Author Topic: My journal to recovery- Could use support  (Read 47311 times)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #725 on: February 26, 2020, 09:10:18 PM »
Glad the forum is back up! I don't really spend much time on this site anywhere except these journals, but do we know what's been going on lately with the site?

Anyway, thinking about what you said about fantasies. I think it's worth remembering that we might always have thoughts come across our minds. We can't control those, and we're only setting ourselves up for a rough time if we hold ourselves responsible for the thoughts that come and go. Now, the thoughts we decide to get caught up, that's a different story. Having fantasy thoughts isn't the problem, just an opportunity to practice letting them go. Getting lost in the fantasies, that's a problem. Even if you start to follow a fantasy thought and catch yourself and let it go, that's still a rewiring action. Maybe instead of saying no fantasies, the more realistic phrasing would be no willful surrender to fantasies.

I can relate to your yoga class experience. I wrote about it when it happened, but last summer I walked pass a girl sunbathing on campus (but who does that anyway?) and she did something that sent my urges going on all cylinders. I realized I was in hot water, and my whole body wanted to just stare, but I closed my eyes and kept walking while just paying super close attention to what my breath felt like. Luckily, I was out of sight in a few steps and that was it, not quite as ongoing as a yoga class, but I know the feeling. So no suggestions or anything, just letting you know I know the feeling. It's all part of it. Our bodies are going to do what they do regardless of our intentions. We can choose how we react, and it sounds like you make a great choice. Sticking to your guns even when your body wanted to do something different seems like a strong learning experience for your brain as you disrupted the pattern of urges leading to looking.

Keep it going, man!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #726 on: February 26, 2020, 09:18:54 PM »
No idea what is up with the site, me too I actually have only viewed other parts of the sites one time other then the journal.

Thanks man you are 100% on the money about everything. That is the way to go with the fantasies. The goal is to let them go, not to not have them.

I remember you writing about that with the girl! Also on the money.

I think I was feeling that since I so much wanted to fantasize look at that girl etc. that it was almost like I did, but feeling that "want" and overcoming it is what beating addiction is all about.

Had a nice date, not super attracted to the girl but she is very sweet and positive. I was over thinking like "oh I don't want her as a girlfriend, what if she wants me as her boyfriend I hurt her feeling etc." total bs. Just enjoy it one step at a time. I enjoyed hanging out with her and i think going on a date was great for my mental health! Less urges after the date and feeling some real connection with a real girl even with minimal touching.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #727 on: February 26, 2020, 11:50:43 PM »
Really strong urges now. Feel like the attempt not to fantasize about sex at all might not be worth it

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #728 on: February 27, 2020, 08:14:15 PM »
Really strong urges now. Feel like the attempt not to fantasize about sex at all might not be worth it

Check that thought! Maybe you're right, but not worth it how? Not fantasize at all in what way? It could be a fair concern from your recovery brain, but it could also be a manipulative question from your addicted brain.

I think I was feeling that since I so much wanted to fantasize look at that girl etc. that it was almost like I did, but feeling that "want" and overcoming it is what beating addiction is all about.

Related to that, I know I still get tripped up thinking that my goal should be not ever wanting to fantasize/look/relapse again. But that feels unrealistic on some level: the porn habit is deeply ingrained my brain, and wanting sexual experiences is hardwired into our biology. For me, the goal has changed from "How can I stop wanting porn?" to "Knowing that porn is something I naturally want, how can I live so that I don't act out on that desire?"

So like maybe we were talking about yesterday, the focus on not fantasizing at all ever is unrealistic and unsustainable. Instead focusing on how you respond to fantasies might take you further. Because they're going to happen, and you know that getting lost in them puts you in a gray zone which puts you at risk of relapse. So fantasizing probably isn't worth it, but responding to your natural tendency to fantasize with patience and understanding probably is.

The book I was reading a little while ago said something like that whenever we try to make a change for the better, our old beliefs and habits are going to throw a tantrum and make everything go wrong in an effort to stay in control. You took some decisive steps to cut out fantasies because you knew they were dangerous. Don't be surprised if they throw a fit to try to get you back.

Keep on going!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #729 on: March 02, 2020, 01:23:11 AM »
Thanks for the great insights man!

