Author Topic: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me  (Read 7825 times)

lyon03

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2017, 06:31:02 AM »
Well done on sex with your partner and resisting the gateway porn; or as I call it, "porn lite." Do you think the YouTube seeking was like a chaser effect? Was is the day after? I myself find that I masturbate from time to time the day after sex with my boyfriend because I find myself hypersexualized. Be well. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 

jjacks

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2017, 06:42:08 AM »

i like the "chaser" metaphor. for masturbating the day after having good sex I have done the same thing here a few times, sort of like celebrating my success ...

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2017, 12:29:20 PM »
Yes, the youtube searching was the day after. Id heard of the chaser idea before but didn't know what it meant. I guess that is another thing for me to look out for and avoid in future.
lyon I like the name you have for the youtube stuff "Gateway Porn". I've found myself sucked into a relapse with this several times in the past; it leads straight back to porn which as you say, is not an option.
My partner is away for a couple of days and here I am alone with a computer. I have decided to avoid searching for any stimulating material, and if I gat any strong urges I will get off here and do something else for a while.
Thanks guys for reading my post and giving me your thoughts.....Power to you in your porn free lives!

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2017, 09:58:09 AM »
I have found that the urges to view stimulating material have all but disappeared now, which is very good news. As I said, I nearly relapsed the other day. My thanks to Lyon for putting a name to that stuff ("Gateway Porn") Labelling it for what it is has really helped me reinforce my decision to avoid it. It is so easy for us to kid ourselves that a little bit of this or a little bit of that will be ok.
thanks for reading my stuff
-Strike

lyon03

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2017, 04:34:05 PM »
Thanks for posting Strike. I'm glad to have helped. That's the purpose of this forum: to encourage others while also exchanging information. So for every post I write, I try to encourage at least 3-5 other members with their own reboot/recovery. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2017, 12:12:47 PM »
I have made it to the 3 month mark! Hooray!!! I managed to go six months once but this is the longest I have ever  gone without porn since then - I have always relapsed within a month or so.

Of late I have had strong urges to look for nude pictures of women on the internet, there is a part of me which is trying to persuade me that its ok cos its not porn. I see this as my addicted brain trying to lure me back to using. When I decide not to give in to these urges I feel depressed. And when I get depressed I get the urges more. A bit of a loop that I have to be wary of.

It seems like I am mourning the loss of porn from my life. I may be missing the drugging effect when I feel low or stressed or bored -but I am definitely not missing the guilt, the self loathing, the deception, the low confidence, the wasted time, the energy drain, the stunted creativity -the toxic life-fuck that using porn is. As Lyon03 says: "Porn is not an option"

Thanks for reading

lyon03

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2017, 06:35:27 AM »
Thanks for sharing strike. If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest reading "Your Brain on Porn." What you've described is similar to something I experienced my first six months of reboot. I believe it's at about the 90-day mark that our brains start breaking down DeltaFosB which is a neurochemical that tells us to repeat things that are pleasurable and rewarding. As you may already know, we are really addicted to dopamine, or the brain's pleasure neurotransmitter. So we suffer from porn-induced dopamine addiction. Think of dopamine like running water and DeltaFosB like the irrigation ditches. What you're doing now is the equivalent of trying to find pleasure in a way that runs counter current or maybe even at right angles to your brain's pleasure centre. For example, in early reboot I'd often find myself just hypnotically typing the URL of a porn-tube when I wanted to type: www.pornaddictsanonymous.org. Similarly, I found that I'd go to the gym and yet sexualize everyone there out of habit. After all, I'd trained my brain to think everything and everyone was in a potential porn scene. I believe these "automaton" responses, reactions, and cravings started to subside around the 6-9 month mark. Thanks again for sharing your experience friend. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION. 

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #32 on: September 20, 2017, 12:44:38 PM »

 Yeah it seems like riding a bike at right angles to the grooves of habit -a bumpy uncomfortable time, with spells when we end up back in the hated grooves. New grooves are slowly being worn in our new, healthy direction, but it takes time I guess....
I will take your advice and give that book a read. Looking forward to easier times, however far down the line they are for me

Thanks Lyon for your perspective and advice

lyon03

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2017, 11:02:32 AM »
My pleasure. Reading "Your Brain on Porn" and other books about addiction helped me overcome the shame associated with addictive behaviour. When I learned that I was addicted to the neurostimulant dopamine, not just lusty x-rated videos, the science helped. Seeing my addictions in scientific terms helped me detach and see them in neurological, rather than emotional or perhaps even biblical, terms. It helped to know that I wasn't just an "evil sinner" but someone who got hooked on porn-induced dopamine addiction. Thanks again for sharing. Keep coming back. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.   

