Author Topic: Conscience Cleanse  (Read 4186 times)

Boris

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Conscience Cleanse
« on: November 11, 2018, 04:59:40 PM »
Day 3:

It's Day 3 of my reboot.  Not the first time I have done this, I am sad to say. However, I am glad to be doing this. getting on the right track once again. That is in in itself a small victory. It got me thinking.  How do I define addiction?

For me, the inability to quit something I know is detrimental to my life and relationships is an addiction. For me, P,M,O in any combination leaves me with feelings of guilt, failure, lack of self worth. One can argue that MO provides a safe release and is harmless, even healthy.  That doesn't work for me.  Making love to my wife results in feelings of love, closeness, and satisfaction. That act deepens and strengthens our relationship.  MO results in the opposite. it decreases the desire for intimacy, and leaves me cold. All of this is contrary to my spiritual beliefs, so my relationship with my Creator is also compromised.

When we first met, my wife and I had enough good, strong, long lasting friendships. we didn't need another friend. We were both looking for something deeper, and we found that in each other. My PMO has reduced our relationship to a really good friendship, that many would envy in their own marriages. But I know how much better it can be. I've been there and I want that back. 

Years ago, serious health issues took its toll on our sex life. As a result, we both got used to a lack of intimacy. Aging has taken it's toll as well. Intimacy is not impossible, we both just got lazy, and for me it seemed easier to MO as a release. However with the prevalence and accessibility of P online, it has become too easy to let myself aimless surf and skate onto thin ice and fall in.  It really disgusts me.

Cleaning myself up, is the first step in restoring intimacy in my marriage, self respect, and most importantly my spirituality and relationship with God.

I come from a very religious background and my faith plays the most important role in my life and relationships. It governs my decision making (when I actually get it right lol).  I'm sharing this about myself, not to establish some persona of righteousness, but to share the source of my point of view with regards to my personal struggle. Perhaps it will make it easier for you to understand me a little better. The wonderful thing about free will is that we all get to choose what we believe and how we behave.  However, not without consequences, good or bad.  The downside is that my imperfect self has made some bad choices, that I hope to right, and hopefully reverse some of those consequences.

One of my goals is to be open and honest about my struggle.  I've lied to myself for too long. I don't expect others to always agree with me, just respect where I am coming from.  I'll do my best not to judge anyone for the way in which they deal with their struggle.  We're all fighting our own battle in the same war. I'm here because I need your support and I hope I can be a support to you as well. If you haven't fallen asleep by now, thanks for sticking with me to the end.

I wish you all peace in your fight.

« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 05:05:35 PM by Boris »

uncreatedlight

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 08:44:58 PM »
Welcome home, Boris.  You are in the right place.  Journal often and read the journals of others.  It helps to know you aren't alone.

I am a proponent of the RAIN technique for dealing with urges: https://mrsmindfulness.com/r-n-four-step-process-using-mindfulness-difficult-times/  It severs the urge from its reward, which is more effective than trying to suppress the urge.

You will find some here from secular backgrounds and others with a religious bent.  My personal spirituality is informed by Buddhism and Christianity (Yes, I am aware that they are theoretically antagonistic to one another.)  We are all seeking healing and wholeness, however.

Good luck!


Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 10:25:20 PM »
Thanks for the welcome.  I will definitely check out the RAIN technique.   I really don’t know enough about Buddhism pass any sort of judgment as to its compatibility with Christianity. If it’s working for you that’s what’s important. Thanks for your caring and support.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2018, 03:58:56 PM »
Day 4 and everything is going okay.  No urges, but that is not unusual. I’m usually good for a week or so, then the urge to MO starts to surface. Being accountable here hopefully will prevent me from being caught off guard. Been busy with household chores and exercise/physical therapy.  Started a new meditation today and will plot how I feel with that as well. Enough to keep me busy.

I’m feeling good about myself, knowing I’m doing the right thing. Self care has always been a necessity that I tend to treat like a luxury, and thus make myself feel guilty for indulging. I need to figure out why I do that. I think I have a good idea, just don’t have the time to express it at this moment.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 07:17:09 PM »
Day 5:

I’m so glad I made the commitment to post here. Day 5 and all is well. No urges. New pain medication is making me a little spacey. Hopefully that will pass with time. Been going to the gym more regularly, trying to care for myself in healthy ways.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 09:37:42 PM »
Day 6

New medication change has made me somewhat spacey, so I’m realiezing I need to stay aware of triggers that could prompt PMO, like mindless surfing online.  Took care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually today, and it felt good. Was tempted to skate near P like images online, but caught myself and came here instead. Scary how easily it is to mindlessly revert to old habits, especially when they’re not so old. I’m grateful that I can flee to this safe haven.

Filling the day with rest, prayer and Bible study, meditation, and physical exercise has left me tired in a good way. Hopefully I’ll sleep well tonight. having a clean conscience. 

jjacks

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2018, 06:54:42 AM »
Scary how easily it is to mindlessly revert to old habits


I still come back here, two years later, when the temptation lurks. It works, stick with the program.
-JJ

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2018, 07:33:37 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement. Will do!

bob

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2018, 07:49:57 AM »
Welcome to RN.

