My Pornography (Lust) Addiction

Submitted by Ryan on
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Blog Number 1. Where to begin?

My Goal:
To free myself from my pornography addiction and to remove all barriers that get in my way of true love and truth.

My Struggle:
- Willpower is very low --- have repeatedly told myself "Never again" only to come back "again and again".
- This addictive cycle creates guilt, shame, lying, and low self-esteem.
- These emotions, combined with the withdrawl from my last "high", create a perfect environment to "use" again.
- "Use" what? What am I addicted to exactly?
- Masturbation? Maybe, but sometimes I get a high from looking at porn even when I don't masturbate to it.
- Porn? Maybe, but I don't always view porn to "get off". I can easily use my imagination, or even my wife to satisfy my hunger.
- Orgasm? Sure, but like I said earlier, I don't necessarily need to have an orgasm to get a high from viewing porn.
- Lust? Yeah, that seems like the most appropriate definition. It includes porn (which just happens to be free, annonomous, and always available thanks to the internet), looking at girls on the street with hungry eyes, and even having sex with my wife from a place of hungry greedy lust.

My Hope:
- My addiction is not the real me. My true self is pure, giving love.
- I had another addiction - smoking - which I quit in 7 hours by reading "Allan Carr's Easy Way to Quit Smoking". One of the greatest things I have ever done. That book saved my life and has led me to this point in knowing that I can give up my lust addiction. Although Mr Carr addresses other substance abuse addictions such as alcohol, heroin, and even food --- he never did get around to sexual addictions. I wonder why?? I've contacted his organisation to see if there is a sex addiction book in the works. I hope so.

My Questions:
- Where do I go from here?
- I want to be able to pick up a book, like the Allan Carr book, and just read it and be cured. To date, I haven't found that book.
- What about "Rational Recovery"? If it wasn't for the hatred that the founder expels on the A.A. 12-step program, I might be willing to give it a try. I still might some time down the road.
- What about S.A.? Well, although it goes against some of my belief's on addiction, I have to admitt that my prior attempts have failed, and that I'm desparate enough to admitt that I am powerless over the addiction. So I'll be going to my first meeting this Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes.

OK, I'm done for now. I apologize if my tone is pretty down - but that's how I've been feeling lately. Broken. I'm sick of feeling this way. I want to get on with my life and learn to love myself and my wife again.

Thanks for listening. If you have any comments, I'd love to hear them. And if you are struggling with this addiction, please feel free to send me a private message --- even if it's just to vent. I'll be sympathetic. Promise.

RO

Comments

Congratulations!

Hello Ryan,

Congratulation on starting your own blog!

Thank you for sharing your experience. I have no doubt that you will reach your goals, and that you will help many others in the process, who will feel inspired by your determination and your successes.

Blessings.

If you don't want

Ryan,

If you don't want to end up like me, you had better stop looking at porn ASAP. I have experience sexual exhaustion from looking at and masturbating to porn. The biggest component of this appears to be adrenal fatigue. There are many of us trying to recover from this. Even though I am exhausted and I knew what caused it, I couldn't stop.

The ONLY way I was able to stop was to get my sife to help me. We installed a porn filter that takes a screen capture every few minutes. Every few days, she will see what I have been looking at.

My life is nearly ruined and I don't know if I can recover. So unless you want:
Eye floaters, Tinnitus, groin pain, near impotence, hair loss, heart palpatations, muscle loss & weakness, rapid aging, a smaller penis, smaller testicles, etc....I suggest you install a porn filter.

