Reboot Nation

Journals => Ages 20-29 => Topic started by: pichaelthompson on March 14, 2019, 02:48:16 PM

Title: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 14, 2019, 02:48:16 PM
Day 0: I'm back, with experience (for better or worse) and a new sense of purpose

Hi everyone,

I'm a 22 yr old graduate student that has been trying to quit porn on and off for about 2 years. I first started using NoFap, went through multiple streaks lasting up to more than 100 days, but ever since I have given up writing on forums about a year ago I have been less successful and have recently been PMO'ing multiple times a week. To be honest, I am very disappointed in myself to not be able to have the willpower to deal with this on a consistent basis (up to this point), as I have armed myself with knowledge on how to beat it over time, but my complacency, laziness, and lack of willpower has led to me relapsing multiple times, often for no good reason other than "I felt like it."

In starting again on a new forum, I hope to use all of my past failures as a learning experience, with the understanding that this will never be an easy journey, but will surely be a worthwhile one. Through this forum, I will hold myself accountable to what I believe are the most important values in my life: my family, my friends, my mental and physical health, and my music (I am a musician in conservatory). PMO takes the joy out of these values, and I hope to one day "feel" this as much as I "understand" it on a consistent basis. I will try my best to be my true and honest self through this forum, recognizing both my weaknesses and my strengths.

The changes I plan to make are:
- Working out at least 4 times a week (more if you have the time)
- Consistently healthy diet (1 cheat meal per week)
- No lying in bed unless sleeping or catching up on sleep with a nap
- Value depth over novelty (Ex: listen to a 30 min. long piece of music instead of going down Youtube rabbit hole)
- Erase bad habit of looking at "harmless" sexy images (google images, instagram, etc.)
- Meditate every day
- Limit Netflix/youtube/leisure time to 1 hr a day
- Let the urges come and go, like a wave that rises, hits its peak, and dies down
- Journal here once a day, find the right balance of thinking about rebooting but not overthinking it. Yes it is challenging, but it is also simple.
- You can always be more compassionate, supportive, and honest towards others. Do not try too hard but remind yourself of the potential.

I've been down this road before, and I am quite honestly worried that it will be harder this go around. For me, it only gets harder to commit every day, although I have only went up to ~120 days so I don't know what it might feel like past that. However, I fully committing myself to it, as the greater the discomfort there is to overcome, the more strength one can gain. I kind of see it like a strength training program, where you are taking more weight every time, but your mentality will change from "dang I have to do this again" to "I eat this sh!t for breakfast." For anyone reading this: you are greater than your urges, they do not define you. All of us have the mental willpower to achieve great things in life, it is our responsibility to dig deep and find it within ourselves.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 14, 2019, 11:43:43 PM
Really productive finishing the day since this post, 6 hrs of practice + a good workout and healthy meal. I know this new energy will die down soon and the urges will come, but I am ready to face them. It's crazy how anything could be a trigger for me, like a woman from a news article, or just thinking about past sexual experiences both within and outside of P. Going to wind down with some reading, and plan to wake up early and get shit done tomorrow.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 16, 2019, 02:57:14 PM
Yesterday was good, felt motivated to do everything I set out to do with minimal urges. Today I've been feeling some anxiety that naturally arises when your body realizes you are breaking a comforting habit, so I'm just gunna do my best to have a relaxed focus and energy for the rest of the day, not worry about the past or think too far ahead in the future.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 17, 2019, 12:28:57 AM
Keep it up! The way I see it, if you can go 120 days without PMO you have the ability to go without it forever! Just keep it up and stay vigilant. Great, that you are a musician, seems like a great way to channel the energy and creativity you'll gain.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 17, 2019, 11:53:37 AM
Keep it up! The way I see it, if you can go 120 days without PMO you have the ability to go without it forever! Just keep it up and stay vigilant. Great, that you are a musician, seems like a great way to channel the energy and creativity you'll gain.

Thank you!   :D Yes I agree, while I didn't feel like superman after 120 days and there were still urges (maybe I was expecting too much at the time) there were definitely alot of benefits that I miss having, and can only be retained/improved upon through staying vigilant. You're absolutely right, in my opinion music is always a positive force regardless of what thoughts/feelings may arise within you, as it allows you to deeply connect with yourself and the world around you.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 17, 2019, 10:29:42 PM
Definitely am feeling a surge of energy...it has been fluctuating between positive and negative, but so far am doing a pretty good job of staying calm and channeling it towards the things that are important. I know I will always have flaws that might be exposed at undesirable times, but I can always try to do my best, and that starts with just staying true to the simple principals that resonate with me; permanently leaving PMO in the past, being there for my friends and family, while becoming the best musician I can possibly be. Cautious optimism is the way to go
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 18, 2019, 03:55:49 PM
Funny how urges can come out of nowhere...I was on quora (a website that's like a better version of yahoo answers) and I saw a pornstar answer a question, nothing about sex/PMO at all...and a wave of dopamine hit me really hard! Man that was totally unexpected...I'm happy I didn't act on any of these urges but I know they will come back, the real test will be dealing with them in the future when my guard is down more. I'm %99 sure that if this happened to me 2 weeks ago, I would have went right to PMO, so I'll take the small improvement as a victory even though I am just getting started
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 18, 2019, 07:30:32 PM
Just reading your journal now--I really like the idea of valuing depth over novelty even when it comes to listening to music. That seems like a really great mindset and is definitely something that I want to try out.

Glad you're making progress! All progress is something to celebrate: small successes accumulating over time will add up to something great!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 18, 2019, 10:41:30 PM
That's great you got through the urge, urges can suck. But I am trying to view it as a an opportunity to kick the addictions ass a little bit, weaken the bad neural pathways.

Yeah music is awesome, I was in the library on my way somewhere and they had a concert in the auditorium ( I am luckily to live near an amazing regional library). This guy was playing all these crazy original guitar songs he wrote, it was soo cool to see that and it was inspiring me to put work into building skills and becoming great at something like that. I closed my eyes and listened to the music, it realllyyy upped my mood and removed some urges I had.

As far as still having urges after 120 days. One thing I am aiming to realize is like, urges may get weaker, but if I totally know how to handle them so what if I get em from time to time as long as I can handle them? I read a book on addiction and it mentioned that, just like humans get dumb thoughts to do dumb things all the time and don't act on them. Just a sort of re frame, like even if I get an urge a year from now it doesn't mean I am not pretty much healed, it's just man our brains tell us to do dumb shit sometimes. I used to always go on a shitty website (no porn, just time wasting) I cut it out years ago, occasionally I get the slightest thought to go on it but it super fucking weak and I just brush it off immediately, so it's no biggie (hopefully that makes sense) Just kind of thinking, I can live with an urge here and there as part of life as long my dick works and my brain isn't fucked lol


Funny how urges can come out of nowhere...I was on quora (a website that's like a better version of yahoo answers) and I saw a pornstar answer a question, nothing about sex/PMO at all...and a wave of dopamine hit me really hard! Man that was totally unexpected...I'm happy I didn't act on any of these urges but I know they will come back, the real test will be dealing with them in the future when my guard is down more. I'm %99 sure that if this happened to me 2 weeks ago, I would have went right to PMO, so I'll take the small improvement as a victory even though I am just getting started
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 19, 2019, 03:09:37 PM
That's great you got through the urge, urges can suck. But I am trying to view it as a an opportunity to kick the addictions ass a little bit, weaken the bad neural pathways.

Yeah music is awesome, I was in the library on my way somewhere and they had a concert in the auditorium ( I am luckily to live near an amazing regional library). This guy was playing all these crazy original guitar songs he wrote, it was soo cool to see that and it was inspiring me to put work into building skills and becoming great at something like that. I closed my eyes and listened to the music, it realllyyy upped my mood and removed some urges I had.

As far as still having urges after 120 days. One thing I am aiming to realize is like, urges may get weaker, but if I totally know how to handle them so what if I get em from time to time as long as I can handle them? I read a book on addiction and it mentioned that, just like humans get dumb thoughts to do dumb things all the time and don't act on them. Just a sort of re frame, like even if I get an urge a year from now it doesn't mean I am not pretty much healed, it's just man our brains tell us to do dumb shit sometimes. I used to always go on a shitty website (no porn, just time wasting) I cut it out years ago, occasionally I get the slightest thought to go on it but it super fucking weak and I just brush it off immediately, so it's no biggie (hopefully that makes sense) Just kind of thinking, I can live with an urge here and there as part of life as long my dick works and my brain isn't fucked lol


Funny how urges can come out of nowhere...I was on quora (a website that's like a better version of yahoo answers) and I saw a pornstar answer a question, nothing about sex/PMO at all...and a wave of dopamine hit me really hard! Man that was totally unexpected...I'm happy I didn't act on any of these urges but I know they will come back, the real test will be dealing with them in the future when my guard is down more. I'm %99 sure that if this happened to me 2 weeks ago, I would have went right to PMO, so I'll take the small improvement as a victory even though I am just getting started

That's a great way of looking at it, thanks for the advice! That's totally true that all humans have dumb thoughts from time to time, they really have no deeper meaning whatsoever and are just random lol. It's funny the harder we try to erase these thoughts, the more they seem to come...best to just let them come and go and not stress about it
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 19, 2019, 03:10:48 PM
Just reading your journal now--I really like the idea of valuing depth over novelty even when it comes to listening to music. That seems like a really great mindset and is definitely something that I want to try out.

Glad you're making progress! All progress is something to celebrate: small successes accumulating over time will add up to something great!

Thanks for reading man! Best of luck to you!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 19, 2019, 03:22:29 PM
I'm feeling grateful today, grateful for all the opportunities I've had in life and grateful for being apart of this community even though I regretfully abandoned it some time ago. What I plan to change from what I did in the past is to stay connected to this forum....on my last long streak I abandoned it after the 90 day mark and I think that contributed to my eventual relapse.

Now, I am making this promise to myself; I will not leave this forum/community until I have the confidence to write a true, genuine success story....however long that takes. Not only does that mean having a huge streak, but feeling fulfilled in all facets of life, with %100 determination that you will never turn to PMO again, no matter how shitty the situation. Fulfillment doesn't mean no problems; just the willpower to deal with roadblocks in a positive, healthy manner each and every day while supporting others around you (equally important). I will never completely abandon this forum; I will visit on occasion in attempt to give back to others the best I can. I'm probably looking too far ahead into the future but I feel so motivated right now I can't help it lol

I know get's harder to find something uplifting/inspiring to write every day as you go longer, so I must remember not to put too much pressure on myself. It's okay to just check in when I am tired/flatlining or things haven't changed much...you don't have to write some amazing essay, it can just be a sentence or two to keep yourself on the right path. Excited for what the future holds, ready to remain vigilant and strong!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 20, 2019, 12:55:18 PM
Had a wet dream this morning, was definitely surprising because I'm only on day 6 and on my last streak it didn't happen until around day 30. I kinda just shrugged it off, nothing to worry about....hoping to be super productive today because I have a presentation tomorrow and a test Friday, plus there's alot of practicing to do. Unfortunately I won't have the time to workout today but I look forward to it in the future.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 20, 2019, 10:34:38 PM
Sounds like good ideas to me, checking in here occasionally. I'll plan to do that as well.

From what I have heard wet dreams are considered a good sign..... This reminds  me, oddly I am finding that when I am putting more into my recovery, posting cutting out sexual thoughts etc. it seems progress is much faster. I am around the same day as you but it feels sooo long since I PMO'd ( a good thing of course!)

I'm feeling grateful today, grateful for all the opportunities I've had in life and grateful for being apart of this community even though I regretfully abandoned it some time ago. What I plan to change from what I did in the past is to stay connected to this forum....on my last long streak I abandoned it after the 90 day mark and I think that contributed to my eventual relapse.

Now, I am making this promise to myself; I will not leave this forum/community until I have the confidence to write a true, genuine success story....however long that takes. Not only does that mean having a huge streak, but feeling fulfilled in all facets of life, with %100 determination that you will never turn to PMO again, no matter how shitty the situation. Fulfillment doesn't mean no problems; just the willpower to deal with roadblocks in a positive, healthy manner each and every day while supporting others around you (equally important). I will never completely abandon this forum; I will visit on occasion in attempt to give back to others the best I can. I'm probably looking too far ahead into the future but I feel so motivated right now I can't help it lol

I know get's harder to find something uplifting/inspiring to write every day as you go longer, so I must remember not to put too much pressure on myself. It's okay to just check in when I am tired/flatlining or things haven't changed much...you don't have to write some amazing essay, it can just be a sentence or two to keep yourself on the right path. Excited for what the future holds, ready to remain vigilant and strong!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 20, 2019, 11:18:29 PM
Sounds like good ideas to me, checking in here occasionally. I'll plan to do that as well.

From what I have heard wet dreams are considered a good sign..... This reminds  me, oddly I am finding that when I am putting more into my recovery, posting cutting out sexual thoughts etc. it seems progress is much faster. I am around the same day as you but it feels sooo long since I PMO'd ( a good thing of course!)

I'm feeling grateful today, grateful for all the opportunities I've had in life and grateful for being apart of this community even though I regretfully abandoned it some time ago. What I plan to change from what I did in the past is to stay connected to this forum....on my last long streak I abandoned it after the 90 day mark and I think that contributed to my eventual relapse.

Now, I am making this promise to myself; I will not leave this forum/community until I have the confidence to write a true, genuine success story....however long that takes. Not only does that mean having a huge streak, but feeling fulfilled in all facets of life, with %100 determination that you will never turn to PMO again, no matter how shitty the situation. Fulfillment doesn't mean no problems; just the willpower to deal with roadblocks in a positive, healthy manner each and every day while supporting others around you (equally important). I will never completely abandon this forum; I will visit on occasion in attempt to give back to others the best I can. I'm probably looking too far ahead into the future but I feel so motivated right now I can't help it lol

I know get's harder to find something uplifting/inspiring to write every day as you go longer, so I must remember not to put too much pressure on myself. It's okay to just check in when I am tired/flatlining or things haven't changed much...you don't have to write some amazing essay, it can just be a sentence or two to keep yourself on the right path. Excited for what the future holds, ready to remain vigilant and strong!

Yes I definitely agree, I feel like I've made more progress since I've been part of this community again than when I was on my own. I think there was apart of me on my own that thought of PMO as an emergency stress reliever, like pulling the fire alarm in a burning building. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate your input!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 20, 2019, 11:25:37 PM
I feel like I am in the mindset of striving towards self-fulfillment, like it is my duty to myself to go through with this in a permanent and sustainable way. It's scarier for sure because there is the feeling of no turning back, but at the same time this is a huge opportunity for growth. I was reading an academic journal today for a class that talked about how sexism was rampant in art forms (paintings, literature, music) in the mid-19th century, how "the gaze" (represented as men treating women as objects of pure bliss from a distance, thus dehumanizing them) was a male-dominated way to fantasize woman while confirming a privileged, masculine identity. Of course society and culture has changed alot since then, but it did evoke alot of past feelings I had when in the middle of my PMO days...I have always feared getting close to a woman because of the mental image I created (through PMO) of the sexually charged, idealized female, something I have been scared to give up because it confirmed my "manhood"...if I PMO'd, I knew that I was a man because I was acting on 'sexual instinct'. I don't need that shit to prove anything anymore because I want real connections, and real connections mean sacrifice towards what is best for others around you...even if it makes you feel vulnerable. Damn this is really off topic but just felt like I needed to vent a little lol
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 22, 2019, 11:50:30 AM
Feels good to hit the 1 week mark....I am going to try to get alot of work done today so I can enjoy my weekend a little bit more. I've been having problems sleeping (hard to fall asleep/waking up in the middle of the night) but I just figured my stress levels have increased from doing this program. While that may be true, I know it is nothing too great for me to handle and won't let it away from my productivity, as I trust that my body will naturally adapt to these changes, even if it takes awhile. Also working out helps, I'll definitely be doing more of that. If it ever gets out of hand I will just take a fat nap in the middle of the day lol
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 22, 2019, 07:18:59 PM
Congrats on the 1 week mark!

I'm sure there is some stress associated with your recovery efforts. I know one of the most stressful periods of my life happened when I first actually tried quitting PMO. The thing I had used to numb myself to stress was no longer an option, so it all just came flooding in. So hang in there: you're doing great!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 22, 2019, 10:54:59 PM
Sounds like a good plan! Napping is a good idea, I have read a ton of books and it is uncanny how many super successful people were huge fans of naps. A 15 or 20 minute nap even can do wonders. I think I'll plan for one tomorrow.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 23, 2019, 01:02:20 PM
Thanks y'all! To help with the sleep problems I've decided to just listen to music before bedtime and let my mind go blank, rather than watching netflix/youtube right before bed. And it actually helped, it only took like 45 mins (I think) instead of the 2-3 hours it has been taking before! Got a lesson with my teacher today, then going to go see a concert with my friends...there is much work to do before that though but I already ran 4 miles today so I'm feeling good momentum. Yes the stress is there but as long as you tell yourself to relax and get yourself to do what you feel is important, it will begin to die down. I'm trying my best to live the mantra "lead through your actions, not your thoughts"
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 24, 2019, 12:31:59 PM
Definitely had some strong urges this morning....I was kind of in a half asleep/half awake state, like dreaming really vividly right before you wake up, when I was having this really sexual dream. I remember contemplating what to do in this dream but before I could do anything I woke up. While I know this is partly out of my control, it has definitely made it harder to deal with these urges because the dream felt so life-like, I was 100% convinced it was reality at the time.

Regardless, I am gunna do the best I can by taking it slow, getting a small to medium sized amount of work done, and continue to calm myself whenever these urges arrive, even when I feel like I don't want to and when they come at the most inconvenient and unexpected times....that's just the nature of the beast.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 25, 2019, 07:04:31 PM
I don't know what it is about dreams, but they really get me. I've had some romantic  but not sexual dreams this past week. Romantic fantasies seem harmless, but they've usually led me right to relapse. I've been fending off a few more urges today than I was a couple days ago, and I think my fantasizing about those dreams is definitely a part of it.

