Journal of "learning"

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by learning, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    I'm a 51 year old male. I thought I would journal random thoughts. Feel free to add your thoughts too.

    I've never been in a relationship, so PMO has always seemed to be a necessary outlet, and I am not betraying a partner. However, PMO has been a major contributor to a pattern of self-loathing, depression, suicidal fantasies, etc. for the past 30 years.

    When I first began to indulge in PMO I was a college student. I was doing fine academically, but I hated myself for my secret weakness. I dropped out of college twice and only barely was able to graduate with a bachelor's degree after 6 years by switching to a much easier major. I had been majoring in physics, and I regret that I didn't learn the things that I wanted to learn. I frequently have a sad dream at night where I am back in college trying to finish my original degree in physics but I realize I'm too old now.

    After college, I began working as a software engineer. Every weekend I went to an adult bookstore to browse for VHS porn. Then I would typically spend Sunday afternoon for three PMO sessions of about 30 minutes each. I didn't feel good about this behavior, but it seemed to be under control. I rode my bicycle every day for at least an hour before work, and this controlled my chronic depression. ... Oh I did have a brief loss of control during this period when I began using a modem and a home computer to access my employer's internet connection. I stumbled onto a porn site, and couldn't seem to stop. I believe the system administrators became aware of this and hinted obliquely in a way that I would notice, so I stopped. That was potentially very bad, and it showed that I had a serious weakness.

    Then in 1999 everything fell apart for me when I got an internet connection at home and discovered the variety of porn images I could download. It was like throwing gasoline on the fire. I wasted hours downloading images, and I began drinking daily to cope with the feelings of failure and shame. The drinking began to interfere with the morning bicycle rides, so my depression became a problem. I had quit my job to attempt to develop some software as a start-up idea. That idea wasn't working, and being alone in my apartment all day feeling like a failure with the constant temptation of alcohol and internet pornography ... was bad. In a few short months, I was determined to kill myself, but I realized that I could not do this. So I threw away my career as a software engineer in an attempt to hurt myself.

    After destroying my career, I went home to work for my father's small business. I've spent the last 17 years with no personal goals or hopes. I've told my therapist that my only goal is to stay alive until my mother and my cat pass away. Then I will see.

    Over time, my anger and feeling of being trapped in a dead-end life caused me to drink constantly. I would wake up at 4am and get drunk before work. Then I would pour bourbon in my coffee to try to maintain a constant state of secret inebriation until closing time. Then I would get drunk again and fall asleep. The only time I sobered-up entirely was when I needed to drive somewhere (such as going to the liquor store for more supplies LOL).

    My father had terminal cancer from 2003 until his death in 2008. There was a hurricane that struck our town in the same week that my father died. This put 5 feet of sewage, petroleum, and water in our warehouse (and everybody's home in the area too). It was a very stressful time trying to operate our business in that chaos.

    About six months after my father's death, I spontaneously decided that I was going to stop drinking and sex entirely (PMO in my case). This resolution was surprisingly easy for two weeks, but then I had a mental breakdown. I began having paranoid hallucinations and delusions. For example, I thought my employees were hiding speakers in the walls of my apartment to torment and brainwash me in my sleep ... and LOTS of other weird things. In spite of all these strange psychological issues, I pretended that nothing was wrong. I never missed a single day of work, and I don't think anybody realized that I was having psychosis (including me because I had never heard of psychosis). It gradually went away. As it went away I returned to my habit of PMO with even more energy as though I was making up for the two years of abstinence. But so far I have not gone back to drinking, and I hope I never will.

    (One very bad result of the psychosis was that I became extremely religious (religiosity). I am normally not religious. So I fantasized that I might join a monastery and began to give away all my savings to charities. I had about $200,000 for my retirement. Now I have almost no retirement savings. I don't know if I can blame this entirely on PMO, but it was definitely a factor in my mental breakdown.)

    As I have aged, my libido has decreased. My libido has never been very high. Now it is nearly impossible to orgasm. It always seems like it is ALMOST there, so I can spend hours trying to stimulate myself with no natural endpoint. I often stay up all night trying and trying and trying. When I do have an orgasm, it seems like the payoff doesn't justify all the hours and hours of effort.

