Author Topic: Free At Last  (Read 50334 times)

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #600 on: September 09, 2019, 12:43:49 PM »
That's a bummer Achilles, but still, compared to high speed internet p, sexting with someone you actually know shouldn't set you back too much.  I'd be very concerned about the chaser though.  Maybe take a trip or find someway to distract yourself for a few days to get some distance.

Yes, I subscribe to this. MO to sexting is not the worst thing.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #601 on: September 09, 2019, 08:18:28 PM »
Sorry to hear it. It might be Day 0, but it's not the same Day 0 as last time. You have the experience of 100 clean days to back you up now.

Retrace your steps, find the gaps in your defenses, and just count it as a learning experience. In the end, that's all any of us can do.

Rooting for you!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #602 on: September 14, 2019, 04:41:05 AM »
Thank you very much for your support, guys, and sorry for letting everyone down. I went on a binge on porn and sexting for the following days and now managed to stay 2 days clean.

I fell for the "It's day 0 anyway, allow yourself the complete pleasure one last time and then start again!" trick, but the truth is, it all started way earlier.

I could have gone 200, 300, 500 days if I had just followed my restrictions. Instead it already set in when I allowed myself to use my cell phone at home - even though I only left it close to the entrance door - to communicate with the girl. I also kicked the restrictions of internet access at night, because it was annoying to not be able to look something up after a certain time.

When I realized I didn't relapse despite the lowered guards, subconsciously I thought I wouldn't need restrictions anymore. Got drunk and high on the weekend, took my cell phone home and watched YouTube in bed - without relapsing. And, hey, I returned to my old habits but without watching porn, everything okay, right? Of course not.

100 days hard mode showed me two things: First of all, I am able to live a free life if I stick to my restrictions, rules and good habits. And second I NEED to stick to those restrictions and build new habits to live a free life.

The key is the daily success, but also setting some goals for the next weeks while problaby making it through withdrawals, depression and the shit I said I never wanted to go through again. I will stick to some rules and goals:

- my cell phone stays out of my home
- maximum of 10 minutes of social media every week
- I won't access the internet after 22:30 (exception: Rebootnation)
- I won't go to bed after midnight if I work next day

- no alcohol (at least for the first weeks), no drugs
- no fast food, no refined sugar
- eat at least one piece of fruits/vegetables every day
- do sports every day (at least a 15 minute home workout)
- read at least 10 pages of a book every day

This is rather simple, but it's about getting back on track. I won't count days, because it will be frustrating to start this low again after reaching 100 days. Also I think now it's not about a streak anymore, I had the key in my hands to leave this behind forever and my new goal is living every day free and enjoying this life to the maximum, no matter if it's "day 2" or "day 200".

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #603 on: September 14, 2019, 05:19:05 AM »
I fell for the "It's day 0 anyway, allow yourself the complete pleasure one last time and then start again!" trick, but the truth is, it all started way earlier.
This is how I binge. "You relapsed anyway, what's the difference? Go all the way now and start tomorrow." When in fact I could benefit from not binging and only allowing one PMO. It was a mistake but the next PMO and the next one and the next four are my choice. And a relapse start earlier, not when you start using material. It could be only 30 seconds, it could be minutes, it could be hours, it could be days. Somehow, you know you are going to relapse. I catch myself wishing to PMO, making plans for a PMO session. I see it coming but then I said: "No, man, I won't follow this shit."

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When I realized I didn't relapse despite the lowered guards, subconsciously I thought I wouldn't need restrictions anymore. Got drunk and high on the weekend, took my cell phone home and watched YouTube in bed - without relapsing. And, hey, I returned to my old habits but without watching porn, everything okay, right? Of course not.

