Author Topic: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery  (Read 11886 times)

UKGuy

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #250 on: July 30, 2020, 02:39:54 AM »
Don't be too hard on yourself Shade - self kindness not self blame! You've had a lot to contend with recently.
I think the role of the practical interventions are to recognise that we can't beat it by will power alone, or to use WIPUK's metaphor that the 'path to Brighton' is wider and more well worn. The practical interventions are there to put a roadblock on the path to Brighton and force us down a different route whilst the weeds and bushes grow on the path making it less easy to take in the future. Take care and have a good day.

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #251 on: August 02, 2020, 04:37:39 PM »
Short update, i have been busy. I did manage to keep the phone out of the bedroom since my last relapse. Sleep has improved and therefore less urge to relapse.


Will update more elaborate soon.


Take care guys
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

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UKGuy

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #252 on: August 03, 2020, 02:38:40 AM »
Great news Shade. Sounds really encouraging on both fronts - no PMO and better sleep. Have a good day.

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #253 on: August 03, 2020, 04:16:12 PM »
Hey Guys,

A more elaborate post today as promised. I've let the forum slip to the background the last couple of days, it's something I don't like.

Had a rough weekend, some struggles with the wife. Because she's still struggling with that damn covid virus she's still fragile. But, I've been ignoring my own symptoms as well. Because lately, besides the bouts of fatigue, i've been having a lot of brain fog. Not the post PMO brain fog but a covid brain fog. After PMO its a day, maybe 3 in bad situations. But the last couple of weeks have been a haze for me. I didn't even see it myself, it had to be pointed out to me. So because of this i've been extra forgetful, scattered and frankly left me in a unaware state of mind most of the time. This also explains the relapses i've had the past weeks.

Now, as learned from previous posts and comments; I know what's going on; now how am I to respond to counter it.
As said yesterday, my phone has not been in the bedroom for almost a week now and I've experienced it as very positive.
I've talked with my manager and informed him of the stuggles i'm having on the cognitive part and I'm making a doctors appointment. If only for having it documented.
I've started using more to do lists at work and at home. It's not perfect but I'm working on it.
Actively trying to watch less tv (which is something I easily do when I'm tired) and replace it by walking, going on here or reading a book
The other thing I think I need is to approach situations with an approach similar like the 6PP, key point being that I recognize that I am tired or scattered. Because in those situations I am most susceptible to a relapse.

That's it for today, thanks for reading guys!
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

imsorrynotsorry

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #254 on: August 04, 2020, 04:07:02 PM »
Quote
As said yesterday, my phone has not been in the bedroom for almost a week now and I've experienced it as very positive.

A key sentence for me. Changes like that are easy and only need a few discipline but they can work great positive energy. Hold on to that.

How do you feel when it comes to your self esteem? Do you do enough for your good state of self-being?

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #255 on: August 07, 2020, 01:25:16 AM »
Thanks Imsorrynotsorry,


As well as the phone not being in the bedroom is going. I've noticed that being alone with my phone is a trigger on its own. I do carry it with me all the time. But I also always know where it is. So for instance when I am going for a bath, I will bring it and that in itself is a relapse possibility. If I am going for a nap in our bedroom and I bring my phone with me (which would be a violation of the no phone rule) it is a chance for a relapse.

conclusion is not that my phone is the relapse trigger, but the question of why do I feel the need to bring my phone with me to occasions where I am supposed to unwind and relax?" To me this question at the moment is an important one.
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

Icandoit

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #256 on: August 07, 2020, 05:59:08 AM »
Thanks Imsorrynotsorry,


As well as the phone not being in the bedroom is going. I've noticed that being alone with my phone is a trigger on its own. I do carry it with me all the time. But I also always know where it is. So for instance when I am going for a bath, I will bring it and that in itself is a relapse possibility. If I am going for a nap in our bedroom and I bring my phone with me (which would be a violation of the no phone rule) it is a chance for a relapse.

conclusion is not that my phone is the relapse trigger, but the question of why do I feel the need to bring my phone with me to occasions where I am supposed to unwind and relax?" To me this question at the moment is an important one.

