Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 11953 times)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #175 on: April 23, 2019, 09:13:06 PM »
Man, you're so right. They have usually hit in the past right after really busy periods. Definitely something to watch out for when finals are over.

On the bright side, I'm 47 days in. I've been thinking about a couple things in relation to that lately. First, I have gotten through some days of intense urges in this time, which is honestly something I've never done before. So far in my recovery, I've managed to get longer periods of time between strong urges, but I've never just overcome them when they came. I have done that for the first time just recently, and that feels like a big breakthrough. Second, these have honestly been some of the hardest months of my life, and I've managed to keep going without PMO. That also seems huge to me: PMO has been my coping mechanism and escape for a long time. I'm surprised and happy that I've been managing without it lately.

But I'm also being careful not to believe that I'm cured. I've fallen into that trap before. I'm still being careful, still working day by day towards the 60-day mark. It's getting close!

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #176 on: April 24, 2019, 12:31:25 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about your intense urges...it's inspiring to hear your honest relationship with PMO in the past and the steps you've taken to overcome it. I feel you on not believing I'm cured, when I did that in the past the desire to relapse only got greater. Maybe this is a thing that will follow us for life, but hopefully after a long period of time it will only be a tiny spec in the mind rather than this semi-powerful presence.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #177 on: April 24, 2019, 08:25:17 PM »
Yeah, I've been trying to change my mindset to accept the possibility that it's with me for life. For me that's meant not looking at it as something that I have to get rid of as fast as possible through some intense temporary effort, but instead I'm thinking of finding ways to acknowledge the urges and the weaknesses that I have and dealing with them more constructively.

I guess really, it means not waiting to be fixed before I can live my life but instead finding ways to live well without letting addiction take control. I haven't quite figured that mindset out yet, but it's where I'm headed now and it feels healthier than my earlier strategies.

Thanks for the thoughts and continuing support!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #178 on: April 24, 2019, 10:53:59 PM »
Great job man! I think having a very tough time and going through without pmo is actually one of the best case scenarios! (In an odd way of looking at it).

In quitting pmo, we are probably going to feel like shit for a few months anyway. So might as well get all the shitty feelings done in one go, life and withdrawl lol.

Plus, more seriously a fear I had is like damn what if years down the road my life falls apart? Don't want to risk a relapse then....So in your case it's great to already have gone through shitty times with no PMO, so you have that blueprint ready moving forward. It's like going straight to the deep end of clean living. 60 is a huge milestone!

Getting through the super hard urges is huge! I am with you on that. It is critical we know how to get through them.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #179 on: April 25, 2019, 07:44:04 PM »
Haha, thanks! That's one way of looking at it. Get through it all now so that I know I can deal with it in the future.

It does feel like a big thing, really. But it still sucks in the moment.

You know, I've tried a lot of things to beat this. At first I just tried stopping and that worked for a while. Then I tried focusing on other things and that helped for a while. Then meditation helped me to make a lot of progress, but I still crumbled whenever the urges came (they just didn't come as often). But participating here has really helped me over a huge hurdle in getting through urges without acting out. I don't know if it's just the habit of checking in regularly and writing out how I'm doing or y'all's support (probably both), but it's really helping. I think even my meditation has become more meaningful and useful in the last few months that I've been here.

If I make it through tonight (and I don't have any reason to think I won't), that will be an even 50. My first goal here was 100 days, and I didn't even come close. But then I switched to smaller goals that were more attainable, and I've gotten farther than I can remember getting in a long time. So thanks! I really don't think I could be doing this without you all!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #180 on: April 25, 2019, 08:47:06 PM »
For sure it still sucks in the moment.

I am with you on this forum and communicating with others helping so much! I am not sure exactly why but it just makes makes it easier, or things that were not doable become doable. Like even now reading your entry, just gave me a larger perspective. I was a little upset about something but, now it just seems like less of a big deal.