    That's about where I'm at today. Thanks for reading this long post if you did. :)
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  2. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    Well, I'm resetting my counter. I didn't even make it a day. I tried to ride my exercise bike this morning, but I felt depressed and could only think about porn. So I looked briefly at porn for about 30 minutes. Then I decided to go buy some junk food to eat instead, so that's what I'm doing now. Not good for my waistline, but it is the holiday season :)

    There is something about the resolution to quit that makes the addiction even more powerful. Depression makes it difficult too. I feel so terrible sometimes that I wish I could get some instant relief. Exercising gives relief, but it takes effort to do it intensely enough to get that relief. When I'm already depressed, I can barely motivate. ... What I must remember is that porn only gives me relief while I'm masturbating (and sometimes afterwards if I do not orgasm). If I do not orgasm then I feel sexually frustrated and that cancels any mood improvement for the most part. It also wastes way more time than exercising. It's a very poor solution for depression.
    Brahmakumar101 and Protagoras like this.
  3. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    I lost most of my childhood faith in Christianity, but as I look back over events in my life I can't help thinking that something spiritual has been trying to help me and show me solutions to my problems (such as porn addiction). I think of this spiritual being as God, and I ask Him to help me to learn something every day. Maybe God can't part the Red Sea to solve my problems, but hopefully He can open my mind to learning how to fix these problems myself. That is why I chose "learning" as my account name.

    Another religious idea regards "sin". Why should God care if I continue to indulge in PMO? I think it is because God knows that PMO has hurt me and will continue to hurt me. If PMO wasn't hurting me then God would probably let me enjoy my hobby in peace, but it hurts me.
  4. Brooklyn Jerry69

    Brooklyn Jerry69 Fapstronaut

    I did read all of your posts and hope you find a way out of this problem.For the most part I live a fairly am a widower and could.blame PMO addiction on that.But it did start way before my wife passed away.I still feel shame.for the hours I wasted staying at my job after work to use.the computer and PMO before.going home to her. This is a tough time of year for.those of us that lost loved ones.I am lucky since I do have adult kids and grandchildren and met a nice Lady ,but there are.still.times where I'm alone.and tempted to PMO.Hoping to be my failure.two.days ago.
    learning likes this.
  5. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    Don't give up.

    Another thought is that each day or week free of porn is not wasted - even if permanent freedom is not possible. Less is more - even if zero is not reached.
    Brooklyn Jerry69 likes this.
  6. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    Another random insight from a couple of years ago is this. I can use my porn addiction as a way to empathize with other people who have whatever problems. I want to believe that I am better than other people, but my porn addiction should keep me humble and empathetic (of course it doesn't always do that LOL)
    Immature likes this.
  7. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    It's important that I remember that whatever I do with respect to my PMO problem should be done for MYSELF and accountable ONLY to MYSELF.

    For example, I was inspired by a youtube interview of Crissy Moran (now Crissy Outlaw) describing her path into the adult industry. I thought to myself that I should abstain from pornography, because my consumption contributes to the demand that attracts people into a very psychologically damaging career. HOWEVER, this resolution seemed to create a lot of anxiety that actually made it more difficult to abstain from pornography. My reasons need to be HONEST, PRACTICAL, and SELFISH for them to work. I can't do this for other people or for the good of society.
    u376, Charles9238 and ThisDayOnly like this.
  8. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    I had to reset my counter for the second or third time today, because I browsed some porn briefly. Luckily the pornography was not exciting and I decided to ride my exercise bike instead. Exercising is the key for me, because it lifts me out of depression. Sometimes it is hard to motivate myself to ride that exercise bike every day, but I have found taking a little bit of l-theanine mixed with caffeine helps get me started. The only downside is that l-theanine also seems to make me a little horny or over-energized. I am still trying to find the right balance.
  9. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    While it's true we have to do it for ourself, and research shows that intrinsic motivation trumps extrinsic motivation where there's some carrot out there, it does help when we try to help other people on the path. So in this sense it isn't totally selfish, but it isn't focus on the other person(s) exclusively either where you don't consider your own needs. When you're in the same struggle as others it helps both yourself and other people facing the same thing.

    I've never heard of l-theanine making someone horny, although you are having it with coffee. I would suggest going outside as much as possible, because you're not going to view porn there and you're certainly not going to masturbate. If you're taking something to get you going then go out right after, and if you're taking something to help you sleep go right to sleep.

    Also you might try very short term planning, plan a day to start with. It doesn't have to have a ton of details, maybe as little as going to a certain place after breakfast or something. I know with the holidays a lot of places are closed so today is not the best example, but even the grocery store, or the park if it's not super cold where you live.
    learning likes this.
  10. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    I meant to reply to your OP here, thanks for sharing your story so frankly. Honesty and openness are hugely important qualities in recovery.