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2017, 06:18:50 AM »
Feeling down again today, but I really think this is positive as it is partly a result of letting go of my porn use, and deciding not to travel along the avenues that would lead me to relapse. Grieving for the loss of my crutch, my fucked up attempt to 'cope' with difficult feelings.

This morning I talked with my partner about things I feel down about in life at the moment (not the porn though as I haven't told her about this yet) This was very positive and a step forward as I am generally not very good at asking for, and receiving, support from other people

Thanks for reading guys
-Strike

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2017, 12:35:25 AM »
Hi Strike,

how are you?

I find that open honesty is incredibly cathartic ( and sexy!!! )
So few of us dare to do this because of inherent shame or regret
but it is those who dare to accept their imperfections that can go forth and achieve the greatest things
They are not more perfect than we are, but they are less hindered than we are, because their flaws do not hinder them like we believe our flaws hinder us. Instead of busy hiding it, they can openly improve on it.
In fact, they are proud of their flaws, as they are proud of their strength.
Combined, they are doubly prouder and stronger than we are. Wow amazing !

Go forth and be strong and open my friend.
No man is an island, and to go the distance, we should enlist all the help we can get.
And others DO want to help you!
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

negativity > depression > ACTION > non-self pity > Goals > growth > STRENGTH > REALITY > Attention > Interests > Challenge > Choice > COURAGE > I LOVE MYSELF > Masculinity > UnBlock > selfheal

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2017, 06:33:24 AM »
Thanks for that, TAN, your words make good sense.

Right now I don't feel strong enough to tell my other half about my struggle, but it is something I would very much like to do when (or if) the time is right.

Ive been going through quite a deep low these last few days, but thankfully my mood has lifted a little overnight and today feels more positive and hopeful.
Due in part at least to the fact that I have cut out all sexy image/youtube video searching which I was doing occasionally in small amounts ....I was stopping short of anything erotic or featuring sex acts, and not doing any masturbation. The problem was that I was going in small steps toward relapse as I have done in the past.

My decision is to suffer my low mood rather than let it drive me back to that hated place of using. And trust that things will get better (with the expected ups and downs along the way) with healthy thinking, good food, exercise, this forum, meditation etc

I think that depression and difficult feelings have driven me to porn use through my life, and this porn use has led to an exacerbation of these things, making them a whole lot worse. For example, social anxiety increases hugely with the shame that we feel about using.
 
I had a disturbing memory today. I remembered word for word parts of stories from porn magazines I read 30 to 40 years ago! They didn't turn me on -they were just going through my mind -wierd!

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2017, 08:53:30 AM »
Strike,

I empathize with you.
I had a difficult day today too.

Remember, addiction is hardest to cure through cold turkey. It is always better to have a simple replacement.
crave cigarettes ? play the rubix cube
crave PMO? practice your guitar.

I just realized this:
Everytime we endured a rough patch, we grow stronger and more confident in ourselves.
When we turn to PMO to get over the patch, we deny our chance to learn from this experience and be stronger.
Day after day of PMO, we miss this chance.
Imagine a grain of sand in strength and confidence gained for each day of facing our fears and not escaping through PMO
10*365 = 3650 grains of sand in 10 years.
That's a lot of grains of confidence we've missed out in 10 years !

So how do we get over rough patches without turning to PMO?
1. always remember the bigger picture. In time, this too will pass
2. practice cognitive behavior therapy by repeating positive words in our head.
3. aim to collect today's grain for tomorrow's sand castle
4. Take a moment to explore this emotion. Ask where and why is it coming from. Ask factual questions is it reasonable or justified? Breath. Question it deeply and repeatedly until you are comfortable that it and your reality are 2 seperate things. Only reality matters.
5. practice self love !!!


I am also starting to question if we were really depressed or is our life long depression PMO caused or it is our opinion.
I've been deeply depressed for the better part of these last 5 months so i know how terrible and grey life was then
but i also think depression is possibly a state of mind.
If so we must learn to change the way we think, and become more positive.
to completely forsake and forget our past, and decide from this point onwards that whatever we experience is not depression or self pity, but just another day with ups and downs, just like what everyone else is experiencing, nothing more, nothing less.
we are no more special or less able than others. we are all the same.

