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Journals => Ages 20-29 => Topic started by: brandnewself on January 19, 2019, 07:20:29 AM

Title: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on January 19, 2019, 07:20:29 AM
Hi guys, I'm almost 24 now and I've been addicted to porn since I was 16 years old. I'm too numb to even feel how terrifying it is to have my 8 years wasted on porn. There were several times that I was close to overcoming this addiction. These streaks were mainly before 2015 and since then I'm unable to truly committed to beat this addiction. In some sense, I gave up a long time ago although from time to time I would write a journal stating that I'd try again. It's literally learned helplessness that destroyed my confidence. Every time I wrote something, deep inside I didn't believe a word I said. I only wrote these things down to somehow make myself feel better. Promising not to do it again became another addiction in itself. I turn to porn to escape from life and then I turn to these "fake promises" to comfort myself.
All the time I told myself, it's ok to watch porn now because your life is too stressful, wait until this semester ends and then you will be more motivated to beat this thing. It never happened. It's all about the perspective.
I used to use yourbrainrebalanced but there aren't many active members now and I feel like if I want to stay in this fight, I need as much support as I could. So I opened this account here and hope to be a part of the community.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: blueRaccoon on January 19, 2019, 08:15:27 AM
fight and win!! no matter how many times you have been knocked down, you'll stand up again to fight back!! Keep fighting and you'll win.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Decapitare on January 19, 2019, 11:58:54 PM
2019 is the year!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Reborn16 on January 20, 2019, 02:08:54 AM
Welcome mate, the only time to change a bad habit is today, no better year than now!

I'm 29 and avoided dating and lots of social scenes in my 20s, don't make my mistakes... There's no memorable porn where I think back "yeah that was worth having no energy and confidence for my goals"... It was all just procrastination. I did virtually the same thing with video games and junk food.

If I could say one thing, consider porn as a bad habit rather than an addiction. The latter sounds hard to give up, addiction is difficult by nature. While the former, a bad habit, is merely something shit we should prioritise giving up as soon as we can. Like fast food, or buying apple products.

Best of luck!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 20, 2019, 07:56:07 PM
Welcome! I haven't been around long, but I've already found some good support here. This is our year--let's do it!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on January 21, 2019, 05:06:03 PM
Thank you guys all for the kind reply! You guys are great ;D
I'm quite busy these days at the end of the semester in my university. It's a bit frustrating sometimes when I can't focus too well. Whenever I sit down, I would start thinking about all the unrelated stuff instead of doing my work. I really miss the time (in high school) when I wouldn't be distracted so easily. Besides that, I constantly feel sorry for myself and blame my surroundings for it although I'm the main reason why I'm not so satisfied with my life.
I will take this reboot as an exercise to build my mental toughness. There are tons of people who go through difficulties in life yet they don't complain. I have to learn from them.
It's going to be hard as I'm so used to escaping from reality, but this time I'll stand my ground.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on January 26, 2019, 04:54:30 AM
The past few days have been very busy for me. That's why I didn't find the energy to post here. I was working on a very hard assignment and almost gave up. Eventually I found out the solution so it was quite rewarding. However, right after I finished it I felt empty inside. I was anxious and expected to be bored and do nothing else at night. In the end I went out with friends to downtown and I did have fun. On the one hand, I really love hanging out with my friends and I truly believe that they are the main reason why I can still enjoy my life. On the other hand, not being able to have fun on my own is a big issue that I have to fix. My friends won't be available 24/7 for me and I have to live my life no matter what. When I was a kid, I could just sit there and read books for a whole day and feel satisfied. Unfortunately I've lost that ability now. My mind is like a non-stop train that never gives me a break.
If I want to tackle this addiction I need to do better. Meditation is great but it's just a tool, I need to find more rewarding things to do. Learning something could be a good idea. Somehow I associated learning something as a very painful thing to do. This mindset is quite bad honestly. I need to focus on the process instead of the result, otherwise I'll never be able to reach my true potential.
Right now I'm studying abroad and I want to improve my language proficiency (Not English). Most people here speak English fluently so I'm not fully incentivized to learn their language. Nevertheless, I know it's crucial for me to learn it because I plan to do business between my home country and here in the future. Speaking English with the people here makes me an outsider. I didn't do well when it comes to learning this language. Now I want to plan for it carefully and then log my process and stay motivated.
Maybe I should also learn an instrument. Guitar? But I'm afraid that I will give up because I'm not sure I would be fully devoted to it.
Either way, I need to develop a hobby or something just to get outta my head.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 26, 2019, 09:11:49 PM
I like the idea of doing something to get out of your head. I know things like that have been helpful for me. I know writing has been helpful for me: I spend some time each morning getting my thoughts out on paper. It helps me deal with things more productively and to get it all out of my head. Journaling through my recovery both here and in a personal journal has been really helpful for me
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on January 27, 2019, 10:08:25 AM
I relapsed after 7 days. It always goes like this, I have a lot of cravings and usually I'm able to get through it but end up being not productive. In the evening I would feel bad for not achieving anything during the day and then give in to the second wave of cravings. I knew exactly what was going to happen, I knew how I was going to rationalize all this but I just couldn't prevent it. It's like someone else wrote the script for me and I had to act according to this.
Once someone said reboot is like systematic project management in which we have to take care of a lot of things. Missing one thing could destroy the whole project. I should learn how to manage my reboot better.
Craving is a bitch but what gets me is always my inability to deal with stress and hopelessness. If I had firmly believed that urges come and go and life would be great without porn I probably wouldn't have given in.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Rakses on January 27, 2019, 11:50:42 AM
I am with you man. Let's do it ! :)
Much Love!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 27, 2019, 07:01:20 PM
I know the whole point of what we're doing is not to relapse, but they're also a part of the process. It's not all bad if you can learn from what went wrong this time. As much as I hate relapses and feel bad after, I've always learned something about myself and my recover after messing up.

You might relapse, but it's progress if you're not relapsing for exactly the same reason as last time. Keep on keeping on!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Reborn16 on January 28, 2019, 01:57:35 AM
You can use relapses to benefit your recovery

If you relapse:

Identify the issue/s that lead to relapse, and do what you can to meet that challenge in the future.

Only through relapse, did I learn that my life needed many changes. Porn has been described as a symptom of a life that is not as fulfilling as we wish, rather than being the one and only cause.

I relapsed and realised I spent too much time online...
I relapsed and realised I did not exercise enough...
I relapsed and realised I was socially isolated...

Change these, whichever they may be for you, and the reasoning used to go back to the old habit is significantly diminished.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on January 28, 2019, 07:47:09 AM
Thank you guys. You're right, I should focus on what to learn from my mistakes. Dwelling on a relapse and feeling defeated is a killer of motivation. Yesterday after my relapse I wrote down on a paper why I wanted to quit porn and what my life would be like without porn. It was quite helpful for me as it reveals how much I want porn gone from my life.
I think the main reason of any of my relapses is stress management. I'm always stressed about assignments, exams and other things to do in life. Whenever I'm not making a good progress, I tend to get anxious and stressed. Then I turn to porn for relief. The relapse would diminish my productivity and motivation and I would be stressed again. It's really a bad vicious cycle that has been here for years and I have to do something about it. Another problem is my chance of finding a girlfriend now is minimal and this also makes me feel bad. The reason for this is I'm studying abroad and the culture difference is huge. I don't have problems socializing with local people but finding a girlfriend is another story. There aren't many girls from my country here either.
Although finding a girlfriend isn't solely dependent on me, I could still try to manage my life better. These days I've been thinking about adopting a healthier lifestyle. I consume way too much meat and don't have a good workout/eating/sleep routine. I think I will start from here. I could be more productive and manage my emotion better if I'm not always tired from a shitty lifestyle. I will close my browser and do this now.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Rakses on January 28, 2019, 10:14:30 AM
Ay brandnew. We'll be good strong and sexy soon you will see ;P I recommend you to start meditate everyday. Although there is small chance that it will destroy your addiction to porn it will make you more happy and peacefull about your life no matter what happens in it. I started one and a half year ago and i cannot express how much mental and physical benefits it gave me. Definetly worth giving it a chance. :)
I was doing meditation called Isha Kryia at the beggining but you can use any other proven method.
Cheers and let the nofap be with you man  ;D
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 28, 2019, 07:26:52 PM
That's the spirit! This isn't just about cutting porn out of lives. It's about improving every aspect of our lives and really healing from the inside. Stick with it, friend. We'll get it in time!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on January 29, 2019, 04:28:13 PM
Thank you Rakses for the advice. I always wanted to do meditation but I was unable to be consistent with it. I know it has a lot of benefits so I'll try to be more serious about it. For now my most important goal is to get my lifestyle straight. Meditation does require some mental power and I find it hard to do it when I'm tired. I know they don't really conflict each other that much but I don't want to make too many commitments at one time. I'll do it casually when I feel like it.

And thank you BlueHeronFan for the encouragement, we will heal as we keep putting effort in it.

Today was not bad, I went to the library with friends since morning and did a lot of work. I could do better but I'm satisfied with what I've done today. I already made my draft workout plan yesterday and I'll adjust it to make it better as I go along. Tomorrow morning I'll make some stir-fried rice coupled with a salad to start my day. Then at 0900 my friend will pick me up to go to the library together. I'm quite tired now from the studies and lack of food during the day. I'll bring some healthy snacks tomorrow for the studies. I also did some stretches and it felt really good. I need to incorporate this into my daily life as my body is really tensed.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on January 29, 2019, 11:34:35 PM
Yes! I know that my experience with porn has meant treating my body badly and then feeling bad about my body. I've tried to take much better care of my body in the last year or so, to make it my friend rather than my enemy, and it's made a big difference.

Keep on moving forward!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on January 30, 2019, 04:49:21 PM
Today was very good. Tried my best to be productive. I studied with friends and also video called my friend back at home. The only downside is that I was too tired to go to the gym in the end. I'm just going to sleep now. Tomorrow is another day.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on February 02, 2019, 06:43:16 AM
These days I've been preparing for my exam. Honestly I feel stressed and my addiction is trying to find its way back to me. Porn images pop up in my head quite frequently and I was tempted to just give in several times. I need to start implementing techniques I learned to dissolve these cravings. I stumbled upon a TED video a few days ago and it talked about how mindfully observing your cravings can help you quit addictions. I saw this video several years ago I think but I kinda forgot it. Now I just rewatched it and I think it makes a lot of sense. Every time I have a craving, I tend to try to run away from it but never did I succeed once. By mindfully observing cravings I can isolate myself from them as if I'm a bystander. I used to see a lot of techniques but always forgot about them very soon. I need to internalize these tools to make use of them.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 02, 2019, 08:07:41 PM
That's an interesting thing that I've been working on doing too. I'm not very good at just letting thoughts and cravings pass over me. I hope you continue to have good success with it.

Good luck on exam prep. I'm in the middle of a stressful semester, so I know where you're coming from. Porn might make you forget the stress for a little bit, but it will only make it worse because you'll be that much more behind when it's done with you.

