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Messages - Joel

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Ages 40 and up / Re: quit for good
« on: February 07, 2021, 01:59:45 PM » - you get to block whatever site you want. k9 does a broad 'pornography' block.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: January 27, 2021, 11:51:56 AM »
Thanks, Phin!
Yep, they've been working really well. Have a routine ready that assesses and processes the urge, and involves something physical, even if that's just walking around the apartment.

I've started reading The Chimp Paradox - highly recommended. Covering some ground I'm aware of - yes, we have a Chimp in us, who we shouldn't let near the driving wheel. But the book is filling a lot of blanks. Part of our brain is also a computer, which takes care of autopilot. Autopilots can be created to bypass the Chimp. So, for example, Urge drills is creating a program so that the Chimp doesn't have to deal with the urges.

There's been no PMO cocktails or binging for me recently, but I'm resetting my streak and today is Day 2. I've peaked at P for a moment three times over the last 10 days. I was leaning toward the high it provided to escape a bad mood, and also - sth sexual came up on my radar and I couldn't resist following it down a rabbit hole. One reason this happened was not resetting my streak earlier, so I didn't realise how vulnerable I really was. Even now, I can feel those Day 2 tingles, it's good I know what they are and that I have to be focused and careful. Saying I'm on Day 2 is no fun. It's so much more motivating to have a long streak that you don't want to throw away, but I know there's been no really indulgent behaviour recently - I'm resetting on a good foundation.

..and for what it's worth. I'm sorry not to be more proactive and helpful on the forum. I'm turning up as much as I feel I can at the moment. Hope all's well out there, guys. Have an awesome, P-free day.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: January 21, 2021, 01:32:23 PM »
Hi all,
I'm doing well and feeling good. Interesting tool I've been practicing lately is 'urge drills'. I used to try visualizing beating an urge every day; and had limited success with it. But actually act out ('drill') what you want to do when an urge comes - i found it very effective and it came in useful this week.

I choose to relax when an urge have a rush of excitement overtakes me. It's going well. An issue I'm having is, there's a some kind of 'monkey' in me (or a shadow, a child, a beast... call it what you will) that has these temper tantrums. 'You're crap at your job, I hate my life, etc' I get really worked up and it's easy to get caught up in the emotion it creates. Last night I had a great moment where I imagined my ideal self talk back to the monkey. 'You're not crap at your job, you're not worthless, you're just tired and need to go to bed.' Will see how I get on with this in the following days. Tricky moods are something we all have to deal with, they're more intense during reboot; for one thing I want to develop the resilience to not make the people close to me suffer when I'm in a tricky place.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: January 15, 2021, 07:48:16 AM »
Thanks, Norm! Yeah, I feel there's a balance we need when consuming these kinds of truths. I feel (and I've heard others say) - it doesn't matter how ugly it is, when we're addicted, our morality isn't enough to pull us into sobriety. But when we're out of the cycle of addiction, it can be good to remind ourselves with these things. I mean, I knew all that stuff, but my 'clever brain' had conveniently forgot all about it - it hit my like a very humanizing lightning bolt.

Been a bit distant from the forum lately – some kind of forum-resistance or something :) Maybe things are going well, which can be tricky to report on. Coaching has been going well. Have been clean since my last post. And a big piece of this progress has been ‘karezza’ style sex with the wife – going slow, melting into relaxation and being with the senses instead of chasing the chemical high which usually results in me using P fantasy. I’m reading a book on this called Cupid’s poisoned arrow, and there’s an interesting interview here - - with the author if anyone’s interested. Early days, but I’m getting my confidence back. Hope everyone’s doing well.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: January 07, 2021, 04:48:58 PM »
Thanks, Phin. Fortifying to hear those words.

I had an okay day today. Clean, and feel a significant shift - feel like I can move towards being a man who can reject fantasies. Was reading Noah Church's book 'Whack' - free on his website, about PA and his tips for recovery. He had a link in there to a Craig Perra YT interview with an ex P-star, who talked of the horrors of being in the industry. It was graphic and it was horrific. I thought - I can't listen to this. then thought, hold on, you'll watch it, get off to it, but you think listening to what really happens is distasteful? I listened to it, and it shone truth on this stuff of fantasy. I hadn't listened to anything like this in a while, was a good wake up call.

