Accepting Responsibility

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by path-forward, Jul 17, 2022.

  1. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    The addicted mind is always trying to lure us back in. I don't understand why and I don't try to anymore.

    You're doing great!
  2. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

    I am also going through a tough patch. It comes in cycles. What is hard for you is that it sounds like you work from home and your wife is currently away, that’s a tough one to avoid PMO! Understand that it comes in waves and tomorrow morning you will feel better, go easy on yourself today.
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  3. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks MBS! And sorry for your struggles. Hang In there man!
    And I am actually pretty much retired. So I am home alone a lot. But I play tennis and golf and also workout. So I try to stay active and away from home part of most days. I also find taking my dog for a walk is a good way to “break away” from tempting moments.

    Its def been a struggle at times. But reading both on this forum and some of the suggested books - has given me the motivation to keep fighting.

    I know I NEED this to ultimately be happy and calm in life. And to bring my marriage back to how it felt before PMO took our relationship down so much.

    thanks to everyone for their continued encouragement and support! It’s extremely helpful!
    mailboxsam likes this.
  4. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks Saville. Appreciate both the insigh and support!
  5. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Wow! Wish this got easier. But fighting a big trigger for me, which is a let down after some great family family time with my kids. They are all living on their own relatively far from my house - so I only see them them typically every 2 to 3 months. I am realizing how much PMO was my self-medication for times I felt melancholy, lonely, empty inside or even just bored. I do not have an alcohol or cannabis problem - but dont want that to be an increased solution. Going to workout and see some friends this weekend. I am sure that will help. I just spent 5 min with a P sub (girls in bikinis on Insta) - but thankfully I garnered the strength to log off. I need to work on not even doing that - as it feels too much like opening the door....

    I know this journey will sap me of my strength sometimes - But I am determined for it not to sap me of my will power. We all ultimately control our actions - and need to take responsibility for them. Though I am very sympathetic to folks who relapse - as it can be so hard when you feel down and old habits take over. But I keep reminding myself how BAD I WILL FEEL after a relapse - both to myself and in regard to how I feel around my wife. She deserves me to be strong - given how unconditional her love has been for me. She has never made me feel judged by her - she just wants the best version of me as her husband. And never has given an ultimatum or time line. She just reminds me how great our sex life was before PIED and how good it could be again going forward. She has never been one to commonly turn down sex unless she is super tired or has a health issue. It was me who stopped trying to have sex with her at first. And she also admitted she got frustrated with how upset I would be - given my PIED - so she stopped trying to initiate sex herself.

    She reminds me how much she still desires me and that she is patiently waiting for me to get through this very tough part. I feel so very blessed for all her support and patience! And I am resolute in staying the course -even if things between us get 100% back to where they were before PIED.

    Hang in there my brothers. and thank you all for your kind and supportive feedback. we all need each other - in order to stay strong and fight off the negative urges - however we define them.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
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  6. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You've articulated beautifully the struggle. You will overcome your PIED! Keep being affectionate with you wife (hugging, kissing, fondling) as that stimulates the right hormones and chemicals. I was terrified of not being able to get a boner, but one day the old boy got erect and stayed that way.
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  7. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Saville. Thanks so much for your feedback and encouragement! Means a lot to me and is extremely helpful! Will keep fighting the fight!
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  8. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    So I am feeling super proud of myself right now! But also still very vigilant as well.

    I will reach 60 days of NO PMO within 12 hours - and feel incredibly satisfied and frankly amazed, that I have finally reached this point (tried a few times about 3 years ago - but never got beyond 2 weeks).

    My wife has thankfully been super supportive in a non-judgemental way - that has left me feeling in a more dominant role within our relationship -despite my existing PIED issues. I am deeply grateful for her unconditional love towards me. She has never made me feel ashamed. And she seems to truly understand how PMO has become a incredibly strong form of self-medication for me - and that I am an addict as a result.

    I know some of you struggle with your Wife's reaction to your addiction or even in informing them of your situation. And I fully agree with what other's have said: don't share your addiction with them, if you fear it is likely to negatively affect your struggle with porn or your stature within your relationship. And if they already know - but are not very supportive or understanding - then don't discuss your struggle with them in detail - and just let your accomplishments speak for themselves, as you begin to behave more positively towards them and your overall approach to your life. But obviously having a supportive and understanding partner can be a big help in overcoming PMO - so each person's situation is likely unique - so try to use good judgement in deciding on whether to include your partner in your struggles to overcome PMO.

