Road to Recovery

Submitted by vm22 on
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Wow! First of all, thanks to Marnia for all your years of research and dedication. Thanks to all that have participated and shared their lives and thoughts in this discussion.

It's amazing how the internet can keep one closed (i.e. porn addiction) or connect with others (i.e. forums like these).

Anyhow, I never realized I was an addict. I just thought this was normal. I use to masturbate on average once a day. It really depended on my mood. I had no idea I was self-medicating myself. But to tell you the truth, I was starting to get sick of porn and finding out this website just gave me more reasons to quit this addiction. I was like a drug addict who hit a wall. I just did it because I knew it would make me feel better. I've been doing this for 20 years now and looking back i realized that all the problems I have now started when I got in to the habit of masturbating daily. I had some social anxiety and never made any real good friends. However, I view myself as a great guy that has lots to offer women, but I just lacked the confidence. Everyday I would feel hopeless and depress. I wanted a girlfriend badly and looked at that as a source of happiness. But I felt it was hopeless because I felt hopeless and insecure about my lack of sexual experience. I am in my mid-30's and never had a girlfriend. I had some great opportunites but my insecurity pushed them away. I regret this.

However, last summer I had a relationship with a girl. We are no longer together because it was a long distance affair. The good thing is that experience allowed me to see how my porn appetite translated into my sexual appetite in bed. The girl I slept with was quite attractive. So I found it unusual that I had a hard time getting hard and having an orgasm. Looking back I noticed I got off with her just like the way I masturbated to porn. All I was concerned with was having an orgasm rather than bonding. I feel ashamed because I don't see myself as that kind of person. But it all makes sense now. That was the only way I knew how to get off. Not that that is an excuse.

I have been abstinent for 6 days and have noticed some positive changes. I feel more happy, I have more energy, I feel much more confident and feel good in general. I felt like a real loser jerking off to porn everyday. But now I feel great because I know I don't need it. I do get the urge some times but not all that much. I think its because I know that I'm going to get better as time goes by just like most people here have mentioned. It actually gets me excited that my life is changing and being aware of those changes gives me more confidence.

The advice here is good. I don't have a girlfriend and had very few sexual relationships. A lot of people here mentioned that they feel lonely and long for a girlfriend. I felt the same way but I've changed my mindset. To me, I don't look at woman as a source of happiness. I have so many other things and people in my life that make me happy. When it comes down to it, my life and my happiness is the most important thing in my life. I'm just going to enjoy the things I like to do. If women want to join me, even better. Because I wholeheartedly believe that if you focus on who you are, people will find that attractive and will want to join you.

I hope everyone here gets better and enjoys the beauty of life.

[quote=vm22 The advice here

[quote=vm22]
The advice here is good. I don't have a girlfriend and had very few sexual relationships. A lot of people here mentioned that they feel lonely and long for a girlfriend. I felt the same way but I've changed my mindset. To me, I don't look at woman as a source of happiness. I have so many other things and people in my life that make me happy. When it comes down to it, my life and my happiness is the most important thing in my life. I'm just going to enjoy the things I like to do. If women want to join me, even better. Because I wholeheartedly believe that if you focus on who you are, people will find that attractive and will want to join you.

I hope everyone here gets better and enjoys the beauty of life.[/quote]

Welcome to the site. I hope you find the support you need. I really like this part that you wrote. I had not thought of it that way. I really need to focus on this. I need to get myself straightened out first. I think I have focused to much on that need for connection. I still really want that. I just need to heal first. I touched on this in one of my post. That I am not ready for a relationship right now. I would just end up going for orgasm and that would not be good.

Thanks for sharing.
Wishing you well
Be Safe
James

Welcome vm22

Sounds like you've figured a lot out already and have the motivation for change.

This is a great place to hang out and write about how it's going for you, which I find is a big help in working through it.

Good luck and keep posting :)

time_for_change

Thanks

Thanks everyone. It's a pleasure to be here. I've read some of the people's post on this forum. Amazing how similar are experiences are. The funny thing is that when I read the posts, I start to get the urge. Can't help it if we are always talking about masturbation. Think of white elephants.

