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I love my wife and children. I want to be with them again.


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I'm P. I am 42 years old and married with 3 beautiful children.

It is Saturday the 3rd March and I am sat at my parent’s house.

On Monday 19th February my world collapsed when I was on my way home from work and I had a call from my wife. “The police are here. I’m scared. What’s going on?”

I knew what was going on. My sex and porn addiction had gone too far and now the real world was going to find out about it.

My computers, hard drive, usb drives and mobile phone were seized. I was arrested for possessing illegal pornography, cautioned and interviewed at the police station. I spent time in a police cell, trying to avoid descending into a panic attack.

The duty solicitor arrived and explained the situation to me. On his advice I answered “No comment” to all of the questions asked. I was released under investigation and went home. That was the last time I was home, other than for an hour during the day a couple of days later to collect some things. My wife was devastated and appalled at what I had done and told me to leave.

Night #1 was too late to get a hotel and I slept in the car near my place of work. That Tuesday was a blur, but I managed to book a hotel for the following 3 nights so I had somewhere to stay. I had an email from my Sister late that night. My wife had called her to say what had happened; she felt she had no one else to turn to. She didn’t – and still hasn’t – told anyone from her family or friends. My Sister said that I am her brother and that she loves me and would not abandon me. 

Last Saturday I travelled to my parent’s town. My Sister helped me go to them, tell them what I had done. I could not look at anyone at all. I was so ashamed; I begged them no to abandon my wife and children and to help them all they could.

I have spoken to a charity dedicated to stopping the illegality I committed. They have started me on a journey at really looking at myself; understanding the influences that caused me to do what I did. Since speaking to them for a 2nd time I have started to think about the addictions and behaviours that I have had, probably since I was about 13 or 14 years old.

It is all compulsive; page 3 cut-outs, then soft magazines, harder magazines, vhs videos, taking photos of myself, looking at males as well as females, starting to cross dress, personal sex advert magazines. The beginning of the internet didn’t help as I suddenly had access to more material than I ever could imagine from magazines. Always seeking new sites, ways to bulk download, ways to start talking with other people, seeking the interaction through meeting other guys for sex, buying used underwear, buying bespoke porn pics and videos from those willing to do them, cross dressing, buying sex toys for masturbation, on to using escorts and finally, shamefully, crossing a line and looking at illegal things.

I am now not at the family home. I am staying with parents and lodging at B&Bs. I have crushed my wife, she hates me for what I have done. She is now struggling with our 15 year old son and 14 month old twin girls. She goes to work early and it was my job to look after them until school & nursery. There is no one to help at the moment.

I feel sick. Last week I seriously considered suicide. It was horrible. My brain would not stop. I was thinking exactly how I would do it, how I would get financial affairs in order first, where I would do it, the letters I would write to my beautiful wife and children and what photographs of them I would surround myself with.

This low is horrible. I am lucky; my Sister and parents have not abandoned me and my wife is still responding to emails and texts, even though they tell me of how she hates me, is betrayed, cannot cope and is terrified that Children’s Services will take away the children.

All of this has come about because I have never been able to say that I am addicted to porn and sex. At the moment I have gone 12 days without looking at pornography. I have contacted Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous; they have all invited me to meetings which I will go to. I want to get rid of this evil shroud that coated me. I want to see my children and to rebuild trust from my wife, parents and Sister.

I am ashamed, unhappy and scared. I hope there is a future where I am able to deal with my addictions, help others before it is too late for them and one day, look my wife in the eyes again. I love her so much.

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Hello P,

First, let me say that I've been there and that if you are committed to a new life of recovery, it can happen. On the legal end of things, you also need to know that one day this will all be over. That day may not be soon, but one day it will. My porn addiction went haywire in 2013, I was arrested in 2014 and served six months in jail in 2016. Between all of those times, I spent a lot of time at in-patient rehabs, in one-on-one and group therapy, and learning as much about addiction as I could. Ironically, when I went to jail, I was probably healthier than I'd ever been to that point. Today, despite letting my diet crumble this winter, I'm even healthier than I was then. You will get through this. You will survive. Thinking about doing extreme things and fearing for the future is absolutely natural - and yes, things will always be different from this point forward, but that doesn't mean they have to be bad.

I had to have my wife bail me out when I was arrested and I had to spend about five months living with my parents. As long as you never touched your children and you have decent legal representation, try not to worry about the kids being taken away. I had to go through the same process, and while I appreciate the work they do saving children who actually are in danger, it's scary when they turn their attention to you. At absolute worst, they won't want you to see your kids while the legal system plays itself out. But, keep in mind, that's ultimately up to a judge. Once it was firmly established I was not a danger to my kids, I was allowed to live with them provided my wife or parents were also in the home at the time. As long as your wife has been a decent mother, they're not going to take the kids from her. They have so many other, far more serious, cases to deal with.

