Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 17405 times)

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #700 on: November 16, 2019, 10:43:42 PM »
Great recognizing the emotion, recognizing those tendency's are the first step.

I was thinking the exact same thing, more of those close calls lately for sure. My first thought was, heavily lower internet use for a time. Plan it out. Doesn't need to be permanent.

I figure why over think it? You have been getting these triggers from random stuff on the internet a lot lately, take a break from the internet for awhile (perhaps other than this website and say websites for school work, that have no photos with people int them) and any possible thing that could in the realm of possibility be a trigger. That was my first thought when I read about it. Simplest solution- remove the source of these urges. They are popping up randomly (but always online) so cut out all the online locations that could possibly allow a "random" trigger to pop up.

Doesn't matter why these things are more triggering right now. They are a threat to your recovery, eliminate the threat.

One other thing, which you already know, but encouraging others on the forum always seems to help me. So maybe more time on the forum could actually help a bit. It could also remind you how far you've come and good it is to be in the position you are in.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 10:52:26 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #701 on: November 17, 2019, 11:07:51 PM »
Thanks, man. This is helpful. Yeah, why overthink it? Even if I don't know why these things are happening, I do know that they are happening. I don't have to understand the why in order to put a stop to them. I just have to stop.

You're right too that posting here and supporting other people is a huge boost to recovery.

All good things to think about (but I usually think instead of doing, so maybe I should say all good things to do...)

Not much today

Quiet day, typical Sunday. Ended up talking to a friend until pretty late, which is making me feel like I have to rush off to bed. Whenever I get to sleep late, the next day is never that good (meaning I feel tired and off the next day). So I'm looking forward to kind of an off day tomorrow, but that sounds pessimistic, so who knows? Maybe it will be fantastic!

Only one way to find out...

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #702 on: November 17, 2019, 11:22:53 PM »
Awesome, an off day sounds like it'll be really good.

Yeah, my thinking is "whys" in general can turn out bad. Why do I feel this way, why doesn't this girl like me etc.

Maybe why's just amplify.... when we why positive things (in the right way) it can up motivation or confidence, but doing it for the negatives can stick obviously.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #703 on: November 18, 2019, 09:55:56 PM »
Yeah, like having a good "why" for recovery is important. It's hard to sustain without a motivating reason. But I definitely get stuck in thinking that I have to understand something completely before I do anything about it, maybe thinking that all I have to do solve a problem is learn more about it. Well, knowing about a problem is not the same things as fixing it, and that's worth remembering.

Today was kind of quiet

Definitely feeling the lack of sleep, but the day was okay. Went to school, and it was kind of boring today but it's school, what do I expect lol?

Ran into Ph really briefly, chatted a little. Nothing amazing, just normal and okay. This is where my brain plays tricks and tries to convince me that a normal conversation is a bad thing or a step backwards. It's not. I know it's not, but that tricky brain... I think I'm getting a little better at not listening to that part of my brain, but I've been listening to it for so long that it still takes some work.

Not worrying about literally everything is hard work. No wonder I always used to run away to the numbing world of PMO. But working through it all, even when it's hard, is way better than just numbing it away with addiction. At least now I feel like I'm actually getting somewhere.


quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #704 on: November 18, 2019, 10:39:15 PM »
Yup, good insights. Yeah not sure if I said it but I think why's can be like amplifiers.

Why quit PMO? Is AWESOME it's how we motivate ourselves, why's can be positives.

But why's like why doesn't this girl like. Or even What might she not like about me. ETC. Basically why's about negative things we can never really know the answer too stink. It's really just like using our brain to scan for and amplify insecurities. Unless we can be legit purely logical.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #705 on: November 19, 2019, 12:49:50 AM »
Hey Blue,

Sorry it's been so long since I last wrote on your journal. I can say that I'm all caught up now, though.