I think you're right to deal with urges as they come. I'm not very good at that. I think I'll just finish one more task and then take care of them, but then they will have done their damage. I'm going to try to take better care in the moment, just like you said you're going to do. No deadline is worth a relapse, that's something I'm going to try to remind myself.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 26, 2019, 01:35:46 AM
I've definitely been there before, fantasizing even real life situations for me lead to relapse unless I use it as motivation for action. In my opinion it's okay to 'fantasize' about being with someone if you make sure you are taking actual steps to make it become a reality...otherwise it will just be painful in the end.

That being said, I don't think I'm at that point yet...yeah I'm going to go out and talk to girls but I don't want to rush into anything, just try and be as friendly and true to myself as I can. I'm a pretty shy person so one thing I think would be good is to just try and open up towards people I'm not close with...the worst that could happen is they don't like me and shrug me off, and there's no reason to be needy enough to let that have a negative effect. Feeling not great today, but it's whatever...I think I'm gunna take a couple days off this forum, will check in if anything dramatic happens though. Best of luck to everyone, we got this!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 26, 2019, 10:01:43 PM
Enjoy the break! The shyness can definitely decrease, I used to be quite shy and I have not been considered shy by anyone I have met in years. Enjoy the forum break
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 27, 2019, 01:04:10 PM
Man, I did not see this coming but I got a serious wave of urges that led to a shameful relapse...I feel pretty down on myself because the whole point of taking a couple days of was to appreciate everything around me, and it seems like I did the opposite. It wasn't full P, but instagram really got me and I know never to go on there again or do anything that'll lead me to going on there. I'm also disappointed it hurt my chances of fixing my PE, as I pretty much o'd in a matter of 5 seconds

I don't want to be dramatic but I've been feeling pretty lonely lately, just haven't been socializing much and feel kind of stuck, like I don't have any positive momentum to get out of my shell. I need to find a different approach instead of just "ignore these thoughts" and get shit done because that won't work %100 of the time....that being said I'm traveling to meet up with a few of my best friends from undergrad in a couple of days so hopefully that will give me the momentum I need, as I haven't found any deep connections in graduate school.

I'm sorry if I bummed anyone out/let down people, I promise I will learn from this and bounce back stronger. I hope anyone reading this will be more successful than I have been so far. Even when I feel confident in my ability to abstain, I will continue to post on this forum for atleast 90 days (probably more), as I now know how quickly things can turn
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 27, 2019, 02:37:29 PM
https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/tools-for-change-recovery-from-porn-addiction/rebooting-advice-observations-from-successful-rebooters/my-thoughts-on-rebooting-extremely-long-post/

This post (although super long, it's well worth the read) really resonated with me, and I hope to adopt it and commit 100% towards my life vision. All this may seem over the top, but to me that's what works best, I've never been able to really commit to something unless I go all in.

For my last relapse, I used PMO to fill an emotional void that arose after the initial energy boost from building up a small (12 day) streak. Whenever I feel an urge, I will try my best to shift my focus to my priorities (in my first post) that shape my life vision;
- Mentally in a good state, willing to interact with others in an honest lighthearted way. Seeking greater relationships, and having thoughts of intention (that lead to action) rather than fantasizing about relationships. Calming myself down when I catch myself worrying what other people think of me (happens all the time) and telling myself it doesn't really matter as long as you're doing your best.
- Physically improving, Workout as much as possible hope to have a good amount of lean muscle and low fat within a few months. I'm pretty good with this, but always good to have a reminder
- Completely focused on the tasks I have to accomplish musically, every day it is crucial to lock in and focus on improving
- Reframe how I view relationships; I feel like a big reason I want a girlfriend is so I can have sex and rewire myself from my bad habits. I don't think this is the best approach, as a relationship is primarily about sharing yourself with that person: the good and the bad. This is hard for me, but I will direct my energy towards finding a way to do this...it may lead to embarrassment, but regardless will be a valuable learning experience
- Recognize that you will feel like absolute shit at times; sometimes when you least expect it, and could potentially last for extended periods of time. While PMO (or even just MO) may feel natural in these moments, it is only because these pathways are sensitive after years of PMO. It is not natural libido, even if it feels like it. These times are when it is MOST crucial to lean into my vision; reach out to a friend, try to do something kind for someone else, or just remind yourself how tough the music industry is but how it's been your dream to be a professional musician since you were a kid, and channel it into fulfilling that dream.
- I'm going to have a calendar to write when I relapsed and the days I was successful, so I can have a larger picture of my journey outside of the streak counter. While today is day 0, it is a better day 0 than 13 days ago. I'm happy that there's some progress but I know I can do better.

Looking forward to the boost of energy I'm getting from this fresh start, but also anticipating the inevitable void left by years of PMO that I hope to fill in a more healthy way this time around.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 27, 2019, 07:41:55 PM
Thanks for posting that link: I'll be sure to look at it more carefully when I get a chance.

That's a great list of things to consider moving forward. I definitely know that my problems with PMO come from trying to fill an emotional void. In it's own twisted way, this addiction is our brains' attempt to take care of us. You know, it makes the problems go away for a little bit. But it doesn't fix them, not even close. The thing I'm thinking about now is what I get from my addiction (or what I think I'm getting from it) and then finding more productive ways to deal with that emotional emptiness.

Hang in there: better days are ahead for us!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 27, 2019, 10:58:01 PM
Sorry to hear about the lapse... I think the vision is a great idea. Something good about reading about others' experiences, even if it doesn't work well is it reminds me of things that have worked.

For example in one of my longer streaks, I found that listening to motivational speakers was really nice and helpful, similar to what you are talking about with a vision, just having something in the future to think about and filling my mind up with good stuff. Some solid people are David Goggins and Zig Ziglar, imo they speak from the heart Ziglar is old school and has an old timey speaking style, but both guys had hard difficult lives and don't just say silly random pump up stuff imo. It's a reminder for me to put more into listening to good stuff like that.

As far as socializing, I can really really relate to the fantasizing about socializing versus actually socializing. I used to fantasize about being social so so so much. I think I wrote a lot about in my journal how real people and real relationships are not perfect like in fantasy but they are so so much better.... so, it's good to spend more time with real people and less fantasizing about it.

I made huge progress in the area of being social (I still have work to do on maintaining more relationships) and can share a few things that have helped me.

1) Activities- Trying several and picking some fun ones. Even if it isn't all that social, just being around people saying hi and bye can be start and help a little. Less social may be a spin class at the gym but at least you get some interaction. More social might be an improv class or a club at school. Also maybe can you leverage your music skills? Like are there music jams open mics or anything? That way you have something you are confident in as backup, you can fall back on playing music/ talking about music.

2)Part of it's mental- I just had this weird idea/ belief that being alone was horrible. Refraining a lone time can help. Like I have my apartment loaded up with interesting books. I had tons of free time today and luckily was able to look at it as like. Oh sick I can read all these books.

Also, realize this is common as hell now a days due to the internet and social media, tons of people our age feel lonely. It's a real bummer but at least a lot of other people probably are feeling the same and would like to hang out.


Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on March 28, 2019, 08:12:01 PM

2)Part of it's mental- I just had this weird idea/ belief that being alone was horrible. Refraining a lone time can help. Like I have my apartment loaded up with interesting books. I had tons of free time today and luckily was able to look at it as like. Oh sick I can read all these books.



Wow, I like this so much! I often feel bad about being alone, but why should I? It's awesome to get to spend time quietly working on myself and making progress on good projects. I should definitely see alone time as more of treat
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on March 28, 2019, 08:55:41 PM
@BlueHeronFan: Thanks, I appreciate your continued support! It's really amazing how the addiction can transform in the mind from this horrible thing to such a warm, comforting presence...even within the same day. The truth is, it doesn't really matter what our perception of it is, good or bad; all that matters is doing what is best for present and future selves, %100 percent of the time, no excuses.

@Quitforeverthenwin: Yeah, listening to other peoples stories is super helpful to me too. I've been listening to this Dax Shepherd's (actor, film director) podcast and he mentions all the struggles he's had with drug and alchohol addiction, and how he was never happy even when he had all the money, fame, and opportunity in the world.
- I like the scheduling activities idea; I've been playing basketball with some people from time to time but I'm going to start to try to do it more frequently. I also think I'm gunna schedule chamber music reading (I play violin) parties with alchohol which can be fun lol
- I usually am okay being alone, sometime it just hits me hard because I feel like I'm stuck in a cycle of being alone, but I know I am just creating a storyline in my mind that will allow me to feel sorry for myself. I'll definitely try to do better in this area

I feel good today, have been thinking alot about how I define success and what I rely on for happiness. I kind of realized that I am way too dependent on feedback from people and things around me. Like, if I try my best, then I should be satisfied with myself no matter the outcome right? Of course "trying my best" means no PMO, no fantasizing, that's definitely a good start...but it also means so much more; like being compassionate, kind, motivational, funny, while also encouraging others to think outside the box. Right now I am figuring out the best way to do these things (and more), but I must remind myself to never give up. The things that happen outside of my control don't even matter though, because every time I try and dont get what I hope for expect out of my effort, I will still be evolving, learning, becoming a stronger and better man. I think if I just focus on becoming a better person in all facets of life, getting over the addiction will be so much easier.

Another random thought...I feel like I will never be 100% confident that I will never watch P again. From a logical standpoint, I will live for another 60 years on average and will have constant access to the internet, with many hardships and depressing times to come. I think reminding myself that I can go back at literally any time scares me just a little bit, in a good, motivational way; Do I want an increasing amount of laziness, complacency, anxiety, and depression? If I choose PMO, that's what I'll have to live with. Hopefully through time I can be 99% confident I will never go back, with the knowledge that it still lingers, even as a tiny spec in the mind
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on March 28, 2019, 11:47:03 PM
I am with you on the "storyline in the head" about being alone. Luckily it is weaker, but I used to have these moments where I'd be perfectly happy then I'd realize omg I haven't been on a date in x months! And immediately feel miserable, it was like a conscious decision.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 02, 2019, 11:22:14 AM
Had a good last few days visiting old friends out of town....some urges here and there but nothing major. It was good to be able to socialize most of the time I was there, although I think it was also a little bit overwhelming as I haven't been around so many people for such long periods of time. Ideally I would want to just enjoy being around other people, but unfortunately I feel weird at moments when I don't know what to say or do. I'm definitely overthinking it, and I'm going to do my best to not put myself down for it and keep some optimism.

I can feel myself wanting to fantasize as a 'reward' for being around friends, but I'm going to shut that down...I don't want PMO to be a motivator for me to socialize because that will only limit the potential for deep connection with people. Plus I have alot of work to makeup so it'll be good to get back into the swing of things
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 02, 2019, 11:31:10 PM
Glad you had a good time with friends! I can relate to overthinking, it does get better for sure though. Yeah, good to recognize the pmo as a reward mindset is obviously one to be aware of and work to change.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 04, 2019, 08:48:44 PM
Thanks! While I still am overthinking as much as I usually do, I am able to easily recognize it and be like "oh thats not a big deal." Hopefully that will lead to results in being more present (especially around people) but I am not going to push or expect anything.

Another decent day, did some rowing/stair-stepper which was a little tough because I haven't worked out in a week and drank alot this past weekend, felt a good kind of sore and pushed through the rest of the day. I'm trying to adopt this concept I learned in meditation of relaxed focus through tapping into my innate self....so often I feel like I pressure myself to "create" relaxation and happiness through will or effort, when in fact I think that is best achieved by subtracting. Deep, calm focus is a quality humans have relied on to survive and thrive for thousands of years; we are biologically fine-tuned to it at our core. All it takes is letting the distractions, urges, and unpleasant thoughts drift away (and moving away from habits that distort reality such as PMO)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 05, 2019, 01:31:12 PM
Great stuff! I think just noticing thoughts and bad tendencies is huge! It's like a main premise of mindfulness and actually gives me pleasure. It's cool to start worrying and be able to recognize it and stop it.

Ditto on the focus, I am really putting a lot into avoiding cell phone checking, only checking it proactively, planning to check it in chunks. That is huge for focus imo.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 05, 2019, 06:58:38 PM
Keep it going, man! Glad you're sticking with it.

Another huge vote in support of mindfulness. I've been working on understanding my feelings more lately, especially anxiety and worry. I've been a lot more nervous lately than I remember being before, and I definitely think it contributes to addiction. So I've been trying to take better care of that.

Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 05, 2019, 09:34:33 PM
Thanks y'all, the continued support from y'all is definitely helping me out!

Today felt pretty good...while I wasn't as productive as I hoped I felt alot lighter and easygoing than I usually do, more social with people and didn't really feel weird being in public like I usually do. I think a big contributor to this has been from meditation, the lesson I learned today is not controlling thoughts, but letting them naturally flow from one thing to the next. Also, I realized that there will always be a part of me that cares what other people think of me, but at the same time I'll never REALLY know, and there's no point in speculating as their opinions of me are as much a reflection of themselves than it is of me....I felt really relieved most of the day not having to try to "not be weird" and just let things happen more naturally, things seemed more random in a pleasant way!

I also realize alot of the things I say are variations of the same concept from my previous posts, but I think it's helpful in a therapeutic way to restate and reinterpret your ideas, giving it fresh life and helping clearly define your goals.

Urges have decreased, but am aware that this is a looooong process so will not be suprised if they come back with a vengeance in the future...either way, I'll be ready.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 05, 2019, 09:59:44 PM
Great stuff! Yeah, writing the same stuff is actually a great thing imo. The mind forgets so easily, repeated over and over helps me always.

Funny, I think meditation is soooo the best. I am having similar insights and credit it to my meditation which I have done much much more off. Like noticing when my mind is out of wack instead of thinking my thoughts are real. Meditation is the best and soooo key.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 06, 2019, 07:27:43 PM
For sure, meditation is awesome! Especially when you could find ways to directly apply it to situations in the real world

Another day, feeling okay I guess. I know this sounds ridiculous but a rush of dopamine hit when I saw an instagram girl in the autofill of my google search bar when searching for something else, so I just cleared all my search history so hopefully something like that won't happen again. Even if it does, no biggie. I feel pretty sensitive being around women, like I could tell my brain wants to sexualize them but I'm doing a good job just staying cool and collected. Worked out today and plan to play basketball with some friends tomorrow, should be a good time!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 07, 2019, 07:01:46 PM
It doesn't sound ridiculous at all! I've been paying more attention to the rushes of dopamine that hit me throughout the day. I think you did the right thing to clear it out of your search bar and move on. I used to think that the dopamine was okay as long as it was porn, but that dopamine rush always leads me to relapse if I don't take it seriously. So it's actually super awesome that you recognized it and took action. Yeah, we're trying to quit PMO but means going earlier in the process and recalibrating our brains' messed-up dopamine systems.

So here's an internet high-five for you!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 07, 2019, 08:24:30 PM
Great information here guys.... avoiding those dopamine rushes is big! A good message for me, to put more into avoiding them.

Basketball/ sports in general are great. I got a little into basketball during one of my reboots and it was hugely helpful. Sports, especially team ones are some of the best things ever. It's exercise and social, and the cool thing is even when you feel awful you can still play and be social even if you feel a little awkward.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 07, 2019, 09:16:11 PM
Thanks @BlueHeronfan! I realized that when I take the steps to avoid the artificial sources of dopamine, the genuine dopamine hits from being with friends, playing music, and exercising are all the more satisfying, so that's an extra motivator as well!

@Quitforeverthenwin yeah definitely! I think a part of it is accepting that the rushes will come when you don't want them to, but always knowing you can just let them pass and move on with your life :) yeah basketball is dope, reallly fun and also an amazing cardio workout if you're going hard!

Pretty good day, got some good basketball in and am feeling really good at where I am physically and mentally at this point, while still realizing there's alot to improve upon. My violin practicing has been good but I feel like it can be better...I feel motivated during the day to improve but oftentimes I feel the most motivation right before bed, after the day is pretty much over which is weird lol. I'm going to try to push myself just a little bit more and see what happens. Outside of that, I've been dealing with urges the same way so I hope a minimal increase in workload will not affect the vigilance I have kept so far
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 08, 2019, 01:56:48 PM
Sounds good! That makes sense, things seem to be going well and slowly methodically adding more in, sounds like a plan.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 08, 2019, 06:50:10 PM
Good stuff!

I really like how our journeys of recovery involve so much more than just quitting PMO. We're really working to become healthier, better people in every aspect of our lives, and that's an inspiring thing. Keep it up!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 08, 2019, 09:51:08 PM
Thanks again guys! Yeah I think rebooting is really a lifestyle change, even if it's just small changes, as I have realized my addiction has definitely hurt many aspects of my life in the past.

Good day, pushed myself more than I usually did, so some tiredness is to be expected. I have a big audition at the end of the month so I really want to make the most out of every day, music-wise especially so I have 0 regrets when I step on stage for that audition. I think a way to "hack" rebooting is to really hone in on the things that you want to achieve, rather than just sitting on your hands and be like "yay I'm not PMO'ing," and not change anything else, I honestly think it speeds up your recovery so that you need less days to achieve stronger results. This is just speculative, but I feel so much better about my progress with dealing with urges this time around compared to past reboots when I was pretty much the same person outside of PMOing. Anyways I'm super tired so I'm about to pass out lol
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 08, 2019, 10:51:19 PM
Awesome man! That is a great kind of tired, busting your ass on things that you want.

