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Journals => Ages 40 and up => Topic started by: UKGuy on April 06, 2020, 07:38:34 AM

Title: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 06, 2020, 07:38:34 AM
Hello everyone,

I read a message on LinkedIn this weekend which basically pointed to the fact that if you come out of the Covid crisis the same as you went into it, then that represents a significant lost opportunity. An opportunity to learn (maybe a new skill), to grow, to get perspective on what's important etc. For my part, I have decided that for me, the primary opportunity is for me to finally tackle, and overcome my 30+ year addiction to pornography, and that is why I am here.

I've been to this site before (but not really participated), am familiar with Gary's work - read his book, watched TED etc. I also am a regular listener to the Porn Free radio podcast. I get all the theory. I meditate. But I relapse. Often. My theory is that the one ingredient that I miss out on, and that I believe has come between me and more success in managing my behaviour, is the contact with others - the openness, honesty, mutual accountability and support. I'm too proud presently to attend SA meetings, although have actively considered it. I guess in any case, that's not an option at the moment anyway due to movement restrictions! So I have committed to myself that I will share myself here to you, and in turn I will do my best to support you where and when I can. So hello!

I am 47, live in the UK, have a happy marriage and family life. I have also been using porn since my teenage years. I wouldn't describe myself as a high frequency user - probably on average once a week, but those occasions are usually binges. Multi hour - most of the day sometimes. I have lost countless nights sleep still 'wired', mornings with foggy head, spent days feeling guilty, and had so many 'new dawns' that I have truly lost count. My longest 'streak' is around 60 days or so. Today I am on day 2.

I have been open with my wife to a point. She is very understanding and helps me with practical support at my request regarding wifi filters, passwords on app store etc.

However, there is one key aspect that I have keep from her - out of shame and fear. This is that my stimulation of choice for the past years has been less visual porn, and more chat apps. I stumbled across this at first, but found the social interaction aspect with a real human being to be a big draw for me personally. I don't know any of these people, certainly would never want to meet them, but end up involved in explicit exchanges and role plays which if re-read in the cold light of day are disgusting and completely contrary to my values. This is the source of my guilt, and often fear (that one day those transcripts will reappear in some big hack!) and ruin me, and everything that I have. In many respects I am leading a duplicitous life which causes me and others pain. I want to stop it. For good. Not just to allay the fear, but to live to my potential. To do good, not harm. To be them same outside an inside. To be authentic, faithful and honest.

My plan is to check in minimum weekly, to be honest about my progress, and to hopefully receive some support, and in turn offer some to you. I'd love to find an accountability partner at some point (preferably in UK for time zone reasons), but am happy to see how things unfold and hopefully find a connection or two through journaling in the first instance.

So that's me. Please do say hi, particularly if any of the above resonates with you. Stay safe, and stay porn free!

Best wishes

UKGuy

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on April 06, 2020, 09:22:38 AM
Hey UkGuy

               Welcome to the  fight.

 I read your whole posting and it really resonates with me  especially the section on the issue with chat.  That was my problem too which was larger than  typically porn itself  I have essentially kicked both Now at around 115 days clean(I would have to refer to my journal to  see the exact date.  Many of the things you say apply to me..   the chats you partake in and look back on in discust   the worry there may be transcripts  somewhere exc  I feared all these things too  but not so much anymore.  Much is made here regarding  disclosing  our addictions to our wives.  I chose not to  and have successfully  beaten my addiction.  I was a fairly high functioning addict as in I never experienced pied  I had regular sex withn my wife   went to work  partook in everyday life for the most part.  There is much on the topic in my journal  from others here including partners who let their  opinions be known on my journal   I welcome it all . If you choose to not reveal your chat problem to your wife you will have my support in your fight as the premise of reboot nation is to kick our addictions and not debate the relationship dynamics.  On the home page it states "We help people reboot their brains with encouragement and education. Reboot is a complete rest from artificial sexual stimulation (i.e. pornography)".  I do  not  tell anyone they are wrong in the decisions they make.  If you chose to reveal it to your wife you will also get equal  support from me.   The decisions you make must be yours and be based on what it will take to  get clean.  Than any other work can commence.  I'll start by sharing  a few of the stratagies I employed  in my fight.  Some you may find usefull some not  some may seem unorthodox  but all helped me greatly

   1  We all know we weant to stop   I reiforced it by  when i was  driving in my car alone  on my way to work or  back home or  just anywhere and thinking about it  I would sometimes  allow myself to get angry that I was a porn addict  and yell at it  as if it was another person  I would tyell it off with  statements like  "I dont need you   You dont control me  I going to #$%@#%$  leave you behind aas I am stronger than you.  when I was back home I would remember  doing that  and it reminded me that I was building some strength to  beat the addiction

   2  I put great value in small victories  I would look forwartd to little milestones  5 days clean so only 2 more and I have a week clean.  I did not think about the 90 days as that was a long time for anyt porn/chat addict.  If I relapsed after  a week  I knew If I stareted again  that  the 5 days was not a long time to quickly re ach again  followed by the week and I would say Ill grab the extra day  for 8 days  now its ony 2 days till 10 days clean  a new record.  I found  winning little victories like this  to be akin to tyraining for a running marathon.  You dont just decide to run 26 miles  you start with one  and you add to it over time

    The final note is of course to read lots and eductae yourself and decide why you want to quit  and what  you want out of life  which it looks like you have  begin putting those ideas into play

   cheers and good luck

    Post often it helps me it helps you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 09, 2020, 07:30:52 AM
Thanks very much taking the time to respond Joe. I appreciate it. I've had a look at your journal, and yes - there appear to be lots of similarities in our journey which is encouraging for me. I function completely normally - no PIED etc, and my motivation for wanting to move on in life (after c3 decade of going around in circles) is very similar to your own. I can't imagine there are many people who, on their deathbed say "I wish I'd have spent more time masturbating"!! Congratulations on your own successes and in particular the fact that you choose to remain active on here, encouraging others. I can tell by your excellent footnote (post often it helps me it helps you) that it helps you to do this - a true 'win-win'. The good news is that I am day 4 - not necessarily a big achievement as I usually relapse after 7 or 14 days, but I have resolve, and am happy to be involved in this community. Thanks for your support and look forward to the journey ahead together.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 09, 2020, 09:43:01 AM
My thoughts on chat rooms (Linking for journal purposes):

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=18294.0
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: jixu on April 10, 2020, 07:30:37 AM
Best wishes as you come upon the "7 to 14" days that you mentioned.  I tend to be more on the introvert side I guess so I can't totally relate to some of the stuff you wrote but I think the solution is the same-stay away from triggers and keep going, even in the midst of struggles and mishaps.   Take care!     
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on April 10, 2020, 07:42:08 AM
Hey UKGuy

   how are ya making out  did ya reach the small victory of day 5  remember its only 2 days than to a week clean.  I saw you posted on mine this morning  but you havent posted on yours   Its so important to post weather you have another clean day or a relapse so you can air your mind of what might have led you to it   and we can encourage you to get up and start again.  Lets always keep the conversation going

  cheers

    Post ofton it helps me it helps you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 11, 2020, 03:28:18 PM
Thanks for the feedback and interest Jixu and Joe. Yes, I made day 7. Today was a challenge, largely as two of my 'triggers' were in play - 1) I was hungover and 2) I'd had a disagreement with my wife. However I fortunately had a number of commitments which helped me fill the day - it would have been a real challenge to have carved out time to 'act out'. I do feel that the desire to act out builds in me, and its great to come here and get my thoughts down as a way to neutralise the flames. Stay strong everyone.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on April 14, 2020, 04:46:34 PM
Hi UKGuy!

Your story really resonates with me with the confiding with the wife and the chat thing.. (for me personal were random chat sites).. But I feel what you're saying.. especially when you think/read back later that it's not how you want to be as a person. Its so guilt infusing.
What made you not tell your wife this aspect? Is it shame, fear of her losing you, fear of her losing respect? I'm not suggesting you should tell her, but more that those questions could maybe help you understand your shame/fear!

Im looking forward to reading your progress on her man.

I'm rooting for you.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 15, 2020, 09:38:42 AM
Hi Shade,
Thank for taking an interest in my journey. That's what I love about this community and find it such a help.
Why did I choose to not tell her? Good question....
My wife has known about my struggle with porn for years (20+), and also my ongoing determination to beat it. She helps with filters, always knows when I've acted out (well, 8/10 times) - I think I have a guilty face! I think she also knows that I'm a little bit OCD - not diagnosed or anything, but I'm the type of guy that has high expectations and sets rules for myself. E.g.: I religiously count my alcohol units, I HAVE to do my exercise or feel bad etc. I think she sometimes views my determination to stop the porn as an extension of these behaviours rather than it being a bad thing that upsets her. She's a very forgiving person. I did confess a chat type issue to her 9 years ago that was wracking me with guilt, and she was super supportive and we've never spoken about it since. What she doesn't know however is that over the past years this aspect of my behaviour (chat) has developed and has become the dominant aspect of my porn use. Other than the issue 9 years ago, we've never spoken about specifics. So why not tell her? Well, I guess my primary goal is to quit chat (and porn). If I tell her, then yes, it will hurt her (I don't want this), and yes, I think she may thing less of me, and yes, she may trust me less in the future. So the way I look at it, that is a cost (to her and me), and the only reason therefore to do this is if there was a corresponding benefit. The only possible benefit I can see is telling her is if doing so helps me stop for good (this benefits me, her, the kids). I have been trying and failing for so long (had a streak of nearly 60 days a few years ago, and a 28 last year but typically I get stuck at around day 14. I listen quite often to PornFree Radio which is great, and came to realise that the only thing missing from my toolkit was a connection with other people - people in the same situation, accountability partners etc. So I chose to come here for that (only 2 weeks ago), rather than just confessing all to her. My theory is, that if I can beat it with the help of you guys and without the need to tell her, then it's a win-win (the benefit without the cost). If not, and I fail, then maybe I need to reconsider being open with her. I'm hoping that won't be necessary - let's see!
I look forward to following your progress and wish you well.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on April 15, 2020, 11:41:15 PM
Hey UKGuy  Hey Shade

      I am in somewhat of the same position as UKGuy  with the chat issue (which I have now kicked for 124 days) as wellas porn(also 1245 days clean)  I have chosen not to tell my wife  about either addiction.  She knows  I used to surf "a little porn" and it never bothered her  as it wasnt  a secret.  The secret I had was that I was addicted to it.  I chose not to tewll her as I grew up in a very conservative mentality.  My fahter always said  "if you have a problem be a man and solve it"   Unless you feel someone else is to blame for it than involve them.  I dont know what good can come of spitting out all the details to my wife.   There are many here who I'm sure will disagree with this philosophy but I believe the mandate here is a reboot of the brain.... A total pause  from artificial sexual stimulation. ie  internet porn or dvds or magazines.   After we clear our heads and get on the right track   than  we can  decide how we want to handle our  relationships

     cheers

    Post often it helps me it helps you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on April 16, 2020, 04:39:37 AM
Hi UKGuy and Joepanic.

I see your points on the terms of telling our wifes. If they don't experience any direct negative effect from a relapse, why involve them so we can spare them the pain. I see what you guys mean.
But, i don't know how it is with you guys, but because i've been an addict from before i became physically sexually active, it had an enourmous influence on how i perceive an engage sexually. The twisted notions i have due to porn, permeated through to my actions in bed. Distanced, clinical, no emotional contact and my wife immediately recognizes that!

But, i do see the wisdom in not telling the wifes in your situations. Maybe not 'to man up and face your own problems' but to spare the wife the pain of an additional layer of addiction and breaking her trust.

Good luck gents
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 16, 2020, 08:33:55 AM
Thanks both,
I don't think there's a right or wrong / 'one size fits all' here. We are all different. Whilst I decided not to tell my wife, my circumstances are unique - there are similarities with Joe, but we're not the same, albeit we came to the same decision. Your circumstances are also unique Shade, and you've come to a different answer - one that's right for you.

I think what matters here, and that I think we all agree on is that the goal is to reboot, and to cease the damaging behaviour - whatever our motivation may be to do it. How we get there, is less important.

What's evident reading your journal Shade, is that via your openness you have been given the reassurance from your wife that she still loves you. Yes, it has probably caused some hurt that Joe and I have avoided by not sharing, but that doesn't mean it's wrong/weaker etc. As you kick this (which I believe you will), you've got a strong foundation of openness and understanding to start to build your relationship into something beautiful. The openness that you have developed with your wife should really help achieve this - if you hadn't have shared it may have been more difficult to do this? What do you think?

In any case - irrespective of whether we share with our wives or not, we ARE all 'manning up and facing our problems' not alone but together - Joe's not doing it alone, and neither am I, as we all have each other here. I feel really optimistic that my choice to share here is a real enabler to success that I've been missing for many years. Together we can do this!

Cheers
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on April 16, 2020, 07:57:52 PM
Hello UKguy,

Thanks for passing by to share your thoughts on my journal. As you said in your intro, the pandemic is most definitely a way to start anew, and there is no issue with 'using it' as an opportunity to self-improve. Sometimes it takes an event of this kind to wake up and finally do something different with life. Funny, my moment of realization occurred about a month earlier... I guess the point is that every person has their own 'ground zero' moment. But I dare say that deciding to kick this addiction is something so much greater than a COVID challenge. It's being man enough to admit that life is not going as well as it should. That it is not ok to waste another minute on a habit that destroys physical and mental health, and sabotages the potential for growth. An authentic intention such as that and that's already 50% of the recovery work cut out! The rest is just following up... and like you said, it might take some trial and error... but if the intention is true then you never need worry about the final outcome.

Some people mentioned something about sharing versus not sharing this personal battle with a spouse. I say it really doesn't matter what you decide, as long as the intention you set out for yourself is something that YOU want to pursue. The rest is moot. I couldn't care less if my SO told me she were fighting an Instagram addiction. I would become concerned if this occupied 50% of our conversations. But if she voiced concerns about it being harmful and her wanting to move onto other things, I would support her, nothing more nothing less.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on April 16, 2020, 09:15:06 PM
Hey UkGuy and Leonidas

    Looks like the conversations are really starting to pick up  this is GOOOOOOOD
 

     Leonidas  your 2nd paragraph makes total sense to me   I like the perspective

    cheers

    Post often it helps me it helps you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 17, 2020, 11:17:44 AM
Thanks Leonidas - I agree with your articulate and objective observations. Like you I’ve been trying so long to kick this , and this forum feels like it’s given me such a boost. That said, today is a struggle - i’m watching those feelings arise within me, as you mention in your own journal. It’s great to be able to take my phone and log on here to share and see what everyone else is up to. Not too long ago, I’d be sat here right now on the same phone, but on a chat site discussing much less healthy subjects - progress, I guess. Going for a meditate now to try and tune in a bit more. Happy Friday all!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on April 17, 2020, 12:31:25 PM
Thanks both,
I don't think there's a right or wrong / 'one size fits all' here. We are all different. Whilst I decided not to tell my wife, my circumstances are unique - there are similarities with Joe, but we're not the same, albeit we came to the same decision. Your circumstances are also unique Shade, and you've come to a different answer - one that's right for you.

I think what matters here, and that I think we all agree on is that the goal is to reboot, and to cease the damaging behaviour - whatever our motivation may be to do it. How we get there, is less important.

What's evident reading your journal Shade, is that via your openness you have been given the reassurance from your wife that she still loves you. Yes, it has probably caused some hurt that Joe and I have avoided by not sharing, but that doesn't mean it's wrong/weaker etc. As you kick this (which I believe you will), you've got a strong foundation of openness and understanding to start to build your relationship into something beautiful. The openness that you have developed with your wife should really help achieve this - if you hadn't have shared it may have been more difficult to do this? What do you think?

In any case - irrespective of whether we share with our wives or not, we ARE all 'manning up and facing our problems' not alone but together - Joe's not doing it alone, and neither am I, as we all have each other here. I feel really optimistic that my choice to share here is a real enabler to success that I've been missing for many years. Together we can do this!

Cheers

Hey UKGuy,

we are absolutely not alone indeed! that is indeed the beauty of this forum. What you said about the forum being an enabler is very much true for me as well.

And just to be sure, i never meant to imply that you and Joe not telling your wifes was wrong i was actually trying to inquire without judgement. I was just wondering about the why of it. In your specific cases i fully understand your choises. It indeed is something we need to see as a long term commitment, the getting rid of this addiction. That indeed is the goal.

So let us keep supporting eachother on this forum to make sure that we will rid ourselves from P.

Good luck UKguy, i will keep catching up

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 18, 2020, 04:03:15 AM
Just checking in guys as I feel I have a much higher than usual chance of relapse today. Slightly hungover after skype beers with my friends last night, and family matters leaving me with a high emotion of rejection. I’m typing this to commit to you all that I’ll overcome and stay sober today, and in turn ask you to hold me accountable to that promise. Will update this evening UK time. On with the day. Thanks all..
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on April 18, 2020, 11:14:56 AM
Good of you to check in UKGuy and for recognizing the high risk of your situation.

Let us know how your day went, if you had urges en what happened. Good luck man
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 18, 2020, 05:25:06 PM
Cheers Shade - I’m pleased to report success today. I guarantee, before I found this group, I’d have 100% relapsed today. Plus, I’ve made it to 14 days. Going to bed feeling happy and a little bit proud (but not complacent!) All the best!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on April 19, 2020, 03:29:20 AM
Cheers Shade - I’m pleased to report success today. I guarantee, before I found this group, I’d have 100% relapsed today. Plus, I’ve made it to 14 days. Going to bed feeling happy and a little bit proud (but not complacent!) All the best!

Then let us be proud of you!

Cheers man, happy to hear you've hit 14 days!

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on April 19, 2020, 08:11:17 AM
Hey UKGuy

    nice going on the 14 days  and finding that extra strength yesterday  you do us proud.  Sometimes it really is a 1 day at a time situation.  Than your circumstances allow you to  easily sail through a longer spell befor e finding yourself in the one day at a time  again.
   This might than give you a small chance to reflect on what worked that got you through the  hard pointy and be able to build on that

    cheers

    Post often it helps me it helps you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 19, 2020, 09:25:34 AM
Thanks Joe - hopefully I’m in for an easy sail for a while on the back of the confidence yesterday gave me. Just need to not get over confident and complacent. I think the reflections on what got me through yesterday is an easy one - you guys, and this forum. I’d much rather come here, engage with you and win, then withdraw into myself, self soothe with PMO and lose. It helps immensely - thank you. 
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on April 23, 2020, 04:11:28 AM
Hey UKGuy,

Just checking in on your own progress. I've seen you posting a lot in other peoples threads and wondering how you're doing at almost 3 weeks.

Keep going strong!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 23, 2020, 04:36:47 AM
Hey Shade - I was thinking of you earlier, so it's great to receive your message. Yes, all is going well thanks. Today is day 19, and to be honest I feel great. I exercise every day, am spending time in the garden and with my wife and kids. Doing some projects like you. I think that Covid lockdown does make it easier for me as I have little or no time alone, but the MAJOR help is coming here - I log on twice a day, and try and contribute something to one or two of the conversations. doing that has kind of helped my reshape my relationship with porn from being a participant of porn with a negative, lonely, shameful experience to being a porn helper (or really anti-porn helper) which is positive, sociable, and dare I say noble experience. Because of this the temptation to participate seems to just melt away. I can only hope this continues, but logically the longer I'm sober, the weaker the brain wiring becomes and the more likely I am to make this a permanent change within my life. Thanks for asking after me - it means a lot.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Rookie on April 23, 2020, 06:25:01 AM
That's a great way to look at it. Many people that were addicted to drugs and alcohol do the same thing, and many mention that it helps them stay clean. I know some business men/women that do the same thing. Once they became successful, they help others become successful as well, at no charge for little tid bits of advice.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 28, 2020, 03:33:12 AM
Morning all,

Quick check in - day 24.

One benefit of lockdown that I'd previously spoken about was the relative difficulty in getting time privately to PMO. One of the downsides, with teenagers in the house 24/7, is also lack of private time with my wife for love making. As a consequence, I am feeling somewhat 'irritable', particularly today! When I started our, my objective was to stay clear of PMO, and I didn't really have an issue with MO, but given that I've avoided everything so far, it feels as if MO'ing to solve a short term problem would represent a bad step for me - a step nearer PMO. So, I've had to take a decision this morning, and I'm choosing not to MO either. I might reconsider this in the future, but, for me, it seems like the wise thing to do.

So...my affirmation to you guys is to stay clean today and weather the storm. Thinking also about Traveler32's advice that ShadeTrenicin summarised so well recently to help me do this today...…

"1. Recognize the urge
 2. Allow that the urge is there (you cannot will it away, let it be and analyze it)
 3. Investigate why the urge is there (is there something inside of you that makes you resort to PMO?)
 4. Realize that the urge is temporary
 5. Recall the feeling of emptiness after a PMO wank
 6. (optional if the urge is really strong) Resort to an emergency activity such as sports, anti-sexual activities, other hobbies."

Have a good day, all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on April 28, 2020, 01:22:04 PM
Hey UKguy,


How did the day go for you? Any irritability?

Great recognition on that MO could lead to PMO. Even in these irritable times ;)
Must be hard to not be able to have private time with the wife with the teenagers around.

I'm also glad to read that you've included Travelers/Mine thoughtprocess, i really hope it helps you!

Cheers man!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on April 29, 2020, 04:32:13 AM
The day went fine thanks for asking Shade. Point 4 of yours and Traveler's 6 point plan really works!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on April 29, 2020, 08:37:18 AM
Hey Gentlemen

     This is a good conversation to follow   lots of  really valid points and ideas  I know I dont post on others jpournals too often these days   but what I do read certainly helps

   cheers
   
     Post often it helps me it helps  you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 04, 2020, 05:55:17 AM
Quick update:

Today I reach 30 days with no PMO. This is only the 2nd time in my life I recall doing that since teens. The other occasion I got to 60 last year and then messed up badly. 60 is therefore my next logical milestone.

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you guys for being the magic ingredient that I have been missing. Without you and this forum (you ARE the forum) I have no doubt that I would have come up short. I came here as I knew from my research that connectivity and accountability to others was something that was missing from my plan, and boy, has it made a difference!

Here are a list of the things that I particularly like about being here:

1) a sense of connectivity - we're all here for the same reason irrespective of our age, race, location, particular manifestation of P addiction.
2) the reciprocity of helping and encouraging others and receiving that same care ourselves.
3) reading and learning about others' experiences - noting the similarities, the differences and watching the shame we feel due to our own behaviour diminish as we realise we are not alone.
4) The practical tips and advice that can really help us take accountability with the right tools to build our own plans to deal with triggers.
5) The broader awareness that many here show about their own self improvement journey as we also address some of the underlying drivers in our behaviour and (past) reliance on porn - lots of learnings for me there too.
6) the fact that if we trip, there's always a helping hand or two to help pick us up, dust us off, and remind us that falls do not equate to failure, rather an opportunity to learn and strengthen our plans and resolve.
7) The non judgemental tone in which we speak to each other - offering support, advice, encouragement, but never criticism.
8) The inspiration from seeing guys who are further along the journey, but still come here to stay on track and encourage others.

Have I missed anything?! Love to hear some other observations, and in the meantime, thank you all for your support so far. I really, really appreciate it.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 04, 2020, 07:10:33 AM
Hey UKGuy!

Great work on reaching 30 days! Congratulations.


I totally agree on the 8 point list, it is THE missing link for recovery!

KEep up the good work!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: KittyHawk on May 04, 2020, 01:09:39 PM
Hi UKGuy,

we have a lot of things in common. I also am trying to get out of corona-quarantine in a better shape than I got into it. I think this will be  a challenging for many - most people will be more out of shape, more addicted, more depressed. But we have the opportunity to choose the exact opposite.

I also find gardening to be therapeutic.

