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  1. 2 points
    Hello. Thank you for sharing. And thank you Josh for appearing to us like an angel to give support to the likes of me and 'outofwishes'. Outofwishes - I am only a few weeks into my new life after reality booted it's way in and changed things for ever. My wife and family have to deal with the knowledge that I committed a crime; the social worker from Children's Services has labelled me as a serious risk and my wife is under a ton of strain. Some things I have read have helped and some have terrified me. This time that you are currently in, this limbo between being found out and being convicted is the time when we are becoming free of addiction, free of stupidity, starting therapy and/or 12 step programmes. It is ironic and paradoxical that at the time you are convicted, you will be the most cleansed and risk free of all your adult life. The conviction and sentencing is haunting because at the moment it is unknown. From your wordpress blog you might be lucky and have a non custodial or suspended sentence. Whatever happens, I hope and know that there will be a good you at the end of it. There will be lows, serious lows on the way, but hold on to that as motivation, hold on to the love of your wonderful friends (I sobbed too at that) and hold on to the knowledge that you are now a good person with things to offer. You can talk to people about where porn addiction can take you, you can save another life with that. Sorry, it's a bit of a diatribe this. All the best and perhaps we'll chat again sometime soon. P.
  2. 2 points
    “What worries me is that, how can he ever really be happy with me. How will I ever be enough? How do I really work through this? Will it ever go away? The boundaries are set and he knows that another serious issue would be the end for us” Oh, Judith, I understand that feeling so well. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with it I’m over 2 years into recovery but what I can pass on to you is that you are competing with a ‘thing’, a substance, an object. No one person can ‘compete’ with that thing, that entity that is at the core of the addiction. Not that lady in the picture No individual woman can. Not even that lady can compete with the chemical soup in the brain of a porn/sex addict. They are chasing the high. Judith, you ARE enough It took me a lot of time to get past this mindset but I did. Learning about porn addiction was an enormous help. There is a website called YourBrainOnPorn.com where there is a video that explains what’s going on in the brain of a porn addict. It’s about seeking and novelty, dopamine, creating pathways in the brain, the hijacking of the brain’s reward system and sensitisation to the ‘thing’ they’ve become addicted to. They appear to be people that the addict is seeking out, but it’s not really. They’re just the ‘substance’ that’s needed to get the high. Obviously, the way to feel OK about yourself takes a lot more than understanding what goes on in men’s brains when they look at porn or similar, but it explains what people mean when they say it’s not about the us, that we weren’t the cause of it or that we weren’t good enough. A bit about me. My husband was an internet porn addict for 15 years and before that he was buying magazines and videos from seedy sex shops although I only ever found two magazines on one occasion. He also went to strip bars, which I was never supposed to find out about. In truth, I don’t really know how far it goes back, but as soon as he was online at home I lost him to porn addiction. Eventually we had no sex life whatsover. Zero. Nothing. No interest in me. Never looked at me. Never complimented me. I could have been stark naked and he’d just keep his nose in his book. Eventually I got dressed and undressed in the bathroom. I knew full well about the porn but after if caught him in the first days and weeks of getting online he had all these cleanup apps installed. It really hurt. Deep down I felt rejected because I was over 30 (oh, hahaha, seems so young now) and then I was over 40... and so on. So I thought it was all over. I only managed because I was in denial. I ended up feeling totally rejected and lonely and depressed. Nobody ever touched me or kissed me. I had to ask for a goodnight peck, otherwise he would just turn over and go to sleep. So, did I feel not good enough? In my mind I BELIEVED I was not good enough, never would be, never could be. I didn’t see the depression coming. I developed a sort of adult onset midlife anorexia. I didn’t know it could happen. But it did and it happened to me. I developed body dysmorphia. I was shrinking away to nothing because I believed I had no right to take up space. Hiding my ‘hideous’ body from my husband was so easy because it would never occur to him to look. Privately I could see I was emaciated. And then one day I saw myself in the mirror and had a depressive breakdown. My only thought at the time was “he’ll never want me now. Everything I once was has gone forevermore”. That was how far it had to go before he quit porn, and even then it was only the beginning of all the pain of discovering the extent of this habit and all the lying. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. I wasn’t his porn type. I soon discovered that. I had gone through my early adult life with this enviable physique and I’d pretty much stayed the same shape but I wasn’t some 36GG painted Barbie. I didn’t have a negative body image at all. But somehow, in midlife I ended up painfully thin and frail with body dysmorphia disorder, and that was before I had any idea about what he sought out in porn. I stopped neglecting my appearance. I treated myself to some new clothes. I coloured my hair. I bought some nail varnish. I started eating more. I was clinically underweight and it took some time to gain weight. I didn’t want to eat junk either. I bought some self help books. Gael Lindenfield does some good ones on building self esteem. I tried to get back to my previous interests and hobbies though this was hard because I was so distressed and preoccupied as the reality of my husband’s addiction