Author Topic: 24yo Journal  (Read 2708 times)

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #175 on: October 10, 2019, 05:49:33 PM »
Hope you're doing all right, man. It has been a while, but it's never the wrong time to get back at it.

Still rooting for you!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #176 on: November 03, 2019, 05:17:39 AM »
Thanks Heron - I've been away after the relapse, and I've just started to feel like I'm disgusted enough with my current self to get back into it, haha. It's been a few months, though I've been jobless and basically addicted to video games, while pursuing some creative interests. I spent so much time exercising a few months ago, though I get bored, and I've gotten back into bad habits. I'm living at home with my parents and basically just been incredibly confused as to what I should do with myself.

I have a lot of hobbies I want to pursue more and it's been good at distracting me from the fact that I feel really listless and depressed about life. I am so utterly confused as to what lies in my future, though I outlined what an ideal day would look like last night and I'm determined to give this an honest try starting today. I need to get back on the right track.

My last relapse was 11/1 in the evening, and it was a full out PMO. None since then. I'm going to use what I learned last time and try again.



squid

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 441
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #177 on: November 03, 2019, 09:28:09 AM »
Welcome back Rob!! That's really awesome that you are committed and are moving forward with recovery :).  You can do it!

BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #178 on: November 03, 2019, 08:14:56 PM »
Yeah, like squid said, welcome back!

Feeling aimless and sort of hopeless about life (not feeling like I have a lot to look forward to) has really driven a lot of my relapses in the past. If it's any consolation, I have spent most of the last year or so feeling really unsure of where I'm headed in life. I still don't really know, but I also feel like the tide might be changing.

I guess what I'm saying is that this is all a process that sometimes just takes time. Part of my recovery has been learning about myself and what I really want in life and then learning to take steps towards those things as an act of kindness towards myself. I think it's awesome that you have an outline for an ideal day: just imagine how your life would be if every day were an ideal day (that would be an ideal life!) But I also feel like I should say that I often fall into the trap of thinking it has to be the ideal or nothing. But the ideal isn't always realistic, at least not right away.

If you can't live an ideal day tomorrow (for any reason), what would a good-enough day look like?

I'm glad you're back and still rooting for you!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #179 on: November 04, 2019, 01:05:46 AM »
Thanks squid and Heron! Glad to see you guys are so consistent - I'm super grateful to be back around you kind folks ^.^

If you can't live an ideal day tomorrow (for any reason), what would a good-enough day look like?

Ah yes - had this today - just my thoughts as I lay in bed today. My sleep schedule has been off, but I thought to myself "at least I built upon yesterday by not succumbing to the urges or watching porn and going down that rabbit hole." Even though I slept through my parents return home, I'm still making progress at this base level of consistency I set for myself with PMO. I can keep building more habits so that my whole world doesn't fall apart again if I relapse. I think I'll start with a few basic habits. One is posting on this forum. I like that idea. Maybe it'll help make me more consistent. My coach used to help me scaffold good habits in teaching in this manner when I was a new teacher and overwhelmed by the amount of learning. She was so calm and collected and helped take out the guessing by just giving me no more than one or two really simple things to work on each week that built upon those of the previous one. So I can try to build one new habit each day this week and make a running list. One new habit, no matter how small, each day, that will help me keep improving.

It might be fun to set some habits that are "good enough" like you said, so that even if I don't fully live up to my own expectations, I still have a baseline where I feel like I did enough.

Daily Habits:
1. Avoid PMO, and use this forum as an "if I get urges" emergency hotline (this worked decently well in the past) (done)
2. Post to this forum (done)
3. Be in bed with the lights out at 10pm (today)
4. Be awake and out of bed with the bed made at 6am
5. ???

I'll keep refining this list. Maybe it will help!



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #180 on: November 04, 2019, 09:20:01 PM »
Sounds like a good list! All your talk of habits reminds me, I just finished listening to the book Atomic Habits (would recommend if you haven't read it before), and it has definitely got me thinking more about my habits. One of the huge takeaways for me from the book is consistency. Whether we do our habit really well or not, we just have to show up and do it every time.

