Here we go... I need some accountability to keep going

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Lowdo, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi there - this is completely new to me, having never posted on a forum of any sort before. I think I need to do this tho, so I'm posting this on my phone from a corner of the pub. There might be typos...

    I'm 42, married, and have a young daughter. I've struggled with PMO addiction since my teens and, like a lot of people, have found it much more difficult since the internet came along.

    Until 4 years ago I struggled in silence and things got progressively worse. I finally got the courage (still not sure how) to share with my wife - she was amazingly supportive and that was definitely the beginning of my efforts to sort this out.

    I have relapsed several times since then but I discovered the NoFap community last year and started a proper reboot at the beginning of Oct last year. I've now been PMO free for 105 days - I think my longest stretch for a very long time.

    The last week tho (I really don't know why as life has been very good) I've been really struggling with temptation and have even gone as far as googling phrases I know I shouldn't - the kind of searches that seem OK but you know where they're leading. Unhelpfully I also stumbled on a mainstream erotic book which I really didn't need...

    Sorry to have rambled a bit but I've been hanging around the forum for a few weeks and I've found you guys a real inspiration. I'm serious about stopping for good - I'm already feeling the benefits of such a long clean run and I don't want to lose it. So I guess with this post I'm drawing a line in the sand and saying I'm not going back...

    Oh - and I'm also a Christian and have been so encouraged that I'm not the only one here!
     
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  2. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Welcome, Lowdo.

    Those types of things happen to the best of us, and when in early recovery, they can unfortunately lead you right back to a PMO binge. Don't worry about being perfect is my best advice, if that happens just observe and move on...this disease is deep rooted and it will take a long time to unwind.

    I'm about 8 months clean after about 4 years of fighting, and I still get the creepy fingers from time to time.

    The key is to realize what's going on and simply shut it down. And then don't stress about it, don't worry about it one bit.

    Peeking used to pull me under and has many, many times over the past 4 years...but it doesn't anymore, and I think that is for two reasons, number one -- I have unwired a lot of the stimulus response to peeking in the last 8 months, and two...I made an iron clad commitment to myself that I will never PMO ever again. Ever.

    I could watch porn on my phone, edge my dick in the shower, have cravings from mad stress, whatever the trigger might be -- I will never PMO again.

    That's all it takes to win.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    Squire and Lowdo like this.
  3. Rex

    Rex PMO free is the only way it's going to be for me.

    Lowdo,

    Welcome to the forum! My story is exactly like you I have been a PMO addict since my teens. Prayer is one the best tools in this battle, for I truly believe we can't beat this battle alone without those special graces from God to be victorious in this battle. I am convinced it was my fervent prayers that led me back to this forum board. Since I have come back after an almost 3 year hiatus, I have gone 2 full weeks free from PMO. It's been a struggle since I am a daily PMO addict. I am feeling the hurt today in terms of the urges, but I am not going to give in, no matter what. The urges will eventually go away.

    You mentioned something very important, about not wandering into the occasions of sin. It's that casual Internet browsing where you start looking or reading certain things which aren't porn (example: a beautiful woman in a bikini advertisement) but these type of things get the juices flowing in your brain especially during a recovery period, and before you know it you are falling to PMO. Try to catch yourself immediately and go to another website or shutdown your computer. Do whatever it takes before the avalanche starts. When connecting to the Internet you may want to take a minute and write down what you are going to do before you connect - examples: do work, read email, check news, etc. and as soon as you are done doing those items you wrote down shut the computer down.

    Remember when the temptations hit, pray and also realize that no matter how bad they get they will subside and go away eventually. If you begin to beat the temptation every time it rears it's head, the temptation loses its power over you, and the urges lessen over time.

    Participating in this board with writing a daily journal and posting in others' journals is really helpful therapy. There's a lot of success stories on this board. I have found these 5 tips written by a board member who has been free from PMO for 3 years, to be very helpful in my recovery:

    https://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com...es-5-tips-to-success-must-read-updated.19732/

    Good luck to you in the this battle, you can do it!

