a short guy's Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by a short guy, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. a short guy

    a short guy Active Member

    Day 1 of my Journal. Day 1 of no PMO. 40 years of PMO and MO. No other addictions. No ED, but decreased libido/sex with my wife when frequent PMOing, sleep deprivation, head aches, neck aches, brain fog, negative attitude, self-loathing, wasting of energy, time, creativity and abilities. Many years of wanting to stop. Successfully stopping for periods of time, the longest about 9 months with the help of removing internet access from home. Now the average is one or two weeks, a month at best. Nothing, and then an escalating binge. I stopped 2 weeks ago, then for no apparent reason, no crisis, no stress, no interest in PMOing... my brain just wanted it's dopamine fix I guess and I didn't step in the way. (Actually, I had found out that an old P-star lived in the neighborhood, googled her name and....) So, I'm at Day 1 again.

    History:

    I was a sheltered conservative farm boy from a large traditional family that didn't talk about anything too deeply important. My first information about sexuality was in 11th grade health class. I got involved with a conservative evangelistic Christian youth group in high school which encouraged much guilt and fear and anxiety. My exposure to P started in June 1973 at age 14 during a family trip. I found my oldest brother's issue of Pboy in the back of the van. I just looked (those images are still vividly clear), didn't touch, and spontaneously ejaculated in my pants. It didn't feel good or bad, just strange and new. I didn't even know what happened but somehow felt it was wrong. I was sure I wasn't bleeding because it wasn't red. I was embarrassed, threw away my underwear and didn't tell anyone.

    I soon got in the habit of escaping my family problems and fear of abandonment feelings by daily secret MO. It became a daily ritual. It relieved some stress but created much more. I felt extreme religiously influenced guilt and lived in my own imagined hell for years. I felt so "wrong" and wanted to stop but couldn't. It started with using any images of women, any magazines, Sears catalogs, women's clothing ad sections of the newspaper, or my own drawings, then finding my brother's hidden pornographic magazines and eventually to secretly prowling alleys at night and dumpster diving for pornographic magazines and videos (This was my favorite avocation for 10 years. Wearing all black, I use to jump in and dig around a night with a flashlight with the light partially shielded so as not to be discovered. I never was. This clandestine treasure hunt was tense and exciting). Eventually I frequented adult stores and adult sections of video stores which was stressful in a not so fun way, fearing being seen by someone I knew. Then internet for the past 10 years with easy access. With internet my PMO escalated to everyday plus all nighters a few times a week and serious zombie-like sleep deprivation. I resisted getting internet till 2002 because I knew I wouldn't be able to resist P. And the town I lived in had high speed cable in 2002. I got it rationalizing that I needed it for business reasons, knowing full well I wanted it for easy P.

    So I've led a secretive other life, with intense anxiety over being caught and publicly embarrassed. I no longer have any religious influences. I developed into a personally spiritual person with deep values and ethics. For me P is unethical. I no longer feel any religious guilt, just sadness and anger at myself for wasting so much of my life, and time, and brain. I would feel completely humiliated if certain people in my family and community knew. A chamber of commerce business acquaintance who once fixed my crashed computer saw my P history. That was humiliating enough. It's a small town. I'm easily humiliated regarding my PMO addiction. I did tell my former wife, current wife and a couple therapists. PMOing was a big factor that led to divorce. My former wife had many other lovers during our 9 year marriage, I was not sexually available. We had a mutual unspoken understanding - she had her affairs with real men and real women, I had my affair with P.

    I've had years of therapy for depression, self-abuse, anxiety, fear of abandonment, low self-esteem and low confidence, learning how to communicate and express my feelings and to love myself. I've used different therapies, talk therapy/psychotherapy, past life regression, rebirthing/focusing, hypnotism, cranial sacral therapy, depression and divorce support groups. I was on an anti-depressant for 1 1/2 years, which I chose to take when my life got really dark and my suicidal thoughts started to seriously scare me. This helped take the edge off. I continued different therapies and weaned myself off the drugs and no longer have suicidal thoughts, am no longer depressed nor overly anxious. I still occasionally struggle some with self-esteem and confidence issues, but am generally fine. I am a balanced, outgoing person who can express myself, love myself and love my wife. I have actually really changed my life around for the better! And this has decreased my PMOing from daily to much less frequently. My brain has changed for the better, mostly due to to diet... I've eaten high sugar most of my life. For the past few years I've been decreasing my sugar and processed foods and I can feel my brain becoming more balanced, my moods more even with less ups and down, my cravings even for porn much less. I started eating cultured foods a year ago, like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, etc., it feels like this has really improved my mental balance.

