Putting myself back in the driving seat

Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by greekurn, May 5, 2012.

  1. greekurn

    greekurn New Member

    Hi everyone. Just a little about me, what I'm doing, and why I'm doing this.

    I've just turned 24 years old, and believe I've had a porn addiction since I was 15 (which was when my family's internet connection became fast enough to support the habit). I wouldn't say my addiction was very strong now that I've read some of the journals on this forum for some perspective, but I still think I've got a big problem on my hands that needs to be dealt with. My primary reason for wanting to quit porn is, and has always been, religious. I don't know if any others here are coming from a similar place but for me religion is a very important part of my life and yet I consistently choose porn before it. This has caused me to question whether I am in control of my porn habit or whether I gave up that control a long time ago.

    My first experiences with porn were with non-nude models, who were my gateway drug. As a person I've always valued subtlety and understatedness, so anything other than non-nude horrified me and struck me as crass and unsexy. As you can imagine, that soon changed.

    Eventually, in a turn of events probably familiar to many of you, I could only get off to extreme porn, particularly violent sex and rape fantasies. Right now I genuinely believe that I could look at a photo of a naked woman and feel nothing, unless some element of the photo were extreme in some way. (Obviously I won't be trying to test that though!) I also started reading extreme erotica because I needed more extreme scenarios than a video could ever provide. Eventually this need for novelty drove me to do some strange things in the real world, such as tying myself up, sitting on a broom handle, or going out at night and just standing there masturbating in the dark. I really didn't enjoy these things on any appreciable level, and never repeated a single one of them. Looking back, I can see that it was just my brain trying to find a more intense buzz.

    I should probably mention that I didn't look at porn daily. What would usually happen was that I would go 3 or 4 days without any porn or masturbation, and then go on mammoth porn sprees for the next 2 or 3 days, masturbating five or six times a day. I'm not sure why I followed this pattern. I've always wanted to quit porn from the beginning, so perhaps I was being strong for a few days before giving in to my cravings, but it could also have been that I simply exhausted myself and was unable to feel the same level of arousal for a few days after my marathons.

    My first taste of life without porn was when my fiancee left me when I was 21. We'd been together for a long time and I was so crushed that something just broke and I just didn't experience any desire for porn for over 2 months. My previous record had been 11 days without porn. Obviously I can't claim they were 2 great months, but as I started to recover from the ordeal I determined to continue my porn-free streak and eventually my mind became clearer than it had ever been. I had a newfound energy, and I approached life with much greater focus than before. At the time I put this down to the fact that I had put my relationship woes behind me.

    I fell off the wagon after 4 months and it was as if I'd never stopped. But recently, after several months of unemployment, I started a new job. The sudden routine, the demands on my time, and the fact that I was having to learn so much at once meant that I just didn't have any time or energy to look at porn, so almost by accident I went a whole month without it. Again I experienced a huge boost in happiness and mental clarity.

    I decided to do some research and found yourbrainonporn.com. So now I'm determined to see this through and defeat my porn addiction. That there should be a community of people on the internet with a similar aim had never occurred to me, and I'm so grateful that it exists. This is the first time I've told anyone any of the story I've told here, and I want to thank you all for giving me the platform to do so. I feel that perhaps my problem is not as acute as some others discussed here, since I've not had any problems with ED, but porn has still been an incredibly destructive influence in my life and I'm getting out.

    After settling in at my new job I had slipped back into porn, so I'm officially starting my counter here at Day One. My aims are to break free of porn, to improve my quality of life as a result, to free up time for constructive hobbies, and to develop a normal and healthy sexual appetite that isn't dependent on constantly pushing the envelope. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    One of the steps that I'm taking is to limit my computer use. Porn and internet browsing are very closely linked in my brain and I find it very difficult to browse for extended periods without naturally progressing on to porn. Filters are not an option as I'm something of a power-user and can think of half a dozen ways around any obstacle I could put in my way. It also seems that violent computer games are a trigger for me, so I'll be cutting those out as well. In their place I'll be taking up new hobbies.