You need to let your wife have her organic reaction. Don't try to stop her anger, sadness, confusion or any of it. She needs to get through it. Just let her know you are there to answer questions honestly. And if you don't know the answers, let her know, but also let her know you're going to do whatever you can to figure out how you got to that point.

Along with the 12-step programs, I'd urge you to find a legit therapist to sit with simply to go over all of your options in seeking help. Yes, you should most definitely see a therapist, but right now you need to understand what treatment modes are available to you. There are probably many you don't even know exist.

If you don't have legal representation yet, get it. They can help you understand what's going to happen and what the possibilities are moving forward. Even if your legal options are not good, it is still better to be prepared. It was two years between my arrest and my sentencing. He was an amazing guide and helped me get the best possible outcome. He also coordinated with my therapist about my recovery path and what would help in my legal proceedings.

I can really relate on the desire to help others and that's what I spend a lot of my time doing now. If you're sincere about that, hold onto it, because trying to help others not end up in my spot is a big piece of what got me through the worst of it. While in jail, I wrote a memoir about my descent into addiction and about a year after getting out, I started a website hoping to help others. My book finally came out two months ago and I've heard from many people that it's helped. If you want to check out my site, it's www.RecoveringPornAddict.com

If you want to talk in a more private setting, you can get my contact information through that site.

It may get worse for you before it gets better, but I'm proof it can get better.


Edited by Joshua Shea
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Hello Josh.

Thank you for replying.  Reading your reply gave me a bit of serenity last night.  It is scary that it seems so easy to escalate to something that my real, day to day self does not like and does not want.

I will contact again, if that is okay?  It is calming to know that there is someone else who has gone through it all.



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Absolutely. I'm about two weeks away from the fourth anniversary of my arrest. If you would have told me where I am now, helping people, a published book author, healthier than I've ever been, I would have thought it impossible. I'm not a big God guy, but I wonder if this all some part of some larger plan for my life. I could only be where I am now - a very good place - by going through this very bad experience. Don't forget that it's going to get better. Hold onto that. Know it to be true. You've hit rock bottom. Now it's time to go up. Yes, it's going to be scary and full of anxiety. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. But you're going to be OK. You did what you did and you'll have to deal with the consequences and you won't have a lot of control over those consequences, but sometimes that's just what we need.

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Today is 14 days since I hit very bottom.  My brain decided to reward me by trying to throw fantasy images and scenarios at me.  It really shocked me; I was on a work telephone call, no triggers, nothing sexual happened, no attractive people had walked past, it just happened.  I was very shocked by this.  Having read some of the things e.g. on yourbrainonporn.com I was able to recognise that it wanted a dopamine hit but I refused to let the images into my thoughts.  I am happy about it but realise that this is going to be a very difficult and long road.

Children's services have also contacted me today and I am due to meet them tomorrow.  I hope it goes well.  I picked up a book ordered online - "The Porn Trap".  I'm only a couple of pages into it but the talk of 'shame', 'secrecy' and 'isolation' all ring true.  

My wife has not told our son about everything.  All he knows is that Dad's computers were hacked and I'm helping the police.  Has anyone any experience of telling older children about what's really happening?  My son is 15 and a half.

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It sounds like your wife has lied and has told your son nothing of relevance. He's 15 and a half...It's time to sit down and be blunt without being graphic.

My daughter was 14 and my son was 10 at the time of my arrest. When it first happened,  I told them, "Sometimes, like a lot of grown-ups, I liked to look at dirty pictures, but I looked at some that you're not supposed to and I got in trouble." It was largely left as "looked at pictures I wasn't supposed to" for quite a while. When I went off to rehab, it was to figure out how I could live my life and not feel like I had to drink beer every day or look at those kinds of pictures. When a court appearance came, I explained what would happen and I always made them realize at the end of it, there would be some kind of punishment. As I came out of jail when my son was 12, he had a few more questions and I gave him straightforward, honest, yet again, not graphic answers. Instead of trying to position myself in any way but the way I was, I figured it was better to be honest. I did something I shouldn't. I figured out why it happened. I worked at fixing it and still work at it, and I had to be punished because it was a law I broke.

My son is now 15 and he asked to read my book. I told him it was OK because I just don't think hiding it when it's available on Amazon makes any sense. I gave him a copy and told him he didn't have to keep going if he didn't want to and if he had questions, I had answered. He spent one Saturday reading it. That night, I asked what he thought and he said that it helped connect a lot of things for him, and that he didn't realize how unhealthy I really was. He was more interested in the story I told of seeing real pornography the first time. That was just a little anecdote, but he surprisingly had the most questions about that.

