Recovery Journal: I Am a Stone

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by WilltoPower, May 12, 2019.

  1. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 1

    I am a 26 year old full-time American college student. I have been aware of my addiction for 4 years now.

    I grew up as a fundamental Christian with very strict rules on socializing with the opposite sex. I was not allowed to date and was often discouraged from socializing with girls. When I was maybe 14 years of age, my youth pastor began preaching on the moralities of sexual behavior and pornography. He mistakenly increased my curiosity into the female body. One night, I waited for all of my family to fall asleep and used the family computer to search for pornography. After I had seen the images, I turned off the computer and went to bed feeling extremely guilty for what I had done. Unfortunately, This was the start of my voyeurism. That first night, I only sought still images of women not actually engaged in any sexual acts. The content from then on escalated quickly as you can imagine.

    After I graduated high school and left the house, my beliefs were challenged greatly and my beliefs became so much more liberal. The guilt from using porn left me completely and I was encouraged by my peers to seek it. I continued this habit for years.

    I have, including to the present, never been in a relationship. My peers always just said it was because I was shy and that it'll happen when it happens or they would try to give me advice that just didn't work for me. I eventually succumbed to peer pressure and took on the hookup culture that was so counter to my values. I still never had any success with women. At the age of 21, I decided that I needed to lose my virginity. I was living in Nevada at the time and went to a legal brothel where I paid a woman to sleep with me. My experience was disappointing. The woman was beautiful. She didn't look like a pornstar which fortunately didn't detract me. What was disappointing was that the sex just didn't feel that great. I was expecting something to feel much greater given how all my peers talked about sex. I couldn't orgasm inside her, and at her suggestion, I finished by fapping. She asked me if I fapped frequently and then told me to wear a condom for now on when I do believing that I was not accustomed to wearing a condem hence the inability to O. After that, I began attempting to date more women. I still did very poorly, but I brought one girl home with me. She was overweight, but still pretty. I met her through a dating app, the only way I have been able to setup dates. We fooled around for almost two hours, but I could not get a lasting erection. I told myself that it was obvious that I was not attracted to her because of her weight. I never called her again.

    In 2015, I came across a buzzfeed video on the topic that porn could be harming sexual lives. I watched the video and began traveling down the rabbit hole. I read Gary Wilson's book Your Brain on Porn and became convinced that I needed to give up porn.

    I kept trying to date, but I still was having poor luck. I went on a date with one girl who was gorgeous, but she was a little overweight and I never called her back. That is a decision I regret greatly. You should note that I was still of the mindset of the hookup culture at the time though that was beginning to change for me. I went on dates with three other girls. I went on a date with one girl, and called her the next day to apologize that I had been merely attempting to get in her pants. I went on two dates with another girl while simultaneously going on dates with another. At this point, I knew that I was moving far away and that I was likely not seeing them again so I began to wane in my efforts to court one of the girls. How I chose between the two, I don't remember. I did put more effort into creating a relationship with the other woman than I ever have before. This is when I was realizing how much porn was effecting my views of women. Unfortunately, she began to withdraw which hurt my self-esteem at the time. That was the last girl I dated back in the beginning of 2016.

    I kept battling my porn addiction never having a lasting streak. After a year living in my new residence, I finally made it to three weeks. I have never felt better about my sexuality and confidence. I had a set back because I was going back to Nevada for a visit and decided I was going back to the brothel. I visited the website to get certain info and ended up fapping gently. Even so, I was still feeling more confident than ever. I went to the brothel and slept with a girl. No problems getting erect and I O'ed inside her without taking very long at all. What was disappointing still is that the sex itself just didn't feel as good as fapping.

    Since then, I have not attempted to date anyone and my battle with porn has continued. I have never reached three weeks since then. For a year, I became depressed with my use of porn and gave up on trying to stop. Only recently have I taken up the battle once again. My views have changed a lot since I stopped dating, and I now know that I do not want to just hookup with women.

    Because of my strict religious background, it is no wonder how I became an addict. With no other place to do so, I could only explore my sexuality through porn. I used porn before I ever dated and before even fapping. Given all that, I see now more clearly than ever that I struggle to connect with women because of the porn, and I believe I am sensitized to deathgrip fapping becuase sex with women hasn't felt nearly as good as fapping.

    I have been sober for three days now. For me sober is not seeking/using any artificial stimulus (pornography, suggestive content, prostitutes, strippers, or anything else that is not a human physically present) and, for the time being, masturbation. I seem to have trouble around the one week time frame more recently. I have installed Pluckeye on my computer which seems to be promising and have ordered an android phone so that I can use Pluckeye on it also. I am nearly read though the second edition of YBOP and will finish The Porn Trap by Wendy Maltz after. If you have not read those books, I highly recommend them both. I also plan on beginning psychotherapy with a SASH-certified sex therapist.

