Author Topic: A new beginning  (Read 4284 times)

Lero

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #125 on: June 27, 2019, 04:10:49 AM »
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.

Of course, man. You would not sustain a habit if it wasn't enjoyable. Considering the discussion about losing weight, people starve themselves, lose weight, only to break the fridge and put it back on, double. That's why a successful diet is a lifestyle. You don't eat in a certain way for 2 months, you eat year round. I think quitting P should be something like this, having a lifestyle that you could sustain without feeling like a burden, otherwise you will return to P binges sooner or later.

zander13

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #126 on: June 28, 2019, 11:52:01 AM »
First of all, great fucking name.

Second of all, good stuff. I really enjoy your take on things. Good luck with beating the bullshit.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #127 on: July 04, 2019, 02:50:29 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

Thanks for reading, Adventurer! Yeah it's definitely a fine balance between wanting to do well and not being too hard on yourself, and I've been noticing that searching for that balance is especially difficult when you are feeling different hour by hour and day by day. I can %100 guarantee that music and practicing will be more interesting when you stop....maybe not at first, but to me it's something I can heavily lean on in my most difficult times, both with PMO urges and other challenges in life. Best of luck to you!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #128 on: July 04, 2019, 02:56:26 PM »
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.

Of course, man. You would not sustain a habit if it wasn't enjoyable. Considering the discussion about losing weight, people starve themselves, lose weight, only to break the fridge and put it back on, double. That's why a successful diet is a lifestyle. You don't eat in a certain way for 2 months, you eat year round. I think quitting P should be something like this, having a lifestyle that you could sustain without feeling like a burden, otherwise you will return to P binges sooner or later.

I agree, but there is this feeling, at least initially of PMO feeling like a low-dopamine diet of sorts...even though it is the healthiest option it doesn't feel like the healthiest option. If we can recognize that this feeling is a creation of our past bad habits, rather than this thing that we have to face off against and beat every single day, I think our mindset will be a little more relaxed and self-motivating. The idea that it is actually me that is constantly creating and recreating the urges, even unconsciously, keeps me humble and reminds me that I have to approach this with patience rather than aggression.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #129 on: July 04, 2019, 02:58:23 PM »
First of all, great fucking name.

Second of all, good stuff. I really enjoy your take on things. Good luck with beating the bullshit.

Thanks man, I appreciate that you get the reference ;). Good luck to you as well, I know it's corny as hell but we're all in this together lol

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #130 on: July 04, 2019, 03:04:37 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.

Absolutely love the idea of incorporating no PMO into my lifestyle, as opposed to it being an additional burden to my life. In theory, everything I do is a small snapshot of our lifestyle- do we seek out balance in life? If so, how do we do it? I've been asking myself what I should do to balance my life recently, as my initial plan was to list things I should 1. do as much as I can, 2. do occasionally, as a reward for doing well, and 3. never do (PMO, fast food binge, etc.). Unfortunately, this "plan" makes it seem that if I stick to the list, everything should be all good...but it feels as if I am trying to control every aspect of my life, rather than letting things flow and allowing myself to question the way I go about certain things.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #131 on: July 04, 2019, 03:08:19 PM »
Feeling good about the meditation I've been doing, watching thoughts appear and disappear is something that I think is really important to making the burden of no PMO easier. When you have the will to decide what thoughts you want to give energy to vs. other thoughts....it makes your whole day just a little bit easier. The problem for me is always consistency....will I be able to feel the same way about my thoughts if I feel like shit, or am just sitting around the house bored? Got to remember to check my thoughts, but try to make it fun, easy, while maintaining focus. Going to relax and celebrate the holiday today, happy 4th everyone!

Lero

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #132 on: July 04, 2019, 03:23:12 PM »
Feeling good about the meditation I've been doing, watching thoughts appear and disappear is something that I think is really important to making the burden of no PMO easier. When you have the will to decide what thoughts you want to give energy to vs. other thoughts....it makes your whole day just a little bit easier. The problem for me is always consistency....will I be able to feel the same way about my thoughts if I feel like shit, or am just sitting around the house bored? Got to remember to check my thoughts, but try to make it fun, easy, while maintaining focus. Going to relax and celebrate the holiday today, happy 4th everyone!

Sounds good, man. Keep doing this.