That's a lesson I have also been learning from yoga and meditation. It's all a practice (a chance to get better and gain experience) and not a performance (a chance to show off how good we are). Some days my meditation doesn't feel very special, but that's not really what matters. What matters is doing it.

So press forward, showing up one day at a time!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #181 on: November 05, 2019, 04:11:04 AM »
Thanks Heron - really love the spirit of what you're saying here man. Consistency is the key to lasting change. Did well again yesterday by "showing up" to avoiding PMO. Let's review a bit:

The 4th day.

Daily Habits:
1. Avoid PMO, and use this forum as an "if I get urges" emergency hotline (this worked decently well in the past) (done)
2. Post to this forum (done)
3. Be in bed with the lights out at 10pm (Didn't work out yesterday, as the sleep schedule was still off, so I'll try it again today. I shifted my wakeful hours again, so I'm getting closer)
4. Be awake and out of bed with the bed made at 6am (we'll tack this one on since I didn't manage to do the last one yesterday, and I think it's pretty reasonable)
5. ???
6. (I'll work toward this) Clear my inbox and other collections of messages and "to do"s in the morning every day
7. Clean my room (It's a nightmare in here...Well, it's not that bad, but it could be better.)
8. I'd like too give myself some time each day for working through demons and a lot of the things that stopped me in my last relapse. I had this nightmare related to doctors that concerns a lot of my own idiosyncrasies and the things I mentioned in previous posts. Mainly stuff related to my own circumcision, with which I've accepted that there's pretty much always going to be a part of me is completely preoccupied. I think the last few months have been good for getting my mind off of it, as I've become completely obsessed with things like gaming and growing my YouTube channel, which take my mind off of it. Even though they're not healthy, they distract me. Maybe I'll write a book or something. That would get my mind off of the agony I experience when I think about it.

Other things I've been doing, and I may as well just keep doing:

1. I agreed to read a book in correspondence with my friend from college - great to get me reading again now that I'm out of school and find it hard to intrinsically find motivation for such things.
2. Running 2 miles a day
3. Working on music production on the daily
4. Working on videos every day again
5. Making a point to spend time with my parents in the morning and the evening
6. Cooking

Bleh, more on 8: I feel like the thought of it plagues all of my interactions with my parents. Like I don't even want to muster up the strength to get out of bed, do chores, or even clean up after myself because I feel like they neutered me like a cat or a dog. I feel like a damn indoor cat or something. That's it. I see no point in trying to reach success in any form when I start to overthink this, and writing all this out has kind of made me realize that there's this big emptiness that underlies everything I do. I want to believe that everything happens for a reason, but I honestly feel like there's just so much senseless misguidedness and violence out there, and it's like we're all just walking through a field hoping not to be stricken by some violent vector breezing past.

Ultimately, it's hardening to feel like nothing can phase you, though I still feel very vulnerable. Little things upset me. Maybe I'll go back to writing poetry. Losing myself in a combination of creative and constructive personal development habits has usually been the best distraction from these feelings of smallness and insecurity, and is usually my best resolve.

Good to talk about all of these demons, but I'm kind of with what you said before. Maybe I need to get out of my own head a bit more. Had a great day with friends the other weekend, and I met a bunch of people I knew in the past and a girl I liked. Just felt good to be back in familiar surroundings. I'd like to make it a habit to get out with friends thus again soon. Maybe that will be for the next couple weeks!



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #182 on: November 05, 2019, 07:50:00 PM »
As a person who is almost always trapped in his own head, I definitely say go for the things that get you out of your head and into your body and the real world.

Cleaning your room is a great thing to focus on: I know I feel better, think better, and do better when my space is clean. I don't know if there's a causal link, but I think most of my relapses have happened in a messy house.

