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Addiction and Coping With What Haunts You

Let me just start this off by saying I’ve been seeking professional help. I understand the challenges with seeking mental health assistance now during probably the busiest time for councilors ever, but I’ve had a really hard time getting assistance and listen, I’m okay, but I am terrified for those who may be worse off than I am. I’ll give more details later in this post, but I’ve tried seeking assistance through Teledoc (it’s a benefit through my work and I’m so grateful for that). Teledoc is actually really cool. I have had one other experience with it that blew me away. However, getting mental health assistance is challenging through it. I’ll spare you all of my complaints with it, but once you find someone you like and choose them as your councilor, for example, it has you select three dates and times that you have available. After you confirm your preferences the provider is supposed to confirm the time, but it just never happens. Then, I’ll be ready the time of the appointment and the provider will cancel. No alternative dates provided, no option to check the providers other available times. You just start over with the same process. It’s maddening. I’ve contacted Teledoc, but they weren’t very helpful. They confirmed that I am doing the process correctly and insisted that providers are just busy. It sucks.

One more think about mental health assistance that I’ve discovered in my search and I promise I will move on lol. The suicide hotline and crisis hotline wait times are pretty bad. If I ever get to a point where I feel healthy again I genuinely would love to volunteer. I’ve waited so long before giving up on getting assistance. I really feel like if I am managing one of those hotlines, that is my least desired outcome. They should at least have a chance to deescalate and those long hold times just crush those chances. That’s why I am here. All of that leads up to why I am here. I need to tell someone what is going on with me, even if I am just throwing something out into the ether.

I’ve been lonely all of my life. I have a great family, but we just never worked on the interpersonal relationships that maybe accompany typical family dynamics. There is a lot of family trauma regarding my brother’s kidnapping, drug use and violence. It sounds more dramatic typing it out than it actually felt at the time. It led to my parents coddling us to keep us safe and I didn’t make a lot of friends when I was young. That led to it being pretty difficult to make friends later since I never really developed those tools.

I attribute my additions, and coping mechanisms for those additions, to being caused by my loneliness. I really do try to insert myself in communities, so I could surround myself with people. I went to college, worked really hard for a long time, went out with friends, and played softball every weekend at one point for a couple summers. More recently, like over the past five years or so, I have started playing board games and attempting (and failing) to construct social gatherings before the pandemic, playing video games with people I enjoy in some video game communities and inserted myself in communities that revolve around parasocial relationships.

I have had partners now and then, but they’re really just fleeting moments. I’m not a great partner. I’m caring, but I’m not great at showing it all the time, I’m more prone to arguing than understanding of another point of view and I’m not a great communicator in general. I don’t talk about my emotions well.

So for the past at least three years I’ve been very secluded. No dating really, rare social gatherings with friends and I started working from home a year prior to the pandemic. Then, I got laid off last year. Spent the summer not really doing much just being depressed while collecting severance pay. It wasn’t until January that I got another job in my field. It pays really well, but it’s only part time right now. I’m living with family right now. My sister bought a new house, my parents moved in with her since the family home was falling apart and I decided to join them and live in the basement. Feels really shitty at 33 years old, but I’m grateful. I really wanted to use this time to heal, but I feel like it’s just getting a lot worse.

Allow me to start with why I am right now writing this. I am addicted to pornography. It’s the worst addiction in my eyes because there’s so much shame associated with it. I feel like other addictions you can tell people about. Like if you don’t drink anymore you just tell people you’re not going out to the bar because you want to stay sober. I feel like that’s really common. Porn addiction is not talked about often and I think it probably should be with how much pornography the world consumes. It gets worse though. I’m spending WAY too much money on it. To the point where I am actually broke despite not really having any bills. I’ve tried a lot of things. Website blockers and such. I’m just too smart for them haha. I’ve been on computers all my life. In that situation where I want to watch porn, I’ll find a way.