And helping other people here even more. Honestly, I think I'll keep going here even when I think I am PMO-free. There is a big truth in "once an addict, always an addict" and I don't mean to say it to discourage anyone. It just means that we will always have to be more careful around P than a normal person. Same way like ex-alcoholic shouldn't try to drink recreationally. And when I am PMO-free for couple months, I don't want to fall back to it ever... being here is a helpful reminder and also a chance to support others with the same struggle.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 04, 2020, 02:49:31 PM
Thanks Shade and Kitty Hawk.
@Shade - you’ve been a great encouragement to me over the past month and I see you doing similar for many on here.
@Kitty Hawk - I agree 100% with you. I think helping others anywhere is great for your self esteem and mental health. I see guys here who are much much further down the road of recovery than me who still have the humility and kind heartedness to continue to participate and take part in this community - helping others, and at the same time of course helping themselves to stay connected and avoid complacency.
I also think the physical fitness effort goes a long way to helping a good mindset - discipline, good self esteem, the magic of endorphins. I also enjoy gardening, mainly as I find it meditative and I like the satisfaction of seeing the impact of my own labour - not something you can see as easily with career work. Enjoy and take care.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 05, 2020, 11:29:09 PM
Hi UK,  Re your list of stuff you like here, I too have found it a hidden gem.  I was about to go down the road of getting a paid "coach", but this is far superior b/c of the things you mentioned. Also, I had trouble relating to the youngsters.  (not diminishing their struggles or sincerity)
The part you mentioned re shame is huge for me. That burden can be a back breaker for me. And it is always with me as long as I'm addicted (that is a heck of a long time.)  It's great to know there are those that empathize.
The practical stuff has also been a godsend.  It's great to bounce ideas off each other.
And, yeah, I still love you even though you're a Brit. hahaha
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 11, 2020, 02:41:01 AM
Hey UKGuy,

i've not seen a post in here from you for about a week now? How are things on your end? I see that you're involved in a lot of other guys' threads and being helpfull and supportive, thanks for that! It's really appreciated by all of us!

But, how are YOU doing?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 11, 2020, 03:17:46 AM
Hi Shade - thank you for asking - you are a good man. I'm doing brilliantly thanks. Day 37. No PM whatsoever. Anything sexual has been with my wife throughout that time. I'm feeling great - positive, confident, productive, good self image - fanastic relationship with my wife and kids. Never moody or tired. No sneaking off into the bedroom or bathroom for hours on end! As I've said many times before, being here is definitely what has made the difference for me. I really feel part of something - a togetherness. This, for me, has been the missing ingredient and I'm just determined to keep going. I am sure there will be challenges ahead. I am having a bit of a career break at the moment - since the start of the year, so have no stress, plenty of time to exercise, meditate, come on here, do enjoyable stuff. Will that change once I return to work - more stress, less time? Probably, yes - but my plan was always to put together such a long streak by that time that the brain had rewired itself such that I could still stay clean in a changed environment. That doesn't indicate that I would leave here at that time by the way - being here with you guys is for keeps! Have a good day my friend!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 11, 2020, 01:42:31 PM
Hi UK,  How are you doing on that goal to quit the dating sites?  I've been very tempted to re-join but have thus far resisted.
If you can stay off them I bet you will feel better about your relationship.  Plus just having the worry of getting caught removed may feel liberating.     Best...
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 12, 2020, 03:32:34 AM
Hi Mr S,
Thanks for asking - they weren't dating sites as such - more chat sites, but still the behaviours are similar (inappropriate sexual dialogue with others). In any case, I have not been near one since my counter started. Although for most of my porn addicted journey it was pictures/videos, it then morphed into picture sites where you could comment, and then into chat. So when I say Porn free, it most definitely includes all of those things.
Being off them relieves me of guilt and shame, and also gives me back time, sleep, energy and a good mood.
I like that....a lot!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on May 12, 2020, 09:37:43 AM
Hey,
Just joined myself and your story totally resonates. I just started listening to the PFR podcast too. Well done on the streak. I hope connecting to others here will be the missing part of the puzzle I've been looking for.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 12, 2020, 03:21:54 PM
Welcome Joel,    As far as being here goes--  I reckon it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
Please keep connected.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 13, 2020, 01:20:40 AM
Hey UKGuy,

Great to see the amazing impact stopping with P has had don you for the pas 40 days! The careerbreak may have also given you the extra free time to conquer this! Being without stress and not having to focus on work a lot opens up a lot of free time and space which you are now spending well by focusing on your family. As you already said yourself, in this time you are rewiring yourself in such a way that when you eventually get back to work again you are also able to cope with the stress and new environment.

When do you plan to go back to work anyway?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 13, 2020, 12:05:55 PM
@ Joel - welcome at thanks for connecting. I certainly hope you find the community as beneficial as I have. It's been the missing ingredient for me after years of trying to become free. I will write more on your own journal.

@Shade - Yes, I think the career break and Covid lockdown have been enablers. Also you have to seize those opportunities and I am so glad that I made the choice to log on here, share and get some help with my journey. I am in a couple of recruitment processes at the moment and it is possible that I may restart work sooner rather than later. I will keep you posted!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 13, 2020, 04:34:09 PM
 Hi Shade,  If you happen to read this, I've seen your helpful/caring posts but couldn't find your journal. Do you have one? (If you don't mind I'd like to check it out.)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 14, 2020, 04:08:46 AM
Here is Shade's journal Mr S. He's a great guy and posts in 30-39 so that's maybe why you struggled to find it...

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17919.0
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 14, 2020, 04:57:49 AM
Hi all,
I've been online here already this morning - replied to a few threads, and gone away to get on with my day. I then became struck by a realisation - an awareness of a trigger and have therefore come back to share it, and for two reasons. 1) I think that 'shining a light' on it will diminish its power and 2) perhaps some of you can relate...

It's something of an emotional stress trigger really. I've been out of work since the start of the year. This isn't a major issue and as we luckily have some small savings and are not spending much with Covid, I planned to take 6 months off anyway. The time and space off has been a real godsend...I didn't really enjoy the last year of my last job and was having some real self esteem issues relating to what you might have heard as 'imposter syndrome' (basically not feeling good enough about yourself in your role, comparing yourself negatively to others etc). I had really let it get a grip of me and had started to manifest itself as strong anxiety - especially in work situations where I may have to, for example present something. Noone really knew about it, except my wife, but it was crippling me inside.

The time off has been a great opportunity to heal, and as you know from my journal, it's also been an enabler to kick starting my reset with your help (day 40 today...yay!)

However, I feel I am on the verge of potentially landing a good job, and guess what....some of those old thoughts, feelings and emotions (primarily of fear of failure) come flooding back. Oh...where do I go to escape these horrible sensations?! Well...we all know what the answer to that can so easily be. It won't be of course...because I'm here, sharing with you...facing into the trigger and temptation and hopefully neutralising it. But, if I hadn't logged back on and come here...who knows? maybe not today, but perhaps just a little indulging a fantasy for a moment or two...perhaps googling that actress that I found attractive when watching a film on my exercise bike yesterday (I must confess, I did google her yesterday, whilst still on the relatively safe exercise bike, but then thought better of it and stopped), perhaps it would be a cumulation of little things that would tip the scales in the favour of a relapse. I guess triggers can accumulate...we can succumb to little things that in the moment are small, but lead to other little unwise choices, and before we know where we are, the reward system is fully fired off, and away we go!. Well, not today.

My plan is to spend some time reading. Great book called The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Saltzgeber. I'm also thinking of reaching out to an ex colleague who has retired now and asking him to become a mentor to help build my confidence in some of the perceived technical capability gaps in my work that have led to the feelings of low self worth. Will also get in the garden for a few hours and I will enjoy the weekly National Health Service clapping that we do outside our homes here every week at 20:00.

Thanks for letting me vent...I feel a little emotional, but that this was a good idea for me. Have a good day.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: realfakeusername on May 14, 2020, 01:04:48 PM

having some real self esteem issues relating to what you might have heard as 'imposter syndrome' (basically not feeling good enough about yourself in your role, comparing yourself negatively to others etc).


Hi UK!
I know exactly how you feel. I have a theory that could be total BS, but here goes. I think the imposter is not just performance based, but we are actually hiding a big part of our lives and we feel less authentic. When we are honest with ourselves and those we love, we can handle criticism and more accurately assess our short comings, learn from them and improve.
I feel somewhat confident in my intellect at times and not so much at others. The confidence comes when we aren't trying to perform for others but the task at hand or a project, etc.. If we are worried about what others think of the false image we are projecting, we aren't focused on what's important and relevant - What are we missing in knowledge or skill to succeed? Not how do we impress colleagues. Authenticity vs. imposter.
I think we learn to be or think of ourselves as imposters by leading double lives or hidden lives. Creating so much self doubt that we lose sight of our strengths and underestimate our weaknesses. We feel less so when we are open and honest with nothing to hide.

Good luck moving on from your insight. It sounds like a significant moment of clarity.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 14, 2020, 03:44:02 PM
Hiya UK,  You have a knack for uncovering deep/impt. stuff. (Bless your heart.)  I've had the same thing in spades (feeling like a fake.)
It's probably unique to the last 150 years (a pimple on a rhino) since we've been kicking around for approx 2.5 m years.
For most of recorded time you did what your grandfather did who did what his grandfather did.  (10 generations of breeding some animal or blacksmithing...)  Tough to fake that stuff.
I don't know any answer to this weird phenomenon. (probably too complicated for me)
How about make a game out of it.  Role play in a good way. (your wife is "the boss")
ex.  Your wife says, "UK you are dumber than a box of rocks!"  Then you respond....
She says, "You've been pretending to be a table, all you are is a lousy chair!"....
She says,  "Right now, give me three reasons why I should pay you xxx pounds for working here!"
You get the idea. Try to get to the worst case scenario.
I heard a J. Petterson tape on something similar.  Some phobias like fear of elevators can be tackled gradually, step by step, getting closer to the frightening elevator. You might not even be able to get in one for 3 months but you will eventually.
So start w/ little stuff.  Your wife says to you, "UK your penmanship sucks. Did you graduate kindergarten?" You might respond, "Yeah, it wasn't my strong point, but I'll definitely start practicing."
But, never, ever, let some one demean/insult you.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on May 16, 2020, 11:36:54 AM
Good luck on the fresh challenge, Guy. I can definitely empathise on enjoying a streak in this Lockdown bubble, then the real world raises its head...
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 16, 2020, 12:41:30 PM
Hi Real, Mr Slurps and Joel,
Thanks for your responses.
@Real - I think your observation about feeling confident when doing something for one's self rather then to impress others is spot on. When I am working on something, I always feel as if I am doing a good job (and I thin I usually am). It's when I'm on show to others and I compare myself against my perception of them (of course you only see what they want to project, whereas I know ALL my own faults and flaws). I am intellectually capable (I do know that), but I will always compare myself unfavourably - it might not be raw intellect, but it might be perceived experience gap or something. I think the porn thing adds an additional dimension - I am hiding something that I am ashamed about. Let's face it - it can't help!!
@ Mr Slurps - TBH, I don't get many people putting me down (including my wife thankfully). I put me down. I am my worse critic. I think things about myself that I would never say to another person. How cruel I am to myself. I believe this is an evolutionary instinct - those brains that were more inclined to see threats were the ones that were not eaten or attacked etc, those genes survived, and have been honed throughout the generations. There are no warriers from other tribes waiting behind the rock for us, or sabre tooth tigers prowling to attach our families, but our brain is still programmed to look out for threats (or negative things), so we see these things much more easily than the positives. It's called Negativity Bias apparently and worth a Google or check this out.... https://www.verywellmind.com/negative-bias-4589618
@Joel - thanks! Long may our respective streaks continue.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 16, 2020, 03:10:54 PM
Hey UKGuy,


I'm glad to read that you, as a non-millennial, are posting about impostor syndome! This is so recognizable for me (and a lot of people my age)! The way you describe it is spot on. And in the media thoughts like this are mostly linked to millennial so i am happy to read that this extends beyond the boundaries of millennials as well ;)

What you describe to Mr.Slurs as being your own worst critic is also the same for me. Do you also have the feeling that if you do/make something and you get a lot of positive remarks about it that you can't accept them if you yourself think it's no big deal? As in do you down-play your own achievements?

The question that remains is; where do these feelings come from and why do they pop up the moment you're about to land a new great job.
Are you really convinced that you don't deserve it or are you afraid to fail?


On the other things you posted, the insight of you recognizing the emotional trigger and the accumulative effect of triggers in general is spot on! Thanks for that insight, it was helpful to me!



Good luck man, I hope you can unearth the origin of your feelings of being an impostor.

As always, i'm rooting for you

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 17, 2020, 04:32:13 AM
Hi Shade - you make me feel old....lol! ;-)
I don't think I really down play my achievements, more that I just focus on my perceived weaknesses - particularly at work/intellectually. I am a bright guy, but when I sit amongst others, all I see is their strengths, and instead of just admiring them for it...I compare with my own view of my relative weaknesses and feel intimidated - like I have to prove myself. When I actually listed what my peers say about me, it's great, but on a day to day basis it just melts into the background and is replaced by the -ve. Ref the job question - it's a fear of failure.
I don't know if you read that article link in my last post or not, but that describes my experience it perfectly, and I'm a born catastrophiser too! In terms of overcoming this predisposition, I think having an awareness and understanding of what's going on inside our heads and why (scientifically and psychologically) is the best place to start. If you can spot that thinking, and identify it as Negativity Bias rather than giving those thoughts credence, you're on your way to fixing it. I've been focussing a lot on this recently, and it does work, so I'm hoping that I will be able to make some significant improvements in my self perception as a result. I think the other thing that I have realised in my time off work is that the self perception issues (which did accumulate in the last 2 years of my last job in particular) have caused me to dis-empower myself - so if there's a subject that I don't know as much about as I think I should, I don't do anything about it. I've realised over the last months whilst off work that noticing a capability gap, is an opportunity to do something about it, so I bought a LinkedIn Learning subscription and have been filling the gaps instead of just worrying about them.
Isn't it uplifting that in sharing weaknesses we realise that we are not alone? I don't think that's just a PMO thing either - I think there are many pained minds out there. Recognising those issues, talking about them, understanding them can be so powerful in reducing their power. This forum is helping me in many ways other than PMO. Thanks for your support and sharing...I appreciate you.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on May 17, 2020, 09:10:07 PM
Hey UKGuy

    It also seems that in sharing weekness  we may find that it is not so much of a weekness but a misunderstanding of where our strengths are lying.  I believe we have the strngth to  do thew things we want to  its just a matter of  organizing them  to work for us to get the job done   usually that is just a matter of time   As we go forward in this fight we begin to learn more about yourselves and  can put that knowelege to great use

     Cheers

     Post often it helps me it helps you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 19, 2020, 03:07:38 PM
Hiya UK, You're a big part of why I'm on day 12.  I didn't mean that people insulted you. I meant you could roleplay those feelings you throw at yourself. But in retrospect it was a lousy idea anyhow.

Now prepare to be spanked.  And you deserve it since you're the guy that recommended "Stop thinking..." by R. Carlson.
His idea is that thinking about this stuff and getting to the "bottom" of it has a negative effect.  By spending lots of time thinking/discussing it you give it more importance than it warrants.
So ironically I was doing you a disservice by even talking re your issue.
(That's not to say I don't care. I do care re anything you're experiencing.)
Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 20, 2020, 03:40:16 AM
Hi Mr S,
I didn't take any offense at all! (maybe there was a transatlantic humour mistranslation on my part!!)
Your point about Carlson and not digging into the past is a really interesting one, and I know there are many counselling and psychotherapy experts who would suggest otherwise (especially the ones paid by the hour!). I'm going to re-read the book again soon, so might be in a better place to debate it with you with a fresh recollection. What rings truest for you though? Dismissing the thoughts vs delving into the past to diagnose (or a shade of grey between the two?)

Well done on day 12!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: joepanic on May 20, 2020, 08:18:46 PM
Nice going UkGuy

     I toohave taken the time off due to this covid  virus to really look at my life and how I can inprove it  and its paying off  Keep up the excersise   as I also found that really made a difference

    Cheers

   Post often it helps me it helps you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 21, 2020, 09:00:28 AM
Hi Shade - you make me feel old....lol! ;-)
I don't think I really down play my achievements, more that I just focus on my perceived weaknesses - particularly at work/intellectually. I am a bright guy, but when I sit amongst others, all I see is their strengths, and instead of just admiring them for it...I compare with my own view of my relative weaknesses and feel intimidated - like I have to prove myself. When I actually listed what my peers say about me, it's great, but on a day to day basis it just melts into the background and is replaced by the -ve. Ref the job question - it's a fear of failure.
I don't know if you read that article link in my last post or not, but that describes my experience it perfectly, and I'm a born catastrophiser too! In terms of overcoming this predisposition, I think having an awareness and understanding of what's going on inside our heads and why (scientifically and psychologically) is the best place to start. If you can spot that thinking, and identify it as Negativity Bias rather than giving those thoughts credence, you're on your way to fixing it. I've been focussing a lot on this recently, and it does work, so I'm hoping that I will be able to make some significant improvements in my self perception as a result. I think the other thing that I have realised in my time off work is that the self perception issues (which did accumulate in the last 2 years of my last job in particular) have caused me to dis-empower myself - so if there's a subject that I don't know as much about as I think I should, I don't do anything about it. I've realised over the last months whilst off work that noticing a capability gap, is an opportunity to do something about it, so I bought a LinkedIn Learning subscription and have been filling the gaps instead of just worrying about them.
Isn't it uplifting that in sharing weaknesses we realise that we are not alone? I don't think that's just a PMO thing either - I think there are many pained minds out there. Recognising those issues, talking about them, understanding them can be so powerful in reducing their power. This forum is helping me in many ways other than PMO. Thanks for your support and sharing...I appreciate you.

Hey UKGuy,

You're only as old as you feel old!

I did read that article and i too tend to have a negativity bias towards myself. The whole comparing thing to peers is something I also do, regardless of what they think!

The whole sharing our weakness thing is groundbreaking, if every person on the planet would do this, we would have a much much better world to live in, with much less conflict. I think that everyone agrees that by allowing yourself to be 'vulnerable' you are actually stronger because you now have the guts to face yourself!

Great of you to also just buy a LinkedIn subscription and work on yourself, thats just the best way to approach stuff; just start and go for it!
You can't fail like that because you've tried!


Anyway, great to read you're still doing okay!


As always rooting for you!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 21, 2020, 06:57:27 PM
Hiya Guys,  I don't feel like raining on the parade but I have to.  I know you guys aren't fair weather friends and I'd be there for you if the shoes were reversed.
I edged today, would have been 2 weeks. Now day 0
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 24, 2020, 12:29:03 PM
Day 50! No PM whatsoever and just O with my wife in that time. Feeling good and just 10 days until my lifetime record. Appreciate this community massively. It’s been my missing ingredient. Cheers all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 24, 2020, 01:01:08 PM
Cheers UKGuy, amazing achievent. Although the forum might have been the missing piece, it was you who did al the work.


Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on May 24, 2020, 10:10:05 PM
Just a quick post to reply to your question as I don't want to overextend Mr. Slurps' journal needlessly. He's got enough reading to catch up.

So yes, my interpretation may have been flawed in that I thought he was deliberately searching for triggers as a means of eliciting stimulation.  It turns out that he was 'searching' for these post-mortem as a way to gather knowledge about what makes him relapse.  And this strategy is totally fine.  If he likes this approach.

That said, I am more of a proponent of building a better life first.  It gets one busy thinking about other tasks and objectives, far-removed from the realm of porn - and this I believe is healthy.  The triggers, the relapses, the white-knuckling... will just eventually dissipate as one transitions to a new life.  From this perspective, it becomes moot to try to resolve triggers.  I understand this goes against the grain of the forum, so I'm stating this as a personal preference, not as theory!

I guess the charm of this forum is that there is a breadth of scope in the varying ways we can approach recovery.  Isn't that something to celebrate ;)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 25, 2020, 02:38:02 AM
Hi Leonidas,

Thanks for clarifying - it's a good discussion to have.

The phasing of the building a new life vs trigger idenitifcation/supression etc is an interesting one, and of course we're all different, but have a tendency to look at thing from our own perspectives until we realise that others may have differing experiences - hence why the forum is great, as you say. For me, I felt as if I had (and have) 'the life'. Loving wife, great family, varying interests, fit and healthy, career, no real worries - yet PMO was something that consumed me despite the fact that I detested it and how it caused sahem and dissonance within my self persona. After I understood the science, unpicking the triggers - emotional and physical was the first great enabler for me. The second, after months and months (no...years!) of still failing was coming here. Perhaps in that respect, being here was the better life that you're referring to after all - being real, authentic, helping others, as it's true that I feel that this is what gives me the energy, and causes the bad stuff to dissipate.

Cheers and take care.


Just a quick post to reply to your question as I don't want to overextend Mr. Slurps' journal needlessly. He's got enough reading to catch up.

So yes, my interpretation may have been flawed in that I thought he was deliberately searching for triggers as a means of eliciting stimulation.  It turns out that he was 'searching' for these post-mortem as a way to gather knowledge about what makes him relapse.  And this strategy is totally fine.  If he likes this approach.

That said, I am more of a proponent of building a better life first.  It gets one busy thinking about other tasks and objectives, far-removed from the realm of porn - and this I believe is healthy.  The triggers, the relapses, the white-knuckling... will just eventually dissipate as one transitions to a new life.  From this perspective, it becomes moot to try to resolve triggers.  I understand this goes against the grain of the forum, so I'm stating this as a personal preference, not as theory!

I guess the charm of this forum is that there is a breadth of scope in the varying ways we can approach recovery.  Isn't that something to celebrate ;)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on May 25, 2020, 11:19:39 AM
congrats! great stuff on the milestone, Guy

Yep, it's a two pronged battle. Create a good life that that we want to live; but porn is an addiction we've accidentally fallen into, so we also need tools, community, post-mortem-analysis, and to develop an ability to deal with the discomfort we have to go through to strangle the addict in us to death!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 28, 2020, 02:34:40 AM
Hey UKGuy,


How's things going on day 54? Any weird feelings/emotions when approaching your lifelong record?
Keep it up man, i'm rooting for you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 28, 2020, 03:38:31 AM
Hey Shade,
Thanks for asking. I'm feeling great TBH. No real issues or urges that I can't handle, and the urges that I have are generally sexual rather than focussed on porn, so all good. You might remember that I said I wasn't working at the moment - well, I decided to take the rest of the year off and start up a business instead. It's something I've always wanted to do, and I thought this is the ideal opportunity to do so (I know there is a recession on the horizon, but the concept shouldn't be an issue in that respect). As a consequence, I have a very strong focus on something that I'm really excited about so that's another reason why porn is pushed to the periphery of my consciousness. I do know about the risks of complacency though, so I ensure I come here every day and see what you and the other guys are up to. Reading your journal today, I'm pleased that you seem to be making good progress, but am a bit worried about Mr Slurps who has gone off the radar a bit since his slip. I'm hoping he's ok. Looking forward to the summary of the 50 minute talk you mentioned! Have a great day.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 28, 2020, 04:08:31 AM
Hey UKGuy,

Great and bold move to start up your own business! Since this is your brainchild, the focus that goes hand in hand with that will indeed take up all your mental effort and cannot be focussed on porn. Good to see that complacency is something you are weary off and that you take it seriously.

The only question that I have about that is; Is there a possibility that if this does not go well, will cause a financial issue for you? Because that (or the not succeeding in general) can give a negative blow to you as a person and that in itself can be a trigger. You've mentioned earlier that you sometimes have issues with measuring yourself towards others. If you fail, could that happen that you will compare yourself to other (succesful) entrepeneurs and that it can be a trigger?  From what I've read you are more than grounded enough to counter this, and I've also read that you and your wife are financially sound. But i had to ask.

In anyway, i think it is an amazing idea and wish you all the best in those endeavours.