I totally agree, my first long streak I basically forgot about pmo because I was working on a major goal. On that note, I have just started working on goal setting. I know goals are really related to dopamine and I feel setting and achieving even small goals must be a good way to get the brain working properly again, delayed gratification, healthy dopamine usage etc.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 10, 2019, 12:41:49 PM
Had a really fucked up dream involving "sex robots" which has kind of bummed me out so far today...I know dreams are random and don't mean anything but it's so vivid in my memory it is starting to bother me a little bit, and did trigger some urges. Regardless, I'm gunna stay strong cause there's much work to do, I meditated which I think helped a little, felt really anxious in class today but there's plenty of day left to make the most out of, no need to sulk in my own despair when I can do things that make me feel better in a healthier, more sustainable way.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 10, 2019, 05:14:45 PM
Mine didn't involve sex robots but I had a weird pmoish dream a few months ago.... I can't remember what it was a bout! but I felt the same way. That right there is a message that it'll pass. Remember the rough patches always patch! I  had a pretty long one but the last few days have been good. It feels bad, but good things are still happening in your brain.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 10, 2019, 07:07:44 PM
Man, PMO-related dreams mess me up for a day or two when they happen. Stay the course though! (Not like you need me to tell you that)

I think you're right on with your "hack." If all we're thinking about is quitting PMO, we're still just thinking about PMO all day, and that doesn't help anything. If we switch to thinking about goals, though, that's a real change of our mindset and habits of thinking. Great insight!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 11, 2019, 12:25:16 PM
Thanks guys! Urges, are strong today, it's like my brain is trying to find an excuse to fantasize from anything I do...I'm going to take a nap bc I've been pretty sleep deprived and hopefully I'l feel better later. Regardless, I think I need to be kinder to myself as I often scold myself for slipping up into fantasizing, looking at a youtube video that would turn me on. It's hard finding that balance between compassion and discipline, and sometimes both is needed greatly at the same time, especially when urges get really bad.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 11, 2019, 04:53:17 PM
Stay strong bro!I'd say ESPECIALLY avoid the youtube video like the plague that is a slippery dangerous slope. I feel you, finding that balance is hard.

Part of it, I think is being both. Being super strict about not doing any of this bad stuff but without chastizing ourselves or being mad for wanting to or imperfects. Almost like avoiding it is a way to take care of ourselves.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 11, 2019, 07:43:06 PM
I was right where you are a couple days ago. The strong urges are AWFUL! But they've settled down as I've gone through the week. It might take a while, but they will die down, so keep doing what you know you should and stay clear of anything that could tip you over the edge.

I've been doing meditation and learning about anxiety a lot lately. One of the things I listened to recently said that when we just pay attention to the physical sensation of anxiety, where is it in the body, what does it feel like, etc., we approach that anxiety with curiosity instead of worry. And, because curiosity feels better than worry, our brain starts to build a new habit around curiosity instead of worrying.

It might be that what you need to do now is just lose yourself in some task--exercise, dancing, some kind of handiwork--and just get your mind away from any urges. But, it might also be useful to spend some time understanding what you feel when you feel an urge, not worrying about it or judging it or acting on it, but just understanding it. Depending on my mood that could either help me or push me over the edge, so you'll have to decide what's right for you now.

Either way, we're here for you. Don't let those urges have their way!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 13, 2019, 01:10:28 PM
Thanks guys! Yeah @blueheronfan that's a really good idea that connects alot from what I am starting to get out of meditation, I think I instinctually try to push anxiety down when I'm around people, but that only makes it come back stronger. My worry is always that if I lean into my anxiety that I will act even weirder than I already am being, but even if that's the case that's the only way I can move forward and not let it effect me as much. I think I'm at the point in the streak where there are no real benefits to speak of, as well as fluctuating urges. I just gotta keep reminding myself that this is better than PMO because of my long-term goals, and continue to look towards things in the future; my big audition in a couple weeks, and then get to see some of my best friends and road trip around in the summer. While it hit me especially hard the last few days that I haven't made any deep connections with people during my time here in grad school since the year is pretty much over, I won't let that take away from who I am towards the people I care about and the people that care about me.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 13, 2019, 07:36:16 PM
Recovery can definitely be a bit of a drag sometimes. We turn to PMO because it lets us trade the anxiety of life for a dopamine high, so I guess it isn't surprising that things can seem a little flat or a little bleak without it. But we're in the process of readjusting to normal stimuli, and I guess that takes time.

And I'm with you on grad school. It can be hard to make connections. Even harder not to feel anxiety all the time. Grad school is hard, and grad students deal with anxiety and depression at something like three times the rate of the general population. I don't mean to be discouraging, just to say that we need to take time to take care of ourselves, whatever that means.

I think recovery and grad school are both ways to do something really hard (that we sometimes wonder if it's even worth it) in order to have a better life in the future. I don't know why we decided to put ourselves through both at the same time lol, but just think of the lives we'll have when we're through  ;D They'll definitely both be worth it!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 15, 2019, 01:00:41 PM
Thanks @BlueHeronFan, yes patience is definitely key. For sure it's important to take care of ourselves in healthy ways, I got to play some bball yesterday with people which definitely made me feel better

Urges are present, but not as bad as earlier. I do know that I want to be ready (whatever that means) for a relationship as soon as possible, and I truly believe no PMO is the best way to get there. Relationships with people are always going to be unpredictable, so all we can control is ourselves to be ready for anything, otherwise we will miss potentially life changing opportunities. Only 2 weeks left of school, and I'm going to do what I can to make every day count and finish the year strong.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 15, 2019, 06:44:31 PM
You got it! We're on the last couple weeks of class too. It's going to be a big push to the end, but we can do it!

And I know exactly what you mean: I want a relationship and I want to make sure that I'm actually ready for it when it comes. I want to give the best version of me to whoever I end up with, and kicking this habit is a huge part of that. Let's get us worked out so that we can be the kinds of guys that will attract the kinds of women we want to attract!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 15, 2019, 07:52:40 PM
No doubt about that, no pmo is the way to go 100%. Keep it up!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 16, 2019, 10:54:39 PM
Another day, not as productive as I've hoped for but thats okay, I feel more peaceful and less anxious than I usually do. Hope to do better tomorrow!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 18, 2019, 09:50:44 AM
Great man, glad to hear you had a good day!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 20, 2019, 11:45:59 AM
Final stretch, I've been feeling more of an urge to just be generally lazy rather than PMO, which is less stressful but has also hurt my production these last couple days. I think my brain is like "good job not PMO'ing, as a reward you can just watch netflix/youtube and chill." I think it's partly because I am already in "summer mode" with a week of school to go, but I gotta remind myself to just focus on what I have to do every day and not look too far ahead. If I do that, the future will be naturally brighter...3 days till I hit the 30 day mark!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 20, 2019, 07:40:50 PM
Three days! That is awesome! Keep it up!

Congrats too on almost finishing up classes for semester. I know part of my recovery means wanting to be productive and get better all the time, but I'm trying to learn how to take it easy sometimes too. So, of course, don't write yourself a ticket to do whatever you want, but don't feel too bad about going into summer mode. Everyone needs a break once in a while
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 20, 2019, 11:42:01 PM
Congrats bro! Something I think about is having better "lows". Like my old lows were PMO and awful emotional pain after. Now my unproductive days are reading and napping. SO, that's good progress! Cutting out the pmo is the priority after all....
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 22, 2019, 10:04:49 AM
That's true y'all, I shouldn't be too hard on myself for my lows, at least one thing that comes out of it is that they serve as a reminder and motivator to hit my highs again.

Day 30:
Very busy this week, 2 finals, huge audition in 8 days, and have some other loose ends to tie up. I am proud for going this far but honestly haven't feel much different these last couple weeks, which is completely fine. It's important to remind myself to not look for results and just keep a mentality of balance of self-motivation and kindness with progress to continue to maintain my healthy habits and improve how I go about them. Being humble, being grateful for what I have, and having optimism are three important things that I often get away from, I will try to keep it in the back of my mind as I go about my day.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 22, 2019, 07:58:43 PM
Congrats bro on the day 30! Even if you don't feel too different lately, day 30 is still huge progress! So that is results right there in my opinion. Getting this streak will pay dividends for sure, even if you don't notice it, I bet being PMO free has really helped your audition prep.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 23, 2019, 09:22:46 PM
30 Days! That's awesome!

Man, humility, gratitude, and optimism. That's huge, and I could definitely work on all three of those more consistently. It's so inspiring to see other people making progress. You know, I was really nervous about joining a forum like this one, but I'm really glad I did. Thanks (to you and everyone) for sharing your progress with me and for being a part of my recovery too.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on April 24, 2019, 12:23:24 PM
Thanks y'all! Yeah I've definitely had my doubts about joining a forum like this too, but it does feel nice letting out my thoughts without fear of judgement. I'm grateful for y'all sharing your stories, because they have helped me more than you guys can imagine.

Urges come and go, nothing too different than what I've been experiencing. I'm really enjoying my meditation now when in the past I think I thought of it more as a thing to do to get better. Just sitting and focusing on the breath brings on such a wave of calm that helps me get through the days. It feels weird not wanting anything past friendship with girls right now...I feel like I've desired sex/romance consistently since puberty lol. I just feel like I need to distance myself from this addiction to the point where I have 99% confidence I will never turn back...that may be a long road but one that will prepare me for the future.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on April 24, 2019, 10:55:55 PM
Sounds like you are in a great spot! Enjoying your meditation, not wanting anything from girls. All really good stuff. Keep up the good work. Freindships with girls sounds really good, thats an area I always struggled with.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on April 25, 2019, 07:46:46 PM
Keep it going, man! Glad the meditation is working, too. It really does take the edge off, doesn't it?
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 03, 2019, 12:50:34 PM
Thanks y'all! Things have been getting alot better for me socially, I'm back home around friends that I've missed alot in grad school and I feel like I can be more open towards people I am just meeting. Sure there's some awkwardness here and there, but I'm not fixating on it like I usually do. Being around people almost all the time (I stayed at a friend's house this past week) has definitely made the urges way less intense, and now that I'm back home I feel refreshed and ready to take my self-improvement to the next level.

While my audition didn't go as well as I hoped, partly from lack of organization in my preparation and partly from being unfocused with all the school and loneliness stuff, I'm feeling optimistic about doing better next time; I signed up for this online program that will help me organize my preparation so when my next audition comes I'll go in with 100% confidence. Looking forward to a great summer!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 03, 2019, 06:05:23 PM
Sounds like great stuff! Glad to hear things are going well and that you are optimistic about the next audition. I feel you on the lonliness, I think part of it could be getting comfortable getting pmo out of our lives.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 04, 2019, 01:10:54 PM
I totally agree, there is definitely a part of me that is uncomfortable with the thought of never PMO'ing again. I think the best thing for me is to just accept it and try to shift my focus to other things that I am interested in.

Worked out really hard this morning, my muscles are sore but I'm gunna push through and get some good practicing in. I know there will be time for breaks in the future, but now I gotta step up and grind. Meditation serves as a break from all the mental strain from the things I do, so definitely looking forward to that at some point today as well.

Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 04, 2019, 07:36:18 PM
Glad you're still making progress!

I totally agree, there is definitely a part of me that is uncomfortable with the thought of never PMO'ing again. I think the best thing for me is to just accept it and try to shift my focus to other things that I am interested in.


I've been thinking a lot about this same thing in the last few days. It's been weird, in the urges that I've felt, I've also been like weirdly missing PMO, like the way I might miss a friend from back home. I remember reading a long time ago that PMO works with the same chemicals that our brains release when we are in relationships with people. So I kind of wonder if the feeling of loneliness is just our brains' way of interpreting a lack of PMO.

I know these feelings, and they always seem to hit me hardest at night for some reason. It's weird to feel lonely and homesick for porn at the same time that I'm trying to quit and keep myself away from it all. But I'm sure the weirdness is temporary, and all we can do is just keep going forward!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: LeanAndBop on May 05, 2019, 04:59:01 AM
I can understand how you would miss PMO, if it has been a means to sooth your angst or whatever it may be (perhaps it just felt great) then it is natural to miss it, surely? It benefited you, to an extent.

But here is the thing, it feels good and soothes you (whatever the purpose was, these are examples) but this is a short term benefit for you. Consuming porn provides a short term benefit for the consumer...what about the long term? What about the rest of society? As I'm sure you guys know otherwise we wouldn't be here trying to quit PMO!

Just some thoughts.

Wishing you all the best.


Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 05, 2019, 03:33:27 PM
I'm totally with you @BlueHeronFan, it does generate that homesick feeling sometimes. What keeps me going is reminding myself that this feeling is nothing more than that; the actual experience of relapsing will just be 2 seconds of pleasure with shame, depression, anxiety, and even more loneliness. On the other hand, when I'm homesick for friends and family, I know that when I eventually get to see them the experience is really fulfilling and reminds me of what is important in life.

Thanks for your input, @LeanAndBop. It makes me sad to think about how many lives are being negatively affected by porn, without them even knowing about it. On the other hand, knowing that I have an opportunity to remove myself from this group is all the more motivating.

I feel tired, but a good kind of tired...I've worked out and done alot of good organizational stuff today such as planning out my practice schedule for the next month, and feel good about just living more and being present: when it's time to work, I'm in it 100% and when I'm around friends and family I'm also in it 100%. Time to go meditate and keep the good vibes going!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 05, 2019, 06:25:36 PM
I love that good kind of tired, glad to hear it.

You're right on about the difference of being homesick for PMO and being homesick for family. You don't feel shame and disappointment after spending time with your family. PMO is fake and it tries to replace the things that really matter. It's pretty rude for what it does.

And I also think about all those people who are deep into porn without realizing the harm it does. On some level, I always knew it was wrong, and that finally brought me to work on recovery. But what about those people who don't think there's a problem with it. It really is sad... Sometimes I wonder what I can do to fight the porn industry, but I guess getting it out of my own life is the most important first step. At least I know where to start with just me. Maybe later I'll be in some position to fight the issue more publicly. Who knows?
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: mym8marty on May 06, 2019, 12:37:00 AM
Damn, I have definitely felt that feeling of missing PMO and I thought it was just me. It’s really good to know that it’s normal... it’s hard to imagine what life would be like if I had to say goodbye to an old friend of mine and never speak with them again. It’s not hard to imagine how great my life would be if I said goodbye to PMO for the rest of my life. So why do I get that same feeling?? Stupid brain chemicals.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 07, 2019, 08:23:22 PM
Good insight yall! I actually revealed my problem with P addiction with my friend a few months ago, and just last week he called me and told me he wants to quit for good and it’s been super gratifying and motivating to help him! For me it’s nearly impossible to talk about this with others in real life, but the one time I did it’s directly improved both my life and my friends life.

Man, PMO feels like that ex that you know you had a toxic relationship with but still want to get back together with, just bc the brain is playing tricks by reminding you of the good times...but I see a better way too- I am a 22yr old man that has the opportunity to improve myself and the lives of others both consistently and in a really genuine way, and this music thing has a real chance to become a lifelong career, i am definitely grateful for that! Have been visiting family for the last couple days which has been great; I feel even farther from the lonely lethargic person I was in grad school a month ago. Going to relax and enjoy these next couple of days, and back to the grind when I get back Thursday night!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 08, 2019, 03:57:30 PM
Sounds great man! Glad to hear you are feeling do grateful, it's a great emotion to feel.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 08, 2019, 06:44:58 PM
That's awesome! I'm really glad that you're able to help your friend. I think porn wins whenever we are alone or feel alone, so it's great that your friend has responded well to your trust and is now coming to you for help.

And super congrats on the music stuff! We're all definitely on the right track, and the positive changes in the rest of our lives is just evidence of that.

Keep it going!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 14, 2019, 06:15:45 PM
Hey, man, I've been in and out lately, but it feels like it's been a while.

Hope things are going well for you! If not, here's to better days ahead!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 14, 2019, 10:47:09 PM
Same here! Hope your doing good! Stay strong and if worst comes to worst, you can always get back on the horse.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 20, 2019, 06:19:18 PM
Oh man I didn't realize how long it's been since I last posted....sorry about that! I've been staying at a friends house cause he left yesterday and I don't know the next time I'll see him, so I was just hanging with him and other people and pretty much never had my laptop out. I think things are getting better; I feel generally pretty positive, no huge feelings of sadness and despair, but also not really times I've been super excited or elated about anything. I guess this is just what reality is 99% of the time for healthy people, and maybe I'm okay with that. Of course, I still have tendencies to want huge swings in emotion, wether it is sadness or happiness...I honestly think porn was more of a symptom of that than a cause. Now I just really want to connect more with people, both old and new, but I am also willing to be patient and wait for the right opportunities.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 20, 2019, 11:31:57 PM
Man that is so great! Really glad you are doing well. Was wondering about you! That is awesome and like you said feeling pretty good with out emotional swings is probably best case scenario for a healthy way of being!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 21, 2019, 06:27:07 PM
That's awesome! Glad you're back and glad that you were away for a really good reason; real people win over internet people any day lol.

You know, I've been thinking about my feelings a lot lately, too. I think on a scale from 0 (crazy sad) to 10 (crazy happy), I have sort of averaged out at around a 4 or 5 the last few months without much variation. And I've been wondering about that because I feel like I have been having more success in recovery than anytime recently that I can remember, so I expect to feel better than I do. Now that I don't have the crazy swings of PMO highs and regret lows, things are just flatter. And, like you, maybe I'm okay with that. Maybe that's just what healthy life is like. I could probably afford to bring my average up a little closer to happiness side of the line, but it's probably a good thing to be learning how to just have the feelings we're having without chasing big mood swings like before.

Just some rambling (since that's what I seem to do best). Seriously glad to see you're doing well!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 21, 2019, 09:13:55 PM
Thanks for sticking with me even though I seemingly abandoned y'all @blueheronfan and @quitforeverandwin! @Blue yes real life is more important than online, but being on here impacts how I am in the real world, so I kind of see it as an extension of the real world, a safe space to figure things out and apply ideas to the real world in hopes of improving the lives of myself and others.

