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.

    Merton, nuclpow and Chosen Undead like 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.
  9. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    relapse last night:
    - alcohol
    - lack of motivation to abstain ('only 7 days on the tracker')
    - not feeling great in general, so false outlet seemed tempting

    Am posting because I don't want to give up; life will be better and more meaningful without this addiction; I will be a better human being without it. Even as I write those words, I confess they seem to lack conviction and meaning, but if I do manage to stay clean and really experience being a better person, then it will be meaningful, so I need to remind myself of that and keep trying.
  10. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Just PMO'd for the second time in the last four years. Just felt I needed the release and couldn't stop myself; felt bad as soon as I'd done it, like I'd just degraded myself slightly. Not setting a good example to anyone here.

    I'm in danger of sinking further into this unless I grab hold of myself NOW. I've just hit a low point. Time to turn it around. Just take it one day at a time. This stuff is harming me in every way and is so addictive. I'd got to a good place with it recently - using less and less - need to try to get back there and then push on further.

    This isn't just about porn, this is about how I am feeling about my life. Porn use is both a symptom and a cause.
  11. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    12 days successfully negotiated, so only 78 left if I want to reach 90
  12. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    So I managed 32 days and then it all got to much for me today, so back to zero.

    When I am full of anxiety, porn is an outlet, then after I use it I just feel empty.

    How do you find self-believe when you've already failed at the same thing 100 times, and when it's your fault? Is it my fault? To what extent am I making a free choice to use porn? How do I turn my mentality around?

    I'm not giving up, so if anyone can give any kind of answer to the above (please) that would be fantastic.
  13. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    Well done for not giving up. I don't think it's particularly your fault. You weren't informed properly about the dangers of P. Society as a whole has done precious little about this problem.

    It's also known that many people turn to addictions because of adverse life experiences. I could go on.

    How do you turn it around? I guess we're all figuring that out. We have to "work out our own way with diligence". You could ask yourself what you will replace the addiction with.
    nuclpow likes this.
  14. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Occams Razor; I don't know exactly what I will replace my addiction with, and that's maybe been part of the problem. Forgetting what life is like completely free from addiction is maybe why I have largely failed to escape the cycle so far, in other words, I've been forgetting what the good stuff's like and settling for P because it's always available.

    I suspect that if I lose the addiction, good things will happen to my mental wellbeing; I suspect it would release a lot of positive energy, and who knows where that could lead? At the least, I hope it could leave me feeling happier with who I am. I'll keep that thought in mind.
    occams_razor and nuclpow like this.
  15. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    The counter tool doesn't seem to be working; I'm in day 2 now.
    I relapsed a couple of days ago on Thursday - PMO so not good. I think it is linked to stress and poor sleep, which is a factor I haven't thought about so far. On Wednesday I felt fantastic, because I'd slept well the night before, on Thursday the opposite. I'm not making excuses and the responsibility is ultimately mine (if I don't accept that, I won't win in the end), but there are factors which weaken my resilience, so it's helpful to identify them, influence them, be aware of them.

    Whenever I am tempted, I want to challenge myself to find something better to do, and do that instead.
    nuclpow likes this.
  16. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Day 4. I think I have been using P in order to try to avoid pain. To try to anaesthetise myself. To hide from pain from my past and from pain from my present. All it is doing is delaying the point at which I deal with that pain, and creating new pain. To heal myself I have to stay conscious and stay clean.

    Having relapsed on Thursday (4 days ago), I felt a really really strong urge to use P again 2 days ago. I told myself to do something else, to wait for the urge to die away, and it did, at least to an extent. If I can do that once, I can do it again and again. It requires courage to say 'no' to an urge.
    EatMySleazyPancakes33 likes this.
  17. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    so I just relapsed after a day of building pressure (working from home on my own, various stress), but no PMO. Couldn't make myself do that, I felt more disgusted than excited even when viewing - this stuff just isn't natural (wasn't watching anything extreme, I mean the normal stuff itself is unnatural). n

    so today is back to day 0 no P but still day 6 no PMO.
  18. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    day 3 (9). Made a very big mistake over the weekend - financially. Missed a flight, partly due to things beyond my control (not enough sleep) but also partly due to P usage I suspect, and the scatterbrain effect it has on me in general - was using P only a few days ago - arrived at the airport at the wrong time. Had to pay a lot of money for a new flight. Very stupid. Feel awful and very guilty.

    Let this be a very big wake up call. I need to wake up and take responsibility, or this will push me into further guilt, scatterbrain mistakes and setbacks. This is affecting other people, mostly my wife, not just me. I need to become more responsible and aware, and that starts with not indulging in the completely immature, mind-screwing, degrading, energy-sapping habit which is P usage. Time to wake up and be better, firmer, more aware. But not more stressed. If I get on top of this I will be less stressed and freer as well as happier and calmer. Let's get back on the bike.
  19. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Precisely. A lot or all of us are like that. Maybe you can work on the pain a little every day, or almost every day, and in the mean time not look at porn.

    You do well knowing porn is bad for your life and to be committed to quit. Here are some other things I I think help us quit, some of which almost all of us do:
    • Filtering on all your devices
    • The No Arousal Method (NoA), formerly "monk mode", to avoid even getting turned on
    • Creating a Life Plan and working towards it (TheUnderdog's post)
    • Maybe have to say good bye to any girls in porn and fantasy, and get out of your head the idea of any sexual or intimate relationships in real life that would be inappropriate
    • Physical activity that also requires mental stimulation, such as Wii Sports or a real sport
    • Generally taking care of yourself and having healthy relationships, anything else that helps your life
  20. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Why do I only realise the harm at the end? After using? Why don't I realise before, or during?

    33 days of abstinence, blown. What next?

    After 10 years of using P, how do I stop? I always feel this pain after using it, but always forget it and go back! Why? Why does it 'work' like this? I honestly think that I have always felt bad after using; bad about myself, bad about what I've done; ashamed. But I somehow 'forget' this bad feeling each time, and the cycle repeats itself.

    Poor performance. I am left feeling so empty right now. Can barely face the thought of existing and living through tomorrow. I really do not understand. I do not understand anything at all. I don't understand why I am addicted to porn. I don't understand why it makes me feel so awful at the end. I don't know why I am constantly drawn to it and why the attraction does not disappear after so many bad experiences. I am completely lost, blown out, emotionally exhausted.

    I am good with people; I like people, I like life. I should be living a good, happy life. This is drilling a hole into me and it is not fair. Can anyone please offer some support? How do you turn it around when you are feeling like this? How do you move on? How do you move away from an addiction? Please help. Thank you all

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