Author Topic: 27 And Done With Porn  (Read 5423 times)

kadeshzelbriel

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #250 on: November 29, 2019, 01:37:31 PM »
Sorry to hear about the tough moments but it also sounds like you're still really working your forward edges on all this, and that's a good sign no matter the consequences. Learning happens at the pace it needs to happen.

There's a few things that come up for me as questions as I read through your posts, things that remind me of my own struggles and journeys around discipline and masculinity too.

For one is the question of how to apply pressure (or have pressure applied by someone else like your wife) without it being counterproductive. This is possible, but is tricky. You have the self awareness to recognize that certain kinds of pressure will make you feel like shit about yourself, which increases relapse risk. Maybe it's worth thinking about other times in your life (maybe in music, or work, etc?) where pressure has actually made you perform better? If you do some deep thinking, you will probably find that your attitudes are different in both.

The military language is about a reintegration of masculinity that isn't necessarily "stoic" but is about willingness to accept responsibility and willingness to embody strength of resolve. "Yes I fucked up you are right and your anger is justified and I'm angry too and that anger is fuel for change. I may feel like a piece of shit but I know I'm not. I am incredible and I disrespect myself and I disrespect you by acting in this way. I know I am capable of doing better and I will give it my all. Thank you ma'am may I have another." If you can find a way to feel that and say that, even just to fake it and say it, I guarantee you'll feel a lot stronger and more capable than if you say "it's not my fault, don't be angry at me," and your wife will feel a lot better too. For sure, this can be the hardest thing in the world, but you can do it.

Some of your language around addiction sounds to me like an abdication of responsibility. "The addiction takes over." While there's a way that's true and that's a helpful perspective in some ways, ultimately to overcome this thing, you need to maintain full responsibility. That doesn't mean 100% willpower, it means something more layered. Right now you can't take full responsibility because you don't understand why you choose P, and so it just makes you feel helpless and out of control and pathetic when your resolve fails. So it's better to say it's something else taking over. But what is that something else?

That brings me to my second curiosity. In order to overcome any addiction or struggle between mixed motivations, we have to come to a complete understanding of what's in it for us. As long as you say "I hate PMO, it's just an addiction, I'm out of control," you are refusing to look at the part of yourself that legitimately likes it and chooses it willingly. This is really tough "shadow work" because it involves acknowledging and accepting the parts of ourselves that we understand the least and hate the most. But ultimately, we can't come change unless we do this. In that moment where you are moving from trigger to relapse, when you are actively choosing it in that moment, try bringing in just a little bit of consciousness and ask yourself: "What's in it for me?" Right now 100% of your consciousness is involved trying to stop it from happening. What if you brought over even just 30% of your consciousness to allow it to happen and ask: "What am I really getting out of this right now?"

If you are just trying to avoid it, then when it happens, you'll refuse to look, because looking will just cause a struggle, so you can never see what's there. But you actually need to know what's there.

You're guaranteed to find something unexpected in that moment when you see clearly when you switch over from the part of your mind that hates PMO to the part of your mind that loves it. As long as it is unconscious, it will continue to have tremendous power over you. As soon as it becomes fully conscious, there will be many, many more options. But right now, that part of your mind has very important needs that it only knows one way to achieve those needs, and all your struggle against that part of your mind just increases the layers of unconsciousness that it has to operate under.

For me, a much much deeper level of overcoming porn only became possible not through my yearlong nofap streak, but through actually returning to PMO for a period of almost 18 months wherein I refused to struggle against PMO and only wanted to understand the whole situation at a much deeper level. My current 223 day streak is completely built on this flexibility, where the more the urge rises up, the more curious I get about it, and the more options I have to meet those underlying needs or at least care for their pain. I am still learning new layers.

We all work differently and are in different situations, so everything I think or say might not work for you, or might need to be tweaked, but I wanted to offer these thoughts as possibilities that might deepen your practice. What do you think about all of that?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 01:42:16 PM by kadeshzelbriel »

wecandoit

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #251 on: November 29, 2019, 05:10:27 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?

Nowadays, Youtube is not the biggest problem for me because I am very strict. I set up a search in the address bar for Youtube so I avoid the front page full of thumbnails. I only watch what I am interested in on Youtube, searching in the address bar and I avoid mindlessly scrolling and clicking from one video to the next (the novelty effect). Like this, I minimize the triggers to the minimum possible but there is always something. That suggested videos list to the right side has the potential to show me something sooner or later. That's why spending too much time on Youtube is not a good idea to beginning with. The thing is, if we use Internet only when it's absolute necessary, we reduce the triggers to the minimum. But it's never 100% safe. I think something from within you has to come into play too because you are never fully safe with those gadgets. The question is: What should you do to avoid seeing triggers? I know what I do and it's been working. I never relapse because of Youtube except when I lose control and I choose to watch deliberately stuff on Youtube and relapse (because the parental control that I've activated doesn't let me access the porn websites so if I relapsed, it would be Youtube, social media and stuff like that). But, I have to come out straight out and tell you (which might upset you): Do you really want to quit porn or not? Fuck Youtube, man! Like I said, I only watch on Youtube what I need and then I leave it. It's been working for me. If it's not working for you, ditch that shit until you recover. Youtube ain't more important than our health. 

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #252 on: November 29, 2019, 08:15:37 PM »
Some of your language around addiction sounds to me like an abdication of responsibility. "The addiction takes over." While there's a way that's true and that's a helpful perspective in some ways, ultimately to overcome this thing, you need to maintain full responsibility. That doesn't mean 100% willpower, it means something more layered. Right now you can't take full responsibility because you don't understand why you choose P, and so it just makes you feel helpless and out of control and pathetic when your resolve fails. So it's better to say it's something else taking over. But what is that something else?