I'm glad you went on a date with Ph again. May I ask, did you have any physical contact with her, like kissing etc? Also, please feel free to not answer this if its too personal (although anonymous), but have you ever had any serious relationships? How many girls have you had sex with? How old are you? I'm trying to gage how to best respond to your posts and I just feel like knowing a bit about your sexual history would help me help you, if you know what I'm saying. Again, feel free to shoot me down if you don't feel comfortable answering these questions and I won't be offended.

Congrats on over 250 days, that's huge! With regard to these urges that have been coming, I think it could very well have something to do with how you are going through a little anxiety with dating and general life stuff at the moment. I think we all have these anxieties deep down in our core. I like to call them 'core anxieties' -- human condition type stuff. We are after all these weird complex creatures with complex minds hurtling through space on a rock that miraculously harbours something that we refer to as 'life'. 'Life' is just a word we made up for whatever 'it' is, because whatever that 'it' is, it's not just on this planet. I think that all humans feel this deeply, and that they have ways of numbing themselves to those feelings, because it's scary to be so raw. Whether it's work, drinking, working out, drugs, or porn, most people are using some sort of behaviour or substance as a distraction and aren't brave enough to face the core anxieties. I've been through a few major breakdowns in my life, and all of led to deeper realisations of who I am, deep down, in a very peaceful way. I think that most of our anxieties come down to the fact that we are constantly trying to ascribe value and meaning to life, but our concepts are never enough to comprehend the magnitude of reality. Our brains are limited to operating in concepts and concepts alone. When our concepts don't match up to the reality that we are experiencing, we feel anxious. This also applies to the idea of self. The idea of ourselves as separate entities with feelings and emotions is true, but how true? Only as true as our concept of a 'person' would allow. If our concepts are limited, then what can we grasp to that's really fixed? There's nothing that's really fixed, and that's the problem - that is what causes the anxiety. Radical acceptance of the fact that nothing's really fixed, nothing's permanent, and that everything is a concept, is a start. If you let go of your concepts suddenly it might at first feel a little nihilistic, but in actual fact it's total neutrality, and it's just what's true. You may feel like an exposed nerve right now a little bit, and you have no crutch to numb you - no porn, no relationship, no drugs, no sex. It is an incredible opportunity to see if it's really real or just relatively real. The good news is you don't have do really do anything to have this kind of experience, just be open and 'be' with yourself, just as you are.

So you feel a little lost right now? So what?
You feel a little anxious about some stuff? So what?
You feel that you're not the same person you used to be? So what?

Is any of that stuff really real, or just another concept? Just another relative truth?

Maybe you're feeling like this because you're on to something - exposing something that was hidden and remains hidden in most for the rest of their lives? I guess it's up to you to explore it when and if you want.


BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #706 on: November 19, 2019, 06:41:46 PM »
Yup, good insights. Yeah not sure if I said it but I think why's can be like amplifiers.

Yeah, I think we're on the same page, but I like the idea of amplifiers. I think that's the best way to put it: they make things stronger, whether that's motivating us to do something good or getting us trapped in trying to figure out something bad.

Makes me wonder about other things in life that could be amplifiers...

Hey Blue,

Sorry it's been so long since I last wrote on your journal. I can say that I'm all caught up now, though.

Hey, no problem! I'm just glad to hear it's all worth catching up on. Thanks for your insights! You said it exactly right when you said I might be feeling like a raw nerve without any of the usual crutches. I have been feeling pretty vulnerable as I just move around the day, and there definitely is that tug to go back to hiding in the old habits. It is a time for learning and growth, though, even if it feels pretty aimless these days. Someday, I think I'll look back and see how it all made sense. Until then, I'll keep wandering as well as I know how, lol.

As for your questions, I guess I'll say that I'm in my late 20s, and I have had one serious relationship before. We were talking marriage, and then it all just ended pretty quickly and for apparently no good reason (at least no good reason in my mind...something about timing...). That took me a while to dig myself out of. Aside from that, mostly one-off dates with different women, sometimes a couple date with the same person. Honestly, in a lot of ways, I feel like that relationship set such a high bar (in my mind) that I have been maybe too quick to reject people for not measuring up to "the one that got away." I guess I always figured that if I could take a relationship that far with someone that great, there was really no reason to spend much time with someone who I clearly wasn't that interested in. There was an almost-relationship at the end of last year that turned sour, and I ended it but it took a long time for that break-up to actually be finally and officially resolved. That was messy and painful and really threw me for a loop for the better part of this year. But I'm really feeling in a better place now.