Keep up the good work--and don't forget to take some quiet time to refresh and recharge!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on February 03, 2019, 03:23:48 AM
Thank you for the kind words BlueHeronFan.
Unfortunately I did relapse in the evening. There was this cute exchange student that I like a lot but she has a boyfriend. After meeting with her yesterday I felt a bit down. I guess this and the stress of the exams led to the relapse. I was really close to just going to bed but I made the wrong decision in the end.
And I gotta admit that I relapsed again in the morning. The chaser effect gets me every time.
Now I need to clear my mind and think how to prevent the next relapse.
What I did right in the past few days was studying with friends and having a relatively regular schedule. I was also actively looking for help under cravings.
However my emotional instability coupled with the exam just made me turn to porn again. This is really tricky because I can't just convince myself that the exam is not important and I can't control how I feel about girls.
What I can do is to be mindful about it, I guess after all I need to practice meditation seriously. During the day I was mindful about my cravings and I didn't give in. In the evening I just led my feelings control me although I could've applied the same principle here. I didn't have many cravings to be honest but I just wanted to feel better and I went to the only solution I had.
If I can reinforce one technique at a time, I will have a lot of tools to battle this addiction. Now I just want to practice this mindfulness whenever I feel stressed, anxious, sad, angry or cravings. I'll also update here how well I do in this regard.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 03, 2019, 07:24:54 PM
Definitely! Sorry to hear  you relapsed, but glad that you're already learning from it and making plans for the future. You're doing a lot of things right, so don't give up on them just because of a bump in the road. I know I always need that reminder: slipping up does not mean I've been on the wrong track, just that I'm not to the end of the road yet.

Tomorrow's a new day, and you're making real progress. 2019 has barely begun, so there's still plenty of time to make it our year.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on February 23, 2019, 08:01:57 AM
I feel really bad that I didn't come to the forum and post anything in the past 20 days. It was quite a disaster. I kept relapsing and basically lost all my progress. Yesterday I binged four times!! Now I'm super stressed and I feel stuck again.
I just tried to meditate for 10 min, it helped a bit.
PMO makes me feel like I'm a hypocrite by doing what I promised not to do.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: blueRaccoon on February 24, 2019, 07:02:31 AM
I'm glad you can back to the forum. We started this journey on the same day and I was looking forward to listening to your updates.
Don't worry about the relapses much, things would get all right you just have to gain the balance and march ahead with momentum. Porn addiction is a constant struggle with the animal part and more ration part of our brains. Our rational brain makes us commit to the right things but as we have given more priority to our animal brain during the addiction, we do not always follow what our rational brain says and the reboot is all about listening and following rational brain. It's okay that you feel hypocrite (we all do) but don't confuse your addiction with your true self if it wasn't for your addiction it would be much easier to stay true to your words.
Also feeling all bad about the relapse is our brain's way to trick ourselves in giving in to the feelings of guilt which cause further relapses, feeling bad also makes you think that you don't want this and you'll do something about it. If you really do something about it, then the cycle starts to break and if you don't it keeps on repeating itself. Identify this cycle and break out of it.
Stay strong brother, we are all in this together and we will get through it.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on February 24, 2019, 03:59:25 PM
Thank you blueRaccoon for the kind words and support!
Learning to be mindful about my thoughts is crucial right now. I can't indulge in my thoughts anymore as it obviously does me no good.
Tomorrow I will meet with my professor to discuss about my research, something I've been really stressed about for a while as I have no idea how to do it. I know it's not supposed to be that hard for a master's degree because so many people have done it but I just feel really uncomfortable to research on something independently (even with the help of my professor). These passive thoughts are the killer of my happiness and I somehow can't get over it. I guess mostly it's because I'm used to cramming before exams and I never learned how to study properly on the long run.
I will meditate a bit, eat something and then go to bed now.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on February 24, 2019, 08:14:18 PM
Sorry to hear you hit a rough patch, but it's good that you're back here. We're stronger together, I truly believe that.

I know what you mean about research being stressful. I'm in the middle of figuring out my own research project(s) for school, and it can really cause anxiety. Just remember, you wouldn't be in that program if they didn't think you'd be successful--it's possible that your professor has more confidence in you than you do. You got this!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on March 01, 2019, 05:41:16 AM
Thanks BlueHeronFan, indeed after talking with my professor I feel much more relieved. It's clear to me what I need to do now.
Yesterday, I told my roommate about my porn addiction. I was hesitant if I should tell him but eventually I did. We talked about it for like 90 min and he understood my issues. He gave me some suggestions such as focusing on one problem at a time and maybe I should seek psychological help. Now that I have him by my side, it would be easier to deal with cravings because I could simply talk to him about it. But I'm still not sure if I should tell my parents about it, because first they don't necessarily understand this issue and second I don't want to burden them with it. Since I'm studying abroad anyway they don't really need to know.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 02, 2019, 09:38:19 PM
Good to hear!

It can be tough to decide who needs to know. I haven't told my parents, probably for similar reasons to yours. But I have confided in extended family and in church leaders. It's important to have someone to talk to, someone who can be around to help strengthen you. But deciding who those people will be is probably up to you.

Good luck with your continuing studies! It's a busy time of year for me at school, but I signed up for it--so I guess I shouldn't complain!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on March 09, 2019, 08:22:57 AM
Thank you BlueHeronFan, it's been 9 days since I told my roommate and other friends about my addiction and I think it was a great decision that I made. Several times that I had cravings, I would just leave my phone and laptop in my roommate's room or do some chores (cleaning or cooking for both of us).
I also tried to start going out more often. Two days ago my friends and I went to another city to party, it was really fun and I also got to talk to a girl there. I noticed she was looking over at me quite often at the entrance to the club. After we got inside, while I was thinking about talking to her, she came to me and started the conversation. Although it turns out she is much older than me but it was a nice experience. I want to practice approaching and talking with girls more from now on so I'll get used to it. Eventually I need to train myself to appreciate real life girls rather then pixels.
Next week I'll also have a short weekend trip with some friends and I'm looking forward to it.
Regarding research, I still procrastinate a lot. I think I need to write down my plan before starting, or else I would be stressed.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 09, 2019, 07:38:10 PM
That's all great! I've been reading about how overcoming addiction is really about becoming a healthier person overall, and it sounds like you're definitely working on that.

I'm also trying to figure out how to plan and work more effectively with less distractions and procrastination. Let me know if you figure something out that's really helpful (and I'll do the same)!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Do or die on March 09, 2019, 11:11:41 PM
We are fighting with cycle of this addiction.
So we need to weeken the pathways of this addiction in our brain.
So don't be so sad after relapse. Keep in mind that every 10-12 days reboot making the pathways week.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on March 19, 2019, 10:03:31 AM
Thanks Do or die!

Haven't posted here for a while. I've been checking the forum daily but didn't feel like writing here because I found out that sometimes writing here can have reverse effect. Like sometimes if I write here I feel motivated and I'm determined to beat this addiction this time, my subconscious mind would trick me to sabotage myself later somehow...

Now I'm just doing a check-in and want to remind myself that I'm walking on thin ice daily and I should never let my guards down. I was looking for costume for a costume party today and I got triggered by some costumes in the shop so I need to be cautious today.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 20, 2019, 08:21:02 PM
Hey, you do what you need to do--we're all on similar but unique paths. It's good to hear from you, but it's also good that you're aware of how posting does or doesn't affect you.

Just keep going. We're only really done for when we give up
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on March 21, 2019, 08:52:31 AM
Hi BlueHeronFan, thank you for replying here often. It's great to see you as well. I believe it's called moral licensing which describes the phenomenon that people tend to allow themselves to do something bad after doing something good first. This doesn't affect me much when I'm determined to not watch porn, but once I got a solid streak going on I tend to forget all the shit porn used to do to me and go right back to it.
I can see the benefits of PMO free now after 21 days. For example, I don't have these little depression episodes after drinking or a busy day. I might feel tired but it's totally physical exhaustion.  Before whenever I feel tired I would fall depressed and feel hopeless. I also cut alcohol and coffee significantly. I try to not drink alcohol during the week unless it's a holiday and I have to hang out with friends. I'm also drinking only one coffee a day.
I still need to do better regarding my research though because I'm not so into it. Yesterday I met with my professor and he told me to start reading a book and he set too high of a standard for me. I was relieved to hear it to be honest, now I don't have this pressure of not living up to his expectation.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 21, 2019, 08:24:16 PM
Sure thing! Replying helps me too.

I know what you mean about moral licensing. I have heard of that before, and I know I definitely let the little things slip more easily when I have a longer streak going. Stay strong, my friend!

Also good to hear that your professor realized he was being to intense. Keep at it! I have an important meeting with some professors tomorrow that I'm a little nervous about, but it's all part of the process. And just think, before we know it, we'll be healthier and graduated!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on April 27, 2019, 05:17:29 AM
More than one month since I posted here.
I managed to go almost 30 days in March and then ran right back to porn and was unable to stop the bad cycle since then. I started running from reality again and barely did anything regarding my studies. Every day I felt anxious and ashamed of myself. I feel like I lost hope again and I'm scared that I won't ever get out of this. Not having a girlfriend is one thing, but not functioning at all in my daily life is devastating. I'm living abroad and I should talk to my parents often because they miss me, but I barely call them because I feel guilty. They sent me abroad to study in university and to learn how to live independently. I pretty much failed both. I'm not studying well and I'm just wasting their money on alcohol and fun instead of on working on myself and building a better future. Also I feel ashamed whenever my professor asks me if I'm making progress. I wouldn't feel so bad if he is an asshole or I'm just too stupid to do it. On the contrary, he is really patient and helped me a lot. I simply didn't do what I had to do. I'm sick of the life porn has me live in.
Porn is ruining my life because it goes against everything I wanted myself to be. It makes me depressed, anxious and hate myself. It causes me to hurt people that I care about. Even worse, it brainwashes me to always have instant pleasures without having to work for it. Porn is my drug and I overdosed.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: jixu on April 27, 2019, 07:29:56 AM

In fact maybe you have indeed gained more "education" from your living abroad experience than you think.  You have learned that we often deceive friends and family (in addition to ourselves) and waste opportunities.  The good side is that you have personal awareness and that puts you way ahead of the game.  As for now, on the academic side, salvage what you can and finish hard.  Sometimes these semester abroad programs are a little lighter anyway.  Don't blow this out of proportion but don't forget it either-yes, you screwed up, but it is not the end of the story.

All your parents care about is that you are safe and enjoying yourself.  Just a picture and a short message here and there is worth a gold mine to them.  You don't have to have a two hour call.  But, don't blow them off, give them some stuff, even if it is just a short "hello I'm with A in B doing C " type of message.  I myself had good decent parents, but some people didn't-honor them my friend.

You can recover from this; believe me, I know all about this type of deal.  But get to work on it today-now!

 

 


         
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 27, 2019, 09:20:46 PM
Hey, glad to see you're back, but I'm sorry to hear things have been so rough lately.

The life of porn is not a good life, you know it. I know it. We all know it. But the good thing is that porn doesn't have define our lives forever. The important thing is that we don't give up.

