Author Topic: My "Hard 90" Journal  (Read 10647 times)

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #175 on: January 31, 2017, 02:25:10 PM »
Thanks for your comments guys.  I appreciate the feedback and insights, although I'm not always the greatest at responding right away.

Things are going well.  The biggest news is that about a week and a half ago I was given notice that my position at work will be eliminated.  This may sound like bad news, but in many ways it is a relief.  Anyone who has read my journal from the beginning will know that my job has been a big source of stress and dissatisfaction for the last several years.  I knew this news was likely coming, so it was not a surprise and in many ways it is now nice to have certainty around the fact that I need to move on to the next chapter.  I have been given working notice until the end of June, so now have the freedom to work on the next steps.  In fact, my wife and I had previously decided that I should plan to quit by the end of June and this news just makes it easier to make decisions without having to keep up a facade at work.  We are considering a "family gap year" where we will spend a year abroad (in my wife's home country).  I think, if planned correctly, this could be a great thing for me personally, for our marriage and for our kids.  I have been thinking about doing this for a while and in many ways it seems like the stars are aligning to point us in a new direction.  I have spent some time considering whether the idea of a family gap year is me just running from my problems and trying the old "geographical cure" and I am quite confident that this is not the case.  I really see this as a new chapter and an opportunity for growth for all of us.

Things continue to go well on the no PMO front.  It turns out it was a very good idea to disclose my struggles to my wife and involve her in this.  I was reluctant at first to run to her with all sorts of promises about how I was a changed man out of fear, likely well-founded, that she would be dubious of my ability to stick with it.  I felt like I needed to have myself on firmer ground before letting her know about my struggles.  I think when I told her about this problem a few weeks ago, it was the right time.  It is also helpful to have the restrictions enabled on my phone so that I know that a fix is not just a click away.  I initially thought that the filters were too easy to get around and preferred to learn to control my sexual impulses.  I think, now, that the restrictions on my phone are helpful.  Not so much because they prevent me from getting access to porn, but because I know I can't easily get my fix the same way I did before and so I think this has helped to reduce cravings.  I think it is also helpful that my wife is the one who controls the password - it is building trust between us and has helped to bring her on to my side in this fight.

Hope all are doing well.  I am becoming more and more convinced that this is a winnable fight.  It is not easy - in fact, I think it is the hardest thing I have ever had to confront in my life.  It has taken me about 9 months to date of serious effort and several lapses.  Each time I have slipped, I have made (I think) an honest attempt to evaluate and modify my approach.  The nature of this addiction is that it needs to be attacked from various angles and with various strategies.  The good news is that everyday there is more information and resources available to us.  There is lots of support on this forum and the path to recovery is marked by the many men who have come before us and shown that it is possible to change behaviors and become the men we want to be.

TK-421
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 07:12:05 PM by TK-421 »
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balanced

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #176 on: January 31, 2017, 06:40:39 PM »
Yes, this is most certainly a winnable fight, and bringing your wife into it with you should be key to your success...support and accountability, a winning combination. Keep up the good work!

workinprogressUK

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #177 on: February 01, 2017, 04:24:25 AM »
Really encouraging progress and your positivity is a real energiser. Absolutely agree that putting that control on your phone will remove an obvious and nagging trigger. Also think you've been wise to engage your partner. Really exciting opportunity to take that career break and re-evaluate your priorities and life plan. Hoping that this offers a source of fulfillment and not stress. Keep fighting!

Firstbigstep

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #178 on: February 01, 2017, 05:10:49 AM »
TK 421,

I've said it before and I'll say it again, your posts are a great inspiration to me.

I've gone right back to the earliest entries in your journal. It could so easily be me writing. The turmoil, the internal conflict, the self abasement, the guilt, the shame, the duplicity. I share them all.

I so hope your work changes assist you in you progress to a happier place in life. I strongly believe that such things come to those who deserve them. In the past, maybe our porn addictions made us in some way less deserving. now that such things are in the past, perhaps the fates look on us in a more favourable light.

I just wanted to say "Thank you" to you for your honesty throughout your struggles. I feel sure that, without your inspirational account, I would have lapsed at some point in this 76 days journey into a porn free adult world.

All the very best with all aspects of your life and reboot (though I feel the two are inextricably linked!)
I'm here to help and be helped, support and be supported.

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #179 on: February 06, 2017, 01:16:56 PM »
Balance, WIP, FBS - thanks for your comments guys.  I appreciate the feedback and it is so helpful to know that there are others going through the same struggle and, hopefully, we can pick up some insights from each other. 

