Reboot Nation

Journals => Ages 20-29 => Topic started by: achilles heel on April 05, 2016, 05:32:28 PM

Title: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 05, 2016, 05:32:28 PM
Hi everyone,

I discovered this page in 2014 while researching on porn addiction and finally decided to register and write a journal - let me tell you something about my case and why it took so long for me to join the community:

Three years ago at age 26 I realized suffering from porn addiction. I tried to stop it and failed, many times. At some point I stopped bothering, telling myself it wasn't a problem at all as none of my friends seem to consider it to be one. But I felt worse and worse for extended consuming and stumbled across this wonderful page, that finally managed to explain to me what exactly happened with my brain and what's the big deal with quitting. I can't thank you enough for this page and each of the user's journals helped me a lot understanding more about myself and my own problem.

With my new knowledge I thought to have found the solution to all of my problems and wouldn't need help from anybody. Guess what? I failed. And failed again. I blocked images at my browser, tried to avoid triggers. At some point I started telling myself, it wasn't a problem if it wasn't hardcore porn, and yet relapsed completely sooner or later again.

My longest streak lasted 75 days and ended because of a sports news page publishing an athlete's bikini pictures. I know how stupid that may sound and I felt so bad about it afterwards, but relapsed several more times the days after. And there we have the reason, I finally decided to register and tell you my story. I thought way too long to be able to solve this on my own and to defeat this "weakness". Afterwards I felt ashamed of being weak again.

At some point of recovery my brain (I know, this sounds schizophrenic) convinces itself, that remaining clean more than X days proves I wasn't addicted and therefore could allow myself a little, controlled dose. But not anymore! There isn't such thing as "control", there is no "little bit". More than anything else I need this journal as a reminder to myself, how damn serious I am about quitting porn forever. How good I feel during most steps of recovery. How proud I am of being stronger than my addiction. How bad every relapse makes me feel. How happy I am in life and that every time I reflect about it, the only thing I would have made undone is becoming a porn addict at age 14. I can't make it undone, but I can quit. Now.

This is day one of my new life on April, 6th 2016, keeping you updated once in a while and searching for help in case of relapse, although I'm more convinced than ever before not to relapse again. First partial goal is the 75 days mark...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: ReadingRunner on April 05, 2016, 05:59:45 PM
Great post man. Your optimism is contagious.

It's funny, all the rationalizations our brain makes just for that one hit.

I know for me, working out helps dispel a lot of that "brain-talk".

Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: refreshed_28 on April 05, 2016, 08:43:54 PM
Great post man...you and me can do it and  achieve our goals..
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 07, 2016, 10:25:00 AM
Thanks for your support!

This is my second day after relapse and I realize that despite constant relapses during the last three years of trying to quit, I already advanced a lot. Three years ago I hardly made it through 2 or 3 days after years of daily, heavy porn consumption, now up to 20 days isn't a (big) challenge. This might be an important experience for those who are at the very beginning: Relapsing once isn't a return to 0 and no excuse to relapse again. Every day without porn is a better day. It's important to understand a single relapse as part of the progress and avoid repeating the same mistake again.

As I wrote introducing my case, today I struggle with my brain tricking me into relapse after 20+ days. I notice the positive changes then and don't remember how bad I felt after relapsing, allowing exceptions that lead to a complete relapse with hours of watching porn. I have to point this out for myself: Neither am I, nor will I ever be able to control porn and thus have to stay away from it completely. Forever.

There is this demon I constantly fight and he managed to convince me (too) many times to leave my path. I understand this journal as my last step into freedom, because I am writing down my experience and remind myself of the many tricks, he (the addiction-demon) played on me. Because I use to forget them and fall again for his bait, as his famous "This isn't porn"-trick. Reading the definition of "reboot" given on the front page is important: "complete rest from artificial sexual stimulation".

Before reading more about porn-addiction and understanding the search-character of dopamine, I thought the problem was just hardcore porn in all his varieties. Within my first longer streaks of abstinence, Facebook remained my biggest trigger: I replaced porn by clicking through Facebook pages with barely clothed girls. "This isn't porn, it won't damage you!", the addiction-demon said and lead me to nude pics, as they weren't porn either. "It's only porn, if there is penetration." - and it lasted about two days until my brain needed a stronger high, leading me to give in to the temptation of hardcore porn again.

Sexting with girls is another trigger. The addiction-demon explained to me, that it wasn't porn because of the interaction with a real girl. But what's left are words, pictures and videos on a screen. That's the focus: A screen, artificial stimulation, fantasies. And by the time she disconnected, I often still searched for a new high and returned to hardcore porn. That's how my last relapse occurred two days ago. I already had that figured out and didn't allow myself further exceptions in July last year. Back then I reached my all-time-high of 75 days until not taking the issue too serious anymore.

Writing this down hopefully keeps me from "exceptions" this time. As an alcoholic must stay away from a single glass of beer for the rest of his life, I need to avoid sexual arousal from a digital screen. I advanced a lot yet and feel ready to comply with the last step.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on April 08, 2016, 01:11:05 PM
Hey buddy! Sad news to hear about the end to your really big run! It's okay. Stuff happens. Do like sports teams do and check tape the next day. Ask yourself why a few pictures caused an end to your winning streak. Analyze the reason that this particular bikini pic got you. Were you stressed? How long had you gone without a release? These things will help you the next time you hit 75 days.

I have an app on my phone called "Habit Bull". You can keep really good data on how successful you are not just with PMO but anything really.

Also, don't use that "demon" term too much. We often like to use it because it takes a certain level of control and responsibility away from us. "I have a demon causing me to do things". See how it sounds like you can't control your actions?

Hang in there. I want to make it two weeks this time around. Can you beat my score?

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: siphus on April 09, 2016, 01:44:14 AM
I dig hearing your thoughts, achilles heel:
Reading the definition of "reboot" given on the front page is important: "complete rest from artificial sexual stimulation".

Before reading more about porn-addiction and understanding the search-character of dopamine, I thought the problem was just hardcore porn in all his varieties. Within my first longer streaks of abstinence, Facebook remained my biggest trigger: I replaced porn by clicking through Facebook pages with barely clothed girls. "This isn't porn, it won't damage you!", the addiction-demon said and lead me to nude pics, as they weren't porn either. "It's only porn, if there is penetration." - and it lasted about two days until my brain needed a stronger high, leading me to give in to the temptation of hardcore porn again.

Writing this down hopefully keeps me from "exceptions" this time. As an alcoholic must stay away from a single glass of beer for the rest of his life, I need to avoid sexual arousal from a digital screen. I advanced a lot yet and feel ready to comply with the last step.

I appreciate your realizations about this. Whether it's Facebook or text messaging or whatever, it all connects you to something unnatural and it all just becomes a gateway into a meaningless cycle. I really appreciate your inspiring words about how longer runs become easier and easier. I still haven't broken the 3-week mark in my current phase of my life and I'm ready to do this if I can keep going when it gets tough. Thanks so much and keep it up.

-siphus
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 09, 2016, 01:30:48 PM
Also, don't use that "demon" term too much. We often like to use it because it takes a certain level of control and responsibility away from us. "I have a demon causing me to do things". See how it sounds like you can't control your actions?

Hang in there. I want to make it two weeks this time around. Can you beat my score?

I'm using it as a metaphor, because at some point it seems to be kind of schizophrenic looking at myself fighting the addiction. But of course I am fully responsible for my actions, no doubt! I will control my actions and as I think I'm ahead a day since your last relapse, I will beat your score because you and me won't relapse again!

I really appreciate your inspiring words about how longer runs become easier and easier. I still haven't broken the 3-week mark in my current phase of my life and I'm ready to do this if I can keep going when it gets tough.

The three/four-week mark is the hardest and I'm glad to have found one of the reasons at your journal! This time I will read how you make it past that mark and follow you a week later. I made it past that only 3 times and it gets (note that this is just my personal experience) a bit easier after that... now you might ask why I relapsed again? In comes the sports coach:

Hey buddy! Sad news to hear about the end to your really big run! It's okay. Stuff happens. Do like sports teams do and check tape the next day. Ask yourself why a few pictures caused an end to your winning streak. Analyze the reason that this particular bikini pic got you. Were you stressed? How long had you gone without a release? These things will help you the next time you hit 75 days.

I relapsed due to not taking the threat too serious anymore and allowing myself a little look. Curiosity killed the cat! I looked up the complete pictures at google images, thus opening a never ending collections of pictures and returned to the "buffet" as you described it. The binge set in, I allowed myself to click on a related search and returned to hardcore porn within a many hour lasting session that depressed me so bad, I relapsed over and over again the following days. My streak lasted from August, 7th to October, 20th. Since then I didn't return to break the One-Month-Mark which is why I registered to start a journal.

Recently I relapsed after 20-30 days. The analysis hurts, because it was always hangover induced. I knew that before, but I tried to build a recovery strategy around being able to drink at the weekend. It doesn't work and as there is nothing I desire more than breaking free from this addiction, I will cut the drinking too, at least until I passed the critical mark. Currently I'm at day 4 and I will add 30 more days without alcohol. A tough but necessary decision.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on April 09, 2016, 01:55:29 PM
Buffets, man. Nothing but trouble. Complacency is tough. I haven't had that issue (yet) with PMO since i'm relatively new to the subject, but i've had it in other settings. I worked in a job where personal safety and security was a big deal. Alot of people on the job got complacent and ended up in the hospital because someone went crazy on them.

I don't want you to fail, but I also want to beat you!! Is this how professional athletes feel all the time?

Cheers!

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 10, 2016, 02:16:18 PM
I don't want you to fail, but I also want to beat you!! Is this how professional athletes feel all the time?

Healthy competition might help and if none of us fails, we will win everything! I will see it as extra motivation to beat you, but still supporting you wherever I can, Faptain! ;)

Day 5: Stormy weather ahead

As expected I had an easy start to the new recovery process. I'm still full of motivation and managed to use my free time at home this weekend to do all the house work. I also finished open tasks left at my desk, didn't drink, met friends, did sports and feel overall great. But I also know that there is a storm ahead, incoming around day 20 and lasting about 2 weeks.

There are lots of reasons to make up why I didn't already beat my addiction, but after all I have to admit I just didn't want it enough. I know that I'm superior to my enemy, but I must not underestimate him and also be prepared for his tactics. If I do prepare mind and body, analyze his strategy and keep a long term plan, I will succeed.

1. Preparing my body

The last 3 years of recovery intents haven't been in vain, although I didn't make it all the way through. I successfully changed my nutrition step by step, cutting out fast food and sugar and adding more fruits and vegetables to the table. Although I'm not 100% consequent on this (I do allow myself some sins once in a while), it did affect me in a very positive way. I'm not constantly tired anymore and lasting a year and a half now without injuries at sports or being ill. I managed to go to sleep earlier and get up easier in the morning. Taking the last step by cutting out alcohol - at least during the initial time of recovery - will complete my plan on nutrition to have the physical strenght while going through hard times. Another thing that helped me during recovery was my workout routine (3 times a week), but I didn't have the discipline to keep it when feeling weak and depressed at some point. I will start again tomorrow and hope I will manage to keep it during "the storm".

2. Preparing my mind

I would be surprised if there was anyone around here who isn't also an internet addict. I am and as my worst addiction centers around pixels on a screen, it may help to reduce the dependency on the screen. Long time ago I gave away my TV and don't miss it anymore. The bad thing: I spend hours on Facebook, YouTube and other communities. I managed to significantly reduce it during the first 5 days and currently try to replace it by Reboot Nation - it's also a community, but clicking and reading through random articles/journals at least helps me out and keeps me motivated. The whole Facebook feed works just like my porn addiction, I'm clicking for novelty and don't even care about the content + there are tons of triggers hidden just around the corner. Until now I'm happy on how I reduced it and will watch my behaviour.

3. Know your enemy!

I know him very well. He starts of very defensive, will then attack with full force around day 20 and keep his attacks for 2 weeks straight. If I make it past that, he will wait for my carelessness to win by lucky punch. I went through that many times and wasn't prepared enough.

Last night I checked one of my favourite sports pages and they did it again: Put a barely clothed girl in the related articles section. I didn't fall for that, but to avoid surprises of any kind, I switched off images at my smartphone browser.

And to save the best for last: I had a serious conversation with my girlfriend today. I told her before I had a problem with porn and tried to quit, but didn't mention the dimensions of the problem. Today I admitted to her how it changed my life and how I desperately want to quit it. How receiving pics or talking her into sending me some works as a trigger and that I'm pretty fucked up. I was afraid of that conversation and her reaction, but she showed me all of her support, offered to help me, thanked me for telling her and will try to understand it completely. She seemed to be relieved, because she thought she was the reason for my (no longer unexplainable) mood swings. This was certainly the biggest step I had to take while preparing and I'm happy about the result.

Overall I see the difference I'm making this time: During the last three years I wanted to keep living my life and quit the addiction along the way. Now quitting the addiction is my absolute priority and I don't consider it a life unless I successfully reboot. I will change whatever necessary to succeed, no matter what circumstances I have to face.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: siphus on April 11, 2016, 01:47:42 AM
1. Preparing my body

The last 3 years of recovery intents haven't been in vain, although I didn't make it all the way through. I successfully changed my nutrition step by step, cutting out fast food and sugar and adding more fruits and vegetables to the table. Although I'm not 100% consequent on this (I do allow myself some sins once in a while), it did affect me in a very positive way. I'm not constantly tired anymore and lasting a year and a half now without injuries at sports or being ill.

This is dope. Got any tips? I keep thinking about eating healthier but I never pay too much attention to my food. What are your easiest fruits and veggies to get?

And to save the best for last: I had a serious conversation with my girlfriend today. I told her before I had a problem with porn and tried to quit, but didn't mention the dimensions of the problem. Today I admitted to her how it changed my life and how I desperately want to quit it. How receiving pics or talking her into sending me some works as a trigger and that I'm pretty fucked up. I was afraid of that conversation and her reaction, but she showed me all of her support, offered to help me, thanked me for telling her and will try to understand it completely. She seemed to be relieved, because she thought she was the reason for my (no longer unexplainable) mood swings. This was certainly the biggest step I had to take while preparing and I'm happy about the result.

Overall I see the difference I'm making this time: During the last three years I wanted to keep living my life and quit the addiction along the way. Now quitting the addiction is my absolute priority and I don't consider it a life unless I successfully reboot. I will change whatever necessary to succeed, no matter what circumstances I have to face.

Your determination is contagious! And it's so serious that we need to repeat these messages to ourselves as well. It sounds like your conversation with your gf was a huge success. You have momentum and it seems like you're really internalizing your need to change. Bravo man, glad to have you as part of the team :)

-siphus
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on April 12, 2016, 03:54:53 PM
Quote
And to save the best for last: I had a serious conversation with my girlfriend today. I told her before I had a problem with porn and tried to quit, but didn't mention the dimensions of the problem. Today I admitted to her how it changed my life and how I desperately want to quit it. How receiving pics or talking her into sending me some works as a trigger and that I'm pretty fucked up. I was afraid of that conversation and her reaction, but she showed me all of her support, offered to help me, thanked me for telling her and will try to understand it completely. She seemed to be relieved, because she thought she was the reason for my (no longer unexplainable) mood swings. This was certainly the biggest step I had to take while preparing and I'm happy about the result.

Congrats!!! Isn't it great when things go the way you hope? I learned in therapy a long time ago that the people who like you will still like you after you open up. If they move away, good riddance. Of course, if you're an asshole then maybe it's for a good reason though  ;D

1. Preparing my body


This is dope. Got any tips? I keep thinking about eating healthier but I never pay too much attention to my food. What are your easiest fruits and veggies to get?
Honestly Siphus, Salad. Replace one meal a day with it. It can be a massive salad. There's really no calories in veggies. Just watch what dressing you use. Get a light italian or balsamic. They make really good ones 60 calories and under per serving. I have one for breakfast every day. No meat, a little cheese, lots of different veggies. I get different ones every time I go. I grab different lettuce too. You can really get fit when you cut your breakfast from 500-750 calories down to 150... As long as you don't eat shit the rest of the day :)


I'm seeing good things here! Keep it up!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 13, 2016, 01:53:46 PM
Day 8: Currently I'm very busy and that's a good thing because I don't feel any urges so far. Glad to see you guys siphus and Faptain still on track, will take my time to answer to your journals this weekend! Yesterday I remembered a comic about the 'rat park' experiments I discovered long time ago (probably around here) and think it might be interesting to anyone over here: www.stuartmcmillen.com/comics_en/rat-park
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on April 13, 2016, 03:02:09 PM
I look forward to it! Enjoy being busy!

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 16, 2016, 07:55:21 PM
Day 11: Increased difficulty

Being busy helps a lot, not only did I stay clean, but also managed to make good use of my extra free time. At its worst stage my porn addiction consumed more hours a month than a regular part-time-job. After the infinite binge sessions I felt guilty, angry and ashamed about the wasted time (just to repeat it the next day), nowadays I believe it's a blessing I had been able to slowly step out of this vicious circle.

To my surprise I didn't make a single exception on my nutrition so far and keep the plan of no sugar (except for fruits, obviously), no fast food and no alcohol. I'm spending more time on planning and cooking my meals and don't sacrifice this important task to be able to watch another hour of porn anymore. It's not just nutrition, but also getting enough sleep due to not staying awake late watching porn. As I cut out alcohol too (not sure if this will really last a whole month), I didn't ruin my rhythm with a weekend hangover and instead got up early today.

My favourite aspect during reboot is the improved self-perception. Of course: Nutrition, sports and sleep do have an impact on the person in the mirror and I certainly like me a lot more now than after relapsing, not getting enough sleep and being out of shape. But there is more to it, as I have an overall more positive view of myself and behave more confident. After a phase of heavy porn use I often felt all eyes on me and started sweating for no reason in random social situations. I wonder how I wasn't able to figure this out before reading ybop/Reboot Nation. How are you supposed to socially interact with people if your brain is flooded every day with pictures where human interaction is reduced to sex in its most degrading and degenerated form?

I'm advancing, but it's still a long way to freedom. The first urges appear and give me a sneak preview on what to expect soon. A friend of mine liked a pic of a girl in bikini on Facebook and I caught myself wanting to click on her profile to see more, but could interfere before. Then I received messages from a girl I haven't seen in a long time who drunk-messaged me if I still had a girlfriend and that she was waiting for me. I could prevent my addicted brain from taking advantage of the situation and talk her into sending nudes, but have to watch out for further, dangerous surprises.

The lesson learned from the last, very productive days is that the positive effect of long term satisfaction lets the short term relief of porn look like a really shitty alternative. There is no more danger of relapsing to porn directly, but I have to keep avoiding triggers, making no exception. I also need to repeat this to myself: From now on it's getting tougher every day, but I can and will make it through!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: planet_earth_is_blue on April 16, 2016, 08:28:05 PM
Heyo!

I'm glad to meet someone else who's passionate about nutrition! Meal planning is a great habit to have. Any way that we can add structure to our lives during recovery will certainly ease the transition. I first started doing it to ensure that I never skip a meal, which I had a habit of doing when there weren't healthy options readily available. Some people have the habit of eating junk food, I had the habit of simply not eating.

Quote
The lesson learned from the last, very productive days is that the positive effect of long-term satisfaction lets the short term relief of porn look like a really shitty alternative.

This. This. This. Discovering which activities make us feel said long-term satisfaction, and pursuing them wholeheartedly is the core of recovery. You've identified unnatural sugar as another form of indulgence and you're making an effort to replace it with something that makes you feel whole. There are foods which produce lasting energy and satisfaction, and there are foods which leave us feeling drained. It's great that you've made the distinction.

I apologize if my thoughts aren't fully developed, I'm pretty tired at the moment. I'm glad I happened upon your journal, though!

Stay healthy :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on April 20, 2016, 05:46:52 PM
Hey Achilles,

Nice job making it to day 15!!! I'm on day 12 myself and am thrilled to be so close to my goal. Stay good on the nutrition and stay strong.

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 21, 2016, 02:14:56 PM
Hey Achilles,

Nice job making it to day 15!!! I'm on day 12 myself and am thrilled to be so close to my goal. Stay good on the nutrition and stay strong.

-The Faptain

Well done, Faptain, I told you we'd both win the race! I'm at day 16 and too busy to relapse  ;)

This weekend I will have enough time to update my journal and to read yours. I want to read how you reached your first goal and how you'll try to extend it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 24, 2016, 04:16:26 PM
Day 19:

Euphoria is gone, I'm entering the critical state. This time I actively observed how my mood turned around and it was due to my dreams. During the last two nights I dreamt of porn, relapsing, my last ex-girlfriend and other girls from the past. The encounters were melancholic and I woke up feeling sad. I could observe how my addicted mind tried to trick me into the Facebook trigger.

"Oh, you're not voluntarily searching for porn, but check out if someone shared or liked a pic of some hot girl... here we go: Look at her profile just by mouse-over to see a bigger version of her profile pic... click on it to see..." - "STOP."

My mind is desperate for anything at this state and I usually allowed myself a little peek at non-nudes to calm the pressure, but this is the direct way to relapse. The 75-day-streak was only possible because I did it the hard way and I'm going to get there the same way again. With the little difference that I'm aware of triggers and failures now.

I'm maintaining healthy nutrition and avoiding alcohol. The latter is getting harder and harder as my mood turns around. Anyway I'm going to keep the plan of 30 days without drinking, it will help me getting past the worst stage. The following ten days have the highest relapse risk and I won't be able to control myself being drunk.

To motivate myself I will set day 30 as an intermediate goal. Reaching it without porn, alcohol and sugar will definitely be something I'd feel very proud of. There are 10 days ahead and I know I will make it, because there is nothing I desire more in my life than breaking free from this terrible addiction. So, a little reminder to myself: Whatever happens, porn is not an option!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 27, 2016, 07:24:25 AM
Day 22: Almost relapsed

I predicted everything correctly. Every detail. I warned myself about these dangerous days, yet I'm actively searching for triggers. I can't concentrate on my tasks at home, feeling the urges to watch porn and get an easy relief. Instead of taking the warnings seriously, my mind is making up that relapsing will set me free and I could start again experiencing the euphoria of the first days of reboot again. I took my cell phone to bed last night (won't happen again) and realized I was one little step from relapsing.

I. Don't. Want. To. Relapse. Ever. Again.

After an almost-relapse there is normally a real relapse about to follow soon. I'm feeling empty, I don't even have the energy to exercise. I HAVE to make it through, but this feels like hell.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 28, 2016, 05:43:25 PM
Day 23: Point of no return

My head aches and I don't know if it's reboot related. Still having problems to concentrate on things and there are triggers out of nowhere, because I'm unable to quit my cyber addiction and keep visiting Facebook. This journal is so helpful, because I can read my thoughts from just a few days ago and remind myself of how convinced I really am to quit porn forever. I'm currently feeling depressed and weak, with my mind trying to trick me into relapse. It's logical, since reboot is getting tough and I used to PMO to escape uncomfortable situations for over a decade.

The good thing is that I'm able to rationalize my current state of mind because of the exact predictions I made before. It helps me staying strong, knowing that this feeling of despair is only temporary and nothing compared to the reward of being free at last. I made it over 3 weeks now and I won't throw this streak away just because I have to put in more effort now. I made it past this point before and I will do it again. It's my choice to finally become the person I wanted to be for so long or fail again. My improvements are evident. Every day I feel like the person in the mirror resembles more and more who I want to be and it makes me so much more comfortable around others. Even if there are still some letdowns and it's still a long way ahead, I know it's worth it to go all the way through.

My journal entries currently might appear a little repetitive and purely motivation-based, but I can't make up any clever thoughts or reflections. It's all about passing the next week or two without relapsing, no matter how. Porn is not an option. Failure is not an option.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on April 29, 2016, 01:36:42 PM
Hey Achilles,

I'm glad you're staying strong, even if it brings you to your knees. Are you masturbating at all?

I'm just getting caught up with everyone else so I'll update my own journal this weekend. Stay frosty.

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: siphus on April 30, 2016, 01:59:29 AM
Hey man, first of all I appreciate the support shown on our pages, and we don't mind if you're being repetitive, because that's how habits form anyways, right? A while back you talked about breaking out of that vicious binge circle, and of course staying committed at this point will keep yourself from feeling that despair. It's just not worth it.

I love the recovery workshop (http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/recovery_workshop_expectations.php)'s description of the early recovery process, and you may be closer to "Crisis Resolution", but currently the effort that you're putting in is invaluable, and your strategies with this journal or anything else you have in place is key for maintaining this progress.

Stay focused my friend.

-siphus
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 30, 2016, 04:58:56 PM
Hey Achilles,

I'm glad you're staying strong, even if it brings you to your knees. Are you masturbating at all?

I'm just getting caught up with everyone else so I'll update my own journal this weekend. Stay frosty.

-The Faptain

Thanks for your reply, Faptain! As the M almost led me to the P last tuesday/wednesday, I decided to stop it. Too dangerous, at least at this early stage of recovery. I already had it decreased to once a week, now I'll leave it out completely. We'll see for how long, as my goal is to quit "just" porn.

Hey man, first of all I appreciate the support shown on our pages, and we don't mind if you're being repetitive, because that's how habits form anyways, right? A while back you talked about breaking out of that vicious binge circle, and of course staying committed at this point will keep yourself from feeling that despair. It's just not worth it.

I love the recovery workshop (http://www.recoverynation.com/recovery/recovery_workshop_expectations.php)'s description of the early recovery process, and you may be closer to "Crisis Resolution", but currently the effort that you're putting in is invaluable, and your strategies with this journal or anything else you have in place is key for maintaining this progress.

Stay focused my friend.

-siphus

Great link, once again, siphus! When I read the information you shared about the recovery-relapse-circle I realized what I was stuck in for almost half a year now. And reading the detailed process I see that the end of my longest streak due to complacency after 75 days is something common too. Thank you for all the useful information, I don't think I would have made it through this week without being aware about the circle, but I did!

Update is about to follow later or tomorrow, your support really helped me!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 30, 2016, 06:29:28 PM
Day 25: Clear weather in sight!

I'm so happy I didn't give in to the cravings and made it past the most critical stage. When I refer to "hard mode" it means not allowing myself to be curious at all. It's impossible not to stumble upon lingerie ads or bikini pics and I used to allow myself to just have a peek within my early reboot intents. During the last 25 days I actively forbid myself to keep looking every time I stumbled across anything that could work as artificial stimulation.

Last week I almost went insane. My addicted brain desperately craved for pixels. I read an article about Donald Trump and it contained an explicit picture of his wife almost leading me to give in. I can laugh about it now, but there was nothing funny to it when I sat at home, unable to focus on anything and just hoping for the days to pass. As I had nothing scheduled for today, I expected everything to worsen, but instead the most critical stage seems to be over a few days earlier. I finished all my tasks at home, returned to my work-out-routine and prepared healthy food for today and tomorrow. No cravings and I was able to concentrate again.

Of course I will stay aware, but now I can return to focus on improving my life and prepare myself for the following stages. I do need a long term strategy and a plan for critical situations. And although I'm convinced on never relapsing again, I do need a plan for the case of a relapse.

1. Long term strategy

A very important, porn-related aspect of life is procrastinating. I can tell from my inner peace of sitting at a clean home with no depending tasks for the day. My mind is not used to a healthy lifestyle yet and tends to be careless if I don't make exact plans on my daily routines. Absolute discipline is and will be necessary even when the addiction seems to be solved already. I won't stop drinking alcohol or eating sugar forever, but I can and will control consume, maintaining a healthy life without total abstinence.

The next task to face is my internet-addiction. If I can change and control my online habits, I'm less likely to relapse. This will be a tough challenge. I will start on monday and my first step will be just to analyze my urges for social media or my favourite pages. How long and how often do I visit them? What's the best way to decrease my online-time? Anyone got experience on this?

2. Emergency plan

There are always unexpected situations like relationship problems, trouble at work or health issues. I'm quite sure I will be able to keep up with my long term strategy if everything works out as expected. But I need a plan B if I feel exposed to some event that might emotionally destabilize me. If this happens, I will not stay alone at home, but go out and meet my friends or my family. The next thing will be to write on here about what happened and read all my journal to realize that a relapse won't solve, but just numb the situation and the problems will be stronger afterwards.

3. In case of a relapse

It happened before and the most important thing would be to not relapse again, but to analyze rationally and avoid a mental breakdown afterwards that would set in the downward spiral. Basically I would need to follow plan B.

The most important aspect is to stay active. Staying away from tits on a screen doesn't improve my life. Improving my life does improve my life. I always need short term motivation. There are still 5 days of complete sugar/alcohol abstinence left. I will stick to my workout/sports routine at least 3 times a week and analyze my internet behavior to initiate some changes. Until day 30 I will prepare a plan for the second month with increased work out and less internet. I also need to read more books and hope to improve my ability to concentrate.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: siphus on May 01, 2016, 01:34:36 AM
1. Long term strategy

A very important, porn-related aspect of life is procrastinating. I can tell from my inner peace of sitting at a clean home with no depending tasks for the day. My mind is not used to a healthy lifestyle yet and tends to be careless if I don't make exact plans on my daily routines. Absolute discipline is and will be necessary even when the addiction seems to be solved already. I won't stop drinking alcohol or eating sugar forever, but I can and will control consume, maintaining a healthy life without total abstinence.

The next task to face is my internet-addiction. If I can change and control my online habits, I'm less likely to relapse. This will be a tough challenge. I will start on monday and my first step will be just to analyze my urges for social media or my favourite pages. How long and how often do I visit them? What's the best way to decrease my online-time? Anyone got experience on this?

2. Emergency plan

There are always unexpected situations like relationship problems, trouble at work or health issues. I'm quite sure I will be able to keep up with my long term strategy if everything works out as expected. But I need a plan B if I feel exposed to some event that might emotionally destabilize me. If this happens, I will not stay alone at home, but go out and meet my friends or my family. The next thing will be to write on here about what happened and read all my journal to realize that a relapse won't solve, but just numb the situation and the problems will be stronger afterwards.

This is great man. I absolutely believe in keeping a healthy routine each day. And also, reducing random internet usage is a huge factor to help my mindset. I'm not sure if you can apply what I do, because I leverage some accountability partners. But I have a stopwatch near the laptop, and when I'm doing something unimportant (social networking, shopping, browsing), I get the stopwatch going. For a day, I keep this usage under 1 hour. If I exceed an hour, I'll give one of my accountability guys a quick call about it. Anyways, it helps tremendously. I wonder if a version of this could help.

And your emergency plan is dope. I'd like to implement something like that myself.

Glad to hear about your successes, count the wins and keep the progress rolling :)

-siphus
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Crow-Magnon on May 01, 2016, 11:09:17 AM
From your initial journal entry:

Quote
At some point of recovery my brain (I know, this sounds schizophrenic) convinces itself, that remaining clean more than X days proves I wasn't addicted and therefore could allow myself a little, controlled dose. But not anymore! There isn't such thing as "control", there is no "little bit". More than anything else I need this journal as a reminder to myself, how damn serious I am about quitting porn forever. How good I feel during most steps of recovery. How proud I am of being stronger than my addiction. How bad every relapse makes me feel. How happy I am in life and that every time I reflect about it, the only thing I would have made undone is becoming a porn addict at age 14. I can't make it undone, but I can quit. Now.

Wow.  I gained some perspective from this.  It will help me on my journey.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 01, 2016, 04:22:10 PM
As always, thanks for your support, siphus!

And also, reducing random internet usage is a huge factor to help my mindset. I'm not sure if you can apply what I do, because I leverage some accountability partners. But I have a stopwatch near the laptop, and when I'm doing something unimportant (social networking, shopping, browsing), I get the stopwatch going. For a day, I keep this usage under 1 hour. If I exceed an hour, I'll give one of my accountability guys a quick call about it. Anyways, it helps tremendously. I wonder if a version of this could help.

The idea is great, I made use of it today without stopwatch, but by simply deciding before how much time I'd give myself for social media. After 10 minutes I switched off Facebook and observed my own behavior.

First of all, I have a routine of turning on my computer before I even know what I want to do. I start the browser and then decide which site to go on first. Usually Facebook. Also I'm visiting the same sports and news pages at least 10 times a day. I could miss out something important. Same goes for Facebook.

After shutting down Facebook I felt the urge to log in again. I opened the browser again and thought about for a second which page to visit instead. I did realize how this is quite similar to my porn behavior and thus switched off my laptop. Instead I read a book and actually managed to concentrate.

I used to be a part of different communities and posted a lot when I was younger. During the last years I successfully decreased my activities everywhere but still remain a "lurker" due to the feeling of missing something if I don't constantly check for news. I never related this to the novelty-effect until understanding my porn addiction. There are so many books I want to read and I hope to replace the random internet usage by a new reading habit. There's a long way ahead...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: siphus on May 02, 2016, 01:15:50 AM
Achilles, your awareness is incredible on this, and that last post is really encouraging, seeing you trying things and taking initiative to look for ways to improve. It's great to see you empowering yourself in this way. Always got your back bro.

-siphus
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: italianwanker on May 02, 2016, 05:43:35 AM
you mentioned your internet addiction... it's quite a long time that I feel the same.

The good news is that I reduced the time spent online just by avoiding porn or porn substitutes (like nude art)
 
Just give me a few weeks and I will try to be online only when I need to (eg.: booking a hotel for my next holiday
or getting info about the opening hours of a certain shop, etc). Too much Internet is ruining out lives.

I like your attitude about this problem: you see stopping porn as part of a bigger goal: IMPROVING YOU LIFE  8)

same same for me.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 02, 2016, 07:10:43 PM
Day 27: Man up!

I was going to self-pity for some personal problems of minor importance that appeared today and how it might become more difficult now to fight my addiction. I felt the urge to drink, because being drunk is a wonderful solution to fast-forward depending problems and decisions. Just like porn. It's the coward's solution to escape from conflicts a real man wouldn't even call "problems".

I felt weak and just wanted to go to sleep skipping my work-out to spread a load of self-pity on here tomorrow. Then I had to remember the clever advice I'm giving to others who have a bigger cross to bear than I do and entered a personal conflict that ended up with me being angry at myself.

I was going to whine about some unexpected monetary problems that might put in danger my year end vacations, not realizing how this must be a slap in the face to the vast majority of people all over the world who work their ass off just to survive the following week. I was going to complain about some relationship problems and how I wasn't sure on how or if there was a future without thinking a single second about how lucky I am to have a girlfriend despite 15 years of porn-consumption and how there is tons of desperate new journal entries of people who'd give their life to experience "relationship problems" once.

Yes, regarding my life, relationship, work and bank account not everything is working out as initially planned. But these are not "problems", this is life! I belong to the lucky few of a generation full of opportunities. Technological advance and social development allow me to connect with people all over the world within seconds, visit and enjoy every part of the earth, listen to every piece of music and every book ever written, see every piece of art. I'm not facing hunger, epidemics or war. I'm free to do and be whatever I want. And yet I choke on opportunity. Instead of facing uncomfortable situations and making decisions, I cave in and hide. I press "pause" and numb myself. And I could already imagine myself leave the healthy part of routine just to return to the excuse-filled self-pity-path of failure.

If I count the hours I spent watching porn I could easily fill a whole year of 365 days without sleep of just sitting in front of a screen. It's not just that I absolutely want to change it. I have to, it's a debt to life. I owe this to myself and to all of those who don't have any of the many opportunities in life that I've got. I'm not sure on purpose of life and deeper meaning to existence, but I can exclude 100% that skipping through browser tabs deciding what pixel constellation to shoot a load into a tissue has anything to do with it. The sheer thought of ever returning to this behavior is completely absurd, it's not even a choice, it's a no-choice. Something so negative I should get angry at every millisecond I even think about it and turn this anger into energy to achieve a life worth living.

They might sound a bit pathetic and over the top, but these thoughts obliged myself to grab the bar-bells, work out even harder than scheduled before and eat a nice meal of spiced sea food. I channeled all the negative energy into a work out and found inner peace for now. I'm completing a month without alcohol and as a reward I will go for another one. There are no excuses to leave my path and although I might not be happy with this entry by tomorrow, I will leave it written down to remind myself everytime I accumulate self-pity of any kind.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on May 03, 2016, 01:51:23 PM
Quote
What's the best way to decrease my online-time? Anyone got experience on this?

Siphus had a good idea. I generally give myself similar timers. On image apps/sites i'll set a countdown like 20 or something and stop when I reach zero. You can also put a watch next to your keyboard to remind yourself of the time.

One of the biggest things I did when I was battling my anxiety was set business hours. Sometimes a task or unknown would pop up late at night or my wife would ask about money (god damnit) less than an hour before bed and it would set me off and i'd have trouble sleeping because of it. As a result I set business hours so that it wasn't okay to think/talk about that stuff outside of certain time frames. This could easily be applied to internet usage as well.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 03, 2016, 05:39:30 PM
Day 28: It's all about balance

I reached the first four weeks of abstinence from porn and porn substitutes being 2 days away from my intermediate goal of 30 days, but still within the first half of beating my longest streak of 75 days. It's a great start and I do feel proud of staying strong, also in regards of leaving out alcohol, sugar and fast food. I feel like this journal is the final key to success as I'm able to reread my own thoughts and analyze my state of mind.

Yesterday I used a very drastic method educating myself and felt save afterwards. I turned my negativity around and today already caught myself thinking that maybe my addiction problem just wasn't that big anyway. The thought came in as something positive and turned out to be dangerous. I warned myself on here about this trick my mind is playing on me, but it's creeping in. While during the last two days I switched off Facebook immediately after checking my messages, today I allowed myself a little mindless browsing.

I checked the page suggestions and the page of an underwear model appeared. Her profile pic caused a rush of blood through my whole body and I felt the urge to click to just allow myself a little non-nude gallery. I could stop myself, log off and now have to analyze that in first place I (my addicted brain) was searching for this "coincidence".

At the moment I feel like a ticking time-bomb, I'm vulnerable and emotionally unstable. I have to avoid dangerous situations by any means and limit my random internet use in quality and quantity. I just turned off images at my browser on laptop and phone to avoid further triggers. Control is a necessary part of my reboot, as just living a healthy can't be enough. The key will be to find the balance between healthy habits and discipline.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: siphus on May 04, 2016, 01:45:04 AM
I reached the first four weeks of abstinence from porn and porn substitutes being 2 days away from my intermediate goal of 30 days, but still within the first half of beating my longest streak of 75 days. It's a great start and I do feel proud of staying strong, also in regards of leaving out alcohol, sugar and fast food. I feel like this journal is the final key to success as I'm able to reread my own thoughts and analyze my state of mind.

You're my hero 8) Keep this up, and it sounds like this journal has been crazy beneficial for ya. And I dig that you've cut out the other things as well. Your awareness of noticing that you're thinking about the addiction as no big deal is an important realization that we need to remind ourselves of all the time, especially in these early stages. Once I'm 2 weeks in, I start thinking that I don't have to be careful anymore... which is when I need to be 5x more careful, lol.

Don't beat yourself up about the gallery, but just re-commit yourself, seriously, and be honest with yourself. Are there any extra precautions you can add on, or are there any habits that you are forgetting to keep up with?

I got loads of support for you, keep it honest and keep it healthy, and I look forward to your next posts.

-siphus
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 05, 2016, 11:56:37 AM
You're my hero 8) Keep this up, and it sounds like this journal has been crazy beneficial for ya. And I dig that you've cut out the other things as well. Your awareness of noticing that you're thinking about the addiction as no big deal is an important realization that we need to remind ourselves of all the time, especially in these early stages. Once I'm 2 weeks in, I start thinking that I don't have to be careful anymore... which is when I need to be 5x more careful, lol.

Don't beat yourself up about the gallery, but just re-commit yourself, seriously, and be honest with yourself. Are there any extra precautions you can add on, or are there any habits that you are forgetting to keep up with?

I got loads of support for you, keep it honest and keep it healthy, and I look forward to your next posts.

-siphus

Yes, this journal is very beneficial and I'm glad and thankful for your support. With the scientific explanations on your journal and the always supportive words on mine you definitely got credit on my initial success! I've been reading on here for quite a time and completely underestimated the positive dynamics of actively participating. I feel committed to a greater project and get a better understanding of my own behavior. While trying to reboot before I never got the "Now or never" feeling of this journal. It's the principal objective of my life to get rid of this addiction and by repeating it I keep reminding myself that porn is not an option. It's totally excluded from my life forever and I'm not going back to this path ever again.

And to clarify the thing about the Facebook-gallery as I wrote kind of mistakable: I didn't click on it, I didn't even open up the page. I just thought about it for a second. If had gone through a non-nude gallery, it would have been a relapse within my definition. My extra precaution is that I browse without images now, I'm still able to read my messages and newspaper but don't get exposed to triggers. Mindless browsing without images gets boring, so as a side effect I've got that under control too.

Day 30: Entering the next level

30 days done, hooray! No time to celebrate, because there are 45 days left to equalize my longest streak and reach my goal of 75 days without porn or porn-substitutes. And although things aren't getting necessarily harder, they get different. The key to success will be to maintain my long-term motivation and my awareness. My addicted mind knows all kind of tricks to try making me leave my healthy path and I need a good strategy to respond absolutely merciless. I will prepare myself with a little FAQ of common thoughts coming up and what to respond.

"You made it X days in, you're not an addict! And even if you don't want to go back to hardcore porn and infinite binge sessions, there is nothing wrong about a little look at non-nude galleries..."
WRONG! I try to overcome this addiction for over three years now and I relapsed a hundred times. I told myself to only go back to controlled porn consumption. It escalated every single time. I am not able to control any sort of artificial stimulation and I never will be. If it's something on a screen, it must not cause sexual arousal. If I get confronted with it by chance, I have to immediately turn my back on it. No exception, no excuse!

"You felt so much better during first steps of reboot, if you relapse now, you will experience euphoria of the first two weeks in again."
WRONG! Maybe I will suffer certain stage of depression from time to time, but there is a bigger picture. And this bigger picture is to break free from an addiction that controlled my life for 15 years now. It may be a temporary desire to overcome depression the easy way, but it's the biggest wish of my life to never return to porn. I repeat: Overcoming porn-addiction is the absolute priority of my life and no temporary mood swing shall risk fulfilling the biggest wish of my entire life.

"You won't make it anyway. It's part of your personality, you lived with it 15 years and you're not going to change within a range of months of abstaining. Don't keep torturing yourself and just give in."
WRONG! My porn-free self is the person I want to look at in the mirror. This is me. This is who I really am. This is my personality. I regret looking at porn and any of its substitutes every single second outside of these horrible binge sessions. The suffering is worth it, I rather go through hell and back than ever experience another relapse.

"You didn't really change a lot and porn wasn't that damaging to your life. It's not worth the effort."
WRONG! I'm a lot more self-confident because I don't have to hide my shame. Porn did consume lots of time and energy of my life that I can fill with actual life. A life that offers me a long-term benefit of being a happy person. I don't skip meals and sleep anymore, I'm not constantly tired or out of shape. This finally feels like a life worth living and I'm not going back anymore to this poor imitation of a life that's porn addiction.

Well, that's the most common kinds of thoughts coming up. I will have to struggle with doubts and carelessness, but they both won't stop me. I had to work really hard to get through the first level and I'm not willing to risk this progress, so I'm going to work even harder, put more effort in and stick to all those healthy changes of the first level with some special additions for the second.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 07, 2016, 08:23:07 PM
Day 32:

Without this journal I would have relapsed yesterday. I did prepare myself the FAQ and I get the feeling of this journal being my last bullet at my fight with porn addiction, thus I didn't give in. But somehow I feel desperate. My enemy is omnipresent. Out of nowhere I remember porn scenes I watched 15 years ago when this whole shit started and need to concentrate on something else to distract myself. How are they still inside my mind? Will I ever be able to overwrite them?

I see how the addicted part of my mind is trying to trick me back into the relapse-recovery-cycle and offering me a "little relapse" with just some softcore stuff that wouldn't damage me. I know that this is wrong, but it's really hard to not give in because the follow-up trick is "If you don't give in today, you will feel the withdrawal the next day again, and the next day again, and the next day again."

And while I don't give in I think about drinking a beer and eating a pizza or some sweets. I will make an exception from my healthy food habits once in a while, because otherwise I'll burn out myself. This journey is hard, but some benefits are already there. I want to finally make it to the "other side" and won't reset my counter. I don't know how, but I will make it all the way through.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dynamo on May 07, 2016, 09:32:39 PM
You got this man! I think indulging in a pizza or junk food is totally okay for desperate situations, considering those guilty pleasures please the brain. So I say go for it! Your journal is inspiring dude.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 08, 2016, 03:41:43 PM
Day 33: Unknown heights

Just a little reminder to myself that today the withdrawal symptoms have passed. They will return to appear, but it's totally worth it to not give in. I'm happy and exhausted in a positive way, because almost five weeks of healthy food and sleep and without porn, alcohol or sugar allowed me to push myself to unknown heights in terms of my sports performances. This journey pays off in so many ways! I'm more convinced than ever before that I'm finally going to make it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Crow-Magnon on May 10, 2016, 12:48:27 PM
Word of advice: Don't get lulled into a sense of safety. It can sometimes be easier to relapse when things are going good.  Keep this in mind as you transition out of a flatline phase. 

Quote
Without this journal I would have relapsed yesterday. I did prepare myself the FAQ and I get the feeling of this journal being my last bullet at my fight with porn addiction, thus I didn't give in. But somehow I feel desperate. My enemy is omnipresent. Out of nowhere I remember porn scenes I watched 15 years ago when this whole shit started and need to concentrate on something else to distract myself. How are they still inside my mind? Will I ever be able to overwrite them?

For the moment, I suggest seeing this as an opportunity to refine your ability to intentionally switch your focus, your frame of mind, from something enticing but harmful to something healthy and rewarding (as opposed to seeing it as something you have to wait out to not happen in the first place so you won't feel or be at the mercy of it).   If done consistently it becomes a useful everyday skill.

Quote
I see how the addicted part of my mind is trying to trick me back into the relapse-recovery-cycle and offering me a "little relapse" with just some softcore stuff that wouldn't damage me. I know that this is wrong, but it's really hard to not give in because the follow-up trick is "If you don't give in today, you will feel the withdrawal the next day again, and the next day again, and the next day again."

It is difficult to reason with such feelings.  Well done for not giving into them.  Having safety nets in place is crucial and allowed you to remain on the track you wish to be on.  Having a value-based outlook helps significantly in those scenarios as well.  If an action will harm you in the long run it is categorically unacceptable, if an action benefits you in the long run, it is accepted and embraced as good (even, and sometimes especially, if said thing is uncomfortable in the moment).

Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 12, 2016, 03:22:09 PM
Thanks, Crow, I'm aware of the problem of carelessness as it killed my longest run. It won't happen again because I changed my conception of reboot. I know that there is no line of finally breaking free from addiction, but that breaking free is and will be an active process throughout my entire life. "Thanks" to modern technology, porn is always and everywhere available and every day, every moment I have to decide to not seing it as a valid option. It's not a choice and it will never be one again, no matter how good I feel, I keep reminding myself of the danger that's just a few clicks away.

Regarding the decision on not giving in to cravings due to long term damage, I'm trying to understand suffering as progress. To understand every rush of blood caused by a swimsuit ad that I successfully opress as one further step out of my vicious circle. I'm not having an easy time, because sometimes my brain is desperately screaming and willing to accept every porn replacement available, but this will lessen, hopefully.

Day 37:

I'm halfway through my longest streak, still doing well and will be very busy for a week. While this normally helps keeping me away from possible relapse situations, I have to take care of my personal stress level. I know that stress and cravings are a dangerous combination. I will not browse mindlessly during the next week to avoid triggers as much as possible.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on May 13, 2016, 02:41:17 PM
Keep it up buddy. I don't have much to add today that you haven't added yourself!

-The Faptian
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 14, 2016, 05:54:30 AM
Thank you, Faptain! :)

Day 39:

Just a little reminder to myself, that I will have to stay on my current way whatever it takes. Getting rid of this terrible addiction still remains my absolute priority and I know I can do it. If there are any doubts arising, they are made up by the addicted part of my brain and I will not listen to them. No doubts, no exceptions, no substitutes, no more porn! Never again!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: planet_earth_is_blue on May 14, 2016, 02:05:57 PM
Good on ya for being aware of complacency. As soon as you let your guard down, the addiction will start to open a dialogue; stay vigilant!

You can do it!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 15, 2016, 04:06:18 AM
Day 40: Catharsis

Reaching 40 days without porn is somewhat historic, as it's only the third time since starting to fight this addiction in 2013 that I made it this long. But I also keep in mind that I made it past that twice and relapsed. The question is: What's different this time? At this point I want to reflect on my journey so far and why I failed a hundred times during the last three years. My failed intents may be defined by a supposed Einstein quote:

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

At the beginning I barely made it 2 or 3 days without relapsing, I told myself I needed more discipline and started counting days without porn. I still had defined porn only as hardcore porn with all its extreme forms I escalated to. Every relapse caused more desperation and self-hatred, I tried to answer with even more discipline and yet relapsed over and over again. One year ago I suffered from a mental breakdown after a relapse resulted in an over 10 hour lasting binge session. I had skipped sports, meeting friends and almost all of my sleep finishing three hours before I had to go to work and ended up laying on the floor desperately promising myself to never go back to porn.

Well, I managed my longest streak of 75 days, but still returned to porn and fell back into a relapse-recover-relapse-circle that finally brought me here. Time to ask myself, why it's going to be different this time.

First of all I never made staying clean the center of my life. Maybe I did so for the initial two weeks, but after already feeling better I just stopped caring about it. I didn't want to change anything about my life but those painful relapses. This time it's my absolute priority to understand and overcome my addiction. I visit RebootNation on a daily basis and try to write at my journal as often as possible. I changed my nutrition and still leave out alcohol completely.

But this might just add some extra days to my streak. How do I assure to change forever? The key is the definition of porn. There is a very interesting and helpful journal of user William everybody should read. The most important part is the one about porn substitutes.

Porn is not just porn, for the guy quitting, it is anything that triggers a dopamine rush.  And when quitting, a lot of things will.  Be on your guard. 

Porn is seeing porn, it is watching it, it is thinking about it, it is imagining it, it is remembering it, it is thinking about it while MOing even if you are not actually watching it, it is PMOing, it is fantasizing, it is edging while watching or thinking about it, it is having actual sex while thinking of porn, it is porn substitutes, any hypersexualized imagery or thought of that. Porn can be strictly in the brain, or it can be in hard copy, it can be on computers, televisions, and on smart phones, as in apps. Porn is phone sex. Porn is engaging any thought of unreal sex. Porn is chat rooms. Porn is sex toys. For one guy in this forum, porn is a cock ring. Porn does not have to be visual, it can be strictly audio. Why do you think "screaming" is a common porn category?  Recent studies indicate "sex sounds" can cause arousal, i.e., a dopamine release.  Porn can be literature about sex. Porn can be cartoons, drawings, hentai.  Porn does not have to be on porn sites, it can be found on Facebook, Craigslist, Youtube, etc. It can be found on commercial retail sites; Sears, Target, Walmart. For me, when I first started quitting, I told myself I was making progress because I moved from very hardcore stuff to Google images, where I searched vanilla nudes. Bikini pics triggered me. Lingerie models triggered me. Hooters girls triggered me. Just girls on the street triggered me if I let them. I consciously have decided not to let hypersexualized images linger in my head. Before, I was not making progress, I was still feeding my dopamine fix. You have to avoid your triggers, not flirt with them. Let me say this again--you have to avoid your triggers, not flirt with them. Your triggers are not going to be merely the hardcore stuff you are trying to quit watching, they will be much softer stuff than can pop out on you from benign sites like Yahoo, Craigslist, Google. You have know that in advance and plan on avoiding them. You have to get your dopamine levels back down. That will take time.  Plan on 90 days, it may not take that long, but plan on that.  Better to plan too long than too short.  Rebooting requires a total absence of porn in your head. If you are walking down the street in the middle of the day thinking about porn, you are using porn, so find something else to pop in your head if that situation occurs.  As in now.  What are you planning on thinking to distract yourself when the inevitable "visions" pop in there?  I think "no no no no no no no", and I keep thinking that until it goes away.  Sometimes I click my tongue on the roof of my mouth.  It does not take a lot and the purpose of this exercise it to stop a vision of 1/2 second from becoming an indulgence, a fantasy, of minutes, which will spike your dopamine level.  You want to avoid that. 

For addicts, especially when we first quit, and we have not brought our dopamine levels back down, our brains look for any trigger it can find, even things society does not define as porn.

Be aware of this, and avoid those triggers.

I wish I could just print this out, travel back in time and show it to myself shouting "This is the key!". Before the last 40 days I never really tried to quit porn, but tried to find a way to avoid the definition of porn as far as possible. Even by avoiding anything on a screen I still had those fantasies in my head. The key is to not allow any dopamine high due to hypersexual thoughts, whatever may cause them. That's what I'm going through this time: A complete catharsis, not allowing myself any backdoor, any substitute or any excuse.

I'm still at the very beginning of my journey, but I finally got the key to freedom in my hands. The most important lesson I have to follow is to not let my brain negotiate about the definition of porn. The above definition might sound extreme at first, but that's why we're all here struggling with this addiction: Because it's extreme! Because it's everywhere! Yet we do have a choice to say "No!" and I'm still as convinced as by day one to keep saying "No!" to porn.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: planet_earth_is_blue on May 15, 2016, 01:57:19 PM
Great post. That excerpt from William's journal is profound. This addiction certainly is extreme, it spreads its roots into so many different areas of our lives. Seemingly innocent things slowly weaken our ability to resist the urge to indulge. William is right about how "rebooting requires the total absence of porn from the mind."

There have been moments in the last 7 days where P has surfaced in my thoughts, for no apparent reason. Why is P invading my mind during completely normal situations? The other day it was while I was at the gym. I wasn’t looking at anyone, I was just resting between sets, staring at the floor. I quickly became frustrated that I had brought such negative thoughts into a place where I usually seek refuge.

Of course, anger did not help the situation. I was fooling myself by thinking that the more emotional I became, the more I would resist these thoughts in the future. In hindsight, I should have forgiven myself, focused on my breathing (or literally anything else), and let the thoughts pass.

Quote
The key is to not allow any dopamine high due to hyper-sexual thoughts, whatever may cause them. That's what I'm going through this time: A complete catharsis, not allowing myself any backdoor, any substitute or any excuse.

Well said. Thank you for reminding me to observe my thoughts more closely. In the end, even if we don’t actively seek out P or P-subs, our minds will still wander, searching for ways to reestablish the connection. I suppose the real struggle is learning to recognize these thoughts and to let them pass without entertaining them.

-Blue
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on May 15, 2016, 03:19:56 PM
Quote
There have been moments in the last 7 days where P has surfaced in my thoughts, for no apparent reason. Why is P invading my mind during completely normal situations? The other day it was while I was at the gym. I wasn’t looking at anyone, I was just resting between sets, staring at the floor. I quickly became frustrated that I had brought such negative thoughts into a place where I usually seek refuge.

This happens to me all the time. I think it's from the denial. If you deny yourself something, you usually want it more. Of course in order to reboot we have to deny ourselves but it is what it is.

Congrats to Achilles on 40 days!

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 16, 2016, 03:52:37 PM
Day 41: Unexpected turbulence

Okay, when I wrote on here yesterday, everything was fine. Now, let's have a look at four days ago.

Day 37:

I'm halfway through my longest streak, still doing well and will be very busy for a week. While this normally helps keeping me away from possible relapse situations, I have to take care of my personal stress level. I know that stress and cravings are a dangerous combination. I will not browse mindlessly during the next week to avoid triggers as much as possible.

I'm sitting at home, working on a paper. Stress level was already high enough. Add some relationship problems and I'm completely unable to concentrate on my tasks. I'm procrastinating and browsing mindlessly. Although I told myself I wouldn't. Have been on Facebook all day. Images turned on. Went to that sportspage I relapsed to during my 75-day-streak. I caught myself wanting to get just a peek at the thumbnails of one of those related articles with bikini athletes. This battle is far from won. The addicted part of my brain is craving for the smallest possible high it could get at this moment. I had to interfere and need to write on here or otherwise I'll relapse this very day. At this moment I realize how much I depend on that „Turn off reality“-button called porn.

I won't give in. Won't touch the liquor either. I realize how I never learned how to manage anger, stress and concern. I'm angry, stressed and concerned at this moment and have to allow myself to be angry, stressed and concerned. This will pass.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Crow-Magnon on May 16, 2016, 04:04:31 PM
Quote
Before the last 40 days I never really tried to quit porn, but tried to find a way to avoid the definition of porn as far as possible. Even by avoiding anything on a screen I still had those fantasies in my head. The key is to not allow any dopamine high due to hypersexual thoughts, whatever may cause them. That's what I'm going through this time: A complete catharsis, not allowing myself any backdoor, any substitute or any excuse.

Great to hear, this is a big step in the right direction.  Looking forward to reading about your continued progress.  And as Faptain said, denying yourself something tends to make you want it more. Perhaps reframing it as a positive, "Embracing life" as opposed to a denial of something might help in the long run.  It's good to see you're making recovery the center of your life and taking it seriously.  You're giving yourself the right tools for improved and continued success here.  It is important to keep in mind this is a constantly changing battle, the nature of the beast changes as you continue through your reboot.  As planet earth is blue said, as soon as you let your guard down it opens a dialogue.  That dialogue changes in different stages of reboot but ultimately leads to the same result if entertained.  Keep doing your best and improving.  We're rooting for you!

Best,
CM
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 17, 2016, 03:04:18 PM
Day 42: Pain is temporary

This journey is an emotional rollercoaster and I'm happy I didn't give in yesterday. I still have to learn step by step how to deal with unwanted feelings as the option to just numb them is gone. And it's rewarding to actually face problems, because one is more likely to find a solution. Porn never solved a problem, it was still there the next day.

Big thanks to Crow, Faptain and planet for your support. This community makes me feel I'm no longer alone with my problem which was a big deal while I tried to quit alone.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: planet_earth_is_blue on May 17, 2016, 11:12:41 PM
I can always count on your entries to be honest and relatable.

Quote
I still have to learn step by step how to deal with unwanted feelings as the option to just numb them is gone.

I chose the latter today, and I can confirm that my problems did not resolve themselves. I would say I wished I read this sooner, but the truth is that I probably still would have caved. Something's just not right...

Anyways, please know that the feeling of support is mutual! I'm sure others read your entries even though they don't all respond. You are helping more people than you know.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 19, 2016, 11:50:44 AM
I can always count on your entries to be honest and relatable.

Quote
I still have to learn step by step how to deal with unwanted feelings as the option to just numb them is gone.

I chose the latter today, and I can confirm that my problems did not resolve themselves. I would say I wished I read this sooner, but the truth is that I probably still would have caved. Something's just not right...

Anyways, please know that the feeling of support is mutual! I'm sure others read your entries even though they don't all respond. You are helping more people than you know.

Great to read that :)

Day 44: Relax

Due to lots of stress during last week I allowed myself some chocolate, sweets and video gaming. Just until today. Stress is gone for now and tomorrow I'll return to my healthy lifestyle. No withdrawals at the moment, but they will return and I'm still aware. With every passing day I feel more distant to the idea of porn and to leave it behind as a part of my past. It's hard not to feel regret on 15 years of lots of wasted time, but I try to look at it the other way round and try to be glad for having the opportunity of identifying and overcoming my addiction.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: planet_earth_is_blue on May 19, 2016, 11:19:45 PM
Hey! Thank you for reaching out to me today.

I've come to respect you a lot for the way you are approaching this. I've noticed that you are quick to recognize any "turbulence", embracing it as such. Additionally, with your latest entry, it's clear to me that you understand the importance of deliberate relaxation. Keep it up!

Quote
It's hard not to feel regret on 15 years of lots of wasted time, but I try to look at it the other way round and try to be glad for having the opportunity of identifying and overcoming my addiction.

You have made me realize the importance of perspective and how it can aid me in reframing my recent struggles. It's nice to see that you are taking your own advice by acknowledging your own self-awareness at this time instead of condemning yourself for "wasted time." This is an important lesson in forgiveness and understanding that a lot of good can come from failure.  :)

-Blue
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 21, 2016, 05:41:07 PM
Day 46:

Nothing special for today, but as usual I will remind myself on how important it is to remain at the current path. No porn, no subs, no fantasies, no "little peeks", nothing. The benefits after 1 1/2 months are great already, I won't go back to that damaging life I lived before!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Conquistador on May 23, 2016, 10:13:49 AM
Congrats for the almost 50 days . You've got one of those inspiring journals I'll keep reading from the beginning, again and again, throughout my Journey.

Just as you said in one of your early posts, porn used to take as much time of my life as a part time job. When I realised this, I couldn't believe I ever told people "No, I don't cook, I don't have time for that".

And if I also count all the time I'm still spending in front of my computer (on Facebook, of watching movies), well it adds up to a full 9-5 job. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME. Cutting on this will be my next be.

Anyway, i look forward to reading your next posts !

Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 25, 2016, 02:04:13 PM
Congrats for the almost 50 days . You've got one of those inspiring journals I'll keep reading from the beginning, again and again, throughout my Journey.

Just as you said in one of your early posts, porn used to take as much time of my life as a part time job. When I realised this, I couldn't believe I ever told people "No, I don't cook, I don't have time for that".

And if I also count all the time I'm still spending in front of my computer (on Facebook, of watching movies), well it adds up to a full 9-5 job. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME. Cutting on this will be my next be.

Anyway, i look forward to reading your next posts !

Thanks a lot, Conquistador! You are right about the overall wasted time, I keep failing on reducing Facebook, but it's on my list too.

Day 50: Anger management

50 days is an important achievement and I'm still doing well in terms of avoiding porn and its substitutes completely. But I don't feel like celebrating. I'm having terrible mood swings and got very angry yesterday for no real reason on several occasions. My stress resistance and patience are down to 0.

Unfortunately I'm not doing well concerning my side goals. While I still don't drink alcohol, I allowed myself some food exceptions and stopped working out lately. My random internet use increased again. Today I will return to exercise and keep it on a daily basis. This might be a key to reduce stress and anger. My recovery depends on active behavioral change and I note getting lazy lately. 50 days porn free might sound good, but it's no reason to lower my effort. In fact, I need to work even harder and be more aware. For the next 10 days I will work out on a daily basis and plan/prepare food for every day in advance. Hitting the 60 days I will make a detailed plan for the third month that includes finally reducing my random internet use drastically and monitoring myself. I guess there's no way around the stop watch I got recommended on here earlier.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Al Taha Al Marylandi on May 25, 2016, 05:45:50 PM
I understand what you are going through.
Anger will come definitely, because leaving porn is like leaving oxygen for your brain.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: planet_earth_is_blue on May 27, 2016, 02:58:55 PM
Quote
There is a logic behind, as this forum is meant to be a support during hard times. And every day has its significance! It's in your hands to make any single day a good day, no matter how many days you have been clear before. No matter how many times you fall, you have to get up once more. So get up, forget about the counter and make this day a good one!

Hey Achilles,

I just wanted to thank you for the kind words yesterday. I've noticed how much you are posting on other people's journals recently. Thanks for making this community a better place.

