Breaking free - a 120 days hard mode journal

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by BoughtWithBlood, May 5, 2020.

  1. Hello everyone,

    Let’s start off with introducing myself. I’m a 31 year male who has been familiar with nofap and the dangers of porn for about 7 years now. I’ve done quite a few streaks (some longer than others) and I’ve come quite far from where I was. However, I’m still not where I want to be so there is work to be done.

    I used to have problems ranging from substance abuse/addiction (amfetamine, xtc, cocaine, ritalin, weed), nicotine addiction, a drinking problem, really bad addiction to videogames and PMO’ing almost every day to where I am now. When I was around 20 years old I pretty much hit rock bottom. I had severe ED and sexual anxiety because of it. If I came into a situation where I could have sex I would tremble and have a panic attack and try to get out of it, or I would get myself drunk and under the influence of drugs in order to try to have sex. Only to (semi)fail because of PIED and/or DE. I would then blame the alcohol and drugs, go home for a porn binge and be able to get hard and orgasm. I had bad social anxiety, I felt depressed and going crazy. Sleep paralysis. Afraid I was losing my sanity. Really bad ADD and suffering from panic attacks.

    I began my journey into self improvement and trying to make something out of my life when I was 20, jobless, failed my school/study and about to be kicked out of the house I was living in with my sister and her man and their kid. If it wasn’t for God to provide me a way out, I would have ended up in the gutter. I used up all the money my parents had saved for me and had nothing to show for. I was lost, so I prayed. Looking back, my story is very similar to ‘the parable of the lost son’ written in Luke 15:11-32. I really recommend you to read that story since it truly shows the heart of God; A loving father. Not some far away, sitting in the clouds angry god, waiting to pour out his wrath on you for your failures. But patient and kind. Looking for relationship, not religion.

    I was able to live with my parents again, overseas and started working on myself. I got a job, finished school to become a chef and a little over 2 years later I came back to my homecountry to further learn how to become a better chef. I almost kicked my substance abuse then. And continued with the rest. Over the years God helped me conquer it all, but porn is still a work in progress.

    I’ve had some good streaks and really have seen the fruit from it (had some 60 days, two streaks of around 80 days and 1 nearing a 100 days of no PMO). That was a couple of years ago though, and these last couple of years I haven’t been more than a month porn-free. Usually looking it up an average of once a week. I’m no longer the porn addict that I used to be, but I’m still a problem user.

    I have a girlfriend now. We started dating about a year ago and she is very supportive and helps me a great deal in battling this. She was a friend for years before we actually started dating but I only told her of my porn problem when we were dating for a couple of weeks. I wanted her to know who I was and give her a chance to step out before she got really hurt by finding out eventually. She thanked me for telling her and told me that, eventhough it was hard for her, she wouldn’t bail on me. It only made her resolve stronger to stay close to me and help me and didn’t want me to battle this alone anymore. She is absolute gold :)

    Right now I’m pretty much cured from PIED. Even cuddling can make me hard. DE is gone as well. We did have succesful sex together, but we found out that having sex before marriage usually leads to feelings of guilt and it pressures our relationships in ways that are hurting us. So we decided to wait with that until we get married. I don’t want to bring this P problem into marriage though. It affects how I look at her and my dream and goal in life is to be a great husband and a loving, present father. I feel like porn has to go, in order to get the marriage she and my future children deserve. I also need it for myself, to reach my full potential.

    What lead up to creating an account here:
    I have been having burn-out symptoms due too work and stress from the constant rollercoaster of P usage and the guilt/shame/helplessness feelings. This lead to being very tired and a weakened immune system. Then I got Covid 19 disease and I felt so bad that I thought I was going to die, add in panic attacks while feeling really sick and I thought I was heading to hell, that I lost my salvation by wasting it on sexual immorality. The meds I was using (a.o. to breathe better) amplified my fears and restlessness and worsened my lack of being able to eat or hold food in. As a skinny men I don’t have a lot of reserves so I lost 7 kg’s of bodyweight and felt really weak because of it. I learned some very valuable lessons in going through that though. I needed to be pulled out of every day life and find out what truly matters to me. In a way, getting sick was a blessing. There is a song about this called: ‘See a victory’ from elevation worship. It says: “you take what the enemy meant for evil, and you turn it for good”. I believe it’s based on Romans 8:28 and something that I can really hang on to through every storm in life.

    The rules I set up for myself:
    When waking up, start meditation first for 15 minutes.
    Read the word of God (bible)
    Go for a shower and pray
    Make breakfast
    Now you can use your phone
    No social media, ever (easy cause I quit this long ago)
    No entertainment (youtube, netflix, videogames, etc) during the day. Only in the evenings
    Workout 6 days a week to rebuild muscle, strength and resolve
    Take walk every day
    No sexual stimuli. (No porn, no touching of self other than washing or pee’ing, no sexual fantasy, no looking with lust at woman, no orgasms, no sexual acts with GF)
    This is for 120 days, to beat my last record.

