Giving it a go

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Darak-Black, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    This is my first day on this site, figured I would start a journal, see if it can help me keep clean.

    Porn is something I started using when I was very young, I grew up in a house that was pretty darn dysfunctional, my dad was emotionally distant, and me and my siblings all figure he was (and still is) a malignant narcissist. He is the kind of person that is there, but trying to connect on any emotional level is impossible. My mom was just hanging on for dear life, trying her best not to make him mad, and so she was not terribly present or emotionally available either. My solution was always to find an escape of some form or another, at first i mostly turned to games of imagination and fantasies of making huge feature length films with complex stories, I would hide away doing that as much as I possibly could. It wasn't long before different forms of sexual stimulation became one of my go to escapes, and oddly enough, it provided a form of connection to something, since I didn't really have much connection with my parents. (Thanks oxytocin release from sexual stimulation)

    I found internet porn when I was about 12 or so, hooking up a computer late at night on good old dial up internet, so that no one would notice i was using the internet. I was both fascinated and scarred, it was amazing and horrible. That was the beginning of me taking things to extremes with porn, watching it to an unhealthy level. year after year it just got worse and worse, I used it more and more as an escape and as an excuse to not deal with my own problems, have a really tough day? just drown it all out with a long evening at the computer.

    The older i got the worse it became. As technology advanced porn become easier and easier to access, it went from being something i had to collect, in books and file folders on a computer, to something that i could easily sit in my bed with a Chromebook and with the simple thought of, I want to watch porn, i had an endless bottomless library right at my finger tips. This all too quickly escalated in perfect sync with my own escalating addiction.

    As years passed, I felt like, porn was a problem, but i had time, I could quit later. Years have passed, countless relationships have collapsed, I have failed to hold down any kind of meaningful job, and found myself in a life largely dictated by my own inability to cope in a healthy way. I know that porn is far from the end of my emotional issues holding me back in life, but it is a major issue, that has so many negative effects on my life, and acts as a coping mechanism that prevents me from solving the compounding and seemingly ever present problems that arise again and again in my life, with little to no progress.

    I turned 30 this year, and the cycle continues to damage my relationships both romantic and platonic, my career, my finances and my happiness. the weight of realizing that I am 30 and my life progress has been minimal, has weighed down on me a great deal. Today is the beginning of what I hope is the last time I try to quit porn.

    I have begun my journey with a commitment to quitting, by creating an account here on this site, and by installing strict filters on my home network in hopes that they will at least make it easier to break the habit with a small roadblock.

    Crossing my fingers, that this time, I can turn at least one small part of my life around, and stop this consuming habit.
     
  2. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    This single post, is my general resource guide, I wanted to get it in early on in the journal for easy reference. It will grow over time as I learn and progress.

    This is a post i intend to frequently update as I work my way through this journey. This guide will include things that are specific for my own journey that are designed to help me break the habit.

    Break the path: ways to change what your mind is thinking of just long enough to help me come back to my senses if triggered or if I start going down the path of porn.

    * iPod with music on it. Keep on iPod with random none sexual music next to my bed, and crank it up and listen to it if triggered.
    * Rubber band on wrist - its a cliche, it doesn't need to be painful, but just some sensation that is not what I am used to when I am getting into that mood.




    Bed time routine. For me its when I am going to bed that is the most dangerous time, where I am most likely to look at porn, i have been using it to help me go to sleep for years, and its an ingrained habit at this point. its really hard to go to sleep sometimes without it.

    Bed Time Don'ts
    *Do not keep laptop or chromebook next to the bed
    *

    Bed Time Routines that are safe
    * Read a book
    * Listen to nature sounds while going to sleep, crashing waves, cricket, etc.
    * play old N64 games on a self contained Retro Pi (so I don't have access to the internet)

    This post is a work in progress, it shall be updated and adjusted as time goes on. right now its pretty half baked, but stay tuned, it should get better.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  3. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forums. You can be proud of yourself by going on the path to recovery! I wish you all the best.
     
  4. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Thanks BoughtWithBlood :) I really appreciate the welcome post :)
     
  5. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Day 1

    I have successfully been porn free, and masturbation free for 1 day.

    I am focusing almost everything i have exclusively on quitting, trying to keep up as much reserve will power as possible by not focusing on anything else that requires a bunch of will power. Even with that being said, this Journey has already become quite a challenge. I can't sleep very well at all without falling back on porn and masturbation sometimes, last night was a night that was exceptionally hard in this regard. I would normally have gone to bed around midnight, maybe 1am, but I was having really strong urges, and I ended up staying up most of the night in order to resist the urge to masturbate to fall asleep.

    I recently, about a month ago, got out of a relationship (another reason I am extra devoted to quitting porn, pretty sure my habit contributed pretty heavily toured the failure and collapse of said relationship, and its clear that needs to change) and I was feeling incredibly lonely, and missing my former girlfriend really badly. One way, I cope with that is porn use, trying to get someone else, anyone else in my head, and to flood my brain with oxytocin so I can feel connected, and not so lonely. I know if I do use porn, it will come back and bite me ever harder with even more loneliness once the oxytocin high wears off, but its so hard to resist when your feeling so lonely, and missing someone so dang much.

