Author Topic: 28 And Done With Porn  (Read 13683 times)

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #225 on: November 07, 2019, 12:10:10 AM »
Thank you Blue. Unfortunately I just relapsed. It seems that something happens right around day 10 that seems to always catch me at the moment. My last streaks have all been 7-12 days long, so there's a day somewhere in there where immense urges come. I need to sit with them before the peeking occurs, not after. That makes it much much worse. I must admit I spent the entire day on and off today pretty much peeking at P on my phone. I didn't do any of the practice I was supposed to do for my gig on Sunday. It is like I always use the stress of an upcoming performance to let myself slip, and then I use the guilt of not having practised to let myself slip further. Like something in me knows that this performance will be really good if I just practice but it wants me to stay down and stay needing porn so that I can never achieve anything as a performer. Because believe me, when I'm not PMO'ing my brains out, I'm a fucking shit hot musician... and that's what makes it so sad. P takes away my confidence and motivation completely to make music.

For fuck's sake. Onwards. Tomorrow is a new day. Fuck.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #226 on: November 07, 2019, 02:43:08 PM »
Day 1

Not all is lost. Met T this morning for a hike, and so started the day right with endorphins. Came home, showered, started compiling and printing the stuff I need for my performance on Sunday.

Managed to not let this one little relapse turn into a binge, and I'm happy about that. I read an article last night after I relapsed that a relapse is only really a relapse if you binge. I think there could something to be said for that kind of thinking. I'll dig it up when I get a moment and post it on here. The theory is that when we reset our counters to zero after a one-time lapse, we are engaging in a form of self-punishment. But the longer our streak, the less progress we actually lose from a one-off relapse, as long as we don't turn it into a binge. One prevalent nofapper says that we ought to subtract 5 days off our streak for a one-time MO, and 10 days off for a PMO. That way, we are still acknowledging that we fucked up, but not totally punishing ourselves since our overall progress isn't entirely lost, and that's ultimately what matters.

Despite this, I was on day 10 and I PMO'd, so it's back to zero for now :-)

Proud of myself that I meditated after relapse and didn't let myself sink back down into a binge.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 07:00:08 PM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #227 on: November 07, 2019, 08:32:55 PM »
Sorry to hear about the lapse, but it's awesome that it's not turning into a binge.

Your exactly right about sitting with the urges before peeking and not after. Don't give the addiction a foothold in your life. The thing about dopamine, I've learned recently, is that it's not actually about pleasure. It's about anticipation of pleasure. Dopamine is the wanting, the craving, the urge. When we fantasize and peek and edge and stuff, we're setting the dopamine circuit into overdrive, and that leads to relapse. In a way, we're actually more addicted to anticipating PMO than to PMO itself (I can remember some of my last binges: edging to non-explicit sexy videos. Accidentally getting to O was like a disappointment because the anticipation and the heightened state of wanting was over. The addictive pleasure was in delaying the actual pleasure as long as possible and staying in a state of anticipation.)

Get back at it (it sounds like you already have). Relapse is always closer than we want it to be, don't give it the advantage by cozying up to it with peeking and fantasizing.

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #228 on: November 07, 2019, 09:19:34 PM »
on the basis of my 5 years of experience i know first 2-4 days are so hard. but at this point if we fail then remember we always have an another chance.
i know we relapsed 999 times. but there is chance at 1000th time to reboot. good things always tends to something good happen in life. so from today set your goal, always think benefits of nofap. and do it this time. you can do it.
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #229 on: November 08, 2019, 10:38:35 AM »
Day 2

Wife launched into an all-out assault on me last night for relapsing 2 days ago. I told her I appreciate it makes her angry but taking it out on me just has a negative effect, and if anything it makes me more likely to relapse because it causes guilt, shame, and stress, which are all huge triggers. She said that I'm saying it's her fault, and she can't believe I'd say that, and that she has a right to be angry because she wants and deserves more from her husband than a porn addict.

Whatever other reasons I gave as to why I thought that this maybe wasn't the most constructive conversation, she just said 'oh so it's all my fault!!!'

...NOT what I was saying but okay...

I tried to tell her to look on the bright side, that the last relapse I didn't binge which is a big step for me, that I did the right thing for 9 days everyday, and before that however many days it was, and before that, and before that. I tried to explain that not everything is lost and that it is a learning curve. She said she deserves more than a 10 day streak.

She says that every time I relapse she has a right to be angry. Well, that just makes me angry. I tried to reason with her that when somebody comes at you aggressively, the natural response is to be defensive. Being angry literally achieves nothing for the addict. An addict needs to feel supported and loved. Her retort was that she has nobody to talk about this to, because I told her not to? (Not actually true), and that OMG she can't believe I don't think we're on the same team! She said that she feels angry when I relapse because I'm choosing a computer screen over her. I told her that she can tell the whole fucking world about it if it means that she doesn't get angry at me. I told her that I have never chosen a computer screen over her. What I choose, is seemingly innocent activities that end up triggering me. Then the addiction takes over and that's when it escalates and I'm no longer in control.

Anything I said she just took as me blaming her.

I don't know what to do.

Just now she called me and said that she loves me and that she's really sorry and that she had a 'lapse' in her ability to hold it together and support me in the right way, and that she's also been hormonal these past few days because of her birth control.. I said I love her too, and I'm sorry that I'm a porn addict... (It's not like I'm not doing my very best to quit this drug already, though -- I didn't say that just thought it).

The truth is she made me feel kind of low and worthless attacking me like that. She says she has an account on here and she reads sometimes, and I encouraged her to read more on the partners' forum to find more effective ways to help and support me. Also, reading about the science behind the addiction would help her to understand that it's not about her personally, or about me 'choosing a computer screen'. Her whole tirade just made me feel super down, especially as none of my reasoning was going through. She wanted me to just shut up and take it while she attacked me because I was the one in the 'wrong' for being a porn addict, and she had 'every right to be angry'. Fuck that. If that's how I keep getting treated when I have a genuine disease, then I don't know what I'm gonna do.

