Author Topic: A Better Tomorrow  (Read 1742 times)

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #75 on: September 23, 2019, 04:18:44 AM »
Lero

Some of it is. Some of it's me being a fool. I've had difficulties managing my sleep for most of my life. No better point to change that then the present though right? : )

Hope you had another awesome PMO-free day.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #76 on: September 23, 2019, 05:17:21 PM »
September 22, 2019

How was today?:
In one word? Tough! Crappy mood, urges and/or withdrawals all day! But made it through with no fantasy, no porn, no masturbation.

Urges:
They incessantly nipped at me all day long. Never indulged, which was great, but damn was it exhausting.

Emotions:
I could tell from the moment I woke up my mood was terrible, which in a way was a good because it made me aware of the fact that today was going to be a trying day, so I needed to be especially careful. My companions today were intense irritability, restlessness and frustration, and it didn't matter what I did. Everything seemed to add fire to the flames. Strangely, anxiety wasn’t present. It never misses an opportunity like this, so I suppose it's absence is something to be thankful for.

As an aside, I think Gabe Deem is a great guy trying to make a difference, so please don't take this as a jab, but I remember him saying in one video that “with patience, support, a willingness to go through a little bit of pain to get better, recovery is possible.” (Quote is taken from this video) This always stuck with me. A little bit of pain? I can’t speak for everyone’s experience, but, for me, recovery is a grueling, painful, and exhausting process. Do I feel this way every day? No. Do things gradually get better? Yea. But it definitely isn't a little bit of pain.

I am not straight white-knuckling my way through it. I practice addition over deletion, try to be more social and kinder to others, focus on dealing with other negatives in my life, work toward developing a life plan and better future, plus loads more, and I know that’s the ticket, but there are times, like today, where the addiction relentlessly bears down on me and all I can do is suffer through it.

Anyway, mini-rant over. Maybe I am more susceptible to urges and withdrawals than the average person, but at times I feel like the agonizing aspects of recovery are downplayed; however, regardless of the veracity of my impression, I know things will get better at some point and I just have to keep soldiering on.

Cognition:
It was hard to be productive as any and everything I tried seem to make me feel worse and push me closer to wanting to indulge in urges, so I didn’t really get a chance to explore my cognition. I’ll say NA for this category today.

Pain:
A bit more painful. I am not sure exactly what happened, but I woke up in the middle of the night with my pants and underwear off and a hard-on, so maybe my member came into contact with the bedding while in it’s erect state, and that irritated it a bit. There was no mess or fluids present, so I must’ve just subconsciously removed them without doing anything else (or having any wet dreams), something which hasn’t happened in a while but has occurred during my previous recovery attempts. Anyway, I have no memory of it, but either way, good thing I made the first floor, which is where I sleep, a no tech-device area. Even if my half-awake self wanted to relapse, it would have had to walk all the way upstairs and turn on my phone or computer to do so, and at that point I’d be fully awake and stop myself. Planning ahead of time for these uncontrollable disasters really is crucial.

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Didn’t relapse! That’s all I can say, but it was quite the victory. I am comfortable with just that for today
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 05:27:02 PM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #77 on: September 24, 2019, 05:53:00 PM »
September 23, 2019

How was today?:
Was ok for the most part. Not that productive. Had a difficult spell with urges in the evening, but came out on top again, with no porn, masturbation or fantasy. I felt bad about including Gabe Deem in my complaining mini-rant yesterday. He has done a lot in spreading awareness about the problem of porn addiction, helped and inspired many sufferers, and is still making efforts to educate people on the subject (released this video a few days ago). So my bad at picking at a part of a sentence he uttered years ago because it doesn't reflect one part of my recovery experience.

Urges:
They popped up a bit here and there, not too bad until the evening. It was then that my GI problem got worked up for the first time in a while, with some pronounced pain and tightness in my esophagus. When my GI problems, usually in my esophagus, start acting up, especially when it is the first attack in a while, my brain immediately tries to cover up the pain and fear of it getting worse with PMO. This is actually what got me during my best streak of 8 weeks. It was tough, but I kept reminding myself that if the attack does get extreme, then getting my body more worked up by masturbating to porn would only make it worse, and if it doesn’t, then there is nothing to be afraid of. These types of situations are uncommon and uncontrolled, meaning that if I want to reprogram how my brain responds to them, I have to make sure to take advantage of every time it happens to remove the compulsion to respond with porn use.

Emotions:
Some depression during the afternoon and heavy sadness during the evening.

Cognition:
My productivity has dropped over the last few days, so I yet again don’t have much to say here. I am not that worried though. I think it’s just one of those mood lows that one can experience during recovery. During my last streak, I had a period of three days where I was just down in the dumps and couldn’t do much aside from going to work. I think it’s something like that, though the quality of the experience is somewhat different.

