Author Topic: Free At Last  (Read 50394 times)

Re: Free At Last
« Reply #475 on: July 01, 2019, 04:43:24 AM »
You are important and valued I admire how strong you are. Keep up the good work. I am rooting for you. Your actions have proved that you are not the type of person who gives up easily. I admire that in you. I appreciate all the hard work you put in on a regular basis. I just want you to know that at least two people have noticed  :)
 

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #476 on: July 01, 2019, 12:48:12 PM »
Massive congrats on 30 days! Some great insights, too. It's definitely a good idea to treat every day as if it were day 1, so as to not get complacent. That was the mistake I made last time I was clean.

- Adventurer

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #477 on: July 01, 2019, 03:10:17 PM »
Thanks a lot, BlueHeronFan, "Thank you for all that you do for me" and Non-Dual Adventurer, your support helps a lot and really means a lot to me!  :)

31 days

If there is an important task now for the second month, it's to learn to trust myself again. My latest success made me suspicious about my former streaks and how they failed. I read through my journal and have been at this point many times before. I had put in lots of effort to make it a month, or even two like in february this year, but still failed sooner or later. I need to convince myself why it's going to be different this time.

After over three years of keeping this journal and six years of trying to quit, I need to gain the belief of finally succeeding and deep down I notice how I'm still afraid of this challenge. There is a long way ahead and I guess it's best to not think about "forever", but to reach the next day and the next day and the next day while keeping efforts high.

It's also important to not just count days, because I'm not looking forward to live free as soon as I reach X days - I need to make every day a good day, no matter if it's day 91 or 31.

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #478 on: July 02, 2019, 12:50:09 AM »
Your reboot is not for just 30 days. Its for whole life  . so just avoid it daily. I give you a suggestion that don't count your days now. Just keep track of your Withdrawal . this can help others on this site. And congratulations for your success.
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.

Re: Free At Last
« Reply #479 on: July 02, 2019, 04:25:05 AM »
Never discount how far you have come, for you have truly pulled yourself out of the deepest and darkest of trenches in this life. Never doubt your power. Never doubt your strength. You are a light in this world and you shine brightly, boldly, defiantly- You  shine because You perserved, You shine because you fought through all of the chaos That was so intent on destroying you. i hope that you become filled with so much happiness that it heals every part of you. I know there are days when you feel like giving up. But i think it's brave that you never do  :)

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #480 on: July 02, 2019, 06:49:39 PM »

After over three years of keeping this journal and six years of trying to quit, I need to gain the belief of finally succeeding and deep down I notice how I'm still afraid of this challenge. There is a long way ahead and I guess it's best to not think about "forever", but to reach the next day and the next day and the next day while keeping efforts high.

It's also important to not just count days, because I'm not looking forward to live free as soon as I reach X days - I need to make every day a good day, no matter if it's day 91 or 31.

Yes, all of this is great. This is the first step in a much longer journey, but it's one we only take one day at a time.

I've had some conversations about keeping days with other people before. For me, it is really useful for two reasons: 1) it helps me to keep track of where I am. I used to think I was relapsing way less often than I really was, and counting days made me realize what was really happening. It's a helpful diagnostic, just to make sure I'm on track. And 2) setting little goals that are further along help me to have something to look forward to or work toward. It's another way of checking in. Instead of saying I'm all fixed at 90 days, I say that I can still keep working towards 120, and that helps me to stay accountable and focused.

But you're exactly right, counting days is not valuable by itself. It's a helpful tool, but it isn't the point. The point is living better days and building a healthier life. And that takes fresh effort each day. Keep it up, though! This is great progress!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #481 on: July 03, 2019, 12:15:48 PM »
Once again thank you very much for your support, guys!

33 days

Just a little entry because I had a little emergency: A very real dream about porn. In my dream I checked a picture folder on my computer and discovered undeleted, old porn and started clicking out of curiosity. I tried to withstand the temptation, but started clicking through porn pics and gifs and got very aroused. Although it was just a dream today I felt that excitement and feel like I am really missing porn. Well, once again: If it was easy to quit, we'd all succeed instantly. I will keep myself extremely busy during the next days and hopefully create more and new memories to overwrite those recent flashbacks to not think about them.

