Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 55126 times)

Rebooter2019

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #750 on: December 03, 2019, 10:28:17 PM »
Hey, I'm happy about your progress on your paper and your Reboot! You're progressing each and everyday, it is truly inspiring!

That women don't just agree to go out again with guys they're trying to get rid of...(or do they? my nonsense brain asks).

Oh well, none of that worrying helps me get through the week. It also makes it easier for my brain to suggest relapses ("Well, maybe that's not working out, but I know a way to get you women to your heart's content.") So I'm just trying to stay rooted in the present and hopeful for the future.

I can assure you from experience they don't. I had a obvious proof of that a week ago!

As for the rooting in the present and hopeful futur. I don't know if you do it because I didn't saw any mention of that recently, but you could try meditation! I've started to do it again and it really helps!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #751 on: December 03, 2019, 11:02:37 PM »
I feel you on the worry! I think we all get that.

I remember you brought up not feeling connected to PH in a group, and I still see it pretty much the same way. I wouldn't worry about it too much. You can aim to have fun in the group as much as you can. As an experiment, perhaps try pretending she is not there?

Here's a little story:

I met this girl in a store, we really hit it off.
I wanted to take her on a date. Instead she invited me to a party at her job where I knew no one. That worry shit popped up like "woah, she is just trying to promote this party she is not even into me".

I actually took the time to write out my thoughts and challenge them, and decided she did like me most likely.

In a convo with my friend I decided I'd just go to the party and basically ignore her and then we'd end up dating lol. I was just feeling motivated in that convo.

I go to the party. Say hi to her and she runs of talking to people she knows. I planned for this. I didn't try and talk to her once. I just talked to whoever was around me (knowing other guys may follow her and she'd be unattracted).

This girl was really cool, pretty we had common interests I really wanted her.

So I keep ignoring her, talked to an older lady a lot lol. Late that night as the party was winding down she asked me to help her find her bag upstairs. We go upstairs she grabbed me and kissed me.

She asked essentially (a bit more tactfully) to go home with me.

She did and we had an awesome time, until MY GODDAMN DICK DID NOT WORK. And she texted me  the next day how she felt weird about every seeing me (and never did). Man that fucking sucked, prob my worst pied experience. (Not relevant to the point I am making but ought to include it for a little extra motivation to stay away from this shit lol).

Anyways moral of the story is, ummm idk just when you're with a girl in a group just do your thing and have fun, you guys can be intimate when you're alone. Some couples don't seem like couples except when they are along and they have great relationships. So it's no biggie. And also FUCK PMO! As that shit will ruin great things faster then anything else.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 11:04:57 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #752 on: December 04, 2019, 12:15:34 AM »
Thanks for your comments and support blue :).  I'd say be a little more bold.  I'm learning that oftentimes, the door will open if you knock on it.  Be true to yourself and you'll do great

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #753 on: December 04, 2019, 05:07:05 PM »
Hey Blue, reading through these past posts I can't help but see a recurring theme. You seem to have insecurities about relationships (who doesn't? lol), and you've been having some urges recently. Could they be linked? Could it be that you're generally a bit lonely? You often write about school and cooking and things and also Ph, but rarely do we hear about you hanging out with friends and things, just chilling. How is your life on that front?

I'm sorry if what I am about to say offends. This is not my purpose or intention, just a perspective which you can refute and discard if you wish. I'd like to add a disclaimer that what I'm about to say may just be based on my generalisations and not apply to you whatsoever. I do not claim to know everything about religion or churches and do not wish to judge you.

You mentioned in a previous post that you're religious and so you're not really interested in dating people outside of the church. I respect that. If that works for you then that's great. It's important to live by a set of principles and to stand by them. I am personally not religious but used to be a member of a church, and I feel I am personally better off for it as it gave me clarity on certain issues. However, life took a different course for me and I'm also happy that it did.

Life is extremely multifaceted and it takes all sorts of thinking to make this world, many of them equally valid, just different. You seem like a pretty open-minded dude, so I hope you get my meaning here. Sometimes church-based communities put subliminal pressure on their members to remain faithful to a group by thinking and acting in certain ways (let's use the example of sexuality in this case) and it can be stressful to those members if they think about or do things that aren't absolutely in line with the church's teaching. You say you don't want to have sex outside of marriage or really date someone outside of the church, but is this because you genuinely don't want to or are you afraid of having your beliefs challenged by someone with vastly different life experiences? I'm not saying that to wait till marriage is bad, it's great, as long as it really resonates with you deep into your core. As I said, I admire your commitment to a set of principles and beliefs, so long as they work for you.

