Author Topic: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me  (Read 7824 times)

lyon03

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2017, 02:35:06 AM »
Thanks for the update Strike. Please post here if you feel the loneliness or "porn itch" start creeping up on you. I look forward to your next update. PORN IS NOT AN OPTION.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2017, 06:25:51 AM »
Thanks Lyon.
I'm having a lot of stress in my life right now and that itch is definitely there -I scratched it by searching for nude figures "for my life drawing practice" Didn't lead on to porn use or masturbation (or any life drawing), but I know it was another near relapse. Lyon you call this stuff "Gateway porn" which is a good way of labelling it.
In a link given me by TAN from another site a guy advises that its best to not search for anything sexually interesting (artificial stimulation) -that it will easily lead to relapse. I know this from my own experience, yet I'm finding this searching for nudity very difficult to stop -that's the addiction. I'm finding it tough to really commit to cutting this searching out during emotionally difficult times. 
So I guess I need to stay aware of how gateway porn can lead back to porn use, stay keyed in to my feelings and stay off the computer when I am at risk of searching. At the same time though I need to continue to build the life I want.

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2017, 12:12:46 PM »
Strike, my thoughts are with you.

I have 2 techniques to share w you.

1
I learnt that when meeting someone you are fearful of, imagine them naked and having a going to cum face. That always puts a smile on my face. :)
Similarly,  there are some harsh Buddhist techniques i know of to help people move away from attachment to sex or life. It is to slowly visualize people towards a state of decay until beyond death. The idea is nothing is permanent. I dont advise you to try this, because it has powerful mental effects, but it is very effective in teaching impermanence. Please research deeply before you do.

2
A better way perhaps is to keep drilling the whys, so you can move beyond blurry emotions and figure out your real motives.

That girl i keep yoyoing in love with, i get very excited when i think of calling her. Tbh i dont know why.
Then i do the whys and realize it might not be excitement of talking to her, but fear of rejection from her, or the fear that the reality of 'our relationship' doesnt exist. (It doesnt)

But it is so subtle i couldnt tell the difference between desire and fear until i drill down.
The drilling down helps me to clarify my emotions and select more appropriate next steps
I realized and ask myself why am i depending on her for my own happiness?
If my happiness is my priority, it should originate from within, and not be determined from external stimulus.

And then just like that, the attachment is gone and i am free to do other things.

Stress may not be a bad thing. It stretches you and makes you stronger. The same difficult life experiences if viewed differently can present very different perspectives.

My old personal experience of heading for p is to run away from difficulties. Today my preference at going head-on into my difficulties is far more rewarding.

Take care my friend. I have faith you will be stronger.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 12:15:27 PM by TakeActionNow »
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Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #53 on: October 24, 2017, 01:21:14 PM »
Thanks for that TAN
I started another voluntary job recently. At the moment I am out of work and it feels great to be contributing to the community, doing something worthwhile and meeting people. It doesn't cost anything, either, which is good as I have no money coming in! My attention is off my own thoughts for a while, which is really good for me as I tend to dwell on the negative a bit more than is healthy....
Tonight I am alone at home but I feel much stronger. The other half is away and I have the opportunity but I am going to do some art work instead of seeking stimulating pictures.
Time for me to properly commit to avoiding searching for any kind of sexually stimulating material ("Gateway Porn", which is anything stimulating -whether it was designed to be stimulating or not)
So I am going to start counting my days free of this kind of stuff, as well as my days free of porn

I am now 125 days porn free (wow I hadn't realised how long that was!)

....and 6 days free of Gateway Porn

....and counting.

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2017, 07:39:57 AM »
11 days free of searching for gateway porn.

By this I mean searching for scantily clad women wherever I can find them (except on porn sites which I never go to now) but mostly on youtube or tumblr.

I have stopped doing it because I believe it is maintaining my addiction and also because it puts me in great danger of relapsing.
It has led to relapse for me several times in the past before I came to this forum.

My pattern was to give up watching porn but after a few days I would begin to search for the gateway porn. At times I would stumble upon "hard" images and resist investigating them. But eventually I would get triggered and give in...and I would be back in that nasty place we all know so well. Sometimes it would take a week, sometimes two, but mostly it happened around the one month stage.

So this time round I have been on my guard and haven't searched so much for the gateway porn, but I've reached the conclusion this far down the line that I have to give this up altogether.

It has been 130 days since I gave up porn, but Ive read accounts by guys on here who have relapsed at over 100 days or even 200 days -so there can be no room for complacency.

