Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 44414 times)

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #675 on: November 07, 2019, 07:15:57 AM »
Your instinct in staying away from the youtube trending page is 1000% right, in my opinion. That's an area where as soon as I read it, it's not like "hey man, maybe it is a good idea to cut out, do what works for you". The youtube trending page is the worst imo. It's designed to get you clicking, tons of images that are essentially soft core porn, are often used as thumbnail photos.

For me (and many others) youtube in general can be a huge trigger. Even aside from those images the clicking on different videos etc. as a habit can be a problem.

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #676 on: November 07, 2019, 08:48:39 PM »
Thanks, quit! You're right about a lot of things. I've sworn off trending (what am I actually missing?), and I have been in a long process of thinking about my YouTube habits in general. There is a lot there that is good, and it hasn't generally been a problem for me (at least in relation to porn addiction) but I have spent more time there than I would prefer. Something to start thinking more seriously about.

Today was okay

Just school and stuff.

Haven't heard anything from Ph still after calling yesterday. There's probably (hopefully) a good reason. Maybe there isn't. I'm trying to stay positive and grounded in the things that I actually have to do in the moment (instead of getting distracted by worry). But I've been a little on edge all day (understatement).

Other than that, pretty normal and boring day. I'm not a huge fan of winter, and it snowed this morning. Kind of got me started off in a bad mood, but I should probably also not be so dependent on the weather in that way.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day (and a Friday)!

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #677 on: November 08, 2019, 07:47:32 AM »
Haha thanks man, glad to hear I am not just full of bs. You are right about a ridiculous amount of stuff yourself and have great insights.

Glad to hear that you are cutting out the trending page. Doing that is saving you so many little dopamine bursts over the course of the month, that'll do a ton for your recovery and I think overall brain health, as obviously we know these dopamine hits from PMO and related stuff are not good for the brain.

I feel you on the winter, I am moving back to a city with winter lol. Got me worried. I have heard in many places part of what lowers people's mood in the winter is lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essentially a hormone really important to mood brain function etc. Our body makes it when sunlight hits our skin, so supplementing with it in the winter can really help with mood general health in the winter etc.


Sorry to hear she has not called yet. There will be LOADS of opportunities in the future, she may call again or she may not. There is some odd thing that happens, when working towards cool shit and forgetting about girls they tend to call/text back or even out of the blue.

Easier said then done, but a good way to handle the PH thing is to act like nothing happened at all. You run into her, just be friendly and chill whatever don't bring up the call, dating etc. I remember reading a book from a guy who is amazing with women he said "Remember NOTHING is a big deal". I know we want to be genuine or whatever but I think it's okay to at least pretend and act like it's not a big deal lol. Just to keep things comfortable and cool.

Tons of possibilities:

She may have gotten the message and be nervous about calling back.

She may have gotten the message and since it took you awhile, she is trying to make you wait too lol.

She may have lost interest.....if so  very possibly because of too much time between date 1-2 or last contact. 

She have gotten the message and be making you wait because she read it in some book that said to do it.

No matter what is going on or whether she does call back or not the best bet is to keep moving forward ( you already know that). Hows the atomic habits thing going? Adding in some new positive wrinkles to your routine life to get excited about can probably help.

I remember that was something I'd thought about a lot, the real world is just different from PMO. There so much ambiguity, can't just get immediate short term pleasure whenever we want. We can want something, not get it. Have no idea whats going on. That's just how reality is and I think just learning how to deal with it better is part of recovery but the rewards will be AMAZING


Edit Just as I was about to log off had another thought on that:

Maybe redundant but to put it in very simple and direct language. Reintroducing dating and women into our lives is a HARD part of recovery. The ambiguity and stress etc. Can be very triggering. I think that is something that is forgotten/ left out in a lot of success stories. It's like Hard recovery-> Yay! Great girlfriend. But really the reintroduction of women dating etc. and all the ambiguity, the insecurities that get brought up is just a super tough part of recovery.

So I think that could be helpful to remember, you're still obviously killing it, this is just one of those tough parts of the recovery, but like all the other tough parts will ultimately be super rewarding.

Maybe look at it from OUR (the people reading your journal's perspective). To us this is the Blueheron show, the blueheron story, the adventures of Blueheron. Not the PH diary. Not to talk bad about her, but none of us really care about PH  too much or whats going on with her other then you went on a date with her. To us, she's just a character that pops up in your story. If this journal were a movie, it wouldn't be a romantic comedy with you guys as costars, it'd be an adventure movie about beating the porn monster, and PH would  probably be 3 frames in a montage of you getting good with girls with like rocky music in the background. Maybe since she was the first date, the museum date would get 2 minutes of screen time and that would be the segway into the montage. Your recovery and adventure started wayyy before meeting this girl and will continue on way after
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 08:34:26 AM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

Non-Dual Adventurer

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 272
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #678 on: November 08, 2019, 11:08:01 AM »

I'm also glad that you found some helpful perspective here! When I was reading your journal and seeing that you were in a tough spot today, I was kicking myself (unfairly) for not posting here sooner (which I never do normally). So I'm happy that me-from-the-past could still give you a boost.

I'm just grateful that you even read my journal. I appreciate you, Blue. That fact that you unfairly kicked yourself is just testament to how much you care about others. Thank you for all that you do for me. I consider you a friend even though I've never met you.

Quote
1. I called Ph and left a message. I haven't heard back yet (this is where my nervous brain starts saying it's all over and I should never have tried), but I also know she sometimes has to work pretty late so I'm not worrying (or trying not to worry). Like I have said before, if it works out, great. If not, great. But I do feel a little more invested in it than before.

Boss move. Normal to worry. With age and experience comes less anxiety around this sort of stuff. I don't know how old you are, actually, or how much experience you have with women, or how many serious relationships you've been in? But it's like that water slide you were scared to go down as a small kid because it looked super steep and you were scared. There are so many other kids going down it that you eventually muster the courage to do it. Once you do it you realise it's amazing, and the second time is still a bit scary but by the third time you're practically tripping over other kids to get to the front of the queue to go down.

Good job noticing that the trending page isn't exactly harmless. You're on the right track discovering subtler and subtler ways in which this addiction has effected you.

