Author Topic: 24yo Journal  (Read 2096 times)

rob24

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24yo Journal
« on: July 10, 2019, 04:06:54 AM »
7/10/19

Days Since last PMO: 0

Hello, my name is Rob, and I'm incredibly grateful to this community for its support and existence. I'm 24 years old and I've been struggling with pornography since I first started viewing it at 17. I've made it for around 60 days as my best record of being porn free in the past, and the best I remember is that I just got bored with normal living and sought out porn again. I had a great group of friends around me at the time to help me get my mind off of things.

I think I posted in this same forum a few years back, and I kindly ask that anybody who reads this is sensitive to my situation and feelings as I'll explain, because my experience over the last few years has turned me into something of a meaningless zombie. I write this log so that I will feel in some way important or acknowledged, and partly because I hate feeling judged by a therapist, which might be the alternative. Otherwise, I'd be writing a blog post which would be very lonely indeed - I just hope that this story can help someone in a similar position to me, or that I might be able to connect to someone of a similar situation, or that I might just leave something of this horrible ordeal.

THE STORY:

I started trying to give up masturbating as soon as I started it when I was around 12 years old. This was all for religious reasons since I've been raised Roman Catholic, and I thought I was going to Hell for masturbating. I made many fruitless attempts throughout adolescence to quit.

In 11th grade, I got my own computer and an iPod touch, making my life more private, and I sought out internet pornography.

The end of high school seemed to consist of me chasing girls, trying to "one up" my friends in finding a girlfriend, and failing over and over again at quitting porn and masturbating.

Around the beginning of college, I continued my porn addiction, though made several better attempts to give it up, making it as far as 34 days at one point. I started to grow really self conscious about my not having had sex.

At the end of my freshman year, I started dating a girl I liked, but got tired of her really quickly. I attribute my not being able to perform or ejaculate from blowjobs to the way I masturbated into the bed on my front side. This is a really bad habit I still have, and I've had from the beginning. I largely attribute it to easier cleanup and the fact that I'm circumcised, something I learned later from porn usage.

In my sophomore year of college, I had another failed ejaculation from a blowjob (different girl after the first girl and I broke up) and a couple dates, then I almost entirely gave up dating for the next 3-4 years, and here I am now, a couple years into my career, which has been largely confused and misguided. There's a ton more detail I can go into in a later edit since I really want to justify where I stand to myself and better understand who I am and where I'm going, but I want to make a few things clear from the outset.

I've tried many times at quitting and failed to make it 90 days, which I regard as the point where you're seemingly free, based on what I've read. I think I was practically free at 60 days when I made it before, though I recall masturbating to orgasm during that 60 day period, so maybe I'm going to see something different if I really do a good job this time.

Having taught middle school for the last two years, I am better understanding my adolescent brain. I always felt trodden over by women having been a younger brother and having an older dad who wasn't around as much as mom and who couldn't be as physically active. Over the years, I've also developed this fetish for seeing uncut dicks in porn because I feel semi-castrated from being circumcised. It's led me to these fantasies of being a girl, and I'm not sure whether it's caused by porn or what. I'm envious of guys who aren't circumcised and it makes me filled with this hatred for and insecurity around them, which I know is wrong, but I can't help but feel it. I'm sorry if you read this and it affects you, it's just that I'm trying to work through this to self-acceptance and a more constructive attitude about my situation. It's probably one that's very common, though I've lost myself in anger at my parents, the hospital where they had me, and a vast shame and emptiness. I've had several screaming matches with my parents about this whole thing. I know there's a lot to all that I'm saying, and I've tried to consider both sides to the story, though I will elaborate when I have more time. At the bottom of it all, I feel completely alone and isolated and rejected and hated by society and men and women as individuals. I'm definitely living something of a double life. I honestly don't even feel comfortable in any type of established job, as I feel like any type of establishment represents conformity to a society that let me get amputated.

Here's what I do to cope. I've stopped caring much or feeling very self conscious about the fact that I haven't had sex, as I realize that I can't honestly be intimate with another person until I completely accept myself and my situation, which is still a ways away. I exercise furiously by running and doing calisthenics to burn off any energy I get. I frequently feel hatred for my parents for the reasons listed above, and I've lost control of it several times in the past, which has led to fights that were incredibly destructive to our relationship, although I said almost everything I felt. It's like half of me loves them and the other half of me hates them. I use tugging methods to "regrow" my foreskin to get rid of some of the negative effects from circumcision. I also try to use manual stretching to get a larger penis and keep detailed logs of my regime. I know that I cope with my horrible self image by trying to make myself look better or more desirable. I feel like I need to reject everyone since I feel rejected in the ways I talked about above. The only thought that comforts me in my feelings about my penis is the idea that I could somehow make it my own like this and claim ownership of my own body. And up until now, I would have masturbated to burn off energy. It, along with running, are useful because they take away physical energy and mental frustration that would be directed at my parents and replace it with this zombie-like stupor of sexual fetishes. Still, I know that there is a more constructive way of living one's life, and I don't intend to go insane living like this until I'm supposed to be starting a family in the next ten years or so.

