Author Topic: Reboot take two  (Read 3406 times)

switched_off_again

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Reboot take two
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:42:03 PM »
23/01/2019 - Day 0

Here I go again...

Hello - I'm back here once again to journal my second reboot attempt. Reboot take 1 (documented in another thread) kicked off last September. The early weeks were hard, but I think I made real progress. I had one relapse shortly before Christmas but managed to climb back on the wagon, and again thought I was doing well.

Then I hit the buffers last Thursday. I had an exceptionally stressful day, was really, really down in the evening, and ended up pouring a couple of large drinks and consoling myself by running back in to the arms of the chat site which has been at the heart of my addiction. What an idiot... Before I know it I'm back at square one, all the infatuation and anxiety about particular performers returns, all the self-hate and obsession with the situation the next day. My thoughts just going obsessively round and round in circles... Behaving like a pathetic teenager. My anxiety levels rising... "I think I've pissed her off with my neediness.... Will she be on tonight.... I wonder if she really cares...".

I hate being a slave... These are not rational thoughts. How I wish I'd never done this to my brain.

So reboot take 2 starts today. Although I've naturally lost a bit of motivation and drive after failing. I shouldn't have let my guard down - all the sensitized pathways were still there lurking, even though I didn't realize it...

Let's try to look at this positively. I know more about what to expect during the reboot. The early days will feature anxiety, depression and a sense of loss. I'll then think my libido has flicked in to over-drive and will be turned on and triggered by the mearest suggestion of the female form. Of course these are the now starved sensitized pathways screaming out for some action. Nothing to do with proper sexual energy... Thinks might start to normalize a few weeks and months in to the process, but I'll be at risk for a long time.

Hard mode is the only thing that works. No peeking, no flicking through pictures on Instagram. Learn visualization and distraction techniques wherever possible to actively get me to concentrate on anything but the triggers and obsessive thoughts. Mindfulness is something I've thought about before... I will read more on you brain on porn. I will be more proactive.

Here goes... I hope I can re-discover my enthusiasm for breaking out of this self inflicted vicious cycle. I hope I can start believing that permanent change is possible.

This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2019, 06:17:56 PM »
Day 1

I have absolutely no urge to PMO or anything. I think my previous streak maybe broke the M habit. It's the wholly irrational thoughts about a few of the performers at - my nemesis - that stupid cam site - that continue to be a problem. It's not the end of a relationship, but my overly sensitised brain treats it like it is. So what if you never see her again, it's a wholly false relationship based upon a financial transaction.

Again trying to be positive, I tried a mindfulness technique and ordered a book on the subject. I want to learn how to get a bit more control over my thoughts. I want to get my relationship with this stupid cam site in to proportion. It clearly has been a part of my life, and something I relied upon too much for relaxation, for too long. It would be so good if I woke up tomorrow morning with partial amnesia, and had no memory of it.

All in all, my main emotion today has been anger at myself for allowing me to become this person, and annoyance that I have to waste so much time thinking about this subject. There are so many other things in life much more worth thinking about...

Early days I suppose...
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

workinprogressUK

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2019, 05:33:08 AM »
It's not the end of a relationship, but my overly sensitised brain treats it like it is. So what if you never see her again, it's a wholly false relationship based upon a financial transaction.

Bullseye. We've diminished our rational thinking brains to the point where we no longer attach the correct priority to stimuli. The chimp brain takes over and, when we're at a weak point, our over-sensitised, P-craving, chimp brain convinces us that the cam relationship matters more than our real-world relationships, so we invest more in our P/chat ego than in our real self and the spiral deepens. You look like you read the same kind of healing stuff that most of us do. I saw YBOP describe it as;

"For an addict, it’s an imbalance of power: Weakened self-control systems (hypofrontality), are overwhelmed by the cravings emanating from sensitized addiction pathways and a desensitized reward circuit. In other words – your willpower has eroded".

Reading your post has given me an important reminder of the need to allocate priority with my human brain and not let my chimp decide. Thanks for that, and good luck staying straight today.

