Author Topic: 24yo Journal  (Read 1377 times)

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #125 on: August 13, 2019, 05:53:25 AM »
A lot of triggers there rob so I skimmed the post but it sounds like you are thinking things through and processing your reboot.  If you were to describe a perfect day for you, an awesome day, what would it be like, what would you do, who would you be with, where would you be?

33 Days

Thanks squid! Haha, sorry about that :/ And indeed - a lot of mental progress being made through this journaling. I'd like to go back soon and reread to get a better understanding.

I feel like a perfect day would be full of feelings of progression. I just like making changes and progress, and so that's why I work out and try to change myself each week. It makes me feel young and reborn every day as long as I'm making progress. I think I'd also like to have a few more rivals in my social life. I've got good friends, but rivals push you to be a better version of yourself. I feel like I'd have more free time too, haha. Still, as long as I keep getting fun new ideas like going back to pursue another degree, I'm excited about the future. And that's what makes the days good!

Felt like the world was caving in when I woke up at 5:30 today. No matter what I do, it always seems like the worst thing that ever happened in human history that I got less than 8 hours of sleep. Part of it is insomnia and needing to establish better bedtime rituals, and part is that I live so far from work.

One last push to finish this contract today and tomorrow, and then I'm done. Had this weird conversation this morning that kinda brought me down with a guy who seemed nice, but just very wrapped up in his own situation despite the fact that he seemed pretty outgoing. It kinda reminded me of myself, and it was a good mirror activity. He had a dream job and sent his kids to this incredible school, but he was opposed to vaccination, and it seemed like he was adding all these new things to worry about in life because of it. I looked up the facts about it and can't really figure out why people are opposed to it, and that's coming from someone who did similar searches with circumcision. I guess it was part of a self-criticism though, this feeling. I felt kinda like this was running away from a lot - public education, vaccination, etc. and it's atomizing for a society when people forego everything that's public. I get it. It's not all great, and there are a lot of reasons to opt out of some things, but at the same time, it felt paralyzing to be around, and like people get so caught up in issues that it makes them blind to things that really matter. Once again, a major self-criticism, but maybe necessary, and possibly tinged by my own lenses.

Other than that, I felt it was disporportionately overwhelming - this feeling, and I'm excited to go on a run with an old teacher and mentor again today, who greatly influenced my life. It will be nice just to spend time with him. Next week I see my friends. I think this will be a great set of experiences.

Lots more to do now! Have a great day!



achilles heel

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #126 on: August 13, 2019, 02:29:57 PM »
Why, then, do I want to give up this type of fantasizing? I feel like it distances me from my identity. On the other hand, having the fantasy in the first place probably means I get somewhat of a better understanding of how women fantasize

Nope, not at all. There is no "but maybe...", just stop fantasizing. There are million different ways men and women fantasize, no generalizations possible. I acted out fantasies with women I obviously experienced in porn, but nothing ever came close to "boring" sex with girls I had an emotional connection with. When you feel intimacy, there is no need to focus on special sex acts and you are way too obsessed about fantasies and details. You will never understand "women" in general, but if you gain distance from porn you will be a lot better in connecting with the woman you get intimate with and understand her. Try to clear your mind from thinking about sex and you will sharpen your senses for it when it really happens.

Thinking that much about sex and fantasies and writing about all possible explanations shows that it's way too present in your head and to really reboot your brain from all those porn memories and fantasies that are probably hugely influenced by porn, you need to actively stop yourself the moment you enter those "deep" thoughts again.

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #127 on: August 13, 2019, 06:15:53 PM »
Darn, I had a whole post written out but it got deleted when my browser refreshed. I'll quickly summarize:

I hadn't thought of this perspective, but it makes sense. I'm definitely thinking a lot more about sex and a lot less about women. It's still very objectifying and maybe I can't completely trust these thoughts. Maybe I can let them pass without thinking that each one has such deep meaning worth analyzing? I always thought it was good to analyze your feelings and make note of them in this regard, but I'm still thinking in terms of a lot of pornographic imagery.

How can I let the pressure pass otherwise without feeling like I'm stifling it? How can I be constructive rather than just using willpower? It would be nice to get to the point when perverted thoughts don't even occur to me and I wasn't having to feel like they were just springing up out of the blue anymore.

I feel like meditation - just completely clearing your mind - might be a very useful tool here. Thoughts? I felt like I was stifling my sexual energy as a kid by not watching porn because all my friends did it and it made me feel weird, but I'm fighting a battle now that I didn't think I'd ever fight in this way.



