Back at zero

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by bouclesansfin, May 14, 2020.

  1. bouclesansfin

    bouclesansfin New Member

    The fact that I'm addicted really set in when I realized that as soon as any of the barriers I created to stop myself from viewing porn were not there I would immediately take advantage. If the app stopped for whatever reason, my heart would begin to pound and that would be the start. Or if I bring home the password for the software on my computer, as I did today, I use it to disable the parental controls and start clicking away. It's an A to B motion. I even thought about what would happen after I used the password. I wanted to unblock the website ironically. I'm living the first step of 10 step programs "We admitted we were powerless over <insert here> and that our lives had become unmanageable". Presented with privacy and the ability to view it, I will look at porn. Then afterwards regret it. The addict in me knows all the right questions to ask, all the buttons to push, and the emotional and physical state to get me in so that I will break down. I've wanted to stop for over two years. I hope I'm close to the point where the switch flips in me and I begin to deeply desire change. I haven't hit a rock bottom, there have just been embarrassing moments with women, and lethargic and distracted states of mind. Clears signs I need to change but nothing that brutally shakes me awake. Something that hurts more the porn numbs me.
    Gil79, Saq and axebattler like this.
  2. bouclesansfin

    bouclesansfin New Member

    Today will be day there. I've been here before. Maybe I can help someone by telling people what I use to block porn. Before I moved into my current apartment with shared internet I would use an ASUS wireless router/switch. I bought the model that included AiProtection with parental controls. This would help set a baseline on all the devices that connected through it, either wired or wireless. I currently use the parental controls in ESET internet security on my PC. I've had to add dozens of additional rules, for example I've had to whitelist this site and I've black listed twitter and instagram. I setup a family account through Microsoft and added the account I use for my XBOX. Now I can't go to any web sites on my XBOX. I've setup my smart TV to only whitelist certain websites, but left the list blank, then set a password to change it. I use DnsChanger on my android phone to use a porn blocking DNS, it also allows you to add additional websites you wish to block. I also have dozens of additional sites on that. All the passwords for these features are written down and brought to work so I cannot easily obtain them. This has really helped, part of me is able to relax because I simply can't do it. A big portion of my porn addiction comes in the form of curiosity lately. I wonder if this will work, I wonder if I do this if I can still access it. That is how this sneaky compulsion works with me, it begins with a question. It uses this trick to gain momentum and fill my head with whatever it wants me to do. I have a physiological response when I think viewing porn is an option. My heart starts to race, my mind is bombarded with thoughts and desires, it is almost like my vision begins to tunnel. I haven't found a way to break myself out of this. However with these blocks I've mentioned, it helps. With all the fences and locked doors, I can't get very far with these feelings so I usually don't even start.

    My current issue is simply working on myself, my emotions, and issues. I've been half assed working on my issues with codependency. I've started to go to meetings, I've read books, and only recently started going through a 12 step workbook. I feel that my codependency and my porn usage are interlinked very closely. My codependency has many tentacles. It stems from low self worth, and a desire to be loved. Through life I've lost the ability for self love, and positive self talk. I use other people to give me these things. Codependency also causes me to be overbearing, manipulative, and controlling. All in an attempt to keep people close to me, to ensure they give me the validation I am unable to give to myself. Now, lets connect that to my porn use. Codependency is my addiction to people, relationships, and now they make me feel. Porn and sexual imagery provides me with many sensations and emotions that falsely cross over into those codependent additions. First I get to feel a false sense of intimacy with these people on the screen. I'm not very successful with dating so while I'm consuming porn I get to pretend and forget about any loneliness or rejection. Also even though it is fake, and even at that shallow to the point of being non-existent, the people on screen have a relationship and a connection which is something I so very deeply desire. Connection with others is my version of heroin, it makes me feel almost every positive emotion. Porn is like a dried up empty husk beautifully painted to appear like that to me. Like when people watch romance movies as an escape, they want what is on the screen. I feel that porn is my escape and has hints of what I desire on screen. As I write this I'm find it difficult to properly convey how I feel. Maybe because as I write I realize how ridiculous what I'm feeling is. Perhaps because of the toxic overload of dopamine, and the fact that the imagery is so explicitly sexual and over the top, the other sensations of interpersonal connection, belonging, and actually having access to these women can be paper thin. More like plastic wrap because it's transparent. It makes me feel like I've convinced these attractive women to do these things with me, even though they are hundreds of KM away and I probably couldn't even talk to them if I wanted. As confused and hazy as I am right now, it is also becoming more clear how my mind plays tricks on me.