There's a lot of wisdom here. I think one of the things that A) made me feel pretty awful initially but B) empowered me and helped me to make progress was the realization that it's really all up to me. I thought it was up to me to keep urges away, but I couldn't do anything about them when they came. When I realized that I had to take full responsibility for how I responded to urges and that I could experience them without giving in, things took a turn for the better.

(As a side note, I struggled for a long time with MOing in the night and not really being sure if I was awake/asleep/actually responsible for what was happening. It was something I thought was just uncontrollable and unavoidable. But as soon as I took recovery seriously during the day, the problems at night disappeared too. It just hasn't  been a problem since I decided I had the power not to do that in my half-awake state.)

That brings me to my second curiosity. In order to overcome any addiction or struggle between mixed motivations, we have to come to a complete understanding of what's in it for us. As long as you say "I hate PMO, it's just an addiction, I'm out of control," you are refusing to look at the part of yourself that legitimately likes it and chooses it willingly. This is really tough "shadow work" because it involves acknowledging and accepting the parts of ourselves that we understand the least and hate the most. But ultimately, we can't come change unless we do this.

This is also really good. Coming to understand and live at peace with the part of me that wants porn has been a big step forward for me. Freaking out when urges come and trying to fight them into submission doesn't work for me, but just acknowledging them and understanding how they feel in my body (without dwelling on the thoughts) has been a fast way to defuse them.

A third thing on my mind is this: when deciding about things like YouTube, I have had to ask myself, "Which do I want more, to keep using/doing this thing or to  be free of addiction?" I have really had to be honest with myself when I ask that question. PMO feels good, lets us hide from stress, and is easy and free. Of course we will want it, of course our first impulse will be to keep coming back to it. And of course we are going to be reluctant to give up the things in our lives that keep us connected to it. It has "helped" us a lot in the past, and we know that it's always there, ready to "help" us again. We might always want it, on some level, but do we really want it more than life without it?

For a long time, I thought I wanted a clean life more than I wanted PMO, but the regularity of my relapses was telling me I didn't really. I don't mean to pile on the tough talk, but set aside some time to be unflinchingly honest with yourself. What do you want? What do you really want? What do your habits and patterns of thought and action show you that you really want?

Keep fighting the good fight! We're with you!

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #253 on: November 30, 2019, 01:36:51 AM »
Nice man, I think the books are a great idea.

Yeah man, hopefully I was not too rough. Me saying "no one cares". I kind of just wanted to get you to see like.... it's not too relevant if you like youtube. You said you need to quit and I believe you!

I think a little enjoyment of youtube PALES in comparison to trading your sobriety for it. Like you can be uncomfortable, it's not going to kill you. I think it does in part come down to how important quitting the P addiction is. Like is it something that you'd like to do? Or do you really really BADLY want to quit? Maybe it seems not so bad.... Sounds like your dick works, you get streaks without P. Your life is sounds pretty awesome aside from the porn.

But obviously there is a reason you want to quit.... I think all of us sometimes forget the worst parts of our addiction. I have some hellish nightmare memories of what this addiction did to me, I bet you do too, all of us probably. I hate thinking about them. But sometimes maybe it's good to remember the worst parts of the addiction and put priorities and how important quitting is in perspective.

If that enjoying youtube leads to the very worst parts of your addiction. Maybe your dick stops working again, maybe you're fishing out junk from the toilet, maybe worse idk what exactly it is, is it really all that enjoyable? When I say no one cares, I think the importance of youtube enjoyment may perhaps pale in comparison to the pain of porn addiction. The addiction may be 100x worse then youtube is enjoyable... so even if cutting out youtube only helps you beat the addiction by 2% more, it may well be a very worth it investment....


I have told this story before, but this is where I was coming from and was hoping to recreate for you........

I was a high level athlete and gave it up do to injuries. Sometimes they hurt, but I am no cripple.
I was out of shape, my body hurt a lot (perhaps do to not moving them and keeping it all lose) .

My friend said:
"you're trying to meet girls and all this stuff. But you look like shit, you need to work out"
Me "Bro... it's just that I have all these injuries, it sucks but I can't work out :(" (expecting pity party)
Badass friend: " There are quadriplegics in better shape then you. The truth is no one gives a shit about your little excuses"

I went back to the gym and got back in shape.     (plus that helped the injuries feel better).

I was in this mindset where my little obstacles and excuses felt really real. But he snapped me out of it. Of course I could work out.

I honestly was seeing a few things here, like that enjoy youtube comment... that remind me of how I was about the injuries. It felt so real in my head. But of course I could work out. It's like sometimes we forget what we are capable of and end up in "wimp" mind mode . That obstacle wasn't shit. Same deal: bro, you are like a pro musician, married etc. of course you can abstain from youtube even if you enjoy it if it's going to make your life a shit ton better.

For me it's tinder. I'd enjoy to be able to use tinder and go on dates to practice going on dates get a few dates a week, boost my confidence, get some easy girls. But I CAN NEVER USE THAT SHIT AGAIN. It is not worth the hellish nightmare that it not can WILL bring.

It doesn't matter what youtube is like for the rest of us or how we control it. You JUST RELAPSED BECAUSE OF IT. You just said you need to quit. For you it obviously isn't good.



Edit: Man I was late to the party lol! Looks like you guys covered a lot of it. Well said everyone.
Wecandoit put it well "Fuck youtube!"
And great discussion Kadesh and Blueheron, man that is stuff I hadn't thought about.... I think that stuff is the missing part of the puzzle here. Also looking forward to adding some of those principles to my recovery...
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 02:08:01 AM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #254 on: December 04, 2019, 12:31:58 PM »
In 36 days I have watched P 7 times
Consecutive days clean: 6

Fuck me, chaps, that was like an all-out wisdom assault! Each and every thing each of you said has really helped me. I think I might actually print out this page and stick it on my wall. Thank you all so much!

It has been a few days since I've been on here as I've been quite busy and I wanted to give each of your comments the time of day to respond properly.