And with regard to her not having called you back yet, quit's absolutely right. Another reason could be is that she is interested but she's spoken to her friends about it and they've told her not to call back just yet and she's playing it cool. Whatever the reason, use it as a chance to level up in life. This is a fantastic opportunity for personal growth.

If you ever want some sunshine and a break, you're always welcome here in AZ. Wife and I now in the process of buying our house - it could be any day now, and we will gladly put you up.

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #679 on: November 08, 2019, 10:58:44 PM »
Easier said then done, but a good way to handle the PH thing is to act like nothing happened at all. You run into her, just be friendly and chill whatever don't bring up the call, dating etc. I remember reading a book from a guy who is amazing with women he said "Remember NOTHING is a big deal". I know we want to be genuine or whatever but I think it's okay to at least pretend and act like it's not a big deal lol. Just to keep things comfortable and cool.

This is really great, and sort of what I was thinking about doing. Whenever the next time I see her is, I'll let her set the tone and I'll just be chill and friendly no matter what. It all started because I was thinking she was interested. If she's not, it's not a "big deal." Yeah, I don't have any idea what reason she could have for not responding, and I'm making room for there being a good reason, and I'm also trying not to say or think anything negative: if this does go anywhere, I don't want to start off by harboring resentment. We'll just see.

Edit Just as I was about to log off had another thought on that:

Maybe redundant but to put it in very simple and direct language. Reintroducing dating and women into our lives is a HARD part of recovery. The ambiguity and stress etc. Can be very triggering. I think that is something that is forgotten/ left out in a lot of success stories. It's like Hard recovery-> Yay! Great girlfriend. But really the reintroduction of women dating etc. and all the ambiguity, the insecurities that get brought up is just a super tough part of recovery.

So I think that could be helpful to remember, you're still obviously killing it, this is just one of those tough parts of the recovery, but like all the other tough parts will ultimately be super rewarding.

Man, I'm so glad you added this thought because I wasn't talking about but I have been thinking about it. Earlier this year, I closed myself off to the possibility of dating: I had gotten out of something bad and I didn't see any potential on the horizon, so I just switched off that part of my life. I think it probably helped a lot early on. But now that dating part of me is switching back on, and it is really hard. It's tricky to tell positive attraction and negative urges apart sometimes. When does a thought go from being just a normal thought about a person your'e interested in to a dangerous fantasy? I mean, I'm learning to tell those things apart, but still. It's a whole thing with feelings, thoughts, and experiences that stir everything back up.

Part of me really thinks that opening the door to dating has been a contributing factor to the wave of urges/sensitivity to triggers that I've been feeling lately. But, obviously, closing that door is a step backward, not forward. So the task now is to level up and learn to live in a new way with the dating door wide open.

I'm just grateful that you even read my journal. I appreciate you, Blue. That fact that you unfairly kicked yourself is just testament to how much you care about others. Thank you for all that you do for me. I consider you a friend even though I've never met you.

And with regard to her not having called you back yet, quit's absolutely right. Another reason could be is that she is interested but she's spoken to her friends about it and they've told her not to call back just yet and she's playing it cool. Whatever the reason, use it as a chance to level up in life. This is a fantastic opportunity for personal growth.

If you ever want some sunshine and a break, you're always welcome here in AZ. Wife and I now in the process of buying our house - it could be any day now, and we will gladly put you up.

Thank you so much, Adventurer. Who knows if life will ever put us at each other's crossroads in person, but I really appreciate the kindness. Maybe I'll have to put AZ on my list for sooner rather than later. Sometimes, I imagine all of us renting a conference room in a hotel somewhere and just having some kind of mini-convention. Maybe someday, maybe never. One thing's for sure, you're all wonderful strangers who have left a lasting, positive mark on my life.

Today was loooong

I should have been in bed like an hour and a half ago, but I got home late from a church thing and just want to make sure that I stick to the healthy routine (even if it means a little less sleep...tomorrow is Saturday anyway).

It was a decent day, not much happened. Still no word from Ph (insert shrugging guy here). Like I said before, I have definitely been getting interested vibes from her, so it seems strange that it would all just end suddenly. But stranger things have happened. I'll just keep practicing radical acceptance. Whatever happens will happen, and my feelings are okay and I don't need to get tied up in the stories that I make up about things.

I feel like there's something else I was going to say, but I'm drawing a big blank right now...guess that means it's very much time for bed.

Take care, everyone!

brandnewself

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 71
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #680 on: November 09, 2019, 03:46:39 AM »
Hey Blue, I was wondering what you meant by "I called her and left a message". Is it a voicemail or SMS? I remember you said you don't use smartphones so maybe somehow the message was missed/ignored by her. Personally I never used voicemail and I don't check SMS either now. She probably has seen your phone call record but there is a chance that she was just waiting for you to call again? There is even the possibility that she is unhappy about how you didn't ask her out again for a long time and she just wanted to see if you will push a bit more.
Sometimes we don't have to be too gentleman about it. We tend to think that girls are always rational and they will decide if they will call us back when they see it. Nope sometimes you gotta call again and there is nothing wrong with it. You're not calling her endlessly, you're just calling her twice or three times which is completely normal. If after that, she still won't answer then the message is clear. There are tons of reasons that she didn't reply and it might have nothing to do with you.

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #681 on: November 09, 2019, 08:33:46 AM »

Part of me really thinks that opening the door to dating has been a contributing factor to the wave of urges/sensitivity to triggers that I've been feeling lately. But, obviously, closing that door is a step backward, not forward. So the task now is to level up and learn to live in a new way with the dating door wide open.

Yeah, agree with all this and the part about when is it a healthy desire/ when is it an urge... Funny some of this same stuff popping up for me a little, even stress aside, dating, desire for girls can lead to urges. Unfortunately I think that general sexuality gets a little wrapped up in the addiction. So being attracted to a girl, even in a healthy way, for me at least, can also lead to urges. Being turned on in anyway can be a trigger. So it is a transition period. We have to stop all the bad PMO shit and just tough out (intelligently) rewiring to real life/ girls while that healthy network gets less and less attached to the PMO urges and stuff.

