Author Topic: Is 2019 the year?  (Read 2141 times)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #75 on: September 27, 2019, 07:08:32 PM »
It's awesome that you're thinking about what you'll do when you get back to the stress and busyness of school. Make a plan and stick to it.

It has been really helpful for me to change my focus: instead of trying to figure out how to live a life without any urges, I have focused on trying to live a life without acting on urges. On some level, we can't control the urges. We just have to accept them and choose not to do what they ask us to do.

Keep going strong!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #76 on: October 04, 2019, 11:32:01 PM »
It's awesome that you're thinking about what you'll do when you get back to the stress and busyness of school. Make a plan and stick to it.

It has been really helpful for me to change my focus: instead of trying to figure out how to live a life without any urges, I have focused on trying to live a life without acting on urges. On some level, we can't control the urges. We just have to accept them and choose not to do what they ask us to do.

Keep going strong!
"living a life without acting on urges" ---- that's a great understanding of what this journey is all about Blue. I'll try to internalize it. It's not an easy thing to do but I should keep it in mind all the time.

Ok. Keep going. Congratulations for 48 days.
Thanks Do or die, we will keep going together!

Another week passed safe and sound. I'm at Day 56.
I MO'ed once 2 days ago, without porn of course. I was very careful to just focus on the sensation itself. Compared to the MO I had one month ago, this time my erection was clearly better and the O was more intense. It's a good sign of healing and I'm happy about it. Masturbation kinda serves as an "emergency exit" for my urges. This makes it easier for me to not indulge on porn. I do need to be mindful about the chaser effect it causes. For now this strategy is working well.
My procrastination and anxiety still exist. It's something really hard to get rid of so I want to be more tolerant of myself. I find it extremely important to have some core beliefs when I'm emotionally weak (anxious, depressed, sad, angry, etc). Reading is a great way to build those core beliefs but I have to read more. I need to internalize certain philosophies to deal with urges. What Blue said above is one of those core beliefs I'm talking about. I think what differentiates a successful rebooter from others is these beliefs they hold.
The dates with the girl are going well. Last time we went for a movie she would rest her head on my shoulder and put her hand on my arm. Eventually I started holding her hands and it felt really good. My little thing down there even had an erection when she squeezed my hand lol. Those are some rewarding moments of this reboot for sure. I'll study with her in the afternoon and I'll see what happens then. It feels more natural to be with her now and this relieves myself from the pressure of "I have to do something". I enjoy this process a lot even though it's going slowly.
Keep going guys!! I'm with you all ;D

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #77 on: October 05, 2019, 08:15:51 PM »
Glad you're still moving along and enjoying the progress even when it's slow!

Sounds like some good stuff with those dates, too. Low-pressure time together and affection seems like a great place to be.

Keep it going!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2019, 09:16:45 PM »
Thanks Blue!

Day 63
These days I started to experience some relatively intense urges, maybe because my "flatline" period has passed. I know it's gonna be a long journey considering the fact that people relapse even after 4 months clean or more (including myself in the past). I need to be very careful with my thoughts and actions. I won't let my streak number give me a false sense of security. Things are not stable yet, I might fall back any day if I make the wrong choice. Relapse is a choice we make. Looking back at my previous relapses, I knew that I was going to relapse even days before the relapse itself but I refused to admit it and always tried to cover up this decision that I had made. Thankfully right now I'm not ready to relapse and I know it.

