Author Topic: Trekking to Freedom  (Read 4138 times)

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2019, 06:19:07 PM »
Hi jj07! Thanks for your well-written post. I agree with all your points. It took me a long time to bite the bullet and start journaling, and it’s too early to say definitively that it’s going to make a really big difference but it feels like it’s helping. Certainly, I’ve read in several other places that it’s a strong tool to use.

Yes I think vigilance is crucial. I do have to keep coming back here and YBOP to remind myself that I’m still a work in progress. On other occasions I’ve thought, “Hey, I’m OK, I’m not missing PMO at all, I haven’t had  any strong urges for quite a while.” Then, maybe a couple of days later, suddenly, out of the blue, CRASH! I foolishly find some pretext for looking at something I shouldn’t, and I’m gone!

So, as well as reminding myself every day or two of my intention of being free of PMO and also keeping “safety straps” in place to make it difficult to access eye candy, soft porn or hard porn without deliberate effort, I’m also trying to do more worthwhile activities for self improvement. I guess, it’s all part of “Project BigMog.” I’m beginning to read more books, either physical or on Kindle, fiction and non-fiction, but avoiding just browsing on pc or tablet in case I get diverted where I don’t want to go. I’m in gradual training for various running activities. I also have a few other minor hobbies. An important point for me is that these aren’t just distraction activities, to make me avoid porn or to fill in the time when I would otherwise be using porn, they’re activities I feel are worthwhile in themselves and for which I have goals and targets.They are part of what I hope is a positive upward cycle of improvement.

That probably all sounds a bit self centred, but of course by doing these things and weaning myself off PMO, it will also make me, I hope, more stable, happy and therefore attentive to my family. So I guess my motivation is to be a better husband, dad and generally more accomplished all round.

Keep trekking everyone!

9 Days Clean

Jbow

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2019, 07:17:51 AM »
Good job big. I know from my 3 + years of battling this horrible addiction you need to really be aware of YouTube.  You can get on there with the best of intentions and before you know it, it has sent you down a dark alley.  Then when it has you on the very risky videos you decide to check out your porn site.  I know this because I've had this happen to me more than I care to remember.  I was on YouTube yesterday watching gary wilson and coach church. Just be careful.  It's a very slippery slope.  Good luck and keep your guard up every second of every day.
mg][/url]

workinprogressUK

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2019, 09:48:31 AM »
they’re activities I feel are worthwhile in themselves and for which I have goals and targets.They are part of what I hope is a positive upward cycle of improvement.

That probably all sounds a bit self centred, but of course by doing these things and weaning myself off PMO, it will also make me, I hope, more stable, happy and therefore attentive to my family. So I guess my motivation is to be a better husband, dad and generally more accomplished all round.
9 Days Clean

Good progress, BigMog! For what it's worth, I totally buy-in to your plan to fill your time with positive, challenging, real-world activities that prevent a risky vacuum being established once we remove the P. That was certainly key to my longest spells of sobriety. Although in my case, the healthy activities didn't all prove sustainable over the long term. And I don't think you should worry too much about being a little self-centred. It sounds like you're keeping things balanced and your family will definitely appreciate the brighter, more engaged, BigMog. From another perspective, fixing your addiction surely has to take precedence over your other emotional commitments, too. More power to you!

Rex

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2019, 11:56:47 PM »
BigMog,

Great work!  You're now into week #2, won't be long before you are cruising into week #3.  Keep remaining vigilant, it will get easier as you continue to move forward.  You're doing great!
Rex
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BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2019, 04:32:30 PM »
Hi Rex, WIPUK, Jbow,
Thank you so much for your encouraging words. They really help. I’ll post more in a day or two.
Keep up the good fight.

11 Days Clean

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2019, 05:04:21 PM »
Nothing much to report. No urges, no cravings. TBH, not much sign of life downstairs, but I’m not too concerned. At the moment I’m happier to be in flatline than fighting constant cravings.

