Coming out of my Porn Coma (Day 365)

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by i_wanna_get_better1, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. i_wanna_get_better1

    i_wanna_get_better1 Fapstronaut

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    Today is my one year anniversary of being PMO free. I am 43 years old and have been addicted since I was a teenager. I had tried many times to get better but always found it too difficult to quit. I never understood why I failed despite trying so many different things. My wife knew I was watching porn but didn't know how bad it was because I shut her out. I had been shutting her out our entire 17 year marriage. A year ago my wife had had enough and threatened to move out and take our children and tell others why if I didn't change. That was my rock-bottom moment. That was also the night I quit cold-turkey.

    I promised to change but the promises of an addict are worthless. I didn't know how I was going to do it but I was determined to do better. I had the goal of being a better person, husband, and father. I had seen a therapist about my problem years ago and started using some of those exercises again. I restarted a personal paper journal and pour out all my negative thoughts and feelings. I also started a more modest online journal detailing my story, my progress, and my research. I wrote about how disgusted I felt about myself and that I was finally going to take responsibility for my life and not be so out of control.

    I had to finally tell the whole truth to my wife. It was not easy to break down the walls of secrecy I had built around myself. For the second time in my adult life I broke down and cried. She made an interesting observation that my asperger-like symptoms may have made my situation worse. It is much easier to deal with inanimate pictures than real life people. I never regretted telling my wife the truth. We talked a lot and we fought a lot. I discovered just how much I had hurt her over the years. I had to show that I was making changes before she was willing to pitch in and support me. I could have no greater cheerleader, counselor, or complement to help me get this far. Someday I hope to be able to repay her for all the patience and perseverance she showed me before I finally woke up from my porn coma.

    On Day 4 of my reboot I started to research this problem. For the first time I discovered that his is not just a bad habit, but an ADDICTION. That single truth put my whole life and why I failed so often into perspective. I also understood that I had been medicating myself with porn for decades.

    My detox period felt like going though hell. I was angry, irritable, an seething with raw emotions. I had no practical coping skills. I was angry at myself the most for allowing myself to get into this situation. I finally understood that it was going to take a lot of work to take accountability for my actions. For weeks I went through an emotional roller-coaster - highs and lows, normal to anger to depression, varying levels of worthlessness, questioning whether it was possible to succeed. I needed a few small successes to build on. Some people feel improvements in the first few days. I was miserable every day for months. I feared that I would never be able to be happy again. I was scared that I was too broken to ever get better.

    I discovered that the biggest enemy wasn't porn. It was myself - the addict version of myself. Addiction is a monster that will do anything to get what it wants. Sometimes it uses brute strength, sometimes it is subtle and deceptive. My addiction knew me better than I knew myself. It is an opponent that knows all of my strengths and weaknesses and knows just what to say to get past my defenses. The physical cravings are nothing compared to the mind games you play with yourself and last much, much longer. I had to get to know myself so that I could fight back more effectively. I had to continually analyze every thought, feeling, and motivation for everything I was doing. It was exhausting and tiring, but vigilance was necessary because it only takes one second of weakness to relapse.

    I managed to get though my detox period but still felt depressed and empty. It was a phase I wasn't prepared for and people didn't write much about it. I was starting to feel worried that I was never going to feel normal again. But another Fapstonaut explained to me what I was going through, that it was normal, and to keep going. Only another addict could have empathized. I started to have faith that the path I was traveling would eventually lead me to a better place. Time was needed for my brain to heal.

    I passed my 30 day anniversary, 90 day anniversary, and 180 day anniversary. Slowly the things I was trying were starting to be a part of me. I no longer felt like an actor pretending to be a normal human being. My wife was slowly starting to trust me again and our relationship was improving. I became an accountability partner to a few people and helped a few couples in the beginning stages of their recovery. I started to feel that I had something valuable to share. I no longer felt worthless and empty.

    So here I am on Day 365. Am I cured? Not by a long shot. Every day is still a struggle. I was an addict, and now I am merely an addict in recovery. I will always be an addict in recovery. I will always have to keep my guard up. My brain will not allow me to forget how porn made me feel. Every time I get stressed or anxious I get urges. The monster is in it's cage but I feel his arms reaching through the bars trying to get my attention.