BigMog

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2019, 02:58:38 PM »
Hi Switched-off, I’ve been trying mindfulness the last year or so and I think, as another tool in the toolkit, it can help. Amongst other things I think it’s helped me to be a bit more aware of what’s happening in my brain at crucial times like when the chimp brain, as WIPUK mentions, starts jabbering. As well trying it on my own, I tried a few different apps and eventually found one that I really like and it even has a module on coping with cravings. (The cravings are actually unspecified but I think the exercises are ideal for us PMO addicts). I try to do a 10 minute guided mindfulness excercise most days as I find it helps having a friendly voice guiding me through it.
Keep up the good work. Looking through some of the posts on this site, it is clear to me, we can make permanent change!

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2019, 07:11:09 PM »
Day 2

Thanks both for commenting. 'Chimp-brain'. I'd never really thought of it like that. But get it now. BigMog - what mindfulness app do you recommend?

From a journal perspective, today has been ok. The fact that I've had a drink, it's Friday evening, and I'd rather watch music videos on YouTube is promising.

Music vs a wee flash of bare skin. No contest, music must always win.
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

BigMog

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2019, 08:43:41 AM »
Hi Switched-off, I use one called Headspace. I tried a few different ones, but then stuck to that. I used it free for a while but then paid for premium. It’s probably worth trying a few to see which you feel most comfortable wih.

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2019, 06:53:30 PM »
Thanks BigMog - I'll check it out.

Day 3

All good. No inclination to visit that cam site.

Sorta hoped that we might've had some real life action in the house this evening. But no it was the usual couple of episodes of scandi noir followed by being told how tired she was. The story of my life. It really is hard work.

In an almost 30 year relationship I can only think of one time she took the lead and initiated.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 07:01:48 PM by switched_off_again »
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2019, 07:49:22 PM »
Accepting the fact that given my age I'm unlikely to ever have a fulfilling sex life, bearing in mind we're talking menopause, looking after old relatives, then being old ourselves; I really wish there was something I could take to completely kill all interest in sex. I wish I could be happily celibate. There's so much more interesting things to be getting on with... Fecking chimp brain - I hate you...
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

BigMog

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2019, 08:34:20 AM »
Hi switched-off, I can absolutely relate to what you’re saying! Menopause etc. I still find it difficult to accept that my sex life may be at an end but, meanwhile, my “chimp” brain or the “chimp part” of my brain is still on the lookout for sex opportunities.
For me, despite what “chimp” may sometimes say, PMO is not an alternative to a real sex life. Better to be celibate and fill my life with other good activities than be in the grip of this addiction with all its negative effects.
And in the long run, who knows? Maybe if I fix myself perhaps things can change in my relationship with my wife.
Not sure if all that applies to you but I hope it helps. BTW don’t be too hard on your chimp brain. He is what he is and he does what comes naturally. What the mindfulness has taught me, though I can’t yet always apply it in practice, is that it is possible to notice when it is the chimp brain talking, note it,  but not act on it.
Anyway, sorry I went on for too long.
You’re doing the right thing. Keep at it!

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 06:05:01 PM »
Hi BigMog - don't apologise for going on too long:-) It is good to read your thoughts especially as you seem to be in a similar place.

Obviously my mood is a bit all over the place at the moment which was reflected in yesterday's post, Today was better - I even went for relatively extended periods not thinking about my addiction. Tiny steps in the right direction, haha!!
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

workinprogressUK

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 11:20:08 AM »
Hi switched off.

In case you don't know, the chimp reference comes from The Chimp Paradox, written by Professor Steve Peters. I don't know where you're based but he's a pretty famous psychiatrist over here in the UK, where he worked on the mental wellbeing of Team Sky cycling, the UK olympic cycling team and various other top sports people, many of whom enjoyed great success despite having a fairly unhealthy mental state. Do you know him? The link below is to a cartoon that explains it in a nutshell. Basically, the the limbic system hasn't really evolved as the emotional control centre of our brains in the 5-million years since humans started to evolve from apes. It's still designed to stop us from getting eaten, or killed, or to encourage us to reproduce our genes, and it's not very well suited to managing a human being in the early 21st century. You probably know that stuff. It's a great read, though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV8SO7siFmo