I know a lot of guys here long for companionship. I empathize. But developing yourself is so much more of value. I have just started to go out and develop my social circle, with no outcome of finding a girlfriend. Thus, I found myself much more relax when going out. Be careful into thinking that having a girlfriend will rid all your feelings of loneliness. I use to think that. But soon realize that I don't want my happiness to depend on someone else. Besides, that's way too much pressure to put on a girl and would likely push her away. So take a walk, smell the fresh air, and take charge of your wellbeing because you deserve every bit of it.

I really like your thoughts

I really like your thoughts on this. I am going to have a hard time convincing my brain of this though. I really do want that partner. It is starting to push me hard. I just need to be patient though. Like you say that is way too much pressure to put on myself and another person in the state I am still in. It has been 37 years so no point in rushing it now. I need to just take my time and heal. Once I am healed things should start to fall into place. This is going to be as hard as the addiction to deal with. Also the more I heal from the addiction the stronger this urge becomes. I have to find balance soon or snap I think.

thanks for the thoughts.

To James

Why do feel this push to have a partner? Is it societal pressures? Family? Friends? Biological clock?

Relationships can be an addiction of its own. You get excited talking to your GF on the phone. Dopamine surges. Anticipation happens. The great thing about where you are right now is that you understand this. You will be much more prepared entering a relationship and will understand your emotions so much better. I'm thankful for having found this site because I feel the same way. I'm optimistic about life and am freeing myself of any ideas of what I should or shouldn't be.

I have seen people in relationships that are not healthy ones. But because the couple has insecurities of being alone, they end up sticking together. How many great marriages or relationships have you seen? I think being in a relationship is great, but it doesn't define who you are.

My mindset is starting to change. Years before I desperately wanted to be in a relationship. It's probably why porn was so comforting back then. Right now I see porn as an empty fix to a broken record. It leads to nowhere and just recycles like a broken record. And although I don't have porn or a relationship, I feel 100 times more confident. I've realized that I don't need to be in a relationship. If I am in one, great. But I've done so many amazing things on my own that I would have never done on my own. My advice to you: don't be afraid to be alone. Welcome it. Embrace it. Stand on two feet and feel the confidence of being independent. Believe me, there are a lot people on the other side that envy you because you have the freedom to explore with no strings attached. And in time, when you least expect it, the woman that's right for you will appear.

Believe.

I will see if I can figure

I will see if I can figure out why I desire it. I know it is not pressure from family or friends. No real societal pressure. Biological clock may have some effect. That is probably the closest to what I am feeling. Never having a relationship of any kind with a women until recently (less than 2 months ago). This only being by phone. Even that has caused intense feelings. Feelings I find hard to control or deal with sometimes.
I think it is more I am just sick of being alone. I know what you mean though about relationships and marriage. I have seen way too many of those where the people are still alone. I have seen and still see all the awful relationships and marriages around me. I hear women and men talk about each other in such hateful and hurtful ways. It is just painful to hear every day. I hear it every day. You read about it every day. You are confronted with it every day.

So as you say maybe I need to learn to be comfortable with myself first. I have not been that ever. I am getting there though. Being without porn is starting to really make me feel good. That is feeling good about myself. I get a lot of helpful encouragement and support from other here and my friend by phone. I think feeling good about myself is maybe more important. I am just starting to get that. Really just in the last few days. Starting with this relapse and your postings. I seem to do better and get to the bottom of my problems when people start questioning me. I have to start looking deep into my self to see what is there. I have encouraged people to push me in the past here.

So now I just need to find the answer of why I feel so lonely. I have a loving family and I am very close to them. Well at least my mother and her side of the family. I will not go into my fathers side in this. I have talked about some of that in my blog. It is just I do not think it is because of family. I am no longer sure if If the p/m/o caused it or if I used it to cover up the loneliness. Hard to see which right now. Not sure if I will be able to figure that out.

I do know that I still feel lonely. It hurts so damn much that feeling. It is not the depression state I have felt during withdrawals. I just feel so isolated. Even when I am in an area with lots of people. I think most people may feel this way. Is that true ? If not then I need to figure out why that is with me. Even if most people feel that way I think it is still a problem.