What I do know is that I need to stay clean from this bullshit.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 10:44:17 AM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #230 on: November 08, 2019, 02:56:21 PM »
Hey been trying to catch up on your journal, will aim to read through the rest later but, looks like a lot of stuff going on right now, so I guess I"ll try and comment.

Hey man, really sorry to hear that about the argument. Hmmm. Man, that sounds like a unique situation. But I guess, I'll put in my 2 cents which might be super wrong. But even if it is super wrong, maybe reading it can just get your mind jogging like "man what a dumbass idea Quit wrote, but a better idea would be...." lol


Caveats: You have a lot more relationship experience than me. Some of my ideas about relationships may be a little old school. My ideas may be a bit outside the box, but again maybe could lead you to your own solution.


For me, the best relationship I ever had. Was pretty politically incorrect. We were not 50/50 partners, who were the exact same. Where'd I'd cry on her shoulder and she was my therapist. I didn't share tons of vulnerability with my girlfriend. At the time my work life was so shit. But I'd just say like "hey, works a little tough" with almost no emotion just to let her know what is going on. She'd say "oh, it'll be fine". Then we'd move on and have fun. ( our relationship ended with us both super upset as she was not permanently in the country)
When I've been TOO vulnerable with women, it's not gone well. (not saying, we have to be invulnerable).

The way I look at it, in a relationship sure the man and women are equally important and deserve full respect, but the man should be the leader. It was done that way for what a couple thousand years? When I say leader, it's not some anti women. "Do as I say!" type of deal. It's about aiming to take responsibility, holding in emotions sometimes for the benefit of the wife/ kids.

 A little aside: This book the willpower instinct, talks about how people with more willpower, are much more successful in life. We evolved a part of our brain that allows us to control our emotions. It evolved and is what makes people, people. Basically it made me realize, like willpower, being annoyed or upset and holding it in and stuff is just a part of life and a huge part of what makes successful relationships.

I think women want a man to be strong. No matter what theories people come up with sitting at a desk in sociology classes or whatever.


So your wife was upset about the relapse. Does that make you feel worse? Sure. And that's natural. Addiction sucks, and it makes us let ourselves and other's down. We'll be upset when we let ourselves down and other people will sometimes be upset when we let them down.

Let's look at this from the "women want some strength and security from a man, thus a man should act like a leader at times" perspective. How would a leader handle this?

If you were going into battle and your commander like fucked up a plan for the battle, you came in pissed off: like

you/ the army "WTF! That was your job, don't you care about us, we're all going to die now!"

commander: " Hey, that's really not helping anything, what I need from you is total support, this is just making it worse. Us generals need total support you know  :-\ "

Argument ensues.....

Would that inspire your confidence to go into battle?

What if instead.

You/the army whatever: "what the fuck you messed up the battle plan, we're all going to die. Do you think we don't fucking matter. You'll just let us die!?"

Commander Superboss: " I apologize gentlemen, I am working on correcting the issue presently"  (super calmly and confidently)

The army: " What the fuck do you mean you apologize, you SUCK YOU WORTHLESS PEACE OF SHIT"

Commander Superboss: "Gentleman, I understand you are upset. Again I will apologize. I am working on a revised battle plan for tomorrow, I will see you all in the morning."

I think sometimes when we are the leader/ being a strong husband father whatever. We gotta hold in our vulnerability and act a little more confident then we are even if we are not. The cool thing about it is, I notice when I have to hold in my emotions and act more positive then I am to idk coach somebody, help somebody or seduce a woman lol. It actually helps me to feel more confident and stronger.


The vibe I got from the whole thing was yeah, she was disappointed for sure and yeah that sucks. She wanted and expected more.
 
"that she has a right to be angry because she wants and deserves more from her husband than a porn addict."

I take that as basically like. "Hey your my husband, I want you to be strong and to have faith in you, WHAT THE FUCK be stronger, I want you to be a strong leader".

Can you control the fact that you already relapsed IN THE PAST. Of course not, you can't change the past. But you could maybe have shown some strength in your initial response.

Like that commander I talked about, like he fucked up people were mad at him. But he could totally handle the anger ( at least he acted like it). Something about that, the anger not affecting him at all, in my opinion would just be reassuring, kind of like "okay, man this guy must have something figured out, or has ice in his veins or something".

But the response of  like "I need you to support me right now". Would not inspire confidence if the leader says something like that.

So on the surface it's like:

1) A mistake happened, and you are doing your best. It has nothing to do with your wife who you love.
2) She is upset and just doesn't "get" it.
3) You ask for support.
4) What the fuck it's MY FAULT!?!?
5) No babe.
6) WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT"S MY FAULT YOU PEACE OF SHIT lol (huge argument ensues).

But looking at it from another lens, the lens of leadership of a women wanting strength.

1) The lapse happened, it has nothing to do with your wife etc. (no change here) (perceived as perhaps not as much strength as she wants, not as much leadership)
2) Your wife (the underlying meaning, although she kind of straight up said it.  " WHAT THE FUCK, I SELECTED YOU AS MY HUSBAND, YOUR THE LEADER WHY ARE YOU BEING WEAK" " NOW I FEEL SCARED AND I FEEL LIKE SHIT, ARE YOU REALLY WEAK? FUCK, THE PRIMITIVE PART OF MY SUBCONSCIOUS IS WORRIED THAT ME AND MY BABIES WILL GET EATEN BY LIONS BECAUSE YOU MIGHT BE WEAK. ARE YOU WEAK? CAN YOU REASSURE ME OF YOUR LEADERSHIP PLEASE? (I know this still sucks).
3) " I can't handle this now etc. etc." ( I can't lead, I need your support. I can not handle your anger) ( Yup, damn right I am not leading, I can't handle this shit)
4) Her: AAAAGHHHHHHH!!!!


