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Messages - BigMog

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Ages 40 and up / Re: Trekking to Freedom
« on: January 13, 2019, 02:56:26 PM »
Hi Santi, Hi Rex,

Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I really appreciate them and it's great to know there are guys out there cheering for me. In the real world, for me, it's impossible to find appropriate people to discuss this with, so being able to journal on this forum and get some feedback is a great relief.

Santi-welcome to Reboot nation! I take your point about self esteem and emotions. I think if we are in a "bad place" psychologically it will make us more susceptible to PMO or other addictions.

Rex-yes I'm determined to be back on the wagon. I like the video game comparison; sometimes in video games (I'm more familiar with the obstacle course on WII fit than Super Mario) it takes a few attempts to work out how to get past the same pitfall and I think it can be the same in the reboot!

 Let's keep trekking!

Ages 40 and up / Re: quit for good
« on: January 12, 2019, 05:38:05 PM »
Hi joepanic,
Rex is right, great work!

I've recently "fallen off the horse," but only temporarily, I hope.
I should have followed your "post often" mantra more thoroughly; it probably would have helped.

Ages 40 and up / Re: Trekking to Freedom
« on: January 12, 2019, 05:24:39 PM »
Hi Rex, Many thanks for your encouraging post! Unfortunately, I was just about to add the paragraphs below to my journal when I saw you'd posted.

So, I got to Day 16 then had a fairly major slip of several hours PMO. The working week which I was concerned about went just about OK, but arriving back very late from abroad to the house where the rest of the family were in bed, I let my guard down.  >:(
I'm trying to assess what went wrong so I can try to avoid this situation in future. A slip like this is a fairly familiar story for me.

When I had my 66 day run this time last year I think part of the success was due to daily visits to RN and YBOP etc which reminded me every day of my commitment to this journey. In the last week, although I ensured my limited free-time was safe, wholesome and useful, I only briefly visited RN and didn't add to my journal or do my mindfulness practice from the app I use. I know I need to do those daily routines to fight this battle, but sometimes when things are going well or I'm really busy, I skip them which stores up trouble in the future for me e.g. yesterday when I got back home.

It wasn't that I had been fighting cravings for hours. I just had a trigger, a response and then the wrong action from me and within a few minutes, almost before I knew it I was sliding down the funnel. The mental process went along the lines of "The supplier has just turned on the new fiber connection" (which I now need for work and is helpful for the rest of the family since the previous connection had got very slow). "Oh, this broadband speed test website says the broadband is 10x faster. Wow, that means I should be able to see the difference in all sorts of ways, like how quickly videos load and play. I'll just play a couple of YouTube videos on my iPad to see....." I'm sure you can guess the rest of the familiar descent into bad decisions and PMO oblivion. To quote that great philosopher Homer Simpson: "Doh!"

To reduce the opportunity for these almost absent-minded slips I will, as well as aiming to be more rigorous in keeping up my RN, YBOP and mindfulness, make it more cumbersome for me to disable the restrictions on my iPad. I actually need to be able to adjust them sometimes as the default setting sometimes restricts useful, perfectly respectable websites. I don't want my wife as the keeper of the passcode as I know in the past this has been upsetting for her. I'll continue reducing the amount of time I spend on the iPad anyway. (I'm almost thinking I need to get rid of it completely; it is very useful and convenient but it is a weak link in my armour. I have other pieces of IT kit that I use, but as they are linked to work I've never used them for porn. Fortunately, even with the craziness of PMO, I'm not so far gone that I would risk instant dismissal by using work items to indulge my addiction).

I'm disappointed in myself but hope I can use this positively. I really want to avoid the chaser effect that could turn this into a series of binges.

I'm happy to receive suggestions for useful tips for recovery from anyone.

Keep Trekking!

0 Days clean

Ages 40 and up / Re: I thought I could do it myself
« on: January 06, 2019, 12:59:10 PM »
Hi switched-off, looks to me like you're doing several things right. Like you, I'm staying off social media and avoiding random browsing. I try to only use laptop, iPad etc for specific, useful purposes. I think this is close to being what I've seen called "monk mode," that is staying off the internet etc completely. I'm not sure I could or need to go the whole way but certainly minimizing exposure to click-bait feels like a good thing.
I'm aware I notice attractive women but I just try to take a deep breath and carry on as if I haven't. After all it's embarrassing if I'm noticed and I don't want to be thought of as "that creepy old guy who stares at women." I think it's helped me now I understand that it's the more primitive part of my brain that is yelling at me to look at women or look at porn. Knowing that, I can (sometimes) say to myself, "OK, that's just a false message, I don't have to act on it."
Hope that helps a bit-I'm no expert-just a work in progress!
Good choice to go to bed yesterday and avoid the dark side! ;)

