Author Topic: Free At Last  (Read 52854 times)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #625 on: October 10, 2019, 05:17:53 PM »
Awesome, congrats on 5 days!

I love the idea of rearranging things for a new beginning! This isn't just about ending one behavior, it's about a whole new life.

Keep on building that new life, one more day at a time

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #626 on: October 16, 2019, 05:33:54 PM »
Thank you once again, guys!  :)

Day 12

I'm right back in the emotional rollercoaster of the first weeks of reboot and my life seems like a rollercoaster too. The good news is: I made a successful restart and it feels like a new life due to the changes I made at home (new furniture, clean up, buy new plants, rearrange old furniture), this really helps and I am confident to make it through the upcoming hard stage of reboot.

Last saturday I had sex twice with a girl I dated for a while at the beginning of this year, it definitely didn't feel as satisfying as during my longer streaks of abstinence and the second time I didn't get 100% hard. I cut back contact with her because of her drinking and cocaine habit and the danger for me to get pulled in again (we got drunk and high together often). This time I convinced her of cancelling the drug delivery and have a good time sober, but her habits are out of control and I need to keep more distance to save myself.

And ironically there is good news in terms of dating just now that I returned to the porn abyss: I got a girl's number at a bar (being completly drunk and high) three weeks ago and at first we didn't seem to have a good connection writing messages and we both had been really busy (as I was meeting the other girl again) until we finally met last week. I tried to avoid a dating situation, but we ended up at a bar sitting in front of each other and I felt the return of my social anxiety that had gotten so much better during my long abstinence.

I POINT THIS OUT TO MYSELF: The healing of social anxiety due to abstinence from porn is NOT placebo! I use to forget about this when my streaks advance, but after porn I have a hard time making eye contact and feel nervous and insecure.

My solution to this was to order drinks to relax a little and at some point I just went to the toilet because I really felt uncomfortable holding eye contact all the time - not because of her, she's really awesome and asked "You're not going to leave through the toilet window, are you?". I should have had a great time as she's good looking, funny and really self-confident, but instead I felt intimidated and worrying about not being good enough for her. Porn is not the source of every issue I have, but THIS is completely porn related! I really could beat myself up for throwing away my impressive streak last month.

However she really likes me and wanted to meet again. As I had already set up meeting the other girl last weekend, we agreed on meeting yesterday and she came to my place. To calm my nerves I planned on drinking with her, but as I offered her a drink she replied "No thanks, I do like you without being drunk." - I felt even more uncomfortable because I didn't know if it was a joke or a serious reference to my drinking behaviour. There was no choice but to stay sober and not use alcohol to escape. Later we cuddled, kissed and started undressing, but I felt too nervous and uncomfortable to keep going because she's incredibly hot and in the back of my head I thought about not being completely hard during the second round last saturday. She noticed that I didn't take off her underwear and asked if I didn't want to keep going. I told her straight forward that she was making me a little nervous, because I really like her a lot and that I'd prefer to keep things until that point for now. She was perfectly fine with that and told me today that she can't wait to meet me again and how she enjoyed being with me.

I remember how just a month ago I hit the 100 days clean, felt so much more self confident with much less social anxiety and now that I finally meet an amazing girl who likes me too I go through all this shit again. I am sick of that ever lasting vicious circle of falling into the porn abyss, experiencing social anxiety and as a result getting drunk or doing cocaine to socialize, then relapse on porn again due to the hangover and so on. My life is full of amazing opportunities and it's totally worth it to once again pull myself out of the abyss step by step, day by day.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #627 on: October 16, 2019, 07:02:45 PM »
Sounds like a busy few days! Good for you for sticking with recovery and recognizing that the benefits of extended abstinence are real.

I definitely know the feeling of wishing I had started sooner or not relapsed so recently. Those feelings of regret are useful if they help us to continue doing better, but they're damaging if all they do is make us feel bad. Sure, it would have been ideal if you hadn't relapsed when you did, but there's no changing that. It's easier said than done, but don't let it get you down too much. You're on track and still moving forward (you didn't start completely over).

