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Tortoise last won the day on June 23 2017

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  1. Thanks for the advice PatBatemanBlog. I am currently in the process of seeing psychiatric professionals for something else, and have talked a them about this, so will seek a referral from them to the relevant specialist.
  2. Hi Atwitsend, Hi Workinprogress, Hi 10, Hi Rob. and hi to anyone else reading this? Sorry this is just a brief post. I'm just checking in to ask, how are you all doing? I don't really have a lot in the way of new insight or discussion as I am trying to find distraction from my addiction in the huge amount of studying I have to do at the moment. With varying degrees of success day to day. God, this is difficult! But I just wanted to say that I have not forgotten about you all, and that includes anyone else reading this who has similiar issues and who recognises bits of their story in those of others who've posted in this whole forum. For by reading your posts and knowing there are others out there going through similar experiences, it really helps. And when I read a comment such as still encouraged by posts like yours, Tortoise. Keep up the good fight! from you Atwitsend, it in turn encourages me. "It has occurred to me how important this process of positive feed back and inspiration goes. I'm sorry if it seems to any of you that there are particular points raised by things you've posted that I've not attempted to answer, or if any of my posts have seemed too self-centered or anything like that. It's tricky isn't it? How wrapped up we can become in our own problems when trying to figure this all out and recover, whereas yet at the same time I suppose this is a process of mental self-examination and analysis. Sorry also if this is all a bit "all over the place." Anyway, take care everyone, and as you said Atwitsend, keep up the good fight!
  3. Me too. You are not alone. You've made an important first step by reaching out. It's not only good to share thoughts about this, for me, I find it's essential. I actually came to the forum this morning as an alternative to looking at a P site. I needed to remind myself why I'm making this effort to stop. It helps! Best wishes to all, and keep fighting!
  4. Hi AtWitsEnd, Thanks for your comments. I'm generally humbled also by the willpower of people who are fighting this and the efforts they go to. My biggest challenge at the moment is willpower. I know the logic and the common sense, but it's just within a heartbeat that I can weaken and go online and get some images and act out. The time it takes is not long, but the mental fallout and stress lingers, and weakens my resolve, causing me to slip again later. I feeling disappointed with myself and just tired to be back at this stage again, but I take heart from your words of support and those of others, it really does help to know we're not alone. So, here's to moving on. I think we act in a way that has the effect of being self-centered and damaging those we care about not out of a wilful desire to hurt, not out of spite, but because we have an addiction. Years ago, we sought comfort in something that seemed innocuous, almost seen as a rite of passage for young men. Something in the subconconscous gets comfort from it. The brain gets used to getting it's reward of Dopamine (or whatever), as we use P to escape from our own particular difficulties. The process we have to face now is a tricky one but not impossible; to force that change by abstinence. To concentrate hard on other things, to avoid the familiar habits and situations that lead us back to that old trap. There's a part of our subconscious that we're having to rebuild, to reverse engineer based on what we now know, think and feel. I'm sorry if all this is over-simplified or ill-informed, but I think each of us who has really thought long and hard about this (and we all have I'm sure, that's why we're here), have our own personal take on it, we know the common sense approach. It's just super bloody hard when that comes up against our instinctive addict side that has been neurally programmed for years, in many cases. There is no easy answer, it's just a hard slog, but the main thing is that we know it's a problem and we're trying. AtWitsEnd, it's great that you're going to meetings and getting real face to face contact with people who know what it's like and who are fighting too. Keep it up! When I started writing this post I was quite despondent, I have fallen off the wagon a lot in the last few days, and the latest time was just before I wrote this. But the very process of reading the other posts and writing has helped. I feel a bit better. I know it's worth carrying on this process of abstaining and rebooting the brain. I hope it's helped you. All of you, whoever you are, whatever your own personal stories are, and whatever stage you're at. Once again, apologies if this all seems a bit impulsive and badly thought out....I'm just getting it out there. Take care everyone. You're not alone.
