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Journals => Ages 20-29 => Topic started by: BlueHeronFan on December 30, 2018, 01:48:51 AM

Title: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on December 30, 2018, 01:48:51 AM
Here's me in a nutshell: I really fell into heavy pornography use and masturbation through high school (probably at least one session every day). I started to struggle with it (tried to stop) when I went to college and have continued to make incremental progress in overcoming this problem in the years that have followed. I'm in graduate school, and it's been a couple years since I've actually looked at anything with explicit nudity--but I've still found substitutes for explicit material and have found myself spending a big chunk of time, like one night about every one to three months, looking at non-explicit material and edging.

It's been a frustrating point in my journey. It's like there's a switch in my head that gets flipped "on" every couple months. For the most part, I feel like I function normally without thinking about porn, without wanting it, easily being able to say no when an urge or opportunity passes me by. But, every so often, it seems like it grabs me and won't let go until I waste a night edging to non-explicit stuff. Then I feel defeated, sort of like I haven't really made all that much progress. Lately, though, things have started happening more frequently (a few times in the last two months), and I've found myself looking up explicit things but then looking at the corner of the screen or something like that (not looking directly at the nudity on-screen). I'm not sure what I think about that, but I know that I can't quite bring myself to cross the line into explicit pornographic images or masturbation to orgasm. So I guess I feel like I'm stuck in a weird sort of limbo. I know I want to quit, and I feel pretty successful at it most of the time, but then I slip up every so often, and I worry that it might be getting worse rather than better right now.

I've learned a lot about myself over the years in battling this problem. I've learned that it most often comes at me when I'm feeling frustrated or hopeless about the future (especially in the context of my hopes for a marriage and family sometime in the future, like porn tries to fill that gap in its own terrible way). So I guess I've started spending more time paying attention to my emotions since it seems like it's negative emotions that fuel thoughts of porn that eventually lead to acting out. I've been working on my emotions through meditation, yoga, and more dedicated religious practice. I think I'm starting to turn a corner on how I feel about myself and my relationship to other people. I still wonder, though, sometimes about the balance between being compassionate with myself but not letting myself off the hook for bad behavior.

Anyhow, a long story made short, I was listening to something the other day that said a community is important in overcoming things like addiction. I found this place in my search for a community and hope that being a part of this group will be one of the things that's been missing in my recovery
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 02, 2019, 12:30:12 AM
So, now that last week's weirdness is out of the way (and because the new year has begun), I'm starting myself on going the next 100 days without any sort of pornography or masturbation. Ultimately, the goal is to go all year, but 100 days feels both attainable and like a reasonable stretch, so it's where I'm going to start. I'm excited to begin this time knowing that there are other people working towards a similar goal along with me. Here's to our success!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 03, 2019, 12:13:00 AM
Another day (I guess day 2). It was pretty uneventful, mostly just getting ready for the semester that's about to start. A couple of images came across my social media feed that I could have done without, but I just blocked them and moved on.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 04, 2019, 12:20:11 AM
Keep on keepin' on. It was a quiet day with family--I go back to school tomorrow, so it'll be a day of flying across the country. Not a thrilling plan, but probably a pretty safe day tomorrow.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 04, 2019, 09:26:31 PM
Travel day for me, so it ended up being a pretty safe one. Frankly, though, I never usually run into trouble during the day. It seems more like pornography and masturbation get me during the night--like waking me up out of sleep when they come. A lot of the time, then, I'm not really sure what to do. It seems like they just happen, once the switch flips, I'm not really sure how to switch it back off without looking at things I'll regret.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 06, 2019, 07:26:18 PM
Day 6/100: Sundays are usually pretty chill days for me. Church helps me keep my head screwed on straight, which has been helpful for me.  School and work start up for me again tomorrow, and I'm excited for that. I'm sure it will bring stress, but I've been working on more productive ways to deal with it (meditation, yoga, etc.) rather that resorting to pornography to escape it
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on January 07, 2019, 10:24:33 AM
Day 6/100: Sundays are usually pretty chill days for me. Church helps me keep my head screwed on straight, which has been helpful for me.  School and work start up for me again tomorrow, and I'm excited for that. I'm sure it will bring stress, but I've been working on more productive ways to deal with it (meditation, yoga, etc.) rather that resorting to pornography to escape it

That's right, mate. This is my day 1/90, hardmode, no excuses.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 07, 2019, 08:26:22 PM
Day 6/100: Sundays are usually pretty chill days for me. Church helps me keep my head screwed on straight, which has been helpful for me.  School and work start up for me again tomorrow, and I'm excited for that. I'm sure it will bring stress, but I've been working on more productive ways to deal with it (meditation, yoga, etc.) rather that resorting to pornography to escape it

That's right, mate. This is my day 1/90, hardmode, no excuses.

For sure, let's do it! Today's been a decent one. I was doing some reading for class (and it was boring), and I noticed that my thoughts started turning to porn--sort of out of the blue. It's making me think about environmental cues that I hadn't thought about before. I can't help but wonder if there are some changes to my desk area, etc. that I could make so that my brain doesn't go "Oh yeah, this is the place for pornography."
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on January 08, 2019, 05:18:01 AM
For sure, let's do it! Today's been a decent one. I was doing some reading for class (and it was boring), and I noticed that my thoughts started turning to porn--sort of out of the blue. It's making me think about environmental cues that I hadn't thought about before. I can't help but wonder if there are some changes to my desk area, etc. that I could make so that my brain doesn't go "Oh yeah, this is the place for pornography."

That's right. Porn pops up in our minds just like that. It's annoying because you can never really stay away from it. It invades your thoughts, dreams etc.

I support the idea of doing some changes to your environment because I've seen how this worked in my case. I would be outside, having no urges, but coming back to my bedroom, where my computer was and where I always masturbated to porn, and hard urges would hit me.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 08, 2019, 09:50:16 PM
For sure, let's do it! Today's been a decent one. I was doing some reading for class (and it was boring), and I noticed that my thoughts started turning to porn--sort of out of the blue. It's making me think about environmental cues that I hadn't thought about before. I can't help but wonder if there are some changes to my desk area, etc. that I could make so that my brain doesn't go "Oh yeah, this is the place for pornography."

That's right. Porn pops up in our minds just like that. It's annoying because you can never really stay away from it. It invades your thoughts, dreams etc.

I support the idea of doing some changes to your environment because I've seen how this worked in my case. I would be outside, having no urges, but coming back to my bedroom, where my computer was and where I always masturbated to porn, and hard urges would hit me.



Hey thanks! Yeah, I think there's something to it. I remember days when I would go on a walk to clear my head only to have it all come back as soon as I was inside--so I think I'll do something about changing things up. It can't hurt

Today was a busy day (school until late), so I didn't have any real trouble. Just time to hit the hay and carry on
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on January 09, 2019, 08:10:56 PM
very interesting your journal. you have situations very similar to mine. in this 1 month and 1 week without pmo I got caught sometimes seeing some kind of non-explicit material too. the difference for me is that I can get rid of this material much easier, but I also feel bad and feel its harmful effects.

it is true that the effects with heavy porn are much greater and I get sutck on it for much longer. besides that I suffer a lot more with brain fog and lack of attention after heavy porn session, let's say.

however, I feel that I am avoiding these triggers like Instagram or non-explicit material much more easily in this last month and I hope improve more and more on it too.

I also share the fact that difficult emotional moments make me more vulnerable to this kind of behavior. boredom and even a peak of happiness has also been times when I should be alert.

I am glad that yoga and meditation have been helpful in improving your mood and times of emotional difficulty and anxiety. I have also sought support in this.

Tks for sharing your experiences and good luck on your journey!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 09, 2019, 09:08:09 PM
Thanks for your support! The  more time I spend here the more I realize that my situation isn't unique. There are a lot of people facing very similar situations, and it's been a relief to know that I'm not alone in it. I think one of the things that porn does is isolate us--so reaching out and being involved with other people, even here, is a good way to fight back. I really do appreciate the responses I've gotten here.

Today went well for me. I'm fighting a little bit of a cold, so I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. That and homework made for a pretty uneventful (but also clean) day. Onward!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on January 10, 2019, 10:14:19 AM
Thanks for your support! The  more time I spend here the more I realize that my situation isn't unique. There are a lot of people facing very similar situations, and it's been a relief to know that I'm not alone in it. I think one of the things that porn does is isolate us--so reaching out and being involved with other people, even here, is a good way to fight back. I really do appreciate the responses I've gotten here.

Today went well for me. I'm fighting a little bit of a cold, so I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. That and homework made for a pretty uneventful (but also clean) day. Onward!

Porn makes my anxiety worse so automatically I end up isolating myself. Maybe also because of low energy and mood that I have, which makes interacting with people a drag. If I've understood one thing is that our sexual energy is everything for us. PMO eliminates it. It's like grabbing it and throwing it away. And when I am low in sexual energy, I don't have energy and mood for anything. I just want to lie in the bed all day and sleep.
Now you eliminate this energy through sex as well, that's why the person should deserve this from you. She should deserve you giving away your energy (that you want to use for doing other things). And here I'm speaking like a normal person, not like those brainwashed hedonistic young people today: "What are you talking about, man? You should fuck everything that walks! How can you refuse sex? What's this shit about energy?" I don't want to follow this mentality. Fuck 'em. That's right, and if they are offended by me saying fuck 'em, I couldn't help myself.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 10, 2019, 09:17:29 PM
Another decent day: 10/100

Interesting, I haven't thought about it like that before.

I know I've felt pretty down on myself and low-energy on the days that I've viewed porn. There might be something to what you've said about sexual energy. Part of it, though, seems to be about feeling disappointed in myself and treating myself harshly. One of the things I've been working on is self-compassion, treating myself with forgiveness and understanding, even when I mess up. For well over 10 years, porn has been the thing that my brain and body turn to when I feel like I'm in trouble. They've been an escape, a relief. It's ultimately done more harm than good, but, frankly, it's the best I knew how to do at the time.

I was listening to someone the other day who said it like this. Imagine if you walk up to a dog and try to pet it, but it lashes out at you and tries to bite you. You might be angry, harsh, offended. But what if you saw that that dog's leg was caught in a trap? What if you could see that it wasn't lashing out because it is a bad dog but because it was in pain? The speaker said that we are often caught in a trap, and understanding that can help us deal with ourselves better.

Porn has been a defense mechanism for me, and it's one I'm trying to replace. In a weird way, it's something I think my brain used to protect me--it was wrong--but it was trying. The task now is to find better ways of dealing with pain--and not being too hard on myself when slips do happen. I'm only too ready to hate myself when I mess up and to assume that other people would love me less if they knew what I really dealt with, but I'm learning to leave that aside and to love myself anyway, to treat my pain with gentleness rather than harshness so that I can find healthier ways to deal with it.

Wow, I wasn't planning on saying this much. I think I'm making progress towards higher self-esteem and getting to know the real me underneath the porn addiction. I wonder if we're not all our own harshest critics...
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 11, 2019, 07:59:33 PM
Another day, another dollar (so to speak). I got off work before noon (I always do on Fridays now), and I spent most of the afternoon relaxing, which was nice. I did some homework but not a lot. Still fighting off the tail end of a cold. The weekend should be pretty chill, and I"m looking forward to that.

Onward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 12, 2019, 08:18:00 PM
Lots of snow and homework today, so it's been an inside day for me. I did a lot of things to get ready for next week, but I'm a little annoyed that I didn't get more done. I think that's just unfair irritation, though: I did a lot, and I spent some time relaxing, which is what weekends are for. Still have a hard time shaking the feeling that I could have accomplished more. Probably something else to work on.

Nowhere even close to porn, though, so that's been good. But, frankly, going a week or two hasn't been unusual for me lately. It's after three or four that I need to be on the lookout. So I guess the trick will just be not checking out and getting lax.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on January 13, 2019, 08:22:33 AM
happy to know that you've been well in the past few days.

interesting your comment about having more compassion for our failures and mistakes. it is true that we are often very cruel to ourselves and this can be something bad in our recovery process.

I think everyone here had their motives for porn addiction. difficulties in dealing with emotions, difficulties at home, difficulties in socializing, etc.

in my case I believe it all started with my parents' numerous fights. as I was very young, it was very difficult for me to deal with all that. I always felt very bad at every fight I witnessed.

porn and masturbation then made me feel good at least temporarily. and as I did not find much pleasure in other things, it became something of the utmost importance and I became addicted.

the difference is that I am now an adult and I'm aware of all the problems that this addiction causes for me. I have compassion for the boy who entered this not knowing very well what he was doing and seeking a certain relief for his pains. but now as an adult I feel more responsible and I have been charged much more to deal with my problems in a different way.

I also know that I am human and that mistakes I will always commit. I also know that those difficult moments in my childhood are still engraved on my body and memory. but I believe it is possible to learn from mistakes and bad experiences and try to deal with problems in a wiser and more balanced way. That's what I've been trying to do.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 13, 2019, 07:25:48 PM

the difference is that I am now an adult and I'm aware of all the problems that this addiction causes for me. I have compassion for the boy who entered this not knowing very well what he was doing and seeking a certain relief for his pains. but now as an adult I feel more responsible and I have been charged much more to deal with my problems in a different way.

I also know that I am human and that mistakes I will always commit. I also know that those difficult moments in my childhood are still engraved on my body and memory. but I believe it is possible to learn from mistakes and bad experiences and try to deal with problems in a wiser and more balanced way. That's what I've been trying to do.

All of that is really great--thanks for sharing it with me! I think I agree with you. I was pretty young when I started experimenting with porn and masturbation, too young to know what I was getting myself into. Now that I know, though, it's my responsibility to shake it off and deal with life more productively.

I've been thinking a lot about something else I heard a couple weeks ago: the way we live today is the way we live our life. In addiction and in everything, all we can do it live each day at a time. I hadn't thought before about how our life is the sum of each day. If we can live each day well, we'll end up living our life well. So I'll just keep trying to live each day well. (Today is 13/100)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 14, 2019, 07:29:44 PM
14 days in, but not much to say about today: school and homework--typical Monday stuff.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 15, 2019, 10:31:40 PM
A quiet day for me, just school and stuff. On we go
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 16, 2019, 09:07:21 PM
I was noticing today that little fantasies flash across my mind from time to time. I guess they haven't ever seemed like too big of a deal to pay attention to, but I realized that they might be getting me into trouble. I think I've only ever relapsed after entertaining fantasies, but I've always thought of fantasies as harmless...which they aren't. Anyway, something to think about and work on.

I was listening to something yesterday that was talking about how our brains rely on habits and patterns of thought and behavior and about how, when our brains have habits for a long time, it takes a long time to change those habits. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that it's taking years to fully shake off an addiction that I didn't even fight for more years. It's okay that it's taking time. All progress is progress.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on January 17, 2019, 08:14:27 AM
I was noticing today that little fantasies flash across my mind from time to time. I guess they haven't ever seemed like too big of a deal to pay attention to, but I realized that they might be getting me into trouble. I think I've only ever relapsed after entertaining fantasies, but I've always thought of fantasies as harmless...which they aren't. Anyway, something to think about and work on.

I was listening to something yesterday that was talking about how our brains rely on habits and patterns of thought and behavior and about how, when our brains have habits for a long time, it takes a long time to change those habits. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that it's taking years to fully shake off an addiction that I didn't even fight for more years. It's okay that it's taking time. All progress is progress.

Even fantasizing or pictures that appear in the mind are connected to porn addiction. That's what the addicted brain does. If we indulge in them, thinking they are harmless, we could move on to something stronger, to looking at real pictures or straight to porn. It definitely takes some attention to notice every subtle thing the brain does to push us back to porn. What you said about habits is very true. Mine are like routines: Every morning I fantasized and edge by rubbing my dick against the bed (back in the days when quitting porn wasn't even a thought). And this is so well tattooed to my brain. Every morning, when I wake up, I have to fight to brush away the fantasies and I have to turn face up to avoid rubbing against the bed. It's one of those things that drive you crazy and push you into cursing impulses about why you had to become a porn addict in the first place. But as we didn't choose deliberately to become addicts in the past, now it's not the type to despair crying about it. There is only a way out.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 17, 2019, 08:42:57 PM
Yeah, you're right. As I think about it now... The addiction is a real thing, so I have to be vigilant, but it's also not something I really chose (I was too young understand what I was getting into), so I can't be too frustrated with myself. And I love that last thought. The only way now is the way out.

Today was good, busy but good. The weather's pretty bad, but I'm warm and inside, so I can't complain.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Decapitare on January 17, 2019, 10:55:15 PM
We are our actions, it is good remember that if we are trying being a better person :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on January 18, 2019, 09:37:39 AM

the difference is that I am now an adult and I'm aware of all the problems that this addiction causes for me. I have compassion for the boy who entered this not knowing very well what he was doing and seeking a certain relief for his pains. but now as an adult I feel more responsible and I have been charged much more to deal with my problems in a different way.

I also know that I am human and that mistakes I will always commit. I also know that those difficult moments in my childhood are still engraved on my body and memory. but I believe it is possible to learn from mistakes and bad experiences and try to deal with problems in a wiser and more balanced way. That's what I've been trying to do.

All of that is really great--thanks for sharing it with me! I think I agree with you. I was pretty young when I started experimenting with porn and masturbation, too young to know what I was getting myself into. Now that I know, though, it's my responsibility to shake it off and deal with life more productively.

I've been thinking a lot about something else I heard a couple weeks ago: the way we live today is the way we live our life. In addiction and in everything, all we can do it live each day at a time. I hadn't thought before about how our life is the sum of each day. If we can live each day well, we'll end up living our life well. So I'll just keep trying to live each day well. (Today is 13/100)

sorry for the delay in answering I've been involved with quite a bit in recent days. that's true. our mind tends to make everything much more complex.

but the truth is that our future is built every day like you said.

and if we do not change our old habits NOW we will never do it. change can only happen in the present moment, but we are deluded that it will happen at some future time in a magical way. this illusion that in the future things will improve prevent us from acting instantaneously and makes us carry on with our old problems...
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on January 18, 2019, 09:54:28 AM
I was noticing today that little fantasies flash across my mind from time to time. I guess they haven't ever seemed like too big of a deal to pay attention to, but I realized that they might be getting me into trouble. I think I've only ever relapsed after entertaining fantasies, but I've always thought of fantasies as harmless...which they aren't. Anyway, something to think about and work on.

I was listening to something yesterday that was talking about how our brains rely on habits and patterns of thought and behavior and about how, when our brains have habits for a long time, it takes a long time to change those habits. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that it's taking years to fully shake off an addiction that I didn't even fight for more years. It's okay that it's taking time. All progress is progress.

Yes, man. Sure that these habits takes time to disappear. but it's good that you can already identify and be alert to your different triggers. the tendency is that by being alert when these triggers arise we can act differently and not simply react in a pattern that is rooted in our brain.

Good to see your progress here. what happened in the past really can not be changed, unfortunately. so let's look with compassion on all that has brought us here and let's act in a different way from now on. keep strong. have a good weekend!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 18, 2019, 09:27:55 PM
keep strong. have a good weekend!



Thanks, you too!

Another day and another week in the clear. Just going to keep on going.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 19, 2019, 08:48:23 PM
Today's been just fine. Not as productive as I'd like. I felt/feel more urges today than I have in the last couple weeks.

I've been working on setting up social media for business purposes. Oh boy, that's a minefield: I've been remembering today why I quit my own accounts last year. Even when you're not looking for it, pornish stuff comes looking for you. I spent some time today trying to block that stuff to teach the algorithm I'm not interested, but who knows--maybe that wasn't the best idea. It put me in front of a lot of things I probably would have been better off not seeing...

Tomorrow is another day
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 20, 2019, 07:59:52 PM
(20/100)
Stuck inside again today due to the weather. But it was a good day, I cleaned, cooked, made an inspirational poster to keep over my desk (as a reminder that there are better things ahead than porn).

I realized today that I've been fighting urges and thoughts lately by saying, "What would the guys on the forum say if I gave in today?" Even in the last couple weeks, being a part of this community has added strength to my healing process that I didn't have before. Just wanted to say thanks
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on January 21, 2019, 03:36:41 PM
the forum has also given me this strength to stick with my goals here. Good to know that everything is going well for you. social media is a problem for me too. I have also worked with social media for companies and I know what you mean. I'm trying to control it with apps. It's working but could be better.

have a good week and stay focused man!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 21, 2019, 07:58:58 PM
the forum has also given me this strength to stick with my goals here. Good to know that everything is going well for you. social media is a problem for me too. I have also worked with social media for companies and I know what you mean. I'm trying to control it with apps. It's working but could be better.

have a good week and stay focused man!

Thanks! I'm just keeping at it.

That said, I'm three weeks in now (21 days), and that's a good thing, but it's also not rare for me to go three weeks without porn. What's rarer is going more than 4. Yesterday and today the urges have crept into the back of my mind with more force. Usually what happens is that I go a few weeks, things settle down and then it creeps in quietly and takes me down. It starts with thoughts, then remembering how "free" I felt when I didn't have to worry about not using porn. Even today, for the first time, I had some thoughts like, "you've been doing a good job the last few days--maybe treat yourself to some porn." I've never thought of porn as a reward before, usually a coping mechanism. But I hope I can see it for what it is--the same poison as always.

Hopefully, by talking it out here and not being trapped in my own head, I'll be able to work through the round of urges that seems to be coming. For a long time, I think, I've been on a roughly once a month schedule for PMO, and I guess the clock is ticking down. I can go a few weeks without even thinking about porn, but I'm usually done for by the time I start thinking about it throughout the day. Here's to hoping that doesn't happen this time.

I'm back to work tomorrow, so I hope that being busier gets my mind away from the trash that's sneaking in.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Decapitare on January 21, 2019, 11:45:35 PM
You are doing a great job my friend and I'm sure you can go ahead.

Sometimes we can be confusing about it and if all this process worth. Sometimes my mind tries trick me thinking perhaps P it is not the problem and I dont need to do this, so I remember there is all this whole community to remember me I'm in the right way. Remember your brain is trying tricking you to get his drug and you wont satisfied at all at the end.

Stay strong
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on January 22, 2019, 04:52:10 AM
Sometimes my mind tries trick me thinking perhaps P it is not the problem

I can relate to this. Some time ago (when I didn't know that I was addicted to porn and I only thought I was addicted to masturbation) I had some moments when I told myself: "Your social anxiety is not because of masturbation, man. It's all in your head. Have this attitude, think this way and you will be normal." Yeah, right. You will never escape from the emotional mambo jumbo if you don't quit PMO.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 22, 2019, 09:28:50 AM
Thanks, guys--you're right. It's hard to remember sometimes that my brain is not always on the same page as me. I am not my thoughts. I'm dealing with thoughts right now that are trying to pull me in the wrong direction, but that's the addiction talking, not me.

Thanks for the boost. Here I go into the day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on January 22, 2019, 01:15:42 PM
use blocking apps, meditate, focus on your work, seek out different forms of pleasure that are healthier, value more the pleasure of being away from pornography sessions and all its effect that comes later, think how you feel after a porn session, think of your goal here of reaching 100 days without porn. take some deep breaths when these urges appear and stay away from cell phones and computers at these times.

what I've been thinking is that as long as I don't feel that I have self-control and that it will no longer affect me in any way I won't  watch porn again. Ans I also want to reach my goal which is the same as yours: 100 days.

I hope that one day I won't even know how long I am without watching porn and I hope also that one day this desire to watch a video doesn't affect me anymore.

I really expect that porn can lose its importance in my life and to reserve for what it is and should always be: something insignificant. something that doesn't add anything at all in my life.

We are here to help you! Count on us! have a good day
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 22, 2019, 10:28:45 PM
Muito obrigado, Kaingang! I really appreciate your support.

I've been hearing this phrase a lot lately: Let go of that which no longer serves you. Porn definitely doesn't serve me anymore. It might have been a way to deal with pain in the past, but it doesn't do that anymore and I've found better ways of dealing with pain. It no longer serves me, and I'm in the process of letting it go.

Today was a busy day, but I made it through. Glad to be calling it a night
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 23, 2019, 08:18:35 PM
Today was decent. The social media got to me today, and I decided that, even if it is for business purposes, it's not worth it. There has to be a way to take care of business without putting myself at risk of exposure to sexualized content.

I saw some things I wish I hadn't, but I don't think it's a relapse. The job now is just making sure it doesn't become one (because once you get the urges going, it's harder to settle them down).

On to another day
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on January 24, 2019, 08:23:13 AM
It's good to be away from any sexual content. I'm in the same process. They put us at a very high risk for relapses. Stay focused and have a good day, meu amigo.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 24, 2019, 08:42:07 PM
It was a chill day today--just school for me. I feel much more in control today than I did last night, but I've still been fighting some thoughts/fantasies. I'm sure they'll settle down the less I pay attention to them and do other and better things.

My focus now is to take things a day at a time. I can't change the past, and I can't control the future. But I can do something about today, so that's where I'm trying to focus my energies.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 25, 2019, 07:52:50 PM
Had a few strong urges today, but I responded by dropping everything and meditating instead of just worrying about them until they overcame me (like I have done in the past). By the time I was done meditating, the intensity of the urges had dropped off a lot, and I could get through the rest of the day.

I've never successfully dealt with strong urges like these before. In the past they've always meant a relapse was coming. But I'm doing better than before and hoping that they ease up more as they realize that I'm not going to give in.

25 days/100--let's keep going!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: brandnewself on January 26, 2019, 07:40:51 AM
Hi BlueHeronFan, thanks for dropping by my journal the other day. I'm happy to hear that you made the right decision and got through the day safe. I believe the urges do ease up as time goes by. On the one hand they will appear less often, on the other hand we will do better at ignoring them.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Fapstronaut2019 on January 26, 2019, 03:27:21 PM
It's interesting how we're in a very similar spot. My goal is 5 months though. I feel this is gonna be the cutoff point for my brain to rewire, because I've done 3 months and relapse before.
After skimming through your journal for a while, I guess your situation is milder than mine since you stopped viewing explicit materials for 2 years. Your brain already doesn't want porn, but it still stands in a place where it sometimes would demand masturbation or non-explicit material. You're right in taking this seriously, because if you leave yourself you can relapse again into explicit material, because addicted brain keeps wanting a higher dose when lower doses don't satisfy it anymore.
Even though your addiction is not that strong, you have to keep reminding yourself everyday about the logical arguments you have against pmo and masturbation. You might know all the whys and hows, but you tend to totally forget them during urges, and that contributes to relapsing, then we keep asking ourselves afterwards how did we relapse while we had all those anti-porn arguments in our minds.
Take a look at this: https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/6-step-reboot-plan-helped-me-quit
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 26, 2019, 09:03:04 PM
Thanks for your suggestions! That's helpful.

I have been talking myself away from it today for most of the day. I've gotten a lot done, but those urges have just been quietly running underneath it all. I feel more exhausted at the end of the day than I probably would if I had just been working.

It's a struggle: I know that I don't want porn or masturbation in any form, but there's a part of me that wants it desperately. I'm not sure what part of me that is. It feels very alien from my normal day-to-day self.

I guess what I'm learning now is just how far the urges can and will go. I've usually just caved after a day or two of feeling them, but I'm committed to staying strong this time. If I can just do it once--actually beat them this time--then I'll have done something I have never really done before. I've always caved as soon as they've gotten intense.

It's going to be an interesting couple of days, I think. But I really appreciate the support here. It really is giving me another reason to stay on course.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 27, 2019, 07:12:14 PM
Another day in the bag. I went to church today, and that always helps take the edge off. Still dealing with some urges but not as bad as the last couple days. Here's to hoping they're on the run, at least for a little while.

Here goes another week!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 28, 2019, 07:48:11 PM
I'm going to call today a relapse, I think.

Did I outright look at porn? No. But I did search it, and it was on my screen even if I wasn't really looking directly at it. Maybe that doesn't count, but it still feels like a step back. At least where I am in my recovery, this is what I'm trying to quit doing. There was nudity on my screen, and I saw it out of the corner of my eye, but I refused to look. I don't even know if that makes sense, but I really don't want to cross back over that line. It feels like a weird thing to me, but it's like my thing now is not porn but being in the presence of porn. Of course, if this stuff made sense, it would probably be easier to beat.

I've learned a couple of things about myself in the last couple days, though: 1) I'm not a happy person. I mean, I always think that my happiness is in the future, but I've realized I need to learn to find happiness in the moment. I think it would be a lot harder to want to porn if I was able to find happiness. It only ever comes when I'm frustrated or hurting in some way. 2) I've been paying too much inappropriate attention to the women around town. I think I've been telling myself that I'm single so there's nothing wrong with looking out for women. But I'm not realistically going to date any of the people I pass on the street--so giving them the wrong kind of attention isn't going to help them or me.

At times like these, I don't really know what to do but reset the counter and call tomorrow a new day. It's frustrating, but it's part of the process. I guess what bothers me is that I knew it was coming. This is never a surprise when it happens. But I'm just not sure what's still missing--what am I not doing? Hopefully it won't be too long before I learn to recognize the urges, feel them, and reject them or let them pass. One of these days. Starting tomorrow.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Pete McVries on January 28, 2019, 08:00:20 PM
Have you thought of installing porn blockers as an additional layer that will keep you from relapsing?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Ashu001 on January 29, 2019, 09:43:30 PM
I'm going to call today a relapse, I think.

Did I outright look at porn? No. But I did search it, and it was on my screen even if I wasn't really looking directly at it. Maybe that doesn't count, but it still feels like a step back. At least where I am in my recovery, this is what I'm trying to quit doing. There was nudity on my screen, and I saw it out of the corner of my eye, but I refused to look. I don't even know if that makes sense, but I really don't want to cross back over that line. It feels like a weird thing to me, but it's like my thing now is not porn but being in the presence of porn. Of course, if this stuff made sense, it would probably be easier to beat.

I've learned a couple of things about myself in the last couple days, though: 1) I'm not a happy person. I mean, I always think that my happiness is in the future, but I've realized I need to learn to find happiness in the moment. I think it would be a lot harder to want to porn if I was able to find happiness. It only ever comes when I'm frustrated or hurting in some way. 2) I've been paying too much inappropriate attention to the women around town. I think I've been telling myself that I'm single so there's nothing wrong with looking out for women. But I'm not realistically going to date any of the people I pass on the street--so giving them the wrong kind of attention isn't going to help them or me.

At times like these, I don't really know what to do but reset the counter and call tomorrow a new day. It's frustrating, but it's part of the process. I guess what bothers me is that I knew it was coming. This is never a surprise when it happens. But I'm just not sure what's still missing--what am I not doing? Hopefully it won't be too long before I learn to recognize the urges, feel them, and reject them or let them pass. One of these days. Starting tomorrow.
hey man i wouldnt call it a relapse. you just had a sneak pic of the stuff. its totally fine but try to avoid that in future. i also looked at it for 20 second or less but i immediately switch back. its more about telling brain that its not a good stuff. we are all human we make little mistakes in  a way but it doesnt mean we have to start the journey all over again.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 29, 2019, 11:26:28 PM
Have you thought of installing porn blockers as an additional layer that will keep you from relapsing?

I have, thanks for checking! I have a couple layers of blocking enabled, but I found my way through a gap in the system. (i.e., a site or two that ended up not being blocked). Now I know where those gaps exist, at least.


hey man i wouldnt call it a relapse. you just had a sneak pic of the stuff. its totally fine but try to avoid that in future. i also looked at it for 20 second or less but i immediately switch back. its more about telling brain that its not a good stuff. we are all human we make little mistakes in  a way but it doesnt mean we have to start the journey all over again.

Thanks for your thoughts and support! At least for me, at this point, it feels right to start my count over--since it's those sneak peeks that I'm trying to weed out. I definitely recognize that it's not a full-on relapse. It probably would have felt more like a success than a failure a couple years ago when I was deeper in the stuff. Besides that, it wasn't just a quick click and quit. I was clicking around and scrolling through and not really engaging for quite a while yesterday. I don't know, you're probably right. But I'll call today day one for now.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 29, 2019, 11:29:46 PM
I wasn't planning on it, but I ended up having a talk with my church leader today about porn. It was good. I've talked to church leaders about it before, but not this one (because I've moved around a lot).

I think that talk was just what I needed. He shared some thoughts and encouragement that I really needed to hear, and it gave me some hope that was especially helpful after my slippage yesterday.

Porn thrives on secrecy. It feels good to have added another ally to my fight today.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Pete McVries on January 30, 2019, 12:59:11 AM
Great news that you confided to your church leader. This forum offers great support but it's another level talking to someone about in person. I confided to my best friend about my porn addiction and he was/is very supportive. Now, whenever I feel the need to, I can talk to him about it, which is great.

The next big step for me is to talk about my younger brother (25) about the destructive nature of porn. I suspect, he uses it frequently (like literally every young male with internet access on this planet, right?). He has never had a girlfriend even though he is highly intelligent, looks good and is in good shape with a healthy social circle. I just don't know how to tell him yet. Do I tell him about my P addiction and all the tolls it took on me, or do I just tell him the facts without telling him about me?! Difficult. But I'll do it soon, I promised it to myself. I just don't want him to be a sexual fuck up, like I turned out to be. Sorry for rambling on your journal, I should start my own very soon but there is so much to talk about, I don't know where to start yet.

About the blockers... Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't have any at the moment and I'm doing just fine but I fear the day major urges arrive. Have you heard about open DNS? From what I understand, you install blockers on your router that are impossible to get around if you throw away the password and it blocks all NSFW content. Maybe something you should look into?

Take care!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 30, 2019, 09:11:45 PM
Thanks! I used to use Open DNS, and I liked it a lot. It's not compatible with my current modem/router, though. I remember trying to set it up when I moved here and learning it wouldn't work. I've tried to find other ways to protect myself, but it's a little trial and error, I guess.

But today was a good day. I've had a terrible headache all day, so it really interfered with my productivity. But I have a feeling a good night's sleep will take care of it, and then I'll be back in business.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Impletion on January 31, 2019, 06:24:03 AM
use my link in signature and enjoy!  ;D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 31, 2019, 08:55:33 PM
Quiet day here. School and work are busy, and it feels a little overwhelming. But I'm working on learning better time management and trying to work more efficiently. In the meantime, I'm just doing what I can to keep up with it all.

On to another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 02, 2019, 08:09:50 PM
Guess I accidentally missed a day yesterday. School has been really busy lately. I'd lose my head if it weren't attached.

Oh well, things are going okay. Feeling overwhelmed, but the porn urges have settled down since last week. (Or was it this week? I can't remember.) That's something.

Onward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 03, 2019, 07:28:07 PM
A decent, quiet day. Not much to say other than that it's back to the grind tomorrow. Here's to hoping I manage the stress better this week. I'm ready for it, which is one difference, so I have high hopes.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 03, 2019, 08:37:33 PM
Hey BlueHeronFan,

Saw your journal and think it was quite interesting. Thanks for commenting on mine :)

You're already well on the road to recovery. I'm convince that you'll pass that 4 weeks mark that you said was so hard for you. Just keep at it we're all with you!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 04, 2019, 07:09:11 PM
Thanks, Rebooter! I appreciate the support.

Today has been decent. I had a lot to do, but I got it done a little ahead of schedule. That gives me a little time to work on some of my own goals before the day ends, so that's good.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 06, 2019, 09:32:11 PM
I've been practicing something new the last few days. I realized that I have been using my walks around school to look at women. There are lots all around, and I've been using my single status as an excuse to look. But I'm not looking because I'm actually going to ask any of them out or anything. They're just strangers on the street. I'm just looking to look.

So, in the last few days, I've been saying to myself, "It doesn't matter," sometimes out loud, when I feel my eyes wandering to a woman that I'm walking by. Because, you know, it doesn't matter. Even if she's the most attractive person in the world, it doesn't matter because it's not a situation where I'd talk to her. It's not like I'd run into her again. It's not like I'm looking at her for any reason other than my porn addiction. So I just tell myself it doesn't matter. I don't have to look.

It's been helpful for me. I'm not missing out if I don't look. It really doesn't matter. Telling myself that a few times every day has helped me realize how much my porn-addicted eyes were active even during the day and even on days when I thought I was staying away from porn-related behaviors. I've spent a lot less time this week staring pointlessly at the women who walk past me every day, and I think that's a good step forward.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: blueRaccoon on February 07, 2019, 07:16:06 AM
I've been practicing something new the last few days. I realized that I have been using my walks around school to look at women. There are lots all around, and I've been using my single status as an excuse to look. But I'm not looking because I'm actually going to ask any of them out or anything. They're just strangers on the street. I'm just looking to look.

So, in the last few days, I've been saying to myself, "It doesn't matter," sometimes out loud, when I feel my eyes wandering to a woman that I'm walking by. Because, you know, it doesn't matter. Even if she's the most attractive person in the world, it doesn't matter because it's not a situation where I'd talk to her. It's not like I'd run into her again. It's not like I'm looking at her for any reason other than my porn addiction. So I just tell myself it doesn't matter. I don't have to look.

It's been helpful for me. I'm not missing out if I don't look. It really doesn't matter. Telling myself that a few times every day has helped me realize how much my porn-addicted eyes were active even during the day and even on days when I thought I was staying away from porn-related behaviors. I've spent a lot less time this week staring pointlessly at the women who walk past me every day, and I think that's a good step forward.

Great step man. We do need to learn to differentiate between our normal behavior and the compulsion induced behavior. Glad to hear what you did. I'll be careful about my behaviors and sure gonna try saying-out-aloud to myself the next time I do something compulsively.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rakses on February 07, 2019, 08:08:06 AM
I've been practicing something new the last few days. I realized that I have been using my walks around school to look at women. There are lots all around, and I've been using my single status as an excuse to look. But I'm not looking because I'm actually going to ask any of them out or anything. They're just strangers on the street. I'm just looking to look.

So, in the last few days, I've been saying to myself, "It doesn't matter," sometimes out loud, when I feel my eyes wandering to a woman that I'm walking by. Because, you know, it doesn't matter. Even if she's the most attractive person in the world, it doesn't matter because it's not a situation where I'd talk to her. It's not like I'd run into her again. It's not like I'm looking at her for any reason other than my porn addiction. So I just tell myself it doesn't matter. I don't have to look.

It's been helpful for me. I'm not missing out if I don't look. It really doesn't matter. Telling myself that a few times every day has helped me realize how much my porn-addicted eyes were active even during the day and even on days when I thought I was staying away from porn-related behaviors. I've spent a lot less time this week staring pointlessly at the women who walk past me every day, and I think that's a good step forward.
You are creating very good habit. Not looking for girls. I also have fantasies and attraction towards girls I bypass on the street. I always keep reminding myself that those are only fantasies it has nothing to do with reality nothing to do with life i am livin'. If i want to know this girl i have to come up and introduce myself not be delusionary about relation with her...
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 07, 2019, 11:04:40 AM
I've been practicing something new the last few days. I realized that I have been using my walks around school to look at women. There are lots all around, and I've been using my single status as an excuse to look. But I'm not looking because I'm actually going to ask any of them out or anything. They're just strangers on the street. I'm just looking to look.

So, in the last few days, I've been saying to myself, "It doesn't matter," sometimes out loud, when I feel my eyes wandering to a woman that I'm walking by. Because, you know, it doesn't matter. Even if she's the most attractive person in the world, it doesn't matter because it's not a situation where I'd talk to her. It's not like I'd run into her again. It's not like I'm looking at her for any reason other than my porn addiction. So I just tell myself it doesn't matter. I don't have to look.

It's been helpful for me. I'm not missing out if I don't look. It really doesn't matter. Telling myself that a few times every day has helped me realize how much my porn-addicted eyes were active even during the day and even on days when I thought I was staying away from porn-related behaviors. I've spent a lot less time this week staring pointlessly at the women who walk past me every day, and I think that's a good step forward.

That's great that you realise that and thank you for sharing. That make me realise that I'm doing the same thing! It is really compulsive, maybe a mix of needyness and porn-related behavior! Often I feel the need to look if she pretty... but you're right if I'm not going to talk to her what's the point, only to get a dopamine rush. Since for now I can't do much with any women sexually speaking looking would almost be a substitute to P!

Thanks man, you made me realise something!! At the same time I have to be careful not to go to the extreme and don't "care" about women, just that for now it doesn't matter!

Keep at it man you're doing great!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on February 07, 2019, 11:30:09 AM
Hi blue

sorry, man. I was out of the forum last week, but I've been following up on your posts. Sorry cause I might be a bit extense in my awnser but I would like to reflect on some things from your comments that I find very interesting.


1) It's good to be really aware of the little mistakes we made as you mentioned that occurred to you recently so that it does not expand into a deeper relapse. You seem to be already in a more advanced recovery process so I understand that it's a little frustrating when these minor errors occur.

Anyway, remember also not to be so hard with yourself because of it. Learn from this mistake, try to correct and not repeat it and go ahead. You are on the right path.

2) I also got a lot of attention from your comment about having difficulty to find happiness during the day and about facing women on the streets.

I identify with it because in recent months/years I have difficulties finding happiness and other types of pleasure in my day to day. This frustrating feeling makes increase the urges to practices that offer immediate pleasure like porn or bad food. For sure if I was in a better emocional moment it would be a lot easier to deal with this addiction.

About facing women on the streets I think the same. It is a repetition of our behavior with porn. Nothing more. Besides being a disrespectful sometimes. If I put me in their shoes should not be nice someone looking at you from top to bottom just by looking.

3) Finally, you mentioned in one of your posts the idea of ​​doing something that you have not done yet. Such as staying for longer than usual without looking at some sexual content or spending a week without looking at women on the street as usual.

I think that in these times of habit breakthrough changes happen. I believe that say no even for a day to small pleasures that leave you some negative mark may be the beginning of a deeper change because we get used to the patterns of our habits and start to believe that it is not possible to live without them. When we break it we can see that it is possible to live another way.

Have a peaceful day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on February 07, 2019, 12:03:10 PM
I identify with it because in recent months/years I have difficulties finding happiness and other types of pleasure in my day to day. This frustrating feeling makes increase the urges to practices that offer immediate pleasure like porn or bad food. For sure if I was in a better emocional moment it would be a lot easier to deal with this addiction.
Well, we all know that PMO is a big pleasure and maybe it feels more intense than anything else we do "naturally". Stopping this feels like everything is empty. This is definitely something that has been bothering me, in both PMO addiction and Internet addiction (but especially Internet addiction). It's like nothing else in my life seems to equal those two pleasures. Reading, talking to someone, playing chess, playing pool etc. What else can a normal human being do? And they feel empty. I remember a time when they didn't so there is hope for reverting back, I guess.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 07, 2019, 12:27:56 PM
There's always hope to revert back even if you don't remember the time where it wasn't like that. Your brain remember it and even if it doesn't the brain is plastic, so he can learn. Remove something like PMO and he'll reorganize himself to feel pleasure in something else after trowing your mood all over the place, but whatever...

You just have to make sure it is something healthy, otherwise you're not really a "better self" than when you were on PMO. That's why I decided to stop everything that could more easely cause an addiction, like internet, social media, video games, etc...
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on February 07, 2019, 12:40:18 PM
There's always hope to revert back even if you don't remember the time where it wasn't like that. Your brain remember it and even if it doesn't the brain is plastic, so he can learn. Remove something like PMO and he'll reorganize himself to feel pleasure in something else after trowing your mood all over the place, but whatever...

You just have to make sure it is something healthy, otherwise you're not really a "better self" than when you were on PMO. That's why I decided to stop everything that could more easely cause an addiction, like internet, social media, video games, etc...
Of course the brain wants the PMO pleasure. If you don't give it this, it will do anything it can to make you do it. If you resist, then it will have to find pleasure in other things but we need to make sure we don't get into unhealthy pleasures again. We need to learn from this. I mean, at the moment I am addicted to Internet and PMO, I've said this in my journal. Once I'm done with them, I really need to call it quits with all the artificial pleasures. I just can't get into this again. My brain is fried and I'm tired and burned out. It's a must for me to see what's like "being normal and healthy". Drinking my brains out since 17, PMO since a teenager, MO since I was 5, depression for 10 years etc. I think it's time to see what's like without all these, I guess.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 07, 2019, 09:31:23 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your responses! I really really appreciate the support and insights. It's good to be here with you all.

I remember, in the earliest days of my recovery, there were days when the urge to PMO were so strong and everything was so frustrating, that I had to eat candy bars just to get through the day. It wasn't a perfect solution, but it got me started. In the years since, I still haven't completely beaten porn, but I do find pleasure in simple things. Cooking a new recipe, listening to birds, looking at trees. I read a book about porn addiction once, and it had the story of a man who had been porn free for a couple of years, and he said that the world was more beautiful to him than it had ever been before. He had never noticed that trees have individual leaves. By giving up porn, it was like he had new eyes. I know that I've experienced something similar as I've continued my recovery.

I guess what I'm saying is that it took candy bars to feel any sort of pleasure in my earliest recovery. But even the sound of rain can bring me some pleasure now. It's a process, a much slower process than I ever wanted it to be. But there is hope.

It's not realistic, or even really healthy, I think, to say that we'll flip a switch and never look at porn again. That's not how it works. But we can decide to try a little more each day. Maybe we stop looking at certain genres. Then we quit looking nudity. Then we quit using the internet for sexual stimulation at all. And then maybe we stop looking at the women we walk past. Maybe not in that order. But it's all progress, and it's all real. One good decision at a time, we'll get there.

Thanks again for your comments: it really has been a help to me, and I hope I've been somehow helpful to you all too.

Let's all go have a great day tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 08, 2019, 12:52:14 PM
It's not realistic, or even really healthy, I think, to say that we'll flip a switch and never look at porn again. That's not how it works. But we can decide to try a little more each day. Maybe we stop looking at certain genres. Then we quit looking nudity. Then we quit using the internet for sexual stimulation at all.
Sadly, from everything I've read about addiction that's not how it works! Just switching from porn to alchool for the exemple.

You won't tell a heavy drinker to progressively lower his alcool intake. You ask him to control his intake, but he's where he's at precisely because he have almost no control over it! He has to cut it out completely in order to recover otherwise the temptation will be to strong to resist.

After that he can't go back to it ever, because the pathway of that addiction will always be there! The brain doesn't delete it, it just shrink it to the extreme degres when you don't use it for a long enough period of time. So if he drink even one drink, then he have a really high risk of going back into the pit, because that will fire the old pathway. It will start with a drink and, eventually, "ah I'll just take another one"... imagine what happen next.

That the thing with addiction. You can't just lower the dosage otherwise you'll never get out of it. That's why it's called an addiction. Because always remember that when you "beat" an addiction it's always next door even years or decades after ready to creep back in. That's why even out of it you have to be careful. Not paranoid just careful!

Just telling you my understand of everything I've read about addiction!

I wish you a great day my friend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on February 08, 2019, 01:02:18 PM
Sadly, from everything I've read about addiction that's not how it works! Just switching from porn to alchool for the exemple.

You won't tell a heavy drinker to progressively lower his alcool intake. You ask him to control his intake, but he's where he's at precisely because he have almost no control over it! He has to cut it out completely in order to recover otherwise the temptation will be to strong to resist.

After that he can't go back to it ever, because the pathway of that addiction will always be there! The brain doesn't delete it, it just shrink it to the extreme degres when you don't use it for a long enough period of time. So if he drink even one drink, then he have a really high risk of going back into the pit, because that will fire the old pathway. It will start with a drink and, eventually, "ah I'll just take another one"... imagine what happen next.

That the thing with addiction. You can't just lower the dosage otherwise you'll never get out of it. That's why it's called an addiction. Because always remember that when you "beat" an addiction it's always next door even years or decades after ready to creep back in. That's why even out of it you have to be careful. Not paranoid just careful!

Just telling you my understand of everything I've read about addiction!

I wish you a great day my friend!
I'm glad you wrote this. I am a recovering alcoholic. I've said this in my journal. I don't know if you know it. The analogy about alcohol is spot on. I could never quit alcohol by reducing. I just stopped cold turkey. Only like this I could reach this 38th day. If you give me a glass, I will try to get more. You don't give me more? I will go to the store myself. Right now (and possibly never, see Philip Seymour Hoffman who went back to drinking after one glass at the movie party - being sober for 30 years) I couldn't be able to drink like my dad for example. He only drinks a glass. A glass for me is nothing. It's just an invitation to binge. My brain doesn't understand anymore how people could only drink 1 glass. Drinking for taste? What's that? My whole life I've only known how to drink to get drunk. For me, alcohol equals getting drunk and medicating. And maybe all addictions follow the same path, including our beloved P addiction that we're trying to quit around here. Once you "binge" (and the word is "binge" here) something for years, how the hell can you be satisfied with less?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 08, 2019, 01:16:53 PM
Yes @changemylife I've read you journal. Additionally, I know a couple of previously alcoholic and they all had to stop on the spot on.

That's why I want to warn him. I could just watch a "softer" video one day, but I know that a couple of days later I would end up binging in the extreme I was when I decided that it's too fucked up to continue like that...
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on February 08, 2019, 01:22:44 PM
Yes @changemylife I've read you journal. Additionally, I know a couple of previously alcoholic and they all had to stop on the spot on.

That's why I want to warn him. I could just watch a "softer" video one day, but I know that a couple of days later I would end up binging in the extreme I was when I decided that it's too fucked up to continue like that...
Yeah, you go back to how you used your drug of choice while fooling yourself that you're reducing to 0.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 08, 2019, 01:32:52 PM
Yes @changemylife I've read you journal. Additionally, I know a couple of previously alcoholic and they all had to stop on the spot on.

That's why I want to warn him. I could just watch a "softer" video one day, but I know that a couple of days later I would end up binging in the extreme I was when I decided that it's too fucked up to continue like that...
Yeah, you go back to how you used your drug of choice while fooling yourself that you're reducing to 0.

Yep! So I just stop everything and since then I had more progress in 2 month than the 2 previous years
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on February 08, 2019, 01:35:09 PM
Yep! So I just stop everything and since then I had more progress in 2 month than the 2 previous years
I didn't know the science behind it and still quitting cold turkey felt more right than trying to reduce.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 08, 2019, 08:54:04 PM
Sadly, from everything I've read about addiction that's not how it works! Just switching from porn to alchool for the exemple.

That the thing with addiction. You can't just lower the dosage otherwise you'll never get out of it. That's why it's called an addiction. Because always remember that when you "beat" an addiction it's always next door even years or decades after ready to creep back in. That's why even out of it you have to be careful. Not paranoid just careful!

Just telling you my understand of everything I've read about addiction!

I wish you a great day my friend!

Oh, for sure. I guess what I mean to say is that, as unrealistic as it is to lower the dosage, it's also somewhat unrealistic to expect to just quit one day and never have a lapse again. I see what you mean about how it sounded like I was talking about lowering dosages. Mostly, I just meant that, in the years I've been working on this, my involvement with porn and reliance on it has gotten weaker, and I've gotten better at stopping before things get out of control. I haven't conquered the addiction pathway just yet, but it doesn't control me as strongly--and it doesn't lead me to the same stuff as it used to. I think it can be hard to remember that time is as much a part of the healing process as abstinence. At least for me, healing has been more of a gradual process than an event.

More than anything, I meant to celebrate the way our brains can gradually return to normal, responding to simple pleasures without requiring the artificial stimulation of things like porn. I've read a lot of posts about how bad people feel when they're trying to quit early on. I just wanted to say that things can get better, but it also takes time and likely won't be something that happens from one day to the next. Relapses happen, but if they aren't as bad as the last relapse, that's some kind of progress. Thanks for making sure I wasn't misunderstanding/misunderstood.

To brighter days!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 08, 2019, 09:37:34 PM
I know what you mean, I had the exact same possess and had relapses, but not nearly as bad than before! It took me 2 years to get where I am right now. I'm in a state where I'm sure that I can quit for good. I gained alot of insight, experience and knowledge in those 2 years and that really helped!!

Your sure right about the fact that it's a journey and that it would be unrealistic to hope to be over with it in one shot! Sure it's possible, but not for around 99.99% of people.

For the brain, it sure is a wonderful thing to celebrate! Even if it can be a pain what trick he use to get you when you're trying to reboot, it's a wonderful organ who can adapt, change and get better!!

Well said! One day at a time, we'll slowly get better!! Keep going, my friend, and stay strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 09, 2019, 08:52:36 PM
Will do!

Another day, another dollar, so to speak.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 10, 2019, 08:18:08 PM
Today was a quieter day. I had an intense conversation with a friend about some conflict that we've been having. The only thing I wanted to do was run away, but we got it done and worked some things out, so I think things will be better moving forward.

I've also had a couple of dreams lately about relapsing. More specifically, I've dreamed that I watched porn and then felt terrible and was trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I was very relieved in the morning to wake up those days and realize it was only a dream. So I guess, on some level, my subconscious is also getting on board with this process.

Let's see what this week will bring
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: blueRaccoon on February 11, 2019, 05:43:10 AM
I have had similar dreams too. Wondering if it is common among rebooters? ???
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Pete McVries on February 11, 2019, 06:01:50 AM
It definitely is. Very often, I dream about PMO or masturbating.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: changemylife on February 11, 2019, 06:39:03 AM
It definitely is. Very often, I dream about PMO or masturbating.
I had dreams about watching a P scene but not on computer, I was around, like looking at them in the room or something.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rakses on February 11, 2019, 09:37:37 AM
I also witness such a dreams sometime but I manage to hold myself away from temptation during a dream. Part of conciousness remains with me :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 11, 2019, 07:38:47 PM
Yeah, it's weird. I've definitely had PMO related dreams, but the relapse-guilt ones are a new thing. They're not exactly pleasant, but I guess it's good to wake up feeling relieved instead of having cravings.

Oh well, today was also quiet. Just did homework all afternoon.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on February 12, 2019, 08:36:35 AM
I also usually have these dreams (nightmares) about relapses.

Good to know that your days have been quiet. I hope you've solved the issues with your friend. Dialogue is always the best solution. But we know that this is not always easy to do. Anyway dialogue and exposing what is bothering always ends up helping and causing a certain relief.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 12, 2019, 01:31:38 PM
I actually had one not that long ago! I don't remember when though! It can be really disturbing when you wake up and you're like " Have I relapsed?" Then you realise it was just a dream!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 15, 2019, 09:27:09 PM
It's been an exhausting week. Somehow it's Friday, but I never quite feel like I caught my balance. I took the afternoon easy and made some good progress on a couple personal goals. I put school on hold for the day, and I think that was a good call. Here's to rest and recovery, and probably a busy day again tomorrow.

But things are looking up. I'm in better headspace at the end of the week than I was at the beginning.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: blueRaccoon on February 16, 2019, 05:58:14 AM
It's a good idea to take a short break and get yourself balanced again when things just seem overwhelming. Happy to see that you progressed on your personal goals. Keep on progressing :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 17, 2019, 07:48:02 PM
Thanks for validating my decision to slack off a little.

Yesterday was busy again, but today was another "day off." Hopefully this week is less crazy than last. I've noticed a couple more porn-oriented thoughts in the last couple of days. Not an emergency, but definitely something for me to be aware of. Those kinds of thoughts never go anywhere good if I let them have their way.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 17, 2019, 08:25:19 PM
Thanks for validating my decision to slack off a little.

Yesterday was busy again, but today was another "day off." Hopefully this week is less crazy than last. I've noticed a couple more porn-oriented thoughts in the last couple of days. Not an emergency, but definitely something for me to be aware of. Those kinds of thoughts never go anywhere good if I let them have their way.

I notice that when I'm tired I have more of these. When I'm tired and have free time even more. Good thing to let them have their way my friend since I do that they don't become overwhelming anymore.

Stay strong my friend and take it easy. Some time of with friend can help too :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 18, 2019, 08:48:43 PM
Thanks!

I definitely think I've been muscling through stress lately rather than actually taking care of it, and I don't think that's very healthy. I've been trying to slow down the last couple of days and take better care of myself. It's the start of another busy week,  but I had some more downtime today than I've been letting myself have. And I think that's a good thing.

Let's see what tomorrow brings!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kaingang on February 19, 2019, 06:18:41 AM
It's always good when there are some breaks during the day to rest your head. after 2 to 3 hours of hard work it's good some short pauses and allow yourself to have a coffee, eat something healthy or do some stretching. take care and have a good week!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 24, 2019, 08:11:36 PM
Thanks--

Things have been a little crazy, I guess. Was the last time I posted on the 17th? I guess so. I have a break from school coming up soon, so I think that that will help me to feel more caught up than I have lately.

I haven't had any PMO trouble this week, though, so that's good. Usually, it's one of the first things I'd turn to when things get stressful, so I'm glad to say that hasn't been the case this week.

Here's to another week!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on February 24, 2019, 08:17:36 PM
Thanks--

Things have been a little crazy, I guess. Was the last time I posted on the 17th? I guess so. I have a break from school coming up soon, so I think that that will help me to feel more caught up than I have lately.

I haven't had any PMO trouble this week, though, so that's good. Usually, it's one of the first things I'd turn to when things get stressful, so I'm glad to say that hasn't been the case this week.

Here's to another week!
Awesome man! Keep going one day at a time! Plan some thing for that break that's coming up! It may help mitigate most risk of uncontrolled free time!

Stay strong brother!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 24, 2019, 08:21:51 PM

Awesome man! Keep going one day at a time! Plan some thing for that break that's coming up! It may help mitigate most risk of uncontrolled free time!

Stay strong brother!
[/quote]

Oh, good call! Too much free time has definitely caused me trouble before. I wasn't even thinking about it this time around, but you're right--I can't just check out. Thanks!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 02, 2019, 09:33:09 PM
I guess it's already been a week. So much for every day...

Things have been busy, late nights, hard work, hardly a minute to spare.

But I've been wobbly yesterday and today. I spent a little time looking up things I shouldn't have, scrolling through porn without really looking at it, wanting to but also knowing that I can't afford to. It's weird to me that this happens. Frustrating more than anything.

I don't really like talking about it, but I think, at some level, my own lack of success romantically is tied up in my porn problem. There's some part of my brain that points me to porn whenever I'm feeling frustrated about dating. As if porn could fill that gap somehow. Of course it can't--and I realize it every time I get close to it again. Those are not women I would be interested in if they were standing next to me. They don't have personalities as they're represented: I couldn't look them in the eye and have a conversation with them (not that the camera spends much time on their eyes anyway...) I'm not sure why it's so easy to forget that, so easy to think that looking this time will be anything other than a disappointment.

I didn't totally give in, but I didn't stay as strong as I'd hoped so I lost a lot of time today. Disappointed, frustrated. Down, but not out. Tomorrow is another day--and I'm going to look more seriously into the way I'm blocking websites: it clearly isn't as effective as I'd hoped. I also want to make sure that I check in here more frequently. It really does help when I can find my way here.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 03, 2019, 09:12:38 PM
Man I can relate to that! My romantic life as been to level zero for the past couple of years and Porn was the vicious circle that kept me from leveling it up!!

You have to see dating as something you can't really have -> for now <- so you can focus on your recovery. As any addiction program you'll see amount the first rule is that your recovery is to be put first!! Nothing should come before, 'cause you're of no ones help in this state!!

As addict, we can't have a healthy relationship with a woman as our brain is polluted with porn and will only treat her as an object more than a person! It's only after a certain period where your brain start to reorganise that you may want to start engaging with woman again(romantically).

The frustration and disapointment come from this fact and it will help immensly to find something to direct all your energy toward until the pathways of addiction in your head grow weaker, subside and you can start dating again!

Just my thoughts on the subject! Stay strong brother, you can do it!!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 04, 2019, 08:25:32 PM
True thoughts--thanks for sharing! It's definitely a frustrating thing because it's like a counterfeit of what I really want that also prevents me from finding the kind of relationship I hope for. Some days, I worry that having had a porn problem will always be a deal-breaker. I get at some level that that isn't probably true, but I sometimes wonder how I could ever even hope to establish a healthy relationship someday. (Or how anyone would be willing to take a risk on a person who's had the problem I've had.)

Oh well, that's a problem for another day. Speaking of frustrating, it's been a disappointing weekend. my addicted brain dragged me towards porn all night last night and for most of the day today. I didn't sleep, and I didn't accomplish as much today as I'd hoped. I just spent the time in a sort of fog looking up porn and and also trying to not look at it/pull myself away from it.

It's like a weird game where I try to get as close to porn (meaning explicit nudity and sexual acts) without actually getting there. I don't think the "less-hard" stuff is any better, but I really don't want to go back that to explicit stuff. Anyhow, needless to say, it's felt more like failure than success the last few days, but it seems like things have finally settled down and I'm closer to being in my right mind now.

I finally figured out today how to get OpenDNS running on my devices. I used to have it, and it was helpful, but my current modem is incompatible with it. But I learned it can be installed on a device-by-device basis instead, so things are locked down. I've really and truly decimated my access to anything even remotely pornographic today, which should be a step in the right direction.

I feel a little beaten down, but tomorrow is another day, and my internet is much more secure than it's been.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Pete McVries on March 04, 2019, 08:46:45 PM
Good stuff! I'm excited to see if OpenDNS can help you becoming clean. I've considered setting it up, too but at the moment I don't need it. But it might be handy some time.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Circle on March 05, 2019, 11:42:23 AM
In most people's experience it seems like women are pretty understanding of the issue. I think lying to them about it would be worse.
Porn addiction/overconsumption is a health issue, not a moral issue. The fact that you have a problem and are taking steps to beat it is something to be proud of.
But I know the feeling as I have intense shame over the whole issue. But the women I have told have not been judgemental at all. In fact, some women (probably many) even find it attractive that you are pushing away the fakeness of porn so that you can connect better with them.

And fyi, your brain is definitely getting the high it wants from looking up porn and less-explicit images/stimulation. Good for you for locking it down.
I work on a computer and spend most of my free time on one as well - avoiding & supressing pmo thoughts is a full-time job when you have that much screen time. If you're not already, try to replace as much computer time as possible with physical activity and other things. I find the days that I get exercise make me feel much healthier and balanced mentally. Easier to ignore the porn thoughts

And more exercise= a healthier, more attractive you! Women like healthy, attractive guys ;)

True thoughts--thanks for sharing! It's definitely a frustrating thing because it's like a counterfeit of what I really want that also prevents me from finding the kind of relationship I hope for. Some days, I worry that having had a porn problem will always be a deal-breaker. I get at some level that that isn't probably true, but I sometimes wonder how I could ever even hope to establish a healthy relationship someday. (Or how anyone would be willing to take a risk on a person who's had the problem I've had.)

Oh well, that's a problem for another day. Speaking of frustrating, it's been a disappointing weekend. my addicted brain dragged me towards porn all night last night and for most of the day today. I didn't sleep, and I didn't accomplish as much today as I'd hoped. I just spent the time in a sort of fog looking up porn and and also trying to not look at it/pull myself away from it.

It's like a weird game where I try to get as close to porn (meaning explicit nudity and sexual acts) without actually getting there. I don't think the "less-hard" stuff is any better, but I really don't want to go back that to explicit stuff. Anyhow, needless to say, it's felt more like failure than success the last few days, but it seems like things have finally settled down and I'm closer to being in my right mind now.

I finally figured out today how to get OpenDNS running on my devices. I used to have it, and it was helpful, but my current modem is incompatible with it. But I learned it can be installed on a device-by-device basis instead, so things are locked down. I've really and truly decimated my access to anything even remotely pornographic today, which should be a step in the right direction.

I feel a little beaten down, but tomorrow is another day, and my internet is much more secure than it's been.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 06, 2019, 09:54:11 AM
@BlueHeronFan I'm always happy to share amd even more so when it help someone!!

Circle is 110% right, for the gym you'll learn to recognize your limit. Like right now I'm a state of overtraining, I know that because I've learn to see when my body is not at peak state! And since my training program is really good and my nutrition is in check the only thing left is recovery!

Plus it help in every aspect of your life, done correctly can bring discipline to it and maybe a purpose like in my case!

Stay strong everyone and be good!!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 06, 2019, 08:23:14 PM
Thanks, Circle and Rebooter! I really appreciate your encouragement.

The shame is real, but I'm glad to know about your experience and the fact that people haven't rejected you for it.

I realized, somehow, that I had things set up wrong, so I tumbled into another hole today. I don't have a lot to say other than that I fixed the error, and it's actually set up correctly now.

I like the reminder to do physical activity more. With school and everything, I've been stuck at my desk even more than usual and my exercise habit has definitely not been as strong as it used to be.

I guess I've got a lot to figure out, but it's easier with your help! Till tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 07, 2019, 08:45:49 PM

And fyi, your brain is definitely getting the high it wants from looking up porn and less-explicit images/stimulation. Good for you for locking it down.


I've been thinking a lot today about this comment you made. You're exactly right. I've been so worried about not looking at actual pictures/videos of naked people (almost even congratulating myself for it) that I've totally been missing the fact that the less-explicit stuff still activates the same addiction pathways, reinforcing the problem even as I think it's getting better. I might not be looking at porn but I'm still looking at stuff that works like porn--and that's not going to help me get any better.

What a sneaky trick my brain has been playing. Thank you helping me realize it. Now I just need to figure out how to be more aware of the porn-like things that I've been relying on to get those little highs from time to time.

In other news, I made it through the day clean. A few sexual thoughts came and went, aftershocks from the earthquake of the last few days. I'm doing what I can to be compassionate with myself while also recognizing the need to continue changing. I feel better tonight than I might expect to, so that's something. Tomorrow is another new day.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 08, 2019, 07:23:20 PM
A much quieter day, which is just what I needed.

I think I'm realizing that I have a better day in general when it starts well. If I get off to a bad start, it's hard to salvage it. Something to keep in mind moving forward.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 09, 2019, 07:36:21 PM
Another quiet day. It looks like this most recent storm has passed. Now I just need to do a better job of preparing myself for the next one.

I'm working on a list of things/places/feelings that have triggered me to use P in the past. As I move forward, I really want to understand the underlying causes and work on dealing with them instead of just trying to stop acting out.

Here we go
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 10, 2019, 08:04:20 AM
Another quiet day. It looks like this most recent storm has passed. Now I just need to do a better job of preparing myself for the next one.

I'm working on a list of things/places/feelings that have triggered me to use P in the past. As I move forward, I really want to understand the underlying causes and work on dealing with them instead of just trying to stop acting out.

Here we go
I think like it's a good thing to do, just don't overdo it. The more you think about P and the more you'll activate the pathway and the closer you are to a relapse! Just be careful, me I know it's boredom and loneliness that are triggers! Up to a certain extent not even in front of a computer or cellphone!! Only these two feelings that spark urges, maybe a little bit stress too!

Stay Strong brother!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 10, 2019, 07:33:55 PM
Thanks, you're right. I definitely think loneliness has something to do with it for me, but I think even more than that I usually relapse in response to a feeling of being stuck/frustrated. I don't really know how to describe, which is kind of the point. If I can figure out how to address that feeling in a more productive way, I think I'll be taking a big step forward.

Anyway, today was good. I'm out of school for the week, so it will be a good time for resting and also catching up. I've been feeling really behind lately, so a week off will give me a good chance hopefully to feel more in control
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 11, 2019, 08:05:56 PM
Not much to say about today. I made it through without much trouble. I spent some time working out a better way to keep track of my to-dos. I've been sort of drowning in tasks, and I need a better way to organize and do them. I think that will really help to take some of the stress out of the equation.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 12, 2019, 07:08:21 PM
Another day. Slept in, did some school work, made some bread. I haven't made bread in a while, and I really liked it. I ended the day with a warm slice of bread with some butter. It was a simple, wholesome sort of thing. That's the kind of life I want, one where bread and butter is all my brain needs to feel okay. Someday, we'll be there.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 12, 2019, 09:50:33 PM
That's cool! Happy that you had a good day! We'll be there sooner than we think espacially with all the efforts we put into this reboot!

Stay strong brother!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 13, 2019, 07:34:29 PM
Thanks, man!

Today was also good. I mostly just sat at my desk, but it was one of the most productive days I've had in a while, which I'm excited about. I've definitely earned my sleep tonight.

Here's to tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 14, 2019, 08:46:32 PM
Awesome, I had that same kind of day today! It feel so great and as we add these days we end up with a productive life!

Continue like that ;)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 14, 2019, 09:25:15 PM
Thanks--that's it, one day at a time we build a better life!

Today was a little less productive, but I still got a few things done. I spent some time with a friend tonight, and it was good to catch up.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 15, 2019, 08:00:30 PM
Did some work today, not much else. I felt some stress throughout the day, but, instead of just working through it, I took some time out to meditate and calm down, and it helped a lot.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 15, 2019, 09:43:52 PM
Here's me in a nutshell: I really fell into heavy pornography use and masturbation through high school (probably at least one session every day). I started to struggle with it (tried to stop) when I went to college and have continued to make incremental progress in overcoming this problem in the years that have followed. I'm in graduate school, and it's been a couple years since I've actually looked at anything with explicit nudity--but I've still found substitutes for explicit material and have found myself spending a big chunk of time, like one night about every one to three months, looking at non-explicit material and edging.

It's been a frustrating point in my journey. It's like there's a switch in my head that gets flipped "on" every couple months. For the most part, I feel like I function normally without thinking about porn, without wanting it, easily being able to say no when an urge or opportunity passes me by. But, every so often, it seems like it grabs me and won't let go until I waste a night edging to non-explicit stuff. Then I feel defeated, sort of like I haven't really made all that much progress. Lately, though, things have started happening more frequently (a few times in the last two months), and I've found myself looking up explicit things but then looking at the corner of the screen or something like that (not looking directly at the nudity on-screen). I'm not sure what I think about that, but I know that I can't quite bring myself to cross the line into explicit pornographic images or masturbation to orgasm. So I guess I feel like I'm stuck in a weird sort of limbo. I know I want to quit, and I feel pretty successful at it most of the time, but then I slip up every so often, and I worry that it might be getting worse rather than better right now.

I've learned a lot about myself over the years in battling this problem. I've learned that it most often comes at me when I'm feeling frustrated or hopeless about the future (especially in the context of my hopes for a marriage and family sometime in the future, like porn tries to fill that gap in its own terrible way). So I guess I've started spending more time paying attention to my emotions since it seems like it's negative emotions that fuel thoughts of porn that eventually lead to acting out. I've been working on my emotions through meditation, yoga, and more dedicated religious practice. I think I'm starting to turn a corner on how I feel about myself and my relationship to other people. I still wonder, though, sometimes about the balance between being compassionate with myself but not letting myself off the hook for bad behavior.

Anyhow, a long story made short, I was listening to something the other day that said a community is important in overcoming things like addiction. I found this place in my search for a community and hope that being a part of this group will be one of the things that's been missing in my recovery

I have not read your whole journal yet but really can relate to this first post. In terms of being mostly stopped but doing little edging teetering the edge of the addiction etc. As well as the having no cravings then suddenly a strong one.

