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Journals => Ages 30-39 => Topic started by: PE30 on June 14, 2017, 11:41:02 AM

Title: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 14, 2017, 11:41:02 AM
Hi all.

I'm a married guy with two children; I am a Christian. I joined up to this last autumn and managed nearly two months porn and chat-room free. Then my stepmum died and in the stress (and in the three nights in my dad's house away from my wife and kids) I relapsed.

And I relapsed hard. To the point where I had two women who both wanted to meet me for sex: one of whom I was actually due to meet tomorrow, and one of whom I was due to meet next month.

Anyway, last Thursday I had a Facebook message out of the blue from a girl I'd previously cheated on my wife with. (Back-story: we met on a chat room in late 2013, slept together in early 2014, got found out later that year). I'd lied so much to this girl - I'd essentially catfished her, using a different name, withholding my marital status... and she has been ruminating over the past couple of years on how much hurt I've caused her.

I've apologised, profusely, and I'm hoping that this is the end of it. I did a horrible thing back then and I'm gutted that I allowed it to spill into real life and cause her real hurt.

So that's it for the chat rooms. The porn was never so much of an issue - it was more of a chaser when I couldn't find anyone to chat with.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate your help with
(a) conquering the feelings of guilt, shame and fear which now plague me;
(b) making sure that I kick this habit into the grass for the rest of my living days.

In a way, I'm thinking that these feelings of guilt and shame are healthy to an extent as they're galvanising my brain into staying away from anything that might damage my relationship with my wife. Also I'm wondering whether there was a degree of God-given timing to her message: it was a painful message to receive but if it's served to protect me from further unfaithfulness then it's no bad thing.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 15, 2017, 04:33:34 AM
8 days in. I had a really good chat with a friend last night, who prayed for me. I've also signed up for counselling through my work. I'm trying to face these problems head-on this time, even if that's more painful. I'm finding that I need something a bit more than a straightforward "count the days til you get to your target" (though this is also helpful and gives an idea of progress).

I'm also trying to avoid non-sexual 'replacement' activities. For years I posted on a music forum (many times daily) and spent more of my time talking to online people than to IRL people. I also tried Scrabble (yes, I know) and ended up compulsively playing 4-5 games of Scrabble online per day.

Anyhow, I'm just posting this to keep myself accountable. Please feel free to reply / send encouragement etc etc.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 16, 2017, 08:58:47 AM
Here's a question: how do you cope with the boredom?

I have been trying to avoid replacement behaviours such as posting on music forums, playing online Scrabble and so on. But I really feel like I need to engage in a new hobby or activity. Also, I'm struggling at work with boredom - I am used to working at a certain speed to keep up with all the various conversations I'm having online on my phone.

I've got an evening in the house on my own tonight but I'm preparing myself: indian takeaway and something not too triggery on Netflix :)
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Nikola Numez on June 16, 2017, 10:13:45 AM
Quote
how do you cope with the boredom?
Quote
engage in a new hobby or activity
exactly. although porn can murder the fun part of the brain and it may take some months to recover from this, you can still pick and choose something that is the most fun to do. it may not be super exciting at the moment but if it is the most exciting thing of all other things that you could do, then go for it!

im not saying you wont find something very exciting to do but if you dont, just go with the most fun thing you can do :)

also there are maybe things that would be good for you but you are procrastinating.. you can focus on those too. im sure there are bunch of these activities too.. activities where you experience excitement only because you finished doing them  ;D

just look inside, i think you always intuitively know what you could be doing instead of feeling bored. its just a matter of getting in touch with that.... and of course overcoming procrastination and laziness ;D 
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Totem on June 16, 2017, 10:14:42 AM
Boredom is in some part effect of overstimulated dopamine circut.
Try meditation - 15 minute session once-twice a day.

Beside that - try writing your goals, than sort them by priority, pick small one, plan how to do it and execute.
Start small - it will be way faster.

I battle with myself all the time about huge goals and often fail or need to let it go. Huge things are hard as hell.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 17, 2017, 10:30:29 AM
Thank you for your advice! I think I need to get better at goal-setting at work. It's not so bad in the evening as I can spend time with my wife, read, play guitar and watch Netflix... It's just getting through the working day.

Maybe I'll start taking a mindful / meditative walk at lunchtime.

Anyway, I got through an evening home alone without too much difficulty. Watched a film, played some guitar and went to bed. Was horny as heck when I woke up this morning but I just rode it out.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 18, 2017, 10:00:49 AM
Weekends are generally pretty easy as there is very little alone time. Plus there is plenty to keep me occupied and away from boredom.

It's Father's Day in the UK and I can't help but feel guilty for the wasted years and the risk I have exposed my girls to. I continue to pray for mercy and strength.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 19, 2017, 02:47:57 AM
I got through the weekend okay - to be honest it was too hot to think about anything particularly sexual yesterday (in England, we don't cope once it gets to the 80s because houses aren't built for hot weather!)

My aims for the week:

1. complete all work in good time and with a good quality;
2. find an additional line of work to keep myself occupied;
3. stay calm!

I have a counselling session booked in for Wednesday. I'm hoping that this will help.

Any encouragement / motivational words welcome!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 20, 2017, 03:07:35 AM
I had a horrid dream last night in which I relapsed - had a really graphic dream involving various pornographic images but it didn't feel sexy at all, it just felt depressing.

Anyway, it was just a dream. I didn't relapse.

I've just noticed that the 60 day target expires on the last day of my holiday with the family. Days 53-60 will be easier, but I'm home alone for quite a few days in the preceding week. Anyway, it's only day 12. One  day at a time.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 20, 2017, 05:57:59 AM
Additional: I just read something briefly on someone else's journal about objectification. I have so far to come with this. When I see a good-looking woman, I need to stop looking twice; I need to nip this at the root. It's difficult though. I feel like God is stirring me to be a bit more thorough with this reboot: to keep pushing things back to where He wants them. To conquer my lust and not just its manifestations.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 21, 2017, 07:17:23 AM
More weird dreams last night. But dreams are just dreams - I didn't wake up and act on them.

I'm 13 days in - I'd say, if I'm honest with myself, that this is my weakest point - that 12-21 day period where the initial enthusiasm for quitting is on the wane and I find myself wanting to let things slip.

However:

- I've got counselling this afternoon at 3.30 and I'm hoping that this will help
- it's my wife's birthday tomorrow.

I don't want to let anything slip - this is for the long haul. I want thorns and briers to grow on those paths that led me to destruction, and I want a clear path of self-discipline and righteousness. I'm praying for God's Spirit to swell in me in a greater measure.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 21, 2017, 10:39:18 AM
The counselling was really helpful actually. The counsellor seems to think it's an addiction that I'm dealing with here. I guess that confirms my thinking.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on June 21, 2017, 01:50:18 PM
You are doing really well. It's great to hear that you are taking it seriously and you are not only rebooting but getting counselling too. I am sure deep in your heart you already know this but at some point, you might need to consider telling your wife. Not only for the fact that shame builds when kept in secret. Porn is all about shame. Healing can only be had through open, honest, integrity, authenticity, respect, and taking ownership for your actions but more... you and your wife might need to be tested. At some point when a spouse cheats there is a safety issue too. It is completely your call, you have that right. But would you want to know if the tables were turned and your wife was in your place? God can heal all things, even this. It might not seem that way, but if he can create the entire universe then maybe you can trust him with this part of it.

Either way, keep up the good work. I am not saying these things to shame but more to encourage real life changing healing for you and for your wife.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 22, 2017, 02:08:14 AM
Hi Aquarius

Thanks for the encouragement. I should make it clear that my wife knows - both about the addiction and the counselling. She found out  late in 2014. Although I've had a couple of relapses since that point, I feel like telling her was absolutely crucial to my recovery.

And yes, heck yes I'm taking it seriously. I work in housing and loads of the people I deal with are single guys in their 50s who have made a mess of their relationships. I want to look ahead to 20-25 years' time and think of myself walking my daughters down the aisle, not sitting in some miserable house-share. I don't want to throw away the amazing gifts God has given me.

Two weeks done, anyway :)
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 22, 2017, 07:59:23 AM
Oh and yes, we both got tested last year and were clean. The counsellor I talked to yesterday described how addiction leaves a trail of chaos in its wake - I feel like the last two and a bit years have revealed more and more ways that I'd ended up damaging things. The good news is that with God's grace, my wife and I have begun rebuilding. I have had relapses but I am in recovery.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on June 22, 2017, 08:08:10 AM
That is really awesome! Frankly a breath of fresh air to other journals. Almost inspiring as a partner, lol. One thing I might mention that my husband expressed was helpful in him not wanting to look at porn anymore was thinking about the porn industry as a whole. Realizing that by viewing he was participating is a really demoralising and well frankly sad industry. Not many "fruits of the spirit" blooming there. It wasn't to shame himself but more to take ownership and responsibility for it. Since that realisation, he said it really ruined his appetite for it as all. Now, through our business, we make and donate to organisations that help fight human trafficking and things. Just a thought to help keep you focused. Sending prayers of support to you and your family.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 23, 2017, 04:42:41 AM
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

I totally agree about porn - even if you remove the trafficking element, it's an industry in which young women are paid a pittance to perform ever more uncomfortable and degrading sex acts. If I would not wish that on my own daughters and wife, why would I expect someone else's daughter / gf / wife to perform for my gratification? If you analyse it, it's utterly wrong.

To be honest, the chat rooms are much more of a temptation for me - I much preferred talking to women online, turning them on, being turned on, etc etc. But again, I could apply the same logic. Would I want anyone I know and love to be caught up in that? How would I feel if my wife was getting turned on by random guys online? I'd hate it. So why would I apply one rule to myself and one to everyone else? It's illogical.

I've been praying loads over the last two weeks. I'm longing for the presence of God in my life in deeper measure. I can't be lukewarm on this: either He's real and He deserves everything, or I should be pitied above all men. I'm convinced He's real and I'm convinced that true happiness lies with him alone.