Mood went low today in the afternoon - then felt ill. Headache, nauseous - pretty sure that's day 2 syndrome. I pushed through, had no interest in anything. Hopefully will feel more engaged tomorrow.

Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: January 06, 2021, 08:57:05 AM »
All calm at the moment. Looking forward, I can see a potential challenge created by the UK going into a 3rd national lockdown today. I train at the gym 4-6 days every week. That discipline and consistency around training is part of the new me that doesn't use P. The sacrifice and pain help me accept difficulties. The endorphins from training send me home positive, regardless of what's going on outside. I'm very grateful for what the gym gives me. My gym's now closed for the next 6-8 weeks. I need to re-constitute that "happy place" in my garage, garden and out on the roads and footpaths. I'll create a programme / plan for myself tonight. Nice challenge to engage in for January.

Yep, I'm right there with you, WIP. It's a tricky time, not to mention going for a walk is painfully cold. Let's clock up those days, spring and the end of all this is coming.

Ages 40 and up / Re: How Shall We Escape?
« on: January 06, 2021, 08:54:48 AM »
Well done on the milestone, Phin. Those Neural Chemical numbers are interesting. Hopefully we can push through the streaks to heal our brains, and make the shift in our hearts, that have also been corrupted by this addiction. I'm with you, let's push forward.

Ages 40 and up / Re: Getting started again - 4th day
« on: January 06, 2021, 08:49:43 AM »

I read a good rebooting journal that talked about needing rather than just wanting to overcome an addiction. I get that right now. I need a restored, rebooted brain. That's what's driving me.

Hi Dell, well done on the streak. Totally agree with the above. Reading about the damage to the brain P causes, it's just shocking, I've literally been dumbing myself down. As for feeling sh*t/ numb, I remember being very far along a good streak and still feeling bad. P is a crutch, and it can literally be a painkiller, so letting go of this thing can feel shocking to the system. Keep focused and keep going strong!

Ages 40 and up / Re: I guess every form of refuge has its price
« on: January 06, 2021, 08:45:17 AM »
That all sounds great, Jixu. Onward.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: January 06, 2021, 08:42:43 AM »
Thanks, guys. That's awesome to hear. I'm on day 1 of a new streak. tbh my last streak was a week clean, then a week of dodgy behaviours - I thought, let's not be a perfectionist and push through. Allowing myself those little excitements escalated. Relapsed hard yesterday. Pretty textbook.

Got some fresh ideas about how I'm not truly letting go of the idea of PMO, because I continuously don't want to let go of the P fantasy. If that's ideally what I 'want', I'll always come back to it. Got some go-to behaviours for urges and for when I feel myself slipping into a fantasy. Label the thought, take the fantasy apart, ask yourself what do you really want? Is it simply comfort? This is rewiring - the trigger starts to get used to a different outcome.

Written myself up a new plan. No-porn is a priority for the coming period. Got a good feeling about this one.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 31, 2020, 09:38:30 AM »
Thanks Jixu and hello all. I'm back and refreshed. In week 2 of a streak, so I've pulled myself out of the cycle I'd fallen into. I contacted a coach for a weekly check in. I feel that when I want to commit to this and begin a proper streak, making a new kind of discovery of material or commitment like this helps. My goal is 40 days - in my experience, that's when my reboot happens, from then on my destiny is in my own hands, not in the addict's.

So, I've finally thought of a negative consequence for my indulgent actions. I'm paying this coach each week until I get to 40 days. If i fail, that's an extra week I have to pay. Oh, I also came up with the idea of blocking certain websites for a week as punishment - sports, movies, etc. Seems like a handy extra tool to help me on my way. (though actually, as I live without these websites, I think - this is just a really healthy way to live).