Fuck, man, you spoke for me. This is how I lost my 40 days streak. I knew that drinking had made me relapse a lot of times. So of course, I told myself I wasn't going to drink anymore. But then I drank once, I drank again, but I didn't relapse and I said: "Come on, man, you are trippin. You can handle it. See? You can drink and not relapse as well." But the idea is that I didn't drink too much. Two beers only. So I had more control. Exactly on day 40, I drank way too much and it numbed me completely. I didn't feel any regret for what I was going to do. I even thought: "Man, you will regret this tomorrow morning, I'm telling you." And despise this, I didn't care. The alcohol made me not care. And I went on a binge which of course hit me right in the head the next morning. Regret, feeling like shit, anxiety and all that. Which shows that maybe some people really need a discipline. It's easy to relax the restrictions and lower your guard like that. And I am not the type who could play with fire for too long. I need to be very disciplined to succeed.

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The key is the daily success, but also setting some goals for the next weeks while problaby making it through withdrawals, depression and the shit I said I never wanted to go through again.

"I never want to feel like this again because of P" could be an important tool. But you need to really remember it because the brain plays tricks and it's easy to "forget it" (to be understood as: That misery from back then is a distant memory now, I don't even feel it anymore). It's like I got so drunk and I was sick. I swore I wasn't going to drink ever again only to miss the fun with the boys 1 month later and that day was a distant memory.

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This is rather simple, but it's about getting back on track. I won't count days, because it will be frustrating to start this low again after reaching 100 days. Also I think now it's not about a streak anymore, I had the key in my hands to leave this behind forever and my new goal is living every day free and enjoying this life to the maximum, no matter if it's "day 2" or "day 200".

In the beginning, I hate to start counting the days. Especially last time after I had lost a 40 days streak, starting again from day 1 was painful. And having to wait 40 days again to go back there drove me crazy. But it's only temporary because counting days start working after a while, when the streak starts taking shape (let's say 14 days). It has a psychological effect on me because I remember that after 14 days I used to feel good. It could work like a placebo but I don't mind. I like my mind to automatically make me feel better when reaching "that number of days". And this is when counting days is not a problem anymore.

Anyway, man, you made it to 100 days! You can do it again. It shows you that it's possible and that you know what you have to do.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #604 on: September 14, 2019, 08:22:47 PM »
100 days hard mode showed me two things: First of all, I am able to live a free life if I stick to my restrictions, rules and good habits. And second I NEED to stick to those restrictions and build new habits to live a free life.

There's a lot of good wisdom in your post. This hits the nail on the head for me. The point is not going "back" to some kind of "normal" life before porn. Instead it's about building a new normal given the fact of our addiction. Those rules and restrictions aren't something we do for a while until we get better. They are what we have to be willing to do forever in order to stay better.

Finding a way to take care of myself in a sustainable way has been a big part of what I have been working on lately. It has to be about changing our lives permanently instead of just being a bandage that we plan to take off when we "get better."

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #605 on: September 16, 2019, 12:19:19 PM »
Thank you very much, Lero and BlueHeronFan, your words mean a lot to me and help me now that I am facing sadness and regret. You show me I'm not alone in this and give me the strength to believe I might repeat and even surpass the latest success!  :)

I just got triggered by a lingerie ad appearing at a random news article and realize how far I had come. I didn't care about those ads anymore during my latest streak, but just now I had this tiny thought of "Hey, 4 days or 0 days isn't a big difference, go for it once again!" - this is not a conscious thought, but I'm definitely vulnerable to those triggers at this early stage and need to actively tell my brain "NO! STOP! MOVE ON!".

There is a tough road ahead once again, but I am willing to go this road again. It's the only choice I've got!

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #606 on: September 16, 2019, 09:25:14 PM »
I think sadness and regret are part of this process, too. You're definitely not alone in it, and that's an awesome thing.

