Hey all, P had been a part of the background of my life for almost as long as I can remember. For most of my life it was in the background - a bit of exposure here and there... Until some unknown time in the past 15 years (post high speed internet) when I realized I had a problem. But looking back I believe that the messages I got from my mother about women and relationships that messed with my head the most. My parents were divorced when I was very young and I don't have much recollection of them being together. I lived with my mom who came out to me as a lesbian - which I was fine with. I felt awkward and a little embarrassed because I was a kid but that's just the experience of being young. The thing was that she filled my head with such a slanted view of relationships that I grew up with a fairly unhealthy perspective on sex and romance. If I was watching television and a man said "that girl is so hot", my mom would go off the handle on how horrible that was and ask why it always has to be about appearances. Except that appearances are part of attraction - especially for teenagers... So there was a weird kind of repression that started to take form. What's more, I became hyper-sensitive to treating girls respectfully. Although respect is important, I was trained to put girls on a pedestal... That they had all the power in the relationship when it comes to sexuality. Actually, in all aspects -- but it occurs to me that a lot of that was actually rooted in sexuality. I internalized that it was not okay to make sexual advances on women. Not good. This made it so that I felt I had to wait for the woman to make an advance and could only throw out indirect signals about sexuality. Very unhealthy communication. And I had a lot of shame around sex and attraction. I didn't feel that it was 'okay' to just find someone physically attractive. If I was dating someone, I'd worship them on a pedestal... Which isn't only unhealthy - but it also kind of took away their humanity. It was more about MY IDEA of them rather on who they actually are. I was also clueless about how to actually flirt with girls that I would be terrified that it wouldn't last... And become overly clingy (In all honesty I don't think I'd worked out most of this until I had been with my wife for over ten years). So when internet came along, it wasn't long before I was downloading P on my 56k modem (very slowly). But for the most part any harm being caused was still pretty superficial. i got married, had kids and generally had a decent normal life with the regular ups and downs. P was around, but it was still mostly in the background. I'm actually not 100% certain when things started to deteriorate so much. At some point the P sessions became more frequent... And much longer. I realized I was spending 4+ hours a night looking for the perfect picture or video. And when I found that unbelievable clip? If there was one, there must be more so I'd better start looking... One day I did some calculations and realized just how many hours of my life this habit was eating. I knew something was wrong and started looking online for help. It felt (still feels) like a cancer that eats resources in my life. I'm thankful more than I can ever articulate that I found this forum... And shortly after that YBOP. What a relief to have some answers and have some hope that I won't always be silently suffering in shame. It was both relief and a great sadness to realize the addiction. After a couple duds I found a therapist who specializes in addiction - and who just started to focus P addiction (although the DSM4 doesn't recognize this as an actual addiction. Got to love modern medicine). That therapist moved away and since then I've been fighting on my own. With mixed results. -- ^ I've added the above after it was originally written to give a bit of introduction. ^ -- I had another journal but put it down for a while and now that it's been a long time since I read or wrote in it, I thought I'd start fresh now that I fall into the 40+ category. I've got through cycles of being quite successful at living without P (80 days at the best span) - but at this juncture I'm at a low point and could use some support. At the moment I've been using almost every day and it is really taking a toll on my emotional well being. As well as my sleep. And my joints ache from sitting in one position for so long. The addiction is a cancer in my life that eats my resources and sucks the joy out of otherwise happy situations. To begin with - I need to begin by simply getting through a bit of time not using/reinforcing the habit. Usually if I can get through a few days I can find a groove where I'm not craving (except for surprise triggers). So I'm setting out to stop for about 4 or 5 days, even if it is 'white knuckling' my way through for the time being. Thank you for listening - by simply being there, you help me more than you know.