Lessons from Rock Bottom: Case Studies and Inspiration to Rise Above Porn Addiction

inspired-man

This is a post by friend and blogger Max Cato from PornEnlightenment.com

 

So Why Are People Quitting Porn?

The popularity of quitting porn has exploded all over the Internet. As of this posting, Reddit/r/NoFap has over 146K+ members, Reddit/r/pornfree has over 20K readers, I have over 400 followers on Google+, and the number of blogs and websites on the topic continues to grow and grow.

However there’s still much resistance regarding this idea as a large porn audience is wondering why anyone in their right mind would stop watching, but when you look a little closer the answers start to become increasingly obvious as to why people are choosing to speak out and express not only the truly negative impact that habitual porn watching has had on their lives but, even better, the overwhelmingly positive results they have experienced after quitting.

Perhaps porn isn’t negatively affecting everyone especially when viewing the audience that enjoys it, as they can be very outspoken about saying so. However, people are popping up all over the Internet feeling depressed, desperate, and afraid they’ll never be able to have real sex again (think porn-induced ED), or afraid they’ll lose important friends or family, especially love interests, because of their problem.

Does that mean something is wrong with you if you’re struggling while others are not? Of course not. This is just like alcohol use, as there are casual drinkers, drunks in denial, or addicts that will never touch another drop, and everything in between. Everyone is not the same and that is perfectly OK and should be expected.

Furthermore, even the proponents of porn are subject to its effects, whether they perceive it as problematic or not. Porn promotes a voyeuristic mindset, increased objectification of women, emotional detachment, and aggressive sexual tendencies. (For more on this check out this post)

What we really need to focus on is the people in the trenches because they are the ones really struggling. The effects of repeatedly failing every time they try to quit porn often does psychological damage and leaves people feeling broken and alone.

Before we get in to that discussion, let’s clarify one point.

What Are We Talking About?

Let me take a moment to explain that I’m talking very specifically about quitting porn. Movements like NoFap include abstaining from masturbation, while other communities do not.

The reason I’m talking specifically about porn is because people aren’t getting addicted to masturbation, but rather it’s porn that is addictive. If you’re not convinced, then just notice that brain studies focus on the effects of porn use, not just simply masturbation.

Masturbation using your imagination is natural and as of this date I’m not aware of anyone with problems that stem from such pastimes. However, throw porn into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

To get a deeper understanding of what is going on let’s take a look at stories from those who have hit rock bottom, the reasons people are finding for quitting, and the inspiring true stories from those who beat the addiction and how it then transformed their lives.

A. Lessons from Rock Bottom

Rough Road

You don’t have to look very hard to find people struggling really hard to quit porn. Relapse after relapse leads to feelings of desperation and despair.

Case 1

For the first example check out this video confessional from someone struggling with compulsive porn use:

You will notice that he is stressed and frustrated from his battle with addiction. He mentions facing the consequences that his habit has had on his life, as well as his relationship with his girlfriend.

In addition, notice his poignant lines: “I can’t fix myself” and “I wish I was normal.” This emotionally struggling individual is ending a superficial relationship in TEARS because he has reached the level of so much shame that he sees himself undeserving, not capable of being devoted, and unbalanced. While this recognition of his addiction is progress in his journey, he is well aware that he is not fully ready and informed on how to start this change, considering how difficult the start often is in any process.

Porn addiction has led to this individual leaving a person he deeply cares about, even telling her that his social media wouldn’t be stable, suggesting a friendship afterwards could be difficult as well. In the future he says he will most likely be in multiple relationships at the same time, with the potential to hurt multiple people at once, but the addiction has made him such “an emotional mess” that his addiction captures and overpowers his stable mind fighting back. The quote “relationships sink when they have  too many passengers” strongly makes the point that a lack of devotion leads to rock bottom, and it should be known that this lack of focus applies to more than just relationships. It can stifle career focus or hygiene, and even other larger matters affecting groups of people entirely uninvolved.

His personal struggle resonates with what many go through as they make this difficult journey towards quitting and self-improvement.

 

Case 2 

For another example read this post where you can see the poster’s thoughts of suicide after being unable to stop watching porn. In one excerpt from his post he says “All I do is think about if I would fuck a woman or not when I see them. My mind is so fucked up that I don’t even view women like humans anymore. I feel as if they are just little pieces of meat to be eaten.”

From this story you can see his awareness of how porn is affecting his thinking but notice that it’s also coupled with unfortunate feelings of helplessness in which he feels he can’t change and lose the habit. He finishes the post with “I think suicide will help with these feelings,” as well as a comment like the one in the previous video above, in which he obviously feels he is not devoted. This time it is to matters such as his education, which again shows how not only does it affect his perception of women or relationships, but his entire life.

 

Case 3

In a third example from the UK documentary “Porn on the Brain” we have a young adult male named Calum, who is struggling with quitting porn. Below is an excerpt from the documentary.

Calum: “I cant find a way to stop. Ive tried getting rid of my smart phone. Getting rid of easy ways to get on to porn. But then Ill just get an urge and Ill go into toilet and Ill visualize it instead.”

Narrator (Martin): “Does that piss you off?” 

Calum: “Yeah. Of course. Youll get times where youll just sit down and think to yourself, why have I just done what Ive done? Why? You get a high and then you just get down straight afterwards.” 

Martin: “And how do you get over that low?”

Calum: “Do it again”.

Martin: “So youre always chasing the low away with the next high.”

Calum: “Yeah”

Martin: “Well that sounds like a drug addiction to me”

Calum: “Yeah, it is… because, I cant stop it.