FBS - Thanks for your kind words, I am glad that you have been able to take something from my experience and struggles with this. 

Things are great.  I really feel like I have turned a corner with the the "porn thing".  It really feels like I have stepped above the fray and am on my way to making permanent changes.  It has not been easy, but there has always been progress I think.

I am currently reading "7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Powerful Lessons in Personal Change" by Stephen Covey.  I had actually read some of his book years ago, but I am coming at it now from a different place.  There is so much in what he writes that has application to the struggle to overcome a compulsion to porn/sex.  His general premise is that effective living is largely an exercise in developing a character ethic. One of his points that really has had an impact on me was that, as humans, we have the power to choose our responses to situations and stimuli and not be reactive people.  Reactive people blame their actions on their environment - situations, other people or our own biology or mental make-up.  His point is that one of the key elements of being human our freedom and power to choose our responses to stimuli.  Are you a human? If yes, then you have the power to choose.  We have the power to take small steps toward developing character and integrity.  I know from my own experience that when we are in the pit of despair and compulsive behaviours it feels like we have no power, that we are somehow different and are somehow doomed to continue to act on our compulsions.  I'm here to tell you now that it is not true.  If we are humans, we have the power to choose and the power and freedom to control our actions. 

Another point Covey makes is the point that through our human endowments of self-awareness and conscience, we are able to become aware of areas for improvement in our lives and things that need to be changed or eliminated.  He speaks about making promises to both ourselves and others and writes "As we make and keep commitments, even small commitments, we begin to establish an inner integrity that gives us the awareness of self-control and the courage and strength to accept more of the responsibility for our own lives.  By making and keeping promises to ourselves and others, little by title, our honor becomes greater than our moods."  Powerful stuff!

I'm not 100% sure how I fell into the pit of compulsive porn and sex use.  I can now see, with some perspective and knowledge, that I have a personality that likes to self-sooth - I used porn and masturbation as a way to make myself feel good when I felt bored, anxious, stressed, etc.  It seemed harmless when I first started wading into that world - who doesn't like hot babes?  Why not look at them, it's not hurting anyone and its free!  Little by little though, my behaviours became more compulsive and had a negative impact on my moods and life in general.  Then the cycle of addiction/compulsion begins.  Feeling bad because of all the stress caused by behaviours?  A little PMO will make all that go away.  Ha! What I thought was curing me was actually what was making me sick.

Knowledge gained here and elsewhere has been immensely helpful.  Many successful rebooters, like William, tell us that we need to read and study everything we can about this problem.  I agree with this - knowledge is key!  It is so helpful to gain an understanding about what is happening in our brains.  I do think this is a brain chemistry issue.  But knowledge in and of itself isn't enough.  When in the throws of compulsion, all the knowledge in the world might not be enough.  I know because I've been there - it all goes out the window and it's easy to say "Who gives a fuck about Reboot Nation? What a load of shit.  I just want to get off like everyone else.  I deserve to get off".  And so begins another spree. 

I have really needed to focus on not letting myself get to the place where I'm overtaken by the compulsion.  I have to be vigilant about speaking back to the addictive voice as soon as it pops into my head.  If I see a trigger, I can't dwell on it.  I have to dispatch the thought as soon as it occurs to me.  A useful tool I have used is imagining the "addiction" or the "addictive voice" as a drooling pervert that lurks in the back of my mind.  He is the animal instinct that tells me that I should act out sexually.  If I feed him at all, he gets stronger.  I've imagined him as drooling, perverted ugly monster that I have now locked up in a cage in the back of my mind. Occasionally, he will try to find ways for me to let him out - I know a lot of his tricks now and I just tell him to fuck off.  This technique has been helpful to visually separate myself from my compulsive behavours.  I am not my addiction!  I am much more that a compulsive guy that just wants to PMO.

A bit of a rambling post, but I really felt inspired to write today! Things are good.  We can win this battle.  There are ups and downs, but the key lies in learning to love having the power to choose more than the temporary euphoria of acting out.

TK-421


« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 10:21:36 PM by TK-421 »
I never use porn or masturbate Now.  I am in charge of my life.

