A success story

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by DoneAtLast, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Well-Known Member

    Hello everyone,

    If you read other forums you may have seen my post already. I have really felt moved to share this with people, and wanted to bring it here.

    It has been a long time since I've posted. I know these places, while very valuable, can also be a bit dark, because people usually post at their most desperate hour. This is good, those are the times to talk all of this through and look for help, but it also makes it seem impossible. Realistically, it is only because if we're doing fine we aren't posting. I don't really want to brag.. trust me, I have nothing to brag about... but I wanted to share a bit hoping it'll lighten the mood a little.

    I am on day 128 porn free. I am 35, and had been using it in one way shape or form for... I don't know how long. But, back to the dial up days of the late 90s. It escalated as it became more intense, I figured out how to find stuff I liked, and my emotional world made me lean on it more and more. It is hard to say exactly how often I used it, but for a very long time to go 48 hours would have been absolutely insane, and multiple times in a day was not uncommon at various points.

    I should say up front that I am Catholic, and I attribute my success to God, the Church, and the sacraments. I am not saying non-Catholics can't do it, but this is my story, and I can't tell my story without speaking of these things. My biggest moment came when I realized, somewhere mid/late 2016, that it is a horrible, horrible thing to receive the Eucharist not in a state of grace, and having a PMO session took me out of that state of grace. I resolved never to receive that way again. If I couldn't quit (which I couldn't, at the time) I would at least do it so I never received the sacrament unworthily. This meant weekly confession, and sometimes more than once a week. Part of going to confession is telling the priest what I did (the priest saying anything about your sins outside the confessional is grounds for instant excommunication, FYI), receiving absolution, and resolving not to sin again. I often would say in my confession that I was deeply sorry, but knew I would likely sin again, and the priest often would say "I understand, but keep at it" in the gentlest way. This kept me resolved to keep trying week after week. It was my accountability, my constant reminder, my motivation.

    I turned to it less and less, and eventually could go a week to a month or so. My success often depended on how much drama and stress there was in my life at any given time. Eventually I had a couple good long streaks, then every sign of a relapse came upon me. I was at home, kinda drunk, really lonely, and something I was watching on netflix hit all of my triggers HARD. I had that weird sense of resignation I'd always have with a relapse, as though I was watching myself from afar do this stuff, like a zombie. I staggered to my computer, sat down, found the unmemorizable K9 password I had tucked away in my desk, typed it in, and I started typing in my first URL. I just sat staring at the monitor and realized... "I don't really want to do this anymore"... I closed the browser, buttoned my drawers, and went back into the other room to finish my show on netflix. No relapses since that night, and I have been exposed to some pretty intense triggers (unfortunately my biggest triggers are kinda PG rated, and can be found anywhere). The things that once made my heart race and made me feel like the only way to come down from the mania was a PMO session now make me say "what a lovely woman!", I smile, and go about my day. I can't say for sure that I will never, ever relapse, because that disregards what addiction is... a relapse will be a possibility for the rest of my life. But, the "white knuckle" stuff is gone.

    Again, I owe this to the grace of God. I know this is against the grain of this forum that works so hard to make a purely materialistic argument for quitting porn, but for me to say anything else would be dishonest. If you're not religious, I am not going to say you can't do it. I will say don't dismiss what the religious people are saying, because they were warning about this stuff LONG before nofap was a thing. Maybe you have to swallow a bit of pride to say the theists were right on this one, but it will be worth it. There is some great wisdom there.

    Random bits of advice:

    I see a lot of people trying to keep certain parts of the porn life. They want more women/girlfriends/sex partners/whatever to take the place of porn in their life. Yes, sex is a very natural thing, but the way we want it as porn addicts isn't natural. You can't just transfer that energy into another sexual thing, because you'll just end up back at porn every time. You can't get rid of porn by turning your life into porn. It seems every time I pop into some boards (this one less so than others), there is always someone out there that is trying to find this skeleton key where they can keep the porn highs without porn, or they are trying to figure out how to give up just enough to be able to get erections. It is the wrong approach.

    We need to respect women more. We think we can separate porn stars and "real" women in our minds... we can't. We either see all women as porn stars, or all women as beautiful human beings, including the porn stars... mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces. This is a great way to practice desensitizing yourself. Be a true platonic friend to a woman. the MeToo movement is giving us lots of stories of men behaving badly... read a few, and see if you see yourself or your own inclinations in those stories. Get to know some people. Eventually you see that cam girl and realize she is someone's daughter that is horribly confused in life and when the cameras are off, is probably deeply unhappy.

    Eliminate porn, but also eliminate triggers. Also eliminate the triggers that lead to other triggers. An example for me was dating websites. I never sat Ming to the women on dating websites, but there was a definite pattern of sitting and clicking through pictures. Facebook, Instagram, whatever. If quitting porn is important to you, then change your life. Another thing was alcohol. I don't have any alcohol problems per se, but if I had a couple drinks in me, relapses were quite likely. So, I quit booze for a while. Again, if quitting porn is important...

    Small successes matter. For a long, long time my "streaks" were just a matter of days. But, it contributed to a slow weaning process that was imperceptible. For a while my habit was I could get through a work week okay, but weekends, when I was loneliest (my biggest trigger), it was just too much. But, five days off and two days on really helped rewire. Eventually I was able to go occasional weekends without. It used to be for me that a relapse meant losing all motivation, binging, and going a period of time before trying again. My resolution to keep going to confession meant I didn't allow myself to lose that motivation, and the many small successes paid off. It was so incremental that I never would have seen it week to week, but looking back it is obvious how helpful it was.

    You're going to figure out things about yourself you didn't know before. You can't truly prepare for this, but you can expect it. I'm realizing that I am a "highly sensitive person"... everything affects me, I'm like an exposed nerve. Porn was my numbing device. Without porn I am experiencing everything, good and bad, differently. I am a much better person for it, but it means getting up in the morning and living my life differently in ways I'd never have expected.

    Alright, I will stop rambling. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    This was a great post, DoneAtLast. Congrats on your continued success.
     
  3. GokuSSB_XMAXX

    GokuSSB_XMAXX Member

    It looks like a legit success story to me. I haven't reached 500+ days, yet, but this is similar to my experience:
    I have managed to keep as low as once a year. The hard truth is that there is nothing like "the last relapse". We will have to keep fighting for the rest of our lives or till the internet shuts down. The more you stay away from porn, the easier it gets. One relapse can get you back to relapsing twice every day even if you're one year clean.

    I have to strongly disagree with that, though. I am not christian and I've never went to a church but I am about to do it. My relapse rate has been once per year for the past two years and this has nothing to do with the church or the sacraments. My experience is almost identical to yours. So you could just say that you don't know how you did it. You're misguiding people this way. I understand that Christians (and people from similar religions) like to see people convert to their religion. They will be rewarded by god because they guided other people to the right path. But all of this is untrue. You guys like to see people convert to your religion because it makes you feel more confident about it. Deep inside, you're not sure if your religion is the right one. So please, don't involve other people with your insecurities. I think there is a forum rule that prohibits talking about religion. You're doing bad to the community, my friend.

    Thanks anyway,@DoneAtLast for sharing your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021
  4. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Well-Known Member

    Wow, a blast from the past... almost four years old at this point!
     
    Thoreau737 likes this.

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