behaviours slowly tricked out, and I was traumatised over and over with new discoveries followed by lying and denial. It was hell. I bought myself some cheap exercise books and biros and I wrote and wrote and wrote to get it all out of my system. My anger, my hatred for porn, and the industries that make money from this misery, the difficult emotions about my husband. I journalled a lot. I saw my GP who arranged counsellor. Not brilliant but it was support for me. Not for us as a couple but just for me. I couldn’t deal with it along. My husband began to appreciate me physically after d day but to be honest this was more of a honeymoon period. As soon as I raised an awkward issue or when I discovered more evidence of his acting out which he would deny, this would create rifts which he did not have the skills and maturity to deal with. So I noticed the compliments were not so forthcoming. And then one day something lit up in my mind — I don’t need his compliments to feel worthwhile. If he doesn’t notice, then so what? I notice! I can see who’s looking back at me in the mirror, and she’s an impressive lady. He’s a man with a problem, he’s a porn addict, and I’m not going to let his behaviour that caused so many problems for me decide whether or not I’m going to feel good about myself. So so that’s how it began. That was my turning point. Of course it’s not that easy. There are many difficult and upsetting moments, but the important thing is to uncouple yourself from his ‘approval’. It’s late and I’ve been writing for ages so i’ll stop. I hope this helps. I still get upset about it all. I still feel like an ugly nobody at times. I still feel wretched when I have my doubts and suspicions. Our ‘recovery’ is far from ideal. But I know that where he is lacking, I must continue to work on my own personal healing.
  3. 2 points
    Hi Sargam, There's some really interesting questions and points there. For me, a lot of it stems from what is your own personal definition of acceptable sexuality and sexual behaviour. Some people and couples obviously do use pornography and most people obviously encounter it at some point in their lives. It's something that can be seen as exciting or taboo and people can be drawn to out of natural curiosity too. For me, it started when I was young (a teenage) as I didn't have any sexual experience and it is a way of "learning" of a sort. For me, the real problems came with it when I realised that it had actually turned from something that it was a "dirty little secret" that I couldn't or wouldn't discuss with my partners. And then further on, when really I became fully addicted to it and "needed" it regularly, often easily spending an hour or two every couple of days for many years on end. It became something that I felt I wasn't in control of and was very ashamed about. It helped drive a wedge between me and my wife as well. Particularly, I felt that whenever she was withdrawn or not wanting sex, I could instead go and masturbate to pornography to "make myself feel better" - it was a crutch and meant I didn't have to work harder at improving the relationship or really discussing our sexual needs fully. In turn over time, real sex with her became dull and monotonous because I couldn't spend hours with her edging to the multitude of wild crazy content and unlimited variety of online porn. Why try harder to enjoy sex with the same woman you've been with for 17 years, when instead you can have a unlimited supply of novelty - different women every night, limited only by your imagination? For me, this is the real problem at the root of online porn - it sets up extremely unrealistic expectations of what sex is and should be that no partner or human being can ever compete with. At the same time, I would also be secretly disgusted with myself at some of the content I was looking at and needing to view more and more extreme material to keep that hit going over the years. Then asking partners to do these acts that I wouldn't otherwise in a million years thought up myself. I felt really ashamed of that. It is a myth and fantasy world that I would run to whenever real life was a bit too tough or things didn't go my way. This created greater emotional distance between me and my wife and also a much bigger disconnect with the world in general. Nothing (except maybe serious drugs) competes with sex in the human brain reward system. So, when you have unlimited sex on tap 24 hours a day with unlimited fantasy, what happens? Well, I withdrew from the real world. Why bother going out to meet people and talk about real problems? Why bother having real hobbies or going out an doing things? Why bother sorting myself out and actually achieving my life goals? Instead, porn would always be there for that instant hit. But it's not real. Although I knew for a long time deep down things were badly wrong that I "needed" porn so much, I thought I was the only person in the world like it and was in deep denial about quite bad the effects of it were in my life. It's taken quite a bit of clean time and lot of help to really understand the depth and the impact my issue with porn actually was causing in my life. The good news is, now I am straightening things out and enjoy a lot more from life - my time goes elsewhere but mostly into myself in other ways. I do still masturbate but much less frequently and only in ways that I am comfortable with are a completely physical experience for me. That means staying away from any form of sexual contact having any form of computer or phone screen involved in any way. That's what's good and what works for me but it's taken me time to figure that out and everyone is different. Maybe things aren't like this for you with porn and you don't have the problems I have with it. I really deeply hope not. Maybe you use porn responsibly or it doesn't affect you like it affects me. Only you can answer that because our sexuality is deeply personal thing and everyone has different needs and boundaries. My belief is that the only person who can define those is you. Clearly there are plenty of people who do look at and masturbate to pornography but don't feel it's a problem or