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Messages - BlueHeronFan

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1
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 28, 2020, 07:18:16 PM »
Another day. It was pretty good.

I had a big school-relate project that I just haven't had time for until now, and I thought it was going to take a lot of time. But I ended up getting a big chunk of it done today sort of by surprise. That felt pretty good: it's something I've been meaning to get done for a while, and now I have good momentum moving into tomorrow.

This afternoon, I wanted to work on some other things, but I ended up having to spend a long time fixing a glitch with my printer. So I didn't end up getting everything that I wanted to do done, but it was an unforeseen thing that I needed to do.

While I was waiting for printer software to load and tinkering with my internet connection, I did make a close-call kind of mistake, though. At one point, I typed a safe-dangerous site into browser (not a porn site, but a place for subs/some nudity). Luckily, my filter caught it and blocked me out. Then I asked myself what I was thinking and moved on. Things have been under control since, but it was still a weird thing. Glad it didn't go any further. I want to get mad at myself for putting myself in that kind of trouble, but I'm also grateful to myself for making the decision long ago to block that site. That saved the day, I think.

Bigger and better things tomorrow, I hope!

2
Ages 20-29 / Re: Free At Last
« on: April 28, 2020, 06:58:44 PM »
Daily successes are the way to go! It's awesome to hear that you're staying busy in a good way and moving along.

Here's to Day 9!

3
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 27, 2020, 07:47:04 PM »
Glad to hear you're still on track. Congrats on finishing school!

These are strange times to say the least!

Thanks, man! Strange but also strangely good. A lot of things are weird, but I also like just being at home. I'll be glad when things start going back to normal, but I'll also miss just being allowed to stay home, lol.

Congrats on finishing school!  I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow, yeah it's gotten odd, just the world right now

Thanks! Hope the shopping went well. Everything is weird. I keep reading articles that some of these changes might be permanent, but I have a hard time believing that. I guess we'll see, but I think people are too socially generally for things like handshakes to be gone forever.

I like the idea about setting the weekend apart from the rest of the week. I think I will also try to incorporate that into my schedule this summer as much as possible to break up the monotony of ZoomUniversity

Lol, ZoomUniversity! It's true though, something about long Zoom meetings gives me a headache. I don't what it is. I think setting aside some downtime is a good way to counteract the work and the weirdness of it all.

Another okay day

I had higher hopes for today than I delivered, more to-dos than I did. I think what I'm happiest about doing is that I put away all the folders and books and things that were just piled up from the semester and tidied up my work areas (it used to be just my desk, but now I have little workstations all over my apartment for a change of scenery throughout the day, lol). It's a small thing, but it feels like I'm more freed up for whatever new things I'll do during the summer.

I got a couple of other things done, too, but I sort of lost steam early and gave up before the end of my "working hours." Probably not a big deal, but I felt down on myself for that. Now that I've had dinner and taken it easy for the rest of the evening, though, I'm in better spirits. I don't think there would have been much to gain if I had punish-forced myself to get more things done just because they were on my to-do list. I have literally the whole summer to do things now. There isn't a rush if I'm not feeling it.

I have noticed some urges/thoughts in the last couple of days. That's dangerous and something to watch. I'm getting close to 30 days, which is helpful to know because I've had a long history (outside of last year) of relapsing about once every month or two. So I can remember that these urges are just part of a pattern and not a sign of anything and then just let them go. When the urges have come I've tried to really remind myself of how I felt after giving into them last time. I say to myself, "Yeah, porn would maybe be fun right now, but is it worth it to feel that way after?" The answer is no. I don't want to experience post-relapse, and I'm trying to remember that. It's so easy to forget the consequences when the urges hit strong. Not going to fall into that trap again.

On to tomorrow!

4
Ages 20-29 / Re: Recovery is an incredible process
« on: April 27, 2020, 07:33:16 PM »
It's awesome to hear that you're making the decision to go a little easier on yourself with work and that you're feeling good about it!

When all this quarantine stuff started, I definitely gave myself a hard time for not being super productive. But how could I be? To start off, there just isn't as much work to do. My mood has definitely improved as I've given myself permission to take it a little easier. Things will get busy again eventually. Busy doesn't mean I'm a better person, just a busier one.

I definitely like thinking about how you'll feel when you get a real job. Some of the things that feel so important right now definitely aren't in the long run.

You're doing great, keep it going!

