Author Topic: Resolved to conquer this  (Read 5651 times)

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #75 on: October 26, 2020, 01:45:55 PM »
Day 7

Failed to update my post in the past few days.  Had a slip a week ago, which cost me lost hours of work, social connection and wasted sleep the following day.  The problematic gaming only ever occurs on the day following relapse, which is interesting because I never otherwise feel compelled to play.  It would seem that in my case, both behaviors are co-morbid.  Asides the troublesome aspects of gaming, mostly by way of addiction and wasted time, it can also bring about positives: needing a challenge, desire to self-improve and evolve, etc.  And surely it's after those positives that I am after when reeling from a PMO lapse.

Today I will implement a small change and one that I hope to turn into a nightly ritual: disconnecting from any source of work material by 9pm, disconnect from any PC or device, taking an hour to relax through either music playing or an interesting TV program, and book reading before bedtime.  I won't try anything specific for mornings yet, but just getting started with a small evening program should help instill a structure.  I am not doing this solely to prevent PMO-related thoughts... but to improve my quality-of-life during the daylight hours.  As a way to set myself up for the best possible conditions, if I can help it.

Joel

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #76 on: October 28, 2020, 10:38:31 AM »
well done on a week, mate! Sounds like some good tweaking - here's to failing forward!

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2020, 10:40:27 AM »
Day 1

Joel: it turns out that changing the nightly ritual was not as easy as it seemed!  But I will try again, it is a question of persistence.

The relapse came as a result of playing out old fantasies.  When that happens, the glands get stimulated to a point where the energy gets stuck in the nether regions... the same way a yoga teacher might say that energy is blocked in the second chakra.  I felt I needed to relieve the tension.  I could have averted this via white-knuckling, but I don't see much point in this.  Where I have to do better next time, is in snuffing out the fantasies before they grow and take up too much psychic energy.

My idea for dealing with a fantasy or urge will be to implement a IF-THEN plan:
  • When and if a fantasy starts taking hold of my mind, then I will get up and go for a 2-hour hike outdoors to reconnect with my surroundings.
  • If I am caught up with something urgent, then I will make it a priority to finish it as soon as possible and THEN go on a 2-hour hike.
I need an implementation intention in order to 'snuff out' unskillful thought patterns.  I will repeat it to myself every week or so, to have it on hand to use when I'll most need it.

LetItGoAlready

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #78 on: November 01, 2020, 01:32:05 PM »
Leo - Well done on a formulating a new plan to deal with fantasy and implementing it with intention. Onward!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 08:13:38 PM by LetItGoAlready »

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #79 on: November 09, 2020, 11:41:13 AM »
Day 5

Time for an update.  Well, slips are common currency in recovery so that's nothing new for me.  The plans, the intentions... these will certainly help but I wasn't fooling myself by thinking this would be the recovery-amulet-of-death cure-of-all-cures.

Instead the picture tells me that recovery is a stage-wise process: there will be a period of trials and errors, then perhaps a long stretch of porn-free and M-free months... then a return to a world of feeling and with that perhaps the return of M as well (even if we're technically kinda not supposed to go there!).  But crucially for me: transitioning from the world of 'headspace' to the world of interaction, human connection and active participation in the world. 

Right now, I guess it's still just the early phase of trials.  I know so many of us go through the ritual of going through 100 or 200 days before declaring total victory over porn... but truth be told I am not looking forward to that.  What then is on the other side of those 200 days?  It makes sense to go through that desert crossing if there is feeling to be found on the other side and finally the truly rewarding part: being a part of a community, meeting the special someone, being mentored by people in the know and later mentoring the younger generations.

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #80 on: November 12, 2020, 05:39:48 PM »
Day 2

Resetting in an effort of accountability.  Got a little lax with the fantasy shaping up in my head and the eventual MO.  Onward!

jixu

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #81 on: November 15, 2020, 08:33:01 AM »
Keep up the good fight brother-it is tough going with all the stuff going on around us.  Let's build some traction and put in a good series of days behinds us!

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #82 on: November 17, 2020, 10:03:14 AM »
Keep up the good fight brother-it is tough going with all the stuff going on around us.  Let's build some traction and put in a good series of days behinds us!
Word.  Amen to that.

Day 7

Feeling a bit more encouraged about this streak compared to past attempts (mind, I don't really know why).  Still, a streak is just a streak: a bunch of days without relapsing put together.  The bigger picture still tells me that the unskillful coping mechanisms are the result of - not the cause - of my life imbalances.  It tells me that one of the foremost things to consider is friendship, or social connection.  From time to time, I do speak to a friend (or see one).  Yet there are other people I know that are slightly out of reach (in different continents) that I do not approach out of laziness.  But to me it feels like a convenient 'laziness' as it gets me to do nothing about it... when a little voice inside tells me I want to reach out.

