2 years of sobriety- My journey in finding self-acceptance and inner peace

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Freedom from Servitude, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Hi everyone

    I am new to this community, although I have been reading your inspirational journals and advice for quite a while now. Like many of you, I came here via YourBrainonPorn. I have decided to join because I feel that being part of a group will give me a renewed sense of vigor in my approach to overcoming this addiction. For the past few months, I have been trapped in a 'Groundhog day' scenario, achieving abstinence for about a week before bingeing on erotica. Recently, it has escalated to a relapse every couple of days and I am determined to do all that I can to avoid retreating back into the darkness where the addiction has a firm grip over my life. I feel that it is also important to give something back to the community and to aid those who are battling with this destructive force in their lives through sharing my experience and reflections.

    So, here is a summary of my background. I am a straight 21 year old university student from the UK. Although, I am very fortunate to be brought up in a loving and caring family, it was my parents moderately conservative attitude towards sex that, with hindsight, perhaps made me susceptible to porn. Even from an early age as child, I had a curiosity for the female form. I recall feeling at times some primitive sexual pleasure in the nakedness of the body before the age of 10. I unfortunately never received the talk about sex from my parents and had to go through the unpleasant experience of finding out about it through my classmates at school. As my hormones kicked in during the teenage years, I had a voracity for any information about sex, and began masturbating with sexual fantasy. It was at the age of 14, when, after seeing images of page 3 girls and glamour models on classmates' phones, that I started actively searching images on the internet. It was only a matter of time before I discovered hardcore porn, which was a source of dopamine on a whole new level. The quantity of free material on tube sites was a recipe for a disaster.

    Although, obviously, so far, it has not been a very successful one; my fight with the lure of sexual pleasure almost began as soon as I witnessed those first topless models. Due to my morals, I was never comfortable with the habit and tried to resist it with intermittent success along the way. I had an uneasy Jeckyl and Hyde relationship with my sexuality. This, in addition, to my knowledge that hardcore porn is a false representation of sexuality, has helped to prevent the escalation of the addiction to extreme levels. I never really reached the novelty for extreme genres, and often would be satisfied with images of glamour and fine art models; although, to my shame, I rarely found bestiality perversely pleasurable. The influence of porn on my own attitudes towards sexuality,though are undeniable. Just like everybody else, I innately see the object for sex is pleasure, and have the habit of evaluating every woman as a lump of flesh according to their perceived sexual value.

    I do not blame all my problems on porn, but there can be no doubt that it combined with my existing issues of self confidence and general anxiety to form a toxic combination that has been devastating to my life. My mental health has gradually deteriorated over time to the point that I suffered a break down in November. In the short-term this was actually triggered more by my studies, though the influence of porn undoubtedly played its role in my incessant over-analysing, escalating anxiety and ultimately the total lack of faith in myself to deal with the challenges I faced. Things have been looking up for a while since Christmas, but I know that while the addiction has its hold, there is always the possibility that I could reach rockbottom again. The only way out is to carry on taking refuge in the advice of others, instilling new positive changes to my lifestyle and take action without hesitation. As I am a single virgin, ED is not my motivating cause to banish this addiction, rather my general happiness, self-respect and the desire to improve concentration (I take my studies seriously, enjoy reading and have thirst for knowledge). I also long for an intimate and loving relationship based on the appreciation of character.

    I have enormous respect for all of you for your honesty in facing your demons, and possessing the courage to share your insight so that it may be of benefit to others. I apologise for the length of this post, but I feel that it is important to give some context to this journal so that any reader can better make sense of the subsequent posts.

    Kind regards
    Freedom from Servitude
     
  2. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 1

    I have successfully been able to make a fresh start. Generally, I have felt stable, and optimistic about what the future may hold.

    I tackled a single wave of cravings this morning by engaging in a mindfulness of breathing meditation and subsequently going for a quick walk.

    A self-improvement book, 'The Miracle Morning' by Hal Elrod, recommended by a number of former porn addicts, came through the post today, which I will look forward to reading.

    Undoubtedly the best thing that I did today was engage in a lengthy conversation with my housemates. As well as being thoroughly enjoyable, it made the perceived void left by porn use much smaller.
     
  3. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 2

    Taking inspiration from 'The Miracle Morning', I got up at 6.am and filled the next three hours with productive activities to build up my personal development and work towards the success I wish for in a number of areas. As a result of implementing this schedule, I have felt focussed throughout the day and I am elated with the amount that I have been able to get done. I seriously recommend this book. My plan is to carry on with the same schedule tomorrow.