So I need to think about this some more. The why I feel the need for companionship. I know what Marnia will say or at least I have an idea. I just need to know more about myself. I need to learn to deal with the loneliness till I am at a point of being able to have a healthy relationship. It is just hard to deal with all of it right now. So much @#2@ going on in my head. It is hard to control most of the time.

there is something interesting though. I have found by starting this process of trying to quit porn and masturbation and orgasm things in my life have changed rapidly. On many fronts. I need to keep observing the changes and will go into detail in my blog at some point. It is just things are changing in me and all around me. I was stuck and everything around me was kind of stuck till I started this journey. How does this process have such effect on me and things around me. Am I reading too much into the changes I see. Just now sure.

Still working with the process. We will see how things go.
There are some ramblings and insights and thoughts.
Be Safe

Hmmm...

My thought is that, because most of the planet is not using its sexual energy very carefully, relationship results are enough to make *any* of us desire self-sufficiency. And, as individual egos, we would all like to be self-sufficient. So when things are going pretty well, we believe we've achieved that.

Not only that, we grow up in a Self-Sufficiency Myth culture, which totally ignores the way our brains are set up. We over-value dopamine highs (because the bigger the surge, the more "valuable" our primitive reward circuitry perceives the stimulus to be), which leaves us very susceptible to compulsive behaviors. And we totally undervalue the psychological and physiological gifts of friendship and the close, trusted companionship of a mate.

It has been a tough lesson for me, but I've finally had to accept that we're tribal pair bonders at base. It's very healthy to develop some tools for regulating your mood yourself...but research shows that we cannot hope to regulate our moods indefinitely ourselves. Addictions are an unhealthy attempt to do just that. Read Addiction as an Attachment Disorder, if you want the science behind this.

Making peace with our design and learning how to stabilize relationships for mutual benefit should probably a higher priority than most of us realize.

It sounds nice

But there are times when we simply do not have a mate. You have to admit that nature doesnt promise every single person an understanding mate at every single point in our lives. There are going to be people that are not, for whatever circumstance, going to have an intimate partner either permanently or for some time and they do have to learn to cope with it. There are times in our lives when we need to learn to rely on the companionship of our friends and close relatives instead of seeking a mate. Seeking a mate in the wrong state of mind of an unhealthy person can be damaging.

I wouldn't say that bonding

I wouldn't say that bonding isn't important. Genetically it seems that human contact was built in to promote survival. But this also makes me think about Buddha and how he attained enlightenment. Here is a person who realized that he was in charge of his own happiness. So it makes me question whether bonding truly is necessary. I think for the lay person, yes. It would be quite hard to live like hermit. And by all means, I'm not saying we should all go it alone. But I think we need to realize that there are so many other ways of getting what we need. Seeking a romantic relationship isn't necessarily the answer. Instead, platonic friendships can be just as good.

I think where I was going

I think where I was going with this thought is that I need to get through the reboot process. I can't do that "alone" solo. Not without help. Just trying to have a physical relationship right now would be almost impossible. Not ever having had one. I end up just going for orgasm when things get going so I do not think one would work right now. I have a friend I talk to by phone which helps a lot. She helps keep me sane. I would not be as far along as I am now without that communication and contact. The community here helps me so much I would be lost without it. I am learning to do things that help. I do not always do them and my addicted brain sabotages me sometimes but I am doing OK.

Now if I can get completely through a reboot period then I will need a relationship. Not only need but want and be able to deal with it. I want this very much. It helps motivate me to reboot. So I think there has to be a balance in this. At least for me.

The need for relationships

I can relate to the obsessive need to feel like I need another person to make me happy. This has been the source of a lot of pain in my addiction. Romance and fantasy addictions are real. I agree with you VM, there are just times in our lives that we have to learn to take care of our own needs in a deep way and let go of our compulsion to just allow any woman to fill that gap for us. I know relationships can be healing, but they can also be damaging for those who have problems with intimacy and sexual addictions. I would love to have a partner that is willing to try some bonding, but Im also not going to put an ad up on craigslist either. I meet women that could be possible partners of this kind, but I simply do not want that kind of relationship with them or even to get involved with them. I am on my own for a while and I know its best while I deal with some of these core issues. A loving and understanding partner would be awesome, but its just not in the cards right now and I cannot force something like that.

I agree

that a period of celibacy can be very valuable, and, as I said, we all need tools for learning to regulate our own mood (getting centered). But those of us who are not cut out for celibacy (or who haven't turned ourselves off of sex entirely due to excess...In one story I read, Buddha headed for his tree after a night of excess with his harem...), may benefit from finding a middle way with relationships.