About Mr.Slurps, i've already sent him a PM, i hope he is well.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 28, 2020, 08:17:21 AM
That's a really good question Shade! I guess the answer is that I don't know. But however successful or not I am, there will always be those more successful and less successful, so I need to get my head around that anyway. For me, failure would be that it isn't sufficiently successful to avoid the need to go back to the 'rat race' of corporate life. But if that was how it ended up, I'll have learned a lot from the experience anyway (plus had a massive distraction from PMO!). I think this for me is more broadly about conquering fear of failure, and the fact that I am having a go is very empowering for me. I'm reading a re-good book at the moment called 'feel the fear and do it anyway' by someone called Susan Jeffers. There's an abridged version on kindle for £1....I can recommend. Thanks for the well wishes!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 28, 2020, 02:32:36 PM
Hi Guys, Honestly, I did feel humiliated, especially since I'm 60, and I'm still flailing around. You guys all seem well-grounded and tough emotionally/mentally. (and a couple of you are getting in awesome shape on top of that.)
It is indeed rare to find support anywhere like this forum (you men.) Plus you guys an inspiration, and yes, not only in beating this addiction. You are all upping your game in terms of quality of life. (I see literally everyone here enhancing their lives and I love it!)
UK, one of the big things for me is the meditation. I hardly ever get miffed anymore and that was an issue for me.
Just like in the marriage area where I steer clear b/c I'm not the guy to provide good ideas, so too UK in the entrepreneurial field, I have a full storage unit to prove it! hahaha  I don't want to forget to congratulate you on your streak and I hope you never even think of porn anymore, even when you're hung over. lol
Right now I'm treading water and there are some rocks in my pockets that I could do without.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 29, 2020, 06:12:36 AM
Great to see that you're still going strong Mr S. You're falling for that age old trap though or comparing yourself (with all the faults that you can see), with your external perception of others (where most of our faults remain hidden). That's always a bad idea! I know because I've been doing it most of my life! Glad to hear that the meditation is doing well. What are you using? I've got loads of reading recommendations on meditation etc if you want any. Keep going my friend!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 29, 2020, 12:33:53 PM
Day 55. Just checking in as experiencing very strong urges today - certainly the strongest since this streak began and seem to have come from nowhere. I think the triggers are purely sexual rather than emotional, however I will remember the 6 point plan and push on! Cheers all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on May 29, 2020, 02:00:49 PM
Hey UKGuy,


Keep on going man, you are almost at your all time record but more importantly closer to being free of porn. I can understand the physical urges, but that can be expected. Let's hope you will find a way to deal with that with the wife soon ;)


Your view on the outcome of your entrepeneurial adventure is a healthy one! So I say; go kick ass and have your own business.

Another 5 days man! I'm rooting a lot for you as I feel a sort of connection with you. Good luck my friend
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 29, 2020, 04:39:04 PM
Hiya UK,   I think maybe you're right re this forum/support being a missing piece of the puzzle. And you're a rising tide lifting all us ships. Maybe that was too much of a stretcher. haha  But I do have the feeling you've helped others a lot here. Thanks.
I've been having a rough day as far as urges too. I feel like the Israelites having escaped Pharaoh crossed the Red Sea, relapsed at the golden calf, and still yearning for the flesh-pots of Egypt. (Despite being free and looking at the promised land and eating mannah from heaven.)
I feel the same way today w/ porn. Just give me those ole flesh-pots back home and I'll relinquish all the freedom I've gained. And those freedoms I've earned are probably considerable though they're eclipsed by the pillar of smoke (I'm really rolling on this biblical metaphor. lol) Hopefully we'll both have the luck and fortitude to survive these false memories of the glorious past when we had every maiden at our "fingertips."
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on May 30, 2020, 06:28:50 AM
We're rooting for you, Guy. Make sure to process them with your plan, and feel free to share the experience!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 30, 2020, 10:47:30 AM
Thanks for your support Shade and Joel. I really appreciate it.

Mr Slurps - you are too kind with your words, but I think you have struck upon a very good metaphor yourself there. I'm not particularly a religious guy, but I can relate to the story from my sunday school days. I have noticed though that there seem to be a lot of Christian guys on here - perhaps you could share your metaphor more widely in a specific post as it may help some of them.

In terms of an update - still feeling the urges but less than yesterday. You're right about the solution of sex with my wife Shade, but want to let it take its natural course and not for her to be my new relief service instead of PMO (I know you weren't suggesting that of course!) A day or two of acknowledging the urges and letting them drift away does good for the recovery process I think. Take care all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on May 31, 2020, 03:10:34 PM
Day 57, and I am pleased to report that the very strong urges I had on Friday, which were there but less powerful yesterday, have now completely subsided - AND I did nothing about it. Obviously no PMO, but I’ve not even had the opportunity to have sex with my wife, and the urges have just subsided. A real learn for me, and insight into the power of the 6 point plan. Cheers all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on May 31, 2020, 03:32:56 PM
Hey Pal,  Bad news. I made 8 days then full-on relapse this time.  Day #1
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on June 01, 2020, 08:41:38 AM
Hey UKGuy,

Im happy for you that the urges have subsided by themselves. What was the specific insight regarding the 6 point plan? The temporary part i guess?
And no, i was not suggesting your wife to be a relieve mechanism. That would be completely disrespectful of me to objectify your wife in such a way.

Day 58 today. I'm happy for you man! You have all of us rooting for you!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 01, 2020, 10:48:07 AM
Great stuff, Guy. I'm sure that it's challenges like that that really reboots the brain, even more than simply clocking up days. onwards!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 01, 2020, 03:20:10 PM
Hiya Pal, Which do you prefer; the good news or the bad?  The good is that I'm proud of you and your progress.
The bad is that I'm ashamed of my own. (3 day relapse)
I'm trying to get out of my little head/illusion and show some support for others.
So if I seem like I don't care, it's not that. It's my own shame and disappointment.
There are some splendid people here and I don't say that lightly. It's just that for the moment I don't have a positive epithet for myself.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 03, 2020, 11:06:26 AM
It's been 60 days since I joined the site, and 60 days completely clean of P and M, with the only O being experienced with my wife.
This is a big milestone for me as it equals a record that I set a few years ago, although I have no idea how I achieved that - sheer grit and determination I think.
This time feels very different. More serene, more controlled. I've said it before but being here daily and part of something has become the missing piece of my jigsaw.
My next milestone is the 90 day 'reboot' target. My mind feels very different after 60, so I can't wait for 90. No room for complacency though.
I am intending to keep notes over the next 30 days, and for this to culminate in my top X tips to share in the success stories section. I hope this doesn't sound in anyway self indulgent - I'm setting it as a goal for myself and there is much work still to do before I get there! The tips will of course be plagiaristic in part as many of the them will be things I have learned from you guys - I can't thank you enough for your interest, support and companionship. It's a very strange experience to have such connection with people you've never met, don't know the real names of etc etc....but wow, does it work. Take care.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on June 04, 2020, 03:31:45 AM
YES!

A short reply from me:

Congratulations my friend. I am very happy that you've reached this marker.
Let's go for the 90 days, we are supporting you each day! 



Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 04, 2020, 12:38:26 PM
another milestone, awesome work, my friend.

I know what you mean. My mind is so full of this journey at the moment, yet I choose not to share it with anyone in my non-anonymous-online life. Great to have you guys to share with.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 04, 2020, 02:04:59 PM
Thanks Shade and Joel. Great to be on the journey together.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 06, 2020, 04:28:05 PM
Self inflicted tough day today, largely as I drank too much on Friday night (although had a great time!). As a consequence, been really hungover today. The old me would have relapsed 100%, but I’m pleased to have got through it and off to bed now. Will probably avoid drinking so much in future as definitely poses an additional risk of relapse. Came here to check in a couple of times which was helpful.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on June 07, 2020, 04:03:34 PM
Hey UKGuy,

we're always here for you to read up on or post into, even when we ourselves are not online! Happy to read that you've refrained yourself.
I was just posting in Orbiters journal that with the majority of social gatherings alcohol is (thought to be) needed but that for us addicts it poses a double risk. Firstly it lowers your inhibitions, so you are proned more to a relapse. And secondly, after alcohol you could feel more depressed than when not drinking. So if you relapse, the aftermath could be worse than a sober relapse so to say.

Good luck and stay P-free
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on June 13, 2020, 03:31:09 AM
Hey UKGuy,

How's it going over there? It has been quite some time since you've posted on here? Can you give us an update?

Hope you are well, safe and P-free


Cheers my friend
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 13, 2020, 04:01:09 AM
I'm great thanks Shade. It's been a bit quiet on here of late, so it was good to wake up this morning to see your message, and also the flurry of activity on other journals that I follow.
Day 70 for me. Feeling good. I experienced a bit of a boredom phase in the middle of the week which coincided with watching a (regular) film which had an actress in a lead role that I find attractive, and the feeling of general arousal in my brain persisted for a day or so, but nothing that the 6 point plan couldn't handle easily. I would have never noticed these subtle changes in my brain chemistry before this whole reboot. It feels like progress. Off to do some gardening now and then taking my youngest into the city today for a walk around and a change of surroundings. Take care.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 13, 2020, 03:52:10 PM
Hi Guys, Today will hopefully be #4. Much of this is a repetition of a post I just made in my journal. It was directed at UK and he has somehow answered much of what I asked. (very mystical guy UK, perhaps he's really a Martian just pretending to be a Brit hahaha)
Anyhow, on the ground, I'm very much tottering on the edge of the precipice of relapse. It's not a good feeling. Which head is going to gain the upper hand? (That is a good one, even for me. lol)
I am trying to do what a lot of people on here talk re.- starting good/fun healthy practices. I used to really enjoy baking. So for the last week I've baked 2 zucchini cranberry cornbreads in a cast iron skillet. They are delicious, if I do say so myself. And while in the midst of the process: buying ingredients, prepping, mixing, measuring, baking...eating!, there is no room for extraneous thoughts. It's a win/win.
I've continued to benefit/enjoy meditation and chanced upon some zen videos. I'm not interested in Buddhism as a religion but some of the zen teachings are right on point for addicts, putting pleasure and suffering in perspective.
Warning to a few folks here- some of zen could annoy some Christian dogma. Where does morality come from? What is the relation of the body to the spirit- which is more real/important?
On the other hand some of their beliefs are apropos and good tools for developing a meaningful understanding of porn addiction. If the suffering outweighs the pleasure, wouldn't a logical person forgo the action?...Just that awareness is a good first step.
I'd definitely share some cornbread w/ you guys, but it will have to be digital. 
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 14, 2020, 05:00:30 AM
Love seeing you pass these milestones, Guy. It's nice too seeing you overcoming challenges and seeing your tools work for you. Onward!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 14, 2020, 02:10:46 PM
Hiya Pal,  You're a rock! (certainly not dumb as one)  I feel proud of you.
I like how you struck a balance between the milestone and present moment/day by day approaches.
You're developing some classic stuff here.
But be forewarned I won't go down w/out a fight. If you plagiarize me I'll expect royalties.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 15, 2020, 01:37:56 PM
Hi,  Shade if you read this, for some reason I can't find your journal. The others come out right on top and high-lighted.  Suggestions?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 15, 2020, 02:42:30 PM
Thanks for your well wishes Mr Slurps. Shade is in the 30-39 age group - have a look there.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on June 16, 2020, 02:54:16 AM
I'm great thanks Shade. It's been a bit quiet on here of late, so it was good to wake up this morning to see your message, and also the flurry of activity on other journals that I follow.
Day 70 for me. Feeling good. I experienced a bit of a boredom phase in the middle of the week which coincided with watching a (regular) film which had an actress in a lead role that I find attractive, and the feeling of general arousal in my brain persisted for a day or so, but nothing that the 6 point plan couldn't handle easily. I would have never noticed these subtle changes in my brain chemistry before this whole reboot. It feels like progress. Off to do some gardening now and then taking my youngest into the city today for a walk around and a change of surroundings. Take care.

Hey UKGuy,

Im glad to read that things have been quiet with you for the last couple of days. I will not yet assum so i will ask; everything still ok on the urge/PMO front?

And how is setting up your own business going? Is it still a conceptual plan or are you already taking steps in registering, financing or something like that?

Wishing you (And your family) well. Stay safe

Rooting for you!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 16, 2020, 01:58:34 PM
Thanks Shade. All good here thanks.
Business is developing well, and yes, I've been active with setting up a Ltd company, accounts, finance etc. I am now working with my wife through some of the operational/development aspects with a plan to 'launch' at the end of this year. Plenty to do, but it's keeping me busy, and also away from PMO. If I was still PMOing, there'd be no way I could do this, but the fact that I am doing it, is keeping me away from PMO! (win-win!) On other matters, whilst my relationship with my wife was never an issue, it is significantly better since my streak started, just because I'm a much nicer person to be around - more present (physically and mentally) - not hidden away with my iPhone somewhere or grumpy with everyone through lack of sleep/brain fog. In return, she is much more affectionate and appreciative of me. I couldn't be happier to be honest right now.
One thing I am aware of in the weeks ahead is that when I hit 90 days, I'm going to need to completely redefine success - until then it will be that milestone, but I need to think through how I move onward after that point. Is it 120, or do I shift to a 'day at a time' mindset, or something completely different? No idea, but one to work through before I get there! Any suggestions from you or anybody else reading this are most welcome! Take care my friend and well wishes to you and Mrs Trenicin!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 16, 2020, 05:03:06 PM
Hiya UK, Good to hear you sounding upbeat.  I had a similar experience two days ago in bed before I fell asleep. I felt, "I'm happy." It's been a long time since that has happened. Maybe I'll have a week clean after today. That sure as heck doesn't hurt the good feeling.
I'm really curious re how that 90 days will play out w/ you. I feel optimistic but I don't want to jinx you.
Will that milestone really be a point of "reboot"? Will you be able to let your guard down a bit?
You know w/out saying that I'm pulling for you pal.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 18, 2020, 04:31:43 AM
Hi Mr S,
I'm not regarding the 90 days as some sort of magic milestone beyond which I can be complacent. My experience to date with 2 weeks to go until 90 is that my brain chemistry has definitely changed. There is no doubt about that. There is no constant fight in my head any longer around PMO. Even yesterday which was an unusually stressful day for me, the thought of PMO entered, but left just as quickly. 3 months ago it would have lingered until I gave into it (hours rather than days), or I'd have just done it without thinking to self soothe. That said, avoiding complacency has always been a key principle that I've followed, and I think it would be foolish of me to disregard that just because I've reached a certain number. I also think - what is the benefit in letting my guard down - it implies some sort of hardship in keeping it up, which in all honesty it's not. That said, day 90 is still acting as a milestone and a goal for me which must be providing some benefit to my approach, and at day 90 I lose that, which introduces risk (at least theoretically, as the circumstances that have brought me success have changed). I've either got to change my approach to dispense with that milestone and manage the risk some way or other, or reset it at another number. Still pondering on that one!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 18, 2020, 05:17:48 AM
Still pondering on that one!

Ha, it really made me ponder too. Lots of ideas and theories, that would just end up being a rambled reply. Having said that - it just came to me - what you just said rings true. Counting days and the '90 day streak' are tools. It's mindshift, transformation, new lifestyle, new ideas around sexuality, etc that are the ultimate goal. Your post and progress shows, we're capable of more and more as the weeks clock up. Only a month in myself, I'm being careful not to challenge myself too much with anything other than nofap, but I have plans to shift gears as I move onward.

Glad to hear about all these good feelings. One of the nicest, most giving guys on the forum - I'm sure there's something in that. Have a great day despite this awful UK weather!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 18, 2020, 07:38:14 AM
I just got soaked up here in Manchester Joel! Thanks for those kind works - they really mean a lot to me. I’ll let you know what I work out re the 90. Perhaps coming on here is the real strength in the plan rather than shooting for an arbitrary number. I’d set targets over the past decades and always missed them until I came here. You and the rest of the crew have been the difference - perhaps that’s the answer...just keep coming here? Let’s see.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on June 18, 2020, 10:04:28 AM
the thought of PMO entered, but left just as quickly. 3 months ago it would have lingered until I gave into it

Congrats on your progress. Perhaps the 90-day milestone will be material until it happens, and then become something that you can recognise as an achievement, and put behind you, before you set your sights again.... a bit like the way the PMO urge now appears, but can be acknowledged and then put behind you? Wishing you every success.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 18, 2020, 05:17:58 PM
Hiya UK,   Party at 90!!??!!
I bet a lot of people here would show up and give you a virtual treat. 
I've already have the imogee for you picked out.  It's very expensive and shiny.
What day is #90 for you?  I know you're just faking all this humility stuff (lol j/k) so it's your time to get on the pedestal and shine.  Plus, I think you're an inspiration for many on here.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 20, 2020, 09:28:00 AM
Thanks for your well wishes WIPUK and Slurps. Much appreciated    :)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 20, 2020, 04:05:48 PM
Hi UK,  I've been reading journals lately and an example of your wisdom has struck again. (You know how hard this is for me to admit this. hahaha)
Remember when I was struggling w/ edging and didn't count that as a relapse? I even resorted to a double count. You were pretty adamant that it was not a wise idea. I've now relapsed plenty w/ the std. counting system. (today is #11)
But reading these journals, there is a definite correlation between peeking, sipping, not o'ing... and ultimately having a full blown relapse.
I'm not sure why that is. Maybe the brain can't distinguish betw a peek and a whole dose.
Anyway, keep on pushing- full steam ahead.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 21, 2020, 04:38:54 AM
there is a definite correlation between peeking, sipping, not o'ing... and ultimately having a full blown relapse.
Thanks for raising this Mr S. I am increasingly of the view that understanding this is fundamental to ones recovery - my evidence for this is all the times I failed to resist in the past before I connected the dots and realised. The thing is, that this addiction is insidious in nature -  the second or third look at a woman's body whilst our running/in supermarket, the choice (or complete lack of awareness in choosing) to lie in bed and fantasise, 'just a peak won't hurt', 'it's only some pics on facebook',....it builds...triggers aggregate...and in my experience once you start at the thin end of the wedge, there's only one place you're going - the thick end of the wedge and full relapse. And if by chance you do have some miraculous self discipline to stop it once it builds momentum, you've still caused yourself a load of needless emotional distress and kept the cocktail of dopamine circulating in your head deferring the ultimate 'reboot'.
Choosing where to build your wall of resistance is key. For me, I've learned it's before engaging in any type of fantasy. If I'm careless (or just unaware) and allow that to happen - I'm usually on my way, and next thing (whether that minute, hour, day....or even the next day) I'll know have the iPhone out and...and... BOOM.  :( It's happened so many times to me, but now.....now I get it, and it's much easier to resist when sober and my brain cells are not swimming in dopamine, than to allow that to happen and then try to resist.
I guess an analogy would be with alcohol abuse. If an alcoholic doesn't have the first sip, he isn't going to end up getting hammered and relapse. BUT, if he allows himself a sniff, or maybe a weak beer, a sip of a toast at a special event....well, the chances of relapse increase significantly.
The question is .... with PMO, what's your first sniff? what's the weak beer? Once you have identified that, or those mild first steps on the escalator, remember them, practise spotting them, and ensure that you kill them dead every time they crop up. If you do that, the rest becomes soooooo much easier.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on June 21, 2020, 05:01:50 AM
Choosing where to build your wall of resistance is key. For me, I've learned it's before engaging in any type of fantasy. If I'm careless (or just unaware) and allow that to happen

This is so recognizeable and paramount to all my relapses. There is, to me, a very short window of opportunity/decisionmaking that determines if you will have a relapse or not. And what you described in your last post is everything that leads up to and adds to that decision point. So the choices you make, that build up the momentum so to speak have an immense impact on that decision point.

The mechanism that you describe with your alcohol paralel is something that once you understand it fully, will be a more powerful tool than the 6PP. While the 6PP is a method of defence at a pivotal point. When you've identified what will start the urges, the whole need for emergency contigency will decrease.

I will contemplate on that for now...


Stay safe my friend, hope you are safe. I am rooting for you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 22, 2020, 02:20:32 AM
I think you've nailed it there Shade, my friend. The two principles complement each other, but are different in purpose. I'm think I'm going to refer to them as 'choosing where to build your resistance wall' and the 6PP. Key parts of the recovery toolkit. Onwards!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on June 22, 2020, 06:19:45 PM
Hello Fellow Travelers,  Success breeds success. That's a big reason I'm listening to you UK and Shade.
It's not really the # of days you have, but that sure helps.
I'm hoping for a 2 week party tomorrow. You guys are honored guests.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 23, 2020, 04:43:19 AM
If an alcoholic doesn't have the first sip, he isn't going to end up getting hammered and relapse. BUT, if he allows himself a sniff, or maybe a weak beer, a sip of a toast at a special event....well, the chances of relapse increase significantly.


Great stuff here, Guy. I was about to quote your whole post, but cut it to the above for neatness :) My recent 'edging' really did feel like an alcohol going to sit in a bar with the intention to not drink. Just to sit, sniff the stale booze and soak in the ambiance. Such a dumb form of torture. But will have to put my money where my mouth is now, now that summer is in full bloom and the ladies are on display. Your book recommendation is great for this - as it touches on dropping thoughts. Also, dropping old habits (morning fantasizing) for new ones has been key for me (a writing discipline for me, maybe an activity with your kids or something for you). Have a great day, try not to melt!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 23, 2020, 12:09:05 PM
Thanks for the feedback Joel - I’m glad it resonates with you. The realisation was a real breakthrough for me. I found my brain was so creative at finding things to do that weren’t technically P, but with hindsight had exactly the same (but milder) effect on my brain chemistry, that then left me wanting more! I was stuck in that cycle for years. Just the awareness of what’s going on is so empowering and has revolutionised my approach to my gameplan. I know what you mean about the ladies and summer - a great opportunity to practice choosing where to build the wall! Glad you like the book too. Enjoy the sunshine....but not too much! Cheers and take care.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 26, 2020, 07:08:13 AM
Hi all,
This is day 83 for me today, so one week to go until my goal. I've still not worked out what my approach will be after that in terms of goal setting, but at the same time, am more relaxed about it.
Onto other matters though... I wanted to share an aspect of my personality which is affecting me a lot at the moment. Partially as 'getting it off my chest' may help me, and partially as some of you may be able to relate to it and give me some advice. It doesn't relate directly to PMO, although I am sure that in the past I have used PMO to escape from the emotions it brings out in me. It relates to a tendency I have to control the environment (and particularly people) around me. I wouldn't regard myself as a controlling person in the negative sense - not with my wife, perhaps a little with my children, although at 16 and 13, they are pretty good at pushing back on me anyway! The issue rather relates to me needing to get other people to operate by the same moral code as me. I think I have always had it, but it has been manifesting itself in a number of areas recently:
- getting annoyed with my friends in the whatsapp group if they don't show up to our scheduled call / explain ahead
- reacting adversely to people who don't show consideration with social distancing when out walking etc, or cars that drive too fast near our house.
- there is a woman near us who lets her dog out of the house in the morning to foul a public footpath that runs by the side of her house. She cleans it up an hour or two later when she gets up. I pass it regularly when out running - find myself anticipating it being there - bang on her door to remonstrate etc etc
- I try and avoid social media, especially twitter as the conflict there is so objectionable to me, but I found myself earlier this week getting exceptionally irate about comments made in The Times newspaper app relating to racism, and in a debate with people whose points of view I strongly objected to - the emotional response within me was so great, I have had to ban myself from looking at any of the comments.
- And the big one, or straw that has broken the camel's back this week for me: we have a neighbour who doesn't abide by the same level of consideration as we do around noise in the evening/night - I've challenged him before on the matter, along with other matters (some justified, some with hindsight not), but whilst he is a bit of a selfish nob, who is naturally a loud person, what he does isn't frequent or loud enough to justify any intervention by the council etc, yet today and yesterday after two nights on the run where its been hot and he has been inconsiderate, I have been in turmoil about it - should I or shouldn't I go around, projecting forwards, wishing bad thoughts (he'll lose his house with the recession and have to move etc.). This isn't about a resistance to conflict - I have no issue in going around, but I know within myself that my reaction is excessive, and that most people would not react. (As with the dog mess - it's only been me that's been knocking on the door I suspect!)
I've just done a lake meditation by Jon Kabat Zinn followed by a loving kindness meditation to try and reduce my reaction to the situation. I also spoke with my wife on our walk this morning about trying to reframe him as 'an angel that had been sent to allow me to work on this aspect of my personality'. I asked her how much of the pain I was feeling was down to his actions, and how much to my reaction. Her answer was 80% my reaction. 20% his activity. We agreed that rather than me continue to struggle with the decision to go and see him again, I would relinquish that responsibility and leave it for her to tell me when I should be going round - her view was that it would be an over-reaction right now. I need to trust her on that. I will prioritise instead my journey in working through the broader tendency I have to control what I regard as 'not right' in society and the reactions it brings out in me, rather than engaging in specific mini battles (which will just keep coming unless I change my relation to the world.)
As I alluded to in your journal Shade - I felt I could see a similar pattern in your reaction to the work situation and the 'wrongness' of the selection process for people to be fired. Not sure if this is the same thing or not?
Can anyone relate? Does anyone have any advice for me? The good thing is that this isn't impacting on my PMO journey which remains strong, but at the same time it is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. I've always been a worrier and a catastrophiser - perhaps these are related issues?
Thanks for listening. Take care.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on June 26, 2020, 08:20:09 AM
Hey UKguy,

I think i can relate in the broader sense of what you've described; an overall irritation towards wrong-doing and people who don't care for others or disregard their well being. The part that you did write about 80% your reaction 20% their action is something I recognize as well.. I do always ask myself the question "Why the hell do i let myself get so worked up about this, what is making me so agitated about this?"
Another approach can be to look at it from a point of compassion. Like "this person must be in a really bad place to display such behaviour" and stuff like that. While I also condone anti social behaviour or a lack of consideration for other peoples feelings/effort, i do also understand that i have displayed this behaviour myself and this was greatly reduced when my overall mood and happiness improved.

