Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 18444 times)

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #275 on: June 15, 2019, 10:43:29 AM »
Way to go Blueheron! Really close to that 100 days.

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #276 on: June 15, 2019, 02:54:05 PM »
I like your mindset BlueHeron! I do think looking at someone vs. sexualizing them could be different in some ways, like if you want to approach a woman you might have to look at her first, but it could be because of genuine interest: "I wonder what her story is?" rather than "wow she's hot." The hard part is deciphering if you're actually interested in her or just her body given the limited information; I'm trying to pay attention more to how the woman carries herself, body language, mannerisms, facial expressions > body features. Definitely a struggle though lol

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #277 on: June 15, 2019, 07:08:56 PM »
Thank you very much for your support, not only to me but to the whole community! You are giving a great example!  :)


Thanks a lot for your support too! It always means a lot to see how this community strengthens us all.

I like your mindset BlueHeron! I do think looking at someone vs. sexualizing them could be different in some ways, like if you want to approach a woman you might have to look at her first, but it could be because of genuine interest: "I wonder what her story is?" rather than "wow she's hot." The hard part is deciphering if you're actually interested in her or just her body given the limited information; I'm trying to pay attention more to how the woman carries herself, body language, mannerisms, facial expressions > body features. Definitely a struggle though lol

Exactly! Looking at someone is definitely different from sexualizing them. I'm not always careful about making the difference clear, but you're right. It's hard to tell the difference sometimes between legitimate attraction and sexualization, but it's a little easier when there isn't even a chance of talking to someone. Then it's not about a relationship at all. The struggle continues, lol.

Way to go Blueheron! Really close to that 100 days.

And thanks!

Today marks 100 days! It feels good in a normal kind of way (just another day mostly). I'm proud for accomplishing something, but there's still a long road ahead.

Next stop, 120 days without PMO!

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #278 on: June 16, 2019, 06:00:06 AM »
Congrats on this milestone! Always keep in mind how hard it was to achieve 100 days and remain prepared for ups and downs, you're going to make it!  :)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #279 on: June 16, 2019, 06:53:14 PM »
Thanks so much man! It has been a long road, but it also looks like kind of a short road looking back on it. I guess time goes a little slower when you're working hard at healing from addiction, lol.

A reminder today that I always have to be careful: I started watching a video today that, to be honest, I probably should have recognized would cause a little trouble (there was a hint of sexiness in the thumbnail). Anyway, I started watching and then started to feel that tickle in my brain that I was starting to enjoy the video in a more sexual way. That was enough for me to back out, block the channel, and move on. All in all, the whole thing probably lasted for more than a minute.

Right now, I feel like I'm a long way away from ever wanting to go looking for porn. But that doesn't mean even barely sexy things can't catch us by surprise. Was what I saw probably pretty innocent and not something to get worked up over? Yeah, maybe. But I also know that I'm especially vulnerable to certain things, so I have to be especially careful. I can't let other people's normal be my normal, and that means that some "normal" things are off-limits for me.

Oh well, let's see what another week will bring.

102/120

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #280 on: June 17, 2019, 02:34:01 AM »
I can't let other people's normal be my normal, and that means that some "normal" things are off-limits for me.

This is really hard to accept. Like the alcoholic who can't even have a glass of wine for dinner. But it's neccessary to accept that we are no different and there is no journey of 90 days that will restore us completely. We will have to deal with this for the rest of our life, although probably with less effort neccessary after some time.

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #281 on: June 17, 2019, 04:18:05 AM »
You know, I felt the time passing really slowly when I focused very hard on fighting the addiction. There's a positive in not thinking of P all the time as well. I'm not saying you have to forget about it in a way that makes you underestimate it and take it lightly like: "I can go to Youtube and look at the thumbnails cause nothing will happen to me." What I mean is that we need a change in lifestyle if we want to beat P and this lifestyle has to become routine, automatic, like you wake up in the morning and do the right things. Like this, you don't have to keep thinking all the time about P and keep P in mind like: "Today I have to do this and this cause I'm fighting against P." I don't know, does this make sense? Maybe it's not for everybody but this is what would help me.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #282 on: June 17, 2019, 07:45:32 PM »
Yeah, Lero, that makes a lot of sense. Between your comment and achilles's, I think that's more or less what I've been thinking about lately.

For a long time, I thought that my goal was to go back to "normal." To give up PMO and then just live my life like I used to or like I saw other guys doing. Like, I had a roommate once who had a poster of some girl in a bikini, and it was just like a normal thing for him. I used to think the goal was to be able to have sexy posters and things around me and just be immune to them somehow. But that's not realistic, I don't think.