I don't know you, your wife or your kid, but I don't think you should ever lie. Just be straightforward and if he needs details or more info, he'll ask for it.

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Day 16.  My first visit to SAA.  I think it is true that as soon as you can talk about this addiction, it loses it's grip.  That's not to say I will ever be cured; I will have to talk about it for a long long time, but every time you break through the silence, the shame, the isolation, you kill a little tiny bit the addiction's hold.
Truthfully, as others spoke, I wavered between hope, to terror and back again.  I have my motivation for getting through all of this, but I hope that motivation will remain a shining beacon for me to aim to.
I am missing my wife and children so much.  I am in a rented spare room.  All I have of them are a few photos I was able to pick up when I collected some clothes a couple of weeks ago.
Children's Services want to see that we have talked to Sam and given an age appropriate explanation.  I emailed a draft letter for him to my wife but she doesn't appear willing to let him know what is going on.
This is a long long road I have started, and the start of it sucks.
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At this point, even if you won Father of the Year six years in a row, you can understand why she wants to protect him. She wants to protect him from the hurt and betrayal that she's feeling and is projecting it. That's OK. She should have her reaction and you giving her time is just going to be one in 100 parts of this process. Have they explained what an "age appropriate" explanation means? I would think if a kid is almost 16, a non-graphic version of the truth is the best route.

If a few more weeks go by and he's still in the dark, you may want to either talk to Children's Services and/or legal representation. You don't want one of his friends learning through the grapevine what happened and then recounting it back to Sam...and that's exactly what will happen. Your wife overprotecting him could actually cause more harm than good, but I'm sure she can't rationally see that right now. She probably doesn't realize when he does find out, one of the things he's going to wonder is why his mother hid information for so long...and he'll wonder that again and again through the rest of his life. But again, give her a little time to get her bearings. Let her know you're open to communicating with her and leave it at that.

Aside from SAA, what other help are you getting? A fellowship of men for an hour a week is great, but that's not going to really get at the issues that led you to your porn addiction and it turning sinister. The more help you can get now, the better off you will be during the journey and the better it will look for whoever is deciding your legal fate come judgment day. Would you think an alcoholic who goes to one AA meeting a week for an hour and does nothing else is taking their recovery seriously?

Hopefully the last 16 days have shown you that you're more resilient than you think. The sun will set, the sun will rise and you will still be here. This event didn't cause the earth to stop spinning. You're going to be OK, even if you don't know what shape or form that takes yet.

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So far, pretty much the easiest thing has been to avoid porn, to avoid arousal.  I can honestly say that I have only been aroused once in the last 23 days and that was when I was asleep and woke up in that state; so it was pretty much out of my control.


Tonight was my second SAA meeting.  I spoke up in the 'General Share' part of the meeting.  Today has been a bad day, but it really does lift the depression a little to hear others speak.


I saw a therapist for the first time on Monday and she touched on some of the big things in my life that might have been factors and reasons for what my sex and porn addiction was eating on - what I was trying to cope with.  And today it filled me with anger and grief.  In SAA people talked about Step 3 - turning one's will to 'God' or a higher power as we understand it.  At the moment I cannot consider that because whatever that higher power is chose to take our daughter from us just before she was born.


I also passed on to my wife, sister and parents the questions that my solicitor has written down for me to consider, which will help draft my statement.  Some of the questions are pretty horrible to think about and my wife is so bitterly angry and upset with me. 


I hate that my brain took me to depths that I don't consider to be okay.  I hate that I am sat on a single bed in a rented room, away from my wife and family.  I know this is all very self pitying, but maybe writing it down will help get rid of the power of that pity.


Is there a difference between being (a) a good and decent person who has a dark shroud that sometimes envelopes them and (b) an evil monster who holds up a mask of a good person?  I think there is.  I am clinging to hope that there is.  I am sure I am (a), but what if I am (b) and I do not know it?  I am good and I am starting a journey to rid myslef of the shroud.  I am not evil trying to rid myself of the good mask.  My wife thinks I am (b) at the moment.


My brain took my anger this afternoon and thought 'f**k it, f**k them, f**k everyone else, look at some porn, go pay a sex worker'.  It was low.  It was tempting.  I've not felt that tempted in 23 days.  I fought against it.  I thought of my motivation - my wife, my son, my twin girls, my little girl's memory.  That motivation is all I have at the moment.  I have nothing except my love for them and I am going to sodding well beat this because I want to look at them again one day as a clean person.


What a rant.  Probably rather unstructured but I feel a bit better.  Thank you for reading and [virtually] listening to me.  It helps to share.

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My brain is really getting pissed at me for not giving a masturbation and orgasm fix.  It is throwing every conceivable fantasy image at me from illegal porn to my beautiful wife, from fetish porn to fantasy images of every female I know that I've ever found even partly attractive.  It is really trying hard to get me.