I wonder if you experience the following as well; I also have noisy neighbours, and it can really tick me off. But, i do find that on days that I am not my best I am almost pro-actively looking for it to piss me off because i sort of anticipate it. While, on the other hand if I am in a good mood, i am much less proned to notice it because my mind is focusing on other things. This lead me to conclude that when I am in a bad place the internal struggle manifests itself on the actions of others and that I take it very personal while it is And when I am in a good mood I tend to be more forgiving or not even notice these things.

So all in all i totally understand your feelings. The sad reality is that the majority of people take comfort in being blissfully ignorant. I don't mean that in an accusing fashion, but more in the way that I think these people were not taught to embrace kindness because it is easier to point outward than look inwards. It's running away from your own negative feelings. Also, it is much easier to generalize and make short rhetoric remarks than viewing things from a perspective of true compassion and understanding.  What you described about avoiding social media (which I've done for years now, because to me it's a facade) is something i understand. Sometimes i read the comment section of news articles and it is infuriating how shortsighted people can be.. I also know i am totally powerless and cannot change it, however I want to. If I have read your post clearly, that is what is troubling you, the need to want to change people, but the realization that you can't.

And that is where you can win something I guess, acceptance on the fact that you can't change people. The best thing we can do is be compassionate and trying to understand their behaviour and be the best example/teacher to the people around you.

I hope my post has helped you gained some insight or recognition.


Take care my friend

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on June 26, 2020, 11:44:54 AM
Did you ever hear of Fundamental Attribution Error, Guy? Richard O'Connor writes about it in "Rewire". Along the lines of..

We judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions. Our own failings are driven by situational factors, whereas theirs are driven by character flaws.

As I understand it, the vast majority of people are wired that way, and it's part of the emotional self-defence mechanism built into the "assumptive world" we develop in our brains through experience. But if you're plagued by "Victor Meldrew" moments (perhaps a UK-only reference), maybe a little Serenity Prayer would help from time to time, or some other way to let your rational mind have a look at a situation before you emotional mind gets too steamed-up? But your neighbour does sound like a nob :-)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 26, 2020, 04:18:20 PM

Can anyone relate? Does anyone have any advice for me? The good thing is that this isn't impacting on my PMO journey which remains strong, but at the same time it is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. I've always been a worrier and a catastrophiser - perhaps these are related issues?
Thanks for listening. Take care.

Goodness, can I relate. Needless to say, these things lead me to emotions that I used to feed into porn

I feel I have the same journeys daily (those fast drivers and near runners...) . And 'my standards' issue, as my wife refers to it as. I've found your Carlson book helpful, it's helped - but not cured these issues by any means. I noticed he wrote another book called Don't get scrooged - how to thrive in a world full of obnoxious arrogant mean-spirited people. Might have to read his whole back catalogue, which might bring me a bit closer to the answer!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 27, 2020, 06:24:31 AM
Thanks for the responses Shade, WIP and Joel - I appreciate them and it's good to know that I'm not alone in this particular struggle!
I like the wisdom in the O'Conner Quote WIP - The Rewire book looked good, so I've ordered a copy and look forward to reading it. The Victor Meldrew reference made me laugh too - that name cropped up yesterday when discussing the subject with my wife. For those that don't get the reference (I'm not that bad...yet!)
I feel better today, and have chosen to make this area a bit of a development goal for me over the coming weeks, trying to develop some of that compassion that you speak about Shade, and differentiating between intentions and actions on the part of others. I'll let you know how I get on.
Cheers all and good weekend.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 28, 2020, 05:42:03 AM
Finished my run this morning and walked past two piles of fresh dog mess by on the public footpath by the side of the woman's house. Chose to smile at them rather than become incensed and bang on the door. I could argue with myself that I am falling short of my civic duty etc, but the peace I felt at choosing not to engage was remarkable. Will continue to play around with these different choices and see how things develop.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 28, 2020, 05:59:54 AM
Some interesting stuff here brought up by the community. Of course, holding the hot coal of anger only hurts ourselves.

I hate loud noise, and a lot of the time, people are being selfish; i live in a block of flats with terrible walls, so if someone blasts music -that's 'music' for everyone, thanks very much. But, I was younger once, in a house that had lots of parties. We weren't bad people, but only now I think of an old couple that lived next door - can't have been a lot of fun for them.

Also, love the Victor M reference. I'm sensitive to noises. Yesterday, our floor was vibrating from the music downstairs; our neighbour is a nightowl, so I hear her talking throughout the night, i could go on with half a dozen or more things. So I realised only yesterday, if all these things get to me, the issue may be with me, not all the other people in my building.

Talk about a serenity prayer, I think just picturing Victor M's face could help me. We have to be careful who we become! (UK TV reference if anyone is reading this confused!)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 29, 2020, 03:16:22 AM
But, I was younger once, in a house that had lots of parties. We weren't bad people, but only now I think of an old couple that lived next door - can't have been a lot of fun for them.

Yesterday, our floor was vibrating from the music downstairs; our neighbour is a nightowl, so I hear her talking throughout the night, i could go on with half a dozen or more things. So I realised only yesterday, if all these things get to me, the issue may be with me, not all the other people in my building.
That's very helpful insight Joel - I had the same conversation with my wife around our own behaviour when we were younger. It goes back to what WIPUK was saying around "We judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions. Our own failings are driven by situational factors, whereas theirs are driven by character flaws."

Have a good day.

Yours, Victor
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on June 29, 2020, 04:04:58 AM
Just checking in. Didn't have a great day at home yesterday - eldest teenage daughter was living up to teenage daughter stereotype all day, caused building tension, all came to a head after dinner and my subsequent behaviour was an over-reaction to the situation which then caused tension between my wife and I. Nothing that won't blow over, but today I feel isolated, regretful and not myself. The key point is that the pull towards PMO is stronger than it's been for a long time - the attraction of the self soothing, the distraction, the instant 'feel great' that I can then extend by many hours of edging and wash away my concerns. I of course know that that's all a mirage, and a lie, with a crash at the end that will only exacerbate the feelings I have now. I won't succumb of course, but that's partially as I've come here to allow my feelings some release, to observe them and not run away from them and towards the short term fix, long term hangover of PMO. I think these are the times that if you are only doing something (getting clean) for others (wife, kids), you can find yourself in trouble as the motivation for staying clean diminishes when you feel rejection or a disturbance in the relationship with those people. I know as this used to be my motivation, and when I'd have a row with my wife or (not too often thankfully) or feel distant from her, PMO would be my go to place. When you're doing it for yourself first and foremost, that trap becomes less of a risk. Cheers all and have a good day.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on June 29, 2020, 10:07:09 AM
I think these are the times that if you are only doing something (getting clean) for others (wife, kids), you can find yourself in trouble as the motivation for staying clean diminishes when you feel rejection or a disturbance in the relationship with those people. I know as this used to be my motivation, and when I'd have a row with my wife or (not too often thankfully) or feel distant from her, PMO would be my go to place. When you're doing it for yourself first and foremost, that trap becomes less of a risk. Cheers all and have a good day.

That's the most on-the-money thing I've read in a while. You're absolutely right. I'm going to take that with me through the rest of the day. I hope today's stress blows over gently for you.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on June 29, 2020, 12:37:54 PM
That sounds tough, mate. But great resolve. It's a great thing to know your why.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on June 29, 2020, 04:00:32 PM
Did you ever hear of Fundamental Attribution Error, Guy? Richard O'Connor writes about it in "Rewire". Along the lines of..

We judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions. Our own failings are driven by situational factors, whereas theirs are driven by character flaws.
Fantastic post.  Good reminder to step down from the moral pedestal whenever feelings of irritability towards others emerge.

And about doing recovery for the self versus doing it for others: this is night and day.  It's about intrinsic motivation, what drives YOU to want to pursue a goal.  External motivators, the threat of death asides, cannot possibly compete with authentic personal drive.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on July 03, 2020, 03:25:49 AM
Hey UKGuy,

How's things going on your end? If i recall correctly, today will be your day 90 right? I don't want to jinx it so let us know how you are doing.
You've been a positive and insightful help for a lot of us, so I hope that you are able to celebrate this milestone!



Cheers my friend
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 03, 2020, 12:13:25 PM
Hi Shade,
Thank you so much for remembering, and yes, it is day 90...a milestone that has taken me only 47 years to reach, and also one that after years of trying, I seriously doubted I was capable of.
I am going to take the time to write something a bit more reflective over the weekend - just enjoying the evening with my wife tonight.
Really pleased with your progress this week - I wasn't sure if your relative quietness was a good sign or not, but was delighted to read this morning that it was, and can see that you've been busy supporting others today as is typical of your selfless approach to the forum.
Thanks for all your support on this journey so far (and to all you other guys too!) It has given me something significant that I didn't have before I 'met' you all.
Cheers my friends.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 04, 2020, 07:46:30 AM
After some umming and aahing, I've chosen to share my 90 day thoughts within the success stories section. Link below:

http://www.rebootnation.org/forum/index.php?topic=18700.0

This doesn't mean I'm going anywhere - far from it, nor does it mean that I am declaring success any more than each day clean is a success for us all.

I just wanted to try and capture some of the good stuff that I have gleaned whilst here to share, and to mark the moment.

Thanks for your continued support and companionship and wishing you all a great weekend.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on July 04, 2020, 09:39:27 AM
awesome stuff! Well done, Guy. look forward to reading the milestone post. There's a good deal of humility here too, which is great - really important to keep going, stay focused, continue growing and learning and all that good stuff.  8) 8)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Boris741 on July 06, 2020, 09:12:32 AM
Well done ukguy, 90 days is a fantastic achievement.
Keep doing what you are doing as it is clearly working.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 06, 2020, 10:23:39 AM
Congrats. Wishing you continued success. Keep asking yourself those difficult questions :-)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 07, 2020, 12:23:35 PM
Thanks for the well wishes guys. Still going strong at 94, and just taking it a day at a time. Keeping coming on here each morning to start the day off on a sound footing. Take care.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 10, 2020, 08:15:58 AM
I received this on the weekly Matt Dobschuetz email today, and thought it worth sharing....

“Commitment wanes; it eventually dies.”

― Chris Dorris, Master Coach

In life, I am like a guy who fills up his gas tank on a road trip, then forgets to look at the gas gauge.
But recovery is a series of recommitments, not a one-time fill up.
Truth: My commitment today will eventually die, so I need to look for opportunities to recommit myself. I need to keep my gas tank full.


Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 10, 2020, 11:20:10 AM
Bit quiet on here today, but just checking in as feeling urges. Dull aching pain in my left elbow which I am 98% sure is arthritic in nature, and I'm only 47. Causing me some frustration (what will the future hold? Pain, immobility....amputation?!). My progress in my work is going slower than I'd like today and my teenage kids are becoming very proficient at winding me up at the moment! Wife out to the supermarket. All together adds up to an urge and opportunity to self soothe!!! I know if I did, the arm pain would instantly go.....but, it would be back, and I'd be grumpy with the kids, and I wouldn't be able to look my wife in the eye, nor myself...

It's funny because it's the first time since I started this 'streak' that I have noticed an trigger urge that is primarily self soothing in motivation rather than sexual in origin, and it feels quite different. (I don't actually feel that 'horny' today). Not so long ago, I would have completely by passed this awareness and thought process and have my pants around my ankles by now, or at least have started on the escalator of edging towards a full relapse at some point in the near future.

The arm still bloody hurts though!

Happy Friday all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on July 10, 2020, 12:49:08 PM
That's a very interesting point about the urge being about comfort. I know I've done that many times in the past myself and just had an "aha" moment reading your post. It's definitely not something I would have been aware of at the time.

As for your elbow, there is a very common condition called "tennis elbow" that could be worth checking out. It's actually a separating of a tendon that your body then attacks as if it's a foreign object, and can often be made less painful with a type of brace that goes just below the elbow. Something to look into anyway. No need to make other journey's more difficult than they already are with that sort of thing.

Hope you can figure it out and it's not anything major.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 10, 2020, 04:40:43 PM
Thanks TheNorman - I’ll get it checked out.

Re the self-comfort, yes it seems like that is a trigger for lots of guys, myself included. PMO is a great soothing (and immediate) escape from rejection, conflict, poor self esteem, worry...the list goes on. Unfortunately it’s only a short term escape and doesn’t fix either the underlying practical or (usually) emotional issues, but just compounds them and creates addictive and destructive escapism habits - that’s been my experience at least. Nice to be on the path to recovery - requires me to face up to some of these things with acceptance and humility, but that’s much better than denial, resistance and self abuse, with the associated negative impact on those around me.

Great to have you on board here and have a great weekend.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Rookie on July 10, 2020, 08:39:28 PM
That's a very interesting point about the urge being about comfort. I know I've done that many times in the past myself and just had an "aha" moment reading your post. It's definitely not something I would have been aware of at the time.

As for your elbow, there is a very common condition called "tennis elbow" that could be worth checking out. It's actually a separating of a tendon that your body then attacks as if it's a foreign object, and can often be made less painful with a type of brace that goes just below the elbow. Something to look into anyway. No need to make other journey's more difficult than they already are with that sort of thing.

Hope you can figure it out and it's not anything major.

I have had tennis elbow so bad that I couldn't make a fist with my hand. At least not tight enough to even hold a cup / mug. A good friend of mine that's an Osteopath had told me the common problem for tennis elbow is that the shoulder is not aligned properly and the nerves in the neck are slightly off. So I went to see her for treatment. The treatment itself (needed 2 appointments) hurt like a SOB...but, once the treatment pain was gone, so was the tennis elbow.

Another thing you can try, told by an Osteopath in her office, is applying cold, heat, cold, heat for a minute each at the affected area. And those provoke blood in the area, and flush it out...recommended for about 5 minutes (one minute each).

I have to try that cause my shoulder is causing discomfort and I suspect that's why my forearm is currently causing discomfort as well. Nothing paralyzing, however, I feel tension whenever I have to use strength for anything, loaded a big jack hammer in my truck tonight, felt it in the elbow joints, in the upper forearm. Never happened before.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on July 11, 2020, 04:12:38 AM
Hey UKGuy,

Thanks for sharing that quote about commitment; it is 100% something that i do as well. In fact it is the reason for most of my relapses! So thanks for sharing. It helps me to remember.

About the elbow, that sucks man. It just plain old sucks. Have you had it checked out already?
The funny thing is that what you describe about the self soothing is something i do as well. Whenever it's stress, headache, hangover.. drop the pants and gone it is.. only to return within 5-30 minutes after finishing..

Also, the whole situation with slower work, annoying teenagers, the worrying about the elbow plus the continuous dull pain..I think a lot of us guys can recognize the automatic switching of your brain to PMO urges. Like an ancient defense mechanism. All in all i'm noticing that on the whole not relapsing part i cannot give any advice, you've handled it very well. You're aware of what is happening, but more importantly, why it's happening and you foresee all the consequences.

So how are you today? Were you able to accept the annoyances and move on?


Wishing you a nice weekend!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 11, 2020, 04:37:59 AM
Thanks for the advice Rookie - much appreciated - on of the many added benefits of being part of this forum!

I'm feeling much better today thanks Shade, just finished my run for the morning and full of endorphins which are better than PMO at getting rid of the pain!

Have a great weekend all!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 13, 2020, 04:25:31 AM
Day 100!
Although day 99 was an interesting challenge, and probably the most testing day so far. Day 98 involved me and my wife socialising (been a while with Covid situation). In the course of what become an enjoyable alcohol fuelled afternoon and evening, there were a couple of conversations that resulted in triggers for me that extended into day 99. One related to my past mental health struggles (I had a period of depression between 2012 and 2016). Because I interpreted something my wife said as judgemental, my trigger of conflict was activated. Another related to something overtly sexual my wife said (which I wont repeat on here!) - my trigger of fantasy was activated. So, I woke up on day 99 with 2 triggers raging and a hangover to act as a further incentive to PMO! 100 times out of 100 I would have acted out in the past on just one or 2 of those 3 triggers, but thankfully I got through the day. We took a nice long family walk, during which my wife and I discussed the conflict issue and completely cleared it up (kids always lag behind!), with the outcome of a much better understanding of each other than we both had before on this subject. That said, I did MO, but with my wife last night which was a much needed release from the other 2 situations - I was careful not to elaborate on the fantasy thought whilst doing so. This is the 2nd time I have MO'd with my wife in the 100 days. We have agreed that when sex isn't an option (time of month, she's not in mood etc) then that is much more preferable for me to MO with her than for me to MO alone, which in turn can lead to other activity once I am hidden away and unaccountable. I'm very happy with this arrangement as it draws a clear line that keeps all my sexual activity our in the open with her.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 13, 2020, 07:12:25 AM
Congrats on navigating that challenge over the weekend. You stuck to your processes, kept everything in the open, and discussed your concerns with your wife, like adults.... you've set a solid foundation for longer-term success. Nice one.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 13, 2020, 10:46:17 AM
Meant to say earlier that I've just ordered your Carlson book. Thanks for the recommendation. Looking forward to getting into it.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on July 13, 2020, 12:25:00 PM
Hiya UK,   Long time... I'm taking your advice and trying to reconnect.
First I'll exhibit some compassion-- quit whining and keep a stiff upper lip and all that other rot.  hahaha
If it is arthritis my door is always open to you. Ostensibly the dry heat here works wonders and people actually move here (AZ) b/c of that.
My second bit of advice is so obvious only someone as simple as me could come up w/ it.  Rest! It's tough for us westerners b/c we're brought up to push, strive, perform...
Related to that for me is my devastated self esteem by poor performance in my reboot. Failure strikes me deep, right to my core. And even if I tell myself intellectually, "it's not who I am", the blow is resounding.
Congrats on your streak and nice family, I know how truly hard you care re that.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on July 13, 2020, 03:41:28 PM
Another milestone, well done, sir! Yes, welcome to level 2 of this challenge! You've done so well to use Lockdown as an opportunity to achieve 90 days; but there's a world out there waiting for us, and, well, it's riddled with a pandemic. i'm glad to have this community here to lean on, could be as essential as ever.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on July 13, 2020, 03:54:44 PM
Hey UKGuy,


Well done on achieving day 100 and facing the toughest day yet. What made you not PMO? IS it the fact that you are now so well underway and that P is becoming somewhat of a distant thing, the fact that you've got some great defense mechanisms, or was it something else?

All in all i am happy to read that you and UKGirl ;) cleared things up!

Good day to you my friend
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 13, 2020, 04:06:25 PM
Thanks for your interest and the well wishes guys. Much appreciated. To answer your question Shade, I’d say a combination of following factors:
1) the wiring in my brain is definitely weaker in terms of triggers leading to PMO
2) I have got some good defence mechanisms and understanding that I previously didn’t have - specifically regarding this weekend, I now understand my conflict trigger (which in turn weakens it) and I know not to indulge in fantasy, otherwise my defenses weaken.. (Wall of resistance built at appropriate place)
3) I feel I’ve come too far now to fuck it up for myself. I’ve got too much invested and know that life is much better clean, PLUS I’m launching this new business and KNOW that if I get back on PMO it won’t happen and I’ll just wank my life away, which would be an unforgivable waste!
Coming in here remains very important to me - keeps me grounded and connected with some great people....Thank you.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on July 13, 2020, 08:08:03 PM
Congrats UKGuy. 100 seems like a long ways away for me. Nice to see someone on other side of it!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on July 14, 2020, 11:57:22 AM
Hiya UK, I missed your 100 day achievement b/c my head has been pretty far up my butt. Well done! I'm proud of you.
It's good to see you being positive and boots on the ground achievements.  Patience pays!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 16, 2020, 07:27:04 AM
Thank you TheNorman and Mr S for your good wishes.

Day 103. It's been REALLY quiet on here this week - not sure why.

I have spoken a lot recently about choosing where to build your wall of resistance and specifically that building it 'pre fantasy' is important for me to stop things escalating as my resolve is softened up by dopamine. Just checking in to acknowledge just how true this is. Over the past 48 hours or so a little 'thoughtworm' has entered my head - it's a specific fantasy. I've tried to rid myself of it, but it's just such an appealing scenario it keeps coming back. And as a consequence, I can feel those old feelings rearing their head again. I won't deny that the thought of indulging in PMO, or just MO is enticing at this time. I'm not anticipating a relapse, but coming here and shining a light on those feelings and being honest with myself and others is important in ensuring that remains the case. Have a good day all, and I hope the relative quietness on here at present is a good sign!