This is day 16 anyway :)

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 24, 2017, 01:06:13 PM
Day 17

Ugh, I had a horrible dream last night in which I relapsed and ended up with KiK on my phone and loads of pics and then my wife wanted to use my phone and I panicked... Was so glad to wake up!

Had a lovely day with my family. I've been trying to be mindful of all the joy they give me, and trying to be thankful for every day. Treat every day as an undeserved gift. I still feel feelings of guilt and shame and fear, but these are beginning to fade.

I've been looking into the 12 step program for sex addicts- I think it's true: I am powerless against my addiction without a higher power. When I turn to God, things change. I have felt my heart softening and the Spirit beginning to dwell in me again. I'm not transformed but I am in the process of transformation.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 26, 2017, 04:12:59 AM
Day 19

Had a really good weekend. I'm beginning to see how we can't fix this with abstinence alone. I think that this site is so helpful: for journaling, encouraging each other and so on. But we can't fix this on our own. I think it's important to find positive life elsewhere, develop healthy habits that help train our brain to receive its dopamine from steadier, better sources, to surrender ourselves to a higher power... my 19 days have been a testimony to God's work in me, not merely my own willpower. All of these things work in partnership.

I am glad for this strength as I will be going into a potentially tricky evening tonight where I'll be on my own. If you read this (and pray), please pray for me.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on June 26, 2017, 07:23:58 AM
I have read a lot of men here who describe being alone as the most triggering time. When I think about times in my life when I am training to set new habits and create changes in my lifestyle I find it so overwhelmingly useful to write affirmations and have them where I can see them regularly. Whether it be sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, on the edge of the computer screen, and by the tv. Or even a stone or rock you carry in your pocket or something to hang from your rearview mirror. Pick things that you are intentionally saying represent your recovery. Something that reminds you why you are doing this. If you have yourself surrounded by these reminders maybe it will help keep you focused on your recovery instead of getting distracted.

Just a thought. I will be praying for you!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 26, 2017, 08:57:29 AM
Thanks - that's a good idea. I think I'd need to be fairly subtle about it - i.e. make them quite positive and generic. I don't really want my daughters picking up on it.

To be honest, my best strategy is just to think "what am I going to do with tonight that doesn't involve going onto a chatroom?" Funnily enough, my wife has asked me if I'll make a batch of bolognese for some evening meals. So that'll take up some of the time. And Glastonbury was on over the weekend so I might watch a couple of sets from that.

I just need to be honest with myself and not to be naive enough to think that I can afford to slip back at all.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on June 26, 2017, 01:17:26 PM
Hi PE30,
Its great to read that you are back with a firm desire to get rid of the addiction
Ironically I have also started my first reboot in Autumn, and did it 2 months.
After that it was up and down all the time.
I am also Christian.
one thing I am sure about: God does not judge you because of this addiction
He is on your side and will help you through
There is a lot of shame involved, I have the same...it is not easy...
You are dealing with an addiction.

I personally left behind all the thoughts why and how I have started, and all the religious and moral aspect of the question.
what counts: where are you now and where you will be later in your life...
I am also looking for an AP, if you need one we can became partners...let me know
Only thing: I live in Germany and I am not merried.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 26, 2017, 04:08:01 PM
Hey

Yes I'd definitely be up for that. I'll read up on the guidelines and I'll happily partner up with you. It doesn't matter that you're not married :) and it's handy that you're from Europe as you're on a similar timezone to me!

It is an addiction; I'm just keeping the future in my mind... A future that is porn and chat room free and is full of love and fun and a clear mind!

Oh FAO aquarius25: I survived the evening. Felt a bit tempted when I got into bed which is why I've come on here to post. There's something about admitting your weakness which makes you stronger!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 26, 2017, 04:11:22 PM
Final (non PMO-related note): listening to Radiohead on your own for 90 minutes when you're feeling emotionally vulnerable isn't exactly the best idea!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 27, 2017, 12:20:37 PM
Day 20

Past couple of days have felt a little trickier, but then I'm not really surprised about this as (a) I've been a bit tired over the past few days and (b) I typically have a tough patch about three weeks into a reboot. I've got past this before though.

It really helps to write these thoughts down on here- again, I'm strongest when I admit my weakness. Maybe it's best to accept that this addiction will always be with me, but that I possess the strength (in God) to overcome each and every time.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on June 27, 2017, 12:37:19 PM
yes man, in three weeks it got harder also by me...
make sure you relax good after work,
do you have hobbys? something that you enjoy?
I think having good rest is very important, but maybe not easy when you have a family.
still try to find time for you.

I think the best is to live one day at a time, don t worry too much about what comes, it is important who you are now and how you develop yourself...all the other staff you don t need.
enjoy your day!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 28, 2017, 05:18:45 AM
Thanks Vardan. I'll PM you back.

Day 21 - had a second counselling session. It feels a bit like going to a chiropractor for the brain - afterwards I feel a bit unsettled and not quite right, but I think that it's probably doing good. He's quite tough with me.

He was talking about how it might be helpful to think of this addiction as always being there. To hold it, contain it, treat it with a healthy fear. I've come unstuck too many times when I've assumed that I'm safe or thought "yeah, just one day of messing around will be fine". If it's a lifelong fight then so be it.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on June 28, 2017, 07:05:40 AM
My husband remarked on a video he watched recently just before he joined a 12 group. He had watched a video of an PA talking and in the video, he has said he was 20 years clean. He would refer to himself as a recovered addict. The label addict is there for a lifetime but the difference was recovery to recoverd. He is always an addict, where he is with it is what changes. For my husband, he said it really caught him off guard. He was surprised because he had never really considered his addiction a lifetime thing. He assumed that once you are over it, your done. You can just check the box and move on. It wasn't till then that he really started to understand the nature of addiction. Once he really started learning and understanding this his recovery took on a deeper layer of intensity and he started to really show deep improvement if finding the root cause and understanding himself with this addiction. Before he wasn't watching porn but he also wasn't really recovering either. You can stop watching porn and never really change the way you view things.That isn't recovery that is just abstaining from one thing and most likely replacing it with something else.

Sound like you are really working on a life change. Great job!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 28, 2017, 08:14:26 AM
I actually think that the Christian narrative of healing / deliverance isn't necessarily 100% helpful on this. I've not been healed or delivered from a porn / chatroom addiction. Believe me, I've begged for healing and deliverance but it's not there!

HOWEVER - I have been given the tools I need to make the right choices to ensure that this addiction does not destroy me. And I guess that's something.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 29, 2017, 04:21:27 AM
Three weeks in :)

And i'm working from home today, and (so far) the temptation to go back to my old ways isn't really there too badly! I've made one change: I'm working from my living room rather than my bedroom. Somehow the change of scenery is helping - the curtains are open and people can see into the living room, which keeps me accountable.

I think that I'm starting to build up positive pathways. I'm listening to a lot of music, I'm reading theological blogs, I'm trying to think outside of the world of computers and screens and appreciate the things around me.

I'm also trying to be aware of my own body. That it's okay to feel a bit horny and that the world isn't going to end if I don't do anything about it.

I've got SO FAR to go before I reach my 60 day milestone. But I'm a third of the way in.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on June 29, 2017, 08:41:23 AM
Hey PE 30,

Congrats with 3 weeks!!!Cool!!!
Yes, working from home is good only if you stay accountable (so living room is a good idea).
Which music you like the most? if you need some suggestions let me know (but only concerning classics, or old fashioned music :) )
For me it is also like this: yesterday I really enjoyed my dinner with some friends and I thought about that as well:there is a life outside computers and it s much better.
Do you do sport? I find fitness really a good thing during the reboot.
It also helps to get rid of stress.




Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on June 29, 2017, 08:44:40 AM
I actually think that the Christian narrative of healing / deliverance isn't necessarily 100% helpful on this. I've not been healed or delivered from a porn / chatroom addiction. Believe me, I've begged for healing and deliverance but it's not there!


I also don t connect much my faith directly to the healing from addiction.There are several indirect connections, but praying and getting healed, I also didnot succeed in that .
I remember once I was in a conference where the pastor said: you need to pray and stop watching porn. Before that he said that he never watched porn. I found it a bit ignorant: you don t say to drug addict, pray and get rid of it. And it indeed sounds easy when you never used drugs (porn or whatever) by yourself.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 29, 2017, 10:43:16 AM
I think that pastors are often generalists and don't have a really good understanding of other people's issues. I remember having a long chat with my pastor about mental health issues and explaining to him: you can't just expect someone with depression to snap out of it. That you would treat mental health like physical health and put in a recovery plan - like physiotherapy for the mind.

I PMed you with some stuff about praying, about faith and such like but really, the emphasis isn't as faith as a means of healing, but faith as a good thing and a way of putting your life in perspective. I hope it made sense!

And in terms of music - I listen to a lot of indie, alternative, electronica, folk, that sort of thing. I've been watching a lot of the Glastonbury coverage!

I am not sporty as such but I cycle and walk lots. I love the outdoors.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 30, 2017, 02:35:58 AM
Day 23

I am full of guilt and remorse today for what I've done in my past. I can't believe that I got myself in such a mess. I can't believe that I allowed myself to fall so far. I just feel awful about what I've done, the hurt I've caused, the risks I've taken, all for my own selfish ends. I wish I could experience forgiveness but these waves of regret and fear keep coming in every so often.

Ugh. It's horrible. I guess it's no less than I deserve, though.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 30, 2017, 04:55:00 AM
Sorry, that was a bit of an emotional outburst. I might list some positives instead as actually I'm on day 23 and that's no bad thing:

- I have gone 23 days without: using chat rooms, PMO, MO, sexting
- I have deleted my old KiK, Snapchat and gmail accounts
- I have had great sex with my wife
- any ED disappeared within a few days
- I feel closer to God and feel a greater sense of His presence in my life
- I am starting to spend more time in the real world (I have avoided replacement activities like online games and music forums)
- I am sleeping more peacefully.