Vikram

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #180 on: February 26, 2017, 03:56:38 PM »
Keep it up BRO!!! The PMO works I am myself trying to learn and relearn it, I feel we have to be patient and we win over this !!! thanks and best of lucks, Vikram

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #181 on: February 27, 2017, 11:14:25 PM »
Checking in, as its been awhile.  Things are good.  I wish I had something profound to say but I don't!  It feels like I'm rolling along and enjoying being free of all of the shit.  I know others have said it, but it really takes awhile to sink in that even though this can feel like an overwhelming problem at times, it really is not that complicated.  I'm not saying this to make light of a porn addiction, because believe me I have suffered and literally been on my knees imploring whatever God may exist to remove the compulsion from me. 

I acknowledge that I am addicted to porn. I am learning that I am able to control my actions and be the man I want to be.  I am not compelled to act on whatever thought just pops into my head.  I acknowledge that I am (and may always be) vulnerable to porn and so I need to get it out of my life.  Another poster on here made the comment that he doesn't have any moral opinion about porn for others, but has come to accept that it is not good for him.  I concur with this statement entirely.  Porn is not good for me.  It is net-negative. I don't want it in my life now any more than I would want to smoke crack.  If I give it any space in my life I cannot control it.  If I am to be the man I need and want to be, which is loving and supportive husband, a caring father and an honest man who lives a principled life, then I simply cannot entertain any thought of using porn or dabbling in porn-substitutes.  I cannot put porn on a shelf and indulge every now and then.  Maybe others can, but I can't.  Porn will always take me to compulsive, out-of-control behaviours and that is not who I want to be. 

Wishing well to all the other rebooters.  This is a winnable fight.

TK-421

I never use porn or masturbate Now.  I am in charge of my life.

Firstbigstep

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #182 on: February 28, 2017, 02:47:31 AM »
So much that I agree with!

I think porn is like booze. Most can resist the temptation but some of us struggle. Personally, I don't think I was addicted but I certainly had a pretty bad habit.

I would never have thought I would just stop looking at it on the strength of one radio show. Amazing.

That's what brought me here and to the great community one finds here.

Thanks to everyone.
I'm here to help and be helped, support and be supported.

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #183 on: October 10, 2017, 04:24:45 PM »
Hi all, I haven't posted in my journal for several months and feeling the need to start again. I wish I could report that it's been smooth sailing, but it hasn't. I will post a more detailed update later, but wanted to at least start again with a short post.

TK
I never use porn or masturbate Now.  I am in charge of my life.

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #184 on: October 10, 2017, 11:51:09 PM »
Thanks for the update brother. We look forward to your next post. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #185 on: November 12, 2017, 11:21:17 PM »
Hi all, I haven't posted in my journal for several months and feeling the need to start again. I wish I could report that it's been smooth sailing, but it hasn't. I will post a more detailed update later, but wanted to at least start again with a short post.

TK
Why aren't you at your post, TK-421? (LOL)

RN Twin
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 11:23:06 PM by EnigmaMan »

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #186 on: November 14, 2017, 01:03:21 PM »
Well, where to begin?  This feels like a reintroduction of sorts.  I haven’t posted on here regularly for quite awhile.  I first came to this site in April, 2016.  I was tired, tired, tired of the porn and over-sexed lifestyle and really wanted to make some positive changes in my life.  I had some moderate success with a couple of periods of 70-80 days clean and learned a lot about myself and how this addiction works.  I inevitably found, however, that I would return to my old habits.  Not usually a complete dive right back in, but a slow return through allowing undesirable behaviours creep back in until I found that I was right back where I’ve always been.  I have yet to make it to 90 days clean.

Make no mistake, this is hard and this is work.  I’ve quit both smoking and drinking (for over 20 years now) and for me porn and sex addiction is infinitely more challenging and more complex.  I look back at all of my posts over the last 18 months and have mixed emotions.  Everything I posted and said at the time was completely sincere and as open as I could be at the time – at times I really did feel like I was getting on top of this problem, only to succumb once again.  I don’t want to dismiss the words of encouragement that others offer each other here, because I do think it is important to finding success. However, sometimes I am discouraged when I see the number of people that come and go here and wonder if it is even possible to beat this.  I know there are some people that have found some long-term success and I think they are great examples to others.   

So where am I now?  In a lot of ways I don’t think much has changed from my first post 18 months ago when I said, “I’m tired of it.  I’m tired of the depression, the anxiety, the brain fog, the desire to be alone, the isolation, the confusion and the stress.  I don’t like the person I’ve become.”  All of these apply today as much as they did the first time I posted here. 

