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  1. #11
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    Day 5 now. Things are moving along nicely. I gave away all my weed to a friend for free. He was rather shocked how much I gave him.

    As for the porn side of things, a couple of brief urges, but all rather tame. Especially when compared to other cravings I've had in the past, such as quitting drinking - the porn side of things has been fairly easy.

    I think this is because I'm not going for a no masturbation policy. I simply wish to give up porn. It's strange how difficult quitting anything can be. At the end of the day I suppose that difficulty is somewhat self imposed. Much like success - our problems are usually self made. Giving up an addiction in essence is as simple as not doing something. It takes less effort to not do something than do it. So what's the problem? It's all internal.

    Gone with a new ISP that'll be set up in a week or so. Setup an adult filter on it along with one for Firefox. Again, I simply view these as token gestures. They're not even safety nets to be honest, if I wanted to look at porn I'd know they were activated and simply switch them off.

    Going back on giving something up always feels fruitless. No matter how convinced you are that it'll be worth it, or that it can be moderated - the actual act and result is always an anti-climax. Then comes the guilt, and the realisation the counter has reset and you're starting all over again. Personally I see no sense in going backwards, and every reason to move forwards.

    Porn is a toxic medium and I'm glad to be rid of it. Sure, it's early days - but that's not to say it's not easy to see what a depraved industry it is.

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  2. #12
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    yeah porn is damaging very damaging, so is alcohol and other hard drugs, I have nothing against grass though
    ''“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  3. #13
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    In of itself weed isn't the worst, but it's easy to let it slip into a daily routine and live in a cloud. Paired with alcohol it makes a very different and very powerful high which I'd been abusing for quite some time.

    I've had a couple of long breaks from cannabis, lasting over a year at a time. When I started again a couple of years ago, I got to a point where I was mainly smoking on weekends only, which was a level of restraint I didn't think I'd achieve.

    However, mixing it with alcohol showed a complete lack of restraint in of itself. There'll be peaks and troughs with quitting both. Originally I never drank. First time I got drunk at 17 I got alcohol poisoning and didn't drink for 8 years.

    In all honesty I'll be glad to see the back of both of them. Now I've discovered cbd oil and can feel a little more relaxed and at ease without the need to be high or drunk - I think it's already showing its value in my life. Its not a daily usage either, as and when to be honest. I'm at a point now where high anxiety is rather minimal and so the cbd isn't going to be used more than a handful times a week.

    As for porn, it's another past time that promoted dopamine. But it's also destructive in numerous ways. Something I've used since my mid teens and I'm about to approach my mid thirties. It's a long time and it's not been beneficial at all. It's not necessary, and the fact it leads to addiction and the desire to watch more and more is wrong. As is how it can affect relationships. Every person I've dated hasn't cared if I watch porn, but it still affects a relationship in other ways. There can be an expectancy for sex in a relationship without foreplay or romance etc.

    The instantenous nature of porn can make for impatienxe and impertinence in relationships. I'm approaching the 1 week mark. I don't think it'll be that big a challenge to let go. I won't say it'll be easy, but I'm starting a clean slate in many respects and it'll help me hugely in so many areas of my life in the long run

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  4. #14
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    Ed thanks for explaining. I tried like everyone in the world to watch porn to see what it is about, It made me feel like vomit, Many people watch it, I had not idea how it can influence the relationships. Thanks
    I never drink alcohol and for sure not when I have a bit of grass, you right it makes you high this combination. I have COPD and grass makes my breathing easier, ON the other hand the munchies killing me so I stopped all of that
    ''“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  5. #15
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    Porn is a really unnerving habit that is seen as perfectly normal - when it's anything but. Even if what's being watched is rather vanilla, it's still voyeurism. If it weren't behind a monitor, and you happened to encounter 2 people having sex - I'd estimate most people would feel embarrassed and look away. Someone who didn't would be considered weird. Someone who continued to watch and then proceeded to masturbate would be considered a pervert, or even a criminal.

