I slipped up. Here is how it happened and what I learned.
This past week, I had been feeling great. I had been feeling in control of my urges. Every time I came upon a questionable link or had easy access to porn, I was able to turn away. This whole time, however, my brain was cataloguing all of these different ways to sneakily access porn. Almost planning a heist against the will of my rational brain.
Then, two days ago, after a long day at work, the “heist” happened. I was on my computer, working on somethings for work, my roommates were in the room with me, and without even thinking I navigated to amazon and typed in “thong”. Please, if you are reading this, do not following in my footsteps here. You will be met with many images that are essentially porn.
What I learned
Every time I have a setback, I make it a point to learn something. In this case, after talking with my counselor, have learned two things about my porn addiction.
“Any action, or even thought, that is intended to sexually stimulate me is not allowed. Cassie is the exception.”
This is the exact quote I wrote in my journal right after my setback happened. It seems to me that if I let one action (viewing something questionable, starting to type a nsfw search term, etc.) or one thought (remembering a scene, fantasizing in general, etc) then I am much more susceptible to triggers in the future. I also want you to know that many thoughts happen without even trying, like noticing an attractive person. What I am saying is that dwelling on, or encouraging sexual thoughts, is not allowed.
Only bad things come from sexual thoughts unrelated to your partner. The more you allow your addiction in, in any form, then the more power it accrues.
I am going to focus on mindfulness. Mindfulness, at least my definition, is the ability to be fully aware of one’s self and thoughts. If I can be fully aware of these sexual thoughts, then I can allow them no weight and let them pass by. This is my plan, I will update in future journal entries.
Choosing to not view porn
This one is a mindset that I wish to develop. I was talking with my counselor and he says that he knows sober alcoholics that work in bars. They are able to do this because they recognize that alcohol is no longer for them. Yes, maybe they had some fantastic times on it, but they see that alcohol had a control over them, and no longer wish to be in it’s grasp.
This is not easy by any means, but this is my goal mentality. Rather than “giving up porn” or “not being able to watch porn,” I choose not to watch porn.
Yes, I could go watch porn right now, but I choose not to. I recognize that porn is harmful to me. I wish to be a man who is not controlled by porn. Every victory over my urges is one step closer to this mentality being real.
My steps going forward
I plan to focus on the two things above: having a mindset of choosing to not watch porn and practicing mindfulness.
In addition, Cassie, my counselor, and I agree that I need to be more social. My social life in my teens was robbed from by my porn and video game addiction. I developed some social anxiety due to withdrawing myself from social situations. I have come a long way since then. I can do well in social situations, but I never have the motivation to seek them out.
However, I need to. I need to get out of the house, leave my computer behind, and meet people. I need to form a social group that can support me, whether they know it or not. So this will be one of my focuses. Maybe I will join a class, or a board game meetup. I don’t know, but I will find something.
Ok, that’s it for me today. Thanks for reading, and like always, if you want to reach out to me for anything at all, please do via the contact page.