When it comes to the marriage prospect. I listed my triggers a HUGE one, is this weird headspace where I think like "I have no prospects for dating... I want to be with a woman now etc etc" that's all bad. The best way, is to just realize it is NOT real. It's a weird headspace and just like any other strong urge. Literally it is happening to me a little now. I texted me neighbor to hang out, like impulsively I don't even know her and I feel dumb and that it was odd. But it came from this odd place of like feeling like I want female company now. It's like, whats the rush? For me the big help for handling this, is having motivation that are NOT about dating or women etc. Like if my main motivation is "I'll get over this and my dick will work and I can date" then when I feel down about being able to date women or that I have no opportunites to date, it's like well... fuck it!

So, a nice way to fix that is to think of other motivations for getting through those urges.

If I get throught these cravings.
- I'll have more focus and energy tomorrow
- Literally my brain will heal (prefrontal cortex gets stronger, dopamine recpetors become more sensitive)
-I'll have more energy to put in business
- I'll eventually be able to ENJOY way more nourishing activities to boost myself when I am down.

One more thing is.... I feel like you and are in a "in between" stage. Like mostly healed so it feels not so bad, the flip side is this lowers motivation....

Remembering the negative can help. What are the WORST moments of this addiction?

I have lost whole days.
Had awful experiences of my dick not working.
Towards the end even when watching porn I did not have real erections, I forgot what my full erections were like.
I contacted prostitutes as masturbation material

And worse... it sucks to think about but it helps to motivate, like this shit REALLY as bad and has to go.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 16, 2019, 08:16:32 PM
Wow, thanks so much for your thoughts! This is all really helpful, and it's always good to hear from someone who's in a similar spot to me.

You're definitely right about the weird headspace. One of things I've really been thinking about since my last teeter/relapse has been not just not looking at porn but also getting better control of anything that gets the dopamine going in an unhealthy way. Part of that has been better about not being carried away by wanting to date/marry someone. In the past, I've sort of thought it was harmless because it wasn't porn, but I'm also realizing that those kinds of thoughts always, always come a few days or weeks before a relapse. It's like my gateway drug.

So now I'm just working at being a better, healthier me so that I'll be ready for her when the time actually comes, and I'm trying not to worry so much about being on my own for the time being. It can be tough, but it feels like the right thing to do.

Looking forward to talking about this stuff more with you. Here we go, together!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 17, 2019, 12:16:58 AM
Yeah let's keep it up!

It's amazing how similar the triggers are.... Exactly the same, I'll start thinking/fantasizing about real women but that is a definite trigger for me.

I actually came online just now to post about this. I caught myself thinking "I am horny" a few times. But no, I was not horny I was having an urge craving etc. in the very very early stages. Maybe you are like me, I have a very strong imagination. I was surprised to get a text message from a girl, it was fairly platonic but I thought "I am horny" and my mind starts almost fantasizing about her, it feels real but then it's like wait this isn't real! That was happening in my mind. All thats real was the text I received, and it was non sexual.

For me I need to recognize the thought "I am horny" is often not accurate, what I am feeling is not just natural physical horniness... it is in large part also the beginning of an urge to fantasize a whole bunch about sex, which is a huge trigger for me for PMO and other nonsense (I developed some fetishes from the porn, that I am working to unwire from).

This doesn't mean I will turn down all sexuality, just to learn to separate actually having sex with a girl from a weird urge to need sex right now, which is not natural. Porn messes up the natural brain wiring and sexual process. Connection, socializing and even paying attention to the others persons feelings are a natural part of sex (even if it is casual, people use alcohol to get around this imo). This '' I need sex right now feeling" is not natural I reckon. In a natural setting, what if your partner is sleeping? What if no one is around? etc. plus a girl never does exactly what you imagined, even if they want to be accommodating, any interaction between two people just doesn't work like that, googling whatever you want whenever you want.

( this may be known and probably all over this site I am just sort of thinking as I write and putting some thoughts down)

So a part of this rewiring is going to be to have healthy sexuality that is CONTROLLED. And again for me, real sex with a woman is fine, just not fantasizing about it like crazy and coupling this with a healthy awareness and healthy even fear of the addiction to make sure watch oneself and not get swept back into it. (Being aware of and ready for the chaser effect for example which derailed my very first reboot).

That is a great attitude, improving ourselves and that will carry over into our relationships with women or our future wife and is very cool.

For example, I never thought I could be excited about this but I am.....

I am actually getting excited about having actual healthy ways to cope with stress! I literally consciously visualized being upset having a shit day and doing healthy things to feel better after. This is not the sort of thing I thought would be exciting but visualizing it really motivated me. For example, I had some triggers tonight and I went and did a short super late workout, since I figure that is a super powerful way to fight a craving (workouts change brain chemistry, it can't be stopped no matter how strong the craving is, so i figure if I workout it HAS to at least weaken the craving no matter what). So I had this short workout, and then did a late night swim for a looonnnggg time until I was exhausted, I practiced holding my breath and stuff and felt like I was on drugs after (but in a natural good way lol). It actually feels really good to be like "man, this would be pretty cool to be doing this consistently, doing fun healthy things for excitement and having habits thoughts and a lifestyle that is just healthy and happy.

Many sorry this post got long! Let's both keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 17, 2019, 08:32:31 PM
No worries--this is the place for thinking things through, and I'm happy to see your thoughts here, especially given the similarities in our situations/triggers. It's really helpful to remember that I'm not alone in my experience, so post away!

But yeah, I know what you mean about that weird sex-right-now feeling. It's not realistic or healthy. It's a corruption of healthy sexuality, and it's one that seems like it's only possible with porn (for all I know). I was reading something a little bit ago about how one of the things that porn sets up is a false expectation for novelty. If you get bored of a picture or video, something else is just a click away. There's always something new. But, of course, that's no way to think of a healthy, long-term relationship. You can't (and shouldn't) just click to something new when you get bored.

I'm with you on being excited about improving in other areas of life. I've been eating better, exercising, learning to deal with stress and frustration in better ways. It all helps with my addiction, but it also just makes everything else better too.

We're headed in the right direction, so let's keep on going!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 18, 2019, 07:32:50 PM
Not much happened today. I spent most of the day working on a big project for school. It's been a big thing that I've been stressed out about for a while, so it feels like such a relief to finally be turning it in!

Here's, hopefully, to somewhat smoother sailing for the rest of the semester and a better chance to take care of my recovery with more focus.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 18, 2019, 10:31:11 PM
Not much happened today. I spent most of the day working on a big project for school. It's been a big thing that I've been stressed out about for a while, so it feels like such a relief to finally be turning it in!

Here's, hopefully, to somewhat smoother sailing for the rest of the semester and a better chance to take care of my recovery with more focus.
Sounds great! Sometimes a quiet day is really nice to have, especially during recovery. Plus getting the work done is great, it feels good today and will pay off later on when you have the project done and don't need to do it all last minute, win-win.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 19, 2019, 03:22:02 PM
Not much happened today. I spent most of the day working on a big project for school. It's been a big thing that I've been stressed out about for a while, so it feels like such a relief to finally be turning it in!

Here's, hopefully, to somewhat smoother sailing for the rest of the semester and a better chance to take care of my recovery with more focus.

I'm happy to see that even with the stress from school, you're still on the path, my friend!

I just wanted to congratulate you on your progress and to tell you that doing your school stuff help in your recovery! So even if you don't take "care " of it per say, if you stay busy, you're still well on the way!

Stay Strong!!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 20, 2019, 08:11:36 PM
Thanks, guys!

Yesterday was a long and busy day, so I ended up not posting. Today was still busy but not as much. Still on track. I noticed some thoughts and moments today when my brain wanted that rush of dopamine. Now that I'm paying attention to that instead of just trying not to look at P, I'm noticing that I'm catching myself sooner and redirecting, which is good. I'm not perfect at it yet, but it's a start, it's progress.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 20, 2019, 10:36:52 PM
Good stuff! Great insight about the catching ourselves sooner and sooner in the process, that is definitely progress and makes things soo much easier. It's a little easier to catch oneself a second into glancing at a girl than to notice a strong urge at night after having looked at girls all day and probably much better for our brains and recovery, avoiding those dopamine surges. Keep it up!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 21, 2019, 08:26:30 PM
Thanks! I really think catching things sooner is going to make a big difference. It's definitely something I've been working on, and it's helped me not to be so lax with my thoughts this week.

Today was another decent day. I have an important meeting with some professors at school tomorrow. It's a little stressful,  but I think it will go well. Then it's the weekend and another chance to catch my breath after a busy week
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 21, 2019, 10:41:21 PM
Nice job catching/redirecting your thoughts, keep it up! What I've been trying to apply from my meditation is not only to catch these thoughts sooner, but to also the manner in which you redirect them. I've been trying to redirect them gently, rather than aggressively....like you're barely just touching it and it pops like a bubble :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 22, 2019, 07:13:44 PM
Yes--that's a great point! I've definitely been working on being more positive and compassionate with myself. I've definitely been aggressive with myself as I've dealt with this addiction, so I'm trying to change that.

Today was a good day, though. My meeting with my professors went very well, and I feel more confident about the work I'm doing at school. I've been feeling really out of place there for a while, so this is a good step in the right direction.

Here comes the weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 22, 2019, 10:57:18 PM
Glad it's going well for you! Congrats on the meeting.

I notice reading that it's going well for someone else is helpful for me too. Cause I may be a little down, but I get reminded like oh yeah, I remember what it's like to have the good times. Enjoy the weekend, those two days off can be the best
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 23, 2019, 08:35:19 PM
Thanks, man! Today was a decent day, a little busier than I planned on, but I had dinner with a friend unexpectedly. It gave me a little boost that I needed.

Let's see what tomorrow brings
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 24, 2019, 07:51:58 PM
Another decent day, not much to it.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 25, 2019, 07:10:21 PM
Today was a little more productive than I thought it would be. I did school work, sent some emails I was meaning to send, and even took some time to watch a tv show.

I've been dealing with some romantic fantasies, but I'm trying to recognize that they aren't harmless. I always think that they're fine, as long as they aren't sexual, but that's not true. This is always where relapses start, wishing there was a woman in my life. But it's all just the same escape. Whether it's fantasies or porn or whatever, it's all just an attempt to escape from my current situation. But what's so bad about my life now? What do I have to escape from? Being single? I guess that's not ideal, but I do have this time to get myself ready to be an actually good partner to someone someday.

I don't know where I'm going with it, but I definitely porn as an escape. And escaping from my problems doesn't help to solve them. So I guess learning to deal with disappointment is as much a part of my recovery as quitting porn is.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 26, 2019, 12:43:16 PM
Today was a little more productive than I thought it would be. I did school work, sent some emails I was meaning to send, and even took some time to watch a tv show.

I've been dealing with some romantic fantasies, but I'm trying to recognize that they aren't harmless. I always think that they're fine, as long as they aren't sexual, but that's not true. This is always where relapses start, wishing there was a woman in my life. But it's all just the same escape. Whether it's fantasies or porn or whatever, it's all just an attempt to escape from my current situation. But what's so bad about my life now? What do I have to escape from? Being single? I guess that's not ideal, but I do have this time to get myself ready to be an actually good partner to someone someday.

I don't know where I'm going with it, but I definitely porn as an escape. And escaping from my problems doesn't help to solve them. So I guess learning to deal with disappointment is as much a part of my recovery as quitting porn is.

I know how you feel, one thing that help me figure is that I really sat and checked what I didn't like about my life. For me it wasn't being single, it was actually seeing where I was in my life compare to 5-10 years ago!..

I saw that on some aspect of my life I was moving foward, but on most part I was stagnant. Not even moving by the smallest amount and was depress at imaginating my futur!

I wanted to have a better social life, to have a good life! My idea is that you should have a beautiful life before getting a woman in it! The woman, even if she's the one you married, should never be the focus of your life! More like a complement of it!


I like to think about it as a sunday(dessert). Womans are the cherries on all sundaies! If you sunday taste like shit, you have the most beautiful, the most tasteful cherry ever! The overall thing will still taste like shit! Beside that sunday doesn't deserve the cherry and eventually she will go away.

If your sunday taste the best flavour ever created all because of your careful crafting(if you have an awesome lifestyle and are content with it) then the cherry would not even be necessary, but still an magnificent addition to it! Aka the cherry on the sunday! One of the best complement to one's life! Not here that I said complement!

That's how I think everyone should see that and I hope to you may find something useful in that!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 26, 2019, 08:27:31 PM
Congrats on the productive day! I have been cutting down on romantic fantasy too. I used to always pick a girl I knew in real life and fantasize about her, I'd build the girl up in my head but it all was imaginary!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 26, 2019, 09:11:48 PM
Thanks, Rebooter, that's a great analogy. I'm definitely trying to focus on building a better life first. Because you're right, in the depth of addiction, I'm not going to be offering her much of a life to be a part of.

And I know what you mean, Quitforeverthenwin, it seems like it's no problem because it isn't P, but it's a step in the wrong direction.

I was too busy at school today to have much time for fantasies, so that's a plus. Pretty tired now, though, but it's a good tired.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 27, 2019, 01:13:34 PM
"learning to deal with disappointment is as much a part of my recovery as quitting porn is" ...that's a really great quote. So often we get caught up in little things that lead to regrettable actions, it's always good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture; who do I want to become? what can I do to prepare myself for the inevitable road blocks in my life greater than the ones I'm dealing with now? These are questions I hope to keep in the back of my mind as I try to recover from my addiction, especially when anything negative happens within or outside of my control
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 27, 2019, 07:38:44 PM
Yes, all of these questions are great ones that I'm trying to keep in mind. I'm definitely working on dealing with my emotions better and not sweating the little stuff.

Today was a pretty quiet day, happily. On to tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 27, 2019, 10:59:27 PM
Nice! Quiet days are usually good days imo. Keep it up!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 28, 2019, 08:06:19 PM
Thanks, I will!

Another day come and gone, that's 21. My current goal is 30 since I haven't really gotten that far recently. Almost there!

The weather was warmer today, which was nice. But it also meant that people weren't as dressed up around school as they have been. Something for me to be aware of: I don't have to be a creep about it. I feel like I'm more aware of things (going into the spring and summer cautious about the way women will dress instead of using it for my next dopamine fix). So I guess that's some kind of progress.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 28, 2019, 09:02:03 PM
Congrats on 21 days! We all are guilty of gazing at beautiful women from time to time without realizing it, as long as we do our best to direct our thoughts either to them as people (personality, facial expressions) or to anything else there's no problem! Sometimes, it feels kinda funny to catch myself staring...I'm like "man what's the point of this" lol
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 28, 2019, 11:43:47 PM
Nice 21 days is solid! 30 days is a big milestone for sure. Things seem to get easier after day 30 in my experience
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 29, 2019, 07:43:11 PM
Thanks, pichael! I know what you mean, what's the point? Only recently, I've started to catch myself gazing at women and redirecting. It's not like our interaction would ever be more than me staring for a few seconds, and that doesn't help me or them.

And thanks also, Quitforever. It's good to hear that things ease up after 30. That's sort of what I'm hoping, that I can actually get to work on recovery once I've been away from it all for a month. Lately I've been relapsing roughly every month or so. I think the trick, for me, is going to be catching myself earlier in the relapse process. I always act surprised when I'm in the middle of a lapse, but then I can always trace it back to a string of days where I just fantasized and gazed at women around town nonstop.

Today was pretty chill. I got some work done and had some quality time to relax for what feels like the first time in the last couple weeks. Definitely something I needed, and my workload for tomorrow should be pretty manageable.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 29, 2019, 10:09:32 PM
Catching it earlier is a huge point. I've been noticing that too. I had a lot of lapses leading up to my journal and have found my cravings were a lot worse. I am finding intense exercise helps when the cravings starts getting bad, not just when working out. Like at that exact moment. My theory is intense exercise no matter what HAS to change our physiology and nuerchemicals, it just does. I never used in the moments of feeling really bad or a strong urge before but I am finding it is working really well.

It's actually cool, I had a brief moment of being very upset today, it would have been a strong urge. The feeling was powerful. But I immediately did some intense exercise for just like 10 min, I felt totally different after and literally completely forgot about the feeling. I am thinking to keep that always in my back pocket, like for a code red type thing. Real strong feelings/urge or nothing else is working= do springt, burpees, squats, whatever is available at that moment on the spot. For the real tough moments
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on March 30, 2019, 10:17:31 AM
@BlueHeronFan

Hey, I'm really happy to see your progress! Today you're at your 23th day and that's awesome! Keep going you're not that far :)

Stay strong and don't forget that we're here if you need to vent ;)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 30, 2019, 08:08:04 PM
It's exciting to see that we're all making progress as we go along. I've never been much for intense exercise (I'm working on that too, I guess), but I do think you're right about doing something physical to reset the brain and body. I should definitely think about doing something like that.

And thanks, Rebooter! Glad to know you're here for venting. It's getting to the be the end of a busy semester, so I'm sure there might be a need for venting in the next few weeks  ;)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 31, 2019, 08:16:47 PM
A quiet day. Went to church, took it easy at home, made some food for the week. I guess it's already time for another week
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 01, 2019, 12:30:28 AM
Nice! I could use a quiet day tomorrow for sure.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 01, 2019, 06:52:49 PM
Today was busier of course, but it was decent. A little urge or thought here or there, but things are going all right right now.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 02, 2019, 11:38:03 AM
Keep it up, looking forward to your post at the 30 day mark!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 03, 2019, 07:12:30 PM
Thanks! It's coming up, 27 days and counting. Another quieter day, and I'm feeling good about making it through the next few
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 04, 2019, 02:34:02 AM
Great! You've got it for sure! Remember, it is up to you, you can choose what action you take even if it's difficult at times and you want to get those 30 days, so you'll do it!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 05, 2019, 03:15:33 PM
Thanks for the support, I'm definitely hopeful.

I will say, though, that today is giving me a run for my money. If I can make it through today, I've made it to 30. But I've been feeling some urges, and some women have shown up on my screens in unexpected places (random YouTube recommendations that don't seem to have any connection to my actual watch history). Anyway, I feel pretty good about making it through today, but I'm nervous about what's next. I know I should take it one day at a time and not worry about the future too much, but that's a habit I haven't quite broken either.

I'm working on slowing down, staying calm, and taking care. I'll check in later today, but I thought getting these thoughts and feeling out of my head would help.

Be back soon
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 05, 2019, 04:42:55 PM
Stay strong bro! There is this weird mental thing that happens when there is a day goal/milestone, that it tends to be tough..... I have no idea why but I have seen it many times. Do what ever you need to do to get through the urges!

Getting through this addiction will be HUUUGGGEEE. Literally your brain will function better, you'll feel calmer and calmer over time and have a WORKING DICK. Keep in mind all the benefits you'll have by abstaining.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 05, 2019, 06:46:27 PM
Thanks, man, I really appreciate it!

I did some yoga, had some dinner, and took care of a couple things. I'm feeling much better now. In the morning, I'll have made it to 30 days. It's not the first time I've gone 30 days, but it's the first time I've had a goal to go 30 days and that feels like it means something.

The real work now will be to go 30 more, but that's something to think about tomorrow.

Thanks again! We're definitely stronger together!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 05, 2019, 09:44:00 PM
I'm also the same way with milestones @quitforeverthenwin, I feel like I either deserve a reward for achieving them, or I anticipate nothing changing when I reach the milestone, so I relapse before. I think the best way to get away from this is to not seek out or anticipate rewards, and just keep focusing on consistently doing the same things (no matter how boring) you've been doing that has lead to you successful streak. The real reward here is the discipline and freedom of mind you have achieved from your streak, and the best part about it is that it's a reward that is constantly growing, even if you don't feel any benefits in the moment!

@BlueHeronFan I anticipate that once you see this post you would've reached 30 days, so congrats! It's a HUGE step in the right direction, but in the bigger picture, a small step towards a lifestyle and mindset change that will consistently benefit yourself and the people around you! You are a great model and motivator, I am currently on day 8 so I hope to hit my 30 days April 27th!



Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 05, 2019, 10:04:07 PM
Awesome guys let's do it! It's great to see others do it and motivating. Seeing you guys getting to 30 and talk about it has me motivated too, looking forward to getting there as well!

Pichael- So true, there is something odd about the day before. I used to get streaks of 29 over and over, some bizarre mental process at work. I never was aware of it but maybe subconsciously I had thoughts like you mentioned. Who knows.

Bluehero- Great bro, as before keep it up! The key is we just all gotta stay diligent and remember all the great benefits we'll have by getting rid of this nasty habit! Sure, it'll take work and diligence, but if you can do the first 30 days you can do the next! If anything the brain pathways of PMO should be weakened and the prefrontal cortex stronger! There definitely is a nice confidence boost to planning something (get 30 days) then doing it
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 07, 2019, 06:52:13 PM
Thanks for the support, everyone!

Last night was a later night than I planned on, so I didn't have time to post, but I'm here on day 31! It's definitely exciting, but I'm also being careful: it's good progress towards the real goal, but it's not something I'm going to get too worked up about. Now I'm making my way to 60. But mostly, I'm just trying to go one day at a time. Like I want to get to 60, but I'm just focusing on today for now. I know in the past I've gone a long time and sort of thought that I was cured so it would be fine to fantasize or to get lazy. I'm learning that I can't afford to think like that, so I'm happy I've made it this far but still being careful.


@BlueHeronFan I anticipate that once you see this post you would've reached 30 days, so congrats! It's a HUGE step in the right direction, but in the bigger picture, a small step towards a lifestyle and mindset change that will consistently benefit yourself and the people around you! You are a great model and motivator, I am currently on day 8 so I hope to hit my 30 days April 27th!



And thanks so much, man! Really, it means a lot. This addiction has been my own private nightmare for so long. I can't really say how glad I am that my struggle is doing some good by helping others along too. You motivate me a lot too, and the 27th is real close!

We've got this, gentlemen!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 07, 2019, 08:22:11 PM
Congrats!!!! That is awesome. I totally know what you mean, in terms of thinking it's okay to do this or that. The key is we have to be vigilant forever imo. But that is not such a bad thing. Eventually it becomes easier and easier, and perhaps and can be a good thing. I imagine a few years down the road, our brains/sexuality can function even better then those who didn't have this problem since we are really really doing everything right and put work into it.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 07, 2019, 08:51:43 PM
I feel exactly the same way @quitforeverthenwin, we may be "addicts" for life but at the same time we have the opportunity to channel that energy into something positive for ourself and others. There have been tons of addicts (Danny Trejo comes to mind) that have the mindset that "everything good that's happened to them has been a result of them doing good for others" and being able to be constantly vigilant will definitely benefit those around us in the long run, even if it means we have moments of pain from not acting on our impulses from time to time. Even now, I feel support from y'all and am motivated to show my support for you guys, a genuine feeling I wouldn't have had in my PMO days. Slow changes are upon us; it's exciting and I can't wait for what's in store for the future!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 08, 2019, 06:43:06 PM
You guys are great, thanks again! The changes are incremental, but they are real, and that's what counts.

The urges have been strong and persistent today. Urges, random fantasies, quick glances at women. It's been a real fight today, but I feel a little more in control than I have in the past. That can be dangerous: I don't want to be overconfident. But I also have a secret weapon that I didn't have the last time the urges hit hard. I've got OpenDNS installed on my devices. Not an invincible solution, but a serious protection to help me not do something I'll regret.

But, like I said before, this is the real test. Going 30 days without PMO is something I do almost naturally. It's getting the second round of 30 days that will really show me what I'm made of. This is the 30 days that counts.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 08, 2019, 09:35:08 PM
Stay strong man, you got this! Like you said, your streak has given you the ability to control what you can control when difficult times come, so just keep riding it out....better days are ahead
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 08, 2019, 10:55:06 PM
Yeah bro keep it up! Remember you're in this for the long haul! Having these urges now is an opportunity to kick this addictions ass and rewire your brain for the better. The urges ALWAYS pass eventually and a lot of times you'll feel great when you get through them.

Any thing you can do to help? Like can you go HARD on an activity for like a few hours tomorrow that tends to weaken urges.
For me it can be:
Work out for a long time
Be around people socializing (even if it feels shitty) for a long time
Straight up just staying out the house.

If you have a got to activity that weakens the urges it's a good time to use it! Keep it up man, get those next 30 days. Your prefrontal cortex is stronger then it was 30 days ago so you can do another 30 for sure.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 10, 2019, 07:18:33 PM
Thanks for the continuing support! I made it through. It helps that yesterday was super busy: it didn't give me a chance to worry about the urges, and they quieted right down.

I definitely need to remember to stop and do something else intensive for a while when the urges hit. For some reason, I always forget that I can put things on hold and just get myself in different headspace. I usually end up trying to muscle through it, which isn't really effective. Thanks for the reminder!

I made it through today as well. I've got a cold or something, so I'm not feeling too great, but I actually feel better emotionally than I have in a while. I've been more deliberate about making plans and goals for each day, and actually writing them down and crossing them out. It's been really satisfying the last few days to finish my day with a completed list. There's still a lot to do, and it still feels a little overwhelming, but things don't feel so out of control. So that's something else I should remember to do more.

Talk to you all tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 10, 2019, 07:50:55 PM
Thats great man! Great reminder too that being busy can make things soo much easier sometimes.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 11, 2019, 12:28:45 PM
Great job getting through the tough days man! I think I'm in a similar position that you were a couple days ago with the strong and persistent urges, and things feel especially overwhelming when that happens. I just try to remind myself to take things one at a time, try to completely put my attention into the moment (in a relaxed way) and let the urges come and go.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 11, 2019, 07:29:24 PM
Another busier day, so it's been mostly smooth sailing. It was especially warm, though, so the women around town were wearing more revealing stuff. I don't want to blame them since it's not their fault that I have the problems I have. But I did catch myself looking a little more than I would have liked.

Turns out is easier to be careful about where I'm looking when everyone is dressed in heavy coats from head to toe. It's a good reminder that I'm going to have be extra careful, though, moving forward if I want to stay on track.

That dopamine loop is itching still but not as bad as earlier in the week. Hopefully I'll be able to get it to settle down for the weekend.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 11, 2019, 11:47:02 PM
Glad to hear the urges are easing off. I feel like each time we get through one of those periods it is sooo good for our recovery, really breaks that negative loop
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 13, 2019, 01:13:33 PM
For sure, the one thing that's constant is the fluctuation of urges; sometimes they will be almost nonexistent, but sometimes they will be strong...it is constantly changing but overall is weakening in power day by day, even if it doesn't feel like it.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 13, 2019, 07:20:29 PM
Mostly homework today.

A few smaller urges, though. What happened was that Pinterest, which I've started using recently for recipes, was trying to suggest women's fashion stuff. Nothing pornographic, but still women (and dopamine). I realized today that I had started logging on on the off chance there would be a model in the feed instead of just going for the recipes, so I spent some time blocking suggestions and trying to retrain the algorithm. I think it and I are both behaving better now, but I'll keep an eye on it moving forward.

37/60
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 14, 2019, 06:28:59 PM
A quiet day come and gone. I feel a little bit down, but not for any good reason. Here comes another week!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 14, 2019, 11:32:27 PM
Great you noticed that pinterest issue! The sneaky stuff is super important to be aware off before it becomes a new problem.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 15, 2019, 01:02:20 PM
Yeah good catch! If it ever gets too bad you can always just create a new pinterest account, sort of like a reset with only the things that you want to appear.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 15, 2019, 06:37:34 PM
Thanks, guys!

It was another quiet day, just homework for me. The urges have settled way down from last week, which is a good way to start a Monday.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 15, 2019, 07:51:42 PM
Glad to hear they settled!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 16, 2019, 10:56:00 PM
Keep it up! It's always nice to have those peaceful days, makes the little things in life easier to enjoy
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 18, 2019, 08:13:16 PM
Busy couple days, but still making progress. 42 days and counting.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 19, 2019, 06:19:02 PM
Nice!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 20, 2019, 07:37:01 PM
Still busy, but I'm getting things done. And staying on track, recovery-wise.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 20, 2019, 11:42:59 PM
Well, thats good. Plus sometimes being busy can make things easier, clears the mind.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 22, 2019, 10:09:00 AM
Good to hear! Being busy totally helps with urges, but I often feel (for me) that urges can potentially come unexpectedly once the business dies down, if you're used to being busy all the time. The plus side is you'll be farther from your addiction once if that does happen in the future, so you have more than enough strength and willpower to get through it!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 23, 2019, 09:13:06 PM
Man, you're so right. They have usually hit in the past right after really busy periods. Definitely something to watch out for when finals are over.

On the bright side, I'm 47 days in. I've been thinking about a couple things in relation to that lately. First, I have gotten through some days of intense urges in this time, which is honestly something I've never done before. So far in my recovery, I've managed to get longer periods of time between strong urges, but I've never just overcome them when they came. I have done that for the first time just recently, and that feels like a big breakthrough. Second, these have honestly been some of the hardest months of my life, and I've managed to keep going without PMO. That also seems huge to me: PMO has been my coping mechanism and escape for a long time. I'm surprised and happy that I've been managing without it lately.

But I'm also being careful not to believe that I'm cured. I've fallen into that trap before. I'm still being careful, still working day by day towards the 60-day mark. It's getting close!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 24, 2019, 12:31:25 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your intense urges...it's inspiring to hear your honest relationship with PMO in the past and the steps you've taken to overcome it. I feel you on not believing I'm cured, when I did that in the past the desire to relapse only got greater. Maybe this is a thing that will follow us for life, but hopefully after a long period of time it will only be a tiny spec in the mind rather than this semi-powerful presence.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 24, 2019, 08:25:17 PM
Yeah, I've been trying to change my mindset to accept the possibility that it's with me for life. For me that's meant not looking at it as something that I have to get rid of as fast as possible through some intense temporary effort, but instead I'm thinking of finding ways to acknowledge the urges and the weaknesses that I have and dealing with them more constructively.

I guess really, it means not waiting to be fixed before I can live my life but instead finding ways to live well without letting addiction take control. I haven't quite figured that mindset out yet, but it's where I'm headed now and it feels healthier than my earlier strategies.

Thanks for the thoughts and continuing support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 24, 2019, 10:53:59 PM
Great job man! I think having a very tough time and going through without pmo is actually one of the best case scenarios! (In an odd way of looking at it).

In quitting pmo, we are probably going to feel like shit for a few months anyway. So might as well get all the shitty feelings done in one go, life and withdrawl lol.

Plus, more seriously a fear I had is like damn what if years down the road my life falls apart? Don't want to risk a relapse then....So in your case it's great to already have gone through shitty times with no PMO, so you have that blueprint ready moving forward. It's like going straight to the deep end of clean living. 60 is a huge milestone!

Getting through the super hard urges is huge! I am with you on that. It is critical we know how to get through them.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 25, 2019, 07:44:04 PM
Haha, thanks! That's one way of looking at it. Get through it all now so that I know I can deal with it in the future.

It does feel like a big thing, really. But it still sucks in the moment.

You know, I've tried a lot of things to beat this. At first I just tried stopping and that worked for a while. Then I tried focusing on other things and that helped for a while. Then meditation helped me to make a lot of progress, but I still crumbled whenever the urges came (they just didn't come as often). But participating here has really helped me over a huge hurdle in getting through urges without acting out. I don't know if it's just the habit of checking in regularly and writing out how I'm doing or y'all's support (probably both), but it's really helping. I think even my meditation has become more meaningful and useful in the last few months that I've been here.

If I make it through tonight (and I don't have any reason to think I won't), that will be an even 50. My first goal here was 100 days, and I didn't even come close. But then I switched to smaller goals that were more attainable, and I've gotten farther than I can remember getting in a long time. So thanks! I really don't think I could be doing this without you all!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 25, 2019, 08:47:06 PM
For sure it still sucks in the moment.

I am with you on this forum and communicating with others helping so much! I am not sure exactly why but it just makes makes it easier, or things that were not doable become doable. Like even now reading your entry, just gave me a larger perspective. I was a little upset about something but, now it just seems like less of a big deal.

Lots of helpful little moments like this ad up I think! Just keeping on track, the support all of it.

Congrats on getting up that 50 day mark! That is really great! Just keep moving forward! Eventually good things will come, sometimes I think of it like investing... I sometimes had days where nothing would make me feel better.... BUT I could still take actions that were good for me, exercise study etc. and gain the benefits and be feeling better a few days in the future.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 26, 2019, 07:28:28 PM
Sweet, I'm glad to hear that my ramble helped but things in perspective!

Made it to 50!

And I really appreciate what you said about investing. You know, it really feels like I've been running straight at a wall for a long time. I'm still trying to keep the habits that I know are good and helpful, but it's hard to feel like I'm making any progress. But that's probably just a false idea that I would be seeing results immediately. I like thinking about the stuff I'm doing as investments: they will definitely pay off in the long run. Thanks for the reminder
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 26, 2019, 07:40:05 PM
Congrats! 100% Yeah it is an investment, plus sometimes results are not linear. It can just feel like banging away at the wall and suddenly a big shift can happen. I am glad we are having this conversation it's a good reminder for me as well! Who knows what awesome thing may be right around the corner? The cool thing is, if we keep doing the right stuff it will inevitable come.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: brandnewself on April 27, 2019, 04:25:02 AM
Hi BlueHeronFan,

I'm really happy to see you made it to 50 days. I haven't been to the forum for a while and I'm glad that this is the first thing I see haha. Honestly I think I made a mistake to stop logging here and tried to battle this thing on my own because it didn't work out :'( I will get back to the forum and try a new round of reboot.
Keep up the good work ;D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 27, 2019, 09:23:30 PM
Thanks guys! This is a really helpful conversation for me too. Better things are just around the corner!

And hey, Brandnewself! Really good to hear from you again. Going it alone is really tough, but it's not all a waste: you learned something about yourself and your recovery. Tomorrow is a new day! We've got this!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 28, 2019, 07:58:59 PM
I was up late last night finishing a project for school, and that messed me up a little bit today. I decided to take a nap this afternoon, though, which is something I almost never do. I felt like I had a lot that I could do, but I decided to go a little easier on myself and give myself some rest. It was a good thing, and I had a pleasant day afterwards.

YouTube tried to put some garbage in my suggested videos list today. There was a moment there when I almost tumbled into that hole, but I backed out without actually watching anything and then told YouTube to quit suggesting that kind of stuff. It's crazy how things pop up when you don't expect it and almost derail the whole thing. I probably could have shut it down a little quicker, but it's still progress. I'll take it.

Tomorrow will be kind of a busier day, but then I'm basically off for a month. I need a break, but all that free time will definitely come with its own challenges. I'll have to be careful in a different way. Glad I have you guys to help me keep my head on straight.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 30, 2019, 07:46:33 PM
Today was a much more relaxed day than I've had in a while. School is over for now, and I'm trying to give myself a break, at least for a few days.

I did notice a few smaller urges cropping up throughout the day. Nothing disastrous, but still something to watch out for. It would be really disappointing to have a relapse now that the worst of the stress has gone away, so I'm going to work on being extra careful.

On the bright side, I'm going to have more free time to finally work on some of my goals and hobbies. I hope the next few weeks will be especially productive in more personal ways.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: LeanAndBop on May 01, 2019, 02:04:54 AM
Hey man this all sounds really great. Enjoy these few weeks! Keeping an eye out for even the smallest urge seems wise.
Keep well.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 01, 2019, 06:28:18 PM
Glad to hear you have some time to rest up! Youtube is trash, seriously. I use it sometimes for important stuff, it is literally designed using algorithims to try and get the maximum watch time possible (be addictive and keep us impulsively clicking). Good thing you shut it down!

Now could be a good time to reward yourself with fun healthy activities.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 01, 2019, 08:36:45 PM
Yes, I'm definitely looking into some fun healthy activities. I read a book today that wasn't for school, and it a was a nice, peaceful thing to do.

Today was kind of a day full of urges, though. I guess my brain is saying, "Hey, now that you have all this free time, remember what was fun?" Not helpful. But I'm doing what I can to keep myself on track and to stay engaged in positive things.

No relapse, but I do feel off. Just a few days away from the 60-day mark, too. Maybe it's kind of predictable that things would heat up a little now. Oh well, all I can do is keep on keepin' on.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 02, 2019, 07:40:34 PM
Keep up the good work man! It's all a process. I guess it's now a good opportunity to learn how to enjoy your free time. The fun activities will become more habitual and the urges will become less.

By the way man, I really appreciate you on this forum! You have been on here for a while and super consistent posting and supporting others!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 02, 2019, 08:51:24 PM
Good thoughts, you're right. I learned how to deal with stress without PMO, and now it's time to learn how to deal with free time without it. A new challenge, but I'm up for it.

And thanks! I feel like I've had more support than I've given out, but I try to pay it forward. I really feel like helping other people with recovery is an important part of mine. I'm really happy to hear I've helped.

Today was kind of tough, urges-wise. Maybe not as bad as yesterday, but still not great. My brain is flipping between fantasizing about a real relationship and fantasizing about porn. Neither of those is very helpful to me now. At times like these, I usually feel a little hopeless: I get tricked into thinking that these urges are just the way it's going to be and that giving in is the only way to get them off my back. But I actually don't feel hopeless now. I've gotten through a wave of urges like this before (for the first time just recently), so I know it can be done. I know that they'll eventually ease up and I can go back to living my life. It's still probably going to be a tough couple of days, but I'm determined to get through it.

Stay strong everyone! We'll beat this in time!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: LeanAndBop on May 03, 2019, 02:11:42 AM
Hey Blue,
Yes the urges will pass! I didn't have this attitude until recently too. For me it is the same, learning to deal with stress or other emotions without PMO.
There is a technique suggested by Eckhart Tolle that helps when I get an urge, three simple steps.
1. 3 mindful breaths
2. Feel the energy of the urge for a few minutes
3. 3 mindful breaths
I've found this helps me to let go of the urge. It might help. If you have any techniques that work for you please let me know.
Sounds like you're doing really well. Wishing you all the best.





Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 03, 2019, 01:05:26 PM
Sorry to hear what you're going through; learning how to deal with free time without PMO can be difficult, but it can also be an opportunity to have alot of fun and feel good about it later! Hanging with friends, exploring your area, doing some fun physical activity, and maybe doing something that will challenge you can help really put those urges in their place. I realize I often push myself too hard, but sometimes when I do something challenging the discipline from that can transfer over to dealing with urges more effectively.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 03, 2019, 06:10:21 PM
Keep going strong! Great that you recognize you can get through the urges.... this can be a great accomplishment, getting through the really tough urges for the second time.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 04, 2019, 07:20:40 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the great ideas and support. This is so much easier with your help.

Today was much easier urges wise. They're not gone, but they aren't as strong. I'm sure part of it is that I've just been  busier today, but I think they're also just a little weaker. Which is good.

I definitely want to make sure that I use this upcoming free time well. I hope to spend some time tomorrow to sit down and figure out some goals and plans that will help me to stay productive and on track. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish, and I've had my week of chilling out, so it's time to be more serious about how I'm actually going to do this for the next few weeks.

Here's a question, though: At first, I had a goal of going 30 days, and I achieved it for the first time in a long time. Now, though, I'm really close to 60. I'm trying to decide if I should just stick with another 30 day goal since it's achievable or if I should stretch a little and just shoot for 100. If I've made it 60, I can make 40 more, right? I feel like smaller goals are helpful because they don't feel as impossible, but 100 would also be an awesome round number (and it was my first goal when I joined here...and failed pretty much right away at). I don't know, just a question I'm thinking about. How do you decide what your goal is going to be?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 05, 2019, 03:49:13 PM
Good ideas man! Even though it's time to be more serious, there will be moments where you can take a breather and it'll feel good cause it's well earned! For me personally, I've decided to purposely stop counting the days for a few reasons:
1. My thoughts and feelings, although they get progressively better as I move farther away from PMO in the big picture, are still random and don't act the same depending on the streak. Every time I've hit Day 30, every day 30 has felt different (as well as every other day in my past streaks).
2. I naturally think about how long it's been since I last relapsed and approximate the days in my head a few times a week anyways, so I figured there's no reason to overthink about the number of days.
3. While reaching a number of days as milestones in the past have motivated me, it also makes me feel sad when I reach a big milestone but my feelings and thoughts still suck. I think this has contributed to my past relapses.
4. It helps me focus on the day to day things I have to do...regardless of what day it is I try to make the most out of it; "don't count the days, make the days count"

This is not to say that counting days are bad; I think everyone has different approaches and strategies to find what works best for them, and part of this journey is finding the best way for us through trial and error. In answering your question (lol), I think 90 or 100 days would both be great goals, as long as you keep up all the good things you are doing which I think is most important. Sorry if my answer didn't help at all!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 05, 2019, 06:18:02 PM
No, thanks, that's really helpful.

I know I've definitely gone back and forth on counting days. In the past it's been helpful and motivating up until the point that I relapse and then I quit for a while. Part of what I'm working on now is trying to do all the things that have helped (because I usually give up on things after a relapse and then keep relapsing), and counting has helped in the past. For me, it's also helpful to have some kind of goal (and not just count) because it has helped motivate me through urges the last couple months. When the urges strike a few days before my goal, it's easier to hang on for a couple days in order to achieve my goal and then the urges settle down.

The other part of counting, at least earlier in the year, is that it helped me realize that my relapses were happening more often and more regularly than I thought. I would have thought that I was easily going months at a time without a relapse, but counting forced me to realize that I was more on a 20-day cycle of relapsing. So in that way, it's been a helpful diagnostic just to see where I really am.

But I think you're right about the pitfalls of counting. It can be easy to make getting a streak more important than developing actual recovery behaviors. And then you're not healing, just hanging on for dear life to get one more day. It's definitely not for everyone. I also want to be careful about not letting that number become overly important. That's why I don't report the number every day (except in my own app), but I do mention it sometimes.

Wow, you know, this forum is awesome. Where else would I sit down and just write through my thoughts about my recovery strategies. When I was just doing it myself, I tried things and then tried other things without a lot of deliberate thought. Now, thanks to your post, I've really had to think through why I count days and whether it's useful to me. And I think that makes me more deliberate in how I tackle this recovery. So thanks for the contrasting suggestions: it's definitely made me think a little more carefully about what works for me and why.

Keep it up, everyone!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: jixu on May 05, 2019, 06:38:48 PM

You young guys really crack me up!  You are awesome, showing us old guys how it is done.  The encouragement and enthusiasm exuded is contagious. 

You guys are smart to be dealing with this now, especially in light of our society's apparent ever-increasing acceptance of porn.  Eradicate it now and don't left it impede your opportunities and full potential.  Keep up the good work, and keep going.   
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 06, 2019, 10:00:57 PM
Keep going strong! 100 days'll be cool for sure! But you can get there either way, however you want to group the days, count/ not count.

Really good insights on the counting. The "seeing a big number" not feeling good and lapses is a really good insight. Very good to be aware of!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 07, 2019, 06:42:21 PM
Thanks, I decided to shoot for 100, why not? We'll see where I go from there.

Anyway, it was a reasonably productive day. I had a few urges that didn't really go anywhere. That's a good thing, but I'm also not sure I'm doing much to deal with them very deliberately. You know, just waiting them out, which probably isn't a good long-term strategy. Still getting the hang of going from no free time to all free time, I guess.

I've also sort of been processing something that happened last night. It's probably a small thing that doesn't matter, but it's been in my head and this is usually a good place for getting things out of my head. I was out at an activity last night with a group of people. I had it in my head that I would take the chance to talk to a new girl who had moved in recently, not really because I want to start anything with her (but what if?) but because she seems pretty cool and has been basically alone the last couple of times I've seen her (and it seems like she shouldn't be). When the event was starting, my buddy wanted to leave and he kept saying we should go and asking me what reason I could have to want to stay. I could tell that he needed to talk through some things, so I went with him and listened. I think that was probably the right thing to do, but I also felt unusually bad afterwards, like I had lost my chance to introduce myself to that girl and that I had let my friend pressure me into leaving even though it wasn't what I wanted to do.

And it's weird too because it's not like that was my only chance to talk to her. I'm sure I'll have a lot more chances in the future, and it's also not like I think it's headed toward any kind of relationship. But I've still been feeling down on myself since it happened. It's that unrealistic thinking in my head that says that because that one thing last night didn't go well nothing will ever work out. I know that's not true, but it still makes me feel weird. That's all. Thanks for reading my rambling.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 07, 2019, 08:00:38 PM
That’s definitely a tricky situation you were  in, and I hope you can feel better knowing atleast you were there for your buddy. I always feel like I have to find the right answer or make the right decisions in life, but sometimes there is no way to know what is truly right or wrong, if there even is such a thing. That being said, maybe this streak has given you a greater desire to go out and talk to real women which is a great thing, but when you dont act on that feeling it can suck (that doesn’t mean that you always HAVE to talk to every woman- if a friend needs you, it seems perfectly reasonable to be there for him.) No reason to be down on yourself, as you said you’ll have many more opportunities....stay confident in yourself, we’re all rooting for you!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 08, 2019, 06:41:44 PM
Hey, thanks!

Yeah, it was tricky, but I've sort of come to terms with it. What happened needed to happen. And you know, I hadn't thought about it before, but I've never really had the thought before that I was going to deliberately talk to/introduce myself to a woman. I was so distracted by things not working out in the moment that I didn't even realize that, for probably the first time, I had a real intention to strike up a conversation with a woman I didn't already know. Maybe that does have something to do with the streak and the other things I've been working on to be healthier and happier. It's not that I chickened out (which I have done so many times before) but that I ended up making a different choice. I guess it's not all bad. Plus I helped my friend, of course. Thanks for the outside perspective.

I had a little trouble with urges today, but the rest of the day was pretty chill. I've started thinking about being more deliberate about how I start and end my days. I've developed a habit in the last few months of spending way too much time in the mornings just looking at my phone in bed, and it just makes it so hard for me to get started. I want to cut that out. I think if I start the day better, it will go better. No more phone until after I work out in the morning. And then I want to read in the time before bed to relax into the night better. The morning and evening have been the times historically when I've had the most trouble with PMO, and they're still the times when I waste the most time. So I'm going to try to get them under control now that I'm not under so much pressure from school.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 09, 2019, 08:11:24 AM
I totally feel you on feeling bad about not talking to a girl! I still remember this beautiful girl in college looking at me, she just locked eyes with me for a minute. I am still like damn I wish I talked to her.... lol

In a way it's probably a good feeling in the long term..... it'll motivate you to get talking  to more girls in the future. Plus in this case it totally wasn't your fault, and you hopefully can likely talk to the girl another time. I sometimes have tended to be hard on myself about things with girls not going the way I want. The thing I am aiming to remember is.... being hard on oneself pretty much never works. I tend to be forgetful, I'll forget something get mad at myself, then I realized like "wait I have forgotten this thing 200 times and been mad at myself 200 times.... clearly being mad at myself isn't helping.." Same with girls, getting mad at myself for making a mistake. So I guess it's just helpful to consciously try and be easier on yourself, it's not easy though.

Also, the phone in bed is rough for sure! I try not to look at my phone too early in the morning and that is the way to go for sure!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 09, 2019, 05:26:36 PM
Yeah! I'm probably too hard on myself in general, but I especially feel it when it comes to those long shots at romance. That's a hard one to work on because I feel like PMO on some level is the result of my being too easy on myself, so it's hard to ease up and not feel like I'm starting down a slippery slope. Something to think about for sure.

And you're right. I'll definitely get another chance. Maybe soon I'll get to report a different story.

Thanks for the support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 10, 2019, 11:19:51 PM
I totally know what you mean, that weird balance of being too hard/ too easy on self. I guess effectiveness is key. That is a great point, people being too easy on themselves can be a problem too. Perhaps a simpler thing is just focusing on moving forward? I mean in general not just for you or your situation. Just thinking out some thoughts on this topic.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 11, 2019, 06:44:03 PM
I like that a lot, just focusing on making progress. Like if I wanted to go 10 miles, but I only went 5. I shouldn't call myself a failure: I'm still 5 miles ahead of where I was. All progress is progress, and I shouldn't be too upset with myself if it happens to be a little less than I hoped for. I think that really does add some helpful perspective.

I met with a group at a friends' house yesterday. We hung out and played games and stuff. It was a good time, and I socialized well and had some fun. For no reason at all, though, I spent the whole drive home feeling nervous and like I'd somehow done something wrong or made a fool of myself. Of course I didn't. Everything was chill, but that's the kind of worry that was running through my head. It's just how it goes sometimes, everything can be fine, but then whenever I put myself out there even a little, I spend the rest of the day worrying that I somehow messed it up. It's not rational, and it's not true. But the social anxiety is real sometimes, and I think it's all a part of what I'm working on.

Oh well, today was relaxed and pleasant. I hung out, did some work, tidied up a little. I didn't get as much done this week as I had originally hoped, but I also realized that I didn't write down any goals or set any deadlines for myself. So how could I have gotten much done? My one goal for tomorrow is to make some goals for the week and actually get things done. I should be able to do it no problem. I just need to hold myself accountable for the work now that school isn't.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 11, 2019, 07:58:55 PM
I know 100% percent what you mean, I have had that as well, my mind would zero in after social interactions finding the one negative. Now that you mention it, I haven't noticed it the last few weeks, so at least it's not constant/passes. I was like that after every interaction for a solid stretch.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 12, 2019, 06:57:47 PM
Oh good, so maybe I'll grow out of it  :D

Pretty chill day here for me. I had a headache for most of the day, but then I accidentally fell asleep while I was meditating and my headache was gone. So that was a bonus.

I'm going to try to write down some goals for the week before I go to bed and see if I can't have a more focused a productive week this time around. I've got some good ideas, so we'll see where it takes me.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 12, 2019, 11:06:49 PM
Thats nice about the headache, normally if I fall asleep while meditating it's because I am underslept. The goals are super helpful, I wrote up some last week and it really has me accomplishing more, even on my unproductive days, I somehow keep progressing towards many of my goals.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 14, 2019, 06:28:51 PM
That's super helpful to hear, thanks!

I tried sitting down to make some goals the other day, and I just drew a huge blank. I didn't have any ideas, and everything felt like it would be a waste of time. I think I was just in a bad mindset, but it sort of made me realize that I've been going along with the flow of school and letting other people tell me how to live my life. I've sort of forgotten what it is that fires me up and makes me excited.

So instead of writing goals, I've been trying to figure out what I really care about. I guess it's a process of soul-searching, and it's been interesting. I'm learning some things that I think I always knew but had never put into words. Hopefully, it'll get me somewhere.

Also, I can't remember if I've mentioned it in this journal before, but I've had this weird experience over the years of like edging while I'm asleep. Like I'll wake up masturbating, realize it and then stop. It's always confused me because I'm never sure if it's something I'm consciously doing or if it's just a weird thing that I shouldn't worry too much about. Usually, it seems like it has happened most when I'm struggling with urges and about to relapse, so I haven't really noticed it in a while. But I have a foggy kind of memory that it happened last night. I'm not really sure what to make of it or if it actually happened (it's hard to remember things from the middle of the night sometimes). It's kind of a weird thing to bring up, but it's also been a frustrating part of my recovery because it doesn't seem like something I can control but also seems like something I should be able to control. Anyone else have experience with something like that?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 14, 2019, 11:01:18 PM
Wow glad you brought that up! Shows it is helpful to be open..... (the thing about the sort of sleep masturbation)

Now, it could be not as bad for you... but in my experience, I had that happen it was super dangerous for me.... it led to lapses pretty soon after. It was super important to shut it down.

The key for me was....

Wearing harder to open clothing. If you are not wearing anything when sleeping, I'd change that for sure at least temporarily. For me, this hasn't (luckily) happened to me on this round of rebooting, but I had a period where it did. For now just wearing underwear, I consider a critical part of the reboot and I wear underwear with a fairly tight waste. When I had it as a real problem, the way to fix it was to wear tightish underwear AND fairly thick pajama pants either with tight elastic or with a drawstring. The drawstring can actually be more comfortable, since you can tie it where it does not feel too tight but you can't get your hand in there/ pull the pants off when semi conscious.

You'll get used to it, and you can make the room you sleep in a littler colder to compensate for the pants. For me I just take that pretty seriously, because when I went through the phase of that happening when I didn't shut it down it led to super frustrating lapses. The goal of the above btw... is simply (gonna go a little tmi (too much information) lol) you won't access your penis while asleep/ semi conscious, so you either won't do it or will wake up in the process.

Although some of this stuff may feel weird to talk about (hell, I posted a few days ago about how being naked while getting errands done was moving my penis around inadvertently which was stimulating so I had to put on underwear) (Nothing against gay people, but good thing I think most of us here are not gay, because I think that image will be not be too trigger for most of us, quite the opposite lol)  it is good to talk about it, since these annoying weird things/ like weird stimulations and other sneaky stuff is what kills the long streaks a lot of times it seems.

I feel you on having trouble with setting the goals. I am just getting back into it: Having the path is a good idea. Something useful though as well, is just to set small goals for the month. Ones you know for sure you can do, maybe even things you already know you will accomplish. I did this and just find it builds confidence, it's like building momentum. I also theoretically, think it helps heal our brains, because a healthy dopmaine system is heavily involved in goal setting/pursuit/ accomplishment. So I think setting small goals and achieving them is good for helping our confidence/ dopamine system recover. Another good one to do is fitness/ strength stuff. Something real simple like say you can do 5 push ups, maybe you want to be able to do 10 in a row within a month.

I read on article how fitness/workout goals are really good to start with/ overcome burnout, since it is so obvious when progress is made. 5 push ups---> 10 push ups. Which is basically good for our brains, to see obvious progress like that and it builds motivation.

Also again man thanks for being so consistent! You are the most consistent support/ poster on here and you have been journaling for much longer then most of the other active journals/ posting. So keep it up and I plan to stick around as well.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 15, 2019, 06:21:57 PM
It is kind of a weird thing to bring up, but I really appreciate your thoughts! Like everything I mention here, I'm always surprised and happy to hear that it isn't just me. It definitely has always led to relapse in the past, so I want to make sure I'm shutting it down and not just letting it happen. In the past, it seems like it has happened more when I've had more sexual thoughts during the day, which I haven't been having as much lately, so it's kind of a mystery. It happened for sure last night for just a little bit: I fully woke up and turned over and went back to sleep. I've got a pair of shorts with a drawstring, so I might just bust those out for the next while just to be on the safe side.

And you're right on about the goals, too. It's so funny how I forget to apply what I learn to other areas of life. I've been learning recently about setting smaller goals to deal with PMO, but then here I go trying to set huge goals for the rest of life. Why would I do that? That only makes me feel stressed out about everything. Have I learned nothing? I'm mostly joking. It's a good reminder, though. If there is anything I have this summer, it's going to be time, so it's okay to start small. No rush. If I stick to small things, I can build up to larger goals when I figure out what works. Trying to set a goal that is too big is like thinking I'll have it all figured out before I even start, and when has that ever worked for anyone? Thanks for the reminder.

And thanks for support! I'm always so glad to hear that my posting here is good for more people than just me. I've learned so much about myself and my recovery by having to write out my thoughts and bounce ideas off of people. I used to say that meditation made the biggest difference for me, but I think being active on this forum has done even more for me than that. Where else could I get helpful advice about what kind of pants I wear to bed lol? So thanks right back at you for also being consistent: I've seen people come and go in the last few months, and it really helps to see people sticking around
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 15, 2019, 07:55:48 PM
Haha, I am happy to make reccomendations about pants lol.

So true about the goals and how small ones helps. A remember reading something to the effect of "it's better to set a goal and then easily exceed it and knock out of the park, then to set one so high it is stressful". I am definetly finding this to be true, I have been setting and hitting small goals it's upping my confidence. Good reminder because I have hit half of them this month already! And tomorrow is likely another good opportunity to set some more small goals... Also if the small goal is reached, nothing is stopping us from setting another one literally immediately after.

AND Like you were saying about setting huge goals is reading the future. The nice thing with the smaller goals, we can accomplish them, see how much they help us in life or make us happier and do that repeatedly. It's getting real world data, almost like the scientific method. "Is this a good goal?" Yeah it really enhanced my life. " hmmm this one wasn't worth the time". Etc. So instead of needing to know exactly what we want, setting and achieving goals can help us see what we want IMO.

100% on the forum being so helpful, writing the thoughts out. All these little moments add up so much. So many brief posts I have made have just allowed me that little extra push to keep my mind clear. It is also great to see others going through the same stuff, makes me realize it's not unique and is likely related to PMO and thus fixable when pmo free for a longer and longer period.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 16, 2019, 06:20:15 PM
I'm happy too, lol. It did the trick for me.

Anyway, I set some small goals today and got most of them done, which is pretty good. I haven't had very productive days lately. I've been so paralyzed about trying read the future with big goals that it has stopped from doing anything. So instead I just asked what I could do today and did it. And I think some of them are things that I will keep doing.

I have still been reflecting on what I really want in life, and one of the things that I realized today is that I generally feel pretty powerless, and I usually give up what I want because I think it will make other people happy. I sort of tend to be a people-pleaser, and I'm only now realizing how harmful that can be to me and to others, so I guess I'll start working on that too. I think setting small goals will help, give me a sense of power in achieving things that will make me feel better. I want to try to do a better job of sticking up for myself and being open about my feelings and wants. (Baby steps, of course)

Oh, but just now I had a closeish call. I'm not really sure why or how, but I sat down and started doing a rationalizing thing. I was searching for something "safe" on a "safe" website. No porn, not a relapse, but still not anything close to what a guy in my position should be doing. It was the sort of thing that got my dopamine going and got my heart racing for a little, which is a drag because it probably will only set me up for urges and fantasies for the next few days. That's something I could have avoided if I had just made better decisions. But there's not much I can do about it now, just be aware of it, take things slow, and not get too mad at myself. Possible triggers for what happened: becoming aware of my feelings of powerlessness and dwelling on them too much and getting carried away by fantasies of not being single. Come to think of it, I've been thinking more about not being single than I've realized the last few days. As much as it's true that I would love to be in a relationship, fantasizing about it does help at all.

Well, off to see what tomorrow brings.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 16, 2019, 08:11:28 PM
Glad the pants did the trick!


Are there any activities you can do? Even something arbitrary, a fitness class or anything?


You mentioned the close call and it being triggered by thinking about feeling helpless/ too much of a people pleaser etc.
An odd thing I noticed with myself... when it comes to self improvement, focusing on myself too much didn't work too well. It leads to feeling bad, whereas losing myself in something else was helpful.

Totally random but an example: Say you feel like you don't stand up for yourself enough. Thinking about it might lead to just feeling bad. But if you lose yourself in a hobby it can feel good. Say you take up boxing, the first few months it stinks and it's annoying, but you're worried about how to learn to throw a punch properly and how to avoid being punched, how to move and stay balanced etc. It's frustrating BUT the focus is off yourself. It's a bit nicer to be like "man, I am frustrated with this boxing thing!" versus "Man I am frustrated with my general way of being". That goes on for some months, 6 months later you have the basics of boxing down, you may not be a pro or anything but you literally have the physical ability to beat up like 90% of people if you had to.

Does that mean go get in street fights? Definitely not, but it may change how you feel about yourself and how you carry yourself, thus feeling like less of a people pleaser? (This is a tiny bit theoretical not saying you have to box or it's the issue, just the general thing of I have found focusing on hobbies and outside skills helps how I feel about myself whereas analyzing myself too much doesn't work too well.

In my case I was bullied when younger, did take up boxing and other martial arts and it made me feel not 100% but so much better and is the basis for a lot of my confidence. Maybe a public speaking club (toastmasters is free and everyone) or a debate class in school could be more relevant? Then you just focus on enjoying learning to speak etc. and sort of make yourself forget about the deeper issue. (So that all the ups and downs of learning aren't super personal)

Me for example, I'll get all upset about not succeeding with women, I'll feel all kinds of insecurities. But I started going to a gym class I like I am the only guy there and all these friendly attractive women are their smiling at me, so that makes me feel better about the whole women thing without analyzing myself etc. Just focusing on the class.

One more thing, I may be a bit of a people pleaser too, I have the tendency to avoid confrontation, but it might not be all bad. I mean me and you on this forum seem to get really good feedback and appreciate from others, people tell me I come off as really friendly in real life. So it's all trade offs. Thereas good aspects to basically being a "nice" guy.

I was in a dating coaching group once, to learn to improve with women and like some guys were too nice, but a lot of those guys could learn to be confident and more assertive and succeed socially. Then some dudes were just jerks who didn't care about other people, out to prove something. There was nothing to really be done about that.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 17, 2019, 05:06:18 PM
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm thinking I might just take up street fighting lol!

I think you're right about a couple of things. Focusing on just myself is a problem, more than likely. I definitely need to engage with something more deeply. It makes me think: I have set small goals for the day, but I haven't made a plan/schedule. That means that I have a day of good intentions that don't go anywhere. Time to think about making a schedule for myself too.

But I think you're also onto something deeper than that that I'll probably have to think more about. You know, not just keeping busy but making progress. I'm not sure I have a solid idea right now what that means for me. Probably not boxing,  but something like that, something to build confidence and to help me feel more secure. I'll definitely spend some time thinking about what that might be. I think there's something there.

I had some urges and fantasies to deal with this morning, but I tried to keep myself focused, and things calmed down a lot throughout the day. Not the most productive day at the end of things,  but not a bad day either.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 17, 2019, 08:06:44 PM
In my experience, I never know what the heck I am going to like lol....

I wanted to do some form of martial art for self defense and so many of them were trash, then I got into boxing by accident.
I thought I'd love partner/latin dancing. I logically thought how great it'd be. It'd up my confidence with women, I'd be learning how to work as a team. It'd help me rewire. I'd love it and get exercise and then have a really easy way to meet women without even trying! : )

Turns out I HATE that stuff. LOL. Like I just hate salsa dancing, it's not fun. I didn't enjoy dancing with a partner, it wasn't really a good way to meet women, they were demanding and it felt like a job. So, all my well thought out reasons for it being great were 1000% wrong.

Now, I got into a different type of dancing. Not gonna even say what, but it is considered totally gay/ for women lol. (It's the workout class where the women look at me). I tried the class randomly and I ended up having a great time and really liking it. Never would have planned out being into it, it was like "hmmm, maybe that'll be cool *shrug*".

Anyways, I guess what I am saying is, for me it's been hard to plan out what I actually like, but just trying  a bunch of stuff certain things would stand out.

I am not 100% what my major passion/ direction is. But having a few little hobbies is still pretty cool and feels pretty good.

Edit: Speaking of trying stuff... as I logged off the computer I saw a bunch of poetry books on the ground of my apartment. I was thinking "I am good at writing" then at the bookstore I flipped through this book about poetry saying how great it was and is healing etc.

I got a bunch of poetry books and books on how to write poetry. To try it.

I HATE that shit. Lol. Like I read two sentences of any poem and I hate it.

BUT- I lost absolutely nothing (books from library)by trying it out and I mean we can only have so many hobbies. If I tried 10 things and get 1 hobby thats pretty fine.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 18, 2019, 06:04:45 PM
That's a really good thought: most of the things that have become my hobbies have been sort of accidental. Even what I'm studying in school was just something I sort of stumbled into. That's a good point: don't try to control everything. Maybe the solution to feeling powerless is not controlling everything but making an empowered decision to be okay with the things that I can't control (and still get better about sticking up for myself and not just completely going with the flow, but I digress).

Today was better than the last few, at least in terms of urges and feeling down. I got a sheet of paper and wrote down all the problems I face with one of my responsibilities and started thinking through more specific things that I can do to work towards solving those problems. It is something that I hope will alleviate some of my stress, and I might try it with some other aspects of my life as well. Anyway, I got part way through thinking through a solution to a problem, and I got suddenly very discouraged and thought, "Why bother, it's not like anyone does anything anyway." I think that's probably the wrong attitude, so I'm not going to give up, but I did have to take a break and go watch tv for a little to get my mind off it lol. Oh well, maybe I can try tomorrow after a good night's sleep.

Tomorrow should be a pretty decent day. Hopefully I can leave this round of urges behind for a few days (or more)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 18, 2019, 06:34:15 PM
I often forget to do it, but have heard writing is really good for working out problems and getting them out of our heads.

Glad to hear you got through the triggering days! Looks like I am that situation at the moment, so I'll aim to follow your lead and get out to the other side!

Plus no matter what else is going on in your life, you have a nice long time PMO free right now! So your brain is healing bit by bit and at some point you'll likely turn the corner. So even if the feelings aren't all there, you're moving in the right direction.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 19, 2019, 05:59:11 PM
Thanks for the reminder. It's a simple thing, but it is really helpful to remember that I am doing the right thing and that things are healing and improving little by little. Even if I'm not feeling it now, it's on its way.

Today was very chill urges-wise, which is a nice relief. I did have a porn dream during the night, and those usually make things worse, it seems like, but not today. Come to think of it, I've sort of realized that this last round of urges were more about MO than PMO. Porn and masturbation are all part of the same issue for me, so I don't know that I want to call it a breakthrough, but it's almost like my brain was saying "fine, if you won't give me P, and least give me MO." Maybe with time my addicted mind will stop thinking it can call the shots: it might be getting the message now that porn is off the table. I guess we'll have to see.

It should be another more relaxed week coming up, which I'm going to just try to embrace rather than stress about. There will be plenty of time to get lots of things done, so I shouldn't rob myself of a break by getting angry that I'm not doing as much. I should hopefully have a test this week related to school,  but it's been hard to schedule, so who knows. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 19, 2019, 08:49:49 PM
Glad to hear the urges are still subsided!

I definitely agree that a dream about MO, although not always pleasant and what we want, is definitely huge progress versus a PMO dream so that's big and is definitely an indicator of healing in the brain. Also I know what you mean about MO. MO is a huge issue for me as well. It's good to hear about others with the issue...

The problem with MO is it can be rationalized as not a problem. But I KNOW 100% it is and it's all related. So again, good to hear it's not just me and it's a similar boat.

I also so know what you mean about having free time and not letting yourself enjoy it. I did that so much, just not accepting relaxing, needing to make it stressful or be stressed about what I wasn't doing. I still get it from time to time, having just piles of fun books laying around has helped me with that  a lot.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 20, 2019, 06:47:57 PM
It's good to hear that you're doing well @Blueheronfan! My brain also tries to make compromises with me, a common one has been "if you PMO just one more time, you can say goodbye to it for good. Give it a proper goodbye." I know this is irrational beyond belief, just goes to show that while our brain might always try to trick us, we gain insight on how to keep going forward by side-stepping these tricks. In other words, triggers can be opportunities for growth; so while they are inherently bad, there is still good that can come from it.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 21, 2019, 06:10:49 PM
You're both right, and I'm glad to hear your thoughts. That proper goodbye stuff is nonsense,  but I've been there, the goodbye that just keeps giving.

Well, you've also convinced me of something else. I've been reading at posting at a set time, just to help me keep it as part of my routine, but I think I'm going to try to drop in a couple of times throughout the day maybe. Because just reading through your comments has given a boost that I needed.

I'm not sure that I really know why right now, but a wave of sadness came over me this afternoon. I've just sort of been down in the dumps for the last few hours and totally unmotivated to do anything. It has triggered me hard, and I found myself starting to test the edges a little (how close to porn can I get without getting to porn) on a social media app. Well, I deleted just now because I don't need it, and it's putting me at risk. Close call, definitely got the addictive dopamine loop going, but no P, M, or O. So that's something.

Stopping by here, though, has helped me to step away from the urges and from the weird sadness that got me today. So I think I won't just leave this for the end of the day anymore. It really did help, so thanks a lot for your comments! Every day counts as much as any other, but today is my 75th day without PMO and I'm not in a hurry to mess that up.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 21, 2019, 08:25:57 PM
I'm sorry you've been feeling bad this afternoon, I've been there more times than I can even begin to remember. I also get super lazy and unmotivated, and I usually will lie in bed and/or eat alot of junk food. While I may get temporary relief, it feels harder to bounce back the following days. I know it's probably the last thing you'd want to do while feeling this way, but sometimes it helps to do something good for yourself like workout or even just go for a walk. That's not to say that you'll feel great after, just maybe slightly less shitty and will feel more positive sooner than you think.

Regardless, you're doing great just by stepping away from urges, and the 75 day streak is something you should be very proud of even if it doesn't feel that way. I hope you feel better soon!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 21, 2019, 11:34:24 PM
Stay strong! I was right there with you with the sadness earlier today. Also yeah, I post a ridiculous amount sometimes but it just helps me get through the tough periods sometimes, so it can be a good idea for sure. It's like these little 5% boosts, but a few of them can really add up and take the edge off a tough day.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 23, 2019, 05:17:43 PM
Thanks so much Pichael and Quit! You all are awesome!

I had a really tough phone call with someone yesterday, kind of rehashing a breakup from last year. So many emotions all at once. But I think it finally gave us both (mostly her) some closure, so it's not all bad. The whole thing has been a big drag on my life lately, so I'm hoping it's finally sort of not a thing anymore.

Long story short, I ended up just leaving the house yesterday and meeting up with some friends in the evening. I just wasn't in any kind of headspace to do anything productive or to be on my own with my feelings, so it was good to get out. (And that's why I didn't post at all, early or late, despite my big talk a couple days ago about posting more, lol.)

Oh well, today was way more chill than I've had recently. Still didn't get anything done, but that's okay. I didn't feel completely terrible, so I'll take it.

Still in it for another day! Thanks again for your support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 24, 2019, 12:37:41 AM
Good thing you went out, always a good decision. Remind me to do that more. Sometimes feelings are so much easier to get away from/ be distracted from by just being around other people.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: LeanAndBop on May 24, 2019, 12:00:19 PM
Well done Blue. You seem in good spirits. For me too sometimes the best thing is just to get out... Or sleep. Sounds like a tough situation and you seemed to have handled it maturely.
All the best
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 24, 2019, 06:09:46 PM
Thanks, guys! Yeah, I definitely don't think of getting out very often, mostly because I never have anywhere I want to go. But it really did help, so it's something I should remember.

Today was a decent day, not very productive but also not bad. A part of me wants to be upset that I didn't get more done, but I'm just happy that there wasn't anything serious hanging over my head. I'll just call it a pleasant day and keep going.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on May 25, 2019, 04:18:42 AM
That's good, man! We don't need to use PMO to self-medicate our shit days.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 25, 2019, 05:13:45 PM
I actually got some things done today! I've had a to-do list at my desk for a few weeks now, and I've just been putting things off because I always thought they would take too long. But today I just got sick of myself putting them off, and I sat down and got them done, and they were done way faster than I expected. They weren't huge things, but still. It's something. 

