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Wed Jul 8, 2015, 07:22 AM

Going to make a quick post before bed about something rather personal for me.

Tonight, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. For the first time in years, I feel like I can say I am no longer addicted to porn.

It's been a long and hard road to get here. I started when I was in middle school and first discovered the internet. At the time, it was relatively mild--simple nude (or close to) pictures looked at maybe once every few months. As I moved on to high school, I began to be more curious, and started watching videos. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here; simply put, I am glad I was raised the way I was and that I had the respect for women (and for men, for that matter) that I did. I never strayed into hardcore pornography or some of the truly vile shit that is out there; that was simply horrifying. But I could, and did watch a whole lot else. Somewhere in high school, it turned into an addiction.

This has been a part of me that I have been more ashamed of than almost anything else for. As far as my friends are concerned, I don't watch it. 99% of what is out there is degrading, dehumanizing, and is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I stand for. I did not want to even give the impression that I endorsed it, because I don't. But I watched it anyways, because I couldn't stop.

Part of what drove it was simple curiosity as I went through my teenage years; part of it is that porn is really downright sexy, when done right. Overwhelmingly, though, I watched it for reasons I don't really understand, and at this point, don't really wish to. It has been a part of me that has left me more ashamed, more helpless than anything else in my life. I smoke weed, I drink alcohol, I eat sugar and crappy food--nothing has ever come anywhere close to making me feel as powerless as porn did. I simply could not leave it behind. Sometimes I could take a break for a few weeks; sometimes a month or two. Once, I even made it 6 months without touching the stuff a couple years ago. It never stuck. I hated that I did it. I felt bad before, during, and after watching it. The constant bigotry, the creepy fetishization, the separation of little bits of humanity into more and more and more explicit categories, all designed for instant and easy consumption. I hate it. I absolutely fucking hate it.

I'm not sure exactly what's changed over the years. I think it's been a number of things. I understand myself a whole lot better. I don't feel the need to watch porn to satisfy my curiosity about sex in general, or my own sexuality. I've learned a lot about gender and sexuality, as well as a lot about humanity in general. The longer my addiction continued, the more I grew to hate it. It's only been within the last few months that I've finally found a solution. Again, I won't go into specifics, but I've found places to enjoy visual stimulation in a manner that celebrates the human condition, that celebrates sex and masturbation and sexuality and all people for who they are. It's a totally different type of porn--very few videos, but instead things like a gif of a hand tightening on someone's back, an image of lips trailing down a neck, a picture of a couple lying intertwined in a bed, all interspersed with discussions about sexuality and cancer diagnoses and daycare and life.

Tonight, I am proud to say, I had the courage to tell the first person I have ever told about my addiction. While I don't think I could have done it if I was still watching it, I was honest about it for the first time. As she said, that's a big deal. Her understanding and her support left me with tears of joy in my eyes tonight. I feel relieved. I feel elated. A part of me that I hated is finally no longer part of me.

So many addictions are things that will never leave you. I'm very careful in how I consume things (from chips to weed to avoiding studying, there is a lot to enjoy) because I know that once I start down many of those paths, there is no going back. It's all or nothing. Thankfully, I think I can say I've rid myself of this one. In the months since I first began the change, I've not felt a single urge to go back. Not once--I haven't been able to say that for a long, long time. I feel good about it, even. That's a hell of a thing.

I'm not really sure why I'm posting this here. Maybe it's not the smartest thing to do--it is the internet, after all. Maybe I'm putting it out as a warning to make sure we talk to our kids about what they might find on the internet, to make sure we talk to them and help them to enjoy their sexuality in a healthy, constructive manner. Maybe I'm posting it because it might help someone else who's got the same problem. Who knows. All I know is that that I feel a hell of a lot better about something that's been weighing me down for years, and that's something to share for a bit.