So just keep at it, and look forward to more good things to come!

squid

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #628 on: October 17, 2019, 07:17:37 AM »
Quote
I remember how just a month ago I hit the 100 days clean, felt so much more self confident with much less social anxiety and now that I finally meet an amazing girl who likes me too I go through all this shit again.

You still have the benefit of your 100 days dude.  So you binged a weekend or two sure, but you have the experience of months of a different lifestyle.  You've completed a reboot.  The whole point is to see how life is without p and then build those habits to keep it that way.  You're are your way dude, keep it up!

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #629 on: October 22, 2019, 12:53:23 PM »
Hey dude, sorry for my long absence from your journal. I've been struggling to comment on people's journals as I've been struggling quite a lot.

It sounds really positive what you and that girl have. How much do you like her? I've often told women who I've been seeing, even for one night stands, about P addiction and they have rarely ever been surprised or shocked, or completely turned off. It's interesting what our minds do to us about the prospect of telling people about this. The reality, in my experience, has never been as bad as what my mind wanted to tell me. It's also positive that you're cutting that other girl out, who has a drug problem. At the end of the day it's nice to have regular sex but we ultimately want to be committed, and we should choose people who lift us up not bring us down.
I'm sorry you relapsed after a long streak, but as BlueHeron said, you're definitely right to just get back on the bus and keeping going.

Your 100 days is inspiring to me and I hope to make it there again too (it's been years).

And I know what you mean about porn-induced social anxiety. Are you in a regular meditation habit at the moment?

Do or die

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #630 on: October 22, 2019, 08:31:30 PM »
Good to see your new successful start.
Keep going.
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.

squid

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #631 on: October 22, 2019, 10:51:24 PM »
You know dude, I'm telling you as someone who thought he was defeated many years ago, you are not defeated.  I want to look you on the eye and tell you, you can do it.  But you gotta have a clear definition of what it is, and have a plan to get there. 

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #632 on: October 24, 2019, 06:13:03 AM »
Thank you very much for your overwhelming support, guys! :) I'll do my best to catch up with your stories but am very busy at the moment - in a good way!

And I know what you mean about porn-induced social anxiety. Are you in a regular meditation habit at the moment?

I never really found my way into meditation, I know there is tons of videos on YouTube and I even asked for suggestions and tried - any suggestions how to start?

Day 19

Dating continued and is heading towards a relationship, we had sex the last three times we met, but it's not as satisfying as it could and should be. It takes longer to get and stay completely hard and it's not performance anxiety due to being nervous. She has an amazing body, but the porn binges definitely were setting me back - clearly not to ground 0, but still far enough to feel distant.

I really like her and decided to be completely honest to her, as she asked me to not play any games, but tell her the truth if I was really interested in her or just wanting to have fun. As she asked me directly about seeing other girls I was honest about that girl I met the week before and told her I was cutting contact. The drug topic also came up and as she never took any illegal drugs, she wasn't too lucky about my history either, but I asked her to give me the chance to leave this behind. Despite those initial obstacles she wants to see me as often as possible and we're basically planning every free minute to see each other.

Apart from that I am facing depression and mood swings, even more as I am not only quitting porn and masturbation, but also cocaine and currently even sugar, fast food and alcohol. She is my extra motivation to go through this shit again, although I try not to depend on another person, but set my own goals - still it clearly helps to have that perspective to be with her when the mood rollercoaster goes down. My next goal is to complete the first month and then to continue my path to physical, sexual and mental health.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #633 on: October 24, 2019, 11:00:28 AM »

I never really found my way into meditation, I know there is tons of videos on YouTube and I even asked for suggestions and tried - any suggestions how to start?

There is a really good free app called Insight Timer. You can browse through a whole bunch of different meditations, and I would recommend simple breathing meditations to start with. Just to bring your attention into your body. There's also an app called Headspace which gives you the first 10 meditations for free, but to get unlimited access you pay like $50 a year.

