The most difficult post

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Last 40 Free, Jul 19, 2023.

  1. Last 40 Free

    Last 40 Free New Member

    Hello, everyone. I am happy to join this forum. This is the most difficult post I've ever had to write. I don't know why, except the fear of discovery of my addiction to p has loomed over me most of my life and I guess it's a hard thing to admit publicly. Crazily, I'll go on p sites without worrying about my personal data, but that's part of the bizarre way the brain works I guess.

    A bit about me. I'm over 50 and moving into a new phase of my life. I strongly need not to take the p addiction with me on this new phase. I am married. My wife knows about my watching p and is positive about sexuality. However, she is concerned about my health and supports me in my efforts to quit. Except for her, very few know. If they do know that I watch p, I don't think they know the extent that its a part of my life. I have been looking at p since I was very young. A friend's father had a collection of Playboys we looked at when I was 8. As an older teen and adult, I used to drive to other towns to buy magazines. When I got cable, I used to watch p late at night when everyone was asleep. Then came the Internet, and the availability of p made the habit into an addiction. It is not at all unusual for me to pmo 4 or 5 times a day.

    I have sought help with a variety of psychologists and the most helpful was a CBE guys. That's why the idea of rewiring the brain appeals to me. It objectifies and demystifies the experience of addiction and offers a way to get out of the shame>resistance>p > m > shame loop I've been in since I was a teenager.

    I recently read this article Unwiring and Rewiring Your Brain on Porn and it was a revelation. It brought together a lot of things I had been thinking and which my CBE guy and I talked about. In fact, it gave me the ability to stop pmo for 8 days. They were amazing and rewarding days indeed. Everything felt hopeful and I was enjoying everything more without my "friend" p following along after me. Sex with my wife was becoming more enjoyable and fulfilling, although I'm expecting that to be an ongoing process. She is an understanding person and is putting no pressure on me.

    Then my ol' brain drew me back into the habit again. Tricky bastard! "Surely, downloading an erotica book is normal and would be allowed." Then, "Well, this book is kind of boring. Perhaps an online archive of erotica. That's not porn." Then, "Well, you've come this far. How about Googling a few pics of your fave p star ... just to take the edge off. As long as you don't m." And finally, "Welp, you've reset your counter to 0 days anyway. Might as well enjoy yourself! " Quitting almost always ends for me this way: not with a massive binge and a spectacular de-wagoning, but giving in in little ways. That's good to know I guess.

    I would appreciate any support and advice you can give me. What worked for you?

    The good news is that I do feel this attempt is different. I don't feel that I tried and ended up back in the same place. I feel that the brain rewiring takes a constant effort, and that I have to be ingenious about how I keep the day counter up. I'm starting fresh at 1 day today. Finally posting this to the forum is one way of doing something different.

    I am really committed to this. I'm intimidated by the challenge. But I'm not getting any younger, and I don't want this to be with me for however long I have left in my life. My name here is "Last 40 Free". It signifies that I'd like to live the last 40 years of my life free of this.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2023
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  2. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Welcome Last 40. Good for you for taking the big step of coming onto this forum - and for sharing your story - and ofc for your strong desire to overcome your addiction.

    And there is no "secret sauce" to recovery, as everyone has their own sensitivities to temptation.

    But here are some key aspects I have learned:

    Define boundaries of behavior, eg no looking at P, avoiding P-subs (girls in bikinis etc), avoid MO if possible (even without P), and other behaviors that can put you are on path to relapsing.

    P-subs are a challenge for us, especially as our brain tries so hard to lure us back to satisfying our addiction. You want to aim for not artificially stimulating yourself sexually. Your brain does not fully discriminate between porn sites, erotica, an underwear catalog in the mail, or your neighbor’s 22-year-old daughter’s instagram profile.

    Journal here on a regular basis - especially BEFORE you potentially relapse if possible

    Read other member's journals to learn different ideas for staying clean

    Maintain a "one day at a time" mentality - savoring the victory of the prior day clean and committing to stay clean during your current day

    Focus on developing new healthy behaviors to fill the time away from P: exercise, socializing, playing sports, reading, taking walks, etc

    Focus also on learning other ways to combat depression, anxiety, boredom etc that drive you to use PMO as a form of self-medication

    Best of luck with your new chapter in your left!

    One day at a time!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2023
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  3. Last 40 Free

    Last 40 Free New Member

    That's so encouraging! I will connect here often. Appreciate the response.
    path-forward likes this.
  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Great choice for a username. Welcome to the forum!
    Montesquieu likes this.
  5. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    welcome my brother,
    here is where one beggar shows another beggar where to find bread. it's the first train car that kills you not the caboose.
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  6. Montesquieu

    Montesquieu Member

    Welcome, @Last 40 Free! You came to the right place. The fellas here are struggling with the very same issues.

    I think the things that have helped me are:

    1. Write down all the reasons why you are quitting and review them daily.
    2. Reflect on and understand what led to previous relapses and make any corrections.
    3. Reflect on the sexual behaviors that you will allow (that are not part of your addiction and don’t lead to temptations) and those from which you must abstain completely. For example, many of us avoid masturbation without porn as well as porn because masturbation can (for some) lead to cravings for porn, especially of course, if you fantasize. One of the big changes I’ve made this year has been to stop masturbating even without porn, as it tended to lead me to temptation (plus it was all wrapped up in my hypersexuality). I would have thought that this change would be nearly impossible but it’s actually made things much easier. I just try to refocus my sexual impulses into healthy channels (like sex with my wife). SAA has a nice paper called “defining abstinence” (free on their site) that I found useful and would recommend. Sex/porn addiction is fairly unique.
    4. Read about addiction and addiction recovery, especially to learn (as you noted in your post) the remarkable changes that occur in the brains of those in recovery. I find it motivating to think that my brain chemistry is rebalancing and returning to a more normal state, and that my working memory will improve, that I’ll feel less anxiety and depression, etc. There are a lot of studies that point in that direction (sometimes the studies are about folks in recovery from gambling disorder or gaming disorder but I assume that they will tend to apply to porn recovery as well given they are all behavioral addictions and the same neurochemicals are involved, more or less.
    5. Accept that you cannot watch in moderation. If you are here, you are an addict. It can take a long time to accept that and to become convinced that you cannot watch just for a few minutes a few times per week like most people (so many of my relapses have started with the thought that I’ll try to just watch a little bit a few times per week. I’ve even set timers before but it never works. I always end up binging and feeling awful. I think this time I’ve finally accepted that I’m an addict—that porn addiction is the real deal).

    Those are the things that come to mind. Good luck and welcome!
    Last 40 Free and path-forward like this.
  7. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    it all starts with peaking. fantasizing/ romancing the thought. then it snowballs from there. we give ourselves permission to indulge in this filth. whatever the excuse is, may be a valid one, but the outcome is not worth it. hang in there. don't quit before the miracle.
    Last 40 Free and path-forward like this.
  8. Last 40 Free

    Last 40 Free New Member

    Thanks guys. I’m overwhelmed by the support. The hardest part of this addiction has been feeling I had to cope with it alone. Nice to have company dealing with this.

    Your advice is awesome.
  9. Last 40 Free

    Last 40 Free New Member

    Thanks for this. Can you explain in more detail what you mean by romancing the thought ?
  10. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    it's about fantasizing. this time i will only peak but not PMO. this time is the last time. this time i won't feel like shit after i come. i won't have the regret, guilt, remorse, hiding that i always do. it gets worse as time goes on, my friend, never better. that is the definition addiction.
    Last 40 Free likes this.

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