Author Topic: A new beginning  (Read 3123 times)

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #100 on: June 11, 2019, 04:05:31 PM »
I've still been slipping up posting here consistently, it's like I only think of writing here when I am busy with something else lol, maybe bc most of my triggers have come while doing intensive work, while at other times my triggers have mostly come when I was bored. Oh well, will set a reminder to post tomorrow and hopefully will get this going again.

Other than that, feeling pretty normal outside of a few triggers here and there; one actually made my heart rate go crazy, but writing it down in my urge journal; the exact feeling of the trigger (which body parts, how intense, mental thoughts while triggered, etc.)  and detailing possible reasons why it's coming up is really therapeutic to me.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #101 on: June 12, 2019, 06:15:16 PM »
Sounds good! I've got a reminder set on my phone, but it still doesn't always work out.

Keep on keeping on! Sounds like that urge journal is really working out

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #102 on: June 13, 2019, 02:34:35 PM »
Thanks! Yeah it has really helped alot...you can make it into a game where you can find patterns, rank them from worst to least, which ones can I prepare for next time vs. which ones are inevitable. Lol maybe not the most fun thing to do but it beats stressing out over them.

Really good meditation today. I had an insight where one of my friends fucked up, and instead of trying to let it go as soon and most effectively as I can, I talked to him about it today and we dealt with the issue. I feel like we understand each other alot better now and are better friends because of it.

Feeling pretty confident today, but still no lady prospects... there's a balance between putting yourself out there and not forcing anything, and I feel like I struggle alot of the time being either way too passive or way too aggressive (not in a physical way, I'll just flirt aggressively). Perhaps I've been too passive recently, but I honestly don't feel a need to go out and talk to girls right now, its so weird that when I was PMOing I would always feel like I should take every opportunity even if I eventually decided to PMO instead of go out, but now it feels like I can turn down girls or opportunities just because I feel like it. Does that make me an asshole? Am I hiding from my insecurity towards talking to women? These are questions I'm still trying to figure out, right now I'd lean towards 'no' for the first one and 'yes' for the second one. I'll push a little bit if there's an opportunity, for sure

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #103 on: June 13, 2019, 05:40:29 PM »
I really relate to this idea of turning down women. It might be rude or hiding on some level, but I think there's something more to it. I've written  before about how I've been working out a difficult breakup in the last few months. It might seem rude/wrong to say, but part of what drove the breakup was that I was feeling more confident in myself because of the work I've been doing on recovery, getting healthier, etc. Instead of thinking "I'd be lucky to get any girl ever." I started thinking "You know, maybe I could actually be worth something to interesting, attractive women." I don't know what it all means, but I've definitely noticed myself being more selective in the last few months as I've been hitting recovery harder. I do plan on taking advantage of the opportunities when they come up (if they ever came up, you know?)

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #104 on: June 14, 2019, 03:31:51 PM »
That's a great way of thinking about it @Blue, like I am feeling so good about my friendships and my work that I don't want to compromise that time for a person I'm not interested in. While this is how I feel now, my brain has a tendency to always find some problem in my life, with anything. There always has to be something....lol. Anticipating it, but not stressing out about it. Trouble sleeping, but on a month-by-month basis has improved greatly since the start of my streak. Partly because I am able to relax more at night through meditation techniques, but I also have been pretty "in the moment" throughout the day which is mentally exhausting, and can make me quite emotional with racing thoughts at times lol. What are ya gunna do, thoughts are thoughts. I prefer action.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #105 on: June 14, 2019, 06:01:35 PM »
So true, my brain is always working on something that it wants to worry about. I've started meditating and reading for about an hour before bed (no screens) and it has made a big difference for me, no more lying awake with racing thoughts.

Keep on taking action and making progress (and I will too)!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #106 on: June 15, 2019, 11:01:54 AM »
That sounds like everything is going really well on your end. Having standards with girls is really good.

I have a lot of difficulty with the balance of pursuing women too. I was focused on my life and business first and it felt nice to not want women as bad, but then I realized it'd been like a month since I had any prospect of a date and I felt a little confidence with women.

Then I was like okay I'll start talking to women again and then a small part of me wanted to make that a priority again.


Having more standards over who you want to date is definitely a great thing though. It's more grounded in reality IMO. Say a girl is attractive, our mind may think I want to date her! But no matter how attractive if she didn't have the qualities or personality we want, in reality dating her likely would not add to our lives.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #107 on: June 15, 2019, 02:43:39 PM »
Thanks guys...yeah there's definitely a balance between "yeah I'm not interested in her" and "wow she's cute so I have to go for it." Like sometimes I'll meet someone that I think I'm not compatible with, and then we end up really compatible, and vice versa is true as well. I think that does mean for the most part you should take advantage of opportunities even when it's uncomfortable, which is hard for me since I am still really shy around new people unfortunately.