I've heard before that there is a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt makes us feel bad so that we try to do better in the future. Shame makes us feel bad and makes us feel like it isn't worth trying to get better because we've already messed up too much. On some level, it sounds like you're dealing more with shame than with guilt: your bad feelings are pushing you lower rather than higher.

One of the things that porn does is it isolates us, cuts us off from other people, mostly by making us feel like we aren't worthy of them. But that's not true. Of course you're worthy of being connected to the people around you and the people who care about you. Forget the idea that people would like you less if they only knew about your addiction. In my experience, people who find out about my addiction somehow respect me more for dealing with something like this and not giving up.

I'm writing too much: I don't want this to seem like I'm lecturing you. Mostly, I just want you to know that we're here for you and that porn is garbage, but we can beat it one step at a time.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on June 14, 2019, 06:28:19 AM
I'm sitting in my room, trying to type something that I want to say. Nothing. My head feels like an empty ball. Things really got out of hand. I've been binging on porn for a whole month now, EVERY SINGLE DAY. I've reached a point where I'm indifferent to my situation now. I know I want to quit but I don't feel it. I remember a few years back, every time I relapse I would feel bad about it and try to quit again. Although I never succeeded for good, I could go for 30, 40 days without porn. I was determined and hopeful. Now I'm totally lost, I can't feel anything. I feel nothing when I listen to music. I have no interest in almost anything. Not curious about anything in life. My mind is always elsewhere. How can I keep going like this? I'm not suicidal, I'm not even depressed but I genuinely feel nothing. Is it my brain's safe mechanism? To just shut down my feelings? It's probably just too much porn. The rewarding system in my body is ruined. Simple as that.
Maybe it's not that bad. Maybe it will be fine if I learn to cope with it. But how? I failed so many times already. How can I expect something different this time?
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Lero on June 14, 2019, 07:36:28 AM
Coincidentally, I had an episode like this yesterday: "Can I actually do this and quit P for good?" Sometimes we are confused. We try but things don't seem to go well. This is where we get lost and question our ability to fight this poison. I've been binging a lot this last month (I started this new attempt on May 18 and in 4 days it's going to be a month), not every single day, with 4-5 days in between. The thing, I've been repeating the same mistakes. I knew what to do but, for some reason, I kept failing in the same way. I asked myself: "What the fuck is going on? I know what to do but why I don't do it?" This is where I started questioning myself and if I could actually do it.

If you binge everyday, PMO is like a painkiller, it numbs you and it makes you feel nothing. I've been there and I know what it's like. After a binge, at the end of the day I feel numb. I binged everyday for years until I learned about P addiction and started my years long fight. Yes, it's been years, and I've always had moments when I questioned my ability to actually quit this. After years, it really feels like I could die like this. I'm not saying I will die like this, but it feels like this. So the idea is: It's normal to feel numb when you binge on P everyday. Everybody should experience this. You numb your dopamine receptors.

Now, about what to do... The only thing that gives me hope is following the plan. In the past, I never really had a plan. All I wanted was to go without P forever, I relapsed, binged and reset back to day 1. But now I actually do have a plan. That's why I've considered May 18 as the first day of this "new attempt", new attempt because I started with a plan. I've learned a lot about myself in those years and I've learned a lot from people's advice around the Internet. I finally told myself that I had a plan and started following it. Like this, I could avoid beating myself up and getting super depressed, desperate and miserable after relapses. A mind in this state is a good facilitator for P addiction going out of control. I've learned that there is nothing good in thinking like that. It's normal to feel down after a relapse. People feel down sometimes but it's not a good idea to go lower than this and feel miserable and depressed. You must not allow yourself to reach that place because, if you are like this, you will never beat this addiction. If you relapsed and feel down, that's all right. Spend some time thinking about what made you fail. Write it down if you need to and start again tomorrow. If you only allow yourself to feel down and not super depressed, starting again tomorrow will feel normal. I felt down yesterday but today I'm back at it and I feel all right. I'm not happy or anything but I don't feel miserable about it. We have to trust the plan and follow it because only the plan will save us. We won't get anywhere without a plan but the plan might not work flawlessly all the time. However, the plan is still going. This is the only way to feel hope, by trusting the plan. Then you read other people's journals and see they've been through the same things but now their streak is in double digits which only reassures us that it's possible. It's not impossible to quit P, that's the truth.

Anyway, man, I don't know what I've been doing with this text, maybe it's a bit of rambling.

Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 14, 2019, 06:49:19 PM
Hey man! Porn really is like a painkiller. I know I've always used it to dull my feelings when things got stressful or disappointing. My worst binges have always come when I have felt hopeless about the future. With porn, I could switch off those feelings and disappear into the false pleasure of PMO.

Plus, in the last few months, I've been working really hard at recovery, but in the stress of school and life and everything else, I have been feeling numb, even without PMO. One of the things I have been learning about myself is that I can do the right thing even when I don't feel like it. You may not feel like fighting this addiction emotionally, but you can fight it intellectually. You know what you need to do, but it might take pushing past some feelings (or non-feelings) in order to do it.

I'm really sorry to hear this past month has been out of control for you. Progress isn't linear, but, no matter how hard it gets, you're only done for if you give up. There's a lot of 2019 left: it could still be the year to make a big step towards beating this! And we'll be here with you every step of the way!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Lero on June 15, 2019, 05:09:57 AM
Hey man! Porn really is like a painkiller. I know I've always used it to dull my feelings when things got stressful or disappointing. My worst binges have always come when I have felt hopeless about the future. With porn, I could switch off those feelings and disappear into the false pleasure of PMO. 

Yes, this is an important step: Understanding that we might be one of those people who use PMO like a "painkiller". I've always said that it acts somehow like heroin. You know, relaxing feeling, euphoria? People say the same about heroin. One day I told myself: "Man, this shit is like heroin. I'm using it in the same way people use heroin, for self-medication." About the future, I asked someone the same thing: "How could I know what to do best for my future?" The idea is, we don't know the future, it's just a concept. We have only present and past. The present is what we live now, the past happened and can't be changed (that's what some people have to understand: Crying about the past won't change it). The best thing we can do is trying to do the best things today. And like this, everyday trying to do what's best for us, we will get to a place that we envisioned before. We know what we want to become but only doing things everyday we can realize it, you know what I'm saying? Now, if you don't know what you want to become, this is a problem. You have to look inside you and discover it. Because, without a vision, you don't grow to much. You might even go nowhere. I look at some people, they are in the same place. They haven't evolved too much (spiritually, intellectually, in career etc. whatever you want to call it), because they've never really done anything, just passing the days. I'm not like that and I'd hate to live like that.

Quote
Plus, in the last few months, I've been working really hard at recovery, but in the stress of school and life and everything else, I have been feeling numb, even without PMO. One of the things I have been learning about myself is that I can do the right thing even when I don't feel like it. You may not feel like fighting this addiction emotionally, but you can fight it intellectually. You know what you need to do, but it might take pushing past some feelings (or non-feelings) in order to do it.

Even if it sucks, feeling down sometimes, feeling overwhelmed, numb whatever it's natural, at the end of the day. People feel like this sometimes. And, at the same time, people have the duty to deal with it without self-medication. No alcohol, drugs, video games, P etc. to deal with life. That's what we need. We are here trying to do that.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on June 18, 2019, 06:16:10 AM
Coincidentally, I had an episode like this yesterday: "Can I actually do this and quit P for good?" Sometimes we are confused. We try but things don't seem to go well. This is where we get lost and question our ability to fight this poison...
Hey Lero, thanks for your reply. I understand what you mean by making a plan. For me, the biggest issue has always been not following it through. I would make a plan and stick to it for a few days and then just completely forget about it. I tried it so many times already and I still haven't learned the right way to do it. Some people say you should have everything planned in advance and make the plan systematically. Some people say you should focus on one thing at a time and don't expect to change much all at once. I guess both are correct but we need to find what works the best for us personally. I personally tend to overthink a lot and always try to find out the "perfect" plan. It never worked out well. The funny thing is, although I know I have this problem intellectually, I couldn't help myself but to do it over and over. This is where my helplessness comes from. I simply don't know what to do anymore.
One of the things I have been learning about myself is that I can do the right thing even when I don't feel like it. You may not feel like fighting this addiction emotionally, but you can fight it intellectually. You know what you need to do, but it might take pushing past some feelings (or non-feelings) in order to do it.
Great insight you got here BlueHeronFan! This is one of the things I need to work on. I always find myself trapped into my feelings and unable to get out. I'm really happy that you could manage to do this because it's truly impressive. This is also the core reason behind procrastination and a lot of my problems. I will try my best.
Right now I'm sitting in the library and trying to write something I need to submit, but I'm procrastinating again so I decided to come to the forum to change up my mind a bit. I'll write down some simple goals for today and hopefully it will help me get something done at least.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Lero on June 18, 2019, 06:54:03 AM
Coincidentally, I had an episode like this yesterday: "Can I actually do this and quit P for good?" Sometimes we are confused. We try but things don't seem to go well. This is where we get lost and question our ability to fight this poison...
Hey Lero, thanks for your reply. I understand what you mean by making a plan. For me, the biggest issue has always been not following it through. I would make a plan and stick to it for a few days and then just completely forget about it. I tried it so many times already and I still haven't learned the right way to do it. Some people say you should have everything planned in advance and make the plan systematically. Some people say you should focus on one thing at a time and don't expect to change much all at once. I guess both are correct but we need to find what works the best for us personally. I personally tend to overthink a lot and always try to find out the "perfect" plan. It never worked out well. The funny thing is, although I know I have this problem intellectually, I couldn't help myself but to do it over and over. This is where my helplessness comes from. I simply don't know what to do anymore.

Yeah, I know how this works. In the past, I didn't really have a plan. I would read some things then think I knew what to do only to fail and question if I actually knew what to do. I think so too that we need to find the right way that works for us for recovery. In my case, I got new hope and new vision after putting a plan on paper. It helps me see that I'm going somewhere and all the failures are not in vain, because this is a long term plan and it won't always work flawlessly. Of course, the plan could not be complete from the start, hence the long term vision where I will adjust stuff, add stuff and discard what doesn't work. It's like some obstacles that I have to jump over but the road leads all the way to the recovery despise the obstacles. However, sometimes it might be too soon to come to conclusions. I've been following this plan for a month with little success but every steps moves you forward. My problems was that I knew what to do but, for some reason, I still fucked up. This is what I have to figure out. And for you, if you lose your interest in the plan after a few days, you have to find a way to stick to it. We have to become friends with the plan. I don't see how someone could really do this without a plan. I know from experience than fucking around made me end up a few years after that in the same fucking place. That's when I had to put a plan on paper and join this place.

Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 18, 2019, 05:49:55 PM
I'll write down some simple goals for today and hopefully it will help me get something done at least.