Pain:
A little aching

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Made it past the pitfall that brought me down during my best streak
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 01:48:10 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #78 on: September 25, 2019, 02:33:02 PM »
September 24, 2019

How was today?:
It was ok. I woke up late but had a burst of activity in the first quarter of the day. After that, I decided to spend some time outside, which turned into a lot of time. Met with someone I hadn’t seen for a while, but this was around the time when my mood decided to shift into a depressed state. It wasn’t my friend’s fault. I think it was just a continuation of the mood low I mentioned in my previous entry. Anyway, it was cool seeing him, but the depression continued after he left, and continued for the rest of the day until I went to bed. During that time, I went on a meditative walk, which helped me handle the rest of the depression and the additional sadness I felt during my last hour awake.

Urges:

As the difficult emotions hit me in the evening and once I didn’t have anyone in my company, I started noticing an increase in urges. This wasn’t helped by the fact that I wasn’t thinking and did a stupid but unintentional search that resulted in me seeing a pornographic image, albeit for a split second. I blurred my eyes, looked to the side, and closed the tab immediately. This definitely inflated my urges a bit, but thankfully I didn’t obsess over what I saw and was able to direct my attention elsewhere.

Emotions:
Heavy depression in the evening. Simultaneously felt some strong sadness in the final hour before bed.

Cognition:
I did pay attention to it this time around, and it was poor. Verbal fluency was bad and short-term memory was terrible. Didn’t obsess over it though, which was nice.

Pain:
Aching

*Something positive / something I did well:
- Did pretty well with not obsessing over negative and harmful stimuli

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #79 on: September 26, 2019, 05:32:08 AM »
September 25, 2019

How was today?:
It was fine I suppose. No emotional roller coaster rides today. Moderate productivity, still a bit low, but I remained somewhat active. The urges though…

TRIGGER WARNING - START

Urges:
Yea, the urges. They kicked in during the second half of the day. I was at a clinic then, and in the hallway there was a woman walking in front of me. Now I know everyone has their own proclivities, but when it comes to me, women who are on the short side with juicy bubble butts really turn me on (I acknowledge this could be the inner addict within me, and that this could change; I also acknowledge that physical appearance really shouldn’t matter, and this leaning toward objectification is porn-influenced and not something I want to carry with me long-term), and the rear she was endowed with looked really round and well-shaped. When she walked, the buttock on the same side of the leg being placed on the ground would do this mild jiggle-shudder with each step she took…oh damn, remembering it right now is fiercely triggering me! To get to the point, I noticed her butt not out of intentional ogling but rather by chance; however, this sight lit my urges up, and I reflexively (not intentionally) had an image (or maybe more like a gif?) flit in my mind of me taking her from behind, with her butt jiggling after each forward thrust. It was really vivid, but also short-lived. Maybe 2-3 seconds. I snapped myself out of that trance and was able to stop indulging then and there. For the rest of the day, almost every time my eyes fell on a woman, be it while driving or walking, my body would respond with strong urges. I didn’t have any more creeper moments like the one mentioned above though. It was all pretty exhausting. I don’t know about you guys, but I experience certain physiological symptoms when I have urges: a clenching in my gut, accelerated heart beat, heavier breathing, etc. It was draining being buffeted by these sensations over and over again. But each time they arose, I gave them no quarter and didn’t indulge.
TRIGGER WARNING - END

Emotions:

Pretty neutral. Not much to say here.

Cognition:
Similar to yesterday I think. Perhaps a little better.

Pain:

Aching again

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Survived an onslaught of urges. I think most of my wins recently have been PMO-related, so I am hoping to write something here tomorrow that doesn’t pertain to this domain

Lero

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #80 on: September 26, 2019, 07:39:02 AM »
Urges could get brutal, man. I know how it is. But we need an emergency attitude. The more we post-pone the recovery, the less days remaining in our life we have. If we continue to be addicts, day after day we reach another end of the year and another, then one day you look at yourself and say: "Fuck, I'm 40! I wish I was done with this when I was 30 so I could live the last 10 years better." I will end my 20's soon. I really really want to start my 30's better, god damn. I want by the time I am 30 to have at least half of year without this shit. Anyway, if this is not our no. 1 priority, we won't do shit about it. Because porn addiction actually includes more. You cannot be a porn addict and have an awesome life at the same time. Porn makes you procrastinate, have no mood and energy to do things, you don't accomplish much.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #81 on: September 27, 2019, 04:58:23 AM »
Lero


Yea, I am definitely tired of wasting time. No time like the present right? I am having a great run so far: no intentional fantasizing, no intentional viewing of arousing content, no masturbation, no orgasm. Hope your journey is going well too.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #82 on: September 27, 2019, 05:57:47 AM »
September 26, 2019

How was today?:
Pretty good. Got everything I wanted to get done done. Hoping to correct this ongoing awful sleep schedule by waking up nice and early tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Urges:
A weaker version of yesterday. A bit relentless, but not as bad.

