My Path to Grace

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by PathToGrace, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. PathToGrace

    PathToGrace New Member

    Hey everyone, I'm a 30-year old man who spent the good part of the last year breaking free from porn use after spending the latter half of my life making it a routine. Porn use has caused me to be late for work, fail exams in school, scramble my priorities, miss opportunities to have fulfilling relationships with great women, and waste so much precious time.

    I told myself for years that "I'll get over this, I'll get over this..." but I could never stop chasing the instant gratification that porn provided, despite all of the negative effects it had on me, and despite my full awareness of these effects. I finally came to a breaking point months ago when I realized it was ruining my relationship with my current girlfriend, who truly is the love of my life. I've been in a relationship with her for years now, and I've been trying to leap over this mountain of a struggle so that I may propose to her in a healthy state of mind. She deserves no less for the uncompromised love she has always shown me.

    I am, despite all of this, a Christian man; of all my sins, porn use has affected me the most, and it has been the hardest to break away from. I know I am forgiven, but I often cannot forgive myself for letting porn use detract the amount of love I can attribute to others, and for letting it control different aspects of my life.

    When I hit the breaking point a few months ago, I visited a pastor in desperate need of help and verbally admitted my dependency on porn to another person for the first time in my life. The visit to the pastor lead me to start seeing a licensed therapist and I have been receiving care ever since.

    I have only started trying to "reboot" about a month ago after having read the famous "Your Brain on Porn," and I successfully went on a 17-day streak without intentionally visiting a pornographic website. Of course, I started over and now I am on day 7. However, over the last month, I have already felt the positive effects of rebooting: greater energy levels on a daily basis, meaningful social interactions, and stronger attraction to my girlfriend (this is my favorite one!).

    I hope to find like-minded individuals here with who I can share support and encouragement, because I have come to the conclusion that I cannot win this battle alone.

    See you out there!
    Antonius and Merton like this.
  2. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Lots of like-minded folks here! I encourage you to start your own journal and learn as much as you can about your particular version of this addiction! The more you know about it, the more you can fight it. Good luck!
    Merton likes this.
  3. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    I know what you mean about not doing this alone. Welcome!
  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Welcome Path to Grace ! I hope you can find some support on here. We're all in this together.
    Merton likes this.
  5. Antonius

    Antonius Member

    Welcome, PathtoGrace. I’m also a Christian who struggles with porn addiction. We have great weapons available to us to fight in this battle - most notably, we know our struggle is grounded in something bigger than ourselves.
  6. PathToGrace

    PathToGrace New Member

    Yesterday, I couldn't help it and PMO'd. That made a 14-day streak, and now I'm back on day 1. I was too overwhelmed with temptation and I just couldn't help it.

    This is very embarrassing and discouraging but that's what I'm here for. The bright side is (if you can consider it a bright side), when I PMO'd, I went straight for exactly what I wanted and didn't edge. I used to edge for at least 30 minutes, and I know that's what sticks the dopamine soak.

    Thanks so far for those who have shown up in my journal. Do you guys have any tips to distract yourself when you start feeling the beginnings of temptation? I feel as if in those first few moments, there is a critical 10-second window where I have an opportunity to decide "no," and I was able to pull the ejection lever for 14 days in that window. I guess all good things come to end. Starting over!
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Hey 2 weeks is pretty good stuff ! It's not an easy thing to do. Dealing with cravings isn't easy. It's all about how sincere you are in your effort to stop PMO. It takes some soul searching and knowing why you wanna do this. The more firm you are in your commitment the easier you deal with the cravings, reach that zone where you easily and firmly say "nope" and go on with your day. It's not always easy, though, to reach such a mindset. The cravings are often here, but you deal with them in a different manner, if you are motivated with the recovery. I think. If your commitment is good, then what works is to work out (burns the energy), to go outside of your house and disconnect from the computer, to try to go out and connect with friends, do positive things you enjoy (art, movies, music, concerts, museums, walk around in the city, reading), to journal about your feelings and emotions, meditation. It's a mix of tools and I guess we each have to find the method that works for us. But behind everything is the sincere commitment. It's the usual cliché but abstinence is one part of the deal and the other is finding healthy ways to replace the void the addiction is filling. Why are we using PMO, what are we numbing, or what emotional needs are we trying to fulfill like that ? How can we go out and get those needs fulfilled in a healthier way ?
  8. PathToGrace

    PathToGrace New Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 You just made me realize I left out a key factor in my story. As I mentioned before, I am Christian, and spent a majority of my free time in college attending small group bible studies and participating in a few ministries on campus. Back then, I still had a porn problem (as most, if not all, my buddies in the ministry also did - though none of us ever spoke of it). However, the Christian community did cultivate in me a mindset of abstinence until marriage, although the idea of abstinence isn't explicitly spelled out in the bible (it is only implicit). I also failed in the abstinence challenge, until I met my current girlfriend. We slept together on our first date and for the first few months. However, after having a heartfelt discussion about our religious beliefs, we decided to be abstinent and it has been that way for years. As much of a win that was, I now lacked a sexual relationship with my girlfriend and it caused me to look elsewhere for that satisfaction. A few years go by struggling with porn, and now I'm here. I'm obviously struggling with more than a physical challenge - I've also been emotionally and spiritually conflicted the entire time. I know where I need to be and have my sights set on the end goal, but I keep wandering off the beaten path until I push myself back in the right direction, even if just for a short while. I'll tell you all one thing though, since I started with porn in my teens, I've never been able to go without porn for a week on my own willpower. So the good news is, I am on an upswing right now, and I MUST NOT lose the momentum. I've been waiting years for this kind of progress.

    Day 5 and counting.

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