Ravens Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by ravensrock, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    I start this journal during a time when I'd usually be looking at porn on the internet- I unexpectedly have some time home alone. In the past anytime I am home alone I tend to turn to porn. I'm tempted to do so right now but thought maybe starting this would be the smarter thing to do. I've been lurking on this site off and on for a couple years but never signed up let alone post anything. Here goes nothing....

    I am a 52 year old married man who has been into PMO since my teens. It's definitely progressed over the last several months and probably years. I guess I got started like a lot of guys on here- found my dad's hardcore porn stash, found a bag someone threw away in a field once that has a bunch of mags in it, sneaking peaks at the bookstores, and when I turned 18, getting up the courage to start buying some magazines myself. I kept them hidden outside in the woods and behind a false back I built in one of my desk drawers. I think I went to my first adult bookstore around this time too. I was pretty naive then and can remember on one occasion anxiously leaving a booth after noticing the finger of someone in the next booth circling a hole in the wall. I had no idea what it was at the time. Bookstores were never a big thing for me. I've been in one maybe only 20 times or so over the years. I've been to strip clubs a handful of times many years ago. Other than that it's just been the porn.

    I'm not sure how much detail I should go into and don't want this first post to be too long. But anyway, of course things escalated when I got the internet. I know addictions progress and I can see that in myself with this. Straight porn becomes lesbian porn becomes bi porn becomes gay porn becomes chatting becomes webcams and lately it's been a combination of everything. I don't know if I'm allowed to mention certain sites but the ones where you randomly flip from cam to cam looking for someone willing to play have really snagged me lately. It's so much like gambling...maybe this next spin will be the payoff. When I think of the hours and hours I've spent, sleep lost and productive things I could have been doing it makes me sick.

    I've told myself a million times i was going to stop. i've prayed for help and promised God I'd stop. But lately I can't go a week without it. Weekends and any time home alone are my downfall. ED has never been an issue until just the last few months. I rationalize to my wife (and I guess to myself) that it happens to all guys sometimes and hey...I am in my 50's now so it's normal not to get as hard as I used to get. And maybe there is some truth to this from what I've read elsewhere but deep down I'm thinking it's mostly the porn. This ED issue seems to be my main motivation at the moment.

    The frustrating thing is that despite the hours lost, the ED, the shame and guilt, the avoidance of family and friends, and all the other negative consequences, part of me still wants to do it. I look forward to it, it's an exciting rush, it feels good yet I know it's the cause of so many bad things. I feel like I'm depriving myself if I don't do it...like I missed out on a good opportunity if I have the house to myself. I fear I won't stop until something really bad happens. I've been "lucky" enough to never get caught by my wife, never been arrested, etc and I just wish I'd be smart enough and motivated enough to make a change before "hitting bottom". I hope that's what I'm trying to do here and that with the support of this forum that my motivation will grow and the appeal of porn will diminish.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. midge

    midge Guest

    RR, are you ever in the right place. Your story reminds me a LOT of mine. I finally got so disgusted with myself that I started seeking answers and help, and between yourbrainonporn.com and this forum, I found the support and info I needed. It really works, and something about just being able to talk about it with like-minded guys is a huge help. I tried quitting on my own a thousand times, but this place did the trick. For now, soak up what you can from ybop.com, and spend time here reading and posting. The first few weeks are the toughest, but it gets a lot easier. I'm long married, and our sex life is better than it's been for many years. Onward!
     
  3. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Hi ravensrock,
    welcome a board.
    I tryed to stop also on my own for many years till I finally found this site and ybop. With the help of others and all the information from ybop it´s really possible to have now days and sometimes weeks without even thinking about PMO. What helps a lot in the beginning is to read and write here.
     
  4. WRAT

    WRAT Active Member

    Welcome Ravensrock, this forum has been a blessing to me. Our stories are similar. I've tried to break this habit for a couple of years and reading/posting here has helped me break all previous records. I'm not comfortable talking about this to people I know but it helps to write about it. I had no idea so many other guys had this addiction and I'm amazed at the number of young guys posting.

    The things that help me:
    Prayer
    Read and post often
    Exercise
    Stay busy
    Take it one day (sometimes one minute) at a time

    Best of luck.
     
  5. fcjl8

    fcjl8 The only path for me

    Welcome Ravensrock,

    I want to tell you this is a bold and great thing you do in facing this addiction head on!

    One thing I would like to add to WRAT's excellent list of tools. Rest and Sleep!! The items WRAT mentioned will help you sleep. Try to get to bed at a good hour and get a full night!

    This forum has been one of the keys in helping me break through in my recovery!
     
  6. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. It sure helps to know others face the same struggle. It is a Friday night and ordinarily the weekends have been where I fall. Typically I look forward to when my wife would go to bed and hope the kids were working late or away somewhere. Then I would jump online to my favorite sites and suddenly it's 2 o'clock in the morning. I haven't gone a weekend without porn in months but hope that this is the beginning of many. My wife always goes to bed before I do. My plan for tonight is to get back on here and do some more reading as midge and others suggest. And posting some thought I guess will help too like libertad and WRAT say. I have a movie I want to watch so hopefully that will help me get through tonight.
     