Instead, I've been thinking about this process more as a complete lifestyle change. Instead of trying to go back to my life "before porn," I'm focusing on learning to live a life where my addiction is just a fact that I can't change. So I'm focused more on building new routines, avoiding triggers that might be innocent for other people, and to take care of myself knowing that it doesn't take a lot to push me into a PMO binge. It's not about living the life I wish I had but instead about living the life I do have in the best way possible.

(I've never really thought this through in quite this way before, but I think that's good advice for me to think about in other areas of my life. I probably spend too much time wishing I had a different life instead of working with the life I do have.) Thanks for the helpful insights!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #283 on: June 18, 2019, 06:05:37 PM »
Not much going on today. I've been feeling a little down in the dumps the last few days for no particular reason.

I did have a momentary thought/urge, but it was an interesting experience. I had a thought about porn that triggered some arousal, but I somehow managed to just pay attention to the sensation of the urge without replaying the triggering thought. It was like the image in my mind disappeared and I was just paying attention to how my body felt in that moment. It's something that I have learned about in meditation, but I haven't actually ever done it. By just paying attention to the physical sensation instead of the thought, I could think "oh, this is how I feel right now" instead of "oh, I want porn right now." Without the thoughts attached to the feeling, it just kind of disappeared as my attention to moved to other things.

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #284 on: June 18, 2019, 07:53:00 PM »

Instead, I've been thinking about this process more as a complete lifestyle change. Instead of trying to go back to my life "before porn," I'm focusing on learning to live a life where my addiction is just a fact that I can't change. So I'm focused more on building new routines, avoiding triggers that might be innocent for other people, and to take care of myself knowing that it doesn't take a lot to push me into a PMO binge. It's not about living the life I wish I had but instead about living the life I do have in the best way possible.

(I've never really thought this through in quite this way before, but I think that's good advice for me to think about in other areas of my life. I probably spend too much time wishing I had a different life instead of working with the life I do have.) Thanks for the helpful insights!

Yes, I relate to this so much! We are completely different people than before we discovered PMO, so there's no point trying to be that same person. The only thing guaranteed in life is change, and the more we can embrace it the happier we will be.

Do or die

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #285 on: June 18, 2019, 11:54:16 PM »
Thanks for your support
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #286 on: June 19, 2019, 05:05:56 PM »
Thanks for your support

You're welcome! We're stronger together!

Yes, I relate to this so much! We are completely different people than before we discovered PMO, so there's no point trying to be that same person. The only thing guaranteed in life is change, and the more we can embrace it the happier we will be.

Exactly! This recovery has to be about moving forward, not moving back. It's important not to spend too much time looking back at our lists of relapses, but it's also important not to spend too much time looking back at our pre PMO life. Both have come and gone, and we need to move forward.

Today was an okay day for me. I'm learning that I'm not very good at dealing with disappointments. I went to the store to look for something, and they didn't have it. Who cares? Not a big deal, but it put me in a bad mood for the next couple of hours. That probably isn't healthy, something to work on.

Other than my fragile emotions, it was a chill day lol. I printed out some sheets to help me stay on track with a couple of projects that I've been neglecting lately. Hopefully that will help me to get going again and quit dragging my feet on some things.

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #287 on: June 19, 2019, 06:08:25 PM »
I get really sensitive too sometimes, and even when I recognize it and tell myself "calm down it's not a big deal" 5 minutes later I'm obsessing about it again lol. Some things are frustrating in nature (like taking the time and energy to get something you need, only to find it's not there) and it is completely natural to feel this way, it's what makes us human. Over time, we can hopefully laugh at ourselves a little bit- by doing so we are laughing at the tendencies of human nature, not making fun of ourselves. Life's too short to get hung up on the little things, but as humans we tend to gravitate towards that anyways lol

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #288 on: June 19, 2019, 07:50:17 PM »
Great job on getting to the 100 days!

I relate to a lot of what you are saying, the entire life has to change as well as the ways of thinking. In a way, it's a positive instead the same life minus PMO, replacing it with something better.

Also good points about looking at the woman, her mannerisms etc. It is a fine balance. I think one helpful thing, is to not be 100% "sold on a girl. It can be hard to know about a girl just by looking at her, so we have to actually talk to her to see what she is like. So instead of "she's hot I want her!" it can be "she's attractive, let me see what she is like".

I am a little biased though, since almost all of my experiences with women have been via "cold approach" I have yet to figure out how to go on dates with women from say school or activities. So in those scenarios it's very possible to learn a women's personality before taking any action to learn about her or pursue her.

