Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 18838 times)

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #375 on: July 17, 2019, 12:26:29 PM »
Amazing insights from all you guys!

Before I was a P addict, I was suicidally depressed and suffered debilitating anxiety. If I hadn't turned to P, it would have been something else. I guess P was just the most accessible, and I had already been warned about the dangers of drugs, but never the dangers of P. I don't know everyone's reasons for turning to P in the first place, but for me, I feel that it had a purpose in my life to numb me from the pain. It wasn't a very healthy way to deal with it at all, but it sort of worked for a time. Overcoming P has been the single most challenging thing I have ever done, probably that any of us have ever done. Now, it's a crutch I just no longer need, as I lead an otherwise happy and fulfilling life.

I truly think that someone who has been an addict and has been clean for a long time can really make an impact on the world with empathy, love, and compassion for anyone and their problems, whatever they may be. You are well on your way, BlueHeron. You transcend the need for P every single day.

I got introduced to P by friends and I was fascinated by it, as a teenager who started to develop his sexual brain. As P activates the same path in the brain as sex, it was obvious why I was so triggered by it. But after a while, it became a form of soothing/cope/self-medication/elevating myself when I feel down/do something when I'm bored type of thing. To keep the "pleasure" part in it, I had to escalate to stronger stuff.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #376 on: July 17, 2019, 07:28:10 PM »
It doesn't matter if we have to always work around stimulating stuff. Yeah, maybe we could never (or at least for a long time) look even at a picture but think about this: What if you were handicapped? You had just one arm. You would be forced to live your life like this. Now that we are "just P addicts", does it mean we don't have to treat it in the same way? Yes, I am handicapped by P. I can't look at pictures, I've stopped watching my favorite TV shows, I can't watch Youtube. So be it. I live my life the way it is.

So very true. This has been a huge turning point in my mindset. There are things I just can't do. For the longest time, I thought that meant a life of deprivation. Now, I'm starting to think of it as a life of taking care of myself and protecting myself from potential harm.

"If I had a choice between going to back to a version of me that hadn't looked at porn yet and the version of me that I am today, I think I would probably stick with where I am."

Wow, this is truly an amazing statement. So often I get hung up on past mistakes and fantasizing scenarios of who I'd be if I didn't make those mistakes. But the best part of life is the opportunity to move forward no matter what you did in the past, good or bad. When we are able to appreciate our flaws and find ways to improve on them, we have the confidence to go forward without fear, because any mistakes we would worry about in the future can be something that also be taken in stride, and used as learning experiences. Keep doing your thing, remember that you ALWAYS have support from this community!

Thank you so, so much! I've put so much energy and time into what-ifs, but none of those can ever fix anything. I think I really have started to come around to the idea of moving forward with courage. That is, I feel like I'm finally starting to move forward because I'm interested in what is in the future and not just because I'm running from the past. So grateful to count on your support here: this community has made a WORLD of difference!

Amazing insights from all you guys!

Before I was a P addict, I was suicidally depressed and suffered debilitating anxiety. If I hadn't turned to P, it would have been something else. I guess P was just the most accessible, and I had already been warned about the dangers of drugs, but never the dangers of P. I don't know everyone's reasons for turning to P in the first place, but for me, I feel that it had a purpose in my life to numb me from the pain. It wasn't a very healthy way to deal with it at all, but it sort of worked for a time. Overcoming P has been the single most challenging thing I have ever done, probably that any of us have ever done. Now, it's a crutch I just no longer need, as I lead an otherwise happy and fulfilling life.

I truly think that someone who has been an addict and has been clean for a long time can really make an impact on the world with empathy, love, and compassion for anyone and their problems, whatever they may be. You are well on your way, BlueHeron. You transcend the need for P every single day.