Okay day, not super productive but that's okay, still got a decent workout and some decent practice. I had to make a facebook account for this audition training program which has been great so far bc you get to connect with other likeminded people from around the world, but the simple fact of having account first led me to look up people I haven't seen in awhile, then start looking for people I barely knew but were super attractive. I didn't get any huge urges or anything, just felt bad and super creepy since I never interacted with them in real life.

I have been playing past life events in my head recently where I feel like I missed a big opportunity, wether it is a potential relationship, a potential experience for personal growth, or anything else positive...I tend to get totally consumed by these thoughts because my brain tells me that I could've been such a different person (for the better) than I am right now. I feel that as I get older, my social skills get increasingly more dull, and I'm just trying to slow down the inevitable. I know that these thoughts suck and don't make any sense...I plan to take small steps every day to let go of this narrative. One thing I try to tell myself is that the present is the only thing that matters and you should make the most of it, but the more I do that it feels that the inevitable slip-up (since it's impossible to be totally in the moment %100 of the time) makes the regrets for the past even stronger. Perhaps I am not looking at the bigger picture behind all of this...hopefully there will be a breaking point where the thoughts about the past get weaker rather than stronger if I just keep trying to live out the teachings from my meditation. As you can probably tell, it's a confusing time for me lol, partly bc I am in a really solid routine that I feel good about and there are no big problems, but something just feels off, and I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe it's something that can't be put into words, maybe there is a part of me that I either don't know or haven't seen in the "right perspective." For now, just gunna shrug my shoulders and soldier on

I will try super hard to be on here seven days a week even if I'm staying at a friends place without my laptop, I can always use my phone. I genuinely appreciate the support from y'all, but unfortunately due to my self-esteem issues I often don't realize that I have a positive effect being on here and posting consistently. The fact that I am helping others is more than enough reason to post here every day, or every other day at the very least. I tend to isolate myself and I guess that tendency also drifted towards this online community, which speaks to my lack of understanding of what this community is all about.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 21, 2019, 11:37:29 PM
Well, from what I gather from the post, you are regretting some things from the past and feeling off about some of what you are doing... but you are doing the right things now. From the outside, that seems like a good place to be.... Perhaps it just takes time to get comfortable with the new better routines so our subconcious sort of trys to trip us up for a bit. I remember reading that, any change even positive ones go through growing pains.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 23, 2019, 07:44:07 AM
That's a good way to think about it, Quit! It kinda reminds me of when I had my growth spurt, I was this tiny little kid and then over the next 2 years I grew like 7 inches, it was painful (especially on the hips and knees for some reason) but in the end I was average/above average in height and feeling great!

I feel good about where I'm at mentally. While my brain does drift to the past, it is not anything that really is hindering me from progressing towards my goals, more like an unpleasant, nagging itch (kind of like PMO urges). Woke up super early today but feeling good; going to go for a run now before it gets too hot, and then will do some strength training. After that, gunna practice ALOT today bc my string broke yesterday so I wanted to give the new string time to "settle," so I didn't practice as much as I wanted to but it was still pretty good yesterday. Outside of that, just keep going with my daily meditation, and try to be on youtube significantly less. I have been watching informative videos, but even those can get me sucked in and watch more than I plan to lol. Looking forward to hanging with some people tmrw night!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 23, 2019, 09:35:02 AM
Hey that's great! The growing analogy is a really great way to look at it, and remember the principle imo. Sounds like more of the same, seems like you're in a good spot and doing the right things!

Also yeah, I know what you mean about youtube, they have STRONG algorithms to keep us on there, at least it's informative/useful stuff you are watching. I started using mostly audio books from the library instead, listening while I clean and stuff. Most libraries now a days have like 10s of 1000s of audio/ online books. (they make deals with publishers/ providers) so it's a way to get lots of info but without being reccomended video after video etc.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 23, 2019, 05:42:56 PM
Oh, I know the feelings of lost opportunities, etc. I've definitely spent some time (too much time) worrying about how PMO has ruined opportunities for me in the past. It can be super easy to dwell on what might have been if I had gotten my act together faster. But I didn't. Part of what keeps me going is that I have to  believe that no opportunity is really lost and that what happened in the past really doesn't matter. What matters is what I do today and what I set myself up to do tomorrow. So I don't know, if you're anything like me, it can be helpful to think about. The best is still ahead of us!

But, man, YouTube sucks me in really easy too. I guess that's what it's designed to do, but it's something I've been working on. I also mostly just watch educational/productive things, but still. I could actually do things instead of watch them. But I really like Quit's idea of audiobooks. That's not something that I've ever been very aware of, but I do have a library card, so I might look into it. I really like the idea of reading more than I sometimes like actually reading, but having a good book to listen to while I cook and drive could be really awesome.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 28, 2019, 02:53:27 PM
Went on a camping trip with friends and limited access to wifi/data, which was really nice! Did some good hiking, and just being outdoors and surrounded by nature just makes me feel at peace. Once I got back to the "real world" I could feel my brain getting more antsy again after watching youtube and just being on my phone, but atleast I found progress in first recognizing that my brain is speeding up and getting to excited, and not going too deep into it, watching 5-10 mins at a time, and being more present in the more important things. Going to a baseball game today with friends, should be a good night!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 28, 2019, 06:23:39 PM
That's a great report! Glad you're having a good time and doing good things.

And it's so great that you noticed the beginning of the cycle on YouTube. That's huge because that isn't PMO, not even close, but those kinds of sensations are the early triggers that can really push us over the edge if we aren't careful. Catching it early and being aware is a huge step towards success, I think.

Keep it going, man!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 29, 2019, 03:55:41 PM
Thanks @Blueheron! Yeah, I truly believe I can get a hold over watching too much Youtube, but I'll definitely monitor it carefully, make sure I'm watching more educational/informative videos over stupid ones, and if I ever feel particularly drawn to PMO/dopamine one day I'll tell myself to take atleast a day off from youtube.

I feel bad because I have said multiple times that I would be on here more often than I have recently...it seems selfish that y'all have helped me so much by posting on my forum constantly and I just show up once every week or so. I have another camping trip planned June 6-9, but outside of this I should be on here atleast every other day. I just wanna say that I've never even considered leaving this forum, as I remember posting really early on here that even if I feel good, it is important to be on here to help others any way I can. And yes, I do feel good now, but I have this lingering sense that something bad will happen and things will start to go downhill, based off my life experience. Or maybe not even anything actually will happen, maybe one day I'll feel like I am actually not any closer to having a girlfriend than I was when I started this journey as I have no real prospects right now, and I will fall back into the vicious cycle again. Man, that's a scary thought
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 30, 2019, 06:11:55 PM
Glad you're here to stay! I know you've helped me, and I know it also helps to help other people.

I know about not having prospects and about feeling like the vicious cycle could crash down at any time. It is a scary thought, but I think it can be a useful kind of scary. I know I've always fallen hard when I thought I was cured and invincible. Keep a little of that fear in you lol so that you don't let your guard down. Telling myself that my recovery starts over each day has definitely helped me to be more careful than before.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on May 30, 2019, 06:29:52 PM
Thanks @Blueheron, alot of times I feel crazy with the things I say in this journal lol, I appreciate your understanding and support! On a broader scale, I like to remind myself of the fragility of life; we can die at any moment, so there is no reason to procrastinate things that you know you can do. My brain has been telling me recently that if I PMO, nothing will change. It may not tangibly change too much if i do relapse, but I think my mindset will be less "making the most of my time" and more "what can I do to feel better." Hopefully, these two thoughts will merge into one more if I keep going.

I had alot of urges today...I kind of realized when I am about to go into "weekend mode" I start to lose focus and get lazy, bored, etc. It's okay to look forward to doing fun things, but at the same time I gotta make sure that I finish out the week strong! Not too great doing that this week, but I'll set a reminder on my phone sounday and monday to have REALLY productive days so I can set myself up well. Saturday will also be a good day, but I plan to take the evening off with friends (and probably most of the morning).

Idk if this is the "right" thing to do or not, but I've been keeping a separate urges journal; I write down specifically: the trigger, the urge, and the time and date, and sometimes I'll write how I can avoid that situation next time (if possible). It has been very repetitive recently, I had a dream about a "favorite" P video of mine and it has come up really unexpectedly during the day, like even if I just see a semi-attractive girl on TV my mind will start to drift towards it. I keep it private cause the specificity could really trigger some people I think, and also because I treat it as more of a scientific journal where I am just filling out categories with time-stamps and trying to notice long and short-term trends. Looking at it in a more scientific way has helped me take all the negative emotions associated with it out (temporarily), which I think has helped me alot over these past couple months or so.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on May 31, 2019, 03:46:39 PM
Camping sounds awesome! There isn't much better than that for the mind in my opinion. The urge journal sounds like a great idea! I have heard it recommended elsewhere as well.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on May 31, 2019, 05:02:54 PM
Anytime! One of the things that I've learned posting here is that all the crazy things that I thought only happened to me happen to other people too. We're all crazy, and we're all working on it, lol.

I'm intrigued by the urges journal. I think it's a useful exercise to keep track of triggers and reactions. If nothing else, it makes you more aware of what is going on in your head, and that can only be helpful. (Unless the journal triggers you too, but it doesn't sound like that's the case.) Keep doing what works!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 02, 2019, 05:22:53 PM
Oddly enough, the urge journal doesn't trigger me! I can't say the same for anyone else that tries it, but for me when I write my urge down there it's like I'm, putting the thought in prison, it's locked up and while thinking about it can hurt me, there is nothing it can do to physically control me.

Felt pretty sick this weekend, and with it came some strong urges. Being bedridden threw my daily routine off, but I went for a run today and feel alot better. Going to take it easy today and make sure that I'm feeling 100% before I go hard tomorrow.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 02, 2019, 06:07:16 PM
Sorry you felt sick, but glad you're doing better. Hope your week starts off great!

I'm with you, though: writing really helps me. For some reason, urges and things drive me crazy when I just think about, but they seem to lose a lot of their power when I write them down. Then they're out of my head, and I can see them for what they are, just ideas and thoughts that aren't as powerful and urgent as they sometimes feel.

Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on June 03, 2019, 06:30:47 AM
Sorry you felt sick, but glad you're doing better. Hope your week starts off great!

I'm with you, though: writing really helps me. For some reason, urges and things drive me crazy when I just think about, but they seem to lose a lot of their power when I write them down. Then they're out of my head, and I can see them for what they are, just ideas and thoughts that aren't as powerful and urgent as they sometimes feel.

Also, writing them down could work like a period of time when you "delay" an eventual relapse, if this makes sense. Because instead of PMO-ing, you are doing something else.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on June 08, 2019, 04:12:31 PM
The urge journal thing sounds smart! The writing them down and getting them out of the head...
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 11, 2019, 04:05:31 PM
I've still been slipping up posting here consistently, it's like I only think of writing here when I am busy with something else lol, maybe bc most of my triggers have come while doing intensive work, while at other times my triggers have mostly come when I was bored. Oh well, will set a reminder to post tomorrow and hopefully will get this going again.

Other than that, feeling pretty normal outside of a few triggers here and there; one actually made my heart rate go crazy, but writing it down in my urge journal; the exact feeling of the trigger (which body parts, how intense, mental thoughts while triggered, etc.)  and detailing possible reasons why it's coming up is really therapeutic to me.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 12, 2019, 06:15:16 PM
Sounds good! I've got a reminder set on my phone, but it still doesn't always work out.

Keep on keeping on! Sounds like that urge journal is really working out
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 13, 2019, 02:34:35 PM
Thanks! Yeah it has really helped alot...you can make it into a game where you can find patterns, rank them from worst to least, which ones can I prepare for next time vs. which ones are inevitable. Lol maybe not the most fun thing to do but it beats stressing out over them.

Really good meditation today. I had an insight where one of my friends fucked up, and instead of trying to let it go as soon and most effectively as I can, I talked to him about it today and we dealt with the issue. I feel like we understand each other alot better now and are better friends because of it.

Feeling pretty confident today, but still no lady prospects... there's a balance between putting yourself out there and not forcing anything, and I feel like I struggle alot of the time being either way too passive or way too aggressive (not in a physical way, I'll just flirt aggressively). Perhaps I've been too passive recently, but I honestly don't feel a need to go out and talk to girls right now, its so weird that when I was PMOing I would always feel like I should take every opportunity even if I eventually decided to PMO instead of go out, but now it feels like I can turn down girls or opportunities just because I feel like it. Does that make me an asshole? Am I hiding from my insecurity towards talking to women? These are questions I'm still trying to figure out, right now I'd lean towards 'no' for the first one and 'yes' for the second one. I'll push a little bit if there's an opportunity, for sure
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 13, 2019, 05:40:29 PM
I really relate to this idea of turning down women. It might be rude or hiding on some level, but I think there's something more to it. I've written  before about how I've been working out a difficult breakup in the last few months. It might seem rude/wrong to say, but part of what drove the breakup was that I was feeling more confident in myself because of the work I've been doing on recovery, getting healthier, etc. Instead of thinking "I'd be lucky to get any girl ever." I started thinking "You know, maybe I could actually be worth something to interesting, attractive women." I don't know what it all means, but I've definitely noticed myself being more selective in the last few months as I've been hitting recovery harder. I do plan on taking advantage of the opportunities when they come up (if they ever came up, you know?)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 14, 2019, 03:31:51 PM
That's a great way of thinking about it @Blue, like I am feeling so good about my friendships and my work that I don't want to compromise that time for a person I'm not interested in. While this is how I feel now, my brain has a tendency to always find some problem in my life, with anything. There always has to be something....lol. Anticipating it, but not stressing out about it. Trouble sleeping, but on a month-by-month basis has improved greatly since the start of my streak. Partly because I am able to relax more at night through meditation techniques, but I also have been pretty "in the moment" throughout the day which is mentally exhausting, and can make me quite emotional with racing thoughts at times lol. What are ya gunna do, thoughts are thoughts. I prefer action.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 14, 2019, 06:01:35 PM
So true, my brain is always working on something that it wants to worry about. I've started meditating and reading for about an hour before bed (no screens) and it has made a big difference for me, no more lying awake with racing thoughts.

Keep on taking action and making progress (and I will too)!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on June 15, 2019, 11:01:54 AM
That sounds like everything is going really well on your end. Having standards with girls is really good.

I have a lot of difficulty with the balance of pursuing women too. I was focused on my life and business first and it felt nice to not want women as bad, but then I realized it'd been like a month since I had any prospect of a date and I felt a little confidence with women.

Then I was like okay I'll start talking to women again and then a small part of me wanted to make that a priority again.


Having more standards over who you want to date is definitely a great thing though. It's more grounded in reality IMO. Say a girl is attractive, our mind may think I want to date her! But no matter how attractive if she didn't have the qualities or personality we want, in reality dating her likely would not add to our lives.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 15, 2019, 02:43:39 PM
Thanks guys...yeah there's definitely a balance between "yeah I'm not interested in her" and "wow she's cute so I have to go for it." Like sometimes I'll meet someone that I think I'm not compatible with, and then we end up really compatible, and vice versa is true as well. I think that does mean for the most part you should take advantage of opportunities even when it's uncomfortable, which is hard for me since I am still really shy around new people unfortunately.

Feeling antsy today, it's hard to do anything calmly, feeling clumsy and my face is hot for some reason lol. I prefer this hyperactiveness over depression for sure, but I think I might do a second meditation later today + play some ball to help me calm down. Right now, gunna get as much work done as I can, maybe do it slowly so I won't miss too many details, which tends to happen when my brain is hyperactive.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 15, 2019, 07:27:49 PM
It's a roller coaster, man. I've spent a lot of time in the last few months feeling like my head was stuffed full of thoughts, like it physically felt full and I couldn't concentrate on anything. It's been getting better in the last few weeks, but it's hard when your brain just does its own thing.

I guess we just need to take care of ourselves wherever we're at. I think meditating and playing some ball is a great idea. Cool yourself down and expend some of that energy, and hopefully things will get back to normal soon.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 18, 2019, 07:58:13 PM
So I slept ALOT today, I think my lack of sleep the past few days finally caught up with me, and I pretty much took like 3 naps totaling about 6 hours lol. 2/3 were sex dreams, although no wet dreams which haven't happened in a long time (I think that's a good thing?). Maybe it's not the healthiest thing to do, but I feel so much better than before. That being said, I don't feel great but good enough, atleast I have more energy.

I've been trying to go with the concept of "resting in awareness" a little bit more. So often I feel like I have to force some kind of effort to reach a state of awareness and being "in the moment," but there is actually a part of me that is relieved when I can just be present without racing thoughts. If I can be present and stay cool, calm, and collected, perhaps the triggers won't affect me as much as they have been recently.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on June 19, 2019, 12:48:39 PM
Napping in can be great! I want to tentatively keep short naps as a habit, I feel like it allows me to get a lot more done with more energy.
Like you said restless energy is way better then feeling depressed, and exercise is a great way to channel it. 
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 19, 2019, 04:47:24 PM
I support naps when you need them! I feel like I'm more susceptible to urges when I'm tired. So, even if napping doesn't feel very "productive," it can still be a good thing.

