Leaving porn behind - new journal

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by LKe, Apr 12, 2020.

  1. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Hey - I'm a 25 year old male determined to stop watching porn and rediscover those parts of myself which it has twisted and stunted. I am posting on here so that I hold myself accountable and in the hope that I can work with others to gain control over my viewing.

    For me one of the worst parts about my porn habit is how porn occupies my mind. I normally watch porn once a week or two, but it will be in my head much more often: when I'm alone in my room, when i see something arousing on youtube, when I'm in a bad mood. It feels like it's the real thing I want and everything else is just so-so. I don't devote myself to what's in front of me because i'm holding out for it. But after I do look i just feel numb and dissapointed in myself.

    I've set up a lot of good methods - like turning off my computer an hour before bed each night and keeping my door open - which help me keep my viewing under control. But I still can't control that urge in the long run and it chips away at me every time I fail. I've recently moved out of home and into a great flat. But it's easier for me to watch here. I don't want to spiral out of control. So I'm going to stick to my methods - and post on here whenever I can. Any support would be appreciated, just to know someone is watching - I can check in on others too.

    Thank you. Good luck with your journey.
     
  2. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Post #2 - I haven't watched porn since I first posted on Sunday. I've definitely had a few urges though and come close. One method finding useful is when I feel an urge I force myself to think "How am I going to feel tomorrow morning when I remember I watched porn and have slid back to square one?" As the answer normally is "Pretty shit" It helps put me off. I think why that thought pattern is useful is because porn for me is a triumph of my immediate urges and impulses over my general character and my medium and long term goals.

    So going into week two I'm going to keep that longer term thinking at the front of my mind whenever a urge arises. I'm also going to stick to the usual methods of put my laptop away well before bed and avoid content which might tempt me.

    Hope everyone else is doing well during these strange times.
     
    Matt2020, Wise Hermit and axebattler like this.
  3. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Member

    Hey man, good to see you're posting. Willpower is a powerful force, but you can't trust that you will be able to rely on it fully. How are you preventing your accessing porn when your willpower breaks down? What are your final lines of defense? Do you block porn with software or coding on your computer?

    You'll get tempted likely in the same ways I do, which is that porn has left an imprint on the brain. As you deprive your brain in the rebooting stage, it'll show you lots of memories in dream form. Waking from a deep dream that feels real and good is when your willpower will be weakest, and you will be heavily tempted to either "just this one time" check porn, and then "I'll be done". If you're also holding off on masturbation during the reboot, you will be tempted to do that, especially if it's been a few weeks, because it feels good. Best thing you can do is have the wherewithal to know that's happening and to change environments to the point where you get that out of your head and back into the positive mindset.

    Keep it up dude. Look forward to tracking your progress. Also, maybe set up your counter? it helps to have a visual log keep you honest.
     
    LKe and Matt2020 like this.
  4. Mountainside

    Mountainside New Member

    Keep it up man! Just reading your last two posts I can relate to the urges. I use fitness as my outlet to refocus my mind. Each time i feel the urge to watch porn or masturbate, I immediately start on a workout routine. If fitness isn’t your thing I also write down as many tasks I can think of that need to be completed. Once the urge comes to watch porn I just start on one of the tasks I’ve written down. Continue to be strong and keep us posted!
     
    LKe likes this.
  5. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Thanks battlesworld1 and Mountainside for your replies and advice. @Battlesword1 - I have some blocking programmes but they're super easy to disable, any tips on something good? And @Mountainside - I workout, run and cycles so fitness is a good outlet for me too, I'll give working out briefly when i get triggers a go.

    An update from me. Shortly after my last post I watched porn and I've watched in a couple of times more over the past week. I'm disappointed but unsurprised. Like much of the rest of the world I'm living in lockdown at the moment and being out of my normal working rountine, and around the house all day ,gives me a lot more time on my computer and a lot more time to get tempted. As I mentioned I've also moved into a flat recently and am alone my room more often. It's a social flat but I still spend some evenings in here and whenever I'm on my own in my room porn is not far from my mind. I wonder whether I shouldn't use my laptop at all in my room? It would be super inconvenient.