First up @kadeshzelbriel:

Sorry to hear about the tough moments but it also sounds like you're still really working your forward edges on all this, and that's a good sign no matter the consequences. Learning happens at the pace it needs to happen.

There's a few things that come up for me as questions as I read through your posts, things that remind me of my own struggles and journeys around discipline and masculinity too.

For one is the question of how to apply pressure (or have pressure applied by someone else like your wife) without it being counterproductive. This is possible, but is tricky. You have the self awareness to recognize that certain kinds of pressure will make you feel like shit about yourself, which increases relapse risk. Maybe it's worth thinking about other times in your life (maybe in music, or work, etc?) where pressure has actually made you perform better? If you do some deep thinking, you will probably find that your attitudes are different in both.

It's so interesting you say this, because it's actually been something I've been reflecting on recently. There have of course been times where I have been under pressure and performed well. There's something about a positive response to pressure, though, where you harness it and use it for good, that often escapes me. I have always had a tendency to be anxious, so oftentimes when there's pressure on me I have been known to retreat back to my troglodyte world of internet and distraction (P). It really depends a lot on an inner strength to want to 'smash this' or 'win'. This is inherent in me. I mean, who doesn't love to win? Perhaps I need to give myself more credit for the amount of times I have responded positively to the right kind of pressure, too. After all, I have had many successes in my life which when I look back I wouldn't have achieved had they not been for pressure, but did I feel particularly stressed at the time? Hell no! At those times when I won, or did an incredible performance, or got an A in my essay, it was more just a serene kind of excitement - a confidence that I can and will do this and do it to the best of my ability. I need to foster that more consciously in a loving kind of way. Which leads me on to your second point:

Quote
The military language is about a reintegration of masculinity that isn't necessarily "stoic" but is about willingness to accept responsibility and willingness to embody strength of resolve. "Yes I fucked up you are right and your anger is justified and I'm angry too and that anger is fuel for change. I may feel like a piece of shit but I know I'm not. I am incredible and I disrespect myself and I disrespect you by acting in this way. I know I am capable of doing better and I will give it my all. Thank you ma'am may I have another." If you can find a way to feel that and say that, even just to fake it and say it, I guarantee you'll feel a lot stronger and more capable than if you say "it's not my fault, don't be angry at me," and your wife will feel a lot better too. For sure, this can be the hardest thing in the world, but you can do it.

Again, something I've been implementing since @quit's comment about taking responsibility. Something along the lines of your quote is the way I have been mentioning my lapses to my wife since his comment, and more how I have been dealing with it within myself. I really do mean it when I say it, most of the time. I'm noticing that this power all comes from inside and what you're giving me are the techniques to harness that power. The other day I looked in the mirror after my lapse and thought 'do I love myself in this moment?' The answer that came back was 'yes I do, but sometimes it's complicated'. Then I began to ponder why it is complicated. There are moments where I feel out of control, both with addiction and with feelings of anxiety or depression. They're all linked. The thing is, though, the feeling of being out of control (a feeling that can be distressing and lead me to seek distraction or respite in P) is just that, a feeling, until its acted upon.

Quote
Some of your language around addiction sounds to me like an abdication of responsibility. "The addiction takes over." While there's a way that's true and that's a helpful perspective in some ways, ultimately to overcome this thing, you need to maintain full responsibility. That doesn't mean 100% willpower, it means something more layered. Right now you can't take full responsibility because you don't understand why you choose P, and so it just makes you feel helpless and out of control and pathetic when your resolve fails. So it's better to say it's something else taking over. But what is that something else?

Yes, you're 100% right. I see that now, and can make no excuses. Thank you for your perspective and helping me see this. I feel I am already making steps towards taking responsibility, and as I just mentioned, the way I talk to myself and my wife after relapse now is much less helpless and pathetic, and more that of a man who is responsible and able to be held accountable for his actions. Still, I can always make steps to take more responsibility in my day-to-day life, like, for example, when I'm on the internet or when I'm bored. I think 'responsibility' is one of those buzz words in addiction recovery which I can always explore further. I feel you have definitely given me a new perspective on what it means to take responsibility. I will remember this. Thank you.

Quote
That brings me to my second curiosity. In order to overcome any addiction or struggle between mixed motivations, we have to come to a complete understanding of what's in it for us. As long as you say "I hate PMO, it's just an addiction, I'm out of control," you are refusing to look at the part of yourself that legitimately likes it and chooses it willingly. This is really tough "shadow work" because it involves acknowledging and accepting the parts of ourselves that we understand the least and hate the most. But ultimately, we can't come change unless we do this. In that moment where you are moving from trigger to relapse, when you are actively choosing it in that moment, try bringing in just a little bit of consciousness and ask yourself: "What's in it for me?" Right now 100% of your consciousness is involved trying to stop it from happening. What if you brought over even just 30% of your consciousness to allow it to happen and ask: "What am I really getting out of this right now?"
If you are just trying to avoid it, then when it happens, you'll refuse to look, because looking will just cause a struggle, so you can never see what's there. But you actually need to know what's there.

You're guaranteed to find something unexpected in that moment when you see clearly when you switch over from the part of your mind that hates PMO to the part of your mind that loves it. As long as it is unconscious, it will continue to have tremendous power over you. As soon as it becomes fully conscious, there will be many, many more options. But right now, that part of your mind has very important needs that it only knows one way to achieve those needs, and all your struggle against that part of your mind just increases the layers of unconsciousness that it has to operate under.

Another uncannily interesting point that I have been reading about recently. I'm reading a book at the moment called 'In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction' by Gabor Maté. It says a lot about the shadow self and how we as a society refuse to look at it and accept it, and that spurs people further on into the realm of the 'hungry ghosts', or addictions ('the realm of hungry ghosts' is a term used in Buddhism to describe on of the six realms of Samsara (the cycle of rebirth and existence). The realms include the god-realm, demi-gods, human, animal, hungry ghosts, and hell realm. He is an psychiatrist and a therapist and worked for many years in the addiction response unit in downtown Vancouver. Many of his anecdotes are taken from that time. I've just started it but it's a super interesting book - I really think you'd dig it if you haven't read it already! I love the idea of asking myself 'what's in it for me?'. I will do that next time and report back to you.