12 Days Clean

Jbow

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2019, 11:06:05 PM »
Good job big. Rightnow you need to be very cautious.  Right now your brain wants to trick you into getting that dopamine rush. Be careful, just know that. Your going to think your little one isn't working anymore. It is.  Your brain is changing right now. Stay strong brother.  We are all on a roller coaster ride. Ups and downs.
mg][/url]

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2019, 06:47:08 AM »
Thanks for the reminder Jbow! It’s good to be reminded how easy it is to step off the right path and before I know it find myself at the bottom of the abyss.

Last night we had a pleasant meal out with another family we know. With our family and work commitments we don’t do that too often so it was a welcome reminder to me of how important social connections are. I can almost feel new or under-used neural connections firing-up just from chatting and interacting with other real  humans in a relaxed, non-work setting.

Naturally, I want to choose to stimulate the right neurones and not the ones associated with PMO. I just need to be vigilant and do everything I can to ensure I make the right choice whenever I’m tempted to do otherwise.

At 14 days now- a small milestone. Let’ all keep going to win this battle!

switched_off_again

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2019, 06:47:54 PM »
Hi BigMog - good to read that you're currently doing well. Reading through your posts, I see a lot of experiences and thoughts I recognise from my own Reboot - the need for extra vigilance when feeling high or low - that's where I came unstuck the last couple of relapses. The less than stellar sex life with my wife, yep know it well - I have to learn to be realistic and gain perspective though - we're in our 50's, there's loads of responsibilities and other pressures on our time and emotions - we are not going to have a sex life comparable to that of a 20 year old.... That's one of the things I've thought before - my PMO habit has stopped my attitude towards sex from maturing in line with my age. I've remained overly sensitised and way too dialed in and dependent on sex for comfort.

Anyway I'm keeping it brief tonight - sleep's required after staying up too late last night getting all maudlin...

Keep it up, stay vigilant, we can beat this!
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

workinprogressUK

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2019, 11:26:46 AM »
Last night we had a pleasant meal out with another family we know. With our family and work commitments we don’t do that too often so it was a welcome reminder to me of how important social connections are. I can almost feel new or under-used neural connections firing-up just from chatting and interacting with other real  humans in a relaxed, non-work setting.

At 14 days now- a small milestone. Let’ all keep going to win this battle!

Congrats on the milestone and on investing in a night out. After years of addiction, and your non-P neural pathways getting overgrown and out of shape, do you find yourself becoming more introverted? I really have to challenge myself to be more sociable nowadays, because I think addiction in whichever form it presents itself, tends to make the sufferer withdraw into themselves. Even in recovery. Nice work, BigMog. Keep pushing yourself out there.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2019, 04:04:03 PM »
Thanks WIPUK, certainly if I’ve just had a binge within the last day or too I want to avoid any social situations! Having said that, I think I always was a bit of an introvert, but then again may be that was because of P(very softcore)MO as a teenager. Hard to untangle all of that.
Over the last few years I’ve kept a journal, more a spreadsheet really and amongst other things, as suggested by a self-help book years ago, I’ve recorded “three things which have made me happy this week.” A bit simplistic really,  but it very quickly showed that the highlights of my weeks were often simply interactions or conversations with friends, colleagues or neighbours or family. These are preferably in small groups or even individually. I’ve always found large gatherings slightly stressful.
So yes, It can be a struggle sometimes but I try to make a point of some socialising and interactions, so hats off to my wife who arranged the outing on Saturday after I’d suggested it a week or so back.

Feeling a bit under the weather today, but still trekking along:

16 Days Clean

workinprogressUK

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2019, 06:48:34 AM »
Congrats on staying clean so far, BigMog. Keep working it. For what it's worth, your spreadsheet sounds well worthwhile. Whatever it is that keeps us present and keeps our brains engaged in the real world has to be worth it, right?

