Author Topic: Not gonna go it alone  (Read 35467 times)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #950 on: March 07, 2020, 07:27:57 PM »
Yesterday was another bad day. I got into some trouble last night. Maybe not as bad as last week, but still not good. Another bump in the road this afternoon. Again, not as bad, but still not good.

It's frustrating and disappointing, but it is what it is. I can't change what happened, only learn from it. Let it go and move on, so that's what I'm doing.

I really feel like I'm on the brink of discovering something huge about myself/life. It's no surprise that my addiction would be throwing a tantrum and trying to derail that. Just yesterday, someone else was talking to me and saying that they've seen something about me change in the last few weeks. I know something is changing about the way I'm approaching life, with less stress and effort, less shame. I'm trying to trust life and trust other people more, and it feels very new and uncertain to me, but I guess it's already showing. That gives me hope that I can really buckle down and make things happen.

I was talking to a teacher yesterday, and he was talking about how mistakes don't put us back at the starting point. He said, if you take 8 steps forward and then take 1 step back, how far are you from where you started? 7 steps! In the last year, I have definitely taken big steps forward. The mistakes in the last two weeks are setbacks, but they don't mean I'm starting over. I have so much more knowledge, understanding, and practice today than I did a year ago. This storm will pass. One or two steps back is still several net steps forward.

A year ago today, I started a long streak that went from March to the end of December. So I guess it's as good a day as any to recommit. I set a 30 day goal then, and I'm setting a 30 day goal today. No porn or anything like it for 30 days. Let's just get this mess under control. A couple of changes, though. I don't want to make porn the focus of what I'm doing, so I'm not going to think of it as 30 days without porn. I'm going to think of it as 30 days full of real life, the kind of life of creation, intention, and surrender that I want to live. That's the goal now. I don't want to just get a streak of days without porn. I want a streak of days lived to their fullest. Starting now.

Setbacks hurt, but there's no need to add to that pain. Love yourself unconditionally, not just when you're squeaky clean. We are all so much more than our worst or most common mistakes.

So let's go be who we really are.

Zel99

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #951 on: March 07, 2020, 10:12:58 PM »
I really respect your attitude and your approach to how you're going about this change. I think this change in yourself is a change for the better. I appreciate the support you've given to me. If you're able to help produce a change in myself, I'm confident you can do the same for yourself. Relapses can happen, but they can be useful to reevaluate how you've been going about things. The way you were doing things worked for a long time, but then something happened that brought on a relapse. Whether it be something external or internal, it lead to a relapse. It seems that you've reflected on what made you successful in the past (the March to December streak which, by the way, is huge) and have adjusted to get back on that track. I hope to see things work out.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #952 on: March 08, 2020, 06:57:30 PM »
Thanks, Zel, I really appreciate the kind words and encouragement. It's so easy to beat myself up after a slip up like that, so it's good to hear someone who isn't me remind me that it's all part of the learning process.

Better day

Went to church, took a nap (time change!), cooked some pasta, did some writing, sent some messages to friends and family, planned some things out for the week. A more restorative day, which I needed.

I've had feelings of anxiety off and on throughout the day. It's like I feel like I have to pay for a relapse with a certain amount of time feeling miserable, and that's not crazy. Feeling bad about myself does not change the past, it only ruins the present. Might as well let it all go and just press forward.

One thing that happens before probably every relapse is I have thoughts about how "good" or "fun" porn is. Every time after a relapse, I remember how draining and empty it is. So I want to try to be more deliberate about reminding myself moving forward that any of the fun porn promises is just false advertising. It's like addiction-amnesia, our brain holds onto the pleasure and forgets all the pain. I had a couple of urges/flashbacks today, but instead of doing the, "Of course you want it, but just let it go past you" routine, I stopped those thoughts in their tracks and challenged them by saying, "No, you're going to make it seem like porn is fun and exciting, but I see right through that. It's empty and has nothing to offer me." I don't want to fall asleep on this thing again and just "accept" the lie that porn is fun but bad for me. It's not even that fun. The only thing it really gives me is wasted time. Thanks for nothing. So I think I'll be more deliberate in my recovery journal and here to remind myself that porn really doesn't have anything to offer. When I forget that and get dreamy eyed about the good ol' days of porn free-for-all, that's when I get into trouble.

