Author Topic: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery  (Read 1637 times)

mym8marty

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Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2019, 12:54:24 PM »
    Tomorrow is a new day and you're not alone in the struggle! Even with the lapse you're still progressing.

    Thanks for this! It is something I have to keep in mind, as when I get down about my failures it tends to be a downward spiral. Have to keep my head up and keep my eyes forward.


    I gave some thought to my relapse, and I heard some advice earlier that made a lot of sense to me: treat your relapse as a positive learning experience rather than a negative failure. So I wrote this list down:

    What Worked:
    • Leaving my room every morning and not going to my phone before I've left
    • Exercising (been doing some bodyweight exercises in my room)
    • Writing in this journal daily
    • Open communication/accountability
    • Having a deadline on my phone use at night (i.e. hard rule: no phones past midnight)
    • Eating healthy
    • Keeping up a sleep routine/sleeping enough
    What Didn't Work:
    • Giving into sugar cravings (last night started w/ eating a bag of swedish fish from the vending machine)
    • Gray Areas:
    • What constitutes a relapse?
    • Phone in bed at night, "just a little longer", not having that deadline
    • Intentionally missing journal entry (e.g. "I'll just do one tomorrow")
    • Allowing urges to linger
    • Fantasizing in a "healthy" way, entertaining my imagination because "it's not porn"
    • Pushing through insomnia by just staying in bed
    • Isolation & Napping mid-day

    What Could Help?
    • Mindfulness games/challenges
    • More cardio-based exercise on top of bodyweight exercises
    • Meditation
    • Planning for insomnia e.g. getting out of bed the moment its clear I can't sleep


    I'm going to try to shape my behaviors from now on with these lists in mind. #1 thing to remember is, I DON'T WANT THIS IN MY LIFE, so stop letting it back in.

    Will update tonight with my new Day 1 post.
           
    [/list]

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #26 on: April 18, 2019, 10:55:35 PM »
    Day 1 done! (Again!)

    Quick update before bed since I got a lot of my thoughts out earlier. One big thing I learned today is if I am gonna use melatonin I should use a lot less (.5mg vs the 3mg recommended dosage on the bottle) because it’s causing me to have overly vivid dreams and wake up during the night.

    Hard rule for the phone is midnight so that’s 5 minutes. Thank you all for your support and kindness.

    Goodnight!

    Quitforeverthenwin

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #27 on: April 19, 2019, 06:22:09 PM »
    Great list! I always find it uncanny how similar this addiction is in everyone. Literally the list is word for word what happens to me... Staying in the bed, the gray areas, eating junk food. Yup. Yup. and Yup all the things that would precede lapses. Then avoiding the phone, stopping checking it leaving the room exercise all the bomb. Literally everything on the list is how I have found it too.

    Congrats on getting through the day! Yup, you want this OUT of your life. Good to always remember that, same for me here...

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #28 on: April 20, 2019, 03:04:10 AM »
    Day 2 done

    Had a really amazing day today spent with my girlfriend, went out to dinner and saw a movie. I’m not feeling anything close to how I was in terms of sexual energy (or any other kind of energy) before the relapse which is upsetting, but is testament to the fact that edging is just as much of a relapse as full on PMO is. Completely forgot reset my progress, but that’s ok.

    I also started cleaning my room today, getting things more organized. I think having the space be less chaotic will help my life be less chaotic as well.

    Once again have to watch out for Sunday, it always trips me up in terms of getting started for the day and wasting my potential time to be productive.

    Night dudes will update again tomorrow with day 3

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #29 on: April 20, 2019, 03:08:23 AM »
    Great list! I always find it uncanny how similar this addiction is in everyone. Literally the list is word for word what happens to me... Staying in the bed, the gray areas, eating junk food. Yup. Yup. and Yup all the things that would precede lapses. Then avoiding the phone, stopping checking it leaving the room exercise all the bomb. Literally everything on the list is how I have found it too.

