Reboot Nation

Journals => Ages 40 and up => Topic started by: switched_off_again on January 23, 2019, 06:42:03 PM

Title: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 23, 2019, 06:42:03 PM
23/01/2019 - Day 0

Here I go again...

Hello - I'm back here once again to journal my second reboot attempt. Reboot take 1 (documented in another thread) kicked off last September. The early weeks were hard, but I think I made real progress. I had one relapse shortly before Christmas but managed to climb back on the wagon, and again thought I was doing well.

Then I hit the buffers last Thursday. I had an exceptionally stressful day, was really, really down in the evening, and ended up pouring a couple of large drinks and consoling myself by running back in to the arms of the chat site which has been at the heart of my addiction. What an idiot... Before I know it I'm back at square one, all the infatuation and anxiety about particular performers returns, all the self-hate and obsession with the situation the next day. My thoughts just going obsessively round and round in circles... Behaving like a pathetic teenager. My anxiety levels rising... "I think I've pissed her off with my neediness.... Will she be on tonight.... I wonder if she really cares...".

I hate being a slave... These are not rational thoughts. How I wish I'd never done this to my brain.

So reboot take 2 starts today. Although I've naturally lost a bit of motivation and drive after failing. I shouldn't have let my guard down - all the sensitized pathways were still there lurking, even though I didn't realize it...

Let's try to look at this positively. I know more about what to expect during the reboot. The early days will feature anxiety, depression and a sense of loss. I'll then think my libido has flicked in to over-drive and will be turned on and triggered by the mearest suggestion of the female form. Of course these are the now starved sensitized pathways screaming out for some action. Nothing to do with proper sexual energy... Thinks might start to normalize a few weeks and months in to the process, but I'll be at risk for a long time.

Hard mode is the only thing that works. No peeking, no flicking through pictures on Instagram. Learn visualization and distraction techniques wherever possible to actively get me to concentrate on anything but the triggers and obsessive thoughts. Mindfulness is something I've thought about before... I will read more on you brain on porn. I will be more proactive.

Here goes... I hope I can re-discover my enthusiasm for breaking out of this self inflicted vicious cycle. I hope I can start believing that permanent change is possible.

Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 24, 2019, 06:17:56 PM
Day 1

I have absolutely no urge to PMO or anything. I think my previous streak maybe broke the M habit. It's the wholly irrational thoughts about a few of the performers at - my nemesis - that stupid cam site - that continue to be a problem. It's not the end of a relationship, but my overly sensitised brain treats it like it is. So what if you never see her again, it's a wholly false relationship based upon a financial transaction.

Again trying to be positive, I tried a mindfulness technique and ordered a book on the subject. I want to learn how to get a bit more control over my thoughts. I want to get my relationship with this stupid cam site in to proportion. It clearly has been a part of my life, and something I relied upon too much for relaxation, for too long. It would be so good if I woke up tomorrow morning with partial amnesia, and had no memory of it.

All in all, my main emotion today has been anger at myself for allowing me to become this person, and annoyance that I have to waste so much time thinking about this subject. There are so many other things in life much more worth thinking about...

Early days I suppose...
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on January 25, 2019, 05:33:08 AM
It's not the end of a relationship, but my overly sensitised brain treats it like it is. So what if you never see her again, it's a wholly false relationship based upon a financial transaction.

Bullseye. We've diminished our rational thinking brains to the point where we no longer attach the correct priority to stimuli. The chimp brain takes over and, when we're at a weak point, our over-sensitised, P-craving, chimp brain convinces us that the cam relationship matters more than our real-world relationships, so we invest more in our P/chat ego than in our real self and the spiral deepens. You look like you read the same kind of healing stuff that most of us do. I saw YBOP describe it as;

"For an addict, it’s an imbalance of power: Weakened self-control systems (hypofrontality), are overwhelmed by the cravings emanating from sensitized addiction pathways and a desensitized reward circuit. In other words – your willpower has eroded".

Reading your post has given me an important reminder of the need to allocate priority with my human brain and not let my chimp decide. Thanks for that, and good luck staying straight today.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on January 25, 2019, 02:58:38 PM
Hi Switched-off, I’ve been trying mindfulness the last year or so and I think, as another tool in the toolkit, it can help. Amongst other things I think it’s helped me to be a bit more aware of what’s happening in my brain at crucial times like when the chimp brain, as WIPUK mentions, starts jabbering. As well trying it on my own, I tried a few different apps and eventually found one that I really like and it even has a module on coping with cravings. (The cravings are actually unspecified but I think the exercises are ideal for us PMO addicts). I try to do a 10 minute guided mindfulness excercise most days as I find it helps having a friendly voice guiding me through it.
Keep up the good work. Looking through some of the posts on this site, it is clear to me, we can make permanent change!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 25, 2019, 07:11:09 PM
Day 2

Thanks both for commenting. 'Chimp-brain'. I'd never really thought of it like that. But get it now. BigMog - what mindfulness app do you recommend?

From a journal perspective, today has been ok. The fact that I've had a drink, it's Friday evening, and I'd rather watch music videos on YouTube is promising.

Music vs a wee flash of bare skin. No contest, music must always win.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on January 26, 2019, 08:43:41 AM
Hi Switched-off, I use one called Headspace. I tried a few different ones, but then stuck to that. I used it free for a while but then paid for premium. It’s probably worth trying a few to see which you feel most comfortable wih.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 26, 2019, 06:53:30 PM
Thanks BigMog - I'll check it out.

Day 3

All good. No inclination to visit that cam site.

Sorta hoped that we might've had some real life action in the house this evening. But no it was the usual couple of episodes of scandi noir followed by being told how tired she was. The story of my life. It really is hard work.