One good thing is that I started to be more mindful about my anxiety. Even little things trigger my anxiety and I tend to be constantly worrying about something. The other day I watched a TEDx talk about dealing with anxiety and the presenter showed some important techniques which I find useful.
Step 1. Externalize your anxiety.
Treat your anxiety as a pest whose only goal is to make you worry about things. Separate this pest from yourself.
Step 2. Analyze your thoughts and find misconceptions. There are 3 common misconceptions.
           1. Overestimating the likelihood of bad things happening.
           2. Catastrophizing the bad things.
           3. Falsely believing that you won't be able to recover from or deal with some consequences.
Step 3. Exposure. Once you start working on the thing you're afraid to do, most likely you will find it much easier than you thought it was. Take baby steps if necessary.
I'm practicing these 3 steps whenever I feel anxious about something. Sometimes there isn't even step 3 because you're just worried about something but it's not something you do.
Apart from these techniques, meditation also helps a ton for me. 5 min of breathing practices calm me down significantly.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #79 on: October 11, 2019, 05:36:25 PM »
This is awesome!

You're exactly right that 63 days is no guarantee that you're in the clear. I think we're done for as soon as we start thinking that a relapse can't happen to us again. Always being aware that it is possible keeps us honest with ourselves and committed to keeping ourselves safe. Definitely stick with it and keep going strong.

I also like those ideas about dealing with anxiety. I really started feeling more anxiety in the last year or so, and I'm getting along okay, but I think those steps will help me too. Thanks for posting about it!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #80 on: October 16, 2019, 03:52:24 AM »
My internship has ended. Now I'm in the countdown of 2 weeks to go back to school. I'm at a particularly vulnerable state right now since I don't have a fixed schedule anymore and the unwillingness to go back to school and that stressful environment is building up. I am more ready than 2 months ago for the challenges but they're still challenges that I'm kinda afraid of. Cravings come and go these days and I've caught myself contemplating a relapse. The cravings were never strong enough for me to cross the line and act out but I am ALARMED. I am also lingering on some girl's photos whenever I see them on some apps. Moreover, I might have a herniated disc and I'm not free to exercise these days. I have an MRI this Sunday to see what it is. All those element combined put me in a dangerous situation and I'm aware of it.
I've been watching TED videos related to anxiety, brain and psychology etc. They're quite helpful.
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gks6ceq4eQ
You aren't at the mercy of your emotions - your brain creates them
I find this talk very inspiring. The core concept of this talk is that emotions are nothing but predictions our brain makes based on past experiences and the information we feed to it. We have more control over our emotions than we might think we have. We're responsible for how we feel in the long term because we are the only one who can change our way of predicting things. By embracing challenges, turning them into positives, we're effectively constructing our own prediction model for the future.

2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29Vj0-TVHiQ
How to stop your thoughts from controlling your life
One of the conclusions of this talk: It’s not the harsh, traumatic, or horrible events themselves you should fear the most in life but, your own unwillingness to control your reaction to those events. Ultimately, it’s your capacity to take full responsibility for your own thoughts that will dictate the course and growth of not just you but our entire World.
Two things the lecturer suggests. 1. Practice meditation. 2. Feed your brain with selected input (Not the trash from social media we read daily)

These days the more I read and watch, the more clear it is to me that I could do much better at my psychological health. The biological factors are not as important as the training we give ourselves. I might be more sensitive than a lot of people biologically but it doesn't determine how I should feel about my life. Even if my biology has a 50% say in this. I can still manage to get the other 50% in my control.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #81 on: October 16, 2019, 06:49:43 PM »
Those are some interesting ideas. I have definitely been learning that I can do more to control, or maybe "coexist with" is a better phrase, my thoughts. Any thought is only as strong as the attention we give it.

It's a good thing that you're aware of the potential risks of where you are right now, unable to exercise, feeling urges, and sometimes lingering over photos. This is the time to make a decision and then stick with it in the smallest details. If those urges come or thoughts arise, fight back with a meditative practice. Focus on your breath, think about something else, pay attention to how you are feeling instead of what you are thinking.

I know that there is pleasure in entertaining urges for a little bit: by their very nature, urges feel good. But don't give them any room to stick around. The more we flirt with those pleasures, the more strongly our addictive pathways get activated and the harder it is to turn things around.