I see the challenge that you describe; a 30-year relationship which isn't the way it used to be, with P filling in some of the vacuum. That whole Coolidge Effect that gets described so eloquently on YBOP, and the way it drives us to seek novelty and variety. I'm not sure nature designed us to be monogamous for 30-40 years, but western society's designed around that construct, isn't it? And if guys like you, BigMog and I want to be "inside" guys in that society, we need to find ways to function within the rules, which pisses your chimp off to no end! P's not the answer though, right? You're here, so you know that. I find myself agreeing with both you and BigMog again.... gotta find ourselves as many healthy, engaging, real-world things to keep our human brains on the front foot, and stop our stressed-out and outdated limbic systems from calling the shots. Well.... that's kind of how I see it, anyway. Could be a crock of shit, of course  ;D ;) but I'm willing to invest in that solution for a while longer.



BigMog

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2019, 03:41:54 PM »
Hi WIPUK, Well done, that’s a really good summary of Steve Peters’ book. Also thanks for your last line, that’s the first time I can remember laughing out loud at a RN post. ;D.
FYI I’ll carry on buying into the Chimp Brain idea too!

Hi Switched-off, I hope your days continue to improve. Keeping taking those tiny steps!

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2019, 06:32:18 PM »
30/01/2019 - Day 7

Well I'm trying not to count the days too much, but I suppose I should note that is seven days without P, without M, without O, without that stupid cam site, and without Instagram or any other dopamine micro-dosing source. I don't really see it as just seven days though because I feel as I've slipped back in to the non-addict habits I'd established before crashing off the rails just under two weeks ago. As such, that cam site etc, feel a lot more distant than just seven days - I guess that's a good thing.

My mood is a bit iffy - up and down. Whether that is a result of withdrawal or not, I don't really know. I'm not sure I subscribe to the view that everything we feel during reboot is down to withdrawal, I think we can focus overly on what the effects are, which itself can contribute to any general anxiety and/or depression we may be experiencing.

BigMog, WIPUK - thanks for the support and introducing me to the work of Steve Peters. I'm UK based too, but was not yet aware of it. It's interesting and there are obvious overlaps with mindfulness. I've got a mindfulness book to read - as yet haven't had the time!


.... I'm not sure nature designed us to be monogamous for 30-40 years, but western society's designed around that construct, isn't it? And if guys like you, BigMog and I want to be "inside" guys in that society, we need to find ways to function within the rules, which pisses your chimp off to no end! P's not the answer though, right? You're here, so you know that. I find myself agreeing with both you and BigMog again.... gotta find ourselves as many healthy, engaging, real-world things to keep our human brains on the front foot, and stop our stressed-out and outdated limbic systems from calling the shots. Well.... that's kind of how I see it, anyway. Could be a crock of shit, of course  ;D ;) but I'm willing to invest in that solution for a while longer.


Yep - I too have thought about the whole monogamy thing before, and how well it sits with human desire and instinct. I guess anyone suffering from an over-zealous porn habit would though! But obviously we all equally feel straying outwith monogamous bounds is wrong, and that is one of the main motivators for rebooting.

How to keep a semblance of passion and desire alive within a long term relationship though?? I've read some of the standard advice online on this, for example dressing up, making dates for lovemaking, messages, etc. However when I try this, I get told I feel uncomfortable dressing up and I like it to be more spontaneous... I guess that is fair enough - we all like what we like - but spontaneity is difficult when we both have different bedtimes, we are always expressing how tired we are, and most of our communication is about other people's (family etc) issues. Ah well, I guess we are on quite a different page at the moment. And I'm not looking for any pity, because I have sought pleasure by other means previously, and expectations will have changed partly as a result of this.

The main thing at the moment though is that I know I am doing the right thing and I am coping.

Keep on keeping on! Best to you all!
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2019, 07:00:02 PM »
Meant to say on the sex in a long term monogamous relationship thing, I read a book a few years ago - Mating In Captivity by Esther Perel, which tackled this subject. Not sure it did much good me reading it without discussing it with my wife, but I might dig it out again.