It's super awesome you shut that part of your life off for awhile, I think the right decision and also the right decision to open it up now. The break from it to get a solid time away from PMO is great, but I don't think there is ANY time clean of pmo, that would allow us to transition back to dating without dealing with a bunch of stuff. You already seem to know that though.

Cool perspective from Brandnewself. I would not have thought that. It's definitely great to get different perspectives. I had no solution other then "oh well" lol.

Speaking of just recontacting a girl, this reminds me. Something that can also happen is... girls are like masters of ignoring messages and shit they don't like.

So I met this girl, while visiting my old city. We texted and I voice messaged back and forth over and over. The girl clearly liked me and made it clear in all the messages. We'd gone on a date, and all my communication with her has been like confident, leading etc.
Anyways I messaged her something like " I don't know whether to live in this city or my old city". Radio silence. Not a word. Mistake on my part, I was hoping she'd be like "OMG, move back here!". But really I was like asking her to help me with a major life decision, looking kind of weak, not being the guy I have been with her.

I thought it was done for. Then a few days later texted her again, like nothing happened, my usual decisive self. And magically she is super enthusiastic and responds to everything immediately again. (Okay, girl you want me to be confident and decisive, message received lol) (Slight tangent, but she is not American and I think girls from much of the world are MUCH more direct about wanting a man to play his manly role)

Not saying this happened yo you, just what brand new self said jogged my memory: I've had a few experiences like this, where a girl likes me and I fuck up and send a really dumb/ lame text. The girl is like "okay, let's just pretend this never happened" ignores it and enthusiastically responds to the next thing I send. (texting sucks by the way lol)

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #682 on: November 09, 2019, 08:56:23 PM »
Hey Blue, I was wondering what you meant by "I called her and left a message". Is it a voicemail or SMS? I remember you said you don't use smartphones so maybe somehow the message was missed/ignored by her. Personally I never used voicemail and I don't check SMS either now. She probably has seen your phone call record but there is a chance that she was just waiting for you to call again? There is even the possibility that she is unhappy about how you didn't ask her out again for a long time and she just wanted to see if you will push a bit more.
Sometimes we don't have to be too gentleman about it. We tend to think that girls are always rational and they will decide if they will call us back when they see it. Nope sometimes you gotta call again and there is nothing wrong with it. You're not calling her endlessly, you're just calling her twice or three times which is completely normal. If after that, she still won't answer then the message is clear. There are tons of reasons that she didn't reply and it might have nothing to do with you.

Fair perspective, and I'll have to think about it. I did leave a voicemail. Same routine as the first date (except she texted a little after the first time to say that she got my message and wanted to go out and would call me after work). So I guess I wouldn't expect such a different response this time, but that's what happened.

Also, it's been mentioned a couple of times, but I guess I'm surprised that it might have been "too long" to ask her out again. We went out one week, saw each other the next, and then I asked her out the next. Maybe that is too long, but it's also just as soon as I had a chance again. Oh well, if that really is a problem then I guess I just have to deal with that: not much else I could have done.

Speaking of just recontacting a girl, this reminds me. Something that can also happen is... girls are like masters of ignoring messages and shit they don't like.

So I met this girl, while visiting my old city. We texted and I voice messaged back and forth over and over. The girl clearly liked me and made it clear in all the messages. We'd gone on a date, and all my communication with her has been like confident, leading etc.
Anyways I messaged her something like " I don't know whether to live in this city or my old city". Radio silence. Not a word. Mistake on my part, I was hoping she'd be like "OMG, move back here!". But really I was like asking her to help me with a major life decision, looking kind of weak, not being the guy I have been with her.

I thought it was done for. Then a few days later texted her again, like nothing happened, my usual decisive self. And magically she is super enthusiastic and responds to everything immediately again. (Okay, girl you want me to be confident and decisive, message received lol) (Slight tangent, but she is not American and I think girls from much of the world are MUCH more direct about wanting a man to play his manly role)

Not saying this happened yo you, just what brand new self said jogged my memory: I've had a few experiences like this, where a girl likes me and I fuck up and send a really dumb/ lame text. The girl is like "okay, let's just pretend this never happened" ignores it and enthusiastically responds to the next thing I send. (texting sucks by the way lol)

Yeah, it's an interesting perspective. Maybe my message was trash (every phone call I've ever made was trash, though). I'm sort of thinking I'm just going to see what happens the next time we see each other. Either something or nothing, but I'll just be my usual self and pick up where we left off.

This is the worst part of the whole business of dating. Nobody communicates. Who decided that was the best way of doing things? All I know is that I'm not up for a bunch of games with secret rules.

Yeah, agree with all this and the part about when is it a healthy desire/ when is it an urge... Funny some of this same stuff popping up for me a little, even stress aside, dating, desire for girls can lead to urges. Unfortunately I think that general sexuality gets a little wrapped up in the addiction. So being attracted to a girl, even in a healthy way, for me at least, can also lead to urges. Being turned on in anyway can be a trigger. So it is a transition period. We have to stop all the bad PMO shit and just tough out (intelligently) rewiring to real life/ girls while that healthy network gets less and less attached to the PMO urges and stuff.

It's super awesome you shut that part of your life off for awhile, I think the right decision and also the right decision to open it up now. The break from it to get a solid time away from PMO is great, but I don't think there is ANY time clean of pmo, that would allow us to transition back to dating without dealing with a bunch of stuff. You already seem to know that though.

I also really appreciate your thoughts here. It is tough to open the door again, and it definitely does trigger a lot things. Our addiction hijacked our normal sexuality, and we have some wires to un-cross and straighten out for sure. It's kind of a scary thing, but it's maybe one of the most important steps. It's not just about getting rid of PMO. It's about reclaiming real life.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Today was objectively fine, but I'm not feeling it

Just feeling off. Well, that makes it sound like I don't know why. I'm sort of feeling like my life is empty (and I know with my brain that that's not true, but it's what I've been feeling). What do I mean? Well, a couple days ago, I was reading some writing that I did a few years ago, and it was good.There was a letter from one of my former teachers telling me it was good and saying really encouraging things about me. The thing is, I just haven't been writing like that in years. I haven't felt like I could, haven't had ideas, haven't had time. If you asked me how I identify, it would probably be as a writer, but I also haven't done it (in any way that I'm proud of) in a long, long time.

