Author Topic: PhD student strugling with life  (Read 2879 times)

klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2017, 09:37:54 AM »
DAY 23

Making good progress, today I felt energetic and ok. And keeping myself busy... Will get back with more elaborate update later!

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2017, 02:00:06 AM »
DAY 29

Allrighty! I am doing well I guess. Last couple of days it feels like i'm in a flatline; no mw, no libido whatsoever, but most of the times also nog cravings. However, we the cravings do hit they are very strong. This is really a very dangerous period: I feel good in general, hardly have any cravings or fantasies, but when they do hit they hit hard. I have been here before, I know I have to stay especially vigilant. I read this on other people's journals as well; just as you think you're managing to overcome this cravings hit out of nowhere and you're set back. I will try not to let that happen this time! It really helps to go to work early, and try to keep busy with other appointments in the evenings. It is just easier when you're around people. The times that it gets really hard is when I am home, alone. I will try to avoid that as much as possible.

As far as my mental state goes, I am still feeling lethargic most of the time, although there are good days as well. Yesterday I was working on a problem with a student I supervise and I just couldn't think straight (enough). Really frustrating. But there are good days as well and I am starting to get some ideas/creativity back, slowly. I am still learning to play the guitar, and I try to fill my free time alone at home with that. I have to stay strong!

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2017, 09:30:24 AM »
DAY 37

Ok I am posting way too little here on this forum! Apologies. To myself and whomever might be following my struggle. Good news is that I am at day 37 as you can read of my header. Bad news is that I am slowly starting to loosen the ties. That is I am prcrastinating way too much, in particular today and yesterday. The kind of behavior that used to spill into P use; playing online chess (I know it sounds unrelated but chess blitz games can give you some kind of high...), watching/playing videogames, not playing my guitar (which would give me way more satisfaction), not working well, generally filling my days with emptiness. I have been far too lenient towards my goals. I could hear myself saying: "your main goal is to get off P, it won't hurt to ease your feelings with some online chess playing, it is CHESS after all!!" or, "it is ok to fantasize about her, you have actually met her in person and she was flirtagious, so this is a real world interaction, and a sign of your improved libido". Those are I'll posed reasoning, as they will inevitably lead to relapse. I have the feeling that you should be completely 'cured', and then continue for annother half year of rebooting or so, before it is save to even start thinking about sex again. And then of course only with real persons ...

As far as my mood goes, I am feeling really sullen and flat lately. I guess I am in a major flatline period, which is good to some extent, as it is the start of real progress, but is also very hard to deal with. I have had major cravings the last couple of days and sometimes I allowed myself some fantasizing about girls I met (no 'real' artificial stimulation though, ie no pixels whatsover, fortunately), which means I did not stick to my goals. In fact I feel really bad after a day of procrastinating and this feeling is actually a major trigger. I need to stay away from this. On top of all that, my girlfriend is (obviously) noting my lack of motivation and general happiness (and libido) and this is affecting our relationship. We decided to not see each other for a short period of time, during which I will probably stay with my parents or in the guest room. My flatline feeling is so bad that I sometimes don't even feel that I love her anymore.. But I know I do and I just have to get past this miserable stage. I have no idea how long this is going to take, but I am still determined to ride it out. In fact, now writing this I realize that this bad feeling should be all the more motivation to keep up. Apparently this is what it has done to me, and it is a stark reminder (if we need any) that my body and mind were really hooked. So I will try to stick to my goals for the coming days. And keep posting! This thread does sort of function as my lifeline in this period ...

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

andante

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2017, 07:32:47 AM »
Hey man! Don't despair! It's part of the reboot process, ups and downs! Now that you have assessed your problems and feelings; I see something missing from your last post: SOLUTIONS!! I saw in some previous posts you would think about what to do to get you out of that dark place, make a list (that does not include playing chess online!), go out, see some people, breathe some fresh air etc. You can do this, you're just at a low point in the reboot but it's normal, ups and downs are normal :) Good luck, you're not alone.



klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2017, 07:47:17 AM »
DAY 41

Hi Vince, thank you! You're right, I should not only focus on that negative feeling. In fact, I am feeling better at the moment; I had a really nice weekend with colleagues, which turned out to be 'the solution'. That it wat it is then: interaction with friends and other people! I really think it is that 'simple'. Get my ass from behind my computer and go out, meet friends, or take a walk. Lets reiterate some of my previous solutions.

-call/meet a friend
-call my parents (nice to talk to them sometimes as well ..
-work (during weekdays), in my office
-if I really need to stay at home: clean the house, play the guitar, or post here!

Right now my mood is high. At least I feel motivated to do stuff. So, lets go! I am out :).