5
Ages 20-29 / Re: Free At Last
« on: April 27, 2020, 07:28:18 PM »
That's almost a week! Congratulations, man!

It's true what Hablablos said about motivation. I don't usually realize it, but I usually only start wanting to do a thing when I'm in the process of doing it. It's probably not just me, but I have such a hard time starting things. Once I get started, though, it's a lot easier to keep things going.

You've got a week of good energy behind you now. Just keep at it! Posting here daily, even short stuff, is definitely one habit that will keep you going.

6
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 25, 2020, 08:23:31 PM »
Lol, I definitely know that feeling of worrying that there's some assignment I should be doing even when there isn't. It's definitely a weird transition. Yeah, it's too bad for all those people who don't get to experience graduation like they might have hoped. Even if we're struggling, I think we really are all doing the best we can in the circumstances.

Pretty good day

I used to really kind of like going grocery shopping, but it has gotten stressful lately. There are all kinds of rules, lots of things are still out of stalk, and everyone looks at me suspiciously and stays out of my way. I get that there are good reasons for all of that, but it still feels weird. Since I live alone, the grocery store is like the only time I see other people these days, so it's uncomfortable to see everyone avoiding me. Not something I need to take personally, and I try not to, but still, it's weird.

Anyway, once grocery shopping was out of the way, it was a relaxed day. I've decided not to do a lot of work on the weekends and just let myself enjoy the "time off." Trying to make the weekends different from the rest of the week. But it was chill. Tidied up, did some cooking, called home. Not much to it, but that was nice.

Here's to a great Sunday!

7
Ages 20-29 / Re: Recovery is an incredible process
« on: April 25, 2020, 08:16:36 PM »
I think that's great that you decided to do some cooking instead of just trying to get ahead, and that you posted here when the urges hit. All good signs of looking for a more sustainable path through life.

It's like the say, your muscles grow when they're resting after the workout. If you never take time to rest, you'll just wear yourself down. Rest is as much a part of productivity as work. Addiction doesn't let us pace ourselves, but real life can be more sustainable when we do.

Plus, cooking is a great way to get your mind off things and to do something good for yourself. I love cooking as a way to unwind from a stressful day.

8
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 24, 2020, 07:48:20 PM »
Day 22/30

Pretty good day, overall. I finished up my work for the semester at school. Starting next year, I'll be working on my own research, so I have to get some documents and things taken care of soon so that they can get approved and stuff. That's my last big task before moving into the summer. It feels good to be done with classes this semester, even if quarantine has made it kind of anticlimactic. Still a good step forward in my program.

Chill day otherwise. Not much to it, but that's how the days have been lately.

9
Ages 20-29 / Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« on: April 24, 2020, 07:45:27 PM »
Sorry that happened, but it's good to see you around! I lost track of time and disappeared for a while, but it's good to start rebuilding some of the habits that just sort of disappeared during the last few weeks for whatever reason.

It's good to hear that you're building some momentum and exercising. I know I've been exercising a couple of times a day lately, just to keep the blood flowing now that I'm stuck at home all the time. It's good for the body and the emotions.

Keep it going, man!

10
Ages 20-29 / Re: Recovery is an incredible process
« on: April 24, 2020, 07:43:16 PM »
Just keep on keepin' on, man. It is definitely a weird time to be working on recovery, but it's also a unique opportunity.

Definitely don't be afraid to take some time to take care of yourself. Working on things is important, but not if it comes at the cost of your mood/well-being. Lately, I have started limiting work to certain hours of the day. It seems like kind of a weird idea, but it has made me more productive during the hours I'm working and has made me not have to worry/feel guilty when I'm being unproductive during my "relaxing" hours. I don't know if that would be helpful for you, but it has helped me to start to find a healthier relationship with the productivity pressure I put on myself.

11
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 23, 2020, 06:57:38 PM »
Yeah, it feels like I might be getting back on track finally, day by day. That's cool what you read about finding things that are energizing. I think that's definitely a good way to think about things, not just being productive but being productive in energizing ways.

Pretty decent day

Did laundry, had my last online class (and my last class since I'll be starting exams and my own research next year). Finishing classes is sort of anticlimactic in these circumstances, but it is still a good accomplishment and I'm grateful to be done with that part of my schooling. I just have one short paper left to write, hopefully tomorrow, and then I'm moving forward with things.

I was experiencing a lot of stress the last few days, and it has somehow passed today. But it's left me with a monstrous headache, so I think I'm going to bed early tonight. No point in staying up in pain, especially not when I have wide open time in the foreseeable future.

Onward and upward!

