Hi - new to the forum and struggling

Submitted by looking4balance on
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Hi,
I am new to the site and wanted to post my first blog in the forum as well so people can get to know me and can share stories/support.

I'd like to share my journey from sex addiction and wholeness in hopes that it might not only help me in my recovery, but also maybe help some others struggling with similar issues. If some dialog or mutual support arise as well, all the better! I will continually try to keep relevant to the purpose of this website and will refrain from graphic descriptions. Ok...Some background info might be in order here. this is long so be warned. : )

I am American currently living in Asia and working in the computer graphics field. I grew up in a Northeastern suburban town. I am male, 39 years old, not religious although i practice zen/meditation. I am the youngest of three siblings (by 10 years). My birth father died when i was just 3 months old so i never knew him. My mother remarried when i was 2, but my mom and step-father divorced when i was 17. I too was married for 5 years but divorced about 4 years ago. Before being married , I would say I have had 4 serious girlfriends, all of whom I had cheated on, including my ex-wife.

My relationships have always been the idealized, overvalue then devalue kind. Romance and infatuation are initially high (you and only you can heal me and take my pain away)turning to feelings of being smothered and resentment. From emeshment to abuse. Pull and push. The endings are always 'life and death' drama - one of disassociative terror of loss and being alone to obsession, manipulation and entitlement (kinda scary stuff). I always seem to lose myself and feel responsible for the other's feelings. In between those 'relationships'(?) are stings of sex buddies,one night stands, and compulsive masturbation. If any ladies would like contact me at this point...haha, nice package I am huh? Ok, continuing ..

I do not use drugs, although have in the past and was psychologically addicted to marijuana in high school, and have had a troubling relationship with alcohol over my lifetime, including car accidents, DUIs, bar brawls, and blackouts.

I have been struggling with pornography/fantasy/and impersonal sex since i was 10 years old, roughly 30 years. I remember clearly the first porn mag i saw, the happy smile on the man's face, the beauty of the female body, and from that point I believe i confused sex with love. As far as I know, i was not molested or sexually abused as a child, although neglect might be argued. I have tried to quit using porn as a crutch for reality many times, too many to count, throwing away mags, pics, etc. only to collect and search for them again days or weeks later. Each time self-esteem drops and a sense of hopelessness washes over. this pattern has been repeated endlessly. The secretive thrill and excitement have always been so enticing, despite the self reproach and loathing after (every addict knows this feeling).

Since coming to Asia, my activity in one night stands, impersonal sex, and 'faking' relationships have increased. I feel I recently crossed a line in my addiction and i fear going further in that i may not come back. I went to a swinger/swapping establishment and played out the fantasies that i have been seeing in porn (sex in front of strangers,swapping). Since it was so intense (probably a mega-dopamine hit), both my curiosity to return there AND my concern that I can never be the same if i do are my troubling to say the least. This is why I am here today writing and investigating the info presented here, so I can use this knowledge of brain chemistry to my advantage in overcoming this. I am truly scared to death right now of what I will make of my future if I dont overcome this. I wasted enough years as it is.

I have been to therapy, taken SSRIs, gone to 12-step groups, all of which helped, but was never enough to overcome this sexual fixation. I hope that my compassion for the people i am hurting (and have hurt) and for myself plus the infomation about how my brain is perpetuating this is enough.

Just so this is balanced and you don't just see me as just a monster/freak or whatever, i will present some other characteristics about me. Since a boy, I was always interested in language and culture (I can speak French, Italian, and Japanese), I could always draw and work now as a computer graphics artist for TV. I also like science, cooking, exercise and health, biology, pyschology/sociology. My friends say i am sensitive, smart, funny, talented, supportive, and curious about many things. I lived in Italy for a while and now, as i wrote, live in Asia.

Well, that's probably enough (or too much) for now...
Any thoughts/comments are most encouraged. Thanks!

-looking4balance

Thanks for sharing all this

I am very tired of seeing some of the brightest angels on this planet hooked and snared by junk food sex. It seems to offer relief, but not only doesn't it nourish, it makes the hunger increasingly unmanageable. And, it makes sound choices more and more difficult.

I know that self-loathing may make it hard for you to hear this, but suppose you were part of a team that wanted to help the planet correct its misunderstanding about sex. Suppose you wanted to help others see how it could be managed to increase feelings of wholeness, wellbeing and fulfillment. The best teachers are those who have nearly drowned in a problem, fully understand its challenges, and, through sheer determination and seeking inspiration, are able to overcome it and share their insights with others. Don't you honestly think you may have set yourself up perfectly for this mission?

