Starting again.

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Karzam, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Karzam

    Karzam New Member

    Hi all,

    So...I find myself at this excellent forum, having read reams of material on, considering the no PMO exercise which I'm currently going through. I actually started at the beginning of the year but had a masturbation relapse at the end of February, and have started again from the start of March (five or six days ago).

    Anyway, to tell you a bit about myself, I'm 38 and have used porn as a safety net, a crutch, and as a friend - many things really over twenty five years or so. The irony of course is that its also been a poison, seeping through my mind, insidiously destroying sections of my life. However, I don't wish the reader to think that this has been entirely without my knowledge - I have pondered on the wisdom of using porn, but I guess never realised the extent of its influence.

    In terms of my life then, although never diagnosed, I developed Dysthymia around the age of 10 - that's chronic low mood disorder. This then blossomed (as it often does) into major depressive mood disorder around the age of 16 - and around the university years I'm pretty sure obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and sexual anxiety disorder could have all been added to the roster. I trained as a psychotherapist for a while, so those diagnosis are good - it's just a matter of looking up the criteria and ticking boxes. The anxiety disorders (apart from sexual anxiety) fell away naturally, but it wasn't until I went to therapy for a year or so that I managed to start to get a grip on my depression. That was 6 years ago.

    Anyway, the reason for telling you all this is partially cathartic, but also to indicate that my teenage sexual development occurred during heavily depressed days and that, although the depression is largely dealt with, my sexual development is still held back by the thoughts associated with that depression. Foremost amongst those was the idea that I as a person wouldn't be attractive to girls (in terms of personality, etc) so I had to be sexually attractive - this led to getting penis extenders, etc (in my teenage years). However, since I threw myself into masturbation with such verve and gusto as to make Casanova blush, I also went down dark paths in terms of looking at and reading about abherrant types of porn. It fitted in with my depression at the time - "I'm a bad person, sick and twisted, so looking at lots of porn is what someone like me would do". Add the social anxiety to that mix and porn seemed like a much more attractive thing to do than go and talk to real girls.

    Although I wasn't raised as a Catholic, there was (and continues to be) strong thoughts of sexual behaviour (not just porn) being something that's wrong, dirty and disgusting. Obviously if I think about it, I don't believe such a thing, but there's a big difference between what you think and what you believe or feel. That's something I need to work on.

    Anyway, so here I am, trying to reboot the whole system whilst also getting rid of the guilt and shame stuff. My job doesn't help to be honest - I'm a University lecturer teaching psychology - which means I'm surrounded by 18 - 21 girls. There's not much I can do about that, I'll consider that just part of the challenge. 6, all things considered, generally doing ok.


    p.s. Sorry about the wall of text, newer entries into the journal will be somewhat more pithy hopefully. :)
  2. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    Welcome Professor. Since you've got some specialist knowledge in this area I'll be looking forward to reading your posts.

    Anyway, the most damning thing about my PMO addiction, in my opinion, was that it misdirected by libido away from actual women to representations of them on my monitor. I've turned down sex with actual girls because I just had no interest in them, and even if I did, PMO has led me to experience ED for years. I mention this, because one of the things I've noticed since I've started my reboot (I'm on day 10) is that my actual libido is creeping back into existence. With this, I sort of feel my own depression and anxiety lessening. But if you read some of the other journals, you'll definitely see that some people experience wild mood swings as they recover. So, keep that in mind.

    But, really, you're an educated adult, and you have no excuse for not dealing with this problem immediately (same goes for me). The sooner you get the reboot over with, the sooner you can go back to being a real person.

    Because at the bottom of this addiction is the blatant absurdity of choosing to desire flickering lights over real flesh and blood.
  3. Karzam

    Karzam New Member

    Hi Psychosis,

    Thanks for your reply; I've definitely experienced the effect of my libido being redirect away from women, with me however I didn't really mind since I was terrified of them anyway, and of all related sexual activity with them. :)

    So, day 8 here and my libido hasn't really surfaced as such - but then again I'm 38, so expecting raging erections might be a bit improbable anyway - not sure on that score. This whole area is such a vast melting pot of mental fuck-up that extricating all the threads will take some time...

  4. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    I'm on Day 12 myself, and to be honest I don't think my libido has come back much yet either. Like you said, since we're both in our 30's, it's going to probably take a bit longer. Also, a lot of guys report feeling more confidence with women as teh reboot progresses, so that's somethign to keep in mind as well.

    Since you're something of an expert, might I ask if you think that porn is a real addiction? Or is it more of a compulsion, habit, or somethign else? From what I've read on the subject, it seems that the experts lean more towards denying that it's a real addiction, but I wonder what you think.

    I was on a different forum before I got to this one, and the guys over there were all about stressing the addictive nature of it--and I kind of wondered whether they weren't making it more difficult on themselves by constantly viewing it that way. I'd appreciate your thoughts, and good luck.
  5. Karzam

    Karzam New Member

    To be honest I'm not entirely sure; you could put it in the camp of behavioural addictions like Gambling or Gaming because it's a predominantly a psychological addiction but, as posited here, there's a strong neurological element to it as well, which would put it in the camp of traditional addictions.