    Here's what I'd like to pass on to others. (I don't have the time or space to thoroughly explain each point but I'll answer any questions).
    1. Identify ALL your physical, emotional, and environmental triggers. Avoid the triggers you can avoid, address the triggers you can address, remove the triggers you can remove, and learn to cope with the ones you cannot remove.
    2. Porn addicts use images to alter, medicate, sooth, numb, or escape from negative feelings. Learn to cope with your problems in healthy ways instead of always turning to PMO.
    3. Write down a detailed abstinence recovery plan. (When I feel -this- then I will do -that- instead of looking at porn.)
    4. Journal. Pour out your heart. Discover your patterns. Document your progress.
    5. Do not fight this alone, get others involved - a therapist, wife, girlfriend, accountability partner, parents, etc.
    6. Don't trust yourself to be alone with your electronic devices during your detox.
    7. Recognize when you are vulnerable and take drastic action to avoid a relapse.
    8. Stay out of 'the trance' or 'auto-pilot mode' at all costs. It is a pain-free, judgment-free, stress-free state of mind where parts of our brain shut off and compromises our ability to make good decisions.
    9. Porn thoughts/images happen. Adopt a 3 second rule and change what you're thinking about. Thoughts lead to action.
    10. Challenge every excuse or justification to return to PMO.
    11. Educate yourself. Know yourself. Apply what you learn to yourself.
    12. Be willing to sacrifice ANYTHING for a better life.
    13. Be patient. It takes a long time to see progress. It takes time to reclaim your humanity.
    14. Be kind to yourself but do not tolerate failure. It is NOT impossible to quit.
    15. PMO leaves a huge void in you so find enjoyable substitutes such as a new hobby or interest.
    16. Keep using NoFap as an affirmation to stay clean. Pay what you learn forward.
    17. Be humble enough to seek professional help if you need it. It is not a weakness to ask for help.
    18. Reach out to others. The emotional satisfaction we get from others nourishes the soul and makes porn less appealing.
    19. Repair whatever damage you caused to others around you.
    20. Forgive yourself for the person you once were. Start living a new and improved life. You are now a person who is worthy of love.
    21. Our problem is an emotional problem. Find an anthem song that makes you feel better.
    22. Celebrate your milestones. Replace unhealthy rituals with healthy ones.
    23. Be prepared to change as many behaviors as possible. If you used to PMO in bed with your laptop then stop laying in bed with your laptop and wonder why you have overwhelming urges. If you used to PMO in the shower then switch to cold showers. Don't intentionally trigger yourself.
    24. It is okay to admit how much you loved how porn made you feel. Accept that nothing will make you feel the same way. And be content with living a calm, balanced life. It will make you feel happier.

    Here are my final thoughts. Addictions are a nasty thing. Our addiction is much tougher than others. It takes one second to feed our addition and throw away all the progress we made. Addiction invades every corner of our brain and corrupts it. It is not easy to break free from it. You have to look inside your heart and find a determination to fight back that is greater than the addiction itself. It boils down to this - JUST DO IT. It's easy to say, but it's hard to do. But it encompasses everything an addict in recovery must do to stay clean.

    For all of you new ones... don't look at my post and think it's impossible for you. I thought it was impossible for me - I was addicted for over 25 years and failed repeatedly! But I broke it down and fought my addiction one urge/impulse/temptation at a time. I still do. You can only fight the battle that's in front of you right now. Don't worry about what happened yesterday, this morning, 5 minutes ago, or tomorrow. Be clean now... be clean when the next urge hits... and then be clean tomorrow... and then the day after that... and before you know it you're at one year. I hope all of you can join me and share with us your one year anniversary story.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  2. Deadlihood

    Deadlihood Fapstronaut

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    This was a great read. Thank you!
     
  3. Steve H

    Steve H Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for your reflections. I'm currently at day 178 so its good to read accounts of people who have been here and have progressed further. You can't help but learn more about yourself during this journey and this shows from your account. Well done!!
     
  4. DBug

    DBug Fapstronaut

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    I wondered when I'd read from you again ^^

    Very well done! Thank you for the report it is a great read.
    Keep going bro!
     
  5. Andyst343

    Andyst343 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you great read related to a lot you said, especially about ups and downs normal then anger then depression my mood can change hour to hour or less. Reading story's like this, I know im not alone.
     
  6. Aiyoshi

    Aiyoshi Fapstronaut

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    Congratulations dude, hope you and your wife are having a better life now. Still wondering why you see yourself as an addict still.
    Keep being awesome.
     
    PotentLife likes this.
  7. Chetan0208

    Chetan0208 Fapstronaut

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    Hats off man, you are an inspiration, but
    hats off man, you are an inspiration. Have you ever tried exercising or yoga in a while? If not, try yoga some time, 'cause it calms the mind in a way ever thought possible, it helps a lot. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
     
    PotentLife likes this.
  8. i_wanna_get_better1

    i_wanna_get_better1 Fapstronaut

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    An alcoholic in recovery cannot drink at all... not even a sip. They know that they cannot use it responsibly. They cannot simply enjoy it and not abuse it. They acknowledge that they will always be an alcoholic but in recovery. I recognize that I have an addictive personality. My brain wants to use things to medicate my uncomfortable feelings. For instance, I need to be careful not to substitute my porn addiction with a video game addiction. Both put me in a trance and can become unhealthy. There is no cure for addiction. Some people say they form a revulsion to porn, but I have not experienced that.
     