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

andante

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2017, 08:02:08 AM »
Glad to be reading this, keep it up  ;D



klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2017, 06:03:23 AM »
DAY 48

Allright, I am still hanging in here. Current status is still PMO free. I have been up to some really good days, and some bad ones. Somehow, the (really) bad ones seem to always follow a streak of good days. Example. I had a weekend with my colleagues, which was huge fun, but then immediately the day after I felt empty, depleted and not motivated to do anything. Moreover, the urges were really bad at that time. Did anyone experience this effect before? ie that after having a very nice time you end up in sort of a 'black hole' were motivation is hard to find? Maybe it is just a continuation of the flatline, which was interrupted briefly by a nice experience.. As far as my goals go; I am sticking to the most important one: no PMO, but I am not managing to stick to my other goals (meditation, exercise). Worst of all, I didn't kick my chess habit whatsoever. I realize that I really must do this as probably the PMO goal gets easier if I would stick to my other goals as well ... So I will try to get this going as well. Luckily I will be very busy for the coming days, so its 'easy' to keep up good work then.

Regarding my overall mood, I do see a steady progression forward and upward. I am feeling overall happier than 4 weeks ago, but like I said, I still have bad days which are accompanied by strong cravings. These cravings occur less frequently, but when they do, they do not seem to have gotten any less strong. If anything, the contrary. Moreover, my flatline feeling is not gone yet and I still have trouble concentrating at work from time to time. I guess this is all part of the progress, and I am trying to experience it as such. In fact, I have learned that it is helpfull to not only acknowledge a bad feeling, or a craving, but to actually relish in it. This sounds weird, but when you realize that this bad feeling (or flatline) is something that you must go through in order to kick the habit, it might actually feel good. You might be thinking: "great, I am in the flatline, I know that I must go through this and that after it there will be a happier life". The bad feelings are part of your brain healing. Maybe a reasonable analogy would be a wound healing; you can get fever from the healing process and feel bad as a result, but in the end, this is your body increasing its temperature because it is fighting the infection; and as such the fever is healing you, and not hurting you. I am trying to look at the flatline and bad moods in a similar way, and found it can help me.

Allright enough talking for today, I am going to get to work!

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2017, 04:24:01 AM »
DAY 72

Still P free! I MO'd twice since my last post, but nothing crazy and definitely not something out of control. A lot has happened since late. I'll start with an update regarding my personal life. I am still in a relationship, but it is a struggle, initially because I was just flat (from the rebooting process I guess), but afterwards also because I fell in love with a colleague. Very strange, it just happened. And it was a very intense feeling. Only problem is that we are both in a relationship and therefore we did not pursue the issue any further (we decided yesterday), which is probably also the reason that I am posting right now, because I feel a little hartbroken (which is nuts, as I am in a loving relationship with my girlfriend), and that can be a trigger. Why am I writing this? This isn't a psychology forum after all ;). I think it is relevant for my rebooting process, especially the falling in love part. It showed me that my brain is now capable of getting a massive high, from annother person; which definitely wasn't possible before. So yes, I guess that this is very good news! I also seldom think of P anymore. But, as it stands now, I know that this might return in the coming days, as I am coming down from being in love with that colleague (to be concrete: we decided literally that I move to annother building, and that we will not see eachother again, basically for ever). Therefore, I must be extra vigilant during the coming days, and I will try to keep posting regularly.

All in all, good news that my ability to feel is returning, and bad news that I am in a bit of a relationship pickle. As far as progress in my PhD goes; it has been literally non-existent in the last few weeks, due to this love affair. But that really cannot bother me at the moment, as I feel that I am growing as a person. So yeah, I am doing well, all things considered.

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2017, 11:17:10 AM »
DAY 83

Still P free!! I did have a peak at some lingerie pics just yet (that's why I came here asap), although it was only for 10 s or so, I immediately realised (and felt) the craving and how bad this is!! No real slip up; but I have to be really really vigilant! Although the cravings have become much less frequent, they are no less intense! So yeah, I need to stay away from triggers ... As far as I am going I can definitely feel lots of progress, both in my overall mood and drive to do stuff. I still have concentration issues at work, but these are more related to this colleague than anything else ... Regarding the latter it has been a stormy time (which is good, it makes me feel alive)! At some point we decided to not meet anymore, but very quickly reversed that decision; this turned out a little too difficult. So right now we do meet every once in a while, but not so frequently (ie daily) as we did some weeks ago. I do think we have the situation under control a little bit better now. Today and yesterday I had a bit of an after Christmas downer, too much bad food and little sleep I guess. I very much hope that my mood will cheer up over the next couple of days. And especially that I will manage to deal with the cravings. I have the feeling this could (and should) be the final push in my life! I also realize that I am not ever going to be really free of this, at least not for a very long time, the sudden rush I got just yet from a few relatively innocent pics was a stark reminder of that ... As far as my physique and work goes, I still have a long way to go. Probably I should be focusing on that a little bit more: making real progress in life, apart from kicking this habit. A lot of inspiration for new years resolutions I guess haha.