So it was like
Mistake
Wife wants reassurance of leadership ability
Double down on not leading.
Enraged wife.

So yeah, you were down and felt like you needed support after the relapse. But the relapse also shook your wife and she needed some reassurance and reassurance of your leadership. So those two opposing goals didn't work. Because the seeking support etc. at that moment was the opposite of reassuring/ leading. 


Also man, sometimes in recovery groups and stuff there is this idea like "The spouse boyfriend/ girlfriend" has to deal with ANYTHING the other person does because the addiction is totally not our fault or whatever.

(Not saying this is what you're doing). I've heard people in recovery groups tell all sorts of stories.
One guy, had a sex addiction and would bang prostitutes all the time. His wife called him a whore mongering douche bag. He talked about what a bitch she was for not understanding it was a disease and the whole recovery group agreed that she was no good.

But idk man: He married her, there was a commitment made. He broke that commitment, disease or no disease. I can kind of see her point. She marries a dude and he's off banging prostitutes, she is pissed off and he's mad at her for not being understanding.

Another girl had this crazy sex life with her boyfriend (and also cheated on him a shit ton). Then decided she could never have sex with him while she recovered. The dude was upset, he was dating this girl with this wild sex life and then she after cheating on him decides they can't have sex anymore.

I don't subscribe to the disease theory myself. But I think people are still going to hold us responsible for our actions, pretty much no matter what. Disease or not. Not saying this to chastise you, I get it relapse suck and are hard as fuck and it's nothing to be ashamed of, but in my opinion if we do something that upsets someone saying to them "I have a disease" doesn't necessarily mean they have to just be okay with it and whatever upset them doesn't count anymore.

Maybe if I were a mental patient in an asylum and and my alternate universe girlfriend was visiting and I said or did some crazy shit, it's fair to be mad at her if she did not understand when I or my doctor told her I had a disease.

But if I am in a relationship with someone, two adults, me choosing to be there.  I think it's fair for my girlfriend/wife what ever to get upset about what I do, or expect me to have some ability to keep commitments disease or no disease.

I think that's fair. If due to my disease I don't want to be responsible for any actions I take, that's fine and a choice I can make. There are places I can find that. Mental institution. Straight Jacket. Criminally insane. I can marry some alien hybrid half centaur Cleopatra I imagined in my padded cell. But if I am going to get married in the real world and don't want to live in a mental institution, get the benefits of having a wife etc. then I guess I'll be held responsible for my actions, disease or not. I think that's fair and don't really see how it'd be fair otherwise.

Anyways man, long story short. Sucks about the lapse, but get right back on that horse!

You couldn't control the lapse, after it happened.
But maybe you could have tried to act in a way that showed leadership and inspired confidence and security in your wife
The argument is in the past, so you can't control that. But moving forward maybe you can perhaps try and handle this like a leader and show a bit of confidence and strength (even if you don't feel it). What would commander superboss do? lol

Also bro this is just about this one situation and one take on it. From what I read in the early part of your journal, you've done some super badass stuff, starting businesses moved to different countries already married. So I think you can handle this shit like a boss too. It's just a time and a place thing. Sometimes it's time to pull out the boss boots. IMO

But yeah man, I think support is super important. But maybe your wife, has certain needs/ wants (you showing some leadership and reassurance) that means she straight up can't support you at all times in this issue, because during some of the times you'll have to be showing the leadership, not being supported. This is all good, it'll prob actually help you feel better imo. Plus, man there is a ton of good support out there. If you want 100% support at all times, I think that's simply got to come from people who went through the same shit/ are going through the same shit. Which you can hopefully get here. Having a wife obviously presents unique challenges (as we saw) but a lot of us are doing this totally single some guys are killing it while single (Blueheron for example) so sufficient support does exist outside the relationship, maybe your wife's support (when it is there) can sometimes be looked at as just like bonus support?

« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 03:57:39 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #231 on: November 08, 2019, 10:40:37 PM »
Like quit said, this is a tough situation, and I don't know if there's anything I can say that's actually helpful. But here's my two cents (now you're up to four!)

You are totally right to want love and support from the people in your life.
Your wife is totally right to be upset when you relapse. Even if it isn't an explicit choice of screens over her, it is still a choice that damages the relationship.

I remember watching something about someone recovering from drug addiction. She said that when she was getting clean and dealing with urges, she always sort of wanted and expected her husband to be extra supportive and understanding, but he was just like, "Deal with it and don't do drugs." I understand the desire for support, but I also get the fact that it probably won't come from the people in my life. They don't understand addiction, can't understand it, so our behavior is just a painful deviation from normal. Not using porn is normal, why should they give us sympathy and support for having a hard time with normal? (Or so they might say)

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Addiction is our thing to deal with. It seems unfair to me to ask someone else to take on the burden of dealing with it for us/with us. They can be around us, and they can be helpful, but the ultimate responsibility is on us, not them.

And the main point is that, on some level, relapse is always a choice. Sure, there comes a point when the addicted brain takes over and we blank out for a few hours, but we made choices before that point that took us past the point of no return. Part of what has driven my recovery effort this year was the realization that I was allowing my addiction to continue. I always thought and talked about how I wanted to be done with it, but I never did what I actually had to do to stay clean. This year, I have really taken more responsibility for the little decisions and triggers (when I'm still in control).