Yesterday was a good day. I'm starting to develop a cold but I still went to the gym. I spent the rest of the day eating well, resting, and reading The Power of Habit.

I hope you're doing well. I look forward to reading about Day 52/Day 53.

- Blue
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 28, 2016, 07:01:30 PM
Thank you, Blue! Same goes for you. The excerpt from that book you shared today was very helpful for me.

"The precise mechanisms of belief are still little understood… But we do know that for habits to permanently change, people must believe that change is feasible. The same process that makes AA so effective–the power of a group to teach individuals how to believe–happens whenever people come together to help one another change. Belief is easier when it occurs within a community"

Day 53: Benefits are real

There are many reasons why I didn't already break free from my addiction. More and more it seems like the most important is trying to recover on my own way too long. It is hard to admit being an addict. Even when I realized how I couldn't stop porn and how much it was damaging me, I felt ashamed of admitting my addiction. I'm so glad I finally registered and feel now committed to a group of people who share my problem, my struggles and my hopes.

When I relapsed before, I let myself down, but nobody would find out or control me. This time I would have to write a journal entry about how and why I relapsed. Although I know that the reactions would be supportive and understanding, it would give me a feeling of letting others down. It was always possible for me to let myself down while other people could count on me and while this has been a problem for me in life, it is an advantage while being part of this community. When urges arise, I immediately visit RebootNation and it helps me to stay strong.

The enormous benefit of reading through this journal is reminding myself of how I felt almost two months ago. When I just abstained from porn for some weeks on my former reboot intents, at some point I forgot about how feeling good was a result of not watching porn and told myself it was just a placebo effect anyway. This addiction is so hard to beat because dopamine cravings cause our brain to invent whatever excuse to just get some tits on a screen (and to escalate to whatever is shocking enough afterwards). Sowing doubts and disbelief is one strategy.

I read through many success stories. And I'm reading all those new journal entries of people who feel like shit, just as I did, after every single relapse. These changes are real, this isn't a giant placebo effect. But at some point one might start to believe that porn doesn't make a difference and a little look at some harmless nudes won't be damaging. This won't happen to me, because the benefits I'm experiencing definitely exist. My self-confidence increased, my social anxiety and the load of shame I'm carrying around are getting less. Sex feels more fulfilling with every day I advance and I'm just living healthier doing more useful activities.

I'm still at the very beginning, standing just at the end of the second month of my new life. But if these 50+ days already brought such improvements, I can't wait to experience further advance and further challenges. My life is too valuable to waste it and I learn to self-respect myself enough to not damage me ever again for the short term pleasure of porn. Despite this looking very promising and although I finally do believe in being able to overcome the addiction forever, my three years of relapsing made me aware of how powerful this addiction is. Thus I'm glad to have this community as a safe haven and won't underestimate the danger of relapsing, especially when feeling as good as today. I still have to learn and improve a lot in many areas, but this is the right way.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on May 29, 2016, 04:48:45 PM
Dude! That is such a good post! Really inspiring! I'll post more in detail later. I support you 110%!!



-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on May 30, 2016, 09:37:01 PM
Hey man,

Back in the country again and am glad to see you're kicking my ass, even if I am a little envious :)

I'm having some painful urges this week. As I said in my journal it's like the second I reached the beginning of week 3 out of my 3 week goal I've been wanting porn so bad!!! I really want to make it three weeks at least so I'm definitely going to be mister stubborn/miserable this week hahaha.

Take it easy,

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 31, 2016, 04:57:13 PM
Thanks a lot, Peace and Faptain! Good to see you're doing well too!

Day 56: Beware of unrealistic expectations!

Everything I wrote about progress and benefits is true, but if beating this addicting was all about just confirming ourselves how damaging it is and how much better we are without porn, we wouldn't be here writing journals. Withdrawals are real and although I learned I should understand them as a sign of progress and practically love them, they do affect me a lot.

I forced myself to avoid under any circumstances clicking at a newspage's related article with celebrities in bikini at the beach or whatever sex-clickbait they would invent. To scroll down immediately if any slightly sexual content was shared on Facebook. And as I caught myself repeatedly looking at a thumbnail of a barely dressed girl at a sports page, I turned off images at my browser again. Today the addicted part of my brain wanted to negotiate and it was actually scary to observe my inner conflict.

I visited said page and realized how I didn't really care about its content, but wondered about the missing images. Suddenly I started thinking about turning images on just to see the little thumbnail again, without intentions to actually click on the article. Yes, the addicted part of my brain is THAT desperate and started negotiating. "You can't remove simple images of barely dressed girls forever! They are everywhere anyway!", said the little demon in my brain, but I turned off the browser.

This little doubt (which I was talking about three days ago and should have been warned) started growing. The progress after quitting porn isn't linear. Fifteen years of porn consumption left me with severe mental and emotional damage. The shame I carried around made me develop social anxiety. How could I have smalltalk about my weekend when it consisted of nothing but porn? How was I meant to maintain eye-contact, when I felt like everybody could see through me and uncover my dirty secrets?

I advanced a lot, but I'm not nearly at where I feel I could be. Sometimes I still get a little nervous around people, especially strangers, and that's where my negotiating porn addiction comes in. "See! Nothing is changing! You are torturing yourself for no real reason, there is nothing wrong with just looking at a girl in a bikini. It is not porn and won't worsen your social anxiety." - I'm having this internal conflict constantly and I made a decision. Negotiating with an addiction is like negotiating with terrorists: No matter how little you offer, it will be seen as a weakness. And the next demand will be just a little bit bigger. And the next one. And the next one. And therefore there will be no thumbnail.

Over a decade of porn can't be made undone by two months of abstaining and I need to learn patience. If cravings appear, they will pass. If I feel a little step back, I'll take two steps forward the next day. There is still nothing I desire more than breaking free from this addiction and today has been another big step towards reaching my goal.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Crow-Magnon on June 01, 2016, 02:58:12 PM
When you're in a difficult or trying moment and don't give in it passes and turns into a better moment.  So long is you don't yield any ground to the addicted part of your brain this pattern will happen and things will continue to progressively get better, a little worse, and better again.  Thankfully, the overall trend is positive.  It is very beneficial to have the outlook and knowledge that you expressed in your last post.  Use it well and keep it in mind when you are experiencing a difficult moment.  Keep up the great work!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Conquistador on June 01, 2016, 07:16:44 PM
Stay strong man.

The simple fact than you can step back before your situation and observe it with such wisdom makes you strong enought to fight this evil addiction. You'll reach the 2-months mark very soon, and that's great. I'm confident you'll write an OP in the success stories section very soon :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PF58 on June 01, 2016, 07:35:45 PM
Well said! I like your analogy comparing the addict with a terrorist! Very apt!!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: planet_earth_is_blue on June 03, 2016, 07:36:50 PM
Quote
Over a decade of porn can't be made undone by two months of abstaining and I need to learn patience. If cravings appear, they will pass. If I feel a little step back, I'll take two steps forward the next day. There is still nothing I desire more than breaking free from this addiction and today has been another big step towards reaching my goal.

 :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on June 04, 2016, 02:39:01 AM
Stay strong man! You've got this :)

Yes - the addiction will try and negotiate with you, and basically it'll always be there. Luckily however, the more time you spend away from it, and replace it with other healthy things, the quieter it'll become and the less power it'll have over you :)

You're doing great!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 04, 2016, 02:38:37 PM
Thank you so much for your overwhelming support, guys, it really helps me every time I doubt about the effort made to abstain. So, today I'm at:

Day 60 - Two months clean!

It's the third time since I started to try rebooting three years ago that I completed the second month. One and a half year ago I relapsed after ~65 days, last year I made it 75 days. To beat 75 days and reach a new all time high is my short term goal and although I made it past the worth cravings, they still appear from time to time and I must not lower my guard as I did last year.

The most important lesson is to keep in mind: I'm an addict and I always will be. I don't want porn in my life anymore and I would never be able to control it, because it controlled me. Porn subs work as door opener for my addiction, I have to keep eliminating any form of artificial stimulation from my life completely as well. This is still my priority, this is still serious. I will keep visiting this community on a daily basis and stay aware.

Lately I'm back on track eating healthy and doing sports/work out on a daily basis. During the next 30 days I'm going to keep it that way and need some further progress and new goals.

1. My random internet use will be limited to 30 minutes a day. I'll give myself an exact definition of "random" to not negotiate or avoid the rule.

2. Every day I have to do sports and/or work out. Even if it's just 10 minutes at home.

3. My nutrition will remain healthy and sugar free, once a week I allow myself an exception.

4. I will complete reading the two books I started.

5. If I beat my latest high score, I'll allow myself to drink some alcohol again. If I relapse, alcohol will be cut out for another 75 days.

That's it, rules are clear, reboot continues!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 05, 2016, 03:41:11 AM
Day 61 - Out of nowhere: Close to relapse

This may sound strange, but just a few hours after posting the promising outlook yesterday, I came close to relapsing. After a stressful situation followed up by a bad mood my brain successfully convinced me to look at the thumbnails I mentioned 5 days ago, when I said I wouldn't negotiate with my addiction. Afterwards I scrolled down my Facebook timeline in hope to find some pics of hot girls, because that way I wasn't actively searching for it. "You're doing well, now give me my stress relief!" said the voice in my head and I obeyed, suddenly realized the path I was going to and switched everything off.

It seems like no matter how much I analyze and anticipate these struggles, they still appear. Porn as a stress relief is so deeply engraved into my mind that I sometimes lose perspective and belief to finally overcome this addiction. But now at least I do have this journal to remind myself of how much effort I'm putting in and where I come from.

The most important lesson is to keep in mind: I'm an addict and I always will be. I don't want porn in my life anymore and I would never be able to control it, because it controlled me. Porn subs work as door opener for my addiction, I have to keep eliminating any form of artificial stimulation from my life completely as well. This is still my priority, this is still serious. I will keep visiting this community on a daily basis and stay aware.

Goals for today: No Facebook, images turned off, no random browsing. This will pass and I will feel stronger afterwards.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Crow-Magnon on June 05, 2016, 05:31:21 PM
Quote
The most important lesson is to keep in mind: I'm an addict and I always will be. I don't want porn in my life anymore and I would never be able to control it, because it controlled me. Porn subs work as door opener for my addiction, I have to keep eliminating any form of artificial stimulation from my life completely as well. This is still my priority, this is still serious. I will keep visiting this community on a daily basis and stay aware.

This is poignant and resonates with me entirely. 


Quote
Goals for today: No Facebook, images turned off, no random browsing. This will pass and I will feel stronger afterwards.

Indeed, urges are temporary and give rise to an added sense of well being as they pass unindulged.  Good job with taking necessary precautions during a trying day. 

You're doing great, keep up the good work, and keep perspective.  This will pass and you will feel better.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 06, 2016, 07:48:50 PM
Day 62 - Emotional void and self-destructive tendencies

Goals for today: No Facebook, images turned off, no random browsing. This will pass and I will feel stronger afterwards.

I should have extended this goal to the next day. Today I came even closer to relapsing by allowing myself to click at some girls' profiles that appeared in the "people you might know"-section at Facebook. Needless to say I broke my rule of less than 30 minutes random browsing right away.

I realize how my relationship doesn't work well anymore and today was another nail in the coffin. It's a question of weeks until it's finally over and realizing this caused an emotional void that swallowed all my motivation. Instead it seems like some self-destructive tendencies took over and now try to lead me step by step to another relapse.

This is my decision now to endure uncomfortable emotions or numb myself and open up a cycle of addiction again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Al Taha Al Marylandi on June 06, 2016, 10:16:45 PM
Great.
don't allow yourself to go back there.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 07, 2016, 07:26:27 AM
I'll do my best, muhammad, thanks for your support!

Day 63: Getting back on track - now or never!

It seems that when the first barrier is broken, the path to relapse is open. "You already looked at some bikini pics yesterday, there is no deal about it if you check out the people you might know section again", said the addicted brain this morning.

I feel bad about having to admit I looked at some pics again before stopping myself from slipping into that downward spiral. It works always the same way: Thumbnails/Lingerie ads -> Facebook bikini pics -> explicit non-nude pics -> nudes -> porn -> infinite binge session

I'm emotionally unstable at the moment and played with fire again. It is right here that I have to interfere or I won't make it up to day 65. This is the most critical point of this journey so far and I didn't see it coming. Images at my browser will remain switched off for the rest of the week. I hope to turn around and avoid the crash.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Conquistador on June 07, 2016, 09:02:23 AM
Hey man, thanks for your support on my journal this week end, it made me feel good :)



It seems that when the first barrier is broken, the path to relapse is open. "You already looked at some bikini pics yesterday, there is no deal about it if you check out the people you might know section again", said the addicted brain this morning.

 

I know what you mean. But this is not a good reasoning. Everytime to choose not to watch P, or even bikini pics or facebook girls pics, you are one foot closer to who you wanna be.
Having looked at a explicit pics today is no excuse to do it again, you've made it to more than 2 months without PMO and you've got to keep going on this track.

Stay strong man, you're almost there ! ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 09, 2016, 10:26:02 AM
Stay strong man, you're almost there ! ;)

Thanks a lot, Conquistador! You are right, I'm 10 days away from my all time record. But as I relapsed back then, there's no safety in sight and probably I'll never be "safe" but have to keep this conscious lifestyle change forever. I'm ready to leave porn behind forever and confirm this decision day after day. Porn is not an option, never solves any problem and is the cause for a lot of damage done to myself. I don't want it in my life anymore.

Day 65 - Back in control

Well, somehow I managed to avoid the big crash during three days of extreme turbulences. I'm quite surprised I did and want to thank all of you for your support, without this journal I would have been at day 0 again. Now, this is no reason to relax, but to analyze the trouble.

I had more free time than usual because of my shifts at work and my relationship problems added some real emotional trouble. The combination of boredom, loneliness and stress almost drove me to relapse. Sounds pretty much the same as in all those other journals I keep reading. The question is: How to avoid it next time?

My intents to control my random internet use failed again and I do have to admit I'm not able to control it. Currently I try to get Cold Turkey running and let technology do what my discipline couldn't.

The good thing about three years of failed reboot intents is that I'm no longer relapsing directly to porn. It always happened step by step as described at my last entry and that way I've got time to interfere before taking a peek at bikini pics turns into deliberately looking at softcore material and escalates to porn in all its varieties. I just have to interfere right at the beginning and keep reminding myself that artificial arousal is not OK, no matter how harmless it might seem.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Al Taha Al Marylandi on June 10, 2016, 10:34:12 AM
I wish better results for you in future.
keep fighting the beast.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on June 10, 2016, 12:38:29 PM
Hey Achilles!

You're doing great, I have no doubt in you that you will overcome this beast.

I feel part of what messes us up is that we think that our victory will be some big glorious thing with fireworks and such, but I don't think that'll happen. Our victory is very much a daily thing. Every day we have to think "man, look at me, I didn't use porn today" and to be very vigilant in staying away from triggers etc. But also to be relaxed about it. I feel that if we're too stressed and too tense about our reboot succeeding, we'll just end up relapsing sooner or later because we're making it into too big of a thing, you know? Like once we've slain the beast, we truly have to walk away, move on, and not dwell on it.

As for myself, I'm trying to be just that  - very vigilant, and also relaxed. I feel another big thing that keeps tripping me up is my own pride and ego, because if I'm not careful it can come in and say something like "oh, man, I totally have this, I'm totally done with porn - I've conquered this addiction". Once I notice myself thinking something like that, I know that I'll relapse if I'm not careful, because that allows me to let my guard down. Haha. What a strange thing this is hey? Well, it's hard work, but it's worth it!!

I'm sending tons of supprt your way my friend :)

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Crow-Magnon on June 10, 2016, 02:17:06 PM
Quote
Our victory is very much a daily thing.

Preach, man, preach! That one sentence may be the most inspiring thing I have read on addiction and could not agree with you more, Peace Of Mind.  Let's keeping doing our best to win this battle on the daily. 

Keep up the good work and stay vigilant!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on June 11, 2016, 03:42:08 PM
Quote
I visited said page and realized how I didn't really care about its content, but wondered about the missing images. Suddenly I started thinking about turning images on just to see the little thumbnail again, without intentions to actually click on the article. Yes, the addicted part of my brain is THAT desperate and started negotiating. "You can't remove simple images of barely dressed girls forever! They are everywhere anyway!", said the little demon in my brain, but I turned off the browser.

This little doubt (which I was talking about three days ago and should have been warned) started growing

I find at this point I am limited in willpower to stop myself. It's always towards the end of a goal it seems. I know goalkeeping is an important part of this process, but i'm finding it beneficial to not keep track of my goal on a daily basis. Today I hopped on my Habit Bull app and realized I hadn't marked my daily successes for four or five days. I hit the ten day mark today without even noticing! Now, all of a sudden micro-urges are popping up... Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

I'm glad to see you made it through your crisis. I was in the same boat as you at day 17 (not 16 as I thought). I was on here talking about my urges and found myself negotiating. I lost that round. I'm happy that these last 10 days were a breeze, if not a little flat in the line.

Keep up the good work,

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: prozilla on June 11, 2016, 10:07:13 PM

I find at this point I am limited in willpower to stop myself.

-The Faptain

Beautiful. You're almost there.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on June 11, 2016, 10:59:57 PM
Quote
Beautiful. You're almost there.

Could you elaborate on that a little more?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 12, 2016, 02:25:24 PM
Faptain, you seem to be a prophet. I'm close to my initial goal and I did enter negotiations. I somewhat "won", but the battle left me wounded on the one and stronger on the other hand.

Day 68 - History (almost) repeats itself

Well, somehow I do feel a bit ashamed on writing this entry because I might appear stupid. But at least I know we're all committing stupid mistakes alongside this journey. I came very close to resetting this journal to day 0 and to some degree it was a relapse, but under certain conditions I allow myself to keep counting this streak. I'll explain this later.

Remember how I was about to install Cold Turkey and control my random internet use? Well, it doesn't work on my computer and neither does K9 (same goes for my phone). I was about to search for alternatives but didn't have the time. Later I thought I was back in control and that these restrictions might be over exaggerated anyway. I also needed to switch images on to navigate with my phone and didn't bother to switch them off again later.

Last night a friend drunk-called me at 3am when I was already sleeping. Afterwards I went half-asleep to the toilet and took my phone with me. At an earlier stage I described my big relapse that ended my longest streak.

Ask yourself why a few pictures caused an end to your winning streak. Analyze the reason that this particular bikini pic got you. These things will help you the next time you hit 75 days.
I relapsed due to not taking the threat too serious anymore and allowing myself a little look. Curiosity killed the cat! I looked up the complete pictures at google images, thus opening a never ending collections of pictures and returned to the "buffet" as you described it. The binge set in, I allowed myself to click on a related search and returned to hardcore porn within a many hour lasting session that depressed me so bad, I relapsed over and over again the following days.

I went to the same sports page. A thumbnail of a girl in bikini appeared. I allowed myself to click at the article and through the gallery. As I was really tired, my self-control was seemingly lowered and I copied her name to enter google search. The never ending picture-buffet appeared and I felt a rush through my whole body. I clicked at some more pics, then managed to interfere with a desperate "STOP!" to myself, shut down browser and phone and went back to sleep.

Yes, I did the exact same thing again that led me to relapse last time I hit the third month. The little peeks of last week had lowered the barrier to actually click on a thumbnail and my state of mind while being half asleep allowed the addicted part of my brain to almost lead me back to the abyss. It's a miracle I escaped and I can't explain how stupid I feel.

As a result I searched for web protection alternatives and blocked myself from the above mentioned sports page and Facebook, along my former favorite porn sites (just in case). I kind of threw away the key and won't have the chance to reverse this decision until next week. I remembered a very inspiring video I've seen on someone's journal long ago, that said "99% is a bitch. 100% is a breeze." (I can't search for it at the moment because YouTube is at the list of pages that get blocked after 30 minutes of daily use ;) )

It mentions the little crack you open by allowing yourself a little exception. I now realize how I opened it up when I clicked at a sexy pic last week. Although I don't consider 5 minutes of sexy non-nude pics without M'ing a real damage to my progress, I have to take the 100% rule serious now. Any further deliberately looking at any pic will result in resetting my day-count.

This just turned into my second longest porn-free-streak and as I completely stopped M'ing too for over five weeks now, my formerly dopamine-blasted brain somewhat dries out and fights back with heavy withdrawals I hadn't expected after over two months. I need to stay focussed, I need to take my reboot as serious as possible again and I do have a choice. Porn is not an option, never again. No withdrawal feels worse than a relapse and I won't give in to my addiction.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on June 12, 2016, 04:43:51 PM
Achilles!! Dude!! You did it! You almost fell into the abyss; but you came back from the edge!! I applaud you sir!! I don't consider that a failure at all: I consider that a success :)

Like you said: 100% is a breeze. Porn is not an option anymore. As we continue to fill the void left by porn with healthier things, it'll just get easier and easier :)

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on June 13, 2016, 04:40:42 PM
As a result I searched for web protection alternatives and blocked myself from the above mentioned sports page and Facebook, along my former favorite porn sites (just in case). I kind of threw away the key and won't have the chance to reverse this decision until next week. I remembered a very inspiring video I've seen on someone's journal long ago, that said "99% is a bitch. 100% is a breeze." (I can't search for it at the moment because YouTube is at the list of pages that get blocked after 30 minutes of daily use ;) )

It mentions the little crack you open by allowing yourself a little exception. I now realize how I opened it up when I clicked at a sexy pic last week. Although I don't consider 5 minutes of sexy non-nude pics without M'ing a real damage to my progress, I have to take the 100% rule serious now. Any further deliberately looking at any pic will result in resetting my day-count.

This is very true.

It is damn difficult to get over and accept, but it's just the truth. And there ain't no other truth.

You did very well and handled yourself brilliantly in very difficult circumstances. This reminds me of the 12 steps principle to  avoid being HALT:

Hungry
Angry
Lonely
Tired
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 14, 2016, 12:29:09 PM
Thank you both for the positive view on that episode. I do feel good about turning around before the abyss, but still this was an act of carelessness I should have avoided.

Day 70:

I didn't know about the HALT-principle, but it makes perfect sense. Being tired is a problem for me, because relapsing doesn't work by typing porn into my browser anymore (that's how I relapsed years ago when I started to reboot and didn't make it 2 days), but by slowly slipping down the spiral of bigger dopamine highs.

Installing browser protection wouldn't hold me back if I really wanted to watch porn. But now it would take minutes to consciously pass the barriers I set and I would interfere before. I always point out to William's thread, because he says everything I consider necessary to reboot. I just never paid too much attention on web protection. Two days ago I changed my opinion. Although I might be tired, lonely, drunk or at whatever state of mind that lowers my will power, it won't happen that mindlessly typing in a page will lead to temptation.

Due to my new time restrictions I do realize how automatized my random browsing behavior is. I don't even think about what I want to use internet for, but just type in a bunch of random pages and scroll around. My blocking app redirects me to a research page for my work and I actually did read useful information yesterday instead of scrolling down my timeline. Somehow I feel like I'm missing out something by not being able to log in to Facebook, but there's no chance until sunday. Maybe this way I can control my internet addiction, because that's the next problem I need to fix.

(This is the video I mentioned above: www.youtube.com/watch?v=007QcKxgMmk)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on June 15, 2016, 02:28:56 AM
Hey man! That's really impressive that you're installed that self-limiting software to help deal with internet and porn addiction!! Those sound like really helpful tools in your tool kit :)

You're an inspiration to me for sure!

Try not to be too hard on yourself; this is a long and arduous journey with many oppurtunities to slip up. We must be so so so vigilant of where our minds are wandering to. And yes, the HALT acronym is good one. Another way of putting it that a friend told me is, whenever you're feeling grumpy, or kinda shitty or bored in some way (which is the state that often leads to relapse), ask yourself "Am I hungry, tired or lonely?" and usually it's one of those things :)

Two thumbs up brotha!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Crow-Magnon on June 15, 2016, 02:46:04 PM
It's good to see you've decided to give blocking facebook (and other sites) a try! Keep up the good work-- 75 days and beyond here you come!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 19, 2016, 07:06:44 AM
First of all sorry to all of you guys as I'm really busy at the moment and lately couldn't comment on your journals or take my time to reply messages. I'll hopefully find enough time to do so today, but first have to write a little update, because it's kind of a special day:

Day 75 - First goal accomplished!

Well, more than anything else it's a motivational thing for me to count days. My goal is to live a porn free life forever, but the outlook of eternity isn't as motivating as reaching intermediate goals step by step. And by this day I'm already heading towards the magic 90 days, although I don't expect fireworks and groundbreaking changes there either. It would just be a huge success to complete three months without porn for the first time and I'll concentrate on the next 15 days to make it real.

Somehow what started as a journey of abstinence has already turned into life improvement as that's what beating porn addiction is about. It's a symbiotic process: Getting rid of this addiction is only possible by living a more fulfilling life and living a more fulfilling life is only possible by getting rid of this addiction. There is no finish line to cross and reach freedom, the pathways of this addiction will weaken but probably never disappear and I'll have to take care to design my life in a way that porn will never be an option again.

This community is just an awesome safety net to accomplish a lifestyle change, I feel like even a relapse wouldn't throw me back as hard as it did during former reboot attempts (although preferably I don't want to know ;) ). I've yet made important changes in life and whatever I want to do, I can achieve it. The web protection works and I made it a week without Facebook. It didn't work due to willpower, but thanks to technology I significantly decreased my random browsing and despite some urges I don't feel like missing anything.

For now, I want to keep things the way they are until reaching the 90 days. Nutrition, sports and workout are going well, I'm optimizing my browsing restrictions and will be very busy due to work for another two weeks. After that I'll have time and energy to improve other areas of my life. I'm not happy about my smartphone dependency and still couldn't establish more time to read books. But one step at a time! For now thank you all for your support as every reply, every message helped me through hard times and I'll do my best to help you reaching your goals too! We will make it, all of us!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Conquistador on June 19, 2016, 07:49:52 AM
Hi Achilles, congratulations for this huge achievement ! 75 days, that's impressive !
I like what you wrote in this quote, I tend to forget it but it's crucial to keep that in mind. The pathways of this addiction will never disappear, but it's up to us to make our life so fullfilling that PMOing won't be an option, ever again.

Stay strong, and keep inspiring us :)


Day 75 - First goal accomplished!

Somehow what started as a journey of abstinence has already turned into life improvement as that's what beating porn addiction is about. It's a symbiotic process: Getting rid of this addiction is only possible by living a more fulfilling life and living a more fulfilling life is only possible by getting rid of this addiction. There is no finish line to cross and reach freedom, the pathways of this addiction will weaken but probably never disappear and I'll have to take care to design my life in a way that porn will never be an option again.

Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on June 20, 2016, 12:20:19 AM
Yes Yes Yes!! Ditto what conquistador said :)

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 22, 2016, 01:23:03 AM
Day 78 - Emergency

Although I didn't define MO as a relapse, I stopped it for over 6 weeks and felt great. But as I'm currently very stressed and pressure at work gets almost unbearable, I used it as a stress relief for the third time in two days now. Cravings are getting very strong and I realize this was a huge mistake. I need to immediately cut it out completely again, at least until completing the third month. I feel a loss of will power and self-control, adding stress and lack of sleep it feels like I need a miracle to stay on track. M'ing will reset my day count, I need the hard mode now and turn things around before it's too late.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on June 22, 2016, 01:41:40 AM
Hey Achilles!

Whatever works for you :)  - whatever pact you've made with yourself. As I've written before, my main thing is staying away from P. That's my main goal. I'm still M-ing fairly regulalry, but that's my own personal rule.

You can do this! You're awesome!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 28, 2016, 12:41:48 AM
Thanks a lot, Peace! As always: Stress passed without porn and it wasn't that much of a problem at all. I think my addiction and the withdrawals are making stress appear worse than it actually is. With every situation I manage without PMO, I feel one step further away from seeing porn as an option. Porn is not an option, I will repeat it a thousand times: Porn is not an option!

Day 84 - Building long term motivation

I'm almost three months PMO-free, managed to avoid sexting or M'ing to any p-sub or a screen in general. That's a good thing, but I do feel like the use of M as a stress relief and the looks at non-nudes this month were a little step backwards. During the last days I didn't pay attention to my plans of nutrition and work-out. My random browsing got better thanks to my own restrictions, but as I blocked certain pages, I notice how I always find a new way to do something useless on a screen.

Concerning my cyber-addiction I do feel as helpless as when I tried to quit porn three years ago. And as there is a strong connection to my porn addiction, I will keep working on this habit too. The most important thing is to keep improving, to follow a plan and move on towards being the person I want to be. At some point it's hard to maintain long term motivation, because I feel really good and more self-confident than ever at the moment, but I must not forget that this is only possible due to reboot. There is still a long way ahead and this week I'll write a detailed update on my plans and goals for the near future.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 02, 2016, 07:41:04 AM
Day 88 - Relapse

Well, I had a very bad start to the day and to make it short: I edged to non-nude picture galleries (with some nudes in between, the typical random buffet) for a long time. While this is technically not porn and I could still pull the "It wasn't PMO!"-card it was clearly a relapse in terms of "sexually-themed dopamine binges", and that's what this is about. To my own definition I should reset my day-count, start from 0 and feel like shit - but I don't.

The day-count is a psychological help to myself, nothing else. If I reset I know I'll relapse to porn later, because my brain will convince me saying "It's day 0, you might just go for it all now!". I do regret having gone there, but regret doesn't help. I need to take the positive aspects and analyze the situation.

First: I didn't escalate to porn and instead turned off the galleries when I realized how my brain was craving for more. I developed some kind of barrier that protected me from escalating to porn in general, different porn categories or sexting I'd feel ashamed of afterwards. While I definitely fried my brain with a dopamine binge, I don't feel shame and it won't be a reset in terms of fighting my social anxiety which is my main issue.

Now, how did it happen? Well, I was tired, bored and lonely yesterday and already allowed myself some peeks. I wanted to meet a friend who cancelled our encounter. Instead I had lots of work left at home due to my stress at work during last weeks (dishes, clothes, cleaning). I put it on the agenda for today and when I woke up I found myself procrastinating deciding to rather give myself some pleasure instead of facing my tasks. While I do feel I advanced a lot in terms of "real" porn or sexting, I still do have a problem with the p-subs that I won't be able to avoid if I don't beat my cyber-addiction. Procrastination, cyber-addiction and p-subs are heavily related in my case and therefore I will develop a further strategy for myself to keep advancing.

Rather than resetting the days I will put myself on probation for today, tomorrow and monday. I will call the 90 days successful if I manage to abstain any further M'ing or the slightest p-sub for the next three days (cravings will be hell again). I also need to finish every depending task at home and comply with my nutrition and work-out plan. After that I will start with "day 1" of the next level and present a plan on how to finally overcome my cyber-addiction, how to develop further good habits (Reading! Finally!) and how to leave all sexually-themed dopamine binges behind.

Sorry for having let down all of you who kept supporting me so much. Lately I haven't been around much and this clearly is the result. Thanks for reading, supporting and just accompanying me on the hardest battle of my life. I promise: I'll win!

Achilles
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: prozilla on July 02, 2016, 02:19:21 PM
You don't have to apologize to this forum, and you didn't let anyone down. Better to err on the side of caution and reset the counter than to fool yourself in the long run.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on July 03, 2016, 05:51:29 AM
achiless,

I'm sorry to hear that you feel bad about what happened.

I want to make it clear. I'm not sorry that you watched any P-subs or edged or whatever. That's nothing that you or I or anyone should be sorry for. I'm sorry that you are now in this position that you found yourself in.

We learn from mistakes. This is so obvious, but so true. You will learn from what happened.

I have been in the exactly the same situation you are in today many times and, frankly, I don't know if it will not repeat in the future. This is not down to some kind of doubt on my side that I want to fight addiction and leave using dopamine binges behind me. There's no doubt about that.

For me, the main lesson is - I'm an addict. I really am. This is a serious illness. As Patrick Carnes wrote, this is an illness of body, mind and soul (he also added fourth - that is a social illness). And I think that just as alcoholism or drug addiction, it is deadly.

It's a hard pill to swallow, that I'm an addict. This realization, made in full consciousness, is actually very very strong. Maybe if we had it in front of our eyes at all times, we would never relapse. But somehow we are prevented from remembering about it. Maybe this is just a coping mechanism on our part? Don't know. What helps me is watching the long video on addiction that is on YBOP. It is very powerful material. Whenever I watch it, I realize I tick all the boxes for brain changes connected with addiction: sensitization (to P impulses), desensitization (to other non-P pleasure), hypofrontality (reduced strength of the sphere of brain responsible for controlling consequences, ahead-planning, organization) and issues with stress management. All these have been established as proven main 4 consequences of this addiction.

When we look at our lives, we can easily see that we are model dopamine-addicts. You write in you journal about problems with procrastination and troubles with overcoming stress. Obviously, you're not alone! We're all in it! I'm in it. The level of similarity of issues that addicts report is just striking - at least for me.

We'd like the addiction to go away. But it's here to stay. Probably it has to be accepted. What we can do, is to not act out.

There is a fine line between complacency and rigour. I prefer to err on the side of being "too-good" or "too-merciful" with our own (!) selves than to castigate ourselves. My own experience is that for years I treated myself very brutally and treating myself with love is a driving force of a good change. Of course, if in the next week you will notice that you are still edging, then you might be in a position to think on how to react to help yourself. Resetting might help you in just the same way as not resetting can :)

It is not at all important if you reset or not. Your journal is a real testament that you mean business in fighting this addiction. I know that you will never give up, no matter how much you may get lost at times (happens to everyone). You're heading, I think, in only one direction and it is the right direction. Just keep walking (maybe it's not a good idea to utilize an alcoholic brand ad in this context, but the phrase is catchy... ;) )
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 03, 2016, 10:15:38 AM
Seems like my last entry caused a little misunderstanding and I admit it appears a little confusing (which is because I was confused yesterday).

I did feel like apologizing because I myself always feel bad when reading about other people's relapses. This community is in need of more success stories and I feel like I fucked this up for no reason at day 88 of the "magic" 90.

As I'm using day-counts for myself since 2013, resetting is nothing new to me. I did it easily over a 100 times. This time I made a difference though. Normally I would beat myself up badly for relapsing and relapse again a few hours later. And again. And again. Because my brain would say: "Look: It's day 0 and it will still be day 0 even if you relapse again! Just go for more quick pleasure while you can!"

There is a fine line between complacency and rigour. I prefer to err on the side of being "too-good" or "too-merciful" with our own (!) selves than to castigate ourselves. My own experience is that for years I treated myself very brutally and treating myself with love is a driving force of a good change. Of course, if in the next week you will notice that you are still edging, then you might be in a position to think on how to react to help yourself. Resetting might help you in just the same way as not resetting can :)

Looks like we discovered the same thing. My different approach worked for the first 24 hours, as I just managed to ignore the cravings completely (and they were very strong for the first few hours after relapsing!) and instead did all the tasks left at home. I will reset my day-count, but not yet. I will reset it after tomorrow and fill in a sheet for the first 90 days. Until now (with 1 1/2 days left) it says: 1 x edging to p-subs, various short peeks at p-subs, no porn, no sexting, no O to any artificial stimulation.

Yes, I had planned to reduce everything to 0, but if I look at my life, the last three months have been an amazing success. From tuesday on I will start another set of 90 days and try to make them an even better success. I just refuse to center any streak without this addiction or the addiction itself as a measure of success in life. There are other measurements for myself.

As I mentioned, my motivation to finally get rid of this addiction wasn't, unlike many others' here, PIED but my heavy social anxiety that, I'm sure about it by now, is completely porn induced. And it's slowly disappearing. I was suffering from heavy hyperhidrosis that appeared out of nowhere during my 20s. To give you an idea: Three years ago I wasn't able to pay at the supermarket without starting to sweat because of the people behind me and the cashier looking at me. I lived in fear of other people looking at me, because I felt they could think I had something to hide. And I did have something to hide, because most likely I had been looking at all varieties of fetish/out of my natural taste porn for hours right before. I couldn't make eye-contact anymore, was always on the run, got drunk and high to socialize on weekends. Even friends and family detected something was wrong but couldn't tell what. Work made me feel uncomfortable, because unfortunately I couldn't appear drunk. I just wasn't happy with my life, but always tried to escape.

If I'm paying at the supermarket these days, I look the cashier in the eye while greeting, don't care if paying takes longer for whatever reason and even do make a little joke now and then. I didn't drink alcohol or get high in three months now. Although it's still a challenge for me, I do socialize sober and don't get drunk before going to a party. At work I advanced a lot too, got out of my comfort zone and faced the challenge of client contact. I'm doing very well at the moment and will most likely get promoted to a position where I have to give speeches at meetings. While the sheer thought would have terrified me just a year ago, I feel ready to face this now. I'm more and more becoming the person I want to be and there's still a long way ahead.

Yes, I stumbled yesterday. But I already "keep walking" ;) again and maybe being an addict isn't the worst thing that happened to my life, but my opportunity to turn life itself around!

Thanks for reading and replying, it can't be said too often: This community is my and our key back to life. We do have a choice and porn is not an option!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 04, 2016, 04:18:39 PM
90 days ago I registered at this community because I felt helpless and desperate, beaten once more by my over a decade lasting porn addiction that I'm fighting for three years now. I managed to overcome the shame to admit being an addict to others which, despite being anonymous, was a huge obstacle for me. What I found is a great place with amazing people, who share my struggle and are incredibly supportive with lots of knowledge.

Referring to the title of this journal: No, I'm not "free at last". And probably I never will be, because this addiction won't disappear completely. It's more about living despite being an addict. Living consciously, being aware, building a life so beautiful, porn just won't fit in anymore. So, maybe it's not a bad thing I relapsed close before reaching 90 days and won't write a special success story. Don't get me wrong, I do love success stories and would love to finally write one myself, but one of the best quotes on here is that of user PeaceOfMind stating: "Our victory is very much a daily thing."

Instead of just aspiring to a certain streak of abstinence, I will divide my progress into chapters of 90 days with the past three months being chapter one. It's time for a final look at my achievements on the one hand and things I've got to improve on the other.

First of all: Despite not succeeding completely due to edging to non nudes two days ago I do feel great I didn't escalate to real porn and also completely resisted the chaser effect afterwards. During the whole 90 days I didn't look at hardcore porn once and didn't relapse to sexting either. I know I have to overcome the artificial sexual stimulation induced dopamine addiction as a whole, but the fact that I built an inner barrier against its most damaging forms is a huge success for me.

Another huge success: In three months I didn't drink or get high once. I didn't eat at any fast food chain, despite not completely following my initial nutrition plan and finally managed to establish regular sports and work out routines. Most of the time I got enough sleep and feel like heading towards the best physical and mental shape of my life. Overall I'd say I'm very happy with the last three months, but there is still a lot of potential to improve.

The most important thing I do have to improve is avoiding constant contact with porn subs. They are all over the internet and as I'm an internet addict too, I have to change my behavior in a more radical way. Thanks to my new browser restrictions I reduced Facebook from two hours a day to two hours a week and currently reduce it even more, just allowing me to answer some messages without even scrolling down the timeline. I will increase overall random browsing restrictions even further, but my computer isn't the main problem anymore.

How did I live without a smartphone few years ago? I even take my smartphone to bed or to the toilet and catch myself looking at it with unhealthy frequency to check new whatsapp messages or the news I already checked five times before. It's the best way to procrastinate and two days ago I relapsed looking at my phone, not my computer. This must change now.

Tomorrow will be "day 1" of the next level and these are my plans for the next 90 days:


I will allow myself some alcohol once in a while and watch if it has any negative effects on my routines. If so, I will stop drinking completely. I will do anything necessary to win this battle and hope the next 90 days will have even better results.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on July 04, 2016, 10:09:51 PM
Hey buddy,

Sorry to hear about the near miss. In my case I have had a few times where i've wanted to find a way around not going back to zero but I feel like i'm lying to myself. I can see how in your case it's better just to hit that 90 day mark instead. I mean you were at day 88 for christ's sake! I sort of went through that the last time I was on. I PMO'd and said if I leave it at that I can continue my streak. Of course I didn't leave it there. I PMO'd again that day, to hardcore stuff. BAH.

Since then i've been off and on. I had an 8 day streak going then blasted that. It's a mindset. Tonight I feel like i'm ready to get going again, but the last three weeks I just haven't had the motivation. I'm glad that you made it 90 days mostly without incident!

Hang in there buddy,

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 11, 2016, 12:59:28 AM
Day 1 - Relapse, reset

To make it quick: Got drunk this weekend, lost all control, PMO'd twice. I'm unable to drink moderately and have to stop it. I'm not just a porn addict, I do have an addictive mindset. No matter if it's gambling, drinking or porn, I just can't stop. This is very hard to admit, but looking at the almost three months of cutting out my bad habits, I felt absolutely great. This weekend is setting me back in so many ways, but I do have to get up, learn from it and start again. It's time to take some decisions on life and I'm finally ready because I'm tired of feeling shame and regret.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on July 11, 2016, 07:27:11 PM
Easy there. You're work is not lost. Remember.

Keep fighting, returning, journalling.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 11, 2016, 07:54:43 PM
Day 0 - Chaser effect setting in

I thought I'd never experience this again, but I'm right back at the beginning and have to struggle to make it 24 hours without relapsing again. I'm reacting with self-hatred and an "Everything's lost, relapsing again doesn't matter!"-attitude, despite knowing better.

First goal: Make it 24 hours without relapsing from now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: prozilla on July 12, 2016, 12:02:10 AM
Day 1 - Relapse, reset

 I'm not just a porn addict, I do have an addictive mindset. No matter if it's gambling, drinking or porn, I just can't stop. This is very hard to admit.

Admitting these difficulties is like a new beginning for you. Any of those addictions are destructive.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 13, 2016, 06:32:45 AM
Day 1 - Relapse, reset

 I'm not just a porn addict, I do have an addictive mindset. No matter if it's gambling, drinking or porn, I just can't stop. This is very hard to admit.

Admitting these difficulties is like a new beginning for you. Any of those addictions are destructive.

It's complicated, because I'm not an alcoholic or gambling addict in terms of repeatedly doing both. But once I drink or gamble I simply don't stop. It's just like my porn consumption, I need a bigger high and keep drinking until I nearly vomit or pass out or keep gambling until I lost the money I brought with me. The main drinking problem consists in my lowered willpower and self discipline afterwards in terms of porn and if breaking free from porn requieres not to drink anymore, I don't have any problem bringing this "sacrifice".

The problem, of course, is my dopamine addiction and it's not easy to accept that I have to stay away from certain things that are damaging to me, while others can moderately enjoy them. But you're absolutely right, that these habits are destructive. I learned from this weekend the hard way.

I'm almost 1 1/2 days clean and reached my first goal to not relapse again. The hardest part was to tell my girlfriend, because our relationship got much better lately and surprisingly gained a new perspective. She is still supportive, but thinks I should get professional help. I basically agree, but I guess that I or most of our community members could tell a psychologist more about our problem than the other way around. Has anyone got any positive experience with treating porn addiction with the help of a psychologist?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 14, 2016, 04:37:27 PM
Day 2: Picking myself back up

Well, relapsing three times in a row didn't happen to me for a long time and it is definitely a set-back. I guess the problem is how it caught me by surprise to relapse to porn after thinking I would have built a barrier against it during the 3 months before. I clearly didn't take the non-nude-edging-session a week earlier serious enough. If I look at the third month I already find several dangerous situations and felt too safe once more. My plan of building new habits as well as reducing Facebook and phone use is in progress now and I will focus on living my life the most satisfying way possible. If I needed any further proof how porn sets me back, this is it.

I'm getting more nervous around people again, my voice isn't as clear as before, I'm still feeling tired (well, the three relapses lasted several hours and ruined my sleep). My happiness wasn't placebo, porn is damaging my life! How could I fall for it again? I know how I always preach to react with love instead of self-hatred, but it's really frustrating I went down that road again. I just think about how I shouldn't have been drinking in first place, but it's too late to complain now. It's going to be a long, hard road again, but I'm willing to do just anything to overcome my addiction. I have to be very careful again and after completing my first goal of not relapsing for 24 hours, I'll extend my goal to one week. It would be great to live a week without porn and I'm sure I'm going to make it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 16, 2016, 07:22:16 AM
Day 4: The life I want to live

Before really considering myself an addict and trying to recover, I already had the problem identified to some degree. Even ten years ago, when my PMO sessions escalated more and more, I would sometimes feel so ashamed I'd delete all of my porn and swear to never go back. The next day I would recover the files and start to play tricks on myself, like saving a backup in case I'd delete them again. This addiction somehow feels like schizophrenia.

Three years ago I decided to leave porn behind and since then didn't build a porn folder on my computer again, but still allowed myself porn substitutes, due to not identifying the problem of dopamine addiction behind porn. Ever since sexting became a major problem, because I'd tell myself it was interaction with a real woman and therefore not to be considered pornography.

Well, I stopped counting the times I said "This time I quit for real!" and the latest big relapse really hit me hard. I just entered a depressive state of self-doubts, of thoughts about wasted lifetime, of feeling powerless. How this relapse threw me back again.

All these self-doubts weaken my power to resist, because the addiction is sneaking in, telling me "Look, you'll never be free, just let go and enjoy the high of the moment!". Every second of my life a thought like this might appear and I have to be able to say "No!" which brings me back to one of the most impressive thoughts I'd like to quote:

Our victory is very much a daily thing. Every day we have to think "man, look at me, I didn't use porn today" and to be very vigilant in staying away from triggers etc. But also to be relaxed about it. I feel that if we're too stressed and too tense about our reboot succeeding, we'll just end up relapsing sooner or later because we're making it into too big of a thing, you know? Like once we've slain the beast, we truly have to walk away, move on, and not dwell on it.

I have to stress this out to myself, because I realize how I start to think in my day count again, feeling like 4 days is nothing and I'll need to run a month or two at least to consider it a success. But this is wrong. First of all: It's important how I live my life every day, every hour, every second. And everything's better than watching porn. If I spent four days without porn, that's four days won. I'd like to use another quote from jkkk:

If we made three days without porn, then we are masters of the universe. If we did 60, we already won. Sounds like nonsense, but it isn't. We make decisions. We are powerless towards addiction, but we can make decisions.

I am proud of picking myself up again, of saying "No!" to porn again and again and again. I can't change the past, but I can make decisions and I'll keep saying NO to pornography in all its forms. Even if I have doubts about my life, I know for sure I want to live 100% free from pornography or any artificial substitute and no matter how many times I might fall, I will get back up again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 21, 2016, 06:00:55 PM
Day 0 - Ground Zero

Lots of wise words have been written. I could say "This time I mean it!" to repeat the other day "This time I mean it!". I relapsed again. Yesterday on sexting, today on porn. It's always the same and I've got to question my motivation.

I'm not trying to get rid of this addiction for the sake of getting rid of this addiction, but because I suffer from social anxiety that got seemingly better throughout my best streak of almost 90 days lately. After my latest relapse I noticed how I improved my life and how I didn't fall back to 0. I'm doing my routines, eating healthy, living an overall satisfying life. I didn't even drink, but I relapsed anyway.

Because my addiction managed to sneak in telling me it was possible to live my renewed life while going for the dopamine rush once in a while. I tried to control my addiction again, not excluding sexting and porn subs like I announced.

I do understand the character of this addiction, but somewhere deep inside I left a little door open. I have to understand that I have to overcome this addiction because I'm an addict. Social anxiety is a side effect and not enough motivation to definitely break free. And it shouldn't. The simple fact that something that useless and damaging is controlling me must be motivation enough to fight it with everything I've got. I have to shut the door. Quitting this addiction means never again to look at girls on a screen with the purpose of arousal and to avoid every possible source of a sexual themed dopamine rush. I am ready to do that.

I realize how I relapse while not visiting Rebootnation as often as at the beginning. And I managed to outsmart my web protection due to a weak link within the system. I fixed it, but that's no excuse anyway. I need to get back on track. First goal: No relapse within the next 72 hours, resist the chaser effect this weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 22, 2016, 12:42:03 PM
Day 1

Kind of hurts and demotivates to write "day 1" again, but that's the pain of regret because I wasn't willing to suffer the pain of discipline. Reading through the board there's lots of journals that just stop and users who disappear. I guess in most cases it's not due to having succeeded and yesterday I got an idea how they might feel. I decided to start the whole journey again and go through hell and back. I can't tell why I'm going to succeed this time. I can't tell if. There is just this promise to get back up again and never give up. I must and will overcome this addiction.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 23, 2016, 09:42:44 AM
Day 2

Doing good so far, keeping myself busy. Nothing much to say, despite maybe that I'm building a reading habit again. Read two books within the last three weeks and little by little increase my attention span. Not all progress was lost during my relapses and it's up to me to move forward.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 24, 2016, 03:44:44 AM
Day 3

I had two very productive days and will add another one today, reaching my first partial goal tomorrow. Good luck to everyone else out there, we can do it!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dynamo on July 24, 2016, 05:00:46 AM
Dude, I commend you for getting back on the horse and immediately setting a goal for yourself. Looks like it's going well, too! The first 3 days (especially on a weekend) are real tough, hang in there man. You're so close to starting this journey off right.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 25, 2016, 02:10:07 PM
Day 4

I reached my first intermediate goal to not relapse again within the first 72 hours. My next goal is to extend this to a whole week.

Dude, I commend you for getting back on the horse and immediately setting a goal for yourself. Looks like it's going well, too! The first 3 days (especially on a weekend) are real tough, hang in there man. You're so close to starting this journey off right.

I'll do my best! I feel like recovering easier with every longer streak of abstinence. My last streak of 88 days was really healing and the life I lived and the progress I made aren't undone because I watched porn again. The amount of porn I watched in the last 4 months was what I watched within a single week three years ago. I have to remind myself of where I come from and how a step back just means I have to take two steps forward. All the best for you on your journey too!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 26, 2016, 04:09:46 PM
Day 5

Five days complete. Building habits works despite recent relapses, just finished my third book this month. I haven't read three books the whole year so far. And even if I'm extremely busy I do a little workout every day. My Facebook use decreased a lot ultimately. I think I'm on a good way, but know that I have to be very aware due to having reactivated the "bad" pathways of my addicted brain.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 27, 2016, 05:10:25 AM
Day 6

Things are going well, one more day to reach the intermediate goal.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on July 27, 2016, 09:19:15 AM
Rahhh dude come on lets go!!you are on your way !! lets do it.  I'm day 3 and will read some books (thanks for the idea, i haven't think about that beofre) moreover reading book, a worthwile activity, give you self worth which is crucial in a

BTW, i totally relate to what you say here :

After my latest relapse I noticed how I improved my life and how I didn't fall back to 0. I'm doing my routines, eating healthy, living an overall satisfying life. I didn't even drink, but I relapsed anyway.

Because my addiction managed to sneak in telling me it was possible to live my renewed life while going for the dopamine rush once in a while. I tried to control my addiction again, not excluding sexting and porn subs like I announced.

I do understand the character of this addiction, but somewhere deep inside I left a little door open. I have to understand that I have to overcome this addiction because I'm an addict. Social anxiety is a side effect and not enough motivation to definitely break free. And it shouldn't. The simple fact that something that useless and damaging is controlling me must be motivation enough to fight it with everything I've got. I have to shut the door. Quitting this addiction means never again to look at girls on a screen with the purpose of arousal and to avoid every possible source of a sexual themed dopamine rush. I am ready to do that.


after my first relapse, I was OK (it was like after 5-6 month) and my mind notice how I did not go back to my old darkness, I was pretty fine. And more relapse happened and other streak (2-3 months) happened. But I still relapsed because the consequences where not 'that bad' not 'that dramactic', I was bad and down but it was not the end of the world ; few mont later it spread to food, indulging to binge eating more and more often until becoming almost bulimic. Dopamine addict yes, me too.  When you hit rock bottom failure is not an option, but when you go out of the darkness and start to get better and you realize that a relapse won't destroy all your effort, you start to indulge and be less careful, you let the door open. Until now when you (and me) realize how much we have slipped and how, despite how hard we try to convince ourselves that we are fine, that this is no big deal, we are still in jail and not free from addiction.
Before we were at the bottom, now we are in the middle, going down sometime then going back to the middle ; the things is we have to definitely free ourselves from that, from addiction, and going to the top.

There is a really powerful report from a nofap guy about addiction : "you are a humain being not an addict". Check this out, really inspiring.

Courage Bro, stay strong !
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on July 27, 2016, 05:19:26 PM
Hey achilles,

Keep getting back. Keep getting back, bro :)

This time you're going through. Maybe you need it. Maybe you need to understand you're powerless. Maybe you got to feel how strong the addiction is and how you will never be able to negotiate with it. It seems we all can't get enough lessons in humility.

On a technical (or spiritual?) side - I posted a video in my last entry. Maybe you'll like it?

J.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 28, 2016, 02:49:01 PM
Day 7

A week has passed since my last relapse. I'm very proud of this achievement and will do my best to make it 10 days, not relapsing this weekend.

Thanks a lot for your replies, guys! Don't find the time now to answer in detail, but will do so as soon as possible! :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on July 28, 2016, 04:38:35 PM
nicely done bro, GG ! one week ! keep going, stay strong. you won't relapse this weekend ; why would you ?  we (and I) are waiting your badass and life changing report. do your future self a favor by staying strong, you can do it. remember, addiction is a choice (lets be real we have absolute control on ALL our action, on ALL our behaviours -exept mental ilnesses where fuck you body moves by itself ; you have chosen to fap on porn like I did ; you have chosen to give in to immediate pleasure instead of delayed gratification, like I did (so many times). But the choice is ours.
so decide to not relapse and you won't ; when the urge come, don't think about whether or not you will manage to resist it ; either you choose to resist either you choose to give in; in any case its your choice. Easier said than done, I know, but at the end of the day, its all about choice.

I really hope you had the time to read the report I talks about in my previous post, really powerful.

about addictive personality, I guess you might have a LOT of energy and your addictive activities are a way to release that excess energy (addictive personnality are usually individuals with abondance of creative energy ; energy got to find an outlet (i'm myself addictive, I know about this, its a day to day struggle sometimes, to not always go to the extremes ahah).
Some advice that may help you :

-sport is key, absolutely key to channel your energy (espcially when on nofap when the energy is greater)
-creative activities (writing drawing painting, singing, music , solving problems i don't know - and still don't know for me, i tried many thing but did not find my creative outlet, i know i need it)
-being aware of the energy aspect of the addiction and the necessity to put all that creative energy to positive and constructive ends
-using your addictive energy to go all in on positive subjects, see it as a blessing not a curse ; if you are passionated by something, bam, go ALL IN in it, all in, with all that energy and then go to another subject ; you, I think, may have a great capacity to focus (read 'get obsessed' by something) lets that something be something that brings you joy and positivity in your life.

courage and faith bro ; hold on the best is yet to come.

I count on you this weekend to stay strong, and to see your victory post of 10 days ! i'm waiting for it!

you can count on me to give my best to my weekend to

peace bro, let us give a full shot to succeed and have the live we want and deserve ! lets gooo


-
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on July 28, 2016, 05:52:34 PM
That was a great post! Really positive advice about addictive personalities- that it is possible to channel our energy into more creative positive areas!! For me it's music… let the music flow!!!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 29, 2016, 06:56:08 PM
Day 8

Just the daily update that I'm still doing well.

I really hope you had the time to read the report I talks about in my previous post

Not yet, as I said, I will take my time this weekend and read through that and your journal in detail. But thanks a lot yet for your inspiring replies, it means a lot to me! :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on July 30, 2016, 10:40:18 AM
hope everything fine bro ;)

indeed the weekend gives more place to boredom but we got to stay strong, it's in those moments, facing urges, difficult emotions and not giving in and giving up that we build our character. What we are to be we are now becoming ;)
lets be champions guys (we are already champ by doing this challenge, not everyone would even consider that ahah)

one advice  :the importance of music or whatever that can motivate you and distract you from any negative talk in your mind. you know, after the party/work or whatever when you come back at home, the road back is long and its dark outside and you hear addiction speaking to you. bro, here a good music, a good pump up speech in you ear with your headphone can just save your life ahah (almost relapse because of it ; a good rap put me in a good vibe, and after i was like" whoooo bro, watch yourself, be careful with your mind, your dark side knows not rest and want to destroy you, don't let him the opportunity". so here i am, day 5 and had i not listen to my music would have been day 0 with absolutely horrible consequence for today -as you know addiction lives in the present and don't care about responsability or your schedule ahah)

see ya bro !
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 30, 2016, 02:30:54 PM
Day 9

Saturdays are always dangerous, but instead of relapsing I discovered two new music albums and finished the last 150+ pages of the current book, making it four books I've read in july. During my progress of longer lasting streaks I managed to increase my attention span. One of the biggest sacrifices of my porn life was cultural life. The nights in front of my computer led to intellectual degeneration. There are so many books I want to read, so many albums I want to listen to and so many movies I want to watch. If I ever say I'm bored, I'm just lying to myself. I started forcing myself to read at least 10 pages every day. No exception, no excuses. In fact I'm reading about 50 pages a day at the moment and it helps a lot to keep urges away, because my mind is busy.

To pick up your thoughts, Theself, I agree on many things you mentioned. Doing sports is a very important key to me, too. I am also able to put in lots of energy in (creative) projects, but I realize how there are some self destructive pathways within me that can turn the energy against the project they just built. I have to identify this force of self destruct that's in my way.

Before we were at the bottom, now we are in the middle, going down sometime then going back to the middle ; the things is we have to definitely free ourselves from that, from addiction, and going to the top.

There is a really powerful report from a nofap guy about addiction : "you are a humain being not an addict". Check this out, really inspiring.

I read that and I'm not ready to fully identify who I am, where I am going and what I want in life. It is indeed a very motivational text, but the author is 19 and by that time I was also sure about lots of things I am questioning now. Life isn't a straight line, our views and goals vary. I just know that I want to get rid of this addiction and that there's a little door I left open. I have to find the key to shut it down and your theory definitely has got to do with it.

I forget about how I suffer from a relapse once I reach two months clean. I just don't care enough anymore, because my state of mind went back to the "middle" how you call it and I'm taking motivation from hitting rock bottom. As soon as I leave rock bottom, this motivation starts fading.

But lets face it: We're all just motivated to quit porn because we hit rock bottom in whatever way. In my case it was severe social anxiety (that got a lot better yet after three years of various clean streaks), in most user's cases it's PIED. We're here because something's wrong and as soon as this wrong got more or less fixed, we tend to feel normal again and forget about what caused us to feel bad and how bad we felt at all.

Porn gave us a good feeling for far too long. And it's sneaking in telling us "You are now feeling good, but imagine how great you would feel with just a little dose of..." and there we are again.

I will continue this. And I didn't forget about you either, jkkk. But I have to hit the gym for a longer session, because I sinned in terms of nutrition on my lazy saturday full of reading and music so far ;)

A wonderful weekend to all of you out there!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 31, 2016, 03:09:04 PM
Day 10

Just my little daily update that everything is going well, being too busy to relapse, will write more in detail next week.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on August 01, 2016, 10:45:40 AM
Love it bro.you are doing great keep.going ! Im still.in the race too ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on August 01, 2016, 10:49:51 AM
Thanks for what.you said about.books.and.cultural stuff.bro and.also music sooo real, i got so much thing.i could do but i always.tell.myself i'm.bored ! Thanks for.giving.myself some kick in the.ass and.remembering me that i got to get busy and that there is a.WHOLE.world waiting.for.me.that i.can explore rather than.being focus on my porn and addiction trouble ! Thanks again dude !!

Stay strong ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 01, 2016, 03:23:35 PM
Day 11

Low energy today, I'm feeling tired and need to take nutrition serious again. Still doing good recovering from my latest relapse, I have to prepare myself for the third and fourth week as they will be tough again.

Thanks a lot for your support, Theself, I hope you'll stay on track too!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on August 01, 2016, 04:38:34 PM
Low energy too, almost relapse tonight. Will channel all my energy on gym and workout thats the best i can do right now to avoid falling again in the addictive trap

Tips for nutrition bro: green tea is a must ;  other herbal tea too. Zinc and.magnésium very very often need to be supplemented. But in any case do what works for yoi

Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 02, 2016, 01:33:13 PM
Day 12

Almost two weeks! Can't tell I'm feeling good, my latest relapses caused some serious doubts about overcoming this addiction. Will write on this as soon as I find the time.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on August 02, 2016, 03:34:34 PM
keep going bro and don't let your past history determine who you are right now and what you are capable of doing now.

the past is the past,forget about your past & make the rest of your life the best of your life, come on!!

take it one day at a time bro, you are stronger than you think. and about your thought, your doubts, are no more real than the shadow of a shadow, they don't reveal anything about you. don't listen to your mind, to the negative voice and stay strong ; it will eventually be quieter.

i will do this challenge to the end bro, until i'm totally free, so follow me !

have a great great day
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: J_24 on August 02, 2016, 04:23:01 PM
HANG IN THERE! you will get over this. you have been at it for a while which is GREAT. just dont be hard on yourself and keep trying. try and try till you succeed with everytime a relapse being more distant than the last one. positive self talk my friend and you are gonna be fine !!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 02, 2016, 07:12:59 PM
Thank you, guys! Your words gave me a boost of motivation, I entered self-pity-mode again and it doesn't lead anywhere. Outside of this community there are only three people who know about my problem. Two female friends who I opened up to, but who failed to see the dimension of my problem (I just didn't mention it anymore and lost contact to one of them already) and my girlfriend who lately told me how she had doubts about my way due to my reocurring relapses. As you might have noticed, it really hit me hard and I adapted these doubts. I couldn't tell her why it's going to be different this time and I can't answer this to myself.

It's almost impossible to give someone an insight on porn addiction who doesn't suffer from this himself and I didn't talk about this to any of my male friends because they are rather open about watching porn and don't seem to consider it a problem. If it was alcoholism I know I'd have ten people around offering me help. But as it's porn, I'm feeling really lonely sometimes. So, yeah, you have no idea how much your supportive words mean to me. Thanks again and stay strong too! :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Nope on August 03, 2016, 10:11:35 AM
Keep on going achilles!! Society in general is not aware of many important problems, that does not mean they're not real. Don't let these feelings of loneliness get you, we're all in the right path.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 03, 2016, 07:12:30 PM
I couldn't tell her why it's going to be different this time and I can't answer this to myself.

And it didn't change, I relapsed today. I'm not ready to quit and I have to find out why before any new attempts.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on August 07, 2016, 06:47:01 PM
It's not the time you fall. It's the times you stand up that mean.

Print out the William's thread in whole (don't read it on a computer, print it). Watch the GaryWilson 1h15 min video every day. Until you learn it by heart.

This is all pretty simple. You and I, we are on a chemical that is very strong. It changed our brains. It's changed the way we react to success, to failure, to anxiety and to stress. All of this is affected.

You've been in this pretty long. You have decision power. The question is in the decision.

This might be a time that is emotionally too draining for you. You act out to block some of these emotions. This is how we get to the same point.

Don't beat yourself up, achilles. You did nothing wrong.