Re: A new beginning
« Reply #133 on: July 05, 2019, 04:48:18 AM »
Today i want you to realize how strong you really are. You've been through so much, but you're here and i am so proud of you  :)

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #134 on: July 05, 2019, 05:53:02 PM »
Today i want you to realize how strong you really are. You've been through so much, but you're here and i am so proud of you  :)

Wow, thank you so much....this really made my day!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #135 on: July 05, 2019, 06:01:23 PM »
I've been thinking about my last relapse alot recently, but I am kind of stuck in a negative feedback loop cause thinking about it hasn't solve anything for me. I guess it's hard to look forward when there is a part of me that wonders if there is something more to the reason I relapsed other than being bored, tired, with the accumulated urges of 120 days PMO free. Maybe there is, but the only way to find out is to go out and face your challenges in life, just sitting and thinking about things won't do anything if you don't have the life experience. To understand my past, I have to look forward to the future and this new, hopefully infinite streak I am beginning...baby steps lol

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #136 on: July 05, 2019, 06:21:22 PM »
Sounds like you're doing well and trucking along. I'm looking forward to that infinite streak, but it is all about baby steps. I wish there was something I could today that would fix the problem forever, but I can only fix the problem for today. I can do it every day, but it doesn't work for the next day. We'll get to infinity one baby step at a time.

Sorry to hear you're stuck in a negative loop about your last relapse, though. It's probably hard to know all the reasons for a relapse, but the best plan is probably just to move forward, learning what you can from what happened. Then you'll be better able to deal with whatever it was the next time you get to 120 in a few months. Also, for what it's worth, it definitely isn't good to get stuck in a negative loop, but some of those negative feelings could be helpful if they remind you of the pain of relapse and keep you from doing it again.

Either way, you're a champ for getting back on your feet and continuing the fight! Keep at it!

Re: A new beginning
« Reply #137 on: July 06, 2019, 06:22:05 AM »
Your hard work and patience are worth celebrating. I'm proud of you and you deserve to be proud of yourself too. You are worth so much more than you think. Don't let a past mistake make you feel small or inferior. It's okay to be nervous about the future. You're headed in the right direction, and that's the part that matters  :)

achilles heel

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #138 on: July 06, 2019, 08:27:48 AM »
I read a little through your story and think your reflection on your relapse after the long streak is important:

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.

Your other side - the disappointed side trying to quit porn - was present during the act. And if we think about our life we won't find any moment, aside from the very moment of PMO, we're thinking "Hey, I remember that great day in front of the computer masturbating to that awesome video." - we always, ALWAYS regret the moment it happens and the consequence of lost progress due to restarting reboot.

It's important to point this out during moments of cravings and urges. Those moments may last minutes and hours, but the regret and feeling bad will last days and months. We did start again several times because we feel this is absolutely neccessary.

Don't question the way of abstaining from porn. You're addicted and can't trust your thoughts that question this journey, because as addicts we need to learn that our brain plays tricks on us. Don't look back, just look forward and pick up the good points that led you to several months without porn. You can do it again and go even further this time!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #139 on: July 07, 2019, 05:16:33 PM »
Thanks everyone! Y'alls encouragement and advice continues to be helpful and motivate me every day.

@Blueheron: For sure those negative feelings can be a learning experience, as long as I can just stay confident and really believe I can do this. I'm kind of trying to adopt the mindset of having an incomplete story, there is still a wealth of opportunity for change.

@Thankyou: I absolutely agree and hope you can feel that way too! We all make mistakes but our ability to keep going and learn from them is something that nobody can ever take away from us. No matter what, we always have the strength for change!

@Achillesheel: Absolutely, it's time to go all in on this. Every single relapse gives me regret....maybe not immediately, maybe not even that day or week....but it always comes eventually. To think otherwise would just be an attempt to trick myself into the opportunity to PMO. It's funny, sometimes when the urges are really strong the voice inside your head sounds completely rational telling you to PMO, so you always gotta be on top it.

Drank a little too much last night so I had a slow start to the day, but feeling better now and going to get some more work done! Might go on a bike ride or run later, or look for something else to do...other than that not many urges today.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #140 on: July 07, 2019, 05:57:30 PM »
Good stuff, just keep going. I love the idea of thinking about your life as an incomplete story. That's such a great mindset: our best years are still ahead of us! I firmly believe that. I have messed up in the past, but that doesn't determine my future.

Here's to a great new week!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #141 on: July 09, 2019, 09:33:47 AM »
Thanks! Yep, my main trigger hit me pretty hard this morning, sex dreams. They are that perfect combination of arousal and stress. I woke up at 3 am this morning drenched in sweat (sorry that's gross) after dreaming about meeting a random girl at the bar and taking her home. It's been helpful that I've been in a good groove with my work/exercise/diet/relationships recently, otherwise I don't know if I would've made it. I got to be extra careful today while staying calm and focused on what to do.

