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Messages - Phineas 808

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1
Ages 40 and up / Re: Life and Peace (Romans 8:6)
« on: January 20, 2021, 01:38:26 PM »
Congratulations, berry, on 40 days!

Absolutely right, those 56 days weren't for nothing, and helped you be where you are now. The lapse also helped you to ascertain what was working, and what wasn't working. Even now, you recognize the danger of lingering on a tantalizing picture, and where that could lead.

You also mention again about will power. I appreciate that important recognition. It's Romans 7 stuff, it's Romans 8:1-4 stuff as well. It's "...the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" type of a thing... This is why changing our other habits that were outer behaviors that seemed to lead to the more addiction related habits, need to be addressed. The weakness of the human will is exactly why approaching this change in our life is more about habit change, than simply 'willing' ourselves into wholeness.

Blessings.


2
Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Journal
« on: January 20, 2021, 01:25:00 PM »
Aussie_85,

I can fully relate to the friends thing, and relationships have always been a challenge for me. It seems, and I believe this to a large degree, is that my life was somehow fated this way. Yet, I don't view it as a fatalism, or a bad hand I've been dealt, but rather a challenge to rise above this.

I know that Porn is anti-intimacy, and against making real human connections, and this is no less true in the realm of friendships.

I actually get a long with women better, but my wife is very jealous, so there that is...

I do have one guy who we talk about philosophical or theological points of doctrine, etc, and politics sometimes, and we get along well. However, I mostly reach out to him (it is what it is). He always responds positively though. But we almost never talk about deeper things (family, personal), but we could if it was needed...

Good going on reaching out here, and hopefully we can be as helpful and uplifting as possible here in this forum.

3
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: January 20, 2021, 01:15:45 PM »
Quote
Maybe if I hadn't put a bit of distance between me and my P habit, I wouldn't be capable of leading and engaging.

I think this is accurate. In the years when I didn't seriously engage my bad habits or addictions, I simply checked out from life. I could function on the surface, I could lead that double-life, but if I had to engage or lead, I would have been seriously compromised and at a loss.

These times make escapism all the more appealing, but at the same time demand that we step up and engage the real world, and make that difference.

Good thoughts, and wishing you well.

4
Ages 30-39 / Re: Orbiters Journal of Recovery
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:55:59 PM »
Hi, Orbiter.

These are very important questions you're asking yourself and your journal. The answers for which only you can provide, and the more deeper you ask, the more honest (to yourself) the answers will be.

Asking myself these kind of questions has helped the 'quality' of my own recovery efforts.

Be merciful to yourself overall, as to your journey. Heck, if I look at my journey as a whole, counting the times when I didn't even really try, it's about 28 years- almost 3 decades! So, how down should I be on myself? I can't condemn myself for the past, all I can do is be a better person today. But part of that better person is digging in, and seriously affecting my habits for the better.

(side note: my journey didn't have to take so long, had to find what works)

Good job!

5
Ages 20-29 / Re: Pushing back!
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:43:45 PM »
Hey, Chris!

Each new day is a new opportunity! Be merciful to yourself, forgive yourself (even as you are forgiven), and pick up where you left off in recovery, and keep going, keep pushing back!


6
Ages 30-39 / Re: Gaining control of Compulsive Masturbation
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:36:38 PM »
Be encouraged, BabySteps!

If you can do two weeks, you can do two months, and so on...

Horniness is normal, it means you're healthy. But if the horniness is related to urges coming from behaviors that relate to this habit, then they can be dismissed.

If you refuse to react to your urges, dismiss them, ignore them until they pass (and repeat this whenever urges come), then you will beat this habit!

Walking with you!

7
Ages 40 and up / Re: How Shall We Escape?
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:21:50 PM »
@ WIP ~

Yes, in a sense I see all my addictive behaviors as all related, perhaps with different components, or mini-addictions if you will. Changing those habits were certainly life-or-death for my marriage, and so perhaps were more an imminent threat. However, they were habits, and if I didn't change them, they would have dragged me down eventually. So, like yourself, my p and s addictions were/are entwined.

The term war of attrition got me thinking along those lines... and I can certainly relate to that experientially. Our warfare in relation to these behaviors is so important, how we conceptualize it. The Art of War, famous for its applicability in various spheres of life, comes to mind:

Taking a state whole is superior. Destroying it is inferior to this. - Art of War, ch.3.