impacts their lives. For those people, great. I'm not one of those people. The really interesting thing with a lot of those people who insist they can easily put it down is that when you ask them to stop to prove it, they come up with many excuses why they can't or won't. They enjoy it, so why stop something you enjoy? Why deny yourself? If these people feel so OK about it, why don't they go and tell their wives and friends and mothers all about what porn they watched last night? Probably because deep down they feel ashamed at some level of what they are doing and especially if they are doing it regularly. All these creeping rationalisations can often be because secretly they are hooked and cannot or do not want to let go of their "crutch." Again for me, the real reasons came down to wanted to escape and actually needing to radically change my life because my previous life sucked a lot. Sometimes people who use porn heavily can think that porn and masturbation causes all the problems in their life. I have found that what's really going on is that I had a lot of nasty problems already in my life, porn was just one more of those that was pretending to "make it better" or comfort me but actually just burying it all and making even more mess to sort out. Weirdly, although I have never been a religious person, since starting my journey I have started to see more of its merits in attitudes towards sex. Previously, I would regard most religions as prudish and discouraging of enjoyment or pleasure in their attitude towards sex, porn and masturbation. But I can now appreciate more keenly some of the moderating views they cultivate because of the damage I feel using porn has done to me. Because sex is such a powerful and potentially destructive (as well as creative) thing, the message to treat it with more care and respect is something I had not fully given it credit for. Western society also has specific social attitudes and perhaps a more relaxed approach which makes this harder still for people to figure out for themselves. Yet at the same time, putting in hard boundaries that people don't fully understand or make porn and masturbation taboo also can cause a lot of harm and push people away from trying to work out their own ideas - it can easily feed shame and the feeling you are bad for having sexual desire and that it must be repressed at all costs. It can easily blanket all forms of sexual activity as destructive, apart from procreation, if taken to the extreme. Personally, I find this attitude too restrictive but again, different things work for different people. One last thing also I have found is that while it mostly men who have serious issues with porn addiction (in its many different forms, images, "soft" sites, chat/sexting etc.) or even escalation to sex workers, sex addition, serial affairs etc. this problem most definitely can and does affect women too - the forum at rebootnation.org has a specific women's section, for example. There are a lot of links here if you want to explore and understand further: http://paulahall.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/505-online-resources-for-addicts-wanting-help/ Most notably if you only have 5 minutes: http://paulahall.co.uk/resources/am-i-an-addict/ Thanks for taking the time to read my very long reply here. I hope it's helped in some way and if you want to discuss further, it would be great to hear your thoughts back. Peace.
  4. 1 point
    Hi, This is my journey through addiction, I hope it can help others see there is a way out. I first struggled with alcohol addiction and went to rehab in 2006, there it was quickly identified that my primary addiction was indeed sex addiction. I was hoffied and in complete denial. I refused to accept it and labeled myself an alcoholic. I carried on relapsing with alcohol and stayed in complete denial about SA until July 2007. Then my partner found out about my affairs and I told him I had been told I was a sex addict. But really I wasn't ready to accept it myself. After another two trips to rehab, I finally managed to stop drinking in September 2009, and started my recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous using the 12 step program. I managed to be faithful and not act out until February 2012. Then because all I had done in my recovery up until then, was deal with some of the symptoms (ie drinking) and I had been too afraid to look at the root causes and deal with the real issue,which was sex addiction I relapsed into SA. I tried to convince myself it was actually a new love of my life (even though I desperately loved my partner) and that it was not me using men to deal with my fears,shame, insecurities and pain. It escalated over the next 4 years to many sexual encounters and I came more insane and irrational. Eventually my partner found out again and I was ready to accept my real problems. I went to Paula Hall (as my partner had previously had some partners counselling with her back in 2007 when I was using 12 steps for my recovery). There I was introduced to my therapist and started my real journey into getting well. Too begin with I was still holding onto bits of the truth and lying even to my therapist, but she was patient and she helped me see the need for absolute total honesty. To be honest I didn't know what true honesty was and it took me a while to learn how to be completely honest. I was so ashamed and so afraid to face all what I had done. But I knew that to deal with this meant dealing with the causes of my addictions, not just the symptoms. I had to accept why and how had I became so dependant on sex and lust to fill the pain inside me. The journey was painful and extremely hard at times, but I had the most amazing therapist and I was able to totally trust her in a way I had never trusted anyone. Over the years I have had some many people try and help me but she was different, she understood me and my issues totally. i will forever be so grateful to her. I spent 20 months going to see her once a week and I believe I needed that much time to really process my issues. One thing I did regret was D Day and trying to go through disclosure with my partner on our