Quote
For me, a much much deeper level of overcoming porn only became possible not through my yearlong nofap streak, but through actually returning to PMO for a period of almost 18 months wherein I refused to struggle against PMO and only wanted to understand the whole situation at a much deeper level. My current 223 day streak is completely built on this flexibility, where the more the urge rises up, the more curious I get about it, and the more options I have to meet those underlying needs or at least care for their pain. I am still learning new layers.

We all work differently and are in different situations, so everything I think or say might not work for you, or might need to be tweaked, but I wanted to offer these thoughts as possibilities that might deepen your practice. What do you think about all of that?

I love the idea of curiosity. It reminds me of when I went to Buddhist centre a lot back when I was a student. The head monk during guided meditations would talk a lot about being curious about the thoughts arising in the mind, and the difference between simple curiosity and attachment/clinging. You reminded me of that, and I remember now. To be honest, I think everything you have said has made perfect sense. I guess you're also into meditation, too. Thank you.

Nowadays, Youtube is not the biggest problem for me because I am very strict. I set up a search in the address bar for Youtube so I avoid the front page full of thumbnails. I only watch what I am interested in on Youtube, searching in the address bar and I avoid mindlessly scrolling and clicking from one video to the next (the novelty effect). Like this, I minimize the triggers to the minimum possible but there is always something. That suggested videos list to the right side has the potential to show me something sooner or later. That's why spending too much time on Youtube is not a good idea to beginning with. The thing is, if we use Internet only when it's absolute necessary, we reduce the triggers to the minimum. But it's never 100% safe. I think something from within you has to come into play too because you are never fully safe with those gadgets. The question is: What should you do to avoid seeing triggers? I know what I do and it's been working. I never relapse because of Youtube except when I lose control and I choose to watch deliberately stuff on Youtube and relapse (because the parental control that I've activated doesn't let me access the porn websites so if I relapsed, it would be Youtube, social media and stuff like that). But, I have to come out straight out and tell you (which might upset you): Do you really want to quit porn or not? Fuck Youtube, man! Like I said, I only watch on Youtube what I need and then I leave it. It's been working for me. If it's not working for you, ditch that shit until you recover. Youtube ain't more important than our health. 

Another thing that really hit me, man. Thank you, I appreciate the hard talk. I like the idea of using the internet only when necessary. Necessity of internet use is the thing I based my previous 3 month streak on, but something I had kind of forgotten because I forgot about the precursor to necessity which is what kadesh just talked about, and that is responsibility. Only when you take responsibility can you be truly honest about something's necessity. If you don't take responsibility, you just make excuses like 'oh but it's fine, I'm just chilling right now so it's okay'. That's the kind of not taking responsibility that has lead me to relapse, and what I can change by adding more responsible awareness to the way I regulate and deal with my thoughts, actions, and emotions.


A third thing on my mind is this: when deciding about things like YouTube, I have had to ask myself, "Which do I want more, to keep using/doing this thing or to  be free of addiction?" I have really had to be honest with myself when I ask that question. PMO feels good, lets us hide from stress, and is easy and free. Of course we will want it, of course our first impulse will be to keep coming back to it. And of course we are going to be reluctant to give up the things in our lives that keep us connected to it. It has "helped" us a lot in the past, and we know that it's always there, ready to "help" us again. We might always want it, on some level, but do we really want it more than life without it?

For a long time, I thought I wanted a clean life more than I wanted PMO, but the regularity of my relapses was telling me I didn't really. I don't mean to pile on the tough talk, but set aside some time to be unflinchingly honest with yourself. What do you want? What do you really want? What do your habits and patterns of thought and action show you that you really want?

Keep fighting the good fight! We're with you!

Absolutely right. What do I really want? To claim my creativity back, my zest for life, my passion, my compassion, and my masculinity. Thank you.

EDIT: This post was too long - I put the rest in the post below.



« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 04:31:29 PM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #255 on: December 04, 2019, 12:32:11 PM »
Nice man, I think the books are a great idea.

Yeah man, hopefully I was not too rough. Me saying "no one cares". I kind of just wanted to get you to see like.... it's not too relevant if you like youtube. You said you need to quit and I believe you!

You're absolutely right! I need to quit it, or at least go on a hiatus from it as it's a bit out of control at the moment. I waste way too much time on it and even if it doesn't always lead to relapse, it wastes a lot of my time for no good reason.

Quote
I think a little enjoyment of youtube PALES in comparison to trading your sobriety for it. Like you can be uncomfortable, it's not going to kill you. I think it does in part come down to how important quitting the P addiction is. Like is it something that you'd like to do? Or do you really really BADLY want to quit? Maybe it seems not so bad.... Sounds like your dick works, you get streaks without P. Your life is sounds pretty awesome aside from the porn.

But obviously there is a reason you want to quit.... I think all of us sometimes forget the worst parts of our addiction. I have some hellish nightmare memories of what this addiction did to me, I bet you do too, all of us probably. I hate thinking about them. But sometimes maybe it's good to remember the worst parts of the addiction and put priorities and how important quitting is in perspective. 