In an almost 30 year relationship I can only think of one time she took the lead and initiated.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 26, 2019, 07:49:22 PM
Accepting the fact that given my age I'm unlikely to ever have a fulfilling sex life, bearing in mind we're talking menopause, looking after old relatives, then being old ourselves; I really wish there was something I could take to completely kill all interest in sex. I wish I could be happily celibate. There's so much more interesting things to be getting on with... Fecking chimp brain - I hate you...
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on January 27, 2019, 08:34:20 AM
Hi switched-off, I can absolutely relate to what you’re saying! Menopause etc. I still find it difficult to accept that my sex life may be at an end but, meanwhile, my “chimp” brain or the “chimp part” of my brain is still on the lookout for sex opportunities.
For me, despite what “chimp” may sometimes say, PMO is not an alternative to a real sex life. Better to be celibate and fill my life with other good activities than be in the grip of this addiction with all its negative effects.
And in the long run, who knows? Maybe if I fix myself perhaps things can change in my relationship with my wife.
Not sure if all that applies to you but I hope it helps. BTW don’t be too hard on your chimp brain. He is what he is and he does what comes naturally. What the mindfulness has taught me, though I can’t yet always apply it in practice, is that it is possible to notice when it is the chimp brain talking, note it,  but not act on it.
Anyway, sorry I went on for too long.
You’re doing the right thing. Keep at it!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 27, 2019, 06:05:01 PM
Hi BigMog - don't apologise for going on too long:-) It is good to read your thoughts especially as you seem to be in a similar place.

Obviously my mood is a bit all over the place at the moment which was reflected in yesterday's post, Today was better - I even went for relatively extended periods not thinking about my addiction. Tiny steps in the right direction, haha!!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on January 28, 2019, 11:20:08 AM
Hi switched off.

In case you don't know, the chimp reference comes from The Chimp Paradox, written by Professor Steve Peters. I don't know where you're based but he's a pretty famous psychiatrist over here in the UK, where he worked on the mental wellbeing of Team Sky cycling, the UK olympic cycling team and various other top sports people, many of whom enjoyed great success despite having a fairly unhealthy mental state. Do you know him? The link below is to a cartoon that explains it in a nutshell. Basically, the the limbic system hasn't really evolved as the emotional control centre of our brains in the 5-million years since humans started to evolve from apes. It's still designed to stop us from getting eaten, or killed, or to encourage us to reproduce our genes, and it's not very well suited to managing a human being in the early 21st century. You probably know that stuff. It's a great read, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV8SO7siFmo

I see the challenge that you describe; a 30-year relationship which isn't the way it used to be, with P filling in some of the vacuum. That whole Coolidge Effect that gets described so eloquently on YBOP, and the way it drives us to seek novelty and variety. I'm not sure nature designed us to be monogamous for 30-40 years, but western society's designed around that construct, isn't it? And if guys like you, BigMog and I want to be "inside" guys in that society, we need to find ways to function within the rules, which pisses your chimp off to no end! P's not the answer though, right? You're here, so you know that. I find myself agreeing with both you and BigMog again.... gotta find ourselves as many healthy, engaging, real-world things to keep our human brains on the front foot, and stop our stressed-out and outdated limbic systems from calling the shots. Well.... that's kind of how I see it, anyway. Could be a crock of shit, of course  ;D ;) but I'm willing to invest in that solution for a while longer.


Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on January 29, 2019, 03:41:54 PM
Hi WIPUK, Well done, that’s a really good summary of Steve Peters’ book. Also thanks for your last line, that’s the first time I can remember laughing out loud at a RN post. ;D.
FYI I’ll carry on buying into the Chimp Brain idea too!

Hi Switched-off, I hope your days continue to improve. Keeping taking those tiny steps!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 30, 2019, 06:32:18 PM
30/01/2019 - Day 7

Well I'm trying not to count the days too much, but I suppose I should note that is seven days without P, without M, without O, without that stupid cam site, and without Instagram or any other dopamine micro-dosing source. I don't really see it as just seven days though because I feel as I've slipped back in to the non-addict habits I'd established before crashing off the rails just under two weeks ago. As such, that cam site etc, feel a lot more distant than just seven days - I guess that's a good thing.

My mood is a bit iffy - up and down. Whether that is a result of withdrawal or not, I don't really know. I'm not sure I subscribe to the view that everything we feel during reboot is down to withdrawal, I think we can focus overly on what the effects are, which itself can contribute to any general anxiety and/or depression we may be experiencing.

BigMog, WIPUK - thanks for the support and introducing me to the work of Steve Peters. I'm UK based too, but was not yet aware of it. It's interesting and there are obvious overlaps with mindfulness. I've got a mindfulness book to read - as yet haven't had the time!


.... I'm not sure nature designed us to be monogamous for 30-40 years, but western society's designed around that construct, isn't it? And if guys like you, BigMog and I want to be "inside" guys in that society, we need to find ways to function within the rules, which pisses your chimp off to no end! P's not the answer though, right? You're here, so you know that. I find myself agreeing with both you and BigMog again.... gotta find ourselves as many healthy, engaging, real-world things to keep our human brains on the front foot, and stop our stressed-out and outdated limbic systems from calling the shots. Well.... that's kind of how I see it, anyway. Could be a crock of shit, of course  ;D ;) but I'm willing to invest in that solution for a while longer.


Yep - I too have thought about the whole monogamy thing before, and how well it sits with human desire and instinct. I guess anyone suffering from an over-zealous porn habit would though! But obviously we all equally feel straying outwith monogamous bounds is wrong, and that is one of the main motivators for rebooting.

How to keep a semblance of passion and desire alive within a long term relationship though?? I've read some of the standard advice online on this, for example dressing up, making dates for lovemaking, messages, etc. However when I try this, I get told I feel uncomfortable dressing up and I like it to be more spontaneous... I guess that is fair enough - we all like what we like - but spontaneity is difficult when we both have different bedtimes, we are always expressing how tired we are, and most of our communication is about other people's (family etc) issues. Ah well, I guess we are on quite a different page at the moment. And I'm not looking for any pity, because I have sought pleasure by other means previously, and expectations will have changed partly as a result of this.

