Starting a new Journey

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by ImonaJourney, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    I am a 60-year-old man that has struggled with PMO since about 6th grade. I'm supposed to be a Christian as well but I am failing at that miserably right now. I have already read "Wack" and am on day 5 of my recovery. I would really like to meet up with another Christian man for accountability purposes.

    The struggle has been very extremely intense with high levels of anxiety, guilt, shame, and embarrassment. It's time I put this behind me once and for all.

    Thank you in advance for any head y'all can provide.

    This is a journey and I have my walking stick ready to go.
    Rudolf Geyse and path-forward like this.
  2. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    So, what do you do when you wake up from a nap and a really nice erection is staring you in the face. Well, not really in my face because I can't and won't get my face down that low... lol. In my case, you simply acknowledge that the erection is happening and then move on and focus on something else.

    Yesterday I loaded ****** on both my computer and my phone and I have started listening to some of the lessons they have posted. I have also started an account at YourBrainRebalanced. I now have the longest-running time frame for reading my devotions - 5 days. Also, using ******, I am beginning to create a journal based on the questions I am being asked in ******.

    One of the things I have learned through other posts, something I've read or listened to is that it is important to create new ideas, thoughts, and activities that are opposite of the way PMO has trained me to think. I'm gonna call it, "Change My Will". For too many years I have allowed myself to slide down the slippery slope of depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and more. Yes, right now, those things are still a part of my life, except for the depression, but I am "Willing" to take the steps to address them one by one.

    7/1/2022 - Day 6 - By the Grace of God I will take my next step.
    Saville likes this.
  3. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Yesterday and last night were filled with a lot of stress. I spent several hours on the phone with a family member trying to help them with some computer problems. They are not very computer savvy which added to the stress. Once we were done, and they were able to finally accomplish what we set out to do, my anxiety and stress levels were pretty high. I could feel my blood pressure was sky-rocketing and I needed a break.

    I'll have to finish this post up later on since I need to help my wife out with the dishes. :-( lol

    I'm back from doing the dishes...

    My "old" normal for dealing with stress would be to head to my bedroom and start watching P and then follow it up with MO. Last night, being on day 6, I wanted to start changing the way I deal with stress. I started to create a "New" normal by re-directing my attention to the life benefits I could get out of NOT having a PMO session. My heart has been pounding out of my chest for the last 24 hours because my brain is being deprived of no PMO. I'm also extremely afraid my wife will find out about my history and explode. I'm not reading to tell my wife yet, so please, if you comment on this post, can you skip the "But it's so important to tell our wife" comments? Thanks. I'll get there, it's just not today.

    I have added ****** to both my computer and my phone to block any temptation that could creep in that way. I have also started journaling using some of the ****** techniques and suggestions. I think I have found an accountability partner to help me with recovery as well.

    Day 7 | 7/2/2022
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
  4. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    For the past several days my anxiety has been at a very high level. My heart feels like it's going to tear out of my chest and I find it very hard to breathe. On the outside, I'm trying to maintain some level of normality but on the inside, I feel like I'm dying. I'm just waiting for the heart attack to happen because the anxiety is so heavy right now. I know that I am making the right decision to quit PMO. PMO is a death trap that I have allowed to steal away my life, passions, and relationships. I wanted the easy fix when stress or anger filled my day.

    I'm really hoping that the longer I abstain from PMO, the better the anxiety will get. I think one of the reasons the anxiety is so high is that I'm afraid my wife will find out why I have been spending so much time on the computer: I've been posting to two different "Reboot" sites, journaling, and going through the ****** lessons. Please note, that right now I do not need people encouraging me to tell my wife. Years ago I confided in her about my PMO problem and it didn't go well. I fully understand the pro's/cons of confiding in her but this just isn't the time.