This comment also got me thinking these past few days. Great perspective and thank you for the hard talk. Yes, it's absolutely true that on some level I'm comfortable with the status quo. My dick works most of the time, I live a comfortable life, I have a beautiful wife whom I life and who loves me, I just bought a house, I run an exciting new business with the love of my life, I get some streaks and feel good in between but then some kind of resolve fails and I slip up. It all comes down again to what has inadvertently become the theme of this post, RESPONSIBILITY. When I'm lapsing I feel like a 1000 horsepower V12 engine, running on 6 cylinders and 500 horsepower. Now, a 500 horsepower V6 may sound like a pretty sweet deal, and who wouldn't be okay with that, if that's your lot in life to have a 500 horsepower V6 in your life? But I'm not that, I'm a 1000 horsepower V12 and I need to accept that and stop watching P so I can achieve that potential. I'm literally cutting my productivity and creative output in half by watching this shit. So you ask me do I really want to quit? Yes I absolutely do, and I want to take responsibility for my actions again and reclaim the half of my life that is the difference between being pretty good and really excelling and kicking ass and taking names! Occasionally, when I'm feeling low, it's hard to access this kind of self-confident motivation, so I guess again, when I'm feeling low the only thing I can do is take responsibility and not put myself in negative relapse situations, as well as check my negativity against a backdrop of more conscious awareness.

Quote
If that enjoying youtube leads to the very worst parts of your addiction. Maybe your dick stops working again, maybe you're fishing out junk from the toilet, maybe worse idk what exactly it is, is it really all that enjoyable? When I say no one cares, I think the importance of youtube enjoyment may perhaps pale in comparison to the pain of porn addiction. The addiction may be 100x worse then youtube is enjoyable... so even if cutting out youtube only helps you beat the addiction by 2% more, it may well be a very worth it investment....

Absolutely. I think really for me it's about binging. I often binge on YouTube without calling it that. Sometimes I have a couple of minutes in the mornings to watch a video and that's okay, but when I spend the entire morning watching videos? That ain't good. That's the same addiction to novel material as P that is manifesting, and is actually triggering escalation to sexual stuff to release more dopamine. In the weeks that I watch less YouTube (like the week just gone), I am way more productive and barely think about P. I have watched a couple of videos here and there but have not binged on it. I can't believe I didn't realise this shit earlier but binging on YouTube videos is a major precursor to PMO relapse!

Quote
I have told this story before, but this is where I was coming from and was hoping to recreate for you........

I was a high level athlete and gave it up do to injuries. Sometimes they hurt, but I am no cripple.
I was out of shape, my body hurt a lot (perhaps do to not moving them and keeping it all lose) .

My friend said:
"you're trying to meet girls and all this stuff. But you look like shit, you need to work out"
Me "Bro... it's just that I have all these injuries, it sucks but I can't work out :(" (expecting pity party)
Badass friend: " There are quadriplegics in better shape then you. The truth is no one gives a shit about your little excuses"

I went back to the gym and got back in shape.     (plus that helped the injuries feel better).

I was in this mindset where my little obstacles and excuses felt really real. But he snapped me out of it. Of course I could work out.

I honestly was seeing a few things here, like that enjoy youtube comment... that remind me of how I was about the injuries. It felt so real in my head. But of course I could work out. It's like sometimes we forget what we are capable of and end up in "wimp" mind mode . That obstacle wasn't shit. Same deal: bro, you are like a pro musician, married etc. of course you can abstain from youtube even if you enjoy it if it's going to make your life a shit ton better.

Dude, I can relate. A few years ago I was big into bodybuilding and later powerlifting. I was a big, strong dude, but kept getting injured right before a competition. Before my fitness modelling competition, I got tore my lower trapezius to the point where it ached whenever I wasn't working out. I was 4 weeks out of competition and around 11% body fat. I could have probably just pushed through for another 4 weeks, do lighter workouts and kept eating super clean and still done the competition. I may not have won, but I could've still done it and not permanently damaged myself. But I didn't I pulled out. It was my first injury and I went into wimp mode. I can think of lots of similar examples, also musically, where I have wimped out. Obstacles that I could've overcome but didn't because I listened to my mind. I think most of these particularly apply to my professional life as a musician.

Quote
For me it's tinder. I'd enjoy to be able to use tinder and go on dates to practice going on dates get a few dates a week, boost my confidence, get some easy girls. But I CAN NEVER USE THAT SHIT AGAIN. It is not worth the hellish nightmare that it not can WILL bring.

I remember using that to meet my ex and it's honestly like crack. So easy to just sit there and swipe for hours on end.

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It doesn't matter what youtube is like for the rest of us or how we control it. You JUST RELAPSED BECAUSE OF IT. You just said you need to quit. For you it obviously isn't good.

It's true, I did relapse because of it that time. I wonder if this is a cop out, but I do think that as long as I don't binge I'm okay... however I've barely been watching every day. I use it to get a lot of news, too, and genuinely useful stuff like repair videos etc. I think again, it's about necessity, like what @wecandoit said. I can see if my actions on YouTube are necessary and use it for necessary purposes alone, only when I'm able to take responsibility. Example 1: Being bored and using it as a crutch is a trigger. It is an irresponsible use of a tool. Example 2: Needing to use it to find out how to replace a bushing on my truck is a responsible use.

I gotta start drawing a better distinction, and that starts today.

Please tell me if this is just me making excuses. I think I'm being rational and am trying out a new perspective but my mind has proved to be a fickle friend on multiple occasions throughout this recovery process.

Thank you all again so much for the advice. Sorry for the essay. I can't say how much you have helped me. I wanted to afford your comments the time they deserve.

kadeshzelbriel

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #256 on: December 04, 2019, 07:12:53 PM »
YES! NGL I was updating this page multiple times a day for the last few days waiting to see how this all would land with you. Couldn't be happier to see your replies. Really rooting for you and looking forward to see how this all settles with you and your practice.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #257 on: December 04, 2019, 10:18:42 PM »
YES! NGL I was updating this page multiple times a day for the last few days waiting to see how this all would land with you. Couldn't be happier to see your replies. Really rooting for you and looking forward to see how this all settles with you and your practice.

I'm with Kadesh: I was anxious to see how it would all hit you. "All-out wisdom assault" probably sounds about right. I'm excited to hear that you're digging in a little deeper and reclaiming a greater measure of agency in your recovery. That's what it's all about.