    So what to do? Well one thing I've heard which seems useful to me is replacing a bad habit with a good one. Not just trying to squash the bad habit and leaving a big hole. I love to meditate, but often only do 5 minutes before bed. I'm committing to meditating for 15+ minutes each day for the next month instead of watching porn. Hold me to it :)

    Hope everyone is going well. Even if your relapsing lots be kind to yourselves and give it another go.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
  6. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Member

    Hey @LKe , I've got a couple layers on. First and foremost is what I found here (paragraph 11) https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-quit-porn/
    Then I put on some blocking software, and third I set some of the childproof settings on. I still enjoy music with some explicit lyrics and first person shooters from time to time, plus R rated movies, so I only chose to block porn or porn-like content.

    For more ideas: https://yourbrainrebalanced.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-ultimate-porn-blocker-thread.117499/

    COVID isolation is difficult for sure man. I know I've struggled with it for sure. Best thing is to start developing the good habits. Maybe learn a new skill that takes place in much the same way that your porn habit did? For me, I got a keyboard and am earning piano. It's in the same room as my laptop, which was where a lot fo the PMO occurred. This way, I start associating this room and the laptop with more than just PMO.
     
    LKe likes this.
  7. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Thanks for the tip @Battlesword1 - multiple layers is a good idea. Got two on now.

    Update from me. 3 days with out Porn now. Have done some extra meditation but not daily like I set out too so need to focus on that. No big urges in the last couple of days. Have blocked youtube and not surfing there helps, I often start off on music vids and roll onto Porn. Weekend now.

    I'm personally just looking to give up on Porn. Not masturbation and orgasm. I kind of understand the theory of going without all three but I tend to think of masturbation (without porn) as a positive thing and I'm in a relationship so no O is not really practical. Respect to everyone doing without PMO though.

    What else? I guess one key part of my addiction to porn which I haven't covered off yet is relationship between my use of porn and my lack of sexual confidence/stimulation. I enjoy sex, but I just find it enjoyable, not intensely pleasurable. Compared to my sexual partners, I have a feeling I get less stimulated by sex, and have less sensation. Of course this is all guesswork, kind of impossible to know, but that's the sense I get. I think this primarily comes from a two sources: one i'm on anti-depressants which tend to depress libido slightly and two, porn has desensitised me and reduced my ability to feel pleasure.

    This lack of sensation can be a bad cycle. I enjoy sex less, I turn to the buzz of porn more , I enjoy sex even less etc. etc. Or I feel less sexually confident, so I turn to the easy pleasure of porn to reassure myself etc.

    So for me stopping watching Porn is in part about seeing whether I can gain some more sensation and pleasure from Sex itself. I definitely notice that when I go a week or two without Porn I feel more enthusiastic when I do have sex. This isn't the only reason, and I think it's important that my change isn't built on this alone, because I imagine it is a slow and subtle process, but it is a key driver for me.
     
  8. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Member

    I get the feeling that the removal of porn will lead to an increase in the pleasurable sensations. Is your partner aware of your addiction to porn? Are they a willing partner to help you overcome this?
     
  9. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Update from me - 5 days in, added a counter (it should just say without porn but it's currently saying with P and M, Ive tried to change it so maybe it's just taking a moment)

    I got through the weekend fairly well. I was feeling down on Sunday and just sat with that feeling and I realised that was unusual for me. I often try to "get rid" of bad moods and often use porn as a means to do that. It works in one sense, I'm distracted and then after I'm feeling numb / guilty abotu watching porn and not thinking of anything else. But it's also a really bad method of coping. I think part of going without porn for me is going to be learning how to sit with and process negative emotions, and learning that they aren't just something I can get rid of with the flick of a switch. Some other methods I can use are writing about it, meditating, or exercising and socialising and then coming back to it with a refreshed perspective.