    Today is Day 8 | 7/3/2022 - By the Grace of God
  5. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I'm firmly in the camp that says: Don't tell your wife!! I've written about it extensively in other posts. The short version is it gives away your male power and makes the PMO issue your wife's to fix. In other words, we abdicate responsibility.

    Keep posting, my friend.
    Libertad likes this.
  6. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    So then how do I handle the intense anxiety of not telling her? Also. What if she asks why I am on the computer so much? Or of she finds out?
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    If you quit PMO then you don't have to worry about any of that.

    We have to stop being the little boy looking for approval from our moms. We are grown men and are responsible for our own lives. Telling our partners that we are porn addicts is like putting them in the drivers seat. They must now create interventions to "fix" us. As a man with poor life-skills this is defeating. It does the opposite of what we want to happen.

    I cheated on my wife twice and got caught. I know what it's like to always feel bad, anxious, and worried. I know what it's like to wish there was someone else who could do the heavy lifting and fix my life. But that's not how it works. It's up to us and only us...oh, and the men here who will help you. :) My recovery was about discovering and then embracing my male power or, to be more exact, my human potential. Right now, in your own head, your wife is already your boss and this is a big problem. I would suggest finding a copy of "No More Mr. Nice Guy," it was the one book that really changed how I thought.
  8. Kuhn

    Kuhn Member

    What do you mean by ''male power'' in this regard?
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    There is a masculine energy and a feminine one. The feminine one, as it relates to P addicts, is a matriarchal one. The matriarchal spirit, by its nature, wants to dominate. Many P addicts are attracted to the kind of woman who will "take care of them." This allows the P addict to do the bare minimum in terms of being in a relationship. We accept the domination of the woman because the pay-off is, and there's always a pay-off, we will be given space to PMO. When our partner is in-charge, wearing the pants, she allows us to get away with not being our best selves, because it suits her own desire to be in control, to have the power.

    In order for us to fully realize, or even half realize, our potential, we must tap into what makes us male. This is hard for most men now, because we have been told that we have to get over toxic masculinity and the fact that men rule the world. Most men I've met on this board are sensitive, thoughtful, smart, and treat women well. But we have been told over and over again that this is not enough. Since we were young we've basically been told that who we are is not good enough. Yes, I'm sure women could say the same thing, but this is not about women, it's about us.

    So, we have muscles that we have not used. These muscles have atrophied and in order to bring them back we must exercise them. This isn't about hunting, carrying a firearm, telling your "little woman" to get you a beer. No. This is about standing up for ourselves. It's about saying that our needs matter. It's saying that our lifetime of feeling diminished does not have to continue. It's also about saying that we alone are responsible for our lives.

    As responsible adults we set the tone of our own day. We accommodate others, but not so far that we begin to lose our sense of selves. As we become more assertive our partners, or prospective partner, will respond more favorably to us, because who doesn't like someone who exudes confidence? In spite of what our society says, women love men who are men. It's not about alpha vs beta, it's just being oneself.

    It isn't easy, because most worthwhile things aren't. At first you might feel afraid, but with practice it gets easier. It's our journey, not anyone else's. That's what retaining our male power means to me.

    I hope you don't mind my long post, I'monaJourney.
  10. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    You've shared a lot of information that I've never heard before and some I'm a little familiar with. You are definitely challenging my way of thinking.

    For example, I've never considered my wife to "wear the pants in the relationship" but I can clearly see how I have given up the confidence and strength I'm supposed to have as a man. I have allowed P to hold me hostage for so many years that it has worn me down in different areas of my life. Therefore, my wife has been forced to step up and take control/charge of a lot of things around the house and in our relationship. My wife is an amazing woman... you've just opened my eyes to realize that my own decisions and actions have caused my wife to step into a role that she may not have been created to be. This thinking now creates a new layer of guilt for me. In this past week, I have felt guilty because of how I have been feeling about PMO. I never thought about how it was affecting my wife. How shallow and selfish I've been.