    Luckily, I managed to binge watch a ton of TV instead (who ever thought binge watching a ton of TV would be an accomplishment and show of progress ) and drown my urges with weight lifting and just staying away from my bed until I was so utterly exhausted I was almost falling asleep in my chair. Today has been much the same, just trying to not strain myself with anything that requires too much willpower, so I have some to spare if the urge to relapse really hits me.

    I am taking some time today to put together alternative things to do, to keep me away from triggering activities. I setup a cool little retro gaming machine a year or two ago, and I have been working today on getting that back up and running. its essentially a RetroPi. IE a little DIY gaming console that can run old retro games. My hope is that having a console like this, that is self contained and super retro, will allow me to stay away from the computer if I am in a highly triggered state, and still allow me to engage in something that can really fill my mind with something to do, to help me last it out until the cravings pass. In short, I am building things, into my space, and life, that I am hoping I can turn to, to help me through this journey.

    I wanted to document my emotions a bit in this journal, this last day has been all over the place with my emotions, both feeling great, and feeling utterly terrible. I have felt soul crushingly lonely, and I have felt really comfortable and good, sometimes changing back and forth rather rapidly. I would say, my emotions are highly unstable on day one. crying, to laughing, to utterly depressed and back again.

    That is all for today, hunkering down, and just trying to make it through one more day. One day at a time.
     
  6. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hey welcome to the forum.

    Indeed, I know that feeling. Honestly, it's definitely the lesser of two evils when it comes to binging on porn. I think watching a decent enough show on television is an okay thing to do when we need to get back to recovery or when we want to relax. Other people go for videogames. It can also be a good way to reward ourselves and, to be honest, staying away from porn, especially when the cravings are high because of recent usage, is something that deserves a pat on the back.

    Yeah, I'm in a similar place right now with urges just around the corner and I think it's not an unwise choice to go easy on ourselves. As long as we truly stay away from the bad stuff. It's good to mix some healthy things and then to relax as well if possible. Kind of a middle ground that can prove at times a little elusive.

    The DIY gaming console sounds pretty cool !

    Good luck forward.
     
  7. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Thanks! I am glad to be here :) I am so dang impressed with the positive reception I have gotten :) Thanks for stopping by and saying hi :)

    No kidding, it almost feels like a video game in and of itself, trying to balance the resources you have so no one obstacle in life really takes you out. Only have enough will power to spend on a certain set of things each "turn"

    Good luck to you too man! :)
     
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  8. realness

    realness Active Member

    Wow man, you're off to a helluva good start. You have solid reasons for quitting, you're launching into healthy activities to replace the unhealthy coping mechanism of PMO, and you're exercising some great will power with the urges. Well done man. Be kind to yourself, 30 is an awesome age to tackle this and put it behind you. You're so young! There will definitely be highs and lows in your journey. Take advantage of this place and any other safe places or relationships where you can address this and process the ups and downs along the way.
     
  9. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Thanks Realness, its been tough already, but I imagine that it will be for a very long time, and that it is for everyone. This forum alone has already given me a sense of connection in relation to this challenge, thank you for dropping by and chiming in, the encouragement is greatly appreciated :)
     
  10. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Day 2

    Today has been a really strange day, with weird mixes of emotions both good and bad. I feel calm, and much more focused then I typically am. I feel capable of having bigger highs and happier emotions then what is my status quo, but I am also getting hit with soul crushing feelings of loneliness. I had a number of flash backs to my last relationship, that made me both miss her very dearly, and brought on severe urges to relapse, its been a full on battle most of the day just to not dive down the rabbit hole again.

    I imagine this is probably where the real battle begins, where my sexual drive kicks back into gear, and resisting the urge starts to become a serious challenge. day 2, and its already incredibly hard and overwhelming. My emotions are really all over the place, feeling both high anxiety (probably associated with my past trauma more then the addiction there) and positive comfortable feelings. I feel more able to connect with my dogs, and feel a little closer to my family. I live at home right now, with some siblings and my mom, but I also feel more lonely, and am almost crying quite often, its quite a ride right now.

    I cannot keep repeating the same mistakes, I have to break this habit, I know my life could be really awesome. and I know that won't all fall into place in quick order, but I am quite confident it won't fall into place if I break, especially so soon.

    The second half of today has been tough, but I am pulling through, around noon to about 2 oclock, I was getting overwhelmed with urges, and a lot of emotion, all at the same time. But right now, things are better, my emotions are all over the place, but I am not experiencing any overwhelming cravings, which gives me hope. Gonna spend the evening very much entrenched in games and tv, low will power engagements that set a different bed time habit then I have had. it will be the 3rd night I have gone without porn, which is surprisingly big for me, during such a depressing point in my life, since typically when I am feeling down, that is my coping mechanism.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  11. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    Hang in there! Set some sort term goals that are reachable and realistic.
     