A war of attrition, seeking to grind down the enemy, is also costly to ourselves. Taking whole is superior, if we can avoid bloodshed, destruction of the economy we wish to take over, etc... (opposite of what happened in Iraq). Applying this to our addiction, warring with myself was at first very destructive and costly, as I attacked 'parts of myself' that had simply developed (albeit maladaptive) to simply deal with underlying and legitimate needs. Major victories became more possible when I began to 'save the whole', and non-judgmentally treat these issues as simple habit-change. Though, I do have other weaponry and strategies as needed (as the environment of the battlefield warrants), such as being more harsh, not toward myself as such, but toward a not-me, a false-self, if you will.

Yes, increment by increment is a good description. Even the habits of P/MO are being changed now, I'm aware of other areas of needed focus that will support this, and an overall victory over these maladaptive behaviors. 

@ Aussie_85 ~

Couch surfing, right? I can relate to that term, as well as not having any options whatsoever. But, whatever doesn't kill us..., lol!

You're right as to the damaged messaging those early years ingrained in me, and the poor if not dangerous behaviors that developed from them. Children should be loved, should be protected, provided for. Our children are certainly an opportunity to 'right that wrong' in our own story, and raise them opposite. My daughter certainly has no clue (she recently turned 18) what my story was like, though I've told her here and there...

Grateful that you came by, and it would certainly be an honor if my story and strategies help in your own.

Blessings! 


8
Porn Addiction / Re: The Five Components of Dismissing Urges to P/MO
« on: January 19, 2021, 11:33:24 AM »
You're so welcome, anub0!

Keep in mind that:

1. Urges will always peak, and then subside, whether they're strong or weaker. But know that they will not last forever.

2. Urges may come in waves, so outlasting an urge, be confident that you will outlast the next (think of it as urge surfing).

3. The urges can never make you do anything, can never force you to do anything, and you can outlast any urge.

9
Ages 30-39 / Re: stepbystep's journal
« on: January 18, 2021, 11:59:10 AM »
Good going on 28 days (4 weeks), sbs!

You're doing good, just relax (but remain vigilant), if that makes sense, lol...

It's about habit change, and not a white-knuckled approach. And staying away from social media sounds like part of it for you.

Standing with you.

10
Ages 30-39 / Re: Reboot Journal
« on: January 18, 2021, 11:55:02 AM »
Welcome to Reboot Nation, Ausie-85!

I can resonate with your story in many ways, and am interested in your journey from here out.

I appreciate your attitude and determination, if there's any way I can be of help, please let me know.

On my journal's page 1, I have a lot of links that may be beneficial.

Good going on 20 days hard mode!

11
Porn Addiction / Re: How Do I get rid of porn urges
« on: January 18, 2021, 11:46:16 AM »
WoundedSparrow >
Quote
Avoid relapse like the plague because if you don't, God only knows how long it'll be before you're able to go another month. Good luck.

Aussie >
Quote
I went 94 days hard mode 6 years ago...here i am on day 20 - the longest streak since then.

Look at it as a battle for your life, quite literally.

Time flies.

Sound and sage words! What great motivation, especially when you can look back (like myself), and find that years have gone by, even decades, battling this stuff. Find out what works, and what doesn't work, as your post is intending to do.

Great comments here!

12
Ages 40 and up / Re: I guess every form of refuge has its price
« on: January 18, 2021, 11:34:36 AM »
Quote
...feeling pretty good about things, and looking for improvement as well.  Know what I need to do, just need to do it.

As I'm sure you will, jixu! I have every confidence that you're on your way toward greater and greater progress.

As a believer, you know that what's true is that you're already- right now- that new creation you want to be. It's like unwrapping a Christmas present, the gift has already been given to you, you already have it in your possession. You just simply need to unwrap it.

Standing with you, as you walk out the person you've always wanted to be!

13
Ages 40 and up / Re: How Shall We Escape?
« on: January 18, 2021, 11:20:05 AM »
Hi Orbiter, good to see you!

Quote
Re the counting days - while it has an importance in appreciating certain milestones, I often feel like it can skew our perception of recovery and this process in a way that is not always helpful. While we will reach certain milestones that are to be celebrated, what should be celebrated is the real growth we experience during this. Sometimes focusing too much on days can make us forget of the real journey and forget to appreciate the real achievements along the way. Whether you are or aren't focusing on days too much is of course only something you would be able to answer, but it's probably important to keep in mind all the same.

