Age 28 - ED cured, social anxiety improved, more confident
First post. I'm 29 days into no MO, 59 days no P. I almost relapsed tonight, but I decided to start a journal instead. I'm 28 years old, 29 soon. One of the bad cases -- I was at just the right age when I knew about computers since I was 9 years old and my parents did know anything about them till I was in college or so.
First time I masturbated was to a still picture of Claudia Schiffer in a bikini at 10 years old. I had no idea what happened -- it just felt amazing and then I was covered in gunk. I started getting on BBSes and downloading still pictures. I actually ran a BBS from when I was 11 or so, and one of the guys (who must have been 40 or so) would give me tons of porn after I asked once. Really creepy when I think about it in retrospect. What kind of an adult would feed porn to an 11 year old?
I became really good at hiding it. When the computer repair guy would come over to install something or fix the computer, I would hover over his shoulder, racked with anxiety that he would find my stash. But that was better than deleting it. From as far back as I could remember, my whole sexuality consisted of a glowing blue screen in a dark room, listening for my parents footsteps, hoping I wouldn't get caught.
I was always popular but never popular with girls. That is to say, I always had a lot of friends who cared a lot about me, and was outgoing and active, but I had bad luck with women. My self confidence was zip. I used to think really awful thoughts about myself, would call myself ugly over and over again. Believe it or not, I really think a lot of that may have had to do with the porn.
When I got to college, the first time a girl came into my room I had a mini-freak out. She wanted to have sex, was drunk and horny, but I kept pushing her away. She got really frustrated and basically never talked to me again. I remember feeling like.. something was wrong, like sex was something disgusting. That was the porn. Very deeply, my brain was wired to think that sex was something observed and clean, without smells or touches or expectations of performance. I think I had a lot of guilt and anxiety about sex too. I started to drink a lot.
As college went on I started to really stress about my virginity. It would really haunt me, as more and more of my friends had lost it and I was becoming the only one I knew who hadn't. There was a lot of pressure too. You hear stuff like in the movie High Fidelity: "That's when you're supposed to have sex, Rob. In college." I thought if I missed my chance, it would be a huge blow. I still think it is.
I studied abroad in Japan and had heard that even the dorkiest white dudes could get laid there. I'm ashamed to say that, but this is a journal so, to be honest, that's what I was thinking. I started watching only Asian porn and developed a really serious Asian fetish, which I still have a huge complex about. When I was there, the rumors were true -- the dumbest, dorkiest dudes I have ever seen were actually getting laid, getting girlfriends. I felt worse than ever, because I wasn't. I had a lot of friends, a lot of girl-friends, but couldn't attract anyone. My drinking was getting worse and worse. I eventually did get a girlfriend, a girl I didn't actually like much and wasn't really attracted to, I think because I was scared of real women and wanted to cut off the possibility of being with them. I could never get it up with her -- totally flaccid. I just thought it was whiskey dick or anxiety and didn't think much about it.
I tried to lose my virginity to prostitutes. The first time was on a second trip to Japan. She was older and not really that attractive, but she put my dick in her mouth and almost immediately I came. I was so happy because I had started to worry about not being able to get it up, and couldn't understand why. When we tried to have sex a few hours later, it was a no-go. Totally limp.
I still considered myself a virgin and pressure grew and grew. I was in a band, and after a concert at my college one girl wanted to come back to my room with me after making out for awhile. I was really wasted, so was she. She changed her mind. When I talked to my friends later, I said, "I just wanted to go back and lay next to her." "Not do anything?" they asked. "That's weird, man." And yes, it was. Already I was not wanting to even try.
I tried a third (and last) time with a prostitute after college. I couldn't get it up at all once again. Now I knew something was wrong. I blamed it on my drinking. Meanwhile, I still watched porn every day. It was starting to get really specific: ___________________________. Porn showing normal intercourse didn't do it for me anymore.
I went to a urologist and they checked me out, said I was fine. They gave me Levitra, and for awhile things were okay. I met a girl who I didn't really like at all, but she wanted to sleep with me, so I started sleeping with her. I finally lost my virginity, at the age of 25, and that, at least, was a great weight off my shoulders. Still, after two or three times, I couldn't get hard with her anymore. I found myself making excuses not to have sex with her. When she went to bed, I'd sneak off and watch porn.
I've grown up a lot in the last four years. I went to AA and stopped drinking. That was the second biggest challenge of my life, next to the one I'm facing now. When I read YBOP, I knew immediately how deeply porn had affected my life. Every detail sounded familiar. And it wasn't just that I couldn't get it up: the anxiety even talking to girls, worshipping women and freaking out, the need to pound myself into the pavement with drink, the belief that I was too ugly to love: I really believe that all of that stemmed from my porn addiction, taken up so early in life.
