The Pilgrim's Progress

Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by Agarbers, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Agarbers

    Agarbers New Member

    Hey Guys,
    I am 23 years old. I'm single and a virgin, the virgin part is by choice and the single part isn't. I first saw porn when I was 11 and it has been a constant part of my life ever since. I became a Christian almost 9 years ago and that is how long I have been trying to quit pornography/masturbation. I realize that makes my my motivation and the resources that I draw from drastically different than some of you, but we have a shared goal so I hope that we can put that discussion to the side. I won't proselytise if you won't. So in the time that I have been trying to stop porn/masturbation the longest I have ever gone was 21 days (9 years ago and I was traveling for most of it), followed by 20 days a few years ago and 11 days last year. Taking that into account it is kind of amazing that I am currently on Day 8.

    In terms of the consequences of porn use on my life I have become a complete loner. Admittedly I'm not sure how much of that is my natural tendency but it is definitely exacerbated by the privacy that porn use necessitates. When you combine a need to be alone with social anxiety the result is that there are only two people outside of my family that I talk to voluntarily and them rarely. I'm not even really comfortable with anonymous online communication so this is actually the first thing that has inspired me to post anything on a forum in the 15 years that I have been using the internet. On a related note, I've been trying to do this for so long and I felt so alone because all of the material I had read was from people who had successfully overcome it. That is useful, but there is something hope inspiring about being in a community of people going through the same thing at the same time together. So thank you.

    The past 8 days have been somewhat easy. I have gone through this enough to know that means that the difficult bit is just trying to sneak up on me so I'm not relaxing my guard, Vigilance is the watchword. That having been said it is hard not to be thankful for an easy stretch. I've been really lazy and the last couple days I've had headaches and a desire to hibernate but a temporary lack of productivity is preferable to doing hand to hand combat with my desire for pornography and masturbation.
     
  2. Agarbers

    Agarbers New Member

    Thanks, al1234, I appreciate your encouragement. I have K9 and OpenDNS acting as speed bumps.

    Day 9:
    I've had two acute temptations, intense but short. They passed without incident. Which I realize makes for a boring journal but from my perspective is fantastic. I'm still feeling exhausted and lazy and the most noticeable thing this the mood swings. For no particular reason I'll be incredibly happy or on the verge of tears. Which is obviously unpleasant but in contrast to the feeling of being out of control that I would get from masturbation and porn being not completely the master of my emotions is a breath of fresh air. Like the discomfort of an inoculation compared to the discomfort of the disease itself.
     
  3. pizzaman

    pizzaman New Member

    Hi Pilgrim-

    Nice going on coming to this site. It takes guts, I think. I myself am only two days sober so I know how hard this can be. I've struggled with porn on and off ever since it became big on the internet. And I know just what you mean about feeling alone and having a hard time talking with anyone about this. One thing I found really helpful was joining a 12 step meeting for sex and love addicts. I don't know if that's something you'd be interested in but it's really made a difference for me. I found a guy there who has some recovery around this addiction and I'm working on calling him when things get bad.
    Well, I just wanted to reach out and give you the best for this journey you're on.
    congratulations again for coming here and for your sobriety, however long or short it is.


    pizzaman
     
  4. Agarbers

    Agarbers New Member

    Thanks pizzaman, I appreciate your reply.

    Day 10, Accomplished. I was sick and I encountered at least three situations which have acted as triggers for me in the past. But I am feeling tremendous right at this very moment because as each one of those hurdles came up I jumped right over them and didn't look back. This is the fourth longest I have ever gone without porn or masturbation and I am feeling amazing.

    Before I found YBOP and Nofap I would keep track of my hours/days on a calendar, but when I failed I would rip up the calendar and start over. Now I have a color coded system that takes into account relapses. It's not so much for the purpose of keeping the big number or about not losing progress as it is about knowing exactly how much time I have wasted doing something I really don't want to do. So now whenever I look at the paper that shows me that I have gone 10 days I also see that in the 17 days before that I spent 27 hours looking at pornography and masturbating. I wasted an average of 1.58 hours a day, although to say wasted is charitable. I spent an average of 1.58 hours a day undermining my body, my brain and my life. Ugh.
     
  5. pizzaman

    pizzaman New Member

    nice going on your recovery.
    Give yourself a pat on the back. That is big progress in my book!


    -pizzaman
     
  6. Agarbers

    Agarbers New Member

    Day 11:
    Sad. The last two nights I've had incredibly vivid dreams first about being rejected and then about failing in a relationship. Obviously the part of my brain that isn't stupid is aware that dream failures don't exactly count but it wasn't a great way to start the day. So I was generally downcast today and for the first time since I started I really wanted to visit a porn site. Luckily I just looked at what I was doing and remembered that doing something that will make me feel crappy about myself is a silly way to deal with feeling crappy about myself. That is all.
     
  7. pizzaman

    pizzaman New Member

    nice going Pilgrim.
    i too am feeling a little down so it is a good reminder to just try and stay the course.
    acting out will not help.


    -pizzaman
     
  8. Agarbers

    Agarbers New Member

    Day 12:
    An extension of day 11 with a marginal improvement in mood. Vigilance!
     
  9. Agarbers

    Agarbers New Member

    Day 14!
    My vivid dream from last night contained just about every terrible thing I could imagine culminating in my looking at porn. Repeat, this was a dream, a wet dream in fact, where I went through the whole process of trying to resist and ultimately failing to resist pornography. I consider the fact that I would interpret that as a nightmare good progress. I'm also feeling pretty fantastic about the two week mark. I have a lot of hope at this point for continued success. It's true that temptations are popping up all the time and they aren't exactly getting easier to deal with but my normal response of 'porn/masturbation' is becoming more and more another man's response to his problems. In summation, TWO WEEKS! Epic! Maintain vigilance, comrades!
     
  10. rcfergie5

    rcfergie5 Guest

    Hey man, I'm happy to hear you're doing very well already. It's amazing when anyone can realize how destructive this PMO addiction is and can be. I'm still having a hard time with it and it's already been 69 days since I started the reboot, but I know we're all able to break this addiction. Even just looking at non-nude photos for the purpose of being turned on, is a bad idea.
     
  11. Agarbers

    Agarbers New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement rcfergie5.
    Day 17:
    Yesterday was the most difficult day thus far. On the flimsiest of pretenses I looked at non-pornographic (not even softcore porn, though I'm not exactly sure what the line between 'softcore porn' and everything produced in the western world in the past 40 years) images with the result of an erection. No edging, mind you. This whole thing lasted probably 7 minutes and it ended with me going to bed with an ice pack on my junk. So it was a failure in terms of vigilance but I don't consider it a failure in terms of PMO. I guess, on the bright side, it is pretty good that I got out of that situation without completely falling apart but like I said there was a certain degree of falling apart that was prerequisite in getting to that point. Remember guys, our failure is just the last step off the diving board, there are lots of steps before the last one that are easier to arrest.
     

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