Sorting myself out

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by GameChanger, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    I've been using porn for nearly ten years now, and have been wanting to quit ever since I started. You can see my previous threads below.

    I suspect that porn usage has been deeply damaging to my mental health, and by extension to other areas of my life including social and financial. I suspect it has been eroding the pillars of my happiness.

    Firstly, there is the usage itself, which dehumanises and alienates the user from the source of love and true pleasure. Secondly, there is the element of shame, which entails secrecy, which makes it harder to break out of the negative cycle. Thirdly, there is the erosion of self-control, reinforced by the dopamine cycle, whereby it becomes harder and harder to break the addiction; the shame becomes greater, the secrecy even more important, and seemingly the only way to relieve the suffering to re-engage with the source of temporary, unfulfilling pleasure.

    Undergoing this, and simultaneously fighting against it and trying to abstain for 9 years (sometimes achieving only a few days of abstinence, sometimes a few months, but until now always falling back), has been terribly wearing on me. Exhausting.

    This continual fight is sapping a lot of energy from my life. A lot. All for nothing. I suspect it is also one of the main causes, if not the cause, of my anxiety. I am good at appearing relaxed in public, reflecting back a more confident, (former?) self but can't fool those closest to me, and so this is wearing on them too. It needs to stop, end. I need to move on.

    For my mental health, for my happiness, for my career and financial well-being. For those people in my life whom I love, especially my wife - in order to be there for them, in order for there to be more of myself left to give to them.

    But I can't win by simply fighting against it although I need to do that too. I need to find more meaning in my life: intellectual and physical pursuits, really pursued fully; love and relationships given the energy they deserve; knowing what I want to get out of my career and working on achieving that. Finding or re-finding a greater meaning and purpose in life, making connections I'm not quite capable of doing at the moment. Being as mentally and physically strong and happy as I can be. As well as for myself, being stronger and happier in order to help others.

    All of that is at stake, now I need to go and find it. Please give me your support and I will give you all of mine.

    Chosen Undead likes this.
  2. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    I relapsed last night - 10 mins of videos on my phone at the end of the day before going to bed. I think that makes exactly 2 weeks since the last occasion, two Fridays ago. I think I have got into a pattern of using P at the end of a week, perhaps something I semi-consciously look forward to as a stress-relief at the end of a week, in the same way as alcohol. It might also be connected with alcohol, which reduces inhibitions.

    Anyway, I've noticed that I am in that negative habit and I need to become more aware of it, to summon the willpower to avoid it in advance. But this morning the idea of giving up entirely seems so hard; even though I have managed relatively long abstentions (several months) in the past, I don't feel I have a lot of willpower at the moment. In the end, I will need to choose between staying in the negative cycle, which is easier, but bad for me; or, quitting the cycle, which is harder, but will very good for me.

    I need something to replace P with something better that I can really look forward to.
  3. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    There's no room for negativity in life, no room for negative behaviour which devalues human life, whether your own or someone else's. Porn is just one of the extreme expressions of human degradation in modern society, I believe. Let's have the strength to reject it.

    In order to break a negative cycle, you need to recognise what else is influencing that negative cycle - other factors. Always make positive decisions, don't do anything you know you will regret. Using porn is a way of escaping a bad feeling (which might have been produced by previous usage, or by another negative behaviour, or emotion); in order to escape the negative cycle and become a stronger person, you need to fight on two fronts: avoid the self-harming behaviour (P) even when tempted, but also recognise and tackle the drivers of your negative behaviour. We need to confront all our fears in life, one by one, all our negative emotions, in order to escape the cycle of self-harm and become better, stronger, wiser and happier men.

    Don't give up.
  4. Chosen Undead

    Chosen Undead Active Member

    Hey GameChanger, I hope you are still active on this site. I've been reading the last few posts and I sympathize with you. Shoot me a private message if you are still around.
  5. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Hi Chosen Undead

    My first login for three weeks. I had a 19-day streak but messed up night before last. This relapse had many things in common with previous ones: 1) linked to having had a few drinks, so lower inhibition; 2) I'd 'cheated' a little a day before by viewing bikini models - not porn but deliberately chosen to wake up my addiction; 3) I was stressed out.

    I'm not giving up and will learn from these mistakes; I'll try to be aware of when I'm more vulnerable and act to avoid it.

    Life is better without porn; I am happier, more aware/conscious, and more confident without it; simpler, purer.

    Maybe it's a better approach to focus on that exploring the depths of those positive feelings, than on avoiding the negative. To focus on being aware of, and enjoying the benefits that come with being porn-free, rather than focusing on not watching porn.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  6. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    20 days in (again)

    I feel like life in general without porn is just better. The good bits are more enjoyable, and you have more willpower left over to deal with the tough bits.

    A more extreme thing to say would be that going without porn, having previously been using it quite a lot, is like slowly walking out of a nightmare. I'm still in it really, but slowly walking out, feeling a bit better. No room for complacency though.

    Need to carry on putting my energy into exploring my interests, building mental and physical happiness and strength, so that I won't need to go back to porn to try to make myself 'feel better'.

    Definitely on a journey, some distance behind me, lots more to explore ahead.
  7. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    streak has ended for now - messed up - will take this offline for a while (I think)
  8. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Allowed negative emotions to get on top of me this week, which led me to relapse as an escape

    I'm posting again today because I don't want to let myself 'give up on giving up'. Got to get back on it, got to be positive.

    I do have control over this, because I don't look at porn (obviously) in public places. If I have that self-control, why not extend it to times when I am alone? The choice and the control are all mine, so the question I need to ask is why have I chosen, at times, to do something which I know to be harmful and negative?

    Using porn somehow devalues everything else in life, i.e. the other 99% of the time. Everything else seems less meaningful, less enjoyable; I think this is part of the dopamine addiction; therefore, abstaining and rewiring are the way to go; I have to be strong and have faith that it will be worth it, that I will be rewarded by good feelings: a) by the fact of actually hitting milestones (90 days is an obsession of mine and I don't think I've ever hit it since encountering P ten years ago); b) by a rewired dopamine system which fires better on real life.

    Now that I've reminded myself of that, let that be enough motivation for now.
    -Luke- likes this.

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