    I have tried, and continue to use many tools to stop with some success - traditional psychotherapies, admitting it to my wife, internet blocking programs, stopping all internet for 6 months, exercise, diet, yoga, meditation, EFT, Reiki, listening to a spirit channeler, reading, hobbies, staying away from triggers...it all has helped. Yet, though it's become less often, still my PMOing has continued. Now, finding the Your Brain On Porn website and finding this forum is inspirational, a life saver. I get the science and feel the hope and determination just enough to finally believe no more PMOing can become a reality! I feel better physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually than at any other time in my life. But, I still am PMOing and it's keeping me from fully living, I'm missing opportunities, my life and my relationship with my wife could be much, much better! I don't want to screw this wonderful marriage up!
    __________​

    3/20/13 - Starting my "Bottom Lines" and "Red Flags" list, putting it on the first page of my journal so I can easily find it, add to it, read it, learn from it...

    Bottom Lines:
    No internet between 10pm and 7am
    No photo-shopping dopamine inducing images
    No peeking at dopamine inducing images
    No P
    No PM
    No PMO
    No M
    No MO
    Yes O during sex with my wife
    No hitting my head

    Red Flags:
    Ogling, lusting for, obsessing about women (other than my wife) real or imagined, memories or flashbacks, pixels or images.
    Frustration, anxiety, anger, feeling down, self loathing, negative self-talk, any negative emotion, deal with it immediately, relax my belly, slow abdominal breathing and pranayama, autogenics, meditation, energy medicine, take a nap, whatever it takes to get out of it. Know that it will pass.
    Mindlessly surfing the internet, especially if it's late and I'm tired... just go to bed.

    __________​

    5/3/13 - Starting my "Benefits and Consequences" lists:

    Benefits of No PMO:

    More time available for real life stuff, for valued pursuits
    Less distraction from dealing with real life stuff
    Opportunity to deal with life head-on rather than medicate
    Less reason for shameful feelings
    Less anxiety/fear about being caught in the act
    More times of feeling peace, contentment
    Opportunity to improve my relationship with my wife
    More sexual attraction for my wife, more libido
    More acceptance of and appreciation for my wife
    More acceptance of my life situations
    More acceptance and appreciation of myself
    More feelings of integrity and peace
    More control over lustful feelings and thoughts
    More chance to really improve my life, to be present and appreciate each moment
    Laughing more, crying less
    More feelings of hope and control over my own life
    More time for spiritual practice, meditation, yoga
    No more prostate problems
    More sleep

    Consequences of PMO:

    Distraction and hindrance to improving my life
    Feelings of shame, anxiety, fear
    Feelings of anger at myself, self-loathing, self-disgust
    Increased depression-like feelings
    Increased chances of head-hitting behavior
    Increased chances of "accidentally" getting hurt
    Increased detachment emotionally from my wife, increased aloofness and distancing
    Less interest in real sex with my wife
    More judgmental thoughts towards my wife
    Feelings hopeless, powerless, lost, deep sadness
    More feelings of needing to control my daily life
    More difficulty controlling lustful thoughts and feelings
    Un-welcomed lustful thoughts for women, girls, even young girls
    Difficulty doing my job comfortably without lustful thoughts and images popping up
    Frequent headaches, neck and back pain, post-pmo hangover/malaise/brain fog
    Chronic prostatitis, inflamed, sore and enlarged prostate
    Feeling like I'm just marking time and not improving or enjoying my life
    Crying more and laughing less
    Wasting time
    Lack of sleep


    __________​

    Resources to Check Out:

    http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series

    http://compulsionsolutions.com/can-looking-be-a-symptom-of-sex-addiction-by-james-gallegos-m-a/

    "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge

    Recommended by LTE: "Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession, and Shame" by George Collins

    "Love You, Hate the Porn" by Mark Chamberlain and Geoff Steurer

    "The Willpower Instinct" by Kelly McGonigal

    These things mentioned by Jebu:
    - TED talk of Shawn Achor about positive psychology: http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html
    - The Positivity advantage: http://www.amazon.com/The-Happiness-Advantage-Principles-Performance/dp/0307591549

    Ted Talk, Ran Gabrieli "Why I stopped watching porn"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJ_QfP2mhU/]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJ_QfP2mhU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJ_QfP2mhU/
     
  2. fcjl8

    fcjl8 The only path for me

    Welcome aboard,

    This is a truly wonderful forum, very active, and supportive. Many great men here with so much knowledge.

    You found yourbrainonporn.com excellent. And you are going to keep a journal.