Yesterday I had some very intense cravings, today I feel ok. I have a feeling this final letting go is going to be tough for me, and I think its very important to continue building a good life for myself doing the things out there in the world that I enjoy and bring me a sense of purpose and meaning.
Creativity, work, family, friends, relationship are all things that suffered from my addiction and they are all improving now. It is good to see positive benefits.


TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2017, 08:06:29 PM »
Strike,
I'm with you.
Stay free of any stimulus, however small. They snowball very quickly and so are all dangerous.

Next, give a try to ride through your emotions and cravings.without labelling them, just to know their nature.
Feel them build up , peak and then pass away.
Soon you will come to realize they are like an itch, a pain... All the same, just a sensation that is impermanent.

You're fine and strong. You're doing great!

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Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #56 on: October 31, 2017, 05:20:32 AM »
TAN, thanks for your support and encouragement -just what I needed to hear this morning.
I will do as you suggest and try as best I can to experience the emotions and urges as they come and go.

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #57 on: November 03, 2017, 10:44:10 AM »
Hey Strike, how are you?

I had a little chance today to not label and experience my emotions
without labels the feelings felt rather neutral
afterwards, I became somewhat withdrawn and inward looking.
not sure why, but its ok.
i guess it happens to all of us
one with myself ? haha that's rather nice actually

i'll be bright and sunny tomorrow : )
Self Worth, Self Respect, Self Love
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Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #58 on: November 03, 2017, 12:25:25 PM »
Thanks for the shout TAN
I'm ok thanks, just a little busy with visitors here. So not much alone time to post on here -and less temptation, which is good.
Managing to stay away from the gateway porn, but as I say, less temptation right now.
Started doing some qigong exercise today to see what it does for my energy levels and clarity of mind.

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2017, 06:46:31 PM »
Qigong?
Then you have to read this from the success stories page

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14359.msg145747#msg145747

Awesome effort on his part for translating. I'm looking forward to more from him
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 #60 on: November 10, 2017, 06:43:45 AM »
Thanks TAN that made interesting reading.

My attempts to do regular qigong have been hampered by a pulled muscle n my shoulder but I hope to be back on track soon.

I had a couple of minor relapses in searching for (soft) nudity but managed to limit it. I am still aiming my target of avoiding searching for anything I find sexually exciting.

It has been nearly five months since I searched for or viewed porn, and now I am focussing on dealing with the urge to view nude/scantily dressed women. Minor stuff compared to the hard porn, but from reading "Your brain on porn" recently I know that by doing it I am keeping the addiction pathways going in my brain. This slows down my reboot and increases the danger of sliding back to using porn.

I'm going away on holiday now for a week or so, with no opportunity to search for nudity and I will be using the break to think of some strategies to move forward with this latest challenge.

Thanks for reading guys and I will aim to get a bit more active on here again when I get back.

Punk Monk

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2017, 04:55:44 PM »
"Gateway porn"! Nice term! Because that is exactly what it is. (Sorry...I'm just now realizing that you've been calling it that for some time).

And yes, it definitely slows down the reboot process. It's like a recovering alcoholic having a "small drink" or even a "sip of beer" every day. The whole idea to free one's self from the need. Can't do that if you want it even a little.

Good luck, man. Enjoy those holidays.

P. Monk

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #62 on: November 21, 2017, 06:04:57 AM »
Thanks PunkMonk the label "Gateway porn" is one of Lyons inventions -I have adopted it as it is such a good one as you say. The hols were very relaxing with great weather.

Today it has been five months since I gave up porn -wow. The longest I have gone before was six months, but that was not as "clean" as this as I was constantly searching for hardcore nudity (but justified it by telling myself it was ok because it wasn't from an actual porn site)
This time round it has been "soft" images (the gateway porn) that I have searched for on an on-and-off basis and I am working on eliminating this altogether. Slipping and learning my way along as I did with the hard stuff.
Sex with my partner has not been happening often, I wish I could be reliably horny -but I'm not, even after being off the porn for well over the 90 days and only masturbating once during all that time (without using porn). I find this very frustrating and quite depressing really.

The rest of life has improved immensely, especially the way I feel about  myself which has led to increased confidence and I feel more at ease when I am with people. I have built up a routine of voluntary work as a way of contributing to the community and as a route into paid work; also I am doing loads more drawing and painting.

I think I am on the right track and need to carry on as I am, whilst cutting out the gateway porn. Extra things I would like to do are more exercise, more meditation and to spend more time with friends.

Punk Monk

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #63 on: November 24, 2017, 06:16:05 PM »
I hear ya, Strike.