So it's not all bad. I still have a long way to go (years and years to go) but I have made progress from day one.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on June 30, 2017, 09:05:49 AM
Day 23

I am full of guilt and remorse today for what I've done in my past. I can't believe that I got myself in such a mess. I can't believe that I allowed myself to fall so far. I just feel awful about what I've done, the hurt I've caused, the risks I've taken, all for my own selfish ends. I wish I could experience forgiveness but these waves of regret and fear keep coming in every so often.

Ugh. It's horrible. I guess it's no less than I deserve, though.

I had similar phase as well during the last reboot. Maybe it is also good for us to realize the damage that porn or chat rooms are causing. Dont  get discouraged, it is a good sign that you are on the right road. Recognize it and move on. Live one day at a time.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on June 30, 2017, 09:22:55 AM
Sorry, that was a bit of an emotional outburst. I might list some positives instead as actually I'm on day 23 and that's no bad thing:

- I have gone 23 days without: using chat rooms, PMO, MO, sexting
- I have deleted my old KiK, Snapchat and gmail accounts
- I have had great sex with my wife
- any ED disappeared within a few days
- I feel closer to God and feel a greater sense of His presence in my life
- I am starting to spend more time in the real world (I have avoided replacement activities like online games and music forums)
- I am sleeping more peacefully.

So it's not all bad. I still have a long way to go (years and years to go) but I have made progress from day one.

Good that you came up with this positiv list :)
You are indeed doing great, but it is really good that you have written about your emotions, thats also part of you and they are there to be accepted, recognized and dealt with. Anyways, I am really glad to read your positiv experiences, keep your focus on them!!!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on June 30, 2017, 10:04:14 AM
Thank you :) I guess it's inevitable that I'm going to be recovering from the damage caused for some time. But I guess I can see recovery if I look back day on day.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 01, 2017, 08:18:10 AM
Day 24

Still feeling up and down emotionally but am talking to my wife lots and trying to stay positive. We're heading to a barbecue later which will be nice.

All I can do is submit myself to God and say that he is bigger than this addiction and bigger than the hurt it's caused.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 02, 2017, 08:31:48 AM
hey PE30,
emotional instability I think is one of the most typical withdrawal symptoms.
Sometimes its good just to ignore them, but not always.
I guess they can be also an indicator what we need or where exactly we feel the emptiness in our life.

Its cool that you share that with your wife. I think also letting yourself being slightly more vulnerable with your partner will make your relationship even better.
Hope you enjoyed barbecue, and keep your focus on whatever good/positiv happens around you and on God.



Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 02, 2017, 10:49:30 AM
Yes I agree. It's been way to use chat rooms as a means of getting away from reality or providing a temporary kick when things are difficult, but it's not good!

Anyway it's day 25. Church was good this morning and I've got quite a few jobs done on the house this afternoon. I have slight dread about the working week ahead but I'm sure it won't be too bad.

I'm just trying to be thankful for each new day and not take anything for granted.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 03, 2017, 03:16:52 AM
Day 26

Woke up at about 5 this morning with this overwhelming sense of peace. I wonder how long that'll last! Anyway I'm getting on towards halfway to my initial target of 60 days. Here's the plan:

Days 26-39: I'm covering for a colleague at work (as well as doing my own work) so I'll be really busy. No time for sitting around feeling tempted.
Days 40-46: should be fairly normal.
Days 47-49: I'm home alone. I'm going to need a good containment plan, a heck of a lot of prayer and battle through them
Days 50-53: I'm away from my family still, but I'll be staying with a friend (as we're having a load of work done on the house). So it shouldn't be too bad. I'll have a lot on in the evenings, just need to relax myself before bed without the usual stimuli.
Days 54-60: on holiday with my family! If I've made it to day 54, I should be fine :)

Anyway, one day at a time.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 03, 2017, 11:02:23 AM
oh wow, that looks really good planned...
I have no idea what I will do next week....haha ;D
I guess with family you have to plan more carefully your time

So, days 47-49 home alone, looks chellenging, but we will go through it ;)
otherwise looks very good,
Stay on the right mood and enjoy the good that day brings.

blessings!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 04, 2017, 02:59:21 AM
Yeah, it's more for my benefit! I know that I want to get to 60 days, and I know that this seems a long way away at the moment. But if I break it down into segments it'll be okay. If I can get through July, the last week of the 60 days will be fine :)

Anyway it's day 27 today. Not feeling too bad this morning. Let's hope I keep it up.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 05, 2017, 04:56:51 AM
Day 28

I'm feeling pretty okay today. Had a really productive night last night - we're having a belated Canada Day celebration as a friend of ours is Canadian, and so I made tortiére and Timbits (or at least an approximation!)

I think that the only way to fight this is through positivity and doing good.

I'm not sure if there are any other Christians who read my posts but I found this article really helpful:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/our-odyssey-against-sexual-temptation

We can't beat this through willpower alone. There has to be a better option. We have to seek the option that is better than porn, or chatrooms, or whatever.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 05, 2017, 11:47:27 AM
We can't beat this through willpower alone. There has to be a better option. We have to seek the option that is better than porn, or chatrooms, or whatever.

Exactly, there should not be one-to-one fight against PMO. It is important to see it in all its complexity.
On the other hand though sometimes it is about willpower, so we don t need to switch it off ;)

I am happy for you man, keep the right attitude, do good, and I am sure you will break it through!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 06, 2017, 04:50:20 AM
Yeah, sometimes I do just need to make the right choice. For instance - and I know this sounds awful but I'm being honest - I was tempted to go look up the Instagram of a woman who I'm helping at the moment as she's quite attractive. But I stopped myself as I felt like it was being voyeuristic and creepy. I need to call these behaviours for what they are and be ruthless with myself. And then find a good opposite!

Anyway it's day 29. Getting there one day at a time!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on July 06, 2017, 08:05:11 AM
My husband used to do the same thing. He would use facebook a lot and look at friends of ours. One thing that helped him put things in perspective was realizing that these are people. He thought about how he would feel if another man had those thoughts about me. He also would think about how they would respond if they knew what he was thinking. For him he would say as a Christ follower we need to keep our minds clean enough that we can be transparent with no shame. If carrying those thoughts creates shame then they aren't the right thoughts. I know that perspective was helpful for him as he would have had shame if those women ever knew what he was thinking. Not sure if it is for you or not but just thought I would share just in case. Good luck!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 06, 2017, 10:45:49 AM
Yes exactly... there are all kinds of reasons that it's wrong. It's that weird disconnect that a SA/PA has between what they *know* is wrong and what they choose to do. I think that objectification of any kind is something I should be nipping in the bud each and every time. I don't feel too bad with myself about a fleeting thought but I cannot afford complacency.





Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 06, 2017, 12:12:37 PM
Yeah, sometimes I do just need to make the right choice. For instance - and I know this sounds awful but I'm being honest - I was tempted to go look up the Instagram of a woman who I'm helping at the moment as she's quite attractive. But I stopped myself as I felt like it was being voyeuristic and creepy. I need to call these behaviours for what they are and be ruthless with myself. And then find a good opposite!

Absolutely, here its important to  be honest with yourself, what and why am I doing this. I think its great that you were so awake to realize it and eventually avoid.


 
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 07, 2017, 02:54:58 AM
Day 30!

Halfway to 60. Right, I can totally do this. I need your help though. Vardan, I really appreciate your encouragement and words. Aquarius - I particularly value your honesty and directness. I think it's really good to call things for what they are and not just rationalise things when we're feeling weak.

I'm trying my absolute best to keep this up. When I get to 60, the target goes to 120. When I get to 120, it goes to 240.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on July 07, 2017, 07:54:39 AM
I think you are doing a really great job. It might seem silly that I follow your journal but I find it very inspiring when I read about married men choosing to be more present, honest, and humble toward dealing with this. You are doing something that will change the trajectory of your marriage and family and that is really amazing. As a partner, I find it hopeful and encouraging to know that my husband isn't alone in that thinking. As a mother its also nice to know that there are marriages out there that are dealing with this and not going to allow porn to have an effect on their parenting anymore. Give me hope that my daughter might be able to find a since man some day.

Keep up the good work. One day at a time. Remember the long term view when you have short term struggles. Keep a reminder or memento on you. Whether it just be a stone in your pocket, or a picture in your wallet. Something you can pull out when you are feeling tempted and it can remind you of the reason you are choosing to not follow that rabbit hole.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 08, 2017, 01:31:46 PM
Thank you for your encouragement... It's really appreciated. I'm wondering what a good memento would be. (You'd think that a wedding ring would do the trick but it's easy to get blind to these things!)

I think that those three things are really important:

Being present: not just for my wife and girls but for those around me. I've actually found that I've been much better with other people, clients etc since rebooting. All that energy that was going into random women is now going in to real people. But not in a creepy way: more that I'm able to be more helpful, more humorous, more alert.

Being honest: it's important to think that I may never actually beat this (in the sense that it might be a lifelong battle with temptation). I can beat it today though. And then tomorrow. And then a day at a time. I've fallen foul of thinking that I'd be permanently clean... But sadly I've forged a pattern of behaviour which means I'll always be susceptible to sexual temptation. The daily choice is to resist that temptation and to trust that there's always a way out.

Being humble: I'm sat here on a sofa in the family home when frankly my wife would have been within her rights to have ditched me. It's her grace and forgiveness that has put me here. Likewise, it's by God's grace that my times on chatrooms didn't end in me doing something illegal. It would have been so easy for a 15 year old to pose as an 18 year old. And then I would have a life ruined.

So anyway it's day 31. Praise God.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 08, 2017, 04:54:19 PM
hey, I think I will take your three points as a motto for my rebooting :)
Really cool :)
Being present, honest and humble!!!
I also noticed I enjoy my life so much more when I am present at the moment, in what I am doing.
It is an extra effort, since so long we have spent in other reality.