    I am not going to lie - it has been super hard many days not to PMO and unfortunately continues to be. P subs for 5 to 10 min here and there are still sadly in my behavior patterns. I have had to reach deep within myself many times to hold off on relapsing. Each period of temptation I work through each of my key "mental" tools:

    1. Reminding myself how terribly empty, unsatisfied and self-loathing I will feel after relapsing,
    2. Reading YBR journals of others - sometimes for over an hour or two...
    3. Reminding myself how good I will feel, when I finally am able to fully reset and conquer PIED
    4. Reminding myself how much better my marriage will feel - with a healthy on-going sex life with my wife.
    5. Focusing on how much additional energy and time I already have in my life - after 60 days of no PMO.
    6. Focusing on how much I have already greatly benefited in my relationships with my wife, my children and my friends - as I feel much more self-confident and happy around other people.

    I want to thank everyone who has shared their own journeys and struggles - and ofc everyone who has directly taken the time to offer their encouragement, support and experience. I could not have made it to 60 days of no PMO without my brothers on this forum.

    I know I am an addict and that will take at least several years, if not a life time - to stop having on-going PMO/FMO temptation. It has been such a deeply rooted foundation of my life for over 45 years. But I know that I will lead a much more satisfying life - spiritually, sexually, mentally and romantically - if I can keep my urges fully under control.

    I look forward to continue in sharing this journey with you, as I reach the milestones of 90 days, 180 days, one year, two years, etc!

    Thank you again to everyone who has taken the time to share their own struggles and to those who have taken the extra time of offering their personal support to me. It all means so much to me!

    We are all brothers here and definitely need each other to conquer this evil addiction!

    Peace and strength to you all.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
  9. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

    Congratulations path-forward! 60 days baby! I am so happy for you ☝️
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  10. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    I'm at 62 days of no PMO. And while I feel very proud of reaching this point, I admit it is often still a deep struggle, as I go through intense feelings of withdrawal - every time I am triggered by prior reasons to PMO.

    I also have ADHD, which adds to my love of intense stimulation in any form. Thankfully deep social interactions - connecting with a friend or my wife - are also intense stimuli for me. But I still find my mind straying to favorite P scenes or girls every few days - but I try my best to shut down the thoughts within a few seconds of them arising - by reminding myself how vital this new journey is for me and how terrible I will feel if I relapse. I had never made it past 14 days before - but this time feels very different, as I know a healthy marriage is on the line and and my wife is offering her unconditional love and support. And also I need to reset and cure my PIED. But regardless of my PIED, I know PMO has been terrible for my life at so many levels. And despite my often daily struggles with refraining from it, I definitely feel A LOT happier and self-confident, since I started this new journey.

    I was reading more about P subs this morning and realized my "occasional" (every few days lately!) of spending three to five minutes on insta, looking at girls in bikinis, is slowly my recovery from PIED. So I am now going to fight the P subs as hard as P itself. Thankfully I have not peeked even for a nano-second at actual porn.

    I admit to still having a "library" of favorite porn in cloud storage and have thought of deleting it. I did not use porn sites that often the past couple years and took pleasure from my own large collection of down loaded material. And it is likely rationalization - but somehow it calms me to know it is there. So if I ever relapse even for 5 min - I will not feel compelled to binge even more to recreate it. I am 61 and have told myself I will not look at it again, until I am at least 80 years old! haha.

    I do expect many of you will tell me to delete the library in cloud storage, as it shows a much higher level of commitment and less temptation. But I also have OCD, and I know I will have strong mental discomfort from knowing its gone. Maybe at my two year anniversary of no PMO- I will delete it?

    But I feel very confident right now about not feeling tempted to even peek at it - as I know how badly I will feel. And its existence provides a safety valve for my OCD.

    One interesting aspect of keeping the cloud library - I only have ONE source of porn to be strongly vigilant about not accessing. And given I need to log into it (its a separate cloud storage from my other non P files) - I have found it relatively straight forward not to access it so far.

    Keep fighting the fight my brothers! Together - we can rid ourselves of this evil!
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
  11. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Just read bobjes’ thread. It was very inspiring. I strive to keep my first serious no PMO streak going for a very long period as well. Like him, I aspire to take PMO and MO totally out of my life style and persona. Right now, I still struggle with handling the emotional triggers - but I know they will be with me for a long time. I will put everything I have into staying strong. There are few things I have wanted in my life -more than gaining control of my addictive urges and take back control of my life and positive behaviors.

    thanks to all the others who are much further in their journey and have already offered their support and encouragement either directly to me and/or indirectly via documenting their own journeys. It’s all been incredibly helpful.
    Saville likes this.
  12. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Your journey is exciting path-forward! Your logic about the p stash in the cloud makes sense. It's readily available p, just like a p site on the web. You are growing and healing and making good progress. The right time will come to deal with the smut in storage. You're wise to be aware of it but stay focused on your recovery and health. Congrats on 60 days!
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  13. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @realness. Thanks so much for your kind feedback and support!
    And best wishes on your potential new job in Italy working out! It sounds very exciting!
  14. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    He experienced real growth and started having healthy sex again, if I recall. Great journal!