    @Battlesword1 I hope so! I've told my partner I watch porn, and that I dislike it and want to watch less. She was very accepting of that, though she has a healthy relationship with porn, uses it infrequently and doesn't think of it as a inherently bad thing (all of which I think is great). I haven't talked about it in terms of addiction though - not sure if I'm ready/willing to do that atm even if i can definitely admit addiction to myself.
     
  10. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Member


    I think that is great news dude! Getting her support and emotional buy in will be key to your success, because you can work together to get through troublespots and have someone hold you accountable.
     
  11. LKe

    LKe New Member

    One week in! I haven't been noticing any strong urges most of the days but it's definitely still there in the evenings. I notice that I'll finish an episode of whatever I'm watching and then kind of browse around the internet for a while, not looking at porn but kind of giving myself a chance to decide to. I need to make sure to finish the ep and then put my laptop away.

    To keep building my commitment to this I need to be clear on why i'm doing this. Some reasons for me are:
    - To free myself from struggling against watching porn each evening and just be able to pass the day focused on whatever is going on in my life
    - To refocus on actual sex and gain more pleasure from it. And to let go of the sterile, sexist fantasies which I've become attached to in porn
    - To grow my self-control and self confidence
    - To rewire/rebalance my brain so it's as healthy as it can be

    @Battlesword1 thanks man, it's definitely the first time I've opened up (somewhat) to a partner about so it does feel good. Definitely agree about having someone to hold you accountable, my parent know too and they've been super supportive so I feel lucky in that sense.
     
  12. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Had a broken sleep, woke up tired and struggled today. This is exactly the kind of day that I normally relapse on due to a feeling low and self-pitying. BUT I didn't today. Proud of that. I stuck to work until the afternoon, then did a workout to try get some positivity going. That helped. And in the evening I spent time with my flatmates rather than going straight to my room.

    A thought pattern I need to work to rewire is "I slept poorly, I feel tired, I can cut myself some slack and watch porn today". My tired brain is especially good at framing porn as a relief and respite. Really I need to give myself the message "I slept poorly, I feel tired, I need to take care of myself rather than watching porn and putting all that negativity on my back as well."

    Hope everyones doing ok. Getting alot of of reading your stories and writing here.
     
  13. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hey Lke, welcome to the forum. My brain is also good at framing porn as an acceptable respite when I am tired or over stressed. I think you're doing a good job today at noticing this pattern instead of falling for it. I have actually fallen to this kind of rationalization quite a lot lately which is why I can see well now how porn isn't that respite I'm looking for. First off, the respite it brings is quite short and then in return it creates this desire for more and more. Which means it's never a short respite, it's often a long "respite", or a series of "respites" as we then have to deal with a chaser. And yea not to mention that most of the times I picture it as this short thing I'll do for a bit and get over with, but I am sucked in long binges. So, again, well done on not falling for it ! My own challenge now is to try to remember this better, as I get clean days in. Which is why I am happy to read about how others go through the same troubles as me and how they try to find a better answer then the addictive behavior.
     
    LKe likes this.
  14. LKe

    LKe New Member

    thanks @Thelongwayhome27. I also picture it like a short thing that I'll just get over and done with and forget about the long tail that follows each time I watch. I think for me one of the most effective ways to combat an urge is to force myself to think about how you'll feel in a few hours after, tomorrow and longer term.

    I'm still going strong. Spent the weekend with my girlfriend and didn't feel washed out from porn and uninterested in sex as I often do if i've watched porn in the days before. So that's a small win already. And I imagine that positivity will only grow if I let it.

    Doing fairly well at keeping away from content that might trigger me. I still find myself get side-tracked on facebook though so will stick to mesenger and be aware of that. Happened just now but I dropped it and came on here instead fortunately.

    I still haven't started meditating during the day. That's a goal for next week.

    One thing I always forget when I'm doing well is to acknowledge it and be kind to myself. Often it's only after I watch P and I'm beating myself up that I remember to be kind to myself and appreciate myself. So giving myself a pat on the back now.
     