Way to catch the trigger! Being triggered isn't really a problem (just letting triggers take over). It is a tough, long road, but we're all on it. Stopping that trigger in its tracks is exactly how you keep going forward.

squid

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #607 on: September 17, 2019, 02:26:03 PM »
Triggers come in the strangest of places.  I was at work today and there was an espn magazine on the counter.  So I picked it up and leafed through and it was the body issue where it basically showed athletes without clothes.  I'm like face palm, just my luck.  I was tempted to look through it more closely but I set it down and went back to work. 

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #608 on: September 17, 2019, 04:10:46 PM »
Triggers come in the strangest of places.  I was at work today and there was an espn magazine on the counter.  So I picked it up and leafed through and it was the body issue where it basically showed athletes without clothes.  I'm like face palm, just my luck.  I was tempted to look through it more closely but I set it down and went back to work.

I know exactly what you're talking about, man. Sometimes the triggers just jump out of the bushes. That's why it's very important to have a strategy for those encounters as well, as a continuation of a strategy to make triggers as hard to find as possible (using computer only when necessary, no phone internet or only using it as necessary too etc. ).

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #609 on: September 24, 2019, 01:22:08 PM »
Thanks again, guys... feels kind of bad to admit, but I didn't really make it out of the porn trap... yesterday was my latest relapse and I realize I have to return to counting days:

Day 1

It's almost 24 hours since I relapsed for the last time. It wasn't my worst relapse of the last weeks, but I reached the point where porn doesn't turn me on anymore. I thought the same on sunday and relapsed yesterday because I took my phone home all of these days anyway and don't even make it one day clean by willpower.

It took some time to realize how it actually feels to be hooked on this shit, after 100 days it was all so much easier and I regret throwing this all away. This feels really demotivating to think I have to start again.

I just put on the restrictions for internet again and left my phone outside the house. Now it's time to literally clean up: I started washing clothes and dishes, I didn't pay my bills lately, two of my plants died because I forgot to water them, there is dust and dirt everywhere, just took the garbage out after a week.

This was a heavy setback and my first goal is to reach friday without another relapse. The first three days will be neccessary to get the things done I ran away from during the last weeks.

Back to counting days, back to my restrictions that helped me reach 100 days: This is the very beginning and the first 3 days will be a little milestone already - I have to put it in that perspective.

I hope to check on everyone's journals this weekend, sorry for letting you down for weeks now.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #610 on: September 24, 2019, 07:01:31 PM »
Hey, man, it's just awesome that you're back. Sorry you've hit a rough patch and that you have some literal and metaphorical cleaning up to do. But I'm rooting for you!

Any time you learn something, you're making progress in the right direction. It might feel like a setback or like you're starting over, but you really aren't. The first time you made it 100 days, it was all new and unexpected. Now you know that it's tough at the beginning but that it gets easier. It's not an unknown road anymore. You can revisit your old posts, check in with where you are now, and, this time, not make the same mistakes you made last time.

You are in a way better position to make it to 100 days now than you were before. Set your rules, keep your rules, and press on.

You're exactly right to focus on just getting through Friday. Stick with the small milestones and the manageable goals. (But I also think you have it in you to get way beyond 100 days!)

brandnewself

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #611 on: September 24, 2019, 08:46:20 PM »
It's almost 24 hours since I relapsed for the last time. It wasn't my worst relapse of the last weeks, but I reached the point where porn doesn't turn me on anymore. I thought the same on sunday and relapsed yesterday because I took my phone home all of these days anyway and don't even make it one day clean by willpower.