    I'm one of those people who is going to tell you to delete your cloud storage. I don't doubt that it makes you feel safe in some way, but sooner or later you're going to look at it. Why? Because, it is a psychic tie from the old days. It is part of the bondage that ruined some of your life. Imo, you'll have to work around your OCD (cognitive therapy, etc) and free yourself from an obvious tether. No, it won't be easy. Nobody said this was going to be easy! ;)
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  15. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Saville. I truly appreciate your candor and support! Means a lot to me!
    And I think at some subconscious level, I put that out there knowing some folks would disagree with me and encourage me to delete it. And I may do so at some point down the road - maybe my one or two year anniversary of no P and M? Haha!
    Though for now, and it’s potentially just rationalization, but I find it much easier to focus on not accessing only one P source than many.
    There is also a “guard rail” of sorts - as there are several steps that would need to be over come: typing url for cloud storage, logging in, opening a folder, choosing and downloading a file and finally viewing it. At any of those stages I could stop myself. So far I have not done any of these steps. And most days I do not even think about or consider logging in.

    The hardest part of my journey so far is dealing with the frequent withdrawal pains every time I have an emotional trigger event. It’s like both my body and mind is in pain. But I fight it off and remind myself how badly I will feel if I relapse and work through all of the other “mental tools” and activities I have established for myself.

    But your point about being tethered to my hurtful past is a very good one. And I will also definitely keep that in mind, as I continue my journey.

    thanks again for your honesty, support and directness! So very helpful and appreciated!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
    Saville likes this.
  16. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking a lot about the different triggers that motivated me to PMO in the past and torture me now to return to it. And while I have always known PMO is an obvious form of self-medication - I also always assumed an over active sex drive and imagination was also a core aspect of my compulsive PMO behaviors. I started masturbating regularly around 4th grade, fantasizing about the pretty girls (and teachers) in my class - so I know my sexual awareness was on the early side. But I have realized my strongest urges to PMO have always been from emotional triggers like feeling melancholy, loneliness, a feeling of emptiness after happy events in my life, depression, boredom etc. While I still get very turned on seeing an attractive girl in a bikini (I live near the beach so its pretty unavoidable!) - sexual urges do not create the same intensity to PMO as emotional based ones. In fact - being turned on by a pretty girl in a bikini on the street or on the beach actually makes me feel healthy and alive most times!

    In a sense - looking at a PMO urge as rooted in a non-sexual trigger - somehow makes it seem a bit easier for me to intellectualize and fight off. Not sure if that makes sense - but it makes it feel more like an unhealthy behavior like smoking, excessive drinking etc. So a situation, where one needs to focus on the underlying emotion and need, and not subconsciously rationalize its OK behavior, as it is just "a sexual outlet to satisfy our natural sexual urges."

    Hope that made sense? Though it also may seem obvious to many here! haha
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Great insight!
    path-forward likes this.
  18. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thank you @Saville! Much appreciated.
  19. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Each day we have the option to satisfy our feelings of loneliness, sadness, boredom, frustration, anxiety, depression, etc. with PMO.

    And each day we will do our best not to bend to the will of our addiction, as we know from past experience, that we will ONLY feel more empty and self loathing afterwards.

    And each day, we NEED to make this clear in our minds: Porn does not fill a void, it creates one!

    Some days will be much tougher than others. And that pattern will not change, as there will always be intense triggers awaiting us - from decades of learned bad behavior.

    But we will do our best to be strong and fight the decades of brain washing caused by our addiction.

    And we will elate in each and every day of victory, that we achieve control and mastery of our own body and emotions.

    One day at a time. …

    Make this clear in your mind: Porn doesn’t fill a void, it creates one!

    Stay strong my brothers!

    I could not have gotten this far without your support and encouragement! Thankfully, I have finally realized that I can’t do this alone.

    Thank you so much for your brotherhood. YBR is a special place!

    PS - Read "the easy peasy method" tonight. I could not recommend it more strongly!

    Here is a free online link to it:

    FYI. My advice in bold was a quote from the book. Great insight!
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
  20. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Thank you for stating the truth that PMO doesn't fill the void, it creates one. It's helped me ride the waves of some urges the past few days.
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