Enjoy your evening,

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 10, 2017, 03:00:43 AM
So this is day... 33.

Weekend was good - lots of fun with the family, some time with friends etc. Am back to work now and it's a busy week ahead of me.

I was considering the issue of loneliness last night, as I do feel alone quite a lot of the time. Which is weird when I have such a lovely wife and some decent friends. I guess I've always found it quite difficult to make close male friends - and it's not necessarily that appropriate to have close female friends. Maybe I'll join a club or group or something. Who knows! I think all of these things are connected though.

I had vague urges to relapse over the weekend / this morning but I figure that confessing them will rid them of their power. Onwards we go!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on July 10, 2017, 09:19:16 AM
So mementos are funny things. I was talking with my husband about it over the weekend. He said he prefers something that can fit in his pocket but is large enough that he feels it so it is a reminder. Like a large cell phone in your front pocket because its bulky and you can feel it. I prefer things that require action. I have a friend who wears a rubber band on her wrist and when she is trying to break a habit if she does it she snaps is once as a reminder. I have used three small stones and if I catch myself doing whatever habit I am trying to break I have to take a stone out of my pocket and move it to the other side. Having an action attached, for my at least, feel like I have to take accountability. I have to do something for ownership.  A few years back I was working on being more positive with my words. So when all three stones were moved to the other pocket (every time after a negative word was spoken) then I would have to say three positives for every negative.  This could look like every time you catch yourself oogling you move a rock to the other pocket and you think of something you love about your wife. It doesn't seem like a big change but you are slowly retraining your thought process and creating new habits in a small way that doesn't distract from your daily life. That is just my suggestion. Find what works for you.

I think building a good close friendship with other men, ones you can confide in, is a really great idea. Even Christ has close friends. It is necessary for our personal and emotional health. Our culture doesn't make it easy for guys to develop those friendships. Maybe join a bible study men's group or something?

Hoping that everything continues towards healing for you and your family!

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: malando on July 10, 2017, 09:56:37 AM
I actually think that the Christian narrative of healing / deliverance isn't necessarily 100% helpful on this. I've not been healed or delivered from a porn / chatroom addiction. Believe me, I've begged for healing and deliverance but it's not there!


I'm glad you wrote this comment. Belief in God might make you feel stronger, but make no mistake, this problem is within your own brain, it is a brain adaptation and no higher power can rewire that for you. You simply have to do the work to make your brain rewire and function in a different way. I think this is a pervasive problem I've seen among faith driven addicts - they put too many of their eggs in the basket of their god. At the heart of any change in behaviour and attitude is a personal decision and commitment to change - and then following through with that with real actions and changes. Nobody can be delivered from an addiction, they must work out how to change. Use God to inspire you and draw your strength, but only you can do this.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 10, 2017, 11:00:05 AM
So this is day... 33.

Weekend was good - lots of fun with the family, some time with friends etc. Am back to work now and it's a busy week ahead of me.

I was considering the issue of loneliness last night, as I do feel alone quite a lot of the time. Which is weird when I have such a lovely wife and some decent friends. I guess I've always found it quite difficult to make close male friends - and it's not necessarily that appropriate to have close female friends. Maybe I'll join a club or group or something. Who knows! I think all of these things are connected though.

I had vague urges to relapse over the weekend / this morning but I figure that confessing them will rid them of their power. Onwards we go!

First of all: Congrats with the 33 days.
My favorite autor Henry Nouwen speaks about loneliness and solitude, as two forms of being or feeling lonely, but they are significantly different. He mentions that we need to look for solitude (which is queit, does not scream/scare, full of peace,etc.) and be aware of loneliness (Which one can feel also among the crowd). There is a "healthy" loneliness, (solitude) where one can be with himself and God in peace, and does not want to run away. I think more we grow in this solitude, less we will feel lonely.
Of course friends, family, Bible studies, colleagues, etc., are important. We need them and they need us as well. But we don t need to use them to fill our own loneliness, because than we will become dependend from them and will look for something that only God can provide.
I ask myself quite often if the PMO was my way to fill in this gap, to run away from the inner loneliness, inner noise that screams on me. I think it is true for most of the addictions. We need to learn to be alone, to look for solitude, than I think we won t be scared from loneliness.

Anyways, happy that you had a good weekend, and could keep your mind focused on the healthy staff.
Enjoy your evening,
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 10, 2017, 01:27:35 PM
Ah, thank you all three for your insightful comments. I know I'm only 33 days in (my record for reboot is around 150-odd) but I feel like I'm building better foundations this time.

There is a difference between loneliness and solitude. I'm terrible for filling my life with stimuli and not allowing myself time to just be still! It's something I need to learn.

I quite like the idea of a stone in my pocket. It would dig in under my wallet just sufficiently to act as a reminder!

And yes, I'm by no means undermining the importance of God in my recovery, but it's important not to think that God is just going to take away all my lusts with zero effort on my part. 1 Cor 10v13 is very helpful: we're not promised a life free of temptation but we are promised an escape route each and every time. We just have to choose that escape route.

One final thought: I'm trying to be mindful of how clean I feel when I'm not on porn or on chat rooms. There's nothing to hide; my phone is in clear view of my wife; my Chrome browser isn't on Incognito mode... I know that if my wife wants sex I'm not going to have to worry about performance. I am better able to parent, to work, to take part in church and so on. There are so many positives to a sexually clean life. I guess we're just used to tricking ourselves.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: HumbleRich on July 10, 2017, 09:18:19 PM
PE30, some questions for guidance.  1. Why are you married?  2.  How do you feel about your wife, emotiomally, sexually, spiritually?  3.  What dies Jesus think?

Jesus doesn't play by the rules of the world, we are required to play by his rules if we want to be saved.  You decided to marry and Gid says that your marruage is a reflection of your marriage to him.  To serve dutifully and selflessly. 

You are drawn to the ways of the world like every person is.  The world is cunning and cruel, but its cruelness looks like excitement.

Remember the vows that you made to your wife.  And stay strong with the Lord. 

Good luck,

HumbkeRich
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 11, 2017, 09:28:28 AM
Sorry Humblerich but I don't really feel comfortable answering such personal questions on an open forum. Suffice to say: I love my wife so much, and the reason for fighting this addiction is because of love for her, love for my family and love for God. Additionally, I am secure in my salvation - I have fallen far short, but grace gives me both the security that I am God's child and the strength to keep fighting my old self. It's difficult to discern tone on here, so I am assuming that you are intending to be encouraging and not judgemental.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 12, 2017, 04:47:37 AM
Day 35

Had some awful news last night: a friend of mine (who'd been missing for a few days) was found dead... I'm kind of in shock. All of you please: stay safe. And do talk. Keep talking and being open. Love to you all.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on July 12, 2017, 07:56:07 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family and the family of your friend. A loss is so hard, you never fully recover but you do slowly move forward carrying your memories with you. Sending lots of love, peace, and grace your way!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 12, 2017, 10:19:36 AM
So sorry to hear that :( Please stay strong.
Much love.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 12, 2017, 11:14:20 AM
Thank you both. It's just really weird / horrible. He was a lovely guy, got on really well with my daughters, it's just such a shame.

In terms of my reboot - things are much the same. Chat rooms and porn remain far from my mind - I do have the occasional thought when I see someone good looking on the train or out and about - but I'm trying a "don't look twice" approach (i.e. if I see someone attractive, acknowledge to myself that they're attractive and then concentrate on something else).

It's tricky but it feels right to do this. 
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 13, 2017, 03:16:40 AM
Day 36. Five weeks today since I got the kick up the backside I deserved and needed.

The guilt and shame is still there but it's less prominent. The temptation is still there but it's not as fierce. My fake-name Gmail, KiK and Snapchat accounts are long dead.

I met up with some friends of mine last night. We chatted, shared memories of our friend, prayed together and wept a bit. Life is so precious and fleeting. Do everything you can to make the most of it.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 14, 2017, 01:17:28 AM
Day 37

I've been having some back pain at night, which has meant that I've woken up at 5 the past few mornings. That, plus the stuff with my friend means that I've struggled to get back to sleep. So today I got up early and got to work.

As an aside - I wonder if others of you struggled to readjust your sleeping patterns during a reboot? I used to use chat rooms at various different times of day but I would regularly stay up late on my phone talking to people, getting to sleep at 1/2am and then getting up at 6.30 for work. I was like a zombie sometimes.

Anyway it's 7.10am and I'm alone in the office. And the amazing thing is that I don't feel tempted to go on chat rooms! (I mean, I tell a lie: there is a level of temptation there but I feel strong enough to resist it)

So, thank you for your ongoing support. I'm going to try to stay strong. I'm hoping to go into days 47-54 (when my family are away) with enough prayer / momentum etc that I'll get through them. If I'm painfully honest, I've never actually successfully made it through a week alone without some form of MO/PMO/chat room. I'm determined not to fall this time.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on July 14, 2017, 08:22:43 AM
If your habit is to stay up late using chat rooms then I would strongly urge you to get up early 5 am or maybe even a bit earlier. Do a workout first thing and get into the office when other people are there. If you stay busy and around people. Go to a park and read, things that are in public, then you will be less likely to PMO. At least I would assume that public places would be a deterrent, lol. Then by the time you hit that pillow at night you should be so exhausted that you will just want to crash. Maybe even get a workout in the evening too just to be sure you are nice and tired. Do projects on the house and call a friend to help. Anything that keeps you busy, and not alone. I have noticed from reading the various journals on here that the mind like to justify excuses when you are bored and alone. It is easier to rationalise things when nobody is around to talk you out of it. Keep constant reminders of why you are doing this and focus on that. Fill your schedule to the brim and set yourself up for success. You can do it.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 15, 2017, 04:06:41 AM
Day 37
As an aside - I wonder if others of you struggled to readjust your sleeping patterns during a reboot? I used to use chat rooms at various different times of day but I would regularly stay up late on my phone talking to people, getting to sleep at 1/2am and then getting up at 6.30 for work. I was like a zombie sometimes.