The main thing at the moment though is that I know I am doing the right thing and I am coping.

Keep on keeping on! Best to you all!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on January 30, 2019, 07:00:02 PM
Meant to say on the sex in a long term monogamous relationship thing, I read a book a few years ago - Mating In Captivity by Esther Perel, which tackled this subject. Not sure it did much good me reading it without discussing it with my wife, but I might dig it out again.

And read it without discussing with my wife again  8) - I can't bring up the subject too much obviously, because that could easily be perceived as a form of pressure. I guess I need to just focus on everything in life other than sex at the moment.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on January 31, 2019, 09:15:23 AM
I've got a mindfulness book to read - as yet haven't had the time!

 ??? ;D ;D That's hilarious. Too funny for RN.
Congrats on another day sane.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: Pcpowder on January 31, 2019, 04:58:19 PM

 I guess I need to just focus on everything in life other than sex at the moment.

When you figure out how to successfully do this, please tell me how!!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 02, 2019, 07:49:46 PM
I've got a mindfulness book to read - as yet haven't had the time!

 ??? ;D ;D That's hilarious. Too funny for RN.
Congrats on another day sane.

Well you've gotta laugh really:) The world would be a much better place if we all laughed more at the silly inner turmoil we create about trivial things!

Day whatever it is, maybe 10, maybe more...

Still feel no urge to indulge in P or that cam site that was the main chain around my neck.

I did message my wife earlier this week suggesting a date this weekend, but when the weekend came around, my son was in last night (which is a big no sex wise for my wife), then she had to visit her mum, her friend who's unwell and her friend who's grieving today, so was too tired tonight. I cleaned the house, bought her flowers and made tea while she was away counselling all and sundry.

That's mature monogamous relationships in the modern world for you.... In days gone by I would have relieved myself online via the wall to wall tube sites or by flashing a credit card towards a smiling girl on a cam site... Not tonight. I played my guitar instead and re-assured myself that some sort of mental equilibrium and satisfaction is somewhere ahead of me.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on February 03, 2019, 03:55:15 PM
Well done Switched-Off! Playing the guitar was definitely the better option. ;)
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 06, 2019, 07:12:29 PM
Hello all - just checking in briefly. It's weird, my last post was made at a point of maximum frustration. I just wanted sex within marriage to be simple again but so much seemed to be getting in the way....

So about an hour later, I slipped and pmo'd... However it was a very functional and forgettable experience - just relieved alot of pent up brooding energy.

The next evening my wife came on to me in the most unexpected manner and we ended up breaking alot of the 'unspoken rules' we have established over the years. It was exilerating and re-affirming.

Since then I have been more relaxed and not really thought too much about sex or the porn issue. All the bad habits including that cam site feel like a long time ago.

So even though I have relapsed a few times and can't say I'm a massive number of days clean, I still feel good. I feel that I have made real progress breaking really bad and deeply entrenched habits since first waking up to the reboot process last September.

The main point to take away from this - if you slip, just climb back on the wagon asap and all will not be lost.

Keep strong everyone!

Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 08, 2019, 07:19:23 PM
Day something or other... No clean streak to celebrate but still trying to reboot...

I'm quite confused really. I've been binge watching a trashy Netflix thriller called You, and it seems to dial in to my messed up porn addict brain... Trigger alert - if you haven't watched it, don't...

The subterfuge, the voyuerism, the dark side of the brain... It's all there as entertainment. Just a pity the main protagonist is a sociopath....

Bah. I can't even watch Netflix without feeling messed up and all urgy... I should stick to Mary Poppins....

Maybe best to stop thinking and hope tomorrow is a more grounded and humdrum sorta real life day.

Stay strong...
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 08, 2019, 07:24:19 PM
Ps: strange thought but if I had PIED I'd have a much clearer and definite goal.

My only goal is to be a better less guilt ridden person.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on February 10, 2019, 12:58:09 PM
Sounds like a perfectly reasonable goal to me.
Kicking the PMO into touch will definitely help with that.
Keep fighting!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 11, 2019, 12:02:58 PM
Hi BigMog

Thanks for your continued support! I've been a bit of a mess over the last few days... It all started with me attempting to close my account on that stupid cam site - things went awry...

I'm feeling mixed up, but determined to climb back on the wagon. I'm sooo annoyed at how pre-occupied I've become with that bloody site!!!! Time to come up with a new strategy for breaking free!!

More soon.

Keep fighting everyone!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 14, 2019, 07:24:06 PM
Hello all

First things first, let's establish some sort of baseline in terms of current clean streak. I can't remember for sure, but I think I've been completely clean as in no PMO and no flirting with Instagram etc since Sunday. So

Reboot kick off: 10th Feb 2019. Days clean 5 Feels alot longer actually, perhaps because the couple of relapses I've had since beginning of January have been brief albeit very painful experiences.

Looking back at my recent posts, I wasn't doing too well last week, although I thought I was... I was diverting my attention from late evening sitting in front of a cam site or porn filled screen by watching the Netflix series - You. Something about it really resonated with my porn addicted or more accurately cam site addicted mind - the voyuerism, the flirtatious messaging and all that - on reflection, a really poor choice of programme from a trigger point of view.

So... Although I hadn't been actively visiting the cam site, I hadn't got round to closing my account. I decided to do this, perhaps last Thursday morning. Then on Thursday evening, while not perhaps in best frame of mind, having watched the Netflix thing, I thought I'd go on to check that the account had indeed been closed. Of course it hadn't and I can't really explain why, I purchased more credits... So stupid...

But here's the thing - I didn't use the credits to purchase any time with a performer, I instead sent a couple of messages to the object of my infatuation and went to bed. Next day, I have to go check replies, and we're back to square one. Me feeling some sort of fantasyland connection with a good looking stranger, me jealous that she has other visitors a lot more able both mentally and financially to engage, and therefore me feeling hugely guilt ridden and depressed... This is a mental disorder, not a pleasure!!! Next step - I want to ditch the cam site again, and knowing my account won't be closed if it is in credit, I ditched the credits by sending 'surprises' to performers who aren't even online. Such a waste, in a buying drugs then throwing in the bin sort of way (probably still the better course of action).