BlueHeronFan

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #128 on: August 13, 2019, 06:46:11 PM »
Nope, not at all. There is no "but maybe...", just stop fantasizing.

Thinking that much about sex and fantasies and writing about all possible explanations shows that it's way too present in your head and to really reboot your brain from all those porn memories and fantasies that are probably hugely influenced by porn, you need to actively stop yourself the moment you enter those "deep" thoughts again.

This is pretty direct, but I think it's spot on. Of course everyone's goal is different, but I think most people are focused on getting away from PMO and its negative effects on real relationships. Fantasies, by definition, are not real and they feed the same cycle as porn. For me, fantasies are just porn without the internet, and, honestly, most if not all of my previous relapses started as pretty mild fantasies. Usually I found myself wishing I was in a relationship and that led to romantic fantasy which led to sexual fantasy which led to porn fantasy which led to porn subs which led to porn. It took me a long time to realize that the romantic fantasies I thought were harmless were really just one of the first steps in the chain of a relapse.

As long as I was giving myself permission to have fantasies, I was giving myself permission to remain in porn-focused habits of mind. Taking a stronger stand on fantasies has helped me a lot, and, honestly, it's not like I miss them. The only thing they really did was make me feel bad about myself and my circumstances.

I feel like meditation - just completely clearing your mind - might be a very useful tool here. Thoughts? I felt like I was stifling my sexual energy as a kid by not watching porn because all my friends did it and it made me feel weird, but I'm fighting a battle now that I didn't think I'd ever fight in this way.

Meditation has been a huge help to me. But it has also been helpful for me to realize that it's not really about clearing my mind. Instead, it's about knowing what is going on in my mind and learning how to redirect my thoughts and attention. The regular practice of trying to focus my attention on my breath and just pay attention to physical sensations in my body has been a big help.

How do you let the pressure pass without stifling it? By just letting it pass and not getting caught up in it. Sometimes, that pressure or an urge will arise and I will have to say out loud "Thank you for the suggestion, but that's not what I'm going to do." Most of the time, I just notice that the thought/urge has arisen, and I will just make a deliberate choice to put my attention elsewhere. These thoughts and fantasies are, ultimately, only as powerful as the attention we give them. We can be aware of thoughts or triggers without getting wrapped up in them.

A few weeks ago, I saw something that was really powerfully triggering. Instead of focusing on the thing that I saw, I glued my attention to the sensations in my body and my breath. I felt my heart racing and all the rest and I just stayed with my breath. It wasn't immediate and it wasn't easy, but my body went back into balance pretty quickly, way more quickly than if I had gotten tied up in thinking about the trigger and replaying it in my mind.

So I guess that's a vote for meditation and a vote against fantasies.

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #129 on: August 13, 2019, 09:48:51 PM »
These are good points. Maybe a good analogy is having a song stuck in your head. Just because you have a song stuck in your head, that doesn't mean that it necessarily has to reveal something deep and of great psychological importance about your character or desires. It might just be that you liked it or it was outrageous or catchy, and now it's stuck there.

For porn and pornographic fantasies, it's similar. They pop up into your head and it's like saying "Don't think about a pink elephant" - something outrageous and crazy and impossible to ignore.

Maybe there's a distinction here between not feeling allowed to fantasize and choosing not to fantasize. I need greater agency in my decisions, and so I choose not to fantasize because I am focused on reality.

It might be useful to make a checklist of things I will choose not to think about, then use that to quickly say STOP whenever one pops into my head. Here's what comes to mind:

Porn
Goals for my own physical fitness, in which I see myself as this pornstar-like figure
Women I know (quickly becomes romantic fantasies)
Thinking too much about future goals, even. I quickly confuse vision with fantasy and try to live in the vision
It might even help to not look at women, as I'm still in the phase where I feel like I'm ogling. I literally stared at women's feet today. Not what I expect of myself.

I can replace these with attempts to meditate and clear my head, become aware of the physical sensations around me in the present, and let thoughts and urges pass, while maintaining detached/indifferent awareness of them.

Maybe it would be a good idea not to overthink visions too. I frequently find myself staying up in bed at night thinking about goals and the future, which is okay up to a point, but it very quickly becomes excessive with me. I need to focus on executing instead of planning and thinking so much, when thoughts become too deep. Maybe this will also help me break my procrastination habit.

Set goals quickly, then DO them. Focus more on the DOing. Thanks for the help guys!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 09:55:03 PM by rob24 »



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #130 on: August 14, 2019, 05:24:02 AM »
34 Days

Quick post:

Last real day of teaching for possibly years - who knows? Excited to finish strong, then have a couple days of just regular work, and ultimately go on to other interests for awhile.