You're doing great! Stay mindful and committed and don't let the little things trip you up. You've got this!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #82 on: October 21, 2019, 12:19:31 AM »
Thanks Blue, I'm trying to be more mindful about my behaviors these days. Sometimes I can't help looking at things that I'm not supposed to see such as girls' photos but I'm doing better. I noticed that I'm less interested in using Facebook or watching certain videos on Youtube now. I don't know if it's related to my brain getting back to normal. Now I start to feel tired watching videos after some time and I prefer to go outside and take a walk instead sometimes. This is probably a good signal. However, as my vacation at home is coming to an end, I need to start getting ready for my return to school now. I can't just talk about it without taking action. I'm going to follow the steps taught in the book "awaken the giant within" and write things down to see where I'm at.
Mental health-wise, I've been doing much better since I watched those TED talks. Some of the ideas really got imprinted in my head and I could identify the key thoughts that lead me to anxiety and depression. I caught myself several times right at the moment when my mind started to shift towards the depression side and I was able to question my own thoughts immediately and quickly dissolved that soon-to-be depression (mild depression let's say, I don't want to confuse other people as I don't think I have clinical depression). Now I believe that my depression was simply a chain of negative thoughts that went through my head subconsciously. If I could be more mindful with it, I can manage to deter my depression pretty well.
It's really powerful to think about things positively even if I'm forcing it. I first learned about growth mindset and fixed mindset three years ago. It was supposed to be a helpful piece of information, but it actually made me depressed because I was thinking: fuck I have a fixed mindset, I wish I was a person with a growth mindset. Only three years later, now, I suddenly realized that oh boy that immediate reaction itself was fixed mindset at its best... If you think about it, these two mindsets are really self-contained and independent. People who are stuck in a fixed mindset don't realize they're stuck in it (even when they're told that there is a growth mindset) and thus are forever trapped in it. Sometimes we feel helpless and believe that there is no way we can get out of our status quo because we're literally making ourselves more helpless by having this kind of thought.
I feel I'm starting to get the hang of positive thinking. I hope I'm not just tricking myself lol.

Rebooter2019

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #83 on: October 21, 2019, 03:52:32 PM »
I have a small theory. I never read any content on fixed and growth midset, but from what I know about life is that nothing is set in stone. Anything can be changed with strategy, effort and some willpower! You think your midset's holding you back? Then change it! Obviously, it won't change by tomorrow, but with days and weeks of consistente effort!

Thinking positively is already a good step, keep pushing and catch your brain when it try to get you back in the hold midset! It many aspect it's very similar to rebooting.

Stay strong, you can do it man :)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 03:54:12 PM by Rebooter2019 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #84 on: October 21, 2019, 09:27:54 PM »
You know, I think the fact that you're sticking with this recovery is a pretty strong sign that you're in the "growth mindset" camp. And who cares if you're tricking yourself if it's working? (Maybe we should care, but sometimes it's fake it till you make it)

And it's totally normal to sometimes look at things you know you're not supposed to. Even still I will sometimes look for too long at a thumbnail or picture with a woman in it and realize what I'm doing. Here's the thing: on some level, it's not about not wanting sexual stimulation, it's about learning how to live a healthy life knowing that that is something you want. I spent a lot of time thinking that my goal was to never get urges again (and I felt like I was failing every time I got an urge). Now, though, I just assume that I will always have urges and always want porn on some level, so I'm learning how to live with those urges without acting on them. At least for me, it has been a helpful change of mindset.

Keep on keepin' on!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2019, 10:14:28 PM »
Thinking positively is already a good step, keep pushing and catch your brain when it try to get you back in the hold midset! It many aspect it's very similar to rebooting.
Man you're definitely right. I think the life with porn is a mindset in itself. When I was in the porn mindset, anything else seems unreachable and so far away, but once I decided to get out of it things changed drastically. We all can change as long as we make the decision and put efforts in it.