Hi, Good to hear that you are doing fine despite of all the staff thats going on in your life.
Concerning sleeping I do have now problems to fall asleep for example, and to have longer sleep. I don t really have to readjust sleeping patterns, since in this term my life with or  without P has not much changed. But I can t sleep good and I have read many during the reboot experience the same problem...

Have a good day and enjoy the weekend!!!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 15, 2017, 11:51:39 AM
Aquarius25- thanks for the advice. I have a pretty full schedule and am not likely to be home early at any time. So hopefully this will help. I think I'm just thinking out loud really! Or steeling myself in anticipation for what might be a tricky few days. I don't think there's any real justification for slipping whilst alone for a few days- my vows are still the same when my wife and I are apart; the days keep ticking on.

Speaking of days, it's day 38 today. Approaching the 40 day mark.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 17, 2017, 07:12:53 AM
Day 40 :)

Weekend was good. Went to an open air Shakespeare on the Friday night; had my daughter's birthday party on the Saturday. Church on Sunday was difficult (as it was the first time we'd met since my friend died) but there was lots of encouragement, shared grieving and togetherness. Had a bit of an argument with my wife over something stupid in the afternoon but we managed to resolve it reasonably quickly. We were both tired and a bit stressed - these things happen.

Our relationship is really good at the moment in general. Sex life is so much better when I'm porn and chat room free - I feel really up for it, no issues with performance, she feels good, it's all good. I'm going to be going about 12 days without sex (due to various circumstances) but I am starting to prepare mentally for that period. I'll be on here plenty when the going gets tough!

Thank you to all of you who have posted on my wall, PMed me and so on. I really appreciate the support.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 18, 2017, 03:18:14 AM
Day 41

So that's the first 40 days over with. I know that Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days and then Satan left him alone; I think that (a) He knew His Scriptures better than I did and (b) he would have still undergone temptation for the rest of his ministry. So I'm over a big milestone but it by no means feels like the battle is finished. This is just the beginning.

As I've said earlier, I think it's more helpful to think of myself as an addict that wins the battle day by day, moment by moment, rather than regarding myself as healed of this affliction. I may never be healed, but 1 Cor 10v13 says that God will continue providing escape routes.

Stay strong, all of you. Take one day at a time - be present, humble and honest (as a very wise forum member said).
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 19, 2017, 04:47:02 AM
Day 42

Another day, another battle won. Not an awful lot to report, but there's something quite helpful about the daily routine of checking in here. I keep praying and I keep from feeling like I'm "okay". I'd rather admit I'm not okay but keep winning the daily battle.



Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on July 19, 2017, 07:31:34 AM
You have a great attitude! Keep it up. You are doing really well.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 20, 2017, 03:19:57 AM
Day 43

Had a good day yesterday and a good night last night. We had a meal with our church small group - I made beef rogan josh, vegetable makhanwala (which is a mild, creamy vegetable curry), peshwari naan and rice. It was quite tasty, I'll admit! I'd happily cook for people every day of the week - it's one of the things I love the most.

I guess this is the thing: I've been looking for love in the wrong places. I had a wife and children who love me, and I have some good friends who actually seem to enjoy time with me and with each other. When I used to go on chat rooms, I would be looking not just for my own sexual gratification but for a sense of connection, of validation I guess.

We sing a song at church which goes "my hope is built on nothing less / than Jesus' blood and righteousness". I think this is what I need to aim for: to stop building my hope, my security and my identity on the way others see me. To receive God's love and to bless others with the overflow. It's a work in progress.

But still: it's day 43. So, six weeks today since I received the wake-up call I needed. Onwards, one day at a time.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: FlyPhoenix on July 20, 2017, 08:09:13 AM
Hey PE30,

Just read your first journal entry and scanned some of the others. I get really great sense of commitment and God working through your life. I've studied up on all the science and continue to do so, along with my support group, but the most powerful remedy so far for me is staying close to God and trusting the power of Jesus as you noted in your last post.

Anyway, I wish you all the best along the journey, and leave you with a scripture that has helped me get through this day.

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 21, 2017, 02:50:06 AM
Oh hey, thank you for the encouragement. It's much appreciated!

That Bible verse is apt for me at the moment - I am slightly fearful about next week as I'm going to be away from my wife for seven nights. It's been a time where I've really struggled in the past, and I need to commit myself from that first night, that I will behave as if she was right there with me. But as you said, God didn't give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

Anyway - it's day 44. Last night my wife and I started packing up our house in readiness for all the work that's being done over the weekend. It was a good evening and very companionable. I love her so much and I'm going to miss her and the girls next week.

I'm thinking:
Monday - get some shopping in, maybe go for a long walk in the evening;
Tuesday / Wednesday - attend staff briefings so I won't be home til 9ish. Work a long day;
Thursday - maybe go to the cinema in the evening?
Friday/Saturday/Sunday - hang out at the folk festival for the evening

No porn, no chatrooms, no MOing, no compromise. Pray for me!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on July 21, 2017, 07:43:35 AM
Sending you prayers that your mind be calm and focused. That you are fully present in all of the things you are doing throughout the day and that you are quick to realize when distraction starts creeping in. Affix your mind on fruits of the spirit:
Love- that you be filled with love your others, for your family, your wife, and yourself. Damaging and destructive behavior is not loving yourself or anyone else.
Joy- be filled with joy for all things!
Peace- do not sit in anxiety but be filled with peace and knowing that you have the power to beat this.
Patience- be calm and know it just takes time. Each moment that you abstain is another moment won. As they build it will get easier.
Kindness- be filled with kindness. There really isn't much kindness in porn. Take it a step further and maybe anytime you feel tempted do something kind for someone else. Replace the old behavior with kindness. It could be as simple as wishing someone a good day. Your heart will change though the small steps.
Goodness- affix your mind of things that are good. Good for the world, for your family, and for you.
Gentleness- Be gentle and gracious with yourself. Know that this addiction is here but don't be hard as that will turn to shame. Be gentle with yourself and let go of the negativity. Remind yourself that your are taking steps towards a healthy future.
Self-control- This is the big one right here. WHen it comes to addiction this is usually the missing piece. Learn to develop self-control. Know that when you are excersizing self-control that this is a fruit of the spirit. You are displaying better to the world who God is. You are leading by example what it looks like to turn your life around and experience a transformation.

Hang in there. You are doing a great job and you are not alone.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 22, 2017, 07:42:43 AM
Thank you for your prayers aquarius- much appreciated!

Anyway today is day 45. Been packing our house up ready for building works and have been quite busy. Having my mind occupied with other stuff is quite handy really- sometimes I can overthink things!

Anyway, just checking in. All is good.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 24, 2017, 03:05:02 AM
Today is day 47. And tonight is the first night of being alone.

I must admit, it's difficult to not feel horny - it's been six days since I last had sex and the idea of another 7 days without is kind of daunting. I'm thinking that it might just be best to ride those feelings out and not act on them, rather than trying to ignore / suppress them? Maybe if I just think/talk to myself: "yes, you're feeling horny - but that's because (a) you've not had sex since last Tuesday and (b) you're home alone tonight - and your private parts will not suffer if you ignore them!"

Because I'm not breaking my reboot if my hormones start kicking up. The problems start if I start thinking about going on chat room, P sites, subs etc. And all those things are out of bounds for the week.

I'm going to the cinema tonight to watch Dunkirk. Beforehand, I'm getting a bit of shopping in. So I've got plenty to keep me occupied.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: FlyPhoenix on July 25, 2017, 12:35:28 AM
Hey man,
I read great strength coming from you, very positive indeed. I can related to the insanity of thinking, but as you've done here, become aware of them and what might happen and trust that you will come out victorious in Christ, Amen.
Take care man, my prayers are with you..
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 25, 2017, 02:40:45 AM
Day 48

For the sake of full disclosure: I had a really horny dream last night and must have been masturbating in my sleep, because I ended up ejaculating. I was just about conscious when I woke up so I was aware of myself ejaculating, but I didn't really have a proper orgasm as such, it was more of a physical release.

I felt really guilty / awful afterwards, as if the devil had played a trick on me. But I'm keeping my counter at day 48 because I was barely aware of what I was doing.

I managed a night away from my wife without porn or chatrooms or conscious masturbation. Six to go.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 25, 2017, 05:51:21 AM
hey man, don t worry much about it
and don t put your entire attention on it-it happens, you are P free and the rest is just the reactions of your body and motoric brain.
be present during the day, do your daily staff, don t forget to take some time to enjoy the day and whatever good is there.
much blessings,
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 26, 2017, 02:51:05 AM
Day 49

Not a great night sleep - was over-thinking a whole load of stuff. However, I didn't M or MO, didn't watch P or subs, and so I survived.

This is a tough week so far. I needed to prepare. I'm glad I did. But I'm surviving, one day at a time. If I can get to next Monday, porn and chat room free, I'll be very happy.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Vardan on July 26, 2017, 04:52:53 AM
hey man,
good thing is: you are aware, you are prepared!!!
So it does not take you by surprise.

At the end of the day it s only one week, and you are doing so far really good.
Just keep the right focus, go through the day with joy, because it is Gods grace brought you so far
Be thankful and ask for a help when you need, I am sure God is close to you-He is there for you!!
I think and pray that you go through this with great courage and joy :)
much blessings,
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Totem on July 26, 2017, 02:00:55 PM
Keep on man!

About overthinking there's couple of techniques that you can try:
- meditation
- intense excercise

Also try not to go to bed unless you are exhausted mentally (from day activites) or really sleepy.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on July 31, 2017, 12:36:32 AM
Hi all

DAY 54. I made it. No porn, no chat rooms.

It was tough though. I had someone flirting quite heavily with me and in spite of everything I was tempted to get involved with her. I didn't- but I was naive- before this week I'd been texting her platonically.