    In the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which outlines the criteria for diagnosing all mental disorders) I believe there's going to be a section for behavioural addictions in the next version, so it'll be interesting to see if the weight of opinion thinks porn addiction should go in there.

    Day 9: I'm undecided whether to think of myself as an old perv or not, surrounded as I am by students twenty years younger than me. I think part of the problem is that since I've been avoiding sex such a long time I've also got a lot of regrets about not doing stuff at the appropriate age - i.e. asking out girls in University. It's one of those situations where 'if I knew then what I know now', etc.
  6. Max

    Max Guest

    Good luck to you Karzam. I enjoyed reading your introduction and can relate to your situation. I'm in my early 40s and just now starting the reboot process. Fingers crossed. Best wishes.
  7. Psychosis

    Psychosis Guest

    That's interesting that the newest DSM is going to take into consideration behavioral addictions. But, I tell you man, I can really relate to the regret at not living it up vis-a-vis women while I was in my early 20's (or mid-to-late 20's, as well). What a waste of the best years of my life. I'm taking that regret and using it as motivation for getting this sorted right now, and avoiding relapse which will only delay the process. There's still time.
  8. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Thanks for your posts Karzam - glad you're with us on this journey.

    I can relate to the 'sex is dirty' idea. I think this is widespread in our culture (I remember a Woody Allen film where someone says "Sex isn't dirty" and he responds "it is if you're doing it right"). The 'illicit' or 'naughty' nature of porn gives it extra allure. It's almost that what they do in porn is what sex should be like.

    Like you I have training in mental health and psychotherapy - this is my profession. I feel extra stupid that I should be caught in this, when I spend my working life helping people to sort out their mental health problems. I think that while this may say something about me, it also says something about the hidden nature of porn addiction. I had a vivid dream the night before last in which I found myself looking at porn in a public place and was desperately trying to switch off the laptop so people wouldn't see. When I switched it back on again the computer showed me a scale which measured how extreme/depraved the porn I was viewing had been. It was a bar chart and it showed that I was in the category of 'denial'. Pretty self-explanatory and really fits with the way I have been able to compartmentalise my porn use: one moment I could be viewing extreme anal stuff and then an hour later I could be leading a meditation group!

    I think that while the YBOP material really gives the key to stopping use and taking control, I think that often the roots of addiction are more complex and individualised. I know that I have used masturbation to suppress and cope with all sorts of feelings. Sometimes therapy can be a good way to address the wider, more personal issues of addiction. I've been in therapy for over two years and have only just begun to directly address my porn addiction - I think I've been so ashamed and on my own with this and also not properly understanding what it's about, which is why I find this site so helpful.

    I don't think you're an old perv because you feel attracted to beautiful young women. It's what you do with those feelings - how you cope with them - which matters most.

    Good to have you aboard.
  9. bigmac

    bigmac New Member

    The part about being surrounded by attractive younger women resonated with me, as a 40 year old living in a city with a large population of women in their 20s, in between college and marriage. However, recently I started a new job where there are a lot of great women who are more in my age group (30s to 40s) and they have broken the spell somewhat cast by younger women. As a plus, older women also seem to be more interested in me, too.

    That said, I can imagine that many of your students will probably have crushes on you, and that is a whole other thing to deal with !
  10. Karzam

    Karzam New Member

    Hello again,

    Please excuse my lack of contact, I'm doing 12 hour days at the moment so I forget to come on and keep the journal up-to-date. I've come to the conclusion that being attracted to and occasionally ogling some of my students is actually a pretty natural thing to do. It would be slightly odd if I weren't attracted to some of them, and there's a quantifiable difference between looking at someone on a computer screen, and someone who's three feet away from you.

    On the topic of ancient thoughts and feelings, that's slightly trickier and when I get a bit more free time I'll have to address those. I'm disinclined to go back to therapy, but maybe that's the independent side of me coming out a bit too much. Re. regret, yes, that's something to use as a motivation - I recently found myself getting angry about something that happened years and years ago and it struck me how pathetic it was, clinging on to an angry emotion for that long, and for what purpose? I'm not quite sure how that links back to the thoughts and feeling re. sex to be honest, but there's a connection there somewhere.

    One thing that really resonates with me at the moment is the phrase 'you get what you want' - I never really understood it until recently, and now I really believe in it. Basically in life you do get what you want, if you didn't you'd get something else OR at the very least, you'd be working towards something else. In essence, for me, it means that I wanted all the porn addiction stuff, and all those things I did (or didn't do) in my 20's - I wanted to do them as well. For me, it's a way of facing up to my responsibility for my own actions, instead of railing against life and its injustices, etc. Sure, I know life throws things at you which you have no control over, but I'm not talking about those things - though your reactions to those things are part of the deal; in general though, it's just about the way that I run my life.

    Anyway, back to the journal, I'm afraid I'm relapsed in the lesser sense of the word. I've masturbated to orgasm a bit over the last three or four days, although at least no porn was involved. I've effectively thrown porn out of my life now which is certainly a good thing, I need a little more will power over the masturbation though. Anyway, that starts the clock again. No problem. ;)


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