Author Topic: Free At Last  (Read 50401 times)

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Free At Last
« on: April 05, 2016, 05:32:28 PM »
Hi everyone,

I discovered this page in 2014 while researching on porn addiction and finally decided to register and write a journal - let me tell you something about my case and why it took so long for me to join the community:

Three years ago at age 26 I realized suffering from porn addiction. I tried to stop it and failed, many times. At some point I stopped bothering, telling myself it wasn't a problem at all as none of my friends seem to consider it to be one. But I felt worse and worse for extended consuming and stumbled across this wonderful page, that finally managed to explain to me what exactly happened with my brain and what's the big deal with quitting. I can't thank you enough for this page and each of the user's journals helped me a lot understanding more about myself and my own problem.

With my new knowledge I thought to have found the solution to all of my problems and wouldn't need help from anybody. Guess what? I failed. And failed again. I blocked images at my browser, tried to avoid triggers. At some point I started telling myself, it wasn't a problem if it wasn't hardcore porn, and yet relapsed completely sooner or later again.

My longest streak lasted 75 days and ended because of a sports news page publishing an athlete's bikini pictures. I know how stupid that may sound and I felt so bad about it afterwards, but relapsed several more times the days after. And there we have the reason, I finally decided to register and tell you my story. I thought way too long to be able to solve this on my own and to defeat this "weakness". Afterwards I felt ashamed of being weak again.

At some point of recovery my brain (I know, this sounds schizophrenic) convinces itself, that remaining clean more than X days proves I wasn't addicted and therefore could allow myself a little, controlled dose. But not anymore! There isn't such thing as "control", there is no "little bit". More than anything else I need this journal as a reminder to myself, how damn serious I am about quitting porn forever. How good I feel during most steps of recovery. How proud I am of being stronger than my addiction. How bad every relapse makes me feel. How happy I am in life and that every time I reflect about it, the only thing I would have made undone is becoming a porn addict at age 14. I can't make it undone, but I can quit. Now.

This is day one of my new life on April, 6th 2016, keeping you updated once in a while and searching for help in case of relapse, although I'm more convinced than ever before not to relapse again. First partial goal is the 75 days mark...

ReadingRunner

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 8
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 05:59:45 PM »
Great post man. Your optimism is contagious.

It's funny, all the rationalizations our brain makes just for that one hit.

I know for me, working out helps dispel a lot of that "brain-talk".

Keep up the good work.

refreshed_28

  • Guest
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 08:43:54 PM »
Great post man...you and me can do it and  achieve our goals..

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 10:25:00 AM »
Thanks for your support!

This is my second day after relapse and I realize that despite constant relapses during the last three years of trying to quit, I already advanced a lot. Three years ago I hardly made it through 2 or 3 days after years of daily, heavy porn consumption, now up to 20 days isn't a (big) challenge. This might be an important experience for those who are at the very beginning: Relapsing once isn't a return to 0 and no excuse to relapse again. Every day without porn is a better day. It's important to understand a single relapse as part of the progress and avoid repeating the same mistake again.

As I wrote introducing my case, today I struggle with my brain tricking me into relapse after 20+ days. I notice the positive changes then and don't remember how bad I felt after relapsing, allowing exceptions that lead to a complete relapse with hours of watching porn. I have to point this out for myself: Neither am I, nor will I ever be able to control porn and thus have to stay away from it completely. Forever.

There is this demon I constantly fight and he managed to convince me (too) many times to leave my path. I understand this journal as my last step into freedom, because I am writing down my experience and remind myself of the many tricks, he (the addiction-demon) played on me. Because I use to forget them and fall again for his bait, as his famous "This isn't porn"-trick. Reading the definition of "reboot" given on the front page is important: "complete rest from artificial sexual stimulation".

