Thankful for a Fresh Start

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by LTE, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    LTE, this is fantastic.

    Before I joined this forum, your posts were among a few I read regularly, and they truly helped me take the leap and sign up. Thanks for supporting so many of us, and being so consistent in delivering your message of wisdom, and of hope.

    I don't remember what your last count was, but I think you were about to hit 1000. Whether you did or not is irrelevant, because as you say, you don't need it anymore.

  2. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain


    The point being, simply, that it is possible to change how we look at things in life and, in essence, to make changes in our personality.
  3. BryanHoward

    BryanHoward Keep your hands where I can see them

    I have only recently started to follow your progress, and although your counter was very impressive - it is clear from your words exactly where you are in your recovery. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on where you are today!
  4. WRAT

    WRAT Active Member

    Powerful words. The time, money & energy spent trying to escape life could better be spent improving life. My son, brother-in-law, two nephews and I are going on a camping trip in Colorado tomorrow. I'm so looking forward to being back to nature and off the grid for a few days.

    Thanks for being here.
  5. Awww to think I was going to make some sarky comment when you reached 1000.

    Forgive my ignorance but I forgot you had a journal and to some extent it's maybe because you rarely write here and post elsewhere, but it's always nice to read your rebirth in life. I find it interesting, I always thought your new paradigm shift was down to your distance from pmo and the new habits you've formed. Never really factoring in the impact one book could have.
  6. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    That's it in a nutshell. Even too much attention to recovery can get in the way of progress in our lives. Overcoming porn addiction is important, but we have to go on with our lives in the meantime.

    Enjoy your trip. That's pretty country.

    There really isn't much to say, these days. One is never completely out of the woods, but there comes a point when you have attained a new "normal" and recovery has run its course.

    The first weeks and months can be a white-knuckle experience, but eventually it just comes down to living our lives and being in control. I have never abused drugs or alcohol, because I don't like the feeling of being less than fully aware and conscious. If I have a drink I stop at one, long before any negative effects, because I don't like the feeling that comes from drinking too much (toxicity, etc.) I stay away from porn because I don't like the effects of porn use. In less time than it takes to type this sentence, I could be on the iPad's wireless connection and looking at porn, but I'm not going to, because I don't like the effects of porn.

    Porn is still out there, all around me and available, but it's not tempting because I know where it leads. As I write, I am hungry and waiting to take an early lunch. I could drive up to the convenience store and stuff myself with unhealthy treats, but I know where that leads and I don't want to gain weight, increase my cholesterol, etc. When I choose lunch today, I can buy pizza, which I love, or eat a balanced meal with lots of vegetables and lean meat. I could drive to the dealer and buy a flashy sports car to replace the sensible vehicle I currently own, but I know where that leads and I don't want to tie myself to car payments and higher insurance costs. It all comes down to choosing the results we want for ourselves.

    Another way to look at this is delayed gratification. We live in a world where instant gratification gets a lot of publicity, but sometimes it's better to hold out for something much more valuable. If you are married and tempted to PMO, stop and think about how bad it feels afterwards and consider the great feeling of delaying gratification until you and your wife can make love. A sports car would be fun, but imagine the satisfaction of paying off your mortgage early and then being free to make spending decisions without the burden of a house payment. Delayed gratification wind out over instant gratification, but only if you stay the course. We have to live our lives with an eye to the long-term effects of our decisions. If we fail to do this, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
  7. onesea

    onesea Active Member

    Thank you Ite. Great thoughts for me today as I really need them after this week and last.
  8. dlansky

    dlansky A husband and father trying to do right.

    I've had similar experiences of seeing nudity and not being triggered. I came across some art photos of a naked woman not trying to look sexy, but just natural. She was in a natural setting in the woods somewhere and just happened to have no clothes on. I noticed that she had a beautiful body, but I didn't feel that I had to somehow act out because of it. The human body is a beautiful thing, and it was nice to be able to see that without feeling like I needed to fantasize that I was doing something with it.

