For Real This Time

Ok, here goes.

Hi, Doc here. This is my first Journal (well, online journal anyways) on...well...the Internet. So well done to me for not cocking it up yet.

I usually hate talking about myself, but that's kind of the point of this forum, so here goes.

I'm a 21 year old South African guy who's just about to move into his 4th year of medicine. I live in a lovely home with an amazing family, lovely friends and a girlfriend who I plan to marry (even though we are only 3 months in, bit I'll get to that later). I love helping others, I'm good at playing sports and I like to write, read, game and watch TV in my spare time. I also enjoy long walks on the beach. The simple fact is that I have an incredible life and am so very blessed that I love making use of my upbringing joy and health into the lives of those who ask for it.

But the other ugly, simply fact is that I'm addicted to porn.

I only found out that I WAS an addict in 2013, taking an online survey and seeing how mich of my work and social life porn takes up. Since then I've been struggling to stop, dying to stop is probably a better description. Every relapse stabs like a dagger. You try console yourself, but the truth is that you feel like you've failed. But that's where I've found positivity to be a great motivator in getting back on the horse.

My story sounds eerily similar to many others I've read on this forum. Long story short: my dad was an alcoholic, who nearly killed my mom in front of me, my best friend died when I was 10 and I've lived my whole life (still do to some degree) thinking the world would be better off without me. God came into my life and my Dad has now been sober for 9 years and has even quit smoking 2 years ago. I've had a lot of psych counselling to help rid as much of the self loathing as possible and am genuinely in a happy place right now.

I just need to tell porn to [email protected]/$ off.

Its a nuisance. It takes up my studying time, reduces my drive to be a better person and ducked up my sex life. The last 3 women I've had sex with were never really...there? If that makes sense? I'd be having sex, but-to climax- I had to visualise porn. I'm worried that I still do. Hell, I even still list after one of my exes because (psychologically) I've linked her to porn. So when the cravings hit, I know it because I'm irritable and thinking of her.

The longest I've been clean is 2 months, thanks to my accountability partner who is also my girlfriend. Not to make single people jealous (guys, if you want a relationship: stop looking, literally take a year off to take care of yourself. When you truly commit to that, truly stop chasing,  you'll find your wonder woman within 3 months) but she's...not of this world. She's reignited myover for God, actually made me believe in Jesus, held my hand during my first bad relapse and still wants to help me. I've come to rely on her, but I need to fill my part in recovery - something I didn't do 2 weeks ago that lead to my relapse after being 2 months clean.

So yeah. That's me. Well, nearly enough.

The point is that I want to and think I am ready to quit. I want to be a better person. If anyone could recommend a rehabilitation exercise or thing that worked well for them, you'd be a star. I'd recommend ERP (read it on, it really does help.

The relapses are much less frequent now. I am managing to go for longer, without the struggle that used to plague me in the past. I think I'm in the home stretch.  So my plans are to read this forum at least once a day, especially when I'm craving, stop watching late night TV, either continue ERP or find some other 12 step type program and to think of ways to make my life far more rewarding than porn ever could give me.

Thank you for reading this. I hope to read some of your articles and (hopefully) provide motivation and advice where I can. I plan to write a semi-regular journal entry.

I really can't wait for the day when we (all of us) can look back at this time in our lives and think, "I've literally beaten the toughest enemy of all: my brain. There's nothing I can't do."

Happy holidays and blessings to you all. You're all stars in my book for embarking on this new step in your lives.