Was just thinking about this: The not sold thing is HUGE. Because

I am wrong all the damn time. Remember the girl who was a virgin things went to shit with months ago? Well before it went to shit she was like the best girl ever. We had so much in common, the same values etc and she was a virgin..... When I first saw her she looked un-approachable, I assumed dated a lot and perhaps vaguely bitchy her personality was totally different then what I expected. I approached her because she was "my type" physically but I was not sold and had minimal expectations.

My "read" on her personality based on seeing her was dead wrong. So there is a balance to be found there.

This forum is a nice reminder, didn't really follow that recently which I may recount in my journal later.

Also with the disappointments: Man it's so uncanny, I have the same thing. I suppose perhaps it is true that certain mental traits, whether symptoms or causes, seem to go hand in hand with this addiction.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 07:52:59 PM by Quitforeverthenwin »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #289 on: June 20, 2019, 05:52:25 PM »
Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who blows these little upsets out of proportion. Like everything else I'm learning here, it's somehow such a relief to know that other people are dealing with very similar things too. Thanks for being here, guys.

And good thoughts about not being 100% sold. I've only ever been out with people I've known beforehand, so I guess I'm coming at it from another angle. But it's still true. It's all about learning and getting to know a person. If you're only it for the pleasure of it, you're kind of missing the point of building a relationship. Even with knowing people before I date them, I still end up being 100% all-in prematurely a lot of the time.

I was out earlier today, and I ran into a woman. I thought she was attractive, and we interacted a little. Unlike most people I run into during a day, she didn't blow me off, seemed kind of nice. Then I saw the ring. Why are the nice ones always married lol? Oh well, I don't know what I'm supposed to learn from that experience, but I am surprised that it hasn't made me super depressed. I guess that's something good. Not finding what I was looking for at the store yesterday sent me into a tailspin, but I'm coming out of this one just fine. Maybe it's because I was never 100% sold.

Oh well. It was a pretty decent day. More productive than others, but still a ways to go. One more clean day in the bank.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #290 on: June 21, 2019, 07:02:40 PM »
Quiet day. Did some work at home and at school.

The weather was nice, and the girls were out. But I was prepared for it this time, and I didn't have the same trouble I had a while ago. I was aware of the skin they were showing, but I wasn't carried away by it.

It's amazing how much more successful we can be when we know it's coming. It's the unexpected triggers that get me, and I think part of it is like my brain saying, "Oh hey, here's something sexy that you weren't even looking for. You can't feel guilty if it just happened to be here in front of you. There's no harm in looking if you weren't looking for it." Like sometimes I have fantasies that I'll get pornographic spam in my junk folder because I think it will be a "freebie." Of course, that's not true. Whether I was looking for it or not, if I end up looking at it, it's still harming my recovery.

Another day closer to a life without PMO.

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #291 on: June 21, 2019, 09:53:31 PM »
Nice job anticipating triggers! I also have similar fantasies, like sometimes my brain tells me that it hopes that one of my past random hookups will booty call me even though I have no desire to do that again (it wasn't even a good experience the first time). Anyways, it's nice to hear you're going day by day pretty smoothly, you keep going and I'll do the same!

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #292 on: June 21, 2019, 11:44:47 PM »
You're still doing great, keep it like that!  :)

The weather was nice, and the girls were out. But I was prepared for it this time, and I didn't have the same trouble I had a while ago. I was aware of the skin they were showing, but I wasn't carried away by it.

It's amazing how much more successful we can be when we know it's coming. It's the unexpected triggers that get me, and I think part of it is like my brain saying, "Oh hey, here's something sexy that you weren't even looking for. You can't feel guilty if it just happened to be here in front of you. There's no harm in looking if you weren't looking for it." Like sometimes I have fantasies that I'll get pornographic spam in my junk folder because I think it will be a "freebie." Of course, that's not true. Whether I was looking for it or not, if I end up looking at it, it's still harming my recovery.

I can relate to the first part, lots of relapses happened when there was some clickbait news or a social media pic out of nowhere... it's really annoying as we can't just be 'normal' again but have to look out for those triggers constantly...

In terms of the first part about girls in summer I'm not quite sure... isn't it our main goal to disconnect from a screen and connect to girls in real life? I get the idea that staring at them is not a behavior we should seek, but to me there's nothing bad about noticing the skin they show...

