Author Topic: Free At Last  (Read 83710 times)

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #350 on: September 23, 2018, 11:54:10 AM »
19 days

First: Thank you very much again, Stiffy, you really helped me!

It is pure luck that I am still on track, I got too drunk the whole weekend, took my cell phone home and wanted to start sexting with a girl from my past who luckily didn't reply. The sheer thought got me excited and I would have done it. I didn't plan drinking that much.

I'm still a complete emotional wreck and don't know how much is due to reboot and how much due to my general crisis. I will only find out if I manage to ignore the depression and keep on walking.

Things with a girl I met lately seem to lead nowhere and I am afraid of rejection. She's a friend of a friend and the friend told me I wasn't her type and shouldn't have any false hopes. Despite that I received some signals that made me believe in chances with her. Now my fear of rejection makes me think I shouldn't even try, because we met and she already showed some distance - couldn't even come close at all.

Currently I am in a mood that every little sign of rejection could make me cry and my self esteem is on an all time low. I also know that around the 20 days I always suffer a lot and I hope this will pass.

I know that this is a key to recovery: Girls on the screen never rejected me, life hurts sometimes and porn numbs the pain. It is very likely that I will get rejected by her if I try to come closer, but maybe that would be a helpful experience if I have to sit through and deal with the negative emotions.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #351 on: September 23, 2018, 10:48:13 PM »
20 days

Severe depression, can't sleep anymore, I feel lonely and powerless. Completely hopeless and no positive perspective on life whatsoever. There are reasons in my life to not feel good, but they didn't appear just now and I realize how every negative thought hits me 100 times as hard. I already know the trouble around the 3-week-mark and need to push through this all time low. Feel like crying, on a scale from 1-10 my current mood is a 0.

This is a little reminder to myself: If I make it past this point and feel better, this is part of reboot and the extreme negativity is part of withdrawals. It is very likely that it's like that and it's also possible that I might forget how bad I felt. I don't have time or energy to waste and start again, rebooting is my priority in life and it was extremely stupid to get drunk for two days in a row - no more alcohol until completing the first month. Cell phone stays out of my home.

Another important observation: Last week at work I felt nervous around people again and got nervous at client contact. The addiction sneaked in telling me that my social anxiety doesn't have anything to do with porn and wouldn't improve by abstaining. I was doubting the benefits of staying porn free and thought about needing this dopamine fix in my life. Have to be very aware of these thoughts, now I feel vulnerable.

Stiffy

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #352 on: September 24, 2018, 03:50:16 PM »
Make it through this low point without PMO and then you’ll have something to feel empowered about.

Things will get better. This is a journey that doesn’t stop. Life is always ups and downs.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #353 on: September 25, 2018, 05:57:24 AM »
21 days

Thanks, Stiffy!

I've been at the current point before and know about the trouble, but this time it hits really hard. The difference is that I am lacking distraction: I could always randomly browse social media or talk to people on WhatsApp when feeling lonely or needing distraction. Now I forbid myself to take home the phone and only allow myself a few minutes on Facebook to answer messages, no random browsing (set a time limit at my browser extension and unfollowed all my friends/pages to have an empty timeline), no video games or TV at all either.

Looking at what I wrote yesterday it seems exaggerated, but it wasn't: I really felt that desperate, putting my mood on a scale from 1-10 I would call it a 4 today, yesterday it was clearly a 0. It wasn't my idea to torture myself, but my addiction doesn't leave me any choice - I am on page 15 of this journal, there are hundreds of relapses written down, it's 2 1/2 years that I try to quit here and I already tried before without this community: 5 years of failing over and over again. I've got no other choice but to follow a radical plan of making it as difficult as possible to access to porn - that includes some sacrifices like the cell phone at home.

Yesterday was maybe the hardest day ever while rebooting, my loneliness multiplied because of the social media cold turkey, but I can honestly answer to myself that I prefer to feel like this for a long time than ever go back to porn again. It has been a long time now that I wasn't willing to endure suffering or make sacrifices, but quitting porn doesn't work any other way.

