Author Topic: A new beginning  (Read 4000 times)

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2019, 02:37:29 PM »
https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/tools-for-change-recovery-from-porn-addiction/rebooting-advice-observations-from-successful-rebooters/my-thoughts-on-rebooting-extremely-long-post/

This post (although super long, it's well worth the read) really resonated with me, and I hope to adopt it and commit 100% towards my life vision. All this may seem over the top, but to me that's what works best, I've never been able to really commit to something unless I go all in.

For my last relapse, I used PMO to fill an emotional void that arose after the initial energy boost from building up a small (12 day) streak. Whenever I feel an urge, I will try my best to shift my focus to my priorities (in my first post) that shape my life vision;
- Mentally in a good state, willing to interact with others in an honest lighthearted way. Seeking greater relationships, and having thoughts of intention (that lead to action) rather than fantasizing about relationships. Calming myself down when I catch myself worrying what other people think of me (happens all the time) and telling myself it doesn't really matter as long as you're doing your best.
- Physically improving, Workout as much as possible hope to have a good amount of lean muscle and low fat within a few months. I'm pretty good with this, but always good to have a reminder
- Completely focused on the tasks I have to accomplish musically, every day it is crucial to lock in and focus on improving
- Reframe how I view relationships; I feel like a big reason I want a girlfriend is so I can have sex and rewire myself from my bad habits. I don't think this is the best approach, as a relationship is primarily about sharing yourself with that person: the good and the bad. This is hard for me, but I will direct my energy towards finding a way to do this...it may lead to embarrassment, but regardless will be a valuable learning experience
- Recognize that you will feel like absolute shit at times; sometimes when you least expect it, and could potentially last for extended periods of time. While PMO (or even just MO) may feel natural in these moments, it is only because these pathways are sensitive after years of PMO. It is not natural libido, even if it feels like it. These times are when it is MOST crucial to lean into my vision; reach out to a friend, try to do something kind for someone else, or just remind yourself how tough the music industry is but how it's been your dream to be a professional musician since you were a kid, and channel it into fulfilling that dream.
- I'm going to have a calendar to write when I relapsed and the days I was successful, so I can have a larger picture of my journey outside of the streak counter. While today is day 0, it is a better day 0 than 13 days ago. I'm happy that there's some progress but I know I can do better.

Looking forward to the boost of energy I'm getting from this fresh start, but also anticipating the inevitable void left by years of PMO that I hope to fill in a more healthy way this time around.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2019, 07:41:55 PM »
Thanks for posting that link: I'll be sure to look at it more carefully when I get a chance.

That's a great list of things to consider moving forward. I definitely know that my problems with PMO come from trying to fill an emotional void. In it's own twisted way, this addiction is our brains' attempt to take care of us. You know, it makes the problems go away for a little bit. But it doesn't fix them, not even close. The thing I'm thinking about now is what I get from my addiction (or what I think I'm getting from it) and then finding more productive ways to deal with that emotional emptiness.

Hang in there: better days are ahead for us!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2019, 10:58:01 PM »
Sorry to hear about the lapse... I think the vision is a great idea. Something good about reading about others' experiences, even if it doesn't work well is it reminds me of things that have worked.

For example in one of my longer streaks, I found that listening to motivational speakers was really nice and helpful, similar to what you are talking about with a vision, just having something in the future to think about and filling my mind up with good stuff. Some solid people are David Goggins and Zig Ziglar, imo they speak from the heart Ziglar is old school and has an old timey speaking style, but both guys had hard difficult lives and don't just say silly random pump up stuff imo. It's a reminder for me to put more into listening to good stuff like that.

As far as socializing, I can really really relate to the fantasizing about socializing versus actually socializing. I used to fantasize about being social so so so much. I think I wrote a lot about in my journal how real people and real relationships are not perfect like in fantasy but they are so so much better.... so, it's good to spend more time with real people and less fantasizing about it.

I made huge progress in the area of being social (I still have work to do on maintaining more relationships) and can share a few things that have helped me.

1) Activities- Trying several and picking some fun ones. Even if it isn't all that social, just being around people saying hi and bye can be start and help a little. Less social may be a spin class at the gym but at least you get some interaction. More social might be an improv class or a club at school. Also maybe can you leverage your music skills? Like are there music jams open mics or anything? That way you have something you are confident in as backup, you can fall back on playing music/ talking about music.

