Daily Journal - Time To Actually Try

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by TimeToActuallyTry, Jul 30, 2020 at 9:08 AM.

  1. TimeToActuallyTry

    TimeToActuallyTry New Member

    DAY 1

    Hey guys. Not really sure how to start writing a journal like this, so I'm just going to muse for a bit.

    First, a cursory overview of the main character in this story. I am a 26-year old, ADHD, obese (though admittedly not as badly as before), white, English-speaking Canadian with an Engineering Degree, a wife (love of my life and we've been together for over a decade), a good job in my field, and a crippling addiction to pornography.

    I think at this point I've known about my porn addiction for a couple of years. I'm 26 now, and I probably started looking at porn as early as like 12 or so, and I can even vaguely remember the first time I masturbated after getting up late at night (used to have awful nightmares so I would wake up way too early and go watch TV because I was scared to go back to sleep) and catching some basic cable pseudo-pornographic something or other.

    Throughout high school, I was still masturbating pretty frequently, and the porn was slowly starting to get more graphic and fetish-focused, but all in all it wasn't TOO too bad.

    Fast forward to Uni. To say that my life went downhill at that point would be an understatement. First year wasn't so bad, since living in dorms gave me a lot of socialization and I was still keeping up with my schoolwork decently well. In second year I moved in with some friends (three girls and one boy, so a pretty packed house), but none of them were staying in town for the summer between first and second year. What ended up happening is that I spent pretty much four months in almost total isolation. Oh, and there was no internet for the entire time, since one of the other housemates was going to set it up once they got back for the school year.

    I'm positive that the months of isolation messed me up pretty badly for a long time afterwards, and really contributed to the downward spiral into my porn addiction. How did I sustain a porn addiction with no internet? Well sometimes I would go to campus, pre-buffer some porn videos, then go home and watch them since they were already loaded. Looking back on it, it was honestly pathetic and I wish I could go back in time and give past-me a hug and tell him that he's not as alone as he feels.

    Second year of Uni was unequivocally the worst year of my life. I stopped going to classes entirely, basically lived in my bedroom, and P+M'd multiple times per day every single day (when I wasn't overeating pretty much just pizza all the time, but more on that in another journal). I withdrew away from my friends, and only recently have I actually reconnected with one of them.

    I wound up failing the school year, losing my girlfriend of ~4yrs, and had to write an appeal to the Dean basically begging him to let me retake the year. He did, and things definitely got a bit better from then on, but still here I sit five-ish years later with a porn addiction that has been my constant companion for as long as I can remember.

    I could go on, and there's so much more I want to talk about that contributed to the development of my addiction, but since this is going to be a daily journal I think I should save some for later. I just wanted to touch on second year of Uni since it was a definite turning point for the worse in my journey with porn.

    As of yesterday around lunchtime (actually my work lunch hour, since I was P+M-ing during work hours now that I'm WFH), I am on my first official hopefully-peer-supported reboot. I don't have a set timeline for how long I want the reboot to last, since ideally I never touch the stuff again (fingers crossed, right?), but I do have a goal of writing at least one entry on here every single day if possible.

    I'm going semi-easy mode, in that I will be abstaining from all porn and masturbation but I will continue to have sex with my wife because I believe that's healthy all around and also she doesn't know about my addiction (in fact, nobody else does besides myself and now you guys) and I currently have no plans to tell her.

    That's it for me. Sorry it ran a bit long. I've never had a journal before, and I guess I have a lot more to say than I expected. I'll see you guys again tomorrow. Cheers.

    -J
     
  2. UK Don

    UK Don Member

    Congrats on joining the forum and best of luck in overcoming your addiction! I think you'll find, as I have, that the accountability and space for self-reflection offered on this forum will be of great help.
     
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  3. TimeToActuallyTry

    TimeToActuallyTry New Member

    Day 2

    Hey again, guys. Day 2 is here! I'm already feeling a kind of positive peer pressure just from knowing that if I mess up and relapse then I'll have to tell you guys about it. Knowing that you will have to admit your failure to somebody else is surprisingly preventative, and it's an entirely new feeling for me on this journey. I've never really held myself accountable to anybody else with my porn addiction, which makes sense because I've never told anybody else about it. Here's hoping that this pressure I'm feeling continues to hold as I move forward.

    I'm not sure how relevant this is, but I had sex with my wife yesterday. Dick worked and everything, which is cool. I've definitely been PIED before, or at least I think I have, but it's nice to know that it's not bad enough that I can't occasionally enjoy some quality time with my girl. I really feel like abstaining from porn entirely while still allowing myself to be turned on by my wife and to be intimate with her will help in reconditioning my brain to crave that real life sexy stuff instead of those empty images on the screen.

    Anyway, I guess I'll muse a bit more about how I got here. Let's chat a bit about my ADHD this time.

    So as I said, I've got ADHD pretty bad. I've had it all my life (duh), and nowadays it's pretty well managed with a decently-high dose of Concerta daily and generally being mindful of it as much as possible. If you don't know much about ADHD, or if you think it's just like "Hey how are you do-OMG A BUTTERFLY??", then you're not the only one. It's true that I get distracted really easily, but it's also more than that for me.