It's true, I did relapse because of it that time. I wonder if this is a cop out, but I do think that as long as I don't binge I'm okay...

Also, as long as you're asking for people call out potential excuses, this sounds very similar to a line of thinking that kept me trapped in addictive patterns for a long time. I told myself that, as long as there was no explicit nudity, it was okay or that, as long as I didn't O, it didn't count. That was dead wrong. I had set up rules that allowed me to still get my fix without it really "counting." But what was my goal? Just avoiding explicit PMO? Or healing from addiction?

It has actually been a long time since I outright PMO'd, but I spent probably a couple years trapped in a cycle of periodically staying up all night edging to non-explicit stuff. I kept telling myself it was okay because it wasn't PMO, but it obviously wasn't. That's just PMO addiction with a slightly different paint job.

It's a really tricky balance for me, sometimes, to figure out what counts as being gentle and patient with myself and what is necessary to stay clean. I was way too quick to give myself a pass for relapsing without explicit P or outright O for way too long. As long as there's any scrap of this addiction that is "okay," we're keeping a wrist or toe chained to the addiction, ready to get dragged back.


Anyway, the amount of text for my celebration is smaller than the amount of text for my caution. I don't want to give the wrong impression: you're moving in a great direction, and it really is awesome to see. Just wanted to chime in one more time while the iron was hot.

Keep plugging away!

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #258 on: December 05, 2019, 01:06:10 PM »
Thank you guys.

In 37 days I watched P 7 times
Consecutive days clean: 7


I think you're right, Blue. Damn, I gotta quit this YouTube shit for a bit. That seems harder than quitting P tbh.

I feel pretty low this morning. Part of the withdrawals I guess. Anxiety is high and depression is high. It'll pass. I've had a couple of my pupils quit in the past couple of weeks and not honour their contract by giving the correct notice (and so not pay). I'm really pissed and frankly offended. When you sign a fucking contract you agree to a legally binding commitment to pay your bills. Music lessons are no different from this.

I've also been snowballing a little bit about the rate of growth of the school. We're way behind our targets and normally at this point I would probably have just retreated to P but my wife keeps me on the straight and narrow with her relentless positivity. I She truly is a force of nature and I love her for it. I tend to snowball as my default setting and can be very depressive.

Almost clicked on a thumbnail I shouldn't have this morning but before I did I thought about what I had written about responsibility and then thought about what a relapse would bring me, and it wasn't worth feeling ultimately much worse just because I'm feeling low and felt like having a peek. It was YouTube again. Damn. It wasn't responsible to watch YouTube when feeling this low. EDIT: What triggered that feeling though was that yesterday I was watching a movie that was a comedy and it had boobs in it. It's like the brain is looking for an excuse to get some dopamine and lays the trap. But I'm becoming more conscious of it every time and that's all part of my new commitment of responsibility and accountability to myself.

I feel like the more conscious you get the more you notice subtler and subtler details and layers of the addiction, and the kind of mini cycles you go through. I mean, nothing happened, but I already notice my brain's craving and that led to me almost acting in a way that was totally unconscious and habitual. I really do want to quit, and it's actually quite fun to be curious about these kinds of feelings and thoughts without being fearful!

I'm a badass, sometimes I just forget it, LOL.

EDIT: I wanted to read about some real-life withdrawal symptoms from internet and P. After all, the science would suggest that P is not a sex addiction but an internet addiction that highjacks our sexuality. There are some really interesting real-life accounts of people going through withdrawal here: https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/rebooting-porn-use-faqs/what-does-withdrawal-from-porn-addiction-look-like/

One really interesting account struck me:

Quote
During this time, there was one particular incident that I remember very vividly that is worth describing. I was in the relatively early stages on recovery, feeling pretty miserable but functional. I was in a coffee shop working on a coding problem that I hadn’t been able to figure out for weeks. Without going into too much detail, solving this problem was potentially worth a lot of money to me. Suddenly, in a eureka moment, I figured it out. I felt this surge of elation. But then, immediately, there was some kind of misfire in my brain. I was instantly overwhelmed with anxiety and this intense panicking sensation. I started sweating, my heart was pounding. I packed up my shit, ran home and curled up on my bed for the rest of the day. It was like my brain just couldn’t handle positive feelings anymore. Like it was allergic to dopamine. Later on in my recovery I had a similar experience after a heavy workout. I don’t know what exactly happened in neurochemical terms but for me at least, it was conclusive proof of just how much I had messed up my brain’s natural reward system. Porn is so, so powerful.

This is so much like how I sometimes feel after a workout. Like my brain has no tolerance to dopamine or something. Sometimes, when something good happens, it even triggers some urges which has caught me out on tonnes of occasions because I wasn't expecting it! Has anyone else experienced this? So weird but cool to know!

Yesterday I had a massive tension headache and anxiety, but I went and worked out legs which helped a little. My legs ache so much now from the deadlifts and lunges I did lol. Today I have depression and moderate urges. It's okay. I have done a lot of damage to my brain and there's no need to stir it up further. Better to let the dust settle. Gonna try and eat something even though I have no appetite and maybe go train shoulders (I have squat rack/bench with free weights at home).



« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 01:30:19 PM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #259 on: December 05, 2019, 09:02:46 PM »
Every urge/craving is an opportunity to pause and to make a decision.

For a long time, I thought the decision was already made by the time urge came around. I thought my goal was not to have urges, that I needed to make decisions that made urges impossible. Then, whenever the urge came, I just gave into it because I thought I had clearly failed. I didn't pause when the urges came, didn't interrogate them. I just gave in.

This year, I have been learning to pause and to ask the urge what it really wants. Porn is the surface answer. I mean what does it really want?

What you describe when you say you almost clicked a thumbnail sounds a lot like the experience I have had in learning that urges are moments for decisions. There have been times when I have stared at a thumbnail for a couple minutes, wanting to click it but also not being willing to accept the consequences of clicking it. Part of taking responsibility for me has meant learning that I actually am in control at more points in the day than I ever realized. Pausing and recognizing those decision points has been helpful.

