Another journey begins

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by JayR, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Hey guys

    I'm happy to see so many people have noticed where they are/were and that this community exists!

    So... Its been 14 days no P or O for me since I googled what the heck was going on for me.

    My story with porn:

    Like most guys in their late 20s, easy to access and unlimited porn arrived in my life around my teens. I Google searched some stuff previously, but at 15 I got my own computer in my own room.

    However, I wouldnt say I was addicted at that point. There was loads of fantasy, but, weirdly, I was ashamed of porn and anything sexual. So I actually hated porn as it aroused me so much and this meant I didn't watch it a lot.

    This lasted until I was 21. Porn every now and then... I'd get bored of it actually sometimes, and prefer fantasy, or sometimes go "I don't feel like it today, meh" and that was fine. I could go to a bar, make out all night and be rock hard the whole time.

    However, at 21 some weird crap happened (emotionally) and I got depressed.... Spending a lot of time at home... And wow didn't porn just make me feel alive now? Like now I can really embrace sexuality! What a well adjusted person I've become, I'd think to myself...

    However, even back then, in 2015, I noticed that spontaneous erections had dried up. MW never really left, but all "embodied" sexuality + feeling evaporated.

    My last full blooded erection just from fantasy? December 2015... Lying in bed bored and imagining my (not then) ex.

    Since then? Well we all know the story. I kept telling myself it was good to be so "sexual" with all that porn. It has to be done once a day etc etc. The usual excuses we make up for ourselves.

    Cut to 2 weeks ago. I was on holiday, and starting to get over the depression (a 2 year journey). I had been in the same city 6 years prior, and had remembered how colourful, stimulating it had been, and how now I was like.. Meh. I searched many things then came Across YBOP, and since then I've not watched any porn!

    So: Day 14...

    I'm still getting cravings, not so much for porn (I was so bored of it anyway) but to masturbate... I'm always, totally mindlessly, reaching down there out of boredom. That's the harder part.

    And it doesn't help that I'm always talking online etc and getting tempted... People flirting etc. But I'm doing my best.

    No orgasms either in all that time. Even had a couple of spontaneous (semi) erections!

    I really wish there was more around about this, give people a sense of how badly they've gotten, how far they may have come etc. I have no idea going into this if it'll be 3 months or 1 year for me...

    Anyway thanks everyone
     
  2. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 19

    Still no porn... Thank god. Bit of a slip the other day, someone sent me a gif of porn in a chat. I deleted it instantly.
    Annoyingly now is the time someone I met ages ago comes back saying they really like me etc, talking a lot of sexual things... Talk about temptation!
    But still, it's good to see how my body and mind are reacting. A part wants to M to this fantasy ... Its exciting after all, and I actually met this person physically, not online like I've been doing for 5 years.

    Realised a lot about how I M... I'm letting myself experiment to see how my mind is, plus trying to let myself still be sexual in someway. Perhaps I should totally abstain, idk.

    Fantasy wise, it is still totally "visual", not that full bodied, full blooded fantasy. M is fine for healthy guys, but it has to satisfy the body, it has to be part of the body's intended purpose, bringing joy to reproduction, not just the lazy idle mind doping itself up out of boredom.

    I tried to have a mindful M (no intention of O yet) to see where I go wrong. My brain goes straight to pictures...snapshots. And even then, my brain wanders all over the place, sex, then something else, then I'm watching TV, then I'm back to my hands down there... Gosh.

    I can remember how thrilling M could be before, when it was healthy, it was not just images in my head. It was a whole body experience. Maybe a bit of edging to extend it... But a great O was worth it... Then feeling satisfied, fulfilled afterwards.

    Had a great therapy session this week, and was so satisfied with myself I had a 80% erection straight away... Nothing since then, a couple of stimulated 80%'ers...

    The journey continues
     
  3. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 20

    Wow, my first relapse dream... That sure was interesting.

    Dreaming I had a long M session, then accidentally O'd....

    Woke up with a proper MW tho... Lasted a while, didn't try to molest it with M, just enjoyed it as much as I could.