Sometimes being a member of a church community can become such an integral part of a person's identity that it is very difficult to imagine veering even slightly from the prescribed moral path that they preach.

I would say is that sometimes in life, we need to evaluate our personal beliefs based on our life experiences, and whether those beliefs and principles that we have held are in line with who were are now; whether our feelings, our thoughts, and our personalities reflect our beliefs, but more importantly, whether our beliefs reflect our feelings, thoughts, and personalities. Perhaps dating someone outside of the church could benefit you as a human being, and offer you another perspective, even if it doesn't result in marriage. And if you should like someone a lot, preferably love them, and wish to make love to them, then whose place would it be to judge you? With a loving intention, I don't see how that could be immoral. I may sound like the serpent's voice right now lol, but seriously dude, it's your life. As long as you're truly in line with what you want and need you're all good. It generally sounds like you are, I just wanted to check in.

The only important thing is that you're happy.

Peace and love to you my friend.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #754 on: December 04, 2019, 10:54:54 PM »
I feel you on the worry! I think we all get that.

I remember you brought up not feeling connected to PH in a group, and I still see it pretty much the same way. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Thanks, man, I appreciate the encouragement. I think you're right: I just need to not worry (case in point, I was at a thing where Ph was tonight, and it was a reminder that I don't really need to be worrying. Things are fine...oh well, even getting my worries out of my head last night helped, so thanks for listening to my unnecessary whining, lol).

Thanks for your comments and support blue :).  I'd say be a little more bold.  I'm learning that oftentimes, the door will open if you knock on it.  Be true to yourself and you'll do great

Thanks, man! I was a little more bold today, and it worked out better than I thought it would. So I'm putting that in the Win column, lol.

Hey Blue, reading through these past posts I can't help but see a recurring theme. You seem to have insecurities about relationships (who doesn't? lol), and you've been having some urges recently. Could they be linked? Could it be that you're generally a bit lonely? You often write about school and cooking and things and also Ph, but rarely do we hear about you hanging out with friends and things, just chilling. How is your life on that front?

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am definitely full of insecurities and governed by a probably-wrong idea that the best thing I can do for people is stay out of their way. All things to work on. Definitely think all the insecurities are tied to the urges, too.

In response to your question, I think I am often alone but rarely lonely if that makes sense. Life really is busy, and I interact with a lot of people during the day at school, work, and church. When I finally do come home, the last thing I really want to do is get a bunch of social things cooked up, so I rarely do.

I have wondered about my social life before. I have moved around a lot in the last decade, and it has been hard to maintain connections with people. I have a few people that I have managed to keep in touch with over the years, and I would consider them very close. Most people, I think, stay in the realm of more casual acquaintances. Not sure if that's a bad thing or just a consequence of my personality type. I really used to think it was problem earlier on, but I'm making peace with it. I would much rather have one or two really close friends than fifteen or fifty. I think now I'm rambling.  I guess the point is that I have felt lonely before in my life, but that's not really what I feel now.

I hear where you're coming from on the other stuff, too. Don't worry, I'm not offended. For me, life experience has taught me that I'm happier when I'm living close to my religious beliefs. Getting greater distance from PMO has only reinforced that. My religion is important to me, as you acknowledged, and I want it to play a big role in my life and future. For me, looking for relationships or sex "out there" would be at best a distraction from what I really want in life and, at worst, something that would totally undermine the life I'm trying to build.

I guess my insecurities with women do not transfer to my faith, lol. If only I could beef up my confidence when it comes to other people.

But thanks for checking in and hissing in my ear with kindness and care (I'm kidding. I really do appreciate the thought you put into responding to me). Peace and love right back at you!

Good day today

Finished my paper! Earlier than I thought I would! (So I celebrated with some comedy episodes, which was a great way to decompress).

Also, like I mentioned earlier, I had a good run-in with Ph. I just summoned some boldness that I lacked the last time. It was friendly and chill and not like everything was going off the rails. So, I worried for nothing.

But, to be fair, I have been worrying for nothing about a lot of things lately. I think that's something I want to start working on more deliberately in the new year. I wasn't always a worrier, but I have definitely become more anxious about more things in the last couple years, and it definitely doesn't help anything. I figure I can start by dealing with worries the way I have been learning to deal with urges, just acknowledging them and letting them pass.

Anyway, thanks again for all of your support and thought. It always makes a positive difference at the end of the day!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #755 on: December 05, 2019, 09:07:56 PM »
Busier kind of day.

Lots of school stuff today, turned in my paper and presented.

I didn't get as much sleep last night as I usually do, so I'm feeling it tonight. Luckily, I'm going to get plenty of rest tonight, I think.

