Author Topic: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.  (Read 369 times)

Jethro

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Hi everyone, I haven't posted in a while, so I thought that I'd give a shout out, just to let you know that I'm still alive. I've been thinking a lot lately about willpower and weakness, and why people who are addicted say that it doesn't work for them. On the other side of the coin, you have the merits and the success stories of a 12 step program, and the many advocates for this road of recovery. Religious beliefs and faith in a Higher Power are also mentioned as possible paths to wellness. My question is, ( if that's the correct terminology ), is which one, or combinations of the ways described above is right?. Is it possible to combine several of the methods that I've outlined above and have a successful reboot?, or must you pick one way, and never look at any of the others, or can you use any, or all, of the ways described above to aid your reboot?. Just a thought, I would be interested in your opinions,
                      Be blessed,
                            Jethro.
Hi, my name is Jethro,and I am 63years old I'm married, and between us, we have so many children that they all have numbers now instead of names, and don't even think of asking about the grandkids!!. Both of us have been married before. I'm very glad to be here.

Prodigal son

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Re: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 04:51:30 PM »
My personal experience and opinion is that the solution is multi-faceted.  I myself am a Christian and so whatever I do it begins with God and the wisdom of the Bible.  However I also have found wisdom with value in the secular world.  Right now, today is my 40th day in my reboot, I had previously succeeded in rebooting and going 128 days before sucumbing to temptation and getting lost in the cycle for 2 years before returning.  In those 2 years I made several other efforts, but never made it more than 2 weeks tops.  The first part of what happened to me for when I crashed after 128 days was I changed what I was doing.  The second part was I didn't fully understand what or why I was turning to PMO anyway. 

What I've come to understand about myself is that PMO isn't my core problem, my core problem is, "Escapism" and PMO was just one of many bad habits I used to escape.  Once I understood what I was doing I took the steps to eliminate ALL the routes of escape I had built.  In the list of escapes I had were: PMO, Video games, Youtube videos, Day Dreaming, pointless endless web searches and social media.  So even when I was 128 days free of PMO I was still using those other things to take its place, I hadn't realized what I was doing. 

So now I've installed an image blocker called, "Pluckeye" that makes viewing any images or videos as near to impossible as not having the internet at all, as you can get.  I've further tuned my Pluckeye to only allow me access to work related sites and bill paying, the rest of the web is blocked out.  I did away with all my social media accounts & message boards I frequented, deleted my video games and all the other avenues I've identified as escapes.  I now have loads more free time and instead of wasting it I'm reno'ing an old house.

To answer your question more directly I think first you have to want to be done with porn, if its not something you want to take care of, you'll never quite no matter how you approach it. I think an atheist can eliminate porn from their life without seeking God, but I believe it will be much harder, but that's my opinion.  Honest self examination is the place to start.  Then you have to understand that half measures will never work.  Meaning if you think you can have a little porn every now and then and it be ok, your a fool and the science bares this out.  Quitting Porn is all or nothing and it goes hand in hand with masturbation, PMO.  Those 2 things are so intermingled that it pointless to try and quit one and not the other.

The method depends on you, its the rules and facts that are immutable.  Why do you use porn?  Is it a part of a bigger issue?  Do you want to quit?  Once you answer those questions and you understand that this is a YES or NO situation, you can put together a strategy that suits your life style, but you have to be honest with yourself and stick to your plan.  You will fail, but as you learn your weakness and strengthen those areas in your defenses you will get stronger.  The more you are willing to sacrifice and can live without, the better and quicker your success can be.  The more opportunities you leave lying around the harder and longer it will be.  I know a guy so dedicated he threw his smart phone in the ocean.  Some get rid of any and all devices.  You choose, a long drawn out battle or a short skirmish that can change your life forever.  I can't say yet if this problem will always be something we deal with, but I havent seen anyone yet who went a year clean and fell, most relapses are early or at the most 6 months out.  After that there doesn't seem to be anybody needing "Do overs".

That's my take, my experience thus far.  Be honest, take ALL necessary steps and begin the rest of your life.  Feel free to PM me if you like.

Later, Dude
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 10:23:37 AM by Prodigal son »
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Totte

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Re: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 01:52:15 AM »
My personal experience and opinion is that the solution is multi-faceted.  I myself am a Christian and so whatever I do it begins with God and the wisdom of the Bible.  However I also have found wisdom with value in the secular world.  Right now, today is my 40th day in my reboot, I had previously succeeded in rebooting and going 128 days before sucumbing to temptation and getting lost in the cycle for 2 years before returning.  In those 2 years I made several other efforts, but never made it more than 2 weeks tops.  The first part of what happened to me for when I crashed after 128 days was I changed what I was doing.  The second part was I didn't fully understand what or why I was turning to PMO anyway. 

