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Messages - SebNZ

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Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting a new diary
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:24:45 AM »
Another fairly uneventful day.

One of the problems with this addiction is it feeds on itself. So when I relapse, I really don't want to go out and be seen, the shame is so intense. And the anxiety is very high. I'm fairly lucky that I can work at home because if I was not, I would be having a LOT of time off. I'm able to grind through the day after a relapse if I'm working from home though.

So the last relapse was on Friday night. Not very long ago. Still feel a bit ill about it but the anti-depressants are numbing me to it to some extent.

Energy is quite low though. God damn it I wish I could reverse time and go back to just a few minutes before the relapse and somehow make a different decision. I would be feeling so so so much better right now.

It is a really stupid thing when you think about it. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Although one could argue I'm not really expecting a different result - I know what's going to happen and I do it anyway either because I want this result or because I can't help it. I'm going with the latter explanation at the moment but I'm really not sure.

I think this weekend should be fine. Thursday already, the week is going fast.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting a new diary
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:20:58 AM »
You're right, I don't like labeling anybody either.  It's part of the reason these things become so taboo and people are hesitant to seek help and such.  It's how some places (particularly the US) are more reactionary rather than preventative.

I'm really impressed you made the decision to take the time off work for yourself.  You know how few people make choices like that when they need it?  Yes, as you said, you can afford it and some others can't, but many other can and simply don't choose themselves when they need to.  Good for you! 

I love movies.  It is one of the most depressing things about this Covid, in that I can't really go to a movie theater (or at least not as often as I like).  Movies in general, I love and always offer me a reprieve, so I think this will work out nicely for you.  And please do share if you watch any good ones!
Cheers mate :) I have now got approval for my time off so looking forward to that. A bit anxious about relapsing again but for some reason I think it's going to be okay. We will see.

I'm really binging movies at the moment so will definitely give my reviews and thoughts on this thread :) Much healthier than looking at porn!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting a new diary
« on: January 18, 2021, 04:24:11 AM »
Today was fairly boring. Work is very slow at the moment. I'm planning on taking a few months of unpaid leave to try and sort this problem out. To me that means putting in place a strong structure and routine, fixing my diet, and improving physical exercise. Yes, I should be able to do this while working, but I'm not. And since I have the luxury of taking some time off, I'm going to do it. It will be interesting to see if my relapses stop when I stop working. In that case I know my job may be a key trigger. (probably not working per se but the anxiety of it, or something about the job). Which will be very useful to know!

Another thing I (re)discovered after talking to a friend on the weekend was that one of my drivers for relapsing is being bored or more specifically, needing excitement. Porn is like a massive rush compared to the rest of my life which is basically sitting at the computer, shopping, or at best, going out clubbing/bar hopping (which is less exciting than uplifting- assuming the music is good).

I think thriller/action movies may be able to play a substitute role here. I have a nice TV and good headphones and lately when I've been watching good movies I've noticed myself getting quite excited. Obviously I knew this before but if I can maximise the excitement I get from that, it should help reduce my relapses.

Other much more exciting things are: paintball, organised sport, and adrenaline junkie activities like sky-diving. But at the moment I am too low energy (or lazy if I'm being harsh on myself) to do those things.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting a new diary
« on: January 18, 2021, 04:19:10 AM »
Hi SebNZ,

Glad you're back but sorry to hear you're struggling.  You're doing good things for yourself though it already sounds like, including posting on here.

Regarding the creep thing, I too feel it.  Constantly.  Always in my mind that I'm a creep.  But I'm starting to differentiate between a person who has done a creepy thing or two verses a creep.  Every single human at some point has done something someone would deem creepy.  Severity of course varies, but we all at some point do something, I have no doubt.  A creep, to me, is someone who takes pleasure in what they're doing.  Someone who actively enjoys it, and even methodically plans it out in some cases.  We don't take pleasure in this.  From what I've read on here, no one really plans it out or overly enjoys it.  Which would not make us creeps.  It makes us ill, ill in a different way than a "creep."  Creeps don't express the regret, remorse and shame that this forum is filled with.

In general though, I wish as a species, we would do away with a lot of words, creep being one of them :).

But you're not a creep, none of us are, we're just suffering, and now we're getting better.  Stay strong!
Thanks for your support mate.