The next couple of nights, I'm feeling mentally all over the place, so I end up briefly engaging in PMO purely for some sort of relief from the self-inflicted pain.

The next few days were difficult because of all the dark post relapse moods, even although I didn't actually engage with anyone on the site. An exceptionally dark evening/ night on Tuesday, reading posts on here at extreme length, just feeling entirely stressed by the process.

However... I started to feel better yesterday and today I feel good and strong - like I'm walking on much thicker ice. Sorry for going on - I just needed to write that out, so I could try and straighten out in my head what the latest mess was all about.

On to the positives... I've started reading about and trying a few mindfulness exercises. I think it has been a positive experience - definitely feeling more at peace with my thoughts, and enjoying focusing on the moment rather than doing everything on auto-pilot while lost in mental turmoil. The irony of writing something like that when all this journal is, is a self-obsessed out-pouring of those very thoughts.

Something else I found interesting was reading an article about changing habits which talked about the difference between saying/ thinking 'I don't' instead of 'I can't'. As a vegetarian, I don't eat meat. Don't ask me to justify it, I just don't. It's been so long since I became a vegetarian, I don't have any comprehension of why I don't eat meat, I just don't and I know with certainty I never consciously will. If I do accidentally it's no big deal, I'll just go back to not eating meat, I won't immediately feel the need to devour ten cows... I don't care if other people eat meat, that's there business, but I don't. That's exactly where I hope to be one day in relation to porn. I don't do porn, because I just don't. It's not for me and it never will be... That is the holy grail.

Final thought... Have you ever pondered on how self-obsessed and isolating this disorder is? All these thoughts about ME... All this inner turmoil that has to stay just that - inner turmoil. I was walking along the street on Tuesday evening by myself, and I have never before felt this as strongly as I felt it then - all these people around me but it was like a dream where I wasn't really there, invisible to all, locked inside my head... It really was a weird experience. Thinking about it more, I have experienced it before when I was suffering from an anxiety disorder many years ago - makes more sense now.

Anyway... In real-life, I am not really that self-obsessed. I relate well with others. It's just this stupid, horrible secret that no-one talks about. I wonder if that will ever change?

On we go... Here's hoping the ice is strong for the rest of the walk...
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 15, 2019, 07:36:21 PM
16/0219 00.35 - Days clean 6

The ice is thick.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on February 16, 2019, 04:18:39 PM
Hi switched-off, lots of interesting points and observations in your posts

Just picked out two I particularly identify with


  That's exactly where I hope to be one day in relation to porn. I don't do porn, because I just don't. It's not for me and it never will be... That is the holy grail.

 It's just this stupid, horrible secret that no-one talks about. I wonder if that will ever change?


For me I’d also like to be able to say to myself in the future,  “yes I was hooked for a while but I managed to kick it. It was a struggle but I’ve been clean for x years”

Also, yes it’s “the shame we dare not speak of.” I couldn’t see myself discussing this with anyone outside this forum and I’m not prepared to out myself, even to my oldest friends. Would be good if it was a more recognised and accepted problem.

Glad the mindfulness looks like it may be useful and the ice is thick.

Keep up the good work.

.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 17, 2019, 05:23:43 PM
Hey BigMog - thanks for checking in with me.

I'm still clean but the weekend has been not so good mood wise. Wife out on Friday evening, then out again yesterday evening. I had hopes that we might have fun when she came home, but ended up having a big row and with me sleeping in living room... Not what was planned haha.

Mutual apologies this morning, but I spent the rest of the day doing chores and quietly brooding.... Our Sundays are fully defined by chores.... Not how  i would choose to spend  the day, but if I don't, she does and her resentment builds.

Definitely no desire to go online and self medicate with porn though. So that's positive I suppose.

I'm actually looking forward to work this week - another positive of having a dull unfulfilling weekend!

7 days clean
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 18, 2019, 06:24:05 PM
Monday 18 Feb. 8 days clean.

Also dieting which has given me hunger to focus on!

My daughter is visiting so hopefully a better week moodwise. I probably won't post as much as a result.

Hope everything is feeling strong and has a good week.

Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 22, 2019, 07:02:11 PM
22/02/2019 - 12 days clean

Hi everyone - 12 days clean doesn't sound a lot. But I've had a good week. My infatuation with that site has been quite distant, I've felt engaged and present in the here and now, and sex and/or the prospect of when I might have sex next hasn't figured too highly in my mind. I feel that I've climbed firmly back on the wagon, the ice is thick, and (my new metaphor) the porn scars in my brain are healing quite nicely (just don't start scratching them or they might open up again).

So why am I happy at being only 12 days clean? Because I've realised that this actually goes way back longer than this. My first reboot start in late September 2018 and since then I've gone:

September - reboot kick off
Early November - relapse 1
Late December - relapse 2
Early January - relapse 3
Late January - relapse 4
Early February - relapse 5

So while I've had really painful relapses along the way I've repeatedly climbed back on the wagon and at no point do I feel I've gone back to square one. I am now very used to not watching porn or visiting that cam girl site, I don't feel part of that cam girl site 'community' as their sales people so quaintly put it, I am not obsessed with the state of my masturbation starved organ, and I am comfortable with the idea that there is no sex on the immediate horizon, because frankly I and my family have other more important things to be dealing with.

I'm on a diet, I've joined the gym, I'm back cycling (which is no 2 passion in my life, music being no 1), I'm learning about mindfulness, and my mood has been quite balanced (after last weekend when I was in a childish, resentful cause I'm not getting sex way).