School stuff all day tomorrow, and then I'm free for the break. I can do it!

I've also been thinking more about anxiety/worrying. Definitely something I want to start thinking about/working on more deliberately moving forward. Part of me wonders if it isn't somehow related to recovery. For a long time, I really did have something to feel bad/worry about all the time (the way I felt guilty and ashamed of PMO). That isn't there anymore, but maybe my brain is so used to feeling bad that it still does even though I don't really have as good a reason for it anymore. That's probably too simple of an explanation for what's going on, but it is something that crossed my mind today.

Oh well, one more day in the semester. Here we go!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #756 on: December 06, 2019, 07:43:04 PM »
Long day at school, but I made it through the semester at last! I came home and took it easy after. There will be time for catching up on personal projects and goals later. Tonight is for taking some hard-earned time off.

Beyond that, not much going on today. My apartment is a little messier than I prefer (it's been a busy week), so I'll probably do some cleaning tomorrow. Beyond that, who knows?

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #757 on: December 06, 2019, 08:27:15 PM »
Man, I think you hit the nail on the head about the worry. I was thinking something like that before you posted it. I think that is part of the recovery, consciously learning to worry less. I think worry is definitely a habit and it definitely can change.

I think writing can help, so that is a win win. Have you ever looked into thought disputation? The ABCDE's that stuff is really helpful for worry, I ought to get back into it myself. 

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #758 on: December 07, 2019, 08:49:57 PM »
Man, I think you hit the nail on the head about the worry. I was thinking something like that before you posted it. I think that is part of the recovery, consciously learning to worry less. I think worry is definitely a habit and it definitely can change.

I think writing can help, so that is a win win. Have you ever looked into thought disputation? The ABCDE's that stuff is really helpful for worry, I ought to get back into it myself.

Thanks, man! Yeah, I'm definitely setting my sights on this worrying business: time for it to go. I haven't looked into thought disputation before,  but I will. I was listening to something the other day, and it just started talking about cognitive behavior therapy and the different ways that people get stuck in unhelpful thought patterns and how to get out of them. That's also something that I'm going to look into more. A lot of what they were saying sounded like where I'm at now. So at least I have some leads for moving forward.

Day 275, 9 months to the day

I'm pretty relieved/happy to be at this milestone. The last month has been more difficult than the months before it. I think there are a lot of contributing factors to that, but I think I have also just gotten nostalgic/complacent/careless and have let some triggers in more than I should have. Even today, there were some moments where I really wanted to be triggered. Luckily, I have my internet on such a lockdown that it's just too hard to find triggers to be worth it. After a few minutes of scrolling through pointless comments on a harmless video, wishing that I could just see something more "exciting," I turned on a silly song to shake up my thoughts and then got back to doing something better.

I think I just need to splash some cold water in my face, shake my head a little, and quit playing the victim. At least I'm feeling much better now than I did earlier today.

Overall, today was a very laid-back day. Cleaned up my place, and it really makes a difference. I don't understand how or why, but it's easier to feel triggered when the place is a mess.

I have a date Friday, and I'm looking forward to it (obviously). My worried brain has been telling me for days that it's somehow going to fall through. Why would it? There's no reason for that, but that's just how my brain has been lately. I have to confirm the details soon anyway, so that will put my brain to rest. Plus, I'm on a mission, based on my recent reading, to do some Love Language detective work on Ph, lol. So I was thinking of taking her some chocolates or something when we go out (language of gifts), but then I thought it would be even better if I made some. So I did some tinkering today and made some chocolates that turned out pretty well, so I think I'll be making some more (now that I've practiced) later in the week. Look out, everyone, because here I come, lol! 

Next stop, 300 days!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #759 on: December 08, 2019, 12:58:34 AM »
Keep going strong bro.

I am going to throw up a bit of a flag man. You've been killing it for a long time but. Be careful dude! Step it up!

That scrolling through comments looking for something exciting could be really dangerous... what if you did run into something "exciting" in the wrong way? This wanting to be triggered, that's dangerous too.

It's great you are catching yourself when these urges and stuff are popping up. But perhaps you can aim to catch them a bit earlier?

I am in a similar boat, a bit complacent. But maybe it's time to pull out a bit of whatever was going on to drive us through the REALLY tough earlier days of recovery? Might be time to take off the gloves and really fuck this PMO addiction up. The little urges can be an opportunity to redirect FASTER and really eliminate those bad addictive pathways.