2)Part of it's mental- I just had this weird idea/ belief that being alone was horrible. Refraining a lone time can help. Like I have my apartment loaded up with interesting books. I had tons of free time today and luckily was able to look at it as like. Oh sick I can read all these books.

Also, realize this is common as hell now a days due to the internet and social media, tons of people our age feel lonely. It's a real bummer but at least a lot of other people probably are feeling the same and would like to hang out.



BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2019, 08:12:01 PM »

2)Part of it's mental- I just had this weird idea/ belief that being alone was horrible. Refraining a lone time can help. Like I have my apartment loaded up with interesting books. I had tons of free time today and luckily was able to look at it as like. Oh sick I can read all these books.



Wow, I like this so much! I often feel bad about being alone, but why should I? It's awesome to get to spend time quietly working on myself and making progress on good projects. I should definitely see alone time as more of treat

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2019, 08:55:41 PM »
@BlueHeronFan: Thanks, I appreciate your continued support! It's really amazing how the addiction can transform in the mind from this horrible thing to such a warm, comforting presence...even within the same day. The truth is, it doesn't really matter what our perception of it is, good or bad; all that matters is doing what is best for present and future selves, %100 percent of the time, no excuses.

@Quitforeverthenwin: Yeah, listening to other peoples stories is super helpful to me too. I've been listening to this Dax Shepherd's (actor, film director) podcast and he mentions all the struggles he's had with drug and alchohol addiction, and how he was never happy even when he had all the money, fame, and opportunity in the world.
- I like the scheduling activities idea; I've been playing basketball with some people from time to time but I'm going to start to try to do it more frequently. I also think I'm gunna schedule chamber music reading (I play violin) parties with alchohol which can be fun lol
- I usually am okay being alone, sometime it just hits me hard because I feel like I'm stuck in a cycle of being alone, but I know I am just creating a storyline in my mind that will allow me to feel sorry for myself. I'll definitely try to do better in this area

I feel good today, have been thinking alot about how I define success and what I rely on for happiness. I kind of realized that I am way too dependent on feedback from people and things around me. Like, if I try my best, then I should be satisfied with myself no matter the outcome right? Of course "trying my best" means no PMO, no fantasizing, that's definitely a good start...but it also means so much more; like being compassionate, kind, motivational, funny, while also encouraging others to think outside the box. Right now I am figuring out the best way to do these things (and more), but I must remind myself to never give up. The things that happen outside of my control don't even matter though, because every time I try and dont get what I hope for expect out of my effort, I will still be evolving, learning, becoming a stronger and better man. I think if I just focus on becoming a better person in all facets of life, getting over the addiction will be so much easier.

Another random thought...I feel like I will never be 100% confident that I will never watch P again. From a logical standpoint, I will live for another 60 years on average and will have constant access to the internet, with many hardships and depressing times to come. I think reminding myself that I can go back at literally any time scares me just a little bit, in a good, motivational way; Do I want an increasing amount of laziness, complacency, anxiety, and depression? If I choose PMO, that's what I'll have to live with. Hopefully through time I can be 99% confident I will never go back, with the knowledge that it still lingers, even as a tiny spec in the mind
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 09:12:59 PM by pichaelthompson »

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2019, 11:47:03 PM »
I am with you on the "storyline in the head" about being alone. Luckily it is weaker, but I used to have these moments where I'd be perfectly happy then I'd realize omg I haven't been on a date in x months! And immediately feel miserable, it was like a conscious decision.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2019, 11:22:14 AM »
Had a good last few days visiting old friends out of town....some urges here and there but nothing major. It was good to be able to socialize most of the time I was there, although I think it was also a little bit overwhelming as I haven't been around so many people for such long periods of time. Ideally I would want to just enjoy being around other people, but unfortunately I feel weird at moments when I don't know what to say or do. I'm definitely overthinking it, and I'm going to do my best to not put myself down for it and keep some optimism.

I can feel myself wanting to fantasize as a 'reward' for being around friends, but I'm going to shut that down...I don't want PMO to be a motivator for me to socialize because that will only limit the potential for deep connection with people. Plus I have alot of work to makeup so it'll be good to get back into the swing of things

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2019, 11:31:10 PM »
Glad you had a good time with friends! I can relate to overthinking, it does get better for sure though. Yeah, good to recognize the pmo as a reward mindset is obviously one to be aware of and work to change.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2019, 08:48:44 PM »
Thanks! While I still am overthinking as much as I usually do, I am able to easily recognize it and be like "oh thats not a big deal." Hopefully that will lead to results in being more present (especially around people) but I am not going to push or expect anything.