    Two major pieces of my ADHD are that I sometimes (er, often) forget things almost instantaneously and that I crave stimulation.

    Forgetting things is less impactful where the porn addiction is concerned, and more of an issue when it comes to everyday life. For example, if I get up to go refill my water bottle (I love drinking water so much lol) and go to the bathroom, there's a decent chance that I will make it back to my desk having forgotten to do one of those things along the way. Another example is with people's names. I'm awful with names. I forget new names immediately almost 100% of the time, only remembering them consistently once I've had the chance to use them several times. I'll often forget to do things that I said I was going to do, so I've started setting alarms for myself when I have to make an important phone call or something like that. What's weird is I have very good memory otherwise, like overall my memory is surprisingly good for most things, but those short-term (or name-based) memories just fall out of my head constantly.

    The other issue is with stimulation. It's difficult, especially when I'm medicated, for me to not have enough stimulation. Just sitting around doing nothing is extremely hard for me, unless I have some sort of (preferably visual) stimulation. I especially hate eating without watching something in the background (hate the sound of chewing, even my own). It's been really noticeable during work for me lately. Like if I have to wait for something to load, even if it's only going to take ten seconds, I immediately get antsy and have to force myself not to go to Reddit or something. I just have this near-constant need for novel stimulation, which I'm now (as in, just now while I'm writing this) realizing may very well be linked to my porn addiction. I've only read a small bit about porn addiction, but one of the major factors seems to be the brain's craving for novel stimulation. Y'all know what it's like, surfing around porn sites, opening tabs upon tabs of images/videos, only to look at them for like two seconds before opening the next one. I feel like that behavioral reconditioning of my brain to crave constant dopamine has a negative synergy with my ADHD and is actively hurting my attempts to manage it. I'll be interested to see, assuming I can someday kick my porn addiction for good (or at least abstain from it long enough to feel some positive difference in myself), how/if my ADHD improves once my brain isn't so addicted to novelty.

    Anyway, this feels like it's getting kind of long, so I'm gonna stop here for today. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to writing for you guys again tomorrow. It feels really cool knowing that I'm not alone in this fight, and I hope you guys all know that I'm rooting for each and every one of you as well. Cheers.

    -J
     
  4. TimeToActuallyTry

    TimeToActuallyTry New Member

    Day 3

    Hey guys. Gonna be a short one today (and probably on every weekend day, unless I have something I really really wanna write down).

    Still going strong, for as much as that's worth after just three days. I don't usually have trouble on the weekends, which I think is because I'm able to just relax and do whatever I want. There's no stress or anything, so as long as I'm mindful then I don't usually experience strong urges on weekends. Also, my wife likes to sleep in while I like to get up early, so I use the time in between to just chill and play video games until she wakes up. Also also, there's usually a strong possibility of sexy times on weekend mornings, which is actually a pretty good preventative measure for me since I know I'm going to satisfy my physical needs and also I don't want to PMO and like "ruin" myself for the potential sexy times by throwing away any pent up libido I may have.

    Anyway, hope y'all are hanging in there. Happy long weekend (to those of you who have one), and I'll talk to you guys again tomorrow!

    -J
     
  5. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    Hey bud, welcome to the forums. Sounds like you're off to a good start.

    I also wake up early and my gf loves to sleep in. I usually can get a run in, eat breakfast, take the dog for a walk and shower before she even really gets moving. Getting the coffee going and then snuggling back into bed when she's half awake after all that is usually a good way to kick off the weekends. That said, don't put too much weight on the "sexy times" as you can find yourself disappointed if it doesn't happen, which could lead to relapse to satisfy the "blue balls" concept.

    Anyway, best of luck in your journey to a better you!
     
  6. TimeToActuallyTry

    TimeToActuallyTry New Member

    Day 4

    Hey guys. Saturday's come and gone, and now I'm on day four of my journey. It's a lovely rainy day (as an indoor person, I love the atmospheric greyness of a rainy day), and I'm feeling good! Had some drinks with the wife last night and listened to some early 2000's hits. Good times. Love her so much.

    As I said before, weekend entries will be shorter, so let me just say that this forum has been on my mind a lot in the last few days. I just keep thinking about how amazing (in a bittersweet way) it is to know that my problems are not unique or special. My problems have already been dealt with by so many others, and they all form this web of support and understanding that I'm all too glad to be caught up in now. I'm confident that this upcoming work week will be the best one I've had in a while.

    Hope you guys are enjoying the latter half of your weekends!

    -J

    P.S. Thanks Battlesword1! I definitely know what you mean about putting too much emphasis on the sex working out. I've had times where my dick didn't work (PIED or some other reason), and it's hard not to ride the resulting disappointment all the way back to a relapse. I really appreciate your support, and I hope you feel that same support coming back to you in return <3
     
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  7. TimeToActuallyTry

    TimeToActuallyTry New Member

    Day 5

    Hey guys. Another short one comin your way since today is technically still part of the weekend for me. Great day yesterday. Basically just chilled inside with my wife all day. Had some sexy/porny thoughts creep in throughout the day, but I was able to just push them too the side and move on.