No sex. When I get ready to say it's for religious reasons, I hear a voice in my head say, "Well that never stopped you from getting a PMO addiction," but I realize that's a cruel voice. One of the big goals of this recovery is to live in a way that aligns with my beliefs better. And that means no sex (except in marriage, of course). Besides, because my religion is important to how I want to live my life and raise a family, the people I have dated have all had the same beliefs (maybe that sounds narrow-minded, but maybe not). So I guess that only means anyone I would seriously consider dating would be on the same page in that regard.

I guess I will also say that the one relationship that really worked started off very slowly. We were mostly friends for a long time (probably mostly because I had never done any of it before and I was too scared to make my intentions clearer from the start), but it's also true that I'm probably more methodical and unhurried by nature. I'm hesitant to say too much about Ph (since I'm definitely not getting her consent to talk about her), but I will say that, in my mind anyway, two dates feels way too soon for anything to have happened (but there's a part of me that realizes my "just right" could be other people's "way too slow").

How about all that?

Today was normal

Really not much to say about the day today. Just work (or sitting at work without enough to do). I tried to work on some things, but it was just a slow day. I shouldn't complain about that, but here I am complaining lol.

Oh well, quiet and normal is good. Tomorrow should be more or less the same story, which is good too.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #707 on: November 19, 2019, 11:30:22 PM »
Congrats on another day in the bank.

That's cool that you are waiting until marriage I can respect that.

Man, I really recommend you check out Zig Ziglar's stuff because he is on the exact same page as you. He's a devout Christian, believes in sex after marriage only, talks about all the benefits of it and how to have a great Christian relationship. (Hopefully I am not breaking rules here talking religion, not pushing this on anyone- I myself am not religious, but my experience with anything goes PMO and emotionless sex shows me the wisdom in many of the ideas and Zig Ziglar is great; religion or not, but may be a particularly good role-model in this situation as his beliefs align perfectly)




Rebooter2019

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #708 on: November 20, 2019, 11:55:04 AM »
You're doing great man! I respect your point of view on sex only after mariage. To be honest it's much better if you get with people that has the same view as you on that particular topic. Mainly because sex and religion has always been a touchy topic... very emotional and with reason!

If you go girls that has the same view on this particular topic as you do, it will be a lot smoother with less possible fight over not understanding and/or accepting the why.

" two dates feels way too soon for anything to have happened"

With the girl, I had one date with it's something similar! We went on a date it went really well and we kissed for 40min. I'm still kind of in the dark... I probably could have done more than that, I'm not religious, but I decided to be a little more patient. I've been out of the game for a long time.

In short don't stress to much about it, you'll be able to act as your natural best self as a result!

These days can be boring sometimes, but if we can cope with boringness without pmoing our way out of it, we've made some huge progress imho!
Even more so, if we learn to enjoy these nothing's happening time!

Take care my friend and continue to do as you feel with that girl.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #709 on: November 20, 2019, 07:37:23 PM »
Congrats on another day in the bank.

That's cool that you are waiting until marriage I can respect that.

Man, I really recommend you check out Zig Ziglar's stuff because he is on the exact same page as you. He's a devout Christian, believes in sex after marriage only, talks about all the benefits of it and how to have a great Christian relationship. (Hopefully I am not breaking rules here talking religion, not pushing this on anyone- I myself am not religious, but my experience with anything goes PMO and emotionless sex shows me the wisdom in many of the ideas and Zig Ziglar is great; religion or not, but may be a particularly good role-model in this situation as his beliefs align perfectly)

Thanks, man! I appreciate the validation and the recommendation! I checked out my library for Zig Ziglar's book that one time, but they didn't have it and I forgot all about it. But this is a good reminder: I'm going to try a little harder to track it down.

