Starting a new Journey

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

  1. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    As I reflect back on my PMO addiction, I remember how selfish and closed in I was. Often, it felt like I would crawl into the darkest corner of my room, sitting in the fetal position on the floor with absolutely no hope. I was self-absorbed and at times couldn't wait until I could get alone with my phone so I could feed the dopamine rush (I didn't know what it was called back then) and edge for hours. I would only engage in social or family events to just make an appearance and then retreat to my room.

    I'm now on Day 51 and feeling so much better about myself. I don't feel a lot of the old emotions, or I don't feel them as intensely anymore. I still struggle a little bit when I'm around people I'm meeting for the first time, but I'm working on it. Even though my brain wants to remind me of all the things I could have said differently during those first-time conversations, I try my best to quickly acknowledge the thought and then tell myself, I can't go back and change anything. It's done and over and it's time to move on.

    Yesterday, my wife and I threw a nice size going-away party for our son who is heading off to college in a couple of days. Normally, I would have been in my room completely exhausted from all the prep work and social interaction. Instead, I helped clean the house, fix some of the food, set up tables, chairs, and tents, and socialize with our friends and family. It was actually fun to take my eyes off of myself and find out what is happening in the lives of everyone else. My wife and I were exhausted at the end of the day - heck, who wouldn't be? But I made a choice to step out of the old ways of retreating into my room and start focusing on others instead of myself.

    The moral of the story, for me, is two-pronged. First, I need to take care of myself so I have a healthier mental, physical, and spiritual foundation. Then, secondly, I need to stop focusing so much on myself and learn more about the other important people in my life. Every single person that was at our house yesterday brought something "fun" to the party and it was so rewarding to be a part of it.

    So, if you're starting out on Day 1, and feeling like there's just no way you can make it. I get it. I've been there and you can make it. In the beginning, it feels like you're just trying to get through the next five minutes of your self-induced death-spiral porn addiction that is full of depression and anxiety. BUT, you can do it. Get through the first five minutes, then you can get through the next ten minutes, and so on. You can do it. I highly encourage you to figure out what tools work best for you and USE them on a daily basis. Start building your strong foundation so that you can begin to enjoy your own company and the company of those around you.

    Remember, YOU CAN DO THIS!

    Day 51 - Zero PMO | 8/15/2022
     
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Great post!
     
  3. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Yes! I'm still here. Life has been really busy with all sorts of things and I haven't been able to post as often as I would like. I will continue to post when possible even though the next couple of months are going to be very busy for my wife and me.

    First things first... a couple of days ago I finally told my wife. Before I share how that conversation went I think I might need to provide more background information to help everyone understand why I was so afraid to tell her.

    Several years ago I was able to have about 6 months of a PMO-free life after being addicted to porn for several years. I was feeling really good about how things were going and I told my wife about my porn addiction. I also told her that I had 6 months under my belt and I was doing much better. She obviously was very upset and that caused a lot of problems in our marriage for some time. Then, unfortunately, and like a lot of men, I began going through a lot of high-level stress-related things, both medically and mentally to the point where I lost my job. I gave into porn one night thinking that I was strong enough to only look just once and I would still be okay. Well, we all know that one look lead to absolute failure on my part and that one moment eventually grew into PMO sessions 3 - 4 times a week. This went on for several years and my life continued to get worse. More depression and anxiety set in. The porn-addictive death spiral kept getting worse and I was being taken down deeper into a darker place.

    When I posted several weeks ago about how afraid I was of telling my wife, those were real feelings. I really was afraid if I told my wife about my relapse then it would destroy our marriage.

    So, here's to being transparent. Call me a chicken or a coward but this is how I explained things to my wife the other night. Since we are in the midst of remodeling our current house so we can sell it to move out to a brand new house we are building, I'm under a lot of stress. My wife works full-time and I'm at home on disability. I've told her that I will handle dealing with all of the contractors: emailing, texting, calling, etc. and she continues to focus on her job responsibilities. The other night I told her that I don't want to relapse so I have put up some very strong defenses such as these forums and the support I get from them, my daily devotions, journaling, and going through the lessons on ****** and having an incredible Accountability Partner. I explained that I have put porn blockers on both my phone and pc and if she did look at my phone or pc history she will find PMO-related searches so that I can learn more about this addiction and stay on top of things.