If we're ever going to be able to recover, we have to recognize that we always choose to relapse. Maybe not super consciously, but it's always a choice, whether that's a choice to go to a porn site or to lie in bed surrounded by triggers. If relapsing isn't a choice, then we don't have any control over it and trying to get better is a waste of time. If relapsing really is beyond our control, then why bother trying not to relapse?

Maybe I'm missing the point (it's way past my bedtime), but I gave the disclaimer earlier.

Your wife is right to say she deserves more than 10 days clean. You are right to say that you deserve more support. You really do both want the same thing, but the fact is you are the only one who can really do anything about it. I can only imagine how, if there were someone in my daily life who really loved me and knew about my addiction, it would be so frustrating and discouraging and painful for her to want to do something to help but to know that she's ultimately completely unable to do anything. She's invested in your success, but there's also nothing, realistically speaking, she can do. It's all up to you.

And I realize that can sound kind of punitive or something, but think of it in a more hopeful way. This isn't a life sentence: it really is all up to you (and not random chance or good luck)!

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #232 on: November 13, 2019, 01:08:00 PM »
Hey guys, I haven't posted on here in a few days because I've been crazy busy, but it's been a good few days. I'll talk about it at the end of this post.

Thank you Quit and Blue for your carefully considered responses. I read them when you posted them but then the busy period began and I didn't have time to reply, but I have been mulling over your comments for the past few days as they have provided a lot of food for thought.

I think you have a point, Quit, about a woman wanting to see leadership qualities in a man. Your comment made me look at my own beliefs and think about how I see it. I believe that our society has become so critical of traditional gender roles. I do believe that a man and a woman are equal partners in a relationship, but I also do believe that there are certain traits in a man that women a genetically inclined to find attractive, like qualities of leadership. That comes from our hunter-gatherer times.

Furthermore, there are obviously traits that men find attractive in women. Largely, those traits are at first physical: youth, curves, etc. but there are personality traits such as kindness, nurturing abilities, and intelligence that are also very importance.

You're right that I didn't use this opportunity to give my wife faith in me, my recovery, and my masculinity. Now, I don't believe that a man should hold back his emotions and repress them, but I agree with you that there are times when a man just needs to be strong for his wife/family and that may mean not showing emotion in order for them to feel secure and protected.
In my life I've definitely come from the other extreme. In my culture (as a Brit), we have a very stoic way of dealing with our emotions. That is to basically bottle them up and let them eat at you from the inside whilst trying to laugh it all off, and it's even worse if you are a man. It's not normal for people to ever really show any true emotion, even with their family and close friends, and moments which are emotional are usually met with a 'stiff upper lip' attitude, and a joke or two. This is just the way I was brought up. This resulted in me really bottling up all of the stuff that was happening to me and instead of expressing it, I just kept it in and developed severe clinical depression and anxiety at an early age. It is also what led me to P, because I felt I couldn't talk to anyone about how I was feeling. Now I live in a culture where people are much more okay expressing their emotions, and I like that. But I think that at one point a few years ago I went from never expressing emotion (because I couldn't - hell, I couldn't even cry for like 10 years), to expressing it a bit too much (because I began working on myself and it literally all start bubbling up to the surface), to where I am now, which is coming back into the middle. Expressing emotions helps me to remain balanced and I think that a man who expresses his true emotions is a strong one, but I also agree with your point about it sometimes being necessary to show strength in the face of adversity. This has helped me deal with my wife's outburst and I thank you for giving me a new perspective.

You're right that I've taken some pretty ballsy steps in life, and even if I had fear, I dealt with it. I've lived in four different countries, speak four languages fluently, and am a fantastic musician/singer/pianist/songwriter, and now I'm started an epic business and living the dream with the love of my life. I am charming, witty, and good-looking. I am gifted in many ways, and I often put myself down both consciously and subconsciously. I notice when I've been living more clean that my self-doubt is not only completely unwarranted but largely porn-related. When I am watching P I do not feel that I am really good at anything, because it is hard to properly respect yourself when you have no self-control.

@Blue, I really like what you said and it rings true. I'm really glad that both of you mentioned that my wife has a right to be angry. It helped me deal with it and feel less self-righteous. I apologised to her and said I know she deserves more than 10 days clean and that I recognise that she has a right to be angry and upset after relapse.

You're also right about it not being up to her alone to support me through this. This forum and you guys are really the only people who really 'get it' as you are/have been in the same boat as me. I can't expect her to not have a negative reaction when relapses happen. I would have one too if I saw someone I loved doing something that I know hurts themselves but also our relationship.

The point you made that resonated with me most, though, Blue, was your one about it always being a choice to relapse. It's true it's subtle, but it's definitely also true that I can choose to be around triggers and try and 'white-knuckle' through them, or just change my environment and not be by my computer or devices.

Thank you so much for your input. Your comments are honestly in the back of my mind and are helping me process this. I think they will come to mind the next time triggers arise in my mind.


Day 7

So as I mentioned, I had a couple of gigs at the weekend, one was a showcase for a nearby church that has a musical programme  where I played a couple of my original songs (Wife sang the harmonies), and the other was just me playing the piano and singing for background music at a wedding brunch (at what turned out to be a huge mansion). The second one was a paid gig, and $200 for 1.5 hours of playing/singing really isn't bad. I made a good impression on everyone and gave out a couple of business cards to family members who want to have me to play at their places. The hostess said she'll have me back and also took a few of my cards. With any luck this could be a new little income stream for me. It's easy work and I love it, because I'm basically being paid to play through material that I can perform later in concert. It felt great to be appreciated and gave me a big confidence boost in my music and my professional abilities.

