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Making Recovery my #1 Priority

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PF58:
I'm so sick of the binge and purge cycle—binging until I'm satiated and then making an empty promise to stop! It's like the decision to fast after you've eaten a 7 course meal and you're feeling bloated. Easy to do in the moment! The real test comes when you get hungry again.

I've let myself down again and again and again. I think the reason is that, while I may have given lip service to making recovery my #1 priority, I haven't really done it! I've also told myself, "This time will be different!" And a few day or a week later I'm wanking to porn once again.

This time I REALLY do want to do it differently and here's the difference. I'm going to get specific about what actions I plan on taking and what I plan on doing differently. In another post (in a separate thread) I talked about The 3 Circles and, given what's in my middle circle, I'm going to make these changes:

I'm going to start a Smart Recovery meeting
I moved here to Moab, UT from the SF Bay Area a couple of weeks ago. This is a small town although it has a huge influx of tourists because of two National Parks nearby. I've been thinking about starting a meeting for a couple of years and this time I'm committed to doing it and having the first meeting before my birthday which is in a couple of weeks. Leading the meeting is a surefire way to get me to show up every week!

I'm going to get to bed before midnight
Most of my acting out or indulging (as I prefer to call it) has happened late at night. It seems that my addict's strategy is to keep me at the computer until my defenses drop and I have a "fuck it" moment. This is a very familiar pattern!

I'm going to avoid surfing the web randomly
This is another way that I fool myself. I have a site that I've used which takes me to random sites. While I've discovered some interesting sites that way, if I use it long enough, it will take me to a site where I am triggered. And, somehow, I use this as justification for indulging!

I'm going to avoid following provocative stories from mainstream journalism onto YouTube
I've read printed news magazines and then gotten online to follow the news story but nowadays I read Time Magazine or The Week on my iPad. This makes it even easier to follow these stories by searching on Google. It occurs to me that to aid me in this way a media fast may be in order (at least for the first month). I'm going to give that some more thought and post about it later.

I'm going to get out in nature at least twice a week
I moved here to Moab because of the natural beauty of the place and getting out in nature is—as I see it—one of the two main antidotes to porn addiction. There other one is connecting with other people.

I'm going to go to an event at least once a week (where there's an opportunity to be social)
Because I don't know anyone here in town, I have to make some new friends. That's certainly not going to happen if I don't get out of my home. I don't have the benefit of steady work to make those connections so I have make an extra effort to put myself out there. Last weekend I spent volunteering at a local arts festival here. That was a good start.

I'm going to exercise at least 3x a week
Since I'm getting outside into nature at least twice a week, I'm going to be getting exercise there but I also want to get to the gym at least once a week (since I just joined).

I'm going to develop the habit of planning my days
This involves looking over my plan for the day the night before. For most people, their work life provides a lot of structure but I don't have a steady job. In fact, I'm not working at all right now and that makes planning my day more important. Without having a plan for the day I can find myself doing something which neither feeds my soul or moves me towards my goals.

I'm going to post on Reboot Nation every day this June (my first 30 days of sobriety)
I've also agree to chat online with an accountability partner I have in the Philippines.

Recently, I wrote my goals down and I've set up a timer on my iPhone to remind me to look at them three times a day. I've been doing this for a week. :-) Yesterday I changed my number one goal to: My recovery is my number one priority. My goal is to be free of porn for the entire summer so on September 1st I will have 92 days.

Porn2Bmild:
PF56,

I love the fact that you've set these concrete goals for yourself and had the bravery to post them here.  This way you know we'll hold you accountable and help you stay accountable.

As for myself, I've set the same goal: stay PMO free for the summer.  I'm doing the Hard 90 starting yesterday, so I am on this journey with you.  You are not alone.

Good luck, my brother!  I know you can stay strong!

PF58:
Thanks Porn2Bmild. I feel your support. Let's do this!!

PF58:
Yesterday I picked up a book that an ex-girlfriend gave me about 10 years ago. She broke it off in large part because of my porn addiction. Although I wasn't that upset about her breaking it off, I was devastated that she didn't want to see me ever again. Up until that point, I'd always been the one that rejected the women that I was involved with (because they didn't measure up). This was a real wake up call for me but it still wasn't enough for me to end my porn addiction.

The book that my ex gave me is titled Soul without Shame — A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within.  It's a book that I should have read years ago! I think shame may be the prime culprit in porn addiction. It's responsible for my low self-esteem, avoidance of my peers, self-limiting beliefs and general feelings of anxiety and despondency.

They say that you teach what you want to learn. So, to that end, I'm going to teach a class on this next month. I've led some small groups before but never charged for them. This time I'm going to charge a nominal fee for a six week class and see who shows up. I'll make the session free so people can get a sense of me and an introduction to the material.

Along with the Smart Recovery meeting that I've decided to start, I think that this could really contribute to my own recovery. Just like facilitating a meeting is one good way to get my ass there every week, offering a class will be a really good way for me to immerse myself in this topic!

PF58:
A couple of years ago I discovered Fortify (fortifyprogram.org) which I think is an excellent online tool. I've made a commitment to go through it again and make it a part of my daily recovery ritual. The fact is that when I went through it the first time, I was very inconsistent. In going through it a second time I realize how many exercises I skipped, so this time I'm filling in the gaps.

Here's a few reasons why I think it's a good program: (FYI, I'm not affiliated with them in any way)
• You can use it on any device
• There are 52 video based lessons (which are really well done)
• You can use it on any device
• It's free for guys between 13 - 20
• It's a modest one time fee for guys over 20 (like myself!)

Why do I share this with you? Well, I really like Fortify's model of offering the program for free to younger guys. There needs to be some counter force to the onslaught of sex in the media, increasingly inspired by porn (ie. American Apparel). And now when many kids have smart phones by the age of 12 or 13 (and probably younger) their adolescent minds are just not prepared for the onslaught of porn that's available through their phones! The other reason I share this is that I think we can help ourselves to find recovery by helping one another find recovery. And, since I think this is a valuable resource, I want to share it with you guys that may not be aware of it.

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