    So much of your story is similar to mine. I am married , once, and for 30 years now. Having the support and love of a woman is a true blessing in dealing with this battle. I started using M to escape at a young and unhappy time in my life and got hooked.

    So you are putting P and M behind you, that's great. You have done 9 months before so you know what this is like. You will be able to share much with us here.

    Cheering for you.
     
  3. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    Welcome. There's plenty of help and support here and plenty of people with similar experiences. Post often, subscribe to journals that interest you and you'll find that you take encouragement from the experiences of others.
     
  4. a short guy

    a short guy Active Member

    Day 2
    Thanks for the encouragement! All's well. Yoga this morning... feels like it helps in rewiring my brain to get use to and appreciate the calmer chemicals which use to feel boring.
     
  5. Arthur Redux

    Arthur Redux Guest

    Hello, a short guy. I don't have anything profound to add to the good words from the other two members, I just want to extend a friendly greeting and try to make you feel "at home". I wish you success! Arthur.
     
  6. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    I do a bit of Yoga pretty much every day. It really seems to help in relaxing the body.
     
  7. a short guy

    a short guy Active Member

    Day 3
    Thanks for the warm welcome Arthur.

    LTE, I'm thinking, or realizing that yoga for me is as much mental as physical, it's relaxing and actually using my brain in a non-dopmine-rush way and probably helping to rewire it for the better, helping me to appreciate a balanced contented mental attitude. I've been doing yoga regularly for a few years, it's a slow, mindful style called Himalayan or Raja. I have difficultly settling down and being present. Yoga and meditation helps and is probably, in my brain's circuitry the complete opposite of PMOing.

    So far the past couple days have been easy... reminding myself to not get cocky! And remembering Underdog's words... "P is not an option" period.
     
  8. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    Even the basic stuff I do requires concentration and I agree, it really helps.
     
  9. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Another welcome, a short guy. You have an interest history with the PMO struggle. As fcjl8 said, I'm sure you'll have much to offer here. I'm glad you found YBOP, I remember when the site pulled me out of The Matrix. Look forward to your posts, as LTE said posting often and participating is a huge help. Finding YBOP and these forums is a gold mine.
     
  10. a short guy

    a short guy Active Member

    Day 4
    Thanks for the welcome Omega Man. Your avatar is scary! ...the one eyed poster child for "the matrix" in which we are pulling ourselves out of.

    Today is an opportunity, I have the entire day home alone at the computer doing business stuff, and to PMO or NOT. I am done... (with PMO). I've said this 100's of times in the past, "this is the last time." I've set so many stop dates, "I will completely quit on my 50th birthday", or "the first of the year", or "12/12/12" (then when that didn't happen "12/21/12"), and on and on. Based on what? Magical, wishful, hopeful thinking. But two weeks later, when I was no longer sleep deprived and feeling like crap, in a moment of boredom or even contentment... back at it.

    YBOP site and this forum has changed things. Education. Openness. I have a deeper understanding and I am not alone.

    This morning my wife and I made love. It's been a couple weeks. She reminded me that today is the tenth anniversary of the day we first met. At a meeting we shook hands and introduced ourselves. Though I didn't remember the date, I do remember the moment, her smile, her eyes - she looked right at me, what she was wearing, the feel and warmth of her hand. When not regularly PMOing I appreciate her more, we're sexual more often, it's nice, excitement without the crazy ultra rush with PMO. With my wife it's different, less dopamine I'm sure, it's smoother and not tense in my head. I've often not appreciated the difference of real love making and preferred PMO or just MO.

    PMOing always gives me a headache the next day, usually the temples. The longer and more intense the PMO session and the later into the night the worse I have felt the next day. I think it's because I'm turning on my sympathetic nervous system, hunching over the computer, tensing muscles especially in my neck and shoulders, holding my breath, chest breathing instead of abdominally breathing, staring and straining my eyes and always in the back of my mind a fear of being caught in the act. And not eating, drinking or peeing for a very long time.
     
  11. Arthur Redux

    Arthur Redux Guest

    "I am done" .... (with PMO)

    GOOD!

    it was good, encouraging, to read your reflections of first meeting your wife. i too have had a good weekend with my wife. i'm grateful.
     
  12. youngoldie

    youngoldie Onwards comrades - we have to go back!

    Hi short guy,

    I found that during having sex with my wife i could turn to that edging clos to orgasm behaviour. And then the next time even needing that more. Forgetting to give, but just needy to get those feelings. So I'm just learning to have just real slow sex, just being connected - or even only cuddling and talking and caressing - not getting the instant reward, but knowing it's good for us - and experiencing it through the days later. I just liked to share that with you.