Just come back, cos we need you here, among the fighting ones, in the first line of attack.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: RuntoSpirit on August 08, 2016, 10:29:31 AM

Hey Achilles

I just read a report (in Wack:addicted toINternet Porn by Noah CHurch) about a man who wend something like 200 days.  He was singing of all the benefits, but then he said something that really affected me.  HE said that in his reboot he relapsed 80-100 times.

We know that the brain calls out for excessively high dopamine.  WE can give it that through porn.  But if we do we only strengthen that "CALL FOR MORE" 
When we relapse we do have the chance of getting right back to starving out that "call mechanism".   IF we go the distance we can get to th point where our brains will react normally to normal sexual stimulation.  And we can have satisfying lives. 
THere is a protein DeltaFOsB in the brain.  It is a triggering device for all addictions.   It takes 6-8 weeks for this to start to be diminished in the brain.  Some men give 90-120 days for the proces.  The length of time isn't critical as we are heading for a lifetime of no pmo anyway, but after the triggering proteins are released from the brain the cravings are noticably lessened.  We can look forward to that.
CHeers in your recovery
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: J_24 on August 08, 2016, 03:47:29 PM
Achilles,

you can and you will see yourself out of it. get the self control app for the PC that can block out websites for a period set by you . it might help you. also after reading your post, i sense that you might be giving into self pity and self doubt which makes things worse. our brains are twisted and will find a way to reason it out to PMO. gabe warns us of this in this video as well so if you are suffering from self pity or self doubt, try snapping out of it. read something around it and since you have a girl friend, talk to her. but its important to be positive !!!

remember - all things worth achieving are never easy to do!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 10, 2016, 04:21:04 PM
Thank you so much, guys. I relapsed for four days in a row. On saturday I stopped. I'll be back here soon, but need some time off to further reflect on my attitude and behavior. All the best for you, will answer you soon!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 13, 2016, 01:41:51 PM
So far I made it a week on hardmode. I didn't set any goals yet, I just tried to find inner peace again after returning to the abyss. I had given in to the chaser effect for four consecutive days, going back to all porn categories, multiple tabs, you know the deal. My conclusion? There is no satisfaction. No benefit. Nothing. Only wasted time, shame, emptyness. With a month off porn a look at a pic of a girl in bikini arouses me, but the thought to calm my cravings is just wrong, because it will only cause more hunger. And on the second day a girl in bikini isn't enough anymore. On the third normal porn won't do. There is no satisfaction in dopamine adiction. It is searching, all the time. Searching for searching. There is no relief at the end, just disappointment. On saturday I was just laying there asking myself "This is it, you are craving for?" and I just stopped. I hope this insight had a healing effect.

@jkkk: I will remain here in the first line of attack. I promised not to give up and I won't. I've fallen a hundred times, but despite all those relapses I personally advanced with every period of abstinence and change. I fell back to porn for four days, but now I managed seven days without it. And I've become stronger.

@RuntoSpirit: I know about the chemical process, but it's still hard to remind myself all the time. To give you an example: My latest 13 day streak ended in the middle of the night. I woke up and went to the toilet. Half asleep I took my cell phone with me and a minute later I was back on autopilot looking at porn.

And that's why you, J_24, are absolutely right. I will have to invest some money to buy a new computer and cell phone, because both devices I use are too old for modern web protection. You are also right about self-pity. I'm a master of self-pity and self-doubts, but lately my girlfriend said she has serious doubts about my ability to recover. I can't blame her, as she's been supportive all the time and it's certainly not easy to hear "This time it will work!" again and again.

I will have to find out more about my inner force of self-destruction and what's it I'll change this time to succeed.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on August 13, 2016, 07:43:26 PM
Yes dude, absolutely NOTHING good about fapping or porn. I was downloading some music and i saw some sexy advertising and i felt that old negative pull, and i remenber how porn is fucking evil and just want to keep you in that dark dark place.

self-pity, self-doubt, fuck it your brain is against you, do not listen to the negative tape, do not try to replace it by a positive one (it will just exhaust you), no just don't do it, don't fap. what i mean ? you got that urge, you just go running ; you don't think twice. 2 am, 3 am fuck it go running. still tempted ? cold shower . still excited ? push-ups. still not ready to go to sleep ? do something. 5 am and exhausted you go to bed. you wake up and you don't fucking believe what you have just achieved, how tough and strong you've been that night. and here i promise you, you won't relapse because of what you get trough during this night (i got 2-3 night like that 2 years ago during my reboot, will NEVER forget those) and how your character has grown during this night.

an advice : do not wait to find your inner strenght or whatever, you will find it when you will battle your urge. first of all you might never find what you are looking for. and, there will never be the perfect time, the perfect moment to start nofap. and there is no better moment than right now to do a good action and make a good decision for your future.

you don't have to wait, you don't have to wait to hit rock bottom, or to hear your higher self tell you "time to stop right now!", you don't need to have a epiphany, you don't need to feel 100% commited for life, no. you can do it one day at a time, and do not think about this or that just focus on not fapping and finding healthy substitutes. and then you will wake up and it will be 21 day and you will chock yourself on how far you have been and you will realize :

"fuck i don't want to kill all my effort on this fucking pixels fuck it fuck it i keep going, life is better, i'm a better man, lets go"

also, all the inner qualities, strenght, commitment and just your true self will reveal themselves during your battle.

also, (last post on my journal), you got to become excited about your life. not excited as a result of hype circomstances or events, no. its about changing your mind and the way you look at thing. life is fucking epic if we want to. its just about getting control of your state and choosing to see the good and the exicting side, or even creating it, in everything in life. boredom, lack of meaning, or bad feelings will be way way better to handle with this.

keep the motivation and don't wait to start nofap, do it now !

we are counting on you, you are counting on you, your gf too i guess. so choose to say no to porn

peace my friend be strong ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: J_24 on August 14, 2016, 03:00:52 PM
Well said theself !!

There is little to add but let me tell you, i too relapsed for 2 consecutive days and i feel shit right now. i saw a couple of videos of addicts that have recovered and i am finding the belief again that it was only momentary and i have gone 20 days without PMO and i WILL AGAIN. slowly put surely i will get out of this and probably you too can find this belief.

Hang in there mate cause we are all dependent on each other to get out of this. be positive even if those around you are not !!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 21, 2016, 08:17:28 AM
2 days clean

This weekend I realized something I haven't felt before: I am ready to quit. I relapsed again last week, my latest relapse was on friday in the early morning and it was my last. As you might have noticed I lately expressed lots of doubts about my motivation and ability to quit. I didn't make it two weeks without relapsing lately. As long as there are doubts about recovery, there is no recovery, but I couldn't force myself to gain more insights about myself. I had to experience and feel a change of mindset. I am done with porn, porn subs, sexting and any kind of artificial stimulation. I am done with my old life and shut the inner door I had left open before.

Apart from a change of mindset, I'm going to actually change all aspects of life that are dangerous for my progress. I ordered a new cell phone already that will support web protection. Next week I will buy a new computer to install K9 or Cold Turkey. I am modifying my flat, buying new clothes and need a symbolic change to leave my old life behind too. Since 2013 I try to break free already, I relapsed a hundred times, but it's the first time that my will to break free doesn't result out of shame or self-hatred after relapsing, but due to the insight on how I am holding back myself with lacking attitude. I've got lots of potential in so many ways and instead of looking with regret at my past, I need to build my future.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on August 21, 2016, 09:51:43 AM
RAHHHH BROOO RAHHH BRO THATS GREATTTT !!!! really dude i'm so pumped right now ; you gonna kill it.

yes yes you right, enough time wasted, enough time being less that what you truly are, enough wasting potential enough time giving up your own and true power because of porn and addiction. gain back your real life bro, you made the best decision you could, you  will remember this time forever as the beginning of your real and great life.

I read that addiction are obstacle we inconsciously put on our way because we are afraid of our true greatness, of our true potential. darkness is scary but its common and familiar, we been there, done that. but being great, being fabulous and talented, being our true self, with all its true power is scary, that light is scary because its unfamiliar, unknown and we unconsciously think that its too much too handle for us.

but how can we have a fully satisfied life, being fullfilled and proud of us if we know that we are self-saboting our greatness ? how can we be happy if we know we deliberately choose addiction and therefore choose to be weak when we are strong and powerful.

lets seize our true potential because lets be real addiction are a fucking plague and a life of addiction is not a life, bottom line+

Really dude, happy for you, keep going, i'm with you on this battle. get rid of all addictive behaviours, don't replace one by another and just purify yourself, start a new and healthy life ; clean and fresh.

stay strong

you can, you will and you must win this ;)

got some push ups and weights on the way, see ya soon bro

Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 23, 2016, 04:15:10 PM
4 days clean

Well, I finally took my time to make a counter and it was easier than I thought. I will not learn how to reset it, because there won't be a reset. This post might be long, because I feel like I need to write about my history of addiction to leave it behind forever.

First I should mention that I learned a very important lesson concerning my social anxiety. When I reached my longest streak of 88 days last month, I felt great. Then I relapsed on porn subs and didn't feel like shit. I relapsed on porn once and it didn't feel like a complete set-back either. It was the door opener for my addiction to come back again, telling me the whole reboot thing might have been placebo and my increased self-confidence was a result of socializing more. It's not. During the last 1 1/2 months I watched porn like 10-15 times and didn't make it two weeks clean. I realize how I'm less spontaneous and how spontaneous interaction makes me nervous again. My voice was clearer when I was almost three months porn free, I managed to concentrate better and the excessive sweating had decreased almost completely. Now I notice how those symptoms were coming back step by step.

I knew that my mind would play tricks on me, I warned myself on here, but it didn't work. I fell back into the abyss. Yes, I had some trouble, but that was just a lame excuse to numb myself again and be weak. I need to point this out to myself over and over again until I finally learn it:

OVERCOMING PORN ADDICTION IS MY PRINCIPAL GOAL IN LIFE! IT INCLUDES SEXTING AND PORN SUBSTITUTES, THEY ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE!

MY SOCIAL ANXIETY IS PORN INDUCED! THE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF REBOOT ARE NOT PLACEBO!


I feel like writing about my own history of addiction might help as therapy. I'm suffering from sexually themed dopamine addiction for more than half my life now. Luckily there weren't any smartphones around 15 years ago, it all started with music videos of barely dressed girls and a CD full of wallpapers that contained some lingerie models when I was 14. I started having some privacy and my first internet access, my parents stopped controlling my media usage (I wish they didn't, now!). I started watching softcore porn on television at night and soon discovered that filesharing programs offered more than music.

At the age of 15 I was already excessively collecting pictures and videos and watching them on random playlists for hours. Without knowing the concept of porn addiction or reboot, I already reached a point where I felt shame and deleted my folder immediately after watching, just to regret this decision the next day, building a new one. I escalated to all kinds of porn/fetish categories and porn sessions of up to 10 hours. Afterwards I would shower for a whole hour literally feeling dirty and promising myself to not go back. I have no idea why I didn't identify this as a serious addiction earlier and how I could go on for years.

It all changed with my first girlfriend at age 18, when I suffered from PIED without knowing it. I also successfully rebooted, because I couldn't look her in the eyes after watching porn and just stopped. It took two months of dating without porn until having sex and I rewired successfully too. I experienced a satisfying sexlife for a few months, until routine and conflicts set in and brought me back to porn. I started lying to her about being tired all the time to have enough time for my extended porn sessions again. The result was DE and I had to fantasize about porn or other girls to finish.

Same thing happened with the following girlfriends. If I remember well, during my early 20s I developed hyperhidrosis. It was about the time when social media became a big thing and suddenly the bikini pics of girls I knew became a bigger, more forbidden high than all the porn categories I had watched over and over again. I fantasized about an ex-girlfriend's sister or cousin and secretly saved their pictures. This is were it all went downhill and I had trouble making eye-contact at family reunions.

As I added the voyeuristic/exhibitionistic aspect of sexting, I hit rock bottom. Eye contact made me sweat, not only when around girls I had fantazised about, but around anybody. I felt uncomfortable and started to drink and get high to socialize. Back in 2013 I made my own conclusion of being a porn addict, but I wouldn't imagine there was anyone around with a similar story or that there was any science behind. I just tried to stop it and made it maybe two months without excluding softcore pictures, thus making it not a real reboot. And later my addiction played a trick on me, convincing me that sexting wasn't porn due to the interaction with a real girl. I returned to the abyss in 2014, until finally overcoming my shame to research on porn addiction.

Discovering this community was the best thing happening to my life, because I finally found out I'm not alone with my problem. I'm not a fucked up person, but one of thousands or rather millions who wired their brain cells to artificial stimulation. I didn't start a journal or register, because I was too ashamed being an addict. Instead I had some more attempts, with the longest being 75 days last year. This year I made it 88 days, but lost track again when I felt too safe. The consequence were 1 1/2 months of not making it more than 2 weeks clean, my addiction hit back.

Now it is time to close the door and leave addiction behind. It is not about nutrition, sports or changing my life, it is about becoming clean forever. Porn is not an option, no matter if I feel depressed, without energy, bored, tired or whatever. There is no excuse, it will never solve any problem, just cause further trouble. I promise to win this fight. I fell down a hundred times and I could have given up yet, but I'm proud of myself that after years of failed reboots and a hundred relapses I still got up and I'm still here.

I want to be free and it's up to me. Now!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on August 23, 2016, 05:49:52 PM
:)

good to read that.

You have it all, bro, just believe in it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 26, 2016, 11:58:22 AM
7 days clean

I'm doing well and realize how cravings don't matter as long as I consider living porn free my absolute priority in life. I do have to want it and believe in it, that's the key. As soon as doubts are sneaking in, I'm going to lose. I'm not going to doubt this way and won't allow my addiction to sneak in sowing doubts.

My first goal is to make it a whole month. Cravings are hell at 3-4 weeks in, after that it will be a matter of holding up my motivation. I just ordered a new phone and hopefully will manage to install K9.

It's all there, I just have to walk through that door to be free. Despite this being a tough addiction and I know I'm hooked on a strong chemical, I have to point this out: During the last 15 years I wasn't able to make it three months without porn or porn substitutes and all I had to do was not looking at tits on a screen.

There are bigger tasks in life, bigger crosses to bear. Mine isn't easy, but there is no reason to doubt achieving a porn free life. I can do it. You can do it. We all can. We shouldn't underestimate this addiction, but neither should we consider it an almost impossible task.

I'm ready to go through that door. Now!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on August 28, 2016, 02:36:02 AM
Achilles!!

Good to hear from you. You can do this man. This is NOT an impossible addiction to quit. It is VERY possible. All you have to do is be vigilant every day. Be aware of your thoughts, and just observe them. Don't necessarily act on them. This (luckily) get’s easier every day you're free of porn. Honestly, what inspired me so so so much to finally quit after being involved in porn for 1 million years (that’s what it feels like, in reality it was 20 years), was Gabe Deems videos talking about actually living a porn free life.

I think ultimately what pushes us to wanting to be totally porn free is our suffering. Ultimately, nobody is going to continue to care 100% about your recovery. Once you suffer ENOUGH TIMES from the aftermath of PMO, you'll eventually find the resolve to quit.

I have much faith in you :)

I love you all, keep up the good work!!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 28, 2016, 10:15:25 AM
Thanks a lot, Peace!

9 days clean

Well, clean from porn at least. I got very drunk and high on Friday and MO'd three times since then due to the terrible hangover. Somehow I managed to resist porn urges, but it was playing with fire. My nutrition consisted of pizza and fried chicken. Feels like a completely wasted weekend. At least I don't need to reset the counter, let's point out the positive aspect. On the negative side I should avoid weekends like this in the near future.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on August 29, 2016, 03:15:38 AM
Totally!

I find that by running down my system in other ways (pot, alcohol, staying up super late, or not getting proper nutrition), I weaken my defences to Porn entering my life. Keep it up brotha!!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 30, 2016, 03:56:00 PM
11 days clean

Just passing by to write a two digit number of porn-free days ;)

I'm currently off the road concerning a healthy lifestyle, but I learned that whatever life provides, I must not link it with porn. Yes, it's right to replace the void left due to not using porn anymore by healthy habits and a more satisfying life, but not maintaining discipline for a while is no excuse to return to porn. Stress is no excuse to return to porn either. I have to cut the link between feeling low and getting a dopamine high to fix it.

jkkk expressed it very well, it's about not using anymore. As simple as that. I'll return to make a plan on nutrition and exercise again, but I won't link it directly to rebooting. My reboot is about one simple thing: Not using artifical stimulation of any kind and I'll stick to that with no excuses.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 01, 2016, 01:39:56 PM
13 days clean

I'm about to finish the second porn-free week, but despite my latest relapses I'm not afraid of relapsing again. I finally believe in rebooting, in overcoming this addiction. I do realize how every day without porn but with social interaction strengthens my self-confidence. And the last month full of relapses showed me how this is not placebo. It is linked with porn and it's such an easy way to overcome my social anxiety: Just stop porn. I advanced a lot yet, but I'm not yet where I want to be. This month I'll return to my plans of healthy nutrition and workout, I'm sure this will add a lot to my positive development.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 04, 2016, 07:42:09 AM
16 days clean

The hardest part is setting in. Low motivation, slightly depressed feelings coming up, dreamed about having relapsed and feeling shit, full procrastination all day so far. Still don't have the slightest doubt about never going back to porn. I'd rather feel like this for the rest of my life than ever going back to the abyss again. The hardest part of getting out was accepting porn subs and sexting to be a part of the problem, I knew it, but I always left that little door open deep inside. It is closed now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on September 04, 2016, 10:25:45 AM
Philip Carnes writes that an addict who starts recovery must grief the loss of his addiction. That's pretty strong. That's how screwed up we have become. We have to grief over something that we hate so much. He says it's because we feel like losing someone/something close to us, so dependable, so ingrained in our lives. Grieving, according to him, is an important part of the whole recovery process.

It looks like you're feeling it right now. And I concur, I feel kind of the same.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 07, 2016, 03:26:40 PM
good luck my man achille ! keep going bro, we are with you !

peace bro stay strong ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 07, 2016, 03:51:37 PM
Thanks, guys! Almost 20 days, finally getting serious. Having trouble to control my anger, this weekend is going to be hell, but I've got to man up and face the trouble.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 08, 2016, 03:24:57 PM
good luck  bro ! about anger, the best is to express it (constructively and positvely of course), repression of emotion is always bad and cause inner turmoil ; so do your best to express it lol ;)

stay strong ! each day you become stronger !
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 09, 2016, 03:10:08 PM
21 days clean

Well, I can't express my anger at work, because I don't have a real reason. My stress tolerance just dropped to 0 because there is no more stress relief through porn. If there is a problem and it doesn't get solved immediately, I'm losing my patience. My solution is sports, yesterday I felt great after hours of sports and exercise. Today I'm facing low energy and need to be careful to not get triggered. As I mentioned, this will be the hardest weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 09, 2016, 04:58:50 PM
Hang on.dude 22 days is great, and would be a real pain in the ass to start again

Stay strong bro ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 10, 2016, 06:56:23 PM
23 days clean

No trouble so far. Artificial stimulation is just excluded as a possibility from my life, I don't even enter negotiating with my addicted brain. There are strong urges appearing, but I just say "No!". Despite low energy I'm forcing myself to work out and get my tasks done. It's a long way ahead, but I know I'm going to make it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 11, 2016, 07:51:41 AM
Thats the way bro ! You are really getting stronger each time you resist an urge and keep doing what u got to do !

About low energy, when you are at your lowest its THE DAY to complete everything, every thing, task, workout etc
It will create some real strong and positive belief in ur brain that you are stronger and if you did it with such a low energy then you can do anything ! (See wat i mean ?)

Good luck and stay strong

Btw i strongly believe that , at night, your brain process everything,heal and take note of your good action, discipline and willpower of the day. So with each day being strong, u get mentally stronger for the next day!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 12, 2016, 05:04:53 PM
25 days clean

Victory!

Last night I didn't sleep well, I was tired at work and somehow saw too many hot girls throughout the day. I returned home tired and with some urges to M. Then I just asked myself how I'd feel afterwards if MO and sleeping were my choices for the evening. Instead I drank some tea and did a workout. This was the right choice. I learn to make choices, to overcome my laziness and low energy. To feel benefits after pushing myself to do something productive.

A different life is possible. I've got the choice and today I chose right. It feels like a victory and I'm looking forward to choose right again tomorrow.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 13, 2016, 02:46:09 AM
awesome dude, proud of you bro. the power of choice of course. you can't throw 25 day of hustle like that.

You clearly created some strong belief last night and it will help you for the future time. and the intensity of the urges will lessen i think.

"victory" ! yes how better is it than a relapse.

I realized myself that, each time i had a urge, each time i was uncomfortable but that I went trought it, the day after, i was clean, fresh and PROUD of me. and that victory spreads in every area of my life : my self esteem and sense of security increases day after day; especially when I resist urges.

good job bro ! have a great day ;)

Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 14, 2016, 12:33:31 PM
26 days clean

I'm in the middle of the hardest stage and my relationship just ended. Saw this coming long ago, but it wasn't all nice what we had to talk about. Used MO as a stress relief and caught myself thinking about going back to sexting as there are girls "available" and I'd be free to do it now. Despite this being a tough situation, going back is not an option. I will succeed 100%. It is now that I can prove a change of mindset and I'm going to do it the hard way. No M at all to prevent myself from further cravings. This is going to be a major challenge now, but I still don't have any doubts. I can and will do it. I will be free.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 15, 2016, 05:46:58 AM
26 days bro, proud of you, u the man dude !

stay strong in your hardship, get stronger even, use that storm to get stronger, when you look back at it in a few months you will see how this 'test' made you stronger. whatever happens, happen for the best ;)

you got some steel mindset, thats great to see bro ; going back is not an option of course. food, porn, smoking, alcohol and other many addictive behaviours are so many ways people (and I used to also) used to get rid of stuff they don't want to go trough (feelings, anxiety, emotion, stress and so on).

As men, we got to be stronger and face it like real men. on the other side of addiction is real life and freedom. freedom of doing what we truly want. if life get hard lets get harder.

peace bro, great to see you are going well. we will both succeed, i got no doubt for both of us !
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 17, 2016, 05:31:59 PM
I'm going to do it the hard way. No M at all to prevent myself from further cravings.

Well, this plan failed. Got very drunk again this weekend. I maintain my abstinence from porn and porn-subs and that's what matters, but to maintain this I need return to a healthier lifestyle.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: J_24 on September 19, 2016, 06:21:13 AM
Great going man.. some serious progress since you began. keep it up buddy.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 19, 2016, 03:07:00 PM
Thanks, J_24!

This weekend was like the emergency landing of a plane. I MO'd several times due to feeling really low and felt horrible porn cravings. I thought it would make them go away, giving in at least to M. It didn't help and it's a miracle I made it. Drinking a bottle of hard liquor after breaking up with my girlfriend would normally guarantee I'd return to porn, but somehow I managed to tell myself not to give in to the addicted brain. I should feel stronger, but I don't. I need to go hard mode now and start working out again. Depression is setting in and if I sit there doing nothing, it will sooner or later drive me into relapse.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on September 20, 2016, 11:23:45 AM
Hello achilles heel,

first of all I want to congratulate you for all you have accomplished so far. That is a victory itself. I can't imagine how hard it has to be to break up with girlfriend. I was just rejected by a girl recently. But I can relate to becoming depressed once again and for that I would recommend you this TEDxTalk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXy__kBVq1M with some tips what to do and a short story:

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question.
 
Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: ..."How heavy is this glass of water?"
 
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
 
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
 
She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything." It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!


Good luck.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 20, 2016, 03:26:12 PM
stay strong dude. about depression, which i know well, from personal experience, sport and social stuff are your savior.

sport : workout, and workout hard, lift weight, push ups, do sprint (a lil footing will do nothing for a drepressed state), but make your heart beat and your body sweats. It REALLY help.

social : we are social animal, so go see your friends bro, talk to them, it feels good


and try (its hard but you have to) not to compromised and do stuff you would not really want to do. cause being weak (even in tough times) will kill your mindset and you won't see the opportunities of life coming.

so not only hang in there bro, get back up. do some sport, see people, and do not act on your urge.

peace bro !
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on September 22, 2016, 12:15:14 PM
Hey Achilles, I hope you're able to heal from this breakup in a healthy way. I feel that mourning a loss is important, but yes it's also imprortant to not "hold the glass too long" and get out there and go for a sprint :)

Hope you're well,

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 23, 2016, 11:43:58 AM
Thanks a lot for your support, guys! I shouldn't have called it "depression", because I certainly don't suffer from depression and am far away from what others on here go through. It was just the addition of recent break-up, hangover and feeling low due to the progress of reboot at the end of the first month that came together.

I'm five weeks free now and feeling good at the moment. If there are depressed feelings setting in, I have to learn to identify them as part of the reboot process. They will pass. It's important to keep improving, to work out, do sports, live healthy and get my tasks at home done, no matter how low I might feel for a moment.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 24, 2016, 11:22:26 AM
36 days clean

It's amazing how during every reboot I feel really low during days 20-30 and afterwards start feeling better again. It shows that it's not my real state of mind that affects me, but my starving addicted brain. Theself's tactics of just pushing through by excessive workout and forcing one self to just keep walking is the best way to handle those lows.

As I didn't make it three months porn free in 15 years now, I guess I need to fully reboot first to be able to experience my real self. Like I mentioned before, this addiction often made me feel schizophrenic and I'm just so fed up to be a slave to pixel induced dopamine highs. 36 days feels like a success already and the counter is really motivating, as I can't wait to see it go completely green!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on September 27, 2016, 03:18:51 PM
Great bro, you are doing great, keep going like this, keep murdering the game like this dude ! days are increasing faster than we think (fuck are we already in oct 2016), time passes so fast, we got to stay strong, improve, get better and time will be our ally (i deeply think that with each day of not fapping, of keeping the semen inside, i'm getting better mentally and physically). your 90 days will come faster than we think i'm sure of it, so lets keep our grinding and hustling on point.

glad to see that our counter are increasing and that no relapse is in sight lol (relapse is not fucking allowed right now, we came to far to only came this far)

peace man, stay strong !!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 01, 2016, 01:07:37 PM
43 days clean

Amazing progress, cravings once in a while, but not as heavy as around week 3-4. From now on it's getting easier, but I'll have to keep my awareness and long-term motivation.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on October 02, 2016, 02:07:17 AM
awesome bro, you are making history right now. keep going ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on October 02, 2016, 04:12:09 PM
Hey buddy,

Just got through reading your journal since the last time I commented. What a roller-coaster! It looks like you've done alot of soul searching in that time and are on the right track. I'm on a month myself and it's a pretty neat feeling. The hardest part seems to be in NOT mounting every woman I see haha. I'm finding the less I think about the process the easier it is. That seems to be in line with what I learned previously.

Cheers,

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 03, 2016, 11:24:47 AM
45 days clean

Halfway through the initial 90 days, that's a good thing. I developed a rather good strategy for myself to handle cravings. As soon as they arise I rationalize about them, thinking "Okay, if I give in then WHAT?", and it leads me to think about how this addiction will never lead to satisfaction. It's all about a bigger high, all the time. It starts with usual Facebook / non-nude triggers appearing. But I just prevent myself successfully from clicking by realizing how the initial rush of watching will lead to demand a bigger high immediately and how I will just waste hours and hours, feel like shit afterwards and not feel any real gratification.

I need to unlearn my addictive behavior and with every "No!" I'm getting closer. Yesterday some flirting on a chat went sexual and I interfered as I realized how this aroused me and she already offered sending me nudes. I already went too far into the danger zone and have to be cautious now, but at least I managed to resist to what I would have considered a relapse.

The problem of porn addiction in all its varieties is maybe deeper rooted within society than any of us might imagine. We're just the pioneers to fight what might be epidemic in a decade from now. Sexting seems to be totally normal these days, 10-year-olds have smartphones with nobody to control what they access to and if I look at the struggle of our generation who's in their 20s now, I guess the next generation with permanent access to high speed internet everywhere will be in big trouble. It's about time this addiction gets recognized as a real threat to society by mainstream media and scientists.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on October 05, 2016, 02:40:18 AM
True that brother!

Everything you said in this post resonates with me! Much truth man!

I feel that this addiction is interwoven into all parts of our society, making it very hard to undo the conditioning that's already in our minds surrounding sex. It might possibly be one of the toughest habits to kick...... ever :/



...........but not impossible :)

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 08, 2016, 08:51:33 AM
50 days clean

Just a little update, I'm still doing well. Despite breaking up with my girlfriend and having some conflicts at work I didn't consider porn an option to run away anymore. On the contrary I stood up for my opinion and didn't avoid confrontation, something I'd have preferred not long ago. Of course avoiding porn isn't the solely cause for my personal improvement and doesn't do any wonders, but it goes hand in hand with growing up and becoming a self-confident person.

I feel that this addiction is interwoven into all parts of our society, making it very hard to undo the conditioning that's already in our minds surrounding sex.

I'm glad I gave up watching TV, music videos were my biggest trigger for a long time. Due to abstaining from porn and porn subs I gained some distance to oversexed music videos and if I get to see one today it seems grotesque to me the way girls are presented there. Same goes for commercials. To overcome this addiction permanent precaution is necessary and at some point it seems really hard. Luckily this community helps in case of doubts, because we're not alone in this struggle.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on October 09, 2016, 02:27:38 PM
50 days bro ! you rocks ;) keep going !
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on October 12, 2016, 01:37:39 AM
Hey Achilles!

Good on ya mate for staying clean, and staying commited!!

I can't totally relate with what you're saying about not being on porn giving you more confidence; I'm starting to feel the exact same way. Or maybe another way to look at it is that now without porn, we no longer have that tormenting parasite sucking away our strength and confidence which allows us to deal more strongly with life's difficult challenges when they arise.

And also, yes, I totally agree with you that this forum gives us much needed support to talk to each other about the stuff we're going through, and know that many others are going through similar stuff :)

All the best! Talk to you soon!!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 15, 2016, 01:14:01 PM
57 days clean

It's been a week since I wrote the last entry on my journal and despite still being on track with my main goal, staying away from pornography, my life is heading towards the wrong direction. I have to interfere. I'm working too much, eating fast food, drinking too much alcohol, not doing sports/work out lately, not reading and MO as a stress relief which is slowing down my progress, if not setting me back.

Carelessness is setting in, I feel distant towards my last relapse as it's long gone and feel in control concerning my addiction. This is the turning point where I'll head towards a new relapse soon if I don't return to a healthy lifestyle.

I'll set up a plan for the next 10 days

- adding a counter to the no P and P-subs: hard mode
- no fast food, sugar and alcohol
- reading at least 20 pages of a book every day
- listen to 5 new albums during this week
- work out every day, at least 15 minutes
- go to bed early and wake up early
- cell phone stays out of the bedroom
- maximum of one hour internet use every day (except for rebootnation and journal entries)

I will complete this plan and when completing 10 days I'll make a decision if I extend it or return to the lazy life I lived for over a week now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on October 15, 2016, 03:34:34 PM
nice decision bro. yes, we got to be aware of getting confortable. be healthy, its the best decison you can take. workout, eat clean and so on

anyway keep going, and of course, don't return to your 'lazy' life, no point and fullfillment in it ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 19, 2016, 11:44:21 AM
Thanks, Theself!

Well, I'm still porn free and just entered hard mode, but failed at almost every other aspect of my plan. Struggling with low energy, not getting up early in the morning, not preparing food, spending too much time on the internet and my cell phone. I've got to break this vicious circle and will start another intent right now.

My main principle remains staying away from porn. I notice my increased self-confidence and can just repeat that it's not placebo. When I entered third month last time, I had some doubts if this was really progress due to avoiding porn. After relapsing a dozen times afterwards, I was nervous around people again and the excessive sweating worsened.

Now that I'm back at month three I realize how I greet strangers with a clear, loud voice and look them in the eyes. How I don't have a problem entering a room full of unknown people looking at me. How I maintain eye-contact with girls. I don't need scientific validation, it's obvious, it's there, it's proven (to me) how porn had those negative effects.

Living porn free is the door opener to a fulfilled life, but I've got to walk through this door on my own.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on October 20, 2016, 03:25:07 PM
day 62 congrats bro !! coming back aint an option now :)

motivation dude, motivation motivation, its just a matter of motivation, doing the things you don't want to do or have the energy to.
but u got to do those things because at the end, you will get back on track and you will looking back at those weak days and say to yourself "fuckk how many days have i wasted doing nothing, being lazy and just watching myself being lazy" and you will be pissed cause those days are lost for ever and could have been used to move forward and progress.

i'm telling u that bro because i spent the last 7 days being passive, lazy and confuse, thinking way too much for nothing and doing nothing.

and now i'm waking up and i'm just pissed because I wasted a week.

anyway, energy and motivation fluctuates and vary greatly, so we got to keep our spirit high when your body and mind are low.

and you must know this, but beware of those slipping and settling periods, cause they are the seeds of all relapses. a bad day, a cancel event and u got to stay at home. u are in bad mood and  don't want to do anything, especially cooking, so lets get some fast food and watch TV...2 hour later you are about to relapse and your mind is rationnalizing against you and relapse is very likely to occur

anyway stay well my friends, watch some eric thomas (etthehiphoppreacher) on youtube to get pumped up, but yes being proactive and self-motivated is a  great skill to acquire.

i totally relate for the confidence part, voice, eyes, attitude, swag, yes you are different for sure. but at the end, its just how we are supposed to be i guess, its just porn thats fuck up everything

peace bro
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on October 21, 2016, 10:00:05 AM
Well written THESELF, I got a lot from that post!

I checked out some Eric Thomas. That's some powerful speech man!!

All the best both of you!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 23, 2016, 03:58:48 PM
motivation dude, motivation motivation, its just a matter of motivation, doing the things you don't want to do or have the energy to.
but u got to do those things because at the end, you will get back on track and you will looking back at those weak days and say to yourself "fuckk how many days have i wasted doing nothing, being lazy and just watching myself being lazy" and you will be pissed cause those days are lost for ever and could have been used to move forward and progress.

You have no idea, how your words influenced my weekend.

Yesterday I woke up and started my day wrong. I had some "I wish I was 20 again and could undo all the PMO shit"-thoughts and numbed my self-pity with some MO. Soon after I felt like I needed more and I was still feeling down with no energy. My addicted mind tried to sneak in, telling me that if I relapsed on porn, I could start a new streak and would have the motivation of the initial reboot phase again. Yes, despite immediately fighting this thought it really occurred. I didn't have the motivation to cook and went out to buy some sweets full of sugar, because I felt I needed something to calm myself down and would go out drinking later to have a good time.

When I was on my way to pay the garbage food, I remembered the quote about the wasted days. I left the sweets at the store and left with fruits. Instead of returning home I decided to stay outside, went shopping new clothes, new music, a new book and a new movie. Afterwards I felt better already and forced myself to buy fresh food and cook in advance for yesterday and today.

I didn't eat sugar during the last 36 hours, but instead fruits, vegetables, chicken, rice, oat flakes and eggs. Instead of drinking alcohol and going out, I did a hard work out, went to bed early, woke up early and did more than 3 hours of sports today. I finished my tasks at home and guess what? I don't feel exhausted but full of energy and I'm happy I made this decision at the supermarket yesterday.

I do have a choice, not only to leave porn behind, but to pull myself out of the no-motivation-hole. So, thanks a lot, Theself, you are an inspiration and your words do have a real impact in terms of motivation.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on October 25, 2016, 05:02:12 AM
rah bro thx for your words. and congrats for your choice, you did the right one.

you got to read my latest post on my journal (realized some stuff about motivation), because i found myself yesterday almost slipping (dude you save me, i was like fuck it i'm tired, fuck dishes, fuck cleaning the home, fuck it, go to bed and tomorrow is another day) but i say to myself "lets see the forum if anything new" and bim, read your message!

what followed immediately : dishes, cleaned home, planned the day for tomorrow and then just decided and realized "I  CAN'T continue like that to be vulnerable to my energy and mood swings, its not possible, i got to have the eye of the tiger, the lion mindset and be motivated, self motivated because if i don't i would never have what and i want to have and i would never be the guy i can be. deep down i crave forward progress and improvement, but i got to motivate myself to, and i got to be deliberate about it"

=> resolution, every morning i wake up, rush to the cold shower and listen to a motivationnal tape from my man eric thomas. each day from now on (started today), when i wake up, i decide to win the day, thats it. no more hesitation, back and forth and so on.

one good principle for everyone and for everythin: don't make an habit of choosing whats feels good to you rather than whats actually good for you.

Also bro, a good advice, get yourself some morning rituals to jump start your day, to be energized, to get that sense of accomplishement as soon as the morning, and to deserve that healthy breaksfat of yours ! For me its cold shower and working out, for others its méditation or journaling, i dont know but i can garantee you that it makes a difference.

btw bro, from my own exp, if you can, go masturbation free if you can, i swear, not wasting the semen in the bed sheet is game changer, your body heals and improve in every way. its awesome, you look in the mirror and you start to realize those cliché sentences : "my body is wonderful, my body is marvelous " etc for real

have a great day bro, win this one, i will win mine ;)


Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 29, 2016, 12:11:40 PM
71 days clean

Well, it's the third time I break the 70 days mark. Second time this year. That's a huge success already. While I'm struggling with life improvement in other areas and recently faced a relationship breakup and frustration at work, I'm managing very well to resist porn and porn subs.

Also bro, a good advice, get yourself some morning rituals to jump start your day, to be energized, to get that sense of accomplishement as soon as the morning, and to deserve that healthy breaksfat of yours ! For me its cold shower and working out, for others its méditation or journaling, i dont know but i can garantee you that it makes a difference.

btw bro, from my own exp, if you can, go masturbation free if you can, i swear, not wasting the semen in the bed sheet is game changer, your body heals and improve in every way. its awesome, you look in the mirror and you start to realize those cliché sentences : "my body is wonderful, my body is marvelous " etc for real

have a great day bro, win this one, i will win mine ;)

Thanks a lot, Theself. The first advice is something I need to do immediately and I'm already planning on it. But for the second one I'm not ready yet. You are right, though, but mentally I'm not where you are yet. As I come from hours of PMO every day, I'm happy having excluded porn from my life and reduced MO to once or twice a week. I want to go hard mode, but I'm not ready yet.

The most important thing is to ban this destructive addiction from my life and I'm glad to have you and PeaceOfMind running with me with increasing success. Finally I do have the belief to not relapse again, to have a choice and to look at your success and find examples of people who break free. We all can and I hope to finally break the three months for the first time ever and become a helping example for others. For all those at the very beginning who relapse every 3 days and lose faith. Everyone has been there, but the key is not giving up and I'm proud to be here and being stronger than ever. Porn is not an option!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 01, 2016, 06:28:06 PM
75 days clean

So, today this turns into my second longest streak of porn abstinence and I got a little reminder of why I never made it past the third month. While the second month was rather easy, I'm now experiencing very strong cravings. Life's not much fun lately, I fail to maintain a positive attitude because I'm not happy with my personal situation and my situation at work at the moment. The incoming cold, dark winter days are causing more trouble as I go out less and spend more time in front of computer and cell-phone.

But I made a decision and will stick to it: Disappearing in the world of sexual images and videos to escape reality isn't an option. As it's grey outside porn offers a contrast of colorful, fast, easy accessible pleasure to numb the incoming winter depression. But it would be a setback in so many ways. It won't solve anything. I have to learn to just let go and despite being at 2 1/2 months I realize that there's a long process ahead. The "magic" 90 days won't solve anything. It's about constant progress and Theself is right that I should add abstinence from MO, as it's worsening the temptation and it's slowing down my progress.

I always fail after a week when entering hardmode, but three years ago I couldn't make it 3 days without porn and now it's almost three months. It's up to me and once again I have to pull myself out of the hole. While I continue to abstain from porn, I will now stay off MO too as long as I can. I know I got the mindset to finally overcome porn. I can and will make it, but I have to increase the effort and fight the negativity surrounding me lately.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on November 02, 2016, 06:30:23 AM
Such a nice mindset and analysis dude, keep going.

Yup its hard, i can tell you i almost put everything in my life into question the last few days and fell into many of my old démons. So yes when the mood is low and you start to here that voice in your head, «fuck i cant stand it anymore, im going to explode, fuck this life, im going to fuck everything, i m going to.give in» dont listen like i did last week, cause your mindset is going to take a huge blow and it will take some time to comeback and a.setback is always frustrating
As i think back about all of it, we.got to go step by step and honor this process thats taking place inside us, just respect this process of gradual self improvement inside us, thats what im realizing.right now. Step by step, not rushing anything

Keep going dude you doing.a great job
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 06, 2016, 11:54:47 PM
80 days clean

Sounds great, doesn't feel so. I failed going hardmode again and porn cravings are there. Maybe my problem is having unrealistic expectations towards the end of the third month. To me it's like eternity already since I last watched porn and when I get triggered by some ad or thumbnail, it's rather frustrating. Like: Why are these urges still there? Will I never be free? Shouldn't I just give up already?

The answer is: No! I have to be patient. Social anxiety got a lot better, but 80 days without looking at porn don't automatically change my whole life. I do, step by step. I'm proud I implemented some sort of inner barrier against porn, even when I was drunk I managed to say "No!". As I mentioned above I'm not happy at the moment, but finding solutions for the better is always possible. I need some time for myself to find out where I'm heading to in life. The perspective of not being able to drown my trouble in porn anymore seems to stress me unconsciously.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on November 07, 2016, 12:44:21 PM
Hey Achilles!

You will be free from PMO cravings, but it will take time. One way I like to think of it is - you are already free! This 80 days without porn gives you the opportunity to look around and say "hey, I do still have cravings, but this thing isn't really in my life anymore. This is an opportunity to shift my focus onto something else, now that the addictive force of PMO isn't breathing down my neck nearly as strongly as it was." Perhaps you can turn your focus to playing an instrument (even if it is playing it poorly, don't feel like you have to amazing, just play the frickin thing for the joy and therapeutic benefit of playing), or perhaps meditation to try and calm the mind down a little bit, or going for walks in nature (I find that powering up hills on a nature walk is a good way to let go of inner frustrations and stress), or getting a bit more social interaction in.

I feel that 80 days is an amazing benchmark! And that even though it isn't your whole life YET, it will eventually turn into that, and that you can use your happiness and pride about this achievement to fuel further staying away. For me, I just try not to think about the stuff as much as possible, as well as making changes in the rest of my life (although that part has not been as drastic as some others). I find that if I let myself even start thinking and fantasizing about porn, then that’s the beginning of falling down the slippery slope!!

I hear you on the depression setting in from winter - it can easily happen to me too. I'm planning to try and get out more, outside and in nature, at the same time continuing my job (even though jobs can suck sometimes, I find that they are actually really important for getting us out of the house and doing SOMETHING, even if it isn't what we want to me doing deep down). If it's one of the REALLY shitty jobs (whatever that means to you), maybe consider getting something that at least won't completely destroy your soul and morale and happiness.


I believe in you man! And I believe in all of us!! We CAN leave this stuff behind!

Much love!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 15, 2016, 02:04:48 PM
Don't quite know how to handle this, but I decided to not reset my counter despite having looked at porn subs. Was really high and drunk and stumbled upon some non nude galleries. I didn't M and as I caught myself entering a Google search to open an infinite buffet of pics, including some nudes, I screamed "No!" to myself and closed it.

I set myself on probation now, any further looking will reset the counter, but I guess if I do so now I might relapse completely.

Good thing is I managed a week without MO, need to be very aware now. I must not throw away all the progress. Anyway, will add an extra month to the counter goal as I don't feel like "celebrating" the 90 days after this incident. Once again it happened close to the third month mark. I need to work harder and don't lose focus.

Thanks for your inspiring words, Peace! I do have a creative output and lots of things to focus on, I even managed to solve some of the trouble at work with a good conversation lately. During my years of reboot (attempts) I advanced in so many ways, but somehow always fell back into the abyss. It's up to me to really live the new life and overcome addiction. I need to build the belief that a different life is possible, staying strong now is possible and it's not that hard after all. I can do it, we all can.

Much love to everybody!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 24, 2016, 12:15:20 AM
97 days clean

Despite that little episode of looking at non nudes without M'ing, I consider myself to be at the most advanced state of reboot yet. There's no miracle happening, but the little steps in self-confidence and a more balanced life are summing up to confirm that a porn free life is possible and a lot better.

I'm over two weeks MO-free and after feeling down due to break-up having some success with girls lately. The rewiring due to sex is adding a lot to the progress and for the first time ever I'm feeling free. I know I'm still far away from where I want to and could be, but it's up to me to just reach my goals.

I remain prepared for a possible set back, but while I'm not updating frequently it just means porn is just not bothering me and I'm busy living my life as I should have done long ago.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on November 24, 2016, 03:59:37 AM
Good for you man!! Keep up the good work and progress!!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on November 24, 2016, 08:54:53 AM
oh yeah baby, you are doing great, keep going don't relapse, and like you said very well, live the life you are supposed to live !

peace man (for me, i'm coming back !)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: nuel2016 on November 24, 2016, 01:31:05 PM
Thanks, Theself!

Well, I'm still porn free and just entered hard mode, but failed at almost every other aspect of my plan. Struggling with low energy, not getting up early in the morning, not preparing food, spending too much time on the internet and my cell phone. I've got to break this vicious circle and will start another intent right now.

My main principle remains staying away from porn. I notice my increased self-confidence and can just repeat that it's not placebo. When I entered third month last time, I had some doubts if this was really progress due to avoiding porn. After relapsing a dozen times afterwards, I was nervous around people again and the excessive sweating worsened.

Now that I'm back at month three I realize how I greet strangers with a clear, loud voice and look them in the eyes. How I don't have a problem entering a room full of unknown people looking at me. How I maintain eye-contact with girls. I don't need scientific validation, it's obvious, it's there, it's proven (to me) how porn had those negative effects.

Living porn free is the door opener to a fulfilled life, but I've got to walk through this door on my own.

I totally relate bro.. I went for so long without PMO, then I relapsed for some weeks, and now I am back. I had the same same problems that you had and i also have realized how porn fucks one up. I am thankful for this site because it helps alot to see people who go through the same stuff you go through. I have also been spending so much time online, so I decided to delete my FB and IG app for a while and see the difference that it makes. This is also because some inapporpriate pics are in the sites which I cant control sometimes from popping up in my feeds.
Anyway keep up the good fight bro. I hope you will be inspired to go on and on. I am far back. But stories like yours keep me going
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Red on November 28, 2016, 11:32:03 PM
50 days clean
Due to abstaining from porn and porn subs I gained some distance to oversexed music videos and if I get to see one today it seems grotesque to me the way girls are presented there. Same goes for commercials.

I've noticed that too.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 06, 2016, 12:34:58 PM
109 days clean

Well, time for a major update as I didn't write in a while. First of all thanks for your comments and support, this means so much to me and if it wasn't for this community I had lost hope long ago. Really, while porn addiction destroys lives, this community may save them. The tools are there, the support is there and we're all going through the same struggle and desperation at some point. It's just necessary to not give in and to always get up after each relapse.

So did I 109 days ago. More than 100 days without PMO means the longest streak of my life (since I came in contact with porn). When I remember my never ending porn sessions, I remember this absurd search (searching is the key in dopamine addiction) for the perfect picture, the perfect video sequence, the perfect moment to finish. And of course I wouldn't stick to this, but search for an even better high right afterwards. A never ending search for a bigger high - the holy grail.

Despite of falling into the abyss of fetish porn categories I somewhat preferred regular porn to finish. Leaked celebrity videos or first time videos of softcore models were those "holy grails". And I sometimes recognize this pattern when getting triggered by a related article of some celebrity girl on the beach or - as happened a few days ago - a news page publishing an article about a new "challenge" on instagram.

"Instagram models are taking nude selfies barely covering themselves? You MUST click on this due to investigative interest...", my addicted brain tried to sneak in. And I just say "No.". This "No" is not an arguing, loud negation anymore, I'd like to compare it to a scene from the third Indiana Jones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuDTgFF14B8), it's Sean Connery standing there and saying "Let it go.", it's a wise voice inside my head knowing this will lead to no good and how it's just not worth it. I nurture this voice and with every success it gets stronger.

Maybe the name of my journal is kind of misleading, as I myself expected some sort of freedom at the beginning. I won't be free from this addiction after a certain amount of days, I probably never will, but I learn to shrink these addicted pathways to insignificance step by step. Another important step was a change of cell phone and computer. The barrier of keeping both porn free from the very beginning helps a lot. This feels like a new life already, but there is also a different side to the success.

I'm part of the first generation that had seen hardcore porn in its varieties before their first kiss, that grew up with instant satisfaction due to a screen. The problem is: I'm not 20 anymore and this behavior is carved deep inside not only of my brain pathways, but also my understanding of love and sex.

I might be curing my social anxiety and at some point complete a reboot of the brain, but overcoming this addiction means learning to live. Understanding how the constant search for bigger highs ruined my ability to maintain a healthy relationship. Sexually themed dopamine addiction leads to a general unhappiness, in some cases even to severe depression. The motivation of just curing symptoms as social anxiety or sexual dysfunctions won't be enough to overcome this addiction. It needs to be understood as a whole, as the root of not being able to live a happy and satisfied life.

I guess that this insight gave me the final push to really advance and - until now - succeed. To conclude this journal entry I will extend my goal to 200 days, try to succeed at avoiding MO completely and also return to a healthy lifestyle as I lost focus on that lately. I'm at the very beginning, I've got an incredible amount of potential left and I'm not willing to waste it anymore.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: senterol on December 06, 2016, 06:02:54 PM
Great post man!
109 days is quite impressive, did you do it entirely in hard mode? And is that your first long run?
I am on day 46 and its quite a difficult journey. Lets hope that we all succeed to eliminate completely porn from our lives.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 12, 2016, 06:10:44 PM
115 days clean

I notice how I finally believe in my own success. This belief gives me strength to keep advancing. But I know that I have to be aware, this journey has just begun and there is a long way ahead. Will try to write a bigger update this weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 18, 2016, 12:14:19 PM
I know that I have to be aware

No, I didn't. Dear Reboot Nation, I'm back at day 0 and instead of a major update about 4 months without porn, I have to write about relapsing the whole weekend.

I had a rule: The phone stays out of my bed. But as I was already feeling safe, I broke this rule for a while now. Friday night I was chatting with a girl and the conversation moved towards talking about having sex again (we did a few weeks ago), I started remembering and already MO'd while we were exchanging fantasies. Yesterday she sent me pics and I relapsed completely on sexting, today I woke up and she wasn't online so I watched some P subs, then porn and then escalated into hours of edging until the PMO final.

I played with fire and lost control again, now it's important to get up immediately and avoid further relapses. My addicted mind will try to trick me into relapse telling me "Now everything's lost" or "Starting again on 1/1/2017 will be a major cut" or whatever excuse there might be.

Every peek at p subs is a relapse, no sexy chat, no edging, no M at all, I need to go hardmode and put restrictions back on my phone and computer immediately. Going to bed before midnight and leaving the phone outside are rules to be followed every day.

This is an emergency and I hope I will make it through the next two weeks!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on December 19, 2016, 08:41:26 AM
Sorry to hear about that achilles, but remember that you are not at the beginning. One fall won't vanquist all the process you've accomplished. Even so I think that your major update is still a worth of putting together.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on December 23, 2016, 02:52:55 AM
Hey Achilles! We're behind you 200% man!

And like Hablablos said, it really isn't day '0'. You've made HUGE progress, and the thing to do now is move as quickly as possibly out of the 'relapse zone'. Go outside, talk to people, interact with real humans, forgive yourself! Remember that we all have weaknesses, and remember that this journey is going to have a few set backs.

My last PMO relapse was on July 27th, but before that, I'd gone 3 whole months without PMO! Luckily I was able to NOT turn that one relapse into a string of relapses. (And I felt really bad after that relapse!), but luckily, the community was there for me, and gave me encouraging advice about how to get out of it as quickly as possible. So in the end, I viewed that one relapse as a minor step backwards in a huge string of steps forwards :) It ok man! One relapse doesn't make you a horrible person. We're all trying to get away from this super tempting stuff, and we're all looking forward to the amazing benefits we will enjoy once we are more healed.

Keep up the good work! And we all love you man!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on December 24, 2016, 07:59:13 AM
Hey achille, keep going man, its a necessary fail i think, a necessary setback, a set up for a comeback like they say. Learn from it, grow from it and get out stronger. Like they say also bro, use this pain/regret to fuel you and next time you feel tempted, draw from these regret to find the strenght to say no.

Btw, you are surely aware, but there is this chasing effect after a relapse that cause urge to be stronger i think, like, your animal brain took control during the relapse and now, it want more. So stay on your guard and keep going.

And yes, like they all said, one relapse doesn't cancel any of your effort, it just an opportunity to grow, so, yes, keep going dude, victory is the only option ultimately, so we'd better be strong.

peace man ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 25, 2016, 11:24:21 AM
Thanks a lot, Hablablos, Peace and Theself! Your comments mean so much to me and helped me get back up after relapsing again for two days until yesterday, just thank you!

I know about the chaser effect and it just got me. It's a bad setting currently, as I've got lots of free time on holidays and am staying alone at home too much because it's cold and dark outside. This shouldn't be an excuse, but the relapse happened once again and I now realize how far I've come before as these strong cravings had become unknown to me. Well, they're back. You're right, a relapse never is a setback to 0 and my progress isn't totally gone, but it's a major setback though!

I did underestimate the cravings, but yesterday finally blocked internet access at my old computer with a random keyword I just threw away. This is rather extreme, but I remember William's words about those ready to quit and those who aren't. Mentally I am ready to quit for a long time now, but I still need behavioural changes to achieve a long term success. Otherwise I will relapse sooner or later.

When I read through my journal I've got the answer right there, as I already spotted my internet addiction as a big problem and I've got to add my cell phone addiction without a doubt. I used to take my cell phone to bed, to the kitchen, even to go to the toilet. I won't live free if porn is always one click away. Cell phone stays out of bedroom, out of bath, out of my kitchen. I proved that I can make it almost 4 months PMO-free despite my cell phone and internet addiction. If I can change this behaviour, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Much love to each and everyone of you, thanks for helping me to get back up and all the best for you!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Theself on December 26, 2016, 07:54:39 AM
Nice to hear you with such nice outlook and resolution, lets make 2017 a great year bro ;)

4 month pmo free is a great achievement and just a stepping stone toward your next lvl. I agree too, block the temptation until you feel safe, there are times when we are confuse, not ready, and we are not feeling strong enough to make the right decision for us, so its better to block everything lol.

peace man !
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 26, 2016, 08:53:23 AM
Good to see you're doing well, Theself. In 2017 we both will finally succeed!

I just want to skip the last days of 2016, feeling like shit right now and have to make it through this week no matter how...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Dreieck on December 26, 2016, 07:35:33 PM
Yeah you almost got 4 Months thats awesome, just get back on the horse, sounds like you know yourself now a bit more and know what you have to look out for. Yeah the teasing part is difficult sometimes

cheers
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 29, 2016, 10:43:56 AM
Thanks a lot, Dreieck. Made it 5 days already and need to keep fighting strong urges. All the best for you!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Firstbigstep on December 30, 2016, 02:06:59 AM
Hi! We've not spoken before but your journal has been a great resource for me this morning.

I think things happen for a reason and there are so many points of commonality; I must have stumbled across your particular thread because I needed to read it.

Thanks for your honesty and inspiration.

2017 and success beckon.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 01, 2017, 05:37:31 PM
Day 1

It's not easy to write this as I feel kind of stupid, but I fell for the "You didn't make any progress so far and might restart on 1/1/2017"-trick I warned myself about right here.

So, here I am, 8 months after signing up, into the fourth year of having recognized this addiction and fighting it. I reached streaks of three and four months last year which means I made big steps forward.

This journal is getting kind of repetitive, but hopefully this is the last time I write "day 1". The only thing I know for sure is to be here until I finally made it and I will make it. I do love my life and want to live it porn free.

Hi! We've not spoken before but your journal has been a great resource for me this morning.

I think things happen for a reason and there are so many points of commonality; I must have stumbled across your particular thread because I needed to read it.

Thanks for your honesty and inspiration.

2017 and success beckon.

Thanks a lot, it's very encouraging to read that this journal was helpful because as I said above: I feel like repeating myself due to the relapses throughout this journey. I will check your journal as soon as I find the time and wish you all the best!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on January 02, 2017, 01:59:25 AM
Hey Achilles!

I've got my eye on you man, and hope you're doing great :)

I also love my life and want to live it porn free :)

Like I said in my post though: it can be hard to see that through the turbulence when you're going through the aftermath of a relapse :(

2017 is just gonna keep getting better for us :) Happy New Year!!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 03, 2017, 05:35:49 PM
Thanks, peace!

Day 3

I realize how I didn't work on my recovery anymore as soon as I made it 90 days clean and subconsciously felt safe already. I wasn't prepared at all for a relapse and not working enough on progressing. Until friday I'm very busy, but this weekend I have to watch out because boredom and cravings will be a terrible combination again. Will write more on my motivation to stay clean then to remind myself of the various reasons to quit and make it easier to endure cravings.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Firstbigstep on January 04, 2017, 01:17:25 AM
Hi Achilles

I'm at around 50 days PMO free, so don't have your insight into what it's like 3 months in, but I've found that identifying when I'm most tempted and then planning other activities helps me a lot. I know boredom, tiredness and hangovers are my weakspots, so I try to keep myself busy, well rested and sober!

Good luck with your recovery
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Rise Against on January 04, 2017, 02:08:17 PM
I read your story bro and although I'm new to this forum I want to wish you all the strength in the world. Tiredness and boredom are also my achilles heel ;) but we'll beat this thing man, with passion, power and hope for a beautiful future. We are all behind you!! Best of luck!!!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 07, 2017, 12:40:19 PM
Day 7

Kept myself busy working out and having an amazing creative output lately, if I look at the past week I've got the feeling that I made good use of my life time and that's what bothered me a lot: Porn is such a waste of time. I don't need to be bored, because there is always things to do and if I say I'm bored it's most likely due to procrastinating.

Thanks a lot for your nice comments, it helps a lot to not feel alone in this fight. The first month is always the worst and I hope to experience this for the last time. There will not be a relapse anymore, I'm done with this. There is not a single positive thing about porn, but there are tons of negative aspects. My life is better without porn and with a positive attitude towards life there shouldn't even be the question of using.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Firstbigstep on January 07, 2017, 02:48:01 PM
Achilles!

Spot on! Porn adds nothing to our lives except pain, discomfort and guilt.

We can all do this if we stick with our decision - the decision to NOT use any more.

Go for it. We all need the support of others - you have mine.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Rise Against on January 07, 2017, 06:37:31 PM
I totally agree now man!! Porn is definitely a waste of time. I can only imagine what I could have done with all those wasted hours/days or maybe weeks. Your attitude is inspiring man and I love reading your journal. Also thanks for the support/advise you gave me!! It already feels good someone is taking the time to read it!! I wish you good luck on your journey!!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 11, 2017, 02:43:14 PM
Day 11

Going through cravings at night. This is where I really regret my relapses in late december, as I was already over that. At some point I feel frustrated about my reocurring failures, as I should already be "free". How many times did I say "This was the last time!" or "I finally shut the door!"? And yet it's different now because I'm constantly unlearning my addictive behaviour. My streaks increase every time and I learn to deal with my negative emotions without numbing them with porn. I'm using my life time to do things I like and live a fullfilling way. If I relapse for two days on a weekend, it doesn't make fourth months without porn undone. I just want to get porn out of my life and I will never get tired of repeating this to myself: Porn is not an option. Porn is leading me to unhappiness, to low self-esteem, to increased symptoms of social anxiety, to depression, to self-hatred. Using porn makes it hard for me to look in the mirror, but I want to look in the mirror every morning thinking that I made use of the endless opportunites I have instead of wasting my life time watching pixels on a screen to get a dopamine high.

Thanks a lot for your support, Firstbigstep and Rise Against, we are going through this together. You have all my support too, keep improving!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 13, 2017, 04:24:27 PM
Day 13

Preparing myself for the weekend. Nutrition, sleep, workout and activities need to be planned in advance. No drinking allowed. I need my defenses as cravings will be strong.

I have to fight negative thoughts and stop blaming myself for the latest relapses. Instead I try to look at this addiction in a more positive way: Yes, it caused some serious damage. But it also forced me to reflect about my life and to improve. And while food, smoking, drinking or drug addition cause severe physical damage I'm still a healthy young man who "just" has to fix some brain cell wiring and by the way adapts a healthier and more conscious lifestyle.

Yes, withdrawals suck and it's certainly not easy for me as a porn addict to watch out for every possible trigger within our oversexualized society. But I notice how I tend to pity myself instead of having a clearer view on how lucky I should be with my cross to bear. Because there is a way out and it's up to me to finally leave this addiction behind.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: IAdmitItIHaveAProblem on January 13, 2017, 05:27:19 PM
You got this, G. Ain't no thang.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 15, 2017, 06:13:29 AM
Thanks, I!

Day 15

Yesterday was really easy, today I woke up with strong urges to M, but got out of bed immediately. Apart from my principal goal of no porn, no porn subs and no visual stimulation at all I'm trying to do the real hard mode with no M and no O at all. It's two weeks without O now and while I feel like it's really helping my recovery on the one hand, I feel like a loaded gun on the other and don't know if this puts me in even more danger to relapse on porn. I went hard mode (=no MO) for a longer time, but meanwhile still had sex. This is the first time of real hard mode and while I'm not sure how long this might last, it seems to have a very positive impact in terms of my recovery.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 27, 2017, 01:42:11 PM
I failed once again and will close this journal
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 04, 2017, 02:17:53 PM
I tried a lot, new journals didn't help, haven't managed a month without porn in a very long time now and quit writing about my addiction...

There is some unfinished business here and I edited the last entry because I don't feel like being ashamed of constant failures here. It shows the effort I had put in fighting my addiction and I want to continue and finally succeed.

My latest relapse was an hour ago and I don't feel bad, it didn't escalate badly and at some point I just switched off the computer deciding to leave porn behind. It's necessary to continue this journal and I won't close it before turning it into a success story.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 06, 2017, 11:01:56 AM
Day 2

I'm back counting days again, despite I generally agree on the hackbook not to do so. Anyway, the first month is a real struggle and cravings get very strong around the third/fourth week. Lately I already failed way before, because I didn't put in the necessary effort this addiction requires. My cell phone stays out of my bedroom, I don't "negotiate" about just a little peek at pictures or anything, I put the restrictions on my computer back on and limit my daily use of social media.

The last months haven't been easy for me, but if I use that as an excuse to return to my addictive behaviour, I'll never be free. I had to take a decision on making this fight my priority again and only by doing so I can and will succeed. I already had larger streaks of abstinence, but I need a fundamental change in my mindset or else I will relapse sooner or later if things in life don't go well for a while.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 07, 2017, 02:56:43 PM
Day 3

Instead of looking at the number of relapses, I look back at the success I already had. The main difference now is that back then I had a girlfriend, but living porn free must not depend on being in a relationship.