That's a great idea! I've gotten out of the habit of writing down little goals for each day, but I need to get back at it. Have for a plan for each day has been super helpful for my recovery and also for just getting things done and being productive.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on July 24, 2019, 10:38:53 AM
My brain is really fogged. I want to say many things but I'm unable to express them clearly. I guess I will just mumble whatever comes to my mind. It's been years since I started rebooting and it's not going well. Somehow I'm making it worse. The older I am, the more lost I am. At least a few years ago I was motivated to change. Now I feel like a dead person. I have no goals, I have no plan, I have no self discipline. Deep inside, I don't believe that I could achieve anything. What's even worse is I don't even want to achieve anything. This is how numb I am right now. Yesterday I was at a goodbye party of a friend of mine. A lot of people I know were there and I could see that they liked me around. Regardless, I don't feel worthy of love or even attention. I could behave as normal as I can and I know I'm doing a pretty good job. Everyone thinks I'm social and happy. Only I know how fucked up I am inside. Maybe some of my close friends also know because I told them. I can't believe how big an impact porn could have on my life. It's a huge pile of shit that I'm in. It stinks and it's suffocating. I remember when I was 16, I really liked who I was. I also had a great picture about what my future would look like. It's all gone now. How did I end up here? I never intended to be here.
I'm not suicidal in any way. I don't have depression either. I have a porn addiction though.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: squid on July 24, 2019, 10:56:23 AM
My brain is really fogged. I want to say many things but I'm unable to express them clearly. I guess I will just mumble whatever comes to my mind. It's been years since I started rebooting and it's not going well. Somehow I'm making it worse. The older I am, the more lost I am. At least a few years ago I was motivated to change. Now I feel like a dead person. I have no goals, I have no plan, I have no self discipline. Deep inside, I don't believe that I could achieve anything. What's even worse is I don't even want to achieve anything. This is how numb I am right now. Yesterday I was at a goodbye party of a friend of mine. A lot of people I know were there and I could see that they liked me around. Regardless, I don't feel worthy of love or even attention. I could behave as normal as I can and I know I'm doing a pretty good job. Everyone thinks I'm social and happy. Only I know how fucked up I am inside. Maybe some of my close friends also know because I told them. I can't believe how big an impact porn could have on my life. It's a huge pile of shit that I'm in. It stinks and it's suffocating. I remember when I was 16, I really liked who I was. I also had a great picture about what my future would look like. It's all gone now. How did I end up here? I never intended to be here.
I'm not suicidal in any way. I don't have depression either. I have a porn addiction though.

I find as I get distance from pmo my motivation and drive to do other things returns.  Keep going on the reboot!  You can do it
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 24, 2019, 11:02:25 PM
Hey, man, I don't want to minimize what you're feeling, but there's no shaming in having your recovery take time.

I feel like I'm doing pretty okay right now: I've been clean for a while, and I'm starting to develop a healthier self-image. But it's also been 10 years since the first time I started the journey of recovery. This stuff takes time, and the only way to recover is one day at a time. The important thing is to keep trying and to stay committed to recovery even when there are bumps in the road.

We're all here for you. Sorry things are rough, but they will get better, and we're here to help along the way!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on July 25, 2019, 04:38:49 PM
Thank you guys!
Yeah I also believe that motivation will come back as I move away from PMO. But it takes a lot of dedication and time to get to that point.
Today I was quite focused in the library. I genuinely felt good when I was working on my studies. In the evening, I played a bit of mobile game and I felt guilty as I wanted to push myself to study more. This over-expectation of myself has also been a problem in my life. I know it and I need to somehow make peace with myself even when I'm not being productive. Shaming myself is not going to get anything done.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on July 27, 2019, 05:08:38 PM
I had a birthday party yesterday and it was better than I expected. A lot of my friends came, around 30 people in total. I drank so much and apparently at some point I told my friend that I'm a big loser and he tried to comfort me. I didn't remember much of it and I was shocked this morning when he told me that. I guess I'm just deeply unsatisfied with myself subconsciously that I said it when I was drunk. My friend and I talked about this and he told me that I have to figure out a way to solve my issues. He is right. I'm responsible for myself and I need to find a solution.
I have a few free days now so I will make use of it. Tomorrow morning I will write a vision for myself and write down a plan for the next few days.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 27, 2019, 06:41:20 PM
That sounds like a good plan! I definitely think it's valuable to sit down and figure out what you really want in life. I don't know that you'll figure it out all at once (I've been working on it for a long time), but it is important to find some sense of purpose and to commit to doing things that help you feel like you're making progress and becoming your best self.

Pay attention to activities that you find fulfilling and enjoyable.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on August 11, 2019, 01:42:06 AM
Day 1 again.
Last reboot went on for 2 weeks. I'm on vacation and I was genuinely happy until I got caught in this "not doing anything" trap again and felt I needed a kick.
There are three types of cravings for me. 1. Feeling super horny and feeling all the blood down there. 2. Feeling like fapping but the feeling is not too strong (usually happens after relapses, chaser effect) 3. Not feeling horny at all, simply bored and empty inside and having nothing to do, then I would go for porn.

Surprisingly (Or not), the first type of craving is the easiest to get over with. I feel more determined to battle against this kind of feeling and could win at least 50/50. However, second and third are really hard for me. There isn't much to talk about chaser effect as it's quite natural. But the third one is the one I have to address as it's the one that kills my streak all the time. I could go on for a nice 20 days before giving in to this kind of craving. It would start with restlessness, and then binging on youtube and sometimes more extreme videos like car accidents or violence and eventually porn. It's my perfect recipe for relapse.

I'm not only addicted to porn but also all kinds of artificial stimulation. It doesn't have to be sexual at all.

Now I'm back to my home country and will start my internship tomorrow. A regular job will definitely help with my schedule and plan. I need to make use of this opportunity to have a regular life. It can help me establish some foundation for a routine life even after I go back to school.

Obviously I can't aim too high or else I will get disappointed. My biggest problem is I don't have any kind of hobby. Any! Planning to read books or learning languages or whatever seems like a perfect plan but it puts a high demand on my self-discipline which I don't have much left :'( The sad part is I don't know how to start a hobby even. I'm so used to doing nothing but watching videos or playing with my phone. Actually reading a book is something I do like, but I always get drawn to videos because they are bigger stimulants. Well, probably the best thing I can do is to just stick to "reading one page a day" of any book I like. I will feel tempted to do other things for sure but I have to start somehow. It's a fact and I gotta stop trying to find a shortcut. There is no shortcut. I have to start getting used to low stimulants environment. Only then will I be more motivated to start a hobby or something. Now everything kinda fades away compared to porn or extreme videos.

If you guys have any good suggestion, please let me know, I'd love to hear your opinion.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 11, 2019, 08:15:15 PM
A regular schedule definitely helps. I know it has been helpful for me to create a schedule for my days. Even when I don't actually have anything on my calendar (like work or school), if I sit down and write down what I'm going to do and when, I end up having more productive days with less time-wasting activities.

And definitely think more about starting small and being consistent with it. A couple years ago, I started doing really basic yoga because I realized that I wasn't getting any exercise and that was all I could handle. Just in the last few weeks, I have started doing some strength training. I couldn't have started there, but doing something every day for a while eventually built me up to the point where I could do something more rigorous.

Think about habits. Focus on doing things consistently and replacing old habits of addiction with new, healthier ones. That is something that has helped me a lot.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on August 18, 2019, 07:09:52 AM
Day 8
Thanks BlueHeronFan!
Last week I started my internship and a fixed schedule like this definitely helped with my reboot. I don't need to do anything intentionally to distract myself from porn thoughts because I'm occupied. In this regard, I'm doing ok. But I'm constantly worried about my master's research. Since I'm not really interested in the topic and I just want the degree, I really have no motivation to read any paper whatsoever. I have one year before I have to submit my thesis but I'm not working on it. What's worse is that I feel obligated to do my research for my professor instead of for myself. I feel guilty if I have to talk to him because I'm not making any progress. He is really nice to me and he basically allowed this long summer break without me applying for a vacation officially (the school might not allow it considering that they give me scholarship).
I'm supposed to do my research for myself but I'm ashamed of myself for not working on it because I don't want to disappoint my professor. This is not a healthy "motivation" to do my research and I don't know how to get out of this cycle. It's the most important thing right now but I'm not doing anything about it. It's taking a toll on me and causing a lot of anxiety.
I think I need to be honest with my professor if I'm not making progress. Also I should treat it like a duty if I can't force myself to like it. I'll just read something related to my research for 30 min every day. This way at least I can start to feel better about myself. I need to start. Simple as that, I don't need to ask for any progress right now. Just read for 30 min. I can do that. I can do that.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 19, 2019, 04:53:28 PM
Congrats on day 8!

That's a tough one, though. Sometimes we just have to get to work and figure out our motivations along the way. On some level, it might be better to make progress on the right thing for the wrong reasons than to sit around and do nothing until our motivations fix themselves. Plus, it's possible that you will find your own motivations once you get started.

Talking to your professor is probably a good idea. Maybe he can help you adjust your project so that it is more interesting to you. His job is to help you, so it can't hurt to let him know what's going on (especially if he is as nice as you say!)

Keep it going!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on August 22, 2019, 08:54:44 PM
Hey Blue thank you for your reply. I'm kinda fixed on my research direction so there isn't much to do regarding that. Honestly I probably wouldn't find something that interest me that much anyway because I don't want to do research at all. I just need to accept the fact that I'm not one of those academic materials and I just have to treat it as a job to finish in one year. Unfortunately I didn't succeed in this reading for 30 min everyday plan. I'm letting myself off for this week and starting from this weekend, I'll do it for 5 min every day. This sounds stupid because 5 min is nothing but I think that's my best bet if I want to start.

It's day 12. At home I feel more in peace and that's one of the reasons urges are not that strong. Besides that, I think I really overloaded my brain hard in the past year or two that I'm not tempted to use porn whatsoever physically. Psychologically, yes, the urges are still here. They're nagging me from time to time but so far I'm doing ok.
One of the issues I want to address inside is my push-over mentality or victim mentality. All the time I'm looking for someone else to make decisions for me and be responsible for me. I feel small and incompetent although I can learn things quickly. It's probably a low self-esteem issue but it might be changeable if I can adopt a better mindset. Part of me always wants to prove that I'm a worthy person yet I'm really scared of any failure or embarrassment. Subconsciously, I think, if I don't engage in something voluntarily then I don't need to be held responsible for the consequences. This could partly explain what happened in my research. From the beginning I never even tried to look for something that I might be interested in. I just waited and waited until my professor told me to do something. Also when I felt uncomfortable doing something I never said it because I'm a pushover. I just hoped things would work out but they didn't. They never will this way. We do things mainly for two reasons, either we "need to", or we "want to". Motivation is in charge of the latter but when we don't have the motivation, we have to rely on willpower, habit and a good mindset to do things. I can't always expect to have motivation so I have to work on other areas. I need to take matters in my own hand.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Lero on August 23, 2019, 09:18:01 AM
Discovering who you really are is the tool that will take someone out of the void. Discovering what qualities we have, what weaknesses, and letting people know that's who we really are and if they don't like it, we don't have to be friends. I wouldn't even want to be friends with people who don't like me the way I am.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 23, 2019, 05:56:36 PM
That's fair, research isn't for everyone. (I'm not sure it's for me either, honestly.) But it's not a waste if you learned something! And hey, knowing you have a job for a year (even one you aren't crazy about) isn't too bad either!