You're probably right: if it wasn't P, it would have been something else. I guess on some level, I'm glad it was something that has ruined my life privately and not publicly (a very dark lol). In all seriousness, this is something that I've really come to understand and appreciate in the last few months: all addictions arise as a response to some sort of trauma. All addictions are our mind/body's well-intentioned but misguided effort to help us out and to spare us the pain of trauma. That realization has really been a dramatic shift in my approach to recovery. I'm not fighting with myself anymore. I am not my own worst enemy. Instead, I'm trying to teach myself a better way to deal with pain and trauma. I'm learning a better way to take myself. That makes it so much easier to deal with urges: I can just thank myself for the suggestion that PMO might help and then remind myself that I'm working on doing something different with my pain now. An urge isn't an attack, isn't a crisis, isn't something to fear. It's a suggestion, an attempt to help, but I am free to make a different choice. Treating myself with the kind of gentleness that my addiction has been attempting to provide has really transformed the way I live with it.

I got introduced to P by friends and I was fascinated by it, as a teenager who started to develop his sexual brain. As P activates the same path in the brain as sex, it was obvious why I was so triggered by it. But after a while, it became a form of soothing/cope/self-medication/elevating myself when I feel down/do something when I'm bored type of thing. To keep the "pleasure" part in it, I had to escalate to stronger stuff.

Yeah, I definitely first looked at porn because I wanted to see naked women. But it definitely became more about soothing/escaping the pain of adolescence than about wanting to look at women. I mean, the looking is always part of it, but if we only think we just have out-of-control sex drives, we're not actually solving the problem. We have to realize that we have underlying pain. Once it becomes an addiction, it isn't really about lust or sex or anything like that: it's about self-medication and suffering.

On to today:

Today was pretty quiet but also pretty productive. Last night after posting, I wrote down all the things that I need to do this week, and I put due dates on each of them. I accomplished everything for today except one thing (which I might have some time finish before I go to bed tonight). I know I do better when I write things down. I know I can take charge of my life when I have a real plan, but I also never get around to making that plan. Oh well, I'm going to try to do better at that moving forward.

I guess I have a couple of insights/thoughts from today:

1. I've been listening to the audio version of Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance, and it has been really interesting and helpful. Today, though, I listened to the chapter on being with the "presence of desire." In it, she talked about how people commonly have the idea that the goal is transcend desire or somehow lose their desires and wants. Instead, though, she says that that isn't really the goal. Instead, we should just be with our desires and ask them what they're really about. So, for example, we shouldn't fight our desire for porn; instead, we should accept it in the moment and ask it what it's really about. What do we really want when we think we want porn? I've been thinking a lot lately about how I need to learn to live with my desire for porn instead of somehow losing that desire, and this was kind of a confirming thought for me. Instead of freaking out when the urge comes, I can just sit with it and ask myself what I really want when I think I want porn.

2. I had the realization today (or at least put it in words for the first time) that I'm not really lonely but that I do feel sort of fundamentally alone at this current stage of my life. Like, I'm totally fine being by myself, but it sort of hit me that nobody really knows what my life is. Sure, I talk to my family pretty regularly, but they're all on the other side of the country while I'm at school. I can tell them what's happening, but they don't really know what my experience is like. They can't. The weather and climate and buildings are all different there than here. Grad school is so specialized that they can't really relate to "my life's work." Then, there are the people here that I feel like I have almost universally superficial relationships with. People at school know about me at school. People at church know about me at church but not really about me at school. And nobody really knows about me at home or going around town running errands. It was just sort of a moment of clarity today: right now, I'm the only one who really knows about my experience, and there isn't anyone in my life currently who can really appreciate me except in really specific contexts.

Hopefully that makes sense. It's helpful to just think through it here. I'm not sure exactly what to do with that knowledge, but it is a compelling insight. Could it be that I compartmentalize my life too much? Yeah, maybe. Could it be that I'm not very good at sharing my thoughts and feelings with people? Yeah, probably. But I'm also sort of skeptical of the relationships that I do have: I feel like people usually like me for what they get from me and relationships tend to end up pretty one-sided (and I realize that is probably wrong and definitely selfish, but it's a real feeling that holds me back, I think, from really taking the plunge with anyone). Anyway, I think this is something I'll be thinking about for a while. How to feel less alone in what has sort of become my own private universe.

Probably the longest post I've ever written. But writing here is so therapeutic for me, how could I not?