    Libido... There? Idk I keep feeling like I want to have sex or something but then not being aroused. All confusing but whatever, onwards we go
     
  4. Congrats on your progress thus far, JayR! I'm almost two weeks into my own journey, and I've been having some "relapses dreams" the past few nights, too. It's so weird to not even be dreaming about sex, but actually just about porn and MO. This is now the second time I've woken up from such a dream and had to take a few minutes to calm down and convince myself that it was just a dream.

    It's so empowering to know that your brain wants it so badly that it's causing you to dream about it, and yet here you are refusing to give in! Now that's control.

    Stay strong, friend. We're all rooting for you!
     
  5. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Thanks man! Really glad to get a response from people.

    Yeah the dreams about porn watching... That took me by surprise! I hope its the brain asking itself if those links are useful anymore. Interesting to see what'll happen next

    We can do this!
     
  6. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 21

    Trying to let myself rewire with fantasies vs pornography. Bring mindful, when I'm thinking about sex or maybe aroused slightly, what am I doing?

    Am I having a sexual fantasy: absorbed in imagining all the sensations, tension, excitement, anticipation?

    Or is it a pornographic fantasy: aroused and thinking about an image, a 2D image (in my head now, as I'm not watching porn).

    Letting myself have the first is probably good for rewiring. Being sexual and having sexual thoughts, arousal, fantasies is fine. It's healthy! If I push back too much I might trigger shame, the most powerful killer of all hard ons, lets face it. I could plop myself in the middle of the jungle or the desert for a year, no porn, but if I'm still ashamed I'm still not gonna work properly.

    So, I'm noticing most sexual fantasies now are still totally pornographic. Ive maybe already got my hands down there, ready for another forced act. But, that's fine. Was I really enjoying what I had started doing then? Am I really in need of this right now? Nope. Back to what I was doing before.

    There are hints of normal arousal tho, people saying things, or just talking to me and I'm noticing some activity stirring down there, sometimes even a semi!

    Annoyingly tho yesterday my stupid boss rang me (I'm WFH) to tell me something stupid and obvious and basically patronise me a bit. Telling me how to do my job, even when I've been there longer than her! Ugh... Smacked my self esteem a bit, that powerful shame response keeps firing off like a loose cannon, killing the buzz id gotten from making progress. Trying to be mindful tho, back to the present!

    MW this morning was full sail. Managed to get a 100% erection when I woke up too. I could maintain it just by sitting there, enjoying it. As soon as I reached for it, I started losing it haha!

    It's like i've almost conditioned myself that that one handed grip = barely hard, desperate act that's just gonna disappoint anyway. Still, proof that my body is ready to go.

    Now the long game... The mind
     
  7. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 22

    Wow, there come the cravings. Hadn't had any for 3 weeks. I think that turn I took a couple days ago has really done one in on me. Feeling a bit down, confused etc, that stupid call from my manager really pissed me off and set me off on a spiral.

    But, it's OK, I do have therapy tomorrow.

    Also, very interesting to see this. The cravings explode right when I'm feeling down. Thus it's almost not even about the porn but my mood.

    The last 3 weeks I was feeling so proud of myself, so accomplished, like anew chapter. Anything that came I could swat away, or even accept, because I was changing.

    Then along comes some old nag and I realise how bored I am in my job, and that self criticism starts. That runaway train un-hooks again and all those self critical pathways fire off.

    Then blam-o! "come on its so exciting just watch it watch it watch it!" and briefly, I fantasise about how exciting it would be again. But would it? I know it's not but it's so weird how the brain will just chuck that out.

    But, it's OK, the serotonin (long term happiness) dried up again with that stupid comment from my boss. Now my brains sniffing around for it but keeps looking over its shoulder at the old dopamine (short term kick) to give the illusion of happiness and fulfillment. But I see you, brain, and I know the long term is better than a kick. So, sorry but not today. (and I hope to god not any other day!)

    Well, at least tonight I'm too tired anyway to even bother.

    Libido... Dead again. No arousals for the last 2 days, except MW.