Before reading more about porn-addiction and understanding the search-character of dopamine, I thought the problem was just hardcore porn in all his varieties. Within my first longer streaks of abstinence, Facebook remained my biggest trigger: I replaced porn by clicking through Facebook pages with barely clothed girls. "This isn't porn, it won't damage you!", the addiction-demon said and lead me to nude pics, as they weren't porn either. "It's only porn, if there is penetration." - and it lasted about two days until my brain needed a stronger high, leading me to give in to the temptation of hardcore porn again.

Sexting with girls is another trigger. The addiction-demon explained to me, that it wasn't porn because of the interaction with a real girl. But what's left are words, pictures and videos on a screen. That's the focus: A screen, artificial stimulation, fantasies. And by the time she disconnected, I often still searched for a new high and returned to hardcore porn. That's how my last relapse occurred two days ago. I already had that figured out and didn't allow myself further exceptions in July last year. Back then I reached my all-time-high of 75 days until not taking the issue too serious anymore.

Writing this down hopefully keeps me from "exceptions" this time. As an alcoholic must stay away from a single glass of beer for the rest of his life, I need to avoid sexual arousal from a digital screen. I advanced a lot yet and feel ready to comply with the last step.

Faptain America

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 97
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 01:11:05 PM »
Hey buddy! Sad news to hear about the end to your really big run! It's okay. Stuff happens. Do like sports teams do and check tape the next day. Ask yourself why a few pictures caused an end to your winning streak. Analyze the reason that this particular bikini pic got you. Were you stressed? How long had you gone without a release? These things will help you the next time you hit 75 days.

I have an app on my phone called "Habit Bull". You can keep really good data on how successful you are not just with PMO but anything really.

Also, don't use that "demon" term too much. We often like to use it because it takes a certain level of control and responsibility away from us. "I have a demon causing me to do things". See how it sounds like you can't control your actions?

Hang in there. I want to make it two weeks this time around. Can you beat my score?

-The Faptain

siphus

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 118
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2016, 01:44:14 AM »
I dig hearing your thoughts, achilles heel:
Reading the definition of "reboot" given on the front page is important: "complete rest from artificial sexual stimulation".

Before reading more about porn-addiction and understanding the search-character of dopamine, I thought the problem was just hardcore porn in all his varieties. Within my first longer streaks of abstinence, Facebook remained my biggest trigger: I replaced porn by clicking through Facebook pages with barely clothed girls. "This isn't porn, it won't damage you!", the addiction-demon said and lead me to nude pics, as they weren't porn either. "It's only porn, if there is penetration." - and it lasted about two days until my brain needed a stronger high, leading me to give in to the temptation of hardcore porn again.

Writing this down hopefully keeps me from "exceptions" this time. As an alcoholic must stay away from a single glass of beer for the rest of his life, I need to avoid sexual arousal from a digital screen. I advanced a lot yet and feel ready to comply with the last step.

I appreciate your realizations about this. Whether it's Facebook or text messaging or whatever, it all connects you to something unnatural and it all just becomes a gateway into a meaningless cycle. I really appreciate your inspiring words about how longer runs become easier and easier. I still haven't broken the 3-week mark in my current phase of my life and I'm ready to do this if I can keep going when it gets tough. Thanks so much and keep it up.

-siphus

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2016, 01:30:48 PM »
Also, don't use that "demon" term too much. We often like to use it because it takes a certain level of control and responsibility away from us. "I have a demon causing me to do things". See how it sounds like you can't control your actions?

Hang in there. I want to make it two weeks this time around. Can you beat my score?

I'm using it as a metaphor, because at some point it seems to be kind of schizophrenic looking at myself fighting the addiction. But of course I am fully responsible for my actions, no doubt! I will control my actions and as I think I'm ahead a day since your last relapse, I will beat your score because you and me won't relapse again!

I really appreciate your inspiring words about how longer runs become easier and easier. I still haven't broken the 3-week mark in my current phase of my life and I'm ready to do this if I can keep going when it gets tough.