    I would like to start a family within the next few years which means I would also like to start dating again. I can't seem to bring myself to dating again, however, because my confidence is shot in that area now that I have realized that porn has prohibited me from connecting emotionally with women and also because I am afraid that I will hurt someone emotionally. I now realize that dating for me will be an important part for recovery, but I still cannot get over the before-mentioned hurtle. That is something I hope to address in therapy. I am also not sure if I want to return to online dating, but I fear that I do possess neither the environment nor the social skills to meet and setup dates with women.

    Two unrelated things:
    1. My username is a reference to a concept of the philosopher Nietzsche. It is not a reference to willpower, the strength to carry out decisions, desires, goals, etc.
    2. The title of my journal is the same as the title to a song by the band Demon Hunter. The song speaks to me personally in respect to my battle with porn. It is a beautiful song.

    I appreciate the time you took to read this. I welcome any support, constructive criticism, or tips that you have to offer.
    I wish you success!
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  2. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 2

    I've stayed clean so far.

    I received my android phone today and installed Pluckeye which turned out to be a bust. The developer really needs help with that project. It is the best thing to happen for porn addicts on PC. I almost contacted the seller to receive a refund since my iPhone SE works completely fine. I discovered SPIN however which is mainly a parental filter, however, the developers have a self-management app that is only available on android. I'll have to play around with that in the morning to ensure it works for my needs.

    The urges are returning which seems to be like clockwork right around the 1 week mark. This morning I was tempted and I've been tempted since I received the new phone today. The "dark side of my consciousness" keeps justifying it saying, "Its just one last time." "Just one more time looking at a few photos and then you can really start." What a fucking lie that is!

    Sigh... I've got to get through this. It is so difficult though. I've got to keep the reminders from Wendy Maltz's poster in mind.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  3. Hey. Following up from what you posted on my thread.

    Read throug your post. I can relate to you in so many ways. From the religiousness to the virgin to the shy person to trying to quit.

    Only difference is i havent actually tried sex as my religiouss beleifs are strong and prevented me from doing adultery.

    All of three abrhamic religions say its not allowed so i never even considered it. As a result once i stumbled on PMO through curiosity it became my only sexual releaese. I had loads of girls that were interested in me at school but i never followed up any of them as it is against my relgious beleifs.

    Reading ur post scares me because when i do eventually get a girl i hope i can get hard and O via normal sex. Im pretty sure its going to be nothing like PMO where i edge hours on hours changing between the most hottest and beautiful of babes.

    We need to stop and that's why im trying again. Lets keep an eye on eachother. I want to get to a position where i just dont evem consider looking at P and a psotion where i dont M or O. Amd especially do not Edge or do the stupid death gripping to unrealistic hardcore scenarios.... Filthy nasty stuff.

    Im not going to journal by days. Ive decide to post per major urge. I need to get through each major urge that comes cos usually i get stuck in the binge purge cycle.

    Ive just restarting after 16 days clean but i relapsed and binged hard.

    Lets do this!!!
  4. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member


    That's great that you are sticking to your values and holding onto your virginity. I may have different values and beliefs, but I always encourage others to live by their own.

    Physical functions are no fun, but in my opinion, the emotional toll of not being able to connect with women and how I can't be happy with the woman who is with me is of more concern. Typing this, it really gets me at the heart. I deeply regret giving up my virginity to a prostitute. That was something special that should have been experienced with a woman that I would be really attached. I may not believe that premarital sex is wrong, but I can see the advantages. Our culture is too fixated on the physical pleasure of sex and has warped it for something juvenile. Porn takes it one or several steps further. I suggest focusing on the social and emotional consequences of porn because the physical will take care of itself should you fix the former.

    I'm sorry to hear that. Progress isn't linear of course and setbacks are part of the process in reality. I struggle with binging too. Its the most difficult part of a setback. Get back on the horse! We will get through this! In the past two weeks or so, I have put tools in place to help me avoid porn. You can read about them in my first two journal entries. Best of luck!
  5. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 3

    7 days clean today. I'm thankful for it.

    SPIN is extremely promising. Their extension, manage SPIN, is the way to go. $40/year is well worth it as long as it doesn't crash incessantly. A lot of the reviews report this, but they released an update more recently and I have yet to have any issues. Let's keep it that way.