And it's totally normal to sometimes look at things you know you're not supposed to. Even still I will sometimes look for too long at a thumbnail or picture with a woman in it and realize what I'm doing. Here's the thing: on some level, it's not about not wanting sexual stimulation, it's about learning how to live a healthy life knowing that that is something you want. I spent a lot of time thinking that my goal was to never get urges again (and I felt like I was failing every time I got an urge). Now, though, I just assume that I will always have urges and always want porn on some level, so I'm learning how to live with those urges without acting on them. At least for me, it has been a helpful change of mindset.
That's an important change of mindset, Blue. Although I never thought about it directly, I think I'm getting this living with urges thing. Urges emerge from time to time but I'm less obsessed with them and I'm kinda indifferent to those urges as if they're nothing important (Indeed they're nothing important if you choose to ignore them). It's such a relieving discovery for me because when I just started the only thing I was afraid of was those monster urges that kept coming my way non-stop. Now I see them as paper tigers that once I overcame my own fear I could stand my ground without being bothered.

Day 80 now. In general my mood is stable these days. The TED talk and the book I read really changed my mindset towards emotion management. It's not like I don't feel down anymore, but I feel confident that I don't have to be stuck in my feelings. More importantly, most of the time I could stop myself from falling into depression in the first place by analyzing the situation and directing my brain towards the positive side. For the past 3 weeks I've been unable to move my right leg freely and I felt pain in it. Turns out I have herniated disc and it's suppressing my nerves. The doctor told me straightforward that if this pain doesn't go away then I have to do a surgery. Plus I will not be able to do sports I like anymore such as boxing or powerlifting. I'm also going back to university in another country in two days so this news was quite depressing (if I have to come back to do a surgery). I felt low when I heard his words but I quickly adjusted. I took it as a warning sign that I should take better care of myself and stop sabotaging my health. People say "YOLO" so do dangerous stuff and have much fun as you can, party hard, drink hard and do whatever you like when you're young. Now this diagnosis gives me a new perspective. "YOLO" is exactly the reason why we should be more careful with what we do. Some damages are irreversible (thankfully most porn damages are reversible) and we have to be responsible for ourselves. Otherwise a huge discount on your life quality would come your way. I'm thankful to discover this problem now and those symptoms showed me the right way to treat myself. It's been a few days since I'm diagnosed and I think my condition is getting better. Hopefully the symptoms will be gone soon and I'll start exercising properly to prevent the symptoms to show up again.

On a different note, I'm together with the girl I'm dating with now (many people commit to each other before they go physical here in China). We were seeing each other for the last time before I leave for school yesterday and she initiated the kiss with me. It was my second kiss in my life. Last year I had a ONS when I lost my virginity. Since I was too drunk at that time, I didn't feel anything when we kissed. This time it felt real, relaxing and soothing. I can't say I'm 100 percent into her appearance but we have a lot to talk about and that's the main reason I decided to be with her. On some level, I decided to be with her because I needed someone to talk to when I go back to school and I wanted to feel secure. I thought this kind of relationship won't last long so I was quite hesitant to kiss her as I didn't want to give her a false signal. I really had mixed feeling about the whole situation because I do like her but not as much as it should be. I also don't want to be a dick just taking advantage of her. When she kissed me I just went with it and I don't regret this because now I realized that it's probably a good experience for her anyway. I was just thinking too much. I don't know if you guys can relate to this because most of you are from the west I believe and it's completely different culture. I have to say I liked the kiss and it probably made us more attached to each other so it's a good thing. It also had more impact on me than I expected because I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about her and also had some fantasies with her. I stopped myself though because it's kinda like porn thoughts and I didn't want to sabotage my progress. We will see how it goes.
I'll go out and have lunch with two good friends of mine now and I always feel happy to see close friends. Especially when I'm leaving in a day and I won't see them for a long time.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #86 on: October 29, 2019, 06:22:54 PM »
That's an important change of mindset, Blue. Although I never thought about it directly, I think I'm getting this living with urges thing. Urges emerge from time to time but I'm less obsessed with them and I'm kinda indifferent to those urges as if they're nothing important (Indeed they're nothing important if you choose to ignore them). It's such a relieving discovery for me because when I just started the only thing I was afraid of was those monster urges that kept coming my way non-stop. Now I see them as paper tigers that once I overcame my own fear I could stand my ground without being bothered.

