Fresh start again ...

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by positivef, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    My story is fairly typical for readers of this board. I've been addicted to porn for roughly 25 years to varying degrees. It has twisted and ruined my sexuality. It helped kill off my only long term relationship.

    But that relationship ended four years ago now. I've been thinking a lot about my sexuality and whether I can learn to have healthier concepts around sex and relationships. I suffer from porn induced erectile dysfunction and I'm never had a good sexual relationship with a woman. I don't know if I can recover but I don't want to turn back even if I can't.

    At the start of the year I was porn free for about four months. Somehow I'm back here again, making a fresh start. I haven't looked at porn since the last day in June - my goal is to make it to the end of the year, then to a year and to kick it for good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  2. Grey1717

    Grey1717 New Member

    As someone who could hardly dream of making it four months where I am now, your story's inspirational. You have my prayers for your recovery.
     
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  3. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Thanks that means a lot. I'm sure you will get there. The frustrating thing is despite seeing small but encouraging improvements I still fell in. I think it was partly due to not processing depression/ low feelings very well.
     
  4. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Active Member

    Welcome back Positivef. The goal is to be P-free the route to that is mysterious but just as in a game some days we move forward with confidence other days we slide backwards hardly able to believe that when the finish line approaches we have honoured our opponent.

    Peace and every good.
     
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  5. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Yes, the ups and downs are mysterious but we keep on fighting.
     
  6. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I wonder about the same thing. I think part of it comes down to self belief (or lack of). I remember my therapist told me to "treat the brain as if it needs bringing back into line", i.e. use mental techniques to make the benefits of quitting more prominent in your neural pathways. This is something that needs to be done day after day to make tiny incremental changes. Over time, it should strengthen commitment to recovery.
     
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  7. realness

    realness Member

    That was me today. I'm being honest with myself though and I can pinpoint moments where I could have made a firm decision. I could have taken concrete steps to change my thinking and literally put myself in a different place. But I consciously let the allure take hold and my path was set.

    Stay in the fight bro, happy to be fighting with you
     
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  8. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Six days, still in. I've had plenty of sexual thoughts but have been able to brush them aside. Being single, I'm aware of the trap of feeling clean making think I'm more ready for a relationship, the down side being the feeling can turn into feeling horny and sexualising people. I need to focus more on being clean and letting the sexual thoughts pass quickly. There are also some women from my past that I need to let go and not obsess over.

    Yes, incrementally increasing the good pathways and let the bad ones fade. I think that is where I veered off course after a few months clean, I stop consciously building good pathways and slow the bad ones crept back in.

    I need help with this in all areas of lack. My self-discipline is low. I need to get used to set the bar and reaching it without anyone watching, even if others' standards around me are quite different.

    That is the worst when you can feel that glimmer of choice but you fall in anyway or don't pull away soon enough. That is why I'm paying attention to any small thoughts and choosing not to follow the path down as soon as possible. Here's to more good choices.

    I've found this subreddit good for reminding me how badly porn effects partners and what strange dark places porn can take you. Though, like most things it's easy to spend too much focus on it.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/loveafterporn/
     
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  9. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    I few years ago I realized often times I wouldn't be horny, but I'd still force my to masturbate - because I wanted the high. Sometimes I still craving the high when I'm not physically horny, but now I just let it pass. In another post someone mentioned not using any hands to masturbate, because they associated hands with porn usage. This could be a good way to only cum when I'm really horny. I'm going to try this if I fall into masturbating. (to clarify, I don't see anything wrong with masturbating, but I'm abstaining to help reset my brain.)
     
  10. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    . Masturbiating is the devils spawn ! Dont listen to the medical community---- there is something wrong with it ! You expend your energy it's not natural ! Has a SERIOUS effect on your prostrate
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
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  11. realness

    realness Member

    Over the last few months it's become clear to me that M has always led to PMO for me. Using M to blow of steam and not going to PMO looks good on paper, but as others have noted it most often creates the chaser effect and takes you down. I just made it all the way through @Saville journal and it convinced me of this, and it matches up with what I have experienced in my journey. My journey is very similar to yours in age and years enslaved by this stuff, but it's your decision on whether to M or not. I don't think it's good for your brain wiring, your prostate, or as an outlet for your energy.