Unfortunately I pretty much full on relapsed. I did not MO while looking at P, but I did all sorts of stuff then after MO'd many times. To say I have been feeling pretty down is an understatement. Just now I was feeling unbelievably sorry for myself but coming to the forum I feel a bit better.

So: I have had 4 100 plus day streaks more or less (my best steaks I do not count days). One of them I was doing before 12 step and when I went in to 12 step I was told I had no control yadda yadda and would relapse if I hadn't completed the steps, I came to believe that and i did relapse.

ALL other streaks I lost by trying to cut out all sex fantasy. ALL OF THEM. Each time I felt I had it beat that is what happened. It is not my imagination it is not like I have some disease and I am trying to rationalize that I can control it..... I would be doing very well decide that I shouldn't be fantasizing about girls/sex aim to cut it out, set goals for it etc. then relapse afterwards EVERY TIME.

It doesn't make sense. Do I fantasize about sex more then average? Sure. Is it a problem. NO. I am tired of making that damn mistake and relapsing. So I am not attempting to be A-sexual ever again. Each time I'd cut out fantasy I have morning wood for a few days, but guess what? After relapsing mo'ing like 5x I had even bigger morning wood the next day.... so morning wood is not always a perfect indicator or what I am doing is working.

There is actual no real negative effect on my life of fantasizing about girls in a realistic/vanilla way. Unless I obsess about one girl. The times when I was clean of PMO and in relationships with girls I absolutely did fantasize about them, and I'd tell them the things I fantasized about, they liked it and it also boosted my confidence during sex, it was like mental rehearsal. Fantasy is something where moderation is actually the winning ticket.

Anyways, none of this is rationalization or anything. I am not rationalizing like porn is okay or porn fetish fantasy is okay it is NOT I know that for sure. But I see a pattern in my relapses they all follow the exact same mechanics. I don't understand why I did it 3 times, but I am not doing it again.

I will keep things simple:
NO PORN
NO FETISH FANTASY
NO ACTING OUT FETISH

Ta da that is all. NEVER trying to completely cut out all thoughts of girls or sex again. What is the cost benefit analysis? Like fantasing about girls in a healthy way has never given me PIED, it doesn't make me feel anxious and like shit the next day. I just felt like I shouldn't be doing it because it was lame or not strict enough or something. The downside of cutting it out has been going full blown into porn in the past.

So I spoke with someone who successfully overcame a serious sex addiction and has helped many other people in similar situations. He also said cutting out all masturbation can be a problem for some guys and recommended trying masturbating on an exact schedule, two days per week, I will ad on it'll be evenings only. I am planning to try this as well.

I know I tried masturbating being okay and it did not work, but that is different from having EXACT reasonable limits on it. He advised that once per a day, for example, is enough to keep PIED alive, so less is better.

I can't really think of a super rational reason to not masturbate at all.

Anyway, I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Writing often about why porn and porn fetish fantasy are harmful and I want to quit, worked superbly well. Trying to quit all fantasy totally did not.

Now, I think there is some psychology/ rebound effect at work. So I had no thoughts of sex at all for say 21 days, then I "gave in" and fantasized about a girl I went on a date with for a little bit, I felt like I had failed (this all happened very fast) and I also felt a strong urge for fetish fantasy so in minutes I was fetish fantasizing then soon after I felt I failed so I looked at an escort website, and I failed on that commitment so I kept looking for days.... until I mo ed many times yestarday.

So is sex fantasy a problem? After all I did fetish fantasize in MINUTES afterward. But here is the thing..... I spent probably 3 months no P, no fetish fantasy, while fantasizing about sex MOST nights. I made goals to not fantasize about sex but I made a concious decision that it was not a priority and it was okay to break it, until this last time which led to this relapse. Again I have seen no actual negative effects to fantasizing about sex other then me judging myself for it (not saying this applies to all). I do have a good amount of sexual experience with girls so these fantasies are not porn influenced (I know when they are and THAT I do not allow).

As far as MO. This is just something I am willing to try. For a few weeks. I remember I wanted so badly not to mo years ago that I thought "instead of moing, I'll contact an escort!" and I did, getting myself off mentally by the text exchange etc. That is a hell of a lot worse them Moing. I have done that many times, feeling urges/ horny and doing crazy shit rather then MO. Not saying moing is the answer to an urge, but is it really (for me) as bad as those other actions I took instead?