Emotions:
Noticed some inexplicable social anxiety in the daytime. Had some general anxiety in the evening. It wasn't all bad though. I also felt satisfaction from my boost in productivity.

Cognition:
Still not very sharp. Oh well.

Pain:
Aching, but weaker than previous days.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Getting **** done! Happy I can write something not related to PMO here
- Make fun of me all you want, but, for the first time in a while, I found a new song I really enjoyed listening to

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #83 on: September 28, 2019, 03:32:23 AM »
September 27, 2019

How was today?:
Pretty nondescript. Not bad by any means though. Killed it again with the complete denial of PMO and fantasy.

Urges:

Strength: Medium
Frequency: Sprinkled throughout the day

Emotions:
Somewhat lethargic. Is that an emotion or a sensation? Perhaps unmotivated is more appropriate for this category. Still got a decent number of tasks done, but could've done more. Hope I wake up earlier tomorrow.

Cognition:
Verbal fluency and memory were lacking.

Pain:
A little aching

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Actually cooked something for the first time in a while. Not the basic boiling, frying, or toasting that I usually do. I actually cooked. Steamed brussels sprouts, garlic shrimp (with butter, parsley, lemon juice, caper brine, red pepper and salt), and mashed potatoes. I'm stuffed.

mattdes

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #84 on: October 14, 2019, 01:48:41 AM »
How are you getting on? You haven't posted for a while. Hope you are doing good!

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #85 on: October 17, 2019, 12:33:26 AM »
mattdes

Thanks for checking in! I really appreciate it.

I'm still hanging in there. I'm feeling a bit more motivated and optimistic about the future. How about you? Enjoying your 40s? Sounds like a great decade to kick this addiction to the curb.

I feel you about the loneliness. I know how miserable it can get, and it's a shame that's what you are going through right now. If it's any consolation, I'm rooting for you.

In the meantime, keep up the great diet and exercise.

Take care

mattdes

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #86 on: October 17, 2019, 02:21:08 AM »
Thanks man I appreciate it! Yeah I'm trying to break my pathetic abstinence record  :P.
I've had the dreaded shrinkage and no libido which i guess is good for the reboot but makes you feel a bit robotic. Haha

Well keep checking in and updating. This forum has gone very quiet of late which is a pity. I think we can all help each other so much.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #87 on: October 19, 2019, 06:24:00 AM »
It's been a little while since I last posted in this topic. Things have been a bit bumpy since then, but overall pretty good. I feel like I am cultivating a stronger sense of trust in myself. This in turn has led to me feeling more optimistic about the future and motivated to work on my life in the present.

That being said...

I relapsed the previous night. It started during the evening when my GI tract was acting up. I was more anxious than usual because I suffered an attack the night before from some pronounced GI pain and was worried I would have to go through that again. At the same time, I felt some strong urges, some of which were definitely triggered by my discomfort. In spite of all this, I did a great job of enduring them as just experience without adding anything on; however, when I experience a cocktail of physical discomfort and urges, my brain sometimes tries to up the ante by randomly flashing certain erotic concepts in my mind to give me a larger rush of dopamine than normal in an attempt to push me over the edge to relapse. And that did indeed happen this time around. More than once. But, I am happy to say, I was able to do the same as before: I just noticed them as experience and resolved myself to endure the discomfort.

So, what led to the relapse? Well, fast forward a little--I had been dealing with this for a few hours at this point--and my dastardly brain was so clever that it connected the dots to something I didn't know existed: I was thinking about a future plan I have to go to a VR center with my friend, which led to me thinking about what the experience will actually be like and how fun and novel it could be. I felt excited by the thought of being able to try something for the first time and interested in how it could potentially add heretofore unobtainable layers to the experience of video games. Riding on this anticipatory excitement, my brain suddenly changed lanes to a different thought: VR could do the same with porn, and, even thought I don't have goggles, I could watch it on my phone that instant. It is bizarre that it made that assumption. Yes, you can watch VR porn, or at the very least a watered-down version of it--I never tried the real stuff so I can't really compare--without goggles, but I had never encountered anything before that informed me it was possible. My brain just assumed you could.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I was already riding a feeling of anticipatory excitement with my thoughts on VR. This was then hijacked by urges that were of a different nature: a teasing of pleasure that offered new layers of stimulation previously inaccessible. I crumpled in an instant. I was immediately tractor-beamed to my phone, a thrall to the promise of new landscapes of indulgence.