    Nice to hear from your progress!
     
  13. a short guy

    a short guy Active Member

    I hear you, I think I know what you mean, focusing on that "edging close to..." is gradually increasing the dopamine high, the craving and is similar to using P. Instead be present and appreciate the real live moment.

    Day 5

    Twice today I had moments of feeling like my wife doesn't care about me. Though I know she does, I still felt unloved. This irrational feeling isn't uncommon for me. I've always believed it's from something that happened to me as an infant with my mother and that I transfer onto her now.

    Profound personal experience today. Was reading the book on neuroplasticity "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge, p.234 about "Mr. L" who lost his mother at age 2.... While reading I unexpectedly burst into tears, realizing I had a somewhat similar experience. Though my mother didn't die when I was young, I have a knowing feeling that I was traumatized by her running out of milk soon after my birth. I have addressed fear of abandonment feelings in therapy, and though my life has improved greatly over the years I could never figure out why I have this fear. I feel like I now know why. I feel relief and at least at this moment a clearer perspective. So many things make sense now. My difficulties in dating and in relationships. One thing relative to P is that P cannot abandon me. I've always realized that but now I have a deeper understanding.
     
  14. Gino Miles

    Gino Miles Seeking the mindset that porn is not an option

    Short guy,

    Your posts are great! Thanks for sharing this. My story is similar to yours. I am married very happily and PMO is such a drag on my life. I have fought this for decades yet have made little progress.

    Until ybrb. It has been life changing to join this community. I am only 35 days in, but that does not matter. I think, for me, this place is my path to overcoming my addiction.

    I hope it is for you, too.

    I bookmarked this site so I go post whenever I feel triggers.
     
  15. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Hah, yeah I've thought about changing it. The idea was the "addiction monster" I'm battling, but then I realized I need to not associate myself with that dude! Should probably pick someone more inspirational :) I swear I didn't even think about the "one eyed monster" angle until after I uploaded it. I can be a bit dense at times.
     
  16. a short guy

    a short guy Active Member

    Day 6

    "I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."
    - Robert Frost

    Generally not feeling desire for P.
    Feeling excited about other things - it's snowing a lot., fun to drive in the snow, just finished "The Brain That Changes Itself", learned how to successfully reconcile bank account in quickbooks, managed to just come up with the rent today!
    Feeling excited about other things is helpful because when I'm not, when I'm bored, it's easier to slip into viewing P not out of craving it but insidiously sliding towards it unwittingly, mindlessly till it's too late.

    I do believe that if it weren't for this forum and this journal I'd be PMOing right now. It would be senselessly easy. Similar to gorging myself on candy that I nonchalantly might taste, but once a taste cravingly eat and eat and eat even though it makes me sick every time.
     
  17. Arthur Redux

    Arthur Redux Guest

    it's good to be grateful for the little things in life. although rent of course is a big thing ;D
     
  18. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    Great book for anyone going through this process.
     
  19. a short guy

    a short guy Active Member

    LTE,
    I'm realizing how brainwashed I have been to think I can't change my life for the better! I'm realizing that whatever I put my mind to I can do! I'm realizing how neuroplastic the brain really is and how I can use it to my benefit or detriment.
     
  20. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    The message of mass media, many behavioral professionals and all sorts of talking heads is quite simply false. Perhaps not intentionally false, but still inaccurate and misleading. I'm nearly 60 years old and until last December I did not know that it was normal not to masturbate. I literally thought everyone did it unless they had a mate. The fact that I couldn't refrain when I was married made me feel that I was weak-willed and stupid. When I saw the YBOP videos I learned differently. As I've studied and learned more along the way I've come to realize that this is a major problem and nothing like normal behavior. I truly did not know until I saw those videos!

    The amazing thing is, I had heard religiously based warnings all of my life but tended to discount them as hysterical and based upon superstition and not reality. (I've read the entire bible several times and masturbation is never directly mentioned. There are, however, principles that are applicable, especially with regard to objectifying women.) Now that I understand the true cost of masturbation I want nothing to do with it, nothing whatsoever.

    The point here isn't religious, it's that we can become better versions of ourselves if we allow ourselves to do so. My reboot has led me in many unexpected directions. I've seen improvements in dealing with frustration (non-sexual), increased mental awareness, better muscle tone and a feeling of well-being. It's not magic, it's simply the result of increased mental discipline. The best part is, 95 days hence, my brain feels like it has changed. I am not running away from my sexual desires, I am in control of them. Better late than never.
     

Share This Page