Author Topic: Back On The Wagon: 2  (Read 6399 times)

PE30

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #50 on: March 02, 2018, 07:15:05 AM »
Thanks for that, aquarius. You know that old cliché / meme "dance like there's no-one watching, sing like there's nobody listening..."? I think us addicts could do with an alternative one. "Browse your internet like your wife is stood behind you... walk down the street like everyone can see what you're fixing your eyes upon"... It'd serve as a useful reminder.

So anyway

DAY 28

The first big milestone - one calendar month porn and chat-room free! Some positives:

- I feel a lot better about myself. I still have a long way to go to truly love myself and be kind to myself but I am getting there.
- I am sleeping better. I had reasonable dreams last night - still more vivid than when relapsed, but nothing scary. I am getting a good 7-8 hours' sleep per night, which is optimum for me.
- I am working harder, am definitely more productive at work. I feel like I'm a better colleague too, more fun to be around, more present.
- I'm really enjoying time with my wife and daughters. Life is good with them.
- I've been working on feelings of regret; I'm trying not to feel hopeless but instead I'm trying to be thankful for God's grace on my life: that I haven't got what I deserve, that I have a home, a job, a family, when I could easily have lost everything.
- My relationship with God has really blossomed and I feel closer to Him than I have felt in years. I am as a result a lot more comfortable in church, and feel happier round my brothers and sisters there.
- I've quit Facebook and have also quit a music forum that I used to contribute to on a regular basis. I've been acutely aware how they've both been feeding my addiction to dopamine, my addiction to the same thrill of acceptance and validation that chat rooms gave me.

Next goals:
30 days (should be easy enough)
60 days (end of April, I think I can get there)

and then I'll keep going and keep going until the pull of addiction is no longer strong.
Porn free since 2 February 2018.
Chat room and M/MO free since 28 July 2018.
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2018, 09:18:53 AM »
Day 29

Short one today as it's the weekend. Just checking in to say I'm still in the game.
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2018, 10:37:20 AM »
Day 30

Yay, made it to 30 days! Can honestly say that there have been no slip ups or be misses, which I'm really pleased about.

What's working well? Two things, really. One is that I'm finding it really helpful to avoid my usual replacement behaviours like Facebook and online forums. It does mean that from time to time I find myself feeling bored at home or at work, but I don't think that's the worst feeling in the world ever. I remember a time before porn, a time before chat rooms when I would be bored at home and would always find a practical way to occupy myself. Those years were really productive! So it's good to be operating on a lower level of dopamine and to find pleasure in simple things such as a nice walk or a chat with a friend.

The second thing that's working well is that my relationship with God has blossomed over the last month. I think it's a two way thing: I'm seeking God more as I'm desperate for Him to be real in my life, and I'm more open to Him as there's less blocking me from His presence.

I submit myself again and say that I am powerless against addiction without him, lost without him. I am so glad for His strength in my life.

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #53 on: March 05, 2018, 03:42:46 AM »
Day 31

Back at work today. The snow has passed and it's beginning to look a bit like Spring might be on its way. We went for a walk round the park yesterday afternoon, just to get some fresh air. It felt good. Then in the evening I chatted with my wife, we read some books and I fell asleep listening to music.

One of the side-effects of this reboot seems to be that I'm sleepier than normal. Is this because I'd previously been on high alert the whole time, waiting for a message back or an opportunity to sneak online? I'm not sure. I think it's partly because it's winter (or at least, early spring) and my body is still in hibernation mode.

Interestingly, my wife is out tonight and I don't feel fearful about slipping. I am still alert against temptation. But in previous reboots I've been scared in the run-up to time alone. I'm feeling strong without feeling over-confident.

I continue to renounce porn and all forms of sexual sin.
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #54 on: March 06, 2018, 03:53:40 AM »
Day 32

Things are okay here. Drove to work this morning and was aware of how angry and stressed I get when behind the wheel - bad language and generally feeling a bit crabby. It's funny how, by examining one area of my life and bringing it to the surface, other character flaws are coming to my attention too. "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks" - I'm trying to let God examine my heart and bring things up that need restoring.

My wife was out for the evening last night - I did a couple of jobs and then played some guitar. Was quite a nice evening actually. And I didn't feel particularly tempted to relapse! This is definite progress. I've had previous reboots where I've felt like I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

Let's keep going :)
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aquarius25

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #55 on: March 06, 2018, 12:23:43 PM »
Great job really thinking about how you are feeling and being aware of your attitude! You are doing really great!

