Accepting Responsibility

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

  1. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Great update path-forward. You have come so far but there's no denying that you have some difficult things going on. It's reasonable to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, but it's what we do with those feelings that fuels us or wrecks us. If sports is off the table, what else can you do to treat yourself a bit and/or dissipate the stress? Do walks help? Setting up some fellowship with a buddy? Being active and proactive can really help you get out of the pity party, or misleading yourself that you deserve PMO. I'm speaking to myself here too. You could also share more of what you're feeling with your wife. Your actions and sharing with your wife can go really well together. This keeps you from dumping everything on her and burdening her, but also enables you to be in clear communication with your life partner.
    path-forward likes this.
  2. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the encouragement @realness. Def needed it, especially the last 24 hours. P subs have been at an all time high in terms of time and frequency spent, as well as increasingly "borderline" sources (though still nothing beyond girls in bikinis - but a form of dopamine release nevertheless). But I am fighting back hard as well. Hopefully - this is just a very tough period, and I can come out the other side intact in regard to my NO PMO or MO. Thankfully nothing happened that was close to getting me sexually engaged. Has been more a means of distraction from some tough emotional triggers - which I am realizing more and more - is a core motivation for my addiction. As I have suspected for years, my PMO addiction is a form of self-medication at its core - for any tough times I was having. A way to escape from thinking unhappy or painful thoughts.

    Got to stay strong and fight through this! worked too hard to get to this point.
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  3. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    so frustrated with my weakness!! but developed an obsession to peek at P. had a particular girl in mind. I can develop intense OCD at times. thankfully - only peeked for literally 10 seconds at 2 relatively innocent solo photos of her - and then shut my browser. But still so fearful I have opened the door mentally.

    Going to read parts of easy peasy again.

    The hardest part of this is knowing I am going to have strong urges with moments of weakness for a long time. But thankfully I know this combination of triggers will not be there too long: a sports injury for me, some other health and family issues making intimacy with my wife very challenging, plus some other work stuff going on, and lots of free time!

    Trying so hard to remind myself I will only feel worse afterwards. Life of an addict. Need to walk away from the bar so to speak.... not start drinking again!

    There is never a good time for porn!
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
    realness likes this.
  4. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    nahhhh! Beware of the addict speak/deceptions. What you did isn't some irreversible "trigger" thing. You have agency and strength in choosing how to go forward. And you certainly have the choice to continue in your recovery making healthy choices and filling your time with things that are true, helpful and fulfilling! I'm preaching to myself here too.

    You are right about the common things of the life of an addict. They're disappointing. But there are some great things, like living life more out in the open and being more honest. We are on a path that draws more interaction and fulfillment than others who either don't chose recovery or don't need it or think they need it.
    path-forward likes this.
  5. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @realness. well said! and thanks as always for your encouragement and support! much appreciated!

    Actually feel much better today - particularly knowing I quickly "closed the door" on a very strong urge before it took control of me - and led me down an unhealthy and very unsatisfying path.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
  6. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Feeling much more stable and calm tonight after 48+ hours of intense urges caused by a multitude of triggers. Was very tough for me to stay the course - but so happy that I did.

    Did a lot of reading tonight on porn addiction, as well as re-watched some videos on the topic.

    Came away from it all with renewed resolve to stay away from p subs, including searches on social media for pretty actresses etc - or anything else digitally oriented, that could be sexually arousing. It’s all part of fueling the addiction and increasing the risk of relapse.

    I also took FB and insta off my phone. Will just look at them occasionally on my laptop to keep up with friends and family. and will try to stay off Reels as well - as it includes sexy female athletes, etc.

    I deleted tick tock a while ago - as it was filled with girls in bikinis, etc - along with sports and movie scenes! waste of time and terrible for my porn addiction!

    great link below on p subs, potential relapses and desired behavior after a relapse:

    My goal now is at least 30 days with no intentional p subs!

    Tomorrow will be 90 days with NO PMO and NO MO.

    Took a lot of focus for me to get this far - with some very challenging moments. Very relieved and satisfied to reach this point!

    And I am deeply grateful for all the support and encouragement I have received. Could have never done it without my brothers on YBR!

    I def feel much happier and alive! And my PIED is now thankfully in the rear view mirror and my libido overall is much stronger and healthier. Morning wood is frequent and rock solid - something I had not experienced in a very long time!

    I also simply like myself a lot more - and feel more self-confident around my wife, family and friends.

    I def believe in the necessity to keep fighting this demon - that puts us in both a mental and physical prison. My goal is now to push my abstinence streak into 2023!

    thanks again to all who have provided advice and encouragement! Has meant a lot to me.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2022
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  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Incredible! :)
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  8. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the encouragement @Saville! Much appreciated as always.

    some reflections for today as I target new day count milestones….

    So today was my third day without any intentional P subs. My longest “No P sub” streak during my first 90 days of no PMO.

    In some ways - No P subs are just as challenging as my first few days with no PMO or MO. But I know now that I can do it, if I truly focus on stopping myself.

    So I’m going to try to keep no P subs going for 90 days - along with my next 90 days no PMO or MO.

    I am also trying not to fantasize. So a lot going on!

    but I sense the overall goals actually mesh together well - as limiting temptation goes a long way to keep the urges in check. I also find the multiple goals gives me a deeper sense of self-discipline - which I often find lacking in myself.

    I am also becoming more accepting, that I will have some very tough days each month and sometimes several within one week. But I remind myself that I have fought the intense triggers and resulting urges before. And have come out the other side unchanged and feeling very proud of myself.

    I know now that it may not get easier for a while. But I know the fight is worth it and is making me a much happier person and better husband, father, and friend. Even a better dog owner!