 

In this dialog Calum notes the vicious cycle of his addiction and his frustration over his inability to end it. If addiction is “a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences” (1) then what Calum is describing fits the bill perfectly. He acknowledges the adverse consequences and yet continues to engage in the behavior anyway.

In the documentary Calum also admits to spending all of his free time unproductively watching porn, masturbating anywhere from 16 to upwards of 20 times in one day, and that he prefers porn over real sex. These are all troubling observations from a young man in his prime, and don’t bode well for his future.

What do these examples have in common? They all show the personal battle that is indicative of what many people face with pornography. I too faced similar frustrations and depression. Bad habits lead to distress and vexation with the present, but the most frightening thing that all these individuals in the videos recognize is that porn could destroy their future.

 

My Low

In my own battle with quitting porn I became increasingly depressed as my self-esteem and confidence took a nose dive from years of being unable to quit. Feelings of desperation took over as I felt unable to take control of my life and address the underlying issues that I was escaping from such as clinical depression.

So now that we see what rock bottom looks like, where do we go from here? Let’s take a moment to note some of the many reasons people quit porn before diving into some inspiration from those that made it to the other side.

 

B. The Many Reasons People Quit Porn

Primary Reasons

Just what is driving these people to quit porn? Well a primary reason comes from the rock bottom feelings (noted above) that people face from an inability to quit when they want to.

People start to notice little ways that porn is affecting their lives and their relationships and then face frustration when they find themselves unable to stop. A second big reason is porn-induced ED.

Many people who watch porn regularly find themselves one day unable to perform sex with a real woman and, as you might imagine, that’s a terrifying experience for any man. At that point they do some research and find out that their ED is caused by overconsumption of pornography and the problem lies not in their penis, but in their brain.

 

Many More Reasons

For a list of several other very important reasons people quit porn check out this article which highlights the top reasons. If you’re trying to quit porn read through them now, see which points resonate with you, and get inspired to quit porn.

Another example of some great reasons to quit porn can be found in this video by actor Russell Brand:

This video is not only very honest and well spoken, but Russell has gathered quite a bit of information to support his points. He uses current examples of youthful fascination with mainstream matters such as the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” to make statements that aren’t just standard preaching, but that are very relevant to today and pull from popular culture and social media.

Think about notable quotes as you watch the video and apply them to your life. His examples are not only cleverly worded, but they are memorable and great sayings to repeat daily.

Now that we know why people are quitting porn, let’s check out the results people are experiencing after successfully overcoming this habit. You might be surprised to see how it’s changing people’s lives.

 

C. Inspiration From Other Fighters

Inspirational Stories

Here’s a truly inspiring video by someone just 90 days of being porn free:

He notes some really amazing effects such as improved focus, better memory, increased confidence, and higher productivity. To all those struggling, picture that breath of fresh air and greener grass mentioned and get inspired to quit. This individual has garnered such a belief in himself and such a large freedom that he goes to deem it as priceless.

In addition, this is another example of an individual, this time just two months without porn, and he has some very good comments on the plethora of positive effects he experienced and even some remarkable future goals:

In both of these examples you can see the positive effects that quitting has had on their lives and perhaps this is the greatest reason of all to quit.

 

My Story

Now I’d like to share my own experience with how quitting porn affected my life. I want to share it with you because it was a night and day transformation for me.

After quitting porn I developed a confidence like I’ve never known, as I finally had the time and the focus to start chasing my dreams and stop escaping from my most difficult problems. Previously I had used porn to escape from my depression and to procrastinate on the challenging and ambiguous questions regarding my future.

Today no matter how sad or how frustrated I get, I work through my problems without escaping from them, including my depression and addressing questions about my future. Since quitting porn I have paid off all of my student loan debt, started saving money, started a blog, started taking business courses, and I started dating the love of my life. I went from being an introvert all my life, to testing as an extrovert on the MBTI personality test. All of this happened in less than one year from quitting.

As these examples show quitting porn can be part of a total life transformation. People have experienced some greatly positive and inspiring results from being clean and if they continue the momentum then theres really no limit to the change they and you can make in your life.

 

Sum It Up:

From these examples we’ve seen how desperate, depressed, and broken people can end up as a result of overconsumption of pornography. We have also seen many great reasons to quit porn and the moving stories from those who have quit.

So Id like to make a proposal: let’s stop trying to hide the problem and acknowledge those who are suffering. Let’s spread awareness of this problem and help those that are in need to get help.

Let’s take from the stories of those who quit and fuel the fire of inspiration to help others do the same. Porn addiction is a very real problem and it’s time to help ourselves and others overcome the negativity and live better lives.

 

Follow-up:

1. If you have overcome porn addiction please share your inspiring story in the comments. A little inspiration goes a long way in helping to elevate others to succeed.

2. If you’re struggling with the addiction take this additional step to get help. Download my free guides to overcome porn addiction and start your journey to quit right now.

 

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Max Cato helps people overcome porn addiction through his blog, Porn Enlightenment.

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    About Brian

    Brian overcame a long-standing addiction to Internet porn and fully recovered from serious porn-induced erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety. For more about Brian, see my story.

    Comments

    1. Hey, I found your site and have been reading all these articles. It’s funny how as soon as I read about porn-induced ed it was like a lightbulb flashed inside my head. Like, this is me.
      Thank you Max and Brian.

      • Hi J,
        Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad that we could help. It’s amazing what happens once you realize what’s causing the problems, right?
        Cheers
        Brian

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