While I am sure the experience with a headset is quite different, the "2D" experience was still intense. You see, although the spell this addiction has cast on me has continued to be unbroken, I have, starting from a few years back, pushed the boundaries of porn novelty to the point where it all has become pretty boring. So the game my brain has been playing these past few years is, when I am beset by cravings, to rapidly cycle through randomly novel concepts that I have not explored in an attempt to crack open any chinks in my recovery armor. I've made a lot of progress with this recently, but the idea of experiencing porn in 360°--well not really, it was more 180°ish--was a dopamine avalanche. I was submerged before I even had a chance to escape.

Note the next part of this entry is going to be pretty graphic, so heed the trigger warning if you think you might be susceptible. It's graphic because I want to attempt to express the effect this experience had on me.

SEVERE TRIGGER WARNING - START

While there are limitations to the technology, and they were definitely noticeable, it really did add new layers to the porn experience. There was an excitement I hadn't felt in years, topped off with this strangely fun feeling of giddiness. The "2D" VR actually made the fake experiences feel more real. As if I was a participant in this desire-laden fantasy. I had harems of women fanned out in front of me, taking turns giving me oral, with "my" member being passed on to a new person, or with another person jumping in because she "wanted" to suck it so badly. And I could (relatively) organically change my field of vision so that I could look at one of the other women on the side who had started talking, or caressing her breasts, or rubbing her labia and clitoris. And then I could return to the person giving the blow job, or move to focus exclusively on another woman with a different novel feature: rounder breasts, larger nipples, longer hair, sexy eyes, and so on and so forth. Of course, these videos aren't immune to the standard novelty booster of clicking around to any point in the video, so I could jump from these scenes to ones with vaginal intercourse where I could switch from viewing the spectacle in front of me to looking at a woman licking "my" nipples on the left, and then move to the right to see a woman rubbing her breasts up and down "my" body. Almost all of the content I watched had vaginal intercourse scenes in the woman-on-top (cowgirl) position, and this positioning is where the "2D" VR videos felt the most real. I could "look" down and see "my" partner's labia bend slightly outward while her pelvis reciprocally slid up and down "my" penis, and then I would hear a sudden vocal outburst of pleasure, to which I could immediately "look" upward to see breasts bouncing up and down below a face expressive of orgasmic pleasure. On top of all this, I could zoom in and out whenever I wanted. And at the end of the videos, after "I" had climaxed, "my" partner would pull her vagina off "my" penis, during which I would keep changing the vertical angle of the video to enhance the perceived realness of "my" ejaculate seeping out of her vagina. My primitive brain was blown away. It was as if I had inseminated her. It was insane. It was sensory overload.

SEVERE TRIGGER WARNING - END

I know that the above is quite descriptive. Sorry about that. I just had to let this out somewhere. I don't want to hold the experience in. Writing about it proves to be cathartic and helps me flush some of the residual urges out of my body.

But, in spite of how overwhelmed I was by it all, I have not plummeted into despair. This is because all is not lost. My recent efforts in cultivating motivation, optimism, and an internal confidence that allows me to trust myself to be in control of my addiction are not undone by this. I was swept off my feet to relapse by the promise of new layers of stimulation, but that was precisely because they were new. The unknown nature of "2D" VR porn is what led to the instantaneous descent. But it's no longer unknown. I know what it's like. Yea, it was pretty incredible. Yes, the freshness of the experience gave a new vitality to the thought of masturbating to porn. But the thing is, it still is porn. It isn't real. It's the promise of a better reality that I crave. Not an enhanced fantasy.

It's up to me to prove it to myself and all of you that I have it in me to change. That's a challenge I happily accept and am ready to fulfill with all of the motivation and optimism I have fostered up to this point.

So, having just experienced a new horizon in artificial pleasure and stimulation, what's next? I think the answer is a simple one. It's not more of the same. It's a better tomorrow.

mattdes

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #88 on: October 20, 2019, 02:05:13 AM »
Holy shit that sounds intense and sensory overload man. Dangerous stuff for recovery. I'd avoid it like the plague if I were you.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #89 on: October 20, 2019, 03:09:12 PM »
mattdes

That's the plan. It helped reinforce the idea that it is all porn at the end of the day. A dead-end promising nothing.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #90 on: October 20, 2019, 03:09:28 PM »
October 19, 2019 - Day 2 (No porn, masturbation, orgasm or intentional fantasy)