You're absolutely right! I've struggled with the concept years back. For me, in utilizing my hard journal, I found that I seem to do better when I'm counting days. At least I can realistically track my progress for when I've violated my lines in the sand, which would constitute for me an actual lapse, a need for a reset.

Resetting my number or date gives me a chance to start fresh, with a resharpened edge, a new determination.

I also know that having to reset one's days to 0 can have adverse effects given what is called the Abstinence Violation Effect (AVE). I have a link to an article on that on my page 1. This has created for me an ambivalence toward counting days.

My conclusion on counting days is that it's worth it for me to string days together whilst addressing the actual habit, and changing it. If I lapse, reset, than I can compare my streaks together, how often am I lapsing (is it more a relapse?), are my streaks getting lengthier? Having a certain goal in mind, can I hit it? In the process, can I affect the overall habits which have surrounded and fed the main targeted habit? By affecting is meant, replacing good habits, or at least other habits for the bad (this needn't be forced, but reinforced through consistency). Then, when the main goal is reached, I purpose to not track days, only to celebrate milestones. I don't need a 50 year blue-chip  ;) . I don't believe 'once an addict always an addict'- if I no longer drink (as an example), why would I call myself an alcoholic?

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Re the inconsistency in forum support. I can both relate to having difficulty with this and being equally responsible for dropping the ball in supporting others here as much as I should. People, particularly at a certain stage in their lives, do have other issues & commitments that get in the way. Sometimes when we are going through difficult periods of our own recovery, we don't feel like our advice or support would be of any value to others because we're doing so bad, i've felt this quite a lot over recent months. I guess because of all this, we need to make sure we do not become too reliant on a single pillar of support. Even if they are not aware of the exact problem, there is positivity & support to be found in many areas of our lives, not just here.

Yeah, I get we're all busy and should be busy with other things.

I also understand what you say, and it's a good point, that if one is lapsing, or being inconsistent (compromising) with their recovery efforts, they will not feel helpful toward others. They may even feel hypocritical. I think this is why many of late have quit posting as often in their (or others) journal. This is unfortunate, because how serious are they about quitting, for starters? Second, if you're all in, lapses be damned, then it only benefits you (as well as the other) if you reach out and offer support or help. These habits are so selfish, narcissistic, that to support others has a kind of kryptonite effect against one's own self-focus.

For me, too, after I've been of some help to someone, and I'm faced with urges, it reminds me that there is a bigger picture out there. It pushes me toward being the kind of person that is more beneficial to society, and not that guy tucked away in a basement selfishly indulging in porn, robbing others of the otherwise helpful person I could be.   

Quote
With all that said, congratulations on your milestones & progress. It is encouraging to read of the many positives it is bringing you as well as your continued mastery of urges & neurological junk.

Thank you, Orbiter! It is truly gratifying if good can come out of my years of struggling, and others can benefit from my own progress. 

14
Ages 40 and up / Re: How Shall We Escape?
« on: January 17, 2021, 12:54:56 PM »
Day 72!

This is 8/15 or 3/5 toward my overall goal of 120 days.

This is also 2 months, 11 days or 10 weeks, 2 days into this recovery effort.

Today I hit my goal of 72 days without P, PMO, MO, and with 1 episode of P-Subs and edging.

How do I feel?

I'm grateful that my processes are working. Changing outward habits, whether directly or indirectly related, have been of immense help. But in this regard, there may be yet some holdout behaviors that need addressing if I am to secure longer term behavior change, and freedom from P/MO.

An example of my processes working, earlier this week I was innocently scrolling through IG, which I do breiefly as I get ready for bed (then I'll check other things, like Youtube), I encountered a suggested picture/profile of a knockout lady. The picture (no surprise) was tailor made for my tastes... I set the phone down, was aware of my physiological responses to the cue, checked my pulse, was aware of my shallow breathing, then I breathed slowly and deeply for like 5 times, until I felt calmed down. To take away the power of that image, I visited her profile, intentionally and as briefly as possible. Otherwise, it would hold a certain power and mystique which could later become an obsession. One has to know themselves, as this isn't always the right response. This worked. And oddly- but not surprisingly- her IG account wasn't even all about that, it was just the picture the algorithm 'chose' for me... It was a non-issue after that.

Deeper Concerns or Issues?

The constant reminder that this forum can't be relied on presently to find support or maybe even emergency help in a time of reboot crisis. This isn't a slam on the RN itself, but just how it is now in this particular age bracket, like minimal participation...? Like, many rebooters I was hoping to help, and to assist me, are no longer here...?