    Rex

    >>>>>>>>>
     
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  4. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi Rex and 40 - thanks for the tips and encouragement! It's good to be part of a community looking out for each other.

    Be strong!
     
  5. Lowdo, welcome! I'm a Christian too. Quite a few on this forum. And, frankly, all of my success I attribute to Jesus freeing me. Giving up control and declaring myself righteous in Him. It's worked. My cravings for P have diminished HUGELY (or "bigly" in Trump speech, ha). 105 days is amazing so I know you have the ability to beat this. Lots of amazing people here so visit often, post often, be honest, and you'll overcome this. Commitment is crucial.
     
    Squire likes this.
  6. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Also, you need to block porn on all your devices. That is just critical.
     
  7. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Thanks 40 - i'm already running Open DNS filtering on the home router which has been a huge help. I've specifically blocked a couple of extra sites (tumblr etc) as well.

    Tbh, i could do with adding some stricter filtering (reddit & youtube) on troublesome devices though. Have you got any recommended filtering software for android?
     
  8. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    All good for one more day - starting posting here amd feeling part of a community is helping 'bigly' ;-)

    Will be heading to sleep soon as have early morning tomorrow - leaving tablet downstairs to remove any temptation to browse the web instead of sleeping.

    Take care everyone!
     
  9. Oneway

    Oneway Active Member

    Welcome Lowdo! Nice to have you on board. You're a few weeks further down the road of being porn free than me. Over 100 days clean is a great achievement. Something truly to be grateful about.

    Be careful with those google searches and other compromizing stuff. I know all about the actions innocent on the surface, but still deep down motivated by addiction/lust. They have led me to a quick slide to the bottom of the pmo-pit more times than I care to remember.

    Personally I have found it helpful to adopt a zero tolerance approach towards every action that (if I'm honest to myself) I know is somehow motivated by the addict within. During my 83 days clean this attitude has saved me from taking that first decisive step towards relapse many times already.

    Putting as many barriers between me and porn is another thing that has been crucial. I have tried to make it as difficult as possible to act on an sudden impulse. I have achieved this by good filters and by totally giving up using a device I can't install efficient filter on. Still I know all the filters can be bypassed. They are a good tool but not a solution.

    Also keeping the consequences of using porn clear in mind has been useful to me. When tempted and having urges I go through the negative consequences PMOing will (re)introduce in my life. Choosing to watch porn, I choose also all the bad stuff that comes along. This has helped me to make a good rational choise away from porn several times already.

    God bless and all the best for your porn free journey!
     
  10. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hey Oneway - thanks for all the encouragement! You're right about keeping in mind all the negative consequences - as the day count goes up it's too easy to allow ourselves to forget and think it doesn't matter.

    I'm still doing ok - after my struggle (and very near fall) last week, I'm back feeling more balanced and hoping to hit my next goal which is to keep on staying clean till I go on a weekend away in early February. Although my goal is basically to stay clean forever I find it helps to make waypoints in the future to aim for - my last one was Christmas.

    Also trying to become more aware of warning signs earlier on - as many people on the forum have already pointed out there are common triggers for a lot of us. I think my 2 worst are boredom and anger (or feeling hurt - by something someone said or whatever). Both of these have a nasty habit of giving me a sense of entitlement (feeling like I deserve a break from the hard work of recovery) and can lead to dangerous places.

    I'm getting a bit better at dealing with boredom - reading, music (playing or listening to it) and checking out the forums here have helped. Anger & resentment I'm still finding a challenge although I think I'm getting a bit better at dropping it quicker rather than holding onto it - whether I feel it's justified or not.

    Anyway - enough rambling! Onward and upwards...
     