Hey man I completely understand how you feel right now. I used to have streaks of 120+, 140+ days and I thought I was done with porn. I thought I was bullet proof and I tried porn again and I felt exactly the same as you did ---- porn didn't even turn me on. I wasn't really physically addicted to porn anymore at that point so I naively believed that I could control the use of it just like watching TV. Oh man was I wrong!! I was still deeply hooked to it PSYCHOLOGICALLY. All these 'rational thoughts' of controlled PMO were nothing rational but tricks my brain played when it was tempted. Quickly I got back to the vicious cycle and was unable to recover since then. I'm glad you realized this problem already and I hope you can make the following days through. You are not PHYSICALLY addicted to porn any more after 100 days. All you need to do is to not rationalize yourself into doing it. Think of it as if you're on diet and you're dealing with eating chocolate instead of porn addiction. Most people are not "addicted' to eating chocolate but they are 'tempted' to eat it even though they don't need it. There is a distinction between addiction and temptation. You're not addicted. You're just tempted. I believe you have the power to say NO to temptations. After all, you successfully reached 100 days before and you had way more intense urges back then and you still made it through. Try not to let yourself slip into the addiction path again.
I hope to check on everyone's journals this weekend, sorry for letting you down for weeks now.
You didn't let anyone down. Everyone here is responsible for his own life and you don't need to feel guilty about anything. Everyone here knows exactly what you're going through because we've all been through this over and over again. This guilt is another trick your mind is playing.

I think it's a great decision to get rid of your phone and install porn blockers for now as it makes it easier. I believe all you need to do is to go through the next 7 days and you will be comfortable enough to resume your streak. The positive things the 100 days have done to you are still here. Don't let them go.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #612 on: September 25, 2019, 05:18:59 PM »
Hey, man, it's just awesome that you're back. Sorry you've hit a rough patch and that you have some literal and metaphorical cleaning up to do. But I'm rooting for you!

Thank you very much for your help once again, I managed to turn the switch. I started a new sheet on the computer with daily, weekly and long-term goals for the rest of the year. The main part of my tasks at home is done too, restrictions are activated. I had to really convince myself of a new start and now I feel like I've got the energy to go through the hard first weeks again. Although you're completely right:

You're exactly right to focus on just getting through Friday. Stick with the small milestones and the manageable goals. (But I also think you have it in you to get way beyond 100 days!)

First things first, next stop: Friday!

You didn't let anyone down. Everyone here is responsible for his own life and you don't need to feel guilty about anything. Everyone here knows exactly what you're going through because we've all been through this over and over again. This guilt is another trick your mind is playing.

I think it's a great decision to get rid of your phone and install porn blockers for now as it makes it easier. I believe all you need to do is to go through the next 7 days and you will be comfortable enough to resume your streak. The positive things the 100 days have done to you are still here. Don't let them go.

Thank you very much for your kind words, brandnewself! :)

I know you're right, but there is still this feeling of failing to finally be a good example and head towards the success stories to give hope to others on the one hand. On the other hand I didn't give any support on other journals in weeks and instead returned to my porn cave. Let's not call it "guilt", but responsibility or accountability. We're in this together and it definitely is easier to go through this with the help of others.

Day 2

So I just doubled the amount of abstinence since my latest entry ;)

Now that the dust (not only at my home) has settled, it's time to analyze where things went wrong. It all started with breaking my restrictions to stay in contact with the girl I was interested in and surely went downhill when I got rejected out of nowhere and binged on alcohol and drugs during the weekend. It has been a miracle I didn't relapse right away, but as I made it to 100 days despite all that apparently gave me a feeling of not needing any restrictions any longer and I relapsed the day after.

The last two weeks have been really, really hard because aside from some heavy personal issues within my family, the whole story about the girl who rejected me has a really fucked up plot-twist that left me shocked: I mentioned that I know the girl through a friend in common. Well, to be more specific our "friend" in common is female and I didn't really know her well, but through another friend (we met in a big group maybe twice before). Right after the girl rejected me by that text message out of nowhere, our common "friend" sent me a message like "Sorry to hear things didn't work out, still want to hang out this weekend?" and I met her without any intentions because I wasn't interested in her at all beyond friendship.

Turns out she is a complete psychopath and apparently was a driving force beyond that rejection (by telling that girl things about me) to spend time with me alone. I realized too late, tried to distance myself and, as she realized, received phone calls in the middle of the night, insulting messages and had to block her on every possible way of communication. This pretty much sums up my luck with girls lately and I guess it's a good idea to return to focus on myself and my development.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #613 on: September 25, 2019, 08:27:59 PM »
Congrats on doubling your streak! Double it again and you've made it through Friday!

