Author Topic: A Better Tomorrow  (Read 9475 times)

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #125 on: June 18, 2020, 10:02:42 PM »
I came across a poem today by David Whyte called The Journey. There was one stanza that caught my attention and made me think about addiction and recovery. I’ve included it below:

“Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes
of your life”

That’s all for today.

Take care
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 10:44:55 AM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #126 on: June 19, 2020, 11:56:46 PM »
Things were overall ok today on the PMO front. I did have a short period where I entered yellow/light orange territory, so I relocated and calmed down before proceeding with the rest of my day.

Hope everyone had a nice, PMO-free day. And if you didn’t, well there’s always tomorrow to get back in the saddle and resume your journey.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #127 on: June 20, 2020, 08:46:43 PM »
Well, today was thankfully light with the urges and withdrawals, and this is taking into account that I was somewhat sleep-deprived (consistent trigger) throughout the day because I stayed up late to check in on someone who was having a difficult night.

I have been getting a lot better about turning off my IADs at a certain point in the day and putting them away in a more distant, difficult-to-access area of the house. My goal is to consistently do so by 7:00, and I am pretty close to that target today. It feels good.

Best wishes to all those reading.

Take care

Orbiter

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #128 on: June 20, 2020, 09:32:40 PM »
Keeping the IADs away at night was something it took me far too long to take seriously. It's not until you do that you realise how essential it is yes? 7pm is a good goal. I've been thinking of doing the same except aiming for 8pm.

Keep up the good work NewStart04, looking forward to more entries.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #129 on: June 21, 2020, 10:18:55 PM »
Orbiter

Thanks for stopping by.

As you'll see in my subsequent post, turning off IADs earlier in the day and putting them away in a difficult to access location can be a real lifesaver.

I wish you the best of luck with implementing your own approach. It's one of those things that can really make a difference.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #130 on: June 21, 2020, 10:19:14 PM »
Well, I have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is that I relapsed. The good news is that it was short and only to fantasy. I attribute this to my habit of turning off IADs early and putting them away. I would say the main cause of my relapse was a bad esophageal attack I had in the middle of the night (it's been a while since I've had one) accompanied by some gut pain. I'm not pleased, but I'm not devastated.

Some readers may notice that I haven't made any mention of how many days I was PMO-free. This is because I have tried to distance myself from thinking about counters and streaks and instead focus on urges and withdrawals whenever they happen. What matters to me is dealing with the present, and thinking about streaks and counters can pull me away from that.

From here on though, if someone is interested in how far along I am, they can just use this post as my Day 0 so to speak. Although that would be for FMO. I haven't looked at porn for longer.

I'm pretty tired today, what with the lack of sleep from the midnight attack, spending a few hours outside at a picnic and getting a little sunburned, and then heading back home to do a lot of cleaning I had been neglecting. Going to turn off my IADs after posting this, shower up, and slowly get ready for bed.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #131 on: June 22, 2020, 08:29:21 PM »
Today overall was fine. Had some minor-moderate urges here and there, but was in control the whole time. I did decide to take a break from caffeine to once again explore what the long term benefits are. We’ll see how far I make it, but what this meant for today was a ton of crappy headaches. I think this plus some of the negative thoughts/feelings I was having about myself led to the urges, but either way I’m glad I didn’t buckle and give in to fantasy.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #132 on: June 23, 2020, 10:57:06 PM »
Another relapse-free day.

Because of some unexpected circumstances, I unfortunately had to finish some things up on my computer later than I would have liked, and thus violated my cutoff time for IAD use. No surprise here, but using them late in the day made me feel triggered. I would say orange-zone level urges. Because of that, today's post will be short because I want to turn them off ASAP.

Hope everyone else sailed through their day PMO-free.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #133 on: June 24, 2020, 09:21:13 PM »
Another day down.

Made sure not to make the same risky mistake today by putting my schedule in place beforehand so that I wouldn’t have to use my IADs in the evening. In my experience, some things are so risky that complete elimination is what you want to aim for. Last night, although relapse/slip free, was a difficult but useful learning experience.

As for urges, I think they were overall worse today then yesterday. Spent some time outside, which I haven’t been doing much of with the pandemic, and boy did I underestimate my mental readiness toward ogling. I was doing a pretty poor job, and while many body parts were catching my attention, it was the butts that were really grabbing my attention for some reason. Regardless, I view this as a learning experience, because it informed me that refraining from ogling is more difficult than I originally thought. From here on, I will create a little pocket of time before going out to mentally prepare myself so that I can keep my eyes on the prize of recovery and off of women’s bodies.

All in all I’m alright though. My computer has been giving me problems for years, and it’s finally time to move on to a new device. The new one arrives soon, but it’ll be subject to the same rules I have for IAD use. I’m really looking forward to having a reliable machine that doesn’t frustrate me on a regular basis. One less trigger causing stressor, which is an additional plus.