For what it's worth, I don't think it's pushing religion when you're talking about a religion I'm already a part of, lol. At least, I'm not going to report you for it (and anyone who did would just be mean). Really, just thanks!

You're doing great man! I respect your point of view on sex only after mariage. To be honest it's much better if you get with people that has the same view as you on that particular topic. Mainly because sex and religion has always been a touchy topic... very emotional and with reason!

And thanks for your perspective and encouragement, Rebooter! I really appreciate it. Here's to coping with boredom without PMOing our way out of it!

Another mostly-nothing day, but not bad

Laundry and homework. The good news is that I did my last reading assignment for the semester! I still have to write a big paper by the start of next month, but it's officially the only thing I have left to do. And I'm really okay with that. When I'm just in the routine of school, it can feel like every day is the same and like I'm not really getting anywhere. Finishing up a semester is always a good reminder that sometimes progress is only really noticeable at the end of things instead of all along the way.

I've been getting into a better groove of writing like I used to. Nowhere near as much as I used to do, but a lot more than I have in the last couple years. For the last three weeks, I have written at least a little bit every day. It's a small win,  but it's a really meaningful one.

Here's to a great tomorrow, everyone! Thanks again for the support!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #710 on: November 21, 2019, 12:07:28 AM »
"sometimes progress is only really noticeable at the end of things instead of all along the way."

Well said man... That sums up pretty much anything I could have commented on. Looks like you are just putting the days in, (no bad urges last few days? That's huge in itself, to get through another tough period!) But other than that just day by day doing what you need to do and it will all pay off massively!

Yeah, Zig Ziglar is the best, it's your money but buying some of his audio programs for me at least, is worth it. It could always be a future thing too anyway. I have his stuff from the library in my old state (it's an e-audio thing) but will likely buy them when that runs out. Glad we are talking about it, as here I am telling you about and I haven't listened to his stuff since my move! Going to get back on it. Maybe can try and pass on more of the info too.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #711 on: November 21, 2019, 08:49:00 AM »
I listen to Zig a bunch, very helpful.  Some of his stuff is on YouTube if you want to try it.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #712 on: November 21, 2019, 08:23:34 PM »
Well said man... That sums up pretty much anything I could have commented on. Looks like you are just putting the days in, (no bad urges last few days? That's huge in itself, to get through another tough period!) But other than that just day by day doing what you need to do and it will all pay off massively!

Thanks, man, yeah the worst of it seems to have passed for now, which is always a good thing. It's funny how easy it is to forget that urges pass when you're in the middle of dealing with them. Every time they come, I start to think that that's how the rest of my life is going to be, but then they pass. They always do.

Thanks for the continuing support! I'll keep trying to find what I can dig up from Zig Ziglar, but definitely pass on anything you think is especially good.

I listen to Zig a bunch, very helpful.  Some of his stuff is on YouTube if you want to try it.

Nice, I will definitely look into it!

Just Thursday

Had class, and it was kind of rough (the discussion got pretty political and intense). Confrontations and emotional intensity really make me uncomfortable (which probably makes me very unique, lol). Avoiding them probably isn't the best way to live life, but I wasn't in the mood to put up with that in class today. So I just tried to sit through it quietly and wait for class to get out, and it eventually did.

The good news, though, is that I won like a raffle for tickets to a show sometime next month. I invited Ph, and she said yes. So there's something else on the calendar. Things are looking a little more promising all the time, and I'm all for that.

One more day left in the week. Let's make it great!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #713 on: November 21, 2019, 11:08:34 PM »
Great about the Raffle tickets!

Hey, it's great that on this forum we have the "try and be better/ examine ourselves attitude". But it doesn't necessarily apply to everything. It's not like since we had an addiction and some issues, everything we do is something we need to change. Basically a long winded intro to me saying: I think sitting out of a heated emotional political discussion is a GREAT idea. It gets nothing doing to argue. Sitting out, controlling your feelings to not get swept up in it, is a saavy social move.