my husband's addiction

I'm on the other side of this equation - I'm married to someone with a porn addiction. He's an amazing person with an incredible array of gifts - intelligent, artistic, a loving father, a good friend and husband in so many ways. He is an addict. His addiction has contributed to his poor health (depression, severe asthma and allergies, lower back pain, prostate cancer). He unfortunately connected with some people in town who claim it's healthy to follow all your sexual urges without judging them. That and the resultant mistrust, pain, lies, and disregard for others has nearly destroyed our marriage.
He has spent thousands upon thousands on this addiction (we are not rich) and has even spent the last of our food money causing our children to go without until he could scavenge enough money to make it to the next paycheck. He has engaged in extra-marital sexual activity and endangered our children with the images he kept around the house (I don't think our children have ever actually seen anything).
His addiction comes from a profound place of shame and unworthiness from neglect, abuse and molestation at a young age.
Recently, we found Peace Between the Sheets and planned to start the Exchanges together but he was called away on a family emergency. Then, things really fell apart and he came back with a shattered heart, shattering mine as he told me - I believe - every secret and lie that has been between us for many years. His incredible and courageous commitment to the truth and my deep love for the King he is at heart have enabled us to start the Exchanges in this most painful of times. It is one of the hardest things either of us have had to do - and we do it with no expectations that it will save our marriage but rather a profound hope that it will save our lives as individuals.
Stand in truth and let your heart guide you as become honest with yourself and with those who care most deeply for you. My husband has embarked on the most incredible journey of honesty and courage, my admiration for him is beyond words. Make no mistake, there is horrendous pain in these truths - I truly thought I was shattered beyond repair. But we are both still upright and walking along our path with honesty and trust that if we follow our hearts (which we can hear better without the walls around them muffling their voices), we will be led to our true selves.
The truth shall set you free.

A sweet balm to hear your

A sweet balm to hear your struggle and strength. Step through the pain, it is the portal to your blossoming. Seems you're well aware of that. Thank you for your courage on all of our behalf.

*big hug*

You're all set to blog, if it would bring you comfort to have the support of site visitors. Believe me, most everyone here is right behind both of you 100%.

One of the gifts of writing Peace has been the porn addicts who found this site. At first, I doubted we had much to offer them. But it turns out they just needed a camping spot. Wink They're working out their own challenge and teaching the rest of us in the process. They figured out, for example, that they make more progress when they abstain from porn, orgasm and masturbation for a good 6-8 weeks, while doing their best to substitute other sources of good feelings - particularly the good feelings that come from friendly interaction with other people, but meditation, exercise, singing, time in nature, and so forth, also help. It seems to take 6-8 weeks for the brain of an addict to reset itself (due to a protein that has to clear out, called Delta FosB). If he keeps going back to orgasm, he keeps cranking up an uncomfortable withdrawal period - which can shatter confidence and make him feel like he is making no progress.

Most of what the porn visitors have taught us is collected in this chapter, "The Road to Excess." It's a piece of the new book that updates Peace, which is called Cupid's Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relations. http://www.reuniting.info/download/pdf/Cupid-Ch6.pdf

I hope this chapter may bring you both a lot of comfort, because you will understand better how his brain has trained itself, how the issue has little to do with his "character," and lots to do with his brain chemistry, and why the mainstream advice can be dead wrong. Mind you, guilt about sex is not good, and can make sex act like a drug in the brain. But so can intense sexual events when kids are young. And so can today's extreme porn. Sounds like your sweetheart is struggling with a triple dose. But the cure is more balanced brain chemistry, not increasing cravings with more orgasms.

Even though *he* has to do the work of healing his addiction, you are potentially the best soothing medicine he has right now. If I could make a suggestion, try to engage in some bonding behaviors daily. The Exchanges are good bonding behaviors, but if you can't manage an entire Exchange due to time and energy constraints, try to pick something from the list in this article and do it instead: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/bonding_magic Some are so easy that you can do them while falling asleep.

He may be a bottomless pit of neediness for a while (cravings make us needy), so also draw some boundaries for yourself. By that, I mean feel free to keep the bonding behaviors to a single daily dose (plus a hug now and then when he asks), if you need more time to strengthen yourself with a walk by yourself or whatever, and look after your kids. You can't help him if you're feeling totally drained, and he may not have much to give right away, so he could feel very draining. The good news is that as his battery recharges over the next months, that should change.