  9. Tommysnewlife

    Tommysnewlife Fapstronaut

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    Very goo dread! scary at times but good to hear. Keep it up!!
     
    i_wanna_get_better1 likes this.
  10. Boxer477

    Boxer477 Fapstronaut
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    Appreciate your informative post. Good to hear of these long term success stories. Gives me hope. Congratulations on this marker in your journey.
     
    i_wanna_get_better1 likes this.
  11. im_alive

    im_alive Fapstronaut

    Needed to read that this morning. My 365 journey has only just started.

    Well done @i_wanna_get_better1
     
  12. CIgnaz

    CIgnaz Fapstronaut

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    Thank you for the report, this was a great read. I wish you all the best for your journy!
     
  13. Pyara31

    Pyara31 Fapstronaut

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    Congratulations sir.. That's one hell of a achievement. Wish you all the very best for your future
     
  14. FreedomFromSlavery

    FreedomFromSlavery Fapstronaut

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    Such an awesome story. I really wish you even more success in life. :)
     
    Harry91 and i_wanna_get_better1 like this.
  15. emily 291810

    emily 291810 New Fapstronaut

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    That is so awesome that you were able to stop your porn consumption. :) I had a question for you and anyone else who can help. I am currently struggling to have my boyfriend understand how damaging porn really is. Any tips on how to talk to him where he could understand? Also what are your thoughts on not porn but EX. Looking up just images or seeking out youtubes naked bait click pictures, does anyone consider this the same equivalent or close?
     
  16. Strength And Light

    Strength And Light Fapstronaut

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    Hi Emily. Yes, looking up images and checking out sexy youtube videos or Instagram photos or whatever is in many ways the same thing. They are essentially porn substitutes (Psubs). The reason they are basically the same as porn to a porn addict is because dopamine isn't a chemical for pleasure, it's a chemical for anticipation. So even though a photo of an attractive, clothed women doesn't give the same amount of sexual pleasure as watching porn, it does give a burst of dopamine, in anticipation of pleasure. It's like giving a heroin addict a small amount of heroin. It's going to lead to intense cravings for more dopamine every single time. This dopamine/anticipation addiction is the same thing gambling and shopping addicts get hooked on. It's not the winning bet or the perfect purchase, its the anticipation of the win or the buy.

    I don't have great advise for how to get your boyfriend to understand the true damaging effects. I had to experience the full-blown physical symptoms of anxiety and depression before I began to make the connection. You will likely find people who can help in the Partner Support forum. Here's the link: https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?forums/partner-support.32/

    You're doing a great thing by coming here for answers and help. I believe every person can recover, as long as they themselves put in true effort, which can often mean addressing painful underlying problems they've been suppressing or avoiding via porn and masturbation. That was certainly the case for me. I'm glad to see you are trying to help your boyfriend. Best of luck to both of you!
     
  17. i_wanna_get_better1

    i_wanna_get_better1 Fapstronaut

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    @emily 291810, those are good questions. @Strength And Light, answered the p-subs questions the same way I would have. A normal person might be able to look at that stuff and not have a problem, but an addict cannot even have a taste of anything artificially sexually stimulating. A drug addict cannot stop taking cocaine and smoke weed. An alcoholic cannot stop drinking whiskey and just drink beer. They have learn to live a clean life without the crutch of porn or p-subs. Plus, if it upsets you and you told him then he should stop.

    Also, @Strength And Light gave a good link to the Partner's Support folder. You ask a commonly asked question. It is not easy to wake up an addict from their coma. They will hold onto it like a life preserver in an ocean with no land in sight. That folder has a few slightly different scenarios but they all come down to the same basic course of action: start logically and reasonably, set boundaries, communicate consequences if he continues, then take an increasingly firm stand, and finally create a rock bottom moment where he needs to change or there are going to be more pain. Addicts do not react to love, but they do react to pain. Start a thread with your particular details and we'll jump in and give you some suggestions.
     
  18. emily 291810

    emily 291810 New Fapstronaut

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    Thanks so much. I will for sure check out the link you have provided. Have a great day. :)
     
  19. Way to go! Such an inspiring story, I definitely needed to read that.
     
    i_wanna_get_better1 likes this.
  20. Congratulations! And thank you for posting this, very inspiring. I'm going for a PMO free 2017.
     

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