The "soft" images have always been my drug of choice (so to speak). The fantasy of being with a gorgeous, photoshopped celebrity just fueled the fantasy fire. And it the end of the day, it's the dependence on the fantasy the kills (or at the very least severely impedes) our interaction with the real world.

The challenge, of course, is that's it's everywhere. Even "legit" news sites like USAToday, CNN or Fox all have some section about "see how so and so got into bikini shape" or how "such and such 'stunned' on the red carpet".  In that respect, I find avoiding the "soft" images almost harder than staying away from straight up porn. So kudos to you for staying clear.

I think I've been able to stay off the Gateway stuff for a good three weeks and I'm definitely noticing a change (for the better). The challenge will be when The Missus has her period (and "the store is closed for the week" as she says). That's usually when I give myself license to self gratify. Of course, it can be done without porn...gateway or otherwise. But...it's a challenge.

The key, as you alluded, is to occupy your mind with other creative outlets. Keep up with the drawing and painting. For me it's composing music and writing short short stories. Often, when I sit down at the computer, instead of opening up the browser, I'll either pop open Cubase or MS Word.

To paraphrase the old saying..."And idle mind is the Devil's playground".

Monk

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2017, 05:55:24 AM »
thanks Monk

Yeah seems like everywhere we look someone is using arousing images or words as bait to draw us in -we are biologically hard wired to be attracted to this kind of stuff, but add our addiction pathways to this and its all the more potent. A real challenge and it sounds like you are doing well.

I've had one or two strong urges to peek over the last week or two and I have managed to resist by distracting myself. In one case by getting straight in to some art work -the urge passed a short while in to this and I got completely absorbed and engaged. After an hour or so I had a painting in front of me and I had learned new things. I thought how much more natural, healthy and fulfilling this was compared to wasting an hour searching for images.
In a way, this is a good substitute for one of the things I got from porn -complete absorption and distraction from everything. But now I'm thinking that I need to deal with this avoidance and face those difficult feelings!
One step at a time though. I think we all need distractions sometimes, and if we can get healthy ones that work for us then that is a good thing.

Doing ok now and heading for my six month mark which is in two weeks time.

Thanks for reading guys

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2017, 05:03:05 PM »
Strike,

I'm really proud of your achievement.

This journey we take is so rewarding. I've know so much about myself and I think you do about yourself too.

But the most rewarding meaning i have now is that enduring is much much better than indulging.
Being focused on doing better, that sense of engagement and achievement, feels so much better than the escapism habit that has been our dependence.

I ran 2 half marathons over these 2 weekends.
They hurt, but they are real, and they also make me feel really good about myself.
Better than I'll ever feel sitting in front of a screen.
And I like these "new" good feelings.
Let's do more of these good things for ourselves.
In time, screen distractions will be a distant fading memory.
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

Punk Monk

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2017, 04:24:28 PM »
Strike and TAN.

That's great to hear! I'm proud of you both.

TAN, wow! Two half marathons?! That's amazing. And I say this as someone who absolutely hates running. The most I can muster a lap around our Kung Fu school to warm up for class.  So, my hat's off to you sir!

Strike, really cool about the six months of "sobriety" (for lack of a better term). Love how you're getting into your art as an outlet. I'm finding the same joy from total absorption; sat down to noodle on my guitar and by the end of the night, I had a complete song written, recorded and mixed!

I'm reminded of a quote I once read from the Late Great Bruce Lee.  He was describing the difference between wasting time and spending time. "Wasting time," he said. "Is like playing an arcade game. You put in your quarter but you really get nothing back. Spending time, on the other hand, is like going to a vending machine. You put in your money and you get something useful in return."

Porn is a waste of time. But what you guys are doing...that's spending time.

P. Monk


Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2017, 08:54:30 AM »
Thanks Monk

Yeah these healthy and creative, absorbing things are like good food -whilst porn is like poison!
Your guitar and song writing/recording experience sounds amazing -this obviously something that does it for you. I play guitar and harmonica, but cant write songs to save my life!  Playing music is great for my mind though and I enjoy composing tunes and improvising.
Reckon its worth training myself to reach for the art stuff or the guitar whenever I get that urge to surf and peek...

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2017, 10:01:07 AM »
AS OF THE 21ST I HAVE BEEN PORN FREE FOR SIX MONTHS!