own and too early. As I took so long to be able to be completely honest, each time I tried to tell the full truth to my partner I either hide something or lied about something or denied it. This caused so much more pain. I wish we had waited until I was honest enough to do it properly. Eventually we did a therapeutic disclosure with two therapists from Paula's practice, which went very well. So I would advise using the therapists to help with this totally. My partner has been amazing and we are still together, I know I have been extremely lucky to have someone who understands my issues and believes in me overcoming them. I am just about to start seeing a new therapist from the practice who is relationship trained, who hopefully can help me further with some of my lasting relationship issues, and take me to a further place of healing. There is a way out, if you can be honest and face yourself and your shame. If there are any other females who would like to talk, I love to make contact, unfortunately the one draw back at the moment is there are not many women coming forward for help, so it can be lonely journey. Cat
  5. 1 point
    We are all visiting this forum for one reason or another. --- How are you? How is your day going? P.
  6. 1 point
    Hello outofwishes, Just checking in with you. How are you getting on? P.
  7. 1 point
    P is right. It is ironic that we face the music when we are at our healthiest, but I think that's also a good thing. I viewed my sentence (ended up serving 6 months) through objective eyes. You can't do what I did and expect to get away with it. Being punished was a huge part of my recovery and I'm thankful I was at my healthiest when I was punished so I could truly appreciate the price I was paying. Don't be fooled into thinking the police stopped the addiction. You can be scared straight, and I certainly experienced a lot of that, but you can't have an addiction scared out of you on a cellular level. Stick with your program, seek fellowship with others and, for me, one-on-one and group counseling have been huge keys to my recovery success. Also, keep writing about it. Granted, I've been a professional writer for more than 20 years, but I've yet to meet the person who isn't helped my putting their thoughts on paper. You don't have to write them here, or blog, or do a book like I did. There were plenty of times I wrote things and then tore them up and threw them away. It's just a matter of getting the mental garbage out of your system. Don't worry about your friends. Those who love you and understand addiction aren't let down. They're concerned for your well-being. You let yourself down, and that's a harder wound to fix. Yes, there will be people who cannot see beyond your crime and will forever label you a certain way. It doesn't matter. They clearly don't know you as well as you thought and they don't have the kind of compassion you require, so let them go. With your real friends, this will be something that happened to you, and something you deal with, but it will just become part of your ongoing history.
  8. 1 point
    Prior to your conviction, they just want to know where you are. They probably won't show up for searches or anything like that. After your conviction, they'll be more likely to check in with you...you can almost guarantee it. But in my experience, it's not invasive. It's just making sure that you are saying where you'll be and making sure there aren't any obvious problems with that place.
  9. 1 point
    I'm American, so I can't say 100% what it looks like assuming you're in the UK, but a lot of it has to do with what you have NOW, meaning cars, houses, etc. I've found in most cases, horror stories of insurance, loans, etc. have been overblown. That said, there are a lot of restrictions where a registered sex offender can live and it varies from town-to-town in the US. I wouldn't want to try to find an apartment now. Thankfully, since I've had my house almost 15 years, I'm grandfathered in on most. Ironically, since I've pulled my life together, my credit score has actually greatly improved since my conviction. I am on probation for three years, with about a year left. At first, I had to report to the officer every other week and there were periodic checks of my house. I also had to take two lie detector tests in the first year. Once it was established that I'm low-risk for reoffending, it's been much easier. I check-in once a month and usually he just looks at me and says "Everything good? Any questions?" and then I move on with my day. We built trust and I've shown that I've learned my lesson. So, your relationship with law enforcement will be the tightest immediately after your conviction, but it does get better. I was fired the day I was arrested...and because of my visibility in my community...I was all over the media. I will most likely never work for someone again in a white-collar environment. So I started freelance writing on my own, wrote my book and actually now make more money doing less work than I did before the conviction. And yes, I'm on the register in America for life. But that just involves checking in with the police where I live every 3 months. Sure, it's a pain sometimes, but I look at it as a good reminder to stay in recovery and a small penance considering I created victims. My best advice to you is use this time now to get your stuff together. Find out why you did what you did -- it's a long process, or at least it was for me -- and it involved a formula of reasons I couldn't have guessed when it first happened. You should have nothing to worry about with the police checking on you if you have nothing to hide. Live a life of honesty with your family and friends. I saw on your blog that your friends were great...people usually are. Some aren't, but that's their problem, not yours. Your life will be forever different, there is no denying that, but despite the hoops you'll be made to jump through both in the short- and long-term, you may find that a couple of years from now, this was just the thing you needed to turn around. Consider checking out my blog at www.RecoveringPornAddict.com for more about my story.