I must develop strategies against relapsing, stay aware and keep writing this journal. It's three days now and it feels like a success already.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 08, 2017, 01:42:19 PM
Day 4

Replacing my cell phone in bed by reading a book before sleep helps a lot in every way. I tried it before, but not as consequent as I should. If I manage to build new, healthy habits despite not all of them being directly connected to my addiction, it will get a lot easier to change my life as a whole.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on August 10, 2017, 01:09:53 PM
Hey Achilles!

Good to see you on here again!

I've also been going through a bit of a relapse streak, unfortunately. For the past 3-4 months I've been having a higher frequency of relapses, which (understandably) coincided with a streak of not really posting on here much :( BUT, I'm ready to get back on the wagon and keep on truckin'!

At the beginning (about a year ago) I was so inspired that I could quit this thing, but i think after some time passed I started to lose my resolve. But it's time to get back to this community and keep on posting.

Any suggestions for good blocking software for PC's?

Keep up the good work! Talk to you soon.

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 14, 2017, 04:08:48 PM
Day 1

Got way too drunk this weekend, took my cell phone to bed and relapsed. Have to find a solution for my cell phone, as soon as possible...

@Peace: Great to see you here, man! We have to confront this problem with more effort, life is better porn free... for my computer I'm using LeechBlock for Firefox and it works well also to regulate the time I spend online... still I'm searching for a similar solution for my cell phone.

Will check out your journal this week, let's get back on track here!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 19, 2017, 03:55:16 PM
Day 6

This page about withdrawals (http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/what-does-withdrawal-from-porn-look-like) is incredibly important for me. I didn't focus enough on my recovery at all and totally forgot about the tricks my mind plays on me to get its dopamine fix. Lately I relapsed on a weekly basis with usually 5-6 days between porn sessions. Unlike those quitting a daily habit for the first time, I don't experience any euphoria.

I'm going through some stage of depression and every relapse pulls me down a little more. I am addicted since age 14 and now turned 30. Every relapse made me think how I wasted too much time of the best years of my life in front of a computer masturbating to porn. I won't be 20 again as the receding hairline in the mirror tells me every morning and being still stuck in this addiction makes me feel self-hatred and regret. The fact that I tried so many things now adds helplessness to it - what am I going to change this time? I read the hack-book, I counted days and stopped counting days, I used a tracker and deleted it, I opened a new journal, deleted it again, returned to my old journal, put restrictions on my computer. As soon as I did well, I forgot about my priorities, lowered my guards and relapsed again. There doesn't seem to be any motivating aspect on fighting this addiction and I am thinking about what could be motivation enough to convince myself I will finally make it this time?

The answer is simple: All of the above! The fact that I am still here, dedicating lots of time on writing about my addiction, that I tried thousands of things to stop. I am not living free unless I kick this habit, otherwise I would just have accepted it already. I have to repeat this to myself everytime my withdrawal plagued mind tries to negotiate about a little dose: The pain of withdrawal does not compare to the pain of a wasted life! Not at all! It is not easy, but it's possible to get past that worst stage. I already did it before. And I have lots of beautiful things ahead in life if I just get to the point of being confident with who I am.

At the moment I am experiencing some sort of all time low and was very likely to relapse last night already. I am glad I managed to avoid it and look forward to get past this weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Faptain America on August 20, 2017, 07:21:48 PM
Hey buddy! Long time no see! I read through your epic relapse and am sorry to see that it happened. Maybe it's time to try something different? It seems like you start getting comfortable around the 100 day mark and shit goes sideways for you really quickly. Like, in a matter of minutes quickly. Don't get down on yourself over the number of days you lost or whatever. Don't even keep track of the days anymore. Write down your stop date and put it in an old book or something. All this stuff with streaks just brings your addiction to the foreground every time you see it. I've always found I was most successful when I had no idea how many days its been. Plus, when I did relapse i'd often be pleasantly surprised how long I went and didn't feel so bad about the relapse afterwards.

Just a thought. Don't be down on yourself. You know how hard the relapse zone can be. Besides, i'm sure it wasn't all bad times masturbating :)

Cheers,

-The Faptain
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 21, 2017, 03:04:41 PM
Hey, Faptain!

I'm glad to see you back here, your positivity is always a light in the dark and it's great to see how you advanced in the meantime. Looks like you did best out of the "class of 2016" ;)

As I mentioned I tried both: counting days and not counting. Doesn't make a difference, but I know that it gets a lot easier after 30 days and thus I keep counting for now.

I hope to read more from you, all the best for you!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 24, 2017, 03:30:10 PM
Day 11

Just completed 11 days without porn and the last two days euphoria set in. It was so much easier for me today to interact with people and now I just have to resist the cravings I will surely face this weekend. I'm going hard mode this time and feel prepared for the worst to come. It is totally worth it, I feel so much better yet and despite the low I will face some times, I just have to complete the first weeks and it will become easier.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 01, 2017, 03:15:14 AM
Day 1

I have to start again and learn from my mistake(s).
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on September 05, 2017, 12:57:10 AM
 Stick with it man, I'm on your side!   I totally know what you mean about the urges becoming stronger after you've gone a couple weeks because you start to forget but just remember how good it feels to be normal again :-)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on September 20, 2017, 02:21:23 PM
Hey Achilles! I'm just doing my weekly/bi-weekly/monthly checkup up (lol, sometimes I get lazy and don't check in as often as I should).

I hope you're doing well and staying strong man!! My thoughts are with you. Thanks for posting in my journal!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 23, 2017, 02:17:23 AM
Day 23

I've done very well so far and have been going through feeling low without giving in. Lately I don't know if I'm feeling depressed due to the reboot or if it's about a personal crisis, but I just forced myself to avoid any kind of porn or substitutes. Normally I would have relapsed already because at some point I'm feeling too lonely and cravings become too strong. I enter negotiation with myself and give in because I'm convinced that numbing my feelings is the temporary solution for my problems.

But I'm tired of this, I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I just have to stay strong for a while. This weekend is incredibly difficult so far, but I will not give in. Dealing with my negative emotions without numbing them is the biggest challenge of my life, but I have to be aware that nothing gets better if I enter some hours of bingeing on porn. Not at all.

Times will change for the better and I will be a happier person if I just stay strong for now. 2017 has been a tough year so far, but maybe it's just about time to kick my addiction at my personal low and make myself proud afterwards.

@Peace: Thank you so much for caring, it feels so good to not be alone on this journey. Hope you're doing well!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Firstbigstep on September 27, 2017, 01:20:38 AM
Only have a couple of minutes but just wanted to say Hi and that there is a lot of love and support for you here.

We're all in this together.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 03, 2017, 02:47:29 PM
Day 33

Well, first things first, I am actually cheating because technically I relapsed on day 30. A girl sent me nudes and I masturbated looking at them, edging for a long time. It was just bad timing because I had sex hours before (not with her) and the chaser effect set in. I also already suffered the consequences because due to edging I desensitized and had problems getting totally hard today when having sex again. I remembered the reboot advice to have sex without orgasm and didn't finish today, since the incident on day 30 I didn't have any orgasm and plan on going hard mode from now on.

I am very proud to not having relapsed to porn afterwards, normally relapsing on sexting is my step into the abyss of porn, but I just managed to avoid it. During my first 30 days I allowed myself to MO without edging to release the pressure once in a while because my hard-mode intents failed lately. Even though this isn't a "clear streak" I keep counting for myself, because it now has been more than a month since I last looked at porn or porn subs (aside those 10 nudes of a girl I know) and I made major improvements for the first time in months that I was stuck in a hole.

As my last entry tells I was going through some sort of all-time-low. Yes, 2017 has been a difficult year so far, but the depression is definitely part of the reboot. The day after my last entry I already felt better and during the last 10 days I didn't feel depressed anymore. I have to point this out to myself: I was feeling depressed, unattractive, full of regret due to my failed reboot intents and with no positive outlook to my future whatsoever.

Today I laughed about it, I am definitely above average attractive, my failed former reboots are not a problem because I just do it right now and my future holds lots of perspective for me. There will be self-doubts again and they are a door opener for my addicted brain to negotiate with me about numbing the pain. I have to remind myself that this will pass and staying away from porn is just about enough to feel relaxed and positive again.

I pushed through the first month without porn and left the hardest struggle behind, now it is time to further decrease MO - hopefully to none during month 2. It's also important to actively improve my life aside from just staying abstinent. I am preparing daily tasks for myself, force myself to socialize a lot and keep working on my social anxiety that has gotten a lot better already. Sports and work out make me feel better in many ways and I keep my routine. I do have certain long term goals about my job, my nutrition, sports and personal projects that I want to fullfill. I finally feel the energy to get everything done and if there is a new episode of depression I will leave this entry for myself to make sure: YES! It is about porn abstinence, it's not my natural state of mind and I just have to push through some lows to be confident with who I am again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 08, 2017, 03:47:08 AM
Day 38

It's now 38 days since I last looked at porn and I also successfully managed to go 8 days hardmode. This is a huge achievement and the good thing is that cravings decreased, I also don't feel depressed anymore. During 2017 I always fell back into the hole and relapsed before reaching the 1-month-mark.

It's important to maintain balanced, as soon as I feel too safe I am very likely to relapse and if I fall back into the hole of self-pity and depression, I also won't make it. This is one of the most important things about my reboot: Becoming emotionally stable. A sudden let-down isn't a reason to run for my dopamine fix. I just have to face it as sooner or later I will have to face my problems anyway. Nothing gets better by numbing myself. If I read through my journal, there's too much self-pity and whining going on - I am changing this and will succeed.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 10, 2017, 04:07:22 PM
Day 40

40 days no porn, 10 days hardmode, I've been there before, I have to stay aware, nothing new here so just a little reminder that porn is not an option!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 12, 2017, 02:39:11 PM
Day 42

12 days hardmode going on. Progress is incredible, it's almost 3 weeks without feeling depressed. I successfully stepped out of the vicious circle, now it's the daily little steps that motivate me. I had no problems speaking in a meeting for hours, I am able to express myself in a loud, clear voice and make eye contact. My hyperhidrosis is decreasing. At some point my craving addicted mind will try to convince me that it's all placebo and I could have my little dose of dopamine while still keep interacting with people the same way as before. Well, even if this was just placebo, why the hell should I stop taking it? If the difference between me being a happy person and me beeing depressed and full of self-doubts is just about stopping to look at porn, there is nothing to negotiate about. I am not making any sacrifice at all, porn is not an option anymore.

Still I have to remind myself that I've been to this point before and somewhat fell back into the abyss. Life is never just about the highs, but also the lows and I need to prepare myself to feel low again. It shouldn't catch me by surprise and I also need to stay aware about potential triggers. For now I am just happy and hope to maintain this positive mindset.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 14, 2017, 01:30:30 PM
Day 44

Until last night I went two weeks hardmode, today I had sex twice and now feel extreme porn cravings. Despite all the great rationalizations I made I feel weaker every minute that I do not give in and start to question myself and this journey... this might be a key moment in recovery and I'll go working out to hopefully get past this moment.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 15, 2017, 03:35:46 PM
Day 0

Relapsed completely, now I need an emergency plan to get back on the horse. I need to calm down, could see this coming and still felt totally powerless. This is frustrating, but I advanced a lot and learned about myself - the most important thing now is my attitude to avoid self-pity and instead keep changing my life for the better.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 17, 2017, 02:51:34 PM
Day 0

Relapsed again, was watching a YouTube Video totally unrelated to anything sexual, at the comment section some sexual image appeared as an avatar, clicked on it, sexual content appeared, I started watching and returned to porn. This is ridiculous and frustrating. No more YouTube or Facebook for a while, less internet in general, it doesn't feel like a total reset, but definitely like a step back. If I don't update for a while it will be due to drastically reducing my internet use.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 22, 2017, 01:04:50 PM
Day 0

Found a blocking device for my phone, hope this will make the difference, here we go...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 31, 2017, 04:12:54 AM
Day 1

Got so drunk, I passed out this weekend. Also found a way around my blocking device for my phone (and fixed it just now), turned into multiple relapses. I hit a point where I felt so ashamed about my drunk behaviour and the relapses that I didn't even want to get out of bed but keep watching porn instead to numb the negative feelings a little longer.

I could call the result a little nervous breakdown, forced myself to sit down and reflect on my life as a whole. Instead of self-hatred or shame I need to take a positive perspective and motivation out of what happened.

There are many things that have gone wrong over the years, but it's useless to look back in regret. I pointed out the things I love in life, things I want to achieve and the little things that give me everyday joy.

This is my last chance to change something, it's not about starting again and again anymore. While promising a life change is rather difficult I do promise I will make it 90 days without porn, porn subs, sexting, masturbation and anything sexual except for interaction with a real woman. Just the 90 days. And I will stick to do things just for myself that I chose because they make me happy.

At day 91 I am free to choose if I want to go back to scroll down my Facebook timeline for hours, masturbate to porn and stay at home procrastinating. For now I will give myself an example of 90 days of how life could look like if I did what really made me happy.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 06, 2017, 05:53:43 PM
Day 1

Oh, yes, I know, I was so dedicated to finally make it 90 days that I put myself under lots of pressure. Well, if it was just about will-power and self-discipline this wasn't page 10 of my personal addiction diary. I need to get rid of feelings of shame and self-hatred, it's well known but easier said than done. I somehow feel ashamed to provide too much failure to this community. I much rather want to write a success story, but after one year and a half all I managed is to significantly reduce the amount of porn I consume, not to avoid it at all.

The key is to replace my negative habits by positive ones and I realize that as soon as I skip routines, I'm closer to relapse. If I just sit there and wait for urges to pass, they will win, but if I live my life the way I really want to, there is no place for porn. Keys are well known:

- No cell phone in bedroom, less overall cell phone use
- Less Facebook, YouTube and other social media
- Healthy diet and work out routines
- advancing at my creative projects
- read more books

Sometimes I just need to motivate myself by force to start things. Today I didn't feel like going to the gym, I forced myself and now feel good. Will prepare food for tomorrow, read and go to bed, hopefully I manage to write more often and keep track of my recovery.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: alexis5 on November 07, 2017, 04:31:21 AM
Congrats! Your optimism is contagious!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 09, 2017, 01:41:16 PM
Congrats! Your optimism is contagious!

Thanks a lot! Great to see that someone takes something positive off of this!

Day 4

To add something more optimistic and positive: Despite the latest failures I didn't delete my personal day-count and now realize that out of the last 69 days there were 10 days that I looked at porn or porn subs. This also means I managed to live 59 days without porn, if I look back at the worst stage of my life I watched porn every day, lately it has been one out of seven. I won so much valuable time of my life and have to work harder to advance further. A relapse doesn't set me back to zero, if I fall I get back up and keep walking.

One major problem is my low resistance towards urges during the first 3-4 weeks as I'm feeling really depressed at some point and my addicted brain throws all kinds of self-doubts in to make me give in. Now I introduced something new, my personal statistics: Every day I write down how I experienced cravings, depression and social anxiety on a scale from 0-10. I hope to be able to visualize to myself this way that negative feelings will appear and disappear and become less and less as I advance. Currently I am experiencing euphoria and don't feel afraid or depressed at all, I try to use this energy doing sports every day and get in shape.
Title: roll the ball
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Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 30, 2017, 07:46:25 AM
Day 14

Well, there was a minor relapse inbetween, thus a little setback. Made it 2 weeks now without porn or porn subs, which is a good start. I'm happy with life lately, that's more important than counting days. Feeling some lows, but I know they will pass. Hopefully I am finally heading towards a success story as I feel the energy to go through the hard stage which is coming in.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 04, 2017, 06:09:18 AM
Day 18

Made it through the difficult weekend, aside from temporary ups and downs I feel the necessity of the long term success. There is no other option, I can not live a happy life without breaking free from this addiction.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Nofap901 on December 04, 2017, 08:31:51 AM
Keep it up man, there will be ups and downs but we can do this. Stay strong.
Title: Re: Free At Last
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Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 07, 2017, 08:35:37 PM
Keep it up man, there will be ups and downs but we can do this. Stay strong.

Thanks a lot for your support!  :)

Day 21

Just wanted to update. Life is great at the moment. Despite clear setbacks in terms of social anxiety I know I can not just sit there and wait for it to pass and instead try to interact a lot.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 10, 2017, 10:34:40 AM
Day 24

Things are going great, I advanced a lot on a personal level and am simply amazed by my own success lately. Anyway, I will prepare for the next weekend which might be the toughest to come, I know how often I failed around the one-month-mark and will stay aware!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 11, 2017, 11:15:20 PM
Day 26

Feeling down and very sensible, for every high there is a low and I have to deal with it. If I look at my journal I realize how I declared to be happy with my life at the moment, but there are still some particular moments that I feel sad for some reason and I also feel vulnerable to relapse.

I have to understand the essence of those temporary lows and that they as well might be withdrawals. No matter how low I might feel, I do not want to fall back into the vicious circle of my addiction ever again.

I did amazingly well so far and managed much more than just abstinence from porn. For the first time ever I feel like due to self reflection about my life as a whole I am now able to just live free no matter how many days have passed since leaving this addiction behind. Porn is not an option anymore.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 14, 2017, 02:11:04 PM
Day 28

Four weeks complete, now weekend's coming and I still feel kind of low. Will stay very aware, this will be the toughest challenge.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 15, 2017, 02:37:32 PM
Day 29

I feel like shit and the worst thing is: I announced this step by step. Like, I do not only know WHAT is going to happen, I even predicted WHEN it will happen and still I run around like an emotional wreck. I need to calm down, this is ridiculous. I won't accept another relapse or any self-pity afterwards, this is NOW or NEVER. This journal started 1 1/2 years ago and is on page 11, there is a REASON I am still here and this reason is that I want to get rid of this addiction more than ANYTHING else in my life.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 16, 2017, 09:04:06 AM
Day 30

I feel way better, still the last days really sucked to say the least. I always prepare myself for incoming cravings and withdrawals, but just rationalizing about it is not enough. While I do know how within a few days or even hours I can turn into an emotional wreck during reboot, it's hard to endure this immense loneliness and emptyness when it's there. I can not sleep and can not focus on reading a book either or distract myself otherwise. Instead I went to the gym and forced myself to workout to the point of total exhaustion, that way I could sleep afterwards and feel a lot better today.

It's now 30 days since I looked at porn or porn subs and I am proud to say I didn't even take a glimpse at anything related to artificial stimulation, one month cold turkey is a major victory yet and it's up to me to double the effort and avoid mistakes made in the past. I don't take the cell phone to bed, under no circumstances whatsoever. I try to follow the hardest advice of this very useful topic (http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=1256.0) and learn to love withdrawals. As soon as I am plagued by cravings or the feeling of loneliness, emptyness and depression I used to think the whole time about what to do to make it go away. And the easiest way to end the suffering is a relapse. Then everything starts again and going through the pain before wasn't worth anything. I need to stop crying and complaining and instead realize this a temporary pain.

Porn is not an option, failure is not an option. With the experience of failure and previous mistakes I am able to go through this and succeed. I'd rather feel like yesterday for the rest of my life than ever look at porn again and there is no second chance, no setback, no starting at day 0 ever again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 17, 2017, 05:13:59 AM
Day 31

Toughest weekend so far and it's almost done, I am reading on YBOP on a daily basis lately to not lose focus, things will become easier if I just pass this low.

However, christmas holidays and new year's eve are a time when I tend to relapse, because my addicted brain tries to convince me I should make a cut on January, 1st.

This won't happen this time, I will keep writing journal entries on a frequent basis and succeed. There is no turning back, porn is not an option.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 18, 2017, 04:28:52 AM
Day 32

Successfully made it past the weekend, hopefully things will become a little easier now. I already feel a lot better and think about my suffering and crying as being rather ridiculous. There are lots of people who are in real pain, I just stopped looking at porn, nothing else. Actually I am not suffering but winning my life back, have to gain a more positive perspective. Anyway, now that I got past the worst stage I will stay focused - especially around the holidays.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 19, 2017, 03:59:34 PM
Day 33

Feel better, easy going as during the initial phase of the reboot. The extreme low passed without giving in to cravings, this is a lesson for myself and I need to keep adapting this behaviour. I am happy with my new life despite temporary lows, this is what I want to achieve and I know that I can and will do it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 21, 2017, 03:31:49 PM
Day 35

I'm here, feeling good, didn't give in to any cravings and didn't suffer any consecuences - they are gone for now and they will always go, no matter if I do give in or not! Five weeks porn free, including all kinds of porn subs or any hypersexual thoughts. This is definitely a milestone yet, but I feel that the long lasting journey with hundreds of relapses damaged my belief in really overcoming this addiction, because I am still afraid of relapsing.

I already managed to stay clean for a longer time and still relapsed, what's the difference now?

It's the total dedication to this one goal in my life: Living life itself without the chains of addiction. No more porn induced dopamine highs, I'd rather feel like shit for a year if I finally find out more about myself, my potential and real hapiness instead of instant numbing my feelings through porn. I dropped high expectations as they lead to relapse. No, there are no super powers waiting. My social anxiety won't disappear by itself by abstaining, I do have to keep interacting with other people (and do very well so far). But only while quitting porn am I able to advance. I know that after every relapse I looked in the mirror with shame and disbelief as I didn't recognize myself. This feeling is vanishing and with every day that I face the mirror being proud to see the real me, I gain more confidence to talk to people.

No, I am not hiding any dirty secrets. Not anymore. Still there are shadows of the past and the fear of this "porn demon" inside me. I know better, I understand the science of my addiction and how it's mainly about my dysfunctional prefrontal cortex fighting a battle with the addicted pathways of my brain. Still it's kind of scary to experience this battle, it feels like there is something inside of me I want to get rid of. And there have been too many times it convinced me to be there forever.

Well, with every time my prefrontal cortex wins this battle it becomes easier to stay on the right path. It's not a demon I'm fighting, it's my choice to live free. I have to stay prepared to resist cravings and keep building my new, porn-free life despite incoming obstacles. It was hard enough to get past the initial weeks, relapsing would mean to go through this again and again, but I won't, I will succeed.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 22, 2017, 11:23:18 AM
Day 36

Feeling really good, still preparing for the incoming long weekend as it might be dangerous because of boredom and loneliness.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 23, 2017, 04:01:23 PM
Day 37

So far no danger, no cravings. Feel good, have a rather optimistic view on my future and believe to never go back to my addiction. It's important for me to be prepared for set backs though and learn how to handle feelings of loneliness and depression. I did very well so far and every time that I just endure feeling low without giving in to my easy way out that is porn, the addicted pathways will weaken.

I'm curious about what I'm capable of in every aspect, my self confidence is constantly increasing. I'm doing sports regularly, read a lot and lately force myself to attend social events without drinking alcohol. Overcoming social anxiety is a matter of facing fear and uncomfortable situations, there is no magic healing through avoiding porn. Anyway, avoiding porn and the shame that it causes to me is my only way to feel confident enough to do so sober.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 24, 2017, 05:48:01 AM
Day 38

Even if consciously avoiding any porn, porn subs or fantasies, my addiction doesn't give in that easy. Had two dreams last night about sexting with an ex-girlfriend and a girl I used to date. Both play an important role in my addiction history because with that ex-girlfriend I experienced sexting for the first time and with that other girl it escalated 3 1/2 years ago to the point that I intensified my intents to quit. In my dreams they sent me pictures and I had an inner fight if deleting or looking at them.

While being still half asleep but waking up after the second dream I thought about writing that girl (we remain friends with little contact today) and caught myself thinking that it might be easy to talk her into sending me nudes and it was only about knowing what she looked like today. I already entered into negotiations about "allowing myself" just this one look out of curiosity.

This is were I have to interfere now and educate my brain, this will not pass in 90 days, it will be a long task and sexting will remain the biggest enemy, because no porn blocker can avoid it. I experienced an even bigger dopamine rush out of viewing videos or pics of girls I know, like I always hoped to discover some girl I know around the amateur sections of porn sites. It was something forbidden and new, just as sending them nudes and feeling this bigger high when all that porn categories bored me.

It says a lot that I dreamed about sexting and not about actual sex, despite having slept with both of them many times. This clearly is a desperate scream of my dopamine starving brain and instead of complaining about cravings I'm happy to be on the right track.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 25, 2017, 09:22:15 AM
Day 39

One of the harder days so far as there are strong urges to M. Until yet I successfully tried to eliminate masturbation completely, only allowing myself real sex once in a while. As soon as I start to M, urges to watch porn increase and the chaser effect sets in afterwards. I'm 13 days without any O and it's not that easy anymore.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 26, 2017, 08:29:20 AM
Day 40

The urges passed quickly as I woke up to a wet dream, not touching myself and dreaming about actual sex, that's a good sign I guess. Don't feel any chaser effect, no cravings neither to M nor to porn or porn subs.

40 days definitely is a little mile stone, but I've been there before and still relapsed afterwards. I need to point out why it's going to be different this time to gain the belief in really overcoming this addiction.

First of all I thought about my motivation to quit. While for most people PIED is the reason they decided to quit, I went through severe symptoms of social anxiety to the point that I would break out in sweat when facing to talk to a supermarket cashier a few years ago. Got drunk and high frecuently to interact, then with every streak of porn abstinence made little steps and managed to get a job with daily interaction with other people making lots of progress so far.

But because this was my initial motivation, as soon as symptoms got better the addiction sneaked in at some point telling me to allow myself a little dose that wouldn't be a total setback. I entered negotiations with my addiction too many times as there was a secondary motivation to quit.

Now quitting is my primary motivation. I quit porn because I don't want to use it anymore. It doesn't provide any good to my life, my sex life is better without porn, my overall well-being is better without porn, my social anxiety decreases without porn, my physical and mental shape is better as I don't skip food and sleep. I feel more joy in every day activites, I like looking in the mirror and don't feel shame or self-hatred. I've learned to not make any exceptions the hard way and I've learned that this is not a journey towards something, but quitting porn just is the starting point to live life itself, which leads to the next important lesson learned.

I keep counting days because it motivates me to read a higher number with every entry, but I'm not waiting for anything. My social anxiety won't go away by miracle after 90 days without porn, I have to step up in front of people and talk and it will take courage and overcoming fear. It's a dual process, I stop fucking up my brain pathways with my addiction and at the same time develop new habits and make little steps towards a more fullfilling life.

There will be lows every once in a while, but this doesn't mean this journey was in vain or it's all placebo. I'm an addict for one and a half decades now and never even reached four months without using. Changes will need time and, most importantly, I need to actively initiate changes with my behaviour. There are no mircales waiting to happen, but quitting porn will give me the power to change things the way I want to.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 27, 2017, 03:54:53 AM
Day 41

Doing well, will make it through the rest of 2017 porn free!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 28, 2017, 03:09:28 AM
Day 42

Now it's 6 weeks since I last looked at porn or porn subs and adding that this time I quit masturbating too, this is a major success! I am more convinced than ever before to remain on the right track.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: klm5000 on December 28, 2017, 11:33:23 AM
Hi Achilles,

I have been following your yournal for a while, and have just read your last 2/3 weeks of updates. Thank you. I like the way you describe your progress, especially that you try to pinpoint the differences between your current reboot, which will be successful!!, and your previous attempts. I am currently 80 or so days in, but almost relapsed just yet, which, luckily, made me visit rbn again, and led me to reading your updates. So, I just wanted to say, you're an inspiration to me; please keep up the good work in 2018, you have all my support!

Allright, stay healthy, and lively! Regards, KLM5000
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 30, 2017, 03:20:25 PM
Day 44

I had to face strong cravings and two difficult situations. Part of my recovery is a more conscious use of internet and especially social media, but on thursday evening I watched YouTube videos out of boredom and clicked through related videos (I don't have any excuse for this stupid idea). One of them contained a TV show excerpt with a girl showing lots of cleavage and the cameraman focusing on it. Although this lasted only a few seconds, my starving brain almost exploded and I felt very strong cravings to watch at least some porn subs. Finally I won the fight, left YouTube and went to bed.

Yesterday the girl I mentioned further above wrote me and I felt strong urges to guide the conversation towards sexting. The negotiation with my addiction was definitely there because I started to think about if it was really porn if I desired to see her naked again as I know her naked in reality. But one thought pointed out how fucked up my brain is: The idea about sexting would get me more excited than thinking about having sex with her again. I decided to immediately leave the house and meet some friends, this decision gave me enough distance to calm down and today I kept myself busy again.

I have to unlearn my toxic behaviour and learn about the long term benefits of positive decisions. My interference was just in time and I have to point it out: If I keep watching Youtube I will sooner or later watch music videos with barely dressed girls, then tell myself that I've already seen girls in lingerie and that it wouldn't make a difference look at some pics. By clicking through related pics on Google I will sooner or later see nudity and - what difference does it make anyway now? - search for more explicit pics until seeing real porn pics, switch to gifs and then enter Tube sites, first watching my former favorite porn stars in some regular action, then going for more extreme categories and finally spend hours ending up in some fucked up categories that will carve into my brain, leaving me with shame and regret. Same with sexting, it always leads to the abyss. There is no exception. But since 44 days I keep making decisions that kept me away from this abyss and it will get easier to make this decisions with every time that I stay strong.

Hi Achilles,

I have been following your yournal for a while, and have just read your last 2/3 weeks of updates. Thank you. I like the way you describe your progress, especially that you try to pinpoint the differences between your current reboot, which will be successful!!, and your previous attempts. I am currently 80 or so days in, but almost relapsed just yet, which, luckily, made me visit rbn again, and led me to reading your updates. So, I just wanted to say, you're an inspiration to me; please keep up the good work in 2018, you have all my support!

Allright, stay healthy, and lively! Regards, KLM5000

Thank you so much for your kind words, it means a lot to me and your belief in my success is an amazing motivation!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 31, 2017, 11:05:37 AM
Day 45

The last day of 2017 turns this into my longest streak of abstinence for this year. In terms of reboot it hasn't been a very successful year, as I didn't make it more than 1 1/2 months without porn. It feels great to have a far better perspective for 2018: This time it doesn't feel like another streak, but like the final breakthrough.

This journey is my priority in life, I don't just want to overcome porn, but the artificial sexual stimulation related dopamine addiction in all its forms. I don't enter negotiations about what's allowed and what's not. As soon as I have to think about it, it's not! It's not about a counter and streaks, but about simply quitting the use of any hypersexual thoughts to get a dopamine rush.

It's impossible not to stumble upon triggers once in a while, just as it happened three days ago, but I can and will say "No!". So far quitting masturbation helps a lot and I'm surprised how long I managed to avoid it completely now. I will try to keep it that way, although it's not my priority.

I will kick this habit completely by 2018 and don't expect anything in return. There are no miracles waiting, becoming who I want to be will require lots of hard work and nothing but hard work. But only quitting porn will give me the energy necessary to further advance in life.

Happy and porn free 2018 to all of you fellow rebooters!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 01, 2018, 08:01:40 AM
Day 46

2018 starts with one of the more difficult days, didn't get much sleep and feel urges to M. I already discovered lack of sleep as a potential danger and will be aware.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 02, 2018, 11:22:47 AM
Day 47

Again I didn't give in to the cravings just to experience a normal day following up. No cravings, feeling a bit tired and with low motivation. There will be good and bad days and I don't care, I fully inherited the concept of never using artificial sexual stimulation again, no matter how I might feel. I didn't plan on completely eliminating masturbation, but it certainly is an additional barrier against relapsing on porn and I will try to keep it that way.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Nofap901 on January 02, 2018, 12:39:56 PM
Keep it up through the downs of life man. The "flatline" will hit at times, but it's much better living free from PMO. Stay at it and it will pay off long term!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 03, 2018, 02:10:43 PM
Day 48

Third day in 2018 and I notice my steady decrease in motivation, getting up in the morning just in time skipping breakfast, today eating fast food due to the lazyness to prepare food for work and skipping workout for two days now. And what's my inner excuse? "Well, at least I advanced another day clean, I may allow myself some lazyness..."

I've been this far before and still relapsed, at some point I returned to a relapse-recovery-circle, what's behind that?

Well, to my experience I passed the worst cravings after about 5 weeks rebooting. While it's a real struggle to avoid porn during the first month and maybe some days into month 2, I now enter a stage of motivational problems.

Every time I hit rock bottom relapsing for hours on porn, I felt a deep motivation to turn my life around and could feel the energy come back within the first days of reboot. After that the "superpowers" slowly fade and I have to generate some motivation on my own. If I skip routines for a while, I will feel regret and be more vulnerable to relapse. My addiction will tell me that a little relapse might bring back the energy I had before and I already enter negotiations that sooner or later lead to failure.

This will not happen. I will return to the gym, prepare food in advance, go to bed early, get up early and not skip any meals. More than a decade of procrastinating can't be made undone in some days of abstinence, I have to actively put effort in and force myself to follow routines and form healthy habits.

Staying away from porn is my priority, but it's not my goal to replace porn by random procrastination. This journal is full of 10 pages of failure and I decide now if I want to make a difference this time.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 04, 2018, 04:48:36 PM
Day 49

7 weeks done, currently I feel a lack of motivation and felt really uncomfortable around people today. Had some rather nervous reactions while interacting and was negatively surprised by myself.

Didn't stick to my goals again despite doing a little better than yesterday. I have to be cautious about the voices in my head doubting this journey. Was my decreasing social anxiety just placebo? Or did I just feel better due to "superpowers" of the first weeks into reboot?

Well, I reached a point where I'm fed up with porn to the level that I prefer to feel like shit without porn than to return to the vicious circle. Memories of how I felt after relapsing vanish, but I'm sure about one thing: These 12 pages of journal weren't there if I wasn't desperately trying to quit by any means and if this wasn't my absolute priority in life.

I will continue to interact with people despite little setbacks and not expect any miracles. Today was one step back to make two steps forward soon. Porn is not an option.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 07, 2018, 01:01:41 PM
Day 0

Everything started right after my last entry, despite talking about the motivation necessary to change, I ended up chatting with a girl on WhatsApp and first the conversation headed towards sex then she sent me a pic of her in bed in underwear.

I deleted the pic but couldn't sleep, allowed myself to MO, next day due to the chaser effect returned to sexting, yesterday as she wasn't online I watched some non nude galleries and today I returned to porn.

Well, not all is lost if I get back on track right now. Still I need a change concerning my cell phone and a clear daily plan I will stick to. I will use the next hours to set up a detailed plan for the next 40 days.

Those 49 days before weren't in vain if I get the right conclusions - it was an unnecessary setback, but I will learn from it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 09, 2018, 02:36:24 PM
Day 2

I tried many things so far and despite always spotting my cell phone as my weak spot (and as my ONLY weakness as I mastered everything else and never returned to porn on my computer) I didn't ever take this serious enough.

Time for an experiment: It's the second day now that I didn't take my cell phone home (I need it at work, can not change to an old "dumb phone" but have to use a smart phone) and blocked all social media on my computer. Now, THIS feels like cold turkey. It's my decision: If I need to use my phone I have to leave home because it's in my car. I will update after one week if I feel able to continue.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Nofap901 on January 12, 2018, 08:54:08 AM
Hey dude be proud of having a good streak. Begin the next one and make it better than ever. Cell phones accompanied by isolation are a deadly combo. Get out in public and stay busy. Create some new habits to replace that one and you’ll be more on your way to defeating PMO! Get back on the train man.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 14, 2018, 02:27:06 PM
Hey dude be proud of having a good streak. Begin the next one and make it better than ever. Cell phones accompanied by isolation are a deadly combo. Get out in public and stay busy. Create some new habits to replace that one and you’ll be more on your way to defeating PMO! Get back on the train man.

Thanks a lot! You're giving a great example of how to succeed, but the good news is that my relapses weren't that bad and I got right back on track...

Day 7

One week hard mode is complete. It was actually really easy because I eliminated social media completely, blocked myself out of all the pages I frequently visit when procrastinating, didn't take my cell phone home and made sure I wouldn't drink but instead eat healthy and sleep enough. I don't have a TV and only watch selected movies and sports events. Lately my attention span had decreased to the point that I couldn't sit through a two hour event without grabbing my cell phone every 5-10 minutes.

I still go out, meet people and do sports, I just don't sit at home checking Facebook and WhatsApp anymore. I'm not missing anything, I can make appointments in advance when working then leave the cell phone in my car. Actually I thought this would be much tougher, but the time at home feels like being on vacations. I watch a movie and do sit down to focus on the movie instead of chatting on WhatsApp all the time. Everything feels much more quiet and relaxed, I will add another week of digital isolation and see how I feel afterwards. It's definitely making hard mode much easier as all triggers are eliminated.

I'm glad my series of relapses on the last weekend didn't escalate too bad because I had some appointments in between and couldn't PMO for hours. I'm definitely not starting at ground zero again and now that my biggest trigger (being home alone with my cell phone) is gone I experience something important: I am not afraid of relapsing anymore. It's a huge relief and I will try to keep it that way as long as I feel comfortable.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 17, 2018, 05:47:09 AM
Day 10

Last night I woke up and experienced terrible cravings to watch porn or to MO, stopped myself from M'ing immediately, got up and walked around half asleep thinking about just a little dose of some non nude gallery, but luckily to get my phone I would have had to get dressed, walk downstairs and get it out of my car. The thought about it was enough to prevent me from doing it and I finally went back to sleep trying to ignore the urges. I never felt this desperate around day 10, but as I mentioned the latest weekend of minor relapses didn't feel like a total setback. I'm definitely on a good way to recovery and my radical method of setting myself on cold turkey concerning social media is adding an important barrier to a possible relapse: Time.

Yey, I could relapse any time I wanted, but now it requieres time to access porn or porn subs and I am able to interfere. When I was chatting on WhatsApp and conversations with girls headed towards sex it was just too late already. When I searched something on Google and switched to image search to access a wide scroll-down-gallery with related pics that soon would expose something explicit, it was too late. I am not in control over my addictive behaviour and need strong barriers to keep myself on track.

Later I have to stand in front of a small group of co-workers and speak. Years ago this would have terrified me, now I am just thinking about the topic itself. This journey is not about miracles, but about progress and I can clearly see it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 20, 2018, 03:37:44 AM
Day 13

Almost two weeks no porn, doing good again. I get a little upset because of the unneccessary setback two weeks ago, could have been at nine weeks yet with further advance. Anyway: I will stay very aware as it's weekend and I've got lots of free time.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 23, 2018, 04:21:11 PM
Day 0

Despite this being an anonymous journal I'd prefer not to write this entry, I do feel ashamed of myself and hit rock bottom. I know that the events below will appear ridiculous to me within a few days, but I want them to be written down here as a reminder. I can't just go on, reset a counter and keep "living", this is a turning point in life.

It happened sunday night after returning from the gym, I still had my phone in my bag when coming home. "Well, it's cold outside and I'm going to work early next morning, there's no risk of relapsing because I have to go to bed in an hour anyway.", that's what I thought when I decided not to return to the car to leave the phone outside. One might think that at least I would turn it off, but I didn't consider neccessary and instead even talked to one of the girls who used to send me pics. Conversation headed towards sex and it was already too late.

As she left the conversation after sexting for a while I wanted more and returned to porn. I had relapsed two weeks ago, but this was a series of rather short relapses - this time I went on a binge for hours and finished just about 8 hours later when I had to take a shower to go to work. I didn't even sleep a single minute and walked around at work like a zombie just thinking about returning home to watch porn again because I already relapsed the same day and it wouldn't matter anyway.

Instead of a short relapse I binged again and maybe worse than ever before in my life, this time it lasted more than twelve hours and I kept M'ing despite being in pain and flaccid towards the end (and to this moment keep feeling dead down there). Mixed sexting and watching porn, totally fried my brain with more shock and novelty for hours. Sent the girl a video of myself I am deeply ashamed of and also some perverted messages that make me feel ashamed, too. That wasn't me. Impossible.

At least I managed to sleep two hours before going to work again and luckily could switch to work-mode and distract myself enough from the events happening the night before. When returning from work in my car all the memories came back and I was heavily shaking my head while driving faster and faster trying to just escape that feeling of absolute loss of self-respect, of deep self-hatred and shame, of feeling ridiculous and stupid. Those feelings hit me almost like a physical pain and led to the thought that by driving the car into a bridge pier I could just end it and feel peace again. I'm not suicidal at all, when I arrived home and thought about it again I started crying and had a sort of nervous breakdown. This is too much to handle for the moment and the whole relapsing totally took me by surprise.

This journal is full of 12 pages of "This time I mean it."-streaks that always end because of carelessness and because at some point of rebooting it's not on top of my priorities anymore. I often refer to the thread of user William as being the way out. But taking a close and critical look at what happened here so far I am just the perfect example of the eternal failure he describes.

This post is for porn addicts for whom use of porn has become seemingly impossible to quit, highly compulsive, and whose pornography use has caused significant problems in their lives.

...

But there is something else that includes you in the group of guys I am speaking to here, and that is you have finally made the decision to quit porn, completely, forever, to give it up, to leave it behind, to abandon it, to excommunicate it, to defriend it, to have nothing more to do with it, to live a porn free life, and to never go back to the slavery that porn addiction represents.

So far, so good, but:

The second type is the guy who has accepted porn controls him, that he cannot control porn, but that porn has come to control him.  The second type will overcome his porn addiction
through humility, knowledge, and suffering.

I'm totally lacking humility and despite knowing that porn controls me, I don't take the steps neccessary to keep my triggers away. I manage to stay clean for two weeks and already don't care anymore about my rule about no cell phone at home. As soon as I feel more distant to how I felt after relapsing, I stop caring that much.

To get clean you have to reach a place in  your life where "getting clean" is the most important thing to you.  If it is five down on your wish list, you are not ready.

Here we go:

If you have a smart phone, and it is your portal, put it away for the hard 90, and get a dumb phone.

I followed William's advices completely except for this one, because, you know, "It is impossible to live with a dumb phone these days!", "It's too comfortable.", "How will I communicate without WhatsApp?" or "What if I need to look something up quickly?" a.k.a. "I want to quit porn, but I am not willing to put in any sacrifice because it is five down on my wish list".

This is going to change. I am taking three days now to prepare the hard 90 in every detail and getting an old phone is one step. I am old enough to perfectly know that living without a smart phone is absolutely possible, yes, it is. And if anybody reads this constantly relapsing on his phone too: Don't hesitate but get rid of it NOW!

I will prepare a detailed plan on how to make it the hard 90, if I manage to stay clean during the three days of preparation, I will start on day 3 this friday with specific rules I have to stick to with no exception. The goal is april, 23rd and there is no more resetting. Either I will succeed at least at just the hard 90 (without exceptions like overlooking peeks at non-nudes as in my only long streak so far) or I will finally give up. I'm lacking the energy of "starting again", it's do or die now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 27, 2018, 07:42:22 AM
Day 4

Good thing is: During the three days of preparation I didn't relapse again despite heavy urges. I made a decision and I will stick to it: Last try on 90 days hard mode. No porn, no porn subs, no sexting, no hypersexual thoughts, no MO, no M at all - only real sex is allowed. There is no option but to stick to these goals and I make relapsing impossible by preparing to this as if preparing my home for a hurricane coming through. This is my priority, this is my last try tackling this addiction - if I can't make it with all the preparation imaginable, there won't be any "Day 0" with a follow-up of counting days again. It's like hanging from a cliff and having to pull up to survive, there is no second chance and there is no trying again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 30, 2018, 10:06:46 AM
Day 7

First week complete, doing well so far without social media and having a "dumb phone" at home. I am very productive due to my limited internet access and feel like this is the change necessary to get me through this. This is the starting point to a new life and there is no going back.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 02, 2018, 04:09:50 AM
Day 10

I'm doing very well, feeling great so far. I made a promise to myself and I will keep it: This is the last take on the 90 days.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: ImOnMyWay on February 02, 2018, 08:22:33 AM
Can I ask why this is the last 90 days? You've made awesome progress. Why tell yourself this is the last time?? There is no last time.... you learn from your mistakes and carry on. If your several go a-rounds haven't worked, try something different. Change up the pattern and then be consistent with it. Consistency wins the battle!!!! You will have ups and downs and that's life, but being consistent and having faith it will work is key. Also, trying to have a positive outlook on things really does help. I bought a book of positive thinking quotes of people all around the world. Every morning I read one and think about it. Then I carry on with my day. When the urge comes to M, MO or PMO take control, be strong and motivate yourself to STOP.

Anyway, keep it up and don't quit. That won't make you feel better.

ImOnMyWay
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 03, 2018, 12:18:03 PM
Can I ask why this is the last 90 days? You've made awesome progress. Why tell yourself this is the last time?? There is no last time.... you learn from your mistakes and carry on. If your several go a-rounds haven't worked, try something different. Change up the pattern and then be consistent with it. Consistency wins the battle!!!! You will have ups and downs and that's life, but being consistent and having faith it will work is key. Also, trying to have a positive outlook on things really does help. I bought a book of positive thinking quotes of people all around the world. Every morning I read one and think about it. Then I carry on with my day. When the urge comes to M, MO or PMO take control, be strong and motivate yourself to STOP.

Anyway, keep it up and don't quit. That won't make you feel better.

ImOnMyWay

Thanks a lot for your words, they are really encouraging!

Why I consider this the last time? Have to give a brief insight on my history: I am addicted since my teenage years and even then had some moments of deleting all porn and saying "Never again!" without understanding what was going on. During my first two long-term relationships I made kind of successful reboots without knowing, because I was in love and just felt it was wrong to watch porn then. When routine set in, I returned to porn anyway, as always. In 2013 I made this connection between porn and my horrible social anxiety at some point and tried to quit (and basically just replaced hardcore porn by clicking through softcore images), then - if I remember right in 2014, when I was 27 - I discovered YBOP and this page and it all clicked. That was me, 100%! Now I know the problem, now I never return to porn, because I'm in my best years and don't want to waste them anymore...

Still I didn't make it on my own and it took me even more time to register and write a journal, now this HAD to stop and I made further progress. Started this journal when I was 29, now I turned 31 and 11 days ago I suffered a horrible relapse that really made me feel desperate. This is 12 pages full of "This time I mean it and I will succeed!" and I am really tired. I'm tired of starting again, I am lacking the energy of suffering yet another setback. This shit has to stop and I took all precautions possible. Restrictions on my computer to just access certain pages at a certain time, social media is blocked, I actually got an old cell phone and replaced my smart phone. I don't drink alcohol if I know I will be alone at home afterwards to not relapse drunk or hungover, I make sure I get enough sleep and eat healthy every day. I planned my whole life on getting clean this time and if I should fail, I run out of answers.

While I basically share your thoughts, I just realized it's half a decade of failing to get clean and enough is enough. I also tend to have a positive view on things and am doing good so far. Again thanks a lot for your words, I will take my time to check out your journal within the next days and hopefully read a success story ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 04, 2018, 08:54:33 AM
Day 12

Difficult weekend so far, but I managed to be extremely productive. Apart from porn and masturbation cravings I feel smartphone withdrawals when at home. It's ridiculous, but at some point I just try to grab it and randomly check messages or sports results or whatever activity. I hope to regain my attention span as it's really low, lately I try to read, listen to music or watch movie classics without distraction.

I sometimes think about where society is heading towards as a whole and I don't like the outlook. I just turned 31 (should be expelled from this age section already) and realize the negative effects a smart phone had on me not just in terms of porn. What about those who grow up being connected and living on social media all the time? The younger guys of my sports team introduced me to Instagram and Snapchat (seriously, I sound like a grandpa and should really, really be expelled from this age section NOW!) and to me it's the ultimate degeneration of human interaction.

No matter if it's the guy in front of me at a concert holding up his phone for one hour or the young couple checking into a hotel on summer holidays and then sitting down next to each other in the hotel lounge with their phones every day not talking to each other - something is heading in the wrong direction. Technology has to be used with caution, porn is a part of the problem, but the mechanism of dopamine through novelty is similar with social media and I consider it impossible to tackle just a part of the problem. So far it feels good to "slow down" and stop flooding my brain with novelty.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: ImOnMyWay on February 05, 2018, 02:23:31 PM
While I basically share your thoughts, I just realized it's half a decade of failing to get clean and enough is enough. I also tend to have a positive view on things and am doing good so far. Again thanks a lot for your words, I will take my time to check out your journal within the next days and hopefully read a success story!

achilles heel,

Thanks man. I appreciate it. I'm crossing my fingers that soon I will post that success story of an awesome intimate experience to motivate me a bit more. I look forward to that day. In the mean time, I'll keep checking in on you as well. Motivate each other a bit.

ImOnMyWay
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 07, 2018, 05:12:39 AM
While I basically share your thoughts, I just realized it's half a decade of failing to get clean and enough is enough. I also tend to have a positive view on things and am doing good so far. Again thanks a lot for your words, I will take my time to check out your journal within the next days and hopefully read a success story!

achilles heel,

Thanks man. I appreciate it. I'm crossing my fingers that soon I will post that success story of an awesome intimate experience to motivate me a bit more. I look forward to that day. In the mean time, I'll keep checking in on you as well. Motivate each other a bit.

ImOnMyWay

Thank you, that's the essence here!



Day 15

Little over two weeks hardmode, after feeling horrible cravings the last two days, I'm more relaxed today and feel more motivated to get my tasks done.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 10, 2018, 05:51:45 PM
Day 18

Failed at going hardmode. I was completely unable to concentrate on my tasks and MO'd. I consider it to be okay as I remembered a real life sex experience but maybe should have just made some steps to have real sex instead. I do get more aroused by thinking of porn than by thinking about having real sex, I am also more motivated to seek for porn than seeking real sex. Even the thought of a girl sending me nudes arouses me more than the simple thought of the same girl nude. This is just so wrong, I have to fix it.

Today is a really difficult day. During my latest relapse I found out that my favorite porn star died last year. Her face and fragments of her scenes keep appearing on my mind and I try to fight them and push them away. I know that this is my addiction torturing me, but I am really confused. I was so sure to never relapse again when I hit rock bottom 18 days ago and now I feel this incredibly loud voice questioning my decision, whispering "Are you sure to NEVER see her again? For the rest of your life?"

I know that this entry sounds confused, but that's how I feel.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: LeafandStem on February 11, 2018, 03:41:57 AM
Hey Achilles,

Why not try a website blocker like K9 to help with the internet issue? Maybe set some times in the day when you can go on the internet and some times when you do not? Maybe you have already tried this. Your Brain On Porn website might have some relevant tools.

Great to see you have a solid plan in place! Keep learning.

Best
LEM
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 12, 2018, 05:38:04 PM
Thanks a lot for your support, LEM! I already have restrictions put on my computer and no more smartphone at home, otherwise I would have relapsed already.

Day 20

The closer I get to the end of the first month, the worse I feel. Allowing myself to MO wasn't really helpful, but at this stage nothing seems to be helpful at all. I will stop questioning my feelings and just push through the 90 days. Whatever I am thinking or feeling is influenced by this addiction and this needs to stop. I am tired of the same procedure over and over again, this is the last try and I will succeed.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: whereismoxy on February 12, 2018, 09:44:06 PM
I will stop questioning my feelings and just push through the 90 days. Whatever I am thinking or feeling is influenced by this addiction and this needs to stop.

dude, i had this exact same thought, not even 10 minutes ago.  i think its a crucial one & its got me excited & pumped for the future of this journey.

good luck, i pray you make it!!!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 18, 2018, 05:27:16 AM
good luck, i pray you make it!!!

Thanks a lot for your support!

Day 26

I'm almost over the difficult last weekend of the first month, things are going quite well as I am convinced of succeeding. I don't like the negative attitude I had lately and prefer not to write about how tough the journey feels sometimes. It just doesn't matter because I made a decision of pushing through the hard times. I want to experience a life free from porn, being who I want to be and having thoughts and feelings that are not influenced by my addiction. It's a long way and I will have to keep investing lots of energy and remain prepared.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: William on February 18, 2018, 05:49:59 PM
We will always like a dopamine hit.  We are wired that way.  But, part of the lesson of the reboot is learning we can live without it, at least without the profound, prolonged dopamine high that High Speed Internet Porn allows us to have. It is difficult to give up because we love that feeling, a dopamine high, and also because we can never really forget how to get it, due to DeltaFosB.

Part quitting is, also, owning yourself.  Often we addicts talk about relapse as if it is something bad that happened to us.  Relapse does not just happen to us.  Relapse IS us.  The addiction is very simple, really, and the cure is easily said, but terribly fucking hard to do. Don't think of it as quitting porn.  Thinking of it as quitting using porn to get to your drug: dopamine, and the high it gives you. Porn addicts must understand what they can control and what they cannot.  A porn addict can choose to watch porn, or choose not to; that is their choice.  But if a porn addict chooses to watch porn, they have no choice but to experience a dopamine high.  It is Pavlovian, cause and effect, period. To be successful, a porn addict has to choose not to watch porn about 300 time a day, at least in the beginning,because in the beginning, when we quit, all we really want to do is watch porn.  The withdrawals are hell, but must be planned on, and we all need to develop a distraction technique now, for when they inevitably come in the future.  Figuring out how not to use is important, but, also figure out escape routes so you have alternative behavior you can engage in, in the future, when the desire to use hits you very hard, is very helpful, possibly necessary. 

So, examples.  When I feel I am going to use, I will go to the gym. When I feel like I am going to relapse, I am going to run.  When I feel I am going to use, I will go to the mall, the library, a public coffee shop, the park, for a hike, I am going to watch all seven Harry Potter movies, even that one in the middle just thrown in for extra revenue.  You get the idea, plan now for relapse avoidance, because ever addict has those moments in the reboot where we really, really want to use, but for our mental health, really, really can't. Also, a physical/mental distraction technique is helpful.  Sounds stupid, but in my reboot, when I had a sexual thought, I sucked my tongue off the roof of my mouth, made a clicking sound, and thought "no no no." That kept a two second sexual thought from becoming a dopamine drenched twenty minute sex opera in my head.  Remember, porn is just what we use to generate a sexual thought, but it is the sexual thought itself that results in a dopamine spike, so, during the reboot, we are not just avoiding porn, we avoid porn substitutes, sexual thoughts, sex, PMO, MO, O, sex, swimsuit mags, lingerie mags, a lot of stuff that society dose not deem to be porn, but which our brains will use to obtain a dopamine spike, once we have removed porn as a trigger.  Be self aware. 

When I quit the feeling I felt, to me, felt like dying.  I told myself, and meant it, that if feeling that way, every day, for the rest of my life is what I had to feel to quit, then I would feel it every day, for the rest of my life.  Quitting won't kill you, and the pain does recede and eventually goes away.  But pain is the price we pay for our freedom.  If using porn to get a dopamine high feels like a "10", quitting does not take us down to 0; it takes us down to negative 10, at least for a while.  This must be known, understood, and embraced.  For many people, if they can get the hard 90 in, their brain starts to bend back toward normal.  Not saying it gets magically easier then, but, there is for you, and everyone else struggling to get clean, a day in your future when you wake up, and don't want it, go through your day, and do not miss it, go to bed and sleep, easily, without missing it.  The first day I had that day, I probably felt like crying. Freedom feels good.

Keep going, porn is not an option.  You have support, people are watching you. Be the example.  I have absolute confidence in your success.

Much love.

Will I AM.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on March 04, 2018, 03:16:02 AM
Thank you very much for your support, William! It means a lot to me as I could make use of your thread in many ways. I hope to become the example you mention in a positive way and stop being the negative example of constant failures. It's been a while since I wrote as I didn't want to cry anymore about the struggle and have a more positive view on life here. Now I proudly announce to be at:

Day 40

My decision remains the same, this is the last take on this addiction and there is no turning back. I made it through the whole february without any porn or porn subs which is a huge success. It is possible to succeed and I will make it.

I feel like there are important steps in my life ahead and to make clear decisions, I need to get rid of this addiction first. There is no other option but freedom, a life with porn is not the life I want to live.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on March 09, 2018, 08:05:41 PM
Day 45

Sounds like a little milestone here as I made it to half of the 90 days porn free, but it doesn't feel like it. There are self doubts arising as I felt nervous around people again in various situations lately and couldn't see the progress that I was expecting in terms of my social anxiety. Also I have to admit I broke my own rules in terms of my phone and put the dumb phone away to return to a smartphone at home during the last two days because I somehow felt in control again. My last relapse seems that far away that I don't feel the desperation I felt back then to change my whole life in order to achieve freedom.

It's necessary to interfere right here because I can spot a pattern when I look back at my latest big streak of 7 weeks:

Day 49

7 weeks done, currently I feel a lack of motivation and felt really uncomfortable around people today. Had some rather nervous reactions while interacting and was negatively surprised by myself.

This is what I wrote just one day before relapsing. Out of my desperation arose the thought of this being my definite last take on my addiction and my total conviction is leading me to think that it's impossible to relapse now because of my absolute will of not using again. It's a mistake because if this was a question of will power, I would be free already. I have to remind myself of the tricks this addiction plays on me and how I am not able to control it. If I don't return to my routine and stick to my rules, I will relapse again. 45 days is a good start, but I need to stop expecting miracles and instead work hard on myself and my personal progress. It's not a linear progress, but a progress with ups and downs that will finally lead to a happier life.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 14, 2018, 12:44:50 AM
Day 0

I failed way before and said it was my last try, but as I drowned in porn again, it's time to get back here. I can not live with this addiction, I have to get a plan again. Just had a horrible binge and will write on this later or tomorrow.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 17, 2018, 12:47:33 AM
Day 1

I realize how far I had come already now that I returned to more frequent porn use. After my last entry I binged again over night and currently I am struggling even with a few days porn free when before I rather easily made it to three weeks.

During the last days I suffered from uncontrolled sweating in random situations again, this was almost completely gone during my longer runs.

I need to develop strategies to face each and every stage of recovery. I am experienced enough and wrote down enough of the obstacles already to identify triggers and dangerous situations from far away.

The biggest problem remains that I tend to not care about this enough after 40+ days because I feel way better already. I stop taking precautions because I am convinced not to relapse anyway.

Well, for now it is just about making it through the first week including the weekend. Yesterday was a low point, I got up and now I have to walk and cravings are really strong.

I will not blame myself for the time lost or put myself under pressure. I just returned because I want to live my life porn free. This is about strategy and progress, there is a chance of getting clean and I will succeed!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 17, 2018, 11:35:59 PM
Day 2

The first weekend is coming and I have to be very aware, the last binge sessions have been a real setback.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 19, 2018, 12:44:16 PM
Day 3

I still didn't figure out new strategies as I feel I am running out of answers. Returning here is my emergency strategy and I hope to advance step by step again. Making it one week would be a success.

Putting myself under so much pressure to finally succeed last time wasn't helpful, I had advanced a lot during my frequent 20+ or even 40+ days streaks. Now I fell back to daily use five days in a row and feel increased cravings.

First goal is therefore to make it through the weekend and reach one week clean.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 20, 2018, 02:29:24 AM
Day 4

A good start so far, I will develop strategies against relapsing with the knowledge of trying to quit for such a long time. First I have to pass the first week.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 22, 2018, 09:48:47 AM
Day 0

A new journal didn't help either, it's day 0 again. I have hit rock bottom in terms of my overall life and received the advice to go search for professional help because of what's going on in my life. In terms of my family and my friends I am facing big, personal trouble without wanting to go into detail. I already returned to porn on a more frequent basis again and yesterday a discussion with the girl I was dating for a while now got completely out of hand and I just snapped. I didn't hit her, but behaved aggressive the way I spoke and in body language and as this happened for the second time, she decided to leave and cut contact. After drinking yesterday and watching porn all night long, today I had a mental breakdown and asked God for help because I felt like I didn't have the power to carry on. I am not religious at all, but I never felt this helpless in my life. There must be a higher power, something to guide me out of this miserable life I am living at the moment, because I myself failed to quit my addictions for years now and don't have any positive perspective at the moment.

Porn is not the single root to my problems, they are real. And it isn't the root to my behaviour either. But it is still my escape from reality and waking up from the porn binge I always realize how problems got even bigger. It is impossible to face the tasks I have to with porn in my life, there are no 90 days to freedom: It just has to stop right now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on July 22, 2018, 05:12:20 PM
Hey man,

Looks like you're at rock bottom. That's good. You can get a proper rebound from that rock now.

Don't hesitate. Install blockers - you can send me the password if you want. Write here daily. Read Williams' thread (in my . And the NoArousal thread - it's here:http://www.yourbrainrebalanced.com/forum/threads/the-no-arousal-method-celibacy-of-body-and-mind.14525/

Install an app called Reboot (it's on google play) and start using it.

Immerse yourself in not using porn. Only that. Only.

As regards other things in life - you might need help, yes. You need to take care of that, yes. But here, take care of NoPMO or rather NoArousal.

You'll be fine, mate :)
Title: Day 3
Post by: achilles heel on July 25, 2018, 03:52:10 PM
Thanks for your everlasting support, jkkk! And thanks for recommending the app, it is definitely helpful.

I am incredibly busy until sunday and come home late and tired every day, the first week will be rather easy. I use my free time developing strategies to be able to make it through the hard times starting at week 2.
Title: Day 4
Post by: achilles heel on July 26, 2018, 05:19:02 PM
Important lessons for myself:

- There are situations in life that seem to be unbearable. I can't sleep, my heart rate increases, I lose appetite and don't eat. I want to escape. Escaping into porn numbs the symptoms, but the problems are still there and the symptoms return. Twice as heavy. Enduring negative feelings makes me stronger, facing problems forces me to solve them.

- I have to stop expecting instant changes in life. There is hard work behind changes and I need patience until results show.

- I need to inherit that living without my dopamine fix is the only way that will lead me to be the person I want to look at in the mirror. No temporary craving should convince me otherwise.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on July 27, 2018, 02:46:20 AM
Look - your body and mind reaction means that the reboot is working. It simply working and bearing fruit, your brain is reacting to be devoided of porn. Brilliant!

I help myself in these moments now by visualizing the screens for Gary Wilson's vids - where he explains how dopamine receptors work before, during and after using porn.

It is all biochemistry. If we realize that our reactions and behaviours are shaped so much due to biochemistry - shocking.
Title: Day 6
Post by: achilles heel on July 28, 2018, 04:01:22 PM
Thanks again, jkkk - thanks also for recommending the Reboot app. There is important and encouraging knowledge every day.

Today I read about how porn affects my relationship with women. Not that I wouldn't have heard of that, but the reminder was necessary and detailed. I tend to forget about the variety of negative effects porn has on my life, the app definitely helps out to build long term motivation!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on July 29, 2018, 04:00:38 PM
It's very good, keep it in there and hang on, bro.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: johnleesmith65 on July 29, 2018, 10:24:10 PM
Thanks jkkk
I also installed reboot app.
And best of luck heel.

Downfalls are part of recovery process.
Life time fight.
Title: Day 10
Post by: achilles heel on August 01, 2018, 01:50:04 AM
Thank you guys! It's 10 days since ground zero and I am working my way out step by step, implementing little, daily routines that make my life more fulfilled.

I'm not doing all at once and also learned not to expect any miraculous results. I'm still into lots of trouble, but can see solutions for the minor problems at least.