But more than that, I started trying to be more serious about filling the day with good things instead of just avoiding the addiction. I breezed through what I did today pretty quickly at the top of this post, but I do feel like it was a deliberately better day. It didn't just happen. I'm starting to think about being more careful about my media diet and what I'm feeding my mind, and I focused on more inspiring and encouraging things today instead of just merely entertaining ones. It's a start.

I'm ending today on better ground than the last couple of days. It's a week off, which has opportunities and dangers, but I'm committed to a better day and a better week. I have some work to do, but I also want to let myself enjoy the break. The weather should be nice tomorrow, so I put an afternoon walk on the calendar. There's a trail not far from my house. I think I'll spend some time with the trees and my own thoughts.

Onward and upward

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #953 on: March 09, 2020, 07:49:18 PM »
Living a full life Day 1/30

Today was a pretty good day. Some anxiety/guilt for the mistakes this weekend, but that's mostly blown over by now. I did laundry, got a really inspiring email from one of the old teacher I reached out to last week, and went for a long walk in the woods a short drive from my place. It was good to get outside and just breathe different air and see different sights. Then I came home, had some dinner, and did some work, but not too much.

A couple flashbacks/urges, but I just reminded myself that the appeal of porn is a lie, not something to look back on nostalgically (nostalgia for porn is death). I don't want to forget how bad it makes me feel. I guess I'm thinking about it like the difference between looking back fondly on an old relationship that was positive but just didn't work out versus looking back wisely on a bad relationship that needed to end. I've had enough letting myself believe that porn and I "had some good times, didn't we?" No, we did not. Time to stay conscious of that.

But, overall, not dwelling on porn (or at least trying not to) and just surrendering to life instead. I'm listening to a book about surrender, and the author was talking about how people can either surrender to hope or fear. There's always surrender, you just choose the direction. So I'm saying to myself I can either surrender to porn or to life. I want to pick life.

Here's to tomorrow!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #954 on: March 10, 2020, 02:41:38 PM »
Great job getting back on the horse so quickly! Keep up the good work. Like it was said, a mistake here and there does not erase all the progress!


I was thinking, there is even some luck involved in all this, when life hits us at certain times, how solid our recovery is at that moment. I lost my job, and was wayyyy on edge. Then while meditating the neighbor was super noisy and I got frustrated and that was the straw that got me. Maybe if I was a month further along, or if I had actually commited to meditating a month or two ago as I had mentioned (that one is not really luck) that would have gotten me through it. This isn't to not take responsibility, more so I view it as a hopeful thing. It sucks to have the relapses but we may have been just 1% away from avoiding them and can get there in the future.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #955 on: March 10, 2020, 08:07:57 PM »
Thanks, quit! That's a great perspective. We are ultimately responsible for what we do, but it's important to recognize the role that our circumstances play. Something that gets us one day might not get us another. Our patterns tell us a lot more than our isolated mistakes. As long as we keep at it, we can be sure that we'll do better next time.

Day 2/30, living a full life
I got an email today that my university is canceling classes for the rest of the month because of the coronavirus. It has sort of left me feeling a little weird all day. Like, I was planning to stay home today anyway, but that email made me feel more trapped at home than just staying home. It's all perspective, I guess. Maybe I should worry more about the disease, but I'm honestly mostly just worried about people's reactions to it and things getting out of control that way. It all just sort of left me feeling far from home in an unexpected way.

On the bright side, I guess I don't have to go to class for a few weeks (and that gets me that much closer to summer!) Oh well.

I did some cooking and cleaning and working today. Reasonably productive even if I didn't get everything on my list done. My workspace is much more organized, though, than it has been for weeks. So hopefully that will free me up to get in a better working headspace.

I have some decent plans for tomorrow. Going to get out of the house a little, maybe pick up some things at the store. We'll see. Carrying on one day at a time!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #956 on: March 13, 2020, 06:59:24 PM »
Day 5/30 of Embracing the Good

It's slow going. Things are shutting down all over, but I'm still chugging along. I picked up a few things at the store this morning, but I've spent the day at home. Looking back, I could have been more deliberate about pursuing fulfilling, satisfying things, but I also just sort of took it easy. I didn't sleep especially well last night, and I'm sort of on the edge of getting sick, it seems like. So I guess it's not all bad.

