Author Topic: NoFap Consciousness  (Read 52195 times)

davenl

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2016, 11:57:28 AM »
Dreamed I was masturbating last night, but so far no urges today. Had some intense dreams just before I woke up and so immediately felt I needed a cigarette to cope. I first started smoking because of anxiety about people finding out about my porn use some fifteen years ago. Stopping smoking is a challenge I'm not sure I'm ready to face. Unlike porn, I have no shame about smoking, indeed I still think it's kind of cool. I do however have a smoker's cough and that reminds me every now and then that it's damaging me, but so far this hasn't translated into a strong enough feeling to quit. I think I should quit, but it is an intellectual should, not an emotional one. Given that this morning I couldn't even bring myself to resist smoking immediately upon waking up, even though the night before I'd prayed that I wouldn't smoke first thing in the morning, I don't know whether I can ever be successful at the moment. Things are going well with my reboot, and I'm thankful for that. I don't want to rush and try and change everything at once.

Hi Georgos,

I am not sure how long you are in your reboot, but for me the 'natural' need to stop smoking came when I was about 3,5 months in my current hardmode reboot. It was when I had strong withdrawl symptoms (I still do), but it became more easy to cope with them. For some reason the smoking started to irritate and bore me and after about 2 weeks I just quite. The discipline I gained during the first months of the reboot made it easy to go through the difficult moments, although I have to say that I still have, after two monts, some intense urges to smoke once in a while.

If you feel like if you'd been pushing it if you stop now, I would suggest to give it some more time. It might come more naturally, as it did with me. Besides that, I would focus on quiting porn for now. That's REALLY the addiction to beat.

All the best
Rebooting since 14th of January 2016

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #51 on: June 26, 2016, 12:05:54 PM »
Thank you for the advice davnel :) I'm really hoping there will come a natural time to stop smoking for me as well. I'm on day 47 of my reboot so far. I've had next to no urges to look at porn throughout the reboot. I think that's because I'd already made a huge effort and been moderately successful (albeit as a chronic relapser) before I found this forum and that the forum provided the final push for me to quit for good. I'm not getting complacent though, I intend to keep this journal for the full year to remind me to stay focused on my goal. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2016, 02:29:26 PM »
Day 48. Tomorrow will be seven weeks P and M free. I've also been relatively sane for most of this time which is good. Went to my t'ai ji class today which is also good and hopefully will be able to go every week now. Still doing my language lessons as well. All in all, I'm happy.