The three/four-week mark is the hardest and I'm glad to have found one of the reasons at your journal! This time I will read how you make it past that mark and follow you a week later. I made it past that only 3 times and it gets (note that this is just my personal experience) a bit easier after that... now you might ask why I relapsed again? In comes the sports coach:

Hey buddy! Sad news to hear about the end to your really big run! It's okay. Stuff happens. Do like sports teams do and check tape the next day. Ask yourself why a few pictures caused an end to your winning streak. Analyze the reason that this particular bikini pic got you. Were you stressed? How long had you gone without a release? These things will help you the next time you hit 75 days.

I relapsed due to not taking the threat too serious anymore and allowing myself a little look. Curiosity killed the cat! I looked up the complete pictures at google images, thus opening a never ending collections of pictures and returned to the "buffet" as you described it. The binge set in, I allowed myself to click on a related search and returned to hardcore porn within a many hour lasting session that depressed me so bad, I relapsed over and over again the following days. My streak lasted from August, 7th to October, 20th. Since then I didn't return to break the One-Month-Mark which is why I registered to start a journal.

Recently I relapsed after 20-30 days. The analysis hurts, because it was always hangover induced. I knew that before, but I tried to build a recovery strategy around being able to drink at the weekend. It doesn't work and as there is nothing I desire more than breaking free from this addiction, I will cut the drinking too, at least until I passed the critical mark. Currently I'm at day 4 and I will add 30 more days without alcohol. A tough but necessary decision.

Faptain America

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 97
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2016, 01:55:29 PM »
Buffets, man. Nothing but trouble. Complacency is tough. I haven't had that issue (yet) with PMO since i'm relatively new to the subject, but i've had it in other settings. I worked in a job where personal safety and security was a big deal. Alot of people on the job got complacent and ended up in the hospital because someone went crazy on them.

I don't want you to fail, but I also want to beat you!! Is this how professional athletes feel all the time?

Cheers!

-The Faptain

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 02:16:18 PM »
I don't want you to fail, but I also want to beat you!! Is this how professional athletes feel all the time?

Healthy competition might help and if none of us fails, we will win everything! I will see it as extra motivation to beat you, but still supporting you wherever I can, Faptain! ;)

Day 5: Stormy weather ahead

As expected I had an easy start to the new recovery process. I'm still full of motivation and managed to use my free time at home this weekend to do all the house work. I also finished open tasks left at my desk, didn't drink, met friends, did sports and feel overall great. But I also know that there is a storm ahead, incoming around day 20 and lasting about 2 weeks.

There are lots of reasons to make up why I didn't already beat my addiction, but after all I have to admit I just didn't want it enough. I know that I'm superior to my enemy, but I must not underestimate him and also be prepared for his tactics. If I do prepare mind and body, analyze his strategy and keep a long term plan, I will succeed.

1. Preparing my body

The last 3 years of recovery intents haven't been in vain, although I didn't make it all the way through. I successfully changed my nutrition step by step, cutting out fast food and sugar and adding more fruits and vegetables to the table. Although I'm not 100% consequent on this (I do allow myself some sins once in a while), it did affect me in a very positive way. I'm not constantly tired anymore and lasting a year and a half now without injuries at sports or being ill. I managed to go to sleep earlier and get up easier in the morning. Taking the last step by cutting out alcohol - at least during the initial time of recovery - will complete my plan on nutrition to have the physical strenght while going through hard times. Another thing that helped me during recovery was my workout routine (3 times a week), but I didn't have the discipline to keep it when feeling weak and depressed at some point. I will start again tomorrow and hope I will manage to keep it during "the storm".

2. Preparing my mind

I would be surprised if there was anyone around here who isn't also an internet addict. I am and as my worst addiction centers around pixels on a screen, it may help to reduce the dependency on the screen. Long time ago I gave away my TV and don't miss it anymore. The bad thing: I spend hours on Facebook, YouTube and other communities. I managed to significantly reduce it during the first 5 days and currently try to replace it by Reboot Nation - it's also a community, but clicking and reading through random articles/journals at least helps me out and keeps me motivated. The whole Facebook feed works just like my porn addiction, I'm clicking for novelty and don't even care about the content + there are tons of triggers hidden just around the corner. Until now I'm happy on how I reduced it and will watch my behaviour.