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 16, 2020, 10:38:00 AM
Hopefully just getting those concerns and feelings off your chest and in the open helps you manage them today.
Totally agree with building your wall pre-fantasy. I call fantasies "brain porn". More addictive for me than anything else.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on July 16, 2020, 12:35:24 PM
Re the fantasy narrative - maybe do a Jay Stringer - analyze it, take it apart and see what the need is at the root of it, instead of irritably pushing it aside?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on July 16, 2020, 01:58:59 PM
Hiya UK,  You're a good egg. (quaint American expression)
Joel and I differ on this one.
I'd use the more meditative/buddhist approach of watching/letting go (cheerfully).
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 17, 2020, 04:10:32 AM
Thanks all
I am pleased to report that the feelings and 'brain porn' have subsided nicely (and incidentally with no sex/o to act as a 'release'). In terms of approach, I lean towards the meditative/buddhist approach that you refer to Mr S. I've found that some problems in my life need analysis and intervention, and others don't. If I overthink the ones that don't it usually results in stress. At the same time, I agree with Joel's approach in certain circumstances and this has been invaluable for me in areas such as trigger identification, where I have had to analyse my behavioural patterns to make breakthroughs in my recovery process. I guess its a question of having a toolkit and reaching for the right tool for the right job/circumstances. Have a good day/weekend all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on July 17, 2020, 11:26:09 AM
Hi UK,   That's a good way to look at it (tool kit.)  Please stay safe there in jolly 'ole.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 22, 2020, 11:04:01 AM
Day 109. Quick check in:
Rookie, who is a few weeks further on than me in his 'counter' speaks often about the phenomenon of addiction weakening, but not disappearing. I can concur. There is no magic switch that flicks at 90 days.
A good example is this - I'm having a really good day today. My daughters are out with friends, and my wife and I have been working well together and productively on our business. I feel good.
My wife then goes out to collect one of the girls from the city and immediately there is a massive trigger hits me from nowhere. Alone. 45 minutes at least. All the tech I want. No filters. It's such an ingrained thought pattern after living it for so long. EVERY time I have been left alone over the past years (decades rather), I have PMO'd. Well...probably 98% to be more accurate. I may have been asleep for the other 2%.
Those habits are very strong - the brain connections well worn. Breaking them down such that the alone trigger completely disappears will take some time.
The good news though is that whilst the trigger is still there and strong at times, the link that leads to action has become weaker...much weaker. So much so that I win every time right now, after years of the reward centre/chimp/whatever we call it winning every time, and me losing. Winning is a much better feeling. And the more time I keep on winning, the weaker and less audible the sound of the trigger becomes. Thanks for everyone's ongoing support - this is a great place to come to and share those triggers and challenges, shining a light on them and helping them to dissolve. Cheers.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on July 22, 2020, 01:35:09 PM
That's great, Guy, well done. And you hit the nail on the head. That is the reward for achieving 90 days. It may not have been a magic switch, but you trained your brain to win. 'The wife suddenly leaving' has become an ingrained trigger for me too. but that will fade with more time (now that we're winning at it) - it's such a ridiculous, non sexual trigger, should be one of the first triggers to gradually have less of a pull on us.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on July 23, 2020, 02:32:52 AM
Thanks for sharing this insight UKGuy. It provides us with an small preview on the road ahead for us guys who are not there yet. And of course well done on winning. I do also recognize the trigger you describe. It's like a switch that flicks on the moment you hear the door closing. Like an automated response.
I think this example shows us just how conditioned we all are in our behaviour. And all of that for porn..

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 23, 2020, 04:13:58 AM
A good example is this - I'm having a really good day today. My daughters are out with friends, and my wife and I have been working well together and productively on our business. I feel good.
My wife then goes out to collect one of the girls from the city and immediately there is a massive trigger hits me from nowhere. Alone. 45 minutes at least. All the tech I want. No filters. It's such an ingrained thought pattern after living it for so long. EVERY time I have been left alone over the past years (decades rather), I have PMO'd. Well...probably 98% to be more accurate. I may have been asleep for the other 2%.
Those habits are very strong - the brain connections well worn. Breaking them down such that the alone trigger completely disappears will take some time.

Great post, Guy. It brought to mind my first day of residential rehab, seven years ago, hosted by a therapist called Paula Hall, about whom I can't speak highly enough. She told a great story on the first morning about "The road to Brighton", which I'll paraphrase..... think of your neural pathways as actual footpaths to the beach. The beach is a happy place. There are lots of paths to lots of beaches, but Brighton beach is to your liking, so you take that path and continue to walk that same path to Brighton every time you want the beach. And the more times you walk that one path to that one beach, at the expense of any other path and any other beach, the wider, smoother and faster that path becomes, making it ever more easy to keep going to the same beach. Then one day, you feel the need for a day at the seaside but don't want to go to Brighton any more, so you try to take the path that leads to Camber Sands. But because you've not used that path for so long, it's all rutted, overgrown with wet brambles and nettles, and a right pig to walk down, and some voice in your head says "bollox to this", and reminds you about the nice, fast, highway to Brighton, and even if it's just for a second, you can be tempted to turn round and head back to your old haunt, even though you were determined not to go there again.

But you, Guy, because you're determined to change and succeed and you've learned strategies and processes to help you on your journey, and you're willing to sacrifice some nettle stings and bramble scratches and the odd twisted ankle if it means not going to Brighton.... you've fought your way down the path to Camber Sands and back enough times for that path to have become easier and wider than it used to be. It's still not automatic. Your chimp says "beach" and a big, fat, neural pathway you've walked down for 7,000 days still lights up fast and shouts "BRIGHTON"! But because you've not taken it for over 100 days, that path's starting to get a bit scruffy, with a few dog roses and nettles growing through, so it's getting less painful to choose the paths to other beaches via other paths. Your brain's changing. The neural pathway to P is getting weaker, as others are getting stronger, but it might remain the most convenient and automatic path to the beach for a while yet.

It's taken me ages to type this! If anybody can be arsed to read it, I hope they don't get to the end and think "what a load of utter bullshit".

You're one of a bunch of really impressive blokes in here at the moment, Guy, and your success is a source of inspiration. Wishing you every success today and for the long term. Continue to ignore the odd nettle sting and enjoy the sunshine at Camber Sands.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 23, 2020, 05:36:37 AM
That is a quality and powerful metaphor WIP which will further help me avoid going to 'Brighton' - thankyou for taking the time to share it. Thanks also for your kind words which mean a lot coming from such a seasoned and smart campaigner. Sending wishes of peace and strength down the M56.

A good example is this - I'm having a really good day today. My daughters are out with friends, and my wife and I have been working well together and productively on our business. I feel good.
My wife then goes out to collect one of the girls from the city and immediately there is a massive trigger hits me from nowhere. Alone. 45 minutes at least. All the tech I want. No filters. It's such an ingrained thought pattern after living it for so long. EVERY time I have been left alone over the past years (decades rather), I have PMO'd. Well...probably 98% to be more accurate. I may have been asleep for the other 2%.
Those habits are very strong - the brain connections well worn. Breaking them down such that the alone trigger completely disappears will take some time.

Great post, Guy. It brought to mind my first day of residential rehab, seven years ago, hosted by a therapist called Paula Hall, about whom I can't speak highly enough. She told a great story on the first morning about "The road to Brighton", which I'll paraphrase..... think of your neural pathways as actual footpaths to the beach. The beach is a happy place. There are lots of paths to lots of beaches, but Brighton beach is to your liking, so you take that path and continue to walk that same path to Brighton every time you want the beach. And the more times you walk that one path to that one beach, at the expense of any other path and any other beach, the wider, smoother and faster that path becomes, making it ever more easy to keep going to the same beach. Then one day, you feel the need for a day at the seaside but don't want to go to Brighton any more, so you try to take the path that leads to Camber Sands. But because you've not used that path for so long, it's all rutted, overgrown with wet brambles and nettles, and a right pig to walk down, and some voice in your head says "bollox to this", and reminds you about the nice, fast, highway to Brighton, and even if it's just for a second, you can be tempted to turn round and head back to your old haunt, even though you were determined not to go there again.

But you, Guy, because you're determined to change and succeed and you've learned strategies and processes to help you on your journey, and you're willing to sacrifice some nettle stings and bramble scratches and the odd twisted ankle if it means not going to Brighton.... you've fought your way down the path to Camber Sands and back enough times for that path to have become easier and wider than it used to be. It's still not automatic. Your chimp says "beach" and a big, fat, neural pathway you've walked down for 7,000 days still lights up fast and shouts "BRIGHTON"! But because you've not taken it for over 100 days, that path's starting to get a bit scruffy, with a few dog roses and nettles growing through, so it's getting less painful to choose the paths to other beaches via other paths. Your brain's changing. The neural pathway to P is getting weaker, as others are getting stronger, but it might remain the most convenient and automatic path to the beach for a while yet.

It's taken me ages to type this! If anybody can be arsed to read it, I hope they don't get to the end and think "what a load of utter bullshit".

You're one of a bunch of really impressive blokes in here at the moment, Guy, and your success is a source of inspiration. Wishing you every success today and for the long term. Continue to ignore the odd nettle sting and enjoy the sunshine at Camber Sands.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on July 23, 2020, 08:53:25 AM
I can't help but read your guys stuff in a British accent. I'm sure I'm butchering it in my mind but the message still comes across loud and clear. Great analogy WIP. I hope we can all walk through a few thorns if it means not going to a beach with E-Coli!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 27, 2020, 04:15:22 PM
Hi all,
Tough few days, but then I read something which PE30 had written today which was so powerful for me - nothing necessarily new in terms of content, but just written with such honest authenticity as if he could see right into my mind! I won't bore you with the details of my (part) hangover induced rocky weekend, but grateful (once again) for this forum which keeps me topped up with motivation and connectivity. Wishing you all well for this week.  :)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on July 27, 2020, 04:23:38 PM
Glad to read that you've endured once again. I've read the specific bit from PE30 and the clear choice he presents is a very powerful one. Right now, looking at such a choice from a distance it seems so obvious on why the one choice is so bad for you but when you are the one facing it it is so damn difficult to withstand.

Wishing you a good night
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 28, 2020, 02:52:53 AM
Thanks Shade,
Still not myself today, but will survive. A lot of it down to relationship/power struggles with my 16yo. She was due to go to Spain for a week with her friend's family which has now been cancelled due to new covid quarantine regulations. The other 3 of us (my wife, me, and our 13 yo) were going to a caravan in the UK during the same week which was something we all wanted to do, but my elder daughter had previously refused to do. Now she's forced to come along and it's a bit of a 'lose-lose' for all involved!!
Life's a bit like this for me - maybe some of the others can relate?.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLuEY6jN6gY

Hope you're doing well my friend?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 28, 2020, 04:42:45 AM
I feel for you!  Loved  the video (hope TheNorman likes the quaint accents).
I get similar with my best mate's lad, who is 18 now, and for the last few years has allowed his parents to fund him going on our group Ibiza and ski holidays, (which teenager wouldn't grab a free week in Ibiza?) but openly resents every second he has to spend with them. I'm sure your daughter's not like that, but you can understand her being a bit salty, when she thinks she's graduated to an independent trip to sunny Spain with her mate, and has to settle for a week in rainy UK with her...…. parents :-( Hope you can all find ways to let her spread her wings on the family trip.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on July 28, 2020, 08:33:49 AM
I did like the quaint accents but the idea of my kids becoming teenagers is terrifying! Good luck to you UKGuy! Like WIP said, maybe there's ways she can have some autonomy on the trip...for all your sakes!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: BigChanges66 on July 28, 2020, 10:32:23 AM
Love WIP's Road to Brighton story.  Often the simplest analogies can be the most effective.  I have hiked a lot on the past and it is easy to think of places I have been with a fork in the trail and making a choice about which trail to take.  It is also a good reminder that changes don't happen overnight.  It takes a while for paths to change.

Thanks,
BC66
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 28, 2020, 01:31:42 PM
I looked over the precipice today. It's been coming as you may have detected from recent posts.
I've shared multiple stress triggers over the last few days and central amongst these is my 16yo's behaviour, and whilst she be fine (it's just a teenage combination of lack of gratitude, entitlement, selfishness etc), she is really testing the limits at the moment for both my wife and I, and my reactions could have been a bit better than they were. So...at home, things are feeling a little fraught.
Simultaneously, yesterday, I received a Linked in message from a girl I used to work with. There was nothing at all happening when we worked together (that is a red line for me anyway), and our professional relationship was pretty much limited to her sending me expense claims to approve. She was attractive though, and probably late 20's or something - a nice girl. That was it. In the exchange of messages we had, she was definitely flirting, and I was treading a thin line between enjoying it and not being inappropriate (or indeed crossing my own red line). However, it definitely activated something in my brain - the worn chat pathways to Brighton to use WIPUK's metaphor.
Fast forward to today, situation with daughter still poor, other stresses, unhealthy mindset. No morning exercise (a rarity for me). I did come on here and was active, but it perhaps didn't cut through.
I found myself going for a meditate mid afternoon, which once I got in my bedroom immediately become a 'lie down' , 20 minute nap, to re-awake and promptly break all my own rules. iPhone 'skirting', leading to a free chat page, and an exchange with a woman which was fortunately cut short by her going 'off line'. Thankfully I hadn't MO'd - in fact, I'd not even touched myself, but if I'd been in a brain scanner, bits of my brain would have been seen lighting up that hadn't in nearly 4 months.
Thankfully, my wife then FaceTimed me to ask if I wanted to go for a walk. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to say yes, closed the browser, went downstairs and for a walk, which was good. We talked about our daughter, and I shared with her my situation - that I felt exceptionally close to relapsing at present, admitted that I had 'skirted' (but with no reference to chat, which is something I have never shared - largely through shame and desire to not hurt her - for some reason, wanking over photos seems less of an infidelity than chatting to someone and I assume she would see it the same way). Talking helped, and we agreed at my suggestion that we would put some iPhone restrictions back in place to help me guard against what feels like a risky time. My second action was to get a beer, come here and unload my situation on you guys, so thanks if anyone has made it this far!
Shade recognised in his own thread today that having read what I and PE30 had wrote, the addiction still got the better of him. I can relate to that now much more than when I read his words this morning, before things then went a bit awry for me. Also WIPUK wrote somewhere about every day being like day 1. I don't feel as if I have broken my streak, which is something rightly or wrongly that gives me a sense of achievement and keeps me 'glued' in a positive mindset rather than going off the rails, but at the same time, I feel I have crossed multiple boundaries that may set me back without a period of real humility and focus. So, with that in mind, I'm assuming the mindset of a 'day 1er' - something which I've definitely lost of late, and need to regain with some urgency. Thanks all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on July 28, 2020, 02:12:14 PM
Hey UKGuy,

Boy was I relieved to read that your wife facetimed you. Seems like you were save by the bell. If your wife wouldn't have facetimed you would you have relapsed? Seems like a tough question but it needs to be asked imo.
So, from what I am reading is that you've had multiple instances in which you did not choose the 'right' path. (almost) giving in to the flirting, not going for your morning workout, not meditating but sleeping. So what happend exactly when you woke up? It seems like you had that f*ck all attitude that some of us also experience. Is this that unhealthy mindset that you mentioned? I think that this instance shows the importance of vigilance but also what you described in your 90 days succes post; building that wall of defences. Somehow the problem (for me at least) is recognizing when you are in or at the start of such a spiral. You did describe that you saw it coming over the last few days, but do you remember when you actively recognized it?


Anyway, I was glad to read you took your wifes offer to join her for a walk and that you immediately took action into discussing this,the issues with your daughter and setting phone restrictions. What was your wifes reaction to all this?


Have a good evening UKGuy, and let's keep counting at day onehundred something and let's see this as a firm reminder of how watchful we constantly need to be. But the streak is not lost.

Take care my friend, I am as always rooting for you

So, the
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on July 28, 2020, 05:08:42 PM
Hiya UK, Shade and..., I'm just intruding on your thread b/c I'm a nuisance and I miss you guys. I'll check up on your streaks in a second. Hopefully they're still intact. First, I've set myself the daunting challenge of reading you guys' last 2 prodigious entries. I'm sure they're wise and inspiring, but how about spreading a little milk of human kindness!? haha
Anyhow, I'm going to try to keep my eye on the ball (baseball, not football), at least while I'm on here. I don't want to use it as source of social amusement.
I'd be a distraction and it makes me feel like a fake. I feel that a lot lately- kinda like showing up at the Arsenal (my son's team) practice session and sipping a beer and chatting with fans instead of improving myself/team.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 29, 2020, 09:37:16 AM
Hope your feet are on solid ground now, UKGuy. Worried for you, because those kind of excursions into grey areas are the kinds of things I've allowed myself to do just prior to slipping or relapsing. I think of it as the "emotional relapse", when I've let my standards slip and broken my own rules. You can get yourself back on the straight and narrow easily, though, and I'm confident that you will.

Sounds like it was great timing that your wife messaged you, and you deserve credit for saying "yes" to her offer of a walk, and then sharing some of the details. Great work on putting some 1st level barriers back on your phone. It's what's inside your head that matters most, though, so I hope that you don't let things get you bent out of shape. Wishing you every strength, best of luck, and a chilled-out daughter for a few days at least.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on July 29, 2020, 09:53:36 AM
I'm so glad you didn't slip off that cliff UK. It's a long way down and it will hurt like hell, but if you did fall, know that we'll all be close by with ropes to pull you back up and bandages for your cuts. You're very good at offering all of us a kind word and great insights, and you do seem able to turn those inwards, but you're also human. Emotions without logic to filter them is what gets us all too close to that ledge. I hope you can use this recent event as a good reminder that you have the tools here and within yourself to stay on solid footing.

We're here for you!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 29, 2020, 01:38:31 PM
Thanks so much for the kind words, compassion and encouragement gents - it means a lot.
I am pleased to report that today has been a much better day:
1) My wife and I have had a breakthrough with the situation with my daughter. I won't bore you with the details but we re-read the salient chapter (6) of a great book that we purchased a few years ago, and boy...did it give us the clarity and direction that we needed. For any parents of teenagers it's called "Get out of my life (But first take me and Alex into town)" by Suzanne Franks and Tony Wolf. It's as accurate a depiction of teenage life as that video I posted yesterday BUT with the added benefit of guidance for parents to navigate. The air is cleared and harmony has been restored.
2) Shade - you asked me would I have relapsed if my wife hadn't facetimed me. I think the answer is not necessarily then, but the actions I had taken had clearly put me back in 'secretive' territory, and I suspect that that would have continued today with me stealing time here and there on chat and as a consequence not being present - the breakthrough with my daughter would therefore not have happened as I would not have been invested in it. To me, that's the clearest manifestation of the choice between the two life choice we continually face and it makes me somewhat emotional to reflect on that knowing I took the right path, as many times in the past I haven't.
3) I have felt quite delicate all day - all most as if I've had a traumatic experience - yesterday has definitely disrupted my emotional balance a little, and there has been a pull towards 'acting out' almost a recognition that it's an option for me, whereas it felt previously like the weeds had grown on that particular pathway. I have a mixture of feelings - guilt, gratitude, pride, relief...little bit of fear too.
4) The action on the phone feels like a recommitment in itself, and that feels positive - a statement of intent - acting like 'day 1'
All that said, I think (I hope) that this experience has actually made me stronger - I was so near to [email protected]*king it up - if I can somehow use the emotion of the aftermath, and clarity of the binary choice which very nearly had a different outcome, then perhaps that can propel me onwards.
Thanks again for your support. I hope you're all well and I will catch up on your own journals/developments tomorrow - going to spend some time with my family now.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: BigChanges66 on July 29, 2020, 03:06:43 PM
That is some great self-reflection UK Guy.  It sounds like the last couple of days can up being a good touchstone to use in the future.  Keep up the great work.

Thanks,
BC66
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on July 30, 2020, 01:55:11 AM
Hiya Pal,  You certainly dodged a bullet- actually 3 or 4., Give yourself a pat on the back or a nice steak dinner.  About that timely call from the Mrs.-- that's b/c of all the good karma you accrued here.
But listen Pal, why are thinking re "infidelity"? (I know you were comparing pics v. chat)  I'm sensing you need to do a better job at forgiving yourself for your real or imagined infidelity. This isn't even about your wife. Can you work a bit of self-forgiveness into your meditation practice?
I don't know if your wounds still feel open or if the flirty exchange opened them up a bit. But I've rarely seen anyone work harder on their family's needs. So, don't you dare beat yourself up. (You called me to task on that so turn around is fair play.)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on July 30, 2020, 08:41:02 AM
The action on the phone feels like a recommitment in itself, and that feels positive - a statement of intent - acting like 'day 1'
All that said, I think (I hope) that this experience has actually made me stronger - I was so near to [email protected]*king it up - if I can somehow use the emotion of the aftermath, and clarity of the binary choice which very nearly had a different outcome, then perhaps that can propel me onwards.

I'm sure it will, mate. Sometimes it's good to give ourselves a reminder of what life looks like if we choose the other path. Hopefully that's what you've done. Certainly looks that way and hopefully reinforces your processes for future success. Enjoy the sunshine!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on July 30, 2020, 02:09:28 PM
Glad to hear you're pushing through, Guy. A fresh 'statement of intent' - always a good idea. Just listened to an inspiring Dobber podcast (well, they're all great, but...) - 103 – How To Take Massive Action - seems relevant here. The guy on the call is so amped up, may be something you need to feel - 'I'm back! I'm UKGuy, and I'm crushing this!'

Stay strong!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on July 31, 2020, 03:38:52 AM
Thanks Mr S, WIP & Joel,
I'm just going to do some weights Joel, so will listen to that Dobber episode instead of my usual hip-hop!
Feeling good today despite a re-imposed 'semi lockdown' in Greater Manchester. Glad we sorted things out with our eldest before that news broke last night! Enjoy the UK sunshine WIP and Joel.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Georgos on August 01, 2020, 05:15:23 AM
I don't know if you got my message, my sent mail box says empty for some reason, so I hope you don't mind me writing here.

in truth I don't even know whether you are male or female, though if i knew you i would never say that.

i suspect there are some females on the board using it to check up on their husbands and the like, that is fine, I'm certainly not here to find a date.

However, I have an uncomfortable feeling that I know you from another time and place in the distant histories of my life, and as much as I value your privacy, it would be somewhat good manners of me to clarify this for the sake of dispelling any delusions i may or may not have.

If you think we have been friends in the past, please send me a PM so I don't go crazy.

Lots of love and good luck with the struggles of life,

We are winning

Saluude
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 01, 2020, 06:14:19 AM
Hello Georgos,

No - we have never met or been in contact before.

I am male, 47 years old and I like in the UK. I have have never had a profile on here other than this 'UKGuy' one. I am on no other sites or forums.

Wishing you well with your journey and take care.

UKGuy
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Georgos on August 01, 2020, 06:33:28 AM
Thanks UK guy, I like the Baye Fall style clothing banner, never could carry it off, but at least I've made it past 16, love and truth always G
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 03, 2020, 03:11:50 AM
A strange weekend.

Great day Saturday. Did some really enjoyable work on my business launch. Good evening but with a little too much to drink. That said, my wife - who I've been getting along with famously for many weeks now, started to show signs of irritability with me during the day. This continued into Sunday into mutual irritability as I responded to her behaviour towards me. A little 'chimpesque' on my part perhaps in responding to what was largely a bit of PMT for her. I neglected to go on a family walk, largely as I had run 10K already in the morning whilst everyone else was in bed, and tbh, didn't relish spending any more time with my wife - stayed good whilst the family were out. Did some accounts, spoke to my sister, had a couple of games of Fortnite (sad, I know!). When my wife returned her mood hadn't changed. Found myself 'circling' (as Joel would say). I have Instagram and Pintrest still on my phone for legitimate business reasons. Never looked at anything on them before, but started to explore. Nothing particularly explicit, but my neural pathways were certainly fired up. Did it for an hour or so. Just browsing - no 'self touching'. And then I chose to stop. Went downstairs, had another minor disagreement with my wife, and retired to the bedroom and started reading a book.

I'm a little concerned that this is twice in less than a week where after a period of 16 or 17 weeks with absolutely no artificial stimulation whatsoever, including fantasy, I have had two incidents where I have strayed from my commitment to myself. On the other hand I am pleased that on both occasions I have neither M'd or O'd and have ultimately stopped. The question is where I go from here.

The triggers on both occasions related to emotional stress around rejection/relationships. My daughter earlier in the week, followed by my wife yesterday. At the same time, I can feel a fatigue setting in in terms of my resolve to the cause. Life is starting to feel a little 'plain'. The sense of achievement in securing a no PMO world for myself is subsiding and it feels as if I'm yearning for a bit of excitement and stimulation. Even the conscious logical part of my brain is starting to feel more relaxed about the prospect of a relapse. I of course know this is an illusion, but at times this week it's felt a reality. I've questioned in the past what happens the the guys here that drift away. My theory is that THIS is what happens - it feels a natural human response as I adapt to change, and I know that I need to do something about it to avoid becoming one of the drift aways.

Needless to say, the Insta and Pintrest have now been deleted, and I'm currently unable to install apps/use private browsing as a result of the actions I took on Wednesday, so phone is now 100% secure. Incidentally, I have not told my wife, nor will I on this occasion - I am telling you all instead.

I know I get a lot of motivation from my 'counter' and did worry post 90 whether that would diminish. Perhaps that is a factor. My counter is staying intact on the basis that I have not M or O'd and sits at 120 days. I will however introduce a new 'circling counter' which will cover artificial stimulation including fantasy. If I don't do that, I can only see this behaviour escalating, normalising, and leading to relapse. So, today is day 1.