    If anyone has any other ideas, please shout them out. I'm hoping to be here to witness the rest of you having your own triumphs over porn addiction as well and if I can provide any scant encouragement I'll definitely try.
     
  2. greekurn

    greekurn New Member

    Day 2: So far, so good. I woke up with the urge to masturbate, which I dismissed, and haven't had any cravings since. As I said, I usually get a few days where it's easy to resist after I've had a binge. I've been making a conscious effort to give my brain things to do in order to distract it anyway.

    I usually count Sunday as double points, since if I look at porn on a Sunday I feel much worse about it than on other days. This weekend has hopefully given me a good platform to springboard me into the next week!
     
  3. HelloGoodbye

    HelloGoodbye Guest

    Hi greekurn,

    good to have you here. I am also trying to quit porn for a religious reason (among other reasons). I never thought that looking at porn was compatible with my faith, but I still kept on watching all kinds of sick stuff and always felt guilty about it. But what helped me was to concentrate more on the positive things that porn-free life can bring and not to dwell on thinking how morally wrong porn is and blaming myself for relapsing.

    You have listed some good positive reasons to stay away from porn, try to keep those in mind when you have any craving to PMO. Good luck on your journey to porn-free life!
     
  4. greekurn

    greekurn New Member

    Thanks HelloGoodbye. You're right, the positive consequences of resisting are probably a much better incentive than the negative consequences of giving in. I'll definitely try to focus on those.
     
  5. greekurn

    greekurn New Member

    Well, here we are, on Day... 7? I was just thinking yesterday that it's been really easy this time, with hardly any temptations at all, but this morning I had several incredibly vivid dreams in which I was browsing porn. I was actually inventing porn in my dream. It was quite difficult to resist after waking up from that. But so far, so good.

    It's only been a week, but I'm already seeing results. I have more energy and motivation for things, and a good deal more confidence. My mood is also a lot better! Sometimes it feels like I'm floating around on a cloud or something. I'm combining my abstention with earlier bedtimes and a more healthy diet, and I'm really feeling the difference.
     
  6. Onanymous

    Onanymous Living in the real world now

    Yeah, I had vivid porn dreams a lot in the first two weeks.

    Remember clearly how good you feel now to help you when you are feeling low in the future. I'm at Day 25 today, and feeling good is pretty much the norm. In fact, the bad moments tend to take me by surprise because they are so unusual.
     
  7. greekurn

    greekurn New Member

    Thanks, good to know that other people have those dreams too. And that they pass!
    Good advice, I'll be sure to do that
     
  8. greekurn

    greekurn New Member

    Wow, it's been a really long time since I updated this journal! I believe I'm on Day 31 now. So far, so good.

    I'm not going to lie, I've come perilously close at times. Sometimes I've been unable to trust myself to even turn my computer on. The urges are unpredictable and powerful. It probably doesn't help that I've not been avoiding known sources of temptation as earnestly as I might, or that a sudden and unexpected heatwave made all the women around me shed most of their clothes for a couple of weeks.

    What's encouraging, however, is that I seem better equipped to say "no" to myself than I have in the past. Perhaps it helps that I've a better understanding of how much of a problem I have. One night this week I had a strong and sustained urge to masturbate which appeared to reach the point of no return -- that is, the point at which the craving is so strong that I've always been unable to resist. Somehow I was able to disengage from my instincts and tell myself "no, I've come too far to fail now". I actually said that out loud! And it worked.

    I remain enormously grateful to God for his help, and for this website and others like it which have been an incredible source of encouragement and advice. I don't comment on many journals here because I don't have much to add, but I do read them. As corny as it sounds, simply knowing that I'm not alone, and that there's a huge community of people with a similar problem and objective, makes it much easier to stay on track.
     

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