Lots of helpful little moments like this ad up I think! Just keeping on track, the support all of it.

Congrats on getting up that 50 day mark! That is really great! Just keep moving forward! Eventually good things will come, sometimes I think of it like investing... I sometimes had days where nothing would make me feel better.... BUT I could still take actions that were good for me, exercise study etc. and gain the benefits and be feeling better a few days in the future.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #181 on: April 26, 2019, 07:28:28 PM »
Sweet, I'm glad to hear that my ramble helped but things in perspective!

Made it to 50!

And I really appreciate what you said about investing. You know, it really feels like I've been running straight at a wall for a long time. I'm still trying to keep the habits that I know are good and helpful, but it's hard to feel like I'm making any progress. But that's probably just a false idea that I would be seeing results immediately. I like thinking about the stuff I'm doing as investments: they will definitely pay off in the long run. Thanks for the reminder

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #182 on: April 26, 2019, 07:40:05 PM »
Congrats! 100% Yeah it is an investment, plus sometimes results are not linear. It can just feel like banging away at the wall and suddenly a big shift can happen. I am glad we are having this conversation it's a good reminder for me as well! Who knows what awesome thing may be right around the corner? The cool thing is, if we keep doing the right stuff it will inevitable come.

brandnewself

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #183 on: April 27, 2019, 04:25:02 AM »
Hi BlueHeronFan,

I'm really happy to see you made it to 50 days. I haven't been to the forum for a while and I'm glad that this is the first thing I see haha. Honestly I think I made a mistake to stop logging here and tried to battle this thing on my own because it didn't work out :'( I will get back to the forum and try a new round of reboot.
Keep up the good work ;D

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #184 on: April 27, 2019, 09:23:30 PM »
Thanks guys! This is a really helpful conversation for me too. Better things are just around the corner!

And hey, Brandnewself! Really good to hear from you again. Going it alone is really tough, but it's not all a waste: you learned something about yourself and your recovery. Tomorrow is a new day! We've got this!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #185 on: April 28, 2019, 07:58:59 PM »
I was up late last night finishing a project for school, and that messed me up a little bit today. I decided to take a nap this afternoon, though, which is something I almost never do. I felt like I had a lot that I could do, but I decided to go a little easier on myself and give myself some rest. It was a good thing, and I had a pleasant day afterwards.

YouTube tried to put some garbage in my suggested videos list today. There was a moment there when I almost tumbled into that hole, but I backed out without actually watching anything and then told YouTube to quit suggesting that kind of stuff. It's crazy how things pop up when you don't expect it and almost derail the whole thing. I probably could have shut it down a little quicker, but it's still progress. I'll take it.

Tomorrow will be kind of a busier day, but then I'm basically off for a month. I need a break, but all that free time will definitely come with its own challenges. I'll have to be careful in a different way. Glad I have you guys to help me keep my head on straight.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #186 on: April 30, 2019, 07:46:33 PM »
Today was a much more relaxed day than I've had in a while. School is over for now, and I'm trying to give myself a break, at least for a few days.

I did notice a few smaller urges cropping up throughout the day. Nothing disastrous, but still something to watch out for. It would be really disappointing to have a relapse now that the worst of the stress has gone away, so I'm going to work on being extra careful.

On the bright side, I'm going to have more free time to finally work on some of my goals and hobbies. I hope the next few weeks will be especially productive in more personal ways.

LeanAndBop

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #187 on: May 01, 2019, 02:04:54 AM »
Hey man this all sounds really great. Enjoy these few weeks! Keeping an eye out for even the smallest urge seems wise.
Keep well.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #188 on: May 01, 2019, 06:28:18 PM »
Glad to hear you have some time to rest up! Youtube is trash, seriously. I use it sometimes for important stuff, it is literally designed using algorithims to try and get the maximum watch time possible (be addictive and keep us impulsively clicking). Good thing you shut it down!