Most people are into getting heated and political, arguing, the BETTER and smarter move is being one of the few who can be cool headed, not get into an argument and get along with far more people, not choosing sides/ "tribes".

Dale Carnegie had a chapter that started with "Avoid arguments the same way you avoid rattlesnakes" He came up with these ideas by studying people like Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, so you're in good company.

Congrats again on getting through the worst of the "down" period and man cool about the raffle and date!


faenoe

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #714 on: November 22, 2019, 06:08:16 PM »
I love what you said: "The urges always pass." I have had some really intense urges this past week which have lasted only seconds but it's so true that while they are happening, they seem like the only thing in the universe. Thanks for sharing the insight, man. It really makes a difference to hear these types of things.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #715 on: November 22, 2019, 08:34:26 PM »
Most people are into getting heated and political, arguing, the BETTER and smarter move is being one of the few who can be cool headed, not get into an argument and get along with far more people, not choosing sides/ "tribes".

Dale Carnegie had a chapter that started with "Avoid arguments the same way you avoid rattlesnakes" He came up with these ideas by studying people like Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, so you're in good company.

Thanks for this great reminder! I know, on the one hand, that my aversion to confrontation can make me a people pleaser, but I do also know that my ability/tendency to hang back, listen to both sides, and make a more grounded, methodical decision has really served me well. It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as some people say. I really like that Dale Carnegie quote, too. I'm going to remember that!

I love what you said: "The urges always pass." I have had some really intense urges this past week which have lasted only seconds but it's so true that while they are happening, they seem like the only thing in the universe. Thanks for sharing the insight, man. It really makes a difference to hear these types of things.

Hey, thanks! I'm glad it helped, and I really appreciate the support! You've got this!

Long hours, but not very busy

I had class that got out early and then I spent a long time at work without much to do. It was a little boring (a lot boring), but it wasn't really bad, just dull. Then I met a friend after work, and we talked for a little.

For the last couple weeks, I was feeling really vulnerable to triggers and urges. It seems like that has settled down a lot now. I'm probably not out of the woods quite yet (and definitely not invulnerable permanently), but I am feeling better, more stable.

I started listening to the 5 Love Languages today. Based on some of the conversations we have been having here, I realized that, even though I have a tendency to read and research a lot about topics that interest me, I have never read anything about relationships. And that struck me because I can't think of anything that, honestly, I have wanted more or for longer than an awesome, long-term, stable relationship. I think in the past I have been embarrassed to admit that (I can't say why, but I have always felt uncomfortable acknowledging my desire for a relationship), but I just decided that I might as well start learning about them. I could just keep going through my life and have to figure it all out when it happens, or I can spend this time learning and be ready to go (or at least more ready) when the time actually comes. The love languages book is just the first one I found on my library website that I had heard of, somewhere to start, and it's pretty interesting so far. I'm excited to see where this new "research topic" takes me.

Here's to a great weekend!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #716 on: November 22, 2019, 11:53:35 PM »
Great stuff man! I coincidentally just got the same book for free, so inspiration for me to read it too.

I totally relate to being embarrassed about admitting to wanting a relationship, I literally had that feeling a few hours ago. Keep going strong! Once again, very cool that the real bad urges are past.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #717 on: November 23, 2019, 08:27:05 PM »
Great stuff man! I coincidentally just got the same book for free, so inspiration for me to read it too.

I totally relate to being embarrassed about admitting to wanting a relationship, I literally had that feeling a few hours ago. Keep going strong! Once again, very cool that the real bad urges are past.

Thanks, man! It has been an interesting listen so far. There's something awesome about hearing the stories of relationships going well. I haven't honestly had a lot of examples of what I would call healthy relationships in my life. I want one so badly, but it also seems so impossible (since I haven't really seen one in action). At least hearing stories that it is possible and learning some ways to make it happen gives me hope.

Probably spoke too soon about the urges being gone...

