Author Topic: A Better Tomorrow  (Read 1913 times)

mattdes

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 69
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #100 on: October 26, 2019, 03:02:42 PM »
Well done man. Your detailed and analyzed reports are very helpful. I read through them and i feel very lazy for not putting the same effort into posts. Maybe it's time I followed your example. Keep going strong pal. You are helping others with your posts.

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #101 on: October 28, 2019, 02:10:15 PM »
switcheroc

Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it.

I think I've gotten to the point where it won't be "easy" per se, but that it's a given. I'm done. I just have to the run the gauntlet of recovery, emerging battered and bruised, but in the end a lot more resilient. Looking forward to it.

Take care

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #102 on: October 28, 2019, 02:12:41 PM »
mattdes

We all have things that work for us. It's about experimentation. I definitely recommend at least trying it out, but in the end it might not be for you. Feel free to copy the format entirely, but tweaking it to match your needs might be the best approach.

Take care

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #103 on: October 28, 2019, 02:13:07 PM »
October 26, 2019
- Day 9 (No porn)
- Day 3 (Masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Writing this two days after the fact, so it’ll be a short entry. I was out all day with a friend, and, for me at least, being outside my place and spending time with people is a surefire antidote for not relapsing. So was the case.

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #104 on: October 28, 2019, 02:13:30 PM »
October 27, 2019
- Day 10 (No porn)
- Day 4 (Masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Again, after the fact so a short entry. Not the best day to be honest, but still clean. Sleep can be a struggle at times.
     


NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #105 on: October 29, 2019, 07:54:00 PM »
October 28, 2019
- Day 11 (No porn)
- Day 5 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Another day down. For the first time in who knows how long, I actually turned to reading a book when I had difficulty falling asleep. What I’ve read so far has been a good read. For those of you who practice/are interested in meditation, I recommend it. It’s called On Having No Head, written by Douglas Harding. So far, he is doing a great job of describing things like the loss of self. It's amazing how some people are so gifted at conveying thoughts and experience through language.

Also, I finally finished watching through all of Noah B.E. Church’s YouTube channel. I’ll continue to watch any new content he adds, but it feels nice to have finished my mini-goal of watching all of his and The Reboot Nation’s videos. Tons of great content on both channels, and I really recommend the YBR Radio podcast series (missing episode here) on Noah’s channel. Be forewarned that it’s 15 episodes in total at about an hour per episode. I really wish that the two channels had more subscribers and views. It’s a shame they don’t.

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #106 on: October 30, 2019, 06:10:41 PM »
October 29, 2019
- Day 12 (No porn)
- Day 6 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Wow, I’m on a roll with these “after-the-fact” entries. I’ll try to get back to my normal format, as it helps me fully flesh out how the day went and makes it easier for me to track my progress.

Anyway, yesterday was ok, but the evening was tough. It culminated with me being on the computer, looking at something on Google Images—not sexual, but very triggering—and getting blindsided by urges. But I knew the drill, so I shut down my computer and went to bed. Mindfulness 3, urges 0.

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #107 on: October 31, 2019, 04:24:33 AM »
October 30, 2019
- Day 13 (No porn)
- Day 7 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)

Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Well, here I am, back to the normal format! My sleep schedule has been pretty terrible for a while now. Not sure how much of this is due to the ups and downs of recovery, how much of it is due to poor choices on my part, and how much is due to natural causes. I want to go through a few more weeks (maybe even months) of hard mode before I think more about this. It’ll make the decision making process easier and more focused.

Nothing of note happened today, but urges and emotions were particularly tough this evening. But I made it through regardless. Can’t have it any other way ; ) I told you all I’ll prove that I have it in me to put this addiction in the past where it belongs. Actions speak louder than words right?