Some of my circumstances have changed.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m currently living abroad with my family for a year.  I was sick and tired of my job, near burn-out and just feeling like I needed a change.  So here we are, there have been a lot of great experiences for me and for the family so far – however, one of my MOST IMPORTANT goals for the year was to really dedicate myself to overcoming my porn/sex problem.  This is a period in my life, which may not come again, where I am free from stress and work demands and also have time that I can dedicate myself to personal improvement.  I’ve been doing some of this – going to the gym regularly, watching what I’m eating and getting into shape.  I’ve recently started back in a martial arts class, which is great.  I have more time to spend with my kids and their activities.  I have been catching up on all the reading I never seemed to have time to do over the last 15 years.  But my old unwanted friend, porn, is still hanging around.  The pattern over the last 4-5 months has been 3-4 days of abstaining, and then total immersion for a while.  Then repeat.  This is exactly like a drug addiction for me, because if I go back into porn, I lose all control.  I can spend 8 hours or more a day online, in chat rooms, literally up all night and exhausted the next day.  This is not how I want to spend my time and it is endlessly confusing to me how I am not able to control myself.  I have zero self-discipline at times, struggle with organizing my day in a productive way and focusing on my goals. 

My relationship with my wife is probably the worst it has ever been.  Maybe we are just tired of each other, but there is little to no patience, kindness or affection.  Surprisingly, we have had a great sex life at times and she, apparently, has been totally into it.  Lately she has had little to no interest in sex.  I have realized that if I don’t initiate physical contact or sex, there is zero.   In some ways, I have used this as a justification for distancing myself from her (i.e., if she doesn’t seem to give a damn, why should I).   Maybe somewhat surprisingly there actually hasn’t been some sort of “major porn discovery” to provoke the recent distancing between us.  We’ve had several in the past, but have always seemed to get through them.  For whatever reason now, it seems like we are just both tired or stressed.  We have been going through a stressful period with one of our kids, so I think between that, my job uncertainty and my porn problems that it all comes together to create a situation where there is limited affection, love and respect.

As I’m writing this, my daughter came to tell me that everyone is going out for a few hours.  So I’m alone for the first time in a long time and my first thought “Maybe I should watch one last porn vid with the sound on before I really quit!”.  That’s how crazy this is.

So that’s where I am.  I have sometimes thought about just starting a new journal, but I want a complete record of all the ups and downs.  To be honest, I’m not sure what I need to do next.  Maybe a new program, a new book, a new therapist, a new routine, a new wife, a new city, haha.  I don’t say that to be flippant, it just seems at times that I have tried lots of different things and found only limited success.  One thing I do think is missing is the face-to-face support network.  When I quit drinking, I went to AA and got in with a good group of guys who were a great resource for just getting together and talking about the issues and struggles we had.

Anyways, this is a long post – if you read it all, thanks.  I am keeping this journal for myself, but also for anyone else who reads it and can identify with some of my struggle.

TK-421
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 12:17:11 PM by TK-421 »
I never use porn or masturbate Now.  I am in charge of my life.

TakeActionNow

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #187 on: November 14, 2017, 07:03:50 PM »
Thanks for sharing TK.

Time on our hands is really dangerous, so its important to find something meaningful and pursue it.

I'm working hard on staying away from p too.
The slope doesnt exist. Touch it and the drop is guaranteed.

On thing I'm trying now though, is if you must mo, mo to one you know and love, and not mo to strangers.

Cos o is deeper than just an act. There is connection too. And the reason why we get detached to our partners is because we o to others and that changes who we want to connect with. And its terrible because those others we o to will never be in our lives.

But more importantly, if we dont pmo, and deal with ourselves and our discomforts more directly, we definitely grow stronger and think clearer.
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

EnigmaMan

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #188 on: November 15, 2017, 11:58:18 AM »
I can identify with a lot of what you said, the "fed up" feeling, the "start fresh" with everything, the lunacy of wanting to treat yourself to "one last" hoo-rah of PMO.  This time for me it feels different in some ways, I did get to the "fed up" stage, but I decided to face it a little differently this go round.  Now what I'm going to say next does involve religion, but its where I'm at and maybe sharing might help someone, if it's not for you then feel free to ignore me. 

I am a Christian, even though like a lot of men I got caught up in this PMO stuff a long time ago and could just never shake it.  Shame was my constant companion, my prayers felt like they bounced off the ceiling and in a crowded room I felt secluded.  I watched as others around me confessed deliverance from all kinds of sinful habits, but I never could seem to find what they found, even when I prayed in earnest, eventually I would fall back into the pit.  For me the cycle went like this: PMO(binge) - SHAME - CONFESS - REPENT(week) - REPEAT.  Like a lot of men I'd last somewhere close to a week, maybe a little more sometimes and then suddenly out of the blue the thoughts, the temptations would start to tickle my brain and suddenly it sounded like a good idea...

