Author Topic: One Day at a Time  (Read 219 times)

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
One Day at a Time
« on: December 02, 2017, 09:30:37 PM »
Hi,

Not my first go at removing P use from my life by any means, but I'm a newcomer to this or any other community devoted to honestly addressing it and working through it. It's extremely difficult to talk about and "publicly" acknowledge; like many users on this forum (which I've been sort of sifting through for the last few weeks), I too am a master of compartmentalization and repression, so hopefully by doing this I can start to take some power away from this force that's run my thoughts for so many years.

To introduce myself and explain where I'm at, I was P-free for 25 days earlier this month (a modern-era record for me), although still allowing MO. I slipped and looked, and then a couple days later I slipped again and did a bit more than look, but still managed to mostly keep a lid on things. I felt truly terrible both times. I am presently on day eight of no PM(O) (absolutely no P; doing my best not to M, have not in 8 days and intend to continue; and the O is parenthetical because I'm single, not sexually-active and not looking, but if by happenstance I meet a person, I'm allowing it). I feel very much like I'm white-knuckling right now, so here I am trying to tell on myself and talk about it instead of doing it. I feel very sensitive, thin-skinned, touchy, like my moods could be shifted to any extreme at the touch of a feather. It feels messy, but a "good mess", and even if I don't succeed, I'm interested in seeing where this goes and how it affects me, and think this hiccup in my usual nature of just indulging whenever I feel the tap on my shoulder can only be a positive change.

I'm also a member of a support group for a separate substance abuse issue, and I'm trying to apply some of the principles I appreciate most from that in this area of my life. First is progress, not perfection. I'm lucky in that a slip here doesn't necessarily threaten as much harm to my life as a slip in my other program would mean, but by addressing this at all and doing my best to engage with it, I'm taking positive, active steps toward living the life I want for myself, one day at a time. Another is a series of steps devoted to my recovery. Every day, I have to wake up and admit that I am powerless over P and my life is unmanageable. Just by being conscious of that, I know that P is not a force I have room for in my life anymore and is not something I can safely engage with without my life being negatively impacted to the point of unmanageability. A third is acknowledging that a power greater than myself can help restore my sanity. For me, that power is a community of my peers in these issues to support me and to whom I am accountable to return that support. Hopefully this is a place I can practice rigorous honesty and be someone whom others feel they can be honest with.

Hopefully I'm not getting too ahead of myself, but wanted to identify myself and discharge some of the tension and squirreliness I'm feeling right now.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 12:39:38 AM by El Goodo »

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: New/Day 8
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 01:24:08 AM »
Just wanna make it through tonight. I'll deal with tomorrow tomorrow. Can't believe how tough this is. The amount of time I've mentally spent today thinking about M and not M-ing is ridiculous.

Steponeatatime

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 17
    • View Profile
Re: New/Day 8
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 01:34:36 AM »
Hang on n there man.  I’m in the same boat.  I relapsed today and just felt horrible.  I’ve been reading many posts here and realized I’m focusing on the wrong thing.   I have an addiction to The chemicals in my brain when I have stimuli.   Don’t focus on the porn thought as much as the fact that your brain wants the “rush”.  I’m hoping that I realize that I can beat this.  I know you can and I know I can.  Prepare for pain and work through it.  Hang in there. 

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: New/Day 8
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 01:57:43 AM »
Totally; I'm looking for that dopamine flood, and every stress I feel or discomfort I experience demands that relief. But giving in and then feeling that remorse and anxiety is part of the process and how it all starts over again. Trying to be super kind to myself and go easy tonight. Right now is the time to just focus on my recovery. Thanks, man.

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: New/One Day at a Time
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 10:46:59 PM »
Made it through last night and, so far, all of today (day 9, no PMO). Felt the itch much less this morning than I was feeling it last night, but I can feel that tide sort of coming back in.

I get depressed on Sundays. I also got called into work for an emergency today (my day off). I handled it, and didn't let frustration overtake me as it is wont to do, but I definitely found myself at one point thinking that it might feel nice to MO when I got back home. Not like I "deserved" it or was "owed" it somehow, it just felt like the thing to do at the conclusion of being called on to handle a task. And in that moment, I was very aware of how this addiction works. Frustration or anxiety or stress or other uncomfortable emotions are not only what sets the stage for using, it's part of the process. I've come to associate those moments of discomfort as signals that a dopamine rush is coming later. And I had to notice it, acknowledge it, and ask why. Same with the low feeling I get Sunday nights.