I have been having trouble on dates huge trouble in part because I am overwhelmingly desparate. Like ridiculously desparate....
And like that crazy sexual impulsivness, I did not used to have that, at all. I have talked to several friends who did no fap and they all said the same (again not saying this applies to everyone!). Plus when I came yestarday, from masturbating. THAT is the moment when I felt awful, like I felt dirty, this is disgusting, look how gross you are etc. Are those rational thoughts? Like is masturbation, really evil? Why is the masturbating the moment where I felt I truly relapsed and not when I was freaking texting escorts and considering that a gray area?

Thoughts like that, which I have seen on other no fap forums make me question some of my ideas. I have a long history of making life harder then it needs to be.... Before I knew what PIED was, I read about "death grip" syndrome. I was motivated to fix it and I read to masturbate one time per week with a gentle grip. I did this without a problem and had some of the best erections and morning wood of my life. If I choose to, I can choose to masturbate 2x per week. If my penis works well and I feel better why not continue with that?

If it does not work well then I can go back to "old faithful"
NO P
NO M
No P fant/ actions.
And then don't worry about anything else, such as thinking of girls etc. just keep it simple. Anyways. Thanks for the support blue. I was feeling really really bad lately. (Did I even post that I lost my job last week?) Glad to get back here and realize I am not powerless. I tried something in my reboot, that doesn't work I have enough proof now.

I may post a bit less, I have had good success just not thinking too much about rebooting before. Also all of my longest P free periods I did not count days, so I'll probably go for that too


Jeks

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #730 on: March 02, 2020, 02:55:22 PM »
Hey quit, just keep staying on track. Only one relapse is still better than two.
About fantasizing: for me it was pretty much quit it or stay where you are. Even thinking about real girls triggered me so much, that i could not resist. It just blossomed into all kind of stuff.
But try things out, maybe it works for you like this. Otherwise you should try out the rabbithole method, which helped me a lot with fantasizing. Ive posted it a few times, but when you are interested,  i can send you how the method works.
Remember why you fight this addiction and then take this to stand up again.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 03:12:34 PM by Jeks »

wecandoit

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #731 on: March 02, 2020, 03:39:32 PM »
Hey quit, just keep staying on track. Only one relapse is still better than two.
About fantasizing: for me it was pretty much quit it or stay where you are. Even thinking about real girls triggered me so much, that i could not resist. It just blossomed into all kind of stuff.

Yes, getting involved in fantasizing is very dangerous. This has made me relapse many times even when everything else was going smooth. I was doing a great job staying away from watching/looking at anything, but I drowned myself in fantasizing about porn scenes and my own fantasies developed from porn. Before I knew, I was edging to them and then moving to edging to porn.

The idea is, we probably can't make those porn flashbacks/fantasies not come at all because I believe they are part of the withdrawal. But we have the choice what to do when they come. It's not easy, I know, but it's crucial.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #732 on: March 02, 2020, 08:15:36 PM »
Man, this mind meld is good when it's good but it's bad when it's bad. I'm really sorry to hear we both had a bad go of it this time around.

Trial and error isn't the most efficient way to do things, but I wonder if there's even another possible way to deal with addiction. I'm going to hold off on saying anything about your plans because I think trying them out and seeing for yourself is important. I can say whatever I want, but that's just me saying what I think, not what works for you. (And that sounds like I'm secretly disapproving, but that's not the case at all. I just want to let you know why I'm not saying a lot about all that you said.)

One thing you said did catch my attention, though, and that's your resolve to not try to be asexual ever again. I think that's wise. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. It can be easy to think that recovering from a sex-related addiction means shutting down the whole sexual operation, but that's not healthy either. If I'm going to say anything, I think it would be that thinking about women and sex is probably normal and, like you mentioned, probably not a real problem. Fantasizing (if that means thinking about women in an addictive, life-escaping kind of way) is a problem. So maybe what you're calling vanilla fantasies is just part of the normal stream of thought. Trying to shut that down might be like telling an alcoholic they can't drink anything (even water) and that's only going to put more pressure on you and lead to relapse. We don't have to kill the healthy parts of us to get rid of the unhealthy ones.