Very good you sharing this stuff openly. My vote is for a very simple change: Up the aggression and speed against the addiction. Aggression in whatever that means for you. For you it may be mindfulness, gentleness, but be mindful and gentle more aggressively! lol. Maybe a little more proactively is a better word. Just handle these urges and thoughts earlier, nip them in the bud.

We talked a lot about how the urges come and go through phases, that's true. But I have found when urges and the little things are eliminated very fast, less urges pop up. So this is something you can do, to not just wait out this tough urge month, but actively break it, through your actions. Not allowing these impulses to be go as far or be acted on even in the mildest sense. Do that for awhile and I bet less of them will pop up. I think we've both experienced that. It's like a weed sprouting, the longer we let it live it gets to plant more seeds, more weeds. We've got to stomp that shit out before it sprouts more.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 01:07:08 AM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #760 on: December 08, 2019, 06:52:15 PM »

I am going to throw up a bit of a flag man. You've been killing it for a long time but. Be careful dude! Step it up!

It's great you are catching yourself when these urges and stuff are popping up. But perhaps you can aim to catch them a bit earlier?

You're 1000% right, man. Thanks for throwing up the flag. It has been dawning on me that I'm stepping a little closer to the edge than I should be. It's true that thoughts and urges will sometimes come up whether we want them to or not, but what we do with those thoughts is entirely our decision.

I think one thing that has happened is that I went long enough without being in any kind of serious risk that I sort of lost my automatic, reflexive response to triggers. When I was at the start of the year, there were so many things coming my way that I was on constant high alert, and my response to triggers and urges was almost immediate and happened by default. I just haven't been under the same pressure lately, so I think I have gotten soft in my response to those things now that they've been cropping back up for whatever the reason is.

I appreciate you saying something because it solidifies what I have been starting to think, and having someone else say it helps to make it feel more urgent. It's one thing to be feeling a lot of urges and to be fighting them, but it's something different (and way more dangerous) to be not really feeling them but kind of wishing I was. Like putting that into words makes it sound really insane. Get it together, Blue!

Pretty decent day today, though

Very limited trouble today. Limited because there was one moment when an ad came up that, instead of skipping it, I watched it (nothing overtly sexual, but it was because there was someone kind of attractive in the ad). Man, definitely have some straightening up to do.

Aside from that, though, it was a pretty good day. Went to church, had a good interaction with Ph, confirmed our date (so take that, worrying brain!). Came home and took it easy after that, called my family, meditated, etc.

I'm going to recommit to the strictest habits of mind that helped me early on in this year's recovery efforts. They really have worked, maybe so well that I've gotten a little rusty. All the more reason to recommit. Besides that, it's starting to seem like things might be turning a good corner with Ph (all my incessant worrying aside), and that's even more reason to hold myself to a higher standard. I've been really  happy with my progress so far, but I have to be careful about getting too satisfied when only part of the job is done. I'm in a better spot now at the end of the year than I ever imagined I would be when I joined this forum at the start, but I'm also far from where I want to be. Now is not the time to get prematurely satisfied and lose my place.

Time to get back at it with renewed intention. The pressures of school and work are mostly on hold for a few weeks, so I can really buckle down and work on me.

Let's go have a great week!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #761 on: December 09, 2019, 08:18:04 AM »
That all makes a lot of sense! Glad to hear that you are implementing that automated response once again!
That should help a lot. I think you talked about it early on, we want to avoid any of the little dopamine boosts, so doing this not only will keep you safe. It'll bring you to further levels of brain recovery.

I think we all need to be vigilant and aware and prepared, no matter how solid we are. For example even healthy things like dating and even rewiring can bring about urges, in fact they almost guarantee doing so, since our brains have to sort of uncross the wires of our sexuality with the addiction. Just another thing to be ready and prepared for.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #762 on: December 09, 2019, 10:13:20 PM »
For example even healthy things like dating and even rewiring can bring about urges, in fact they almost guarantee doing so, since our brains have to sort of uncross the wires of our sexuality with the addiction. Just another thing to be ready and prepared for.

Definitely true. We have talked about it before, but putting dating back on the table has definitely contributed to this turbulence lately. A lot of crossed wires that need uncrossing. Not an excuse or anything, just something to be aware of and to work around.

Decent day today

Finished up the last bit of stuff at my job on campus, cooked some food for the week, went to an activity at church and talked to a bunch of people.

Maybe not a super productive day, but it didn't have to be one. I did much, much better on the triggers/urges front. Feeling better about that. Now I just need to remember to keep myself on a tight leash tomorrow. One day at a time.




quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #763 on: December 09, 2019, 11:01:11 PM »
Congrats man! Glad to hear you are much better on that front.

