…and I’m so damn happy to be here. I’m 36 and have been trying to give up porn for least 7 years, looking at it for 18. I could write paragraphs over the negative effects of the days, weeks and months of my life I have spent in front of my computer jacking off to porn, but I’ll skip that. Two years ago when I made it to around 35 days then caved in I just gave up trying. I thought that was the best I could do. I settled into a rhythm of looking at porn every few days, just trying to manage the guilt and self loathing rather than the habit and didn’t believe I could get myself into the state of mind where I had the mental strength to resist porn.
This 90 day streak started as I watched another girlfriend drift into the distance as I isolated myself and withdrew to self loathing and porn. I don’t think the relationship would have survived anyway, but I realised my depression was worsening and I needed outside help. I also knew I didn’t want her to be the one to support me through it. Starting therapy and talking to someone professional who is able to offer non-judgmental guidance has made so much difference. I realise it’s not a luxury everyone has access to, but if you can access it and find someone good, show yourself some kindness and give it a go! Failing that, go to a meeting of one of the sex addiction support groups. JUST GO. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose from going to one, even if you only attend one meeting.
The thing I’ve learned this time, that was different to the others is I was surprised how LITTLE this is really about porn and how much it’s about the same things that fuel all addictions: emotional isolation and messed up coping strategies. My recovery has been so much more about enriching my emotional connection and openness with people in my life than it has been about thinking about why I look at porn. Although editing my hosts.ini file on my computers to block all my usual sites was a very effective short term deterrent.
If you are struggling to get started, stuck in a rut of trying to make it to 5 days or 10 days and keep failing… you can totally do this. But it requires you to change. Maybe you have to be prepared to admit that you can’t do this on your own. Maybe you have to tell someone else in your life how you feel even though you’re ashamed and afraid. Not necessarily about your porn use, perhaps about some other way that you’re feeling. I didn’t get this far with mental strength: I can’t do this on my own. I got here with support and love from people around me to whom I opened up.
Over the last couple of days I’ve taken a few knocks, I’m back on the dating scene and that can be a rollercoaster, especially as I have a bit of anxiety induced ED. But I’m finding healthier ways to deal with all that stuff which doesn’t involve anaesthetizing the hurt by whacking off. Thanks in big part to all the support and advice from this subreddit, so thank you.
LINK – My first 90 day streak