    I took advantage of the perfect weather to go for a long walk today through the woods to the neighbouring town. Allowing myself to get in touch with nature and saturate some vitamin D has given me a very positive mood.

    As I have constantly kept myself busy the lure of porn has been non-existent. This day has been a further reminder of the wonderful experiences to be had in life while free from porn.
     
  4. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 3

    I am starting to feel the tiring effects of an early morning start, but I am confident that the body will get used to the new schedule with time.

    I kept myself busy with various activities today, including research in the library.

    Again, nothing to report in terms of cravings or withdrawal symptoms. From past experience, it tends to be for me that the cravings kick in on the odd day from day 6 onwards. I get concerned that having a string of days with no cravings at all can make me complacent, whereas a series of difficult ones can have the positive effect of putting me on guard. I think the way around this is to positively remind myself, through affirmations, that I have choice in how I respond to my urges.
     
  5. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 4

    Nothing much to report. The situation is the same as yesterday. I did; however, have some erotic dreams last night, which I take to mean that it is the subconscious trying to make me feel that I am missing my fix.

    I have tried to get on with some work again today, and I was pleased with the progress in the morning, but it has been difficult with the fatigue in the afternoon.
     
  6. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 5

    I finished reading 'The Miracle Morning' today. Again I have found the advice highly valuable. Tomorrow, I will move on to another personal development book.

    No sign of cravings yet, but they will come in the next few days sure enough.

    The biggest challenge I am facing at the moment is the chronic tiredness in the afternoons. I am finding it so difficult that I am struggling to concentrate. Any advice to help cope with it and maintain my concentration would be much appreciated.
     
  7. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 6

    I started reading 'The Miracle of Mindfulness' by Thich Nhat Hanh this morning to aid my daily meditation practice. In addition to reading, I have been filling my early morning full of activities that will aid my personal development including muscle work outs, writing, meditation and visualisation.

    Generally I have been feeling brighter today.

    I responded to the tiredness in the afternoon by allowing more frequent breaks which certainly seems to have helped.
     
  8. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 7

    The first target of a week of no PMO has been reached. I am going to set my next goal for a modest two weeks, as I expect things to get more difficult. It has been a fairly easy ride so far and from prior experience, the next couple of days will probably be marked with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

    Generally I feel slightly more focussed than when I began this reboot. Conversations are now easier to make and seem to flow more organically.

    Procrastination over work is still an issue, particularly in the afternoons with the post-midday slump, but I'm working on it and reporting my observations of various strategies in my daily journal.

    Bring on week two!
     
  9. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 8

    I have felt mildly irritable all day, it was also difficult controlling the temptation to ogle at women, this hasn't been such a problem before in this reboot and so I presume this is a way of the brain trying to get its dopamine. Consequently it has been a good thing that I spent the day in London with my parents. It was a pleasure seeing them again.

    I have finished reading 'The Miracle of Mindfulness' by Thich Nhat Hanh. I found this book very enjoyable, but would recommend it for others only after after a period of meditation practice. For an introduction of meditation there are plenty of helpful guides on the internet. One of my favourites is: http://www.wildmind.org/ - the site is full of indepth meditation guides, there are also some free audio samples if you prefer them.
     
  10. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 9

    I have moved on to 'On Form', a book that bases its argument on the concept that wise management of energy is the foundation for maximisng progress. I cannot wait to get further into it. The book includes a regime used in the training of successful athletes and is highly rated by others aswell. So, I am hoping that it will make a positive impact on my life too.

    I have felt less irritable, but the temptation is still very much everywhere.
     
  11. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 10

    Not much to report. The mind has been a bit more stable. Maybe I can claim that I am starting to have an organic interest in a multitude of things. My voice has possibly also become a bit clearer.... or maybe I just want to see benefits to quitting porn altogether.

    We have had warm weather in the south east and so unfortunately the girls haven't been wearing much. Going out today has felt a bit like being a velociraptor in an abbatoir.

    It has been an easy ride today, but I know that the time will come, probably during next week, when I will have to face withdrawals and cravings.
     
  12. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 11

    I have felt mildly anxious throughout the day, I do not know whether this is the offset of withdrawals.

    Generally I am feeling more energetic, though I attribute this to the general wider changes I am making to my lifestyle not just the abstinence of PMO. Within the past week I have taken up jogging, which I have really started to enjoy. This has also given me more energy during the day. Taking regular breaks has also had an impact on my energy levels.
     