So it feels like more than 12 days clean really... And when I think back to the sadness and anger post my last relapse, it is extremely re-assuring to know that I feel so much more comfortable free from the relapse cycle than I did when I was lost in the grip.

One of the things I have come to realise is that this is about me and what I want. I don't want to be a slave. I've been knocked off the wagon by questioning the science of porn addiction, but now I've come to the conclusion - I don't care about the science. I've been knocked off the wagon by others advising me that the right thing to do is to share my addiction with my wife. NO. Don't tell me what is right or wrong for my wife. I have been with her for almost 30 years, I spend 80% of my time supporting her and my family, so really don't tell me what I should or shouldn't do. I now know what is right for her, for my family, and for me. If you want me to nail something to the wall as some sort of penance, yep I'll do that, but don't expect me to upset my wife or family.

This is about me and what I am without thinking. As I said in a previous post - I don't eat meat. Other people do. But I don't and feel absolutely no desire to justify to myself or anyone else why I don't. I just don't. Just as I don't take drugs.

And my aim is to have the same mindset towards porn and cam sites.

I don't watch porn or visit cam sites. Millions of people do.... But I don't and don't ask me to justify why I don't.

I just don't.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on February 23, 2019, 05:13:25 PM
Nice going Switched_off! Stay strong, keep working on those passions and fill your life with good things!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: Humpty on February 23, 2019, 06:26:36 PM
Is strange how it effected us all differently and how we all have different opinions on it but essentially all want the same.

I never felt guilty about porn, I really enjoyed it and I really miss it (day 38) but I only just realised a couple of months ago that it's why I have had PIED for as long as I can remember. (20+ years)

It's caused the girls I've been with (and my current wife) so much pain and hurt without me realising.

Stay strong.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 24, 2019, 05:44:53 PM
24/02/2019 - 2 weeks clean

Hey both - thanks for the support!

I had a really good bike ride today. I love the early season when you experience speedy improvements in fitness. I've got a sportive in early April and my training is right on track.

I M'd last night. But it was a good M because there was no P or fantasies about P involved. I knew it was another weekend where nothing was going to happen with my wife and me, so I took the decision to M so that I didn't feel childishly resentful. It was the right choice and I feel good because I didn't automatically engage with P.

Keep strong! The ice is thick, the scars are healing, I don't do porn!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on February 28, 2019, 07:21:00 PM
Hey all

Not alot to report really. Feels normal not to be pmo'ing. Feels normal not to be anxiously focussing on improving me and my wife's sex life. Don't really feel any urge. Don't feel the need to count days clean. Just having a humdrum middle of the road week.

If I was anxiously bullet pointing symptoms in my mind, I'd conclude I was flat-lining...

But then I know that moods can be cyclical for a whole host of reasons so I just accept it for what it is and remain aware that complacency is a risk. The old "just one won't harm you trap".

Keep strong. The ice is thick. The scars are healing.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 01, 2019, 08:08:25 PM
Still strong. Still thrawn. Refusing to play the porn master's game.

Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on March 02, 2019, 06:26:10 AM
Good for staying strong Switched_off!
And thanks for extending my vocabulary, I’d never come across “thrawn” before. There seem to be a few meanings but I assume you’re using it to mean stubborn, cross, obstinate and convinced of an opinion?
i.e. you’re determined to kick PMO etc into touch.
Yep, I guess we all need to be a bit thrawn sometimes!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 05, 2019, 07:14:08 PM
Ach - after all the fighting talk last week I slipped up at the weekend. No excuses really. Thought I was doing well. Another weekend was going by without any prospect of my wife and I getting together, so thought I'd relieve tension by M. Wasn't really in mood, so helped along with P... Just functional, not very enjoyable, felt like I was intruding... What on earth was my thought process??

I almost felt like not mentioning it here it was so inconsequential but that would be silly...

I'm not going to let it get to me though or beat myself up about it - it wasn't that cam site which is the real lethal drug for me, and it has in no way weakened my resolve to stay as clean as I can. I have hugely kicked a previously all pervasive habit and have come a long way since last September. I enjoy life without porn hangovers every day. I like all the other things that this reboot process has given me, so I just push on.

Let's call yesterday, Mon 5th March another day 0 and see how I get on. I'll maybe start mentioning my clean streak again, when I've got something worth mentioning!

Keep strong all.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 07, 2019, 07:20:11 PM
Not much to report. Back on the wagon. Despite my relapses, this feels normal. It is not a struggle not to PMO.





Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 08, 2019, 07:40:23 PM
But it is a bit of a struggle tonight... Possibly because it's Friday and I've had a few drinks. I think I'll go play my guitar instead. It's the best mindful exercise I know....
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 12, 2019, 07:23:13 PM
Hey all - I got through the weekend and glad that the struggle I mentioned on Friday was only temporary. I'm not currently feeling much in the way of libido which I suppose is a good thing in terms of keeping clean.

This week is a test as my wife is away until Friday, which in the old days would have triggered some P related self-indulgence. I'm determined to resist this time - that 'every time you say no, you get stronger' idea. Given the lack of libido, I don't really feel any PMO urges so should be fine, but I still have the urge to do something slightly hedonistic given I've got an 'empty'. I feel a gap, but no urge to fill the gap with PMO. Maybe I'll just luxuriate in not doing the dishes or hoovering until she's due back ;) Dull old me...

Hope everyone is feeling strong!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on March 13, 2019, 08:57:39 AM
Maybe I'll just luxuriate in not doing the dishes or hoovering until she's due back ;)

The mad, bad and dangerous life of a guy in early-stage addiction recovery  ;D I might have a piece of chocolate with my cup of tea this afternoon!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on March 14, 2019, 05:43:53 AM
Yep, you guys are just wild! Careful with that chocolate though, I’ve found with chocolate digestives that there’s a definite chaser effect.