And read it without discussing with my wife again  8) - I can't bring up the subject too much obviously, because that could easily be perceived as a form of pressure. I guess I need to just focus on everything in life other than sex at the moment.
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

workinprogressUK

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2019, 09:15:23 AM »
I've got a mindfulness book to read - as yet haven't had the time!

 ??? ;D ;D That's hilarious. Too funny for RN.
Congrats on another day sane.

Pcpowder

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2019, 04:58:19 PM »

 I guess I need to just focus on everything in life other than sex at the moment.

When you figure out how to successfully do this, please tell me how!!

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2019, 07:49:46 PM »
I've got a mindfulness book to read - as yet haven't had the time!

 ??? ;D ;D That's hilarious. Too funny for RN.
Congrats on another day sane.

Well you've gotta laugh really:) The world would be a much better place if we all laughed more at the silly inner turmoil we create about trivial things!

Day whatever it is, maybe 10, maybe more...

Still feel no urge to indulge in P or that cam site that was the main chain around my neck.

I did message my wife earlier this week suggesting a date this weekend, but when the weekend came around, my son was in last night (which is a big no sex wise for my wife), then she had to visit her mum, her friend who's unwell and her friend who's grieving today, so was too tired tonight. I cleaned the house, bought her flowers and made tea while she was away counselling all and sundry.

That's mature monogamous relationships in the modern world for you.... In days gone by I would have relieved myself online via the wall to wall tube sites or by flashing a credit card towards a smiling girl on a cam site... Not tonight. I played my guitar instead and re-assured myself that some sort of mental equilibrium and satisfaction is somewhere ahead of me.
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

BigMog

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2019, 03:55:15 PM »
Well done Switched-Off! Playing the guitar was definitely the better option. ;)

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2019, 07:12:29 PM »
Hello all - just checking in briefly. It's weird, my last post was made at a point of maximum frustration. I just wanted sex within marriage to be simple again but so much seemed to be getting in the way....

So about an hour later, I slipped and pmo'd... However it was a very functional and forgettable experience - just relieved alot of pent up brooding energy.

The next evening my wife came on to me in the most unexpected manner and we ended up breaking alot of the 'unspoken rules' we have established over the years. It was exilerating and re-affirming.

Since then I have been more relaxed and not really thought too much about sex or the porn issue. All the bad habits including that cam site feel like a long time ago.

So even though I have relapsed a few times and can't say I'm a massive number of days clean, I still feel good. I feel that I have made real progress breaking really bad and deeply entrenched habits since first waking up to the reboot process last September.

The main point to take away from this - if you slip, just climb back on the wagon asap and all will not be lost.

Keep strong everyone!

This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 07:19:23 PM »
Day something or other... No clean streak to celebrate but still trying to reboot...

I'm quite confused really. I've been binge watching a trashy Netflix thriller called You, and it seems to dial in to my messed up porn addict brain... Trigger alert - if you haven't watched it, don't...

The subterfuge, the voyuerism, the dark side of the brain... It's all there as entertainment. Just a pity the main protagonist is a sociopath....

Bah. I can't even watch Netflix without feeling messed up and all urgy... I should stick to Mary Poppins....

Maybe best to stop thinking and hope tomorrow is a more grounded and humdrum sorta real life day.

Stay strong...
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 07:24:19 PM »
Ps: strange thought but if I had PIED I'd have a much clearer and definite goal.

My only goal is to be a better less guilt ridden person.
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

BigMog

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2019, 12:58:09 PM »
Sounds like a perfectly reasonable goal to me.
Kicking the PMO into touch will definitely help with that.
Keep fighting!

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2019, 12:02:58 PM »
Hi BigMog

Thanks for your continued support! I've been a bit of a mess over the last few days... It all started with me attempting to close my account on that stupid cam site - things went awry...

I'm feeling mixed up, but determined to climb back on the wagon. I'm sooo annoyed at how pre-occupied I've become with that bloody site!!!! Time to come up with a new strategy for breaking free!!

More soon.