Sure, I write for school, but it's not the same. The deadlines are crazy, the assignments are boring, and I just churn out stuff I don't care about because I have to in order to get through. I've been trying to get into a habit of writing more now, but it's slow going. I need to remember that it's more important to show up every day than anything else.

But I guess I'm feeling a little like I'm in mourning for a self that no longer is or that might have been.

In a lot of ways, I am in a much better place than I could have ever expected to be. Addiction recovery is going better than ever before. I have lost significant weight since last year, and I'm feeling healthier and more confident. I'm making decent progress toward a PhD, just a couple years left.

But I don't know, it all feels a little empty right now. I know that all this progress is valuable, and that it will really pay off in the future, but I'm not feeling it's paying off very much right now. This is probably the instant-gratification bug of addiction speaking more than anything. But I feel like I've been in a "waiting position" for so long.

This is my pity party, I guess. And I'm starting to realize that they seem to happen most often on Saturday, so that probably is useful to keep in mind. Anyway, I guess I'm just ready for my life to start (and I know that's false because it's already ongoing, and I should just "seize the day").

And, yeah, I think the weirdness with Ph this week is triggering a lot of this, but it's also not about her so much as about another weird speed bump. I feel like I'm ready for a career, for a family, for a real life, but it's all just still off in the future. Sometimes, people tell me it's "just around the corner," but it's been rounding that corner for years, it feels like.

I'm sure things will happen, and they'll happen at the right time for me and everyone involved. One thing's for sure, I'm readier for them now than I have ever been, and I'm only getting readier.

It all sounds pretty bleak, but I'm still going for it. I know this is just a mood that will pass. It always does. For some reason, I just wanted to vent it here (so thanks for putting up with it if you're still reading).

Oddly, but probably expectedly, I'm feeling a little better just for writing these feelings out.

Oh well, let's go see what tomorrow brings!


quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #683 on: November 10, 2019, 10:33:23 AM »
I think your decision of just not doing much about the PH thing is a good one. That was kind of my instinct too, to do nothing. It was cool to hear a different perspective from Brandnewself, and I figured it's good to have an idea of something to do. (Whereas mine was to do nothing).

But in my experience with women (my personal, though I have heard otherwise. And if others have had other experiences very open to hearing about it) persistence is an overrated quality much of the time. Persistence in terms of chasing showing more interest etc. I feel like if a girl is on the edge, like hmmmm maybe I am interested. Asking her to hang out more times actually makes her less interested. If the girl has no interest at all, asking her out doesn't increase the interest..
.
(The time I got to date a girl who didn't want to date me (though she liked me, just didn't want to date anyone, since she was in the country temporarily) I did so by after pursuing her with persistence did not work, told her "oh no, I just wanted to be friends I only date American girls (UTTER BULLSHIT lol)". She is like "oh okay"..... "wait why do you only date American girls?  :(" then I just treated her as a friend for a few hours next time we hung out, not pursuing her at all and that was that, became my girlfriend

So maybe perseverance is good, going for the win, trying different stuff. But persistence, no way. ( Imagine: you're in a store and there was a shirt you thought was kind of cool, but meh not sure about it. The sales person stops by and says "hey want to buy it" "hmmm, maybe". Stops by 5 minutes later "hey want to buy it" Repeat that cycle. Will that make you want to buy it probably not.


Blueheron I totally relate with how you feel about writing. Like 100%. This feeling of like I used to have more passions and be better at them and am now moving backwards. I have that feeling with a lot of things (  I used to be a really good athlete but now my body is loaded with injuries). But with one in particular I am in the same spot. Public speaking. I did it as a hobby, honestly in the back of my mind felt good enough to make money doing it, I was getting really good. Getting all these compliments, winning little awards in speaking clubs. Moved cities, got a job that involved public speaking, not just doing it my way. I was nowhere near as good, the job just wasn't anything like the speeches I gave. I haven't done any speaking in months and months now. Now I know I am not as good, and just feel sad looking back at how good I was and feel like I let, what could have been my new passion go to the wayside. I am almost embarrassed to get back into it, because I know I am not close to as good as I was a couple years back.

You actually said exactly what I am feeling (but couldn't put quite into these words)

"But I guess I'm feeling a little like I'm in mourning for a self that no longer is or that might have been."

But I guess that's life. It's a shitty feeling and it may take some getting back into it, but if we did it once we can do it again. Maybe there is a positive side to this, as we work on ourselves and are less interested in our addiction, our mind is turning to other things we love and we are re noticing our potential. Glad you wrote that, because I almost wanted to find another hobby and didn't want to do public speaking and maybe never be as good as I was, or feel like I was not as good as I thought. But makes me realize, man I think just gotta suck that up and get back into it, when the time is right. For myself, maybe even do some of the sports I loved, just at a lower level.

Also man, writing something that someone else can read and be like "holyshit, that's just what I was feeling but couldn't express in words". Is pretty damn good writing, even if you don't feel like you're at the same level as before. Some skills/talent remain. Who knows maybe keeping this journal, being so self aware can add a new wrinkle to your writing in the future.

I'll try and think the same way, yeah my overall skill set in speaking is wayyy lower then it was, that feeling sucks. It's hard for me to really believe this, but maybe having time away from it and all these different experiences will give me new perspectives and lead me down even better paths with the speaking down the road after regaining the skillset, stage presence etc. ( But man, do I relate even as I write this stuff, thinking about what I used to have hurts). But again, the fact that we are hurting about this stuff may be good. When  I totally forget about public speaking, it doesn't hurt so much. So the pain may be the first step in getting the skills back.


In terms of the college not paying off feeling, I think that's honestly just normal. It's something you are working on for a long time that is quite difficult. Feelings like that always pop up, no matter how motivated we are.

One last thing, that relates to a lot of this stuff.

I used to go to a juggling club from time to time. There was this one guy there who was really good at juggling and was really chill. I remember he was working on a trick he knew, and very relaxed said " Oh yeah, I can't do this trick as well. I have been working on other tricks. When you work on a new trick the ones you already know get a little shaky because your hands/brain is getting used to doing new things and changing things up. But then once you get the new trick down, your old tricks get better again."