Before I came to RN last year I'd read several books on the issue, some Christian authors, some scientist, some philosophical, but regardless of what knowledge I gathered eventually I surrendered to my urges.  Its difficult to explain but, in times past because I knew what I was doing was wrong and I wanted to get out at some level I thought it was a matter of will power.  For 20 years I searched for the trick, that special technique that would finally pry me loose from this dirty little secret, I never found it.  At times I doubted my salvation too, I mean I just knew something was wrong and all the evidence pointed squarely at me, it had to be me.

What I'd misunderstood for so long was that, quite simply it is impossible for me to do what I was trying to do.  Bottom line, flesh is weak and on its own it eventually succumbs to temptation.  So what to do...  You see it never was about what I could do, that would nullify what Jesus did for me and you 2000 years ago on the cross.  We have to surrender, not surrender to the porn, we must surrender to the fact that on our own we crash and burn.  So this time, when I bottomed out for the Trillionth time, I admitted it, I gave it all to Christ, I can't fix myself I need Him to fix me.  Now I still have to make an effort to resist, I still have to do my best to avoid putting myself in situations where I might see something that would send me the wrong way.  But in the end I know its not me doing the heavy lifting, HE IS.  I realize some will see what I'm saying as foolish, I expect that, but I would be remiss if I didn't share what I know.  I give HIM all the glory, I have done nothing.  Do with that what you will.

RN Twin

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #189 on: November 15, 2017, 01:12:06 PM »
I can identify with a lot of what you said, the "fed up" feeling, the "start fresh" with everything, the lunacy of wanting to treat yourself to "one last" hoo-rah of PMO.  This time for me it feels different in some ways, I did get to the "fed up" stage, but I decided to face it a little differently this go round.  Now what I'm going to say next does involve religion, but its where I'm at and maybe sharing might help someone, if it's not for you then feel free to ignore me. 

I am a Christian, even though like a lot of men I got caught up in this PMO stuff a long time ago and could just never shake it.  Shame was my constant companion, my prayers felt like they bounced off the ceiling and in a crowded room I felt secluded.  I watched as others around me confessed deliverance from all kinds of sinful habits, but I never could seem to find what they found, even when I prayed in earnest, eventually I would fall back into the pit.  For me the cycle went like this: PMO(binge) - SHAME - CONFESS - REPENT(week) - REPEAT.  Like a lot of men I'd last somewhere close to a week, maybe a little more sometimes and then suddenly out of the blue the thoughts, the temptations would start to tickle my brain and suddenly it sounded like a good idea...

Before I came to RN last year I'd read several books on the issue, some Christian authors, some scientist, some philosophical, but regardless of what knowledge I gathered eventually I surrendered to my urges.  Its difficult to explain but, in times past because I knew what I was doing was wrong and I wanted to get out at some level I thought it was a matter of will power.  For 20 years I searched for the trick, that special technique that would finally pry me loose from this dirty little secret, I never found it.  At times I doubted my salvation too, I mean I just knew something was wrong and all the evidence pointed squarely at me, it had to be me.

What I'd misunderstood for so long was that, quite simply it is impossible for me to do what I was trying to do.  Bottom line, flesh is weak and on its own it eventually succumbs to temptation.  So what to do...  You see it never was about what I could do, that would nullify what Jesus did for me and you 2000 years ago on the cross.  We have to surrender, not surrender to the porn, we must surrender to the fact that on our own we crash and burn.  So this time, when I bottomed out for the Trillionth time, I admitted it, I gave it all to Christ, I can't fix myself I need Him to fix me.  Now I still have to make an effort to resist, I still have to do my best to avoid putting myself in situations where I might see something that would send me the wrong way.  But in the end I know its not me doing the heavy lifting, HE IS.  I realize some will see what I'm saying as foolish, I expect that, but I would be remiss if I didn't share what I know.  I give HIM all the glory, I have done nothing.  Do with that what you will.

RN Twin

Thanks for sharing this Chip, I can really relate to so much of what you say and have experienced in this struggle.  I look forward to your comments and input and, although I am not happy that we both continue to struggle in many ways, I am glad that you are here now.