    Urges are few between right now. Seems like after day 4 or 5, the addict in me decided to take a breather. Still had an urge today, could have given in. I need to get this iPhone out of my home sooner rather than later.

    I start a job tomorrow which will be good. I've been keeping myself busy, but being in the house for too long even so is not healthy. This will get me moving on my feet and interacting with people more which I need.

    I've been going to therapy for anxiety for several months now and tomorrow was supposed to be my last session. I had to cancel it because of the new job though and it turns out it was my therapist's last day. I'm feeling down about that because I got a lot of good things out of it. I'm confident that I'll be okay with my anxiety from here on out though so its not too bad of a loss anyways. Plus, I was waiting for this to end before setting up with a different therapist specifically for my porn addiction so at least I'm not waiting on that anymore.

    Well tomorrow's Friday which means I got what is historically a rough few days ahead. Weekends have predominantly difficult though the years. Too much time spent at home. I'll have to think of something to get me out of the house. Maybe I'll be working this weekend though. I'll have to stay vigilante and put forth effort. Take it one day at a time. Take it just a few hours at a time. Whatever it takes to get though this. I am a stone.
  6. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 4

    9 days clean. It hasn't been too bad. I did have an intense urge yesterday. I threw on urge surfing audio. I give thanks to my anxiety therapy for making these exercises effective.

    During the urge surf, I meditated on why I was really feeling the urge. I'm feeling anxiety about my future right now and I was feeling lonely. Porn would have subsided the feeling yesterday, but it would have only done so temporarily. I know that if I had given in, my anxiety would have only increased.

    I emailed a therapist on Friday late afternoon/early evening. I don't expect to hear back from her until tomorrow.

    Big day at work today which should leave me tired when I get off this evening. That'll be good for falling asleep fast and keeping the temptations low.
  7. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 5

    Had a dream that I went back to porn. It was eerie. I'm really glad it was only a dream. Got triggered watching television. Nothing suggestive, but something did remind me of porn. That's fantastic. Gotta love that porn is twisting innocent things in my mind. I've also noticed an increase in irritability.

    The first therapist I contacted didn't have any openings. I called another therapist who can't see me for almost a month, but she immediately told me to check out, Reboot Nation, and books by Patrick Carnes. If this therapist is already that familiar with these materials, I feel good about perusing treatment through her. She also told me to attend Sexaholic Anonymous meetings which I don't feel very comfortable attending, but I emailed the local chapter anyways. I really hope my schema is very wrong.

    I also sold my iPhone tonight so it is officially out of the house. I really don't have any convenient way of accessing porn as far as I know now. Still though, I need to not slack.

    11 days clean.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  8. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 6

    I screwed up. I honestly don't know what happened. I just lost control. I was telling myself stop, but my actions just weren't matching my thoughts, at least that's what it seemed like at the time. I went through a small binge the last two days. I honestly just wasn't using my filters properly. I knew I had my delay on my computer too low, but I justified it because I'm doing a lot of research right now. I increased the delay so that side shouldn't be a problem anymore. I also learned more features of SPIN after my relapse and increased the guard on it. Overall, I'm happy with the filters I put into place. I just lent myself more trust than I should have.

    In the moment I was beginning to relapse, the only thing that I could think about was calling someone who could help me to think clearly. Its really frustrating knowing that I am missing that part of my recovery. I still need to wait a whole month before I can contact that therapist. I left an email to SA requesting info a few days ago and received an automatic email saying I should I either wait to receive an email back or call a number. After getting my head together just a few minutes ago, I called the number. No answer. Just instructions to leave a first name and phone number. I am supposed to get a call back within 3 days. It took a lot of nerves for me to call that number. I want nothing than to be left alone right now. It stings that I got a machine.

    I'll be alright, I suppose. I received the books by Patrick Carnes today, and I'm putting things in place so I can't say that I am being defeated. I'm just feeling down right now is all.

    0 consecutive days clean.
  9. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 7

    I've stayed clean since my last journal entry. That's 3 days.

    I'm still very much tempted to use porn or other unhealthy habits. Its crazy how bad the itch can be.

    My call to SA was returned and I now have a list of times and places in my area. I plan on attending the meeting on Wednesday.

    I haven't been doing my reading like I promised myself I would. I need to get back on that.

    Nothing else noteworthy. Hopefully, I continue to stay clean.
  10. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 8

    I used again. I was checking out twitter on my phone which I never messed with before, and thought to myself, "I should check to see if I can get porn on here so that I can block it." I was in good intentions, but as soon as I searched, I lost all control...