Thank you all for reading, for responding, and for being an awesome community! I do feel a little less alone when I'm here.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #377 on: July 17, 2019, 10:18:31 PM »
Quote
Today was pretty quiet but also pretty productive. Last night after posting, I wrote down all the things that I need to do this week, and I put due dates on each of them. I accomplished everything for today except one thing (which I might have some time finish before I go to bed tonight). I know I do better when I write things down. I know I can take charge of my life when I have a real plan, but I also never get around to making that plan. Oh well, I'm going to try to do better at that moving forward.

This is a good idea, congratulations on getting so much done!  And long posts are good.  I get a lot out of reading yours and I like posting long ones too.  I think sharing my struggle with pmo on here and not feeling alone have made this reboot totally different than any others.  It feels good to be in this community.  Keep sharing!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #378 on: July 18, 2019, 06:33:34 PM »
For sure, thanks for putting up with (and appreciating) the long posts!

I did the same thing today (writing down a plan), and I got even more done! It has been pretty satisfying. I leave town tomorrow for a week, so I was just getting things set up for while I'm away. I'm actually going home, which will be really good. I haven't been home since Christmas. But, I'm also a little nervous: home has historically been one of my favorite places to relapse. In fact, I joined this forum during my last trip home because I was in the middle of a relapse and just couldn't put up with my vicious cycle anymore. So I'll have to be on guard, but I'm also feeling optimistic because I have learned a TON since the last time I was home, and I think I am better equipped to deal with anything home will throw at me this week. Plus, I'll have you all to fall back on at the end of each day. We got this!

Still making slow progress: 133/150 days

Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #379 on: July 19, 2019, 05:50:09 AM »
This is to remind you that you are cared for, that you are SO important. You are one of a kind and you have so much potential. The world is such a lucky place, to have someone as lovely as you. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are GOOD ENOUGH! Exactly as you are! I so hope you know this.
Fear is a terrible thing you have failed and picked yourself up over and over and over. When i start thinking negatively i ask myself what if this works out? Give it a trial i hope it works for my dear friend  :)


squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #380 on: July 19, 2019, 08:41:52 AM »
For sure, thanks for putting up with (and appreciating) the long posts!

I did the same thing today (writing down a plan), and I got even more done! It has been pretty satisfying. I leave town tomorrow for a week, so I was just getting things set up for while I'm away. I'm actually going home, which will be really good. I haven't been home since Christmas. But, I'm also a little nervous: home has historically been one of my favorite places to relapse. In fact, I joined this forum during my last trip home because I was in the middle of a relapse and just couldn't put up with my vicious cycle anymore. So I'll have to be on guard, but I'm also feeling optimistic because I have learned a TON since the last time I was home, and I think I am better equipped to deal with anything home will throw at me this week. Plus, I'll have you all to fall back on at the end of each day. We got this!

Still making slow progress: 133/150 days

Home is tough for me too.  Just focus on spending time with family and friends and you'll be okay!  Sending good vibes

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #381 on: July 19, 2019, 11:13:54 AM »
So I'll have to be on guard, but I'm also feeling optimistic because I have learned a TON since the last time I was home, and I think I am better equipped to deal with anything home will throw at me this week.

You are doing great and have come too far yet to go back to your old habits. Stay aware, never underestimate the danger and you will be fine!  :)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #382 on: July 20, 2019, 11:30:37 PM »
You all are the best, really. Thanks for the support and good vibes.

So far, home is pretty good. It's helpful that we've been pretty busy. Plus, it's good to be with family for sure.

One thing that I thought was pretty great today: We were driving somewhere, and we passed a road that I used to take to visit someone I used to date pretty seriously. For a long time, any memory of her or our time together was something that I would push away as fast as I can since it has been pretty painful for me. I really have spent a long time thinking that she was my one chance and I lost it. But today, we passed the road, and I started thinking about some of the time we spent together, and somehow, the initial pain turned into really strong gratitude. I'm not totally sure how or why, but I'm glad. We just kept driving, and I was just so glad that, even if things didn't work out, I had the chance at least once to experience a relationship like that. For the first time since we broke up (way longer ago than I care to admit), I could just feel appreciation for the time we had together without feeling intense pain for the fact that it eventually ended.

I also became aware that I usually spend my time when I come home feeling really bad about single (probably something about being as old as I sometimes feel I am and just coming home to hang with my parents and be a third wheel to my younger siblings), like I used to think about it all the time and look at couples and just wonder how men like those were with women like the ones they were with. But, on the bright side, I have noticed that I'm not doing that as much.