Was out all day with a friend. Suffice it to say, it was a nice PMO-free day.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 01:36:41 PM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #91 on: October 21, 2019, 01:33:10 PM »
October 20, 2019 - Day 3 (No porn, masturbation, orgasm or intentional fantasy)

I'll try to return to something resembling my previous format, but I've been a bit busy recently, so these short posts will have to suffice. The evening made me feel an elevated sense of urges, but I kept playing it smart and didn't give them any chance to grow. My mood was pretty sour in the evening--irritated, angry, spiteful--but this too was properly dealt with.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 01:36:30 PM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #92 on: October 22, 2019, 03:16:45 AM »
October 21, 2019 - Day 4 (No porn, masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)

Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Nothing too interesting or significant about today. I’ve been listening through the Your Brain Rebalanced Radio podcast series recently. I think I’ve listened up to #11 (out of 15). I was thinking about how all the people on this podcast overcame their addiction a few years back and how I could’ve as well, and it made me feel awash in regret. This isn’t the only time that I have felt so.

And that’s fine. Through my continued practice of meditation, as well as from my reading about OCD, I am far better now at cutting the thread. I’m going to feel the feeling at times, and there is still plenty of room for me to develop better mindfulness so that the feeling has less of a hold on me when it does emerge—after all, I’ve only been at daily practice for about a year—but the feeling itself only has relevance if I am using it to learn from past mistakes and put what I’ve learned into practice. If I am already doing that, then the feeling is no more than just that. It’s a feeling. A sensation of sorts. I don’t need to attribute additional significance to it, and I definitely don’t need to give it any extra attention.

I went on a drive today on a scenic highway. There are lots of curves on it, which made the drive great fun. Later on, the sun set, and I was driving through this heavily wooded area that was pitch black. Everything above my low beams was darkness, and the scenery exuded this mystical, fantastical ambience. Throw the back to back curves of the road into the mix, and it was like being at an amusement park. Pretty cool stuff.

Before that, I went for a stroll on a trail off that highway. There were cows here and there, and when I reached the end of one part of the trail, I encountered this calf that stood locked in position, transfixed by my presence. I stood in place for a few minutes and just kept staring at it, taking in the sights and smells, which included plenty of cow pies. Not the most pleasant of odors, but just being there and noticing it all was enough. Just experiencing it all was momentarily satisfying. Afterward, I saw the calf trotting behind its mother, playful and full of energy, and it made me remember when it was lost in gaze, presumably interested in this strange, new creature it had encountered. Observing this calf made me think about how nice it would be to have more energy, interest, and enjoyment in the everyday things. And I can. One step at a time.

Trigger / Response Log:
- Too much time in front of the computer -> Went elsewhere to do another task
- Anxiety -> Left the house and went for a drive
- Pressuring myself to finish some tasks -> Went to another part of the house and relaxed

Urges:
Elevated backdrop of urges an hour or two after waking up. The same during the final hours of the evening, but it was a bit stronger than before.

Emotions:
Was hit by some strong anxiety mid-afternoon. Also experienced some regret during the day, as I mentioned in the summary. Felt some irritability after getting back home, and then some emptiness. I embraced the roller coaster. Doesn’t mean I like it. It is what it is.

Cognition:

Garbage! I mean this in the most positive and optimistic way, haha. What this basically meant for my day is that I avoided tasks that required any modicum of cognitive effort. Don't get me started on my verbal fluency. It was like a failed juggling act.

Pain:
The previous two days were pretty painful, so today was surprisingly ok. Nothing too noticeable.

* Something positive / something I did well:
- I stopped by a convenience store at a gas station to use the restroom and decided to buy something after since I used the facility. The person in front of me in line had his card denied, but was trying to buy something he head already prepared, so he just argued with the cashier about it and left. While paying for my items, I offered to cover the cost of the unpaid item, but the cashier declined my offer. Probably a relatively insignificant act, but it felt nice to offer, and I think the cashier felt a bit better after I did so.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 05:46:30 PM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #93 on: October 23, 2019, 04:53:54 AM »
October 22, 2019 - Day 5 (No porn, masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)

Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Today was a difficult day. Not the worst I have experienced during recovery, but it definitely had its fair share of unpleasantness. This was amplified by the fact that someone I live with and with whom I don’t get along at all was generating a lot of friction with me. I still feel good about the day however, because I took it all in stride.

Aside from my daily walks, I didn’t spend any time outside today. Hopefully I’ll have more of a chance to do so tomorrow.

I listened to S02E03 of YBR Radio and encountered a great analogy that I would like to share. It went something like, “There’s no recipe for a porn-free life. You don’t add a dash of cold showers and a dollop of exercise and come out with a porn-free life. It’s more complicated than that.” I think that is one of the key realizations I have gained over the past few months. Not only do we all need our own tailor-made porn recovery paradigm, but we need to be able to adjust various elements of it in order to adapt to whatever life throws at us.