Onward and upward, man. We've got this. We're armed with knowledge and experience that we didn't have before, even if we don't have a perfect handle on it all just yet. Keep learning, keep growing, keep checking in when it's right for you. I'm sure I'll be here, ready to hear all about it.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #733 on: March 02, 2020, 10:19:59 PM »
Dude great analogy about the alcoholic not drinking water, that is how it felt. The last 3 weeks genuinely were not manageable. As far as not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I think it goes the two ways: Not throwing away all sexuality AND not throwing away everything i was doing to avoid the porn addiction. Stuff like the Smart recovery tools were working amazing. Thinking now a whole host of things could have probably prevented my relapse.

My therapist was on vacation for the last two weeks, I think seeing him once or twice would have lowered my stress enough to get through the first day I started looking at P subs, it at least would have happened later. Had I not lost the job Ditto I would say. But who knows, the no sex thoughts I think may have led to something like this anyway.

Was feeling bad still today called my mom and she said come over NOW. So I spent the am with her and all afternoon with a friend joking around and stuff. Being easy on myself, but thats okay I guess. I was truly in a bad place for some days, so going from that to feeling okay and having fun with a friend is as much progress as I could hope for, so no need to be hard on myself for not say progressing on goals. I needed some recovery mentally from the job firing anyhow, it really was messing with my head, huge amounts of doubt

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #734 on: March 05, 2020, 07:49:07 PM »
Yeah, babies and bathwater. Of course there were things that could have prevented your relapse, but that's not a very useful game. it happened, so now it's just time to learn from it and move on. You know what things really help and what things are maybe "too much," so keep adjusting and find your way.

Glad you get in touch with family and friends and start feeling better. We numb ourselves with addiction when we're feeling bad. If we're feeling good, it just won't be as attractive to us.

Carry on. One bad day is just one bad day. We can pick back up and get on with our lives without losing too much sleep over it.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #735 on: March 10, 2020, 02:33:49 PM »
Thanks bro, great point it's just one day.

So far the MO in moderation is not working. I am not necessarily deciding to never MO again. But a period after this relapse of cutting it out, makes sense. I also may cut it out permanently.

Anyways, felt rough for awhile there, but on the upswing. Staying busy.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #736 on: March 10, 2020, 08:00:05 PM »
Yeah, MO at this point might be too closely linked with P for your brain. Giving yourself a good buffer of time without any brain-dopamine overload is probably a good idea, even if you do end up reintroducing MO (which, at least for me and my recovery, is a nonstarter).

Carry on! 100 steps forward and 2 steps back is still 98 steps forward, and you can make up those 2 in no time!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #737 on: March 14, 2020, 11:15:53 AM »
Thanks bro!

Honestly still been off track. MOing a decent amount of the days. Guess I gotta claw my way out. Perhaps it's a good idea to post more again.

Tried having MO a part of my recovery very quick message NOPE(at least for now). Also been posting less and having trouble getting some distance from mo and thats not working, so going to post.

It is quite difficult to stop myself from MO at the moment, but I'll remind myself that once I get some distance it is far far easier. Just gotta get through these first few weeks.

I guess it sort of became a bit normal.

Well let me motivate myself:
Stopping this MO will mean MORE TIME.
And knowing my penis will work for when I do meet a girl.

Those things are pretty darn worth it!

Edit: Just a thing I noticed. Generally my "slips" have involved glancing at porn and porn substitutes. My recent slips have been MOing with porn influenced fantasy. But I notice the after affect is not as powerful as even the looking at porn was. Not saying it is good/okay, it's not! (MO with porn fantasy definetly no good, even if MO in future is okay). But is makes me rethink a little bit on how I was operating. It felt like when I MO'd that was a "real" relapse, porn or no porn. But looking at porn sites, escort sites (even texting them!) I kind of viewed as my streak still going. I notice though, that stuff seemed to REALLY mess with my emotions and feelings/ brain chemistry way more then MO does. Again this does not mean MO is okay (for the moment, though it may never be okay). But I am seeing that P without MO (for me) is actually much worse then MO without P. Something to be aware of in the future. Like I used to have urges to MO and instead look at P substitues "instead" of that because I could more easily rationalize it was not a lapse, I now know in terms effect it seemed to have on me, that was not the case.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 11:26:28 AM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #738 on: March 14, 2020, 07:40:24 PM »
It's all learning, and when you make changes based on what you learn, you're progressing! Even if it's for my own benefit, I'm glad to hear you're thinking about posting more, lol.

