Kevin's accountability log

Hello everyone. I’m moving my recovery journal to this topic for a couple of reasons. One, to coincide with the rules of the forum; to keep posts within the appropriate topic. You can find my initial posts here.

Continuing the discussion from Pornography and masturbation addict:

Two, responding to topic labeled porn and MB addict doesn’t suit my purpose here. Because I want to focus my on recovery and less on the addiction. And I want to embrace our similarities, not our differences.

Let me share some some further background info on me.

My addiction not only takes the form of sexual fantasies compulsive masturbation, and pornography, but also going to xxx bookstores, peepshow booths, strip joints, using street prostitutes, escorts, massage parlors, indecent liberties, and vojeurism. That’s a long list, and I had done all of these things by the time I was 23. I’m 46 now.

I’ve failed through college, I’ve lost a job, I’ve Trainwrecked a marriage, and I’ve gotten arrested (for solicitation July 2004).

I’ve been acting out sexually as early as 3 years old
It’s been a long road for me.

For much of my life pornographic sex has been my savior, my reason for living. I didn’t understand that it was not real. I thought that’s what women wanted. I was tricked and confused.

So moving forward to a different life is challenging. Like stepping out of the matrix. And I have to find a new way to cope. Another way to take care of myself. Let me share my to-do list

03/26/17
Prayer. 3
Bible. 4
Worship. 2
Pray with wife. 1
Clean. 5
Workout.
Family. 3
Read with girls.
Outreach. 3
Forum. 6
Wife. 2
Work.

29 points

Every day I keep track of the things that are important to my well being. 29 points is so so. I should be at least in the mid 40s. Each week I intend to share how well I’ve taken care of myself by sharing this list. It may change over time, but the concept will always be there. This is a very accurate way of measuring my progress and recovery. Actually more accurate than my sobriety. Had a good start today. So I’m​ hoping that next week’s score will be better. Thanks.

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Wow, this is a great tool. Thank you for being so open about your story.

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Hi @KevinesKay Interesting idea and system. What does each number represent and what is the scale? I wasn’t clear on that part. For example “Family. 3”?

Not sure if you member me from other thread, but I had similar compulsions years back. Sounds like yours also escalated far beyond porn as I did, to “worse” things. I am not religious at all, so for me the main problem was all the negative consequences it had on my life - money, intimacy, being unfaithful, job, etc. Ugh. My problem now is alcohol.

Hey @JohnSee. Nice to hear back from you. And a good question. This would be a good time to expound on how my to-do list looks for me.

For each day I do a certain task on the list, I give myself a point. So that’s a maximum of 7 points for each activity and a maximum of 84 points for all activities each week.

Prayer consists of myself taking at least 10 minutes praying and waiting upon the Lord with no distractions.

Bible means I take the time to read at least 4 chapters of the Bible that day.

Worship means I take time to get out my guitar, play and sing songs to God for at least 10 minutes that day.

Pray with wife means that I pray with my wife that day. I heard that couples that pray together stay together.

Clean means that I do at least 2 chores around the house such as doing a load of dishes or laundry or taking out the trash.

Workout means that I exercise with my weights in basement downstairs.

Family means I spend some quality time with my family. It could consist of playing a game, going out to the park, etc. Yesterday I helped my daughter learn how to roller skate.

Read with the girls means that I help them with readings a book to me. We homeschool our girls so my wife appreciates any help that I can offer.

Outreach means that I connect with another guy in person or on the phone.

Forum means that I share a post on this forum.

Wife means that I spend some quality time with my wife.

Work means that I fulfill my goal of reaching out to 20 customers a day on the phone at work.

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My challenge lately has been my thoughts. I’ve been pretty solid on ensuring that I avoid any fantasies that involve porn. But that pull is there. And that’s how I crept back into my old behaviors with my last relapse. Entertaining fantasies was becoming a habit. Which led to MB, and then to porn. Amazing that I was doing the same stuff that I was appalled with, and having a significant period of sobriety from.

So I know that I can’t even entertain the thought of acting out. If it happens, I won’t get discouraged, but I cannot simply entertain fantasies with the thought that they are harmless. Same with oggling other females. Endulging in these “lesser” behaviors will lead me back to porn, and I have improve my thinking and exercise better custody of my eyes.

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@KevinesKay ok, thanks for explaining. Totally makes sense now. I think anyone here who reads that, could adapt it to their own to-do list, like myself. I have a daily to-do/self-care and I check things off, but haven’t been scoring it weekly. I can add that in, and add a wider range of tasks. Thanks.

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I’ve been real moody these past couple of days. In fact, my whole family has been moody. Not fun. I think the stress of buying the house that we live in, planning a birthday party, and waiting for our new washing machine to arrive while we get by with wearing dirty clothes, and our basement flooding again is taking it’s toll on everyone.

As far as my recovery from my porn use and MB, I still feel like I’m in the pink cloud. Not even entertaining fantasies. And that’s what I need to keep avoiding. I admit that what led to my relapse was allowing myself to entertain sexual fantasies when I went to sleep. And the fantasies led to masturbation, which quickly led to porn use.

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@KevinesKay Sounds like these are stressful things, but also good things (new hours, new washing machine, party!) and at least they keep you busy.

I know we’re each working on different addictions now, but after some time I realized that porn in my past messed up my mind so much that I’m not even capable of fantasies anymore. My wife and I have not been intimate in a very long time. Just become mostly parents and friends. It’s sad. But I want to focus on my sobriety first, and finding a decent job, then I hope to address our intimacy problems.