While I still don't feel very happy I managed to calm down at least. I went to the gym yesterday and totally exhausted myself, then kept reading a book until falling asleep. Today I woke up and completed three weeks without porn, that's a huge success and I am proud of my achievement so far.

Stiffy

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #354 on: September 25, 2018, 12:40:58 PM »
Hell yes man. That’s the determination and resolve needed to get through anything. I admire the perseverance you’ve displayed. 15 pages and lots of failures but you are still here and you’re still pushing. Yeah, there are failures in there but overall that’s success. As long as you don’t stop fighting. I’m glad things are better today. I know what the misery and depression feels like. Keep going! You’re going to win.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #355 on: September 26, 2018, 06:56:37 AM »
22 days

My mood is at 5/10 today, I hope the worst part is over but stay prepared for the emotional rollercoaster. Yes, life is always about ups and downs, but the first month after quitting porn is extreme and I need to keep that in mind. If I complete the first month - and I am sure about that - I will feel more balanced and tend to forget how bad I felt. This is a potential danger because I tend to lower my guards.

My solution for the moment is doing lots of sports. As I can't stand sitting at home alone with negative thoughts, I just go to the gym or do sports almost every day and my performance is close to an all time high. Healthy nutrition and going to bed early every day definitely pay off.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #356 on: September 27, 2018, 04:11:00 AM »
23 days

The mood scale is kind of interesting, today I'd say it's at 6/10 and I apparently passed the worst stage. Still I know that this rollercoaster ride is far from over and stay prepared. The good thing is: I start believing in my own success. It's a question of balance now. I read through my journal and noticed how I relapsed many times when feeling down, but also relapsed when things started to look good and I lowered my guards.

During the next weeks I need to stay aware when feeling good and stick to my habits and restrictions. And when feeling low I need to remind myself that this will pass. Just 3 days ago life as a whole seemed horrible to me, just now everything's ok. This clearly isn't my real self being desperate about life, but my starving brain screaming for its dopamine high. Well, not this time, not anymore!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #357 on: September 28, 2018, 02:50:36 AM »
24 days

I am coming closer to the partial goal of 30 days, now the weekend is coming and I have to stay very aware. My mood hasn't changed since yesterday and feels stable so far, but one never knows. If I stick to my precautions and restrictions, I will make it.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #358 on: September 29, 2018, 02:45:43 AM »
25 days

Feeling rather good (7/10), I should have written down a mood scale from the beginning, this is interesting. In case of feeling depressed I need to gain some distance and realize how this clearly is part of quitting the addiction. I don't expect any miracles, I just want to put enough distance to the last time I used porn step by step. 25 days is giant success already, I don't look towards my highest streaks, but to how I failed lately and keep the 30 days as a partial goal in sight.

Now that I feel good it's time to develop strategies in anticipation and write down some important reminders for myself:

1) Whenever I feel social anxiety coming back stronger during reboot, I must realize that this journey is about ups and downs and far from over. Abstaining from porn definitely helps me a lot and there is no reason to doubt it, this is my addiction sneaking in!

2) When feeling lonely, depressed and with lack of perspective in life, that's part of the reboot too. No "I can go back to porn anyway, because nothing really matters." - I must stay strong during the most difficult moments, because they will pass.

3) When I feel really good and safe, the restrictions on cell phone and internet use stay the same! I will not lower my guards, because otherwise my addiction will find a weak moment and strike again.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #359 on: September 30, 2018, 03:49:24 AM »
26 days

Passed another critical point as I almost made it through the last weekend of the first month. Today I will be very busy and around friends all day. I am slightly optimistic of reaching the 30 days and it is really motivating to work towards a partial goal that doesn't seem out of reach (like 90 days would). Mood is 6/10, I need to return to all my healthy habits as lately I didn't complete all daily tasks. The good thing is that I am doing more sports than planned, but after gym I often failed to read and learn or to write down things I am grateful for.