Spending time with friends and people is a great thing to do. I worry much less about porn and urges when I'm busy engaging with real people. I only ever really think about it when I'm alone.

Getting enough sleep, exercising, etc. All good things.

I even think creative things like writing poetry could count. Sure, it seems like it's mostly thinking, but you have to be paying attention to the world to be creative. You talk about losing yourself in things, and I know that's just the phrase people use, but what about finding yourself in those things?

This year of dedicated focus on my recovery has come with a lot of opportunities to get to know myself better. I have learned a lot about myself and what makes me tick just in trying to understand my addiction and figure out how to live a healthy life. For me, those creative outlets aren't about escaping from anything but are about connecting with my real potential. I'm not running away from porn; I'm setting it aside to connect with the real me.

This is all to say, it sounds like you're thinking in the right direction. Go get 'em, and don't forget to treat yourself with care and patience!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #183 on: November 06, 2019, 08:38:58 AM »
Thanks Heron - all good stuff you're saying - love the idea of shaping it as a "year of dedicated focus on recovery." I thought of something like this. Though I'm still out of work and not really looking so actively yet at the moment, I think it would be a major accomplishment to escape this point in my life having obtained freedom from this phantom that haunts me.

The idea of a "good enough day" vs an ideal day has captivated me over the last couple days as well. Here's to "showing up" rather than trying to fight a dragon every day:

Daily Habits ("Good enough")

1. Avoid PMO, and use this forum as an "if I get urges" emergency hotline (done)
2. Post to this forum (done)
3. Be in bed with the lights out at 10pm (Got a little closer yesterday, going to bed early and waking up at 5am today. Today I'm back to normal. I'll need to work on these habits which might not come so easily since it's a first day back, of sorts)
4. Be awake and out of bed with the bed made at 6am (close enough - 5am today)
5. Clear my inbox and other collections of messages and "to do"s in the morning
6. Clean my room

I'll aspire to:

1. Read before bed
2. Run 2 miles
3. Work out at my local gym (3 core lifts, 3 sets of 10 reps - no more than 20 minutes)
4. Spend an hour working on music production
5. Spend an hour working on videos
6. Spend time with my parents in the morning and evening
7. Cook

I'll keep working toward that "personal therapy" time.

Lots more habits, but trying to keep it pretty simple for starters. Have a great day, everybody!



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #184 on: November 06, 2019, 07:52:43 PM »
Still looking like a good plan!

I'm really glad the idea of "good enough" has been useful to you. I feel like it has saved me from a lot of stress and helped me to just show up a lot of times. Especially like during finals in college. If I felt like I had to know everything perfectly, it would have paralyzed me. Going into studying and to the test know that I only had to do well enough to get a certain grade helped me to find some breathing room and deal with the end of the semester with more composure.

Because, at the end of the day, there's literally no difference on your transcript between a 95% and a 100%.

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #185 on: November 07, 2019, 05:53:01 AM »
It's definitely a good way to look at things from a day-to-day perspective. I'd be interested in checking out Atomic Habits after my current read. A lot of those micro-decisions throughout the day tend to build on each other day after day. Merely jogging the block today might help pave the way for getting over the mental blockages it takes to get yourself to run a marathon in a few months.

Yesterday was okay.

I had some temptations, but I'm feeling focused. I think the habit building is helping me decide to avoid PMO. Though having used it every 3 days or so for the last couple months, which tends to be my average when using and not thinking about it, I'm sitting in a different mental landscape where I'm mor conscious of my decisions and how they're affecting my moods.