I think there's still a huge part of me that hasn't properly healed ... Why do I still crave? Why do I still want something that's not mine to have? It's ridiculous.

Nevertheless, I survived. And I have to be grateful for that. I would say I scraped a pass rather than getting a distinction, but still. Crucially, I was not tempted by porn or chat rooms. So the root issues still need fleshing out but the chat rooms are, at least for now, defeated.

In other news, I got hit by a van whilst cycling, and fell off my bike. I have fractured my thumb and elbow! My right arm is in a cast ... This does act as a certain physical deterrent!

Anyway thanks for your support. I would not have got this far without you.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 01, 2017, 07:17:14 PM
Wow! I am so sorry to hear about your accident. I am glad you are ok and keeping an upbeat attitude! Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 09, 2017, 05:05:50 AM
DAY 63

I've set my goals counter to 120 but I made it to my first landmark!

Every day is a daily battle though: not to objectify, not to slip, to own my addiction and subject it to my will. I thought I would feel a real sense of achievement about reaching day 60, but I realise that I will never fully be fixed. I just have to learn to live with my addiction, not to let it ruin me, not to wallow in self pity but to rejoice in the good I have in my life.

My arm is still sore but I am trying to reduce my use of painkillers! (This is the UK - I'm using ibuprofen not Xanax ;) so it's less about dependency and more about avoiding damage to my stomach). Am back in work now and typing slowly.

Apologies for not having been on here much - I was on holiday for nearly a fortnight and didn't have internet access. Hope you've all been okay. Keep fighting.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 10, 2017, 07:07:48 AM
Day 64

It's nine weeks since Day 1 - it's been a tough battle. My counselling session was useful yesterday: we talked a lot about self-compassion (which is the opposite of what I practice!). I had a lovely evening with my wife - I've been able to talk quite openly with her. It was my birthday on Tuesday, so I bought myself a new rucksack with some birthday money.

It's been useful to trace things back: I used porn and chat rooms because I felt the need to feel attractive, validated, valued and even loved. This need stemmed from a childhood where I was validated almost exclusively for my academic achievements rather than for being me. And actually, I'm never going to win this battle if I don't learn how to be good to myself, to be kind to myself, and to do these things in healthy ways.

Guys, I'd really encourage you to dig deep with your battle. Ask yourself why you're in this situation; own your addiction and subject it to your control. And be kind to yourselves.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 11, 2017, 03:03:24 AM
Day 65

Feeling a bit low this morning. I seem to be oscillating wildly at the moment from believing nice things about myself to realising that I have behaved in a horrible way towards women for the majority of my adult life. I know that I need to be kind to myself but I can't help but feel incredible anger towards myself for the way I've behaved and the impact it's had on my adult life.

Which makes the daily victory over porn and chatrooms feel a little hollow.

 
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: HumbleRich on August 11, 2017, 05:41:38 AM
It isn't hollow.  Not at all.  Focus on who you are now.  I, just like you, have a bad history with women.  Those I dated.  Even classmates in college.  I definitely do not like tbe person I was.  Just keep moving forward wnd focus on who you are becoming.  Keep up the good work.

HumbleRich
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 11, 2017, 06:39:48 AM
Thanks man. I feel a bit better now - I've got a lot on at the moment and it's easy to lose perspective.

I guess I have to look at it like this:

- Between the ages of 19 and 35 (but particularly in those last four or five years) I was in the grips of a porn and chatroom addiction;
- Between the ages of 35 and 37 I was still addicted but was able to stay clean for weeks, even months at a time.
- I'm 38 and my addiction is still with me, but I am clean and fighting.

I guess I want to look back at, say, 40, and think "yep, I'm in control of this". At 45, 50, 55, 60... and so on. And in the meantime I need to know that these bad days don't last. They're just days. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow; blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 11, 2017, 01:36:04 PM
I think you are doing incredibly well! This realization about how my husband viewed women hit him pretty hard for a while too. He felt pretty low and I saw that as a good sign. The fact that he could step back and see what was not ok and what was ok shows huge progress. Something he has done since then, I think as a sort of amends, is he donates and helps organizations that help women who experience the negative sides of porn and trafficking. We have a business that makes artistic lights and furniture. He donates some of the pieces to auctions that help these organizations. We also have a friend who owns a tattoo parlour and she does cover-ups for girls who have been branded by their pimps and who have escaped. He donates to her cause to help cover the cost of ink and things. It isn't anything huge but it is a small step. Both of us feel like at least there is one positive that has come out of something so negative.  Don't focus on feeling bad about who you were yesterday. Focus on who you are today and how you will be better tomorrow. Live each day to the fullest, with integrity, living with the knowledge that you are perfectly made. You are unique and perfect. Share that with the world to make this place better!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 14, 2017, 03:15:15 AM
Ugh this site is so glitchy! I wrote about three paragraphs and it just got deleted.

Anyway it's day 68. Felt some feelings of temptation over the weekend but was able to ignore them. I've had some low moments but have been okay overall.

Aquarius - that's a good idea. My friend has worked for International Justice Mission (if you've heard of them) and so I might set up a regular payment to them. I'm also wondering if I'll ever be used to encourage others in the same situation as me. I try to do that to an extent on here but it's trickier in real life.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 14, 2017, 10:17:55 AM
I agree in real life it is harder. My husband joined a 12 step group that is PA's and sex addicts as well. We also met with our Pastor and talked about our experience and mentions that we would be interested in meeting and praying with others who are in this place. It is always scary at first but that is when I am reminded that my provision and my security is based in Christ and I wouldn't want my fear to keep God from using me to make in difference. I pray an acknowledgement of my fear and ask for support and courage. As a result of doing this, I am now organizing a group set up anonymously (like a 12 step) but specifically for partners of PA's so we have encouraged, support, and connect with each other. I think you are doing a great job in all aspects of your recovery. Continue to press forward and know you are not alone and that God has a plan and you have the support of the kingdom of Christ, you have nothing to fear. If my husband and I can ever be of any help feel free to reach out!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 15, 2017, 03:15:43 AM
Yeah there are twelve people in real life who know about my problems: my wife and I; the six members of our leadership team at church; my good friend Andy (pastor of my old church) and his wife; and an old mentor of mine and his wife. That's not many. It took guts to open up to one person... but I'd be so honoured to help someone else who is struggling with the same issue.

Anyway in terms of my own addiction: I'm 69 days clean. The temptation is still there but it's under control. Maybe it will recede at some point, but that's not really the point. God is faithful and will provide a way to stand while I am under temptation (1 Cor 10v13). I had a good evening last night - the kitchen is taking shape, which is nice :)

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 16, 2017, 03:27:38 AM
Day 70

Not an awful lot to report. Was feeling pretty low about myself last night - my brain kept flashing back to the mistakes I've made. I just long to get to a place where I truly feel happy within myself! That's the key. Chat rooms have soothed that need in the past, but they are destructive. I've got a few options in my mind as to what to do with all of this free time in the future. I've got a couple of ideas, which I'm going to run past my friends later.



Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: cknfella on August 16, 2017, 05:07:39 AM
Hey man,

Great job on 70 days...it's really exciting!

A few things I find to be helpful when urges hit:
- Workout
- Hanging with friends
- Spending time with my kids
- Date with my wife
- Just getting out of the house
- Pick up the phone to call a friend - can be a great distraction.


Pinpoint where you struggle the most...for me it's the weekends...
and then build a battle plan to keep you from being alone.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 16, 2017, 07:48:25 AM
Remember that you can give yourself grace. It's ok to be disappointed with past actions. They happened and you can't change that. But don't sit and dwell there, that will just ruin tomorrow too. Instead, decide today that you will be better than yesterday. When you allow God to move, you put this situation into his hands. Submit and say yeah I screwed up and miss the mark, help me get back on track. Well, that is when he can use you to create something great. I look at my husband's addiction and my own process of healing. It's not over, not sure it ever really is "over" but I am slowly starting to see how he is taking this mess and making a testimony of transformation, healing, and grace. He is using our weaknesses to tell a story of how with him they become our strengths. The past is the past, yes your actions have consequences, but who do you want to be tomorrow? Be that person. Live that life. Know that you have the capacity for greatness. You were perfectly handcrafted, you were made with intention, the creator of the universe wanted you here. He has plans for you. Live those plans. Allowing fear and regret prevents us from clearly hearing his truth. You can do this and you have the support of this community and the creator of the universe. You are good. You are worthy of love. It's ok to love yourself and be happy.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 17, 2017, 03:14:53 AM
Thank you for your encouragement as always, aquarius. I really do appreciate it.

Anyway I'm on day 71. This is my longest successful period of abstinence for a couple of years. I managed about 150 days initially after the affair was uncovered - that's my ultimate target. Well - my ultimate target is a life free of porn, permanently, but let's do this a bit at a time.

I'd really love for my story and experiences to be used to help others in the future.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 17, 2017, 05:30:38 AM
Am posting again because I'm feeling particularly tempted right now. I know it'll pass, I know it'll pass.

I'm just thinking out loud here really, but let's think about it: temptation never lasts forever. I'm not going to spend the next 50 years feeling exactly like this.

What happens if I resist this temptation? I won't lose out on anything I don't already have. My wife will still love me, my children will still be adorable, my job will be there still; I'll be as healthy as happy as I am right now.

And if I give in? The counter goes back to zero, and the enemy goes "ha!" - stabs me for having believed his lies. And I then have to look my wife in the eye, knowing that the porn, the chat rooms, that they're back between us.

And what am I even seeking? Someone to be interested in me, someone to find my picture attractive? For goodness' sake, it's actually madness when I analyse it! My wife thinks I'm gorgeous. She goes out of her way to tell me.