  10. 1 point
    I'm glad you're writing about this for everyone to read on your blog. I looked through a few articles, followed it, and you are going exactly what I did four years ago. It will get better. Figure out why it really, really happened (and that takes time), develop the tools to not let it happen again and then share your story to help others. That's been my recovery path and it's made my life so much better. Yes, you will deal with a lot of static with insurance, loans, etc., once you're a convicted sex offender, but honestly, you learn ways to deal with it (put the house in someone else's name, for instance) and at least for me, I find that the trade-off for the life I live now is more than worth it.
  11. 1 point
    Hi Florrie, First of all - I am sorry that you are one of the many women who are having to deal with this. There are so many of us, and we each have a different story to tell, and are finding different ways to cope with this situation. I also have adult children, a few years older than yours, who are no longer living at home. My partner's addiction has been present, to a greater of lesser extent, throughout our marriage, and so throughout our children's lives, but the extent of his addiction had been hidden until the last couple of years. These are my thoughts, and are in NO WAY meant to be advice - this is just to share what I have decided to do in my own life. I decided at the beginning that the children should be told if I ever suspected that either of them had ever been exposed to, or harmed by, his addiction. As far as I can tell, this is not the case. They are both extremely loving towards their father, and he has been (and still is) a great and devoted Dad to both of them. I know how agonising I have found this whole situation, and I see no reason to put them through the same misery. I am not sure how either of them would react, but I know that they would find it devastating. We all keep some things from our kids (as they keep things from us) - in this situation, I think that disclosure would only cause harm. I have also spent a lot of time getting to a place where I truly understand that this is my partner's problem, and it is his responsibility to fix it, and to put right the damage he has caused. If I ever felt that the children should know, then it would be up to him to tell them, and not up to me. I am not going to be an intermediary in this; I am not going to apologise for or excuse what he has done; and I am not going to put myself through the agony of telling my children. That may sound selfish, but I think when we are coming though this situation, we need to be putting ourselves and our recovery first. Finally, 18 months on from 'D' day, I am getting into a better, happier place, and my relationship with my partner is beginning to heal. If I had told my children early on, I am not sure I would then have been able to stay with my partner - I suspect once the information was out there, it would have pulled us all apart. These are just my own thoughts, but I hope you may find them useful. Thinking of you and hoping you get some good advice and find the right way through this for yourself and for your children.
  12. 1 point
    As Christine says, there is no right or wrong in this - only what feels right and makes sense to you. First and foremost, take care of yourself. I am the same age as you and can understand how devastating it is to find out that your partner of so many years has been deceiving you all this time. In my case it was 'only' a porn addiction, which started when he was a teenager. There have been several times over the years when this has come to a head and he has told me he was giving it all up - only to go back to it at some time afterwards. And each time he has returned to porn, the type of thing he has been viewing has become more extreme and more at odds with the kind of man he appears to be. We had our rocky patches over the years (and looking back now, I wonder how many of those were when his porn addiction was at its worst), but despite everything I still enjoyed his company, he still made me laugh, he was a good father to our children and he was still my best friend. On the last occasion (18 months ago), I was where you are now, and had decided to end the marriage. I have since changed my mind, and would like to share my reasons with you. Firstly, I did some research into porn addiction, so that I could begin to understand why and how it comes about, and what the chances are for recovery. I reached out to other women through on-line forums (like this one), so that I felt I had some support and that someone else understood where I was coming from. Finally, I told my partner that if he wanted our relationship to continue, it was up to him to make the running. Basically, I took a step back and made it clear that this was his problem and it was up to him to fix it. His responsibility to save the marriage and not mine. He had ruined our relationship, not me. The turning point was when he decided to come clean about his porn habit - the kind of thing he was watching, when he watched, why he watched. I recognised how difficult this was for him to say (and how difficult it was for me to hear). This was the first time, in more than 40 years, that we had properly talked about it. He did some reading and spoke to some counsellors and was able after a short while to talk to me about how he was fighting this and what he was doing to stay clean. I made the decision at that point to wait six months to decide whether to go or stay (I didn't tell him this). I decided to stay, but I now feel it is my right to ask him, at any point, if he is still clean and to expect an honest answer. I make it clear to him that I expect him, from time to time, to let me know how he is doing, and the bottom line is that if I once again have to find out for myself that he is using again, then I leave. If something triggers a bad memory or a reaction in me (something he says or does, something we are watching on tv, or a news item), then I tell him, and tell him exactly why it makes me feel so terrible. He has to own this! The best thing is that on a day-to-day basis, everything is fine, and we now have a level of honesty between us that was missing before (about everything - not just the porn). My partner taking real and genuine responsibility for this situation has been key. I could not have stayed if we had continued to have that elephant in the room. The worst things are the sadness which I think will never go away and the feeling that I may never entirely trust him. Staying has not been easy, but (for me) leaving would have been harder, and I felt I stood to lose more than I would gain. Please give yourself time and space to process what has happened to you. This is not 'all about him and his recovery'. This is about what has happened to you and the impact it has had on you. Be kind to yourself, and whether you go or stay, just make the decision that is right for you.