In the last couple months, I think I have started to grow a lot more comfortable with myself as I am and with my situation as it is. Instead of wishing I had a totally different life, I'm getting better at appreciating where I am now. So we'll see what happens. It's a long week ahead, but I already feel like I'm off to a much better start than I ever have been before. (Also very glad to know I"m not the only one who struggles at home.)

Take care and stay strong!

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #383 on: July 21, 2019, 07:28:59 AM »
Being single has been a problem for me. I've been single for a good period of time and I think it all started when, one day, I looked at girls and felt nothing. They looked "strange" because they were not on a screen. I had this feeling of: "She looks good but she doesn't stimulate me in any way." Thinking about a moment with her didn't start "anything" inside me. So I said: "Okay this is crazy. What the fuck is going on with me?" I started a deep search online and found the best video of the century: Gary Wilson, the greatest porn experiment, which is on the main page of this forum. That explained everything to me. I starred at the walls in sadness but said: "Okay, I guess I have to quit P first if I want to feel anything about girls again." You see, P has always been my excuse for: "I'm sexually frustrated." When I was single, my "sex life" was P all day. As P is an exaggerated stimulus for a normal reward, P has this ability to make you think about sex all day but, at the same time, sex is not appealing and only P works. It's a fucked up, twisted shit. We will never be normal until we get out of this. I guess we just have to give this "I'm single and I'm frustrated about it" feeling a rest and focus on feeling the normal emotions first.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #384 on: July 21, 2019, 11:53:28 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation, Leo, I should check out that video. I don't think I've seen it yet. Porn definitely changes our perceptions. I can remember when I was in high school (and at my very worst in terms of PMO) that I was only ever thinking about how girls looked, but also, I wasn't interested in them. I was interested in bodies and body parts, and I was using girls for a fix when I couldn't use porn. Everywhere I went, I was on the lookout for girls in class, driving by through intersections, on magazines at grocery stores, you name it. I really wasn't interested in dating or relationships or any one person. I was just interested in sexiness, not even sex. It was a mess.

Now, as I've made more progress in recovery, I have definitely noticed a change. There are women I know who are really attractive (and I'm sure high school me would have idolized them), but I also recognize that we wouldn't get along at all, so I don't really feel attracted to them. I don't just see women as a way to get a "fix" when I'm away from the screen. Instead, I've become more interested in women as people (believe it or not!), and I really care about who someone is and not just how much they remind of me porn.

I'm with you on focusing on just feeling normal emotions first. One thing I have decided is that I have to get myself figured out first and be totally happy and stable on my own. If I think about the kind of woman that I would want to be with, I have to make sure first that I'm the kind of guy she would be interested in. Someday, I imagine she'll come into my life, and I want to make sure that I'm ready for her.

Today was very chill, which was good. Time with family all day. Here's to a great week for us all!

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #385 on: July 22, 2019, 09:23:42 PM »
Yeah, you're right. As I think about it now... The addiction is a real thing, so I have to be vigilant, but it's also not something I really chose (I was too young understand what I was getting into), so I can't be too frustrated with myself. And I love that last thought. The only way now is the way out.

Today was good, busy but good. The weather's pretty bad, but I'm warm and inside, so I can't complain.
Old quote here.

I'm reading through a few journals to see where other successful rebooters were thinking around day 16 and this stuck out to me blue.  I think you're right.  After thinking about it I feel more compassion for myself after realizing that I was too young to understand what I was getting into, and that I'm not a bad person for struggling with pmo.  I didn't know how dangerous it is.  In fact, I was encouraged not to pursue girls too openly or to be too expressive since I was raised in a religious environment.  So I found the expression elsewhere, in the shadows.  What a bummer, doesn't have to be that way.  I'm feeling a lot of forgiveness for my younger self. 

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #386 on: July 22, 2019, 11:45:16 PM »
Wow, thanks for bringing that old quote back! I really should go back and re-read my journal. Man, January feels like forever ago. But it also feels like yesterday. I think it would be really helpful for me to revisit where I've been as I continue to think about where I'm going.