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #293 on: June 22, 2019, 07:04:14 PM »
You're still doing great, keep it like that!  :)

I can relate to the first part, lots of relapses happened when there was some clickbait news or a social media pic out of nowhere... it's really annoying as we can't just be 'normal' again but have to look out for those triggers constantly...

In terms of the first part about girls in summer I'm not quite sure... isn't it our main goal to disconnect from a screen and connect to girls in real life? I get the idea that staring at them is not a behavior we should seek, but to me there's nothing bad about noticing the skin they show...

Thanks! Yeah, junk can come out of nowhere and sink us if we aren't careful. Staying clean is a full time job right now, but hopefully it gets to be more automatic with time.

And I know what you mean. It is definitely important to connect with real girls. The thing is, though, that in that context I'm not actually connecting with them. It's not like I'm going to ask any of them out, so "checking them out" is just for the pleasure of seeing skin. Nothing wrong with awareness, but there is a problem with sexualizing them, and I think that's the habit I'm trying to break. For me, I've noticed that I can go a long time acting normal around women, but then something will happen and I'll just start staring at everyone just for the dopamine hit. And then after a couple days of that, I'm back at PMO.

So I think it comes down to intent, mostly. Being attracted to a girl I'm actually going to talk to and maybe try to build a relationship is a good thing and a goal of mine. But if there's no potential for a relationship or even a conversation, I think I'm not treating them much different from how I treat porn, screen or no screen, if all I'm doing is looking at their bodies.

Anyways, it's nice to hear you're going day by day pretty smoothly, you keep going and I'll do the same!

Thanks! Sounds like a great plan!

Today was a peaceful day. I cleaned my place (it was really needing it), and that took most of the day. Now I have a quiet, organized apartment to relax in for the weekend.

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #294 on: June 22, 2019, 07:36:24 PM »
Nice that you cleaned up, every time I do that I feel like my life is more organized even if it isn't haha. I'll say one more thing about women in public- I don't think it is necessarily a wrong thing to factor in a women's looks if you are looking for a potential partner...looks do matter, but at the same time I have separated looks and personality with women so that is the ONLY thing that matters because of my PMO addiction. If we are able to balance appreciating their beauty (or hotness or whatever) with a general curiosity and interest in who they are as a person, I think that is what will fully motivate us to pursue a relationship, accounting for both needs.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #295 on: June 23, 2019, 06:39:35 PM »
Nice that you cleaned up, every time I do that I feel like my life is more organized even if it isn't haha. I'll say one more thing about women in public- I don't think it is necessarily a wrong thing to factor in a women's looks if you are looking for a potential partner...looks do matter, but at the same time I have separated looks and personality with women so that is the ONLY thing that matters because of my PMO addiction. If we are able to balance appreciating their beauty (or hotness or whatever) with a general curiosity and interest in who they are as a person, I think that is what will fully motivate us to pursue a relationship, accounting for both needs.

Yeah, I think that's a great point. I definitely want to be attracted to the woman I end up with. Looks do matter, but they can't be the only thing that matters and that's what happens with PMO. In fact, during my last few relapses with porn, I was so turned off by the way the women talked and acted: their personalities were totally off-putting.

And a similar thing happens in real life, too. Like, there are women I know who I think are very attractive, but I also know that we wouldn't really get along because our personalities are too different. And just because they're attractive doesn't mean I can just creep on them because I know them. And then there are other women who are maybe less "hot" but I also get along great with.

I think porn trained me to look for the hottest woman, some kind of physical perfection. But even in years and years of watching porn, I never found a perfect woman. And that's because there probably isn't such a thing. As I've been working on my recovery, I'm not so worried about ending up with the most attractive woman I'll ever know. Instead, accounting for both needs like you said, I'm looking for someone who is attractive but not at the expense of also being a good and interesting person. (Now, if only I could figure out where they're all hanging out, lol.) But the point is, you make a great point.

But anyway, today was a good day. I went to church, cooked some food for the week, and just relaxed (with maybe a little too much background noise). I'm working at being more comfortable with my own quiet thoughts. Maybe I'll make some progress on that this week.

In other news, I'm on a 12-day streak of posting here, which is the best I've done in a while. I post regularly, but it's really helpful for me to have a daily check in and a chance to just see where my thoughts and feelings are each day. Posting daily helps me to focus on fighting this addiction one day at a time.

Let's go see what another week brings!

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #296 on: June 24, 2019, 07:32:02 AM »
I think porn trained me to look for the hottest woman, some kind of physical perfection. But even in years and years of watching porn, I never found a perfect woman. And that's because there probably isn't such a thing.