I need to learn to practise SELF-compassion, and SELF-validation, rather than looking for validation in the wrong places. Let's do this:

I'm a 6'4 guy with a good head of hair, a decent beard, blue eyes, straight teeth, a decent smile... my body isn't ripped but I'm pretty slim. My wife fancies me after 16 years of having been together (and I fancy her too).
I am smart, literate, kind to others, compassionate, capable of excellent work. I can fight people's corners and persuade people to take action that is in their best interests. I can bring a room of people to laughter with just a one-liner.
Other than my broken wrist, I'm in good health!
I have Jesus in my heart. That is as real as it feels. He lives in me and I would be nothing without him.
I have made some mistakes in the past. I've made a lot of mistakes in the past. But I have acknowledged that I have an addiction, I'm receiving treatment, I've been in recovery for two and a half years and have been clean for 70 days straight.
If I was to clone myself and make the other 'me' my best friend, I'd pull me to one side, give me a big hug and say "man, don't do this".

And in typing that all, the temptation is gone for now. The enemy has been banished away. Cheerio! He'll be back, but I won that one.

I hope that this doesn't seem like the ramblings of an absolute madman. I just thought I'd be honest with you. The struggle is real, even ten weeks in. But it's a battle that can be won, day by day.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: cknfella on August 17, 2017, 05:37:22 AM
Brother...don't give in!

I loved your gratitude list above.  I believe one major tool in fighting temptation is focusing on all the ways God has blessed you.  It's when we disregard God's goodness that we run to PMO. Don't give in and don't give up!

70 days is quite the milestone.  I'm praying for you right now.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 17, 2017, 05:42:11 AM
Thank you! I really appreciate it. God *has* blessed me. And I have it within myself - I have the tools within myself - in Christ - to beat this!

Please do pray for me. I'd much rather be honest about my struggles than make out like the temptation is no longer there. That's been my downfall before. But yes, I've not gone to the porn, I've not logged on to a chat room, the counter is still at 70 days, praise God. I'll get through til hometime and I'll give my wife a huge hug :)
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 17, 2017, 07:37:08 AM
Do you have a hobby of some kind? Maybe it's playing an instrument, reading a book, hiking, biking, or something that you fancy yourself good at? When you are feeling tempted and finding you need some validation do something that you are good at to build yourself up. It could be that you are good at being a dad. You may feel really great playing a game with your kids, teaching them to pray and talk to God, or just holding them and letting them know they are loved. If affirmation is what you need then seek it in a constructive way. It all around you, you just need to seek it. Remember you were perfectly made. You are one of a kind, rare, and perfect. No one else on this planet is you and that is special. Dig into that, start to discover yourself and this creation that is you.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: toph on August 17, 2017, 10:17:43 AM
really enjoyed the post where you "wrote off" that temptation. I should do that sometime. Way to go on 71 days man. I am really looking up to you.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 17, 2017, 01:03:59 PM
Thanks, it was a helpful process!

Aquarius- my hobbies include playing guitar, cycling and cooking... I can just about manage to cook with my arm in plaster but the other two hobbies are on hold!

The core point remains though: I need to stop looking for so much validation, and definitely stop looking in the wrong places.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 18, 2017, 02:15:45 AM
Day 72. I'm really glad that yesterday is over and done with.

I've not sure if I've said this already but I've trying to learn to 'ride out' the physical urges. Just kind-of acknowledge "yes, my libido is still in working order but I'm not going to go exercising it over some website or chat room". It's there, but it's subject to my mind and my spirit. My mind and spirit are not subject to my libido!

Some positives for a Friday:
+ I'm going for breakfast in a bit with some colleagues
+ the sun is shining! (A big deal in the UK)
+ I'm going to cook for my wife tonight - nothing complicated, just homemade burgers and wedges
+ I slept pretty well last night
+ The weekend is shaping up to be a good one

I cannot solve this overnight, but I can make good, daily choices.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 18, 2017, 07:18:23 AM
You have a great perspective! Good work. Yes, your libido doesn't have control of you because you are not an animal. You as a human can have self-control! Live life with integrity, joy, and self-control. Pour into the fruits of the spirit!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: toph on August 18, 2017, 03:29:15 PM
good thinking man. really encouraged by your thoughts on the libido.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: gazz on August 18, 2017, 04:39:14 PM
great work riding those tough days!!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 20, 2017, 11:45:34 AM
Day 73. Just posting on here while my wife is out. I'm so grateful to this place as a vessel for venting all my thoughts and feelings... I know you're all a long way away but you are such a huge support to me whether it's through prayer, encouragement or wise words.

Clean will always feel better. Clean will always feel better.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: cknfella on August 20, 2017, 04:15:18 PM
I love that comment bro...clean will always feel better.  There are a number of proverbs that echo that sentiment.

I know we don't know each other, but your 70+ days is highly encouraging to me. Keep fighting bro!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: toph on August 20, 2017, 07:39:10 PM
Wao man, 73 days, I really admire you. I also like the comment, clean feels better.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: FlyPhoenix on August 21, 2017, 01:12:05 AM
Keep fighting, keep striving.. Well done man, keep going.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 21, 2017, 05:38:22 AM
Thanks everyone.

Anyway, first lesson of the day is that I couldn't count the last time I posted! Today is day 75. Bit tired today but otherwise, life is alright. Really can't wait to be done with this plaster cast - hoping that things will heal up properly.

I've been looking into signing up to a SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) meeting. Like a typical addict, I'm nervous about doing so. Looking at the website, I wouldn't be able to start attending until later in the year anyway.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: FlyPhoenix on August 21, 2017, 08:46:48 AM
Thanks everyone.

Anyway, first lesson of the day is that I couldn't count the last time I posted! Today is day 75. Bit tired today but otherwise, life is alright. Really can't wait to be done with this plaster cast - hoping that things will heal up properly.

I've been looking into signing up to a SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) meeting. Like a typical addict, I'm nervous about doing so. Looking at the website, I wouldn't be able to start attending until later in the year anyway.

About to head out to on of my weekly meetings now. Believe me, it is a very welcoming environment. The way the guys see it is that, it is better for you to be in a meeting where there is no judgment, rather than out there by yourself. It's like finding a lifebuoy and realising that I've been trying to kick hard against unforgiving waves. Good luck!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 21, 2017, 09:35:58 AM
Can I ask - what is the make-up of the people there in terms of the nature of their addictions? Is there anyone in your group who is coming at it from a similar angle?

I was talking about sex addiction with my counsellor the other day and he said how broad a spectrum it was.  Anyway, I guess, the core issues are the same for a lot of us. I'd be intrigued to hear more about what yours is like :)
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 21, 2017, 10:02:04 AM
I will say my husband goes to a group. He is over a year clean with no relapse. During the first few months, he was on his own and his progress was mostly focused on not looking at porn. He didn't really consider himself a complete addict. That was about the first 4 months. Months 5-10 he started to think about root causes. Still on his own but that was when I started to see actual changes in him. Not just in the "no PMO" but more in his mood. He seemed like he was handling emotions, where before he would just leave if anything was emotional. He started being more present with our kids. He would get overwhelmed but he was still there. He didn't run and hide. When we moved it was it was around month 10 and in the new town they had a group. He started going and it was a huge change. He said he was scared at first and really nervous. But when he got home (he didn't give me specifics of names or anything, obviously, lol) but he said a lot of guys were porn addicts. Some were alcoholics and porn addicts and sex addicts. It was a mix of a lot of men who just wanted to live better. He said it was so cool. Nobody was putting on a front, they were all very authentic. There was no, "I'm not as bad as you" or anything. Men, just trying to encourage each other. I can honestly say that now, he as a place to process safely. That has made a huge improvement in his life and his recovery. He is happier, he occasionally uses this forum still just not as frequent. There is something amazing about being with them in person. He is also inspired not just to receive support but knowing his is giving support too. Helping others. The bond created there are truly remarkable. As a wife, I have been so inspired by who he is as a result of this that I am creating a partners group in our town in hopes of having a safe space for partners that is similar to the men's group. It has been foundational for our family and for his success.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 22, 2017, 02:15:35 AM
Day 76

The most difficult thing about this reboot has been that I've tried my best to keep the "replacement behaviours" to a minimum. To give you a couple of examples:

- during one reboot (ages ago) I signed up to a music website and ended up posting on there really regularly;
- during another, I downloaded a Scrabble app to my phone and ended up playing several games of Scrabble a day to keep temptation away.

in both cases, I was using the activity to distract myself from temptation, rather than digging out and putting to death the root cause.

Today I'm working from home - I've got a meeting at 10am about my daughter's diagnosis for ASD. In my pre-reboot days I'd probably be sitting here getting myself off some way or another. I don't want to go back to those days again. And every day I stay clean is another step in the right direction.

Re: SAA/SLAA - I did look into it. One is on a Monday night and the other on a Wednesday. I am currently busy on both evenings but I could join the Monday meeting from October/November. The Bible teaches: "humble yourselves" - this is one of the hardest things I have to learn. I'm a recovering sex addict, and that in itself is humbling. I think I'm gradually coming to terms with that.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: toph on August 22, 2017, 03:26:10 PM
Way to go on your 76 PE!

My middle son has ASD as well. Keep up your hard work man, you are an inspiration for me.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 23, 2017, 09:33:40 AM
Day 77

I'll be honest, I've sailed a bit too close to the wind over the past couple of days. I felt really, really tempted yesterday and I nearly fell. But I didn't. I was daft in that I went onto bits of the internet that aren't chat rooms in themselves but have chat functions... I just had to close the browser, go for a walk around the block and block it out. I'm just glad I could look my wife in the eye and say that I didn't fall. I do however feel bad for having skirted round the edges of stuff I should really avoid totally.

I think I need to be clearer on my goals for reboot and state them a bit more explicitly so that I don't get myself into further grief:

- no porn or subs
- no chat rooms or chat apps
- no Snapchat or KiK
- no prolonged online chatting, flirtatious or otherwise, on any media (email, online, text)

I don't need any of that in my life. I am a decent, successful guy, but I am also an addict, and I need to approach each day in sober evaluation of myself.