  13. 1 point
    Hey, sorry to hear what has happened. Look I am just another human in this struggle but surely seeking professional support ASAP is wise.
  14. 1 point
    To all of you above, from a wife who did find out by shocking discovery, rather than being told the truth, do please consider telling your wife and asking for her support in your recovery. To not be told the truth and to be constantly betrayed and deceived was the worst part of my husband's addiction, even more than the behaviours themselves. And even then, once I discovered it, I supported him. It was his lack of commitment to recovery and his arrogant declaration that he was 'cured' after just 12 months which did not bear out in his behaviour or respect towards me that ended things for me. I congratulate you for having the courage to challenge your addiction, but I agree with Paula - if you don't recover, you probably won't stay married. A marriage based on betrayal is no marriage at all. i wish you all the strength you need.
  15. 1 point
    Hi Yiksob11. Sounds like you are planning all the right strategies to prevent slipping. Good luck and stay strong
  16. 1 point
    Hello, It's great to start over with a new chance and do things differently. I wish you every success. I think understanding when and how you get into such a "bad frame of mind" is really important to stopping yourself going back down the old paths of coping by acting out. That's tricky to do sometimes but if you can spot that ahead of time and realise you are getting in a vulnerable place then you can do something about it before it gets too bad. You also list a lot of healthy habits there but sometimes I think it's necessary to give yourself permission to be less restrictive at times and have fun when it is nothing to do with sex. Finding hobbies and activities can be a lot of fun in itself. For me, I found I need something and I'd I try to be "good" all the time or be needless then it just gets bottled up more and is a trigger to acting out. So I definitely need things that are mine. As long as those hobbies are safe, without shame and in the open then all is well. I would really like to encourage you strongly to stay away from places and areas where you used to go and act out. Because I know from experience that going back there becomes a big trigger in itself, even if you're otherwise feeling fine. It can easily destroy hard work especially at the beginning where things are so fragile in recovery. Further, for me, a critical part of recovery has been keeping away from any and all sexual fantasy and thoughts as much as possible and avoiding masturbation. Different people are different here but I found me always gently guiding my thoughts away from any sexual fantasy helps tremendously. Just being aware of that made me realise actually that I used to think about such things a lot but not really acknowledge how much time and distraction it was. It continues the porn fantasy in the mind, even when you are not acting out. So, if I let the fantasy thrive, it will keep the battle in my mind going on and on. I am fighting myself. Peace
  17. 1 point
    Hey, It's good you recognise this problem and want to change. Things can be different and you can sort this out. Here are some online resources: But mostly I would like to encourage you to reach out and find some people in the real world you can connect with and help. You are not alone in this and there are many guys like us who struggle and we can help each other. I did Paula's course and met other guys through that but there are other ways too, e.g. SAA or SLAA. I think it's great you can come on here and ask for help and be honest. That is a big step and it took unfortunately a lot of things going wrong in my life before I could admit that. I also wasted a lot more of my time on it than you did. You still have so much life ahead. I'm really excited for you! Please keep learning and growing. Finding out what things truly make you happy and trying that out is a great way to learn about yourself, it's something I think everyone struggles with to some extent but sadly we don't talk much about it. And then for some guys like you and me, when we feel down or directionless in life, we want the "comfort blanket" of porn or sex. But it's only temporary and doesn't solve the real problems and even creates more because we then feel ashamed and isolated. There's a whole world out there for you. Although it's something you have to gift to yourself, you're not alone and others are here to help. Peace
  18. 1 point
    I've read a lot of the posts in the forum and am in a similar situation to some. Things haven't become fractured yet in my life but everyday I'm becoming more scared of this constant urge to seek out online porn from paysites to just basically anything freely available to deal with the urge . I was wondering if there is a help group local to Newcastle or Durham set up by associates of this organisation. If not can someone reading this pm me some course of action I can take immediately to begin the road to recovery while my marriage is still good and my children still love me. Thanks to anyone who takes the time Paul