Again, I myself am not on as often as I was before. I'm training myself to hold this place loosley. That said, I'm not (Lord willing) leaving the forum, nor deleting my journal, as I did back in 2016.

I'm so grateful for Reboot Nation, but I have to remember that I joined on here primarily to help myself, to give me that little extra edge in my goals. I'm not going to direct what I say in my own journal with any foolish expectation that anyone will even necessarily read it, much less benefit from it- but if that happens, all the better! But my posting here must be, can only be to work out my thoughts and issues as needed.

I'm also thinking about what my mindset and approach will be after 120 days? I know I'll stop counting days, but I do find myself now, like a monkey swinging from branch to branch, waiting for the next 8 days... it's kind of strange.

Based on my philosophical approach toward addictions in general, and with hopes for my own actual recovery, I know I don't want to keep counting days. I'll keep doing what I do now, but without being mindful as much as to when my next mini-goal is to be reached. I'll just be mindful of it when I hit a certain symbolic time, like an anniversary, etc...

On that note, what of the possibility of a lapse? I know that to plan for such a thing counters the whole porn is not an option mindset we want to have. I do know myself, too. If necessary, I would simply restart my 120 day goal. If a lapse occurred after all my current goals have been met, I would deal with it non-judgmentally, and bounce back as soon as possible. Deal with any other behaviors that led up to it, etc... and just go on. But, if it became more habituated, old neural pathways resensitized, I'll simply perform my 120 day goal again.

But I do know that the longevity factor, the consistently changing and altering these habits have lasting effects for the better! An example, there were dangerous sexual behaviors, cruising for prostitutes and going to actual porno bookstores (6x), that I no longer engage in (since 1994, and 2003 respectively). That's habit change! Those things no longer even hold an interest or temptation for me- thank God. P/MO, and using one's iPhone to wank off to pixelized women will be the same for me, going to the trash-heap of history.

Speaking of history, I'm grateful that thus far, P, PMO, and MO have not been engaged in since November 6, 2020. I've thus far left all that as last year's news.

15
Porn Addiction / Re: How Do I get rid of porn urges
« on: January 17, 2021, 12:05:11 PM »
Joshuar, this will take practice, but learn to dismiss urges by ignoring them. If your heart is racing, and breathing shallow, take some deep breaths until you feel calmer.

Above all, do this non-judgmentally. If you start shaming yourself, become angry, or other strong emotions, you're responding to the urges.

Not responding to urges doesn't mean you're actively fighting them, or avoiding them. Have you ever had someone come around that you didn't like, and you just ignored them until they got the hint? Do this with urges, and do this consistently, and you will have changed your habits.

Distractions help, too, like King Leer and Capo said, but think of it more like habit change, which means consistency- not simply reacting in the moment to urges.

16
Porn Addiction / Re: The Five Components of Dismissing Urges to P/MO
« on: January 17, 2021, 11:58:02 AM »
Exactly, King Leer!

1/2 hour of discomfort versus hours, days, or even weeks of regret, shame, beating up oneself, reinforcing (instead of weakening) the habit...

We all have it in us to dismiss our urges, and enjoy the boost of confidence, self-empowerment, and habit change that comes as a direct result.

17
Porn Addiction / Re: Are We Escaping or Just Avoiding PMO?
« on: January 17, 2021, 11:53:11 AM »
Quote
Yeah if I understand what you are getting at... We will never be able to avoid our triggers completely, eventually we will have to face them down and conquer them instead of avoiding triggers altogether which doesn't really do anything to actually break the addiction.

Yes, basically. The triggers, what I prefer to call cues, they will change eventually as we consistently refuse to respond to them or the urges that may arise from them. This refusal to respond isn't by avoidance, or by directly struggling against them, but by mindfully recognizing them, and dismissing the urges non-judgmentally.

Like you said, eventually we'll have urges come up- and we won't always know what the cue was exactly. But as long as we've only avoided our triggers, we have only reinforced to ourselves that we aren't strong enough, or don't have it in us to do the right thing when the under temptation.

If we learn that our ability to dismiss urges is always there, and that we'll always have that space between cue and our response (or non-response), then we'll understand that outside 'triggers' or cues have no power over us. This includes whatever it is for you, and it also includes powerful emotional cues that come from deep places of hurt or trauma. If we stay mindful (don't go on auto-pilot), and not react to nor respond to cues, we'll learn to take back our control.