So if faith will have it, I'll make it through tonight and onto day 10 of no PMO. Nights are most difficult. Sometimes I find that I'll begin M as I start to drift off. Maybe not that exactly, but it's like as soon as the beta waves start, I'll sometimes come to finding myself already at it. Or even "wake up" in front of the computer M ing to P. It's like sleepwalking almost. Terribly embarrassing to admit. Does anyone else experience this?

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: New/One Day at a Time
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 12:01:20 AM »
Day 10 of no PMO. Again, hoping to make it though the night and not wake up catching myself in the act. Felt the urge much less today. Because of work and that I was busy? My hands were less idle and didn't have time to enter the devil's workshop? How will I feel in an hour when I've been home for a while and have settled and the high of being busy and interacting with the world begins to subside? Is it enough just to know my triggers, and will talking about them and externalizing them help?

Work was busy, a lot of things went wrong, a lot of things pushed me outside of my comfort zone, a lot of things made me feel insecure. These are all things that make me feel like I'm slipping, like I'm losing control, and a key way I regain that sense of control is by grabbing onto something, anything, usually myself, as I'm falling. But acceptance is knowing I'm not in charge. That I'm not the one running the show. That I can control like 1% of everything that happens, and just because things don't go MY way doesn't mean everything is fucked, and just because I'm having these thoughts doesn't mean that I can't just acknowledge them and let my thoughts be thoughts and pass.

I think 11 days is a new record. I traveled out of the country in 2009 for 10 days, and I didn't have access to P, and I don't remember there being any MO because I was staying on friends' floors and whatnot, but just to be on the safe side, we'll call 11 days the mark. But there's a lot of days between 2009 and 2017.

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: New/One Day at a Time
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 08:44:00 PM »
Trigger warning: I need to describe some thoughts and actions somewhat explicitly to externalize them and get them out of my own head. I will clearly mark off that section.

Last night I came very close to slipping. Or maybe I slipped. Then again, maybe I didn't. I guess it comes down to how I feel about it. And the answer is I'm not even sure of that. There was no P. There was M, I suppose. There was no O. I feel weak for indulging, but pleased that I was able to show restraint. And maybe in these early days, restraint is just the best I can do. Progress, not perfection.


***Trigger warning***


It happened, as I expected and have described in this journal, while I was dozing off. I sort of reentered waking reality touching myself. AsI continued, I struggled with whether or not to continue. Would doing it be allowable if I didn't use P? Is making this release something I want and can't have only serving to mystify it and make me want it more? I didn't continue to do it with my usual method or intensity (which I will not describe herein), and managed to make myself stop. At this point I was pretty wound up and frustrated. I decided if I got completely hard, I'd continue. I kept my hands off and felt the sensations. I flipped onto my stomach and began to rub against the bed, deciding then that as long as I didn't use my hands, it was ok. I edged closer and closer, but ultimately could not make myself stop feeling wary or shake the feeling of doing something wrong. So I stopped and flipped on the light. I collected myself and read for about an hour.


***   ***   ***

I was tired and sort of groggy today, as reading kept me up later than I would have liked to stay up. But I know I would have felt disappointed if I had O'd. And I would have felt far, far worse if I had stared into a computer screen and allowed the blue light to retard my melatonin production. So ultimately, I was pleased I read and put positive things into my brain rather than tapping my energy during these sensitive early stages.

I think it's unrealistic to say I'll stop M forever (P's still gotta go). But I'm not worrying about forever, I'm worrying about today and that I'm trying to produce a pretty radical change in myself. And I'm not there yet, because at no point in that was I completely hard, and also some P thoughts, scenarios, and behaviors were playing though my head. Which makes me again ask myself if I relapsed or not, and certainly tells me I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Today I've felt, how you say, sensitive in that region of my body. And I'm worried about that feeling and the events of last night opening the door to feeling more ok about doing it tonight. Which I don't want to; I feel compelled to keep this going.