Freedomisworthit

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #764 on: December 10, 2019, 12:31:08 PM »
A great mindset @BlueHeronFan - keep it up, we support you!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #765 on: December 10, 2019, 08:36:21 PM »
Thanks, guys, I really appreciate it!

There were maintenance guys in my apartment most of the day yesterday. I had to rearrange all my furniture to give them room to work, and they left somewhat of a mess when they were done. So I started the day today getting my place back into order.

The rest of the morning was pretty chill, just caught up on some things that I have been neglecting to do.

Then this afternoon I stepped on some slippery ground and gave myself a scare. I was working on a presentation for something, and I was trying to think of a good way to explain a concept. Then I remembered a famous picture that would be a great example of what I was talking about. So then I had to go into the dangerous territory of finding an image on the internet. I sat down and talked myself through it: I was going in to find the one image, I was going to make sure that all the filtering settings on the search engine were on their highest setting, I was going to find the image and get out.

Well, that mostly worked. I found the image, but then I found something else close to it that was just cool/interesting, so I got distracted. A couple seconds later, I was on another part of the website, still looking at the cool pictures, but then there was a link to similar images with sex/nudity, like out of nowhere. I just stared at that link for a second (maybe more like a minute), hovered my mouse over it, imagined what might be on the other side. I thought about all I would lose if I did click that link. Thought about how my mind and body felt just anticipating the possibility of seeing something like that again. I really was stuck in a little battle with my body, but then I closed the window and decided that I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I actually clicked the link.

I should have just left the room right away, but I finished my project instead and then left to make dinner. I usually listen to a podcast or watch a show or something when I'm cooking (honestly, something I want to get away from. I don't always need media playing in my ear to function...), but I listened to a church thing instead, and that was helpful. Gave me a little boost.

I have a lot of thoughts about what happened.

First, it should never have happened! Maybe finding that image for my presentation was worth it, maybe it wasn't. Even with all the precautions I was taking to find it, I knew that I was going into enemy territory, going through the same motions that have led to countless relapses. I could feel it in the back of my mind, that familiar feeling of "it'll probably be okay, just turn off the filters and see what happens." I didn't turn off the filters, but the whole thing was too similar to a relapse, and my addicted brain was kicking into high gear. And that just needlessly put me in danger, especially after the already at-risk month I've been walking through. Let's not make these same mistakes again.

Maybe on the brighter side:

I feel about as bad tonight after what happened as I used to feel after a full-on relapse. I'm taking that as a sign of progress. In the past, I would have just given myself a high five for not relapsing, called myself invincible and then relapsed a day or two later. I'm very much aware that what happened today could make it harder for me in the next couple of days. Luckily, tomorrow is going to be pretty busy, so I should, hopefully, be too distracted by life to get into much trouble. But I think my feelings now sort of reflect a re-calibration of my system or whatever. This dumb mistake, even though it wasn't a relapse, has left me feeling as weak and foolish as a relapse used to. I even had the thought that I should cancel my date this week because I'm clearly not good enough for her. I'm not going to, but I do feel a little bruised up by it all.

More importantly, I'm surprised and happy that I ultimately decided not to click that link just because I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I had. I have noticed times in my life where I learned not to do something that was wrong. Like, when I was a kid, I thought it was no big deal to copy off of someone else's paper as long as I didn't get caught. Then I remember getting a little older and deciding not to copy off of someone's paper just because I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I had. It was a switch from external enforcement to internal. I always wondered why I could have such a good "moral restraint system" when it came to things like that but not porn. I never got in my way when I wanted to relapse, even when I knew it was bad for me and that I wanted to quit. For me, I would only stop if I thought there was a risk of getting caught. Today, I didn't even think about any external consequences of clicking that link. Even recently, the thought of having to post about a relapse here stopped me from doing it, but that thought didn't even cross my mind today. I only really thought about what it would mean for me and my life. Even with my brain and body screaming for a little porn for old time's sake, I stared down that link and told myself it could never be worth it. I turned away from it because I knew I would never live it down. Maybe for the first time, I made that decision because of what I would think of myself, not because of what someone else would think of me. And, even for as bad as I feel, I do feel pretty good about that.

The rest of the day has been pretty quiet. Still feeling pretty down, but honestly not sure if that's just the same anxiety as always or if it's still a reaction to what happened. Probably both. All I know is that I really don't want to go back to PMO, even if there's still a little monster in my brain and body that does. It doesn't matter: it just isn't worth going back down that road.

So we're still going but feeling a little rattled by the day. Here's to a better tomorrow!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #766 on: December 10, 2019, 11:16:29 PM »
Man sorry to hear about the close call, but overall sound like it was handled well! I can totally relate, as you probably saw in my journal....