A total change in my routine would help. I watched a video recently that said that people sometimes watch porn just because their bored. That really resonated with me. I like reading books and I have a ton of them that I am working on, but it’s just not captivating enough. My addiction has a strong hold of me and it’s really difficult to stop. I’ve tried just going outside when I have urges. Separate myself away from the computer, but I’m just too lazy. I just joined a gym today though so I’m really hoping that maybe if I can just get myself to go once that it might be something good for me on a longer term basis. If I went to the gym every time I felt and urge to watch porn I would be a multiple triathlon athlete.

I joke, but it’s a crippling feeling and no matter how much I want to stop I just replace my additions with other things that harm me and I am afraid what it might lead to. My supervisor told me today that they will be able to move me to full time hours next month. I just don’t want to blow it again. I made a lot of progress before my most recent porn binge. I was working on getting in a good place financially. I paid off my credit card for a second time and that resulted in me blowing it for a second time. Thousands of dollars back in debt because I have no discipline.

If I had a friend come to me with this concern I would tell them not to beat themselves up and try to develop a plan so that when you’re healthy you don’t try to self destruct again. Identify what triggers the urges and come up with a plan to remove yourself from those situations. It’s just so hard after, what is essentially a relapse, to not tear myself down and feel overwhelmed by intense self loathing.

I can fix my finances. I’m confident that I’ll be okay as far as money goes. It just pushes out the date that I can move out. How the hell do I stop my self sabotage when I do get in a just slightly better position though? I hope I am making some better decisions. I hope I can develop better habits. Any advice or words of encouragement you can give will go a really long way. Thank you.

One more thing before I post this. I’m really sorry if I am doing this incorrectly. I just read the community guidelines and I hope this is appropriate content here. I just needed to write this out and for anyone else to see it.

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Feeling better this morning. As I reread that post from yesterday I think what sticks with me is that I am so desperate for support in those moments. I’ve never found journals to be enough because I need someone to know what I am going through. This is the problem with apps like Woebot too. Really cool for learning new skills, but severely limited in some nuanced situations where another human being just listening is more important.

It felt really good writing that yesterday though. Like a weight off my shoulders this morning. I went outside for a walk and went to the gym this morning. I hope it brings more good things too. I will always struggle with several addictions, but locating what is triggering them is probably the most important thing I can do to try to avoid them as much as I can.

While I was writing this I focused so much on losing ten months of progress in my sobriety, but today I keep thinking about how lucky I would be if I could get ten more months.

There’s probably an argument that waiting for the person on the hotline is a good thing. Let me calm down on my own before talking to someone. I just think I prefer letting it all out. Purge the ugliness I want to get rid of and start anew.

I hope you’re okay.

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hey beepboop!

thank you for being so open and honest about your addiction with the HS community. your journey and articulation of what brought you here no doubt will give strength to those walking a similar journey as you.

i love your point on “locating what is triggering them [the addictions] is probably the most important thing I can do to try to avoid them as much as I can.” i hope you can continue on in practicing this way of thinking and identifying what triggers the addiction. the gym definitely sounds like a step in the right direction to help combat this as well! my friend also recovered from their own sex addiction a few years back from finding a supportive therapist to help him understand and combat it. whatever way works best for you is what you got to do and i believe in you to do just that!

i wish you all the best of luck in the world as you adjust your routine and overall resolving your addiction to pornography. it’s something society doesn’t frequently acknowledge but just know that your heartsupport community supports you, loves you, and believes in you!

love,
twix

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Thank you so much for the support, twix. It’s an incredible challenge and I am just taking it day by day. I don’t really know if I am at rock bottom yet. I think it’s pretty likely that I have a tendency to self sabotage probably for many reasons. I am still working on finding a therapist. It’s been difficult, but if I get in a better spot financially I will join something like BetterHealth for example. I’m sure I could find some assistance there if I cannot find it elsewhere. For now, I’m going to keep working through my current health benefits to locate someone.

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