I also got an enquiry regarding the sale of two pianos. One is a Steinway (The Rolls-Royce of pianos), and the other a Schafer player piano (more like base spec BMW). I have initial valuations from my technician from what I told him over the phone. He says that the Steinway is likely to go for $22-24k and the Schafer for $10-13k. I am going to be the middle man, and so I find the client and do everything for the sellers because they know nothing about music or pianos. We have agreed that I will take a 10% commission. I am going to draw up a contract and also pay to have the Steinway tuned, to build trust with my client. This is also another side business that could be lucrative.

Meanwhile the music school is growing and things are going well.

We are going to look at some houses today, so that is also exciting.

I'm been feeling pretty confident and like a boss since my gig on Sunday. That one-time relapse the other day stayed at just that, a one off. To be honest I really don't feel like relapsing, and I don't feel like relapsing is an option for me anymore. If it happens, it happens, but my wife's outburst did make me wake up and smell the coffee, to be honest. Since it is my choice whether or not to be around my triggers, I've been choosing to stay away. Maybe it was part of her ingenious plan, but now I know I have to deal with that shit every time I relapse, I don't want to relapse lol. It's too much effort and drama to make it worth it, plus, I've been feeling so good these past few days and I don't want to lose it. Hard days will come but as long as I'm doing my music and taking opportunities, I know I can weather the storm.

Our relationship is going really well at the moment and I think we're both really relieved to be moving out of our current living situation after nearly a year.

All in all, a good few days, and here's to another day of being clean.

Peace dudes,

- Adventurer

P.S. I will read your journals when I get time but am pretty busy today.



 

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #233 on: November 13, 2019, 05:20:02 PM »
Glad that our advice was helpful!

Interesting about how you were raised in the "stiff upper lip tradition". I think you are spot on about finding the balance. I also agree with you, about yeah equal partners but sometimes we can err on leadership. Overall sounds like you have a super balanced view and mindset of everything which is awesome.


Damn dude, that's awesome about the sale and killing it in your career. Boss is right, keep up the good work.

Lol. That your wife being made is extra motivation to stay sober. Wife- Mission accomplished lol.

Reading the story had me thinking about Frank Mir. Frank Mir was a UFC fighter. He was the champion and got into a motorcycle accident, shattered his pelvis tore up everything. Doc was like you're going to have trouble walking etc.

He told his wife " I am going to quit fighting".

His wife said: " You are a failure as a man! A wimp (in not so nice words lol) and an embarrassment to our children" essentially over and over for hours. Pretty harsh, but Frank Mir came back to fighting and became champ again. So I guess it worked lol

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #234 on: November 13, 2019, 06:45:58 PM »
Glad you're having some awesome days and that my thoughts were helpful!

I'm also really happy to hear that you're choosing to stay away from your triggers. There really is no reason to white-knuckle through them, and it took me forever to learn that. For a long time, I didn't recognize the 1:1 relationship between triggers and relapse. I thought they were separate for some reason, so I kept exposing myself to triggers because they felt good and I thought they didn't count. To get to the point, I spent a long time trying to quit relapsing and I kept relapsing. Once I changed my focus to staying away from triggers as much as possible, I haven't really had to worry as much about relapsing.

I think I've mentioned it before,  but I always used to play the How Close Can I Get to Looking at Porn without Actually Looking at Porn? game. I don't know, I thought I was getting away with something or getting the urges off my back or something, but that was not a productive game to play. It's so much easier when we just stay as far away as possible.

It sounds like things are looking up for now. I also think it's awesome that you apologized to your wife, just another sign of your humility and commitment to change. So just keep it going, man!

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #235 on: November 13, 2019, 11:49:56 PM »
Such a great reminder^. So true about triggers etc. Nothing to ad. Agree 100%. Well put, glad to be reminded of that.

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #236 on: November 17, 2019, 12:25:39 PM »
Sorry guys, these past days have been insane, and the more behind I get on this forum, the more I postpone going on here. I need to find the time to catch up on all your journals soon. Hopefully I'll be able to today.

The good news is today is Day 11. I've been doing pretty well avoiding triggers. For me, this mainly involves limiting my internet time. It's much easier to get off the internet when I remember, than to not watch P when I'm already triggered. I'm starting to become more aware of that little weird itchy feeling in my brain that feels like it might just be fun to take a sneaky peek at something questionable. Once I feel that itchy feeling, my response is just to shut off my devices and do something else, instead of entertaining it. It's been working pretty well, because at the point I'm not triggered, but could be very easily. The other day I was even able to watch some Netflix in bed. When the 'itchy feeling' showed up, I didn't scratch, just shut down my computer and said 'Okay, that's enough for today, then', and went to bed. It's really not a big deal to do that at the point. I realise how much leeway I've been giving these urges in the past, which has resulted in constant relapses. Basically, what I've found out from my experience is that an urge is not the same as being triggered. A trigger can create an urge, which in turn can cause you to look for more triggers in order to satisfy your brain's pleasure centre. Alternatively, you can feel an urge (perhaps due to a subconscious trigger), but being triggered, IMO, means being hell bent on relapse. I wonder what your opinions are on this terminology? Does it make sense what I'm saying?

Anyway all in all a good few days - a few urges present which I have dealt with by staying away from my devices at moments when I feel sensitive or vulnerable. I had a dream about P last night, and woke up feeling strange, but it was obviously it was a dream so I let it go. A couple of times I have come across stuff in movies or on the internet that could have triggered me but by walking way and entertaining those thoughts, they dissipate.

Peace,

- Adventurer


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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #237 on: November 17, 2019, 02:15:12 PM »
Congratulations for 11 days
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #238 on: November 17, 2019, 10:52:52 PM »
Glad you're staying on track.

The distinction you have identified between triggers and urges is spot on as far as I've experienced it. Triggers lead to urges, which in turn push us to seek out more and more potent triggers.