    The worst part about it is how apathetic I feel about it. I think it has to do with the fact that I really wanted to see a therapist, but have had no luck finding one and also the relapse after relapse since I started again. Well at least the therapist I originally contacted will be available again a few weeks.

    I'm heading out of the house in few minutes to attend a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting. I honestly don't have great expectations. I don't agree with their approach at least what they have on their website and also, porn addiction is not synonymous with sex addiction. That said, I'm going to keep my mind open as best I can. The therapist I originally spoke to was surprisingly knowledgeable about porn addiction and she told me to attend, so I need to do my part.

    I just want to be clean already and begin viewing sex and women healthily. I'm sick of being lonely and afraid to hurt someone. I guess I'm not completely apathetic, but I miss feeling depressed or anxious after using. I at least felt something strong within. I'll live by facts right now. Motivation will follow.

    0 consecutive days since I last used.
  11. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 9

    I can't believe its been since May since I last posted.

    The Sexaholics Anonymous group turned out to be a bust. The meeting took place at a church where there were all kinds of activities going on. No one bothered to help me find the group so I just left and wrote that group off. None of the other group times worked with my schedule so I haven't attempted to go to any other meetings.

    I went to a therapist, but that was a huge disappointment. She wasted an entire session talking about herself which didn't make me happy. She wanted to use this new therapeutic technique that doesn't have a scientific backing, and it was the wrong method for me. On top of that, she expected me to participate in all these church activities in her local area. Bare in mind that she was located an hour away from where I reside. She was also condescending about any kind of hiccup which meant a lot considering her expectations. I let her go after three sessions and haven't ventured to contact another therapist since.

    I haven't done too well in between all that and now. I definitely stopped caring. I seem to struggle with apathy frequently. I'm almost certain its because I often believe that I'm a lost case. That is something I should confront more head on at some point.

    Anyways, I recently have lit a fire under my own ass. The past two days I have been scouring my resources refreshing my memory and picking up a plethora of things that I have missed in the past. I'm back on it now and this time, I'm committed. I'll make mistakes and give into my addiction again at some point, but this time I won't let it derail me!

    Oh, and happy New Year's to anyone who reads this.

    2 consecutive days since I have last used.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
    Merton likes this.
  12. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 10

    Still doing my research. Its getting me in the feels tonight. Whenever I think about how pornography is my sexuality from the very beginning and how I've never learned courtship, I hurt. I'm holding onto that sliver of hope that I will be free of this addiction and that I may end up in a relationship one day. Other than that, I'm reminding myself how porn has taken away my integrity in the past.

    This is emotionally tough and I have no one to talk to about this. It sucks.

    Here's to hope, no matter how small it is because the moment I think its hopeless is the moment I slip.

    3 consecutive days of sobriety.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  13. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 11

    Another day nearly down. Nothing to report really. Read this on a Your Brain On Porn article today:

    "A feverish urge to seek pleasure can easily be mistaken for pleasure, even if it is technically the elusive promise of pleasure."

    I'm going to write that one down somewhere to read next time I think that using will give me true pleasure.

    4 consecutive days since I last used.
  14. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 12

    Nearly another full day down without using.

    I've been slacking on my research. I would like to be getting through more, but I'm doing a little everyday so far. If there's one thing I keep coming back t its this:
    Addiction is isolation. Recovery is connection.
    I came across this idea again while reading, "Was the Cowardly Lion Just Masturbating with Porn Too Much?" on Nearly every successful story I read involves an act of full disclosure to a wife or girlfriend. Perhaps I am fooling myself with this observation, and I am subconsciously looking for that detail while reading. I become anxious when thinking about this because I have placed so much importance on this idea that relying on someone else is the key to recovery. I think to myself, "I don't have anyone to disclose my struggles. I need a female friend or girlfriend to talk about this stuff, but my addiction is preventing me from attaining either one of these." There's a false belief somewhere here. Perhaps connection is not the key to recovery. Maybe I'm thinking about this hypothetical relationship incorrectly. I could have someone to disclose this with right now, and that person may not need to be a female. I am actually certain that being female is not a criteria, yet I think I'd be more comfortable if it were. Perhaps that is just fantasy. I need to think on this more.

    5 consecutive days since I have last used.
  15. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 13

    Today was a good day. I went to a rock climbing gym with some friends. I got some blisters on my hands, and I expect to be sore tomorrow. I had fun. I'm not sure that this kind of socializing is enough. They don't know my addiction so we obviously don't talk about it, but I do think that it is good for me anyways.