  13. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 12

    I have felt quite horny today. Until now I have felt an unrivalled sense of commitment to my purpose, but the inner voice of temptation has returned trying to justify a porn browsing session. It has caught me by surprise. I must keep in mind Buddhist tenet; however 'you are not your thoughts'. If I argue with it expecting myself to triumph with rationalism, I will fail. The only way ahead is to act and ride out the cravings.

    It didn't help that one of my housemates and his girlfriend were bonking as loudly as they could. I don't think it was possible to find anywhere in the house where there wasn't the sound of sexualised groaning. They might as well have just broadcasted the whole affair on the BBC!
     
  14. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 13

    My mood has generally been upbeat. I have experienced some mild cravings that there were dealt with. It was difficult keep porn flashbacks out of my head, though.

    I have found going for a walk and reconnecting with reality really helps. Just seeing other people breaks the illusion that porn has over you.
     
  15. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 0

    To my disappointment, I relapsed last night, after writing yesterday's entry. I did not have any explicit cravings that prompted to fire up the internet browser to look at porn, I didn't even enjoy watching the video and found it quite sickening- even though it was a standard vanilla scene. It happened as a result of procrastination, I went into a level of low motivation during which I was site hopping. The brain by default wanted to latch on to a source of pleasure to avoid the perceived pain- the thing that I really wanted to do but could not muster the self-discipline to go and do it. The pleasure, deeply programmed into the brain, of course, was porn. Fortunately it was over relatively quickly, within the space of an hour and certainly wasn't a binge.

    I need to spare myself the disappointment and turn the defeat into a victory. This occasion has shown me that I need to avoid states of apathy in the future.
     
  16. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    The chaser effect got me yesterday.The quick porn session the previous day tempted the brain with the poison that it had been missing, and I experienced strong cravings throughout yesterday before finally caving in the afternoon. I did not watch hardcore porn, and instead, my desire was satiated with images of playboy models.

    I will seize today as an opportunity to get back on track.
     
  17. MsbtNnoPorn

    MsbtNnoPorn Tryin to control.

    woah man, looks like you are having a hard time. i hope you do well soon!

    I read through your entries and it seems like you have a healthy lifestyle; its encouraging that you are reading because im trying to read more.

    Maybe you need to get your passion back as you had it when you started. i cant tell you how but i would say to try and meditate more and think about what matters.

    Overall, good journal.
     
  18. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 1

    I managed to stay clean of Porn today and I am much happier for it. It was helpful listening to some podcasts on the nature of discipline.

    I have been able to keep myself busy with my studies, and everything in my schedule has been completed. Overall, I am pleased with the outcome and have the determination to carry the success on.
     
  19. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Hi MsbtNnoPorn

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my journal, I really appreciate it.

    I interpret willpower and passion as synonymous with each other. When you have willpower its an easy ride, but the truth is that its a finite resource that will eventually be used up. Nor can you easily summon it at will. I can go on poetically how porn has been a devastating influence on my life, or imagine wonderfully how such a difference its absence can make, yet it would barely cause a stir emotionally. This is something that has been emphasised by recent scientific research and helpfully explained in the podcasts that I have been listening to. The route ahead lies therefore in technique and building a new constructive habit. What caused me to relapse earlier this week was simply a slip-up and it easily could have been prevented with the presence of willpower. I know now; however, the importance of avoiding procrastination, so that is the useful lesson I have learned from the temporary defeat. I am not beating myself up over the relapse; I see each and every one an opportunity to make victories from defeats.

    If you are having difficulty trying to find the time for more reading, I recommend getting up earlier. This was a tip that I got from Hal Elrod's 'Miracle Morning'. You are more focussed in the morning than any other time of the day, so its the best time to dedicate yourself to your interests. I managed to get through two relative short personal development books within the space of my first week of implementing my routine.
     
  20. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Day 2

    After a run of difficult days, I feel as though I am back on track. I dealt with a few waves of cravings this morning and afterwards have felt a revulsion towards porn that has lasted all day.

    My own experiences have caused me to see the importance of technique over willpower in the success of this addiction. Avery helpful tip I managed to pick up in the podcasts I have been listening to is the need to 'act your way into feeling'. Essentially this means that only the first steps of a course of action need to be surmounted in order to muster the interest to do it. In perception those first steps are the hardest to make, but once you settle a foot on the first paving stone of the path, it gives way into a slippery slope and the actions becomes much easier to perform once you begin to become engaged in it.
     

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