More than that, I know exactly that itchy feeling you're talking about (we probably all do). But it took me a long time to acknowledge it and to get good at responding deliberately to it (instead of just mindlessly "scratching" it). I think recognizing that itch, putting away the potential triggers, and moving on is a key step toward success. It means you're stepping in and getting out of trouble early on when you're still in total control.

Keep noticing that itch and responding appropriately!

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #239 on: November 19, 2019, 01:08:19 AM »
Thanks guys!

Day 12
Had some really terrible flashbacks yesterday of the times I have been rejected. A lot of stuff just suddenly came up and it was hard to deal with. It was mainly to do with girls, in particular an Australian girl called SG who came and visited me whilst I was heavy on porn and slept in my room and I never made a move. We were like best friends, always talking on Skype and having the deepest conversations, but I had literally zero libido and no idea why. I professed my love to her in 2014 but she said that I wasn't in love with her, but the concept of her. My mind then went to all the times when I have been with a girl and my dick didn't work, and I felt nothing at all, and the humiliation that resulted. Then it went to all the times in high school where I was publicly humiliated but was too depressed/hated myself to be able to respond appropriately. All these things just led me deeper into porn at the time. Then I began stalking SG on facebook and saw her looking very happy with her husband and a selfish part of me thought 'that bitch - she should've married me. We have so much more in common.' As if that even fucking matters, or is true, or is even important, since I'm very happily married to the love of my life. I realised that maybe this is just a residue of infatuation - something I failed at and now have no chance of conquering. One of my many failures as a man. I deleted SG on facebook and hope that'll be the end of it now. It's not bothered me for most of the day but other depressed feelings have.

When these things come up some part of me wants to go back to porn. But a deeper part knows that this shit literally has to come out of me and get processed. Now I've not looked at P for a while, this shit is probably just waiting to get looked at. Needless to say I didn't sleep well last night and woke up late. Didn't have too much of productive day. That's okay.

I caught myself lying in bed going on facebook this morning, and I stalked some other girls I once shagged. I noticed myself doing it, and although none of the pictures were sexual, when I realised I was activated the same pleasure centres, I walked away. I felt kind of triggered, bad, and kinda dumb, like I should've seen that coming. Then I started to fantasise a little but began to nip it in the bud then I went outside to sunbathe and listened to a long guided meditation.

Then Wife came home and really nipped it in the bud by giving me a hand-job in the shower which was really nice, but I kinda feel like it may have been a cop-out for dealing with the real emotions that were coming up by having an O (even if the O was done by someone else). O is obviously a big stress reliever for me, whether or not it has to do with P or M or not. I don't know if I cheated but I think I need a bit of self-love right now because I've been feeling low. I'm not up for over-analysing. I felt low, I started going through my routine of self-sabotage, I noticed it, but before I could either fully process it or relapse, I had an O. Shit happens.

We've been going through some stress recently because we just made an offer today on our first house - a really nice 3 bedroom detached family home with a nice-sized yard. This is probably the biggest decision either of us have ever made, so maybe that's what's bringing up all this crap and stuff from the past, or maybe it's the P withdrawals, or maybe both? Either way it's really exciting but also daunting at the moment. I guess a part of me just can't believe how far I've come, and to have done it all with a P addiction? I wonder how much more epic my life would look if I could stay clean? I'm going to find out.

Love and peace to you all,

- Adventurer
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 01:15:49 AM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #240 on: November 19, 2019, 06:11:41 PM »
Stress, flashbacks, lack of sleep, it's all a recipe for heightened vulnerability to addictive urges and triggers. So it's good that you're aware and that you're being patient with yourself. Even better that you're identifying those moments when you feel triggered, and you're taking action (blocking people online, walking out of the room).

I was just posting in another journal yesterday about how I have been learning to be more understanding and accepting of my emotions even when I know that they don't make sense. Like the day after a good date, I spend the day worrying that somehow it was all actually a bad date and everything is ruined and I go through the day like a nervous wreck. In the past, I would have maybe tried to push those feelings down and tell myself that they don't make any sense and why can't I get myself under control. Lately, I'm at least trying to recognize that those fears and worries come from a natural and normal desire to keep a good things going. Then I can say to myself that I'm not some emotional wreck, I'm just a person who had a good experience and wants to keep having more. That's not weird or dysfunctional. It's really normal, and that makes it easier to accept those emotions and move through them.

I think you're probably better at feeling and processing your emotions than I am, so I'm probably preaching to the choir. I guess I just want to say that your emotions are real, and they probably do have the potential to bring up a lot of urges (porn got you out of feeling these things in the past, so your brain is just searching for a solution that has worked before). As long as you know that, you can be deliberate in finding healthier ways to deal with it all. And even if those solutions aren't 100% ideal, perfect solutions, at least you can stay away from the entrenched patterns of addiction.

Keep on truckin'!

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #241 on: November 20, 2019, 11:32:17 AM »
Thanks Blue,

I think all the stress took its toll and I relapsed last night.

Instead of resetting my counter to zero, because that's demoralising AF and also encourages binge fapping, I'm going to try a new score system: Number of days clean vs. number of relapses. Currently Adventurer is on 22 and P is on 2. To clarify, within a 22 days period I have PMO'd twice. I think this is a more healthy way of recorded my streaks personally. I will alongside this score, also record total number of days clean, but it will not be my only gage of progress. I just feel that the streak system doesn't do justice to other improvements made and it can be very easy to judge yourself solely by the number of days clean.

