You might be thinking why a website that is about spiritual growth, meditation, mindfulness and all things self development would be called ‘The Pathway To Recovery‘. Probably, sounds more like a website that has more in common with drug or alcohol addiction doesn’t it?
That’s actually not so far from the truth.
I created this website to document my path from a dysfunctional and uninspiring life to one of spiritual devotion and fulfillment.
This is my story, and my path.
My Name Is Jae, And This Is How I Got Here
One day your going along business as usual and then wham, the shit hits the fan and before you know it your back living with your parents at the age of 43!
Yep, that was my life for over two months. An 18 year relationship had ended, my thirteen year old son hated me and I was living in my parents spare bedroom.
What you maybe wondering led to those unfortunate events? Well, in short, me! Basically I was an arsehole, nope that’s not fair, I was and to an extent still am dysfunctional. Actually, that’s not fair either. Let’s put it this way, I had issues.
The main problem I had that caused many problems in my life was my addictive behavior related to pornography and masturbation and it’s resulting anger issues.
The Journey Towards Porn And Masturbation Addiction
When I were a lad….
By modern standards I discovered porn late in life, I was 15 if memory serves me correctly. I remember being in the garage and going through the cupboards and tucked at the back was a large envelope. Naturally, being a teenager curiosity got the better of me and I had to have a look. Inside this envelope there were several pornographic magazines…sheesh How old am I! Do they even produce porn magazines now??
That was my first introduction to pornography and being a horny teenager my desires were very easily aroused. It wasn’t that long before I discovered my dads collection of ‘hardcore’ pornographic VHS tapes (told ya I was old…lol). This created the basis for the secrecy concerning porn that would last till relatively recently.
You see, back in them days our house only had one TV and one VHS player and that was situated in the main living room of the house. Which just happened to be directly under my parents bedroom!
Now, cue the theme music to Mission Impossible, because in order for me to get my twice weekly fix of porn I had to do some strange ass shit.
This is how an average evening would transpire for the horny teenaged me.
My parents would go to bed about 10:30pm and I would wait impatiently for about 45 minutes till I was sure they were settled. I would then carefully open and close my bedroom door and creep all the way downstairs and into the kitchen.
Then I would get the keys to the garage (remember, that’s where my dad kept his stash) and I would proceed to very, very slowly open the creaky and squeaky garage door. Sometimes I feel that the garage door took a bloody eternity to open.
Once I had removed the videos and retraced my steps like a true ninja back into the kitchen, I would then proceed onto the living room and watch and masturbate to my
hearts penis’s content. The night wouldn’t end until I had at least one orgasm, and sometimes I would stay watching till about 4 or 5am.
I can’t remember how long I used the porn videos and magazines for, but I do know it stopped when we got the Internet!
Actually, thinking back I do remember my dad saying that he knew I had found his ‘stash’ and I should just ask if I wanted to use them.
Ewww automatic buzz kill right there dad……lol
The Year Was 1994?
Not sure of the exact year, could of been 1996. All I know was this was the year I discovered Internet porn on dial-up. Yep, them were the days when it took between 5-10 minutes to download a 30 – 60 second porn clip. When I say porn clip, I’m NOT talking full screen UHD quality, I am talking poor quality and think of the screen size of around 3 inches by 3 inches!
There was no streaming porn back in them dark old days of dial-up. The weapon of choice back then was pictures and lots, and lots of them. The very first commercial chat rooms I went into was something called Microsoft Comic Chat, and what generally happened as soon as you entered a room dedicated to porn, was that you would receive at least 6 pictures from complete strangers for you wanking pleasure. Remember though, you always had to return the picture trading favor.
Most rooms were for general picture trading, but as I discovered later there were more, dare I say it, specialized rooms. In the rooms you had limited control over the types of pictures people sent you, and the file names on the download were often non-descriptive. So, really you only ever found out the type of picture when you opened the file.
I am going to be really blunt here, but generally speaking the pictures were of good old fashioned man and woman porn, with the odd bit of lesbian stuff thrown in. However, it wasn’t long before the more extreme stuff would start being sent.
I do remember that even back in them days I would have marathon porn sessions, because we only had one computer in the house with internet access, each night I basically had to creep into the office to get my fix. I do remember that a typical Friday and Saturday night could last from maybe 11pm to about 5 – 6am. I recall that it was fairly common for our dial-up connection to drop out, and that would make me really angry as I would lose all the stuff I was downloading.
Marathon porn sessions started back in the 1990’s even before my access to the Internet. I would have marathon sessions of porn films too. Before I started to abstain from porn and masturbation, which as I write this I am on day 13, I once documented my worst porn marathon as being between 30 -35 hours in one week!
Two years ago I told my partner that I was addicted to porn, and she was supportive and understanding, but she also felt betrayed and hurt. I thought by telling her that it would help me stop it, but it didn’t. I have tried a number of times to stop, and at my best I managed almost a month. I always seem to fail for the same reason, its as if I am going along all fine and I get that urge and fight it for a few days and then justify it to myself that I have done well and once wont hurt and then bang, 7 day marathon, followed by the guilt and self loathing.
I have now started therapy for among other things, my porn addiction. Although it is common for a therapist to discuss porn usage within relationships, I did feel very awkward for even mentioning it to her. I promised my partner I would be honest, and that was what I was.