  11. WRAT

    WRAT Active Member

    Welcome. Our stories are similar: Christian, husband, father and long-time PMO addict. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned boredom as a trigger. I'm a busy guy and I need quiet down time but trying to enjoy that in a healthy way can be challenging. Something else that helps is putting my home page as a blank search screen like Google. I've fallen so many times by simply seeing a flashy add. Best of luck. Keep praying and keep posting.
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  12. Rex

    Rex PMO free is the only way it's going to be for me.

    I tried the filter solutions different times over the years. They never worked for me. No matter how complicated or secure they were, I could always get around the filter when the urges hit and I wanted to look at porn. This is just my personal opinion, since filters have worked for others, I think Internet filters are crutches and not a permanent solution. You can't spend the rest of your life filtering your Internet on your phone, tablet, laptop, PC, etc. It's like an alcoholic who stops drinking but won't go anywhere where alcohol is sold or served. In other words the alcoholic can't step foot in a grocery store or any restaurant that serves an alcoholic beverage. It's not realistic.

    The key is realize that porn isn't real and you don't need it. You need to change the brain so you stop wanting porn, just like you don't want to pet a pit viper snake.

    WRAT is correct, praying, praying, and praying is the best way. I have been praying rosaries to end my addiction, so far my brain has lost it's longing for porn. When the previous thoughts of porn pop into my head, I just change my thoughts. So far it's been working for me. I have been on the Internet unfiltered for the last 17 days and I haven't had a desire to look at porn.

    Here's an interesting video that someone posted recently on this board about a program to quit smoking. The same techniques would work with stopping PMO. The program focuses on the premise that it's the fear of going cold turkey that causes us to continue to fall. Interesting method, I think it would help many on the board:



    Rex
     
  13. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Thanks Rex - I tend to agree with you re filters - they're definitely not a solution as I've had several relapses in the past after I set up the filter. I do find it helpful to have a DNS-based filter in place though as it does a pretty good job of filtering out those sites that might cause accidental triggers - it also makes it much harder to properly relapse without really having to switch it all off. But I do agree - relying on a filter is dangerous...

    I've never prayed rosaries as it's not part of my tradition (although I'm reading up on it now!) but I know I do need to make more space for prayer in my daily routine. I'm finding that the more I stay clean, the more I'm able to think clearly and properly self-analyse - I'm becoming more self-aware and more able to deal with things a bit more rationally. It's obviously very encouraging too see the benefits, but it's also an eye-opener to realise that even after 109 days I'm still detoxing!

    Thanks for the video as well - I'm just off to watch it now - it sounds intriguing!
     
  14. Oneway

    Oneway Active Member

    Yes I agree with you. We shouldn't rely on filters as primary method of staying away from porn. I think most important thing is learn to live with new no porn mentality. If we don't do that, there is practically no filter to keep us permanently away from the stuff.

    Still, even if I'm consistently learning to live with no-porn attitude, filters have given me necessary buffer between impulse and response a couple of times saving me from relapse. In time I hope to be so in control of myself that I can loose those training wheels.

    I quess we all learn from experience and use tools and methods that work for us. For some, filters are a good tool but definitely not a silver bullet solution.

    Lowdo, don't want to further hijack your thread for filter-discussion. It is really admirable that you've gotten over 100 days without them.

    Just keep going!
     
  15. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Filters aren't ideal for helping us develop will power and strategies in the real world but God damn if they didn't help me from relapsing at about the 1 - 2 month mark of this current reboot. And if I had relapsed that day I don't know what state I would be in today...probably not as good of one.

    Filters are not a crutch if you can't get around the filter...they can be a statement that you're doing everything in your power to quit. You're not just deleting your stash you're locking away all access to your drug and throwing away the key. It adds a layer of protection (provided you can't get around it) that will absolutely save the average guy's ass once or twice early in a reboot...and once or twice is often the difference between 400 days clean and 10 days clean.

    There are dozens of different ways of thinking about certain strategies and there are also thousands of different ways your brain will try to trick you into having access to porn.
     
  16. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi Oneway - thanks again for all the encouragement! It's really good to see how you're doing as well!

