Author Topic: Free At Last  (Read 69605 times)

wecandoit

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #675 on: December 21, 2019, 09:45:13 AM »
Day 12

Thank you very much for your support, guys!

Another day complete and now the weekend is coming: No porn, cravings will increase! Tomorrow I'll have free time and need to be careful, will write a bigger update and catch up with everyone's stories here...

When I have free days it's a problem for me too. This is when I usually relapse. I work 2 more days and then I am free. I need to plan something for that.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #676 on: December 21, 2019, 10:52:01 AM »
Day 13

Thank you, guys! So far I managed to keep myself busy again and I made a decision for today: No porn! I'm heading towards the most difficult days and it's now really a daily success to advance step by step.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #677 on: December 22, 2019, 12:15:55 AM »
You might be heading into more difficult territory, but all you need to do is deal with it for one more day.

You're really doing great and staying consistent and accountable. That all helps. Keep it up!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #678 on: December 22, 2019, 06:44:02 AM »
Day 14

Thank you, Blue! :)

I am one day away from another complete porn free weekend, I know I can make this and will focus on getting the household done today.

Last night I got a bit drunk and had some moments of self-reflection. Went to a bar and there were little to no girls I was interested in, except one that was in the company of another girl and seemingly drunk. When she was ordering drinks I "coincidentally" walked up to the bar too and managed to start a conversation. At some point her friend appeared and I wasn't really too good at continuing the getting-to-know-each-other-smalltalk. They went on to interact with other people at the bar they knew and I felt all my insecurities creep up.

It's nothing new to me to face that at this early stage of reboot and I decided to just observe what was causing my anxiety, allowing myself all the negative thoughts. When she talked to other guys I had the feeling of not being good enough and wondered if it was my physical appearance or my lack of conversation skills that scared her off. Then I imagined I was going home alone and anticipated the loneliness. Suddenly I stopped having a good time and was all worried about having failed. As I mentioned, I tried to observe myself and felt the desire to drink more or even do cocaine (I am 5 weeks clean, little success here) to be able to have a good time again. Luckily I managed to force myself to stop drinking, instead interacted with other people at the bar and had a good time after all.

Now there's a plot twist as the girl was leaving and walked up to me to give me her instagram account. I told her I was going to write her today and she said she hopes so and left. After all she wasn't scared off by me, she didn't reject me and - although I have no idea if she was just drunk - there was no problem with me not being good enough. She was just having a good time with her friends and I was not the center of her universe that night.

Of course there are some underlying issues concerning my fear of rejection that have nothing to do with porn, but I do know this problem gets better during longer streaks of abstinence. It's also interesting how I'm seemingly blind to positive signals by girls while any negative signal strikes a nerve immediately. Now there is a high possibility writing that girl won't lead nowhere (as she was really drunk), but the observation of all my negativity yesterday was a big lesson for me: I need to learn to take things easy and stop worrying about my own image towards others. I will write her later and if she replies, good. If not, nothing happens - it's the same result as if I hadn't tried at all, but at least I tried!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #679 on: December 22, 2019, 11:35:30 PM »
Way to go, man! Another weekend almost in the bag, 2 whole weeks, and a pretty decent outcome to a situation that was making you feel bad in the moment. Wins all around (and 5 weeks clean too)!

I really relate to the general pattern of your experience at the bar. I always assume that any good signs from girls are just insincere politeness and any bad ones are the truth that they would rather not be around me. That's obviously wrong, but it's so easy to believe.

Part of it, based on things I've been listening to lately, is the negativity bias of the brain. We're hardwired to respond more strongly to bad things than good ones because bad things put our survival risk while good things don't make a huge difference (in terms of natural selection). So we notice the bad and hang onto it way more than good things. It's so easy for me to explain good things away and to talk myself into believing worst-case scenarios, especially when it comes to girls.

Whether or not it ultimately amounts to anything, it's awesome that she came back at the end of the night and gave you some contact info. It's a good reminder that our judgments in the moment are often wrong and that things are going better than we assume. When we let ourselves fall into the negativity, that's when we get more vulnerable to our addiction.

You're really doing great, though, probably better than you realize. Keep it up!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #680 on: December 23, 2019, 01:19:34 PM »
Day 15

Thank you very much for that interesting insight, Blue! Didn't think there could be an evolutionary explanation behind that thought pattern, but it seems I'm not the only one who experiences it. So far she didn't reply, but at least I tried ;)

I'm experiencing severe cravings and lots of stress, I will make it through today. Trying to keep myself busy before holidays, the most dangerous stage of the year because my brain plays the "Start on january 1st again!"-trick. I will go step by step as I am entering the most difficult part of rebooting.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #681 on: December 24, 2019, 12:56:21 AM »
Forget starting on January 1st! Just remind your brain that you could start on January 1st at day 1, or you could start at day 1 plus 20 (or however many days it is, lol). You're doing great and it's good that you're aware of the pitfalls. Just keep pressing on!

