ZDUs Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by ZimDownUnder, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. My brain has been tempting me lately to look at non-nude or other "softcore" material, under the illusion that this would be harmless in itself and would not lead to looking at harder material. But I'm experienced enough now to know that this is a lie. Softcore stuff IS harmful in itself, and it is also likely (if not guaranteed) to lead to harder material.

    Porn is all or nothing. Either you look at it, or you don't. There's no middle ground.
  2. ZimDownUnder

    ZimDownUnder New Member

    SlaveToRight - I agree. I have decided that porn is not neccessarily hardcore stimulation, its *any* stimulation that is artificial. So for me I need to say away from hardcore, softcore, calendar girls, etc. Sure there will be pictures in the junk mail I find stimulating. It doesn't t mean the junk mail,is full,of porn. But if I take a bikini pic for the junk mail and masturbate with it it becomes porn.

    It's obviously a tough regimen to follow, but I see porn as any form of sexual stimulation that is not real. Arousal because there was a nice girl walking her dog on the beach yesterday is not porn, it's natural. But arousal because I'm looking at paper or pixels is not natural. The brain doesn't know the difference, but I do so I am the one who has to make the conscious decision.
  3. ZimDownUnder

    ZimDownUnder New Member

    In view of how difficult yesterday was just to get through one day I have reduced my PMO goal from 100 days to 30 days. I realised after yesterday that even getting through 30 days will be tough.
  4. a short guy

    a short guy Well-Known Member

    Agree ZDU, it may be a good idea to make shorter goals and link them together, many have done that instead of making such a big goal that is overwhelming.

    A good attitude to take, as seemingly innocent stuff can (and probably will) lead one to P eventually and insidiously.
  5. AlphaFlail

    AlphaFlail Guest

    Good call. My current streak started with a goal of 7 days, then I extended it to a new personal best of 14 days, and now I've set a bigger goal of one month. Get to base camp, acclimatize, then start looking further up the mountain.

    Great journal ZDU, all the best.
  6. ZimDownUnder

    ZimDownUnder New Member

    Start of Day 1 again

    So I lapsed last night with a PMO. I'm okay with that. I made 17 days which is the longest I have been without masturbating or sex since I was ten years old. Maybe I just don't have the discipline, willpower, stamina to make 90 days.

    I have often compared alcohol addiction to porn addiction, and whilst there are many similarities there is a subtle difference I have realised. To go without and alcohol in your body is natural - alcohol does not occur naturally in the body and serves no purpose. Sexual release is natural though and is regarded as a regular occurrence from puberty. So alcohol unnatural, cumming natural.

    Now I get it that the issue is not cumming, the issue is porn as a source of stimulation. And I get it that the idea is to give your reward circuit a break from high, unnatural dopamine levels. I'm just not convinced that cold turkey abstinence from and release is achievable for many. I have to wonder of all the guys that have signed up to this forum how many actually make it. Part of me said fuck it, I don't know anyone there, no one would know I slipped, I could never go back, I bet lots of guys try, fail and don't go back.

    Something I am struggling with is that I don't have the prospect of a real sexual partner as an incentive. Due to my past it is unlikely that any woman would want to be with me at an intimate level, and you can't achieve intimacy with a prostitute. So I'm not really motivated to succeed. I'm sure if I had a wife or girlfriend I'd be more motivated to make this work. The reality is that masturbation may be my only sex option for the rest of my life.

    I had the best nights sleep in weeks! I have been waking up between 3am and 4am every morning leaving me tired all day. Waking up too early with a boner and spending them first part of every day resisting the urge to masturbate just left me exhausted all day. It's very pleasant to wake up rested and not feeling horny and constantly own edge and fighting.

    In some ways I like having a personal, more realistic challenge. My personal best is 17 days without PMO so now my goal is to better that. Beating 17 days is a more realistic goal for me than 90 days. I know I have slowed my progress, but if I can beat 17 days it's still progress. And going from PMOing two or three times a day to once in 17 days is pretty awesome progress.

    Whilst I totally agree with no PMO I'm not so sure about no MO. I'm starting to think that allowing MO before abstaining drives me completely crazy may be a better option. By releasing more regularly, say every ten days or every week with MO could well keep me from getting so desperate I revert to porn. Feed the lion occasionally so it doesn't turn round and completely devour me.