    The way porn has changed over the years is also troubling. In recent years the biggest website/studios have started to normalise rather violent sex. It's not BDSM - but it's degrading to the women. There's slapping, choking, rough sex, spitting and all sorts. The fact that this is becoming more and more prevalent is extremely concerning when you consider how easily accessible the internet is now to younger and younger people. You see teenagers and younger with smartphones. I imagine some parents setup an adult filter and consider the matter done, but it isn't. With Google, anything can be learnt nowadays.

    An even more troubling occurrence in porn in recent years has been this faux incest. Step sister and step brother. Or man with step mom. Again - normalising completely abnormal behaviour that isn't acceptable in society. For people to be exposed to this at younger ages is extremely troubling because in some way shape or form - certain people will assume this has a degree of normality to it.

    The strange thing I found with porn is that so many niches that I looked at over the years weren't people remotely sexually appealing in the real world. But with the dopamine that porn conjures, comes a degree of boredom after a while. This occurs in nature as well - we're attracted to what is new and novel. With porn, you can access hundreds of different people having sex at the click of a button. That isn't normal and our brains and chemistry aren't equipped to deal with that.

    It's rather embarrassing, but it's true - I ended up looking at porn where the people involved were repulsive to a point. I'm talking really old, or morbidly obese etc. Things that, in reality I wouldn't ever dream of wanting to be in a relationship or have sex with them. But porn is like a modern day freak show, that not only excites and is used as a means to an end - but it can also disgust and shame you.

    Even though I'm only on day 6, having distanced myself from porn and focusing on rather deep introspection and remorse for how it makes me feel looking back. You can't change the past - but, whilst porn is often degrading, I feel just as degraded having watched it for so many years. It was an utter waste of time and I think it made me treat people differently in relationships when it came to impulsivity around sex. Lowering my sex drive many a time because it was more stimulating to watch sex rather than engage in the real world and a meaningful relationship. Taking a step back and looking at porn as a whole and how much time I squandered - I realise that there isn't any positives to porn. It's utterly depraved and disgusting. Sex is between 2 consenting adults and isn't to be viewed by prying eyes who want a cheap thrill. I truly am ashamed that I allowed myself to continue to use porn on an almost daily basis for over half my life.

    At least it's over now. Sure, it's day 6 - but I know it in my heart. People often feel shame with any addiction, but this one is truly repugnant. As i've spoken with friends about it this week, I've realised several of my male friends openly admitted to being addicted to it too. Some justified it by being single - but still, it makes you think.

    I joined a Reddit group on people stopping porn, but I don't really find the site as enjoyable. Probably because it's new to me and somewhat intimidating. Plus I feel somewhat at home on this site having frequented it for so many years.

    Today there were a few porn cravings. I guess this is because with a smartphone you have the world at your fingertips. I'm half tempted to go back to a "feature phone" as they call them. Rather an ironic title for a phone with very little features outside of calls and texts. It would certainly help tackle another addiction I have which is the internet. Although gaming remains my longest running addiction stemming all the way back to my childhood and has steadily increased over the years. I'm at a point in my life now where I've spent 2-3 years solid of my 33 years on this planet gaming. That is 24/7 gaming in those years.

    It's a shame that I have a rather all or nothing personality. Moderation is key in life. A balanced lifestyle is promoted - excess does you more harm than good.

    One thing I've noticed this week is the intensity of thought and emotions. I've lived in a cloud for years now. Either coming down from a couple of beers the night before or a smoke or some such. I was living life, but I was never really there. Life was passing me buy and I was rather happy to let it do this, because emotions and anxiety and depression were so overbearing. A smoke or a drink guaranteed an improved - if falsified feeling in my head. But after 14 years on and off smoking weed and 6 years drinking - enough is enough.

    I've probably shaved off a good few years of my life by living it to excess. It's brought about no positive conclusions. I need to man up to my responsiblities in the real world and stop coasting along doing the bare minimum to get by.