    Since telling my wife, I have felt more confident as a man, husband, and father. I can now look my beautiful wife in her eyes knowing I do not have anything to hide and we laugh more with each other.

    So, that's my story. That's my journey.

    Day 55 - Zero PMO | By the Grace of God
     
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  4. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member


    @ImonaJourney. Great to hear! Very happy for you!
    While def unique situation for each of us, I agree it can be very freeing feeling and supportive - if one’s SO take’s a loving encouraging approach in reaction.
     
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  5. breath

    breath Active Member

    At about 60 years old and after a marriage of 30 years which had several consecutive years of estrangement, we are now in love and happy... I still wank to porn compulsively - but not nearly as much... and we are having nice loving sex. i take generic boner pills... I find at my age (but of course we are all different) that for good boners and sex I need rest and a day's absitnence (or two) sometimes ...more days off can be good but it also llows the boner function to recede or almost flatline or be slower to get things going.. it also depends on how the 2 of u are with lovemaking... my wife likes quickies , whereas others may like long slow lovemaking which gives us lots of warm up time. So for me with a bit of tadalafil i'm ready when she is and don't go soft too quickly.. ( I could let her know but haven't - main thing she has to know is I love her and love sex with her.... Also big was not worrying and feeling bad about myself... We are human have innate urges which lead us into all sorts of habits.. Cutting out porn or cutting way back and having other goals and fostering a beautiful relationship is what matters and we do it one smile at a time and lingering hug at a time. the brainrebalancing theory is a good one as it is based on the habit forming pathways . but to think that it is a very distinct thing which is the same for every human male isridiculous. Its not like PIED MRI's show anything that is sweeping evidence.. Just be happy. I read way too much self evaluating and low esteem and a lot of anxiety.. You are good men with passion and good intentions - that's why you are here. so really really really foster love with all people in your life especially ur love partner. and if you and they are estranged.. show love at EVERY turn. life is a beautiful effort.

    This may be my last thread for a while.. and maybe I'll copy as a new thread before I go... I don't want to think and evaluate myself constantly any more. I had a counter, which i'm not going to bother with so don't believe it if iy says no pMO for 500 years.. I had sex with my wife today and I think Iwanked to porn a few days ago.. Good to cut porn out - or back in most cases sure, but we are all different so all have different tricks to life which work. Be happy outwardly loving and find YOUR joy in life.
     
  6. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    I'm thankful for the stress! I think...

    My wife and I are in the midst of remodeling our current home so we can sell it and move to the new home we are building. Obviously, there is a lot of stress with all the phases of these projects. I think I'm becoming thankful for the stress though. Let me explain.

    Today, while painting our current living room, I reminded myself to just focus on the moment and not everything else that is going on. Put some good music on and just start rolling away with the new color for the walls. I had to remind myself that today was going to be a good day. I have a calendar in place for all the different meetings, phone calls, emails, and texts I have to attend or send out. I have a binder full of notes to rely on when needed. I don't have to worry and become anxious about tomorrow, which isn't even here yet. I can just focus on painting the LR and have fun with it. I tried asking my dog if he wanted to help me paint and he just looked at me with a blank stare and then walked off. Hmmm.

    I am learning that through all of these projects, I have to trust the process. We have fantastic contractors involved in all steps of the remodel and building. They know what they are doing. Yep, my wife and I plan out the details and work with the contractors accordingly, but, I have to trust them and the process. By feeling okay with trusting other people, I can settle down and focus on having fun while painting even though my dog still won't help me out.