These two apps should help you get started. The key with it, really, is consistency. It may bring up some emotional stuff when you start doing it, or you might find yourself unable to focus and relax. If either of these things happen, don't worry, it is normal. The key is to be consistent about it, and do it every day (I say that but I'm hardly a paragon of virtue in this regard, lol). The thing with meditation is it brings to the surface whatever's inside you, like a magnifying glass. If your mind is really busy, it'll initially get busier. If you are really sad, you'll probably feel more sad. It's not the meditation that's doing it, but that fact that you are sitting silently and not distracting yourself with some kind of stimulus. This enables you to really examine what is going on in your mind and body and, like a scientist, figure out whether these things are temporary or permanent fixtures in your psyche. You may not see the benefits initially but after a month or two of consistent practice you should notice yourself feeling a lot better about things.

If you need more detailed advice, feel free to PM me anytime.

Quote
Day 19

Dating continued and is heading towards a relationship, we had sex the last three times we met, but it's not as satisfying as it could and should be. It takes longer to get and stay completely hard and it's not performance anxiety due to being nervous. She has an amazing body, but the porn binges definitely were setting me back - clearly not to ground 0, but still far enough to feel distant.

I really like her and decided to be completely honest to her, as she asked me to not play any games, but tell her the truth if I was really interested in her or just wanting to have fun. As she asked me directly about seeing other girls I was honest about that girl I met the week before and told her I was cutting contact. The drug topic also came up and as she never took any illegal drugs, she wasn't too lucky about my history either, but I asked her to give me the chance to leave this behind. Despite those initial obstacles she wants to see me as often as possible and we're basically planning every free minute to see each other.

Apart from that I am facing depression and mood swings, even more as I am not only quitting porn and masturbation, but also cocaine and currently even sugar, fast food and alcohol. She is my extra motivation to go through this shit again, although I try not to depend on another person, but set my own goals - still it clearly helps to have that perspective to be with her when the mood rollercoaster goes down. My next goal is to complete the first month and then to continue my path to physical, sexual and mental health.

So you told her about the porn, too? You were open and honest and that's all anyone can ever really ask from another person. You said she wasn't very happy about your history but still, you guys have planned to spend a tonne of time together. She must really like you, and it sounds like you really like her, too. Also, now that you got that off your chest you can continue in your awesomeness to live every day to the fullest and to keep sticking to habits that support your growth and freedom from P. And as you say, let her be a motivator but not the motivation for your freedom.

Stay awesome,
Adventurer

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #634 on: October 24, 2019, 06:55:26 PM »
Congratulations on making progress, having difficult and important conversations, and taking the fight to addiction in all its forms! Take a minute to give yourself a pat on the back if you haven't already (and then get back to the fight, lol)!

I 100% support everything Adventurer said about meditation. I'm a fan of Insight Timer, too and I think just setting aside some time every day is the trick to success. It's a practice, something you do regularly whether you do a great job or not. And it has really helped me, especially when it comes to dealing with urges and triggers in the moment. Just the other day, I was listening to something on the app that called meditation something like the practice of stabilizing the mind, and I liked that definition. By learning how to direct my attention and avoid getting caught up in thoughts and ideas, I have gotten better at riding out the urges and letting the triggers pass by.

Keep on going!

Do or die

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #635 on: October 24, 2019, 07:05:31 PM »
Congratulations. Day 19 is sign that you are doing very well.
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #636 on: October 29, 2019, 04:32:51 PM »
Day 0

This came by no surprise: As I was frequently seeing the girl, I thought restrictions weren't necessary anymore and I was going to walk out of this the easy way. No time for self-pity, I am going to make tomorrow a happy and fullfilling day. Not in the mood to write too much, but I will write an update this weekend.