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #482 on: July 03, 2019, 12:51:08 PM »
You are force of inspiration, my friend. You're doing incredibly. Thank you for the update.

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #483 on: July 03, 2019, 06:15:51 PM »
Well done man. I would like to ask for an advice. Is it wise to use sexual enhancers (viagra) to get an erection during reboot?

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #484 on: July 03, 2019, 06:16:21 PM »
Once again thank you very much for your support, guys!

33 days

Just a little entry because I had a little emergency: A very real dream about porn. In my dream I checked a picture folder on my computer and discovered undeleted, old porn and started clicking out of curiosity. I tried to withstand the temptation, but started clicking through porn pics and gifs and got very aroused. Although it was just a dream today I felt that excitement and feel like I am really missing porn. Well, once again: If it was easy to quit, we'd all succeed instantly. I will keep myself extremely busy during the next days and hopefully create more and new memories to overwrite those recent flashbacks to not think about them.

Man, dreams are the craziest. I've had dreams mess me up for a day or two before with a fresh set of urges. Just keep doing what you've been doing though and don't let it get to you too much (easier said than done, I know). It used to be that porn dreams were like a guilty pleasure for me, but they have turned into downright nightmares lately. The last few I've had, I have just woken up in a panic before the dream gets anywhere to make sure it wasn't real.

But you've got this! Here's hoping for sweeter dreams tonight!

Re: Free At Last
« Reply #485 on: July 04, 2019, 06:28:35 AM »
i hope that you become filled with so much happiness that it heals every part of you. I know there are days when you feel like giving up. But i think it's brave that you never do. Every single motherfucking bad day, you've EVER had, you've overcome it. Everytime you thought you couldn't go on, you did. WOW. WOOOOOOW. Fucking proud of you.   :)

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #486 on: July 04, 2019, 01:10:40 PM »
Once again: Thank you guys very much for your support, it really helps a lot!

Well done man. I would like to ask for an advice. Is it wise to use sexual enhancers (viagra) to get an erection during reboot?

Thank you! :) As I have 0 experience with those I can't give you any advice - neither on side effects nor on how it affects your recovery.

Man, dreams are the craziest. I've had dreams mess me up for a day or two before with a fresh set of urges. Just keep doing what you've been doing though and don't let it get to you too much (easier said than done, I know). It used to be that porn dreams were like a guilty pleasure for me, but they have turned into downright nightmares lately. The last few I've had, I have just woken up in a panic before the dream gets anywhere to make sure it wasn't real.

But you've got this! Here's hoping for sweeter dreams tonight!

Had a dream about having sex with a girl from work, she is not attractive at all, this was bizarre! I can relate to the panic because of the fear of relapsing when dreaming about porn. Well, this time I woke up later and just thought about what is happening with me.

My best strategy so far is to not let a dream or thought grow. I just shut it down immediately. During former reboots I'd often allow myself sexual fantasies, because as long as they were connected to a real girl and not porn related they wouldn't do harm, I thought.

Now I know I won't lead myself into temptation, but instead follow healthy activities. When going to bed I immediately grab a book and read until I can't keep my eyes open anymore.

The day of trouble is forgotten today without giving in to urges. And I don't feel any today, that's an important proof to myself that giving in to cravings won't change anything. Maybe it even gets worse due to the chaser effect. I need to go through more experiences like that and learn to not give in. Suffering equals healing, although it's no fun at all.

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #487 on: July 05, 2019, 01:15:48 PM »
35 days

5 weeks complete, I made some changes in life that really help me this time. Now there is the weekend ahead and I have to be very careful, I am still at the beginning of a hard road and need to face this addiction with humility and knowledge. There will be tough days and weeks and I will not let my guards down.