I have to change my habits to overcome my addiction and only by overcoming my addiction can I face the challenges of life which is not easy at all at the moment.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on August 01, 2018, 02:36:18 AM
What do you think are the worst habits that can hamper your recovery?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: johnleesmith65 on August 01, 2018, 01:13:46 PM
Yes porn is drug which keeps us away from reality of life.
You have to give up porn to face challenges of life.
Otherwise you will just remain numb.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 07, 2018, 03:45:59 PM
Well, I relapsed on YouTube, this is stupid. I binged on YouTube videos of half naked girls for hours, because I got triggered by a thumbnail of a related video and fell into a hole of more related videos with more sexual content. I did not actively search for anything and neither went all the way to real porn, but of course this counts as a complete relapse and I just blocked YouTube completely for myself. This addiction is really powerful, the most important is now to get back on track immediately and keep walking as if nothing happened. I must not fall for the "You relapsed on porn subs, now allow yourself the full dose then start again" trick my brain will try to play.

I should not have browsed YouTube out of boredom at all and much less after two weeks into reboot. Huge mistake, have to learn from that.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on August 07, 2018, 04:30:54 PM
Hey bro, wait a minute... don't be so harsh on yourself!

Man, to get where you got in the circumstances you have is a brilliant feat. It's simply a great success. Nothing can take it from you.

And I wouldn't call that a full-blown relapse. Yes, you erred, sure. Now you know where the error was, learn and go on.

Don't even think that it set you back. It's just the ugly addiction's head rearing its head, but you will be good.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: johnleesmith65 on August 07, 2018, 08:20:46 PM
I feel you.
YouTube has lesbian kissing videos as well.
I did same on day 7, watched lot of videos.
But barely survived PMO
You can put on, restricted mode on YouTube to avoid triggers and getting into relapse mode.
And even if you relapsed, it is better than relapse on porn site.
Keep the filters.
Don’t be discouraged
Title: Day 3
Post by: achilles heel on August 10, 2018, 05:26:45 AM
Thank you so much, guys!

It's 3 days since the relapse and I maintained myself too busy to relapse again. I put restrictions on my computer and phone, although the app on the phone doesn't work 100%. It's simple: I completely exclude myself from YouTube and from 11pm on all internet activity is shut down, including WhatsApp. My browser on the phone is blocked all day, I installed apps for sports results and Wikipedia, but don't have the freedom to browse out of boredom.

I try to educate myself and replace my habits that don't make me happy.

To answer your questions about my worst habits, jkkk:

- Browsing Facebook, scrolling down the timeline without a purpose. Sooner or later sexual content would appear. I would sometimes discover fake profiles of hot girls, click on them out of curiosity and would keep browsing deeper and deeper into sexual content until a complete relapse.

- Same goes for YouTube or Google searches, even articles on news pages, just by related links I often end up watching porn again.

- Using WhatsApp at night, especially on the weekend and even worse when drunk will lead to sexting many times.

I try to replace the permanent internet and cell phone use by reading, learning and sports. Until now it works great, but there are these moments of boredom where the blocking apps help. Sure, I could make it around with some effort - but mostly it's the neccessary tap on the shoulder to remind me of who I want to be and what I want to do. And that's not looking at booty shaking vids on YouTube for hours, this is not the life I want to live.
Title: Day 0
Post by: achilles heel on August 11, 2018, 03:04:58 AM
So, I do have a new phone and will give away the old one. Yesterday at night I just decided to reactivate it just for the night to watch porn one last time before I definitely quit. It was the feeling of: "Well, this is my last chance, I don't have a streak to lose and will start again, but I need to get this last dose while I can. Tomorrow I will make a clean, new start forever."

Here I am, it felt so disappointing, but I am lucky I could make observations about myself:

The YouTube relapse last week induced the chaser effect and I could feel the rush as I returned to the first "real" porn. I clicked around and just noticed how the effect didn't last and I craved for something more extreme.

I already made clear during the last weeks to the girls I used to sext with that I don't want this anymore, yet yesterday I wrote one of them messages with the intentions of sexting. Her reply was something between anger and confusion, of course. This door is closed and I realized how ridiculous this is and how I need to take care about not letting my addicted brain do the talking.

After that I thought about visiting a cam girl page, where people can tip the girls and they will undress until doing more and more extreme things. Looking at the watch I realized it was 1 am already and I had skipped cooking, a healthy meal and going to the gym already. And I realized how I read about the small decisions that sum up to be my whole life. Like keep watching porn.

Within the binge I had a moment of realizing how this was actually no fun at all. It is spending energy and creativity to find a way to get a bigger temporary high. And I realized how much I got excited when watching the first porn scene again and how it already wasn't enough anymore. I just put the phone away, MO'd without porn and deleted all data.

It was a failure, but one that helped me. I start liking my life again due to the changes I made, due to the little habits I am implementing step by step. And I certainly like it more than porn, I feel good about realizing this within the binge, because normally I would have kept going until 6 am.

Hope this will be the key to a successful recovery.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Recovery Will Come on August 11, 2018, 09:08:12 AM
Keep trucking!!! I made it to 64 days last year relasped and thats the farthest I have ever gotten and it was my first time creating an account and joining the forum to tell my story... This website definetly helps... Keep up the good work!!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 12, 2018, 05:04:59 AM
Thanks a lot, Recovery Will Come!

Unfortunately the chaser effect combined with the free time on this weekend got me again, I relapsed again and will write down a detailed plan on how to reach my goals.

I need to stay calm and don't panic, this is a difficult phase.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Recovery Will Come on August 12, 2018, 06:00:52 AM
No problem I’m just starting my what I believe is my final and last reboot I’ll ever do meaning I will succeed this time and nothing less!! That’s the mindset you got to have.. Your more experienced so you know what mistakes not to make this go around... Keep me posted as I will keep you posted on my journal....
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on August 14, 2018, 02:24:02 AM
hey bro,

You don't need a detailed plan, I reckon. You know a lot about this addiction, an awful lot. You put yourself on track by pursuing a healthy new lifestyle. You know what you're doing - and just do it :) all will be well, just don't expect smooth sailing :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 14, 2018, 05:33:15 AM
Thanks, jkkk

all will be well, just don't expect smooth sailing :)

That is why I need a detailed plan: If it is not smooth sailing, you need to prepare the ship for waves.

No going to bed after midnight, no cellphone in bed, restrictions on computer and cell phone, daily healthy habits, no procrastinating my tasks at home. If I follow these rules, I am much more likely to resist the waves and I know that they will be coming.
Title: Day 6
Post by: achilles heel on August 18, 2018, 04:21:50 AM
Despite some heavy craving I made it 6 days now and felt the initial reboot superpowers, I feel an increasing self confidence and stick to my daily habits. First partial goal: Make it through the first weekend, this will be hard enough.
Title: Day 7
Post by: achilles heel on August 19, 2018, 01:36:46 AM
It has been the toughest first week in a long time, but until now I made it to sunday without relapsing. Despite the latest relapses, this time I didn't fall into a hole but kept developing my healthy habits and tried to get up immediately. This is just the beginning, but so far, it is a good one.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on August 20, 2018, 02:27:22 AM
:) good, brother.

we would all like it be easy. But it isn't ;) This not-easy is something we need to get used to. Until we forget that it is not-easy.
Title: Day 9
Post by: achilles heel on August 21, 2018, 12:18:53 AM
Thanks a lot, jkkk! Forgetting about this being not-easy is rather hard...

So far I would say it is my most difficult start to rebooting. I had attempts where the first 2 weeks were rather easy, this time it's nothing like that.

I just woke up to dreams of relapsing and dreamed about porn and fetish. I guess on the one hand it's a good sign that my brain is really starving, on the other hand I clearly fantasized within my dream.

I try to completely avoid fantasies so far and also went hard mode until now. Making it through the first weekend was a big success already, now I increase my partial goal to reach 2 weeks.

I am doing well concerning changes in life, but have to be more aware about my own restrictions in terms of cell phone use, the app that should block me out of all activities after a certain time doesn't really work.
Title: Day 10
Post by: achilles heel on August 22, 2018, 04:48:25 AM
And again I dreamed about my addiction, I try to see the positive aspect that my mind is really missing its dopamine fix. It was incredibly hard so far to reach the ten days and that's what I will focus on: Push through the hard times, because it will become easier at some point. I made this effort for a reason and the changes in my life need time to work, sticking to my habits is the key.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: johnleesmith65 on August 22, 2018, 10:42:39 AM
Yes dreaming happens after long time without porn.
Good signs
Title: Day 13
Post by: achilles heel on August 25, 2018, 04:21:43 AM
I have MOd once and didn't complete my daily tasks yesterday, because I didn't read the minimum I set as a daily goal. Will read twice as much today and return to hard mode, have to be very careful because of the weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: johnleesmith65 on August 26, 2018, 12:05:54 PM
Yes friend
Hard mode is the way.
Heal your body
Title: Re: Day 13
Post by: achilles heel on August 30, 2018, 05:33:35 PM
I have MOd once ...

And afterwards fell back into the porn abyss, way down. Got around my own cell phone restrictions, it is day 0, again. Some radical changes are needed, again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 07, 2018, 08:34:17 PM
4 days

Well, I had an app to block me out of WhatsApp and the internet at night, but it failed. And I failed too. After my last entry I relapsed again and again until hitting rock bottom again. Now I went back to the most successful and radical method: Not taking my cell phone home.

I am 4 days clean now and quitting cell phone use completely is relieving and disturbing at the same time. I feel like I could miss out an important message or call, can not check random news all the time and just miss having the phone in my hand doing something.

I won something important: Time. I do have enough time to read and learn, to do sports, cook healthy food and clean my house. If I want to watch a movie or listen to music, I have to focus on these activities and don't do them while chatting on the phone.

My porn behaviour is directly linked to my cell phone as I didn't relapse on my computer ever since I bought a new one 2 years ago. Even during the worst binge I wouldn't use the computer anymore, but still I have restrictions on it and make sure it stays that way.

It's half a year since I last made it 30 days without porn and that will be my first goal: One month without relapsing.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 11, 2018, 11:52:33 AM
7 days

First week complete, hard mode. Not taking my cell phone home is incredibly helpful and I made lots of progress. In terms of my social anxiety I already know that just staying porn free doesn't do the job - I have to get out of my comfort zone. Today I did it twice and feel that I teach myself to relax and not be afraid of negative consequences.

Due to my job I have to speak at meetings more frequently and today I had to give a presentation in front of a dozen coworkers speaking two hours on my own. Yes, at some point I felt nervous, but not that much. And I remember how five years ago I broke out in sweat when I had to read a small text at college in front of the class. It was one of the main reasons I dropped out of university. But my social anxiety did hold me back so many other times as well, even people waiting behind me at the supermarket would make me nervous. I just avoided social contact and went for my dopamine high through porn all the time at home or got drunk and high to socialize at the weekend.

Now, after years of trying to quit this addiction and having way more days porn free than days using on my counter, I made incredible progress. Yes, I am still nervous, but I just start talking and at some point get used to the eyes on me and keep talking. It didn't even come to my mind to be afraid of starting to sweat, because my daily contact with clients and coworkers helps me to step by step get over it. The question if this might be placebo has been answererd to me when I relapsed after longer streaks and felt a real setback - and even if it was placebo and there wasn't any correlation between porn and social anxiety, why shouldn't I stick to this placebo if it helps me out?

Now, after work I left by car through a narrow street and got into a conflict with a very aggressive driver who screamed at me and called me an idiot, I replied he should watch his mouth, but he repeated his insult. I left somewhat intimidated and then had this thought of "If only I had confronted him, he shouldn't talk to me like that.", I drove to the sidewalk and thought about how many times in life I had this feeling of "If only I had said..." and how this affects me negative for hours. I stood on the sidewalk for five minutes, thinking how I would be angry at myself for not having the guts to confront him. And as he drove the car of a company nearby, I then decided to go back and go search for him and confront him, as this was the only way to feel better.

The guy was 20 years older and I am physically stronger, but I am not the guy who gets into fights and just thought about what was going to happen if I confronted him. I was actually scared this would turn into a fight, but still wanted to overcome my fear of those situations and just decided to not turn back. I stepped out of the car, waited and after a while he passed by 20 meters away. We made eye contact and he yelled "Driving isn't easy, huh?" and kept walking. I then walked towards him with fast steps and started talking to him in a loud voice that he wasn't going to insult me and that I expected an apolgy. To my surprise he wasn't angry anymore but said "No, if you don't know how to drive..." and turned away to keep walking again. There was no reason for me to be intimidated as I noticed how he was way more afraid of a fight than I. So I kept following him, telling him he was lacking honor. He then turned around and I repeated that I expected an apology for the insult. He then admitted he had gone to far and I did accept, returning to the car.

This was an important lesson for myself. The whole day was. There is only one life and it is up to me to fill it with regret about situations where I should have acted different or just DO it and ACT different. I guess the latter episode might sound stupid and not very spectacular, but to me it was a huge step to overcome fear and stand up for myself. Staying away from porn is just the base for changing my life and I realize how I have to step out of my comfort zone more often to really make a difference.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 12, 2018, 11:18:46 AM
8 days

Life is not easy lately, but I am proud of how I faced lots of challenges lately. I am on the right track, no doubt!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on September 12, 2018, 04:17:49 PM
Keep on it, bro. You're doing magnificently well in very adverse circumstances.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 14, 2018, 08:37:52 AM
10 days

Thanks a lot, jkkk, I made it to a two digit number of porn free days, which is a very good start so far - the radical method with no cell phone at home works really great, despite the disadvantage of lack of communication at times. But I have a priority which is getting rid of this addiction.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 14, 2018, 10:56:29 PM
11 days

Feeling down and lonely, but I have to accept that feeling uncomfortable at times is just what life is about.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 16, 2018, 09:37:55 AM
12 days

Sometimes it sets in earlier, sometimes later, but always around the second to fourth weekend I feel really depressed. This is what happens now and I realize why it is so important to keep my phone away. At least I feel the complete dedication to finally step out of this vicious circle - as long as I keep relapsing I will always fall back into this and I know how it feels when I put more distance between me and my latest relapse. It's way better and I just have to keep advancing. 12 days has been a good start to making it one month porn free again - I know I can and will do it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on September 16, 2018, 05:28:13 PM
The feeling of being depressed is just totally normal.

Look up Gary Wilsons - he has a brilliant graph there that shows how one rebooterer felt during the 90 day period. It's literally brilliant and it helped me a lot. Because it shows it's a total up and down mess. You will have days with depression and then you'll feel great. Along the 90 days the better days start showing more prominently but you might still have an occasional depression day or two. It's a part of the process and explaining it to yourself is just massively helpful
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 17, 2018, 10:57:20 AM
13 days

Almost two weeks, this is a daily struggle, I do feel really low.

The feeling of being depressed is just totally normal.

Look up Gary Wilsons - he has a brilliant graph there that shows how one rebooterer felt during the 90 day period. It's literally brilliant and it helped me a lot. Because it shows it's a total up and down mess. You will have days with depression and then you'll feel great. Along the 90 days the better days start showing more prominently but you might still have an occasional depression day or two. It's a part of the process and explaining it to yourself is just massively helpful

Thanks, jkkk! Where do I find this? I do know about it, but despite knowing exactly what to expect during reboot, I am unable to control it. I realize how my permanent use of social media and cell phone kept me busy and what a big change it is to be alone at home all the time. But I decided to confront loneliness and accept this feeling as a part of my healing process. There is no dopamine fix now, no distraction - I just have to endure negativity.

Now I am aware how I tortured myself by constantly relapsing. It makes me experience this hardest part of the reboot over and over again. And if I relapse, it was all useless and I have to go through hell again. I need to step out of the vicious circle, it's the most important task of my life!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 18, 2018, 09:10:59 AM
14 days

Two weeks complete, a big success already. It's a tough journey and this time I make no exceptions for myself. Every time that I allow myself to take the cell phone home I sooner or later end up relapsing - I need to repeat this to myself, I HAD the opportunity to reboot without severe restrictions and I failed every time. Therefore I won't allow myself any exceptions, despite feeling really low sometimes I will continue this path.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Stiffy on September 18, 2018, 10:51:07 AM
Nice job man. I admire your determination. Clearly you are committed as shown by your actions taken to prevent PMO.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 19, 2018, 10:30:16 AM
15 days

Half a month complete, the initial superpowers are gone and I am feeling lonely, still slightly depressed and lacking energy. This is the key now to success, because temporary feelings shouldn't make me doubt the long term success I am about to experience if I just keep walking.

Nice job man. I admire your determination. Clearly you are committed as shown by your actions taken to prevent PMO.

Thanks a lot, as I can see by your register date you are here for a long time also. It's important to not give up, I failed hundreds of times, but THIS time I will definitely make it out of this vicious circle. And so will you!  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Stiffy on September 19, 2018, 01:05:08 PM
Indeed. I didn’t realize until you pointed it out it’s been nearly 4 years since I registered. Though i wish I could say I have given this habit-breaking quest a full 4 years of effort, I cannot. This place has helped me a lot this go-round though and I really feel different this time around. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a habit I must kick.

Things haven’t necessarily escalated as far as the type of porn I have watched since I joined but the misery that I experience when I am actively PMO’ing has and I’ve been to really dark places this past year with many contributing factors. I believe one of the main contributors is PMO since it has been a habit before I was even 10 years old.

People like you have been a big help to me posting their experiences and thoughts. Keep doing it. I know I’m watching.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 23, 2018, 11:54:10 AM
19 days

First: Thank you very much again, Stiffy, you really helped me!

It is pure luck that I am still on track, I got too drunk the whole weekend, took my cell phone home and wanted to start sexting with a girl from my past who luckily didn't reply. The sheer thought got me excited and I would have done it. I didn't plan drinking that much.

I'm still a complete emotional wreck and don't know how much is due to reboot and how much due to my general crisis. I will only find out if I manage to ignore the depression and keep on walking.

Things with a girl I met lately seem to lead nowhere and I am afraid of rejection. She's a friend of a friend and the friend told me I wasn't her type and shouldn't have any false hopes. Despite that I received some signals that made me believe in chances with her. Now my fear of rejection makes me think I shouldn't even try, because we met and she already showed some distance - couldn't even come close at all.

Currently I am in a mood that every little sign of rejection could make me cry and my self esteem is on an all time low. I also know that around the 20 days I always suffer a lot and I hope this will pass.

I know that this is a key to recovery: Girls on the screen never rejected me, life hurts sometimes and porn numbs the pain. It is very likely that I will get rejected by her if I try to come closer, but maybe that would be a helpful experience if I have to sit through and deal with the negative emotions.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 23, 2018, 10:48:13 PM
20 days

Severe depression, can't sleep anymore, I feel lonely and powerless. Completely hopeless and no positive perspective on life whatsoever. There are reasons in my life to not feel good, but they didn't appear just now and I realize how every negative thought hits me 100 times as hard. I already know the trouble around the 3-week-mark and need to push through this all time low. Feel like crying, on a scale from 1-10 my current mood is a 0.

This is a little reminder to myself: If I make it past this point and feel better, this is part of reboot and the extreme negativity is part of withdrawals. It is very likely that it's like that and it's also possible that I might forget how bad I felt. I don't have time or energy to waste and start again, rebooting is my priority in life and it was extremely stupid to get drunk for two days in a row - no more alcohol until completing the first month. Cell phone stays out of my home.

Another important observation: Last week at work I felt nervous around people again and got nervous at client contact. The addiction sneaked in telling me that my social anxiety doesn't have anything to do with porn and wouldn't improve by abstaining. I was doubting the benefits of staying porn free and thought about needing this dopamine fix in my life. Have to be very aware of these thoughts, now I feel vulnerable.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Stiffy on September 24, 2018, 03:50:16 PM
Make it through this low point without PMO and then you’ll have something to feel empowered about.

Things will get better. This is a journey that doesn’t stop. Life is always ups and downs.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 25, 2018, 05:57:24 AM
21 days

Thanks, Stiffy!

I've been at the current point before and know about the trouble, but this time it hits really hard. The difference is that I am lacking distraction: I could always randomly browse social media or talk to people on WhatsApp when feeling lonely or needing distraction. Now I forbid myself to take home the phone and only allow myself a few minutes on Facebook to answer messages, no random browsing (set a time limit at my browser extension and unfollowed all my friends/pages to have an empty timeline), no video games or TV at all either.

Looking at what I wrote yesterday it seems exaggerated, but it wasn't: I really felt that desperate, putting my mood on a scale from 1-10 I would call it a 4 today, yesterday it was clearly a 0. It wasn't my idea to torture myself, but my addiction doesn't leave me any choice - I am on page 15 of this journal, there are hundreds of relapses written down, it's 2 1/2 years that I try to quit here and I already tried before without this community: 5 years of failing over and over again. I've got no other choice but to follow a radical plan of making it as difficult as possible to access to porn - that includes some sacrifices like the cell phone at home.

Yesterday was maybe the hardest day ever while rebooting, my loneliness multiplied because of the social media cold turkey, but I can honestly answer to myself that I prefer to feel like this for a long time than ever go back to porn again. It has been a long time now that I wasn't willing to endure suffering or make sacrifices, but quitting porn doesn't work any other way.

While I still don't feel very happy I managed to calm down at least. I went to the gym yesterday and totally exhausted myself, then kept reading a book until falling asleep. Today I woke up and completed three weeks without porn, that's a huge success and I am proud of my achievement so far.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Stiffy on September 25, 2018, 12:40:58 PM
Hell yes man. That’s the determination and resolve needed to get through anything. I admire the perseverance you’ve displayed. 15 pages and lots of failures but you are still here and you’re still pushing. Yeah, there are failures in there but overall that’s success. As long as you don’t stop fighting. I’m glad things are better today. I know what the misery and depression feels like. Keep going! You’re going to win.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 26, 2018, 06:56:37 AM
22 days

My mood is at 5/10 today, I hope the worst part is over but stay prepared for the emotional rollercoaster. Yes, life is always about ups and downs, but the first month after quitting porn is extreme and I need to keep that in mind. If I complete the first month - and I am sure about that - I will feel more balanced and tend to forget how bad I felt. This is a potential danger because I tend to lower my guards.

My solution for the moment is doing lots of sports. As I can't stand sitting at home alone with negative thoughts, I just go to the gym or do sports almost every day and my performance is close to an all time high. Healthy nutrition and going to bed early every day definitely pay off.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 27, 2018, 04:11:00 AM
23 days

The mood scale is kind of interesting, today I'd say it's at 6/10 and I apparently passed the worst stage. Still I know that this rollercoaster ride is far from over and stay prepared. The good thing is: I start believing in my own success. It's a question of balance now. I read through my journal and noticed how I relapsed many times when feeling down, but also relapsed when things started to look good and I lowered my guards.

During the next weeks I need to stay aware when feeling good and stick to my habits and restrictions. And when feeling low I need to remind myself that this will pass. Just 3 days ago life as a whole seemed horrible to me, just now everything's ok. This clearly isn't my real self being desperate about life, but my starving brain screaming for its dopamine high. Well, not this time, not anymore!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 28, 2018, 02:50:36 AM
24 days

I am coming closer to the partial goal of 30 days, now the weekend is coming and I have to stay very aware. My mood hasn't changed since yesterday and feels stable so far, but one never knows. If I stick to my precautions and restrictions, I will make it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 29, 2018, 02:45:43 AM
25 days

Feeling rather good (7/10), I should have written down a mood scale from the beginning, this is interesting. In case of feeling depressed I need to gain some distance and realize how this clearly is part of quitting the addiction. I don't expect any miracles, I just want to put enough distance to the last time I used porn step by step. 25 days is giant success already, I don't look towards my highest streaks, but to how I failed lately and keep the 30 days as a partial goal in sight.

Now that I feel good it's time to develop strategies in anticipation and write down some important reminders for myself:

1) Whenever I feel social anxiety coming back stronger during reboot, I must realize that this journey is about ups and downs and far from over. Abstaining from porn definitely helps me a lot and there is no reason to doubt it, this is my addiction sneaking in!

2) When feeling lonely, depressed and with lack of perspective in life, that's part of the reboot too. No "I can go back to porn anyway, because nothing really matters." - I must stay strong during the most difficult moments, because they will pass.

3) When I feel really good and safe, the restrictions on cell phone and internet use stay the same! I will not lower my guards, because otherwise my addiction will find a weak moment and strike again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 30, 2018, 03:49:24 AM
26 days

Passed another critical point as I almost made it through the last weekend of the first month. Today I will be very busy and around friends all day. I am slightly optimistic of reaching the 30 days and it is really motivating to work towards a partial goal that doesn't seem out of reach (like 90 days would). Mood is 6/10, I need to return to all my healthy habits as lately I didn't complete all daily tasks. The good thing is that I am doing more sports than planned, but after gym I often failed to read and learn or to write down things I am grateful for.

It is important to be grateful and to have a positive outlook on life. Instead of regretting my addiction and the many years I am into this I try to see it as a challenge. And I accept this challenge as part of my life, of who I am and who I want to become. Everybody has to face challenges in his life and if I look at my life it offers a perspective. It is up to me to complete this challenge and be the person I want to become, I found the methods to abstain from porn and although they might be radical, they do work (so far) and I just need to follow this path.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 01, 2018, 11:59:02 AM
27 days

Daily mood: 6/10, I am a few hours away from completing 4 weeks without porn including any porn subs, sexting, artificial stimulation whatsoever. I am very proud because I made it beyond the hardest time around week 3 without relapsing. My partial goal of 30 days is in sight. I will not set any long term goals because I want to advance step by step and rather see this as a daily success. Also the constant failures in my past have damaged my belief in long term success. It will take some time to inherit the mentality of finally succeeding in spite of hundreds of relapses within the 5 years trying to quit.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 02, 2018, 05:15:07 AM
28 days

4 weeks complete, 2 days until the partial goal of 30 days. Mood: 6/10.

Yesterday I noticed how I questioned my new cell phone habit telling myself "This can't go on forever!" - but there is no going back, not even negotiation about exceptions. This rule is the major key to success and it is not a huge sacrifice to reduce cell phone use. I already managed my excuses for not being available. Told my friends who asked that I just need time off after work due to being stressed and manage my arrangements with anticipation. None of them questioned it any further and it works well.

I will focus 100% on completing the last two days of the first month, then set a new goal. Step by step. The last time I completed a month without porn was in february/march and therefore it would be a huge success to repeat this achievement.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 03, 2018, 01:58:05 AM
29 days

One step closer to my goal of 30 days, mood: 7/10. Many times I underlined how kicking this addiction was the number 1 priority in my life, but until now I didn't act upon it. If there is something I really, really, really want in life and I can achieve it by simple sacrifices as not taking my cell phone home and putting on some internet restrictions on my computer, those are no sacrifices at all compared to what I may win.

I always wanted to keep living the same life as before but without porn - well, the reason I am here is because my life went to far out of control, I felt the need to search for help. If it was a question of discipline and will power, everybody here would just quit porn for good.

The truth is that quitting really sucks to say the least, I am not able to control my addiction and as this addiction hijacked the reward center of my brain, I am not able to control myself until I gained some distance to the last time using. I need to keep the severe restrictions on my daily life to keep porn and porn subs out of reach as far as possible. It is totally worth it and I will not question this decision even if severe depression and/or cravings come back. All methods of lowering my guards failed and as this is my number one priority in life, I have to accept little sacrifices and not negotiate about them as soon as I advance in terms of my streak.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 03, 2018, 06:01:34 PM
30 days

Since march I didn't complete a month without porn, just now I did it again and feel very proud of this achievement. It helped a lot to set a partial goal within reach and I will do so again. Next partial goal is to reach 50 days, something I haven't done since 2016.

I set some personal goals for better habits for the first month and look back at them with mixed feelings:

* In terms of sports I clearly overachieved all of my goals. Going to the gym and being part of a sports team helped me a lot when cravings and depression set in.

* Nutrition could have been better, I significantly cut sugar, but failed to eat enough fruits and vegetables. I also allowed myself some fast food and need to prepare food in advance when going to work.

* I started studying a lot and achieved my goals for the whole month after two weeks. Lately I didn't study at all and therefore missed my daily goal every day. I have to work on that to build those healthy habits and get a routine instead of doing all at once and then be lazy again. This is about building daily routines and I am not happy with my lazyness lately.

* Reading started out good, but just as studying I've been lazy lately. Normally I read and study before going to bed, but lately I went to the gym very late and fell asleep immediately at home.

* I have not written down something to be grateful for every day and need to work on that. It helps a lot to gain a positive perspective on life.

Well, for the next 20 days I will set the same goals again and try to complete more of them. Restrictions will stay the same: I will not take my cell phone home, just have access to the internet at a certain time and to certain pages (except for this wonderful community which is unblocked all day) and further cut down social media (I am at a point of almost no activity at all and think about closing accounts). My number one priority in life remains to kick this addiction forever and live free!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 06, 2018, 05:29:22 AM
32 days

Current mood: 6/10, it's amazing to see how the mood pattern repeats compared to my former reboots. After the first month it's rather stable for a while. But I know that there will be lows and withdrawals again, I am still at the very beginning and need to focus on reaching the 50 days.

There were moments were I questioned the radical restrictions on my internet and cell phone use, but I allowed myself to browse some Facebook lately and learned something about myself. Out of curiosity I looked at the pages of some friends and an ex girlfriend (we have a good relation) to see what I missed out lately. Apart from lots of irrelevant shared links that are a waste of time, I found myself looking at who commented at my ex girlfriend's pictures and thought about if maybe she had a new boyfriend or was dating someone. I was in a reminiscent mood and somewhat jealous without any reason at all. Then I saw political opinions I disagree with and felt the need to comment. I didn't and instead just went offline. My mood dropped temporarily, I couldn't tell anything positive that I got out of browsing Facebook. Instead I felt jealousy, nostalgia, strong disagreement and afterwards I got the feeling of having wasted half an hour without any benefit.

It's not my new restrictions that I should consider strange, but the life I lived before. The changes I made are right and will remain the same.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 06, 2018, 11:39:42 PM
33 days

Current mood: 6/10. Woke up to a dream of watching porn, realizing how this journey has just begun. Porn has been a part of more than half of my life so far and I need to face this addiction with humility and patience. I am on my way to the next partial goal, 50 days will be a little milestone and I am doing whatever it takes to get there.

It is absolutely neccessary to stick to restrictions and day counting because I am at the very beginning of kicking a habit that lasted for over one and a half decades now. This is also about changing habits and mindset. I spotted behaviours and attitudes that go along with this addiction and led to failure. As I mentioned often, it's not possible to maintain my former cyber and cell phone use while quitting porn. These behaviours go hand in hand. I am educating my brain by the current severe restrictions and try to reflect on my former excessive use of social media and random browsing. It's neccessary to inherit how this is linked to the dopamine hits due to novelty and doesn't bring any value to my life.

I can not just decide "Now I am going to change my life for good!" and get everything done, it didn't work in the past and won't work in the future. Instead I need to force myself to change step by step, no more random YouTube watching, it will lead to porn sooner or later. If I am bored, there are lots of books I always wanted to read and never had time. Doing sports makes me feel healthier and happier. Cooking and eating healthy gives me a lasting satisfaction. There are activities that can't compete with the instant gratification of the internet in general and especially porn, but they pay off on a long term. And to realize this I need time, not just 30 or 90 days.

In terms of my mindset I spotted a perfectionist all-or-nothing approach to hold me back in life. If I look at this journal I realize how I had extreme discipline during my longest streaks, then suffered a tiny relapse, reset my counter and fell into the porn abyss for days again. I wish I will never have to deal with relapsing, but I need to prepare myself for the worst. As soon as I leave the new, perfect, porn free path, I immediately consider all changes to be useless and that it doesn't matter now if I watch porn 10 days in a row, because "All is lost, I need to start again anyway." - this is not about starting or stopping, life is a constant process and even if any relapse or slip might ocurr, the following days might still be beautiful and the process within my brain of many days without using is not reset to 0 because of a single time using.

This mindset can be spotted at all areas of my life and I am currently trying to break it. Before it was "I skipped gym once, I can skip it twice, it doesn't matter now.", "I skipped (insert healthy habit) yesterday, I might skip it today, where is the problem now?" - but success is a daily matter and a question of consistency. Once in a while I will have bad days as I already noticed about failing to completely inherit my new daily habits. But I will try harder the next day and keep on changing. This is the very beginning of kicking my addiction out of my life, with every day I am more confident to finally make it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on October 10, 2018, 04:13:33 AM
You are doing great mate.

Quote
In terms of my mindset I spotted a perfectionist all-or-nothing approach to hold me back in life.

I know this approach well. It is still part of me, mostly it cames out when I try to write something really importat for me. But I know it will never be perfect. So in my case when it comes to writing I do a few revisions and I send it out. Otherwise it would be never-ending cycle.

Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 12, 2018, 11:28:25 AM
38 days

First of all thanks for your kind words, Hablablos! :)

I don't want to sound too dramatic, but life is holding some tough challenges for me again lately. I will reduce my journal entry frequency and solve those problems as far as it is in my hands. Therefore I need to remain on the right, porn-free path. Maybe I wasn't very lucky in life lately, but I am grateful for what I have.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 14, 2018, 02:07:01 AM
40 days

Another little milestone, I'm on the right track. My general mood remains stable and despite lots of trouble I have a clear view on life and its challenges. The depression and negativity might return at some point of rebooting, but I now know it is 100% porn induced. Cravings are coming and going, I have to stay strong and will make it out of this vicious circle.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on October 14, 2018, 03:43:26 PM
 :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 15, 2018, 05:45:20 PM
42 days

Just now I completed exactly 6 weeks without porn, 8 days left to my next partial goal of 50 days. Despite constant bad luck in life lately my mood has been stable and today I'd even say it is at 8/10. Whatever happens in life, watching porn doesn't change anything. I can and will face every new challenge with a clear mind, the extreme negative thinking was not my natural attitude but my addicted brain screaming for its dopamine fix. I am still at the beginning of this journey and have to prepare myself for the rollercoaster to go down again. My latest longer streaks ended in week 7 and I will stay very aware now. Extreme cravings or depressive mood will hit again soon, but I am prepared.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: MikeMcD on October 15, 2018, 07:45:47 PM
Hey there, you've made it longer than I ever did on my longest time away from P. I know from that 40-day streak that I felt major positive improvement by then. Even though temptation lurks, it can be pushed away. Every day that you push it away is another day your brain has to heal.

I had an head injury from sports once and it took over eight months to heal up. This process feels like that but much harder. That being said, I read a quote recently that I think you might like:

"Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear." -- Marcus Aurelius

I know you have that strength deep down, keep it going. You're a role model for us all.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 18, 2018, 12:56:07 PM
44 days

Hey there, you've made it longer than I ever did on my longest time away from P. I know from that 40-day streak that I felt major positive improvement by then. Even though temptation lurks, it can be pushed away. Every day that you push it away is another day your brain has to heal.

I had an head injury from sports once and it took over eight months to heal up. This process feels like that but much harder. That being said, I read a quote recently that I think you might like:

"Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear." -- Marcus Aurelius

I know you have that strength deep down, keep it going. You're a role model for us all.

Thank you so much for your kind and motivating words, your support means a lot to me! :)

I am at a crucial moment of rebooting, my biggest streaks this year ended at 47 and 49 days, therefore I set my next partial goal to 50 days.

Something strange happens around week 7 and it happened several times around this time at my former reboots: My social anxiety comes back. During the initial stage of reboot I feel increased confidence and my hyperhidrosis was under control, during the last days I started to sweat at social interaction at work again. Today I noticed how my voice cracked when talking on the phone to an angry client. My voice was loud and clear already after a month of rebooting.

This is a weak spot where my dopamine craving brain interferes and screams: "Look! It was all placebo! Porn is not the reason for your social anxiety, stop suffering and allow yourself some pleasure!"

But I learned from that. There are lots of ups and downs and I need to be patient. I will not listen to that voice inside my head that tries to push me off my path.

Today I felt like crying, the rollercoaster is going down and I know that there is suffering ahead. At this stage of rebooting I get triggered by a simple lingerie ad and need to be extremely cautious. Self doubts arise, I tend to have a negative view on everything. If quitting was easy I hadn't failed hundreds of times, so it's time to remind myself that suffering equals healing.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Kuai237426 on October 18, 2018, 03:28:05 PM
Great post.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 19, 2018, 10:26:37 AM
45 days

Woke up to a wet dream last night and feel extreme cravings, if my cell phone was home I probably would have relapsed. In terms of social anxiety I felt a lot better today to my surprise, but my brain screams for a little dose of porn or at least a peek at the bikini girls from a sports page. This is insane, but now I realize why I relapsed around these days twice this year. This weekend will be hell again, I need to reach the partial goal of 50 days whatever it takes.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 20, 2018, 03:37:14 AM
46 days

Urges are increasing to a level that I enter the mindset of "If I don't relapse today, I will tomorrow - I can't resist forever.", but I know that this will pass with or without giving in. I won't give in now that I've come this far. Porn is not an option.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on October 20, 2018, 05:49:11 AM
Hold on mate, you have no reason to relapse. Just tell that mindset to fuck off.  :D
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on October 20, 2018, 05:12:33 PM
No achilles, you will only relapse when you choose to. Remember.

Cut off your old self. "When the past calls, let it go on voicemail, it has nothing new to say."
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 21, 2018, 02:15:10 AM
47 days

Thank you very much, guys, so far I am on track!  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 22, 2018, 05:02:22 AM
48 days

I failed big time in terms of my routines, lately I feel a lack of energy and I can hear that little voice inside my brain tell me "If you relapse, you will start rebooting with all the energy of the first week again! There are no more benefits to gain, just more cravings and less energy ahead."

The good thing is partial goal I set, because I feel like I am working towards a goal within reach, not something far away like 90 days. For now it is just 2 more days until 50 days - my biggest streak since 2016 - and I will ignore the voice and reach that goal. No healthy habits for today and tomorrow, I am on "vacation" and free from any tasks, no pressure and no guilt because of being lazy.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 23, 2018, 03:34:30 AM
49 days

7 weeks complete! Last time I reached the 49 days was on january, 4th and I relapsed that day. It has been two years since I got beyond this point and I try to understand what happened lately when I relapsed around week 7. I read through my journal and recognize certain patterns, my reboots usually go like this:

Relapse: Total despair, feeling worthless, I need to turn my life around

Week 1: Over achieving all newly implemented routines, extreme motivation and confidence boost, social anxiety decreases significantly

Week 2-4: Superpowers vanish and depression sets in -> high probability of relapsing

Week 5-6: Smooth sailing, feeling rather good, no trouble -> low risk of relapsing

Week 7-8: It becomes hard to stick to the daily routines, cravings are high, social anxiety suddenly returns and my addicted brain tells me there are no more benefits ahead -> increased risk of relapsing

Month 3-4 (only been there ~5 times): "I've got this under control, won't relapse now that I've come this far..."

Well, I already discovered my perfectionist all or nothing approach as one of the obstacles. When hitting rock bottom and feeling the need to turn my life around at day 0 I want to do all at once: Sports, eat healthy, no sugar and fast food, read books, study, no video gaming, less social media, do "useful things" all the time. During the second month I notice how this doesn't work while working 8-9 hours a day and at some point I feel the lack of energy I experience at the moment.

Just as there is a pattern in my brain that tells me "You looked at porn for 5 minutes, now you might as well binge for hours", there is a pattern telling me "You skipped routines yesterday, it makes no difference if you skip them again today and tomorrow". I tend to feel bad about not following the life changing routines and at some point relapse on porn too, to start the circle again.

Once in a while I need some time to just be lazy and recharge batteries without feeling "guilty" and afterwards be vulnerable to return to porn. This time is now, I am still on vacation and as soon as reaching the partial goal of 50 days I will return to daily habits and set a new short term goal. No perfection, no changes for eternity, just step by step to leave the porn abyss further behind.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: masstextingservice on October 23, 2018, 04:18:57 AM
If you have a large audience to reach out to with SMS, organizing your database is the most important task. Segmentation plays an important role in marketing. Then you need to seek out a quality mass texting provider with a global reach and since it would be your first time, go for one with the lowest prices and maximum features.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: masstextingservice on October 23, 2018, 04:20:33 AM
If you have a large audience to reach out to with SMS, organizing your database is the most important task. Segmentation plays an important role in marketing. Then you need to seek out a quality mass texting provider with a global reach and since it would be your first time, go for one with the lowest prices and maximum features.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 24, 2018, 08:02:40 AM
50 days

Another milestone, for the first time since 2016 I am 50 days porn free.

Next goal: 60 days!

After allowing myself some days of ice cream, fast food, video gaming and general lazyness it is time to return to restrictions. I will plan the next 10 days ahead in terms of daily habits and focus on the next partial goal.

Yes, somehow it might be better to think of being free forever instead of counting days - but so far for me it works way better to go step by step and work towards a goal within close reach. Two complete months without porn would be an incredible success and I am optimistic but remain aware of the ups and downs of this process.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 29, 2018, 01:05:10 PM
55 days

Didn't manage to return to my healthy habits and it is hard to resist cravings lately. I'm lacking energy and don't get up to even do the daily tasks at home or cook in advance. I just can't find the switch to be at the energy level of the initial reboot stage again and feel like heading to a dead end road. This is putting my progress in danger because I can't see the benefits now. My addiction is trying to return through this backdoor and I am aware of this - still my only motivation right now is the thought of "I've come this far, I won't throw it away.".

The other voice is really strong at the moment telling me I should allow myself just some looks at the bikini girls in the sports newspaper, just that little controlled dose, nothing more. This voice is also telling me "You may resist cravings today, but they will be there tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and... you can't resist forever, why torture yourself?"

It is kind of weird to have this monologue going on in my brain, because sometimes I feel schizophrenic. I took my cell phone back home again because it seems ridiculous to hide it from myself. I already forgot about the desperation I suffered when relapsing the last time. Things are heading in a terribly wrong direction and I need to write this down honestly to make a choice.

As soon as I am drowning I feel the need to put all my effort in to rise and breathe, but as soon as I feel safe I lack the desperate need to keep advancing. There is a reason I have not overcome this addiction yet and it lies within that exact mindset.

Instead of planning anything in advance I set up a plan for just now. Despite not even having the power to get up from the sofa I will clean all the dishes and the kitchen, do the laundry, prepare fruits and vegetables for tomorrow and write down (on paper) all my open tasks for tomorrow (pay the bills, some phone calls), starting: Right now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PeaceOfMind062012 on October 30, 2018, 03:10:27 PM
Hey Achilles! Sounds like you're doing great - except for those cravings and the voice of temptation. But the fact is - you've stayed away from it for that long, and that's fucking awesome!! Keep up the good work man! It ain't easy! I just sort feel like this thing will be there inside me forever, so I just tell that little voice something like "ok, I know I will relapse some other time in the future, but not today. For just today, I'm going to go out on a walk and clear my head". We're here with you man! Keep up the good work. A life without porn IS more worth it than a life where we are a slave to porn, although when we're craving it we forget that. But remember all the times where you felt so so so low after falling back into again, and give thanks for the fact that is mostly out of your life now, except for those cravings :)

All the best! Keep up the good work!!!!

-Peace
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 07, 2018, 03:22:43 PM
64 (?) days

First: Thank you very much for your words, Peace, I am very happy to read from you again! :)

Well, I put a questionmark behind the number of days clean because by my own strict standards I would say I relapsed. On the other hand I know how I feel after a real relapse and I don't feel that guilt and shame. It felt like a little setback though afterwards.

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff. I MO'd afterwards to the thought of the girl and without a doubt reactivated my addiction pathways.

Next day I felt the cravings to go back to real porn and also had that little voice inside of me telling me "You need to reset your counter anyway, just give yourself that full pleasure and start the REAL streak at 0.". I immediately returned to the rule of not taking my cell phone home, entered complete hard mode and set myself on parole: The day count is a rather useless gimmick to motivate myself and I won't reset it if I stick to extreme restrictions from now on. Keeping my cell phone close is dangerous, especially when drunk. I've got a long way ahead, I need to unlearn my addictive behaviour and this will take time.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 09, 2018, 03:23:58 PM
66 days

66 days porn free, 6 days hard mode - I try not te be angry at myself concerning that little setback last week. Instead I focus on the success of not going down that road to porn and binge for hours as I would have done normally. Still I have learned a lesson on cell phone use: I am not ready to be home alone with my phone! The further I advance, the less I remember how it felt to hit rock bottom and the less I care about restrictions. I must break this cycle and leave porn and all its substitutes behind.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on November 10, 2018, 10:28:59 AM
congrats. its a big achivement. please also motivate other members
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 11, 2018, 05:58:15 AM
Thanks, Do or die! :)

68 days

68 days porn free, 8 days hard mode

I admit that sometimes it feels frustrating to read life changing success stories where people opened up a business, learned an instrument or feel like their social anxiety is just gone because I managed none of it. Despite knowing better I somehow expect that abstinence from porn will turn my life around when only I can turn it around.

Years ago I left university without a degree but managed to find a well paid job that I don't really like anymore. During the last years I felt too old to start something new (I am 31 now), because there was too much fear of failure and leaving my safe environment behind.

Lately I noticed a change of mind and now made my decision to take some major steps in 2019. I am unhappy with my personal life and apart from rebooting my brain I need to reboot my life as a whole. My whole life I preferred to not take risks to avoid failure, this is the key to my procrastination and also part of my addiction. This attitude will lead me to look back on a life of missed opportunities later and I need to change it. The first step is done as I am convinced of leaving the old behind - now I need to build the new step by step.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on November 12, 2018, 03:59:11 AM
Quote
Lately I noticed a change of mind and now made my decision to take some major steps in 2019. I am unhappy with my personal life and apart from rebooting my brain I need to reboot my life as a whole. My whole life I preferred to not take risks to avoid failure, this is the key to my procrastination and also part of my addiction. This attitude will lead me to look back on a life of missed opportunities later and I need to change it. The first step is done as I am convinced of leaving the old behind - now I need to build the new step by step.
That's the spirit!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: jkkk on November 14, 2018, 03:00:23 PM


Lately I noticed a change of mind and now made my decision to take some major steps in 2019..

Don't wait till 2019, bro. Start today.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: zander13 on November 14, 2018, 03:06:10 PM
I’m rooting for you man. Big fan of what you’re doing/sharing. Good luck with everything.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 15, 2018, 04:39:42 PM
Thanks a lot, Hablablos, jkkk and zander! :)

72 days

72 days porn free, 12 days hard mode

I am very busy at the moment and as I leave my cell phone in my car after work the risk to relapse is almost none. Hope to write a bigger update next week, I am feeling good despite some porn-"flashbacks" in my mind that I have to shake off. This shows me reboot is working, I will starve this addiction!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 17, 2018, 07:33:21 AM
74 days

After two weeks of hard mode I allow myself to keep counting this streak as a whole, because despite that little slip of YouTube videos and the short sexting episode without nudity, I don't feel any of that damage I normally experience after relapsing for hours on multiple hardcore porn categories, chat rooms and sexting. Instead I am proud that I have managed to say "No!" and stop before stepping into the abyss.

My social anxiety is heavily linked to the amount of shame I carry around after those episodes of binge for hours and I need to be patient. It tooks years to accumulate shame, guilt and self-hatred to a degree that it affected my social interaction, now it will take some time to feel free and for those memories to vanish. They won't disappear completely, but I am building a new life and new memories that are occupying the space in my memories where the disgusting things I've seen are still present.

Yesterday I managed to socialize in a way that comes close to how I want it to be - I know that there are ups and downs ahead, but I feel ready to socialize more and make the transition to a better life without my addiction.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 19, 2018, 02:21:43 PM
76 days

Of course there are still ups and downs, but the best thing about longer streaks is the absence of those incredible lows around week 3. Relapsing means suffering twice: First I feel like shit the moment after relapsing. I am loaded with shame, guilt and self-hatred. I lose self-respect because I did something I didn't want to anymore. Then I suffer from withdrawals during reboot. I also barely can control myself in terms of cravings. Now I am calm and feeling rather good. It's time to remind myself of how I felt 56 days ago and looking at it now I can't really believe I wrote that:

20 days

Severe depression, can't sleep anymore, I feel lonely and powerless. Completely hopeless and no positive perspective on life whatsoever.
...
every negative thought hits me 100 times as hard.
...
Feel like crying, on a scale from 1-10 my current mood is a 0.
...
This is a little reminder to myself: If I make it past this point and feel better, this is part of reboot and the extreme negativity is part of withdrawals. It is very likely that it's like that and it's also possible that I might forget how bad I felt. I don't have time or energy to waste and start again, rebooting is my priority in life

This is what porn did to me. I am not like this, I am relaxed, I am worried sometimes but always with a general positive outlook on life. And I am still at the very beginning of quitting. It took me two years to reach the third month without porn again and now I have to be careful. No complacency, no unrealistic expectations on personality changes. There is no miracle to be expected, there is ups and downs ahead. But those are the ups and downs of life and I want to experience them with a clear mind, face the challenges and look in the mirror with pride of what I am instead of shame of what I hide.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Stiffy on November 19, 2018, 03:41:37 PM
We had a similar streak going for a period of time if I remember correctly. I’m incredibly proud and this last update gives me hope. Hold onto this success man. I’ll serve as a reminder, it’s miserable down here in active use. You’re inspiring.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 23, 2018, 11:44:10 AM
Thanks, stiffy!  :)

80 days

Another milestone, but I already had been further and still relapsed. I feel a big change yet because compared to the first weeks cravings really decreased a lot - awareness is very important now. This is still just the very beginning, there won't be miracles waiting, just a life without the chains of this addiction and that's my priority.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 15, 2018, 07:00:06 AM
1 day

So, thinking of this:

64 (?) days

...

Well, I put a questionmark behind the number of days clean because by my own strict standards I would say I relapsed. On the other hand I know how I feel after a real relapse and I don't feel that guilt and shame. It felt like a little setback though afterwards.

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff. I MO'd afterwards to the thought of the girl and without a doubt reactivated my addiction pathways.

This was already a relaspe. Yesterday I relapsed again on sexting and porn subs. I won't keep counting because of not having returned to "real porn", but still might point this out to myself: It's over 100 days since I last watched porn or visited any porn page in general!

Still I want to tell you about this relapse because it is ridiculous! I don't have YouTube or a browser on my phone anymore, but to look important things up, I got the innocent Wikipedia app. Yesterday I "found out" about all the articles about porn stars, some with rather explicit (but clothed) pictures and entered a binge mode while also returning to sexting with a girl which got out of control. This lasted for hours and definitely feels like a full relapse.

Now it is important to not increase the damage done: I need to be very careful and return to healthy habits that I let go long ago. The only solution is hard mode!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on December 31, 2018, 12:30:10 PM
The day after my last entry I relapsed on sexting again, but since then remained free. During the last 4 months I didn't relapse on real porn, but still used porn subs / sexting on very few occasions. Since sexting is my last obstacle, I made a decision to delete those remaining contacts. I should add that since two weeks I am dating a girl and we both feel like things could get a bit more serious - that clearly influenced my decision to take that final step and delete some "friends with benefits". I came out to her about my porn addiction as she offered me to send me pics one night before we met. She wanted to know why I didn't want to see nudes or any sexual pics and understands and supports me.

I am really convinced to have completed the final step to leave this shit behind. This journal's first entry was 2 1/2 years ago and apart from desperately wanting to break free from this addiction I also think I "owe" this community to finally write a success story instead of just another failure. While I clearly can't promise success, I am looking forward to a happy 2019 without porn and wish you all the same!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 09, 2019, 09:02:38 PM
25 days

Just woke up to a dream about relapsing, it's more than 4 months since I last watched porn, but the memories are still there and try to remind me of what I am 'missing'.

Good news is: I am going almost 4 weeks without any porn subs, sexting or masturbation - instead things are going good with the girl I am dating and the rewiring through real sex should even accelerate the progress of leaving porn behind.

The dream was a little reminder to me that I should be aware and don't be too confident now that things are going well. I certainly did well forgetting about my problem for a while, but almost two decades of porn won't be left behind in a few weeks or months.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 16, 2019, 09:41:24 AM
31 days

Completed a month without porn, porn subs and masturbation - still rewiring with the girl I am dating and thus moving further away from my old habits. It's 4 1/2 months since I last watched a porn movie, which is maybe the longest abstinence from real porn ever. Deleting "toxic" contacts in terms of sexting from my phone did help a lot too. I'm on the right track for a while now and try to keep it that way.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on January 16, 2019, 12:42:28 PM
Hi achilles, you are doing great man. I admit, I envy you that you are holding really well. Other than that I wish that your date will end up well. You deserve it.  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on January 29, 2019, 06:11:31 AM
44 days

Thank you, Hablablos! You are right, things are going well - but I feel like I need to work even harder now and not lower my guards. You've reached impressive streaks before and you will do again by consistency, just keep fighting!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on February 01, 2019, 12:50:50 PM
Quote
You are right, things are going well - but I feel like I need to work even harder now and not lower my guards.
I understand that, because brain can be very creative and persuasive. Which makes it harder. As you said you managed to hold on for more than 5 month. That's incredible.  ;) By the way, how's your date?  :)

Quote
You've reached impressive streaks before and you will do again by consistency, just keep fighting!
I know, but that was years ago. Literally. Since that I didn't managed to hold on for long. And that's been going for a long time.
Mostly because I was dealing with many things. Being without job, moving to another city, looking for a place to live, finding a job and not end up broke. Those things I managed to deal with. But not with porn. And yet I tried to do a lot of things in order to keep myself from it. :(
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Rakses on February 02, 2019, 04:17:53 AM
Oh man i read your journal and im almost at tears. So much dedication, suffering, ups and downs, fighting. You deserve a beautiful life, sir.
It's unthinkable to me how much evil and badness is in this porn-related industry. From the youngest age our brains are wired to sex and money. You will never know how many wonderful human beings have been supressed by this addiction. Wish you best luck man.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 04, 2019, 07:25:06 AM
50 days

50 days without masturbation, sexting or any other porn substitutes and exactly 5 months without real porn. Maybe there is finally light at the end of the tunnel, but years of constant setbacks made me cautious. I just try to stay on the right path, it definitely pays off in many ways!

Oh man i read your journal and im almost at tears. So much dedication, suffering, ups and downs, fighting. You deserve a beautiful life, sir.
It's unthinkable to me how much evil and badness is in this porn-related industry. From the youngest age our brains are wired to sex and money. You will never know how many wonderful human beings have been supressed by this addiction. Wish you best luck man.

Thank you so much for your words! :)

By the way, how's your date?  :)

Thank you for your constant support, Hablablos! Things with the girl shift more towards a friends with benefits direction, nothing serious, but that's because I don't want a relationship at the moment and I am honest about it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Rakses on February 04, 2019, 08:25:02 AM
Wow Emergency plan is nuts. I will steal it from you ! :D
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on February 08, 2019, 05:14:21 AM
Quote
Thank you for your constant support, Hablablos!
I thank you for yours as well.
Quote
Things with the girl shift more towards a friends with benefits direction, nothing serious, but that's because I don't want a relationship at the moment and I am honest about it.
Mind if I ask why don't you want a relationship?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 10, 2019, 07:24:20 AM
56 days

Tough weekend, sometimes I still dream about relapsing on porn - I have to be patient and keep walking on the right path. I also have to return to my healthy routines this week, have been rather lazy lately and didn't feel lots of motivation.

Mind if I ask why don't you want a relationship?

In terms of girls my early 30s are what my 20s should have been - for the first time I feel confident and still young enough to have fun and make experiences. When I was in my "prime" I had this addiction holding me back and missing lots of opportunities (at least that's what I feel). I don't feel like being in a serious relationship was the right thing for me now, first of all I need to figure out what I really want in life and therefore I need to put more distance between me and this addiction.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 17, 2019, 05:09:27 PM
I relapsed, basically the whole weekend. I just did not take this serious at all after 2 months and already left my healthy routines behind for a while. No restrictions on my phone, got drunk and high and took my phone to bed. Right afterwards I felt like "How could I throw this all away?" and went right back to porn again. The downward spiral set in, self-hatred fueled another porn session and another one.

I remembered a part from the great book "The Slight Edge" that perfectly sums up my whole journal:

Quote
When   people   are   looking   down   the   barrel   of   failure   in   their   lives,   they   will do   whatever   it   takes   to   get   themselves   moving,   something,   anything,   to   start climbing   upward   toward   the   point   of   survival.   And   then,   once   they   get   to   the point   where   they’re   keeping   their   heads   above   water,   they   start   heading   back down   again.   

[...]

That’s   the   only   reason   our   lives   follow   that   roller   coaster.   It’s   that   simple. As   soon   as   we   get   away   from   failure   and   up   past   the   line   of   survival,   we   quit doing   the   things   that   got   us   there. You   know   what   that   means?   It   means   you   already   know   how   to   do everything   it   takes   to   make   you   an   outrageous   success.   That’s   how   you’ve survived   up   to   this   point.   And   if   you   can   survive,   then   you   can   succeed.   You don’t   need   to   do   some   brilliant,   impossible   thing.   You   don’t   need   to   learn some   insanely   difficult   skills,   or   have   some   genius-level   brainstorm   of   an innovative   idea.   All   you   have   to   do   is   keep   doing   the   things   that   got   you   this far.

[...]

During   those   times   when   I   was   slipping   from   survival   back   toward   failure, I   had   stopped   doing   those   simple   daily   disciplines.   That   was   the   reason—and the   only   reason—that   I   kept   slipping   back   into   failure.   I   was   making   little everyday   choices   that   seemed   harmless   and   innocent   enough,   but   without   my realizing   it   they   were   pulling   me   back   down   toward   failure.   That’s   why   my life   had   felt   like   that   agonizing   lament   from   The   Godfather,   Part   III,   when   the Al   Pacino   character   says,   “Just   when   I   thought   I   was   out,   they   pull   me   back in!”

There are tough times ahead again, but only because I didn't feel the need to maintain my achievements. It's a question of daily success and my goal is to make tomorrow a successfull day in terms of staying away from porn, porn subs, sexting and masturbation and instead start with regular, healthy routines again.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Hablablos on February 19, 2019, 09:19:09 AM
Hello achilles,

sorry to hear about your relapse. Just remember that this relapse didn't destroy everything you did and your progress in other areas of your life. You'll get back to your healthy daily routines. Just be careful that you don't start with too many at once. Keep going man.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on February 24, 2019, 07:26:37 AM
Hello achilles,

sorry to hear about your relapse. Just remember that this relapse didn't destroy everything you did and your progress in other areas of your life. You'll get back to your healthy daily routines. Just be careful that you don't start with too many at once. Keep going man.

Thank you very much! Made the first week, there is a tough time ahead now...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on March 03, 2019, 12:58:35 PM
Second week complete, keeping myself busy... I am happy with my life lately despite some obstacles!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on March 11, 2019, 09:13:16 AM
Yesterday I completed the third week and try to keep myself busy and social. I barely get in trouble because I'm not home alone very much. Despite those heavy setbacks three weeks ago I feel I advanced a lot yet and still keep further advancing - I want to leave porn behind forever!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on March 17, 2019, 08:12:27 PM
Four weeks done and I do feel some trouble, but feel like I can handle it... if I look at the last half year I am doing really well at all and have advanced a lot... those four weeks now don't seem like a huge success to me after having reached longer streaks lately, but it is a success!

It is so incredibly difficult with porn and porn subs all around to say 'No' every day again... even if there were some setbacks, I definitely live a more fulfilled life already...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 04, 2019, 03:28:48 PM
Four weeks done and I do feel some trouble, but feel like I can handle it... if I look at the last half year I am doing really well at all and have advanced a lot... those four weeks now don't seem like a huge success to me after having reached longer streaks lately, but it is a success!

It is so incredibly difficult with porn and porn subs all around to say 'No' every day again... even if there were some setbacks, I definitely live a more fulfilled life already...

I felt I can handle it, but of course I couldn't and being careless led to relapse. Good thing is: My relapses haven't escalated, on sunday I last looked at porn subs drunk in the morning (clicked through YouTube on my phone, because I already allowed myself to take my cell phone home and to bed and with YouTube installed - as I said, I just don't learn from my mistakes!)...

This is day 4 and I need to get back on track. I don't feel that self hatred anymore, because I didn't go down the abyss to hours and hours of porn. Still there have been some setbacks, but the important thing is to take this serious again and stick to restrictions and healthy habits.

Here I go again...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 07, 2019, 12:41:46 PM
The first week is complete, didn't drink alcohol this weekend and will continue avoiding it for at least the first month - hangover days always were those that led to relapses lately.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 21, 2019, 12:13:43 PM
0 days

While lately I didn't have any major relapses I now fell back into the porn trap at an almost daily basis for over a week. Went through all categories again, feel like shit, feel the desperate need to change things and at the same time reflect on WHAT to do to finally break free.

I started this journal three years ago and really advanced in many ways, but it's really frustrating to put lots of effort into this struggle, make it 20, 30 or 50 days without porn and then return to the starting point again.

My first goal is to make it without porn until tomorrow. No big goals in the beginning, just step by step out of the abyss again. Then I need to develop long term strategies, maybe even consider professional help although it's a very big step for me to come out with this struggle in real life.

Time to take this serious again, to look ahead, to regain belief in being able to overcome this addiction! I know I can make it!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: LeanAndBop on April 21, 2019, 04:30:16 PM
Hey,
Just want to say that I wish you all the best. I can really relate. I've never made it to 50 days. That is amazing. But I've made it 3 weeks or so, only to slip back in. And once you start I think it can be easy to REALLY binge. But apparently a binge is as bad as doing it all the time, I read in 'your brain on porn'. It is easy to get stuck cause there is alot of novelty and it's easy to find! So there is so much to keep the user excited, I believe.
I'm focusing on small goals too.
I feel for you and its great that your back on it, trying to move on. You can do it!
All the best.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 23, 2019, 11:33:20 AM
Thank you very much for your encouraging words, LeanAndBop!  :)

2 days

48 hours without another relapse is a success already after my horrible last week. I don't feel like talking about long term goals yet, it's a daily struggle and motivation is still high. I use certain restrictions and rules in my life, but I need to be careful not to drown myself in lots of life changing routines - this will backfire as always. First of all it's just about quitting porn and I will do anything to make it one more day clean until tomorrow.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 24, 2019, 12:35:55 PM
3 days

Third day without porn. I have to inherit a new mindset, because after my latest streaks three days doesn't seem to be a big success. It definitely is a big success and I need to be more humble towards this addiction. It's a daily struggle and I now set my next partial goal to complete the rest of the week without porn.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 26, 2019, 09:08:47 AM
5 days

I'm doing well. Decided to just stick with abstinence from porn for the beginning instead of trying to avoid sugar and alcohol, read 10 pages a day and try to change my life completely because it won't work... my new plan is to install healthy habits week after week and allow myself some excuses (not in term of porn, of course)... I need some balance, because my radical approach always gets me to the point where everything fails and I relapse on porn due to my negative mindset...

The only radical approach is total abstinence from porn, porn subs and masturbation - until now it lasted 5 days and I look forward to complete the first week.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on April 28, 2019, 02:20:05 PM
7 days

Just completed the first week and it's time to reflect on new strategies for the future.

There are two possible points of view on my history fighting this addiction: On the one hand I must consider this journey of six years fighting porn addiction (the last three years with this journal) a huge failure. I said "Never again!" hundreds of times and still returned to porn again and again.

On the other hand I increased the number of days without porn significantly, there have been streaks of months without porn or porn subs and I have improved a lot. I discovered my triggers and weaknesses, neccessary restrictions and changes. How there are other problems that hold myself back from being who I want to be.