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #637 on: October 29, 2019, 05:10:56 PM »
That's still a 23-day streak by my count, which is a massive improvement. You have not lost all of your progress; you did the right thing every day for 23 days. Here's to another day of doing the right thing to avoid relapse.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #638 on: October 29, 2019, 06:51:21 PM »
Tomorrow is a new day, and nothing that happened today has to have any effect on what happens tomorrow. Start fresh and get back at it. It's a bump in the road.

It sounds like you know what happened and why. Every relapse is a chance to find the gaps in the armor and to seal them up for the next time. We talk about restrictions, but they're also protections. Don't think about giving up freedom, think about reducing risk.

But you're exactly right, go have a happy and fulfilling tomorrow! We're with you!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #639 on: November 04, 2019, 03:12:39 PM »
Day 2

This is something like a prolonged day 0, because I gave myself 72 hours of preparation before entering this journey again. This is the last time that I will go through the first month again and I need to prepare this really well.

Of course after writing on october, 29 about my big update on the weekend I relapsed again on october 31 to start again with a new streak at november, 1st (as if my brain didn't trick me into this a hundred times). And of course I binged again and again and again. I stopped at november 2nd in the morning when I crossed another line, had my personal wake up call on life and remain in a state of deep depression.

Throughout my almost two decades of porn escalation I discovered the high of sexting and the voyeurist/exhibitionist approach of a new, bigger high than just watching porn. Becoming porn is even more thrilling and without going into too much detail I know a girl who is into this a lot too. Actually I knew various girls, but I managed to cut contact or quit this with everyone but her. My last binges were watching porn for hours and at some point send her pics, videos or even make a videocall, doing all kinds of things for her to reach the escalation I needed. The latest escalation was doing this but on a public sex-chatroom with her and who-knows-who-else watching. When I came I immediately felt that I've crossed an unthinkable line for myself.

It was not possible for myself to just set a new "Day 0" and start again, I need a profound cartharsis. I told the girl about my problem and we decided to block each other on the phone. I cut contact before, but never blocked her or told her about my problem because I felt too embarassed. Now I deleted the number, completely reset my phone and deleted everything with a special overwriting tool. I feel like I need to cleanse my old life to make a restart possible.

67 hours passed since the last binge and I decided not to go "all in" on a new life immediately, but get my tasks at home done, set up a new plan for the following weeks and make my devices as safe as possible for the upcoming weeks.

The severe series of relapsing clearly has to do with the disappointing development of dating the girl I mentioned. My honesty about my drug problem and the other girl weren't supposed to make her happy, of course. Instead I got really angry because she managed to find out who the friend-with-benefit-girl is (I didn't even mention her name) and I had to face distrust in several occasions now. That's the reason I won't talk to her about my porn problem and probably will stop dating her completely.

I'm not ready for a relationship or any connection at the moment, I hit rock bottom and face depression, self-hatred and shame. It's a hard task to just face all this negativity and not drown it in alcohol and cocaine as I'd really like to do now. I never felt this low and it never took me so long to climb out of the abyss to enter a new reboot attempt. Tomorrow I will start with daily tasks and add some new habits step by step to build a new life. I try to gain a positive view on the latest events: Hitting rock bottom might be the initial motivation to reach a long term change, but first it's just a daily struggle to return to feeling alive.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #640 on: November 04, 2019, 09:31:20 PM »
I've heard from a lot of people before that hitting rock bottom was the turning point for them. It's sad to hear that you're feeling as bad as you are, but at least you know the only way forward is up.

There is definitely some serious work to do in order to sever your ties with the past and build a new clean life. I don't want to sell the seriousness and intensity of that short, but I do think step one might be to take a breath and give yourself some kind attention and gentle awareness.

Remember, addiction is our brain's best attempt to protect us from the pains and traumas we face in life. Addictions are terrible, destructive things, but they start from a kind of attempt to make things better. You have made mistakes, and it is natural to feel ashamed of them. But you aren't a bad guy. If anything, you're a person in pain who, unfortunately, found an unhealthy way to deal with that pain.