What I've come to understand about myself is that PMO isn't my core problem, my core problem is, "Escapism" and PMO was just one of many bad habits I used to escape.  Once I understood what I was doing I took the steps to eliminate ALL the routes of escape I had built.  In the list of escapes I had were: PMO, Video games, Youtube videos, Day Dreaming, pointless endless web searches and social media.  So even when I was 128 days free of PMO I was still using those other things to take its place, I hadn't realized what I was doing. 

So now I've installed an image blocker called, "Pluckeye" that makes viewing any images or videos as near to impossible as not having the internet at all, as you can get.  I've further tuned my Pluckeye to only allow me access to work related sites and bill paying, the rest of the web is blocked out.  I did away with all my social media accounts & message boards I frequented, deleted my video games and all the other avenues I've identified as escapes.  I now have loads more free time and instead of wasting it I'm reno'ing an old house.

To answer your question more directly I think first you have to want to be done with porn, if its not something you want to take care of, you'll never quite no matter how you approach it.  I think an atheist can eliminate porn from their life without seeking God, but I believe it will be much harder, but that's my opinion.  Honest self examination is the place to start.  Then you have to understand that half measures will never work.  Meaning if you think you can have a little porn every now and then and it be ok, your a fool and the science bares this out.  Quitting Porn is all or nothing and it goes hand in hand with masturbation, PMO.  Those 2 things are so intermingled that it pointless to try and quit one and not the other.

The method depends on you, its the rules and facts that are immutable.  Why do you use porn?  Is it a part of a bigger issue?  Do you want to quit?  Once you answer those questions and you understand that this is a YES or NO situation, you can put together a strategy that suits your life style, but you have to be honest with yourself and stick to your plan.  You will fail, but as you learn your weakness and strengthen those areas in your defenses you will get stronger.  The more you are willing to sacrifice and can live without, the better and quicker your success can be.  The more opportunities you leave lying around the harder and longer it will be.  I know a guy so dedicated he threw his smart phone in the ocean.  Some get rid of any and all devices.  You choose, a long drawn out battle or a short skirmish that can change your life forever.  I can't say yet if this problem will always be something we deal with, but I havent seen anyone yet who went a year clean and fell, most relapses are early or at the most 6 months out.  After that there doesn't seem to be anybody needing "Do overs".

That's my take, my experience thus far.  Be honest, take ALL necessary steps and begin the rest of your life.  Feel free to PM me if you like.

Later, Dude


Hi!
Are you saying that God is the only way to recovery?
I am an Agnostic, so I don't deny God but I don't really believe in God.
Don't mistake me for an atheist with I am not.
So I live after Christian values, but I can't agree with that you need god to do a recovery.
That's too easy to turn to IMO, the thing why I don't like to just send it to I higher instance like God. Is that you need to grasp the core issues why you do things not just put it on God. Like Catholic us confection to clean yourself with. But you say (this I agree with) that you need to go to the core of why you end up doing this ”bad behavior ” I can't say that P is bad in itself, but more that how you using it, and it gets worse. I agree with that you need go back to a family value, (Christian values) and start seeing people and not sex objects. PIED have to do with that you need to see things (porn) to get it to function and RL is not like a P movie. The second part is that you easy start to need a higher fix to get the sensation you looking for, then the bad path to addiction starts.
You are right and wrong IMO. I do basically agree with what you say but don't say it's harder without god. Hope you see the difference!

Tom

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Re: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 09:06:13 AM »
I do not feel that PS said God is the only way.  He says it is multifaceted.  God and Christianity are one facet.  My husband used the research I did to get him on the right path.  He was so full of shame he  could not do it.  We committed to being a team.  And it worked for us.  Not everyone brings their wife into their recovery.  Many do not even tell her,  I was a discoverer.  So cat out of the bag.   It worked for us.

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Re: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 06:24:50 AM »
My personal experience and opinion .... 

What I've come to understand about myself .... 

So now I've installed an image blocker called, "Pluckeye" that makes viewing any images or videos as near to impossible ....

To answer your question more directly I think first you have to want to be done with porn, if its not something you want to take care of, you'll never quit, no matter how you approach it. I think an atheist can eliminate porn from their life without seeking God, but I believe it will be much harder, but that's my opinion.  Honest self examination is the place to start.  Then you have to understand that half measures will never work.  Meaning if you think you can have a little porn every now and then and it be ok, your a fool and the science bares this out.  Quitting Porn is all or nothing and it goes hand in hand with masturbation, PMO.  Those 2 things are so intermingled that it pointless to try and quit one and not the other.