    You mentioned the following, "This is about standing up for ourselves. It's about saying that our needs matter." I feel that there are so many reasons why I have stood up for myself over the years but it's about time I begin to firmly believe that my life/needs matter. I guess that is why I'm beginning to build a new foundation so I can start building myself back up. Through this journey, I want to build my wife back up as well. It's not her fault that I have made such stupid and idiotic decisions. She deserves so much more.

    Another thing you state is, "It's also about saying that we alone are responsible for our lives." I think it's because I am finally taking responsibility for my poor decisions that I have felt so guilty, shameful, and embarrassed. This was MY doing and only by the Grace of God can I recover from PMO.

    Thanks again for the challenging words. Please keep them coming.

    Day 9 - 7/4/2022 By the Grace of God...
    Saville and Gil79 like this.
  11. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Great explanation, even that it was not for me I want to thank you for it. The examples in real life of what a real man is and how he navigates his life and relationships are rare today. Thanks again.
    ImonaJourney and Saville like this.
  12. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    So, last night I started to experience a lot of fear which eventually led to an even higher level of anxiety. I listened to a few lessons from ****** to re-focus my attention. It took a little while and the fear and anxiety gradually went away and I was able to have a better night when going to sleep.

    This morning when writing in my journal I took another "good" step in the right direction and wrote down the following verses:
    1. Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
    While in the midst of the hurricane of PMO I had forgotten that my Heavenly Father has "plans" for me. He has actually thought about my life in detail and created a direction for me to go. When I follow God's plan for my life, then, and only then, can God's plan be activated. My Heavenly Father's plans for me are, "...plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future." Satan's PMO spiral of death plan only brought anger, frustration, shame, guilt, fear, and embarrassment. Those are plans to destroy me, and you, while God's plans are to lift me up so I can be free.
    2. Isaish 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    This verse tells me that there is absolutely no reason to be fearful. Essentially, God's got this. Each new day as I submit to Him through my daily devotions, prayer, and worship, My Heavenly Father will strengthen me, He will help me, and He will uphold me with His righteous right hand. My Heavenly Father cares enough about me to be with me in the midst of my PMO struggle and strengthen me each new day. How cool is that?
    2. 1 Peter 5:7 - Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
    This is such an impactful verse for me. In Jeremiah 29 I learned that God has a plan for me - God is giving me something, a new plan/life. In Isaiah 41 I learned that God is with me, strengthening me - God is giving me help, and hope, and I am being held up by my Heavenly Father's own hand. Now, in 1 Peter God says I get to give Him something, my anxieties. Wait! That doesn't seem fair. God is giving me so much just so I can be with Him and all I have to offer Him is my anxieties. That's not an even trade if you ask me. But, wait. What is the reason God is in agreement with this uneven trade? Again, it's rather simple, 1 Peter 5:7 continues to say, "... because He cares for you." God cares for little ole me, and you. Really, if you think about it, there is no other reason God wants to be in my life. He does not want to manipulate me, to does not want to strongarm me. He does not want my money (I don't have any anyway, lol). The verse just simply says, "...because He cares for you." Period. No if's, and's, or buts about it. God cares for me - and you.

    I don't know if I will ever be able to fully understand God's Grace and what exactly it means as it's applied to my life, but I ask for it every day

    Day 11 - 7/6/2022
    Gil79 likes this.
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    We must also extend this grace to ourselves. For a multitude of reasons we didn't learn the necessary skills to handle life as a confident man. Extending grace to ourselves allows us to grow.

