Author Topic: Covid - an inflection point?  (Read 9931 times)

UKGuy

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Covid - an inflection point?
« on: April 06, 2020, 07:38:34 AM »
Hello everyone,

I read a message on LinkedIn this weekend which basically pointed to the fact that if you come out of the Covid crisis the same as you went into it, then that represents a significant lost opportunity. An opportunity to learn (maybe a new skill), to grow, to get perspective on what's important etc. For my part, I have decided that for me, the primary opportunity is for me to finally tackle, and overcome my 30+ year addiction to pornography, and that is why I am here.

I've been to this site before (but not really participated), am familiar with Gary's work - read his book, watched TED etc. I also am a regular listener to the Porn Free radio podcast. I get all the theory. I meditate. But I relapse. Often. My theory is that the one ingredient that I miss out on, and that I believe has come between me and more success in managing my behaviour, is the contact with others - the openness, honesty, mutual accountability and support. I'm too proud presently to attend SA meetings, although have actively considered it. I guess in any case, that's not an option at the moment anyway due to movement restrictions! So I have committed to myself that I will share myself here to you, and in turn I will do my best to support you where and when I can. So hello!

I am 47, live in the UK, have a happy marriage and family life. I have also been using porn since my teenage years. I wouldn't describe myself as a high frequency user - probably on average once a week, but those occasions are usually binges. Multi hour - most of the day sometimes. I have lost countless nights sleep still 'wired', mornings with foggy head, spent days feeling guilty, and had so many 'new dawns' that I have truly lost count. My longest 'streak' is around 60 days or so. Today I am on day 2.

I have been open with my wife to a point. She is very understanding and helps me with practical support at my request regarding wifi filters, passwords on app store etc.

However, there is one key aspect that I have keep from her - out of shame and fear. This is that my stimulation of choice for the past years has been less visual porn, and more chat apps. I stumbled across this at first, but found the social interaction aspect with a real human being to be a big draw for me personally. I don't know any of these people, certainly would never want to meet them, but end up involved in explicit exchanges and role plays which if re-read in the cold light of day are disgusting and completely contrary to my values. This is the source of my guilt, and often fear (that one day those transcripts will reappear in some big hack!) and ruin me, and everything that I have. In many respects I am leading a duplicitous life which causes me and others pain. I want to stop it. For good. Not just to allay the fear, but to live to my potential. To do good, not harm. To be them same outside an inside. To be authentic, faithful and honest.

My plan is to check in minimum weekly, to be honest about my progress, and to hopefully receive some support, and in turn offer some to you. I'd love to find an accountability partner at some point (preferably in UK for time zone reasons), but am happy to see how things unfold and hopefully find a connection or two through journaling in the first instance.

So that's me. Please do say hi, particularly if any of the above resonates with you. Stay safe, and stay porn free!

Best wishes

UKGuy

« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 08:41:25 AM by UKGuy »

joepanic

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2020, 09:22:38 AM »
Hey UkGuy

               Welcome to the  fight.

 I read your whole posting and it really resonates with me  especially the section on the issue with chat.  That was my problem too which was larger than  typically porn itself  I have essentially kicked both Now at around 115 days clean(I would have to refer to my journal to  see the exact date.  Many of the things you say apply to me..   the chats you partake in and look back on in discust   the worry there may be transcripts  somewhere exc  I feared all these things too  but not so much anymore.  Much is made here regarding  disclosing  our addictions to our wives.  I chose not to  and have successfully  beaten my addiction.  I was a fairly high functioning addict as in I never experienced pied  I had regular sex withn my wife   went to work  partook in everyday life for the most part.  There is much on the topic in my journal  from others here including partners who let their  opinions be known on my journal   I welcome it all . If you choose to not reveal your chat problem to your wife you will have my support in your fight as the premise of reboot nation is to kick our addictions and not debate the relationship dynamics.  On the home page it states "We help people reboot their brains with encouragement and education. Reboot is a complete rest from artificial sexual stimulation (i.e. pornography)".  I do  not  tell anyone they are wrong in the decisions they make.  If you chose to reveal it to your wife you will also get equal  support from me.   The decisions you make must be yours and be based on what it will take to  get clean.  Than any other work can commence.  I'll start by sharing  a few of the stratagies I employed  in my fight.  Some you may find usefull some not  some may seem unorthodox  but all helped me greatly

