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Messages - PE30

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Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 26, 2019, 05:10:29 AM »
I'm sure I'll get there. Things to remember:

- I'm physically capable of not going onto chat rooms and porn sites. It's always a decision not to.
- I have done this before. 1,2,3,5,8 months. Maybe this is like the Fibonacci sequence and my next reboot will be 13 months :D
- It's what I want (a clean, simple life)
- the alternative will cost me my marriage and my family.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 25, 2019, 12:29:27 PM »
Day 21. It's been a tricky reboot so far but I'm hanging in there. Just need to concentrate on the goal at the end: a simple life, free from addiction.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 23, 2019, 01:15:59 PM »
I'm not sure if I'm experiencing good effects yet - just lots of temptation! I am on day 19 though so that's good.

It's depressing how difficult this is when it's not triggered by some crisis or another, and is just coming about as a result of my will to change. Maybe that's saying something though: it's possibly building resilience whereas I previously ran on fear.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 20, 2019, 02:41:06 PM »
Day 16 today - I've been quite busy today but then I'm home alone this evening. I think it's a good idea to post on things like this as it helps to ground my mind in the right things. I don't want to go back to the way things were. It's just not worth it.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 19, 2019, 02:30:22 AM »
Thank you :) If you look at my journey over the last few years, I've gone from being able to go a month clean, to two months, to three and a bit, to five, to eight...

I think there's a clear decision isn't there, at the start of each day? I mean, I'll be honest: I felt tempted this morning. I'm working from home and it'd be really easy just to slip back into the habit. But I have decided that I don't want to do that today. I think it says in the Bible that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. That's encouraging isn't it? It means that we're not destined to be permanently taunted and tempted by him, but that the temptation will flee if we stand firm.

Anyway, this is day 15.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 18, 2019, 01:33:14 PM »
Day 14 done. It's been a really tough couple of days with work, and there's a part of me that just wants to dive into the deep end as a means of dealing with the stress and emotional impact of it all. Old me would have done so without a shadow of a doubt.

I'm pleased with having got to two weeks, even though I really don't feel like anywhere close to being as emotionally settled as I was previously. As I said before, my first target is two months' clean, which would take me to the second day of our summer holiday.

I need to keep in mind that I am making small sacrifices for great gains.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 17, 2019, 11:26:30 AM »
Day 13 almost over. Tricky day workwise but have been keeping myself out of trouble.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 16, 2019, 01:30:07 AM »
This is day 12. Not an awful lot to report - temptation was quite high when I woke up this morning but I have managed to resolve it in my head. I wonder if the temptation will ever really go away. I think it will, but it'll return again, and I need to be prepared for that.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 13, 2019, 11:57:21 AM »
Day nine done :) keeping this short as I've been on my phone too long already.

Women / Re: Its a process...I guess.
« on: June 13, 2019, 11:55:42 AM »
Sounds like a wise decision. I was reading something by Tim Keller (not sure if you've encountered him) and he was talking about how sometimes we need to make small sacrifices of freedom for greater gains. In my case, that means that I choose not to put myself in certain social situations - that might be permissible for some - for the sake of my relationship with my wife. And if his business is thriving in spite of those limitations then I see no reason to remove them!

Your family's story is a real encouragement to me.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 12, 2019, 12:26:09 PM »
Day eight almost over with!

Probably the trickiest day on the reboot so far, as I was working from home. I was tempted a few times. But I've stayed the course. I think it sometimes helps to recognise the temptation at the start of the day, realise that it's going to be a difficult day, and resolve to keep clean. In my case, I achieved this by having lots of music on (including Christian music first thing), keeping as close to my to-do list as possible, and using safer spaces (e.g. talking to friends) when I was feeling bored of working.

I am due to be WFHing next week as well, but my wife is going to be with me so that'll be nice. I mean, it's no guarantee of staying clean (sadly it's far too easy to hide this sort of activity) but it's a help.

I am taking it one day at a time. I am turning 40 in 2 months' time and my aim is to make it through the last couple of months of my 30s clean. But I can't do that unless I am clean today and clean tomorrow, and that's about as far ahead as I dare look.