    Ed
    Last edited by raggamuffin; 12-05-2019 at 12:58 PM.
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  6. #16
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    Further to the above, an interesting snippet from a 2016 news article:

    Today, it is believed the online porn sector is worth around $15 billion, and it reaches more people, and younger people, every year. In 2016 the analytics report of just one website, Pornhub, revealed that its videos were watched 92 billion times last year, by 64 million daily visitors. It works out at 12.5 videos for every person on the planet, and if you tried watch all of them consecutively – don’t – you’d be busy for 524,641 years

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  7. #17
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    This is an awesome post ragga, I had read it with a lot of interest, Yeah you looked at it from different perspective, It is like analyses of society. You are so right , Will come back and read again, Eye opening for grandma I am
    I really like your writing style so light and smooth. Are you sure you are not writer Ragga? I know you are a man of many talents.......
    ''“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  8. #18
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    I enjoy writing, although I've never written a book. Over the years I frequented a website that enabled me to write 20,000 word or so profiles that turned into mini autobiographies. I'd often get comments on how well written they were. As well as ridicule from people who couldn't fathom why anyone would waste their time writing so much, let alone reading it. One of the pitfalls of online conversation is how toxic they can become. There is no real comeuppance for belittling or bullying someone online. Very easy for people to adopt an alternative persona and pretend to be something they aren't.

    I do enjoy writing as I do art - whilst the talent is there, and I could easily make it a career; I struggle to overcome my laziness and apathy to meet out any real drastic changes. I've been following rather dead end career choices that I hold no love or interest for. This discontent only serves to amplify pre-existing anxiety and depression etc. I have begun moving towards a career I'd like to follow and have set up my own website for my drawings as well as a Facebook page. Had a couple of exhibitions and sold some limited edition prints. If I continued to push and pursue, I have no doubt I could make it. Asides from art and writing I love music - but this is from a collectors point of view. I've tried several instruments in the past, but I grew weary of learning to play other people's songs. Similar to English Literature and spending every class analysing what other's have written rather than creating my own works. And yet, English Literature is what I studied through college and university having been denied by my parents from studying art as it wasn't "career friendly."

    I fully expected the weekend to present more of a challenge than the weekdays. It hasn't been as intense as expected, but there is a good deal of discomfort. I was never much of a social drinker, and so the weekends would consist of a routine of drinking and smoking at home. Without the ability to do these I feel a little on edge.

    There's a sense of boredom that outweighs feelings of negativity. I find the real cravings are fleeting and vary in intensity. I'm not convinced of any timeline for things to start feeling easier. Sobriety isn't something normal to me, and whilst I'd often go most weekdays without a drink or a smoke, the option was always there.

    Im glad that there isn't so much guilt this past week. Other than thinking about the aforementioned grievances and worries about porn. With drinking or smoking there was always an underlying sensation of being reckless and rather idiotic.

    I think that changes and improvements probably won't present themselves obviously as the weeks go by. There'll be a fixation on certain aspects that I gradually let go.

    For my anxiety and depression I feel that quitting these 3 vices will be highly beneficial. Whilst the beginning is tough and feels rather drawn out, I know that long term I will look back on these days and tha k myself that I had the foresight to let these addictions go.

    Ed
    Last edited by raggamuffin; 12-07-2019 at 09:17 AM.
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  9. #19
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    Hi Ragga what a pleasure to read something that is written in such beautiful English. I was right that you have many talents. I had finished Fine Art School back home and I had my own business ; Screen printing. I like you I am a person to be blessed with many talents. My main passion was an animal trainer with specialty; dogs and horses, Unfortunately due my allergies I could not follow my dream, I am the happier when I am working with animals, I could not follow this passion, so I chose another one drawing painting, and I had spend many years doing it, Then I moved to Canada, and worked a lot of strange jobs to keep my children fed and clothed. In mean time I finished college in Canada and started to work on the newest passion being on computer. Few years passed, children left home. I opened very small, tiny one; business Bath and body care, One of my passion is working with herbs and making healing salve and creams. I am still doing it, Does not give me a lot of money but a lot of satisfaction.
    I also love music and tend to listen classical one and jazz. I love blues and raggaea. I would love to see your drawing if you can link me to your page.
    I was reading your post and thinking about my grandchild , She is already writing poetry , drawing, dancing ballet. She composed her own song , beautiful song and the music, She was attending music school from age of 4. Now she is 13 and so many achievements .
    Ragge I hope the way I write is acceptable for you. I started to learn language when I was 38 years old. Whatever I know is from addiction to reading books. Please write, I take my sweet time reading your posts, They are awesome, I can relax reading it, I get you.
    I remember when I quit smoking, It is already 12 years. It was very difficult , the most difficult thing I had done in my life. There were a few things I had quit before, none so hard .
    The first step is to be proud of yourself and be kind, Every day is a small victory and there will be a lot of moments when you feel quilty, you have regrets. Try to let it pass, it will pass, Each day will be fuller, more beautiful and creative, Put all that into your art or any major hobbies you have, If I was you I would write (I mean to be able to write so flawlessly) maybe short stories on the beginning. Save it, and you will see the progress, Any way I am huge fan of your writing and will wait for more.
    Thank you Ed
    ''“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  10. #20
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    Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoy reading what I have to share. I have often wondered what my artwork would look like had I been given the opportunity to study art in college and university. I recall my only gripe with art at school was the heavy reliance on copying the world around you. Whether it be plants, portraits or still life - you were expected to replicate what you saw.