The method depends on you, its the rules and facts that are immutable.... After that there doesn't seem to be anybody needing "Do overs".

That's my take, my experience thus far.  Be honest, take ALL necessary steps and begin the rest of your life.  Feel free to PM me if you like.

Later, Dude


Hi!
Are you saying that God is the only way to recovery? 
No, see above red quote.

I am an Agnostic, so I don't deny God but I don't really believe in God.
Don't mistake me for an atheist with I am not.
So I live after Christian values, but I can't agree with that you need god to do a recovery.
That's too easy to turn to IMO, the thing why I don't like to just send it to I higher instance like God. Is that you need to grasp the core issues why you do things not just put it on God. Like Catholic us confection to clean yourself with. But you say (this I agree with) that you need to go to the core of why you end up doing this ”bad behavior ” I can't say that P is bad in itself, but more that how you using it, and it gets worse. I agree with that you need go back to a family value, (Christian values) and start seeing people and not sex objects. PIED have to do with that you need to see things (porn) to get it to function and RL is not like a P movie. The second part is that you easy start to need a higher fix to get the sensation you looking for, then the bad path to addiction starts.
You are right and wrong IMO. I do basically agree with what you say but don't say it's harder without god. Hope you see the difference!

Tom


As to the rest of what you said, that is your opinion and you have a right to it.  I gave my POV and my experience and background as a point of reference only.  My bottom line is you have to quit 100% or your just kidding yourself. 

No Porn,
No fantasy,
No masturbation,
No sexual stimulation of any kind, be it visual or auditory, nothing aside from ones partner, period.
 

The ones who do this, they succeed, the ones who don't, they keep riding the sick cycle carousel.

Part of the getting honest is drilling down into what porn is, what and who it is made up of.  Knowing the true horror show that porn really is helps motivate and to keep you on track to quitting for good.  Try looking up the life expectancy of a porn star.  Or what is the most common cause of death for porn stars.  Porn is world wide and sex trafficking is intermingled and slavery as well.  If learning the truth about porn, who it hurts, how it hurts and all the horrors associated don't convince you porn is bad, then I don't think a person like that will ever get free because they still intend to keep porn around, just in case...


Hey man!
Are we talking PIED or are we talking political point of view?
Politically, I agree with you!
But you can't put more burden on others by going in to political discussion IMO.

Keehave PIED! And I understand what you wrote but in theare you say ”much harder,.
It's hard enough for all in here, don't need more burdening from us.
Let's agree that we disagree

Tommie

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Re: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 10:53:15 AM »

I havent seen anyone yet who went a year clean and fell, most relapses are early or at the most 6 months out.  After that there doesn't seem to be anybody needing "Do overs".
Later, Dude


I did three years, clean as a whistle before I crashed back in. The longer I can stay clean, the better chance I have of managing the underlying issues causing me to relapse into whatever drug I use to numb-out from my issues. Three years wasn't enough to fix my other issues last time. I'm hopeful but not especially confident that I'll stay clean long enough to resolve them this time around.

As for God vs science, I did 12-step for 9 months. It didn't work for me, but I'm happy that it works for others. The group I was in had some very religious members, for whom the "higher power" could only be their God. For others, it could be some other sort of spirituality and for others there was a big challenge with the concept. For me, I can see an echo of neuro-science in the concept of "turning the temptation over to my higher power". When I read a "Chimp Paradox" or similar, it's easy to rationalise that my lymbic system is my lower or "chimp" brain, whilst my Prefrontal Cortex is my human or "higher" brain. So much of the science-based recovery teaching is about buying your PFC a bit of time to take control of triggering situations. When faced with their own triggers, back in the 1930's, 12-steppers asked their higher power (whatever it is) to intervene and take control. I think those original AA guys, stumbled upon a way to get their PFC to take back control from their faster, primitively-motivated, lymbic system, without knowing the first think about brain function. So when it comes to relapse prevention and managing my triggers, I think the two are wholly compatible. On the other hand, I don't think willpower or religion are going to be my best friend for any long-term sobriety. I need to fix the underlying issues that make me want to escape, or numb-out.

I spend too much time in here  :D

Good luck to you, Jethro. And best wishes for continued success, PS and Tom.


Totte

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Re: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 02:08:11 PM »
I do not feel that PS said God is the only way.  He says it is multifaceted.  God and Christianity are one facet.  My husband used the research I did to get him on the right path.  He was so full of shame he  could not do it.  We committed to being a team.  And it worked for us.  Not everyone brings their wife into their recovery.  Many do not even tell her,  I was a discoverer.  So cat out of the bag.   It worked for us.