Hope everyone reading did their best trying to stay PMO-free today. If not, I hope you all learned something you can utilize on the next attempt.

Take care

Icandoit

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #134 on: June 25, 2020, 01:01:13 PM »
That's right. No matter how well you manage to stay away from intentionally finding triggers, there are always those triggers that show up unintentionally and having a strategy for this is crucial too. What you said about being in public it's a problem for me too. And also the porn that plays in my head. I would say those 2 bother me the most cause I can stay away from watching anything. I know how to deal with things that I see unintentionally online too but if I have to pick one, the porn in my head is the biggest problem because it makes me crave porn like I've been thirsty for a week. When I relapse, it's usually because of this. That voice in my head, coming from my addicted brain, then tries to convince me that a little bit is not a problem.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #135 on: June 25, 2020, 11:21:43 PM »
Icandoit

I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve been experiencing with the porn in your head. More specifically though, are you referring to porn flashbacks or porn-inspired sexual fantasies?  In my case, the latter is far more the problem than the former, although I will suffer from a flashback every now and then.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 11:24:30 PM by NewStart04 »

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #136 on: June 25, 2020, 11:22:14 PM »
Today was tough, but I’m still PMO-free.

Last night, some time after my writing my previous post, I was trying to fall asleep when I overheard a bad fight going on between the people I live with. So, after some deliberation, I got out of bed and successfully deescalated the situation. The experience left a sour taste in my mouth however, significantly affecting my mood and delaying the time I went to bed.

As a result, I felt pretty crappy physically and mentally when I woke up this morning. Still managed to get up pretty close to when I normally do, but this malaise sat with me during the early hours of the day. Luckily, I was okay with urges at this point, but from late morning to mid-afternoon, I was repeatedly battered by urges begging me to fantasize. While many images and scenarios flitted in my mind, I was essentially able to make it through them all without engaging them (although I did dwell on them from time to time for a few seconds). From mid to late afternoon, I spent my time outside and did better with ogling than yesterday, despite the fact that I forgot to make a pocket of time before leaving to get myself ready and be more mindful about my eyes and where they fall when outdoors. I think I won’t forget the next time this happens, but I’m just pleased I did better than yesterday.

Lastly, in the evening, something really frustrating happened (probably amplified by withdrawals), which made me just want to drop my drawers and quickly bust a load to some porn. But I knew this wasn’t really the path I want to follow, so I relocated and set some time aside to calm down. And I did. Another day down.

Wishing all those reading the best with their recovery journey.

Take care

Icandoit

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #137 on: June 26, 2020, 04:20:56 AM »
Icandoit

I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve been experiencing with the porn in your head. More specifically though, are you referring to porn flashbacks or porn-inspired sexual fantasies?  In my case, the latter is far more the problem than the former, although I will suffer from a flashback every now and then.

I think I'm bothered more by the fantasies I've developed for myself. They made me have mad urges and then the craving for watching porn is strong.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #138 on: June 27, 2020, 09:47:01 PM »
Icandoit

Hang in there. Progress may not be immediate, but it is definitely worth it.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #139 on: June 27, 2020, 09:47:26 PM »
Unfortunately...

I relapsed yesterday. While I am not pleased with what happened, I am pleasantly surprised with my observations.

The session itself was 60/40 digital content (mostly erotic images with a little porn) and fantasy. The second part was fantasy because I knew that if I continued looking at porn it would just be click after click down a seemingly endless novelty spiral. While the session was definitely a heavy binge compared to what has become my new normal over the past couple of months, it was still comparably shorter than what used to be my average duration. What’s more, if I compared the amount of content I viewed during this relapse to an old relapse of mine of the same duration, then the amount of content viewed per a fixed unit of time would be considerably less. Also, whereas I would usually binge until oblivion and then pass out during the wee hours of the next day, this time I finished my session before the hour I would normally expect myself in bed. Lastly, before going to sleep I did manage to tidy up my living space and finish a few minor tasks before going to bed, which was basically unheard-of with the old way things were.

In short, looking on the bright side, I strangely feel halfway decent about how things turned out. Like this was a worst-case scenario binge, yet it is objectively and noticeably better than my old normal. Gotta love progress.

I don’t want to forget to mention what led to this relapse. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t uphold my shut-down/put-away time for IADs. This is something that I haven’t fully upheld from time to time, and while I have made it through without relapse, every time it put me closer to or directly in the danger-zone (what I like to call the “red-zone”). This has taught me an important lesson, one that is easy to uphold. I WILL always turn off and put away my IADs by my cutoff time, with the only exception being a legitimate emergency (i.e. someone is severely injured/dying etc.) I have built up a lifestyle that has made this possible, and have been able to uphold it for the most part. But it needs to absolute. And that’s something I can do.