    Sighhhh
     
  8. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 25

    Woke up with MW... But woke up M'ing. I don't think I O'ed... But feel a bit weird.

    Downward trend the last few days. Totally disappointed with everything. Its mental tho, I'm doing great, coming up for 4 weeks of no PMO and no O.

    But I think my outlook worsened. All those depressive voices came back. I really want that sense of satisfaction that M gives you. But I know at the moment still having porn-style fantasies, any M and O based on that is gonna be useless for recovery.

    Feel like today will be a flatline. No one to think of sexually who I know in person, to trigger that full bodied sexual fantasy... All the people I talk to are online. So likely this will continue being an issue.

    I guess I need to work hard on steering fantasies to being about a whole person, a situation. Part of a wider recovery of withdrawing from this virtual world. I noticed this week I didn't do a lot of mindfulness meditations with Headspace. As usual, parental voices getting me down.

    Why is it so hard to pick yourself up and let yourself be happy and fulfilled? Ugh

    Got sent a nude yesterday... Not sure what to do with it. Delete it or leave it there and not look at it to test myself. Felt a bit weird really. No urge to mastrubate to it... At least with my phone in my hand looking at it. But I'm still having pornographic fantasies to it - including this morning. I was sexting... I guess that's a bad idea. I was trying to use it to guide my fantasy, but I guess it's sort of porn by another mode, and I'm still there with my eyes focused on a phone, getting dopamine rushes from messages etc.

    Sigh
     
  9. I say 100% delete the nude (cuz it's porn, plain and simple) and put your phone away for the day if at all possible. At the core of it all, we're all just addicted to Dopamine, so limiting spikes of that can only help you on your way to recovery.
     
  10. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Yeah definitely. I'm gonna refrain from that kinda chat too. Reading other guys experiences, I think I've got a case of brain fog today, probably from seeing that image, and then my brain decided to M to it while I was sleeping... (literally that was the weirdest feeling). Some other guys have said about hands down there giving brain fog etc... Definitely get what they mean. Oh well, it's only a blip!

    As an aside, I've noticed this week of bad mood has been when my brain has decided its totally justified to watch porn. Like before Monday, I had ( I think successfully) associated porn with all the crap and stuff I've felt, so sure it would drift into my mind but I would recognize it and let it pass. These last couple days my brains like "yeah totally, porn would be SO good right now! You've made so much progress you can watch it again!"... And achieve nothing but how weird this like hidden part of the mind is!

    Yikes
     
  11. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 27

    A kind of slip up. A semi relapse? My friend sent me one of those story games that's a bit risqué but I thought it was just like a story. Nope. It's pretty explicit. Penetration and all. Still I didn't M to it, if anything it was funny. Nonetheless that one image I saw has stuck in my mind and last night I was thinking about it a lot.

    But still, proud I've gotten this far with no PMO, that's the main goal.

    Still flatlining from that weird waking up M'ing incident. Sensitivity is way down, but spontaneous E are slowly there? Still only with some kind of stimuli (more friends now are starting to admit things for me? See below) and now I have this strange thing.

    So I start to get hard... You know that light tingling... I then get ashamed of myself because... Well no clear reason? I should stick with it and embrace the stirrings down there especially as they have no hands down there! But yeah I think even anyhtinng sexual triggers this big old shame. I guess it's humiliating that I even have to go through this...

    Weirdly tho, my confidence has grown talking to people even online, I'm more flirty than before. Perhaps it's veering into sexting, but I think it's a good thing. Im avoiding nudes and mostly just flirting. Pushing some buttons, nothing smutty but just kinda going with it and not doubting myself.

    Could I do that in a bar tho? Nope... But hey a start is a start.

    Interesting weekend and start to the week. Gotta get my good spirits back I think and then a few more things will follow. Gotta stop beating myself up about oh god look what you've done to yourself! - that's my biggest enemy, the porns been gone for a month (except 2 pics).

    Sigh... But maybe also hopeful sigh?
     