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I meant to share something else. You want to know why I like this app and community so much? It’s because there are a lot of winners here. Many of us are having success at getting our lives back. I’ve been a member of a couple of other forums for years, but there were times that I was the only regular poster. That phrase, “It’s lonely at the top,” resonates with me. Kind of like that feeling I got when my favorite team, the Seahawks, won the Superbowl a few years ago. Being that I reside in Illinois, I didn’t have a whole lot of friends that I could celebrate with.

But here, there are lots of friends, and we’re winning. And we’re not alone. Thanks everyone. Stay strong.

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I love the varying degrees of sober time, freedom from different addictions, different age groups, races, and places all over the world. I have a lot of gratitude for this forum and the people here.

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I hit double digits today! I have hit this mark a few times before and proceeded to let my guard down but I’m determined not to let that happen this time.

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Glad to see you again @BrLo! Good going on achieving 10+ days. That is truly a great gift.

It’s always good to hear your encouraging words @JohnSee. I’m impressed that you successfully switched from porn to alcohol. I never got drunk in my life. But one day, about 15 years back, I decided to try to see what it felt like. So I went to the store and bought the cheepest whiskey on the shelf. And as I tried the stuff at home, it tasted so bad that I couldn’t get past one sip. My friends laughed when I shared that story. They didn’t understand why I chose whiskey. “Whiskey is the devil,” they said. How was I supposed to know?

Anyways, the bottle of whiskey sat on my shelf for about a year before I threw it out. Why get drunk when I can get high on porn?

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@KevinesKay are there women addicted to porn? I don’t know much about that particular addiction.

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Yes there are. I know some that are. But I don’t find porn addiction as common among women as I do in men.

When I was a member of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, we recognized that while men tended to gravitate toward the physical side of acting out, the women gravitated toward the emotional side of acting out. It’s not always cut and dry like I described. It’s just an observation.

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How do you think your addiction started and what purpose did it serve before it got to the addiction stage? What level would be considered addiction? I’m not sure if I know anyone with this issue. This is interesting. It’s not really talked about like drug and alcohol addiction and recovery.

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@Melrm, you ask some good questions. Let me expound more on my experience.

My parents split shortly after my 1 year birthday. Perhaps due to loneliness or some other trauma, I don’t know, but I’ve been a sex addict since as long as I can remember. When I say sex, I don’t mean the healthy kind, but the counterfeit kind that one will find in porn, or using prostitutes, or anonymous encounters, etc. Healthy sexuality is actually outside my comfort zone. I’ve been to a half dozen counselors for this over the years with so so results. Some believe that something very traumatic happened to me when I was very young that I can’t remember. I do remember using sexual fantasies at the age of 3. My fantasies consisted of me catching girls naked and sneering at them. The fantasies later evolved to where I was naked with them. My first exposure to porn was at 6 when I accidentally came across a porn mag at the grocery store. And I was instantly hooked. I sought for more chasing after nude images wherever I could find them. When I discovered masturbation at age 13, I was instantly hooked to that as well. And when I act out with porn and masturbation and orgasm, I get a narcotic experience that is 10 times greater than anything I’ve ever felt.

So in my experience, the addiction has always been there inside me waiting to act out since as long as I can remember.

I got real good at medicating feelings by using fantasy or sexual acting out. I developed a huge pain tolerance level. So in addition to my addiction, I discovered that my emotional and social anorexia were factors as well. And I cannot address my addiction without addressing these areas of the life as well. I can feel feelings, but certain feelings are very challenging for me. Anger and happiness are pretty easy for me to feel. Sadness and jealousy are much more difficult. Probably the most difficult feeling for me is love. And reprogramming myself after many years is a challenging task. Sometimes, I just have to accept my handicap, and just appreciate love for what it looks and sounds like. And that’s worked well for me and my marriage and family. Regardless of how I feel, I can still give and receive love.

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@Melrm also mentioned that porn addiction is not commonly discussed. But I want to reiterate how scary common it is.

12% of all internet sites are pornographic. That’s​ over 24 million sites.

40 million Americans are regular visitors to internet porn sites.

Internet porn pulls in about $5 billion dollars per year worldwide.

2.5 billion emails per day are pornographic.

25% of all internet search requests are pornographic.

35% of all internet downloads are pornographic.

My point is that we all probably know more than one person that’s addicted to porn. But the shame of what’s being done keeps most PAs in secrecy, never telling a soul, always afraid that if they get discovered, no one will love them. This cycle of secrecy and acting out is vicious, and makes it impossible to come out of.

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There were times when I wished I had a different addiction. Because I sometimes felt that porn addiction was harder to deal with because it’s so easily accessible. An addict can still get high off of fantasies and MB. And keeping custody of the eyes is challenging when some women walk by wearing tight-fitting and revealing outfits. And sexual stimuli is everywhere. On the billboards, TV, all over the internet. I try to keep my environment as safe and serene as possible. However sometimes, temptation cannot be avoided.

But reading posts from other people dealing with alcohol. I’m surprised that there is so much temptation out their for you. From friends to family, you can’t even go to the grocery store without it being right in front of you.

I recall @DrunkNoMore using the word ubiquitous. Always everywhere. So true. And I’m impressed that many of you are deciding to keep a clear head even in the midst of a toxic environment. With that I can truly relate. Thank you all for your strength.

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@KevinesKay I think we become immune to the alcohol advertisements, at restaurants and stores, etc over time the longer we focus on sobriety. What you think about becomes reality and more tunnel visioned. (good or bad)
Thank you for explaining your addiction and recovery. I think there’s a correlation between addiction (doesn’t matter what type) and abuse and depression. We were all trying to fill a void (a God sized hole) because of trauma (remembered or not)

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