I've definitely said a lot in this post, and I hope it helps me work through these feelings and arrive at some sort of acceptance. More to come later. I easily feel I could have doubled or tripled the length of this post with hardly any effort. I'm sorry if anything in my post triggers/offends anyone, though I honestly feel like this is the best way for me to work through these demons.



squid

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 07:16:34 AM »
I started trying to give up masturbating as soon as I started it when I was around 12 years old. This was all for religious reasons since I've been raised Roman Catholic, and I thought I was going to Hell for masturbating. I made many fruitless attempts throughout adolescence to quit.

In 11th grade, I got my own computer and an iPod touch, making my life more private, and I sought out internet pornography.

The end of high school seemed to consist of me chasing girls, trying to "one up" my friends in finding a girlfriend, and failing over and over again at quitting porn and masturbating.

Around the beginning of college, I continued my porn addiction, though made several better attempts to give it up, making it as far as 34 days at one point. I started to grow really self conscious about my not having had sex.

Hi Rob welcome to the nation.  Your origin story is very similar to mine.  I am 25 and am on day 4 of my reboot.  I hope you keep exercising and doing this journal, those are two activities that have helped me a lot.  You got this!  Let's get free, day by day.

-squid

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 10:55:56 PM »
I started trying to give up masturbating as soon as I started it when I was around 12 years old. This was all for religious reasons since I've been raised Roman Catholic, and I thought I was going to Hell for masturbating. I made many fruitless attempts throughout adolescence to quit.

In 11th grade, I got my own computer and an iPod touch, making my life more private, and I sought out internet pornography.

The end of high school seemed to consist of me chasing girls, trying to "one up" my friends in finding a girlfriend, and failing over and over again at quitting porn and masturbating.

Around the beginning of college, I continued my porn addiction, though made several better attempts to give it up, making it as far as 34 days at one point. I started to grow really self conscious about my not having had sex.

Hi Rob welcome to the nation.  Your origin story is very similar to mine.  I am 25 and am on day 4 of my reboot.  I hope you keep exercising and doing this journal, those are two activities that have helped me a lot.  You got this!  Let's get free, day by day.

-squid

Thanks squid! Good luck in your commitment! I'll try to keep you posted and perhaps provide some encouragement along the way if I make it out of my own funk.



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 11:30:02 PM »
7/10/19

I'm going to make some format changes to my posts so you can hopefully observe progression more easily from now on:

Time since relapse (according to my ticker): 2 Days, 11 hours

Improvements I made/noticed today (Physiological/Mental/Social/etc.):
  • Slight immediate return of sensitivity on my penis
  • Habits and other daily routines starting to feel more solid

Struggles/Negative Effects I'm Dealing With:
  • Boredom
  • Slight temptation to relapse - I get greater cravings the more I deprive myself for now

If...Then Planning:
  • IF I experience an urge, I will use the bathroom, eat a snack, and do pushups until failure, then continue doing sets until I fail to do even one. If I am still tempted, then I will do sit-ups in a similar fashion, and so on.
  • NEXT, I will read articles about pornography's negative effects on the brain, like YBOP, etc.
  • NEXT, I will write an "emergency post" on this journal until I am back to my rational self, and the urges have subsided.

Learning:
  • I started Reading Your Brain on Porn last night. I've tried so much in the past, even going as far as to destroy a $1000 laptop and completely cut off my internet access forcibly. But I've learned over the years trying to quit that you can use as many tricks as you can, but your willpower and resolve will ultimately be tested in the end. Still, I'm open to using many of Gary's preventative steps to give myself every advantage. I added the "Rewire Companion" timer to my phone today. Definitely a win to see that number tick up every hour.

Reflection:

I had a good day following a lot of the routines I've been building up again. Routines and habits are very welcome back in my life.

I made a Facebook again to be more present in the lives of people I know after high school and college. I saw my ex-girlfriend's profile and had flashbacks to my failure to climax during sexual encounters. I went really hard on myself back then, despite the fact that I feel like I was behaving irresponsibly. But now that I've had a few years to go back over it, I'm forgiving myself more for all of my feelings toward my parents, my ex-girlfriend, and so on. While I'm by no means a completely pure person, I realize that I'm weak in many ways and I need to make room for myself.

I'm also aware of all the new stuff I'm signing up for, though I'm trying to make sure I'm only addicted to habits, so to speak, and not addicted to facebook, checking social media, etc.

Goals:

I'm thinking more positively today. I realized I may need some more time than 90 days for certain things to return. Who knows?

Indicators that I will be "cured"
  • Make it 90 days without porn
  • Be extremely attracted to women around me again
  • More frequent morning wood, with harder erections
  • The head of my penis has not been very engorged with blood during most erections for the past few years. I hope this is something that can return
  • Lessening social anxiety, greater altruism, etc.

I have a few other goals, including tugging to restore what remains of my foreskin after circumcision, working through more of my feelings, and some other fitness goals.