Really glad you're finding my old rambles helpful too, lol! I think that's a huge thing: going easier on yourself. It has been a massive game-changer for me to realize that my addiction was my brain's effort to take care of me and to ease my pain. It was totally wrong, but it didn't come from a place of intentional self harm. That has helped me to see myself not as my own worst enemy or as some morally bankrupt loser who is obsessed with sex. Instead, I have started to see myself as a person who needs to learn a better way of dealing with emotional distress. I'm a person who needs to learn how to be a better friend to myself. And I feel like that has changed everything, my overall mindset, my attitude towards urges and temptations, my willingness of let go of porn and triggers even when I recognize that a part of me still really wants it.

I definitely didn't have anything to do with girls when I was "growing up," and I definitely think that probably helped me slide into porn. I definitely could have found healthier expressions for my interest in girls. But, at the same time, I think it's important to realize that a PMO isn't really about sex. It's about numbing ourselves to pain through sex. The addiction is about escaping pain, not about liking sex too much. (I don't know if that even makes sense to me, but it works in my head).

But, either way, you're exactly right: what has happened before is a bummer, but it definitely doesn't have to be that way now. Forgive yourself because you were doing the unfortunate best you could do, and just focus on taking care of those unmet needs now that you know better ways of dealing with them.

Another decent day. Hanging out with family, going around town. I went to a store and was walking past the women's section. A few years ago, the swimsuit and lingerie sections would have been a place to get a generous dopamine fix. Today, I remembered how I used to just stare at every picture of every model showing a lot of skin. Today, though, I was much better able to acknowledge that all those images were there but that I didn't need to be looking at them or fixating on them. I did my best to sort of just be aware of them but let them go by.

And I think that's important. The goal of recovery isn't to become asexual, but it is to give up these compulsive sexual habits. It used to be that I had to look at any picture of an attractive woman, and not just look but stare and obsess so that I could feel aroused. Now, though, it's not that I don't still want to look at or see attractive women, just that I don't have to. I'm working on being more in control and better able to choose what I'm thinking about and looking at and less focused on just living in a fog of compulsive arousal. Plus I'm working on being more respectful (Women have a right to go about there lives without being stared at, and I definitely don't want to be the kind of guy that a woman feels unsafe around).

But here I am rambling (I guess some things don't change during recovery, lol). Plus it's a little later than usual (and I"ll blame that for my aimlessness.)

Take care everyone! Tomorrow's another day!

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #387 on: July 23, 2019, 01:46:44 PM »
I definitely didn't have anything to do with girls when I was "growing up," and I definitely think that probably helped me slide into porn. I definitely could have found healthier expressions for my interest in girls. But, at the same time, I think it's important to realize that a PMO isn't really about sex. It's about numbing ourselves to pain through sex. The addiction is about escaping pain, not about liking sex too much. (I don't know if that even makes sense to me, but it works in my head).

I can relate to this and to your conclusion, it does make sense. Porn is the downward spiral away from natural interest and healthy expressions, but to us it was completely "normal" during adolescense. I even remember a quote from a girl from school when we talked about porn in a group and she said: "Every boy looks at porn, if they don't have porn in their computer it's maybe because they're gay.", well, failed logic aside - what about gay porn? - but nobody disagreed.

Remembering my many hours of porn during adolescense really gets me emotional every time. Anger and regret about wasted time and not discovering this problem earlier. Thoughts about what could have been if only I hadn't discovered and consumed porn. I learned about the damage of drugs in school, but nobody told me porn was an even stronger drug than those they warned about.

Instead of regret I try to think of myself as one of the few privileged who know about their problem and have a realistic chance of changing it to the better. Let's not forget there are millions of people out there who don't even know porn might be one of the sources of their problems in life. The thought of porn not being about sex, but basically being opposed to sex is absolutely right, but probably only common around us addicts who fell deep enough into the abyss to discover the essence of our addiction.

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #388 on: July 23, 2019, 04:08:15 PM »
It has been a massive game-changer for me to realize that my addiction was my brain's effort to take care of me and to ease my pain. It was totally wrong, but it didn't come from a place of intentional self harm. That has helped me to see myself not as my own worst enemy or as some morally bankrupt loser who is obsessed with sex. Instead, I have started to see myself as a person who needs to learn a better way of dealing with emotional distress. I'm a person who needs to learn how to be a better friend to myself. And I feel like that has changed everything, my overall mindset, my attitude towards urges and temptations, my willingness of let go of porn and triggers even when I recognize that a part of me still really wants it.