It is important to be grateful and to have a positive outlook on life. Instead of regretting my addiction and the many years I am into this I try to see it as a challenge. And I accept this challenge as part of my life, of who I am and who I want to become. Everybody has to face challenges in his life and if I look at my life it offers a perspective. It is up to me to complete this challenge and be the person I want to become, I found the methods to abstain from porn and although they might be radical, they do work (so far) and I just need to follow this path.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #360 on: October 01, 2018, 11:59:02 AM »
27 days

Daily mood: 6/10, I am a few hours away from completing 4 weeks without porn including any porn subs, sexting, artificial stimulation whatsoever. I am very proud because I made it beyond the hardest time around week 3 without relapsing. My partial goal of 30 days is in sight. I will not set any long term goals because I want to advance step by step and rather see this as a daily success. Also the constant failures in my past have damaged my belief in long term success. It will take some time to inherit the mentality of finally succeeding in spite of hundreds of relapses within the 5 years trying to quit.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #361 on: October 02, 2018, 05:15:07 AM »
28 days

4 weeks complete, 2 days until the partial goal of 30 days. Mood: 6/10.

Yesterday I noticed how I questioned my new cell phone habit telling myself "This can't go on forever!" - but there is no going back, not even negotiation about exceptions. This rule is the major key to success and it is not a huge sacrifice to reduce cell phone use. I already managed my excuses for not being available. Told my friends who asked that I just need time off after work due to being stressed and manage my arrangements with anticipation. None of them questioned it any further and it works well.

I will focus 100% on completing the last two days of the first month, then set a new goal. Step by step. The last time I completed a month without porn was in february/march and therefore it would be a huge success to repeat this achievement.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #362 on: October 03, 2018, 01:58:05 AM »
29 days

One step closer to my goal of 30 days, mood: 7/10. Many times I underlined how kicking this addiction was the number 1 priority in my life, but until now I didn't act upon it. If there is something I really, really, really want in life and I can achieve it by simple sacrifices as not taking my cell phone home and putting on some internet restrictions on my computer, those are no sacrifices at all compared to what I may win.

I always wanted to keep living the same life as before but without porn - well, the reason I am here is because my life went to far out of control, I felt the need to search for help. If it was a question of discipline and will power, everybody here would just quit porn for good.

The truth is that quitting really sucks to say the least, I am not able to control my addiction and as this addiction hijacked the reward center of my brain, I am not able to control myself until I gained some distance to the last time using. I need to keep the severe restrictions on my daily life to keep porn and porn subs out of reach as far as possible. It is totally worth it and I will not question this decision even if severe depression and/or cravings come back. All methods of lowering my guards failed and as this is my number one priority in life, I have to accept little sacrifices and not negotiate about them as soon as I advance in terms of my streak.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #363 on: October 03, 2018, 06:01:34 PM »
30 days

Since march I didn't complete a month without porn, just now I did it again and feel very proud of this achievement. It helped a lot to set a partial goal within reach and I will do so again. Next partial goal is to reach 50 days, something I haven't done since 2016.

I set some personal goals for better habits for the first month and look back at them with mixed feelings:

* In terms of sports I clearly overachieved all of my goals. Going to the gym and being part of a sports team helped me a lot when cravings and depression set in.

* Nutrition could have been better, I significantly cut sugar, but failed to eat enough fruits and vegetables. I also allowed myself some fast food and need to prepare food in advance when going to work.

* I started studying a lot and achieved my goals for the whole month after two weeks. Lately I didn't study at all and therefore missed my daily goal every day. I have to work on that to build those healthy habits and get a routine instead of doing all at once and then be lazy again. This is about building daily routines and I am not happy with my lazyness lately.

* Reading started out good, but just as studying I've been lazy lately. Normally I read and study before going to bed, but lately I went to the gym very late and fell asleep immediately at home.

* I have not written down something to be grateful for every day and need to work on that. It helps a lot to gain a positive perspective on life.

Well, for the next 20 days I will set the same goals again and try to complete more of them. Restrictions will stay the same: I will not take my cell phone home, just have access to the internet at a certain time and to certain pages (except for this wonderful community which is unblocked all day) and further cut down social media (I am at a point of almost no activity at all and think about closing accounts). My number one priority in life remains to kick this addiction forever and live free!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #364 on: October 06, 2018, 05:29:22 AM »
32 days

Current mood: 6/10, it's amazing to see how the mood pattern repeats compared to my former reboots. After the first month it's rather stable for a while. But I know that there will be lows and withdrawals again, I am still at the very beginning and need to focus on reaching the 50 days.