  12. Man it sounds like your friends (granted, I understand that the nude you received may have been from some non-friend) are kind of a source for temptation, eh? I'm guessing they don't know about your addiction, otherwise they wouldn't be sending you things like that. Maybe you could ask them to stop sharing such content with you? Don't have to out yourself, just tell them that it isn't something you're interested in anymore or something like that. It's going to be much harder to control your urges when you're still being supplied with porn from your own friends, imo.

    Regardless, good progress so far! I'm loving your attitude towards all of this. Your posts sound very introspective, which is healthy. You seem very aware of your feelings/emotions, and your honesty/openness is admirable.

    Keep up the good work!
     
  13. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Thanks man!

    Yeah haha I think it's a drawback from being more confident and flirty? Like I'm not telling myself to never make a move or tell myself they'd think I'm weird or pushy... But then the blow back is that they'll send nudes if I keep on going. Especially as all the people I know and talk to live abroad. Occupational hazard. Should try and ease off on meeting people online.

    So at least I know that the "improved confidence + feeling less self loathing" at least in social contexts (though still online) is a positive symptom!

    But still, that's all it is.

    I'm gonna try to see this as a lesson, I can see how this slip up etc has screwed with my mind and, most importantly, how it's affected my progress. Do I wanna sit around another 2, 3, 4 weeks waiting to get back to where I've already been? No!
     
  14. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 28

    Played that game again last night... But... I finished it. Porn lasts forever, and I'm not gonna play the game anymore, cos there's no more to play. Back to progress.

    MW was good this morning. Was 100%.
    Woke up a bit more, managed to get hard again just by remembering the feeling of the first one again. Though it was about 80% and I noticed sensitivity was already lagging. No M (again that just triggered that weird self loathing), just holding it, waving it a bit to feel it hard.

    As soon as I was fully awake, thought about trying again... Nope, all the day to day worries are sat there bugging me. And the usual constant awareness of the lack of arousal etc etc. The healing continues. I also noticed how even when I moved it when it was hard, I was so tired. Like I remember when I'd hold my dick before it was a huge race of feelings, emotions, arousal. This time my brain was still searching for porn to J/O too. Waiting for that prompt, waiting whole I desperately scan my memory for a hot twitter pic. Not like "ohh imagine their body"... Sigh, but at least that's what's going on.

    Also... I feel like before, things were different down there... Now I'm paranoid I've done permanent damage. That's gonna stick with me. Anyone reading this had that? You come out the other side and your dick (and you) has changed? Or am I being a hypochondriac...

    Anyway, to end on a good note, I think perhaps the one positive from that game was that it made sex a bit more like it should be: fun. I noticed since playing it, when I'm thinking about sex it's a little less about dread, "oh my god, my problem!" and a bit more like it used to be... A bit of that sideways smirk emoji. So.. Progress at least on my attitude to sex. But all that re-wiring and rebooting is still a work in progress. Playing the game (and yes, I thought about buying another one) may have helped improve my attitude to sex, but an attitude isnt the brain re-wiring I need, so it's over now.

    So today... Fine with progress, good MW...
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
  15. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 30

    A month of no porn! Weirdly writing that made me feel nervous. Like now I'm gonna relapse? (something deeper going on there... Am I embarrassed of achievement?)

    But well, I was doing some yoga earlier and realised this is the best I've felt for a long while. I've made this whole porn detox part of a bigger thing. Really clearing some crap out of my mind mentally with therapy too. Not gonna let myself get over confident, there's still months ahead, but I think I owe it to myself to say that.

    Last couple days have been fine. Feel I've gotten back to where I was before the waking up M incident. Good MW the last couple days, not totally amazing but nice.

    Found myself pseudo porn-ning this morning: Instagram open, hand down there. But then I realised how boring that is. The pornographic fantasies are so dull and like mechanical. The real ones are so good, and arouse naturally, just feeling that natural arousal, I've noticed I don't even want to M. I get more of a kick (and the arousal lasts longer) by staying in that fantasy. I'm able to concentrate on it too. Porn was always so absent minded, distracted. Few minutes flicking through twitter then maybe the news, or YouTube, then a few more flicks on twitter... What the hell is that? Haha

    Been texting people still, things getting racy, but I'm getting aroused by imagining the things. Couple more nudes (like 2 or 3?) but they actually aroused me naturally, and I haven't been M'ing to them. Weirdly I haven't been fantasising about them either. The fantasies with these people are mostly real, not pornographic. Indeed, had maybe 3 arousals yesterday just talking to one person!

