Frustrated but hopeful

Submitted by aspirant on
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Hey guys I finally decided to post after lurking since late december or so after finding YBOP and this site. A bit of background/bio for myself, I've been watching porn at least a decade to 12 years since I was about 11-13, can't recall the exact age. But it was certainly an obsession, especially in later years when I would mb 2-3 times a day to it, sometimes more.

This will be long and I'm sorry but I need to "talk" to someone about this.

I also happened to develop a strong social/general anxiety that I think came about before the porn use. I mention this as its been my chief impediment to functioning in ways I want to. Some times I can actually talk to people no problem and things come naturally albeit rarely and not feeling anxious all the time. I've seen some therapists and its helped only a little, so among the many reasons I want to quit porn is because I believe after reading some of this info, it may have exacerbated my anxiety into the problem it is to this day, heading off any sort off meaningful relationships or simple interactions.

Am I putting too much stock into the porn-mb use to curb this anxiety? I thought not at first but now I don't know.

Dec 26'th I started a reboot of no porn and no mb, made it three weeks and noticed what I thought were significant improvements by the second week(holding eye contact for longer than normal, actual wanting to hold a conversation however brief)but by the end of the third it seemed that some of the anxiety was back and I sorrowfully concluded that the sedative effects from Benadryl I had been taking during the first two weeks accounted for my perceived improvement. So I got depressed and binged(since strong erections came back) going back to amateur porn viewing for a few nights. Since then I've had sporadic stop and go reboots, just got off a six day no mb/porn and I noticed that I give in to mb'ing without any visual stimulation because of the strong impulse of it and weirdly enough a couple days of trying mb without visual stimulation made my attention turn towards porn! I guess my brain has not separated the two during my three week and then on and off reboots, which further disappointed me as I assumed that I was addicted to the porn only and not chronic mb.

Side note-Some odd symptoms I've noticed during reboots have included foul moods(accompanied by a strong urge to mb) and strong sexual dreams as well as headaches and an upsurge in anxiety.

I have a new plan for rebooting- Is this enough to make a difference do you think?

Daily-
at least a half hour of exercise
Trying to get out of the house and hold at least one conversation however brief
No caffeine
The second the urge to mb hits-get up and be active in doing something else.

Hi Aspirant,

Hi Aspirant,

I was anxious as well, before using PMO. I was so anxious i dropped out of school. Since i stopped PMO my anxiety lowered, but i didn't find it the 100% cure or so of anxiety.

In the past i went to an assertivity training for a few months and i learned something which worked. Basically it is practice, practice, practice... like you say, 'trying to get out of the house and hold at least one conversation however brief'. Such things you need to do.

To help me battle anxiety i learned about RET (Rational Emotive Therapy, i think its the same in english as in my birthtongue). Using RET i reduced anxiety.

Besides that, to do the exercise and practice, i made a list, about all (or alot) of things which made me anxious. And then, put the things which make you the most anxious at the top, and least anxious on the bottom, etc. (for me going to the store was at the top... lol good i can laugh at it now :) ).

The trick is to start at the bottom, do those things alot, and at some point those things will go better and better until you're not anxious about those anymore... and then you go up a level.

Sucky thing is that, like with alot of things, you dont see effects right away, right then. It does take time (weeks, months, to maybe years for the hardest things).

Now i believe that if you have an addiction while you are trying to get better, you'll hamper your progress.

Oh well i think i rambled on enough, hope some of this helps and i hope you get better :)

Hi Parcival, thanks for the

Hi Parcival, thanks for the reply.
That's some pracical advice I will certainly try to bring into my routine, thank you.
I'm glad you have some success with PMO :)

I agree that I'm not expecting a 100% change from rebooting with no selfwork required,just trying to get to that middle point I've been before where things are more 'normalized' if you will.
I suspect, reasonably I believe, that turning to porn&mb became a coping mechanism that worsens things. Do you ever notice tunring to it when you are depressed or feeling lousy? I sure did, it seems to me now that it was nothng more than a hampering bandaid to socializing and dealing with emotions in general and became a full blown addiction.

Indeed for me it also was a

Indeed for me it also was a coping mechanism, i started really doing it way too much when i didn't have (alot of) other things in my life. And the PMO indeed worsened things, from an anxiety point of view but also from a 'not attracted to RL girls' point of view and even ED.

Good luck with getting better :)

I think it's normal

to see improvement in the first week or two...and then go into a sort of "emotional flatline" where there's no improvement. I've often seen guys stabilize their emotional improvements around two months. Could you make it that long with no PMO or fantasy?

Its nice to get some

Its nice to get some encouragement, I should have posted here at the beginning, thanks for having an open forum for this sort of thing. I can do it this time Marina(no PMO/fantasy), just need to keep things in perspective in dealing with a years long addiction, it will be worse before it gets better and I should be patient for however many weeks or months it takes.