Stay strong!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: cranm329 on March 14, 2019, 06:38:05 AM
On the chocolate theme, take care with strong choc at night. It can affect sleep, cause vivid dreams and therefore night erections....which may be a problem or not.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 14, 2019, 07:09:13 PM
Haha - good to see you around guys! Doing fine. Binging on Netflix and a splash or two of wine. Started writing a new song which is always a good way for me to get focused. And I've got a good thing going on with early year cycling training in the gym.

Foods with a major chaser effect? I vote for crunchie but cornflakes. One bowl is never enough!

Feeling strong but we all know the risks of feeling too up! Not going to be caught out by that one. This week anyway.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 21, 2019, 07:07:18 PM
Hi all - just checking in before my journal drops off page one. Well in to third week clean of current streak. Feel ok. Not much urges wise.

I do need to get back to my mindfulness practice because I've been over-thinking and getting off balance about a few things at work. They are trivial. My emotional reaction is way out of proportion. I need to let go and focus on positive things in my life.

Anyway... Here's hoping for an enjoyable and porn free weekend for us all. Stay strong.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on March 22, 2019, 04:11:37 AM
Good going Switched-Off,
I can understand about being over sensitive about work issues, happens to me a lot. A sequence of small events, comments or glitches can send me into a bad place, but in the end it always passes and with hindsight I can see I’ve  blown it out of proportion. It’s hard to see it clearly at the time though.
I’m slowly working through the “Coping with Cravings” module in my mindfulness app. (for about the 4th time) but also dipping into “Self Esteem” and others.
It seems to help.
Have a great weekend!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on March 31, 2019, 05:55:21 PM
Hi again

Thanks Big Mog for your positive words.

I arsed up... I was doing well and was flat-lining but then last weekend was good, the chaser effect kicked-in (now I know it exists for sure), spent the week dabbling with fantasies for my wife, got in to my hyper mode, got drunk last night, and hedonism - I don't care mode took over....

Then today my family was at it's dysfunctional worst, while the rest of the world (allegedly at least) celebrated mother's day...

Sorry for negative post.... Getting too high or too low is when I'm at my weakest. Hope to start another plodding along flat-line as of today...

Keep strong. You're all doing well.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on April 02, 2019, 07:17:26 AM
The one good thing about climbing back on the wagon for the umpteenth time, is that I'll soon feel better and the mixture of depression, revulsion and anxiety I currently feel will dissipate... Damn you addiction, damn you cam sites, damn my mood swings and moments of weakness... Anyway enough with the self-pitying and self-obsession. Time just to get on with things and keep busy.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on April 02, 2019, 09:01:28 AM
Sorry to read about your slip. Well done on getting back on the wagon so quickly.
Looking at your last earlier post....

spent the week dabbling with fantasies for my wife, got in to my hyper mode, got drunk last night, and hedonism - I don't care mode took over....


Any thoughts on avoiding those activities, or coping better with your stresses? You seem to struggle with a desire to experience "hedonism" and then be really angry with yourself when that leads to you doing things you say you don't want to do.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on April 05, 2019, 03:00:46 PM
Hi Switched-off,
I hope things are picking up for you. I know the first few days back on the wagon can be pretty draining and they sometimes go past very slowly.
I agree with WIPUK, if you can find some trick to just put a pause between thinking about stepping on to the edge of the funnel and actually stepping on to it, it may give you a chance to regroup and step away.
I know I probably witter on about it too much, but the mindfulness seems to help me. There have been times when I’ve found myself thinking about porn or sex and become aware of it, and kind of remembered, “Oh! I don’t want to be thinking about this.” Then, I’ve maybe done a bit of just concentrating on my breath and the feeling goes away and I can get on with something else. It’s taken a few months of practice before this started to happen.
 A lot of the experiences you describe are similar to mine. I think my mood swings are at least partly the inner chimp crying out for his fix.
Anyway, wishing you a fulfilling and PMO-free weekend.


Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on April 05, 2019, 07:26:50 PM
Hey both - thanks for the support. I'm back on an even keel - that is very much the current pattern. Things spiral very quickly when it goes wrong and then very quickly I'm out the other side and PMO seems like a million miles away.

So looking at the positives, being PMO free feels entirely normal 95% of the time. My evenings end with me playing the guitar, or watching Netflix or reading a book. 98% of the time PMO just doesn't come in to it. Whereas back before last September when i started this journey, most evenings ended with me in front of a computer. Any time I had to myself was automatically PMO time. That is so not me now, so despite not being able to quote a big long clean streak, I still feel I've come a long, long way.

So the next step is to be more aware of the triggers. Last week was a classic example - a variety of things got me in to a hyper and rebellious mood - stupid things like arguing on social media about local issues, being a bit show offy at work, having quite a drunken but fun night at a charity quiz... Letting off steam generally... And there I am back in front of the computer with a real I don't care, I can do what I want attitude... And the rest is history... It is no doubt very typical behaviour for any addict in recovery.

So I should've been more aware earlier on of where things might lead, because by the time you are sitting in front of the computer, post quiz, and a bit drunk, it's too late. I should know that when I am in that hyper mood, the risk of PMO is a lot higher.

And I get where you are coming from about mindfulness BigMog. I started reading a book and found it pretty interesting. I found the exercises and meditations really enjoyable - who knew a simple body scan could be so refreshing! :) I really enjoyed the free Basics course on the Headspace app - just couldn't bring myself to subscribe. I need to decide if it's something i want to build in to my daily routines.

On the other stuff that affects my emotions and therefore my behaviour - things have quietened down within the family so I'm looking forward to a relaxed (and PMO free) weekend.

Hope it's all good for everyone else and you stay strong.