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2019, 12:17:09 PM »
Thanks WIPUK. Still trekking:
17 Days Clean

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2019, 04:41:39 PM »
Still trekking. A few brief, mild, urges today, but was able to just note them and leave them behind.  My main problem today was being very unfocused on work. I eventually was able to grit my teeth and get on with it, but a bit of a struggle.

19 Days Clean.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2019, 05:09:00 PM »
Still going OK. I head off for a week away for work. As before, I’m taking plenty to read and watch while I’m away and the circumstances are not as stressful as previous trips, so I’m hoping I can stay on the wagon. I’ll make sure I check in with RN most nights, just so I don’t forget my mission. Last time I fell when I arrived home-hoping I can avoid that on this occasion.

Keep trekking everyone.

20 Days Clean

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2019, 04:13:48 PM »
Not a very interesting journal at the moment! Still going Ok, but in a hotel for the week so I need to keep vigilant.

21 Days Clean

Jbow

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2019, 10:18:15 PM »
Just stay strong brother. This could be a real test for you. Just be alert and know temptation might come a knockin. 
mg][/url]

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2019, 05:02:47 PM »
Thanks Jbow-you’re absolutely right!
I’ve been busy with work and tired in the evenings and although I’ve skimmed through a few new posts in journals, I’ve not posted here myself. Suddenly this evening when I got back, I found myself beginning to think about looking for porn. Fortunately, I was able to remember that is exactly what I don’t want to do! It is strange that if I don’t visit this site and post or remind myself about my aims some other way every couple of days, I forget my goals. So after this post, I’ll read a few more journal entries and force myself to respond to at least one, even though I’m pretty tired.
The week has gone pretty well so far. I knew some of the colleagues at the meetings already, so it wasn’t too stressful. As usual, at times I felt a complete fraud because I think I know and understand far less about everything related to the project than anybody else. But I guess on my particular, small area I’ve been able to demonstrate I have some useful information. I think I gave a pretty reasonable presentation and contributed to the discussion and completed useful documentation subsequently.
Perhaps feeling more relaxed and even moderately successful made part of me think that I deserved a “treat.” Anyway, I think I’m OK now.

Keep strong everyone!

23 Days Clean

joepanic

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2019, 08:49:47 AM »
Nice going Bigmog    your coming up on a month   hold strong for that milestone  for me it felt like a sense of accomplishment   I'll tryb to stop in later  and post a bit more

     Post often it helped me it will help you

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2019, 12:43:08 PM »
Unfortunately, I let myself down and had a lapse at the end of my week away for work. Got to the hotel room on my last night, quite late and tired and started purposelessly channel flipping and began to slide down the slippery slope. It continued when I got home the following day. Things had generally been going well at work during the week but I had a bit of a set-back on the last day. Not sure if that affected my attitude and resilience.

There are a few trends here:
The first seems to be that I’m more vulnerable when I’m away from home and out of my usual routine.
Also I seem to coast along pretty well for a while with not much in the way of craving for a few weeks, but then when I see the funnel I sometimes can’t resist dancing on the edge of it with the inevitable consequences.
Tiredness, being upset or in other ways being emotionally out of kilter make me more likely to fall.

Of course I probably already knew all of the above, but it still hasn’t stopped me eliminating the lapses. The good news is  ;) I have several similar trips coming up which will allow me opportunities to perfect my tactics to stay clean.

The other positive is that my two lapses this year have so far not degenerated into major binges as I had over the Christmas break.

Joepanic, Jbow, many thanks for your recent encouragement. Reading your comments here and in your own journals has helped me to be determined to get back on my horse and keep on trekking, even though it has been and will continue to be along journey.

Keep Trekking everybody.