Now...some thoughts about what you have shared.  I am not an every-Sunday worshiper although I did grow up in a family that attended church every Sunday so perhaps that has had an effect on my views.  I believe in a God personal to me and find comfort in many religious views and verses from the bible. 

A book that has had a profound effect on me in the last year or so is Stephen Covey's "7 Habits".  I highly recommend it if you have not read it.  The book is not presented as a religious text, but the main theme is that there are correct principles according to which we need to live our lives and that, as humans, we have the unique ability to plan and control our actions.  Covey talks about "natural laws" that are as applicable to the personal dimension as they are to the physical dimension.  As an afterward to the book, Covey shares the fact that he is a religious man and his personal view that these correct principles and natural laws come from God. His exact words are "I believe correct principles are natural laws and God, the Creator and Father of us all, is the source of them, and also the source of our conscience. I believe that to the degree people live by this inspired conscience, they will grow to fulfill their natures; to the degree that they do not, they will not rise above the animal plane." 

These words have really had a profound effect on me and summarize my views.  I believe God expresses himself to us personally through our conscience.  If I am not living a life in accordance with correct principles (so all the things that a porn life requires like lying, cheating, deceiving, lusting, being lazy, wasting time, etc), this will express itself through my conscience and I will not find peace or happiness. 

Covey also shared in his afterword, that even he struggles daily to follow the habits he set out in his book.  To me, this means that the living according to correct principles, in harmony with God and our conscience, requires a daily effort (and is a daily struggle).  There will not likely be an "aha" moment where everything suddenly puts itself right and we never have to think about these things again.  My task then, as I see it, is to work on this daily and each and every day I need to refocus on "correct living".  I know a lot of the focus here is on counting days, but for me, the effort needs to be on making positive decisions every day and really forget about the day count.

I found your comments on confessing sin and being repentant interesting.  I think this can be very helpful in finding success, but it also can develop an unhealthy cycle as you have described. You know, if we can just confess our sins and repent then we really have free reign to do what we want because we'll just keep confessing and repenting.  I think (and I think you do too) that this is deceptive.  If we are even unconsciously allowing ourselves to fall into this cycle, then I don't think there has been any true repentance.  To continue to live an unprincipled life with the expectation that we will just ask for forgiveness and all will be ok is just wrong.

I also agree with what you say about the responsibility for this being on us.  I have shared that even though I am not religious in the sense that I think that if I just ask God for something that he will deliver it to me, I have on at least two occasions found myself on my knees begging God, if he exists, to remove the sexual compulsion from me.  This obviously hasn't worked for me, because, like you say, the onus is on me to do the work.  It's like the old adage that says if your house is on fire it is ok to pray to God for assistance, but you'd better be running for the hose while you are praying.  This adage really reflects my views, I can't just pray to God to do it and expect a miracle without doing anything myself.

Thanks for reading.

TK-421
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 11:20:16 AM by TK-421 »
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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #190 on: November 15, 2017, 06:27:13 PM »
Enigma,
I'm on the same page as TK, especially with his last part on house on fire and water hose.
While religion is excellent in giving us strength and conviction in our darkest hour, addiction has its roots in emotion, mental and behavior conditions.
To truly cure addiction is to come face to face with what is driving you towards it in the first case.
And that is a long and interesting road towards true self discovery.
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #191 on: November 16, 2017, 10:46:30 AM »


Thanks for sharing this Chip, I can really relate to so much of what you say and have experienced in this struggle.  I look forward to your comments and input and, although I am not happy that we both continue to struggle in many ways, I am glad that you are here now.

Now...some thoughts about what you have shared.  I am not an every-Sunday worshiper although I did grow up in a family that attended church every Sunday so perhaps that has had an effect on my views.  I believe in a God personal to me and find comfort in many religious views and verses from the bible. 

A book that has had a profound effect on me in the last year or so is Stephen Covey's "7 Habits".  I highly recommend it if you have not read it.  The book is not presented as a religious text, but the main theme is that there are correct principles according to which we need to live our lives and that, as humans, we have the unique ability to plan and control our actions.  Covey talks about "natural laws" that are as applicable to the personal dimension as they are to the physical dimension.  As an afterward to the book, Covey shares the fact that he is a religious man and his personal view that these correct principles and natural laws come from God. His exact words are "I believe correct principles are natural laws and God, the Creator and Father of us all, is the source of them, and also the source of our conscience. I believe that to the degree people live by this inspired conscience, they will grow to fulfill their natures; to the degree that they do not, they will not rise above the animal plane." 

