Author Topic: Free At Last  (Read 45592 times)

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #500 on: July 14, 2019, 06:09:53 AM »
Thank you very much, BlueHeronFan and Adventurer. Your observation, Adventurer, is right, my relation with the opposite sex is definitely changing as I experienced yesterday. And it seems like the boost in self-esteem is a common effect while rebooting, which is a good confirmation for myself that this is not placebo, but a real benefit of abstaining from porn.

44 days

Yesterday I spontaneously went to a party with a friend and as I just returned to sports and eating healthy after skipping healthy nutrition for about a week, I decided not to drink. He was really drunk and made lots of comments about the girls at the party, like he wasn't going home without one of the "bitches". I'm far away from political correctness and won't deny I made such drunk comments too in the past, but it made me feel really uncomfortable.

Positive observations from yesterday first: There were indeed many girls I considered attractive and on the other hand I recognized how various of them were looking at me at some point. I know that I am above average attractive and despite my trouble socializing get to know girls, but while trapped in the porn abyss I have a very negative sense of self. I tend to focus on what I consider my flaws and feel like not being good enough. After abstaining some time from porn, I feel more self-confident about my appearance and behave more self-confident in gesture and behaviour, thus appearing more attractive in general. While porn is a downward spiral of self-worth, rebooting is the other way up.

It also works in terms of perception of beauty: It's not like suddenly there are more beautiful girls around, but I do focus on their beauty instead of their flaws. Porn is poisoning my head with negative ideas about girls and about myself: "The girls you will have are never as beautiful as the perfect porn stars" and "You are not good enough to get those beautiful girls in real life". Abstaining from the bizarre world of porn is changing my conception of beauty and suddenly there are more girls I consider attractive as well as me feeling more attractive myself.

So far the positive observations, now the negative part: Had some opportunities to hold eye contact and maybe get to start a conversation, but I felt getting nervous and looked away. If I don't drink I have a hard time catching up with small talk and easily feel out of place about the drunk party mood around me. Thoughts arose that question my reboot in general: "Why do I feel uncomfortable after already over a month without porn? This doesn't feel any different from day 1, I am out of place here and there are no positive effects on social anxiety, this will never change."

I couldn't stop that negative thinking, then me and my friend met a girl he knew from work. She started a conversation with me, clearly ignoring him and seemingly interested in me. I had trouble to relax and talk to her and thought about just drinking a little bit to make me feel more comfortable. I started to put myself under pressure as during the week there is no real chance for me to meet girls (if not by some coincidence) and I thought I should make use of the opportunity. Then I thought about growing old and how I should be living for the moment and just get drunk.

Luckily there was a voice of reason telling me to just leave the party. It would have been a bad idea to get drunk with unrealistic expectations of myself and thinking of going home with a girl while maybe ending up with a hangover, lonely and frustrated the next day, vulnerable to relapsing on porn out of desperation. There are two possibilites of getting drunk: If I am already in a good mood and drink with friends, I usually end up having a good time. If I am feeling uncomfortable and drink to socialize, it doesn't work and I drink more and more without much positive effect. It clearly wasn't my night and I decided to leave.

I am still at the very beginning of building a new life and need to be careful about unrealistic expectations of superpowers just because I didn't watch porn for 1 1/2 months now. There are very positive changes, they are visible, but I need to be patient.

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #501 on: July 14, 2019, 07:48:07 AM »
You're killing it, man! 50 days are around the corner.

zander13

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #502 on: July 14, 2019, 02:01:39 PM »
Good shit my man. Nice decision to leave the party.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #503 on: July 14, 2019, 07:13:48 PM »
Way to keep at it and get yourself out there! (And even more congratulations for recognizing your limits and getting out when you needed to!)

I have definitely noticed a change in my perceptions of beauty too. Porn definitely made me more flaw-focused: I didn't want to look at pictures or watch a video unless the girl was "perfect." So I pretty much just clicked endlessly through links expecting someone better looking to be at the next site. What a dumb waste. But the things I thought were flaws in porn are not even issues in real life, and I've noticed that the kinds of women I'm actually attracted to don't look anything like the women I was looking for on porn sites. It's like completely different versions of me with completely different ideas of what counts as attractive.

But also, don't be too hard on yourself for not feeling comfortable interacting with real women yet. I haven't figured that out at all. Just today, I was sitting in front of someone at church that I think is attractive. I've been meaning and meaning to talk to her, but there has just never been an opportunity to do it. Today, though, I knew I had my chance. She was wearing a dress I liked, so I had it all figured out: as soon as church was over, I would turn around and compliment her dress, and she would say thanks, and I would be all cool or whatever, and then we'd be friends. But instead, church ended, and I just left the room without even saying anything at all. Without even turning around. I don't why. It's not like I'm scared, but I guess I sort of am. It's just like I had a huge mental block and just left for the hall. The only kind of silver lining is that we did smile (kind of awkwardly) at each other a little later, but I still didn't have any presence of mind to say anything.

I guess all I mean is that I think learning how to talk to women and feel comfortable with it isn't something that just comes from time away from porn. We might have to find another support group for that mystery, lol! But seriously, you're making good progress, and it's good that you caught the negative thinking how you did. No reason to let those patterns of thought settle in.