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #488 on: July 05, 2019, 06:14:19 PM »

My best strategy so far is to not let a dream or thought grow. I just shut it down immediately. During former reboots I'd often allow myself sexual fantasies, because as long as they were connected to a real girl and not porn related they wouldn't do harm, I thought.


Way to go on 35 days! 5 whole weeks is an awesome milestone (and just the beginning, as you wisely pointed out). But I think what you said up above is even more encouraging than achieving an awesome streak. There are some many thoughts and actions, like real-girl sexual fantasies, that can seem harmless or even good, but they're dangerous and can lead us right back to porn. I think it's awesome that you're aware of that and doing what you need to do to stay far away from the edge.

It's too common, I think, to see people who want to get rid of porn but don't want to get rid of all their selfish sexual pleasures. Yeah, maybe fantasies are fun and less harmful than porn, but if they still fill the same slot of giving us our sexual "fix" they are still a tool of addiction. For me, and it looks like for you too, I don't just want to quit porn, I want to quit addiction in any form.

Keep on going, man! I'm excited for you

Re: Free At Last
« Reply #489 on: July 06, 2019, 06:23:51 AM »
You're doing a good job. You'll find a way to make it through this. You always have.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #490 on: July 06, 2019, 08:07:57 AM »
Thanks a lot, guys!  :)

It's too common, I think, to see people who want to get rid of porn but don't want to get rid of all their selfish sexual pleasures. Yeah, maybe fantasies are fun and less harmful than porn, but if they still fill the same slot of giving us our sexual "fix" they are still a tool of addiction.

Exactly, that's one of the changes I made in life. Saturdays and sundays always have been dangerous because I woke up without the pressure to leave the house to go to work. Now I don't let any sexual thought grow but immediately get up, go to the bath and get ready for the day.

I also notice how all the former reboot attempts had a positive impact and step by step I have been filling my life with new tasks and habits that now really make me feel happy about my life and what I accomplish. Sometimes I tend to have a negative view thinking "What would have been possible in my life if I hadn't fallen for porn...", but instead I try to remind myself of how I am now responsible to build a positive now and a positive future.

Yet I didn't experience the low motivation I used to experience during the second month, to the contrary I am extremely productive. The only thing that hasn't been good lately is my nutrition, I will return to my diet plan on monday.

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #491 on: July 06, 2019, 06:09:07 PM »

Exactly, that's one of the changes I made in life. Saturdays and sundays always have been dangerous because I woke up without the pressure to leave the house to go to work. Now I don't let any sexual thought grow but immediately get up, go to the bath and get ready for the day.

I also notice how all the former reboot attempts had a positive impact and step by step I have been filling my life with new tasks and habits that now really make me feel happy about my life and what I accomplish. Sometimes I tend to have a negative view thinking "What would have been possible in my life if I hadn't fallen for porn...", but instead I try to remind myself of how I am now responsible to build a positive now and a positive future.

This is awesome, man! What an amazing frame of mind to be in. Don't play around with those smaller thoughts/urges, and don't waste time feeling bad about what could have been. These are thoughts that don't just want to get rid of porn: they want to get rid of addiction.

More power to you!

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #492 on: July 09, 2019, 12:33:07 PM »
AMAZING! Well done on getting this far, mate! You're gonna kick this motherfucker once and for all, and even if your dopamine-craving brain tries to tell you differently, I 100% believe you will have the power to divert that energy towards positive means. I'm proud of you and excited for this next chapter in your journey!

- Adventurer
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 08:16:34 PM by Non-Dual Adventurer »

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #493 on: July 09, 2019, 06:55:06 PM »
Thanks a lot for your support, BlueHeronFan and Non-Dual Adventurer! :)

40 days

Nothing to celebrate, I've been at this point half a year ago and relapsed after 2 months anyway. Had a wet dream two days ago and cravings are very high while I'm having bad luck with girls lately. One voice in my head tells me to take my cell phone home, get Tinder again and meet new girls easily, the other voice tells me that's the direct way back to "Day 0" and that maybe I should just calm down.