That was pretty cool and interesting. He just accepted that process and was aware of it. And I think that might apply to life, as well as other skills sometimes too. Just new stuff is being worked on and getting incorporated, so some other stuff might feel a little shaky for awhile but then in the end we'll get our old skills back and be good at the new stuff too.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 10:39:29 AM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #684 on: November 10, 2019, 08:44:05 PM »
Quit, man, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. It really is reassuring and encouraging to read what you had to say. I'm sorry that you're also mourning a past-possible self, but I'm also glad you can relate. And I think you're right: there's no reason we can't get back at it. Maybe all this junk now will add a positive wrinkle to the stuff I do in the future (I definitely hope so, or I would have given up a while ago).

I also really love your distinction between perseverance and persistence. I haven't thought about it in that way, but it feels really right to me. I can persevere and be in it for the long haul, just being nice and available and keep improving myself for myself, and maybe things will take shape (with Ph or someone else). Or, I can keep hammering on the same key until it breaks. Really cool insight. Plus perseverance sounds more peaceful to me than persistence, and I'm all about going the smooth, peaceful route.

I used to go to a juggling club from time to time. There was this one guy there who was really good at juggling and was really chill. I remember he was working on a trick he knew, and very relaxed said " Oh yeah, I can't do this trick as well. I have been working on other tricks. When you work on a new trick the ones you already know get a little shaky because your hands/brain is getting used to doing new things and changing things up. But then once you get the new trick down, your old tricks get better again."

That was pretty cool and interesting. He just accepted that process and was aware of it. And I think that might apply to life, as well as other skills sometimes too. Just new stuff is being worked on and getting incorporated, so some other stuff might feel a little shaky for awhile but then in the end we'll get our old skills back and be good at the new stuff too.

But, man, somehow, this seems like exactly what I needed to hear. I love the juggler's perspective on how the old tricks get shaky when you're learning a new one. That's probably similar to what I'm observing in my own life right now. I'm doing a lot of new things all at once and changing a lot of things about my life. That's bound to disrupt the flow of the old routines, but the things that really matter will settle back into life once I have things worked out.

Really, thanks for sharing. It helps me think about approaching myself with more kindness and patience. The fact that my old tricks are getting shaky doesn't mean that I'm falling apart. It just means that I'm a normal person learning knew tricks, and that makes everything shakier for a little, limited while. I'm taking that to the bank (as they say).

Today was pretty okay

Really not much happened today. Went to church, did some cooking and talking to family in the afternoon, had some people over in the evening. Quiet day.

Last night as I was going to bed, though, I lay down and started drifting off to sleep and I got hit by a tidal wave of porn flashbacks and urges. I'm sure my emotional state yesterday had a lot to do with it, but it just smashed into me with a suddenness and severity that I haven't felt in a long time. My brain was full of images and search terms, and my whole body felt electric with the urge to relapse. All I could do was stay totally still because I felt like I would relapse if I moved, as if any motion would just default back to the pattern of PMO. So I stayed completely still and tried to get my mind on other things. It kept slipping back to porn, and I kept dragging it back somewhere safer. Eventually, I realized that I have my internet connection so locked down that I wouldn't be able to get to porn even if I tried, and that sort of helped me settle down. The urges were strong, but there wasn't any immediate danger. I would have had to go through a lot of steps and try to find a password I don't remember if I was actually going to relapse. After a little while (it probably wasn't as long as it felt) I fell asleep, and things have been calm today.

Glad that I weathered that sudden storm. It really spooked me, but I feel more secure now.

On the side of good news, I don't have class tomorrow because it's a holiday, so I have a bonus day to maybe catch up on some rest and some personal projects.

Here's to good things to come!

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #685 on: November 10, 2019, 10:45:09 PM »
Man, glad that stuff was so helpful to you! And glad you can relate to it, the persistence versus perseverance thing is something I have been thinking about A LOT. Lately and I really find it works for me.

Was really glad to read your journal because it made me realize, that I pretty much have to get back into public speaking down the road, just go through some pain of regaining old skills and feeling of lost time.

That juggler dude was awesome. Crazy how stuff like that works. That guy wasn't talking about life or anything, it was just a random comment he made to me about juggling years ago, but it stuck with me and I think it really applies in many areas.


Well glad to hear you got through the urge! Man, good reminder like you were saying, we've got to always stay humble. I have had some easyish days for the most part but then the briefest thought of fantasizing about PMO stuff. Have to remember, being humble and always ready to overcome urges is key.

Seems like you've been in a wave of urges more often lately, which is all good all part of the recovery.... Is there anything you can do to help it? I know probably a stupid obvious question. But maybe there is something from earlier in your recovery that can help a bit? Like some investment during the day or activity (other then what you are already doing) that can help weaken urges hours down the road when they come?
For example cardiovascular exercise seems to make my urges a bit rarer and weaker when they do it.
Being around friends/ socializing with the same people for hours and hours straight also can weaken urges a bit.
Meditation is another good one.
Maybe time to pull out some old tricks, perhaps things that you haven't "needed" to do lately. Just to try and make life a little easier (although by no means easy)



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #686 on: November 11, 2019, 09:55:08 PM »
Thanks for asking the stupid obvious question! It's a really fair thing to do. I have definitely been in a wave of urges lately, and I have been thinking about what I can do to deal with them.

I have pretty steady habits of exercise, meditation, etc. I think that right now, my big thing has been a mix of stressful/uncomfortable emotions mixed with the difficulties we talked about earlier with re-opening the door to dating. It's all been a lot, and I think it just needs a little extra emotional care. There's probably more I can do, and if you have any good emotion-management tips, I'm all ears (your advice has been spot on)!

Today was decent

It was a day off, and after I got up and going, I just decided to make it a true day off. There were a lot of projects/assignments/tasks that I could have done but none that I needed to do, so I just decided to leave them for another day and actually just relax for once. I also woke up feeling like maybe I'm catching a cold, so it seemed smart to get some extra rest while I could and maybe nip this one in the bud.

I did finally hear from Ph. She texted me and basically apologized for not returning my call last week. I guess she was traveling and a bunch of things, etc. She said she hoped I still wanted to get together. Long story short (not that long of a story actually, lol), we set up a date for Friday, so that's something. A better conclusion to the non-communication mystery than I might have expected. We'll see what happens. I'm feeling a little positive-neutral about the whole thing. Still just mostly curious to see where things go. I definitely haven't made up my mind (like I always used to do prematurely) about anything. Just open and curious.