 

18
Ages 40 and up / Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« on: January 16, 2021, 12:13:27 PM »
Thank you, PF58!

I'm from the Southwest, U.S.!

Great idea using special dates to launch a fresh recovery effort, recognizing of course that past efforts are by no means 'failures'. But you must know this. I'm very big on symbolism myself, and it's part of my alchemical approach like dates, numbers, colors, etc...(no, I'm not OCD, I promise!),

Look forward to our interaction and mutual support.

19
Ages 20-29 / Re: I am frustrated.. Trying for 3 and half years now...!
« on: January 16, 2021, 12:07:52 PM »
Good going for day 26, Do!

'Do' keep going, (see what I did there?)  ;)

20
Ages 40 and up / Re: Making Recovery my #1 Priority
« on: January 15, 2021, 11:53:30 AM »
PF58, nice to meet you!

Started reading your journal, and I like the Smart Recovery approach right out of the gate!

Great post here, too, about insanity. I appreciate the saying,

Doing the same thing, but expecting a different result is a form of insanity.

Something like that, lol...

Hope to see more of your posts soon, and will continue reading your journal.


21
Ages 40 and up / Re: First month
« on: January 15, 2021, 11:47:28 AM »
Good going, Marco!

You're making progress, and changing things for the better, slowly but surely!

Keep it going!

22
Ages 40 and up / Re: See them grow up
« on: January 15, 2021, 11:30:49 AM »
Congrats, WIP on the 144 days, and for the 245 besides!

It's unfortunate, isn't it? That for some of us that holidays, especially regarding our significant other, can be 'high risk scenarios'. This is true for myself also.

Learning to separate former habits from reoccurring emotional landmines with the wife is important. To identify if the urges are simply knee-jerk lower brain reactions to cues and stimuli, or perhaps stronger urges driven by deeper emotions, is something we each should know and identify. As the maxim goes, Know thyself.

Be well.

23
Ages 20-29 / Re: My Reboot Journal - 2020
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:24:15 AM »
I like your list, Robert7M!

Good job on laying out the principles that help you (and now others), and walking them out!

Good on you, and blessings.

24
Ages 30-39 / Re: stepbystep's journal
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:14:57 AM »
You're welcome, sbs!

Quote
Everytime I feel bad I go check my phone and social media. But, I know that’s not good from past experience because for me social media leads to porn eventually. I’ll remain extra aware of my phone use this week.

This is an excellent opportunity to change your habits, and hence your behaviors. Try placing your phone elsewhere, and put a carrot (or your favorite healthy snack) in you pocket instead, and reach for that when stressed or feeling bad.

Alternatively, keep your phone (and this will sound silly), when you feel bad, take it out and without opening it, just look at the screen, and then put it back.

These temporary tactics can help change the brain's expectations toward eventual porn use by changing the surrounding habits. And, it shows you that you are ultimately in control, not the bad habit.

25
Success Stories / Re: 60 Days In!
« on: January 13, 2021, 10:58:28 AM »
Quote
Congratulations to you, Phineas.

Above all, don't let your guard down.

Thank you so much, Robert7M!

I've only been able to come 'this far' because I'm not letting my guard down, and have changed my approach to social media, which was a big trip-up for me in the past.

But not letting our guard down means something different to different people:

1. In my case, it means a mindful awareness that pornography no longer (or never has) served me. And it's also a recognition of the power of habit, that if I do certain things to 'feed' urges, then it will lead me down certain already carved out pathways that eventually lead to porn use and/or masturbation. So, it means that I have to change surrounding, even not directly related, habits in order to change my behaviors.

To do the same old things, and yet expect change, is a form of insanity.

2. In some others cases, not letting one's guard down can be a disempowering view of environment or a fear of the murky unconscious mind. What I mean is, this is being overly fearful of being 'triggered', out of a fear that outward circumstances or sub-conscious hurts and traumas of the past, can just jump out of no where, and force you to turn on the computer, and perform PMO. Always viewing oneself as inherently flawed, always a diseased-addict who can never be trusted to be alone, or can never see that certain billboard on the way to work, etc, etc, keeps one in a state of weakness and hyper-vigilance and/or excuse making ('the billboard made me do it').

We have to be convinced, and this will help us bounce back quicker after a lapse, that the reason why I could or did lapse came from within myself, from me- I did it. 

 

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