So, maybe, as you make plans to fix your behavior, also take some time to make plans to heal your pain. What hurts? Why does it hurt? What can you do take care of yourself? Learning to see my addicted self as a person in pain instead of as a person who was disgustingly self-indulgent and corrupt has been a big turning point for me. I'm not fighting myself. I'm getting to know myself and learning to take better care of myself.

There's a tough road ahead, but we've got your back. You got this!

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #641 on: November 06, 2019, 03:08:29 PM »
Sorry to hear that you're feeling so bad. Rock bottom can be a good place to be. Why? Because at rock bottom, all the drugs and porn in the world won't make you feel anymore numb or worse than you you already feel, nor will they make you feel better. Rock bottom means you have to face yourself and your pain, and forces you look at yourself in the mirror, soberly.

Pain is pain, happiness is happiness, life is life. Life is neutral to all of this.

Watch this:
youtube.com/watch?v=EHz0tqSfQ3o

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #642 on: November 24, 2019, 12:15:59 PM »
Day 7

It's been a while since my last entry, but I didn't feel able to write here earlier. Started some posts and deleted them, felt really down. Thank you very much for your support, BlueHeronFan and Non-Dual Adventurer. You both are right about the pain and I basically know the key to get out of this, but it's still not easy though. There are moments when escaping seems an easy alternative to suffering and I have to be aware 24/7.

I took some time to make another restart because hitting rock-bottom wasn't enough apparently. Although I "just" returned to YouTube videos, I still fed the monster again. Last sunday was another turning point, as I started drinking with my buddies on saturday early on and got so drunk I finally decided to buy cocaine. After more than 16 hours of drinking and doing cocaine I felt completely exhausted and when returning home was in panic because of my increased heart rate and the fear of suffering a heart attack. My anxiety increased my heart rate even further and I decided to distract myself with YouTube videos as I couldn't sleep anyway. Soon I was watching porn subs and ended MOing to those videos.

The depression I already experienced before hit me even worse the whole sunday and I realized I need to change more than just the porn and internet habits, because drinking will lead to heavy drinking will lead to drugs will lead to porn. I need at least 90 days clean of everything and with heavy restrictions on. Currently my social anxiety is up again and I face it with alcohol and drugs when having to interact in groups. The sweating in social situations had come back and it was basically completely gone before. For now I just accept depression and social anxiety as something I can't change at the moment, but that will pass if I follow my plan. I was at a much better state only a few months ago and I want to reach that state of mind again.

I spoke to some of my friends about the plan (at least concerning alcohol and drugs) and get support, I feel committed because I talked about it. There's a tough road ahead once again, but I feel prepared now and completed the first week.

quitforeverthenwin2

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #643 on: November 24, 2019, 02:55:26 PM »
Hey man, I have to get caught up on your journal, but I read the last page. Sorry to hear about your recent struggles.

Keep your chin up.

Have you ever considered looking into getting medication? I mention this because, although I have some differences I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. Like my brain seemed to always NEED to find something to be compulsive like it just needed a way to get dopamine.

Recently got diagnosed with ADHD got meds, I take a super low dose while taking  them it's not even all that difficult to avoid P. Not saying thats the solution for you (adhd meds can be addictive I take the weakest stuff at a super low dose) but I had left no stone unturned except taking medcation fought this shit for years now taking meds and it seems a major help....

Edit: Hopefully nog overstepping with that suggestion. Just intuitively/ my gut reaction saw some similarities between how your brain seems to work and mine 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 05:31:27 PM by quitforeverthenwin2 »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #644 on: November 24, 2019, 09:02:04 PM »
Hey, man, sorry to hear about all that you have been putting up with. It's good that you're back with us, though.

I think it's good an important that you're recognizing the connections between things. It's not just about eliminating bad habits one at a time. It's about building a new, healthier life.

At this point, I feel like the best thing I can say is that we're here for you. It's awesome that you have confided in some friends and that you're feeling committed. This is a difficult journey, but you definitely don't have to face it alone.