These words have really had a profound effect on me and summarize my views.  I believe God expresses himself to us personally through our conscience.  If I am not living a life in accordance with correct principles (so all the things that a porn life require like lying, cheating, deceiving, lusting, being lazy, wasting time, etc), this will express itself through my conscience and I will not find peace or happiness. 

Covey also shared in his afterword, that even he struggles daily to follow the habits he set out in his book.  To me, this means that the living according to correct principles, in harmony with God and our conscience, requires a daily effort (and is a daily struggle).  There will not likely be an "aha" moment where everything suddenly puts itself right and we never have to think about these things again.  My task then, as I see it, is to work on this daily and each and every day I need to refocus on "correct living".  I know a lot of the focus here is on counting days, but for me, the effort needs to be on making positive decisions every day and really forget about the day count.

I found your comments on confessing sin and being repentant interesting.  I think this can be very helpful in finding success, but it also can develop an unhealthy cycle as you have described. You know, if you can just confess our sins and repent then we really have free reign to do what we want because we'll just keep confessing and repenting.  I think (and I think you do too) that this is deceptive.  If we are even unconsciously allowing ourselves to fall into this cycle, then I don't think there has been any true repentance.  To continue to live an unprincipled life with the expectation that we will just ask for forgiveness and all will be ok is just wrong.

I also agree with what you say about the responsibility for this being on us.  I have shared that even though I am not religious in the sense that I think that if I just ask God for something that he will deliver it to me, I have on at least two occasions found myself on my knees begging God, if he exists, to remove the sexual compulsion from me.  This obviously hasn't worked for me, because, like you say, the onus is on me to do the work.  It's like the old adage that says if your house is on fire it is ok to pray to God for assistance, but you'd better be running for the hose while you are praying.  This adage really reflects my views, I can't just pray to God to do it and expect a miracle without doing anything myself.

Thanks for reading.

TK-421
Cool,
I like and agree with what you said about being vigilant everyday, I think that's what scripture means when it commands us to put on the "Armor of God" daily.  As to the aspect of repentance, for decades I didn't understand what it meant, I thought I understood it but I didn't.  For years I understood repentance to be essentially saying, "I'm sorry", but as I learned recently its more than that.  Repentance is a, "Turning away from", deciding and choosing to move away from whatever sin has ensnared us, to go in the opposite direction.  Confession too, is more than just verbally acknowledging what we've done, its also agreeing with God that what we did was a sin, a sin against Him.(see Psalm 51)  So its easy to understand why if a person thinks Confession & Repentance is just merely saying sorry, like I did, its easy to see how one might think its gives a license to sin.  I think I may have that book you mentioned, I'll check and see.

Peace,

RN Twin
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 10:55:47 AM by EnigmaMan »

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #192 on: November 16, 2017, 11:40:32 AM »
Thanks for sharing TK.

Time on our hands is really dangerous, so its important to find something meaningful and pursue it.

I'm working hard on staying away from p too.
The slope doesnt exist. Touch it and the drop is guaranteed.

On thing I'm trying now though, is if you must mo, mo to one you know and love, and not mo to strangers.

Cos o is deeper than just an act. There is connection too. And the reason why we get detached to our partners is because we o to others and that changes who we want to connect with. And its terrible because those others we o to will never be in our lives.

But more importantly, if we dont pmo, and deal with ourselves and our discomforts more directly, we definitely grow stronger and think clearer.

Thanks TAN, I appreciate your comments and always enjoy receiving support and insight from others.  I think that is an important part of finding success, to feel like we are not alone in this struggle.

