Trying to start over

Submitted by JimLeFleur on
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Hi folks,
I decided yesterday, again, that I’m going to try to kick the habit. Reading through your stories on this forum and your blogs gave me some great ideas and inspiration. So yesterday was April 23, 2009 was Day 1 for me.

I know it’s not going to be easy. While deleting my stash, I kept vacillating between anxiety and relief. Part of me feels a weight lifted since I don’t have to hide and manage this porn collection anymore. But I get anxious thinking about how I might miss seeing this movie or that performer again. Although, that seems a little silly, since I almost never rewatch anything I’ve collected. I just download, watch briefly, have a wank, and file the movie in the appropriate category. (I wish I could be that organized in other areas of my life!)

There are many good reasons for me to take this step, but here are some that weigh on my mind the most:

1. I’m tired of this giant time-suck. I can’t believe I haven’t finished that book I started reading in January. I’m tired of saying I don’t have time to exercise. I’m tired of thinking “I wish I had more time to work in the garden or finish building that pergola.” And I’m tired of isolating myself from my friends.

2. My wife has quite a few medical issues and I spend a lot of time taking care of her. I use that as an excuse to use porn. I tell myself I deserve this time to relax and escape. That’s true, though. I do deserve time to relax, but using porn just isn’t a healthy way for me to do that. When she tells people that she has the most caring husband in the world, I’m tired of feeling guilty about my dirty little secret. It would be nice to be able to just accept her kind words.

I feel like if I can abstain long enough to give my brain chemistry time to reset, then I can do this. So that’s my focus right now. Since I can’t check myself in to a monastery, here’s my plan:

  • Remove the porn
  • No more masturbating
  • When I get the urge, do one of these things
    • Ride my bike
    • Do some pushups
    • Get myself to this web site

I would also like to look into some books on meditation or cognitive-behavioral therapy, if anyone has any recommendations.

It took me a lot of years to get into this state, but it was just one day at a time. That’s the same way I’m going to have to get out. I’ve just got to keep my self occupied this weekend. I’ve got a business trip next week, which should keep me busier than normal. Hopefully that will help these initial withdrawals. If I do end up sitting around the hotel room at night, I’ll definitely be on this site.

Thanks for listening. It’s a relief to be able to let all this out.

Welcome

Hi Jim,

What you've written resonates with me - I'm married too, people consider me a caring person, and I'm fed up with the guilty secret.

It sounds like you've got a good plan there, I wish you well as you work your way along the path... one day at a time is a good way to think, I need to remind myself of that too! :)

Keep posting and let us know how you're getting on.

time_for_change

Welcome

Feel free to start your own blog, so you can share your progress.

You do deserve to feel good. Just know that it may be a while before little things delight you again. Your brain is used to big whacks (wanks? Wink ) of intensity.

Thanks for mentioning that you never go back and watch your stash anyway. This is a perfect example of a clue that shows your brain is not hooked on porn, but rather, on dopamine. *Novel* images are far more exciting to the brain...because dopamine is all about *anticipation." There's more anticipation when you haven't seen something before, even if the new thing is not, strictly speaking, as well done as other items in your file.

In other words, your secret isn't "dirty" as much as it is "dopamine." Smile Small comfort, I suppose. But it may help you keep some detachment. Basically, extreme sexual stimuli can set up a drug-like effect in the brain. Then your brain seeks that "medication" whenever it thinks you need it. It doesn't care *what* is on the screen...if it gets your dopamine going.

Let me know if you would find it helpful to read the chapter from the new book that pulls some of these key points together.

I've often thought that addicts are some of the nicest people in the world. While the rest of us take out our bad feelings on others, addicts quietly get on with medicating themselves. And who knew porn could act like a drug on the brain? Porn seems like the *perfect* medicine, if one doesn't know how the reward circuitry works...and how intense stimuli can fuel compulsive behavior. It's a nasty trick.

Any chance you could do some non-sexual cuddling with your wife? Check out these bonding behaviors...many of which you probably already do. http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/bonding_magic#bb Try the touch ones.

Thanks, time_for_change,

for the good wishes. Good luck to you, too. There's so much good stuff on this site that it's very time-consuming and that, in itself, is helpful.

Marina,
Thanks for the list of bonding behaviors. We do do those from time to time, but doing more of that would probably help me a lot right now. I would definitely be interested in checking out that chapter you mentioned.

Also, thinking of myself as addicted to dopamine instead of porn is an intriguing idea. I get anxious thinking about denying myself something that I’ve enjoyed so much. But it might be harder to get too torn up about denying myself a chemical compound. If I can try to change my thinking in that respect, the detachment it provides could be useful.

Thanks!

First,

bonding behaviors really need to be done almost daily to soothe the nervous system and strengthen bonds between partners. If you read the rest of the article at the link with the list (above), you can see one man's actual experience with them (at the bottom). The good news, is that even a few minutes a day can do the trick. (If you mix them with hot foreplay or orgasm you won't see the same benefits, because of the effects of the passion cycle.)

Here's the Chapter. It's called, "The Road to Excess." It assumes basic knowledge of the passion cycle, but you can find that elsewhere on the site, or in Cupid (when June rolls around).

http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/Cupid-Ch6.pdf

Let me know if you find it helpful.