Looking for love in all the wrong places...

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Abc, May 6, 2014.

  1. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    I've been lurking on the forum for almost a year, and for the past several months, have been procrastinating on getting my journal started. It has been hard as hell for me to commit to just sitting down, and getting this train rolling. Far easier to get lost in porn and/or anything else that doesn't require effort.

    Funny how easy something becomes, once you put your mind to it.

    I'm 57 and have been divorced for 3 years. My relationship with porn took care of that.

    The first time I saw porn was in a torn out page from an adult magazine - I was 12 or 13 at the time. A bunch of naked ladies with dinner plates and silverware sitting between their spread legs. The caption said "Eat Me". LOL :)

    I was lit up like a Christmas tree, and I wasn't even sure of what I feeling, much less of what I was looking at. But I wanted more of it.

    The next day I asked my friend who'd shown me the page to see it again. He said he'd lost it. So like a dog in heat, I started sniffing around his house, and found it folded up inside his window sill. Talk about being motivated:)

    Interestingly, it took many, many years for porn to become an issue.

    In high school, and especially in college and once I started working, I dated lots. I had a number of really nice girl friends, and was fortunate to be able to go out with some really attractive women. At my core, however, I had some major insecurity/shame issues that I was not able/ready/willing to face, and my M.O. for dealing with that was to surround myself with beautiful women.

    As they say, you can never get enough of that which will never satisfy you.

    So I found myself increasingly being unsatisfied with the partner I had, and needed the novelty and rush of being with someone prettier, sexier, and newer. As I moved through my 20's and neared 30, I was spending more time with one night stands and casual sex, to the point where it was fucking up my relationships, and my ability to have any relationship at all.

    I also knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted a committed relationship, but the lust, novelty, and excitement of the "hunt" put everything else in the back seat, and maybe, even in the trunk of the car:)

    Sounds a bit like porn, eh?

    If not for hitting a rock bottom in my early 30's, I don't think that I would have ever stopped. My bottom was ugly and painful, and another story in of itself.

    It was at that point that I realized that I had a sex addiction, and got into recovery (SLAA), counseling, and anything else that would help me out of that hole - no pun intended.

    It wasn't until I got into recovery from sex addiction - and successfully addressed all the issues that had gotten me into recovery in the first place, did porn start to become an issue.

    At first, just little hits here and there - looking through adult mags at a book stand, watching an occasional porn video, sifting through the satellite TV channels to get an adult movie preview. But the intensity and urgency I felt just to get that little hit - crazy powerful!

    Since this was before the internet, I had to do some legwork to start the dopamine pump. This helped keep the frequency way down.

    I remember recycling some newspapers at the local recycling bin - and seeing someone's stash of porn in the bin. I lit up like a Christmas tree again. So now starts the dumpster diving. I started cruising the various recycling bins, searching for porn.

    Who'd a thunk driving to recycling bins could bring such a rush :-[ Date night :-\

    That lasted several years. Meanwhile I'm in recovery for sex addiction, dating around, and not fooling around. Except getting more frequent hits off of my porn fixes.

    Masturbation was not a big part of my ritual back then - but getting my brain chemicals going was. Powerful stuff.

    I started dating my eventual wife back in the mid-90's. I was open and honest about my history, except I did not give much info on how powerful a draw the porn was. One of the things that concerned her was when we went out, and I saw an attractive woman, I could not help myself from not checking her out. She noticed it, I noticed it, and it really sucked. But there was clearly a part of me that absolutely loved the rush...and I felt completely powerless to do a thing about it. A woman's beauty is intoxicating.

    This is such freaking powerful stuff...

    About the time that we got married, the internet started to take hold. I'd heard about the porn on the net, and when we got our first computer, at first chance, I was surfing for porn. A freaking dog in heat :-[

    At first, it was once every few weeks, when she was out of town, out of the house, or out for the night. The thrill of that unbridled search for pixelated porn was just too much. I could not help myself.

    Over the years, my time on the net searching for porn increased, and the quality of our sex life decreased. She knew of some of my porn use, and was pretty cool about it, but eventually my jacking off to porn started to drive a wedge between us. I became less honest with what I was doing, and she became increasingly frustrated with the quality of our sex life. We did some counseling together, but I never did fully disclose how powerful a hold that porn had on me. It was my cryptonite.

    As my level of stress increased (we moved, I started a new business, the economy tanked), my need for porn increased. Eventually my wife couldn't take it anymore, we separated, and I continued to porn out. About 3 years ago we divorced.

    Amazing how intoxicating 12 (or more) hours of edging over porn could be.

    If it weren't for the shit hitting the fan with the impact that my porn use had on my daughter, I'm not sure where I'd be right now.

    But right now is not a particularly good place. I'm actively attending SA meetings, have a sponsor, going to counseling, lurking here, and still struggling bigtime over this addiction.