    Still, no random erections tho. They still stem from some sort of stimuli. I've had only a couple boners, but they haven't lasted long. These fantasies are still vulnerable, one twinge of shame and they're dead!

    Had a perfect illustration of what we all seem to suffer yesterday though: my dad annoyed me, and then along comes negative emotions, I'm grumpy, frustrated, then some meta criticisms come in, what am I doing living here? Must I always be annoyed and living in crappy places. Whew... Got over it by just trying to let it pass. But I also noticed in these moments I was getting anxious, frustrated, annoying myself almost on purpose. Most importantly, I noticed I was searching Instagram the whole time, and even thought about finding my ex... Hmm...

    "No judgement!" is my mantra at the moment so I didn't let myself go off the rails. I just noticed it for what it was: runaway train. Annoying it happened but whatever.

    Today tho I'm feeling a bit up and down. Progress seems to have changed me a bit, and sometimes it feels weird to be better?! Like that boring limp life I had before was a comfort almost.

    Só, yay for me, but that's not the point, I'm not cured yet. The harder (and more satisfying) work is yet to come.
     
  16. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 31

    Negativity in charge a bit at the moment. I'm stressed about my job, got terrible quality stats. Whenever I suggest a way the improve the system to make it easier for me to improve they tell me its too much work for software devs...

    Stressed too about finances... Therapy is pricey, plus this new diploma I'm doing... Half my salary gone each month!

    Diploma too, spent ages dreaming of where it will take me... Forgetting the 2 years I've got to put in first. Loads of maths, which I'm liking but man it's gonna be a struggle.

    These things are triggering a lot of that shame. I'm shit at my job. I'm too stupid for this diploma, I'll waste all my money.

    Everything my parents say or do is really triggering me. Then I'm guilty and ashamed I got annoyed at them when they're living their own lives.

    Só, you can imagine this has removed all spontaneous arousals. Trying to imagine all those fantasies... Nothing. Was lying in bed this morning kinda touching myself a bit... Hoping for something. But... Nope. Persisted a bit before I noticed it wasnt doing it for me.

    Tried to get in a better mood today. Physical exercises (for the body) then 30 mins of harder yoga (for the mind). Was gonna do meditation to try and chill. Then my mother asks me to do the hoovering haha and naturally the hoover was like broken and pissing me off.

    Sighhhhhh. I feel like I've been here before. Positivity always gets eaten up by some negativity. I might go for a walk.

    Anyway, still got 80% MW today. Highlights how quickly the body heals but how tough it is to heal the mind. Also this post was defo a mental state post rather than just recovering from porn... But hey ho.

    Breathe in, breathe out.
     
  17. Aussie_lad_23

    Aussie_lad_23 Taking it one day at a time...

    I like to think of this forum as a means to improve mental health - there's no problems venting... a lot of us are here to do exactly that. And more times than none, a lot of life's stresses are connected to our P usage in one way or another.

    I just went for a walk myself, I was feeling very overwhelmed with life at the moment so I came on here to read a bit.

    JayR I've inspected your journal and think you are making excellent progress - seriously. It sounds like you're very stressed out over many different areas of your life at the moment - I think the implementation of the exercise is great. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend trying to include a method of demanding physical activity resulting in levels of high physical exertion. Running is mine. Hated it when I first started, but there hasn't been a session I have regretted.

    I believe it's okay to feel stressed, have feelings of low self-esteem and self worth......... as long as you realise these negative things you feel/think are due to your mindset at the time. "These feelings and thoughts are temporary and will pass!" is a good line to think when I'm feeling defeated.

    Healing the mind is a long process. The most persistent you are, the more you will grow as a whole.


    Chin up mate, you're seriously making a great effort and should continue to strive with your efforts!
     