The one thing I like about this group is the caring and supportive environment it provides.

I appreciate your thoughts and honesty. So many of us travel a similar path. While our spiritual beliefs and our addiction predilection may differ, we all have a common goal. With support, and caring, we gain strength to fight our private battles. They must not be secret but the battles are our own.

Peace to you as well.

dlansky

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 03:38:40 PM »
Welcome to the club, Boris. My faith is a big part of who I am, too, but I also have habitually fallen in the easy practice of pornography and masturbation. It is not that I really have any doubts about whether pornography and masturbation are what God wants for me -- I am sure they are not -- but it is more that when the going gets tough, I tune out God's voice and go for the quick escape. I don't have a large number of "clean" days accumulated yet -- today is day 7 for me -- but I am finding that the space for this habit in my life gets smaller and smaller as I try to grow in my relationship with God, my family and my community, and try to pursue things I am actually passionate about.
Back again to make a lifelong change.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 10:49:24 PM »
Thanks Bob and dlansky for you encouragement.

I too have just hit day seven and I know it’s just the beginning. Addiction and spirituality are not mutually exclusive, I’ve come to learn. We’re all imperfect and prone to weakness and our own sinful tendencies. It doesn’t mean we aren’t acceptable to God. As long as we continue to fight those tendencies and show remorse when we relapse, we’re giving Him something to work with.
I’m so grateful to be able to come here when I’m feeling tempted to relapse. And grateful for your caring and support.

I hope to contribute more to others  as time goes on at present I’m just hanging on myself. Each day is a small victory that I cherish.


dlansky

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2018, 11:12:56 AM »
A couple of priests have reminded me that even when we feel like we aren't growing in our relationship with God, it could be that the relationship is growing in ways we cannot see. It has occurred to me that sometimes God may allow us to continue to fall into addiction, despite our desire to change and our prayers for His help, because He sees something else in us that He wants to work on first, whether it is pride, greater trust in Him, laziness in prayer or anything else that holds us back from Him. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord." - Isaiah 55:8.

It occurred to me once that the only time I was coming to God in prayer was when it had something to do with porn or masturbation. If my relationship with God is the most important thing in my existence, but the only time I pay attention to that relationship is when I fall into lust, would it be loving for God to miraculously lift that burden for me, allowing me to forget about my need for Him?
Back again to make a lifelong change.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2018, 10:39:37 PM »
 Day 8

 I’m beginning to notice a number of small triggers that I never did before. Now that I am more cognizant and let’s fight. I realize I need to be more respectful of those subtle cues can trigger improper thoughts.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2018, 01:17:19 PM »
Day11

I’m feeling like I’m getting to a point of being conscious of my own sexual desires and urges, but still in control of how I want to act on them. At this time, I don’t want to act on them at all. It feels somewhat empowering and at the same time scary, since that decision is entirely up to me.

The longer I go, the more self respect I have. Today was the first day that the fear of failure hit me.  Not that I’m feeling tempted, but that I fear relapsing.  I’m liking the way I currently feel and don’t want to blow it because of some past notion of pleasure and release. 

The longest I have  been totally abstinent since I was 12 is three months, and that was only because I was paralyzed from the neck down and  cathetericed.  The next longest run was 65 days, when I was rebooting in another online community. In both cases it wasn’t the porn, it was the masturbation. For me that seems to be the pattern, and then the viscious cycle begins. I’m spending less time on line, which is helping.

My apologies for not contributing more or showing you all more support. Right now I’m just fighting to regain my emotional and moral balance, and that entails breaking bad habits, one of which is dependence on my electronic devices. The dopamine rush from mindless surfing is very dangerous for me. I promise I’ll pay it forward in the future as  I regain my balance.

Thanks for being there.

uncreatedlight

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2018, 09:25:01 AM »
Good job!  You are coming up on two weeks.  The first couple of weeks are pretty hard.  You aren't going to relapse.  I know it.  Stop worrying about it.   :)

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2018, 09:51:25 PM »
Day 15
Thanks for the vote of confidence, uncreated light. Yesterday marks two weeks of my reboot. I’m feeling good about my progress in general. The last few days have been tough, but my resolve is strong.

It’s interesting, not acting on impulses. Simply letting my body experience an urge and letting it pass is enlightening. I feel like I’m rediscovering what it feels like to feel again. The longer the abstinence,
the stronger  and more in control I feel.  My self esteem is improving as well. This is a good journey.
 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 09:54:21 PM by Boris »

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2018, 10:06:20 PM »
 I’ve been doing some up reading on a new medication that I’ve have been taking for the past few weeks, and I found out that one of the side effects is a decrease and sexual desire, and/or erectile disfunction. It’s kind of  funny that I’ve been thinking I am in great control and have all this will power, when the partial reality is that the medication is doing a good portion of the work.

