Trying to beat it

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by wintersturme, Jun 21, 2021.

  1. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    Hi everyone

    After having read some of the threads here over the last few weeks, I finally had the courage to start my own journal.

    Just like most of you when they started writing one this forum, I'm a porn addict. I have often enough said this to myself, but this is the first time I say it in public. I'm a porn addict and have been since my teenage years.

    Some background. I'm a 48 years old guy from Europe have a long time relationship (over 20 years) with a loving and caring girlfriend. We have a son of 10 years old and globally speaking everything is going allright.

    As I said I have been a porn addict since my teens. Well before the internet I was getting dirty magazines to satisfy my urges but after my introduction to internet porn in the early 2000's the addiction started to seriously get out of hand. Not all the time - there were considerable stretches of time when my use of internet porn was well within bounds. But the last 10 years it has really become problematic. When I say it is problematic I mean that I spend most days looking at porn for at least for an hour a day and many days considerably more. I sometimes organise my day (what I will do and when) in such a way as to able to watch porn as long as I possibly can. It has affected my moods, my ability to concentrate and my motivation to enjoy other things in life considerable. Last week I decided that this has to stop. I don't know how I'm going to achieve this (I've tried before but failed) but I hope to learn from the many testimonies on this forum to help me achieve this.

  2. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard! Read, read, read! Many of BFF your questions will be answered.
  3. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    Thanks for the welcome message Mad Dog!!
  4. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    One day at a time. Just like every addiction... Reading/writing is an excellent start... Welcome to the 'old-folks' home.
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  5. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    Welcome wintersturme. We are all together in the same struggle. I have found participating in this forum really helps. I am sure you will too. All best,
  6. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    Thank you all for the kind and supportive words.

    Today I have been a week without looking at porn. Last week there have been quite a few difficult moments. The most difficult moments for me were these moments when I finished a piece of work and had to start something else. These are precisely the moments that I would turn to looking at porn. A kind of reward for finishing something. That reward is now off limits and that makes me anxious. I have been able to control these cravings up until now. I can't say I have as yet developed well-defined coping mechanisms to deal with these situations. I guess I'm at a point where my motivation is still high enough to ward off the temptations. I feel that there is a danger here. If at some point the motivation is slightly less, then I might relapse.

    One thing I have learnt in the last couple of days while reading about the struggles of others here is that I need to be more self-reflective about what happens in and around those moments that the cravings appear. So the stories and diaries I have been reading here offer a great support.

    What I noticed further is that porn seems to be much more prominent in my thoughts. Not so much that I have pornographic images or scenes in my mind (though this happens regularly) but rather that I'm very preoccupied with the struggle of beating my porn addiction.

    Anyhow a week has passed and that's a good thing. But subscribing to the forum has been probably one of the best things to do. I have talked with nobody about my addiction (including my girlfriend) and the idea that I would have to battle this addiction on my own was frightening. By subscribing to the forum, these feelings of loneliness and desperation have been mitigated. Thanks for the support.
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yep, and keep your addiction to yourself. I am a firm believer that we fight this beast alone.

    This forum IS an amazing place. I learned many life skills from the many pages here.

    wintersturme likes this.
  8. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    This is tough... I just accept that the cravings will come, then try not to fight them too hard... It's the 'fighting' and
    'struggling' that causes the stress within me... Lingering a little too long on an image I come across. Thinking about my sexual past. Contemplating 'is this really my life going forward, the constant fight' - it can be a long list. Especially when I feel the dopamine's rush go straight to my entire groin area... Live in the moment. I know I'm going to get 'turned-on'... It's just going to happen... (The lack of libido is going to happen too. (flatline)) Accept and move on. Come here and write/read. Go for a walk. (think about donkey sex. Course that could be just @Saville:rolleyes:). The draw at times will feel overwhelming. The fuck-it moment happens in a flash... Just get though the day and you've succeeded. Don't worry about tomorrow... All much easier said then done. (says the guy who's floated in and outa here since '16)... Fucking stupid porn.
    wintersturme and Saville like this.
  9. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    @TryGuy: I feel the same. It is the struggle and the worry about how that is going to play out that's causing a lot of the anxiety that I have been experiencing the last few days. I try to focus on the plus side as much as possible.

    Before I decided to stop porn, I had already been practicing some mindfulness. I started that because the last few years I have been battling with fatigue problems. Last year I had several examinations to diagnose the causes of this fatigue problem (the university of the town where I live has a multidisciplinary unit that specialises in fatigue). One of the was a sleep analysis from which they concluded that while overall I get enough sleep, my percentage of deep sleep is way too low. It was suggested to me that this might have psychological causes (things from my past) and that it might help to get psychoanalytical therapy. I did this for a few months but that was simply not my cup of tea. So I quit the psychoanalysis. I talked to my doctor and he suggested cognitive therapy (which I started a few weeks ago) and mindfulness.

