process?
Lmk if anyone else has experienced this?

In any case, on to day 2 tomorrow. One day at a time.
 

SimonM

Active Member
Oh yes. I was really depressed for a while. Every time I quit too. Your brain is noticing the lack of dopamine! It takes time to rebalance the chemicals up there - so hold on! Your depression is in fact a sign that your brain is starting to heal. Embrace the pain if you can :) ... And find something else to give you some pleasure and dopamine right now. Maybe exercise, or a good book/movie, time with a partner, time in nature, whatever it is for you...
 

TryingHarder

Active Member
Welcome Seano. This forum will certainly help you make sense of the addiction and help you quit. For now, my advice is this:

When you relapse or get the urge to look at explicit material, ask yourself: What's going on? How are you feeling? Was there a trigger that made you look? What can you do next time to avoid that situation or trigger? Deleting your social media accounts is certainly a step in the right direction. You might think that time online is "innocent" but as you have experienced, it can often lead back to porn.
 

seano

Member
Thanks for the reply @SimonM !
It helps knowing others have gone through this and that its actually part of the healing process. I'm also happy to report that after 4 days of feeling completely down in the dumps, I am starting to come around again.
 

seano

Member
Day 6/30

I've been a bit MIA here recently. Feeling so down made it hard to do just about anything, including keeping up with this journal.

As previously noted, the worst of the downs seems to have passed. When I get down like that, I tend to shut down and not talk at all. Luckily, I was eventually able to push through and talk with my gf about how I was feeling, and have been feeling much better since then.
Looking back, I think I was feeling so down due to low dopamine as part of the reboot process as well as old traumas coming to the surface that I had previously been avoiding by watching porn and smoking weed.

Today, I've had more energy, patience and mental clarity than I have in a long time.

I'm at this interesting point where I am starting to experience the benefits of not consuming P, while at the same time dealing with desires everyday to consume it again. It's like my brain is trying to trick me into watching it even though I know it doesn't benefit me and has in fact been harmful to my wellbeing. Hopefully the urges will start to diminish as I continue to move forward.

I am focusing on reading and working out as replacement activities/coping mechanisms.

Also, I want to recommit to posting in this journal everyday as part of my healing process.

All the best,
seano
 

seano

Member
Day 7/30

Late night post here so it's going to be short. No big urges today. Feeling a bit down today but may not be due to the reboot.

Onwards. Feeling strong
 

seano

Member
Day 8/30

My gf and I got into an argument last night. I'm accustomed to turning to PMO during these times of difficult conversations and emotions.

Urges to consume and thoughts around girls/content I've previously consumed have been strong and persistent. This has definitely been the toughest day of my reboot so far.

I've noticed myself taking out my phone with intent to search something sexual multiple times, but I've managed to avoid. Also, have caught my porn brain reasoning that it's not that big of a deal and to just PMO.

Trying to stay strong and push through.
 

TealCactus

Member
Lets goo!!! Great job noticing what ur triggers are and paying attention to ur behavior. I can definitely relate to this as a trigger. Lets get into those double digits!
 

seano

Member
Day 11/30

Into the double digits!

I feel like there is really no excuse to relapse at this point. The urges to watch P are definitely still there. Ngl, the Halloween party I went to on Friday was hella triggering with girls wearing sexy costumes. In years prior I used to love going on IG and looking at all the girls in their Halloween costumes. I was tempted to view some stuff, but MO'd to my imagination instead and was happy I did.

Overall I'd say the urges are diminishing. I still think building alternative habits will be a big part of my full recovery process and I haven't been very good about it so far. This week, I want to commit to working out every day and meditating twice a day (I already have a morning meditation practice and want to meditate in the evening as well)

Sex with my gf has felt more connected and fulfilling than before and it feels good to distance from a habit that took so much time and energy from me. I feel like I have more autonomy over my choices. The addiction doesn't have as much control.

Looking forward to continuing the journey. I know more urges and justifications to watch will come up, so I must remember my "why"
 
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