I'm not a great judge of time, I guess. I want to get better at just doing things, and I think today helped me with that a little. As much as I hate other people's deadlines, maybe I need them on some level. Maybe giving myself some deadlines will be useful in the future.

Let's keep at it, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 26, 2019, 04:44:47 PM
Great job man! Sounds like you are turning a corner. Check lists can be really great!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on May 26, 2019, 05:41:13 PM
I actually got some things done today! I've had a to-do list at my desk for a few weeks now, and I've just been putting things off because I always thought they would take too long. But today I just got sick of myself putting them off, and I sat down and got them done, and they were done way faster than I expected. They weren't huge things, but still. It's something. 

I'm not a great judge of time, I guess. I want to get better at just doing things, and I think today helped me with that a little. As much as I hate other people's deadlines, maybe I need them on some level. Maybe giving myself some deadlines will be useful in the future.

Let's keep at it, everyone!

Yes, man, I guess I am a little bit of procrastinator too.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 26, 2019, 06:54:57 PM
Thanks for the support!

Checklists can be great...I just know I need to have checklists with deadlines now, lol, or I won't get anything done.

Today was a relaxed day. Went to church, did some cooking for the week. Meditated for longer than usual (and then fell asleep at the end, oops). I have a few more things to do today, but I want to make sure that I make a plan for tomorrow too.

I have an alarm that goes off on my phone every morning around when I wake up that says "Just for today." It started as a reminder to go without PMO just for today, but I'm thinking it could be a reminder to figure out what I need to do just for today as well. I've spent a lot of time in the last few months worrying about where my life was going for years in the future. But I can't reach forward years. I can only reach today, and I shouldn't let my worries about the uncertain future paralyze me from doing what I can do today. (And I'll keep saying it to myself until I believe it and actually do it, lol).

On to another week!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on May 27, 2019, 04:29:10 AM
I've spent a lot of time in the last few months worrying about where my life was going for years in the future. But I can't reach forward years. I can only reach today, and I shouldn't let my worries about the uncertain future paralyze me from doing what I can do today. (And I'll keep saying it to myself until I believe it and actually do it, lol).

Yes, I know how this works. Many people worry about the future but here is the deal: If we want to realize something in the future, we have to make a plan now and follow it. Like quitting porn, for example. This is a plan for the future too. Little by little. I know that some people can't stand it anymore and want to quit "now" but it takes some time and some action, like training for a boxing fight. You don't jump right in the ring, you follow months of training until you are ready. Patience is very important here. Some people are not patient but it can be learned.   
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 27, 2019, 07:43:52 PM
You're right, Lero. Porn doesn't teach us to be very patient. Recovery takes time, and so does everything else in life.

I made a plan for today, with a schedule and everything. I didn't get everything done because the day took a slightly different course than I had expected, but I did what I needed to and had a better day as a result.

Also had a porn dream last night that included writing about it on this forum. I don't know what that means, but I'll call it progress. I'm even holding myself accountable in my dreams now, lol.

Have a great tomorrow, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 27, 2019, 09:34:32 PM
Great job! The "just for today" sounds great and so does scheduling. Sounds like you are making progress in life. Being able to narrow things down to the day to day and "winning the day" or even just working towards doing that, is progress in my book.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 28, 2019, 03:51:15 PM
I really like the idea of having a checklist! For me that really helps me accomplish alot at once, as being able to cross of things does give me a sense of reward and satisfaction that I want to chase, kinda like a healthy dopamine hit.

I also tell myself things that I don't necessarily feel in the moment lol. Often what we know is best for us is very different than what we are drawn to do. That doesn't change what is best for us, and sometimes that feels very restrictive to me because I feel like I HAVE to do this thing, but at the same time there is freedom in doing it because we are training our brain to reframe it into something that is not so bad. I'm definitely rambling lol, I guess what I'm trying to say that discipline is freedom in a sense.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 28, 2019, 06:32:52 PM
Great job! The "just for today" sounds great and so does scheduling. Sounds like you are making progress in life. Being able to narrow things down to the day to day and "winning the day" or even just working towards doing that, is progress in my book.

Thanks! I haven't thought of "winning the day" but I like that phrase. I don't about winning at life, but I can win the day, lol.

I also tell myself things that I don't necessarily feel in the moment lol. Often what we know is best for us is very different than what we are drawn to do. That doesn't change what is best for us, and sometimes that feels very restrictive to me because I feel like I HAVE to do this thing, but at the same time there is freedom in doing it because we are training our brain to reframe it into something that is not so bad. I'm definitely rambling lol, I guess what I'm trying to say that discipline is freedom in a sense.


No, I get what you mean! It's like when I think about the "chores" I have to do, I always resist them and drag my feet. But then they are never as hard or unpleasant as I expect, and getting them done makes me feel good. And then I don't have to worry about them anymore! Plus I really like the idea of training our brain to reframe things: it's definitely useful to learn that doing assignments isn't so bad and that dealing with urges isn't the worst thing ever.

Today was a mostly chill day, did some work, relaxed a little.

I started to research some exercise and workout things that I could do at home since I definitely want to improve my physical health (and feel more confident about how I look). But, ugh, that was a minefield of images and things that really got my addicted brain going. For a second there, I felt like I was pretty close to MO, like out of nowhere. But I got out, found something that will work for me, and then wrote it down on paper so I don't have to visit those sites again anytime soon. Even when you're not expecting it, you gotta be careful. Grateful to have dodged that bullet.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on May 29, 2019, 05:28:48 AM
Quote
I started to research some exercise and workout things that I could do at home since I definitely want to improve my physical health (and feel more confident about how I look). But, ugh, that was a minefield of images and things that really got my addicted brain going. For a second there, I felt like I was pretty close to MO, like out of nowhere. But I got out, found something that will work for me, and then wrote it down on paper so I don't have to visit those sites again anytime soon. Even when you're not expecting it, you gotta be careful. Grateful to have dodged that bullet.

If you watch fitness stuff, watch guys. Watching girls could sabotage you. Also, if you watch on Youtube, you could see thumbnails of suggested videos that have girls in it. It's a slippery slope and we have to be careful.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 29, 2019, 03:43:54 PM
Good job recognizing urges, and yeah writing it down definitely helps too, nice to have a physical aid rather than just taking mental notes. "Dealing with urges isn't the worst thing ever" is what I try to tell myself all the time, I know that everyone has problems that they have to deal with and having this one still allows me to go out and try to meet my goals outside of no PMO: that's something I can definitely appreciate.

I've been getting into home workouts alot since I don't want to pay for a gym lol, and I found getting a pullup bar has helped alot! Outside of that, I do squats with a kettlebell, pushups, leg-lifts, and situps. I think that covers the full body, I just alternate days between pullups/squats and pushups/situps/leg-lifts. It's simple, easy, and has given me pretty good results so far.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 30, 2019, 05:57:22 PM
Good thoughts, thanks!

I did the new home workout yesterday (the one I wrote down), and I'm feeling it today lol. But it's good because it feels like progress in an area where I've felt stuck for a while.

And, Lero, you're right. Those suggested video thumbnails are garbage. I wish I got paid for the all the time I spent telling YouTube not to suggest things to me anymore.

Today was a pretty quiet day, though. Just hanging in there and taking it a day at a time.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 30, 2019, 06:31:24 PM
That's good you had a quiet day; yeah feeling sore is pretty inevitable once you start a new workout, but keep doing it consistently and it'll be like riding a bike!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on May 31, 2019, 03:56:43 AM
I did the new home workout yesterday (the one I wrote down), and I'm feeling it today lol. But it's good because it feels like progress in an area where I've felt stuck for a while.
This is a part of the recovery too: Doing things you've been postponing because P addiction has the talent to make us have low energy and low mood for activities, hobbies or life.

Quote
And, Lero, you're right. Those suggested video thumbnails are garbage. I wish I got paid for the all the time I spent telling YouTube not to suggest things to me anymore.
That's right. I hate those fucking suggested videos that have thumbnails with sluts and the click baits, also with sluts. I've been doing things to avoid Youtube doing exactly whatever it wants and it's made a big difference to only watch what I needed. But it still shows me some suggestions once in a while, that I don't want to see.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 31, 2019, 05:21:04 PM
Another pretty chill day. I went to campus to do some work, called home, and watched some tv. Felt a little off for the second half of the day, kind of down and stressed for whatever reason. I had a few moments throughout the day when PMO thoughts/images flashed through my head, but I pushed them away and focused on other things.

Probably nothing a good night's sleep won't fix. And I'm off to another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 01, 2019, 06:25:34 PM
Quiet day for me, better headspace than yesterday.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 02, 2019, 04:58:02 AM
It seems like things are going well for you.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 02, 2019, 05:25:13 PM
Keep it up man, when I get into a good routine feels like things are flowing more naturally to me, and when urges don't arise it feels easier to let them in and then let them go.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 02, 2019, 06:03:08 PM
For sure, I feel like I'm in a better place than I have been lately, which is good. No time to let my guard time, but also a time to enjoy some time off from the intense urges while it lasts.

I've been dealing with some anxiety, but I decided today to leave my crockpot going while I was out for the day. They're designed to run for long periods of time unattended, but it always makes me nervous. While I was gone, I noticed some feelings of worry come, but I just tried to accept them and redirect. Anyway, my place didn't burn down, and the food was good, lol. Maybe a little step towards training myself that I don't need to worry so much about things. I think that anxiety is definitely behind my addiction on some level, so hopefully this is a tiny step in the right direction.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 02, 2019, 06:05:37 PM
I've read on YBOP that P could cause anxiety or, at least, increase it. Some people have reported a big reduction or complete disappearance of anxiety after quitting P so this is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 04, 2019, 06:36:59 PM
I've read on YBOP that P could cause anxiety or, at least, increase it. Some people have reported a big reduction or complete disappearance of anxiety after quitting P so this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Hey, thanks, Lero! That's an encouraging thought. The last little while has been one of the most difficult for me mentally/emotionally. Maybe that's just part of going longer than I can remember without PMO and the process of brain chemistry going back to normal. It could also be that I haven't been running to PMO at the first sign of trouble to numb my brain to negative feelings. Either way, it sounds like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and that's good to hear!

The last couple of days have been decent for me. No strong urges, maybe a thought here or there. I accidentally fell asleep after work today, but I probably needed it.

Just under two weeks away from 100 days without PMO. It's exciting, but I'm just trying to keep my focus on each day as it comes. Now is not the time to get sloppy.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 05, 2019, 02:32:03 AM
100 days! Wow, man! This is outstanding! It seems like you have been handling it well. How do you feel by now? Any significant changes?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 05, 2019, 06:29:13 PM
Thanks! It is exciting to be getting close to 100. It was my original goal when I first joined (I failed miserably at first), but it's been more attainable as I've stuck to smaller goals along the way.

I'm not too sure how I feel. Part of it is that I've been dealing with a lot of other things that have caused me some stress/depression, so I haven't been feeling great. But I also haven't been relying on PMO to deal with it, which is good.

I think the biggest change has just been my mindset. I've started paying attention to triggers that I wouldn't have even recognized as triggers before. That means I've been catching myself in the relapse process way earlier and way before I get anywhere close to PMO. I've also started to be more accepting of the fact that PMO is a part of my life story and then working to find ways to live with it. Instead of pretending that I don't find PMO enticing, I just recognize that it is something I like but something I don't have to do. I can choose to do other things. That has also helped me not to take progress for granted. I can't ease up just because I've got a good streak going (and I try not to focus too much on the streak, just on the current day).

I guess I do feel more in control, but I also feel like there's still a long road ahead. I read a book once that said that strong or stable recovery (I can't remember the exact word) only happens after two years of sobriety. So I'm optimistic, but I'm not ready to say I have it all figured out yet. I do have some better strategies for dealing with urges and triggers, though, and that's a big step in the right direction.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 06, 2019, 01:33:04 AM
That's outstanding progress, man!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 06, 2019, 06:15:35 PM
Thanks! I appreciate your support.

I got myself with some sexual fantasies a couple of times today, and I just sort of said to myself, "What are you doing, man?" And I was like, yeah, what am I doing? So I moved on and did other things. It was interesting: I didn't have to fight myself, just catch myself and move on.

Other than that, it was a pretty relaxed day. I went into town, looked around some stores, remembered I was poor, and then came back home and hung out.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lysandros on June 07, 2019, 01:08:13 AM
Well done buddy! I'm almost up to a week and 100 days feels so long away. How much of a difference have you felt from when you first started?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 07, 2019, 01:36:29 AM
Thanks! I appreciate your support.

I got myself with some sexual fantasies a couple of times today, and I just sort of said to myself, "What are you doing, man?" And I was like, yeah, what am I doing? So I moved on and did other things. It was interesting: I didn't have to fight myself, just catch myself and move on.

Other than that, it was a pretty relaxed day. I went into town, looked around some stores, remembered I was poor, and then came back home and hung out.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

That's outstanding progress, man! You moved past the fantasies just like that. 100 days, man! I have 4 days only but I'll get there too. Wait for me.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 07, 2019, 06:37:00 PM
That's outstanding progress, man! You moved past the fantasies just like that. 100 days, man! I have 4 days only but I'll get there too. Wait for me.

I hope to be here still going strong to celebrate 100 with you, too! One thing that really helped me was setting smaller goals. Instead of trying to give up PMO for 100 days, I just focused on giving it up for 30 (honestly, I wasn't sure I wanted to go 100 days without PMO). Since I was relapsing about once a month, 30 seemed right. After I did 30, I aimed for 30 more. Just keep going, one day at a time, know your patterns, and work on beating them.

Well done buddy! I'm almost up to a week and 100 days feels so long away. How much of a difference have you felt from when you first started?

Thanks, man! 100 days is getting close (less than a week now). I mentioned a few days ago that some things in my life right now are kind of a mess, so I've been feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by a lot. So I haven't been feeling my best. But I am feeling more in control of myself and less like I need PMO to function.

All that said, I can't take any of the progress for granted. Today I was driving and I thought I saw a girl that I "needed" to check out walking on the sidewalk, and I almost drove through a red light because of it. Oops! What a lousy mistake to make.

Keep your eyes on the road, guys, and we'll get where we're going. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on June 08, 2019, 02:05:50 AM
Thank you very much for your encouraging words on my journal!  :)

You have come further than most on here and do extremely well analyzing your emotions and possible obstacles, been reading through the journal entries and can relate to this conclusion:

I know I've definitely gone back and forth on counting days. In the past it's been helpful and motivating up until the point that I relapse and then I quit for a while. Part of what I'm working on now is trying to do all the things that have helped (because I usually give up on things after a relapse and then keep relapsing), and counting has helped in the past. For me, it's also helpful to have some kind of goal (and not just count) because it has helped motivate me through urges the last couple months. When the urges strike a few days before my goal, it's easier to hang on for a couple days in order to achieve my goal and then the urges settle down.

The other part of counting, at least earlier in the year, is that it helped me realize that my relapses were happening more often and more regularly than I thought. I would have thought that I was easily going months at a time without a relapse, but counting forced me to realize that I was more on a 20-day cycle of relapsing. So in that way, it's been a helpful diagnostic just to see where I really am.

I've been stuck in the 20-day-cycle too and to my experience counting days helps to identify long term patterns of the brain (week 3-4 are the most difficult). Now that you are three months clean it's all about not becoming careless... keep treating this addiction as if it was day 1 and never underestimate our "enemy"! It took years to develop this addiction and they can't be undonde in just 90 days, but now you made it through the worst part and it's up to you - I'm sure you are going to make it to the "success stories" and finally overcome this addiction!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 08, 2019, 03:55:11 AM
I hope to be here still going strong to celebrate 100 with you, too! One thing that really helped me was setting smaller goals. Instead of trying to give up PMO for 100 days, I just focused on giving it up for 30 (honestly, I wasn't sure I wanted to go 100 days without PMO). Since I was relapsing about once a month, 30 seemed right. After I did 30, I aimed for 30 more. Just keep going, one day at a time, know your patterns, and work on beating them.

You know, maybe this is a good strategy sometimes. "I don't think I could go for 100 days without PMO so let's try for 30 and then if I can't go on, I'll give up." Then you reach 30 days and say: "I've succeeded in stay away for 30 days, I know I can, maybe I could go another 30."

Quote
Thanks, man! 100 days is getting close (less than a week now). I mentioned a few days ago that some things in my life right now are kind of a mess, so I've been feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by a lot. So I haven't been feeling my best. But I am feeling more in control of myself and less like I need PMO to function.

That's what normal human beings are supposed to do. Life is good sometimes, bad sometimes, but we don't need to self-medicate ourselves. Self-medication actually doesn't fix the bad life, it doesn't heal anything.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on June 08, 2019, 04:11:15 PM
Congrats man! Getting real close to your goal. Working out is great for sure, I have seen studies that show it is better then anti depressants by far for anxiety and depression. Any exercise classes near you? Can be social and make it easier plus not have to deal with youtube nonsense.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 08, 2019, 06:56:54 PM
Thank you very much for your encouraging words on my journal!  :)

You have come further than most on here and do extremely well analyzing your emotions and possible obstacles, been reading through the journal entries and can relate to this conclusion:

I've been stuck in the 20-day-cycle too and to my experience counting days helps to identify long term patterns of the brain (week 3-4 are the most difficult). Now that you are three months clean it's all about not becoming careless... keep treating this addiction as if it was day 1 and never underestimate our "enemy"! It took years to develop this addiction and they can't be undonde in just 90 days, but now you made it through the worst part and it's up to you - I'm sure you are going to make it to the "success stories" and finally overcome this addiction!

Thanks a lot, Achilles! I'm always glad to give support: it's been at least as helpful as just getting my thoughts out of my head in this journal. Joining this forum was one of the scariest things I've done in my recovery process, but it has made a huge difference. I really appreciate your encouragement! And you're right: treating every day as if it was day 1 has really helped me to deal with things in a better way. When the going gets tough, I know I can make it through one more day (and it keeps me from getting too complacent like I have in the past).


You know, maybe this is a good strategy sometimes. "I don't think I could go for 100 days without PMO so let's try for 30 and then if I can't go on, I'll give up." Then you reach 30 days and say: "I've succeeded in stay away for 30 days, I know I can, maybe I could go another 30."


Thanks, man! It has really helped me to set smaller goals along the way. When the urges got really strong around day 27, I probably would have given up if I knew I still had 73 days to go, but I figured I could make it another 3. By then, the urges had settled down, and I continue making progress. It's all about keeping things small and manageable, I think.

Congrats man! Getting real close to your goal. Working out is great for sure, I have seen studies that show it is better then anti depressants by far for anxiety and depression. Any exercise classes near you? Can be social and make it easier plus not have to deal with youtube nonsense.

And thanks to you too! Always good to hear from you. Working out has been good for me, emotionally. I've never been very good at it, but I've been doing yoga for a while, and I think it got me to a place where I could finally deal with more strenuous exercise. I guess it's all a process, no matter what we're talking about (maybe someday I'll be confident enough for an exercise class, but I don't know if I'm there yet, lol).

Well, in the end, today was a pretty relaxed day. It was reasonably productive too, which is good. I've had a hard time getting started on things lately, so I'm working on that and today was a good step in the right direction. I got started on more things, and even finished a few.

Thanks again for all the support, and good luck to you all with another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 09, 2019, 06:25:04 PM
Another quiet day. I think it will be a slightly busier week this week, but that's probably a good thing. I've been a little sluggish lately, and that might help shake me out of it.

Let's all go have a better week than the last one!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 11, 2019, 04:19:33 PM
I've been really sluggish too; I think a workout and healthy meals will get me back on track, among other things. Keep it up!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 12, 2019, 06:19:08 PM
Thanks!

My internet was out yesterday for no reason, but I'm glad to be back and posting!

97 days. It makes sense that I would be feeling some urges/cravings now that my goal is close. That's always how it goes. They aren't very strong, but I have been noticing myself being a little casual with triggers. Maybe that's not the right way to say it, but I have been feeling more susceptible to things in the last few days. Nothing too strong, just something to take extra care of, I think. I'm close to the goal. Just got to keep going strong.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 13, 2019, 08:52:08 AM
The brain has a great way of making us "forget" how awful some pleasurable things made us feel. It's like when I got drunk long time ago, I felt sick, the hangover was killing me and I swore I would never ever drink again, only to get drunk again after a month. I "forgot" how I felt back then. The thought of feeling sick like that again now seemed a piece of cake. All I wanted was the pleasure. The same with all addictions, I guess. People quit hardcore addictions only to be back after a year. It's absolutely fucking disgusting what's going on. That's why we have to be mega careful.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 13, 2019, 03:06:57 PM
The brain has a great way of making us "forget" how awful some pleasurable things made us feel. It's like when I got drunk long time ago, I felt sick, the hangover was killing me and I swore I would never ever drink again, only to get drunk again after a month. I "forgot" how I felt back then. The thought of feeling sick like that again now seemed a piece of cake. All I wanted was the pleasure. The same with all addictions, I guess. People quit hardcore addictions only to be back after a year. It's absolutely fucking disgusting what's going on. That's why we have to be mega careful.

I completely relate to this, and I would like to add that I think that in the short term the more times we make a mistake it is easier to not make it again as it is more ingrained in our minds not to do it again, but in the long term it makes it way harder. As we move away from our addiction we are going further and further into uncharted and uncomfortable territory. For me I have done a couple of 90 day streaks so this might be slightly more comfortable than someone that hasn't , but once I reach 150 days or so (hopefully) I will be completely new to the feeling of going without PMO (or just PM) for so long. Entering this uncharted territory makes doing familiar things such as letting urges come and go seem more unfamiliar than usual, so its important to constantly remind yourself to stick with what works even if it doesn't feel like it's working or feels worse than before. You're doing great, keep going strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 13, 2019, 03:59:51 PM
I completely relate to this, and I would like to add that I think that in the short term the more times we make a mistake it is easier to not make it again as it is more ingrained in our minds not to do it again, but in the long term it makes it way harder. As we move away from our addiction we are going further and further into uncharted and uncomfortable territory. For me I have done a couple of 90 day streaks so this might be slightly more comfortable than someone that hasn't , but once I reach 150 days or so (hopefully) I will be completely new to the feeling of going without PMO (or just PM) for so long. Entering this uncharted territory makes doing familiar things such as letting urges come and go seem more unfamiliar than usual, so its important to constantly remind yourself to stick with what works even if it doesn't feel like it's working or feels worse than before. You're doing great, keep going strong!

I've experienced this with both alcohol and P. It's like, on that day, I know how miserable I feel and I tell myself I will never do it again, I will stay away from it for good. But after a period of time, the brain has a fucking great way of putting the pleasure higher than the miserable follow-up. Now, how miserable I felt back then seems nothing, like a piece of cake, and the promised pleasure is right there in front of me. I can smell it. Then I do it again and I feel miserable again and I'm reminded about that day and what I swore and I tell myself: "Didn't I tell you to stay away from it for good? Now you feel miserable like back then." You know what I'm saying?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 13, 2019, 05:59:05 PM
Thank you so much, guys! I appreciate the support a lot!

I really am in new territory, and I'm excited to see where it leads. Today was a crazy busy day, so I didn't even have time for urges/negative feelings. That was helpful, but I still have to be careful. The next few days will be more relaxed, but I still have things to do. I've got better things going on now, I don't have time for porn anymore.

Thanks again, everyone. I'll check in tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Do or die on June 14, 2019, 12:13:33 AM
Keep going on reboot. It takes longer to completely rewire your brain. So don't expect major positive changes quickly. Be calm and believe in reboot process. All the  best for your journey.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 14, 2019, 03:43:23 PM
Yep, everything Do or die said. The farther we go along this journey, the more we must appreciate the struggle of it because we don't have that fantasy image of "ourselves on a 100 day streak" like when we were on day 1. We are only who we are now, and that may mean some parts of us feel worse at times than who we were day 1. Sad I know, but it just goes to show how non-linear the path of progress is. Almost at 100, you got this!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 14, 2019, 04:24:19 PM
Very important is to make sure you don't fall into that trap of: "I'm done with this, triggers won't affect me anymore," or something like that. You always have to treat it like always. What made you reach 100 days has to make you reach 200.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 14, 2019, 05:53:00 PM
Thanks, guys, you're exactly right!

I definitely don't think 100 days is my ticket to freedom, but it is a good first step. I'm definitely going to set a new goal tomorrow in order to keep myself working towards something.

A few days ago, it was really nice out, and I was paying too much attention to the girls around campus. I felt pretty bad about it. It was nice again today, but I was prepared. I was aware of them, but I wasn't carried away by them. Shouldn't they be able to enjoy the weather without having some weird guy pretend he isn't staring at them? I did a much better job today by choosing to look at clouds, trees, and birds instead of body parts.

Little by little, I'll get this brain working better.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on June 15, 2019, 01:43:08 AM
Thank you very much for your support, not only to me but to the whole community! You are giving a great example!  :)

I definitely don't think 100 days is my ticket to freedom, but it is a good first step. I'm definitely going to set a new goal tomorrow in order to keep myself working towards something.

Keep it that way and you are right on track towards the "success stories"!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on June 15, 2019, 10:43:29 AM
Way to go Blueheron! Really close to that 100 days.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 15, 2019, 02:54:05 PM
I like your mindset BlueHeron! I do think looking at someone vs. sexualizing them could be different in some ways, like if you want to approach a woman you might have to look at her first, but it could be because of genuine interest: "I wonder what her story is?" rather than "wow she's hot." The hard part is deciphering if you're actually interested in her or just her body given the limited information; I'm trying to pay attention more to how the woman carries herself, body language, mannerisms, facial expressions > body features. Definitely a struggle though lol
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 15, 2019, 07:08:56 PM
Thank you very much for your support, not only to me but to the whole community! You are giving a great example!  :)


Thanks a lot for your support too! It always means a lot to see how this community strengthens us all.

I like your mindset BlueHeron! I do think looking at someone vs. sexualizing them could be different in some ways, like if you want to approach a woman you might have to look at her first, but it could be because of genuine interest: "I wonder what her story is?" rather than "wow she's hot." The hard part is deciphering if you're actually interested in her or just her body given the limited information; I'm trying to pay attention more to how the woman carries herself, body language, mannerisms, facial expressions > body features. Definitely a struggle though lol

Exactly! Looking at someone is definitely different from sexualizing them. I'm not always careful about making the difference clear, but you're right. It's hard to tell the difference sometimes between legitimate attraction and sexualization, but it's a little easier when there isn't even a chance of talking to someone. Then it's not about a relationship at all. The struggle continues, lol.

Way to go Blueheron! Really close to that 100 days.

And thanks!

Today marks 100 days! It feels good in a normal kind of way (just another day mostly). I'm proud for accomplishing something, but there's still a long road ahead.

Next stop, 120 days without PMO!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on June 16, 2019, 06:00:06 AM
Congrats on this milestone! Always keep in mind how hard it was to achieve 100 days and remain prepared for ups and downs, you're going to make it!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 16, 2019, 06:53:14 PM
Thanks so much man! It has been a long road, but it also looks like kind of a short road looking back on it. I guess time goes a little slower when you're working hard at healing from addiction, lol.

A reminder today that I always have to be careful: I started watching a video today that, to be honest, I probably should have recognized would cause a little trouble (there was a hint of sexiness in the thumbnail). Anyway, I started watching and then started to feel that tickle in my brain that I was starting to enjoy the video in a more sexual way. That was enough for me to back out, block the channel, and move on. All in all, the whole thing probably lasted for more than a minute.

Right now, I feel like I'm a long way away from ever wanting to go looking for porn. But that doesn't mean even barely sexy things can't catch us by surprise. Was what I saw probably pretty innocent and not something to get worked up over? Yeah, maybe. But I also know that I'm especially vulnerable to certain things, so I have to be especially careful. I can't let other people's normal be my normal, and that means that some "normal" things are off-limits for me.

Oh well, let's see what another week will bring.

102/120
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on June 17, 2019, 02:34:01 AM
I can't let other people's normal be my normal, and that means that some "normal" things are off-limits for me.

This is really hard to accept. Like the alcoholic who can't even have a glass of wine for dinner. But it's neccessary to accept that we are no different and there is no journey of 90 days that will restore us completely. We will have to deal with this for the rest of our life, although probably with less effort neccessary after some time.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 17, 2019, 04:18:05 AM
You know, I felt the time passing really slowly when I focused very hard on fighting the addiction. There's a positive in not thinking of P all the time as well. I'm not saying you have to forget about it in a way that makes you underestimate it and take it lightly like: "I can go to Youtube and look at the thumbnails cause nothing will happen to me." What I mean is that we need a change in lifestyle if we want to beat P and this lifestyle has to become routine, automatic, like you wake up in the morning and do the right things. Like this, you don't have to keep thinking all the time about P and keep P in mind like: "Today I have to do this and this cause I'm fighting against P." I don't know, does this make sense? Maybe it's not for everybody but this is what would help me.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 17, 2019, 07:45:32 PM
Yeah, Lero, that makes a lot of sense. Between your comment and achilles's, I think that's more or less what I've been thinking about lately.

For a long time, I thought that my goal was to go back to "normal." To give up PMO and then just live my life like I used to or like I saw other guys doing. Like, I had a roommate once who had a poster of some girl in a bikini, and it was just like a normal thing for him. I used to think the goal was to be able to have sexy posters and things around me and just be immune to them somehow. But that's not realistic, I don't think.

Instead, I've been thinking about this process more as a complete lifestyle change. Instead of trying to go back to my life "before porn," I'm focusing on learning to live a life where my addiction is just a fact that I can't change. So I'm focused more on building new routines, avoiding triggers that might be innocent for other people, and to take care of myself knowing that it doesn't take a lot to push me into a PMO binge. It's not about living the life I wish I had but instead about living the life I do have in the best way possible.

(I've never really thought this through in quite this way before, but I think that's good advice for me to think about in other areas of my life. I probably spend too much time wishing I had a different life instead of working with the life I do have.) Thanks for the helpful insights!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 18, 2019, 06:05:37 PM
Not much going on today. I've been feeling a little down in the dumps the last few days for no particular reason.

I did have a momentary thought/urge, but it was an interesting experience. I had a thought about porn that triggered some arousal, but I somehow managed to just pay attention to the sensation of the urge without replaying the triggering thought. It was like the image in my mind disappeared and I was just paying attention to how my body felt in that moment. It's something that I have learned about in meditation, but I haven't actually ever done it. By just paying attention to the physical sensation instead of the thought, I could think "oh, this is how I feel right now" instead of "oh, I want porn right now." Without the thoughts attached to the feeling, it just kind of disappeared as my attention to moved to other things.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 18, 2019, 07:53:00 PM

Instead, I've been thinking about this process more as a complete lifestyle change. Instead of trying to go back to my life "before porn," I'm focusing on learning to live a life where my addiction is just a fact that I can't change. So I'm focused more on building new routines, avoiding triggers that might be innocent for other people, and to take care of myself knowing that it doesn't take a lot to push me into a PMO binge. It's not about living the life I wish I had but instead about living the life I do have in the best way possible.

(I've never really thought this through in quite this way before, but I think that's good advice for me to think about in other areas of my life. I probably spend too much time wishing I had a different life instead of working with the life I do have.) Thanks for the helpful insights!

Yes, I relate to this so much! We are completely different people than before we discovered PMO, so there's no point trying to be that same person. The only thing guaranteed in life is change, and the more we can embrace it the happier we will be.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Do or die on June 18, 2019, 11:54:16 PM
Thanks for your support
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 19, 2019, 05:05:56 PM
Thanks for your support

You're welcome! We're stronger together!

Yes, I relate to this so much! We are completely different people than before we discovered PMO, so there's no point trying to be that same person. The only thing guaranteed in life is change, and the more we can embrace it the happier we will be.

Exactly! This recovery has to be about moving forward, not moving back. It's important not to spend too much time looking back at our lists of relapses, but it's also important not to spend too much time looking back at our pre PMO life. Both have come and gone, and we need to move forward.

Today was an okay day for me. I'm learning that I'm not very good at dealing with disappointments. I went to the store to look for something, and they didn't have it. Who cares? Not a big deal, but it put me in a bad mood for the next couple of hours. That probably isn't healthy, something to work on.

Other than my fragile emotions, it was a chill day lol. I printed out some sheets to help me stay on track with a couple of projects that I've been neglecting lately. Hopefully that will help me to get going again and quit dragging my feet on some things.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 19, 2019, 06:08:25 PM
I get really sensitive too sometimes, and even when I recognize it and tell myself "calm down it's not a big deal" 5 minutes later I'm obsessing about it again lol. Some things are frustrating in nature (like taking the time and energy to get something you need, only to find it's not there) and it is completely natural to feel this way, it's what makes us human. Over time, we can hopefully laugh at ourselves a little bit- by doing so we are laughing at the tendencies of human nature, not making fun of ourselves. Life's too short to get hung up on the little things, but as humans we tend to gravitate towards that anyways lol
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on June 19, 2019, 07:50:17 PM
Great job on getting to the 100 days!

I relate to a lot of what you are saying, the entire life has to change as well as the ways of thinking. In a way, it's a positive instead the same life minus PMO, replacing it with something better.

Also good points about looking at the woman, her mannerisms etc. It is a fine balance. I think one helpful thing, is to not be 100% "sold on a girl. It can be hard to know about a girl just by looking at her, so we have to actually talk to her to see what she is like. So instead of "she's hot I want her!" it can be "she's attractive, let me see what she is like".

I am a little biased though, since almost all of my experiences with women have been via "cold approach" I have yet to figure out how to go on dates with women from say school or activities. So in those scenarios it's very possible to learn a women's personality before taking any action to learn about her or pursue her.

Was just thinking about this: The not sold thing is HUGE. Because

I am wrong all the damn time. Remember the girl who was a virgin things went to shit with months ago? Well before it went to shit she was like the best girl ever. We had so much in common, the same values etc and she was a virgin..... When I first saw her she looked un-approachable, I assumed dated a lot and perhaps vaguely bitchy her personality was totally different then what I expected. I approached her because she was "my type" physically but I was not sold and had minimal expectations.

My "read" on her personality based on seeing her was dead wrong. So there is a balance to be found there.

This forum is a nice reminder, didn't really follow that recently which I may recount in my journal later.

Also with the disappointments: Man it's so uncanny, I have the same thing. I suppose perhaps it is true that certain mental traits, whether symptoms or causes, seem to go hand in hand with this addiction.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 20, 2019, 05:52:25 PM
Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who blows these little upsets out of proportion. Like everything else I'm learning here, it's somehow such a relief to know that other people are dealing with very similar things too. Thanks for being here, guys.

And good thoughts about not being 100% sold. I've only ever been out with people I've known beforehand, so I guess I'm coming at it from another angle. But it's still true. It's all about learning and getting to know a person. If you're only it for the pleasure of it, you're kind of missing the point of building a relationship. Even with knowing people before I date them, I still end up being 100% all-in prematurely a lot of the time.

I was out earlier today, and I ran into a woman. I thought she was attractive, and we interacted a little. Unlike most people I run into during a day, she didn't blow me off, seemed kind of nice. Then I saw the ring. Why are the nice ones always married lol? Oh well, I don't know what I'm supposed to learn from that experience, but I am surprised that it hasn't made me super depressed. I guess that's something good. Not finding what I was looking for at the store yesterday sent me into a tailspin, but I'm coming out of this one just fine. Maybe it's because I was never 100% sold.

Oh well. It was a pretty decent day. More productive than others, but still a ways to go. One more clean day in the bank.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 21, 2019, 07:02:40 PM
Quiet day. Did some work at home and at school.

The weather was nice, and the girls were out. But I was prepared for it this time, and I didn't have the same trouble I had a while ago. I was aware of the skin they were showing, but I wasn't carried away by it.

It's amazing how much more successful we can be when we know it's coming. It's the unexpected triggers that get me, and I think part of it is like my brain saying, "Oh hey, here's something sexy that you weren't even looking for. You can't feel guilty if it just happened to be here in front of you. There's no harm in looking if you weren't looking for it." Like sometimes I have fantasies that I'll get pornographic spam in my junk folder because I think it will be a "freebie." Of course, that's not true. Whether I was looking for it or not, if I end up looking at it, it's still harming my recovery.

Another day closer to a life without PMO.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 21, 2019, 09:53:31 PM
Nice job anticipating triggers! I also have similar fantasies, like sometimes my brain tells me that it hopes that one of my past random hookups will booty call me even though I have no desire to do that again (it wasn't even a good experience the first time). Anyways, it's nice to hear you're going day by day pretty smoothly, you keep going and I'll do the same!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on June 21, 2019, 11:44:47 PM
You're still doing great, keep it like that!  :)

The weather was nice, and the girls were out. But I was prepared for it this time, and I didn't have the same trouble I had a while ago. I was aware of the skin they were showing, but I wasn't carried away by it.

It's amazing how much more successful we can be when we know it's coming. It's the unexpected triggers that get me, and I think part of it is like my brain saying, "Oh hey, here's something sexy that you weren't even looking for. You can't feel guilty if it just happened to be here in front of you. There's no harm in looking if you weren't looking for it." Like sometimes I have fantasies that I'll get pornographic spam in my junk folder because I think it will be a "freebie." Of course, that's not true. Whether I was looking for it or not, if I end up looking at it, it's still harming my recovery.

I can relate to the first part, lots of relapses happened when there was some clickbait news or a social media pic out of nowhere... it's really annoying as we can't just be 'normal' again but have to look out for those triggers constantly...

In terms of the first part about girls in summer I'm not quite sure... isn't it our main goal to disconnect from a screen and connect to girls in real life? I get the idea that staring at them is not a behavior we should seek, but to me there's nothing bad about noticing the skin they show...
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 22, 2019, 07:04:14 PM
You're still doing great, keep it like that!  :)

I can relate to the first part, lots of relapses happened when there was some clickbait news or a social media pic out of nowhere... it's really annoying as we can't just be 'normal' again but have to look out for those triggers constantly...

In terms of the first part about girls in summer I'm not quite sure... isn't it our main goal to disconnect from a screen and connect to girls in real life? I get the idea that staring at them is not a behavior we should seek, but to me there's nothing bad about noticing the skin they show...

Thanks! Yeah, junk can come out of nowhere and sink us if we aren't careful. Staying clean is a full time job right now, but hopefully it gets to be more automatic with time.

And I know what you mean. It is definitely important to connect with real girls. The thing is, though, that in that context I'm not actually connecting with them. It's not like I'm going to ask any of them out, so "checking them out" is just for the pleasure of seeing skin. Nothing wrong with awareness, but there is a problem with sexualizing them, and I think that's the habit I'm trying to break. For me, I've noticed that I can go a long time acting normal around women, but then something will happen and I'll just start staring at everyone just for the dopamine hit. And then after a couple days of that, I'm back at PMO.

So I think it comes down to intent, mostly. Being attracted to a girl I'm actually going to talk to and maybe try to build a relationship is a good thing and a goal of mine. But if there's no potential for a relationship or even a conversation, I think I'm not treating them much different from how I treat porn, screen or no screen, if all I'm doing is looking at their bodies.

Anyways, it's nice to hear you're going day by day pretty smoothly, you keep going and I'll do the same!

Thanks! Sounds like a great plan!

Today was a peaceful day. I cleaned my place (it was really needing it), and that took most of the day. Now I have a quiet, organized apartment to relax in for the weekend.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 22, 2019, 07:36:24 PM
Nice that you cleaned up, every time I do that I feel like my life is more organized even if it isn't haha. I'll say one more thing about women in public- I don't think it is necessarily a wrong thing to factor in a women's looks if you are looking for a potential partner...looks do matter, but at the same time I have separated looks and personality with women so that is the ONLY thing that matters because of my PMO addiction. If we are able to balance appreciating their beauty (or hotness or whatever) with a general curiosity and interest in who they are as a person, I think that is what will fully motivate us to pursue a relationship, accounting for both needs.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 23, 2019, 06:39:35 PM
Nice that you cleaned up, every time I do that I feel like my life is more organized even if it isn't haha. I'll say one more thing about women in public- I don't think it is necessarily a wrong thing to factor in a women's looks if you are looking for a potential partner...looks do matter, but at the same time I have separated looks and personality with women so that is the ONLY thing that matters because of my PMO addiction. If we are able to balance appreciating their beauty (or hotness or whatever) with a general curiosity and interest in who they are as a person, I think that is what will fully motivate us to pursue a relationship, accounting for both needs.

Yeah, I think that's a great point. I definitely want to be attracted to the woman I end up with. Looks do matter, but they can't be the only thing that matters and that's what happens with PMO. In fact, during my last few relapses with porn, I was so turned off by the way the women talked and acted: their personalities were totally off-putting.

And a similar thing happens in real life, too. Like, there are women I know who I think are very attractive, but I also know that we wouldn't really get along because our personalities are too different. And just because they're attractive doesn't mean I can just creep on them because I know them. And then there are other women who are maybe less "hot" but I also get along great with.

I think porn trained me to look for the hottest woman, some kind of physical perfection. But even in years and years of watching porn, I never found a perfect woman. And that's because there probably isn't such a thing. As I've been working on my recovery, I'm not so worried about ending up with the most attractive woman I'll ever know. Instead, accounting for both needs like you said, I'm looking for someone who is attractive but not at the expense of also being a good and interesting person. (Now, if only I could figure out where they're all hanging out, lol.) But the point is, you make a great point.

But anyway, today was a good day. I went to church, cooked some food for the week, and just relaxed (with maybe a little too much background noise). I'm working at being more comfortable with my own quiet thoughts. Maybe I'll make some progress on that this week.

In other news, I'm on a 12-day streak of posting here, which is the best I've done in a while. I post regularly, but it's really helpful for me to have a daily check in and a chance to just see where my thoughts and feelings are each day. Posting daily helps me to focus on fighting this addiction one day at a time.

Let's go see what another week brings!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 24, 2019, 07:32:02 AM
I think porn trained me to look for the hottest woman, some kind of physical perfection. But even in years and years of watching porn, I never found a perfect woman. And that's because there probably isn't such a thing.

This is more common than we think and I'm in the same boat too. P definitely trains you to elevate your expectations, like some kind of OCD about attractiveness. The thing is, you might not noticed for a period of time like I didn't either, only to think about it one day and realize how, in the previous years, I was more pretentious about girls' looks. I would be like: "Nah, that girl is ugly," even though she was just average and we could've gotten along. I lost potential relationships because of my "high expectations". It definitely made be only have eyes for the "top 10%". Just like in P because I didn't watch any girl, I was very very selective about how they looked to the point where I started becoming obsessed with the best bodies. I didn't even like girls without a tan in P. Now, I don't have any streak away from P so I can't say my taste has returned to normal. I have to quit P and then see who's the real me. P has definitely transformed me.

Also, people look different on the screen than in real life. In videos they look better, in pictures too. That's why you are shocked to see how some P star looks in real life. They know how to shoot those videos and take those pictures to stimulate you like crazy. Real life doesn't stimulate you like that because in real life people just look normal but our definition of normal gets morphed by the screen.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 25, 2019, 05:07:42 PM

In other news, I'm on a 12-day streak of posting here, which is the best I've done in a while. I post regularly, but it's really helpful for me to have a daily check in and a chance to just see where my thoughts and feelings are each day. Posting daily helps me to focus on fighting this addiction one day at a time.

Guess I spoke too soon. Oops, lol. Posting is helpful, but I guess the bright side is that the days I don't post are the days I end up being too busy to think about porn anyway.

Yesterday and today have been chill. Just work and stuff. 110 days without PMO, and just going along one day at a time. I had a thought this morning that was basically, Why don't you just look at porn? And I just stopped and said to myself, "Why would I? What would that help with? Thanks for the idea, but no." And then the thought gave up, and I went on with the day.


This is more common than we think and I'm in the same boat too. P definitely trains you to elevate your expectations, like some kind of OCD about attractiveness. The thing is, you might not noticed for a period of time like I didn't either, only to think about it one day and realize how, in the previous years, I was more pretentious about girls' looks. I would be like: "Nah, that girl is ugly," even though she was just average and we could've gotten along. I lost potential relationships because of my "high expectations". It definitely made be only have eyes for the "top 10%". Just like in P because I didn't watch any girl, I was very very selective about how they looked to the point where I started becoming obsessed with the best bodies. I didn't even like girls without a tan in P. Now, I don't have any streak away from P so I can't say my taste has returned to normal. I have to quit P and then see who's the real me. P has definitely transformed me.

Also, people look different on the screen than in real life. In videos they look better, in pictures too. That's why you are shocked to see how some P star looks in real life. They know how to shoot those videos and take those pictures to stimulate you like crazy. Real life doesn't stimulate you like that because in real life people just look normal but our definition of normal gets morphed by the screen.

There's a lot of truth to this. Porn does a number on our expectations and can really spoil our ability to relate to real women in any kind of useful way.

On another level, too, addicted me is not probably the kind of guy that the most attractive women would even be interested in, you know? Part of this thing is not just finding a woman who meets my "standards" but also being the kind of guy who would meet hers. My recovery is definitely about giving up PMO but it's also about taking care of my health and my appearance, learning to be more open about my feelings (that's a hard one), and overall just becoming a better person.

Porn is also one-sided because it makes us think that all the hottest girls will just come to us without any effort on our part. It trains us to think that women owe us a lot in terms of their appearance while we don't owe them anything. But that's not realistic. Real women don't really "owe" us anything, and they probably deserve good men. In addition to kicking this habit, I want to be one of those good men and not just a "consumer."
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on June 25, 2019, 11:32:35 PM
I like how after 110 days you keep working and reflecting on your recovery and stay humble enough to not expect a changed life already due to reaching the "magic 90". It's a question of patience and not expecting miracles now. Your reflection on becoming a better person will definitely help, because that's what's happening.

After longer streaks I noticed that either girls were looking at me more or - what's more realistic - I would just notice because I wasn't that numb to interaction anymore and would make way more eye contact when walking around. Either way quitting porn is neccessary to reestablish tastes in general to a healthy and natural level after training ourselves to get super-stimuli bodyparts on a screen.

You've got the key to get out and give a great example to everybody! Keep it that way!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 26, 2019, 01:49:23 PM
I like your point about porn training our minds to believe that we don't have to give anything. Giving to others is contagious: it will influence others to give back to you as well as other people they are around. If we can be people that spread selflessness, honesty, and compassion, the people around us will naturally gravitate towards that as well. I'm so happy you are doing so well on your streak, keep it up!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 26, 2019, 05:28:20 PM
I like how after 110 days you keep working and reflecting on your recovery and stay humble enough to not expect a changed life already due to reaching the "magic 90". It's a question of patience and not expecting miracles now. Your reflection on becoming a better person will definitely help, because that's what's happening.

After longer streaks I noticed that either girls were looking at me more or - what's more realistic - I would just notice because I wasn't that numb to interaction anymore and would make way more eye contact when walking around. Either way quitting porn is neccessary to reestablish tastes in general to a healthy and natural level after training ourselves to get super-stimuli bodyparts on a screen.

You've got the key to get out and give a great example to everybody! Keep it that way!

Thanks so much, achilles, I really appreciate your support! I've caught myself a couple of times lately thinking I was invincible and talking about my addiction in the past tense, but I'm also trying hard to stay aware that I still have a long road ahead (my whole life in some ways). I've relapsed before because I thought I was cured and got sloppy. Don't want to make that mistake again.

I like your point about porn training our minds to believe that we don't have to give anything. Giving to others is contagious: it will influence others to give back to you as well as other people they are around. If we can be people that spread selflessness, honesty, and compassion, the people around us will naturally gravitate towards that as well. I'm so happy you are doing so well on your streak, keep it up!

Thanks, man! It means a lot. Can I also just say how awesome it is that we all came here to fight an addiction but that we also just end up talking about being better people in general? Fighting an addiction really does mean changing our whole lives, but I still think it's cool that we're working on other things too and supporting each other along the way.


Another quieter day for me, did some work from home. I've felt some quiet tremors of urges the last couple of days, mostly when I go to bed. Nothing very strong, but still enough to keep me on my toes.

Stay strong everyone, we're another day closer to our goals!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on June 26, 2019, 06:40:34 PM
Hey BlueHeron, that's quite the streak there, mate! Hats off to ya!

What's you meditation routine like at the moment? :)

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 27, 2019, 03:38:59 AM
Thanks, man! It means a lot. Can I also just say how awesome it is that we all came here to fight an addiction but that we also just end up talking about being better people in general? Fighting an addiction really does mean changing our whole lives, but I still think it's cool that we're working on other things too and supporting each other along the way.

Some addicts end up procrastinating. They don't work on themselves or their careers. It's understandable because all addictions become like an obstacle. With drugs or alcohol you are in another state all day, with P you lose that life energy and mood for life. That's why, for them, an important element is working on what they haven't. Streaks away from P are a good opportunity to do this. I know that I fit this category. I had to start doing things in my life because I found myself not doing to much regarding my career or myself. I used to play a lot of video games and stay away from leaving my home if it wasn't necessary (go to work). But like I said, P has the ability to do this to us. That's why we have to fight to get a good streak away from P and use that energy to do what we haven't been doing. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 27, 2019, 05:35:08 PM
Hey BlueHeron, that's quite the streak there, mate! Hats off to ya!

What's you meditation routine like at the moment? :)

Hey, thanks! Right now, I meditate once in the morning and once in the evening, usually for about 20 minutes each. It has really been helpful.

Some addicts end up procrastinating. They don't work on themselves or their careers. It's understandable because all addictions become like an obstacle. With drugs or alcohol you are in another state all day, with P you lose that life energy and mood for life. That's why, for them, an important element is working on what they haven't. Streaks away from P are a good opportunity to do this. I know that I fit this category. I had to start doing things in my life because I found myself not doing to much regarding my career or myself. I used to play a lot of video games and stay away from leaving my home if it wasn't necessary (go to work). But like I said, P has the ability to do this to us. That's why we have to fight to get a good streak away from P and use that energy to do what we haven't been doing. 

Man, that's really true. When I was at my worst, porn was basically all I did with my free time. I sometimes think my high school years are just blank spaces in my life because basically all I did was school and porn. I think working on recovery and improving our lives feed each other. I started to want to get away from porn because I started to have a better life, and I could work on my life more because I was getting away from porn. Porn really sucks the life out of us.

Today was good. I got some work done and got out of the house for a while. I'm ending the day with a massive headache: I've had a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders lately for some reason I can't figure out. But hopefully that's nothing that some stretching and sleep won't solve, at least for today. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 28, 2019, 04:33:17 AM
Man, that's really true. When I was at my worst, porn was basically all I did with my free time. I sometimes think my high school years are just blank spaces in my life because basically all I did was school and porn. I think working on recovery and improving our lives feed each other. I started to want to get away from porn because I started to have a better life, and I could work on my life more because I was getting away from porn. Porn really sucks the life out of us.

I couldn't say I had a different lifestyle either. In high school I PMO-ed everyday, as many times as I could/had time to. I didn't even have drive for studying. My grades started to drop. I was exhausted and numb all day. I didn't even feel emotions.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on June 28, 2019, 05:46:24 AM
BlueHeron, I know everybody has headaches at one point but i hate it when it is somebody as kind as you. I hope you feel better soon. Could it be because you have not had enough water? Personally when i am dehydrated i start having headaches
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on June 28, 2019, 08:34:48 AM
Man, that's really true. When I was at my worst, porn was basically all I did with my free time. I sometimes think my high school years are just blank spaces in my life because basically all I did was school and porn. I think working on recovery and improving our lives feed each other. I started to want to get away from porn because I started to have a better life, and I could work on my life more because I was getting away from porn. Porn really sucks the life out of us.

I couldn't say I had a different lifestyle either. In high school I PMO-ed everyday, as many times as I could/had time to. I didn't even have drive for studying. My grades started to drop. I was exhausted and numb all day. I didn't even feel emotions.

I was the same in high school. It does make you think how far you've come, though, doesn't it! Pretty much all I did was watch porn and isolate myself. I had zero drive for anything, including socialising. It's a miracle I got into university. Things are on the up and up now for all of us. I believe it's all part of the conscious evolutionary process!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: zander13 on June 28, 2019, 11:51:01 AM
I'm loving what you're putting out there man. Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 28, 2019, 06:05:13 PM
I couldn't say I had a different lifestyle either. In high school I PMO-ed everyday, as many times as I could/had time to. I didn't even have drive for studying. My grades started to drop. I was exhausted and numb all day. I didn't even feel emotions.

I was the same in high school. It does make you think how far you've come, though, doesn't it! Pretty much all I did was watch porn and isolate myself. I had zero drive for anything, including socialising. It's a miracle I got into university. Things are on the up and up now for all of us. I believe it's all part of the conscious evolutionary process!

It does make me think how far I've come. I think it's really easy to miss the progress we've made because we still aren't where we want to be. I've been trying to be very careful about not thinking I'm "cured" because that always leads to trouble, but it is kind of amazing to see the difference between high school me and today me. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm so far from where I was.

We all are! There was a time when we weren't even trying. Now, though, we're trying and progressing!

BlueHeron, I know everybody has headaches at one point but i hate it when it is somebody as kind as you. I hope you feel better soon. Could it be because you have not had enough water? Personally when i am dehydrated i start having headaches

Thanks for the kind words. It's possible that I was a little dehydrated yesterday. Either way, I felt a lot better after getting some sleep. Keep on keeping on!

I'm loving what you're putting out there man. Keep up the good work!

Hey man, I really appreciate it! Thanks for the support!

Another decent day here for me, not much to it. I've been trying to eat healthier lately, but I have gotten progressively less excited about the food I've been cooking in the last couple weeks. Like today, I didn't even want to eat what I had and had to figure something else out. I made a grocery list for tomorrow, making some changes to the routine I've had for a while. Hopefully, my food is still healthy but also not boring. Fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on June 29, 2019, 05:22:38 AM
BlueHeronFan, I’m proud of you for making those little steps! I know you are trying as much as you can  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 29, 2019, 07:13:51 PM
Thanks!

Today was pretty good. I spent most of the day cooking (and doing dishes), but it was nice and now I have some food again.

I have spent a lot of time and energy in the last few years worrying about how my life wasn't what I thought it should be or wanted it to be. You know, thinking things like, Oh, everything will be so much better when I have more money/have a girlfriend/live somewhere better.

But none of those things are guarantees even if they will probably happen. Am I just going to hold my happiness hostage until those things happen? What if I turn 50 and those things never happen? Am I going to be a grouch, or will I learn to live happily with the cards I've been dealt?

The last few days, I've been working to reframe my thoughts. Instead of just wishing for something to happen in the future, I'm trying to be okay with the fact that it hasn't happened. I'm trying to be okay with things the way they are and to be okay with my life even if things never do change. This is kind of a tough change to my habits of thought, but it's one I think is worth making. I won't have to be disappointed in my life now because it doesn't measure up to my imagination. Something else to work on.

114 days/120. One day at a time.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 30, 2019, 02:13:36 AM
I have spent a lot of time and energy in the last few years worrying about how my life wasn't what I thought it should be or wanted it to be. You know, thinking things like, Oh, everything will be so much better when I have more money/have a girlfriend/live somewhere better.

But none of those things are guarantees even if they will probably happen. Am I just going to hold my happiness hostage until those things happen? What if I turn 50 and those things never happen? Am I going to be a grouch, or will I learn to live happily with the cards I've been dealt?

The last few days, I've been working to reframe my thoughts. Instead of just wishing for something to happen in the future, I'm trying to be okay with the fact that it hasn't happened. I'm trying to be okay with things the way they are and to be okay with my life even if things never do change. This is kind of a tough change to my habits of thought, but it's one I think is worth making. I won't have to be disappointed in my life now because it doesn't measure up to my imagination. Something else to work on.

114 days/120. One day at a time.

That's right. You don't know what will come. We cannot read the future. Accepting who you are and how your life is (because it couldn't be different right now) could be an important step in having some piece of mind. I know that the days when I'm able to do that, I am the calmest. I think we should always have a vision about what we want in life and a plan to make it work but those things might take time. There are things I wished I had too but I think I have to accept the fact that they will not come right now. And if they never come, what could I do? I've been trying. You can't do more than trying. As long as you give 100% in your attempt, you can't be sad about it because you've done your best. Of course there is more in life than the thing we want. Sometimes, people don't appreciate the small things like being healthy, having all the limbs, not being deaf, blind etc. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on June 30, 2019, 04:51:31 AM
blueheronfan,I can't even pretend to know what you're going through, but you aren't alone and you are cared for
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on June 30, 2019, 11:45:40 AM
Hey BlueHeron,

Good idea to work on reframing your thoughts. You know, the truth is is that time is a human construct. The past doesn't really exist, neither does the future. All there ever really is, is now. There's nothing wrong with planning for the future but not if it gets in the way of our recognition of the Now. Have you read the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle? I'd highly recommend it, it's a great book and really expands on this concept in a beneficial, non-dogmatic way.

- Adventurer

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on June 30, 2019, 12:27:25 PM
Good idea to work on reframing your thoughts. You know, the truth is is that time is a human construct. The past doesn't really exist, neither does the future. All there ever really is, is now. There's nothing wrong with planning for the future but not if it gets in the way of our recognition of the Now.

Yes, that's right. I've said this around here too. The past cannot be changed no matter what (that's what some people have to understand when they regret/cry/constantly think/always get stuck in the past). You don't know the future either. The only thing you could do is have a vision. Where do I want to be? What plan could I write down to get me there? That's all. From then on, only doing things now could ever move you forward.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on June 30, 2019, 01:04:28 PM
Congratulations on further advancing at your already very impressive streak, your good example and support helps others a lot. I look around and see a very supportive community where everyone seems to help and improve lately!  :)

This reflection:

I have spent a lot of time and energy in the last few years worrying about how my life wasn't what I thought it should be or wanted it to be. You know, thinking things like, Oh, everything will be so much better when I have more money/have a girlfriend/live somewhere better.

But none of those things are guarantees even if they will probably happen. Am I just going to hold my happiness hostage until those things happen? What if I turn 50 and those things never happen? Am I going to be a grouch, or will I learn to live happily with the cards I've been dealt?

The last few days, I've been working to reframe my thoughts. Instead of just wishing for something to happen in the future, I'm trying to be okay with the fact that it hasn't happened. I'm trying to be okay with things the way they are and to be okay with my life even if things never do change. This is kind of a tough change to my habits of thought, but it's one I think is worth making. I won't have to be disappointed in my life now because it doesn't measure up to my imagination. Something else to work on.

...is very important. I already mentioned I am struggling with the same. For me it's normal to suffer from stages of depression throughout reboot and those negative feelings often turn into a downward spiral. It's good to read about your strategy to reframe your mindset, I need to do the same!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 30, 2019, 07:16:39 PM
Wow, where to begin? So many good thoughts to respond to. Thanks for y'all's continuing support!

Have you read the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle? I'd highly recommend it, it's a great book and really expands on this concept in a beneficial, non-dogmatic way.

That's a great recommendation. Eckhart Tolle's name has popped up on my radar just in the last couple weeks, and I'm sort of between books (if you don't count all the ones I'm supposed to be reading for school, lol). I just might check it out.

Congratulations on further advancing at your already very impressive streak, your good example and support helps others a lot. I look around and see a very supportive community where everyone seems to help and improve lately!  :)


Thanks a lot, man! I've been noticing the same thing: everybody's at a different place, but everyone seems to be making progress. I haven't been around here all that long, but I've seen the change even from my first days here. The vibe feels more positive and productive now, and I think that's awesome. Let's keep it going!

Today was good. Church, more cooking, a phone call home to my family. After I post here, I think I'll wrap up with some yoga and reading, and then it's off to another week.

You all are awesome and have been a huge strength to me! I'm sure I've said it before, but I've heard that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety but connection. Of course our connections here can't replace the connections we have with the people in our  real lives, but they definitely make a difference. Onward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 01, 2019, 04:59:39 AM
I know you’re trying so hard to reach your goals, and I can sure you that karma sees it all. You will be rewarded sooner or later, and I will be there to be happy for and with you. You can do anything, and I believe in you  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 01, 2019, 12:07:25 PM
Sounds like you had a good day yesterday. Yes, The Power of Now is a really excellent book, as it Siddharta by Hermann Hesse. The latter is a short novel but very beautifully written. It's one of my favourite books of all time.

Hope today is as kick-ass for you as yesterday was.

- Adventurer
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 01, 2019, 02:56:19 PM
Onward!

Onward to four months, you are already there, keep going!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 02, 2019, 07:14:48 PM
I know you’re trying so hard to reach your goals, and I can sure you that karma sees it all. You will be rewarded sooner or later, and I will be there to be happy for and with you. You can do anything, and I believe in you  :)

Thanks! I believe in you too!

Sounds like you had a good day yesterday. Yes, The Power of Now is a really excellent book, as it Siddharta by Hermann Hesse. The latter is a short novel but very beautifully written. It's one of my favourite books of all time.

Hope today is as kick-ass for you as yesterday was.

- Adventurer

Awesome, I put a hold on Tolle's book. Who knows how long I'll have to wait, but it seems odd to be too impatient about a book called the Power of Now, lol. Thanks, as always, for the support!

Onward to four months, you are already there, keep going!  :)

Thanks! Four months even on the 7th, getting very close!

The last couple of days were pretty good. Yesterday, as most Mondays are, ended up busy in the evening. Today was pretty relaxed. Feelings of anxiety pop up throughout the day, usually when I'm going from one place to another. I'm usually okay once I get where I'm going and get to work, but there's something about the in-between times that make me feel nervous, especially whenever I'm leaving my place for the day. Working on worrying, too, I guess.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: zander13 on July 02, 2019, 08:20:45 PM
Hey man I got a question:

Do your withdrawals mimic symptoms of mental illness in any ways? And, as a caveat, I'd like to say that you know when you've been in a real depression, not saying that you haven't or that any claim you might make is illegitimate. I want ultimate confidence in my mental health diagnosis, which I'm close to acquiring, though I have a few left over reservations when it comes to just how deeply porn addiction can affect one's brain.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 03, 2019, 03:40:52 AM
The last couple of days were pretty good. Yesterday, as most Mondays are, ended up busy in the evening. Today was pretty relaxed. Feelings of anxiety pop up throughout the day, usually when I'm going from one place to another. I'm usually okay once I get where I'm going and get to work, but there's something about the in-between times that make me feel nervous, especially whenever I'm leaving my place for the day. Working on worrying, too, I guess.

It's the fear of unknown, I guess. It happens to me when I don't know what's going to happen. I start thinking about what type of people I will meet, how they will behave with me etc. and I get caught up in obsessive, repetitive thoughts (that maybe are worsen by the P addiction in my case). But, most of the time, when I get there it's nothing like I stress out about before. Now, I don't know if you're talking about the same situation. Usually, after I get used to my working environment, I am all right.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 03, 2019, 12:59:17 PM
The worrying happens to me when I'm lying in bed at night, at the moment, less so when I'm going about my day. It can also happen when I'm sitting at home alone by my computer. I guess for me it's mainly P related. Keep on truckin', BlueHeron!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 03, 2019, 06:43:27 PM
Hey man I got a question:

Do your withdrawals mimic symptoms of mental illness in any ways? And, as a caveat, I'd like to say that you know when you've been in a real depression, not saying that you haven't or that any claim you might make is illegitimate. I want ultimate confidence in my mental health diagnosis, which I'm close to acquiring, though I have a few left over reservations when it comes to just how deeply porn addiction can affect one's brain.

Thanks.

You know, I don't know. I've never been diagnosed or anything. I do know that graduate students have a rate of anxiety/depression that is through the roof compared to the general population, so it's not impossible. A lot of things have sort of happened all at once (porn withdrawals, school stress, work stress, a breakup, etc.), so I might just still be sorting through all of that. I guess what I'm really saying is that there are a lot of variables at play that have put me sort of all over the map emotionally. I'm sure the withdrawals are a part of it, but it's hard to say exactly what part they play.

It's the fear of unknown, I guess. It happens to me when I don't know what's going to happen. I start thinking about what type of people I will meet, how they will behave with me etc. and I get caught up in obsessive, repetitive thoughts (that maybe are worsen by the P addiction in my case). But, most of the time, when I get there it's nothing like I stress out about before. Now, I don't know if you're talking about the same situation. Usually, after I get used to my working environment, I am all right.

The worrying happens to me when I'm lying in bed at night, at the moment, less so when I'm going about my day. It can also happen when I'm sitting at home alone by my computer. I guess for me it's mainly P related. Keep on truckin', BlueHeron!

I'm not glad we're all in the same worry boat, but I am glad I'm not alone in it. Now that school is out, I wonder if it's like a stress hangover or something: during the school year there were always a hundred things to worry about and stay on top of, and now I just have a generalized anxiety that maybe I'm forgetting something. Who knows? Either way, I will keep on truckin'!

Today was a little quieter than yesterday, which was good. I don't really have a lot to say about it. I don't have anything officially on my schedule for tomorrow, so I hope to make some good progress on some things without having to split my time with other obligations.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 04, 2019, 06:33:09 AM
You have within you the strength to get through even the darkest of days... Don't let anyone or anything steal your  SPARKLE keep your chin up and know that thing are going to get better...  Yes, they will... Take it one step at a time.. and keep believing in your dreams... always

I think you are doing a beautiful job figuring out some heavy shit  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 04, 2019, 12:55:49 PM
Thank you once again for your constant support and your helpful reflections, not only on my journal but on the whole community. Your way of reaching out to others is inspiring and I haven't felt this much support within this community for a long time. It's definitely helpful because apart from tons of reasons to quit porn now I feel responsible to other members of this community because I don't want to let you and others down after constantly supporting me and I want to follow your example to finally BE an example to others instead of writing about a relapse and "day 0" again.

I also feel like there is not much advice you need, because you are just doing great! Keep going, you're an inspiration!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 04, 2019, 03:11:20 PM
Thank you once again for your constant support and your helpful reflections, not only on my journal but on the whole community. Your way of reaching out to others is inspiring and I haven't felt this much support within this community for a long time. It's definitely helpful because apart from tons of reasons to quit porn now I feel responsible to other members of this community because I don't want to let you and others down after constantly supporting me and I want to follow your example to finally BE an example to others instead of writing about a relapse and "day 0" again.

I also feel like there is not much advice you need, because you are just doing great! Keep going, you're an inspiration!  :)

I second this...@BlueHeronFan I know I can always count on you to give me good advice or just some encouragement, and the way you have gone about your personal journey has made me realize that while all our problems in life are different, approaching them with honesty, thoughtfulness, and a sense of optimism will always help us reach our goals. You are truly valuable to this community!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 05, 2019, 06:40:23 PM
Thank you once again for your constant support and your helpful reflections, not only on my journal but on the whole community. Your way of reaching out to others is inspiring and I haven't felt this much support within this community for a long time. It's definitely helpful because apart from tons of reasons to quit porn now I feel responsible to other members of this community because I don't want to let you and others down after constantly supporting me and I want to follow your example to finally BE an example to others instead of writing about a relapse and "day 0" again.

I also feel like there is not much advice you need, because you are just doing great! Keep going, you're an inspiration!  :)

I second this...@BlueHeronFan I know I can always count on you to give me good advice or just some encouragement, and the way you have gone about your personal journey has made me realize that while all our problems in life are different, approaching them with honesty, thoughtfulness, and a sense of optimism will always help us reach our goals. You are truly valuable to this community!

Thank you once again for your constant support and your helpful reflections, not only on my journal but on the whole community. Your way of reaching out to others is inspiring and I haven't felt this much support within this community for a long time. It's definitely helpful because apart from tons of reasons to quit porn now I feel responsible to other members of this community because I don't want to let you and others down after constantly supporting me and I want to follow your example to finally BE an example to others instead of writing about a relapse and "day 0" again.

I also feel like there is not much advice you need, because you are just doing great! Keep going, you're an inspiration!  :)

You guys really are great! Any of the support I'm giving here is just a small way of paying back the support I've received. There definitely is truth to the feeling of not wanting to let you all down. Sometimes, a thought crosses my mind, but I stop it and say, "What would everyone on the forum say?"

Well, today marks day 120, and I've set a new goal for 150 days. It's helpful for me to have something to look forward to. I'm comfortable with a 30-day goal because I've done it before. Part of me wants to set a goal that even further out, but I also know that goals that are too ambitious have sunk me in the past. Oh, well, I guess that's something to think about in 30 days.

Yesterday and today were both decent days. I've been noticing that I don't have social anxiety as much as social inconvenience. You know, it's not like social things make nervous, but they make a little grumpy because I'd rather be doing other things. But I probably can't live life as a hermit, either. I ended up forcing myself to do some social things yesterday, and it was fine, but I also feel a little like my day would have been better without it.

Is that related to the attitudes porn taught me? I don't know. It definitely taught me to expect people on my terms: naked women whenever I wanted them however I wanted them. It didn't teach me to be flexible and accepting of others' ways of doing things. Maybe I should recognize that good things aren't always (or maybe ever) "convenient." Something to think about. I'm definitely a huge introvert, so socializing takes a lot out of me anyway. Do I stick up for my introverted self and say no to social things more often? Or do I suck it up and just do things because they're supposed to be good for me? I don't want to alienate people, but I'm also aware of the fact that I usually end up just sort of going along with whatever other people want from me and never really standing up for my needs and wants (which also seems unhealthy). Maybe there's a balance to it that I'm still trying to figure out. Self-respecting hermit or spineless party-goer? (There definitely has to be a middle-of-the-road option, lol).

Wow, wasn't expecting to go on that rant now. Oh well, the journey continues.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 06, 2019, 06:18:04 AM
Don't be so hard on yourself. You are human. You are not perfect---- and guess what? No one else is perfect either. Just keep doing your best. Strive to do better each day, but don't beat yourself up if you didn't quite get there. There is always tomorrow! You are trying- that is good enough  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 06, 2019, 08:18:11 AM
Congratulations on 4 months, that's more than me and many others here ever achieved. It's in your hands to succeed, your strategy seems just right: Small steps instead of a big goal far away.

I've been noticing that I don't have social anxiety as much as social inconvenience. You know, it's not like social things make nervous, but they make a little grumpy because I'd rather be doing other things. But I probably can't live life as a hermit, either. I ended up forcing myself to do some social things yesterday, and it was fine, but I also feel a little like my day would have been better without it.