And I get the cravings and stress. For me early/potential relationship uncertainty is like my number one problem spot. I don't have any good advice, but sometimes commiseration is help enough. Just keep pushing forward for another day. We'll get where we're going eventually, and it's important for us to be well prepared when that time finally comes!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #682 on: December 24, 2019, 08:22:00 AM »
Day 16

Thanks a lot, Blue!

It's now day 16 without any porn, porn subs or M and I feel very strong cravings. I can make it today and reach tomorrow without relapsing, that's all that counts for now.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #683 on: December 25, 2019, 12:07:25 AM »
Another day!

That's right, just deal with the cravings for today, just today. When the cravings got really strong for me at the beginning of the year, I had to play the just one more day mind game with myself. Otherwise the pressure got too intense.

Just get through the day when the going gets tough. Go on a walk, watch a good movie, spend some time with friends. When the cravings get really bad, sometimes you just need to find something safe and distracting to get through the day. No shame in that. Do what you need to do to stay clean. You can get back to being productive when the urges pass.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #684 on: December 25, 2019, 02:43:44 AM »
Day 17

You're absolutely right, Blue, if I think long-term I get overwhelmed by the feeling of "If I don't give in today, it will be worse and I will give in tomorrow!". It's just about today and today is porn free! It's also a reminder to myself to not take the longer streaks of more than a month for granted, because the third to fourth week really is hell. It just sucks to have to go through that again and I get triggered by everything!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #685 on: December 25, 2019, 11:38:03 PM »
It's true, some days really are hard. And it's frustrating when you feel like you're just retracing your steps. I think, for me, that's why taking it a day at a time is so important. It doesn't matter if you've gone longer clean in the past. It just matters that you're making it today.

(Besides, you aren't really back where you started, even if it feels like it. You have more experience and knowledge than you did then. It's all progress.)

Here's to day 18!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #686 on: December 26, 2019, 05:18:57 AM »
Day 18

Here's to day 18!

Thanks a lot for your ongoing support! :)

So far I did very well, way better than I thought. My next goal is to reach tomorrow without a relapse and then I will have to face the difficult weekend. So far it's better to just focus on today and not think about the next days.

You are right about me not starting at a complete ground zero, but after my latest series of porn-binges 18 days ago, I feel the same intense cravings as always when I go through this early stage of reboot.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #687 on: December 27, 2019, 12:06:35 AM »
You are right about me not starting at a complete ground zero, but after my latest series of porn-binges 18 days ago, I feel the same intense cravings as always when I go through this early stage of reboot.

No, you're totally right. I have been feeling some intense cravings in the last couple of days. I don't know if those ever change when they hit, but we're changing and becoming less susceptible to them when they happen. One big change in my mindset this year has been to give up thinking that my goal was to attain a life without cravings. Instead, I'm accepting them as a fact of my life and thinking about how I can live a healthy and productive life without porn knowing that I will get cravings from time to time. Cravings aren't the real problem. Acting on them is.

So, even if you still have cravings, you're making great progress when you refuse to give into them. And that's exactly what you're doing, one day at a time. So keep it up!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #688 on: December 27, 2019, 12:22:46 PM »
Day 19

Thank you, Blue, today after almost 19 days without porn, porn subs or masturbation I actually realized the progress I made:

When I started this reboot there were 23 days of the month left and I made a plan of reading two books and listening to 23 new music albums (1 per day). Yesterday on day 18 I finished the third book and started the fourth (when going to bed I am now lighting a candle and reading until I fall asleep, can only suggest that habit). I already listened to all 23 new albums, discovered some great new music and started to make a new list for january. My daily workout routine at home is also complete until today and I returned to the gym to get back in shape. At work I interact with others much more confident again and already have a better stress management. Even the girl from the bar last saturday replied and we wrote some messages, although she doesn't seem to be really interested and honestly neither am I - but hey: I saw her, managed to interact, got her contact and she replied. That's a huge boost of confidence for myself.

Now that I allowed myself to be proud of the first steps it's time to get back to work: I know that after such a positive state of mind the rollercoaster usually goes down and I got caught off guard too often. It's very important for my recovery to take this even more serious than before: My nutrition was horrible during holidays and I will work on that aspect starting today. Restrictions on my computer remain the same, my cell phone stays out of my home and this weekend I will avoid alcohol, but instead go to the gym every day.

The porn free life doesn't await me after a certain number of days, I am already living it and despite cravings, mood swings and some heavy issues in my personal life it's so much better to be productive and look back proud at the achievements of the last weeks than return to the temporary high of porn and the following abyss of self-hatred and regret.

Next goal: Complete today without porn and follow my plans instead.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 12:24:31 PM by achilles heel »

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #689 on: December 28, 2019, 12:23:02 AM »
The porn free life doesn't await me after a certain number of days, I am already living it

So much of what you said was spot on and inspiring, but this hit me today. I spend a lot of time living in the future and forgetting about right now. Life without porn can happen today and everyday: it's not something I'm waiting for. So simple but so meaningful too.