Well, I will listen to the more reasonable voice, because 40 days clean is NOTHING compared to years of addiction and I won't die by further abstaining from sex. Yes, I do feel lonely and desperate to some degree, but that's actually helping me. I will stick to my best tactic so far und treat tomorrow as day 1 with plans to take care only for myself: Eat healthy, do sports, read, be creative, socialize.

Important rules for myself: Still not take my cell phone home, be patient and stick to my daily tasks! The following days will be very dangerous if I don't make the right decisions, there is a reason I almost never reached the third month...

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #494 on: July 10, 2019, 07:07:02 PM »
Congrats!

Congrats as much for the streak as for saying it's "nothing to celebrate." On some level, that's very true. 40 days is good progress, but it's not long enough to be "cured." Don't let your brain trick you into thinking that some dangerous things (like Tinder) are okay now. It sounds like you're keeping your brain on track, but it doesn't hurt to say it.

You know the things that are helping you get to 40 days. There's no reason at all to give up on them. It's like taking an antibiotic: you take all of it, even if your symptoms clear up before it's gone. If you don't finish the bottle, there's a chance for the bacteria to develop resistance, and then everything gets worse! (At least, that's what I've heard. And, even if it's not 100% true, I'm sticking with the analogy lol.)

The point is that you know what's working, and you sound well aware of things that have sent you back to day 0 in the past. So just keep doing what you're doing. I know my brain is always coming up with good ideas about what might be "okay" now, but I just keep telling myself that I'm as much at risk of a relapse today as I was at day 8, maybe even more. No time to get sloppy.

Re: Free At Last
« Reply #495 on: July 11, 2019, 05:46:40 AM »
You're so much more likeable than you think you are! Please try not to let one bad experience make you doubt yourself forever! Things just go wrong sometimes! You're still a wonderful person  :)

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #496 on: July 11, 2019, 11:37:36 AM »
Congratulations! Nothing to celebrate perhaps, but definitely to just shrug off either! You've come a long way, and whilst you must still remain vigilant, it doesn't mean you can't be a little proud of yourself too. And just because you relapsed after 2 months before doesn't mean you'll relapse this time. Every time you relapse you learn something, and I believe you will make it through this. It's great if, when you feel a little down, to vent it on here - that's one of this forum's many wonderful functions, but if that negativity is something that turns into a mindset and goes unchecked, it can in itself lead to relapse. No need to feel down about anything, you're on the up and up, man, and your life will just go from strength to strength from here!

- Adventurer

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #497 on: July 12, 2019, 11:09:47 AM »
Thanks a lot, BlueHeronFan, "ThankYou..." and Non-Dual Adventurer!

42 days

Maybe "nothing to celebrate" did sound too negative, but it wasn't meant like that. It's more a reminder to myself to not repeat the same mistakes as usual because as soon as I feel like I reached a bigger streak I usually become complacent or even "demanding" in terms of benefits.

"Hey, I made it six weeks without porn - now where is my new life?" - no, I am building that life step by step and I need to stick to my plans and tasks until they BECOME habits, which may take months or even years. Some things work well: I am reading a lot and get used to live without a cell phone at home. I avoid triggers and actually feel like I am making better use of my time online since there is a time restriction. Nutrition is a problem though, I returned to sugar and need to stop again.

My main problem connected to porn has been social anxiety and socializing and I already made amazing progress before and advanced even further now. My "former self" tried to avoid conflicts, wasn't able to express discontent in a serious and assertive way and generally got hurt by criticism. The more I force myself to go through uncomfortable situations, the more I get used to them. I still get nervous sometimes, but it's a question of training. Years of porn (same with TV and video games) were negative training and an easy way to avoid pain or discomfort. Now I am training myself to accept criticism, express dicontent and live with the consequences.

During the last weeks I faced several confrontations at work and in private life and I am growing stronger. Some people don't like me, others do. I still take rejection personal, but to a much lesser degree than before. If someone isn't doing their job well it's not my fault just because I tell them. I am responsible for important projects and although it would be great to be friends with all co-workers, it's impossible.