Is that related to the attitudes porn taught me? I don't know. It definitely taught me to expect people on my terms: naked women whenever I wanted them however I wanted them. It didn't teach me to be flexible and accepting of others' ways of doing things. Maybe I should recognize that good things aren't always (or maybe ever) "convenient." Something to think about. I'm definitely a huge introvert, so socializing takes a lot out of me anyway. Do I stick up for my introverted self and say no to social things more often? Or do I suck it up and just do things because they're supposed to be good for me? I don't want to alienate people, but I'm also aware of the fact that I usually end up just sort of going along with whatever other people want from me and never really standing up for my needs and wants (which also seems unhealthy). Maybe there's a balance to it that I'm still trying to figure out. Self-respecting hermit or spineless party-goer? (There definitely has to be a middle-of-the-road option, lol).

Hard to tell if it's porn related, what are those things you prefer doing over socializing? Do you consider them healthy for your well-being?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 06, 2019, 06:45:05 PM
Congratulations on 4 months, that's more than me and many others here ever achieved. It's in your hands to succeed, your strategy seems just right: Small steps instead of a big goal far away.

Hard to tell if it's porn related, what are those things you prefer doing over socializing? Do you consider them healthy for your well-being?

Thanks, man! You know, I feel like it is healthy stuff. I feel like between my responsibilities at school/work, it's hard to find time for the things I want to do. So when I get the chance, I want to stay in and work on projects or catch up on reading or sometimes just watch a show. I guess for some people going it is a way to recharge, but it just wipes me out even more. So when it's been a long day and somebody wants to go out, I just know that A) I'm going to be even more tired and B) I won't get to work on the things that I want to work on. It's possible that I'm too attached to my own schedule and that I could be more flexible, but I also feel like it's fair to have different priorities and that it's okay to "let people down" sometimes. I can't be responsible for everyone's happiness.

You know, as long as I'm on this train of thought. I've mentioned it before, but I broke up with someone at the end of last year. She was/is a good person, like on paper she checks a lot of the boxes. But I just didn't feel like we worked out well together. I always felt like I was in trouble when I had to do other things besides spend time with her, and it started to feel more like a chore than a pleasure when we were together. Like I had to put in my time to make her happy. I realized that wasn't working and that it wasn't going to make for a happy life, so I broke it off. (Also, I just kept having to talk myself into being attracted to her. I just wasn't.) Long story short, I'm 95% sure that it was the right thing to do, but there's an annoying 5% that climbs into my ear a few times a week that says I did the wrong thing and that I was being unrealistic and that it's because of porn. As if I just wanted her to be hotter and more easygoing like the girls in porn. I'm pretty sure that's not true. I'm pretty sure our relationship wasn't a healthy one. But now that I have some distance from active PMO, I guess I'm wondering how else my addiction has affected my life. There probably isn't an easy answer.

In other news, though, I feel like today was the first legitimately good day that I've had in a long time. I spent most of the day working on one of my own projects, and I made some good progress on it. I had fun doing it, lost track of time, got in the zone I guess you could say. It's been a long time since I've been sort of happily absorbed in a productive task without worrying about other things I "should" be doing or that other people want me to be doing. I took some breaks to eat and to watch a show that I'm catching up on, and I got some groceries for the week. It's not realistic to expect every day to be like today, but I am learning about what works for me and what doesn't. Creative stuff really works for me, so I'll try to put more creative time into each day.

Keep on going and keep on trying. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 07, 2019, 05:27:11 PM
I'm glad you found a creative outlet, that's really cool! I'm kind of like you in that I usually feel drained socializing with people all the time, it's definitely a tricky balance for me because on one hand having a really good conversation about things I care about or that are interesting can be really energizing, but it's just hard to have those types of conversations all the time. It's always okay to back out of a social thing if you're not feeling good about it, I just always try to remember to make sure I am around people that I feel is worth my time (as selfish as that may sound). Even writing on this forum gives me the energy I need to get stuff done, but actually harnessing the energy into consistent progress should always take priority over going to a party bc your friend needs a wingman or whatever. Keep it up, you're doing great!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 07, 2019, 06:26:48 PM
I'm glad you found a creative outlet, that's really cool! I'm kind of like you in that I usually feel drained socializing with people all the time, it's definitely a tricky balance for me because on one hand having a really good conversation about things I care about or that are interesting can be really energizing, but it's just hard to have those types of conversations all the time. It's always okay to back out of a social thing if you're not feeling good about it, I just always try to remember to make sure I am around people that I feel is worth my time (as selfish as that may sound). Even writing on this forum gives me the energy I need to get stuff done, but actually harnessing the energy into consistent progress should always take priority over going to a party bc your friend needs a wingman or whatever. Keep it up, you're doing great!

Thanks! Yeah, I'm feeling much better about it all now, even just writing it out here has helped me come to terms with it all. Thanks for putting up with my rambles, lol.

But that's a really good point: I'm no good to other people (and I'm more likely to relapse) if I'm exhausted from being as social I sometimes feel like I should be. There is no shame in standing up for myself and my needs and saying no sometimes. I'm definitely a people-pleaser in general, so I hate disappointing people. But I never really understood that about myself or started to make progress on it until recently. It is crazy and awesome how this recovery process opens us up to learn so much about ourselves. I definitely think being more true to myself and my feelings will be a good thing for myself and also for relationships in the future.

Today was a quiet and generally pleasant day. My meditation turned into a nap, which I might normally feel a little bad about, but it just seemed right on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Then I cooked some food and started getting ready for the week.

Here comes another day to keep on fighting!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 08, 2019, 08:31:02 PM
I'm getting back late tonight, but I wanted to get something from today out of my head before it can cause me too much trouble.

Had a closeish call, I guess. First of all, I'm not sure why people think it's a good idea to sunbathe in public, but I guess it's not their fault that I'm recovering from addiction (so it's not their fault). Long story short, I was just walking to work and minding my own business when I saw a woman in the park taking off layers to sunbathe in her swimsuit. I've mentioned before how I've seen people sunbathing there before, but that tiny glimpse of what looked like someone undressing really triggered a round of urges. My head was racing, my heart was thumping, I could feel that rush in my arms and legs. I just tried to keep my head down and focus on my breath until I got to my building.

Things have stayed pretty under control since, but I have had some urges come in waves throughout the rest of the day, stronger than I've felt in a while but not as strong as I've felt before. I'm hoping that some sleep and new day will get me out of the woods, but I may be heading into another wave of strong urges. Hopefully, writing it out will take away some of its power.

It's crazy how these things can happen totally unexpectedly. It's a good reminder that we can't completely create a life without triggers. We really need a plan for dealing with those triggers when they happen, and then we have to stick to that plan. I'm cautiously optimistic that today's trigger won't go anywhere from here, but it could really have wrecked me today if I had let it.

Stay careful and stay strong, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 08, 2019, 09:44:28 PM
Congrats on four months, that's really awesome.  I'm new here and I also appreciate how active you are on here.  Being social is tiring to me too but not as tiring as trying to be social and just standing around feeling bad about not talking to people haha.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 09, 2019, 09:24:41 AM
Man, that sucks that you've been feeling urges from a chance experience....good job of being on top of it. One good thing that comes from this might be that atleast you know that when you do eventually get there with a real woman, you'll be able to be aroused for her, not wanting some other form of stimulation. That sounds like progress to me, keep staying strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 09, 2019, 12:24:04 PM
Well done for dealing with those triggers, man. I hope today is better for you and that they have subsided. You mention having a plan for when triggered. This is what I pretty much lacked the other day when I relapsed. Could you maybe elaborate about your plan?

- Adventurer
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 09, 2019, 06:56:53 PM
Congrats on four months, that's really awesome.  I'm new here and I also appreciate how active you are on here.  Being social is tiring to me too but not as tiring as trying to be social and just standing around feeling bad about not talking to people haha.

Haha, that is truly the worst and mostly what I end up doing. We'll get it someday!

Man, that sucks that you've been feeling urges from a chance experience....good job of being on top of it. One good thing that comes from this might be that atleast you know that when you do eventually get there with a real woman, you'll be able to be aroused for her, not wanting some other form of stimulation. That sounds like progress to me, keep staying strong!

Thanks for your constant support, and for the different perspective. Yeah, maybe there is a bright side to all that: a real person affected me in a way that only porn could in the past. Definitely not something to go experimenting with a ton (because those triggers would eventually send me over the edge), but also not something to ignore. Guess it's all progress, so thanks for the reminder!

Well done for dealing with those triggers, man. I hope today is better for you and that they have subsided. You mention having a plan for when triggered. This is what I pretty much lacked the other day when I relapsed. Could you maybe elaborate about your plan?

- Adventurer

Thanks! Yeah, I could try. I don't know that my plan is super formalized, but there are a couple of things that have helped me to deal with triggers/urges more successfully in the last few months. For me, the biggest change has been in my immediate reaction to urges. It used to be that I just dried to push through them and do whatever I was doing anyway. If I had urges, I just kept doing schoolwork or kept worrying about dating or whatever. Now, instead of mindlessly pushing through them, I've tried to be more careful about listening to them, and trying to separate the physical sensations of the urge from the triggering thought/image. Sometimes, I'll say something out loud to myself like, "It doesn't matter" or "It's not worth it" or sometimes I'll say something, "Thanks for the idea, but I'm not going to do that right now." Somehow, acknowledging the urge has been more helpful than ignoring it. Yesterday, it took a lot more work, though, and I had to really get into a deep-breathing, eyes on the ground in front of me kind of mode, but it was still a powerful sensation in my body. I really tried to focus on what I was feeling, though, instead of on what I had just seen.

In some ways, too, I guess my overall plan has changed from "Don't PMO" to "Don't let any PMO thoughts or feelings take root." I know that feeling of arousal, and I know that, in my situation right now, there isn't any version of it that is "okay," so I notice it when it comes and just try to set it aside.

In addition to all that internal stuff, I also have content filters on my devices (mostly to protect from accidental exposure), I have a habit-tracking app on my phone that goes off every morning so I have a constant notification on my screen during the day reminding me to stay on track "Just for today," and I try to post here daily (or mostly daily) because it feels like an added level of accountability and helps me get my thoughts out of my head.

As for today
Today was a way quieter day than yesterday. I walked through that same park today, but I was much more careful about where I was aimlessly looking just in case. That said, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I've replayed that scene a few times in my head. The fact is, I liked it. As much as I know it's a dangerous trigger and that real people in public shouldn't have to worry about becoming someone's weird fantasy, the whole thing reminded me of a flavor of pleasure that I haven't experienced in a while. It felt good then, and it felt good when my brain replayed it a couple of times throughout the day.

And, on some level, I think that's okay. Okay that my brain and body reacted the way they did. What isn't okay is dwelling on it. Each time the image came back, I just tried to acknowledge it and set it aside. Yeah, I liked it, but I'm not interested in going where those feelings will lead (inevitably to trying to recreate those feelings with porn). Still have some urges and cravings, but they aren't as intense as yesterday. These things always die down, but here's to hoping they do it sooner rather than later.

Beyond all that, I went to work and then I met a friend from school in the afternoon. A group of boys thought we were on a date, and they were giving me all kinds of thumbs-up and making heart shapes with their hands behind her back. It was kind of funny, but also kind of a reminder that maybe I'm the only who thinks I have no business with women. Those boys weren't thinking "What is that weirdo loser doing with her?" But I was definitely thinking that it couldn't be possible that she was actually my friend and just liked me for me. (Probably because I'm still coming around to the idea of liking me for me.)

But it was a pleasant enough day. Tomorrow should be a little busier, which will keep me distracted from the urge-aftershocks. And then it will be one day closer to freedom.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 09, 2019, 10:15:46 PM
You're doing great, going out with friends is awesome.  I found that part about the boys making heart shapes behind her back really funny.    :D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 10, 2019, 12:36:27 AM
Quote
Thanks! Yeah, I could try. I don't know that my plan is super formalized, but there are a couple of things that have helped me to deal with triggers/urges more successfully in the last few months. For me, the biggest change has been in my immediate reaction to urges. It used to be that I just dried to push through them and do whatever I was doing anyway. If I had urges, I just kept doing schoolwork or kept worrying about dating or whatever. Now, instead of mindlessly pushing through them, I've tried to be more careful about listening to them, and trying to separate the physical sensations of the urge from the triggering thought/image. Sometimes, I'll say something out loud to myself like, "It doesn't matter" or "It's not worth it" or sometimes I'll say something, "Thanks for the idea, but I'm not going to do that right now." Somehow, acknowledging the urge has been more helpful than ignoring it. Yesterday, it took a lot more work, though, and I had to really get into a deep-breathing, eyes on the ground in front of me kind of mode, but it was still a powerful sensation in my body. I really tried to focus on what I was feeling, though, instead of on what I had just seen.

In some ways, too, I guess my overall plan has changed from "Don't PMO" to "Don't let any PMO thoughts or feelings take root." I know that feeling of arousal, and I know that, in my situation right now, there isn't any version of it that is "okay," so I notice it when it comes and just try to set it aside.

In addition to all that internal stuff, I also have content filters on my devices (mostly to protect from accidental exposure), I have a habit-tracking app on my phone that goes off every morning so I have a constant notification on my screen during the day reminding me to stay on track "Just for today," and I try to post here daily (or mostly daily) because it feels like an added level of accountability and helps me get my thoughts out of my head.

This really helps me, thank you. It reminds me of the state I was in when I did almost a year clean. It is exactly the kind of mindset that leads to success. My only downfall was that I got cocky too soon and thought I was 'recovered'. Then my then relationship ended, I moved abroad, and it was a slow spiral from then on. You are not in that situation and I think you will be successful. I also think you'll have a relationship soon. Call it an intuition.

Quote
As for today
Today was a way quieter day than yesterday. I walked through that same park today, but I was much more careful about where I was aimlessly looking just in case. That said, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I've replayed that scene a few times in my head. The fact is, I liked it. As much as I know it's a dangerous trigger and that real people in public shouldn't have to worry about becoming someone's weird fantasy, the whole thing reminded me of a flavor of pleasure that I haven't experienced in a while. It felt good then, and it felt good when my brain replayed it a couple of times throughout the day.

And, on some level, I think that's okay. Okay that my brain and body reacted the way they did. What isn't okay is dwelling on it. Each time the image came back, I just tried to acknowledge it and set it aside. Yeah, I liked it, but I'm not interested in going where those feelings will lead (inevitably to trying to recreate those feelings with porn). Still have some urges and cravings, but they aren't as intense as yesterday. These things always die down, but here's to hoping they do it sooner rather than later.

Beyond all that, I went to work and then I met a friend from school in the afternoon. A group of boys thought we were on a date, and they were giving me all kinds of thumbs-up and making heart shapes with their hands behind her back. It was kind of funny, but also kind of a reminder that maybe I'm the only who thinks I have no business with women. Those boys weren't thinking "What is that weirdo loser doing with her?" But I was definitely thinking that it couldn't be possible that she was actually my friend and just liked me for me. (Probably because I'm still coming around to the idea of liking me for me.)

But it was a pleasant enough day. Tomorrow should be a little busier, which will keep me distracted from the urge-aftershocks. And then it will be one day closer to freedom.

I think you're absolutely right in saying that on some level, liking looking at women is okay. When observed through a meditative/mindful lens, the power from those strong feelings and urges can be harnessed and used. To harness them in the first place requires the strengthening of your ability to disassociate from them, which comes with time and practice. Accepting something but not being associated with it builds your meditative/spiritual muscles (however you choose to define it!). As a result, you have gained this insight! Congratulations! I hope to be back where you are one day. I pray that it will be sooner rather than later.

Also, BlueHeron, I like you for you. From your posts I see a strong young man who has faced and continues to face adversity, who is successfully overcoming all the odds, and whose posts inspire countless others to do the same. That is the truth about your life situation, and you should be immensely proud of yourself. Any woman would be lucky to have you, and any man would be lucky to have you as their friend. I for one, have already gained so much from your support in the brief while we've been writing in each other's journals, and I'm sure I will continue to as long as you post. I thank you for your support and your inspiration.

Peace and love,

- Adventurer

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 10, 2019, 06:33:53 PM
Thank you. Really, thanks a lot for your kind words, Adventurer. (And for your hopeful intuition, lol)

I'm sure I said it before, but when I joined here at the beginning of the year, I stuck in a cycle of binging and just trying to figure out where I was still going wrong. Signing on here was, in a word, terrifying. It meant disclosing something that I had carefully kept secret for close to a decade (except for a few carefully selected people along the way). (Also despite the fact that this is anonymous, still scary.) Maybe I hoped but never really imagined that I would be four months clean 7 months later. But I really never expected my presence here to make such a big difference.

I really believe that every bad part of our lives can be turned around into a positive in one way or another, but I always wondered how my addiction could ever have a positive side to it. It's really incredible to hear that my experience, story, and perspective are helping people deal with their addictions too. I never really imagined that there could be a redemptive side to this thing, but I'm learning here that there can be one, that there is one.

I hope to be back where you are one day. I pray that it will be sooner rather than later.

I'm praying right along with you! In the little while that you've been around here, you've been a big inspiration to me too! (I'm partway through Eckhart Tolle's book as well, so thanks for the recommendation.) Just keep being who you are and leaving the extra junk to the side.


Today was okay. Took care of some chores and got out of the house for a while in the afternoon. I was feeling pretty tired and a little down, so I ended up taking the rest of the evening pretty easy. The day ended up not being as productive as I had hoped in the morning, but I'm okay with that. I usually start the day over-ambitious anyway. On the bright side, I had much less trouble with urges today (still a little, but closer to their normal background-radiation levels), and reading and posting here has been a highlight of the day. Y'all are great!

You're doing great, going out with friends is awesome.  I found that part about the boys making heart shapes behind her back really funny.    :D

Lol, thanks! It was pretty funny when it happened! She finally turned around and caught them red-handed. And they, of course, just piled on even more.

Oh man, on to another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 10, 2019, 08:59:53 PM
That's funny with the girl, I think we all can relate to that at some point or another lmao! That story just kinda reminds me that we are just normal people trying to live quality lives at the end of the day, we were never these weird creeps or anything just because we are/were addicted to porn, we are all just people that felt the need to use P as a coping mechanism. Sure this is an addiction, but everyone around the world gets up each day and has to face their own set of problems, and wether it be addiction or something else we all are just doing what we think is best. Congrats to your success so far, keep going and inspiring others!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 10, 2019, 09:57:53 PM
I'm sure I said it before, but when I joined here at the beginning of the year, I stuck in a cycle of binging and just trying to figure out where I was still going wrong. Signing on here was, in a word, terrifying. It meant disclosing something that I had carefully kept secret for close to a decade (except for a few carefully selected people along the way). (Also despite the fact that this is anonymous, still scary.)

My experience is the same.  But we all made it here and we are all making progress and it's pretty damn cool.  I really appreciate your contributions to this fourm and Blue Herons are awesome.  I saw a ton of them at the lake a few weeks ago. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 11, 2019, 04:55:19 AM
I'm sure I said it before, but when I joined here at the beginning of the year, I stuck in a cycle of binging and just trying to figure out where I was still going wrong. Signing on here was, in a word, terrifying. It meant disclosing something that I had carefully kept secret for close to a decade (except for a few carefully selected people along the way). (Also despite the fact that this is anonymous, still scary.) 

I could say the same thing. In real life, nobody knew about my P addiction (and still doesn't). I don't have close friends like that. My friends are superficial. I know it sucks but... Coming here and getting this out of my chest: "Look, I'm a P addict, that's how I feel", was what I needed. It might help me get clean and not suffer in silence like a dog all my life. Also, this place is in my opinion the best place for P addiction. People here know a lot and there are people here who have streaks in double or triple digits. It goes without saying that this is where everyone P addict should be. It's like an AA online meeting but for P. Porn Addicts Anonymous or something like that. PAA hahaha  :D


Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 11, 2019, 05:44:39 AM
This is a daily reminder that nobody else is as hard on you as you are. You are pretty great! I wish you would give yourself more credit! I hope you have a nice day out there!  :)

Good work today for taking it easy in the evening! You deserve a cake. This one's for you. Wooo!https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/sites/default/files/recipe-collections/collection-image/2013/05/summer-berry-cake-with-rose-geranium-cream.jpg

I got a bit hungry and ate the first slice  ;)

Stay gold my friend  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 11, 2019, 11:06:01 AM
Love what you said about the addiction having a positive side by inspiring others! You're right, it's hard to see that when you're in it, but it's really true that every negative must have a positive, and vice versa. Nothing can exist on its own without the opposite. We wouldn't know positive if we didn't know negative. We wouldn't know light without dark. We wouldn't know Yin without Yang.  Only the Pure Awareness is without opposite, because it is beyond opposite, beyond form, and beyond concept. It is just our very life essence. I hope you're finding Tolle's book inspiring.

- Adventurer
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 11, 2019, 06:57:56 PM
That story just kinda reminds me that we are just normal people trying to live quality lives at the end of the day, we were never these weird creeps or anything just because we are/were addicted to porn, we are all just people that felt the need to use P as a coping mechanism.

This is a great thought. You're right. We aren't fundamentally flawed people even if it can sometimes feel that way. We just ended up with a bad habit and now we're working on changing it. We're decent guys doing the best we can, judging ourselves more harshly than probably anyone else would.

My experience is the same.  But we all made it here and we are all making progress and it's pretty damn cool.  I really appreciate your contributions to this fourm and Blue Herons are awesome.  I saw a ton of them at the lake a few weeks ago. 

It is awesome to see so many people progressing right now. I feel like things weren't that way when I first joined, but that could just be that I wasn't as well connected here then as I am now. And thanks, Blue Herons are awesome. Ever since I used them as my username here, they've taken on a special significance when I see one, like an occasional reminder that I'm on the right track.

I could say the same thing. In real life, nobody knew about my P addiction (and still doesn't). I don't have close friends like that. My friends are superficial. I know it sucks but... Coming here and getting this out of my chest: "Look, I'm a P addict, that's how I feel", was what I needed. It might help me get clean and not suffer in silence like a dog all my life. Also, this place is in my opinion the best place for P addiction. People here know a lot and there are people here who have streaks in double or triple digits. It goes without saying that this is where everyone P addict should be. It's like an AA online meeting but for P. Porn Addicts Anonymous or something like that. PAA hahaha  :D

Definitely! Telling a few people face-to-face has been helpful, but the group here has really made a difference. The people I have told have just sort of been supportive in the best way they know how, but the people here (you all) really know what it's like and can talk through things in a way more helpful and specific way. PAA all the way!  ;D

This is a daily reminder that nobody else is as hard on you as you are. You are pretty great! I wish you would give yourself more credit! I hope you have a nice day out there!  :)

Good work today for taking it easy in the evening! You deserve a cake. This one's for you. Wooo!https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/sites/default/files/recipe-collections/collection-image/2013/05/summer-berry-cake-with-rose-geranium-cream.jpg

I got a bit hungry and ate the first slice  ;)

Stay gold my friend  :)

Hey, thanks for the cake! I'm always happy to put the day on pause for some cake lol! I'll stay gold if you do!

Love what you said about the addiction having a positive side by inspiring others! You're right, it's hard to see that when you're in it, but it's really true that every negative must have a positive, and vice versa. Nothing can exist on its own without the opposite. We wouldn't know positive if we didn't know negative. We wouldn't know light without dark. We wouldn't know Yin without Yang.  Only the Pure Awareness is without opposite, because it is beyond opposite, beyond form, and beyond concept. It is just our very life essence. I hope you're finding Tolle's book inspiring.

- Adventurer

Thanks! Yeah, like I've said before and will continue to say, participating on this forum has really been transformative for my mindset/attitude towards recovery. I think more than anything it has given me a place to process it all, which is something I never had before. And Tolle's book is great! I think some of the ideas in the beginning of the book really helped me to focus on the Now and get through that crazy trigger the other day.

Today's report
Today was probably the most relaxed day of the week. I did some work on school stuff, did some work on my own projects, walked around a store for a while just to get out, and made some food for the next few days. I made some good progress, but not as much as I had hoped. Lately, I've been feeling especially tired in the afternoons, like physically and mentally weak. So it's been harder to get going, but I've also been careful to just accept that for now and take some time out to rest and recharge. I have been working out more rigorously in the last few weeks, so it might have something to do with that (maybe it's just normal, but I wouldn't know because I've never really worked out before in my life, lol).

Not much in the way of urges, probably just a few thoughts that came and went too quickly for me to remember them. Back to work tomorrow and then into the weekend.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 11, 2019, 09:29:19 PM

Today's report
Lately, I've been feeling especially tired in the afternoons, like physically and mentally weak. So it's been harder to get going, but I've also been careful to just accept that for now and take some time out to rest and recharge. I have been working out more rigorously in the last few weeks, so it might have something to do with that (maybe it's just normal, but I wouldn't know because I've never really worked out before in my life, lol).

As a fitness nerd, I have two thoughts.  First you absolutely need more recovery if you are just starting to work out consistently.  Athletes should get 9 hours of sleep.  That's tough to do but if you can do it, you'll become superman.  The power of sleep is incredible.  You can also recover by stretching, baths and active recovery like walking.

Secondly try the twenty minutes recharge nap.  Set an alarm and keep it at exactly twenty minutes, keep the room dark and slightly cool of possible.  You'll find it's kind of trippy.  For me the first ten minutes I lay there then I go in and out and then I dream deep and I wake up refreshed.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 12, 2019, 09:26:47 AM
I've also been working out more recently, and have definitely been feeling tired both physically and mentally. Yeah like Squid said, rest and sleep is definitely key, I recently saw a ted talk about how getting a lack of sleep literally can change your DNA and make your body and mind age faster, bc mother nature has no evolutionary defense mechanism to this, as no other animals has ever had the problem of sleep deprivation. Sorry a little off topic, all this is just to say if you need to put aside some work to get an extra 2 hours of needed sleep, you should definitely do it!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 12, 2019, 10:52:49 AM
I hope that today is a day filled with peace, love, and joy for you. I hope that you find yourself noticing life's innocent wonders; a friendly dog, a cute child, a beautiful tree, whatever it may be. I hope you feel loved and embraced by the universe itself, and that you feel yourself not as separate, but as fundamental to this moment we call the Now.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 12, 2019, 11:33:49 AM
Congratulations on writing new chapters of your success story every day and thanks for remaining an inspiration!  :)

I could say the same thing. In real life, nobody knew about my P addiction (and still doesn't). I don't have close friends like that. My friends are superficial. I know it sucks but... Coming here and getting this out of my chest: "Look, I'm a P addict, that's how I feel", was what I needed. It might help me get clean and not suffer in silence like a dog all my life. Also, this place is in my opinion the best place for P addiction. People here know a lot and there are people here who have streaks in double or triple digits. It goes without saying that this is where everyone P addict should be. It's like an AA online meeting but for P. Porn Addicts Anonymous or something like that. PAA hahaha  :D

Definitely! Telling a few people face-to-face has been helpful, but the group here has really made a difference. The people I have told have just sort of been supportive in the best way they know how, but the people here (you all) really know what it's like and can talk through things in a way more helpful and specific way. PAA all the way!  ;D

This is so important, people who have no idea about addiction in general or specifically porn addiction can't be really supportive the same way as someone who knows what we are really going through.

I liked your comparison of reboot and antibiotics, we have to kill this addiction even if it seems to be already gone. This is a chronic disease and we must still take it serious after weeks, months and maybe even years of abstinence.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 12, 2019, 06:24:42 PM
Thanks for the tip, squid! I'm pretty sure I'm getting enough sleep during the night (I go to bed pretty early and wake up naturally), but a timed nap isn't a bad idea. Probably better than a 20 minute youtube break if I'm honest lol...

And thanks everyone for your continuing support! It really does take the edge off the day to come here and participate in this outpouring of positivity. Really proud of this community.

As for today, though, I had another close encounter with fate (to put it dramatically). I was working on a project at work, and I thought to myself, "Oh, you know what would be cool for this presentation? Stock footage." So I found a stock footage website, and I was scrolling around for something, looking at clips of ocean waves and traffic and stuff. Then there were some with women (from the shoulders up, nothing really objectionable). Then there was one with bikinis. Then, all of a sudden, I sort of felt myself going into that familiar trance where my heart started racing and the blood started flowing and the world around me started to fall away. There was no porn. I was on campus in an office with an open door, so it's not like there was really a risk of PMOing or anything. But the whole situation felt very similar to the early stages of a relapse (mindlessly scrolling through videos, maybe with the chance of seeing a beautiful woman then clicking for more and more).

Luckily, as the addictive trance fell over me, I managed to recognize it for what it was, so I closed the browser window and just sort of stared at the wall while I caught my breath and observed my body settling back down. Things quieted down okay, but I felt off for the rest of the afternoon. On some level I felt afterwards like I did after a relapse, like I almost felt compelled to confess to my boss (confess what, that I was scrolling through stock footage and it reminded of me when I used to scroll through porn?). I felt that same kind of guilt (probably something my mind/body is used to feeling after a dopamine rush like that), and it was hard for me to make eye contact with him while we were talking.

But then I got home, had dinner, watched some tv (even an extra episode because it's Friday, and I felt like that would be okay). Long story short, I will not be using stock footage for that project. Or ever, probably. I was really worried that that episode this afternoon would mess me up a lot once I got home, but things have been chill. Made it through another unexpected close call. What a week it has been! First that girl in the park and now this. Luckily nobody told me recovery would be easy or I'd be asking for my money back, lol.

Here is to a bright and restorative weekend! Wherever we are in our recovery, we've earned it!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 13, 2019, 03:41:20 AM
Outstanding, bro! You ended up in the middle of something that pushes us addicts to relapse but you moved on. This is great. In the past, after something like that I would've gone to the restroom to look for some more on my phone and jerk off. I know how it works very well: The tunnel vision where nothing matters except the craving for the dopamine rush. The body starts moving on autopilot and before you know, your dick is in your hand (I know you couldn't have done this there but what if you were home?). However, after some time, we develop the ability to see it coming and stop ourselves. You can already do this. The thing is we are like alcoholics. They can't drink a glass of wine at dinner anymore and we can't look at a beach footage either. And we must not fall into the trap of: "I have 150 days without P, I could handle a picture or some beach video, come on." But it's not really that simple. And we also need to be aware that triggers might show up just like that, in places where we are sure nothing should be there. We need a strategy to deal with this too. What you did was great. Moving from there and doing something else might help too, if you can. Anyway, it's not the end of the world. Like you said, we have to learn how to live our lives around this. Good luck. You are an inspiration for this entire forum. Streak in triple digits! This is wow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 13, 2019, 03:55:25 AM
I'm pretty sure I'm getting enough sleep during the night (I go to bed pretty early and wake up naturally), but a timed nap isn't a bad idea. Probably better than a 20 minute youtube break if I'm honest lol...

To be honest, I would rather sleep than wasting time with Youtube (which is full of triggers by the way). And too much staring at a screen affects attention spawn. If you don't believe it, read about it.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 13, 2019, 06:01:53 AM
It's just great you recognize those patterns and analyze how they resemble your porn behaviour, that's the only way it works. My brain used to trick me into relapsing in such situations (although not in a public space, obviously) by telling me "You are here for another reason, if you stumble upon a little nudity it's not your fault." (in sports news for example). As soon as we enter the trance of mindless browsing, we are already in big danger. Fifth month and you are still as cautious as in the beginning - that's the attitude that will lead you to success!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 13, 2019, 12:51:48 PM
Nice work blue!  You're in the tricky stage of rebooting that I haven't gotten through yet.  To use a metaphor, you've left pmos orbit and joined us in the international space station of freedom, and know that it is worth it to not pmo.  Now it seems your emotions and feelings are coming back after so long of numbness.  You're re-entering the atmosphere my friend.  Finding where those emotions and feelings belong and fit into building a beautiful life.  They certainly don't belong being wasted on porn, we know that.  But as you descend from the sky you get to choose where to use that incredibly powerful energy.  You got this!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 13, 2019, 06:56:52 PM
You all are awesome, thanks so much (as always) for your incredible support and insights!

Lero, both of your comments are spot-on. I think that definitely could have had a different outcome if I had been at home, and I'm really grateful that I wasn't. (Although, that website would probably have been blocked at home anyway, thanks to my hardcore filters.) Either way, it was a close scrape, and I'm glad I can learn from it. Plus I think you're right, sleeping would be a way better choice than youtube. Gonna work on that this week.

achilles, I know exactly that feeling of "you are here for another reason, if you stumble upon a little nudity it's not your fault." It is the source of too many relapses to count for me. Like one time a few years ago, I thought I was doing "research" on how search engines are sexist by serving sexualized results for feminine terms and just regular ones for masculine terms. Well, they did serve me sexualized stuff, and I fell down hard. And then there's that game of seeing how close to sexy nudity I can get without actually getting to it. "No, it's fine, they're fully clothed." And then it's a full-blown relapse a half hour later. There are lots of ways to rationalize ourselves into trouble, and that's not something I'm willing to do anymore. It used to be that I'd feel "powerful" after a few weeks without PMO, but I haven't felt that same powerful feeling at all this time around. And that's probably a good thing: it was probably the feeling of invincibility that always came before a fall.

I really like the orbit metaphor, squid! It does feel like I'm coming back to earth in a lot of ways. I do think I have started to feel more emotions lately, and those aren't something I have been especially good at dealing with (I never gave myself the chance without numbing it all with porn). But I also have a couple years of meditation and a few months of more intensive focus on my emotions to help me sort through them. Maybe it's a weird thing to say, but I haven't cried in years. In the last couple weeks or so, though, I have caught myself welling up at scenes in tv shows and stuff. I guess it means something, and I guess I'll say it means I'm starting to ground back into real emotions.

Today was way more relaxed in comparison. I think I probably watched too much tv today, but, hey, it's Saturday. It's been a crazy week, and I figured I could take it a little easier than usual. But now at the end of the day, I might have taken it a little too far.

But, I did get a big proposal turned in today for a presentation next year. It's been hanging over my head for a few months, and I finally did it and turned it in. So that was a big fat check on my to-do list, and it feels good. I also got started on something else that I wanted to finish, but I got distracted and then had to cook. So it didn't happen today, but there isn't a huge rush. I'll get it.

I have caught myself in some romantic/relationship-oriented fantasies in the last few days, nothing sexual, but I know they don't usually stay that way. It's probably in part because of the triggers this past week. Just something I'm keeping an eye on. Spending time fantasizing/wishing I was with a woman is not really productive for finding or building a relationship with one, and in the past, these kinds of non-sexual fantasies have usually been the first baby steps toward relapse. So I'm keeping myself aware and trying to stay ahead of them.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 14, 2019, 03:04:36 AM
achilles, I know exactly that feeling of "you are here for another reason, if you stumble upon a little nudity it's not your fault." It is the source of too many relapses to count for me. Like one time a few years ago, I thought I was doing "research" on how search engines are sexist by serving sexualized results for feminine terms and just regular ones for masculine terms. Well, they did serve me sexualized stuff, and I fell down hard. And then there's that game of seeing how close to sexy nudity I can get without actually getting to it. "No, it's fine, they're fully clothed." And then it's a full-blown relapse a half hour later. There are lots of ways to rationalize ourselves into trouble, and that's not something I'm willing to do anymore. It used to be that I'd feel "powerful" after a few weeks without PMO, but I haven't felt that same powerful feeling at all this time around. And that's probably a good thing: it was probably the feeling of invincibility that always came before a fall.

Right, those rationalizations start way before even getting in real trouble and my strategy now is "No negotiation.", whatever thought about "Isn't this allowed, because it's not even a porn substitute?" arises, I just shut it down immediately. I can also relate to the feeling of being "invincible" when I reached a really long streak for the first times. "Those heavy restrictions aren't neccessary anymore, you've got this under control." and there I relapsed again.

To me it's important to see how those patterns are easily activated even after more than 4 months, you're working as a scout for the group walking ahead and telling about possible danger further down the road. Your thoughts and reflections are important for those of us who will hopefully follow your example.  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 14, 2019, 05:39:56 AM
You're doing great, Blue Heron! Quitting P must be number 1 priority and we have to do everything to make it happen. I had to stop going to Youtube, stop going to Facebook and even stop watching some movies and TV series because of triggers. Everything triggers me. And it's easy to say: "Fuck, man! This sucks! I can't do things that normal human beings do!" This is not a good mindset to have. We must not think negatively while fighting this hard thing. Instead, it's like you said, and I liked when you said that: We have to enjoy our life the way it is. There is so much to it than not being able to watch TV series, Youtube or whatever. To be honest, sometimes these are a waste of time.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: zander13 on July 14, 2019, 01:50:25 PM
Keep moving forward dog.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 14, 2019, 07:44:23 PM
Keep moving forward dog.

Thanks! I'll just keep doing what I can, a day at a time!

Right, those rationalizations start way before even getting in real trouble and my strategy now is "No negotiation.", whatever thought about "Isn't this allowed, because it's not even a porn substitute?" arises, I just shut it down immediately. I can also relate to the feeling of being "invincible" when I reached a really long streak for the first times. "Those heavy restrictions aren't neccessary anymore, you've got this under control." and there I relapsed again.

To me it's important to see how those patterns are easily activated even after more than 4 months, you're working as a scout for the group walking ahead and telling about possible danger further down the road. Your thoughts and reflections are important for those of us who will hopefully follow your example.  :)

This is an awesome thought. Yeah, I've definitely taken up a "no negotiations" policy, and it's an important thing. It's been a bit shift for me to change from thinking that my goal was to go back to living life like "normal" as though I didn't have a PMO problem and instead focus on living my life carefully and deliberately knowing that I do have a PMO problem. The goal isn't to out-grow my protections. The goal is to make them habits.

And thanks! I like the idea of being a forward scout for the rest of y'all. It makes me feel even more accountable and responsible not to let you down with a relapse.

You're doing great, Blue Heron! Quitting P must be number 1 priority and we have to do everything to make it happen. I had to stop going to Youtube, stop going to Facebook and even stop watching some movies and TV series because of triggers. Everything triggers me. And it's easy to say: "Fuck, man! This sucks! I can't do things that normal human beings do!" This is not a good mindset to have. We must not think negatively while fighting this hard thing. Instead, it's like you said, and I liked when you said that: We have to enjoy our life the way it is. There is so much to it than not being able to watch TV series, Youtube or whatever. To be honest, sometimes these are a waste of time.

Thanks, Lero! It definitely involves changing our lives and not wishing we could live like "normal" people do. I know I wasted a lot of time and made a lot of mistakes because I was trying to set my standards according to what was okay for people who weren't recovering from an addiction. I just can't afford to do that: I have to live life in a way that takes care of my particular vulnerabilities.

Today was a pretty good day, too, overall.

I was just telling achilles in his journal about how I had a great opportunity and plan to talk to a woman at church today, but I just straight-up didn't. It's like the connection between my brain and body just didn't work. I wanted to talk to her. I knew what I was going to say. But I just couldn't/didn't do it. Kind of weird and disappointing, but it is what it is. I've heard that she's moving soon anyway, so it's not like she's going to be "the one" anyway, but still. Would have been nice to get some practice talking to someone. Maybe next time.

After that, I came home, took a little nap, and spent most of the rest of the day cooking for the week. I made a recipe that I thought I was really good. For a moment, I got carried away thinking how awesome it would be to have someone there to share it with me, someone to cook for. But I sort of just let that thought go past me, and I tried instead to just focus on the moment and pleasure of eating good food.

On an unrelated note: In the last few days I've been feeling like progress has slowed down a lot for me. And that's probably a good thing, but it is a little weird-feeling. In the early stages of a streak, it seems like you're hitting a milestone every few days. 10 days is a party, then 20, then 50. But after a few months, getting through a week or two doesn't feel as special.

Now don't get the wrong idea: I dont' want to take this streak for granted or act like I'm not extremely grateful for the progress I've been making. I am sort of blown away by it every day. I don't mean to complain. Probably, I mean it mostly as a warning for all of you as you continue to progress (putting on my scout hat, lol). The longer you stay clean, the less exciting it is and the less dramatic your progress feels. And that makes sense: it all becomes more routine and more habitual. It isn't as much of a fight every day just to stay clean. You're not in constant danger, and, of course, you can't get lazy or complacent, but life slowly creeps back to normal as habits of sobriety settle in. There might be the odd unexpected trigger or urge that you have to respond to, but, for the most part, it might just start to get to the point where all you really think to post is "yeah, today was fine."

And that's probably the best thing, honestly. But it isn't very flashy. Tomorrow is day 130, but I'm not really pumped up about it. Just quietly pleased. I don't really know where I'm going with all this. I guess I'll just say that it isn't always as hard as the first few weeks (man, are those first few weeks excruciating). It does get easier in some ways, but the challenge then becomes staying careful and being alert even when life isn't forcing you to be as constantly as before.

Keep it going, guys! Knowing I get to check in with you all at the end of the day definitely helps me to stay fresh and engaged. Quieter, easier days are ahead: you just have to keep going!

Mondays are usually later for me. I hope to post tomorrow, but if not, I'll be back on Tuesday! Cheers!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 14, 2019, 10:27:13 PM
Keep moving forward dog.

Thanks! I'll just keep doing what I can, a day at a time!

Right, those rationalizations start way before even getting in real trouble and my strategy now is "No negotiation.", whatever thought about "Isn't this allowed, because it's not even a porn substitute?" arises, I just shut it down immediately. I can also relate to the feeling of being "invincible" when I reached a really long streak for the first times. "Those heavy restrictions aren't neccessary anymore, you've got this under control." and there I relapsed again.

To me it's important to see how those patterns are easily activated even after more than 4 months, you're working as a scout for the group walking ahead and telling about possible danger further down the road. Your thoughts and reflections are important for those of us who will hopefully follow your example.  :)

This is an awesome thought. Yeah, I've definitely taken up a "no negotiations" policy, and it's an important thing. It's been a bit shift for me to change from thinking that my goal was to go back to living life like "normal" as though I didn't have a PMO problem and instead focus on living my life carefully and deliberately knowing that I do have a PMO problem. The goal isn't to out-grow my protections. The goal is to make them habits.

And thanks! I like the idea of being a forward scout for the rest of y'all. It makes me feel even more accountable and responsible not to let you down with a relapse.

You're doing great, Blue Heron! Quitting P must be number 1 priority and we have to do everything to make it happen. I had to stop going to Youtube, stop going to Facebook and even stop watching some movies and TV series because of triggers. Everything triggers me. And it's easy to say: "Fuck, man! This sucks! I can't do things that normal human beings do!" This is not a good mindset to have. We must not think negatively while fighting this hard thing. Instead, it's like you said, and I liked when you said that: We have to enjoy our life the way it is. There is so much to it than not being able to watch TV series, Youtube or whatever. To be honest, sometimes these are a waste of time.

Thanks, Lero! It definitely involves changing our lives and not wishing we could live like "normal" people do. I know I wasted a lot of time and made a lot of mistakes because I was trying to set my standards according to what was okay for people who weren't recovering from an addiction. I just can't afford to do that: I have to live life in a way that takes care of my particular vulnerabilities.

Today was a pretty good day, too, overall.

I was just telling achilles in his journal about how I had a great opportunity and plan to talk to a woman at church today, but I just straight-up didn't. It's like the connection between my brain and body just didn't work. I wanted to talk to her. I knew what I was going to say. But I just couldn't/didn't do it. Kind of weird and disappointing, but it is what it is. I've heard that she's moving soon anyway, so it's not like she's going to be "the one" anyway, but still. Would have been nice to get some practice talking to someone. Maybe next time.

After that, I came home, took a little nap, and spent most of the rest of the day cooking for the week. I made a recipe that I thought I was really good. For a moment, I got carried away thinking how awesome it would be to have someone there to share it with me, someone to cook for. But I sort of just let that thought go past me, and I tried instead to just focus on the moment and pleasure of eating good food.

On an unrelated note: In the last few days I've been feeling like progress has slowed down a lot for me. And that's probably a good thing, but it is a little weird-feeling. In the early stages of a streak, it seems like you're hitting a milestone every few days. 10 days is a party, then 20, then 50. But after a few months, getting through a week or two doesn't feel as special.

Now don't get the wrong idea: I dont' want to take this streak for granted or act like I'm not extremely grateful for the progress I've been making. I am sort of blown away by it every day. I don't mean to complain. Probably, I mean it mostly as a warning for all of you as you continue to progress (putting on my scout hat, lol). The longer you stay clean, the less exciting it is and the less dramatic your progress feels. And that makes sense: it all becomes more routine and more habitual. It isn't as much of a fight every day just to stay clean. You're not in constant danger, and, of course, you can't get lazy or complacent, but life slowly creeps back to normal as habits of sobriety settle in. There might be the odd unexpected trigger or urge that you have to respond to, but, for the most part, it might just start to get to the point where all you really think to post is "yeah, today was fine."

And that's probably the best thing, honestly. But it isn't very flashy. Tomorrow is day 130, but I'm not really pumped up about it. Just quietly pleased. I don't really know where I'm going with all this. I guess I'll just say that it isn't always as hard as the first few weeks (man, are those first few weeks excruciating). It does get easier in some ways, but the challenge then becomes staying careful and being alert even when life isn't forcing you to be as constantly as before.

Keep it going, guys! Knowing I get to check in with you all at the end of the day definitely helps me to stay fresh and engaged. Quieter, easier days are ahead: you just have to keep going!

Mondays are usually later for me. I hope to post tomorrow, but if not, I'll be back on Tuesday! Cheers!

Keep your head up man, you are doing great!  The comments you make in this community are really awesome, our scout!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 15, 2019, 12:54:23 PM
Yep, you're doing great with your urges as always and it's good that you have found ways to deal with them effectively! It can feel tiring when we look at life as a battle between moments of urges vs. moments of relaxation, and I think you do a good job of just enjoying the moments of peacefulness while letting the urges come and go, whenever they do and however strong they are. Keep it up, and I hope to keep following in your footsteps!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 15, 2019, 01:51:39 PM
Great stuff Blue!

Thanks for posting so frankly about the reality of how you feel right now in your reboot.
Having a 9 or 10 month long streak before and having it be less significant led me back to P. Months 9 and 10 were spent occasionally fantasising, I downloaded tinder 'cos I didn't know anyone, then started watching swimsuit youtube videos. I slid slowly and gradually into watching P again after that. There's never a moment or a time when you can say 'yes, now I'm clean for X days/months/years so now I can do what I want.' I also think that once clean for long, it can be harder to remember what it was like not to be clean. It's hard to remember that feeling of being absolutely flat with no energy and no motivation for anything. This recovery is an entire lifestyle change and upheaval. It's not really about overcoming P at the end of the day, it's about living a fulfilled life, and that's what you're doing right now man. And it's only gonna get better.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 15, 2019, 08:08:31 PM
Keep your head up man, you are doing great!  The comments you make in this community are really awesome, our scout!

Thanks, squid! I'll keep doing my best!

Yep, you're doing great with your urges as always and it's good that you have found ways to deal with them effectively! It can feel tiring when we look at life as a battle between moments of urges vs. moments of relaxation, and I think you do a good job of just enjoying the moments of peacefulness while letting the urges come and go, whenever they do and however strong they are. Keep it up, and I hope to keep following in your footsteps!

Thanks as always! I'm definitely working more on savoring the moment. That has been my pet project for the last few weeks, and I think I'm getting better at it. All progress is progress, isn't it?

Great stuff Blue!

Thanks for posting so frankly about the reality of how you feel right now in your reboot.
Having a 9 or 10 month long streak before and having it be less significant led me back to P. Months 9 and 10 were spent occasionally fantasising, I downloaded tinder 'cos I didn't know anyone, then started watching swimsuit youtube videos. I slid slowly and gradually into watching P again after that. There's never a moment or a time when you can say 'yes, now I'm clean for X days/months/years so now I can do what I want.' I also think that once clean for long, it can be harder to remember what it was like not to be clean. It's hard to remember that feeling of being absolutely flat with no energy and no motivation for anything. This recovery is an entire lifestyle change and upheaval. It's not really about overcoming P at the end of the day, it's about living a fulfilled life, and that's what you're doing right now man. And it's only gonna get better.

Thanks, you're right! I felt like it was important to be honest about how it just sort of feels slow at the moment. I think we can get the idea that a long streak is a free ticket to an exciting and completely happy life. If we expect that and still have crummy days, that disappointment could lead us to a relapse. It really is all about a permanent lifestyle change, not about just doing our time until we can go back to "business as usual." (It was that business as usual that got us addicted in the first place!)

Today was pretty good. Not much to it. Went to work, got some things done. Ended up getting home earlier than usual for a Monday, which I'm happy about. Pretty normal day to start, hopefully, a pretty normal week.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 15, 2019, 09:58:56 PM
Nice, off to a good start to the week!  Do you have any thoughts about how to handle weekends?  I feel like they are tricky because I don't have to go to work and suddenly have a ton of free time.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 16, 2019, 03:10:45 AM
Nice, off to a good start to the week!  Do you have any thoughts about how to handle weekends?  I feel like they are tricky because I don't have to go to work and suddenly have a ton of free time.

I have the same problem. Not going to work frees up many hours and I don't really have a way to fill all of them.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 16, 2019, 07:48:20 AM
Pretty normal week? You deserve more than that my dear friend i wish you have  a ridiculously AMAZING WEEK  ;D
Keep fighting!
You are resilient!
You are loved!
Even though you’re struggling with your own reboot, you’re always there for everyone else, to listen and support. We notice that, and thank you.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 16, 2019, 04:36:05 PM
It really is all about a permanent lifestyle change, not about just doing our time until we can go back to "business as usual." (It was that business as usual that got us addicted in the first place!)

This is so right and at the same time so much easier said than done. I hope I will truly understand this and delete the secret thought of "When will I be cured and live like all the others?", but it's hard to accept that our business as usual will sooner or later end in porn again, as you mention.

Congratulations on further advancing with your new life!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 16, 2019, 04:45:08 PM
It really is all about a permanent lifestyle change, not about just doing our time until we can go back to "business as usual." (It was that business as usual that got us addicted in the first place!)

This is so right and at the same time so much easier said than done. I hope I will truly understand this and delete the secret thought of "When will I be cured and live like all the others?", but it's hard to accept that our business as usual will sooner or later end in porn again, as you mention.

Congratulations on further advancing with your new life!

It's a sobering thought, but it makes sense.  My only consolation is that our new habits will grow old over time and will become the new business as usual.  We are still young men and the future is bright as we finally face our fear rather than running to p.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 16, 2019, 05:59:42 PM
Nice, off to a good start to the week!  Do you have any thoughts about how to handle weekends?  I feel like they are tricky because I don't have to go to work and suddenly have a ton of free time.

I have the same problem. Not going to work frees up many hours and I don't really have a way to fill all of them.

Great question, guys! I don't know that I have an equally great answer, unfortunately. The thing is that I usually feel like the weekends are the busiest days of the week for me. Usually, I spend the week in class, and Saturday is the only chance I have to do homework and stuff, and then I usually end up spending a good chunk of the day on Sunday with church stuff. By the time Monday rolls around, it almost feels like a break sometimes.

But I guess that's part of the answer: stay busy. In a perfect world, weekends would be the time for me to work on my own projects and hobbies that I don't have time for during the week. But I think taking time to relax in safe ways is also good. Even if I'm not being super productive on a Saturday or a day off, spending an hour or two watching a tv show is way better than PMO, and I think it's important to rest and recharge for more work. Staying "busy" doesn't mean staying 100% efficiently productive all the time. It just means not saying, "Well, there's nothing else to do...might as well PMO."

And maybe that sounds silly, but just last week, I finished my tasks for the day like a half hour earlier than I expected, and my brain said literally these words to me: "Hey, that leaves you thirty minutes for porn. It's been a while, and you've got nothing else to do right now." I actually laughed at myself (what a bold suggestion!) and then just said, "Thanks, but no. I think I'll just read a book." Not necessarily a productive activity, but it was something that kept me busy and not focused on PMO.

Pretty normal week? You deserve more than that my dear friend i wish you have  a ridiculously AMAZING WEEK  ;D
Keep fighting!
You are resilient!
You are loved!
Even though you’re struggling with your own reboot, you’re always there for everyone else, to listen and support. We notice that, and thank you.

Thanks, man! I should have set my sights higher, lol. Always appreciate your good comments!

It really is all about a permanent lifestyle change, not about just doing our time until we can go back to "business as usual." (It was that business as usual that got us addicted in the first place!)

This is so right and at the same time so much easier said than done. I hope I will truly understand this and delete the secret thought of "When will I be cured and live like all the others?", but it's hard to accept that our business as usual will sooner or later end in porn again, as you mention.

Congratulations on further advancing with your new life!

It's a sobering thought, but it makes sense.  My only consolation is that our new habits will grow old over time and will become the new business as usual.  We are still young men and the future is bright as we finally face our fear rather than running to p.

Yeah, this is a real, sobering realization that has started to set in. It is really tough to accept that our "normal" can't be like everyone else's or even what we think it should be. I have spent a lot of time wondering when I'll get to the point where my life is just like the life of any old guy who has never looked at or even thought about porn before. Of course, that's kind of an insane expectation to have. I can have a bright future, but I can never change the fact that I have watched porn before. That means my life can never be just like the life of someone who never has.

But that doesn't mean my life will always be worse than someone who has never struggled with it. Just that it will be different. It also doesn't do me a lot of good to wish that I was back to how I was before it all started. A) because I literally can't go back, and B) because I was honestly a weaker and less self-sufficient person before. Learning how to live with addiction (or with vulnerability to addiction if you would rather think of it that way) has forced me to be in more touch with my thoughts and emotions and has caused me to learn more about how to deal with things as they happen and to take care of myself without just running to some kind of numbing dopamine fix.

So do I sometimes wish that I had a life that was never affected by porn? Yeah, sometimes. But, if I had a choice between going to back to a version of me that hadn't looked at porn yet and the version of me that I am today, I think I would probably stick with where I am. I have a ways to go still, but I'm way more confident and capable than I ever was before. And, in some weird way, my addiction has forced me to do that growing (so I guess I should be grateful for it, but I don't think I'm ready to go that far just yet). (And these are the kinds of thoughts and realizations I would never have if it weren't for being on this forum with all you. So huge thanks to everyone for talking about these things and working on this with me!)

Today was another quiet day. Went to work, and it was normal. I ended up wasting time this afternoon. I had good plans that I would get some things done, but I ended up just not doing them and goofing off instead. I'm a little disappointed in myself for that, but I am committed to making an actual plan for tomorrow so that it doesn't happen again.

I have noticed that I have a hard time getting started on things. Once I'm started, I can work on something for as long as it takes, but I lose a lot of time on the transitions. I'm going to have to find a way to get more motivated to get started on things. And, honestly, that's true for more than just my to-do list. Like I don't really have much problem talking to women: it's just impossible for me to start a conversation. So it's definitely time to think more about how to get going and not lose my momentum in between tasks.

Thanks again for being a part of my journey. I started this journal because I realized I couldn't do it alone, and you all have helped me realize just how true that was.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 17, 2019, 02:40:12 AM
It doesn't matter if we have to always work around stimulating stuff. Yeah, maybe we could never (or at least for a long time) look even at a picture but think about this: What if you were handicapped? You had just one arm. You would be forced to live your life like this. Now that we are "just P addicts", does it mean we don't have to treat it in the same way? Yes, I am handicapped by P. I can't look at pictures, I've stopped watching my favorite TV shows, I can't watch Youtube. So be it. I live my life the way it is.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 17, 2019, 10:59:29 AM
"If I had a choice between going to back to a version of me that hadn't looked at porn yet and the version of me that I am today, I think I would probably stick with where I am."

Wow, this is truly an amazing statement. So often I get hung up on past mistakes and fantasizing scenarios of who I'd be if I didn't make those mistakes. But the best part of life is the opportunity to move forward no matter what you did in the past, good or bad. When we are able to appreciate our flaws and find ways to improve on them, we have the confidence to go forward without fear, because any mistakes we would worry about in the future can be something that also be taken in stride, and used as learning experiences. Keep doing your thing, remember that you ALWAYS have support from this community!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 17, 2019, 11:34:13 AM
Amazing insights from all you guys!

Before I was a P addict, I was suicidally depressed and suffered debilitating anxiety. If I hadn't turned to P, it would have been something else. I guess P was just the most accessible, and I had already been warned about the dangers of drugs, but never the dangers of P. I don't know everyone's reasons for turning to P in the first place, but for me, I feel that it had a purpose in my life to numb me from the pain. It wasn't a very healthy way to deal with it at all, but it sort of worked for a time. Overcoming P has been the single most challenging thing I have ever done, probably that any of us have ever done. Now, it's a crutch I just no longer need, as I lead an otherwise happy and fulfilling life.

I truly think that someone who has been an addict and has been clean for a long time can really make an impact on the world with empathy, love, and compassion for anyone and their problems, whatever they may be. You are well on your way, BlueHeron. You transcend the need for P every single day.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 17, 2019, 12:26:29 PM
Amazing insights from all you guys!

Before I was a P addict, I was suicidally depressed and suffered debilitating anxiety. If I hadn't turned to P, it would have been something else. I guess P was just the most accessible, and I had already been warned about the dangers of drugs, but never the dangers of P. I don't know everyone's reasons for turning to P in the first place, but for me, I feel that it had a purpose in my life to numb me from the pain. It wasn't a very healthy way to deal with it at all, but it sort of worked for a time. Overcoming P has been the single most challenging thing I have ever done, probably that any of us have ever done. Now, it's a crutch I just no longer need, as I lead an otherwise happy and fulfilling life.

I truly think that someone who has been an addict and has been clean for a long time can really make an impact on the world with empathy, love, and compassion for anyone and their problems, whatever they may be. You are well on your way, BlueHeron. You transcend the need for P every single day.

I got introduced to P by friends and I was fascinated by it, as a teenager who started to develop his sexual brain. As P activates the same path in the brain as sex, it was obvious why I was so triggered by it. But after a while, it became a form of soothing/cope/self-medication/elevating myself when I feel down/do something when I'm bored type of thing. To keep the "pleasure" part in it, I had to escalate to stronger stuff.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 17, 2019, 07:28:10 PM
It doesn't matter if we have to always work around stimulating stuff. Yeah, maybe we could never (or at least for a long time) look even at a picture but think about this: What if you were handicapped? You had just one arm. You would be forced to live your life like this. Now that we are "just P addicts", does it mean we don't have to treat it in the same way? Yes, I am handicapped by P. I can't look at pictures, I've stopped watching my favorite TV shows, I can't watch Youtube. So be it. I live my life the way it is.

So very true. This has been a huge turning point in my mindset. There are things I just can't do. For the longest time, I thought that meant a life of deprivation. Now, I'm starting to think of it as a life of taking care of myself and protecting myself from potential harm.

"If I had a choice between going to back to a version of me that hadn't looked at porn yet and the version of me that I am today, I think I would probably stick with where I am."

Wow, this is truly an amazing statement. So often I get hung up on past mistakes and fantasizing scenarios of who I'd be if I didn't make those mistakes. But the best part of life is the opportunity to move forward no matter what you did in the past, good or bad. When we are able to appreciate our flaws and find ways to improve on them, we have the confidence to go forward without fear, because any mistakes we would worry about in the future can be something that also be taken in stride, and used as learning experiences. Keep doing your thing, remember that you ALWAYS have support from this community!

Thank you so, so much! I've put so much energy and time into what-ifs, but none of those can ever fix anything. I think I really have started to come around to the idea of moving forward with courage. That is, I feel like I'm finally starting to move forward because I'm interested in what is in the future and not just because I'm running from the past. So grateful to count on your support here: this community has made a WORLD of difference!

Amazing insights from all you guys!

Before I was a P addict, I was suicidally depressed and suffered debilitating anxiety. If I hadn't turned to P, it would have been something else. I guess P was just the most accessible, and I had already been warned about the dangers of drugs, but never the dangers of P. I don't know everyone's reasons for turning to P in the first place, but for me, I feel that it had a purpose in my life to numb me from the pain. It wasn't a very healthy way to deal with it at all, but it sort of worked for a time. Overcoming P has been the single most challenging thing I have ever done, probably that any of us have ever done. Now, it's a crutch I just no longer need, as I lead an otherwise happy and fulfilling life.

I truly think that someone who has been an addict and has been clean for a long time can really make an impact on the world with empathy, love, and compassion for anyone and their problems, whatever they may be. You are well on your way, BlueHeron. You transcend the need for P every single day.



You're probably right: if it wasn't P, it would have been something else. I guess on some level, I'm glad it was something that has ruined my life privately and not publicly (a very dark lol). In all seriousness, this is something that I've really come to understand and appreciate in the last few months: all addictions arise as a response to some sort of trauma. All addictions are our mind/body's well-intentioned but misguided effort to help us out and to spare us the pain of trauma. That realization has really been a dramatic shift in my approach to recovery. I'm not fighting with myself anymore. I am not my own worst enemy. Instead, I'm trying to teach myself a better way to deal with pain and trauma. I'm learning a better way to take myself. That makes it so much easier to deal with urges: I can just thank myself for the suggestion that PMO might help and then remind myself that I'm working on doing something different with my pain now. An urge isn't an attack, isn't a crisis, isn't something to fear. It's a suggestion, an attempt to help, but I am free to make a different choice. Treating myself with the kind of gentleness that my addiction has been attempting to provide has really transformed the way I live with it.

I got introduced to P by friends and I was fascinated by it, as a teenager who started to develop his sexual brain. As P activates the same path in the brain as sex, it was obvious why I was so triggered by it. But after a while, it became a form of soothing/cope/self-medication/elevating myself when I feel down/do something when I'm bored type of thing. To keep the "pleasure" part in it, I had to escalate to stronger stuff.

Yeah, I definitely first looked at porn because I wanted to see naked women. But it definitely became more about soothing/escaping the pain of adolescence than about wanting to look at women. I mean, the looking is always part of it, but if we only think we just have out-of-control sex drives, we're not actually solving the problem. We have to realize that we have underlying pain. Once it becomes an addiction, it isn't really about lust or sex or anything like that: it's about self-medication and suffering.

On to today:

Today was pretty quiet but also pretty productive. Last night after posting, I wrote down all the things that I need to do this week, and I put due dates on each of them. I accomplished everything for today except one thing (which I might have some time finish before I go to bed tonight). I know I do better when I write things down. I know I can take charge of my life when I have a real plan, but I also never get around to making that plan. Oh well, I'm going to try to do better at that moving forward.

I guess I have a couple of insights/thoughts from today:

1. I've been listening to the audio version of Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance, and it has been really interesting and helpful. Today, though, I listened to the chapter on being with the "presence of desire." In it, she talked about how people commonly have the idea that the goal is transcend desire or somehow lose their desires and wants. Instead, though, she says that that isn't really the goal. Instead, we should just be with our desires and ask them what they're really about. So, for example, we shouldn't fight our desire for porn; instead, we should accept it in the moment and ask it what it's really about. What do we really want when we think we want porn? I've been thinking a lot lately about how I need to learn to live with my desire for porn instead of somehow losing that desire, and this was kind of a confirming thought for me. Instead of freaking out when the urge comes, I can just sit with it and ask myself what I really want when I think I want porn.

2. I had the realization today (or at least put it in words for the first time) that I'm not really lonely but that I do feel sort of fundamentally alone at this current stage of my life. Like, I'm totally fine being by myself, but it sort of hit me that nobody really knows what my life is. Sure, I talk to my family pretty regularly, but they're all on the other side of the country while I'm at school. I can tell them what's happening, but they don't really know what my experience is like. They can't. The weather and climate and buildings are all different there than here. Grad school is so specialized that they can't really relate to "my life's work." Then, there are the people here that I feel like I have almost universally superficial relationships with. People at school know about me at school. People at church know about me at church but not really about me at school. And nobody really knows about me at home or going around town running errands. It was just sort of a moment of clarity today: right now, I'm the only one who really knows about my experience, and there isn't anyone in my life currently who can really appreciate me except in really specific contexts.

Hopefully that makes sense. It's helpful to just think through it here. I'm not sure exactly what to do with that knowledge, but it is a compelling insight. Could it be that I compartmentalize my life too much? Yeah, maybe. Could it be that I'm not very good at sharing my thoughts and feelings with people? Yeah, probably. But I'm also sort of skeptical of the relationships that I do have: I feel like people usually like me for what they get from me and relationships tend to end up pretty one-sided (and I realize that is probably wrong and definitely selfish, but it's a real feeling that holds me back, I think, from really taking the plunge with anyone). Anyway, I think this is something I'll be thinking about for a while. How to feel less alone in what has sort of become my own private universe.

Probably the longest post I've ever written. But writing here is so therapeutic for me, how could I not?

Thank you all for reading, for responding, and for being an awesome community! I do feel a little less alone when I'm here.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 17, 2019, 10:18:31 PM
Quote
Today was pretty quiet but also pretty productive. Last night after posting, I wrote down all the things that I need to do this week, and I put due dates on each of them. I accomplished everything for today except one thing (which I might have some time finish before I go to bed tonight). I know I do better when I write things down. I know I can take charge of my life when I have a real plan, but I also never get around to making that plan. Oh well, I'm going to try to do better at that moving forward.

This is a good idea, congratulations on getting so much done!  And long posts are good.  I get a lot out of reading yours and I like posting long ones too.  I think sharing my struggle with pmo on here and not feeling alone have made this reboot totally different than any others.  It feels good to be in this community.  Keep sharing!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 18, 2019, 06:33:34 PM
For sure, thanks for putting up with (and appreciating) the long posts!

I did the same thing today (writing down a plan), and I got even more done! It has been pretty satisfying. I leave town tomorrow for a week, so I was just getting things set up for while I'm away. I'm actually going home, which will be really good. I haven't been home since Christmas. But, I'm also a little nervous: home has historically been one of my favorite places to relapse. In fact, I joined this forum during my last trip home because I was in the middle of a relapse and just couldn't put up with my vicious cycle anymore. So I'll have to be on guard, but I'm also feeling optimistic because I have learned a TON since the last time I was home, and I think I am better equipped to deal with anything home will throw at me this week. Plus, I'll have you all to fall back on at the end of each day. We got this!

Still making slow progress: 133/150 days
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 19, 2019, 05:50:09 AM
This is to remind you that you are cared for, that you are SO important. You are one of a kind and you have so much potential. The world is such a lucky place, to have someone as lovely as you. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are GOOD ENOUGH! Exactly as you are! I so hope you know this.
Fear is a terrible thing you have failed and picked yourself up over and over and over. When i start thinking negatively i ask myself what if this works out? Give it a trial i hope it works for my dear friend  :)

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 19, 2019, 08:41:52 AM
For sure, thanks for putting up with (and appreciating) the long posts!

I did the same thing today (writing down a plan), and I got even more done! It has been pretty satisfying. I leave town tomorrow for a week, so I was just getting things set up for while I'm away. I'm actually going home, which will be really good. I haven't been home since Christmas. But, I'm also a little nervous: home has historically been one of my favorite places to relapse. In fact, I joined this forum during my last trip home because I was in the middle of a relapse and just couldn't put up with my vicious cycle anymore. So I'll have to be on guard, but I'm also feeling optimistic because I have learned a TON since the last time I was home, and I think I am better equipped to deal with anything home will throw at me this week. Plus, I'll have you all to fall back on at the end of each day. We got this!

Still making slow progress: 133/150 days

Home is tough for me too.  Just focus on spending time with family and friends and you'll be okay!  Sending good vibes
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 19, 2019, 11:13:54 AM
So I'll have to be on guard, but I'm also feeling optimistic because I have learned a TON since the last time I was home, and I think I am better equipped to deal with anything home will throw at me this week.

You are doing great and have come too far yet to go back to your old habits. Stay aware, never underestimate the danger and you will be fine!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 20, 2019, 11:30:37 PM
You all are the best, really. Thanks for the support and good vibes.

So far, home is pretty good. It's helpful that we've been pretty busy. Plus, it's good to be with family for sure.

One thing that I thought was pretty great today: We were driving somewhere, and we passed a road that I used to take to visit someone I used to date pretty seriously. For a long time, any memory of her or our time together was something that I would push away as fast as I can since it has been pretty painful for me. I really have spent a long time thinking that she was my one chance and I lost it. But today, we passed the road, and I started thinking about some of the time we spent together, and somehow, the initial pain turned into really strong gratitude. I'm not totally sure how or why, but I'm glad. We just kept driving, and I was just so glad that, even if things didn't work out, I had the chance at least once to experience a relationship like that. For the first time since we broke up (way longer ago than I care to admit), I could just feel appreciation for the time we had together without feeling intense pain for the fact that it eventually ended.

I also became aware that I usually spend my time when I come home feeling really bad about single (probably something about being as old as I sometimes feel I am and just coming home to hang with my parents and be a third wheel to my younger siblings), like I used to think about it all the time and look at couples and just wonder how men like those were with women like the ones they were with. But, on the bright side, I have noticed that I'm not doing that as much.

In the last couple months, I think I have started to grow a lot more comfortable with myself as I am and with my situation as it is. Instead of wishing I had a totally different life, I'm getting better at appreciating where I am now. So we'll see what happens. It's a long week ahead, but I already feel like I'm off to a much better start than I ever have been before. (Also very glad to know I"m not the only one who struggles at home.)

Take care and stay strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 21, 2019, 07:28:59 AM
Being single has been a problem for me. I've been single for a good period of time and I think it all started when, one day, I looked at girls and felt nothing. They looked "strange" because they were not on a screen. I had this feeling of: "She looks good but she doesn't stimulate me in any way." Thinking about a moment with her didn't start "anything" inside me. So I said: "Okay this is crazy. What the fuck is going on with me?" I started a deep search online and found the best video of the century: Gary Wilson, the greatest porn experiment, which is on the main page of this forum. That explained everything to me. I starred at the walls in sadness but said: "Okay, I guess I have to quit P first if I want to feel anything about girls again." You see, P has always been my excuse for: "I'm sexually frustrated." When I was single, my "sex life" was P all day. As P is an exaggerated stimulus for a normal reward, P has this ability to make you think about sex all day but, at the same time, sex is not appealing and only P works. It's a fucked up, twisted shit. We will never be normal until we get out of this. I guess we just have to give this "I'm single and I'm frustrated about it" feeling a rest and focus on feeling the normal emotions first.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 21, 2019, 11:53:28 PM
Thanks for the recommendation, Leo, I should check out that video. I don't think I've seen it yet. Porn definitely changes our perceptions. I can remember when I was in high school (and at my very worst in terms of PMO) that I was only ever thinking about how girls looked, but also, I wasn't interested in them. I was interested in bodies and body parts, and I was using girls for a fix when I couldn't use porn. Everywhere I went, I was on the lookout for girls in class, driving by through intersections, on magazines at grocery stores, you name it. I really wasn't interested in dating or relationships or any one person. I was just interested in sexiness, not even sex. It was a mess.

