Author Topic: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety  (Read 140 times)

Remington.22

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Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« on: October 08, 2019, 09:53:54 AM »
Hi Everyone,

Today marks exactly one & a half years (April 8, 2018) since I've looked at porn. I've always meant to be a more regular poster & participant here but life happens, time runs out,..yadda. Sorry about that. But I thought I'd post some thoughts on this my 18-month anniversary to try and encourage those still struggling. Main thought being - IT CAN BE DONE. You don't have to be a slave to this demon.

I'm a 54 y/o, married 25 years, 3 kids male. Like many others I began dabbling in porn at 13 or 14 when we figured out where certain kids in the neighborhood's dads kept their magazine stash. On to renting VHS tapes (and tape players!), into the wed/information age, cycle of PMO > I hate this, I quit > fail again. This went on for 40 years. 4/8/2018 I said, "That's it, I'm done. This is not stronger than me, I can do this." I'd read "Whack", got into the science of it and believed in the power of getting to 90-days clean. Un-burning those neuropathways and starving the beast of its dopamine.

It worked. 30 days became 90, 90 became 120. 120 became 365. Here I am.

It has lost its grip on me. I'm on the web all day every day + travel periodically for business. I have no monitoring or filtering software on any of my computers or connected devices, I check into and out of hotels completely and totally by myself. This is truly not to boast and I hope its not coming off that way, I'm just saying -- IT CAN BE DONE.  I am living proof. I wasn't just a 'sort of' addict, I was full blown. There is an escape. I've lurked the forum from time-to-time for another reason, tho its perhaps a bit assbackwards.

Just as I, thru success, hope to inspire those who are failing; those of you who fail are inspiring to me! When I read your accounts of relapse they invariably describe how crappy, depressed and like dog meat you feel when you break the string --be it at 10 days, 50 days or whatev-- and I tell myself, "I don't want to experience that!"  If that makes sense. Anytime an urge comes up to view porn I tell myself just what loser/failure/piece of crap I'll feel like if after 548 days I blow it. So, without knowing it, those of you still trapped in the " x days sober > PMO > damn it!! " circle have helped propel ME to success.

Hope this is rec'd as intended. Brothers (& sisters) ---> THIS CAN BE DONE


hooked on monkey fonics

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 10:32:50 AM »
Congrats on making it this far, I'm glad to hear people are still succeeding in this. However, if i'm being honest your post doesn't really contain any insight whatsoever. Of course we all know that "it can be done" no one is questioning that. For many people the question is: how?

The more I read about people who have succesfully recovered the more I am convinced free will plays no role. The pattern I see is a constant struggle for many years until one day they suddenly "wake up". There never seems to be a real explaination for why they suddenly had this change in mindset. It seems as though that by relapsing countless times and continually getting back on the horse, incremental progress will be made slowly, and eventually you may succeed for ultimately mysterious reasons. I don't think it's accurate to say that someone one day just decides to quit, obviously they've been meaning to quit for a long time. The question is, why did it take them 5, 10, 20 years?

Why does this "enough" feeling finally stick in the mind? Maybe it's compounded disgust and disdain, maybe hope - no one really has an answer. It's not human will, I'll tell you that. All I can say is that persistence is the only way to recover.

Thanks for sharing.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 11:31:02 AM by hooked on monkey fonics »

Remington.22

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 11:13:58 AM »
Not really sure how to address your comments, Monkey. "One day wake up and say 'enough", and, "It's not human will" would seem to be contradictory. I'm not sure what insights you're looking for, what you've typed is pretty much exactly my experience - countless relapses & getting back on the horse and eventually coming to the "enough" moment. For me yes it was disgust, disdain and wearing of keeping the secret, i.e., living a double life. I simply don't understand what you're fishing for. Or perhaps you're right in that "no one has an answer." 

hooked on monkey fonics

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 11:19:40 AM »
Not really sure how to address your comments, Monkey. "One day wake up and say 'enough", and, "It's not human will" would seem to be contradictory. I'm not sure what insights you're looking for, what you've typed is pretty much exactly my experience - countless relapses & getting back on the horse and eventually coming to the "enough" moment. For me yes it was disgust, disdain and wearing of keeping the secret, i.e., living a double life. I simply don't understand what you're fishing for. Or perhaps you're right in that "no one has an answer."

I don't think it's contradictory. My point is that no one seems to to know why they suddenly say "enough" and see it actually stick beyond a few days or weeks. It's obviously not human will because pretty much everyone in recovery starts out by saying "I know will never PMO again", only to do it 2 weeks later, completely shocked at themselves. Then they repeat this process dozens, if not hundreds of times.