But the perfectionist approach of forcing myself to follow a clear plan of daily routines fails after a maximum of 2-3 months because I am getting tired. Doing sports 5 times a week, avoid sugar, fast food and alcohol and read/write every day leaves me with no energy at some point. I need to allow myself exceptions without falling back into the negative "I skipped routines yesterday, I might do so today!"-mindset that leads me to finally relapsing on porn.

Instead of forcing myself to follow the routines forever, I will just plan one week in advance. There need to be days of rest, I need to find a balance between daily routines and days of just doing nothing except drinking a beer with friends.

There is only one rule: No porn, no porn subs, no masturbation.

Everything else will be planned for one week and every sunday I will set up the plan for the following week. If I notice being exhausted I will decrease the amount of routines or set up days of rest.

The first week has been a week of recovery, allowing myself lots of rest while just staying abstinent and it worked fine. Tomorrow I will enter a week of sports and healthy nutrition.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 01, 2019, 09:31:18 AM
10 days

10 days without porn! Yes, I've done it many times before, but nevertheless it's a success and I'm on the right track. I use a sheet for weekly and daily tasks now instead of trying to change everything once and for all.

The only thing I want and need to change once and for all is quitting porn and all its substitutes. I know that the further I advance in terms of a porn free streak, the less I feel the negative consequences of porn. I need to write it down - I don't want to use porn or any substitute ever again because:

 - There is no controlled use! There might be people who watch a porn movie of 5 minutes and finish to it, then stop for a week, but I have proven that whenever I start to watch porn or even YouTube videos of (half) naked girls, I won't stop for hours and if I stop I return the next day to continue. I then escalate into all kinds of porn because the initial kick isn't enough anymore. Nothing is ever enough! Even the thought of allowing myself just a glimpse at a picture to decrease my cravings will cause the opposite. Writing fantasies on chats is another porn substitute that I have to avoid completely. I'm a severe addict and need to avoid anything porn related forever, there is no exception.

 - While I didn't have 100% PIED I do have sexual problems due to the use of porn. I realized how during times of excessive porn use I had to fantasize during sex and didn't get as hard as during streaks of abstinence. I also notice how I need a lot more time to go again when using porn.

 - My biggest trouble is the social anxiety heavily related to my porn use. It got a lot better already, but after falling into the abyss of porn I carry around shame, guilt and self-hatred. I feel like everybody can see through me and get really nervous. At the worst stage I was sweating in random social situations and I don't want to return to that point ever again. My job requires speaking at meetings and I am happy to be able to do so now. The further I step away from porn, the easier it gets to speak in front of people and make eye contact.

 - Porn kills all my ambitions: I don't interact with anyone, instead stay inside the house and skip all my daily tasks. I skip meals, exercise and sleep, appear the next day at work unshaven and tired, feel weak and out of shape. There is not a single day that I used porn and didn't regret it afterwards.

 - Apart from my personal issues I don't want to support an industry of human trafficking and exploitation. Porn doesn't reflect my view on women or sex in any way and I am disgusted by the misogynic, violent and repulsive shit that I have seen during my life. I wish I could make things unseen, but instead it's my responsibility to not see any more and leave this episode of my life behind.

Well, there are many reasons and only one, hard way out - I will do anything to finally succed.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: PornHealth on May 01, 2019, 09:39:42 AM
One thing you might try is to stop counting days and simply putting your journal whether or not you did your active recovery steps for the day such as, exercise, meditation, forgo any binge foods like ice cream and potato chips that feed into dopamine dominance that also is Similar brain mechanism as porn. I  A similar brain mechanism as porn. I find it by simply asking myself every day if I’m doing my active recovery measures gets me further along than just counting the days free of porn.   find it by simply asking myself every day if I’m doing my active recovery measures gets me further along than just counting the days free of porn.   For me and important active recovery measure is journaling here every day and replying to a few other guys journals. It helps me keep in focus of why am doing this anyway. For me it’s about restoring my organic sexuality and I have my organic natural urges and desires expressed with human females rather than pixelated shadows of them.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 05, 2019, 12:37:48 PM
Thank you! Yes, I am doing both: Counting days because I know that I have some reocurring patterns at certain stages of reboot. That way I can prepare myself for incoming depression around the three week mark for example. Due to my various failures I have experienced those patterns and make use of them and also have the motivation of seeing progress due to the number of days. On the other hand I am using a sheet for my daily and weekly tasks to not only avoid porn but advance as a whole.

14 days

Two weeks complete and I could be happy, but last night I wanted to go out without drinking and ended up really drunk. I have to take care of my drinking habits too. Apart from that I am doing well and need to be careful because the next week will be tough. I will go to the gym more often to return home exhausted and fall asleep immediately, this helps to avoid cravings.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 07, 2019, 10:14:30 AM
16 days

It's really going to be a tough week. Cravings increase and I tend to have a negative overall mindset. This part of reboot requires to just push through the following days and especially the weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 10, 2019, 05:57:35 AM
19 days

19 days no porn, no porn subs, no masturbation - huge success already. Lately I am very busy, working overtime and doing lots of sports. I go to bed early and fall asleep immediately, so I didn't have any real trouble so far. Now weekend is coming and I have to prepare myself to get past the 3-weeks-mark.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 11, 2019, 03:45:05 AM
20 days

Saturday morning, all hell broke lose last night. The third weekend is always the toughest, this time cravings increased to a level that I couldn't sleep. Negative thoughts surround me, this is the moment where I have to remind myself that I want to quit forever. The little voice in my head is asking me "Do you really want to feel like this for the rest of your life?" and I need to calm down because I know this will pass without relapsing.

I will turn today into the most productive day ever, keeping myself busy. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables, cook for some days in advance, buy new clothes, clean the house, get all tasks done and not drink alcohol at night.

These days also need to be motivation to never go back to porn: I know that the as soon as I enter the second month things will get easier and I surely never want to go through the first month of quitting again.

Yes, daily and weekly tasks are important, but this week and next week are only about somehow making it out of this addiction. Willpower is important, but I need heavy restrictions to help me, because if it was only about willpower I wouldn't be writing this journal about quitting porn addiction for over 3 years now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 12, 2019, 07:10:02 AM
21 days

I don't know how, but I made it through another difficult day - that's all that counts for now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on May 28, 2019, 10:22:35 PM
21 days

I don't know how, but I made it through another difficult day - that's all that counts for now.

That day was incredibly hard und I relapsed one or two days later. The last two weeks have been a big setback, now I need to get out of the abyss again.

Today is a new beginning, I will prepare my journey. I have to find a rule for my cell phone, to completely leave it outside the house - that's the only way that worked for me.

There is no way to do this by willpower and discipline, I am heavily addicted and self control will fail sooner or later. I already know it but tend to underestimate the danger as soon as I've got some initial success.

I've written that many times, but the key has been there before: Get out the phone! It's a necessary change and I feel ready for it now, despite hundreds of relapses I just won't give up - I still believe in success and will start again with day 1 today!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on May 28, 2019, 10:34:00 PM
0 days

While lately I didn't have any major relapses I now fell back into the porn trap at an almost daily basis for over a week. Went through all categories again, feel like shit, feel the desperate need to change things and at the same time reflect on WHAT to do to finally break free.

I started this journal three years ago and really advanced in many ways, but it's really frustrating to put lots of effort into this struggle, make it 20, 30 or 50 days without porn and then return to the starting point again.

My first goal is to make it without porn until tomorrow. No big goals in the beginning, just step by step out of the abyss again. Then I need to develop long term strategies, maybe even consider professional help although it's a very big step for me to come out with this struggle in real life.

Time to take this serious again, to look ahead, to regain belief in being able to overcome this addiction! I know I can make it!
i also related to this. I relapsed after 7 to 8 days after 20-25 days
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 01, 2019, 03:52:02 AM
1 day

Relapsed again after my last entry and made a decision to take one day to prepare better for the upcoming journey. I can't just start again and expect better results.

- I deleted all data on my old cell phone and got a new one which I won't take home. I know it's an additional barrier to have a "clean", new phone (despite leaving it in my car anyway). I also reactivate an additional "dumb" phone to have at home for emergency calls.
- Social media is limited to an absolute minimum, I just have the time to check for messages once a week for 5 minutes (just in case someone writes who doesn't have my phone number)
- Internet use on my computer is strictly limited again

Apart from that I am just rearranging furniture, will use an alarm clock with music again because of not having the phone at home, get the household done and will make detailed plans on my everyday life to help me get through the difficult changes. I hope to have the feeling of making a new start because the constant failures damaged my belief in overcoming this addiction.

I learned again that only hard mode will help - no masturbation, no porn subs, no porn allowed. Only contact with real girls, not those on a screen.

I do feel guilty for not having made the neccessary sacrifices before, I know about the struggle with my cell phone and still was too lazy to make this important change. But if this really is the number one goal in my life - and it IS! - it's not a big deal to leave my cell phone out of my home!

Basically there is nothing new to this new beginning, except that so far I made serious efforts to change things and go a different way. I will now have to prove to myself that a real new beginning is possible and to overcome this addiction. I can't just take my phone home after 30 days (if I make it that far in first place) and underestimate the danger. But before talking about 30 days, I will try to make it this weekend without porn - would be a good start.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 02, 2019, 05:22:47 AM
2 days

I am extremely productive, my home is cleaner than ever before and I eat well and do sports. Almost finished a whole book yet and started to make music again. It's incredible how much time I actually have now that there is no cell phone at home and internet use is limited to one hour every day (with few exceptions such as RebootNation or pages I need for work). Going cold turkey on everything at once is dangerous, I know. Still I made a decision to cut out alcohol, fast food and sugar and exercise every day. I won't keep this additional changes forever, but at least for the first week to give myself the impression of a new beginning and regain motivation and belief in success.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 04, 2019, 12:54:52 PM
4 days

High stress level through work at the moment, abscense of cell phone, WhatsApp and social media bears loneliness at home. I realize how much time I've got without those frequent distractions and I think a lot about this "new" challenge. I need to focus on my goals and just keep the initial motivation high. It's also a question of restrictions and not allowing myself exceptions. My cell phone stays out of my home and I will keep it that way even if I further succeed.

Getting rid of porn is my priority in life for half a decade now and I still didn't make it. The sacrifice is communication while being at home. I already knew that before and it works! I made it to 40/50 days without a cell phone and I never managed to just leave my cell phone at home without using it or taking it to the bedroom sooner or later. I relapsed every single time.

Not anymore. I can't allow myself any form of porn or masturbation any longer. Every time that I allowed myself to M because of the pressure things got worse afterwards and the chaser effect drove me closer to porn.

There must not be a single glimpse at porn subs such as bikini pics in sports newspapers, they only increase cravings. I must prepare for the time around week 3-4 when cravings increase to an almost unbearable level and depression hit.

I already know all that and still relapsed many times. This time I have to change some things, because doing the same over and over again doesn't bring any new results.

This is an addiction, it's not about self control because if I had self control I wouldn't be writing a journal of hundreds of entries that always ended in failure. I am an addict and need to change my enviroment to make sure I will stay away from porn and all its substitutes.

Advancing in days clean I was capable of M'ing to YouTube videos for hours, to relapse on picture galleries of sports newspapers, to browse through Facebook friends suggestions until seeing fake profiles of girls with semi-nudes - when starving on porn I will be vulnerable to any sexual content and need to push through the first weeks and months.

This time I will make it because I am not allowing a single exception, taking this task serious and keep journaling about my progress.

The failures are in the past and were part of a learning process. I need to regain belief in finally succeeding and every new day is a proof that I can and will make it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 05, 2019, 03:47:20 PM
5 days

I'm doing very well, still very productive and following my plans. I want to succeed! I want to overcome this addiction!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 07, 2019, 01:10:48 PM
7 days

A week without porn is a week of success!  :)

I have been very productive and completed my tasks and plans: No alcohol, no sugar, no fast food, eat healthy, sports almost every day, read a lot, make music again. As I eliminated social media and my cell phone from home, I need fulfilling activities to fill the void. I do feel lonely sometimes and going to the gym helps me fall asleep. It's now important to keep this initial motivation and not become desperate as it will be harder every day now for the rest of the month.

But there is a simple conclusion: I am still here, still writing a journal, still having this one goal of succeeding. If I don't accept to suffer for a short amount of time, I will keep subtly suffering on long term. I won't allow exceptions, this is the only path to being who I want to be!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 07, 2019, 06:27:49 PM
Hey, saw one of your comments in another journal, so I just wanted to send you some encouragement too. (And catch up a little on your story.)

Congrats on a week! All we can do is go day by day, and you've gotten that right seven times in a row. Cheering you on for number 8!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 08, 2019, 01:08:18 PM
Thanks a lot, BlueHeronFan!  :)

8 days

Toughest day so far as I've got lots of free time and the date I'd have had later got cancelled. Bought lots of fruits and vegetables and prepared food in advance for the upcoming days, also completed almost all tasks at home. It's now important to keep this a day-by-day success story, my next goal is to reach tomorrow without relapsing and then complete this weekend. Still no exceptions allowed, still taking this as serious as possible.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 09, 2019, 03:27:21 AM
9 days

One day away from a two digit number, next goal is to complete the weekend! Went out last night and decided not to drink, although it's a lot easier for me to socialize when drunk. I have advanced a lot in terms of social anxiety through the years, but there is still a lot of work to do. Forcing me out of my comfort zone and avoiding alcohol is definitely helpful and as a good side effect I feel a lot better waking up next day and am less likely to relapse.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: LeanAndBop on June 09, 2019, 05:38:34 AM
Hey well done. Laying off the drink has definitely helpful to me! It's a trigger when I am drunk. Glad your social anxiety has improved.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 10, 2019, 04:20:50 AM
Hey well done. Laying off the drink has definitely helpful to me! It's a trigger when I am drunk. Glad your social anxiety has improved.

Thank you, LeanAndBop!  :)

10 days

Made it through the weekend, now have a week with lots of work ahead, then enter the critical state. I have to remind myself that the first 10 days were "easy" compared to what's ahead now. The next 2-3 weeks may be hell at some point and I have to push through. I've been there many times, failed often, but also made it dozens of times past that point now. I've got all the experience to get past that point again and know that I just need to keep reboot as serious as I do now. My cell phone stays away from my home under any circumstances, social media restrictions stay the same and I will stick to my daily plans.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: LeanAndBop on June 10, 2019, 12:08:13 PM
Hey achilles heel,
Well done on 10 days. I know you say you've failed many times before but this could be the time you push through. You can do it, it is 100% possible.
All the best, sending you peace and happiness.
Bop
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: blueRaccoon on June 11, 2019, 08:28:45 AM
Thanks for the words of wisdom on my post. I do not have much to say but I am sure looking forward to both of our progress. Stay strong, and push through the week ahead. :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 11, 2019, 05:17:15 PM
Thank you very much, guys! You really help me out a lot!

11 days

So far I stick to my plans and remind myself that quitting porn is my number one priority in life. I'm now entering the rollercoaster of emotions, change from happy to depression and self-doubts within minutes. I assumed the girl who cancelled our date on saturday was lying because she didn't want to see me. There was absolutely no reason, but I suddenly experience an unexplainable low of self-worth.

I am very vulnerable to rejection and my first reaction is to distance myself first as some weird kind of self protection. At least I am able to identify this behaviour and try to work on it. Porn is not the cause for underlying issues, but it definitely gets the worst out of me and keeps me down. The further away I am from consuming porn and the more I stick to my plans to become the person I want to be, the better I feel.

No, I am not the guy who spent the night watching seven hours of weird porn categories to appear tired and hungry at work. I am the guy who went to the gym, read a book and made music before going to bed early and getting up to prepare healthy food for a productive day at work. It's not hard to guess who's the guy who manages to hold eye contact with people around him and who's the guy trying to hide and sweating in public.

I no longer want to feel like I have to hide. I know who I want to be and what I have to do to look in the mirror with the feeling of making the best out of my life. This is just the beginning. I must, I can and I will succeed!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dusty on June 12, 2019, 02:41:03 AM
Hey Achilles, I followed your journal up in the past and I see that you're still so motivated. Respect!

I have a question for you. Do you see the difference between you as a person now and before starting the fight with PMO?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your success  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 12, 2019, 01:33:22 PM
Hey Achilles, I followed your journal up in the past and I see that you're still so motivated. Respect!

I have a question for you. Do you see the difference between you as a person now and before starting the fight with PMO?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your success  :)

Thank you, dusty!  :)

Yes, there is a big difference. First of all I have answers to questions about where my life went wrong and that I actually suffer from something that thousands if not millions of other people can relate to.

I'm not a weird pervert for ending up in weird porn categories, but there is a scientific explanation to why I needed a bigger high and that I actually am addicted. It's easier to stop self-hatred and blaming myself after understanding what happened to my brain. I still feel regret on not discovering this problem earlier and about the hundreds of relapses throughout the journey - with all my knowledge I should be what I consider "free" by now, but I have to be patient and keep working on recovery.

I already advanced a lot in terms of streaks and had a glimpse at real freedom when experiencing how much better a real sex life feels after 2-3 months of abstinence from porn and how I opened up as a person step by step.

It does make a big difference living more days porn free than using. A single relapse is not as much of a setback as many days of porn binge in a row. I do notice the difference in my voice, my appearance, my self esteem, how comfortable I feel around people and in how attracted AND attractive I am to real women.

This journey with all its troubles and setbacks is definitely worth it and I feel like I never put as much effort in as this time, which is why I will succeed.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 12, 2019, 06:37:44 PM
That's an inspiring reflection: I'm really glad to read it!

Keep fighting the fight, man. Every day counts, and you're making progress. It's awesome to hear that you're putting in more effort now than ever before. I know my current progress here is because I finally said I was going to everything I ever tried that worked instead of just doing a few of them and giving up on them. It takes work to make lasting changes, but they become more routine as time goes on.

Cheering you on!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dusty on June 13, 2019, 06:06:35 AM
Hey Achilles, I followed your journal up in the past and I see that you're still so motivated. Respect!

I have a question for you. Do you see the difference between you as a person now and before starting the fight with PMO?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your success  :)

Thank you, dusty!  :)

Yes, there is a big difference. First of all I have answers to questions about where my life went wrong and that I actually suffer from something that thousands if not millions of other people can relate to.

I'm not a weird pervert for ending up in weird porn categories, but there is a scientific explanation to why I needed a bigger high and that I actually am addicted. It's easier to stop self-hatred and blaming myself after understanding what happened to my brain. I still feel regret on not discovering this problem earlier and about the hundreds of relapses throughout the journey - with all my knowledge I should be what I consider "free" by now, but I have to be patient and keep working on recovery.

I already advanced a lot in terms of streaks and had a glimpse at real freedom when experiencing how much better a real sex life feels after 2-3 months of abstinence from porn and how I opened up as a person step by step.

It does make a big difference living more days porn free than using. A single relapse is not as much of a setback as many days of porn binge in a row. I do notice the difference in my voice, my appearance, my self esteem, how comfortable I feel around people and in how attracted AND attractive I am to real women.

This journey with all its troubles and setbacks is definitely worth it and I feel like I never put as much effort in as this time, which is why I will succeed.

You don't even know how valuable it's for me. Thank you Achilles. I also noted many benefits during my best streak but when you're into PMO again you ignore them. I'm constantly trying to convince myself that porn is most natural thing in the world and even healthy. Looking for researches and so on, but anyway inside you know that it's just a crap, haha.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 13, 2019, 04:43:02 PM
Thanks for your comments, guys, really motivates me to not go this way alone! :)

I'm constantly trying to convince myself that porn is most natural thing in the world and even healthy. Looking for researches and so on, but anyway inside you know that it's just a crap, haha.

I know that long before even suspecting my porn binges to be damaging or an addiction, I justified them to myself when I had my first girlfriend. My theory said that there was a natural desire to be with various women (which is actually true looking at the coolidge effect) and in my mind she should have been glad I was looking at porn so I wouldn't feel the need to cheat on her (still I lied to her denying my porn consumption). Yes, this is beyond stupid.

It's also difficult to keep my conviction of avoiding any artificial stimulation as I advance in my porn free streak. While there are lots of reasons to avoid fetish and hardcore porn (besides from morphing sexual tastes and human trafficking), there are hardly any good reasons not to look at semi-nudes in social media or bikini / lingerie pics. I also need to be aware of sexting (which is why my cell phone stays away from home), because what's the problem with looking at a picture of a girl I've seen naked live or even will be seeing live a day or two later?

I guess it's a good moment to point this out for myself in the near future, when the memories of the latest relapse vanish and motivation isn't as high as during the first weeks: I can never allow myself any form of artificial sexual stimulation ever again. The way to porn is carved deep in my brain and even the slightest glimpse at semi-nudes, every act of sexting will trigger those pathways and cravings won't leave me until relapsing completely on a hardcore porn binge.

The voice inside my brain that screams for a little dose of a dopamine rush will grow if I try to calm it down allowing that little dose. The only way to get rid of this addiction is to completely dry out my addicted brain. The heavier the cravings and withdrawals, the more I advance. There is NO negotiation with my addicted brain. I will not even enter the process of questioning my way, because I am not in control. I made a decision to finally quit and I know what's necessary. There might be some day I don't feel this conviction, but there is a reason I went clean for weeks and there is NO questioning this way. NO negotiation about any exception.

I failed a hundred times with the idea of only cutting out binges and hardcore porn and instead allowing myself either sexting or softcore pictures once in a while. It does not work and this option is deleted forever. I want to get rid of porn, I want to get rid of any artificial sexual stimulation, I don't want that porn induced dopamine rush anymore.

It's not just a thing I would like to give up some day because it bothers me a little, no! Quitting porn is my number one priority in life, above ANYTHING else. I wrote hundreds of journal entries, fight this for over half a decade now and as soon as I seem to walk the path of success, I am not willing to make the neccessary sacrifices anymore.

Enough is enough, there is no turning back, no "Well, I might start a new streak", no "Those restrictions really suck, I can handle social media and cell phone use now!", no excuses, no exceptions. This is not a streak, this is the new just me not using porn or porn subs anymore.

I am prepared for two weeks of hell now. I experienced severe depression around the three week mark many times now as I wrote in this journal. This is not the real me and this will pass. My partial goal is to complete the month of june without porn and then work on strategies to advance even further. Two weeks is a great success already.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 13, 2019, 05:55:05 PM
AWESOME! I know I've spent a lot of time thinking that I was okay as long as I wasn't looking at hardcore porn. What a lie!

I used to say, well, lingerie is okay because it's not porn. Well, it wasn't porn for about 15 minutes, and then I was right back at PMO. It's that addictive dopamine rush that gets us, and anything that triggers it is dangerous.

I've been working hard at noticing and cutting all those little triggers. There's no good reason for them. Even the little things that showed up on social media. I decided it was better to go without social media on my phone than to risk exposure to little triggers.

It's not just about PMO, it's about fixing those damaged pathways and protecting them from even little triggers. And it's about changing our lives, not just getting a longer streak.

I'm with you in this one, man! Let's keep at it!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 15, 2019, 02:04:55 AM
Thanks a lot once again, BlueHeronFan!

15 days

This is going to be a tough weekend and my only goal for now is to advance another day. The second half of the first month began and I've been at this point dozens of times so I know it might feel like hell at some point. Need to keep putting lots of effort in from now on, going to advance step by step!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 15, 2019, 07:32:29 PM
Anytime!

Congrats on 15 days! You can worry about getting through the rest of the month when it comes. For now, just focus on today. Just focusing on a single day has really helped me to deal with the strongest urges. When the urges hit, I just don't feel like I can live with them. They're so uncomfortable and aggressive. If I think I have to live with them for weeks or months, I just give in. But I can deal with them for a day. And then I can deal with them for one more. Eventually, they calm down.

The first time I ever actually got through a wave of strong urges was a huge breakthrough for me. I learned that they don't last forever, and I learned that I can actually get through the worst of them. But I couldn't have done it if I wasn't focused on just the day I was in. I think that's an important strategy for dealing with addiction. Just focus on today and wait until tomorrow to worry about tomorrow.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 16, 2019, 06:18:16 AM
When the urges hit, I just don't feel like I can live with them. They're so uncomfortable and aggressive. If I think I have to live with them for weeks or months, I just give in. But I can deal with them for a day. And then I can deal with them for one more. Eventually, they calm down.

Thank you, I basically know this but tend to forget when urges hit. I noticed that at recent bigger streaks around 40 or 50 days my brain "convinced" me to relapse to release the pressure.

After weeks and months without porn, the initial "superpowers" of the reboot are gone. When cravings set in, I'm able to resist in the beginning but start to question the whole journey if they keep appearing. This little voice in my head tells me "If you don't relapse today, you will relapse tomorrow, just end suffering." or "If you relapse now, you can start a new streak and feel the motivation and power of a new reboot again."

The big misconception are the "superpowers", because after weeks and months they are still there but in my perception are normal already, because I forgot how I felt after relapsing. During the first weeks of rebooting everything feels better, because I felt like shit when I returned to the porn abyss. After weeks and months without porn one tends to forget HOW bad it felt to relapse.

I don't want to go through this ever again. This is not placebo, I really feel better when living a porn free life!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 16, 2019, 06:46:00 PM
I don't want to go through this ever again. This is not placebo, I really feel better when living a porn free life!

Exactly this! Urges are hard to deal with and they can really beat us down into feeling powerless, but they can't actually hurt us. They're just feelings, and we don't have to listen to them. Don't believe them! Don't give into them! You know it, I know it, but it's always good to hear it again: they don't last forever. They do pass!

Here's to living a truly better, porn free life!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 17, 2019, 02:45:10 AM
Urges are hard to deal with and they can really beat us down into feeling powerless, but they can't actually hurt us. They're just feelings, and we don't have to listen to them. Don't believe them! Don't give into them! You know it, I know it, but it's always good to hear it again: they don't last forever. They do pass!

Actually it surprises me how easy the weekend was in terms of urges. Now I'm looking forward to a really busy week (including the weekend) which will hopefully help me getting through the toughest time. I remain prepared for the worst as right now I enter the most critical stage.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 17, 2019, 07:33:22 PM
Awesome! I think it's smart to prepare for the worst but also to stay busy. Sometimes I have really busy days in the middle of urges, and they just kind of go away because I can't pay any attention to them. Other days, I'm not so busy and it feels like it takes a lot of work just to get to the end of the day clean. If you're prepared for the situation, though, you can deal with it better.

Keep it going!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 18, 2019, 01:01:34 PM
Thanks once again for your support, BlueHeronFan! :)

18 days

In terms of social anxiety I face the hardest two weeks of my life - and I chose to! will speak at meetings and organize two public events (speaking in public).

In one case I have to cover a colleague and my first reacion was to make up an excuse to not be the person in charge. But immediately I realized there's still the wrong idea in my mind. My social anxiety is definitely linked to my porn use, but sometimes I still have this misconception of remaining 90 days or a year porn free and have all my social anxiety vanish.

This is not how reboot works. While abstaining from porn I have to face my fear, I need to go through uncomfortable situations. Immediately after thinking about making up an excuse instead I said "Yes!" to the opportunity.

Yes, I'm going to be nervous at the beginning. I still feel uncomfortable facing new situations. But the only way to get out of this is forcing myself to face those situations and experience that they are not nearly as bad as I expect them to be.

Looking back 6 years ago I dropped out of college because reading a text in class would cause me to sweat all over my face, even waiting at the supermarket counter caused me to sweat if it was my turn and people were looking at me.

Now I stand in front of groups of up to 20 persons and speak for an hour. I got used to giving speeches to people from our company and be prepared in advance, it's not a big challenge anymore. The next step will be to represent our company at an exhibition and have random conversations with random strangers. I can not prepare in advance and don't know who I will be talking to.

This is more challenging to me, but the idea that some irrational fear might hold me back from important steps in my life - in this case my career - motivates me to take action now.

As a good side effect I'm incredibly busy with preparations and after work, household and gym just fall asleep without any cravings.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 18, 2019, 06:01:27 PM
My pleasure!

That's awesome that you're facing your anxieties too! If you can face fears and stress without using porn as a crutch, I think you'll be doing yourself a huge favor. You'll be teaching your brain that it doesn't need porn to deal with difficult situations and emotions, and that's really what we're trying to do.

My addiction might have started out of curiosity about women's bodies, but it turned into a coping mechanism. I think learning to cope in healthy ways is a huge part of fighting this thing. Way to be proactive about it!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on June 19, 2019, 12:04:41 AM
I liked your story. After 50-60 days its really feels that some major struggle is upsent from our life. We are becoming familiar with the struggle of porn addiction. This making a new cycle in mind. So defeat your urges all time . and be rebooted
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 22, 2019, 12:00:16 AM
Thank you very much, guys!  :)

22 days

Three weeks hard mode complete and the hardest stage is setting in. I'm really vulnerable to rejection, just the thought of it. My feelings tend to be negative and now I even get obsessed about anticipating this state of mind. Like if I know  before in terms of recovery how I feel at a certain stage of reboot (and it seems like many of us have the same euphoria at the beginning and fall into a little hole a few weeks later), how much do I know about my real self? Is my real personality still covered below tons of porn memories of almost two decades?

I get strong feelings of regret of wasted lifetime, like spending my best years in front of a computer screen and now even if I break free from porn I won't be able to turn back time.

Even my dreams are negative. It's scary, but the good thing is, I know this will pass and come back in smaller waves. This is the biggest wave and if I deal with this one, it will become easier (though not easy, of course).

My next goal is to get through this weekend, going step by step.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 22, 2019, 06:48:09 PM
You've got it! When things get hard, this is when your efforts really count!

I know the feeling of thinking you've wasted the best years of your life. I feel like that a lot of the time. Like how would my life be different if I had never googled porn that first time?

But that kind of thinking doesn't help us recover. It only keeps us trapped. One of the best things I've started to realize in my recovery is that I'm not going back in time to a version of me that has never looked at porn. Instead, I'm moving forward to a better version of me that has looked at porn but has decided it's not for him. Instead of wishing I had a different life, I'm learning to make the best of the life I do have. That can be a tough mindset to change (I'm still working hard at it).

All this to say, you're doing a lot better than you probably realize, and your best years are still ahead of you! Keep up the good effort, and let's get through this weekend!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 24, 2019, 12:21:38 PM
24 days

I said the worst stage was setting in, but I had forgotten just HOW bad it was going to become. The good thing is, I kept this journal for a while now and just look up what happened around the 20 days before:

20 days

Severe depression, can't sleep anymore, I feel lonely and powerless. Completely hopeless and no positive perspective on life whatsoever. There are reasons in my life to not feel good, but they didn't appear just now and I realize how every negative thought hits me 100 times as hard. I already know the trouble around the 3-week-mark and need to push through this all time low. Feel like crying, on a scale from 1-10 my current mood is a 0.

This time it happened some days later, but the rollercoaster is going down and despite not having any explanation on how this is possible, I just know it's part of reboot for me (I never read about anyone else suffering from a certain pattern of mood swings like that - in my case history repeats itself).

This will seem ridiculous to me in a few days, but I will write it down anyway - because this is how I feel and this is not the real me:

I can not sleep because when I go to bed I start to observe myself breathing and think something's wrong. My heartrate increases because of the stress I am causing myself and I become obsessed about being physically ill. Maybe I suffer some undiscovered disease, I start to think. Just the feeling of my shirt around my neck makes me feel like choking and while I desperately try to focus on something else I think about death and am afraid of being alone.

Even small daily tasks are hard to handle at this stage, I don't do the dishes, I don't cook in advance. My plan on nutrition fails, I don't go to the gym and instead just sit on the sofa being worried. The sheet of daily and weekly tasks remains empty and this is the normal setup to a relapse within a few days. I often feel like returning to the first stage of reboot with "superpowers" was going to be better than suffering.

Why do I quit porn? Because I have a positive perspective on a life without porn. As all motivation and hope vanishes, there is no perspective left and I will give in easier. At this point I have to convince myself that this feeling will pass if I just don't give in.

It feels like schizophrenia because to some degree I am fighting myself.

I will now leave the house, buy fresh food, clean the kitchen and dishes, cook in advance for some days and get my daily tasks done.

For the next days I will write on here on a daily basis and hold myself responsible within my journal in front of this community.

After 10, 15 days I always start to think it was totally impossible to ever relapse again, but just how I feel right now gives me an insight on why I often prefered the easy way out and returned to porn.

I remember the words of William (if you don't know about him, check out his extremely helpful journal pinned in the main section):

Newbies must be told this will not be easy, it will be hard, and they have to expect this pain, endure it, embrace it and even want it to accomplish our task, getting dopamine production back to normal.  If you are addicted you WILL feel this pain.  You must accept that, and you must embrace it, and you must prepare for it, and on a certain level you have to WANT it.  It will not kill you, you will not die, but on a certain level you will feel like it.  You know that euphoria that porn abuse gave you at its height?  Think of withdrawals as that, but negative times two.   No one gets out easy, so, if you are not willing to get out hard, you are not willing to get out.

This pretty much sums up how I feel right now and to say it sucks would be the biggest understatement ever.  :(
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 25, 2019, 03:43:54 AM
25 days

Went to the gym, prepared food, got my tasks done, still felt like shit in the evening. Today I woke up and felt a little better already, the first month is almost complete and I will focus on this goal!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dusty on June 25, 2019, 06:54:08 AM
Nice Achilles. I have a feeling that this time you will go trough the reboot like a rocket  :D
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 25, 2019, 05:25:49 PM
I'm really sorry to hear that you're feeling so bad, but it's amazing that you're dealing with it with such a clear head. I definitely know there have been days when I've just tried to do the minimum amount of work while my body and brain roared for porn. It was all I could think about, all I could feel.

Those are terrible days, but they come and go. On the worst days, I just make a deal with myself that I'll get through today. Just today. It feels awful, but I can deal with it for one more day.

I only ever managed to get through a period of intense craving recently. In the past, I always gave in before it got to its worst. Actually getting through and seeing that those feelings do subside eventually was a huge eye-opener for me. I love that quote from William. I haven't seen it before, but it's true. Kicking the habit does not mean that we'll magically stop wanting porn. It means we're going to choose not to do it even though we want to.

Stay strong, man! Do what you need to do to get through one more day. All this will pass eventually.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 25, 2019, 11:44:31 PM
Thank you very much, guys, you really help me a lot! :)

26 days

Another day complete. I have to find a way to return to my healthy habits as I feel like my brain is just shutting down any motivation by saying "I will get my high NOW or we don't go anywhere."

I have to remind myself that I am still at the very beginning. It is about building distance to my former porn life and builiding a new life step by step. I didn't even complete the first month and have been hooked for almost two decades, this will take time.

My absolute low was two days ago, I will not feel guilty for not completing my tasks or skipping on healthy nutrition again. Relapsing won't get me anywhere and the "superpowers" of initial reboot are no solution for lifetime. I don't want to remain trapped in that recovery-relapse-cycle and put in lots of efforts already to get out.

There's a hard way ahead and I will allow myself a day off tasks today and make a plan for tomorrow and the upcoming days.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 26, 2019, 05:05:41 PM
You've got it! One more day closer!

There's no shame in going slower and being less productive when you're trying to deal with intense urges. There's just no way to focus on any kind of task when your brain only wants one thing. What's important now is getting through the wave, not your to-do list. Do some exercise, go for a walk, watch a movie (that's distracting not triggering, of course), whatever works. You can get back to work when your brain settles back down.

We're fighting this fight together, and as long as we're trying we're winning.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 27, 2019, 04:19:31 PM
Thanks a lot once again!  :)

27 days

Just a little update as I'm extremely busy these days: I'm doing very well, the mood-rollercoaster is going up again, but I stay prepared for another ride downhill any time. Cravings for porn and sexting are really extreme, I even got triggered by the new WhatsApp profile pic of a girl showing just a little bit of cleavage. It's important to not take the cell phone home, I will relapse 100% if I do it. This might not be neccessary forever, but I didn't even complete the first month yet and despite having overcome the toughest days, I still remember relapsing very often towards the end of the first month while on promising streaks. This fight has just begun, no reason to celebrate yet.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 27, 2019, 05:58:48 PM
Busy is challenging but also good. It can leave you tired and stressed out, but it also doesn't leave a lot of time for porn. The last few months were some of the busiest in my life, and I think that probably helped me to build a streak in the first couple of months.

But I know exactly how it is to be at risk at the end of the first month. For a few years, I was relapsing basically once a month (sometimes every two months). But I wasn't counting days or really trying anything too deliberately, so I didn't know it was happening that often. Once I realized it, I could see the urges coming and deal with them more carefully.

You're close to finishing up this first month! You can put up with anything for a couple of days. Just don't play around with those little triggers and stay focused. (It would be really easy to rationalize that cleavage as no big deal, so it's awesome that you recognize it for what it is and that you're going to be more careful about it.)

You got this!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on June 28, 2019, 06:14:07 AM
achilles heel,  I believe in you. You've got this! You have the power to create anything you want in your life. While fear may creep in and try to tell you otherwise, you know the Truth (with a capital T) deep down.When you trust yourself and your purpose, you cannot fail. While certain things may not work out as you want them to, that's okay. It's all part of the process and each of these is directing you to what's right for you. Don't force it - let it happen and Trust. When you trust yourself and your intuition, thats when you are in flow. That's when the magic happens. And you, have lots of magic around you. I believe in you. Keep going. You're doing great!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: zander13 on June 30, 2019, 08:36:06 AM
Hey man,

Good work so far. I know exactly how shitty this process can feel. The ups and downs are fucking terrible. Good luck to you sir.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on June 30, 2019, 02:24:28 PM
Thank you very much, guys! :)

30 days

I'm glad and proud to say, I made it through the first month without porn or any porn substitutes. Not a glimpse at any artificial stimulation, no masturbation at all (had sex once during these 30 days).

My social anxiety is at an all time low, I mastered important challenges that some years ago would have appeared absolutely impossible to me. This is not achieved by just quitting porn, but just like watching porn and staying home while avoiding people led to a downward spiral, I am now going the other way up.

I can look at the mirror and feel like becoming the person I want to be. My self confidence increases, I don't feel like carrying guilt and shame around and the need to hide. Instead I want to socialize and face uncomfortable situations. At work I had to speak to random unknown people at an event, some of them attractive girls - it went incredibly well and showed me what I am capable of if I just keep going the right way.

What's important now is to realize that this is not a linear process. There will be setbacks, I will fall back into moments of social anxiety and depression. But this doesn't mean I am not improving. I know that at longer streaks before those setbacks made me think, all those positive effects were just placebo and could be achieved also while watching porn. I proved this wrong a hundred times.

The duality of avoiding the old, bad habits and building a new, productive life is important. I will treat tomorrow as if it was day 1. No exceptions on my restrictions on cell phone and internet.

The second month might be a little easier than the first in terms of my stage of depression I went through, but there are other challenges. The biggest challenge is patience. It's still about putting effort in, not about expecting results. I am willing to give it all and not expect any benefits. Low motivation will occur and there will be setbacks in terms of social anxiety, but this is the right way and I am still more determined than ever to quit porn forever.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on June 30, 2019, 06:47:52 PM
This is awesome! Congratulations on 30 days!

I'm especially encouraged by your thoughtful reflection. This is a huge success, but it isn't the end of the road. You've found some things that are working, just keep doing what works and holding yourself accountable for any little slips/thoughts/urges that will definitely try to topple your streak.

Every day is day 1! That's an awesome attitude, and it has helped me a lot lately. I also know what you mean about seeing yourself in the mirror. I used to have a very low opinion of the person I saw in the mirror: he was an addict, a liar, unhealthy, etc. Now, you know, I think he's not half bad. Kinda starting to like him, lol. Really glad to see your self-perception is changing too.

Keep it up man, this is great momentum. The only thing to worry about is the day your living now. Stack up enough awesome todays, and you'll have an awesome life to look back on.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 01, 2019, 04:43:24 AM
You are important and valued I admire how strong you are. Keep up the good work. I am rooting for you. Your actions have proved that you are not the type of person who gives up easily. I admire that in you. I appreciate all the hard work you put in on a regular basis. I just want you to know that at least two people have noticed  :)
 
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 01, 2019, 12:48:12 PM
Massive congrats on 30 days! Some great insights, too. It's definitely a good idea to treat every day as if it were day 1, so as to not get complacent. That was the mistake I made last time I was clean.

- Adventurer
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 01, 2019, 03:10:17 PM
Thanks a lot, BlueHeronFan, "Thank you for all that you do for me" and Non-Dual Adventurer, your support helps a lot and really means a lot to me!  :)

31 days

If there is an important task now for the second month, it's to learn to trust myself again. My latest success made me suspicious about my former streaks and how they failed. I read through my journal and have been at this point many times before. I had put in lots of effort to make it a month, or even two like in february this year, but still failed sooner or later. I need to convince myself why it's going to be different this time.

After over three years of keeping this journal and six years of trying to quit, I need to gain the belief of finally succeeding and deep down I notice how I'm still afraid of this challenge. There is a long way ahead and I guess it's best to not think about "forever", but to reach the next day and the next day and the next day while keeping efforts high.

It's also important to not just count days, because I'm not looking forward to live free as soon as I reach X days - I need to make every day a good day, no matter if it's day 91 or 31.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on July 02, 2019, 12:50:09 AM
Your reboot is not for just 30 days. Its for whole life  . so just avoid it daily. I give you a suggestion that don't count your days now. Just keep track of your Withdrawal . this can help others on this site. And congratulations for your success.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 02, 2019, 04:25:05 AM
Never discount how far you have come, for you have truly pulled yourself out of the deepest and darkest of trenches in this life. Never doubt your power. Never doubt your strength. You are a light in this world and you shine brightly, boldly, defiantly- You  shine because You perserved, You shine because you fought through all of the chaos That was so intent on destroying you. i hope that you become filled with so much happiness that it heals every part of you. I know there are days when you feel like giving up. But i think it's brave that you never do  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 02, 2019, 06:49:39 PM

After over three years of keeping this journal and six years of trying to quit, I need to gain the belief of finally succeeding and deep down I notice how I'm still afraid of this challenge. There is a long way ahead and I guess it's best to not think about "forever", but to reach the next day and the next day and the next day while keeping efforts high.

It's also important to not just count days, because I'm not looking forward to live free as soon as I reach X days - I need to make every day a good day, no matter if it's day 91 or 31.

Yes, all of this is great. This is the first step in a much longer journey, but it's one we only take one day at a time.

I've had some conversations about keeping days with other people before. For me, it is really useful for two reasons: 1) it helps me to keep track of where I am. I used to think I was relapsing way less often than I really was, and counting days made me realize what was really happening. It's a helpful diagnostic, just to make sure I'm on track. And 2) setting little goals that are further along help me to have something to look forward to or work toward. It's another way of checking in. Instead of saying I'm all fixed at 90 days, I say that I can still keep working towards 120, and that helps me to stay accountable and focused.

But you're exactly right, counting days is not valuable by itself. It's a helpful tool, but it isn't the point. The point is living better days and building a healthier life. And that takes fresh effort each day. Keep it up, though! This is great progress!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 03, 2019, 12:15:48 PM
Once again thank you very much for your support, guys!

33 days

Just a little entry because I had a little emergency: A very real dream about porn. In my dream I checked a picture folder on my computer and discovered undeleted, old porn and started clicking out of curiosity. I tried to withstand the temptation, but started clicking through porn pics and gifs and got very aroused. Although it was just a dream today I felt that excitement and feel like I am really missing porn. Well, once again: If it was easy to quit, we'd all succeed instantly. I will keep myself extremely busy during the next days and hopefully create more and new memories to overwrite those recent flashbacks to not think about them.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 03, 2019, 12:51:08 PM
You are force of inspiration, my friend. You're doing incredibly. Thank you for the update.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Daaa on July 03, 2019, 06:15:51 PM
Well done man. I would like to ask for an advice. Is it wise to use sexual enhancers (viagra) to get an erection during reboot?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 03, 2019, 06:16:21 PM
Once again thank you very much for your support, guys!

33 days

Just a little entry because I had a little emergency: A very real dream about porn. In my dream I checked a picture folder on my computer and discovered undeleted, old porn and started clicking out of curiosity. I tried to withstand the temptation, but started clicking through porn pics and gifs and got very aroused. Although it was just a dream today I felt that excitement and feel like I am really missing porn. Well, once again: If it was easy to quit, we'd all succeed instantly. I will keep myself extremely busy during the next days and hopefully create more and new memories to overwrite those recent flashbacks to not think about them.

Man, dreams are the craziest. I've had dreams mess me up for a day or two before with a fresh set of urges. Just keep doing what you've been doing though and don't let it get to you too much (easier said than done, I know). It used to be that porn dreams were like a guilty pleasure for me, but they have turned into downright nightmares lately. The last few I've had, I have just woken up in a panic before the dream gets anywhere to make sure it wasn't real.

But you've got this! Here's hoping for sweeter dreams tonight!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 04, 2019, 06:28:35 AM
i hope that you become filled with so much happiness that it heals every part of you. I know there are days when you feel like giving up. But i think it's brave that you never do. Every single motherfucking bad day, you've EVER had, you've overcome it. Everytime you thought you couldn't go on, you did. WOW. WOOOOOOW. Fucking proud of you.   :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 04, 2019, 01:10:40 PM
Once again: Thank you guys very much for your support, it really helps a lot!

Well done man. I would like to ask for an advice. Is it wise to use sexual enhancers (viagra) to get an erection during reboot?

Thank you! :) As I have 0 experience with those I can't give you any advice - neither on side effects nor on how it affects your recovery.

Man, dreams are the craziest. I've had dreams mess me up for a day or two before with a fresh set of urges. Just keep doing what you've been doing though and don't let it get to you too much (easier said than done, I know). It used to be that porn dreams were like a guilty pleasure for me, but they have turned into downright nightmares lately. The last few I've had, I have just woken up in a panic before the dream gets anywhere to make sure it wasn't real.

But you've got this! Here's hoping for sweeter dreams tonight!

Had a dream about having sex with a girl from work, she is not attractive at all, this was bizarre! I can relate to the panic because of the fear of relapsing when dreaming about porn. Well, this time I woke up later and just thought about what is happening with me.

My best strategy so far is to not let a dream or thought grow. I just shut it down immediately. During former reboots I'd often allow myself sexual fantasies, because as long as they were connected to a real girl and not porn related they wouldn't do harm, I thought.

Now I know I won't lead myself into temptation, but instead follow healthy activities. When going to bed I immediately grab a book and read until I can't keep my eyes open anymore.

The day of trouble is forgotten today without giving in to urges. And I don't feel any today, that's an important proof to myself that giving in to cravings won't change anything. Maybe it even gets worse due to the chaser effect. I need to go through more experiences like that and learn to not give in. Suffering equals healing, although it's no fun at all.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 05, 2019, 01:15:48 PM
35 days

5 weeks complete, I made some changes in life that really help me this time. Now there is the weekend ahead and I have to be very careful, I am still at the beginning of a hard road and need to face this addiction with humility and knowledge. There will be tough days and weeks and I will not let my guards down.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 05, 2019, 06:14:19 PM

My best strategy so far is to not let a dream or thought grow. I just shut it down immediately. During former reboots I'd often allow myself sexual fantasies, because as long as they were connected to a real girl and not porn related they wouldn't do harm, I thought.


Way to go on 35 days! 5 whole weeks is an awesome milestone (and just the beginning, as you wisely pointed out). But I think what you said up above is even more encouraging than achieving an awesome streak. There are some many thoughts and actions, like real-girl sexual fantasies, that can seem harmless or even good, but they're dangerous and can lead us right back to porn. I think it's awesome that you're aware of that and doing what you need to do to stay far away from the edge.

It's too common, I think, to see people who want to get rid of porn but don't want to get rid of all their selfish sexual pleasures. Yeah, maybe fantasies are fun and less harmful than porn, but if they still fill the same slot of giving us our sexual "fix" they are still a tool of addiction. For me, and it looks like for you too, I don't just want to quit porn, I want to quit addiction in any form.

Keep on going, man! I'm excited for you
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 06, 2019, 06:23:51 AM
You're doing a good job. You'll find a way to make it through this. You always have.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 06, 2019, 08:07:57 AM
Thanks a lot, guys!  :)

It's too common, I think, to see people who want to get rid of porn but don't want to get rid of all their selfish sexual pleasures. Yeah, maybe fantasies are fun and less harmful than porn, but if they still fill the same slot of giving us our sexual "fix" they are still a tool of addiction.

Exactly, that's one of the changes I made in life. Saturdays and sundays always have been dangerous because I woke up without the pressure to leave the house to go to work. Now I don't let any sexual thought grow but immediately get up, go to the bath and get ready for the day.

I also notice how all the former reboot attempts had a positive impact and step by step I have been filling my life with new tasks and habits that now really make me feel happy about my life and what I accomplish. Sometimes I tend to have a negative view thinking "What would have been possible in my life if I hadn't fallen for porn...", but instead I try to remind myself of how I am now responsible to build a positive now and a positive future.

Yet I didn't experience the low motivation I used to experience during the second month, to the contrary I am extremely productive. The only thing that hasn't been good lately is my nutrition, I will return to my diet plan on monday.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 06, 2019, 06:09:07 PM

Exactly, that's one of the changes I made in life. Saturdays and sundays always have been dangerous because I woke up without the pressure to leave the house to go to work. Now I don't let any sexual thought grow but immediately get up, go to the bath and get ready for the day.

I also notice how all the former reboot attempts had a positive impact and step by step I have been filling my life with new tasks and habits that now really make me feel happy about my life and what I accomplish. Sometimes I tend to have a negative view thinking "What would have been possible in my life if I hadn't fallen for porn...", but instead I try to remind myself of how I am now responsible to build a positive now and a positive future.

This is awesome, man! What an amazing frame of mind to be in. Don't play around with those smaller thoughts/urges, and don't waste time feeling bad about what could have been. These are thoughts that don't just want to get rid of porn: they want to get rid of addiction.

More power to you!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 09, 2019, 12:33:07 PM
AMAZING! Well done on getting this far, mate! You're gonna kick this motherfucker once and for all, and even if your dopamine-craving brain tries to tell you differently, I 100% believe you will have the power to divert that energy towards positive means. I'm proud of you and excited for this next chapter in your journey!

- Adventurer
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 09, 2019, 06:55:06 PM
Thanks a lot for your support, BlueHeronFan and Non-Dual Adventurer! :)

40 days

Nothing to celebrate, I've been at this point half a year ago and relapsed after 2 months anyway. Had a wet dream two days ago and cravings are very high while I'm having bad luck with girls lately. One voice in my head tells me to take my cell phone home, get Tinder again and meet new girls easily, the other voice tells me that's the direct way back to "Day 0" and that maybe I should just calm down.

Well, I will listen to the more reasonable voice, because 40 days clean is NOTHING compared to years of addiction and I won't die by further abstaining from sex. Yes, I do feel lonely and desperate to some degree, but that's actually helping me. I will stick to my best tactic so far und treat tomorrow as day 1 with plans to take care only for myself: Eat healthy, do sports, read, be creative, socialize.

Important rules for myself: Still not take my cell phone home, be patient and stick to my daily tasks! The following days will be very dangerous if I don't make the right decisions, there is a reason I almost never reached the third month...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 10, 2019, 07:07:02 PM
Congrats!

Congrats as much for the streak as for saying it's "nothing to celebrate." On some level, that's very true. 40 days is good progress, but it's not long enough to be "cured." Don't let your brain trick you into thinking that some dangerous things (like Tinder) are okay now. It sounds like you're keeping your brain on track, but it doesn't hurt to say it.

You know the things that are helping you get to 40 days. There's no reason at all to give up on them. It's like taking an antibiotic: you take all of it, even if your symptoms clear up before it's gone. If you don't finish the bottle, there's a chance for the bacteria to develop resistance, and then everything gets worse! (At least, that's what I've heard. And, even if it's not 100% true, I'm sticking with the analogy lol.)

The point is that you know what's working, and you sound well aware of things that have sent you back to day 0 in the past. So just keep doing what you're doing. I know my brain is always coming up with good ideas about what might be "okay" now, but I just keep telling myself that I'm as much at risk of a relapse today as I was at day 8, maybe even more. No time to get sloppy.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 11, 2019, 05:46:40 AM
You're so much more likeable than you think you are! Please try not to let one bad experience make you doubt yourself forever! Things just go wrong sometimes! You're still a wonderful person  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 11, 2019, 11:37:36 AM
Congratulations! Nothing to celebrate perhaps, but definitely to just shrug off either! You've come a long way, and whilst you must still remain vigilant, it doesn't mean you can't be a little proud of yourself too. And just because you relapsed after 2 months before doesn't mean you'll relapse this time. Every time you relapse you learn something, and I believe you will make it through this. It's great if, when you feel a little down, to vent it on here - that's one of this forum's many wonderful functions, but if that negativity is something that turns into a mindset and goes unchecked, it can in itself lead to relapse. No need to feel down about anything, you're on the up and up, man, and your life will just go from strength to strength from here!

- Adventurer
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 12, 2019, 11:09:47 AM
Thanks a lot, BlueHeronFan, "ThankYou..." and Non-Dual Adventurer!

42 days

Maybe "nothing to celebrate" did sound too negative, but it wasn't meant like that. It's more a reminder to myself to not repeat the same mistakes as usual because as soon as I feel like I reached a bigger streak I usually become complacent or even "demanding" in terms of benefits.

"Hey, I made it six weeks without porn - now where is my new life?" - no, I am building that life step by step and I need to stick to my plans and tasks until they BECOME habits, which may take months or even years. Some things work well: I am reading a lot and get used to live without a cell phone at home. I avoid triggers and actually feel like I am making better use of my time online since there is a time restriction. Nutrition is a problem though, I returned to sugar and need to stop again.

My main problem connected to porn has been social anxiety and socializing and I already made amazing progress before and advanced even further now. My "former self" tried to avoid conflicts, wasn't able to express discontent in a serious and assertive way and generally got hurt by criticism. The more I force myself to go through uncomfortable situations, the more I get used to them. I still get nervous sometimes, but it's a question of training. Years of porn (same with TV and video games) were negative training and an easy way to avoid pain or discomfort. Now I am training myself to accept criticism, express dicontent and live with the consequences.

During the last weeks I faced several confrontations at work and in private life and I am growing stronger. Some people don't like me, others do. I still take rejection personal, but to a much lesser degree than before. If someone isn't doing their job well it's not my fault just because I tell them. I am responsible for important projects and although it would be great to be friends with all co-workers, it's impossible.

Concerning personal life I received criticism by some girls concerning my behaviour and they are right. When I said I was having "bad luck" with girls it wasn't bad luck, but my own fault. This reboot is an opportunity to get rid of "toxic" contacts and also stop being a toxic contact to others, because I clearly maintained contact with some girls only for sex and treated them not very well apart from that.

There is a long way ahead, but the last six weeks went in the right direction!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 12, 2019, 11:27:23 AM
Thanks a lot, BlueHeronFan, "ThankYou..." and Non-Dual Adventurer!

42 days

Maybe "nothing to celebrate" did sound too negative, but it wasn't meant like that. It's more a reminder to myself to not repeat the same mistakes as usual because as soon as I feel like I reached a bigger streak I usually become complacent or even "demanding" in terms of benefits.

"Hey, I made it six weeks without porn - now where is my new life?" - no, I am building that life step by step and I need to stick to my plans and tasks until they BECOME habits, which may take months or even years. Some things work well: I am reading a lot and get used to live without a cell phone at home. I avoid triggers and actually feel like I am making better use of my time online since there is a time restriction. Nutrition is a problem though, I returned to sugar and need to stop again.

My main problem connected to porn has been social anxiety and socializing and I already made amazing progress before and advanced even further now. My "former self" tried to avoid conflicts, wasn't able to express discontent in a serious and assertive way and generally got hurt by criticism. The more I force myself to go through uncomfortable situations, the more I get used to them. I still get nervous sometimes, but it's a question of training. Years of porn (same with TV and video games) were negative training and an easy way to avoid pain or discomfort. Now I am training myself to accept criticism, express dicontent and live with the consequences.

During the last weeks I faced several confrontations at work and in private life and I am growing stronger. Some people don't like me, others do. I still take rejection personal, but to a much lesser degree than before. If someone isn't doing their job well it's not my fault just because I tell them. I am responsible for important projects and although it would be great to be friends with all co-workers, it's impossible.

Concerning personal life I received criticism by some girls concerning my behaviour and they are right. When I said I was having "bad luck" with girls it wasn't bad luck, but my own fault. This reboot is an opportunity to get rid of "toxic" contacts and also stop being a toxic contact to others, because I clearly maintained contact with some girls only for sex and treated them not very well apart from that.

There is a long way ahead, but the last six weeks went in the right direction!

I see what you mean. Basically, you don't want to count your chickens before they're hatched.

Very interesting what you say about avoiding conflict, not expressing discontent, and taking criticism too personally. I do all of these things. I do remember that when I was clean, I noticed myself becoming more assertive and I would not shy away from a disagreement. For me, I struggle to ascertain whether these aforementioned traits are a result of porn-induced social anxiety or porn-induced social apathy. Weirdly, I think it might be both. On one level I don't care, but on another level, maybe I make myself not care because I'm anxious about conflict.

Also, it's a really good sign that you're starting introspect on your treatment of the fairer sex. I think that's a sign of recovery, because when we're deep down the rabbit hole of P, it's much easier to treat women as objects for sexual gratification. I believe your moral questioning of your treatment is due to your brain rebooting, which is making you more empathic.

- Adventurer

I hope you have another
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 12, 2019, 05:51:16 PM
Really good thoughts, and I think Adventurer sort of captured a lot of my response.

I have definitely noticed in the last few months that I've been doing more to stand up for myself and to say no to people. I definitely think it has something to do with how porn wrecks our self-esteem. For the longest time, I've been the kind of person who will do whatever it takes to make the people around me totally comfortable and happy (at the unhealthy expense of my own happiness). Now that I'm starting to recognize my own intrinsic value, though, I'm starting to realize that bending over backwards for people isn't good for them or for me. Maybe being a pushover could help me to get a relationship, but it won't help me to build a healthy and long-lasting one.

Keep on learning and growing and building a better life each day!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 14, 2019, 06:09:53 AM
Thank you very much, BlueHeronFan and Adventurer. Your observation, Adventurer, is right, my relation with the opposite sex is definitely changing as I experienced yesterday. And it seems like the boost in self-esteem is a common effect while rebooting, which is a good confirmation for myself that this is not placebo, but a real benefit of abstaining from porn.

44 days

Yesterday I spontaneously went to a party with a friend and as I just returned to sports and eating healthy after skipping healthy nutrition for about a week, I decided not to drink. He was really drunk and made lots of comments about the girls at the party, like he wasn't going home without one of the "bitches". I'm far away from political correctness and won't deny I made such drunk comments too in the past, but it made me feel really uncomfortable.

Positive observations from yesterday first: There were indeed many girls I considered attractive and on the other hand I recognized how various of them were looking at me at some point. I know that I am above average attractive and despite my trouble socializing get to know girls, but while trapped in the porn abyss I have a very negative sense of self. I tend to focus on what I consider my flaws and feel like not being good enough. After abstaining some time from porn, I feel more self-confident about my appearance and behave more self-confident in gesture and behaviour, thus appearing more attractive in general. While porn is a downward spiral of self-worth, rebooting is the other way up.

It also works in terms of perception of beauty: It's not like suddenly there are more beautiful girls around, but I do focus on their beauty instead of their flaws. Porn is poisoning my head with negative ideas about girls and about myself: "The girls you will have are never as beautiful as the perfect porn stars" and "You are not good enough to get those beautiful girls in real life". Abstaining from the bizarre world of porn is changing my conception of beauty and suddenly there are more girls I consider attractive as well as me feeling more attractive myself.

So far the positive observations, now the negative part: Had some opportunities to hold eye contact and maybe get to start a conversation, but I felt getting nervous and looked away. If I don't drink I have a hard time catching up with small talk and easily feel out of place about the drunk party mood around me. Thoughts arose that question my reboot in general: "Why do I feel uncomfortable after already over a month without porn? This doesn't feel any different from day 1, I am out of place here and there are no positive effects on social anxiety, this will never change."

I couldn't stop that negative thinking, then me and my friend met a girl he knew from work. She started a conversation with me, clearly ignoring him and seemingly interested in me. I had trouble to relax and talk to her and thought about just drinking a little bit to make me feel more comfortable. I started to put myself under pressure as during the week there is no real chance for me to meet girls (if not by some coincidence) and I thought I should make use of the opportunity. Then I thought about growing old and how I should be living for the moment and just get drunk.

Luckily there was a voice of reason telling me to just leave the party. It would have been a bad idea to get drunk with unrealistic expectations of myself and thinking of going home with a girl while maybe ending up with a hangover, lonely and frustrated the next day, vulnerable to relapsing on porn out of desperation. There are two possibilites of getting drunk: If I am already in a good mood and drink with friends, I usually end up having a good time. If I am feeling uncomfortable and drink to socialize, it doesn't work and I drink more and more without much positive effect. It clearly wasn't my night and I decided to leave.

I am still at the very beginning of building a new life and need to be careful about unrealistic expectations of superpowers just because I didn't watch porn for 1 1/2 months now. There are very positive changes, they are visible, but I need to be patient.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 14, 2019, 07:48:07 AM
You're killing it, man! 50 days are around the corner.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: zander13 on July 14, 2019, 02:01:39 PM
Good shit my man. Nice decision to leave the party.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 14, 2019, 07:13:48 PM
Way to keep at it and get yourself out there! (And even more congratulations for recognizing your limits and getting out when you needed to!)

I have definitely noticed a change in my perceptions of beauty too. Porn definitely made me more flaw-focused: I didn't want to look at pictures or watch a video unless the girl was "perfect." So I pretty much just clicked endlessly through links expecting someone better looking to be at the next site. What a dumb waste. But the things I thought were flaws in porn are not even issues in real life, and I've noticed that the kinds of women I'm actually attracted to don't look anything like the women I was looking for on porn sites. It's like completely different versions of me with completely different ideas of what counts as attractive.

But also, don't be too hard on yourself for not feeling comfortable interacting with real women yet. I haven't figured that out at all. Just today, I was sitting in front of someone at church that I think is attractive. I've been meaning and meaning to talk to her, but there has just never been an opportunity to do it. Today, though, I knew I had my chance. She was wearing a dress I liked, so I had it all figured out: as soon as church was over, I would turn around and compliment her dress, and she would say thanks, and I would be all cool or whatever, and then we'd be friends. But instead, church ended, and I just left the room without even saying anything at all. Without even turning around. I don't why. It's not like I'm scared, but I guess I sort of am. It's just like I had a huge mental block and just left for the hall. The only kind of silver lining is that we did smile (kind of awkwardly) at each other a little later, but I still didn't have any presence of mind to say anything.

I guess all I mean is that I think learning how to talk to women and feel comfortable with it isn't something that just comes from time away from porn. We might have to find another support group for that mystery, lol! But seriously, you're making good progress, and it's good that you caught the negative thinking how you did. No reason to let those patterns of thought settle in.

