I’ve had a really tough 2017, starting off with my father’s passing last January. I’ve spent the last year exploring my sex addiction (and other compulsive behaviors) and I ended up seeking help with therapy and a 12-step program. I’m super happy to report that yesterday I was gifted 300 days sober from compulsive sexual behaviors.
Some of the things that have helped me are:
1) A 12-step program. One of the first things that I learned in my program was that my addiction was a coping mechanism. By getting into a support program, I have learned that I am not alone in my struggles, I can get help, and I don’t need porn to cope with life. Another important thing I learned was that going to meetings in person got me away from my computer. I don’t want to poo-poo the forums, because that’s where I started, but getting out of my house and having actual human interaction with other sex addicts was HUGE.
2) Therapy. I speak weekly with a therapist about EVERYTHING. Talking about problems is a great way to cope with them and I’m learning how to communicate both my needs and concerns better with all those around me.
3) Getting a sponsor. On the forums, I had a buddy, which was great, but I have an experienced sponsor in my program (5 years sex addiction free, 25 years alcohol and drugs free) who has really helped me get over the shame of my addiction and learn more about healthy sexuality in the real world.
After two and a half years of struggling through nofap on my own, the extra work that I’ve undertaken has paid off.
I’m also happy to share that my relationship with my girlfriend is better than it has ever been. We have sex often and I’ve learned to take “no” for an answer. Heck, I’m even okay with telling her that I’m too tired. I’ve seen a great reduction in obsessing and planning for sex. I’ve also started playing drums again – as an actual career, not just for fun.
The gifts I’ve received have gone far beyond my “super powers”. I encourage you all to keep going!
I guess that’s it for now. I just wanted to share with you guys that this disease is possible to overcome. If you find that you are struggling to get a solid streak going, don’t be afraid to take this to the next level and start seeking more help.
For me, realizing that the scope of a 90-day reboot wasn’t enough was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.
LINK – 300 Days Sober!
BY – KeepUpTheGoodWork
INITIAL POST (18 MONTHS EARLIER) – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
Hey everyone. I wrote a really long rough draft of this, and hopefully I can get it down to a readable length. I’m 34, originally from New Jersey, now living in California. I was laid off from my job of 12 years in January. I am currently studying for my PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification in hopes that it lands me a super sweet job that pays twice as much as my last one (one can hope, right?).
I’m one of the generation that is on the digital cusp. I had a computer in the house because my Dad worked in computers since I was young, but I didn’t need to have one of my own until after college. My first cell phone spent most of its time dead in my truck’s glove box.
I started seeking out porn when I was about 11 or 12 and discovered my Dad’s mail-order VHS catalogs. At first the images (regular ol’ sex) turned my stomach, but I still liked going back to look at them. Eventually I found some hidden tapes and I can still remember parts of them. At this point though, I didn’t really know what I was doing and I didn’t actually PMO for a few months into this whole discovery phase.
It was maybe a year later that I started getting more into the computer and I was doing simple game mods and writing my own MIDI songs to put into them. The music part stuck and I still write and play music to this day. Unfortunately, the other thing that stuck was internet porn – although I don’t know if it exactly counts as high speed when you’re waiting for an image to load….one…. pixel…..at……a…..time.
At this point, it almost wasn’t worth it to find images online, and I think I had a fairly normal adolescence of just thinking about sexy things in my imagination. But soon the tech got better and I could find video clips (30 second clips were like a gift from God!) and I think you can guess what happened from there.
I lost my virginity at 15 years old but I also kept up my habit and it just escalated as the tech got better and better.
By the time I was in college, I would sometimes sneak a peek on my roommate’s computer or I would use my Dad’s when I was home. Eventually I had my first regularly sexual relationship with a girl who had a boyfriend, and man was that exciting. Not long after that stopped (read as: we got found out), I had my own girl and we had sex all of the time.
This is when I first started noticing some ED issues. I’m chalking that up to having some sort of sexual encounter, either sex or PMO, every single day.
Fast forwarding a little here – After college I had a rough patch – that girl dumped me and I started drinking more. I was living on my own and that’s when I can confirm for a fact my daily habit became ingrained – morning and night, in bed. The truth is, it was probably already a daily habit, although I specifically remember being excited about having my privacy when I got my place.
I had two or three sexual encounters during that time, but each one was plagued with a little ED, really delayed ejaculation and all the accompanying anxiety about it.
Now, it’s been about 10 years since that time. I’ve been dating a new girl for the last 2.5 years and I’m sure she’s the one. It didn’t take too long into our relationship to discover that we both masturbated daily. So we decided “hey, let’s stop that and save it for when we get together”. And that’s when it hit me. I couldn’t stop.
My longest abstinence streak in the last 2.5 years has been 21 days. I would tell my girl occasionally when I slipped, but not often enough. I actually stopped having my ED symptoms and otherwise, I function just fine down there, so it really hasn’t been a physical issue. Emotionally however, it’s taking its tool. I am showing all of the distance, objectification and other anti-social behaviors that go along with prolonged porn use. It’s messing up my relationship.
In recent months, I’ve started trying filters and website blockers, but then I started using P-subs, and other work arounds.
Finally, two days ago, I was frustrated that I just couldn’t stop and I started reading yourbrainonporn and watching the reboot videos. It hit me like a bolt of lighting – I am out of control. And again, I confessed to my girlfriend as if it was all new to me. She reminded me of the other times I already figured it out, and I was shocked that I hadn’t actually remembered how badly I had hurt her in the past. I allowed myself to completely forget in my day-to-day and it slipped away. Using porn became more important all over again.
Despite that, she’s still supporting me and my decision to reach out for help.
Back in 2011, I ended up in AA as a part of a court order for a DUI. I sat and listened and thought, “I’m nothing like these guys.” And honestly, I truly believe I don’t have a drinking problem. I can drink or not drink, I can have one, I can be social, and it doesn’t become an obsession. Not like porn does. I can’t dip my toe in these waters.
So with that…
My first goal is 7 days and then 30. I’ve never seen 30.