Author Topic: A new beginning  (Read 4019 times)

pichaelthompson

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A new beginning
« on: March 14, 2019, 02:48:16 PM »
Day 0: I'm back, with experience (for better or worse) and a new sense of purpose

Hi everyone,

I'm a 22 yr old graduate student that has been trying to quit porn on and off for about 2 years. I first started using NoFap, went through multiple streaks lasting up to more than 100 days, but ever since I have given up writing on forums about a year ago I have been less successful and have recently been PMO'ing multiple times a week. To be honest, I am very disappointed in myself to not be able to have the willpower to deal with this on a consistent basis (up to this point), as I have armed myself with knowledge on how to beat it over time, but my complacency, laziness, and lack of willpower has led to me relapsing multiple times, often for no good reason other than "I felt like it."

In starting again on a new forum, I hope to use all of my past failures as a learning experience, with the understanding that this will never be an easy journey, but will surely be a worthwhile one. Through this forum, I will hold myself accountable to what I believe are the most important values in my life: my family, my friends, my mental and physical health, and my music (I am a musician in conservatory). PMO takes the joy out of these values, and I hope to one day "feel" this as much as I "understand" it on a consistent basis. I will try my best to be my true and honest self through this forum, recognizing both my weaknesses and my strengths.

The changes I plan to make are:
- Working out at least 4 times a week (more if you have the time)
- Consistently healthy diet (1 cheat meal per week)
- No lying in bed unless sleeping or catching up on sleep with a nap
- Value depth over novelty (Ex: listen to a 30 min. long piece of music instead of going down Youtube rabbit hole)
- Erase bad habit of looking at "harmless" sexy images (google images, instagram, etc.)
- Meditate every day
- Limit Netflix/youtube/leisure time to 1 hr a day
- Let the urges come and go, like a wave that rises, hits its peak, and dies down
- Journal here once a day, find the right balance of thinking about rebooting but not overthinking it. Yes it is challenging, but it is also simple.
- You can always be more compassionate, supportive, and honest towards others. Do not try too hard but remind yourself of the potential.

I've been down this road before, and I am quite honestly worried that it will be harder this go around. For me, it only gets harder to commit every day, although I have only went up to ~120 days so I don't know what it might feel like past that. However, I fully committing myself to it, as the greater the discomfort there is to overcome, the more strength one can gain. I kind of see it like a strength training program, where you are taking more weight every time, but your mentality will change from "dang I have to do this again" to "I eat this sh!t for breakfast." For anyone reading this: you are greater than your urges, they do not define you. All of us have the mental willpower to achieve great things in life, it is our responsibility to dig deep and find it within ourselves.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 11:43:43 PM »
Really productive finishing the day since this post, 6 hrs of practice + a good workout and healthy meal. I know this new energy will die down soon and the urges will come, but I am ready to face them. It's crazy how anything could be a trigger for me, like a woman from a news article, or just thinking about past sexual experiences both within and outside of P. Going to wind down with some reading, and plan to wake up early and get shit done tomorrow.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 02:57:14 PM »
Yesterday was good, felt motivated to do everything I set out to do with minimal urges. Today I've been feeling some anxiety that naturally arises when your body realizes you are breaking a comforting habit, so I'm just gunna do my best to have a relaxed focus and energy for the rest of the day, not worry about the past or think too far ahead in the future.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 12:28:57 AM »
Keep it up! The way I see it, if you can go 120 days without PMO you have the ability to go without it forever! Just keep it up and stay vigilant. Great, that you are a musician, seems like a great way to channel the energy and creativity you'll gain.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2019, 11:53:37 AM »
Keep it up! The way I see it, if you can go 120 days without PMO you have the ability to go without it forever! Just keep it up and stay vigilant. Great, that you are a musician, seems like a great way to channel the energy and creativity you'll gain.