This is a really cool way of saying it! Urges are scary but they can only harm us if we let them. They're just feelings at the end of the day. Learning that they are basically harmless and that I can safely let them go by without acting on them has been a huge turning point for me. I'm really glad that you're finding a similar experience.

And huge congratulations on 80 days and the progress in your relationship with that girl. Whether it goes anywhere or not, it sounds like a pretty good experience. Just keep doing what you've been doing and keeping yourself on track.

I also like your perspective on YOLO. This is our chance at life, so we can't be careless with it. Definitely a good insight.

Rebooter2019

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #87 on: November 01, 2019, 07:25:05 PM »
Hey Brand, I can relate to you on the urges side. They can be scary and hard to manage at time, but it's a relief when you realize that they can't exist without you feeding them. If you toss them away as unimportant they lose all power on you and that's wonderful.

It's awesome that you've reach 80 days! Keep going like that. As for the girl you'll see where it goes with time you don't need to rush and overthink this.

I've seen people with that mentality... most of them are all broken at the age of 25 and are suffering! All of them, they will continue to suffure for the rest of they're lives. You have to be careful, not scared or paranoid, but careful in life. That's my thoughts, though :)

Continue on the road of recovery, you're on the right track!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #88 on: November 05, 2019, 03:54:18 AM »
Thank you, Blue and Rebooter. I'm glad to be with you all on this journey ;D

I got back to school. I have to say that I'm doing better than I expected. I was a little bit worried about coming back since I was living in such a stress free environment and I didn't want any stress to enter my life. Well it turns out that I was afraid of my own fear instead of reality. I'd say that there is good and bad but overall it's good.
Positive things:
1. anxiety didn't come back. I used to wake up in the morning and feel anxious about the day. Although I still tend to play with my phone before getting up, I'm not reluctant to start my day anymore. Or let's say, much less reluctant.
2. I feel calm at night. Last semester I would feel lonely and scared at night and have to hang out with my friends to distract myself from reality. Now I don't feel this way. My mind is in a neutral position most of the time. I don't feel excited nor depressed.
3. I feel more grounded in general. I was lying down on the central grass on campus yesterday and I felt at peace. I was there by myself but I didn't feel anything weird about it. In the past few years, I barely felt at peace like this. I always felt like people were judging me or looking at me or laughing at me, especially if I was alone. Yesterday I still had this reaction when I heard some laughter from people around, but this feeling of people judging me was much more mild. Besides that, I can hold eye contacts with stranger girls now without feeling ashamed. I can look straight into their eyes and move on most of the time.
4. symptoms of my herniated disc are much less now compared to two weeks ago. I expect it to be gone in a week or two. Then I'll see a physical therapist to evaluate my condition and customize exercises for me to prevent this from happening again.

Negative things(or neutral):
1. Urges start to flood in these days. It might be related to the fact that the girls in this country are hot in general and dress more freely and explicitly. I find it hard to not look at girls passing by. Another factor is that it's been a month since I masturbated or had a wet dream. In fact, I just had a wet dream last night but I didn't realize it until I saw it in the morning. Usually I would know that I had a wet dream but this time nope I didn't dream about anything, it just happened. I decided not to masturbate in the morning although my brain was asking for a fix. I might masturbate if the urges somehow get too intense. I will try to avoid feeding into my cravings though. I know cravings would come periodically so I'm too worried about them. After I deal with this wave of them, I can probably have peace for another 2 or 3 weeks.
2. It's still hard for me to concentrate on my study. I simply didn't study for too long and my mind is always wandering off. My herniated disc also contributes a bit to this since I can't sit tight like a normal person.