I know this sounds naive, but I fully and completely believe it. In any case, even if I'm wrong, it seems it would be far more empowering to be looking for solutions to "crack the code" than to be castigating oneself for past errors. You obviously have a brilliant mind, and we're glad to have you on the team.

To respond on a practical level:

1. Have you tried William's rubber band technique? It sounds silly, but it's very simple and practical: http://www.reuniting.info/node/782 Best of all, he says it's actually helping.

2. Can you find a meditation, yoga, or martial arts practice? This indirectly can help quite a bit. Within weeks you will start to feel brief moments of pure, inexplicable contentment (probably due to brain chemistry balance). The realization that this "just happens," when you are not "pursuing" anything for pleasure, helps your nervous system understand where true contentment lies. It is your birthright, not something you have to seek frantically. The trick is to realize that there is a withdrawal period between you and these feelings of contentment, and stay a bit detached while you watch yourself go through the discomfort of withdrawal. It won't go on forever, and you will once again feel alive and creative.

3. If such a practice is not yet an option, can you get out in nature and walk? That can have the same effect.

4. Elsewhere you asked what to do when you see a woman and all the fantasies and hunger come up. First, understand that as you balance yourself from within, those feelings will be less intense, or at least will pass more quickly. So you will not always suffer to this degree. I asked my husband how he deals with this. (He's a very normal guy and loves women and sex, and formerly, loved orgasm Lol He said, "I look...and I move on." At first I thought, "well that's not very helpful advice." But in a sense it's the most helpful. He has been through the transition you now face, and what he has found is that his urges are largely under his control. He can look, and enjoy it, AND not have his psyche taken over by his libido. It's healthy and alive - and under the control of his will. Even though this state may seem unattainable at the moment, I assure you that you can attain it. There are no shortcuts, however, so grit your teeth and don't get totally discouraged when you take a step backward. Growth is not linear. It's a spiral tilted on its side.

A big hug,
Marnia

Thank you both for your

Thank you both for your support and words. it feels great to part of something bigger with a shared purpose. I am glad I arrived here! Some thoughts in regards to your replies..

Its been 5 days since my last orgasm and this weekend will be a test. I will see the girl I normally have sex with and i will do my best to refrain from orgasmic sex. I have to think about bigger longer-term goals..

>>Marnia, Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I totally agree with your statement about the best teachers being the ones who have successfully gone through the fire. I mean, who would you take advice from, an alcoholic who overcame his problem or a person that read and wrote papers about alcoholsim but never had the problem? its a no-brainer for sure. That might be a way to put some of this self-inflicted past misery to a good use.

The rubber band idea (or though stoping technique as I think my one Cognative Behavioral Therapist conined it) is a good and simple one that i forgot about. Can't hurt (well a little, ouch) to give a try. will do...

I do practice zen and taking up yoga again is a great idea. One thing i have been trying to ascertain is what kind of chemicals by default are swirling up there. I have been also looking on Joel Robertson webiste (RRI institute) where they also talk about brain chemistry and addictions, etc. It said its important to know what kind of balance feels right for your brain. some people need soothing activities to feel balance (yoga, etc..) and some need more phyiscal exercise to feel in check. one thing i dont understand about DOPAMINE that maybe you can clear up? After I go for a hard run, I feel clear, goal focused, strong, almost like
a cocaine-like enthusiasm. Obviously thats Dopamine. So is the net effect of running for example to raise, balance, or use up dopamine? isnt raising dopamine not good? Kind of unclear about that one and if I should be doing strenous exercise.

As far as the leering at pretty women, I know that is exacerbated by the porn images still burned into my psyche and will take some time to fade out (hopefully). Again, your husband's advice is clear and easy to follow. i dont think good advice has to be complicated! I will try to train my mind to use that technique. Thanks to him and to you!

>> Hi William, nice to meet you! Good for you for not succumbing to your fantasies! thats great. I will try the rubber band on the subways since that a really hard place for me and fanstasy abounds...

So you did the poly/swapping for a while? i guess it ultimately didn't make you happy or you would still be doing it right? its so alluring and my brain tells me when i think about not pursuing that further"how can you pass that up? your crazy! thats your fantasies come true! Beautiful women, just sex, no commitment, every man's dream!" or "life is short, just enjoy!"..great brain..where can i trade this one in and get another? haha..

SSRI is just an acronym for Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor (aka Prozac, Paxil, Effexor) your garden variety anti-depressent. While i did feel better on them, I am generally anti-pharmaceutical and didnt like the side effects. One bonus one for me was delayed orgasm which for many is a problem, but since years of masturabating to porn trained me come before I like to, it was a nice side effect. I was recently usuing them recreationally, taking them just before sex to last longer, but this reaked havoc with my brain's seratonin levels and i wouldn't recommend it. Those drugs are being looked at a cure for PE (premature
ejaculation) in the near future.