Daily Habits ("Good enough")

1. Avoid PMO, and use this forum as an "if I get urges" emergency hotline (done)
2. Post to this forum (done)
3. Be in bed with the lights out at 10pm (Strayed a little farther from this yesterday, feeling tired at 7pm and going to bed, then waking up at 4am. We'll keep working on this. I should try to read in bed tonight)
4. Be awake and out of bed with the bed made at 6am (a little farther at 4am, but still good enough today)
5. Clear my inbox and other collections of messages and "to do"s (did a fairly good job at this yesterday, though I should try to completely finish it today)
6. Clean room (This is improving. Keep at it)

I don't think I'm ready to add more yet, but here's other ones I've been building up:

1. Run 2 miles
2. Work out at the gym for 20 minutes

Other ones I'm working at:

Read before bed
Work on music
Work on videos

It'd be nice to "lock in" the "good enough set of habits first, but it's not a perfect world, so I can make do with this. I've mainteined a nice kernel of stability by avoiding PMO. Let's reinforce and grow that kernel today by keeping at good habits.

Have a great day everybody!



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #186 on: November 07, 2019, 08:23:55 PM »
It's good that you're just keeping at it. I think fewer goals/habits is probably a better way to go at the start anyway. It can be easy to see all the things we want to fix in our lives and then make a thousand goals and then fail because we're overwhelmed. No rush to add more, get comfortable with the habits you're trying to establish now and let the rest follow when you're ready.

This is the journey of a lifetime, not just 90 days. There's plenty of time to get it all figured out, one good day at a time.

squid

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 441
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #187 on: November 07, 2019, 11:08:10 PM »
Blue is right.  Just pick one goal and focus!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #188 on: November 08, 2019, 06:30:00 AM »
Thanks guys - yeah, focusing on "less is more" is helping a lot. Thinking of just keeping it really simple and not adding more until these ones are "locked in" a bit more.

Yesterday was okay. I probably spent too much time playing videogames, but I can improve on that today. Urges are more intense the last few days, but that's often a sign that you're making progress IMO.

Daily Habits ("Good enough")

1. Avoid PMO, and use this forum as an "if I get urges" emergency hotline (done) (7)
2. Post to this forum (done) (5)
3. Be in bed with the lights out at 10pm (Got closer to this yesterday, going to bed at 8:30) (0)
4. Be awake and out of bed with the bed made at 6am (done) (0)
5. Clear my inbox and other collections of messages and "to do"s (doing this today) (0)
6. Clean room (Need to stick to this one today) (0)

I don't think I'm ready to add more yet, but here's other ones I've been building up:

1. Run 2 miles (4)
2. Work out at the gym for 20 minutes (2)

Other ones I'm working at:

Read before bed (0)
Work on music (3-4)
Work on videos (0)

Let's just keep it at that and not add any more until I'm on a streak for a few days with each one. I've written in the number of days I've managed to streak on each one of these to remind myself whether I'm building good habits in each yet).

Just realized there's still a lot of 0s. I think I'll keep on working on the ones above, then wait until Sunday or so to add more. Better to have a few habits locked in, then work from a really solid foundation.

Have a great day everybody!



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #189 on: November 08, 2019, 10:16:31 PM »
Don't worry about the 0s, you have to start somewhere!

You have a list of things you want to accomplish, which is good. Do you have a plan for when you want to do them? For me, it has been a lot easier to stick to a habit when I have a set time (usually in relation to other things) when I do it. Like, I don't just post here at some point during the day, I post here before I write in my personal journal. That way, it's not just a random to-do, but it gets built into a routine. I think that could really help build consistency too.

But you're doing great. Have a great weekend!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #190 on: November 09, 2019, 06:30:32 AM »
Relapsed last night, 11/8, around 10pm, full PMO. I think a little bit it had to do with just feeling a lot of built up physical tension from not feeling release for awhile. I also started making excuses in my head, even though I had time to reason through them like "it's natural." A little bit I have a feeling had to do with anxiety over today. I have a feeling that I don't like a lot of my friends who seek out and worship mainstream sources of validation, like obtaining degrees, etc. I still think that this has to do with this feeling of being ostracized because of circ like I talked about earlier. It makes me angry at other people who seek money and honors and titles or even acts of good will, as I feel passed over. Definitely some selfishness about it, but bleh, I can't help feeling that way.