Triggers on my radar:
  • I don't know what to expect. I suspect any immediate causes would come about because of an emotional hijacking. How can I tirelessly be on my guard every moment? I'm especially at risk since I spend almost the entire day in my room alone in the nude, using the tugging device I mentioned earlier. I'm also wary of my moods around my parents. I think I tried giving up PMO last year and it caused extreme emotions come out of me, causing the fights with my parents I mentioned above about circumcision, etc. Any more conversation about such matters at this point seems unproductive. I feel a bit sleazy or self-conscious confiding about it anonymously here on the internet, though I often feel that I have no one to turn to, and it's probably best for me to deal with my emotions somehow rather than holding them in and letting the pressure get them out. I almost feel like I need more friends who share my condition. I know one or two, but most are widespread and very busy, nor is it a topic I'd bring up out of the blue.

More to come soon. Expect better organized posts in the future. Thanks for your support, and good luck on your own journeys.



Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 05:58:15 AM »
i can't promise to fix all your problems but i can promise you won't have to face them alone.  :)

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 12:42:34 AM »
i can't promise to fix all your problems but i can promise you won't have to face them alone.  :)

Thanks! Glad to be part of this community and maybe I'll be able to support you in some way soon too! ^_^



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 11:14:31 PM »
Checking in...I am sitting at almost 48 hours since my last relapse. So far so good. It seems my post from last night failed to send or something, so I dropped much of what I wrote. I recall there being a really useful ticker box that let me view my progress if anyone has any knowledge of its whereabouts/existence. I'm going to keep at this with good habits today!



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 02:41:19 AM »
I've been on these self-improvement routines, and one of the things I do is to prioritize self-care and try to think of how to make myself more confident and attractive so that I don't suffer from bad anxiety. I realized I'm still pretty insecure about the fact that I haven't had sex yet - p-in-v type, you know? I did a little deep dive into why I felt that way, what my motivations were, and how it made me feel and whether it really mattered. Ultimately, I don't really think it matters so much as long as you find the right person, but I feel weird putting myself out there without feeling like I legitimately am attracted to many women who are into me. I feel like I had many opportunities in the past, but I didn't go through with them to push for a relationship or have sex since I wasn't interested in the person. I almost feel like I'm setting myself up for failure if I don't improve myself to the point where I can get a chance and feel confident with women I'm interested in. It gets me back into these self-improvement routines I set aside a couple years back when I was adjusting to my career. I put so much of this energy into running long-distance since I often don't have answers. After high school and college, I feel lost without any local friends I've contacted in awhile, and having lost my job at a local restaurant a couple years ago. I am running on the off chance that it will help me get some local recognition and I'll somehow be able to meet local people again through this. I'm getting faster than I've ever been now and I just timed my first ever sub-5-minute mile. I feel like it's a great way to channel my energy when I'm all wound up like right now. Just wanted to say this because it helped me, and it often helps me to post on here during these early phases of recovery, as it legitimizes and validates my struggle with this. Hope this helps someone! It also releases tons of dopamine!



squid

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 03:53:45 PM »
I've been on these self-improvement routines, and one of the things I do is to prioritize self-care and try to think of how to make myself more confident and attractive so that I don't suffer from bad anxiety. I realized I'm still pretty insecure about the fact that I haven't had sex yet - p-in-v type, you know? I did a little deep dive into why I felt that way, what my motivations were, and how it made me feel and whether it really mattered. Ultimately, I don't really think it matters so much as long as you find the right person, but I feel weird putting myself out there without feeling like I legitimately am attracted to many women who are into me. I feel like I had many opportunities in the past, but I didn't go through with them to push for a relationship or have sex since I wasn't interested in the person. I almost feel like I'm setting myself up for failure if I don't improve myself to the point where I can get a chance and feel confident with women I'm interested in. It gets me back into these self-improvement routines I set aside a couple years back when I was adjusting to my career. I put so much of this energy into running long-distance since I often don't have answers. After high school and college, I feel lost without any local friends I've contacted in awhile, and having lost my job at a local restaurant a couple years ago. I am running on the off chance that it will help me get some local recognition and I'll somehow be able to meet local people again through this. I'm getting faster than I've ever been now and I just timed my first ever sub-5-minute mile. I feel like it's a great way to channel my energy when I'm all wound up like right now. Just wanted to say this because it helped me, and it often helps me to post on here during these early phases of recovery, as it legitimizes and validates my struggle with this. Hope this helps someone! It also releases tons of dopamine!

You're on the right track rob!  A sub 5 minute mile is insane congratulations what a great area to put your new energy.  I had sex for the first time at 24, try not to feel anxious about not having it yet, it's more common than you think.  When you find someone you care about it will happen.  The further you get from pmo, it gets easier to talk to and attract women you want to get close to.  For me it happened around the two month mark seemingly suddenly in a past reboot.  Getting free of porn makes a huge difference in dating and meeting women. 