Resting in awareness sounds like a great goal. I'm always thinking about the past or future, but I can focus more on the present when I'm meditating. It hasn't really transferred over to my thinking the rest of the day, but at least I can get those few minutes of resting presence. On especially good days, meditating almost feels as good as a nap (and on other days meditating turns into a straight up nap lol!)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 19, 2019, 06:18:36 PM
Thanks y'all! Predictably, I had trouble sleeping last night but I still felt pretty good today and got alot done. In a nutshell, my days have been swinging from restless energy to flatlines, with small glimpses of relaxed awareness in-between. I have been trying to motivate myself all the time by telling myself things like "channel your energy into something positive" which is good in intention, but I think if I tell myself that less and trust myself more to just "do it" I will feel like I am putting way less pressure on myself. Ultimately, we are just trying to stack good actions on top of each other, but eventually they'll become natural habits, right?
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 20, 2019, 04:29:57 PM
Spent all day with family, now I’m tired lol. A little bit down I didn’t get a lot done but family time is always important. I’ll do a couple hours of work today and will try to get back into the swing of things tomorrow.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 20, 2019, 05:18:26 PM
Yeah, family time is huge. Take care of those relationships: I think they're a great defense against addiction.

And you're right! All these changes might take a lot of effort and concentration now, but they'll become normal with time. On some level, I think it's all about getting to the point where ignoring urges and moving past it all is natural and automatic.

Carry on!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 21, 2019, 09:58:29 PM
Yeah, spot on! I'm always curious when that day will come...will it be day 200, 300, 1000??!! No matter, even if it never comes I'm happy with the progress that's being made, and even if at this point it's mostly just trying to maintain a steady, relatively positive outlook on life I can definitely find contentment in that.

I am too harsh to myself sometimes. Like I'll act a little shy or awkward in public, and then I'll totally beat myself up for no reason. What's the big deal if I do something a little bit weird? As long as I am steady with the no PMO/fantasies/p-subs, keeping up good workout habits/healthy eating, getting the work I need to get done, and just approaching friends and family with openness and love, all the little problems don't really matter. In other words, I'm okay with tiny fuckups, bc it's easy to bounce back from. The bigger ones have led to downward spirals in the past, so just gotta make sure I'm on top of those and I'll be good (I think).
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 22, 2019, 06:53:58 PM
Yeah, this process has definitely involved being less harsh with myself. It's a hard thing to do.

On some level, I feel like I'm hard on myself because I spent years being too easy on myself (in my mind), just letting myself be addicted to porn and pretending it wasn't a problem. When I started to quit, I got really  hard on myself because I didn't want to give myself a pass like I had been doing for years. Since then, I've been working on finding the balance between not beating myself up while not giving myself a free pass. It's legitimately hard to do.

But I think you're right, being open to good experiences and being honest about your progress and mistakes are great things to do. I don't have to scream at myself if I think something pornographic when I see a woman at school. It's not that big of a deal, but it could become a big deal if I don't get control of it. So I just gently tell myself that it doesn't matter. It's not like I'm going to talk to her and date her. There's nothing to be gained by sexualizing her, so I can just let it go without getting mad at myself. It's more a gentle redirect than an angry punishment.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 22, 2019, 07:38:46 PM
Relaxing day today, time with friends, family....it's nice to have moments when you feel at ease, even though there is still a part of my brain that's kind of like a little kid- telling me "I'm bored, I need more stimulation!" In due time, my friend....patience is key. I never want to rely on being stimulated anymore, and instead take it as a byproduct of doing something good like connecting with a woman. Hopefully that will happen soon
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 23, 2019, 06:25:05 PM
Relaxing day today, time with friends, family....it's nice to have moments when you feel at ease, even though there is still a part of my brain that's kind of like a little kid- telling me "I'm bored, I need more stimulation!" In due time, my friend....patience is key. I never want to rely on being stimulated anymore, and instead take it as a byproduct of doing something good like connecting with a woman. Hopefully that will happen soon

Yes! I love that thought. I've been noticing that my brain craves stimulation all the time. Like, even when I'm just at home, I feel like my brain gets foggy and clogged up if I don't have some kind of podcast or video playing in the background. I've forgotten how to just be quietly relaxed with my own thoughts. Now that I have some distance from porn, I'm definitely starting to work on not needing other stimulation just to keep going (because it's not like I can be very productive when I have YouTube blaring in the background).

Enjoy those relaxing moments! Let's get rid of this garbage need for artificial stimulation and just enjoy real life!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 24, 2019, 05:10:13 PM
So I relapsed today. I don't know exactly why, but I have been feeling pretty moody lately, and I guess there's a part of me that still feels like my old self in grad school 2 months ago, lonely and needy for others' approval. Obviously this isn't an excuse, and I do still feel like I gained alot in these last 100-120 days or so, but it is time to start from day 0 again. I feel good about moving forward- while the anticipation to PMO was crazy high, I know I could've still done better and turned away those urges. While I was PMO'ing, I felt that there were 2 sides of me firing at once- one side (the louder one) was enjoying the escape from reality, while the other side (the soft-spoken side) was disappointed because of all the progress I had made.

While I want to believe that if I do "x" things and avoid "y," I will become the person I want to be, it is never as simple as that. The scary, but also amazing part of life is the moments of spontaneity where what you believe in is challenged and you must be willing to change your mindset on certain things. I do believe that no PMO is the best way to go for me, but I think there are some other aspects in my life I can be less rigid and close-minded with, so as not to make every interaction or social event feel like a chore, or a routine. The truth is, failure in life is inevitable, but I hope to learn from this failure and be willing to take more risks in life, while still maintaining some sort of routine for productivity.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 25, 2019, 05:16:50 PM
Hey, man, I'm really sorry to hear about it. That's a big bummer, but (as you know) it's far from the end of the world.

It can be hard to get out of that transactional mindset, where you just put certain behavior in and get guaranteed results out. If only things were that simple. Unexpected things can happen, old stressors can return, and a relapse is an established pattern of dealing with those things. I know, for example, I always struggle more when I go back home for the holidays and stuff like that. For some reason, being back in my parents' house makes relapses a lot easier. So I guess it isn't surprising that feeling like you did a few months ago would bring old triggers back.

I do believe that no PMO is the best way to go for me, but I think there are some other aspects in my life I can be less rigid and close-minded with, so as not to make every interaction or social event feel like a chore, or a routine. The truth is, failure in life is inevitable, but I hope to learn from this failure and be willing to take more risks in life, while still maintaining some sort of routine for productivity.

I really support this. There are some things that have to be non-negotiable, like no PMO, but that doesn't mean everything has to be programmed down to the last minute. Being too strict or rigid with life will probably make it more stressful and then make a relapse more likely. I struggle with being more flexible all the time, and I hate things that mess up my routines. On some level, routines help to reduce stress but not when they get so rigid they turn into chores.

I'm just going on and on now. Long story short, I'm still cheering you on, 1 day or 120 days. The point is that we keep trying, and learning as we go.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on June 26, 2019, 01:43:58 PM
Thanks for your continued support, BlueHeron! You continue to help me improve even when I make mistakes.

I think I am alot better at dealing with outside stressors, like pressure from school or other people, things that are more tangible to cope with. I feel like recently I have put alot of pressure on myself to just do alot of good things every day, and that kind of stress is hard to deal with since it comes from within, something that feels impossible to escape at times. Yeah of course I should never PMO, workout and eat healthy, be good to others, and get as much work done as I can every day. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try having fun doing those things. Or atleast tell myself that it doesn't have to feel like challenges to overcome, like some sort of video game where I have to keep leveling up or whatever. This is real life, and that means things can happen seemingly at random no matter what you do. Yes my relapse was bad, but I do feel like I have gained some clarity and will continue to find ways to never PMO while maybe enjoying life a little bit more in a carefree way. That's all for now...
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on June 26, 2019, 02:31:21 PM
Sometimes, as an imagination exercise, I like to think about it like: "There is no P available. How do I deal with my problems ?" I think it's good to look at it in this way from time to time.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on June 26, 2019, 03:15:11 PM
Hey Pichael,

I've been reading through your journal a little and particularly love the 'Depth over novelty' bullet point in your intro. I'm going to use it as a bit of a mantra, if you don't mind.

You mentioned that maybe you are a little hard on yourself when it comes to getting everything done. Whilst none of us want to be lazy, as laziness can absolutely bring us deeper down the rabbit hole of relapse, we also have to strike a fine balance between positive productivity and being harsh with ourselves. As you say, random things sometimes come up in life, it's not like a computer game where you constantly level up. Some days feel worse than others and some are better than expected. The key is to be aware of what triggers this harsh self-critical thinking. Certainly in my case, perfectionistic goal-setting often turns into relapse as I have a tendency to stress myself out and deem the day a 'failure' if I don't tick off everything on my extensive list. More recently I have been reverting back to just sitting around, which also leads to relapse. Meditation and resting in and as awareness absolutely help to set more realistic goals for your day. I think the key is to nibble on the sandwich of life chunk by chunk - don't think you have to devour the entire thing in one go!

I'm also a musician (also a music graduate) and am struggling right now with being motivated to practise. I hope that by reforming the right habits and by abstaining from porn, I'll find the joy in practising again, and generally not have this apathy and passivity towards life that has been following me like a dark cloud for the past five years (since my 9-month clean streak).

I wish you all the best and I'll be following your progress and cheering you on when you need it. You've got this, and whenever you feel the urge, just remember you're not alone and we're all rooting for you!

Peace,

- Adventurer
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 26, 2019, 05:36:43 PM
Thanks for your continued support, BlueHeron! You continue to help me improve even when I make mistakes.

I think I am alot better at dealing with outside stressors, like pressure from school or other people, things that are more tangible to cope with. I feel like recently I have put alot of pressure on myself to just do alot of good things every day, and that kind of stress is hard to deal with since it comes from within, something that feels impossible to escape at times. Yeah of course I should never PMO, workout and eat healthy, be good to others, and get as much work done as I can every day. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try having fun doing those things. Or atleast tell myself that it doesn't have to feel like challenges to overcome, like some sort of video game where I have to keep leveling up or whatever. This is real life, and that means things can happen seemingly at random no matter what you do. Yes my relapse was bad, but I do feel like I have gained some clarity and will continue to find ways to never PMO while maybe enjoying life a little bit more in a carefree way. That's all for now...

Anytime, man! I've made (and make) so many mistakes, it wouldn't make any sense for me not to let other people do the same.

You're exactly right about trying to have fun doing those things. I've struggled with my weight for a long time, and I never had any success because I couldn't find a way of losing weight that I didn't hate. In the last couple years, though, I started doing yoga (the first exercise I actually liked) and that led me to start developing a healthier diet. For the first time in my life, I've been losing weight, not because I didn't try before but because I finally found something that I liked doing and could keep doing. I guess I started to find a new lifestyle instead of trying to build a habit that was just punishing me for getting overweight in the first place.

It probably seems pretty sill to try to quit PMO if it only makes our life worse. I 100% support the idea of shifting gears so that your post-PMO life is actually a happier and more enjoyable one and not just a strict punishment for the PMO in your past.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on June 27, 2019, 04:10:49 AM
You're exactly right about trying to have fun doing those things. I've struggled with my weight for a long time, and I never had any success because I couldn't find a way of losing weight that I didn't hate. In the last couple years, though, I started doing yoga (the first exercise I actually liked) and that led me to start developing a healthier diet. For the first time in my life, I've been losing weight, not because I didn't try before but because I finally found something that I liked doing and could keep doing. I guess I started to find a new lifestyle instead of trying to build a habit that was just punishing me for getting overweight in the first place.

It probably seems pretty sill to try to quit PMO if it only makes our life worse. I 100% support the idea of shifting gears so that your post-PMO life is actually a happier and more enjoyable one and not just a strict punishment for the PMO in your past.

Of course, man. You would not sustain a habit if it wasn't enjoyable. Considering the discussion about losing weight, people starve themselves, lose weight, only to break the fridge and put it back on, double. That's why a successful diet is a lifestyle. You don't eat in a certain way for 2 months, you eat year round. I think quitting P should be something like this, having a lifestyle that you could sustain without feeling like a burden, otherwise you will return to P binges sooner or later.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: zander13 on June 28, 2019, 11:52:01 AM
First of all, great fucking name.

Second of all, good stuff. I really enjoy your take on things. Good luck with beating the bullshit.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 04, 2019, 02:50:29 PM
Hey Pichael,

I've been reading through your journal a little and particularly love the 'Depth over novelty' bullet point in your intro. I'm going to use it as a bit of a mantra, if you don't mind.

You mentioned that maybe you are a little hard on yourself when it comes to getting everything done. Whilst none of us want to be lazy, as laziness can absolutely bring us deeper down the rabbit hole of relapse, we also have to strike a fine balance between positive productivity and being harsh with ourselves. As you say, random things sometimes come up in life, it's not like a computer game where you constantly level up. Some days feel worse than others and some are better than expected. The key is to be aware of what triggers this harsh self-critical thinking. Certainly in my case, perfectionistic goal-setting often turns into relapse as I have a tendency to stress myself out and deem the day a 'failure' if I don't tick off everything on my extensive list. More recently I have been reverting back to just sitting around, which also leads to relapse. Meditation and resting in and as awareness absolutely help to set more realistic goals for your day. I think the key is to nibble on the sandwich of life chunk by chunk - don't think you have to devour the entire thing in one go!

I'm also a musician (also a music graduate) and am struggling right now with being motivated to practise. I hope that by reforming the right habits and by abstaining from porn, I'll find the joy in practising again, and generally not have this apathy and passivity towards life that has been following me like a dark cloud for the past five years (since my 9-month clean streak).

I wish you all the best and I'll be following your progress and cheering you on when you need it. You've got this, and whenever you feel the urge, just remember you're not alone and we're all rooting for you!

Peace,

- Adventurer

Thanks for reading, Adventurer! Yeah it's definitely a fine balance between wanting to do well and not being too hard on yourself, and I've been noticing that searching for that balance is especially difficult when you are feeling different hour by hour and day by day. I can %100 guarantee that music and practicing will be more interesting when you stop....maybe not at first, but to me it's something I can heavily lean on in my most difficult times, both with PMO urges and other challenges in life. Best of luck to you!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 04, 2019, 02:56:26 PM
You're exactly right about trying to have fun doing those things. I've struggled with my weight for a long time, and I never had any success because I couldn't find a way of losing weight that I didn't hate. In the last couple years, though, I started doing yoga (the first exercise I actually liked) and that led me to start developing a healthier diet. For the first time in my life, I've been losing weight, not because I didn't try before but because I finally found something that I liked doing and could keep doing. I guess I started to find a new lifestyle instead of trying to build a habit that was just punishing me for getting overweight in the first place.

It probably seems pretty sill to try to quit PMO if it only makes our life worse. I 100% support the idea of shifting gears so that your post-PMO life is actually a happier and more enjoyable one and not just a strict punishment for the PMO in your past.

Of course, man. You would not sustain a habit if it wasn't enjoyable. Considering the discussion about losing weight, people starve themselves, lose weight, only to break the fridge and put it back on, double. That's why a successful diet is a lifestyle. You don't eat in a certain way for 2 months, you eat year round. I think quitting P should be something like this, having a lifestyle that you could sustain without feeling like a burden, otherwise you will return to P binges sooner or later.

I agree, but there is this feeling, at least initially of PMO feeling like a low-dopamine diet of sorts...even though it is the healthiest option it doesn't feel like the healthiest option. If we can recognize that this feeling is a creation of our past bad habits, rather than this thing that we have to face off against and beat every single day, I think our mindset will be a little more relaxed and self-motivating. The idea that it is actually me that is constantly creating and recreating the urges, even unconsciously, keeps me humble and reminds me that I have to approach this with patience rather than aggression.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 04, 2019, 02:58:23 PM
First of all, great fucking name.

Second of all, good stuff. I really enjoy your take on things. Good luck with beating the bullshit.

Thanks man, I appreciate that you get the reference ;). Good luck to you as well, I know it's corny as hell but we're all in this together lol
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 04, 2019, 03:04:37 PM
Thanks for your continued support, BlueHeron! You continue to help me improve even when I make mistakes.

I think I am alot better at dealing with outside stressors, like pressure from school or other people, things that are more tangible to cope with. I feel like recently I have put alot of pressure on myself to just do alot of good things every day, and that kind of stress is hard to deal with since it comes from within, something that feels impossible to escape at times. Yeah of course I should never PMO, workout and eat healthy, be good to others, and get as much work done as I can every day. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try having fun doing those things. Or atleast tell myself that it doesn't have to feel like challenges to overcome, like some sort of video game where I have to keep leveling up or whatever. This is real life, and that means things can happen seemingly at random no matter what you do. Yes my relapse was bad, but I do feel like I have gained some clarity and will continue to find ways to never PMO while maybe enjoying life a little bit more in a carefree way. That's all for now...

Anytime, man! I've made (and make) so many mistakes, it wouldn't make any sense for me not to let other people do the same.

You're exactly right about trying to have fun doing those things. I've struggled with my weight for a long time, and I never had any success because I couldn't find a way of losing weight that I didn't hate. In the last couple years, though, I started doing yoga (the first exercise I actually liked) and that led me to start developing a healthier diet. For the first time in my life, I've been losing weight, not because I didn't try before but because I finally found something that I liked doing and could keep doing. I guess I started to find a new lifestyle instead of trying to build a habit that was just punishing me for getting overweight in the first place.

It probably seems pretty sill to try to quit PMO if it only makes our life worse. I 100% support the idea of shifting gears so that your post-PMO life is actually a happier and more enjoyable one and not just a strict punishment for the PMO in your past.