Keep fighting everyone!
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2019, 07:24:06 PM »
Hello all

First things first, let's establish some sort of baseline in terms of current clean streak. I can't remember for sure, but I think I've been completely clean as in no PMO and no flirting with Instagram etc since Sunday. So

Reboot kick off: 10th Feb 2019. Days clean 5 Feels alot longer actually, perhaps because the couple of relapses I've had since beginning of January have been brief albeit very painful experiences.

Looking back at my recent posts, I wasn't doing too well last week, although I thought I was... I was diverting my attention from late evening sitting in front of a cam site or porn filled screen by watching the Netflix series - You. Something about it really resonated with my porn addicted or more accurately cam site addicted mind - the voyuerism, the flirtatious messaging and all that - on reflection, a really poor choice of programme from a trigger point of view.

So... Although I hadn't been actively visiting the cam site, I hadn't got round to closing my account. I decided to do this, perhaps last Thursday morning. Then on Thursday evening, while not perhaps in best frame of mind, having watched the Netflix thing, I thought I'd go on to check that the account had indeed been closed. Of course it hadn't and I can't really explain why, I purchased more credits... So stupid...

But here's the thing - I didn't use the credits to purchase any time with a performer, I instead sent a couple of messages to the object of my infatuation and went to bed. Next day, I have to go check replies, and we're back to square one. Me feeling some sort of fantasyland connection with a good looking stranger, me jealous that she has other visitors a lot more able both mentally and financially to engage, and therefore me feeling hugely guilt ridden and depressed... This is a mental disorder, not a pleasure!!! Next step - I want to ditch the cam site again, and knowing my account won't be closed if it is in credit, I ditched the credits by sending 'surprises' to performers who aren't even online. Such a waste, in a buying drugs then throwing in the bin sort of way (probably still the better course of action).

The next couple of nights, I'm feeling mentally all over the place, so I end up briefly engaging in PMO purely for some sort of relief from the self-inflicted pain.

The next few days were difficult because of all the dark post relapse moods, even although I didn't actually engage with anyone on the site. An exceptionally dark evening/ night on Tuesday, reading posts on here at extreme length, just feeling entirely stressed by the process.

However... I started to feel better yesterday and today I feel good and strong - like I'm walking on much thicker ice. Sorry for going on - I just needed to write that out, so I could try and straighten out in my head what the latest mess was all about.

On to the positives... I've started reading about and trying a few mindfulness exercises. I think it has been a positive experience - definitely feeling more at peace with my thoughts, and enjoying focusing on the moment rather than doing everything on auto-pilot while lost in mental turmoil. The irony of writing something like that when all this journal is, is a self-obsessed out-pouring of those very thoughts.

Something else I found interesting was reading an article about changing habits which talked about the difference between saying/ thinking 'I don't' instead of 'I can't'. As a vegetarian, I don't eat meat. Don't ask me to justify it, I just don't. It's been so long since I became a vegetarian, I don't have any comprehension of why I don't eat meat, I just don't and I know with certainty I never consciously will. If I do accidentally it's no big deal, I'll just go back to not eating meat, I won't immediately feel the need to devour ten cows... I don't care if other people eat meat, that's there business, but I don't. That's exactly where I hope to be one day in relation to porn. I don't do porn, because I just don't. It's not for me and it never will be... That is the holy grail.

Final thought... Have you ever pondered on how self-obsessed and isolating this disorder is? All these thoughts about ME... All this inner turmoil that has to stay just that - inner turmoil. I was walking along the street on Tuesday evening by myself, and I have never before felt this as strongly as I felt it then - all these people around me but it was like a dream where I wasn't really there, invisible to all, locked inside my head... It really was a weird experience. Thinking about it more, I have experienced it before when I was suffering from an anxiety disorder many years ago - makes more sense now.

Anyway... In real-life, I am not really that self-obsessed. I relate well with others. It's just this stupid, horrible secret that no-one talks about. I wonder if that will ever change?

On we go... Here's hoping the ice is strong for the rest of the walk...
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0

switched_off_again

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Re: Reboot take two
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2019, 07:36:21 PM »
16/0219 00.35 - Days clean 6

The ice is thick.
This is my old journal. Just I ever feel the need to read from start to finish.
http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16467.0