I really relate to your waiting for things to materialize. I have definitely spent a lot of time in my program so far just waiting for some kind of purpose to fall out of the sky and make sense to me. I'm starting to realize that I am going to have to make my own way if I want to get anywhere. I'm sure we'll figure this out with some time.

Congrats on 12 days! Keep it going!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on August 24, 2019, 01:58:33 AM
Discovering who you really are is the tool that will take someone out of the void. Discovering what qualities we have, what weaknesses, and letting people know that's who we really are and if they don't like it, we don't have to be friends. I wouldn't even want to be friends with people who don't like me the way I am.
Hi Lero, that's a greak way to look at it. I have to admit that fully accepting myself is very hard at the moment but I'm trying. I hope you're doing well in this regard.

That's fair, research isn't for everyone. (I'm not sure it's for me either, honestly.) But it's not a waste if you learned something! And hey, knowing you have a job for a year (even one you aren't crazy about) isn't too bad either!

I really relate to your waiting for things to materialize. I have definitely spent a lot of time in my program so far just waiting for some kind of purpose to fall out of the sky and make sense to me. I'm starting to realize that I am going to have to make my own way if I want to get anywhere. I'm sure we'll figure this out with some time.

Congrats on 12 days! Keep it going!
Thanks Blue, every time before I post something I would evaluate if I have some wise things to say. If not I would just wait for a few days until I have it.  To some people it could be a good habit but just now I realized this is also part of "waiting things to materialize" trick that I do to myself. I'm too "smart" in the sense that I always want the best payoff whenever I do something otherwise I wouldn't do it at all. This kind of perfectionism doesn't do me any good. I've lost too many opportunities in my life due to this stupid perfectionism. Now I'm just replying the first chance I got haha.

The biggest issue in perfectionism is that I would give up on something easily or not start it at all. Actually I knew I had this issue a few years back but I still get trapped in this. I need to be more mindful about it.

Today is Saturday so I got all the day for myself. To be honest this is what I fear most since I still don't have a concrete plan yet to utilize my time. I know I said I would make a plan many times by now so I hope this time it will truly work out.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: squid on August 24, 2019, 07:33:37 AM
Make a plan today and post it on your journal.  You can do it!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 24, 2019, 06:26:41 PM
That sounds like a better plan! If we always wait to do things until we can do them perfectly, we won't end up doing very much.

We learn by doing, and the more we do, the better we'll get. I know I'm always reluctant to get started on something when I don't already know exactly how it will work out, but that keeps me from doing a lot. I guess I just have to be more willing to get lost and keep trying.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on September 10, 2019, 12:08:22 AM
Thank you Squid and Blue for your encouragement!

It's porn free day 31. I Mo'ed once last week when I felt the urge and couldn't fall asleep. It was a relatively conscious decision to fap so that I wouldn't turn to porn. I knew I might experience some chaser effect the following days so I was very cautious and I made it through without porn or fapping. However, I'm still unable to utilize my after-work time for self-improvement. I decided to be not so strict with myself and tried my best to not shame myself. Now after the first month, the real challenge begins. I know that the past month of porn free was mainly due to my low stress environment at home and mild cravings (since I overloaded my brain so bad last year or so). I still don't possess the tools to deal with stress or anxiety yet. If I continue to live mindlessly like right now, I'll eventually go back to porn.

Since the last attempts to create a daily plan have failed, I'm going to start with a simple task. It's not about my research, it's not about the language I'm learning, it's not about my work either. It's simply to read any book of my choice for one page every single day and report it here. I'm sure I can do it. This will be my starting point for a healthier life. Eventually I'll build my life around learning, practicing different skills and socializing. I have some truly excellent friends. Excellent not in the sense that they have achieved something huge in life already but they have been consistent with improving themselves. I could also see that some people on this forum have so much potential in life and they're on the right path to recovery. I'm learning from you guys through reading your posts and thoughts. Consistency is the key but I have to start small. There is no shame in it and I fully accept the fact that I've wasted so much time in life that I can't expect to be an excellent guy overnight. It will take time 100%. I need to work on it and I hope I can make it happen.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 10, 2019, 05:59:12 PM
Consistency is the key but I have to start small. There is no shame in it and I fully accept the fact that I've wasted so much time in life that I can't expect to be an excellent guy overnight. It will take time 100%. I need to work on it and I hope I can make it happen.

That's exactly right! We're on a long-term path when it comes to recovery, and small things add up a lot over time.

I think reading one page and reporting on it is a great place to start. Do what you can stick with, and the rest will work out eventually.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: squid on September 10, 2019, 10:26:44 PM
You got this man!  I'm starting to realize that the days I can't do my plan are usually because I am not prepared.  Sleeping enough, and getting in the right mental attitude is very important.  I'm excited to hear about the pages you read!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on September 11, 2019, 09:10:30 AM
Thank you for the support Blue and Squid!
I'm going to the airport to pick up a friend soon so I won't have time to post here. I was 50% productive today. It might look bad for many people but for me it was ok. I managed to write a page of something my professor asked me to do. I didn't try to push myself for more. I'll write the other page another day. I'll learn to spend more time on important but boring things like this gradually. Bottom line is, I'm starting to take responsibility for my life. I just gotta do what I gotta do.

Daily reading:
I started reading "awaken the giant within" today. It's a book that I downloaded a few months ago and finally I'm starting to read it. I read it out loud to help myself focus better and also practice my English a bit. So far it's pretty interesting to read. The first few pages Tony just described how much his life has changed in 10 years and everything is so incredible for him right now.
I hope this book can give me some strength as well as a direction.

Cheers guys!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: squid on September 11, 2019, 09:22:29 AM
Good stuff man.  I listen to a lot of motivational audiobooks and books about goal setting too.  They have been very helpful to me.

I have a suggestion.  You should change the title of your journal to something positive and declarative.  2019 is the year.  No question about it bro
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 11, 2019, 06:10:40 PM
Sounds like an interesting read, keep it up!

Picking up friends at the airport is definitely productive (even if it sometimes feels like a distraction from real work). I always get a little mad when I have to give up my plans in order to help someone else, but that's not right. It can be hard to find a balance between productivity/self-care and being a selfless and helpful person.

Either way, go get 'em!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on September 19, 2019, 09:20:35 PM
Good stuff man.  I listen to a lot of motivational audiobooks and books about goal setting too.  They have been very helpful to me.

I have a suggestion.  You should change the title of your journal to something positive and declarative.  2019 is the year.  No question about it bro
Haha Thanks for the suggestion! Honestly I wrote a question as a title because I didn't want to feel bad about relapses anymore. I promised myself so many times that I would never PMO again but I kept doing it. This kind of making a promise and then breaking it is really not helpful for me psychologically. I would keep the title this way and if I can make it through 2019 safely then I will change the title to something like "2020 is the year" haha.

Sounds like an interesting read, keep it up!

Picking up friends at the airport is definitely productive (even if it sometimes feels like a distraction from real work). I always get a little mad when I have to give up my plans in order to help someone else, but that's not right. It can be hard to find a balance between productivity/self-care and being a selfless and helpful person.

Either way, go get 'em!
Haha for me picking up my friend is something I enjoy doing actually. Plus I'm just doing an internship so it's not as important.

Now onto day 41 (something like that). Maybe I should get a counter so I don't have to do the math when I want to check which day I'm on. It's not that important though, I should focus more on real life than this number. Honestly one of the motivations for me to keep this streak going is to make me look good here: hey look I'm still going. I'm not sure this is a good thing as this kind of thinking is really destructive sometimes. Especially if I somehow relapse then I would lose my motivation to restart. But it's part of me, part of my greed or ego or whatever. So I should acknowledge it but not let it grow.
I know I promised to post here daily about the book I read but I didn't do it. I had a road trip with friends and I didn't read. After I came back I got lazy for 2 days and then I read for two days but I didn't have the energy to post at night. Yesterday I had date so I didn't read as well.
I'll talk about the date now and then about the reading in the evening (including the pages I will read today. Now it's morning where I am).

It's the first date I had since summer 2016... It's someone my friend introduced me to. I'll call the girl J. I met her first time two weeks ago when my friend introduced us. The first time I met her I didn't feel much about her as her look isn't the kind that I'm super attracted to. I think she looks good but you know sometimes it's just not the type we're looking for. Putting looks aside, she is really smart and knows how to handle a conversation and she laughs a lot which I like. She is also hardworking and disciplined. I was really hesitant to ask her out as I wasn't sure if I'm attracted to her and also she is not the type of girl for just hookup (I'm going back to school abroad in 40 days). In other words, I didn't want to complicate the situation since she is a good friend of my friend's girlfriend... Later that week I invited her to my home party and I found that I was more attracted to her than the first time. After the party I thought about the whole thing and I realized that I was always a thinker rather than a doer. I didn't want my overthinking to ruin my life anymore. Besides that, I felt like I'll like her more if I get to know her better. So I decided to give it a try and asked her out for a movie. It turns out to be a really good decision!
She was happy to go out with me and she bought the tickets and drinks for me. It was a really good signal. We really had fun watching the film and we sat really close to each other. We laughed a lot and she touched my hands and shoulders many times. Later we went to have dinner and drank a little bit. When we walked back to her dorms, she was walking really really close to me that she almost pushed me off road lol. I knew it was going well but since I'm too new to this dating game so it was really hard to overcome my psychological barrier to hold her hands or do something. I clearly felt her affection towards me and I'm flattered to be liked by someone. I'm determined to be more physical next time but I need a more relaxing and romantic environment. I wish I was the kind of the people who can just kiss or express themselves publicly but I'm not. But hey this is who I am so I accepted it. I will try to do better though. Now I'm looking forward to our next date ;D
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: squid on September 20, 2019, 08:16:42 AM
That's awesome!  Just breath deep and relax into it.  I bet as you become more comfortable with her you will become more expressive :).  She obviously likes you so feel encouraged! 
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 20, 2019, 07:23:22 PM
That is awesome! Congratulations on a good date!

You're making great progress, and you're right to be focused on life and not the number of days (the number is helpful, but it's not the point).

And for what it's worth, I don't think you have anything to regret about the date. I think we sometimes get the idea that things have to be physical to count, but I really support a first date without anything physical. You spent some time together and definitely learned that you're both interested in each other. What more could you want out of a first date? Focus on the connection (like your personalities and feelings and stuff) and the physical stuff will follow naturally.

Keep it up!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on September 20, 2019, 10:46:24 PM
That's awesome!  Just breath deep and relax into it.  I bet as you become more comfortable with her you will become more expressive :).  She obviously likes you so feel encouraged!
Thanks man! Will do ;D
That is awesome! Congratulations on a good date!

You're making great progress, and you're right to be focused on life and not the number of days (the number is helpful, but it's not the point).

And for what it's worth, I don't think you have anything to regret about the date. I think we sometimes get the idea that things have to be physical to count, but I really support a first date without anything physical. You spent some time together and definitely learned that you're both interested in each other. What more could you want out of a first date? Focus on the connection (like your personalities and feelings and stuff) and the physical stuff will follow naturally.

