Don't Ever Give Up

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by SeekingWisdom, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    New Here. I've been having a little bit of success lately after years of the abstain/binge cycle and I thought that I would jump on here and hopefully pass on a few things that could help some others. Plus I'm not any where near to being completely healed, so I thought this would be a great way to both help and get some support.

    My story:
    I'm 33 about to turn 34 this week. I was using porn for over 10 years until I finally realized that it was a major issue with and also went against my believe in Christ. At age 30 I discovered and all the people who have been "rebooting". I realized this was a must. I was able to go 1 week before M and then another. But after that I was able to do a full year no PMO. It was a great experience, but I still had a major problem with fantasy. I was basically edging with my thoughts on a regular basis.

    After over a year and some bad advice on the internet(shocker right?), I started to MO every so often. This was a major screw up. Obviously with my history and old habits I was not able to maintain this. It started out only every month or so. But eventually lead to a full on relapse. I have spent the past 2 years (it seems worse now that I type it out) alternating between the abstinence/binge cycle.

    Late last year I really started to get desperate/serious. I had actually taken my computer apart and sold the pieces I could and threw the rest away. I had no more access to the porn games (games allowed me to edge for much longer) that I had been addicted do. I also started to read my Bible much more. Instead of just claiming to believe in Christ and continuing to live however I desired, I wanted my life to reflect my beliefs. I want to be a reason non believers are interested in Christ, not a hypocrite that makes non believers roll their eyes. This may not seem like a big deal to non believers out there, but it was huge for me and I would encourage all of you, regardless of your beliefs, to really research and meditate about what your beliefs are and why. (For anyone on here that is a believer I would strongly suggest reading Matthew chapters 5-7 daily, it is the sermon on the mount, I truly believe this habit had a major impact on my recovery/life).

    After taking the computer apart I was able to go 39 days without relapsing. However one Friday after work I had extra free time on my hands and I couldn't get myself under control. I had a thought earlier in the week about buying a computer on Friday because I knew I would have extra time over the weekend. By the time the weekend did finally roll around, I was toast. I was 33 year old man, on the floor of my living room in tears because I knew what I was about to do... Yet I still did it. I drove myself out to wal-mart like a junky looking for a fix and bought the cheapest laptop I could find so I could binge all weekend.

    After 3 separate binge sessions I have been clean ever since. I believe that the Holy Spirit has helped me keep my mind for lustful fantasy and that has been the difference. For those of you that don't believe in the Spirit, just know this: you must control your thoughts to over come this addiction! I have never been more sure of this then in these past 2 months. Whatever you have to do to come up with a way to get your mind under control, you have to do it. I believe this is the biggest reason for all the binge cycles and based on some of the posts on here I'm guessing it is effecting a lot more people than just me.

    This has been a lot longer post than I had planned. If you stuck it out for the whole post, thank you! Seriously, thank you! I'd love to hear from you guys and I plan on staying active. There are many other things we can do to combat this. But I truly believe in my heart that the front lines of the war, is in your mind.

    I hope my story can help you on your journey in some way.
  2. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Oh, this. So. Many. Times. My inner voice always screams that it's wrong, but the brain goes auto-pilot mode so easily.

    Welcome! The community motivates and encourages me, and I hope that you can find similar benefits.
  3. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Thank you sir! Good to be here. I think it will be good for me as well. Iron sharpens iron etc etc.

    Good to know I'm not the only one out there fighting this with all I got!
  4. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Your history (year of no pmo and then the cycle) is almost exactly the same as mine. I completely agree with controlling the thoughts. I have found lately that I cannot force myself to want to quit and stay clean; the motivation needs to come from within. Have you read the thread of the underdog?
  5. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    What's up Merton? I don't know if it is the ignorance of it being the first time around, but to me, it just has been so much more difficult the second time around. I think it's because from experience we know exactly how difficult the road back is going to be. It feels like we are starting all over. But I think that may be a misconception. I feel(hope at least) that we have to be in a much better mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual state now than if we would have never had our year clean. The 90 day reboot is important step in the process. But that's all it is, just one step. Not the end goal. The end goal is to be clean for good. To me every day clean is positive step in the process. (logically this makes so much sense, but emotionally it's never this clear cut)

    I agree you can't force yourself to want something. But you have to want this. And want it badly. Or else you wouldn't be putting yourself through this roller coaster of ups and downs of trying to quit such a painful addiction. Or even be on this board willing to share your struggles. I wouldn't doubt your desire for a second, I hope you don't either. Keep fighting my man.

