Age 23 - 100 days
This is the kind of great news I wish I could announce at school, or write a big ol’ facebook update about! Nevertheless, I greatly appreciate the opportunity you all have given me to share my story and some thoughts.
I can trace my addiction to pornography all the way back to the sixth grade. I had just finished learning how to research online. My topic, of course, was simple, like George Washington or somethin’. But soon after this, I happen to run across a picture of Heidi Klum. Of course, I soon thought to myself: “What would happen if I did a some online research on Heidi Klum?” The answer to that question snared me in a trap from which I’m still struggling to escape.
Since then, although my addiction has varied in degrees of intensity, it’s remained unshakeable. Even as a sixth grader, I had no doubt that looking at those pictures and watching those movies could not possibly be anything other wrong. Nevertheless, the desires of my body constantly and relentlessly overwhelmed the better judgment of my weak conscience.
The merciless cycle has continued for almost twelve years since that first Heidi search. My countless attempts to quit lasted only as long as the depression. These failures resulted in chronically deflated self-worth which has surely negatively impacted the person I am today.
Finally, finding this blog has been one of the most fortunate discoveries in the last twelve years of my life. For the first time, I have truly felt like I just don’t want to look at porn. I feel like I’m standing outside of the situation looking in, rather than standing inside the cage and desperately longing to for the freedom awaiting outside. Through this joy, however, I must constantly remind myself that my addiction has not and will not disappeared. It’s my Achilles’ tendon. I must persist in my efforts and in my prayers to keep my area of weakness well protected.
Through the years of struggle, my hundreds of failures to quit have produced almost as many new ideas on ways to motivate myself to quit. Some examples include:
1. After a relapse, I’d beat myself in one leg until it went numb.
2. I’d punish myself from something I enjoyed, such as TV or video games.
3. Immediately afterwards I’d write a letter to myself describing the way I felt (This was actually a worthwhile idea. It’s important to have something to remind you how awful the depression state feels even after you’ve passed through it)
4. I’d find rewards to give myself for reaching a porn-free goal (success here was never permanent)
5. Computer software that blocks adult sites (There’d always be some reason to bypass this)
6. I’d go for a run or hang with friends when I felt tempted. (Unfortunately, this only postponed, rather than canceled an inevitable relapse)
There’s one critical element that was missing through all my attempts to quit. It’s the genuine and complete absence of a desire for porn. Here’s the plan I’ve used to reach that point:
First, I removed access to the internet from my apartment. I left my modem in my locker at school so that if I had an urge, it would require a great deal of effort and time to get the internet going again. Now, the only place I can get on the internet are in very public places, such as my medical school, the lobby of my apartment complex, or a Starbuck’s. None of which are options. I know that because of today’s ease of porn access, there’s no way to make it completely unavailable; however, one can make it less convenient. More importantly, I understand that this solution doesn’t kill the addiction at the roots. That’s why it’s only the first step.
Second, a point of much debate in this blog, involves how to deal with masturbation. Do I think it would be ideal to completely cut masturbation? Probably. Do I think that cutting masturbation for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the reboot process is important? Absolutely. But after a couple of weeks, I’ve found that masturbating on a very regular and preplanned schedule provided the best opportunity for success. I started out waiting ten days but now I have reduced it to five days. It’s like Little Red Riding Hood finding the soup that’s “just right”. Wet dreams are annoying, and I’m convinced that there must be some benefit to flushing the pipes. Also, I’ve found those masturbation sessions far more enjoyable than the post-porn sessions. I might note, the situation in the past that resulted the most often in porn relapse occurred when I decided it was time to masturbate without porn; however, I almost always ended up walking over to the computer for a bit (ended up being a lot) of help. Breaking that train of thought has been an important step.
Third, find an accountability partner (preferably another understanding guy). For a long time, I’ve known that working on this step would be tremendously beneficial. I think that the fear of talking about this to someone has been another motivation for me to stay away from the places I shouldn’t go. Also, this blog, filled with folks struggling with this same issue, has provided a sort of accountability group. For this reason, I’m extraordinarily grateful to you all. However, if I were to relapse at this point, I would need to find an actual mentor to be accountable to.
Fourth, every time I find myself alone with my computer in a place with internet access, I try to read a few of these blogs, just to serve as a reminder of the importance of staying on track.
Fifth, although I know that many of you come from varying religious/spiritual backgrounds, I’ve found Christ’s love to be imperative in my recovery. Everyday I try to draw closer to the God. I encourage you to read the following “Lord’s prayer” with special emphasis on the last fourth and fifth line:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, I’ve only been able to find success in this fight by no longer wanting to look at porn. In the past, every time I’d try to quit, I could always here that voice deep down saying: “you know you’re gonna do it again”. That’s who I’ve had to defeat. It’s not a solo mission either. Accountability partners and Christ are about the only folks who will fight alongside you.
I don’t expect this addiction to ever go away. All of us guys are supposed to be addicted to girls. It’s the way we’re wired. We just have to maintain control.
As a final note, I just want to reemphasize how beneficial this blog is. I greatly appreciate the tremendous amount of support I’ve received from your stories. Also, I think that we all can agree that porn and excessive masturbation are a problem that leads to ED. For this reason, in my opinion, I think it’s good to focus on helping each other through this, rather than focusing on specific and inconsequential issues such as specific neurotransmitters and brain plasticity that play a role in porn addiction and ED.
Thanks again for your support!
BY - Fellow Fighter
from this Medhelp thread