    Congrats on getting through the day! Yup, you want this OUT of your life. Good to always remember that, same for me here...

    I completely agree. While not everyone has the exact same addictions or triggers, everyone struggling with PMO has such similar stories in terms of the challenges they face during their recovery, and everyone (even different kinds of addicts) benefit from the same things we do. I think it really helps us have solidarity with one another, and hope that we will be able to achieve what we see people who have gone years without it have been able to, since we know they started out just like us.

    LeanAndBop

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #30 on: April 20, 2019, 05:58:06 AM »
    Hey, interesting point about keeping your space tidy. It is surely productive and healthy to tidy up and live in an uncluttered environment. For me it feels good once I get loads of dishes done, for example. Though, supposedly a cluttered desk is a sign of genius... Who knows.
    Sunday can be a real struggle! I've been advised to plan to do something with another person on such days.
    Wishing you all the best, your last entry seems really positive.

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #31 on: April 20, 2019, 01:58:14 PM »
    Had a wet dream last night, wasn’t good at all I don’t really remember the context but I’m pretty sure I was watching porn in my dream, although I don’t remember any porn itself just the act and context of PMO in general, like I remember putting my phone down and feeling a lot of shame/guilt. Woke up and turned out it probably happens cause I needed to use the restroom

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #32 on: April 20, 2019, 02:45:49 PM »
    Hey, interesting point about keeping your space tidy. It is surely productive and healthy to tidy up and live in an uncluttered environment. For me it feels good once I get loads of dishes done, for example. Though, supposedly a cluttered desk is a sign of genius... Who knows.
    Sunday can be a real struggle! I've been advised to plan to do something with another person on such days.
    Wishing you all the best, your last entry seems really positive.

    Thanks! I think while that might be true it doesn’t mean that a cleaner area wouldn’t help haha. It’s a big thing for me with my ADHD to naturally be messy and use “piles” but having a clean space to counteract that is super helpful for me. For instance, I used to lose my keys and wallet constantly, but now they live in a tray on my bedside table and aren’t allowed to go anywhere else in my room. Haven’t lost them since.

    Quitforeverthenwin

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #33 on: April 20, 2019, 11:46:13 PM »
    Hey, the wet dream sounds unpleasant. But sometimes relapse dreams are good! Motivation for you to keep moving forward.

    Yeah, tidyness is huge. I have heard messy=genius too. But if we think about it, it's a myth for sure. Like half of people have messy desks, not half of people are geniuses. Being organized doesn't prove your a genius, but it sure makes life a lot easier!

    Besides, even if it is true (messy desk= genius) I doubt cleaning our desks will make us lose our genius powers  ;)

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #34 on: April 22, 2019, 03:36:45 AM »
    Yeah, tidyness is huge. I have heard messy=genius too. But if we think about it, it's a myth for sure. Like half of people have messy desks, not half of people are geniuses. Being organized doesn't prove your a genius, but it sure makes life a lot easier!

    Besides, even if it is true (messy desk= genius) I doubt cleaning our desks will make us lose our genius powers  ;)

    I think you said this the way I tried to but I wasn’t really able to get my thoughts out in the right way haha

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #35 on: April 22, 2019, 03:43:36 AM »
    Day 3 & 4 done!

    Updating at like 5am because I didn’t want to skip two updates in a row. Skipped day 3 cause I was up late and slept over at my girlfriends, was overall a good night. I spent my Sunday working on a project that took way longer than I thought it would, so I’m going to bed now (finally) and wanted to give a quick update.

    So much for keeping the sleep schedule...

    I blocked Facebook on my phone today. I had already blocked reddit but after not regularly using Facebook for years I was back on it multiple times a day. I guess I just crave something to scroll through. After blocking it, it was super weird, like I had nothing left to do on my phone. Just put it away, I guess. Hoping this will help me be more present and in the moment, as well as helping to keep me away from anything triggering (although fb was never really a trigger for me).