I like this. I'll have to try it.

Quote
I definitely didn't have anything to do with girls when I was "growing up," and I definitely think that probably helped me slide into porn. I definitely could have found healthier expressions for my interest in girls. But, at the same time, I think it's important to realize that a PMO isn't really about sex. It's about numbing ourselves to pain through sex. The addiction is about escaping pain, not about liking sex too much. (I don't know if that even makes sense to me, but it works in my head). 

I can relate to this. For a few years, while heavily invested in P, I didn't have much success with girls either. But now, thinking about it, I was kind of uninterested in it actually. I had my "reward" from P and everything was fine. Until there came that day when real girls didn't interest me at all, like I said in another post, I looked at them and felt nothing. I think I was really deep into P to turn out that way. I mean, since I was 12 I had been drowning myself in P like a big ocean. I was not really a good functional P addict. I functioned to some degree only. Also, about the second part of your quote, P could definitely make some people think they are people with exagerated libido (which could create sexual frustration). It's not. It's just craving for P. They don't have high libido and they are not weird horny guys. But maybe they don't even know what's their normal if they have been invested in P since they were teenagers. I guess I was at some point like that, around 14-15 years old. For a while and then I hit that phase when I was kind of uninterested in it and only living for P. Like those heroin junkies who only lie on the couch all day without doing anything else. I did something like that but with P. To be honest, I don't even remember much from my school years when I was into P.


BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #389 on: July 23, 2019, 11:49:31 PM »
I can relate to this and to your conclusion, it does make sense. Porn is the downward spiral away from natural interest and healthy expressions, but to us it was completely "normal" during adolescense. I even remember a quote from a girl from school when we talked about porn in a group and she said: "Every boy looks at porn, if they don't have porn in their computer it's maybe because they're gay.", well, failed logic aside - what about gay porn? - but nobody disagreed.

Remembering my many hours of porn during adolescense really gets me emotional every time. Anger and regret about wasted time and not discovering this problem earlier. Thoughts about what could have been if only I hadn't discovered and consumed porn. I learned about the damage of drugs in school, but nobody told me porn was an even stronger drug than those they warned about.

Instead of regret I try to think of myself as one of the few privileged who know about their problem and have a realistic chance of changing it to the better. Let's not forget there are millions of people out there who don't even know porn might be one of the sources of their problems in life. The thought of porn not being about sex, but basically being opposed to sex is absolutely right, but probably only common around us addicts who fell deep enough into the abyss to discover the essence of our addiction.

I can relate to this. For a few years, while heavily invested in P, I didn't have much success with girls either. But now, thinking about it, I was kind of uninterested in it actually. I had my "reward" from P and everything was fine. Until there came that day when real girls didn't interest me at all, like I said in another post, I looked at them and felt nothing. I think I was really deep into P to turn out that way. I mean, since I was 12 I had been drowning myself in P like a big ocean. I was not really a good functional P addict. I functioned to some degree only. Also, about the second part of your quote, P could definitely make some people think they are people with exagerated libido (which could create sexual frustration). It's not. It's just craving for P. They don't have high libido and they are not weird horny guys. But maybe they don't even know what's their normal if they have been invested in P since they were teenagers. I guess I was at some point like that, around 14-15 years old. For a while and then I hit that phase when I was kind of uninterested in it and only living for P. Like those heroin junkies who only lie on the couch all day without doing anything else. I did something like that but with P. To be honest, I don't even remember much from my school years when I was into P.

Man, it really scares me how resigned people are to the pervasiveness of porn. It's just seen as a normal thing by a lot of people and not as a serious problem. It's really too bad that we've been trapped by it, but it is awesome that we have become aware of the harm it's causing and are working to improve.

And I really know what you mean about looking back on your adolescence with huge regret. I really feel like those years were completely wasted for me. It's like a gap in my life that was totally lost to only ever thinking about porn. I hate it when people ask about what I was like in high school or what I did in high school. I never have a good answer other than "I've changed a lot since then. I didn't really like high school." All I did was PMO or wait impatiently for the next time that I could PMO. (And I'm not going to tell people that!)