   1  We all know we weant to stop   I reiforced it by  when i was  driving in my car alone  on my way to work or  back home or  just anywhere and thinking about it  I would sometimes  allow myself to get angry that I was a porn addict  and yell at it  as if it was another person  I would tyell it off with  statements like  "I dont need you   You dont control me  I going to #$%@#%$  leave you behind aas I am stronger than you.  when I was back home I would remember  doing that  and it reminded me that I was building some strength to  beat the addiction

   2  I put great value in small victories  I would look forwartd to little milestones  5 days clean so only 2 more and I have a week clean.  I did not think about the 90 days as that was a long time for anyt porn/chat addict.  If I relapsed after  a week  I knew If I stareted again  that  the 5 days was not a long time to quickly re ach again  followed by the week and I would say Ill grab the extra day  for 8 days  now its ony 2 days till 10 days clean  a new record.  I found  winning little victories like this  to be akin to tyraining for a running marathon.  You dont just decide to run 26 miles  you start with one  and you add to it over time

    The final note is of course to read lots and eductae yourself and decide why you want to quit  and what  you want out of life  which it looks like you have  begin putting those ideas into play

   cheers and good luck

    Post often it helps me it helps you

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 07:30:52 AM »
Thanks very much taking the time to respond Joe. I appreciate it. I've had a look at your journal, and yes - there appear to be lots of similarities in our journey which is encouraging for me. I function completely normally - no PIED etc, and my motivation for wanting to move on in life (after c3 decade of going around in circles) is very similar to your own. I can't imagine there are many people who, on their deathbed say "I wish I'd have spent more time masturbating"!! Congratulations on your own successes and in particular the fact that you choose to remain active on here, encouraging others. I can tell by your excellent footnote (post often it helps me it helps you) that it helps you to do this - a true 'win-win'. The good news is that I am day 4 - not necessarily a big achievement as I usually relapse after 7 or 14 days, but I have resolve, and am happy to be involved in this community. Thanks for your support and look forward to the journey ahead together.

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 09:43:01 AM »
My thoughts on chat rooms (Linking for journal purposes):

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=18294.0

jixu

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2020, 07:30:37 AM »
Best wishes as you come upon the "7 to 14" days that you mentioned.  I tend to be more on the introvert side I guess so I can't totally relate to some of the stuff you wrote but I think the solution is the same-stay away from triggers and keep going, even in the midst of struggles and mishaps.   Take care!     

joepanic

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2020, 07:42:08 AM »
Hey UKGuy

   how are ya making out  did ya reach the small victory of day 5  remember its only 2 days than to a week clean.  I saw you posted on mine this morning  but you havent posted on yours   Its so important to post weather you have another clean day or a relapse so you can air your mind of what might have led you to it   and we can encourage you to get up and start again.  Lets always keep the conversation going

  cheers

    Post ofton it helps me it helps you

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 03:28:18 PM »
Thanks for the feedback and interest Jixu and Joe. Yes, I made day 7. Today was a challenge, largely as two of my 'triggers' were in play - 1) I was hungover and 2) I'd had a disagreement with my wife. However I fortunately had a number of commitments which helped me fill the day - it would have been a real challenge to have carved out time to 'act out'. I do feel that the desire to act out builds in me, and its great to come here and get my thoughts down as a way to neutralise the flames. Stay strong everyone.

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2020, 04:46:34 PM »
Hi UKGuy!

Your story really resonates with me with the confiding with the wife and the chat thing.. (for me personal were random chat sites).. But I feel what you're saying.. especially when you think/read back later that it's not how you want to be as a person. Its so guilt infusing.
What made you not tell your wife this aspect? Is it shame, fear of her losing you, fear of her losing respect? I'm not suggesting you should tell her, but more that those questions could maybe help you understand your shame/fear!

Im looking forward to reading your progress on her man.