I can probably combat the physical tension by using the bathroom and eating something when I feel that sense of overwhelm. Though I think that the anxiety is a bigger one. I need to continue to develop and grow my own internal sense of commitment to what I see as good work. Happiness isn't about keeping up appearances or pleasing your parents. I frequently ask myself how I would feel about everything I've accomplished in life if my family weren't around. Eventually I'm going to have to answer to myself, so I'm preparing for that day of reckoning by trying to stay true to my own aspirations, even if that means not pleasing everyone around me. Still, it makes me very skeptical of mainstream things and I'm definitely going to have to work hard at something that suits me for making a living.

Thanks for the advice Heron - just made a timed, ordered list of how I want to structure the day yesterday, which was super helpful, and should still help.

Even though I relapsed, let's try to keep up good habits and build up

Daily Habits ("Good enough")

1. Avoid PMO, and use this forum as an "if I get urges" emergency hotline (reset) (0)
2. Post to this forum (done) (6 - Huh, never thought of this as a streak, but I suppose it counts!)
3. Be in bed with the lights out at 10pm (done) (1)
4. Be awake and out of bed with the bed made at 6am (done) (1)
5. Clear my inbox and other collections of messages and "to do"s (got closer to this yesterday, but still need to finish it) (0)
6. Clean room (done) (1)

I don't think I'm ready to add more yet, but here's other ones I've been building up:

1. Run 2 miles (5)
2. Work out at the gym for 20 minutes (3)

Other ones I'm working at:

Read before bed (0)
Work on music (0)
Work on videos (0)

I'll be meeting up with friends and running a race today, so I'll do these habits in the morning, read on the train, meet my friend, run, meet up with my other friends, and work on videos later.



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #191 on: November 09, 2019, 08:11:40 PM »
You relapsed, but you can learn from it. It only goes to waste if you relapse for the same reason again.

It's also no reason to give up on the good things you're doing now (that's a trap I fall into a lot of the time). Even when you're doing everything right, it takes time for the results to show up.

Stay the course and keep fine-tuning so that you do even better in the future!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #192 on: November 10, 2019, 09:05:28 AM »
Thanks Heron - definitely needs work, though I'll be improving in the future.

Had another relapse last night, following the chaser, though bleh, I feel like I got it out of my system to some extent. I'm not so overly upset with it though, so I think that's progress too.

Let's keep tracking those habits, though I'm going to start a new spreadsheet to keep track of all these habits, which might be easier than writing everything out.

Had a great race yesterday and saw plenty of old friends! It was a great day.



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #193 on: November 10, 2019, 08:14:17 PM »
Glad you had a great day! Those can be especially rewarding after a relapse, a good chance and reason to get back on your feet.

I think a spreadsheet sounds like a good idea. There are also tons of habit-tracking apps that might be helpful. I use one, and I think the best benefit for me anyway is that it shows up as a notification on my phone (like an unread text or email), so there's that little part of my brain that sees it and fixates on it the way we fixate on new messages and notifications. Anyway, it's a reminder throughout the day of the habit and my commitment to make it through the day clean. Guess it's like using one of those tricks our phones use to get us addicted to them to help me get out of addiction, lol.

Anyway, press forward!

rob24

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 160
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #194 on: November 11, 2019, 09:20:04 PM »
Thanks Heron! Spreadsheets will definitely help, especially if habits are broken and then reformed. Helps to see progress on a page too! Hoping to make this data tracking and daily review a bedtime ritual.

Quick 2 minute update:

Great day today with the family. Went out to see a movie and had a delicious meal, and worked on videos as well. Avoided PMO, and tomorrow I'll get back to habits and do some cooking for the family. Should be fun! I'm also sick with a cold, but we're through the worst of it.



BlueHeronFan

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 1041
    • View Profile
Re: 24yo Journal
« Reply #195 on: November 11, 2019, 09:33:22 PM »
Great update! Even if it was quick, you're showing up and putting in the reps.

Keep it up!