Now, as I've made more progress in recovery, I have definitely noticed a change. There are women I know who are really attractive (and I'm sure high school me would have idolized them), but I also recognize that we wouldn't get along at all, so I don't really feel attracted to them. I don't just see women as a way to get a "fix" when I'm away from the screen. Instead, I've become more interested in women as people (believe it or not!), and I really care about who someone is and not just how much they remind of me porn.

I'm with you on focusing on just feeling normal emotions first. One thing I have decided is that I have to get myself figured out first and be totally happy and stable on my own. If I think about the kind of woman that I would want to be with, I have to make sure first that I'm the kind of guy she would be interested in. Someday, I imagine she'll come into my life, and I want to make sure that I'm ready for her.

Today was very chill, which was good. Time with family all day. Here's to a great week for us all!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 22, 2019, 09:23:42 PM
Yeah, you're right. As I think about it now... The addiction is a real thing, so I have to be vigilant, but it's also not something I really chose (I was too young understand what I was getting into), so I can't be too frustrated with myself. And I love that last thought. The only way now is the way out.

Today was good, busy but good. The weather's pretty bad, but I'm warm and inside, so I can't complain.
Old quote here.

I'm reading through a few journals to see where other successful rebooters were thinking around day 16 and this stuck out to me blue.  I think you're right.  After thinking about it I feel more compassion for myself after realizing that I was too young to understand what I was getting into, and that I'm not a bad person for struggling with pmo.  I didn't know how dangerous it is.  In fact, I was encouraged not to pursue girls too openly or to be too expressive since I was raised in a religious environment.  So I found the expression elsewhere, in the shadows.  What a bummer, doesn't have to be that way.  I'm feeling a lot of forgiveness for my younger self. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 22, 2019, 11:45:16 PM
Wow, thanks for bringing that old quote back! I really should go back and re-read my journal. Man, January feels like forever ago. But it also feels like yesterday. I think it would be really helpful for me to revisit where I've been as I continue to think about where I'm going.

Really glad you're finding my old rambles helpful too, lol! I think that's a huge thing: going easier on yourself. It has been a massive game-changer for me to realize that my addiction was my brain's effort to take care of me and to ease my pain. It was totally wrong, but it didn't come from a place of intentional self harm. That has helped me to see myself not as my own worst enemy or as some morally bankrupt loser who is obsessed with sex. Instead, I have started to see myself as a person who needs to learn a better way of dealing with emotional distress. I'm a person who needs to learn how to be a better friend to myself. And I feel like that has changed everything, my overall mindset, my attitude towards urges and temptations, my willingness of let go of porn and triggers even when I recognize that a part of me still really wants it.

I definitely didn't have anything to do with girls when I was "growing up," and I definitely think that probably helped me slide into porn. I definitely could have found healthier expressions for my interest in girls. But, at the same time, I think it's important to realize that a PMO isn't really about sex. It's about numbing ourselves to pain through sex. The addiction is about escaping pain, not about liking sex too much. (I don't know if that even makes sense to me, but it works in my head).

But, either way, you're exactly right: what has happened before is a bummer, but it definitely doesn't have to be that way now. Forgive yourself because you were doing the unfortunate best you could do, and just focus on taking care of those unmet needs now that you know better ways of dealing with them.

Another decent day. Hanging out with family, going around town. I went to a store and was walking past the women's section. A few years ago, the swimsuit and lingerie sections would have been a place to get a generous dopamine fix. Today, I remembered how I used to just stare at every picture of every model showing a lot of skin. Today, though, I was much better able to acknowledge that all those images were there but that I didn't need to be looking at them or fixating on them. I did my best to sort of just be aware of them but let them go by.

And I think that's important. The goal of recovery isn't to become asexual, but it is to give up these compulsive sexual habits. It used to be that I had to look at any picture of an attractive woman, and not just look but stare and obsess so that I could feel aroused. Now, though, it's not that I don't still want to look at or see attractive women, just that I don't have to. I'm working on being more in control and better able to choose what I'm thinking about and looking at and less focused on just living in a fog of compulsive arousal. Plus I'm working on being more respectful (Women have a right to go about there lives without being stared at, and I definitely don't want to be the kind of guy that a woman feels unsafe around).

But here I am rambling (I guess some things don't change during recovery, lol). Plus it's a little later than usual (and I"ll blame that for my aimlessness.)

Take care everyone! Tomorrow's another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 23, 2019, 01:46:44 PM
I definitely didn't have anything to do with girls when I was "growing up," and I definitely think that probably helped me slide into porn. I definitely could have found healthier expressions for my interest in girls. But, at the same time, I think it's important to realize that a PMO isn't really about sex. It's about numbing ourselves to pain through sex. The addiction is about escaping pain, not about liking sex too much. (I don't know if that even makes sense to me, but it works in my head).

I can relate to this and to your conclusion, it does make sense. Porn is the downward spiral away from natural interest and healthy expressions, but to us it was completely "normal" during adolescense. I even remember a quote from a girl from school when we talked about porn in a group and she said: "Every boy looks at porn, if they don't have porn in their computer it's maybe because they're gay.", well, failed logic aside - what about gay porn? - but nobody disagreed.

Remembering my many hours of porn during adolescense really gets me emotional every time. Anger and regret about wasted time and not discovering this problem earlier. Thoughts about what could have been if only I hadn't discovered and consumed porn. I learned about the damage of drugs in school, but nobody told me porn was an even stronger drug than those they warned about.

Instead of regret I try to think of myself as one of the few privileged who know about their problem and have a realistic chance of changing it to the better. Let's not forget there are millions of people out there who don't even know porn might be one of the sources of their problems in life. The thought of porn not being about sex, but basically being opposed to sex is absolutely right, but probably only common around us addicts who fell deep enough into the abyss to discover the essence of our addiction.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 23, 2019, 04:08:15 PM
It has been a massive game-changer for me to realize that my addiction was my brain's effort to take care of me and to ease my pain. It was totally wrong, but it didn't come from a place of intentional self harm. That has helped me to see myself not as my own worst enemy or as some morally bankrupt loser who is obsessed with sex. Instead, I have started to see myself as a person who needs to learn a better way of dealing with emotional distress. I'm a person who needs to learn how to be a better friend to myself. And I feel like that has changed everything, my overall mindset, my attitude towards urges and temptations, my willingness of let go of porn and triggers even when I recognize that a part of me still really wants it.

I like this. I'll have to try it.

Quote
I definitely didn't have anything to do with girls when I was "growing up," and I definitely think that probably helped me slide into porn. I definitely could have found healthier expressions for my interest in girls. But, at the same time, I think it's important to realize that a PMO isn't really about sex. It's about numbing ourselves to pain through sex. The addiction is about escaping pain, not about liking sex too much. (I don't know if that even makes sense to me, but it works in my head). 

I can relate to this. For a few years, while heavily invested in P, I didn't have much success with girls either. But now, thinking about it, I was kind of uninterested in it actually. I had my "reward" from P and everything was fine. Until there came that day when real girls didn't interest me at all, like I said in another post, I looked at them and felt nothing. I think I was really deep into P to turn out that way. I mean, since I was 12 I had been drowning myself in P like a big ocean. I was not really a good functional P addict. I functioned to some degree only. Also, about the second part of your quote, P could definitely make some people think they are people with exagerated libido (which could create sexual frustration). It's not. It's just craving for P. They don't have high libido and they are not weird horny guys. But maybe they don't even know what's their normal if they have been invested in P since they were teenagers. I guess I was at some point like that, around 14-15 years old. For a while and then I hit that phase when I was kind of uninterested in it and only living for P. Like those heroin junkies who only lie on the couch all day without doing anything else. I did something like that but with P. To be honest, I don't even remember much from my school years when I was into P.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 23, 2019, 11:49:31 PM
I can relate to this and to your conclusion, it does make sense. Porn is the downward spiral away from natural interest and healthy expressions, but to us it was completely "normal" during adolescense. I even remember a quote from a girl from school when we talked about porn in a group and she said: "Every boy looks at porn, if they don't have porn in their computer it's maybe because they're gay.", well, failed logic aside - what about gay porn? - but nobody disagreed.

Remembering my many hours of porn during adolescense really gets me emotional every time. Anger and regret about wasted time and not discovering this problem earlier. Thoughts about what could have been if only I hadn't discovered and consumed porn. I learned about the damage of drugs in school, but nobody told me porn was an even stronger drug than those they warned about.

Instead of regret I try to think of myself as one of the few privileged who know about their problem and have a realistic chance of changing it to the better. Let's not forget there are millions of people out there who don't even know porn might be one of the sources of their problems in life. The thought of porn not being about sex, but basically being opposed to sex is absolutely right, but probably only common around us addicts who fell deep enough into the abyss to discover the essence of our addiction.

I can relate to this. For a few years, while heavily invested in P, I didn't have much success with girls either. But now, thinking about it, I was kind of uninterested in it actually. I had my "reward" from P and everything was fine. Until there came that day when real girls didn't interest me at all, like I said in another post, I looked at them and felt nothing. I think I was really deep into P to turn out that way. I mean, since I was 12 I had been drowning myself in P like a big ocean. I was not really a good functional P addict. I functioned to some degree only. Also, about the second part of your quote, P could definitely make some people think they are people with exagerated libido (which could create sexual frustration). It's not. It's just craving for P. They don't have high libido and they are not weird horny guys. But maybe they don't even know what's their normal if they have been invested in P since they were teenagers. I guess I was at some point like that, around 14-15 years old. For a while and then I hit that phase when I was kind of uninterested in it and only living for P. Like those heroin junkies who only lie on the couch all day without doing anything else. I did something like that but with P. To be honest, I don't even remember much from my school years when I was into P.

Man, it really scares me how resigned people are to the pervasiveness of porn. It's just seen as a normal thing by a lot of people and not as a serious problem. It's really too bad that we've been trapped by it, but it is awesome that we have become aware of the harm it's causing and are working to improve.

And I really know what you mean about looking back on your adolescence with huge regret. I really feel like those years were completely wasted for me. It's like a gap in my life that was totally lost to only ever thinking about porn. I hate it when people ask about what I was like in high school or what I did in high school. I never have a good answer other than "I've changed a lot since then. I didn't really like high school." All I did was PMO or wait impatiently for the next time that I could PMO. (And I'm not going to tell people that!)

In all that profound regret, I just try to focus on the fact that, regardless of what happened in my past, I can make changes in the present that bring me a much better future. My high school years may be lost to the void, but my late 20s don't have to be! It's hard not to feel like my past has ruined my future, but I always try to remind myself that nothing that really matters has been lost. Everything I really want in life is still possible.

Today was pretty good. Stayed busy and had a pretty good time. But beneath it all was a kind of "hunger," mostly for MO I think. I don't really know. I wouldn't really call it urges because there hasn't been anything "urgent" about the feeling. It's just sort of background wanting. Like you know that feeling that sometimes comes along where you think PMO would feel extra good. It's kind of like that. I don't want to relapse. I don't feel driven to relapse. But I've had the feeling all day that a relapse would feel extra satisfying if I were to do it. Kind of a weird feeling. I"m sure it led me to letting my eyes wander a little more today than usual while I was out and about: I was way more aware of all the women around today than I have been lately.

I think this feeling is probably pretty manageable, but I'll have to be extra careful tomorrow just to be sure. Here's to hoping these feelings settle down overnight.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: brandnewself on July 24, 2019, 10:49:32 AM
Man, it really scares me how resigned people are to the pervasiveness of porn. It's just seen as a normal thing by a lot of people and not as a serious problem. It's really too bad that we've been trapped by it, but it is awesome that we have become aware of the harm it's causing and are working to improve.

And I really know what you mean about looking back on your adolescence with huge regret. I really feel like those years were completely wasted for me. It's like a gap in my life that was totally lost to only ever thinking about porn. I hate it when people ask about what I was like in high school or what I did in high school. I never have a good answer other than "I've changed a lot since then. I didn't really like high school." All I did was PMO or wait impatiently for the next time that I could PMO. (And I'm not going to tell people that!)

In all that profound regret, I just try to focus on the fact that, regardless of what happened in my past, I can make changes in the present that bring me a much better future. My high school years may be lost to the void, but my late 20s don't have to be! It's hard not to feel like my past has ruined my future, but I always try to remind myself that nothing that really matters has been lost. Everything I really want in life is still possible.
Man I really like reading your journal. It always gives me some insights and helps me reflect on myself. I'm desperately looking for some philosophy to hang on to it and I think you've got a great one here.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 24, 2019, 11:41:15 PM
Man I really like reading your journal. It always gives me some insights and helps me reflect on myself. I'm desperately looking for some philosophy to hang on to it and I think you've got a great one here.

Thanks so much, man! It is really encouraging to hear that this awful experience (addiction) is turning into something positive (the ability to help other people fighting addiction). It means a lot.

It seems like the weird urge-y feelings from yesterday quieted down overnight. Today was a chill day addiction-wise and a busier one activity-wise. I went all over town with family today, did some shopping, and got a little bit of work done. Pretty tired, but also feeling pretty good.

Keep on fighting everyone: tomorrow is another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 26, 2019, 11:24:28 PM
Man I really like reading your journal. It always gives me some insights and helps me reflect on myself. I'm desperately looking for some philosophy to hang on to it and I think you've got a great one here.

Thanks so much, man! It is really encouraging to hear that this awful experience (addiction) is turning into something positive (the ability to help other people fighting addiction). It means a lot.

It seems like the weird urge-y feelings from yesterday quieted down overnight. Today was a chill day addiction-wise and a busier one activity-wise. I went all over town with family today, did some shopping, and got a little bit of work done. Pretty tired, but also feeling pretty good.

Keep on fighting everyone: tomorrow is another day!

Everything alright blue?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 27, 2019, 06:49:44 PM
Yeah, still carrying on! I had a late night and then I was traveling yesterday, so I flaked out on posting. Thanks for checking up on me!

But I'm back at school now. I made it through a week at home without relapsing, which is something I was worried about. Honestly, I feel like it was one of my best trips home. In the past, I have spent a lot of time at home feeling bad about myself and my life situation (who knows why home brings that out in me, but it does). This time, though, I didn't experience that. I was better able to just enjoy being with family and getting away from the usual grind for a week.

I'm feeling a little reluctant to get back to regular work this coming week. I feel like a lot of the things I do are not as satisfying or fulfilling as I would hope, and I'm trying to figure out if that's a problem with the things I'm doing or just my attitude. I don't know, but hopefully I can at least start turning my attitude around.

Day 142/150. Just keep going, one day at a time
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 27, 2019, 10:37:22 PM


I'm feeling a little reluctant to get back to regular work this coming week. I feel like a lot of the things I do are not as satisfying or fulfilling as I would hope, and I'm trying to figure out if that's a problem with the things I'm doing or just my attitude. I don't know, but hopefully I can at least start turning my attitude around

A good attitude helps on every situation but it is also possible that you've grown and need a different type of work to be satisfied.  Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 28, 2019, 03:46:59 AM
Great, man! Almost 150 days!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 28, 2019, 10:35:49 AM
Congratulations on making it through the week home, it's another little milestone along the many challenges, keep going towards 150 days!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 28, 2019, 10:57:12 AM
You my dear friend are an AMAZING person. You look at both the short term (one day at a time) and the long term (150). I am Proud of you  :)
Try your best to go to work if feel unsatisified for a long period of time ( don't wait for too long though) maybe then it is time to try to do something you are both good at and brings you Joy
You deserve nothing less than happiness  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 28, 2019, 11:12:15 AM
I totally feel you about being at home with family, sometimes it can really stress me out and it feels like the only way to deal with it is through PMO or some other self-damaging action. As far as your work, I also do feel that way sometimes, that I should be either enjoying it more or that it is not leading to any positive changes. A couple things help me out with this; sometimes I think back and ask myself why I am doing these things in the first place, like what was my motivation to commit so heavily to this thing that I do every day, outside of money and outside pressure? It also helps me to look back a year or two to just acknowledge how far I have come since then, and then I can really see the growth in the long term that is often not easily seen in the day-by-day.

So close to 150, we're all rooting for you! You got this!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 28, 2019, 07:18:17 PM
As always, you all are great! Thanks for your continuing support (and for putting up with my lengthy rants in your journals. I wish I had time to write more to more people.)

I totally feel you about being at home with family, sometimes it can really stress me out and it feels like the only way to deal with it is through PMO or some other self-damaging action. As far as your work, I also do feel that way sometimes, that I should be either enjoying it more or that it is not leading to any positive changes. A couple things help me out with this; sometimes I think back and ask myself why I am doing these things in the first place, like what was my motivation to commit so heavily to this thing that I do every day, outside of money and outside pressure? It also helps me to look back a year or two to just acknowledge how far I have come since then, and then I can really see the growth in the long term that is often not easily seen in the day-by-day.

So close to 150, we're all rooting for you! You got this!

Thanks for the thoughts about considering motivations. On some level, I know exactly why I got into this line of work (grad school), and I feel like I have a pretty clear idea about what I hope to accomplish. Some days, though, it feels like nobody else recognizes the value of what I'm working on the way I do. So maybe I'm not tired of my work as much as I am tired of swimming against the current to try to do it. But I guess in some way that's just what graduate school is: a really long and hard period of life that punches your ticket to more independent work after. That's probably why I'm thinking it might just be an attitude problem: I really do feel committed to sticking it out, and I'm not sure what else I would do. I know that I want to finish, but it can sure be tough to think about how much longer is left sometimes.

Anyway, that's a little depressing/melodramatic. Today was actually a pretty good day. I feel like Sundays usually get away from me, but I actually got some good things done. I have food for the week, my suitcase is unpacked, and I'm pretty much ready to go.

I did want to sit down and make up a plan/schedule for the week, but I just didn't get around to it today. First thing on the list for tomorrow, though, is to make a list and give myself some direction and purpose for the week. I feel a little adrift after a week away, and I want to make sure that I don't just aimlessly coast through the week.

Thanks again for the support! Keep on being awesome!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 29, 2019, 07:15:36 AM
I am curious to know what you wrote on your list, you did write it didn't you my dear friend  ;D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 29, 2019, 06:27:20 PM
Thanks for keeping me accountable!

I did write down a list of things that need to get done this week, and it's in a place where I can see it throughout the day. The morning got away from me a little (a somewhat toxic friend messaged me today and sort of threw me for a loop), though, so I didn't make a very good list just for today. I did catch up on emails, though, so that's something good, I guess.

I'm back home a little earlier tonight than usual, so I'm hoping to use that time to make some good progress on a project I've gotten behind on.

Oh, but before I forget. I got a clothes catalog in the mail today. I was on the phone and flipping through it sort of mindlessly after it got back inside, and, of course, there was a section for lingerie and one of the models caught my eye. I was on the phone, though, so I set it down and said to myself "I'll get back to that later." I must have been thinking that it would be a freebie that wouldn't count (since it just came in the mail, so it must not be my fault if I look, right?) Thankfully, my phone call lasted long enough for me to get my head back in the game. When I did go back to the catalog, I tore out the coupons in the front cover and threw it away without going back to the underwear models.

Even after a few months without a relapse, these little things can still catch you by surprise. That old habit of thought kicked in right away sort of by default, and I feel lucky that I managed to get away from it without giving in.

But that's all for now. Here's to another new day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 29, 2019, 08:41:48 PM
Thanks for keeping me accountable!

I did write down a list of things that need to get done this week, and it's in a place where I can see it throughout the day. The morning got away from me a little (a somewhat toxic friend messaged me today and sort of threw me for a loop), though, so I didn't make a very good list just for today. I did catch up on emails, though, so that's something good, I guess.

I'm back home a little earlier tonight than usual, so I'm hoping to use that time to make some good progress on a project I've gotten behind on.

Oh, but before I forget. I got a clothes catalog in the mail today. I was on the phone and flipping through it sort of mindlessly after it got back inside, and, of course, there was a section for lingerie and one of the models caught my eye. I was on the phone, though, so I set it down and said to myself "I'll get back to that later." I must have been thinking that it would be a freebie that wouldn't count (since it just came in the mail, so it must not be my fault if I look, right?) Thankfully, my phone call lasted long enough for me to get my head back in the game. When I did go back to the catalog, I tore out the coupons in the front cover and threw it away without going back to the underwear models.

Even after a few months without a relapse, these little things can still catch you by surprise. That old habit of thought kicked in right away sort of by default, and I feel lucky that I managed to get away from it without giving in.

But that's all for now. Here's to another new day!

Nice work dude, stay strong and keep swimming!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 30, 2019, 05:09:50 AM
Blue, you're killing it. You bump into triggers but you don't relapse. This is the ultimate accomplishment.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on July 30, 2019, 01:55:21 PM
Oh, but before I forget. I got a clothes catalog in the mail today. I was on the phone and flipping through it sort of mindlessly after it got back inside, and, of course, there was a section for lingerie and one of the models caught my eye. I was on the phone, though, so I set it down and said to myself "I'll get back to that later." I must have been thinking that it would be a freebie that wouldn't count (since it just came in the mail, so it must not be my fault if I look, right?) Thankfully, my phone call lasted long enough for me to get my head back in the game. When I did go back to the catalog, I tore out the coupons in the front cover and threw it away without going back to the underwear models.

Even after a few months without a relapse, these little things can still catch you by surprise. That old habit of thought kicked in right away sort of by default, and I feel lucky that I managed to get away from it without giving in.

Good to see you made it past the trigger and good to know how even after 5 months staying very aware is absolutely neccessary. Every time you say "No!" you become stronger and will remember your decision when facing similar situations in the future. You, me and all the others here won't be "normal" no matter how long we stay clean, we must be prepared for those unexpected challenges and not let little thoughts develop into dangerous situations. Just keep going and keep inspiring!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on July 30, 2019, 02:33:58 PM
You, me and all the others here won't be "normal" no matter how long we stay clean, we must be prepared for those unexpected challenges and not let little thoughts develop into dangerous situations. Just keep going and keep inspiring!  :)

This is very important. Too much P abuse has led to the creation of a pathway in the brain. That won't go away. It's the memory of your relationship with P. You will walk away from P, you won't crave it anymore, you won't have withdrawal anymore but taste it again and you will remember how it used to be. And the brain always remembers the fun part, it won't remember how shit you felt drowning in P. It's the perfect situation to go back to the road of perdition. Always careful, like day 1.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 30, 2019, 04:37:58 PM
This is all true but also normal doesn't exist.  Whenever I compare myself to someone else it always make me feel bad because I know all the inner workings and secrets of my past - more than anyone else on earth.  And I only know a sliver of another person, the sliver they want to show me.  We must always be careful but also, our challenges make us strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 30, 2019, 05:51:31 PM
Nice work dude, stay strong and keep swimming!

Blue, you're killing it. You bump into triggers but you don't relapse. This is the ultimate accomplishment.

Thank you! I will just keep on swimming as best as I can!

Good to see you made it past the trigger and good to know how even after 5 months staying very aware is absolutely neccessary. Every time you say "No!" you become stronger and will remember your decision when facing similar situations in the future. You, me and all the others here won't be "normal" no matter how long we stay clean, we must be prepared for those unexpected challenges and not let little thoughts develop into dangerous situations. Just keep going and keep inspiring!  :)

Thanks, man, it's true. We just have to learn to live carefully because we don't know when the next trigger will come up. Plus, things that the rest of the world thinks are "normal" (like underwear catalogs) can be really triggering for us. It was crazy to me how automatic it was for my brain to say "I'll save that for later when I can really look those girls over." Luckily, I was able to step outside my thoughts and see them for what they were and remind myself that that isn't how I think anymore.

This is very important. Too much P abuse has led to the creation of a pathway in the brain. That won't go away. It's the memory of your relationship with P. You will walk away from P, you won't crave it anymore, you won't have withdrawal anymore but taste it again and you will remember how it used to be. And the brain always remembers the fun part, it won't remember how shit you felt drowning in P. It's the perfect situation to go back to the road of perdition. Always careful, like day 1.

Exactly, Day 1 every day. These addictive pathways are burned into our brains after a long time of abuse, and it doesn't take much for our brains to default to them. We have to stay aware and always be deliberate about where we let our thoughts go. I couldn't help having the thought that I would save those pictures for later, but I was in control of what I did with that thought. I said no and put the pictures in the garbage. On some level we can't control our thoughts, but we can control which thoughts we let stick around.

This is all true but also normal doesn't exist.  Whenever I compare myself to someone else it always make me feel bad because I know all the inner workings and secrets of my past - more than anyone else on earth.  And I only know a sliver of another person, the sliver they want to show me.  We must always be careful but also, our challenges make us strong!

You know, that's really true. And I think my own concept of "normal" isn't realistic either. I usually think that a normal person could look at underwear models all day and not be triggered or addicted or affected in any way. But the reality is that a normal person wouldn't look at underwear models all day. I think that normal people are immune to addictive sexual urges, but it's probably more true that normal people just don't expose themselves to them as much. When I think of the people I consider "normal," they would have thrown the catalog out without a second thought because it was junk mail: it's not like they would have kept the underwear section open on their table for a week and somehow be immune to it.

Maybe there's something to that. Maybe the trick is not to become immune to porn/urges/triggers but to learn to ignore them and just focus on living a "normal" life.

Today was a better day than yesterday, I think. It was a little more productive, and I have a much clearer idea of where I'm headed for the week. It feels a lot better to have a clear direction. There are still some things that I want to finish today, but I should have time for them.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I have been listening to Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance, and she just keeps hitting the nail on the head in every chapter. I feel like I have been learning a lot about accepting my life the way it is and myself the way I am and moving forward in healthier, more meaningful ways. Definitely would recommend it (she also has a lot of talks on YouTube if that's safe for you).

Here's to a great Day 1 tomorrow (no matter what day you're actually on)!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 30, 2019, 09:11:09 PM
Having a clear direction makes everything so much easier for me too, like I can just flow from one thing to the next. I feel like there is a part of me that always wants to be better, and do better....but at the same time there is a part of me that is content with who I am and able to appreciate everything around me. It is important for me to find a way to make these two sides coexist and understand that they support one another. Best of luck to you, you're doing great as always!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 31, 2019, 06:59:08 PM
Thanks a lot, man! Always great to hear from you, and I appreciate the support.


One of the roads I drive on pretty regularly has a strip club on it. For a long time, the sign out front sort of held my imagination captive whenever I go by, trying to think about what it must be like in there. Typical fantasy stuff. More recently, though, I have been warning myself ahead of time: You're getting close to that place, just don't obsess about it and think about something else. No fantasies, but still sort of wanting to fantasize.

Today, though, I was driving by and saw it out of the corner of my eye, and I was like, Oh yeah, that's there. Whatever. It didn't even register emotionally today, and it has been a source of turbulent feelings in the past. Could just have been a fluke, but I hope it's a sign of progress, and maybe I'll even get to the point one day where any trigger or urge for porn makes me say "Whatever" instead of "Oh no, be careful!" (Not that I want to let my guard down, but just that ignoring triggers can become more of a default than a deliberate thing.)

Aside from that, today was pretty chill. I got some work, just not as much as I had hoped. I'm realizing that I lose a lot of steam in the transitions between tasks/activities. Like I spend way too much time after I eat building up the courage to wash the dishes, or I spend way too much time getting out of bed after I've woken up. Or I might say that I'll put on a YouTube video while I wash the dishes and then spend way too much time just looking for a video to watch while I do the dishes. And I could have just washed them and been on to something else in a fraction of the time. Something I want to get more under control for sure.

Tomorrow's another day, let's make it a great one!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on July 31, 2019, 07:59:15 PM
Quote
m realizing that I lose a lot of steam in the transitions between tasks/activities. Like I spend way too much time after I eat building up the courage to wash the dishes, or I spend way too much time getting out of bed after I've woken up. Or I might say that I'll put on a YouTube video while I wash the dishes and then spend way too much time just looking for a video to watch while I do the dishes. And I could have just washed them and been on to something else in a fraction of the time. Something I want to get more under control for sure.

Same with me, I never noticed it before because pmo hid it but yeah it's that habit of hiding in something digitally pleasant and entertaining.  I think it might be okay if it's not interfering with your art and passions, but if it is, it isn't cool.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 01, 2019, 06:28:30 AM
Thanks a lot, man! Always great to hear from you, and I appreciate the support.


One of the roads I drive on pretty regularly has a strip club on it. For a long time, the sign out front sort of held my imagination captive whenever I go by, trying to think about what it must be like in there. Typical fantasy stuff. More recently, though, I have been warning myself ahead of time: You're getting close to that place, just don't obsess about it and think about something else. No fantasies, but still sort of wanting to fantasize.

Today, though, I was driving by and saw it out of the corner of my eye, and I was like, Oh yeah, that's there. Whatever. It didn't even register emotionally today, and it has been a source of turbulent feelings in the past. Could just have been a fluke, but I hope it's a sign of progress, and maybe I'll even get to the point one day where any trigger or urge for porn makes me say "Whatever" instead of "Oh no, be careful!" (Not that I want to let my guard down, but just that ignoring triggers can become more of a default than a deliberate thing.)

Aside from that, today was pretty chill. I got some work, just not as much as I had hoped. I'm realizing that I lose a lot of steam in the transitions between tasks/activities. Like I spend way too much time after I eat building up the courage to wash the dishes, or I spend way too much time getting out of bed after I've woken up. Or I might say that I'll put on a YouTube video while I wash the dishes and then spend way too much time just looking for a video to watch while I do the dishes. And I could have just washed them and been on to something else in a fraction of the time. Something I want to get more under control for sure.

Tomorrow's another day, let's make it a great one!

I hear you, man. I definitely had moments when I thought: "Why the fuck did I have to be a P addict? Now I can't be a fucking normal human being! A catalog could make me relapse! Advertisement on the street could make me relapse! Being sent a normal beach picture could make me relapse!" I wished I could be normal and be able to see those things and feel nothing. But we can't really do anything about it. Maybe one day, who knows, but for now, we can't and we have to be super careful. We have to stay away from looking deliberately for those things and have a method to deal with seeing it by mistake. But you see, this thing annoys me less and less. I think less about the situation and more about how to keep doing it right. Anyway, a strip club shouldn't be a problem for you. Get inside! It's the real thing, not a screen! Ha Ha! I'm kidding (or not).
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 01, 2019, 07:37:51 AM
Ew strip clubs, I'd be careful about going in those.  Personally I stay away, they make me uncomfortable.  Keep up the good work blue!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on August 01, 2019, 08:50:58 AM
You're doing great, and everything I've been reading in your journal shows so much commitment and self-awareness, and it's really impressive and inspiring. Keep it up!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 01, 2019, 04:42:50 PM
Always a pleasure to read your journal man, very relatable (especially with the transitions and Youtube) and continues to motivate and inspire me. One compromise I've made with myself recently: if I transition right from a meal to work right away, I can feel good about taking little pockets of time in the middle of my work to take mental breaks, thus making the work more effective and efficient. Keep it up!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 01, 2019, 06:46:51 PM
Same with me, I never noticed it before because pmo hid it but yeah it's that habit of hiding in something digitally pleasant and entertaining.  I think it might be okay if it's not interfering with your art and passions, but if it is, it isn't cool.

Yeah, getting away from PMO has really opened my eyes to a lot of other things in my life and habits. I think you're right about when it's okay to spend some digital time. Usually, putting something on while I eat or clean isn't a problem. But it can be if I end up procrastinating that productive thing just because I'm trying to find something worthless to watch while I do it, lol.

I think less about the situation and more about how to keep doing it right. Anyway, a strip club shouldn't be a problem for you. Get inside! It's the real thing, not a screen! Ha Ha! I'm kidding (or not).

Ew strip clubs, I'd be careful about going in those.  Personally I stay away, they make me uncomfortable.  Keep up the good work blue!

Lol, I think I'm with squid on this one. Definitely not an option for me. A strip club might not be porn on a screen, but it's also not a meaningful relationship (and that's the only thing that counts as the real thing for me!) Plus I spent so much time and effort keeping my PMO habit a secret, I could never go out and do something public like that! Ha ha!

You're doing great, and everything I've been reading in your journal shows so much commitment and self-awareness, and it's really impressive and inspiring. Keep it up!

Always a pleasure to read your journal man, very relatable (especially with the transitions and Youtube) and continues to motivate and inspire me. One compromise I've made with myself recently: if I transition right from a meal to work right away, I can feel good about taking little pockets of time in the middle of my work to take mental breaks, thus making the work more effective and efficient. Keep it up!

Thanks so much for your support! It always means a lot a gives me a boost.

That sounds like a great compromise! Whenever things get really busy and it seems like there is more to do in a day than time to do, I have found a lot of success working for an hour and then goofing off for 15 minutes and then repeating that cycle until I'm done. Those little breaks count for a lot! But I always forget about that when things aren't as stressful. I wonder what I could get done if I applied that habit to the rest of my life and not just final-exams season?

Today was another pretty pleasant day. I woke up and got out of bed much quicker than I have lately (and with way less screen time). Exercised, did my morning routine, and then got to work. I made a lot of progress on a project that is a little behind schedule, went out to buy some home-improvement stuff, and got caught up again on emails. It was a way more productive day than I've had in a while, and I'm pretty sure it's because I started out by writing it all down. One of the first things I did today was make a list and a plan for what I was going to do and when I was going to do it.

You know, I spend a lot of time worrying about the purpose or direction for my life. I can't figure all that out, but I can figure out a purpose or direction for each day. If I can just focus on making each day great, I can probably end up having a life that is too.

Maybe that's too existential. Here's to a great tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 01, 2019, 09:25:48 PM
Great work.  Morning exercises give me so much energy :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 02, 2019, 05:50:03 PM
Great work.  Morning exercises give me so much energy :)

Thanks! I bought an actual real weight yesterday (lol) and used it today when I exercised. Definitely something has changed for me: it used to be that the thought of lifting a weight or doing any kind of sweaty working out would be a non-starter for me. I was kind of excited about it today though, and I felt ready to go after working out. It took a while of doing other things (like yoga) to get me to this point, but it's evidence that we really can change. I have exercised before because I knew I had to, but I have never looked forward to it before.

The rest of the day was pretty good, too. I ran into someone I haven't seen in a few months and we caught up. Then I went to work and came home to watch a couple episodes of a comedy and have dinner. Now I'm posting here and thinking about calling it a night a little earlier than usual. Who knows? The night is young, as they say.

Here's to a great weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 03, 2019, 06:52:15 PM
Quiet day today. Worked on some projects throughout the day, took some time relax, not much to it.

A wave of sadness sort of overtook me this afternoon. It's a little better now, but it's hard to say what triggered it. I think in a lot of ways, I'm just still not where I want to be in life and I'm just not sure what to do about it. Guess all I can do (like I told myself earlier this week lol) is to take it a day at a time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I have a social event to go to that could be really good (or really a waste). The only way to find out is to go and see what happens. Fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 03, 2019, 08:58:40 PM
I feel that way too sometimes.  You are doing really well, keep your goal in mind and take it step by step
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 04, 2019, 04:17:28 AM
Quiet day today. Worked on some projects throughout the day, took some time relax, not much to it.

A wave of sadness sort of overtook me this afternoon. It's a little better now, but it's hard to say what triggered it. I think in a lot of ways, I'm just still not where I want to be in life and I'm just not sure what to do about it. Guess all I can do (like I told myself earlier this week lol) is to take it a day at a time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I have a social event to go to that could be really good (or really a waste). The only way to find out is to go and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

It happened to me too. I had a moment of sadness like that for being single.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 04, 2019, 04:54:23 AM
You know, I spend a lot of time worrying about the purpose or direction for my life. I can't figure all that out, but I can figure out a purpose or direction for each day. If I can just focus on making each day great, I can probably end up having a life that is too.

Beautiful thought! :)

A wave of sadness sort of overtook me this afternoon. It's a little better now, but it's hard to say what triggered it. I think in a lot of ways, I'm just still not where I want to be in life and I'm just not sure what to do about it. Guess all I can do (like I told myself earlier this week lol) is to take it a day at a time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I have a social event to go to that could be really good (or really a waste). The only way to find out is to go and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

You call it a wave and I think that's a good expression because waves come and go. Reboot isn't a linear process that steadily goes up and life itself will always hold negative moments and deceptions. Leaving addiction behind won't save us from sadness, but make us strong enough to handle it. You've been incredibly self-reflective on all situations and will make it through this too. I really hope the social event went well for you! :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 04, 2019, 07:00:31 PM
You all continue to be the best! Thanks for you support and encouragement!

150 days today. The cleanest and strictest 150 days I can remember, and the longest (and most deliberate) clean stretch I've had in years. There are times when I've gone longer without PMO, but I couldn't tell you why I managed to do it then. It was just sort of accidental or a product of my circumstances. Now, though, I know exactly why I've made it 150 days. I'm aware of triggers, and I know what to do about them. I have a better handle on my internal state than ever before. Instead of just crossing my fingers and hoping I won't want to look at porn ever again, I can recognize that I probably will continue to want porn from time to time, but I don't just have to cross my fingers. I can make a choice. It's so basic and so obvious, but it's taken me years to realize. I don't have to let urges make the choice for me.

My next goal is 184 days. It's a weird number, but (if I'm doing the math right, lol) that will put me at 6 months even from the start of the current streak. It's the longest goal I've set (34 days), but I've heard it's good to push past the comfort zone every once in a while.

I really hope the social event went well for you! :)

Thanks! It actually went pretty well. I went to a potluck and ended up sitting at a table with some of my friends and a few women I hadn't met before. There was a lot of get-to-know-you stuff, but it was just sort of fun and pleasant. They seem like awesome women, and it was fun just to spend some time talking.

I have a bad habit of putting all my eggs in one basket way too quickly (falling for someone at the drop of a hat). So I'm being pretty deliberate about not doing that. I also have a worse habit of keeping it to myself (never talking to a person I'm particularly interested in). I sort of knew and hoped that the people I met today would be there today, and I'm glad that I went to their table and sat down (it helped that some of my friends were already there too) instead of just watching them from the other side of the room. It's all progress, and there's still potential. So we'll see where it goes.

This is looking like it will be a much busier week. School stuff is starting to pick back up again. The last semester was so rough that I can already feel myself dreading what's ahead, worrying that it will be as bad as it was. But I keep telling myself that that fear isn't realistic. The first part of this year was pretty bad for a lot of reasons, and none of them are still true for this next year.

So some good experiences and some typical worrying. An above-average day for me.

Forward to day 151!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 05, 2019, 04:07:11 AM
Damn, man! 150 days! That's an example of discipline for all of us.

I understand what you mean by saying you know how you got to 150 days. I could say the same for my 15 days. I know it's not as many, but we did it because of doing the right things, not by hoping luck would somehow make us survive. It wasn't accidental. I understand now what's like to want porn but choose not to do anything about it. This has been a big help for me. I like to look at it this way: "Recovery is pain but it's a short period in comparison to the rest of our lives. One day this big craving for porn will leave us alone." I'm just waiting for that day to come.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 05, 2019, 10:34:06 AM
150 is an amazing milestone, congratulations on your latest success and thanks for your constant support to me and the whole community!  :)

Good to see things went well at your event, I hope this means the wave of sadness vanished?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Ender on August 05, 2019, 11:12:38 AM
Wow! Congratulations on 150 days! That's really impressive and very inspiring. Keep up the awesome work.

I really related with what you said about falling for women at the drop of a hat and never doing anything about it. That's me all over. In fact, I've never approached a woman, every partner I had approached me first. This is one of the big reasons I am trying to end my addiction. I'm done with my lack of confidence and my completely passive attitude towards dating. I think you made an excellent decision by talking to them but not becoming immediately attached to one.

Your story so far has been really inspiring. I look forward to hearing you continue your journey!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 05, 2019, 04:48:12 PM
Seems like the potluck went well! I actually had a similar experience this weekend at a party, got to talk to a bunch of women that I didn’t know...on one hand it’s not a big deal but on the other it felt really nice to organically strike up a conversation with people I didn’t know, given my shyness. It’s cool to see the benefits of a streak unfolding, but sometimes you can only see it in hindsight. Keep going strong my man!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 05, 2019, 07:43:55 PM
Wow! Congratulations on 150 days! That's really impressive and very inspiring. Keep up the awesome work.

I really related with what you said about falling for women at the drop of a hat and never doing anything about it. That's me all over. In fact, I've never approached a woman, every partner I had approached me first. This is one of the big reasons I am trying to end my addiction. I'm done with my lack of confidence and my completely passive attitude towards dating. I think you made an excellent decision by talking to them but not becoming immediately attached to one.

Your story so far has been really inspiring. I look forward to hearing you continue your journey!

Yes this is relatable to me too.  Let's be courageous and speak the truth and find awesome ladies!!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 05, 2019, 08:49:41 PM
Damn, man! 150 days! That's an example of discipline for all of us.

I understand what you mean by saying you know how you got to 150 days. I could say the same for my 15 days. I know it's not as many, but we did it because of doing the right things, not by hoping luck would somehow make us survive. It wasn't accidental. I understand now what's like to want porn but choose not to do anything about it. This has been a big help for me. I like to look at it this way: "Recovery is pain but it's a short period in comparison to the rest of our lives. One day this big craving for porn will leave us alone." I'm just waiting for that day to come.

Thanks, Lero! Don't sell those 15 days short: I'm super excited about where you are right now. The only day that really matters is today (but it is fun and helpful to talk about streaks). It really does make a difference that we know exactly how we got to where we are. It wasn't an accident, and that means we can keep doing it. The days of intense craving do pass (or, at least, I've been in kind of a quiet spot for the last while).

150 is an amazing milestone, congratulations on your latest success and thanks for your constant support to me and the whole community!  :)

Good to see things went well at your event, I hope this means the wave of sadness vanished?

Thanks so much! Yeah, I guess the wave of sadness did pass. Usually the sort of thing that a good night of sleep will fix.

Wow! Congratulations on 150 days! That's really impressive and very inspiring. Keep up the awesome work.

I really related with what you said about falling for women at the drop of a hat and never doing anything about it. That's me all over. In fact, I've never approached a woman, every partner I had approached me first. This is one of the big reasons I am trying to end my addiction. I'm done with my lack of confidence and my completely passive attitude towards dating. I think you made an excellent decision by talking to them but not becoming immediately attached to one.

Your story so far has been really inspiring. I look forward to hearing you continue your journey!

Thanks for you support! I definitely haven't had many healthy relationships. A couple, but they have been few and far between. Usually what happens is I think that there's no way the women I'm interested in could be interested back, so I just pine for them from a distance. Meanwhile, because I've tanked my self esteem, I let women I'm not interested approach me. So there's this endless mismatch. But I'm learning to like myself more and definitely working on becoming the kind of guy that would be interesting to an awesome woman. We'll get there!

And your story has been inspiring to me too. I'm excited to see where it takes you!

Seems like the potluck went well! I actually had a similar experience this weekend at a party, got to talk to a bunch of women that I didn’t know...on one hand it’s not a big deal but on the other it felt really nice to organically strike up a conversation with people I didn’t know, given my shyness. It’s cool to see the benefits of a streak unfolding, but sometimes you can only see it in hindsight. Keep going strong my man!

Yeah, it was great. You know, there's a lot to be said for just talking to women without romance or sex being on the table. Like just relating to people as people and developing social skills. I've been to speed dating things a couple times, never with the expectation that it would go anywhere, and it was a lot of fun because it was just a chance to talk and meet people and practice. I'm the worst as starting conversations (once they get started I'm okay), so structured things definitely help.

And that hindsight stuff is real. As I've gone through the last few months, they have felt like some of the hardest and worst ones I can remember. But I've been looking back on them in the last couple days, and I'm starting to see some of the payoff that I didn't recognize in the moment. Here's to looking back on many days of unrecognized success!

Yes this is relatable to me too.  Let's be courageous and speak the truth and find awesome ladies!!

Lol, for sure! Sounds like a great plan to me! Thanks for you continuing support!

Today was a pretty normal day. Worked on a creative project, went to work. I had another social thing tonight (hoping maybe to see some of the same women from yesterday). They didn't show, and the event was suuuuuper boring. Kind of a bust, but I'm okay with it. I'm just working on being okay with things, accepting them and carrying on. There will be other chances and other people. Today was never going to be my only chance.

I did get back late today, and I thought I wasn't going to post. But I just had to: now I'm on a 10 day streak of posting in my journal! It's not something I want to be too strict about, but it has been so helpful to me that I definitely want to make sure it doesn't slip. So much has changed since I started posting here, and I owe it all to you all. It's good to have to space for my own reflection, but I had been doing that before on my own. The real difference is having people on the other end and working on this in a community.

Keep up the amazing work, each of you! Tomorrow is another day for success!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 06, 2019, 07:02:44 PM
Another busier day, but an okay one too.

I have mentioned before how I'm also working on my weight. Well, I ordered some clothes that I was 100% sure were the right size, but they got here today and ended up being too small still. In all reality, it's not a big deal. I'm still working on my weight, and I'm pretty sure they will fit just fine before too long.

But it still tossed me into a deep feeling of disappointment. Like, even after all my work and progress, it still didn't count. I wasn't sure if I was sad or angry (still not sure, but I'm calmer than I was).

Probably I've been riding a little high on myself the last couple weeks, and that's good to recognize. To be fair, I really have started to see and feel the results of my work the last few months, and that is exciting. But I might have blown it out of proportion. Either way, it was really frustrating to realize that I still wasn't where I wanted to be. I'm closer than ever before, but still not "good enough."

I don't know. I think this is the sort of thing that I just need to sleep off. I'm also pretty stressed out about how busy I'll be with orientation stuff for the next week or so, so that probably isn't helping. There was a split second in there when my brain tried to suggest porn as a solution, and I was just like, "Really? That's obviously not how we fix this problem." No urge, just a momentary thought.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day, and there's nothing about where I am today that has to be final. I'm still progressing and still going places. Those clothes didn't fit today, but it probably won't be too long before they do.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 06, 2019, 08:03:11 PM
Good job recognizing the thought and not inviting it into your mind.  P thoughts, as you know, are terrible house guests and leave messes everywhere.  Best to let them go on by.  Weight is a tricky one because it's a personal struggle that is very visible to the outside world.  If you have a plan and are sticking to it you will lose the weight.  And you will look back on the activities you had to do to lose the weight like running through neighborhoods, going outside more, finding a new sport etc, and realise the pleasure you got out of the journey.  Enjoy it man.  Make sure you have a plan and stick to it and you'll get there before you know it.

I always think when things don't go my way super easy.  "At least I'll be able to use my personal story to motivate others who are struggling, my story has become more relatable"
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 07, 2019, 04:28:28 PM
I can definitely relate to this. It is easy to feel not good enough about certain aspects in life when you are doing all the right things and the results aren’t always there. Progress first is motivational, then starts to feel normal, and then can turn into a burden. Know that you are always good enough just by putting in the effort to improve, as that is a sign of strength of character. Unfortunately you can never see that in a mirror, but it is infinitely more important than whatever your outside appearance may be. Best of luck to you man, you have helped so many people here and we are all rooting for you!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: rob24 on August 07, 2019, 06:06:51 PM
Congratulations on over 150 days man! Inspiring to hear it, and glad you're doing well in many ways, and it also sounds like you're good at managing your emotions, which I'm learning is becoming a core skill to work on after using PMO as a pair of crutches for years. Now I need to learn to use my own legs to walk. Good to hear that you're putting yourself out there more and open to different types of encounters. Still trying to work on this myself, as I was so one-dimensionally obsessed with sex from PMO. Using different social contexts to be more socially healthy sounds like a great idea. Keep at it!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 07, 2019, 07:07:47 PM
I'll never get tired of saying it, and it continues to be true: you all are the best. Thanks so much for your comments and support.

Weight is a tricky one because it's a personal struggle that is very visible to the outside world.  If you have a plan and are sticking to it you will lose the weight.  And you will look back on the activities you had to do to lose the weight like running through neighborhoods, going outside more, finding a new sport etc, and realise the pleasure you got out of the journey.  Enjoy it man.  Make sure you have a plan and stick to it and you'll get there before you know it.

I always think when things don't go my way super easy.  "At least I'll be able to use my personal story to motivate others who are struggling, my story has become more relatable"

Thanks, squid! Yeah, this is a tough one. I don't how weight and porn and all the rest got tangled up with my poor self-image through my teen years, and I'm never going to try to untangle them. Long story short, there was a cocktail of awful things working together to make me feel miserable and now, over a decade later, I'm finally straightening myself out.  I really appreciate the reminder that things will work out if I just keep doing what I'm doing. I think I wrote it earlier, but I actually enjoy working out. Never thought that would happen, and that's a big victory no matter what. Can't lose sight of that.

And thanks for that last line, too. I always forget about stuff like that. I'm usually in a grumpy mood and think things like "I don't care if this will let me help people later. I want things to be easy now!" But that's kind of a silly attitude. Just being in this community has helped me to see how my own struggles can help me to understand and help people who are struggling too.

I can definitely relate to this. It is easy to feel not good enough about certain aspects in life when you are doing all the right things and the results aren’t always there. Progress first is motivational, then starts to feel normal, and then can turn into a burden. Know that you are always good enough just by putting in the effort to improve, as that is a sign of strength of character. Unfortunately you can never see that in a mirror, but it is infinitely more important than whatever your outside appearance may be. Best of luck to you man, you have helped so many people here and we are all rooting for you!

Such a great boost, man. Thanks a lot! It really does mean a lot to  know you're rooting for me.

Congratulations on over 150 days man! Inspiring to hear it, and glad you're doing well in many ways, and it also sounds like you're good at managing your emotions, which I'm learning is becoming a core skill to work on after using PMO as a pair of crutches for years. Now I need to learn to use my own legs to walk. Good to hear that you're putting yourself out there more and open to different types of encounters. Still trying to work on this myself, as I was so one-dimensionally obsessed with sex from PMO. Using different social contexts to be more socially healthy sounds like a great idea. Keep at it!

Thanks, it definitely is about more than just quitting PMO. It really is about building the kind of life that PMO kept us from having. Porn sucks up all our time and tells us we aren't worth it anyway so why try. Once we get some distance from PMO, the possibilities open up, and the drive to achieve them definitely comes back.

Today was a long day. I'm helping to facilitate an orientation at school, and so it feels like I'm "on stage" all day. I also didn't sleep very well last night (probably just nervous about today), but I did wake up early so that I could get some exercise in. It would be very easy to let it slide for the next few days because my schedule is messed up, but it's important to me to keep the habit going.

Long story short, it was an exhausting, but overall decent day. Back at it all tomorrow, but at least it won't be "new" anymore. Busy days. But busy days are good: they give me less time to get in my own head and get into trouble.

Keep on going strong! And thanks again for your support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on August 08, 2019, 06:50:53 AM
 I think you are doing a beautiful job figuring out some heavy shit. Wishinig nothing but the best on your journey. Fortunately, you don't have to face it alone. Sending good vibes zazzle! zing! your way!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 08, 2019, 07:23:47 PM
I think you are doing a beautiful job figuring out some heavy shit. Wishinig nothing but the best on your journey. Fortunately, you don't have to face it alone. Sending good vibes zazzle! zing! your way!  :)

Thanks for the zazzle and zing!

Today was another day like yesterday, structured and busy from start to finish. I spend a lot of time teaching, and I really like it, but for some reason, I'm super self-conscious when it comes to helping with this orientation. Maybe it's just because my audience is more experienced and has stronger opinions now. I don't know. One more day of it for this week, and then I can get some rest over the weekend to do it again for another few days.

Some quiet sadness this evening, not really attached to anything in particular. Probably just me feeling tired. So I guess it's time to call it quits for the day.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 08, 2019, 10:34:33 PM
Rest up my friend, tomorrow's another awesome day :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 09, 2019, 01:45:55 PM
Thanks for your constant support, you are doing an incredible job and seem to have your problem under control due to your awareness of the slightest trouble along the road. You are helping me and others here to gain hope in this fight while making awesome progress yourself. While there's not much to say about your quiet and busy days, I hope things stay as quiet as they are now for you and you keep being an inspiration!  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 09, 2019, 06:22:10 PM
Thanks, guys!

The third day of the orientation is over, just three more days of it next week. I definitely feel self-conscious/uncomfortable being "on" all day in front of people, but I did have some people today tell me that they thought I was doing a good job, which really meant a lot and helped me to feel more comfortable.

Huge headache tonight, though. I've been having to get up slightly earlier than usual in order to get to the orientation and still have time for working out (a few months ago, I would have just skipped exercising, but it is more important to me now). My body always gets really mad at me when I get even a little less than 8 hours of sleep a night, punishing me with headaches. But the day is almost over, and hopefully I can get my head to forgive me, lol.

I had an interesting experience today when I was driving home. For as long as I can remember, whenever I have seen an attractive woman, I have felt a sort of urgent feeling, usually in my stomach and groin. It's that kind of hungry feeling that makes me want to stare just for the pleasure of it, the thought that I have to look (in a gross, creepy way) because I don't want to miss out. I came to realize that that was just me being triggered and using real people as dopamine buttons.

But here's the point. When I was driving home today, I noticed that there was a very attractive woman jogging down the side of the street, dressed in a sort of revealing way. Normally, this would be a high-alert moment where I would feel that kind of feeling that makes me stare and kind of feel sick (I hope you know the kind of feeling I'm talking about). But that's not what happened. Instead, I just had the thought, "Wow, she's very good looking." And that was it. It was just a thought, an observation. There was no intense feeling associated with it. Sort of as if I had noticed that the sun was out or there was a bird on road. It was just a fact about what I was seeing, and it didn't trigger the sort of physical/emotional thing that used to take over me when I saw women. It was calm, and I felt for the first time like it was something I could observe and appreciate but not get carried away by.

After a few months away from porn, signs of progress have sort of slowed down. Most days feel like business as usual. But today was another little signal that things are still progressing. I was able to see a woman, recognize that she was attractive, and still not lose control of my mind and body. A first for me, I think.

Recovery feels more normal as the days goes on, less restrictive and "unnatural." But even then, there are still signs that things are getting better. I'm excited to see what other unexpected improvements are in store.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: rob24 on August 09, 2019, 08:22:59 PM
Thanks, guys!

The third day of the orientation is over, just three more days of it next week. I definitely feel self-conscious/uncomfortable being "on" all day in front of people, but I did have some people today tell me that they thought I was doing a good job, which really meant a lot and helped me to feel more comfortable.

Huge headache tonight, though. I've been having to get up slightly earlier than usual in order to get to the orientation and still have time for working out (a few months ago, I would have just skipped exercising, but it is more important to me now). My body always gets really mad at me when I get even a little less than 8 hours of sleep a night, punishing me with headaches. But the day is almost over, and hopefully I can get my head to forgive me, lol.

I had an interesting experience today when I was driving home. For as long as I can remember, whenever I have seen an attractive woman, I have felt a sort of urgent feeling, usually in my stomach and groin. It's that kind of hungry feeling that makes me want to stare just for the pleasure of it, the thought that I have to look (in a gross, creepy way) because I don't want to miss out. I came to realize that that was just me being triggered and using real people as dopamine buttons.

But here's the point. When I was driving home today, I noticed that there was a very attractive woman jogging down the side of the street, dressed in a sort of revealing way. Normally, this would be a high-alert moment where I would feel that kind of feeling that makes me stare and kind of feel sick (I hope you know the kind of feeling I'm talking about). But that's not what happened. Instead, I just had the thought, "Wow, she's very good looking." And that was it. It was just a thought, an observation. There was no intense feeling associated with it. Sort of as if I had noticed that the sun was out or there was a bird on road. It was just a fact about what I was seeing, and it didn't trigger the sort of physical/emotional thing that used to take over me when I saw women. It was calm, and I felt for the first time like it was something I could observe and appreciate but not get carried away by.

After a few months away from porn, signs of progress have sort of slowed down. Most days feel like business as usual. But today was another little signal that things are still progressing. I was able to see a woman, recognize that she was attractive, and still not lose control of my mind and body. A first for me, I think.

Recovery feels more normal as the days goes on, less restrictive and "unnatural." But even then, there are still signs that things are getting better. I'm excited to see what other unexpected improvements are in store.

Sounds like you are doing a good job in both your rewiring and your work!

Good observations on subtlety of rewiring changes. I've been experiencing the exact same thing almost constantly on my commute, passing hundreds of attractive women each day and looking around like a hungry guy in a bakery who's not allowed to eat. I simultaneously feel sick, longing, horniness, disgust, insecurity, happiness, an impulse to stare, and an impulse not to stare. It's like I feel like a dying animal looking longingly at all of the women it could have been with/missed out on. It increases this awful sense that I'm a victim, which is exactly the feeling that I'm trying to teach myself to challenge and turn over. Do you think it's related to the endless novelty of pornography? I feel bad for myself whenever I feel these things.

Though I too felt this weird sort of momentary resolve today while sitting at a bus stop, and I just suddenly stopped thinking those thoughts, and I thought less about myself and how I felt in comparison to these people - I thought "I just look like another person to them", which made me feel more normal, and I thought more good-willed, positive thoughts about other people, even when I saw a woman I thought looked attractive, and I'd normally judge/feel judged. I didn't feel like she was quietly judging me, and if she did, I would have felt bad for her or anyone else thinking like that (like I am/have been). I think it relates for me to some experiences I had in grade school when I minded my own business a lot, but there were one or two occasions when other kids took it upon themselves to make me feel ostracized since i was a huge geek and that's how teenagers behave. I remember this one girl in seventh grade asking where I went out on Friday nights just to have a laugh. I was just quiet. I had no EQ back then and took it really hard. Anyway, on this ride, I ended up having a conversation with the bus driver, with whom I've never spoken, but it turned out to be a fun conversation, and he made me laugh really hard. Maybe I need to pull the plug on rating myself and thinking that seeing women is just a search for novelty. It would be amazing to walk around in society and not feel like people were always trying to negatively judge and one up each other. It seems like having a good will and thinking positive thoughts and less about yourself helps you see yourself not in comparison, but in community. Maybe I (we?) are making progress on this end. Though perhaps these are thoughts only I'm having. Just weighing in!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 09, 2019, 11:52:38 PM
Quote
Good observations on subtlety of rewiring changes. I've been experiencing the exact same thing almost constantly on my commute, passing hundreds of attractive women each day and looking around like a hungry guy in a bakery who's not allowed to eat

Haha me too dude.  It will calm down in a few weeks in my experience.  But yeah my brain is like okay no pmo but I'm feeling lots of things and there are lots of attractive women, why can't we bring the two together?  Lol
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on August 10, 2019, 05:03:16 AM
Completely tottaly proud of you :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 10, 2019, 01:38:33 PM
Sometimes when things start to feel the most mundane, exciting things are in the near future....keep going and inspiring others, and thank you for your continued support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 10, 2019, 01:40:19 PM
Sometimes when things start to feel the most mundane, exciting things are in the near future....keep going and inspiring others, and thank you for your continued support!

That's right, man. Blue Heron has a big part in me reaching 20 days.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 10, 2019, 05:55:29 PM
I've been experiencing the exact same thing almost constantly on my commute, passing hundreds of attractive women each day and looking around like a hungry guy in a bakery who's not allowed to eat. I simultaneously feel sick, longing, horniness, disgust, insecurity, happiness, an impulse to stare, and an impulse not to stare. It's like I feel like a dying animal looking longingly at all of the women it could have been with/missed out on. It increases this awful sense that I'm a victim, which is exactly the feeling that I'm trying to teach myself to challenge and turn over. Do you think it's related to the endless novelty of pornography? I feel bad for myself whenever I feel these things.

I know this feeling exactly! I used to just sit at stoplights and watch the people drive by in the other direction, hoping to see someone attractive go past and also afraid that I miss one. I definitely think it's related to porn use. My commutes used to be exactly like walking around a bakery and not being allowed to eat. In fact, a lot of my most recent triggers have involved not handling myself well when I saw an attractive woman out and about.

What happened yesterday was like a prime meditative experience, though, lol. I just observed her going by without getting wrapped up in the fact that she was there. What I have spent a long time practicing with my thoughts finally actually happened with a potential trigger. (So another shoutout to meditation!)

Completely tottaly proud of you :)

Thank you! It means a lot!

Sometimes when things start to feel the most mundane, exciting things are in the near future....keep going and inspiring others, and thank you for your continued support!

I'm all set for exciting things in the future, bring them on! Thank you for your continued support and encouragement, too!

That's right, man. Blue Heron has a big part in me reaching 20 days.

Thanks so much, Lero! For years, this addiction was my own private nightmare and I was pretty sure that A) I would never overcome it and B) No good would ever come from it. Since joining here, though, I have found more success in overcoming it, and, more amazingly, I have found ways that this addiction has put me in a position to help other people. The fact that I have had any part in helping you is just amazing to me. Truly, thank you for your kind words, and keep crushing it!

Today was a chill and much-needed day at home. I did a little cooking, a little cleaning, and took an accidental nap. I downloaded an audiobook about addiction today. It has been pretty interesting, and I laid down just to finish the last 5 minutes of the chapter. Then I woke up a few chapters later. Guess I'll have to rewind a little and catch back up.

One thing I learned today from the audiobook: addicts and non-addicts experience the same levels of pleasure. Addicts experience way more intense cravings, though, and that's dopamine at work. The more we act out, the more intense the cravings get. In fact, the more we act out on our addictions, the more we supercharge our pleasure center and the more our brain numbs itself to compensate. That's why addictions escalate and probably why it's so hard to find pleasure in things that aren't our addictions. We talk about how our addictions numb us to the world, but that is literally what happens. Our brains try to shut down our pleasure centers because they're being overworked.

Keep on keeping on!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 11, 2019, 12:49:43 PM
Very interesting to hear that addicts and non-addicts experience the same pleasure, I've never thought about it that way but its true; when I feed my addicted brain P, it's partly pleasurable but a huge part of it is just the feeling of relief from the negative feelings of rebooting. That's why if we keep relapsing, our sense of relief is less and less, even if our pleasure levels are similar.

I have been very committed these last two days to having a more meditative experience; whenever I catch a distracting thought, I center myself through focusing on my senses, and then I let my mind be free until I catch myself being distracted again. I think before I was too focused on forcing my brain to pay attention; it is important to gently guide the brain and then let it go so there is a sense of freedom rather than restriction. Keep on being great!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 11, 2019, 08:35:06 PM
I have been very committed these last two days to having a more meditative experience; whenever I catch a distracting thought, I center myself through focusing on my senses, and then I let my mind be free until I catch myself being distracted again. I think before I was too focused on forcing my brain to pay attention; it is important to gently guide the brain and then let it go so there is a sense of freedom rather than restriction.

Yeah, this is great! I have definitely found more success lately just treating real life triggers in the way I treat thoughts when I meditate. Going into the meditative mode more often (and not just when I'm meditating) has saved my skin a couple times in the last few months. Man, meditation has made such a big difference for me, but it has taken a couple years of daily practice for it to really sink in.

Today was a pretty good day, actually. Had a good time at church and then I had dinner with a friend. Tomorrow is a busy day, but today was pretty restful and good, so I feel ready for whatever tomorrow will throw at me (I hope).

Just a few more days of this orientation and then I can go back to normal for a little bit before school starts up. I don't even want to think about that, though, lol.

Let's go have a great week!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: rob24 on August 11, 2019, 09:55:22 PM
The meditation and church sound great! I'd love to get back to church just to be part of my town community again. The audiobook also sounds interesting...very interesting. Would you possibly be able to share? Keep it up Heron!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 12, 2019, 04:50:29 AM
Very interesting to hear that addicts and non-addicts experience the same pleasure, I've never thought about it that way but its true; when I feed my addicted brain P, it's partly pleasurable but a huge part of it is just the feeling of relief from the negative feelings of rebooting. That's why if we keep relapsing, our sense of relief is less and less, even if our pleasure levels are similar.

Definitely, man. Sometimes I just want to relapse to stop the pain of withdrawal.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 12, 2019, 02:28:04 PM
I am with you BlueHeron,  have meditating for 2 years as well and only just recently have I found a deeper sense of appreciation for it...before it just felt like I was doing it because "why not, it couldn't hurt...it could only do good." But now, I have really thought about it as a part of my life that will never leave me, as the mind will always dictate our thoughts and actions.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 12, 2019, 10:18:18 PM
Wishing you the best blue, hope the day went awesome!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 13, 2019, 02:53:17 PM
For years, this addiction was my own private nightmare and I was pretty sure that A) I would never overcome it and B) No good would ever come from it. Since joining here, though, I have found more success in overcoming it, and, more amazingly, I have found ways that this addiction has put me in a position to help other people.

I completely agree on this! I guess this has never been a better community than now and I am happy to be a part of it. By helping others we are also helping ourselves to stay aware. When I read your story it motivates me to see someone making it further than I ever did and when I read about the struggle of those making it through the first month, it reminds me I never want to go back there. It's also some kind of accountability to write here about progress and not about relapsing (although there would be lots of support of course). Success and support go hand in hand as everybody seems to advance more than ever and I hope we can all keep it that way for a long time! :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 13, 2019, 04:15:53 PM
I completely agree on this! I guess this has never been a better community than now and I am happy to be a part of it. By helping others we are also helping ourselves to stay aware. When I read your story it motivates me to see someone making it further than I ever did and when I read about the struggle of those making it through the first month, it reminds me I never want to go back there. It's also some kind of accountability to write here about progress and not about relapsing (although there would be lots of support of course). Success and support go hand in hand as everybody seems to advance more than ever and I hope we can all keep it that way for a long time! :)

Absolutely, man. Let's say you have a 20 days streak but things are hard as fuck, it's a blessing to have someone who has, let's say, an 80 days streak telling you: "I've been there but now I'm here". It helps see that it's possible, that it's normal what's going on. It helps me say: "If he could do it, I should be able too." BlueHeron's tripple digits streak is mind blowing for me right now.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 13, 2019, 06:26:45 PM
The meditation and church sound great! I'd love to get back to church just to be part of my town community again. The audiobook also sounds interesting...very interesting. Would you possibly be able to share? Keep it up Heron!

Yes! It's part of The Great Courses, called The Addictive Brain, by Thad Polk. A lot of it is drug-focused, but it does say that he addresses behavioral addictions (gambling, sex) later on. But it continues to be fascinating. He was saying in what I listened to today that the withdrawal symptoms from a drug are the opposite of the effects of the drug. For example, I guess heroin causes a sense of well-being, feelings of warmth, and constipation. Withdrawal from heroin makes people feel anxious, cold, and causes diarrhea. I think I definitely experienced that opposites effect when it comes to quitting porn.

I am with you BlueHeron,  have meditating for 2 years as well and only just recently have I found a deeper sense of appreciation for it...before it just felt like I was doing it because "why not, it couldn't hurt...it could only do good." But now, I have really thought about it as a part of my life that will never leave me, as the mind will always dictate our thoughts and actions.

Yeah, it's just more evidence that the habit or practice can be worth so much more than achieving something at a given time. I never would have started to get to this deeper understanding if I hadn't stuck with it for as long as I have.

I completely agree on this! I guess this has never been a better community than now and I am happy to be a part of it. By helping others we are also helping ourselves to stay aware. When I read your story it motivates me to see someone making it further than I ever did and when I read about the struggle of those making it through the first month, it reminds me I never want to go back there. It's also some kind of accountability to write here about progress and not about relapsing (although there would be lots of support of course). Success and support go hand in hand as everybody seems to advance more than ever and I hope we can all keep it that way for a long time! :)

So true! Even in the several months I've been here, I definitely think the community has changed for the better. So many people are doing so well and turning around to support other people. And I think you hit on a lot of the reasons this community can be such a powerful tool for recovery. There's support, there's the chance to see other people succeed, there's the chance to help other people, and there's accountability. That kind of accountability has been huge for me: knowing someone else might read my posts has really helped me to set aside time regularly to check my thoughts and feelings and really figure out where I am and where I'm going. I always had good intentions to do that on my own, but it only really clicked when I started up here.

It helps see that it's possible, that it's normal what's going on. It helps me say: "If he could do it, I should be able too." BlueHeron's tripple digits streak is mind blowing for me right now.

Thanks! Honestly, it's mind blowing for me too sometimes. I always wished it could happen, but I think I never really believed it was possible. It feels like it hasn't been that long, and it feels like it has been a lifetime. For the most part, though, it just feels like getting through one more day.

Today was the second to last day of the orientation thing, and I am ready for a break! It has been going pretty well, though, so I shouldn't complain. Just tired. I'm starting to feel the earliest signs of a cold coming on (I'm sure it has to do with being around a bunch of people all day and also not getting as much sleep this past week). So I'm going to hit the vitamin C pretty hard and maybe try to get to bed earlier tonight (better to be healthy than productive).

Other than that, not much to say. Lately, porn has felt more like a memory than a present threat. I'm happy about that, but I also don't want to get complacent. 5 months and change is only the tip of the iceberg of the rest of my life.

Here's to a great tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on August 14, 2019, 05:54:40 AM
I’m glad you are here, you are such an amazing warrior and an even better friend. You are an inspiration to me and many more, stay awesome  :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 14, 2019, 06:05:52 PM
I’m glad you are here, you are such an amazing warrior and an even better friend. You are an inspiration to me and many more, stay awesome  :)


Thanks a lot! I really appreciate it!

Today was a pretty good day. The orientation ended, and school starts next week. I have a lot of things to take care of tomorrow now that I have some time to myself again (like laundry, lol).

For tonight, though, I think I'm just going to crash. I'm definitely feeling worn out, but more in an "I've worked hard" kind of way than in an "I'm discouraged and exhausted" kind of way. So I guess that's pretty good.

160 days today, something like 3 weeks away from 6 months.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 15, 2019, 02:35:28 AM
Oh shit, man! 6 fucking months! This is outstanding self-control. I have almost 1 month too.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 15, 2019, 05:25:35 PM
Your success seems still awesome to me, despite not much news you still manage to write about your progress constantly and focus on recovery. That's the key, not taking abstinence for granted.

Lately, porn has felt more like a memory than a present threat.

I want to reach that point too, "present threat" describes pretty well how I feel about porn. It's being afraid of that triggering image that leads to the careless moment of google searching a picture and stumbling across non-nudes that sooner or later lead back to real porn. I guess my 2 1/2 months are not enough, you reached twice the distance towards your latest relapse yet and really established a new life. Good to see, porn lost its "power" to scare you.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 15, 2019, 05:37:06 PM
Thanks Lero!

Your success seems still awesome to me, despite not much news you still manage to write about your progress constantly and focus on recovery. That's the key, not taking abstinence for granted.

Lately, porn has felt more like a memory than a present threat.

I want to reach that point too, "present threat" describes pretty well how I feel about porn. It's being afraid of that triggering image that leads to the careless moment of google searching a picture and stumbling across non-nudes that sooner or later lead back to real porn. I guess my 2 1/2 months are not enough, you reached twice the distance towards your latest relapse yet and really established a new life. Good to see, porn lost its "power" to scare you.