Feeling antsy today, it's hard to do anything calmly, feeling clumsy and my face is hot for some reason lol. I prefer this hyperactiveness over depression for sure, but I think I might do a second meditation later today + play some ball to help me calm down. Right now, gunna get as much work done as I can, maybe do it slowly so I won't miss too many details, which tends to happen when my brain is hyperactive.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #108 on: June 15, 2019, 07:27:49 PM »
It's a roller coaster, man. I've spent a lot of time in the last few months feeling like my head was stuffed full of thoughts, like it physically felt full and I couldn't concentrate on anything. It's been getting better in the last few weeks, but it's hard when your brain just does its own thing.

I guess we just need to take care of ourselves wherever we're at. I think meditating and playing some ball is a great idea. Cool yourself down and expend some of that energy, and hopefully things will get back to normal soon.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #109 on: June 18, 2019, 07:58:13 PM »
So I slept ALOT today, I think my lack of sleep the past few days finally caught up with me, and I pretty much took like 3 naps totaling about 6 hours lol. 2/3 were sex dreams, although no wet dreams which haven't happened in a long time (I think that's a good thing?). Maybe it's not the healthiest thing to do, but I feel so much better than before. That being said, I don't feel great but good enough, atleast I have more energy.

I've been trying to go with the concept of "resting in awareness" a little bit more. So often I feel like I have to force some kind of effort to reach a state of awareness and being "in the moment," but there is actually a part of me that is relieved when I can just be present without racing thoughts. If I can be present and stay cool, calm, and collected, perhaps the triggers won't affect me as much as they have been recently.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #110 on: June 19, 2019, 12:48:39 PM »
Napping in can be great! I want to tentatively keep short naps as a habit, I feel like it allows me to get a lot more done with more energy.
Like you said restless energy is way better then feeling depressed, and exercise is a great way to channel it. 

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #111 on: June 19, 2019, 04:47:24 PM »
I support naps when you need them! I feel like I'm more susceptible to urges when I'm tired. So, even if napping doesn't feel very "productive," it can still be a good thing.

Resting in awareness sounds like a great goal. I'm always thinking about the past or future, but I can focus more on the present when I'm meditating. It hasn't really transferred over to my thinking the rest of the day, but at least I can get those few minutes of resting presence. On especially good days, meditating almost feels as good as a nap (and on other days meditating turns into a straight up nap lol!)

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #112 on: June 19, 2019, 06:18:36 PM »
Thanks y'all! Predictably, I had trouble sleeping last night but I still felt pretty good today and got alot done. In a nutshell, my days have been swinging from restless energy to flatlines, with small glimpses of relaxed awareness in-between. I have been trying to motivate myself all the time by telling myself things like "channel your energy into something positive" which is good in intention, but I think if I tell myself that less and trust myself more to just "do it" I will feel like I am putting way less pressure on myself. Ultimately, we are just trying to stack good actions on top of each other, but eventually they'll become natural habits, right?

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #113 on: June 20, 2019, 04:29:57 PM »
Spent all day with family, now I’m tired lol. A little bit down I didn’t get a lot done but family time is always important. I’ll do a couple hours of work today and will try to get back into the swing of things tomorrow.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #114 on: June 20, 2019, 05:18:26 PM »
Yeah, family time is huge. Take care of those relationships: I think they're a great defense against addiction.

And you're right! All these changes might take a lot of effort and concentration now, but they'll become normal with time. On some level, I think it's all about getting to the point where ignoring urges and moving past it all is natural and automatic.

Carry on!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #115 on: June 21, 2019, 09:58:29 PM »
Yeah, spot on! I'm always curious when that day will come...will it be day 200, 300, 1000??!! No matter, even if it never comes I'm happy with the progress that's being made, and even if at this point it's mostly just trying to maintain a steady, relatively positive outlook on life I can definitely find contentment in that.

I am too harsh to myself sometimes. Like I'll act a little shy or awkward in public, and then I'll totally beat myself up for no reason. What's the big deal if I do something a little bit weird? As long as I am steady with the no PMO/fantasies/p-subs, keeping up good workout habits/healthy eating, getting the work I need to get done, and just approaching friends and family with openness and love, all the little problems don't really matter. In other words, I'm okay with tiny fuckups, bc it's easy to bounce back from. The bigger ones have led to downward spirals in the past, so just gotta make sure I'm on top of those and I'll be good (I think).