    I think recovering from a PMO addiction is very similar to the projects I'm involved in, or the amount of stress I'm experiencing because of them. There's a lot of stress that can happen when giving up an old bad habit. Dealing with triggers, emotions, lies, and the ever-so-popular dopamine rush can all be extremely daunting. It's clear to see why it can be so easy to relapse. But, if I continue to build on the three-pronged foundation I've created: My relationship with Christ is more important than porn, My relationship with my wife is more important than porn, and my relationship with myself is more important than porn, then I have to begin to trust the process. I have to make the intentional decision to take care of myself first by reading my daily devotions, journaling when I can, listening to and responding to my ****** lessons and Action Steps, posting here when I can, and checking in with my Accountability Partner. I have to trust this process that I'm creating. As I continue to develop and build on my foundation each day, focusing on each new day, then I'm finding the stress and anxiety no longer have control over my life. The triggers no longer have control over my life. I may be eating more dark chocolate to compensate for the dopamine levels but, hey, I'm not surfing the internet for a quick fix.

    It is a process and we are all at different places on our journey. Let's keep building the foundations we have created and trust the process.

    By the Grace of God
     
  7. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Today is another huge milestone for me. Today is Day 60 of Zero PMO. Tonight just might be "ice cream" night. lol

    A lot of intentional hard work has gone into rejecting the addictive death spiral of porn. I'm so glad that 60 days ago I made a deliberate choice to walk away from it. I've learned so much more about myself by building my foundational vision/goals for my life. The biggest thing I've learned is that I must want freedom from porn, and the benefits it provides, more than porn itself and the problems that come with it. Am I, we, willing to give up a destructive behavior so that we can lead a better life, and have better and more fulfilling relationships? Am I willing to pay the cost of making this change for the better?

    Well, I think of it this way, I already paid the cost for so many years when I was addicted to porn. I gave up my self-worth. My poor decisions toward porn affected my job, my wife, my kids, and my relationship with my Lord and Savior. So, with all confidence and joy in my heart I consciously, and intentionally decided to continue the journey of freedom from porn.

    Tonight, I might even add some chocolate syrup to the ice cream. It's celebration time.

    By the Grace of God...
     
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  8. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Congratulation on two months. And about paying the price, if it would have been clear to us from the beginning how expensive PMO is for us, I believe we would have never gone that route. The price is sky high and as you said, it affects not only ourself but also everyone we have contact with.
    A saying: If we do what is easy, life gets hard. If we do what is hard, life gets easy.
    All the best for your journey.
     
  9. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    So,... I need some advice. Please and thank you.

    Right now I am under a lot of stress and pressure. We are currently in the midst of a huge remodel of our current house while building a brand new house about an hour and a half away. My brain is numb from dealing with all of the details, phone calls, texting, and emails. At the same time, I'm trying to do some networking in the new area for my small business as well.

    The other night I was extremely stressed to the point that I wanted to revert back to watching porn and let one off. I texted my AP and at first, everything was going well. He was very encouraging and supportive. However, the longer we texted, the worse things got. We both started texting about our past porn use and sexual lifestyles. It got to the point where we were both edging while texting. To be honest, I was so numb from everything that was going on that I didn't care. Yet, on the other hand, my heart was beating so fast and hard that I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. I knew what I/we were doing and it felt great. Once we stopped texting for the night, I was still very excited and finished things off with a quick MO session. I have blockers on both my phone and pc so I did not view any porn.

    The next day, we both apologized to each other and promised not to "go there" again. I'm really confused as to what to do at this point... just because I'm so numb from all that is going on. My AP and I have a lot of things in common and seem to really connect with each other. However, I cannot allow this type of support to continue as I have about a month and a half more of this stress before we move.

    I need some suggestions on how to handle this situation. I would like to continue with this AP but...

    Any thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Day 67 - Zero P

    By the Grace of God
     
  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Your AP person is male I'm assuming?

    My opinion is you should not be each others AP person. You enabled one another and you're not going to get that genie back in the bottle. Journal more, write on the journals of others frequently, find small tasks that are useful around the house. It's nice to have someone to support us, but at the end of the day we have to put on our big boy pants and do our own heavy lifting.

    Great job not looking at P!
     