    We went to eat afterwards, and there was a group in the restaurant. As that group left walking past me, one of the women made eye contact and smiled at me. This is small and can even seem a bit silly, but I have never had confidence in my ability to attract the opposite sex. I don't think I'm anywhere near the extreme end of the shyness-to-confident spectrum, but I do admit that I am on the shy side. This topic has been coming up a lot in my porn addiction literature so just having it at the front of my mind is probably why I was both able to illicit a smile with eye contact (which wasn't even my intention) and to notice it.

    I did some reading this morning before going out with friends including my daily devotional. I have not meditated the last two days mostly because I am now feeling ambivalent on its supposed benefits. I should get back on it anyways and do some research so that I can reassure myself or repurpose that time.

    6 consecutive days of sobriety.
  16. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 14

    My brother took a last minute trip out of state. I've been hanging out by myself for most of the past two days. I always thought of myself as an introvert, but I think I'm more of an ambivert. Its been lonely. I texted my two best friends both out of state. They got back to me late last night before people started falling asleep, but they haven't continued the conversation since last night. They are both terrible long distance communicators. I realized that my loneliness was bad enough to the point that I went to a local bar just to be around people. It was mostly dead in the bar, and I didn't really talk to anyone, but it was still recharging to be around people after sitting in the house all day. I need to make an appoint to be around people every day for a couple of hours at least. I don't know where to do that right now. At least this winter break will end on Monday morning.

    Did a lot of reading yesterday. Good stuff. However, I did mess up. In my reading I was encouaged to get informed about the abuse of the porn industry. I should have ignored this as I am mostly aware already, but I searched on YT. Of course, most documentarians are unaware or apathetic toward porn addiction so I was quickly exposed to sights and sounds that are unhealthy for me. The real problem occurred when I edged. Oh well. I marked it on my spreadsheet.

    Today I worked on a spreadsheet that took way too long. Definitely felt unproductive. I registered for Recovery Nation since it seems so promising. I hope that its still active.
  17. UK Don

    UK Don Active Member

    Just read through your story. Quite different to mine, yet in some ways quite similar - keep up the abstinence!

    YOU are in control over your future, no-one else.
  18. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    @UK Don Thanks for the words of encouragement!
  19. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 15

    I read bigbookofpenis' No Arousal method today. I've been beginning to think like how he suggests already, but reading his thread really cut the time it would have taken me to make those kind of thoughts, and I'm not sure if I would have made the same observations. If he were still around, I would give him a big thanks. I was worried when he talked about how he would not interact or even go so far as to look at any women he did not need to while he had a steady girlfriend, but someone else who was similar to me asked him the very same question I would have to which he replied that learning to get a girlfriend was an important step. Of course, I don't need his approval, but an affirmation from someone who seems to get it does good to one's confidence.

    The No Arousal method was put to the test tonight already. I was hanging out at a pizza place with my siblings. There were TV's playing country music videos and all I could see out of the corner of my eye every other second was tits and ass. I just kept my mindfulness training as my go to and looked away. The temptation to use is everywhere, yet I am going strong this time around. Streaks are overrated, but breaking an old record is still satisfying, and I am confident that I will make it to 30 days without using porn or masturbating. Of course, I am shooting for a lifetime of abstinence, but a milestone is a milestone. I promise not to be disappointed if I do mess up though. That's what my calendar is for.

    I still have quite a large reading list and links I am following, but I should write a recovery plan for myself soon. School starts up again next week and I won't have 10 hours to dedicate everyday to educating myself on strategies implemented by others before me. I should call up a therapist tomorrow too since I have been meaning to do that.

    In other news, I had a friend from out of state call me. I told him years ago when I first leaned about PA that I was hooked hoping to find someone to be accountable to and to talk to. Well he admitted today that he is feeling the effects of porn. While I'm not thrilled that he is hooked, I am happy that I may not be in this alone now and that he is seeking help.

    Here's to another day!
  20. WilltoPower

    WilltoPower Member

    Journal Entry 16

    Nothing much to report. I don't know why I'm having such an easy time abstaining right now. Perhaps its because of all this research I've been doing. I'm not sure, but I welcome it. Of course, I fully expect that I will have a craving again, and if I haven't had any yet, I expect that it will be very strong. Either that, or I will enter into what I have read referred to as a "flatline."

    I realized the other day that I do not need to register for Recovery Nation to begin the program. The workshops are open access which is great because I am fairly certain I tried months ago to register and never heard from them so its likely that no one is active there anymore.

    Other than that, the semester starts again tomorrow. My time will be spent on my studies. However, recovery will still be a priority.
    Rebel likes this.

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