    I never really enjoyed copying - as my copies were usually out of proportion and lacking the realism and quality of their real-life counterparts. When I was told I couldn't study art I didn't draw for several years. In my early 20's I began drawing solely from my imagination without any references. Over the years these surreal cartoons have grown in size and complexity. I liken them nowadays to a Where's Wally/Waldo style of picture in terms of business and complexity.

    www.edfoulds.art

    I've had my website running for a few months now. I've been doing Facebook promotions and got a following of a few hundred people. I'd happily invest more in online marketing, but it can be a bit of a money pit.
    For example, if I were to spend £10 on an ad I created I would probably get 3000+ views. Of those views an average of 1 in 200 might like or react to my post. Of those, maybe 1 in 50 will go on to like or follow my page.

    As a result, it can be costly, but I know it’s something that would continue to grow. In this age of pervasive Internet and media expose, there's no easier time to broadcast yourself and obtain an online following.
    I prefer face to face conversations though. Over the years I've gained all sorts of praise for my politeness and good nature when talking to people face to face. The impersonal nature of online advertising doesn't fill me with much hope and in some ways I liken it to gambling. You write an ad, fine tune an audience, put down your money and hope to see hundreds of likes.

    Realistically I need to do art and craft fairs on weekends. Something that I've looked into and know I could easily manage. I think the main issue is drive. Working a 5 day week in a job that is slowly grinding me down through boredom and repetition - it's hard to find motivation to spend my free time investing in yet more work, even if it’s to follow my dream of making a living from my art.

    It's a bitter pill to swallow - knowing that if I truly invested real time and effort, I could leave the rat race and make a living through my passion.

    Truthfully, as each day passes working in jobs, I have no passion for I become more and more distraught. It’s a slow build, but in recent years there is an ever-growing sense of urgency to follow my dreams.

    It’s no coincidence that depression started to take hold when I was told I couldn't study art. Over the years it has matured, and whilst it peaks and troughs, I'm certainly not living day to day in dread or deep depression. However, there is a constant undercurrent of futility in my mood and outlook.

    As my personality and confidence has grown in recent years, I've found a talent for quick wit and humour in conversations. It's easier to make people laugh than be my real self and reveal just how lost and often worthless I feel. My humour is often making light of my bleak outlook and limited interests and passions. It gets people laughing with me, whilst unwittingly laughing at me. What I’ve found interesting is how easy I find it to win people over. In many ways I’m glad depression and anxiety has filled me with a lot of self-doubts, because otherwise I think I could easily turn into a manipulative megalomaniac.

    Knowing I have talents and fail to utilise them often serves to make depression and bitterness that much stronger. When I have passion and dedicate myself fully to something – I achieve a great deal in a short space of time. Yet, throughout most of my life I have coasted along doing the bare minimum to get by. I find my attention span is either on or off. I obsess or completely disregard. Not following my dream took me down career paths and experiences which I had no vested interest in. I settled – not even for second best. I’ve been told time and time again in every job I’ve worked in that I’m wasted in the role that I’m doing. I began working at the age of 18 and since the age of 19 I haven’t had one sober week without a smoke or drink.
    Humour has been pivotal in helping me cope and having adopted a rather comedic social persona, I think most people don’t realise just how unhappy I am. It’s better to make people laugh than let them see the overwhelming fears and doubts I juggle on a daily basis. The main issue with my comical façade is that people realise quickly when I’m not in a good mood. If I’m mentally bogged down with depression or anxiety, I’m very quiet and introverted. Not only that, but I know these moods emanate outwards and draws other people in. In recent years depression feels physical – it’s overwhelming; both mentally and physically. I feel it in my core and throughout my whole body.