I read that following these methods to wholeness bring a glow and sexual energy that is perceivable to women. You may not have to look very far for a soulmate when you get to that healing place you want to be...they may be coming up to you! :)

Thanks again and
Stay in touch!

Well now,

at least I'll never have to wonder again about what men I see on subways are thinking about. Thanks guys. }:)

Sorry I didn't answer your dopamine question. Runners get high on endorphins, so it's not just a matter of dopamine. If you're high on anything, including your own natural morphine, it's easy to be impulsive.

Dopamine is essential to cheerfulness and optimism. That's why you don't want to get sucked into an addictive cycle where it drops below ideal levels in between intense highs. I think this is a major cause of depression - given the prevalence of junk food, orgasm and all the usual addictions.

The reason to find balance in your life is to get your brain back to its normal dopamine levels. They still rise and fall a bit, but they don't peak and crash - as they can do with over-stimulation, followed by a down-regulation of dopamine receptors (your body's way of coping with too much of a good thing).

Personally, I think you're right that everyone is different (exercise-wise), and it takes time to find the ideal balance of exercise and quieter balancing techniques. Of course that mix may change over time. I may be wrong, but it sounds like exercise is really great for you, but that you need to plan ahead to have some creative project in mind to devote your energy to when you finish.

I don't know if you like metaphysics, but this account of how humanity will shift it's sexual energy from the second chakra (procreation urges) to the throat chakra (enhanced creativity) always inspires me. http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/sources/metaphysical/alice_bailey_a_com...
Here's a quote:

As the creative urge is turned upwards from the sacral centre to the throat, man will live less potently in his physical sexual urges, and more consistently in his creative expression. His physical plane life will proceed along normal lines, but it is necessary for men to realise that the manner in which man today satisfies his sexual nature is abnormal and unregulated, and that we are on our way to a wise normality. The craving for selfish pleasure and for the satisfaction of an animal urge, which is instinctually right when regulated and debasingly wrong when prostituted purely to enjoyment, will give place to a mutual decision by both of the parties concerned. The decision will meet a natural need in a right and suitable and regulated manner. Today one party or other is usually sacrificed, either to an undue abstinence or to an unseemly profligacy. (1936)

So if you feel like you're about to explode with nuclear energy after a run, DO something creative with it. You may amaze yourself!
M

brilliant!

Hi,
It has all been made clear to me now, thank you! junk food orgasm! just brilliant. I have spent a long time trying to be healthy and get away from addictive stuff like alcohol and junk food and have only realised now that I have been addicted to strong chemicals whithout knowing it.

uuh, Im on day two with out orgasm. this.is. an. awsome. challenge.

Devin.

a poweful technique to break up old destructive patterns

It has been a long time since I have posted. Probably four years.

As I look back on Marnia and Gary's work I am astounded at the global understanding and experience. And they do it with such humility. Tremendous synthesis.

Some of you have heard by now of a system called EFT the Emotional Freedom Technique. Its premise is that all negative emotion is caused by a disruption in the body's energy field. Our thoughts cause those disruptions. Also the memories and response habits are stored in our bodies. That is why body work is such an integrated part of emotional healing now. It is absofuckinlutely astounding how far we have come in the last forty years.

Ok. Eft is basically getting in touch with the emotion, uttering a two part affirmation and then tapping on some meridian points of the body's energy field. As you learn this techique for free on his website
emofree.com, you can teach it to others and make a tremendous contribution to the worldwide wave of healing. Thousands of spontaneous healings have occured, many physical as well. I am sure the AMA would want it banned, that is how effectively you can heal your body by healing your soul.

Gary Craig is the founder and he makes it free by downloading the basic course, a seventy page pdf document that is so elementary to follow, he says, it insults your intelligence. He also has advanced courses on dvd real cheap[about five bucks per dvd] that he wants you to copy and hand out free. I am particularly aiming this at the gentleman in asia who recently posted.

Another powerful system is Ipsalu Tantra. You can make it orgasmic or nonorgasmic. However, I find that Marnia's Peace is much quicker to achieving a sustained bliss with a partner.

My wife, of seventeen years now, and I are taking maybe our fifth run at Marnia's system. This one feels like the final run. Her commitment feels real this time around. Tonight we do exchange sixteen. OUr hearts are already very full from the previous fifteen. I did have to smash our paradigm a few times to get us here.

Happy explorations to all
and to all a good night
Luke