Stay free my friend,

-squid

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 07:11:34 PM »
I've been on these self-improvement routines, and one of the things I do is to prioritize self-care and try to think of how to make myself more confident and attractive so that I don't suffer from bad anxiety. I realized I'm still pretty insecure about the fact that I haven't had sex yet - p-in-v type, you know? I did a little deep dive into why I felt that way, what my motivations were, and how it made me feel and whether it really mattered. Ultimately, I don't really think it matters so much as long as you find the right person, but I feel weird putting myself out there without feeling like I legitimately am attracted to many women who are into me. I feel like I had many opportunities in the past, but I didn't go through with them to push for a relationship or have sex since I wasn't interested in the person. I almost feel like I'm setting myself up for failure if I don't improve myself to the point where I can get a chance and feel confident with women I'm interested in. It gets me back into these self-improvement routines I set aside a couple years back when I was adjusting to my career. I put so much of this energy into running long-distance since I often don't have answers. After high school and college, I feel lost without any local friends I've contacted in awhile, and having lost my job at a local restaurant a couple years ago. I am running on the off chance that it will help me get some local recognition and I'll somehow be able to meet local people again through this. I'm getting faster than I've ever been now and I just timed my first ever sub-5-minute mile. I feel like it's a great way to channel my energy when I'm all wound up like right now. Just wanted to say this because it helped me, and it often helps me to post on here during these early phases of recovery, as it legitimizes and validates my struggle with this. Hope this helps someone! It also releases tons of dopamine!

You're on the right track rob!  A sub 5 minute mile is insane congratulations what a great area to put your new energy.  I had sex for the first time at 24, try not to feel anxious about not having it yet, it's more common than you think.  When you find someone you care about it will happen.  The further you get from pmo, it gets easier to talk to and attract women you want to get close to.  For me it happened around the two month mark seemingly suddenly in a past reboot.  Getting free of porn makes a huge difference in dating and meeting women. 

Stay free my friend,

-squid

Thanks squid! Grateful for your shared experience man! You give me great energy and confidence.

7/13/19

2 Days, 16 hours

I read hentai about a day and a half ago without getting aroused much. I was mainly interested in the art style and story. Put a separate timer on that to keep it in check. It doesn't seem sustainable, though. Maybe best to keep a lid on it.

I'm doing productive things now a few months after leaving my position as a middle school teacher. I was in a rough area and had 4-5 hours commuting every day. It hardened me and made me something of a work/commute zombie. I signed on for a three week contract to teach some really motivated ninth graders soon, and I'm having trouble getting myself off to work on their curriculum. Mainly procrastination and perfectionism.

As I observed my own emotions with slightly greater detachment, I realized that there is anxiousness and horniness awakening simultaneously in me. It's like I have this habit of procrastinating, panicking, watching porn, and then getting work done in a vicious cycle. I think I'm going to start to confront larger external pressures soon, such as finding the right job, finding a girlfriend, etc. I've lived at home since I graduated college a couple years ago. And I am unhealthily internalizing a lot of these pressures by turning to porn and video games and self-hatred for respite so that I can handle my everyday interactions like a normal person. I had this fear for so long that my parents would disown me if I failed to get a job right away after college. I had a talk with my mom today and brought this up in the need to prioritize self care. I've saved pretty well since I started and I don't care if it means another few months of unemployment and soul searching/working on myself to get better. I swear, it's been crazy to feel like you don't even have control over your own addictions and urges and go into the workplace for years with an honest face. I feel so angry and upset sometimes that I ever came into this situation of addiction and loneliness and isolation and self-hatred, but I think I can do better by expecting less of myself in some areas, like how I appear before others. I think this will ultimately lead to greater sustainablity of character and habits.



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2019, 11:13:11 AM »
7/14/19

3 Days, 7 hours

Feeling really good today. I just finished reading Your Brain on Porn this morning. Excellent read if you get a chance, and I will definitely be rereading as I run into triggers throughout the next months to remind me of my commitment. Any other recommended reading?

Insomnia has been a massive problem. My sleep schedule is nonexistent and I'm very inconsistent. This is bad. I can work on it and get back to normal by neither oversleeping nor undersleeping. I think 8.5 hours is perfect for each night. I'll try to get a consistent 10pm bedtime.

I still haven't mustered up much energy to work on my work contract, though I think I need to make a few lessons today or I'll be kicking myself later. I just have to remember to be consistent and kind to myself. Even if I mess up and fail, it would be worse if I turn to anxiety and relapse as a result. I can maintain healthy awareness of my own behaviors because I've worked hard over the last years to give myself some sense of financial security for the next few months/years. Focus on myself. Focus on improving myself. Focus on integrity and becoming more - even if it doesn't appear that way to others. This is a huge theme in a new book I'm reading, Mindset, by Carol Dweck. Looks to be a good read so far.

I've started fantasizing - not really fantasizing, but I just can't stop thinking about this one girl I knew a while back that I ran into again a month ago. I just feel lonely and I want to be normal. This has happened to me several times in the past during a reboot - I can't channel the energy into PMO anymore, so I become head over heels in love with someone or other. Or once I channeled the energy into a huge lashing out at my parents over some of the issues I discussed before.

I channel most of this energy into extreme workouts - running, swimming, weights, etc., but it still feels like there is so much more passion left when I'm done. I've been channeling it into reading and hobbies lately, but does anyone have any advice for other outlets? I know that it won't all be easy after quitting, and so often, when the veil of pornographic stupor is lifted and you're on to day 7-20 or so, you start to realize that there were problems in your life you never addressed in the first place, and that was the reason you turned to porn to begin with. Any stories of successful confrontations with these types of emotions/sentiments?

Thanks for all the help and support as always. Be well!