You know, I'm really sorry to hear about your bad luck with that crazy girl. These things happen. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I had a rough kind of breakup with someone I wasn't that seriously involved with earlier this year. I really felt like she was pushing the relationship in an unhealthy direction, and it was hard for me to finally get myself out of it. Mostly just writing to let you know that I feel some version of your pain, man. It'll get better.

But you have got me thinking about your decision to break down some of the restrictions in order to stay in contact with a girl. That seems really reasonable and fair: if the goal is to build a real relationship, it would make sense not to have restrictions that get in the way of that. But now you know that that's not the way to go. Even if it makes the relationship-building a little less convenient, the restrictions have to stay. I don't think I have thought very deliberately about how I will continue with my restrictions and habits when/if I end up in a relationship, but I think I will. A relationship is definitely not a free ticket out of addiction, so I think it's important to have a plan for staying committed to recovery even after finding someone to share life with. Thanks for the inspiration.

Keep it going!

Do or die

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #614 on: September 25, 2019, 11:10:33 PM »
your journey is impressive. you did it in past so you can do it again. just  be positive and fight your war.
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #615 on: September 26, 2019, 07:47:15 AM »
We have the same number of days. My next goal is 5 days. Small steps still move you forward. If I'm not mistaken, you had 100 days but don't think about it now, think about the next goal only. The sum of goals lead to the finish.

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #616 on: September 29, 2019, 05:37:56 AM »
Thanks for your support, guys!

Day 6

The good news is: It's day 6 of hard mode and I am doing well. Had sex on friday and definitely feel a big difference on how it felt during my abstinence and now - less intense, didn't get 100% hard and it took longer to come. Porn is just setting me back in so many ways and I tend to forget during bigger streaks.

Bad news is my behaviour concerning alcohol and drugs, it has gotten out of control. I always wanted to keep this topic out of this community as it's about porn and not about other habits, but I definitely need to quit cocaine or I won't succeed in overcoming porn. And while I don't want to quit drinking completely, I need to cut it significantly. When really drunk and with the "wrong" people around me, I will do cocaine and once started I won't stop because coming down just sucks bad. The next day always feels like hell and I am more likely to return to porn to make me feel better. Actually porn and coke have a lot in common, both highs are just about searching for a bigger and bigger and bigger high and the same dose won't do after a while. There is no benefit to it, really none and I need to remind myself, that's why I write this down here. It's my easy way into socializing, because all anxiety is just gone for a short amount of time, but that's a cheap and fake way I chose for far too long (8 years) now.

It's enough, I love my life with all its ups and downs and will leave the road of addiction behind before it's too late.

Lero

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #617 on: September 29, 2019, 07:00:07 AM »
Achilles, thanks for the encouragement on my page. Our streaks are only 1 day apart. You could say we go hand in hand, so to speak.