Ages 40 and up / Re: Trekking to Freedom
« on: January 06, 2019, 08:11:45 AM »
Doing OK. Keeping busy. Packing for work trip away next week. I'm a bit tense about the trip for several reasons but aim to stay calm and meditate with the app I use at some point each evening. I've also downloaded some good TV programs I want to watch on the iPad and have a couple of books with me that I know I'll enjoy as well as my Kindle. Also I've packed some gym kit, so will at least use some of my free time to help with my fitness goals. I know the hotel I'll be staying at doesn't have porn channels, which is good so one major temptation isn't there for me. There is free soft porn intermittently on some of the free channels later on, but some of the meditation techniques should help me avoid this. e.g. if I'm tempted, I'll be aware of the feeling and know that it is really just a false message from my limbic system telling me I really need that fix. I will try not to fight it, just experience or observe it almost like I'm an outsider. I know on occasions this has worked and the craving just subsides.
Making sure I ring the family and speak to them every evening should help too
However difficult I find my work situation, even if I feel I've made mistakes or not handled things well or failed in some way, I want to avoid spiralling down into dejection followed by PMO.

Anyway, good luck to everyone in this fight over the coming days.

11 Days Clean.

Ages 40 and up / Re: Trekking to Freedom
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:14:46 AM »
So I'm at 10 days, a small milestone I hope on the road to 100 and beyond! So far, so good. No significant urges. I've occasionally caught myself fantasizing but when I've become aware of it I've been able to let it go. I think meditation and mindfulness practice has helped with that.

I'm away from home for work next week. Pressure has become rather intense on a project I'm working on and I need to ensure that I don't get stressed and slip-up with the excuse that it's to relieve the stress. Times when I get anxious or demoralized are, I know from previous experience, when I'm most vulnerable.

Having said that, also when things have gone really well at work or in other aspects of life and I'm on a good streak, part of the brain says something like, "you're doing really well in so many ways and after all you've got the PMO problem beaten, so a bit of PMO to reward yourself won't do much harm!" A few hours later, usually well after midnight, when I'm exhausted and miserable, I don't have the same opinion.

So, in short I must keep calm and vigilant.

Keep up the good fight!

Ages 40 and up / Re: quit for good
« on: January 05, 2019, 07:38:02 AM »
I tried to stop hundreds of times over the last  30 years  even as a teenager I would bury  the magazines I had only to dig them up a week later   I would delete my chat accounts only to open up new ones a week later   delete all my fav photos  and go searching a week later and rebuild the collection  all the  time wishing I wouldn't   over and over again   

This reminds me of that porn blocker I've installed in the past. Of course, I did it after relapsing, when the urges had calmed down but as soon as the strong urges hit me, I uninstalled the blocker right away, with trembling hands, the uninstalling was taking too long hahaha! It's crazy.

Hi, thanks for sharing, I can relate to both of these too. As a teenager I once had to make an excuse to my mother as to why I was rummaging in the dustbin! (I think it's "garbage-can" for US readers!). More recently, I've wasted hours trying to find p. even when I've not had access to a password to disable a blocker or filter. As you said, changemylife,  it's crazy!

I hope just by writing this down it will slightly reinforce my awareness of how crazy it is and help me continue with sober behaviour.

Keep to the winning ways!

JJ-many thanks for sharing-Inspirational!

Ages 40 and up / Re: Trekking to Freedom
« on: January 03, 2019, 04:43:50 PM »
Thanks for the comments Détente and joepanic.

Detente, nice to know someone else experiences that. In a way, perhaps it is a different person or at least a different part of the brain i.e. the limbic system hijacking us for an immediate reward.

joepanic, yes I've gradually been replacing the bad habits with good activities. I'm getting fitter and reading more, also trying to make sure I get to bed at reasonable times. Nothing good or useful happens if I stay up late.

I think I'm heading in the right direction but I'm definitely still a work in progress.

8 Days Clean

Ages 40 and up / Re: Terrible Suffering And Great Victory
« on: January 03, 2019, 04:20:01 PM »
Hi Rex, brilliant achievement! You've really had a tough time fighting at least two wars at once, against PMO and Lyme disease, but you're winning through. Keep going a day at a time. We're all with you.

Ages 40 and up / Re: TREKING TO FREEDOM
« on: January 01, 2019, 06:40:56 PM »
Something I noticed at the beginning of other streaks and again today is that my last slip seems like a lifetime ago, even though it was less than a week. Also, I can't remember the specific videos I watched. (Not that I'm going to try to bring them to mind!). I'm hoping these are good signs but can't explain them.

No significant urges yet, but I know it's early days-my body and brain are probably still recovering from a bit of a binge.

Trying to get back into good self disciplined habits such as only using iPad for specific useful tasks and otherwise keeping it out of easy reach on a high shelf. Also need to get back into regular use of the mindfulness App that I have.