Last night's post was helpful. I'm very in my own head and it might help to think less. I tend to analyze everything and it can keep me locked in visions like a guy wearing a virtual reality helmet who's wasting away in real life. I think I'm going to attempt, as often as possible, to practice greater meditative awareness of my thoughts rather than be stuck in visions and further remove myself from reality. It helped me fall asleep last night, and now I think it's just a great way to stop wasting time and focus on execution, which is definitely a grow area for me.

Have a great day!



achilles heel

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #131 on: August 14, 2019, 06:48:13 AM »
This is pretty direct

Yes, reading it again today my post sounds harsh. Sorry @rob24, I obviously don't have the right to tell you what to do or not, it was meant as a suggestion based on my experience - that doesn't necessarily have to be your way too, of course!

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #132 on: August 14, 2019, 11:55:03 AM »
Achilles Haha no offense taken ^_^ I think direct assertions can be really useful in changing mental attitudes. Awhile back I quit the forums when I grew cyncical about the whole idea of quitting PMO. I had started to feel like there was too much hand-washing, but I think it's because I was becoming cynical and rationalizing of my own negative behavior. I understand that you and everyone here wants the best for each other even though we all understand and express it in our own ways. But your saying that helped me open a door when I saw that not everything that exists reveals something deeper about our characters. It's made me think more about little things like my daily thoughts. Do I want to think immediately about sex with 2/3 of the people I see and pass on the street? Heck, no! Does it reveal some deep psychological desire hidden in my character? Perhaps to a small extent, but that doesn't mean that I need to completely embrace every single far fetched and violent thought I have like a Quentin Tarantino movie. And I want to work away from fantasy and toward reality, so it makes good sense, asserting your own will and with full conscious awareness of the decision, NOT to entertain fantasies so much as to analyze them. Though this is not to promote my own ignorance. I did that as a kid and built up a passive aggressive, liberally fueled understanding that the Church and the sense of guilt I got, I felt at least, promoted my own ignorance and lack of understanding. This must be a choice made through agency, and fully aware of the different alternatives. I need to take a more decided, encompassing stance, and it helps to make direct assertions as you said.

Just had my last class teaching for awhile. The honeymoon ended and I feel good about my work and my decisions, since it was a bit of a rough day. I did okay. I could still improve in many ways, and I don't think I grew much, but my perspective and my potential sphere of influence grew vastly from teaching high schoolers, and it's great to say that I've taught so many levels now. For me, life will change paths, but I'm most happy about the fact that I was able to maintain emotional constancy and awareness over the course of three weeks. In that way, I bested my EQ in college and my first year of work. I've grown emotionally, if only by a bit, as far as I'm concerned. It will continue in my search and my time off. Soon, I will ramp up and keep improving. Thanks guys. You helped me do this. I'm incredibly grateful and indebted.



Lero

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #133 on: August 14, 2019, 02:54:37 PM »
Good reflections, bro.

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #134 on: August 14, 2019, 04:05:28 PM »
Just got a call with a message with another possible job opportunity for next year. I'm under no pressure to pursue it, but it's still exciting since it's high school and I can still pursue a lot of the things I want to pursue if I go this route, especially if it works out. I could live in the city, teach, apply to a master's program, have work-life balance, perhaps not make as much money for being here, but have more social connections again, and possibly enjoy a better life in an instant. Less free time, but I replace that with experience at something meaningful. Hmm...I worry that I'm too easily persuaded in a way, but I have nothing to lose by hearing him out, and I was happy to hear my teacher/mentor advise me on life after teaching for an extended period of time yesterday. I'm under no pressure, and it's not a guarantee to happen, but it's nonetheless exciting. I'm going to maintain a happy detachment since it's not something I necessarily expected would come overnight, stay honest and stick to my plans, hear out the opportunity, and make a decision afterward. There's no harm in hearing it out.



BlueHeronFan

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #135 on: August 14, 2019, 06:01:42 PM »
This is pretty direct

Yes, reading it again today my post sounds harsh. Sorry @rob24, I obviously don't have the right to tell you what to do or not, it was meant as a suggestion based on my experience - that doesn't necessarily have to be your way too, of course!

Lol, and I didn't mean to call anyone out! It's direct, but that's what we need sometimes!

These are good points. Maybe a good analogy is having a song stuck in your head. Just because you have a song stuck in your head, that doesn't mean that it necessarily has to reveal something deep and of great psychological importance about your character or desires. It might just be that you liked it or it was outrageous or catchy, and now it's stuck there.