Stay strong, my man, and we'll figure it all out together!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on July 14, 2019, 10:44:59 PM
Nice work Achilles, environment is a big factor, you did well in leaving one that didn't feel right. 
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dusty on July 15, 2019, 04:34:04 AM
You made awesome progress already Achilles, you're my inspiration. Take care :D
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: pichaelthompson on July 15, 2019, 01:08:53 PM
It's really cool to see how your perception of women are changing, I've began to notice that a little bit too....I'll make eye contact with a woman and feel insecure because I feel like I am being judged in some way, but then I begin to realize that I am the only person that is making me feel this way. Keep going and inspiring others! :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 16, 2019, 07:50:50 AM
You are taking all the right steps!
You don’t give up. Ever. And I see that.
You're just overall an amazing person to be around that is why the girl approached you. Trust me, I enjoy being with you, you are a really kind person.
You have come a long way. Getting to this level of reboot is impressive. It wasn't easy, and you didn't give up. Although every part of you wanted to, and at your lowest, you did stay. You are here. It's not perfect reboot, but it's quite incredible given where you started. Well done. I see you. I see what you have been through. I know what it took to get here. I am so proud of you.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 16, 2019, 05:15:13 PM
Thank you all very much, it really means a lot to me to have this amazing support!

47 days

I'm currently entering a stage of danger, but it's different from the first month where intense cravings and heavy depression usually bring the trouble. Now routine is setting in and I have to act against my impatient self questioning this journey: "I put so much effort into this, now where is my benefit? Wait? There are no superpowers and I will never get my intense high again? And I will keep living with restrictions? I want to check WhatsApp in the evening, I want my normal life back, I want..."

STOP!

I caught an important thought on Lero's journal to start the reply to my starving brain: "After the last relapse, I was desperate to be where I am now." - this is so important. I tend to forget, but I really feel like shit after relapsing. Not just bad, but it's really the worst that I could do to myself and if avoiding to be home alone with my cell phone is the only sacrifice to avoid this pain and despair, it's not a sacrifice, but a neccessary change of lifestyle.

This happened in february this year after my biggest streak within a long time (2 months):

I relapsed, basically the whole weekend. I just did not take this serious at all after 2 months and already left my healthy routines behind for a while. No restrictions on my phone, got drunk and high and took my phone to bed. Right afterwards I felt like "How could I throw this all away?" and went right back to porn again. The downward spiral set in, self-hatred fueled another porn session and another one.

This happened after two months last year:

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff.

Those are little reminders to me to treat this as if it was day 1. No cell phone at home, social media only for a short session once a week to check messages. It's not about making this a temporary sacrifice, but a permanent lifestyle. Nothing's worse than a new "Day 1" and going through that horrible first month again. I wished so much to reach this point and now that I am here 1 1/2 months clean, I feel like this reboot is taking away my freedom. A little voice tries to tell me how it's not neccessary to keep restrictions. This entry is a reminder to myself that it IS neccessary and important and there will be no negotiation. My next goal is completing 50 days this weekend, the next days I will be extremely busy and it's unlikely to relapse, but I will remain aware anyway.

Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 16, 2019, 05:32:10 PM
Yes, this is an awesome reflection.

When our life starts to feel a little more normal and we have a longer streak going, it could be so easy to let things slip. Maybe we don't think we're "cured," but we might still think we don't need all the protections because things aren't so bad anymore. That's the beginning of the end, my friend, and it's awesome that you're holding yourself to a high standard.

One of the things that I've really tried to stress with myself in the last few months is that everything I do is "Just for today." That's what the reminder that comes on my phone every morning says, "Just for today." It has really helped me to treat every day like Day 1. It doesn't matter that I've been clean for a few months. If I let myself, I could burn the whole night tonight on a binge. There is no reason to think that my biggest source of pleasure for over a decade won't be appealing to me anymore just because I've stayed away from it for a few months. That's why I have to be as careful today as I was the day after my last relapse. After a few months, I am, hopefully, better at dealing with the urges and choosing something else, but I'm still just as vulnerable as ever: I can't leave myself open to an attack.

Keep going with this attitude, man! It sounds like you're making awesome progress (and your streak is pretty fantastic too)!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on July 16, 2019, 09:17:09 PM
Thank you all very much, it really means a lot to me to have this amazing support!

47 days

I'm currently entering a stage of danger, but it's different from the first month where intense cravings and heavy depression usually bring the trouble. Now routine is setting in and I have to act against my impatient self questioning this journey: "I put so much effort into this, now where is my benefit? Wait? There are no superpowers and I will never get my intense high again? And I will keep living with restrictions? I want to check WhatsApp in the evening, I want my normal life back, I want..."

STOP!

I caught an important thought on Lero's journal to start the reply to my starving brain: "After the last relapse, I was desperate to be where I am now." - this is so important. I tend to forget, but I really feel like shit after relapsing. Not just bad, but it's really the worst that I could do to myself and if avoiding to be home alone with my cell phone is the only sacrifice to avoid this pain and despair, it's not a sacrifice, but a neccessary change of lifestyle.

This happened in february this year after my biggest streak within a long time (2 months):

I relapsed, basically the whole weekend. I just did not take this serious at all after 2 months and already left my healthy routines behind for a while. No restrictions on my phone, got drunk and high and took my phone to bed. Right afterwards I felt like "How could I throw this all away?" and went right back to porn again. The downward spiral set in, self-hatred fueled another porn session and another one.

This happened after two months last year:

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff.

Those are little reminders to me to treat this as if it was day 1. No cell phone at home, social media only for a short session once a week to check messages. It's not about making this a temporary sacrifice, but a permanent lifestyle. Nothing's worse than a new "Day 1" and going through that horrible first month again. I wished so much to reach this point and now that I am here 1 1/2 months clean, I feel like this reboot is taking away my freedom. A little voice tries to tell me how it's not neccessary to keep restrictions. This entry is a reminder to myself that it IS neccessary and important and there will be no negotiation. My next goal is completing 50 days this weekend, the next days I will be extremely busy and it's unlikely to relapse, but I will remain aware anyway.

That feeling of relapse is the worse absolutely, I've been there man. After my longest streak of 5 months.  The kicker is feeling the pain and then going right back to the souce of the pain to numb the pain it caused in the first place.  Vicious.  You are wise to revisit your journal to learn about what worked and what didn't. 
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 17, 2019, 02:21:27 AM
Yes, this is an awesome reflection.

When our life starts to feel a little more normal and we have a longer streak going, it could be so easy to let things slip. Maybe we don't think we're "cured," but we might still think we don't need all the protections because things aren't so bad anymore. That's the beginning of the end, my friend, and it's awesome that you're holding yourself to a high standard.

This is very common and one of the reason why people relapse after long streaks. Never let your guard down and keep doing the things as if this was day 1 back then when you started.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 17, 2019, 02:29:54 AM
I caught an important thought on Lero's journal to start the reply to my starving brain: "After the last relapse, I was desperate to be where I am now." - this is so important. I tend to forget, but I really feel like shit after relapsing. Not just bad, but it's really the worst that I could do to myself and if avoiding to be home alone with my cell phone is the only sacrifice to avoid this pain and despair, it's not a sacrifice, but a neccessary change of lifestyle.

This happened in february this year after my biggest streak within a long time (2 months):

I relapsed, basically the whole weekend. I just did not take this serious at all after 2 months and already left my healthy routines behind for a while. No restrictions on my phone, got drunk and high and took my phone to bed. Right afterwards I felt like "How could I throw this all away?" and went right back to porn again. The downward spiral set in, self-hatred fueled another porn session and another one.

This happened after two months last year:

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff.

Those are little reminders to me to treat this as if it was day 1. No cell phone at home, social media only for a short session once a week to check messages. It's not about making this a temporary sacrifice, but a permanent lifestyle. Nothing's worse than a new "Day 1" and going through that horrible first month again. I wished so much to reach this point and now that I am here 1 1/2 months clean, I feel like this reboot is taking away my freedom. A little voice tries to tell me how it's not neccessary to keep restrictions. This entry is a reminder to myself that it IS neccessary and important and there will be no negotiation. My next goal is completing 50 days this weekend, the next days I will be extremely busy and it's unlikely to relapse, but I will remain aware anyway.

This is what basically saved me the last 3 days: Thinking about the relapse. I started visualizing it. I started feeling how I would feel when I relapse. I started thinking how I would think after a relapse. I visualized myself in misery. I saw that I had the tendency to bury myself, to beat myself up and despair. I saw I couldn't handle the relapses too well. I saw that I was impatient and waiting again for the same number of days seemed so long. Then I got out of the visualization and said: Goddamn no! I don't need this! I don't want to be there. After a relapse I beg to be, somehow, transported in the future when I have at least 2 weeks away from P. So why would I want to go back to day 1 again? We have so many reasons not to go back there. But we are dealing with a sick "part of us" that only knows about the "fix". Of course it will try everything to make us give it the fix, this is obvious and we have to keep this in mind all the time. "Ah, so my drug addicted side woke up again and is screaming for a fix? I know this. But I don't have the fix, sorry. I'm helping you with all I can. I do things everyday for you. But I can't give you the fix. One day you will heal and leave me alone."
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on July 17, 2019, 11:40:56 AM
Amazing attitude and streak, man. You're an inspiration to me, as today is Day 1 for me (again).
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 19, 2019, 05:21:50 PM
Thank you very much for your support once again, guys!  :)

50 days

This might not be my longest streak yet, but it's definitely the purest. I didn't watch porn or any porn substitutes, no sexting, no masturbation and when I started to fantasize I stopped myself immediately. Still no negotiation at all with my starving brain despite some trouble at times. During these 50 days I had 3 orgasms: Sex after 22 days, a wet dream I didn't wake up to after 38 days and a wet dream yesterday I did wake up to.

The wet dream was absolutely weird because I was in a foreign country walking along the street with some guy (that person doesn't exist in real life) and we made a plan to rob a fashion store. There was only one girl attending the store (she doesn't exist either but I had a very detailed vision of her) and I went in first to distract her so my "buddy" could get the money. The distraction plan was to talk her into having sex in the dressing room and that's what happened until I woke up. Psycho-analysis isn't my cup of tea, but I'd like to know where my brain pulled off that plot - at least I don't remember any more dreams about porn and relapsing lately, seems like a sign of healing.

One of the things that I've really tried to stress with myself in the last few months is that everything I do is "Just for today." That's what the reminder that comes on my phone every morning says, "Just for today." It has really helped me to treat every day like Day 1. It doesn't matter that I've been clean for a few months. If I let myself, I could burn the whole night tonight on a binge. There is no reason to think that my biggest source of pleasure for over a decade won't be appealing to me anymore just because I've stayed away from it for a few months. That's why I have to be as careful today as I was the day after my last relapse. After a few months, I am, hopefully, better at dealing with the urges and choosing something else, but I'm still just as vulnerable as ever: I can't leave myself open to an attack.

Keep going with this attitude, man! It sounds like you're making awesome progress (and your streak is pretty fantastic too)!

I figured out the same thing about daily success and it feels like this is the first time I really learned to expect nothing in return while putting in lots of effort just for the sake of abstaining from porn. My goal is to be clean and every day I manage to reach the goal is a success. The rest is about building a new life under certain limitations that are neccessary because I am an addict and need to do everything to avoid returning to what gave me that intense source of pleasure you mention.

My next challenge is this weekend, I'm about to drink with friends tomorrow and will have to be very aware afterwards and the next day.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 20, 2019, 04:42:51 AM
50 days, man! This is outstanding progress! You know you can do this. Be careful and don't let your guard down. Apply the same tactics and you should be fine.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 20, 2019, 11:18:35 PM

I figured out the same thing about daily success and it feels like this is the first time I really learned to expect nothing in return while putting in lots of effort just for the sake of abstaining from porn. My goal is to be clean and every day I manage to reach the goal is a success. The rest is about building a new life under certain limitations that are neccessary because I am an addict and need to do everything to avoid returning to what gave me that intense source of pleasure you mention.

My next challenge is this weekend, I'm about to drink with friends tomorrow and will have to be very aware afterwards and the next day.

Huge congratulations on 50 days! That's an exciting number to see, and I think it's awesome that you're realizing it happens one day at a time.

It's a sobering but also helpful realization that you have to put in a lot of work to stay clean without expecting much in return. As far as people in general are concerned, it's not very exciting or special to get through a day "clean." Isn't that just what normal people do without trying? Probably in their eyes 50 days is nothing to celebrate.

But that's one of the great things about this community: we know the work that you're putting into this, and we can celebrate with you. Even if no one else can understand or appreciate the progress you're making, we definitely can. You're awesome, and just keep doing the awesome things that have brought you this far. Day 51 is just as important as Day 1!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on July 21, 2019, 01:56:59 PM
Congratulations.  What you achieved is dream of many rebooters here.  I am at day 20 today.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 22, 2019, 12:02:37 PM
Thank you very much once again, guys! :)

52 days

Thanks to not taking my cell phone home I made it through the weekend. Got way too drunk, fell asleep, woke up, felt like shit due to a terrible hangover and started to fantasize then touching myself, stopped myself from doing it, felt asleep again and repeated this cycle for a while yesterday. I felt lonely and thought about writing a girl I haven't met in a long time, this surely would have ended in talking her into sending nudes and I would have been in relapse mode already. Important lesson: The phone stays out of my house, I am far away from being cured from my behaviour.

But that's one of the great things about this community: we know the work that you're putting into this, and we can celebrate with you. Even if no one else can understand or appreciate the progress you're making, we definitely can. You're awesome, and just keep doing the awesome things that have brought you this far. Day 51 is just as important as Day 1!

Your reflections on your own way and your success have a big influence on my way, thanks a lot for the continuous support! :)

Due to the very unproductive sunday I have tons of things to do, will try to catch up with everyone's journals here during the week - all the best for all of you on your journeys to beating this addiction!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on July 22, 2019, 12:51:53 PM
Thank you very much once again, guys! :)

52 days

Thanks to not taking my cell phone home I made it through the weekend. Got way too drunk, fell asleep, woke up, felt like shit due to a terrible hangover and started to fantasize then touching myself, stopped myself from doing it, felt asleep again and repeated this cycle for a while yesterday. I felt lonely and thought about writing a girl I haven't met in a long time, this surely would have ended in talking her into sending nudes and I would have been in relapse mode already. Important lesson: The phone stays out of my house, I am far away from being cured from my behaviour.

But that's one of the great things about this community: we know the work that you're putting into this, and we can celebrate with you. Even if no one else can understand or appreciate the progress you're making, we definitely can. You're awesome, and just keep doing the awesome things that have brought you this far. Day 51 is just as important as Day 1!

Your reflections on your own way and your success have a big influence on my way, thanks a lot for the continuous support! :)

Due to the very unproductive sunday I have tons of things to do, will try to catch up with everyone's journals here during the week - all the best for all of you on your journeys to beating this addiction!

Congratulations on making it so far man! Completely cutting off technology through your phone is a great idea, even at this phase. I went so far as to wreck my laptop in college to break this habit. Unfortunately it didn't work and it was a total waste, but I like how inventive you were in targeting times you knew you'd have the temptation. Good luck and stay strong!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 22, 2019, 11:02:38 PM

Thanks to not taking my cell phone home I made it through the weekend. Got way too drunk, fell asleep, woke up, felt like shit due to a terrible hangover and started to fantasize then touching myself, stopped myself from doing it, felt asleep again and repeated this cycle for a while yesterday. I felt lonely and thought about writing a girl I haven't met in a long time, this surely would have ended in talking her into sending nudes and I would have been in relapse mode already. Important lesson: The phone stays out of my house, I am far away from being cured from my behaviour.

Your reflections on your own way and your success have a big influence on my way, thanks a lot for the continuous support! :)

Due to the very unproductive sunday I have tons of things to do, will try to catch up with everyone's journals here during the week - all the best for all of you on your journeys to beating this addiction!

Maybe not an ideal weekend, but you made it! And that's awesome! It's so great that you're aware of your weak spots and patterns and are able to take preemptive action to stay clear. It might be a little sobering/discouraging to say you are far from cured, but I think that's an important thing to realize. The moment you think you're cured is the moment you stop trying (and that's when you find out the hard way that you aren't cured)!

I'm really glad to hear my reflections have been helpful, too. I could send my thanks right back at you. Thanks for your support, and keep walking forward with thoughtful care!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 23, 2019, 02:12:11 PM
The moment you think you're cured is the moment you stop trying (and that's when you find out the hard way that you aren't cured)!

That's exactly what happened many times before. Every time I get desperate or impatient about progress or my life with restrictions I remind myself that I am just living the dream. Every day I stick to my restrictions and stay away from porn (even if it might be forced due to those restrictions like last sunday) is one more step in the life I wanted to live for so long. Living without porn and all its substitutes is my number one priority in life and I am living this dream to the fullest with all its ups and downs. There is no goal at the end of this road, but the act of quitting IS the goal and every day I live free is a beautiful day.

This change of perspective is giving me inner peace. Thoughts of anger and regret arise when I think about my past, but I can't change my past and challenging porn addiction has also helped me to learn a lot about myself.

I'm really glad to hear my reflections have been helpful, too. I could send my thanks right back at you. Thanks for your support, and keep walking forward with thoughtful care!

I will keep following your good example ;)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 23, 2019, 03:53:59 PM
Quitting P no. 1 priority.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on July 23, 2019, 04:36:18 PM
The moment you think you're cured is the moment you stop trying (and that's when you find out the hard way that you aren't cured)!

That's exactly what happened many times before. Every time I get desperate or impatient about progress or my life with restrictions I remind myself that I am just living the dream. Every day I stick to my restrictions and stay away from porn (even if it might be forced due to those restrictions like last sunday) is one more step in the life I wanted to live for so long. Living without porn and all its substitutes is my number one priority in life and I am living this dream to the fullest with all its ups and downs. There is no goal at the end of this road, but the act of quitting IS the goal and every day I live free is a beautiful day.

This change of perspective is giving me inner peace. Thoughts of anger and regret arise when I think about my past, but I can't change my past and challenging porn addiction has also helped me to learn a lot about myself.

I'm really glad to hear my reflections have been helpful, too. I could send my thanks right back at you. Thanks for your support, and keep walking forward with thoughtful care!

I will keep following your good example ;)

Man, this reminds me of what my writing teacher in college told me years ago. "If you really stop to think about it, every moment is a miracle." Just looking around you and feeling the extremest gratitude for your life, your talents, your security, your ability to breathe and think freely are huge things we forget about. I swear, If I get really overwhelmed with urges, it helps me to just pull out my relapse ticker and watch the seconds fly by. Every second, in a way, makes me stronger. Granted, it will vastly help you to change the things that led you to PMO in the first place, but there's something comforting looking at time not as a fleeting resource, but in a way, a source of strength. SO often I get caught up thinking about running out of time before I die (and thinking about your limited time on Earth can be helpful too, but) it completely flips that notion on its head to see time in this way.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 23, 2019, 11:30:04 PM

That's exactly what happened many times before. Every time I get desperate or impatient about progress or my life with restrictions I remind myself that I am just living the dream. Every day I stick to my restrictions and stay away from porn (even if it might be forced due to those restrictions like last sunday) is one more step in the life I wanted to live for so long. Living without porn and all its substitutes is my number one priority in life and I am living this dream to the fullest with all its ups and downs. There is no goal at the end of this road, but the act of quitting IS the goal and every day I live free is a beautiful day.

This change of perspective is giving me inner peace. Thoughts of anger and regret arise when I think about my past, but I can't change my past and challenging porn addiction has also helped me to learn a lot about myself.

Great thoughts! Hey, sometimes a forced restriction is just what you need (even if it feels like it doesn't take as much willpower or moral courage, you're the one who set up the forced restriction! Think of it as a decision made in advance.)

I also really love the awareness of quitting not only PMO but also porn substitutes. I'll never get bored of saying it: the goal is not to quit PMO; the goal is to overcome addiction! Paying to attention even to porn substitutes shows that your committed to the larger and more important project of freeing yourself from addiction in any form, not just quitting a particular behavior.

And the changing perspective and greater sense of inner peace are a great payoff along the way! So glad to hear you're experiencing it. The past is gone and can't be changed. You can learn from it and move on. One of the greatest things helping me move forward is the idea that yesterday cannot hold tomorrow hostage. Sometimes I think my past has damaged my future irreparably, but that just isn't true. The future is wide open and promising for us all!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on July 24, 2019, 09:24:53 AM

That's exactly what happened many times before. Every time I get desperate or impatient about progress or my life with restrictions I remind myself that I am just living the dream. Every day I stick to my restrictions and stay away from porn (even if it might be forced due to those restrictions like last sunday) is one more step in the life I wanted to live for so long. Living without porn and all its substitutes is my number one priority in life and I am living this dream to the fullest with all its ups and downs. There is no goal at the end of this road, but the act of quitting IS the goal and every day I live free is a beautiful day.

This change of perspective is giving me inner peace. Thoughts of anger and regret arise when I think about my past, but I can't change my past and challenging porn addiction has also helped me to learn a lot about myself.

Great thoughts! Hey, sometimes a forced restriction is just what you need (even if it feels like it doesn't take as much willpower or moral courage, you're the one who set up the forced restriction! Think of it as a decision made in advance.)

I also really love the awareness of quitting not only PMO but also porn substitutes. I'll never get bored of saying it: the goal is not to quit PMO; the goal is to overcome addiction! Paying to attention even to porn substitutes shows that your committed to the larger and more important project of freeing yourself from addiction in any form, not just quitting a particular behavior.

And the changing perspective and greater sense of inner peace are a great payoff along the way! So glad to hear you're experiencing it. The past is gone and can't be changed. You can learn from it and move on. One of the greatest things helping me move forward is the idea that yesterday cannot hold tomorrow hostage. Sometimes I think my past has damaged my future irreparably, but that just isn't true. The future is wide open and promising for us all!

Good call on this. I find it difficult to target specific behaviors until I draw really clear lines for what constitutes a relapse and what doesn't. That's why it's so hard for me to count fantasizing as a relapse, but more effort at this would definitely help speed recovery. Hmm, maybe P substitutes would be a good place to start...I'll try to come up with some categories...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 24, 2019, 10:39:16 AM
Good call on this. I find it difficult to target specific behaviors until I draw really clear lines for what constitutes a relapse and what doesn't. That's why it's so hard for me to count fantasizing as a relapse, but more effort at this would definitely help speed recovery. Hmm, maybe P substitutes would be a good place to start...I'll try to come up with some categories...

I have a problem with fantasizing too. I have to be more disciplined about it and stop it before it develops into my own P scene inside my mind.

Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 24, 2019, 05:34:46 PM
Great thoughts! Hey, sometimes a forced restriction is just what you need (even if it feels like it doesn't take as much willpower or moral courage, you're the one who set up the forced restriction! Think of it as a decision made in advance.)

You're right and I should be aware that less than two months of remaining clean don't make me control myself when completely drunk. It's just impossible. The good thing is, my little episode of fantasies was about a real girl and had nothing to do with porn - I still try to avoid any sexual fantasy, even if they are "natural" and "healthy", because they might lead back to relapsing. It happened very often that I wanted to be with a girl and messages led to sexting and sexting to porn. Therefore I already cut various contacts and look forward to meet new girls and establish healthier relationships (I tried to talk all my "friends with benefits" into sexting sooner or later, it gave me an even bigger high to have porn of girls I know).

I also really love the awareness of quitting not only PMO but also porn substitutes. I'll never get bored of saying it: the goal is not to quit PMO; the goal is to overcome addiction! Paying to attention even to porn substitutes shows that your committed to the larger and more important project of freeing yourself from addiction in any form, not just quitting a particular behavior.

Yes, I had to learn from that mistake when I first tried to quit porn and switched to clicking through lingerie galleries on Facebook. I thought that my problem was hardcore porn and all kinds of weird categories I ended at, but the problem is feeding the little monster inside the brain with anything at all. There is only one solution: No artificial stimulation whatsoever! Even sexting is nothing but porn. It doesn't matter if I'm with the girl in real life some days later, as soon as I look at a screen to get aroused, it's pornography and it leads right back to all the damage and pain I desperately try to get rid of.

And the changing perspective and greater sense of inner peace are a great payoff along the way! So glad to hear you're experiencing it. The past is gone and can't be changed. You can learn from it and move on. One of the greatest things helping me move forward is the idea that yesterday cannot hold tomorrow hostage. Sometimes I think my past has damaged my future irreparably, but that just isn't true. The future is wide open and promising for us all!

You're right, but sometimes it's hard to hold on to that perspective. When going through the first month of quitting porn I always fall into a deep hole of depression and can't see the positive perspective. The further away I am from my last relapse, the clearer I see new possibilities instead of missed opportunities.

That's what I have to remind myself about: I am currently at a point where I desperately wanted to be for so long. My next goal is to complete the second month and still stick to my restrictions. I am not going to lower my guards, I am not healed and there are no superpowers waiting. I'm just happy to not be a slave of my addiction anymore and enjoy every day without it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 24, 2019, 11:15:17 PM
Thanks for your thoughtful response!


Yes, I had to learn from that mistake when I first tried to quit porn and switched to clicking through lingerie galleries on Facebook. I thought that my problem was hardcore porn and all kinds of weird categories I ended at, but the problem is feeding the little monster inside the brain with anything at all. There is only one solution: No artificial stimulation whatsoever! Even sexting is nothing but porn. It doesn't matter if I'm with the girl in real life some days later, as soon as I look at a screen to get aroused, it's pornography and it leads right back to all the damage and pain I desperately try to get rid of.


This is so true for me too. For me, any stimulation that is only for the sake of stimulation (and not about dating someone or building a relationship) is out. Even fantasies about real girls eventually turn into porn fantasies, and then it's relapse time. It has really made a difference for me to be way stricter about fantasies, substitutes, etc. Anything that gets my mind back in the "little monster" mode is too dangerous to risk flirting with.

You're right, but sometimes it's hard to hold on to that perspective. When going through the first month of quitting porn I always fall into a deep hole of depression and can't see the positive perspective. The further away I am from my last relapse, the clearer I see new possibilities instead of missed opportunities.

That's what I have to remind myself about: I am currently at a point where I desperately wanted to be for so long. My next goal is to complete the second month and still stick to my restrictions. I am not going to lower my guards, I am not healed and there are no superpowers waiting. I'm just happy to not be a slave of my addiction anymore and enjoy every day without it.

It is very hard to hang onto a new, more positive mindset. I've mentioned before that these months of recovery have been some of the hardest that I can remember. But it is awesome to focus on the possibilities and not the regrets.

Optimism and healthier habits of thought aren't just going to happen. We definitely have to work at them and put deliberate effort into changing them. Sounds like you're making great strides and getting your head in the right place, and that is awesome. Keep doing what you're doing, especially when it comes to living each day on guard, carefully and deliberately moving forward!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on July 25, 2019, 09:55:53 PM
Thanks for your thoughtful response!


Yes, I had to learn from that mistake when I first tried to quit porn and switched to clicking through lingerie galleries on Facebook. I thought that my problem was hardcore porn and all kinds of weird categories I ended at, but the problem is feeding the little monster inside the brain with anything at all. There is only one solution: No artificial stimulation whatsoever! Even sexting is nothing but porn. It doesn't matter if I'm with the girl in real life some days later, as soon as I look at a screen to get aroused, it's pornography and it leads right back to all the damage and pain I desperately try to get rid of.


This is so true for me too. For me, any stimulation that is only for the sake of stimulation (and not about dating someone or building a relationship) is out. Even fantasies about real girls eventually turn into porn fantasies, and then it's relapse time. It has really made a difference for me to be way stricter about fantasies, substitutes, etc. Anything that gets my mind back in the "little monster" mode is too dangerous to risk flirting with.

You're right, but sometimes it's hard to hold on to that perspective. When going through the first month of quitting porn I always fall into a deep hole of depression and can't see the positive perspective. The further away I am from my last relapse, the clearer I see new possibilities instead of missed opportunities.

That's what I have to remind myself about: I am currently at a point where I desperately wanted to be for so long. My next goal is to complete the second month and still stick to my restrictions. I am not going to lower my guards, I am not healed and there are no superpowers waiting. I'm just happy to not be a slave of my addiction anymore and enjoy every day without it.

It is very hard to hang onto a new, more positive mindset. I've mentioned before that these months of recovery have been some of the hardest that I can remember. But it is awesome to focus on the possibilities and not the regrets.

Optimism and healthier habits of thought aren't just going to happen. We definitely have to work at them and put deliberate effort into changing them. Sounds like you're making great strides and getting your head in the right place, and that is awesome. Keep doing what you're doing, especially when it comes to living each day on guard, carefully and deliberately moving forward!

Achilles, I'm right there with you on maintaining that positive mindset throughout the reboot until I forget that I'm rebooting (perhaps the ultimate sign of freedom). It's weird, but I think it's natural that that spirit of renewal doesn't persist unless you really and truly try to reinvent yourself into something better every single day. It's like every day needs to be a metamorhposis and you break down new walls until you're free. I am starting to plumb deeply into my subconscious to tease apart larger underlying worldviews, and I'm searching daily for other areas full of friction in my life - an obsession with changing music playlist songs to feel high all the time, a need to feel instant gratification by clicking on a Facebook app, the list goes on (many things harder to describe and less clear in boundaries, like needing to fantasize to fall asleep).

Heron, thank you so much for turning me on to the realization that it's these smaller behaviors that go on inside of my brain that are still keeping me "ghost-chained" to my old habits. I need to keep pushing myself or I will fall back. It's still escaping Earth's gravity, and the more I hesitate, the less speed I have to escape from the pull and the longer it will take to reach true "rewiring."
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 26, 2019, 06:47:14 AM
It's normal to feel down after a relapse, especially if you made the same mistake. Even if it sucks, at the end of the day it's normal. People feel down sometimes. But you must avoid going lower than that, because you reach misery and a mind in that state is a great medium for P to grow and "soothe you".

How do you keep away from getting depressed? By being optimistic that you actually know what you have to do. What made me relapse last time? What could I implement to avoid that? Youtube makes me relapse? Stay away from Youtube. If that occupied hours, you really need to find something else to do with that time. Read books, join a chess club and spend there some hours, I don't know what you will do but there is no other way. You will realize that normal things are not as entertaining as the technology (because they design it with the idea to make you addicted, stimulate you and entertain you). But really, how did people in 1960 spend their time? There was no Youtube, no video games, no social media, no phones etc. We are fighting an addiction here and we need to stay away from what makes us relapse: Internet, TV series, boredom, feeling alone and isolated etc.

I'm not talking about "exaggerated optimism" here. It's easy to pump yourself up and say: "No problem, man! I will blow this in no time! The next streak will be the last and I will be free!" Only for this pump up to fade away, you relapse again and beat yourself up in the head with an imaginary baseball bat (that hurts more than a real one).

I'm at a point where I'm trying to find things to fill my time with, so I could stay away from computer. I will join a gym, maybe some sport club, maybe I will find a library to read there.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 26, 2019, 10:53:09 AM
Thanks a lot for your replies everyone! :)

56 days

The last weekend of the second month starts and I have to be very careful once again. Just a little reminder as I am going out and probably end up drunk again: The cell phone stays out of my house!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on July 26, 2019, 11:48:58 AM
It's normal to feel down after a relapse, especially if you made the same mistake. Even if it sucks, at the end of the day it's normal. People feel down sometimes. But you must avoid going lower than that, because you reach misery and a mind in that state is a great medium for P to grow and "soothe you".

How do you keep away from getting depressed? By being optimistic that you actually know what you have to do. What made me relapse last time? What could I implement to avoid that? Youtube makes me relapse? Stay away from Youtube. If that occupied hours, you really need to find something else to do with that time. Read books, join a chess club and spend there some hours, I don't know what you will do but there is no other way. You will realize that normal things are not as entertaining as the technology (because they design it with the idea to make you addicted, stimulate you and entertain you). But really, how did people in 1960 spend their time? There was no Youtube, no video games, no social media, no phones etc. We are fighting an addiction here and we need to stay away from what makes us relapse: Internet, TV series, boredom, feeling alone and isolated etc.

I'm not talking about "exaggerated optimism" here. It's easy to pump yourself up and say: "No problem, man! I will blow this in no time! The next streak will be the last and I will be free!" Only for this pump up to fade away, you relapse again and beat yourself up in the head with an imaginary baseball bat (that hurts more than a real one).

I'm at a point where I'm trying to find things to fill my time with, so I could stay away from computer. I will join a gym, maybe some sport club, maybe I will find a library to read there.

Good call here Lero. You just made me realize that I have been spending way too much time on the computer and I've lost my sense of priorities. I think I'm going to move the desktop out of my room to minimize the computer time. I'm not so anti-computer as I am anti-distractions. There's more to be done here, but it's a start. Good call on putting yourself out there and opening up to more face to face interaction and real world experiences! I've been using social media a lot, but it's mainly to touch base with people who live far away and I can't see. Stay strong!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 26, 2019, 12:08:07 PM
I'm not so anti-computer as I am anti-distractions. There's more to be done here, but it's a start. Good call on putting yourself out there and opening up to more face to face interaction and real world experiences! I've been using social media a lot, but it's mainly to touch base with people who live far away and I can't see. Stay strong!

Of course that the computer has its useful moments. As Pete told me on my journal, using the computer with purpose could save your life, because mindlessly entertaining/distracting yourself with the computer keeps you 1 inch away from P. I always relapsed when I spent time like that in front of the computer so there is no other way. I have to use it when I need it and do something else in the rest of the time. I turn on the computer with a purpose. "What do I want to use the computer for? Write/read on reboot nation. Great, then I'll turn it off." This is one example. I don't use phone for Internet anymore. It eliminates the risk of relapsing like that. So the computer is my only Internet source and I will use it only for a reason. I wish I could be normal like other guys who could keep browsing Youtube mindlessly without worrying about finding triggers and jerking off to death, but it doesn't work like that anymore. I am included in this category of addicts who have to make things work.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on July 26, 2019, 03:49:37 PM
I just relapsed
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 27, 2019, 05:58:16 PM
Thanks a lot for your replies everyone! :)

56 days

The last weekend of the second month starts and I have to be very careful once again. Just a little reminder as I am going out and probably end up drunk again: The cell phone stays out of my house!

Congrats on the steady and continuing progress! I know these days between "milestone" days can feel sort of anticlimactic, but day 56 is every bit as exciting as day 50.

Stick to your guns and keep yourself safe in the ways that you know work. Keep it going!

Heron, thank you so much for turning me on to the realization that it's these smaller behaviors that go on inside of my brain that are still keeping me "ghost-chained" to my old habits. I need to keep pushing myself or I will fall back. It's still escaping Earth's gravity, and the more I hesitate, the less speed I have to escape from the pull and the longer it will take to reach true "rewiring."

You're welcome rob! Realizing the harm this little habits were doing to me has been a huge change in my recovery efforts. I like the phrase "ghost-chained" that's exactly how we end up. we might think we're free because we aren't doing straight-up PMO, but the little things keeps us in an addictive cycle  that is still harmful and will eventually lead to more dramatic relapses.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on July 28, 2019, 11:16:00 AM
Hi there my dear friend  :)
Well done on your 56days. You still have a lot of bright days in front of you  :) i can't see the future but the fact that you are being careful means a lot  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 30, 2019, 06:43:43 AM
Thanks for your support to everyone!

60 days

2 months complete. It has been a difficult weekend, but once again despite getting really drunk I didn't take my cell phone home and managed to get through. The last days were cheat days in terms of nutrition and alcohol (and I have to change that), but it's my first time ever to enter the third month hard mode. No porn, no porn subs, not even a peek, nothing. I had moments of starting to fantasize (not about porn, but real girls) or starting to touch myself, but stopped myself when it happened and didn't MO not even once. So far I can only say this is definitely accelerating my recovery.

The last time I entered the third month I relapsed right away, so there will be no lowering of restrictions. I will just stick to my plan because it works. Staying clean is my number one priority in life and as I know the key I will use it to continue.

Today I allow myself some fast food, ice cream and being lazy and will make a detailed plan on nutrition, sports and daily tasks for tomorrow and the following days. I have to take this as serious as "day 1" again and have the motivation to do it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dusty on July 30, 2019, 07:16:59 AM
Thanks for your support to everyone!

60 days

2 months complete. It has been a difficult weekend, but once again despite getting really drunk I didn't take my cell phone home and managed to get through. The last days were cheat days in terms of nutrition and alcohol (and I have to change that), but it's my first time ever to enter the third month hard mode. No porn, no porn subs, not even a peek, nothing. I had moments of starting to fantasize (not about porn, but real girls) or starting to touch myself, but stopped myself when it happened and didn't MO not even once. So far I can only say this is definitely accelerating my recovery.

The last time I entered the third month I relapsed right away, so there will be no lowering of restrictions. I will just stick to my plan because it works. Staying clean is my number one priority in life and as I know the key I will use it to continue.

Today I allow myself some fast food, ice cream and being lazy and will make a detailed plan on nutrition, sports and daily tasks for tomorrow and the following days. I have to take this as serious as "day 1" again and have the motivation to do it.

A huge success Achilles, chapeau bas! Not only this two months but most of all clear changes in your mind. I mean so mature approach to this reboot.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on July 30, 2019, 07:32:47 AM
Outstanding progress and discipline, man! 60 days is a big start.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on July 30, 2019, 12:08:01 PM
Well done sir!  60 is really significant
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 30, 2019, 05:08:48 PM
Today I allow myself some fast food, ice cream and being lazy and will make a detailed plan on nutrition, sports and daily tasks for tomorrow and the following days. I have to take this as serious as "day 1" again and have the motivation to do it.

60 Days is fantastic, but this last comment is even more exciting to me! Give yourself a little reward for making it to this point, commit to a more detailed plan moving forward, and treat tomorrow like it's Day 1 all over again.

In the last few weeks, I have realized that I am every bit as vulnerable today as I was on my actual Day 1. Stay careful, stay strong, and stay on track. This is awesome progress!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on July 31, 2019, 06:17:27 PM
Thank you very much, dusty, Lero, squid and BlueHeronFan!  :)

62 days

I will write an update this weekend as I am really busy - but I just completed 62 days and turned this into the longest REAL streak (without any porn subs or porn fantasies) since 2016. Still there is nothing to celebrate and I won't lower my guards or change my restrictions, but as I only made it to the third month maybe five times in over half a decade, I consider this a partial success and feel motivated to advance even further. There is lots of hard work ahead, I must remind myself of how much I wished to reach this point again and that I have to stay very aware especially during the upcoming weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on July 31, 2019, 06:29:02 PM
Way to be!

Definitely keep your guard up and keep going strong! You're doing great!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on July 31, 2019, 10:12:41 PM
Awesome dude!  You're an inspiration
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 01, 2019, 06:20:35 AM
Thank you very much, dusty, Lero, squid and BlueHeronFan!  :)

62 days

I will write an update this weekend as I am really busy - but I just completed 62 days and turned this into the longest REAL streak (without any porn subs or porn fantasies) since 2016. Still there is nothing to celebrate and I won't lower my guards or change my restrictions, but as I only made it to the third month maybe five times in over half a decade, I consider this a partial success and feel motivated to advance even further. There is lots of hard work ahead, I must remind myself of how much I wished to reach this point again and that I have to stay very aware especially during the upcoming weekend.

Damn, man, you're killing it! Did you notice any changes?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on August 01, 2019, 08:53:55 AM
Hell yeah, congratulations on 62 days! Not yet to celebrate though, I know you can do much more. Looking forward to seeing you succeed! :) :) :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: pichaelthompson on August 01, 2019, 04:38:52 PM
You got this man, 62 days is amazing and truly inspirational...do what you got to do but make sure you take care of your mind and body in healthy ways so you won't get too stressed as well!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on August 03, 2019, 10:08:35 AM
Congratulations man! Thanks for helping me realize so much about my own neuroses and recognize that subs are still keeping my thought patterns the same, etc. Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 04, 2019, 02:51:57 PM
As usual you are a big motivation for me, guys, thanks a lot! And to answer your question about changes, Lero, I'm going to give a little update on the last days.

65 days

Honestly, I felt some kind of desperation lately concerning girls despite my own agenda of being patient. As I don't allow myself any fantasies or M at all, I got really drunk on friday and ended at the house of a girl I've known for a long time (and didn't consider her attractive), getting a BJ and felt rather awkward about it afterwards. It didn't feel right, but I was in self-pity mode for a while now:

40 days

... I'm having bad luck with girls lately.

Due to my addiction I don't allow myself Tinder and got rid of contacts that had something to do with sexting in the past, I ended up lonely and three weeks ago at a party got too nervous to hold eye contact or start something. My confidence concerning girls was really low lately.

After the drunk episode on friday I met some friends yesterday without any expectations and without getting drunk (had two beers over the night). I just wanted to have a good time and felt confident when we went to a bar. I spotted a girl I had seen half a year ago at a party when I was dating another girl. Back then we had a short conversation in a group for a few minutes, when she was talking to the girl who was with me at the party. I remembered her because she's really beautiful (and clearly above my level, as I thought at the party). Yesterday she was outstanding again. To my surprise I made eye contact with her and didn't look away or feel uncomfortable. When she passed by I looked at her again and she was the one looking away. I kept looking as she walked by and then caught her turning around, looking again.

I found myself in the same situation as three weeks ago. Okay, this time I actually could hold eye contact, but still I started to fill myself up with self-doubts. "She's only looking because she tries to remember if she knows you, there is no way she's interesed. That girl looks like one of those Instagram models, she could have whoever she wants, why you? And how to start a conversation anyway?" - luckily there was another voice telling me "You might be afraid of rejection, but the worst thing that might happen is her telling you to fuck off - but if you don't move, you will regret it just like you did a hundred times before. This won't change by abstaining from porn, but by finally stopping being a coward! You've got NOTHING to lose!"

Instead of overthinking everything I just walked up to her with the ingenious line of "Excuse me, but haven't you been at place X like 5 months ago?" and to my surprise she smiled and said "Yes, I knew that I remember you from somewhere.", I switched into some kind of autopilot and actually had a decent small talk conversation, until she asked if the girl I was with at the party was my girlfriend. As I answered "No, we were dating, but not any longer", she said: "I thought you were looking too good for her anyway."

Wait. WHAT?

I tried not to show too much shock and surprise and we kept talking a long while. As I didn't want to stay too long I then told her I was going to leave and instead of asking for her number just said "...but just give me your number and I'm going to message you tomorrow". I got the number, left and wondered where my superpowers had come from.

I won't be disappointed if this is going to lead nowhere (so far she replied late and without too much interest, as I could check outside, because my cell phone still stays out of my home) - there is no need for me to be a coward all my life, because even if I get rejected 9/10 times, that one time I don't will be a fun experience and something I will look back at being proud and confident insteading of feeling regret about missed opportunities.

Either this is all just placebo and my social anxiety becomes less because I want to believe it or over two months of being productive, doing sports, eating healthy (most of the time), taking care about my looks instead of wasting my life masturbating in front of a computer actually make a difference. Either way I want to keep it that way, because I feel like I am still at the very beginning of discovering what I am capable of.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 04, 2019, 03:24:25 PM
Man, I don't know, I don't have anything going on in terms of girls. I mean, on one hand I want to, but on the other hand, I'm afraid of PIED. I guess I need more time to sensitize myself to girls that are not on a screen. It's frustrating. My primal instinct makes me want to get involved with girls but porn has turned me into a non-functional guy. That's why it's fucking crucial to quit this poison.

Regarding social anxiety, I have noticed lower social anxiety after only 2 weeks. I don't know if it's a placebo effect but even if it was, I wouldn't mind.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on August 04, 2019, 05:08:29 PM
Man, I don't know, I don't have anything going on in terms of girls. I mean, on one hand I want to, but on the other hand, I'm afraid of PIED. I guess I need more time to sensitize myself to girls that are not on a screen. It's frustrating. My primal instinct makes me want to get involved with girls but porn has turned me into a non-functional guy. That's why it's fucking crucial to quit this poison.

Regarding social anxiety, I have noticed lower social anxiety after only 2 weeks. I don't know if it's a placebo effect but even if it was, I wouldn't mind.

Lero, similar thoughts here. I've been living under a rock from work for about two years and haven't seen my friends in awhile. There's a lot of mixed up feelings - Am I looking for friends? For a relationship? For sex? I think that the best thing I can do is not force anything of myself, and just reach out to a few people at a time. Social anxiety dropping was surprisingly fast for me too. I feel far more confident. It's either placebo for both of us or it's actually a thing, I think. PIED may pop up, but it's probably normal at first. Not sure about the timeline on this. I'm hoping that I will be able to return to the state I was in as a kid before I even encountered porn in the first place (I would literally shake at seeing scantily clad women). That would be, for me, the ultimate sign of being cured. Wondering if this level of "being cured" is possible though.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 04, 2019, 06:33:33 PM
"I thought you were looking too good for her anyway."

Either this is all just placebo and my social anxiety becomes less because I want to believe it or over two months of being productive, doing sports, eating healthy (most of the time), taking care about my looks instead of wasting my life masturbating in front of a computer actually make a difference. Either way I want to keep it that way, because I feel like I am still at the very beginning of discovering what I am capable of.

Really awesome stuff! More proof that we are generally the people with the lowest opinions of ourselves. Way to get out there and put yourself "at risk" socially. Whatever comes from it, I still think it's an awesome experience.

And I'm pretty sure it's not a placebo. But, even if it is, placebos work, you know? And if these things are working for you, there's obviously no reason to quit. Keep on being awesome!

I'm hoping that I will be able to return to the state I was in as a kid before I even encountered porn in the first place (I would literally shake at seeing scantily clad women). That would be, for me, the ultimate sign of being cured. Wondering if this level of "being cured" is possible though.

It might be possible, but, for me at least, I have sort of given up on the idea of "going back." Kid me wasn't addicted to porn, but kid me had a lot of habits and curiosities that led me to addiction. And even then, I literally can't go back to being a person who has never seen porn. Part of my recovery process lately has been accepting the fact that I can't go back and realizing then what it means to go forward. I wish I could have had a life without addiction, but that's not how my life has gone. Now my job is to figure out what it means to live a life in recovery. Maybe the day will come when porn is 0% interesting for the rest of my life, but that's not where I'm at. Right now (and for the foreseeable future) I have to learn how to live a life where a part of me wants porn without acting out on those urges. Besides, I really think that I have become a better and more capable person during this continual process of fighting addiction than I ever was before it all started. Just what I've been thinking about lately, anyway.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 05, 2019, 04:11:58 AM
It might be possible, but, for me at least, I have sort of given up on the idea of "going back." Kid me wasn't addicted to porn, but kid me had a lot of habits and curiosities that led me to addiction. And even then, I literally can't go back to being a person who has never seen porn. Part of my recovery process lately has been accepting the fact that I can't go back and realizing then what it means to go forward. I wish I could have had a life without addiction, but that's not how my life has gone. Now my job is to figure out what it means to live a life in recovery. Maybe the day will come when porn is 0% interesting for the rest of my life, but that's not where I'm at. Right now (and for the foreseeable future) I have to learn how to live a life where a part of me wants porn without acting out on those urges. Besides, I really think that I have become a better and more capable person during this continual process of fighting addiction than I ever was before it all started. Just what I've been thinking about lately, anyway.

I don't know how possible it is to go back to a state when porn has never been a part of your life. We have pathways in our brain that are like a "memory". Once you quit porn, it leaves you alone in terms of not thinking about it anymore but play with it again and you wake up the memory. We are more susceptible to relapses than normal people because of our history of porn. So I guess this statement is right: We have to live our lives as recovering addicts. And to be honest, I don't think it's even a good idea to develop this mindset of: "I'm porn free now, it won't affect me anymore." It's a small step that could lead you back to where you used to be. Once we are done with porn, fuck porn, we stay away from it and that's it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 07, 2019, 06:02:19 PM
As always: Thank you very much, guys! :) I'm very busy lately, looking forward to checking out everyone's journal this weekend. Hope, you're all doing well.

69 days

Well, bad news first: Things with the girl led nowhere, besides small talk there was no real connection. No disappointment at all, talking to her and getting her number was a bigger achievement than I ever thought I'd be capable of.

Good news: I am one day away from completing 70 days. In fact I have to pay attention because I feel a giant step forward and felt really free the last days. I actually had the feeling of having overcome this problem and don't feel any desire to watch porn at all. But I know that I'm not where I want to be yet. I will not lower my guards. My "restrictions" aren't restrictions to me anymore, they are just part of my new life. I now understand that this isn't a journey of 90+ days of abstinence to become clean and then return to the life I lived before - this is my new life and the restrictions are something I need to turn into good habits that last. There is still lots of work ahead, there will be cravings again, there will be triggers out of nowhere, I will have to deal with emotional pain. It's important now to keep filling my life with real joy and good experiences, to find balance and build more distance towards the last time using porn.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 07, 2019, 06:44:45 PM
Well, bad news first: Things with the girl led nowhere, besides small talk there was no real connection. No disappointment at all, talking to her and getting her number was a bigger achievement than I ever thought I'd be capable of.

Who needs her, lol? I tend to act sort of desperately and put all my eggs in one basket when I think there's a chance of a connection because I don't want to lose my chance at "the one." But I have sort of decided to give that attitude up. If it's meant to be, it will work out. And if not, then it doesn't help me at all to get too worried about it.

Good news: I am one day away from completing 70 days. In fact I have to pay attention because I feel a giant step forward and felt really free the last days. I actually had the feeling of having overcome this problem and don't feel any desire to watch porn at all. But I know that I'm not where I want to be yet. I will not lower my guards. My "restrictions" aren't restrictions to me anymore, they are just part of my new life. I now understand that this isn't a journey of 90+ days of abstinence to become clean and then return to the life I lived before - this is my new life and the restrictions are something I need to turn into good habits that last. There is still lots of work ahead, there will be cravings again, there will be triggers out of nowhere, I will have to deal with emotional pain. It's important now to keep filling my life with real joy and good experiences, to find balance and build more distance towards the last time using porn.

But this good news is really fantastic! It's awesome that you aren't feeling a desire to watch porn at all and that your restrictions are just feeling more like a normal part of your life. That's a great place to be, and it shows that your "restrictions" are sustainable as part of a new and healthier lifestyle. It definitely isn't just about 90 days. It's about the rest of our lives.

It definitely also becomes a different sort of game with a longer streak. You aren't doing everything you can to just fight your brain's dopamine-tantrums. Instead it's just about staying consistent with what works and dealing effectively with unexpected triggers. I don't want to say it's easier because you still have be aware and diligent, but I will say that my body is a lot more cooperative now than it was at the start of the year.

Just keep powering along!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on August 07, 2019, 09:15:19 PM
Great work dude, you are making great progress!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dusty on August 08, 2019, 04:11:30 AM
As always: Thank you very much, guys! :) I'm very busy lately, looking forward to checking out everyone's journal this weekend. Hope, you're all doing well.

69 days

Well, bad news first: Things with the girl led nowhere, besides small talk there was no real connection. No disappointment at all, talking to her and getting her number was a bigger achievement than I ever thought I'd be capable of.

Good news: I am one day away from completing 70 days. In fact I have to pay attention because I feel a giant step forward and felt really free the last days. I actually had the feeling of having overcome this problem and don't feel any desire to watch porn at all. But I know that I'm not where I want to be yet. I will not lower my guards. My "restrictions" aren't restrictions to me anymore, they are just part of my new life. I now understand that this isn't a journey of 90+ days of abstinence to become clean and then return to the life I lived before - this is my new life and the restrictions are something I need to turn into good habits that last. There is still lots of work ahead, there will be cravings again, there will be triggers out of nowhere, I will have to deal with emotional pain. It's important now to keep filling my life with real joy and good experiences, to find balance and build more distance towards the last time using porn.

Great Achilles, such a great reboot! :D
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 09, 2019, 02:33:42 PM
Thanks a lot once again, guys!  :)

70 days

Another milestone for me, because this is the cleanest streak ever. Not only did I completely abstain from porn and any porn subs including sexting, but I also did not MO for 70 days, the longest streak in my life. Apart from little episodes of drunk self-touching I stopped right away, I didn't even M. I never thought this was possible, but it is and actually it is easier and I feel an accelerated recovery.

I don't want to say it's easier because you still have be aware and diligent, but I will say that my body is a lot more cooperative now than it was at the start of the year.

Let's be honest: It definitely IS easier now. Yes, there is a different challenge now, but I don't want to go back to the first month and all the shit I've gone through back then and during my former reboots because it is harder during the early stage. The big challenge now is avoid thinking "I'm cured, give me back my former life with cell phone at home and social media!", the new challenge is to remind myself that feeling as good as I do now is the result of hard work and to keep up that hard work including all restrictions I set up. I am currently reading through my journal to be a little more humble about this problem, because I realize how I'm on a dangerous wave of euphoria and complacency, convinced I already defeated porn. This is far from over and while today I am writing about 70 days porn free and feeling good, there were other days I shouldn't forget:

20 days

Severe depression, can't sleep anymore, I feel lonely and powerless. Completely hopeless and no positive perspective on life whatsoever.
...
every negative thought hits me 100 times as hard.
...
Feel like crying, on a scale from 1-10 my current mood is a 0.
...
This is a little reminder to myself: If I make it past this point and feel better, this is part of reboot and the extreme negativity is part of withdrawals. It is very likely that it's like that and it's also possible that I might forget how bad I felt. I don't have time or energy to waste and start again, rebooting is my priority in life

THIS is how the first month feels sometimes (last year) and I never want to go back there again. I also discovered a shocking entry about a relapse 1 1/2 years ago - I can barely believe that it was me writing this:

Day 0

Despite this being an anonymous journal I'd prefer not to write this entry, I do feel ashamed of myself and hit rock bottom.
...
this time I went on a binge for hours and finished just about 8 hours later when I had to take a shower to go to work. I didn't even sleep a single minute and walked around at work like a zombie just thinking about returning home to watch porn again because I already relapsed the same day and it wouldn't matter anyway.

Instead of a short relapse I binged again and maybe worse than ever before in my life, this time it lasted more than twelve hours and I kept M'ing despite being in pain and flaccid towards the end (and to this moment keep feeling dead down there). Mixed sexting and watching porn, totally fried my brain with more shock and novelty for hours. Sent the girl a video of myself I am deeply ashamed of and also some perverted messages that make me feel ashamed, too.
...
When returning from work in my car all the memories came back and I was heavily shaking my head while driving faster and faster trying to just escape that feeling of absolute loss of self-respect, of deep self-hatred and shame, of feeling ridiculous and stupid. Those feelings hit me almost like a physical pain and led to the thought that by driving the car into a bridge pier I could just end it and feel peace again. I'm not suicidal at all, when I arrived home and thought about it again I started crying and had a sort of nervous breakdown. This is too much to handle for the moment
...
I am just the perfect example of the eternal failure
...
I'm totally lacking humility and despite knowing that porn controls me, I don't take the steps neccessary to keep my triggers away. I manage to stay clean for two weeks and already don't care anymore about my rule about no cell phone at home

I actually thought about deleting this entry back then, instead I am going to repeat it here now in parts, because this is what relapsing on porn can feel like. I am grateful I don't remember this pain and I am grateful for my latest success, there will be no lowering of restrictions and I will keep putting in the same work as on day 1.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 09, 2019, 03:04:13 PM
THIS is how the first month feels sometimes (last year) and I never want to go back there again. I also discovered a shocking entry about a relapse 1 1/2 years ago - I can barely believe that it was me writing this:

Day 0

Despite this being an anonymous journal I'd prefer not to write this entry, I do feel ashamed of myself and hit rock bottom.
...
this time I went on a binge for hours and finished just about 8 hours later when I had to take a shower to go to work. I didn't even sleep a single minute and walked around at work like a zombie just thinking about returning home to watch porn again because I already relapsed the same day and it wouldn't matter anyway.

Instead of a short relapse I binged again and maybe worse than ever before in my life, this time it lasted more than twelve hours and I kept M'ing despite being in pain and flaccid towards the end (and to this moment keep feeling dead down there). Mixed sexting and watching porn, totally fried my brain with more shock and novelty for hours. Sent the girl a video of myself I am deeply ashamed of and also some perverted messages that make me feel ashamed, too.
...
When returning from work in my car all the memories came back and I was heavily shaking my head while driving faster and faster trying to just escape that feeling of absolute loss of self-respect, of deep self-hatred and shame, of feeling ridiculous and stupid. Those feelings hit me almost like a physical pain and led to the thought that by driving the car into a bridge pier I could just end it and feel peace again. I'm not suicidal at all, when I arrived home and thought about it again I started crying and had a sort of nervous breakdown. This is too much to handle for the moment
...
I am just the perfect example of the eternal failure
...
I'm totally lacking humility and despite knowing that porn controls me, I don't take the steps neccessary to keep my triggers away. I manage to stay clean for two weeks and already don't care anymore about my rule about no cell phone at home

I actually thought about deleting this entry back then, instead I am going to repeat it here now in parts, because this is what relapsing on porn can feel like. I am grateful I don't remember this pain and I am grateful for my latest success, there will be no lowering of restrictions and I will keep putting in the same work as on day 1.

Thanks for sharing this. It was you back then, there is nothing to be ashamed of. The you from now is miles ahead, and this is an inspiration for us all and an example of strength and determination. An entry like this is a great reminder of the place where you should never return. That was you at the most miserable and I've had a lot of moments like this too. I used to edge for hours until I completely exhausted my "arousal tank" (as I like to call it) and I could not turn myself on no matter what shit I watched. This is where the orgasm became an act of "let's finish this" and it made me feel nothing. I know how being completely lost and powerless feels like. I've had hundreds of moments when I thought I had absolutely no chance to quit this fucking shit. I used to say: "Some people can do it and some can't and I'm one of them. Not everybody is the same and I'm a fucking loser, I can't do shit." After this, it's unbelieveable I made it to 19 days, and this through probably the most stressful period in the last years, plus a tone of general anxiety and panic disorder (that I suffer from). I still fucking made it to 19 days with all that and porn was my soothing, I should've PMOed and edged like crazy. What does this say? When we feel the most miserable, we don't see a way out then when we make it to 20 days it's fucking unbelievable for us, which shows that anybody can do it, no matter how defective they feel they are. There is always a plan, always the right things to do and BAM! One day everything aligns. I definitely don't want to return to misery. I want to continue this 19 days streak. We must not get too cocky and think now we are the shit. A recovering addict is always a recovering addict. There are stories about people who relapsed on alcohol or drugs after 20 years. There is always that pathway in the brain which is like a "memory" when the times where fucking great (when I could come from school and be so happy to PMO, having no idea what I was doing). We must always be vigilant as if it's day 1. And always remember how shit we feel after a relapse. There is no way I want to binge my way back to day 1. I crave porn so much, I crave the dopamine that it gives me, I am 1 inch away from relapsing everyday but I don't do anything about it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 09, 2019, 05:51:13 PM
Wow, really beautiful retrospective. It's amazing to see what continued effort over time can actually bring about. The version of you that posted back then probably would never believe that you would be where you are today, but you kept trying, more proof that the only failure is giving up.

Let's be honest: It definitely IS easier now. Yes, there is a different challenge now, but I don't want to go back to the first month and all the shit I've gone through back then and during my former reboots because it is harder during the early stage. The big challenge now is avoid thinking "I'm cured, give me back my former life with cell phone at home and social media!", the new challenge is to remind myself that feeling as good as I do now is the result of hard work and to keep up that hard work including all restrictions I set up. I am currently reading through my journal to be a little more humble about this problem, because I realize how I'm on a dangerous wave of euphoria and complacency, convinced I already defeated porn.

I think you're right about this. It definitely is easier. But easier doesn't mean effortless or automatic, but definitely not as hard as it is in the early days of recovery/a streak.

Really inspiring stuff, just keep up the great work!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on August 09, 2019, 08:29:36 PM
Congratulations on reaching the 70 day mark achilles! I've always made it a priority to live with a sense of renewal. Seeing you use your earlier journal entries to get that sense even after 70 days seems like a great idea. Keep at it with strong resolve! Hope to join you at the 70 day mark soon!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on August 09, 2019, 11:48:38 PM
That's a powerful post Achilles, you have come so far.  Great stuff man, you sound so much happier without pmo :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on August 10, 2019, 11:58:23 AM
Day 65 is dream for me bro. Its very impressive.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 11, 2019, 10:18:39 AM
Thank you very much for your comments, they mean a lot to me and help me stay motivated!  :)

72 days

Had a dream about finding nudes of a girl on my computer that I deleted long ago and in my dream I was fighting with myself about opening or not opening the files and finally took a look at one of the pictures. This shows my brain is still processing the abstinence and it's no surprise to me as I eliminated the concept of the "90 days" - gaining distance to my addiction will take more time.

Good news is I went out and returned with the phone number of a girl I met in a bar again. It's not only my decreasing social anxiety, but I also force myself to develop more drive towards girls due to not allowing myself any artificial stimulation or masturbation.

I am on a good way to live the life I wanted to, but it's neccessary to remind myself every day about how much work is behind all this and how I need to stay aware and keep working on my progress. The good thing is that I started to believe in my success, while not long ago I considered myself a hopeless case and last year actually was about to give up. I can do it, porn is no longer an option.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 11, 2019, 08:09:16 PM
Good stuff, man! It's kind of an exciting thing when you start to fight with yourself even in your dreams. Who knows if it really means anything, but I like to think it means that our commitment to recovery is settling into our subconscious.

Keep it up!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on August 11, 2019, 10:18:09 PM
Nice job man! Keep up the good work. Any progress in involuntary thoughts or dreams seems like a sure sign of progress, and it's great that you're meeting more people!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 13, 2019, 05:29:46 PM
75 days

While the rollercoaster might not be going up and down as much as during the first month, there are still mood changes I need to be aware of. I talked about my "wave of euphoria and complacency", well, now I'm facing (self)-doubts out of nowhere as the euphoria disappeared. It's like I'm actually afraid of reaching a "normal" state of mind. After years in the cave of porn by stepping out I feel blinded by the light and am afraid of what's out there.

I caught myself having thoughts like "Well, 2 1/2 months clean, no superpowers, sometimes you felt better at day 8 than now after over 70 days - is it really worth all the suffering and restrictions? Is it maybe just a giant placebo and your mood changes are there due to other reasons? Wouldn't you feel the same ups and downs while still using porn frequently?"

Subconsciously I still have this misconception of 90 days that change my life completely and as I am actually coming closer to the 90 days, I wonder where my superpowers are. I was procrastinating lately and had to force myself today to get lots of tasks done. Leaving porn behind doesn't automatically change every aspect of my life, but it's still absolutely neccessary to be able to change those things myself. I am still at the beginning of my new life, there is so much work ahead and so many things I need to change step by step.

Sometimes it's not helpful to read success stories where the rebooter talks about his transformation from zero to hero, becoming a millionaire, learning an instrument and having all social anxiety gone in 90 days. This doesn't work for me, I am doing two steps forward, one step back and sometimes while doing the step back, I am questioning the whole journey. At least I am experienced enough to identify those thought patterns that in the past led me to relapsing and need to write about those doubts. I know what is happening and I know that this will pass, I've come incredibly far yet and don't want to go back ever again!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 13, 2019, 06:10:00 PM
I think this is an important thing to recognize and talk about because I know exactly what you mean. When I was in a cycle of regularly relapsing, I would start to feel like I was on top of the world after a couple weeks. I would feel really happy and confident and like I could take on anything in the world. Except for the next round of urges, of course. When those came around, I crumbled like it was nothing and I was back in the cycle of digging myself out of relapse and starting over.

