My (not so short) story

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The first time I realised that I was addicted to masturbation, was when I had a girlfriend for the first time in my life. Sadly (for me) this was only one year ago (I'm 24 now). It's when I decided to put an end to this relationship (because our age difference was becoming annoying), that I went searching for answers for the weak erections I had been experiencing. I talked to my doctor who gave me Cialis which completely solved the issue (although it gave me headaches). However, it had to be a psychological problem because I sometimes woke up in the middle of the night and had to go to the bathroom but couldn't because I had an erection which wouldn't go away for 5 minutes or even longer (something to do with the parasympathetic nervous system). So I started searching the web and quickly found sites where someone claimed there was a connection between excessive masturbation and weak erections. So I decided to stop... which untill today hasn't been a succesful undertaking. I realised I was addicted.

I started thinking and found the events in my life which drove me into this cumpulsive behaviour. I want to type it out, just for me, and vent some of these feelings that have been accumulating for too long (my very own therapeutic session). But skip it if you're not interested in hearing it.

I first started masturbating when I was 11 or 12 or something, but certainly not every day. I guess it was just normal sexual curiosity. When I was 15, my 17 year old sister tried to commit suicide for the first time. I remember the noice, waking me up in the middle of the night en then discover a bathroomfloor covered in blood. My parent where rushing to the hospital with her and I was home alone (except my brother who was still asleep). Confused and not shure what had happened, I just sat on my bed and waited.
From that point on, things just started to collapse. After a tumultus year (and a lot of suicide attempts later), my father 'fled' in his job, he stayed at work late so he could have dinner alone. Then he went to his office upstairs at home and never came downstairs. My 14 year old brother (who is psychologically and motorically handicapped) got arrested for dealing drugs at school. My mom looked like she had aged 20 years, but she found a little bit of joy in caring for kids who's parents couldn't take care of them for sometime (because a trip to mekka or something, or because the mother was recovering from some desease,...). It was her kind of 'occupational therapy'. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been for her. She is the most caring and loving person a human being can hope to be. And with my father inable to cope with the situation as he should have (I don't blame him though), she carried our burning world all by her self. She bended a lot, but never broke. (If I were religieus, I would be absolutely convinced that she's an angel or something) My sister was in a hospital for mentally unstable people, but this is not the kind of environnement that's ideally suited for healing her scars (figurative) and help her to 're-find' the pleasures in her life.
And me? I had my own demons that showed up, and lacked the maturity (and energy) to fight and defeat them. I went from somewhat shy to socially phobic. I never said anything in school, certainly not to girls. I had 2 male friends who liked to talk a lot, and when I talked 1 on 1, I did relatively ok. But doing a presentation, saying something when more than 1 person was listening, or ask questions? I just hoped I would die before I had to say something. I came home, feeling exhausted and deprived of any joy, ambition or enthousiasm. I would fall on my bed, switch on my PC and go surfing the internet.
Porn, porn, porn,... It gave me some quality time with myself and an activity away from reality. And most of all, it made me feel good. However I always needed a more interesting movie. I could never view the same movie twice, so eventually I looked at the most disgusting stuff out there. There isn't anything I've not seen (except some of the most extreme things that I consider life unworthy acts to indulge in).
I felt that the only person on earth who loved me and with whom I could talk about fun, simple, joyfull things, was my 5 year old babysitgirl. She loved me unconditionally. And one time I was babysitting, I was depressed and I couldn't think of anything to live for, and was thinking about doing the same thing my sister tried to do. Ofcourse I hid these feelings for her, just as I hid it for everybody. So we were talking and I asked what she was scared of. She said the thing that scared her the most, was her family or me dying. And she made me promis, right there, never to die, and I swore to her (and almost started crying) that I would never die. We continued playing some games and I had found the first thing not just to die for, but to live for. It has kept me going through quite some emotional hells (talk about angels, I almost became a religious person that day Smile ).

I also started having problems in school (there were multiple times when I simply forgot to fill in half an exam). I took some tests and was diagnosed with ADD for which I could take Rilatine. (For those interested; in short, rilatine blocks some enzym that helps absorbing dopamine, so the overal level of dopamine in the brain is slightly raised). I could focus again and was motivated like never before. My social phobia was still present though. So when I decided to go to highschool, I went to see a therapist and did some therapy. Things improved but not drasticaly.

I've only known this site for 2 months now, but have been trying to reduce my masturbation frequency by internet filters for 8 months. After spending some hours on this site, I'm 100% certain that the key for solving my Social Anxiety, my ADD and my weak erections (partly) lies with my exessive masturbating! I know that my masturbation addiction may not be the source of these problems, but stopping it is certainly going to improve things!

I first wanted to stop cold turkey. But after the first month of trying, my longest period of abstance was 9 days. In that month I was really frustrated with myself and often cried after masturbating (and orgasm ofcourse). How could I not have the willpower? Stopping masturbation might just solve my ADD, my weak erections AND my social phobia, and I couldn't even go for 2 weeks without?
Then, just two weeks ago, I changed my attitude. After reading some more on this site and certainly some of other people's experiences, I came to realise that relapses are normal and the worst thing to do is getting frustrated and angry with yourself. Going from 10 years masturbating almost every single day (sometimes 2 or even 3 times a day), towards an average of 3 times in 2 weeks, just like that? It's not at all that bad.