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #116 on: June 22, 2019, 06:53:58 PM »
Yeah, this process has definitely involved being less harsh with myself. It's a hard thing to do.

On some level, I feel like I'm hard on myself because I spent years being too easy on myself (in my mind), just letting myself be addicted to porn and pretending it wasn't a problem. When I started to quit, I got really  hard on myself because I didn't want to give myself a pass like I had been doing for years. Since then, I've been working on finding the balance between not beating myself up while not giving myself a free pass. It's legitimately hard to do.

But I think you're right, being open to good experiences and being honest about your progress and mistakes are great things to do. I don't have to scream at myself if I think something pornographic when I see a woman at school. It's not that big of a deal, but it could become a big deal if I don't get control of it. So I just gently tell myself that it doesn't matter. It's not like I'm going to talk to her and date her. There's nothing to be gained by sexualizing her, so I can just let it go without getting mad at myself. It's more a gentle redirect than an angry punishment.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #117 on: June 22, 2019, 07:38:46 PM »
Relaxing day today, time with friends, family....it's nice to have moments when you feel at ease, even though there is still a part of my brain that's kind of like a little kid- telling me "I'm bored, I need more stimulation!" In due time, my friend....patience is key. I never want to rely on being stimulated anymore, and instead take it as a byproduct of doing something good like connecting with a woman. Hopefully that will happen soon

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #118 on: June 23, 2019, 06:25:05 PM »
Relaxing day today, time with friends, family....it's nice to have moments when you feel at ease, even though there is still a part of my brain that's kind of like a little kid- telling me "I'm bored, I need more stimulation!" In due time, my friend....patience is key. I never want to rely on being stimulated anymore, and instead take it as a byproduct of doing something good like connecting with a woman. Hopefully that will happen soon

Yes! I love that thought. I've been noticing that my brain craves stimulation all the time. Like, even when I'm just at home, I feel like my brain gets foggy and clogged up if I don't have some kind of podcast or video playing in the background. I've forgotten how to just be quietly relaxed with my own thoughts. Now that I have some distance from porn, I'm definitely starting to work on not needing other stimulation just to keep going (because it's not like I can be very productive when I have YouTube blaring in the background).

Enjoy those relaxing moments! Let's get rid of this garbage need for artificial stimulation and just enjoy real life!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #119 on: June 24, 2019, 05:10:13 PM »
So I relapsed today. I don't know exactly why, but I have been feeling pretty moody lately, and I guess there's a part of me that still feels like my old self in grad school 2 months ago, lonely and needy for others' approval. Obviously this isn't an excuse, and I do still feel like I gained alot in these last 100-120 days or so, but it is time to start from day 0 again. I feel good about moving forward- while the anticipation to PMO was crazy high, I know I could've still done better and turned away those urges. While I was PMO'ing, I felt that there were 2 sides of me firing at once- one side (the louder one) was enjoying the escape from reality, while the other side (the soft-spoken side) was disappointed because of all the progress I had made.

While I want to believe that if I do "x" things and avoid "y," I will become the person I want to be, it is never as simple as that. The scary, but also amazing part of life is the moments of spontaneity where what you believe in is challenged and you must be willing to change your mindset on certain things. I do believe that no PMO is the best way to go for me, but I think there are some other aspects in my life I can be less rigid and close-minded with, so as not to make every interaction or social event feel like a chore, or a routine. The truth is, failure in life is inevitable, but I hope to learn from this failure and be willing to take more risks in life, while still maintaining some sort of routine for productivity.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #120 on: June 25, 2019, 05:16:50 PM »
Hey, man, I'm really sorry to hear about it. That's a big bummer, but (as you know) it's far from the end of the world.

It can be hard to get out of that transactional mindset, where you just put certain behavior in and get guaranteed results out. If only things were that simple. Unexpected things can happen, old stressors can return, and a relapse is an established pattern of dealing with those things. I know, for example, I always struggle more when I go back home for the holidays and stuff like that. For some reason, being back in my parents' house makes relapses a lot easier. So I guess it isn't surprising that feeling like you did a few months ago would bring old triggers back.

I do believe that no PMO is the best way to go for me, but I think there are some other aspects in my life I can be less rigid and close-minded with, so as not to make every interaction or social event feel like a chore, or a routine. The truth is, failure in life is inevitable, but I hope to learn from this failure and be willing to take more risks in life, while still maintaining some sort of routine for productivity.

I really support this. There are some things that have to be non-negotiable, like no PMO, but that doesn't mean everything has to be programmed down to the last minute. Being too strict or rigid with life will probably make it more stressful and then make a relapse more likely. I struggle with being more flexible all the time, and I hate things that mess up my routines. On some level, routines help to reduce stress but not when they get so rigid they turn into chores.