    You're making great progress!
    Mad Dog likes this.
  14. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    I let my 1st wife " wear the pants!" It's you're problem not hers ! Forget this woke bullshit ' I agree wholeheartedly with Saville ! If you tell her t h en you lose youre male energy in her eyes !
    ImonaJourney and Saville like this.
  15. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member


    I agree with you completely. Not only do I need God's Grace and Forgiveness but I need to forgive myself and give myself some grace as well. These are things I'm working on through this journey. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Saville likes this.
  16. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Today I'm going to start working on identifying the Bad Porn Habits so I can begin to create Good Life-Changing Habits. Here are the Bad Porn Habits:

    *External trigger for internal urge
    *Imagine porn and fantasizes
    *Routine - fire up a porn site
    *Reward - dopamine rush from watching porn
    This list comes from one of the foundational lessons at ******. ​

    When looking back on why I engaged in PMO, these reasons come to mind: anger, loneliness, frustration, stress, anxiety, and fear. I'm sure there are a lot more but those are the ones I can think of right now. When any one of those real feelings popped into my head I would just automatically give in to the fact that when I go to my bedroom (my wife and I sleep in different rooms) I would take out my phone and go to my favorite porn site. I would spend between 2 - 4 hours, at times, engaging in PMO. I let an External trigger initiate an Internal urge. Over time, I came to realize that I no longer felt like I had a defense system set up to fight the urge. I was so desensitized that I no longer had that little angel on my shoulder telling me to NOT engage in PMO.

    I don't think I fantasized about porn-related issues throughout the day. I just waited until I could be alone to Fire up a porn site.

    There were countless times when I thought the reasons listed above would just go away once I MO'd with porn. After O, I would just roll over and go to sleep and not have any worries. I was done for the day. Depending on the situation(s) that triggered the initial PMO, a "session" could last several days. I may not have known the name "dopamine" at the time, but I knew that something was happening in my physical brain that made me forget about the reasons I listed above.

    Here's my verse for the day.

    For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you/me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6​

    I am a work in progress as I journey down the path my Heavenly Father has for me.

    Day 12 - 7/7/2022 By the Grace of God
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  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I love your mindset, I'monaJourney.

    You say you and your wife sleep in separate bedrooms, does that also mean you're not having sex? The reason I'm asking is that one of the biggest factors to me getting clean was the plan of having regular sex again, with my wife of course.
  18. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Well, I guess it was pretty easy to pick that one out of my last post, lol and yes, there is a story that goes with it.

    There are two different parts to the story. The first is that several years ago I was engaging in a pretty aggressive M session. It was so intense that I basically broke my penis. The next day or two, when getting an erection my penis suddenly curved to the left and it shrunk about an inch. Mentally I was crushed. I was no longer the man I used to be. When my wife and I were being intimate and it was time for me to reach orgasm, I experience massive amounts of pain both in my groin and my head and neck. I thought I was going to die. At that time I made the decision to no longer be intimate with my wife because of the pain. I went to my doctor and a specialist and they said the pain I was having had nothing to do with what happened to my penis but instead the medications I was taking.

    The second part of the story is that I deal with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, and Chronic Fatigue. These things make for an interesting day. Just going up a flight of stairs could get me so exhausted that I need to take a nap. Because I deal with these three items, I am on a lot of medications. Another aspect of being intimate with my wife, and dealing with Chronic Fatigue, is that once we were done I would be so exhausted that I would be in bed the rest of the day and possibly most of the next day.

    So the question that might come to mind is how could I spend so much time with porn and masturbating if it caused so much pain and exhaustion? I found that if I spent more time edging (for an hour or more) and then finishing up the pain would be much less or none at all. Yes, when I was done, I would be exhausted. But, I would just roll over and go to sleep. It was the next morning that I would then have to deal with the guilt and shame of what I did.

    I think once I have between 30 - 60 days of recovery behind me that I would approach my wife to see if we could re-kindle the bedroom fire.

    My first for the day is, "People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13.

    I am making a concerted effort to share my PMO struggle with my AP and develop healthy habits with him.