In all that profound regret, I just try to focus on the fact that, regardless of what happened in my past, I can make changes in the present that bring me a much better future. My high school years may be lost to the void, but my late 20s don't have to be! It's hard not to feel like my past has ruined my future, but I always try to remind myself that nothing that really matters has been lost. Everything I really want in life is still possible.

Today was pretty good. Stayed busy and had a pretty good time. But beneath it all was a kind of "hunger," mostly for MO I think. I don't really know. I wouldn't really call it urges because there hasn't been anything "urgent" about the feeling. It's just sort of background wanting. Like you know that feeling that sometimes comes along where you think PMO would feel extra good. It's kind of like that. I don't want to relapse. I don't feel driven to relapse. But I've had the feeling all day that a relapse would feel extra satisfying if I were to do it. Kind of a weird feeling. I"m sure it led me to letting my eyes wander a little more today than usual while I was out and about: I was way more aware of all the women around today than I have been lately.

I think this feeling is probably pretty manageable, but I'll have to be extra careful tomorrow just to be sure. Here's to hoping these feelings settle down overnight.


brandnewself

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #390 on: July 24, 2019, 10:49:32 AM »
Man, it really scares me how resigned people are to the pervasiveness of porn. It's just seen as a normal thing by a lot of people and not as a serious problem. It's really too bad that we've been trapped by it, but it is awesome that we have become aware of the harm it's causing and are working to improve.

And I really know what you mean about looking back on your adolescence with huge regret. I really feel like those years were completely wasted for me. It's like a gap in my life that was totally lost to only ever thinking about porn. I hate it when people ask about what I was like in high school or what I did in high school. I never have a good answer other than "I've changed a lot since then. I didn't really like high school." All I did was PMO or wait impatiently for the next time that I could PMO. (And I'm not going to tell people that!)

In all that profound regret, I just try to focus on the fact that, regardless of what happened in my past, I can make changes in the present that bring me a much better future. My high school years may be lost to the void, but my late 20s don't have to be! It's hard not to feel like my past has ruined my future, but I always try to remind myself that nothing that really matters has been lost. Everything I really want in life is still possible.
Man I really like reading your journal. It always gives me some insights and helps me reflect on myself. I'm desperately looking for some philosophy to hang on to it and I think you've got a great one here.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #391 on: July 24, 2019, 11:41:15 PM »
Man I really like reading your journal. It always gives me some insights and helps me reflect on myself. I'm desperately looking for some philosophy to hang on to it and I think you've got a great one here.

Thanks so much, man! It is really encouraging to hear that this awful experience (addiction) is turning into something positive (the ability to help other people fighting addiction). It means a lot.

It seems like the weird urge-y feelings from yesterday quieted down overnight. Today was a chill day addiction-wise and a busier one activity-wise. I went all over town with family today, did some shopping, and got a little bit of work done. Pretty tired, but also feeling pretty good.

Keep on fighting everyone: tomorrow is another day!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #392 on: July 26, 2019, 11:24:28 PM »
Man I really like reading your journal. It always gives me some insights and helps me reflect on myself. I'm desperately looking for some philosophy to hang on to it and I think you've got a great one here.

Thanks so much, man! It is really encouraging to hear that this awful experience (addiction) is turning into something positive (the ability to help other people fighting addiction). It means a lot.

It seems like the weird urge-y feelings from yesterday quieted down overnight. Today was a chill day addiction-wise and a busier one activity-wise. I went all over town with family today, did some shopping, and got a little bit of work done. Pretty tired, but also feeling pretty good.

Keep on fighting everyone: tomorrow is another day!

Everything alright blue?

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #393 on: July 27, 2019, 06:49:44 PM »
Yeah, still carrying on! I had a late night and then I was traveling yesterday, so I flaked out on posting. Thanks for checking up on me!

But I'm back at school now. I made it through a week at home without relapsing, which is something I was worried about. Honestly, I feel like it was one of my best trips home. In the past, I have spent a lot of time at home feeling bad about myself and my life situation (who knows why home brings that out in me, but it does). This time, though, I didn't experience that. I was better able to just enjoy being with family and getting away from the usual grind for a week.