PS: I'm not going to quote days clean until I feel I've got something I'm proud of. I don't want to set myself up for another fall!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on April 08, 2019, 04:37:22 AM
A. You are so Right about how much progress you've made and how much value there is in all the "clean" time you now have in comparison to the past. Absolutely. The number of the days on your counter is secondary, right? Just a number.
B. I started writing B but it's fairly personal stuff and I don't think anyone else wants to read it, so I'll send you a private message. Suffice to say..... getting in a Heightened Emotional State is a fast-track to triggers and relapses. Repeatedly doing stuff that gets you in a Heightened Emotional State when you're trying to come off a drug...... my friend... you think about the wisdom of that one  :o

Do you think you could cope with a few weeks of plain old "Boring" SOA?
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on April 09, 2019, 07:02:24 PM
Day whatever it is of current clean streak.

I was out with an old friend I hadn't seen for ages and came home in that hyper mood that is often where it all starts to go wrong. I managed to reset by reading through my journal from the start, which very quickly reminded me where I've come from and why I need to stay clean.

Keep strong.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on April 10, 2019, 01:52:23 AM
Well done Switched-off. Looks like a good win to me. Do that a few more times and it’s a new habit for when you’re hyper instead of PMO.
Keep at it!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on April 11, 2019, 06:38:09 AM
came home in that hyper mood that is often where it all starts to go wrong. I managed to reset by reading through my journal from the start, which very quickly reminded me where I've come from and why I need to stay clean.

Nice process to follow, SOA. Nice outcome too. Good work, my friend. Like Mog says, hopefully you can do that or similar a few times and it get's stored in your brain as a happy path.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on April 14, 2019, 06:08:41 PM
Hey all - not a lot to report really. The last few days have been easy because I've been focusing on a cycling event I did today. Also family relationships have been stable which always helps too.

So I'm about 2 weeks in to current streak and I'm thinking next week might be risky. 1) Because I'll be at home by myself because I've got the week off to do some DIY and 2) because I'm two weeks in to a streak so stirrings might kick in.

Last time I relapsed I think I started to go off the rails by fantasising unrealistically about my wife. That old 'where we are as a 50+ year old couple who have been married for 20+ years vs. my PMO damaged brain's expectation of where we should be' chestnut.

So note to self, stay away from the bedroom when you're alone during the day, even though fantasising while separate from your partner should be ok, it's not good for you. Find other ways to enjoy your time off. How about you keep the guitar plugged in and switched on all the time and play some tunes instead?

Stay strong.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: jixu on April 14, 2019, 06:24:59 PM
Nice work-I know what you mean by difficulties when you are home alone.  Glad you have already entered it into the mindset-keep going strong!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on April 17, 2019, 06:12:28 PM
Thanks for the support jixu.

So far so good on my week at home. Mainly because the DIY I'm doing has engaged me both mentally and physically so what's going on down below is the last thing on my mind!

Having said that I'm not in the best of moods this evening, mainly I think because I'm knackered after all the physical exertion today. There was coverage in the news  of UK plans to introduce age verification for P sites - this was slightly triggering mainly because it reminded me of just how mainstream and pervasive P is. Why do I have to abstain when the rest of the world indulges? Yes, I know the answer, just tired and moody...

The other thing bothering me during this moody evening is my relationship with my wife. In the early days of the reboot process last year, I channeled all my excess libido in to our physical relationship. I thought we could re-kindle a physical relationship with a bit of spice. Now that I'm well over 6 months in to the reboot process I'm sort of resigned to the fact that that is not happening. We've been together so long. There really isn't anything other than the occasional very ad-hoc coupling to be had. Forget any thought of dressing up or pre-sex courtship - it's put down the book, strip off pyjamas and t-shirt for a quick 10 minute act if we're lucky. And there-in lies the dilemma... I don't want to do P but there isn't much of an alternative sex life to be had... Oh well.

Sorry for moodiness. On positive side, despite feeling low this evening, I've stayed away from P.

Stay strong. Promise to be more positive next time I visit!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on April 18, 2019, 06:23:46 AM
The other thing bothering me during this moody evening is my relationship with my wife. In the early days of the reboot process last year, I channeled all my excess libido in to our physical relationship. I thought we could re-kindle a physical relationship with a bit of spice. Now that I'm well over 6 months in to the reboot process I'm sort of resigned to the fact that that is not happening. We've been together so long. There really isn't anything other than the occasional very ad-hoc coupling to be had. Forget any thought of dressing up or pre-sex courtship - it's put down the book, strip off pyjamas and t-shirt for a quick 10 minute act if we're lucky. And there-in lies the dilemma... I don't want to do P but there isn't much of an alternative sex life to be had... Oh well.

Hi SOA. Congrats on staying the course, putting your plans into action and staying busy with "real world" stuff. Just writing to empathise with your story above. I don't think you're being miserablist. I think it can just become the sad reality after a long time together. I read about the Coolidge Effect on YBOP and I can totally buy-in to it. When I first started rebooting, a few years back, my marital sex life improved for a while. Since then, it's just dwindled to pretty well nothing. I blame my past actions and I've had to accept that, after 30 years together, my wife isn't interested in me sexually. I can't especially blame her. So your story of abstaining from P & M for a life in which there's little likelihood of any other O, is one that resonates. For me, it's a price I'll pay if it stops me relapsing to the fucked-up behaviours of my P and S addiction.

Wow.... and you thought you were miserable  :D
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: cranm329 on April 18, 2019, 03:20:26 PM
Hi SOA and WiPUK. Don't want to flog the tantra thing or appear to 'evangelise' but I can't stand leaving you guys with nowhere to go in your sexual relationships. All I will say is that, after many decades of porn induced marriage damage we have found a simple, exciting and transforming method of changing the predictable, unfulfilling (for her at least) sexual experience. I used to dismiss the concept of multiple male orgasm as unachievable nonsense. Don't mean ejaculation. Because of the focus on stimulation and intention to excite,  I missed what was already happening to my body. It IS possible to have orgasm without ejac.and it is absolutely wonderful. It deals with blue balls and helps ED/PE. Tantra style sex can help male and female desensitisation plus reduce the woman's discomfort and dryness.A win-win situation.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on April 19, 2019, 01:38:12 PM
For me, it's a price I'll pay if it stops me relapsing to the fucked-up behaviours of my P and S addiction.