Keep it up!
Thanks Blue! Yeah you're right, it was a pretty good first date anyway. I'm not desperate to push the relationship forward. I simply overthink too much. But I guess it's quite normal for any guy on a date haha.

Today I just asked her out again for the evening. Since she is busy these days we will just be around her university and have dinner somewhere. I think we click well in some way and I'd like to know her better. Will see how it goes today.

Daily reading 2&3&4.
Awaken the giant within.
Tony introduced the five aspects of our life we need to focus on. They are emotional mastery, physical mastery, relationship mastery, financial mastery and time mastery. These are the things the book is about.
Chapter 2 is about decision making.
Think for a moment. Is there a difference between being interested in something, and being committed to it? You bet there is! Many times people say things like, "Gosh, I really would like to make more money" or "I'd really like to make a difference in the world." But that kind of statement is not a commitment at all. It's merely stating a preference... It's a weak prayer made without even the faith to launch it.
The internal system for making decision is comprised of five elements: 1 beliefs and unconscious rules, 2 your life values, 3 your references, 4 your habitual questions that you ask yourself and 5 the emotional state.

This makes a lot of sense. I barely made commitments in the past few years. Now I really need to think it through about what I really want in life or in the next few years or even just the next few months.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Do or die on September 21, 2019, 09:16:53 AM
And not lose your hope. You have plans . you just missed it for few days or months. Remind your past plans . leave your thinking of failure. Learn from your last relapse. Make a plan for preventing such type of relapse and also a plan for new urges. Be ready to fight with every thing tends you to relapse. If you relapsed then you are worrier.

There are so many mans don't do anything to quite. But you are fighting for good. It takes little bit recovery time. Be
Silent .  observe your strong and weak points. You can do it.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 21, 2019, 06:57:51 PM
Today I just asked her out again for the evening. Since she is busy these days we will just be around her university and have dinner somewhere. I think we click well in some way and I'd like to know her better. Will see how it goes today.

That's awesome! I think low key is great. But I know what you mean about overthinking. I'm really good at doing that too.

Hope it goes great! And I'm glad you're still going along!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on September 26, 2019, 08:42:11 PM
Thanks for the reply guys, I'm still going!

Right now I'm at day 48 but I'm at another stagnant point. From my previous reboot experiences, every once in a while I would encounter a stagnant point when I become less motivated about reboot, bored with life and not following through my plans. Usually at these points I don't particularly feel strong urges but most of the time I would fall back to PMO. Subconsciously I'm more used to and comfortable with the repetitive pattern of failure-reboot-failure as if that's my normal life. My mind always tricks me into thinking: "hey life is not moving forward again? Let's relapse, hit the rock bottom and you'll get your motivation back. This is what you always wanted and you'll always like it."
I know there are mainly two reasons why I'm successfully maintaining this streak so far. 1. I'm at home and I'm not in the stressful environment of my university. Instead of escaping reality on the internet (porn), I chose to escape reality in reality ::). 2. I'm still taking advantage of my initial motivation and my flatline period. This is not a permanent fix and things will change real soon. I'll go back to my university and I need to start my research. Urges might come back as well and my motivation will decrease.
I know the only solution is to focus on my daily life and keep myself busy. I need to make me believe that my life is fulfilled and I am moving forward. I also need to cultivate important habits to deal with stress and anxiety. Reading is one way to distract myself from urges and to better myself intellectually but it's just one tool. I need more.
I need to balance myself in several areas. 1. Sports (exercise) 2. Eating healthy food 3. Less drinking 4. Meditation. I should make use of the last month of my time at home to build a strong defense against potential future urges. It's a battle against myself and I gotta play it smart.
I'll write down my plan on my notebook so I can physically see it all the time.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Do or die on September 26, 2019, 10:59:28 PM
Ok. Keep going. Congratulations for 48 days.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 27, 2019, 07:08:32 PM
It's awesome that you're thinking about what you'll do when you get back to the stress and busyness of school. Make a plan and stick to it.

It has been really helpful for me to change my focus: instead of trying to figure out how to live a life without any urges, I have focused on trying to live a life without acting on urges. On some level, we can't control the urges. We just have to accept them and choose not to do what they ask us to do.

Keep going strong!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on October 04, 2019, 11:32:01 PM
It's awesome that you're thinking about what you'll do when you get back to the stress and busyness of school. Make a plan and stick to it.

It has been really helpful for me to change my focus: instead of trying to figure out how to live a life without any urges, I have focused on trying to live a life without acting on urges. On some level, we can't control the urges. We just have to accept them and choose not to do what they ask us to do.

Keep going strong!
"living a life without acting on urges" ---- that's a great understanding of what this journey is all about Blue. I'll try to internalize it. It's not an easy thing to do but I should keep it in mind all the time.

Ok. Keep going. Congratulations for 48 days.
Thanks Do or die, we will keep going together!

Another week passed safe and sound. I'm at Day 56.
I MO'ed once 2 days ago, without porn of course. I was very careful to just focus on the sensation itself. Compared to the MO I had one month ago, this time my erection was clearly better and the O was more intense. It's a good sign of healing and I'm happy about it. Masturbation kinda serves as an "emergency exit" for my urges. This makes it easier for me to not indulge on porn. I do need to be mindful about the chaser effect it causes. For now this strategy is working well.
My procrastination and anxiety still exist. It's something really hard to get rid of so I want to be more tolerant of myself. I find it extremely important to have some core beliefs when I'm emotionally weak (anxious, depressed, sad, angry, etc). Reading is a great way to build those core beliefs but I have to read more. I need to internalize certain philosophies to deal with urges. What Blue said above is one of those core beliefs I'm talking about. I think what differentiates a successful rebooter from others is these beliefs they hold.
The dates with the girl are going well. Last time we went for a movie she would rest her head on my shoulder and put her hand on my arm. Eventually I started holding her hands and it felt really good. My little thing down there even had an erection when she squeezed my hand lol. Those are some rewarding moments of this reboot for sure. I'll study with her in the afternoon and I'll see what happens then. It feels more natural to be with her now and this relieves myself from the pressure of "I have to do something". I enjoy this process a lot even though it's going slowly.
Keep going guys!! I'm with you all ;D
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 05, 2019, 08:15:51 PM
Glad you're still moving along and enjoying the progress even when it's slow!

Sounds like some good stuff with those dates, too. Low-pressure time together and affection seems like a great place to be.

Keep it going!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on October 10, 2019, 09:16:45 PM
Thanks Blue!

Day 63
These days I started to experience some relatively intense urges, maybe because my "flatline" period has passed. I know it's gonna be a long journey considering the fact that people relapse even after 4 months clean or more (including myself in the past). I need to be very careful with my thoughts and actions. I won't let my streak number give me a false sense of security. Things are not stable yet, I might fall back any day if I make the wrong choice. Relapse is a choice we make. Looking back at my previous relapses, I knew that I was going to relapse even days before the relapse itself but I refused to admit it and always tried to cover up this decision that I had made. Thankfully right now I'm not ready to relapse and I know it.

One good thing is that I started to be more mindful about my anxiety. Even little things trigger my anxiety and I tend to be constantly worrying about something. The other day I watched a TEDx talk about dealing with anxiety and the presenter showed some important techniques which I find useful.
Step 1. Externalize your anxiety.
Treat your anxiety as a pest whose only goal is to make you worry about things. Separate this pest from yourself.
Step 2. Analyze your thoughts and find misconceptions. There are 3 common misconceptions.
           1. Overestimating the likelihood of bad things happening.
           2. Catastrophizing the bad things.
           3. Falsely believing that you won't be able to recover from or deal with some consequences.
Step 3. Exposure. Once you start working on the thing you're afraid to do, most likely you will find it much easier than you thought it was. Take baby steps if necessary.
I'm practicing these 3 steps whenever I feel anxious about something. Sometimes there isn't even step 3 because you're just worried about something but it's not something you do.
Apart from these techniques, meditation also helps a ton for me. 5 min of breathing practices calm me down significantly.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 11, 2019, 05:36:25 PM
This is awesome!

You're exactly right that 63 days is no guarantee that you're in the clear. I think we're done for as soon as we start thinking that a relapse can't happen to us again. Always being aware that it is possible keeps us honest with ourselves and committed to keeping ourselves safe. Definitely stick with it and keep going strong.

I also like those ideas about dealing with anxiety. I really started feeling more anxiety in the last year or so, and I'm getting along okay, but I think those steps will help me too. Thanks for posting about it!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on October 16, 2019, 03:52:24 AM
My internship has ended. Now I'm in the countdown of 2 weeks to go back to school. I'm at a particularly vulnerable state right now since I don't have a fixed schedule anymore and the unwillingness to go back to school and that stressful environment is building up. I am more ready than 2 months ago for the challenges but they're still challenges that I'm kinda afraid of. Cravings come and go these days and I've caught myself contemplating a relapse. The cravings were never strong enough for me to cross the line and act out but I am ALARMED. I am also lingering on some girl's photos whenever I see them on some apps. Moreover, I might have a herniated disc and I'm not free to exercise these days. I have an MRI this Sunday to see what it is. All those element combined put me in a dangerous situation and I'm aware of it.
I've been watching TED videos related to anxiety, brain and psychology etc. They're quite helpful.
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gks6ceq4eQ
You aren't at the mercy of your emotions - your brain creates them
I find this talk very inspiring. The core concept of this talk is that emotions are nothing but predictions our brain makes based on past experiences and the information we feed to it. We have more control over our emotions than we might think we have. We're responsible for how we feel in the long term because we are the only one who can change our way of predicting things. By embracing challenges, turning them into positives, we're effectively constructing our own prediction model for the future.

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29Vj0-TVHiQ
How to stop your thoughts from controlling your life
One of the conclusions of this talk: It’s not the harsh, traumatic, or horrible events themselves you should fear the most in life but, your own unwillingness to control your reaction to those events. Ultimately, it’s your capacity to take full responsibility for your own thoughts that will dictate the course and growth of not just you but our entire World.
Two things the lecturer suggests. 1. Practice meditation. 2. Feed your brain with selected input (Not the trash from social media we read daily)

These days the more I read and watch, the more clear it is to me that I could do much better at my psychological health. The biological factors are not as important as the training we give ourselves. I might be more sensitive than a lot of people biologically but it doesn't determine how I should feel about my life. Even if my biology has a 50% say in this. I can still manage to get the other 50% in my control.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 16, 2019, 06:49:43 PM
Those are some interesting ideas. I have definitely been learning that I can do more to control, or maybe "coexist with" is a better phrase, my thoughts. Any thought is only as strong as the attention we give it.

It's a good thing that you're aware of the potential risks of where you are right now, unable to exercise, feeling urges, and sometimes lingering over photos. This is the time to make a decision and then stick with it in the smallest details. If those urges come or thoughts arise, fight back with a meditative practice. Focus on your breath, think about something else, pay attention to how you are feeling instead of what you are thinking.