    Not sure what you mean by your motivation coming from within though? It is hard to stayed motivated to do things. Even if you know that it is the "right" or "healthy" thing to do. Whether that thing is working out or eating clean. Staying motivated to do what is right is going to be a constant battle. Any suggestions for becoming/staying motivated? Now that I think about it, I guess I've always been a grit my teeth and try again kind of guy. (I've heard that doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result is the definition of insanity lol).

    I will check out the thread of the underdog for sure. Is it in another section of the board?

    Good luck out there sir!
    Merton likes this.
  6. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Here is the link to the underdog thread:

    It’s strange. For me, when I went over a year without porn, it was not really that difficult. I was so motivated to do it. After I relapsed, it became so much harder. I think at that point I started to get the idea that I will never get free. But I am starting to get that motivation back again, and abstaining is not as hard.

    When I mention motivation, I am thinking in the direction of what is said at recovery nation (thanks to @Gilgamesh for sending me this link):

    Actually it turns out my phone is blocking the site right now, but you can probably find it on the first page or so of my journal. As far as I remember, there are many possible types of motivation you can have to quit. One type is external: you want to quit because someone else wants you to (wife, family, etc.) Others are internal, but can still be of different types. First you may be motivated to quit to avoid pain (relapse and porn use is so draining and shame inducing). Second you may be motivated because you are excited about the possibility of life change. It seems like the first two types of motivation are usually not enough to actually quit. How many times have people kept using although their families think they are killing themselves? How many times have I kept using although it feels awful? Basically I just get amnesia a couple weeks later and forget that it was really that bad.

    With the desire to change the life motivation, it seems more long lasting. It is a positive motivation rather than a negative one. This is the type I had on the year streak and it took a very long time to fizzle out (since I eventually stopped cultivating it). Now that I think of it, this stuff sort of goes in line with the Slight Edge, which I am reading now.

    After the last relapse, what really got me to be more motivated was watching these Mark queppet videos (universal man on YouTube). I watched his porn recovery playlist from several years ago, and then many of his more recent videos (creep to king for example). Somehow he can get me to be excited about the idea of facing my fears, and finally trying to stop being terrified of so many things (relapse in particular).
    -Luke- likes this.
  7. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    I think so, yeah. My very first attempt was completely different; everything was fresh and exciting. Every following attempt has been unsuccessful due to impatience. I seem to have finally convinced myself that this is going to take time, and that I will let it take time.
  8. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Got back home yesterday from a weekend long retreat with some friends from church. Got to spend some time in the Word with fellow believers. It was up north in Michigan, so it was a little chilly. But it was a good time and I was able to get out in the woods by myself for a little bit. I don't know who it was, but I've read in multiple places on this board about getting out in nature and how it helps you mentally. And I in my short time, I would have to agree. For me it was something of a spiritual experience. The world is an amazing place. I look forward to coming up with ways of getting out and experiencing creation more often. Especially with summer and warmer weather right around the corner.

    For some reason or another. I've had more difficulty keeping my thoughts under control these past couple of days. It has come completely out of no where and has caught me a little off guard. It reminded me of an earlier reboot about year or so ago. I had gotten to around 60 days or so, thought I had it whooped, and then totally blew it! I was so incredibly disappointed by that relapse. The thought of that failure has both humbled me and motivated me. That shit is not happening to me this time. Bring on the pain, loneliness, anxiety, etc etc. None of it could possibly be worse than the experience of continuing to live my life a slave to lust.

    My current mindset above may not totally line up with this right at the moment. But I totally agree with you long term. I believe a lot of the progress I've made this time around was because I was able to keep my mind out of the gutter. But I did this by focusing on positive things I was doing/wanted to do in the future. Not by trying really hard to not think something negative. But it to replace it with focusing/thinking on something positive. I've personally never had much luck with the "empty your mind" sort of stuff. - Side bar: I have read the book Slight Edge many years ago. If memory serves it was a good read. I may have to pull it back off the bookshelf.