Absolutely love the idea of incorporating no PMO into my lifestyle, as opposed to it being an additional burden to my life. In theory, everything I do is a small snapshot of our lifestyle- do we seek out balance in life? If so, how do we do it? I've been asking myself what I should do to balance my life recently, as my initial plan was to list things I should 1. do as much as I can, 2. do occasionally, as a reward for doing well, and 3. never do (PMO, fast food binge, etc.). Unfortunately, this "plan" makes it seem that if I stick to the list, everything should be all good...but it feels as if I am trying to control every aspect of my life, rather than letting things flow and allowing myself to question the way I go about certain things.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 04, 2019, 03:08:19 PM
Feeling good about the meditation I've been doing, watching thoughts appear and disappear is something that I think is really important to making the burden of no PMO easier. When you have the will to decide what thoughts you want to give energy to vs. other thoughts....it makes your whole day just a little bit easier. The problem for me is always consistency....will I be able to feel the same way about my thoughts if I feel like shit, or am just sitting around the house bored? Got to remember to check my thoughts, but try to make it fun, easy, while maintaining focus. Going to relax and celebrate the holiday today, happy 4th everyone!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on July 04, 2019, 03:23:12 PM
Feeling good about the meditation I've been doing, watching thoughts appear and disappear is something that I think is really important to making the burden of no PMO easier. When you have the will to decide what thoughts you want to give energy to vs. other thoughts....it makes your whole day just a little bit easier. The problem for me is always consistency....will I be able to feel the same way about my thoughts if I feel like shit, or am just sitting around the house bored? Got to remember to check my thoughts, but try to make it fun, easy, while maintaining focus. Going to relax and celebrate the holiday today, happy 4th everyone!

Sounds good, man. Keep doing this.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 05, 2019, 04:48:18 AM
Today i want you to realize how strong you really are. You've been through so much, but you're here and i am so proud of you  :)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 05, 2019, 05:53:02 PM
Today i want you to realize how strong you really are. You've been through so much, but you're here and i am so proud of you  :)

Wow, thank you so much....this really made my day!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 05, 2019, 06:01:23 PM
I've been thinking about my last relapse alot recently, but I am kind of stuck in a negative feedback loop cause thinking about it hasn't solve anything for me. I guess it's hard to look forward when there is a part of me that wonders if there is something more to the reason I relapsed other than being bored, tired, with the accumulated urges of 120 days PMO free. Maybe there is, but the only way to find out is to go out and face your challenges in life, just sitting and thinking about things won't do anything if you don't have the life experience. To understand my past, I have to look forward to the future and this new, hopefully infinite streak I am beginning...baby steps lol
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 05, 2019, 06:21:22 PM
Sounds like you're doing well and trucking along. I'm looking forward to that infinite streak, but it is all about baby steps. I wish there was something I could today that would fix the problem forever, but I can only fix the problem for today. I can do it every day, but it doesn't work for the next day. We'll get to infinity one baby step at a time.

Sorry to hear you're stuck in a negative loop about your last relapse, though. It's probably hard to know all the reasons for a relapse, but the best plan is probably just to move forward, learning what you can from what happened. Then you'll be better able to deal with whatever it was the next time you get to 120 in a few months. Also, for what it's worth, it definitely isn't good to get stuck in a negative loop, but some of those negative feelings could be helpful if they remind you of the pain of relapse and keep you from doing it again.

Either way, you're a champ for getting back on your feet and continuing the fight! Keep at it!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 06, 2019, 06:22:05 AM
Your hard work and patience are worth celebrating. I'm proud of you and you deserve to be proud of yourself too. You are worth so much more than you think. Don't let a past mistake make you feel small or inferior. It's okay to be nervous about the future. You're headed in the right direction, and that's the part that matters  :)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: achilles heel on July 06, 2019, 08:27:48 AM
I read a little through your story and think your reflection on your relapse after the long streak is important:

So I relapsed today. I don't know exactly why, but I have been feeling pretty moody lately, and I guess there's a part of me that still feels like my old self in grad school 2 months ago, lonely and needy for others' approval. Obviously this isn't an excuse, and I do still feel like I gained alot in these last 100-120 days or so, but it is time to start from day 0 again. I feel good about moving forward- while the anticipation to PMO was crazy high, I know I could've still done better and turned away those urges. While I was PMO'ing, I felt that there were 2 sides of me firing at once- one side (the louder one) was enjoying the escape from reality, while the other side (the soft-spoken side) was disappointed because of all the progress I had made.

Your other side - the disappointed side trying to quit porn - was present during the act. And if we think about our life we won't find any moment, aside from the very moment of PMO, we're thinking "Hey, I remember that great day in front of the computer masturbating to that awesome video." - we always, ALWAYS regret the moment it happens and the consequence of lost progress due to restarting reboot.

It's important to point this out during moments of cravings and urges. Those moments may last minutes and hours, but the regret and feeling bad will last days and months. We did start again several times because we feel this is absolutely neccessary.

Don't question the way of abstaining from porn. You're addicted and can't trust your thoughts that question this journey, because as addicts we need to learn that our brain plays tricks on us. Don't look back, just look forward and pick up the good points that led you to several months without porn. You can do it again and go even further this time!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 07, 2019, 05:16:33 PM
Thanks everyone! Y'alls encouragement and advice continues to be helpful and motivate me every day.

@Blueheron: For sure those negative feelings can be a learning experience, as long as I can just stay confident and really believe I can do this. I'm kind of trying to adopt the mindset of having an incomplete story, there is still a wealth of opportunity for change.

@Thankyou: I absolutely agree and hope you can feel that way too! We all make mistakes but our ability to keep going and learn from them is something that nobody can ever take away from us. No matter what, we always have the strength for change!

@Achillesheel: Absolutely, it's time to go all in on this. Every single relapse gives me regret....maybe not immediately, maybe not even that day or week....but it always comes eventually. To think otherwise would just be an attempt to trick myself into the opportunity to PMO. It's funny, sometimes when the urges are really strong the voice inside your head sounds completely rational telling you to PMO, so you always gotta be on top it.

Drank a little too much last night so I had a slow start to the day, but feeling better now and going to get some more work done! Might go on a bike ride or run later, or look for something else to do...other than that not many urges today.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 07, 2019, 05:57:30 PM
Good stuff, just keep going. I love the idea of thinking about your life as an incomplete story. That's such a great mindset: our best years are still ahead of us! I firmly believe that. I have messed up in the past, but that doesn't determine my future.

Here's to a great new week!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 09, 2019, 09:33:47 AM
Thanks! Yep, my main trigger hit me pretty hard this morning, sex dreams. They are that perfect combination of arousal and stress. I woke up at 3 am this morning drenched in sweat (sorry that's gross) after dreaming about meeting a random girl at the bar and taking her home. It's been helpful that I've been in a good groove with my work/exercise/diet/relationships recently, otherwise I don't know if I would've made it. I got to be extra careful today while staying calm and focused on what to do.

There is always that inner voice inside of us that knows what is truly the right thing to do, but sometimes it is very hard to hear. Doing good things for yourself and others should make you feel good always, but so often our dopamine driven mind hijacks our brain and tries to trick us. I'm tired of falling for the same old tricks, any relapse is a regretful one, as it'll either lead to another relapse, or more difficulty on my next streak. There's really no other alternative anymore, I'll never just accept P in my life and willingly go back to it without part of me feeling this is inherently wrong for me, no matter what anyone says or does. My past experiences have taught me this valuable lesson, and it is time to soak in this lesson %100. Sorry for the rant lol, just needed to get it off my chest so I can feel a little less antsy.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 09, 2019, 12:28:09 PM


There is always that inner voice inside of us that knows what is truly the right thing to do, but sometimes it is very hard to hear. Doing good things for yourself and others should make you feel good always, but so often our dopamine driven mind hijacks our brain and tries to trick us. I'm tired of falling for the same old tricks, any relapse is a regretful one, as it'll either lead to another relapse, or more difficulty on my next streak. There's really no other alternative anymore, I'll never just accept P in my life and willingly go back to it without part of me feeling this is inherently wrong for me, no matter what anyone says or does. My past experiences have taught me this valuable lesson, and it is time to soak in this lesson %100. Sorry for the rant lol, just needed to get it off my chest so I can feel a little less antsy.

Amen to that brother! I just relapsed twice after a 9 day streak, had amazing sex with my wife just a few hours after relapse (proving that my ED is much better), and part of my brain was trying to rationalise like 'hey, maybe you could just use porn occasionally, like every two weeks, then.' NO. I don't want to use porn at all anymore. I'm done with that bullshit.
Keep on keepin' on man, you're doing great!

- Adventurer
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 09, 2019, 05:56:24 PM
I hear you man, knowing what to do and wanting to do it are both very different from actually holding yourself accountable and doing it. At least in the early days, I think there will always be a part of us that wants it that will compete with the part of us that wants to quit. The more we push the urges away and stick to our commitments, the stronger our "quit" side will get and the weaker our "relapse" side will get.

All we can do is keep at it, and I have a lot of confidence that you'll do just that!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 11, 2019, 05:53:03 AM
 I believe in you, always have and always will. I can’t even explain how proud of you I am. With every day I admire you even more, I don’t think there is anything you cannot do. You’re amazing, fella. Keep doing what you’re doing  :)
Stay gold my friend  :)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 11, 2019, 02:04:09 PM
I appreciate the kind words from both of y'all! I might of said this before, but when people support me it only makes me want to be my best self and do the same to others...thanks to both you guys for being role models that I look up to!

Sometimes you just feel off, and that's okay. Rather than anticipating change to happen, sitting on your hands waiting for it, sometimes it's better just to be honest with yourself and how you are feeling. Just acknowledging that is all you need to move forward. Had a stressful day yesterday after getting into an argument with a close friend, but I'm feeling a little bit better today and will continue to push forward and try my best to spread positivity to the things I have to do and the people around me. I set pretty high standards for myself which I don't often meet, but there's no reason to be negative about it. Just keep trying, failing, laughing about it a little, and trying again.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 11, 2019, 06:32:38 PM
You got it! Just keep learning and trying and growing.

It definitely makes sense to feel off some days. I've been wondering if this recovery/withdrawal business hasn't led me to have more off days than usual. It has definitely been an emotionally difficult time for me, and it might be at least partially because I'm not self-medicating with PMO. In that sense, I guess these off days are worth it.

On to another day!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 12, 2019, 09:17:00 AM
Day 18: Was curious what day I was on and decided to check the date of my last relapse, June 24. I feel like that moment is more behind me now...obviously it still has an effect on who I am now but knowing that there's more than 2 weeks between that moment and where I'm at now gives me the feeling of having room to breathe. It's nice to know that while it feels like I haven't changed much as a person, the accomplishment of going 17 days PMO free is something I can be proud of and use to motivate me to keep going. I'm grateful to be on this forum where I can vent my thoughts and feelings and support others, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to go out, evolve, and create memorable life experiences....someday without the cloud of PMO hanging over me so aggressively. Yes this journey can feel like a burden, but I refuse to let it prevent me from doing all the things I want to do in life. The only direction is forward.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on July 12, 2019, 09:52:05 AM
18 days, man! That's outstanding progress so far.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 12, 2019, 11:03:16 AM
Great stuff bro! You deserve this recovery, and you deserve to live a full and happy life. You're on the up and up!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 12, 2019, 05:45:48 PM
Awesome stuff! Time flies when you're living life.

I think you're right about how this forum helps you vent and process so that you can go out and live life. That's a great way to think about. Keep it going!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: achilles heel on July 13, 2019, 05:56:22 AM
Congrats on 18 days!  :)

I'm grateful for the opportunity to go out, evolve, and create memorable life experiences....someday without the cloud of PMO hanging over me so aggressively. Yes this journey can feel like a burden, but I refuse to let it prevent me from doing all the things I want to do in life.

Yes! It's important to already build the new life to make the PMO cloud disappear even faster. Every moment can be memorable and while our porn experiences might not be deleted or overwritten, we can push them further away by building new, beautiful memories.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 15, 2019, 12:49:35 PM
Had a good weekend, a cousin is visiting so I'm out doing fun things most of the day, not getting much work done.....it's all good though, I'll do as much as I can while he's here and get back to my usual routine later on. Hoping for a good week, hopefully less stressful than the last one lol
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 15, 2019, 07:42:26 PM
Yes, for sure! Enjoy your time with your cousin!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 16, 2019, 07:52:56 AM
You are a lovely person and you matter to me, I hope your day is filled with smiles and laughter with your cousin  ;D
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 17, 2019, 11:10:41 AM
Have fun bud!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 17, 2019, 11:21:27 AM
Thanks everyone! It's been good so far, getting to know my cousin and found out he has ADHD...I've been trying to support him (without pushing him to do anything) by showing him my meditation, and explaining how working out/reading can help my brain be able to learn things on a deeper level. I've got to see the struggle he deals with it on a daily basis, and honestly it inspires me to go out and do everything I set out to do. If he can go to school and function like a normal person with a constant mental illness and never complain, there should be absolutely no reason for me to complain as a healthy person without any mental illness. I have everything I could ask for in this life to continue to push forward and reach my goals, and at the very least I should be grateful and appreciate that every day.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 17, 2019, 06:17:30 PM
Good stuff!

Everyone has something they have to deal with. It's awesome that you had a good time with your cousin and that you're coming away inspired!

Go get 'em!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 21, 2019, 12:52:40 PM
Today I turn 23. Feeling like I'm getting deeper and deeper into the "adult world" while still feeling like a kid alot of the time. This year, I really want to find the best way to combine both sides; really plan and attack my future goals, but do it in a way that is special to me. Growing up doesn't mean you have to lose that part of you that makes you just appreciate life, the world around you, friends and family. Man I sound like a broken record sometimes lol, but that will always be what's most important. My future is determined by how I respond to the environment around me, and sometimes all there is to do is connect with it and get out of your own head. I hope everyone has a great day today :)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: squid on July 21, 2019, 05:13:57 PM
Today I turn 23. Feeling like I'm getting deeper and deeper into the "adult world" while still feeling like a kid alot of the time. This year, I really want to find the best way to combine both sides; really plan and attack my future goals, but do it in a way that is special to me. Growing up doesn't mean you have to lose that part of you that makes you just appreciate life, the world around you, friends and family. Man I sound like a broken record sometimes lol, but that will always be what's most important. My future is determined by how I respond to the environment around me, and sometimes all there is to do is connect with it and get out of your own head. I hope everyone has a great day today :)

Happy Birthday!  You are smart and articulate and I, for one, put my money on you making your goal happen this year.  What is the goal?
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 21, 2019, 11:41:38 PM
Today I turn 23. Feeling like I'm getting deeper and deeper into the "adult world" while still feeling like a kid alot of the time. This year, I really want to find the best way to combine both sides; really plan and attack my future goals, but do it in a way that is special to me. Growing up doesn't mean you have to lose that part of you that makes you just appreciate life, the world around you, friends and family. Man I sound like a broken record sometimes lol, but that will always be what's most important. My future is determined by how I respond to the environment around me, and sometimes all there is to do is connect with it and get out of your own head. I hope everyone has a great day today :)

Happy birthday! Glad you decided to spend some of it with us!

This is a crazy, transitional time of life. I'm a little further into my 20s, but I still feel it all the time. What an awesome thing to be working on this addiction when our lives are still super flexible and we don't have to be fighting against really set routines.

You're a great support here (made a huge difference for me), and I hope this new year of life is a great one for you!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 25, 2019, 01:48:15 PM
Thanks Squid! I have a few goals...obviously beginning with no PMO (my goal is to go an entire year), go on more dates without any expectations, find some time to travel, develop the mindset of a stoic (there's alot behind this lol), either get a full scholarship to a Performance Diploma program for my music/win an orchestra job (or both!), and lose 20 lbs of fat while gaining 10 lbs of muscle. These goals are attainable, but they will take time, and a consistent belief in myself.

Thanks Blueheron! Yeah this is a crazy time, and yeah I should definitely be grateful to not be stuck in an undesirable routine every day....of course sometimes its hard to accomplish everything you want to accomplish but atleast we're doing it with the knowledge that it is preparing us for the future, while teaching us how to enjoy life in a healthy, sustainable way!

So I had a moment of weakness where I kind of got stuck looking at instagram images and other suggestive, non-nude images. I have decided to change course and start to count the days a little bit more actively, so that I have small little checkpoint goals that will encourage me to reach my next small goal. This way I could potentially see the process in the long term while also feeling like I am making tangible progress in the short term, which always has given me a boost in the past. To make it a little fun, I kind of made a story for myself as a professional fighter; I put certain days and dates in my private notes to map out a steady progression in my fighting career; once I get to 120 days, I get the championship belt, once I hit 220, I am the champ champ....this probably sounds stupid to most people lol but I think if I take it a little less seriously and make it seem more like a challenging game, I won't tend to overthink things and question myself all the time. So today is day 1 for me, starting this new progression as a fighter working his way up in the ranks, eventually going for that first belt ;)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 26, 2019, 04:01:18 PM
Day 2: Feeling good, although a bit tired. Planning to do as much work as I can, meditate, run, then eat a healthy dinner. Potentially will be hanging out with some people tn, although not too worried if it doesn't happen.

I've been adopting alot of stoicism techniques, such as journaling (in private as well as on here), viewing myself in the thrid person, thinking about what the ideal version of myself would do in a tough situation, meditating, and reviewing the day and congratulating myself on the things I did well and noting the things I could improve upon. Doing this things I feel will give me alot of confidence down the road, and hopefully I can get into that positive feedback loop of fixing problems -> more confidence, energy and less stress -> fixing more problems.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on July 26, 2019, 04:35:06 PM
Sounds good, man.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 27, 2019, 06:01:46 PM
Good deal, man!

I'm sorry to hear about the slip, but I think it's awesome that you recognize it for what it was. You're not overlooking it just because it was non-nude images, and you're taking corrective action. That's awesome!

I do think counting days is a great thing, too. I don't think it really works if it is the goal, like if you're only thinking about reaching a certain number. But it is really helpful, as you say, when it works like a little checkpoint to stay on track. If you are counting days and really thinking about each day as the one that counts, you can live more deliberately and take care of yourself more proactively.