At the moment I am 29 days since day zero, when I hit absolute rock bottom.  It is partly will power, partly trauma, partly an absolute desire to manage this addiction.

I had some time with my therapist today; it's only the second time I have seen her, but every time I get to say something, something about a piece of me that no one else has ever known, it is such a blessed relief.  Today I talked about a long seated sexual response I've  had (for as long as I can remember) about urine, whether that's pee porn, doing it with exes etc, I've always had a sexual response to it, but never have I actually said that to anyone.  It is amazing how every time you say something out loud, the grip it has over you, the grip of the addiction immediately is a little less.

My brain has not ever let me think of some of the images and video clips I saw as abuse.  I am really scared, really terrified of how I am going to react when that desensitivity drops away.  Why would my brain let me think it is okay to have looked at things?

One stream that I spoke about with therapist was about how I am really unhappy about what I might have done in the future if unchecked.  I used to 'only' fantasise about sex toys, but then I went and used them.  I 'only' used to fantasise about cross dressing or bisexuality, but then I went and practiced that too.  So what's to have stopped me having acting on anything really horrible with what I saw in illegal images?  She suggests that the other things I did go and act on were legal.  That there were no victims.  My good conscious self knew that line.  I only hope that is the case.

I suppose, being only 4 weeks in to all this, my mind is still settling to the trauma of my world being thrown into turmoil.  I am feeling so ready for this fight though.

My wife is still bitterly angry.  I keep telling myself that this is natural and that she has to go through her anger.  It is so hard though.  I haven't seen my baby girls for a month.  I haven't seen my teenage son for a month; though he can call and we can speak, which is something.  I miss my babies so much.  My parents visited wife and family today and they said how one of the girls is properly up walking about.  And here I am, not seeing those moments.

I keep wishing for the future me to be able to 'be'.  I know I have to go through everything first, but I hope I can somehow be a testament to others in the future.  Help other men deal with low sperm counts, IVF, lost babies, secret sexual urges... what ever those things are that are not talked about and give a feed to addictions that eventually take you into areas of illegality.

I got a good pep talk from someone on another support forum.  To get out and demonstrate mindfulness, seeing the good things around me, donating my time to others.  I feel I might be too early in my journey to do some of the things you mention, but there are little steps I can do.  I can stop and give spare change.  I can offer help at Salvation Army or Oxfam.  

I am not a bad person and god damn it I will show myself that.

Thank you all for letting me talk.

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Thank you for your posts, I appreciate them.  

It is difficult dragging along at rock bottom.  My wife is horrified at what I did and the situation we are in; that I have put us in.

I have started to see a therapist.  She is good and I am very comfortable with her.  She is a specialist in sexual psychotherapy and of the topic that we're rightly not specifically mentioning.

I have told her things about myself that no one else has ever known.  That I have harboured for 30+ years.  Not illegal, just sexual thoughts; and it feels such a weight off my soul.

The legal system will take it's course.  In the mean time I am trying to focus on one day at a time.  some moments are good and more moments are bad, but to get to the end of each day not harbouring any fresh lies or fresh bouts of self loathing feels very nice, even if that serenity goes after a few moments and the depression returns.

As well as the therapist I have got in with Sex Addicts Anonymous who are good.  Also some self help from a particular foundation is good too.

My brain is really trying every trick it can.  It is flashing me with images and memories, it is trying to get me to letch anyone I walk past, it is trying to get my fingers over the mouse and onto the 'private browsing' browser.  When that's failing, it is taking me to the places that the porn and sex escalations were coping mechanisms for.  As I read more and more, I think I had the addictions or sexual compulsions for years and years, and my brain loved it when along came some very difficult things that I just didn't cope with at all. 

Hell of a horrible mixture.

I took a call this afternoon from a SAA fellow.  It feels good to talk with someone who gets it.

I am worried for my wife though.  I don't know if she has reached out for any support.  I have mailed her some web sites, but she doesn't want to know what I have to say.  She is speaking to my parents and my Sister though, and she has said to them that she knows he needs to get some support, so that is the first step.  I hate that I have let her down so badly.  I hate that I gave myself loads of excuses and lied to myself that what I did wasn't really all that bad.

Thank you for letting me ramble on.  I'm trying not to make this all about me; for the sake of my family it is most definitely not just about me, but if I can ramble on about it, then I am not isolated, and this addiction of selfishness can go and do one.


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I don't know if you go back and read your older posts, but you're sounding so much better than you were a few weeks ago. You've learned that this won't kill you, it may actually make you healthier in the long run and that the world didn't stop spinning because while you're at the center of your world, you're not at the center of anybody else's, even your wife, who is still alive and functioning, too.