Not much else to report. A pretty quiet, more relaxed day. Back to work tomorrow, though, which I'm a little grumpy about. But who isn't grumpy about going back to work after a quiet day at home?

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #687 on: November 12, 2019, 01:06:05 AM »
Great news bro! Cool, she contacted you back. I think that ended up being perfect. Maybe she did want you to call her again, but the fact that you didn't and she eventually invested in contacting you back is really really good. Sets a good tone for everything to follow, give and take. A guy really good with girls told me, just call once, they'll see the call, that's it.

Lol: Sometimes I feel like I come off like the "jerk friend" character from a teen movie. Like the protagonist will be nice and into the girl and there will be some comic relief character giving advice like "bra, you gotta be mean to the girl" or something lol. But really I think I have the tendency myself to do a bit of magical thinking when it comes to dating, I think what works is a emotion mixed with a bit of discipline and logic. Especially, after all when the relationship is still just forming.

I bring this girl up a lot, but the best relationship I ever had, I was quite "Manipulative" in my seduction of her, in a way. I approached her on a park bench, she was cold, so I acted cold. Then as I kept trying to get her to date me, when that didn't work I acted like I never had anything interest in her or even girls like her. We ended up having such a great relationship, us in love, my first time loving a girl, first really good sex I had same for her. Had I just used no logic and chased her and chased her, none of that would have ever happened. I didn't lie about who I was, misrepresent anything. I just was a little smart in my flirting and seducing  ;). I feel like this was more understood in the past, there are ways to act when seducing a girl to a certain extent. But a little off topic.

Anyways man, great job. Great attitude. "Nuetral Positive" sounds like the perfect mindset.

Man, thanks for the compliment about my suggestions being "spot on"! I feel the same about yours.... Wish I could be more help here, as like you said you seem to really be doing a lot of the right stuff.

During very rough urge times, intense *low impact exercise in the evening seemed helpful. Another one is yoga, or just stretching or using a foam roller where you roll out knots in your muscles.

Also little things can really be nice. I have gotten into candles recently, just reading by candlelight is extra relaxing for me.
You also brought up comedy a few times, maybe you can block out like a long (for you) block of watching comedy to laugh for a long time.
Also for me listening to motivating audio books, seems to actually relieve some stress. Since more positive stuff is going in the mind, there is a little less room for worry, a few more positive thoughts popping up.

Finally, any fun unusual activity you can plan. I am planning to skydive soon! (hope I live to post about it lol). So many options. (depending on where you are). Idk horseback riding, small amusement park, buy a day pass to a different gym.

Oh and finally up your veggie intake,  oh and one more I almost forgot, vitamin D supplementing can be really good. (this horomone our body produces when exposed to sunlight, super useful to take it in the winter). I know you cook, so you probably eat fairly healthy, but maybe try upping the veggies and protein a bit. That can really boost mood

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #688 on: November 12, 2019, 07:14:21 PM »
Great news bro! Cool, she contacted you back. I think that ended up being perfect. Maybe she did want you to call her again, but the fact that you didn't and she eventually invested in contacting you back is really really good. Sets a good tone for everything to follow, give and take. A guy really good with girls told me, just call once, they'll see the call, that's it.

Lol: Sometimes I feel like I come off like the "jerk friend" character from a teen movie. Like the protagonist will be nice and into the girl and there will be some comic relief character giving advice like "bra, you gotta be mean to the girl" or something lol. But really I think I have the tendency myself to do a bit of magical thinking when it comes to dating, I think what works is a emotion mixed with a bit of discipline and logic. Especially, after all when the relationship is still just forming.

Haha, if you are the jerk friend (and I don't think you are), then you're at least filling a really important role in the story. Jerk friends are good for real talk, and everybody needs that, lol.

For real, even if you didn't give good advice, your pep talks would still be worth a lot.

I really like the idea of blocking out a long time for comedy, too. I might just have to schedule that in sometime soon. It sounds like a great idea.

Day 250

A little over 8 months without PMO, without MO, P, PM, M, porn substitutes, edging, etc. As clean as I've ever been, and totally on purpose (I'm not here by accident like in the past when I went a long time without a relapse).

Aside from the milestone, today was not very eventful, but it was also not bad. Very cold, though. I think I have caught a little cold or something, but I'm hitting the vitamin C hard, and that usually keeps them from getting too bad. Hoping I can stop it in its tracks before it can mess up any plans or anything. I'm also trying in general to take it a little easier (planning to go to bed much earlier today than usual, for example). In the past, I had a habit of just pushing through sickness as if nothing was different, and I guess it worked out okay, but I'm trying a gentler approach to myself. It's okay to go a little slower when I'm sick/trying not to get sick. (At least, that's what I'm trying to convince myself of.)

My goal to play music every day hasn't been working out very well. I think it has been hard to find a consistent time to do it. I have a goal but not a plan. My goal to spend a little bit of time writing every day, though, has been going well. I have written at least something every day for two weeks, which is way more than I have done in the last two years. That feels pretty good too. And the success is definitely in part due to having a solid plan for when I'll do it: I do a little creative writing every day before I post here.

But that's all. Trying to stay warm and stay healthy. On to tomorrow!


quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #689 on: November 12, 2019, 10:11:42 PM »
WOW MAN! Congrats on the 250 days, over 8 months. That is a huge accomplishment! A cool thing to think about, going that long, literally 100%, not only is your behavior different, your brain has physically changed. Had you done a before and after brain scan it would be different for the better. Thats pretty damn awesome and exiting imo. Keep up the good work. Its work we're going to have to do forever, but man it seems worth it and it'll only keep getting more worth it over time.


Glad to hear you are doing the comedy thing, I may do the same myself. Man comedy can be good. Feel better, I guess at least the comedy goes well with that, it's a pretty undemanding activity so you can maybe watch the comedy, eat some healthy food as you do so and recuperate physically and mentally.