The brain associates things with porn relapses. It could be entering your bedroom where you watch porn all the time, it could be bringing the phone with you to your room because you watch porn on your phone etc. Dopamine raises and it makes you feel good and that watching porn is the best thing you could do in that moment. Rearranging things around to trick those associations could help, like moving the computer away from your room, living the phone outside etc. It's like, when I went to work, I didn't experience any urges but when I returned home and entered my room BAM! Before I knew, I jumped on the chair in front of the computer and pistoned my leg up and down impatiently while waiting the computer to turn on.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 06:01:45 AM by Icandoit »

imsorrynotsorry

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #257 on: August 07, 2020, 03:43:45 PM »
I see the complexicity and it is the exact same thing with me or almost everyone today, who uses as smartphone. We're 'married' to them. For me it helped to make some digital detox, like deleting all unnecessary apps (especially social media and games), don't use my phone when there are other people around me, which is way more respectful in my opinion, but i'm a hardliner on this.

What i really wanted to point out: You've decided to let the phone outside of the bedroom. This is going well so far. Now, how much discomfort does this cause you? Is this something you can imagine doing 6 months? If yes, decide on yourself how long you want that to happen. With that strategy i want to avoid you looking at every situation in your life with the phone and just start with one very specific situation. All the other situations you can point out later.

Orbiter

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #258 on: August 09, 2020, 07:11:29 AM »
Personally i'm a firm believer in both leaving phones out of the bedroom and minimizing the concerning dependency we all have on them in general. It's such a simple thing to do but the difference it can make to our lives is considerable. I banned my phone from the bedroom mid last year and since then i've made leaps and bounds not only in my ability to stay clean for longer periods of time but also my sleep has improved considerably without having it as a crutch. Also I feel the time between going to bed and falling asleep is an important time of the day to reflect, process and, if necessary, accept and make peace with the events of the day. Obviously these are merely my views and experiences and we're all different, but I encourage you to keep doing what you're doing all the same as it clearly works.

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #259 on: August 09, 2020, 08:07:30 AM »
Hey Guys, thanks for all of your imput, support, advice and general recognition of the things I struggle with, I post it in newcomers threads often, but the recognition from other fellow (ex)addicts really helps you feel less alone.

Icandoit; You are totally right in the fact that my associative mind correlates my phone in bed  and being on the computer/laptop at midnight with porn use.  Regarding the dopamine thing; what I've also noticed is that when i do peek at P but not MO i also get cranky and thrown of the next day. Like i've had a placebo encounter in which the brain expects certain behaviour but does not get it..What you describe as coming home and somehow magically sitting behind the computes is what I had when the wife went out and I was home alone. That would be an instant click and all of a sudden in sitting behind the screen pants on my ankles so to speak..

Imsorrynotsorry; we are married to those devices. It's funny that a device that could bring humanity so much good is wasted on dumb mindless and useless stuff like social media, gossip, spreading of hate and porn. I already deleted fb a couple of years ago and the only 'stupid' thing i now watch is 9gag.. But i've already deleted that app a while ago and I now occasionally browse it.. But I don't know why it brings me nothing.

I also like what you said about the question of how much discomfort not having my phone in the bedroom brings me, because i've asked myself that question as well. And the answer is zero; in fact it adds comfort.

Orbiter; I to have noticed an increase in sleep quality and the wife and I now also use it in terms to reflect on the day. We ask eachother the following questions; 1, name three things you are happy with today 2. What are you grateful for today? This really helps in getting closer to eachother but also in seeing the positive things in life.


That all being said; I did relapse two nights ago so today is day 2. As you might expect; the expected pitfall. We slept downstairs due to the heat (it was 37/38 (98 - 100 for the american people on here) ) because there we have airconditioning. But i couldnt sleep so I've decided to try it upstairs in bed and in an oblivious state i brought my phone. Couldnt sleep and PMO'd to pictures. It was as short one, but a relapse none the less.

The next day I did tell my wife who was, of course, very supportive and forgiving. Today we also talked about it and I told her about the previous lapses in judgement. The conclusion is that the main problem is sleep related. This has been especially hard during the times that I myself had difficulty sleeping due covid. We also discussed that I find it hard to get a long period clean of relapses. So we've mutually decided that I am going to focus on a single month for starters. And then we will observe, recollect and look forward again. But the following rules apply; no phones in my direct vicinity. Active website blocking via my PiHole raspberry Pi device (this is something I use for blocking adds, so why not use it for blocking porn? And a fully open and transparent policy towards when I have had a relapse or only peeked at porn. This last thing is important because i've noticed that although i thought it was best not to tell at certain times, that the stress of not telling was also a trigger.