Yep. Just have to keep reminding ourselves of all the negative effects of a P addiction. It's great to be free, no matter what. I can look people in the eye again...

Quote from: cranm329
Hi SOA and WiPUK. Don't want to flog the tantra thing or appear to 'evangelise' but I can't stand leaving you guys with nowhere to go in your sexual relationships. All I will say is that, after many decades of porn induced marriage damage we have found a simple, exciting and transforming method of changing the predictable, unfulfilling (for her at least) sexual experience. I used to dismiss the concept of multiple male orgasm as unachievable nonsense. Don't mean ejaculation. Because of the focus on stimulation and intention to excite,  I missed what was already happening to my body. It IS possible to have orgasm without ejac.and it is absolutely wonderful. It deals with blue balls and helps ED/PE. Tantra style sex can help male and female desensitisation plus reduce the woman's discomfort and dryness.A win-win situation.

cranm329 - thanks for the support and constructive advice. I will bear it in mind, although I fear if I suggested this to my wife it would be met by the same reaction as when I encourage her to wear the nice underwear she bought over 2 years ago (which I've never seen her in). Och I sound resentful, but I know she's had other things on her mind. I'm grateful that I have a loving and supportive relationship.

Week home alone coming to an end - it was easy. Now it's a Friday evening home alone - again in days gone by this would've meant just one thing, but don't feel any urge. Ahh the joys of flat-lining - recovery is easy in this part of the cycle.

Keep strong all. Have a good weekend.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: MosesY on April 20, 2019, 12:38:53 AM
It's great to be free, no matter what. I can look people in the eye again...

I found this true for myself as well. I feel better about myself and am able to talk to people with some confidence. It has made a huge difference in my life. I am looking forward to doing some stuff today and I get more pleasure out of life than I used to. The simple things mean more.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on April 26, 2019, 06:47:43 PM
Hey all - just checking in without a huge amount to say - plodding along approaching a month P and M and O free - I'm separating the initials out because, who knows, might've O'd in the way that the convention of being in a relationship implies, but no - not that either. While a month is a reasonable streak by my recent standards, I don't want to count, just take it one day at a time.

Two things to note - Netflix recommended a new series to me which was billed as a sex comedy. I risked it and watched an episode - I didn't really find it triggering, more depressing, that feeling of being old and past any prospect of having an interesting sex life. I stopped watching.... Why torture yourself....

Really basic other point - I hadn't managed any strenuous exercise (apart from DIY) since the cycle event a couple of weeks ago, and was feeling a bit low. So I went to the gym. An hour of getting the heart working hard really does lift my mood. Who knows if it's endorphins, dopamine or just getting out and doing something for yourself, but it does work...

Anyhow... What I have learned from this long recovery road is that it's all about controlling my mood - if I don't get too high or too low, I should be OK.

Keep strong all.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on April 27, 2019, 01:26:45 PM
Hi Switched-off,
re-Netflix, yes I agree with not torturing ourselves about the sex lives we might like. I find it just encourages the “chimp” and I start to feel resentful and one thing can lead to other...
Likewise, I like your comment on exercise. I always feel calmer afterwards and it certainly feels like lots of good chemicals get released in my brain. I’m a keen parkrunner so  I set myself little goals to aim for every few months which is an extra incentive to live well. I’m never going to get a “personal best” at a run if I’ve spent 18 hours  PMOing over the course of the previous week!

Keep strong, live well!
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: switched_off_again on May 21, 2019, 04:57:14 PM
Hey all - it's been a while...

If truth be told, I'm a little derailed at the moment, but porn is only a small part of the derailment... Cut a long story short, I have been on anti-depressants since 2015 and have recently decided to stop taking them. I want to know if I can control my mood, behaviour and thoughts in a more sustainable way - think keeping busy, socialising, positive hobbies, mindfulness, healthy activities. I really think I can do it.

But maybe some of you also know, coming off AD's can have withdrawal symptoms, even when you do it following medical advice, you taper and take it slowly. Especially after having taken them for a long time. I'm working through this at the moment. Not helped by the fact that my wife is going through a tough time mentally too. You would think that we would turn to each other and offer each other mutual support, but if anything the opposite is true. But hardly surprising - mental health issues are absolutely engulfed in a feeling of being completely alone, even when you are surrounded by good people. We all live inside that pre-occupied ruminating cell which acts as a massive barrier with those around us.

We are going on holiday in two weeks, so at the moment I'm thinking short term - just get through work and try and do my share around the house, so she doesn't resent me and feel like just 'a house keeper' and servant for me and my son. Hopefully the holiday will bring some fun and relaxation then we can look forward more positively.

Porn - yes there have been some minor relapses, but it just isn't figuring very highly in the list of things to be dealt with. However this is a statement of intent - I am still committed long-term to eliminating it from my life. Despite recent setbacks, I still think I have hugely moved on from where I was when I started this journey.

And for the record, my mental health issues are not severe on the grand scale of things. I will not do anything stupid. I have so much good stuff going on!

Keep fighting everyone and all the best. I will be back once the AD withdrawal has settled down - I know it is temporary - just as I know now the mental health issues associated with PMO recovery are temporary too.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: workinprogressUK on May 22, 2019, 09:25:58 AM
Good luck to you, my friend. Depression does an even better job of isolating us than even addiction does. And i readily agree with your describing how two depressed partners can repel each other, rather than attract. Like the magnetism is aligned south to south. You know the things and processes that work for you, so hopefully you can keep practicing them in the run-up to your holiday, and then have a really positive up-tick while you're away from it all. Wishing you every strength, switched_off.
Title: Re: Reboot take two
Post by: BigMog on May 23, 2019, 02:56:10 AM
"I really think I can do it."
I really think you can do it too. Seems to me like you've worked out a good approach to the AD situation.
I look forward to seeing more posts from you in a while.
Good luck!