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2018, 05:29:38 AM »
Day 33

Felt a bit low last night. There are quite a few small but annoying things going on in my life at the moment: bits to do with church, bits to do with our house, bits to do with my family... various things. Also I think I do struggle around this time of year emotionally. It's coming up to the 20th anniversary of when my mum died and I think it affects me on a subconscious level every March / early April.

It's also to do with the way that winter seems to bleed into March. I think I *expect* March to be full of new life, warmth, light etc... but in reality it's still cold and damp. I'm sure this would make a good metaphor for something or another.

Anyway, on the plus side, I still feel a long way away from wanting to look at porn or go on a chatroom. It's what I'm aiming for: keeping these things a long way away and taking captive ever thought that tempts me back to my old ways.
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #57 on: March 08, 2018, 08:20:55 AM »
Day 34

I'm feeling a bit better today. I'm pleased with myself, in that I haven't used my low mood as an excuse to act out, or even to go after subs / things that I know are bad for me. A full Facebook fast is good for me; also I'm keeping myself from clicking through on news stories where I know that the pics are going to be triggering. I mean, it's a minefield, and it's impossible not to accidentally stumble across someone in swimwear, or whatever, but I'm walking away in such instances, and I'm not clicking through when I know that my motives are ultimately lustful.

I've had a few other small things bothering me over the past few days but I'm trying to get them in their right perspective. Also, I have had quite a productive morning of work, which means that I feel a bit better about myself.

Most importantly, I'm trying to stay close to God. Honestly - I don't want to be preachy, but the more I dwell upon it, the more I'm totally convinced that God is real and has a loving interest in my life. If anyone on here wants to talk to me about that kind of thing then I'm more than happy to share.

Onwards and upwards!
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PE30

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2018, 04:47:33 AM »
Day 35

Five weeks clean!

Had a busy day yesterday working from home, which included having to do a couple of things at my daughter's school. I'm really pleased because I was struggling with WFHing for quite a while - it was a real area of weakness. But I was able to get through the day, far from danger.

Looking forward to the weekend. Got friends coming over for dinner on Saturday so am going to cook something nice for them. Church on Sunday should be good.

Clean feels good, everyone.
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aquarius25

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2018, 08:35:46 AM »
Congrats! Big milestone!!! You should be proud! Be sure to communicate your successes with our wife so you can share in the celebration together! It's so important to communicate the good!

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #60 on: March 09, 2018, 10:37:13 PM »
Well done!!
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2018, 10:59:50 AM »
Day 36

Just a quick one today as it's the weekend. My wife and the girls are out for the afternoon and I've just been preparing food for our friends who are coming over later. I've peeled a bag and a half of shallots and now my eyes are watering!

Another example of the change I've undergone: my pre-reboot self would be scrabbling around looking for someone to talk to on a chat room, wondering whether I could get away with it before my family got back. Now the idea just seems like something I used to do, rather than something I want to do in the future.

I had a dream last night that I relapsed, though. Always so nice to wake up and remember I'm still clean.

Wednesday will be day 40!
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El Goodo

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #62 on: March 10, 2018, 09:00:55 PM »
Hey, late to the party but I related with a lot of what you said in your Day 34 post. And I'm down to talk the god stuff.

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #63 on: March 11, 2018, 01:02:39 PM »
Day 37

Not much to report today. It's Mother's Day in the UK so I went out for lunch with my wife and daughters. Then we spent the afternoon making costumes for World Book Day, which is happening in their school a couple of weeks late.

Have had a couple of very deep sleeps over the past couple of nights so that's an improvement. However, I'm still very physically tired at the moment!

El Goodo- thanks for the message, I'll reply properly tomorrow.
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #64 on: March 12, 2018, 06:10:58 AM »
Day 38

The start of another full week!

Had a good night last night. I had a meeting last night that I was dreading slightly but it was really encouraging. Plus I've managed to get a few things resolved (if I look back to the list of slight worries at day 33, I've managed to deal with the majority of these). I slept beautifully last night and felt really good this morning.

Ironically, I find myself at some risk to relapse during periods of time where I feel very relaxed and almost elated about my circumstances. I'm aware of the danger that I pose to myself: to think "ah look, it's 38 days in, you're doing really well, you can let this slip a little bit can't you? Just with *this* or *that*..." and actually that's nonsense: I need to be as resilient during a high period than I do during a low.

In terms of the God stuff: I think I've just been increasingly aware that God is actually real, that He wants me to know him and that I can be satisfied in Him. I've been spending a lot of time praying, reading the Bible and reading helpful articles online. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that His design for my life (and for my body, and for my libido) is the right one. So much in society is set up to make a monogamous, faithful relationship (especially one where sex is saved for marriage) seem like an unnecessary straitjacket, but I can't help but feel like it was a design put in place for our protection and safety.