For porn and pornographic fantasies, it's similar. They pop up into your head and it's like saying "Don't think about a pink elephant" - something outrageous and crazy and impossible to ignore.

Maybe there's a distinction here between not feeling allowed to fantasize and choosing not to fantasize. I need greater agency in my decisions, and so I choose not to fantasize because I am focused on reality.

Yeah, I like the song stuck in your head analogy. Just because you have a song stuck in your head also doesn't mean that you have to just sit and sing it over and over and do nothing else. Even if it sometimes pops back up into your conscious awareness, you can still set it aside and still get things done in a day. Fantasies might be like that: they pop up and come and go, but we don't have to give them our attention.

And I think there's something to be said for changing your mindset to choosing not to fantasize. I definitely started with the idea that I wasn't allowed to because I couldn't afford to. But making it a choice gives you a lot more power when the fantasies do crop up. If you have the power to choose, you can ignore them. If you don't think of it as a choice to entertain those thoughts, then you're at their mercy.

It might even help to not look at women, as I'm still in the phase where I feel like I'm ogling. I literally stared at women's feet today. Not what I expect of myself.

I definitely support this. Ogling has definitely preceded most if not all of my relapses. It's easy to justify ogling as a thing that single men can and should do, but ogling is not about getting to know someone or building a relationship. It's not like I would ever ask out the women that I have ogled or would even talk to them. I don't really spend much time ogling the women I actually do know either. So just looking at women because they look good and feels good to look is off the table for me. Just because they're real, it doesn't mean we can't still treat them in a way similar to porn.

Maybe it would be a good idea not to overthink visions too. I frequently find myself staying up in bed at night thinking about goals and the future, which is okay up to a point, but it very quickly becomes excessive with me. I need to focus on executing instead of planning and thinking so much, when thoughts become too deep. Maybe this will also help me break my procrastination habit.

Set goals quickly, then DO them. Focus more on the DOing. Thanks for the help guys!

And this is huge. I am definitely a person who spends a lot of time worrying about how I have to figure out the future before I can do anything in the present. I spend a lot of time feeling stuck because I can't figure out the future. It would definitely be helpful to focus more on doing. Let me know if you figure that out!

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #136 on: August 14, 2019, 08:02:30 PM »
I just had an amazing night. Still somewhat tipsy as I write this. The other teachers from my program and I went out for a night to drink and socialize. Had a lot of good conversations with older men and women teachers. I was the youngest at 24, but I felt like I was so genuine and honest and full of passion and discovery that it sparked a million conversations, and I felt like I could have stayed for hours just chatting. I don't really feel like I have much of a purpose in a social setting. I still need to practice on making less of a theatrical scene of myself and more on asking other people about themselves, but I was just grateful to be out and socializing again, and I'm incredibly grateful to a close friend for hiring me and allowing this to happen in the first place. I talked with so many great teachers and I feel like part of an amazing community. I'm so grateful to my friend for his mentorship and I'll be glad to discuss the future with him soon.

I have this overwhelming feeling that I'm not myself - like I'm someone else living in my own body. I feel like an impostor in my own body. I desperately want to validate myself somehow, if only to feel better about myself and be less of a jerk when I have conversations. But I'm so theatrical, and teaching has made me better at it, that I feel like it's a strength. Someday, even though I'm really rough around the edges, I just have this feeling that I have the makings and potential to do something really amazing, but I'm just very undecided and inefficient at expending my energy. I need a teacher or a mentor. I need to quit porn and overcome my weaknesses. Oddly enough, losing my inhibitions has made me all the more aware of my situation and given me greater insights. I desperately want to be a better person.

Most of all, I was relieved to meet a high achieving peer who has similarly drifted from teaching, it seems, and yet he still seemed a good person to me. I feel betrayal for leaving in some ways, yet I consider one of my mentors wiser than me. I really want to hear what he has to say, and I am not self conscious about my struggles, and I'm now glad he saw me struggle a bit more in class today. The more I teach, the more I want to share my embarrassments, my insecurities, my hopes, my fears, my failures, as well as my successes and happinesses in the classroom.

Still, I feel like there is this kernel inside of me that I haven't tapped yet. Like there's still an endless wellspring of energy flowing deep within me I'm not even tapping yet, and whose waters could fill an ocean. As my early twenties pass, I must work hard now to meet my fullest potential and do whatever it is I need to do in order to change the world.