    Another difference between recovery from alcohol and recovery from porn is the level of support. I had a lot of real people supporting me when I went through alcohol withdrawal. I had my doctor giving me advice, oxazepam to help with anxiety, physical withdrawal, and not sleeping. I had a counsellor at ATODs, the government Alcohol and Drug support agency. I had AA meetings twice a day and a sponsor. It's a lot tougher doing this as its me and strangers on an Internet forum!

    So it's Day 1. My goal is to beat 17 days. I am going in with the option of MO if it means avoiding PMO. I'm feeling pretty good right now, no chaser (yet) and I feel like I will actually be able to concentrate on something today.
  7. AlphaFlail

    AlphaFlail Guest

    I have no wife or girlfriend either, and I also feel that my prospects aren't great (for various reasons). But that's NOT why I'm doing this.

    I was at the point where no P that happens on a screen, that I passively watch, could do anything for me. I could barely M at all because of almost no erection, and my skin at times was so beat up that it hurt. So much for P and M. What about O? Nope, nothing. I would ejaculate with less pleasure than I got from peeing afterwards. I was chasing a high that I still needed but could no longer get.

    So that's the reason I'M quitting - it isn't an exchange program for a real girl. I've played the endgame - it sucks bad. So even if I'm in solitary confinement for the rest of my life, I know I'm much happier without addictions.

    Just some thoughts. Hope you keep at it.
  8. Limpet

    Limpet New Member

    "Alcohol and PMO were responsible for my fiancé leaving me and breaking off our marriage. I want to be able to enter another relationship under much better circumstances without these self-defeating addictions."

    You wrote this in your first post. Perhaps you saw it as wishful thinking at the time, but it is a goal. Goals can be powerful, powerful things if you learn to hold on to them and nurture them.

    You mentioned that you were in AA and have been sober for 18 months. That is a huge accomplishment given your history. Most people who down 20-30 standard drinks a day don't end up where you are...they end up in pine boxes. You should be extremely proud of yourself (although AA would have you think it was your higher power's doing), and take strength from that.

    Are you still going to AA meetings? Would the 12 step approach be useful for dealing with porn addiction? I only know about AA because my GF is in AA, but it seems like a resource that might be helpful in terms of structure and approach.

    Have you found a therapist/counselor that you can work with? You have had experiences that have left you with some serious burdens, and terrible guilt and shame. It's much easier to work through those with the help of therapy, provided you find the right person. Therapists are like the rest of us...some of them are amazing and insightful and supportive, etc and some of them are...not. Keep looking for the right one. If you don't establish a rapport with one, move on to the next. You will find someone you can work with, and when you do it will make a world of difference.

    Sorry if this information is in part of this thread...I sort of skipped forward in parts.

    You will change. You will have a relationship. You will get where you want to go. Maybe two steps forward and one step back at a time, but no honest path forward is without curves and loops.

    You can do this. You've already come a long way, don't forget that. Don't look back and see shame and failure, look back and see how far you've come from the most hopeless you've been. You're miles and miles and miles from there.
  9. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Hi ZDU,

    I completely understand. I am having a very hard time with complete abstinence. I am also considering MOing to prevent myself from PMOing.

    Our situation is very different. I am married, but with almost no sex. I am hopeful that keeping my sexual energy will help me be more insistent with my wife and that we will have a balanced sex life. I am also very realistic about the situation, so MO for me might be a solution if I get too restless.

    I understand some guys were able to go completely without MO, but I think each situation is different, and you have to go with what works best for you.

    Take care, ZDU.

  10. anonymouse

    anonymouse New Member

    Hi ZDU,

    I've been following along, trying to figure out what to say. You're in a tough spot. I can't imagine what you must be going through.

    I hope you are able to find peace without P. It may seem like it's all you have left for solace and comfort but it's not. I'm encouraged to see that you are still participating on the forum. Please, just don't give up on your life. I think you are in an acute phase when the hurt is excruciatingly bad but over time that may change. The guys here are supportive and encouraging and I think that's what you need right now. A place to vent, to rage, to cry and not have to worry about what people think or feel like you are being judged.
  11. ZimDownUnder

    ZimDownUnder New Member

    Firstly thanks everyone for the support and understanding. If only real life was half as supportive. I am impressed that no one here has passed judgement on me for my past actions and that is remarkable different to the real world where everyone I thought was a friend turned their back on me when I was arrested. It goes to show that prejudice is a social construct as it doesn't appear to exist here.