Also, I've recently found the idea of labelling thoughts helpful. (Outside of PA too). Eg I get an urge this morning; 'I'm having my morning aches so I'm creating an exciting sexual fantasy (which is toxic, btw) to numb the pain.' Helps distance you from unhelpful thoughts.

Happy new year, all!

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 21, 2020, 09:35:07 AM »
thanks so much, everyone. Really liked those suggestions. I'm in a good and optimistic place at the moment. Going to take a few days off the forum (not to binge on P!) , so I can come back fresh. Enjoy the holidays, all who have any, and stay focused!

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 17, 2020, 12:47:48 PM »
Today is going well. Not much opportunity, but there was a moment when I chose sobriety. My pattern of pulling back and forth - streaks and relapse - has been going for 2months. I think I got away without the mental hammering for a period. But after yesterday's indulgence, that textbook depression hangover hit me – ugh, so low. I didn’t care about a thing. I've stopped working, exercising, and was so low, my wife got teary at how upset I was, which was great, doesn't porn just infect everything so perfectly.

Mantra for the day – I can’t stop thinking about that thing I ‘want’/ how’s that going for you?/ I’m miserable/ then let it go. Life was a lot better when I was focused on other things.

Had a win today by pulling myself out of the malaise to do some light exercise - getting started felt like climbing a mountain, but was fine once I started, and made a huge shift. Shortly thereafter, I was given an interesting piece of work – nice timing for starting a new streak.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 16, 2020, 05:22:17 PM »
Thanks a lot, guys, for the kind words. I'm back from a relapse. Frustrated with myself. I thought - oh, I thought I had a plan, I thought I could handle being left alone. Felt a little bit -- now what? I felt so tired and thought about leaving the forum for a while. But being 'tired of nofap'(ie working on getting over this) and isolating myself isn't the answer. Think I felt overwhelmed that my life needs an overhaul if I'm still not over this at my age. I thought with the help of lockdown that got me to such a long streak, that was the magic moment for me. But recovery isn't linear, and I can't be impatient with myself or go on a joyride or feel like the world is ending because I've fallen back on old habits. Tweak what went wrong, plan how to go a day clean, then a week, then a month, then beyond.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 13, 2020, 09:14:46 AM »
Got through the 'morning home alone' challenge. Have the the same challenge tomorrow actually, but after today, feeling more confidant. I did feel flashes of that 'compulsory urge', that said something like, 'It's cold and raining outside, so cozy in bed, so stay here, with pleasure, happy chemicals, and your virtual harem,' along with some flashes of erotic images, and the idea of abundance, and the quickening heart rate of excitement. But I remembered last week, the pain that comes after the pleasure - that lasts days, and how endless this battle will be unless I stand firm and stay on the right path. I had a chat with a friend on the phone to ground myself, I found this very effective because I felt like myself, not an anonymous creep who gets to indulge in something far from my values.

Then I planned a 1/2 day routine - some journalling, a meditation, etc, but I got really caught up in journalling and resolved a lot of issues I believe are triggers for me. Great to be more self aware of these things I feel used to be simply part of me. 

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 12, 2020, 05:04:36 PM »
Thanks, Phin.

Still clean, and my weekly challenge is coming tomorrow morning. Have the whole morning to myself, same as last week - which was a disaster. I have some ideas of what I could do - I could leave the house and spend my morning outside, or refuse to be pushed around and have a lazier time cozy at home, with few light, fun activities. Either way, i want to stay focused on the prize - the clean life. Will check in tomorrow. Take care, all.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 11, 2020, 11:24:19 AM »
Thanks, guys, for the support and input. Today will just be a check in. Have just been doing my taxes today, so again I'm pretty cooked and am done looking at a computer screen for the day.

But a major positive thing I wanted to mention was bathing myself in 'nofap' yesterday - going over materials, and pouring over a fresh plan, and thinking over past failings and vizualizing what I'll do right next time. I felt tired but i didn't want to be lazy - I wanted to push through until I felt I had a handle on everything. At the start of the day I was having urges, but after all that nofap 'work', and thoughts about what I wanted to move away from and move towards this week, I felt totally shifted.