12
Ages 20-29 / Re: My Reboot Journal
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:58:53 PM »
Glad you're finding your new pace! I know I'm starting to adjust to a new way of life, and it's helping me feel better about things day to day.

Keep going strong!

13
Ages 20-29 / Re: Free At Last
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:57:32 PM »
Hey, man, sorry to hear you hit a rough spot. This time is messing with everyone, and I think people fighting addiction are dealing with an extra hard fight right now.

Every relapse can be a teacher. I know I'm learning from the last one I had. I hate that it happened, but I'm grateful to be learning from it. You definitely are better prepared because you have more experience and wisdom than before. As long as you're learning, your progressing.

We've got this!

14
Ages 20-29 / Re: Kraken's journal
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:54:51 PM »
Glad things are going well! It's awesome to come back to good reports from people.

Keep it going!

15
Ages 20-29 / Re: Recovery is an incredible process
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:54:01 PM »
Congratulations on a month, man! It's awesome to see that you're making steady progress. I'm excited to get back to sharing this journey with you in the coming days.

Keep it up!

16
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:52:16 PM »
Thanks to you all for your kind and encouraging words! I guess I dropped off the face of the planet. The passage of time is weird, and I guess I didn't realize it had been so long since I last posted. But here I am!

The good news is that I'm on day 20 and I feel like I'm going strong. Some urges today and yesterday, but I'm keeping an eye on them and trying to remind myself how I felt the day after relapsing. That was not a good feeling, and it definitely wasn't worth it.

But let's look at it as a challenge. During my latest binges I've seen a porn ad with #stayhome. This really makes me angry, using this horrible situation for such a cynical advertisement.

Man, I saw similar things, and it really made me angry too. Taking advantage of a situation like this to push their garbage made me sick. I've heard that people with any kind of addiction are really struggling right now. Alcohol consumption is on the rise, stuff like that. It's scary for them and us, and it's frustrating that there are people out there making addiction worse.

Hey Blue sorry to hear about the difficult week last week. I wanted to thank you for your insights and especially number 3. I have experienced similar things that somehow push me over the edge of feeling good about life and make me relapse. It's honestly the scariest part of recovery when you build yourself up with long streak and attach your progress to that number. It just sucks to fall down no matter what. But keep on going, and sharing your journey; you inspire us.

Thanks! You're exactly right that it sucks to fall, but getting back up is all we can do. Thanks for the encouragement and kind words!

We may have done things bad or not optimally all along! If we think about it, most of the things we've done were to "avoid", most probably not entirely consciously, the emotion that trigger urges and cravings.

Though, in a situation like the one we live currently, we cannot "run" from anything. We're stucked with less option that usual and have to learn to handle all that with a different approach and is unique to everyone. Even if they're very similar in essence. Learn to see and recognize your emotions immediately, because it's only by recognizing them that you'll know when to act before you end up relapsing. It will help for every aspect of our lives anyway!

This is a really awesome insight! I think you're on to something! I have definitely been thinking lately about how I was just managing to get by most of the time when I was running around with school and work and everything. Slowing down has made me vulnerable, but it has also given me space to do some real thinking and processing of the whole thing. Every relapse has taught me something, and this last one has been no different. All the things that worked worked for me when I was busy and, honestly, barely hanging on. This situation is forcing me to find a way of life that works and not just because everything else is distracting me from addiction. It's pushing me to deal with addiction on a new level, and that's probably good in the long run.

Hey man! For sure this quarantine stuff can be tough! Keep your chin up.

I am finding using zoom video (assuming it is not triggering) is really helping with the isolation, there are lots of online events going on at the moment.

Thanks, quit! Zoom is hit or miss for me. I've had some connection with friends and people through it, but something about it is super draining. I've been on Zoom almost every day for a month, but I've noticed that I sort of feel worse, physically and emotionally, afterwards. So I'm taking a week off and seeing how I feel. I might go back, but just not as often.

Yo blue, what's up man?  Miss ya

Thanks for checking up on me! I've been meaning to post and just haven't, no excuses here. I think just harder to start back up the longer I go without posting.

Things have been pretty good. It's the last week of "classes" for me, so I'm relieved to be wrapping that up. Just one more short paper left to turn in, and then I'm free, lol.

I have been trying to find a more sustainable routine, and I think I've found something that might work. I know I have been giving myself a lot of grief for not being as productive nowadays. I also have been trying to be super productive. So I have tried to kill both birds with one stone and set up working and relaxing hours. That way, I can have dedicated time for working on things, and I can not have to make myself feel bad when I decide to watch a show or something during my off hours. So I'm working from about 10-4 every day and letting myself take it easy after that. I definitely think it's leading to more balanced days, more balanced than I even had when everything was normal. I could get used to having downtime like this!

