Uhmm, terrible with subject lines, just introducing myself

Discussion in 'New to NoFap' started by Johnny Park, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Johnny Park

    Johnny Park Fapstronaut

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    Hi all,

    I've recognised a year ago that I have a problem with porn addiction after suffering from ED with a girl I was sleeping with. I tried to quit on my own but keep relapsing, despite being in a (long-distance) relationship for 8 months now, the first serious relationship I've ever had.

    I'm a 29-year old guy from the Netherlands, currently in the final stages of finishing a PhD in Germany. A year ago I would have introduced myself as an out-going guy without any real other problems other than my porn addiction, but the past year has taught me that I'm dealing with several psychological issues that probably play a role in my addiction problems. I am very active (running at least 3 times a week and going to the gym twice a week, playing piano as often as I can and reading books).

    I've been bullied a primary school, though not too bad, and as a consequence, have been suppressing my emotions since I was 4 years old. Given that I've got some autistic tendencies, I've always had trouble making friends, though I eventually succeeded at primary school, secondary school, university and at work. At age 15, I was diagnosed with epilepsy, which got so bad at age 17 that I was hospitalised for 6 months. I've hovered at the brink of death for 2 months, but refused any psychological help afterwards (which was very stupid in hindsight). It took my brain about 4 years to fully recover, and I had to fight my way through the last year of secondary school and the first 3 years of uni. I could do this because at this point I was filled to the brim with anger at how unfair life was, why this had to happen to me etc. I was only able to let go of my anger gradually over the past 2 years.

    To sum up, with the help of my girlfriend, I've noticed that I have avoidance issues (from suppressing my emotions for the past 25 years), commitment and abandonment issues (from my stint at the hospital, where I was abandoned by all my "friends" except for one), I'm depressed, had anger issues, am a severe perfectionist and have autistic tendencies. Most of these issues were pre-existing I think, but were exacerbated after my time being hospitalised. I've hurt my girlfriend due to these issues already, and I am seeking help for them, but I want to stop this destructive addiction while being waitlisted.

    As to my porn addiction, I've watched "old-school" porn (magazines) since I was 15, but it didn't escalate until I was about 21. At this age, I ruptured my ACL and meniscus playing football (soccer). Football had always been my emotional outlet, where I could vent my emotions through playing, and all of a sudden, I had no outlet anymore, and a lot of free time. High-speed internet porn was on the rise, and I started watching more and more, though it was still contained due to living with my parents until I was 25 (too lazy to get my own place). It escalated further when I got my own place in Germany when I started with my PhD in 2015. Having no fixed working hours, being alone a lot and dealing with several psychological issues led to an escalation. I would sometimes not show up at work for a whole day because of my addiction. Because of my commitment issues, I basically slept around for years, never engaging in any meaningful relationship, though "risky behaviour" had increased in that department too (needing risky places for arousal etc.). Having a girlfriend did help, but not to the point I can quit my addiction, and I feel like I'm cheating every time I relapse.

    While I recognised my addiction a year ago, I've been struggling with it ever since, and can't stay away from it longer than 45 days. I've decided to share my story here, and hope to get some help and feedback. I've felt alone basically my entire life, with a lot of things, but I noticed that if you share things, you notice you're not alone. Maybe this is what's been keeping me from successfully getting rid of my addiction. Sorry it got so long.
     
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  2. Jerry120

    Jerry120 Fapstronaut

    Welcome to the forum! Thank you sharing your story! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain your situation and your journey towards PMO.

    I too suffered from PIED. Maybe still do but wouldn't know until I have a practical experience :). It is not unusual for something so inanimate such as pixels to have such a profound effect on us subconsciously. Who would have ever thought that this could effect us so bad?

    I am really impressed that you have identified various psychological ailments that affected you. All the same, do not leave any space in your mind for self-pity. Self-pity is an engulfing emotion for the mind. It really consumes us and makes us feel like we're the most important being on the planet. Beware of this one. I feel it is the reason why so many get lost in addictive behaviors. You have a very balanced life with so many activities and this could really help you break free. As you progress out of this PMO addiction I hope you can modulate your emotional needs with your GF. This is important as human connections are the death knell for any addiction. If you can regulate your emotional temperament through human interactions, the PMO problem will fade away by itself. Though controversial a suggestion, a period of PMO abstinence, i.e. complete abstinence may strengthen your relationship. Of course, this is for your to evaluate as more than one set of needs are at play.

    Thank you once again for sharing. Thank you for taking the time. I hope to see you around. Good luck!
     
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  3. Johnny Park

    Johnny Park Fapstronaut

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    Hi Jerry,

    Thanks for your reply! To get such positive feedback is really encouraging! I told my parents about it at one point, and they tried, but didn't really understand (I guess they're simply from a different era; plus they had "bigger worries" with my younger sister being borderline suicidal when I told them).