Trigger / Response Log:
Too much time in front of the computer -> relocated to a different area and relaxed
Bothered by someone I don’t get along with -> moved to a different space and let my emotions run their course

Urges:
There were a few sneak attacks here and there, but I immediately snuffed them out every time.

Emotions:
Irritability and frustration throughout the morning and afternoon, but the evening saw things die down and I felt more comfortable.

Cognition:
The Great Brain Fog band gave a live performance with all its members today. Verbal fluency didn’t go to the concert.

Pain:
Alright for most of the day, but I did experience some tight aching during my walk before bed.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Didn’t let my emotions get the best of me

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #94 on: October 24, 2019, 11:27:17 PM »
October 23, 2019
- Day 6 (No porn)
- Day 0 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Writing this the day after, so I can't remember everything, but I'll try my best to recount my experience.

I had two events planned for the day, so my overall time for other tasks was limited, but I was still able to get a lot of what I wanted to finish done. At the close of the day, I was hit by some of those killer tractor-beam urges and was remarkably able to break free. More on that in the urges section.

Now before going to bed, I remembered something I heard Gary Wilson mention when I was listening to YBR Radio S02E04. He said that he noticed that a lot of rebooters who have OCD (though I note he was mostly referring to those that have HOCD or SOOCD, something I do not suffer from) feel that their anxiety goes through the roof when they stop masturbation and porn. He stated that sometimes people with OCD need to occasionally masturbate to alleviate their anxiety, insofar as they stay away from porn and porn fantasy. People like this have to be careful that they don't make things so extreme that they cause themselves problems.

I believe I mentioned this in the opening post of my topic, but I was actually able to live a porn-free--no masturbation and orgasm also--life for about a year from 15-16. Unfortunately, one day, I decided to masturbate, partly out of boredom, partly because it had been a while and thought it could be interesting, and this led to me spiraling back into porn addiction relatively quickly. Because of this, I have always been wary of masturbation, even though I know the real problem here is porn use. In addition, other comments I have heard from other rebooters (including some of the big names like Noah Church) suggested that porn and fantasy-free masturbation isn’t a good idea for those who are really addicted, as the gradient of their slippery slope is just too steep, and the lubricant is already too slippery.

Anyway, having listened to Gary I realized that maybe I had been overly conflating masturbation with porn. And this in turn made me realize I hadn’t tried plain old masturbation in a really long time. There have been a few instances here and there where, after bingeing to porn for a few hours, I would hop into the shower and masturbate to fantasy in an attempt to mix things up. So I considered trying a session of only masturbating and seeing what it was like. I also had experienced some terrible urges earlier, so I thought I might as well utilize this observation and experimentation approach--which has been the driving force behind my recovery as of late--at an early stage and see if porn-free masturbation could be at all useful for me when dealing with urges and anxiety during the recovery process.

So I tried it out, first with just masturbating to sensation, no fantasy. And guess what? As Gabe Deem refers to it, I had a “limp noodle”. I couldn’t get hard at all. I was just tugging on and stroking a continually flaccid penis. Wonder if that qualifies me as having mild PIED? Anyway, that led to me adding a bit more to the mix. I thought I might as well take a two-birds-one-stone approach and see the impact masturbation to fantasy had on me. I started to fantasize about some people I had seen recently in I guess what you would call a sexually romantic, or at least pseudo-romantic way. This did make me feel a bit more into it, but I didn't feel much additional "activation" in my penis. I then transitioned to sexual fantasy, and I did get erect...but it wasn’t all that hard and would diminish with time. It was tough to get my penis hard enough to the point where stroking it would lead to climax (and to maintain that), but I was able to do so. The session probably lasted about 15 minutes.

My thoughts? Well the ostensibly mild PIED I experienced was interesting. I never really identified as having it, and it still doesn't register mentally. Aside from that however, the important realization I gained from the experience is that it's best for me to stick with hard mode. First of all, masturbating didn’t really make me feel any more at ease. Second, I think that sitting with the urge (the sexual tension), coping with it, and getting better and better at doing so is way more valuable then the arguably minimal relief I get from masturbating. Plus, if I masturbate, I am reinforcing the compulsion to fantasize because normal masturbation by sensation didn’t work at all. What's more, I think there is something really useful that only hard mode allows you to develop. This was mentioned in YBR Radio S02E05, and I will expand on this in my second post that covers today's recovery period. Third, it leads to a chaser effect, which I will also elaborate on in today's journal entry.