Stay strong, my man, and we'll figure it all out together!

squid

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #504 on: July 14, 2019, 10:44:59 PM »
Nice work Achilles, environment is a big factor, you did well in leaving one that didn't feel right. 

dusty

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #505 on: July 15, 2019, 04:34:04 AM »
You made awesome progress already Achilles, you're my inspiration. Take care :D

pichaelthompson

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #506 on: July 15, 2019, 01:08:53 PM »
It's really cool to see how your perception of women are changing, I've began to notice that a little bit too....I'll make eye contact with a woman and feel insecure because I feel like I am being judged in some way, but then I begin to realize that I am the only person that is making me feel this way. Keep going and inspiring others! :)

Re: Free At Last
« Reply #507 on: July 16, 2019, 07:50:50 AM »
You are taking all the right steps!
You don’t give up. Ever. And I see that.
You're just overall an amazing person to be around that is why the girl approached you. Trust me, I enjoy being with you, you are a really kind person.
You have come a long way. Getting to this level of reboot is impressive. It wasn't easy, and you didn't give up. Although every part of you wanted to, and at your lowest, you did stay. You are here. It's not perfect reboot, but it's quite incredible given where you started. Well done. I see you. I see what you have been through. I know what it took to get here. I am so proud of you.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 07:59:18 AM by Thank you for all that you do for me »

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #508 on: July 16, 2019, 05:15:13 PM »
Thank you all very much, it really means a lot to me to have this amazing support!

47 days

I'm currently entering a stage of danger, but it's different from the first month where intense cravings and heavy depression usually bring the trouble. Now routine is setting in and I have to act against my impatient self questioning this journey: "I put so much effort into this, now where is my benefit? Wait? There are no superpowers and I will never get my intense high again? And I will keep living with restrictions? I want to check WhatsApp in the evening, I want my normal life back, I want..."

STOP!

I caught an important thought on Lero's journal to start the reply to my starving brain: "After the last relapse, I was desperate to be where I am now." - this is so important. I tend to forget, but I really feel like shit after relapsing. Not just bad, but it's really the worst that I could do to myself and if avoiding to be home alone with my cell phone is the only sacrifice to avoid this pain and despair, it's not a sacrifice, but a neccessary change of lifestyle.

This happened in february this year after my biggest streak within a long time (2 months):

I relapsed, basically the whole weekend. I just did not take this serious at all after 2 months and already left my healthy routines behind for a while. No restrictions on my phone, got drunk and high and took my phone to bed. Right afterwards I felt like "How could I throw this all away?" and went right back to porn again. The downward spiral set in, self-hatred fueled another porn session and another one.

This happened after two months last year:

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff.

Those are little reminders to me to treat this as if it was day 1. No cell phone at home, social media only for a short session once a week to check messages. It's not about making this a temporary sacrifice, but a permanent lifestyle. Nothing's worse than a new "Day 1" and going through that horrible first month again. I wished so much to reach this point and now that I am here 1 1/2 months clean, I feel like this reboot is taking away my freedom. A little voice tries to tell me how it's not neccessary to keep restrictions. This entry is a reminder to myself that it IS neccessary and important and there will be no negotiation. My next goal is completing 50 days this weekend, the next days I will be extremely busy and it's unlikely to relapse, but I will remain aware anyway.


BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #509 on: July 16, 2019, 05:32:10 PM »
Yes, this is an awesome reflection.

When our life starts to feel a little more normal and we have a longer streak going, it could be so easy to let things slip. Maybe we don't think we're "cured," but we might still think we don't need all the protections because things aren't so bad anymore. That's the beginning of the end, my friend, and it's awesome that you're holding yourself to a high standard.

One of the things that I've really tried to stress with myself in the last few months is that everything I do is "Just for today." That's what the reminder that comes on my phone every morning says, "Just for today." It has really helped me to treat every day like Day 1. It doesn't matter that I've been clean for a few months. If I let myself, I could burn the whole night tonight on a binge. There is no reason to think that my biggest source of pleasure for over a decade won't be appealing to me anymore just because I've stayed away from it for a few months. That's why I have to be as careful today as I was the day after my last relapse. After a few months, I am, hopefully, better at dealing with the urges and choosing something else, but I'm still just as vulnerable as ever: I can't leave myself open to an attack.

Keep going with this attitude, man! It sounds like you're making awesome progress (and your streak is pretty fantastic too)!

squid

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #510 on: July 16, 2019, 09:17:09 PM »
Thank you all very much, it really means a lot to me to have this amazing support!

47 days

I'm currently entering a stage of danger, but it's different from the first month where intense cravings and heavy depression usually bring the trouble. Now routine is setting in and I have to act against my impatient self questioning this journey: "I put so much effort into this, now where is my benefit? Wait? There are no superpowers and I will never get my intense high again? And I will keep living with restrictions? I want to check WhatsApp in the evening, I want my normal life back, I want..."

STOP!

