By 2012 I had been using porn for over 40 years. I wasn’t doing this daily, by any means, but I would binge repeatedly when I was under stress. So, on December, 2, 2012, during a time of stress I was binging along with 20 browser tabs open and, somehow, I tripped into a site that contained a link to the videos at Your Brain On Porn. I clicked the link and my life changed in a matter of minutes.
Since becoming hooked on porn and masturbation at the age of 14 I had always wondered just what normal behavior was regard to masturbation and porn use. There were plenty of voices saying that it was normal but did that mean it was normal and acceptable within a marriage? Was it possible to do without a sexual release? Was it healthy? There was a lot of information floating around on the subject but what did it really mean? Why was it so hard for me to quit? Was it this hard for everyone? I had once asked a family doctor and he said it was normal and healthy to masturbate, but two divorces following marriages with sparse sexual activity seemed to argue that something was wrong.
So there I was, binging along with 20 tabs open to porn clips and I stopped to watch the first video at YBOP and suddenly I realized that there was a very real problem here and that there was an explanation for the fact that this was so hard to break away from. I watched the videos on YBOP and started closing porn tabs. That was the last time I viewed porn; and I knew that it would be. All the porn clips I had worked so hard to find were closed without remorse, I didn’t need them anymore.
Finding the explanation for my behavior suddenly made sense of my life. I realized that this was basically like alcoholism, an addiction that worked cyclically. I had seen alcoholism at work with friends, relatives and co-workers, and I knew that it was a roller coaster ride for both the alcoholic and for anyone that was part of their life. There was no choice to make, the only course that made any sense at all was to stop the addiction, so I did.
Of course it took work and commitment, but the choice was made as soon as I realized the nature of my problem. But I needed support and I needed to be able to express my feelings. It didn’t take long to find Your Brain Rebalanced http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com and I adopted LTE as my non de plume. LTE is mobile telephone lingo for Long Term Evolution, the effort to design a future path for cellular communication technology that is a logical evolution of the technologies that came before. I’m not in the mobile telephony business and, no, I can’t help you if you are looking for a job in that business, (I’ve already had one inquiry of that nature) but I see my reboot as being part of a Long Term Effort on my part. While rebooting only takes a few months, finding answers to the causes behind my addiction were going to take a long-term commitment on my part. It would also require that my response would have to adapt over time. While the first phase dealt with breaking the chain of addiction, once that was completed I would have to deal with underlying causes that were at the root of the problem.
But the good news easily outweighed any of the costs associated with recovery. Just that fact that it was possible to change made me certain that a better future was possible. It wasn’t long before I read The Brain That Changes Itself and learned a bit more about just how the brain can adapt. In that book there were examples of people that had adapted to profound problems and had gone on to lead lives that were far more normal than might be expected considering the physical damage to the brain that they had experienced. If the brain was that adaptable why couldn’t a person learn to adapt themselves away from pornography as a stimulant? More to the point, why couldn’t I adapt myself away from porn?
In future posts I’ll go into greater detail regarding my rebooting experience.