If he wants to join the site, we can also pamper him a bit for you. Wink I hope he has found a 12-Step group, as they are extremely helpful, especially at first. If he can't get to physical meetings, he can meet online. Here are some organizations that people here have recommended:
http://www.reuniting.info/science/porn_addiction_good_luck

If you are finding the Exchanges too burdensome, let me know and I'll send you the new ones. Now that I know why they work, I've managed to streamline them a bit. Smile

Let us know how it goes. I expect that others will have some helpful suggestions, too.

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Unclear borders

First of all, everything gets perverted by commercialism. For a viewer, a beautiful body is beautiful to look at but the context where you see it impacts greatly -- the difference between, lets say, art pictures and pornography is the intent behind the showing, just as there is a difference between information and advertizing. In advertizing and pornography the intent is to sell you something often by deception, not to show you something because it is attractive in itself. So the disgust I feel when exposed to pornograhy is similar to what I feel when someone tries to trick me into buying something I don't need or want or get good feelings from.
But the self loathing that some feel in reaction to watching pornography, has more to do with a sadness of having lost a strong Self
see http://www.feelingdictionary.com
Healing this, I have exoerienced, is a work of observing one's Self in reaction to the whole picture and sorting out the components ... the attraction, the anger, the real need and the better strategy for getting the needed and wanted pleasure. Quitting an addiction must not be felt as a loss ... if it does we will relapse. If we quit because we crave a liberation, I think we need to do it on a broad basis and make sure that we enable new more truly pleasurable ways that are not guilt and anger producing. Keep the attraction to the good being values and rid yourself of the bad ones that cause your bad feelings. This is in line with this site: don't try to change the feelings ... change the situation that generates the feelings.

Very wise

I learned the lesson of the power of not fighting an addiction some years back, when I decided to stop eating dairy products (which I loved and craved, but which were making my skin break out). I found that I barely felt the withdrawal at all, because I allowed myself to buy and eat any non-dairy healthy thing I wanted...loads of fresh strawberries, avocados, etc. After a time, dairy just didn't appeal to me so much, and the other foods looked better than ever. I even learned to like olive oil on baked potatoes...and I mean really LIKE it.

I think this approach to sex is similar. You emphasize all the delicious things about intimacy, other than going for orgasm. At the end of the day, you feel surprisingly fulfilled...and without a sense that you are deprived or resentful.

I think this tactic is a lot more challenging with porn, but if partners can support each other with lots of loving massages, gentle intercourse, and giggling in bed, it seems to me that the same general principle might serve.

I agree totally with

I agree totally with ragnar's reply and identify with your plight. Sex/porn addiction(as well as food addictions) can be more complicated then substance addictions simply because we can live so easily without substance addictions. They are not needed to live however we need to eat and for a healthy emotional life, we need relationships. This is why i dont think a short course of book would work in this case. the issues might run a bit deeper although the manifestation is the same (numbing out with addictions).

Anything that doesnt promote guilt or repression is usually a more sucessful way to go I have been finding.

Keep trying and Good Luck! its a most worthy goal you have set!

Same here

I also have a hard time stopping my pornography addiction. I cannot control myself but to do masturbation if I saw something that will stimulates me. I know this is not normal this is already lust.
Hey Ryan how can I send you a private message. As you can see I'm a newbie here. Thanks.

-Jan
Self-Improvement Advice

Welcome, Jan!

I'm not sure Ryan is still visiting as he hasn't posted recently, but here are a couple of current members whom you might be able to "talk" with about this challenge:

thelongrun
http://www.reuniting.info/user/561

jpinsk29
http://www.reuniting.info/user/973

Just send them "private messages." You may also find that reading their blogs from the beginning is helpful.

I have also enable you to blog. Some men find it helpful to have a place to journal about their recovery. We can all support you that way. Here are the instructions: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/bloggers

A big hug,
Marnia