    Most importantly, I have come to accept that I am a sex and porn addict - and I can not stop being vigilant and challenging myself - if I want to beat this addiction.

    also in my case, I have only recently realized that my compulsive unhealthy behaviors related to P are exacerbated by my ADHD. And that has been very insightful for me - but I refuse to use my ADHD as an excuse for giving in to my addiction.

    I will do my best to keep fighting!

    thanks for reading. I have also realized how helpful journaling my feelings are.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2022
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  9. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Got another obsession with a certain girl. Just peeked for a 2 or 3 minutes. but sooo angry at myself! thankfully just as I felt the rush beginning to start searching... I logged off. Need to stay strong!

    Sometimes I get this feeling of wanting to "reward myself" for getting past 90 days of no PMO and no MO. But would anyone ever reward someone for not smoking for 90 days - by giving them a pack of cigarettes??? absolutely NOT!!

    oddly I didnt even feel myself getting turned on? I think bc deep down I knew it was wrong.

    Need to stay strong! I know what is right for me.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2022
  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I found the same thing. The more active we are on the forum the better.

    Great work!
    path-forward likes this.
  11. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    thanks @Saville. Appreciate the support!

    I had a dream last night. I don’t recall very much of it. But I know I dreamt of relapsing. Binging away on my particular fetish. And feeling that familiar sense of self loathing creeping over me.

    And for the first time it hit me how destructive my own fetish is to my relationship with my wife.

    While my particular fetish is clearly 100% voluntary in both my P world and in my own bed room (my wife is well aware of it) - it creates a deeper and deeper need for it to turn me on - making “ normal love making” that much more challenging for me.

    I need to hold on to this insight - as it’s a big step to further understanding where my PIED partially emanates from and why it’s so destructive to my real world relationship with my wife.
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I never had a fetish, per se, but I had an incredibly active fantasy life. Whenever I would boink with the wife I would create scenarios where I with someone else. Eventually, when I started having boner problems I would have to expand into other territory in order to sustain my erection. I thought of all kinds of things that don't actually turn me on, but when one is used to PMO and the death grip we need constant, and novel, stimulation. Once I ditched PMO the FMO lessened and I was able to be more present with the wife. It is still a battle for me, though, as my mind can still wander off.

    The journey never ends!
    Mozenjo likes this.
  13. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Saville. Thanks for sharing that. All makes a lot of sense. keep up your efforts! All well worth it.

    Before PIED but during periods of high PMO - I also used to need to fantasize at times during sex.

    But thankfully my wife is very good at “dirty talk” during sex, despite being a very “proper lady” otherwise. And that helps a lot with stimulation as well. She said she can judge the effectiveness of her words by how hard I am. Lol.

    Btw. my particular fetish is relatively tame and is centered around “innocent seeming girls” acting relatively sexually naughty. Tends to naturally work anyway for my wife, given her proper predisposition.
    hopefully not TMI or a trigger for anyone!!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2022
    Saville likes this.
  14. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    This is great. One thing I've been observing is that my ED can sometimes be attributed to my gal's disappointment that I'm not rock hard right out of the gate. We've had successes when we give it some time and she doesn't just throw in the towel. Not sure if talking dirty is for her, but there's something to be said for being patient and letting things happen organically. But we do need our organ to function eventually :cool:
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  15. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Ugh! peeked again last night for a couple minutes. have peeked 3 times in the past 95 days - but 2 times have been the last 2 nights! I am able to keep it to just a few minutes of peeking - but definitely feel the door opening - despite trying to remind myself how bad I will feel. Unfortunately its the perfect storm of some intense personal triggers right now, plus having a sports injury and the wife away for the next week - leaving me to my own devices. I think also in retrospect, the goal of 90 days was a huge motivator for me. Need to make 180 days just as important, especially given all the work I have already done.

    I am going to work on getting my mind occupied else where. plus reread all my own journal and forum entries - reminding me how hard I have worked so far and all the advice I have given myself and others.

    I also need to accept the urges will continue to come and need to be mentally ready for them. This is a tall mountain to climb - but I need to focus on enjoying the view along the way - and not feel daunted by the overall height of the mountain.
    StarWarsFan likes this.
  16. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Hang in there, man. We're on similar paths. And you know as well as I do that it will take consistency to reach that mountaintop. One peek makes it easier to take the next one. As Rudolf just said in his journal: Don't go there.
    We will make it if we don't give oxygen to the addiction. That's the only way. Let's do this - path-forward!!
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  17. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo - thanks so much for your encouragement and support! Really NEED it today, as I def feel myself slipping. And yes - we are def on similar paths. Let's both keeping actively journaling and supporting each other! We all need the support of our brothers to fight this addiction.

    Hope you all have a great day!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
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  18. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Just reread parts of my own journal. I have reread others but ironically never my own.

    It was extremely helpful in making me appreciate how hard I have worked to abstain from PMO and MO. And it also reminded me of the many times I have fought through prior urges.

    After peeking for a few minutes each of the last 2 nights, today was one of my toughest days - as I have wayyy too much time on my hands and many intense triggers engaged right now.

    But I am going to fight extra hard today and hold off today.

    one day at a time. one day at a time.....
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  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You are doing so well, path-forward. Peeking, MO'ing, eventually all leads us to the eyes glazing over and then we're sunk.

    You're strength is amazing!
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  20. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Wow! @Saville - I truly appreciate your kind words and continued engagement! It means a lot to me - and you have been incredibly helpful to myself and many others on our respective journeys in fighting this evil beast - and in learning to better appreciate and embrace the joys in living without it.

    Thank you so much for all your wise counsel and support! We are all very blessed to have you as a leader on this forum.
    Saville and Mozenjo like this.

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