  18. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 33

    Libido dead today. Think it's just the stress, which is also shame, feel a bit pathetic etc. Loads of tension and anxiety piled in there. Sexual feelings out of there. But its not the sex itself, its the feeling of being useless. I know I'm not useless. But by god is it a powerful emotion! The most powerful as my therapist says.

    Hyper-vigilance... Can't relax. I'm constantly monitoring my environment, and worst of all my mood. No let up, no moment for my mind to wander, either onto a holiday or maybe even a sexual fantasy. Nope... Constant checking in. Exhausting.

    MW a bit weak this morning. Spent a whole trying to M... Probably out of stress, and it wasnt fun. No enjoyment there. Was stressful too not having that usual vent. Even a decent MW is like reassuring.

    Feeling OK tho, I'm not gonna lose my head. I can see this all with a bit of perspective. As all the mindfulness literature has said, when you start to relax, you notice how tense you are. So, I'm hoping that this is basically me having a mild freak out on Friday and then, noticing it, rather than before, blasting away without really getting over a wobble.

    Só I've got to accept that for a couple days I'll feel down. Notice the tension in my jaw. Try to relax... Or maybe not force it... Just notice etc etc.

    Please come back, Libido. Haha
     
  19. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 34

    Still in a slump. Was M'ing this morning in that mindless, disconnected way I used to, desperately searching for some arousal. Gave up when I realised it wasn't coming.

    This slump has realty made me crave porn. Keep thinking about how cool it would be to watch some right now... But I know it will be just as unsatisfying as before.

    But also my mind isn't wandering on to sex. Its just worrying about it. I read something about "being relaxed is letting go of tension" and more broadly "being happy is letting go of unhappiness". But by God 6 years of feeling like this... I've gotten way too attached to these worrisome thoughts.

    Weirdly it seems giving up the porn was the easy part. My nerves are where the real re-wiring has to be done.

    Also read a really good book about sex and addiction etc. It spelled out how we often think of addictions as substance addictions (alcohol and drugs) but how we can also have process addictions. It was so good to see that reflected. Stopped me wavering and helped me to see its all part of my experience.

    Still... A dull day. Probably a dull week. Give me strength to keep breaking that annoying anxious thought patterns! My body is ready to move on... But is my mind?
     
  20. JayR

    JayR New Member

    Day 38

    So my boss is a total bitch. She rang again, on Friday, to patronise me again. I had just done some yoga, was feeling pretty decent. Happy. Felt like I was getting over last week's shit. Then along she comes. My heart was thumping in my ears when she rang. I tried not to think about it or dwell on it after, but it would not stop returning. Then I was despairing. I'm feeling trapped and suffocated. I want to quit, or at least, idk... Just be free of this weird looming feeling this job gives me? It's boring, not what I wanna do. Before my boss was ace, so it was fine. I thought hey ill keep at it for 2 years while I study, save up for a masters too. Now I'm like... Fuck this shit. But then my parents and some friends are like nooo don't especially not in this environment. I MUST have a job! But... Fuck this!

    Anyway, Result is... The closest I've come to looking at porn again this whole time. The "Instagram" porn has returned... Looking at those like poolside pics. Not helpful but perhaps better than actually porn again tho I'm sure the effect is the same in the end.

    Many urges to look. "wouldn't it be cool and affirming?" my brain tells me. I don't want to really. But damn that voice sounds convincing.

    But truth is, all this anxiety is really killing the buzz. I have basically forgotten why I'm even doing this. I'm not feeling affirmed, and like I'm making progress anymore. This anxiety is killing my Libido. I don't want yo give up, because I can remember I didn't really feel better before. I wouldn't gain anything. But boy it's tough now.

    Just feeling... Shit. The weather is crap now. No holidays to look forward to for any kind of release. Ive got no one to hang out with, at least in person. All my friends live abroad... Just like.. What the hell? And I can't even be sexual cos my Libido is dead.

    Doldrums.

    As expected... Libido: dead. MW: kinda there, kinda not there.

    Stressed and frustrated. But I hope I can get through this
     

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