There were moments were I questioned the radical restrictions on my internet and cell phone use, but I allowed myself to browse some Facebook lately and learned something about myself. Out of curiosity I looked at the pages of some friends and an ex girlfriend (we have a good relation) to see what I missed out lately. Apart from lots of irrelevant shared links that are a waste of time, I found myself looking at who commented at my ex girlfriend's pictures and thought about if maybe she had a new boyfriend or was dating someone. I was in a reminiscent mood and somewhat jealous without any reason at all. Then I saw political opinions I disagree with and felt the need to comment. I didn't and instead just went offline. My mood dropped temporarily, I couldn't tell anything positive that I got out of browsing Facebook. Instead I felt jealousy, nostalgia, strong disagreement and afterwards I got the feeling of having wasted half an hour without any benefit.

It's not my new restrictions that I should consider strange, but the life I lived before. The changes I made are right and will remain the same.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #365 on: October 06, 2018, 11:39:42 PM »
33 days

Current mood: 6/10. Woke up to a dream of watching porn, realizing how this journey has just begun. Porn has been a part of more than half of my life so far and I need to face this addiction with humility and patience. I am on my way to the next partial goal, 50 days will be a little milestone and I am doing whatever it takes to get there.

It is absolutely neccessary to stick to restrictions and day counting because I am at the very beginning of kicking a habit that lasted for over one and a half decades now. This is also about changing habits and mindset. I spotted behaviours and attitudes that go along with this addiction and led to failure. As I mentioned often, it's not possible to maintain my former cyber and cell phone use while quitting porn. These behaviours go hand in hand. I am educating my brain by the current severe restrictions and try to reflect on my former excessive use of social media and random browsing. It's neccessary to inherit how this is linked to the dopamine hits due to novelty and doesn't bring any value to my life.

I can not just decide "Now I am going to change my life for good!" and get everything done, it didn't work in the past and won't work in the future. Instead I need to force myself to change step by step, no more random YouTube watching, it will lead to porn sooner or later. If I am bored, there are lots of books I always wanted to read and never had time. Doing sports makes me feel healthier and happier. Cooking and eating healthy gives me a lasting satisfaction. There are activities that can't compete with the instant gratification of the internet in general and especially porn, but they pay off on a long term. And to realize this I need time, not just 30 or 90 days.

In terms of my mindset I spotted a perfectionist all-or-nothing approach to hold me back in life. If I look at this journal I realize how I had extreme discipline during my longest streaks, then suffered a tiny relapse, reset my counter and fell into the porn abyss for days again. I wish I will never have to deal with relapsing, but I need to prepare myself for the worst. As soon as I leave the new, perfect, porn free path, I immediately consider all changes to be useless and that it doesn't matter now if I watch porn 10 days in a row, because "All is lost, I need to start again anyway." - this is not about starting or stopping, life is a constant process and even if any relapse or slip might ocurr, the following days might still be beautiful and the process within my brain of many days without using is not reset to 0 because of a single time using.

This mindset can be spotted at all areas of my life and I am currently trying to break it. Before it was "I skipped gym once, I can skip it twice, it doesn't matter now.", "I skipped (insert healthy habit) yesterday, I might skip it today, where is the problem now?" - but success is a daily matter and a question of consistency. Once in a while I will have bad days as I already noticed about failing to completely inherit my new daily habits. But I will try harder the next day and keep on changing. This is the very beginning of kicking my addiction out of my life, with every day I am more confident to finally make it.

Hablablos

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #366 on: October 10, 2018, 04:13:33 AM »
You are doing great mate.

Quote
In terms of my mindset I spotted a perfectionist all-or-nothing approach to hold me back in life.

I know this approach well. It is still part of me, mostly it cames out when I try to write something really importat for me. But I know it will never be perfect. So in my case when it comes to writing I do a few revisions and I send it out. Otherwise it would be never-ending cycle.