And I think what you say about the effects of P and M being different is useful. If nothing else, it tells you that you can't tell yourself that the "gray area" is really a "gray area." It's not, but our addictions are good at telling us something "doesn't count." I also think you're right to think about cutting it all out for now, at least to get your feet back under you. I know when I'm fresh off a relapse I feel more sensitive to triggers. Even if you can see MO being a part of a more stable recovery, it probably isn't very helpful at this point.

We're just going along a day at a time, keep it up!

Jeks

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #739 on: March 15, 2020, 02:29:39 AM »
100 % agree. MO is often more curse than blessisng. But for me it was also very difficult to cut, so just keep being patient with yourself. Continue to find reasons why to cut all this crap out and hold on to them.

Keep going quit. You got this.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 02:31:37 AM by Jeks »

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #740 on: March 22, 2020, 05:50:30 PM »
Thanks for the support and feedback guys! It's pretty on the money. Life pretty crazy right now! But I guess it is for almost everyone

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #741 on: March 23, 2020, 08:01:59 PM »
Crazy is right. We are universally turned upside down individually. It's tough to make sense of the best way to take of ourselves or each other. It really does come down to doing the best we can right now and being generous and understanding as we do.

Sending good vibes your way! Like we learn with urges, everything passes eventually. We just need to take care of ourselves until then.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #742 on: April 24, 2020, 01:40:34 AM »
Thanks bro!

Wow been awhile since I updated this journal. Been dealing with some drama today feeling indignant. Someone acting pretty insane and accusing me of nonsense. I guess I got into one of those "argue with pigs roll around in the mud" situations. Just reminding myself that it will pass.

Over all building some good momentum, exercising a lot

BlueHeronFan

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #743 on: April 24, 2020, 07:45:27 PM »
Sorry that happened, but it's good to see you around! I lost track of time and disappeared for a while, but it's good to start rebuilding some of the habits that just sort of disappeared during the last few weeks for whatever reason.

It's good to hear that you're building some momentum and exercising. I know I've been exercising a couple of times a day lately, just to keep the blood flowing now that I'm stuck at home all the time. It's good for the body and the emotions.

Keep it going, man!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #744 on: April 28, 2020, 08:58:24 PM »
Thanks! I have been feeling a bit sad on off and off today and the support really helps me to feel better.

Really I can trace the bad feeling to talking to some girls today, we did yoga in the park. Then we talked a bit at the end I was uncertain and was like "see you around". I guess I just feel really bad and lonely about that, like I really want that company, to be around women. I just moved as well and feel a bit unsettled, but once I adapt I bet it'll be good.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #745 on: May 02, 2020, 12:26:30 AM »
Hey all, had an urge just recently but overall doing very well

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #746 on: May 19, 2020, 05:37:03 PM »
Hey everyone, went for a hike yesterday that was really nice. Making a few changes in my life. Thinking of perhaps logging here again, maybe doing a month ago. I just found this article which really I am finding helpful for future mindset/ preventing lapses or how to look at them:
https://www.unk.com/blog/3-relapse-prevention-strategies/?7233

It seems to be meant for therapists treating people, but I find it helpful for myself

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #747 on: May 21, 2020, 07:19:02 PM »
Hey everybody, last few days been going pretty good. Yesterday was great actually, I think I made some new friends.

Going to tighten up my diet a bit, been eating a bit too much. Nothing crazy just going to cut out a few things

kopp

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #748 on: May 26, 2020, 02:51:04 AM »
You're doing great man :)

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: My journal to recovery- Could use support
« Reply #749 on: May 28, 2020, 07:47:14 PM »
Thanks so much for the support man! Really appreciate it.

MO'd a few times with P type fantasy a few times this week. So, want to tighten things up.

Anyways, been putting it off and not on the forum much but think it could be cool to get more into it for a time. Thinking to set a 30 day goal/ day count going.

Going to make today day 1.
Day 1

Had a decent day. I was very tired but I took a nap and then went to the park, I ended up meeting a sweet girl and we went for a walk together for about an hour and a half. I am happy that I took things slow, ended on  a high note and we exchanged numbers and will likely hang out again next week