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2019, 02:31:34 PM »
Update: Just went outside - I live in a beach town and there are incredibly attractive women everywhere! I honestly thought it would take longer, though I'm honestly shaking with excitement whenever I go outside...I can't tell if it's placebo, but it's definitely a welcome, reassuring feeling. Sorry for the constant posting, though I just want to keep tabs on what I'm up to so I don't end up going and veering off into getting badly triggered. I still feel nervous and self-conscious though, just approaching women and saying hello. It seems rude not just to mind my own business. At least that's very honest and forthright and I'm starting to feel more of the daily emotions I want to feel again, and only just over 3 days back into it!



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2019, 03:50:03 AM »
4 day update:

I hadn't realized until now how extremely lonely I've been, but not really felt since I've been in a haze of PMO to deaden these feelings. I started feeling desperate for companionship yesterday and I went for a ride on my bike and just saw droves of people all with their friends, significant others, etc...I've been here before with this feeling before and it's driven me to go after a girl or two when I tried to reboot, but I felt like I was driven out of desperation.

I've been thinking a lot about one person I met who was the kindest girl, and struck me as an amazing person. She was funny, attractive, and had this handicap that limited her hearing. She amazed me. Then I started comparing the experience of meeting her with other women and men I've met throughout high school and college, and it led me to this huge realization about friendship in general when I woke up. A good friend challenges you to grow and improve. This can be through kindness, working out together, spurring you to change something about yourself, etc. I was feeling bad because I have been in touch with a girl I knew in high school that I used to feel like she challenged me, but then I didn't feel the same electricity from being around her later on because I just started to feel like she threw herself at me/other guys. out of desperation. I never realized exactly how this dynamic worked in my brain, and how two people could pay you a compliment, but you took it with greater weight from the person you respected more. I think there's a huge matrix of factors in this whole scale of finding companionship and people you're compatible with, but it was this huge, massive realization that just rushed over me in the middle of the night and made me realize what I need to do to be a good friend and cultivate the type of aura that attracts people to improve and grow themselves. You don't have to be great, but you need to find friends/girlfriends who meet you at your level and keep challenging you to do your best and improve yourself somehow.

It was a great realization because I'd spent so long feeling like I was just a very shallow person, and I couldn't understand why I was always interested and attracted to people slightly above my league/status in some way. Of course, this isn't the only factor that cultivates friendship, but it was just amazing to isolate this idea. Wow. I now have such a better understanding of why I'm attracted to certain girls more than others, and I had just judged myself for so long because I thought my standards were to high or something. It's definitely possible that that's still a factor, and I hate to be that kind of guy, but this was super enlightening.



squid

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 07:22:27 AM »
Good reflections man!  Go out and find some more friends, they'd be lucky to have you.  I'm in the same boat, moved to a new city and am trying to make more friends locally.

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 05:14:31 PM »
Thanks squid! Yeah, I'm just trying to get myself outside as much as possible over the last few days. Being out of the house distracts me from it being me alone with my computer and the internet. I have way more time off than everyone else since I'm a teacher on summer break. Short term contract coming up soon should bring me back down to Earth though, haha. I went for a 10 mile run, a swim, and a bike ride today and I feel completely wringed out of energy Normally, I'd be paranoid about the future, but i'm finding that quitting PMO is unusually making me live in the present. Each day is a new challenge, but I'm getting stronger.

Massive temptations right now. I've done nothing but think about girls I was interested in over the last 8 years XD. I just came back to my facebook profile after such a long time and I'm remembering how there are other people out there XD.

I don't honestly know what lies ahead after the next 3 months or so. I guess I'll start looking for a new job or set of responsibilities I can have while still focusing on centering myself and not getting completely thrown off by a 5 hour commute like in my last position. Just grateful to have this window of opportunity to finally set myself free from PMO and focus solely on that before I advance my life station. If I make it 90 days which is the average reboot time or somethign like that, then that will leave me in mid-October a free man.
.



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2019, 02:55:53 AM »
Just about 5 days free now - grateful to myself for making it this far.

I feel like an almost completely different person from who I was two weeks ago - far more altruistic than before. I'm not so obsessed with making great art or my own image anymore - just meeting practical goals that will make me more comfortable with who I am - exercise, nutrition, disciplined work on daily routines, etc. I've been incredibly disciplined carrying out routines over the last week, which is great.

What I wasn't prepared for was the extreme boredom - I took stock of my emotions from yesterday this morning just to get a sense of where I'm at. I've been reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and he mentions that one major aspect is being able to sense and manage your emotions. This is huge for anyone rebooting. My mind craves novelty. I need to do this in a disciplined way or else there is risk of an emotional hijacking. I think this was how I relapsed after my one and only 60 day streak. I just became bored with my life and relapsed because it seemed to promise novelty and fun in the form of exploring my sexual tastes through internet pornography. Of course, in the moment, I didn't realize that I was going back to old, negative habits.

I need to create some room in my life for doing things I'm scared of. I tend to over prepare myself. In my thinking over the last few days, I've been putting this one old friend who is a girl I haven't contacted in a long time on a pedestal and just setting her as my goal. I think about her a lot and aspire to meeting what I would expect of myself to be worthy of her attention. I did this a long time ago and got myself really badly hurt. I think I might be better off not wedding my new self image to a single person, but just the concept of novel, positive self-exploration and openness to growth in general. I also need to stop putting people on a pedestal. The ideal partner challenges you - they don't fill this constant need to feel validated unless if both people in the relationship have very fixed mindsets.

