Author Topic: Trekking to Freedom  (Read 4537 times)

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #100 on: June 21, 2019, 03:02:58 AM »
I’m away next week for a few days for work, so will prepare the usual safeguards and make sure I have plenty of positive activities to do in the evenings. It will be stressful but my aim is to be aware of my mood and meditate and take plenty of exercise to stay on an even keel.
I realise that during my last long streak I definitely experienced stress and became quite miserable, grumpy and morose. Some of this is attributable to my work situation which is difficult at the moment but I think also probably to withdrawal symptoms from staying away from porn. Knowing this in advance, I hope, will help me deal with it.
Anyway 12 Days Clean
Stay strong everyone.

jixu

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #101 on: June 21, 2019, 08:03:14 AM »
Best wishes on your trip-looking forward to a good recap report!

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #102 on: June 29, 2019, 08:40:11 AM »
 Thanks for your support Jixu.

So in terms of work, my trip was Ok but I slipped during the week and when I got home on Friday.

Although I know the theory of the various actions to take when I’m triggered I find it very hard to apply them when I’m on the brink of a slip. The “chimp” part of the brain shouts down the rational part that’s telling me that I really don’t want to do PMO.
I’ve applied passcodes to the settings that control the content restrictions of my devices and made sure I don’t memorise them. I thought the fact that I have to hunt down the passcodes would give me enough time to come to my senses, but that doesn’t always work. Once I’ve started looking for them it seems I’m already sliding uncontrollably to a lapse.

I had a good streak of 77 days earlier in the year, but have been struggling to get into double figures during the last month and really want to find a way of crawling out of the swamp I’m currently in. A lot of pressure and stress at work isn’t helping the situation.

I guess one extra layer of short-term protection I can give myself is to send the passcodes to someone else and then delete any records I have of them. If I need to change any settings for legitimate reasons I would contact the holder who could send the codes to me after at least twenty four hours.

Of course I still need to work on the other strands of the process: replacing PMO with wholesome activities, mindfulness, educating myself on the brain science of PMO addiction, generally looking after myself and keeping disciplined. I feel I’ve made some progress with these but I still haven’t been able to tip the scales in favour of staying clean from PMO permanently or at least for prolonged periods.

Keep trekking everyone.





switched_off_again

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #103 on: June 30, 2019, 04:52:01 PM »
Keep climbing back on the wagon BigMog. Another clean streak is just around the corner. That's what I tell myself anyway!

It's weird - I toyed with locking down things, using filters, throwing away passwords etc. But I've done that in the past and the thing I've found is once chimp is in control, hacking through the protection becomes part of the thrill :( The trick for me I think is to keep my mood right - stay on the level and this is easy. Also easier said than done!

Keep fighting!
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 #104 on: July 01, 2019, 02:36:38 AM »
Many thanks for the encouragement and input Switched-off. I think you’re probably right because however good the protection there is always a way through or round it in the end. Ultimately, I have to control myself and avoid letting the chimp dictate my actions. I can let him scream and holler, but have to learn to successfully apply the tricks and techniques to avoid sliding into the pit.
So yes, mindfulness and keeping on an even keel emotionally is very important.

June was a pretty catastrophic month for lapses. I’m working to make July a lot better.

Keep trekking everyone.

Two days Clean.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #105 on: July 06, 2019, 06:58:23 AM »
Going smoothly at the moment. Back into the routine of mindfulness, reading up on YBOP etc. Two extra improvements which I hope will also help me are that I’ve joined a sociable sporting group in the last few weeks and I’ve also found an improvement to the way I organise my work which, although it’s early days, seems to help me stay calmer and more focused. We’ll see.

Stay strong everyone.

7 Days Clean

switched_off_again

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #106 on: July 06, 2019, 06:22:23 PM »
Good to hear your firmly back in the saddle and making progress.

Stay strong!
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 #107 on: July 11, 2019, 01:03:53 PM »
Thanks Switched-off,

Not much to report. Just sticking to the routine. Noticed I was restless and slightly triggered this morning so I read some of the posts in the Success Stories section. That helped get stay focused on my goals.

12 Days Clean.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 03:48:15 PM by BigMog »

switched_off_again

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #108 on: July 11, 2019, 06:38:32 PM »
Good stuff BigMog. I reckon those of us that have slipped a few times at least get better at noticing the warning signs, so hopefully we're better prepared. Good to see you're sticking to it!