Your wife knows she needs support, but it's going to be up to her reaching out to find it. Whether she realizes it yet or not, even if your addiction was secret, everybody is effected by addiction while it's going on. She's probably sorting a lot of that out right now. I'm sure she knows of red flags she ignored, rationalizations she made and behavior that she witnessed. Figuring out her place in all of this can be rough, but that's her journey and it sounds like you're still the last person she wants to get help from. You can't blame her. It's like you hit her with your car and then asked, "So do you want me to run into the house and look for a bandage?" You're not going to fix anything right now. You neither have the tools nor the know-how. It stinks, but it's the way it is.

You may also find as recovery becomes an active part of your life, it's not an active part of hers. The toughest part about coming home from rehab or jail is that while you change, most of the people you see upon return haven't. There were times where I felt like my wife needed a lot more help than I did. And she got it in time in her own way. I couldn't dictate it, all I could do was support her decisions.

Your brain is going to mess with you for a while. I wish I could say the worst of it is over, but I find the worst hits on a random Tuesday afternoon when you don't see it coming. Just keep working through it. After four years, it's still there for me, but it's a very diluted, rarely-appearing issue. I assume it will continue to dissipate the further I get.

You're doing better. Recognize that. The legal stuff will be the legal stuff. Nothing you can do about that now except get yourself into tip-top shape should you ever appear in court and need to talk to the person, or people, who will decide your fate.


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Feeling very nauseous.

Since my wife asked me a first direct question a few days ago about 'Had I done...", we had avoided me answering.  Me because I didn't know how to and her probably fearful for the answers.

It has come to a point now; she calmly said that she was going to send me a mail with a number of questions and wanted the answers to know what she was dealing with.

My entire being is urging me to lie, to cover it up, to try and save my marriage.

I'm not nauseous because of that, I'm nauseous because I have answered all of the questions honestly.  I've not sent it yet, I think there is more I need to say.  I was horrible.  I betrayed and lied and hurt this woman who did nothing but love me.

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Thoughts keep invading my head.  Very close to relapsing, very close to letting the images my brain is giving me start washing over.  Definitely need to write.

I spoke last night at SAA with Paul.  I asked if he will help me take step 1.  He will, I am ready to start.

At another SAA meeting tonight, good to hear Nick and his story.  Good to hear Toby talk - I love hearing Toby talk.  So many people talk of their 'share' and include the story of a loving and caring other half.

I answered my wife's questions today.  They will hurt her and upset her.  She might want to divorce me, I don't know where this will end up.  I hope she wil lat least see that I have told her the truth.  This is the first time I have told her the truth without any lie or secret in the background, hoping that I don't acidentally spill any beans.  She knows what I have done and I am scared.  Scared what she will do, scared I won't see my children, scared it will rock me to the point of me saying "F**k it, if I have no one then what's the point?  I'll relapse as much as I want".  My brain wants me to do that; it is killing me to feed it.

I'm going to start my 3 circles.  I need to start giving myself some guidance on what is acceptable, what is not, what is a warning.

The internet can do one.  I accidentally came across some pictures I took of when I hooked up with someone not my wife.  My brain wanted desperately for me to look, start getting the fog and fantasising.  I deleted them, they are gone.  I then came across some pictures I took to send people; it is at a pretty damining stage when your brain wants you to relapse over photos you took of yourself.  I deleted those too.

I finished a nice audio book today.  I've been listening to it to/from work the last few days.  It is called Flamingo Boy.  It's sweet, but brought a lump to my throat.  I heard about it on the radio when the author was interviewed; it sounded like something I want to buy for my Son.  I have bought a copy and I'm going to write to him inside the cover.  I hope he will like it.

Bit of an unstructured ramble.  I will try and keep myself busy over Easter weekend.  I'm heading to my parents at some point; Mum says Dad is overdoing things so I will have some jobs to do.

Also need to carry on some homework from my therapist.  She wants me to list out big things that happened in my life.  Not just sexual points, but others too.  School changes, deaths in family, moving house.  All of it.  The more I note down the more I remember.  There is a lot of stuff up in my head, lots I had not remembered for a long time.

Sorry, all a bit rambled there.  Really just trying to get sordid stuff out of my mind.  I don't want to relapse, I want to start helping myself and get rid of unwanted thoughts.  

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Ok.  A slightly calmer day.

Good Friday bank holiday so I was able to turn the alarm off last night and have a lay in.  The same and usual morning 'heavy feeling', which I suppose I will have to get used to while all this is so raw.

Did a bit of tidying up and vacuuming which kept me busy.  A bit of shopping, got my Son a punch bag so he can hit and kick out his low feelings.  I hate I let him down so much but I am determined to show him that it is important to take responsibility for stupid decisions.

