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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: Decaptare 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: Decaptare 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.