    It isn't all so hazy and confusing. Porn also gives me a complete escape from reality. This is my biggest clue on escaping its grasp. Things like stress, boredom, anger, sadness, or being tired trigger me or tear down my willpower. When I'm stressed, which is always because I'm such an anxious person, my desire to use porn is extremely high. Because porn has such a powerful effect on me I forget all about what is happening in my real life. I'm not thinking about the problems in my life, what could go wrong, or what has already gone wrong. If I face the rejection of a women I think what's the point of not using, and I run into escape. I never sit down and consciously go through the many reasons no to escape. Porn makes my anxiety worse (vicious cycle), makes me less confident (harder to meet women or make friends), makes me lethargic and feel tired (wears down my willpower). Porn is so toxic that it puts me into a place that it can present itself as the only way to make the pain stop.

    Lots of words, not a lot of answers yet.
  3. bouclesansfin

    bouclesansfin New Member

    I took a step back this morning. I'm happy I didn't view porn, but I did MO. I think the quarantine is effecting me. Considering the journey and work I'm doing currently, the quarantine isn't the worst place for me. However I feel sad or uncomfortable, maybe some anxiety, about not being able to meet someone during this. It's kind of ridiculous, I need to focus on myself why am I worried about this. First and most related to my issues stemming from viewing and using porn or sexual imagery, my dick doesn't cooperate. If I did meet a girl, I have this huge ugly secret. Second, I'm too outward focused. I look to other to calm and sooth me, to tell me I'm okay, that I'm good enough. I use others to provide myself worth and validation. This outside locus of control also adds to negative feelings, especially when entering into a sexual relationship with someone. I feel shame and embarrassment for using porn, but these feelings are intensified when I am with someone and I just go blank. I don't feel an intense sensation of attraction, and I just stare at my dick blankly, like "hey, wake up. Do the thing". That is one level of shame and embarrassment, I feel like a broken man. Ironically only making the original issue worse. To add to all these negative feelings, now the woman feels like she didn't something wrong. She feels unattractive, she feels like she isn't good enough, that maybe she is broken somehow. Nothing I can say can truly take these thoughts and feelings away from her. If what I was saying was true, then why can't she get me hard? Why am I just staring at her blankly at a time like this?

    I wish these kinds of thoughts would flood my mind when I'm about to do something stupid. Clearly I know the ramifications of my actions. Worse yet, I'm only hurting myself and yet I continue to do it. My step back this morning was completely thoughtless. I was half asleep, I just woke up. Then I went back to sleep for another 2 hours. I would say that almost every time I've messed up I've been running on negative emotions, autopilot, and frequently both. The worst is when the negative emotions are subtle. Sometimes something in the very back of your head that is causing you to be anxious. For me even asking people for things, or to do something for me causes me anxiety. Hell, making phone calls makes me anxious. This anxiety causes me to act out, to distract myself, to sooth the pain. The painkiller, PMO, then makes my anxiety worse. I've gotten myself into a vicious cycle and I'm trying to become strong enough, smart enough, healthy enough to get out of it.

    Right now two things are causing me anxiety, a new ugly scratch on my car. I also live in a house with 4 other people. I usually park my car in the garage, however to do so I need to ask people to move so I can get in and out. Asking this small thing of people also causes me anxiety. Even small things like this can build up in my over thinkers head and down the road be the fuel to act out.