How can I ACT on this? Well, first off, I'm glad that I have the experience and maturity to think through this whole scenario to begin with, as it's a sign of growth, but maybe I could just start by trying to do one novel thing each day. For example, yesterday, I visited a local track I'd never visited before in my whole life, which was another opportunity to meet runners. Maybe soon, I could start reaching out to old friends I'm scared to contact (I've got nothing to lose, after all!).

Still, what is my motive? I did this around the age of 18 as I tried quitting PMO before and it went really well at first, but then I drifted into this existential crisis.I think deep down, I am going to need to be more patient with myself. I've had times over the last few days when I've spent hours pacing around my house after exercising for hours on end, and all I could think was that I was grateful to be so many days free of PMO.

Maybe this is the key - it involves meditation and strengthening my resolve...That there will be times of boredom and decreased mental activity, which is my brain screaming at me that it needs its fix. In these moments, I need to default to gratitude that I have been able to quit PMO at all. Time will eventually make me more active and cheerful again, but it's necessary that I slog through hours of boredom to some extent...I can have a positive mindset and motivate myself to be bold and daring and patient and keep thinking of good ways to fill the time in the interim while I search for new purpose and meaning in life.



squid

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2019, 04:49:32 PM »
It's an exciting time rob!  Now that p is shifting away a bit, we are starting to have more space to work towards a dream.  That's scary but you can do it!  What have you always wanted to do?  You are building the skills to go get it, to have some new experiences you dream of. 

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2019, 10:11:29 PM »
Nearly 6 days here. It helps to post when my mind needs emptying.

Thanks squid! Yeah, love the way you say that - I've been dreading my next job search, having felt very crowded out for any time for a personal life in my last position. But now, I'm kind of reframing my thinking and I'm less concerned about appearances or looking good in what I do for a living. I am just becoming more concerned with true fulfillment and altruism.

I have these great thoughts, but I'm still feeling pretty bored tbh. I'm procrastinating a bit, and I'm beginning to feel like I'm wedding this new image of myself to this girl I talked about before. I can't help thinking how I'd like to spend time with her. I'm still out of contact with a lot of people, though I'm starting to consider making my way out into more social environments and making myself uncomfortable and trying something new. I feel like my mind is playing tricks on me, though, as this happened like two to four times before when I tried to quit PMO, and I became desperate for the sense of love and affection that would replace my addiction. It reminds me of when I used to spend all of this time cuddling with my girlfriend in college. I tried to focus on becoming a better person, but so often I feel like I lost focus and that hurt our relationship. I had such a fixed mindset, and I felt like my girlfriend didn't challenge or excite me any longer. I'm wondering what will happen if I make it 60-90 days this time. Do you think I could launch into a more altruistic life?

I crave simplicity and I've spent the last two days clearing out all of this crap that has accumulated in my life over the last two years of hoarding things, haha. I need to get to work on some lesson planning now. I'll be teaching a summer math course in a few weeks, guided along by a mentor who's a source of light and inspiration as I work through these demons.

Today, I'm grateful for patience and courage. Patience in working through the many routines that can sometimes feel mind-numbing, and courage that I start to take greater pride in routine and see the long-term big picture that this is all adding up to over time.



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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2019, 04:11:34 AM »
6 days - will be ahead of the curve soon. The first days, they say, are the hardest, escaping the gravity of old habits.

Just checking in as a daily routine. I had been in the habit of checking too many things on my google drive/social media, but I put together a checklist today so that I can go about my day without technological distractions. I think I'm going to start trying to address my "click" addiction after this. I noticed myself getting a little rush of anticipation just whenever I opened an app on my phone or clicked around on it - very similar to unending novelty on the internet. Probably best to weed this out of my habits soon. Most stuff is going pretty well. Still looking for little sources of novelty in the day to increase my sense of purpose.

Good luck keeping your commitments if you read on!



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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2019, 04:43:46 AM »
One week off pmo - starting to level out in some of my behavior now - feels really good having so much more energy. The insomnia is still bad, but it's getting progressively better by the day.

I've been fantasizing about real-life women, though I realized so much of it is still oriented toward this porn-induced voyeurism. I think I might need to just cut that out completely for awhile. I'll work on that starting now, and maybe set up another ticker related to excessive fantasizing. It's hard to control and set any definite lines there, but I can make myself stop and not feed into it.

It's hugely gratifying to reach the week-long mark, and I'm noticing changes every day still. Slightly - only very very slightly, but improved erections, more sociability, increased motivation and ability to delay gratification, greater altruistic feelings, more patience in reading and doing activities that yield greater long-term benefits, more time in nature, and so on.