I know that there is pleasure in entertaining urges for a little bit: by their very nature, urges feel good. But don't give them any room to stick around. The more we flirt with those pleasures, the more strongly our addictive pathways get activated and the harder it is to turn things around.

You're doing great! Stay mindful and committed and don't let the little things trip you up. You've got this!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on October 21, 2019, 12:19:31 AM
Thanks Blue, I'm trying to be more mindful about my behaviors these days. Sometimes I can't help looking at things that I'm not supposed to see such as girls' photos but I'm doing better. I noticed that I'm less interested in using Facebook or watching certain videos on Youtube now. I don't know if it's related to my brain getting back to normal. Now I start to feel tired watching videos after some time and I prefer to go outside and take a walk instead sometimes. This is probably a good signal. However, as my vacation at home is coming to an end, I need to start getting ready for my return to school now. I can't just talk about it without taking action. I'm going to follow the steps taught in the book "awaken the giant within" and write things down to see where I'm at.
Mental health-wise, I've been doing much better since I watched those TED talks. Some of the ideas really got imprinted in my head and I could identify the key thoughts that lead me to anxiety and depression. I caught myself several times right at the moment when my mind started to shift towards the depression side and I was able to question my own thoughts immediately and quickly dissolved that soon-to-be depression (mild depression let's say, I don't want to confuse other people as I don't think I have clinical depression). Now I believe that my depression was simply a chain of negative thoughts that went through my head subconsciously. If I could be more mindful with it, I can manage to deter my depression pretty well.
It's really powerful to think about things positively even if I'm forcing it. I first learned about growth mindset and fixed mindset three years ago. It was supposed to be a helpful piece of information, but it actually made me depressed because I was thinking: fuck I have a fixed mindset, I wish I was a person with a growth mindset. Only three years later, now, I suddenly realized that oh boy that immediate reaction itself was fixed mindset at its best... If you think about it, these two mindsets are really self-contained and independent. People who are stuck in a fixed mindset don't realize they're stuck in it (even when they're told that there is a growth mindset) and thus are forever trapped in it. Sometimes we feel helpless and believe that there is no way we can get out of our status quo because we're literally making ourselves more helpless by having this kind of thought.
I feel I'm starting to get the hang of positive thinking. I hope I'm not just tricking myself lol.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Rebooter2019 on October 21, 2019, 03:52:32 PM
I have a small theory. I never read any content on fixed and growth midset, but from what I know about life is that nothing is set in stone. Anything can be changed with strategy, effort and some willpower! You think your midset's holding you back? Then change it! Obviously, it won't change by tomorrow, but with days and weeks of consistente effort!

Thinking positively is already a good step, keep pushing and catch your brain when it try to get you back in the hold midset! It many aspect it's very similar to rebooting.

Stay strong, you can do it man :)
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 21, 2019, 09:27:54 PM
You know, I think the fact that you're sticking with this recovery is a pretty strong sign that you're in the "growth mindset" camp. And who cares if you're tricking yourself if it's working? (Maybe we should care, but sometimes it's fake it till you make it)

And it's totally normal to sometimes look at things you know you're not supposed to. Even still I will sometimes look for too long at a thumbnail or picture with a woman in it and realize what I'm doing. Here's the thing: on some level, it's not about not wanting sexual stimulation, it's about learning how to live a healthy life knowing that that is something you want. I spent a lot of time thinking that my goal was to never get urges again (and I felt like I was failing every time I got an urge). Now, though, I just assume that I will always have urges and always want porn on some level, so I'm learning how to live with those urges without acting on them. At least for me, it has been a helpful change of mindset.

Keep on keepin' on!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on October 27, 2019, 10:14:28 PM
Thinking positively is already a good step, keep pushing and catch your brain when it try to get you back in the hold midset! It many aspect it's very similar to rebooting.
Man you're definitely right. I think the life with porn is a mindset in itself. When I was in the porn mindset, anything else seems unreachable and so far away, but once I decided to get out of it things changed drastically. We all can change as long as we make the decision and put efforts in it.

And it's totally normal to sometimes look at things you know you're not supposed to. Even still I will sometimes look for too long at a thumbnail or picture with a woman in it and realize what I'm doing. Here's the thing: on some level, it's not about not wanting sexual stimulation, it's about learning how to live a healthy life knowing that that is something you want. I spent a lot of time thinking that my goal was to never get urges again (and I felt like I was failing every time I got an urge). Now, though, I just assume that I will always have urges and always want porn on some level, so I'm learning how to live with those urges without acting on them. At least for me, it has been a helpful change of mindset.
That's an important change of mindset, Blue. Although I never thought about it directly, I think I'm getting this living with urges thing. Urges emerge from time to time but I'm less obsessed with them and I'm kinda indifferent to those urges as if they're nothing important (Indeed they're nothing important if you choose to ignore them). It's such a relieving discovery for me because when I just started the only thing I was afraid of was those monster urges that kept coming my way non-stop. Now I see them as paper tigers that once I overcame my own fear I could stand my ground without being bothered.

Day 80 now. In general my mood is stable these days. The TED talk and the book I read really changed my mindset towards emotion management. It's not like I don't feel down anymore, but I feel confident that I don't have to be stuck in my feelings. More importantly, most of the time I could stop myself from falling into depression in the first place by analyzing the situation and directing my brain towards the positive side. For the past 3 weeks I've been unable to move my right leg freely and I felt pain in it. Turns out I have herniated disc and it's suppressing my nerves. The doctor told me straightforward that if this pain doesn't go away then I have to do a surgery. Plus I will not be able to do sports I like anymore such as boxing or powerlifting. I'm also going back to university in another country in two days so this news was quite depressing (if I have to come back to do a surgery). I felt low when I heard his words but I quickly adjusted. I took it as a warning sign that I should take better care of myself and stop sabotaging my health. People say "YOLO" so do dangerous stuff and have much fun as you can, party hard, drink hard and do whatever you like when you're young. Now this diagnosis gives me a new perspective. "YOLO" is exactly the reason why we should be more careful with what we do. Some damages are irreversible (thankfully most porn damages are reversible) and we have to be responsible for ourselves. Otherwise a huge discount on your life quality would come your way. I'm thankful to discover this problem now and those symptoms showed me the right way to treat myself. It's been a few days since I'm diagnosed and I think my condition is getting better. Hopefully the symptoms will be gone soon and I'll start exercising properly to prevent the symptoms to show up again.

On a different note, I'm together with the girl I'm dating with now (many people commit to each other before they go physical here in China). We were seeing each other for the last time before I leave for school yesterday and she initiated the kiss with me. It was my second kiss in my life. Last year I had a ONS when I lost my virginity. Since I was too drunk at that time, I didn't feel anything when we kissed. This time it felt real, relaxing and soothing. I can't say I'm 100 percent into her appearance but we have a lot to talk about and that's the main reason I decided to be with her. On some level, I decided to be with her because I needed someone to talk to when I go back to school and I wanted to feel secure. I thought this kind of relationship won't last long so I was quite hesitant to kiss her as I didn't want to give her a false signal. I really had mixed feeling about the whole situation because I do like her but not as much as it should be. I also don't want to be a dick just taking advantage of her. When she kissed me I just went with it and I don't regret this because now I realized that it's probably a good experience for her anyway. I was just thinking too much. I don't know if you guys can relate to this because most of you are from the west I believe and it's completely different culture. I have to say I liked the kiss and it probably made us more attached to each other so it's a good thing. It also had more impact on me than I expected because I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about her and also had some fantasies with her. I stopped myself though because it's kinda like porn thoughts and I didn't want to sabotage my progress. We will see how it goes.
I'll go out and have lunch with two good friends of mine now and I always feel happy to see close friends. Especially when I'm leaving in a day and I won't see them for a long time.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 29, 2019, 06:22:54 PM
That's an important change of mindset, Blue. Although I never thought about it directly, I think I'm getting this living with urges thing. Urges emerge from time to time but I'm less obsessed with them and I'm kinda indifferent to those urges as if they're nothing important (Indeed they're nothing important if you choose to ignore them). It's such a relieving discovery for me because when I just started the only thing I was afraid of was those monster urges that kept coming my way non-stop. Now I see them as paper tigers that once I overcame my own fear I could stand my ground without being bothered.

This is a really cool way of saying it! Urges are scary but they can only harm us if we let them. They're just feelings at the end of the day. Learning that they are basically harmless and that I can safely let them go by without acting on them has been a huge turning point for me. I'm really glad that you're finding a similar experience.

And huge congratulations on 80 days and the progress in your relationship with that girl. Whether it goes anywhere or not, it sounds like a pretty good experience. Just keep doing what you've been doing and keeping yourself on track.

I also like your perspective on YOLO. This is our chance at life, so we can't be careless with it. Definitely a good insight.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: Rebooter2019 on November 01, 2019, 07:25:05 PM
Hey Brand, I can relate to you on the urges side. They can be scary and hard to manage at time, but it's a relief when you realize that they can't exist without you feeding them. If you toss them away as unimportant they lose all power on you and that's wonderful.

It's awesome that you've reach 80 days! Keep going like that. As for the girl you'll see where it goes with time you don't need to rush and overthink this.

I've seen people with that mentality... most of them are all broken at the age of 25 and are suffering! All of them, they will continue to suffure for the rest of they're lives. You have to be careful, not scared or paranoid, but careful in life. That's my thoughts, though :)

Continue on the road of recovery, you're on the right track!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on November 05, 2019, 03:54:18 AM
Thank you, Blue and Rebooter. I'm glad to be with you all on this journey ;D

I got back to school. I have to say that I'm doing better than I expected. I was a little bit worried about coming back since I was living in such a stress free environment and I didn't want any stress to enter my life. Well it turns out that I was afraid of my own fear instead of reality. I'd say that there is good and bad but overall it's good.
Positive things:
1. anxiety didn't come back. I used to wake up in the morning and feel anxious about the day. Although I still tend to play with my phone before getting up, I'm not reluctant to start my day anymore. Or let's say, much less reluctant.
2. I feel calm at night. Last semester I would feel lonely and scared at night and have to hang out with my friends to distract myself from reality. Now I don't feel this way. My mind is in a neutral position most of the time. I don't feel excited nor depressed.
3. I feel more grounded in general. I was lying down on the central grass on campus yesterday and I felt at peace. I was there by myself but I didn't feel anything weird about it. In the past few years, I barely felt at peace like this. I always felt like people were judging me or looking at me or laughing at me, especially if I was alone. Yesterday I still had this reaction when I heard some laughter from people around, but this feeling of people judging me was much more mild. Besides that, I can hold eye contacts with stranger girls now without feeling ashamed. I can look straight into their eyes and move on most of the time.
4. symptoms of my herniated disc are much less now compared to two weeks ago. I expect it to be gone in a week or two. Then I'll see a physical therapist to evaluate my condition and customize exercises for me to prevent this from happening again.

