Don't Go It Alone!
I've been struggling for a while with this stuff (I was exposed to it preteen age). It's only very recently that I've actually started making real change and getting better (curiously coinciding with finding this website: wink :)
Starting out was a real struggle, even though I had a lot of chizuk from the site. But I basically just tried to do it on my own with willpower.
That didn't work.
I don't know what possessed me (Hashem obviously), but even though a massive part of me wanted anonymity, I used the GYE partner program and reached out for a mentor and partners (a few actually). All the people who responded were great and really supportive, but not all were the right fit. Finally B'H the right one responded.
So with their help and a few new strategies (and better filters) I've started to make real headway and change. Actual growth. I've fallen and gotten back up a few times. I'm currently on an incredible streak. It's been difficult and currently is still difficult,
BUT HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART
In my private life I didn't have any support.
My parents didn't know. My Rebbeim didn't know. Neither siblings nor trusted friends. Nobody knew. I'd gone to friends or to my parents for sensitive things before, but about this I had never disclosed. To anyone!
The other day I made the decision to talk to my parents. I discussed it first with my GYE mentor and he told me to go for it.
In the morning, I broached the topic with my mother that I had something to talk about with her.
Now again, I'm going to preface this by saying my situation is my own and may not apply to everyone, but if it helps anyone then it's worth telling. My mother is a psychotherapist. She's seen and dealt with a lot of stuff. She immediately could tell something was bothering me and that it was private. She was patient and kind and listened to what I had to say. She helped me get out the words I needed to say. She validated my feeling (sounds almost like a therapy session) and told me how normal I am. She and my father have been incredibly supportive. They've been paying for extra filters. My mother even told me if I'm overwhelmed I can come talk to her at ANY TIME. Even 2 or 3 IN THE MORNING!!
I've since told one older sibling whom my mother recommended talking to, who has also been incredibly supportive (Happened to also be a member of this site).
The point of all this, is that it's incredibly difficult to do this on your own (if not nearly impossible). I don't know everyone's individual situation, but if your parents or an older sibling (or very trusted Rebbe) are normal and care for you, then it's incredibly worthwhile telling them. The support makes a MASSIVE difference.
Hope this helps someone.
Download the new booklet "Bochur to Bochur" for amazing chizuk for Bochurim, written by another Bochur.