Concerning personal life I received criticism by some girls concerning my behaviour and they are right. When I said I was having "bad luck" with girls it wasn't bad luck, but my own fault. This reboot is an opportunity to get rid of "toxic" contacts and also stop being a toxic contact to others, because I clearly maintained contact with some girls only for sex and treated them not very well apart from that.

There is a long way ahead, but the last six weeks went in the right direction!

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #498 on: July 12, 2019, 11:27:23 AM »
Thanks a lot, BlueHeronFan, "ThankYou..." and Non-Dual Adventurer!

42 days

Maybe "nothing to celebrate" did sound too negative, but it wasn't meant like that. It's more a reminder to myself to not repeat the same mistakes as usual because as soon as I feel like I reached a bigger streak I usually become complacent or even "demanding" in terms of benefits.

"Hey, I made it six weeks without porn - now where is my new life?" - no, I am building that life step by step and I need to stick to my plans and tasks until they BECOME habits, which may take months or even years. Some things work well: I am reading a lot and get used to live without a cell phone at home. I avoid triggers and actually feel like I am making better use of my time online since there is a time restriction. Nutrition is a problem though, I returned to sugar and need to stop again.

My main problem connected to porn has been social anxiety and socializing and I already made amazing progress before and advanced even further now. My "former self" tried to avoid conflicts, wasn't able to express discontent in a serious and assertive way and generally got hurt by criticism. The more I force myself to go through uncomfortable situations, the more I get used to them. I still get nervous sometimes, but it's a question of training. Years of porn (same with TV and video games) were negative training and an easy way to avoid pain or discomfort. Now I am training myself to accept criticism, express dicontent and live with the consequences.

During the last weeks I faced several confrontations at work and in private life and I am growing stronger. Some people don't like me, others do. I still take rejection personal, but to a much lesser degree than before. If someone isn't doing their job well it's not my fault just because I tell them. I am responsible for important projects and although it would be great to be friends with all co-workers, it's impossible.

Concerning personal life I received criticism by some girls concerning my behaviour and they are right. When I said I was having "bad luck" with girls it wasn't bad luck, but my own fault. This reboot is an opportunity to get rid of "toxic" contacts and also stop being a toxic contact to others, because I clearly maintained contact with some girls only for sex and treated them not very well apart from that.

There is a long way ahead, but the last six weeks went in the right direction!

I see what you mean. Basically, you don't want to count your chickens before they're hatched.

Very interesting what you say about avoiding conflict, not expressing discontent, and taking criticism too personally. I do all of these things. I do remember that when I was clean, I noticed myself becoming more assertive and I would not shy away from a disagreement. For me, I struggle to ascertain whether these aforementioned traits are a result of porn-induced social anxiety or porn-induced social apathy. Weirdly, I think it might be both. On one level I don't care, but on another level, maybe I make myself not care because I'm anxious about conflict.

Also, it's a really good sign that you're starting introspect on your treatment of the fairer sex. I think that's a sign of recovery, because when we're deep down the rabbit hole of P, it's much easier to treat women as objects for sexual gratification. I believe your moral questioning of your treatment is due to your brain rebooting, which is making you more empathic.

- Adventurer

I hope you have another

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #499 on: July 12, 2019, 05:51:16 PM »
Really good thoughts, and I think Adventurer sort of captured a lot of my response.

I have definitely noticed in the last few months that I've been doing more to stand up for myself and to say no to people. I definitely think it has something to do with how porn wrecks our self-esteem. For the longest time, I've been the kind of person who will do whatever it takes to make the people around me totally comfortable and happy (at the unhealthy expense of my own happiness). Now that I'm starting to recognize my own intrinsic value, though, I'm starting to realize that bending over backwards for people isn't good for them or for me. Maybe being a pushover could help me to get a relationship, but it won't help me to build a healthy and long-lasting one.

Keep on learning and growing and building a better life each day!