So with that, I wish everyone a good night. Back in the saddle again with clear vision. My destination is far off, but I know where I’m going. To a better tomorrow ; )

Take care

imsorrynotsorry

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #140 on: June 28, 2020, 04:33:13 PM »
Hello NewStart04,

Quote
In short, looking on the bright side, I strangely feel halfway decent about how things turned out. Like this was a worst-case scenario binge, yet it is objectively and noticeably better than my old normal. Gotta love progress.

I had to smile a bit, because i found myself in this.
Before i turned into hardmode i felt quite good about my progress of not watching daily and when PMO'd, then only in quick sessions. At some point i only allowed one video per session, just to have some control over it. Strangely it worked with me for a while and just to a place where i was able to have sex with the GF and watch P from time to time (which is nothing good, not proud of).

See you in the saddle!

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #141 on: June 28, 2020, 08:37:18 PM »
imsorrynotsorry

Always aiming for the time when never again becomes a reality, but I’m glad that I’m better at reframing experience to help get me to that point instead of getting lost in it and losing my perspective.

Wishing you all the best with your recovery journey.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #142 on: June 28, 2020, 08:37:32 PM »
This post is going to be a short one.

Today was pretty good on the PMO-front, and I upheld my shutdown time for IADs. Only a few urges here and there.

Gotta be thankful for the easier days.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #143 on: June 29, 2020, 09:00:25 PM »
Another day down. Was pretty good at controlling ogling when I was running errands. Not perfect, but much better than last week.

Urges weren’t light, but nothing too bad. Felt some irritation, but it was relatively minor. Had a porn flashback or two from the last relapse, but didn’t engage.

To all those reading, keep up the good fight.

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #144 on: June 30, 2020, 08:31:01 PM »
Had a huge stressor spread out over a long period of time today that kept generating more and more frustration. Not saying it’s justified, but I had a FMO session that was under 10 minutes to try and make it easier to get through the rest of my task. It did make dealing with the rest of it easier overall, but I’m still not happy I did it. Aside from that, the day was okay. Time to turn off my IADs.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #145 on: July 01, 2020, 09:32:44 PM »
Just posting to say today ended without incident. As mentioned earlier in my topic, since it is more beneficial for me to look at recovery as a long-term process that has ups and downs, I am no longer that interested in looking at my addiction as how many days since I've last looked at porn, masturbated etc. That being said, this information may be of interest to those reading, so I have decided to start using the day counter in my signature again, starting from my last FMO session yesterday.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #146 on: July 02, 2020, 10:53:03 PM »
Today was a good day for all things PMO-related. No slips. No relapses. I've been busier than normal and a bit overwhelmed for the past seven days or so. Hopefully things will start easing up a little sometime soon.

My new computer arrived two days ago, and I finally finished doing everything (and I mean everything, even to the most inconsequential detail haha) to get it set up.

Watched The Reboot Nation's new video on the flatline. Make sure to check it out if you're interested about the topic. I personally have never really experienced it, but I am one of those people who would actually welcome it for an extended period of time (using the definition flatline = little to no libido). I do empathize with those that experience a considerable amount of suffering from it though.

Noah Church uploaded his most recent livestream a few days back. I'm looking forward to watching it soon.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #147 on: July 03, 2020, 08:16:36 PM »
I had the worst night of sleep in recent memory last night, and this led to me sleeping in pretty late today. I haven't mentioned it much in this topic, but I have made incredible strides with my sleep schedule over these past few months to the point where it's consistently the best it's ever been in my entire life. The process has been hard and difficult, but waking up late in the day after having not done so for so long--while unpleasant and upsetting--has been a good experience in that it has shown me how far I have progressed and how a colossal setback like this hardly even dents what I've worked so hard on building up. I think there is a good analogy to be found here with porn recovery.

I've also been thinking a lot about objectification, and how this term is often used in a limited manner to refer things like genitals, musculature, weight, etc., but it seems to me to that it is hardly ever applied to an important part of the body that--on a physical level--really isn't any different: the face. I really want to elaborate on this, but the clock's ticking. Maybe tomorrow.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #148 on: July 04, 2020, 10:24:34 PM »
Another day PMO-free. Lots of negative thought patterns cycling through my head (not only today...I need to keep improving my ability to identify and rewire to more productive thoughts...they're really toxic), but no relapses or slips.

Take care

NewStart04

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Re: A Better Tomorrow
« Reply #149 on: July 05, 2020, 09:15:52 PM »
Without going into detail, last night was a complete nightmare for me (not PMO related). I've tried to take steps today to make up for the damage I caused yesterday, and thankfully it appears to be a good start. Suffice it to say, this incident didn't cause me to relapse, and I am still going strong on the path of recovery since my last relapse. But last night really was a disaster. I'm going to try my best to maintain stability and keep working on my life as I have been: slowly and consistently, without losing hope for a better tomorrow.

Take care