Accountability and Resetting my Brain
#1
I am seriously trying to refrain from self-abuse. It has gotten to a point where I succumb to it multiple times a day and don't really care to stop. Now I am in a serious relationship with a good, pure man who deserves the very best. I want to make sure I am a whole woman with as few earthly attachments as possible because he deserves that (and, frankly, so do I!)

It is going on the 3rd day since anything happened, which seems small but is quite a victory for someone who has been doing this multiple times a day since childhood.

I'm struggling with staying busy as well as finding things to distract me and replace the dopamine rushes. I've noticed that most of my old hobbies hold no pleasure for me anymore, and it is difficult for me to find joy in the little things. I will try to post updates here to keep myself accountable. I would also appreciate, besides your prayers, any suggestions on how to overcome cravings, etc.

You may not think so, but overcoming this addiction is very much like overcoming an addiction to alcohol or drugs. The withdrawal symptoms are essentially the same.

Thanks, everyone.
Some people say “If you can’t beat them, join them." I say “If you can’t beat them, beat them,” because they will be expecting you to join them, so you will have the element of surprise.

St. Mary of Egypt, Ora Pro Nobis!







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#2
Praying for you... Pray Pray

I'm not a shrink, but here is some food for thought. Do you really want to "reset" your brain? That would imply going backwards. I think what you want to do is evolve your brain spiritually to move it forward. I know what you mean by the "dopamine rush." When I was younger I might have been what you called a megalomaniac. My biggest dream was to develop a MMORPG and essentially be the king of it. I used to fantasize about what I would do when I got "rich." Of course I thought about helping the poor, having a nice house, yadda, yadda, etc. While that may sound not too bad, I realized it was a huge occasion to the sin of pride. Everything was me centered and me looking good. The power was intoxicatingly delightful.

Burnt out years later, I finally realized it couldn't be a 1 man operation and that I had relationships I needed to pay attention to in the present. I realized you can't keep saying "tomorrow" to certain things. I'll admit I still struggle to find that balance, but you have to focus on moving forward. Sometimes you also have to jump feet first into cold water. For example, I had a project around the house I REALLY didn't feel like doing 2 days ago of the manual labor sort. Part of me felt "guilty" I wasn't coding, and could barely focus on the job I needed to do. I pushed myself to do it and eventually figured it out.

Your challenge is different than a distaste for manual labor, but same principle applies. Also, the more you focus on your challenge the harder it becomes. Sometimes it really is ok to take a day watching movies, or catching up reading. I've become a big fan of finding the joys in even the most mundane of tasks. Not always easy to see, but it works to keep my mind off of being a virtual kingpin.
Local anti-feminist.....if you think women deserve special treatment without any accountability for their actions expect to hear from me!
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#3
Saying prayers for you. If you can go on an Ignatian Retreat
"There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning,  the middle and the perfection. In the beginning, they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle, the contests of temptation; and in the end, the fullness of perfection."
-- Pope St. Gregory

Cor Jesu Eucharistic Miserere Nobis 

Salus animarum suprema lex
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#4
I'd recommend getting the Catholic accountability app: the Victory App by Life Teen. While it's geared towards pornography addictions, you can still use it to check in with your accountability partners, request prayers, mark when you have a setback, mark when you go to confession, etc. It also has a "victory counter" to count the amount of time since your last setback.
Corpus Christi, salva me.

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#5
Thanks, All. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. Managed to go 3 straight days without falling. Now I'm back to Square 1 again.
Some people say “If you can’t beat them, join them." I say “If you can’t beat them, beat them,” because they will be expecting you to join them, so you will have the element of surprise.

St. Mary of Egypt, Ora Pro Nobis!







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#6
It's certainly a different situation for a woman compared to what's most common with men. 

Most men struggle with pornography and/or pure lust for other women. Modern men have trained themselves to masturbate only with visual aids. Restrict the visual aids and they may have an easier time not masturbating. What ends up then occurring is that they will either go to greater lengths and perform more risky behaviors to obtain that visual stimulation (especially with the aid of modern technology and women dressing immodestly) or in the case of a good result, give it up completely. I tend to think that men masturbating without a visual aid is fairly rare these days.

For women, sex is much more emotional and mental. That need for visual aid is much less needed. Sure, a good looking guy doesn't hurt, but we can see how many women are married to men who aren't even close to as attractive as they are. In my opinion, this makes the habit difficult to break in a much different way. For men, breaking the porn habit can easily lead to long term chastity (of course breaking that drug like addiction is the hard part). 