Now could be a good time to reward yourself with fun healthy activities.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #189 on: May 01, 2019, 08:36:45 PM »
Yes, I'm definitely looking into some fun healthy activities. I read a book today that wasn't for school, and it a was a nice, peaceful thing to do.

Today was kind of a day full of urges, though. I guess my brain is saying, "Hey, now that you have all this free time, remember what was fun?" Not helpful. But I'm doing what I can to keep myself on track and to stay engaged in positive things.

No relapse, but I do feel off. Just a few days away from the 60-day mark, too. Maybe it's kind of predictable that things would heat up a little now. Oh well, all I can do is keep on keepin' on.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #190 on: May 02, 2019, 07:40:34 PM »
Keep up the good work man! It's all a process. I guess it's now a good opportunity to learn how to enjoy your free time. The fun activities will become more habitual and the urges will become less.

By the way man, I really appreciate you on this forum! You have been on here for a while and super consistent posting and supporting others!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #191 on: May 02, 2019, 08:51:24 PM »
Good thoughts, you're right. I learned how to deal with stress without PMO, and now it's time to learn how to deal with free time without it. A new challenge, but I'm up for it.

And thanks! I feel like I've had more support than I've given out, but I try to pay it forward. I really feel like helping other people with recovery is an important part of mine. I'm really happy to hear I've helped.

Today was kind of tough, urges-wise. Maybe not as bad as yesterday, but still not great. My brain is flipping between fantasizing about a real relationship and fantasizing about porn. Neither of those is very helpful to me now. At times like these, I usually feel a little hopeless: I get tricked into thinking that these urges are just the way it's going to be and that giving in is the only way to get them off my back. But I actually don't feel hopeless now. I've gotten through a wave of urges like this before (for the first time just recently), so I know it can be done. I know that they'll eventually ease up and I can go back to living my life. It's still probably going to be a tough couple of days, but I'm determined to get through it.

Stay strong everyone! We'll beat this in time!

LeanAndBop

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #192 on: May 03, 2019, 02:11:42 AM »
Hey Blue,
Yes the urges will pass! I didn't have this attitude until recently too. For me it is the same, learning to deal with stress or other emotions without PMO.
There is a technique suggested by Eckhart Tolle that helps when I get an urge, three simple steps.
1. 3 mindful breaths
2. Feel the energy of the urge for a few minutes
3. 3 mindful breaths
I've found this helps me to let go of the urge. It might help. If you have any techniques that work for you please let me know.
Sounds like you're doing really well. Wishing you all the best.






pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #193 on: May 03, 2019, 01:05:26 PM »
Sorry to hear what you're going through; learning how to deal with free time without PMO can be difficult, but it can also be an opportunity to have alot of fun and feel good about it later! Hanging with friends, exploring your area, doing some fun physical activity, and maybe doing something that will challenge you can help really put those urges in their place. I realize I often push myself too hard, but sometimes when I do something challenging the discipline from that can transfer over to dealing with urges more effectively.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #194 on: May 03, 2019, 06:10:21 PM »
Keep going strong! Great that you recognize you can get through the urges.... this can be a great accomplishment, getting through the really tough urges for the second time.


BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #195 on: May 04, 2019, 07:20:40 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the great ideas and support. This is so much easier with your help.

Today was much easier urges wise. They're not gone, but they aren't as strong. I'm sure part of it is that I've just been  busier today, but I think they're also just a little weaker. Which is good.

I definitely want to make sure that I use this upcoming free time well. I hope to spend some time tomorrow to sit down and figure out some goals and plans that will help me to stay productive and on track. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish, and I've had my week of chilling out, so it's time to be more serious about how I'm actually going to do this for the next few weeks.