  5. Hi all, to those who've replied and those who haven't. Just checking in. I hope everyone is well and looking after themselves. This is not a long post as I have SO much work to do and deadlines soon. But I need to post because things have been difficult. I have l slipped 8 times in the last 7 days. looking at P and masturbating. One of my triggers is stress and trying to escape from tasks I think are hard. I have ADD tendencies too, which doesn't help. Rob, 10, Atwitsend, Workinprogress, it's not that I've ignored your advice and insights; I know those things as true for me and my particular situation. It's just this damn addiction, will power and the falling back into easy familiar patterns. The neural pathway re-establishing itself? Anyway, in a nutshell, I am NOT giving up. This is a journey, and I've come so far and altough I have a hell of a long way to go, I know I'm learning something about myself and how this whole thing "works within me," for want of a better term. Anyway, point is, I really am in this deep, and I have a lot of "baggage" I'm bringing to my own personal table. But I am determined to keep trying. I AM going to beat this somehow, so I hope that sentiment can also bring some strength and hope to someone else too. Keep fighting. Stay positive
  6. Hi AtWitsEnd, You are NOT alone! And when you said... "...unlike most people, I don't get a hardon and then think "I need to masturbate" - I have usually had a session because I was bored." .....let me tell you, you are definitely NOT the only one who does this. I use P and masturbation as an escape from everyday situations I think I can't handle, so it is very common for me to seek out the feeling of getting aroused, having a hard-on etc, without having those thoughts "naturally"; I would see porn as a "quick-fix" way to get to that place of escape. I still do when I slip. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would say this. We understand here on this forum. I also worry about self-disciplne. I am alone in the house often while my wife is out, and the opportunity based triggers are very real. Have you read The Kick Start pdf and the other resources here and on the Paula hall site? If not please check them out, and look at the courses available. I think you will find parallels between the advice given and your situation. On Monday Tuesday and today I slipped. Before that I was 13 days clean, and before that, another period of being clean, punctuated with slips. But I want to move on, as we all do. The point is, I realise now that I can, that while a slip is not what one wants, that it is part of recovery. Trying to learn from one's mistakes. If you have not yet, please read Rob's answer to my first post, above. He makes some excellent points and has good insights (and puts in more eloquently than I could ). As do 10 and Workinprogress Indeed, all of the repiles and other posts here have have many truths and insights in them that I can relate to my situation and use, to fight on. So I'm sure, and I hope that is true for you AtWitsEnd. To those of you who have shared already, Workinprogress, 10 and Rob, thanks again for having the courage to share and offer your thoughts. And to anyone else reading this going through anything similar, we are NOT alone. You are not alone. And you're not hijacking the thread, you're reaching out. Please post more often! Take care everyone, keep fighting!
  7. Thanks Rob, Workinprogress and 10. I agree, I get strength from knowing there's other out there struggling and fighting on. So many good points as before. I would really like to respond to them all right now, but I am super busy with a work/studying project the deadline for which is Monday. Yikes! The good thing about that is that for the last 6 days, (inc. today) I have been clean. Yes. The 5 days previous to that, different story. 1 slip every day of those 5 days. But as you say Rob and 10 positivity is the key. I fell, but i got back up, dusted myself down and am carrying on while trying to live for each day and stay busy! So much more to say, but must go and study. I just wanted to check in. Also because I am alone in the house right now, so if this was a day when I was not on my guard, force of habit and that devious neural reward pathway would be working away at my rationale, trying to get me to slip. But today, it ain't gonna happen. And beacuse of that, tomorrow will be easier. I hope this doesn't come across as selfish that I have not offered either discussion or words of advice or support directly to the three of you, but instead have talked about me solely. This is simply becasue it's quicker for me to speak about my situation, as I know it so well so I hope that in lieu of proper discussion from me, what I've said helps in some way. I'm tired from insufficient sleep, so I fear I would ramble and make not as much sense as you guys deserve to see. Stay strong, we are not alone!