    Half of me wants recovery, and the other half is still like a pig in shit with porn. The longest time I've been away from PMO the past year is 36 days. I spend way too much time surfing, edging, compulsively downloading - then deleting this stuff. I'm stuck in a binge-purge cycle, which is exhausting.

    It's been said that he who chases two rabbits gets none.

    Which brings me to this:

    I love porn (at least it feels that way - I love the dopamine rush for sure)
    I love my work/business
    I love my daughter
    I love my ex-wife (she is in recovery now, she knows my story, and we get along very well)
    My porn use gets me higher than "Eagles Balls", but sucks the energy out of every other aspect of my life
    My porn use makes it really, REALLY difficult to envision an amazing future - it turns my hope into nope
    I'm addicted to porn
    My addiction to porn has taken me to places that I would have never imagined going when I was younger
    I can turn on a dime - from wanting recovery, to wanting to porn out
    I know that HP (Higher Power) is real
    I am persistent as hell, and don't give up
    There is lots of family history which has fueled my addiction - a lot of it I've worked through, and still some shit in the tank
    I can't and don't want to do this alone
    I need to use this journal on a regular basis
    This is an exceptionally challenging journey to be on
    This is an exceptionally long first post ;D
    I'm thankful that there are many men on this journey as well
    I'm absolutely delighted and relieved to finally get this journal started :)

    I appreciate all of you being here, and look forward to your comments, feedback, support, and fellowship :D
    Rudolf Geyse, Wavepacket and Billy B. like this.
  2. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    My biggest challenge today is in knowing where to start. I'm overwhelmed with a ton of things I need to do. I can feel my addict kicking in gear and inviting me down the same old road...

    Things I need to do today:
    Finish an amends to my daughter
    Order Mother's Day Flowers
    Begin my business records for my 2013 taxes - just one week of entries
    Follow-up with work related emails
    Do a journal entry
    Do just one thing that supports my recovery
    Go for a run
    Breath deeply
    Stay in the moment
    Trust that things are working out

    OK...I've done one:)
    Billy B. likes this.
  3. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    good luck on your journey. It sounds like you have a good grasp of the problem. Now to do something about it!
  4. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    "Now to do something about it!"

    @Caoimhín - ain't that the truth :)
  5. WRAT

    WRAT Active Member

    Welcome NCB. You are in a good place to deal with this addiction. I tried to quit on my own for a long time. You mentioned you believe in a higher power so ask your higher power for help. Things that help me:
    Forgive myself for this addiction
    Read/post often on this forum
    Stay busy
    No M or P. Some guys on this forum continue to M while recovering from porn; it doesn't work for me.
    Take it one day at a time; sometimes it is one minute at a time.

    Best of luck.
    Pearl Gourami likes this.
  6. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    thanks @WRAT - I appreciate the words:)

    I agree that no P or M is needed for my recovery. You're right about exercise as well - if I'm wiling to go out for a run when I'm dying to porn out, my entire mindset and brain chemistry changes. Where I sometimes get stuck is in finding the willingness. If I start to think too much about the run or the porn, the porn usually wins. Think less, run more :)
    Billy B. likes this.
  7. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Alot of guys get such a buzz out of exercise that it can become a much more attractive option over porn if the two are both options at the moment. Say you have a regular gym day or play on a team, most guys won't cancel that to play with themselves. Part of the secret is to start re-arranging your life and filling it with activities, people, meditation, etc.

    After all, you have subconciously been re-arranging your life for PMO all these years: staying up late, cancelling meet ups with friends, staying alone in your computer room instead of being with your family, etc.
    Billy B. likes this.
  8. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Hard to imagine that :)

    Yes, that is an important ingredient - and I need to be intentional about this. Otherwise, I will continue to just languish in recovery, which sucks...
    Billy B. likes this.
  9. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    OK, so I am starting the day feeling annoyed with just about everything. My mind is in a negative funk - and I'm having a difficult time seeing/feeling that good things are going to happen.

    I was able to complete everything on my checklist yesterday, so that is a plus.

    And at least for now, porn is not an option...
  10. Syd

    Syd New Member

    Any day you get the checklist done is a good day, NCB. And no, P is not an option! Stay with it.

    As far as being annoyed, I know what you mean. But I try to remind myself I used to get annoyed pre-noPMO, too!
    Billy B. likes this.
  11. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Thanks, Syd :)

    Definitely has been a challengingly productive day. Ended up receiving a very long letter from my almost 16 year old daughter explaining her view on some important issues between us, and spent a good amount of time writing her a thoughtful response.

    Needless to say, with all my emotions being stirred up, my urge to porn is trying to creep in.