    You're right, self-pity can be killing for your emotional stability. You feel all alone, you think "poor me", and don't face the problems you have in life head-on. Instead, you bury your head in the sand and that just exacerbates the problem(s). Everyone's had unpleasant experiences in life. I still have both my arms and legs, have no permanent brain damage and can go the gym, go running, play piano and a million other things. I can't wait to go to a psychologist to work out my issues (never thought that would happen, actually wanting to go to a shrink), but am satisfied at the moment with working on myself on my own as much as possible.

    I think a big part of getting better and breaking free from PMO is structure. Sure, I do sports, and that's important for feeling better mentally, but I did that when stuck in this PMO cycle, too. It's all about making sure that you have a plan for each day and what you're going to do. I noticed it makes it easier to not think about porn or masturbating.

    As to your suggestion, I have considered that, a period of complete abstinence, but the thing is, my girlfriend has already been really understanding and she's helped me a lot. I don't want to do that to her. She had never watched porn but did so after I told her about my addiction, and she said she immediately understood how one would get hooked to it. I thought that was really brave, because I told her how addictive it is. She has her needs too, so we kind of made a pact: when we're together we do whatever we want, and it's my responsibility to not view her as an object, something (I was surprised to see) I had no problems with. When not together (the majority of the time, I'm in Europe, she's in the U.S.), we have phone sex, but we don't engage in any fantasies as it might trigger things on my side. Instead, we focus on the good times we've had together. I masturbate (and make sure I don't have a death grip), but don't orgasm, because the chaser effect has ended more than one good streak I was on in the past year. I know not going hard mode may slow down my reboot, and there are members who consider phone sex a form of porn, but I personally don't, because what turns me on way more than seeing her on a screen are the emotions that come with the memories of the good times.

    My biggest problem right now is that she can't be my accountability partner. For starters, the time difference is 7 hours, so we're awake at completely different times of the day. But mainly, the reason for my relapse 5 days ago was a really big argument we had, and I knew I should have stayed far away from any form of temptation when I was upset, but I couldn't resist. It's completely my own fault that I relapsed, that's not on her, but as in every relationship, you get hurt sometimes, and channeling those negative emotions in a positive way when you're all alone is really difficult. And I can't turn to her in moments like that because she's dealing with her own emotions then (and we both need to cool off a bit before talking again).

    I was wondering about that, how do you do it? How do you cope with negative emotions and being alone? Do you make sure you fill your time with activities that you planned beforehand? Do you have an accountability partner? I know it's a lot of questions, but I'm new to all of this.

    My biggest pitfall is actually not porn websites. I find it easy to stay away from those. My problem lies in fantasising about things I did with exes and turn those into some sort of porn fantasy, complete with writing it down and everything. When I then fantasise, I tend to look at racy (or even non-racy) pictures taken. It took a lot of effort to delete all of those 5 days ago. I never did it before I felt I should be strong enough to resist going there. I had another minor breakthrough 3 days ago: I found a way to ban bad thoughts from my mind. Whenever my mind would wander off to porn, I never had a place I could go to in order to snap out of it. I could think of a forest, and images of things done with an ex (or seen in vids) would pop up. Even thinking about something as boring as tax law (I'm a lawyer) would take me to memories of things done with a fellow student when we were studying. But I finally found something that works. My older brother is building his own house, and whenever I travel back to Holland, I help him out (a lot of fun imo). If I go there in my mind, nothing remotely sexual comes to mind.

    Sorry for another long post, I'm new to all this and make sure to make future ones shorter and not spill all my guts out in one or two posts.
     
    Jerry120 likes this.
  4. Jerry120

    Jerry120 Fapstronaut

    You write beautifully! I'm sure this helps a lot with being a lawyer :). I understand that back in the day lawyers were paid by the word. Sorry mate couldn't resist taking a dig as I work with a bunch of lawyers now.

    Jokes aside yup accountability partners (AP) help. I have one and he's 8 hours away but we make it work for both of us. You have to be ready to frustrate each other optimally. Not excessively such that you get stressed and too less such that you don't change. Find a sweet spot and keep working in that zone and you will see progress being made. I have another online AP with whom I exchange emails almost daily.

    The challenge with Ming without Oing is that you open the door to edging which is very very dangerous. I hope you and your GF get into a same city relationship. Is that part of the plan? The imagination stuff is also challenging as you're exercising the mental pathways used for PMO. Recently, I read about research where it was found that fantasizing during PIV is not unusual. Of course, it helps to be in the moment and I've read theories advising to have PIV without closing one's eyes to avoid fantasies. However, take my input with a heavy dose of salt as considering that I've not had the opportunity to put any of the theories into practice you cannot wholly rely on this information. My sources are professionals though. The PIV without closing one's eyes is from a book by a psychologist. https://www.hopeandfreedom.com/dr-milton-magness-sex-addiction-expert

    The biggest challenge for experienced addiction fighters are major changes in emotion. I got this from "Addiction as an Attachment Disorder" by Dr. Joel Flores. So be very careful of the days you feel emotional. With experience and training, you will become more mindful of changes in your emotional levels and become better able to cope with the changes. This takes nothing more than practice.

    To learn more about your mind, try mindfulness. A simple way to start is by trying adult coloring books. Trust me, it works! :)
     

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