  8. Hello everyone. Hello Rob, thanks so much for your advice and support. Rob, what can I say except: Thank you. I'm a bit lost for words at this moment. (several minutes later) You make some excellent points that I will think over and process, it's great advice and so simple when one hears it said by someone else; but I've been in the eye of the storm of my own self-loathing for so long that I had trouble accepting and realising the wisdom of what you'd said. Please excuse me if I don't answer specifically each point you've made, but know that I have read and will re-read your post carefully and follow all your advice. I have a lot of work that this addiction is taking time away from, I am job-huntiong and studying for a degree at the moment, so that itself is a source of motivation to spend my time more wisely. Since posting on Tuesday I had a slip, I looked at P and acted out (BTW for me that only ever means masturbation), so I really feel in danger at the moment of falling behind of the small amount of mental progress I feel I have already made. The over-ridng feeling I've had for the last 24 hours is that I've seen all the images I'll ever want to see, I'm sick of novelty, I'm sick of the drudgery of going through the motions of being a slave to the addiction, of being on the merry go round. It feels like the desire to stop is strong, and the excitement gained by P has waned, all that's left is the seeking of an escape from my day- to day-responsibilities. I know i'm in the regret phase, and I don't want to move to the phase where I prepare and to act again. Despite knowing that, this morning before I came to this forum and read your reply I had another slip in the sense that I wasted 2 hours looking at and collecting images. However I just wasn't turned on. Despite the fact that I kept looking I didn't get an erection, despite trying to (I hope that was not too much info. I am aware of the rule about describing acting out behaviours. Please anyone, feel free to say If I describe too much. Still new to this). Anyway, I stopped, didn't masturbate and deleted the imagery. Despite what you say Rob, it's hard not to feel like I failed in the sense that I looked at P, but I will try and take heart from what you say, I definitely need to read all the support material and research on this whole sexual addiction issue, and reread the kickstart PDF and do it's exercises again, so that I can hopefully come to know such insights as truth to me. The more down this recovery journey I go the the better I'm getting at listening to my instincts and motives. I can see better than ever what I stand to lose by letting this addiction win and contrasting it with what I stand to gain my truly becoming free of it. I know I'm still in danger, but maybe one could say I've learnt something from this particular latest mistake: To not just listen to my instincts, but act on them, use the strategies, R.U.N. for example. Anyway, I should go and concentrate on my other tasks and positive work right now, but thanks again. Really, thanks. I can't tell you how positive it feels to finally be conversing with people who understand and who are going through / have been though similar experiences. You know what? I do feel a bit excited about the future! I will keep posting. As you say, peace.
  9. Hello, (this is probably going to be a long post as it's the first time I've ever posted anything like this in such detail, so please bear with me) I'm a 44 year old man from the UK whose life has been dominated and defined so far by looking at, collecting and masturbating to pornographic images of naked women. It has taken me a long time to realise that I can't recover from this alone; I've always kidded myself that my own will power, rationality and lately being more proactive and reading and following the exercises in The Kick start pdf were enough. But they're not. I have been scared to reach out to this forum, but the alternative is much worse: the effect this has already had on my own well-being and happiness, my relationship with my wife whom I adore, and my career/ achievements in life generally. One of my clearest early memories is that when I was maybe about 6 or 7 (unclear on that) I accidentally found a rolled up magazine that was sticking out of a pocket of my dads coat hanging in a wardrobe. The image visible was of an old Nasa spacecraft; that's what caught my eye, as I was space /sci-fi mad (still am). As I opened the magazine a saw that there was a naked pin up-picture (evidently this was a magazine that contained "real" articles as well as pictures of naked women, hence the spacecraft). Anyway, I distinctly remember my much elder sister's and mum's reactions to me pulling out this magazine: alarm and panic and unwittingly making a big fuss of stopping me from looking further. This in hindsight was the wrong way to react - I was intrigued - perhaps as much by the dramatic reaction of my family as by the naked picture I glimpsed. Am I not blaming my family for what followed however. It was my choice to seek out that magazine again. Later on I did just that, and found my dad's other magazines badly hidden in a bottom drawer in his bedroom. Ever since then I looked at my dads magazines, then collected images of naked women in the form of "page 3 girls" cut of the old newspapers my Dad had bought, then as soon as I was old enough to buy them, magazines and later digitally. I have always sought porn as an escape from, well anything really! The normal challenges of daily life I suppose. Since my early teens and into my twenties I knew it was wrong, but my willpower has always been very poor; guilt over porn only makes my self-esteem worse, which hinders me from achieving in life and makes my self esteem lower, which hinders my progress in life, so I turn to porn...etc. It's a vicious circle. Since my early twenties I have gone through phases of collecting magazine/images, then feeling awful about it and throwing them away...only to get back on the merry-go-round and collect again. Several years ago I met my wife, who is from a Northern European country. She is an amazing woman and