All afternoon, I just had the feeling that I wanted to watch porn. It felt out of character but also familiar. It wasn't really an urge I guess in the sense that it wasn't like an acute emergency. It was just sort of a weird, "You know what would hit the spot? Some porn" feeling.

I even sat down for a minute at the computer and thought through how I could maybe scratch the itch without it "counting." I thought for a second about playing that old game of searching for "safe" things on the image search and seeing if anything scandalous also came up in the results, but I reminded myself that that wasn't a game, that none of it was safe, and that it always 100% of the time led to a binge-relapse in the past.

So instead, I put myself in a restful yoga pose and listened to the Love Languages book for like a half hour. Then I went and made dinner and moved on with the day. I'm feeling better now, at least.

One thing I think I will say: I don't think this was just random. I did notice myself a couple times throughout the day feeling a little impatient with the real-life pace of testing out and starting a relationship, wishing I could magically get the ball rolling faster and skip through the whole figuring-out-if-we-like-each-other thing. I think that impatience triggered the urge: porn is easy, immediate, and free. I think that I used porn as a bad substitute for a relationship in the past for a long time. Whenever things didn't work out or there were no opportunities, porn could give me the illusion for a while that there was a woman in life. Obviously not the same thing, but I fell for it over and over. I think that today, when I was feeling a little impatient with real life, my addicted brain was trying to get me to settle for something easier and worse.

I'm not really interested in settling, though. Still have to be careful, but I think I have some more clarity about what's going on than I did before. That knowledge is helpful for knowing how to move forward.

So I'll keep going toward realer and better things!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #718 on: November 23, 2019, 09:42:47 PM »
Man, I think you totally hit the nail on the head about the impatient and porn replacing real relationships. That's been a huge trigger for me as well.

Also great to see examples of good relationships in action. Great way of looking at it, it's like getting the blueprint. There are lot of examples of successful people who got their success blueprint from books, so we can do it too.

Way to handle the urge like a boss and listen to something positive.

Keep it up! Man you have come so far! As we know, urges popping up can often mean good things coming up soon.

brandnewself

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #719 on: November 24, 2019, 03:31:10 AM »
Yeah I totally understand that porn cravings still arise after such a long time of abstinence for you. In retrospect, the relapse I had a few days back was mainly due to a reinforced physiological pattern ---- seeing hot girls in a party, secretly wishing they were my sexual partners, thinking that I was not attractive enough, getting depressed over my low self esteem, seeking porn for comfort and release. The pathways associated to porn was so strong that my brain, I believe, wanted to feel depressed in order to get that quick fix. Years of using conditioned our brain to associate a lot of stuff to porn, even things that seemingly have nothing to do with it. Whenever something remotely related to our porn use enters our mind, our brain just speeds up the whole process by feeling all kinds of negative emotions just to get us to the fix. Sometimes we don't even realize how it happened because everything is automatic. We can avoid a lot of triggers that we know of, but we can't avoid all of them. When something triggers our brain, we should try to separate ourselves from our thoughts/emotions and observe them without judging. After all, it's nothing but some signal that we want something. The thing is, wanting something is not equivalent to needing something. The signal is a false signal that we conditioned our brain to send. We can clean up those neurological pathways gradually over time but it surely takes a lot of effort. Keep going Blue, you're doing great!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #720 on: November 24, 2019, 09:15:02 PM »
Man, I think you totally hit the nail on the head about the impatient and porn replacing real relationships. That's been a huge trigger for me as well.

Also great to see examples of good relationships in action. Great way of looking at it, it's like getting the blueprint. There are lot of examples of successful people who got their success blueprint from books, so we can do it too.

Way to handle the urge like a boss and listen to something positive.

Keep it up! Man you have come so far! As we know, urges popping up can often mean good things coming up soon.

Thanks! I always appreciate the understanding and the support. I'm also especially grateful for that last line. I was talking to my mom the other day, and she was mentioning how much she thinks I've changed for the better in the last year. We live far apart, and she doesn't know anything (as far as I know) about my addiction/recovery, but even she is noticing progress. It's easy to forget how far I've come when I'm still not as far along as I want to be. So it's a good reminder.