I like your distinction between someone who enjoys it versus someone who is regretful about it. Although even then, I feel pity for the person who enjoys it, and do not feel great about labelling them as a 'monster' or 'evil' like some might do. At the end of the day we're all human. I have made many bad choices in my life and a lot of people would probably consider me a monster but I don't feel like one and I certainly wouldn't like others to think so.

But you are right, there are some people who do simply enjoy hurting others and feel no remorse for doing so. Not sure how many are out there, but they are out there.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting a new diary
« on: January 18, 2021, 04:16:51 AM »
Welcome back SebNZ.

Sorry to hear of your recent string of relapses. I'm sure it also has not helped losing your journal and with that, a lot of reflections & effort you've put into this journey. The loss of history & work is only a perceived one I assure you. The real work you've done is still counting even right now. Perhaps there might be some benefits to be found in a fresh start?

I can related to the 'emergency nap' to ride out an urges. If it's not working for you as of late, perhaps there are some different circumstances in your life and recovery at the moment that are contributing to the urges being so difficult to manage?

Re the depressing picture of men. Though I have always personally made a conscious decision to stay away from the more misogynistic, violent areas of internet P, I have escalated in other areas and I, like most on this forum, can appreciate the pain & cognitive dissonance of trying to separate yourself from your learnt tastes & preferences.

There are important questions to be asked in regards to why some men have the compulsions to view & treat women the way that they do. I feel it's also necessary to remember that most of our concerning P use is a product of escalation, not innate preference. Just because we've watched a lot of something doesn't necessarily mean we are that something or even like it. I often find this is important to tell myself as not doing so always leads to a shame/relapse cycle that I can't escape.

Anyway welcome back & good luck. We can do this!
Good to hear from you man. I 100% agree about the 'shame cycle'.

I'm not sure what's making it more difficult for me to manage to be honest. Lockdown where I live is over, and my relapses started soon after that (but not immediately after!), so maybe that has something to do with it - uncertainty and anxiety. Or maybe it's just random bad luck/neurochemistry. I.e. my brain decided one day to have a relapse and now I'm in the hole again trying to get out.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting a new diary
« on: January 17, 2021, 07:34:58 AM »

Sorry to hear that you lost your journal. If it's any consolation, I held a journal on a separate PA website from late 2011 onwards. In 2019 I went to write in this journal again as I'd not updated it for maybe a year and a half and to my dismay, the website had gone. Hundreds of journal entries, hundreds of threads, and many hundreds of other responses, all gone forever. Suffice it to say, I was thoroughly depressed that I had lost so much history. However, now that I've had to begin over I am once again getting all the benefits from this (i.e by getting my thoughts down in writing) as I did with my first journal so good on you for starting again.

I am also sorry to hear that you're having a difficult time right now. Over the past 9 years I've had plenty of ups and downs and in those difficult times where it feels like you're taking one step forward but two steps back, I often felt that I couldn't figure a way out of the vicious cycle. Everyone has their own methods but as my most 'at risk' time is when I'm getting ready for bed, I often have to forcibly tell myself that I AM turning off my laptop and I AM putting my phone down and not looking at it at all. Sometimes, I will just get in bed and go to sleep at a really early time (sometimes 9:30pm) just so that I remove all opportunity of looking at P / triggering material. The most frustrating thing for me is that this solution is so incredibly simple and so easy to implement, yet I regularly find it so difficult to actually do. I can't offer any solutions for your situation really, as we all have different triggers and different habits. However, sometimes an 'extreme' solution - like my going to bed really early - can help just get you through the hardest of moments when temptations are running wild and you feel unable to resist consuming P. Anyway, I hope you manage to find a way to break your current cycle!


thanks for your thoughts mate! Very appreciated. That's one of the reasons why I'm journaling here and not just doing it on a word document - it's good to know you're not alone.

Yes it was frustrating to lose all that stuff. I can imagine it was even more frustrating for you as you lost a helluva lot more than I did! I'm going to screenshot from now to ensure I don't lose anything. But as you mention, I think the main benefit is just writing stuff down in the first place. It helps cleanse your mind/release your thoughts so they are less bothersome, which is great therapy.

Regarding going to bed early, I think this can work as a solution but I use it a bit differently. In the past I have had success when where I've been feeling like relapsing, if I go have a nap for a few hours, when I wake up, the thoughts are sometimes gone. This hasn't worked for me lately unfortunately - the thoughts just build and build and build until the anxiety/tightness inside is painful as hell and I just want to get rid of it (and then relapse).