my soulmate, we love each other very much but she has no idea about my problem. She is a gentle sensitive, demure soul, who is not comfortable with the depiction of sexuality in most film and TV media, who certainly doesn't like pornography, who would not understand my situation and who would be devastated if she knew of my problem. She'd never trust me ever again. Therefore i have to protect her from my this. I am of course, at the risk of sounding selfish, so afraid of losing her. When it comes down to it; I don't actually LIKE the idea of porn either, the misogyny and objectification of women is at complete odds with the other aspects of my nature. I am a kind sensitive person who in many ways cannot equate or reconcile this addiction with my own values and beliefs. That is good I suppose, for it helps me fight, for I know how wrong and not healthy for me this is, but it has it's barbs in me. When I moved here to my wife's country three years ago I made a huge effort; I got rid of all my pornography and managed to stay away from it for seven weeks. For me, that is a long time. I didn't know about these (Paula Hall.co.uk) resources then, and my resolve gradually ebbed away. Since then I saw a counsellor. Their advice helped for a while but I have gone through the merry-go-round-like cycle of addiction so manytimes. I'd found that in trying to quit this on my own, I last a couple of weeks and then soon succumb to those familiar triggers, exacerbated by my own insecurities and low self esteem. Last year we got married. If it wasn't for my addiction, I feel I would be able to face the challenges of finding regular work and getting on and forward in my new life here. I am a creative and talented individual; and I'm lucky enough to have had interesting jobs in a semi-creative/creative field. But I know that if it wasn't for this stone around my neck I could really focus better and achieve so much more. My priorities have changed; I now owe it not only to myself but to my wonderful wife to pull my weight so to speak in my duties as a husband and a productive human being. That cannot happen fully and effectively all the while that this poisonous predilection is controlling me. I know I have a problem, and I want to really fight it. To that end at the end of last year I started facing up to the problem more seriously and proactively. I downloaded The Kickstart PDF and have followed the exercises in it. Unfortunately my financial situation precludes me from getting any services I would have to pay for, for the time being. Joining this forum in January was another step, but it's taken me until now to have the courage to admit to myself, come here and tell you all: I can't do it alone, I need support. 23 days ago I started the latest of many re-boot attempts. I fully accept that my neural reward pathway is VERY strongly established from approximately 28 years' worth of porn use, but I did find that I was understanding these addictive mechanisms more easily and I felt I was making progress. By day 16 I felt very strong and positive. Then the next day my sub-concious guard must've been down for I made a slip, I looked at an image of a topless model. Every day since then the slips have got incrementally worse, despite that fact that I can feel the progress I'd made up to that point. On the plus side, at no point ever before in my life had I felt the neural pathway ebbing away as distinctly as during that 16 days. That means the techniques WORK, and that the more you try the easier it gets, even if very gradually. But at the same time, the triggers are real, the old habits die hard, so that by today, day 23 I had had what I would describe as a relpase. I collected some images and acted out again. Whereas before whenever this happened I would feel so despondent that I would start counting the recovery days again from 1, Now I am continuing to count the days because I've realised that the road to success is paved with failure, it's not about either winning or failing at the first attempt. Yes, I feel disappointed with myself but I refuse to wallow in self-pity as I would've done before, as I've learned so much already, even though I know I still need help. Consider me reaching out in this way as a way of affirming that. I've stumbled, but i'm getting up, dusting myself down and continuing forward. I would urge anyone in a similar situation to do the same, reach out. It's worth it, you'll feel better. Thanks for reading this, and apologies again for the length of this post. But as I indicated earlier, it's taken me about 28 years to get to this day! The journey continues......
  10. Hello everyone, I agree with you workinprogress, Schrödinger's story is inspiring...I really hope he hasn't dropped out. Schrödinger, if you see this post, I want you to know something: It's thanks to your courage in telling so candidly about your battle that has inspired me to sign up to this forum. I'm a 43 year old man who has struggled with looking and masturbating to P images since accidentally finding a magazine of a relative since I was about 6 or 7. I have tried unsuccessfully for YEARS to stay away from P. It has only been in the last few months I I have accepted that to truly improve my chances of recovering and staying recovered, I needed to reach out to a forum like this one. But I was so mixed up, I always felt I could do it on my own, I was embarrassed and ashamed, so always procrastinated from signing up and asking for help. I didn't have the stamina or courage to go longer than 14 days or so without relapsing. Anyway, after an abstinence of 16 days I relapsed yesterday and again today. But as I said, it was reading YOUR posts Schrödinger, and the other encouraging messages from the rest of you that has helped me commit anew to this fight. Thank you. Schrödinger, if you have dropped out, please know that you are not alone, and we are all here to help each other. Your story and these other positive messages are the latest inspiration I've needed in order to say this: I'm an addict, and I need help. Thanks for listening everyone.
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