There is always that inner voice inside of us that knows what is truly the right thing to do, but sometimes it is very hard to hear. Doing good things for yourself and others should make you feel good always, but so often our dopamine driven mind hijacks our brain and tries to trick us. I'm tired of falling for the same old tricks, any relapse is a regretful one, as it'll either lead to another relapse, or more difficulty on my next streak. There's really no other alternative anymore, I'll never just accept P in my life and willingly go back to it without part of me feeling this is inherently wrong for me, no matter what anyone says or does. My past experiences have taught me this valuable lesson, and it is time to soak in this lesson %100. Sorry for the rant lol, just needed to get it off my chest so I can feel a little less antsy.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #142 on: July 09, 2019, 12:28:09 PM »


There is always that inner voice inside of us that knows what is truly the right thing to do, but sometimes it is very hard to hear. Doing good things for yourself and others should make you feel good always, but so often our dopamine driven mind hijacks our brain and tries to trick us. I'm tired of falling for the same old tricks, any relapse is a regretful one, as it'll either lead to another relapse, or more difficulty on my next streak. There's really no other alternative anymore, I'll never just accept P in my life and willingly go back to it without part of me feeling this is inherently wrong for me, no matter what anyone says or does. My past experiences have taught me this valuable lesson, and it is time to soak in this lesson %100. Sorry for the rant lol, just needed to get it off my chest so I can feel a little less antsy.

Amen to that brother! I just relapsed twice after a 9 day streak, had amazing sex with my wife just a few hours after relapse (proving that my ED is much better), and part of my brain was trying to rationalise like 'hey, maybe you could just use porn occasionally, like every two weeks, then.' NO. I don't want to use porn at all anymore. I'm done with that bullshit.
Keep on keepin' on man, you're doing great!

- Adventurer

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #143 on: July 09, 2019, 05:56:24 PM »
I hear you man, knowing what to do and wanting to do it are both very different from actually holding yourself accountable and doing it. At least in the early days, I think there will always be a part of us that wants it that will compete with the part of us that wants to quit. The more we push the urges away and stick to our commitments, the stronger our "quit" side will get and the weaker our "relapse" side will get.

All we can do is keep at it, and I have a lot of confidence that you'll do just that!

Re: A new beginning
« Reply #144 on: July 11, 2019, 05:53:03 AM »
 I believe in you, always have and always will. I can’t even explain how proud of you I am. With every day I admire you even more, I don’t think there is anything you cannot do. You’re amazing, fella. Keep doing what you’re doing  :)
Stay gold my friend  :)

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #145 on: July 11, 2019, 02:04:09 PM »
I appreciate the kind words from both of y'all! I might of said this before, but when people support me it only makes me want to be my best self and do the same to others...thanks to both you guys for being role models that I look up to!

Sometimes you just feel off, and that's okay. Rather than anticipating change to happen, sitting on your hands waiting for it, sometimes it's better just to be honest with yourself and how you are feeling. Just acknowledging that is all you need to move forward. Had a stressful day yesterday after getting into an argument with a close friend, but I'm feeling a little bit better today and will continue to push forward and try my best to spread positivity to the things I have to do and the people around me. I set pretty high standards for myself which I don't often meet, but there's no reason to be negative about it. Just keep trying, failing, laughing about it a little, and trying again.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #146 on: July 11, 2019, 06:32:38 PM »
You got it! Just keep learning and trying and growing.

It definitely makes sense to feel off some days. I've been wondering if this recovery/withdrawal business hasn't led me to have more off days than usual. It has definitely been an emotionally difficult time for me, and it might be at least partially because I'm not self-medicating with PMO. In that sense, I guess these off days are worth it.

On to another day!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #147 on: July 12, 2019, 09:17:00 AM »
Day 18: Was curious what day I was on and decided to check the date of my last relapse, June 24. I feel like that moment is more behind me now...obviously it still has an effect on who I am now but knowing that there's more than 2 weeks between that moment and where I'm at now gives me the feeling of having room to breathe. It's nice to know that while it feels like I haven't changed much as a person, the accomplishment of going 17 days PMO free is something I can be proud of and use to motivate me to keep going. I'm grateful to be on this forum where I can vent my thoughts and feelings and support others, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to go out, evolve, and create memorable life experiences....someday without the cloud of PMO hanging over me so aggressively. Yes this journey can feel like a burden, but I refuse to let it prevent me from doing all the things I want to do in life. The only direction is forward.

Lero

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #148 on: July 12, 2019, 09:52:05 AM »
18 days, man! That's outstanding progress so far.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #149 on: July 12, 2019, 11:03:16 AM »
Great stuff bro! You deserve this recovery, and you deserve to live a full and happy life. You're on the up and up!