    That's not to say I always get it right. Sometimes I will notice women in a sexual way -- not that I'm actually imaging scenarios or anything, but I can feel my pulse quicken and really want to look more. But I am always able to turn away at some point (usually a few seconds at most), and when I do, I am not plagued with thoughts of the woman all day -- I move on. I think my brain is now conditioned to accept that me being aroused by a woman is not going to end in masturbation, so it doesn't pester me all day with thoughts that I'm not going to act on anyway.

    It's nice not to be a slave to addiction!
  9. Thank you so much, lte, for your insights gotten through the very crucibles of life.

    I'm so appreciative of your realizations concerning what porn actually is, minus the fantasies.

    I like this thought,

    "Once you accept the fact that these are just people, no unlike yourself, then you can begin to see them as fully human, and not just as objects for sexual entertainment. Once you have mentally placed these people at your level, as fellow humans and not demigods, you can feel true compassion for them. Once you do that, it becomes a lot less enjoyable to see them in a sexual situation."

    I can apply this in my own life, not just in regards to porn, but to women in general especially as encountered in day-to-day life. Instead of seeing them as 'objects for sexual entertainment', that is MY sexual entertainment (seeing them selfishly), I can view them in a more human way. Not only am I humanizing them, but I'm humanizing myself by becoming a non-selfish person (inhuman), freeing not only the woman I chance upon, but myself from false expectations, false definitions (distortions), and giving her and I our true definition, our truth in the moment.

    In a sense, this is a kind of 'philosophical mindfulness'. Yes, being in the moment- but moreover being in the truth of a thing. Basically saying 'No' to fantasy. It seems then that selfishness = fantasy, lies, deception, distortions, etc; selflessness = truth, reality, honesty, clarity, and a true love for humanity, even for oneself.

    This is said from a place that's challenged, by your words in particular, and by my own experiences. Yes- I'm gaining distance from unwanted behaviors and bad habits, but I so want to fundamentally change my view, my perception, my definition of porn, women, and masturbation on a cellular level, as it seems that you have.

    Thank you again for your example, and your insightful self-analysis which has been very instructive in my own experiences.
  10. Give Me Strength

    Give Me Strength Active Member

    Hello LTE,
    Congratulations on such a great recovery! You are an inspiration. I am in the white knuckle phase and I have been for some time. I seem to go a few days, slip, binge and finally come back here. I am working on that daily but I have very low self discipline.

    Trying to become the best version of myself!

    Thanks for your journal help!
  11. a short guy

    a short guy Well-Known Member

    I will be reading Breaking the Cycle, again, I started it a long time ago, but didn't stick with it or do much of the suggested exercises. At the time I had been sober a year and a half and felt like I had broken the cycle, had it all figured out. Well, I took a big chunk out of the wheel but didn't utterly break it.

    Thanks for your continued support and steadfast convictions.

  12. Nomadic

    Nomadic Member

    So true. I'm going to be the coolest looking 96yr old in a Corvette. :)
  13. dlansky

    dlansky A husband and father trying to do right.

    Tall guy - Personally, the biggest things I got from "Beaking the Cycle" was the realization that I could redirect my thoughts, and that porn was never going to give me what I was counting on it to provide. I didn't really do all the exercises, but I came to understand that I had far more control than I had thought. That's been a big part of what's helped me stay clean for more than a year and a half.
  14. If I may...

    I would disagree, and say that you did indeed break the cycle at that time. Did you have it all figured out? Well, there may be no end to the various ways to understand and decipher our addiction. However, you had it figured out enough to have abstained for a year and a half. That's pretty huge.

    I don't know your individual story, but for some reason old neural pathways that had been desensitized became re-sensitized again.

    That would be true of any of us, and has certainly been my experience before, if we choose to respond in some former indulgent way to a previous stimuli. Now we seek to respond differently, to be different. If we do so over time, the old sensitivities eventually deaden due to lack of use.

    To come to a place where the possibility to re-sensitize those old pathways becomes less and less an option, less and less because we no longer interpret porn or women the same way.
  15. dlansky

    dlansky A husband and father trying to do right.