  7. midge

    midge Guest

    Sounds like a good plan, RR. Always good to have a few things in mind for those times when you'd normally be tempted. Fill up your weekend with better things. This first one will be a struggle, maybe, but the victories will add up quickly. They build on each other and next thing you know, you're out of the woods. Wishing you well.
     
  8. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    You mentioned the feeling of "not wanting to waste a PMO opportunity" when you were alone. Even now, that is a very strong compulsion of mine. I too found myself escalating to more and more extreme forms. I don't know where it would have ended.

    But you are here now and you share so many things in common with the guys here, many of whom are great examples of lives freed from PMO. Welcome.
     
  9. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    I'm going to try to follow the advice of those who have been successful before me and post on here often. So far so good. Watched my movie (Desolation of Smaug...it was okay...not as good as any of the first three) and now I'm back on here. I knew I wasn't alone in this struggle but to have the direct interaction from other guys on this forum is more powerful than I expected. I've considered local support groups like SA or Celebrate Recovery but could never bring myself to actually go. I work with the public in the medical field and was always afraid I'd run into someone I've seen in a professional capacity. I know I can't do it alone so I'm hoping being on here will help.

    Is it normal to still feel ambivalent about wanting to stop? Part of me thinks I'll prove I can do without PMO for 30 days then "treat" myself to a nice porn session. How stupid is that? I'm hoping that my attitude changes as time goes by and the benefits of abstinence become more appealing than what it feels like I'm giving up now.

    I try to understand what purpose porn has served for me (if this is even necessary for me to understand to overcome it?). It lifts my mood when I'm feeling down or stressed. I feel depressed sometimes, burned out with work, lonely. But maybe this is a result of the porn use. Which comes first...the chicken or the egg? It's a vicious cycle. And I hate to admit it but I think the chatting and webcam stuff has been some sort of self-esteem boost in getting attention and compliments from strangers. It sounds ridiculous and pathetic to risk my relationship with my family that really does love me for some temporary rush. But it's what I've done for years. But hey...I didn't do it today. And that's a start.
     
  10. midge

    midge Guest

    RR, the interaction with the guys here was revolutionary for me, too. I would never have discussed this with a live group---my hat's off to those who can, but there was too much shame involved for me to try that route. I look back at some of my earlier posts here, and I'm practically giddy about the sense of liberation I was feeling. Talking about this pathetic, embarrassing problem so freely, and then seeing that there were guys successfully kicking it, was eye-opening for me. I was a super-chatty forum participant back then, and the effects were great.

    Also, I think a part of the cure comes from chiming in on others' journals, getting to know the guys somewhat, and trying to buck them up. A sense of mutual accountability and camaraderie builds up, even though we're anonymous, that helps keep guys on track.

    It's VERY normal to feel the ambivalence you're talking about. There's a genuine sense of loss when you decide to give it up--it's been such a go-to source of stress relief and self-medication for so many years. But in my experience, it worked as you suggest: getting clear of the fog of PMO had the effect of making PMO less appealing. And certainly, it made PMO lose that sense of inevitability it once had in my life--the feeling that any stray sexy thought MUST end in only one way, with me hunched over the keyboard, dick in hand, ogling the bewitching pixels.

    We've all risked a lot to feed this crazy habit. Makes me cringe to think about it.

    One thing more--it has always helped me to think about this effort in terms of training myself to make choices in freedom. I HATED the idea that my libido was so thoroughly running the show for so many years. With each successful day, each time you make the better choice, you are reinforcing your ability to choose freely. I still have urges occasionally (they're far less frequent and intense than they used to be), but I'm better equipped to handle them now than I've been in the previous forty years.
     
  11. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    I feel a sense of regret sometimes that I can't have the physical fun anymore. As you said, it felt/feels like I was giving myself a reward. Another thing: because of struggles with relationships/women in general, this was a way of making me feel more like a man in charge of his sexual destiny. If things didn't work out with my real woman, I could litterally take matters into my own hands and at least be successful on the orgasm front. After all, we are basically trained to think that it is all about the quantity of orgasms and not the quality of the sex.
     
  12. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    Thanks for the comments.

    Midge- your statement about inevitability really hits home with me. It got to the point where it was just what I did anytime I found myself home alone or after my wife went to bed on the weekends. It's like I was on automatic pilot and would just head for the computer. And even though I would think to myself I don't want to do this and I know the shame I will feel afterward, I still did it. I see from your counter you have 300 days free from PMO! That's amazing and real encouragement.