Thank you!   :D Yes I agree, while I didn't feel like superman after 120 days and there were still urges (maybe I was expecting too much at the time) there were definitely alot of benefits that I miss having, and can only be retained/improved upon through staying vigilant. You're absolutely right, in my opinion music is always a positive force regardless of what thoughts/feelings may arise within you, as it allows you to deeply connect with yourself and the world around you.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 10:29:42 PM »
Definitely am feeling a surge of energy...it has been fluctuating between positive and negative, but so far am doing a pretty good job of staying calm and channeling it towards the things that are important. I know I will always have flaws that might be exposed at undesirable times, but I can always try to do my best, and that starts with just staying true to the simple principals that resonate with me; permanently leaving PMO in the past, being there for my friends and family, while becoming the best musician I can possibly be. Cautious optimism is the way to go

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 03:55:49 PM »
Funny how urges can come out of nowhere...I was on quora (a website that's like a better version of yahoo answers) and I saw a pornstar answer a question, nothing about sex/PMO at all...and a wave of dopamine hit me really hard! Man that was totally unexpected...I'm happy I didn't act on any of these urges but I know they will come back, the real test will be dealing with them in the future when my guard is down more. I'm %99 sure that if this happened to me 2 weeks ago, I would have went right to PMO, so I'll take the small improvement as a victory even though I am just getting started

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 07:30:32 PM »
Just reading your journal now--I really like the idea of valuing depth over novelty even when it comes to listening to music. That seems like a really great mindset and is definitely something that I want to try out.

Glad you're making progress! All progress is something to celebrate: small successes accumulating over time will add up to something great!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 10:41:30 PM »
That's great you got through the urge, urges can suck. But I am trying to view it as a an opportunity to kick the addictions ass a little bit, weaken the bad neural pathways.

Yeah music is awesome, I was in the library on my way somewhere and they had a concert in the auditorium ( I am luckily to live near an amazing regional library). This guy was playing all these crazy original guitar songs he wrote, it was soo cool to see that and it was inspiring me to put work into building skills and becoming great at something like that. I closed my eyes and listened to the music, it realllyyy upped my mood and removed some urges I had.

As far as still having urges after 120 days. One thing I am aiming to realize is like, urges may get weaker, but if I totally know how to handle them so what if I get em from time to time as long as I can handle them? I read a book on addiction and it mentioned that, just like humans get dumb thoughts to do dumb things all the time and don't act on them. Just a sort of re frame, like even if I get an urge a year from now it doesn't mean I am not pretty much healed, it's just man our brains tell us to do dumb shit sometimes. I used to always go on a shitty website (no porn, just time wasting) I cut it out years ago, occasionally I get the slightest thought to go on it but it super fucking weak and I just brush it off immediately, so it's no biggie (hopefully that makes sense) Just kind of thinking, I can live with an urge here and there as part of life as long my dick works and my brain isn't fucked lol


Funny how urges can come out of nowhere...I was on quora (a website that's like a better version of yahoo answers) and I saw a pornstar answer a question, nothing about sex/PMO at all...and a wave of dopamine hit me really hard! Man that was totally unexpected...I'm happy I didn't act on any of these urges but I know they will come back, the real test will be dealing with them in the future when my guard is down more. I'm %99 sure that if this happened to me 2 weeks ago, I would have went right to PMO, so I'll take the small improvement as a victory even though I am just getting started

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2019, 03:09:37 PM »
That's great you got through the urge, urges can suck. But I am trying to view it as a an opportunity to kick the addictions ass a little bit, weaken the bad neural pathways.

Yeah music is awesome, I was in the library on my way somewhere and they had a concert in the auditorium ( I am luckily to live near an amazing regional library). This guy was playing all these crazy original guitar songs he wrote, it was soo cool to see that and it was inspiring me to put work into building skills and becoming great at something like that. I closed my eyes and listened to the music, it realllyyy upped my mood and removed some urges I had.