Keep it up!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 28, 2019, 11:06:26 AM
Thanks guys! Yeah that's true that I should definitely not think of reaching a number as a certain goal. I guess one of my big goals/checkpoints is to get to a point where I don't feel the needs to count the days at all while still being completely confident in myself to be on top of no PM. For me, I think once I reach 365 days I can let go of counting completely and just live my life, while posting here semi-frequently. Obviously it's a long ways away but I feel really good about this plan and right now feel motivated to stick to it!

I have learned alot by just going through my day and congratulating myself on the things I am doing will and the things I can improve upon. Sometimes all you want is to be a better person than you were yesterday, even if it is such a small change that you don't feel anything, or maybe even feel worse than before. Feelings don't dictate improvement, actions do. And sometimes imporvement just means doin g the same good habits that you did yesterday, making them 1% more solidified in your brain than they used to be. We are all fighters, and it is important to keep building strength in our minds, because the competition only gets tougher the farther we go.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 28, 2019, 11:19:22 AM
There is no need of me passing by here , just by what you wrote i cann tell that you are smart, strong and brave  :)
Wishing you all the best my dear friend  :)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: achilles heel on July 28, 2019, 11:33:23 AM
Thanks guys! Yeah that's true that I should definitely not think of reaching a number as a certain goal. I guess one of my big goals/checkpoints is to get to a point where I don't feel the needs to count the days at all while still being completely confident in myself to be on top of no PM. For me, I think once I reach 365 days I can let go of counting completely and just live my life, while posting here semi-frequently. Obviously it's a long ways away but I feel really good about this plan and right now feel motivated to stick to it!

I have learned alot by just going through my day and congratulating myself on the things I am doing will and the things I can improve upon. Sometimes all you want is to be a better person than you were yesterday, even if it is such a small change that you don't feel anything, or maybe even feel worse than before. Feelings don't dictate improvement, actions do. And sometimes imporvement just means doin g the same good habits that you did yesterday, making them 1% more solidified in your brain than they used to be. We are all fighters, and it is important to keep building strength in our minds, because the competition only gets tougher the farther we go.

Looks like you are focusing on positive aspects, this will help a lot to hopefully reach those 365 days. All the best for you!  :)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 28, 2019, 06:51:46 PM
Sometimes all you want is to be a better person than you were yesterday, even if it is such a small change that you don't feel anything, or maybe even feel worse than before. Feelings don't dictate improvement, actions do. And sometimes imporvement just means doin g the same good habits that you did yesterday, making them 1% more solidified in your brain than they used to be. We are all fighters, and it is important to keep building strength in our minds, because the competition only gets tougher the farther we go.

I love this thought! I like saying that all progress is progress, something really obvious but worth remembering. 1% improvement doesn't seem like much for one day, but 1% improvement over a week or a month or a few years adds up to something huge. It has been really helpful for me to set my sights a little lower for each day while at the same time committing to more consistency over time.

We don't have to fix it all today. But we do have to make progress today. Thanks for the reminder, and keep it up!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 30, 2019, 09:13:26 PM
Thanks guys! Another good day today, got alot of sleep and had a nice surge of energy, helping my friend move out and do some other things while also getting some work done with a good workout. I was stressed the last couple of days, but when I had my cheat meal last night I felt alot better...maybe I should diet a little bit less so that there won't be such dramatic highs and lows. Other than that, I'm feeling mentally strong but won't take anything for granted. On to day 6!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: squid on July 30, 2019, 09:26:33 PM
Thanks guys! Another good day today, got alot of sleep and had a nice surge of energy, helping my friend move out and do some other things while also getting some work done with a good workout. I was stressed the last couple of days, but when I had my cheat meal last night I felt alot better...maybe I should diet a little bit less so that there won't be such dramatic highs and lows. Other than that, I'm feeling mentally strong but won't take anything for granted. On to day 6!

Nice dude!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 31, 2019, 06:32:30 PM
Thanks guys! Another good day today, got alot of sleep and had a nice surge of energy, helping my friend move out and do some other things while also getting some work done with a good workout. I was stressed the last couple of days, but when I had my cheat meal last night I felt alot better...maybe I should diet a little bit less so that there won't be such dramatic highs and lows. Other than that, I'm feeling mentally strong but won't take anything for granted. On to day 6!

Sounds great! Glad you're doing well.

I recently became a big supporter of the cheat meal. I've been really careful about my diet lately (I have plenty weight to lose) but I got stuck and wasn't losing weight. Then I started "cheating" on the weekends, and I busted through that plateau. There's definitely something to taking a more caring approach to any self-improvement project.

(Plus keeping yourself well-fed and not hangry is probably a good defense against relapses anyway!) Have a great day 6!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on August 01, 2019, 09:02:20 AM
 You are more than capable to have a great day 6 it
You are braver than you believe stronger than you seem and smarter than you think and loved more than you know.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 01, 2019, 04:36:10 PM
I really appreciate yall's support :) without getting too carried away with this, getting such great comments on my forum gives me that extra boost of positive energy that makes my day just a little bit more enjoyable!

Yeah I think I'm gunna do 2 cheat meals a week, 1 in the middle and one on the weekend...as long as my workouts and diet outside are going well like they have been. Sometimes you just need that small relief to get you through the end of the week and finish strong.

Day 6, 7: Another great couple of days (so far), spent most of the day organizing and game-planning for the next 3 weeks before school starts again, I want to go in with a huge amount of positive momentum and motivation. A bit overwhelming seeing everything I want to accomplish in 3 weeks, but I know it is definitely doable if I just take it one day at a time. Also gotta remind myself to not put too much pressure on myself and it's okay to fall a bit short for now, as long as I keep going with positive intentions. I'll always choose that extra sleep over work if it means I am feeling better later on, because when I feel better, I do better.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 01, 2019, 06:24:51 PM
Oh no, don't even remind me that school is starting up again soon, lol!

For real, though, it's awesome that you're getting your game plan squared away. I should take some time to do the same thing in the next couple weeks and make sure that I'm all set up for another school year.

Definitely nothing to be gained with too much pressure. Rest can be just as important (or more important) than being productive. That's not a lesson I've mastered quite yet, but it's something we can probably all work on.

Keep going and keep being awesome!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 02, 2019, 05:09:50 PM
Day 8:
Yeah man, I've been trying not to think about school too much but it's coming up too fast.....been thinking alot about what a healthy sex life should mean and what it does mean for most people. No, masturbation is not something that is inherently wrong. In fact, if someone takes time to make it an experience of enjoying sensations, not make it about the O, and without any P of course, it can be quite positive for him or her.

However, due to my past experiences in my childhood through my teen years up until recently, my brain associated masturbation so strongly with P and getting to that goal of O that all it would do for me is make me crave those things even more. I will never appreciate that until I have a healthy sex life outside of that (as in a connection with another woman), and even then the association might be so strong and so deep that I will still only crave the P and the O. So no, there is nothing wrong with masturbation....but it is not the path for me.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 02, 2019, 05:45:32 PM
Congrats on 8 days!

Yeah, I'm with you. Regardless of what other people say/believe about masturbation, I just can't see how it can be a healthy part of my life given my history with it. I think it will always just be a trigger into relapse. People make comparisons to alcohol all the time, and it might be a similar thing. Drinking is a normal part of a lot of people's lives, but once it becomes an addiction, it can't just go back to being normal.

But you know what? I don't even miss it, honestly. Sure, there are urges occasionally (mostly for P if I'm honest), but I think I would be okay with it if it was never a part of my life again. With time, I think giving it up feels less and less like a loss.

Carry on!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: achilles heel on August 04, 2019, 12:25:31 PM
Day 8:
Yeah man, I've been trying not to think about school too much but it's coming up too fast.....been thinking alot about what a healthy sex life should mean and what it does mean for most people. No, masturbation is not something that is inherently wrong. In fact, if someone takes time to make it an experience of enjoying sensations, not make it about the O, and without any P of course, it can be quite positive for him or her.

However, due to my past experiences in my childhood through my teen years up until recently, my brain associated masturbation so strongly with P and getting to that goal of O that all it would do for me is make me crave those things even more. I will never appreciate that until I have a healthy sex life outside of that (as in a connection with another woman), and even then the association might be so strong and so deep that I will still only crave the P and the O. So no, there is nothing wrong with masturbation....but it is not the path for me.

That's the important point, we have to change our point of view on things to an addicted's perspective. The wrong association of the brain can't be made undone by a few weeks/months of abstinence and we have to adapt that in our life.

Congratulations on the first week, keep going!  :)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 05, 2019, 04:43:21 PM
Thanks guys! I absolutely agree Achilles, sometimes I try to shy away from the fact that I am an addict, and instead think of myself as a normal person that just  feels that no PM is beneficial for me. I guess the word addict does scare me a little, but I’ve started to realize recently that not only should I not shy away from that term when thinking of myself, but fully embrace that this “flaw” actually can make me become a better person, such as being more accepting towards other people no matter what they are going through.

Nothing much to report, got triggered a little bit on snapchat earlier so I deleted it for the week. I’ve been mapping out mini-milestones and the next one is 15 days, and I’m on day 12 so 3 days to go!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: squid on August 05, 2019, 07:49:06 PM
Small goals are great, keep it up dude!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 05, 2019, 08:32:36 PM
Thanks guys! I absolutely agree Achilles, sometimes I try to shy away from the fact that I am an addict, and instead think of myself as a normal person that just  feels that no PM is beneficial for me. I guess the word addict does scare me a little, but I’ve started to realize recently that not only should I not shy away from that term when thinking of myself, but fully embrace that this “flaw” actually can make me become a better person, such as being more accepting towards other people no matter what they are going through.

Nothing much to report, got triggered a little bit on snapchat earlier so I deleted it for the week. I’ve been mapping out mini-milestones and the next one is 15 days, and I’m on day 12 so 3 days to go!

Way to be! Small milestones are the only way I've gotten anywhere. And they add up!

Also awesome that you just dumped snapchat for now. There's no reason to keep something in your life if it's just serving you triggers. So much better to cut it out than think you can handle it!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 07, 2019, 04:34:52 PM
Day 13,14: kind of disappointed I have wasted most of this day lying in bed and reading/watching videos. I didn’t get much/good quality sleep last night and I’ve used it as an excuse to be lazy. Not many urges thankfully, just feeling stressed but also still very tired. I’m going to try to do some work now and go for a run later, but hopefully I can learn from this and really make the most out of my time tomorrow. Atleast after today it’ll be one more day until I’ve completed 15
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: rob24 on August 07, 2019, 06:20:22 PM
Day 13,14: kind of disappointed I have wasted most of this day lying in bed and reading/watching videos. I didn’t get much/good quality sleep last night and I’ve used it as an excuse to be lazy. Not many urges thankfully, just feeling stressed but also still very tired. I’m going to try to do some work now and go for a run later, but hopefully I can learn from this and really make the most out of my time tomorrow. Atleast after today it’ll be one more day until I’ve completed 15
Congrats on 2 weeks! I love to think it like this: as long as I'm not giving in to the addiction, every day that passes is helping me improve by distancing myself through time alone - even if those days aren't perfect yet, they're helping me improve and notice more stuff that was wrong - even without PMO, and might perhaps be the headaches and problems that made me turn to PMO in the first place. I was a very emotionally turbulent and obnoxious child, and there's a lot to deal with that I don't think I ever addressed there.

Of course there are other factors besides passing time, but that's how we learn! I learned to stop fantasizing because of this, and it's working for me. The insomnia too should pass. I had it because PMO was a bedtime ritual for years, and I experienced two waves of insomnia around day 2-6, then again after about the two week mark or so.

Great that you're identifying emotions you can manage! This is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence, and really valuable. And exercise will serve you well! And don't worry about the little things. We identify them as we go through and make little changes to cut out new things that distract us, like social media which you mentioned you cut out in part, for me it's been switching songs in music playlists, and all those things that distracted us from bigger goals and long term visions we were too scared to face before. At least that's been my own experience, which might perhaps be of some encouragement. But carry on!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 07, 2019, 06:49:28 PM
Day 13,14: kind of disappointed I have wasted most of this day lying in bed and reading/watching videos. I didn’t get much/good quality sleep last night and I’ve used it as an excuse to be lazy. Not many urges thankfully, just feeling stressed but also still very tired. I’m going to try to do some work now and go for a run later, but hopefully I can learn from this and really make the most out of my time tomorrow. Atleast after today it’ll be one more day until I’ve completed 15
Congrats on 2 weeks! I love to think it like this: as long as I'm not giving in to the addiction, every day that passes is helping me improve by distancing myself through time alone - even if those days aren't perfect yet, they're helping me improve and notice more stuff that was wrong - even without PMO, and might perhaps be the headaches and problems that made me turn to PMO in the first place. I was a very emotionally turbulent and obnoxious child, and there's a lot to deal with that I don't think I ever addressed there.

Exactly! Any day clean is a successful day in a lot ways. But I also understand getting to the end of the day and wishing you had more to show for it. I do that most days, actually. I think it's okay, though, to have a sort of empty, recuperating day every once in a while as long as you don't make a habit of it.

I feel you on the level of stress and tired. Take a day while you still can. You probably won't be able to do it again once school starts anyway.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 08, 2019, 02:45:28 PM
Thanks for such an encouraging and thoughtful response, Rob! Yeah I totally agree with you that it’s important to keep the long term vision clear and available, so the little things seem less worrisome. At the end of every day, I tell myself “I am a better man than I was yesterday, simply by deciding to not PMO.” That mantra has worked well for me so far.

Good insight, blue heron! I tend to get more emotional when I am continuing to build streaks, but that is because I can’t ignore my problems as easily as I could with PMO. The best way is to go forward and face them, but make sure that your mind is in the right place to face them effectively. If that means take a day off, do something stupid (that doesn’t lead to triggers and urges) it can be okay occasionally.

Sigh, another PMO dream....these have been coming pretty often on this streak, I think as a result of me thinking about resisting urges at points throughout the day. I’ve had to shut down several times my brain wanted to fantasize today, and I am willing to keep doing that and remain focused on my long term goals.  Nothing I can do other than throw myself into my work, exercise, and maybe reach out to a friend or two...
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 08, 2019, 03:35:57 PM
I've had two porn dreams too during this streak. With one of them, I woke up and it took me like 5 minutes to distinguish whether it was dream or reality. It felt that real. The dream was about me edging to porn flashbacks. I woke up and had this panic moment. "Fuck, man! I just edged to porn flashbacks! I've said I would stay away from this!" And then: "Hold on, man, what the fuck?! It was only a dream." Goddamn, man.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 08, 2019, 06:47:52 PM
Sorry about the dreams. Those have always seemed to be especially potent triggers for me. On some level, I feel like they're like an early warning system (I probably experience more triggers on the days when I have those dreams), but I also don't think there's a lot we can do to control them.

I will just say I can't remember how long it has been since I've had one, so stick with it and they should start happening less (if my experience is generalizable at all).

Here's to being better men tomorrow than we were today! (I like that mantra)
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: achilles heel on August 09, 2019, 10:53:16 AM
“I am a better man than I was yesterday, simply by deciding to not PMO.” That mantra has worked well for me so far.

Good point to remember when urges become unbearable, you can and will make it through! Those dreams will appear less and less if you stay strong...
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 09, 2019, 12:30:11 PM
Good point to remember when urges become unbearable, you can and will make it through! Those dreams will appear less and less if you stay strong...


I started with this "autopilot" in my mind, like someone had hypnotized me. "If urges start, you don't look for material!" And it became like a programming language. "If urges happen, the reminder comes up." I've been 1 inch from relapse everyday but the reminder kept intervening. "You don't search for any material, even the lightest stuff ever." It's hard but I'm still away from porn. I crave porn like crazy but I don't do anything.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: rob24 on August 09, 2019, 02:18:16 PM
The dreams are a really interesting point. I think those along with the overall tendency of your thoughts are huge points of progress. I think Blueheronfan is right about how the dreams will inevitably happen less and less as you go on. You and Lero helped me see that fantasizing willingly makes a huge difference. I've had about 2-3 dreams about sex in the last 30 days I can remember, and they've switched from a voyeuristic view to my own sight, and from general sex to sex with someone I know. Aren't you naturally supposed to have dreams about sex?
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 09, 2019, 05:43:52 PM
I've been 1 inch from relapse everyday but the reminder kept intervening. "You don't search for any material, even the lightest stuff ever." It's hard but I'm still away from porn. I crave porn like crazy but I don't do anything.

Great way to put it. We're probably all an inch away from relapse. The difference now is that I keep that inch where it is. I used to spend a lot of time how close I could get, a half inch? 3/4 of an inch? without actually crossing that 1 inch line. But you can't get closer without getting pulled over.

Here's to staying an inch away and never thinking we can afford to get closer!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 10, 2019, 05:07:48 AM
Great way to put it. We're probably all an inch away from relapse. The difference now is that I keep that inch where it is. I used to spend a lot of time how close I could get, a half inch? 3/4 of an inch? without actually crossing that 1 inch line. But you can't get closer without getting pulled over.

Here's to staying an inch away and never thinking we can afford to get closer!

Good way to put it, man. The place where addiction should stay at is where we don't look at any material, even the lightest stuff. This is how the addiction can't get closer. Everyday I have this feeling in my whole body that tells me: "An edging session right now will feel great," but I stay away from it because I am aware of it.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 10, 2019, 01:34:05 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone. Yeah Lero I am exactly the same way with dreams, like it'll take me 5 minutes to convince myself after waking up that I actually didn't just relapse. The worst part is that in my dream I am edging and switching from different P videos every 5-10 seconds, which is like the worst thing you can do in real life. Rob24, I do think dreams about sex are pretty normal...but I've never had one where it's just me wanting to connect with someone, it literally always relates to P fantasies.