In the Summer I used a little trick to get over that indecision: I just told the friend that we better schedule the friggin' Skype meeting otherwise the bloody conversation would never happen.  And sure enough a week later we talked.  So here's a reminder to self of what a simple strategy can do to get a meeting going.  It's not that complicated.

Phineas 808

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2020, 07:42:36 PM »
Hi, Leonidas. Good to meet you.

I read your initial story, and am interested in your journey.

One good thing about streaks is that while we're faithfully denying our urges (to p/mo) that we'll be forced to deal with real life in more healthier ways.

For one, we'll begin to allow ourselves to 'feel' life (the good, the bad, and the ugly), instead of the escapism presented by p.

Making human connection, yeah that's an area I need success in, as well. Grateful for your progress.

Keep up the good fight.
My abstinence is currently at 112+days.

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Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #84 on: December 21, 2020, 12:58:28 PM »
Thank you Phineas for those warm words of support.

I have been away from RN for more than a month, and yet I have to say it's given me something to think about.  For one, I find myself not truly needing to stop by nearly as often as I did.  Oddly enough, time off the board means LESS time and opportunity to even think about porn.  However, I am not out of the woods yet.  I do string up week-long streaks which usually end in MO lapses.  But on the upshot, over the past 30 days, I have consumed at most 20 minutes worth of images-only P.  So if I consider the most important figure of them all, time spent watching P, then the past 30 days have been among the best for me in a while.

Given that, I don't think it would be wise to completely disappear from this place just yet.  I do feel the need to drop in occasionally to log progress.. but I believe that gone are the days where I will make it a habit to check in daily.  That in itself had an 'addictive' quality which I felt might have been more harmful than good.

Finally, I just want to add in that I feel some ambivalence about where life is headed.  Career-wise, future still looks like a bit of a minefield and is contributing to some stress... I really do wish job recruiting gets back on its groove, or it may aggravate my already frail mental balance.  Health could be better... been hit by recurring back pain (from injury sustained years ago) which leaves me a bit motionless for weeks.  Add to that the aging process and the overall impression of steady decline leaves me thinking at times whether there were better decisions I could have taken in the earlier years.  Also, my mother told me that she feels I am reluctant to help her with things and perceives me to be of 'cruel disposition'.  I would hate to think of myself as 'cruel' or 'crass' but then maybe she has a point, maybe I need to check in with myself and see if I could be treating others with more kindness.  I certainly didn't mean to come off that way... but there you have it, I seem to have an infinite capacity to hurt others...  or then, maybe the pandemic has accentuated my tendency to socially disconnect, turtle back into my shell so to speak.  Anyway, what a mess... there's a list of things I wish St-Nick could fix in a fortnight!

But then there is hope.  The first part of it is knowing where things can improve.  And I hope that the first days of the New Year just carry me forward to do the things that will bring about the changes I want to see in myself.  PMO might be one of them, but my own little ramble above is telling me that I'll want to be focusing progress on OTHER life areas first.

So hope everyone enjoys a restful holidays and see you on the other side of 2021!!

TheNorman

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #85 on: December 21, 2020, 03:30:12 PM »
Glad to hear you're doing well Leo! A lot of good insight and keeping things in perspective. Never before has a new year held so much promise. (No pressure 2021, but seriously don't be a fuckup like 2020 was...).
I look forward to hearing from you then!

jixu

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2020, 08:40:42 AM »
Nice to hear from you!  You brought up a lot of heavy things-career, health, family relations and so forth.  None of them will be improved by porn, that is for sure! 

Maybe someday we can have a discussion of hope; hope is one thing, the object of the hope is another. 

Glad to hear of your good recent month and I hope you will still come by to comment and provide updates as the site can still be a good form of accountability.     

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #87 on: January 21, 2021, 10:49:51 AM »
Time for a monthly log to check in with myself.  So here goes...