I was feeling that last night etc. we do want to be really careful with all that stuff but also, let's examine the facts. You stared at a link and thought of relapsing, you didn't do it. We want to avoid them absolutely as much as possible, but I guess these close calls happen sometimes, I mean that's why we see those long streaks getting broken unfortunately. But if we can have the close calls and get through them, that's what makes the difference. Besides in a way, it could help to break the loop. The addicted part of the brain was anticipating the dopamine rush so ridiculously thoroughly but it never came... I think that is good for our brain healing.


Edit : Also man, just thinking are we on a mind meld or what? So many similar issues popping up at similar times. Maybe it's just the brain's tendency to look for pattern and connections, it is pretty different facts after all, but some of the feelings and patterns are so similar.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 11:19:21 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #767 on: December 11, 2019, 04:29:06 PM »
Congratulations on continuing the amazing success and also congrats on your daily success of shutting down the image gallery. That's a point where I always lose the battle thus I have even more respect for your decision to just continue working and finish your project instead of entering the binge.

Your journal is extremely helpful to give a good insight to life "after" porn. When I read success stories it always seems like people are healed and live a normal life and I get frustrated when dealing with heavy cravings after 2-3 months. Now you are almost three times as far as I've ever been and still struggle with the same situations, but you also show how it is possible to deal with them.

I also try to really internalize your concept of the daily succes, because it makes perfect sense and seems to work. Quitting porn forever is a tough task because of the time span, but a commitment to just TODAY is possible and it might help against the "I wish I was at day X again!"-thoughts.

I hope your date with Ph turns out good and I want to thank you for being such a big help not just on my journal, but also by sharing your own, inspiring success story on such a regular basis! :)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #768 on: December 11, 2019, 06:40:14 PM »
Man sorry to hear about the close call, but overall sound like it was handled well! I can totally relate, as you probably saw in my journal....

I was feeling that last night etc. we do want to be really careful with all that stuff but also, let's examine the facts. You stared at a link and thought of relapsing, you didn't do it. We want to avoid them absolutely as much as possible, but I guess these close calls happen sometimes, I mean that's why we see those long streaks getting broken unfortunately. But if we can have the close calls and get through them, that's what makes the difference. Besides in a way, it could help to break the loop. The addicted part of the brain was anticipating the dopamine rush so ridiculously thoroughly but it never came... I think that is good for our brain healing.


Edit : Also man, just thinking are we on a mind meld or what? So many similar issues popping up at similar times. Maybe it's just the brain's tendency to look for pattern and connections, it is pretty different facts after all, but some of the feelings and patterns are so similar.

Thanks, as always, for the support, man. I think we might be on a mind meld for real, lol. It's crazy how we're on the same wavelength so much lately. Maybe we've just been talking each other through things for so long that we've synchronized our thought patterns or something. After reading all that you were going through, I was so grateful that I held it together.

I also like your perspective on the close call. Saying no to the urge could be a powerful learning experience for my brain. It might break the loop in some way, like you were saying. I'm hopeful that that's true.

I just started reading a book called "Hardwiring Happiness." It sounds like kind of a goofy book, but it has been interesting. The author keeps saying you can "use your mind to change your brain," as if to mean that we can make conscious decisions about how to think and that that will, over time, restructure the brain. I think there is something to that, and it's definitely possible that we are using our minds to change our brains every time we say no to the urges and make it through a close call (not that we should be looking for close calls of course!). It breaks the loop and reinforces a new pathway in the brain.

Congratulations on continuing the amazing success and also congrats on your daily success of shutting down the image gallery. That's a point where I always lose the battle thus I have even more respect for your decision to just continue working and finish your project instead of entering the binge.

Your journal is extremely helpful to give a good insight to life "after" porn. When I read success stories it always seems like people are healed and live a normal life and I get frustrated when dealing with heavy cravings after 2-3 months. Now you are almost three times as far as I've ever been and still struggle with the same situations, but you also show how it is possible to deal with them.

I also try to really internalize your concept of the daily succes, because it makes perfect sense and seems to work. Quitting porn forever is a tough task because of the time span, but a commitment to just TODAY is possible and it might help against the "I wish I was at day X again!"-thoughts.

I hope your date with Ph turns out good and I want to thank you for being such a big help not just on my journal, but also by sharing your own, inspiring success story on such a regular basis! :)

I really appreciate it, achilles! I know what you mean about some success stories sounding a little artificial. I haven't read too many of those, but I know where you're coming from. I once read a book about porn addiction that said anyone who is trying to quit is "in recovery" and that anyone who has been clean for 2 years is in "strong recovery." The author of that book was really explicit about saying you can never afford to think you're "recovered," always "in recovery" no matter how long you've been clean. It's always good to know that even my challenges can be helpful to other people, so thanks for sharing that with me!

