Shame-aholic

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Imfree, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm at day 60 now and I've made it through some very triggering situations.

    I'm having trouble acknowledging the power than porn has over me because it seems illogical. I have this sense that it should be a balance sheet: Every use of porn moves me that much further into addiction and every succussfully resisted craving moves me that much further away from it. In reality, I still haven't tested the limits of the impact of a single PMO session. The effects last for many months, if not years, decades, or a lifetime. This is why porn is so much more dangerous than other addictions in my opinion. What other substance or behaviour could so dominate your thoughts and worldview even when engaged in for only several hours a month?

    I'm unpacking all the myths that I got from porn and a pornified society.

    One thing that I thought that I had got from other observations, but was mostly just influenced by porn was a deep-seated belief that women want to be abused. The scenarios in porn never led me to have a conscious desire to mistreat women. I had a strong moral opposition to the idea of this, and certainly to doing it in real life. Even if I never succumbed to the dark side, this led to a very bleak worldview. I saw myself as good, but powerless against a terrible evil in our core nature.

    The other myth is that continuous sex or masturbation is natural. Sexuality is not a constant. It is something that happens only at special times which constitute a small minority of one's lifespan. In porn and our "sex positive" culture one is led to feel cheated if there are not daily erotic situations. This makes no sense though. Maybe not particularly "natural" either, but imagine what it would have been like in past eras. Men going out to sea or off to war for months or years with no women around and waiting to go back to be reunited with their wives. I do not get the impression that they would have been thinking about this lack all the time, but would have been focused on the task at hand and the realities of their current situation.

    A substaintial proportion of my spare time has been eaten up with online dating. It feels like a waste, but I persist in hopes of escaping this situation for good. I allways have multiple online conversations going and I have several in person meetings every week. These are typical extremely dissapointing as I usually feel no attraction (not unreasonable porn standards, but that most of the women I am capable of meeting are not good catches). On the rare occasion I meet a woman who I am attracted to, but it seems to be a precise inverse relationship, where my level of attraction predicts their level of non-attraction and vice versa. Or maybe I am still doing subconscious things to sabotage it any time I see real potential. I have become more resilient and emotionally detatched in the process. I'm almost to the point of having no expectations. I did have some opportunities to get physical with a women who I only had the slightest hint of attraction for (just barely above the threshold where I could have gotten aroused enough to complete the sexual act). In the past I followed through with these "opportunities", but now I back out at the last minute because I can look ahead to the inevitable negative emotions produced on both sides. Also, I am quite aware of the risks involved for recovery. I can manage to avoid relapse after a bad date, but I don't think that I would be able to avoid relapsing after having sex with an ugly woman.
     
  2. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Been close to relapse today. Will probably make it through. My life has only gotten worse so far on this streak. PMO memories are not looked upon with great fondness. Being humiliated and degraded non-stop.
     
  3. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Things were looking up a bit for parts of yesterday afternon, last night, and today. I was having dreams which seemed to be telling me that I was on the right track and subtle improvements in interpersonal relations. I got back to the frame of mind that I have had for most of this streak: That relapse would be impossible. Now I have heavy duty cravings. Just keep thinking of this one scene.
     
  4. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    The night after my last post was brutal. I hardly slept, but I didn't PMO or masturbate. Things are getting better now. I seem to have reached a bit of a turning point. It's just hard to accept how powerful porn is and how there is so little room for error. Since the fall, my porn use was certainly problematic, but definitely tending more towards what would be viewed as "moderate" by ignorant people. I haven't been acting out that much for many years, but I would still say at least 50% of my thoughts are about porn, either "loving" it or hating it. Looking to external "objective" measures largely beyond my control is crertainly problematic. For example "are people inviting me on social outings?", "am I having sex with attractive women?", etc. Improvements would have to be subtle at the start and undeniable "proof" could only come years later.

    Things which seem hard to deny are: When I have been off porn for a month or more, I have more moments where I am content simply existing and not obsessed with pursuing something desireable or avoiding something unpleasant. I can't know that much about what other people think of me, but there have been more occasions where I initiated brief conversations in the last couple weeks. I have been less worried about whether people are judging me in some abstact sense, vs. deciding who I like to be around and acknowledging that I really desire their company but I need to take care of myself at the same time and not take rejections too personally. It might be simplistic to assume that I have found the source of most of my problems, but on the other hand, it seems like there may be some truth to this. I have been having very meaningful dreams which suggest that, even if nobody else, "my subconscious" is proud of me and wants me to know that I am on the right track. Even the more motivation if I agree with the intuition that this is about reincarnation and responsibilities which extend beyond this lifetime.

    This streak, which I strongly felt to be a conclusive victory at the start, is now less of a clearly defined path. I was in such an unbelievable hell (no words could possibly do justice), that I thought that (and nothing less) this situation had to force me into sobriety. The song lyric which I mentioned in another post which brought me to tears in public was "I needed to lose you to love me" (lose you = have a great relationship end; love me = give up pmo for good out of love, even if it can't fix the relationship). Slipping up seemed like an impossibility at the start, and as described earlier, relapse was impossible and cravings were futile based on this premise. The nature of my cravings has changed. I'm not thinking as much about perverse acts, but just about highly desireable women who appeared in scenes. I am definitely spending more time looking with more longing at women I have been seeing in real life. I'm becoming more sensitized to sexual cues, real, fantasy-based, and completely artificial. Again that false promise of things being "casual" is coming up. I keep resisting that voice which is saying "Good job, you're moving away from porn. Take things at your own pace. You're on the right track, but for the time being you deserve (might benefit from) some pleasure (you don't want to get too serious). Just one good session to get it out of your system. You'll be at pretty much the same place where you left off and your motivation for a longer streak next time will increase."
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  5. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm at the extreme pathological end of skepticism and cynicism, to the point where I am frequently stuck in a loop of "The basic nature of reality, as defined by science or religion is fundamentally evil. I have a feeling of being drawn to good and not evil. That must mean there is good in me. That must mean there is good in the universe. But, I have never found anything good. How can good only exist in my mind? There must be some other plane of existence where there is good, but there is definitely none here".

    So, I was thinking "Am I feeling slightly better because of no PMO, or mostly because the first signs of spring are coming to this cold and grey country?" I suppose it's not either or though. There may be little to live for in winter, PMO or No PMO, but coming into spring No PMO I am in a much better postion to enjoy it. Winter has allways been a big trigger for me. There is definitely some cozy feeling about retreating into porn. This is illogical, because if people found out about the material I was accessing, the consequences would be very scary, but it still feels traquilizing and sedating. When it's cold outside and I have gone through all the rituals of preparing myself for PMO, I tell myself "I had just settled down for a long winter's whack".
     

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