This is more common than we think and I'm in the same boat too. P definitely trains you to elevate your expectations, like some kind of OCD about attractiveness. The thing is, you might not noticed for a period of time like I didn't either, only to think about it one day and realize how, in the previous years, I was more pretentious about girls' looks. I would be like: "Nah, that girl is ugly," even though she was just average and we could've gotten along. I lost potential relationships because of my "high expectations". It definitely made be only have eyes for the "top 10%". Just like in P because I didn't watch any girl, I was very very selective about how they looked to the point where I started becoming obsessed with the best bodies. I didn't even like girls without a tan in P. Now, I don't have any streak away from P so I can't say my taste has returned to normal. I have to quit P and then see who's the real me. P has definitely transformed me.

Also, people look different on the screen than in real life. In videos they look better, in pictures too. That's why you are shocked to see how some P star looks in real life. They know how to shoot those videos and take those pictures to stimulate you like crazy. Real life doesn't stimulate you like that because in real life people just look normal but our definition of normal gets morphed by the screen.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #297 on: June 25, 2019, 05:07:42 PM »

In other news, I'm on a 12-day streak of posting here, which is the best I've done in a while. I post regularly, but it's really helpful for me to have a daily check in and a chance to just see where my thoughts and feelings are each day. Posting daily helps me to focus on fighting this addiction one day at a time.

Guess I spoke too soon. Oops, lol. Posting is helpful, but I guess the bright side is that the days I don't post are the days I end up being too busy to think about porn anyway.

Yesterday and today have been chill. Just work and stuff. 110 days without PMO, and just going along one day at a time. I had a thought this morning that was basically, Why don't you just look at porn? And I just stopped and said to myself, "Why would I? What would that help with? Thanks for the idea, but no." And then the thought gave up, and I went on with the day.


This is more common than we think and I'm in the same boat too. P definitely trains you to elevate your expectations, like some kind of OCD about attractiveness. The thing is, you might not noticed for a period of time like I didn't either, only to think about it one day and realize how, in the previous years, I was more pretentious about girls' looks. I would be like: "Nah, that girl is ugly," even though she was just average and we could've gotten along. I lost potential relationships because of my "high expectations". It definitely made be only have eyes for the "top 10%". Just like in P because I didn't watch any girl, I was very very selective about how they looked to the point where I started becoming obsessed with the best bodies. I didn't even like girls without a tan in P. Now, I don't have any streak away from P so I can't say my taste has returned to normal. I have to quit P and then see who's the real me. P has definitely transformed me.

Also, people look different on the screen than in real life. In videos they look better, in pictures too. That's why you are shocked to see how some P star looks in real life. They know how to shoot those videos and take those pictures to stimulate you like crazy. Real life doesn't stimulate you like that because in real life people just look normal but our definition of normal gets morphed by the screen.

There's a lot of truth to this. Porn does a number on our expectations and can really spoil our ability to relate to real women in any kind of useful way.

On another level, too, addicted me is not probably the kind of guy that the most attractive women would even be interested in, you know? Part of this thing is not just finding a woman who meets my "standards" but also being the kind of guy who would meet hers. My recovery is definitely about giving up PMO but it's also about taking care of my health and my appearance, learning to be more open about my feelings (that's a hard one), and overall just becoming a better person.

Porn is also one-sided because it makes us think that all the hottest girls will just come to us without any effort on our part. It trains us to think that women owe us a lot in terms of their appearance while we don't owe them anything. But that's not realistic. Real women don't really "owe" us anything, and they probably deserve good men. In addition to kicking this habit, I want to be one of those good men and not just a "consumer."

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #298 on: June 25, 2019, 11:32:35 PM »
I like how after 110 days you keep working and reflecting on your recovery and stay humble enough to not expect a changed life already due to reaching the "magic 90". It's a question of patience and not expecting miracles now. Your reflection on becoming a better person will definitely help, because that's what's happening.

After longer streaks I noticed that either girls were looking at me more or - what's more realistic - I would just notice because I wasn't that numb to interaction anymore and would make way more eye contact when walking around. Either way quitting porn is neccessary to reestablish tastes in general to a healthy and natural level after training ourselves to get super-stimuli bodyparts on a screen.

You've got the key to get out and give a great example to everybody! Keep it that way!

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #299 on: June 26, 2019, 01:49:23 PM »
I like your point about porn training our minds to believe that we don't have to give anything. Giving to others is contagious: it will influence others to give back to you as well as other people they are around. If we can be people that spread selflessness, honesty, and compassion, the people around us will naturally gravitate towards that as well. I'm so happy you are doing so well on your streak, keep it up!