It's going to be a long haul, though, by the looks of things. I'm going to have to spend some time thinking about how I'm going to handle all this time cooped up on my own. This could be really useful time to settle in and readjust to normal, "boring" real life. Or it could drive me crazy. I want to make sure it's the first and not the second.

We'll see. Only thing to do is keep on going!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #957 on: March 14, 2020, 11:18:50 AM »
Cool you've got the day counter/goal going again! That worked great for you so cool to bring it back. I know what you mean, I have a mild cold so have been staying home out of courtesy for others, but it is an adjustment for sure.

I really like the way you are looking at it proactively! Being home more can mean any number of things, it's our job to make it mean the positive things.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #958 on: March 14, 2020, 08:11:10 PM »
Thanks, quit! Yeah, I realized that the counter really helped, but I also want to balance out the danger of getting perfectionistic about it and falling apart if a streak breaks. I think what helps is having a goal, what distracts is focusing on a streak. So I'm focusing on a goal of living a good life for a certain number of days and then setting a new goal when I achieve it (i.e., starting over and going from there). Maybe it's just a psychological trick, maybe I really do need a streak to stay motivated. I don't know. Just trying something new, but also trying to put my focus where it belongs (doing good things instead of avoiding bad things).

Day 6/30 of focusing on the good
Another day at home. I went on a long walk in the woods again. There was hardly anyone out, and, even though I've been pretty much alone all week, being alone in nature felt really peaceful and refreshing where being alone at home can feel like being cooped up. Weird, alone either way, but it's good to know. Weather permitting, I'll try to get out more. Especially when I'm self-quarantining with these mild symptoms just to avoid freaking people out.

I've also noticed that I'm stuck in screens for most of the day, which I guess makes sense because what else would I be doing? But I think moving forward I want to spend less time on screens as long as I'm going to be home by myself. I have a big stack of books I've been meaning to read. Maybe I'll put a dent in that!

No church tomorrow (virus), which will be weird. But Sunday can still be a good reset day. I'll try to spend less time on my screen and make a meaningful plan for next week.

Time to go out (or stay in, lol) and live the good life!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #959 on: March 15, 2020, 06:02:10 PM »
7/30 focusing on the good

A very quiet and uneventful day. Stuck around home, did some cooking, sent emails and messages to friends I haven't talked to in a while, took a nap. Didn't eliminate screen time, but cut it down significantly.

Talked to a church leader at one point today, talked through my recent lapses. He gave me advice that agreed with what I've been thinking in the last couple weeks, which was a good boost.

Nothing to do now but settle in and prepare to make this week and energizing and fulfilling one. General solitude doesn't have to be isolation.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #960 on: March 16, 2020, 06:28:13 PM »
8/30

Another quiet day at home, did some laundry, got caught up on school and work emails. There's so much information coming at me from the school, and it changes from day to day. So I had to read and delete a lot of emails from the weekend, reschedule some meetings to not be in person anymore, stuff like that. Did some cooking, called home.

As quiet and weird as the day was (and as they will probably continue to be), I'm feeling pretty good, better than I have in a couple weeks actually. There's nothing I can do about the world being crazy right now, so I'm just trying to make the best of it and enjoy being at home. When things are normal, I always feel anxiety about not being home, so this change should actually be a good thing, right? I'm going to say yes.

I still have some planning and catching up to do just to figure out what I need to do and when now that things have changed. But there's time for that. I'll just take it a day at a time, just like everything else.

Here's to a great tomorrow!

faenoe

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #961 on: March 17, 2020, 11:38:17 AM »
Hey Blue. I have returned to the place that took me so far. I really appreciate all of the comments you have on your thread here and I'm right here with you man.