    We are not starting over. We are continuing on. Let me hit you with a little motivation from JFK (who may have been talking about going to the moon, but as far as I'm concerned going to the moon and quitting porn are on a similar difficulty setting):
  9. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    And we get to see so much more of it when not bound to a computer. When I was younger and less addicted, I used to go on long summer walks under a blue sky. Life doesn't get much better if you ask me.

    And yeah, I've always said that even if I struggle for years, there was no going back once I discovered this addiction. Learning of the problem did a lot for me, for good and bad.
    SeekingWisdom and -Luke- like this.
  10. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    These past few days have been a little weird mentally. I just don't seem to have the iron clad mind that I've had the past few weeks and things have been more difficult. I don't know if this is just a 'low' point in my recovery or what. The only think I've done differently is play video games a little more these past couple days. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. But my buddies have been playing Apex lately and it's been a lot of fun playing with them (and it's free). I am not sure if this has anything to do with it or if it is just coincidence.

    Oddly enough, one of the things that is helping me is my past failure around this day range in a past 'reboot'. Because I know I've had difficulties around this time of my recovery in the past, for whatever reason it's made me a little more mentally balanced than last time. I think in the past it was a negative mindset like "oh no, I'm over 60 days in and these cravings are killer, I'm never going to get over this!" But I know that's not true. It's all a lie. I will no longer believe this lie. If I continue to resist the devil I know that he will flee.

    To be clear, I'm still not engaging in constant fantasy, but it seems to be more difficult to brush off as well as 'attacking' more often.... not sure if I'm making any sense.

    My action plan to break out of this: To recommit myself to my prayers, I know I can't do this without the Spirit. I am always stubborn and try to do things on my own. I have to be reminded to give this struggle to Him. I will also to try and spend as much time reading books as I do playing video games.

    On a positive note: Tonight is basketball night! Plus this weekend is supposed to be really nice out! Looking forward to getting outside and doing some more yard work and walking my dog.

    Keep fighting fellas!
    TrueSelf and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  11. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Willpower is finite, sadly. I used to think that I could do this on an iron will alone, but it's not that simple. I'm still bad at coming up with healthy routines, but I've added a few which help keep the addiction at bay.
  12. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Still been struggling a bit. My mind keeps bringing up old P games I used to play and the fact that they have been updated since I've last played. I'm not dwelling on these thoughts, but the fact that they keep hitting much me more frequently then they were previously in weeks, is becoming frustrating. All I can do is keep fighting and giving these thoughts to the Lord. I don't have any other explanation. I suppose for a non believer they would say that I am replacing a negative thought immediately with another more positive. To "capture every thought" to put it Biblical.

    Logically looking at this after I type it out, it just makes no sense. Why I am craving something so badly that has brought me nothing but suffering. It's not even real women in these games. Just computer generated pixels. So frustrating.

    No point in dwelling on the past though. I must stay focused on the present.

    Also I wanted to add:
    I've seen a lot of guys on here going through some tough times and have made it through the valley with out acting on their initial impulse (one that has been ingrained in their brain pathways). And it has be really encouraging! Thank you guys and keep up the good work!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
    Bezoechow and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  13. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I think that it's because it's not a logical or reasonable part of ourselves that is asking for it. It's a more primal part. A part that wants comfort and a sense of security (but it doesn't know it's very short term).