    Now onto my journal:
    I am now on day 4 since my last time of looking up and edging to porn. I feel pretty good today. Woke up and meditated, read my bible, went for a shower and ended with cold water. Had some porn flashbacks so immediately went out of the house for a walk, it’s a beautiful day today. I told my GF about it too, which helped. She was supportive and proud as usual :). Got home did some exercises (push ups today) and now the flashbacks are completely gone. Thought I’d write this journal to get through the days, be accountable and be able to read back on where I am and where I want to be going.

    If you’re reading this, I just want to say thank you for taking the time! I wish you a very good day. Stay strong, we’re in this together! Let me know if I can do anything to help you.
     
    Battlesword1, Gil79 and Living like this.
  2. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I think the current Covid 19 outbreak makes a lot of us see a bit more clear what is really important to us (even to the ones that don't actually get the virus). The rules you wrote down seem pretty sound. Something that helps me to stick to my own 'rules' is having a way to tick them off. I currently use Habitica. I actually try to limit (with success) on my phone use and apps, but Habitica is something that does work for me in a good way. One thing I have added to my own 'rules' which really helps me is doing something meaningful every day. And this can be anything: it can be picking up some piece of garbage on the streets, it can be trying just that little bit harder to make your girlfriend feel good, it can be donating some money to a charity. But it can also be something that is just meaningful to you: making this first post, doing five extra pushups and even giving yourself a break. What this does for me is that it keeps me aware on a daily basis that these things I do matter. What I have noticed during my reboot is that it's sometimes hard to keep your motivation up all the time, but doing things like these and being aware of that, are things that help me get through. Thought it might help:)

    Anyway, good luck on your journey!
     
    BoughtWithBlood likes this.
  3. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hi BoughtWithBlood. Welcome to the forum and best of luck on your new journey !
     
    BoughtWithBlood likes this.
  4. Day 5

    Last night I had this strong sense of fear around me. I realised it was probably due to the things I would have to do today and it wanted to keep my from going to bed. I went to bed anyways cause I know how important sleep is and how much my body still needs it. After praying the fear went away and I almost fell asleep :)

    Then the person that’s living in the appartment above me started playing his guitar. It’s so annoying, he does it almost every day on weekdays and it usually won’t end before midnight. It’s loud enough that my earplugs won’t help. I knew I had to jump in my clothes, go to his door and ask him to stop playing at 22:00 on weekdays cause he’a causing me a lot of broken nights, but I wouldn’t. Somehow I’m afraid of it. Afraid of the confrontation. Afraid of actually stating what I need and having other people respect that.

    I had a pretty restless night with dreams of being chased. I have them more often. They are cool in a way because they never seem to catch me and I’m pretty creative in getting away, but I wonder where they come from and they mean something. Writing this makes me wonder if my tendency for escaping reality and responsibilities has something to do with it?

    This morning I felt pretty bad. Lungs felt pretty bad again. Managed to do my meditation and fell asleep afterwards again. Woke up to feel like I’ve been hit by a truck :/ went to do my morning routine and crashed on the couch. Eventually made a nice walk. It’s beautiful outside so that helped. I made myself some great sandwiches with vegies and whatnot to take good care of myself.

    I was planning on opening my work-laptop and start working a little bit today (I’m still signed as sick atm) really not feeling like it though. All I want to do is rest. I’m just so tired. Even thinking about work or the situation I was in before I got sick makes me feel this really unpleasant feeling of stress and anxiety in my body.

    No cravings today. Some slight flashbacks and weird thoughts but they’re easily send away.
     
  5. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    It's interesting how one can go for 100+ days and then struggle to go for a week. That's what's happened to me. I wonder what's lacking in the later attempts.

    Have you thought about telling the landlord? At least in my old apartment there was a silence by 21 policy. Not that it helped much, though. I'm truly glad to have left apartment life behind me.
     
    BoughtWithBlood likes this.
  6. I have thought about it. But they can only act after you’ve tried to resolve it with the person causing the nuisance. And that’s pretty hard for me since I always seem to avoid confrontations. I need to lean it though.
     
    bouclesansfin likes this.
  7. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Giving assertive feedback to others is difficult for almost everyone. Most people get either aggressive or passive. Last year I did a management course in which the topic 'assertivity' was also treated. I found it really really helpful and eventhough I just shortly learned some basics, I have been using it a lot. It is also about knowing that you have the right (like any other) to be heard by others. Might be interesting to dive into. But we have a life long to learn these kinds of skills. At the moment you just need your peace of mind and what this person does is not acceptable. Although probably he doesn't even realize that others might hear him. I would just put a decent note in his mailbox or on his door. There's nothing wrong with that and you don't have top stress about confrontation for now. BTW welcome, and thanks for sharing your story here!
     
