Author Topic: I can do better in 2020  (Read 6597 times)

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #100 on: January 02, 2020, 07:47:38 AM »
Well, what can I say? When I thought 2019 could be the year, the relapse happened. Although I maintained a relatively stable mood these days, I kept relapsing over and over again, just like the old days. For a long time, my main motivation to quit porn was to get out of depression and anxiety. Ironically, it might be harder for me to quit porn now once I'm more in control of my mood. I felt like porn was a demon that could throw the worst psychological problems at me and I was really determined to fight it. It's not true anymore. Porn is not the root cause of all my problems. Just like someone has said, porn is the symptom.
I'm really confused now. Kinda lost. All the time I was trying to find my deepest issue and tackle it, but it could have been the wrong approach. Maybe instead of looking for deep psychological problems, I should just focus on the basics such as cultivating good habits and finding ways to enjoy my life regardless of what problems I might have. I was always searching for motivation. Why should I do this, why should I do that. It never worked. I think in some sense I was just trying to avoid the hard work. I always knew the answer but I refused to admit it simply because I didn't want to put in the effort. I bet I would not even bother for one sec to look for answers if I can just get the result without doing anything. Whenever I was procrastinating, I would feel bad for myself and tried to relieve this pain by searching on google "true cause of procrastination". Once I found something I would feel better and tell myself: "now you found your problem, you can work on it." However, next time the same thing would happen again.
The greatest truths are the simplest. I'm not special. I want what everyone wants: achievement, confidence, respect, etc. At the same time, I'm just too lazy. I'm an opportunist whose only goal is to exploit the circumstances and get the best gain with minimum effort. Each time I need to do something and I'm afraid of the hard work, I would tell myself to look for a reason. It feels like I'm doing some introspection. It makes me feel smart and honest. It then gives me a false sense of achievement to relieve my guilt of escapism. What a perfect loop I'm in.
This explains why I always make plans and fail to execute them and repeat it again and again. I feel stuck and I never worked on it because I didn't want to work. I wanted an immediate cure for my problems just like porn. It's easy, effective and has no cost. But the cost is great. It costs me everything I ever wanted.

Jeks

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #101 on: January 02, 2020, 09:09:51 AM »
You might be on the right track for you, but just some food for thought:
Its true, there might be a deeper issue which caused you to escape to porn in the first place.
But the problem is, porn is often also hindering you to fully tackle or even to find the otther issue.
I think im qualified to speak about this, because i also found my procrastination and socialization issues to be my worst problems. Point is, i couldnt even start to tackle these, as long as i was hooked on porn. I tried so many times, but even if i was able to get things done, i was not able to feel the relief and feeling of happiness, because my moltivation and emotional systems were highjacked by porn.
That even caused me to have a even harder time to give up porn, because i had the expectation, that tackling the other areas would ease the pain and when it didnt, i felt like using porn again.
Thats said, in my opinion try to tackle the other problems as well, but dont be surprised, when this doesnt fill up the emotional emptiness. Then even allow yourself to take pressure off of you to fix the porn problem first and to overcome your urges and emotional numbness. Then you will be able to gain other achivements.

Stay safe and keep fighting brother.

Jeks

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #102 on: January 02, 2020, 09:20:47 AM »
When you think about the reasons, why to give up porn, you shoud try to not only find things you want to run away from (depression, anxiety), but also things to run towards to (relationships, happiness in career, other goals you want in your life, which are destroyed by porn...). They are often even more compeiling than the negative stuff and you dont fall into the trap of thinking " well, i kind of got this one, so maybe porn isnt as bad as i thought."
When you think it might help, then write down a hole list, to look at them the next time shit ia about to go down.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #103 on: January 03, 2020, 12:14:23 AM »
Maybe instead of looking for deep psychological problems, I should just focus on the basics such as cultivating good habits and finding ways to enjoy my life regardless of what problems I might have. I was always searching for motivation. Why should I do this, why should I do that. It never worked. I think in some sense I was just trying to avoid the hard work. I always knew the answer but I refused to admit it simply because I didn't want to put in the effort. I bet I would not even bother for one sec to look for answers if I can just get the result without doing anything. Whenever I was procrastinating, I would feel bad for myself and tried to relieve this pain by searching on google "true cause of procrastination". Once I found something I would feel better and tell myself: "now you found your problem, you can work on it." However, next time the same thing would happen again.
The greatest truths are the simplest.