    Day 13 - 7/8/2022 By the Grace of God...
  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Wow, you are dealing with a lot. As someone who has dealt with chronic fatigue, I know just how you feel. Feeling tired all the time zaps one of desire to do anything. I absolutely do believe that the fatigue is caused due to physical issues, but I also believe that it is a form of depression. When the song in our heart is squelched early on it can lead to all kinds of maladies. The further we get away from ourselves the worse things get, until we just give up. When we give up we conform to the stronger energies around us, that being our wives and work. The important question for me is: how do we escape the doldrums and find fair winds that might speed us back to ourselves? And this is the crux of the matter, ImonaJourney. But, how do we sort what is physical, what is emotional, or spiritual, especially when we're so bloody tired?

    I'm sure you've tried to untangle the cord on ear buds before or a long extension cord. At first glance it looks like a jumble. If we try to trace the lines it can be frustrating. However, if we start shaking the cord/s suddenly some of the jumble falls away. Hmm, now we're making progress. In other words we don't have to unravel all our complaints to begin our journey. I used to think that if I wasn't so tired then I would sit down and write a novel...or make love to my wife. If I'd waited for the fatigue to subside I would still be jerking off to P and my wife and I would still be enemies. It's all in my journal, but the short version is: I got caught cheating (twice), the wife never kicked me out the door, and we began a life of hurt feelings, anger, and emptiness.

    The prospect of ditching P was invigorating and gave me the necessary mental energy to tackle other issues, as well. We must follow this mental energy (how ever much we have), even if it leads us down a path that before we wouldn't have considered. For me this meant taking a stance as a man and not allowing my wife to steal my thunder. It also meant, as I mentioned above, forgiving myself for past misdeeds. Forgiving ourselves IS God's grace, if I may say that.

    Healing is an action. We take one step, then another, and so on. I decided that above all else I was going to make love with my wife again. The journey, like all journeys, had a better plan, which was for my wife and I to fall in love again. :) ImonaJourney, you might never not feel pain in your penis again, but the balm of intimacy will more than make up for it.

    You are on the right track!
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  20. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Thank you for your kind and gentle words of encouragement. They mean a lot to me. I also appreciate the "conversation" we have through posting. It helps knowing I have a fellow warrior walking with me through this battle.

    About a month ago my wife and I were talking and I brought up something that she did or said to me. It didn't sit too well with me and I wanted to discuss it so we, or probably just me, could move on without this "thing" becoming a larger problem. When I brought up the problem my wife responded with a statement that referenced a lot of my past mental and physical problems that have caused her to pick up the slack. It's taken a huge toll on her. She's amazing. She made it a parent that she is still dealing with the struggles of our relationship and the impact I've had on it.

    I have been in and out of hospitals thinking I might have cancer. Last Nov/Dec I was in the hospital for 29 days because of Covid and Pneumonia. I've seen more therapists than I can shake a stick at and my daily medication routine feels like I'm eating a full meal but in pill form. I've lost two different jobs because of depression and anxiety and finally had to go on Social Security Disability. Honestly, I HATE that my wife and I have had to go through all these problems. Have I mentioned that my wife is AMAZING?

    This week will be one of purpose. If I can quote you, "...taking a stance as a man..."? Even though the daily effort can be really difficult some days for me, I really try hard to help out around the house, run errands for my wife, give her a compliment, do the dishes with her, and so on. We are in the process of building a new farmhouse while remodeling our current kitchen while getting our current home ready to sell in a couple of months. No stress there, right? I've been handling all of the contractor's issues while she focuses on her job and other things she enjoys. I'm also trying my best to be more involved during family events. Mainly, I'm trying to engage in conversations more instead of retreating to a bedroom and sleeping. I'm trying to step up and "be the man." So, for this week, I'm going to try my best to be more involved with my wife. I want to build up our relationship to a healthy place. Again, I like what you said, "The journey, like all journeys, has a better plan, which was for my wife and me to fall in love again." I want that so badly. Yes, I would love to be intimate with my wife again but I think falling in love with my wife is so much more important.

    Thanks again and many blessings to you for this next week.

    Day 15 - 7/10/2022 Zero PMO By God's Grace...
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