    Just my 2 cents. Happy to be journeying with you bro.
     
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  12. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Thanks for the replies about masturbating. I'd not heard that it is bad for the prostate. I'm going to try to refrain as a secondary target; but my main aims are to give up porn and improve my life.
    I'm not doing too badly with avoiding porn. Just a few pangs of missing the high and occasional idealization of being with a woman. I can feel my body and mind easing a little from the strain of frequent pmo.
    However, the depression has kicked in. I hate almost everything about my life. Trying to work on a plan, on a plan of where to start. But even that is taking forever, feeling lethargic. Easy swayed with distractions, mindless surfing and lack self discipline. Stating it here may act as a reminder - I don't want to keep complain afterwards but act when I have the chance.
     
  13. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Mindless surfing is never a good idea. Ever considered trying a 'dopamine detox'? It basically means giving up your phone, computer, the Internet etc for 24 hours. For a whole day, you're only allowed to do stuff like go for a walk, read, meditate, reflect on life, write journal posts (on paper) etc. It won't instantly fix all your problems but it's quite a powerful technique and can help to teach your brain how to appreciate regular, everyday stuff. I did it once a while back and found it helpful.

    This is just one example but there are many similar videos on YouTube.

     
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  14. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    @forlorn that is an interesting and helpful video. It was gruesome, if informative, to hear about the rat experiments. I hadn't considered aimless surfing as high dopamine compared to doing something constructive. More as lethargic, but as guess the two aren't incompatible - as shown in the rat experiment. It was interesting that music was considered high dopamine, I've notice a similarity between constantly searching new music and endless edging looking for the next greatest image.
    I'm going to delay listening to music until the afternoon and try a detox on Sunday.
     
  15. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Ha, I failed on the dopamine detox plan! Maybe next Sunday. I got caught up in an email I was trying to finish. I ended up surfing a round a bit, but to a lesser degree. I didn't get caught up playing endless short games of online chess, no online chess in fact. The more I try to put my mind to useful projects the more I realise my concentration is shot, or at least in a state of great disrepair. Even this morning trying to focus on my thoughts my mind fall to my cock, desperately trying to cling to any distraction. Tell me what is the point of Youtube comments? They seem to amplify the banal and crude, any constructive conversation lost in the mire. Even less productive than a subreddit, time is the victim.

    Another worrying habit I've picked up on is after exercise. I may feel a shade less bad about my self but then I start looking at the folk around and sexualizing people instead of seeing souls. I going to try the red x method to get on top of that one.

    Lots to learn and process about myself, but I've not used porn or masturbated for two weeks - so that is some progress.
     
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  16. realness

    realness Member

    That is some progress! Cheering you on bro. I hear on you the lost concentration. I wonder how it has been impacted by our PMO addictions. @Saville 's journal has been really encouraging to me about taking action, especially in small steps of small jobs or tidying up an area of the home. This gets you moving forward with smaller accomplishments. Since I just relapsed, this is advice I'm going to act on as it gets me moving in recovery again instead of wallowing.
     
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  17. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Thanks, I'll check out Saville's journal. I do have a nasty habit of expecting too much too soon - planning way too much and getting disappointed.
     
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  18. realness

    realness Member

  19. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Hi realness.

    Not bad, I haven't slipped. But I've had some negative feelings tempting me back to the void. In the past I would use sexual fantasies to numb feelings. But I'm attempting to cut these fantasies off at the root. Currently I using the 'red x' method and I've made a hotkey on my computer to sound the Family Fortunes wrong buzzer. Especially tricky is cutting down desire for women I have known in the past.
    My life is a frustrating mess, a complete tip. I've cut down on some responsibilities to try to restructure.
    I think I'm going to make a list of all the shameful and stupid things I've done in the of porn:
    #1 - Creating endless fake email, Facebook and other social media accounts for the purpose of edging.
     
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  20. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    That’s great progress! Keep going!
     
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