    I couldn't help but make the connection between dismissal quality of sleep on the one hand and my pron addiction on the other hand. But that's just a guess. I don't know if there is any evidence other than anecdotal that makes this connection.

    Anyhow I have the impression that mindfulness seems to help a bit with dealing with the cravings (no effect on the quality of sleep as of yet).
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  10. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    Interesting @wintersturme... My garmin tracks my sleep patterns, and I usually don't have a great deal of time spent in deep sleep. Usually just a few minutes a night... Fatigue darkens me a great deal during my withdrawal period. Booze, weed, caffeine, (not very often here, as i rarely have the desire to give up coffee. Although I have in the past) and of course porn... I might have to ask dr google about the optimal time of deep sleep:cool:
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  11. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    @TryGuy65 The doctor who examined my sleeping pattern told me that about 20% to 25% of your sleep time should be deep sleep. I only get 5%. It would seem that for you it is even less. I even wonder whether the fatigue is not also reinforcing the addiction (to tired to do something thus turning to watching porn), but that's pure speculation.
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  12. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    Last night was an outlier as I recorded 6.5hrs of sleep. I'm usually lucky to be in the 5.5-6 range, so 6.5 really surprised me as I was experiencing a bit of discomfort in my left arm, and was tossing and turning much more than normal... But, I only registered 1 min in deep sleep!!! One minute... And I don't speculate that fatigue can be a porn binge trigger. I'm fairly confident (for me) it is...
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  13. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    TryGuy and Wintersturme what you say about sleep is really interesting. I have real sleep and fatigue problems too and fatigue plus work stress are major PMO triggers for me. I fell down on Friday after a horrendous nights sleep. Maybe I should invest in something like a garmin.
  14. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    Damn damn damn. I relapsed this morning. Stress and fatigue played an important role. This morning I had an important meeting. As a result of that I really slept bad. Also, for the first time in months I was alone in the house. After the meeting I had no energy to start something new of to go out for a walk. In stead I surfed for some porn for about an hour an masturbate. Stupid porn addiction. One battle lost, but the war continues!!
  15. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    Faced with this in the past, I've tried to limit my time it takes to achieve my goal... Maybe just get it over with as fast as possible. It may be a shitty strategy, but edging probably just fucks us up more... Move on. Just don't disappear. Keep writing and reading...
    Saville likes this.
  16. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    Thanks for the encouragement TryGuy.

    I'm not giving up.

    Since my relapse yesterday, porn seems to be constantly on my mind. So I guess I'm back to square 1.
    TryGuy65 likes this.
  17. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I understand the point you're making about experiencing difficult moments after you've finished a piece of work and before you move onto the next thing (my brain operates in a similar way). It's a form of rationalisation - "I completed some hard work therefore I deserve a little reward". But we have to be mindful that these 'rewards' are fake - and it's hurting us in the long term.

    There's an interesting Podcast called 'Universal Man' - in one of the episodes he addresses the issue of being self-aware at the time of a trigger/craving. He outlines a strategy to deal with it, I don't remember all the specifics, but it partly involves relaxing the body and engaging in self-talk. Could be worth a listen.

    Regarding your issue with the lack of deep sleep, I gather some people use CBD oils to help with this. I can't comment on it personally as I've never tried, but I have heard good things about it.
  18. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    Thanks for your comments and tips Forlorn.
    You're quite right that the "rewards" are fake. I'll check out the Universal Man podcast series.
    The oil tip is really interesting. I'll look into it. thanks.
  19. wintersturme

    wintersturme Member

    As was to be expected, my relapse was not confined to watching porn and masturbating once. Actually ver the course of two and a half days I watched porn repeatedly. Yesterday I stopped again. See where this leads to.
    I have been following some of the tips that have been suggested in other threads here (making to do lists, pinching myself when the cravings started).
    Coincidentally I had an appointment with my therapist yesterday and I told her about my porn addiction. Its may seem surprising that I hadn't told the therapist before, but I have turned to therapy not primarily for my addiction but for my fatigue problems and it was only my second appointment. I guess there is also the feeling of shame that inhibited me to talk about my porn addiction in the first sessions. Anyhow I'm glad I talked about it yesterday and I hope this will give me some extra motivation and support.
    Saville, TryGuy65 and Deleted User like this.
  20. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Have you had your thyroid checked? I was tired all the time and discovered I am hypothyroid. Taking a pill every day has helped me have more energy and I also sleep better. Dietary changes can also help, which I'm sure you've heard a million times before. A number of months ago I stopped eating dairy, gluten, booze, sugar and a few other things, and this has also helped me sleep more deeply. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but that doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. Like with getting off P, dietary changes take a frustratingly long time to show results. It took me three months before I noticed a few small positive changes.

    All these things are worth it, though. We are worth every amount of effort we can muster.

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