Basically, long story short, I wanted to experiment with porn-free masturbation to see if there was any utility in it for me, and thought it was best to do so now rather than later because if it lead to relapse, I wouldn’t lose much since my current attempt is still in its infancy. My personal conclusion is that the benefits are minuscule and there are multiple downsides; however, because I ran this experiment, I am going to split my counter into two separate ones for accuracy's sake.

I also want to add that I have seen plenty of accounts of people doing porn-free masturbation to relieve built up tension, saying that they are ok after the fact, only to relapse at some point in the near future. But for all of you who are reading and feel concerned, please don’t worry about me. Porn-free masturbation did make today more difficult, but it didn't impact the stronger sense of trust I have in myself that I mentioned in my 10/19/19 post. In fact, it makes me feel even more empowered, something which I will mention in my later entry.

Trigger / Response Log:

Fatigue -> Going to bed
Being in front of the computer -> Turning the computer and phone off
Wasting time on the internet -> Turning the computer and phone off

Urges:
I felt tense for most of the day because there were two “events” that I had to participate in, which constrained the time I had--and there was plenty I wanted to get done. This feeling didn’t really manifest into any specific urges, but I think the focus I had throughout the day helped me to keep it all in the background as a harmless, inchoate cloud. Fast-forward to the evening and I had finished the second “event”. It was almost 1:00 AM. I was tired, in front of a computer, and mindlessly wasting time looking at random and pointless content on YouTube and the internet. Fatigue, being in front of the computer, and wasting time on the internet are all consistent, strong triggers for me. And they were all concurrent, which multiplied their effect. After thoughtlessly exposing myself to them for around an hour and bouncing around aimlessly on the internet, I encountered a triggering phrase and I just lit up. It’s what I refer to as tractor-beam urges. You know, the ones where you feel you have no agency. You're just a voodoo thrall, a zombie who helplessly submits to and follows whatever the addiction dictates. It's like you have no choice but to relapse.

But suddenly, something just cut through it all like a knife. It was incredible. It was the manifestation of a years-worth of consistent mindfulness practice. The physical sensations were still there. The entirety of the urge was still there. The complete desire to submit and binge was there. But I just felt apart from it all, like I was a spectator. And from the same position, I was able to see the consequences of the binge, of the relapse. I could see my future goals. From there it was simple. I turned off all my internet-accessible devices and went somewhere else. At this point, I realized there was something else that I wanted to experiment with and that I didn’t have to fear it. I just wanted to try it out, monitor it, and evaluate its effects (this refers to the masturbation experiment I mentioned earlier). After that, I went to bed. It was simple, and it was incredible.

Emotions:
Irritability throughout the day, with some anxiety in the evening.

Cognition:
Focus was pretty good, which was pretty refreshing. Everything else felt unchanged (i.e. bad), though I suppose verbal fluency was slightly better than recently.

Pain:
Ok overall

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Learned experientially that the tractor-beam urges are just like every other urge. They can be resisted.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 02:57:44 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #95 on: October 25, 2019, 06:19:41 AM »
October 24, 2019
- Day 7 (No porn)
- Day 1 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)


Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Wow, it’s late and I am super tired. There was a lot I wanted to talk about, but my sleep-deprived brain might not be up for the task.

I did mention in my previous entry that there was something I encountered in YBR Radio S02E05 that expressed how there is something useful that only hard mode allows you to develop. It might not be entirely accurate, but here are some quotes from the podcast that convey what I mean, the first from Mark Queppet and the second from Alexander Rhodes (founder of NoFap).

Quote
Yea, it’s definitely possible. What they call hard-mode—complete abstinence—it’s totally doable. I know because I did it for almost two years. It is really hard in that adaptation phase, but eventually you get better at dealing with it. The most difficult thing is learning how to get comfortable with your emotions, learning how to be present with uncomfortable emotions, because you have that memory of that release, you have that memory of that escape. That can be a tough thing to deal with, but once you get really good at finding other ways of dealing with your pain, learning how to actually accept them and shift your thoughts, what I would call transmute your energy by putting it into other things, finding passion and intimacy for other avenues, that’s when it actually starts getting easier to the point where it’s like "wow I don’t ever want to go back because that old way stunk."

Quote
It’s like you gain an edge in life. It’s kind of like a cheat mode in life.

I think hard mode develops an unshakeable ability to remain porn-free. I’ve seen/heard various accounts of people who are able to successfully kick the habit because they are able to find a partner, only to fall back into porn addiction after breaking up. I don’t want to predicate my recovery on anything else. I want to make sure that alone or in a relationship, happy or sad, energetic or tired, you name it, my recovery is a foundational component of myself at my core.

I also mentioned the chaser effect and an increased feeling of empowerment. I’ll write about this in the urges section.