At least that's how I feel after drinking. I'm supposed to be working, but I'm distracted by delusions of grandeur, and I can't keep my eye on the ball and ask others about themselves in conversation. I hope I didn't seem an egotistical jerk to everyone I talked to. At least I can be honest with my co-workers. It's isolating to feel like you hide behind a mask and feel a phony.

In the end, I'm grateful to you guys for helping to keep me centered and grounded - Blueheronfan, Achilles, Lero, Squid, and everyone else...I feel like our community, if we had AA for PMO or a similar setting, would be an amazing one, and this has helped me keep track of my sense of self through my successes and failures personally, professionally, and so on throughout the last month, and I will have grown and matured as a person in the end. I already have immensely, and each experienced is leveraged with great new insight. I'm so grateful for you all.



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #137 on: August 14, 2019, 08:51:33 PM »
And thanks Heron. I wrote out a whole post in response, but it refreshed and deleted itself. I'll do my best to try to help in that department!

Man, of all the career thoughts and other things, the biggest impression I was left with was just how selfish I felt while socializing. I can socialize well at first, but I have a lot of presence and get wrapped up in my own thoughts. I must be a bore. I'll work on it. I need to be more selfless and think of others. If I'm still thinking about sex every single time as some incentive or an end for why I'm talking to women in the first place, I freeze up, act dumb, and get disingenuous. Though I'm better at reading social cues now, despite the fact that I can't completely communicate my internal desires and enjoyment of other people's company. Granted, conversations flowed more naturally, but I said stupid things since I was just so happy to talk to others after so long without any laid back socializing. Probably, more of this would be really good for me, espe ially on a controlled, regular basis. Maybe I'll go out again soon in my own town. What have I got to lose? It only costs a couple bucks.

Edit: Sobered up, I honestly think I need to give all these options some strong consideration. It's a pivotal moment where I get to pick the course of life. Best to take my time and make a wise decision
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 10:30:48 PM by rob24 »



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #138 on: August 15, 2019, 05:54:29 AM »
35 Days

Just had a searing headache last night in the front of my head. Took me by surprise and made me feel awful.

It seems like now that I've quit PMO, everything is bothering me two times more than it normally would, and I feel many emotions with great intensity overall. For some reason, I feel manhandled when I'm around taller men, and there happen to be a fair number of men taller than me at my workplace, which is rare since I'm 6'2". What a dumb thing to get annoyed about. But I guess I can validate my feelings and just try to analyze to see what I can do to feel better. Is it just that I need to feel superlative in some way to feel good around others? The tallest or the fastest or the strongest? I know it makes me feel bad, but I hate myself for feeling this way, and judging your own emotions can be destructive at times. Bleh, that doesn't really matter today, as I'll be leaving soon anyway. Our contract ends this week. More analysis to come soon.

I talked to my dad and I'm kind of reconsidering the potential job offer. He knows the place and seems to think it will be more of what I'm used to. I think he has a good point.

In one week, I am making a trip to visit some friends. Let's push through the last of work and then dip right into a period of life which I'm sure will be incredibly full of growth and new learning. Onward!



Lero

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #139 on: August 15, 2019, 09:42:50 AM »
It seems like now that I've quit PMO, everything is bothering me two times more than it normally would, and I feel many emotions with great intensity overall.

I guess this is normal. I've experienced the same. Emotions take me by surprise and I find myself thinking: "Did I ever have the ability to feel this?" I guess it's because of numbing myself with PMO all the time.


rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #140 on: August 15, 2019, 02:39:47 PM »
It seems like now that I've quit PMO, everything is bothering me two times more than it normally would, and I feel many emotions with great intensity overall.

I guess this is normal. I've experienced the same. Emotions take me by surprise and I find myself thinking: "Did I ever have the ability to feel this?" I guess it's because of numbing myself with PMO all the time.

Yeah, it's true, you definitely feel smaller sways with greater magnitude at times, like all of your emotions are amplified, or maybe it's just stress when withdrawal symptoms kick in. Still, I think the habit of PMO breeds the type of unstable ability to manage emotions I often experience. Although not everything is great, I haven't felt hopeless at all, nor have I gone berserk with emotion and responded inappropriately to many situations. At least, there was more potential for that to happen while binging PMO, etc.

It's my second to last day of my contract, but I have an earth shattering headache or something. It honestly feels like someone stabbed me in my cheek.  I was up half the night and all of today, and I can't even bring myself to grade. I need to go home, sleep, and finish my work. Why is it that my mind instantly thinks "brain tumor?" I used to deal with ridiculous thoughts like this with binging PMO, but now I need to learn to manage my anxiety.