I also learned that I think productivity makes me feel better but that creativity is the real mood booster. I made a good meal, meat, carrots, etc. a couple weeks ago but then went the extra mile to arrange it nicely on the plate and took some pictures. Eating the food was good, but putting in the time to create something special with it put me in a better mood for like a day after. So I'm not just focusing on productivity, getting things done, but also on creativity, making something new and good each day. "Create" is on my daily to do list.

It's a stressful time, for sure, but I'm trying to find good things to do and to practice more gratitude. I downloaded an app that prompts me to write down three things I'm grateful for each day. It's been good to stop at the end of the day and look back on how there are still good things going on, even when it all feels frustrating. It's a little thing that helps to balance the days a little better. Hopefully that practice grows with time.

There's a lot ahead that is uncertain. Not looking like I'll have much income through the summer, which I sort of expected. I'll be able to get by, but, you know, it would always be nicer not to have to "get by."

But, like all things, it's just a day at a time.

Onward and upward!

17
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 09, 2020, 07:46:39 PM »
Another very quiet day, did some laundry, had an online class, did some homework.

I was listening to something this morning about how we like to work towards goals but that there is no finish line in recovery. It's just the rest of our lives. They were talking about how important it is to stay in the moment and just focus on what is going on now.

It's easy to let the moments slip by, to escape. Even when I want to change things and build new habits, it's always easier to just find something entertaining, even when I know that putting in a little effort toward a new habit or goal would be more energizing. At the very least, I have the time and quiet and solitude to notice these tendencies now and do something about them.


18
Ages 20-29 / Re: Free At Last
« on: April 09, 2020, 07:38:55 PM »
Day 1 is an important day. I fell into a binge last week (or two if we want to count them separately). I don't say that to say that it's all no big deal, but it's true that we're all in a weird spot. I keep thinking about the saying that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety but connection. I've never been more isolated from other people at any point in my life (and hope I never am again).

Now is a time full of risks and difficulty,  but it's also a great opportunity. When things are busy, we just have to move from one thing to the next, getting stuff done without really thinking about it. Now, though, we have time to really dig deep and do some introspection and reflection. Before, we might have all been getting by, but this is a chance to really face our addictions, our lives, etc. and do real healing work. Don't shy away from that (I don't want to).

Let's tackle it together while we have the space to do it!

19
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 08, 2020, 07:21:18 PM »
Decent day

I felt a little crazy today, kind of cooped up and with extra energy in the morning and early afternoon. That sort of crashed toward the end of the day.

Got some things done, but not everything I wanted to do. Cooked, did homework, talked to family. Kind of just feeling weird, but that's how things go these days.


20
Ages 20-29 / Re: 28 And Done With Porn
« on: April 08, 2020, 07:18:30 PM »
Hey, addiction is difficult at the best of times, and these are not the best of times. Before you give yourself too hard of a time for not being able to break the cycle, recognize that, even if things are going pretty well for you, life is just harder now in a sort of generalized way.

I fell into a binge last week. Later that week, I was talking to a church leader and telling him what had happened and asking for him to check in on me from time to time since I'm on my own with too much free time, etc. I was really expecting him to take me to task. But, instead, he said two things, "Be intentional," and "You're doing awesome." I think maybe he recognized what I couldn't: that these are not normal circumstances, and they don't necessarily reflect the true state of our recovery. As for being intentional, I'm working on being much more deliberate about how I spend my time and what I feed my mind and soul with.

Of course you can break the cycle. We have to believe that we can break it. Otherwise, we might as well give up and let addiction ruin everything. Change is possible. If it is slow, inconsistent, frustrating. We can leave this behind. We can find healing.

It's not a therapist, but I've started a course on Insight Timer called "Recovery: Principles for a Purposeful Life." I'm only a few days into it, but it has given me some good insights and has helped me put my head into recovery mode each morning.

Don't give up on things, man. Better days are no doubt ahead. Let's make sure we're ready for them!

21
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: April 06, 2020, 07:22:30 PM »
Thanks for kind words, faenoe and Rebooter! It's definitely nice to come back after a week or so away from the forum and to land among friendly voices.

Today

Today has been a pretty good day. I went out for a walk, talked to some friends, worked on a website.