Trigger / Response Log:

Cooking a bunch of food that was moldy, realizing that after cooking it and eating a little, having to throw it all away -> Taking a break from cooking and doing something else
Feeling discomfort in my gut caused by drinking too much caffeine -> Being mindful of the feeling without adding anything on to it
Wasting time on the computer (YouTube) -> Separating myself from the computer and moving somewhere else
Feeling painful emotions like anxiety, pointlessness -> Being mindful, relocating

Urges:
For the last third of the day, I felt what I refer to as an “urge cloud”. This is essentially a general feeling of horniness that I get, which persists across a period of time and makes me susceptible to feeling urges for the entirety of its duration. So I decided to do my first sitting meditation for a while, 40 minutes total. It was tough. Really hard to be mindful. My mind was mostly lost in thought. Intense feelings of pointlessness and anxiety emerged, and right when my timer went off, I had the thought of looking up types of “2D” VR that I didn’t see during my last relapse flash in my head. What’s worse, I had my phone in my bedroom—because of the impromptu meditation session—which is something I always try to avoid. Oh boy, the thought of looking up amateur homemade “2D” VR porn was so novel and arousing…and also so out of the question. I turned that digital devil off, and instead came upstairs to write this entry so that I could go to bed. That was a great choice to make. No doubt about it.

Emotions:
I mentioned it above, but I felt strong pangs of anxiety and pointlessness this evening. I also generally felt irritable throughout the day.

Cognition:
I don’t feel like I am making much headway here at all…but that’s ok. Even if this is the true nature of my cognition, then that’s ok. Doesn’t mean I won’t welcome any improvements in this category if they do come. I just have to work with what I got.

Pain:
A bit of stinging here and there, but I think this is consistently getting better.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Got a little high off the energy of all the people in the park today while I was doing my walking meditation. The parents, the kids, the dogs, and the sunlight. More of this please. I love when normal, everyday experience feels good

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #108 on: November 02, 2019, 01:22:40 AM »
October 31, 2019
- Day 14 (No porn)
- Day 8 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Another after the fact entry, but I’ll try to keep this post in my normal format. The day felt kind of grey and mediocre, but that’s fine. I took some Ritalin for the first time in years, as I have adult ADHD and wanted to see if I noticed any benefits from taking it. Suffice it to say, it didn’t help and instead amplified aspects of myself I’d rather not have amplified. I had some strong urges that hit me during the evening that lasted for a couple of hours while I was in bed. Not sure if the Ritalin had any role to play here, but I made it through regardless.

Oh yea, I watched a movie at a theater in the evening, and partway through the film, two people from the audience got in an extremely heated argument (i.e. a shoutfest), which ballooned after members of their families joined in. At one point, the person nearest me (two seats away) fell on top of me, apparently too engrossed in their screaming fit of rage. I kept my cool throughout though, which was nice. At one point, I was getting ready to calmly leave the theater to inform a staff member in case things devolved into all an out fistfight, but thankfully things cooled down.

Trigger / Response Log:
Nothing specific here. I think the hours of urges I had last night resulted from being in a fatigued state but not being unable to fall asleep. I’ve relapsed many times because of this precise state. But not this time. Nor the next.

Urges:
See trigger/response log.

Emotions:
Things just felt kind of grey and crappy for most of the day. The onslaught of urges made me feel some pronounced irritability in the evening.

Cognition:
Seems like I am not gaining any ground here. Continued brain fog and poor verbal fluency.

Pain:
Ok I think.

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Didn’t let a substance’s effect on me serve as an excuse to question recovery

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #109 on: November 02, 2019, 04:26:01 AM »
November 1, 2019
- Day 15 (No porn)
- Day 9 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Remarks/Summary of the Day:

A bit like yesterday, though I felt a little more productive and the evening wasn’t as tough to get through. I felt a “hangover” of sorts from the Ritalin in the morning and early afternoon. Maybe a better comparison would be that permabaked feeling you get the next morning after smoking too much weed. Except worse.

I did go for a long drive today and took a walk down a nice little trail. It was during the sunset, which was pretty beautiful. I also encountered a group of deer. They weren’t all that spooked by my presence, so I just stood there observing them for a little.

Trigger / Response Log:
Didn’t note any specific examples today.

Urges:
Had one of those “urge clouds” I mentioned in an earlier entry. During the evening. Lasted 2-3 hours.

Emotions:

Like yesterday, but more anxiety instead of irritability in the evening.