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #690 on: November 13, 2019, 07:03:58 PM »
WOW MAN! Congrats on the 250 days, over 8 months. That is a huge accomplishment! A cool thing to think about, going that long, literally 100%, not only is your behavior different, your brain has physically changed. Had you done a before and after brain scan it would be different for the better. Thats pretty damn awesome and exiting imo. Keep up the good work. Its work we're going to have to do forever, but man it seems worth it and it'll only keep getting more worth it over time.

Thank you so much, man! You're right, but I never thought about the actual, physical changes that must be happening in my brain. That's the real goal, in some ways, to heal the brain. As the brain heals and restructures itself, it can become more and more of an ally in this fight and less and less the tantrum-throwing saboteur in my head. I was just thinking today about something I read about drug addicts that the longer they go without relapsing, the less likely they are to relapse. That's encouraging for me to keep in mind. Every passing today not only increases my streak but raises my chances of keeping it going.

Quiet Wednesday

Mostly just some chores around the house and taking it easy (it's really nice having a class canceled in the middle of the week. I could get used to this, lol). I almost slept for 10 hours last night, which is probably too much, but I think it did me some good. I was expecting to feel a lot worse today, but I really don't. Sleep and vitamin C are doing their job, and I think I might just try to get some extra sleep tonight too. Got to keep this cold at bay: I've got a date to keep on Friday!

I probably could have been more productive, maybe wish I had been more productive, but I'm trying to convince myself that it's okay to slow down sometimes. I can do some catching up when I'm feeling healthier (and it will happen faster if I let myself recover).

Kind of a boring day to report on, but it is what it is!

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #691 on: November 13, 2019, 11:45:42 PM »
Great! Boringish days can be really good days. Just a day of not being too high or too low but still progressing.

Sounds like the strategy of taking it easy is working! Great perspective, take care of yourself now, get healthy and can work more then. Win-Win.

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #692 on: November 14, 2019, 08:17:35 PM »
Thanks for the support and boring-day validation!

Another chill day

I hate to speak too soon and jinx myself, but I think I managed to keep this cold away. It's a couple days in, and I'm still feeling about 92% good, so I think things are looking up health-wise.

I wasn't as productive today as I hoped I would be, but I also didn't have to be productive. Sometimes external pressure is really helpful, and when it's not there I can sometimes let loose a little more than I like. No harm done, just not as much progress as I hoped.

I went to lunch with a friend/teacher today. It was good. We haven't seen each other in a while, and it was just nice to catch up and talk. I talked a little about how I'm sort of feeling empty/aimless in life. He just kind of listened, which was good. I don't think there's really a solution, just to keep going and see how life unfolds. Either way, it was kind of good to just talk about things (I'm usually more inclined to bottle things up than to share them).

Class, work, and a date tomorrow. Wish me luck! This Ph is kind of a hard read sometimes, but I'll see what happens. I'm fairly confident she's interested, but sometimes I feel like I'm being put off (and then I think it's just in my head...but maybe it isn't).  Early/potential relationship stuff is so ambiguous, you know. Whether it works out or not, the eventual clarity will be nice, lol. I definitely have a tendency to get trapped in my head, though, so my goal is to practice some meditative skills and just be in the moment, experiencing without judging.

So that's that. Here's to a great end to the week for us all!

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #693 on: November 15, 2019, 12:25:00 AM »
"This Ph is kind of a hard read sometimes, but I'll see what happens. I'm fairly confident she's interested, but sometimes I feel like I'm being put off"

Welcome to the world of women lol. Not that you need a welcome but I think every straight man in the universe has been there, like most of the time lol.

Cool you were able to talk to the professor, in the right dose that sort of thing can be really really good.
Sounds pretty awesome that you have the class, work and the date tomorrow. Busy days like that can be awesome. My best dates are usually when I am super busy and got a lot done beforehand, so that's good. The date= Fun + practice.


Rebooter2019

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 320
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #694 on: November 15, 2019, 02:49:20 PM »
This Ph is kind of a hard read sometimes, but I'll see what happens. I'm fairly confident she's interested, but sometimes I feel like I'm being put off

Something that may help you is to understand that the only proof of interest you really need in order to have a chance with a girl is that she's still there/respond to your text. Remember to have a life that you would want to be part of if your were a girl and trust in the fact that you're more than enough!

You're doing great man keep going!

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #695 on: November 15, 2019, 08:50:46 PM »
Something that may help you is to understand that the only proof of interest you really need in order to have a chance with a girl is that she's still there/respond to your text. Remember to have a life that you would want to be part of if your were a girl and trust in the fact that you're more than enough!

This is a great reminder! Thanks for calmly shaking some sense into me, lol!

Welcome to the world of women lol. Not that you need a welcome but I think every straight man in the universe has been there, like most of the time lol.

 The date= Fun + practice.

Lol, you're exactly right. That's just part of the territory, I guess. But I also appreciate the reminder equation. The stakes are only as high as making each experience a good one. There's nothing to do about the future, so just enjoy the present. (So easy to say, so hard to actually live by lol).

Good day today, though

School and work were kind of slow, but they were also fine. I had a little meeting with a professor that I like, and that was good.

Most important (or at least most interesting): my date went well. There was a little scheduling mix-up that happened last night after I posted that at first made me feel like I was being put on the back burner, but then it got worked out in a way that made me feel better. Long story short, we ended up going out earlier today than I was expected, but it was still good.

We walked around a sort of "trendy" neighborhood in town, poked around one of the shops, got some ice cream. It was really low key, but it was also fun and pleasant. Easy conversation, laughter, etc. Can't really complain, and I don't really have any reason not to keep moving forward (so I'll start thinking about what to do next, I guess).

This is probably in the same category as "all women are hard to read, dude," but I sometimes get the sense that our dynamic is really good when it's just the two of us, kind of distant when it's a group setting, and even more distant when it comes to not-in-person communication. That's probably just how things go, but it does trip me up when I get stuck in my own head. The thing is that the part the matters most (one-on-one interactions) is also the part that is most consistently good, so what am I even worried about? (besides everything all the time, lol).