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new"

Learn from mistakes of others, life is too short to do them all by yourself

Porn addiction is the best thing that has happened to me

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #367 on: October 12, 2018, 11:28:25 AM »
38 days

First of all thanks for your kind words, Hablablos! :)

I don't want to sound too dramatic, but life is holding some tough challenges for me again lately. I will reduce my journal entry frequency and solve those problems as far as it is in my hands. Therefore I need to remain on the right, porn-free path. Maybe I wasn't very lucky in life lately, but I am grateful for what I have.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #368 on: October 14, 2018, 02:07:01 AM »
40 days

Another little milestone, I'm on the right track. My general mood remains stable and despite lots of trouble I have a clear view on life and its challenges. The depression and negativity might return at some point of rebooting, but I now know it is 100% porn induced. Cravings are coming and going, I have to stay strong and will make it out of this vicious circle.


achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #370 on: October 15, 2018, 05:45:20 PM »
42 days

Just now I completed exactly 6 weeks without porn, 8 days left to my next partial goal of 50 days. Despite constant bad luck in life lately my mood has been stable and today I'd even say it is at 8/10. Whatever happens in life, watching porn doesn't change anything. I can and will face every new challenge with a clear mind, the extreme negative thinking was not my natural attitude but my addicted brain screaming for its dopamine fix. I am still at the beginning of this journey and have to prepare myself for the rollercoaster to go down again. My latest longer streaks ended in week 7 and I will stay very aware now. Extreme cravings or depressive mood will hit again soon, but I am prepared.

MikeMcD

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #371 on: October 15, 2018, 07:45:47 PM »
Hey there, you've made it longer than I ever did on my longest time away from P. I know from that 40-day streak that I felt major positive improvement by then. Even though temptation lurks, it can be pushed away. Every day that you push it away is another day your brain has to heal.

I had an head injury from sports once and it took over eight months to heal up. This process feels like that but much harder. That being said, I read a quote recently that I think you might like:

"Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear." -- Marcus Aurelius

I know you have that strength deep down, keep it going. You're a role model for us all.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #372 on: October 18, 2018, 12:56:07 PM »
44 days

Hey there, you've made it longer than I ever did on my longest time away from P. I know from that 40-day streak that I felt major positive improvement by then. Even though temptation lurks, it can be pushed away. Every day that you push it away is another day your brain has to heal.

I had an head injury from sports once and it took over eight months to heal up. This process feels like that but much harder. That being said, I read a quote recently that I think you might like:

"Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear." -- Marcus Aurelius

I know you have that strength deep down, keep it going. You're a role model for us all.

Thank you so much for your kind and motivating words, your support means a lot to me! :)

I am at a crucial moment of rebooting, my biggest streaks this year ended at 47 and 49 days, therefore I set my next partial goal to 50 days.

Something strange happens around week 7 and it happened several times around this time at my former reboots: My social anxiety comes back. During the initial stage of reboot I feel increased confidence and my hyperhidrosis was under control, during the last days I started to sweat at social interaction at work again. Today I noticed how my voice cracked when talking on the phone to an angry client. My voice was loud and clear already after a month of rebooting.

This is a weak spot where my dopamine craving brain interferes and screams: "Look! It was all placebo! Porn is not the reason for your social anxiety, stop suffering and allow yourself some pleasure!"

But I learned from that. There are lots of ups and downs and I need to be patient. I will not listen to that voice inside my head that tries to push me off my path.

Today I felt like crying, the rollercoaster is going down and I know that there is suffering ahead. At this stage of rebooting I get triggered by a simple lingerie ad and need to be extremely cautious. Self doubts arise, I tend to have a negative view on everything. If quitting was easy I hadn't failed hundreds of times, so it's time to remind myself that suffering equals healing.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 02:25:40 AM by achilles heel »

Kuai237426

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #373 on: October 18, 2018, 03:28:05 PM »
Great post.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #374 on: October 19, 2018, 10:26:37 AM »
45 days

Woke up to a wet dream last night and feel extreme cravings, if my cell phone was home I probably would have relapsed. In terms of social anxiety I felt a lot better today to my surprise, but my brain screams for a little dose of porn or at least a peek at the bikini girls from a sports page. This is insane, but now I realize why I relapsed around these days twice this year. This weekend will be hell again, I need to reach the partial goal of 50 days whatever it takes.