It's been such a crazy change with just staying inside pretty much all day. Even just going to campus was something I didn't expect to miss so much. I guess you never know what you have until it's gone. But new circumstances are just new challenges for us to rise and adapt to. It has not been easy for me these past couple of days but I have a goal for this week to be a clean one.

changeee

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #962 on: March 17, 2020, 03:34:04 PM »
Hi, beautiful one you are surrounded by people who want to be there every step of the way, they would walk to the ends of the earth for you- as you would for them. You are an incredible friend who always goes that extra mile for those around you to make sure they feel loved, safe and treasured.  Remember that you are treasured sweetheart, in the safest hands & loved beyond measure for all the beautiful, lovely and sweet things you are. You are wonderful. There is no one quite like you, nor will there ever be- you bring something to this place we've never seen before- a love we never knew we needed until you arrived and a kindness that will be your legacy one hundred and fifty years from now. You move mountains to make your friends smile everyday, you make it look so effortless. Give yourself a pat on the back lovely. You deserve it. We adore you!! Massive hug & lots of love
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 03:46:39 PM by changeee »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #963 on: March 18, 2020, 06:24:41 PM »
Thanks for the kind words, changeee! That was a nice surprise

10/30

Another slower day. They're going to be like that for a while, I think. But it was good. I'm trying to branch out into hobbies/good activities that aren't screen-based. Still ending up on screens a lot, which isn't bad so much as probably not sustainable. I have noticed that all this screen time during the day is leaving me feeling a little buzzed or something, maybe just brain fog or something.

I haven't really had solid plans for the day lately, gotten out of that habit since it became less necessary to stay on top of things lately. I think that would help, so maybe I'll try to get it done more consistently.

Had a couple video conferences today, one for work, the other a little more social. At least there are still ways to connect with other people, not totally ideal, but better than nothing.

On to another day!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #964 on: March 19, 2020, 06:31:36 PM »
11/30

Another day at home, not much going on. Talked to some friends today, though, and that was good. Worked on some other things, got some stuff done.

Just carryin' on.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #965 on: March 20, 2020, 02:57:18 AM »
Good work blue!  I'm finding it takes a totally different mindset to run a whole day without any outside commitments.  A lot of self discipline, it's not easy. 

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #966 on: March 20, 2020, 04:19:39 AM »
Hey Blue, I’ve been away for a while but just wanted to drop in and say I’m with you, and we are all with you. These are bizarre times, and we’re all having to process a lot of emotions right now and stay clean which is a massive challenge. I truly believe that this is a chance for change. Any day, as you always so wisely say, is a chance for real change, but the world is changing and as such, we have to evolve and be our best selves. We have to evolve now from caterpillars into butterflies and share our light and love with everyone. I wish I could just come over and give you a massive hug man. I love you bro. Stay strong.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #967 on: March 20, 2020, 06:49:07 PM »
Good work blue!  I'm finding it takes a totally different mindset to run a whole day without any outside commitments.  A lot of self discipline, it's not easy.

Thanks, squid! You're right, it's a whole new way of life, and there's no definite end in sight, so it's important to find ways to make it sustainable. Not sure I've found that way, yet, but I'm getting there. Learning and adjusting each day.

Hey Blue, I’ve been away for a while but just wanted to drop in and say I’m with you, and we are all with you. These are bizarre times, and we’re all having to process a lot of emotions right now and stay clean which is a massive challenge. I truly believe that this is a chance for change. Any day, as you always so wisely say, is a chance for real change, but the world is changing and as such, we have to evolve and be our best selves. We have to evolve now from caterpillars into butterflies and share our light and love with everyone. I wish I could just come over and give you a massive hug man. I love you bro. Stay strong.

Thanks, man! I really appreciate it. We really are all in it together, and that's good to remember. It is a chance for real change: there's nothing else standing in our way. Thanks for the long-distance hug, right back at ya!

11/30

Still chugging along. Maybe a slightly better day than yesterday, making some small adjustments here and there. Took some time out this afternoon to read and do yoga, just to reset when things started falling flat. I'm trying to keep as many routines in place as possible, sleep, workouts, etc. But there's also just a lot of time and not a lot of motivation, from the conversations I've had with friends in the last few days, that seems pretty common. We all know we have things to do, but we're having a hard time doing them. It's probably okay to slow down.