    Will update tomorrow with day 5 (full business week!)

    Redfire03

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #36 on: April 22, 2019, 06:11:46 AM »
    Facebook is a great start. When I got off I understand where being used to scrolling threw things is something you crave... weird I know.  But I started using my time in the gym and be more active.. I spend a lot of time reading on here and focus on me.

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #37 on: April 23, 2019, 12:24:48 AM »
    Day 5 done!

    Almost had a wet dream during the nap I took today (very positive though, was imagining my girlfriend so not only was I not watching porn but my subconscious was being faithful!) but I woke up to my alarm right as I think it was gonna happen. Just needed to pee, gotta be better about doing that before bed. It’s kind of weird because that’s never something I had to think about before, I mean I just never got wet dreams. But I’m excited because this is a huge sign of recovery! Only 5 days from my relapse too.

    Hoping to get to sleep soon but my sleep schedule is still a little janky. I’ll see how it goes.

    Thanks everyone!

    Quitforeverthenwin

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #38 on: April 23, 2019, 09:09:36 PM »
    Great stuff man! That is great, to have a good dream like that. Keep up the good work. And yeah wet dreams by all accounts, especially a healthy one like that are considered a sign of progress!

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #39 on: April 24, 2019, 12:21:00 AM »
    Day 6 done

    Almost at the full week. Honestly my mind has been very off of porn lately, not even thinking about it as something to turn to. Good progress in terms of those mental pathways that have been built up.
     
    So, not much to say about today, other than that I’ve been putting a lot of  energy lately into learning Spanish and it’s going really well. Something to replace the time I used to spend with PMO.

    Will update tomorrow with 1 week!

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #40 on: April 24, 2019, 11:32:00 PM »
    Week 1 done!!

    7 days in today. I’m feeling really good and I’m my libido is ridiculously high. Honestly it’s kind of bad how much it is, I guess I’m just not used to it. I just need to remember to focus that energy into productive things, especially school stuff in the weeks leading up to finals.

    I’m thinking of toning down my posting frequency but I can’t decide. Is it better to start doing this every other day since my day to day entries aren’t that significant? Or is it better to do it every day as a daily recap and a way to keep me on track?

    Quitforeverthenwin

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #41 on: April 26, 2019, 07:34:36 PM »
    Congrats man! Keep it up! That is awesome that it is getting easier.

    Do it however you want BUT, daily insignificant entries are actually really great..... The journal is not meant to be entertainment for us reading! I think having little check ins daily that are insignificant is a GREAT SIGN. That means you are steadily making progress not having too many ups and downs, just steadily moving forward and FURTHER away from PMO.

    To me that sounds like the daily posting is really helpful. That doesn't mean you need to post everyday, if you want to do every other day thats fine, if you miss day also fine. But, it sounds like the daily posting is working really well and you are in a good place so why change?

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #42 on: April 27, 2019, 12:58:46 AM »
    Day 9 done!

    This is the number where I stumbled last time, so I’ve been extra vigilant today haha

    Spent the day with my girlfriend which was awesome, just hanging out. Spoke with my therapist earlier today and we talked about my compulsiveness with not just porn, but phone usage in any way to keep my mind busy. I think I honestly use it way more as an emotional defense than I thought, I thought it was purley just the ADHD and I was getting bored very easy. But I sort of use it to run away from bad thoughts, especially anxious thoughts that I let run wild if I am not distracting myself.. Something to think about for me.


    To me that sounds like the daily posting is really helpful. That doesn't mean you need to post everyday, if you want to do every other day thats fine, if you miss day also fine. But, it sounds like the daily posting is working really well and you are in a good place so why change?

