Hi all! I have been following this site for about four and a half months now and I thought I would share my experience with PMO addiction with you guys. As the heading says, today marks the end of four and a half months of abstinence from M and O (I had some trouble with the P - the lure of those potential virtual mates was too much sometimes;)). This morning I found myself having a PMO binge session, and I must say it was quite a bittersweet experience.
First let me tell you guys a bit about my story. I am a 20 something South African guy and I have had a problem with compulsive masturbation since around the age of 10. Mind you, back in my younger years M and O felt as normal to me as brushing my teeth - it was a part of my daily routine. Growing up I was the shy and reserved child in the family and often teased by both friends and family members. No matter how hard life was though I always had my little "activity" that gave me that dopamine hit that offered a pick me up. My first exposure to P was at the age of 11 when a friend showed me a video that had belonged to his dad. Back then I didn't know much about this new type of movie, but what I did know is that the images it provided were just enough to increase that dopamine hit. When I got my first computer and found out that P was widely available digitally I began collecting as much as I could of what seemed like mana from masturbation heaven. What I didn't realise then was that my activity was actually stealing so much from me - my confidence, my opinion of the opposite sex and most of all any sense of connection with others. A major shift came five years ago when I accidentally stumbled on some literature about the practice of bramacharya (From the divine life society - sorry guys I don't have a link for those who are interested but I'll look for one).
At that time I was busily in pursuit of a long time crush of mine;) and I had misinterpreted the benefits of bramarcharya as a means of strengthening the mind to get what I wanted. What I found was that periods of abstinence (mainly 2 weeks or more;)) brought about a dynamic shift on how I perceived the world (think it was the limbic system letting go of its clutches:)). I began to realise that real relationships could be formed and that there was a much more loving and brighter world around me. Abstinence had showed me a world I hadn't known had existed, and for once in my life dare I say I had found some sort of balance with the world. Funny thing about the limbic system though is that it has this uncanny knack for making things it perceives as important actually "seem" important. It had made me believe that PMO were still extremely important in my life. That a life without them would be dull and boring even though it felt so nice to be in balance. Funny thing that limbic system.
So I convinced myself that I would find a way to keep this balance even with PMO. Problem was in my case my brain was so hard wired for that option that it was just not possible. So I spent the next 5 years of my life "choosing" to part take in my daily activity because it seemed important (little bugger that mammalian brain;)). It was 5 years of unhappiness living with the feeling that I had chosen the "wrong" option even though it seemed important. For all that time I believed that I was "bad" for "choosing" to stick with PMO. Thing was I didn't know that the pull of the dopamine hit is enough to change the way one thinks. I often attributed the "bad thoughts" that took me back to PMO to some sort of inner devil, some sort of concept of sinning. Still things weren't so bad, until two years ago.
The stress of my post graduate studies made me look for a pleasurable outlit for all that stress. Thing in SA is, the internet at the time was still not a feesable choice for every due to sky rocketing prices. The internet on the cell phone however was a lot cheaper and a lot more readily available. And so began a twisted tango with mobile porn. That's when things really went downhill.
By this point the pull of my primitive brain was so strong that it out weighed any importance of having healthy relationships with those around me. Things with my girlfriend started to become slippery as our intimate relationship suffered (something which she blamed herself for sadly). It was then that I started to realise that maybe the whole PMO thing wasn't as important as it seemed. And thus began the return to abstinence that I knew was gave me balance in hopes that it would save my relationship. Funny thing is at this point the mobile internet went from being a scourge to a saviour. That's when, as Marnia puts it, "a random google search lead this struggling addict to reuniting":). That's when I began to learn that the little voice within me that chose PMO wasn't evil, but a evolutionary trait gone awry.
These past four months have been extremely difficult but also great. I have slowly begun to realise that is happening to me is doesn't mean that I am a "bad" person for choosing PMO. I was just someone whose brain was hijacked by the good feelings they offered. Someone who didn't know any better at the time. And so even though I have had a binge with PMO, I feel sad but also happy. Because now I now that what has happened is I have succumbed to some brain chemistry that wasn't designed for this day and age. And not feeling guilty about it makes the fight seem that much more possible. So what I want to say to those of you out there who are struggling like me is, hold on, it is going to get better. I don't know where things are going to go from here, but what I do know is that the knowledge I have gained from this website and you guys experiences has given me the confidence and understanding to find a balance in my life. Not because I have to, but because I want to and deserve to. And so do all of you.
Anyway, I hope you aren't asleep by the end of this tome of my life. Thanks for reading it through. I wish you guys all of the best in finding balance;).