It's been a tough go so far. I did the first 30 days no porn, but I masturbated every night and thought of porn fantasies, so it's no wonder I didn't make any progress. Then I went back and read in-depth, realized that I needed to cut out MO altogether. I thought that was impossibe: I hadn't gone two days without masturbating since I was 12, and I really thought it would be unhealthy or impossible or unnatural in some way. But I'm now on day 29. Until day 25 of no mo, I really had no progress and was getting scared. I used to take a bunch of adderall and watch porn all night, for 8 or 9 hours at a time. I thought this might have killed any neuroplasticity I might have had. But the other day, maybe day 26 or so, I got a tiny morning wood. It's the only erection I've had without medication (which eventually stopped working altogether, btw) in years. It's not much, but I can feel something going on down there. It's working. I have faith.
Porn addiction is just like alcoholism. Everything is the same -- it's happening again. Only this time there aren't groups you can go to. I don't have a sponsor. But this community really helps. Tonight I stayed up late, writing a paper for my wife (I'm married now, and she's on board with my recovery). She's asleep, and I was bored and watching Youtube. I started watching a Japanese music video, and I came so close from springboarding from that to a soft-core porn, which I know would have led to something more hardcore. It's JUST like drinking, man. It's so easy to make an excuse. So I came on here and started reading and decided, you know what? I'm going to tell my story. Maybe there's no AA for this, but telling your story is the best way to gain some mastery over this shit.
So, now my mind is off of it. Thank you. Day 29 tonight. Day 30 tomorrow. One day at a time.
LINK - Saved from a Relapse Tonight - Thanks YBR! - March 11, 2013
June 21, 2013
Hi everyone. Below is a repost from my journal, which can be found here: http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=7673.50 . I am ready to declare this a success.
To everyone out there who is struggling, keep at it. It works. I thought it didn't, I was despairing even into the 120+ days mark. You must keep at it, no masturbation, as little fantasizing as possible, and ABSOLUTELY NO PORN. If you started porn very young, it will take longer than other people. That doesn't mean it isn't working, it just feels like it. Some of you may flatline, and some may not (I didn't). Some of you may see signs of progress, others won't until the very end. I had only three or four instances of morning wood or half-erection in the whole 122 days. But, when it clicked, it clicked, and I was cured. Below is my latest post in my journal. Please feel free to ask any questions, I will be happy to answer them.
Hi all. I have been away for a bit. I think I am close to declaring my journey a "success" -- being ever wary, of course. I'm an alcoholic, so I know that recovering from addiction is a lifelong effort. However, I have accomplished most of what I set out to accomplish.
1.) My wife and I have been able to have sex every time we've tried over the past week. My penis functions perfectly. I could never imagine, it came so suddenly. No morning wood, no half-mast adventures. Just, when she returned from the trip, I was able to get it up 100%, and we've had sex just about every day. This was my primary goal, and I'm overjoyed that this actually worked. It took 122 days, and anyone following the same path should know that I felt skeptical and even hopeless right up until the moment it broke through and my brain corrected itself. Seriously, at day 120 or so I was opining that I saw no physical progress and I was desperate for answers. Keep with it, it works.
2.) I have become more confident in myself, and less ashamed of myself at the same time. My self-image has completely transformed. I used to think of myself as hideously ugly, almost exaggeratedly so. Now I think I am fairly attractive. Having taken this opportunity to self-transform, I took up weight lifting, HIIT training and yoga, and now I am fit and muscular and full of energy. Girls flirt with me, which is the first time anything like that has ever happened in my life. At 29, I feel like a new man.
3.) My anxiety has decreased, although it's still present. I've become more physically secure -- meaning, less afraid of actual harm coming to me. My social anxiety has improved, and I feel more confident meeting new people. I still fear death/nonexistence constantly, but that is probably a lifelong philosophical problem.
4.) There are still major issues, and the danger is ever-present. My sexual urges are still overwhelming, my sexual energy has not decreased like I hoped it would, and I still crave variety inappropriately. I still have plenty of fantasies of going to prostitutes, and I can't really guarantee that I won't succumb to one some day. But I haven't yet, and hopefully I won't.
Also, fantasy is a problem, while having sex and while not. My wife gave me a blowjob yesterday and, in the heat of the moment, I found myself thinking old awful porn thoughts. "Yeah, suck it bitch, choke on it," etc. I don't want to be that sort of person, and furthermore, I think even while actually having sexual intimacy, this kind of fantasizing/thinking can be as bad as relapsing/watching porn. I'm not sure how to guard against it, since I sort of lose control in the moment, but I suppose, as with everything, it will need to come with practice. Similarly, I found myself fantasizing about (of all things) putting money into a porn movie, or (trigger maybe?) _________________. This kind of fantasizing will need to stop. But again, it sometimes just gets away from me.
I will keep posting on here, but I want to say that I feel I've achieved what I wanted to when I started. I am ready to declare a cautious victory over porn. And I feel great about it.