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Hi guys, 

Where do I start? I guess by introducing myself. I'm a 29 year old New Zealander currently living in the Gold Coast, Australia. I have been addicted to porn and gaming for at least 17 years, since the age of 12. I have been trying to quit both since the age of 22. My max streak porn free is 39 days. My max streak for game free is about 14 days. I was in the army for 4 and a half years from the age of 19 and after that, I started skydiving. I packed parachutes for 2 years, filmed tandems for 2 years and then became a tandem instructor for 1 and a half years. I then came to Australia 2 years ago for a holiday with my now ex-girlfriend (we broke up shortly after I arrived in the country). I decided instead of going back home I would stay and get my paragliding licence. I got a shitty warehouse job and went and got my paragliding licence (something I'd always wanted to do). Wrecked my back lifting heavy stuff so left that job. 9 months ago I started a diploma in paramedic science and I have been working 18 hours a week collecting trolleys to pay the bills. I haven't studied in 6 months and have until next May to complete the diploma. I am also $7000 in debt and living week to week barely scraping by.

When I look back at my life to see what I've accomplished I get severely depressed. I left skydiving to pursue a more meaningful life. I want to help people but I can't even help myself. I have had depression, anxiety and PIED. I have bouts where I have very pervasive suicidal thoughts. I wrote a suicide letter once and I even stood on the outside railing of a bridge in the middle of the night 2 years ago, let go, and only just caught the railing again before I fell. I would not call myself suicidal now though and have not taken things that far ever since. 

5 years ago is when I discovered Your Brain on Porn and watched the video where Gary Wilson explains the science behind porn addiction. Around that same time is when I realised that gaming had similar effects for me minus the PIED. Both are forms of escape. Both hijack the reward circuitry and both can be consumed in limitless amounts.

When I learned that porn and gaming addiction we're a thing, I was relieved to find out that all my symptoms were fully reversible. 5 years later I am no closer to quitting, have not accomplished any major goals and have lived in a basic state of misery.

I know the theory behind quitting successfully and have consumed more content on the topic than I care to admit. Yet, I still always relapse. I know why I do what I do and that I need to replace my addiction with activities that fulfil the same needs yet I still always relapse.

I think the missing link is self-love. I'm always so hard on myself when I make the smallest mistake. I know the negative self-talk is not helpful and I have tried to force myself to be more positive but how can I possibly love myself when I view myself as a failure? I feel as if I've wasted my whole life and am waiting for it to start even though I'm nearly 30. I feel like I have so much un-realised potential but keep self-sabotaging every time I start to make progress.

Just now, I have scheduled my at home internet to be disconnected tomorrow so that there is no way I can game and I am forced to go to the library to study.

I'm not sure exactly why I'm writing this but I guess I just don't want to feel like I'm the only one struggling with this. 



 

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Hello. 

You sir, are amazing. Disconnecting the internet from the house! that's genius! Have you deleted steam account, and sold all the games and consoles? All those things will make it almost impossible to get into the habits you want to remove from your life. Now you will have a huge hole to fill. You will experience a lot of negative emotions, and you know that. The initial phase is always the worst. 

There are many good books out there that have helped me rise. Atomic Habits, and 12 rules for life. Give them a read or a listen, they are on audible. 

Don't worry about your age, I started to rise after 30. And almost 3 years later I cant recognize myself or my thoughts. Even if I relapse, its not such a big deal, The trick is to make most of the days great, not all of them. We are not supermen, and we must allow ourselves to fall, but must never stay down. 

Good luck.

Edited by dahankus

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Welcome to the forums Andrew. No we might not be able to change how we spent our time in the past but with discipline there is no telling how we will spend our future - we're glad you are here!  This is a formal Newcomer welcome link with some information for you. :230_hatched_chick: 

Best Wishes,
Neil

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