I spoke with a monk recently on depression. His words were most touching.
"You are never alone. There are hundreds of thousands of lonely depressed people just like you. you are not alone"

This is a tricky topic, I am just beginning to explore it
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results"
So for us to be better, more than we were before, we must do some rework/reinvention of ourselves.
Its probably very difficult and uncomfortable, but nothing easy was ever meaningful.

"if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him" -> if i apply my old ways/habits/outlook, i need to kill it

Don't take things, low days or even depression, personally. This is something worth considering!

peace to you my brother. the weekend is almost here.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 09:16:18 AM by TakeActionNow »
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
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Maximus76

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2017, 03:27:18 AM »
Hey brother. Just want to say, MAN you are strong! You keep going despite the depression and low periods. A true inspiration.

I'm 100% sure it will start paying dividends real soon!  Me, I'm still stuck in the cycle of relapsing when things feels too shitty :(  ...guess that's why I admire you so much.

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2017, 08:34:21 AM »
Strike,
actually its kinda easy when depressed. Cos I'm so grey and interestless. Suicide was the bigger danger.
Now that I'm rolling, urges are coming more frequently cos the mind is moving and ideas are popping.

I know what you mean about shitty states. Thats my major weakness too. I just want a quick feel good hit like pmo.

Thing is, I'm coming to realize and accept that everything emotional from the mind CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Emotions are not rational. They are formed from habit and practice. They care not past and future. Only now. And they are craving in nature. That is why they are so dangerous.

Spend the time questioning the emotion.
Why do i feel sad. Do i need to?
Is this permanent? What are my life goals?
What is the factual right thing to do now?

You'll come to realize that your logical mind has the proper and right answers.

I'm working on brainwashing myself now.
When I'm running, i keep saying I'm strong, I'm fast. It takes my mind away from my physical pain.
When I'm angry or filled w hate, i keep saying I'm happy I'm happy.
Amazingly, it actually works!

Reality is the perception in our mind.
Change the perception and we change our reality.

We WERE addicts because we WERE controlled by our emotions.
Take charge of our emotions NOW and we begin to take charge of our life, our destiny.
Outlook, attitude, aptitude all follows.

Write with me my brother.
Few understand me like you do.
Everyone's doing behavioral change.
But few realize that mind leads choice and behavior, so its really mind that needs changing

Be strong and optimistic.
It is only the abundant and positive mindset that can lead you to salvation
No self pity cos thats entitlement.
Only unlimited self love and the choice that you deserve the very best life has to offer, that you choose yourself over everything else matters.

This mind change selfhelp really works.
Change your mind, and you change your reality.

We have long chosen pleasure over performance.
Now is time to do your best and chose performance over pleasure. Performance rewards far better than pleasure.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 08:42:30 AM by TakeActionNow »
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

negativity > depression > ACTION > non-self pity > Goals > growth > STRENGTH > REALITY > Attention > Interests > Challenge > Choice > COURAGE > I LOVE MYSELF > Masculinity > UnBlock > selfheal

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2017, 05:54:04 AM »
Thankyou, TAN.

I have been away with the other half for a couple of days visiting family. I didn't feel like it, but once we were there I really enjoyed it -new places, new experiences.
Still struggling to avoid searching for the "Gateway Porn" of images/videos of scantily clad women. Succeeding mostly and reigning myself in quickly when I succumb. What I am aiming for is to avoid this shit altogether as I am too aware of the danger of relapse that I am putting myself in.
Ive also found that I am constantly trying to get an "eyeful" of women I see in my daily life -my mind is seeking its drug wherever it can find it!

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2017, 10:37:06 AM »
Strike,
I'm concern for you my brother.
You have to find out what's making you crave to search.
Also you got to do the cold turkey of not searching. To know yourself. To prove to yourself you can do it.
We are NOT connected to our emotions, that's why we find it difficult to control our ways.
To gain back control is to experience and learn.
Looking for pics is only the symptom.
You've got to find out the root.

Does straying seeking eyes = lack of focus?
If so can you find something to focus your life on?

There are ways.
Please my friend, don't suffer needlessly. Find ways that work for you, and apply them. You can do it.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 11:04:40 AM by TakeActionNow »
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

negativity > depression > ACTION > non-self pity > Goals > growth > STRENGTH > REALITY > Attention > Interests > Challenge > Choice > COURAGE > I LOVE MYSELF > Masculinity > UnBlock > selfheal

lyon03

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2017, 05:26:04 AM »
Thanks for sharing Strike. I'd recommend setting up a porn filter for your computer or smartphone. K9 seemed the most effective for me. I think it's normal to have a "negotiation phase" of addiction. I did and it sounded a bit like this:

- Still photos (not videos) of naked men aren't porn
- I'll just watch the porn without jerking off
- Erotic fiction isn't pornography

And so on. Some people I know from a 12-step porn programme write out exact what's considered acceptable and not acceptable behaviour. I believe this is called an 'inventory' of sorts. Perhaps you could write out what exactly what you consider safe and addictive behaviours. Food for thought! Thinking of you my friend. Love Lyon.