    I should clarify that I am actually running a filter at home - basically my home router runs all traffic through OpenDNS which does a pretty good job of keeping my home network nice and clean. Yes - there are always ways round it but it has saved me from accidental (and not-so-accidental!) browsing incidents and I have no intention of ever turning it off as it also gives me peace of mind for my daughter.

    Rex - You're right about filters when they're used in the wrong way. In the past my stupid brain has allowed me to believe dumb things like "well it got through the filter so it must be OK to look at" - which is a fast way to relapse! Frankly - it could still happen if I'm not careful so basically no filter will protect you completely and you can't depend on one for your recovery. But like 40 says - they can be lifesavers!

    On another note altogether...

    I've been listening to a lot of music lately both for enjoyment and as a way to keep my thoughts away from the whole subject of PMO - my fav at the moment is Jon Foreman's solo albums and I was going to recommend them to anyone else who's into acoustic folk/rock. He is a Christian so please note I'm not trying to trick anyone ;-) - if it's not your thing then don't worry! Basically if you'd like to have a listen just search Spotify or Youtube.

    In particular though, there were 2 songs where the lyrics really blew me away - just seemed really relevant to anyone in any recovery (especially PMO). Check these out - they are written from a Christian point of view. The second one in particular really hit me....

    Good for me - Jon Foreman

    Ghost Machine - Jon Foreman
     
  17. Rex

    Rex PMO free is the only way it's going to be for me.

    40New30,

    I can see where filters can serve a purpose especially in the cases that you mentioned. I think they serve a valuable purpose for many especially in the early stages of a recovery. I see them as a good tool to help in the recovery process. However I still believe they are not a permanent solution.

    The filters are a crutch if you can't stay away from porn without them. Some time we all will be on the Internet on a device that's not ours or on an Internet connect that's not ours and is unfiltered and we have to have the desire to stay away from porn (as part of our healing process). Just like when we were kids we used training wheels on our bikes, some time we have to remove the training wheels and ride the bike without them. I see porn filters as training wheels, I could be wrong on this, but that's my opinion.

    It's my feeling (just a gut feeling I have) that somewhere in the recovery process our inner addict has to break the chains and have no desire to want to look at porn and fall into MO and finally be healed. Maybe I am wrong about this. Will we always be addicts where we are only one step away from falling into PMO, even when we have been free for 30 years? Not trying to cause any trouble, this is all a learning experience for me and decoding this addiction is part of my recovery process.

    Rex
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
    40New30 likes this.
  18. Rex

    Rex PMO free is the only way it's going to be for me.


    Lowdo,

    Good point about the filters, they are a good tool especially if they have worked for you in the past. I think in this day in age a filter is a must for any family computer when you have children living the house. If I had kids I would definitely have a filter on all computers the kids would use.

    My main beef with filters, is that when the urges hit bad, I could crack them or bypass them. I am very computer savvy, so most people don't know the tricks that I know, so this issue of cracking them or bypassing them isn't an issue for most people. Another issue I have had with them in the past is that they would filter stuff that wasn't porn. I would have problems where even mainstream news sites would have an article that was filtered by the filtering solution, because it had a word in the content that had nothing to do with porn but was interpreted as being dirty when it wasn't.

    Keep up the good work in your recovery process, you're doing great!

    Rex
     
  19. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    True words, bro.
     
  20. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi 40 and Rex - thanks to both of you for the wise words and continuing encouragement.

    Rex - I watched the Alan Carr video and found it very interesting. I think he makes some very good points about how addiction functions. For me it was the 2nd point which hit hardest - we say that the thing we're addicted to (smoking, PMO or whatever) provides something for us like relaxation, stress relief which leaves us thinking at some point that we deserve it. When we realise the truth that it actually does the complete opposite, it becomes easier to turn your back on it. For me, I think I might need to keep reminding myself of that - it can take a while to re-train a stubborn brain!

    Thanks again everyone - keep strong!
     

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