And thanks, achilles! I'm glad the slow news of my current phase of recovery is still helpful and not boring. There are definitely still positive changes to look forward to as you continue to progress. I've been aware of things that have been triggers for me, but they don't inspire the same immediate, intense craving that they used to. More and more, it seems like maybe these triggers are moving out of my body and just into my thoughts if that makes sense. Like now I'll have the thought, "Oh, that is something that has been and could be triggering for me, so I better not mess with it." In the past it was more like, "Whoa, my body is freaking out, that was a trigger, go into emergency evasive maneuvers!"

I have had two longer streaks in my life, and it didn't take much for me to slip back into a PMO cycle. So even if it's all less urgent and difficult, it's still important to stay vigilant. This streak, as I'm sure I've said before, is pretty fundamentally different from the others, though: this one isn't an accident. The first long streak was because I had really limited internet access for a while, and the second one was probably just because I was in a relationship and was really trying to be on my best behavior. But this time, the only reason I have had to stay clean was the pure motive to kick the habit, and I know exactly what I have done to get to this point. This streak isn't a lucky accident; it's hard work, and I'm grateful for whatever changed in me that let me get this far this time (and for all of y'all's life-changing support!). But it's still just the beginning!

Today was a way calmer day than I have had in a long time. The emotional high point was doing laundry, lol.

For real, though, I had a weird kind of happiness when I was doing laundry today. It was a quiet day, I was back in my routine, and I was doing something to take care of myself and get back on track (I was on my last set of clean clothes). I think there really is something to good routines, at least for me. It just felt good to be doing laundry (and I never thought I would say that, lol!)

I have developed some good routines during this summer break from school, like working out and reading at night instead of using screens right up to bedtime. I have also fallen out of other good routines (like scheduling my days). I want to take some time (hopefully tomorrow) to look at my schedule for the school year and to figure out some regular blocks of time for developing good routines. I usually let school control my life when it's in session, and I really don't want to go back to that kind of life. I want to stay in control and keep school from taking over everything, and I think that can only happen if I'm more deliberate with my time and routines.

Still sort of on the brink of getting sick, doing my best to keep the symptoms away!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 15, 2019, 06:15:04 PM
I want to reach that point too, "present threat" describes pretty well how I feel about porn. It's being afraid of that triggering image that leads to the careless moment of google searching a picture and stumbling across non-nudes that sooner or later lead back to real porn. I guess my 2 1/2 months are not enough, you reached twice the distance towards your latest relapse yet and really established a new life. Good to see, porn lost its "power" to scare you.

Yeah, I want to reach that place too. Right now, when porn is so vivid in my mind and the craving is there, a day when this doesn't bother me anymore seems unreal, because when was the last time when I didn't crave porn? When I was 12 or something? After so many years, I forgot what it means to be porn free. Okay, I understand that maybe we won't really be totally porn free but I'm talking about being left alone most of the time and not bombarded by fucking craving, urges, flashbacks.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 16, 2019, 06:36:52 PM
Another quieter day for me today. I was going to have a meeting this morning but it got rescheduled, so I ended up with way more time on my hands than I was planning on.

I spent the day getting ready for the weekend. I have a lot on my plate tomorrow, so I wanted to get things taken care of today so that I won't have to worry about it tomorrow.

I have also been pretty worried about losing control of my life again once school starts, so I wrote out a list of things that I want to get done and started to make a weekly chart so that I can visualize how much time I will actually have to still get things done during the semester.

I always feel like I never have any time, but putting the hours of the day into a spreadsheet and actually visualizing the amount of time that school will take made me see just how much time I have if I can be careful enough to use it well. It's still a work in progress, but even starting with it has really made me less nervous about what's coming.

Also, I have been noticing a few quiet urges throughout the last couple days. Nothing I want to get too worried about, but definitely something to stay alert to.

Here's to a great weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: AustinGr33n on August 16, 2019, 09:48:33 PM
I'm new to the community but just wanted to say I'm super impressed with your streak man! Very inspiring.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 17, 2019, 06:34:23 PM
I'm new to the community but just wanted to say I'm super impressed with your streak man! Very inspiring.

Thanks, man! Yeah, the length of someone's streak can be impressive, but I only got there by just focusing on getting through one more day. There's no glamorous secret to it, just keeping myself on track one day at a time. It has helped me a lot to set smaller goals. At first, I declared that I was going to go 100 days without porn and failed pretty quick. But then I set a goal to go 30 days. And then 30 more. And then 30 more. Reaching too far at once can overwhelm us. Starting small and sticking with it can really add up over time, though.

Today was, honestly, pretty great. I had a church meeting that really boosted my spirits. One of the speakers was talking about something, and he said something like, "Be wise: If you think it can't happen to you, it probably will. If you think it will happen to you, it probably won't." It immediately made me think of all the times that I thought I was invincible...and then relapsed in a couple days. Lately, I have tried to keep myself aware that a relapse is always possible, and that has helped me to stay much stronger for much longer.

If you think a relapse can happen to you, you'll do what you need to do to avoid one. If you think you are immune from a relapse, you won't take care of yourself like you should, and you probably will relapse. I know I have seen that happen over and over in my life.

I know church and religion aren't for everyone here, but I will say that in the past I would have felt really uncomfortable at a meeting like the one I was in today. Because of this addiction, I have spent a lot of my life feeling like a hypocrite or a liar or like I was somehow unworthy of my faith. That's not how I felt today, though. I just felt comfortable and happy to be there. Another sign of progress in my recovery. And, sure, there are years and years of my own effort going into this, but a lot of that recent progress is traceable right back to this community.

So thank you, all of you, for helping me to continue this journey to feeling like and being a better man.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 18, 2019, 02:45:27 PM
Thank you for sharing that great church experience! I’m not religious myself, but I definitely relate to the speakers message; to me, it stresses the importance of staying humble, and finding freedom through restraint. Keep going, we support you!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 18, 2019, 03:04:16 PM
Thank you for sharing that great church experience! I’m not religious myself, but I definitely relate to the speakers message; to me, it stresses the importance of staying humble, and finding freedom through restraint. Keep going, we support you!

That's right, man. Those who will get rid of the negatives like hate, envy, greed, addictions... will find their piece of mind. I don't know anybody who has them and is happy.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 19, 2019, 05:22:44 PM
Thanks guys!

I ended up on a long phone call with an old friend last night, so I ran out of time to post. We hadn't talked in a long, long time, so it was good to catch up.

Today was a pretty chill day, but I'm not feeling super great about it. Really, I think I'm mostly just nervous about school starting up. The last two school years have been the hardest ones for me, and it feels like I'm just getting ready to have an awful time all over again. That's the wrong attitude, and I'm working at it, but it's still how I feel when things get quiet. I started looking at all the work I'm going to have to do this semester. To be fair, it's less than last semester, but it still feels like a lot. I also bought books today and, for a cheapskate like me, that was a bummer.

So I guess I'm just complaining. I woke up with higher hopes for the day, but sometimes the day just falls flat. That's okay. That's why we have so many of them.

Lately, I don't know that I have been feeling urges, but I have been feeling vulnerable to them if that makes any sense. Sort of like my mind and body feel especially sensitive to triggers, so it has taken some extra careful thinking and effort to make sure they don't go anywhere.

I guess on the bright side I walked past a poster of a nude woman at the bookstore today without even realizing that's what it was until after I was doing down the stairs. The only reaction then was "Huh, I'm surprised they would have that here." So that could have been a very dangerous trigger, and I'm glad I was too wrapped up in my own thoughts at the moment to get tripped up by it. (One of the very small perks of worrying, I guess, lol.)

Oh well, on to another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Do or die on August 19, 2019, 10:02:08 PM
Its good to think about real life problems. Urges makes you anexious . but this withdrawals also makes you strong.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 20, 2019, 04:20:30 AM
Porn is the opposite of living. You can't live your life to the fullest and also keep porn around. You have to choose one and it's clear which one all of us should choose. I prefer being bothered by life than bothered by porn. Abstaining from porn should give your energy back (that you used to throw away with edging and PMO) so now it's time to invest it in what things you want to accomplish in life, fuck this fake temporary pleasure and fake soothing that don't do shit.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 20, 2019, 10:52:35 AM
It's almost impossible to give you any good advice because you seem to have a rather relaxed view on whatever happens despite feeling nervous about school.

So I guess I'm just complaining. I woke up with higher hopes for the day, but sometimes the day just falls flat. That's okay. That's why we have so many of them.

Deal with expectations that don't come true ist - just like dealing with rejection - a new feeling we need to face in the real world. There is no back door called "porn" to escape negative feelings. But they will pass and your attitude is just right to keep going.

Day by day to a yet amazing success, I'm looking forward to keep following your good example! :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 20, 2019, 06:56:58 PM
It's almost impossible to give you any good advice because you seem to have a rather relaxed view on whatever happens despite feeling nervous about school.

Day by day to a yet amazing success, I'm looking forward to keep following your good example! :)

Thanks a lot, achilles! Advice is overrated anyway, lol. Your support means way more anyway!

Today was kind of another parade of disappointments. I had meetings at school that went longer than they were supposed to, so I ended up not eating all day. Then, when I was finally done with meetings and going to grocery store to pick up a couple of things, it started raining so hard! Tired, frustrated, hungry, and soaked! By the time I was leaving the store, I was almost laughing at the day, like it just kept saying, "Oh, you don't think it can get any worse? How about torrential rain?"

So the semester is off to a pretty trash start, and it's only lasted for a day, lol. Oh well, maybe it's just a way of making the days to come seem much better by comparison.

The good news is that I don't have any classes tomorrow, so I can hopefully make up for the some of the time I lost the last two days. I also have a barbecue tomorrow night, which will hopefully be a good chance for some low-stress socializing.

Once I got home, I dried off, put on some comfortable clothes, made a warm dinner, and sat down to a funny tv show. The day is definitely ending on a higher note. I think I'll sleep pretty well tonight, lol.

Let's go see what tomorrow will bring!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 20, 2019, 07:29:13 PM
Sorry to hear about your struggles with school BlueHeron, but I think it's natural to feel the way you felt about your day. Everyone has a bad day, sometimes that's all it is and we can move on knowing there will be better days ahead.

I too am feeling a sense of dread with the upcoming school year; for me, it is not only the work, but also trying to find my way in a community that I felt lost and alone in so much last year. I'm trying to see this year as a new opportunity, a fresh start; but I also know I have to make some changes from last year and just put myself out there more. Sorry for hijacking your forum lol, just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in your feelings about school, but within that, there is a chance for opportunity and positive change.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 20, 2019, 10:18:37 PM
I hope you have a magnificent school year blue.  I have a feeling you'll settle in and be a top student.  Sending you good vibes and sunshine
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 21, 2019, 11:20:27 AM
Sorry you such a shitty first day back. You know what struck me in your last post about your post? Despite the day being the perfect occasion to say 'fuck it' and peak at P, you didn't. If I were in your shoes, I'd be very proud :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 21, 2019, 01:41:14 PM
Let's go see what tomorrow will bring!

Great attitude, just not letting a temorary negative experience change the overall mindset is a key to success. We were used to run to our instantly-feel-good-drug for far too long and now need to endure ups and downs fully aware of reality. It's great to see you have come that far after half a year and I hope these changes will last!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 21, 2019, 07:19:56 PM
O BlueHeronFan,
Some say he's a man,
Some say he's a heron,
I suspect he's a fan,
A fan that can,
Blow out your addiction,
It ain't no fiction,
He's got a knack,
For offering a hack,
O Blue,
How we love you!

...And not in a gay way...
...Sometimes he... eats Pei Wei?

Yeah.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 22, 2019, 06:44:34 PM
O BlueHeronFan,
Some say he's a man,
Some say he's a heron,
I suspect he's a fan,
A fan that can,
Blow out your addiction,
It ain't no fiction,
He's got a knack,
For offering a hack,
O Blue,
How we love you!

...And not in a gay way...
...Sometimes he... eats Pei Wei?

Yeah.

First of all. Wow. Thank you so very much! Who would have said when I signed up for this forum in January that I would have my own theme song by August, lol!

Sorry to hear about your struggles with school BlueHeron, but I think it's natural to feel the way you felt about your day. Everyone has a bad day, sometimes that's all it is and we can move on knowing there will be better days ahead.

I too am feeling a sense of dread with the upcoming school year; for me, it is not only the work, but also trying to find my way in a community that I felt lost and alone in so much last year. I'm trying to see this year as a new opportunity, a fresh start; but I also know I have to make some changes from last year and just put myself out there more. Sorry for hijacking your forum lol, just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in your feelings about school, but within that, there is a chance for opportunity and positive change.

Not a hijack at all! I'm really glad to hear your perspective (even if I'm sorry that you're in the same boat). I definitely feel like my academic identity is in a weird transition right now, kind of like I don't even know what I'm doing here. But it's something to work on. Whether it's addiction or finding our place in our programs, we'll get through it together!

I hope you have a magnificent school year blue.  I have a feeling you'll settle in and be a top student.  Sending you good vibes and sunshine

Thank you! It's been so rainy lately, I will definitely take the sunshine!

Sorry you such a shitty first day back. You know what struck me in your last post about your post? Despite the day being the perfect occasion to say 'fuck it' and peak at P, you didn't. If I were in your shoes, I'd be very proud :)

Thanks! In the last several weeks, I have definitely noticed the thought cross my mind along those lines: "Everything is so bad, why not just look at porn. It's not like that will make things worse at this point." It does get hard without being able to hide my head in the sand (PMO), but I'm also pretty pleased that I'm managing to more or less get through the difficulty without relapsing.

Great attitude, just not letting a temorary negative experience change the overall mindset is a key to success. We were used to run to our instantly-feel-good-drug for far too long and now need to endure ups and downs fully aware of reality. It's great to see you have come that far after half a year and I hope these changes will last!

Thanks, this is really true. Life really comes at you when you aren't self-medicating with porn. I was deep into PMO in high school and I have basically no memories of that period of my life. Like, for real, I can hardly remember it, and I don't have any emotional memories at all. That definitely won't be the case now.

Yesterday and today were both pretty decent.

Yesterday was pretty chill. I didn't have anything at school, so I caught up on some housework, like laundry. Then I went to that barbecue. It was pretty good. I had higher hopes (like meeting someone, you never know), but I just ended up spending some time with a couple friends. It was a good time, just not very exciting (if that makes sense).

And then today I had my actual first class. The class is in another department from my program, so I was pretty nervous, like I would feel stupid or something. I kind of did, but the class went way better than I was worried about (nothing actually bad happened). I ended up sitting next to a woman who seemed pretty cool (married...of course...). I also got my reading done for class tomorrow. Tomorrow's class is in my own department and is taught by a professor I really like, so I'm mostly just excited for that (but still a little nervous, as always, for the first day).

You know, it kind of dawned on me today. I have been thinking that if I just keep hanging on and waiting things will just become clear to me. But what if I used some of my YouTube time to read an extra article or two per day or to work on my own writing project or something? What if instead of waiting for things to make sense, I actually scheduled in some time each day to work on making sense out of them? This is kind of a raw thought, so I don't know if it makes sense yet. But the point is that I think I could feel a lot better about things if I spent even a little bit of time each day actually moving forward in my program instead of just going to class and hoping things work out. (Probably obvious, but it feel profound to me today.)

So here's to Friday and leaving a pretty trash week behind!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 22, 2019, 07:36:40 PM
That scheduling idea sounds like a great plan, and from personal experience, it really works! It can be hard to change up your routine and take time away from leisure time; what helps me is easing into it. I'll tell myself "okay let's watch 5 minutes less of youtube today and work on x." After a couple days you can go to 10 minutes, 15 minutes....until it starts to feel natural.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 23, 2019, 09:19:53 AM
That scheduling idea sounds like a great plan, and from personal experience, it really works! It can be hard to change up your routine and take time away from leisure time; what helps me is easing into it. I'll tell myself "okay let's watch 5 minutes less of youtube today and work on x." After a couple days you can go to 10 minutes, 15 minutes....until it starts to feel natural.

That's right. I like this. Smaller steps might be less scary than big ones.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 23, 2019, 06:20:39 PM
Oh yeah, I like that too!

Last night after posting, I took about 15 minutes to read an article that I was interested in and that didn't have anything to do with class. When I finished, I felt like I hadn't done enough for it to count, but I said, "Slow down, you did more than you have done in months. Just accept that small step and get ready for bed."

I can't imagine giving up all my leisure time (that probably wouldn't be healthy anyway), but I can definitely give up 15 minutes of before-bed goofing off to make some progress in figuring out my life. Definitely something I want to keep doing and maybe structure more deliberately. Usually what happens is that I feel like the day is over after I have dinner, but there are hours to go between dinner and bed, hours that I could be using better than I have been.

As for today, it was probably the best day of the week. My class this morning was good, and I had some work in the afternoon that went pretty well. The only issue was that I hadn't planned my groceries last week with a new schedule in mind this week, so I didn't really have any food that I could take to school with me. By the time I got home I was super hungry, and I have a kind of headache from that that sort of makes me not feel very motivated to do anything else tonight.

But I'm ready now with a grocery list that takes my new schedule into account, and I am going to have some more portable food so that this doesn't happen again.

I will say this, too: now that everyone is back on campus for the school year, every day is full of way more triggers than I faced during the summer when things were a little quieter here in town. I have noticed that I'm better at not dwelling on triggers and just moving on pretty quickly, but, holy cow, every day this week has been like walking through a minefield of potential pitfalls.

I guess it's just all about re-adjusting to new circumstances. I made it through the summer. I can make it through this.

Here's to a great weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 23, 2019, 08:48:29 PM
That's a great principal blue, to take a few minutes to make a plan for the next day.  Afterall, you can't hit a target you don't have.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on August 24, 2019, 06:40:48 PM
I will say this, too: now that everyone is back on campus for the school year, every day is full of way more triggers than I faced during the summer when things were a little quieter here in town. I have noticed that I'm better at not dwelling on triggers and just moving on pretty quickly, but, holy cow, every day this week has been like walking through a minefield of potential pitfalls.

I guess it's just all about re-adjusting to new circumstances. I made it through the summer. I can make it through this.

Here's to a great weekend!

Hope you had a great weekend!  :)

By triggers you refer to girls? Shouldn't it be a good sign you feel attraction towards real girls? I know about your struggle with staring at them, but to some degree it's just normal and natual to look. I don't think that's a porn induced behaviour and I'm not sure if you will reach a point of not feeling "triggered" if you keep those strict rules. On the other hand I don't know how those encounters affected your former reboots. For sure you will have less to look at as fall sets in, so the "problem" will solve itself soon  ;)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 24, 2019, 06:43:38 PM
Thanks, squid!

Today was okay. I think I should feel better about it than I do. I had big plans for the day, and I had them all written out early in the morning and ready to go.

One of the things I wanted to do was get some cheap frames to frame some things I've been meaning to so that I could hang them on the wall. I measured and figured out what size of frame I would need, went out and got them, came back, and found out that the frames were off by like a tiny fraction of an inch. They don't work.

This is one of those classic small things that don't matter but that can really derail me. I was so annoyed that it didn't just work out that it really took the steam out of me for the rest of the day. I still managed to get most of my list done, but I also sort of felt frustrated, turning into sadness, through the course of the day.

More than that, though, I was way more conscious of how certain behaviors are like escapes for me. All day, I found myself doing things just because they would give me a chance to escape the mix of emotions I was feeling. I found a game online that I like, but today I just kept coming back to it to get away for a couple minutes (and it didn't work when I lost). I kept turning on videos just to create background noise and relieve me from my feelings. I give myself more flexibility in my diet on weekends, but I took it too far today: I ate like garbage as an escape, but it made me feel like garbage.

So I guess my takeaway is that there are still lots of patterns of unhealthy coping behaviors that I wasn't as conscious of until today. I had sneaking suspicions, but I could see it much more clearly today. I guess that's a good check for me: am I doing something because it will actually help me or just to escape from dealing with things? If it's just an escape, I should figure out how to actually deal with the problem.

You know, this is actually a pattern I can see in a lot of things. I almost always end up playing a game or watching a video or something before I start my homework or the dishes, for example. It's like I have to give myself that shot of escapist dopamine just to get started on anything. Definitely something to start working on more deliberately.

So I guess that's it. It's been a kind of tough week, and today was no exception. But I learned something today that will hopefully help me to build some better days in the near future.

Here's to hoping!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 24, 2019, 06:48:05 PM
By triggers you refer to girls? Shouldn't it be a good sign you feel attraction towards real girls? I know about your struggle with staring at them, but to some degree it's just normal and natual to look. I don't think that's a porn induced behaviour and I'm not sure if you will reach a point of not feeling "triggered" if you keep those strict rules. On the other hand I don't know how those encounters affected your former reboots. For sure you will have less to look at as fall sets in, so the "problem" will solve itself soon  ;)

Yeah, you raise a fair point. It could be that I'm just settling into natural attraction. Maybe I dont' really know what that's like (something to learn).

At the same time, I guess the trigger for me is just an opportunity to stare that I need to be careful about. Again, for me, if there's no possibility of a date, there's not point in spending too much time looking (that's not about building a connection).

But that is something to think about. The goal definitely isn't to "turn off" my sense of attraction. Just not to use it for my own selfish gratification.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 24, 2019, 11:49:06 PM
Quote
You know, this is actually a pattern I can see in a lot of things. I almost always end up playing a game or watching a video or something before I start my homework or the dishes, for example. It's like I have to give myself that shot of escapist dopamine just to get started on anything. Definitely something to start working on more deliberately.

This is interesting and relatable.  Something to think about.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 25, 2019, 04:07:22 AM
Quote
You know, this is actually a pattern I can see in a lot of things. I almost always end up playing a game or watching a video or something before I start my homework or the dishes, for example. It's like I have to give myself that shot of escapist dopamine just to get started on anything. Definitely something to start working on more deliberately.

This is interesting and relatable.  Something to think about.

I've done this a lot too.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 25, 2019, 04:09:00 AM
I don't know what more to tell you, you are doing this the right way. Just keep going because you inspire me to go on.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 25, 2019, 06:26:47 PM
Thanks, squid and Lero! We just keep on keeping on!

Today was pretty decent, actually. Church was good, and I made some awesome food for dinner. It was a relaxing, useful day, and I made a conscious effort a couple times to just be alone with my thoughts. That's definitely a longer road, but it's one I think I'm probably ready to start on.

A while ago, I talked about getting some clothes that ended up not fitting. Well, they fit today, which was really exciting. I sort of just tried them on a whim because I haven't lost any weight since I got them (on the scale). But I've been eating more carefully and working on strength training, so I just had the thought that maybe that progress wouldn't show up on the scale. Turns out I haven't lost weight, but I have lost some size where it counts. I still have a ways to go (one of the pairs of pants fits now, but only barely), but it was a good sign that I'm not wasting my time.

It's gotten me thinking about all the other ways that I might be overlooking my own progress and productivity because it isn't showing up in the way I expect. How much of my own growth and success am I missing because I'm looking for it in the wrong places?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 26, 2019, 01:32:25 PM
It's gotten me thinking about all the other ways that I might be overlooking my own progress and productivity because it isn't showing up in the way I expect. How much of my own growth and success am I missing because I'm looking for it in the wrong places?

I know exactly what you're talking about.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 26, 2019, 09:03:52 PM
I know exactly what you're talking about.

Thanks! Always good to know I'm not alone in my thoughts.

Today was pretty good. I worked out, did some stuff around the house, went to school. I had a social thing to go to tonight, and I actually ended up talking with a girl who seems pretty cool. I really made a conscious, deliberate effort to be pretty cool about it and not to feel like it had to lead somewhere. In the past, I have definitely felt like I had to be more aggressive so I wouldn't "lose my chance." But that attitude hasn't really served me well, just made me anxious and less myself.

So I decided to just be myself and try to let her see me for who I am, without worrying about whether or not I was putting on a good show for her. If she ends up being interested (or if I even do, honestly), then we'll see each other again. But it's also okay if nothing more comes of it.

I'm really trying to let go of the worries about all the things that I feel like my addiction has made me miss out on or how things are passing me by. Instead, I'm trying to just be open to what life brings my way. I know good stuff is coming, I just don't know when. So I might as well just try to not get too worked up about it all in the meantime.

Let's go see what tomorrow brings!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 26, 2019, 09:38:14 PM
Good stuff man! I get slightly over dramatic when I have good interactions with girls, so it was good to read about your experience and learn from it. Carry on!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 27, 2019, 12:25:09 AM
Today was pretty good. I worked out, did some stuff around the house, went to school. I had a social thing to go to tonight, and I actually ended up talking with a girl who seems pretty cool. I really made a conscious, deliberate effort to be pretty cool about it and not to feel like it had to lead somewhere. In the past, I have definitely felt like I had to be more aggressive so I wouldn't "lose my chance." But that attitude hasn't really served me well, just made me anxious and less myself.

So I decided to just be myself and try to let her see me for who I am, without worrying about whether or not I was putting on a good show for her. If she ends up being interested (or if I even do, honestly), then we'll see each other again. But it's also okay if nothing more comes of it.

I'm really trying to let go of the worries about all the things that I feel like my addiction has made me miss out on or how things are passing me by. Instead, I'm trying to just be open to what life brings my way. I know good stuff is coming, I just don't know when. So I might as well just try to not get too worked up about it all in the meantime.

Let's go see what tomorrow brings!

You know, one thing that I've learned is that when I am desperate for something, it seems to "run" away from me to the end of the world. The only things that I get are the things where I am relaxed and I let them happen or not, depending on the chance and stuff. I know how desperate someone could get after a long dry spell (point the finger at me here) but it will probably happen in that week when you don't really stress out about it.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 27, 2019, 12:12:37 PM
Today was pretty good. I worked out, did some stuff around the house, went to school. I had a social thing to go to tonight, and I actually ended up talking with a girl who seems pretty cool. I really made a conscious, deliberate effort to be pretty cool about it and not to feel like it had to lead somewhere. In the past, I have definitely felt like I had to be more aggressive so I wouldn't "lose my chance." But that attitude hasn't really served me well, just made me anxious and less myself.

So I decided to just be myself and try to let her see me for who I am, without worrying about whether or not I was putting on a good show for her. If she ends up being interested (or if I even do, honestly), then we'll see each other again. But it's also okay if nothing more comes of it.

I'm really trying to let go of the worries about all the things that I feel like my addiction has made me miss out on or how things are passing me by. Instead, I'm trying to just be open to what life brings my way. I know good stuff is coming, I just don't know when. So I might as well just try to not get too worked up about it all in the meantime.

Let's go see what tomorrow brings!

I completely feel you bro. I remember that feeling well and that was actually what led to me meeting my ex.

You know, one thing that I've learned is that when I am desperate for something, it seems to "run" away from me to the end of the world. The only things that I get are the things where I am relaxed and I let them happen or not, depending on the chance and stuff. I know how desperate someone could get after a long dry spell (point the finger at me here) but it will probably happen in that week when you don't really stress out about it.

To expound on that a little: When you're relaxed you are just more aware that everything that happens is kind of supposed to be that way. For me, after a super long dry spell and a long streak I felt pretty aggressive but in a good way. It was more chill and accepting. But I wanted this girl. And I was gonna get her. I was genuinely interested in her. I felt on top of the world. More just bursting at the seems with positive, sexual energy and confidence than any cynicism. My ex did say that she felt I was a little too aggressive in the way I acted around her at the beginning, so maybe I overdid it, but I still got her and we had a great relationship after that. I was just being authentic and expressing how I genuinely felt. What I mean to say is, I don't think being a little aggressive is necessarily a bad thing, as long as it's actually how you feel and you're being authentic. A girl will clock whether your raw, masculine, natural, playful aggression is legit within seconds. And as you say @Blue, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. Accepting having feelings of sexual aggression is part of your wider acceptance of who you are, and isn't just a negative thing. It's part of being a man.

For so long as a P addict, I felt I had to act aggressive around girls to make them like me, and it was completely put on. In reality I was in a flatline and couldn't get my dick up with any girl to save my life!

I hope that makes sense.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 27, 2019, 05:42:28 PM
I hope that makes sense.

Makes total sense! Thanks for your input and support. I think I'm definitely changing my mindset from "making" girls like me to "letting" them like me if that makes any sense. I think part of it is that, for so long, I felt like I had to hide so much of myself because I was ashamed of so much of me, but that's changing. I still lowkey dread the day when I have to talk to a significant other about porn, but I feel much better about how that conversation would go today than it would have a year ago.

Good stuff man! I get slightly over dramatic when I have good interactions with girls, so it was good to read about your experience and learn from it. Carry on!

Thanks! Yeah, I definitely go into "be impressive and don't let them have a second alone" mode sometimes. I working on seeing these kinds of interactions as good opportunities but not my only opportunities, which is sort of how I have seen them in the past.

You know, one thing that I've learned is that when I am desperate for something, it seems to "run" away from me to the end of the world.

Man, this is exactly right. When we're desperate, we're only thinking about ourselves, and that's never very attractive. Love the way you put it!

As for today things have been pretty good. School and work and not much else.

I had a porn dream last night that kind of got in my head today (like they usually do). I dreamed that I was just browsing the internet and then a bunch of porn videos showed up. I knew in my head that I needed to get away, but then I just sort of said, "forget it, it's so tiring, just let them play." Then I woke up and it took a minute to realize that it hadn't actually happened.

I guess I've just sort of been thinking throughout the day about how easily the dream version of me gave up so quickly because the effort of staying clean was just too much. I'm definitely aware that staying in the clear still takes deliberate effort, but it is becoming more  natural and less taxing to get through the day.

I guess I'll just take it as a dream-reminder that one small bad decision can torpedo the whole thing. I don't think there's ever a point where we can just check the box and check out. But that's okay. I sincerely believe it's worth the effort.

Carry on!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 28, 2019, 07:47:17 AM
Carry on!  I think one of the most beautiful things about a reboot is no longer actively pursuing an activity I hated and never wanted to begin with.  Losing that inner disappointment and self loathing and finding self love and peace, it's awesome.  It's also attractive!  Sending you good vibes and sunshine blue.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 28, 2019, 06:58:37 PM
Thanks, squid! I really appreciate it.

Today was pretty decent. Not much to it. Laundry and cooking and homework. I've been procrastinating a project for no good reason (creative block, I guess). But I finally just hammered it out today: I told myself that I could not go through another day without finishing it.

Last night I added another notification to my phone (in addition to the ones that remind me to post here and to keep the streak alive "just for today"). This one is to spend some time each night planning the next day.

I know I do better when I have a to-do list and a schedule. For some reason, though, I have been putting that off lately and just not planning and sort of wandering aimlessly through the days. That ends tonight! (Or at least, I'm taking the first step toward ending it.)

Here's to a more purposeful tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 28, 2019, 07:12:47 PM
Great attitude about the porn dream. You could see it as just a burping out of old energies. Whatever it was, it does not have any hold of you for today, every day.

If I could be in a place where I even wrote a daily to-do list I'd be a lot better off but often I don't even have the motivation for that! How long have you been in the habit of writing a to-do list and a schedule? If it's not been long, it might just take a little time to get back into it. Also, do you have a perfectionistic personality? I certainly do and I get very self-critical. It doesn't seem like that from the way you write, but I was just wondering if you notice that in yourself and if so, how you deal with it.

Also, how are your daily meditations going? What kind of meditation are you doing at the moment? Have you heard of an app called 'Insight Timer'. There are a number of free guided meditations on there and it's pretty cool if you don't like to go on YouTube for these things (often a trigger for me).

Peace bro.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 29, 2019, 05:36:38 PM
Great attitude about the porn dream. You could see it as just a burping out of old energies. Whatever it was, it does not have any hold of you for today, every day.

If I could be in a place where I even wrote a daily to-do list I'd be a lot better off but often I don't even have the motivation for that! How long have you been in the habit of writing a to-do list and a schedule? If it's not been long, it might just take a little time to get back into it. Also, do you have a perfectionistic personality? I certainly do and I get very self-critical. It doesn't seem like that from the way you write, but I was just wondering if you notice that in yourself and if so, how you deal with it.

Also, how are your daily meditations going? What kind of meditation are you doing at the moment? Have you heard of an app called 'Insight Timer'. There are a number of free guided meditations on there and it's pretty cool if you don't like to go on YouTube for these things (often a trigger for me).

Peace bro.

Thanks! I really like the idea of burping out the old energy. I think I'm going to call those porn dream burps from now on. That's exactly what they are, gross, empty remnants of my digestive past, lol.

I definitely don't see much perfectionism in myself. I think I'm much more in a "good-enough-ist" mindset. But I do also always feel aware that there is more that I could or should be doing. So I'm not really aiming for perfection, but I'm also never totally satisfied with where I'm at. That feels paradoxical now that I'm writing it out.

As for writing out the to-dos and the schedule, it was a schedule I had for a pretty long while until the last year or so. It was weird, sort of life the busier and more out of control things got with school, the less energy I had to figure things out. So I just sort of got carried away by the tide of life. I've been a little better about keeping a to-do. I bought a white board to put on the wall and keep track of everything that needs to happen in a week, and I have a smaller one that I use for daily tasks. It's a good visual reminder. But I started to realize that I was always forgetting to do things or just putting them off, so I decided I had to get back to actually scheduling them so that they actually get done.

Today was the first day back at planning and scheduling, and it has gone pretty well. I have just one more thing to do tonight, and I have plenty of time for it, so things are looking good.

And I love Insight Timer! I bounced around to a couple different meditation apps before settling on Insight Timer about a year and a half ago. They have some great addiction-focused stuff and even porn-focused things that have been really helpful. Lately, I've been doing a mix of the daily meditation and different courses that catch my eye (I never pay for apps, but this one has been so helpful to me that I decided to subscribe at the start of the year). But in the last couple weeks I also started just setting the timer and meditating in silence because I realized that even my quiet meditation time was full of other people talking to me. Usually, I meditate twice a day (morning and night) for about 15-20 minutes. (Sarah Blondin's "Practicing Gentle Kindness toward Ourselves" is probably my most listened-to. Especially when I'm feeling down about my addiction, it is always just what I need to hear.)

Not much to today. I had to do some homework in the morning, and then I had class in the afternoon. I have some time tonight to work on a personal project, and then it's off to bed. School and work tomorrow, so it will probably be another busy day. There is some promise of good social opportunities this weekend, so we'll see how they go. Other than that, I'm just trying to keep on going.

I have been experiencing a few more intense urges/triggers lately. I've been sort of worried/frustrated about them, but then I remembered that they always seem to get worse when I'm getting close to a milestone (6 months). I don't know why my addicted brain wants to throw a fit whenever another benchmark for progress gets close, but it does. That has helped me not to get so emotionally involved in the urges and just to let them go by as before. It's not necessarily that I'm messing up in my recovery, just that this is part of my pattern of having a harder time right before achieving another goal.

So we carry on!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on August 30, 2019, 03:08:49 AM
Damn, bro! Almost half a year!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 30, 2019, 06:06:11 PM
Decent day today. School and work. Getting through my actual, written out to-do list and schedule.

I can't decide if I'm getting sick or if my allergies are just worse than usual. I guess only time will tell.

On to the weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 31, 2019, 06:18:46 PM
Another quieter day. Got a lot done, including (finally!) cleaning my place. It has been needing a good tidy, but I have just kept putting it off. I finally got it done today, though. It always feels nicer when things are straightened out.

Just a couple more things to take care of tonight. I've got another potluck tomorrow. Hopefully I can make some good connections again.

Keep on keeping on, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on August 31, 2019, 08:10:10 PM
Nice work blue!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 01, 2019, 09:19:28 PM
Nice work blue!

Thanks!

Just chugging along still.

I ended up at a little party tonight, and it was fun. I had a good conversation with a girl. Maybe there's something there. Who knows? I have had bad experiences when I have tried to rush things, so I'm not going to push anything at this point. My natural way is more slow and careful, so I'll just go slow and see what happens. If something comes of it, great. If not, also great.

But I ended up staying out later tonight than I wanted. Good thing tomorrow is a holiday, so it shouldn't do too much harm.

Keep on keeping on!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 02, 2019, 05:56:17 PM
I really didn't sleep well last night. For some reason, my mind was racing all night, so I have sort of been dragging today.

But it was a pretty good day anyway. I spent most of the day working on a hobby project, something I've been putting off for a while. Actually got something done. (Sure, it took longer than I planned on, so there are other things I didn't even start today...but I have to celebrate the small victories along the way.)

Hopefully I sleep better tonight and hit tomorrow with more energy.

Stay strong everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 02, 2019, 08:26:25 PM
Nice work, what did you do for your hobby today?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 03, 2019, 06:11:51 PM
Nice work, what did you do for your hobby today?

Thanks! I've been playing around with video editing, sort of learning my way through it by trial and error. Who knows if it will go anywhere, but it's something I've been enjoying. I like learning, and I like making things. This combines the two.

Another quiet day

Woke up and did some yoga and then went to work. Then I came home and did some reading for class. A part of me wishes that I had more exciting things to write about (I just yawned while typing out this sentence, lol). But I should also be grateful that things are calmer and more under control. What I wouldn't have given for a day like today at the beginning of this year.

Here comes tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on September 04, 2019, 05:50:17 AM
I guess a key to your success is your calm way of being grateful for the "normal" and having a reflective but positive attitude towards everyday life. Our addiction is the everlasting search for a new high and accepting to not chase this high again and again is important. Without having any advice as you don't seem to face any major trouble, I am still following your journal as an example on how a life after the addiction might work. Thanks for giving an outstanding example!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on September 04, 2019, 01:39:30 PM
Nice one Blue! You are a constant reminder that being clean is possible. Keep on chugging along, as you always say!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 04, 2019, 06:01:47 PM
I guess a key to your success is your calm way of being grateful for the "normal" and having a reflective but positive attitude towards everyday life. Our addiction is the everlasting search for a new high and accepting to not chase this high again and again is important. Without having any advice as you don't seem to face any major trouble, I am still following your journal as an example on how a life after the addiction might work. Thanks for giving an outstanding example!

Thanks, achilles! I hadn't thought about my new routine as giving up on the constant search for highs, but I think that is a good way to think about it. Learning to accept the normalness of life is an important part in this process. Addiction makes us think that we need the highs just to function, but we really don't.

And also thanks a lot for your continuing support! Sometimes I kind of worry that my journal is getting boring, but I really appreciate the responses. They are as encouraging to me today as they were on day 1!

Nice one Blue! You are a constant reminder that being clean is possible. Keep on chugging along, as you always say!

Thanks so much! It really is possible, and it gets more and more possible as time goes on. I'll keep chugging along if you do!

Another quiet one

Today was mostly for housekeeping (laundry and stuff), but I sometimes like that kind of stuff better than school work. Nobody is grading how I wash my clothes, and it's not about measuring up, just living a more comfortable and organized life. I love stuff like that. Sometimes (always) doing the things we have to do just to "get ahead" can be so exhausting. Maybe someday I can just do the things that I find valuable and not what other people expect of me, but that probably isn't totally realistic either (I don't see myself becoming independently wealthy anytime soon).

Oh well, more school and homework tomorrow. The excitement never ends.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 04, 2019, 10:33:00 PM
Your journal isn't boring, I like reading it.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 05, 2019, 04:25:26 PM
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm thinking I might just take up street fighting lol!

I think you're right about a couple of things. Focusing on just myself is a problem, more than likely. I definitely need to engage with something more deeply. It makes me think: I have set small goals for the day, but I haven't made a plan/schedule. That means that I have a day of good intentions that don't go anywhere. Time to think about making a schedule for myself too.

But I think you're also onto something deeper than that that I'll probably have to think more about. You know, not just keeping busy but making progress. I'm not sure I have a solid idea right now what that means for me. Probably not boxing,  but something like that, something to build confidence and to help me feel more secure. I'll definitely spend some time thinking about what that might be. I think there's something there.

Here is an old post from your jounal.  Did you ever find that thing to make progress on? 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 05, 2019, 06:39:40 PM
Thanks for the support, squid! And for the throwback!

Man, I don't know if I have found "the thing," but I have definitely started moving in the right direction, I think. Since May, I have made a couple of good steps forward.

Learning how to do video editing is something that I'm working on, and it's leading me to some satisfying projects that complement my school/career goals.

I have made some changes to the way I track my diet and exercise, which has helped me to finally break through a weight-loss plateau that had me feeling bummed out.

I have also started an online program through my school for helping graduate students think through their career path/options. It has been hard to find time to work on it consistently, but it has been helpful. A lot of the stuff so far has been self-reflection, and it has given me insights into what really gets me excited and what I really want to be doing with my life.

So, no, I haven't really found my "thing," but I'm on a couple of roads that I think will help to get me there.

As for today

Pretty chill. Homework, school, and more homework. It seems like summer is ending and the weather is getting cooler, which is nice.

I got an email from an old friend today, and it was awesome to hear from him. We haven't seen each other since high school, but we have kept in touch on and off for the last 10 or so years. We've both had our ups and downs, but it sounds like he is doing really well now, and that made me really happy.

On an unrelated note, I have started to notice a shift in the way I/my brain have been thinking about women. For as long as I can remember, my entire concern with women has been visual. I have just wanted to see them. Lately, though, I have noticed an even stronger impulse for touch. I don't really mean anything sexual, but I do mean a desire for contact or closeness. It used to just be that I was interested in looking at women, but that doesn't seem so interesting now. I don't know if that's progress or not, but it's definitely new. I don't know if I'm talking about it the right way: I'm definitely not just running around thinking about feeling everyone up. But there is a kind of physical element to attraction now (as opposed to just visual) that I haven't experienced before. Don't know how to feel about it, but I have noticed it.

Here's to a great tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 06, 2019, 05:58:32 PM
Quiet Friday, not much going on.

Class today was good, and work went by pretty quickly. I like quiet nights, and I don't have any reason that I shouldn't just be enjoying a quiet night in tonight, but I can't shake this feeling that I should be doing something different or should be "out there" tonight. But where would I go?

I don't know. I guess I could think about finding a date sometime soon. Part of me wants to and thinks I should, but there's another part of me that really doesn't want to get all tangled up in something after how badly my last relationship ended.

Guess that's a problem for another day, though. I'm too sleepy right now, lol.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: sammyboy74 on September 06, 2019, 06:55:54 PM
You should go put yourself out there Blue! I feel like that motivation to socialize and date is one of the major perks of recovery. Even if you don't go to a bar maybe sign up for a dating app if you're not already on one?

Certainly understand the reluctance to date again after a rough breakup, but what's the alternative? Never date again?

Never a better time than now my dude!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 06, 2019, 07:47:10 PM
That's right sammy!  I'm thinking of going out right now, I'm inspired now.  Happy Friday everyone
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 07, 2019, 06:34:56 PM
Today is 6 months of no P, no M, no PMO. 6 months ago today, I recommitted in the most serious way that I ever have before.

It's been a crazy half a year and one of the most stressful periods of my life. I sometimes don't know what kind of miracle has allowed me to get through it all without PMO-coping, but here I am.

There have only been two other times in my life when I have been clean for longer, and they were both kind of accidents. Once I had really limited internet access for a long time, and another I was in a relationship and really wanted to be "on my best behavior." But this is the longest I've ever gone just because I want to heal, for my own sake. This has also been my most conscious effort to get and stay clean. The other times were accidents, but this one has been 100% on purpose.

I'm really happy to have made it to this point, but I also know that it's only barely the beginning. I remember reading years ago that recovery only starts to become stable after 2 years of abstinence. Even more recently, I was reading that drug and alcohol addicts who stay sober for 5 years will probably stay sober.

6 months is no magic cure. I still face triggers and urges, and I still have to be careful and deliberate each day. But I will say that the triggers aren't as interesting and the urges aren't as strong as they were a few months ago. They're a lot easier to say no to than they used to be, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to keep this going.

I guess the three most helpful things for me this past 6 months have been:

1. Learning to be kinder to myself. My addiction has just been my brain's misguided effort to help me when I'm in pain. Learning to see myself as a friend and learning to see urges as an attempt to help have made it easier for me to say "no thanks" and to find better ways of dealing with pain. We can't punish ourselves into good behavior.

2. Learning to observe the urges and let them pass. I have been meditating for years, but I have only recently learned how to experience the urge without getting carried away by it. The very first time I made it through a wave of intense urges changed a lot for me. Now I know that they will pass eventually and that giving in is not the only way to get rid of them.

3. Learning to reflect on my own thoughts regularly and connect with other people. This forum has probably been the biggest game-changer for me. It makes all the difference to be able to get my thoughts out of my own head and see what other people think. Plus, I have had the chance to help some people struggling in the same way, which has helped me to see some of the good that is coming from an otherwise awful aspect of my life.

I have been consciously fighting this thing for 10 years. It has been and continues to be difficult, but it's a reminder that the only failures are the quitters. Even if it takes 10 years to scrape together 6 clean months, the fight is worth it. Keep at it!

You should go put yourself out there Blue! I feel like that motivation to socialize and date is one of the major perks of recovery. Even if you don't go to a bar maybe sign up for a dating app if you're not already on one?

Certainly understand the reluctance to date again after a rough breakup, but what's the alternative? Never date again?

Never a better time than now my dude!

Thanks, sammy! Maybe I will think about getting out there. Never dating again definitely isn't the plan, but I also keep telling myself "not yet." I guess I know one or two women I'm interested in. Guess I could give it a shot.

Anyway, other than the big milestone, today has been quiet. I got some good things done and generally took it easy. I've been feeling some waves of sadness the last couple days, mostly at night, mostly about feeling alone in life. (For example, I was cooking, which is something I love doing, but I got stuck thinking about how much more I would love cooking for someone. Took a little tailspin after that, but I slept it off and felt a little better.)

Guess that's all the more reason to get out there!

Tomorrow's a new day! Let's make it a great one!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on September 08, 2019, 05:16:03 AM
Fuck man 6 months! This is fucking crazy! I can't believe someone can go 6 months without porn. I could hardly go 40 days. I'm fucking envious man. Anyway, where is the cake?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Free-man on September 08, 2019, 11:23:45 AM
6 MONTHS! Wow!
Congratulations!!! It's a great milestone.
About 2 years of abstinence is going to very hard for me, I hope forgive this bad habit and focus in other healthier ones forever!
Go for another 6 months at least man!
Cheers!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 08, 2019, 01:18:45 PM
Well done blue, sending you good vibes and sunshine!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 08, 2019, 08:34:27 PM
Fuck man 6 months! This is fucking crazy! I can't believe someone can go 6 months without porn. I could hardly go 40 days. I'm fucking envious man. Anyway, where is the cake?

Thanks! But don't feel too envious: like I said, it's taken me about 10 years of trying to find any kind of sustainable path to recovery. I was stuck in monthly relapses for a few years, but I was all on my own. You're ahead of where I was, and you're staying active on the forum and sticking to it!

6 MONTHS! Wow!
Congratulations!!! It's a great milestone.
About 2 years of abstinence is going to very hard for me, I hope forgive this bad habit and focus in other healthier ones forever!
Go for another 6 months at least man!
Cheers!

Thank you! It's very hard to succeed when you set too big of a goal. I have had a much easier time by setting smaller goals (two weeks, 30 days, etc.) and then letting those add up. I definitely didn't sit down and decide to go 6 months. I got there by adding up a lot of smaller milestones. When the goal is too far away, I think it's much easier to get discouraged and relapse. Just keep at it!

Well done blue, sending you good vibes and sunshine!

Thanks as always, squid! I'm always happy to have your good vibes and sunshine!

Not much happened today

I had some plans, but none of them happened. I ended up spending a long time this evening helping a friend with something. There is a part of me that is frustrated, but I'm trying not to listen to it. It's pretty selfish to be upset about getting a chance to help a friend. For the most part, it was a good time. It's just now that I'm looking back on the day and the to-dos that didn't get done that I feel a little upset. But I guess that's why it's important to be flexible (and I'm not very flexible or spontaneous by default): you never know when good opportunities might come along. It's important to make a plan for living but not if that plan stops you from living. (And I'm looking right at myself when I say that!)

Have a great week, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Lero on September 09, 2019, 06:34:07 AM
Thanks! But don't feel too envious: like I said, it's taken me about 10 years of trying to find any kind of sustainable path to recovery. I was stuck in monthly relapses for a few years, but I was all on my own. You're ahead of where I was, and you're staying active on the forum and sticking to it!

I don't know how I am doing better than you used to because it's taken me years to get to 40 days.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 09, 2019, 08:37:05 PM
Thanks! But don't feel too envious: like I said, it's taken me about 10 years of trying to find any kind of sustainable path to recovery. I was stuck in monthly relapses for a few years, but I was all on my own. You're ahead of where I was, and you're staying active on the forum and sticking to it!

I don't know how I am doing better than you used to because it's taken me years to get to 40 days.


I guess we all see things a little differently. At the very least, I was trying to go it alone, and I wasn't really paying attention. I thought I was basically okay, but I had a definite relapse cycle that I thought was random. I guess mostly what I'm saying is that this is a long-term process. We've been at it for years, and we'll have to keep at it for years. Maybe there will come a day when it all goes on autopilot, but I still feel like I'm a long way away from that.  Just stick with it: that's all we can do (and it's worth more than we sometimes give ourselves credit for)!

Kind of a busy day

Not too much to say, can't really complain. For whatever reason, I have been feeling pretty down in the dumps in the evenings lately. It's hard to say why, but it's almost like it's on a schedule. I usually feel better in the morning and throughout the day, but then it hits in the evening. I don't really know what to do about it, or if there is even anything to do. But I guess I'll just keep going and see what's in store. I've gotten through worse, and I'll get through this.

Onward and upward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: brandnewself on September 10, 2019, 12:24:12 AM
Hey Blue, like everyone else I want to say congratulations first!! 6 months is no easy task and I'm glad you've made it. More importantly, I'd like to say THANK YOU. Reading your posts has become my daily task. I barely post here or on someone else' journal because I feel like I'm not in a position to comment much yet. I'd like to contribute more to this community like you do but I gotta make a good example myself first. The fact that you can reach 6 months is no coincidence. I can see in your journal or your posts to other people how much effort you have given to your reboot. Reading your journal always makes me relieved as I know that there is someone I can follow. I don't want to make you feel pressured by saying this. I simply want to let you know that I'm happy to see you here ;D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Arthur2 on September 10, 2019, 03:22:40 PM
6 months !!

Congratulations sir. This is a beautiful story.

Quote
that the only failures are the quitters.

So true.

Quote
Fuck man 6 months! This is fucking crazy! I can't believe someone can go 6 months without porn. I could hardly go 40 days. I'm fucking envious man. Anyway, where is the cake?

Be courageaous Lero. We can do it.

Quote
Reading your journal always makes me relieved as I know that there is someone I can follow. I don't want to make you feel pressured by saying this. I simply want to let you know that I'm happy to see you here

I think he will appreciate much your kind words.
It is always good to let somebody know when they are a blessing to you.

Thank you blue for showing me that 6 months is really doable.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 10, 2019, 06:09:04 PM
Hey Blue, like everyone else I want to say congratulations first!! 6 months is no easy task and I'm glad you've made it. More importantly, I'd like to say THANK YOU. Reading your posts has become my daily task. I barely post here or on someone else' journal because I feel like I'm not in a position to comment much yet. I'd like to contribute more to this community like you do but I gotta make a good example myself first. The fact that you can reach 6 months is no coincidence. I can see in your journal or your posts to other people how much effort you have given to your reboot. Reading your journal always makes me relieved as I know that there is someone I can follow. I don't want to make you feel pressured by saying this. I simply want to let you know that I'm happy to see you here ;D

Thanks a ton, brandnewself! Your kind words really brightened my day! It makes me happy to hear that my posts have helped you, and it's always a good thing to see your posts too. No pressure at all, but some good encouragement, so thanks!

Also, speaking of no pressure, you definitely don't need to be an example to make a good contribution to the community. I was really frustrated with myself and addiction when I started here in January, and it took me a few tries (not counting the years and years before I joined here) to get this current streak going. Posting here often and getting my thoughts out of my own head has really made a difference for me. Just post! You never have to "good enough" to do it! (No pressure, lol)

6 months !!

Congratulations sir. This is a beautiful story.

Thanks, Arthur2! It is hard to believe sometimes, but I am very grateful to have found a way to live without porn for an extended period. It is definitely doable!

Today was pretty busy

I felt like I was running around town all day. Then I finally got home starving but didn't have any food on hand so I had to cook something, and that took a while. I had a list of things I wanted to do today, but I was so exhausted I just watched TV while it cooked. I think that's probably okay every once in a while. Sometimes the day doesn't go exactly as planned. I'm not good at being flexible or letting myself do less than I had planned, but I guess today gives me a day to practice. At the very least, I did the job I'm getting paid to do, and that's all I had in me today.

Carry on, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 10, 2019, 10:28:53 PM
Yeah blue your journal and posts have made a difference on my journey too.  Keep up the good work!  Man, you are going to find an awesome girl and she'll feel super lucky.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 11, 2019, 06:17:48 PM
Yeah blue your journal and posts have made a difference on my journey too.  Keep up the good work!  Man, you are going to find an awesome girl and she'll feel super lucky.

Thanks, squid, you know just what to say. She had better feel lucky: I'm working really hard for her and we haven't even met yet (lol)!

Wednesdays are housekeeping days

So it was busy, but not especially "productive." I have a little bit of time tonight to get some homework done and to check the boxes on some of the habits I have started tracking (like doing more creative writing and reading for fun). I have learned lately that I feel much better when I'm being creative (making things instead of just getting them done), so I'm trying to be more deliberate about putting some creative time into the day.

Feeling pretty tired, but I guess that's what happens at the end of a day.

Keep it going, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 11, 2019, 09:21:37 PM
I'd say your working hard for her, yourself, your future children, your neighborhood, your future grandchildren, the kids who play basketball in the nearby park, the future foundation you might start, for all of us rebooters too, and many more!  If you keep setting goals and taking good steps through good habits like you've been doing, you're going to leave a legacy that helps people you love long after you're gone.

I think about that sometimes.  The hard work of my grandfather still benefits me today. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 12, 2019, 05:18:43 PM
I'd say your working hard for her, yourself, your future children, your neighborhood, your future grandchildren, the kids who play basketball in the nearby park, the future foundation you might start, for all of us rebooters too, and many more!  If you keep setting goals and taking good steps through good habits like you've been doing, you're going to leave a legacy that helps people you love long after you're gone.

I think about that sometimes.  The hard work of my grandfather still benefits me today. 

Thank you. That really hit me. Thank you very much, such a beautiful and encouraging thought. There really are so many people who do and will depend on us being at our best.

It's an especially great way to finish off a sort of challenging day: I had a vivid porn-related dream last night that got me started off on the wrong foot. I wouldn't call them urges exactly, but I have stopped myself a couple of times today sort of daydreaming about porn. It's like, "You know what would be nice/fun? To just unwind with some porn. Remember that? That was fun." And then I catch myself and try to think in other directions.

Luckily, the afternoon got much busier with school and stuff, so the worst of it was in the morning. I'm a little on edge now, though and worried about where it's all headed. I guess the shortest answer is that it will only go as far as I let it, so I just need to stay committed and stay strong. It has been a little while since I have had to go into "war mode" or whatever I should call it. Anyway, all a good reminder that urges and triggers can happen at any time. There's no magic length of time that gives us a free ticket out of trouble forever.

Sticking to it and pressing forward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 12, 2019, 07:51:17 PM
Good self awareness blue.  I'd just caution you about focusing too much on fighting pmo.  Remember, it's best fought indirectly by dedicating yourself to something you love.  Thinking about waging war on pmo is thinking about pmo which gives it power.  What goals do you have for this month and do you have a plan to reach them?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: pichaelthompson on September 12, 2019, 09:10:59 PM
Good insight- some days it feels like PMO has absolutely no power in the mind, but other days can turn into an all-out war. Regardless, we got to stick with it because it will only result in net-positive changes. Glad to hear you're doing well and staying strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 13, 2019, 06:19:02 PM
Thanks, everyone!

After a good night's sleep and a busy day, I'm doing a lot better in the urges/daydreaming department. It's been a much better day in terms of addiction management.

I had a good meeting with my professor today. We talked about the things that I need to do in the next few years, and we made a timeline for me to finish the program and graduate. I sort of knew when I wanted to graduate, but now I have it more official with a real plan of action. That feels good. I have definitely been feeling trapped in school, like it has been endless. It sort of has been, but I have a definite endpoint now. Thank goodness!

It has been a crazy week, though. I'm feeling relieved but also pretty tired. Good things on the horizon, I hope.

Keep it going!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 14, 2019, 08:31:15 PM
I had dinner at a professor's house tonight, so I spent a good chunk of the day cooking something to take.

The only other thing I did today was the mandatory online training for my school about sexual assault and harassment. There were some sections that showed examples of media that convey sexualized messages and that talked about sex in ways that were kind of triggering. I feel like they could have made their point without including suggestive images. I just tried to stay mindful, to recognize the triggers and let them go by. It helped that I got to leave the house and do something else right after. That gave me time to sort of forget about the triggers and get my head back to reality.

Let's go see what tomorrow brings!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 15, 2019, 08:13:29 AM
What did you make for the dinner?  I'm looking for new recipes.  I want to get into slow cooker stuff as the weather gets colder but I'm open to all new recipes!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 15, 2019, 05:55:08 PM
What did you make for the dinner?  I'm looking for new recipes.  I want to get into slow cooker stuff as the weather gets colder but I'm open to all new recipes!

I just made a loaf of bread for the dinner yesterday. Today, though, I'm roasting a chicken with some vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onion, sweet potatoes, etc.) I've been really enjoying some of the recipes on the Food 52 website lately. Some of them are more complex, but a lot of the ones I have done lately turned out really well.

Quiet day today

Went to church (a woman I might be interested in sat next to me by surprise, so we'll see what happens there). Then I came home and cooked some food for the week (including the chicken I mentioned already). I talked to family. Then a friend called me because a woman he was trying to date suddenly told him that she has a boyfriend in another state (like why not say that on Day 1?!) So I had to talk him through it and help him feel better. I don't know if anything I said helped, but I hope it did.

Now I just have to get a few things ready for tomorrow and it's back to a busy week.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 16, 2019, 06:16:09 AM
Man, you're doing so awesome! Definitely an inspiration for where I want go get to. Man, I've been gone awhile glad to see you've progressed so much.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 16, 2019, 06:24:15 AM
What did you make for the dinner?  I'm looking for new recipes.  I want to get into slow cooker stuff as the weather gets colder but I'm open to all new recipes!

I just made a loaf of bread for the dinner yesterday. Today, though, I'm roasting a chicken with some vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onion, sweet potatoes, etc.) I've been really enjoying some of the recipes on the Food 52 website lately. Some of them are more complex, but a lot of the ones I have done lately turned out really well.

Quiet day today

Went to church (a woman I might be interested in sat next to me by surprise, so we'll see what happens there). Then I came home and cooked some food for the week (including the chicken I mentioned already). I talked to family. Then a friend called me because a woman he was trying to date suddenly told him that she has a boyfriend in another state (like why not say that on Day 1?!) So I had to talk him through it and help him feel better. I don't know if anything I said helped, but I hope it did.

Now I just have to get a few things ready for tomorrow and it's back to a busy week.

Sounds like a great Sunday!  I'll take a look at that website for recipes. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on September 16, 2019, 11:42:07 AM
It's an especially great way to finish off a sort of challenging day: I had a vivid porn-related dream last night that got me started off on the wrong foot. I wouldn't call them urges exactly, but I have stopped myself a couple of times today sort of daydreaming about porn. It's like, "You know what would be nice/fun? To just unwind with some porn. Remember that? That was fun." And then I catch myself and try to think in other directions.

Luckily, the afternoon got much busier with school and stuff, so the worst of it was in the morning. I'm a little on edge now, though and worried about where it's all headed. I guess the shortest answer is that it will only go as far as I let it, so I just need to stay committed and stay strong. It has been a little while since I have had to go into "war mode" or whatever I should call it. Anyway, all a good reminder that urges and triggers can happen at any time. There's no magic length of time that gives us a free ticket out of trouble forever.

Sticking to it and pressing forward!

Good to see you are still aware and don't get desperate about porn appearing in your dreams after such a long time. This recovery is a life long task and you are showing how the daily work is still neccessary even after half a year without porn. Keep going and inspiring! :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 16, 2019, 09:39:20 PM
Man, you're doing so awesome! Definitely an inspiration for where I want go get to. Man, I've been gone awhile glad to see you've progressed so much.

Thanks a lot! Good to see you around again! I know I wanted to be where I am now at the beginning of the year, but I don't think I really would have believed it was possible. It is definitely possible to get some space between you and the addiction. It just happens one day at a time.

Sounds like a great Sunday!  I'll take a look at that website for recipes. 

Thanks! Definitely do.

Good to see you are still aware and don't get desperate about porn appearing in your dreams after such a long time. This recovery is a life long task and you are showing how the daily work is still neccessary even after half a year without porn. Keep going and inspiring! :)

Thanks, achilles! It really has just come down to daily work. None of the last 6 months matters if I don't do things right today. One day at a time is all we can do. And that can make things seem slow and difficult, but it's also great because one day is doable. More than that, and it can start to get intimidating.

Today was crazy busy

From start to finish, I feel like I was running around all day. I had extra meetings and stuff going all day. I left the house earlier than usual and didn't get back until pretty late. I'm definitely worn out, but I also wanted to be sure to post.

The only really newsworthy thing is that I had a chance to talk to the woman from yesterday. It was a pretty good, easygoing talk. I'm definitely being careful not to go "all in" like I have a tendency to do, trying to keep things healthy and not obsessive. But there might just be something there. I was at a table with a bunch of other people, and she came over and we sort of ended up talking just the two of us separate from the rest of the group. It was nice, and she seems cool. So we'll see.

Keep on marching! One day at a time!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 16, 2019, 10:11:30 PM
Sounds like a great day blue.  If she seems interested in you, invite her out to coffee or something! 

The food52 website gave me a bunch of slow cooker ideas.  I'll try one this week and let you know how it goes.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 17, 2019, 05:31:12 PM
Sounds like a great day blue.  If she seems interested in you, invite her out to coffee or something! 

The food52 website gave me a bunch of slow cooker ideas.  I'll try one this week and let you know how it goes.

That's a good idea! I had some down time at work, so I spent a little while researching places in town that I could take her out to, you know, some place nice but casual and sort of unique to the town. I have a short list of options now, so if the opportunity presents itself, I'll make it happen.

Hey, I'm glad you found some good stuff on the website! Definitely let me know how it goes!

Another day

I just had work today, but it wasn't too busy. Then I came home and had some dinner, and now I have just a couple things to do before the end of the day. It was nice to be out and about last night, but I really like a low-key night in a lot more. I didn't sleep too well last night, so I'm going to try to relax myself into better sleep tonight (no screens, low lights, etc.)

Still carrying on!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 18, 2019, 06:54:16 PM
Not a very busy or eventful day. Pretty usual stuff today.

But last night after I posted, I talked on the phone with an old friend I haven't talked to in years. At one point, he said that he always sort of figured I just wasn't that interested in women. Part of me wanted to "prove" how interested in them I am, but then I just thought to myself "If only he knew what I've been dealing with."

It has made me think about how I have always been very secretive about women I'm interested in. I guess I worried that if I told anyone that I was interested in a woman, they would also somehow know that I was addicted to porn. Was I worried that if someone knew who I was attracted to they would just see through it to my addictive perversions? Or like one of my worst irrational fears is having someone ask me who my "celebrity crush" is: those are normal things for people to have, but I worry that people would just think, "Oh, so that's the kind of woman he's interested in. Clearly he's a porn addict." I have had friends who always want to talk about girls, and I have never been that way. When it comes to real relationships and romance and feelings, I have always kept them almost as secret as my addiction.

That's obviously not how reality work, but that's how I have felt for a long time. I think I have tried subconsciously to make people see me as asexual so that they would never suspect my sex-related addiction. Even the women I'm interested in. I have gotten better at asking people out (still have a way to go on that), but I still hate when other people find out that I went out with someone. I don't want anyone to know, ever. And I don't think that's healthy.

In general, I think I'm a very guarded person, and I don't think I need to give that up entirely. But I can see how it can get in the way. At the very least, it's probably not a great way to be in a relationship. Learning to be more open about myself and my feelings is definitely something I could work on. Definitely scary to think about, but probably the right thing to do.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 19, 2019, 07:15:18 AM
That post is relatable.  I think in many ways we hide ourselves to protect ourselves.  But, even though it feels safe to repress our sexual expression, it's not safe.  It's comfortable but not safe at all.  Maybe 100 years ago it would be safe to act asexual in public but not anymore. 

I believe as you confront those fears and express your affections to people you really like, it will have a profound effect.  In many ways, that is the exact opposite of pmo.  Be brave blue, be respectful, but be brave.  Express my friend. 

Let us know how it goes!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 19, 2019, 05:51:27 PM
Thanks for the understanding and support, squid! It means a lot. I really like what you said about it being comfortable but not safe. Definitely something to think about.

Okay, I think I've decided: I'm going to try to set up a date. I haven't decided when and I really should, but I have a paper due this next week, so I feel like this weekend is sort of out of the question. Maybe next weekend? I promise I'm not just putting it off.

The bigger goal here is to have a chance A) to get to know someone better who seems cool; and B) to really give someone a chance to get to know me (and not just a version of me). I have done a really good job of presenting the "most marketable" version of myself on dates before, and that doesn't help anyone. My goal is to try to not be shy about my opinions, my hobbies, etc. How can we ever know if we're compatible if I keep everything about myself to myself? "Respectful and brave," that's what I'll be. I have spent way too much time being invisible because I think that's respectful.

So here goes nothing!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 19, 2019, 06:32:58 PM
Go get em!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Arthur2 on September 20, 2019, 06:26:15 AM
Me too i want to date a giiiiiiiiiiirl !

 :P
 :-*
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 20, 2019, 07:39:02 PM
Go get em!

Ha, thanks! I think I will!

Today was pretty good

It was a long day at school, but nothing too crazy. At the end of the day, though, I unexpectedly ran into the woman I'm thinking of asking out. It didn't happen today. I was going home and she was meeting a (female) friend for dinner, so it just didn't feel right, but we did sit down and talk for a while, and it was nice. Definitely made me think it's not such a crazy idea. So I guess I'll just have to see what happens.

Let's all go have a great weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 20, 2019, 08:13:22 PM
You gotta get it out bro.  Even if things don't work out hunky dory.  Becoming a person who expresses what they want to people they care about is worth any bumps along the road you might experience.  The time will never be perfect, don't let fear get in your way.  Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 21, 2019, 07:04:10 PM
Thanks, squid! I'll see what I can do the next time the opportunity arises.

Today was an okay day.

I had one goal today: to make a lot of progress on the paper that's due this week. Well, the day is over and I still haven't started. I wish I could say that I was just goofing off and I should know better, but I was busy all day. I guess the good thing is that I have a lot of smaller things done that I don't have to worry about anymore, but it's still frustrating.

I guess that's just how grad school is (for me, at least). It always feels like I have 36 hours worth of things to do a day. Even now, I could make a list of things that I want to get done before I go to bed, but I'm going to have to decide which ones can wait. It's a frustrating cycle, but I guess that's how it goes. Once the semester starts up, I always just feel like I'm catching up, no matter how much I get done in a day.

Oh well, tomorrow should be a pretty good day (fingers crossed). Onward and upward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 22, 2019, 08:29:16 AM
Keep it up! That is cool about the girl, she definitely does sound interested. I tend to notice more women interested in me when I am very busy, doing a lot at work or even with hobbies I feel like they can sense it.

I think just making things casual both in your mind and when you ask her out can help... the "in your mind" part is easier said then done,  I don't have a ton of help there lol.

But in terms of asking her out subtly sort of  in "steps" can help.

Johhny's= Cool casual lunch date spot that is conveniently located close to your campus. (just an example)

Not in steps:

Girl: Yeah so chemistry class we learned a lot
Guy: I know I love molecules
Girl: Me too, My favorite is phosphorous!
Guy: WANT TO GO TO JOHNNY's With me on Wednesday night?

In steps:
Example 1
Girl: Yeah so chemistry class we learned a lot
Guy: I know I love molecules
Girl:Me too, My favorite is phosphorous!
Guy: Cool!... You ever been to Johnny's?
Girl: No  :) (Or) Yes, I like it!
Guy: Omg I love that place, we should go sometime
Girl: Awesome!
Guy: Awesome.... wait you have my number right? ( smooth lol)
Girl: No
Guy: Cool let's exchange numbers, class is crazy right now maybe we can do like wends or thurs




Totally doesn't have to be just like that, just one easier way to ask a girl out imo. Plus it could make things a lil easier mentally since it's not like waiting for this big romantic ask her out moment.

Or it can be way simplified lol.
Guy: We should hang out sometime
Girl: : )
Guy: You been to johnny's ( can do the exact same thing)

This can be pretty awesome too especially when it's obvious you guys are into each other

Do what ever works for you! Sometimes just having a bit of a gameplan (not like trying to follow things word for word or being a robot) can make things easier, and gives you options. For example the "steps" one can work really well even if the moment isn't right

Also scope out the date spot in advance, go in person
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 22, 2019, 06:54:05 PM
Thanks so much, Quit! This is awesome and pretty helpful. I was feeling a little down this evening, but this put a smile on my face. I'll definitely see what I can do about giving it a shot "in steps."

I'm pretty sure I'll have to ask her at some point if she has a favorite molecule, lol. If it's not phosphorus, I'll just give up on her.

But, in seriousness, making things casual in my mind is definitely the trick. I think I'm pretty good at putting up a casual front (for better or worse), but it's harder to do internally. I have definitely been burned (pretty recently) by being too "un-casual" too quick, so I'm definitely only in the mood for something more casual and gradual at this point.

I guess for me, I'm not like head-over-heels (I have done that before, though), but I am interested. Mostly, I think I'm worried that I might not communicate that well (and that I will just come across as uninterested). To be fair, I don't think I've ever been this thoughtful about something like this before. I also haven't ever had backup from a solid group of recovery buddies either. So I think this could work. But I'm also trying to be very okay with it not working out too if that's what happens. Nothing to do but see how things go from here.

Other than all that, a pretty chill day. Went to church, cooked some food, had a friend over for a little bit. The next few weeks are looking like they will be crazy busy, so I'm not too excited about starting back up again tomorrow. But there's a school break after that, and I'm sure I will NEED it. So that's something to look forward to and keep me going.