1 Day Clean.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2019, 02:30:09 PM »
So for a few days I’ve been off the horse and wallowing in the pit of filth. Once I fall off I do find it hard to fight off the chaser effect and I end up finding the defects in the defences in my technology and binging repeatedly.
This is quite worrying because it’s a pattern of behaviour I’m probably reinforcing: periods of up to a few weeks of abstinence followed by binging. The “chaser” effect is really powerful, once I’ve lapsed even for a comparatively short time, I find that intermittently for days afterwards I’m craving and very easily triggered.
As well as just the arousal, some of it is emotional, I feel such a klutz when I’ve lapsed that part of me wants to medicate to make me feel better, which of course leads to a downward spiral.
All of this I know is not unique to me and I’ve read similar descriptions elsewhere.
Anyway, I’ve come to my senses now. I just need to work out how to fix the technical weakness in my defences (Amazon Firesticks belonging to my wife in this case) and to also reinforce my good habits of general self-improvement, mindfulness and of course posting here.

Keep strong everyone.


Jbow

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2019, 08:00:18 AM »
Good morning big mog...welcome to porn addiction.  I know exactly how you feel. I can imagine you get into your own private motel room and know you can do whatever you want on the internet, and no chance of getting caught,  most of us in here have experienced this. You might even get like butterflies in your stomach as you walk into your room.  You just need to know how you are going to feel when all is said and done. Over the last couple of months I've had many opportunities to go on a binge.im going to choose to stop doing that. I'm so damn sick of doing that and feeling like shit, and then just spiraling out if control. I'm hoping I haven't offended you, in just speaking from the heart. Porn is no longer an option. Stay strong brother. You can beat this demon.
mg][/url]

switched_off_again

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2019, 06:19:57 PM »
Hey BigMog - Hope you've managed to get back on an even keel. Your reboot echoes alot of my experience even in terms of the timing of relapses. I'd a really good initial run before Christmas, which, even with a few not so good patches since then, I think is still having a positive effect in that I can flip back from the dark side in to non PMO habits quite quickly and it soons feel normal again.

 However the relapse cycle can make you feel dis-heartened and ask I why you are putting yourself through this. The positives are that we don't seem to sink quite so low as before rebooting and we are at least aware of the need to climb back on the wagon.

When I was thinking about my relapses recently, I likened it in my head to walking on ice, you think you're doing ok, then all of a sudden almost unbeknownst to you, you hit a thin patch or a crack and you plummet back in to the mire... How to avoid these cracks? I think I've realised just how strong triggers can sub-consciously be. I didn't realise the connection between watching a programme with a nice looking woman in it, to all the objects of desire that are tattoed inside my head....

Anyway I'm going on too long. Hope you feel ok and have got over horrible post relapse darkness...
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #48 on: February 15, 2019, 02:17:18 PM »
Hi Jbow and switched off-many thanks for your replies. It does help to know I’m not on my own.

Jbow-I’m not offended at all-glad to be given the encouragement! Interesting you mention butterflies, sometimes when I’ve started looking at a website, especially when I’ve been clean for a while, I actually start shaking and trembling. Yep, addiction type symptoms. Porn is no longer an option.

Switched-off- yes it certainly isn’t linear progress! I think the ice analogy is a good one. In my case, I’m sure I sometimes see the crack or thin ice and deliberately slide towards it. This is where I hope doing extra mindfulness practice will help, in that I will be aware of part of my brain thinking “Oh, Wow! I really have to do that!”  but will be able to pause, breathe deeply and appreciate that it is only a thought and I don’t have to act out on it. That’s the theory anyway, hence I’m increasing the number of 10 minute mindfulness sessions I’m doing per day with the app I use. I know it’s not a magic bullet but, with the other things I’m doing, I’m hoping it will help tip the balance in my favour when the urges next hit.

Anyway, thanks again for your encouragement. Keep trekking!

1 Day Clean

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2019, 04:41:12 PM »
Rather lack-lustre today and feeling low about my job and my lack of achievement in general. Probably at least partially a hangover from my last binge. Keeping to my 3x10minutes of guided mindfulness through each day. Hope this will provide some more resistance next time the cravings hit.

Keep trekking everyone.

2 Days Clean.