This weekend my girlfriend is out of town. I was faced with the prospect of two days on my own, obviously with the goal of not watching porn. This is my first major test.
To provide some context, in a similar situation in the past I would have earmarked the entire weekend for porn watching. This would mean I probably wouldn’t go out and do anything productive or meet any friends, and I would revert and escape into the self-indulgent world of porn.
Fortunately, I had already been invited to spend the day with some friends for a birthday bash, which meant I avoided the hours of temptation I would have faced if I spent the day at home in front of the laptop. And that, I suppose, is one thing that has changed; instead of seeing a weekend alone as an excuse to plan long and elaborate porn-watching sessions, I am spending it out and about with friends.
In doing so, I feel I am almost having to rediscover who I am. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what I mean by that, but the fundamental drive of my daily activity has now changed. Before, when out with friends, I would always have in the back of my mind when I would next be able to watch porn. I would more than likely cut the night short to achieve this. Now, the night feels natural and I am in no hurry to get home. I feel like I am re-learning what it is to be me, when out with friends.
There are a number of unexpected and deeply subtle effects that going ‘clean’ is having on me, and I am learning about them as I go. It is not as simple as I thought it might be, and there are some fundamentally important issues of self that I am being forced to think about that I had never considered before.
While my girlfriend has been, and continues to be, amazingly supportive, the strain is beginning to show as the longer-term impacts of this addiction start to be felt. I am not feeling particularly hopefully or complacent right now, and I hope more than anything else that my relationship can survive this.