I honestly don't know enough on how to help a woman.
There are hypnosis type videos on YouTube that are targeted at breaking masturbation addiction. Usually they are deep breathing type exercises to get you into a hypnotic type trance and then once there telling you to do something, which in this case would be quitting masturbation. Obviously, listen to these types of things and make sure there's no questionable (e.g. new age nonsense) stuff in there before diving in. The Church doesn't condemn hypnosis if it is used for therapeutic/grave reasons. In this case, quitting a sinful habit would be acceptable. Also, since you would be using a recorded video there's less/no chance of being taken advantage of.
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#7
(08-05-2018, 04:37 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: Thanks, All. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. Managed to go 3 straight days without falling. Now I'm back to Square 1 again.

Fasting, exercise, and prayer is what I made sure to be conscious of when I broke my habit of looking at pornography.
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#8
(08-05-2018, 04:37 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: Thanks, All. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. Managed to go 3 straight days without falling. Now I'm back to Square 1 again.

I'm in the same boat SacraCor. The important thing is to not give up. Even if you need to confess every day, don't give up.

Do you have any good Catholic friends you can talk to? Even if it's not direct I think that finding good healthy relationships is the best way to combat this particular sin. Often, at least in my experience, this sin is greatly exacerbated in a kind of subconscious attempt at creating a relationship. If that makes sense.

Some things ive found to help...

Find yourself a nice Catholic group or similar that you can go to and meet people, make friends. Fill the areas you usually fall in with holy pictures. Wear sacramentals wherever you go. Pray 3 Hail Mary's morning and night asking for the grace of chastity. Take cold showers. Fast on Fridays. Exercise. Pray the Rosary when tempted.

Rely on Mary. Even when you fall, offer it to her and move on. Meditate on her chastity, especially the mysteries most associated with it. Pray to Saint Joseph as well, make him your spiritual father.

Pray frequently to your guardian angel and patron saints.

Pprayerfully consider joining the Angelic Warfare Confraternity. At the very least, St Thomas Aquinas is a very powerful intercessor for purity.

Other good ones are St Michael, Padre Pio, st Maria Goretti, St Dominic Savio, St Therese Dr lisieux, St Maximillian Kolbe, St Augustine etc.

I will keep you in my intentions, please keep me in yours.
Surréxit Dóminus vere, Alleluia!
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#9
Thanks for all the advice and support, everyone.

Someone mentioned trying to find a good Catholic community and some Catholic friends to share my burden with. Well, this is my community. I live in a pretty rural area and all of my friends are Protestants who see nothing wrong with masturbating. Not to mention the fact that I am a woman, and women are especially alone in this battle.

I long to share my pain with someone, but whenever I reveal this sin to others, they are usually so disgusted and horrified by it that they never speak to me again, or never look at me the way they once did. My sister once had a boyfriend that was very kind and open, and after revealing to me that he struggled with impurity (like 99.99% of men) I in turn revealed to him that I also struggled with the same thing. The very next day he told my sister he was horrified that a "good Catholic girl" like me would ever do such a thing, and that he could never look at me the same way again. A week after that, he was arrested and put in prison for possession of child pornography. Go figure.

Regardless, I am glad that for the most part people are very kind and supportive on here. Thank you.
Some people say “If you can’t beat them, join them." I say “If you can’t beat them, beat them,” because they will be expecting you to join them, so you will have the element of surprise.

St. Mary of Egypt, Ora Pro Nobis!







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#10
(08-07-2018, 12:13 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: Thanks for all the advice and support, everyone.

Someone mentioned trying to find a good Catholic community and some Catholic friends to share my burden with. Well, this is my community. I live in a pretty rural area and all of my friends are Protestants who see nothing wrong with masturbating. Not to mention the fact that I am a woman, and women are especially alone in this battle.

I long to share my pain with someone, but whenever I reveal this sin to others, they are usually so disgusted and horrified by it that they never speak to me again, or never look at me the way they once did. My sister once had a boyfriend that was very kind and open, and after revealing to me that he struggled with impurity (like 99.99% of men) I in turn revealed to him that I also struggled with the same thing. The very next day he told my sister he was horrified that a "good Catholic girl" like me would ever do such a thing, and that he could never look at me the same way again. A week after that, he was arrested and put in prison for possession of child pornography. Go figure.

Regardless, I am glad that for the most part people are very kind and supportive on here. Thank you.

How disgusting! If someone reacts like that, it's clear that they were never really your friend to begin with. Real friends wish the best of each other despite their faults. In fact, that's the very definition of love.

Even if you don't know many Catholics in real life I really think you need to find a good friend, even a non-Catholic. Its imperative really, you cant overcome this alone. Just someone to build a relationship with, and i dont mean a romantic relationship thats a separate issue. You dont even really need to reveal the particular issue, just ask them for prayers and support.

I know from experience that at least in my case I masturbate as a way of replacing normal human relationships. This leads to nothing but depression, loneliness, and self destruction.

Whatever the case, I will continue praying for you.
Surréxit Dóminus vere, Alleluia!
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