Here's a question, though: At first, I had a goal of going 30 days, and I achieved it for the first time in a long time. Now, though, I'm really close to 60. I'm trying to decide if I should just stick with another 30 day goal since it's achievable or if I should stretch a little and just shoot for 100. If I've made it 60, I can make 40 more, right? I feel like smaller goals are helpful because they don't feel as impossible, but 100 would also be an awesome round number (and it was my first goal when I joined here...and failed pretty much right away at). I don't know, just a question I'm thinking about. How do you decide what your goal is going to be?

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #196 on: May 05, 2019, 03:49:13 PM »
Good ideas man! Even though it's time to be more serious, there will be moments where you can take a breather and it'll feel good cause it's well earned! For me personally, I've decided to purposely stop counting the days for a few reasons:
1. My thoughts and feelings, although they get progressively better as I move farther away from PMO in the big picture, are still random and don't act the same depending on the streak. Every time I've hit Day 30, every day 30 has felt different (as well as every other day in my past streaks).
2. I naturally think about how long it's been since I last relapsed and approximate the days in my head a few times a week anyways, so I figured there's no reason to overthink about the number of days.
3. While reaching a number of days as milestones in the past have motivated me, it also makes me feel sad when I reach a big milestone but my feelings and thoughts still suck. I think this has contributed to my past relapses.
4. It helps me focus on the day to day things I have to do...regardless of what day it is I try to make the most out of it; "don't count the days, make the days count"

This is not to say that counting days are bad; I think everyone has different approaches and strategies to find what works best for them, and part of this journey is finding the best way for us through trial and error. In answering your question (lol), I think 90 or 100 days would both be great goals, as long as you keep up all the good things you are doing which I think is most important. Sorry if my answer didn't help at all!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #197 on: May 05, 2019, 06:18:02 PM »
No, thanks, that's really helpful.

I know I've definitely gone back and forth on counting days. In the past it's been helpful and motivating up until the point that I relapse and then I quit for a while. Part of what I'm working on now is trying to do all the things that have helped (because I usually give up on things after a relapse and then keep relapsing), and counting has helped in the past. For me, it's also helpful to have some kind of goal (and not just count) because it has helped motivate me through urges the last couple months. When the urges strike a few days before my goal, it's easier to hang on for a couple days in order to achieve my goal and then the urges settle down.

The other part of counting, at least earlier in the year, is that it helped me realize that my relapses were happening more often and more regularly than I thought. I would have thought that I was easily going months at a time without a relapse, but counting forced me to realize that I was more on a 20-day cycle of relapsing. So in that way, it's been a helpful diagnostic just to see where I really am.

But I think you're right about the pitfalls of counting. It can be easy to make getting a streak more important than developing actual recovery behaviors. And then you're not healing, just hanging on for dear life to get one more day. It's definitely not for everyone. I also want to be careful about not letting that number become overly important. That's why I don't report the number every day (except in my own app), but I do mention it sometimes.

Wow, you know, this forum is awesome. Where else would I sit down and just write through my thoughts about my recovery strategies. When I was just doing it myself, I tried things and then tried other things without a lot of deliberate thought. Now, thanks to your post, I've really had to think through why I count days and whether it's useful to me. And I think that makes me more deliberate in how I tackle this recovery. So thanks for the contrasting suggestions: it's definitely made me think a little more carefully about what works for me and why.

Keep it up, everyone!


jixu

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #198 on: May 05, 2019, 06:38:48 PM »

You young guys really crack me up!  You are awesome, showing us old guys how it is done.  The encouragement and enthusiasm exuded is contagious. 

You guys are smart to be dealing with this now, especially in light of our society's apparent ever-increasing acceptance of porn.  Eradicate it now and don't left it impede your opportunities and full potential.  Keep up the good work, and keep going.   

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #199 on: May 06, 2019, 10:00:57 PM »
Keep going strong! 100 days'll be cool for sure! But you can get there either way, however you want to group the days, count/ not count.

Really good insights on the counting. The "seeing a big number" not feeling good and lapses is a really good insight. Very good to be aware of!