  8. Thanks a lot for the advice @Gil79
    I still have a lot to learn regarding assertivity.

    Day 8
    I’m having a hard time. It’s so hard to feel sick and extremely tired all the time. This night I had some dreams and they had to do with my morphed sexual tastes due to porn. It wasn’t arousing, more of a mocking. I tried to look away but everywhere I looked I saw these images. Also dreamed about being an addict and feeling helpless. Fortunately I woke up and realised I made it through day 7. Eventhough I had some intense cravings yesterday evening. A specific Pstar / scene popped in my head and the urge was so strong. Immediately prayed and after 2 or 3 waves of cravings, it was gone.

    I had this ‘revelation’ while praying this morning. It was as if the Lord told me that every temptation, every craving, every stumbling block is an opportunity to claim my freedom. Giving me 2 choices. 1: I prayerfully submit the thoughts and memories to Christ and they have no more power over me, giving me a piece of freedom. 2: I can give in and look that specific scene up. But it never stays there. It’s never just one scene. So then I give the devil more opportunities to build more ‘weapons’ against me. Setting me back in my fight for freedom.

    There’s a christian quote that I should keep in mind when I feel tempted to - just have a little look, just that one scene, just one picture, etc. It goes like this: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay”. that is the truth, and I’ve seen it happen many many many times before. Have to stay focused!

    Writing this helps. The anxiety and helpless feeling about my health really had me in a bad spot. I feel lighter now. Thanks everyone. It feels great having this forum with all of you, so we can fight this addiction together.

    Have a wonderful day!
     
  9. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    These dreams will fade over time. I had really disturbing sex dreams up until being approx. six months clean. Don't be discouraged, ashamed or anything in that regard. These are just remnants and fragments of the porn life you are working on leaving behind for good. And that these things occur in your mind is not your (direct) fault.

    With peeking, and looking up Pornstars and scenes it's basically the same. I had so many favorite videos on tube sites and I by now, I have forgotten the names of the majority of these videos. I have even forgotten many names of Pornstars that I loved watching. With that being said, it's crucial not to peek, not to take just a quick look. It will never remain just a quick peek and if you do it regularly, soon it will become a habit. And that's the last thing you want...

    Think of your reboot like of an advance payment. You won't see any or a lot of income for what feels like a long time but the pay-off will be huge, trust me. And you will feel better soon. The first weeks and months are rocky but after that, the tides will get a lot smoother.

    Hang in there and have a nice weekend!
     
  10. Thank you so much for encouraging me @Pete McVries ! Have a great weekend as well.
     
  11. Day 10

    I was anxious about today for a while. Mechanics had to come to my place to replace the boiler. They would come early in the morning so that meant I had to set an alarm. I looked up to that because of my burn-out symptoms and I really really need my sleep, and lots of it. Went to bed in time but was a little bit restless, fell asleep but woke up cause of a disturbing sex dream that came with an erection and a lot of pain in my right testicle. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain accompanied by worry and anxiety. Eventually went for a shower and some painkillers. I was able to sleep a bit more afterward.

    I feel bad now, anxious and restless. Extremely tired as well. At my GF’s place now so I don’t have to worry about the mechanics. The pain is still there but it’s a lot less than last night. There seems to be this really heavy feeling in my balls that’s not very pleasant. Is this normal? I’ve had this before, when abstaining from orgasms for longer than a week. It feels a bit different than the regular blue balls though.
     
  12. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I have had a burn-out too. I didn't even realize I was in one until I had it for months. The occasional crying before I went to work might have been a clue though;) It had quite an impact on my life and I'm still struggling with the effects after years. I really remember that one of the things I really hung on to was my sleep. It was pretty much like my anchor and I would be pretty damn anal about that too. But looking back being that stuck on my sleep didn't really help me either. I value my sleep, but when getting an hour less sleep means you get all restless and even stressed that's not really helping either. Ofcourse every person is different, but for me the way I dealt with my sleep was probably more a symptom of the burn-out than it was the solution. Or at least both.

    Can't help you with your balls though:) I would suggest to see how it evolves and when it takes too long to see a doctor.
     
    BoughtWithBlood likes this.
  13. Thanks for the response, living!

    I had an hour sleep at my girlfriends place and after that I felt much better. Pain in the balls is pretty much gone too, so no need for a doctor it seems :)

    I did not have my morning routine, nor enough sleep. These are triggers for me. Especially a lack of sleep has cost me quite some good streaks over the years. Have to stay focused and not put myself in positions where I can slip.
     