I'm rooting for you.
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2020, 09:38:42 AM »
Hi Shade,
Thank for taking an interest in my journey. That's what I love about this community and find it such a help.
Why did I choose to not tell her? Good question....
My wife has known about my struggle with porn for years (20+), and also my ongoing determination to beat it. She helps with filters, always knows when I've acted out (well, 8/10 times) - I think I have a guilty face! I think she also knows that I'm a little bit OCD - not diagnosed or anything, but I'm the type of guy that has high expectations and sets rules for myself. E.g.: I religiously count my alcohol units, I HAVE to do my exercise or feel bad etc. I think she sometimes views my determination to stop the porn as an extension of these behaviours rather than it being a bad thing that upsets her. She's a very forgiving person. I did confess a chat type issue to her 9 years ago that was wracking me with guilt, and she was super supportive and we've never spoken about it since. What she doesn't know however is that over the past years this aspect of my behaviour (chat) has developed and has become the dominant aspect of my porn use. Other than the issue 9 years ago, we've never spoken about specifics. So why not tell her? Well, I guess my primary goal is to quit chat (and porn). If I tell her, then yes, it will hurt her (I don't want this), and yes, I think she may thing less of me, and yes, she may trust me less in the future. So the way I look at it, that is a cost (to her and me), and the only reason therefore to do this is if there was a corresponding benefit. The only possible benefit I can see is telling her is if doing so helps me stop for good (this benefits me, her, the kids). I have been trying and failing for so long (had a streak of nearly 60 days a few years ago, and a 28 last year but typically I get stuck at around day 14. I listen quite often to PornFree Radio which is great, and came to realise that the only thing missing from my toolkit was a connection with other people - people in the same situation, accountability partners etc. So I chose to come here for that (only 2 weeks ago), rather than just confessing all to her. My theory is, that if I can beat it with the help of you guys and without the need to tell her, then it's a win-win (the benefit without the cost). If not, and I fail, then maybe I need to reconsider being open with her. I'm hoping that won't be necessary - let's see!
I look forward to following your progress and wish you well.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 09:40:21 AM by UKGuy »

joepanic

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2020, 11:41:15 PM »
Hey UKGuy  Hey Shade

      I am in somewhat of the same position as UKGuy  with the chat issue (which I have now kicked for 124 days) as wellas porn(also 1245 days clean)  I have chosen not to tell my wife  about either addiction.  She knows  I used to surf "a little porn" and it never bothered her  as it wasnt  a secret.  The secret I had was that I was addicted to it.  I chose not to tewll her as I grew up in a very conservative mentality.  My fahter always said  "if you have a problem be a man and solve it"   Unless you feel someone else is to blame for it than involve them.  I dont know what good can come of spitting out all the details to my wife.   There are many here who I'm sure will disagree with this philosophy but I believe the mandate here is a reboot of the brain.... A total pause  from artificial sexual stimulation. ie  internet porn or dvds or magazines.   After we clear our heads and get on the right track   than  we can  decide how we want to handle our  relationships

     cheers

    Post often it helps me it helps you

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2020, 04:39:37 AM »
Hi UKGuy and Joepanic.

I see your points on the terms of telling our wifes. If they don't experience any direct negative effect from a relapse, why involve them so we can spare them the pain. I see what you guys mean.
But, i don't know how it is with you guys, but because i've been an addict from before i became physically sexually active, it had an enourmous influence on how i perceive an engage sexually. The twisted notions i have due to porn, permeated through to my actions in bed. Distanced, clinical, no emotional contact and my wife immediately recognizes that!

But, i do see the wisdom in not telling the wifes in your situations. Maybe not 'to man up and face your own problems' but to spare the wife the pain of an additional layer of addiction and breaking her trust.

Good luck gents
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

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UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2020, 08:33:55 AM »
Thanks both,
I don't think there's a right or wrong / 'one size fits all' here. We are all different. Whilst I decided not to tell my wife, my circumstances are unique - there are similarities with Joe, but we're not the same, albeit we came to the same decision. Your circumstances are also unique Shade, and you've come to a different answer - one that's right for you.