3. Know your enemy!

I know him very well. He starts of very defensive, will then attack with full force around day 20 and keep his attacks for 2 weeks straight. If I make it past that, he will wait for my carelessness to win by lucky punch. I went through that many times and wasn't prepared enough.

Last night I checked one of my favourite sports pages and they did it again: Put a barely clothed girl in the related articles section. I didn't fall for that, but to avoid surprises of any kind, I switched off images at my smartphone browser.

And to save the best for last: I had a serious conversation with my girlfriend today. I told her before I had a problem with porn and tried to quit, but didn't mention the dimensions of the problem. Today I admitted to her how it changed my life and how I desperately want to quit it. How receiving pics or talking her into sending me some works as a trigger and that I'm pretty fucked up. I was afraid of that conversation and her reaction, but she showed me all of her support, offered to help me, thanked me for telling her and will try to understand it completely. She seemed to be relieved, because she thought she was the reason for my (no longer unexplainable) mood swings. This was certainly the biggest step I had to take while preparing and I'm happy about the result.

Overall I see the difference I'm making this time: During the last three years I wanted to keep living my life and quit the addiction along the way. Now quitting the addiction is my absolute priority and I don't consider it a life unless I successfully reboot. I will change whatever necessary to succeed, no matter what circumstances I have to face.

siphus

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 118
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 01:47:42 AM »
1. Preparing my body

The last 3 years of recovery intents haven't been in vain, although I didn't make it all the way through. I successfully changed my nutrition step by step, cutting out fast food and sugar and adding more fruits and vegetables to the table. Although I'm not 100% consequent on this (I do allow myself some sins once in a while), it did affect me in a very positive way. I'm not constantly tired anymore and lasting a year and a half now without injuries at sports or being ill.

This is dope. Got any tips? I keep thinking about eating healthier but I never pay too much attention to my food. What are your easiest fruits and veggies to get?

And to save the best for last: I had a serious conversation with my girlfriend today. I told her before I had a problem with porn and tried to quit, but didn't mention the dimensions of the problem. Today I admitted to her how it changed my life and how I desperately want to quit it. How receiving pics or talking her into sending me some works as a trigger and that I'm pretty fucked up. I was afraid of that conversation and her reaction, but she showed me all of her support, offered to help me, thanked me for telling her and will try to understand it completely. She seemed to be relieved, because she thought she was the reason for my (no longer unexplainable) mood swings. This was certainly the biggest step I had to take while preparing and I'm happy about the result.

Overall I see the difference I'm making this time: During the last three years I wanted to keep living my life and quit the addiction along the way. Now quitting the addiction is my absolute priority and I don't consider it a life unless I successfully reboot. I will change whatever necessary to succeed, no matter what circumstances I have to face.

Your determination is contagious! And it's so serious that we need to repeat these messages to ourselves as well. It sounds like your conversation with your gf was a huge success. You have momentum and it seems like you're really internalizing your need to change. Bravo man, glad to have you as part of the team :)

-siphus

Faptain America

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 97
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2016, 03:54:53 PM »
Quote
And to save the best for last: I had a serious conversation with my girlfriend today. I told her before I had a problem with porn and tried to quit, but didn't mention the dimensions of the problem. Today I admitted to her how it changed my life and how I desperately want to quit it. How receiving pics or talking her into sending me some works as a trigger and that I'm pretty fucked up. I was afraid of that conversation and her reaction, but she showed me all of her support, offered to help me, thanked me for telling her and will try to understand it completely. She seemed to be relieved, because she thought she was the reason for my (no longer unexplainable) mood swings. This was certainly the biggest step I had to take while preparing and I'm happy about the result.