But all I can do is be honest here. And remind myself again that for me it's about progress, not perfection.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 12:55:13 AM by El Goodo »

Steponeatatime

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 17
    • View Profile
Re: New/One Day at a Time
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 02:15:28 AM »
I would say overall you did good man.  I’m trying to do a 90 day no PMOing.  I find sleeping about 7 hrs is a good thing for me.  Also taking naps if I feel really tired.  For me it seems to be when I’m tired that I turn to P and MOing.  I have not had the same thing as you, yet, but wet dreams after about 1-2 weeks (that’s the most I’ve gone in probably 10years). I hope I can pull through for 90 days since this is the first time I’ve really been here.   Sounds like you are doing pretty go so far so keep going.  You control you nothing else.  Not porn not your dick but only you.  I think we can do this.  It is possible but we have to control our thinking and embrace pain/emotions.  You seem like your doing it.  Keep going. 

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 12:48:36 AM »
Today is day 12 of no PMO. Still feeling raw from yesterday. Still grappling with unwanted thoughts and feelings. Doing my very best not to judge them and let them exist parallel to me and not become them.

I've been sleeping reasonably well and getting enough hours, but have still felt tired and headachy the last few days. Is it because of this program I'm working? Possibly, possibly not, but I hope that discomfort doesn't become a reason for myself to check out mentally. I hope that if I slip it will not be with P but will be M with my own thoughts and feelings. I hope I can forgive myself if that happens. I hope I'm not setting the stage by saying that either.

Forgiving myself is the hardest thing. That and not judging myself. The hardest. Right now I feel pretty disgusted that it's taking this much work, energy, and focus not to do a thing a monkey in a zoo does. Of course, being trapped by a mental obsession and feeling the scrutiny of others for the things I know I've done, it's hard not to feel like that monkey in that zoo.

But I'm not that. I have the capacity for change. I have the capacity for freedom. I have the capacity to turn self-abuse into self-forgiveness.

Steponeatatime

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 17
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 04:28:48 AM »
After reading this post, and the other in my thread, I would say if we find self worth and stay positive about the future and take this day by day we can win.  I’m only on day 5 or so and it’s not easy but I can say I want to push through.  Sometimes the hardest thing is feeling like I actually like PMOing and what not.  The reality is that it’s me rationalizing so I can get a fix.  I won’t entertain that thought even if it does pop up now and again.  You seem like your doing pretty well and just have moments, like us all, where this shit gets tough.  I know you can doing and so can I.  Hang in there. 

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 11:41:10 PM »
Today is the end of day 13 of no PMO. I'm super tired after another late night of white-knuckling last night.

I thrashed around a lot, trying to get to sleep while my brain was a three-ring circus of sexual thoughts and screaming bloody murder for release and suppressing urges. Praying for a wet dream - a "freelapse" - and pleading with myself that I couldn't dream if I didn't go to sleep. So again, I finally just flipped on the damn light and pulled out my book and stayed up later than I wanted to reading. Would I be tired tomorrow (today), yes, but at least I wouldn't feel like I got hit by a truck. I made myself tired enough to konk, and it felt sort of like when there's a jackhammer that's been going all afternoon outside your window and finally it stops and you can't believe how peaceful it is, but it's not that it's actually peaceful, it's just that the hammering stopped. I'll deal with peace another day. Right now there's gonna be some jackhammers because my brain is a construction site.

Thinking today about all the planning I did to watch P. At work, or somewhere over the course of my day, I'd get an image, a picture, a scene, a person, a site, whatever, in my head and be fixated on that and obsess over how great it was gonna be when I was done with everything I had to do that day and I could just be at home and settle in for a nice, long sesh. But those seshes were always the most underwhelming. They never held up to the excitement I had planned. The most exciting ones were accidental: When something turned me on in the morning and I had to beat the clock to get one in before work. When I noticed some compelling detail in an otherwise banal sex scene in a movie or tv show or something and tenaciously had to hunt down that detail and wallow in it and chase after others like it and keep hitting that switch again and again. Or when I was hungover and P was the only thing that would make me feel better. Or when I just got that nefarious little tap on my shoulder and couldn't resist and five minutes turned into two hours. Those were the juicy ones. And the ones that always left me feeling the grossest and most empty. That's where the real money is. Point being: It's never as good as you think it's going to be.