I'm going to use this place as a buffer over the next few days, til I'm back on the level. I have no idea what has triggered this - I think I was just unprepared for a day working from home.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 23, 2017, 09:38:57 AM
The crazy thing it that I posted on the morning of day 76... and yet by lunchtime I was so tempted. I hate this addiction so much and I hate how insidious it is. How you think you have it mastered and then you get an attack again.

God, I need you so badly right now. You promise a way out; You promise that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. I need Your strength in everything. I was so close to losing everything again yesterday. I never want to go back to the way I was. I am so, so weak and lost without You.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: 36mPT on August 23, 2017, 10:03:49 AM
Hang in there PE30.

I wish there were some magical words i could say to help you, but it's a fight i can only help see it through. You have the will to know something is going wrong and fight it, and that is the most important thing. Don't give up when you are so far ahead already. Don't let these 77 days being in vain.
Hang in there.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 23, 2017, 01:58:44 PM
Thank you. Tomorrow is a new day, target is to be nowhere near anything bad. Will brush myself off, get through that day and rebuild my momentum. Eleven weeks clean is too far to fall.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 23, 2017, 02:42:41 PM
Keep at it and remember what you are working for. Remind yourself of the goals you are wanting to achieve. Don't just "not look at porn", go fill that void with life, joy, integrity, wholeness. Go live! Keep up the great progress.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 24, 2017, 09:15:58 AM
Day 78

Today has been a much, much better day. Went out for lunch with my wife and kids and just had this big rush of love for them, for their cheeky grins and affection.

The words of this old hymn just came into my head. Thought I'd share them:

"Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me"
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: v82 on August 24, 2017, 09:28:21 AM
Have just read through your journal.
Well done on the 78 days!
The bigger temptation for me is/has been the chat rooms. I have found that to be much more challenging to leave than the porn.

Self –compassion is something I should probably read more into (thank you for mentioning this). I have always been the type of person that is harshest to themselves.

Keep going with your battle.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 26, 2017, 03:06:44 AM
Day 80!

The past week has been really tough to be honest. I have got to the point where I've got to the opening page of my usual chat room and then thought "no... What are you doing? Don't do this". And then closed the browser and done something else. Looking back, there must be something there that's stopping me from falling... It's like, previously I'd never have been able to resist at the last minute, but somehow I was able to.

I think the main thing I keep thinking about is the cost. You know, I could go and get off on a chat room but at what cost? I'm a 38 year old man who needs to exercise self control for the sake of himself and all those round him.

So yeah. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement. This week would have been the week I slipped, but I stayed firm.

Aim: keep internet use to a minimum this weekend; spend time with my family; be fully present; enjoy life as it was intended to be enjoyed.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 27, 2017, 06:11:58 AM
Ugh :( :(

I can't believe I fell. Once last night and once this morning. I'm so disappointed with myself. I didn't watch porn but I did fantasise and MO.

I'm so sorry everyone... I know that a lot of you have been putting a lot of encouragement my way and I feel like I've let you down as well as myself. I just want to be free of this addiction.

But at the same time, I'm refusing to give in. Relapses have lasted months in the past; this one is going to be a blip. 120 days takes me to Christmas Day. Let's do this.

Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: toph on August 27, 2017, 06:37:10 AM
I'm so sorry to hear that man. I just caved in 2 days ago as well.

Let's keep on fighting, forgetting about this momentary pleasure and going for being real and honest.

Christmas it is!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 27, 2017, 07:05:48 AM
I just want to bounce back from this blip as quickly as possible... I'm so annoyed with myself right now
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 27, 2017, 08:55:10 AM
Had an hour or so of praying, weeping and so on. I'm trying to think of the positives:

1. Previous relapses have lasted weeks and even months. I'm heading this off after less than 24 hours
2. I managed 80 days clean. That's no mean feat
3. All the techniques I've learned to deal with this addiction are still valid. I can still use this site, I can still beat this a day at a time... I can talk on here and I can talk to my wife and my friends
4. I'm a recovering addict, not a finished article. I'll get there. I'll beat this.
5. God is with me. I've not run away from my sin but I have confessed it and asked for forgiveness.
6. I'm still the same kind, compassionate, decent guy I was. I need to claim those things and believe them about myself.
7. I'm always learning, looking at how I went wrong. This time of reflection is so important.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: v82 on August 27, 2017, 04:24:15 PM
Don’t be too harsh on yourself but do try to think about what caused the relapse. It’s great you are determined not to binge on this relapse. Keep fighting!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on August 28, 2017, 09:23:47 AM
I've been tracing it back and I think it went something like this:

- I've been experiencing quite a low mood of late, just generally feeling down about life ... Lots of things have been difficult and I'm hampered from doing loads of the things I like by my broken wrist.
- on Tuesday I worked from home and I didn't adequately prepare mentally for what is usually a tricky time
- I ended up on some online sites that had a clean chat function... I shouldn't have convinced myself that clear chatting would be fine, because I soon wanted more
- and then on Saturday night I was feeling unwell after bed so I ended up going downstairs, and then got suckered into my old chat site.

Nevertheless, I am choosing to walk away. I'm thinking of it as a bit like launching a space rocket. At the moment, the gravitational pull towards relapse is strong. But it won't always feel like this. I just need to:

- put day after day between my relapse and the present
- commit each day afresh to God
- commit each moment of temptation to him and trust for a way out
- be present and thankful for the multitude of blessings I have
- always remember that the high of relapse is not worth the resulting low.

Christmas is day 120! This is day 1.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on August 28, 2017, 01:23:23 PM
I could be way off base here so if I am you can completely disregard me but I have noticed a cycle from a lot of the men here.

They get down a bit (could be a flatline so keep that in mind as that is part of the reboot process sometimes). They find themselves on the computer and feeling tempted. A lot of men say being board is a big trigger. I really think boredom is a symptom of something bigger. I am someone who is right on the edge of an introvert and extrovert. So I can completely understand being at home alone and wanting to connect with someone. something I have been working on within myself is why am I feeling lonely/board? I am learning to be comfortable with just myself. Learning how to stay on task and get my work done without distractions. I have found that even this site can be a distraction for me. When you add in a porn addiction/chat room addiction, well it just makes everything even harder and more difficult. When you feel tempted start really peeling back the layers and ask yourself
What am I feeling? What is the root of the trigger? Can I receive support or is there something else I can do to satisfy this need?
For myself, I have found when I am lonely the root is that I don't really like myself and I get uncomfortable spending time with just me. I am insecure and scared and I need others to validate me. So I am working on learning to be ok with who I am, learning to love myself, and be ok on my own.

If you need support because the temptation is really strong, reach out! Message your wife and tell her what you are going through. If you just need a conversation with someone, reach out to someone who can support you and wants to see you succeed. Get accountability partners who you can shoot a text to and they can take a moment and help you recenter yourself and remind you of what you are working towards.

I think you have made great progress, but there is still along way to go. You can do this but not without the necessary steps of discovering and pouring into your root causes of why you were seeking this in the first place. The only way to come to true healing is to build good moral character within yourself. Learn who you are and who you want to be. To focus and slowly become that person. It takes dedication, determination, trust, humility, vulnerability, integrity, love, honour, consistency,  patience, kindness, dependability, flexibility, creativity, strength, compassion, and so much more. You can do this!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on September 20, 2017, 04:29:33 AM
Hi all

I took a bit of a break from here, partly because after my relapse I didn't really feel like I had properly got back on my feet. I stumbled around again for a week or so but then I got back on the wagon (as per the journal title!) and I have been clean for a couple of weeks since. This is day 15.

I'm trying to look to the future - it was necessary to examine myself for a period of a few months but I need to now focus on making my future better. Although I am a bit gutted that my counter is on such a low number, I have to look at the positives: a three month clean streak and a quick recovery following a relapse. I read that it's important to do things I'm good at in order to help my own mental health, so I'm cooking lots, organising walks for friends, and so on.

Also my plaster cast is off now, so that's good!

Sorry for the absence - hope you are all well.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on September 22, 2017, 10:02:10 AM
So, this is day 17. It's been a good week. I don't think this is the only way to fix an addiction but I'm trying to fill my life with positive things. I've been doing a lot of painting in the house, to try to get it looking good after years of having had small children... it's starting to look good. I'm also looking to organise a fundraising week for our local foodbank.

I feel like I've imprisoned myself with negative thoughts about the things I've done in the past. I can't change the past but I can change the future. One day at a time. Christmas will be over 90 days! If I can get to Christmas porn and chat room free, that'll be an 80 day streak followed by a 90 day streak. I can definitely do this :)
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: aquarius25 on September 22, 2017, 10:20:37 AM
Sounds like you are in a great headspace! Keep up the positivity! Great job!
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Andy9120 on September 23, 2017, 11:55:45 AM
I have read this whole journal and it has helped me.  I am at the very start of my reboot.  My story is very similar to yours.

This is my day one.  The first of many.  I agree with the other posters the positivity on here is amazing.

Thank you for sharing your story it has really helped me.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: PE30 on September 25, 2017, 03:41:21 AM
Day 20. Just a thought: having received some counselling in the past and having received some CBT in the past, I'm thinking that the way to battle this addiction is to look both to the past and to the future. The past might tell me why I'm messed up, but it's not going to help me define my future. Coping strategies might help but they won't root out the things that have led me to where I am today. I need both!

So to give you an example: my wife now attends a weekly group on a Monday night. To get through the inevitable temptation of being alone in the house, I have to (a) recognise that I'm weak and (b) come up with a plan. Tonight, the plan is to do some more decorating! And to pray beforehand.

I'm not going to post on here every day - I felt like my daily blog was making me too introspective. But I'll keep posting a couple of times a week.
Title: Re: Back on the wagon
Post by: Andy9120 on September 26, 2017, 01:17:29 AM
So much of what you have written so honestly is true of my story too. I am inspired by your story and faith.

I too struggle with the boredom when my wife is late back from work for example. But I am going into over drive trying to fill my time with stuff! The house has never been so clean!

Keep up the good work mate !