Back to work

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Submitted by Bucle on
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This may be a long entry but I think it may be worth it.

I'm on day 92. This is the longest I've ever gone with absolutely no O since I was a preteen (I discovered masturbation and orgasms very early). On the 18th of February I came back to work.

I'm still on SSRI (150 mg of Sertraline a day) and I began therapy again a week ago though I'm seeing my psychologist once every month or two. During the last two weeks the progress I've made is... astounding. Depression is gone. I would have never thought it was possible just two months ago but now I'm focused, cheerful, my classes are good and funny, I'm more outgoing and chatty... I'm back. I think that the biggest help was going back to work. I have a very special relationship with my students since I try to do a lot of things for the school and for them and after two months and a half without me the come back was sort of spectacular. It also helped that my substitute teacher was really a mess but the love they have shown me since I came back is just overwhelming. This is what helps me the most right now. I've got so much energy and vitality that I just LOVE working, preparing the classes and just being with my students, they're great.

Also, and thanks to Meetup, I've joined a new band where I can play drums, so now I'm in two different musical projects. This other band is quite open and between 10 or 15 musicians tend to come to every rehearsal (some of them as audience, others as backup singers..). I've met really interesting people and we go out to dinner or have a drink after rehearsing. My first Meetup was in Christmas and it was tough to me since I was still in the middle of a very nasty depression but when I look back at it I'm amazed at how much more confident, natural and easy-going I've become lately. This doesn't mean that all my problems are fixed. I want to go the whole six months with absolutely no orgasm so I think that I may be in the middle of my journey. There are issues I still have to sort out (specially my phobia) but what seemed impossible a couple of months ago now seems feasible. Really, I don't long for a partner but... I don't fear it either! Right now I just want to meet new people, go with the flow and enjoy my recovery. Life is great and there are lots of things that make it enjoyable. Also, I want to take it easy, I was very depressed just a short time ago so I don't want to run too fast for the time being and take things as they come.

I have learned several things. You just can't lower your defenses ever. My internet connection is totally blocked to porn and it will stay that way. This is much the same as with alcoholics, there is no such thing as an ex-alcoholic and a single drop (or visit to a website) can send you down the rollercoaster again. But the good news is that when some moths have passed you learned to live without orgasms and it gets easier and easier to avoid PMO altogether, it becomes gradually part of your past and not part of your life.

The other thing I have learned is that if you want to quit porn the safest way is to quit masturbation as well. Even if you masturbate just to sensation the chaser effects of the orgasm can give you a very hard time in an unnecessary way.

Finally, and this is something personal, I have discovered that there may be two kind of addicts. There is the normal chap who got into porn out of curiosity and then got hooked on. For them getting back to normal may take less time. When I began reading their stories it was very frustrating to me that in just two weeks they were making real progress. It has taken me an ordeal, a suicidal-feeling period and a full blown depression to slowly reach the other side. The other kind of addict (and I would label myself in this category) is the one who got issues in the first place and didn't have a normal emotional environment to begin with and began "self-medicating" their growing anxiety with porn. For us it is harder to get back to "normal" because we are not getting back, we are DISCOVERING IT for the first time in our lifes! So, in our journey it is not only porn and orgasms that we must quit, they are not the cause but the consequence of deeper conflicts that we must work on. But if we keep on masturbating and orgasming we never get rid of our anxiety and we never get the tools to start living our emotions in a new and healthy way.

So, my advice to the people out there is don't compare your progress to anybody else's and don't check your progress on a daily basis not even on a weekly basis. It may take months. Don't think that quitting porn is going to be the single magic bullet that is going to solve all your problems, there may be more in store than what you initially thought. Stay away from masturbation, even if it is only to sensation, it is one more trick of the brain to lower your defenses and get you back to porn. And, finally, the thing which has helped me the most has been meeting new nice people and the love of my students. Love is not only in a relationship so rely on your friends, family and the people who love you because love is everywhere, not just in one person.

Finally... I'm so glad to post something bright and cheerful. Good luck to you all in your journey :)

Comments

Wow!!!

So happy to hear of your hard-earned progress.

You are spot on about how some people need longer. It's much easier to go back to a "spot" that you have lived before than to discover and take root in a new one. But you're doing just that.

Please keep us informed. I'm always a bit scared when I share the information that for some people with severe emotional swings giving up sexual stimulation for a time can help. It's such a radical tactic for a brain that is already feeling so fragile. But sometimes the radical approach is definitely the way. Here's an interesting TED talk about how someone discovered just how wrong the usual approach to things was: