A better life ahead

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Rengaw, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    Hi all,

    Long time member, got here aged 25 and now about 6 years later I am still dealing with my porn addiction.
    Fortunately enough I am dealing with my addiction in a responsible way. Porn wasn't my first addiction, I have been addicted to gaming, prescription meds, cocaine, and after prescription meds essentially my porn use escalated.

    I used porn to relieve stress, shut down my head and stop worrying. This started somewhere beginning of college, maybe 9 years ago. The past decade I have lost various healthy ways to relax and ultimately I could not graduate, my ex- girlfriend broke up and I lost about 3 or 4 jobs.

    Right now, after visiting two rehab programs I have managed to quite alcohol and drugs completely, and I am now attending SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, the AA for sex/porn addicts) meetings, frequently calling fellows ('members') and I am extremely grateful to be able to express my feelings and experiences through the group.

    Right now, I am 2 weeks clean and I looked at my topic, realising it's in the wrong section. I am in my 30ies and really, really done with my addict life.

    I've looked and found a coach whom specialises in addictions and he supports me, focusing on areas of my life that need support (hobbies and spare time, housing conditions, money and finance, and so on). He's straight forward and understanding, which is good. He told me he sees a lot of anxiety, which I am no stranger to, but I feel less anxiety than a month or 6 months ago.

    I am getting more confident in what I am doing at work, with people and so on. I do feel like I am surviving my addiction from time to time, but the trend line is up.
    There is a better life ahead, and from time to time I'll share some news in this topic.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  2. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Congrats on two weeks.
    Keep it up.
    Rengaw likes this.
  3. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    Thanks Shady, I've doubled the 2 weeks by now. It's still a challenge not to fall back into old habits tho.

    I have been feeling really tired from Monday and frankly it's partially stress, partially the coming for summer.
    Can't sleep, triggers stress, binds me to old habits. Scanning socials, feeling sorry for myself, not writing things down.
    I have lost my focus a bit, going to socials and downloading Tinder to make me feel less lonely.

    Thankfully, this balloon has popped - I am aware that it is a way to forget about my loneliness.
    I noticed this just today because I have seen I got stuck in the Tinder trap.
    Instead of attention seeking I now observe my feelings and see what is what.

    I am actively trying to find culprits and either accept them or improve them. It's actually part of the SLAA and I am happy to use their wisdom and support to find a better me.
    Shady and NewStart19 like this.
  4. Kurkuror

    Kurkuror Member

    What your coach advice about MO? Cut it completely?
  5. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    Hi Kurkuror,

    He has not really adviced me on controlled use, because focusing on recovery as a whole is more important. It's not healthy to allow an addict to maintain his crutch, it's about replacing it with something more valuable. Coping mechanisms come in many shapes and sizes and addiction is probably the worst shape and in my case, also the wrong size. Definetely too big.

    I relapsed Friday, I could not stop looking up porn and I masturbated for an hour. After work, same old same old - could not stop looking at porn and edging, eventually I ended the day and MOd right before going to sleep.

    Today I am feeling urges, which sucks. I forgot about it. I forgot how deeply rooted addiction is, both the compulsive masturbation, the compulsive porn browsing but also the obsessive thoughts and looking at women in the streets. That 's how it went - oogling women in the streets, creating obsessive thoughts and fueled by anxiety and stress.
    The stress is caused by not knowing what will happen to my job, because of an upcoming reorganisation.

    However, I am employed through an employement agency, and I feel it is necessary to get in touch with them. I am already thinking about getting a different job because I have been interested in different industries for a long time already.
    I need to call the agency to get informed about my rights and duties.
    This will help to get som clarity and thus less stress.

    As for recovery itself, I am calling a lot of fellows of the SLAA, I try to keep track of what I have learned myself and I try to merge all the info.

    Easier said than done, because over the years I have collected a lot of insights and it's an ever changing process. And I just want it to be ' over' ...
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
    -Luke- likes this.
  6. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    It's been a few weeks and again, I had a slip. I woke up with many sexual dreams and with an erection. I wasn't able to stop the flow of thought, and I woke up tired.
    Needless to say, I was not happy, but I was accepting. I have been calling a lot of fellows through the SLAA and I also got in touch with a man who will become my sponsor.
    I have learned so much through sharing and attending meetings... it's a relief.

    Still when I am feeling sad/lonely/angry/ hungry, or I sense something I can't grasp, I feel I am more susceptible to a relapse. If I am feeling physically bad, I might end up relapsing of my mental state is also sub-bar.
    positivef, BoughtWithBlood and Shady like this.
  7. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Dreams are not slipping.

    Fear of something makes it true.
    If you fear relapse, you will eventually relapse.

    Try instead saying to yourself "I'm strong and I will stay PMO free."
    Rengaw likes this.
  8. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    sad/lonely/angry/ hungry
    Those emotions can be triggers, especial if porn is used to numb feelings. You have identified these triggers, the trick is to be aware of and being extra vigilant to overcome them. We have to learn to feel deal with these.

    I could not stop looking up porn
    I noticed in some of you posts you say thing s like 'I could not'. This is not true, every time you use it is a choice. Which is good because it mean you can choose to stop, not easy, it wouldn't be an addiction otherwise. If you feel like that may turn off the device and go outside, or do something incompatible with use.

    Good luck, here's to a better life.
  9. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    The last weeks I have been adjusting some thought patterns, particularly allowing me to focus more on my recovery. One fellow asked me "what is your number one?" and that's something I never looked at. Instead of trying to progress, study, get a better job, work out and so on: I have let go and I have set recovery as my number one goal.

    So, instead I have been focusing on getting enough rest, self care and getting a sponsor. My sponsor told me about his issues and it turns out he has various similarities; both emotional dependence and self isolation through addiction. And there's a lot more probably, but we haven't touched that yet.

    We have started to look at characteristics of sex and love addiction, what this means to me. It's a dark road I've taken but now I can recognise what every shady means to me. I've ordered some essential books, that I need to read as part of the... 12-steps.
    I am very curious.
    positivef and Shady like this.
  10. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    It's been a few weeks and I had a small slip some weekend ago. I looked at P and then I realised this wasn't feeling right and I contacted my sponsor. He told me of a story where a drug addict would feel urges to use and he'd start calling people. Then he would make efforts to get the drugs: get on your bike, in your car, on the bus - straight to your dealer. Actually, it's not straight. There's a plethora of moments you can go somewhere else, go home, be somewhere safe. You don't have to get the drugs - it's the addicted part that makes you decide.

    Basically I was able to decide various times I did not need 'drugs'; nudity, porn, seeing women on social media. Since then it's been easier to refrain from porn. Still I think a lot about sex with women and it does drag me down. Right now, I am really tired and lack focus due to the heat wave that's been happening in Europe. Alongside with Covid19... this year has been crazy.

    Concerning my recovery, I am still working part time, I am still seeing my coach, I am talking with fellows and my sponsor daily, I am going to meetings 3 times a week. I am working on steps every other day. Feels good to do all these things.
    positivef likes this.
  11. be_water

    be_water New Member

    Thanks for sharing, and as a new member I am interested to read about your journey because it is similar to mine. It is interesting you have identified how similar P addiction is to drugs... I have found the same, and although I have quit all drugs in my life, P is the hardest because, like gambling, it is freely available and easier to conceal.

    Also I used to have drugs dreams, and now I have sex dreams. It is pretty crazy. But as you have said in this post, If you can occupy yourself for even 10-15 minutes, do something else, you can avoid the urge.
    positivef likes this.
  12. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    Hi be_water,

    Nice name you got there haha. Seems to me you are connected with nature. As for the addictions.. I have had several and porn and love addiction are definitely the hardest to deal with. I quit everything else on my own but sex, porn and love require assistance from peers. I have started attending meetings and it is good to express myself with people in the same situation (that's why I keep coming back to these forums!). And honestly, both are essential. The forums have a lot of value and so have the groups.

    Last couple of weeks I have been feeling slightly better and better. I have learned to distinguish feeling as a bodily sensation and feeling as a root to emotion. The physical sensation was dominant and my current recovery and streak enabled me to sense there's a whole lot more. The first part of recovery - post acute withdrawal- was pretty heavy because of depression symptoms and bad sleep, low energy, anxiety, muscle aches, and so on.

    Currently, I am feeling better and therefore my emotions are better. Still, there's many areas in my life that have become stagnant due to my additions. I have taken up some of my favorite sports again( skateboarding, boxing) and I've been able to process some losses more adequately. I've decided to cut ties with people that aren't bringing me joy, I've had to bury one of our dogs.
    positivef likes this.
  13. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    I have been shifting my focus to dealing with the addiction. I have a sponsor whom confronted me with the fact I was not putting in the effort, while I felt I was. I freaked out a bit, but after reconsidering what I felt and what had actually happened I noticed I was taking it too personally, and I felt attacked. However I was also misunderstanding the priorities of recovery. I can assure you my porn addiction recovery is at the very top of my list, yet the subject itself has many layers that I wasn't taking into account. I decided to share my experience and my views and since then I have prioritized working on the steps (a program to dive into what your specific addiction is and basically this is controlled solitary trip down your rabbit hole, supervised by a coach) and he explains some of his experiences.

    It's been brutal, because it covers questions that you think you'd never have to answer (i.e. problems with law enforcement, financial harm, career threats to name a few). It 's feeling like humiliation first, but then you become humble and grateful. So a lot of yedi fucking mind tricks came my way but I feel I am dealing with them in a confident and honest way. No lying, no bullshitting.

    Still... sometimes the ugly addiction turns his head and I get blown away by waves of cravings and urges, I get a physically tensed by seeing ladies in the streets. It's a burden that drains me and if I am not applying good self -care that'd mean I would surrender to the addiction and I could end up acting out. Fucking challenge.
    Also, I had a meeting yesterday and I opened up about a lady I have been interested in for years and years. I never realised I liked her so much, because I was afraid to get hurt - not getting liked back. Basically, I could end up in love with her if we'd meet. There's thousands of miles between us and 3 countries, but she actually ended up seeing another gent that has my characteristics, haha.