As far as still having urges after 120 days. One thing I am aiming to realize is like, urges may get weaker, but if I totally know how to handle them so what if I get em from time to time as long as I can handle them? I read a book on addiction and it mentioned that, just like humans get dumb thoughts to do dumb things all the time and don't act on them. Just a sort of re frame, like even if I get an urge a year from now it doesn't mean I am not pretty much healed, it's just man our brains tell us to do dumb shit sometimes. I used to always go on a shitty website (no porn, just time wasting) I cut it out years ago, occasionally I get the slightest thought to go on it but it super fucking weak and I just brush it off immediately, so it's no biggie (hopefully that makes sense) Just kind of thinking, I can live with an urge here and there as part of life as long my dick works and my brain isn't fucked lol


Funny how urges can come out of nowhere...I was on quora (a website that's like a better version of yahoo answers) and I saw a pornstar answer a question, nothing about sex/PMO at all...and a wave of dopamine hit me really hard! Man that was totally unexpected...I'm happy I didn't act on any of these urges but I know they will come back, the real test will be dealing with them in the future when my guard is down more. I'm %99 sure that if this happened to me 2 weeks ago, I would have went right to PMO, so I'll take the small improvement as a victory even though I am just getting started

That's a great way of looking at it, thanks for the advice! That's totally true that all humans have dumb thoughts from time to time, they really have no deeper meaning whatsoever and are just random lol. It's funny the harder we try to erase these thoughts, the more they seem to come...best to just let them come and go and not stress about it

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2019, 03:10:48 PM »
Just reading your journal now--I really like the idea of valuing depth over novelty even when it comes to listening to music. That seems like a really great mindset and is definitely something that I want to try out.

Glad you're making progress! All progress is something to celebrate: small successes accumulating over time will add up to something great!

Thanks for reading man! Best of luck to you!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2019, 03:22:29 PM »
I'm feeling grateful today, grateful for all the opportunities I've had in life and grateful for being apart of this community even though I regretfully abandoned it some time ago. What I plan to change from what I did in the past is to stay connected to this forum....on my last long streak I abandoned it after the 90 day mark and I think that contributed to my eventual relapse.

Now, I am making this promise to myself; I will not leave this forum/community until I have the confidence to write a true, genuine success story....however long that takes. Not only does that mean having a huge streak, but feeling fulfilled in all facets of life, with %100 determination that you will never turn to PMO again, no matter how shitty the situation. Fulfillment doesn't mean no problems; just the willpower to deal with roadblocks in a positive, healthy manner each and every day while supporting others around you (equally important). I will never completely abandon this forum; I will visit on occasion in attempt to give back to others the best I can. I'm probably looking too far ahead into the future but I feel so motivated right now I can't help it lol

I know get's harder to find something uplifting/inspiring to write every day as you go longer, so I must remember not to put too much pressure on myself. It's okay to just check in when I am tired/flatlining or things haven't changed much...you don't have to write some amazing essay, it can just be a sentence or two to keep yourself on the right path. Excited for what the future holds, ready to remain vigilant and strong!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2019, 12:55:18 PM »
Had a wet dream this morning, was definitely surprising because I'm only on day 6 and on my last streak it didn't happen until around day 30. I kinda just shrugged it off, nothing to worry about....hoping to be super productive today because I have a presentation tomorrow and a test Friday, plus there's alot of practicing to do. Unfortunately I won't have the time to workout today but I look forward to it in the future.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2019, 10:34:38 PM »
Sounds like good ideas to me, checking in here occasionally. I'll plan to do that as well.

From what I have heard wet dreams are considered a good sign..... This reminds  me, oddly I am finding that when I am putting more into my recovery, posting cutting out sexual thoughts etc. it seems progress is much faster. I am around the same day as you but it feels sooo long since I PMO'd ( a good thing of course!)

I'm feeling grateful today, grateful for all the opportunities I've had in life and grateful for being apart of this community even though I regretfully abandoned it some time ago. What I plan to change from what I did in the past is to stay connected to this forum....on my last long streak I abandoned it after the 90 day mark and I think that contributed to my eventual relapse.

Now, I am making this promise to myself; I will not leave this forum/community until I have the confidence to write a true, genuine success story....however long that takes. Not only does that mean having a huge streak, but feeling fulfilled in all facets of life, with %100 determination that you will never turn to PMO again, no matter how shitty the situation. Fulfillment doesn't mean no problems; just the willpower to deal with roadblocks in a positive, healthy manner each and every day while supporting others around you (equally important). I will never completely abandon this forum; I will visit on occasion in attempt to give back to others the best I can. I'm probably looking too far ahead into the future but I feel so motivated right now I can't help it lol

I know get's harder to find something uplifting/inspiring to write every day as you go longer, so I must remember not to put too much pressure on myself. It's okay to just check in when I am tired/flatlining or things haven't changed much...you don't have to write some amazing essay, it can just be a sentence or two to keep yourself on the right path. Excited for what the future holds, ready to remain vigilant and strong!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2019, 11:18:29 PM »
Sounds like good ideas to me, checking in here occasionally. I'll plan to do that as well.