Congrats!!! Isn't it great when things go the way you hope? I learned in therapy a long time ago that the people who like you will still like you after you open up. If they move away, good riddance. Of course, if you're an asshole then maybe it's for a good reason though  ;D

1. Preparing my body


This is dope. Got any tips? I keep thinking about eating healthier but I never pay too much attention to my food. What are your easiest fruits and veggies to get?
Honestly Siphus, Salad. Replace one meal a day with it. It can be a massive salad. There's really no calories in veggies. Just watch what dressing you use. Get a light italian or balsamic. They make really good ones 60 calories and under per serving. I have one for breakfast every day. No meat, a little cheese, lots of different veggies. I get different ones every time I go. I grab different lettuce too. You can really get fit when you cut your breakfast from 500-750 calories down to 150... As long as you don't eat shit the rest of the day :)


I'm seeing good things here! Keep it up!

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 01:53:46 PM »
Day 8: Currently I'm very busy and that's a good thing because I don't feel any urges so far. Glad to see you guys siphus and Faptain still on track, will take my time to answer to your journals this weekend! Yesterday I remembered a comic about the 'rat park' experiments I discovered long time ago (probably around here) and think it might be interesting to anyone over here: www.stuartmcmillen.com/comics_en/rat-park

Faptain America

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 97
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 03:02:09 PM »
I look forward to it! Enjoy being busy!

-The Faptain

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2016, 07:55:21 PM »
Day 11: Increased difficulty

Being busy helps a lot, not only did I stay clean, but also managed to make good use of my extra free time. At its worst stage my porn addiction consumed more hours a month than a regular part-time-job. After the infinite binge sessions I felt guilty, angry and ashamed about the wasted time (just to repeat it the next day), nowadays I believe it's a blessing I had been able to slowly step out of this vicious circle.

To my surprise I didn't make a single exception on my nutrition so far and keep the plan of no sugar (except for fruits, obviously), no fast food and no alcohol. I'm spending more time on planning and cooking my meals and don't sacrifice this important task to be able to watch another hour of porn anymore. It's not just nutrition, but also getting enough sleep due to not staying awake late watching porn. As I cut out alcohol too (not sure if this will really last a whole month), I didn't ruin my rhythm with a weekend hangover and instead got up early today.

My favourite aspect during reboot is the improved self-perception. Of course: Nutrition, sports and sleep do have an impact on the person in the mirror and I certainly like me a lot more now than after relapsing, not getting enough sleep and being out of shape. But there is more to it, as I have an overall more positive view of myself and behave more confident. After a phase of heavy porn use I often felt all eyes on me and started sweating for no reason in random social situations. I wonder how I wasn't able to figure this out before reading ybop/Reboot Nation. How are you supposed to socially interact with people if your brain is flooded every day with pictures where human interaction is reduced to sex in its most degrading and degenerated form?

I'm advancing, but it's still a long way to freedom. The first urges appear and give me a sneak preview on what to expect soon. A friend of mine liked a pic of a girl in bikini on Facebook and I caught myself wanting to click on her profile to see more, but could interfere before. Then I received messages from a girl I haven't seen in a long time who drunk-messaged me if I still had a girlfriend and that she was waiting for me. I could prevent my addicted brain from taking advantage of the situation and talk her into sending nudes, but have to watch out for further, dangerous surprises.

The lesson learned from the last, very productive days is that the positive effect of long term satisfaction lets the short term relief of porn look like a really shitty alternative. There is no more danger of relapsing to porn directly, but I have to keep avoiding triggers, making no exception. I also need to repeat this to myself: From now on it's getting tougher every day, but I can and will make it through!

planet_earth_is_blue

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *

  • 39
  • Personal Text
    Abstinence is NOT recovery.
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2016, 08:28:05 PM »
Heyo!

I'm glad to meet someone else who's passionate about nutrition! Meal planning is a great habit to have. Any way that we can add structure to our lives during recovery will certainly ease the transition. I first started doing it to ensure that I never skip a meal, which I had a habit of doing when there weren't healthy options readily available. Some people have the habit of eating junk food, I had the habit of simply not eating.