This is something that I keep learning over and over. There isn't some great mysterious answer, just practical wisdom. I spend a lot of time looking for answers instead of getting to work, so I can relate to what you're saying and I recognize the importance of just buckling down and getting things done.

We can spend our time looking and looking for the answer of how to eliminate porn from our lives. Or we can start building good habits and just crowd porn out of the day.

Day by day, just focus on doing what you know you need to do. After about 10 years of trying and failing and trying and relapsing again, I finally last year realized that I just had to take responsibility for myself and actually do the things that would help me get better. Actually committing to do the things helped me turn a corner. I'm not cured, but I'm doing way better, and you will too.

Sorry to hear you've had trouble and that you're feeling lost. But you're not as lost as you feel. You're here with friends who will support, and you know that it's time to do the real work. The good news is the work works.

Go get 'em this year!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #104 on: January 03, 2020, 08:40:22 AM »
When you think about the reasons, why to give up porn, you shoud try to not only find things you want to run away from (depression, anxiety), but also things to run towards to (relationships, happiness in career, other goals you want in your life, which are destroyed by porn...). They are often even more compeiling than the negative stuff and you dont fall into the trap of thinking " well, i kind of got this one, so maybe porn isnt as bad as i thought."
When you think it might help, then write down a hole list, to look at them the next time shit ia about to go down.
Hi Jeks, thanks for the advice. I know the importance of aiming for something. However, I don't know if you had the same feeling, I'm not really excited for anything. There isn't something I really really want to have. I guess that's a big problem coming from my instant gratification way of life (porn being the top 1). My brain only responds to strong stimulants. I do want great career and great relationships but they feel really vague and unreachable. All of my good expectations of future are really powerless compared to my bad habits and addiction. How did you find your strong reasons?

This is something that I keep learning over and over. There isn't some great mysterious answer, just practical wisdom. I spend a lot of time looking for answers instead of getting to work, so I can relate to what you're saying and I recognize the importance of just buckling down and getting things done.

We can spend our time looking and looking for the answer of how to eliminate porn from our lives. Or we can start building good habits and just crowd porn out of the day.

Day by day, just focus on doing what you know you need to do. After about 10 years of trying and failing and trying and relapsing again, I finally last year realized that I just had to take responsibility for myself and actually do the things that would help me get better. Actually committing to do the things helped me turn a corner. I'm not cured, but I'm doing way better, and you will too.

Sorry to hear you've had trouble and that you're feeling lost. But you're not as lost as you feel. You're here with friends who will support, and you know that it's time to do the real work. The good news is the work works.

Go get 'em this year!
Thank you Blue, "learning it over and over" is a good way to put this. I tend to forget that I used to know those simple truths. But I have to LEARN them again and PRACTICE. It's the only way breaking out of my old cycle.

Jeks

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #105 on: January 03, 2020, 01:13:47 PM »
"Hi Jeks, thanks for the advice. I know the importance of aiming for something. However, I don't know if you had the same feeling, I'm not really excited for anything. There isn't something I really really want to have. I guess that's a big problem coming from my instant gratification way of life (porn being the top 1). My brain only responds to strong stimulants. I do want great career and great relationships but they feel really vague and unreachable. All of my good expectations of future are really powerless compared to my bad habits and addiction. How did you find your strong reasons?"

I think thats where you have to do a lot of soulsearching for yourself to find out, what that could be for you, especially when porn might fog it out for you even more. It can mean abetter career or a better relationsship but also includes things like being able to be a more loving person, being or becoming a good father, being able to influence people with what you do and your personality, being a overall more happy person. There is so much what that can be for you, but you have to be the one to find it out for yourself. Try to get yourself excited about life again.
I think a good place to start is, what would you be doing or what would you like to be able to do, when youve overcome your addiction, depression and anxiety.
You can even take a piece of paper think about it, while writing it down.
I know the feeling to not be excited about anything, but this also might have been a reason to get to porn in the first place.
I think that it can take a long time to find these things for yourself, but i would suggest you to start being on the lookout for these things. But dont pressure yourself.
When they are vague, try to make them more specific in your mind.
And when they seem impossible to reach them ask yourself " when i would be able to constantly work on my goals, would they still be as unreachable as i think.