I'll have another week and a half like this - plenty of outdoor time, preparing lessons for work, time to reflect and improve myself, and then it will be three weeks off to work, where I'll be commuting again after this. It's an amazing contract. I suppose I'll try to keep a few of my habits during that time - exercise, swimming, running, reading, tugging, etc. After that, I'll have a little more dedicated reflection time before I really start thinking about life purpose and what I'm doing beyond improving myself for work. I'm lucky to have understanding parents who grant me that luxury. I intend to have strong integrity in this next phase, as I felt pressure to get started working right out of college, and it might be useful to make sure I have a balanced life in the years ahead. I swear, rushing into a 4-5 hour daily commute and such a long day two years ago was a big mistake/burden, but necessary for learning a lot of life lessons through hard work. I now have greater maturity and perspective, having made that sacrifice.



squid

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2019, 06:44:53 AM »
One week off pmo - starting to level out in some of my behavior now - feels really good having so much more energy. The insomnia is still bad, but it's getting progressively better by the day.

I've been fantasizing about real-life women, though I realized so much of it is still oriented toward this porn-induced voyeurism. I think I might need to just cut that out completely for awhile. I'll work on that starting now, and maybe set up another ticker related to excessive fantasizing. It's hard to control and set any definite lines there, but I can make myself stop and not feed into it.

It's hugely gratifying to reach the week-long mark, and I'm noticing changes every day still. Slightly - only very very slightly, but improved erections, more sociability, increased motivation and ability to delay gratification, greater altruistic feelings, more patience in reading and doing activities that yield greater long-term benefits, more time in nature, and so on.

I'll have another week and a half like this - plenty of outdoor time, preparing lessons for work, time to reflect and improve myself, and then it will be three weeks off to work, where I'll be commuting again after this. It's an amazing contract. I suppose I'll try to keep a few of my habits during that time - exercise, swimming, running, reading, tugging, etc. After that, I'll have a little more dedicated reflection time before I really start thinking about life purpose and what I'm doing beyond improving myself for work. I'm lucky to have understanding parents who grant me that luxury. I intend to have strong integrity in this next phase, as I felt pressure to get started working right out of college, and it might be useful to make sure I have a balanced life in the years ahead. I swear, rushing into a 4-5 hour daily commute and such a long day two years ago was a big mistake/burden, but necessary for learning a lot of life lessons through hard work. I now have greater maturity and perspective, having made that sacrifice.

Nice work Rob!  It's amazing how the feelings start to come back isn't it?  I've been having dreams again which didn't happen when I was on pmo.  I had a dream last night based on a book I read before bed.  How weird, but I like it!

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2019, 05:48:28 PM »
One week off pmo - starting to level out in some of my behavior now - feels really good having so much more energy. The insomnia is still bad, but it's getting progressively better by the day.

I've been fantasizing about real-life women, though I realized so much of it is still oriented toward this porn-induced voyeurism. I think I might need to just cut that out completely for awhile. I'll work on that starting now, and maybe set up another ticker related to excessive fantasizing. It's hard to control and set any definite lines there, but I can make myself stop and not feed into it.

It's hugely gratifying to reach the week-long mark, and I'm noticing changes every day still. Slightly - only very very slightly, but improved erections, more sociability, increased motivation and ability to delay gratification, greater altruistic feelings, more patience in reading and doing activities that yield greater long-term benefits, more time in nature, and so on.

I'll have another week and a half like this - plenty of outdoor time, preparing lessons for work, time to reflect and improve myself, and then it will be three weeks off to work, where I'll be commuting again after this. It's an amazing contract. I suppose I'll try to keep a few of my habits during that time - exercise, swimming, running, reading, tugging, etc. After that, I'll have a little more dedicated reflection time before I really start thinking about life purpose and what I'm doing beyond improving myself for work. I'm lucky to have understanding parents who grant me that luxury. I intend to have strong integrity in this next phase, as I felt pressure to get started working right out of college, and it might be useful to make sure I have a balanced life in the years ahead. I swear, rushing into a 4-5 hour daily commute and such a long day two years ago was a big mistake/burden, but necessary for learning a lot of life lessons through hard work. I now have greater maturity and perspective, having made that sacrifice.

Nice work Rob!  It's amazing how the feelings start to come back isn't it?  I've been having dreams again which didn't happen when I was on pmo.  I had a dream last night based on a book I read before bed.  How weird, but I like it!

Nice man! reading before bed is a great way to combat the insomnia - PMO had been a bedtime ritual up until I quit. Now it's reading, or I just fall straight off to sleep!

My whole life has completely changed for the better from where it was a week ago. I just reached out to an old friend and I'm making arrangements to go visit him after I finish my teaching contract. I'm taking feedback positively from my coach, who's hinted at the possibility of working with them again in future years, and I'm starting to feel ready to take bigger risks to talk to people I normally wouldn't feel comfortable with. Cold showers help with that. What is there to lose?

I feel rich - rich in time, in money, in potential, and in ways I felt stagnated before, even! Over the last couple days I've even started to reframe the way i see sex as a whole. Everything was a fetish before for self-gratification, but now I'm starting to just think more lovingly about the other sex rather than feeling hatred and jealousy and like I'm being blocked out by women or some ridiculous thoughts like that - call it an inferiority complex. I am much more confident in myself as I am. Of course there are ups and downs, but all of the thoughts and feelings up until this point have led me through years of what I have been experiencing unconsciously.