Quote
The lesson learned from the last, very productive days is that the positive effect of long-term satisfaction lets the short term relief of porn look like a really shitty alternative.

This. This. This. Discovering which activities make us feel said long-term satisfaction, and pursuing them wholeheartedly is the core of recovery. You've identified unnatural sugar as another form of indulgence and you're making an effort to replace it with something that makes you feel whole. There are foods which produce lasting energy and satisfaction, and there are foods which leave us feeling drained. It's great that you've made the distinction.

I apologize if my thoughts aren't fully developed, I'm pretty tired at the moment. I'm glad I happened upon your journal, though!

Stay healthy :)

Faptain America

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 97
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2016, 05:46:52 PM »
Hey Achilles,

Nice job making it to day 15!!! I'm on day 12 myself and am thrilled to be so close to my goal. Stay good on the nutrition and stay strong.

-The Faptain

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2016, 02:14:56 PM »
Hey Achilles,

Nice job making it to day 15!!! I'm on day 12 myself and am thrilled to be so close to my goal. Stay good on the nutrition and stay strong.

-The Faptain

Well done, Faptain, I told you we'd both win the race! I'm at day 16 and too busy to relapse  ;)

This weekend I will have enough time to update my journal and to read yours. I want to read how you reached your first goal and how you'll try to extend it.

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2016, 04:16:26 PM »
Day 19:

Euphoria is gone, I'm entering the critical state. This time I actively observed how my mood turned around and it was due to my dreams. During the last two nights I dreamt of porn, relapsing, my last ex-girlfriend and other girls from the past. The encounters were melancholic and I woke up feeling sad. I could observe how my addicted mind tried to trick me into the Facebook trigger.

"Oh, you're not voluntarily searching for porn, but check out if someone shared or liked a pic of some hot girl... here we go: Look at her profile just by mouse-over to see a bigger version of her profile pic... click on it to see..." - "STOP."

My mind is desperate for anything at this state and I usually allowed myself a little peek at non-nudes to calm the pressure, but this is the direct way to relapse. The 75-day-streak was only possible because I did it the hard way and I'm going to get there the same way again. With the little difference that I'm aware of triggers and failures now.

I'm maintaining healthy nutrition and avoiding alcohol. The latter is getting harder and harder as my mood turns around. Anyway I'm going to keep the plan of 30 days without drinking, it will help me getting past the worst stage. The following ten days have the highest relapse risk and I won't be able to control myself being drunk.

To motivate myself I will set day 30 as an intermediate goal. Reaching it without porn, alcohol and sugar will definitely be something I'd feel very proud of. There are 10 days ahead and I know I will make it, because there is nothing I desire more in my life than breaking free from this terrible addiction. So, a little reminder to myself: Whatever happens, porn is not an option!

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2016, 07:24:25 AM »
Day 22: Almost relapsed

I predicted everything correctly. Every detail. I warned myself about these dangerous days, yet I'm actively searching for triggers. I can't concentrate on my tasks at home, feeling the urges to watch porn and get an easy relief. Instead of taking the warnings seriously, my mind is making up that relapsing will set me free and I could start again experiencing the euphoria of the first days of reboot again. I took my cell phone to bed last night (won't happen again) and realized I was one little step from relapsing.

I. Don't. Want. To. Relapse. Ever. Again.

After an almost-relapse there is normally a real relapse about to follow soon. I'm feeling empty, I don't even have the energy to exercise. I HAVE to make it through, but this feels like hell.

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2016, 05:43:25 PM »
Day 23: Point of no return

My head aches and I don't know if it's reboot related. Still having problems to concentrate on things and there are triggers out of nowhere, because I'm unable to quit my cyber addiction and keep visiting Facebook. This journal is so helpful, because I can read my thoughts from just a few days ago and remind myself of how convinced I really am to quit porn forever. I'm currently feeling depressed and weak, with my mind trying to trick me into relapse. It's logical, since reboot is getting tough and I used to PMO to escape uncomfortable situations for over a decade.