These are my thoughts on this and this is just my opinion. You have to find what works best for you. But i would still advice to try it.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 03:01:46 PM by Jeks »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #106 on: January 03, 2020, 07:04:55 PM »
Thank you Blue, "learning it over and over" is a good way to put this. I tend to forget that I used to know those simple truths. But I have to LEARN them again and PRACTICE. It's the only way breaking out of my old cycle.

No problem! In the end, we have all the power we need to break the cycle. We just have to actually break it. It sounds simple and obvious, but it can be difficult. It's like when people want to lose weight but don't want to change their diets or exercise. I spent a lot of years wanting to quit PMO, but I also wanted to keep triggering things and substitutes close by. Actually doing the right things has helped to reinforce my desire to do them. If we just wait and wait until it feels right and feels easy, we'll be waiting a long time. Once we commit to action, though, our feelings catch up to us.

brandnewself

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #107 on: May 25, 2020, 07:54:47 AM »
It's been 4 months since my last post here. A lot has changed. I broke up with my girlfriend and I finally made progress for my Master's degree. The most important thing is that I have a very different mindset towards my life/career after university now. I used to be very pessimistic about it and I just felt like there was a huge burden on my shoulder. I believed that I was not good enough for a job and I didn't have passion to do anything anyway. Over the past few months, I've been talking to people and thinking a lot. Eventually I realized I pretty much trapped myself in my own mental prison. There are many things I can do to earn money other than working for a big corporation. Now I'm working on starting my own business with a friend and we're making good progress. It's no guarantee that the business will work out but I don't care. Luckily enough my parents have enough savings to keep their life sustainable. So there is no great risk involved in what I'm doing. Worst case I will fail and go back home and find a job or do something else. I was too narrow minded and I gave myself unnecessary pressure. The fact that I don't need to worry about starving to death or putting my parents in risk is something most people don't have and I didn't appreciate it enough.
This mindset shift is such a relief for me that I'm happier in general. As for quitting porn, I'm taking a new approach as well. After years of trying to quit cold turkey, I decided to make peace with myself and allow myself to masturbate from time to time without porn. My best friend is in it with me and we promised each other that if one watches porn/any form of artificial stimulation intentionally, he needs to cook good quality meals (e.g. steak) for the other for an entire week. We trust each other to be 100% honest with each other and this is a great accountability deal. The punishment is by no means harmful for any of us but it's a big source of motivation to not give in when I have cravings. Allowing myself to masturbate also makes this process much easier. Yesterday marks 3 weeks of no porn which is nice. I expect to go much further.
I still have problems with procrastination and sometimes I'm not clear what I need to do. I started meditating again and I made an excel that schedules my day. I'm still not 100% consistent with it but it should help me in the long term.
I'm going to the gym every two days now and I learned to treat my body better than before. I'm less egoistic in terms of lifting heavy weight and I incorporated more stretching in my training which is very helpful for my overall health.
The ultimate reason we all want to quit porn is to have a healthy, happy and fulfilled life. This is what I'm aiming for now.

brandnewself

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #108 on: May 27, 2020, 04:53:12 AM »
Having a bit of anxiety because of a zoom meeting I need to have today and an email I need to reply to my professor. I think my anxiety mostly comes from fear of failure. Failure to perform well or failure to meet other people's expectations. The good news is that I don't view it as something impossible to deal with anymore. I can accept it. I know it will pass and it's a normal thing in life. I meditated a bit today but it was hard for me to focus. I'll do it again.
What I really like about my life now is that I'm not depressed any more. I used to wake up feeling anxious every day and fall into depression as the day comes to an end. I'm glad it's only anxiety that visits me from time to time now.

brandnewself

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #109 on: June 02, 2020, 04:40:16 AM »
I always believed that porn was the main source of my anxiety. I just realized these days the answer is not that simple. Porn definitely contributed to it but the direct cause is excessive internet use. Every day I wake up, I immediately start scrolling through my phone and watch Youtube videos..etc. I feel tired and unmotivated afterwards and working on my studies seems to be an impossible task. Just now when I tried to meditate my mind was racing so fast that I would lose my attention within 5 seconds over and over again.
In terms of porn addiction, my brain never stopped craving for porn. Although I never watched porn in the past 30 days but I can feel the hidden urge. It's always there. Anything can be a trigger. Some smell, image, a girl passing by, literally anything. So far I've jerked off 4 times in these 30 days which is under control. What's good is not I'm less afraid of urges. It always felt like an insurmountable pressure. I can deal with it most of the time now by ignoring it. However, there is a long long road ahead and I need to manage my life better to not let porn exploit my weakness.