    Can you think of a simple practical thing you might do to help prevent you from relapsing? Usually general health and well being stuff like exercise or meditation doesn't have a directly obvious affect though they do help.
    learning likes this.
  11. ThisDayOnly

    ThisDayOnly Fapstronaut

    That does actually work for me

    Welcome @learning.. Glad you are here, and have found this a place to share your experiences ... There is a wealth of real experience here, and for me, a reminder of being far from alone. Hope you will keep coming back
    learning likes this.
  12. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    I think I have a GABA neurotransmitter deficiency in my brain. I experimented with scopolamine motion sickness patches as an off-label depression treatment. They worked extremely well about 50% of the time. Researchers think that scopolamine affects GABA as opposed to the serotonin that most antidepressants target. Intense exercise stimulates the brain to create GABA, so that might be why it helps me so much. The GABA supplements cannot cross the blood brain barrier, but l-theanine is a building block for GABA and does cross that barrier. Green tea has a small amount of l-theanine along with caffeine (about 5 mg). Most l-theanine capsules are 100 mg or 200 mg, but I am trying to use 25 mg several times per day in liquid form. I don't want to develop a tolerance so that it no longer helps me. Mostly I try to use a little l-theanine before exercise to motivate me and also to provide the nutrients my brain needs to manufacture GABA.

    Sorry that is probably way more detail than anybody wants LOL. In a nutshell, I think my problem is depression, anxiety, stress, procrastination, escapism, etc. The exercise is the only thing I have found that helps me. PMO is what I do when I feel terrible and can't motivate myself to exercise.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
    Ongoingsupport likes this.
  13. Charles9238

    Charles9238 Fapstronaut

    Being outside can stimulate gaba production and the light can alleviate depression, even on a cloudy day. Good luck
    learning likes this.
  14. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    Thanks, I didn't know that about being outdoors. I need to do that more often.
  15. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    Resetting my counter again. Something as seemingly innocent as searching for an image of a person with a dunce cap popped up a sexually suggestive image. I found myself browsing for more sexual images from the 1930s and 1940s. Sometimes I feel so brain dead and looking at these teasing types of images helps wake me up and cheer me up. Unfortunately teasing my brain this way is a gateway to the rest.
  16. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    You might need some more structure to get you started, and that might have to come from something outside your own efforts.

    Even aside from formal addiction recovery programs there are things like meditation retreats and workshops, around here they have day long events where they give talks about Buddhism/mindfulness alternating with periods of sitting and meditation - that might be a way to kickstart your process and sort of get you out of the gravitational pull, even if it isn't focused on recovery. Then again, continual support after that from recovery groups may be a good idea, too.
    learning likes this.
  17. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    Also what search engine do you use? There is typically a setting that filters for sexually suggestive stuff, and like two levels where one is more strict.
    learning likes this.
  18. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    I think part of my problem is that I don't know what I want to accomplish. I know I have an addiction to porn, but I'm not married or in a relationship and never have been and it isn't likely to change given my age of 51. I'm not trying to "reboot" so that I can better fulfill the needs of my wife or girlfriend.

    Additionally, sex is not like alcohol. I have a similar problem with alcohol, but I have a clear solution in abstinence. Pornography is part of a continuum of courtship/flirtation/etc. I can get a pornographic buzz by simply going to my Target store and catching sight of an attractive woman.

    I honestly don't want to be in a relationship, because I feel it is my duty to be a companion for my widowed mother. I already spent a lot of money remodeling a storeroom to use as a tiny living quarters so that I can move my mother into an adjoining space. If by some odd twist of fate I found a girlfriend for the first time in my life then it would disrupt these plans. Also, I have seen how miserable it is for most men who are in a relationship. IDK
  19. learning

    learning Fapstronaut

    I use google, but I have the "safe mode" turned off (for better browsing of porn of course). I will switch this now. I don't think it would have blocked this particular image though. It was simply a typical cute girl picture of the 1940s Hollywood.
  20. Ongoingsupport

    Ongoingsupport Fapstronaut

    I hear you. It sounds like you need to explore your interest a bit. Consider that it's fine, for the time being not to have a goal - although you obviously recognize that quitting PMO is a worthwhile goal.

    Your point about it being on a continuum does not have to interfere with this, after all we are not saying you cannot have the emotional aspects - and those do not have to be tied in to the actual behavior of viewing porn or masturbation. It's a huge thing to be able to be clear about that and distinguish it in everyday living, and don't expect it to happen overnight. Actually I think it's more complex than a continuum, it depends on the interaction. There are feminine qualities that are not sexually attractive, which you may appreciate in a kind woman who you do not find attractive.
    learning likes this.

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