I used to keep a journal and document my inner life quite frequently. I haven't done so in well over a year. But I can't help but notice the shape it's taking here. It feels good and I hope I don't jynx it. It's not the journal I wanted to keep, but it's the one I need.

Steponeatatime

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 17
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 05:23:48 AM »
I totally feel you with the insane urges when sleeping or trying to sleep.  I am not even a full week in and get erections almost every night.  The addict side of me says “goto a cam site and jack off for some random woman” but my brain says “everytime you do that you feel like shit after and fall into crazy depression which leads to more PMOing”.  So far I’ve been strong enough but I’m back on call for work, which can take me out of town, and I can already tell it’s going to be a struggle.  If I keep

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 02:11:55 AM »
Today is day 14. A fortnight of no PMO. Let's get through tonight.

I used to have some misgivings around day-counting in recovery. But I've found it's less about me, less about scratching tic marks into the cell walls, than it is about my accountability to others in recovery. About identifying myself and letting others know where I'm at and reinforcing that we're all slowly doing this together.

Just got home from watching a friend's band play. I grapple with some pretty serious social anxiety, so it's pretty common that when I get home feeling squirrely and awkward, I want to turn to PMO as some way of "grounding" myself or returning to a version of reality that I can control. But part of the process is feeling that discomfort and learning to live with it and living in the fact that I can't control everything and not turning to self-destructive habits that give me the illusion that I'm in control.

I also got a cigarette and smoked it when I got home. I haven't properly smoked in a long time, but I came into one and it seemed like an ok way to take the edge off. Smoking it on my back porch, I was reminded of what a trigger that actually was for me. Standing there and letting my mind wander, the first thoughts that come into my mind without anything directly in front of my face to distract me are thoughts of P, what P I'd like to use, how good settling into some PMO would feel. It's crazy how wired I am for that, how deeply and surprisingly it has its weird little hooks in me.

But let's just get through tonight. Let's build a wall around tonight and not look over it.

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 01:01:02 PM »
Last night I had a 75% wet dream. I say 75% because the first three quarters were entirely in a dream, and then for the last part I was somewhere between asleep and awake, although not dreaming anymore. I was too far along at that point to stop.

Some good things are: 1. No P. 2. No thoughts of P. 3. No use of my hand whatsoever. 4. Actually hard, and far more intense than any release I remember in years, and all the "memorable" ones were during sex with another human.

There are also some negative elements, to me. One is that I'm feeling very anxious that I've rung a bell I can't un-ring. I'm proud of my 14 days, and I don't want this to be an excuse for future sleepytime slipups. The last 14 days were hard, but I got through them, and I don't want to fold in the future when the going gets rough.

It was also really revelatory to me. I have some idea in my head that if I MO when I can't sleep or am feeling stressed, it will relax me. And the opposite was true last night (even after 14 days), and come to think of it, has always been true. I had great difficulty falling back to sleep. I was totally wound up and anxious. Thinking, ruminating, overthinking. Feeling very guilty even though my rational mind knew it was ok.

To play pop psychologist for a moment, I think it's because my brain is conditioned to feel anxious and guilty and "ok, how I am gonna explain this one"-y after decades of PMO that actually did make me feel bad about myself. To tell the truth, I've never not felt guilty after O. Even in adolescence, my second time doing it, I remember thinking that it felt so good it had to be wrong, so I couldn't do it ever again. And then it happened the next day, and I was having that very same conversation with myself. I've been trying to quit this and making these little deals with myself ever since there was nothing to quit!

So I haven't decided how I feel about last night. But I know in the last two weeks, despite the pressure, I've felt really, really good, so I wanna keep going with this. I may have O last night, but it was far healthier than any solo-O I've had in years. Progress, not perfection.

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 12:42:00 AM »
Hoping to make it through night 15 of no PMO.

Depending on however you count last night. I feel fine about it, albeit apprehensive about nights going forward. But trying not to future-trip. Just want to take each as they come and forgive myself if I fail.

That and focus on the positives: Absolutely P-free for 15 days. No using my hand; my old, familiar, conditioned death-grip. Plus the evidence of how good I'm able to feel by trying me best, talking about my struggle here, and feeling supported by you guys. Hopefully returning some of that support.