Sanders

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #110 on: June 03, 2020, 04:07:53 AM »
Hey brandnewself,

I see you've come a long way to get to this point in your struggles. I can imagine it's tough but great that you've decided to be posting here and sharing about your struggles! Pretty cool that you've made a deal with someone to keep each other accountable, hope it helps for the both of you!

As for the internet problem, have you thought of cutting back on technology in your life? I've bought a phone without any internet connection which is great. Disabled Facebook as well. Only reason I use technology is for reading some news, working on my recovery, and tracking my cycling progress. I think this numbing helps and makes you more focussed on real life. Blockers are a great tool to prevent yourself from going to porn, but there should also be some that disable access to social media or other apps. Else you can also install some software that limits the amount of time you have on your devices. Of course that's though in case of university work and all.

It must feel great you've gotten rid of these depressed feelings, life will get better!

brandnewself

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #111 on: June 03, 2020, 08:23:02 AM »
Hi Sanders,
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I'm really happy to have my friend as my accountability partner. It's helped me greatly.
In terms of internet use, removing smart phone would not be an option right now but I think installing a tracking app would be nice. It's not a blocker but it can help me quantify and visualize how much time I spend on youtube/browser every day so that I can work on it. My time blackhole is basically just youtube and some facebook. I don't use other apps like instagram or twitter.
I want to gradually pick up habits like reading and practicing my third language. Those habits won't leave me feeling empty like youtube does. Hopefully I can do it.
Mental health is really a tricky thing to deal with but now I believe I can improve it significantly with more efforts.

brandnewself

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #112 on: June 08, 2020, 02:56:45 AM »
I've installed an app to track my time consumption on each app. Not surprisingly, I use youtube way too much. On Saturday I used it for 3 hours. Now I'm trying to decrease it. Yesterday was 2 hours.
Yet again I find myself losing the motivation to live my life. Porn addiction has its perfect disguise. Now it's telling me life is boring and there is nothing to live for. It's not true. We're all too familiar with this whisper of porn.
I have the business I'm starting. I have a thesis to write. I have a language to learn. I have a physique to build. I have books to read. I also have many other daily matters to deal with.

jixu

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #113 on: June 09, 2020, 10:39:56 AM »
I like the way you ended that last post by listing all of those things that you have to look forward to-a great guide for the present and the future.  Porn is a deceiver and never keeps its promises.   Keep moving forward!

brandnewself

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #114 on: June 15, 2020, 02:01:55 AM »
I like the way you ended that last post by listing all of those things that you have to look forward to-a great guide for the present and the future.  Porn is a deceiver and never keeps its promises.   Keep moving forward!
Thanks jixu, yeah writing things down makes it easier for me. Thank you for the support!

I have some confessions to make. In the past few days, I MO'ed several times and I was looking at some images. They're not really porn images but still it's visual stimulation and I shouldn't have done it. I need to draw a clear line now. Two rules. 1. If I MO more than once in a week, it's considered as a relapse. 2. If I search for any arousing material intentionally, it's considered as a relapse.

Sanders

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #115 on: June 15, 2020, 02:36:52 AM »
Hey,

Good you're confessing it, it's a difficult step but it helps. Also it's a very good thing you're putting these rules down. I see you're taking many steps and approaches to tackling this problem. Is it helpful to really write them down somewhere if you haven't yet? I noticed for myself that writing things on pen and paper makes it more 'valuable' then either remembering it or writing it on a PC. It's something tangible that you made and can read through every now and then.

Best of luck, the more you find out about your behaviour the more easy you can prevent it :)

brandnewself

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Re: I can do better in 2020
« Reply #116 on: June 21, 2020, 03:30:25 AM »
Hey Sanders,
I do like to write things down, but I also noticed that after some time seeing the same text I begin to ignore it. I guess ultimately it has to come from within. Then writing it down can be the side dish that makes it better.

The past week I started to work on my procrastination problem and I'm seeing some improvements. I'm going to cut out youtube for leisure completely (excluding educational videos) for a week as a starter. When I checked my app I realized I really spent tons of time on useless videos. They kept my dopamine flowing and left me empty afterwards. It might be worse than porn considering the amount of time I spend on Youtube. I can use the time to read books.