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  15. LKe

    LKe New Member

    End of the weekend here. Any temptation I have felt today has come when I've been browsing aimlessly on my laptop. I want to keep trying to be purposeful when I'm online e.g. know what I want to do before I open up the laptop, do it, then close it. Basically that means watching an episode of something, working, reading the news or going on duolingo at the moment.

    Plan for the week ahead is to keep up good work and get some meditation in the mix. I also want to keep appreciating the positivity i'm feeling from being away from porn and reminding myself of the frustration and anxiety which it brings. How glum and stuck I feel when I go back to it and watch stuff which makes me unhappy.

    At the moment I'm writing in here quite often and being quite conscious of leaving porn behind. But I guess at some point it might be best to give it less thought and focus on other aspects of my life instead. Curious what other peoples thoughts on this are?


    Also just thought I'd share that I like many others have found that the P I watch has become more extreme, or niche, the more frequently I watch it. I have found that really hard to deal with because I aim to respect women as equals but the stuff I watch is degrading and sexist. So that makes this extra layer of self-loathing. I also find that when I fantasize and masturbate now, without porn, my fantasies are modelled off the porn more than anything personal or appealing to me. These fantasies kind of get me going but just like porn there's nothing deep or intense about them. I'm sad to have lost that organic ability I had when I was younger to fantasise about someone I found attractive and imagine something really personal and intimate. I hope that by stopping porn my imagination will recover some of that.
     
  16. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Been feeling a bit tempted this eve, i think because I was playing some online poker with mates and got a bit bored haha. But went all in, lost, had a shower and feeling steady now.

    Coming up to two weeks now feels good. I've been feeling happy in myself and have noticed the intense cravings to watch again that i normally have in the week after porn have subsided. There's still milder urges, but the new challenge is getting used to regular nights, night after night, with none of the distraction and excitement of craving porn, putting it off, giving in, regretting it, vowing never to do it again etc. etc. For the most part I don't miss it at all, but there's a part of my brain that is so used to that drama and feels dull without it.

    So medium-term, I think a key part of overcoming this is going to embracing the steady level of contentment over the brief brief highs and frequent lows and angst. It's nice to come to an evening and just enjoy dinner, chats and tv. We are moving out of lockdown here in a few days so I should have some more variety in my evenings from here on out too which I'm looking forward to.
     
  17. Saq

    Saq New Member

    @LKe Hi mate, I have just spent 20min reading all your previous posts and wow I am very impressed and you have motivated me to push through my own struggles.

    I am a PMO addict and have been clean for 5days and I am now starting to have some urges especially yesterday but I prayed and got through it with the help of god.

    How long does it take till these urges and cravings decrease from your experience.

    Thanks for all the information above and I look forward to following your journey and hopefully I can get to the same point as you are currently.
     
    LKe likes this.
  18. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Member

    @LKe Two weeks bro. Keep it up!
     
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  19. LKe

    LKe New Member

    Two weeks! Stoked. This is a good base to build from.

    @Battlesword1 thanks for your support man. 51 days is amazing, going to keep heading in your directions

    @Saq thanks for dropping by, glad you got something out of reading through! and good to hear you got past those urges yesterday. Still early stages for me too! The intense cravings have died down a bit this week, but mild urges are definitely still there. What I tell myself though is that while there might be ups and downs in the urges - and the cravings may come back a month from now who knows - on average they're going to keep decreasing if I keep doing the right things. Another thing I'd say is that for me cravings die down a lot quicker if i'm avoiding marginal content which is triggering (like music videos, facebook feeds etc). I've often gone weeks without porn and still had really intense cravings everyday but it's been because I've been kindling the fire with that kind of marginal content throughout. This time round I have cut most of that (still getting a bit in TV) and the cravings have died down quicker.
     
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  20. Saq

    Saq New Member

    @LKe I got through yesterday okay which I was surprised. Yes I did have some slight urges but I started to focus on something else which helped. However this doesn’t always help as previously i try to think of something else but the urge is just too too much.

    I am trying to cut out YouTube and Movies that have sexual content in them which am hoping will ease my urges.

    Well done on your recovery so far - seems like you have a very structured plan in place which is amazing.
     
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