    Alpha flail: thanks for the insight about the 'endgame' as you call it. It certainly sounds like you reached an unenviable end of the road. I guess we are all here for different reasons. ED and inability to get pleasure from porn is not the reason I came here, the reason is because the type of porn I viewed became very corrupt and immoral. Apart from when I was on SSRIs I've never had trouble reaching orgasm when masturbating. It's a massively pleasurable pastime for me. But what you describe is like the end of the road that I hear fellow alcoholics describe, and that's not a place I want to go. It sounds awful!

    It's also true that there are others here who have low prospects of finding a real partner and that that should not neccessarily be the only reason for taking this journey. But its still kinda sad to read about other guys having more successful sex with their wives or girlfriends and how much this is benefitting them - I do feel left out. (Oh poor me!)

    Limpet: I would like nothing more than the opportunity to have a second chance at a relationship. I have only been in one relationship in my life. As a result if the abuse as a boy I shut myself off from being physically close to anyone. I wouldn't let anyone touch me or hug me. My ex was the first person I ever let inside those walls. I'd like to believe I would be able to trust someone again to let them near me but now I fear if I that close to someone they will leave me again.

    I still go to AA regularly and will for the rest of my life. Alcoholism is never cured, only managed, and I've seen it myself - people recover, get confident, stop going to meetings and fall off the wagon. I had little to do with my recovery from alcohol, if it were up to my willpower I'd still be drinking. I had tried so many times before to stop, I knew it was dangerous and harmful, but I couldn't stop myself. It was only when I was completely beaten and in a jail cell that I surrendered and cried from help. A 12 Step approach is useful but it's usually done with a sponsor, a real live, face to face person who has recovered themselves. That's a bit tricky in this case, and this forum is as close as it gets.

    I have a great therapist who helped me a lot when I was arrested and facing court. She kept me alive through that ordeal. I can't afford so see her though as I am unemployed. Finding a job when you are a registered sex offender is almost impossible. Unemployment in my town is nearly 10% and I'm restricted from moving to another city. So I just have to find my own way through all of this stuff on my own. I'd be more than willing to attend therapy, to work, to move, to do what it takes to start over again but the authorities have decided that I must be a child molester and that I shouldn't get a second chance at life. That seems to be the public opinion - as I'm on a sex offender register I can no longer be a part of society.

    So although I would love to start again the law and society have decided I don't deserve a second chance and are determined to keep punishing me. I cannot think of a future, all I can do is exist day by day. If I think of the past, or dream of the future it just makes me sad. So I try not to remember the past, and don't hope for the future as it makes life bearable of all I have to think about is today.

    Anonymously: I am no stranger to hurt - I have been hurting since I was 13 years old. Undoubtably the suffering has been more acute since I was arrested, charged and convicted for sure. I have moved through grief to depression and now to overwhelming sadness. It's not so much a question of me giving up on life as life giving up on me - my fiancé gave up on me, my friends gave up on me, my employers gave up on me, society gave up on me.

    I realise I have no control over my life. I have surrendered my life to God, whatever God may be. I have asked that God make use of my life in whatever way is seen fit, because I have no use for it anymore. Maybe God has a plan for me, maybe not. Either way I'm tired of trying to work it out.
  12. ZimDownUnder

    ZimDownUnder New Member

    Day 2. Not a bad day today. No desire to M or look at P. No cravings at all. Yesterday, day after relapse I was completely drained. I was so tired and listless. Although I slept better after PMO I was exhausted through the day. I slept okay last gift and had a bit more energy during the day.

    I am still unsure about why I am doing this. I guess a part of me figures that masturbating to porn is resulting in bad karma. (I seem to have been through one hell of a lot of bad karma and I accept that that is the result of my actions. Either that or I pissed off the Gods so somehow.) So the bad karma associated with PMO is reason enough to abstain from this compulsion.

    Another reason is I was actually quite disturbed at the cravings I had for PMO from Day 15 to Day 17. How could something have such a powerful hold over me that I could not resist it and it consumed my mind and made me quite irrational and dysfunctional. I'd like to know that I'm not necessarily subject to such an addiction. I'd like to think I had better self control.

    As for taking this journey in the hope of an intimate relationship in the future, well that was just foolish of me to hope for that. I need to forget that and focus on what is within my influence and leave the rest to God/Universe/HigherPower.

    I feel bad that I'm not able to be more positive and supportive of others here, there are some great people here.
  13. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Hi ZDU,

    I just read you journal and your story really touched me. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through.

    I do know that continuing the on the PMO path is not the answer, but you already know that.

    You also know that we will always support you on the path to recovery.