Stay strong!
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 #109 on: July 15, 2019, 03:22:35 AM »
Thanks Switched-off.

Almost had a couple of slips over the weekend. It was the usual scenario, allowed myself to be left on my own, on one of the occasions late at night and a little irritable, without a real plan of what I was going to do. Mercifully, the IT controls I have in place were, this time, just enough for me to recover my composure and escape. Also knowing I’m aiming to take part in some sporting events over the next couple of weeks was a help.
A positive result, but I still feel a little triggered this morning so will do some reading and meditation before starting work.

Keep up the good fight everybody.

16 Days Clean.

workinprogressUK

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #110 on: July 15, 2019, 03:28:17 AM »

A positive result, but I still feel a little triggered this morning so will do some reading and meditation before starting work.


Great work, BigMog. First level controls and Second level emotional commitment paying-off. You have a plan to defend yourself in those trigger moments and you executed it. It worked. Outstanding. And you're executing your processes again this morning with some study. Inspiring. Thanks, mate. Reading your update has strengthened me today.

switched_off_again

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #111 on: July 19, 2019, 06:53:26 PM »
Hope you're still trekking BigMog. Stay strong.
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 #112 on: July 27, 2019, 09:50:59 AM »
Thanks for the support Switched-off and WiPUk.

I’ve had a few slips the last week or so, but I’ m now on more of an even keel. Lots of stress and travel for work may have contributed. All the routines, processes and safeguards I have in place work to an extent but sometimes I get thrown off course. Reading other journals here it looks like others have similar experiences. I guess I need to just keep working at keeping the right mind-set whatever else is going on in my life.

Fortunately, some of the problems at work have been  alleviated recently, so I’m hoping that keeping on track may become a little easier for a while.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #113 on: July 30, 2019, 03:38:52 AM »
Feeling a little flat at the moment. Work has calmed down a bit, but I still need to focus.
As far as the reboot is concerned I feel I regularly have streaks of varying lengths followed by relapses, which is in itself a habit and, from what I’ve read is a repeated sequence that is difficult to break out from. I’m early on in this streak and I know from previous experience that the mood swings etc will hit later on, so I need to be prepared.
Also my wife is frequently down and I think has low self esteem. She has had other problems in her life but I can’t help feeling that my moodiness, lethargy and lack of libido have also played their part.

Anyway, enough grumbling and whinging. I must press on, at least I’m........

3 Days Clean

switched_off_again

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #114 on: July 30, 2019, 06:01:03 PM »
Recognise a lot of me in your post Big Mog. How to get past those moments 20-30 days in to a streak when it goes wrong again. Self control is easy 90% of the time. What do we need to get through the other 10%?

Looking on the bright side, I've been at this since last September and I haven't given up yet. I've learned a lot about behaviour and mood, and there's been a lot more clean days than not clean days - that in itself is an achievement given where I was. Being on the wagon is a lot easier than it was when I started this - the emotions fall in to place a lot quicker - I was all over the place at first and genuinely didn't know if a day could go by without PMO. Things are so much better now. How to make it permanent though? How to get stronger from each relapse rather than letting it  undermine confidence?

Others have done it - we can too.

Stay strong!

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 #115 on: August 03, 2019, 09:02:24 AM »
Thanks for your post Switched-off.
Yes, exactly it’s that 10% or even 1% of the time that’s the problem. I guess the first level protection helps because I have to do a number of specific actions to access anything remotely porn-like so the fleeting temptation isn’t going to snare me. The second level of protection by mindfulness, filling my life with good activities etc I’m hoping is gradually increasing my ability to not step into the slippery funnel.
We are about to go on holiday so the stress of work has abated and I’ve set things up so that I shouldn’t be able to access porn anyway but I’m hoping the rest and healthy activities will help to keep me on the right path.

Keep trekking everyone.

7 Days Clean

idunno

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #116 on: August 15, 2019, 12:31:31 PM »
Hi BigMog, hope things are OK with you.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #117 on: August 18, 2019, 09:58:03 AM »
Hi All,

Thanks for asking Idunno. I was on vacation so wasn’t checking in on RN. Probably should have been!

The vacation was generally very good for myself and my family but I allowed myself to get into the situation where a slip was possible on a couple of occasions and unfortunately I didn’t step back from the abyss.