So now as I write this there are only three people who know me personally who know about my porn addiction, my partner, my Doctor and my Therapist. I do think telling my therapist was a great idea as it keeps me accountable, and I really don’t want the shame of telling a stranger that I failed. I know I could always lie, but I didn’t want to.
The Shame Of My Porn Addiction
It took me almost 15 years to tell my partner about my problem with porn. I couldnt tell anyone about watching porn, not even my friends and certainly not my family. The shame I felt was so real and painful. The interesting thing was that it took a long time to recognize that I was actually ashamed!
When I finally told my partner about my problem, her reaction was almost as I expected it to be. The unforeseen issue that I didn’t see was the negative impact it had on our relationship. I thought by telling my partner about my problem it would bring us closer in a way, wrong!
I thought it would help me stop my addictive behavior, wrong again!
Not sure what I expected, but whatever it was, I didn’t get it.
Porn has completely skewed my brain, what I thought I wanted sexually, I didn’t, or at least I don’t think I did, outside of porn that is. My porn of choice was BDSM, and it gravitated to more extreme and humiliating scenes over the years. During one of our many frank conversations, my partner divulged her sexually submissive nature, and that was it, red flag to a bull.
That was my opportunity to bring my long held porn fantasies into my life. I wanted to dominate her so badly. In time I turned her more submissive than she actually was, she went along with things even though she hated it much of the time. The trouble is most of the time I hated it too. It was far, far to serious. My partner said all the playfulness had gone.
She was right.
I thought I hated it because she wasn’t in to it, and maybe that was sometimes true. Most of the time I just felt empty, like that feeling when you buy into the advertising of a product, you save all your money and when you finally get your toy it’s a massive let down.
When I tried to bring the porn into our lives it had a big impact on our relationship, to the point where my partner felt like she was nothing more than a sex object for my use. Can I lay all the blame at the door of porn? No, of course not. That would be far to easy, and not at all honest.
The constant use porn and negative and destructive thinking had totally messed with my mind, I didn’t know what I wanted, what I liked and who I really was. It’s was very confusing and lonely place to be.
For A Long Time I Thought I Was Broken Beyond Fixing
If you saw me at the height of my crisis and asked me how I felt, I would of described myself as broken, hell I even looked broken at times. The life had left me, I felt hopeless and without a cause in my life.
There was nothing, zip, nada.
After months of working on myself and with the help of therapy, would I still call myself broken? I wouldn’t call myself healed, that’s for sure, but broken? No, way!
Am I the same person I was before I hit crisis point? No, and I’m certainly not born again either. I was and still am in no mans land at the moment. No mans land isn’t a bad place to be, it’s actually pretty cool really.
What I like about no mans land is that it’s a place you pass through on the way to healing-ville, it’s somewhere you stop and have a good look around, smell the roses so to speak and then when your ready, get back on the road to healing-ville. In the distance I can see the road sign to healing-ville, it looks nice, but I know it’s not for me yet.
Behind me I see something that looks like a scene out of an apocalyptic film, there are dead and decaying bodies every where, the city is in darkness and is burning. I can hear screams of people begging to be saved, begging for me to come back. Who are those voices, those dead and decaying bodies on the ground? Maybe they are aspects of my personality or even traumas from my past being released?
What I do know is to survive in a place like that would require one to be very tough and very cold. Maybe that is what I have escaped from?
The inner worlds are indeed a strange place. The danger of being in no mans land is that you are constantly so close to doom and failure, one slip and your being dragged back to be once again part of their doomed city, fighting everyday for survival.
I’m Not A Masochist, But I Love To Hate Suffering
Suffering is good for the Soul, well so they say. We all suffer, everyday we are suffering in one form or another. For 30 years I have suffered at the hands (no pun intended) of my porn and masturbation addiction.
This past year alone I have learnt so much about the damage it has caused both to myself and to others.
You might be thinking that this is a website about porn and masturbation recovery and when I started blogging as part of my recovery both on this website and on others, that was what I focused on.
I ranted, moaned, complained, you name it I did it. This was part of my recovery, and it wasn’t pretty, but it was part of my process.
That’s my point to you. This is my story, and we all have a story to tell don’t we? We all have done things we are not proud of, and said things that have been hurtful etc. That’s part of our story, but it’s in the past, at least that is where it should be kept.
For most of us though, we don’t keep our story in the past, we keep it alive and well and fully energized.
Do We Become Victims Of Our Stories
We love story telling don’t we? Humans love a good story, a little bit of suspense here, some romance there and a bit of murder thrown in for good measure. We are all born story tellers, our egos loves to recount their experiences of pain, misery and suffering.
Look at me yells the ego, look at my misery, isn’t terrible?! Just don’t try and compete with another ego, because no matter how much you may have suffered it could never possibly compare!
We actually love to hate the shit that we tell ourselves! We tell other people they need to change, to get over themselves etc. But, as soon someone points out something we need to change, or we identify that need within ourselves we can come back with a hundred reasons why we can’t do it.
It’s amazing how the ego will give us a 100 valid reasons why we can’t change, and they are never excuses – those are what other people use.
The lies we tell ourselves would be humorous if it wasn’t so sad.