35 going on 36 days, with my work contract done, more good ideas on the horizon, my road test next week, a trip to visit friends planned soon afterward, and plenty of opportunities to grow and improve. Very excited! But I honestly can't do much else, and I'm waiting on calling a potential employer since I feel like my head is going to explode right now. I need sleep and rest. Then onward to closure.



BlueHeronFan

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #141 on: August 15, 2019, 05:14:15 PM »
Good stuff, glad you had a fun night out!

I definitely know how it feels to blow small things out of proportion. I think it is probably a part of withdrawal from this addiction. After a couple months away from PMO, the smallest things could really ruin my whole day. Maybe being so numbed by porn for so long makes even little swings in emotion feel gigantic.

Headaches too. I should really go back through my journal and make a timeline of symptoms from my experience, but I feel like there was a definitely a stretch in the last while where I was getting more headaches than usual, and like really intense unusual headaches that took over one half of my head and neck. I haven't had anything like in a while. It could be because of anything, but it's possible that it was also a step in this withdrawal/recovery process.

Keep trucking along!

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #142 on: August 15, 2019, 10:31:52 PM »
Thanks Heron - yeah, the physiological aspects of addiction are somewhat puzzling still. It seems to have worn off now fortunately.

Just relapsed with regards to MO guys. No P in the traditional sense was involved. I'm pissed that it happened, and right after I posted, but it reveals to me something I'm surprised didn't happen already. And this is a common pattern in relapsing.

Trigger warning ahead:

When I force myself not to MO or use P, I turn to unusual things to substitute. Tanning, foreskin restoration, and even shaving off all the hair on my body have been my latest endeavors. For some reason, I feel like I'm "priming" myself for whenever I get the next orgasm so that it's worthwhile to save up all that energy. I've spelled out in previous posts my thoughts about circumcision, etc. so I won't go back into them, but they cause me to do tugging to feel like I'm making progress back toward what was lost. I've made some progress, but it's incredibly slow, like slower than anything else I've ever done. As I'm doing this tugging, I get anxiety that my penis's skin is dying and I panic and put oil on my genitals to help the skin. I'm already horny at this point since my sensitivity has increased tenfold since I quit PMO 35 days ago. For some reason, I think related to the thing above, I got the brilliant idea that stimulating my prostate didn't count as PMO, and so I started reading articles online about it, and I got no enjoyment out of it and it was uncomfortable when I tried it, which I have tried several times before to no avail. Out of frustration, I MO'd immediately after, feeling like I was already full of shame and regret and loneliness and frustration and anger. Not a happy way to go, but I kinda saw myself in that moment.

My takeaway: I really don't want to quit foreskin restoration because it makes me feel whole and complete again. But I NEED to detach myself from all of the emotions and loss and pain I associate with it. I'm inextricably tied to that event in my infancy, though I'm embarrassed to say it and it makes me feel shallow and odd, I still want to do it and I don't feel like I should have to excuse myself for it. I need to make whatever I do on a daily basis in terms of tugging be more consistent, calculated, and in controlled proportions, and safer. I have an indeterminate amount of time off ahead of me, which will see new routines unfurl and in which I have the opportunity to gain real distance from PMO. I grew discouraged because I got impatient with a process that will take years. Years. I need to lower my expectations and diversify the focus of my energies. Run. Swim. Work out. Socialize. Read. Study. Learn about and apply to jobs. There are many months of hard work ahead. Still, I won't reset my counter since it wasn't a relapse using porn, though I recognize that this reboot so far hasn't been so clean at all. I need to make some definite affirmations and completely give up some things I've entertained. Here they are:

Affirmations:
-Tugging takes place at a specific time each day. I treat it exactly like working out, and I will take progress measurements on a bi-weekly basis instead of weekly in order to be more patient.
-I do not fantasize. I do not think about visions for the future except when I plan on doing so, maybe once a week during a weekly review for an hour.
-I need to socialize once every other week and just get somewhere out of my bubble, even if it means going out alone. People are necessary in my life, and not just at work. You need a social life too. Even if that just means being in a potentially social setting for an hour every couple weeks.
-Thinking about my feelings toward women when I see them. I swear, I feel like I must have mommy problems or something. It's related to all the stuff I've said before. I just know that my thoughts always drift toward the negative, the insecure, the desperate, the angry, the needy, and a whole host of other ugly emotions whenever I see attractive women. Either that or I look at them like toys. I think the meditative mind is the best idea here. Maintain detached awareness of your thoughts and be in a serene, wordless standstill of thought. Any involuntary thoughts just pass, and I'll just be in my five senses, unimpeded by loud, destructive thoughts.
-Now that my life is going to be almost completely unscheduled, I can choose my own life for awhile. I got a job offer that would just make me busy and unfocused, and I was amazed that my parents told me to wait and keep looking. I always felt like I owed it to them to work as much as possible. But I think I need to start going straight at the head of the dragon in terms of what I want out of life and my time here.