Another decent day, did some rowing/stair-stepper which was a little tough because I haven't worked out in a week and drank alot this past weekend, felt a good kind of sore and pushed through the rest of the day. I'm trying to adopt this concept I learned in meditation of relaxed focus through tapping into my innate self....so often I feel like I pressure myself to "create" relaxation and happiness through will or effort, when in fact I think that is best achieved by subtracting. Deep, calm focus is a quality humans have relied on to survive and thrive for thousands of years; we are biologically fine-tuned to it at our core. All it takes is letting the distractions, urges, and unpleasant thoughts drift away (and moving away from habits that distort reality such as PMO)

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2019, 01:31:12 PM »
Great stuff! I think just noticing thoughts and bad tendencies is huge! It's like a main premise of mindfulness and actually gives me pleasure. It's cool to start worrying and be able to recognize it and stop it.

Ditto on the focus, I am really putting a lot into avoiding cell phone checking, only checking it proactively, planning to check it in chunks. That is huge for focus imo.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2019, 06:58:38 PM »
Keep it going, man! Glad you're sticking with it.

Another huge vote in support of mindfulness. I've been working on understanding my feelings more lately, especially anxiety and worry. I've been a lot more nervous lately than I remember being before, and I definitely think it contributes to addiction. So I've been trying to take better care of that.

Have a great weekend!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2019, 09:34:33 PM »
Thanks y'all, the continued support from y'all is definitely helping me out!

Today felt pretty good...while I wasn't as productive as I hoped I felt alot lighter and easygoing than I usually do, more social with people and didn't really feel weird being in public like I usually do. I think a big contributor to this has been from meditation, the lesson I learned today is not controlling thoughts, but letting them naturally flow from one thing to the next. Also, I realized that there will always be a part of me that cares what other people think of me, but at the same time I'll never REALLY know, and there's no point in speculating as their opinions of me are as much a reflection of themselves than it is of me....I felt really relieved most of the day not having to try to "not be weird" and just let things happen more naturally, things seemed more random in a pleasant way!

I also realize alot of the things I say are variations of the same concept from my previous posts, but I think it's helpful in a therapeutic way to restate and reinterpret your ideas, giving it fresh life and helping clearly define your goals.

Urges have decreased, but am aware that this is a looooong process so will not be suprised if they come back with a vengeance in the future...either way, I'll be ready.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2019, 09:59:44 PM »
Great stuff! Yeah, writing the same stuff is actually a great thing imo. The mind forgets so easily, repeated over and over helps me always.

Funny, I think meditation is soooo the best. I am having similar insights and credit it to my meditation which I have done much much more off. Like noticing when my mind is out of wack instead of thinking my thoughts are real. Meditation is the best and soooo key.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2019, 07:27:43 PM »
For sure, meditation is awesome! Especially when you could find ways to directly apply it to situations in the real world

Another day, feeling okay I guess. I know this sounds ridiculous but a rush of dopamine hit when I saw an instagram girl in the autofill of my google search bar when searching for something else, so I just cleared all my search history so hopefully something like that won't happen again. Even if it does, no biggie. I feel pretty sensitive being around women, like I could tell my brain wants to sexualize them but I'm doing a good job just staying cool and collected. Worked out today and plan to play basketball with some friends tomorrow, should be a good time!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2019, 07:01:46 PM »
It doesn't sound ridiculous at all! I've been paying more attention to the rushes of dopamine that hit me throughout the day. I think you did the right thing to clear it out of your search bar and move on. I used to think that the dopamine was okay as long as it was porn, but that dopamine rush always leads me to relapse if I don't take it seriously. So it's actually super awesome that you recognized it and took action. Yeah, we're trying to quit PMO but means going earlier in the process and recalibrating our brains' messed-up dopamine systems.

So here's an internet high-five for you!

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2019, 08:24:30 PM »
Great information here guys.... avoiding those dopamine rushes is big! A good message for me, to put more into avoiding them.

