I know, can you believe that's what I named my new journal too? Freaky, right?
Well it's symbolic. "Renaissance" is the Latin word for rebirth. Just like Europe came out of the dark ages with the renaissance, I'll come out of my own "dark" ages henceforth. I started a new journal cause this is really like a new beginning. I'm sorry, FTrW if that's wrong. I like to start on blank sheets of paper when I start fresh. I don't like continuing on my old posts with the air of negativity and relapse. New post for a new time.
The gloves are off guys. I'm going to ask each and everyone one of you for help. The addiction is hard to get over. Hahah. Come one, I'm sure we can laugh at that. That was an understatement. A complete understatement... But like I said, the gloves are off. My web filter is off. I burned it in a virtual fire. I'm exposed again and facing the problem head on.
I realize now I only got the filter to hide behind it like a lazy coward. I wanted to stop my addiction, but I didn't want to put any effort into stopping. Something, as I'm sure we all know, just doesn't work. Especially in light of it being "really hard to overcome." Right?
I'm starting over now and i'm going to actually go through and learn EVERYTHING I can to help and prepare myself. I'm going to practice and learn all the good healthy things I need to do. I'm going to ask questions. I'm going to fight back. Just a few hours ago I felt helpless. I felt like I'd never break free, like I was doomed to be that creepy old guy who's rejected by society because he can't stop watching porn and masturbating as it governs his life. Psh. no. that's not me. I'm not going to allow myself to be there. I'm above that. I'm above this horrible monster.
I realized something earlier. Yes, I'm addicted. But that doesn't give me the right or the justification for being an addict! What I mean is - yes, we admit we are hooked on certain behaviors or practices, that it creates in us a certain chemical response that we have in many ways become dependent on. We crave it, we desire it. But that's not an excuse. That is NOT justification for viewing porn, or acting out. What I realized is that we are NOT sitting in our chairs, or on our couches, or in bed - held at gunpoint, told to watch porn or risk getting shot in the head and killed. No one is threatening to murder me unless I binge on porn or something. I HAVE the option, the free will to choose not to watch it. I CAN stop it. The fact that I'm an addict simply means the choice to stop, the actual action of stopping - is intensely difficult for me.
What I've noticed is that so many of us get caught up in this title "addict" and almost relax in its name. We almost use the fact that we're addicted as justification for watching more porn! When really - we should be doing the opposite. It's ironic.
Still, that doesn't mean to me that I am undeniably, completely, and utterly responsible for EVERY action I take that brings me back into porn. There IS a level of - gosh, that stuff IS designed to bring us back for more - gosh, our brains are explicitly wired for sex - gosh, sexual perversion IS everywhere, and porn is now more accessible than ever in any time period. We are at many times fighting an uphill battle where it seems that many forces converge on us at once, be it depression, anger, tiredness, etc. As well at the actual triggering event - that one thought that makes you really curious, that one picture or add that somehow popped out of nowhere, that one accidental click that sometimes decides the fate of your day; whether you relapse or not.
So there IS an aspect of helplessness to an extent. I would never yell at any of you guys for being "horrible people" or "selfish" (although there is an aspect of selfishness,) or "indecent." Maybe at one time you had a choice, but you made the wrong one and then became addicted. Either way, you're addicted now, and you're held accountable. But all of this being said, I feel that we addicts deserve, in fact, have the right to some level of forgiveness from out loved ones and the one's we've hurt, as this is possibly the most absolutely difficult undertaking we've ever gone through. I know, for a fact, that this is the most difficult thing I've ever tried to do, to stop porn. But heck, I'm 17, how many other difficult things besides really hard exams have I done. Difficult video game levels don't count.
So we need some forgiveness, especially from those, like our partners who don't understand what we're going through. My girlfriend explicitly said she hated porn, and didn't see the big deal in it. She has full control. Sure, at one time she did turn to it in the heat of her big depression, but she stopped without trouble. Without second thinking it. She can't possibly even begin to understand a portion of what porn is like for me or how difficult it is to resist - at 1AM, 2AM, completely alone, in the dark, with full internet access. The stuff is a drug. Settings like that are like putting a super alcoholic in a bar, alone, with "free" labels and signs on all the booze. All the alcohol that guy can drink, all in one place, all free. All easily accessible. That's what the internet has become for me, for most, if not all of us. We're that alcoholic, so easily overwhelmed. My girlfriend could never understand that. That is how difficult I feel this is. I've always been a little fighter. Ever since I first saw porn in 5th grade, I always felt like it was wrong in some way. I was the first one, between the friend that showed it to me and I, to declare that what we were doing was wrong, and that we should stop. He reluctantly and slowly agreed. But I did that! At what, 11, 12 years old? I've always hated the stuff. And yet I still kept coming back for more! WE CANNOT UNDERESTIMATE IT. You can't over-estimate it. Treat porn like the plague, because that is what it is for us. That is what it has become...
So what I wanted to say was, we need forgiveness. But we also need to accept our responsibility for everything that we CAN control, and everything we DO have power over. I think I remember reading Feed the Right Wolf himself saying he's usually a goner unless he plans thoroughly ahead of time. THAT is what we CAN do, THAT is what we have power over. Because I'm sure, I've been at this for a while, and we're all the same here, but usually once we're tempted, once we're trigger, we've already lost the battle. It's done. We've lost power of our rational brains to that inner brain that tells us to lust. This planning - this preparing - this educating - this is what I haven't been doing. That's what I avoided. All the hard work necessary to get out of this. Instead I hide behind a filter, hoping it could save me from the big, bad, mean porn industry. Hoping it would be my panacea - my cure-all. Without surprise it wasn't, it didn't. No filter is perfect. Every single one has holes, and I want you all to know that. Relying on a filter is maybe good to suppress your use, maybe make it a little difficult and out of the way, just to give you one more reason to stop watching. But it is never the cure.
Alright, well, originally the plan of the day was to hang out with my girlfriend, but she doesn't want to talk to me. Which is completely fine. She responded better than I expected... I want to give her space to relax, or think, or whatever she usually does whenever I act out... It hurts me right now to think about her and to think about this entire problem in relation to her. I don't want to hurt her. Ever... yet.. it happens. I just hope she does whatever she needs to feel better today. So my new plans of the day are to do great things for myself and learn, and read, and fight against porn. It's a little weird not having the filter on my computer anymore. Honestly, I almost forgot what the normal internet looked like.