Cognition:

Same old, same old.

Pain:
Nothing noticeable.

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Remembering that this is a process that I can’t control when I was ruminating over the fact that the last couple of days have been back to back unpleasant overall. It just needs to run its course. I haven’t even been off for a month yet. Slow and steady.

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #110 on: November 03, 2019, 04:00:51 AM »
November 2, 2019
- Day 16 (No porn)
- Day 10 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Today was alright. Not as grey as the past two days. Productivity was…ok, not awful. Had a nice sitting meditation session today. The sun was intense, but it was one of the better ones I’ve had in a while. I still like the walking ones though. There are so many distractions that you encounter when walking through the city, so I think it is a good way to train mindfulness, but damn these sitting ones have their perks too.

Read some more of Harding’s On Having No Head. He really is gifted at describing the meditative experience. I’d include some quotes from the text, but it might be a bit esoteric (or even ostensibly nonsensical, although that definitely isn’t the case), so I’ll refrain from doing so.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but I started doing monthly video messages to my “future self” about three months ago, and today is the day of my fourth video, which I will record after this journal entry. I watched the one from last month—for the first time since I recorded it, that’s how I always do it—and comparing how I feel now to then, I would say that I am in a similar place, maybe a little better overall, which is completely fine with me. I’m just glad that things aren’t worse.

Going to a friend’s wedding tomorrow. Should be great!

Trigger / Response Log:
Wasting time on the computer -> Talking to someone
Wasting time on YouTube -> Relocating
Boredom -> Moving around
Feeling anxiety caused by poor reading comprehension and focus -> Switching to another task

Urges:
The daytime was fine for the most part, but the evening was subsumed by a few hours of horniness and urges. I’ve really been buffeted by them these past couple of evenings, but that’s fine. Bring it. Give me everything you got. You’ll tire eventually, not me. Every time I'm challenged, I persevere. No porn. No masturbation. No fantasies. Don't need any of it. It's so difficult but at the same time so simple. Mindfulness to the rescue.

Emotions:
Felt anxiety throughout the day, particularly during the evening.

Cognition:
Verbal fluency was up a little perhaps. Same goes for brain fog.

Pain:
A little bit of dull aching in the evening, but otherwise fine.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Reading a little today. I’ve been doing poorly in this category recently, as my cognition has been pretty awful. At least I tried to engage for a bit. Looking forward to some change in cognition next week, but I'll see what happens.

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #111 on: November 04, 2019, 06:35:40 PM »
November 3, 2019
- Day 17 (No porn)
- Day 11 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)

This will be a short entry not in the usual format. Went to a friend’s wedding yesterday. It was nice. My urges, mood, and withdrawals were all over the place, but I think I handled myself well all things considered. These day-long special events can be difficult for me as they disrupt the daily regimen I am working diligently on building, but I also know that these events are a normal part of life, and I just have to experiment and adjust more with how to incorporate them into a structured life. As a quick aside, my poor verbal fluency really hit me today. It was frustrating, but I know there is no reason to ruminate over it.

Anyway, after I got back home—pretty late, around 12:30 AM—I felt the restless, disorienting effects of the event. I was exhausted and had difficulty falling asleep again, plus an hour or two of depression and an hour of urges. Eventually managed to go to sleep though. No danger of turning to porn or masturbation. I just dealt with the feelings, giving them the time they needed to die down.
     


NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #112 on: November 05, 2019, 10:46:21 PM »
November 4, 2019
- Day 18 (No porn)
- Day 12 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Whew, today—well at the time of writing this yesterday—was tough! Depression and lethargy all day. Productivity close to 0. I don’t want to remember it to be honest, but it’s done and I made it through. I went for a long drive during the evening, kind of like an amusement park with lots of curves. I also drove through some thick fog, like something out of a movie or video game. It was quite picturesque.

Trigger / Response Log:
Didn’t log any.

Urges:
They kept popping up, probably because I wanted an outlet to escape the sea of depression. Nothing too intense thankfully.

Emotions:
Depression all day. Mindfulness really helps with days like this.