Yeah I totally understand that porn cravings still arise after such a long time of abstinence for you. In retrospect, the relapse I had a few days back was mainly due to a reinforced physiological pattern ---- seeing hot girls in a party, secretly wishing they were my sexual partners, thinking that I was not attractive enough, getting depressed over my low self esteem, seeking porn for comfort and release. The pathways associated to porn was so strong that my brain, I believe, wanted to feel depressed in order to get that quick fix. Years of using conditioned our brain to associate a lot of stuff to porn, even things that seemingly have nothing to do with it. Whenever something remotely related to our porn use enters our mind, our brain just speeds up the whole process by feeling all kinds of negative emotions just to get us to the fix. Sometimes we don't even realize how it happened because everything is automatic. We can avoid a lot of triggers that we know of, but we can't avoid all of them. When something triggers our brain, we should try to separate ourselves from our thoughts/emotions and observe them without judging. After all, it's nothing but some signal that we want something. The thing is, wanting something is not equivalent to needing something. The signal is a false signal that we conditioned our brain to send. We can clean up those neurological pathways gradually over time but it surely takes a lot of effort. Keep going Blue, you're doing great!

This is also really helpful. It is crazy to me how triggers work and how seemingly unrelated things can be triggers. I really appreciate the reminder of how the brain works (it's so easy to just assume that something is wrong with me and only me), and I'm grateful for the encouragement! It makes a difference!

Pretty quiet day

Not much happened. I have been feeling kind of sick since last night, maybe some kind of stomach bug or something I ate. I don't know. It also feels like the cold from earlier is trying to get me again, hard to tell if it's all the same disease or two at once, but I'm doing what I can to take care and keep it from getting worse.

The urges from yesterday have stayed in yesterday, thankfully. Haven't had to deal with anything today, which is good.

It's a holiday week this week, which should be nice. A little break before the last part of the semester (and all the work that comes with finishing up). I'm going to try to balance work (I do want to get ahead and lower the stress later) with rest (I think it's important to practice taking time off), but we'll see how it goes.

Into the unknown of another week!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #721 on: November 24, 2019, 09:54:48 PM »
Wow man that is COOL, that your mom noticed the changes. You can't get much more of an indicator of progress then that, people bringing up noticing it without being prompted.

Hope the bug passes. Keep going strong!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #722 on: November 25, 2019, 09:34:04 PM »
Thanks! Yeah, it was awesome to get some external validation for a very internal process, especially from a "real person" lol.

Everyone here is so generous with the validation, but it's nice to get it from people who don't really know all that I'm dealing with but do know me as a flesh-and-blood person. All encouragement is good encouragement.

Quiet day

Just work. I think the bug has passed, but now the cold or whatever is settling in. Losing my voice a little tonight, but that's fine. I'm about to have a few days off, so there's not much to lose.

Finished listening to the Love Language today. I'm a little surprised how fast I got through it. Usually I kind of act too cool for things that are popular, and I already mentioned how I'm a little embarrassed by wanting a relationship (what a weird thing to be embarrassed about), so I wouldn't have expected to be so absorbed in this audiobook. But I feel like I learned a lot. It was also a good reminder of what's possible and of what I really want. Lots of good insights, and I'm excited to see what I find to listen to next. Watch me become a relationship expert before I even end up in one, lol!


quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #723 on: November 25, 2019, 10:39:45 PM »
Awesome! Man you are right that was super fast... I finally got around the chapter one today lol. I do believe what we consume effects how we think and act. So you made a huge investment in yourself there, listening to great positive stuff is an awesome awesome habit. (I am going to get back on that too).

Keep up the good work! 

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #724 on: November 25, 2019, 11:04:50 PM »
Listening and reading positive stuff is what it's all about.  Every day at work I go for a 20 minute walk and listen to motivational books.  It keeps me from getting bogged down.  You're doing great blue!