    This is a great point! I might go back to daily then. I think I’m just feeling a little worried that I’ll have to write in this journal, or feel this way forever if that makes sense. Like I’ll never truly be over it. I see people with journals that are years old.. I don’t want to still be struggling years from now. Even if I’ve been clean the whole time am I ever going to be able to just forget about it completely? Or will I have to keep writing about how I didn’t masturbate again every night, and if I don’t I’ll just fall back into it?

    I guess this is too much to think about at 9 days in LOL I am probably over thinking this.

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #43 on: May 06, 2019, 12:23:44 AM »
    Hey everyone

    After Day 10 on my second streak I intentionally broke my streak, relapsed in the two days following, then stopped for 3-4 days. Tonight I relapsed again.

    My initial post talked a lot about how I was no longer the initiator of sex in my relationship because of my lack of libido due to my porn dependency. In later posts I described how I got my libido back, and I had a lot of pent up sexual energy from going for multiple days without PMO.

    I’m beginning to realize that my relationship is not (nearly) sexless because of my porn dependency.

    I fully expected for us to start having regular sex once I got my libido back, and I was actively trying to initiate sex again. Instead, we maybe did it once, but not nearly as much as I had expected.

    The thing is, my attempts at initiation almost felt like I was annoying her, and that hurt.

    This drove me back to porn. At first I just wanted to get rid of the excess energy that caused me to constantly try to initiate things, because if she didn’t want to then I didn’t want to bother her.

    Then, I did it because I just because I wanted to and I didn’t want to go in and be shot down.

    Tonight I went back and reread my first post on this forum. I realized that my dependency on porn is not the cause, but the result of the state of my relationship.

    So why is it sexless?

    Me.

    Looking at how I tried to initiate sex in the past few weeks, I have been treating sex the same way I did PMO. If I wanted the release, I’d pester her, feeling her up a lot, expecting it to just happen. That’s not a bad thing inherently, but is that what gets her in the mood? Not at all.

    I was doing nothing for her and expecting everything from her. That is NOT how a relationship works. Relationships are about mutual emotions, attraction, trust. Sex is the same way. It is not something that one does for the other, but a shared experience.

    If I want to initiate, how the fuck do I expect to do that just by doing what makes ME happy? I need to reassess myself and my approach to sex in my relationship. It is not a tool for myself to get off. That’s a disgusting mindset but it is the one I am realizing I’ve had.

    I love my girlfriend more than anything, and I honestly believe I might lose her if I don’t change myself for the better. That means more than just quitting PMO. I need to be the right partner for her in every aspect.



    So with that all being said, tomorrow is Day 1. I’m going to start posting daily again. Thank you all for your support this last month, or however long it’s been.

    Quitforeverthenwin

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #44 on: May 06, 2019, 09:44:11 PM »
    Sorry to hear that man, great you got some insights as to how you can improve your relationship and sex life with your girlfriend.


    It is your recovery and you know yourself best, but... I am partial to blaming pmo for a lot of these problems. You hit the nail on the head about treating sex with her like it was pmo. I have had that experience as well. The pmo and addictive way of being, leads to being impulsive and, for me, just being kind of "off" sexually and girls can tell it. So in my opinion it's still PMO is the problem. The PMO fucks up the relationship. That doesn't mean there aren't growing pains and adjustments BUT that the pmo going should be a big priority.


    Also This drove me back to porn. At first I just wanted to get rid of the excess energy that caused me to constantly try to initiate things, because if she didn’t want to then I didn’t want to bother her.

    Also, are you sure about the bold part? Could it have been your mind rationalizing a reason to use PMO? I find that lapses normally come with rationalizations....

    One more thing: I think there is a difference between healthy sexuality and impulsive sexuality... you seem to definitely get this, there is a difference between long periods pmo free, where I suddenly feel connected and this healthy enjoyable desire for sex versus the implusive need something now! Feeling. Just trying to point out how, I don't think it's one sexual energy. There is unhealthy impulsive PMO and there is sex. It's a weird feeling and process, rewiring... if I haven't had sex in awhile the first few times I am getting pmo cravings during all of foreplay....