I mean, I'm not trying to force this opinion on others or anything, and I think there's a huge spectrum of sexuality out there, but I'd say this: it's so easy to make sex our god. I know I've been making it my god for too many years, and that it nearly destroyed me. In recovery, I'm still sexually active but within the safety of a loving relationship with my wife. It's a part of who I am, but it's in its right place.
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2018, 04:07:08 AM »
Day 39

Not an awful lot to report today. Things are pretty busy at home, which led to a bit of tension between my wife and I last night. We managed to talk it through before bed, which is good, though.

Life's definitely different during this reboot. It's tough at times but it feels like I'm taking the path that's going to benefit me most in the long run.

 
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aquarius25

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #66 on: March 13, 2018, 08:37:46 AM »
Glad things are good. Keep up the great progress!

One thing I have been noticing from a lot of the journals on here. A lot of men in relationships seem to feel that disagreements are bad. I find this so funny. We are all made differently and it would be crazy to think that you and your wife will agree on everything. Not agreeing on everything is ok. What I have found happens is when we bottle those discussions and avoid them, then a blow up happens. Both men and women do this (myself included, lol). I have been working towards just bringing up these differences in a conversational manner right when they occur. I have found it makes is a lot easier to work out as there isn't any build up. It ends up being quite enjoyable. I get to hear my husband voice his thoughts and we end up having good conversation that brings us closer. My point is that disagreements are not bad, they are opportunities of bonding on differences. But if we allow them to bottle, they become points of division if we let them. Just a perspective shift, that's all.

Glad you are doing so well!

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #67 on: March 13, 2018, 09:01:03 AM »
Thanks aquarius. I definitely agree that disagreements are part and parcel of being in a relationship. Anyone who says that they and their partner never argue is either a liar or in a very unhealthy relationship!

I think I mention them on here because it's been a trigger in the past - I've definitely been guilty in the past of acting out after an argument. Not in revenge, but more as a means of stress release. Also we've been really busy and tired recently.

But as a whole, things are going well! Tomorrow is day 40 :)
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #68 on: March 14, 2018, 04:12:15 AM »
Day 40 :)

I'm happy to make it this far, but I know I've been guilty of letting my guard down after this point. Can't afford to slack off now. Day 60 is my next big goal. That's three weeks away. I can do this.
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JasonGuitar

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #69 on: March 14, 2018, 10:37:41 AM »
I came here to post a similar "back on the wagon" post so your entire thread really resonated with me. Seeing your progress is very encouraging to me. I have been on and off the wagon many times over the last year and this is my most recent 'on the wagon' period and I'm hoping it sticks.

I am not counting days this time around because I don't feel that helped me. I generally know the last time I looked at porn and masturbated, so I can look back eventually and see how long it has been. But I am just taking it a day at a time and really trying to just avoid that all together.

Other than the physical symptoms there have been, I have really been struggling with my general perception of sex and relationships and it is really messing with me. It is almost like I'm expecting my wife to be one of these porn actresses that just wants to have sex at the drop of a hat and can't keep her hands off of my pants. My mind then goes further down the rabbit hole picturing her with men she's been with in the past, imagining that she used to be like that with them but I am different. That maybe I'm not good at sex. Maybe it's boring. Even though when we do have sex I can tell she is into it, she has multiple orgasms, and she tells me unprovoked how much she loves sex with me. All of that, and I still have this insecurity eating away at me that I really feel is due to porn. I picture good sex being 'porn sex' which just isn't the case.

Couple this with the fact that my wife has gained some weight and has not wanted to have sex as much lately due to her body image issues. But of course I internalize this, making it about me. This puts even more pressure on me to perform when she IS in the mood, and to make it good. And to make it PORN good, which is just stupid.

I think that one good thing that has happened is that I can't even watch porn anymore because I just picture my wife with other men when I'm watching porn and it just makes me feel sick. That is obviously not normal...but I'm hoping that as I distance myself from porn and those perceptions, things with her will improve and I'll stop obsessing over her past sexual relationships and feeling inferior.

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #70 on: March 14, 2018, 11:25:11 AM »
Hey, thank you for your encouragement. Glad to hear you're "on the wagon" and long may it continue!

This quote really interested me:

Even though when we do have sex I can tell she is into it, she has multiple orgasms, and she tells me unprovoked how much she loves sex with me. All of that, and I still have this insecurity eating away at me that I really feel is due to porn.