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  11. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Thanks for the advice Saville. I will admit that I struggle with parts of our partnership. We have a lot in common and connect on so many levels which makes me feel good but he is a little rough around the edges for me on some topics and I occasionally don't feel comfortable with that. I think a part of me wants to hang on to the friendship because I don't have any other guy friend I can freely talk to about my PMO recovery. If I do let this AP go and find another one, then I feel like I've got to start all over again.
     
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  12. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member


    @Saville I just read this post for the second time that you posted on this thread - but I foolishly never commented on it before - just bc it was written before I joined the forum and did not want to start discussions on this thread out of time order! Lol

    But today more than ever - I now realize in my own life - there is so much validity to what you describe here. I totally gave up the “pants in the family” to my first wife. And in return for control - she rarely complained about my very obvious and extremely compulsive P use.

    And with my second marriage - my wife made it very clear she wanted a traditional marriage where the man wore the pants in the family. And it worked very well for the first 5 years or so.
    But now I realize my continued P use put a huge stress on our marital dynamics - as I left a void in terms of who was masculine and feminine - forcing my wife into a role should did not want and was subconsciously resentful of.

    she has recently commented that I am calmer and more dominant again.

    I think in retrospect, my PIED and lack of an ability to fulfill my role as her strong lover - led me to abdicate my masculine role in our marriage.

    This is a great insight to me today! And even further motivation to gain control of my addiction.

    Saville - thank you so much for taking the time to articulate this!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2022
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  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Sometimes we have to start all over again. I was doing some plumbing recently where I didn't line up the trap under the sink quite right. I could've left it and forced the pipe to fit and I'm sure it wouldn't have leaked, but I knew it would bother me. So, I cut the brand new trap out, bought another, and installed it perfectly. It took extra time, but cutting corners is cutting corners.

    There is so much good that is happening in your life. You are way stronger than you think. However, do what you think is best for you at this moment.
     
  14. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Btw, keep journaling! :)
     
  15. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Saville- after I replied back to your suggesting I terminate my Accountability Partnership, I felt like I posted the lamest excuse ever. For too many years I have put other people and projects first to the point that it affected me mentally, physically, and spiritually in a negative way. Over the past couple of days, I've had a chance to reflect on my current AP situation and I had to admit that it was not a healthy one. I just emailed the guy and explained why things were not working out and terminated the relationship. It really hurts to let this go because we had so much in common but I really do believe it was the right thing to do. Like all things, I know things will work out and I will eventually find a good solid AP. I'm not going to give up hope in this area but I will be more cautious about things when connecting with someone new.

    Thank you for the encouragement to do the right thing. I appreciate it more than words can describe.
     
    Saville likes this.
  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Great work, ImonaJourney. In the long run you're going to reap huge benefits. :)
     
  17. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    The further and further I get away from my Day 1 post I am able to see that I am stronger than I originally thought, and obviously, that's a good thing. :)

    After about two weeks, our kitchen, dining room, and hallway remodel is finally done. The brand new carpet has been installed as well. They were a lot of bumps in the road with all of these projects, BUT, I was able to get through everything. I might have done it by the skin of my teeth, but hey, I did it. That's what matters. I did not give in to any triggers, especially the trigger of stress. Yep, I am mentally and physically exhausted from all of the decisions and problems that happened, but once again, I made the right choices during all of it.

    I am realizing that life is not always about me and that sometimes it's better to give than receive. I'm finding that it's okay to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people, try new things, and stop and smell the roses regardless of how scary it makes me feel. Learning that it's highly important to take care of myself first on the mental, physical, and spiritual levels is so crucial to how my day goes. It's okay to stop and take a deep breath so I can re-focus on what I'm doing. It's okay to take a step back and re-examine why I'm doing something and the overall impact it will have on my life.

    For those that use a counter, today is Day 80 for me. There have been a lot of struggles during this journey and I would expect nothing less. Each one of these struggles has taught me something new about the process of giving up porn and about myself. I don't like the reason why I'm here, but I do like the better me. I'm excited about what today and tomorrow bring.

    By the Grace of God
     
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