For those who pray, please pray that I'll stay firm.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 10, 2019, 03:18:52 PM »
Day six. It's weird: this is the first proper reboot I've done that hasn't been precipitated by some external trigger (my wife getting suspicious, a message out of the blue from someone, etc). As a result, I feel happier and less devastated, but the temptation to relapse is stronger. After all, it would be easy to hide and without immediate consequence. However I think it's probably good to reboot in this manner. Guilt fades, suspicion diminishes, and at some point we all have to live our lives with our own inner moral compass as our guide. So it's down to me to live the life I'm supposed to live.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 09, 2019, 01:25:52 PM »
Pete, I think you're right - I'm an addict for life, but let's hope that I live the rest of my life in recovery and not in the grips of addiction. I think the "killing" of an addiction is something that we have to do over and over again. It might be in the grand gesture - deleting all our apps, installing blockers etc - but it's more accurately a daily (or sometimes hourly) choice. I'm killing it right now because I'm choosing to be on here instead of pining after what I've lost. I hope that makes sense.

Just to say that I've installed an app called ActionDash - this has been really helpful in enabling my to keep an eye on my phone use. It's shone a light on just how many hours I waste on my phone when I'm spiralling / relapsing.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 09, 2019, 02:27:51 AM »
Today is day five. Off the top of my head, here are some of the benefits so far of being clean:

- I feel less morally compromised. Just better overall. I feel cleaner.
- I'm more present with friends and family.
- I've installed a phone use tracker and I've been on or under two hours a day each day since the start of this reboot. I'd like to get this down further, maybe to 1h30, but it's helped me examine the phone usage side of things.
- I was having some trouble with how my penis felt (oversensitivity) but that's all gone
- I don't feel like I have to plan times when my wife and I have sex. We had it spontaneously on Friday night before bed, which was really good.
- I can go to church today with a clean outlook and knowing I'm not compromised.

I've still got a long long way to go. I still feel like my spiritual life is not where it should be, and I'm still stressed about work. Both of these are areas that I need to focus on, so that I don't fall foul of the triggers that lead me to relapse. Also I need to not look back. If I'm honest with you all, part of the reason I quit was because I had a very open offer of sleeping with another woman who lives locally to me. On Tuesday morning I had a crossroads moment: if I keep going with this I could destroy my marriage and family for the sake of my lust. In spite of the massive danger, there's still a part of me that grieves for what I've walked away from, and I need to let that part of me die entirely. Or more actively, I need to kill it.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Rich's 90 Days
« on: June 08, 2019, 01:42:49 AM »
Seems like you've been making some good progress on the PMO side since we last talked - well done.

Caffeine withdrawal is horrible - am planning to quit caffeine as we're travelling Europe in August and I'm not expecting a good cup of tea anywhere!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 07, 2019, 01:15:57 PM »
Well, I'm on to day three. It's so important to keep my head forward and not looking back - no good will come from pining for the past. I've quit and I'm getting clean, not because the high isn't enjoyable, but because the high is deadly. And life can be clean and pleasurable and fun and even sexy at times and those things can be achieved without making horrible compromises.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 06, 2019, 12:29:53 PM »
Those are all good questions, Aquarius. I think there are a few factors in play:

1. I actually do quite like myself when I'm clean and everything. Life is good: I have a loving wife, gorgeous children, good job, house etc. If I look back to (say) January, I was happy, clean, stable. It's a bit like a drug in that respect: once I'm clean of it and my emotions are stable I'm in a good place.
2. I do think that my relationship with God slipped in the run up to my slip. I've been having difficulties at church relating to my daughter. Plus I was feeling really unsettled as a result of my dad announcing he's remarrying.
3. I have a lot of negative thoughts about myself, much like your husband. I can bat them away and believe I'm who God says I am, but then they do creep back in when troubles come.
4. the fact is, chat rooms don't fill a hole as such because there is no logical hole. (For example: sex with my wife is great! When I'm clean, we'll have sex a couple of times a week, it feels good, we both come... I find her really attractive too). Chat rooms just become like any other high - more like an escape than a hole. So I think I need to ask myself how I can better cope with stress, with doubts and how I can be a more resilient person. And how I can dig into better things - God, nature, friends, relationships - rather than retreating first to middle circle behaviour (e.g. excessive phone use, abandonment of usual prayer times etc) and then to chat room use.

I'm going to talk to my wife about it all in more detail, might help her to help me. I'm so keen to get properly clean!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 06, 2019, 12:39:37 AM »
Today is the start of day 2. I've just been pondering: why is it that it's been so difficult to gain momentum since I fell off the wagon at the end of March? There are a number of factors:

- Frankly, I really enjoyed going on chat rooms. It was a cheap and easy ego boost; I'm good at talking to women and people seem to find me attractive; it make me feel good in a way. It's a classic drug: easy, effective, reliable.
- I wasn't suffering any real side effects in terms of sexual performance etc. I found that if I cut out the apps on the day I was planning to have sex, I would be fine.
- I hadn't received anything to shock me out of it (i.e. a message from someone I'd previously been chatting to, who'd been really hurt by me)
- I'm having a really stressful time of late and it acted as an easy escape from the difficulties of life.
- I've not really got any proper accountability networks to rely on, to challenge me on my behaviours.