Beyond that, I'm not sure quite what to do. What's my goal now? A day at a time - that feels more a tactic than a goal. Feel like I need something more.

Would appreciate any pointers, thoughts or advice chaps. Hope you're all doing well and wishing you a good week.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on August 03, 2020, 05:51:24 AM
Great post, Guy. Sorry that the beast has found a way to lure you in, but a great effort in pulling yourself out of it. After 90 days , this is the main trick that will get us (so I've heard from many). I'm not sure about counting after 90days, so I won't weigh in on that. But having separate streaks - 1 for circling - has been huge for me; doesn't sound like it's an oft habit for you though, so starting a new streak because you 'discovered' IG sounds harsh.

Just remember, as Dobber would say, you're going towards recovery, or you're going towards relapse - that's been a really powerful line for me.

I just listened to a good episode - 105, daily tracking; he has a fresh way to think about scoring yourself, goals and streaks. It sounded too complicated for me as I'm keeping my system simple and it's working for me at the moment. But could be what you're looking for.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on August 03, 2020, 09:41:48 AM
I know I get a lot of motivation from my 'counter' and did worry post 90 whether that would diminish. Perhaps that is a factor. My counter is staying intact on the basis that I have not M or O'd and sits at 120 days. I will however introduce a new 'circling counter' which will cover artificial stimulation including fantasy. If I don't do that, I can only see this behaviour escalating, normalising, and leading to relapse. So, today is day 1.

Beyond that, I'm not sure quite what to do. What's my goal now? A day at a time - that feels more a tactic than a goal. Feel like I need something more.

Would appreciate any pointers, thoughts or advice chaps. Hope you're all doing well and wishing you a good week.

Are you sure that introducing yet another counter -- this time for 'circling' -- is a compassionate act towards yourself?  I understand the desire to completely eradicate the old behaviors, but assess whether this is truly a meaningful act (as opposed to a disguised quest for perfection or heroism).

May be coincidence, but something a psychologist mentioned in a book I am reading struck me as exactly what so many of us are trying to do: we are all trying to change everything about us we do not like... which seems like a good thing, for recovery's sake.  BUT -- and crucial here: for much that we would like to change the remaining aspects of our persona, we won't dispose of enough time to change them all.  So he advises to start loving ourselves exactly as we are, warts 'n all... as of this moment, otherwise we never will.  That way if changes do come they will be most welcome, but our capacity to be self-compassionate won't depend on them.

I am not trying to advocate for a laissez-faire approach.  I guess what I mean is that keeping tabs of tactics and strategies to stay away from PMO can be helpful as a start, but can become tiresome over the long haul... and as you put it, devoid of meaning at your stage of recovery.  So perhaps a next step is in furthering self-compassion... this is effectively transitioning away from counting days to embracing acceptance, even of the parts of yourself that you do not consider as 'ideal'.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on August 03, 2020, 10:00:02 AM
Beyond that, I'm not sure quite what to do. What's my goal now? A day at a time - that feels more a tactic than a goal. Feel like I need something more.
Would appreciate any pointers, thoughts or advice chaps. Hope you're all doing well and wishing you a good week.

The 90-day target's is a number the guys setting up this website chose, based on the knowledge they had at that time. I'm not saying it's meaningless. I'm sure there's good science behind it, but 90 could equally be 75 or 200. Like 6 people in a "safe" post-covid gathering could equally be 5 or 7. Twelve-step process could easily be 8 or 22. It's just a target number to help make the process work. Trans-theoretical Model of Change suggests 180 days as the minimum time before a conscious behaviour change should be considered to be bedded-in, and the person is in "maintenance" phase. Me? My last 4 attempts at getting straight have lasted 120, 190, 70 and the current one's around 70-something too. I tended to crash after those periods of time because I hadn't resolved the underlying issues that were motivating me to hide in a world of P. Maybe just set a longer target for yourself, if you're goal-focused, Guy? 180 looks good :-) Maybe there are thing you've just swept under the carpet and hoped would go away? You're really doing amazingly, though. You looked at some attractive images? Maybe that's OK for you. I sense that it's not, though, and you maybe need to refresh your focus somehow. Hang in there, please. Even if you have to white-knuckle a day or two until you get your focus back.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: jixu on August 03, 2020, 10:40:30 AM
Don't let the marital thing fester too much; even if you have to give in a bit and take one for the team, try to clear it up.  If that gets out of kilter the whole calliope can come crashing down.  It is hard, I know that.

I feel like you have lost some perspective-you are doing an amazing job dude! 
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on August 03, 2020, 03:21:20 PM
Hey UKGuy,

I'm sorry to read that you've had another 'incident' so soon after the previous one. Could it be a sort of chaser effect?
Also, have you talked things over with your wife? It seems like there is some room for improvement there. Being in a marriage is not without conflict every once in a while, but it seems like this is a very specific trigger for you.

There is something else that popped into my mind about this situation while I was driving home from work. But you are now well under way, with 120 days in the clock, an amazing achievement. But, could it be that along the way your focus has a couple of times? From battling the first days, to being on guard for triggers, lures and traps, then getting the emotional awareness under control, experiencing the positve effects and getting motivated by that. Could it be that somewhere along the way the focus has shifted somewhat? Or that it has become a routine? This in itself is actually a good thing, but maybe that you've been caught off guard or something? Maybe this is also a question to the more experienced users here who have more days under their belt so tho speak.

I do agree with what the other guys say; don't be to hard on yourself. You are doing an amazing job so far. And maybe as Leonidas said that the circling counter may not entirely be the best in terms of self compassion. Like WIPUK says; Hang in there, even if it means white-knuckling it for a day or two and then re-asses the whole situation and determine if the circling counter is something that will help you.


I hope you and the wife have cleared things with eachother and I wish you a great evening!


Take care
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 05, 2020, 05:20:31 AM
Gents,

A big thankyou to the response to my last post. Your care and support means a lot to me. I am fine thanks, and home life is good. I have had no further lapses in my focus - partially due to the engagement with you all here and the fact that I've been reflecting on your advice. Partly as things have settled down at home, and partly as I've been very busy with my project and not had time to be distracted. Having reflected on your valuable input, my thoughts are as follows:

@Joel: I really like the Dobber quote "(either) you're going towards recovery, or you're going towards relapse". That has given me perspective, and I've realised that for the last week or two I've been heading towards relapse! I think it's only the 'reboot' impact of the weeds growing on the road to Brighton that saved me - something positive in itself, and a foundation to build on.

@Leon: Thanks for the challenge. I've reflected on this, and the broader balance of self-compassion vs self-accountability (not that the two are mutually exclusive). In my case, the circling counter thought wasn't a quest for perfection, but a recognition that those behaviours disarm my defences and in all instances prior to last week have led to relapse. The analogy we were discussing a few weeks ago related to the alcoholic not falling off the wagon so long as he resists his first sniff/sip. The circling for me is sniffing and sipping, and I need to eliminate it to continue succeeding in my primary aim of eliminating PMO and therefore freeing myself of its debilitating impact on my own life and those around me. I'm all for self compassion regarding aspects of my being that aren't ideal (of which there are many!) but this has to be balanced with a degree of accountability and determination to change the ones that I will be genuinely happier and more fulfilled by changing/eliminating. PMO is at the top of that list.

@WIP : I liked the Trans-theoretical Model of Change when you shared it recently on somebody else's journal (Mr Slurps?). It made me realise that the 90 days is somewhat arbitrary which is confirmed by my (and I think also Rookie's) recent experience. There is no magic switch - or at least, I've not got to that stage yet. For better or for worse, I am a goal focussed individual as you suggest, and in that spirit, I'm going to embrace your suggestion of 180 days and accept it as a challenge! That doesn't mean that I've not got work to do on the underlying issues (and rejection is a common theme), but it certainly gives me a load more runway to use to work on them. Thank you.

@Jixu : Thanks for your concern ref the marriage. TBH, I am really lucky. I have a fantastic wife and we are very much in love after 19 years of marriage and 28 years together (there's a joke somewhere about getting less for murder, but I won't attempt it!) This was a minor blip. What I need to work on is my own internal reaction to those blips, and specifically around not seeking comfort form other sources, be they PMO, alcohol etc

@Shade : I think your point about 'success' becoming routine is spot on. At the start I was getting a lot of self affirmation from my success - feeding my ego I guess. It felt good. As with most things in life, the marginal impact diminishes with time. The routine of not PMOing was very good in that I was building neurological resistance, but at the same time, the special feeling of success was dwindling. It's a trap that I am now aware of, and one which I think takes me back nicely to Joel's quote again - 'we're either going towards recovery, or going towards relapse'. There isn't a neutral zone - or even if it feels as if there is, perhaps it's because the shifts towards either outcome are imperceptible - like a boiling frog maybe?! (crap simile, I know).

What matters is that I went through it, and I have come out of the other side - with a bag full of learning, and therefore strength to prepare me for future hurdles. So much of that learning has come from you guys, so thank you.

Wishing you all a good day wherever you are.

Take care.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on August 05, 2020, 08:50:58 PM
I'm glad to hear that you're doing ok. I'm also glad to hear that you feel a good connection with us schmucks on the board, because you have been an incredible source of knowledge, strength and compassion in my own journey. My god man before I left I even watched part of an MLS match just so I could brush up on my football knowledge (I do know enough to say that MLS is rubbish but hey it's a start right?!).

Keep moving forward, keep being kind to yourself and keep recognizing the incredible things you've done so far, for yourself and for so many of us on here.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 06, 2020, 07:22:29 AM
Thanks for the encouragement TheNorman - I do appreciate it.  :) Have you got an MLS team? Mine is New York City - they're a sister club of my team Man City. We went to see them whilst in NY last year and yes, you are aren't wrong about the standard in MLS - I think the U's could do quite well in that league!!

Anyway chaps (in quaint English accent!)...I'm off on holiday tomorrow for 10 days. We're off to Bath for the weekend and then onto Devon for a week for anyone familiar with the UK. I've decided that I am not going to make my usual daily effort to check in (unless things become challenging for me for any reason) as I want to dedicate my time to being present with my family. That said, you will all be in my thoughts and wishing you well for the days ahead.

See you soon and take care.

UKGuy
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on August 06, 2020, 08:36:00 AM
Enjoy your holiday UKGuy, hope you and the family have a great time and that the weather will be amazing!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 17, 2020, 01:42:57 AM
I've decided that I am not going to make my usual daily effort to check in (unless things become challenging for me for any reason) as I want to dedicate my time to being present with my family.
Boy, have I missed you gents!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. That said, I can't fathom why I wrote what I wrote above. Throughout my previous posts, I have spoken so passionately about the benefit of this forum, the good habit of being on here daily, and the fact that it has been the missing piece of the jigsaw in my recovery. Well - with you, I got to 123 days. Without you (on holiday) I made a further 9. Then...RELAPSE (Saturday), with a further one thrown in for good measure yesterday. So here I am on day 1.

Picking it apart is not too difficult. Great holiday, but as always with holidays, I start to become restless towards the end. I love my wife and daughters immensely, but they are all strong minded forces of nature, and after a week or so with only them, no outlet for my extravert personality with others, no distraction of my project, and a complacency around PMO stemming from not being here daily, my frustrations were high, my memory short, and my guard and motivation non existent. I'd probably been 'circling for days' (fantasy), looking at women walking around in their summer outfits, no opportunity for intimacy with my wife..etc, etc, etc.

More meaningfully, I've also realised that although my PMO streak was going very well (when measured in days), other aspects of my life were showing strain. I've been drinking too much, and my mindfulness practice has fallen by the wayside (and I think those two are strongly linked to each other for me).

So here I am.

I'm not going to get too concerned by the implications of widening neural pathways etc - TBH, the second relapse so shortly after was in many ways a blessing in disguise, and calculated on my part. I won't lie - the first relapse was enjoyable in the moment, largely as my brain had become accustomed to low level of dopamine, and I effectively flooded it, but I then had to contend with a sleepless night and a buzzing head, with horrible dreams when I did nod off, with an awful sense of realisation of failure and guilt when I woke. I chose to speak to my wife early Sunday morning about what I had done, but the appeal and lure of PMO had been re-awakened, and was predominant in my mind as my wife drove us home from holiday yesterday. Doing it again yesterday evening brought into clear focus the truly addictive nature, and a glimpse of what the months ahead would hold for me if I continued. Dishonesty and duplicity, wasted time, an angry an irritable man that I don't identify with, most probably failure of my project due to lack of focus, etc. I don't want that. It's what I've been fighting to overcome, and although I have slipped badly, I am determined that this will be a learning experience that will benefit me going forwards.

For a start, I'm committing to myself to be here daily (which I did until my holiday - I won't make the same mistake twice). Secondly, I am cutting my alcohol intake to a very stringent 14 units a week, which I will also update you guys on for some extra accountability on my part. Thirdly, I will be practicing my mindfulness every morning once again.

Whilst I'm saddened to be reporting the above, I feel optimistic and I'm very happy to be back her at the keyboard reading about your progress, and knowing there are some great guys who take an interest in my own. Thanks, and onwards!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on August 17, 2020, 03:56:24 AM
Hey UKguy,

Im sorry to read that it happened, but it did happen. As you said so yourself, this is the true depth of the addiction. But your post also shows that you are already back on the horse and somehow have reconciled yourself with the fact that it had happened. So how are you now feeling? Is there any chaser effect or change in emotional state?

I see also that you've pinpointed the true issue at hand (to me at least) and that is the recognition of the fact that over the past time you saw strain, the increased alcohol intake, no more mindfulness. So, what happened with that? Can you unearth the reason for those actions? Normally when we talk of a relapse there is a window of a day to a couple of days in which we can identify a certain decline into the mindset of PMO, in your case you've described that process (circling, looking at women in summer outfits, etc).  However, to me it seems that there is also a much larger mechanism at work here, and you've recognized it happening in hindsight.  To me it seems that this can happen over a timestamp of weeks, maybe even months.

If you were to go back, and think about not doing mindfulness, increasing your alcohol intake, could you find a common denominator? Maybe a longer ongoing frustration with the Mrs, anxiety/stress about the new business, thoughts/uncertainties about the addiction, anything?


I'm glad to read that you've already recognized the potential downfall a continuation of this PMO streak could have and that you've set up clear measures to counter those. Starting mindfulness again, coming on here. With the risk of sounding berating; I do have a kind of critical question for you regarding the alcohol intake of 14 units per week. You say you are cutting it to 14 units  but how many did you take before your relapse? Is alcohol really helping you in the process of recovery or is it a substitute for something else? It might be a bold suggestion but why not cut alcohol completely during weekdays and allow yourself 6 units in the weekend? In the end you can only benefit from that, would you truly miss it?


As a final note I want to say that you will always find help and support on this forum as you are a much valued member of this community who has given a lot of valuable advice and support of the last months. I know for a fact that I am not alone in this opinion, many share this with me :)
We are here for you to help and provide support for you.


I am rooting for you my friend





Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on August 17, 2020, 08:23:20 PM
I am so sorry that you relapsed. I think from what you've written that you learned a lot about what complacency can do and I know that you will take that and build up your resolve again to be even stronger. I agree wholeheartedly with Shade: You are an incredibly valued member of this forum and I can say without a doubt that your successes and your setbacks will help me continue to stay focused in my own journey. Glad to have you back!

As for MLS I don't really have a team to be honest...maybe TFC or The Impact as they're Canadian but I am going to just stick with the U's for now (who are in "cup draw" which I am clueless about) and see how that goes! If anything I hope your chance to guide my football knowledge will be extra incentive to check back more often!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on August 18, 2020, 03:24:57 PM
Ah nuts. Sorry to hear that Guy. You seem to have so many of the puzzle pieces - but alas there seemed to be something missing when that difficult period appeared. Travel is a big challenge for the Dobber too. Hope you can get back on the saddle as soon as possible, and work out how to you'd prepare for that situation next time.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 19, 2020, 12:31:07 PM
Thanks for your kind words and well wishes chaps. I am feeling good despite the disappointment of the weekend. I'm straight back into my project which is at a fairly intense phase so that is acting as a very effective distraction to any 'chaser' effect. That said, I need to take the learnings for next time round as you all rightly say. My key insights so far are:
- Holidays are a risk as they disrupt my routine. I chose to take a step back from here (big mistake), and also take a break from my project whilst away. Whilst this was fine on days 1-6, after that point, I'd finished my book, done everything I'd wanted to, was relaxed and itching to get back to work. At the same time, the kids had started to become bored, we were all ready to come home ahead of time, and started to get a bit irritable. I was drinking every night (I usually don't in the week - got that one already Shade ;-) ), and a vacuum opened up which I filled with the wrong activity.
- As you know I'd already started to feel some challenge leading up to the trip (which made my decision to take a break from here even more ridiculous in hindsight!). I have learned that there is a natural ebb and flow to motivation. As a goal oriented person, the 90 days really worked for me, 100 was fine, probably longer, but then I'd achieved my 'numeric goal' and started to take the life benefits of sobriety for granted. Probably my project was in a natural lull at the time, and life lost a bit of excitement - particularly as an extrovert who is used to speaking face to face with 20+ people a day in my old life as an employee and have lost that since I finished work at the end of December. When I'm distracted, I'm fine. When I'm not, as much as I love my wife and daughters, sometimes I need a bit more variety in terms of my 'in person' social interactions - so life became a little dull, and the lure of fantasy, circling etc gained in relative attractiveness.
I don't think I can necessarily change any of the above happening next time around, but awareness is a great asset, and now I am more attuned to the risks having succumbed to them this time.
One thing that I also noted from my relapse was this - when you go back to a chat site after 4 months off it, and see the same names - many of them that have clearly been there throughout the period that you've been clean, there's a great realisation around how far you've come, what you've done with that time, how you've lived your life, and a sense of gratitude that you're no longer 'one of them' (even though for the short time of the slip you were)...that's not to speak disparagingly about people who I feel empathy for, but I just came away with a sense of - wow...I don't want to go back there again. I mean, how many of them had experienced something from those activities during in that period of time that was really beneficial or enriching to their lives (or the lives of others)...none. The chats, the variety of 'partners'...they all blur into one like the bars do on the hamster wheel as he spins around in it, like I used to. That's the feeling and the memory that I need to somehow capture from this event to provide an extra barrier to going back there again...despite whatever is happening in my life...after all, the good times, and the bad times always pass.

@Shade - 500ml of Heineken is 2.5 UK units, so 6 units only equates to 1.2 litres, which is definitely not enough after a long week working with my wife ;-)
@Norman - The U's should beat AFC Wimbledon in the League Cup!!
@Joel - Don't worry - I'm back in the saddle and chasing you guys down!

Cheers all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Georgos on August 20, 2020, 12:16:38 PM
Hi Guy, I'm still wondering how you are, whether your still teaching or striking out into the world of corporate business ventures, maybe both?

It's great to have a hobby, mine's writing, mostly short post on topics that interest me, but sometimes short and longer stories as well, I wrote a book that's really crazy, it claims I'm Jesus and Mohammad all rolled into one and it proves it as well, good job I'm not delusional or might actually have believed it,

Solipsism is all about believing the ego, not the creator, and I have fallen pray to that a lot in the past, believing everything that existed was in my imagination, on the other hand the ego is the messenger of God in an allegorical sense, so it does have some power over us, as I understand it we have to love our ego so that it obeys the creator as Muhammad's did, he had the most perfect ego ever according to the Koran,

Anyway, I'm not really an RE teacher, more of a dilettante playing games with myself on the internet, or at least I used to be, just like most of us on here, as georgewhittington said on lyon's journal, most people can't go more than five years without porn,

Hope your keeping on track, remember counting days is not as important as staying focused on the prize,

Wishing you peace and blessings in your journey and good luck in all your ventures,

Your friend,

.G.L.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 20, 2020, 02:32:04 PM
Hello Georgos,
I think a book written by you would truly blow my mind!
I am pleased that your post reads like you are a little more 'yourself' than you might have been recently? I don't understand a lot about your condition, but I see an extremely bright guy in there in the moments of clarity.
I think your comment about keeping your eyes on the prize is spot on. Thank you for your wisdom.
As for me, I was never a teacher. Was more of a corporate guy for many years, but now working on something that I love, with someone that I love (and which also keeps me away from PMO!)
Take care, and wishing you the same peace and blessings back.
UKG
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on August 21, 2020, 02:05:46 AM
Hey UKGuy,


Hows the chaser effect? I hope that work and building the new thing you love with the Mrs you love has provided you with enough distraction to let you feel the chaser effect.
From what you wrote it seems that you've analyzed the situation and everything leading up to it quite well. If taken with you into your next long streak I am sure that you will persevere.

Good luck my friend, stay safe and I am as always rooting for you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 22, 2020, 09:43:40 AM
Hey Shade,
Yes, there is definitely a chaser effect of some sorts going on, but manageable. It's been an interesting week. I've been working hard on my project and this has served as a distraction for me. Now I have stopped working for the weekend, I can definitely sense some 'urges' although the wife and I had some time alone this morning with both kids out, so that has helped solve my urges for a while at least (I don't have any chaser at all with sex, just PMO). I'm currently alone in the house and on here typing to you guys so that's a good sign! Cheers.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: LetItGoAlready on August 23, 2020, 12:06:15 AM
Hi UK Guy,

Before I decided to resurrect my journal (thanks for dropping by and commenting, by the way), I read through yours and felt there was a lot in your story I could relate to, especially the fact that you have been struggling with this crap since an early age. I think, as addicts, we tend to lose our perspective when we slip because we're so focused on the immediate goal: get to x# of days clean.

But consider the long view. You've been carrying this burden around for a long time, since before you really knew right from wrong, or knew what a healthy sexuality should look like, or knew how to manage your emotions. I mean, it's no surprise that this is a hard habit for you to break; it's the only way you've known how to live! And it's been hard-wired into your brain after decades of practice. Be kind to yourself. Show yourself some compassion. And be proud that you made it to 100+ days. That is a remarkable achievement. Seriously, don't lose sight of that how amazing that is!

I'm rooting for you, man!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 23, 2020, 04:53:32 AM
Thanks for your kind words LIGA - you are right - it is an achievement to be proud of, but at the same time, it means nothing if it isn't built upon - not necessarily in terms of eclipsing the 'counter', but establishing the habit of recovery as a permanently new way of life, That is where I am now, I think. When we come here all enthused and bright eyed, perhaps it's easier to put together a long 'streak' (I have seen you did the same in your Cosmo journey), but how do we maintain that - how do we embrace the state of being PMO free as the 'new normal', and do so in a way that any slips don't have the crippling effect of drawing us back into the mire? I think with any venture in life - a job, a hobby, a marriage even - there are periods of plateau where motivation and commitment wane a little, and something needs to be found to revitalise your energy. Based on my own time here, and my recent slip, I think that's especially true of this journey. One of my takeouts from your old journal was the recommendation of the book 'Breaking the Cycle' by George Collins - I looked it up on Amazon and read the first sample pages and WOW - that book, that opening scene is enough to put a jolt of energy into anyone's recovery! Just need to work out how to buy it now without it autodownloading onto my kids' Kindles!!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ZiggyBoo on August 23, 2020, 08:06:49 AM

Hey UKGuy - Sorry to hear of your recent slip after a wonderful and inspiring clean streak. Remember that all that hard work is not lost. It sounds like you have learned from it and already getting back on track, nice work! I listened to "breaking the cycle" on Audible a few years ago, I really enjoyed and and there's lot's of good take-aways.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 23, 2020, 10:02:31 AM
Cheers ZiggyBoo! Appreciate your kind words.
I've just ordered a copy of the book. The reviews look great, but the thing that immediately drew me to it was the stark horror of the 'opening scene'
If any of you guys want to know what I'm taking about, go to Amazon and search for the book, select the kindle version and then 'look inside'...you can read enough of the first chapter to get the idea. The fear of 'getting caught' I think plays a part in most (married) men's motivation to quit, but if you ever want a reminder of what disaster could look like, that scene is it!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: LetItGoAlready on August 23, 2020, 04:50:29 PM
Quote
it is an achievement to be proud of, but at the same time, it means nothing if it isn't built upon

I think it means something. Granted, we all are enthused and bright-eyed, as you say, when we come here, and it's easy for us to write off our progress by calling it "beginner's luck." And maybe there's some truth to that, but there's also a tendency for many of us to minimize our achievements simply because we're perfectionists. "Oh, 100 days is great, but..."