    In recent years I’ve taken to meeting people’s stare when walking down the street and smiling. I have a face full of piercings, as well as being 6’4” with an odd, bouncy walk. Often people look concerned or bemused when they see my appearance, but when I meet their gaze with a smile, I feel that it’s appreciated and returned in kind. However, when my mood is low, I notice how people also respond in kind. I don’t walk around with an angst and annoyed face like I used to in my teens and early 20’s. If I’m having a bad day – I think my expression is one of worry or despair. When stranger’s see me I often feel an air of sympathy or concern when they see me walk past.

    It’s difficult enough to live with depression, but when you know your mood drags other’s down with you – it ends up making you feel selfish for even having a bad day. When I begin to feel better, my partner often draws attention to how difficult or short tempered I was when I felt bad. I understand it’s not easy to be around, but at the same time I don’t appreciate being repeatedly told that I’m being peevish when I feel depressed. I liken it to being told “don’t get angry” when my reaction wasn’t angry in the first place – but being told to calm down brings about an almost instantaneous rage.

    I don’t think there’d be anwhere near as much discontent in my life if I did follow my dream. Office jobs are draining and customer services is thankless. The past couple of jobs I’ve tried really hard and had a real pride in my work – but to what end? I don’t want promotions, and I don’t want to be stuck here. I’ve spoken candidly with so many people here and nobody enjoys it. We wouldn’t live for the weekend if the weekdays were spent doing something we enjoyed. I’ve been quite taken aback by how many people feel stuck in jobs they have no love for – it’s quite sad that so many of our hopes and dreams are slowly being crushed by working in dead end jobs. I suppose I only really call it dead end because there’s no passion behind it for me. I could progress and rise up in any of the jobs I’ve worked at – but why’d I do that? Why take a position with more responsibility and stress?

    I found it interesting reading about your experiences and careers you’ve followed. I know that in a few years I will be financially able to spend more time and money on building my website, following and eventual career in art. I’ll never forget speaking to a retired friend of my dad’s. He implored me not to wait as long as he did to follow my dream of art. He waited until he retired at 65 – I don’t want to hold oiut that long.

    Working these jobs isn’t good for my health – both mentally and physically. It’s exhausting pretending to care and repeating the same inept procedures day in day out. The grind is relentless, and I hate it.

    As for day 9 – the weekend was tough in places. Boredom was quit apparent, as was the apathy towards the games I spent all weekend playing. Gaming is much like the jobs I’ve worked. I do it by default, even though I’d rather do other things. I suppose a routine is easier than trying something that requires more effort. On Friday night I felt like it was quite a struggle being sober. It ws short lived discomfort, but it felt rather overbearing. I’ve spoken with more friends about these recent choices to quit and I was surprised by a few friends who had no interest in porn whatsoever. It felt quite refreshing to be honest and gave me something to look up to in a way.

    I agree with what yo usay about being kind to myself. As time has gone by I’ve started to appreciate “the little things” more. Especially when anxiety was at it’s worst and got to a point where even leaving the house would trigger panic attacks etc. I think I often forget to appreciate what I have and what is happening around me. It’s so easy to get caught up in what isn’t working or hasn’t happened rather than counting your blessings. I have it easier and better than countless people – but I’m often struggling to accept what has yet to be.

    I often joke about “first world problems” by calling them Western Decadence. Looking at my problems as a whole, I think I’m guilty of what I mockingly label other people partaking in. I’m a home owner, I have a girlfriend, a wonderful cat, a job, loving parents and numerous talents. I might not be where I want to be in life right now, but there’s nothing stopping me getting there. It could take longer than expected, and it might be slowed down by defeatism or laziness. At the end of the day it’s all moving in the right direction, even if I do the occasional U-turn.

    Thanks again for taking the time to read my rambles.

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

 

 

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