I'm still not entirely sure how I was able to go for three months at the end of last year with no problems. That is all evidenced in my now lost journal ;P I basically know what I was doing though, so I will try to follow that again.

Incidentally I just watched a movie called Unsane; it's very good. It's about a woman who gets involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution, where unfortunately her stalker has taken up a job. Quite harrowing. The reason I mention it is that it presents a very depressing picture of men. The men in the movie are either creeps or incompetent. I have mixed feelings about this. I know there are guys out there who are creeps. And the material I have looked at certainly makes me a creep if I'm honest. I hate that I have looked at it though and am trying to stop. Does that stop me from being a creep? The stalker in the film is clearly screwed up but he has a weird love/fascination for her. He obviously needs help. Is he a villain or a victim himself? These are the questions these types of movies ask but don't really answer.

Sometimes I find it very depressing to be a guy.

Ages 30-39 / Starting a new diary
« on: January 16, 2021, 02:48:52 AM »
Hi guys

I'm back after a bit of hiatus. My old diary has disappeared which is super annoying because it had a lot of good information on it and I'm currently relapsing hard. But I've decided to start writing a diary here again because I think it was quite helpful to my previous stint of 3 months clean. So I will aim to post here once a day like I did before.

Hopefully it does not disappear again...

Anyway in terms of relapsing I'm struggling. I relapsed last night for 5 hours and just edged and edged until I PMO. Not great. Feeling okay today surprisingly but that is the antidepressants doing their job! Very frustrated at this situation overall. Feel locked into a cycle that I can't get out. That last three months it felt like I had finally come up for air, and now I'm deep in the water drowning again.

I'm trying to hold onto hope. I never really understood why in Hollywood movies they say the word 'hope' so much. And "you can always rely on hope", "never give up hope". I didn't really get it. I think I do now. It basically means, in my interpretation anyway, that you don't know what the future holds. Things could happen in the future that allow you to overcome this problem. You have to hang in there to see if that's the case.

Ages 30-39 / Where did my diary go?
« on: December 19, 2020, 10:39:31 AM »
I wrote a message to Gabe but haven't got a response yet. I'm really annoyed... did it just disappear or did someone delete it, and why?

Ages 30-39 / Re: Starting a new journey to recovery
« on: December 03, 2020, 12:04:19 AM »
Hey mate.

From my own experience of rebooting (about 2 months so far) I have found it much easier to get and maintain an erection when having sex, and even when MO. I also used to use Viagra but I don't need it now. My erection is even a bit harder than with viagra I reckon. Hopefully that provides some assurance for you.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Rebooting trough self-parenting
« on: December 03, 2020, 12:01:40 AM »
Listening to some Jordan Peterson. He said that after age 25 your relationship with your parents should be that of your peers. That makes quite a lot of sense to me.
I don't agree with everything he says but I definitely agree with this!

The only problem is it requires your parents to agree...:P My mum still generally treats me as a child, which is very annoying.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Warrior's Journey
« on: December 03, 2020, 12:00:45 AM »
Good stuff mate. I intend to be here for 2021 so I will be cheering you on :-)

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: December 02, 2020, 11:58:22 PM »
My schedule was far too overwhelming last week and I was unable to take the time to exercise the proper self-care I needed to keep myself in good physical & emotional health. I have identified throughout this year that this has been and still is something I need to work on. As an individual, I would say I am a significantly introverted personality and I can't meaningfully function in life without a certain amount of personal space & time to process the events and problems of the week.

I also think I have a tendency to prioritise the needs of others over my own by default. This leads to unmanageable, exhausting and personally unsatisfying weeks. I think there is a link between this tendency and poor self-esteem. sound a lot like me!

The pandemic has taught me (I wish I had been taught earlier) that I need a significant amount of me-time. I always felt guilty and weird about this in the past but now I'm okay with it. I basically need two/three social interactions during the week and I'm good! I think that's the very definition of an introvert, or maybe an extreme introvert. Any more than that and I start to feel impinged upon. It is a bit hard to accept this - I would like to be me more social sometimes - but that is just who I am at the moment. Maybe it will change in the future.

Also, it makes me more likely to relapse - and it sounds like you too.