I understand you concerning alcohol and drugs. This is something that I also didn't want to fill my journal with (because it's a P addiction forum) but sometimes those things influence each other. I've never done drugs but I have the tendency to binge drink. Not all alone, locked up in my room and shit, but I think I have the wrong fucking entourage. I binge drink with them and they like binge drinking. Too much partying until late and stuff like that, being a zombie at work the next day, the "good stuff". I can relate to you regarding using this as an "aid" for socializing. I've been dealing with an aggressive social anxiety since I was around 17-18 and drinking was like a way to relax in social settings and stop being so quiet and stiff. But what started with "Let's have a beer" let to a lot of partying, binge drinking and stuff. I ended up doing this like 3-4 times a week, brutal hangovers, being "sick" at work etc. I am not an alcoholic (yet), I can stay away from alcohol when I choose to but I always get sucked back into this entourage and the usual routine. It's like, after a while, I am tired of my sobriety and I want the fun, I want the "button that I could push to unplug from reality for a while", you know what I'm saying? It's like: "Man, it's been a fucking hard day. I had a hard time with my boss, I had a hard time with a coworker, my task was stressful and under time pressure, now I want to escape this reality for a while, get the boys and drink with them." You know what I mean? That kind of thing. It started with one beer in high school and it quickly became like 5-6 before I even finished high school. Hiding this shit from my parents and all that (because I hate to be lectured again and again and I hate disappointed them with my behavior). I hated when my mom told me stuff like: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself to walk in zig-zag down the street? Don't you want to be a respectable man?" Yeah, of course I want but things could get complicated quickly. I'm like in a movie where the main character self-destructs with heavy drinking (Like Leaving Las Vegas) but life is not a movie. With this attempt to quit my P addiction, I'm attempting to change my life. Live more healthy and all that. Self-medication permeated my mind too much and I want to stop this.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #618 on: September 29, 2019, 06:13:18 PM »
Achilles, thanks for trusting us with more of your story. Maybe this forum is primarily about porn addiction, but I think it's really about addiction in the end. Sure, we all want to quit our addiction to porn, but recovery is only recovery if we heal from all our addictions. So it's awesome that you're acknowledging the effects of drugs and alcohol on your life as well.

You can count on our support no matter what aspect of addiction you're fighting most intensely. It's all connected, and the real goal is healing your whole self.

A few months ago, I listened to a talk by Tara Brach (she's a meditation/psychology person) called "Healing Addiction: De-conditioning the Hungry Ghosts." I can't remember exactly what she said,  but I do remember that it really helped me to change the way I think about my relationship to addiction. It's on YouTube, so if Youtube is safe for you and you have an extra hour sometime, maybe give it a listen.

Either way, press forward! We've got your back!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #619 on: October 03, 2019, 03:25:28 PM »
Thank you very much, Blue and Lero!

@Lero: As I mentioned in your journal, we're in similar trouble concerning weekend excess and it's dangerous for the reboot. I definitely will keep working on this.

@BlueHeronFan: YouTube is safe if I use it for a certain purpose - I found the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKn4IGY8OH8) and started watching, thank you! Hope to finish it this weekend!

For now I'm just here to announce I reached another checkpoint:

Day 10

The two-digit number. I'm keeping myself very busy, because the hardest stage is about to set in. Have been incredibly productive so far and my next partial goal is to complete two weeks which includes making it through the weekend. Still it's a big success already to get back on track after falling back into the porn abyss - step by step I will succeed. I hope to be able to give a major update this weekend when I completed a long to-do-list, I am doing very well so far and while busy I am less likely to relapse.

Keep advancing everybody!  :)

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #620 on: October 03, 2019, 05:14:36 PM »
Awesome! Congrats on an even 10! It's so good that you're getting yourself back on track.

Keep it up and make it 11!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #621 on: October 07, 2019, 05:10:04 PM »
Day 3

No, there is no update about 2 weeks complete. I relapsed on friday until saturday, but at least it was a wake-up call.

How did it start?

I wanted to go out with friends on friday and had my phone in my car. It was rather difficult to communicate because it was cold outside and I decided to make an exception and take my phone home. After all I decided not to leave, but to go to bed early.

Instead of taking my phone back outside, I didn't care - after ten days I should be on the safe side, because I learned my lesson, right?

Around midnight I looked up a movie, out of "curiosity" I opened the google images and clicked through pics of one of the actresses, then scrolled down the related pics until reaching bikini pics and clicked around a bit more. Through related pics I ended up at model pictures in bikini and at some point caught myself thinking "That's porn subs already, your streak is already broken, now it doesn't matter if you keep going!" - without searching explicitly for porn ("Hey, I am not searching for it!") I stumbled upon porn later and then thought: "Well, I already looked at porn, I have to start again anyway."