Oh, and thanks for the good date vibes! I'll take them! Right now, I'm walking that line between the part of me that is just really excited for this one and the part of me that's telling me to hold my horses. I think being "cool" about it is probably good in general, but there can be too cool also, I think. Who knows? I'll find out Friday, I guess.

Much calmer day today

I had to fend off some mid-grade urges this morning. They hit especially hard after I worked out and was cooling down and then again, less intensely, in the shower, mostly flashbacks to the last few porn videos that I saw.

They pretty much went away as the day went on. It was a decently busy day, and I still have to go out for a meeting with someone from church in a little bit. But it has all been good busy (and distracting from urges too).

I have some things I want to do/pickup tomorrow to get myself ready for my date Friday, so tomorrow should be decently busy too. Like I mentioned earlier, a part of me is feeling like I should just be cool and collected about it all and not really care. But then there's a part of me that's legitimately more excited for this date than I have been for a date in a long, long time. Like, playing it cool is good until it's not, you know? Only thing to do is show up and see how it goes.

Another day in the bank, though. Thankfully, a much more manageable one than yesterday.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #769 on: December 11, 2019, 10:51:20 PM »
The book sounds good. I am reading this book on cults... not too positive but I am getting a positive from it. There are tons of stories of peoples whos beliefs and identities totally changed by listening to different radio stations, cult materials etc. Basically what we expose ourselves to can totally change us. I am aiming to do this for the positive, listening to a lot of Zig Ziglar etc. I think that doing it with conscious thought works really well, perhaps even better. I sometimes forget to do it but straight up positive self-talk repeated has worked to change my mood in the past. The positive self-talk is conscious, but mood is unconscious so thats some proof of concept right there.

Mind-meld is right, I was thinking exactly what you said (another mind-meld moment) that maybe the long standing support reading and writing in each other's journals effects our thinking patterns etc. Who knows.



Glad to hear about the better day and the date coming up! I really support the idea of chaning the mind conciously. I think filling the mind up with good stuff is a big part of the recovery, we're removing bad stuff and we can now replace it with good, plus it works both ways, filling it up with good makes it harder for the bad stuff to find room to sneak in.

achilles heel

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #770 on: December 12, 2019, 01:14:51 PM »
I once read a book about porn addiction that said anyone who is trying to quit is "in recovery" and that anyone who has been clean for 2 years is in "strong recovery." The author of that book was really explicit about saying you can never afford to think you're "recovered," always "in recovery" no matter how long you've been clean.

It took years of failed reboot attempts for me to get this idea, because it can be kind of a letdown. There was this idea of making porn undone by abstaining from it, like going back to a state of mind where I didn't know about porn at all. But this leads to disappointment, because the memory of the porn-high doesn't just disappear. Accepting to deal with our addiction for the rest of our lives might seem hard to accept, but there we go again with the idea of daily success and going step by step. We can't tell if we can deal with it forever, but we can deal with it today. You've proven it almost 300 days in a row and we all can follow your example! :)

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #771 on: December 12, 2019, 02:50:40 PM »
I once read a book about porn addiction that said anyone who is trying to quit is "in recovery" and that anyone who has been clean for 2 years is in "strong recovery." The author of that book was really explicit about saying you can never afford to think you're "recovered," always "in recovery" no matter how long you've been clean.

It took years of failed reboot attempts for me to get this idea, because it can be kind of a letdown. There was this idea of making porn undone by abstaining from it, like going back to a state of mind where I didn't know about porn at all. But this leads to disappointment, because the memory of the porn-high doesn't just disappear. Accepting to deal with our addiction for the rest of our lives might seem hard to accept, but there we go again with the idea of daily success and going step by step. We can't tell if we can deal with it forever, but we can deal with it today. You've proven it almost 300 days in a row and we all can follow your example! :)

Yes, I definitely agree with this. I don't think we will ever be anymore the way we were before discovering porn. We have to learn how to keep it away from us because it's easy to return to the chaos again. The brain doesn't forget the good times. I mean, right now I know how much porn affects me but my brain still finds ways to try to convince me that I should try to work it out because "back then" it was so fun. If something didn't feel good, we wouldn't try it a second time. Anything that feels good can become compulsive.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #772 on: December 12, 2019, 11:03:16 PM »

Mind-meld is right, I was thinking exactly what you said (another mind-meld moment) that maybe the long standing support reading and writing in each other's journals effects our thinking patterns etc. Who knows.