Oh well, now it's time to quit for the day. I have the whole weekend to worry (lol) and to work on other good things.

quitforeverthenwin2

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 508
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #696 on: November 15, 2019, 09:46:55 PM »
Yeah the tech stuff is the worst. I find for a girl I am dating in a group setting, the best thing is to actually not focus on her too much... Think about it, when you're in a serious relationship, your together all the time so it's fun to go out socialize with other people but kind of like you're both a little more comfortable because you are there together. Then afterward you two can talk about it be more intimate etc.

It's kind of like going out with your male friend to meet girls lol. Ideally you guys are mostly talking to girls and not each other most of the time, but you know you have each other's back and then you guys link up and talk about what happened after. Although a little different cause in this case it's your girlfriend and you're not hitting on girls together lol.

brandnewself

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 71
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #697 on: November 16, 2019, 08:35:54 AM »
I'm glad to hear that your date went well, Blue. Sometimes we tend to overthink about these situations and worry constantly about "what if it goes wrong". I guess in the end we need to learn to embrace uncertainties and treat it as a normal part of life or even as the exciting part of the life. How boring would life be if we already have everything printed out on a paper for us to see.

Rebooter2019

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 320
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #698 on: November 16, 2019, 06:26:54 PM »
I'm happy that your date went well! Plus one thing that could help you is that if she still there it means she like you. Every woman(cute ones even more) as a lot of guys wanting them. If she takes some of her time to be with you it means that she like you. It may help you knowing that.

Take care and keep going Blue :)

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1540
    • View Profile
Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #699 on: November 16, 2019, 09:49:17 PM »
Yeah the tech stuff is the worst. I find for a girl I am dating in a group setting, the best thing is to actually not focus on her too much... Think about it, when you're in a serious relationship, your together all the time so it's fun to go out socialize with other people but kind of like you're both a little more comfortable because you are there together. Then afterward you two can talk about it be more intimate etc.

It's kind of like going out with your male friend to meet girls lol. Ideally you guys are mostly talking to girls and not each other most of the time, but you know you have each other's back and then you guys link up and talk about what happened after. Although a little different cause in this case it's your girlfriend and you're not hitting on girls together lol.

This is an awesome perspective that I have never thought about. I really don't have a lot to say about it other than thanks! Definitely something I'm going to keep in mind.

I'm glad to hear that your date went well, Blue. Sometimes we tend to overthink about these situations and worry constantly about "what if it goes wrong". I guess in the end we need to learn to embrace uncertainties and treat it as a normal part of life or even as the exciting part of the life. How boring would life be if we already have everything printed out on a paper for us to see.

You're exactly right (but how nice would it be to have it all printed out, lol). Last night when I was getting ready for bed, I could feel my brain starting to worry about all the things that might have gone wrong/could still go wrong, and I made a conscious effort to just say to myself, "That's a problem for another day. For today, let's just focus on being grateful for the good experience we just had. The future can take care of the future. Just be grateful for today." I'm not sure I 100% believed myself, but it did help take some of the anxiety out.

I'm happy that your date went well! Plus one thing that could help you is that if she still there it means she like you. Every woman(cute ones even more) as a lot of guys wanting them. If she takes some of her time to be with you it means that she like you. It may help you knowing that.

Take care and keep going Blue :)

And thanks to you too! What you said is so simple and obvious, but it's also so easy to forget. People are really good at getting out of things they don't want to do. If she didn't want to spend a few hours with me yesterday, she definitely didn't have to. The things I worry about are things I make up and then get worked up over.

Mostly quiet day

Lots of cleaning and stuff around the house. Got a haircut.

I feel like I have heard a lot  lately about the human tendency to grasp/cling to pleasant experience (obviously because it is pleasant) and then to feel uncomfortable when the pleasant experience ends. And that idea has been on my mind a lot today, and I have sort of reflected on the way I felt the last couple weeks between dates and even today. I get antsy, nervous that somehow the pleasant experience of a good date is never happening again and I have to do something to prevent that from happening. Today, instead of giving myself a hard time for being a nervous wreck, I just said, "Oh, I'm grasping." Just by noticing and naming what was really happening with my kind of difficult emotions, I was a little better at making peace with them. The anxieties don't mean that I have messed things up or that every relationship is doomed to fail. It just means that I am a person who had a pleasant experience and doesn't want to lose that. The grasping is natural, but it doesn't have to control my thoughts and feelings. Just like an urge to relapse, I can see it, acknowledge it, and let it pass. Something I think I'll keep working on (and it will probably save me a lot of worrying).

Speaking of relapses and close calls, though, I took a slippery step today, the kind of thing that reminds me I'm vulnerable. Anyway, I was looking into maybe buying some workout stuff, and I was looking at one product in particular (just on Amazon). I scrolled through the product pictures and then there was like a demonstration video. I should have known, I think I did know, but I clicked anyway. It's not anyone's fault but my own, but that video triggered me hard. It was pretty short, but when it was over I just had to leave the room, and I felt pretty cold after (it could have just been cold, but it also rattled me). While the video was playing, I was thinking about how easy it would be (and how "fun") to see so much more with just a few clicks. For about an hour or so after I left the room, I still kind of felt like I just wanted to relapse for the fun of it. Even still, there's a small part of me that thinks it would be okay to just go back and watch that one video again (obviously it would not be okay!)

I'm in a much better place now, and I think it was just a bad decision that put me at risk of a worse one. This incident today isn't so troubling by itself, but I'm realizing that this sort of thing seems to be happening more and more lately (I feel like I'm posting about close calls more now than I did in the last few months). That does have me troubled, mostly because I can't really think of ways that I'm being lax with myself. All my filters, failsafes, habits, and commitments still seem to be pretty solidly in place, but I'm feeling more wobbly lately. Maybe there's something I'm missing. Maybe it's just a wave: those happen. Maybe, and we've talked about it before, it's just my brain not knowing what's safe and what isn't now that I'm opening the door to dating again (You mean now we're allowed to think about women some of time? Does that mean I can go back to all this porn stuff you have stored back here?).

All I know is that, even though I had that momentary freakout, I really don't want to relapse. In the past, it used to feel like a relapse could just take over, and that doesn't seem possible now. I feel like it would be a fully conscious, deliberate choice if I did that, and I just don't want to.

So I'll keep reflecting and fine-tuning. You all are full of great ideas, so I'm all ears too. If there's something obvious that I'm missing, don't hold back.