Sorry didn't see you answer!
No but to say it's much harder without God its like saying to a frozen man that come to church it's warmer here then in the hotel! And I think that, don't lead us to start believe in God if you haven't believed before.

And there you have a good solution for you, and I salute you for that!
But do it work for all persons? NO! But it helps me and others to read how others do. But to say its ” harder without God” it don't help, it have the opposite effect IMO.
But let's turn to help us get rid of PIED by getting rid of PMO!
Agreed?

Btw I am not saying that AA don't work which have God (higher power) in there system!
Works well for many.

I am not saying this, to start a wild discussion only keep God to a minimum and don't say it's easier!
Let's leave this discussion and concentrate on getting out of PMO!

Tom

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Re: Willpower or weakness......what's the difference and why don't they work?.
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 05:17:18 PM »
Hi everyone, I haven't posted in a while, so I thought that I'd give a shout out, just to let you know that I'm still alive. I've been thinking a lot lately about willpower and weakness, and why people who are addicted say that it doesn't work for them.
Well Jethro, from my own personal experience and from what I've learned on RN and elsewhere, strictly in regards to Porn its basically a bad habit we've taught ourselves.  On the face of it that sounds like something easy to deal with, but it goes deeper because of the areas of the brain involved.  Science has shown 80% of what we do in a given day, we do out of habit, this is a result of how we are made and it allows us to keep more of our conscious available to us as needed.  Another aspect of the Porn problem are the chemicals released while we are stimulated and of course at orgasm.  I forget the total number of chemicals involved, but Dopamine is one, which is linked to addiction and a second one I forget the name of, but is in the same family as heroine.  We all know how addictive heroine is and how destructive...  PMO is a powerful addiction and the longer and more intensely you've been using PMO the more difficult it can be to break the habit.  Neural pathways have been built in your brain and reinforced, but the good news is new pathways can be made to take their place, it just takes time and dedication, but its doable.


On the other side of the coin, you have the merits and the success stories of a 12 step program, and the many advocates for this road of recovery. Religious beliefs and faith in a Higher Power are also mentioned as possible paths to wellness. My question is, ( if that's the correct terminology ), is which one, or combinations of the ways described above is right?.
Obviously the more tools you deploy the better chance there is for success.  You can just stick to RN, do the HARD 90 reboot and many have succeeded with just this.  As I've said many times, it begins with honesty combined with sincere dedication and hard work.  Support groups can only help, but educating yourself is of great value too and highly recommended.  For me my falls showed me I wasn't dealing with my basic issue, which was "escapism".  Even when I wasn't using porn I'd just jump to something else, I had a half dozen things I used to escape with and porn was only 1 of them.  So now I'm working on replacing my need to escape with productive behavior.  This is why they recommend joining a gym or taking up new hobbies to replace the bad habits with productive ones.

Is it possible to combine several of the methods that I've outlined above and have a successful reboot?, or must you pick one way, and never look at any of the others, or can you use any, or all, of the ways described above to aid your reboot?. Just a thought, I would be interested in your opinions,
                      Be blessed,
                            Jethro.

I think you can combine techniques as long as you have the basic understanding and desire that there is NO going back to PMO.  Anything that stimulates dopamine in your brain aside from interaction with your partner is only going to set you back.

The things you MUST avoid that stimulate dopamine are listed below:
  • Porn & Porn substitutes
  • Masturbation
  • Fantasy
  • Self stimulation of any kind
  • Provocative Music, TV or Movies
  • Viewing Nudity

Recommended basic Defenses:
  • Install Image blocker on PC
  • Eliminate devices if need be.
  • Downgrade to Un-Smart phone
  • Avoid Social Media
  • Join a gym
  • Get outside more, spend less time alone.
  • Prayer & Meditation are useful if you are inclined
  • Reading scripture daily is helpful if you are inclined
  • Avoid Web surfing without a purpose

Lastly Jethro, there will be setbacks and there is some shame associated with getting out and being honest, but resist the temptation to beat yourself up too much, this usually results in further setbacks.  Focus on making adjustments in your defenses to be stronger as you move forward and just be honest with yourself.  For me I had to admit that I actually liked what I was doing and if you read scripture this goes along with where it says, "SIN comes out of the heart of man".  So I asked for a new heart and everyday I see more and more change and less of a desire to view porn.  On the few occasions where I came across some porn, I was disgusted and had no trouble leaving it behind very quickly.  You mentioned God and that's why I shared that part.

Peace, Dude.
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