Lol, the plot thickens! Before long, we'll be writing each other's journals!

You know, maybe that cult stuff isn't super positive, but it can be good to learn from: don't let yourself get brainwashed (whether it's by a cult leader or the porn industry).

I know "positive thinking" sort of sounds a little idealistic or superficial, but I do think there's something to it. The book I'm reading says that the point is not to be artificially happy about bad things, but, instead, it says that our brains are naturally designed to respond more strongly to bad stimuli than good. What we need to do is just take more time to pay conscious attention to the good, even the little stuff, that is always around us. That habit can retrain and restructure the brain to be more perceptive and responsive to good things.

It took years of failed reboot attempts for me to get this idea, because it can be kind of a letdown. There was this idea of making porn undone by abstaining from it, like going back to a state of mind where I didn't know about porn at all. But this leads to disappointment, because the memory of the porn-high doesn't just disappear. Accepting to deal with our addiction for the rest of our lives might seem hard to accept, but there we go again with the idea of daily success and going step by step. We can't tell if we can deal with it forever, but we can deal with it today. You've proven it almost 300 days in a row and we all can follow your example! :)

Yes, I definitely agree with this. I don't think we will ever be anymore the way we were before discovering porn. We have to learn how to keep it away from us because it's easy to return to the chaos again. The brain doesn't forget the good times. I mean, right now I know how much porn affects me but my brain still finds ways to try to convince me that I should try to work it out because "back then" it was so fun. If something didn't feel good, we wouldn't try it a second time. Anything that feels good can become compulsive.

Thank you both for your thoughts! It has definitely been a major change of mindset for me to think about going forward instead of going back. Going to back to the pre-porn version of me is literally impossible. But, beyond that, it's also true that fighting porn has forced me to learn and grow in ways that I never would have otherwise. I'm not saying that porn has made me a better person, but I have definitely become a better person by fighting it. Maybe my life would be better if I had never encountered porn, but I can't know that. What I do know is that it won't really matter: my past doesn't have to control my future, and I'm clearly getting better in a lot of ways compared to how I was 10 years ago.

At first, it can be discouraging to think that we can never "go back." But what would we be "going back" to? A version of ourselves that was predisposed to addiction and was one bad decision from years of struggle? I think it's better to become a person who has been tested by the rigors of addiction and who knows their vulnerabilities and how to live safely in spite of them.

Decent day

Still riding out the wave of urges. Like yesterday, they were stronger in the morning and got weaker as the day went on. Today I had some thoughts/flashbacks, and my body was reacting to them, so I just said out loud, "Hold on. We've got better things coming. They're on their way, maybe soon. Let's not ruin it now." That shut things down for a while.

I spent most of the day running errands, getting things ready for tomorrow, planning things out so that they should run smoothly. I got a couple of other things done around the house, too.

I spent some time with a buddy tonight. We got dinner, hung out for a while. Good guy,  but I do sometimes feel like the emotional support flows one way, so I usually end up feeling a little drained whenever we do things together. But, to be fair, I usually feel drained whenever I do most things. I don't know.

Anyway, the day's over, and I am ready to see what tomorrow will bring. Cautiously high hopes. We'll just have to see!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #773 on: December 13, 2019, 01:10:37 AM »
Sounds like a solid day.

Holy crap mind-meld galore.... I was literally thinking about how "hopefully I can end up like I was pre porn, before the addiction got to bad" literally as I was walking home. And I appreciate this discussion because it shows me that, that is not happening....
But I really appreciate your perspective Blue, that even though we can't go back the future version of ourselves POST porn, may be something better then we otherwise would have had.

I feel you on relationships seeming one way. I've been there before. I guess a key factor there is does he treat you well? It can be cool to sort of mentor people sometimes if they are grateful and nice etc. but when they try and have cake and eat it too. (Be sort of pushy, not nice AND want tons of support without giving it) it can be bad.

Anyways keep up the good work as always!

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #774 on: December 13, 2019, 03:09:11 PM »
I like your strong mindset Blue.  Sometimes, it has really helped me to say out loud too I am not going back to watching pornography again (or that, that choices is not an option anymore) - and the urges calm down too.  Handling the headaches and the stress from figuring out day to day life is still there - but our minds grow stronger from working them out through hundreds of small decisions/choices. Our ability to solve problems and dare I say, enjoy the mental/emotional challenge is on the horizon.  I'm grateful for your journal and your recovery experiences.  Small gains daily lead to big positive changes in the future.