And quitting Youtube might be harder than quitting porn. Quitting "porn" is easy; healing from addiction is hard work. I gave up watching videos of explicit sexual acts a long time ago, but, like I mentioned before, I spent a very long time trapped in an addictive cycle with "softer" stuff thinking I was doing okay.

Addiction is pervasive. It gets into every corner of our life. The porn is the most obvious symptom of the addiction, but there's more to it than just giving up certain websites. I think staying mindful, curious, and aware that you can always make a decision is a great place to be.

Congrats on a clean week. Keep it up!

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #260 on: December 06, 2019, 12:44:37 PM »
Day 0

Blue, you're absolutely right. Tbh I don't think that looking at non-explicit stuff is okay, I'm under no illusion that it almost always leads to full PMO relapse. Maybe looking at that stuff is how it starts but it's not how it ends, for me at least.


Trigger warning

So yesterday I was feeling super low. I felt a lot of love for my wife and so I seduced her but when I tried to make love to her my dick didn't work at all. This threw me into an even lower mood, and I couldn't sleep at all. At a certain point, I decided to look at P subs on snapchat.

There was a clear decision moment there. I made a choice to do that instead of weathering the storm of the withdrawals and have a sleepless night if a sleepless night is what I needed to go through.

It then inevitably led to peeking and my wife woke up and asked me what I was doing. I was peeking and took responsibility straight away, didn't lie, and just said that I was peeking and that I'm sorry, I fucked up, and thanked her for catching me. She wasn't mad at all but asked to take my phone to her side of the bed. I gave it willingly. We cuddled for a while, she wasn't sleeping well either for other reasons.

Then, lots of interesting things started happening. I started noticing that although my brain really wanted relapse, as I dozed, I noticed that other non P-related thoughts were also arising in my mind. The urge was so strong but there were still other things going on in my mind. I was thinking about all sorts of other stuff besides P, but the P thoughts were the strongest when then came because I gave them attention. Eventually, the P thoughts began to subside and be replaced more by other thoughts. So I lay there for about an hour and a half and then I decided to give them attention to see what would happen (duh, that's the addiction talking, I'm not going to pretend like I was merely a detached observer in this whole thing, but I was certainly 90% more aware than I normally am during this type of occurrence). I made sure Wife was asleep and went into the other room to look at P on my laptop, just for a minute. Then I went back to bed and lay down again. Again, the same thing. No sleep, urges for P strong, cuddles with wife good, eventually, P thoughts subsided and other pleasant thoughts came in. Occasional P thoughts but nothing major.

This morning I woke up at like 7:30 having barely slept. I went to get my phone and immediately just decided to relapse. The trigger was lack of sleep and I felt sorry for myself for not getting it up the night before. Hilarious that the brain can tell me such things, since P is the very reason I couldn't get it up, but still. I watched P for a good couple of hours, PMO'ing twice.

Okay so a relapse happened, but what was it about this relapse that was different?

I started noticing what you guys said about that decision moment. I started noticing that I actually can very well weather the storm of withdrawal, and that I would much rather feel shitty because I haven't watched P in a long time, than feel shitty because I just watched P.

I'd rather feel terrible, suicidal, socially anxious, unmotivated, irritable because I hadn't watched P, than because I had watched P. I'd rather feel awful but know that I am a responsible captain, guiding my ship lovingly through a tumultuous storm.

We have to see it like this: We are like a ship that has literally been built to be hardy, tough, and storm-going. We are no normal ship that could hit a rock and sink. But in order for us to realise the capability of our ship and not hit a rock, we need to have some skill. The skill is to just ride the storm and steer occasionally, all the while keeping calm. The hardy, tough, awesome ship that we have will do the rest.

We are all actually awesome and our brains are awesome, too. It's so easy to get into self-loathing and think that we're weak but this time, as I watched the urges subside I realised how much attention I give them when they're there. It's totally fine for them to be there, just like it's totally fine for there to be a storm and a rocks near a ship that was built for storms.

I realised how adaptable my brain is, and how I'm going to get through this next storm with gratitude. You know what, the next time they arise I'm going to say to the higher power (or the inner self), thank you. Thank you for this, because this is clearly what I need to go through in this moment, otherwise it wouldn't be happening to me. Thank you for always knowing what is best for me, and showing me that suffering is never permanent.

This might sound really Hindu of me but this is my prayer:

O Universe, as I guide my ship on the ocean of Samsara, let me be reminded by your divine grace that I am One and not separate. Let me be reminded that to go through turmoil and to come out the other side is equal to waking up from this dream of life. To suffer terribly and to remain alive to notice its cessation is to realise the true nature of reality, that all is passing, even death. Thank you for making it so obvious. My only true prayer is to wake up, to achieve Enlightenment in this lifetime. You, divine Brahman are all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful. You are formless but you dwell in all forms. I am of you, and you are me truly, before this form was imbued with the self-awareness to develop an identity as a person. I now know I must weather this storm, whatever it takes, and I know that peace and Truth will be waiting for me, whenever that may be.


This may not make sense for everyone reading this but it came from the heart and I just wanted to write it out. I don't mind if you don't get it or think I'm cray :P.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 12:49:14 PM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

gragnok

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #261 on: December 06, 2019, 02:00:57 PM »
That last post was super helpful for another person on a day zero, thank you!
Lots of good stuff in there. And I’m inspired to go and meditate right after this.
And now it’s about the reaction to failure, personally this is a different feeling day zero fro me, I’m less mad at myself and realize it’s a process. I like how you also had how many times you’ve viewed p in x days. That seems productive. Anyways thanks and keep going!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #262 on: December 06, 2019, 07:22:06 PM »
It's good that you're getting some experience with just how deliberate we can be when it comes to urges and relapses. We can talk about it all we want, but experiencing it makes it click. Even if things didn't turn out perfectly, I think you're coming away with a potentially powerful learning experience.