Giving Up:
-Fantasizing
-Ogling women. Or even just looking at/ogling people in general for a while. I picture everyone naked anyway.
-Touching my genitals for any reason other than to use the restroom/tugging/etc.
-Porn (obviously)
-Porn substitutes
-Online images. A weird one, but whenever I look up images, something bad usually happens
-Oil/Lube (cue)
-Any articles online related to body image, even including working out or anything sexual in nature.
-The internet, except for correspondence and checking notifications. I don't want to exclude myself from everything.

Would appreciate any thoughts or insights if this will help prevent future MO/PMO. I tried to be pretty open about everything without going too nitty gritty in detail.



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #143 on: August 16, 2019, 05:26:03 AM »
36 Days

The chaser effect is very real right now. Any images of porn or substitutes or anything are all flying back into my head, which is threatening to send me back into a binge. The number on my counter feels like a lie since I've looked up so many things in the last month that you might consider P by a broader definition of the term, and part of my mind is telling me that I need to relapse for a clean streak. This is temptation. Part of me wants to go back to comforts and watch, but I keep saying to myself "That's all fantasy, and I'm sticking here to reality." Stay real. Stop thinking. Focus on the physical reality. Manage your emotions, but don't let them have a say in what you do all the time, or decide to hijack you.

I now think, besides emotions, another thing that might have caused me to relapse with regard to MO was probably the fact that I felt sick and weak all day. I'd never had a cold that started with a headache of this type, or even had a headache of this type before to begin with. I once watched this documentary on a heroin addict who died of withdrawal symptoms or something like that. I wonder if it could be that you take physical pain and suffering with greater sensitivity during a reboot. If that's so, then maybe there are some good coping techniques to ensure high energy and less relapsing when such symptoms set in.

Mid-morning edit: This is crazy. Due to MO and fatigue, I am experiencing none of the same amazement for women on my commute that I experienced before. I feel like I'm just not even feeling anything except a slight back ache and nasal congestion. I honestly miss feeling such high libido. I think it had started to help mold this new and hardier character more willing to take risks and explore
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 06:38:46 AM by rob24 »



Lero

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #144 on: August 16, 2019, 05:35:14 AM »
36 Days

The chaser effect is very real right now. Any images of porn or substitutes or anything are all flying back into my head, which is threatening to send me back into a binge. The number on my counter feels like a lie since I've looked up so many things in the last month that you might consider P by a broader definition of the term, and part of my mind is telling me that I need to relapse for a clean streak. This is temptation. Part of me wants to go back to comforts and watch, but I keep saying to myself "That's all fantasy, and I'm sticking here to reality." Stay real. Stop thinking. Focus on the physical reality. Manage your emotions, but don't let them have a say in what you do all the time, or decide to hijack you.

That's right, man. The addiction always tries to find a way to rationalize a relapse. What you are describing happened to me too. "You looked at porn, this streak is fake. Relapse now and start over clean." That's how I pretty much relapsed on day 14 last streak. But think about it, less damage is always better. Let's say you've done some damage by looking at something, don't make the damage bigger by engaging in more porn or binges. Go on from here. Don't reset the streak if it helps.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 05:44:52 AM by Lero »

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #145 on: August 16, 2019, 11:57:37 AM »
Midday: It's amaziny how quickly the chaser effect, which happened from last night all the way up through the morning, wears off. Now I feel like I'm flatlining. This feels like the detachment I wanted, but it's without any energy. Gosh, I don't know what to call placebo, chemical, and relief.

Still, I need to reassess. I failed in many regards over the last 35 days. Now I can start again with the goals I outlined. And I'm much better off for ever having tried. More work now, then back to normalcy and sustained efforts over a long period of time. I MUST focus on the task. Nothing but the task.



Lero

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #146 on: August 16, 2019, 12:15:23 PM »
Midday: It's amaziny how quickly the chaser effect, which happened from last night all the way up through the morning, wears off. Now I feel like I'm flatlining. This feels like the detachment I wanted, but it's without any energy. Gosh, I don't know what to call placebo, chemical, and relief.

Still, I need to reassess. I failed in many regards over the last 35 days. Now I can start again with the goals I outlined. And I'm much better off for ever having tried. More work now, then back to normalcy and sustained efforts over a long period of time. I MUST focus on the task. Nothing but the task.