This time around, though, that hasn't happened. There aren't superpowers. After a few months, getting to milestone days feels more normal and less exciting. The urges ease up, so it's not like a constant battle. The rollercoaster evens out. I'm not crashing down into relapse, so the lows aren't as low, but the highs aren't as high either (because they aren't being exaggerated by addicted brain chemistry anymore). The real work of maintaining recovery hasn't been a whirlwind of success for me (I am not a millionaire superstar). 90 days have come and gone and, on the outside, you probably wouldn't think my life has changed at all.

But my life has changed, or is changing. It has been a few months since I've had any kind of PMO, MO, edging, etc., and I don't honestly miss it. I do have occasional thoughts, kind of like memories, but they don't stick around or get me going like they used to. I don't lose control of my mind and body when I see a woman who is showing skin. I am much more in control of me, and I am on much better terms with myself. I don't hate myself like I used to.

I know you know it, but it can be good to hear someone else say it: it is definitely worth it! For most, if not all of us, our addictions are very private secrets that nobody in our lives really knows about. If people couldn't see our addictions, it shouldn't be surprising that they won't see our recovery. But we will. The change is real, even if it seems invisible, and it truly is a change for the better.

Keep at it, you're only a couple weeks from the big 90, and another day closer to a much better future!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Thank you for all that you do for me on August 14, 2019, 06:03:30 AM
My dear friend, you are too amazing to not feel good about yourself. You may not be exactly where you want to be in life, but your worth isn't determined by your success, the amount of work you accomplish or what others think of you. You are worthy because you are you.
Congratulations on one day closer to infinity, you are doing much more better than you realize :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: dusty on August 14, 2019, 06:32:59 AM
75 days

While the rollercoaster might not be going up and down as much as during the first month, there are still mood changes I need to be aware of. I talked about my "wave of euphoria and complacency", well, now I'm facing (self)-doubts out of nowhere as the euphoria disappeared. It's like I'm actually afraid of reaching a "normal" state of mind. After years in the cave of porn by stepping out I feel blinded by the light and am afraid of what's out there.

I caught myself having thoughts like "Well, 2 1/2 months clean, no superpowers, sometimes you felt better at day 8 than now after over 70 days - is it really worth all the suffering and restrictions? Is it maybe just a giant placebo and your mood changes are there due to other reasons? Wouldn't you feel the same ups and downs while still using porn frequently?"

Subconsciously I still have this misconception of 90 days that change my life completely and as I am actually coming closer to the 90 days, I wonder where my superpowers are. I was procrastinating lately and had to force myself today to get lots of tasks done. Leaving porn behind doesn't automatically change every aspect of my life, but it's still absolutely neccessary to be able to change those things myself. I am still at the beginning of my new life, there is so much work ahead and so many things I need to change step by step.

Sometimes it's not helpful to read success stories where the rebooter talks about his transformation from zero to hero, becoming a millionaire, learning an instrument and having all social anxiety gone in 90 days. This doesn't work for me, I am doing two steps forward, one step back and sometimes while doing the step back, I am questioning the whole journey. At least I am experienced enough to identify those thought patterns that in the past led me to relapsing and need to write about those doubts. I know what is happening and I know that this will pass, I've come incredibly far yet and don't want to go back ever again!

OMG, it's about me. Yep, I've just read about myself. I undestand you Achilles. Having no superpowers after good long reboot sucks. But probably we'll never get any. Yesterday I had a bad day and I was thinking if this whole proccess does really make any sense. I don't know, but i believe it does...
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 14, 2019, 06:43:49 AM
You know, people talk about "super powers" because after years of binging on P, they're usual self was so low. After giving up P for a period of time, their "normal self" came back but it felt more intense, like "super powers" because they were coming from that "low" condition, you know what I'm saying. During my current streak, I've definitely experienced moments like this: More energy, more confidence, less social anxiety, better tolerance for adversion etc. But now I don't have any more of that. I haven't had for 3 days. Probably the way we feel now is how we are supposed to feel? Our normal current self? I don't read about benefits anymore. Porn is poison and we must stay away from it no matter what. No matter how I feel, I am not going back to porn. I have never been obsessed with "90 days" because it doesn't really mean anything, my aim is to stay away from porn for life. People talk about "this is how you are supposed to feel after 90 days". I don't know, I'm not there yet but you see, I've read someone saying that after about 200 days or so he had no more anxiety and my streak was like 2 days and I said: "Fuck, man! 200 days is too far away from now! How the fuck am I supposed to make it to 200 days when I can't even go a week?" To be honest, 90 days for me right now is a lot. It means 66 more days to go (I'm waiting for 666), and it's scary. One day at a time is a better trick for now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 15, 2019, 05:42:44 PM
Thanks a lot guys!  :)

I know you know it, but it can be good to hear someone else say it: it is definitely worth it!

You are right, your encouragement really helps and of course the journey is totally worth it. I am happy to announce...

77 days

After going down, the rollercoaster went up a bit again and I had really great moments at work where I felt really confident. I doubt others even notice the difference, but I do have a clearer voice and notice this myself while speaking. It's not like moments of insecurities vanish completely, but they are less present and I am not thinking the whole time about what others might think of me. The further away I am from porn, the less I feel the need to hide. There is still a long way ahead to overcome shame, but I am on the right track.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 15, 2019, 06:09:55 PM
Fucking great, Achille! 80 days are just around the corner! About the voice, it happened to me too. I have a deeper voice and it sounds better.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: rob24 on August 15, 2019, 07:04:35 PM
The idea of not having superpowers and just discovering your normal self, flawed and human and imperfect, is one that at times seems daunting. Still, when I consider the alternative, living in a virtual reality world like a person trapped in a virtual reality mask, imagining himself having 1000 playmates in a harem, versus a person who actually goes out and experiences the world, it makes me filled with sadness and sorriness for my old self who watched porn so much. I expect to pick back up, in many ways, to the place I was in emotionally around when I was an adolescent or teenager, when I started with PMO. I don't regard myself as having had great emotional intelligence at that age by any means, and I think there is still so much to do. It fills me with optimism though, that there must be so much room to improve if there's a part of my brain still stuck, at least in experience, in that adolescent stage of insecurity and unpreparedness. I think of it like there's so much potential, like a great machine that will take years to become operational, but will be able to fly to the moon and beyond in time.

Here's another analogy. Imagine you're a weightlifter who tried to gain muscle mass, but ate fatty food for years, and added tons of fat instead of muscle, mistaking flab for muscle, and only much later in time, discovered that true gains are made through a harder work and eating the right, healthy food, but that they will lead to steady, true gains, no matter how snailishly slow they may seem. The consistency and perseverance to generate excitement at the slightest sign of progress as such needs to be in your mindset, I'm convinced, to succeed and have a growth mindset in this area.

That's been my mindset I try to keep to have days themselves, devoid of instant gratification, not feel boring. Perhaps you can relate? Are there any strategies or tools we can use to make our progress more measurable and visible and exciting and quantifiable on a daily basis?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 16, 2019, 05:42:18 PM
You are right, your encouragement really helps and of course the journey is totally worth it. I am happy to announce...

77 days

After going down, the rollercoaster went up a bit again and I had really great moments at work where I felt really confident. I doubt others even notice the difference, but I do have a clearer voice and notice this myself while speaking. It's not like moments of insecurities vanish completely, but they are less present and I am not thinking the whole time about what others might think of me. The further away I am from porn, the less I feel the need to hide. There is still a long way ahead to overcome shame, but I am on the right track.

Way to be, man! Just keep doing what you're doing: it's clearly working!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 18, 2019, 05:53:02 PM
And once again thank you all very much! :)

80 days

There are positive and negative news, both are connected. I skipped healthy routines during the last days, didn't care about nutrition and got drunk. The worst news is: I actually broke my restrictions and took my cell phone home the whole weekend. Nothing happened and I kept it at the door without taking it to any of my rooms, but I checked it frequently. The good news is, it didn't affect my reboot (yet!) and I reached 80 days without any porn, porn subs, sexting, artificial stimulation at all - not even MO'd once. It's still an amazing streak.

The reason for taking my phone home is that for the third consecutive weekend I got a girl's number and this time I am really interested to say the least. I am checking the phone frequently for her messages and don't want to be without communication for twelve hours or longer. I must calm down, because I've got this feeling of going all-in without caring about anything else. We talked a few hours in a group, I didn't even meet her alone yet and have absolutely no idea about my chances with her. I just know that starting today I will go back to my routines and restrictions immediately, because they are priorities in my life and I know that if things with the girl fail and I keep being lazy, I am in big trouble of falling into a hole and to relapse.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 18, 2019, 06:07:15 PM
80 days, man! This is wow!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 19, 2019, 05:01:21 PM
I am checking the phone frequently for her messages and don't want to be without communication for twelve hours or longer. I must calm down, because I've got this feeling of going all-in without caring about anything else. We talked a few hours in a group, I didn't even meet her alone yet and have absolutely no idea about my chances with her. I just know that starting today I will go back to my routines and restrictions immediately, because they are priorities in my life and I know that if things with the girl fail and I keep being lazy, I am in big trouble of falling into a hole and to relapse.

I know the feeling! But I have heard it can be good not to bend over backwards in order to be available, especially in the early stages. Stick to your rules (for your own sake) and try (easier to say than do) not to worry about messing things up. For all she knows, you might be one of those people who has a "no screens after 7:00" policies or whatever. If she's really going to get bent out of shape because you can't text her until the next day, that's her problem, not yours.

But I got distracted and lost my train of thought: Congrats on meeting someone! I hope things work out, but even if they don't, it's good that you're getting out there. Keep on keepin' on!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 22, 2019, 02:05:51 AM
80 days, man! This is wow!

Thank you, Lero!  :)

I know the feeling! But I have heard it can be good not to bend over backwards in order to be available, especially in the early stages. Stick to your rules (for your own sake) and try (easier to say than do) not to worry about messing things up. For all she knows, you might be one of those people who has a "no screens after 7:00" policies or whatever. If she's really going to get bent out of shape because you can't text her until the next day, that's her problem, not yours.

Thanks, I tried to take things easier and left my cell phone out of my house over night after gym. It's just that normally I shut it off after work already and I changed that lately. Took the phone home after work, left it by the door and checked it every half hour, that worked for me. I have to think about a long term solution, for now it still led me to:

83 days

Got my tasks at home done, went to the gym three days in a row, made good use of my time and keep advancing at work. Going to meet the girl again (not alone, but with friends again - but we're in contact and she doesn't seem completely uninterested in me) and while normally I wouldn't want to think about a possible negative outcome but just wait for what happens, I am still a little afraid. More than being afraid of rejection, I am afraid of not being able to handle the feeling of getting rejected. This is such an important key in my personal history and I need to find out where this comes from and why it affects me so much. Rejection triggers a feeling of incredibly low self-worth and led me back to my addiction in the past. I guess I have to learn a lot about myself and need to become more stable in my abstinence to deal with negative emotions that I ran from for too long by using porn.

83 days is an amazing success to me on the one hand, on the other hand there seems to be a welcome-sign to life that says "Welcome to reality! It's tough some times, get used to it." - I am willing to accept that challenge, but I am at the very beginning and have to learn a lot about myself and how to deal with this reality.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 22, 2019, 05:59:29 PM
More than being afraid of rejection, I am afraid of not being able to handle the feeling of getting rejected.

I relate to this feeling. I wish I could say something wise and helpful. I guess I'll just say that I know a lot of my relapses have happened when I had my hopes high for a romantic relationship to happen but then it didn't work out. That disappointment usually sends me crashing down.

Here's to hoping it works out, and there's no harm in taking things slow! It's good that you're aware of your feelings and are thinking about how to prepare yourself emotionally if they don't work out. That would be a pretty unfortunate reason to relapse (even if it has been one of my favorite reasons for relapse...)

Keep at it!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 23, 2019, 09:25:42 AM
That's right, man. The follow-up of a rejection could be more painful than the moment when the rejection happened, because you keep thinking about it.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 24, 2019, 06:28:51 PM
Thank you very much, BlueHeronFan and Lero!

86 days

It's going very slow, but there are chances things might work out with the girl. We met again (in a group, as we have a friend in common) and she was touching my arm in various occasions, laughing a lot and later apologized in a message that she had to leave earlier, but wants to see me again next week.

On the one hand it's a good sign, on the other hand the whole process of meeting her showed me some patterns in my behaviour that are dangerous. My personal development and progress must not be influenced by meeting a girl. If things work out - great! If they don't work out - I will just keep going and there will be another opportunity!

My focus needs to be put back on establishing new, positive habits in my life and keep advancing. I decided not to go out, but go to the gym, eat healthy, will sleep a lot and repeat the same for the next days. I will significantly reduce drinking alcohol, because it has gotten out of hand lately. There is a lot of work ahead and apart from my healthy habits, I need to question my behaviour and my fears and leave my comfort zone.

Quitting porn is hard work, but the key to a long term success is to spot the behaviours that led me to using porn over and over again and not all of them are porn related and none of them will disappear automatically after 90 days of abstinence. It's important to point that out again and again, because subconsciously I am disappointed to not have all my fears and troubles gone just by quitting porn. There are no superpowers, but still it's absolutely necessary to kick porn and all its substitutes out of my life forever.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 24, 2019, 06:52:26 PM
My personal development and progress must not be influenced by meeting a girl. If things work out - great! If they don't work out - I will just keep going and there will be another opportunity!

Glad to hear things are still chugging along!

I'm with you on this one. For me, I'm not trying to get better in order to find a girl. I'm trying to be better so that, when a girl comes along, I'll be ready for here. Lol, that sounded like a bigger difference in my head. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not just about getting a girl. It's about becoming, independently, the kind of man that the right kind of girl would be interested in. It's really about being happy and fulfilled in my single life first so that I can contribute to a relationship later.

Away we go!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 26, 2019, 06:53:21 PM
You're right about spotting those pesky behaviours that lead you toward relapse. Today, I was having some real urges. I didn't watch P but I did drink a beer for lunch... Now, I enjoy the occasional lunch beer - it's not in itself a problem apart from I drank it to numb the pain of the withdrawal. I caught it though, and ended up chanting some mantra to calm down because I was so restless. Keep on keeping on, mate! The big 9-0 is just round the corner!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 27, 2019, 12:35:25 AM
You're right about spotting those pesky behaviours that lead you toward relapse. Today, I was having some real urges. I didn't watch P but I did drink a beer for lunch... Now, I enjoy the occasional lunch beer - it's not in itself a problem apart from I drank it to numb the pain of the withdrawal. I caught it though, and ended up chanting some mantra to calm down because I was so restless. Keep on keeping on, mate! The big 9-0 is just round the corner!

Navigating life without our "coping mechanisms" can get tough. I am definitely irritated but I believe that things lead to something eventually.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on August 29, 2019, 06:50:07 AM
Thanks a lot guys and sorry I didn't contribute to this community much lately - I keep being very busy which is a good sign on the one hand, but on the other I will try to catch up with your journals this weekend. Being busy helped me reach:

90 days

Yes, 90 days no porn, no porn subs, no sexting, no MO for the first time since I started watching porn about 18 years ago. It's only a number, but realizing how long it took (6 years trying to quit, 3.5 years writing a journal here) and how many relapses I had along the way, I really do feel proud. I had one major streak in 2016 of almost 4 months that included frequent MO and at some point I kept counting despite edging to porn subs - this time I just did it hard mode and it's actually easier after some time.

This still isn't the end of this journey and lately I am working harder than ever before on advancing with my whole life. Will give a little more detailed update this weekend - keep going everybody and remember: If I can do it - I have been a hopeless case for far too long - you can do it too!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on August 29, 2019, 06:51:49 AM
You did it, man! This is outstanding! No MO too? This is wow! Complete fucking hard mode, get outta here! Have you noticed any changes/benefits after all this time?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on August 29, 2019, 11:59:24 AM
Yes Achilles, you fucking legend! Congratulations on doing 90 days hard-mode! That's a major achievement! As you say, it's not the end of the journey, but you've bitten off (potentially) the hardest chunk! You're probably not getting urges so much anymore, either, which makes it easier, but just don't let your brain trick you that now it's okay to watch youtube videos with scantily clad women, or whatever your go-to P sub was. For me, after 100 days hard-mode, I thought it okay to start MO'ing again. It was a slow decline, but after a couple of months I was peeking again and found myself on Omegle having cam sex. Then I slowly descending back into a less regular P habit. Really messed up and the shame was so great that it took me 5 years to get back on board with my recovery. I'm sure you won't be as stupid as I was but I just thought I'd a word of warning anyway, because I care about you and your journey. :)

Peace dude,

- Adventurer
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on August 29, 2019, 05:09:46 PM
This still isn't the end of this journey and lately I am working harder than ever before on advancing with my whole life. Will give a little more detailed update this weekend - keep going everybody and remember: If I can do it - I have been a hopeless case for far too long - you can do it too!

Huge congratulations on 90 days! And for working on advancing your whole life! Recovery is so much more than just quitting one bad habit. It really is about changing your whole life for the better.

And way to be also for recognizing that this isn't the end. Day 91 is every bit as important as Day 1. You know what has worked to get you this far, just keep doing it and see how much farther you will go!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on September 01, 2019, 12:15:09 PM
Nice job dude!  That's inspiring, how does it feel?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 03, 2019, 05:24:44 PM
96 days

I apologize once again for not being a supportive part of this community lately and thank you for your comments. I still didn't catch up with your journals and can't concentrate on reading them at the moment.

My number one priority lately hasn't been quitting porn, but meeting this girl again. My efforts on working on myself had that exact purpose, I didn't go to the gym for myself, but thinking about presenting myself in the best possible way to the girl. It was the first time in years I felt I maybe could enter a serious relationship again and I had real hopes things could work out.

After meeting her on friday I felt something was wrong and today I received a long text message explaining why she wasn't ready and why it was better to be honest and stop the whole process of getting to know each other.

It has been a long time since I experienced rejection, but it feels just the same every time: I feel like choking, like crying, my heart rate increases, I can't eat. There is this huge, paralyzing wave of sadness coming over me. I do feel empty and unwanted. My reaction to this isn't normal, I am facing one of my biggest fears. I'm almost in physical pain.

I used to avoid these situations my whole life or just numb myself to escape them.

But this time I have to face this pain and face my fear. I have to endure this feeling. This is life. Being rejected is part of living. The avoidance of pain and fear also means lost opportunities of joy and happiness. The purpose of this journey is to feel again, to live again. To no longer numb myself to uncomfortable situations and to be able to experience life in all its positive and negative aspects.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 03, 2019, 06:05:45 PM
Really sorry to hear it, man. That's tough. I know that feeling of getting my hopes up and then having them come crashing down.

All your effort in getting yourself ready for this girl is still totally worth it. It didn't work out with her, but you are already in a much better position to attract someone even better. You're a different, improved person from a few months ago.

Just think: the problem wasn't that you weren't ready for a relationship. It was that she wasn't ready. Whatever her reasons for stepping back, it wasn't because you weren't good enough. You were ready, and that preparation will serve you, no matter who you end up with eventually.

Maybe that's not very comforting, but it's something I tell myself a lot. Like you, a big part of my recovery efforts (and other life changes) are about getting ready for a serious relationship. I don't know where she is or when she'll show up, but I know I'm going to do everything I can to be ready for her when she gets here.

When that day comes, neither of us is going to have to back out because we "weren't ready." You and I are going to be so well prepared. Keep on going, and don't be afraid to slow down a little and take care of yourself (in healthy ways). We're fighting it all together, not just porn.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 08, 2019, 05:34:51 AM
Thank you very much, BlueHeronFan! You are absolutely right, but unfortunately, I left the good path due to focussing too much on her. It was a big mistake, but it's not too late to turn things around.

100 days

It's pure luck I am writing this, because I ignored all the rules and good habits. Getting drunk and high has been my replacement, my nutrition is shit, I didn't do sports and took my cell phone home. Today I even watched YouTube in bed. The number of days I reached seems magic, but I am not happy with my life of the last days since getting rejected and falling into some kind of self-pity.

This is kind of a "day 0" in terms of everything but porn and I will do a big clean up of my house and return to the heaviest of restrictions right away. I will stop drinking for a while because drunk I am vulnerable to substance abuse. Replacing one demon with another isn't the idea of recovery. The longest streak ever of no porn, no porn subs, no sexting, no MO ist still alive despite adverse circumstances - now it's my turn to build upon it a free life.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Free-man on September 08, 2019, 11:26:12 AM
Congratulations for 100 days clean!
Amazing number. Yep, it's time to change bad habits.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 08, 2019, 08:24:26 PM
Glad you made it through, even with all those risks in the mix.

But, like you said, that's no reason to keep those things around. Clean house and move on for another 100!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Arthur2 on September 08, 2019, 10:22:33 PM
100 days is impressive, man !

And good job for not PMOing even in the face of a tough rejection.
We all know that this is very tough to deal with.
So i want to congratulate you for handling it well and keeping your streak.

I myself am trying to reboot and rejection is also tough for me to face.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 09, 2019, 12:25:15 AM
Thanks for your support, guys, but unfortunately I failed!

Day 0

I just MO'd on sexting for hours, exchanging fantasies with a girl I hadn't seen in a long time. Facebook wasn't blocked anymore, now it's up to me to show not everything is lost. I will pick myself back up and be a part of this community again. It's important to not let this repeat and find strategies right away. More later.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Free-man on September 09, 2019, 12:12:49 PM
Sad to hear that,
What happened? what was the trigger?
Note it for the future.
We're here to support you.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on September 09, 2019, 12:20:40 PM
That's a bummer Achilles, but still, compared to high speed internet p, sexting with someone you actually know shouldn't set you back too much.  I'd be very concerned about the chaser though.  Maybe take a trip or find someway to distract yourself for a few days to get some distance.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on September 09, 2019, 12:43:49 PM
That's a bummer Achilles, but still, compared to high speed internet p, sexting with someone you actually know shouldn't set you back too much.  I'd be very concerned about the chaser though.  Maybe take a trip or find someway to distract yourself for a few days to get some distance.

Yes, I subscribe to this. MO to sexting is not the worst thing.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 09, 2019, 08:18:28 PM
Sorry to hear it. It might be Day 0, but it's not the same Day 0 as last time. You have the experience of 100 clean days to back you up now.

Retrace your steps, find the gaps in your defenses, and just count it as a learning experience. In the end, that's all any of us can do.

Rooting for you!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 14, 2019, 04:41:05 AM
Thank you very much for your support, guys, and sorry for letting everyone down. I went on a binge on porn and sexting for the following days and now managed to stay 2 days clean.

I fell for the "It's day 0 anyway, allow yourself the complete pleasure one last time and then start again!" trick, but the truth is, it all started way earlier.

I could have gone 200, 300, 500 days if I had just followed my restrictions. Instead it already set in when I allowed myself to use my cell phone at home - even though I only left it close to the entrance door - to communicate with the girl. I also kicked the restrictions of internet access at night, because it was annoying to not be able to look something up after a certain time.

When I realized I didn't relapse despite the lowered guards, subconsciously I thought I wouldn't need restrictions anymore. Got drunk and high on the weekend, took my cell phone home and watched YouTube in bed - without relapsing. And, hey, I returned to my old habits but without watching porn, everything okay, right? Of course not.

100 days hard mode showed me two things: First of all, I am able to live a free life if I stick to my restrictions, rules and good habits. And second I NEED to stick to those restrictions and build new habits to live a free life.

The key is the daily success, but also setting some goals for the next weeks while problaby making it through withdrawals, depression and the shit I said I never wanted to go through again. I will stick to some rules and goals:

- my cell phone stays out of my home
- maximum of 10 minutes of social media every week
- I won't access the internet after 22:30 (exception: Rebootnation)
- I won't go to bed after midnight if I work next day

- no alcohol (at least for the first weeks), no drugs
- no fast food, no refined sugar
- eat at least one piece of fruits/vegetables every day
- do sports every day (at least a 15 minute home workout)
- read at least 10 pages of a book every day

This is rather simple, but it's about getting back on track. I won't count days, because it will be frustrating to start this low again after reaching 100 days. Also I think now it's not about a streak anymore, I had the key in my hands to leave this behind forever and my new goal is living every day free and enjoying this life to the maximum, no matter if it's "day 2" or "day 200".
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on September 14, 2019, 05:19:05 AM
I fell for the "It's day 0 anyway, allow yourself the complete pleasure one last time and then start again!" trick, but the truth is, it all started way earlier.
This is how I binge. "You relapsed anyway, what's the difference? Go all the way now and start tomorrow." When in fact I could benefit from not binging and only allowing one PMO. It was a mistake but the next PMO and the next one and the next four are my choice. And a relapse start earlier, not when you start using material. It could be only 30 seconds, it could be minutes, it could be hours, it could be days. Somehow, you know you are going to relapse. I catch myself wishing to PMO, making plans for a PMO session. I see it coming but then I said: "No, man, I won't follow this shit."

Quote
When I realized I didn't relapse despite the lowered guards, subconsciously I thought I wouldn't need restrictions anymore. Got drunk and high on the weekend, took my cell phone home and watched YouTube in bed - without relapsing. And, hey, I returned to my old habits but without watching porn, everything okay, right? Of course not.

Fuck, man, you spoke for me. This is how I lost my 40 days streak. I knew that drinking had made me relapse a lot of times. So of course, I told myself I wasn't going to drink anymore. But then I drank once, I drank again, but I didn't relapse and I said: "Come on, man, you are trippin. You can handle it. See? You can drink and not relapse as well." But the idea is that I didn't drink too much. Two beers only. So I had more control. Exactly on day 40, I drank way too much and it numbed me completely. I didn't feel any regret for what I was going to do. I even thought: "Man, you will regret this tomorrow morning, I'm telling you." And despise this, I didn't care. The alcohol made me not care. And I went on a binge which of course hit me right in the head the next morning. Regret, feeling like shit, anxiety and all that. Which shows that maybe some people really need a discipline. It's easy to relax the restrictions and lower your guard like that. And I am not the type who could play with fire for too long. I need to be very disciplined to succeed.

Quote
The key is the daily success, but also setting some goals for the next weeks while problaby making it through withdrawals, depression and the shit I said I never wanted to go through again.

"I never want to feel like this again because of P" could be an important tool. But you need to really remember it because the brain plays tricks and it's easy to "forget it" (to be understood as: That misery from back then is a distant memory now, I don't even feel it anymore). It's like I got so drunk and I was sick. I swore I wasn't going to drink ever again only to miss the fun with the boys 1 month later and that day was a distant memory.

Quote
This is rather simple, but it's about getting back on track. I won't count days, because it will be frustrating to start this low again after reaching 100 days. Also I think now it's not about a streak anymore, I had the key in my hands to leave this behind forever and my new goal is living every day free and enjoying this life to the maximum, no matter if it's "day 2" or "day 200".

In the beginning, I hate to start counting the days. Especially last time after I had lost a 40 days streak, starting again from day 1 was painful. And having to wait 40 days again to go back there drove me crazy. But it's only temporary because counting days start working after a while, when the streak starts taking shape (let's say 14 days). It has a psychological effect on me because I remember that after 14 days I used to feel good. It could work like a placebo but I don't mind. I like my mind to automatically make me feel better when reaching "that number of days". And this is when counting days is not a problem anymore.

Anyway, man, you made it to 100 days! You can do it again. It shows you that it's possible and that you know what you have to do.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 14, 2019, 08:22:47 PM
100 days hard mode showed me two things: First of all, I am able to live a free life if I stick to my restrictions, rules and good habits. And second I NEED to stick to those restrictions and build new habits to live a free life.

There's a lot of good wisdom in your post. This hits the nail on the head for me. The point is not going "back" to some kind of "normal" life before porn. Instead it's about building a new normal given the fact of our addiction. Those rules and restrictions aren't something we do for a while until we get better. They are what we have to be willing to do forever in order to stay better.

Finding a way to take care of myself in a sustainable way has been a big part of what I have been working on lately. It has to be about changing our lives permanently instead of just being a bandage that we plan to take off when we "get better."
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 16, 2019, 12:19:19 PM
Thank you very much, Lero and BlueHeronFan, your words mean a lot to me and help me now that I am facing sadness and regret. You show me I'm not alone in this and give me the strength to believe I might repeat and even surpass the latest success!  :)

I just got triggered by a lingerie ad appearing at a random news article and realize how far I had come. I didn't care about those ads anymore during my latest streak, but just now I had this tiny thought of "Hey, 4 days or 0 days isn't a big difference, go for it once again!" - this is not a conscious thought, but I'm definitely vulnerable to those triggers at this early stage and need to actively tell my brain "NO! STOP! MOVE ON!".

There is a tough road ahead once again, but I am willing to go this road again. It's the only choice I've got!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 16, 2019, 09:25:14 PM
I think sadness and regret are part of this process, too. You're definitely not alone in it, and that's an awesome thing.

Way to catch the trigger! Being triggered isn't really a problem (just letting triggers take over). It is a tough, long road, but we're all on it. Stopping that trigger in its tracks is exactly how you keep going forward.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on September 17, 2019, 02:26:03 PM
Triggers come in the strangest of places.  I was at work today and there was an espn magazine on the counter.  So I picked it up and leafed through and it was the body issue where it basically showed athletes without clothes.  I'm like face palm, just my luck.  I was tempted to look through it more closely but I set it down and went back to work. 
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on September 17, 2019, 04:10:46 PM
Triggers come in the strangest of places.  I was at work today and there was an espn magazine on the counter.  So I picked it up and leafed through and it was the body issue where it basically showed athletes without clothes.  I'm like face palm, just my luck.  I was tempted to look through it more closely but I set it down and went back to work.

I know exactly what you're talking about, man. Sometimes the triggers just jump out of the bushes. That's why it's very important to have a strategy for those encounters as well, as a continuation of a strategy to make triggers as hard to find as possible (using computer only when necessary, no phone internet or only using it as necessary too etc. ).
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 24, 2019, 01:22:08 PM
Thanks again, guys... feels kind of bad to admit, but I didn't really make it out of the porn trap... yesterday was my latest relapse and I realize I have to return to counting days:

Day 1

It's almost 24 hours since I relapsed for the last time. It wasn't my worst relapse of the last weeks, but I reached the point where porn doesn't turn me on anymore. I thought the same on sunday and relapsed yesterday because I took my phone home all of these days anyway and don't even make it one day clean by willpower.

It took some time to realize how it actually feels to be hooked on this shit, after 100 days it was all so much easier and I regret throwing this all away. This feels really demotivating to think I have to start again.

I just put on the restrictions for internet again and left my phone outside the house. Now it's time to literally clean up: I started washing clothes and dishes, I didn't pay my bills lately, two of my plants died because I forgot to water them, there is dust and dirt everywhere, just took the garbage out after a week.

This was a heavy setback and my first goal is to reach friday without another relapse. The first three days will be neccessary to get the things done I ran away from during the last weeks.

Back to counting days, back to my restrictions that helped me reach 100 days: This is the very beginning and the first 3 days will be a little milestone already - I have to put it in that perspective.

I hope to check on everyone's journals this weekend, sorry for letting you down for weeks now.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 24, 2019, 07:01:31 PM
Hey, man, it's just awesome that you're back. Sorry you've hit a rough patch and that you have some literal and metaphorical cleaning up to do. But I'm rooting for you!

Any time you learn something, you're making progress in the right direction. It might feel like a setback or like you're starting over, but you really aren't. The first time you made it 100 days, it was all new and unexpected. Now you know that it's tough at the beginning but that it gets easier. It's not an unknown road anymore. You can revisit your old posts, check in with where you are now, and, this time, not make the same mistakes you made last time.

You are in a way better position to make it to 100 days now than you were before. Set your rules, keep your rules, and press on.

You're exactly right to focus on just getting through Friday. Stick with the small milestones and the manageable goals. (But I also think you have it in you to get way beyond 100 days!)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: brandnewself on September 24, 2019, 08:46:20 PM
It's almost 24 hours since I relapsed for the last time. It wasn't my worst relapse of the last weeks, but I reached the point where porn doesn't turn me on anymore. I thought the same on sunday and relapsed yesterday because I took my phone home all of these days anyway and don't even make it one day clean by willpower.

Hey man I completely understand how you feel right now. I used to have streaks of 120+, 140+ days and I thought I was done with porn. I thought I was bullet proof and I tried porn again and I felt exactly the same as you did ---- porn didn't even turn me on. I wasn't really physically addicted to porn anymore at that point so I naively believed that I could control the use of it just like watching TV. Oh man was I wrong!! I was still deeply hooked to it PSYCHOLOGICALLY. All these 'rational thoughts' of controlled PMO were nothing rational but tricks my brain played when it was tempted. Quickly I got back to the vicious cycle and was unable to recover since then. I'm glad you realized this problem already and I hope you can make the following days through. You are not PHYSICALLY addicted to porn any more after 100 days. All you need to do is to not rationalize yourself into doing it. Think of it as if you're on diet and you're dealing with eating chocolate instead of porn addiction. Most people are not "addicted' to eating chocolate but they are 'tempted' to eat it even though they don't need it. There is a distinction between addiction and temptation. You're not addicted. You're just tempted. I believe you have the power to say NO to temptations. After all, you successfully reached 100 days before and you had way more intense urges back then and you still made it through. Try not to let yourself slip into the addiction path again.
I hope to check on everyone's journals this weekend, sorry for letting you down for weeks now.
You didn't let anyone down. Everyone here is responsible for his own life and you don't need to feel guilty about anything. Everyone here knows exactly what you're going through because we've all been through this over and over again. This guilt is another trick your mind is playing.

I think it's a great decision to get rid of your phone and install porn blockers for now as it makes it easier. I believe all you need to do is to go through the next 7 days and you will be comfortable enough to resume your streak. The positive things the 100 days have done to you are still here. Don't let them go.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 25, 2019, 05:18:59 PM
Hey, man, it's just awesome that you're back. Sorry you've hit a rough patch and that you have some literal and metaphorical cleaning up to do. But I'm rooting for you!

Thank you very much for your help once again, I managed to turn the switch. I started a new sheet on the computer with daily, weekly and long-term goals for the rest of the year. The main part of my tasks at home is done too, restrictions are activated. I had to really convince myself of a new start and now I feel like I've got the energy to go through the hard first weeks again. Although you're completely right:

You're exactly right to focus on just getting through Friday. Stick with the small milestones and the manageable goals. (But I also think you have it in you to get way beyond 100 days!)

First things first, next stop: Friday!

You didn't let anyone down. Everyone here is responsible for his own life and you don't need to feel guilty about anything. Everyone here knows exactly what you're going through because we've all been through this over and over again. This guilt is another trick your mind is playing.

I think it's a great decision to get rid of your phone and install porn blockers for now as it makes it easier. I believe all you need to do is to go through the next 7 days and you will be comfortable enough to resume your streak. The positive things the 100 days have done to you are still here. Don't let them go.

Thank you very much for your kind words, brandnewself! :)

I know you're right, but there is still this feeling of failing to finally be a good example and head towards the success stories to give hope to others on the one hand. On the other hand I didn't give any support on other journals in weeks and instead returned to my porn cave. Let's not call it "guilt", but responsibility or accountability. We're in this together and it definitely is easier to go through this with the help of others.

Day 2

So I just doubled the amount of abstinence since my latest entry ;)

Now that the dust (not only at my home) has settled, it's time to analyze where things went wrong. It all started with breaking my restrictions to stay in contact with the girl I was interested in and surely went downhill when I got rejected out of nowhere and binged on alcohol and drugs during the weekend. It has been a miracle I didn't relapse right away, but as I made it to 100 days despite all that apparently gave me a feeling of not needing any restrictions any longer and I relapsed the day after.

The last two weeks have been really, really hard because aside from some heavy personal issues within my family, the whole story about the girl who rejected me has a really fucked up plot-twist that left me shocked: I mentioned that I know the girl through a friend in common. Well, to be more specific our "friend" in common is female and I didn't really know her well, but through another friend (we met in a big group maybe twice before). Right after the girl rejected me by that text message out of nowhere, our common "friend" sent me a message like "Sorry to hear things didn't work out, still want to hang out this weekend?" and I met her without any intentions because I wasn't interested in her at all beyond friendship.

Turns out she is a complete psychopath and apparently was a driving force beyond that rejection (by telling that girl things about me) to spend time with me alone. I realized too late, tried to distance myself and, as she realized, received phone calls in the middle of the night, insulting messages and had to block her on every possible way of communication. This pretty much sums up my luck with girls lately and I guess it's a good idea to return to focus on myself and my development.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 25, 2019, 08:27:59 PM
Congrats on doubling your streak! Double it again and you've made it through Friday!

You know, I'm really sorry to hear about your bad luck with that crazy girl. These things happen. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I had a rough kind of breakup with someone I wasn't that seriously involved with earlier this year. I really felt like she was pushing the relationship in an unhealthy direction, and it was hard for me to finally get myself out of it. Mostly just writing to let you know that I feel some version of your pain, man. It'll get better.

But you have got me thinking about your decision to break down some of the restrictions in order to stay in contact with a girl. That seems really reasonable and fair: if the goal is to build a real relationship, it would make sense not to have restrictions that get in the way of that. But now you know that that's not the way to go. Even if it makes the relationship-building a little less convenient, the restrictions have to stay. I don't think I have thought very deliberately about how I will continue with my restrictions and habits when/if I end up in a relationship, but I think I will. A relationship is definitely not a free ticket out of addiction, so I think it's important to have a plan for staying committed to recovery even after finding someone to share life with. Thanks for the inspiration.

Keep it going!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on September 25, 2019, 11:10:33 PM
your journey is impressive. you did it in past so you can do it again. just  be positive and fight your war.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on September 26, 2019, 07:47:15 AM
We have the same number of days. My next goal is 5 days. Small steps still move you forward. If I'm not mistaken, you had 100 days but don't think about it now, think about the next goal only. The sum of goals lead to the finish.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on September 29, 2019, 05:37:56 AM
Thanks for your support, guys!

Day 6

The good news is: It's day 6 of hard mode and I am doing well. Had sex on friday and definitely feel a big difference on how it felt during my abstinence and now - less intense, didn't get 100% hard and it took longer to come. Porn is just setting me back in so many ways and I tend to forget during bigger streaks.

Bad news is my behaviour concerning alcohol and drugs, it has gotten out of control. I always wanted to keep this topic out of this community as it's about porn and not about other habits, but I definitely need to quit cocaine or I won't succeed in overcoming porn. And while I don't want to quit drinking completely, I need to cut it significantly. When really drunk and with the "wrong" people around me, I will do cocaine and once started I won't stop because coming down just sucks bad. The next day always feels like hell and I am more likely to return to porn to make me feel better. Actually porn and coke have a lot in common, both highs are just about searching for a bigger and bigger and bigger high and the same dose won't do after a while. There is no benefit to it, really none and I need to remind myself, that's why I write this down here. It's my easy way into socializing, because all anxiety is just gone for a short amount of time, but that's a cheap and fake way I chose for far too long (8 years) now.

It's enough, I love my life with all its ups and downs and will leave the road of addiction behind before it's too late.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Lero on September 29, 2019, 07:00:07 AM
Achilles, thanks for the encouragement on my page. Our streaks are only 1 day apart. You could say we go hand in hand, so to speak.

I understand you concerning alcohol and drugs. This is something that I also didn't want to fill my journal with (because it's a P addiction forum) but sometimes those things influence each other. I've never done drugs but I have the tendency to binge drink. Not all alone, locked up in my room and shit, but I think I have the wrong fucking entourage. I binge drink with them and they like binge drinking. Too much partying until late and stuff like that, being a zombie at work the next day, the "good stuff". I can relate to you regarding using this as an "aid" for socializing. I've been dealing with an aggressive social anxiety since I was around 17-18 and drinking was like a way to relax in social settings and stop being so quiet and stiff. But what started with "Let's have a beer" let to a lot of partying, binge drinking and stuff. I ended up doing this like 3-4 times a week, brutal hangovers, being "sick" at work etc. I am not an alcoholic (yet), I can stay away from alcohol when I choose to but I always get sucked back into this entourage and the usual routine. It's like, after a while, I am tired of my sobriety and I want the fun, I want the "button that I could push to unplug from reality for a while", you know what I'm saying? It's like: "Man, it's been a fucking hard day. I had a hard time with my boss, I had a hard time with a coworker, my task was stressful and under time pressure, now I want to escape this reality for a while, get the boys and drink with them." You know what I mean? That kind of thing. It started with one beer in high school and it quickly became like 5-6 before I even finished high school. Hiding this shit from my parents and all that (because I hate to be lectured again and again and I hate disappointed them with my behavior). I hated when my mom told me stuff like: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself to walk in zig-zag down the street? Don't you want to be a respectable man?" Yeah, of course I want but things could get complicated quickly. I'm like in a movie where the main character self-destructs with heavy drinking (Like Leaving Las Vegas) but life is not a movie. With this attempt to quit my P addiction, I'm attempting to change my life. Live more healthy and all that. Self-medication permeated my mind too much and I want to stop this.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on September 29, 2019, 06:13:18 PM
Achilles, thanks for trusting us with more of your story. Maybe this forum is primarily about porn addiction, but I think it's really about addiction in the end. Sure, we all want to quit our addiction to porn, but recovery is only recovery if we heal from all our addictions. So it's awesome that you're acknowledging the effects of drugs and alcohol on your life as well.

You can count on our support no matter what aspect of addiction you're fighting most intensely. It's all connected, and the real goal is healing your whole self.

A few months ago, I listened to a talk by Tara Brach (she's a meditation/psychology person) called "Healing Addiction: De-conditioning the Hungry Ghosts." I can't remember exactly what she said,  but I do remember that it really helped me to change the way I think about my relationship to addiction. It's on YouTube, so if Youtube is safe for you and you have an extra hour sometime, maybe give it a listen.

Either way, press forward! We've got your back!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 03, 2019, 03:25:28 PM
Thank you very much, Blue and Lero!

@Lero: As I mentioned in your journal, we're in similar trouble concerning weekend excess and it's dangerous for the reboot. I definitely will keep working on this.

@BlueHeronFan: YouTube is safe if I use it for a certain purpose - I found the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKn4IGY8OH8) and started watching, thank you! Hope to finish it this weekend!

For now I'm just here to announce I reached another checkpoint:

Day 10

The two-digit number. I'm keeping myself very busy, because the hardest stage is about to set in. Have been incredibly productive so far and my next partial goal is to complete two weeks which includes making it through the weekend. Still it's a big success already to get back on track after falling back into the porn abyss - step by step I will succeed. I hope to be able to give a major update this weekend when I completed a long to-do-list, I am doing very well so far and while busy I am less likely to relapse.

Keep advancing everybody!  :)
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 03, 2019, 05:14:36 PM
Awesome! Congrats on an even 10! It's so good that you're getting yourself back on track.

Keep it up and make it 11!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 07, 2019, 05:10:04 PM
Day 3

No, there is no update about 2 weeks complete. I relapsed on friday until saturday, but at least it was a wake-up call.

How did it start?

I wanted to go out with friends on friday and had my phone in my car. It was rather difficult to communicate because it was cold outside and I decided to make an exception and take my phone home. After all I decided not to leave, but to go to bed early.

Instead of taking my phone back outside, I didn't care - after ten days I should be on the safe side, because I learned my lesson, right?

Around midnight I looked up a movie, out of "curiosity" I opened the google images and clicked through pics of one of the actresses, then scrolled down the related pics until reaching bikini pics and clicked around a bit more. Through related pics I ended up at model pictures in bikini and at some point caught myself thinking "That's porn subs already, your streak is already broken, now it doesn't matter if you keep going!" - without searching explicitly for porn ("Hey, I am not searching for it!") I stumbled upon porn later and then thought: "Well, I already looked at porn, I have to start again anyway."

(Maybe a trigger warning is requiered from here on:)

Hours later I had watched all of my "favourite" categories and went down the abyss because my normal taste didn't turn me on anymore. I watched degrading point-of-view clips, fake rape videos and so on. I wrote a girl who's into sexting and did really unspeakable things on cam and when she went to sleep, I continued to watch more and more porn until I came basically by accident after a total time of 12 hours.

I know I shouldn't hate myself for this, but it's hard not to. It has been a very painful lesson, one I thought I already learned long ago: I can not handle my cell phone at home! Like, I am writing this at almost every page of this journal and still out of pure lazyness break this rule constantly to relapse again.

It's not that much of a sacrifice after all, but it saves me from the most painful, humilliating and damaging experiences of my life.

This is the last chance to turn my life around and I will not fail. This is a promise to myself: I will succeed. I am free and I will live my life the best I can.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 07, 2019, 08:55:55 PM
Hey, man. Sorry to hear it.

There's a difference between knowing something and really internalizing and living it. I don't know how many times I have done things I knew I shouldn't do because I thought I could handle it or it didn't seem like a big deal.

Your story of looking up something "innocent" even knowing it was dangerous and then "stumbling" into porn subs and then "accidentally" seeing porn and then "somehow" going all in is really familiar to me. A lot of my last relapses started because I was looking up a movie or a tv show and then looked up an actress and then ended up far from where I started. Or, sometimes, I would be googling images for a school project or something and then just start googling things that "might" also turn up some pornographic results (it doesn't count if it just happens to show up on google images, right?)

It's not laziness or anything that has made you keep coming back to your phone at home. It's just the natural way our brains work: you get a reward when you have your phone at home. Whether it's the anticipation of porn or an outright relapse, bringing the phone home equals a hit of dopamine. Leaving your phone behind gives you no reward ever. It's just normal, boring life. There's no chemical incentive to do what you know you should, so learning that new behavior is an uphill battle. It's not that you're lazy or bad or not committed. It's just that you're human and it takes a lot of effort and commitment.

One day earlier this year, I realized that there was a part of me that wants PMO and wants it bad and wants it almost all the time. There was also a part of me that wanted to quit really badly. I finally realized a couple of things 1) I clearly wanted the pleasures of PMO more than I wanted to quit because I kept doing those little gateway things that kept me close to relapse and 2) I probably wasn't ever going to eradicate the part of me that wanted PMO, so I was just going to have to learn to live with it.

Would I like to be able to use image search for school projects? Yeah. Would I like to be able to look up movies and actresses like a "normal" person? Yeah. But I have realized that none of those things are worth putting myself at risk of a relapse. I have to make the deliberate decision each time that I want to recover more than I want the pleasure. Because I'll always want the pleasure, and I will always choose it if I go on autopilot.

Stay alert, don't go on autopilot. But also definitely don't hate yourself. You made a mistake. Addiction feels like an endless cycle of making the same mistakes over and over. But if you keep working and keep trying and keep hoping, you will make progress over time. We all will.

Rooting for you all the way!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 10, 2019, 06:07:30 AM
Day 5

Thank you very much, BlueHeronFan, putting things down in a more rational way helped a lot. I need to treat my addiction that way to find solutions - good thing is, I made a decent start of 5 days yet.

I am currently changing furniture and rearranging my flat to give myself the impression of a new beginning. This helped in the past to initiate major streaks. Cell phone stays out of my home, restrictions are activated, now it's time to keep working my way out of the abyss.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on October 10, 2019, 07:00:44 AM
Keep yourself busy. As you already did a good reboot of 5 days , then here just be aware.
Keeping yourself busy is best way to avoid feeling of guilt and fear of failure.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 10, 2019, 05:17:53 PM
Awesome, congrats on 5 days!

I love the idea of rearranging things for a new beginning! This isn't just about ending one behavior, it's about a whole new life.

Keep on building that new life, one more day at a time
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 16, 2019, 05:33:54 PM
Thank you once again, guys!  :)

Day 12

I'm right back in the emotional rollercoaster of the first weeks of reboot and my life seems like a rollercoaster too. The good news is: I made a successful restart and it feels like a new life due to the changes I made at home (new furniture, clean up, buy new plants, rearrange old furniture), this really helps and I am confident to make it through the upcoming hard stage of reboot.

Last saturday I had sex twice with a girl I dated for a while at the beginning of this year, it definitely didn't feel as satisfying as during my longer streaks of abstinence and the second time I didn't get 100% hard. I cut back contact with her because of her drinking and cocaine habit and the danger for me to get pulled in again (we got drunk and high together often). This time I convinced her of cancelling the drug delivery and have a good time sober, but her habits are out of control and I need to keep more distance to save myself.

And ironically there is good news in terms of dating just now that I returned to the porn abyss: I got a girl's number at a bar (being completly drunk and high) three weeks ago and at first we didn't seem to have a good connection writing messages and we both had been really busy (as I was meeting the other girl again) until we finally met last week. I tried to avoid a dating situation, but we ended up at a bar sitting in front of each other and I felt the return of my social anxiety that had gotten so much better during my long abstinence.

I POINT THIS OUT TO MYSELF: The healing of social anxiety due to abstinence from porn is NOT placebo! I use to forget about this when my streaks advance, but after porn I have a hard time making eye contact and feel nervous and insecure.

My solution to this was to order drinks to relax a little and at some point I just went to the toilet because I really felt uncomfortable holding eye contact all the time - not because of her, she's really awesome and asked "You're not going to leave through the toilet window, are you?". I should have had a great time as she's good looking, funny and really self-confident, but instead I felt intimidated and worrying about not being good enough for her. Porn is not the source of every issue I have, but THIS is completely porn related! I really could beat myself up for throwing away my impressive streak last month.

However she really likes me and wanted to meet again. As I had already set up meeting the other girl last weekend, we agreed on meeting yesterday and she came to my place. To calm my nerves I planned on drinking with her, but as I offered her a drink she replied "No thanks, I do like you without being drunk." - I felt even more uncomfortable because I didn't know if it was a joke or a serious reference to my drinking behaviour. There was no choice but to stay sober and not use alcohol to escape. Later we cuddled, kissed and started undressing, but I felt too nervous and uncomfortable to keep going because she's incredibly hot and in the back of my head I thought about not being completely hard during the second round last saturday. She noticed that I didn't take off her underwear and asked if I didn't want to keep going. I told her straight forward that she was making me a little nervous, because I really like her a lot and that I'd prefer to keep things until that point for now. She was perfectly fine with that and told me today that she can't wait to meet me again and how she enjoyed being with me.

I remember how just a month ago I hit the 100 days clean, felt so much more self confident with much less social anxiety and now that I finally meet an amazing girl who likes me too I go through all this shit again. I am sick of that ever lasting vicious circle of falling into the porn abyss, experiencing social anxiety and as a result getting drunk or doing cocaine to socialize, then relapse on porn again due to the hangover and so on. My life is full of amazing opportunities and it's totally worth it to once again pull myself out of the abyss step by step, day by day.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 16, 2019, 07:02:45 PM
Sounds like a busy few days! Good for you for sticking with recovery and recognizing that the benefits of extended abstinence are real.

I definitely know the feeling of wishing I had started sooner or not relapsed so recently. Those feelings of regret are useful if they help us to continue doing better, but they're damaging if all they do is make us feel bad. Sure, it would have been ideal if you hadn't relapsed when you did, but there's no changing that. It's easier said than done, but don't let it get you down too much. You're on track and still moving forward (you didn't start completely over).

So just keep at it, and look forward to more good things to come!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on October 17, 2019, 07:17:37 AM
Quote
I remember how just a month ago I hit the 100 days clean, felt so much more self confident with much less social anxiety and now that I finally meet an amazing girl who likes me too I go through all this shit again.

You still have the benefit of your 100 days dude.  So you binged a weekend or two sure, but you have the experience of months of a different lifestyle.  You've completed a reboot.  The whole point is to see how life is without p and then build those habits to keep it that way.  You're are your way dude, keep it up!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 22, 2019, 12:53:23 PM
Hey dude, sorry for my long absence from your journal. I've been struggling to comment on people's journals as I've been struggling quite a lot.

It sounds really positive what you and that girl have. How much do you like her? I've often told women who I've been seeing, even for one night stands, about P addiction and they have rarely ever been surprised or shocked, or completely turned off. It's interesting what our minds do to us about the prospect of telling people about this. The reality, in my experience, has never been as bad as what my mind wanted to tell me. It's also positive that you're cutting that other girl out, who has a drug problem. At the end of the day it's nice to have regular sex but we ultimately want to be committed, and we should choose people who lift us up not bring us down.
I'm sorry you relapsed after a long streak, but as BlueHeron said, you're definitely right to just get back on the bus and keeping going.

Your 100 days is inspiring to me and I hope to make it there again too (it's been years).

And I know what you mean about porn-induced social anxiety. Are you in a regular meditation habit at the moment?
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on October 22, 2019, 08:31:30 PM
Good to see your new successful start.
Keep going.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: squid on October 22, 2019, 10:51:24 PM
You know dude, I'm telling you as someone who thought he was defeated many years ago, you are not defeated.  I want to look you on the eye and tell you, you can do it.  But you gotta have a clear definition of what it is, and have a plan to get there. 
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 24, 2019, 06:13:03 AM
Thank you very much for your overwhelming support, guys! :) I'll do my best to catch up with your stories but am very busy at the moment - in a good way!

And I know what you mean about porn-induced social anxiety. Are you in a regular meditation habit at the moment?

I never really found my way into meditation, I know there is tons of videos on YouTube and I even asked for suggestions and tried - any suggestions how to start?

Day 19

Dating continued and is heading towards a relationship, we had sex the last three times we met, but it's not as satisfying as it could and should be. It takes longer to get and stay completely hard and it's not performance anxiety due to being nervous. She has an amazing body, but the porn binges definitely were setting me back - clearly not to ground 0, but still far enough to feel distant.

I really like her and decided to be completely honest to her, as she asked me to not play any games, but tell her the truth if I was really interested in her or just wanting to have fun. As she asked me directly about seeing other girls I was honest about that girl I met the week before and told her I was cutting contact. The drug topic also came up and as she never took any illegal drugs, she wasn't too lucky about my history either, but I asked her to give me the chance to leave this behind. Despite those initial obstacles she wants to see me as often as possible and we're basically planning every free minute to see each other.

Apart from that I am facing depression and mood swings, even more as I am not only quitting porn and masturbation, but also cocaine and currently even sugar, fast food and alcohol. She is my extra motivation to go through this shit again, although I try not to depend on another person, but set my own goals - still it clearly helps to have that perspective to be with her when the mood rollercoaster goes down. My next goal is to complete the first month and then to continue my path to physical, sexual and mental health.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 24, 2019, 11:00:28 AM

I never really found my way into meditation, I know there is tons of videos on YouTube and I even asked for suggestions and tried - any suggestions how to start?

There is a really good free app called Insight Timer. You can browse through a whole bunch of different meditations, and I would recommend simple breathing meditations to start with. Just to bring your attention into your body. There's also an app called Headspace which gives you the first 10 meditations for free, but to get unlimited access you pay like $50 a year.

These two apps should help you get started. The key with it, really, is consistency. It may bring up some emotional stuff when you start doing it, or you might find yourself unable to focus and relax. If either of these things happen, don't worry, it is normal. The key is to be consistent about it, and do it every day (I say that but I'm hardly a paragon of virtue in this regard, lol). The thing with meditation is it brings to the surface whatever's inside you, like a magnifying glass. If your mind is really busy, it'll initially get busier. If you are really sad, you'll probably feel more sad. It's not the meditation that's doing it, but that fact that you are sitting silently and not distracting yourself with some kind of stimulus. This enables you to really examine what is going on in your mind and body and, like a scientist, figure out whether these things are temporary or permanent fixtures in your psyche. You may not see the benefits initially but after a month or two of consistent practice you should notice yourself feeling a lot better about things.

If you need more detailed advice, feel free to PM me anytime.

Quote
Day 19

Dating continued and is heading towards a relationship, we had sex the last three times we met, but it's not as satisfying as it could and should be. It takes longer to get and stay completely hard and it's not performance anxiety due to being nervous. She has an amazing body, but the porn binges definitely were setting me back - clearly not to ground 0, but still far enough to feel distant.

I really like her and decided to be completely honest to her, as she asked me to not play any games, but tell her the truth if I was really interested in her or just wanting to have fun. As she asked me directly about seeing other girls I was honest about that girl I met the week before and told her I was cutting contact. The drug topic also came up and as she never took any illegal drugs, she wasn't too lucky about my history either, but I asked her to give me the chance to leave this behind. Despite those initial obstacles she wants to see me as often as possible and we're basically planning every free minute to see each other.

Apart from that I am facing depression and mood swings, even more as I am not only quitting porn and masturbation, but also cocaine and currently even sugar, fast food and alcohol. She is my extra motivation to go through this shit again, although I try not to depend on another person, but set my own goals - still it clearly helps to have that perspective to be with her when the mood rollercoaster goes down. My next goal is to complete the first month and then to continue my path to physical, sexual and mental health.

So you told her about the porn, too? You were open and honest and that's all anyone can ever really ask from another person. You said she wasn't very happy about your history but still, you guys have planned to spend a tonne of time together. She must really like you, and it sounds like you really like her, too. Also, now that you got that off your chest you can continue in your awesomeness to live every day to the fullest and to keep sticking to habits that support your growth and freedom from P. And as you say, let her be a motivator but not the motivation for your freedom.

Stay awesome,
Adventurer
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 24, 2019, 06:55:26 PM
Congratulations on making progress, having difficult and important conversations, and taking the fight to addiction in all its forms! Take a minute to give yourself a pat on the back if you haven't already (and then get back to the fight, lol)!

I 100% support everything Adventurer said about meditation. I'm a fan of Insight Timer, too and I think just setting aside some time every day is the trick to success. It's a practice, something you do regularly whether you do a great job or not. And it has really helped me, especially when it comes to dealing with urges and triggers in the moment. Just the other day, I was listening to something on the app that called meditation something like the practice of stabilizing the mind, and I liked that definition. By learning how to direct my attention and avoid getting caught up in thoughts and ideas, I have gotten better at riding out the urges and letting the triggers pass by.

Keep on going!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Do or die on October 24, 2019, 07:05:31 PM
Congratulations. Day 19 is sign that you are doing very well.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on October 29, 2019, 04:32:51 PM
Day 0

This came by no surprise: As I was frequently seeing the girl, I thought restrictions weren't necessary anymore and I was going to walk out of this the easy way. No time for self-pity, I am going to make tomorrow a happy and fullfilling day. Not in the mood to write too much, but I will write an update this weekend.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on October 29, 2019, 05:10:56 PM
That's still a 23-day streak by my count, which is a massive improvement. You have not lost all of your progress; you did the right thing every day for 23 days. Here's to another day of doing the right thing to avoid relapse.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on October 29, 2019, 06:51:21 PM
Tomorrow is a new day, and nothing that happened today has to have any effect on what happens tomorrow. Start fresh and get back at it. It's a bump in the road.

It sounds like you know what happened and why. Every relapse is a chance to find the gaps in the armor and to seal them up for the next time. We talk about restrictions, but they're also protections. Don't think about giving up freedom, think about reducing risk.

But you're exactly right, go have a happy and fulfilling tomorrow! We're with you!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: achilles heel on November 04, 2019, 03:12:39 PM
Day 2

This is something like a prolonged day 0, because I gave myself 72 hours of preparation before entering this journey again. This is the last time that I will go through the first month again and I need to prepare this really well.

Of course after writing on october, 29 about my big update on the weekend I relapsed again on october 31 to start again with a new streak at november, 1st (as if my brain didn't trick me into this a hundred times). And of course I binged again and again and again. I stopped at november 2nd in the morning when I crossed another line, had my personal wake up call on life and remain in a state of deep depression.

Throughout my almost two decades of porn escalation I discovered the high of sexting and the voyeurist/exhibitionist approach of a new, bigger high than just watching porn. Becoming porn is even more thrilling and without going into too much detail I know a girl who is into this a lot too. Actually I knew various girls, but I managed to cut contact or quit this with everyone but her. My last binges were watching porn for hours and at some point send her pics, videos or even make a videocall, doing all kinds of things for her to reach the escalation I needed. The latest escalation was doing this but on a public sex-chatroom with her and who-knows-who-else watching. When I came I immediately felt that I've crossed an unthinkable line for myself.

It was not possible for myself to just set a new "Day 0" and start again, I need a profound cartharsis. I told the girl about my problem and we decided to block each other on the phone. I cut contact before, but never blocked her or told her about my problem because I felt too embarassed. Now I deleted the number, completely reset my phone and deleted everything with a special overwriting tool. I feel like I need to cleanse my old life to make a restart possible.

67 hours passed since the last binge and I decided not to go "all in" on a new life immediately, but get my tasks at home done, set up a new plan for the following weeks and make my devices as safe as possible for the upcoming weeks.

The severe series of relapsing clearly has to do with the disappointing development of dating the girl I mentioned. My honesty about my drug problem and the other girl weren't supposed to make her happy, of course. Instead I got really angry because she managed to find out who the friend-with-benefit-girl is (I didn't even mention her name) and I had to face distrust in several occasions now. That's the reason I won't talk to her about my porn problem and probably will stop dating her completely.

I'm not ready for a relationship or any connection at the moment, I hit rock bottom and face depression, self-hatred and shame. It's a hard task to just face all this negativity and not drown it in alcohol and cocaine as I'd really like to do now. I never felt this low and it never took me so long to climb out of the abyss to enter a new reboot attempt. Tomorrow I will start with daily tasks and add some new habits step by step to build a new life. I try to gain a positive view on the latest events: Hitting rock bottom might be the initial motivation to reach a long term change, but first it's just a daily struggle to return to feeling alive.
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: BlueHeronFan on November 04, 2019, 09:31:20 PM
I've heard from a lot of people before that hitting rock bottom was the turning point for them. It's sad to hear that you're feeling as bad as you are, but at least you know the only way forward is up.

There is definitely some serious work to do in order to sever your ties with the past and build a new clean life. I don't want to sell the seriousness and intensity of that short, but I do think step one might be to take a breath and give yourself some kind attention and gentle awareness.

Remember, addiction is our brain's best attempt to protect us from the pains and traumas we face in life. Addictions are terrible, destructive things, but they start from a kind of attempt to make things better. You have made mistakes, and it is natural to feel ashamed of them. But you aren't a bad guy. If anything, you're a person in pain who, unfortunately, found an unhealthy way to deal with that pain.

So, maybe, as you make plans to fix your behavior, also take some time to make plans to heal your pain. What hurts? Why does it hurt? What can you do take care of yourself? Learning to see my addicted self as a person in pain instead of as a person who was disgustingly self-indulgent and corrupt has been a big turning point for me. I'm not fighting myself. I'm getting to know myself and learning to take better care of myself.

There's a tough road ahead, but we've got your back. You got this!
Title: Re: Free At Last
Post by: Non-Dual Adventurer on November 06, 2019, 03:08:29 PM
Sorry to hear that you're feeling so bad. Rock bottom can be a good place to be. Why? Because at rock bottom, all the drugs and porn in the world won't make you feel anymore numb or worse than you you already feel, nor will they make you feel better. Rock bottom means you have to face yourself and your pain, and forces you look at yourself in the mirror, soberly.

Pain is pain, happiness is happiness, life is life. Life is neutral to all of this.

Watch this:
youtube.com/watch?v=EHz0tqSfQ3o