    P is not an option :mad:
    Billy B. likes this.
  12. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    ended up doing some edging and surfing last night...
    feeling overwhelmed by finances, my to do list, challenges presented with my daughter -
    was able to get off the computer early this morning without PMO
    but...feeling exhausted by not getting enough sleep
    Had a few moments this evening of wanting to look at porn, but it was like I would have had to really work myself up to even want to do this
    so...I am not doing that
    watching a little basketball and going to get a good night sleep
    will play the guitar a bit as well to get the positive juices flowing in my brain :)
    Billy B. likes this.
  13. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    My just 16 year old daughter is driving me nuts. no matter what I say, or how I say it, she's reacting as if I said the worst possible thing in the worst possible way. she has no ability to own any of emotional shit. my buttons are pushed and my addict wants to kick in and save the day. So i am on the fence right now, and really struggling. going for a run is an option, and so is surfing for porn. this really sucks :mad:

    Add to the mix, my ex-wife. She and I get along very well, but...now my daughter's behaviors are reminding her of how I used to be. So she is upset as well. My addict just says fuck that. all the more reason to get lost in my shit.

  14. Syd

    Syd New Member

    I hear ya, NCB. My 18-year-old son is driving me nuts. Doesn't give a crap about anything, and ignores our counsel every step of the way. He is on a razor's edge of being able to graduate high school in 2 weeks, which is unfathomable to me. Smart kid with zero motivation.

    The main thing is, I am trying to stay serene about it, as it it is his life, not mine. I was totally prepared to have a kid who made the same mistakes I did, getting caught drinking, with girls, etc. Despite my reckless adolescence, I always got good grades, loved sports and had a drive to succeed. His behaviors are jamming my radar, big time. I want the best for him, but he's gotta meet us halfway before the gravy train ends.

    Anyway, you're not alone in the frustrations of parenthood, so hang in there. More important, realize that P isn't going to solve it, and will just make you feel worse. Grab that guitar! (I'm jealous that you have that talent...)
  15. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    You're right there, Syd. The more I try to make her life mine, the more my life becomes miserable :mad:

    BTW, it's never too late to pick up guitar :)
  16. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    Sounds like we have some things in common NCB. Old family stuff, a kid that drives us crazy, and ambivalence about this whole porn thing. You mentioned having to have the "willingness" to make the necessary changes...to make the right decision in those difficult moments. That's one thing with which I still struggle. I'm trying to find ways to increase my willingness. I think making a commitment to read and/or post on here every day is a big part of it.
  17. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    I'm glad to hear that you can relate, ravenstock :) That willingness, or lack thereof at certain times, is killing me. Sometimes I feel as helpless as a leaf in the wind, and if the wind blows towards the direction of porn, then off I go. I need to develop the consistent ability to be able to feel the breeze, yet will myself in a different direction. I keep hoping that it will just happen, and clearly, the only way it will happen is if I make it happen.

    What makes it so difficult for me (and everyone dealing with this) is it feels like such a loss, that could never be made up on the other side.

    This week has been an exhausting one, to say the very least. I've been very productive at work, and yet a couple of nights this week, I got lost for hours at a time just surfing and edging. Then of course, I'm tired as hell, and miles away from that place of serenity inside myself that feels like home. But then, this porn thing feels like home too - but really intense, exciting, and driven. But not sustainable.

    Even as I journal right now, I can feel my loins ache for a little excitement. Pixel excitement, that is. Crazy.

    I need to channel this energy somewhere else, that will benefit me and those I love in the long run. I've just been able to do a couple business related things - and that has felt good.

    Time for a run - that always flips the switch...
  18. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Back in the day, my pledge brothers and I were going through hell week in our fraternity. One of the brothers steps up to one of my pledge brothers, hands him an Alka-Seltzer, and says if you can keep this in your mouth without any of the fizz coming out of it, then all of you will be instantly brotherized.

    So all of us (pledge brothers) were looking at him in angst, anticipation, hope, and eventually, disappointment, as he grimaced with cheeks bulging, and ultimately, with foam spewing out of his mouth (you had to have been there :))

    Sometimes that's exactly how I feel with this porn thing. It seems like an impossible task, and who am I trying to fool...

    That being said, it's on with my efforts.

    Make it a great weekend, everyone :)
  19. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Spent much of yesterday pm into the late night hours surfing and edging. What triggered me was that I sit down to do some work on my business, and felt overwhelmed by what I needed to do. So like a light switch, my addict kicked into high gear.

    I remained mindful of what i was doing, and noticed how stressed out I was in this process. I felt enslaved by it, and yet kept noticing that there were certain points that had I chose to, could have stepped off the train. Finally, I did, and did not ultimately PMO.

    But it sure was a waste of time. I am really struggling with using all my time constructively right now. My addict says that I've already fucked up, so it doesn't matter. I need to more consistently shrug off that voice, and trust that it does matter, and that I can make some good things happen.

    The "fuck-its" suck...
  20. Abc

    Abc The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    As a result of some on and off edging over the weekend, feeling brain-fog, irritable, negative, depressed, and emotionally stuck. Need to be proactive today to get the right gears moving. To do list today:
    vacuum and clean up my place
    go for a run
    give my sponsor a call
    take care of some business - calls/emails
    go through pile of mail that has been growing...
    Go to SA meeting

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