    Living likes this.
  14. Day 11

    Today is good. Feel proud of myself for yesterday’s succes. Noticed I was mindlessly scrolling through youtube recommendations yesterday evening. Hoping I would come across something sexual. When I realised what I was doing I immediately stopped. Went outside and had a walk. It felt really good to notice I was in control and had a choice.

    Today I have more energy. Did my morning routine and I was just filled me with thankfulness. Did groceries and I felt confident and calm. Less afraid of eye-contact or talking to people :) Had a taste of what it’s like to be free from social anxiety. Love it.

    I got some work done in the house and on the laptop. It’s a good day so far :)
     
  15. Day 12

    withdrawal is starting to get worse.
    Lethargy
    Headaches
    Pain in the body/muscles
    Restless legs
    Sex dreams or dreams of relapsing
    Racing thoughts
    Shortness of breath
    Moodswings
    Waves of extreme sadness
    A feeling of having a dark cloud or blanket over my mind/emotions
    Cloudy vision
    Very sensitive to noise
    Fatigue
    Tiredness

    I don’t know what’s porn related and what’s related to my health issues at the moment. Just wanted to write this down to remind myself there’s no need to panic. This will fade over time. There’s no need to numb this with porn, it will only make things worse.
     
    Pete McVries and Living like this.
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I'm familiar with some of those things you listed and they are no fun !

    I hope you feel better soon. As we know that moods come and go ... And if not, we can think of outside support (though it's tricky, but still ...).

    Totally agree that going for some porn would likely make things worst. Maybe much worst !
     
    BoughtWithBlood and Living like this.
  17. Day 14

    I’m still feeling quite bad physically. Everything just hurts so much. My back, my ribs, my lungs. I feel so tired and weak as well. It’s hard to not lose myself in worry’ing about it.

    Yesterday I had trouble keeping my own rules. I did not have the energy to go for a walk or do my exercises. I found myself reading about my favorite game on discord to distract myself a bit. There was this girl who posted something and before I knew it I clicked on her profile pic. It was just a picture of her face and I had no lustful thoughts. I just appreciated her beauty. However, it did something with me. I felt bad about it, because my whole method of conquering porn is by the ‘not interested’ mindset.

    In the evening I drove to my GF’s place for dinner and I felt that pulling of the eyes when I drove by girls who were jogging. If was hard not to look, but I didn’t. I’m happy I didn’t. I realized I need to be vigilant and keep the ‘not interested’ mindset. Ironically it makes ‘hard’-mode so much easier.

    I had great conversations with my girlfriend. She’s a great listener, never judges me and always supports me. It’s hard to talk about my emotions. I don’t want to come across as weak. I have this idea that a man should always be strong and in control. The funny thing is, when I open up to her, she seems to like me more, not less. She thinks I’m strong, not weak. And she tells me she’s proud of me as well. That feels great :D

    I’m also beginning to notice her beauty more. When I watch porn I’m much more focused on either her body or her flaws. It’s hard to feel love then, eventhough I know I love her. It can feel like it’s either lust or friendship and that makes it hard to conjure up true love and admiration. I’m happy to notice that’s improving :)

    The sex dreams are getting less by the way. I’m happy about that. No morning wood though. Guess I’m entering flatline, but that’s okay.

    Going to call the doctor now cause I don’t really know what to do anymore to get better.

    Thanks for reading and have a great day!
     
    -Luke- and Pete McVries like this.
  18. Day 14 part 2

    Need to vent a little cause I’m having cravings at the moment.

    Went to see the doctor and the lungs sounds okay no signs of a pneumonia or something. The stuffiness and breathing difficulties could be related to my ribs/back problems so I really need to go see my chiropractor/ manual therapist soon. Went to do groceries and my brain was screaming for some dopamine hits by checking out women. Writing it down makes it sound pathetic. I didn’t look, so that’s a win.

    Just came home and I feel depressed. I want to collapse and cry, but I can’t. My brain wants television or videogames, I’m not allowing it. Cravings for MO starting to rise, nope to that as well. An urge to fantasize or look up porn. Nope you’re not getting that either.

    Going to make myself some food. writing all this down helps a lot.
     
    Pete McVries and Gil79 like this.
  19. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Well done on not going for the dopamine hit. There's nothing pathetic about what you experience. It is just the conflict between different parts of your brain and by doing this you're training your frontal lobes. This is rewiring in action! Stay strong during this difficult period and give your body and mind all the rest and time they need.
     
  20. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    This is hard to break out of. Culture's done a "good" job, too, feeding ideas. For me, I always feel better when I get to be "weak" and talk feelings.
     

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