I'm just going on and on now. Long story short, I'm still cheering you on, 1 day or 120 days. The point is that we keep trying, and learning as we go.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #121 on: June 26, 2019, 01:43:58 PM »
Thanks for your continued support, BlueHeron! You continue to help me improve even when I make mistakes.

I think I am alot better at dealing with outside stressors, like pressure from school or other people, things that are more tangible to cope with. I feel like recently I have put alot of pressure on myself to just do alot of good things every day, and that kind of stress is hard to deal with since it comes from within, something that feels impossible to escape at times. Yeah of course I should never PMO, workout and eat healthy, be good to others, and get as much work done as I can every day. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try having fun doing those things. Or atleast tell myself that it doesn't have to feel like challenges to overcome, like some sort of video game where I have to keep leveling up or whatever. This is real life, and that means things can happen seemingly at random no matter what you do. Yes my relapse was bad, but I do feel like I have gained some clarity and will continue to find ways to never PMO while maybe enjoying life a little bit more in a carefree way. That's all for now...

Lero

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #122 on: June 26, 2019, 02:31:21 PM »
Sometimes, as an imagination exercise, I like to think about it like: "There is no P available. How do I deal with my problems ?" I think it's good to look at it in this way from time to time.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #123 on: June 26, 2019, 03:15:11 PM »
Hey Pichael,

I've been reading through your journal a little and particularly love the 'Depth over novelty' bullet point in your intro. I'm going to use it as a bit of a mantra, if you don't mind.

You mentioned that maybe you are a little hard on yourself when it comes to getting everything done. Whilst none of us want to be lazy, as laziness can absolutely bring us deeper down the rabbit hole of relapse, we also have to strike a fine balance between positive productivity and being harsh with ourselves. As you say, random things sometimes come up in life, it's not like a computer game where you constantly level up. Some days feel worse than others and some are better than expected. The key is to be aware of what triggers this harsh self-critical thinking. Certainly in my case, perfectionistic goal-setting often turns into relapse as I have a tendency to stress myself out and deem the day a 'failure' if I don't tick off everything on my extensive list. More recently I have been reverting back to just sitting around, which also leads to relapse. Meditation and resting in and as awareness absolutely help to set more realistic goals for your day. I think the key is to nibble on the sandwich of life chunk by chunk - don't think you have to devour the entire thing in one go!

I'm also a musician (also a music graduate) and am struggling right now with being motivated to practise. I hope that by reforming the right habits and by abstaining from porn, I'll find the joy in practising again, and generally not have this apathy and passivity towards life that has been following me like a dark cloud for the past five years (since my 9-month clean streak).

I wish you all the best and I'll be following your progress and cheering you on when you need it. You've got this, and whenever you feel the urge, just remember you're not alone and we're all rooting for you!

Peace,

- Adventurer

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #124 on: June 26, 2019, 05:36:43 PM »
Thanks for your continued support, BlueHeron! You continue to help me improve even when I make mistakes.

I think I am alot better at dealing with outside stressors, like pressure from school or other people, things that are more tangible to cope with. I feel like recently I have put alot of pressure on myself to just do alot of good things every day, and that kind of stress is hard to deal with since it comes from within, something that feels impossible to escape at times. Yeah of course I should never PMO, workout and eat healthy, be good to others, and get as much work done as I can every day. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't try having fun doing those things. Or atleast tell myself that it doesn't have to feel like challenges to overcome, like some sort of video game where I have to keep leveling up or whatever. This is real life, and that means things can happen seemingly at random no matter what you do. Yes my relapse was bad, but I do feel like I have gained some clarity and will continue to find ways to never PMO while maybe enjoying life a little bit more in a carefree way. That's all for now...

Anytime, man! I've made (and make) so many mistakes, it wouldn't make any sense for me not to let other people do the same.

You're exactly right about trying to have fun doing those things. I've struggled with my weight for a long time, and I never had any success because I couldn't find a way of losing weight that I didn't hate. In the last couple years, though, I started doing yoga (the first exercise I actually liked) and that led me to start developing a healthier diet. For the first time in my life, I've been losing weight, not because I didn't try before but because I finally found something that I liked doing and could keep doing. I guess I started to find a new lifestyle instead of trying to build a habit that was just punishing me for getting overweight in the first place.

It probably seems pretty sill to try to quit PMO if it only makes our life worse. I 100% support the idea of shifting gears so that your post-PMO life is actually a happier and more enjoyable one and not just a strict punishment for the PMO in your past.