Looking at Jixu’s journal today, it reminded me that it’s important to always be prepared and to know how to react to any kind of trigger. My longer streaks have been when I’m reading on the topic, practising mindfulness and basically priming myself to keep on the  straight and narrow. Sometimes, when I slip, I realise afterwards that I’ve got out of the habit of doing this priming. I guess I get tired of constantly having to remind myself that I’m in this battle and it’s when I take a break from it that I’m most at risk and get taken by surprise by a trigger and end up making a slip.
Also of course there is the “chaser” effect and the general knock to confidence etc when I’ve had a slip that also makes me vulnerable.
Anyway, I’m getting back into good habits, a bit of YBOP or similar every day, mindfulness practice and generally reminding myself that although I don’t like it and that sometimes I want to forget about it, I am in this battle all the time.
Having said that, I do have a choice. Every moment of every day I have a choice; I can choose to do the right thing and stay away from any thoughts or actions that may lead me down the slippery slope to PMO.

Keep trekking everyone!


BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #118 on: August 19, 2019, 03:12:01 PM »
Stressed and restless today. My first day back at work after vacation and it’s rather difficult. It’ll take a few days to get back up to speed and even then I’ll find it a struggle, but whatever the situation I must not use it as an excuse for a slip.
I’ve put a post-it next to my pc in the home office reminding me that every moment of every day I have a choice. My choice will always be to stay away from triggers and PMO. I know enough theory and I have enough safeguards and tricks in my repertoire so now I must consistently apply them.

Anyway that’s this evening’s pep-talk to myself!

Keep trekking everyone. Remember, we do have a choice.


jixu

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #119 on: August 19, 2019, 08:32:00 PM »
Good stuff about choice and putting the reminders up to help along the way.  Hope you have a good transition back to the work routine; work is my stress nemesis so I hear you on that one!  Take care and take it one day at a time1

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #120 on: August 20, 2019, 03:42:57 PM »
Thanks Jixu, yes, one day at a time. Another stressful day at work, but I escaped this evening to participate in a small sporting event. That helped, because of the exercise, talking with acquaintances and going somewhere new and doing something slightly different. It all helps to reduce the stress, make me feel slightly better about myself and grow some new neural connections not related to PMO.

Keep strong everybody. Remember, we do have a choice.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #121 on: August 24, 2019, 06:04:45 AM »
Trundling along OK and back in a reasonable routine after the holiday. I’m still finding work stressful and somewhat chaotic and I know I’m not at my best. However, I’m not going to use that as an excuse and lapse.
I’m sticking with the usual recipe of reading and posting here and reading YBOP as well as practising mindfulness and generally aiming to do wholesome activities when I can.

My best wishes to all  of you on this journey.

Remember we do have a choice.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #122 on: August 31, 2019, 06:40:20 AM »
Still doing OK.
A major burden at work for me has been lifted which is good, but I’m just being careful not to get carried away and fall into the mindset where I feel I can “celebrate” with a fix.
Generally, I’m trying to keep up good habits like keeping busy with productive or nurturing activities as well as the mindfulness which I think helps by increasing my ability to be aware of my thoughts rather than just running with them.
For example sometimes I note that I’m fantasising about someone or a romantic/sexual situation. So I just focus on a few deep breaths and tell myself that these thoughts are unnecessary and no good will come of them and I try to gently move on. At the moment these thoughts are not too intense so it’s fairly easy to deal with them and it’s best do just that since I know where they can lead. An example of the thought process over hours or days for me can be something like, “Oh it’s no good, I could never have that woman or a woman like that in real life......but I know where I can have lots of them who are even better....” Then I find I’m sliding down the slippery slope.
Alternatively, I’ve found that an urge can can just hit me from left-field and I find I’m disabling the protection on my IT equipment ready for a binge for no good reason other then I’ve thought of it and I have the opportunity. Gently monitoring my thought processes, I hope, can help me take stock and make a considered decision in these situations.
So all good so far, but I know things may get more difficult at certain points as the streak progresses.

Anyway keep trekking everyone. Remember we do have a choice.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 08:32:56 AM by BigMog »

Iloveicecream

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #123 on: August 31, 2019, 10:45:36 AM »
I like your sentence we have a choice. That is good to remember. thanks for pointing out.

BigMog

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Re: Trekking to Freedom
« Reply #124 on: September 01, 2019, 09:00:31 AM »
Thanks for the comment  iloveicecream,

Not much to report here. Just trying to keep myself occupied with good activities.
I know things may get more challenging later into the streak and as pressure at work builds up again.

Keep trekking everyone. Remember we do have a choice.