    Caoimhin- I just came across your journal last night. I can relate to so much you describe and can't wait to read the rest of it. I think the isolation and avoiding people is a big part of it for me. I work with people all day, am naturally more introverted, so it was easy to justify wanting my time alone. But I see how it has been a downfall too. I've been much more irritable over the last couple of years. I'm very impatient, especially driving, and people just annoy me. So I've been avoiding them which upsets my wife because I don't feel like doing anything on the weekends. I have even gotten into the habit of passing up opportunities to spend time with her, declining invitations to get togethers, going shopping with her, etc mostly because it gave me time to be home alone and look at porn.

    I'm going to keep myself busy today, read some more on here tonight after she goes to bed, and I think start commenting on others' posts as well. Thanks guys.
     
  13. midge

    midge Guest

    Congrats on getting the first seven days out of the way, RR (and getting through the weekend). The first few weeks are the toughest. Stick through them, stay busy with other, more productive things, and you'll feel the pressure/angst begin to ease up. Your self-confidence will build as you see your days stack up, and maybe you'll get a little giddy about your new-found freedom, like I did. All those incremental realizations and reactions really helped me stay the course--they were very motivational.

    I, too, can tend toward the irritable/impatient end of the spectrum. And, like you, I used to sometimes avoid opportunities to hang out with my wife--for the same reason. I wasted a lot of time and attention on this foolish preoccupation. I'm no zen-master now, but getting PMO out of my life does seem to have helped with the patience problem. I think it's related to the feeling of just generally being in better control of my urges and impulses. And kicking PMO has had the charming effect of drawing my wife and me closer together than ever.

    Trust me, I was as big a pig for this stuff as anyone--it led me around by the nose for decades! If I can kick it, so can you.

    You're in for plenty of good things, you'll see.
     
  14. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    It's Sunday afternoon so I didn't make it through the whole weekend yet. But I'm feeling confident that I won't do anything today or tonight. The impatience and irritability has definitely gotten worse over the last couple years so maybe there is a connection to the porn. Driving is especially bad...not that I'm yanking anybody out of their car or anything but I'm always rushing even when I don't need to be. And like the porn, I keep on doing it even though I tell myself I want to stop, I know it stresses me out, it irritates my wife and I've had a few close calls with other pissed off drivers. It's frustrating to keep on doing something I know is hurting me and others around me. Hopefully I can keep on track with no PMO, feel less disappointed in myself and just more relaxed all around.
     
  15. fcjl8

    fcjl8 The only path for me

    Congratulations Ravensrock, great job getting 7 days down!

    I had lots of anger issues, irrational blow-ups and I am generally regarded as a gentle person. The anger flare-ups have greatly diminished the farther I get from my PMO use. Much better, I like myself more and I think that comes across in my attitude towards others.

    I hope you find more peace.
     
  16. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Congratulations on your first week.
     
  17. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    This is the first weekend I've gone without PMO in I don't know how long. I had two weeks maybe a year or so ago but I think that's the longest ever. So getting through this 30 day goal will be a big step for me. I just have to keep busy, keep exercising, keep getting rest and keep coming back here.

    I've felt like quite the hypocrite over the years. I'm a therapist and see people everyday for depression, anxiety, addictions, anger...you name it. Suffice to say I haven't always practiced what I preach. On a positive note, having this issue myself has really helped me not be judgmental of others stuck in their own self-destructive behaviors. I can't tell them but I sure know first hand how difficult it can be to break out of these patterns. Learning more about the stuff going on in the brain has been a big help. I started seeing a new guy recently for "porn addiction". I think it's one of the factors that finally got me to do something about myself. Being able to say the right things only goes so far. After all, I think there is truth to the saying that you can't teach what you don't know or take somebody somewhere you've never been. Time to walk the walk.
     
  18. midge

    midge Guest

    Congratulations on making it through that first weekend, RR. That's a big step. You mentioned your two-week stretch of a couple years ago. I never even got that close before coming here. If I could put together a 4-5 day stretch back then I felt like a hero. For whatever reasons, this place had the right combination of elements for me. You're doing all the right stuff--keep it up.

    That's very interesting about your background, and yes, I'm sure the irony of it has been tough for you over the years. I know most of us share your feelings of hypocrisy, though, no matter what our professions. We were all living a lie to some extent.
     
  19. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Feeling like a hypocrite and just feeling embarassed are two strong feelings I've had. These feelings underline the disconnect between these actions that we are doing and who we are. If you can transform your "observer" status as a therapist into the "invisible patient" in the room, not only will you help yourself, you will become much more effective and real at your job.

    It reminds me of an often stated critique of the marriage courses that young couples are expected to get from priests - ie. what does a priest know about married life?
     
  20. ravensrock

    ravensrock New Member

    A new week begins. I really appreciate the comments and feedback from everybody. I'm just trying to take this one day at a time. I actually took off work this Friday, something I planned a month or so ago, so that I could have the house to myself to look at porn. I'm in the process of making other plans for the day cause I know hanging out here is just asking for trouble. It's sad how it really had become the central focus of my life...even using my vacation time for it!
     

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