Age 31 - Having cancer woke me up. Today everything is sooo much sweeter than before.
I found this forum and the ybop website to be a gold mine when I was at the lowest, so I would like to add my contribution now… in the hope it could also help others.
I’m 31 and have been watching very large amounts of online porn since I am 16. I was quickly addicted, but could still live a sort of normal life during my student years. From 16 to 23, I still had friends, enjoyed sports, and had success at studies… I knew and felt that this issue was growing bigger and would one day become unmanageable, but I tried to avoid these thought, and found refuge in hard work, trying to convince myself that becoming successful would reduce all the anxiety.
Hard work paid at some point and I was offered a job in a prestigious yet very competitive environment. It felt a lot of pleasure, mixed with a lot of fear, knowing that I had this « issue » unresolved. The more pressure, the more I would need the illusionary relief of porn. In less than a year, I would so much lack energy to face the responsibilities that I choose to quit the job… I didn’t want to see me fail. Nobody around me understood…
This was the beginning of real troubles. I stayed a few months alone without working, and there porn would become totally unmanageable. I was so depressed and with so much pain in my body that it became impossible to find a new job… I was so nervous at interviews… it was horrible…
I had a girlfriend for a few months at this time, but became very aggressive with her… so she left…
After I found a low-key job to pay the bills, I thought the addiction would calm, since I spent less time alone at home. But in the meantime I no longer had friends around, and I was ashamed of my new job… it was all very depressing and very hard… so I couldn’t break the cycle.
Physical pain grew proportionally with the time spent on porn, eventually I couldn’t go to work because of the pain (in the back, stomach, and the genitals…). One morning, after 2 or 3 sleepless porn nights in a row, the pain was so strong that I had to go to the hospital. After a scan and a biopsy, I was told I had a stage-3 blood cancer (a lymphoma).
Everything I read on this disease -with the characteristics I had- agreed that the cause was unknown, and that it was probably due to a weakening of the immune system. It seems clear that porn damages our brain, could it also severely damage our immune system ? My unscientific answer is a hundred times yes!
During chemotherapy, I reflected on what I wanted to do with my life. I realized I would prefer dying than carry on with the addiction. And from this point, I found a new force. It seemed like being ready to litterally die for something was the start of a sincere and unbreakable motivation.
I had the great luck to know someone who introduced me to meditation. I began yoga and resumed sports, with the discipline of someone who is ready to die for this battle. It was success or death. I also took cold showers (thank you to the forum )
Finally I can share a tool which helped me enormously: I had a mala (a tibetan object), it’s like a necklace with roughly 120 wood or stone balls. Nothing to do with religion. The 120 balls can correspond to 120 days or 4 months. I kept the object with me, progressing day after day toward the 4 months of staying clean, checking one ball every night… the fact to have a tangible piece, to be able to visualize your path, can help your mind to integrate the importance of this path. Every night, with the mala, I would repeat in my mind the reasons why I want to reach the 120th ball. Everyone can find its reasons.
Today everything is sooo much sweeter than before. I have better work prospects, I have a sweeter look at girls and feel love, I’ve been travelling to beautiful places with friends…
I try to stay balanced to stay forever far from this hell.
I wish this to all of you guys
And thank you so much to ybop and this forum. You guys are the pioneers who put to light this silent plague and save thousands of lives
May the force be with you!
BY - Orangina