I guess I'm just saying don't get down on yourself if things don't go perfectly. I've become a master at doing that myself, but I'm trying to break out of that habit. Too often, when things don't go the way I want them to, I choose to see only the bad. I allow my perfectionist mindset to take over and tell me that a good streak isn't work celebrating because I didn't do enough, didn't do it in the right way, didn't do it perfectly. It's truly exhausting. I agree with you, though, that it helps to mix things up when you feel you've hit a plateau. That's why I came back after all these years!

I'm glad you found "Breaking the Cycle." I've read it multiple times and have gleaned a lot of useful information from it. Can't say all of the exercises worked for me, but like with everything, your mileage may vary. I was so taken with the book that I worked with a sex addiction therapist through his practice based in Walnut Creek, CA, called Compulsion Solutions. I had weekly phone sessions with the therapist for a year and a half. I learned so much. The book, though, is just a classic. It's relatable and easy to get through, and I turn to it sometimes when I feel myself getting stuck. I hope you get as much out of it as I have!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 24, 2020, 03:24:18 AM
Bit of a strange one today...
Up until a month or so ago, I didn't have an instagram account, but opened one as part of my business 'project' (and in the business brand name).
When I had my circling lapses a few weeks ago, they were on that same instagram account.
When on instagram last night for legitimate business purposes I noticed that all of the accounts that I had been viewing during my circling still show up in search despite clearing the search history. I have done some research and understand that this is unavoidable due to the algorithm, but that a way around it is to go into each undesired account and block it.
This works, but there are two issues:
1) I have had to go into 50+ accounts and block them (and you can't do this with your eyes completely closed)
2) Overcoming this by having a list of various blocked milf and fetish accounts isn't a proper solution - I intend to 'outsource' my social media management at some point and can hardly risk this list being found!
The main reason for writing this is not to ask for IT help (I think I have a solution to point 2 which involves changing my username, waiting 14 days and the original username (my business brand name) can be reassigned to a new account), BUT to note that things often don't happen like this. Usually when one 'circles' or starts to slip from good practice, it's due to some emotional stress. I've been brilliant over the last week, but this has come from nowhere - a mere consequence of circumstance and previous actions, and my brain is now sloshing around with dopamine that I didn't even go looking for!
Today will therefore be an unexpected challenge, hence me coming here to acknowledge it and hopefully put myself back on the right track!! Have a good day all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Georgos on August 24, 2020, 03:39:01 AM
Hi UK, I don't know much about instagram, have never used it personally, I do know that I thought you were a girl I used to date some twenty years ago, which I now suspect was a delusion, I hope I haven't caused you any distress through such erroneous beleifs,

Good luck with your journey,

.G.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on August 24, 2020, 11:25:34 AM
I don't envy you having to set up and run a Social channel. I find it hard enough to use linkedin without being triggered! Once you've worked the back-end fix on the account, and have it "clean" again, can you tweak the settings to protect yourself from the easy pitfalls? Hope that the new book keeps you positively focused, too.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on August 24, 2020, 01:30:50 PM
I agree: I've avoided social media even before starting all this because it's such a trap. Hopefully you can get it all sorted without too much (more) trouble!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 26, 2020, 08:44:55 AM
Struggling the last 48 hours or so, despite keeping busy. In fact, I'm here as the wife and kids went out, and I was seconds away from opening a chat site, but managed to divert myself at the last moment and come here for a bit of refuge. I re-read the 'Hello Gentlemen, now we begin' post (pinned in Porn Addiction sub forum). Mainly as I remember it was written in an almost evangelical style, and it felt like I needed a bit of that! One comment stood out. The writer, William, says: "There are three things that men quitting porn must do; Get Educated, Get Tools, Learn to Love Withdrawals." Whilst I think the list itself is open to debate - doesn't include connectivity for example, the 3rd point 'Learn to Love Withdrawals' feels really pertinent to me, and also perhaps a few more of us at the moment. This journey feels like a real drag for me at the moment, but perhaps that's to be expected. Perhaps coming off crack, alcohol, gambling is also a drag - yet the fact that it is a drag is a positive indication that we're doing something positive in our lives and swimming against the tide en route to recovery. Perhaps I need to reframe it - instead of feeling tired, like it's all too hard, resisting those feelings, and my rational brain starting to give way .... I (we) need to really embrace those moments, to celebrate them as necessary parts of the journey. To actively look forward to them perhaps as staging posts that we need to pass on our journey to the destination? As William says....'to Learn to Love Withdrawals?' That feels like a real mindset change at the moment and easier said than done, but I thought I'd put it out there to see if it resonates. How much do you love the hard days?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ZiggyBoo on August 26, 2020, 09:21:06 AM


Nice post UKGuy, and good work coming on here to divert your focus away from any temptation.

That absolutely resonates and in a strange way the more awful the withdrawals, the more your actions are having a positive effect on recovery. I once heard someone describing it as "choking out" the addiction. He was talking about how he wasn't entertaining any edging, circling or triggering behaviour and as cravings came up, he welcomed them as a sign that his recovery was starting to have a positive effect. Obviously it doesn't always seem that easy but it's a nice way to re-frame (and celebrate) the cravings as they appear.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on August 26, 2020, 02:41:08 PM
Hmm.  I am of two minds when it comes to enhancing the rational side of our brains.  One one hand, yes.  I want to be the captain of my ship and be able to weather the crashing waves of emotions.  On the other hand, too rational a head can also backfire.  Not sure "William" has all the pieces of the puzzle.  I think your idea of connectivity was offering something more in terms of overall perspective.  Somewhere, there must be a happy medium that balances the opposite worlds of emotions and rational thought.  Like the gent going for Karaoke with the gang after a tough day at his engineering job; or the Chef-by-night indulging in daytime Calculus fundamentals on Coursera!  All this to say that when I'm feeling amiss of the emotional world, then a mystery/adventure novel or the odd book of poems can help reestablish the balance.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Georgos on August 26, 2020, 04:05:57 PM
I agree with this Leonidas, it is a bad habit of mine enhancing rationality at all costs, indeed tobacco is said to be a performance enhancing drug with regards to rationality and I smoke like a chimney. I find that rationality aids with male bonding but requires spending money if one wants to acquire something, and I don't think the Almighty really values money or at least not unless it is given in charity or penance. On the other hand, one has to wonder where all the things in the shops really come from. Isn't money just a step away from prayer?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on August 27, 2020, 06:28:44 AM
"Enjoy"? Not sure. Maybe in a perverse kind of way. Like being hungry and looking at the bright-coloured, sugary, fatty, treats on offer and deciding that I feel happier in myself when I walk away hungry kind of enjoyment? Or knowing that I will fail on the next heavy set in the gym, but enjoying the lactic pain before the weights drop?

I think "relish" works better for me. But I don't think he's wrong. If I just experience withdrawal pain as a negative, there's only so much I'll put up with. But if I think about it like DOMS at the gym.... pain that's getting me to a better place... then I can embrace it, fight it, accept the challenge like a rugby player faces the Haka, knowing that suffering and sacrifice are essential to success.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: LetItGoAlready on August 27, 2020, 10:37:51 AM
Interesting question, UK Guy. I guess it depends a lot too on what people are experiencing. If your experience of withdrawals is relatively mild (a few headaches here, a couple of mood crashes there), then maybe you could learn to love them knowing that the feelings top out at a certain level and never get to point of being intolerable. Or maybe William is just one of those blessed individuals with an extremely high tolerance for discomfort. Coming from the perspective of someone who (I think) has an average threshold for pain but finds some forms of withdrawal to be pretty challenging, I don't think I could ever learn to love them. Tolerate them? Sure, to the extent that I can. But love them? Meh.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on August 28, 2020, 04:47:31 AM
Hey UKGuy,
How are things going over there? The post you've written about the learning to love withdrawals was an eyeopener albeit that I have ambiguous feelings about it. I have to agree with WIPUK that relish is a better but then again maybe a single word is not enough to describe that emotion. To me it seems that the initial feelings about experiencing withdrawals is not a positive experience at all. In fact it can make us feel like shit. It is indeed the rational part of our brain that is able to distinguish and reframe that negative part of withdrawal into something positive. It is in fact a transformation and we have learned to undergo the feelings of negativity. Is it not that we as addicts have learned to let go, or better yet, just accept the negative emotions and symptoms of withdrawal symptoms? And as Leonidas indicated; being to rational in this can backfire. The how in this part is not clear to me yet. Maybe there is a balance between what to simply accept and let go as the rational part and on the other side just to let certain feelings be there and experience them. We are human beings after all.

Anyway, I hope that you are doing okay and are able to recover from the unwanted dopamine frenzy due to the annoying IG encounter.

Good luck my friend, I am rooting for you
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on August 28, 2020, 06:40:10 AM
This is just my take. I remember reading through Will’s thread. A scary long time ago. Some great stuff in there. but looking back – ‘learn to love withdrawals’ seems a nuance of language you don’t need to concern yourself with. On day 10 or day 100, you may get pains that you want to use PMO to escape from. Maybe they’re addiction withdrawals or they may not be. After using P for years to stop ourselves feeling pain, stress, anger... we’re going to generally feel crap sometimes without it. Living with that and not wanting to escape is part of a new long-term journey.

I’m saying, don’t get caught up in these nuanced ideas. I remember in my greener days reading the line (on this forum) – recovery comes from not thinking about P. I think the idea was – recovery comes from leaving P behind, not obsessing about it, and developing a new life and habits. But it was a misleading line, especially in early reboot, you need to really think about it and how you’re going to deal with it. but it was just an idea that a rebooter had and shared on the forum.

I know you’re Dobber fan. And he would say, recovery exists in making a plan. Maybe that plan includes every day reading the line – ‘I may feel crap today, but P is not the answer, it is never a good idea.’ This whole post I’m writing was inspired by something I heard him say recently – talking about recovery, plans and good streaks. ‘When you get a good plan, and you get a long streak, maybe 90 days. If you fail, you still have that plan and those tools. You just need to work out where you went wrong , and you’ll be able to get more big streaks.’ The positivity in that sounded great to me. I’d focus on the big tools and issues that are going to get you where you want to go.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on August 28, 2020, 07:25:38 AM
‘When you get a good plan, and you get a long streak, maybe 90 days. If you fail, you still have that plan and those tools. You just need to work out where you went wrong , and you’ll be able to get more big streaks.’ The positivity in that sounded great to me. I’d focus on the big tools and issues that are going to get you where you want to go.

That'll do for me.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on August 31, 2020, 01:43:22 PM
Had a bit of a self induced tough time recently. Don't particularly want to get into a big discussion about it, but just here now to recommit to the cause with the goal of getting a clean September under my belt. Hope you're all well.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on August 31, 2020, 04:23:04 PM
We're here if/when you do want to talk more about things. You're not alone UK!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: jixu on August 31, 2020, 04:30:06 PM
Hi-short and sweet is good sometimes.  Thanks for being here!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ntg on August 31, 2020, 04:51:22 PM
I’m saying, don’t get caught up in these nuanced ideas. I remember in my greener days reading the line (on this forum) – recovery comes from not thinking about P. I think the idea was – recovery comes from leaving P behind, not obsessing about it, and developing a new life and habits. But it was a misleading line, especially in early reboot, you need to really think about it and how you’re going to deal with it. but it was just an idea that a rebooter had and shared on the forum.

I think all of us deal with this reboot differently in some regards.  As for the above idea, I would agree with it, because in my experience, the more you think about P, even if it's just to not get swept away in it, it's still the dominant thought pattern of your mind, and you will be drawn to it.  The mind does not understand negations.....just concepts.  When I first started my original reboot years ago, I was all gung-ho into counters and the like; when I got about 50 days into it, I dropped all of them, in lieu of focusing on improving my life.

I still maintain my assertion that a reboot from P is not a reboot from P at all; it's a reboot from escaping to P because of other stuff.  The more you can deal with that other stuff, the less of a pull towards P you will feel.  P has become a way to self-medicate for a lot of us; P is enjoyable for a time (that's why we all deal with this addiction), but just as a cocaine addict does not do coke just because he likes the feeling of being under it's influence; but rather to escape the feeling of NOT being under its influence...so we, too, sometimes use P not just because we like P but because we don't like the way we feel when we are having to face reality and not escaping to it.

These are my thoughts on the matter at any rate.  Like I said, all of us probably have a different take on this, because we all come from different backgrounds.

Hang in there UK; focus on how you can improve your life starting now, not on what went wrong.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 01, 2020, 02:42:26 PM
Thanks for the encouragement guys. Short and sweet is where I'm at at the moment, and appreciate your understanding. Day 1 under my belt. Wishing you all peace and strength.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: LetItGoAlready on September 01, 2020, 10:31:46 PM
Quote
Hang in there UK; focus on how you can improve your life starting now, not on what went wrong.

Quote
You're not alone UK!

I agree with these two sentiments. There's no need to dwell on what happened. Just shake it off and get back on your feet. We've all been there!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on September 02, 2020, 10:03:14 AM
UKGuy, there is a wave of support!  Nobody here cares about passing judgment, especially in the tougher stretches.  Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother rebooting... and the simplest answer I can come up with is that in spite of the many relapses I experience, overall I am at a much better place than I was prior to committing. It's about much more than PMO avoidance... it's about going for health, social connection, a better work life, becoming as multi-faceted as I can be.  And all that in exchange for owning up to my relapses in an online forum (!) -> totally worth it.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on September 02, 2020, 11:41:39 AM
What Leo said.

PS Just listened to Dobber ep.90. 20mins – think you’d find it useful
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 03, 2020, 07:18:56 AM
UKGuy, there is a wave of support!  Nobody here cares about passing judgment, especially in the tougher stretches.  Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother rebooting... and the simplest answer I can come up with is that in spite of the many relapses I experience, overall I am at a much better place than I was prior to committing. It's about much more than PMO avoidance... it's about going for health, social connection, a better work life, becoming as multi-faceted as I can be.  And all that in exchange for owning up to my relapses in an online forum (!) -> totally worth it.
Thank you Leonidas - I really appreciate that.
Also your abbreviated version Joel ("What Leo said!"). I'll check out the Dobber.
Day 3, all good in the 'hood here.
Peace and Love and no PMO to you all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ShadeTrenicin on September 06, 2020, 05:03:23 AM
First of all; what is 'the Dobber' if i google it here in the Netherlands i get search results for a float used on fishing rods lol.

Other than that; Good to sea that everything was good in the hood over there in the UK, i hope it still is.
Take care and let us know occasionally how you are doing!


Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 06, 2020, 05:17:54 AM
Hi all,
Unfortunately my intention to get a clean September under my belt did not go according to plan, and I am waking up after a 24 hour binge. (not a full 24 hours, but multiple uses over that period!)
I have not been myself over the past couple of weeks, but I think I am pretty clear about what has been going on in my mind that has knocked me off track. Hopefully this realisation will put me back on track.
1) The relationship with my wife. I have a great wife and am very lucky. I have been sharing a lot with her about my activities here as we go on our daily walks etc. Some of you may recall my instagram mishap, and the fact that a week or so after the original incident where I misused our business instagram account, I realised that the algorithm was suggesting these various sites that I didn't want suggesting! I had to go through all the pages I had originally viewed and block them to try and stop the algorithm making inappropriate suggestions. I did this, through squinting eyes, and removed them all without temptation. I was really proud of myself that that didn't lead to me 'acting out'. The next morning I shared this feat with my wife. I was expecting approval and a celebration of a positive step in my recovery. Instead I encountered criticism and "disappointment" (her words) that I'd done something so foolish. The contrast in my expectation vs the reality of her reaction was vast, and the subsequent impact on my shame, self esteem etc was overwhelming for me. I stormed off, and pretty soon concluded (and told her) that I had been oversharing, that she didn't understand, that I shouldn't be burdening her with my battle etc, and that I'd be dealing with it myself in future. And that's where I've been since, but at the same time, I've been hurt, resentful of her and that has of course led me to self soothe.
2) My relationship with this forum has shifted (my issue - not any of yours!). When I was building my mega streak of four months, something I never thought possible, I had huge momentum, I felt as if I was winning, I was helping others, felt qualified to do so, was receiving gratitude and even praise for my contribution. My confidence was building, but also if I'm brutally honest with myself, my ego was inflating too. I then fucked up on holiday, and all that credibility evaporated (in my mind). I started to get irritated with a few things, judgemental of others (in my mind), and the positive momentum shifted into reverse.
The big issue here is that these two things were happening simultaneously, and I started to feel isolated (and we all know what that does). My loving wife, and my new found buddies weren't the pillars of strength that they'd previously been as I allowed my thinking and judging and self preservation of ego to get in the way. I've talked so much about building walls of resistance to PMO, but in hindsight I started to go rogue and in fact build walls of resistance to sources of help. Well, I've realised that now. I've made good with my wife. Hopefully I've also made good with you - I appreciate each and every one of you, and think that I perhaps need to approach the forum with a but more humility going forwards - even if only in my mind.
I've made some practical improvements to my set up tech wise, which should add in a few layers of delay, and I need to get back to Joel's mantra 'you are either moving towards recovery or relapse', and ensure the choices I make are actively propelling me towards the former.
I'm not entirely sure this will return me to my former strength immediately (although please don't mistake this for a lack of determination), but believe this experience will lead to a more sustainable and long term recovery.
Wishing you all a happy Sunday and best wishes from Manchester.
UKG
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on September 06, 2020, 11:41:52 AM
Good self-awareness here, Guy! Make sure you come up with a plan for how to deal with each issue. The biggest issue at the moment may be that you're in the addictive cycle - it's a real ordeal to get out of, the body has taken over and your mind has to get back in the driver's seat, so to speak. Make nofap a priority and consuming a lot of helpful content has always helped me at this stage.

I had huge momentum

Yeh, momentum is tricky. I could sense your excitement at how the forum seemed like THE missing piece for you - but it felt too mean to say something like this. That first big streak gets us excited, and as you say, there's a status that goes along with it. We have to let go of the status and be humble, no matter where we are, because we're always vulnerable after decades of P use. Your recovery is more than a number. and of course - it was lock down - I've always been aware this is a special time, an opportunity, but soon our lives will change and it's going to be a new kind of challenge.

But a lot of your momentum was real. You were leaving behind old habits, and you were working on this forum instead, and putting your energy into other things. That doesn't have to be completely lost. Failure is an opportunity, as you can work out what went wrong and make it work next time, but first you need to climb out of the cycle - it's horrible work, i know - but we're here!


Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: LetItGoAlready on September 06, 2020, 03:15:56 PM
Hi UKGuy,

Quote
I was expecting approval and a celebration of a positive step in my recovery. Instead I encountered criticism and "disappointment" (her words) that I'd done something so foolish. The contrast in my expectation vs the reality of her reaction was vast, and the subsequent impact on my shame, self esteem etc was overwhelming for me. I stormed off, and pretty soon concluded (and told her) that I had been oversharing, that she didn't understand, that I shouldn't be burdening her with my battle etc, and that I'd be dealing with it myself in future.

This is very relatable. It's truly painful to experience "rejection" from our SOs when we decide to put ourselves out there. It just stirs up more hurt. For some us, fear of rejection is one of things that drove us towards addiction in the first place, and over the years, we have become masters of avoiding rejection by not being vulnerable with others. After all, if anyone knew the real us, they would almost certainly reject us, right?

I remember when I tried to explain to my wife many years ago what I was doing on this forum. She just didn't get it. She seemed to think that I was trading illicit messages with a group of porn enthusiasts and we were all engaged in a big fat perv fest. She didn't understand that there are other people in the world like me who are hurting, who feel helpless and alone, and who have had to humble themselves by doing something that is both difficult and intimidating: turning to complete strangers for help. Mostly, I think she associated the idea of me being online - for any reason, but especially if it involved some aspect of pornography - to be a continuation of my betrayal. Of our marriage and of my love for her. It hurt that she misunderstood my intentions. It hurt deeply.

It's a good reminder, when your SO's reactions don't go the way you expect them to, that the two of you don't share the same brain. In your case, UKGuy, it's understandable why you would to want to retreat back to handling things on your own. I am happy to hear, though, that you've been able to make good with your wife despite feeling misunderstood. That sounds like progress.

As for making good with everyone here, don't sweat it. There are a lot of emotions baked into the process of recovery: pride, anger, resentment, shame, guilt, grief, sadness... Everyone here understands that. It's too much pressure to behave perfectly all the time. This is not a perfect process and it doesn't move in a straight line. Neither do we.

Wishing you well, my friend.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: ntg on September 06, 2020, 04:56:56 PM
I know a shift happened with me when I was on this forum before as well.  At first, I came on here to get help; then I saw myself as being able to help others.  But then when you relapse and have to be honest about what you're going through, it's not as easy to receive help.

It's like you said, it's not easy to be vulnerable, and a lot of us turn to P just to avoid it (I know I'm also guilty of this).

At one point, in my journey before on here, I felt the forum was actually holding me back, because it kept me focusing on P and I felt like I wanted to focus more on my actual life and improving it.

I'm back now, hopefully with a little more wisdom and humility, just as you expertly articulate in your post; realizing that there is a middle ground.  We all have our own battles to fight, and sometimes we may not be able to help others, because we are so tired from fighting our own battles.  That's ok, that's why there is a community here that can help each other.

All of us will be up at one point, and feeling good, and be able to help others.  At other times, all of us will be feeling bad and struggling (at different times of course) and will need to rely on support and encouragement from others to help us get through.

I think this is what a healthy community is all about; not pretending to be stronger than we really are, but laying it all out there for everyone to see our struggles and pain.  But in the end, when you find people who resonate with your vulnerability, that alone helps us not feel as alone, and can sometimes help us to see things in other ways we had not considered before.

So, hang in there, UK; you're not bad and you're not good - you're just you, and that's all you have to be.  Great insights, and I look forward to more of your introspection, because it really seems to help you set your course aright.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 08, 2020, 02:44:43 AM
Thanks guys - I really appreciate your thoughts and wisdom.

@Joel - I still do believe that the forum (or more specifically connectivity with others who I can learn from, share with, help and be helped) IS key to my recovery. Perhaps my naivety was believing that it was the final piece of the jigsaw - clearly there are some missing pieces still, but at the same time, I believe it is through the connectivity with others that I will find those pieces. The replies from you and the other guys are a great example of this for me. I know I need to shift my mindset and approach away from the counter and to the behaviours that underpin the progress to that counter, and specifically to strip ego out of the equation, as that was a big factor in my relapse. Thanks for the Dobber rec BTW - great episode. @Shade - the Dobber is the guy who hosts the 'Porn Free Radio' podcast that Joel and I listen to. Worth a look if you've not already.

@Liga - your line  'a big fat perv fest' made me laugh out loud! You are spot on about the role of our SO. I identified a few months ago that she could not be my motivation for change as anytime we had a disagreement, my motivation evaporated and that led to relapse. This was a different level though - as you say - it wasn't a disagreement as much as a huge disparity in my intention vs the impact on her (and her subsequent response to me). The situation you outline with your SO feels exactly the same, and I hope that you've been able to reassure her of your (and our!) intentions in being here. I like the line 'you're not bad, you're not good - you're just you, and that's all you have to be' - a great ego disabling mantra to have

@ntg - I think your words perfectly sum up what this community can be if we approach it in the right way. I am hoping that, like you, treading the middle ground in my participation here, with a little more humility, will bring benefits to all. I don't have to be an all conquering superman notching up the days and dispensing advice to others! As my mum says 'pride goeth before a fall' It certainly did!

Thanks again guys.

UKG

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on September 08, 2020, 08:55:06 AM
I still do believe that the forum (or more specifically connectivity with others who I can learn from, share with, help and be helped) IS key to my recovery.