But today I had a relapse. I even looked at some porn whilst masturbating. I then looked at my schedule and noticed that on wednesdays and thursdays I seem to be mentally the weakest. I instantly found a reason: I don't have any classes on wednesday and thursday and I have to work on my thesis. So I'm alone all day, working on my computer with a massive amount of porn just a couple of clicks away. So the plan is to go working in the library every wednesday and thursday from now on. And then plan my evening with friends or have a movie ready to watch, or go running, or go to the gymm, or just go for a walk. Anything but sitting at home, waiting for my moment of weakness to come and steel my progress. Doing this also gives me the feeling that I learn from a relapse. My addiction found a weakness to exploit, but in it's success, it gave me the information I need te fortify my defenses. Next time I will be more ready and eventually I will be uncompremisable. I still believe that. I just hope that I'm right. Time will tell...

Wrighting this has taken me 4 houres and 37 minutes :-). English is nog my native language so everything goes a little slower, but still. It's the first time I've written my lifestory down and I have to say, it gives me a special satisfying feeling. I'm not used to tell my friends about my situation, being afraid of loosing them. However now I can. I guess internet does have some good aspects after all.
I wish everybody here the best of luck. If anyone wants to give advice, information or share their story, I am more than very happy to hear it. It's always nice to know you're not alone.

Thanks for listening
R

Thanks for sharing!

You've certainly come a long ways, even if you, and I as well, and many of us, still have a ways to go. It seems many of us go through some bad stuff at times, and we all have had to deal with addictive elements to our lives. But it always seems to help when you get some support, find out you're not alone, and what has worked for other people.

Keep us posted on how you do. I'm sure you'll find the folks here very supportive and helpful.

Welcome, Your english is better than mine I think :)

I feel a lot of what you wrote. The stuff about the addiction. Thanks for sharing your story. I know for me it helped to write this stuff out.
It helps with healing.

Congratulations on figuring this out at your age. Do not worry so much about that. You are way ahead of me. I was 36 before I figured out I needed to get away from porn. I am 37 now. Not had a girl friend yet :(. Maybe some day soon :) not sure about that but you never know.

It does feel good to go without viewing porn for an extended period of time. Well I think it has been extended period of time. It really does help your outlook on things. At least for me it has helped. I have changed a lot. I am calmer and happier. Yes I am much happier now than I ever was viewing porn. I tried to be happy with porn but it is all false "happiness". Not really happiness at all really just a hope that it and masturbation and orgasm will make the pain go away for a little while.

Wishing you well
I hope you find what you need here to help your healing
Be Safe
James

thanks

Thanks for the kind words. I have to say, right after I submitted my story, I felt somewhat stupid for just putting myself in the open like that. Talking about myself is something I never did. I'm in my day 5 now, and I feel some urges but reading these comments directly aimed at me and specific to my life(story), it gives me a new kind of strenght and confidence. I finaly found a safe environment to talk about such a taboo and shameful topic. I'm very excited, since I already start to feel some changes in my behaviour like a diminishing social anxiety.
So hopefully this will continue and I can start living my own life and not feel like I'm 'being lived' anymore.

Wishing you all well too
I found what I need to help me heal, which is all of you. So thanks Smile
R

Hey Marnia, I'm doing fine,

Hey Marnia, I'm doing fine, thanks for asking.
Abstaining from p/m still seems to be very difficult. I'm back at day one now. I still believe that I can do it, I know I won't stop trying. Still, it's not fun having to start all over again, time goes really slow, and those 6 hard days now seem to be all for nothing.
Today my hands were shaking, but I'm not sure there's a connection here because I haven't been sleeping alot this week. I have alot of stress for school, a lot of work, and it will stay that way for some time so I hope I will be able to combine my work with abstaining from p/m.
I just want to get this over with.
Thanks for checking up on me Marnia, I really appreciate it.
Have a Happy Easter or just a good weekend!
R

Shaking

and insomnia are both *typical* withdrawal symptoms, which are strong evidence that neurochemical dysregulation in porn addicts has things in common with the dysregulation experienced by other addicts.

In other words, you're normal. Smile

When you started over, were you able to avoid porn and simply masturbate? That's a big step forward if you can manage to do it. In any case, six days of resistance isn't totally wasted. Remember, the key idea is to unhook porn and fantasy from sexual arousal. The less you link the two, the more the nerve cell connections for that pathway "relax," making it easy for YOU (rather than your primitive brain) to call the shots as you go forward.

Yes, it is very hard. And you are very brave. All you can do is your best.

Happy Easter to you, too.

*big hug*

Wow you have been through a

Wow you have been through a lot of harsh things in life, I guess PMO helped you get through it all and became your trusty friend. To try and quit at all is quite a big step and after reading your story I have a feeling of strong respect for everyone on this site.
I think I read that 90% of people masturbate, of those people we are sincerely trying to quit and I think that that is something to be proud of. There are many who will continue masturbating to porn for their whole life and on top of that boast about it untill they die. The fact we decide to quit is a good sign of relative intelligence in us ( compared to those who fool themselves into thinking it's good and fine).