I think what matters here, and that I think we all agree on is that the goal is to reboot, and to cease the damaging behaviour - whatever our motivation may be to do it. How we get there, is less important.

What's evident reading your journal Shade, is that via your openness you have been given the reassurance from your wife that she still loves you. Yes, it has probably caused some hurt that Joe and I have avoided by not sharing, but that doesn't mean it's wrong/weaker etc. As you kick this (which I believe you will), you've got a strong foundation of openness and understanding to start to build your relationship into something beautiful. The openness that you have developed with your wife should really help achieve this - if you hadn't have shared it may have been more difficult to do this? What do you think?

In any case - irrespective of whether we share with our wives or not, we ARE all 'manning up and facing our problems' not alone but together - Joe's not doing it alone, and neither am I, as we all have each other here. I feel really optimistic that my choice to share here is a real enabler to success that I've been missing for many years. Together we can do this!

Cheers

Leonidas

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2020, 07:57:52 PM »
Hello UKguy,

Thanks for passing by to share your thoughts on my journal. As you said in your intro, the pandemic is most definitely a way to start anew, and there is no issue with 'using it' as an opportunity to self-improve. Sometimes it takes an event of this kind to wake up and finally do something different with life. Funny, my moment of realization occurred about a month earlier... I guess the point is that every person has their own 'ground zero' moment. But I dare say that deciding to kick this addiction is something so much greater than a COVID challenge. It's being man enough to admit that life is not going as well as it should. That it is not ok to waste another minute on a habit that destroys physical and mental health, and sabotages the potential for growth. An authentic intention such as that and that's already 50% of the recovery work cut out! The rest is just following up... and like you said, it might take some trial and error... but if the intention is true then you never need worry about the final outcome.

Some people mentioned something about sharing versus not sharing this personal battle with a spouse. I say it really doesn't matter what you decide, as long as the intention you set out for yourself is something that YOU want to pursue. The rest is moot. I couldn't care less if my SO told me she were fighting an Instagram addiction. I would become concerned if this occupied 50% of our conversations. But if she voiced concerns about it being harmful and her wanting to move onto other things, I would support her, nothing more nothing less.

joepanic

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2020, 09:15:06 PM »
Hey UkGuy and Leonidas

    Looks like the conversations are really starting to pick up  this is GOOOOOOOD
 

     Leonidas  your 2nd paragraph makes total sense to me   I like the perspective

    cheers

    Post often it helps me it helps you

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2020, 11:17:44 AM »
Thanks Leonidas - I agree with your articulate and objective observations. Like you I’ve been trying so long to kick this , and this forum feels like it’s given me such a boost. That said, today is a struggle - i’m watching those feelings arise within me, as you mention in your own journal. It’s great to be able to take my phone and log on here to share and see what everyone else is up to. Not too long ago, I’d be sat here right now on the same phone, but on a chat site discussing much less healthy subjects - progress, I guess. Going for a meditate now to try and tune in a bit more. Happy Friday all!

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2020, 12:31:25 PM »
Thanks both,
I don't think there's a right or wrong / 'one size fits all' here. We are all different. Whilst I decided not to tell my wife, my circumstances are unique - there are similarities with Joe, but we're not the same, albeit we came to the same decision. Your circumstances are also unique Shade, and you've come to a different answer - one that's right for you.

I think what matters here, and that I think we all agree on is that the goal is to reboot, and to cease the damaging behaviour - whatever our motivation may be to do it. How we get there, is less important.

What's evident reading your journal Shade, is that via your openness you have been given the reassurance from your wife that she still loves you. Yes, it has probably caused some hurt that Joe and I have avoided by not sharing, but that doesn't mean it's wrong/weaker etc. As you kick this (which I believe you will), you've got a strong foundation of openness and understanding to start to build your relationship into something beautiful. The openness that you have developed with your wife should really help achieve this - if you hadn't have shared it may have been more difficult to do this? What do you think?

In any case - irrespective of whether we share with our wives or not, we ARE all 'manning up and facing our problems' not alone but together - Joe's not doing it alone, and neither am I, as we all have each other here. I feel really optimistic that my choice to share here is a real enabler to success that I've been missing for many years. Together we can do this!