I caught an important thought on Lero's journal to start the reply to my starving brain: "After the last relapse, I was desperate to be where I am now." - this is so important. I tend to forget, but I really feel like shit after relapsing. Not just bad, but it's really the worst that I could do to myself and if avoiding to be home alone with my cell phone is the only sacrifice to avoid this pain and despair, it's not a sacrifice, but a neccessary change of lifestyle.

This happened in february this year after my biggest streak within a long time (2 months):

I relapsed, basically the whole weekend. I just did not take this serious at all after 2 months and already left my healthy routines behind for a while. No restrictions on my phone, got drunk and high and took my phone to bed. Right afterwards I felt like "How could I throw this all away?" and went right back to porn again. The downward spiral set in, self-hatred fueled another porn session and another one.

This happened after two months last year:

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff.

Those are little reminders to me to treat this as if it was day 1. No cell phone at home, social media only for a short session once a week to check messages. It's not about making this a temporary sacrifice, but a permanent lifestyle. Nothing's worse than a new "Day 1" and going through that horrible first month again. I wished so much to reach this point and now that I am here 1 1/2 months clean, I feel like this reboot is taking away my freedom. A little voice tries to tell me how it's not neccessary to keep restrictions. This entry is a reminder to myself that it IS neccessary and important and there will be no negotiation. My next goal is completing 50 days this weekend, the next days I will be extremely busy and it's unlikely to relapse, but I will remain aware anyway.

That feeling of relapse is the worse absolutely, I've been there man. After my longest streak of 5 months.  The kicker is feeling the pain and then going right back to the souce of the pain to numb the pain it caused in the first place.  Vicious.  You are wise to revisit your journal to learn about what worked and what didn't. 

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #511 on: July 17, 2019, 02:21:27 AM »
Yes, this is an awesome reflection.

When our life starts to feel a little more normal and we have a longer streak going, it could be so easy to let things slip. Maybe we don't think we're "cured," but we might still think we don't need all the protections because things aren't so bad anymore. That's the beginning of the end, my friend, and it's awesome that you're holding yourself to a high standard.

This is very common and one of the reason why people relapse after long streaks. Never let your guard down and keep doing the things as if this was day 1 back then when you started.

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #512 on: July 17, 2019, 02:29:54 AM »
I caught an important thought on Lero's journal to start the reply to my starving brain: "After the last relapse, I was desperate to be where I am now." - this is so important. I tend to forget, but I really feel like shit after relapsing. Not just bad, but it's really the worst that I could do to myself and if avoiding to be home alone with my cell phone is the only sacrifice to avoid this pain and despair, it's not a sacrifice, but a neccessary change of lifestyle.

This happened in february this year after my biggest streak within a long time (2 months):

I relapsed, basically the whole weekend. I just did not take this serious at all after 2 months and already left my healthy routines behind for a while. No restrictions on my phone, got drunk and high and took my phone to bed. Right afterwards I felt like "How could I throw this all away?" and went right back to porn again. The downward spiral set in, self-hatred fueled another porn session and another one.

This happened after two months last year:

Last weekend I got really, really drunk and when returning home I started texting a former "friend with benefit". She moved to another city half a year ago and we kept sexting once in a while. Messages turned into fantasies and dirty talk and she sent me a pic in her underwear. She went offline and I deleted the picture but edged afterwards. I then started to click through YouTube and ended up watching lingerie try on videos and related stuff.

Those are little reminders to me to treat this as if it was day 1. No cell phone at home, social media only for a short session once a week to check messages. It's not about making this a temporary sacrifice, but a permanent lifestyle. Nothing's worse than a new "Day 1" and going through that horrible first month again. I wished so much to reach this point and now that I am here 1 1/2 months clean, I feel like this reboot is taking away my freedom. A little voice tries to tell me how it's not neccessary to keep restrictions. This entry is a reminder to myself that it IS neccessary and important and there will be no negotiation. My next goal is completing 50 days this weekend, the next days I will be extremely busy and it's unlikely to relapse, but I will remain aware anyway.

This is what basically saved me the last 3 days: Thinking about the relapse. I started visualizing it. I started feeling how I would feel when I relapse. I started thinking how I would think after a relapse. I visualized myself in misery. I saw that I had the tendency to bury myself, to beat myself up and despair. I saw I couldn't handle the relapses too well. I saw that I was impatient and waiting again for the same number of days seemed so long. Then I got out of the visualization and said: Goddamn no! I don't need this! I don't want to be there. After a relapse I beg to be, somehow, transported in the future when I have at least 2 weeks away from P. So why would I want to go back to day 1 again? We have so many reasons not to go back there. But we are dealing with a sick "part of us" that only knows about the "fix". Of course it will try everything to make us give it the fix, this is obvious and we have to keep this in mind all the time. "Ah, so my drug addicted side woke up again and is screaming for a fix? I know this. But I don't have the fix, sorry. I'm helping you with all I can. I do things everyday for you. But I can't give you the fix. One day you will heal and leave me alone."

Non-Dual Adventurer

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #513 on: July 17, 2019, 11:40:56 AM »
Amazing attitude and streak, man. You're an inspiration to me, as today is Day 1 for me (again).