  19. 1 point
    Yiksob, I think you are courageous to come back here and openly talk about your fears and problems. It may feel like weakness to you but actually you are facing up to those fears. Real weakness is running away and pretending it's not really a problem. You're also young and have so much of your life ahead. I wish that I'd have had the sense to quit at your age instead of waiting another 20 years and all the harm that goes with it. I would like to encourage you to please also read the links thread here too. It's great that meditation works well for you, keep it up. A lot of trouble is simply finding things that are positive and help you cope. I strongly agree with PJ that you cannot fight this alone. In fact for me, being alone is part of the addictive cycle. I used to seriously think I was the only guy in the world who had a problem with porn and was a real weirdo for it. That doesn't help. When you find other people who share these problems, you find people who understand the feelings and difficulties and can support you in helping to find your way out of this lifestyle. You are much stronger than you think but to be successful, it is important I think to use your strength wisely and in the right direction. All of us try to use out strength at one point or another as willpower to ride out our urges. It is a very natural thing to do. But yet incredibly tough and never really works. Even if it does work once, it never feels safe or comfortable. What we all really want is not to have those urges and compulsions. Instead I believe that our strength is more productively redirected into pushing your life forward in whatever way - connecting with people, getting out, hobbies, work and of course pursuing your life dreams (or at least starting to find out what they are if you don't know). If you don't know where to start then going towards something that's achievable but you're afraid of I think is a good start. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, my friend. Keep it up. Peace.
  20. 1 point
    Hey K65.... do you have website address for Naked Trust forum you mentioned? Just googled it but can't find anything. Hanna my heart goes out to you I hope things work out ok, like us all you are a super strong lady even though it often doesn't feel like it
  21. 1 point
    My GP forwarded me to psychotherapy for porn addiction which was very helpful. I'd say that was a first step. It sounds like your partner wants you to get help, so I'd recommend starting there. If the first GP doesn't help, try another at the same surgery. I'd say be wary of SLAA and other support groups as they will probably force feed you Christian stuff, guilt trip you and will ignore science.
  22. 1 point
    Maybe out of order of me to say, Tantalus, but until you do have a serious desire to change, you won't. Your story struck a lot of chords with me. Echoed a lot of my own history. I wasted many of the most fertile years of my career in a porn-addicted haze, and it was only after I kicked the behaviors that my home life and career got back on the rails, to the extent that my earnings doubled within 3 years. I found a really fulfilling life outside of porn and you can too.
  23. 1 point
    Hello everyone, I agree with you workinprogress, Schrödinger's story is inspiring...I really hope he hasn't dropped out. Schrödinger, if you see this post, I want you to know something: It's thanks to your courage in telling so candidly about your battle that has inspired me to sign up to this forum. I'm a 43 year old man who has struggled with looking and masturbating to P images since accidentally finding a magazine of a relative since I was about 6 or 7. I have tried unsuccessfully for YEARS to stay away from P. It has only been in the last few months I I have accepted that to truly improve my chances of recovering and staying recovered, I needed to reach out to a forum like this one. But I was so mixed up, I always felt I could do it on my own, I was embarrassed and ashamed, so always procrastinated from signing up and asking for help. I didn't have the stamina or courage to go longer than 14 days or so without relapsing. Anyway, after an abstinence of 16 days I relapsed yesterday and again today. But as I said, it was reading YOUR posts Schrödinger, and the other encouraging messages from the rest of you that has helped me commit anew to this fight. Thank you. Schrödinger, if you have dropped out, please know that you are not alone, and we are all here to help each other. Your story and these other positive messages are the latest inspiration I've needed in order to say this: I'm an addict, and I need help. Thanks for listening everyone.
  24. 1 point
    Oh man.... this is inspiring, and i can feel your pain, Schroedinger. Looks like you've dropped out, which is a shame. Hope you won your battle with The Chimp.