Inner_Light

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2017, 06:33:40 AM »
I like Lyon's idea of the inventory of what's acceptable and what's not.  The process of thinking through what goes on that list and what doesn't should be valuable.  For example, is fantasizing sex with actual women I see porn?  I say not (I actually want to increase the degree to which I respond sexually to attractive women).  But what DOES go on the list is allowing that to be a trigger for watching porn rather than having real sex. 

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." -James Stockdale.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2017, 06:58:07 AM »
Thankyou Lyon and TAN.

TAN you are right, I have to do the cold turkey of not searching, get down to the roots and dig them out! Behind the urge to search are things like low mood, anxiety, uncertainty and very low self esteem. When searching, I am totally focussed on and excited by what I'm looking for and these problems don't seem to exist any more.....
I'm working on these drivers -it takes time as I'm sure you know from your own experience of learning to love and be kind to yourself. Childhood was a nightmare, and I suspect that I may need to deal with some trauma.

Lyon, writing that list is a great idea. I suppose I've had an unwritten list of sorts in my mind already, which is evolving over time and I have been crossing things off along the way. Things I have crossed off so far are:

"I'll set a timer and just watch porn for half an hour"
"Its ok to just watch porn now and again, such as on weekends"
"I can just download my favourite videos and leave it at that -they may disappear off the net and I'll lose them for ever if I don't"
"I can have a stash and stop searching for porn"
"Still pictures of porn are ok, I wont watch videos"
....all of these things meant instant relapse, and I learned from the experience.

Very recently I crossed this one off:

"Its ok to watch sexy videos on youtube" -this includes videos that are not classified as sexy, but which I find sexually exciting/titillating

Still on the list is:

"Its ok to look at nude pictures, so long as they are not from a porn site"

But I am coming round to believing that this must be crossed off too. It has led slowly to relapse before and is likely to again if I carry on. It is part of my addiction.

Yes, I have decided now to stop searching for sexy pictures. This means anything anywhere that I find sexually interesting/exciting.
Wow. This feels like quite a step.

Had sex with my other half last night -it was loving, and really good and we felt close. I feel very happy about it and about the fact that it wasn't a struggle for me this time. I am on my guard about the "chaser effect" that some of you guys have mentioned though!



Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2017, 07:32:34 AM »
The last couple of days have been a true test for me and my resolve as my girlfriend has been away from home and I have had plenty of opportunity to use, along with some of my triggers (tiredness, boredom, loneliness)
No porn use or searching for sexy pics, so I pass with flying colours!
Instead I read some of "Your Brain On Porn", did some drawing and painting, visited a friend, and started volunteering in my community among other things.
This is my true path -and Strike is striking it!
It feels so good to be recovering I want to cry

lyon03

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2017, 07:51:28 AM »
Excellent post! There is no better feeling, nor greater (natural) high, than being our authentic selves. Well done my friend! PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:35:49 AM by lyon03 »

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2017, 04:43:38 AM »
Thanks Lyon.

Its great to have this forum for sharing the achievements and good times as well as the difficult stuff. Sharing, giving and receiving encouragement on this journey of recovery.

I am thinking that it may be good to always consider myself to be in recovery, because on the one hand I know that it would be dangerous to allow myself to become complacent; and on the other I'm seeing that recovery is not just about abstaining from using but about creating a healthy, fulfilling, meaningful life.

Looking forward to my girlfriends return today -I've been missing her

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2017, 07:39:56 AM »
Not sure what to add to my last post, things are going along ok. Girlfriend came back -now gone away again. So at home alone but I have no urge to use right now. Going to read some more of "your brain on porn" and more of that link that TAN gave to me, and also get on with some music and art as now is a good time to do creative stuff cos I will have free reign of the flat for a couple of days.

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2017, 09:46:03 AM »
Hi Strike,

do take some time to meditate.
It is wonderful and liberating, and very good for the soul.
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
Purpose before Person

negativity > depression > ACTION > non-self pity > Goals > growth > STRENGTH > REALITY > Attention > Interests > Challenge > Choice > COURAGE > I LOVE MYSELF > Masculinity > UnBlock > selfheal