Bless the culture of free-refills.  Went to a Wetherspoons (bleurgh) and Ikea to while away a few hours for the price of a cuppa.  Free wifi and free refills.  I suppose they didn't really cater for me  :)

No response from my wife today having sent her answers to her questions yesterday.  I'm going to try not to read anything into that either way.

My brain is still trying to get me to relapse.  It's tried a load of visions and a load of memories.  Pleased with my reaction to seeing several attractive people when I was out today.  Only 6 weeks ago I would have been turning round, checking them out, leching, fantasising, taking photos on my phone.  It's all will power on the wave of shock and trauma, but I'm managing it.  I think that if I can last until I start getting tools and techniques from my therapist and through the 12 steps of SAA I might just do it.

I've bought my Son the punch bag as an Easter gift and the girls an easter cuddly toy each.  I've asked my wife if I can come and give them personally rather than just leave them at the house when they are out.  As I said, nothing yet though.

Did my first phone call to a SAA fellow today.  I've taken some calls before but never made one.  Thank you Paul, it helped.

My Sister has been asking more specific questions about the things I was arrested for.  I know she needs to ask for her, but it actually helps focus my mind too.  I think I need to make sure I don't just try and pretend it never happened.  I have talked all through it with my therapist; she is great.  It's tempting to just tell every bit of everything to everyone, but that's just too much.  People don't need to know what's in my head - just me and my therapist.

I told my solicitor what I have done; what I can remember doing.  Best I will get is a suspended sentence.  My head is already trying to think of what I say to my Son, how I can prepare him for the worst.  I'm amazed and happy at how much I have thought of him and how much I love him.  I hope I get to see him soon and hug him.

Made it through another day and off to bed shortly.

Thank you all for letting me yak, it helps.

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Pdw sounds like your battling your issues so well. You've taken steps others would have been afraid to take and most importantly you have been completely open and truthful to your wife.

It sounds like you're building quite the support network around you whilst battling your demons. I hope you get to see your kids soon.

Keep going.

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Oh my goodness I felt depressed when I woke up today.  When there is something really terrible going on in your life, how is it that your body and mind work you feeling so deeply terrible the moment you wake up?  As usual, I woke with an absolute start.  Only 6.5 hours sleep despite being so exhausted last night that I basically collapsed into bed.

I have been at my parent's house for Sunday and Monday.  I was going to go earlier in the weekend, but was waiting around hoping that my wife would let me see my Son before he went on a school trip, and my girls of course.  She didn't respond; she hasn't responded to me since I answered her questions.  It was so hard doing that, but I poked the addiction in the eye by being truthful and honest.  It is the first time I have really been able to be truthful without worrying that I will let slip some little guilty lie.  From that perspective, I win!  You hear that, addiction?  I won that round.

At Christmas, I bought my niece a little unicorn mug.  I knew she would like.  Turns out she loves it, absolutely adores it.  She kept showing it to her Nan (my mum) today, and Mum relayed this to me.  How is it possible for me to act so normally and thoughtfully on one hand, yet on the other hand have this face that is completely preoccupied with sex and porn?!

One really good way to beat this addiction is to give some service.  Anything works.  I cleaned Mum and Dad's windows today.  Really basic thing to do, but it meant Dad didn't have to over-exert himself and Mum didn't have to worry about him.  I've told them to leave windows to me from now on, and to create a list of jobs for me to do when I go visit them every three or four weeks.

As I write, my wife has text me.  It is not nice reading, she is rightly so angry with me.  The current concern is that she and the babies may have STIs.  I suppose they will have to be checked out.  Babies being tested for STIs - what the f**k was I thinking.  This consequence has my feeling so sick, so distressed.  Why the f**k did my brain not let me consider these consequences of my behaviour?  Why did I never think of the consequences of my behaviour?  How does your brain let that happen?!!  I am praying that there are no infections.  I have been racking my brain, but I am certain that I wore a condom any time I hooked up with anyone.  How the hell did I get here?

I spoke to a SAA fellow earlier today.  It was a good chat and out of it I started working on creating my inner circle.  In it I have hand written a number of behaviours that reflect my alcohol or drug (in AA or DAA terms) and which I intend never to do again.  They are all actions or activities.  I did that on purpose so that my brain can't trick me, it can't throw an image into my mind which would immediately mean I relapse, it can try that, but to relapse I would have to consciously DO something with the thought.  So, I can now get to the end of a day and ask myself "Am I still sober?".  I can 100% say yes or no to each of the items in my inner circle.  I'm feeling very ready to deal with this.

At the moment I have to park my wife's anger.  I cannot do anything about that.  I will continue to tell her I love her, I love my Son, I love my girls, that I am and will forever be sorry.  But that is all I can do.  

