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Submitted by flyfisher1 on
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Greetings everyone.

I'm been periodically visiting this site for the past 3 months and have found it helpful. I'm encouraged by those striving for loving relationships and wholesomeness as opposed to a life of fantasy which degrades both the consumers and producers.

Like many before me, I'm aiming high, with the goal of abstaining from any form of sexuality for the next 100 days. The purpose of this post is to start to document my journey. I'm particularly interested in observing and documenting changes in mood, sleep, demeanor and physical appearance. I've gone about 4-5 weeks on a couple of occasions. Sadly, though those periods were bright spots in my life, they did not hold.

Here is my bio. I've been addicted to pm for about 22 years, I'm 32. I typically have M'd about 4-7 times a week, and go on P binges about once a month, sometimes more frequently, sometimes less. My binges involve downloading HC M/F movies from the internet usually for the better part of the day. I'm still a virgin, believe it or not! I'm relatively handsome and most people would be shocked to find this out. Some years of cystic acne left me with both physical scars and self esteem issues. This partly explains why I'm still a virgin. Perhaps only 10% of it though. Not surprising I suffer from depression and have been on antidepressants in the past. I'm a bit of skeptic, in that the science behind antidepressants is simply not there along with a strong understanding of the underlying mechanisms, nor consequences or their use. I am however a strong believer in the power of the mind and its ability to shift perceived experiences and states. The somatic effect. In contrast to the experience of some others which is well documented, I don't seem to be going down the track of craving more and more violent/abusive/underage material. I've tried to quite both PM countless times, literally. I was raised a Christian and up until recently was a strong believer. My view has evolved, and, with genuine intellectual honesty, I have to say that I'm somewhere between a deist and agnostic at the moment. I firmly believe that the added guilt and hope of delieverance that I placed on myself through my prior Christian values, did a disservice to me. Though I do believe there is some silver lining to my previous faith. I was not abused as a child and had an otherwise normal, healthy upbringing.
I have sleep issues, insomnia, which incidently, I don't hear many people talking about, and believe its etiology is linked to a history of staying up late looking at porn with lots of chemical excitement, followed by shame and grief - these emotional states obviously do not promote sleeping. I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of the nature of the problem, that is PM, through copious reading in the behavioral/neurosciences armed with plenty of self observation. This involves triggers and the two part brain.

OK, thats enough about me. I'll try to check back in every couple of days to note progress in my goal. I'm hoping that I can go the distance, then be lucky enough to find a good relationship with someone sometime soon thereafter, so that I can assume a healthy sexual practice and stop having to be sexual with myself and continue to live a life of pain, shame and loneliness. Its absolutely crazy!

Thanks for all your support.

You are in a good place ...

Keep reading the articles on here and check back frequently. I've been without largely porn (with a few slips) for coming up on 4 months. My last slip was probably 3 three weeks ago but it didn't become a protracted binge. The point is this website helped me do it. I post pretty frequently.

I used to be religious as a kid so I also understand how that effects the compulsion to masturbate. Since coming here I've learned a great deal about myself and what my triggers are. I would like to write more but I'm under a time constraint. Just know you aren't alone and there will come a day that you will be completely free from porn. What I should pass along is that in order for me to do that I had to quit masturbating for awhile and endure some withdrawal symptoms. It's definitely worth it.

You sound like

a very thoughtful guy. I'm glad some of the pieces are fitting together with your experience.

Just don't let any bumps in the road make you question your self-worth. It's not easy to shift your limbic balance around sex. It requires patience, a sense of humor and an ability to pick yourself right back up and continue your effort. I wasn't even hooked on porn, yet I required a very long learning curve to figure out what was really going on in my sex life and what my options were. So, I have great admiration for you guys and your courage.

Even in the smoothest recovery there are ups and downs of mood. You probably already have techniques for regulating your mood, but if you don't, or if you have some to add, please have a look at this list: http://www.reuniting.info/node/4501

Insomnia is very common here actually. When people stop using porn, it can get worse for a time...I'm sorry to say. And it sometimes takes weeks to level out. Sometimes time is the only cure, but you might find exercise, meditation or some other well-being practice works. There are even exercises for redirecting sexual energy here: http://www.reuniting.info/node/3299

Great to have you here. Feel free to start your own blog if you'd find it helpful.