Cognition:

Pretty much untested, though it still felt the same as usual, i.e. like a dull knife that can’t cut much of anything.

Pain:
Nothing noticeable. The other categories should catch up to this in time. Just need to be patient.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Didn’t let the depression guide my behavior and decisions

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #113 on: November 06, 2019, 06:48:22 PM »
November 5, 2019
- Day 19 (No porn)
- Day 13 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)

Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Nothing of note during the daytime. Was moderately productive, I suppose. Some depression again in the evening, and then some intense feelings of horniness, where your gut is clenching really intensely and you primitively just want to stick your **** into something. That was tough to deal with, but another day down. I know I am still early on in the recovery process, but it feels like it is going to be a few more weeks of this roller coaster until the suffering consistently begins to dampen.

Trigger / Response Log:
Procrastinating -> Sitting with the feeling and letting it run its course, instead of pushing myself to get something done
Wasting time on the computer -> Getting away from the computer
Eating too much ice cream (haha, what am I, four years old? ; p) -> Stopping what I was doing and relaxing
Struggling with reading comprehension -> Taking a break and doing something else

Urges:
An unintentional image of vigorously taking someone doggy-style flashed in my head, and this lead to an explosion of horniness within me that went up and down like a sinusoidal wave for an hour or two. Just when I thought it was dying down and I was in the green, it’d flare up again.

Emotions:
Some depression in the evening. Felt okay otherwise.

Cognition:
I was able to—for the first time in a while—return to some of the reading I had done and go over my notes and the concepts contained within. I wasn’t able to last too long however, but I hope to see this slowly improve with time. I want my brain back!

Pain:
A little bit of stinging, perhaps from some random erections I experienced while sleeping.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Helped the cashier at the supermarket
- Was a little more productive than usual

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #114 on: November 07, 2019, 04:00:38 AM »
November 6, 2019
- Day 20 (No porn)
- Day 14 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Slept in really late today. I’ve always had difficulties with sleep, something I’ve struggled with my whole life since I was a kid. But I have had rare periods where I was able to maintain a sleep schedule truly divine. Where you are able to fall asleep soon after getting into bed. The land of slumber is welcoming, beckoning, readily accessible, and you are able to just drift away into the realm of the unconscious. And you wake up in the morning, naturally, no need for an alarm. You don’t feel groggy. You don’t feel glued to the bed. You don’t feel the malaise of having to start a new day.

I think I have enough pieces in place now to strive for more consistency in this category. Sleep is so fundamental. If various changes are necessary for it to become more consistent, then so be it. Those are changes worth making.

Trigger / Response Log:

Remembering the intensity of yesterday’s horniness -> not identifying with the feeling and recognizing it is in the past
Experiencing a setback in something I was doing -> stopping my work on it for the day
Dealing with a task I have been avoiding for a while -> taking my time with it and stopping when it felt too overwhelming
Obsessing over checking the forums -> getting away from the computer

Urges:
Memories of yesterday replicated a weaker version of what I experienced, but it wasn’t all that frequent.

Emotions:
Anxiety in the background all day.

Cognition:

Ok. Still dull. But a little less so than usual.

Pain:
Aching present throughout the day. Guess this category wanted to join its brethren.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Dealt with some paperwork and emails I have been avoiding for a while

NewStart04

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 120
  • Personal Text
    He who makes a beast of himself...
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #115 on: November 10, 2019, 01:52:51 AM »
Attention all board members and guests reading this topic!

I've got some significant changes in store and want to devote more time to them, so I am going to be taking another indefinite break from the forum. I think it'll be a nice change of pace to think less about my streak, my journal, and just porn in general.

I still want to share the effects of my PMO-free lifestyle with all of you, so I'll be back sometime in the future. Probably sometime around five weeks from now. I'm excited to discover what experiences I'll be able to share with you all!

Take care and best of luck

CB

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 193
    • View Profile
Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #116 on: November 10, 2019, 04:29:13 PM »
Keep it going! You’re doing great! I hope you make it through, when you do I’m promising you it will get easier. It’s still difficult most days a week on day 144 for me but it is way easier to not slip than the beginning. I know you can do it!