    I am not you of course, so let us know if any of of my deductions are wrong...

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #45 on: May 07, 2019, 02:59:43 AM »
    I think you’re 100% right about everything you just said.

    I think the reason I was trying to take the blame for the problem was to remind myself that these are decisions I am making of my own volition. It is an effect of PMO but ultimately I am in control, and I can’t blame away my behavior on it. That being said, I am probably being too harsh on myself and that might not be great for my recovery.

    I also agree that it was a rationalization. While I did have a lot of that energy that’s not a good reason to relapse. There’s never a good reason to relapse!

    On healthy/impulsive sexuality... I think that I had begun to get this on my own but seeing it laid out in your words is very, very reassuring. I resent my impulsive need for sex because it reminds me of my connection to PMO and it makes me feel like an asshole. Why do I feel like deserve to just take whenever I feel like it?

    In the end, I think my goal is not to be without PMO, but rather to use my abstinence from it to achieve that healthy sexuality. I really desire a life where I am in the drivers seat, rather than just responding to impulses. This is true for my whole life, and is probably because of my ADHD... but I think it’s especially important with sex and relationships.

    Quitforeverthenwin

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #46 on: May 07, 2019, 06:44:10 PM »
    Great  :). I think the healthier sexuality will come with time, it's just a process and we have to be aware.


    One idea: Instead of thinking like :
    "I think my goal is not to be without PMO, but rather to use my abstinence from it to achieve that healthy sexuality."

    Think like this: " My goal is 100% to quite pmo no matter what cause it's the goddamn devil, and an awesome benefit to that is that having quit, I can then achieve healthy sexuality and more self control which is important to me!"

    It's really really similar. Your phrase actually is more rational and level headed BUT something I have found is, it's helpful to have the core be NO PMO and then the benefits and things you want for quitting the pmo to be extra motivation for quitting PMO.

    Why?

    Because this closes off room for rationalization! The addictive thoughts are crafty, they aren't rational. Say you quit pmo for a month, you are having sex with the girlfriend and it's not healthy.... that can lead to the rationalization to PMO. "Well I am stopping PMO to have healthy sexuality and my sexuality is not healthy... so I can do it once"  or " I am cumming too fast with my girlfriend, so I can PMO or MO once a week to fix that". OR You get in an argument or *knock on wood* have a break up or you get some bad withdrawal and feel really really down and hopeless (hopefully not but it happens to some people in recovery, it passes). Then your brain is like "well, I don't have healthy sexuality, the world is coming to an end yadda yadda,might as well pmo". 

    Any of those thoughts if the lead to PMO, then destroy your ability to have that healthy sexuality and the thoughts are bullshit, then you have to start over and when you run into difficulties again, you can run into the same thoughts, so you don't get to get to the point of enjoying those "real" reasons for quitting pmo. Which can suck.

    It's so weird how it works. Me, for example, my brain would think "I only want to stop pmo so my dick works". Then I will have no women in my life...." so I guess I can PMO or maybe fantisize about porn (which harms my erections) and clean up when I meet a girl" then goddamn it, that next day was nearly always when I finally met a girl lol. Then my confidence would be shit or my dick wouldn't work. Then the girl is gone. BUT: If I had the foundation being " I will never pmo no matter what, I don't care if I have no girls or am miserable"---> Then have the other motivations as EXTRA. - healthy sexuality - my dick will work - feel more confident etc. It's a bonus and may have kept me away from PMO and I could have had the healthy sex with that girl and all those benefits, make sense?

    Basically it's just a way to make it more robust, because bad times happen, bad periods of sex. This way having a core idk like motivation that can still be there, when the benefits aren't can more allow us to get through the bad periods, that come and go (or may be constant early in the recovery) so that we can get those benefits (like healthy sexuality, self control etc.)