pinkerton

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2016, 02:39:26 PM »
You've mentioned some interesting things in your journal.  Your awareness of the dilemma of "when am i cured" is a point i really relate to. Many AA members continue to go to AA meetings for the rest of their lives. Not only does it help us to stay sober but also to get better at living sober. It also allows us to share "experience, strength, and hope" with those who other alcoholics who need help and thus completes a circle. 
 I had always planned on leaving this forum when i no longer needed it. But maybe i've been thinking about that wrong.
 Congrats on your progress. You're doing great.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2016, 07:02:27 AM »
Thank you pinkerton, I think the problem in the past was that after going five months some years ago, I'd proved to myself that I could control the addiction. The thing is I still went back to PMO. There are many reasons for this. One is the difference between struggling to "control" something and simply making the choice to leave something behind. Reading the journals on this forum has been like a mirror to me and I can see the behaviour that I've had all these years and recognise that that's not who I want to be. Another reason was that this struggle was very personal for me. Nobody knew that I PMOd and so nobody knew when I stopped. Again this forum has really made the difference because now it is not so much a secret thing that is eating me up. Finally, and this is what I'm still not finished with, I think I didn't pay enough attention to the underlying problems that led me to PMO. I simply wanted to stop, without addressing the other things I needed to change in my life. For example, if you find you PMO because of boredom, then you need to address boredom as well as cutting out PMO, if it's because of self-image, again you need to address that. I think with you pinkerton, you're still at the stage of trying to control your addiction, rather than coming to terms with the idea that you don't need it in your life. You may not want it in your life, but until you address the reasons why you do it, you may still need it, just as an alcoholic can become dependent on alcohol, to the extent that if they stop it suddenly they could even die without it. I'm not suggesting PMO is as bad as that, but not wanting it is not the same as not needing it. Hope that's not too critical, and thank you again for writing on my journal, all feedback helps. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #55 on: July 02, 2016, 02:45:24 PM »
Day 53. The last few days I've been becoming increasingly philosophical and felt my brain opening up towards psychosis. Thinking about life and death, feeling dissatisfied but without motivation to do anything productive. I've managed to keep doing my language lessons, I have 42 left of the first course, and this has been a small victory. However in the time in between I've been seriously losing the plot. I've found myself watching videos of Shaolin monks and comparing myself to them, which is stupid. Going to the extremes is always a sign that my mental health is deteriorating. Just because I'm learning a little t'ai ji, I start looking at the most extreme practitioners, then knowing that I will never be of that standard, I start questioning why I am doing it at all. Why am I doing anything, when I will die someday and it will all be gone. Another extreme. As I said, this extremist thinking is a sure sign that another psychotic relapse is on the way. I'm determined to try and stay sane this time. At the back of my mind I am wondering if this is not all because I am in contact with another girl on the dating website I am on. I haven't been thinking about it, indeed I'm not even really interested in her, but the opening up of my brain started after I first made contact. There could be other reasons as well, but dating girls has always been a trigger for my psychosis. Thinking now, I am realising that I should just relax. It is not necessary to focus on self improvement if it makes me psychotic. I'm doing my language lessons. I'm doing my reboot. That is enough.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #56 on: July 03, 2016, 06:12:14 AM »
Day 54. Feeling better today so far. Mind not drifting to unanswerable questions about life and death and what's the point :) This journal's really helpful, not only for keeping me off porn, but for catching the beginnings of psychosis before they can develop into something serious as well. Look forward to reading all the progress in your journals. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #57 on: July 05, 2016, 08:55:06 AM »
So eight weeks in to my reboot today. Feeling lazy. Haven't done my language lessons yet. Went to my t'ai ji class yesterday, trying to practice the moves a bit every day. Got to stay motivated. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #58 on: July 08, 2016, 08:02:42 AM »
Coming up to two months now in a couple of days. It has gone so well so far that I'm really pleased. However I did have a bit of a scare yesterday. Was looking at some news articles on the web and there were several provocative adverts. I found myself drawn to the adverts more than the news I was reading. It felt like a return to the old behaviour, the focus on scanning through web pages for the perfect image, etc. Though I came across the images unintentionally, and they certainly weren't porn, just provocative, I did start to commit intentionally to viewing them. That commitment was accompanied by a change in my brain that I could feel. As soon as I felt it I turned the computer off. But it was scary that those pathways were still there. I know everyone here knows how it feels, like something has got a hold of you and is drawing you in. Afterwards I felt bad. I don't know if that is chemical too, or merely psychological. Of course chemical reactions and psychological reactions are intertwined, so there isn't really a distinction, just a different emphasis on how to one treats them. At any rate, I should really be pleased with how I handled the situation, but I really don't like the fact that my brain still reacts in such a way. Healing takes time, fifty nine days is nothing compared to the almost thirty years of the old behaviour. Onward.

pinkerton

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #59 on: July 08, 2016, 08:20:17 AM »
Great job shutting the computer off :)

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #60 on: July 09, 2016, 02:28:47 PM »
Thank you pinkerton. Day 60 today. I am managing to do my two language courses and ten minutes of t'ai ji every day, however I really need to do them at a set time each day in order to have structure. I notice that when I manage this I feel a lot better than days that I just let the time slip and have the tasks hanging over me all day. I think I'm going to record the days that I stick to the structured time I've set myself and those that I don't, which hopefully won't be that often. I've also decided to keep an (offline) gratitude journal once a week on Saturday. All of this may seem off topic but it is part of the recovery and there is a serious point in not obsessing over the subject of porn. I would encourage others to talk about the positive things they're doing in their life as a counterpoint to the porn related problems. Don't worry if you think nobody else will be interested :) the journals are primarily for ourselves and it helps with the counting and recovery to focus on the positive things you do each day. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #61 on: July 10, 2016, 12:35:51 PM »
So two months in with only minor urges occasionally, I really think this time I've stopped looking at P for good. I'm not getting complacent though. The end of a month is always a time when the old addiction can strike again because it feels like I've completed something. This is not about completing a set amount of days. This is it. It is over. Managed to stick to my allotted times for doing my language courses and t'ai ji today. Slowly I'm going to add some more activities into the day. Thank you.