    I notice that you make a difference between just P and PMO. Typically, it is generally accepted here that P is a lot worst for recovery than just MO (without fantasy). It is also recommended not to MO for the reboot, in order to make it faster. If you have to do something P and PMO would be the worst, and MO would be the least armful, as it will release the sexual tension and reduce the urges. And MO should be done quickly, without edging, as edging is your worst enemy.

    Those are just things I have read and experienced.

    In any case, I find that men's justice is harsh. Having kids myself, I can see both point of view, but it strikes me all the more that everyone seems the forget the child you were (and still are, to some extent), and forget to help that child who grew up and did not get the protection you needed.

    As you tone down the rewards provided by PMO, you will start to enjoy simpler things. I think your next challenge will be to start appreciating those. I know this is easier said than done, but I fail to see any other valid options. The book "The Power of Now" helped me tremendously to move towards that.

    Those are just my 0.02$ worth of advice. I really wish you well, ZDU.

  14. midge

    midge Guest

    ZDU, you just have to stand up, brush yourself off, and get back on the path. Self-control is a problem for all of us, that's why we ended up here. The only way I know of to achieve self-mastery is by continuing to try. It can be a long row to hoe, but I don't think it happens any other way. I believe self-control necessarily starts off in jerky, stuttering fashion--we're just so unaccustomed to controlling our passions--and it only becomes a habit, eventually, by sticking with the effort, even through the occasional failure. The failures might be the most instructive part, actually, if our eyes are open and we're ready to learn.

    I don't know anything about karma or angering the gods; I don't look at it that way. I believe in a creator, but I don't think anger is part of his repertoire. I believe we were created such that we can (must, actually) use our rational natures to control our animal passions and appetites. For me, the no-PMO effort is not about appeasing God but more about trying to work toward optimal functioning and balance of my animal/rational/spiritual natures.

    It's not foolish to think that this journey might lead you to an intimate relationship in the future. I'd say there's every chance that if you can pull out of this muck, your life will take off in new, brighter, more hopeful directions. You never know what could happen. But in any case, try not to focus so much on results. At this point, just do the work. The results will take care of themselves, and stewing about them now will only slow you down. I like quotations, and here's one from the Bhagavad Gita that seems apt on this question of worrying about results:

    You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself--without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat.

    Wishing you a peaceful day, ZDU.
  15. Apuleius

    Apuleius Guest


    Forgive the bluntness, but you need to get past this terminal uniqueness. You are not all that different than any of us here. You have a pornography addiction rooted in your own exploited reward neurology, just like each one of us. This isn't voodoo. Your addiction has pulled you into isolation and superstitious delusion, holding you back from comprehending your true nature. With recovery, all of those wheels reverse. You will see how your past experiences will benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will slip away. You will find natural, whole relationships to members of the opposite sex. You will come to know true intimacy with a mate.

    The scientific approach here at YBR and YBOP helps clarify our disposition as addicts. We achieve the necessary objectivity to gain traction with resolving our problem. We are able to cease making unwarranted inferences about our dilemma and work past it to freedom. Who knows what your "freedom" will look like. I am convinced, however, that it will exceed your wildest expectations, friend. Let's stay the course and find out !

    I apologize, if I have been a bit too forthright. I just see some of myself in you, that is all. I am recovering from childhood physical abuse by my father (to the point of blood and head trauma). My addiction to P has several referential points of contact with that fact. In the end, according to Socrates, the truth is what sets us free.
  16. ZimDownUnder

    ZimDownUnder New Member

    Back to Day Zero :-(
  17. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Hi ZDU,

    The important part is to not give up. This is, in a normal situation, difficult. Your particular situation makes it even more difficult. That means you will have to be a superhero to beat that thing. I have faith that life throws us stuff that we can handle. So I trust you will be able to handle this.

    PMO is no good, but shame either. The fact you reset your counter is good, means you want to stay honest with us. Now, let's build on the positive ...

    Stay strong, ZDU, we are here for you ...

  18. Giles

    Giles Member


    I want to urge you to keep trying with this - I think this is the right thing for you to be doing and the very fact that you are finding this so difficult proves that if and when you conquer this you will experience profound benefits. But the journey may well be fraught...

    You have our support. Get back on the horse. Keep going and stay strong. All the best.
  19. anonymouse

    anonymouse New Member

    Agreed. Time to start over, ZDU. Just work at it one day at a time.
  20. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Yes ZDU, we are all cheering for you!

    Don't let the current negative emotions get the better of you. You can do this and the Guys here on this forum are proof that it can be done.


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