I'm just trying to keep track of what is and isn't working for me during the day. Too much screen time is definitely my issue right now. There just doesn't seem like there's much else to do, but it leaves me feeling depleted. It's all learning, and learning leads to progress. The good news is that I'm staying clean and not feeling strong cravings or anything right now. That helps.

Here's to a good tomorrow!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #968 on: March 21, 2020, 02:53:54 AM »
I've noticed that screens leave me depleted too blue.  I always I I'm going to relax instead of telling people I'm gaming.  But, it's actually not relaxing, many times I get stressed and tight and tired.  It's a mind shift because you think just sitting  watching or playing is rest but it's not really.  That's something I've noticed.  Walking, baths, yoga and sleep actually recharge me.

faenoe

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #969 on: March 21, 2020, 11:49:23 PM »
I am right with you there on too much screen time being draining. Today I was trying to work on homework but I couldn't bring myself to transition straight from mindlessly scrolling through the internet to working on homework. I decided to get up and cook for a bit (since I had the entire day still) and then use that as a kind of context switch and then go into homework. It really made a difference.

wecandoit

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #970 on: March 22, 2020, 09:21:13 AM »
I am right with you there on too much screen time being draining. Today I was trying to work on homework but I couldn't bring myself to transition straight from mindlessly scrolling through the internet to working on homework. I decided to get up and cook for a bit (since I had the entire day still) and then use that as a kind of context switch and then go into homework. It really made a difference.

Too much screen time can lead to problems. It causes stuff like problems with concentration, attention etc. Of course, porn is so close when you are in front of a screen. It's better to do real things in the real world. Computers and cell phones have their use but I find it better to use them only for a purpose, not mindlessly.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #971 on: March 23, 2020, 08:15:08 PM »
Thanks for your input on screens. I'm right with you all on them. It's tough when routines get disrupted and the government tells you not to go outside unless its essential (and it's raining a lot). It's not so much that I'm turning to screens because I want to but because what else is there to do? Now, even school and work are on screens. I'll figure it out. Maybe I just need to take more breaks.

15/30
Still just doing the best I can with all that's going on in the world and all that isn't going on inside my place. It's been weirdly hard to get motivated to do anything, and it's been even weirder how I just lose track of time. Like I think I'm going strong and and on track and it's already an hour past dinner time and I didn't get anything done. But everything is weird right now, and it's weird for pretty much everyone.

At least I did get some homework done tonight, and I had a video call with some friends earlier in the day. Still screens, but it's the only way I can connect to other people right now.

It looks like there's going to be a break in the weather tomorrow, so I'm going to try to get out for a long walk in the morning. Just to get some of this stagnation out of my system.

I'm supposed to be "living my best life" during these 30 days, and I guess I am, given the circumstances. Things definitely aren't going the way I thought they would, but I'm doing what I can to roll with the punches and make the best of it. And each day can be better than the last, and that's what counts.

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #972 on: March 24, 2020, 01:00:59 PM »
Sounds great blue, connecting with friends and walks are the best.  Thanks so much for continuing to post and reply to journals.  I always look forward to your thoughtful input.  And to everyone else too on here, what a great community. 

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #973 on: March 26, 2020, 06:53:55 PM »
Thanks, squid! I appreciate the comment. It feels like everything in life is moving slower now, and it's harder to keep track of time. It's good to have a reminder that there people out there who have my back. Even though everything else has changed for now, posting here can stay pretty much the same.

18/30

I guess the good thing about living in a quarantine timewarp is that making progress toward 30 days is coming pretty easy.

That said, I did have a pretty vivid porn dream last night that had me in bad headspace this morning, but I just kept reminding myself that the last time I looked I didn't find anything that I'm really hungry for. It's all a cheap knockoff of the connection I really want. The appeal is a lie.

The weather was nice, so I got out again and walked for a little over 3 miles. It felt good, and it got my head in a much more balanced place for the rest of the day.

I'm making slow progress to finding a sustainable way of living in increased isolation with less to do. Dusting of some hobbies, making slow progress on some things (where I was making no progress before). Taking steps, and that feels good.

It's already almost been another week. Here's to a great tomorrow!

squid

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Re: Not gonna go it alone
« Reply #974 on: March 26, 2020, 11:19:09 PM »
Today's a brand new day!  What hobbies are you getting excited about?