So basically, I was relying on my own willpower to quit.

But on the flipside, there are many, many compelling reasons not to go on chat rooms:
1. It's a form of infidelity. It's massively unfair on my wife.
2. As a result of 1, it threatens to destabilise my family. I can't be doing that to them.
3. I have no way of controlling it / keeping the usage time down / keeping it to friendly chat. I'm incapable of doing so.
4. It has an impact on my health, as I end up spending time when I should be sleeping or relaxing on my phone.
5. It has an impact on my job, as I'm distracted from my work.
6. It is an insult to the people I've  hurt before when I've ended up in online relationships with them.
7. It's unfair on the people I talk to, who might develop false hope of a romantic relationship with me.
8. It doesn't stop me from having sex, but it diminishes my sexual desire for my wife and to some extent my sexual performance.
9. It's massively against God's will for my life. It's also a sin.

And when I quit, and when I'm clean: I'm a better husband, better dad, better coworker, kinder and more aware person, a better servant of God.

I don't really believe in setting a zillion goals following a reboot. I think it's more a question of thinking: what went wrong and how can I make it better? A few things spring to mind:
1. I shouldn't neglect my relationship with God. I need to be up, praying and seeking him in the morning.
2. I shouldn't let the stresses of work overwhelm me. I need a better outlet for this.
3. I need to spend less time on my phone. To this end I've installed a tracker app so monitor my overall phone use.
4. I need better and more positive real-life relationships. I find this one the hardest, to be honest.

But anyway, it's day two: I don't need chat rooms in my life; I don't need to go back; and the better and greater joy is found in a clean life. Please hold me in your prayers and please keep me going through these tough few days.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 05, 2019, 01:22:44 PM »
Day 1 complete. Bit of a busy day but checking in clean. Will post something more comprehensive tomorrow.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 04, 2019, 01:33:23 PM »
Hey thank you. It's been quite a long relapse if I'm honest: fell off at the end of March, got back on a few times but never got past maybe day 5. I avoided this place because I didn't want to admit my failings - lots of people on here said they'd looked up to my example and I felt like I'd let everyone down.

As an initial action, I've installed an app on my phone that tracks the number of hours spent. If I'm going to break this I need to bring my average down significantly. I was averaging 6 hours a day last week :/

It's back to being only as clean as my last 24 hours. I can do today, and tomorrow I can do tomorrow.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: June 04, 2019, 01:21:12 AM »
Hey all

This is day zero again. I'm so sorry to tell you that I got tangled up again in the same habits that I'd previously had. I never really properly escaped.

I was doing so well :( I got to eight months. I cannot believe I let myself get entangled again, that I let sin creep in, in tiny increments. It was the chat rooms that got me again. I know this is a porn site but this is another form of sexual addiction and I am so annoyed that it's got to me again.

I've been mostly clean the past two years. I want to be entirely clean. I don't have the resources to do this entirely by myself. I know how weak I am. I need my wife beside me to challenge me on my behaviour, phone use and so on. I need your support, I'm pleading for your forgiveness. And I need God. Oh I need him so much. I'm so weak. I'm despairing. I don't want to live like this.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: May 01, 2019, 03:18:00 AM »
Day three. Not much to report.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: April 29, 2019, 01:28:24 PM »
I'd forgotten how difficult the early days of a reboot are. Progressing okay but it takes a while to get momentum.

Got up early to pray though, which is a step in the right direction.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: April 28, 2019, 08:48:18 AM »
Hey all

I'm calling this day zero: I am still free of porn but I've lapsed in some middle circle areas and have masturbated a few times - ended up in a bit of a fug of spending too much time online, letting my thought life get out of control.

I'm not going to beat myself up too harshly: I managed eight months entirely clean and I've got the resources to go again. I just thought I'd be honest with you. I need God more than ever, and I think half my trouble has been that I let my spiritual life drift in the weeks prior to drifting off my reboot.

I've done three months, five months, eight months. Next aim is a year clean of any artificial stimulation. Orgasm only by sex. A close, close eye on who I develop friendships with. No porn. And most of all, seeking God and his will for me. Let's get started.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« on: March 25, 2019, 04:00:17 AM »
Morning all

It's day 240 - I gave myself a bit of a shock over the weekend as I sailed far too close to the wind on Friday afternoon. Didn't go on a chat room or watch porn or anything but was properly properly tempted for the first time in ages. I know where I went wrong, but I scared myself.

Still on the wagon. Onwards and upwards for the week.

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