From what I have heard wet dreams are considered a good sign..... This reminds  me, oddly I am finding that when I am putting more into my recovery, posting cutting out sexual thoughts etc. it seems progress is much faster. I am around the same day as you but it feels sooo long since I PMO'd ( a good thing of course!)

I'm feeling grateful today, grateful for all the opportunities I've had in life and grateful for being apart of this community even though I regretfully abandoned it some time ago. What I plan to change from what I did in the past is to stay connected to this forum....on my last long streak I abandoned it after the 90 day mark and I think that contributed to my eventual relapse.

Now, I am making this promise to myself; I will not leave this forum/community until I have the confidence to write a true, genuine success story....however long that takes. Not only does that mean having a huge streak, but feeling fulfilled in all facets of life, with %100 determination that you will never turn to PMO again, no matter how shitty the situation. Fulfillment doesn't mean no problems; just the willpower to deal with roadblocks in a positive, healthy manner each and every day while supporting others around you (equally important). I will never completely abandon this forum; I will visit on occasion in attempt to give back to others the best I can. I'm probably looking too far ahead into the future but I feel so motivated right now I can't help it lol

I know get's harder to find something uplifting/inspiring to write every day as you go longer, so I must remember not to put too much pressure on myself. It's okay to just check in when I am tired/flatlining or things haven't changed much...you don't have to write some amazing essay, it can just be a sentence or two to keep yourself on the right path. Excited for what the future holds, ready to remain vigilant and strong!

Yes I definitely agree, I feel like I've made more progress since I've been part of this community again than when I was on my own. I think there was apart of me on my own that thought of PMO as an emergency stress reliever, like pulling the fire alarm in a burning building. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate your input!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2019, 11:25:37 PM »
I feel like I am in the mindset of striving towards self-fulfillment, like it is my duty to myself to go through with this in a permanent and sustainable way. It's scarier for sure because there is the feeling of no turning back, but at the same time this is a huge opportunity for growth. I was reading an academic journal today for a class that talked about how sexism was rampant in art forms (paintings, literature, music) in the mid-19th century, how "the gaze" (represented as men treating women as objects of pure bliss from a distance, thus dehumanizing them) was a male-dominated way to fantasize woman while confirming a privileged, masculine identity. Of course society and culture has changed alot since then, but it did evoke alot of past feelings I had when in the middle of my PMO days...I have always feared getting close to a woman because of the mental image I created (through PMO) of the sexually charged, idealized female, something I have been scared to give up because it confirmed my "manhood"...if I PMO'd, I knew that I was a man because I was acting on 'sexual instinct'. I don't need that shit to prove anything anymore because I want real connections, and real connections mean sacrifice towards what is best for others around you...even if it makes you feel vulnerable. Damn this is really off topic but just felt like I needed to vent a little lol

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2019, 11:50:30 AM »
Feels good to hit the 1 week mark....I am going to try to get alot of work done today so I can enjoy my weekend a little bit more. I've been having problems sleeping (hard to fall asleep/waking up in the middle of the night) but I just figured my stress levels have increased from doing this program. While that may be true, I know it is nothing too great for me to handle and won't let it away from my productivity, as I trust that my body will naturally adapt to these changes, even if it takes awhile. Also working out helps, I'll definitely be doing more of that. If it ever gets out of hand I will just take a fat nap in the middle of the day lol

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2019, 07:18:59 PM »
Congrats on the 1 week mark!