Thanks for the insight, and keep crushing it! Here's to day 20!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #690 on: December 28, 2019, 01:38:51 PM »
Day 20

Thanks, Blue!

Here's to day 20!

Exactly, I almost completed day 20 and still feel very good. I don't really trust my own state of hapiness because I want to be prepared for a wave of depression kicking in towards the end of the month, but for now everything's going rather well. Cravings are there, but not as intense as 2-3 days ago.

I'm still in the middle of the most difficult weekend and still think day by day: I want to reach tomorrow without porn!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #691 on: December 28, 2019, 11:44:59 PM »
That's the spirit, man! Today is the only day that matters, but 20 is still a good looking number.

It's good that you're staying aware of what's to come. Prepare and plan for it. If you expect depression/cravings/something else to come at you, don't just watch it happen. Be proactive. There are too many times in my life when I saw a relapse coming and just watched it get me without doing anything.

Keep it up for another day!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #692 on: December 29, 2019, 02:27:25 PM »
Day 21

Today is the only day that matters, but 20 is still a good looking number.

Thanks a lot, Blue, 21 is looking even better and I am just about to complete the third week. It feels good and for now I don't face the expected trouble... I stay aware though and focus on the next day. If I really manage to make it through 2019 without relapsing that would be an incredible achievement as I always struggle during the end of the year...

Porn is not an option and I will keep advancing!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #693 on: December 30, 2019, 12:28:57 AM »
That's right, keep it up! Your daily diligence is inspiring to me!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #694 on: December 30, 2019, 12:20:29 PM »
Day 22

Thank you, Blue! As long as I take this serious, stick to my restrictions, write here daily (even if it's a short entry) and prepare for mood swings and cravings, I can make it step by step. Today I am very busy, tomorrow will be a huge challenge as it's the last day of the year and I have plenty of free time. Will make plans to keep myself busy and hope to soon enter 2020 porn free and with even more motivation.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #695 on: December 30, 2019, 11:37:13 PM »
Sounds awesome! Step by step really is the way to go. I have said it for a long time, but I'm starting to believe it even more now. I can't say for sure what will happen in a week or a year, but I can be pretty sure about what I'll do today. We can't control everything, but we can control the next step.

Keep on steppin'!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #696 on: December 31, 2019, 01:30:27 PM »
Day 23

Thank you, Blue, I'm going to step clean into the new year ;)

The crucial last day of the decade goes fine so far and I'm few hours away from a major goal: To make it through the rest of 2019 porn-free! Not only that, but so far I made it in complete hard mode without any porn subs, M or O at all.

The only thing that matters now is to reach 2020 without a relapse so my brain has no way to pull the "Start a clean streak on january 1st" trick. I fell for that many times before, but this time I consider starting at day 24 to be the better option.

On a side note I am 44 days drug free and new year's eve has been difficult for me in terms of cocaine use. Because of my struggles I made a decision to treat this as a random day and instead of going to a party I will hit the gym, eat healthy, go to bed early and start 2020 full of energy.

Finally it feels like I regained the belief in myself to overcome this addiction and I am happy and proud I didn't give up after 6 years with hundreds of relapses. Quitting porn still is the biggest goal of my life and I will make it one day at a time!

wecandoit

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #697 on: December 31, 2019, 02:05:03 PM »
Great start, man! Fuck New Year's resolutions. It didn't work for me. I remember I PMOed on the last day of the year telling myself that I wanted to start the next year and do it right, only to relapse 5 days after. If December 31 is the first day, then that's the first day, fuck New Year and all this bullshit. I enter the next year with a streak too, not long as yours but tomorrow it will be a week and after the last binges on consecutive days, this feels like a victory already.

PS: Stay away from drugs.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #698 on: January 01, 2020, 05:38:27 AM »
Day 24

Thank you, wecandoit! :)

I made it through the rest of december without any P, P subs, M or O - amazing success and now my next challenge is to make it through the first day of 2020.

Today I made an exception and lowered my restrictions taking my cell phone home to be able to communicate with my friends and family. I will try to socialize more in 2020 and the new year was a good set up to write people I haven't seen in a while. It's important to me to point out that this is an exception, the cell phone will be gone again in a few hours and I will return to my own rules. Important reminder: They are absolutely necessary to succeed!

Freedomisworthit

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #699 on: January 01, 2020, 02:47:40 PM »
Awesome job Achillesheel, I'm proud of you.

I've been trying to get rid of my PMO addiction for over 5 years now and like you, I've experienced hundreds of relapses - whether that was softer forms of pornography, edging, fantasizing, or actual binges of PMO.

This rebooting nation website has helped open my eyes to the thousands of men who are experiencing recovery from PMO addiction daily, so y'all understand me and I can understand y'all - the frustrations, symptoms, the daily struggle. One day at a time, we can can recover from our addictions.

2020 is going to be the best year yet of our lives, and a large reason will be become we are moving forward without pornography and life is getting better, one day at a time!

Keep up your goals and we're here to support you my rebooting brother.