The good thing is that I'm able to rationalize my current state of mind because of the exact predictions I made before. It helps me staying strong, knowing that this feeling of despair is only temporary and nothing compared to the reward of being free at last. I made it over 3 weeks now and I won't throw this streak away just because I have to put in more effort now. I made it past this point before and I will do it again. It's my choice to finally become the person I wanted to be for so long or fail again. My improvements are evident. Every day I feel like the person in the mirror resembles more and more who I want to be and it makes me so much more comfortable around others. Even if there are still some letdowns and it's still a long way ahead, I know it's worth it to go all the way through.

My journal entries currently might appear a little repetitive and purely motivation-based, but I can't make up any clever thoughts or reflections. It's all about passing the next week or two without relapsing, no matter how. Porn is not an option. Failure is not an option.

Faptain America

  • Member

  • Offline
  • **

  • 97
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2016, 01:36:42 PM »
Hey Achilles,

I'm glad you're staying strong, even if it brings you to your knees. Are you masturbating at all?

I'm just getting caught up with everyone else so I'll update my own journal this weekend. Stay frosty.

-The Faptain

siphus

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 118
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2016, 01:59:29 AM »
Hey man, first of all I appreciate the support shown on our pages, and we don't mind if you're being repetitive, because that's how habits form anyways, right? A while back you talked about breaking out of that vicious binge circle, and of course staying committed at this point will keep yourself from feeling that despair. It's just not worth it.

I love the recovery workshop's description of the early recovery process, and you may be closer to "Crisis Resolution", but currently the effort that you're putting in is invaluable, and your strategies with this journal or anything else you have in place is key for maintaining this progress.

Stay focused my friend.

-siphus

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2016, 04:58:56 PM »
Hey Achilles,

I'm glad you're staying strong, even if it brings you to your knees. Are you masturbating at all?

I'm just getting caught up with everyone else so I'll update my own journal this weekend. Stay frosty.

-The Faptain

Thanks for your reply, Faptain! As the M almost led me to the P last tuesday/wednesday, I decided to stop it. Too dangerous, at least at this early stage of recovery. I already had it decreased to once a week, now I'll leave it out completely. We'll see for how long, as my goal is to quit "just" porn.

Hey man, first of all I appreciate the support shown on our pages, and we don't mind if you're being repetitive, because that's how habits form anyways, right? A while back you talked about breaking out of that vicious binge circle, and of course staying committed at this point will keep yourself from feeling that despair. It's just not worth it.

I love the recovery workshop's description of the early recovery process, and you may be closer to "Crisis Resolution", but currently the effort that you're putting in is invaluable, and your strategies with this journal or anything else you have in place is key for maintaining this progress.

Stay focused my friend.

-siphus

Great link, once again, siphus! When I read the information you shared about the recovery-relapse-circle I realized what I was stuck in for almost half a year now. And reading the detailed process I see that the end of my longest streak due to complacency after 75 days is something common too. Thank you for all the useful information, I don't think I would have made it through this week without being aware about the circle, but I did!

Update is about to follow later or tomorrow, your support really helped me!

achilles heel

  • Member

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 627
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2016, 06:29:28 PM »
Day 25: Clear weather in sight!

I'm so happy I didn't give in to the cravings and made it past the most critical stage. When I refer to "hard mode" it means not allowing myself to be curious at all. It's impossible not to stumble upon lingerie ads or bikini pics and I used to allow myself to just have a peek within my early reboot intents. During the last 25 days I actively forbid myself to keep looking every time I stumbled across anything that could work as artificial stimulation.

Last week I almost went insane. My addicted brain desperately craved for pixels. I read an article about Donald Trump and it contained an explicit picture of his wife almost leading me to give in. I can laugh about it now, but there was nothing funny to it when I sat at home, unable to focus on anything and just hoping for the days to pass. As I had nothing scheduled for today, I expected everything to worsen, but instead the most critical stage seems to be over a few days earlier. I finished all my tasks at home, returned to my work-out-routine and prepared healthy food for today and tomorrow. No cravings and I was able to concentrate again.