    Now... well I feel a bit hurt and played so I am finding a way to make this 'work'; either staying in touch and speaking each other more often or cutting ties and fully letting go of her.
    I am not sure yet. I have enough on my plate already actually.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
    positivef and Shady like this.
  14. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    It's been a very hectic time, because a lot of emotions and feelings have been crashing into each other - more specifically: me. One of my supervisors at work decided to end his life, causing a lot of frustration and disbelief. Many colleagues had a hard time comprehending the situation because he wasn't like that.. he was a very funny and supportive man but apparently not able to support his emotions in a healthy way.

    Managed to get through with a a few glimpses of bikini models but no real porn browsing. Which is nice, because I have found I underestimated my porn addiction; I thought porn and masturbation were my disease but porn itself is a toxic cancer to my brain equal to heroin. For many years I thought a glimpse of porn/ nudes wouldn't be much of a big issue. I was wrong...

    I ve been working on the Sex Love Addicts Anonymous program and it feels like going down the rabbit hole of addictions (not just my porn addiction) , I 've had various addictions and porn is by far the most difficult to deal with. I feel gutted seeing all my past mistakes... it's a confrontation that wants me to run away from that part of me. Lots of drinking, drugging, mindless wandering. I feel disgraced by my past.

    BUT that's of later concern. I can ask for forgiveness later in the same program, helping me to accept my past.

    For now... just thinking about all this makes me tired. Im out. Ciao
  15. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Sorry to hear about your colleague. It sounds like you are making progress not looking at porn, but be careful peeking at bikini pics or other porn substitutes.
    Rengaw likes this.
  16. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear about that.
    You know usually funny is just a way of hiding and living with trauma.

    Dwelling on the past just makes things worse.
    Learn from your past mistakes, never repeat them and forget all about the past.
    Rengaw likes this.
  17. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    Thanks gentlemen for your kind words. I've been finding myself stuck at p subs.. haha! That's why these forums are still worth visiting. I have been looking for models, not porn, but definitely crossing the line for me. I notice I'm doing something I should not be doing and I retreat. I shut down my browsers, delete any traces and call a fellow.
    It still hard to feel uneasy. That's what keeps me going back. It's a structured, recurring pattern - I feel bad, I want to numb the void, I open up a browser and distract myself by looking at women. Even P subs(bikini models) and so on are a sign of the addiction.
    Now, I want to brake this circuit. I want to allow the feeling to be, do good instead. Read something valuable, call a fellow, play the guitar, take a walk. Walking has been a gift of unmeasured treasure. I really really like to take a walk, or 2...3 a day.

    I do think remembering the past is necessary for an addict. Not the mistakes in particular, but remembering you're an addict is essential for recovery. Thinking you can manage a glimpse at porn or a drink. You're enabling the addiction to grow and take over.

    Anyhoo... the steps are trip down memory lane, falling down the rabbit hole right into my own past apocalypse. Something I feel emotionally digging in my own dirt... but that's why I keep sharing, so you can help me dig deeper and deeper and get to the root of my addiction.
    Shady and -Luke- like this.
  18. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    I think the trick is to find health things to do, but also have something that isn't destructive when you just want relax your mind and zone out a little. I'm still working on this.
    Rengaw likes this.
  19. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    @positivef I've been taking walks lately, I live near a forest and gosh it's such a natural tranquiliser. I do this every other day for about 20 to 40 minutes. Also, I make some walks every day as a way to have a break from whatever I am doing.
    A walk really allows me to zone out from work or other petty things.

    Also I have picked up running again last week. Did 12k/ 8mi without skipping a beat, I was impressed I wasn't gasping for breath at the end. Seems my stamina is still here :)

    As for other aspects: my health is still somewhere down the drain, I've been having insomnia for 2.5 weeks now, waking up 2 to 4 times a night. Really, really draining my energy, giving me mind fog and muscle aches - it's been a liability.
    Tomorrow I'll visit the doctor because would continue one day or another I would relapse WHICH I WOULD... PITY.
    This is a known withdrawal symptom I suffer, but I have learned to live with it

    Still going to meetings, still having a sponsor, still having a coach/ boxing trainer, still having a job, still having credit and no debit.
    Things have been worse. Recovery isn't easy but is getting better.
    positivef likes this.
  20. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016

    Well, I went to the doctor and had medication, which has helped me - Tuesday I took a pill which did wonders for me, last night I didn't and I feel worn out again. I am just so numb, my intrinsic motivation - for basically anything - has diminished completely.
    Still, I keep active in a twelve step program. Yesterday I was president to the meeting, which was actually nice. I was in control and we were able to have a laugh here and there...
    Doing these acts allows me to find confidence in small things again.
    Still. Extremely fatigued. Feeling a bit depressed. The grind is still strong.

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