Anyway sorry for rambling about myself. Good to see that you are learning things about yourself. That can only be good for your recovery.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Warrior's Journey
« on: November 29, 2020, 05:33:48 AM »
hi warrior!

i see that you are treating this as a battle. I have done this myself and at times it has been helpful. Maybe you could also consider reframing it a bit; rather than seeing the addiction as an enemy to be destroyed, you could treat it as a part of yourself that is calling out for help, and asking for porn as the solution. Obviously this is the wrong solution, but the part of you calling out for help is not the enemy.

I suggest this because I myself find I couldn't 'kill' the addiction, it just keeps regenerating like an endgame boss with unlimited health. But it has a weakness, and that is the part of you behind it, which has real needs and desires that might not be being met.

Just a suggestion! :)

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: November 29, 2020, 05:24:45 AM »
Of course self-esteem and confidence once again come into play with this, as to be wounded so easily speaks volumes of an individuals view of themselves.

Very true. Definitely applies to me. I reckon a lot of people on this forum probably have self-esteem issues and porn is a way of alleviating the pain it brings.

Definitely recommend making time to keep posting here! Assuming it helps you. I find it super helpful myself. Not many others we can talk to about this problem.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Questioning my sexuality. Help.
« on: November 23, 2020, 05:31:53 AM »
Agree with everyone above who are saying that escalation leads to warped sexual tastes. I have certainly experienced this myself. The stuff I have looked at is absolutely disgusting, and it is something my 18 year old self (pre porn guy) would never ever have looked at or found attractive.

There are some people who theorise that porn uncovers our true selves. I call bullshit on that. It's so obvious to me in retrospect that I was escalating over time. When a certain genre stopped giving me a hit, I would move onto a more extreme genre.

There is probably some truth in that what we escalate to is driven by some deep seated psychological issue - but that is not the same thing as 'uncovering your real self'.

Ages 30-39 / Re: stepbystep's journal
« on: November 23, 2020, 05:26:40 AM »
Hey Buddy,

How's it going over there? I saw that you went from 5 to 4, what happened?

Keep strong, keep safe and keep going!

Now I went to 3  ;D . Day 3 no PMO. I’ve just not been posting as much here but I will do more now. I really do not want PMO anymore in my life. Going hard mode. I’ve been stuck in the belief that PMO is okay, it is normal, and everyone does it. But the truth is, it makes me very anxious and reduces my confidence. Back on track. Right after PMO, I think I don’t enjoy this and I’m not doing this. But within a week, I’m too horny, convince myself of the belief, and go back.
It is true what you say about porn making one anxious and reducing their confidence. I think for some guys, it maybe makes little difference. For most guys, I think it makes a noticeable difference. And for guys like us, it really makes a HUGE difference. My confidence and anxiety is night and day when comparing porn vs no porn.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: November 21, 2020, 09:14:45 PM »
That sucks! What is the pattern do you think?

I almost always (like 80%+ of the time) relapse on Friday night or Saturday night. If I'm on holiday, it's even worse because those are the days I have the maximum amount of time to recover before work. Yes, my brain is that rational - even though it wants to look at porn, which fucks me, it does it in a way that ensures the damage is minimised to my work.

How are you feeling on Friday night?

Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: November 17, 2020, 07:16:00 PM »
I'm in a weird area with rebooting at the moment. Still haven't found the motivation again to really push forward with this process and the poor results lately speak for themselves. I feel like there are some cognitive distortions happening in my brain that are making relapsing seem more acceptable at the moment, these are as follows:

    * P is an emotionally safe way to deal with romantic feelings & sexual urges that means I won't get hurt
    * The ED will ruin any chances to start a worthwhile relationship so I might as well use P instead
    * It's too stressful to reboot and might only make the ED worse in the long run
    * P is a way to enjoy sexual experiences that I am not secure or attractive enough to experience with another person in real life
    * I have been trying to reboot forever. There is no way out, I will never escape this so I might as well give up & relapse
    * I need a break from the stresses & problems in my life and I can do this easily with P

Of course the rational part of my brain knows these are distortions and that P actually makes all of these things worse. Even still, these thoughts always come into my head around points of relapse and I fall for them time and time again. After all this time, there's still so much work to be done...

I think your analysis is spot on. Even though porn addiction is a horrible thing, which is why we're all here obviously, it is still serving a function for many of us. There is a rational aspect to it, which are the points you've outlined. Quite a few of the ones you mention are about 'self-soothing', which is something I can relate to. This self-soothing often, but not always, links to low self-esteem or low confidence regarding relationships with girls. You are like me in that regard. The porn is the best solution we have to self-sooth with regard to this problem, probably because it has a sexual element.