I think that porn has so much to answer for in this respect. I'll be quite honest: my sex life bears absolutely no relation to porn! And it's really easy to think that, because it's not like porn, it can't be any good. (A bit like how people can think that, because they don't look like a model in a fashion magazine, they're not beautiful). It sounds like you have great sex with your wife, and the more you abstain from porn, the more your sex life will begin to feel normal (but in a good way not a boring way).

Besides, good sex is just one part of being a good husband. Openness, kindness, care and good humour are probably more important.

Keep going!
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JasonGuitar

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #71 on: March 14, 2018, 11:41:27 AM »
Hey, thank you for your encouragement. Glad to hear you're "on the wagon" and long may it continue!

This quote really interested me:

Even though when we do have sex I can tell she is into it, she has multiple orgasms, and she tells me unprovoked how much she loves sex with me. All of that, and I still have this insecurity eating away at me that I really feel is due to porn.

I think that porn has so much to answer for in this respect. I'll be quite honest: my sex life bears absolutely no relation to porn! And it's really easy to think that, because it's not like porn, it can't be any good. (A bit like how people can think that, because they don't look like a model in a fashion magazine, they're not beautiful). It sounds like you have great sex with your wife, and the more you abstain from porn, the more your sex life will begin to feel normal (but in a good way not a boring way).

Besides, good sex is just one part of being a good husband. Openness, kindness, care and good humour are probably more important.

Keep going!

I agree 100% about the 'well rounded' husband thing. My wife and I are so, so connected on so many levels. I am more in love with her than I have ever been with anyone, and we are best friends along with everything else. No one makes me laugh like she does, and it's the same on her end. Sex is just a piece of a successful relationship/marriage and I just need to figure out how to get this image of 'good sex' out of my mind, but I do think the more distance I have from porn, the less I will have those scenarios in my head.

I feel like I need to talk to her about this, and I have not. She has asked me a few times if something is wrong and I just say no. But she is working through her own issues right now as far as the body stuff, which I am trying to be supportive of and I don't want her to feel even worse for not feeling 'sexy' or seeming to not want to have sex. When she doesn't feel sexy I show her affection in other ways, tell her she looks pretty, sexy, etc. I just don't want this to affect my sexual performance, because I'm thinking about 'measuring up', and then she will take it personally and think I am not attracted to her. So it is a very tough line I ride right now.

On my end, the more regular sex we are having, the easier it is for me to let go of these hangups about not measuring up to prior partners. I am hoping I can just tough this out until she feels better about herself and feels sexy again so the frequency can increase.


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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #72 on: March 15, 2018, 04:36:02 AM »
If I'm honest, Jason, I think you should tell your wife what's been going on. As to *how* to tell her - well, I'm not sure if I can offer advice on that. With me, I ended up telling her at 4am on a Saturday morning in a massive tearful wreck, trembling with fear because I thought that my marriage was going to be over at that point. And telling her was the hardest thing I've had to do in my marriage. Nevertheless, I know that I'm stronger in my fight, knowing that (a) she knows and (b) she's fighting with me.

(Do you have your own journal, by the way? Just might be useful in order that other people can encourage you in your reboot!)
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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #73 on: March 15, 2018, 04:39:27 AM »
DAY 41

Another busy day ahead. It really helps that work is busy at the moment, as this helps keep me from sinning. Remember that when David was unfaithful with Bathsheba, it started off because he was lazing around at home when he should have been out at battle. Maybe that's one of our chief weapons. Not busyness for the sake of being busy, but true productiveness - expending our energies in ways that are going to bless others.

I have been having some very vivid erotic dreams over the past couple of nights. As nice as they are, I'd rather they stopped! I haven't been feeling tempted to act out as a result of them, but I have been waking up relieved that I've not relapsed. I've not O'd in my sleep - that's never really been a thing for me.

Have a good day everyone!
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JasonGuitar

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Re: Back On The Wagon: 2
« Reply #74 on: March 15, 2018, 08:51:01 AM »
If I'm honest, Jason, I think you should tell your wife what's been going on. As to *how* to tell her - well, I'm not sure if I can offer advice on that. With me, I ended up telling her at 4am on a Saturday morning in a massive tearful wreck, trembling with fear because I thought that my marriage was going to be over at that point. And telling her was the hardest thing I've had to do in my marriage. Nevertheless, I know that I'm stronger in my fight, knowing that (a) she knows and (b) she's fighting with me.

(Do you have your own journal, by the way? Just might be useful in order that other people can encourage you in your reboot!)

I have considered it, but the how is really what's stopped me. I know if I leveled with her, she'd be understanding and supportive. We went through a period where she just thought I wasn't attracted to her, and I sometimes feel like I'm still fighting that uphill battle.

I think I will start my own, even if I don't post every day, just to keep myself accountable and let others chime in on my progress.