    Accidentally left my weekday alarm on, which is why I'm up at 5am lol. Hope you guys have a less-sleepy day than I'll probably have.

    Remember, we're all in this together. If you can, you should take some time and read some other journals this morning, maybe even respond to one. Keep strengthening the network of support, and we'll all reap the benefits.

    -J
     
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  8. TimeToActuallyTry

    TimeToActuallyTry New Member

    Day 6

    Hey guys. Nearly a full week of posts done! Still going strong. Felt a lot of temptation this morning, but I'm learning to recognize them and let them pass instead of giving in. Excited to hit the one week mark!

    Time for me to pour some thoughts out into this thread again. Maybe today I'll write a bit more about second year of uni.

    If you read my first post, you already know that it was a very bad time for me. First year was alright, but I was still definitely struggling with the newfound freedom of living away from home. I was truly free to do whatever I wanted in my free time. I made some friends in my dorm and went to some of my classes and overall had a pretty good year. I was still kind of building my social skills, so looking back it sometimes seems rough how inept I was at communication, but I'm a pretty charming/funny guy so I did alright. I could talk more about first year, but there's not too much to say honestly. Second year (and the summer between first and second year) was much more important in my life and to the development of my porn addiction.

    So as I said before, I spent the ~four months of summer between first and second year pretty much in total isolation. I worked nights and had exactly one friend who I would occasionally go out and see, but honestly it was just because he had internet and I didn't so I would sometimes just go over to his place to mooch some. Being alone in a big student house like that for months, I was pretty much just overeating, playing what few video games were available to me with my crappy hardware, and masturbating. There wasn't even much access to porn since I had no internet, but that didn't stop me from finding reasons and ways to masturbate. It's also tough being alone for that long, so anything that could make me feel good in some way was a welcome escape from that feeling.

    Things didn't get better once my friends moved in after the summer, though. After all that time alone, I was basically socially useless. I felt so weird being around people again, and I started to withdraw further inward instead of pursuing the socialization that I so desperately needed. I now know that that's kind of just how I am as a person, like I benefit a lot from socializing even though I don't always feel like it. It's just plain healthy, and crucial to my mental/emotional well-being. I didn't really know that back then, though, and I wound up becoming somewhat of a hermit. I basically just stayed in my room all the time, ordering food instead of grocery shopping and avoiding human interaction. I stopped going to classes entirely and only went to campus when I needed to go to a lab or exam or something. My friends grew very distant from me, and I sometimes felt like a stranger in my own home. I got into fights with them over stupid things, and wound up pushing them further and further away as the year went on. All the while, I was trying to maintain a long distance relationship with my high school girlfriend (who is now my wife of over two years, so that worked out eventually).

    So anyway things kept getting worse and worse as second year went on. Final exams came along, and it was at like 3am the night before one of my exams that I realized something. I had been cramming all night long because I literally didn't know any of the material from the course, and I got to the point where it became clear to me that I was never going to pass this exam. I was going to fail this class, and probably most of my other classes too. I stopped studying and started looking into what I would have to do to repeat the year. I ultimately applied for a Dean's Waiver basically begging the school to let me try again. I got it in the end, but at a price. My girlfriend was very, very upset because she had no idea I was failing at all (remember, she didn't, and still doesn't, know about my porn habits), let alone the entire year. She broke up with me. We had been together for probably close to four years at that point, and she said (and I'm super paraphrasing because I don't remember exactly what she said) basically that I was not taking my life seriously. I have no hard feelings towards her about this, since she was pretty much right on the nose.

    The strangest part about the breakup, though, is that I felt basically nothing from it. I was sad, sure, but like I wasn't crying or anything like that. I just felt kind of numb. Now I realize, of course, that my numbness was just an indicator of a much larger mental/emotional health problem. I was not okay.

    I could write more, but basically after second year things started to look up a bit. I came out of my shell more, my girlfriend and I got back together a few months after we broke up, and I was going to campus/classes more often. I was socializing, doing my schoolwork (mostly), and slowly clawing my way back from the awful pit that was second year. Throughout all of this, however, I was still heavily using porn and would lose entire days to porn binges. I was also still gaining weight like crazy, but that's a topic for another post.

    Anyway this has gone on for a long time so I'm gonna wrap it up. Looking back, it's clear that second year of uni was the biggest contributing factor to the development of my addiction, and I wish that somebody had reached out to me and tried to help me. Alternatively, I wish that I had had the strength and wisdom to ask for the help that I didn't even know I needed at the time. There's no sense is dwelling too much on the past, though, so my eyes are facing forwards now. I just figured I would flesh out the story for those of you that are interested (but also for myself because this is a journal after all).

    If any of you wanna know more about any of this, then please feel free to ask any question you like.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful day. Remember, you are worthy of love, especially from yourself.

    Stay strong.

    -J
     

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