Of course I will stay aware, but now I can return to focus on improving my life and prepare myself for the following stages. I do need a long term strategy and a plan for critical situations. And although I'm convinced on never relapsing again, I do need a plan for the case of a relapse.

1. Long term strategy

A very important, porn-related aspect of life is procrastinating. I can tell from my inner peace of sitting at a clean home with no depending tasks for the day. My mind is not used to a healthy lifestyle yet and tends to be careless if I don't make exact plans on my daily routines. Absolute discipline is and will be necessary even when the addiction seems to be solved already. I won't stop drinking alcohol or eating sugar forever, but I can and will control consume, maintaining a healthy life without total abstinence.

The next task to face is my internet-addiction. If I can change and control my online habits, I'm less likely to relapse. This will be a tough challenge. I will start on monday and my first step will be just to analyze my urges for social media or my favourite pages. How long and how often do I visit them? What's the best way to decrease my online-time? Anyone got experience on this?

2. Emergency plan

There are always unexpected situations like relationship problems, trouble at work or health issues. I'm quite sure I will be able to keep up with my long term strategy if everything works out as expected. But I need a plan B if I feel exposed to some event that might emotionally destabilize me. If this happens, I will not stay alone at home, but go out and meet my friends or my family. The next thing will be to write on here about what happened and read all my journal to realize that a relapse won't solve, but just numb the situation and the problems will be stronger afterwards.

3. In case of a relapse

It happened before and the most important thing would be to not relapse again, but to analyze rationally and avoid a mental breakdown afterwards that would set in the downward spiral. Basically I would need to follow plan B.

The most important aspect is to stay active. Staying away from tits on a screen doesn't improve my life. Improving my life does improve my life. I always need short term motivation. There are still 5 days of complete sugar/alcohol abstinence left. I will stick to my workout/sports routine at least 3 times a week and analyze my internet behavior to initiate some changes. Until day 30 I will prepare a plan for the second month with increased work out and less internet. I also need to read more books and hope to improve my ability to concentrate.

siphus

  • Member

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 118
    • View Profile
Re: Free At Last
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2016, 01:34:36 AM »
1. Long term strategy

A very important, porn-related aspect of life is procrastinating. I can tell from my inner peace of sitting at a clean home with no depending tasks for the day. My mind is not used to a healthy lifestyle yet and tends to be careless if I don't make exact plans on my daily routines. Absolute discipline is and will be necessary even when the addiction seems to be solved already. I won't stop drinking alcohol or eating sugar forever, but I can and will control consume, maintaining a healthy life without total abstinence.

The next task to face is my internet-addiction. If I can change and control my online habits, I'm less likely to relapse. This will be a tough challenge. I will start on monday and my first step will be just to analyze my urges for social media or my favourite pages. How long and how often do I visit them? What's the best way to decrease my online-time? Anyone got experience on this?

2. Emergency plan

There are always unexpected situations like relationship problems, trouble at work or health issues. I'm quite sure I will be able to keep up with my long term strategy if everything works out as expected. But I need a plan B if I feel exposed to some event that might emotionally destabilize me. If this happens, I will not stay alone at home, but go out and meet my friends or my family. The next thing will be to write on here about what happened and read all my journal to realize that a relapse won't solve, but just numb the situation and the problems will be stronger afterwards.

This is great man. I absolutely believe in keeping a healthy routine each day. And also, reducing random internet usage is a huge factor to help my mindset. I'm not sure if you can apply what I do, because I leverage some accountability partners. But I have a stopwatch near the laptop, and when I'm doing something unimportant (social networking, shopping, browsing), I get the stopwatch going. For a day, I keep this usage under 1 hour. If I exceed an hour, I'll give one of my accountability guys a quick call about it. Anyways, it helps tremendously. I wonder if a version of this could help.

And your emergency plan is dope. I'd like to implement something like that myself.

Glad to hear about your successes, count the wins and keep the progress rolling :)

-siphus