Last week, though, was not very good. This isolation swallowed me whole. I binged hard (P and edging) last Tuesday and then messed up again on Thursday. The sort of old pattern of getting stuck where I shouldn't be all night and then realizing it's already the next day and trying to pick up the pieces. It was really frustrating, and it definitely feels like a trend in the wrong direction. After I goofed up during the holidays, it has been hard to get back into a rhythm. After all that happened, I just wanted to take a few days to be alone with my thoughts and feelings and to figure out where I go from here.

Insight #1: this quarantine stuff is hard. I'm not a very social person, but it is crazy how having no human contact really affects me. But this quarantine is also a great opportunity. When else have I had or will I have days on end to think deeply about my life and my recovery and to have nothing else in a day but to learn and practice healthy thoughts and feelings? This is my chance. This is the chance to dig deep and untangle some knots in my soul, so to speak. That's what I'm going to do.

Insight #2: I ran into something online last week that said if you want to break a habit, you have to make a habit. That made a lot of sense to me. So much of my life has revolved around stopping porn. What if it were built on pursuing something good instead? I can quit PMO and still have an empty life if I make quitting my only focus.

I know I have some concerns about streaks and perfectionism, but  also know that that has worked for me. So I'm starting again small, 14 days clean. But I'm also starting counters for other good habits, working on doing things like writing in my recovery journal every day, stuff like that. Maybe, at this point, I can leverage those perfectionistic tendencies to gain some ground and then deal with them when things have settled down.

Insight #3: Porn only gets me when I'm feeling bad about things or when I get hit with a disappointment. Life is pretty universally hard right now, but it's not the slow grind that broke me (it might have weakened me). What got me, I'm pretty sure, is that I went on a walk and the trail was flooded so I couldn't do what I was planning on. Cue urges and relapse. The last relapse I had was because I had a bad experience in class. When I see life as fundamentally difficult and miserable, it's much easier to turn to PMO for escape. I really want to work on the way I see the world. Porn isn't that interesting when I'm happy and I think things are going well. Gratitude and optimism are at the top of my list for things to work on.

So, I'm only on day 4/14 right now, but that's okay. This is a rare opportunity to do some real work and not just skate by while everything else is busy. I don't know how long all this isolation is going to last, but I want to take advantage of it while it does, not just waste it with binges and pointless media consumption.

Onward and upward!

22
Ages 20-29 / Re: My Reboot Journal
« on: April 06, 2020, 07:08:20 PM »
Hey, man, this quarantine is tough for recovery. I've definitely been feeling its effects. This isn't normal life, so it's forcing us to develop some new strategies to cope with all this time and not a lot of stuff going on.

Sorry to hear that you took a tumble, but we can always get up and keep going. Better days are ahead!

23
Ages 20-29 / Re: Kraken's journal
« on: April 06, 2020, 07:06:32 PM »
Moving forward is as much as we can do! Glad to hear you're just moving along. Keep it going!

24
Ages 20-29 / Re: Not gonna go it alone
« on: March 27, 2020, 07:07:00 PM »
It sure is! I'm working my way back into learning about video editing, finding time for reading for pleasure, even practicing my handwriting, lol. When you're stuck at home all day for days on end, it takes some creativity, lol.

19/30
Another round of porn dreams followed by some shaky thoughts/urges during the day. Nothing too intense, but still something to be wary of. I feel pretty stable overall, but boredom could end up being a trigger for me if I'm not careful.

I spent a lot of time catching up on email today. There's just so much of it these days that it feels a little overwhelming to even start, so it piles up until I really have to deal with it. Well, I dealt with it today, so I can hopefully be a little more proactive moving forward.

I feel like all the upheaval at school/work/church/everything lately has really affected me in ways that I didn't fully realize, but I feel like I've turned a corner for the better the last couple days. I'm not like a productivity superstar or anything, but I'm getting things done, a little bit at a time, and that better than the last couple weeks. All progress is progress.

Lots of storms in the forecast for tomorrow. We'll see what the day brings. I'll stop by the grocery store, but I don't have high hopes. They've been pretty cleaned out the last couple weeks.

Off to the adventure of the weekend!

25
Ages 20-29 / Re: Kraken's journal
« on: March 27, 2020, 07:00:54 PM »
Sounds like a pretty decent day, and that's a win! Keep listening to your body and being thoughtful about your adjustments. It really sounds like you're on the right track. Make the changes sustainable, and you'll be going places!

Good luck on the job searching habits next. Piece by piece, it will all fall into place.

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