Trigger / Response Log:

Feeling frustrated -> Stopping what I was doing and relocating
Adding more tasks to my plate -> Focusing more on the original tasks I was trying to accomplish
Remembering that I masturbated the day before -> Recognizing what happened and not attributing any additional significance to it

Urges:

I’m just going to talk about one particular urge here. It was another one of those tractor-beam urges. Insane! Two days in a row with these streak-destroying urges. The type where you just “know” you are going to relapse. Right then and there in the moment. I would say this was definitely influenced by the chaser effect of my experimental session that I mentioned in my previous entry. Definitely not something I would want to go through again, which lets me know that while I am not worried about that session, masturbation is just not worth it to me, in addition to the other points I mentioned.

But yea, it was empowering, because, for two days in a row, I was able to mindfully just disconnect from the tractor-beam urges. And when I disconnected from the one I felt today, even though I was experientially feeling the same thing during all those previous times where I was past the point of no return, I was simultaneously able to see the cycle of relapse and remission—this seemingly infinite hell I’ve been stuck in for all these years, as well as my future hopes and dreams. And the choice was so easy. The whole experience was incredible. It really signified a fundamental shift from within. I still have my fair share of suffering to go through, with all the urges and withdrawal symptoms to come. But the future choice I will make is a given. Either stay in a self-destructive cycle or live a life worth living. The choice is a simple one that I know I can snap into each and every time. For this alone, I am forever grateful for that which I have learned through meditation. So let the suffering begin. I’ll take it all as it comes.

Emotions:
Experienced some irritation and frustration earlier in the afternoon. Then a great sense of elation when I overcame the incredible urge I felt later on.

Cognition:
More of the same

Pain:
The pain down there was definitely sharper today. Another reason to lay off the stimulation until I recover enough and see a urologist.

* Something positive / something I did well:
- Cutting through the all-encompassing veil that urges can cast over the mind
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 02:57:53 AM by NewStart04 »

switcheroc

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #96 on: October 25, 2019, 10:29:01 AM »
Hi NewStart04, thanks for dropping by my log earlier.

Have you considered getting a girlfriend to help you through your porn-free quest? Getting off porn means you will be rewiring your brain back to its natural attraction, which is towards real women and real sexual experiences. You will crave this, and you have craved this, having read through your logs. If you had a woman, you could at least relieve those urges, instead of seeking an alternate release, i.e. porn.

I know that in my log I wrote that I discovered that even having multiple sexual partners did not make me averse to porn, but I also consider that back then, I wasn't seriously trying to quit either. Now, I'm seriously quitting, 1 week PMO-free now with zero urges, might be having sex tomorrow with the wife, but I am feeling better and more comfortable with her.

Who knows, the right woman might help you with your other problems as well.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #97 on: October 26, 2019, 02:56:27 AM »
October 25, 2019
- Day 8 (No porn)
- Day 2 (No masturbation, orgasm, or intentional fantasy)

Remarks/Summary of the Day:
Up late yet again, tired and need to wake up early tomorrow. In short, today was fine but nondescript.

Trigger / Response Log:

Didn’t track them today.

Urges:
Moderate urges throughout the day. Gave them no quarter!

Emotions:

Irritability again. A bit short-tempered.

Cognition:

Slow.

Pain:
Bad same as yesterday. Here’s to hoping tomorrow is different.

* Something positive / something I did well:

- Got things ready for tomorrow’s plan

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #98 on: October 26, 2019, 03:14:44 AM »
switcheroc

Congratulations on the first week off! I hope that your time with your wife tomorrow turns out to be a better experience than usual. Whenever I read about people rebooting in relationships, I always think about how awesome the potential benefits are. Not only is the rebooter improving, but other people also have access to this improved version of the rebooter.

I mentioned this in my Oct. 24 entry, but I am gunning for hard mode at the moment. Put simply, I want to make sure that my house is in order before involving someone else, and I also want to create a resiliency that can exist regardless of what my future circumstances may be. I had a fundamental breakthrough recently that demonstrated to me that I can handle whatever urges are thrown my way, but of course I still want to avoid any unnecessary ones. It's still too early on for me to sound convincing, so it's up to me to keep stacking the days to prove it. I gladly accept the challenge though. Seeing the vistas available after breaking the cycle is an extremely invigorating prospect for me. I can tap into that now when hit by those streak-ending urges. It was a long journey though.

Definitely not opposed to relationships in the long-run however ; )

Thanks for stopping by. Best of luck with your reboot! You and your wife are worth the best you have to offer.
 

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #99 on: October 26, 2019, 10:49:36 AM »
You're gonna coast through this, dude, easy peasy! ;)