I'm feeling a little reluctant to get back to regular work this coming week. I feel like a lot of the things I do are not as satisfying or fulfilling as I would hope, and I'm trying to figure out if that's a problem with the things I'm doing or just my attitude. I don't know, but hopefully I can at least start turning my attitude around.

Day 142/150. Just keep going, one day at a time

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #394 on: July 27, 2019, 10:37:22 PM »


I'm feeling a little reluctant to get back to regular work this coming week. I feel like a lot of the things I do are not as satisfying or fulfilling as I would hope, and I'm trying to figure out if that's a problem with the things I'm doing or just my attitude. I don't know, but hopefully I can at least start turning my attitude around

A good attitude helps on every situation but it is also possible that you've grown and need a different type of work to be satisfied.  Keep up the good work!

Lero

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #395 on: July 28, 2019, 03:46:59 AM »
Great, man! Almost 150 days!

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #396 on: July 28, 2019, 10:35:49 AM »
Congratulations on making it through the week home, it's another little milestone along the many challenges, keep going towards 150 days!  :)

Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #397 on: July 28, 2019, 10:57:12 AM »
You my dear friend are an AMAZING person. You look at both the short term (one day at a time) and the long term (150). I am Proud of you  :)
Try your best to go to work if feel unsatisified for a long period of time ( don't wait for too long though) maybe then it is time to try to do something you are both good at and brings you Joy
You deserve nothing less than happiness  :)

pichaelthompson

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #398 on: July 28, 2019, 11:12:15 AM »
I totally feel you about being at home with family, sometimes it can really stress me out and it feels like the only way to deal with it is through PMO or some other self-damaging action. As far as your work, I also do feel that way sometimes, that I should be either enjoying it more or that it is not leading to any positive changes. A couple things help me out with this; sometimes I think back and ask myself why I am doing these things in the first place, like what was my motivation to commit so heavily to this thing that I do every day, outside of money and outside pressure? It also helps me to look back a year or two to just acknowledge how far I have come since then, and then I can really see the growth in the long term that is often not easily seen in the day-by-day.

So close to 150, we're all rooting for you! You got this!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #399 on: July 28, 2019, 07:18:17 PM »
As always, you all are great! Thanks for your continuing support (and for putting up with my lengthy rants in your journals. I wish I had time to write more to more people.)

I totally feel you about being at home with family, sometimes it can really stress me out and it feels like the only way to deal with it is through PMO or some other self-damaging action. As far as your work, I also do feel that way sometimes, that I should be either enjoying it more or that it is not leading to any positive changes. A couple things help me out with this; sometimes I think back and ask myself why I am doing these things in the first place, like what was my motivation to commit so heavily to this thing that I do every day, outside of money and outside pressure? It also helps me to look back a year or two to just acknowledge how far I have come since then, and then I can really see the growth in the long term that is often not easily seen in the day-by-day.

So close to 150, we're all rooting for you! You got this!

Thanks for the thoughts about considering motivations. On some level, I know exactly why I got into this line of work (grad school), and I feel like I have a pretty clear idea about what I hope to accomplish. Some days, though, it feels like nobody else recognizes the value of what I'm working on the way I do. So maybe I'm not tired of my work as much as I am tired of swimming against the current to try to do it. But I guess in some way that's just what graduate school is: a really long and hard period of life that punches your ticket to more independent work after. That's probably why I'm thinking it might just be an attitude problem: I really do feel committed to sticking it out, and I'm not sure what else I would do. I know that I want to finish, but it can sure be tough to think about how much longer is left sometimes.

Anyway, that's a little depressing/melodramatic. Today was actually a pretty good day. I feel like Sundays usually get away from me, but I actually got some good things done. I have food for the week, my suitcase is unpacked, and I'm pretty much ready to go.

I did want to sit down and make up a plan/schedule for the week, but I just didn't get around to it today. First thing on the list for tomorrow, though, is to make a list and give myself some direction and purpose for the week. I feel a little adrift after a week away, and I want to make sure that I don't just aimlessly coast through the week.

Thanks again for the support! Keep on being awesome!