    I've been bombarded quite a lot these last days as well with fantasizing and urges :( I've noticed, though, that when I procrastinate and don't seize the day too efficiently, they are worst. Here's to a decent day tomorrow !
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  14. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    There is something I've been struggling with for a while now and that is while being on this forum tremendously helps me (mainly in the beginning of my streaks) it's also the last remaining link with porn when I want to give up porn. Ofcourse we are not actually watching porn, but we are still talking about porn and, because we are actively dealing with it, thinking about it on a daily basis. I've read your journal and what I see is that you were doing pretty good until you started this journal and than gradualy things became harder. Now I'm not gonna say that this forum is not helping you and that you are not helping others by posting here (which I honestly think is totally awesome), but I do think it's good to at least consider if being on here actually tightened your strings with porn and whether it wouldn't be better for you if you went back to real life and do all these things that you find important. Not that I want you gone from here, but perhaps right now is not the best time to be here.
    SeekingWisdom and Merton like this.
  15. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    I have also definitely found this to be true. The more I obsess about porn (even quitting porn or porn addiction strategies) and the less I live my life and look forward to things, the worse I do. I also do not mean to say this is what is going on in the original posters case, but something I have experienced myself.
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I've also found this to be true. But I think it's a double edged sword. I've relapsed off the forum and I've relapsed using the forum. It's for sure being on here constantly reading and commenting about P is gonna keep it close in our mind. On the other hand, the support and offering support as well can truly help I find. Perhaps the solution is a half way measure where we don't over use this place. In my case, for example, I can feel when I'm on here procrastinating (hence not the good way) and when I'm on here truly in a recovery mood. Right now, for example, I'm procrastinating lol.
  17. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    I avoid most parts of the forum because I know that it might trigger me. That said, I need to make some kind of commitment to reboot, and the journal is a very good place. When I avoid coming here, I just don't care. I've always envisioned that I'll be able to leave the forum when I've recovered, but if so, I need to be absolutely sure that I won't head down the wrong path again.

    It's the call of the addiction. We can be convinced that it's wrong, but the brain craves a fix so badly that it defies any logic.
  18. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Last week I got home from work and was online trying to stream a replay for the Spurs Champions League game. By the time I got home from work here in the states, I would have only been able to see the last 10 minutes or so and I wanted to watch it from the start. When I got on to one of the replays the ad that ran before the replay was actually an advertisement to 3d sex game. Holy #*@^! what are the odds of this? The one thing I absolutely did not want to see no matter what, the one thing that would trigger me the most and it shows up 1o minutes in while looking for something completely innocent! I turned it off as quickly as I possible could and found the replay on another site. But still, caught me off guard.

    But other than that, things have been going okay. Crave - reject, crave - reject, crave - reject, ad nauseam.

    I believe you may be on to something here (all of you). I am pretty new to this forum and while I have had recent success. I have basically been on fast of anything that enters my brain that can effect it negatively. I have basically stopped listening to any secular music except when the radio is on at work. I don't watch TV unless there is a sports game on and I am on no form of social media at all. I believe this has really helped my reboot in a very positive way. I truly believe that. But I cannot live in a bubble and my attempts to play some video games and get on this site have proven difficult for my brain to deal with. I will have to handle both this forum and my video game playing with extreme caution. I would like to use them on a limited basis. I hope to still jump on here once a week to post and reply to some of your journals.

    Thank you all for your advice. I believe it will help me as I try to reintroduce things to my life that are not inherently "bad" but have lead me to relapse because of my weaknesses. Someday I will be strong enough that things like sharing on this site will not effect me in a negative way.

    Thanks again and keep up the good fight!
  19. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    I tread very carefully around ads. What may seem innocent to most (not that your experience was in any way) can be ruinous to me.

    It's good to see that you're doing well. I'd only spend time here if it actually helps you. This may seem selfish, but I think that the forum should only be used as a tool for the reboot process. If it doesn't work, there are other tools.
    SeekingWisdom likes this.
  20. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Things have been going okay. I've had to stay home from work sick today. Nothing exciting to report. I'm coming up on 90 days. I wish I could say that things are going really easy and I'm having no trouble at all. But that is not the case. Some days are better than others. But the draw for the dopamine hit from those games still pops up in my brain on a regular basis and I have to keeping fighting to push them away and not dwell on them. I still feel like I am in a bit of a funk. Although I will admit that I have much more energy than before.

    In the past a read an old post somewhere from a guy who had gone past the 90 days and was still crazy depressed and was not "rebooted" at all. For some reason or another he kept on going though and eventually there was a light at the end of the tunnel. My point is that I don't really expect to be "cured" at the 90 day point. But I am looking forward to the mental clarity that I have had before. I am sure I will always have to be on guard against this addiction for the rest of my life, but I look forward to this mental clarity much more than I do hitting the 90 day mark. Not that I won't celebrate with some ice cream :)

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