This happened to me too. This Sunday, day 21, I had hardcore urges and I MO-ed without porn. All good but the next 4 days I had flatline symptoms. I felt lifeless, with no energy, no mood, it felt strange as fuck. But it went away and now after 5 days I had urges again. Yeah I welcomed 4 days without urges but I also felt like shit. It comes with advantages and disadvantages. After looking at it, I decided to go hard mode. No MO, no PMO, nothing.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 12:36:22 PM by Lero »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #147 on: August 16, 2019, 06:07:19 PM »
For some reason, I feel like I'm "priming" myself for whenever I get the next orgasm so that it's worthwhile to save up all that energy.

There's a lot that I could comment on, probably, but this is the line that caught my attention.

I don't know if I have said it on your journal before, but one thing that I have come to realize is that I used to plan my relapses. As soon as I dug myself out of a binge, I would say to myself that it was the last time, but I would also have a secret list in the back of my head of all the porn things I was going to look up the next time. Even when I went a long time between binges, there was always the idea in my mind somewhere that there would be so much new stuff on my favorite sites when I finally did relapse again. Even when I told myself that I was done with PMO forever, I had a detailed plan for the next time I binged.

I might be misreading your intent, but what I'm seeing here is a secret plan for relapse. If you are saving up for your next orgasm, it means you're planning for it. Is the streak valuable because it helps you track your progress on a lifelong journey of recovery, or is it valuable because it gives you a space to re-sensitize so that your next relapse is more pleasurable? Probably the answer is somewhere in between (I guess those questions sound a little confrontational).

Right now, I don't have a plan for relapse. For the first time in my life, I really don't want to do it again. Part of this process of recovery has led to begin to try to come to terms with the possible reality that I might never have another O again. That's not the goal, of course: I sincerely want to find myself in a healthy, loving relationship someday. But that's definitely not happening now, and what if it never happens? Can I be okay with that? I'm learning to say yes because I really want this recovery process to be about changing my whole life, not just being on my best behavior until X, Y, or Z thing works out.

So, again, I might be blowing that sentence out of proportion (and then you can just ignore me), but it does read like a pattern of thinking that I have subscribed to in the past. I think the reason we talk about PMO and not just P is because all three feed each other and make this addiction especially difficult. We call cutting all three "hard mode," but that's probably backwards. At least for me, I can't see any way of keeping MO around without it always dragging me back to P (or without MO becoming its own cycle of addiction with or without P).

rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #148 on: August 16, 2019, 07:47:43 PM »
No I think those are great points! Thanks Heron. I think it would be useful to clarify my goals. I want to be able to do the following: (1) overcome PIED, (2) interact socially/normally with people and without constantly thinking of power dynamics and sex, and (3) stop PMO so I have energy and confidence and fewer inhibitions. I think a big crunch is the following : if I were to live forever, I wouldn't be as worried about my problem. When I do it, I like PMO despite some of the side effects. It's like candy. If it weren't bad for you, you'd eat it all the time. But I get concerned when I've thrown off relationships and socializing to be alone, sometimes involving PMO. So maybe this "priming" and preparing for the next O is happening sibconsciously. It took .e years and years to feel independent of videogames and junk food, but I eventually matured out of them and with a few efforts to become healthier. I thought it would happen with this habit sooner, but it hasn't. I must make greater efforts. I think I need to completely vow to change my life and my values to do this.

I just finished all of my work for the foreseeable future. I'm officially unemployed and it feels like I opened a fresh new notebook. Expect great things soon.



rob24

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Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #149 on: August 16, 2019, 11:26:10 PM »
12:11am on 8/17

Just relapsed with PMO. Bleh, I think I need a new approach. I'd become this wound up, sickly ball of nerves over the last week or so. I want to read back through journal entries. The immediate cause was texting a friend I think is attractive, and it made me get to thinking and looking up porn. I feel okay, and who knows? Maybe it's going to be more gradual. Like a 35 day streak, followed by a 50 day streak, followed by a 100 day streak, and so on. But that's how I quit video games and similar bad habits. Okay, now I can be serious. Another cause though, might have been that I have so much off time now ahead of me.

Let's view this as the start of a new race. Pace yourself this time. Don't burn out. Plan breaks. You can only build up energy as easily as you can relax. Withdrawal symptoms were making more less able in the short run to build up energy and quickly relax. What can I replace PMO with that does something similar and so efficiently? There need to be healthy replacements this time. I need to identify what PMO used to do for me and replace it with healthy alternatives.