I also like the ship analogy. The storms will come, and we can decide how we'll steer the ship when they do. The urge storms make us panic, so we make silly decisions (like peeking/steering into some smaller rocks because we think it won't be as bad as hitting the big rocks...still rocks, though). But our boats are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for. In the end, the storm can't really hurt us if we stay calm on the open water.

Cool stuff. You have got me thinking again about how this addiction has, every step of the way, given me reason after reason to improve as a person. It's such a difficult thing to beat, and it has required so much of me. As awful and unfortunate as it has been, it has also been a powerful and constant source of motivation for me. Every new attempt to fight back has turned me into a better and stronger person. Sometimes I wonder if I ever would have had a reason to grow as much as I have if it weren't for this addiction to remind me I still have work to do.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #263 on: December 06, 2019, 08:54:32 PM »
Hey man really good you took all of this stuff in. Sometimes we can take something in and it takes some time to settle.

Like my last relapse awhile back, I decided that MO was okay.... everyone advised me otherwise, but I still tried just moing. I learned for myself that it is NOT okay for me. Once I had the experience everyone else's wisdom really sank in and now I REALLY know.

So, I think you are getting a lot of input here, you understand it consciously, but it may take relapses until you are sick of relapsing for the information to really stick.


I am going to also mention something, that I think is different from what I hear from most others here. So everyone please feel very very free to disagree as I can learn from your disagreements:

I think being mad at oneself and a bit hard on oneself is not always that bad. I always hear the key to overcoming a relapse is like don't be too hard on yourself but that hasn't been the case for me. When I'd relapse and NOT be hard on myself, I'd relapse again pretty easily a few days later and I'd keep doing it until I WAS hard on myself. Like it almost always took being absolutely furious and miserable about the pmo to really get totally back on the horse.

I aim to be very positive as much as I can, but I think negative motivation can be useful too. Like if we are feeling so down anxious etc. it's hard to be motivated by the positive, but if it's like man relapsing I'll hate myself and it's about as bad as death, that can keep things moving.

Like maybe you can be fucking miserable and suicidal when you relapse and even when you think about relapsing, instead of feeling that way before you relapse and while your dick doesn't work and then feeling clarity and not so hard on yourself after you relapse.

Like let's look at this from a super basic like Pavlov's dog brain perspective:

Your dick didn't work. You feel horrible
Urges you feel horrible
Sleep awfully feel horrible
PMO'd  -Don't feel horrible
Afterward not too hard on self- Got a bunch of nice insights about how to quit pmo.

So thats like reinforcing that same loop. On a subconscious immediate level, PMO still dulled the emotions and made you feel good. What if instead relapse felt EVEN WORSE then all the urges and dick not working etc?

Plus you already know but all the bullshit that you felt beforehand, dick not working etc. is from the pmo. So it can help to relapse and have that horrible realization as soon as you cum, that your dick isn't going to work now and that sucks. Uggghhh makes my skin crawl just thinking about moing and the feeling right after of knowing I just threw away my erections. Gosh that is fucking horrible. I wish that that pmo was a living creature so that I could fucking kill it and stomp on the body. (Yes I know I am little crazy lol) but literally thinking about that shit, that is how I feel, which I think is pretty useful for what we are aiming to accomplish here.

If you want to try a little bit of this mindset: Maybe really remember this relapse. And the next time your dick does not work with your wife, realize that this relapse is responsible. Let that pain of your dick not working be directly connected to the relapse, because it literally is.

Also, for me one of the most common relapse scenarios is the laying in bed with urges, rather then getting up and doing other stuff. I'd say the lack of sleep didn't trigger the relapse, laying in bed with the urges for hours did. Works better to just accept like "okay, I have urges I might not sleep tonight to get through them, that's fine I won't sleep."


Also last thing, as far as the business it's just normal to be stressed as fuck starting a business dealing with people etc. it's really hard. I know that might not make it feel better, but it's just totally normal. Just gotta find HEALTHY new ways to handle the stress. (much easier said then done)

Edit: Also man thanks for being so open about everything. Hearing about your stuff and thinking about it helps us too. Like now I am like a psychopath obsessed with "killing" pmo. The thought of even fantazing about girls right now fills me with rage (not at the girls lol) since I know it can potentially trigger me. This mindset works for me. I know might fit into the more yoga approach lol.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 09:07:25 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 27 And Done With Porn
« Reply #264 on: December 07, 2019, 08:18:08 PM »
Like let's look at this from a super basic like Pavlov's dog brain perspective:

Your dick didn't work. You feel horrible
Urges you feel horrible
Sleep awfully feel horrible
PMO'd  -Don't feel horrible
Afterward not too hard on self- Got a bunch of nice insights about how to quit pmo.

So thats like reinforcing that same loop. On a subconscious immediate level, PMO still dulled the emotions and made you feel good. What if instead relapse felt EVEN WORSE then all the urges and dick not working etc?

You know, this is a sharp insight. And I think you're right.

As I have been learning not to be too hard on myself, I think part of that has meant sparing myself the self-hatred that usually comes with a relapse, but I think it's also easy to mis-hear the advice as giving ourselves a free pass.

One time, I heard that the difference between guilt and shame is like this: Guilt makes us feel bad so that we commit to change and do better. Shame makes us feel bad so that we give up and wallow in our bad behavior. Guilt is useful. Shame keeps us trapped.

In some ways, not being too hard on myself has actually meant setting much higher expectations for myself. I just try to do it without adding a bunch of emotional pain on top of everything else. Instead of treating myself like my own worst enemy, I treat myself as someone who needs my help, help only I can give. Setting high standards for myself and being strict about staying clean comes from a place of care and kindness instead of self-punishment. For me, at least, that has been a key.