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First post.I have had this page open now for about 24 hours.
I have written a few intros, but deleted all of them.
I feel like I have something to say, but I am uncertain what it is I want to say.
I was addicted to porn. I am no longer addicted to porn. Is there a forum for ex addicts to post, if they feel their experience might help others out of the addiction? Is this the place?
Porn is a relatively new addiction. "New addiction?" It is helpful to understand that most of the addictions we suffer are addictions we invented. Some, we invented a long time ago. Alcohol addiction we invented at least a few thousand years ago. We invent an addiction when we take some combination of non addictive things, commonly found in nature, and re-combine them to form a super stimuli, not commonly found in nature. Alcohol, for instance, does not grow on trees, and, without us re-combining what his found in nature, does not just appear. Same with most drugs. Same with porn.
We invented porn addiction around 2011. We invented it when we invented, then disseminated, High Speed Internet Porn. Of course, at the time, we did not know we were inventing it. But, being who we are, once we invented High Speed Internet, the next second someone figured out we could upload porn, thus High Speed Internet Porn. We figured out, without actually understanding what we were doing, that we could use HSIP to get high. We did not think of it in those terms because the neuroscience had not caught up, but it goes like this: Nature evolved our brains to "like" sex. OK, over and under simplification. Nature evolved our brains to like "thoughts" of sex. Still, over and under simplification. Our brains respond favorably to a dopamine release. Dopamine is a reward and motivational neurortansmitter that encourages, among other things, reproduction. This is a brain thing. 100% above the belt. When we think of sex, a side effect is getting a dopamine neurotransmitter reward. This is how nature encourages us to reproduce. When we invented porn, HSIP specifically, we did not know it, but we invented a button we can push to get a dopamine rush. Since the beginning, and I am going back millions of years, we have liked the dopamine rush we get when we think about sex. But, only since about 2011 have we figured out how to get that dopamine rush daily, multiple times a day, every day, for years, via HSIP. Why? Because that is when we invented it. This means of getting high did not exist prior to that. Yeah! (Sarcasm).
Understanding that, understanding what you are doing when you choose--yes, choose--(it is always a choice, though it may not feel like it at the time)-- to push the porn button--is key. You push the porn button for one and only reason--to get the dopamine high, rush, it gives you. That dopamine high/rush feels euphoric. We "like" it; we may even love it. Once we figured out how to give it to ourselves, some of us began to use it daily, multiple times a day, thus reinforcing that brain reward pathway, until one day, when we think the thought that we do not want to do it again...we find it incredibly difficult to quit. Bad day, that.
Good news, bad news. Like any other addiction, porn can be quit, but you have to understand what you are quitting. You are not quitting porn, you are quitting the high it brings you. Without that high, porn would be boring. Porn addiction could be worse, like the other addictions, but no one ever overdosed on porn, and no one went through withdrawals that can kill you, like other addictions. Still, if you are addicted to porn you will, like when quitting the other addictions, feel like you are dying. If you thought I was going to say there is an easy way out, sorry, no, there is not. Still, there IS a way out.
The first step, in my humble opinion, is understanding that the addiction is 100% a brain issue, and it is a fairly recently created brain issue, which is an unintended side effect of the invention of High Speed Internet.
Second step, own it. This is hard to do, but you will need to embrace the fact that the addiction was not something that was done to you, but is something you did to yourself. Fair to say you did not know you were doing it to yourself when you were doing it, you did not know you were reinforcing brain reward pathways when you had your porn and coffee in the morning--that is fair--but, you need to own the fact that you were. For years, by watching porn daily, and getting the dopamine rush that goes with it, you were training your brain to want it daily, and training your brain to miss it, if it did not get it. That "missing it" part is where the addiction forms. There is no addiction if you do not miss it when you give it up. No matter how much you like it, if you can walk away and not miss it, you are not addicted. And when I say "miss it", I am talking about withdrawals. When an addict quits the addiction and "misses it", they are withdrawing, and withdrawals, for all addicts, are living death. Living death...you got it, sucks.
Ok, first post, and maybe last post. Just wanted to say there is hope. I can only speak for porn addiction, but, it does not have to last forever. It can be quit, and quitting only will feel like dying, for a while, but it will not kill you. To quit porn addiction you will need a gallows humor, and even if you do not have one now, you will by the end, whether you want it or not. After quitting the addiction, you will not be the same as you were before the addiction. Not a tragedy, just a fact.
It will take time, it will take effort, and you are going to have to give up something you may not have even understood you had come to rely upon: the dopamine rush you get from hypersexual thoughts, which are produced from...you know what.
If anyone is reading, thanks for reading. I post because it helps me. Of course we have to go back to the standards. How do we help ourselves? We help ourselves by helping others. Get out and help someone. No, seriously; go find someone to help, now. Stand up, walk out, and do it. This is part of the process. It may not fix you, but it is a step on the path in the right direction.
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