One day at a time!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 23, 2019, 06:26:37 PM
Lol!

Nice, yeah being okay with it not working is super key. This sort of thing also gets easier with time. Man, maybe part of what led me to pmo was my unreal fear of asking girls out when I was younger. Like I was just so damn scared, I never did it. Instead I'd fantasize about those girls when a lone... bummer......

But the positive is, that kind of shows. Win/Lose or draw interacting with and pursuing real life women is so awesome! It's such a privilege, so much better, no matter the outcome, then living in a nasty isolated world of pmo.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 23, 2019, 09:09:20 PM
You're right. I don't know if PMO made me scared to ask girls out or if I turned to PMO because I was scared, but I definitely have gotten a very late start on the dating game in the story of my life.

Nowadays, it feels like I'm not so much scared as usually not very interested. Part of me worries that it's just because porn has given me unrealistic expectations. But part of me also thinks that, now that I'm moving away from porn, I'm starting to see my own value as a person so I'm not willing to "settle." It's probably a little of both, but who knows?

But it's definitely all way way better than the isolation of addiction and constant PMO. That's for sure.

In other news, today was pretty busy but also decent. It felt like I was running around all afternoon and evening, but I did have a chance to interact with her again (seems like I should give her a nickname at this point, lol. Phosphorus maybe? No.) It was during a pretty structured activity, so there wasn't a lot of chance for like meaningful conversation, but we were laughing and having a good time.

Mostly, this is important because I think I usually feel like women are just being polite and not actually being interested or something like that. I feel like, after today, I'm pretty sure it's not just politeness, so that gives me some confidence moving forward. Still not in a huge rush: if it works it works, and if not oh well. Not going to force anything, but also not going to ignore the potential for progress. Besides, the best relationship I ever had started as a friendship, so I'm not worried about starting there.

Besides all that, today is Day 200. Next stop, 250 (and that feels like a really long way away, but I also feel like I can turn up the milestone difficulty a little at this point). We'll see, I might have to set an intermediate goal depending on how things go. But I'm feeling confident and hopeful, so no reason to hold back on the goal-setting.

Onward and upward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 23, 2019, 10:09:20 PM
Wow man! Congrats on 200 days, that is super awesome and a really great milestone.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 24, 2019, 07:09:13 PM
Thanks, quit!

Today (and this week) are kind of crazy. I have a big assignment due on Thursday, and I just haven't had time until today to get started. I still have to do research and somehow get a 15-page report typed up by the end of the day tomorrow. It doesn't really feel possible, but I'm trying to stay positive. Luckily, I don't have too much on my schedule tomorrow, so I can mostly spend the whole day working on it.

Stress levels are high, but urges are low. It really does get better with time. Today I had the thought walking around campus that I used to just automatically stare at women and have to stop myself. Now, though, I think I would have to stare on purpose. That kind of creepy ogling isn't my default like it used to be, at least most of the time.

I guess what I'm saying is that deep change is possible. We can establish new habits and new lives. I feel like I'm just experiencing the beginning of that, but it's a real beginning.

Keep going, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 24, 2019, 10:21:25 PM
Super cool blue!  You can get the paper done, just stay focused.  Have you been staying in touch with Phosphorus? 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Free-man on September 25, 2019, 02:55:44 AM
Well done Blue!

Good luck with your assignment, you can do it!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 25, 2019, 06:36:50 AM
Wow! That is so awesome, the changes you made. The key is persistence. I have to keep that in mind, this stuff changes over time. 15 pages sounds like a lot! At least you have free time to work on it...
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on September 25, 2019, 04:25:58 PM
Besides all that, today is Day 200. Next stop, 250 (and that feels like a really long way away, but I also feel like I can turn up the milestone difficulty a little at this point). We'll see, I might have to set an intermediate goal depending on how things go. But I'm feeling confident and hopeful, so no reason to hold back on the goal-setting.

Congratulations on that amazing milestone!

In terms of entering the "dating game" I think by what you describe (having a good time, laughing, you think there's more to it than just her politeness), you have lots of open doors to just develop this naturally as you are going to meet her again anyway due to school. If I understood it right your idea of "casual" is not to ask for a real date directly and I support that idea because a date also puts pressure on both and might end up awkward.

I suggest to go for interesting activities in your city like street (food) festivals, cultural/art expositions where you don't sit down face to face, but walk around and have some topics to talk about besides the dating situation of question and answer.

It's also an easier way to direct the conversation towards the topic of a specific event and - if she seems interested - ask her out starting like "This saturday I'm going to event X, want to join me?" - you are showing her that you are going anyway and she won't feel the pressure of a date. If you get along really well, it's a lot easier to develop some kind of dating situation out of the activity or - if you feel like it will take some time - keep it casual for a while.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 25, 2019, 08:02:12 PM
That sounds like a good idea^ probably better then my recommendation. I have met pretty much every date I have ever had from
"cold approach" so his idea may be easier and even more casual/ low pressure then mine. I think the general principle we all agree on is, casual/ low pressure. Romantic date ideas have worked close to 0% of the time for me and even dates that seemed romantic sounding have led to girls not showing up. It's not like in the movies.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 25, 2019, 08:15:05 PM
At least in the early stages, I think they are right.  Our culture is superficial in the beginning stages of dating and there os a high chance of getting ghosted.  So you almost have to save the good romantic stuff until you are more serious.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 25, 2019, 08:43:41 PM
Wow, guys, thanks for the support and ideas!

I just found out that my word processor somehow switched to being 1.5 spaced instead of double spaced, so I got some bonus length added to my paper for free. It's not quite done, but I felt like I could take a break to check in here before I finished.

It's has been kind of a bad day, mostly because I have spent the whole day writing and am not done yet. It's been boring and frustrating, but I'm close now, just a couple more pages. Oh well, it will all be over by the end of tomorrow, so at least it's not forever.

Nothing new to report on a potential date at this point. I haven't seen her, but even if I had it's been so crazy the last couple days. At this point, my big goal is to do something to communicate my interest. I feel like she has done a couple things to show that she is potentially interested, and I have been happy to respond to them, but I haven't done anything to go out of my way and return the favor. Maybe that's too much of a baby step, but I feel good about doing that first and seeing where it goes from there.

I also really like the idea of a walking/talking activity. In other cities I have lived in, there have been pretty good and inexpensive museums, but I don't know if there's anything like that here. I will have to do some research (maybe this weekend). I've always liked museums, so it would be cool if she was into that too. I definitely think you all are right to leave the showy romantic stuff until much later.

So I guess there's potential on the horizon...but not until after this paper is finished. Guess I should get back to work. Thanks again for your thoughts!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 25, 2019, 10:18:30 PM
Cool man, get that paper done!

IMO: That's awesome she is communicating interest and you are returning it.... In my opinion the best way to show your interest is to set up a hang out, sounds like you like squid's idea and I think that's a good way to go too. So you can communicate interest by setting it up.

Pre warning Disclaimer: I have mostly met girls through cold approach so I may be a bit more jaded and fast moving because of this. BUT I think being cool with her showing most of the interest is definitely a good thing so long as you move things forward. (As we improve ourselves we just gotta get used to girls being really into us and chasing us a bit)

Warning jadedish section follows: In my experience going back and forth showing interest eventually fizzles out if it does not escalate to me and the girl actually hanging out. So, setting up a time to hang out moves things forward. Showing interest doesn't. Both can go wrong. Maybe if you "ask her out" (more accurately casually invite her to do something with you) it doesn't work out. But if it does: great you guys hang out etc. Showing interest, may not work out and if it does? Wait how does showing interest work out? I don't know... She asks you out?

On top of that, funny enough casually inviting her to hang out is lower risk.... you just friendly like invite her to hang out, if she somehow lost interest or it goes wrong, no big deal you can both play it off like you were just being friendly, even try something again in the future..... Showing interest on the other hand, so the goal is to make it really obvious that you are showing interest? That could actually end up with a higher risk, if it's not received well that could be awkward and if it is well you still have to set up a hang out, or it can fizzle. That happened to me in school, I was very outspoken etc. I would flirt with a bunch of girls, many were interested in me but I didn't escalate to hanging out with any of them eventually they all kind of got tired of it and lost interest and even found me annoying( not saying that'll happen)

Warning even more jadedish/ machiavellian sounding section: I mean you're kind of in a great position. She is the one signaling interest, you are just returning the interest and are in the position to smoothly set up a hang out with her, with basically zero risk on the downside and most likely on the upside her being really excited about it. It's kind of actually kind of good if the girl thinks she is more interested in you then you are in her....

"OMG I really like blueheronfan.... do you think he likes me?"
"OMG I tried to flirt with him and he was friendly I think he might, but I am not sure?! : ) ?!?!"
"He invited me to a concert he was going to!!! OMG!!!! I bet he likes me?! What should I wear?! Do I look cute?! Wait but what if he only wants to be friends? OMG! I better be early and answer all his texts"

VS
"Wow I really liked blueheronfan and he is clearly really into me, he showed lots of interest"
"Well thats nice he likes me, I guess he's pretty cute"
"Hmm he invited me to a concert.... hmmm I think I'll go, oh what's happening on social media any parties? I could always reschedule with him, he's sooo into me"

LOL sorry that is me being jaded a bit, but I have found especially now a days if I seem to be more into a girl then she is into me it doesn't go as well. (Not saying to be a robot/ sociopath) but also it can be good to get used to being the "desired one" rather then like we have to get girls to like us/ chase them (let the girl like you).

PLUS this is not all selfish, it's actually super super awesome for the girl if you let her like you and be into you and just move things forward and don't have to tip the balance back into you chasing her (which so many of us guys do as a habit and are actually more comfortable with) The whole process'll be real exciting and if you guys end up in a relationship she'll feel really good about it.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Do or die on September 25, 2019, 11:22:40 PM
Great my friend. 200 days is an motivation for me. i am badly relapsing from last 2 months. today i am at day 9. i am really inspired from you. Rebooter who is at my place is  dream about success like you. congratulations for you present and future rebooted life.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 26, 2019, 05:58:50 PM

Pre warning Disclaimer

Warning jadedish section follows:

Warning even more jadedish/ machiavellian sounding section:


Haha! Thanks, quit! Don't sell yourself short: that's good advice! I definitely don't want to string her along. I'm thinking if anything is going to happen at all, it will probably have to happen in the next week or two. Maybe that's too long,  but I don't know. At least part of my current non-hurry is because being in a hurry backfired on me so badly last year. I guess I figure it will work out if it's supposed to and won't if it's not. All I can do is give it my best and hope for the best. But I think you're exactly right: keeping things moving is important. Just showing interest without acting on it can be confusing and counterproductive in the end. I don't think there's anything jaded about that.

In related news, I found out that I can get free tickets to the local art museum through my school. So that has moved to the top of my list of potential options. I guess I'm not looking for the "right" moment to make it happen, but just a good one (i.e. not putting her on the spot in front of people). I guess the only thing to do is find out what happens (and remind my brain that taking far off adventures in our imaginary future is not especially helpful at this point lol).

In less related news, I finished my paper. It took longer than I hoped but not as long as I feared. But I'm still feeling pretty worn out after two days of staying up late to work on it. Plus I went too long between lunch and dinner today, so it didn't make for a very pleasant day.

But now I'm back home, I've had dinner, and I just have a little bit of reading to finish up tonight for class tomorrow. Just one more day and I can leave this stressful week behind. Good riddance!

On to bigger and better things!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 26, 2019, 06:45:30 PM
"Just showing interest without acting on it can be confusing and counterproductive in the end."

Yeah I've done that many times in the past.  It's frustrating for everyone involved.  Be clear, that's better :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 27, 2019, 07:49:09 AM
Great job getting the paper done!

What you said sounds pretty solid. Not hurrying too much. Yeah, get it done. But it doesn't need to be like some OMG I gotta run this girl down and abruptly invite her to hang out kinda deal.

It might help to actually get the tickets, like plan a time to go to the museum, so it's already in your head. So you can literally plan to go yourself and then say to her like "I am going, why don't you join me" or whatever.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 27, 2019, 07:20:51 PM
"Just showing interest without acting on it can be confusing and counterproductive in the end."

Yeah I've done that many times in the past.  It's frustrating for everyone involved.  Be clear, that's better :)

Thanks! I definitely don't want to frustrate anyone. I'm going to see if I'll get a chance to be clear sometime this weekend (there's a decent chance we'll cross paths Sunday, so who knows?)

Great job getting the paper done!

What you said sounds pretty solid. Not hurrying too much. Yeah, get it done. But it doesn't need to be like some OMG I gotta run this girl down and abruptly invite her to hang out kinda deal.

It might help to actually get the tickets, like plan a time to go to the museum, so it's already in your head. So you can literally plan to go yourself and then say to her like "I am going, why don't you join me" or whatever.

Thanks! I actually like that idea. I'll pick them up maybe sometime next week when I'm back on campus. Then it's just a plan I have anyway, and she's welcome to come if she wants (and why wouldn't she?) Plus, since they're free it won't cost me anything if it doesn't work out this time. Solid advice.

Today felt long
But it was fine. Not too much happened, just school and work. I met up with a friend after work, and we hung out for a little.

I'm glad it's the weekend. This week was so crazy I got behind on some housekeeping things (like cooking and laundry), so I have some catching up to do. Luckily, the weekend should be pretty quiet, so I should be able to get caught up.

Keep on keepin' on, and let's have a great weekend!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 27, 2019, 07:22:33 PM
Great work blue, enjoy the weekend!  Any cool recipes you try lately?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 28, 2019, 06:05:36 PM
Hey thanks!

Nothing too exciting on the recipe front lately. I really like banana bread, but I never have extra bananas (I eat them too fast), so I bought some extra bananas today specifically for baking with later in the week. That's something to look forward to.

Beyond that, today was (finally!) pretty chill. I went shopping, did some cleaning, meditated, hung out. It hasn't been maybe as productive as I would wish, but I also didn't have a really solid plan going into the day today, so I never really got started with a lot of steam. But I'm okay with that: this last week was crazy, so I feel good about taking it easier today. If I can, I might as well.

Keep on going!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 28, 2019, 08:58:57 PM
Mmmm banana bread sounds awesome. Well it's cool that you can have a pretty good day even without planning much, that itself is a big sign of progress.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 28, 2019, 10:46:17 PM
Hey thanks!

Nothing too exciting on the recipe front lately. I really like banana bread, but I never have extra bananas (I eat them too fast), so I bought some extra bananas today specifically for baking with later in the week. That's something to look forward to.

Beyond that, today was (finally!) pretty chill. I went shopping, did some cleaning, meditated, hung out. It hasn't been maybe as productive as I would wish, but I also didn't have a really solid plan going into the day today, so I never really got started with a lot of steam. But I'm okay with that: this last week was crazy, so I feel good about taking it easier today. If I can, I might as well.

Keep on going!

That's great blue, rooting for you!  Banana bread is super good and so is cranberry bread.  Have you tried that?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on September 29, 2019, 05:13:58 PM
Hey BlueHeronFan,

You've come a long way my friend! That milestone you've reached is just awesome!!! I'm so happy for you.

I've haven't been here for a while and decided to come back mainly for support and to see you're success is really inspiring. If I'm correct you are at day 204 and that is something to be proud of :)

Again I'm really happy for you. Keep pushing, my friend and stay strong!!!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 29, 2019, 06:36:41 PM
Mmmm banana bread sounds awesome. Well it's cool that you can have a pretty good day even without planning much, that itself is a big sign of progress.

Thanks! I haven't thought about it that way, but you're right. Planning my day is an addiction-survival strategy (and I'm definitely not going to give it up), but it is encouraging to realize that I can fumble my way through a day without falling into urges/PMO. Thanks for the insight!

That's great blue, rooting for you!  Banana bread is super good and so is cranberry bread.  Have you tried that?

Thanks, man! I haven't even heard of cranberry bread, but it sounds awesome! Definitely going to put it on my list. (I found a recipe for butternut squash bread that I definitely want to try once the weather gets colder.) Cranberry bread also sounds like a great fall food.

Hey BlueHeronFan,

You've come a long way my friend! That milestone you've reached is just awesome!!! I'm so happy for you.

I've haven't been here for a while and decided to come back mainly for support and to see you're success is really inspiring. If I'm correct you are at day 204 and that is something to be proud of :)

Again I'm really happy for you. Keep pushing, my friend and stay strong!!!

Hey, man, it's awesome to hear from you again! The support here is a life-saver, welcome back! I'm always really grateful to hear that my story has been inspiring. I never would have imagined that this addiction and recovery journey could be anything but my darkest secret. Thank you for reminding that it is giving me a chance to understand other people's struggles and to encourage them on the same road that I'm walking. Really, thanks for the support!

Today I got so close...

...to setting up a date!

I mentioned earlier that my one goal for this weekend was to communicate my interest to this girl that I've been getting to know lately. Well, I decided that I was going to start by just asking if I could sit with her at church today. (I always feel like I'm invading people's personal space, but I figured that was my own imagination and not a real thing.) She said yes, so I sat down. There's not really a lot of time to talk during church, but when it was over, we got to talking. We started talking about the days off from school that are coming up in a couple weeks, and she asked if I had any plans. I was just like, "Oh, I'm thinking about going to art museum." And she said that she loves art museums. And then I went on high alert, thinking "I did not plan for this to happen, but this is the time to invite her!"

Right when I was about to, though, someone interrupted and said that I was needed in another part of the building for something, and I was trying to be like "I'll be there in a minute." But it couldn't wait, and she was cool about it and said I should go take care of it, so I did. So the date isn't set, but the idea is out there and it really sounds like she's open to it. So I'll just have to make it happen for real the next time I run into her. Whenever that is.

Not really a perfect outcome, but definitely encouraging. It's starting to feel like there might be something there. Way too early to go crazy, but definitely worth exploring more.

Today has been a pretty relaxed day after that, just talking to family, cooking, meditating. It's looking like another busy-ish week, but nowhere near as bad as last week. That feels good too.

Let's go have a great tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on September 29, 2019, 06:46:25 PM
Yeah, I'll try to stay connected and to support as much as I can even though you're in much better "shape" that I am right now. I'll do my best in anycase.

I'm glad to see that you've reached a point where you feel ready to date again. That's a joyful sight, if I can say so :)

Even if you were interrupted and couldn't conclude, you can always propose another time and see if she down(even if she seemed like it)

Wish you the best man!!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on September 29, 2019, 08:06:45 PM
Sounds like she's open to it.  Just ask her man, rooting for you!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 30, 2019, 09:37:48 PM
Thanks, guys! Definitely going to take advantage of the next chance I get.

It was kind of a long busy day, but it was also pretty decent.

I have definitely felt a lot of pressure in my life to be dating, and that has usually made me feel like I was always chasing after someone, trying to get someone to notice me but also being way too scared to put myself out there. After my last sort-of-relationship fell apart in a difficult way, I just kind of decided that I was going to try to be the best I could be and the women could come find me. There's no way to know at this point where any of this could be headed, and I don't know this woman very well at all, but, from what I know so far, she seems like a really good person. You know, like a real solid person.

This is a long way of saying that today I felt a kind of confidence walking around campus. There was something about knowing that someone cool seemed interested in me that made me feel like standing up a little straighter. Then, instead of seeing girls walk by and think, "Oh, I'll never be good enough for anyone," I was thinking, "I don't need to worry about these people or what they do or don't think about me because there's someone awesome starting to maybe come into my life."

In one way, it kind of stinks that it has taken some validation from someone else to give me this little confidence boost, but I'm also happy to be experiencing it.

Porn really makes us feel like we are weird and worthless and disgusting and that nobody would ever be interested in us. Because we are so aware of the one problem (porn) we can't see all the good things that we have going for us. There's so much good in each of you. I don't know, make a list of your good qualities and talents. Do something to recognize everything that you have to be confident about. Porn keeps us trapped because it makes us feel like it's our only friend, like nobody else would want to be around us. That's a lie.

Recovery is hard, and it can be discouraging when it drags on. But I bet we're probably all doing better than we realize or give ourselves credit for.

Keep it going! One more day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on October 01, 2019, 11:33:12 AM
Man, good idea about making the list!

IMO there is nothing wrong with feeling good about a cool person liking you.

As to the relationship stuff it's a bit of a balancing act I think, definitely sounds like you have the right mindset and it's great to ditch all the desperation mixed with not going for it. (The worst combo). I think the not being overly attached to it but still taking action to get it is the key.

I've had both desparate, but also feeling really good and not taking action. Sometimes I'd feel good but then when it's time to ask a girl out I'd feel not so good lol. Which is okay, being mentally healthy and confident, we can still have moments of doubt and fear to push through.

Still especially given this issue that brought us here, errring on the side of happy with self and not pursuing hard may be good for the time being. Great progress is happening and that's the important thing. Eventually girls/ a girl will come or you'll make the necessary adjustments to do the right amount of healthy non-desperate pursuit to get them, so long as you just continue on the path you are on currently
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 01, 2019, 04:16:34 PM
I'd say take a look at your worldview on dating.  I used to think that dating was like a movie.  Where you see a girl in a public place and fall into love instantly.  But now I see it as a seed that grows into a living thing.  Also my view on dating is that it's wise to go on lots of first meet ups and first and second dates until you find someone who have a connection with. 

Online dating makes it all so convenient, and gives an advantage to thoughtful Intelligent men like those of us in the nation.  Pick some photos write a bio and max out your swipes daily.  Within three weeks the matches start to come in and you can meet a lot of women who are also interested at least slightly in you. 

You deserve a great woman dude, don't listen to the resistance.  Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 01, 2019, 06:09:41 PM
Thanks for the ideas and support, guys! It always means a lot to come here at the end of the day and to find some encouragement. After everything that happens in a day, this is usually when I need that boost most.

You deserve a great woman dude, don't listen to the resistance.

Thanks especially for this comment, squid! I have definitely lived for years with the idea that my addiction made it permanently impossible for me to ever have a long-term relationship (i.e., as soon as "hypothetical woman" finds out about the porn in my past, that would be it). Working on recovery has definitely involved digging myself out of the hole of my inaccurate beliefs about dating, relationships, and my own "worthiness" to participate in it all.

I hear you on the online dating thing. I tried it for the first half of this year with really limited success (basically none). So I'm taking a break from it for a while at least, but who knows?

IMO there is nothing wrong with feeling good about a cool person liking you.

As to the relationship stuff it's a bit of a balancing act I think, definitely sounds like you have the right mindset and it's great to ditch all the desperation mixed with not going for it. (The worst combo). I think the not being overly attached to it but still taking action to get it is the key.

And thanks, quit! You're definitely right, nothing wrong with feeling good about being liked. Part of me just wishes I could have found that confidence in myself, but it's all a process.

And yeah, I'm definitely working on taking action without desperation. I think that's a good way of putting it. I feel like she has made some moves, so I wanted to make sure I'm reciprocating so that she doesn't assume I'm totally uninterested. Just focusing on being open to possibilities but also being chill about it, I guess.

Speaking of, today was pretty chill

Just work today (and some homework that I could have made more progress on). Work was pretty boring, actually, for some reason. Well, except for a goofy social mistake that I made.

I went into the breakroom to refill my water bottle, and I used up the last of the water in the water cooler. So I was thinking about where to set my water bottle down so that I could put a new one of those giant bottle back onto the water cooler. But then I saw that there was someone behind me waiting, so I like panicked because I was in someone's way and just bolted out of the break room in like a weird effort to be polite and not keep them waiting. Then when I was in the hall, I heard them refilling the cooler, which was what I should have done. Then I was like, "Why did I run away?" It was a weird, split-second decision, and it was the wrong one.

It was really bugging me today after I got home, so I finally just decided to email that person and apologize. Maybe I'm making too big of a deal out of it, but it just sort of felt like the right thing to do. I don't know if anything will come of it, but I did feel like owning all of my mistakes (even like a clumsy social mistake) is part of this recovery process of reinventing my whole life. (And now I just feel weird and awkward that I sent someone an email, like I always do when I reach out to people.) Oh well, all part of the process.

Time to get ready to face another new day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 02, 2019, 07:08:55 PM
Today was a really quiet day. Just did some chores and homework. It was pretty productive, mostly in a staying caught up way and not a getting ahead way, but that's okay too.

Yeah, not much to say, I guess. I get some time off from school next week, and I'm really looking forward to that. Just got to push through the next few days.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on October 02, 2019, 09:09:57 PM
Sounds like a solid day!

Sorry thought I already posted about the previous post....
I just can totally relate to the occasional social stuff like that. Just like being really embarrassed by small things, that don't really make sense sometimes. The other day I ordered something at a coffee shop, I am cool with everyone who works there and they forgot to make what I ordered (a few people ordered the same thing so I think they got confused). I literally walked up to the counter twice and didn't say anything, feeling awkward. Third time I gently mentioned it and it was no problem they were like "oh sorry here you go". For me it's a little odd, because I am very gregarious and talkative seemingly very socially confident but sometimes very normal/small situations make me embarrassed or nervous.

But.... maybe it's not a huge deal, most of the time no one else notices it, so who knows maybe most or many people get feelings like this or it's just part of being sensitive to other people which overall if you average out the positives and negatives is probably a net positive.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on October 03, 2019, 12:15:58 PM
Congratulations on going steady towards success!  :) I guess the quiet days are the reason why you are advancing so much, you're the opposite of what I mentioned on Lero's journal about Lero and me (and many others) permanently searching for another thrill, for something to happen. This is leading to stupid decisions and many times back to porn. You learned to be happy with the every day pleasure and will more likely find true happiness due to appreciating the "normal" high of life.

I'm looking forward to the next episode of you and the girl, the build up is great so far and hopes are high there will a happy end ;) Don't worry about your history as a porn addict, most girls assume every guy is watching porn and by telling them you quit this shit forever you won't have any negative feedback but full support!

Worrying too much is a key almost all of us here seem to have in common as I notice by your story and the reply of Quitforeverthenwin. I can relate to feel uncomfortable about things others barely notice and it's really hard to get over it. The perfectionst self-approach could be a key why we escape to addiction and feel the pressure to escape from a reality that isn't as unforgiving as we use to think.

Just stop worrying, you're awesome! :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 03, 2019, 05:43:07 PM
I just can totally relate to the occasional social stuff like that. Just like being really embarrassed by small things, that don't really make sense sometimes.

Thanks, Quit! It's always great to learn here that I'm not the only one who feels the way I do sometimes. It's too bad that we all deal with these kinds of awkward/embarrassed feelings, but it is good to know I'm not alone.

Congratulations on going steady towards success!  :) I guess the quiet days are the reason why you are advancing so much, you're the opposite of what I mentioned on Lero's journal about Lero and me (and many others) permanently searching for another thrill, for something to happen. This is leading to stupid decisions and many times back to porn. You learned to be happy with the every day pleasure and will more likely find true happiness due to appreciating the "normal" high of life.

I'm looking forward to the next episode of you and the girl, the build up is great so far and hopes are high there will a happy end ;) Don't worry about your history as a porn addict, most girls assume every guy is watching porn and by telling them you quit this shit forever you won't have any negative feedback but full support!

Worrying too much is a key almost all of us here seem to have in common as I notice by your story and the reply of Quitforeverthenwin. I can relate to feel uncomfortable about things others barely notice and it's really hard to get over it. The perfectionst self-approach could be a key why we escape to addiction and feel the pressure to escape from a reality that isn't as unforgiving as we use to think.

Just stop worrying, you're awesome! :)

And thanks to you too, achilles! I really appreciate the encouraging words, and I will do my best to quit worrying. I also like what you said about appreciating the quiet days. I definitely know that boredom was sometimes behind my relapses: I remember feeling like PMO was some kind of fun, freeing experience. But when my morning alarm went off and I realized that I had been binging all night, I realized that it wasn't really all that fun or freeing.

Definitely better to have a good night's sleep and a "boring" day with a clear conscious.

Today was busier

But I guess not a lot busier. I had class and did some homework, and I still have to finish up a little assignment before tomorrow, nothing too bad.

The person from the watercooler emailed me back and basically said, "Yeah, whatever, no big deal." That's the right kind of response. It still felt like a huge thing to me at the time.

Not sure when my next chance to talk to the girl will be. Hopefully (maybe) sometime this weekend, but there's no guarantee. I have a little plan coming together in the back of my mind, but I'll just have to see if I get a chance to make it happen.

Other than that, the only thing that there even is to talk about is how bad my allergies have been this week, especially today. I don't know what's in the air lately, but I hope it clears up soon. I've been sneezing and itching like crazy.

Let's all go have a great Friday!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 03, 2019, 06:56:37 PM
Yo blue, do you have the girl's number, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, linkedin, whatsapp, kakaotalk, wechat, or po box?

If so, send her a message bro, say you have been wanting to go to this event and has been enjoying her company and want to invite her to come with you.

Proactive man, you got this.

-squid
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on October 03, 2019, 10:18:01 PM
Lot's of good insights. I relate to what Lero said... wanting excitement. When I do the same thing each day I start to feel a lack of meaning... BUT that is a false thought, constantly seeking novelty and excitement can lead to pmo, and also harms the ability to have deeper relationships or deeper progress in areas of life, both of which would create meaning.

Also great point quitting pmo is huge. The cool thing is, most guys PMO a little and just about all MO. I told a girl, that I don't MO and it helps me appreciate the whole person more and be more present connected etc. the girl's mind was blown and she loved it. PMO was a problem but the solution of cutting all of it totally out, ends up better then we would have been if we never had the problem....

I have experienced and heard, cutting out MO for long periods, PMO addiction or not makes intimacy with a real person soooo much more powerful.

Very cool Blue that you got to the point where the boring days are cool for you! I agree with squid if you had the number just invite her out, but I am guessing you would have if you had her number?

I have a weird idea (not very romantic) can you think of 1-3 other girls who seem cool to you? Girls you may be a little interested in? Can you put a tiny bit of thought into them? Not saying you have to ask em out or anything. I mean literally put a little thought into them, just allow your mind to see options etc.

Sounds like you want a meaningful relationship, but for now perhaps thinking a little bit about other girls, will decrease the importance of this girl in your mind. Like instead of right moment it can be like "oh, there's that cool girl, she'd be cool to hang with" " hey cool girl, want to check out the musuem with me tomorrow" (casual).

I am thinking the book what color is your parachute (about job hunting) said ALWAYS have at least two options, so the one options isn't all or nothing and too important.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 04, 2019, 08:31:14 PM
Yo blue, do you have the girl's number, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, linkedin, whatsapp, kakaotalk, wechat, or po box?

If so, send her a message bro, say you have been wanting to go to this event and has been enjoying her company and want to invite her to come with you.

Proactive man, you got this.

-squid

Great question...and no...lol. Cutting off all the social media stuff has been part of my recovery (too much triggering stuff there), so I'm sort of trapped in the 1930s communication wise. But I'll get it figured out soon enough. Thanks for the encouragement!

Also great point quitting pmo is huge. The cool thing is, most guys PMO a little and just about all MO. I told a girl, that I don't MO and it helps me appreciate the whole person more and be more present connected etc. the girl's mind was blown and she loved it. PMO was a problem but the solution of cutting all of it totally out, ends up better then we would have been if we never had the problem....

I have experienced and heard, cutting out MO for long periods, PMO addiction or not makes intimacy with a real person soooo much more powerful.

This is a pretty cool thought. Part of the reason is that I always imagined myself as the one weirdo with a PMO addiction (of course that doesn't explain the billion-dollar industry), but you're right: those of us who have spent some time with porn and decided to get rid of it completely are a rare breed. How many more guys are just going about their lives, never knowing that they were in trouble. It blows my mind that what you told that girl blew her mind: I always imagine that my history with PMO will be a nasty surprise, but it's probably more likely that my present situation of quitting it will actually be a pleasant surprise! Thanks for the perspective!

I have a weird idea (not very romantic) can you think of 1-3 other girls who seem cool to you? Girls you may be a little interested in? Can you put a tiny bit of thought into them? Not saying you have to ask em out or anything. I mean literally put a little thought into them, just allow your mind to see options etc.

Sounds like you want a meaningful relationship, but for now perhaps thinking a little bit about other girls, will decrease the importance of this girl in your mind. Like instead of right moment it can be like "oh, there's that cool girl, she'd be cool to hang with" " hey cool girl, want to check out the musuem with me tomorrow" (casual).

I am thinking the book what color is your parachute (about job hunting) said ALWAYS have at least two options, so the one options isn't all or nothing and too important.

And you're right, this maybe isn't a very romantic idea, but it's a really good one. I definitely don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. At this point, I'm mostly interested in going on a date because I haven't really gotten a chance to get to know much about her. I mean, I know that we have had some fun conversations in more of a group setting, but that hasn't been enough to see if there's anything there. I'm being optimistically skeptical, I guess.

The other thing, though, is that, if I'm honest, I think I'm really good at friend-zoning people, which is maybe a little counterintuitive. I mean, I have a lot of friends who are women (probably more than men), but I'm also 100% comfortable having them as just friends, not especially interested in having more with them. And if you asked me, I'd have pretty good reasons (at least I think they're good) why a romantic relationship wouldn't work out, at least not long-term.

There's probably a lot to process there, but I sometimes wonder if there isn't an element of self-sabotage there. I mean, I've lived in a couple of places in the country, made a lot of friends, and only had a few relationships (and only one that really went anywhere). At the same time, I really have a long-term commitment in mid, and I don't want to get that wrong. If I've been waiting as long as I have, no sense settling now.

Hard to talk about that stuff without feeling like I'm being a tool sometimes. But I had a great relationship for a long while, so I know what it can be like, and I'm not too interested in starting something that can't be at least that good.

I'm talking myself in circles now.

As for today, it was pretty chill. The last long day before a good weekend and another week that should be pretty relaxed (at least comparatively).

Feeling a little weird today, not sure if it's allergies, the beginnings of a cold, or just a hangover from the benadryl I took last night (I slept weird last night, maybe because of that). Oh well, it's time for the weekend and some rest!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 05, 2019, 08:21:18 PM
Not much to the day today.

Ran into some car trouble that I'm going to have to figure out on Monday. It's having trouble starting, sort of like it sometimes does on really cold days in the winter except it's not really cold right now so that doesn't explain it. Here I was thinking I was going to have a stress-free week and then this went and happened. Oh well, at least it's happening in a week when I actually have time to get it taken care of without messing everything else up. Hopefully, it's not a huge fix,  but we'll see.

I'm also having some people over for a brunch tomorrow. It should be pretty good (I just spent the last little while pre-cooking some things and cleaning up the front area of my apartment for guests). I like the idea of hosting people, but every time I do it I remember why I rarely do it. It's stressful, but, like I said, it shouldn't be a bad thing. Just something that will be kind of good but even better as a memory, lol.

Feeling better physically than yesterday, just have some car-related stress now. Working on relaxing into the evening and not getting too worked up about it. There's nothing I can do about it now anyway.

Just chugging along for another day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 06, 2019, 08:25:57 PM
Kind of a busy day. I had the brunch: it was good. It made me anxious to have so many people over, like it was my job to make sure they were all comfortable and happy (which it isn't). But overall it was good, and it seemed like people had a nice time. One of my buddies stuck around for most of the rest of the day. We just hung out and talked, which was nice.

Gotta go figure out for sure what's up with my car in the morning, pretty sure it's the battery but I don't know for sure.

Things are pretty quiet and pretty normal. Aside from a few days off of school, I don't really know what this week will bring.

Let's go find out!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 07, 2019, 08:54:33 AM
Not much to the day today.

Ran into some car trouble that I'm going to have to figure out on Monday. It's having trouble starting, sort of like it sometimes does on really cold days in the winter except it's not really cold right now so that doesn't explain it. Here I was thinking I was going to have a stress-free week and then this went and happened. Oh well, at least it's happening in a week when I actually have time to get it taken care of without messing everything else up. Hopefully, it's not a huge fix,  but we'll see.

I'm also having some people over for a brunch tomorrow. It should be pretty good (I just spent the last little while pre-cooking some things and cleaning up the front area of my apartment for guests). I like the idea of hosting people, but every time I do it I remember why I rarely do it. It's stressful, but, like I said, it shouldn't be a bad thing. Just something that will be kind of good but even better as a memory, lol.

Feeling better physically than yesterday, just have some car-related stress now. Working on relaxing into the evening and not getting too worked up about it. There's nothing I can do about it now anyway.

Just chugging along for another day!

I had a problem similar to this a few months ago.  Turns out the battery terminals were very loose and after I tightened them, haven't had any more issues.

Nice job on the hosting!  Reminds me of a quote from Abe Lincoln's biography.  It went something like, "His house was a bight and happy place filled with frequent and lively parties, it was not a miser's abode".

Hosting get togethers is the opposite of pmo.  Great work dude, and it's okay it be a little stressed when hosting and wanting to make people happy.  That's what it's all about. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 07, 2019, 09:15:04 PM
Thanks, squid! Maybe I'll host another get-together before too long (I still have to cool off from yesterday, though, lol).

Got the car taken care: the battery was on its last legs, so I replaced it and I'm back in action. Glad I caught it before I ended up stranded somewhere.

Had a weird, porn-related dream that has flashed in and out of my mind throughout the day today. At this point, it feels more annoying than triggering, but still something to be careful with. I just tried to breathe through it and focus on other things when it came up.

I picked up two tickets to the museum today too. I don't know when my chance to take someone with me will come exactly, but I'm ready for it now. "Hey, I've got a couple tickets...wanna come with me?"

Overall, a pretty decent day. It's a little late, and I'm a little tired but it's all good. After tomorrow, I'm on break until next week (thank goodness).

Onward and upward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: faenoe on October 07, 2019, 09:43:18 PM
Hey Blue I really appreciate your story so far. As a new member of the forum, I also really appreciate your support. It feels good to not be isolated with my problems anymore. It feels good to belong to a community where everyone has the same goal. Keep it up man. You're an inspiration!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 07, 2019, 10:20:57 PM
Thanks, squid! Maybe I'll host another get-together before too long (I still have to cool off from yesterday, though, lol).

Got the car taken care: the battery was on its last legs, so I replaced it and I'm back in action. Glad I caught it before I ended up stranded somewhere.

Had a weird, porn-related dream that has flashed in and out of my mind throughout the day today. At this point, it feels more annoying than triggering, but still something to be careful with. I just tried to breathe through it and focus on other things when it came up.

I picked up two tickets to the museum today too. I don't know when my chance to take someone with me will come exactly, but I'm ready for it now. "Hey, I've got a couple tickets...wanna come with me?"

Overall, a pretty decent day. It's a little late, and I'm a little tired but it's all good. After tomorrow, I'm on break until next week (thank goodness).

Onward and upward!

Nice dude, actually getting the tickets is a significant step!  Any woman would be fortunate to go to a museum with you!

See you at the top,

-squid
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Free-man on October 08, 2019, 07:36:15 AM
It will come a fantastic date in the museum Blue!
Well done for buy the tickets and good luck mate!!!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 08, 2019, 07:04:20 PM
Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your support!

Today is day 215!

I'm kind of kicking myself, though, now that the day is ending. I got the tickets, I had a plan of what to say the next time I ran into the girl I'm thinking of asking out, and I was ready to go. Until I saw her today. Then what happened was we had a little conversation, everything I had thought of before disappeared from my brain, and she had to leave to do something before I even realized what happened.

I'm not really sure if I just deliberately didn't ask her out or if I just choked or what. I know with my head that today was not my only or even best chance to ask her out, but I still feel pretty rotten about blowing the chance that came my way.

On the bright side, we had a positive, if very brief, interaction. So it's not like my choking turned it into a bad thing (I still think the door is open). I also think my sort of open curiosity to get to know her better has turned into a little bit more of actual interest (so that counts for something too).

I also think that I learned that I'm just going to have to call her sometime soon (I do finally have her number). I felt like asking in person would be better (and also like calling on the phone is pretty old-fashioned), but I was raised with the idea that phone calls are the way to do it, and I think that will work better for me in the end. I was way too preoccupied with planning what I was going to say today that I didn't really relax into the flow of conversation like I should have. So I'll call: that's easier to psych myself up for, get it done, and then not have to make it seem "spontaneous" in person. But I'll give it a little bit of time before I do (I don't want it to seem like I'm just calling because I chickened out at the last minute in person: "Oh, hey, remember when we were talking a couple hours ago? Yeah, well I could have asked you out then but I choked so I'm doing it now. Wanna go out?")

Honestly, I'm just pretty ticked off at myself, but I'm also trying not to be. I'm doing what I can, and one mistake like today can't ruin everything. It's all learning, and now I have a better sense of what to do next time.

Came on here because I figured I would be able to get my thoughts out of my head. Turns out responding to other people's journals has also really helped me to feel better. Thanks to you all for being a part of this community. Trying to do this stuff alone really wouldn't be very fun.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 09, 2019, 05:54:33 PM
Today was okay. It wasn't very busy, and I'll confess that I was coming in and out of pity-party mode throughout the day.

There is no good reason for me to have a pity party. I mean, I know the reason (see yesterday's post),  but I don't think it's a good reason. Nothing bad actually happened: I just have to wait a little longer for something good. I've been waiting for a long time, so what's a few more days?

Oh well, I took care of some things around the house and also ended up taking an accidental nap, which doesn't happen very often. In the back of my mind, I wanted to use today to set myself up to be productive for the next few days that I have off. I'm not sure I did a great job of that, but there's still time to get some things in place.

The thought came to mind that my mood/attitude today isn't going to serve me well when I'm eventually in a relationship or even a father. Like, am I going to let a relatively disappointment ruin my day, and is that going to help my kids? The thought didn't really snap me out of it today, but it has helped me to realize the need to improve at dealing with disappointments (which have, honestly, been a big driver of relapses in the past). I'll get it eventually.

Here's to a great tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: brandnewself on October 09, 2019, 08:37:00 PM
Hi Blue, it's completely normal to feel this way. I remember once I was into a girl and decided to call her to give her a gift personally for her birthday. I took out my phone, typed her number in and then struggled for 20 seconds before putting the phone back in my pocket...This went for 3 times before I finally just tapped "call". Once the call was connected, I was so nervous that I was stuttering and it took me a while to calm down ::) Honestly the fact that you had brief but positive interactions with her means you're probably 10x better than I was haha. It's ok to be disappointed, it's normal to feel bad about something. It's even more normal that not everything goes as planned. Now when I look back, it was just a fun little experience I had 3 years ago.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 09, 2019, 11:00:58 PM
Sounds like your building things up in your head a lot blue.  Are they any improv comedy classes or troupes in your city?  One of those classes would be helpful and fun!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 10, 2019, 05:45:27 PM
Hi Blue, it's completely normal to feel this way. I remember once I was into a girl and decided to call her to give her a gift personally for her birthday. I took out my phone, typed her number in and then struggled for 20 seconds before putting the phone back in my pocket...This went for 3 times before I finally just tapped "call". Once the call was connected, I was so nervous that I was stuttering and it took me a while to calm down ::) Honestly the fact that you had brief but positive interactions with her means you're probably 10x better than I was haha. It's ok to be disappointed, it's normal to feel bad about something. It's even more normal that not everything goes as planned. Now when I look back, it was just a fun little experience I had 3 years ago.

Thanks, man! Always good to know someone else has had a similar experience. I definitely used to be the kind of guy who would just look at the girl he was interested from far away and never ever talk to them, so it's all progress. No reason to be a super smooth operator 100% of the time just because I think I should be.

Sounds like your building things up in your head a lot blue.  Are they any improv comedy classes or troupes in your city?  One of those classes would be helpful and fun!

You're probably right about building things up. I don't know: it's a constant struggle between what I consciously want to do (be chill) and what I sort of naturally do (dial everything up to 110%).

At the same time, I think I also struggle with my own past experiences of being asked out. It hasn't happened a lot, but I have had some women ask me out in the past. Never the ones I wished would. So I think on some level that I also feel like being asked out is always a "threat." You know, I feel like it is an act of imposing on someone (probably one that people expect and often hope for, but it still feels like asking a lot). So that gets in the way too. Sure, I could do it, but I hate the idea of putting someone on the spot and feeling like they have to say yes to be polite (since I have been on the receiving end of it). Even when the signs are pointing to the fact that it wouldn't be a problem, I still feel like it would be one. So I'm going to have to work on that false belief.

Today was an okay day

I did some work today to organize my desk and work space. My desk is kind of small, and it always ends up messy and crowded and like a bomb went off. So I got a little shelf and some containers to help organize my space more effectively and keep it clearer for productive work (and not feeling overwhelmed by the papers and keys and pens and books that have always tended to pile up). That felt pretty good, and I have gotten a couple other things done today. But it hasn't been as productive as I'd hoped.

More pressingly, though, I've been swimming through some urges today. Last night as I was going to sleep, some kind of image/fantasy slammed into my brain and really got my brain and body going. I can't even remember exactly what it was, but I remember that it happened. I did everything I could to breathe into the urge and let it pass by, and it eventually did so that I could sleep.

But the urges and thoughts have been rolling in and out all day. Not as strong as last night, but stronger than they've been in a long while. It's got me a little bit on edge. I have caught my brain saying things a couple of times today like, "Well, you could just google this one thing. Not to watch porn or anything, just to find out what it is." No, brain, I'm not going to do that, but thanks for the idea. I finally feel like I'm climbing out of the abyss, so now is not the time to throw it all away with a relapse.

Oh well, I've almost made it through today, and today is the only day that matters. In the meanwhile, I'll just keep on keepin' on.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 10, 2019, 06:59:38 PM
Great work blue stay strong.  I'll post more later but need to run before it gets later.  You are doing awesome dude, if you ask and they say nah they will forget about it soon if you asked nicely.  But if you never ask and they wanted you too, they will feel like maybe they weren't good enough and maybe they should have asked.  It's always better to know, speak your truth dude.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 11, 2019, 04:34:38 PM
Hope your day went well blue!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 11, 2019, 05:44:26 PM
Thanks a bunch, squid! I really appreciate the support, especially after a day like yesterday.

The urges from yesterday were pretty much gone today, a good reminder that they always pass. I have also more or less managed to talk myself down from being disappointed in myself earlier this week. Roll with the punches and keep moving on.

Today was a pretty quiet day, actually. Just working on some things, catching up on email and stuff. Not much to report beyond the fact that the storm from yesterday seems to have passed.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 11, 2019, 06:04:34 PM
That's good to hear.  I'm going to focus on breathing through the storms instead of MOing so frequently.  Just this past week a lot of storms for me too that I didn't experience during the reboot.  The tides are always changing.  Treat yourself to a weekend filled with activities you love, you're doing great dude. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 12, 2019, 02:58:21 PM
Hey Blue,

Happy to hear you've successfully resisted all those urges you had yesterday. It help reminded all of us that even later in the process you still get these...

And don't worry for that girl you start to have a crush on. You start to get back in the "Game" so don't stress about it, you'll do well I'm sure! Give you some credit of having talked to her the first time and don't beat yourself to much when it's harder. The most important thing is to keep going forward.

Sorry for not participating on your topic as much, I try to avoid internet as much as I can :/
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 12, 2019, 06:06:53 PM
That's good to hear.  I'm going to focus on breathing through the storms instead of MOing so frequently.  Just this past week a lot of storms for me too that I didn't experience during the reboot.  The tides are always changing.  Treat yourself to a weekend filled with activities you love, you're doing great dude.

The tides really are always changing, a good reminder that it really is just a day at a time. I definitely support breathing into it: just a little bit ago I read something that triggered me pretty hard, my body, thoughts and feelings were all alarm bells. So I just closed my eyes, listened to my breath, and focused on the sensations rather than the thoughts, and it all went away pretty quickly after that. It seems so simple, but it really works.

And thanks! I've been having a pretty good weekend so far, and I really appreciate the validation! As things get more stable, it gets harder to feel like I'm making progress. I guess if you make a graph of progress over time, it increases by less and less as time goes on. Slower progress isn't always a bad thing if it's just a product of how far you've come. I think I need to remember that more often.

Hey Blue,

Happy to hear you've successfully resisted all those urges you had yesterday. It help reminded all of us that even later in the process you still get these...

And don't worry for that girl you start to have a crush on. You start to get back in the "Game" so don't stress about it, you'll do well I'm sure! Give you some credit of having talked to her the first time and don't beat yourself to much when it's harder. The most important thing is to keep going forward.

Sorry for not participating on your topic as much, I try to avoid internet as much as I can :/

Thanks, Rebooter! I appreciate your support, especially about getting back in the "Game." I feel pretty positive about it now (after a few days), and I'm just open to seeing where things go from here. If it's all supposed to work out, it will. If not, then there's something better somewhere around the corner. You're right that the important thing is to just keep moving forward.

And don't ever feel like you need to apologize for not posting more! You need to do what's necessary to take care of yourself! I'm always happy to hear from you, but don't feel guilty on my account. Even an occasional post makes a big difference, so thanks!

Quiet day again today

Did some chores around the house and went to church thing in the afternoon. Mostly just took care of some to-dos to get ready for tomorrow and Monday. A couple urges here and there, but nothing too bad.

I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be a good day. I guess I'll just have to find out.

Have a good one, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on October 13, 2019, 06:42:35 AM
Really great and helpful to see how after such a long time you're not just "cured" and stop caring, but still have to watch out and keep this a daily success. You're giving an example on how to take on this problem and I am learning a lot even from your quiet days. Sooner or later I always thought about going back to my "normal life", no matter how much I told myself to stay alert. Now your example shows how you managed this problem for over 200 days and despite a longer quiet time, there are still urges, there is still the danger of relapsing if not taking care of this process.

Just keep going as you always do! You can feel proud and happy about what you already reached now, this is a huge success and every situation of trouble you manage will help your brain to make the right decisions in the future!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 13, 2019, 09:28:37 AM
Yeah, I know you're right. I think I was almost apologizing to myself for thinking it would be better to do it completely on my own. I had forgot how soothing it was to see other people struggleling, but making it through nonetheless. It was a constant living proof that everyone can succeed, if they put the strategy and the effort to do so.

Btw, I'm always happy to hear from you and see your success! Keep pushing man, you're doing great :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 13, 2019, 05:59:43 PM
Really great and helpful to see how after such a long time you're not just "cured" and stop caring, but still have to watch out and keep this a daily success. You're giving an example on how to take on this problem and I am learning a lot even from your quiet days. Sooner or later I always thought about going back to my "normal life", no matter how much I told myself to stay alert. Now your example shows how you managed this problem for over 200 days and despite a longer quiet time, there are still urges, there is still the danger of relapsing if not taking care of this process.

Just keep going as you always do! You can feel proud and happy about what you already reached now, this is a huge success and every situation of trouble you manage will help your brain to make the right decisions in the future!

Thanks, achilles! I think giving up the idea of being "cured" has been one of this biggest changes for me this time around. In the past, I would think I was in the clear after a week or two without PMO. Then I got overconfident and went back to my old habits of thought and quickly relapsed again. Now, I'm realizing that there is no "cured," just a new way of life that accepts my addiction as something I always have to be aware of and work with. There's no feeling invincible this time around, and I think that has kept me going stronger than before. It's almost like I "respect" my addiction, knowing what it is capable of at any moment. If I play by the rules, we can coexist peacefully, but if I give it an opening, it will take over and tear me down.

Yeah, I know you're right. I think I was almost apologizing to myself for thinking it would be better to do it completely on my own. I had forgot how soothing it was to see other people struggleling, but making it through nonetheless. It was a constant living proof that everyone can succeed, if they put the strategy and the effort to do so.

Btw, I'm always happy to hear from you and see your success! Keep pushing man, you're doing great :)

It is kind of weird to me how relieving it has been to know that other people are struggling in the same way. Of course I'm sad that other people have to deal with it, but it helps so much to know that it's not just me. And you're right, anyone can succeed if they just stick to a good strategy at all costs.

Thank you so much for the encouragement and support! It keeps me going day by day!

Today was pretty chill

Not much happened, when to church and spent the rest of the afternoon cooking food for the week. Meditated for a little longer than usual. Quiet day, just building up some energy to go back to school and work tomorrow. I really liked having a few days off...wish there could be a few more...oh well, if only.

Urges/thoughts have been hitting me pretty consistently for the last few days right as I'm falling asleep. I don't know what it is about settling into bed at night lately that's setting me off, but I just do what I can to breathe past them and direct my thoughts elsewhere. Then, after a few minutes, I fall asleep, and things are generally much better in the morning. It has been weird, but it's predictable, at least, so I can take care of myself and not get caught off guard.

I guess that's it for today. Not a lot going on, which I really can't complain about. Let's go see what another week will bring!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 13, 2019, 06:52:08 PM
It is kind of weird to me how relieving it has been to know that other people are struggling in the same way. Of course I'm sad that other people have to deal with it, but it helps so much to know that it's not just me. And you're right, anyone can succeed if they just stick to a good strategy at all costs.

I know what you mean and I feel the same way.

As for you're day it's good to have some of those calm ones from time to time. Since I'm on my second week of reboot, I try to avoid these as much as I can. I know they feel great when you're free of urges during the day and are free to relax.

As for your night, it's good that you see the pathern and that you're able to just breath these out. Happy that you had a relax day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Kush on October 14, 2019, 10:36:15 AM
Sorry to jump in guys.. but one thing I believe which is helping me at night is keeping my phone and laptop in another room. This helps me to stay in control.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 14, 2019, 08:43:48 PM
Thanks, Rebooter and Kush! I've definitely had success keeping devices far away at night. Lately, though, I've been playing around with an app that analyzes my sleep patterns, and that has also been weirdly protective: I don't want to mess up my sleep data, so relapsing isn't an option, lol. We all have to find what works for us, and I think it's generally good to err on the side of being too strict (no reason to take unnecessary risks).

As for today

I guess the biggest news is that I have a date on my calendar now. Because we both have complicated schedules, it isn't actually going to happen until next week, but it's all set.

I am about to say that I'm feeling kind of neutral about the whole thing, but I wonder if I'm just feeling normal. In the past, I would get suuuper worked up about calling girls and setting up dates and looking forward to them, but I wonder if that was partly because of the addiction-fueled emotional roller coaster that I was on.

I was still a little nervous about calling today (that seems natural), but I didn't just stare at my phone for a half hour before finally calling like I have in the past (more like three minutes, lol). Now, I'm glad that I have a date coming up, and I am genuinely looking forward to it, but I'm not riding any kind of crazy high like I might have used to. And I think that's a good thing probably. Instead of going all-in on a girl before the first date, I really feel like this is just a good chance to get to know someone and see what happens. I feel positive but also calm in a way I haven't before. Maybe I'm just tired because it's late. Or maybe something is changing about the way I process emotions.

Either way, I finally have something on the calendar. And that's a win that I will celebrate.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 15, 2019, 07:45:17 AM
Well done sir!  Don't over think it, I'm happy you asked her out :).  How you have a great day!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 15, 2019, 10:58:22 AM
That's so awesome Blue!! I think it's a good step in the right direction. No matter if it work or doesn't, the matter of fact is that you've progressed alot keep doing it everyday at your own pace :)

I'll reach that point eventually, but for now I happy for you. Plus you may be right about the roller coaster thing, but like squid said don't overthink it. It's good that you don't overjoy on something that could just give nothing. Again, I'm really happy for you!

I wish you a great day :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 15, 2019, 06:43:12 PM
Well done sir!  Don't over think it, I'm happy you asked her out :).  How you have a great day!

Thanks, squid! I'm definitely pushing back against the natural tendency to overthink it, so thanks for the support on that front! Today, I've mostly just put the whole thing on a back burner, looking forward to seeing what happens and happy that someone who seems cool agreed to go out with me, but also mindful of the fact that it's in the future and thinking too much about it now isn't going to help anything.

That's so awesome Blue!! I think it's a good step in the right direction. No matter if it work or doesn't, the matter of fact is that you've progressed alot keep doing it everyday at your own pace :)

I'll reach that point eventually, but for now I happy for you. Plus you may be right about the roller coaster thing, but like squid said don't overthink it. It's good that you don't overjoy on something that could just give nothing. Again, I'm really happy for you!

I wish you a great day :)

Thanks! It is so important to take things at your own pace. I have definitely felt pressure in the past to rush things, just because I feel like I "should" be in a relationship. I obviously took a big step in asking her out, but it was only after she took a few smaller steps to make me think it would be worth doing. I didn't want to leave her hanging, but I also don't have any big ideas about where this might go. Just doing my best to go along for the ride.

What's the rush? We'll all get where we're going as long as we keep moving forward. Thanks for your support!

Quiet day today

Went to work for most of the day, and not a lot happened there. In my downtime, I spent a little time creating social media accounts for a blog/video project that I'm starting. I don't trust myself to use the accounts, but I felt like I should create them before someone else takes the usernames. I have big dreams of someday being able to hire someone to handle social media for me, but, until then, at least I have the usernames already reserved.

I also spent some time today researching places to eat around town. By the looks of things, the part of the date that I have planned so far will end around dinner time, and it seems a little rude to just say, "Hey, pal, you're on your own for dinner." So I was looking into options. I don't, generally, eat out a lot, but I found some interesting places online today. So we'll see. There's plenty of time to figure that out.

Spent most of the rest of the day cooking and eating (pretty good way to spend time). The urges from last week have pretty much gone away, which is good. That definitely makes things easier.

Sort of just feeling normal-good, which is actually like the first time in a while. Not like euphoric, but also not bad for a change. Feels like maybe some things are starting to finally move forward in life (or just move at all, which is something).
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 15, 2019, 07:48:38 PM
Keep on moving forward!  Eating out is way easier than cooking ahaha, you'll like it.  What video project are you doing?  Sounds interesting!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 15, 2019, 09:37:28 PM
100% right! Just keep going forward! Relaxing it is to cook, I think ;) I'm curious too about that project of yours! Tell us about!! Please ;D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on October 16, 2019, 12:57:47 PM
Looks like you're doing well overall and got over the minor cravings and "flashbacks" :)

Good to see how you're taking on things with the girl with patience, you're right about not needing to rush anything! Be careful about the social media accounts and "curiosity" though, you know what tricks our brain can play and are right about not trusting yourself (at least too soon).
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: faenoe on October 16, 2019, 01:48:03 PM
Love reading about your development story. It's inspiring to see that you really can return to a neutral state of being. Not necessarily good, but not bad. Just you. Just life.

Also, that's awesome news that you asked that girl out. Best wishes!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 16, 2019, 07:28:22 PM
Keep on moving forward!  Eating out is way easier than cooking ahaha, you'll like it.  What video project are you doing?  Sounds interesting!

100% right! Just keep going forward! Relaxing it is to cook, I think ;) I'm curious too about that project of yours! Tell us about!! Please ;D

Thanks, guys! I've been playing around with the idea of making educational videos related to my field of study. It's mostly for fun at this point, but I wouldn't mind if it turned into a source of income. As much as I love living and working at a university, academic people can be a little frustrating at times, so part of me wants to open up some other options should the need arise.

Looks like you're doing well overall and got over the minor cravings and "flashbacks" :)

Good to see how you're taking on things with the girl with patience, you're right about not needing to rush anything! Be careful about the social media accounts and "curiosity" though, you know what tricks our brain can play and are right about not trusting yourself (at least too soon).

Thanks, achilles! Flashbacks is exactly the right word.

I'm definitely not in a big rush (or trying not to be). My brain occasionally makes big leaps into the future, imagining what things could be like if things work out with this girl. I've just been getting in the practice of thanking my brain for its enthusiasm and reminding it that we need to stay grounded in the present. We'll cross that bridge when and if we get there.

And you're right on about the risks of the social media accounts. I felt alarm bells going off in my head as I was setting them up (at school in public so there was that layer of protection). But it felt important to at least set them up. Luckily, all social media websites are blacklisted on my internet at home, so accessing them for "legit" reasons isn't even possible. If I use them at all (and I don't have plans in the near future to do so), it will have to be somewhere away from home and in public.

Love reading about your development story. It's inspiring to see that you really can return to a neutral state of being. Not necessarily good, but not bad. Just you. Just life.

Also, that's awesome news that you asked that girl out. Best wishes!

Thanks, faenoe! I've appreciated your support and comments! In the early days of recovery, everything feels like a rush of excitement and difficulty and all kinds of emotions. Things definitely settle down over time. It presents new challenges, but they aren't as difficult as in the early days.

Another quiet day

It was a day for laundry and homework and catching up on email.

The exciting news for today is that I found out I will be presenting a paper at a big conference next summer! I have been working on a project that I feel is important but also seems sort of on the fringe of what most people in my field are doing. I submitted my proposal without big expectations, sort of thinking I would get a no. But it was accepted today, and it made me feel pretty good that other people out there thought my ideas were good enough for a national conference.

Things have felt really slow this year, sort of like I was frozen in place in every aspect of life. But a couple things have started moving forward this week, and that's really encouraging. I'm cautiously optimistic that maybe I'm finally turning a corner and heading into brighter days.

As always, thank you all so much for your continued support. The last several months really have been unusually difficult. There have been days when I felt like I was wasting my time and that I had steered myself into a dead end professionally, socially, academically, etc. But, coming here to post at the end of the day and seeing all your comments and progress almost always put me back in a better mood.

We really are stronger together!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 16, 2019, 09:47:16 PM
Great stuff blue, presenting a paper is super awesome.  And staying grounded at home is important too.  Any good recipes recently?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 17, 2019, 06:59:56 PM
Great stuff blue, presenting a paper is super awesome.  And staying grounded at home is important too.  Any good recipes recently?

Thanks, man! Nothing too flashy in terms of recipes. I roasted a chicken at the beginning of the week and have just been remixing into a couple of different things (pasta, tacos). But I'm getting excited for fall/winter recipes (looks like butternut squash is going to be cheap at the store this week)!

Not much to say about today

I sort of had a slow start this morning, low motivation or something. But I was in class for the whole afternoon, came home to eat, and then wrote a short paper for my class tomorrow. So I ended the day a little stronger than it started.

I had an audiobook on hold that came through today. It's called Atomic Habits, and I don't know a lot about it but it's basically about the cumulative effect over time of smaller habits. That's definitely something I'm interested in (I can do small things no problem, lol), so I'll report if there's anything worth sharing.

Other than that, things have been pretty quiet. My worrying-about-the-future brain has been trying to decide what to wear on my date. Not quite grounded in the present, but more productive than baseless romantic fantasies.

Just pressing forward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: faenoe on October 17, 2019, 07:16:48 PM
Other than that, things have been pretty quiet. My worrying-about-the-future brain has been trying to decide what to wear on my date. Not quite grounded in the present, but more productive than baseless romantic fantasies.

I am the same way when it comes to dates. I felt similar right before my interview today as well. I got home with an hour before they were going to call me and start the interview. About 15 minutes before I was getting really anxious. Then this really cool thing happened: I thought to myself, "hey it's pretty cool that my body was designed to go into overdrive before something important is about to happen." After that thought, I totally chilled out and stopped worrying about the interview. I knew that whatever happened would happen and my mind was preparing itself to perform at its very best. Don't worry too much about worrying about the future. I think that's pretty normal and if you are able to control it, it help you be your best self and feel confident.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 18, 2019, 06:10:39 PM
Thanks, faenoe! It's always good to be reminded that other people deal with the same feelings. And I really like your perspective about how your body and mind are just trying to help you get ready for something important. That's a great way to think about it, and it helps me have an attitude of working with my mind instead of against it.

Today was another quiet day

Went to class, went to work. Spent a long time having a good conversation with my boss. Came home and had dinner.

Maybe a weird topic, but just part of documenting the process of recovery (not like I haven't shared weirder things about myself already, lol):

In the last several weeks/couple months, I have noticed what feels like a big increase in wet dreams. I feel like they used to happen pretty rarely when I was in the middle of relapsing all the time, but I get the feeling they're happening like once a week or so now. I'm not actually keeping track, but they're definitely a more regular thing than they used to be. Most of the time, I don't even remember the dream itself, but sometimes I do (usually something about trying to get away/look away from porn but not getting away in time).

I don't know if it's the new normal or just a phase of readjustment or what. But it's definitely a new kind of phenomenon that seems worth mentioning (even if only so it doesn't catch anyone off guard in the future if it's not just me).

End of weird topic: have a great weekend!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 18, 2019, 11:20:01 PM
Have a great weekend blue!!  How's your video project coming along?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on October 19, 2019, 04:05:08 AM
I experienced the increase of wet dreams during longer streaks and during episodes without sex too, I guess it's normal as I've seen this description often around.

Your "worrying-about-the-future brain" also is something normal, thinking about the long term future should prevent us from making stupid mistakes in the present, otherwise we all were still watching porn every day  ;)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 19, 2019, 10:59:01 AM
Wish you great weekend too, Blue!

About the wet dreams, I wouldn't know much. I had only 2, I think, and it was when I was around 2 months in my hard mode reboot. I had non before reaching that point in time. So it's most probably your brain trying to push you in one direction. Some people have some of these, some have alot and some none. It's an individual thing.

I know that recently, I had exactly the same dream about trying not to look at porn. I woke up in panic thinking I was about to relapse and realized it was just a dream. The relief I felt when I realized it!!!

Keep us posted about your video project, man. It's a really cool one.

Take care Blue and stay strong :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 19, 2019, 09:00:27 PM
Thanks everyone!

The video project is slow going. It seems like there is always something more urgent to do, and I always stall out when it comes to editing. I'm still learning how to edit, so it's a slow process but I do like it. It's just one of those things that's hard to get started on because I know I need a good chunk of time to get anywhere. But I'll get there.

Your "worrying-about-the-future brain" also is something normal, thinking about the long term future should prevent us from making stupid mistakes in the present, otherwise we all were still watching porn every day  ;)

Really good point, lol. Thanks for reminder (and validation)!

I know that recently, I had exactly the same dream about trying not to look at porn. I woke up in panic thinking I was about to relapse and realized it was just a dream. The relief I felt when I realized it!!!

I know, I have this dream or a version of it all the time. I still hate them, but it is cool how they have slowly transformed from dreams about PMO to dreams about avoiding PMO. Even my subconscious is getting the memo, lol

Today was quiet (that's just how things are lately)

Just some quiet stuff around the house, groceries, cleaning, cooking.

My friend had told me to watch something on YouTube that he thought was funny, so I checked it out. It was funny, and I did like it, so I was watching other videos by the same people. But then, after a while, I started to realize that I wasn't watching for the humor anymore. I had started just watching for one of the women in the videos. It kind of slowly dawned on me, but I did catch myself. Once it started to be about just looking at her (and not even listening to the jokes) I decided it was time to quit, so I told YouTube to quit suggesting that channel and I went and did something else.

Another gentle reminder that an innocent thing can turn into a dangerous thing if we aren't careful. So stay alert, stay mindful, and stay strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 19, 2019, 09:15:18 PM
I know, I have this dream or a version of it all the time. I still hate them, but it is cool how they have slowly transformed from dreams about PMO to dreams about avoiding PMO. Even my subconscious is getting the memo, lol

 Lol, that make me laugh, maybe I'm tired, but thanks :)

Editing is very time consuming, even more so when you start, but once you get used to it you're good for a speed improvement ;)

As for youtube, I actually catch myself do that on some occasion and stop myself from doing so... it's true that it is dangerous even if it doesn't look like it! Glad that you catch yourself before anything start to resurface!

Happy that you had a quiet day! Haven't had a lot recently, so I'm glad for you!

Take care Blue :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 20, 2019, 05:25:32 PM
I know, I have this dream or a version of it all the time. I still hate them, but it is cool how they have slowly transformed from dreams about PMO to dreams about avoiding PMO. Even my subconscious is getting the memo, lol

 Lol, that make me laugh, maybe I'm tired, but thanks :)

Editing is very time consuming, even more so when you start, but once you get used to it you're good for a speed improvement ;)

As for youtube, I actually catch myself do that on some occasion and stop myself from doing so... it's true that it is dangerous even if it doesn't look like it! Glad that you catch yourself before anything start to resurface!

Happy that you had a quiet day! Haven't had a lot recently, so I'm glad for you!

Take care Blue :)

Thanks so much, man! I really appreciate it (especially the fact that editing will get faster as I get better at it. That's encouraging!)

Busyish Sunday (lots of church stuff)

I started the day with slightly higher anxiety than usual, not totally sure why. But then later in the day I ended up reading a couple articles about porn and dating and how women deal with men who are in various stages of pornography addiction. Even though the articles were encouraging and focused on healing and support, they still somehow shot my anxiety through the roof.

I can recognize that I have come a long way from the worst days of my addiction in high school and even a long way from where I was at the beginning of the year. More than ever before, I feel like I could have a reasonable shot at a healthy, porn-free relationship with someone. But I still worry about it being a permanent black mark on my record. I know that's not how it works with my brain. I know that there has got to be someone out there who is more interested in where I am now and where I'm going in the future, but it makes me worry that where I have been will speak too loudly. I think it's just fear, not realistic thinking. But it has grabbed and squeezed my heart all day, even at moments making me wonder if it's even worth going on that date this week (of course it is, and I'm definitely going).

So I don't know. It has been a day of unplanned introspection and retrospection. Worrying about these things isn't going to help. I just have to keep going forward, trusting that nothing that happened in the past has permanently ruined my chances for the kind of future I really want. The day will come when I have that talk with a significant other about my history of addiction, and I have some hope that it won't really matter to her that much. All I know is that I'm living now so that that conversation can be as hopeful and healing as possible rather than being a kind of shameful confession of my recent lapses, so that I can say, "Yeah, it's who I was, but it isn't me anymore."

Here's to a bright future, for all of us!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 20, 2019, 11:06:54 PM
I can recognize that I have come a long way from the worst days of my addiction in high school and even a long way from where I was at the beginning of the year. More than ever before, I feel like I could have a reasonable shot at a healthy, porn-free relationship with someone. But I still worry about it being a permanent black mark on my record. I know that's not how it works with my brain. I know that there has got to be someone out there who is more interested in where I am now and where I'm going in the future, but it makes me worry that where I have been will speak too loudly. I think it's just fear, not realistic thinking. But it has grabbed and squeezed my heart all day, even at moments making me wonder if it's even worth going on that date this week (of course it is, and I'm definitely going).

Man, I know that feeling and to be honest I still have it, but I'm not as advance as you in my recovery! That squeezing sensation is there everytime that I think about that, even while writing these lines... it's subtle, but it's there!

I think, you have a good way to think about it(the last paragraph I mean)! I think you right as well. But I wanted you to know that you're not alone feeling like that! And as you said yourself that date is 100% worth it.

The moment about telling your SO won't arrive tomorrow, so don't stress about it too much. Don't forget that there's nothing to be ashame off. Anything can become an addiction! It happen that this one is really hard to beat once you're addict. That's all!

We can beat it, we're actually doing it right now, so it show that it's possible!