Everyone's experience is slightly different, but for me I actually found it to be problematic to MO my wife (or someone you know, as you suggested).  In my early attempts to quit, I also thought that this was acceptable (or even to MO to photos of my wife) and was something I didn't initially want to eliminate.  There is a poster on here named William, who I think is very knowledgeable, and his position is that we have to take a very wide view on what is "porn" - it obviously includes watching porn, but also includes remembering porn, having porn fantasies while have actual sex, even bikini photos if you are using it as an artificial stimulation to get a dopamine rush.  So, for me anyway, MOing to someone I know was really just a way for the addiction to find another subtle way to stick around.  I was using it as a porn substitute. For me, it's these small justifications and the permissions that I really need to be on guard for.  Today I give myself permission to MO to while thinking about my wife, tomorrow or the day after it is to pictures of her, then it is to remembering the hot girl from the store, then Facebook, then I realize I'm half-way back in, so no harm in going all in for a while.  That's how it works for me, so I have to be vigilant.  I'm not saying you are wrong, because like I say everyone needs to find what works for them.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 06:04:09 PM by TK-421 »
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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #193 on: November 16, 2017, 11:53:20 AM »
Cool,
I like and agree with what you said about being vigilant everyday, I think that's what scripture means when it commands us to put on the "Armor of God" daily.  As to the aspect of repentance, for decades I didn't understand what it meant, I thought I understood it but I didn't.  For years I understood repentance to be essentially saying, "I'm sorry", but as I learned recently its more than that.  Repentance is a, "Turning away from", deciding and choosing to move away from whatever sin has ensnared us, to go in the opposite direction.  Confession too, is more than just verbally acknowledging what we've done, its also agreeing with God that what we did was a sin, a sin against Him.(see Psalm 51)  So its easy to understand why if a person thinks Confession & Repentance is just merely saying sorry, like I did, its easy to see how one might think its gives a license to sin.  I think I may have that book you mentioned, I'll check and see.

Peace,

RN Twin

I agree, repenting is turning away and, genuinely, committing to not committing the same sin.  Out of curriosity I looked online for a definition of repentance and found this: 

The Greek word translated “repentance” in the New Testament means “to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness”.

I agree it requires a complete change of thought and attitude.  It also requires daily vigilance - I know, and I know you do as well, that it is possible to be entirely sincere in our thoughts, words and actions that we are sorry for what we have done, that we want to change, that we are casting off the old thoughts and lifestyle, only to have it return to our incredible dismay.  It is important therefore to be vigilant daily and not let the thoughts creep back in. I'm going to repost a comment I got a while ago from Balanced that I really liked.
I never use porn or masturbate Now.  I am in charge of my life.

TK-421

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #194 on: November 16, 2017, 12:01:17 PM »
There was a poster on here a while ago, Balanced, who I really liked and who had some very good insight into this problem.  He's not active anymore, but I thought I'd repost his comments he gave me after a lapse. I think his words sum up very nicely what we need to focus on:

"TK, I'm sorry to hear about your lapse and continued struggle. This is difficult work, and I emphasize both DIFFICULT and WORK...

The key to success, I found, is really simple, though really difficult: Control your thoughts. Our thoughts feed our decisions, and our decisions lead to behaviors. Our thoughts lead us to believe that lapsing is OK, that it is not that big a deal. But a pattern of lapsing becomes a pattern just like PMO, a hole in your defenses that becomes a formalized entrance into PMO.

I can't put it any more simply, and I mean this as an empowering statement -- you CAN control your thoughts, all of the rationalizations and self-sympathy, all of the justifications and permissions, you control all of those. Choose the thoughts you want, cast out the thoughts you do not want. This will lead to better decisions, fewer moments of weakness, no lapses, and no more bad behavior.

You have it in you, believe in yourself, you are strong enough to do this...learn to love the feeling of exercising resolve and self-discipline more than the feeling of momentary pleasure from PMO or MO. Make strength and control over your thoughts the new drug for your brain. It can become a powerful pathway for creating lasting change...I know with certainty, standing at day 1108 PMO/MO-free, that we alone, as men and human beings with potential, are capable of making this change, and responsible to ourselves to do so.

Find the strength, exercise it, recognize the strength and power you have when you exercise self-discipline, feel the rush of being able to overpower the single distracting or enticing thought, enjoy the feeling of strength...repeat, repeat, repeat."
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 03:32:15 PM by TK-421 »
I never use porn or masturbate Now.  I am in charge of my life.

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Re: My "Hard 90" Journal
« Reply #195 on: November 16, 2017, 04:29:46 PM »
Nail on head!  Exactly right, take those thoughts captive, swat them down as soon as they pop up, like "Whack-A-Mole".  I know from my own personal experience, that if I ever even consider a thought instead of immediately squashing it, it takes root.  Even very small, somewhat benign thoughts, you know, not the "full-on" stuff you end up making yourself feel so awful over, but something marginal.  Then before you know it your doing a search, then that leads to a slightly warmer search, the heat increasing with each one until you feel overwhelmed with lust and just gotta have it....  and then, "OMG, how did I get here?"  "Why did I do that again?"  Sound familiar?  For me its really helping to have something else handy I can quickly move my mental focus too so the thought doesn't come back around or have time to take root and has time to fade from my consciousness.