Quitting Pornography

Postby catfancier42 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:58 pm

I have been into pornography for the past two years and am currently 28. Presently I look at it every two or three days on average. The amount of time I spend varies from less than thirty minutes to several hours. I provide this information to remind myself that the difficulty of quitting is not so bad as it would be if I had started in my teens and used for hours every day. If I am honest, most of the reason why I haven't quit is because I have been divided about doing so. It is because, at least in part, I have not wanted to.

I am tired of being divided. I am tired of engaging in activity that regularly demeans and abuses women. I would much rather face up to the problems in my life that have led me to porn (as one among multiple coping mechanisms) and move forward than continue to spin my wheels in place. I would rather have an actual girlfriend than continue in the vapidity of relationship-less internet porn.

I am creating this thread as an opportunity to journal about my issues and my quitting process. I WELCOME any advice or questions. I will do what I can to listen and respond as I have time.

Presently I have at least two goals here:

1. To quit using porn altogether starting now. Preferably to quit masturbation as well because I have read that continuing encourages relapse.
2. To uncover and begin to address the core issues in my life that have led me to desire using porn and other coping mechanisms in the first place.

I will write more when I have the time. Part of why I have had such trouble quitting up to this point is that I have tried to go it largely alone, having only told one close friend, and I simply haven't spent the needed amount of time focusing on making positive changes in my life. Having this thread may help. That is my hope. I genuinely desire to learn to say no to myself and to work toward my lone-term good rather than always settling for what gives pleasure in the moment.
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#1

Postby catfancier42 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:40 pm

Day 1 (yesterday) went fine, as it often does. The first day is rarely difficult for me.

Today is day 2. Here things tend to get a little more tricky, though not so bad as to be overwhelming. So far, so good, though. Day 3 is where it starts to get hard. Day 4 especially.

Between two part-time jobs, I find myself with little time of my own and a difficulty with getting enough rest. Some factors that tempt me to give in to porn:

1. Lack of sleep.
2. Stress.
3. Physical tension (for me this tends to be at its worst in the neck/shoulders)
4. Boredom/Restlessness.
5. Depression (depressive thoughts)
6. Feelings of "emptiness" (dopamine withdrawal?).
7. Physical/mental cravings for porn/masturbation, which are heavily affected by all of the above.

Working on getting more sleep, exercise, and changing my thinking patterns are all goals I hope to go into more when I have the time, to better figure out how to actually achieve them. I also tend to just vegetate at the end of the day if I don't have to do something like cook, so I could stand to put my focus into better using that time (or at least make more strategic use of vegetation, rather than just defaulting to it!)

Must grab a nap between jobs. More later, hopefully.


.
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#2

Postby laureat » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:32 pm

In life it is important to feel proud of what you do, because it brings desire to do more,
You should decide what direction is best for you, and sacrifice the other and move forwards with no guilt, no regret but proud of the choice whatsoever that is pornography or something else , dont look back after
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#3

Postby tijmenklip » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:41 pm

@catfancier42 - I find this reddit community really helpfull. It has uplifted many, including yours truly, to get over compulsive pornography use.

Hope it can help you as well. Often they refer to yourbrainonporn.com. Very helpful in understanding (porn)addiction. As well why and how to overcome it.

Good luck on your challenge!
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#4

Postby catfancier42 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:00 pm

Thank you muchly for the replies, guys.

To be proud of what I do--this is indeed a good aim, and it isn't something I'm too used to experiencing. So much of my life I have been super self-critical, frequently focusing on the negative, and feeling shame over how I spend my time. I have wondered why I have so little desire to do much in life. It is only in more recent times that this is beginning to change, and that words such as these are starting to take on new meaning.

I have never been to that reddit community. Thank you! As for yourbrainonporn.com, I have visited there in the past and benefitted greatly. I think it is about time I returned for more information and considered joining the forums!

The rest of my day thus far has had a couple rough patches. The emptiness that I mentioned in my above post has started to plague me. For me porn, odd as it may sound to some, has been something of a transcendent experience. The change in emotional state almost on command, the beholding of great beauty, even if superficial in form--these are hard things to give up. It is better that I replace them elsewhere, but how?