At the moment I have to park my offence.  I did what I did and there will be consequences for me to face.  I am not offending, I have not offended again since Day Zero.  I can't do anything about all that at the moment, so I have to park it.

I left my little green SAA pocket book with Mum and Dad to look at.  The first chapter, 'Our Addiction' just completely resonates.  

I have finished some homework from my therapist.  She wanted me to create a small timeline of important events in my life, such as moving house, starting college, grandparents death, losing virginity etc.  Started small but my head kept throwing memories at me, some which I was astounded were still in there.  So, the 'small' list was 101 items short!!  :)

Thank you all for letting me ramble on.  It helps, and I hope there might be some readers who take something from it all.


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The timeline/autobiography is always a fascinating tool. I've had to write several in my recovery. One thing that I wish therapists would make people do is edit them. I found one of the biggest exercises in my recovery that put my life into perspective was when I had to cut my book from 200,000 words down to 90,000. It forced me to evaluate and determine what really were the important parts and what were just the parts I told myself were important. The birth of my son is a big deal. Winning awards? Not so much.

If you can, try to look at the need for testing of STIs in the way you're looking at your offense. You can't do anything about it now, you can just ensure that it doesn't happen again moving forward. Yes, you put them in a horrible situation, but once they are tested and cleared, it's over. 

Your wife is going to be angry for a while. It may destroy your marriage. But, you were sick over a long stretch. Now she's going to be sick in a very short timespan. You have to let her have her reaction organically and it sounds like you're doing that. When she berates you for making selfish decisions, all you can do is agree with her and tell her that you're taking the steps to make sure your decision making process is different moving forward.

Your brain is going to throw a lot at you. Mine still does, but just because it does that (as I think it does for any man) doesn't mean we act on it. Haven't you ever been cut-off in traffic and thought, "I'd like to punch that motherf...." but you don't. Or your boss says something demeaning to you and you start the tirade in your head back at them. Or you see an advertisement for a pizza place on TV and suddenly you want pizza even though you just ate. I struggled with accepting my mind's thoughts for a while and then I had a therapist tell me, "It's OK to think anything for three seconds. That's involuntary. After that, you're making a choice to think about it and a choice to act on it." He's right. Don't beat yourself up for your thoughts. Develop the good sense to steer yourself away from them, or the ability to analyze and understand why the thought is faulty on the spot.

It sounds like given your situation, things are fairly stable and it's going about as well as you can hope. That's good, and better than most. I think you now have the sense life is forever different. It's just your job to make it a healthier place now and most of the other stuff out of your control will take care of itself.

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A reasonably quick one; had a session with my therapist today.  Got through SO much stuff when she asked how I was and how my week had been.  It's no wonder I have been so exhausted.  She said that everything in my head - it sounds tiring.

She picked up on the fact that I had not masturbated at all since my day zero, and that in all honesty that doesn't sound very healthy.

Almost every orgasm I have had over the last umpteen years has been based on an 'acting out' behaviour; something that is in my newly created inner circle of things I want never to do again.  I said how I was worried that by masturbating I could easily end up doing the inner circle things again.  She suggested to differentiate between masturbating and using porn.  That masturbating is fine, and probably healthy, but to try without porn and even without thinking of pornography that I have watched.

Instead, to imagine my wife, or a woman (or man) of my imagination and instead fantasise and imagine using my other senses - the smell of the person, the feeling of the person, the touch, the taste and the sound of them talking to me or calling my name.  And, importantly, to only do this if I was motivated to just enjoy the action and not be reacting to a trigger.

As she spoke about this, I felt really calm and relaxed, and the thought of doing this because I wanted simply to do it felt very gentle and loving.  So different from the reaction of compulsively masturbating as a response to feeling lonely, angry, bored or stressed.

I will keep a small notepad with me and record when I feel this triggers.  I will record those and NOT act on them, but I will be gentle to myself and consider healthy action.

Interested to hear other's thoughts on this.  I am not abstaining completely from orgasms and I don't plan on ever being celibate, but therapist's suggestion feel okay.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

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When I went to inpatient rehab for my porn addiction back in 2015, I went to a facility that welcomed drug, alcohol, sex and food addicts. The food addict program was mostly eating disorders and the sex addict program was mostly porn. I would have never guessed it going in, but I made closer connections with the eating disorder patients than the drug or alcohol ones...and I myself was an alcoholic. Recovery from drugs and alcohol has a simple goal. Don't use. 100% abstinence. With food and sexuality, the goal is cloudier. It's about a healthy relationship, not complete denial. You have to eat to live. We are sexual beings. We have to learn to do both in balanced, healthy ways.