I felt knackered, but one more victory was, I promised myself a mild workout. I managed this and it totally shifted my energy, afterward, i got a haircut, cooked dinner for the wife, and just felt energized. Today I got back to my work and am feeling myself again - pun not intended.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 10, 2020, 11:45:47 AM »
"Did not care for the Godfather" :-)

haha - yep, I can definitely see where they're coming from :)

Thanks, guys. Yep, such a clever irony about this addiction is it makes us want to hide, but the solution is in some kind of connection. I'm trying to find a balance of talking about the PA issues anonymously, having someone to verbally talk to who fully knows me, and more connecting with people in my life (now that I've realised this addiction has made me push so many people away).

@Phin. I definitely recommend to keep looking, if you still feel that need to be less anonymous, if a forum isn't enough for you. Yes, it's such a painful process to tell our problems to different people, to give them a chance, then decide it's not the right connection. But don't give up, because you may find the right person.

A couple of clean days under my belt. Time to look at the week ahead and make a plan.

If I could live last week over again, I’d...
(last) Thursday – when I felt low. I should have got present and journalled. Accepting a low is okay, but I shouldn’t start riding on automatic, allowing thoughts like ‘life sucks, I’m deprived’ because this is a trigger.

Friday – I saw a visual trigger online. I shouldn’t have clicked the bait and followed the trigger. ‘This is reboot, and more importantly, this is early reboot. Process it – what do you want? what do you feel? What do you expect to see? What do you expect it to make you feel? Breathe, relax, write down the self talk for this particular trigger, and refer back to it every time that same trigger reappears.’

Using illicit fantasy during sex. The wife isn’t feeling well this week, so at least that isn’t even an option. But I’ll keep up my daily habit of vizualising healthy sex and rejecting illicit fantasy.

Saturday – the binge when my wife went out all morning. I should have an internet block on phone (at least making the habit less convenient and comfortable). Also, I want to generally move away from tech and screens this week. So, what if I went out with a notebook and a hardcopy novel? also, I tried to make a big PLAN of activities, hoping to kind of distract myself the whole time. what if I did the opposite and got very mindful? By journaling and planning my week, deciding what I want from the weekend and the coming week. Wife is going out on Sunday morning, so I plan to go to a cafe for a read and some journaling. Whatever happens, don’t dwell in bed! can also see if there are people around I can connect with.

This week I'm moving towards...
Loftier things. More writing, more journaling, more reading, more audiobooks and ideas. Bought a couple of online courses to learn.

This week I'm moving away from...
tech and screens. We’ve been trained to go to tech like it’s a friend. There’s nothing there for you. Getting well isn’t just creating good habits and getting centered, we're weaning off these targeting high-dopamine ‘activities’. We’re dependent on distraction; as my zen literature says – this isn’t happiness.

I'm also planning to read through a lot of my Dobber notes this week - just glimpsed at them and there's a lot of good stuff. Should keep me in the right mindset.

Well, that was just the beginning part of my plan, but I'm pretty cooked. Will finish it up on another day! Take care, all. See you tomorrow.

Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: December 09, 2020, 09:42:50 AM »
Damn you, Roquefort!

Great self awareness about issues though. As I get older, I feel the same. A lovely glass of wine = a craps night's sleep = issues the next day. What are we to do? I'm currently fumbling my way along, hoping to find a balance. I certainly don't drink much these days, less occasion to in lockdown as I like drink in a social group and the wife doesn't drink.

Well done on dealing with all those challenges, and glad to hear the job is working out.

Ages 40 and up / Re: How Shall We Escape?
« on: December 09, 2020, 09:37:22 AM »
so I can connect with real-world sex without fantasy.

Exactly what I'd working on!

without P, PMO, MO, and all without P-Subs or edging.

Great stuff. That's real rebooting!

If there is something that comes up while watching T.V. or a movie, I'll change 'how' I see it.

If urges come up, I'll take note of the physiological changes (pulse rate, breathing, etc), then take some deep breaths. But, I don't purposely put myself in compromising situations.