pinkerton

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #62 on: July 11, 2016, 07:14:31 AM »
Congrats on two months. And thanks for the reminder on gratitude. I have been leaving that out.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2016, 12:01:12 PM »
Thank you again pinkerton, it's good to know someone is reading my journal :) I'm on day 65 now. Been getting up late and that's been messing with my scheduling of activities. Also been rushing ahead a bit in my mind which usually has the effect of demotivating me. Slow steady progress is the way forward, but I always want things immediately without any effort. I read someone else's journal commenting that one should be wary of blaming everything on porn, but I do think the years of instant gratification have trained me to either expect something immediately without effort or give up. I'm smoking less which is good but still not ready to quit. One step at a time. Onward.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #64 on: July 16, 2016, 02:18:37 PM »
Day 67. Don't know if this is what is called "brain fog", I've just felt totally disengaged today. Only done one of my language lessons so far and no t'ai ji and in a couple of hours it will be time for bed :( I'll get it done, but this is really no good, should be doing everything by midday, especially as I want to add some more activities into the day. I've thought about M briefly a few times over the last couple of days, but not really about P. No real urges though, just passing thoughts. Overall I'm happy with how I'm doing. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2016, 03:37:17 PM »
Coming to the end of day 73. A couple of days ago I had some psychotic symptoms again, and today I am also feeling vulnerable. My therapist thinks that I turn to psychosis when my real life becomes boring, not consciously, but unconsciously as a form of escape. Certainly the "brain fog" I mentioned in my last post continued, and I just felt more and more fatigued with the whole reboot process, no desire to return to porn, but I lost my focus on seeing each day as a victory. I let my routine slip. I still managed to do everything that I wanted to do in the day, but I was leaving it all to the last minute just before I went to bed. Today I still have to do my second language lesson and t'ai ji practice and I only have an hour left before I go to sleep. I have been doing so well. Almost two and a half months of sanity, no porn, and doing something productive every day, however little. I really don't want to go crazy again. One good thing is that I have stopped smoking first thing in the morning, so I'm still making progress. Let's hope these symptoms don't develop into a full relapse.

pinkerton

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #66 on: July 25, 2016, 09:13:57 AM »
Hey georgos, hope you're still going strong. I tend to act out in all kinds of ways when real life gets too boring. Or, i used to. I'm a lot better now. Best to find healthy excitement whenever we can.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2016, 07:47:27 AM »
Thank you for the concern pinkerton, my reboot is still going strong. The good news is that my psychosis has not re-surfaced. However I have been having bouts of existential crisis, thinking that there is no meaning in my life and that the things that used to mean something to me no longer do. Today has been better. It is day 77 so 11 weeks and over half my record. I wish you all the best too. You can do it! Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #68 on: July 27, 2016, 01:46:59 PM »
Day 78. I'm doing everything I set out to do, I should be feeling great, but I don't. How you deal with lows is important, the good thing is I'm not even thinking of turning to porn. Slowly, slowly, I'll get there. Thank you.