Stay strong, my friend we're with you :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: achilles heel on October 21, 2019, 02:19:18 PM
In my opinion that's too much obsession about the topic, you're more than half a year porn free and voluntarily changing - just take a look at the partners section and the amount of girls who are in a relationship with porn addicts and desperately want their boyfriends to change. You're one of very few who realize their problem, try to change it and actually make progress. Everything's fine, you are more than ready and no girl will judge you for your past!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 21, 2019, 04:16:28 PM
As someone who literally relapsed 3 times the day I met my now wife, I can say that love is just love, and it is obvious. Some kinds of love creep up on you and then become obvious, but whoever you choose to spend the rest of your life with will respect and love you for who you are. Keeping on the straight and narrow enables you to give and receive love in an unhindered way, particularly in the bedroom. Don't fret about silly things like whether someone will understand. You will try your best to explain your situation and if she doesn't get it, fine. You need to love yourself first, my friend. You are a beautiful human being and any girl would be lucky to have you, and you need to find a way to believe this too, whether it's through positive self-affirmations in the mirror or certain kinds of meditation. You have been through a lot, and are humble enough to know that you are not invincible. That takes special strength of character.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 21, 2019, 09:42:11 PM
Man, I know that feeling and to be honest I still have it, but I'm not as advance as you in my recovery! That squeezing sensation is there everytime that I think about that, even while writing these lines... it's subtle, but it's there!

I think, you have a good way to think about it(the last paragraph I mean)! I think you right as well. But I wanted you to know that you're not alone feeling like that! And as you said yourself that date is 100% worth it.

The moment about telling your SO won't arrive tomorrow, so don't stress about it too much. Don't forget that there's nothing to be ashame off. Anything can become an addiction! It happen that this one is really hard to beat once you're addict. That's all!

We can beat it, we're actually doing it right now, so it show that it's possible!

Stay strong, my friend we're with you :)

Thanks so much, man! Always good to know that I'm not alone. And you're right, it's not something that's coming tomorrow, but the things I was reading yesterday brought it to the surface. I'm feeling much better about things today, but it is always there just below the surface.

In my opinion that's too much obsession about the topic, you're more than half a year porn free and voluntarily changing - just take a look at the partners section and the amount of girls who are in a relationship with porn addicts and desperately want their boyfriends to change. You're one of very few who realize their problem, try to change it and actually make progress. Everything's fine, you are more than ready and no girl will judge you for your past!

You know, you're right. I'm on the right path, and I appreciate the reminder. If my yesterday is going to a problem for someone, she doesn't need to be a part of my tomorrow. Everyone's got something they're dealing with. Thanks for the reinforcement!

As someone who literally relapsed 3 times the day I met my now wife, I can say that love is just love, and it is obvious. Some kinds of love creep up on you and then become obvious, but whoever you choose to spend the rest of your life with will respect and love you for who you are. Keeping on the straight and narrow enables you to give and receive love in an unhindered way, particularly in the bedroom. Don't fret about silly things like whether someone will understand. You will try your best to explain your situation and if she doesn't get it, fine. You need to love yourself first, my friend. You are a beautiful human being and any girl would be lucky to have you, and you need to find a way to believe this too, whether it's through positive self-affirmations in the mirror or certain kinds of meditation. You have been through a lot, and are humble enough to know that you are not invincible. That takes special strength of character.

You're exactly right. Part of my renewed commitment to recovery this year came from the realization that I have to be okay with me first and to love myself before I could be ready to let someone else love me. I wanted (and want) to learn to live a full and healthy life on my own first. I really appreciate your kind words (as always). I know I have a ways to go in terms of loving myself the way I should, but I can also honestly say that I have made great strides since this time last year. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've actually started to kind of like the guy I see in the mirror each day. This is the first time in my life when that's really been true. I recognize that I still have more progress that I want to make, but I don't see myself as a filthy loser anymore. I'm coming around to the idea that I'm a "beautiful human being," and I can only imagine that if my internet-stranger friends can see it, the people I interact with must see it to. At least I'm starting to.

Anyway, thank you all so much for your continuing and important support! The road of recovery is not a road to travel alone, and your responses are a constant affirmation of the decision I was terrified to make at the beginning of the year to post my story on the internet.

As for today

It has been really uneventful. A pretty normal day, feeling much better than yesterday. Like I said, the stuff I read yesterday brought a lot of insecurities to the surface, but they settled back down for today.

I went grocery shopping this weekend, but I still haven't had a chance to cook any of the food. It's been an unexpectedly busy few days, and it's not slowing down. I had a church thing until late tonight (I'm going to feel sleepy in the morning, but posting is important), and I'll be out all day tomorrow (work + date). Luckily, I had some foresight a while ago to make some extra burritos one week and put them in the freezer for emergencies. Those defrosted burritos are going to get me through this!

Onward and upward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 21, 2019, 10:03:51 PM
It has been really uneventful. A pretty normal day, feeling much better than yesterday. Like I said, the stuff I read yesterday brought a lot of insecurities to the surface, but they settled back down for today.

There's days like that don't stress about! You're good now and that why we write to you. To pull you back up when you need a little help! I've read something once and want to share it with you:

Self-esteem and confidence, contrary to popular belief are not fixed they move throughout the day. It's true that one can have a generally high degree of those, but a some point they can have a dip too. Nobody's perfect and it's what you do during that dip that matter the most. Do you sink or you get back up? That is the question.

Sound like you have a good plan for tomorrow, keep up the good work Blue :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 22, 2019, 08:17:59 PM
Thanks, Rebooter! Like the title of my journal says, I realized that I wasn't going to figure this whole thing out if I kept trying to do it alone. You all remind pretty much every day that that was one of the most important decisions I could have made for my recovery. That's also a great quote, and I'm glad you shared it with me. It's easy to say that addiction recovery isn't linear, but it can be harder to remember that nothing else is linear either. Self-esteem comes and goes just like everything else.

Today, though!

Work was pretty boring and I woke up with a headache. But I went on a date this afternoon/evening, and it was, honestly, really pretty good. We went to the art museum, which gave us plenty to talk about (I can't remember now who suggested doing something like this, but I owe you a huge thanks!) There was one exhibit that had like get-to-know-you questions built into it, so we went through some of those. I'm really uncomfortable talking about myself in general, but I really tried to be more open, to stretch myself a little. It was kind of fun. Then we went to dinner and had kind of a deeper conversation than I'm used to on first dates, but it was also really positive and I did a much better job of talking about myself openly than I did at the museum. Then we went back, I said that it was a good time and I'd do it again, she gave me a hug, and we called it a night. All in all, I'd say a pretty successful outing.

But my brain was up to its old tricks as soon as I was driving back home alone. It was telling me all kinds of things about how it probably didn't go all that well and how she was probably just being polite and don't get your hopes up and maybe you'll get a second date but then she'll have to tell you to leave her alone and on and on. When I stop and really think about those thoughts, I can recognize them as false and unhelpful, but it's crazy how quickly and effortlessly they flooded into my head after I was back on my own. Just another part of this recovery process, learning to let those false, negative thoughts flow by without taking them to heart.

I know the truth is that it went well and that I'm pretty sure it went well from her perspective too. I have sort of been cautiously interested (not wanting to get carried away like I usually do), but I definitely like her more now than I did before, and I think that's what counts. We finally got some time to just talk and get better acquainted, and I had a fun and encouraging time doing it. And for today, that's more than enough.

Back to business as usual for tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 22, 2019, 10:48:01 PM
Sounds like a fucking fantastic date blue!!! My god look how far you've come man, it's awesome.  At the beginning of your journal you were like samson without hair and now you got those long long locks flowing like Niagra falls pumping that sweet hydroelectric power deep in your bones dude. 

Attitude's important, you are a smart, intelligent, compassionate person who will find a woman to bond with.  Don't listen to the negative thoughts man.  Remember the quote.  "Resistance is always lying and is always full of shit."

Keep up the good work and thank you for your comments in the community.  You make a difference.

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 23, 2019, 11:21:55 AM
Sounds like an awesome step, man! Your mind may be playing tricks on you but you are seeing right through it. I find it interesting that you said 'Just another part of this recovery process, learning to let those false, negative thoughts flow by without taking them to heart.' Sounds like learning to see past our minds and reach something even deeper within ourselves that is beyond thought. It's as if the chief addiction is our identity with and attachment to our thoughts, then on top of that come other addictions including P...

Great that you had such a good time on your date! Take it slow and see it all like a practice. It doesn't ultimately matter what happens with this girl, so you can just relax and enjoy it in your own time. If it doesn't work out, the next one will come along and you'll already feel more comfortable because you'll have had more experience dating.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 23, 2019, 07:02:00 PM
Sounds like a fucking fantastic date blue!!! My god look how far you've come man, it's awesome.  At the beginning of your journal you were like samson without hair and now you got those long long locks flowing like Niagra falls pumping that sweet hydroelectric power deep in your bones dude. 

Attitude's important, you are a smart, intelligent, compassionate person who will find a woman to bond with.  Don't listen to the negative thoughts man.  Remember the quote.  "Resistance is always lying and is always full of shit."

Keep up the good work and thank you for your comments in the community.  You make a difference.

Thank you for your kind words, squid! They mean a lot. I like the idea of being full of hydroelectric power! A few negative thoughts came and went today, but they weren't as convincing. I've had a few thoughts want to jump too far ahead into the future, but I've mostly just been thinking over some ideas about what we might do for date #2. Really liking Non-Dual Adventurer's idea to see it as a practice and just take it all as it comes.

Sounds like an awesome step, man! Your mind may be playing tricks on you but you are seeing right through it. I find it interesting that you said 'Just another part of this recovery process, learning to let those false, negative thoughts flow by without taking them to heart.' Sounds like learning to see past our minds and reach something even deeper within ourselves that is beyond thought. It's as if the chief addiction is our identity with and attachment to our thoughts, then on top of that come other addictions including P...

Great that you had such a good time on your date! Take it slow and see it all like a practice. It doesn't ultimately matter what happens with this girl, so you can just relax and enjoy it in your own time. If it doesn't work out, the next one will come along and you'll already feel more comfortable because you'll have had more experience dating.

Thank you so much! I am definitely not in any kind of rush. I really just want to see where things go, and I kind of want to keep as much of the interactions in-person as possible. It's maybe kind of a weird thought, but I've been thinking about how I usually turn potential relationships into just text-messaging conversations. I think it's more comfortable for me: no eye contact, no awkward pauses, that sort of thing. In some ways, I think my natural reflex is to turn real relationships into virtual ones as much as possible, but I'm thinking of resisting that reflex this time around. Our schedules line up enough that we can have face-to-face interactions at least once or twice a week just sort of naturally. That's how people did things before phones were invented and people still managed to have relationships, so I don't think it will cause too much trouble. But we'll see what happens. For now, I'm thinking real, in-person stuff should be the main way to go.

I think you hit on something too about identifying with thoughts or even the role of our self-identity in recovery. I have definitely made better progress in addiction recovery this past year than ever before, but I have also changed a lot about myself in the same time. In some ways, I feel like a totally new person, or maybe a more refined person. It's not just me minus PMO. On some level, I think we have to be willing to change our whole selves if we want to make it out of addiction.

Day 230

I was a little nervous setting a 50 day mini-goal, but I'm over halfway through it and feeling pretty good. I don't think it's somewhere I could have started out, but it's a testament to how things seem to stabilize over time.

I remember listening to a presentation once where the speaker said that time is an essential ingredient in healing. Even if you do all the right things in the right order, a wound will still take time to heal. I'm definitely seeing how time is an important ingredient in healing from addiction: the further I get from my last relapse, the less interesting and controlling the triggers and urges get. They still come around from time to time, but they don't stick around like they used to, and they definitely don't raise my heart rate in the same way. Starting is the hardest part.

I guess I'm getting a little theoretical because not much happened today. Laundry, homework, cooking. Very exciting stuff. A normal day, I guess, but with a little extra satisfaction from the good memories from yesterday and the new glimmer of hope on the horizon. I don't know what's in the future, but there are a couple things to look forward to in the near future, and that feels like progress to me.

Keep on going, everyone! And thanks again for the kindness and support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 24, 2019, 07:15:02 PM
A quiet day today, just homework and school.

It has been a busy week, and I have missed out on some sleep. Feeling pretty tired and ready for a weekend. Just gotta make it through a busy Friday and I'm (hopefully) good to go!

One more day closer to that brilliant future!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 25, 2019, 12:18:08 PM
I love to read your journal, man! It is inspiring to see how the recovery evolve and how you evolve on a day to day basis! As you keep going like that, you will have a brilliant futur indeed!

As for the date, I'm happy that it went well and that you don't attach yourself to the result right now! I is far too soon to know what will happen! That's what I think, but yeah it seems like you both had fun and that's a really good sign :)

Stay strong Blue, keep progressing ;)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 25, 2019, 02:43:09 PM
Awesome stuff! Keep going, Blue!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 25, 2019, 08:54:38 PM
Thank you both for the encouragement!

Today was a busy and long day, but it was also decent. I haven't gotten to bed on time once this week, and I can feel a little bit of a cold or something coming on. I'm hoping I can get myself back on track for next week, and I think I will. I had a busy weekend last week, and it was hard to get back on the right foot for the rest of the week.

Just a quick post today. Today is 65 days of posting here, and I just wasn't ready to break that streak (but the thought did cross my mind just now).

Here's to a great weekend, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 26, 2019, 04:49:53 PM
It can be hard to go to bed on time... I know that for a fact! Just do your best and you will get back on schedule don't worry :)

Why the thought of not posting cross your mind? Is it just fatigue or something else?
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 26, 2019, 07:35:09 PM
Thanks Rebooter! I think the thought of not posting was just the thought of trying to save a few minutes so I could get to bed sooner. One day won't make a difference, I thought, but then I realized that it would destroy a pretty good streak of posting and I didn't want to do that. Getting a long streak is never the point, but it can provide some motivation in a pinch.

Today

A quiet day, not much happened. Just more at-home work and chores.

I have been thinking a little bit about tomorrow: there's a really good chance that I'll see my date from Tuesday, and I have been thinking about what I'm going to say/do. For the most part, I'm just reminding myself that there's nothing to get too worked up about. All I have to do is be friendly and present myself for who I am, and I'm feeling pretty positive/confident for the most part. But there's always that other side of my mind trying to tell me that it's going to go terribly, that she'll avoid me or that I'll say something and ruin everything. That part of my mind is bumming me out, but I'm doing what I can not to listen to it. The fact of the matter is that I don't know how tomorrow will go or if we'll even see each other at all. I just need to be good with myself, and everything else will flow from that. If we have a good connection, great. If not, then I gain some experience and don't end up any worse off than I was before.

So here's to hoping for the best and not getting too worked up about the rest!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: faenoe on October 27, 2019, 12:48:22 AM
Hey Blue. Just hopped on after a stressful week myself. I have been on the low end of sleep too. It sucks! I should be able to get plenty of sleep tonight and tomorrow night since I got enough homework done this weekend. Anyways, just remember that human body is pretty resilient but you gotta find some time to take care of you. Don't burn both end of the candle for too long. Keep inspiring. Bless.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 27, 2019, 12:16:35 PM
Have a great date blue :)  Just remember, dating and sex is about connection, it's not a performance, and you'll be okay.  You're a thoughtful intelligent guy and women can sense that.  Be yourself!  Let me know how it goes!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 27, 2019, 07:17:43 PM
Hey Blue. Just hopped on after a stressful week myself. I have been on the low end of sleep too. It sucks! I should be able to get plenty of sleep tonight and tomorrow night since I got enough homework done this weekend. Anyways, just remember that human body is pretty resilient but you gotta find some time to take care of you. Don't burn both end of the candle for too long. Keep inspiring. Bless.

Thanks, man! These stressful weeks happen from time to time, and I really appreciate the reminder to slow down and take care of me. I think this week will be a little slower and I already have some of the week planned out more manageably, so I'm hoping to get back on my feet a little more securely. Starting with an early bedtime tonight, I think.

Have a great date blue :)  Just remember, dating and sex is about connection, it's not a performance, and you'll be okay.  You're a thoughtful intelligent guy and women can sense that.  Be yourself!  Let me know how it goes!

Thanks, squid! Man, I really like what you said about it not being a performance. I think I have really thought about it that way in the past, even subconsciously. On this last date I went on, though, I really tried to resist that tendency and just be my true self instead of my performance self. I think it was one of the best dates I've had, not because it was the most fun or exciting but because it was the most real. I don't have a second date planned yet, but I'm planning to plan one (lol). I'm thinking something low key, just another chance to talk and maybe connect more. Who knows? I'll just let my thoughtfulness and intelligence flow freely and see what happens, lol. (Thank you, by the way, for the encouraging compliment)

Today was decent

Not much happened, but I did have a cool experience. I was talking to a church leader, and we got to the topic of porn. In the past, talking with church leaders about porn has always meant asking for help. But this time, I just ended up talking about the things that have been helping me this year to do better than ever before. He said that he's trying to help a lot of people deal with porn addiction but he hasn't found a lot of good resources to help people, so I just shared what has been working for me. He took a lot of notes, and it just made me feel pretty good that I was contributing, even indirectly, to other people's recovery if he shares my advice with them. My biggest things were 1) understand the nature of addiction as a coping mechanism, 2) meditation, and 3) find a support network. I feel like really connecting with these three things has turned things around for me in a big way.

So I thought I might see the girl I went on a date with today, and I didn't. No big deal. There's a part of me that wants to get nervous about that, but I'm reminding that part of me that getting nervous doesn't really help anything. Like squid just said, all I have to do is be myself. That's really all I can do, and there's no use worrying about it if I'm just being my best self. That said, it is really hard to talk about her without a nickname, so I'm going to pick one today. A while ago we joked about calling her Phosphorus, and I don't think that's a great one, but how about Ph? I think it will make things easier, and it kind of makes me laugh. So, I went out with Ph last Tuesday, and it was good. I thought I might run into her today, but I didn't. That's fine, just gonna keep chugging long, being my best self and seeing if I can't make some good connection along the way.

Let's go have a great week, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: brandnewself on October 27, 2019, 09:14:19 PM
Not much happened, but I did have a cool experience. I was talking to a church leader, and we got to the topic of porn.
Lol at first glance I read "cheerleader". I was like oh that's really fun hahaha. It's great to know that you could offer your own experience to other people in real life and not just online. You're awesome Blue!

As for Ph, why not call her or send her a message like you did last time? If you had a good time last time, then she probably wants to see you again. So if you call her, it's actually doing her a favor and making her day better potentially.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 27, 2019, 11:15:15 PM
That great you and Phos had a good date!  Was it a drink after work?  You know blue, the more I learn, the greatest obstacles are in our own heads and don't actually exist.  It's good to call them out like you have been. 

That's also cool how you are educating the church on how to help people with porn habits.  I left the church because it couldn't help me with my habit but it gave me so much guilt and shame for that habit, that it really hurt my young mind.  I thought I was alone and really bad inside like something was wrong with me for a long time as a kid.  What a terrible sin, to tell someone that they are doing something wrong and terrible and then have no useful help for them to change. 

At least in the secular world where they don't think it's a problem, there is no negative pressure to quit.  And letting go of that shame and guilt is very important for growing up and moving past porn usage. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 28, 2019, 08:59:58 PM
Not much happened, but I did have a cool experience. I was talking to a church leader, and we got to the topic of porn.
Lol at first glance I read "cheerleader". I was like oh that's really fun hahaha. It's great to know that you could offer your own experience to other people in real life and not just online. You're awesome Blue!

As for Ph, why not call her or send her a message like you did last time? If you had a good time last time, then she probably wants to see you again. So if you call her, it's actually doing her a favor and making her day better potentially.

Thanks, man! I really appreciate it. Yeah, as for the calling/messaging, I did send a message. We both have pretty crazy schedules, so it's been slow progress on that front. But it's a good practice for getting out of my head: I'm the kind of person who thinks that any amount of time longer than six seconds between messages means that I messed up bad. Now, at the rate it's been the last two days, we might have a full conversation by the end of the week, lol.

There's a big part of me that wants to get very nervous and like I'm losing my opportunity, but that's just a part of me that likes to worry and isn't grounded in reality. I'm just trying to see it as an opportunity not to get too worried and to just accept things at the rate they're going. I mentioned it earlier too, but I also sort of feel like it's important to do as much of this in-person as possible. A message or call here or there is fine, but I also just have the feeling that it should be real (instead of technology filtered) as much as possible. I don't know, that might go out the window pretty quick. Long story short, it's all making me a little nervous, but I'm working on just accepting and working with those nerves. It's very clear that I haven't ruined anything (it's way too early for anything to be ruined anyway), so I'm just going to see what happens.

That great you and Phos had a good date!  Was it a drink after work?  You know blue, the more I learn, the greatest obstacles are in our own heads and don't actually exist.  It's good to call them out like you have been. 

That's also cool how you are educating the church on how to help people with porn habits.  I left the church because it couldn't help me with my habit but it gave me so much guilt and shame for that habit, that it really hurt my young mind.  I thought I was alone and really bad inside like something was wrong with me for a long time as a kid.  What a terrible sin, to tell someone that they are doing something wrong and terrible and then have no useful help for them to change. 

At least in the secular world where they don't think it's a problem, there is no negative pressure to quit.  And letting go of that shame and guilt is very important for growing up and moving past porn usage. 

Yeah, it was a good date. We went to a museum and had dinner, and it was pretty great. I'm thinking whatever's next will be lower key, just to try fit something into our busy schedules, and I'll think of something "bigger and fancier" for a little further down the road if things work out. Who knows?

And I get what you mean about how it can be hard to find a place in church and deal with an addiction that you aren't really getting help for. For me, my religion is really important to me, and this addiction has caused a lot of pain. There's the pain of addiction and then the pain of feeling like I'm always at odds with my beliefs because, despite my best efforts, I keep falling really short of what I know I should be like. I think, because my religion is important to me and to my expectations for relationships and marriage, that fuels a lot of my apprehension about talking about my past with a future significant other. I know exactly what she will probably have grown up hearing about porn and men with porn addictions and, even if I'm totally clean for a long time, I worry that it will be an automatic deal breaker (but then she's just not the right woman). On the other hand, the ideas that people can change and that yesterday doesn't have to hold tomorrow hostage are central to my faith, and they are some of the thoughts that are really keeping me going.

So much of my cycle of addiction has been fueled by a belief that there isn't really anything better ahead for me. Talking myself into better optimism has been a big thing for me lately.

Today

Was a long and busy day. Another late-to-bed day (like most Mondays, but still late even for a Monday). So just a quick update. Not much to say about the day, though. Pretty normal day of schoolwork.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 29, 2019, 02:23:13 PM
Keep killing it, Blue! Sounds like really positive stuff with Ph and also with the church leader.

RE: Religion. I guess no religion has a complete picture of everything, including addiction recovery. Whether we are religiously inclined or not, we can definitely always learn something from other modes of thought and belief. They (mostly) all have something to offer us, even if it's just to show us that that isn't the way we want to live. I used to be very secular in my beliefs (in fact I was an atheist), but that eventually didn't work for me. Atheism brings no joy. It paints a very bleak picture of our existence and gave me no motivation to recover, because what's the point if there's no purpose whatsoever? I do think there's something in that, because ultimately we are so small compared to the energy that is behind the functioning of the universe, but it's not a complete picture. We are ultimately always connected to that energy, since we are of it. When I began to get more into Eastern philosophy/spirituality, it just resonated with me in a momentous way. My spirituality helps me come to terms with the hand I've been dealt in life and gives me direction and purpose for my actions.

I don't know why I felt to say that, it was just in my heart to say.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 29, 2019, 07:30:33 PM
Thanks for the encouragement, Adventurer, and for sharing your experience and thoughts!

I have poked around with 12-step recovery stuff in the past, but it never really worked for me. I do remember them saying, though, that acknowledging a higher power is essential to recovery, whatever that higher power might be. I know that my beliefs in a higher power have definitely supported my recovery efforts, and I think that you said it really well: it puts things in a context where recovery from addiction actually matters. If we're all just smart monkeys hurtling in space and nothing matters, why bother fighting addiction? If we're smart monkeys hurtling in space and something beyond our immediate biological experience matters, then it makes a lot of sense to try to live a better life. Thanks for the insight!

Today was another quiet one

I'm listening to a book right now called Atomic Habits, and there have been a couple ideas that have caught my attention and led me to make some changes to my life (starting today, so we'll see).

Change one: I have felt really bad about the way I haven't been playing music much since I started graduate school. Things are busy, and it's so easy to let music slide. Plus, I always feel like I'm inconveniencing my neighbors (thin apartment walls) if I practice at home. But the author of the book emphasizes the importance of just showing up and building a habit of showing up regularly, even if it is for a short time. So I decided today that I am going to play my instrument for 10 minutes a day every day, and that's exactly what I did when I got back from campus. I set a timer for 10 minutes, got my instrument out, tuned up, played a song and a half, and then put it away. Not a very significant practice session, but it's the first one I've had in almost a year, so that's a big deal. And if I do 10 minutes a day for a week, that's over an hour more a week than I've been doing. At the very least, I won't feel like I'm wasting a skill that I've put years into developing anymore.

Change two: I am going to spend some time writing before I post here every day. Again, graduate school has gotten in the way of something that I enjoy doing just for myself. I used to love writing (and I still love it, but I never do it anymore). I have been feeling down on myself for letting it slide, so I decided (at the recommendation of the book) to piggy-back writing onto another habit that I have established (posting here). Tonight, I sat down to write and got a few sentences on the page before posting here. Again, not much, but more than I've managed to write in a long, long time.

I realized that it wouldn't take big changes to establish good habits. A couple years ago, I started doing yoga every day because I wasn't doing any exercise (and really never had had a habit of exercise at all). When I started doing strength training this summer, I didn't have to start from scratch: I just traded some yoga days for strength training days. I already had the habit of exercise, so it was easier to just add some more vigorous exercise to the routine. If I had tried to start from scratch with weights, I probably wouldn't have lasted a month. I'm starting to understand the power of habits a little more clearly than before, and I'm optimistic about making intelligent changes in my daily routines.

I'm also reading Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance. I listened to it earlier in the year, but I wanted to read it because I think I comprehend better reading than listening. I'm pretty sure I recommended it before, but I want to recommend it again. Her insights have helped me/are helping me to be more understanding and kind when it comes to my own thoughts and feelings. And I think that is helping to stabilize my outlook on life.

So, as far as writing and music go, today is Day 1! Here's to a happy and productive tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on October 29, 2019, 09:37:21 PM
Awesome stuff blue, I placed a hold on that book too.  I like the ideas, I think I'll incorporate them into my new plans.  You're doing very well dude!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 30, 2019, 06:23:40 PM
Thanks, squid! I appreciate the validation and I hope you like the book. It's been interesting so far, for sure.

Today was pretty quiet, but also surprisingly productive. In all that I had to do today, I was planning to do the reading for one of my classes, but then I ended up getting all the reading done for both of my classes left this week. I guess it just went faster than I expected or something, but I'm glad that it's done. Maybe it will free me up to do something better later in the week, but who knows?

It's getting to be the end of the semester, and I'm starting to just get bored of my classes. Just a little over a month to go, and then it's a long break and a new start. Usually, the end of a semester crushes me, but this one seems like it will be pretty manageable, just one major project to finish. It's my last year of classes before I start doing my own research, and I am ready for it. It sort of feels like, finally, there are some things on the horizon to look forward to in terms of school. There is still a long way to go, but I don't feel as trapped as before.

In other news, I got 10 minutes of music and about 20 minutes of writing in today too. So that's also progress.

Halfway through the week and still chugging along!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 31, 2019, 08:04:55 AM
You're doing great man. The book seems interesting, I'll look into it.

I think it's a good idea to add more challenges into the game when one of them become easier. It make you keep pushing for your goal and put you in a good mindset to become better and successful!

Keep pushing man :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 31, 2019, 09:05:28 PM
Thanks Rebooter! I appreciate the encouragement! (And the idea of adding more challenge to the game. I'm thinking I might buy a heavier weight this weekend. I never would have expected to say it, but the weight I've been exercising with just isn't enough anymore.)

Getting a later start tonight, but it's for a pretty okay reason: Ph invited me to a get-together she was throwing, so I went after work and hung out for a little while. I didn't stay until the end because I have class in the morning, but it was good and I was happy to get the invitation (seems like a good sign).

It's kind of weird to say, but I'm a little proud of myself for leaving early. A year ago, I probably would have stayed even though it was late and I was tired because I would have felt like it would have ruined my chances with her to leave early, even for a legitimate reason. Today, though, I feel more confident in myself and more comfortable setting reasonable boundaries and taking care of myself. There's no reason to ruin healthy habits just for a chance at a date. Anyway, I think it was a healthy thing to do, and I had some unexpected interaction with her today so that's a bonus.

Music and writing habits are going strong (3 days) as well. I know streaks can't be the point, but they can be motivating. We'll see if I can get some momentum going on these things too.

Let's have an awesome Friday and finish the week strong!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on November 01, 2019, 12:26:46 AM
Sounds great, Blue! I'm definitely going to buy this book 'Atomic Habits', as a few people have mentioned it to me.

Isn't that funny, that as we recover things start to fall into place. You absolutely did the right thing leaving early, as it is attractive  when a man can be assertive and does what he needs to do. You had a totally legit reason to leave early and I guarantee you that she will respect you even more now.

If you ever need any workout tips feel free to just PM me. I used to be big into powerlifting and am a qualified personal trainer.

It's funny how as we consistently need to increase the weight in our workout, so do we need to do the same in other aspects of life. When we are bound to P, it feels like pushing against a tumbling boulder a lot of the time, and often we are still not moving quite in the direction we want to go in. As we recover, it feels easier to begin to push ourselves whilst maintaining a necessary positive attitude and without getting stressed and needing to go back to P.

You're doing great, mate, keep on going!

Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on November 01, 2019, 02:38:56 PM
It's kind of weird to say, but I'm a little proud of myself for leaving early. A year ago, I probably would have stayed even though it was late and I was tired because I would have felt like it would have ruined my chances with her to leave early, even for a legitimate reason. Today, though, I feel more confident in myself and more comfortable setting reasonable boundaries and taking care of myself. There's no reason to ruin healthy habits just for a chance at a date. Anyway, I think it was a healthy thing to do, and I had some unexpected interaction with her today so that's a bonus.

You totally get it. You only have one you, but you can have thousands of dates. You're doing really well and seems to be well on your way to a healthy and joyful lifestyle for yourself!

I'm quite happy for you man :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 01, 2019, 07:10:57 PM
Isn't that funny, that as we recover things start to fall into place. You absolutely did the right thing leaving early, as it is attractive  when a man can be assertive and does what he needs to do. You had a totally legit reason to leave early and I guarantee you that she will respect you even more now.

If you ever need any workout tips feel free to just PM me. I used to be big into powerlifting and am a qualified personal trainer.


Thanks for the encouragement and for the offer of tips. I'll keep that in mind (right now I'm still definitely on the basics, like working up to doing 5 pushups in a row. I'm getting close, but it's cool to think that I was nowhere near even that a year ago.)

I really appreciate your perspective on me leaving early, too. I was pretty sure it felt like the right thing to do, but it's always good to get a confirmation from someone else.

You totally get it. You only have one you, but you can have thousands of dates. You're doing really well and seems to be well on your way to a healthy and joyful lifestyle for yourself!

I'm quite happy for you man :)

Thanks a lot! I like that perspective. There's only one me, and I have to take care of him! Thanks for the support!

Not much to say about today

Pretty normal stuff, school, work, paying rent (how exciting).

At one point this afternoon, I was reading an article about some political thing that had come up at work, and it started talking about a website that I knew would have porn on it, and there was even a link to that website in the article. I just sort of stopped and stared at the link for a while. I thought it would be so easy to just click, look around real quick, and go about my day, but then I was thinking about how that small action would actually be a huge mistake. It wouldn't look like much, but it would have been really significant. There was a small part of me that felt like there was a monster clawing to get out of my chest and go to that website, and there was another, larger, part of me that was just sort of observing what was happening without being worried about it and thinking about how easy it would be to derail this whole process. Just one wrong click. After a moment, I just closed the article and went to do something else.

It's interesting to me how easy it would have been to just click into a lot of trouble, but that simple click also felt sort of impossible. I could see that it would be easy, but I also didn't actually believe I would do it. It's the sort of thing that a past relapse would have been made of, but today it was just sort of a curious experience. The balance seems to be shifting: the part of me that wants porn isn't gone, but it isn't manning the controls anymore. And that feels pretty good.

Looking like a quiet weekend, and I'm really okay with that.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on November 01, 2019, 10:43:41 PM
Fuck yeah dude, you're getting your life back! It sounds like you're realising a change without getting complacent. It would be interesting to see how much you think about that event now after it happened. I doubt it'll be a much if at all but I'm just interested to see if it comes up at another point during the day. It's like you're the test subject for me at the moment that a reboot really can work haha :D
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on November 02, 2019, 02:36:57 AM
Awesome man!! Almost like me and my close call! It's would have been easy to give in, but I stop, thought it out and saw that it was not an option. Silencing the beast with ease. With so much ease in fact that I'm still suprise by that! You're getting the main control over your action man and that's liberty!!

Keep it going Blue :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 02, 2019, 07:19:39 PM
Fuck yeah dude, you're getting your life back! It sounds like you're realising a change without getting complacent. It would be interesting to see how much you think about that event now after it happened. I doubt it'll be a much if at all but I'm just interested to see if it comes up at another point during the day. It's like you're the test subject for me at the moment that a reboot really can work haha :D

Haha, thanks! I'm happy to be the guinea pig. I feel like I'm at a point where there's a real risk of getting complacent, and that has me a little worried. But I guess that's the right way to feel about, better than being complacent about being complacent lol.

After writing about it yesterday, I didn't think about what happened again until just now. But something sort of similar happened again today. I was sitting at my desk getting some work done and feeling sort of inexplicably discouraged about things. I guess I started staring off into the corner of the room and feeling sorry for myself for a minute, but then a thought came into my head. It was almost like somebody was standing next to me and talking in my ear: "You know, you could just look at porn. It always made you feel better, and it would probably help right now." I said, "Yeah, that's true, but would that be worth it?" My addicted brain said, "Maybe not in the long run, but wouldn't it be worth it right now to get out of having to deal with what you're feeling?" That was almost persuasive, and I asked myself, "Is it really worth it? Is recovery really worth putting up with all these emotions that just keep coming up for seemingly no reason?" I thought about it for a minute (and even thought about what I would post here if I had just decided to give up and go back to a life of PMO) and decided that it is, so I said to myself, "It is worth it. I believe it will be, and I'm not going to look at porn, but thanks for the suggestion." Then I finished what I was working on and came here to reinforce the recovery habit.

Awesome man!! Almost like me and my close call! It's would have been easy to give in, but I stop, thought it out and saw that it was not an option. Silencing the beast with ease. With so much ease in fact that I'm still suprise by that! You're getting the main control over your action man and that's liberty!!

Keep it going Blue :)

Thanks so much for the continuing support! I especially grateful for the support here when those close calls come.

It has been a pretty quiet day, mostly just working on things at home. It's starting to get cold for the winter, and it's expensive to heat my place, so I'm transitioning to life in sweaters and blankets to try to keep the utilities a little under control. The cold is kind of a bummer, but I also kind of like getting all layered up and cozy so it's not too bad.

I don't know, I feel like triggers have been a little more triggering the last few days. I'm not sure I really know why. It could just be that they always come in waves and I'm on an up-slope right now. Maybe I'm getting a little complacent. Maybe I'm just getting more aware of them and sensitive to them. Maybe it's a combination of all three or something else. I guess all I can really do is stay mindful and keep reminding myself that the seductive pleasures of addiction are never going to be worth the trouble again.

But in other, more encouraging news, I'm on day 5 for playing music and writing, and I got a heavier weight this morning. So, even if progress on recovery feels a little slower, I'm still moving forward in other ways (and it's all part of recovery anyway).

Let's see what tomorrow brings (hopefully a little morale boost and a recharge for the week ahead)!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: squid on November 02, 2019, 09:37:47 PM
Really great stuff blue.  Being an observer and noticing the thought without giving into it is wise. 
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on November 02, 2019, 11:30:34 PM
Interesting that that would happen at this particular juncture. I think that as you say, it likely has to do with you noticing the subtleties. Now, I never made it nearly as many days as you (what are you on now, anyway, like 295?), but I found that late in my one-hundred-and-something day streak, when I got those subtle urges, it was to do with the fact that my brain had become extra sensitised to P. My theory is that if you were to see even a fairly vanilla image at this point in your reboot, you would be triggered hugely by it because your brain has forgotten the thrill of P, yet when you're feeling a bit down, something deep down still remembers that it felt good, and so from time to time you catch yourself thinking about it. Have you ever seen Russell Brand speak about his recovery from heroin addiction? His perspectives are enlightening and he's 14 years clean now. He mentions that sometimes when he's feeling a bit low, he still has the thought to get some heroin. He goes through a similar process to what it sounds like you're going through. He has a bunch of free videos on youtube where he talks about it, if you're interested. I'm pretty sure he also does a podcast which you can listen to or watch. I know you're in to podcasts.

Anyway, just keep on trucking along, mate, I think it's a normal part of the process. You mentioned that you're a bit worried about it, and that you're also worried of getting complacent, or being complacent about being complacent? Dude, that kind of complicated thinking is exactly the type of thinking that doesn't get us anywhere. It's based on a feeling of anxiety. In our lives, simplicity is key to happiness. Find some time to wind down, maybe take a break if you can? You've been very busy and this could be what's causing all those complex thought patterns. Don't get yourself in a funk, maybe it's just a sign that you just need to take a holiday soon. :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: quitforeverthenwin2 on November 03, 2019, 11:13:03 AM
Hey bro, glad I finally just read through everything and totally caught up on your journal!

Congrats it looks like things are going really well (even if urges are popping up).

In my opinion, you getting all of these urges right now doesn't really mean anything, other than stay vigilant.

Brain's in recovery are just weird. I just read the Your brain on porn book by Gary (forgot his last name lol). It's such a great book and goes so in depth with the science of whats going on in the brain. Looking at it that way, helps I think.

(Here is my special ed version summary of what I read): So the addiction decreases dopamine receptors in the brain, and there are also things called Dendrites. That are like little branches on neuron's these give us cravings. At times in recovery more of these branches sprout up and we get more urges. It seems not totally predictable. Our brain thought porn was really great for us, we were mating a ton or need to to survive or whatever. So I think sometimes the brain randomly just sprouts some dendrites or lowers some neurotransmitter to up the urges and see if the old addiction (porn) maybe became available again. 

Plus the whole PAWS thing (post acute withdrawal) apparently for months and years weird emotions and cravings simply can pop up over time.

Cliff notes: I think it's basically what you said. You are constantly moving forward and further from the addiction, now is just the higher urge period, but luckily less then in the past.

Great reminder for the rest of us, urges will come. I have gone YEARS without eating junk food many times. I'd still get cravings for it but very rarely. Something that used to give us pleasure in some perverse way, I guess we'll always get urges for. It's just that PMO is a much more insidious thing.

Congrats on the date! Super boss move to leave the party early, life before chasing the girl. I actually read a really good dating book way back when that talked about that.

They had some story to illustrate the point. Something like:

"Loser Bob went to a club and stayed up all night, even though he had a presentation at work the next morning. Staying up all night did allow him to spend time with with Janice. Janice realize loser bob was a loser because he stayed up all night and threw his life off just for her. She decided to never see him again. Loser Bob was half asleep during his presentation and he heard his Boss's boss loudly say "What is wrong with this guy?!" Lol

"Awesome Dan went to a party and met Beth, but he knew he had to be home by 9:00 to get a good nights sleep for his presentation tomorrow. Beth could sense Awesome Dan's super manliness because he put his own life first so she begged him to stay. Dan refused but allowed her to give him her number. Awesome Dan killed it in his presentation and get a raise. He was so pumped up he went out that night and met a whole bunch of other women and set up a date with Beth for the next day ( not a relationship oriented book lol)"
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 03, 2019, 08:49:55 PM
Man, I should be used to it by now, but I'm always surprised by just how awesome you all are. Thanks for taking the time to read my story and to respond so thoughtfully!

Really great stuff blue.  Being an observer and noticing the thought without giving into it is wise. 

I don't usually feel all that wise (more like I'm faking it till I make it, but maybe that's wisdom too lol). But if you're saying it, I'll take it! Thanks, squid!

Interesting that that would happen at this particular juncture. I think that as you say, it likely has to do with you noticing the subtleties. Now, I never made it nearly as many days as you (what are you on now, anyway, like 295?), but I found that late in my one-hundred-and-something day streak, when I got those subtle urges, it was to do with the fact that my brain had become extra sensitised to P. My theory is that if you were to see even a fairly vanilla image at this point in your reboot, you would be triggered hugely by it because your brain has forgotten the thrill of P, yet when you're feeling a bit down, something deep down still remembers that it felt good, and so from time to time you catch yourself thinking about it. Have you ever seen Russell Brand speak about his recovery from heroin addiction? His perspectives are enlightening and he's 14 years clean now. He mentions that sometimes when he's feeling a bit low, he still has the thought to get some heroin. He goes through a similar process to what it sounds like you're going through. He has a bunch of free videos on youtube where he talks about it, if you're interested. I'm pretty sure he also does a podcast which you can listen to or watch. I know you're in to podcasts.

Anyway, just keep on trucking along, mate, I think it's a normal part of the process. You mentioned that you're a bit worried about it, and that you're also worried of getting complacent, or being complacent about being complacent? Dude, that kind of complicated thinking is exactly the type of thinking that doesn't get us anywhere. It's based on a feeling of anxiety. In our lives, simplicity is key to happiness. Find some time to wind down, maybe take a break if you can? You've been very busy and this could be what's causing all those complex thought patterns. Don't get yourself in a funk, maybe it's just a sign that you just need to take a holiday soon. :)

A lot of this really helpful, Adventurer, thanks. I haven't read or heard anything from Russell Brand, but I've heard about him a lot, so I think I should probably check out what he has to say. Hearing about the little urges that come up when he's feeling down, even after 14 years is a good perspective. I keep saying that my new philosophy is learning to live a life where urges happen (instead of somehow forcing myself to never have urges), but it's easy to forget that mindset and the urges can get me even more down when I'm already a little down.

And I appreciate the reminder that I might just be overcomplicating my thoughts and that I need a holiday, lol. Getting all wrapped up in unhelpful thoughts sounds like something I would do, and that's what makes this community so great: sometimes it's easier for other people to see where we're tripping ourselves up.

In my opinion, you getting all of these urges right now doesn't really mean anything, other than stay vigilant.

Brain's in recovery are just weird.

...

Congrats on the date! Super boss move to leave the party early, life before chasing the girl. I actually read a really good dating book way back when that talked about that.

They had some story to illustrate the point. Something like:

"Loser Bob went to a club and stayed up all night, even though he had a presentation at work the next morning. Staying up all night did allow him to spend time with with Janice. Janice realize loser bob was a loser because he stayed up all night and threw his life off just for her. She decided to never see him again. Loser Bob was half asleep during his presentation and he heard his Boss's boss loudly say "What is wrong with this guy?!" Lol

"Awesome Dan went to a party and met Beth, but he knew he had to be home by 9:00 to get a good nights sleep for his presentation tomorrow. Beth could sense Awesome Dan's super manliness because he put his own life first so she begged him to stay. Dan refused but allowed her to give him her number. Awesome Dan killed it in his presentation and get a raise. He was so pumped up he went out that night and met a whole bunch of other women and set up a date with Beth for the next day ( not a relationship oriented book lol)"

Thanks, quit! I'm glad you're caught up: it's been a busy time. I appreciate the perspective on the urges: I think you're right. They're just going to happen from time to time and recovering brains are weird. I should just remember that my brain is going to be doing weird things, and I don't need to take anything too personally.

But I mostly appreciate your validation of my "super boss move." That made me literally laugh out loud, but it was also a good affirmation. And, what's more, it was like the exact situation from your book. I'm really glad that I was more Awesome Dan than Loser Bob. Nobody wants to be Loser Bob!

So thanks for the support and for putting a smile on my face!

Today was good

Just quietly good. Sundays are a good chance to reset the system. Church stuff usually keeps me busy enough for most of the day that I don't really have a chance to worry about "normal" life. I didn't even think about all the weirdness from the last couple days today until I logged back in here. It's good to have a day with a different routine to kind of shake me out of the patterns of thought that accumulate during the week.

It was still kind of a busy day, but I'm feeling recharged and ready to go back at it for another week.

I'm also sort of feeling like it's about time to get a second date on the calendar. I would hate to just lose momentum and let our busy schedules prevent us from seeing if this is headed anywhere. So I'll see what I can do.

It's a new week. Let's all go be Awesome Dans!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Rebooter2019 on November 03, 2019, 09:02:09 PM
Damn, man a second date seems is an awesome thing, man.
With that quiet day of yours you'll be able to plan and attack your next week like a chief or like awesome Dan(don't know the reference  :P ).

Happy to see your progress! All the people giving you their thoughts and feedback on subjects is really helpful and show how much they care for each other.

Take care my friend and I wish you a good night or day :)
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on November 03, 2019, 10:20:38 PM
You're killing it, awesome Heron!

Glad my perspective was largely helpful, bro. Russell Brand is an advocate of the 12 step programme but also just generally offers clear advice from his own experience.

You go get that girl, brother! Here's to a good week ahead!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 04, 2019, 09:50:48 PM
Damn, man a second date seems is an awesome thing, man.
With that quiet day of yours you'll be able to plan and attack your next week like a chief or like awesome Dan(don't know the reference  :P ).

Happy to see your progress! All the people giving you their thoughts and feedback on subjects is really helpful and show how much they care for each other.

Take care my friend and I wish you a good night or day :)

Thanks, rebooter! I really appreciate the support. (Awesome Dan is just from the story quit shared in his post before mine, and it made me laugh a lot so I went with it.)

You're killing it, awesome Heron!

Glad my perspective was largely helpful, bro. Russell Brand is an advocate of the 12 step programme but also just generally offers clear advice from his own experience.

You go get that girl, brother! Here's to a good week ahead!

Thanks! Always appreciate your perspective and encouragement: this would be a harder journey without you walking the path too!

Today was long but also okay

Just a busy day. I had a meeting and school and some other things. I showed up where I needed to and did what I needed to, but it all felt kind of unproductive. Like I was fulfilling my obligations but not really getting ahead, which I guess is okay some days.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night with like weird urges/triggered feelings/images in my mind of a very specific porn thing. I lay there for a little while trying to process what was happening, but it was getting more intense instead of dying away, so I got up, when to the bathroom and tried to just get my head somewhere else. Eventually, I went back to sleep and slept through the night.

When I woke up in the morning, I felt a little rattled. Whatever happened last night seemed pretty intense and weirdly specific (like not a general urge for porn but like a specific urge to look up a particular thing). Add that to the urges and things that have come up in the last few days, and I was feeling scared that I was somehow stuck on a slippery slope that I didn't know I was on. It seemed like things were getting worse instead of better.

Anyway, I got up, worked out, and took a shower. While I was showering, I had the thought that I have been dealing with these urges and triggers from a place of fear. But I don't need to be scared of them: I know how to deal with them. I've been dealing with them and I have dealt with worse even a few months ago. That realization has helped me to start turning things around a little again. I don't need to see these urges as a death-sentence. They could just be coming up randomly, and it's not necessarily because I'm doing something wrong. I just need to remember what I have been learning all year long. I know how to deal with urges, and I don't need to be scared of them. That fear will only get me into trouble.

There were a couple moments where I found myself slipping into trigger mode during the day, but I managed to observe them and let them go without getting too tangled up in them. That feels like a better place to be than I have been for the last few days.

So let's all remember what we have learned and commit to doing it! We don't need to be scared of urges. We can just let them go and get back to our lives.

Here's to a great tomorrow!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: quitforeverthenwin2 on November 05, 2019, 08:08:12 AM
Great that you are dealing with the urges and moving forward. I sometimes found that urges seemed to come soon before something good happened in my life, it was almost like you have to overcome the inner difficultly to get the outer success.

It is uncanny how many times I'd be trying to make something happen in my life, or get a date or something and it would often come together, seemingly randomly like the day after a strong urge. If I got through it, I'd feel great and it'd go well and if I gave in I'd feel like  trash with my confidence shot.

No real explanation for that, maybe the brain/addiction senses good things coming up and resists the change
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 05, 2019, 08:17:10 PM
Great that you are dealing with the urges and moving forward. I sometimes found that urges seemed to come soon before something good happened in my life, it was almost like you have to overcome the inner difficultly to get the outer success.

It is uncanny how many times I'd be trying to make something happen in my life, or get a date or something and it would often come together, seemingly randomly like the day after a strong urge. If I got through it, I'd feel great and it'd go well and if I gave in I'd feel like  trash with my confidence shot.

No real explanation for that, maybe the brain/addiction senses good things coming up and resists the change

You know, it's funny that you say that. I was thinking something similar just the last couple days. Maybe something good is coming my way. I definitely can remember times when I relapsed and then opportunities came along the next day that I felt I had disqualified myself for because I relapsed. It really does seem like the urges coincide with good things coming our way. Not sure how that all works, but I have definitely seen that pattern in my own experience too.

Plus, that's a good way to think about it: I just have to hold on a little longer. These urges only mean that something good is coming my way! Thanks for the perspective!

Not much happened today

Spent some time at work, practiced a little video editing, cooked a stir fry, watched a little TV, did some homework. Pretty quiet day and much easier on the urges front, which I'm happy about.

I also think I have pretty well decided that I'm going to call Ph tomorrow and try to set up a date. It's been a couple weeks, and we really haven't run into each other lately like we have before. Part of me was holding out to ask her in person, but I don't think it's a good idea to let it go any longer. So that's something to look forward to/stress out about (I'm kind of joking). Who knows? Maybe this is the good thing coming my way that set off this last round of urges?

Only way to find out is by pressing forward!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: rob24 on November 06, 2019, 08:42:25 AM
Still catching up with your posts, but sounds like a nice balance you've got going here Heron - some work, some hobbies, some pursuits, and some good socializing. Keep it up!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on November 06, 2019, 12:48:19 PM
Dude, I'm so glad I came on here and read your previous posts. I just posted on my journal that I have been experiencing major urges and your perspective really helped me, so thank you. Thank you also to @quit. I also noticed (a long time ago during my 100+ day streak) that getting through urges usually led to something good happening. Perhaps it is because we are 'levelling up' in life when we get through it - we are overcoming our troubles, instead of just letting ourselves stagnate in the miserable world of high speed internet porn? As a result we are able to see things more clearly, have more confidence in ourselves, feel more powerful and in control of our lives, and seize opportunities with vigour and positivity. And our positivity in turn attracts more positivity.

It's easy to see urges like our evil overlords -- that it is impossible not to yield to their sordid will, lest they torment us ever further until we shuffle off this mortal coil.

That's bullshit.

So many thoughts happens to us every day, most of which we just ignore because they are not important (I like to categorise urges as thoughts, although they are obviously caught up with feelings, too). It's just the thoughts that somehow have importance to us that get our attention and even become obsessive. It's obvious why porn has this effect, we know the science about dopamine and the reward system, but it helps to remember that just because a thought feels powerful, and easily grips our attention, it doesn't make it ultimately anymore permanent or real than a boring thought like when you see a car driving past and think 'there's a small dent in the rear bumper'. That kind of thought just passes straight away afterward; you will likely not be obsessing about a small dent in someone else's bumper all day (unless it is your car, lol). That kind of thought will come and go like clouds in the sky. By that rationale, so then, can thoughts about P. The only difference is that our attention is more likely to go to those kinds of thoughts because we trained ourselves for a long time to ascribe value to those kinds of thoughts. Well, we needn't any longer.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: quitforeverthenwin2 on November 06, 2019, 04:56:58 PM
Glad you guys recognize that pattern too! Blue and Dual. Great to read other's journal because I think I am in a bit of that place now. Great shit seems close to happening then the urges hit.

I think it's a combination of things. A who knows what. The shifty addiction resists change. And leveling up in life for sure helps us create new opportunities even subconsciously as Dual said.

Sounds great Blueheron! Calling sounds like a good bet. One thing I have been working on learning is.... assuming the girl likes us.

Let's start from this perspective: PH likes blueheron and wants to hang out with him.

To PH then= Who cares if blueheron invites me to hang out via phone or in person? Blueheron called, YAY! We are going to hang out maybe he likes me too!

I put so much effort into trying to get good with girls and stuff. I think so much of it is really all about just accepting that a girl likes you and acting accordingly. (IE. Calmly setting up times to hang out, not feeling a need to "try" etc.)

Not just emotionally but logically this almost has to be the case. It'd be pretty tough to get a girl who is not interested interested. Most girls who are engaging with us are almost certainly interested and like us... so obviously the best is to just assume that she does, since the fact that she is engaging, showing up to dates etc. means she does. In the off chance she doesn't (logically makes little sense, the girl just wants to hang out but doesn't like us? Women have literally 100s of options nowadays.....) acting as if she didn't like us and trying to make her like us probably wouldn't work anyway and could alienate her if she liked us...... (hopefully that makes sense lol)

lling to accept when the awesome girls do like us.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: faenoe on November 06, 2019, 06:43:32 PM
Great reads Blue. I'm just getting caught up since I haven't been on for a little while. I am similar in that I have recently come to value my own well-being over, like you said, a chance for a date or something. I have realized that I have a lot to do and I need my body to be at top performance in order to accomplish everything. I'm not saying that I never go out late with friends but I do always consciously have to decide to make such a sacrifice for my health. In that way, I think I have been taking better care of myself than usual.

That's cool that the girl invited you over for a party! I'm proud of you for feeling confident enough to be yourself. Keep it up man.

I'm also proud of you for making the harder right choice when you came face to face with that website you knew had porn on it. Just remember this: it is only the little slip ups that ever lead to anything bad. I am just remembering this myself but I thought I would share it with you. Again, well done on thinking through your actions before acting on an impulse. Thanks for your stories and support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 06, 2019, 09:06:58 PM
Still catching up with your posts, but sounds like a nice balance you've got going here Heron - some work, some hobbies, some pursuits, and some good socializing. Keep it up!

Thanks, man! I'll do my best!

Dude, I'm so glad I came on here and read your previous posts. I just posted on my journal that I have been experiencing major urges and your perspective really helped me, so thank you. Thank you also to @quit. I also noticed (a long time ago during my 100+ day streak) that getting through urges usually led to something good happening. Perhaps it is because we are 'levelling up' in life when we get through it - we are overcoming our troubles, instead of just letting ourselves stagnate in the miserable world of high speed internet porn? As a result we are able to see things more clearly, have more confidence in ourselves, feel more powerful and in control of our lives, and seize opportunities with vigour and positivity. And our positivity in turn attracts more positivity.

You're welcome! Thank you for your perspective and encouragement, too. I really like the idea of leveling up, of getting through urges to find something better on the other side.

I always notice dents on people's bumpers, lol. But you're right, I never carry those thoughts very long after having them. Urges are stickier because our brain has learned that they bring a benefit (pleasure), so our natural system doesn't want to let them go. But they aren't any different from regular thoughts, and we can learn to let them go just the same.

I'm also glad that you found some helpful perspective here! When I was reading your journal and seeing that you were in a tough spot today, I was kicking myself (unfairly) for not posting here sooner (which I never do normally). So I'm happy that me-from-the-past could still give you a boost.

Sounds great Blueheron! Calling sounds like a good bet. One thing I have been working on learning is.... assuming the girl likes us.

Let's start from this perspective: PH likes blueheron and wants to hang out with him.

Man, this is such a great perspective. I always, always assume that girls (and everyone) default to disliking me (probably because I have defaulted to disliking me for so long). But I think assuming the girls likes me is a way better way to go about it (and would save me a lot of anxiety in between interactions).

It also, as you said, just makes a lot of logical sense: none of the way she has acted toward me is the way you would act toward a person you want to get rid of. You don't send friendly messages to weirdos you don't like, you don't make eye contact with, you don't invite them to parties. I have a lot of evidence that would justify me in assuming that she likes me, but I default to the opposite conclusion.

And here's the thing, this whole thing with Ph is only happening because I adopted a policy of not going after anyone unless they come to me first. I asked her out because I was pretty sure she was interested and wanted to respect the way she had put herself "out there" a couple of times. So clearly, I could probably assume that she doesn't think I'm an annoying freak. Thanks for helping me shake off a little bit of the nonsense that has been filling my head lately.

Great reads Blue. I'm just getting caught up since I haven't been on for a little while. I am similar in that I have recently come to value my own well-being over, like you said, a chance for a date or something. I have realized that I have a lot to do and I need my body to be at top performance in order to accomplish everything. I'm not saying that I never go out late with friends but I do always consciously have to decide to make such a sacrifice for my health. In that way, I think I have been taking better care of myself than usual.

That's cool that the girl invited you over for a party! I'm proud of you for feeling confident enough to be yourself. Keep it up man.

I'm also proud of you for making the harder right choice when you came face to face with that website you knew had porn on it. Just remember this: it is only the little slip ups that ever lead to anything bad. I am just remembering this myself but I thought I would share it with you. Again, well done on thinking through your actions before acting on an impulse. Thanks for your stories and support!

Thank you, faenoe! I really appreciate your encouragement and good thoughts. It really is the little stuff that counts the most. That's a reminder that never gets old.

Today

What even happened today? Did some chores around the house. My furnace broke, but it got fixed. Really, there are two things to talk about today:

1. I called Ph and left a message. I haven't heard back yet (this is where my nervous brain starts saying it's all over and I should never have tried), but I also know she sometimes has to work pretty late so I'm not worrying (or trying not to worry). Like I have said before, if it works out, great. If not, great. But I do feel a little more invested in it than before.

2. I made a small mistake kind of thoughtlessly, but I'm aware of it now. I'll just start by saying that the YouTube trending page is probably my last dangerous place for triggers that I'm reluctant to give up because it also gives me good stuff sometimes. Long story short, I saw a trending video with someone attractive in it and said, "I've never seen this channel before. What kind of videos do they make." So I clicked through to the channel (WHY?) and it turns out they make a lot of videos with a lot of women showing a lot of skin. When it sunk in that I was deep in triggers, I got up and did something else. But the moment has sort of made me remember a handful of other times in the last few weeks when I have done something similar. That probably has something to do with the urges I have been dealing with lately. I have the rest of YouTube pretty solidly under control, but that Trending page gets me. Probably time to commit to staying away from it (I have had the thought to stay away before). It's crazy how these little things can creep in without really noticing them right away. A good reminder to stay careful and stay watchful.

But it has been a pretty good day overall. Hopefully I'll get myself under control and have some good news about Ph to report tomorrow. Thanks again for all your support!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: quitforeverthenwin2 on November 07, 2019, 07:15:57 AM
Your instinct in staying away from the youtube trending page is 1000% right, in my opinion. That's an area where as soon as I read it, it's not like "hey man, maybe it is a good idea to cut out, do what works for you". The youtube trending page is the worst imo. It's designed to get you clicking, tons of images that are essentially soft core porn, are often used as thumbnail photos.

For me (and many others) youtube in general can be a huge trigger. Even aside from those images the clicking on different videos etc. as a habit can be a problem.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 07, 2019, 08:48:39 PM
Thanks, quit! You're right about a lot of things. I've sworn off trending (what am I actually missing?), and I have been in a long process of thinking about my YouTube habits in general. There is a lot there that is good, and it hasn't generally been a problem for me (at least in relation to porn addiction) but I have spent more time there than I would prefer. Something to start thinking more seriously about.

Today was okay

Just school and stuff.

Haven't heard anything from Ph still after calling yesterday. There's probably (hopefully) a good reason. Maybe there isn't. I'm trying to stay positive and grounded in the things that I actually have to do in the moment (instead of getting distracted by worry). But I've been a little on edge all day (understatement).

Other than that, pretty normal and boring day. I'm not a huge fan of winter, and it snowed this morning. Kind of got me started off in a bad mood, but I should probably also not be so dependent on the weather in that way.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day (and a Friday)!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: quitforeverthenwin2 on November 08, 2019, 07:47:32 AM
Haha thanks man, glad to hear I am not just full of bs. You are right about a ridiculous amount of stuff yourself and have great insights.

Glad to hear that you are cutting out the trending page. Doing that is saving you so many little dopamine bursts over the course of the month, that'll do a ton for your recovery and I think overall brain health, as obviously we know these dopamine hits from PMO and related stuff are not good for the brain.

I feel you on the winter, I am moving back to a city with winter lol. Got me worried. I have heard in many places part of what lowers people's mood in the winter is lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essentially a hormone really important to mood brain function etc. Our body makes it when sunlight hits our skin, so supplementing with it in the winter can really help with mood general health in the winter etc.


Sorry to hear she has not called yet. There will be LOADS of opportunities in the future, she may call again or she may not. There is some odd thing that happens, when working towards cool shit and forgetting about girls they tend to call/text back or even out of the blue.

Easier said then done, but a good way to handle the PH thing is to act like nothing happened at all. You run into her, just be friendly and chill whatever don't bring up the call, dating etc. I remember reading a book from a guy who is amazing with women he said "Remember NOTHING is a big deal". I know we want to be genuine or whatever but I think it's okay to at least pretend and act like it's not a big deal lol. Just to keep things comfortable and cool.

Tons of possibilities:

She may have gotten the message and be nervous about calling back.

She may have gotten the message and since it took you awhile, she is trying to make you wait too lol.

She may have lost interest.....if so  very possibly because of too much time between date 1-2 or last contact. 

She have gotten the message and be making you wait because she read it in some book that said to do it.

No matter what is going on or whether she does call back or not the best bet is to keep moving forward ( you already know that). Hows the atomic habits thing going? Adding in some new positive wrinkles to your routine life to get excited about can probably help.

I remember that was something I'd thought about a lot, the real world is just different from PMO. There so much ambiguity, can't just get immediate short term pleasure whenever we want. We can want something, not get it. Have no idea whats going on. That's just how reality is and I think just learning how to deal with it better is part of recovery but the rewards will be AMAZING


Edit Just as I was about to log off had another thought on that:

Maybe redundant but to put it in very simple and direct language. Reintroducing dating and women into our lives is a HARD part of recovery. The ambiguity and stress etc. Can be very triggering. I think that is something that is forgotten/ left out in a lot of success stories. It's like Hard recovery-> Yay! Great girlfriend. But really the reintroduction of women dating etc. and all the ambiguity, the insecurities that get brought up is just a super tough part of recovery.

So I think that could be helpful to remember, you're still obviously killing it, this is just one of those tough parts of the recovery, but like all the other tough parts will ultimately be super rewarding.

Maybe look at it from OUR (the people reading your journal's perspective). To us this is the Blueheron show, the blueheron story, the adventures of Blueheron. Not the PH diary. Not to talk bad about her, but none of us really care about PH  too much or whats going on with her other then you went on a date with her. To us, she's just a character that pops up in your story. If this journal were a movie, it wouldn't be a romantic comedy with you guys as costars, it'd be an adventure movie about beating the porn monster, and PH would  probably be 3 frames in a montage of you getting good with girls with like rocky music in the background. Maybe since she was the first date, the museum date would get 2 minutes of screen time and that would be the segway into the montage. Your recovery and adventure started wayyy before meeting this girl and will continue on way after
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on November 08, 2019, 11:08:01 AM

I'm also glad that you found some helpful perspective here! When I was reading your journal and seeing that you were in a tough spot today, I was kicking myself (unfairly) for not posting here sooner (which I never do normally). So I'm happy that me-from-the-past could still give you a boost.

I'm just grateful that you even read my journal. I appreciate you, Blue. That fact that you unfairly kicked yourself is just testament to how much you care about others. Thank you for all that you do for me. I consider you a friend even though I've never met you.

Quote
1. I called Ph and left a message. I haven't heard back yet (this is where my nervous brain starts saying it's all over and I should never have tried), but I also know she sometimes has to work pretty late so I'm not worrying (or trying not to worry). Like I have said before, if it works out, great. If not, great. But I do feel a little more invested in it than before.

Boss move. Normal to worry. With age and experience comes less anxiety around this sort of stuff. I don't know how old you are, actually, or how much experience you have with women, or how many serious relationships you've been in? But it's like that water slide you were scared to go down as a small kid because it looked super steep and you were scared. There are so many other kids going down it that you eventually muster the courage to do it. Once you do it you realise it's amazing, and the second time is still a bit scary but by the third time you're practically tripping over other kids to get to the front of the queue to go down.

Good job noticing that the trending page isn't exactly harmless. You're on the right track discovering subtler and subtler ways in which this addiction has effected you.

And with regard to her not having called you back yet, quit's absolutely right. Another reason could be is that she is interested but she's spoken to her friends about it and they've told her not to call back just yet and she's playing it cool. Whatever the reason, use it as a chance to level up in life. This is a fantastic opportunity for personal growth.

If you ever want some sunshine and a break, you're always welcome here in AZ. Wife and I now in the process of buying our house - it could be any day now, and we will gladly put you up.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 08, 2019, 10:58:44 PM
Easier said then done, but a good way to handle the PH thing is to act like nothing happened at all. You run into her, just be friendly and chill whatever don't bring up the call, dating etc. I remember reading a book from a guy who is amazing with women he said "Remember NOTHING is a big deal". I know we want to be genuine or whatever but I think it's okay to at least pretend and act like it's not a big deal lol. Just to keep things comfortable and cool.

This is really great, and sort of what I was thinking about doing. Whenever the next time I see her is, I'll let her set the tone and I'll just be chill and friendly no matter what. It all started because I was thinking she was interested. If she's not, it's not a "big deal." Yeah, I don't have any idea what reason she could have for not responding, and I'm making room for there being a good reason, and I'm also trying not to say or think anything negative: if this does go anywhere, I don't want to start off by harboring resentment. We'll just see.

Edit Just as I was about to log off had another thought on that:

Maybe redundant but to put it in very simple and direct language. Reintroducing dating and women into our lives is a HARD part of recovery. The ambiguity and stress etc. Can be very triggering. I think that is something that is forgotten/ left out in a lot of success stories. It's like Hard recovery-> Yay! Great girlfriend. But really the reintroduction of women dating etc. and all the ambiguity, the insecurities that get brought up is just a super tough part of recovery.

So I think that could be helpful to remember, you're still obviously killing it, this is just one of those tough parts of the recovery, but like all the other tough parts will ultimately be super rewarding.

Man, I'm so glad you added this thought because I wasn't talking about but I have been thinking about it. Earlier this year, I closed myself off to the possibility of dating: I had gotten out of something bad and I didn't see any potential on the horizon, so I just switched off that part of my life. I think it probably helped a lot early on. But now that dating part of me is switching back on, and it is really hard. It's tricky to tell positive attraction and negative urges apart sometimes. When does a thought go from being just a normal thought about a person your'e interested in to a dangerous fantasy? I mean, I'm learning to tell those things apart, but still. It's a whole thing with feelings, thoughts, and experiences that stir everything back up.

Part of me really thinks that opening the door to dating has been a contributing factor to the wave of urges/sensitivity to triggers that I've been feeling lately. But, obviously, closing that door is a step backward, not forward. So the task now is to level up and learn to live in a new way with the dating door wide open.

I'm just grateful that you even read my journal. I appreciate you, Blue. That fact that you unfairly kicked yourself is just testament to how much you care about others. Thank you for all that you do for me. I consider you a friend even though I've never met you.

And with regard to her not having called you back yet, quit's absolutely right. Another reason could be is that she is interested but she's spoken to her friends about it and they've told her not to call back just yet and she's playing it cool. Whatever the reason, use it as a chance to level up in life. This is a fantastic opportunity for personal growth.

If you ever want some sunshine and a break, you're always welcome here in AZ. Wife and I now in the process of buying our house - it could be any day now, and we will gladly put you up.

Thank you so much, Adventurer. Who knows if life will ever put us at each other's crossroads in person, but I really appreciate the kindness. Maybe I'll have to put AZ on my list for sooner rather than later. Sometimes, I imagine all of us renting a conference room in a hotel somewhere and just having some kind of mini-convention. Maybe someday, maybe never. One thing's for sure, you're all wonderful strangers who have left a lasting, positive mark on my life.

Today was loooong

I should have been in bed like an hour and a half ago, but I got home late from a church thing and just want to make sure that I stick to the healthy routine (even if it means a little less sleep...tomorrow is Saturday anyway).

It was a decent day, not much happened. Still no word from Ph (insert shrugging guy here). Like I said before, I have definitely been getting interested vibes from her, so it seems strange that it would all just end suddenly. But stranger things have happened. I'll just keep practicing radical acceptance. Whatever happens will happen, and my feelings are okay and I don't need to get tied up in the stories that I make up about things.

I feel like there's something else I was going to say, but I'm drawing a big blank right now...guess that means it's very much time for bed.

Take care, everyone!
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: brandnewself on November 09, 2019, 03:46:39 AM
Hey Blue, I was wondering what you meant by "I called her and left a message". Is it a voicemail or SMS? I remember you said you don't use smartphones so maybe somehow the message was missed/ignored by her. Personally I never used voicemail and I don't check SMS either now. She probably has seen your phone call record but there is a chance that she was just waiting for you to call again? There is even the possibility that she is unhappy about how you didn't ask her out again for a long time and she just wanted to see if you will push a bit more.
Sometimes we don't have to be too gentleman about it. We tend to think that girls are always rational and they will decide if they will call us back when they see it. Nope sometimes you gotta call again and there is nothing wrong with it. You're not calling her endlessly, you're just calling her twice or three times which is completely normal. If after that, she still won't answer then the message is clear. There are tons of reasons that she didn't reply and it might have nothing to do with you.
Title: Re: Not gonna go it alone
Post by: quitforeverthenwin2 on November 09, 2019, 08:33:46 AM

Part of me really thinks that opening the door to dating has been a contributing factor to the wave of urges/sensitivity to triggers that I've been feeling lately. But, obviously, closing that door is a step backward, not forward. So the task now is to level up and learn to live in a new way with the dating door wide open.

Yeah, agree with all this and the part about when is it a healthy desire/ when is it an urge... Funny some of this same stuff popping up for me a little, even stress aside, dating, desire for girls can lead to urges. Unfortunately I think that general sexuality gets a little wrapped up in the addiction. So being attracted to a girl, even in a healthy way, for me at least, can also lead to urges. Being turned on in anyway can be a trigger. So it is a transition period. We have to stop all the bad PMO shit and just tough out (intelligently) rewiring to real life/ girls while that healthy network gets less and less at