This true-recovery or reboot is within our reach, let's walk this victory out together!

Great stuff exploring the physical aspects with no judgments. the zen masters would be proud! And changing 'how' you see certain things is really interesting; this totally helps - 'that young blemishless woman in a bikini isn't a de-personified sex object,' it's an image - filtered through photo-shop to sell something - of a person who will get older, is a whole person... My problem is letting go of the initial attitude because of the insane chemical high it creates in me. I'm getting there, and when I can let go, that 'how' of seeing things is so key.

And, man, I used to love Dexter! what a show! :)

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 09, 2020, 09:27:06 AM »
Thanks so much, guys.

Totally agree about not waiting to start until tomorrow-if you start now the clean feeling will begin to return tomorrow morning and it won't be a wasted day! 

Ah, totally agree with this and you put it perfectly. Didn't occur to me at the time, but it worked. Woke up this morning feeling good. We can never start a good intention with 'one more' negative action.

Yesterday was really meaningful. And when it came down to the crunch, and I decided I'd go to the forum instead of the addiction, a strong message was sent to my brain: creating this depression isn't going to get us that drug. Things improved drastically from that moment. We decided not to do the social, and wife and I had a really nice cosy night in together.

Dobber's last podcast was about approaching accountability differently: not just coming clean after the fact, but stating intentions at the start of the week and even creating connections with accountability partners beyond this battle. It fit in to some Zen reading I've done recently about us all being one. We're altogether, and modern society (and this pandemic) has made us separate each other as individuals: I want to live in my little bubble, to 'get mine', to achieve sobriety so I can feel better and live well within my little bubble. I judge others and am distrustful. But these recent ideas opened me up to the idea of connection.

So, I found the number of an old accountability partner from 2 years ago, a really nice guy. One reason I severed contact was I'm so ashamed of this addiction. Having sb I actually spoke to was a bit too real for me. I wanted to stick to an anonymous forum. I texted him and he was happy to chat immediately. We chatted and I verbally got off my chest what I went through yesterday. Then we talked about other things. I enjoyed the chat and felt so much lighter afterward. So that's definitely some growth and progress.

Having a good day, going to stay clean and enjoy my day. Thanks for being there, guys. Speak soon.

Ages 40 and up / Re: Bringing it around full circle
« on: December 08, 2020, 10:43:25 AM »

From that I can only conclude that there is a need that is still not being met with my current limited approach to being part of a community. Solving this puzzle requires action on my part, uncomfortable out-of-the-box action to extend the parts of myself that want to remain stuck, hidden, and isolated.

Really interesting stuff, Liga. Great awareness to pick up on your needs. Can you guess what I’m going to say?? ...Dobber’s last podcast was on this and it was a really good one. haha. But... his suggestion and working out how to get this need met are 2 different things.

I feel a similar loneliness but I’m glad to be made aware of it by giving up the sheen/ crutch of P. I’ve rejected so many people because I didnt realise how lonely I was, and that P was covering up real human need for other people. As we get older, friends are trickier to come by (in bygone days, it was like – do you like beer? Me too! Let’s have one!). and I’ve never shown this vulnerable side to any of my friends – I wonder how they’d take it.

And anyway... all this talk about this, and we’re in a time of Covid - but there's a light at the end of this tunnel now. Hopefully we'll never take others for granted again. I guess sharing our thoughts here and getting to know each other the best we can is an important thing. As you say – it makes a huge difference. Good work on the progress.

Ages 40 and up / Re: How Shall We Escape?
« on: December 08, 2020, 10:29:08 AM »
Last night was very interesting...

My wife and I had sex, and it was good. Physiologically, everything worked well. But I do, time to time, use memories (vanilla) to help me stay focused without going into performance anxiety, which is the only thing that's caused ED in the past. I know that's not ideal, but for me it's like using snake venom to counter a snake bite... for lack of a better analogy.

Anyways, we both felt that total love and acceptance, the peaceful and good neural chemicals a married couple feels after they've made love, the contentment, the belonging, etc...

