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I thought I had kicked my porn addiction but tonight I relapsed after 4 years

I was hopelessly addicted to porn for three really awful years of my life. I finally got away from it. Not out of will power or anything like that but I got rid of my ways to see it. I gave away my laptop (did all my schoolwork at public libraries) and put a child lock on my phone (my brother has the password) that was a little over four years ago and I was starting to really feel better. But in this quarantine I’ve felt my metal health take some turns for the worst. Even before I relapsed I found myself in some very dark places in my mind. In many ways even more discussing than where I was back when I was looking at porn and tonight i completely relapsed. It’s like 4 years down the drain. I hate this. I hate myself. It feels like no matter what I do I’ll never be better. My mind is permanently damaged. I’m really loosing hope here. I’m somehow worse mentally than I was before all this started. I really thought all these years I was mentally healing but no I guess not.

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Don’t sell yourself short. Going on it once in a while isn’t bad in itself. In these troubled times, a lot of people do it (there is nothing better to do). It’s the addiction that makes it bad.

You think you’re falling off the wagon again and it’s good that you realize it, it means you’ve questioned yourself, you’ve managed to take your mind off what you were looking at and say: “shit, what the hell am I doing, this is not normal”.
Did you talk about it around you (with your brother for example)?

Hey @1993,

I’m sorry for the relaspe. I understand that you are disappointed right now. It’s totally natural to question yourself or your capacity to heal. But please, try not to be too hard on yourself. It sounds that you’ve been battling with this addition for a long time now and you already made some amazing steps to progress. I mean… 4 years? Isn’t that awesome?! It means that you’ve been through many moments when you wanted to relapse… but you didn’t.

For what it’s worth, coming from a total stranger on Internet, I’m super proud of you and all the efforts you dedicate to get rid of this addiction. Relapses can happen for sure. It’s something to expect on your recovery road. Not necessarily often - I’m not saying “yea relapses happen so go for it” - but you know what I mean.

You didn’t waste those 4 years. What you learned during the past few years is something that you acquired for yourself and you’ll never lose that. It’s in yourself. In your heart, your mind. It’s some new strengths that you gathered and will keep using. You’re still on the same road, friend, still walking. But there happened to be an obstacle and you felt. Alright. Then in the next few days, you’re likely to experience what it means to give yourself the grace and forgiveness you need to keep moving on. The way you will digest this relapse is, somehow, an obstacle in itself. But you can definitely find some growth through this process. I believe in you, even if you don’t really believe in yourself right now.

You’ll be okay, friend. :hrtlegolove:

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Hey friend,

You know what, okay, you relapsed. But this relapse does not have to define your journey nor does it have to break it. :hrtlegolove:

You still have a solid 4 years there. This single relapse does not take away from the success you have had in your journey. Sometimes we as humans slip. But it doesn’t mean we can’t keep going.

Sometimes we fall and that’s okay. We brush off, we get up and we try again. The story and the journey doesn’t have to stop at the relapse. It keeps going! So later you can say, “Hey, I had a small miss step but I kept going!” - This is strength and courage! We have to allow ourselves some grace sometimes. We can’t be perfect all of the time. One mistake doesn’t define the rest of our lives or take away the journey we have walked. Your success is still there. Don’t lose sight if that.

One of our staff has battled the struggle of porn addiction. I’m going to link his story:

You are not alone my friend. Don’t be too hard on yourself okay? Times are tough right now. For all of us. It’s important that we are gentle with ourselves. You can get through this. :hrtlegolove:

Know this doesn’t make you a failure. It’s okay. You are allowed to forgive yourself.

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hey friend,
I’m really proud of you for opening up and sharing what’s going on. it’s really important to talk about and I think you’re a very strong person for talking about what’s happening:)
it’s common to relapse and what matters most in the process of recovering is that you recognize what you did and try to find new ways to prevent it from happening again and find ways to help yourself grow more. This quarantine is a very rough time, and I understand what it’s like to feel your mental health taking a drop. You are not alone. I know it seems like you’ve wasted all this time, but I promise you that you have made so much progress. 4 years is a big accomplishment and maybe think of this as a goal to set for yourself to go longer than 4 years. I know how frustrating it can be and I understand feeling like you’ve let yourself down, but you really are trying your best and that’s all you can do.