I know you're becoming a big fan of SAA and the circles can really help figure out where things should land. When I was deep in my illness, if I was looking at porn, I was masturbating. If I was masturbating, there was porn in front of me. That was the formula 99% of the time. Was the goal looking at sexy women or was the goal the orgasm? When I had this question posed to me once, I really had to think long and hard about it. So I monitored the triggering feelings inside of me. It took about two days to realize that I was after the porn and I used the masturbation to "justify" it.

Here's an analogy: Let's say I was addicted to huffing gasoline fumes. I could go and only put 1/10th of a tank of fuel in my automobile when I go to the filling station. I need to use my car, so I need to put fuel in it...I'm justified. But, if I put only a little fuel in the tank, I can go back again and again.  I will make excuses to take drives just to use the fuel so I must return. Somebody on the outside could look at me and think I'm addicted to driving my car. But, let's say my wife takes the car and fills the fuel tank to 100%. I doubt the next day that I'm making 5 or 6 little trips. There's no reason to visit the filling station, so there's no reason to take those little trips.

There is nothing wrong with masturbation...which is the car in this analogy. Porn is the filling station. If I don't need to go to the filling station, I don't need the car. If I don't look at pornography, it turned out in my case, I didn't need to masturbate. It became super clear to me when porn is not in my life, masturbation is not an activity I do a lot...much like I don't listen to my MP3 player unless I exercise. They just went to together, yet I was only addicted to one. Sure, there are some people addicted to masturbation and not porn. There are some people addicted to both, but you've got to figure out the relationship they play in your addiction.

One of the benefits, for me, of cutting masturbation down to almost nothing (I'd guess 1-2 times per month, never with visual aids) is the increased health of my sex life with my wife. It hasn't made us freaks, but it has made me desire wanting to be with her more. But I don't feel guilty if I give myself some pleasure in the shower every few weeks. And my therapist knows this, confirms that it is not a relapse, and my thinks this is healthier than completely denying myself.

You shouldn't plan on being celibate. Humans were never supposed to be celibate. You can see what years and decades of celibacy does to people just by looking at the American Catholic Church and the problems they've had with clergy over the last two decades. There are organizations (sometimes it's hard to tell if they're about helping people or selling T-shirts to college kids) out there that preach a hardcore no-masturbation philosophy. If you're a masturbation addict, maybe that's what's necessary, but I don't think it is for a pure porn addict like you or I. Healthy sexuality is your goal.

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I hate that my sex and porn addiction was a comfort blanket that was my way to deal with anger, grief, resentment, loneliness, boredom, stress etc etc.  Keeping the compulsive behaviours away means that my brain is bombarding me with all those emotions.


Dealing with the biggest one is like it is happening all over again.  I am trying to look at it with the perspective that there is this 'higher power' and that by hitting absolute rock bottom means I will be able to deal with the issue properly.


I saw the power of SAA yesterday.  I was able to call someone who understands this disease and what it does to you.  He had barely answered the phone before I was blubbing, but he understood and that strength gives me strength.  One day I will give that strength to others.


I got my first SAA chip.  I have created my 'inner circle' behaviours and got a sponsor; I am starting this journey.  My inner circle is a list of all my 'bat-shit crazy' behaviours that I commit never to do again.  For me, these behaviours go far beyond PMO.  These are things to which I lost my morals, my money, my dignity, my time.  All of these things I could have used for happiness with my family but instead I was compelled to lose them by acting out.


I'm thankful for others' input in response to what my therapist said about complete celibate style abstinence.  My goals are not simply PMO, there is more to it.  Abstaining PMO was right in the immediate aftermath, but for me things have now developed a bit.  My reboot and nofap is to do with my inner circle and my goal is not to relapse and act them out again.  As long as I am honest with my sponsor and myself about whether or not I relapse and act out any of those behaviours; that will be pure abstinence.  Of course there has been my brain saying 'thats not really that bad, dont put that in the circle', but I am being focussed on what should and should not be in there and my brain can bog off.


The other evening and yesterday morning my wife sent a couple of emails.  She was so horrified for the first days and weeks about my illegal actions that she did not take on board the back catalogue of compulsive behaviours that took me across the line.  She is now taking those on and is bitterly pained.  Like a hurt animal she is kicking out and she knows me, she know the things to say that are painful to read and really get inside me.  I drafted about 5 or 6 replies before calming down.  Replying when upset or angry is not good.  I told her I love her and that things are my fault, but that I am really and honestly making steps to recover and rebuild, and that I hope she will be some part of my life in the future to see me be a better person.


This afternoon I am going back to the house when she is out.  She knows this.  She has asked me to collect the dog, who will be going to stay with my parents for a short while.  I've only returned indoors once since the immediate aftermath of hitting rock bottom and I cried a lot.  Perhaps I will this time too, but we will see. 


Thank you for letting me ramble.

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