6 Days Clean.

Ages 40 and up / Re: Patrick's Journal: A gay guy's imperfect reboot
« on: January 01, 2019, 06:26:36 PM »
Well done Patrick! Keep going!

Ages 40 and up / Re: TREKKING TO FREEDOM
« on: December 30, 2018, 05:36:02 PM »
Still busy, still good. Will say more when I have a bit more time.

4 Days Clean

Ages 40 and up / Re: New Member, Long Term Addicted
« on: December 30, 2018, 05:33:16 PM »
Hi Sucker Punch
I’m afraid I’ve no experience of the pain you’re suffering from but have occasionally experienced slight soreness after a long session. I’m in no way medically qualified but my guess is that it’s unlikely you’ve caused permanent damage. Of course, if it continues or gets worse or there are other symptoms, it would be sensible to visit a physician.
On the other hand, I think it’s a great move to join Reboot Nation. I’m also a newbie to keeping a journal and posting on the forum but I think it will help. The journals here have useful information and Your Brain on Porn is also a great resource. It’s worth taking the time to understand some of the brain science behind the problem e.g. our poor ape-brains being hijacked by their limbic systems to chase a reward that in our natural environment would be very rarely available but thanks to high speed internet is infinite and intense.
I too sometimes binge after a slip, but I’m working on that.
Anyway, good luck! I’m sure others with more knowledge than me can also point you in the right direction.

Ages 40 and up / Re: Trekking to Freedom
« on: December 29, 2018, 05:25:54 PM »
All good here. Family, friends, travel, running and too many mince pies.

3 Days Clean.

Ages 40 and up / Re: I thought I could do it myself
« on: December 28, 2018, 06:29:47 AM »
Hi switched-off,
Good one! I really like this ritual that helps to re-inforce your mind-set. I'm trying to use small, good, rituals myself in the hope they become good habits that replace the bad habits.
Keep Strong!

Ages 40 and up / Re: Trekking to Freedom
« on: December 28, 2018, 05:24:22 AM »
Thanks, joepanic, I really appreciate the reply!

I remember reading your posts earlier in the year and being motivated by them. Reading your reply just now, I can see you’ve made brilliant progress in 2018. Great work! I’m impressed by the small number of slips and even when you have slipped, you’ve managed to keep it short and climb out of the hole quite quickly and get back on track. To me that implies there's been some good, strong re-wiring going on,
  I aim to follow your lead if I can. For 2018, I've had about 40 PMO compared with 60-70 the previous year and more in previous years.  So. I'm heading slowly in the right direction.  Early days for me I know but….

2 days clean.

Ages 40 and up / Trekking to Freedom
« on: December 26, 2018, 11:24:51 AM »
Hi, I'll keep this as brief as I can. I'm in my late fifties and porn has been a problem for me for a long time. I've descended down the usual slippery slope that I've seen described many times, from seeing arousing photos in Sunday supplements or Women's magazines when I was a teen or even younger and "MOing" to them, through "girly" magazines, then video, and then, in the internet age, to dial-up and eventually the firestorm of broadband and streaming sites that have been, I guess, equivalent to me squirting heroine directly into my eyes.

I have wasted countless hours, days and weeks over the years on this appalling yet ridiculous habit. It’s not just the time wasted while edging and "PMOing", it’s the lethargy, lack of confidence and the shame that affects the rest of my life and in some ways the people I love, which is so damaging and wasteful.

Having said that, I believe, I’m incredibly lucky. I am married and have a family and whereas there is little physical relationship with my wife, we are still OK. I’ve managed to keep a reasonable job and I have some interests and contacts outside work and family. I’ve had no traumatic childhood experiences or real tragedies in my adult life that I can see may have made me more susceptible to falling into this bad habit. I have no other addictions, no drink, no drug problems. For whatever reasons, fortunately, I’ve never been drawn into chat rooms or risky behavior in the real world. But I’ve not succeeded yet in kicking this habit into touch and I sometimes worry that it may escalate so I end up, say, losing my job and my family.

2018 has been better than some previous years. It started very well with a 66 day hard-mode streak, sustained by reading the Your Brain on Porn book and website and RebootNation posts as well as using a Mindfulness Meditation app. I’ve been what I think is described in some places as a “lurker,” that is, reading other posts here regularly without joining the forum and making posts myself.  Well, now I’ve broken cover and here I am.

I finally started this journal, after putting it off for months, because I’ve just had a series of binges which means that 2018 has finished poorly and I clearly need to up my game to beat this problem. From what I’ve read, journaling and interacting with others is a good additional tool to use.

If my journal is of any use to others, just by showing that if I can do it then anyone can, I’d be delighted.

Thanks for reading this. It is far too long I know, but it gives my background. I’ll aim to keep future posts much shorter.

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