For me, the only insight to be found comes from analyzing your environmental triggers. Diet, sleep, exercise, drug use, relationships, stress management, etc. These things rarely seem to be discussed yet I think they are the only thing that you can actually control.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 11:33:26 AM by hooked on monkey fonics »

Chuck Shurley

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2019, 02:01:21 PM »

I don't think it's contradictory. My point is that no one seems to to know why they suddenly say "enough" and see it actually stick beyond a few days or weeks. It's obviously not human will because pretty much everyone in recovery starts out by saying "I know will never PMO again", only to do it 2 weeks later, completely shocked at themselves. Then they repeat this process dozens, if not hundreds of times.

For me, the only insight to be found comes from analyzing your environmental triggers. Diet, sleep, exercise, drug use, relationships, stress management, etc. These things rarely seem to be discussed yet I think they are the only thing that you can actually control.

You're ignoring the possibility of willpower and sheer determination.

Not everyone has the same threshold, which explains why people falter. External factors may trigger a relapse. It happens in all walks of life. A stressful day at work may trigger someone to binge on fast food, or another may stick to their healthy eating. It's not necessarily a mystical reasoning.

And if people relapse, they can then in turn blame something above human will for their inability to abstain from PMO. It can work both ways.


Day 24 COMPLETED

DoneAtLast

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2019, 10:47:08 PM »
Congratulations!  Our time frames aren't far off, and I relate to much of what you said.  October 17, 2017 was my day, so I'm approaching the two year mark.

I can vividly remember the day when I said "I don't want to do this anymore" and it lost its taste for me.  I was having good streaks that would eventually fail.  I was in the midst of one of my best streaks, when I was having a bad day.  I watched some stuff on Netflix, and although PG rated, a MAJOR trigger came on the screen.  My heart rate increased, I figured "well, this is relapse time I guess..." I went into the other room to my computer, and even had the URL typed out for my first go-to site.  My blocker was deactivated, and I was ready to go.  I just froze and stared at the screen.  After a while I just said to myself "this isn't what I want to be doing right now".  I closed the browser window, went back into the other room, and finished my show.  I haven't relapsed since that night, and that "streak" is now going on two years.

That moment didn't come randomly, and it didn't come first try.  It was a long time coming, a lot of educating myself, a lot of soberly understanding the effects of porn, a lot of figuring out my triggers, a lot of figuring out why I became so emotionally attached to something I hated.  Our willpower is like an atrophied muscle, and we slowly build it up.  Physiologically, this isn't that far from the truth.  The prefrontal cortex actually diminishes (hypofrontality) which leads to impulsiveness and lack of executive function.  In fact, I'd say I first started taking rebooting seriously after seeing Gary Wilson's Tedx video for the first time which was probably around 2011.  So, there's six years (give or take) of half hearted wanting to quit.  I really upped my game and made it a daily concern to try to quit around December 2016, so there's still more than a year of starting and stopping, relapses and getting back up. 

So, the free will/free choice question is, to me, a great paradox when we deal with addiction.  Simultaneously every time we engage in an addictive behavior we are being controlled and we acting of our own will.  I know it sounds like a cop-out answer, but I've spent a LOT of time trying to figure it out, and I can only make sense of it by understanding it as a paradox.  We are at once both in control and not in control. 

Thanks for posting, Remington.  I too came back here after hitting my stride with the reboot.  I remembered coming to these boards and finding it a bit discouraging that it was populated only with people who found it impossible to quit.  The truth is people CAN quit, but the posts on the board didn't reflect that.  We need these witnesses and testimonials that it can happen!

Chuck Shurley

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 11:55:18 AM »
@DoneAtLast,

There's many posts on Reddit, NoFap, and other independent sites full of success stories, not just this one. There's also hundreds of videos on Youtube of success stories.

It just takes a few minutes to find them. If there weren't, no one would bother trying it.
Day 24 COMPLETED

DoneAtLast

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 08:54:09 PM »
@DoneAtLast,

There's many posts on Reddit, NoFap, and other independent sites full of success stories, not just this one. There's also hundreds of videos on Youtube of success stories.

It just takes a few minutes to find them. If there weren't, no one would bother trying it.

I get that.  But, when people come here feeling down about a relapse or discouraged by withdrawals, it is good to see the success stories mixed in with everything else.  I also think it is helpful when those who have quit can come by and talk to people who are trying to quit.  There's some real perspective to be had when you're away from it for a while that can be really valuable.

Remington.22

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Re: Today = 548 days/18 months of pure sobriety
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2019, 11:46:40 PM »
Thanks Done, and my congrats to you as well. Yup, reading your post its as if I wrote it.  "emotionally attached to something I hated" is the most fascinating, inexplicable phenomenon but one we can all identify with. Its frankly,...bizarre. I personally wouldn't say there is no willpower whatsoever involved in winning this war, in fact I'd argue the exact opposite. But the or a purpose of this forum, imho, is not to sit around and debate. So I'll respectfully disagree with my brother on that point.