I'm doing okay....I had this realization last night where I am watching so much youtube and just being on my phone so much that I am forcing my brain to chase dopamine even though I am not PMOing or fantasizing. I really need to get back to taking my lessons to heart in my meditation and not just making my day a checklist where if I do good things, I get to reward myself however as long as its not PMO. This is not a healthy or sustainable way to live, as I am trying to replace one addiction with another less powerful, but still harmful one. So from now on, I'll pursue more things that calm my brain down more, so I can be more at peace with myself and not be thinking a million thoughts a minute when I am not stimulated enough. Listening to and discovering new music, reading, and just letting my brain be quiet at moments throughout the day when thinking is not needed will help me feel way better in the long run. Peace everyone.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 10, 2019, 01:36:25 PM
Good reflections, man. Addicts many times subsitute one addiction for another. They don't drink anymore but binge on junk food etc. We have to be careful. I think a rest from any forms of dopamine releases that are not healthy is a good idea.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 10, 2019, 05:14:54 PM
Glad you're still going along and reflecting meaningfully on your experience and habits. It's great to make sure that you aren't substituting one addiction for another. I definitely think I have a few things that I tend to fall back on (eating, devices/YouTube) even still, and I'm trying to work on those too.

We'll get it, just moving forward one day at a time!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 11, 2019, 12:55:07 PM
My mind feels more at peace even through the small changes of cutting out youtube and just living out my meditations...much easier to fall asleep and got a good workout in this morning. I know this will not be easy, especially down the road, but I want to feel the stress of holding myself accountable so I will have the strength to face anything on the outside. Lets have great day today everyone
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 11, 2019, 01:03:45 PM
My mind feels more at peace even through the small changes of cutting out youtube and just living out my meditations...much easier to fall asleep and got a good workout in this morning. I know this will not be easy, especially down the road, but I want to feel the stress of holding myself accountable so I will have the strength to face anything on the outside. Lets have great day today everyone

That's right, man. Artificial dopamine stimulation fucks up the brain.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 11, 2019, 08:17:02 PM
My mind feels more at peace even through the small changes of cutting out youtube and just living out my meditations...much easier to fall asleep and got a good workout in this morning. I know this will not be easy, especially down the road, but I want to feel the stress of holding myself accountable so I will have the strength to face anything on the outside. Lets have great day today everyone

I know the feeling. Sometimes I end up spending the day at home and I get to the end of the day realizing that I have had something playing almost all day (I guess I get scared of the silence or something), and my brain feels fried. There's definitely something to getting away from constant input.

Here's to another great day!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: rob24 on August 11, 2019, 10:15:38 PM
Good calls everyone. Seconding this on the break from music and YouTube. I am one of those people who will play a song over and over until it's wrung out and I can't get any motivation from it anymore. I used music for energy, and I have nothing against music and I play a couple instruments, but the way that we consume our culture (playlists, YouTube suggested videos, etc.) has an addictive pattern about it. I spent a lot of time making YouTube videos over the last few years, and you're always trying to raise watch time. The site is literally designed to make each individual person spend as much time watching YouTube as possible. It's got incredibly good recommendations, but it's definitely something that can become addictive. I haven't tracked it, but I haven't used YouTube for much in about a month and I'm feeling very good and at peace.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 12, 2019, 04:45:08 AM
Good calls everyone. Seconding this on the break from music and YouTube. I am one of those people who will play a song over and over until it's wrung out and I can't get any motivation from it anymore. I used music for energy, and I have nothing against music and I play a couple instruments, but the way that we consume our culture (playlists, YouTube suggested videos, etc.) has an addictive pattern about it. I spent a lot of time making YouTube videos over the last few years, and you're always trying to raise watch time. The site is literally designed to make each individual person spend as much time watching YouTube as possible. It's got incredibly good recommendations, but it's definitely something that can become addictive. I haven't tracked it, but I haven't used YouTube for much in about a month and I'm feeling very good and at peace.

I like to listen to classical music sometimes. It's a great break from all this crazy music today.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 12, 2019, 02:21:36 PM
I actually play classical music most of the day, and it is very therapeutic to me as well as keeps my mind healthy and strong. The reason I'm against youtube as y'all have mentioned is the algorithm, but I feel alot better when I can listen to an album or playlist through and just let it sink in, maybe thinking about the creative differences between the songs and artists.

Speaking of, got to start practicing now....I want to be in top form entering the school year because I know alot of rep is going to get thrown at me like orchestra music, chamber music, and other stuff. I've slacked off so far today except for my workout, but now its time to remind myself of the benefits of the quiet, focused mind and get to work. See y'all soon
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 13, 2019, 05:48:13 PM
Yeah, I know that the right music can definitely help me to settle in and get stuff done. Like so many other things, it has to be about how we use it. When I use it well, it helps me to enjoy some down time or to be more productive. When I use it poorly, I think it is to escape having to be alone with my own thoughts.

Good luck with practicing and the coming school year!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 16, 2019, 09:43:50 AM
Thanks! Last few days have been pretty good, workouts have finally started showing results and I feel motivated with the school year so close. Kinda sucks that I have to be at home with my parents and away from friends for a few days, but I'll be okay. One more week to really work on myself so I can be ready for anything this year!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 16, 2019, 05:43:22 PM
Definitely! You've got this! We've got this!

Have a great time at home!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 18, 2019, 02:48:53 PM
Thanks man for all your help and support! A couple of super productive days have had me feeling the inclination to take it easier today which I have so far...but I am not worried about binging out on YouTube or anything like that cause I have some big goals that are in the front of my mind. Just gotta stay mindful, I realized it’s okay to think ahead in the future, even very far ahead, but it is only needed occasionally; once you have your sights set on what you want to do, just go with what you geeel is right in the moment.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 19, 2019, 04:55:07 PM
Definitely! I love the idea of focusing on the big goals and just pressing forward mindfully. Thinking about the future is helpful when it helps us to something useful today, but not if it's just a way of escaping today. (Definitely something I can remember more often myself)

Keep it going!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 20, 2019, 06:56:20 PM
Thanks! I've always had this cycle of feeling really tired ever few days or so while rebooting....I'm not sure if it has anything to do with diet (pretty good), sleep (I'm getting a decent amount), exercise (5x a week), or just my body still slowly adapting to the change in lack of stimulation. I took a really long 3 1/2 hour nap today without getting much work done, woke up and now I am still tired but my mind and thoughts are racing. Anyone  else have trouble with this? Atleast I'm optimistic I'll feel better tomorrow, I just wish there was something I could do to spread out the "tiredness" rather than it all come down once every few days.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 22, 2019, 07:31:12 PM
So I kinda realized something pretty profound the other day; not am I onlyaddicted to porn, I am addicted to entertaining myself through technology, wether it be TV, laptop, or phone. I just looked back at all my relapses, and they all stem from me being on my phone or laptop, minding my own business, maybe surfing a little bit of youtube....and then I start to get bored. Any normal person at that point would put it away and go do something else, but what do I do? Start looking at sexy images, videos....then relapse. Often when I have blown of hanging out with people, yes I am often in a bad mood, but what do I do instead? Do something on my computer/phone, and often there is no PMO-related things involved. I just use it to keep my mind occupied, because, I guess that is more comfortable than doing something more productive or engaging.

So I have been majorly cutting back on my technology usage, and I feel like I am getting cravings similar to a quitting a sugar addiction; headaches, moodiness, and a general sense of low energy. But I feel really good about rebooting knowing that this problem has played a major role in my past relapses. Best of luck to everyone!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 23, 2019, 09:21:02 AM
Yes, man, technology is created today to achieve exactly that: Entertaining us and keeping us addicted.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 23, 2019, 06:00:56 PM
So I kinda realized something pretty profound the other day; not am I onlyaddicted to porn, I am addicted to entertaining myself through technology, wether it be TV, laptop, or phone. I just looked back at all my relapses, and they all stem from me being on my phone or laptop, minding my own business, maybe surfing a little bit of youtube....and then I start to get bored. Any normal person at that point would put it away and go do something else, but what do I do? Start looking at sexy images, videos....then relapse. Often when I have blown of hanging out with people, yes I am often in a bad mood, but what do I do instead? Do something on my computer/phone, and often there is no PMO-related things involved. I just use it to keep my mind occupied, because, I guess that is more comfortable than doing something more productive or engaging.

So I have been majorly cutting back on my technology usage, and I feel like I am getting cravings similar to a quitting a sugar addiction; headaches, moodiness, and a general sense of low energy. But I feel really good about rebooting knowing that this problem has played a major role in my past relapses. Best of luck to everyone!

Man, this is something I have been noticing in myself more and more in the last couple months. I guess I have been kind of reluctant to do anything about it, though. Whenever I have the thought that I should cut things out, I always have a good way of talking myself out of it. That sounds like the work of the addicted brain to me.

Hmm. You've given me something to think about, and you have inspired me to think more carefully about some of my other habits. Thanks and keep it up!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 25, 2019, 03:10:25 PM
Glad to help, BlueHeron! Yeah I am the same way, it just hit me really hard...like a lightbulb came on out of nowhere and I was shocked at how it took me so long to realize I was addicted to all of it. I would plan my day and for absolutely no reason, I start doing whatever on my phone and an hour passes, and I just keep going, cause why not? I could just do that shit later, I always tell myself. But yeah, don't put too much pressure on yourself, just try to compromise and be reasonable, and things should start to get easier!

Man, these urges are alot easier to deal with now. Whenever I get triggered hard, I just turn off my phone. I don't click on a different video, or watch a different show like I usually have, because that has led to me relapsing in the past. Don't want to feel like I've beaten anything though; I know there is a long and difficult journey ahead.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 25, 2019, 06:12:29 PM
Glad to help, BlueHeron! Yeah I am the same way, it just hit me really hard...like a lightbulb came on out of nowhere and I was shocked at how it took me so long to realize I was addicted to all of it. I would plan my day and for absolutely no reason, I start doing whatever on my phone and an hour passes, and I just keep going, cause why not? I could just do that shit later, I always tell myself. But yeah, don't put too much pressure on yourself, just try to compromise and be reasonable, and things should start to get easier!

Man, these urges are alot easier to deal with now. Whenever I get triggered hard, I just turn off my phone. I don't click on a different video, or watch a different show like I usually have, because that has led to me relapsing in the past. Don't want to feel like I've beaten anything though; I know there is a long and difficult journey ahead.

Awesome stuff! Turning off your phone is just the right thing to do. Get an urge, tell your brain no thanks, and move on to something better. It's definitely not a now-and-forever cure, but it is a huge step toward regaining control of your impulses and behavior.

Plus, if other videos and stuff are also addictive, doing them instead of PMO isn't really a step away from addiction, is it? I think you've got something important figured out. Keep it going!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 26, 2019, 01:09:51 PM
I get exactly the same thing with technology. I pretty much spent the whole morning today looking at screens achieving nothing. I better get off the computer now. Thanks for the reminder!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 26, 2019, 02:05:15 PM
Awesome stuff! Turning off your phone is just the right thing to do. Get an urge, tell your brain no thanks, and move on to something better. It's definitely not a now-and-forever cure, but it is a huge step toward regaining control of your impulses and behavior.

Plus, if other videos and stuff are also addictive, doing them instead of PMO isn't really a step away from addiction, is it? I think you've got something important figured out. Keep it going!

They are sources of dopamine raising. That's their goal, after all. They can also create addiction and they also affect the brain, like bad attention span. I'm also working on only using technology only when I need it (right now it's the first time when I used the computer today and I could've used it more. I will spend some time on the forum and turn it off).
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 26, 2019, 09:36:10 PM
I’m glad that y’all can relate to me on atleast some level, I always try and tell myself to not be too hard on myself for this because we have all been conditioned to be around technology as much as possible; that’s just how the modern world is sadly.

Yesterday I fantasized on one of my old fetishes for maybe about 30 seconds, and then quickly redirected my mind. As expected, I had a really weird dream relating to that fetish that turned out to be really stressful too, as I woke up at 5 am covered in sweat. My mind was racing so it was really hard to go to sleep after that, but I’m the bright side I still managed to have a productive day and get a good nap in. I think the momentum from doing good things in the past + it being the first day of class today really helped me do what I need to do, but I fear I won’t have the same level of motivation as the year goes on and gets more stressful. Nevertheless, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Hopefully then, I’ll be a lot more mentally strong.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Lero on August 27, 2019, 12:30:01 AM
I’m glad that y’all can relate to me on atleast some level, I always try and tell myself to not be too hard on myself for this because we have all been conditioned to be around technology as much as possible; that’s just how the modern world is sadly.
After "entertaining" myself with technology for a while, I realized how my attention span started to suck. Then I said: "Fuck it, I will only use those things when I need them, like when I spend time on Reboot Nation." Let's see how this will go.

Quote
Yesterday I fantasized on one of my old fetishes for maybe about 30 seconds, and then quickly redirected my mind. As expected, I had a really weird dream relating to that fetish that turned out to be really stressful too, as I woke up at 5 am covered in sweat. My mind was racing so it was really hard to go to sleep after that, but I’m the bright side I still managed to have a productive day and get a good nap in. I think the momentum from doing good things in the past + it being the first day of class today really helped me do what I need to do, but I fear I won’t have the same level of motivation as the year goes on and gets more stressful. Nevertheless, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Hopefully then, I’ll be a lot more mentally strong.

Man, I had a dream like that a while ago. All day I was literally dying to watch a particular P scene. It kept invading my mind and I kept trying to redirect my attention. Then I went to sleep and I had a dream with that scene. I woke up right in the middle of it feeling so turned on like I was sitting in front of the computer and literally watching it. I was this close to start edging to the flashbacks but I managed to save myself, I don't even know how. I can't believe this shit.

Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 27, 2019, 05:17:50 PM
Yeah, dreams have always been weirdly hard to bounce back from. I had a porn related dream last night and it has sort of thrown me off balance today.

But it sounds like you're doing exactly the right thing. Let the start of school be busy so you're distracted from the addiction and just keep going. Maybe your motivation will taper off in the future, but that definitely isn't something to worry about now. For now, just get the school year started right!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 27, 2019, 05:25:48 PM
Good points from both of y'all! Just want to do everything I can to make this reboot as smooth as possible, but I know there will always and inevitably be bumps in the road; just have to do your best to minimize those bumps and push through. Good workout, still having trouble sleeping but that's partly bc of adjusting to a new schedule + the lack of technology entertainment, but naps have been really helpful. Gunna go get some more work done today, eat a healthy dinner, and then get to play some ball with friends tomorrow!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 28, 2019, 06:41:23 PM
For sure, just keep at it!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 28, 2019, 08:38:59 PM
Keep on keeping on, mate! Don't let that dream put you off - it seems to be a pretty normal sign of recovery. I have had such dreams. It's just part of the process.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on September 01, 2019, 06:18:28 PM
So it's been an interesting past few days. For the last 2 days, my friends have been ghosting me, and then I see them hanging out on Snapchat which really hit me hard. But instead of holding it in and being negative about it like I have done in the past, I texted them and asked them to tell me the truth as to why they won't hit me up when they hang. One friend said that he thinks I don't ever want to do anything (due to me rejecting him sometimes last year + he knows money is tight for me so he doesn't want to make me feel uncomfortable when they go out) and another feels like I have been taking advantage of him giving me rides (picking me up from my place bc I don't have a car) and am always the one to take food/drink or whatever rather than provide it. I've honestly never had any problems like this with my other friends before, so it was definitely shocking to hear. I told them I'm definitely down to hang alot more this year and promised to provide more food/drink and uber/bus more if I have to. But part of me feels like they didn't recognize the effort I put into trying to hang with them last year as I asked them multiple times and they almost always ghosted me. I guess I have a lingering feeling of resentment that's not healthy because we made up and everything's good, so this is something I can let go of and move forward.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 01, 2019, 09:02:34 PM
Yeah, that's tough, but it sounds like you're thinking through it and acting on it in a good way. I'm definitely a person to hold in my resentment rather than actually work things out.

Just keep on doing what you're doing. I guarantee you're making more progress than it sometimes feels like.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on September 05, 2019, 10:58:49 PM
Thanks, man. While I haven’t felt like I made much progress recently, just knowing that I’ve been letting urges come and go is enough. Pretty busy last few days, really looking forward to this weekend!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 06, 2019, 05:54:49 PM
Yeah, that's huge. Developing a capacity to let the urges come and go without messing you up is huge. I'm super happy for you that you're experiencing that.

Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: pichaelthompson on September 12, 2019, 09:08:20 PM
Man, this week has been crazy busy. Rehearsals, practicing for an audition, class, homework, working out...even putting myself out there more and hanging out with people. I think partly I had the mindset of "well this year can't be any worse than last so fuck it" and I started to care less about how I am around people, and it's given me some nice confidence. Obviously, there's a long way to go, and not everything is great all the time, especially with stress levels and lingering insomnia, but I haven't felt this positive in grad school maybe since the 1st week of last year lol

Triggers are less and less, especially as I spend less time on electronics, and when I do it's mostly some music or a dabble in Netflix or youtube, nothing close to what I was doing before. I think its important to find the right balance of things in life, and be willing to change or break habits if things aren't going your way for a while. I've been talking to a girl, and we've been trying to schedule a time to meet but it's been crazy busy for both of us so it looks like it won't happen until a couple weeks from now :( But atleast there's something to look forward to....PMO be gone!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: squid on September 12, 2019, 09:44:50 PM
Great stuff dude! 
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 13, 2019, 06:13:22 PM
Awesome report!  Grad school is crazy busy. I feel you on that one.

But it's awesome that you're feeling better about things and that the urges and triggers are diminishing! And you have potential plans with a girl, also great!

Enjoy your weekend and keep on doing what you're doing!
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Quitforeverthenwin on September 16, 2019, 06:17:43 AM
Great man, keep it up! Being super busy is one of the best places to be imo.
Title: Re: A new beginning
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 22, 2019, 01:00:21 PM
Hey man, how have you been? You haven't posted in a while! I hope everything's going okay and don't forget we're all rooting for you.