This is the longest I have ever gone without relapsing, so I am breaking new ground.
The benefits so far include:

*Feeling one fuck of a lot better about myself -the burden of guilt and shame is all but gone
*Growing closer to my partner (it really helps to be able to look her in the eye and not feel that I have betrayed her) and a more loving sexuality where closeness and loving feelings between us turn me on rather than just a fantasy of acts and body parts
*Getting out there in the world and contributing to society through voluntary work of various kinds. The shame was making me want to hide away from people and from life.
*More time spent on creative activities -time that used to be swallowed up by surfing porn

Yesterday I discovered a new vulnerability to relapse that I have: having an illness. I have got a cold, and my feverish mind locked on to thinking about the porn scenes I used to watch. I had a feeling of loss, and a strong urge to search for borderline stuff on youtube. Luckily, I was staying with a relative so I was stopped by the idea that it might show on their ISP report. Otherwise I don't know if I would have resisted or not -scary. It seems the virus interferes with the conscious control mechanism, allowing the reptile more sway...Anyway, now I know I need to really be on my guard when I am ill. Same when I am tired, hungry or stressed.

My overall goal is to always be porn free, but I will celebrate times that are symbolic landmarks for me -the next one being the one year mark. If I do happen to relapse I will get back on track and keep going. Maybe the thing that's most important is how consistently we make our best effort rather than how long we succeed at doing without the porn?

Thanks for reading. Happy Christmas, and best wishes for 2018

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2017, 10:24:44 AM »
Merry Christmas dear friend!
Have a wonderful and fulfilling 2018!!!
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 #70 on: January 10, 2018, 07:01:02 AM »
Thanks for the good wishes TAN.

Last week I wasted half an hour searching for 'soft' nudity on the internet. Frustrating waste of time but the main frustration is about me not leaving this stuff alone. Ok, so its not actually porn, but the need comes from the  same place and the addiction pathways are being reinforced by it -which means a longer reboot and an increased likelihood of relapse.

I need more awareness of why this happens. I think it is fuelled by feelings of emptiness and fear and I need to sit with these and experience them instead of allowing them to drive my surfing

My big challenge of 2018 is to stay clear of anything on a screen (or on  paper) that I find sexually stimulating.




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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2018, 07:49:27 AM »
Hello Strike,

I know what you mean by material that's not porn but still reinforces the same addiction pathways. I struggle with that too. In my case its the need to check news and gossip websites one after another. I think my mind also wants to substitute one drug for another. But I am doing a little better everyday by being mindful and taking that time to do something else away from a screen. I think this takes practice, and more practice for a long time.

-IWTL
When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Strikeatruepath

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #72 on: January 12, 2018, 08:58:35 AM »
Thanks IWTL.

Yes indeed as you say the challenge is to remain mindful and divert ourselves to something else more worthwhile. In doing so over and over again we are creating new more healthy pathways. Creative stuff seems to be particularly good but for this I need to be feeling reasonably confident and good about myself for this option. When I'm feeling crap then I think taking exercise or doing a task that gets instant positive results is much better as a diversion.

TakeActionNow

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Re: Aiming for a genuine and healthy me
« Reply #73 on: January 12, 2018, 08:59:34 PM »
guys, hope you are all doing very well

i find that keeping habits are a great way to help

1. fill my calendar with things to do so there is little free time
2. go and focus on the work at hand. focus deeply on the goals and how to do it best
3. when there is free time, read
4. when the night is empty, go to bed early
5. have a sporting goal, a charity goal, a work goal and a life goal, and build into your day time and space to achieve them.

all these goals and activity takes us away from the 1 thing that occupies us and pulls us down: empty self time
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 #74 on: February 07, 2018, 07:32:08 AM »
Back here after a couple of weeks.

Lately I have found myself wasting time: an hour here, two hours there, seeking and peeking at pictures of nude and half dressed women. Its what people would call 'soft' stuff and a much lower level of use than the full on porn videos I used to watch but I am frustrated at how difficult I find it to stay away from it. I feel crap afterwards and unable to focus properly on the things that are good and worthwhile in my life. I need to really make the effort and stick to a plan of leaving this stuff alone. I liked what TAN said in his post just before this one:

"i find that keeping habits are a great way to help

1. fill my calendar with things to do so there is little free time
2. go and focus on the work at hand. focus deeply on the goals and how to do it best
3. when there is free time, read
4. when the night is empty, go to bed early
5. have a sporting goal, a charity goal, a work goal and a life goal, and build into your day time and space to achieve them.

all these goals and activity takes us away from the 1 thing that occupies us and pulls us down: empty self time"

Thanks TAN for yet more good ideas

I need to acknowledge my huge success in staying off the porn videos for the last 7+ months and all the benefits this has had on my life; to consolidate and move forward. When I gave up cigarettes I went through a stage of just smoking one or two a week and this last bit of low level use was the hardest to let go of -but I did succeed in the end.

Thanks for reading guys