I'm sure there is some stress associated with your recovery efforts. I know one of the most stressful periods of my life happened when I first actually tried quitting PMO. The thing I had used to numb myself to stress was no longer an option, so it all just came flooding in. So hang in there: you're doing great!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2019, 10:54:59 PM »
Sounds like a good plan! Napping is a good idea, I have read a ton of books and it is uncanny how many super successful people were huge fans of naps. A 15 or 20 minute nap even can do wonders. I think I'll plan for one tomorrow.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2019, 01:02:20 PM »
Thanks y'all! To help with the sleep problems I've decided to just listen to music before bedtime and let my mind go blank, rather than watching netflix/youtube right before bed. And it actually helped, it only took like 45 mins (I think) instead of the 2-3 hours it has been taking before! Got a lesson with my teacher today, then going to go see a concert with my friends...there is much work to do before that though but I already ran 4 miles today so I'm feeling good momentum. Yes the stress is there but as long as you tell yourself to relax and get yourself to do what you feel is important, it will begin to die down. I'm trying my best to live the mantra "lead through your actions, not your thoughts"

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2019, 12:31:59 PM »
Definitely had some strong urges this morning....I was kind of in a half asleep/half awake state, like dreaming really vividly right before you wake up, when I was having this really sexual dream. I remember contemplating what to do in this dream but before I could do anything I woke up. While I know this is partly out of my control, it has definitely made it harder to deal with these urges because the dream felt so life-like, I was 100% convinced it was reality at the time.

Regardless, I am gunna do the best I can by taking it slow, getting a small to medium sized amount of work done, and continue to calm myself whenever these urges arrive, even when I feel like I don't want to and when they come at the most inconvenient and unexpected times....that's just the nature of the beast.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2019, 07:04:31 PM »
I don't know what it is about dreams, but they really get me. I've had some romantic  but not sexual dreams this past week. Romantic fantasies seem harmless, but they've usually led me right to relapse. I've been fending off a few more urges today than I was a couple days ago, and I think my fantasizing about those dreams is definitely a part of it.

I think you're right to deal with urges as they come. I'm not very good at that. I think I'll just finish one more task and then take care of them, but then they will have done their damage. I'm going to try to take better care in the moment, just like you said you're going to do. No deadline is worth a relapse, that's something I'm going to try to remind myself.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2019, 01:35:46 AM »
I've definitely been there before, fantasizing even real life situations for me lead to relapse unless I use it as motivation for action. In my opinion it's okay to 'fantasize' about being with someone if you make sure you are taking actual steps to make it become a reality...otherwise it will just be painful in the end.

That being said, I don't think I'm at that point yet...yeah I'm going to go out and talk to girls but I don't want to rush into anything, just try and be as friendly and true to myself as I can. I'm a pretty shy person so one thing I think would be good is to just try and open up towards people I'm not close with...the worst that could happen is they don't like me and shrug me off, and there's no reason to be needy enough to let that have a negative effect. Feeling not great today, but it's whatever...I think I'm gunna take a couple days off this forum, will check in if anything dramatic happens though. Best of luck to everyone, we got this!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2019, 10:01:43 PM »
Enjoy the break! The shyness can definitely decrease, I used to be quite shy and I have not been considered shy by anyone I have met in years. Enjoy the forum break

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2019, 01:04:10 PM »
Man, I did not see this coming but I got a serious wave of urges that led to a shameful relapse...I feel pretty down on myself because the whole point of taking a couple days of was to appreciate everything around me, and it seems like I did the opposite. It wasn't full P, but instagram really got me and I know never to go on there again or do anything that'll lead me to going on there. I'm also disappointed it hurt my chances of fixing my PE, as I pretty much o'd in a matter of 5 seconds

I don't want to be dramatic but I've been feeling pretty lonely lately, just haven't been socializing much and feel kind of stuck, like I don't have any positive momentum to get out of my shell. I need to find a different approach instead of just "ignore these thoughts" and get shit done because that won't work %100 of the time....that being said I'm traveling to meet up with a few of my best friends from undergrad in a couple of days so hopefully that will give me the momentum I need, as I haven't found any deep connections in graduate school.

I'm sorry if I bummed anyone out/let down people, I promise I will learn from this and bounce back stronger. I hope anyone reading this will be more successful than I have been so far. Even when I feel confident in my ability to abstain, I will continue to post on this forum for atleast 90 days (probably more), as I now know how quickly things can turn