    BlueHeronFan

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #47 on: May 07, 2019, 07:07:44 PM »
    I think you and Quit have some great points. Sorry to hear about the rough patch in your relationship, but it's good to see you back here.

    One of the things that has surprised me most about my recovery is discovering that PMO is not my only issue, or even my main issue. For a long time, I thought that I would be fine if I could just quit PMO. But then I started trying to quit, and I've realized that there are a lot of things at the root of my addiction that need attention as well as a lot of things that my addiction has affected that also need work. It's been like opening a can of worms, but it's been really helpful too and has given me more success than just focusing on PMO alone.

    So I would just add that it might be good to think about what is at the root of the issue, whether it's PMO or maybe thinking of sex more selfishly. I know people sometimes talk about "sexual energy," but I never relapse because I just have too much sexual energy. It's always because I've been disappointed by something or bored or sad, something that I think PMO will either fix or let me escape from for a while. Of course, PMO doesn't fix it, and then things are just worse after. But, on some level, PMO has been a way for me to cope with difficulty in life.

    Also, and I'm the last person to give any kind of relationship advice, but you might talk about it with your girlfriend if you haven't. Maybe even apologize for the way you treated sex in the past. If you do think it has been damaging your relationship and you're worried about losing her just being honest and talking it out could be good. A pre-emptive apology seems better than a last-straw fight in my mind. I don't know your situation or relationship, so you'll have to make the call. But, since it's something that involves both of you, it might be good to involve her in the process. (Again, not my area of expertise, but just what comes to mind)

    mym8marty

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #48 on: May 08, 2019, 12:07:16 AM »
    Day 1 Done!

    Bringing back the day counter, I think it helped a lot.

    Unfortunately last night I relapsed after staying up and being on my phone. Quit’s point about rationalization is honestly the best explanation I have for why. Even after my post, I still felt bad about myself and threw away my day of progress.

    I am going to re-adopt the mindset of no PMO above all else. You make a great argument and I feel like you are really in tune with how addiction can affect us. You were able to analyze that in my post so thank you for that, and honestly I love this forum because every time I get a response from one of you I learn a new way to look at something or to think about this journey.

    Blue, I wouldn’t put yourself down for inexperience. You make a great point. I did speak to her about my compulsiveness with sex recently and she said that she appreciates the attention but she does feel less valued as a partner, more as an object (not in those words, she definitely put it a lighter way than that) but she understands why. We’ve been together for a long time and we are teammates above everything else, so I’m really lucky to have her.

    About the sexual energy, I’m starting to think I used it as a way of “self medicating” my ADHD. My brain is constantly moving and I’m physically unable to sit still, but when I PMO a lot or I don’t get much sleep I am so much calmer and it’s easier to just deal with myself. When I’m abstaining and I’m being healthy I don’t know how to react to the overwhelming amount of input... this is definitely some food for thought. Thank you both for your input, I appreciate it more than you know.

    BlueHeronFan

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    Re: 20yo w/ PIED, my journal to recovery
    « Reply #49 on: May 08, 2019, 07:08:25 PM »
    Sure thing! Everything starts with Day 1, glad you're going to stick with the counting since you know it works for you. It definitely helps me (if you want to read a post that's way too long about counting days in my journal...) This whole process only works one day at a time, and a day is only wasted if you didn't learn from what went wrong or commit to do better the next day.

    That's awesome that you were able to talk things through with her. The fact that you can talk about this issue and work things out with her is really great. PMO tricks us with sex on-demand, but that's not how life works.

    One thing that has been huge for my recovery recently has been learning to deal with my emotions in more productive ways. Overwhelming emotions have definitely triggered my relapses in the past, so I've been focusing on working with my difficult feelings. I don't know if you've spent any time with meditation/mindfulness, but it might be worth looking into if you haven't. I was pretty skeptical early on, but it has made a huge difference for me in my recovery.

    Keep it going: we're rooting for you!