And prepare to flirt, because you're about to start glowing. Wink

day 4

I've made good on my goal so far. The urges today were the worst out of the four. This was partly because I was behind the computer screen all day working on an academic paper. I find that writing usually stresses me out. Its probably best that I find alternative work in the future which doesn't cause this stress and doesn't at the same time position me one click away from porn for the better part of the day. Hmmmmm?

Nothing too much else to report. I couldn't get to sleep the other night till four am and today I was getting down on my facial scarring and appearance. I try to coach myself as much as possible and eclipse the critic inside with positive affirmations. E.g., "don't worry about getting a full nights sleep, you'll catch up.....you're a fine looking guy" etc. Its ongoing.

Thanks to the replies Marnia and Dano_Clarke. I deeply appreciate your support. I reckon if I can go 100 days I can do anything.

Will check back in a few days. Best wishes to all,

Hey man

I've found the fact that you have made the decision to do this is more important in the long term than any short term discomfort. And there will be discomfort. The brain, as we've seen, gets *very* used to it's dopamine supply. When you turn the lights out...that's when the withdrawal kicks in. I have also noticed...as I've had a few slips but no full on binge since May, that it's easier to get back on the horse after my initial withdrawal a few months ago. Actually, it's not easy at all but easier than the beginning. You do have some positive things to look forward to after two weeks of no PMO (porn/masturbation/orgasm.) The help of a kind and caring woman in my life has also helped immensely in this process, although we've only known each other for a short time.

The things to look forward to is an increase in self esteem, a healthy "glow" that the opposite sex will notice and in general sexual issues take a back seat to goal setting. I just recently posted a thread called "What It's Like After You've Quit Porn For Awhile." It's in my blog. Lately with all the focus on withdrawal and misery ect. it's hard to forget that things get better and we need something to look forward too. If you've read Cupid's Poisoned Arrow the point isn't to suffer but to feel, ultimately, more balanced. That will happen if we don't give up in the beginning.

As far as appearance goes I've seen some amazing women with men who don't have the traditional "handsome" look. It's what inside that matters...yeah it's an old sappy cliche but it's true. You won't want to be someone for their looks either. It never lasts.

Writing papers is stressful yes but hey you could work in a coal mine right? Everything's relative. Of course that's not to minimize what you are going thru because last semester I had this piano class and I don't play piano so well. I had the worst concentration the couple weeks I was quitting PMO ...I just remember staring at the keyboard and feeling this intense blue ball type experience. Whew glad that's over. You know what though I play piano now so that's cool.

I used to be on a college admissions message board years ago and there was a guy on there I was friendly with that had the same handle as you. Every time I see your posts makes me want to reply.

It's a constant battle

not to give into the brain worms. I'm glad you're resisting. Think "epic hero fighting a spell." Smile

I don't think the computer will always be such a hazard, but I'm sure it's tough now.

Good for you, and thanks for checking in.

Day 9

Thanks for the continued support everyone, including Marnia and Dano_Clarke

Briefly, as I need to nod off soon, today marks day nine in my journey in 100 days of abstaining from orgasim and porn. I'm moving the goal posts a bit, as initially I intended to include no masturbation, but I've decided to cut myself a little slack.

I've definitely had a number of periods were I've had strong urges to look at porn over the past 6 days. My overall strategy has been:

Meta cognition -observing these thoughts, and then coaching myself away from the compulsive behavior.
This also means considering the nature of these impulses and were they derive -that is the primitive, emotional part of the brain. Doing this allows me to separate my conscious rational self from the impulses.
Keeping busy -when the urge comes, start moving the feet -for instance head out to buy groceries, or get a coffee at the local cafe.
Exercise, this is always important and I try to cycle or run 5 days a week.
Remembering the cost of looking at porn.........always and I mean ALWAYS, the costs of looking at P outway the benefits. Everytime it leads to pain, shame, guilt, depression, fogginess, self doubt, confusion, loss of sleep. It so amazing considering that these results are replicated everytime that I can still feel temped at times to look at porn. Clearly there are a couple of operating systems working, at they're not always pulling in the same direction!

OK, gotta head to bed. Hopefully what I've written makes some sense.

Best wishes to everyone on this forum. I wish you the here and now, always.

Cheers