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TW: Used to be addicted to porn, I'm not anymore, but im scared of it happening again

Hi there, this is my first time posting here. I thought it would be nice to reach out and maybe get some tips with this, I'm not sure how to start this post off properly, but i guess i should give some backstory. 

I discovered porn when i was 7, I'm 23 now, definitely not what you want to discover at such a young age, it never really became an issue until i was around 14-15, i started relying more and more on this due to being bullied and going through a lot of issues, i had a rough upbringing, i moved with my family here from Europe when i was 10 and that caused me a lot of issues, i spent most of my life isolated in my room, I've been diagnosed with anxiety (OCD) and depression,  i had two long distance relationships that lasted around 2-3 years each, in the second long distance relationship i was sexually abused, made to do a lot of things online etc, which made me even more reliant on porn due to that specific person making me completely miserable, don't really want to go into details with that but right now I am 23 and happily engaged to my fiance who i live with, 

however i feel disgusted about my past, i keep having thoughts about it and keep feeling guilty and like im drowning, i know it was the addiction that made me reliant on it, during those times i was completely desensitized, at my worst mentally, i'd have panic attacks every day to the point i'd be shaking, it was getting better though because i was sick of it  but it also seeped into the relationship with my fiance in the first two months, however i came clean and cut it all out completely, I never wanted to be addicted to any of it, I've watched weird things due to how desensitized i was and i know i wouldn't do it in my current state, I'm on medication and doing so much better, I could even say I'm at the best I've ever been mentally but still got ways to go in terms of recovery,  I'm just scared of falling back into all of these things again and i try not to see things sexually in the sense of when i look at other people etc, i don't look at them like that but in my head i  get scared that i do and make a big deal out of it and then i feel like i do look at them like that and have a complete panic attack? if that makes sense. 

I'd like some advice for coping, or anything of the sort, thank you so much for your time, i do apologize if this was all over the place, i never typed stuff up like this into a forum before

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Re: Used to be addicted to porn due to many issues, I'm not anymore, but im scared of it happening a

Hey @HybDoxio, welcome to the forums! It was really brave of you to share all of that as it sounds like you've got a lot of feelings of guilt around your past addiction. It sounds like at the time, it was your only way of coping with some really traumatic events and the emotions that they stirred up. I'm glad to hear you've made so much progress and are doing better, that must have taken a lot of strength and determination!

It sounds like you've associated looking at people in a certain way as being equal to falling back into your addiction? So this causes you to spiral and panic? Do you think looking away and checking if you're looking at people in a certain way could be a sort of 'compulsion' resulting from your fear about what this might mean about yourself? The fact you're having so much anxiety and shame about this tells me you don't want to fall back into your old unhealthy coping mechanisms, if that makes sense

Do you think talking to a professional support about this stuff might be helpful? We're always here if you need to vent more about stuff Smiley Happy
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Re: TW: Used to be addicted to porn, I'm not anymore, but im scared of it happening again

Hi @HybDoxio, it sounds like your journey has been really difficult. I am sorry to hear that you were abused and that this made things worse for you. I can also tell that you have come a long way and have seen a lot of improvement. I can imagine that it must have been so challenging for you to reach out for help. It is totally normal for people to worry about falling back into old habits. I agree with @Lost_Space_Explorer5, it seems as though you are really determined to not let that happen again. What helped you take control of this in the first place? It might be helpful for you to chat to a professional about what is currently concerning you. This way you might also feel a bit more reassured and confident that you have things under control.

 

In the meantime if you need support, there are services like Kids Helpline, Lifeline, eHeadspace and Beyond Blue. They provide support over the phone but some of them also include webchat.

 

Just so you know, I added a trigger warning to the title of your post. This is to let others know that some of the content may be distressing.

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Re: TW: Used to be addicted to porn, I'm not anymore, but im scared of it happening again

@HybDoxio , hey there, welcome.

 

It seems like it been a while since you have posted, I just wanted to check in and see how you were going- @Taylor-RO  and @Lost_Space_Explorer5  have posted some great suggestions for you- have found that any of it resonated with you? Is there anything else we can do to help- even just to listen more?

 

Tay100

 

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Re: TW: Used to be addicted to porn, I'm not anymore, but im scared of it happening again

Hi @HybDoxio, it sounds pretty tough for you. It's quite normal that people afraid to relapse once they recover from their mental issues. I had the same feeling as well since I recovered from my depression. As @Losr_Space_Explorer5 and @Taylor-RO said, it might be helpful if you talk to a professional about your worries and anxieties. They will give some useful tips.
What I would suggest from experience is that trying to avoid triggers and stressors that you think that might be related to your previous addiction, once you feel bad, you can seek help from the professionals. (For me, I do experienced relapse and got used to it, I'm now having confident in myself and my psychologist, and believed that I will always recovery since I've pass through many depressed episodes. So maybe you can try to encourage yourself as well.)