I'm also finding myself sitting with hours of time that I had previously spent rushing from PMO to other forms of gratification. I realize that time passes more slowly and I can savor moments and feelings better. I still have been procrastinating, but I feel wealthy in time and opportunity! I am so glad that this is working during a time period where I had time off. I honestly felt like it would have been worth an extended vacation from work to focus solely on quitting PMO, and it's beginning to seem like this is one of the best streaks I've ever been on. I am so grateful and I hope that it never ends. The benefits are outrageous!



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2019, 06:31:14 AM »
8 days - I should be on the lookout for triggers today.

I'm flying very high today. I honestly feel like I have the stones to do things I would have rather hidden under the covers over a couple days ago.

Risk-taking: Improved! I'm greeting strangers on my morning jogs without fear, and I made more requests on Facebook to people I haven't spoken with in awhile. Feels great!
Motivation to do things I hate: still working on this one.
Habits: Much improved

Surprisingly, I'm also confronting these weird situations in my past where I felt closeted and defensive being a virgin/addicted to PMO and I'm confronting more of these feelings with a growth mindset, and challenging a lot of my old assumptions. I need to be patient with myself. So much inner development is taking place, and it feels crazy. I've hardly started reaching out to other people, and I feel like there is a war being waged inside me. Thanks to all of you for the support.



squid

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2019, 08:32:33 AM »
8 days - I should be on the lookout for triggers today.

I'm flying very high today. I honestly feel like I have the stones to do things I would have rather hidden under the covers over a couple days ago.

Risk-taking: Improved! I'm greeting strangers on my morning jogs without fear, and I made more requests on Facebook to people I haven't spoken with in awhile. Feels great!
Motivation to do things I hate: still working on this one.
Habits: Much improved

Surprisingly, I'm also confronting these weird situations in my past where I felt closeted and defensive being a virgin/addicted to PMO and I'm confronting more of these feelings with a growth mindset, and challenging a lot of my old assumptions. I need to be patient with myself. So much inner development is taking place, and it feels crazy. I've hardly started reaching out to other people, and I feel like there is a war being waged inside me. Thanks to all of you for the support.

Nice work rob, sounds like things are going well!  Use that new time well :)

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2019, 04:56:55 AM »
8 days - I should be on the lookout for triggers today.

I'm flying very high today. I honestly feel like I have the stones to do things I would have rather hidden under the covers over a couple days ago.

Risk-taking: Improved! I'm greeting strangers on my morning jogs without fear, and I made more requests on Facebook to people I haven't spoken with in awhile. Feels great!
Motivation to do things I hate: still working on this one.
Habits: Much improved

Surprisingly, I'm also confronting these weird situations in my past where I felt closeted and defensive being a virgin/addicted to PMO and I'm confronting more of these feelings with a growth mindset, and challenging a lot of my old assumptions. I need to be patient with myself. So much inner development is taking place, and it feels crazy. I've hardly started reaching out to other people, and I feel like there is a war being waged inside me. Thanks to all of you for the support.

Nice work rob, sounds like things are going well!  Use that new time well :)

Thanks squid! You bet I will! Always grateful for your support and being there man!

9 Days

I find myself thinking about porn frequently. I have been keeping with habits, but triggers have been around and I need to be on the lookout and steady in my commitment. I'm literally reading a book on cunnilingus right now, partly since I was squeamish about it with my ex-girlfriend, and now I'm kind of opening up to this whole idea for the next time I get into a relationship. It's full of triggers, but I feel like it's making me a better, more giving man. I also started watching a bit of Netflix (half hour a day) for conversation starters. So often I feel like I have odd tastes, and I just want something pop/pulp. I started watching Black Mirror, and it's pretty good! I've been making YouTube videos and commuting and teaching for so long, that I feel like my entire life is abnormally out of whack, and I don't have normalcy. I just want to cultivate a few normal, healthy relationships.

I made it a point to reach out to some old friends (one a day, to be specific) and I've already managed to set up meeting with two friends, one male and one female, from college, and a trip for when I'm done with my teaching contract. In the meantime, I'm preparing (or procrastinating and improving my habits) and working on good habits.

One thing that really helped was to make a daily checklist so that I can avoid all kinds of distractions and focus on what's important. The main task is motivating myself to keep doing the next thing on the checklist, which I hear is great for emotional intelligence (being able to motivate oneself). I'm also reaching out to one new person a day I need to catch up with in my life, which has been really rewarding after only three days, and I'm getting bolder to reach out to people I previously felt scared to reach out to.

Another note, on erection quality in the morning. I've noticed a different, harder quality about my morning wood, which is (though it may be too early to really tell definitively) slowly returning moreso. The shaft has been harder, but I'm still confronting this unusual, what I believe to be an inconsistency, where the head of my penis remains soft and doesn't fill with blood. Not sure if this is a cause for concern or something that returns. Normally this type of problem or any bodily harm gives me anxiety, which often causes me to return to the old destructive PMO habits, but I'm confronting this rationally and with a growth mindset. I will calmly seek to better understand my problem, and let time help heal this. I worry that it might be related to my prone masturbation habits as a kid, so I've been starting to read up on venous leak and similar things (while being careful not to self-diagnose too much). I'm calm and collected and I can confront this or any issue. I need to keep my eyes on the prize though, which is that I'm nearly at double digit days now! Thanks again for your support, and stay strong!