    Writing in this forum has helped.
  4. Dave858

    Dave858 New Member

    Hi there bouclesansfin. I read through your post and that sounds like you have a lot going on. I don't have much to add but I did want to recommend a book that really helped me with codependency. It's called "Healing Your Aloneness" by Margaret Paul. It was a really good book for getting in touch with your true self instead of getting sucked into a codependent cycle. Hope things pick up for you.
    bouclesansfin likes this.
  5. bouclesansfin

    bouclesansfin New Member

    The last couple days have been rough. I didn't sleep well last night, so today my willpower is very low. Although, I do feel good that I didn't do anything rash or stupid last night. This quarantine is really getting to me. I'm starting to feel very alone. I also feel like I'm never going to meet anyone, which is a strange feeling. Work is stressful. Lot of negative emotions and not many wins coming my way. I'm in a new city, so I also don't know anyone here to hangout with or talk to. My anxiety has been very high. Anxiety is the primary emotion that makes me act out. The anxiety radiates through my body. I have to breath. For some reason as I write this the anxiety is getting worse. I hope I can just keep my head down and get through this. I've been looking up stupid things on Youtube. I simultaneously am confused at why this is so difficult, and know all the things that are causing me to want to search out these things. Knowing I'm isolated in my apartment, and won't be meeting anyone anytime soon only make it more difficult for me. It makes the voice in my head tell me it doesn't matter what I do since I'm stuck alone. But I think to myself this is the perfect time to do it. Hopefully I'll be in a better place if I do meet someone. Also it will take months for me to completely recover, from everything I've read. This is a double edged sword, I feel more outgoing when I abstain, but my anxiety and negative emotions also increase.

    Okay, one day a at a time.
  6. Shady

    Shady Member

    Try distracting yourself when you feel anxiety.
    If you don't it'll all be up to willpower and that doesn't always work.
    bouclesansfin likes this.
  7. bouclesansfin

    bouclesansfin New Member

    I had a set back last night. I looked at sexual videos on Youtube, and later MO. Writing this is difficult. I think that is a good thing in the long run. I hope it remains a difficult thing to say. While I want to get clean for myself, it is good to have an outside source that I have to admit when I make mistakes. It give me another tool to talk myself down, and makes using porn less appealing. The good news, even though my cravings were very bad yesterday, I didn't attempt to circumvent any of the blocks I created. I hope my set backs continue to get smaller, and further away from using porn. The primary influence for yesterday was the previous night I couldn't call asleep, and even though I'm in quarantine at attempt to get up at 6am during the week. I was very tired and when I'm tired I'm out of control, for me.

    These posts have been cathartic. I have 8 days without using porn, which is my primary goal. I want to get far enough away from it that I can feel the habit disappear.
    Gil79 and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  8. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Difficult but really helpful. It is too easy to just move forward without paying attention to it, but every little bit of awareness takes the power of the addiction away. Keep going!
  9. bouclesansfin

    bouclesansfin New Member

    I almost made it to 12 days, I'm now back at 0 for PMO. I haven't been taking care of myself the last few days, especially sleep. Being stuck in my house has completely ruined my schedule. I hasn't stayed up this late consistently for many years. I continue to learn things, gain insights into myself and my behaviour, but I think I've known all the major things that lead to my acting out for at least a year. Something is missing, I wish I could figure it out or find it. The worst part is, the closer I am to a relapse (that is the time that has elapsed since I have relapsed) the worse the cravings. I don't currently have the mental stamina due to lack of sleep to manage these thoughts, if I make it through today it's gonna be ROUGH.
    Shady likes this.
  10. Shady

    Shady Member

    Yes the only win out of relapses is learning more about yourself and your cravings.

    But don't think too much about it. Don't keep thinking that it's rough because if you think so, then it will be rough.

    And as I always say,
    We're all in this together.

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