Allright, so far for this brief update, I will keep updating in the new year, wish you all the best!! Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

achilles heel

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2017, 06:26:05 PM »
I also realize that I am not ever going to be really free of this, at least not for a very long time, the sudden rush I got just yet from a few relatively innocent pics was a stark reminder of that ...

But it's also a sign of healing, of your brain screaming at you to get its dopamine fix. Every time you say "No!", you will become stronger, you already did amazing, almost 3 months is a huge achievement. I read through your journey and it seems like you already identified the moments and moods that are dangerous for you, just stay focused on this one goal and you will succeed.

The most important thing at this stage is to not become impatient but keep working on your behaviour as you did before. You mention to possibly never be "free", but if becoming addicted took us years, we need time to heal and there is a way out. As addicts we won't return to a point before becoming addicted, but we can learn to say "No!", so keep saying "No!" to porn and I'm sure you will write a success story here soon!  :)

klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2018, 11:01:58 AM »
AAAAAH DAY 0

Allright, I relapsed today. And yesterday. Pretty bad. Just the tumbnails at google search (fortunately my dns blocker was still active, so I couldn't access any P related websites, but just see google search results) but still I lost control. I have to get back on the horse now! I made it 90 days, but then somehow left my guard down. This really really shouldn't have happened! Well, it did now so time to start rethinking my strategy. First off, where did it go wrong? I actually still have an on and off affair with this colleague, although we decided for up to three times now that we shouldn't (she's in a relationship too ...). But I really do am in love with her, not just for her physique (she actually seems less atractive to me than my girlfriend but she's really really nice and friendly and a warm personality). In any case, we kissed, but not more, but it did hint at more. I think that is where my desire and dopamine rush originated. And then there was the chaser effect. Still, it is really stupid to have it come this far! I think I will reset my counter. I should I guess. But I also should stay motivated all the more (which I am not now really, strangely enough)! Wow, this really is a stark reminder of what this addiction entails.

I'm sorry to have let people, and in particular myself, down at this point. I really could use some support! Many thanks!

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!

achilles heel

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2018, 08:09:35 AM »
I'm sorry to have let people, and in particular myself, down at this point. I really could use some support! Many thanks!

We failed simultaneaously and I actually forgot to reply, though I wanted to! Get back on track, porn is not an option!

LeafandStem

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2018, 03:29:53 AM »
Keep going Kim. Sorry to hear about your struggles. Read some of the success stories on this forum and elsewhere and you will see that progress is really possible.
Being a student can be so stressful, I can imagine being A Phd candidate could be even more challenging! I used to use porn to numb myself out as a student as well.
Mindfulness is a great tool in life and studies suggest that it can reduce the power of cravings. I read that Thai Chi is also great.
Hope you are well.
L.

klm5000

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Re: PhD student strugling with life
« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2018, 08:54:08 AM »
ALLRIGHT!!

Yes, everything is allright. I am now 100+ days without P (I don't know exactly when the last time was .. I suspect it was on the day of my last post ...). Short version of the story is that I broke up with my girlfriend, unfortunately. I told her that I fell in love with someone else and that was the end of it. As a consequence, I moved out of our appartment, to what is now a series of other places. And this has led to some progress: I do not take my computer home (but leave it at work), and I have my phone setup in such a way that I cannot enter websites from there (but can use whatsapp, and some geolocation utilities, which is really all you need ...). This has really been the key to my succes. At work I will not watch P (the network is monitored, and my work ethos is stronger than that), and at home I do not have the option anymore. So my life has become (deceptively?) simple (I don't own a TV either). I actually have much more time on my hands for other usefull stuff, like exercising, playing the guitar, household and what have you. Frankly, I do not know right now how I would respond if I did had the opportunity to use P at home. I might buckle, I might not. But I do not intend to find out, for a while still. The reality is that I am feeling much better at the moment! And that I am, at least in a practical sense, winning the struggle at the moment. I think that I am not totally free (not at all) still, but, I do know that I can maintain this lifestyle without any problem for quite a while still. In the mean time, my days at work (and at home) are slowly becoming more and more productive, I am engaging in many social activities, also meeting and interacting with girls in real life, which I will not elaborate on here.

So, for the moment I would say I am succesfull. The key to this succes has turned out to be (perhaps somewhat unfortunately, but still) not my own state of mind or the strength of my will, but simply the decision (this might be a 'strength of will' decision ..) not to allow myself to be in a situation were P is a option, in a practical sense. Whether or not this means that I will also not consume P if given the opportunity remains to be seen, but I do not intend to confront this test for a very long time!

I will try to log in and update more again. In fact, my regime of keeping my computer at work proved so succesfull that I did not even find the opportunity to post here (I am in an office garden, so many spying eyes ...).

All the best to everyone! Keep up the hard work!

Regards
We are amazingly lucky to be alive: more than 99% of all creatures that ever existed died without offspring. But none of our ancenters (all the way to the first living things) where amongst them ... Lets make full use of that!