  25. 1 point
    DAY 25 So, it’s started. 24 days it what it took. Which is approximately how long it usually takes. A friend asked me to go on to iPlayer and watch Newsnight. As I was typing that in, I noticed from the corner of my eye, a programme about p. It grabbed me and hooked me in, and before I knew it I was watching bits of it knowing that I shouldn’t. Luckily that whole period of flicking through the programme lasted only 30 seconds or so on part, and because it was on the BBC, there was nothing explicit in it. Any other time, that might have been an OK programme to watch, but hey, it’s not in a reboot, and not at this particular time of a reboot. It left me with a deep pain in my heart though, and made my mind go into overdrive.I then put my relapse preventions strategy in gear, summarised by the pneumonic STAR.This will be me going in to a healthier auto-pilot mode.STEP back and observe what is going on in my head.The first thing is that I think my mind and body are missing porn-terribly. I have a deep ache in my heart, and I am wishing I can act out. My chimp is jumping up and down because it hasn’t been fed for 24 days. I have not satisfied its dopamine rush with the artificial super-stimulus of porn. I have also been busy with my sister and my nephews and niece, so have not really had time to myself. Originally I was going to build a few outer defences-go to the gym, learn a language, play tennis. I have not done any of those. But on the other hand, I have not done anything I did not want either, because I have spent time with my family. Which is healthy.The second thing I think that is going on in my head is that I had two dates with a beautiful and interesting woman. We connected really well. However she did not want to take things further, and I have felt sad about that. Perhaps deep down I am feeling it as a rejection. And so I have been going on Tinder and an online dating site and writing to a couple of other women, none of whom seem to be as interesting.TAKE a few deep breaths.Just chill man! My heart beat seems to be racing away at about 10-20 BPM faster than it should.ASK yourself what you wantI remember Rob saying that when he was struggling, he would write it down in a journal, or go onto a forum. Which is what I am doing now. My ideal self would be kind to myself. I have had a busy couple of weeks. And it’s OK to feel sad if a date didn’t work out. There is no reason why she would have to say yes to me. The world does not work like that. Moreover, it is not the ‘end of the world’ by any stretch of the imagination. And if I thought about it, I can quite easily deal with this! I have enough resilience inside of me to accept it as something disappointing, but that’s life. It doesn’t say anything about me, or her. And I won’t die from either not acting out, or from her not wanting to see me again!RUNRemove yourself immediately. I have listened to some feel good music for 30 minutes.Undo negative thinking. Remember one more time does matter, I don’t have to act out even though my brain is telling me to, my brain is lying to me, and all sort of neurochemicals are whizzing around.Never forget what you are going you lose. Look, I am on my 25th day. And I was doing really well.Porn does not fit in with the sort of person I am or want to be. It will affect my health. And it will make me lose out on a beautiful loving relationship with a real woman.PLANSo what is my plan:I will be careful over the next couple of days. I will go out for a bike ride later. I will continue reading a brilliant book on Willpower (by Baumeister, if anyone is interested). I will start my daily healthy regular habits that I had thought I would do from the start. This urge WILL die down. I will use this experience to learn more about myself, and grow into a better person (growth mindset). I will be more determined to continue with my 90 day no PMO reboot, not least because I have £1000 riding on it. Look at Federer or Djokovic-they are able to bat away any challenge that comes to them (challenge mindset). I will engage with my feelings rather than run away from them (engagement mindset). It is OK to feel sad about my dates, and OK to feel physically restless because I have not acted out for almost 4 weeks now. Patrick Carnes said breaking the addiction is about holding on to reality at all costs. I still have an ache and a yearning in my heart telling me to act out, but it has diminished by 20% simply by writing all this down, and knowing somebody out there will read it, and realising that I have brought my thoughts and feelings out into the open. I am a man. There is nothing bad about me. I became addicted 20 years ago and ended up forming unhealthy behaviours. All I need to do is start building new paths and roads in my mind. Look at my life tree. It’s growing nicely.I can do this, and I will do this, and I will break free.I should be like the rock on a beach, where a wave has crashed over it, but then the wave dissipates and it is all calm again.Laozi, the Chinese philosopher, once said-the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.This is my first step. It will be painful. But it will get easier.But it’s a step I have to take.And will take.Pascal once said: all of humanity’s problems stem from mans inability to sit quietly in a room alone.That’s all I need to do. Accept myself. Be myself. Be with my thoughts.I am a cool, interesting, loyal, funny, and intelligent man, with wonderful and beautiful personality traits, who has much to be grateful for.
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