Basketball/ sports in general are great. I got a little into basketball during one of my reboots and it was hugely helpful. Sports, especially team ones are some of the best things ever. It's exercise and social, and the cool thing is even when you feel awful you can still play and be social even if you feel a little awkward.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2019, 09:16:11 PM »
Thanks @BlueHeronfan! I realized that when I take the steps to avoid the artificial sources of dopamine, the genuine dopamine hits from being with friends, playing music, and exercising are all the more satisfying, so that's an extra motivator as well!

@Quitforeverthenwin yeah definitely! I think a part of it is accepting that the rushes will come when you don't want them to, but always knowing you can just let them pass and move on with your life :) yeah basketball is dope, reallly fun and also an amazing cardio workout if you're going hard!

Pretty good day, got some good basketball in and am feeling really good at where I am physically and mentally at this point, while still realizing there's alot to improve upon. My violin practicing has been good but I feel like it can be better...I feel motivated during the day to improve but oftentimes I feel the most motivation right before bed, after the day is pretty much over which is weird lol. I'm going to try to push myself just a little bit more and see what happens. Outside of that, I've been dealing with urges the same way so I hope a minimal increase in workload will not affect the vigilance I have kept so far

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2019, 01:56:48 PM »
Sounds good! That makes sense, things seem to be going well and slowly methodically adding more in, sounds like a plan.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2019, 06:50:10 PM »
Good stuff!

I really like how our journeys of recovery involve so much more than just quitting PMO. We're really working to become healthier, better people in every aspect of our lives, and that's an inspiring thing. Keep it up!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2019, 09:51:08 PM »
Thanks again guys! Yeah I think rebooting is really a lifestyle change, even if it's just small changes, as I have realized my addiction has definitely hurt many aspects of my life in the past.

Good day, pushed myself more than I usually did, so some tiredness is to be expected. I have a big audition at the end of the month so I really want to make the most out of every day, music-wise especially so I have 0 regrets when I step on stage for that audition. I think a way to "hack" rebooting is to really hone in on the things that you want to achieve, rather than just sitting on your hands and be like "yay I'm not PMO'ing," and not change anything else, I honestly think it speeds up your recovery so that you need less days to achieve stronger results. This is just speculative, but I feel so much better about my progress with dealing with urges this time around compared to past reboots when I was pretty much the same person outside of PMOing. Anyways I'm super tired so I'm about to pass out lol

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2019, 10:51:19 PM »
Awesome man! That is a great kind of tired, busting your ass on things that you want.

I totally agree, my first long streak I basically forgot about pmo because I was working on a major goal. On that note, I have just started working on goal setting. I know goals are really related to dopamine and I feel setting and achieving even small goals must be a good way to get the brain working properly again, delayed gratification, healthy dopamine usage etc.

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #46 on: April 10, 2019, 12:41:49 PM »
Had a really fucked up dream involving "sex robots" which has kind of bummed me out so far today...I know dreams are random and don't mean anything but it's so vivid in my memory it is starting to bother me a little bit, and did trigger some urges. Regardless, I'm gunna stay strong cause there's much work to do, I meditated which I think helped a little, felt really anxious in class today but there's plenty of day left to make the most out of, no need to sulk in my own despair when I can do things that make me feel better in a healthier, more sustainable way.

Quitforeverthenwin

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #47 on: April 10, 2019, 05:14:45 PM »
Mine didn't involve sex robots but I had a weird pmoish dream a few months ago.... I can't remember what it was a bout! but I felt the same way. That right there is a message that it'll pass. Remember the rough patches always patch! I  had a pretty long one but the last few days have been good. It feels bad, but good things are still happening in your brain.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #48 on: April 10, 2019, 07:07:44 PM »
Man, PMO-related dreams mess me up for a day or two when they happen. Stay the course though! (Not like you need me to tell you that)

I think you're right on with your "hack." If all we're thinking about is quitting PMO, we're still just thinking about PMO all day, and that doesn't help anything. If we switch to thinking about goals, though, that's a real change of our mindset and habits of thinking. Great insight!

pichaelthompson

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Re: A new beginning
« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2019, 12:25:16 PM »
Thanks guys! Urges, are strong today, it's like my brain is trying to find an excuse to fantasize from anything I do...I'm going to take a nap bc I've been pretty sleep deprived and hopefully I'l feel better later. Regardless, I think I need to be kinder to myself as I often scold myself for slipping up into fantasizing, looking at a youtube video that would turn me on. It's hard finding that balance between compassion and discipline, and sometimes both is needed greatly at the same time, especially when urges get really bad.