Absolutely

I wouldn’t say you had a lack of humility. It was more that wave of excitement that I could see you riding which was more what worried me. I’ve been there before, and that kind of momentum deflates at a certain point.

I really connect with the double whammy of presenting yourself to your wife and getting pushed away instead of embraced, then the forum perhaps hitting one of those lulls, and you (or me – as I’m talking about myself now really ;) ) not feeling the connection from it we’d like. As both these things consist of real people, we can’t get exactly want, or even predict what we’ll get.

Have a great day!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on September 08, 2020, 12:31:24 PM
I've never for one second thought that you lacked humility. You brimmed with enthusiasm and a compassion for your fellow sufferer. You still have that compassion, maybe even more now that you have a couple of new scars. You're still a source of positivity for me.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on September 10, 2020, 05:58:46 AM
Actually, WIP said far more eloquently what I was trying to say, whereas I was rambling all over the place. What he said!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 10, 2020, 08:15:42 AM
Actually, WIP said far more eloquently what I was trying to say, whereas I was rambling all over the place. What he said!
However you say it, I appreciated both comments very much. Thank you both.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 13, 2020, 06:10:56 AM
Hi all,
After a fairly significant relapse, I've managed to get 7 days under my belt. I've been using a completely different approach to my goal driven, count focussed strategy and although only a week in, the results have been pretty encouraging for me. I wanted to share the new approach with you.
Central to this is the question that LIGA posed earlier on in the week about being and remaining 'all in'. This is something that I've struggled with, not just with PMO, but many aspects of life. Enthusiasm, commitment, progress...strong in the early stages, but diminished with time as complacency and perhaps even boredom sets in. That sense of 'all in' soon can wane. I've also discovered that aspiring to a target only gets you so far - after 130 odd days, I was starting to feel that I was chasing a carrot dangling on a stick that was strapped to my head. I'd lost my sense of 'all in' and when troubles came along the lure of PMO was too strong for me. I then felt devastated and a sense that getting back to where I was (in terms of days achievement) was impossible. BACK TO SQUARE ONE.
My new approach dispenses with the target altogether (well, as altogether as is possible when you're wired like I am), but I've been able to put it to one side to the extent that 'bettering' my 130+ days isn't a primary goal, and therefore I am not presented with this huge mountain in front of me.
The 'one day at a a time' approach has never really resonated with me until now - it's not felt sufficiently progress oriented, but I've discovered that there is a power there if used in the right way, and it can also be an opportunity to regularly reaffirm one's commitment in a way that maintains that sense of 'all in' day by day - the caveat here is that I've only been trying it for a week, but my temptations have been pretty much zero.

The approach is this (A familiarity/experience with mindfulness/meditation practice is important to get the most out of this):

Each day before I do any work, I sit down to meditate for 20 minutes. I have a timer that splits the 20 minutes into 4 x 5 minute sections.

Section 1 Observe breathing, bodily sensations - become 'grounded' as you would at the start of most mindfulness practices.
Section 2 Observe thoughts, feelings, urges, persuasive voices regarding PMO (if present). Recognise those feelings as 'not you', watch them, be aware, but don't judge or resist them.
Section 3 Remind yourself why you took the decision to be 'all in' - your motivation to choose to stop PMO. For me there are 3 sections: 1) To be whole 2) To not cause pain, 3) To fulfil my potential. I have separately sat down with a pen and paper and defined what those points mean to me (important part of the process) and I dwell on them for those 5 minutes. For example under 2) not causing pain, I dwell on the pain that PMO has caused me -  sleepless nights, shame etc, the pain that it has caused my wife and kids - my grumpiness, absenteeism, the pain it could cause my wife and kids - my kids discovering me 'acting out', or perhaps the pain that I've caused other participants in PMO (e.g.: other chat parties) by acting out - engaging them in 'chat' which perpetuates their own addictions and adversely impacts their lives and those around them. There are more positive aspects in sections 1) and 3), but I've found that this is a really powerful practice that refreshes my motivation and sense of 'all in' on a daily basis.
Section 4 Thoughts of gratitude around those that have helped me in my quest (you guys, my wife, higher beings - if relevant for you), my gratitude for succeeding yesterday, and finally a sense of connecting with 'me' - the real 'me' - my inner self - the bit that knows the difference between what's good for me and what's not good for me. I finish this section by recommitting for the next 24 hours.
That's it. The golden rule - you have to do it every day. Let's face it, unless you're a Buddhist monk, mindfulness practices themselves often fall by the wayside when we're busy, or feeling fine. The power of this approach is in doing it every day. When you're feeling low, but also when you're feeling on top of the world.
Anyway - that's it. I'll keep you posted on how it works out for me, and if anyone felt inclined to try out something similar, I'd be really interested to know how it goes for you.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend chaps.
UKG
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on September 13, 2020, 10:39:55 AM
I am inspired by your new approach to meditation... something I would really like to implement in my daily routine.  I believe section 1 is a basic body scan and 2 & 3 are what's called insight meditation.  I was once dabbling with insight but never got the opportunity to get into it much.  Lastly, number 4 seems like a great way to notch the session off, remembering others for their impact on our lives.

You're right about consistency: it's easy to fall by the wayside.  Maybe not the Buddhist monks, but even they have to deal with urges!!

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Wqo9IVCWV5E/TDSnyaDwPeI/AAAAAAAAESc/MlT0DL3HXTw/s1600/bz+DESIRE+06-29-10.jpg)
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on September 14, 2020, 08:16:58 AM
Sounds good, UKG. Whatever it takes to create that positive dialogue with your inner self.
I enjoyed some mindful meditation myself, yesterday, until the repeated thought that my baldy head was getting sunburned could no longer be allowed to float away :-) Wishing you a great week, mate.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 15, 2020, 03:06:43 AM
Nice cartoon Leon and I'm glad the approach resonates - let me know how you get on if you decide to give it a go. So far, so good with me. A couple of urges yesterday but subsided naturally.
WIP - sounds like a nice outdoor meditation experience with our glorious Northern weather? - mindfully remember to take a hat next time! ;-)
Take care all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 18, 2020, 06:06:52 AM
Hi all,
Is it me, or has the forum gone very quiet recently? Not sure why - back to school, something else? Anyway, I hope it's a good thing and that everyone is well.
A successful week here in the sense that despite multiple emotional triggers - bit of success, bit of failure, bit of worry, a little disturbance in a few relationships, being told I've got moderate arthritis in both elbows, and some bloke threatening to stab me (long story - I won't bore you)....I've been very good, and little temptation to PMO. I'm attributing that to my new meditation regime, albeit I do feel that there is an underlying disturbance today in my mood - probably on the back of a bit of teenage conflict with my eldest daughter last night and me and my wife being on different wavelengths this week. The daily re-commitment affirmation at the end of my meditation didn't feel quite as solid as it usually does. I've got a nice afternoon planned with my wife - off out to Manchester to a have a few cocktails and late lunch at a very nice restaurant (belated anniversary), so I'm hoping that that will have a positive impact on my wellbeing.
Cheers all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on September 18, 2020, 08:24:44 AM
Congrats on a successful week, and on not being knifed. Energy levels fluctuate, don't you find? Hopefully you'll find the strength naturally returns to your affirmations. Could be the last warm, sunny, Friday evening until spring, so I hope you make the most of it and have a lovely evening.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: jixu on September 18, 2020, 10:58:19 AM
The stabbing thing kind of reminds me of a quote from Mr. Churchill: "There is nothing as exhilarating as getting shot at and missed."  Take care out there!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on September 18, 2020, 05:35:58 PM
Hi Guys,  Day # 6*  Notice the asterisk, it means days without porn.  I was relapsing so much that I was going down that sink hole of escalating porn. more graphic...
I realize that this is my inflection point to use UK's word.  I would get horny at 5-6 days and relapse w/ porn.
What I'm trying is a non-orthodox approach (sorry UK).  I still masterbate but the only stimulation is images in my mind. There is an amazing benefit-- I don't edge and finish in about 5 mins and that suppresses temptation for the rest of the day.
Now I'm not saying this is a permanent solution b/c I still have the strong temptation to delve into porn. Do you guys think re-wiring/re-programming works w/ this method?
PS I set a dumb standard for myself. "Mr. Slurp you need to have a decent streak going before you go back to the forum." That's dumb and you guys should feel free to unload on me for that.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on September 19, 2020, 05:29:18 PM
Hiya UK, Please excuse my annoying habit of invading your highness'es sacred space. I'm like a ghost of xmas past, a benevolent ghost that wishes well for you.(Halloween is coming.)
Besides, it is fitting that you should be burdened by my drivel since you're a large part of why I'm still here. (Thanks pal.)
Today is day #7 of no porn for me.
I've yet to look at your streak.  How many days? Feeling well? Pissed off at Ireland? (No sympathy, the sun never set on you Brits beating up the rest of the world. lol)
Still meditating?  I am.  You're not going to believe this.  I'm beginning to research a trip of a lifetime to Myanmar (Burma), Calcutta, Mandalay, Rangoon and maybe Bangkok.
In some very attenuated way I may be able to blame you. (You're encouragement to meditate leading to vids of Buddhists.)  Maybe I'll send you a bill for some portion of the $8k which is is likely to cost.
Feel free to invade my journal.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on September 20, 2020, 11:16:59 AM
I like the new approach, Guy. When we fail, we need to change our approach; and it's all positive action - ie you're focusing on doing sth, rather than not doing sth.

But bummed to hear about your health diagnosis. Hope you're able to process it all - positive thinking and gratitude can go a long way.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on September 20, 2020, 03:13:13 PM
Hi all, and thanks for your comments, including hurricane Slurps storming through my journal (great to see you back and doing so well Mr S!).
Following my last post I had a bit of a 'slip'. The arthritis thing has caused me some worry over the past week, which in turn impacted on my mood regarding my business project. This, along with a thoroughly enjoyable and extremely alcoholic day out on Friday with my wife resulted in a hungover relapse yesterday (at least proof that my elbow is not entirely shot yet!)
All joking aside, despite this hiccup, I still feel that the daily meditation practice is having a real impact (I didn't do it yesterday incidentally), and whilst I made some poor choices towards the end of last week - mainly around alcohol consumption, I am attributing them in the main to a reaction to the arthritis thing which I need to deal with properly. Have a call with a consultant tomorrow which will give me some practical perspective I am sure (one way or another - but at least I'll have a plan of action).
I am taking great encouragement from the fact that the last 14 days (that was the length of the 'streak') were relatively easy, and that I feel I have grown and developed my plan and my perspective, despite the outcome yesterday.
So I am re-mounting my horse with a positive expectation for the days ahead. Wishing you all the best for next week.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: 3rdprecept on September 20, 2020, 07:04:45 PM
UKguy you recently posted on my journal entry. I'm amazed at the depth of these journals with so many pages of entries.

Meditation on a daily basis has been an important part of my recovery. Remarkable insights and awareness can develop through being quiet and being still.  My understanding of how helpless I am to my PMO habit has become clear by way of my meditation practice.  For me meditation encourages me to live a more ethical and compassionate life. The downside of meditation is that it lays bare the intensity of suffering that is in my life. Acceptance of the suffering allows me to clearly see the causes and do something about it.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on September 20, 2020, 07:33:22 PM
Hi Guys,  3rd you hit the nail on the head for my meditation practice. I do get some great insights and it helps me to stay positive and avoid anger.
UK, I felt you lost some of your confidence from circling. Pal, even knowing you only on here, you need that. Maybe do something to get yourself all pumped up. like... "I make the best damn cornbread in the entire world! I dare anyone from England to challenge me. Mine is the best!!!" (all true lol)
You know what I mean UK.  Just get your edgy balls back to fearsomeness. You may be the best pencil sharpener in the world for all I know. hahaha  I know you pretend to be humble. But you need to beat on your chest like Tarzan for a few seconds. (j/k about the humility)
You may end up in my neighborhood. Lots of people move to Phoenix b/c of arthritis. Hope you aren't being distracted too much.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on September 22, 2020, 01:14:15 AM
Hiya UK,  Man, whenever I fall off the wagon and (nearly) abandon ship I miss you and this forum. Like casting swine (me) before pearls. (That was a lousy joke but I'm not going to cut it. lol)
So man have you gotten your swagger back?
Do you make the best yorkshire pudding in the world? Even my mother's lame version was delectable.
I swear man, sometimes you are the glue that holds this leaky boat together and keeps us from sinking. (That may qualify for a Mr. Slurp's metaphorical hall of fame. hahaha)
Tomorrow, no porn for 10 days. I feel like thumbing my nose at the basterds that push the porn pills.

Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: LetItGoAlready on September 22, 2020, 10:58:01 AM
Quote
I am taking great encouragement from the fact that the last 14 days (that was the length of the 'streak') were relatively easy, and that I feel I have grown and developed my plan and my perspective, despite the outcome yesterday.

I'm really glad  to see that, despite the recent slip, you remain committed to your new regimen and perspective on recovery. It's an empowering feeling when you know you've found a workable strategy to manage the impulses and are no longer simply living in reaction to them. It's a proven road map you can come back to whenever you lose your way. As for your streak of 14 days, I think we're in agreement that it's the quality of your days clean that's important, not how many days you can string together at one go.

Keep up those positive feelings, UKGuy. You're doing great!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on October 05, 2020, 07:24:06 AM
"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, it's own lesson on how to improve your performance next time".

I know things have been up and down for you recently, UKG, and you may not feel much like posting, but you're one of the most inspirational and supportive people on the forum, so I wanted to send you some support back. I looked up "triumph over adversity", because that's what we're striving for. There are lots of amazing quotations out there from people who've achieved amazing things. This one from Malcolm X worked for me. You're a learning machine. Keep soaking-up life's lessons and come back stronger. Looking forward to you posting again when you feel ready, mate. 
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on October 05, 2020, 08:04:43 AM
Thanks WIP - you are very kind and I appreciate the quote too.
I think sometimes this process, like many processes in life, is about excitement and inspiration at times, and at other times (arguably most of the times) it's about rolling your sleeves up and making things happen for a sustained period of time. Or in this case, keeping your hands out of your pants and stopping things from happening! That's where I am at the moment...just quietly trying to get on and put together a period of success. I vowed to myself to keep clean for the whole of October after a few slips recently, and so far, so good.
I am logging in and keeping an eye on developments and my brotherly love for you all remains strong, even though my posting may not currently be as prolific as in the past.
Thanks again and best wishes to all.
UKG
PS: Everton top of the league and Liverpool getting thrashed - does it get much better?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on October 05, 2020, 12:06:22 PM
I knew there was a voice I've been missing from this forum of late.. glad you dropped by to share a word, UKGuy.  But isn't it great also, to not feel pressured to post and not feel the need to please others?  In a way, that can be liberating too... not to care too much.  And I believe this is healthy as sooner or later most of us will part ways from this online community... as sad as that seems.

Ah, football!  A distant passion from years past that's now a river run dry for me... but who knows if that will reawaken later.  Reminds me of an old legend, perhaps real or utterly made-up (we'll never know), that a trio of Englishmen were abroad when England's last 1994 World Cup qualifier game ultimately led to its disqualification.  Their angst and sorrow were apparently so great that between the three of them, drank in three days what the entire village drank in a month at the local pub!  The story made an impression on me back then, but again the sources are unverified and probably not too reliable... ;D
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on November 09, 2020, 04:58:09 AM
Hi all,
Since the end of my successful 100 and odd day streak, I've been going sideways. A relapse every 7 or 10 days. Just in the last week or so it's got worse. I worked something out last week that has backfired badly. I observed that when I 'skirt' around porn, or just consume 'regular' non interactive porn the loop just continues for me - a relapse every week or so. I know from past experiences however that when I do something that really conflicts with my core values - usually interactive P / chat, that it leads to a shame driven period of longer abstinence. For some crazy reasoning I allowed such a situation to intentionally arise on Saturday, specifically to create that disruption to my recent status quo. The problem was that in doing so, I exposed myself to a new experience (video chat) that had significant 'novelty' value, a massive dopamine rush, and as a consequence my head and desire to consume has gone haywire. I am also fearful that this 'crack cocaine' of an experience will lead to more of the same. I am therefore here, 2nd day clean, to recommit to the struggle and total abstinence of PMO/skirting/fanaticising/etc.
Wishing you all well today and this week.
UKG
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Leonidas on November 09, 2020, 11:19:09 AM
Well it's good to hear from you again!

I can imagine that all of what you describe is making you anxious about the future.  But it may help to remember this adage: non-linear recovery.  I think your example is a case in point of where things can go really, really well and then inexplicably turn back to the previous norm.  But the point is that you were able to put yourself above the unwanted behavioral patterns... therefore it's a state of being that is reproducible in the future.  Then there is the supposed theory of recovery that claims that this be a long term process taking 2 years minimum.  So is it just a question of putting in more time and just being patient?  I have an inkling this is so.

As for your fear that the experience was similar to a "crack cocaine" high, take care to keep fear escalation in check.  Excessive fear has a way of working its way back to fuel stress and anxiety which inevitably leads to the use of coping mechanisms.  As bad as the events that occurred to you may feel, the behaviors are NOT who you are.  So if you do relapse but practice not identifying yourself with the behaviors, you might harbor something akin to equanimity or self-compassion instead of fear.

Take care,
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Joel on November 09, 2020, 12:35:38 PM
Good to hear from you, Guy. Shame not under better circumstances. I totally sympathise that you skirted/ couldn't quite let go, which stops the reboot happening as connections aren't severed.

And that there's a fetish that just makes you whoozy with dopamine - I have my weaknesses too. But the Dobber has all the answers, just work through the material and make sure you're staying visible and accountable - not necessarily to your spouse. Look forward to hearing about the first milestone.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: TheNorman on November 09, 2020, 03:11:54 PM
Good to see you back UK. I know the circumstances aren't ideal, just like I know you will turn it around. Leo is right, don't let the fear create something bigger than it needs to be. We are all here for you!
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on November 09, 2020, 03:35:37 PM
Well it's good to hear from you again!

I can imagine that all of what you describe is making you anxious about the future.  But it may help to remember this adage: non-linear recovery.  I think your example is a case in point of where things can go really, really well and then inexplicably turn back to the previous norm.  But the point is that you were able to put yourself above the unwanted behavioral patterns... therefore it's a state of being that is reproducible in the future.  Then there is the supposed theory of recovery that claims that this be a long term process taking 2 years minimum.  So is it just a question of putting in more time and just being patient?  I have an inkling this is so.

As for your fear that the experience was similar to a "crack cocaine" high, take care to keep fear escalation in check.  Excessive fear has a way of working its way back to fuel stress and anxiety which inevitably leads to the use of coping mechanisms.  As bad as the events that occurred to you may feel, the behaviors are NOT who you are.  So if you do relapse but practice not identifying yourself with the behaviors, you might harbor something akin to equanimity or self-compassion instead of fear.

Take care,
I really appreciate these worlds Leo. Full of wisdom and they resonate and reassure in equal measure. Thank you so much.

Joel, Norman... I won't say "it's good to be back", but you know what I mean.

Thanks guys.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: LetItGoAlready on November 09, 2020, 08:45:55 PM
Hey UKGuy - Good to see you back on the board. We've all gone sideways. (Hell, I've gone in a complete circle :D) This isn't where your story ends, though. You've had success at this before, and you will have it again. No question. Take care, friend.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: mr.slurps on November 09, 2020, 11:42:58 PM
Hiya Pal,  Sorry I've been gone so long man.  I feel flat on my face and I'm back at square one, wanking for hours daily. I feel drained physically, emotionally and spiritually. On the "surface" I'm doing fine-- working, getting out as much as covid allows, meditating (I owe you a debt of gratitude on that.)
You can imagine I've had every crappy emotion under the sun- shame, disappointment, frustration...
So, where to go from here?
My good head says pick up the pieces and be thankful you have the opportunity to try again. (Without having had some tragedy or hurt some body else.)
The other head says things aren't that bad. Wanking is healthy. You've got a strong sex drive...blah blah blah (lots of other nonsense.)
The bottom line is that I don't want porn in my life at all. I know I don't need it since I've gone without for stretches and felt good about it.
Sorry for sounding like Debbie Downer.  I hope you're well and still building your numbers and your family is healthy.   Mr. Slurps
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on November 10, 2020, 04:24:20 PM
Thanks Liga, and always nice to hear from you Mr S.

Today has been a good day - hopefully another inflection point (reference to the original title of this journal!)

I've meditated, read, listened to the Dobber (episode 240 Joel!) and had a great catch up with my accountability partner. I've also taken decisive action which will hopefully put some barriers between me and P. Specifically, I have asked my wife not just to control the access to the appstore on my phone with an extra passcode, but to actually load any apps I want herself and then give me the phone back with the controls back on. This closes a loop in me asking for her to unlock the appstore on the pretence of me needing an app (or updates) and then quickly downloading additional browsers/vpn etc myself before I give back to her to put the controls on. It will certainly give me some space to get some clear days under my belt I believe.

Feel good about today. A day towards recovery.

Best wishes all.
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: jixu on November 13, 2020, 10:12:53 AM
Hope the new steps can move you onward-very glad to see you around here again.  Have a good cean day!   
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on November 14, 2020, 04:59:03 PM
Cheers Jixu.

Pleased to report a clean week.

Onwards and upwards.



Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: Georgos on December 20, 2020, 05:44:01 PM
So in Orwell's 1984 the prols were constantly being sent off to war whilst the party workers were busy making porn for them and Big Brother was watching everything. Sex became impossible for the party workers, whilst the prols enjoyed their porn, but had to fight abroad against one of the other four powers.

The fact that there were four powers was telling, it was a one world system, and one suspects that each of the powers operated in a very similar way.

So what is happening now. The Iraq war is over? The Jasmine movement that led to the Arab Spring and the collapse of Syria and Libya is over? Did these things even take place, we are being asked to question by Mr. Trump with his slogan of "fake news", it is all in our imagination is it, a dangerous thought.

COVID seems to mean many things to many people.

I remain committed to stopping PMO for my own benefit. Tomorrow is day one for me, having barely managed forty five minutes all day, such is the state of my binging off tobacco.

How are you doing UKGuy?
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: UKGuy on December 22, 2020, 06:30:22 AM
Hi all,

Just a short note to wish all my old buddies a Happy Christmas and PMO free 2021!

I don't tend to come on here too often nowadays (I can relate to what Leon says about it almost being an addiction in itself and perpetuating porn in ones consciousness), but do check in from time to time and read the journals. Although I tend to focus on reading the journals of the 'old crew', it's good to see some new guys arriving on the scene too.

As for me, I'm pleased to report that I'm doing well. I am now on my 35th day clean, and feeling positive. I have mentioned before that I've been fortunate enough to strike up a support relationship with Shade Trenicin (30-39) outside of the forum. It's something that the Dobber talks about a lot and for me it's been a real help. The human connectivity - a real person, a face on a video call, understanding about different aspects of someone else's journey and broader life is really powerful in helping dissolve the shame of your own addiction. Plus the benefits of accountability, practical tip sharing etc...It's really empowering. And in doing so I've been able to form a friendship that's goes beyond PMO.

I share this to encourage others to consider doing the same in 2021. Part of the issue with PMO is the shame, and this awful taboo. The risk of linking up with someone outside of the cloak of anonymity...Eeeek! Well, there are various ways to connect more fully without giving away your identity if that's an issue for you. If there's someone on here that you feel a connection with - probably someone where you can help each other (otherwise it becomes a bit one sided), then my recommendation is to throw caution to the wind and go for it. What's the worse that can happen?

Anyway, thanks for everyone's support and interest in my journey during 2020 and wishing you and yours a peaceful holiday period and best wishes for the new year.

Cheers,

UK Guy / Andrew
Title: Re: Covid - an inflection point?
Post by: workinprogressUK on December 22, 2020, 06:35:52 AM
Star man. You've genuinely inspired me during 2020. Thanks for everything and so glad to read that you're chugging long nicely, mate.