I'd still rather feel ground-down and exhausted from trying to do this than fried and disgusted by PMO-ing for hours or staring at the computer screen in a dark room in the middle of the night, the fan of my computer roaring like a leaf-blower as I cue up video after video and load page after page that I will hypnotically blur through like a flipbook of pornographic pummeling.

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 10:21:24 PM »
Feeling intense desire to MO right now. Hoping to put it out here and tell on myself and externalize it a bit.

For some reason, it seems to sneak up on me a lot when I'm lying on my bed reading. If I'm not rapt, my mind wanders and that's right where it goes.

Also, and this is very embarrassing for me to admit, I'm feeling triggered today because of thinking of my most recent ex due to seeing her moniker on Instagram as having "liked" a friend's picture. Just being reminded of her out of nowhere has sort of set me off. We weren't together long (9 mons.) and haven't been broken up long (3 mons.) On paper, I don't actively miss her and our relationship didn't end up making a ton of sense to me. She dumped me, unrelated to PMO and my other abuse issues; just didn't work out. But it was honestly the best sex of my life, and I still crave it. Which isn't a good reason to miss somebody or long after them or whatever. But just trying to be honest here that thinking about her makes me horny. And that's hard to grapple with when I'm doing my very best not to MO.

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2017, 12:14:44 AM »
Day 17 no PMO. No MO. One wet-dream-half-asleep-no-hands release.

I really don't feel like writing tonight. I also know that I must be doing something right because this seems to be working so far, despite how miserably hard it can be, so that would seem to suggest I don't stop doing what I'm doing.

Last night was ROUGH. Worst one yet. My skin was just crawling with it. Took everything I had, and even then, I'd start snatching at myself and have to forcibly stop. It was like Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove or some shit. I'd be straight writhing around at points. I didn't think I'd make it through the night when I was going to sleep, and then suddenly it was the morning and I made it. That was pretty damn crazy.

I get that this is a bit by bit, progressive inching toward recovery and self-esteem, and that every little drop in the bucket pays off, but man, I keep having moments of "why do I have to do this?" and wanting all the cash and prizes right fucking now. But I have faith that more will be revealed.

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2017, 01:20:19 AM »
Tonight I slipped and MO. Tedious to describe my mental rationalizations that let me to giving in, but I did. And it made me feel better. Which is fine. Could have been worse. Could have used P, which I did not. Could have used my familiar, conditioned death-grip, but I did not.

Do I wish I hadn't? Yes. Part of that is, as I've mentioned before, that a lifetime of PMO has conditioned me to necessarily feel guilt after O, including good sex with women. That's an attitude I need to dispel. And removing P from my life is certainly a start. What if I could MO and feel assured that I hadn't looked at anything objectionable, or indulged in an hour-long marathon sesh? What if I could feel like I did something natural and didn't use an addictive, destructive crutch?

I'm also nervous because, even though there's nothing wrong with MO on paper, and even though I think it's unrealistic to never MO again, I know I do need a serious break. A palate-cleanse. An opportunity to divorce M from P in my mind. So now's a chance, and I felt great about the last 17 days despite how grueling it could be, and I don't want to fold every time I feel the itch. I want the strength and the willingness to keep putting in the work.

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

El Goodo

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 23
    • View Profile
Re: One Day at a Time
« Reply #18 on: Today at 12:35:29 AM »
Haven't posted in a couple of days. Still sorta assessing my feelings after the other night. Probably not a habit I should get into (not talking about what's going on with me here, that is), as engaging with this part of my life and externalizing it and talking about it is certainly key in helping to remove myself from it.

I guess the positive thing is that I'm still P and PMO-free after 19 days. But somehow that feels hollow to me after MO on Tuesday night. I know it shouldn't; I'm really happy about the work I've done and I'm really proud of the change that's being produced, and I know that MO without P is natural and ok, but I just wanted to do it right, you know? I wanted it to be perfect and now I feel guilty. And that's not useful or helpful. But I just feel down and out about the whole thing. And yeah, progress not perfection. And I think the progress I've made is huge, but it's still hard to let go of old attitudes. That'll take work. I just don't want to fold every single time.