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  12. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    You make a good point, gotta set a goal that seems more reachable, 10 days, gotta make 10 days right now :)
     
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  13. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    I have set a lot of unrealistic goals for myself in the past. Beating myself up for not reaching 90 days while I should’ve been celebrating the 60 days. In therapy I’m learning to set reachable goals and making plans to make it happen.

    10 days is a very good start. The trick is to not think “after 10 days I can binge” but making a plan dor those 10 days, giving yourself a small reward. Then set another goal with a little bigger reward. And so on.. :)
     
  14. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    yeah, 60 days, i honestly don't know if I have made it 60 days, well, in basically 15 years or more. So from my perspective that is one hell of a success story to rock 60 days. it is tough though, to not just beat yourself up when you relapse, even if you have made a ton of progress. I definitely fall into that trap, quite a lot.

    oh gosh, that would be super counter productive, to just plan on relapsing after a goal marker. I am just gonna celebrate a little at 10 days, and set a new goal. like any other project :) one step at a time :)
     
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  15. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    You have the right mindset! I wish you all the best!
     
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  16. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Day 3

    Today has been a lot easier for the most part, my mood has been a lot higher, I actually feel generally more content and happier then I tend to be. I am still in territory I am familiar with, because in the past, I have tried, half hardheartedly to quit before, but have had very minimal success, the most I have ever managed to do without any porn use was about a week, maybe a week and a half, and I have always found myself being happier and generally living a better life, having better connections with friends and family, and generally just being happier from about day 3 on, until I relapse and lose all my progress, and fall off the horse completely.

    Resisting the urge to watch porn has been completely different today, because its more of an exciting draw, and less of a need to watch it to cope. Which has made resisting difficult in a different way, but I am managing to do it. and its definitely more of a choice I feel I get to make, instead of a full on battle. The pathways in my brain have definitely been firing though, so its kinda like driving a car that just wants to steer left real hard, and i have to actively be holding the steering wheel straight, with some effort.

    I have been chatting with more people, and having better interactions, considerably better, then I normally do, I feel more clever, more engaged, and more interesting. I feel like I actually care a little bit about what people are saying, and whats happening in conversations. I am really curious if I am just getting back my dopamine super fast, or if once i have made 90 days, if I will be someone completely different who is just actually excited about life, and super engaged with the world? crossing my fingers i can find out in 90 days from now. Current goal though, just 10 days, something I can see and manage. Thanks for the advice on that one guys, setting small goals is really making this feel manageable :)

    knowing that i am posting on this forum, and that there are a couple people who have commented on this series, has really helped me keep steady, so thank you everyone who has taken the time to comment on this series, you guys have helped me so much in keeping me on track already :) I really appreciate it :)


    Day 3 update: About 7pm

    I suddenly got hit with cravings, really strong ones, and my head is getting filled with fantasies even as I try to push them away. I am holding together, but barely, had to come here to write something to keep my self together. might have to go take a drive or something else just to get out of the house.

    Day 3 update: About 11:30pm

    its been a tough day in a lot of ways, I was not too terribly productive, but I did manage to keep my streak going, and right now, with my current goals, that is enough for me :) had more ups and downs today then I was anticipating, but really great moments where I felt better then I have in months! and some really depressed lows, kinda interesting swings to experience, certainly fascinating to observe for me. hard, but interesting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
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  17. Joost

    Joost Member

    Welcome Darak,

    Watching porn always leaves you disillusioned, until you see it for the lie it is. Then you will leave IT.
    Do something useful and don't get to hung up about the days. You'll regret it.

    Joost
     
  18. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Thanks Joost! I am glad to be here :)

    Yeah, porn is sure as heck empty, leaving you with nothing. Its amazing what a little brain wiring can do though in making it tempting

    I will definitely try not to get too disappointed if (although who are we kidding, its when) I fall off the horse, I like counting them anyway though, it helps me have a goal to aim for :) at least for right now. kinda like having a distance you managed to long jump, that beating your last goal, especially early on, really gives you some motivation and something to reach for. once I am rocking more days in a row, I might stop focusing on the days as much. as it will be more overwhelming to think about racking the days up again if I fall off the horse
     
  19. Darak-Black

    Darak-Black New Member

    Well, there it goes, I had a relapse this morning. It was small, short lived, and its surprisingly hard not to fall down the rabbit hole with multiple binging sessions, but I have managed to resist. I actually kept the time I wasted on masturbation and fantasy short lived, which is actually huge progress for me. I tend to go for hours typically, and while it was hard to resist just going and going, I managed to quickly get things over with, and jump right back on the horse.

    resisting right now, from going from a small stumble off the horse to a full binging session, resisting the urge to binge, is giving me a headache, which is interesting.

    In the advice I have gotten right here, thanks guys, I am going to set a small goal, 6 days, I think that is something I might be able to reach.
     
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on not going on a binge. You can definitely keep building from here ! See if you can have a good rest of the day. A good tomorrow starts today ! :)
     
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