Two things that have helped me, and may work for you? are working on my self-esteem and also reading pick-up artist books. Now the latter is controversial! And not for everyone. But it works for me. Especially if you avoid the sleazy guys and focus on the ones that are more about building up your confidence to talk to girls and bring out 'your best self'. Some say this is manipulation. I disagree. When I watch the videos, I *know* a lot of the stuff simply because I'm not naive and 15 anymore. But knowing it and doing it is a different story. In reality my technique is quite poor. This serves as a barrier to meeting women or starting relationships and often has led me to being friend-zoned. This despair/failure often leads to the need for self-soothing and Something to consider.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Urges are moment in time and the moment will pass
« on: November 17, 2020, 06:39:08 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate to a lot of it.

Two thoughts that might help.

On self-esteem, I also struggle with this. I've read a few books on this only recently (not sure why it took me so long to figure out -- right there an example of negative self-esteem! oops). Anyway the author I recommend is Nathaniel Branden. He has some great exercises you can do regularly to start building your self-esteem. None of the therapists I saw really focused on self-esteem -- maybe a little? But it's super important I think.

The other thing is secrecy. This addiction, and I guess all addictions, thrive on secrecy. It is hard to talk about with other people, and doesn't always work, but it helps reduce the power of the addiction. I think the behaviour is much more powerful if it's all 'inside your head'. There is a good saying: "A problem shared is a problem halved". It's kind of funny but it's quite true. So I recommend that when you feel up to it, you share with someone - especially your therapist. That is what you are paying them for after all!

Ages 30-39 / Re: Rebooting trough self-parenting
« on: November 16, 2020, 03:53:08 AM »
Hmmm I think hunger can be a trigger for me, maybe it is for you? Or maybe not a trigger per se, but it makes me more vulnerable to triggers.

Have you identified why you relapsed?

Regarding diet, I'm still doing carnivore. This has coincided with my clean streak but I'm not going to call cause-effect on it because I started my clean streak before I started on the diet (two weeks before I think). But...I do believe it is helping.

I eat bacon, eggs, cheese, beef patties, sausages, sirloin steak and chicken wings :D. I also have porterhouse steak and ribeye in the fridge, but haven't tried them yet. Looking forward to them as they are the best cut! Can you try and of those things as additional?

I still drink milk and have some mandarins but will probably phase those out eventually.

Diet is quite important to success here, I think, so I'm reading a lot about it.

PS: I agree with you on the healthy vegans thing. I live in a very progressive area where there are many vegans and I have quite a few vegan or vegetarian friends. They, like me, struggle with anxiety, depression and are generally not 'strong' looking people. I'm not saying this is due to diet (except for maybe the not being strong part), but I'm starting to think it could be related. More evidence needed.

Today is day 5 once more, had a relapse last weekend but i've crawled back on the horse once more. Also i've had a great conversation with my accountability partner last tuesday and those talks always give me that extra boost. The same with the forum might I add.

I agree; posting on the forum gives me a nice little boost.

Did you figure out what caused your last relapse?

Ages 30-39 / Re: Rebooting trough self-parenting
« on: November 13, 2020, 03:53:30 AM »
"“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

Great quote.

My 'training' I guess has been meditation each day, plus doing a little self-esteem exercise from a book I read on self-esteem, plus filling out this diary each day, plus exercising more than usual and generally eating well (carnivore :D).

So far all these things (not sure about the last one yet, too early to say), are helping I think. I know this because when I drop off one of them for a day or so, the urges seem to come back and I'm less resistant to them.

Good to see you back on the wagon.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Rebooting trough self-parenting
« on: November 11, 2020, 03:23:40 AM »
It is vanilla stuff. How can you refuse this? Come on man. Do it. No thank you. Girls don't come from the screen.
I'm having the same thoughts mate! It's become clearer to me as this time that the satisfaction you get from girls on the screen is quite low. The promise is that it will be great, but it is not.

Ages 30-39 / Re: Rebooting trough self-parenting
« on: November 05, 2020, 04:44:10 AM »
Agree on the Petersens. I've also read a couple of books on it and it makes sense.

I'm easing into it. It's a lot easier when you're WFH! I'm still eating some carbs and one carb meal every couple of days. I think it's smart to get easy on my body while it adjusts. Should be interesting to see what happens! Look forward to hearing how you go with it.

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