Thanks for reading guys
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

imsorrynotsorry

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #260 on: August 09, 2020, 03:20:01 PM »
Hello Shade,

Great what you've planned. For starters a month is a like a huge mountain and you cannot even see the peak. I wish you all the best for that, the energy and willpower one will need for that. Remember the 6PP, the urges will fade.
Those night moments when there is no sleep is when all the other protective measures are sleeping aswell, you know that. Therefore i wish you good and chilly nights.

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #261 on: August 10, 2020, 04:39:35 PM »
Those night moments when there is no sleep is when all the other protective measures are sleeping aswell, you know that.

Very true words, thanks! To deal with the sleepless nights we've thrown the whole house upside down; we're both sleeping in the living room because that is where the airconditioning is lol. So we're both sleeping on  our mattresses in the living room in a nice 22 degrees celsius (beats the 30 degrees in the bedroom).. I am always hoping for steaming nights in the bedroom, but not like this lol

Urgewise I am doing okay-ish. Felt sluggish the whole day due to this thick moist blanket of unrelentless heat. Why is it that in commercial property the a/c is always serviced when needed the most? The office was almost unbearable so I went home a little early. We had some dinner, watched some tv and played with the new kitten. We've been talking about a kitten and now seemed like the perfect time because my wife is constantly home and we wanted to bring something positive in our lives to distract a little from the constant covid struggle. This seems to be working very well :)

I'm also thinking on where I want to be at the end of the year, but most importantly on the how of it. I've been on this forum for a nice 8 months now but I feel that I can do better. Not in a beat myself up kind of way but more like I think i have not grasped every opportunity to beat this addiction. So as indicated earlier I will now first focus on a single month. It may indeed seem like a mountain, but I've done it before and I know that I can do it. Lately there were  a lot of struggles and I've let them get the best of me. The easy thing would be to blame external influences like sleepless nights due to heat or stress or whatever and while those make it more difficult of course, in the end the true fight is within and how you deal with the setbacks or extra challenges. It is that wall of defense  that you see mentioned on here often. Because sleepless nights can most of the time be anticipated and because of that actions can be taken to make sure that there is no relapse.

So for me the how is staying on top of it. When I've scrolled back through this thread and also pondering about the past months I notice that I let my attention slip after a while. I get complacent. I allow the urges to creep back in and have not always fully committed to my own deviced 6PP. And the 6PP is not enough. The 6PP is great as a last defence but there should be more defensive walls in place. One of those is seeing the gradual build up towards a relapse. From my experience it is not a 'momentary' lapse but a sequence of events and choices in the days before the relapse. It is the recognition of that mechanism, getting insight in my own self-sabotaging behaviour before it reaches critical mass.

I will ponder some more on this.


Have a good one gentlemen

« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 12:36:43 AM by ShadeTrenicin »
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ShadeTrenicin

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #262 on: August 12, 2020, 02:36:33 AM »
Today is day 5 and i've noticed the urges coming back again. Already yesterday.
Sleep is still terrible, even with the ac unit blasting at full power. So the last couple of nights were not good. Therefore I have to be extra careful of relapsing since sleep deprivation and the loss of cognitive strengh (i.e. willpower) really cuts into my defenses.

Fortunately we both sleep downstairs so there is nowhere for me to go to to relapse, this already takes away the opportunity and with that a great deal of the automated mechanism. Phone is still far away from where I sleep.

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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

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Orbiter

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #263 on: August 12, 2020, 06:49:01 AM »
Good job staying vigilant Shade! Managing urges at day 5 is hard enough but fatigue and that loss of cognitive strength makes it so much harder. All the more important to stay away from any screens during this time you've identified as a dangerous one. Just ride it out a few days more and the worst of the chaser effect will be behind you.

You can do it!

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery
« Reply #264 on: Today at 03:39:58 AM »
Thanks for the support Orbiter! It's much appreciated!

Today is day 6 :)
Yesterday was ok i guess.. The heat wave is still very much present, sleepless nights are also still a thing. Had a nice quick chat with the Mrs. yesterday after we watch a documentary series and one of the episodes was about tantra.. At the start there were quite some suggestive images (not nudity) but suggestive enough so I told my wife that it triggered my urges. She was happy that I told her and we briefly talked about why I am doing hard mode again. It was a relief to talk about it and I noticed that afterwards I felt more relaxed and less tense.

So for today the program is heat, combined with more heat. But somehow i'm getting used to it. The phone routine while sleeping is still in place (YES!). The next step would be to detox myself from that device. I notice that when I am not feeling 100% at ease I immediately grab my phone (much like P) In fact my phone is a substitute for P in a way.

Thanks for reading guys!
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0