Cheers

Hey UKGuy,

we are absolutely not alone indeed! that is indeed the beauty of this forum. What you said about the forum being an enabler is very much true for me as well.

And just to be sure, i never meant to imply that you and Joe not telling your wifes was wrong i was actually trying to inquire without judgement. I was just wondering about the why of it. In your specific cases i fully understand your choises. It indeed is something we need to see as a long term commitment, the getting rid of this addiction. That indeed is the goal.

So let us keep supporting eachother on this forum to make sure that we will rid ourselves from P.

Good luck UKguy, i will keep catching up

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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2020, 04:03:15 AM »
Just checking in guys as I feel I have a much higher than usual chance of relapse today. Slightly hungover after skype beers with my friends last night, and family matters leaving me with a high emotion of rejection. I’m typing this to commit to you all that I’ll overcome and stay sober today, and in turn ask you to hold me accountable to that promise. Will update this evening UK time. On with the day. Thanks all..

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2020, 11:14:56 AM »
Good of you to check in UKGuy and for recognizing the high risk of your situation.

Let us know how your day went, if you had urges en what happened. Good luck man
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

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UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2020, 05:25:06 PM »
Cheers Shade - I’m pleased to report success today. I guarantee, before I found this group, I’d have 100% relapsed today. Plus, I’ve made it to 14 days. Going to bed feeling happy and a little bit proud (but not complacent!) All the best!

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2020, 03:29:20 AM »
Cheers Shade - I’m pleased to report success today. I guarantee, before I found this group, I’d have 100% relapsed today. Plus, I’ve made it to 14 days. Going to bed feeling happy and a little bit proud (but not complacent!) All the best!

Then let us be proud of you!

Cheers man, happy to hear you've hit 14 days!

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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

joepanic

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2020, 08:11:17 AM »
Hey UKGuy

    nice going on the 14 days  and finding that extra strength yesterday  you do us proud.  Sometimes it really is a 1 day at a time situation.  Than your circumstances allow you to  easily sail through a longer spell befor e finding yourself in the one day at a time  again.
   This might than give you a small chance to reflect on what worked that got you through the  hard pointy and be able to build on that

    cheers

    Post often it helps me it helps you

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2020, 09:25:34 AM »
Thanks Joe - hopefully I’m in for an easy sail for a while on the back of the confidence yesterday gave me. Just need to not get over confident and complacent. I think the reflections on what got me through yesterday is an easy one - you guys, and this forum. I’d much rather come here, engage with you and win, then withdraw into myself, self soothe with PMO and lose. It helps immensely - thank you. 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 05:30:05 AM by UKGuy »

ShadeTrenicin

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2020, 04:11:28 AM »
Hey UKGuy,

Just checking in on your own progress. I've seen you posting a lot in other peoples threads and wondering how you're doing at almost 3 weeks.

Keep going strong!
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Love yourself; allow your emotions, understand your emotions and make love for yourself your number one priority

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0

UKGuy

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2020, 04:36:47 AM »
Hey Shade - I was thinking of you earlier, so it's great to receive your message. Yes, all is going well thanks. Today is day 19, and to be honest I feel great. I exercise every day, am spending time in the garden and with my wife and kids. Doing some projects like you. I think that Covid lockdown does make it easier for me as I have little or no time alone, but the MAJOR help is coming here - I log on twice a day, and try and contribute something to one or two of the conversations. doing that has kind of helped my reshape my relationship with porn from being a participant of porn with a negative, lonely, shameful experience to being a porn helper (or really anti-porn helper) which is positive, sociable, and dare I say noble experience. Because of this the temptation to participate seems to just melt away. I can only hope this continues, but logically the longer I'm sober, the weaker the brain wiring becomes and the more likely I am to make this a permanent change within my life. Thanks for asking after me - it means a lot.

Rookie

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Re: Covid - an inflection point?
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2020, 06:25:01 AM »
That's a great way to look at it. Many people that were addicted to drugs and alcohol do the same thing, and many mention that it helps them stay clean. I know some business men/women that do the same thing. Once they became successful, they help others become successful as well, at no charge for little tid bits of advice.