    Regarding Leon's comment, I'd like to add that we are men and that sometimes we'll notice women. I try not to get hung up about it when it happens, but just redirect my thoughts and move on.

    Some woman in another forum was trying to convince me that if I so much as noticed a cute butt, it is proof that I'm still an addict. I say they fact that I notice it, then go about my business without giving it another thought, it's proof that I have changed a lot in 2 years.
  16. sonofJack

    sonofJack I deserve self-respect

    I have to agree with Diansky here. The root of my problem was the overreaction to that "cute butt" or whatever else captured my eye. There was never any trawling for that sort of image; I didn't go to places where a plethora of cute butt could be seen, but rather was like anyone else: living my life, and watching its rich pageant unfold before me.

    The overreaction led to my chasing down more of what I inadvertently saw, and it's taken me some time to come to terms with what led me to that behaviour. I don't think that it was from noticing attractive attributes of real living women, but rather losing myself in a fantasy world where those attributes were dehumanized, and put under my control. That fantasy does not resemble the kind of life I live in any way shape or form.

    A very good friend of mine has a rather generous chest area. There are occasions where it is impossible not to notice, but there has never been a single instance where that spun me into some frenzy of arousal; I'm sure it's because I know and respect her as a person, rather than seeing her as a pair of boobs for me to ogle. That fact has helped me in a huge way to get from a PMO-obsessed husk of a human, back to the living, breathing, and sometimes cute-butt-noticing person I am now.
  17. sonofJack

    sonofJack I deserve self-respect

    Hey LTE, yesterday I clicked on my first posting here. The 2013 me sounds much like the 2015 version, but perhaps with a bit more anxiety, and a lot less self-awareness. But that's not what I wanted to say on here. What was most revealing to me was the long list of men who replied to me in such a warm welcoming way, on that first day; guys who've either left here, or perhaps changed their account names. Of them all, so few are still showing up on YBR, fighting the fight.

    It was equally sobering to see how many hundreds more have come to replace them. PMO is a beast with an infinite appetite.

    You've been a constant source of reason on this site, and I thank you for that. I'm horrible at being grateful, but please know that you've been a solid component in my reboot to date, and a good guide through this whole process.
  18. Newman8888

    Newman8888 The wound is the place where the Light enters you

    Thanks LTE. I liked what you wrote about humanizing porn actors rather than objectifying them. There is a reason why we say that someone or something is the "object of desire." We objectify them, it. An object can be controlled, won't pose a threat or hurt us. I think that is and has been the lure of porn for me. Reality cannot be controlled, dictated to. In the fantasy world, I'm the master, the one in charge. Really appreciate your posts, LTE.
  19. MwC

    MwC Member

    I would hope most of the 40+ crew is fully aware that porn represents a fantasy world has very little to do with real relations or sex. Behaving like, or expecting your partner to behave like porn stars is as relevant as jumping of a building after seeng a Spider-Man picture. Keeping these worlds separate mentally was never a problem for me, and l certainly would not let porn affect my views on all the strong, beautiful women in my life.

    I fully agree that reflecting on the fact that porn actresses are real people is a good start. The reality of it all is much worse than we can imagine. The porn industry is a meat grinder that destroys the lives of countless young girls. It is an evil downward spiral of drugs and abuse that ruins their lives forever. Due to the 'escalation of preferences, much debated on these forums, much of the porn borders on sexual torture. I still feel the pull, but thinking about those poor girls caught up in that nightmare is a good way to silence the inner demon.
  20. sonofJack

    sonofJack I deserve self-respect

    Nicely put MwC. Dehumanizing sex, dehumanizes us too. Porn turns a meaningful part of being human, and commodifies it; to be marketed back to us like french fries, cars, or chainsaws. After a while, our brains are so confused by it all, that we cannot distinguish the real from the construct. I know that I still get fascinated by the shiny lights of porn, and have to fight every day to look past it.

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