Some of this is just my brain doing its withdrawal thing, I am sure. But I have always had a strong desire for the deeper things in life. I believe in God, however doubtfully, and understanding my own mind and heart and that of others has been one of the closest things to a passion in my life. Porn has actually brought with several blessings, leading me down a path that would help me learn self-compassion, as well as compassion for those who suffer addictions or are in the porn industry themselves. This is not to say that porn has not hurt: it has, often quite a lot, both in the guilt of it, the lack of rest, the way women are treated, seeing parts of my own heart that were not what they ought to be . . . I could go on. It is a complicated set of emotions and experiences all wrapped up together, both good and bad.

I want to quit, but in quitting I realize on some level that I cannot stay the same. Change is scary, but I am coming to a place where I am ready to face and embrace it.
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#5

Postby catfancier42 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:46 am

Had a lovely talk with a friend who was hurting and am feeling a bit heavy-hearted afterward. Normally this would result in porn usage to help sooth the feelings, but instead I am going to try just to be present with them and see what there is to see.
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#6

Postby tijmenklip » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:58 am

Why not try to change porn usage with other uplifting activities. Like working out.

If I feel urged to give in to compulsively use porn again, I go running, lift weights or take a cold shower.
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#7

Postby Sam91 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:50 pm

I totally understand. I want to try again to quit porn, or at least to reduce the dosage.
For me porn is just coping mechanism and a habit... difficult to eradicate since I have been using it since I was 13, and regularly.
It mostly serves to distract me from reality from an hour or two... since it is easy to lose myself in endless and futile searches full of stimuli.
But now I understand that it's impossible to do anything meaningful in life with this heavy burden which consumes , on a daily basis , my energies.
Exercise helps, and I should start again probably! Not being too much alone does the same.
I'll try to be proud of what I am trying to do. Still, in my opinion, it is better not to be too rigid, since it may become counterproductive and make relapses more tempting or a drama.
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#8

Postby catfancier42 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:32 am

Sam, it sounds like you and I have a pretty similar experience here. Thanks for your reply. The reminder always helps that this is not a solitary struggle, and that porn or no porn is not actually the most important issue here. Please feel welcome to post in this topic about your own process whenever you like, or not if not.

I crashed and burned very quickly with the goals I outlined above. While it was good to have a place to vocalize, I was too much in the perspective of performing really hard to in order to avoid another failure, this time with a lot of people watching.

Naturally, this was a stressful experience, much moreso than normally, and I was all the more tempted to do the thing that I often do when I am stressed out: look at porn.

When I failed, it was rough and hard to come back.

I think there is a better approach, but I do not regret having tried this one. There is still much to be learned here, still, and ultimately I do have to make a conscious decision to quit and stay with it through the withdrawal pains.

I am getting back on my feet. I am still learning how to love myself where I am. I still don't want porn to be a long-term part of my life. I want to fill my life with meaningful things. Porn is just one of many ineffectual stop-gaps I use to plug the hole of internal emptiness, which in the end never actually work. While I think we do have to come to terms with a certain degree of longing in life, I do think there are much more satiating activities out there than internet porn.
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#9

Postby Weitzel » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:04 pm

You should be proud of yourself... People seem not to accept that there's pornography addiction... but unfortunately it does exists and it is very hard to get off of it. There are celebs who confess having it and that's hard to do it...
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#10

Postby Mightbe » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:31 am

Let me start with I hate porn but for some reason I look at it. I feel awful looking at it and even worse after. Overwhelming guilt and a feeling of sadness. I've tried stopping but always find my self looking at porn.

I want more than anything to quit porn. To find love and be with a women. But I know that this can't happen with such porn habits.

I have changed my life in many ways such as eating habits and regular excercise. It makes me wonder if this has something to do with it. Getting up at 5am to going swimming and then working 9-5 for instance.

What we all need and I need is a guide something that I can look at and would say day 1 do this and so on and so forth. If I could go to a rehab centre I bloody would.
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#11

Postby tijmenklip » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:29 am

@Mightbe - try to take a look at these sites. Were the addiction is explained, and people with similar struggles come together to solve it:

https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/
https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php
https://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/
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