So the score looks like this:
Adventurer: 22 days - P: 2 times
Consecutive days clean: 1

Last night's relapse was fucking depressing. It started with peeking early in the day at YouTube models, then slowly and gradually (and predictably) escalated to P. What I'm about to say is humiliating, but I need to say it here because I need to feel the impact of my actions. Last night when I O'd I O'd without an erection. Then, when I cleaned up, the tissues blocked the toilet. I didn't have a plunger and so I had to put my hand down the toilet (after I had peed, too), to move the paper that was blocking the toilet. Might sound kinda funny but it's this kind of shit that just reaffirms my desire to quit. It was like a deep reminder that the reason I watch P is because I underwent consistent traumas as a child and teenager. P addiction is traumatic, and returning to P is to return to the feeling of trauma, which felt like home for so long. I could actually be undergoing a mild form of PTSD which is leading to this happening, I don't know. Anyway, I saw a podcast of a psychologist called Gabor Maté a couple of months ago and he came to mind when I was meditating after relapse. His approach to addiction really resonates with me and I think I'll buy his book today. I would recommend watching this because he makes some really interesting points. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_1XR5DzEnk

I haven't told my wife yet about the relapse, because she left early for work. I will later and am expecting another onslaught. This time I'm ready to respond in the right way, realising that she has a right to be angry and upset.

Still, I remain unshakeably determined to conquer this, and I think I am making some progress. The distance between relapses is increasing, and there is a lack of bingeing. I could binge right now but I know I won't because I love myself, even if it is complicated sometimes. :-)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 11:35:59 AM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #242 on: November 20, 2019, 07:20:39 PM »
Sorry, man. That's a bummer, but I'm glad to hear that you are undaunted. I also like your tracking system. A streak is only so informative, and it's good that you're making adjustments that work better for you and keep you motivated.

So much about addiction is humiliating, it's a wonder we let it stay around. Of course we do, though, because it does provide a real benefit: it's a get-out-of-stress-free card (at least for a little bit until all the stress comes back with interest). Stress definitely doesn't help, and that's a good thing to be aware of. Maybe instead of directing energy at avoiding relapse, see what happens if you direct that energy at staying ahead of stress (if you aren't already).

It's like when I was a kid and had to pull weeds in the yard: if I just pulled off the leaves, they would just grow back. I really had to pull up the roots (as my parents always reminded me). In a lot of ways, I think PMO is more a leaf than a root. We can try to cut off those relapses all we want, but we're just pulling off the leaves. We have to get to the root (usually some kind of trauma or stress or other emotional pain) if we really want to make progress.

As your new system shows so well, all is not lost! Keep this lapse isolated to a minor incident and keep pressing forward!

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #243 on: November 23, 2019, 02:06:11 PM »
In 25 days, I have watched P 5 times
Consecutive days clean: 1

Thanks for the support, Blue. I like your analogy of pulling weeds out by the root. The thing is, stress stresses me but so does boredom. It's most difficult to keep off the P on days where I'm stuck at home with not much to do. Yesterday I had such an instance. We're house-sitting for someone way out in the boons, and we only have one vehicle at the moment, so I was pretty much home alone all day with nothing to do. It started off well, I caught up on the politics in my country (we have an election coming up next month). I didn't have my computer with me, so I couldn't really post on here, and it's really hard to read stuff/comment on stuff from my phone on this website, otherwise I'd probably have spent most of the afternoon catching up on everyone's journals (especially Quit's, who I've been neglecting because I want to do it all in one go - typical perfectionist). Instead I began looking at a trigger (a particular YouTube channel) that I know to be triggering, but that I keep going back to. Don't they say the definition of madness is repeating the same thing whilst expecting a different result? Well, this was a mad moment, because this channel always triggers me. Anyway, one thing led to another, and I lapsed twice.

On the plus side, I know I'm still making progress, because when my wife came home we had sex, and although I was only like 90% hard, I was still able to perform well and enjoyed the sex and connection. Sure, the feeling of connection wasn't as pronounced as if I hadn't have watched it, but it was still there, which must be a testament to slightly longer streaks. Anyway, I am still on the horse and this new tracking system feels much more motivating for me to track my progress. As you say, Blue, a streak is only so informative.

I feel like pulling this addiction up by the roots is going to involve a lot of time spent looking at a feeling of boredom which turns to stress when I am alone. The source of this is surely to do with feelings of abandonment I had as a kid, and a lack of solid friendships I had as a teenager. I was often by myself in the school holidays (I have no siblings), sometimes for weeks at a time, not seeing a single friend from school or doing anything apart from feeling lonely and fapping. More and more I'm realising how great my life is now, and how loved I am, and what a wonderful support system I have, which helps me to regulate these feelings with my rational mind and mindfulness techniques. From time to time, one of these feelings slips through the net, though, and I don't notice it before it's too late. This feeling starts like a body reaction. It is a feeling of stress that is in the body but has no rational explanation. Then, my mind comes in and tries to make sense of it but can't. Then, when it can't find a reason, a certain kind of compulsive panic ensues, and the only way out of it seems to be to watch P. I know that if I catch this early, I can quash that panic in a loving and compassionate way.
It's a learning process, and I'm learning, so I guess that means I'm making progress. I wonder how it looks from outside? 

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #244 on: November 23, 2019, 03:14:10 PM »
Hey man, sorry to hear about the lapse. But good perspective that you are progressing. We want 0 days in 25 but 5 in 25 is wayyyy better then 25 out of 25.
otally fine, you haven't caught up on my journal man lol. I don't take it personal at all. We all are dealing with stuff, sometimes I barely get caught up on others journal's too or don't have as much time to post. No biggie, it's just nice that we have a community and mostly can get some form of support when we need it. Plus consistent insights.

Totally know what you mean about the o'ing while soft etc. Haven't had the toilet experience though lol. But man that's some good extra motivation to quit. Maybe that could be a nice image to pull up when an urge pops up.

T

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #245 on: November 23, 2019, 08:04:18 PM »
Every lapse has taught me something. As much as I wish I never had them, I can say that each one has helped me to recognize something that I could change for the better in my life.