malando

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #69 on: July 27, 2016, 05:58:09 PM »
Nice job, Georgos - especially with your low mood at the moment. Stay strong and listen to any ideas your brain is giving you about what is missing in your life. Then follow the path to getting that into your life. Life is about finding more satisfaction, happiness and contentment - not just quitting P. I hope you are looking at ways to increase these things? You probably are - I don't mean to treat you like an idiot. Just a friendly reminder and encouragement to keep seeking what will make you happier and more complete. Best of luck, M.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #70 on: July 29, 2016, 08:13:24 AM »
Thank you malando for your kind words. I realise now after googling the term, that I am experiencing what is known as flatline. It's been going on for a couple of weeks now. Not that bothered about the sexual aspects, although last night I found I could barely engage with a girl who was interested in me, it's more the emotional aspects. Indeed that was the real problem. I had no interest and felt emotionally drained. In fact that's pretty much how I've been feeling these last couple of weeks as a whole. I just don't have any enthusiasm for anything. Don't know what to do about this really. I'm happy with my reboot, it seems like I've really turned the page on my old addiction. In the past, as a chronic relapser, I would relapse, get the shot of dopamine, and then find new determination to better myself and engage with life, of course I never did because I would fail, relapse again and then start again from square one. As you say, life is not just quitting P, but that was my life for so many years. I want to introduce new activities into my life, but none of them give me the shots of dopamine that P gave. I guess that's what I'm really lacking. But it is strange because I'm not actively pursuing sex either, the whole thought of engaging intimately with someone fills me with exhaustion. As I said in a previous post, P creates pathways of instant gratification, instant dopamine hits, real relationships require work, and I totally lack the skills for engaging with them, at least sexually. I have a second date coming up. I didn't think the first one went well, but she seems happy to see me again. She seems to actually want a nice guy, who's polite and listens, most girls do really, but I'm still worried about providing excitement. With such low energy at the moment, excitement is not something I can provide. I'll be happy if she just stays interested in me. Once you realise that a large part of sex is just release of dopamine it looses it's attraction. I think the real reason for this with us addicts is that we've worn out our dopamine pathways through over use. There's nothing wrong with dopamine in a balanced healthy life. Indeed it has beneficial effects. The problem is how we have programmed ourselves to get it and abused the delivery system. So anyway, I've hit day 80. I know I'm never going back. Just have to work out how to go forward that's all. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2016, 05:51:37 AM »
Day 83. Been feeling better the last couple of days. I've added in five minutes Zhan Zhuang (standing stake meditation) to my routine in the morning and that seems to be going well. I've almost finished the first of my language courses, twelve days to go, and I'm still doing the other language course which I should finish in a couple of months. Doing T'ai Ji every day for ten minutes as well. Finally I'm trying to get my smoking under control (note the classic mistake of trying to control an addiction, I'm clearly not ready to give it up). My aim is to not smoke before 12:00pm every day. I managed it yesterday, but totally failed today. The trigger is usually a disturbing dream just before I wake up. Anyway, this journal is primarily about addiction to P, and that is totally over for me. I am so grateful to this site for providing me with the final push to say goodbye to P forever. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2016, 11:36:21 AM »
Ok so maybe I got a bit too cocky... just been hit by an urge to relapse. I was sitting outside my favourite coffee shop watching the world go by when I suddenly thought "I could do it again", then the old feelings returned. I'm trying to just observe the feeling in a mindful sort of way and wait for it to pass. Observing is actually much more difficult then most people think, the trick is to observe without judgement as any sort of thought about the feeling, good or bad, makes it stronger. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2016, 07:01:14 AM »
So I didn't relapse, although it was pretty scary, but after writing here the urge simply went away. So I'm still on target, 84 days so far. Totally failed to not smoke before 12:00pm this morning, in fact smoked as soon as I woke up due to disturbing dreams again. I don't really want to post when I fail at something, it creates a cycle of attention seeking that reinforces the failure, and I want to stay positive. However it is good to be honest, with others as well as oneself. I'm not sure which is harder to quit, P or smoking. I seem to have quit P now, though yesterday's urge is a strong reminder that I shouldn't get complacent. For years I've been pretty much engaged in controlling my P addiction, it always felt like failure, because I would always go back to it, and it was a constant effort, but in reality, I was really controlling it, albeit as a chronic relapser. I've never managed to control my smoking for more than a few hours. So in this sense it seems I find smoking a harder drug to quit. Also, with P, I had so many negative emotions and thoughts about the behaviour that I really felt I'd hit rock bottom and there was no other option other than to quit, though actually quitting took finding this site to manifest itself, at least so far. With cigarettes, I really don't feel that bad about smoking, I'm vaguely aware that I could save money, that I have a smoker's cough, and that it is an artificial dopamine stimulator, but other than that I'm not that bothered. Sometimes I even still think it's cool. Obviously I don't want to hit rock bottom with cigarettes before I quit, that would mean having a stroke or getting cancer or something. I'm going to try and go for a streak of not smoking before 12:00pm every day. In the last month I managed 11 days of not smoking for between half an hour and an hour after waking up. Then after one days failure I managed to get all the way until 12:00pm without a cigarette and thought I could do a streak of that. Perhaps it would be best to revert back to the previous aim and see if I can do a longer streak, longer than 11 days. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning. At any rate I will record it here. Documenting my attempts to quit smoking here probably won't be as successful as documenting quitting P, because it's not what people are here for, but I'm sure everyone is supportive. Perhaps there is a stop smoking forum I could join. I'll google it. Thank you.

Georgos

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Re: NoFap Consciousness
« Reply #74 on: August 04, 2016, 07:37:04 AM »
Day 86. Yesterday I managed not to smoke until 12:00pm so a success! Today I had disturbing dreams again and smoked first thing in the morning. I'm going to join a stop-smoking forum and see if that will help. There are several on the web. I think because of my condition, dreams have a bigger effect on me. They open me up and I usually wake suddenly in the middle of them and am left still open afterwards. I have a period of living in both worlds, the dream world and the waking world, and I feel all sorts of mental sensations. Smoking usually helps to smooth the transition, however, today, even that didn't work, and I just ended up feeling bad, one because of the dream and two because I ruined my attempt not to smoke before 12:00pm again. I'm approaching 90 days no P and no M (Hard Mode), so things are pretty good otherwise. I'm managing to do all the activities I've set out to do every day. I found a forum for Love Shy. I said before I have Incel, but reading that forum I realised I there is a difference between Love Shy and Incel, and I definitely have the former. Other than that the forum was a real let down, just a lot of people wallowing in their problems with no direction. Hopefully the stop-smoking forums will be better. This forum is definitely what I need, everyone is so focused and it really helps to take you in the right direction. Good luck everyone. Thank you.