Again I want to remind myself to be careful because complacency is very dangerous. I know I have the tendency to be complacent and I'm noticing it now. I need to be extra CAREFUL!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #89 on: November 05, 2019, 07:41:58 PM »
Glad to hear you're back at school and feeling better than before! Urges are just a part of life, but you know how to deal with them. Don't let your brain fool you into satisfying the cravings with smaller fixes to avoid PMO. It's not just about avoiding PMO but about recovering from addiction. (I spent way too long thinking I was making a lot of progress when I was really just trapped in an addiction to smaller fixes)

I hope this new start at school continues to go great for you! You've got this!

brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #90 on: November 07, 2019, 02:50:22 AM »
Glad to hear you're back at school and feeling better than before! Urges are just a part of life, but you know how to deal with them. Don't let your brain fool you into satisfying the cravings with smaller fixes to avoid PMO. It's not just about avoiding PMO but about recovering from addiction. (I spent way too long thinking I was making a lot of progress when I was really just trapped in an addiction to smaller fixes)

I hope this new start at school continues to go great for you! You've got this!
You're absolutely right about not fooling myself with smaller fixes. I have to admit that I didn't do very well these two days regarding this. I MO'ed once in the morning yesterday because I thought it would help me get rid of the urges. Nope the whole day I was in a triggered state. I went back home in the afternoon to take a nap. I had urges again but I decided to put my phone away and went to sleep. Good decision on my part. But again in the evening before bed, urges rush in like crazy so I MO'ed again because I didn't want to risk it in the middle of the night if I wake up to a boner with tons of cravings. I slept through the night and I felt ok in this morning. As I was scrolling through my phone again in bed, I noticed that I was reluctant to get outta bed and subconsciously I wanted to lead myself into another fix. I immediately jumped outta bed and started preparing my breakfast. I'm glad that I can still make the right decisions most of the time but I know I was close to a full blown relapse.
I need to be careful with not getting into this "restless and playing with phone" state. Being in this state is very dangerous because urges will build up to the point of no return. Today I'll stay in the library. If I feel urges I'll take a walk on campus and have some sunlight. In the evening I will go to my friends place for dinner. After dinner I'll only play with my phone in the living room and I'll leave my phone in the living room when I go to bed.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #91 on: November 07, 2019, 08:21:15 PM »
It's important  and good that you're staying in tune with your emotional state and making plans to put yourself in a safe place when you're feeling triggered. Take the risk seriously and you'll stay on track. The more we flirt with urges, the stronger they get.

Keep it going!


brandnewself

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #92 on: November 09, 2019, 04:11:14 AM »
I passed that day safely after my previous post. However, the next morning, I got up early and later decided to go back to sleep. I knew it could be dangerous because deep in mind I knew that some cravings were about to come out. I went to bed anyway. After an hour or so I experienced very strong urges and I almost thought I was screwed. I came to the forum and clicked on Gabe Deem's video explaining withdrawal symptoms. He saved my ass. I needed someone to say to my face that its worth doing what I'm doing and eventually the withdrawals and cravings will be minimal. I heard it and I pushed through it.
This experience is kinda a wake up call to me. This journey is not easy, I can't ever underestimate the difficulty or else I will fuck it up eventually. I was way too optimistic in the past month or so since I had a high spirit and I pretty much got rid of my depression and anxiety and I had almost no cravings. Now I see that things change and there are different phases in the reboot and I always need to be careful. I need more defense tools in my arsenal to get prepared. I'm happy I made it through yesterday and today the cravings are less strong.
Today is day 92 and I'll keep going.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Is 2019 the year?
« Reply #93 on: November 09, 2019, 08:09:51 PM »
That's awesome, man! You made it through when you thought you were done for. That's a powerful experience to re-tune your brain and learn a new pattern for responding to urges.

This is a huge win! Keep going strong!