I don't think we've talked about boredom as a trigger before, so I'm going to count that as something you learned from this latest episode. Put that knowledge to work and start thinking about ways to deal productively with boredom. Maybe that's as simple as creating a schedule for each day. Maybe it's something else. I feel like if there's anyone with the tools to settle into the silence of boredom with some meditative care, it would be you.

Now that your addiction has brought that boredom to you attention, just start trying some things out so that you don't relapse for the same reason again.

Keep on keepin' on!

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #246 on: November 26, 2019, 05:07:55 PM »
In 28 days, I have watch P 6 times
Consecutive days clean: 0

Saw thumbnail on YouTube which triggered me. I was otherwise feeling fine. This led to me peeking and edging pretty much all day and culminated in PMO. I need to quit YouTube but it's something I really enjoy. How do people manage YouTube? It has its purposes, but how is it possible to watch it without relapsing?

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #247 on: November 26, 2019, 08:26:46 PM »
I need to quit YouTube but it's something I really enjoy. How do people manage YouTube? It has its purposes, but how is it possible to watch it without relapsing?

This is an important question and definitely one that everyone would probably answer differently, but I'll share my experience and thoughts for whatever they're worth.

I guess to start I should say that YouTube has never really been the most dangerous place for me. Triggers here and there, for sure, but I always figured there were easier places to get a fix when I wanted one. Which is to say that I have been on generally peaceful terms with YouTube.

But one thing that keeps me honest, anyway, is that I am always logged into YouTube with my primary personal google account, like with my first and last name and picture and everything. For me, having my actual self attached to everything I do on YouTube is a deterrent enough to keep everything above board there. I don't know if there's even any way for someone I know to see what I've been watching based on knowing my email address, but I don't want it to even be possible. (Leveraging my own vanity for a good cause, I guess.)

There have been other apps and things, though, that have been real danger zones for me. Instagram and Twitter, for example, were always high-trigger environments with express trains to relapse. I spent a lot of time telling myself that I could learn to live with them because I was getting real benefits from them that I didn't want to give up. The pattern of relapse was too frequent and too consistently tied to things I was seeing on those platforms, though, so I finally just recognized that no benefit I was getting from those apps was really worth the constant risk of relapse. So I deleted my accounts (so I couldn't access them anywhere) and removed the apps from my phone. As much as I liked them when I was using them, I can't say I have missed them. It's weird how things that feel so important can disappear from our lives as seamlessly as if they were never there.

I will say too that there are other video-sharing websites that have more liberal policies on nudity and things like that that, unlike YouTube, were some of my favorite places for a quick relapse. Those sites have earned themselves a permanent place on my web filter's blacklist. Even if there's good stuff there, I just can't go there without ending up in the muck. So I put a fence around those sites and said, no more.

So maybe just finding a way to regulate your YouTube use is enough (like what if you committed to only using YouTube on an account you share with your wife, as maybe an extreme example?) But maybe you need to take more permanent measures and just swear off it. Sure, it benefits you, but are the benefits greater than the potential harms?

This is the tricky part of recovery. It's relatively easy to stay away from dedicated porn sites. Deciding which other sites trigger us enough to be worth staying away from too is a little more difficult and requires some real honesty and tough decision-making. But it's also a good place to be: it means your thinking and commitment are getting more nuanced and developed. It's not just about fighting the most obvious manifestations of addiction; it's about dealing with the more subtle and easily rationalized parts of addiction.


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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #248 on: November 27, 2019, 01:24:00 PM »
In 28 days, I have watch P 6 times
Consecutive days clean: 0

Saw thumbnail on YouTube which triggered me. I was otherwise feeling fine. This led to me peeking and edging pretty much all day and culminated in PMO. I need to quit YouTube but it's something I really enjoy. How do people manage YouTube? It has its purposes, but how is it possible to watch it without relapsing?

If you really want to be clean of porn.....

 Honestly man, to cut out porn I think you need to take more responsibility and be a bit tougher with yourself.

You need to quit but you enjoy it? What are you talking about? No one cares if you enjoy it lol. Cut that shit out. 

I was in a recovery group. And people would talk at length about emotional trauma, and how they had to smile even when they were sad at home, and that's why they were addicted to porn or other stuff and they'd talk and talk and talk about it in every meeting. They never ever improved. That shit never works, it doesn't do anything. They were just the people who talk about smiling at home when they didn't want to, that's what they did- that and constantly relapsing. Then on the other hand one guy got molested, another guy got literally raped by men- which led to his crazy addictions. Those guys didn't hide those fact but they spent 95% of the time focused on putting in work to recover and they did.

The people who recovered put in the work by cutting out KNOWN triggers like weed and youtube even if they enjoy them and following steps that they know work for them to recover.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 04:50:05 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #249 on: November 29, 2019, 12:50:43 PM »
In 30 days I have watched P 7 times
Consecutive days clean: 1


Two very interesting perspectives. Thank you.

I think I definitely lead to regulate/quit YouTube, I'm not sure which yet. It's easy to get sucked into it and waste time on it, even if most of the time it doesn't lead to relapse, so that's a good enough reason to cut down on YouTube. I think for me, it stimulates my addiction to novel material, and the dopamine reward system.

Yesterday I had a one off lapse because it was Thanksgiving and Wife's uncle is going through a divorce and it was heavy. He was crying and shit and he also has a prescription drug addiction because he's been in a number of serious motorcycle accidents and is addicted to opiate pain meds. He also drinks and the whole thing is just really fucked. I think seeing him in that state made me drink more than I should have and lose control.

I think you have a point, Quit, that no one gives a shit about enjoyment. My issue has been not finding another activity to replace time spent on YouTube and P. I'm going to make a commitment right here today to start reading voraciously again, like I did during my longest time clean. Having a tonne of different books on the go was a really good way to curb the urges.