My issue now is that  now I’m curious as to whether not achieving an erection/orgasm is even possible, however I don’t want to go there and find myself relapsing. I  have not been experiencing morning erections and assumed I was just flatlining.  I’m hoping that this is the case, and not a side effect of the medication. If I decide to go off this medication I’ll have to learn to control these sexual urges all over again. I imagine my mindset should be in a different place at that point and that I’ll be better equipped to handle those challenges.

Time will tell. 

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2018, 10:13:36 PM »
Day 19/ Day 1

Was looking for info regarding testicular health and self exams and stumbled on nude photos of both women and men. Nothing hardcore. Quickly closed the window and got out. The incident didn’t lead to masturbation, but I still feel accountable.

I have never been a regular porn viewer, but I don’t even want to occasionally succumb to its lure. I don’t need it to achieve arousal. I don’t want to rely on masturbation to avoid porn.  I want to break free from both.

I need to check in here daily to stay focused.


bob

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2018, 04:52:23 AM »
Glad to hear you were able to get out and not be triggered. That's shows progress.

Peace

dlansky

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2018, 11:21:55 AM »
Glad to see you are up to day 19. Perhaps this is backward thinking, but it occurred to me that a medication that lowered my libido might help a lot. Even if it means you aren't feeling the full force of the sexual urges you might otherwise experience, you are building habits that do not involve pornography or masturbation and turning to other things for joy and pleasure. That's great.

Of course, I'm sure you could do without whatever issue you are taking the medication for -- I wish you well physically, mentally and spiritually.
Back again to make a lifelong change.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2018, 08:47:15 PM »
Thanks Bob. It does make me realize that diligence is necessary on all levels , and we are all only a click away from a relapse. A good but scary wake up call.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2018, 09:12:07 PM »
Glad to see you are up to day 19. Perhaps this is backward thinking, but it occurred to me that a medication that lowered my libido might help a lot. Even if it means you aren't feeling the full force of the sexual urges you might otherwise experience, you are building habits that do not involve pornography or masturbation and turning to other things for joy and pleasure. That's great.

Of course, I'm sure you could do without whatever issue you are taking the medication for -- I wish you well physically, mentally and spiritually.

Thanks for your perspective dlansky. I’m taking Cymbalta for both depression and pain management. I recently went off of Wellbutrin and Celebrex. I’ve been treated for clinical depression for most of my life and manage it quite well. Occasionally I need to switch meds as they seem to have a life span of effectiveness of about ten years for me. I also deal with the after effects of GBS, a autoimmune disorder which caused permanent nerve damage and pain. At its worst, I was paralyzed from the neck down, in the ICU for months on life support. Fortunately, my condition is greatly improved and my life is mostly back to normal.

You’re right, the side effects of the medication is making it easier to control sexual urges. My own problem is that my stupid curiosity gets in the way. Knowing the med can cause erectile disfunction then makes me want to see whether or not I can achieve one, instead of leaving well enough alone. It amounts to skating on thin ice.

I realize I can’t be playing a game of chicken with bad behavior., because in a game of chicken there are no winners. And I’m playing this game with myself as my opponent. 

uncreatedlight

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2018, 09:17:43 PM »
Glad to hear you are staying strong.  Back when I was concerned about performing sexually regularly I avoided soy and other phytoestrogens that might affect my desire.  I enjoy the liberty of not worrying about them now.

Because feeling an urge and not acting on it rewires the brain more quickly than not feeling urges or suppressing them, I figure it's best to let them come.  I try to take a natural antidepressant that doesn't mute desire.

Are you on an actual libido-suppressing medication, such as an antidepressant, or something like high-blood-pressure meds that cause ED, but don't dampen libido?  Either way, I would not attribute your self-control to medication entirely.  Perhaps it helps a little, but these reward pathways are more complicated than that.

You get credit for time served!  The work you are doing isn't in vain.  It will continue to have an impact later.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2018, 04:21:45 PM »
Day 24
Thanks ucreatedlight  for the insight.  I am currently on Cymbalta which is used for depression and pain management. Some of the side effects are a suppressed libido and erectile disfunction. I have a pretty complicated medical history, due to a wonky immune system, so at the moment the medication is necessary for functioning.  I’ll be going into see my doctor this coming week and we can always work on perhaps adjusting to a lower dosage.

I’m sure that rebooting without being on the medication will probably rewire my brain more quickly, but right now it’s not an option. For health reasons I also keep it fairly strict diet, Which eliminates chemicals, processed foods, sugar, dairy, gluten, as well as any other enjoyable  edibles. LOL That’s been going on for about two years and I seem to cope pretty well with that. I can’t say that I haven’t fallen off the food wagon numerous times, but I realize that I have to be in it for the long-haul, so I get back on the horse.

That’s how I’m trying to look at this reboot as well. That is not to say that I’m giving myself permission to slip up. I’m not. But if it should occur I am committed to owning up to my failure, and getting back on track.

Boris

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Re: Conscience Cleanse
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2018, 11:23:45 PM »
Day31