(Maybe a trigger warning is requiered from here on:)

Hours later I had watched all of my "favourite" categories and went down the abyss because my normal taste didn't turn me on anymore. I watched degrading point-of-view clips, fake rape videos and so on. I wrote a girl who's into sexting and did really unspeakable things on cam and when she went to sleep, I continued to watch more and more porn until I came basically by accident after a total time of 12 hours.

I know I shouldn't hate myself for this, but it's hard not to. It has been a very painful lesson, one I thought I already learned long ago: I can not handle my cell phone at home! Like, I am writing this at almost every page of this journal and still out of pure lazyness break this rule constantly to relapse again.

It's not that much of a sacrifice after all, but it saves me from the most painful, humilliating and damaging experiences of my life.

This is the last chance to turn my life around and I will not fail. This is a promise to myself: I will succeed. I am free and I will live my life the best I can.

BlueHeronFan

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #622 on: October 07, 2019, 08:55:55 PM »
Hey, man. Sorry to hear it.

There's a difference between knowing something and really internalizing and living it. I don't know how many times I have done things I knew I shouldn't do because I thought I could handle it or it didn't seem like a big deal.

Your story of looking up something "innocent" even knowing it was dangerous and then "stumbling" into porn subs and then "accidentally" seeing porn and then "somehow" going all in is really familiar to me. A lot of my last relapses started because I was looking up a movie or a tv show and then looked up an actress and then ended up far from where I started. Or, sometimes, I would be googling images for a school project or something and then just start googling things that "might" also turn up some pornographic results (it doesn't count if it just happens to show up on google images, right?)

It's not laziness or anything that has made you keep coming back to your phone at home. It's just the natural way our brains work: you get a reward when you have your phone at home. Whether it's the anticipation of porn or an outright relapse, bringing the phone home equals a hit of dopamine. Leaving your phone behind gives you no reward ever. It's just normal, boring life. There's no chemical incentive to do what you know you should, so learning that new behavior is an uphill battle. It's not that you're lazy or bad or not committed. It's just that you're human and it takes a lot of effort and commitment.

One day earlier this year, I realized that there was a part of me that wants PMO and wants it bad and wants it almost all the time. There was also a part of me that wanted to quit really badly. I finally realized a couple of things 1) I clearly wanted the pleasures of PMO more than I wanted to quit because I kept doing those little gateway things that kept me close to relapse and 2) I probably wasn't ever going to eradicate the part of me that wanted PMO, so I was just going to have to learn to live with it.

Would I like to be able to use image search for school projects? Yeah. Would I like to be able to look up movies and actresses like a "normal" person? Yeah. But I have realized that none of those things are worth putting myself at risk of a relapse. I have to make the deliberate decision each time that I want to recover more than I want the pleasure. Because I'll always want the pleasure, and I will always choose it if I go on autopilot.

Stay alert, don't go on autopilot. But also definitely don't hate yourself. You made a mistake. Addiction feels like an endless cycle of making the same mistakes over and over. But if you keep working and keep trying and keep hoping, you will make progress over time. We all will.

Rooting for you all the way!

achilles heel

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #623 on: October 10, 2019, 06:07:30 AM »
Day 5

Thank you very much, BlueHeronFan, putting things down in a more rational way helped a lot. I need to treat my addiction that way to find solutions - good thing is, I made a decent start of 5 days yet.

I am currently changing furniture and rearranging my flat to give myself the impression of a new beginning. This helped in the past to initiate major streaks. Cell phone stays out of my home, restrictions are activated, now it's time to keep working my way out of the abyss.

Do or die

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Re: Free At Last
« Reply #624 on: October 10, 2019, 07:00:44 AM »
Keep yourself busy. As you already did a good reboot of 5 days , then here just be aware.
Keeping yourself busy is best way to avoid feeling of guilt and fear of failure.
Its not about stopping. Its about to accept that you are stopped it.