Negative things(or neutral):
1. Urges start to flood in these days. It might be related to the fact that the girls in this country are hot in general and dress more freely and explicitly. I find it hard to not look at girls passing by. Another factor is that it's been a month since I masturbated or had a wet dream. In fact, I just had a wet dream last night but I didn't realize it until I saw it in the morning. Usually I would know that I had a wet dream but this time nope I didn't dream about anything, it just happened. I decided not to masturbate in the morning although my brain was asking for a fix. I might masturbate if the urges somehow get too intense. I will try to avoid feeding into my cravings though. I know cravings would come periodically so I'm too worried about them. After I deal with this wave of them, I can probably have peace for another 2 or 3 weeks.
2. It's still hard for me to concentrate on my study. I simply didn't study for too long and my mind is always wandering off. My herniated disc also contributes a bit to this since I can't sit tight like a normal person.

Again I want to remind myself to be careful because complacency is very dangerous. I know I have the tendency to be complacent and I'm noticing it now. I need to be extra CAREFUL!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 05, 2019, 07:41:58 PM
Glad to hear you're back at school and feeling better than before! Urges are just a part of life, but you know how to deal with them. Don't let your brain fool you into satisfying the cravings with smaller fixes to avoid PMO. It's not just about avoiding PMO but about recovering from addiction. (I spent way too long thinking I was making a lot of progress when I was really just trapped in an addiction to smaller fixes)

I hope this new start at school continues to go great for you! You've got this!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on November 07, 2019, 02:50:22 AM
Glad to hear you're back at school and feeling better than before! Urges are just a part of life, but you know how to deal with them. Don't let your brain fool you into satisfying the cravings with smaller fixes to avoid PMO. It's not just about avoiding PMO but about recovering from addiction. (I spent way too long thinking I was making a lot of progress when I was really just trapped in an addiction to smaller fixes)

I hope this new start at school continues to go great for you! You've got this!
You're absolutely right about not fooling myself with smaller fixes. I have to admit that I didn't do very well these two days regarding this. I MO'ed once in the morning yesterday because I thought it would help me get rid of the urges. Nope the whole day I was in a triggered state. I went back home in the afternoon to take a nap. I had urges again but I decided to put my phone away and went to sleep. Good decision on my part. But again in the evening before bed, urges rush in like crazy so I MO'ed again because I didn't want to risk it in the middle of the night if I wake up to a boner with tons of cravings. I slept through the night and I felt ok in this morning. As I was scrolling through my phone again in bed, I noticed that I was reluctant to get outta bed and subconsciously I wanted to lead myself into another fix. I immediately jumped outta bed and started preparing my breakfast. I'm glad that I can still make the right decisions most of the time but I know I was close to a full blown relapse.
I need to be careful with not getting into this "restless and playing with phone" state. Being in this state is very dangerous because urges will build up to the point of no return. Today I'll stay in the library. If I feel urges I'll take a walk on campus and have some sunlight. In the evening I will go to my friends place for dinner. After dinner I'll only play with my phone in the living room and I'll leave my phone in the living room when I go to bed.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 07, 2019, 08:21:15 PM
It's important  and good that you're staying in tune with your emotional state and making plans to put yourself in a safe place when you're feeling triggered. Take the risk seriously and you'll stay on track. The more we flirt with urges, the stronger they get.

Keep it going!

Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on November 09, 2019, 04:11:14 AM
I passed that day safely after my previous post. However, the next morning, I got up early and later decided to go back to sleep. I knew it could be dangerous because deep in mind I knew that some cravings were about to come out. I went to bed anyway. After an hour or so I experienced very strong urges and I almost thought I was screwed. I came to the forum and clicked on Gabe Deem's video explaining withdrawal symptoms. He saved my ass. I needed someone to say to my face that its worth doing what I'm doing and eventually the withdrawals and cravings will be minimal. I heard it and I pushed through it.
This experience is kinda a wake up call to me. This journey is not easy, I can't ever underestimate the difficulty or else I will fuck it up eventually. I was way too optimistic in the past month or so since I had a high spirit and I pretty much got rid of my depression and anxiety and I had almost no cravings. Now I see that things change and there are different phases in the reboot and I always need to be careful. I need more defense tools in my arsenal to get prepared. I'm happy I made it through yesterday and today the cravings are less strong.
Today is day 92 and I'll keep going.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 09, 2019, 08:09:51 PM
That's awesome, man! You made it through when you thought you were done for. That's a powerful experience to re-tune your brain and learn a new pattern for responding to urges.

This is a huge win! Keep going strong!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on November 16, 2019, 07:17:59 AM
Thanks Blue, yeah I need to learn to tune my brain more though.

Now it's day 99 but I feel like I'm far from recovered. A new pattern of cravings these days is: I don't have physical urges, but my mind keeps telling me that you should have a bit more fun and it's harmless. It is more clear to me that porn is not good for me when the urges are strong so that I could feel how intrusive porn addiction is to my life. In some sense, this "whispering" in my head is even more dangerous. So three days ago I wrote down why I need to get rid of my porn addiction and what the benefits are if I can quit them forever. It helped to some extent but I still need to be careful. I think there are 3 layers of cravings for porn addicts. The first layer is pure compulsion which is the autopilot mode that we are very familiar with. The second layer is very strong physical cravings where you feel restless and uncomfortable. The third layer is psychological cravings where your mind tries to trick you into a relapse and sometimes physical cravings will follow. Now after 99 days I'm mostly dealing with the second layer and the third layer. I hope this will be gone soon but for now I have to live with it.
Yesterday I was angry about something because a forgetful friend of mine forgot to do something and it kinda interrupted my plan but I quickly got out of this anger by thinking "what happened happened, what matters now is what to do next" and "this thing doesn't matter much, it only causes some inconvenience but there is no consequence whatsoever".
I really hope one day that I can enjoy my life more like a normal personal because right now I still barely feel excited about anything. Still, it's way better than being in a constant mood swing or depression when I was deep in pornography.
It's not an easy thing what we are doing, but its worth it. We need to work on our mindset, personality and values to be a better person. Even though it's a struggle, it's the only way to grow.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 16, 2019, 09:15:39 PM
Hey, big congratulations on 99 days! That's an awesome measure of progress, and I hope you're doing something, even something small, to celebrate.

I'm even more excited, though, honestly about your acknowledgment that you are far from recovered. 99 days is an awesome first chapter, but there's a lot of the story of your recovery left to tell. I think it's really healthy and important to acknowledge that you're not just magically fixed because you have gone a long time without relapsing.

Learning to find constructive ways to deal with your thoughts and emotions is a big part of this next phase of recovery, I think. It is definitely a big part of where I am now. For a long time, I have felt pretty empty, and little things have really gotten to me. i'm definitely not out of the woods yet, but I'm start to get the feeling that things are improving, emotionally speaking.

This is about changing our lives, not just quitting one bad habit, and it's awesome that you're committed to the real recovery. Everything you have learned in the last 99 days is a good foundation for the next 99 (just be sure to keep your focus on one day at a time, and you'll be there in no time).
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on November 19, 2019, 06:45:52 AM
Thanks Blue, really appreciate your words!

After 100 days, I would say my emotional stability is in a much better state. I don't feel depressed or anxious as bad as before. I do experience some mood swings, but the core difference is that I have the belief that I will feel better even when I'm down. I think that's the biggest distinction no-porn brings to me.
However, I'm still not motivated enough to pursue real stuff in my life. I can manage things better now, but my interest in real life is still somewhere in the dark. I need to find it. I feel lethargic when I study and I have difficulty focusing on my studies. Well at least I don't feel helpless anymore. I believe things change and I will get better if I put effort in it. I should start incorporating light exercises to my daily life now. I almost feel no symptoms of my herniated disc these days. The other day I went swimming a bit and went to sauna and it felt great. I've been eating healthier than last semester but I might need to eat more fruits and vegetables. Building a life I want really requires some systematic engineering and I'm learning how to do it along the way.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 19, 2019, 05:58:22 PM
It sounds like you have some good ideas for further changes, light exercises and more fruits and vegetables sounds good!

Building a life you really want definitely takes some work. I have been working on letting go of the need to understand what my whole life is going to be before I can start building it. I think I get stuck thinking that I have to know everything I'm building before I'm willing to get started, but that's not quite how this works. I have had a lot more success by focusing on building one day at a time. I don't know what I'm doing with my whole life, but I can figure out what I need to do today. And if I string together enough awesome days, I'll end up with an awesome life.

Keep it going! Congrats on 100!
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: brandnewself on November 20, 2019, 10:29:43 AM
Unfortunately I relapsed last night.

We had a party in university and I had some alcohol before the party. At the party, I saw some hot girls and it triggered some of my deeply rooted problems ---- low self-esteem or self-image. I felt super self-conscious all the time during the party and my mood kinda plunged. I got home and I believe I already contemplated the relapse even before I got home. Alcohol might have played a role in it but it's not the main factor.
I PMO'ed 3 times throughout the night and felt super tired today. I met with my best friend and told him about the relapse. I went to my room to sleep and left my phone in the living room where my friend stayed and studied. However, after he left, I couldn't resist the urge but to relapse again. Now this is bad, I really sabotaged myself on this one because I was supposed to be sober and know the consequences at that time. I did it anyway.
I feel disappointed and down now but this is what I have to go through.
If I can learn something from this, then I should avoid going to parties. I don't have problems having friends over and drink a bit but parties are not my thing. Last time I went to a party was before I started this 100 day streak and I forgot how problematic it could be for me. More importantly, I need to look into my low self-esteem issues. It requires all around changes in my life to bring my self-esteem back. I know it's not an easy thing and I should just try to accept myself right now. I can do some basic things to have a feeling of self-control. This should help me greatly. I plan to go back to the gym and work on my body.
It's a big setback but it's also a great opportunity for me to reflect on myself. At least this 100 day showed that I can handle some level of stress, anxiety, depression and intense cravings without caving in. The tricky part of the journey is that triggers come in different forms and I need to develop a better coping mechanism. Porn is a corrupted mechanism that doesn't serve me anymore.
Title: Re: Is 2019 the year?
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 20, 2019, 07:13:19 PM
Hey, man, really sorry to hear it.

It's a setback, but it doesn't have to derail you at all. If you get another 100 days under your belt, one relapse in the middle of 200 clean days won't seem that significant.

What's important is that you're learning and planning. Now you know that parties put you in the danger zone. That's easy enough to adjust for in the future. Thinking about your self-esteem issues is also a great direction to go in. Porn isn't the problem, it's a symptom of the problem. It's a way of escaping emotional distress. It sounds like the party put you in significant emotional distress, feeling bad about yourself etc., so it makes sense that your brain would take a hard turn to porn to ease that pain. It has worked in the past, and your brain remembered that.

But, if you do learn to treat yourself with more kindness and build more self-esteem, then you won't have as much of a need to PMO. If you feel good about yourself, what would trigger you to relapse?

Every relapse is a chance to peel back another layer and learn something new about yourself and your needs. I have been doing a lot this year keep my recovery going strong, but that has involved a lot of work in other areas of my life, especially in building a better relationship with myself. It's difficult work, but I'm making some progress. Meditation and regular exercise have really helped me in seeing myself in a better light.

One bad day does not ruin everything (even if it does feel like it, and I know that feeling too well). Tomorrow is a new day, so go make it a great one!