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Reply Going to make a quick post before bed about something rather personal for me. (Original post)
F4lconF16 Jul 2015 OP
Little Star Jul 2015 #1
Person 2713 Jul 2015 #2
F4lconF16 Jul 2015 #8
DURHAM D Jul 2015 #3
F4lconF16 Jul 2015 #9
ismnotwasm Jul 2015 #4
F4lconF16 Jul 2015 #10
ismnotwasm Jul 2015 #13
Nay Jul 2015 #5
F4lconF16 Jul 2015 #11
brer cat Jul 2015 #6
F4lconF16 Jul 2015 #12
F4lconF16 Jul 2015 #7
AuntPatsy Jul 2015 #14

Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 08:10 AM

1. I'm really happy for you F4lconF16......

and I think you should cross post this in The Men's Group~
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1114

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Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 08:22 AM

2. Congratulations on your freedom. Addictions are like chains on a person

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Response to Person 2713 (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 04:00 PM

8. Heavy chains, at that.

Thank you.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 08:33 AM

3. It would be appropriate to post your OP

in Addiction and Recovery. I think it would be better appreciated there.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 04:01 PM

9. Done.

Thanks for the idea--forgot that forum was there for this.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/11441763

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Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 08:50 AM

4. So happy for you

I watched an intense documentary on porn addiction, and it's a terrible struggle. I got your back if you need it

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #4)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 04:02 PM

10. Thanks, Ism.

I appreciate it. See my response below--I'm pretty dang lucky I've got the people around me that I do. Wouldn't be here without them.

Which documentary? Sounds like something I'd like to watch at some point.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #10)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 05:15 PM

13. I think it was on Netflicks

It was a few years ago. What struck me was how, like any other addiction it took over a life--to the point of losing friends, family, jobs. I have experience with substance abuse and addiction and the other thing that struck me was how familier the language of the addict is--no matter what the addiction.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 08:58 AM

5. As a woman, I truly appreciate what you have written here. I have often felt

that porn and porn addiction hurts men much more than they are ever willing to admit. But that's the addiction part, right? You never want to admit that the thing you love, the thing you feel you can't live without, is essentially killing you.

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Response to Nay (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 04:05 PM

11. Thankfully it never got that strong for me...

I just couldn't escape it. Never needed, wanted, or loved it, though.

I agree that porn hurts us much more than we realize. Actually, I think a lot of us realize it. It's just going to take a whole lot of societal change before we can start to get away from it, though. You have people like my ex, who told me I was weird that I didn't like it, that something was wrong with me because I didn't want to watch it. There's a lot of pressure to consume.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 09:45 AM

6. I hope that you find nothing but support here, F4lconF16.

Addictions are hard to face, and even harder to change. I hope that the courage you are showing by publicly facing your demons will carry you through the rough times ahead..."so many addictions are things that will never leave you." You are lovable and loved; you don't need to carry the self-loathing around.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 04:08 PM

12. I have so far.

The people in this group have been particularly helpful, if not intentionally. I've grown a lot from what I've learned in this group.

Thanks for your kind words and support--they are much appreciated I'm in a great mood today, and I think a big part of that is that my self-loathing has finally started to go away. And it's not melting bit by bit, either--it feels like it was shattered. Bits and pieces are definitely still around, but it's finally lost its tenous grip on me

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Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Wed Jul 8, 2015, 03:54 PM

7. And today, I'm feeling even better.

I guess I never really said that I was surprised to hear that you had a porn addiction. But honestly, I am. I don't like saying that because it could come across badly and I never want to make you feel ashamed of something, especially after you have worked so hard to fix it. But truly I was surprised. But I see that as a good thing. I think I can say I know you pretty dang well, and know what you believe is right. And I know it's easy to get down on yourself for doing something that is so unlike you and against what you stand for. But at the same time, you need to be grateful that it IS so unlike you. Although you did do those things, it didn't change who you are as a person. You are still a fantastic human being who has a huge amount of respect for people. Porn couldn't change that, because that is who you are.

From the person I told last night. That, right there, is what real support is. That's love for a friend in need. And I welcome it with all my heart. I am immensely lucky at times.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2015, 09:28 AM

14. Thank you, I would hope others think about what you wrote

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