i am addict in recovery. i have suffered from this addiction for close to three years. my habit grew progressively worse as i fell into depression both from habitual use as well as watching my life outside suffer as well(ie job losses, failed relationships etc...) i became a regular viewer of certain fetishes, which i had never even thought of before, and even went so far as to act out. i really had no idea what was happening to me. i had never heard of porn addiction but rather thought it a normal thing to watch. i understand now that porn just takes you to more and more extreme viewing. and now i look back shake my head at what i was watching and thinking as "normal". i began to realise that i was on a very dark path. i had such a very empty i feeling inside of me and i could see how screwed up i had become . i eventually realized the common thread was porn. oh and i am not criticizing fetish lifestyles, its just that i wasn't making healthy choices for myself. i was leading a somewhat double life.
anyway, i attended my first SA meeting which was a big step for me. to actually go out and admit that i had a problem to other people was, well quite challenging and relieving at the same time. i still wasn't committed to giving porn up until the spring summer of 09.
since then, i have made a concerted effort to recover. i had a few slip ups, but for the most part i believe, with the help of websites such as reuniting, and tantric concepts i learned through tanja diamond, that i have things under control. i still have urges to use it from time to time, but i am able to recognize and counter triggers. I am at the point where i am beginning to feel disgusted by porn and my past behavior. i have regular visions of porn, when i visualize sexual fantasies, which i find disturbing. i can recall with accuracy scenes i watched a very long time ago i thought long lost. but they are still there. i have started to masterbate without the goal of ejaculating to "retrain" my mind again (a tantric method).
my real concern now, and i believe what made me slip up in recent months, aside from momentary feelings of depression, were feelings of anxiety. in short i find it hard to be intimate with someone. both on a personal level and at times i suffer from performance anxiety. i know i can perform, its just i have so much fear. this was never a problem for me in the past. i regularly dated and never had problems meeting woman or performing (with the odd slip up of course..haha).
my thinking always starts out with worrying about failing to perform as good as i used to before internet porn. and of course the more i worry the more i make it likely that i'll lose the my erection. i know i can perform. i wake up with a daily erection and generally have no problem getting an erection on my own without porn. its just such a mind fuck. like i can have an erection and still my mind says i can't perform!!! explain that one..
i am working to alleviate these feelings which i am starting to see are just thoughts, and not real, through meditation. as well, as i have said, i have stopped ejaculating for the past 3 weeks (minus a couple slip ups) and i believe its helping.
recently, however, i met someone with whom i am starting to date. we have not been intimate as of yet. but it looks like we will be. hence i am having feelings of anxiety, when i think about love making. i think this person is really special. i am not entirely sure i can share with her my experiences with porn addiction yet. i am just not entirely sure on how to proceed. viagra is of course an option, but i preferably don't want to go that route .
oh i wanted to add. since i have stopped watching porn regularly, my life has begun to improve dramatically at all levels. as if i am waking from a fog...
i suppose my questions evolve around this issue.
is this a normal part of addiction recovery? is this part of the of withdrawal?
how long do most people find this lasts?
what can anybody suggest i do?