Afterwards, my dreams were very sexual, like, what part of my brain did I activate?? I don't know if there was a chaser effect activated or not, but I had several dreams that were pornographic or highly sexual. Not all, one dream was of making love to my wife, so that's good... But another had the type of situation or fetish that I've been habituated toward in typical episodes.

These are certainly internal cues, but any urges have been so far minimal. For the sake of accountability (first to myself, and to you all as well), I'm writing this now, just in case the [former] habits resurface with any force.

Be well, All.

Great work, Phin. You're doing everything right, but that doesn't make this thing easy. Connect with our loved ones, with the goal of being completely out of our heads. the longer are sobriety goes, the more natural it becomes. Let's just stay on the path!

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 08, 2020, 10:17:05 AM »
Thanks, Phin. Yes, I got really good at starving the addiction on the last big streak. As I've allowed myself more of the drug recently, the urges have been harder to cope with. But I've got past this before!

I’ve had a crazy day so far and I’m calling it Day 1. I didn’t go all the way with the lethal PMO cocktail or peek at anything hardcore yesterday. But I light-heartedly peeked at some illicit things. ‘sure, this is allowed. This isn’t harmful, right? This isn’t an addiction, right?’

But the way I’ve been feeling today. My mood is so depressed, I remember what it’s like to be pinned to the floor and sat on by this addiction, like it’s a school bully. I can’t do any work, can’t make any decisions, don’t feel motivated to do a thing. Trying my best no to snap at my loved ones, (and am pleased to say that so far, that’s been going okay.)

...I realise, here is a guy who is withdrawing from and has been dosing on his drug of choice and he needs 1 Day completely clean. It’s going to be horrible, but I need to start something here, and take that first healthy step.

I would have continued peeking today, but I had some clever blocks on my devices, meaning I had to wait before I could get online. I was still being tricked by my addictive lies, and thinking this was no big thing. When I couldn’t access any content, and I realised how badly I wanted to, and I actually began to despair, it all came home to me.

I’ve been sitting with myself most of today, being quiet. My wife could see I was troubled and made me a coffee. Then she said she was going out – great. I considered indulging. ‘take the drug to ‘heal’ this pain. And start this journey tomorrow, where there may be urges, but not this horrible despairing depression to deal with.’

But I had the intelligence to say no. addictive behaviour doesn’t heal. I won’t say – ah, scratched that itch. I’ll want more of the drug afterward. Chugging a sugary treat won’t help. I have to sit through this pain, stay clean, and wait for this shit feeling to pass. And here I am on the forum. A much better place to be hanging out.

I have a social later I don’t want to go to. Not close friends. But they get more out of it than me. seems like a worthy thing, to do something a little selfless.

And I’m feeling good about the turnaround I’ve made today. The painful consequence of my indulgence has let itself be known, and more indulgence isn’t the answer. May this be the rock bottom moment that I launch myself from. Talk to you guys soon. Cheers.

Ages 40 and up / Re: nofap journal
« on: December 07, 2020, 12:38:10 PM »
Thanks sooo much, guys! Wow, what feedback!

It's day 2 and I almost wavered ('Because it's only day 2, what the hell, etc') but pulled myself back, knowing that's the addict talking, but the importance of accountability to this forum got me through the urge.

And thanks so much, Phin, for your help and input. I'll definitely use this tool if a similar situation comes up in the future. TBH I hadn't had a strong physical urge like that in a long time. what's been getting me recently is the subtle mind tricks ('A little IG isn't porn; this won't effect your recovery much', etc). So self talk usually helps. This was very physical and some breathing and letting go sounds like the answer.

It's been a patchy day, to be honest. This morning i had sex with fantasy - I regret it and see how I didn't have to do this. All I can do is visualize doing it right and succeed next time. Yes, I've written out this defeat before, but next time will be a win.

I re wrote some important alignments I want keep in my head, fresh, daily. I've done a lot of healthy habits. I could squeeze in some exercise to round off a good turnaround today. Take care, all.

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