  • So far and for the past 8 or so weeks, I have not seen a single porn image.  I feel not the slightest draw towards material I used to find enticing up to recently.  It wasn't something I thought often about but it used to be a way for me to deal with desire for sexual release.  The desire is not completely at bay now but I don't need the assistance of P-images to help out.
  • Masturbation is not completely out the window.  Some parts of it are definitely patterns I want out: like the fantasizing, aka the "mental porn reels", and the conflicting feeling that comes when I imagine a person I know as the leading role in the fantasy.  It feels usurious in a way even though it is all mental.  Still, it remains a soft spot.. and a challenge for me to become the stronger person and let go of this unhelpful pattern.
  • Every single day I grow ever more confident that the weak link (in my case the fantasizing, for others it might be the occasional P-viewing and yet for others it might be sexual acting out) can be countered by being more socially engaged and connected.  This intuition did not just occur to me this morning when I woke up but has rather been building up over the years, as though my soul were trying to get my brain to listen to this fundamental piece of wisdom.  Now that I'm a bit more receptive to what the soul has to say to me, I now have to decide to move towards building more social lines of support with a view of caring for others first (before caring about receiving support from others).
  • Finally as far a mental/emotional/spiritual life is concerned, it has been trying.  I wish I were more inclined towards meditation, but somehow I have lost the art of letting go for 20 minutes.  Perhaps that might come back.  I have made simple resolutions that I believe may put me in the direction of building my future career, so this has taken priority over other goals.  Oddly enough, staying PMO-free in NOT one of my resolutions... I only picked 2 for this year -- more is recipe for over-extension and burnout!  In the back of my mind, I do wonder if I'll ever end up with a good lady in my life.  I don't worry about there being any lack of them - quite the contrary... but my former desire for romance has gone to Snoozetown for the past 2 years that I wonder if I'll ever love again.  My current disinterest makes me believe my heart might have turned stone cold.  Or maybe it's a case of temporary Anhedonia? Who the heck knows..!

I also gave the boards a quick glance and got to say a lot has changed over the past few months.  A fresh crop of new members, but some of the old guard still hanging in there: Jixu, Joel, LIGA, TheNorman, WIPUK... I hope you are all calmly pursuing the best life has to offer.  Same goes for those who drop by irregularly to post a word of progress and encouragement (you know who you are: UKGuy, Shade...)
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 10:51:34 AM by Leonidas »

jixu

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #88 on: February 05, 2021, 09:03:14 AM »
Glad to hear of your progress; it seems to make sense what you said about being socially engaged and connected.  I see some signs that some of the covid stuff is lifting so hopefully that will help a little bit!  I also know, however, that even in non-covid times the social angle can be difficult.  Hope you are able to find the right balance in the days ahead. 

LetItGoAlready

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #89 on: February 14, 2021, 01:46:19 PM »
Leonidas - Getting one's social needs met during COVID is indeed tricky, but as Jixu said, there are signs that the situation is improving and with it hope that we can all become more socially engaged and connected. 

Quote
In the back of my mind, I do wonder if I'll ever end up with a good lady in my life.  I don't worry about there being any lack of them - quite the contrary... but my former desire for romance has gone to Snoozetown for the past 2 years that I wonder if I'll ever love again.  My current disinterest makes me believe my heart might have turned stone cold.  Or maybe it's a case of temporary Anhedonia? Who the heck knows..!

I'm no doctor, but if you take into the account the mental health effects of the pandemic, which has deprived many of a lust for life, and the neurochemical changes you have likely experienced while abstaining from porn, I think there could very well be a logical explanation for what you're feeling. Hang in there, friend. I do believe that things will get better!

Leonidas

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #90 on: February 15, 2021, 11:47:10 AM »
Jixu: Yes there is something of a return back to normal as you say, but somewhat subdued?  Like that awkward moment when people tentatively dancr in tune to the first song of the evening...

LIGA: Wow, it's been a while I haven't heard from you, but glad to see that things are going well from the sound of it!  I like your perspective on the overall downer effect the pandemic has had on most people, it resonates a lot with me, especially in light of the strange acts and transgressions we've seen in the hit and runs, arson, random shootings, 'bad-boy' showdowns... in this corner of the world.  And also that bit about the changing neurochemistry.  But maybe as I get older, those romantic feelings also come by in sparser amounts compared to 10 years ago?  Still I won't say never, there's always a story to be found about people in their 50s and 60s finding love against all odds!

Finally, a quick update:

After 3 months of being free of porn, I unfortunately suffered a slip last night, so I'm resetting to day 0.  I felt the train of thoughts preceding it, it certainly was avoidable, but a part of me was left wanting, in need of something.  I cannot pinpoint that specific need, but it may have been from some self-entitled desire for enjoying the 'moment'.  If it was not through a game then it would be P.  P won out as some fantasy had crept into my mind earlier in the day.  That is an interesting problem: I felt a need to be rewarded with something fun.  My other alternative was to lay in bed with a book, but that was quickly brushed aside.  Looking from the outside in, it would seem that a monkey had taken the wheel of my ship.  I just followed in his footsteps.  The realization of this makes me feel a little pathetic, but then it wouldn't be the first time nor the only person this has happened to.

To make things better for the coming days, I will try my patience a bit and give meditation a chance.  Perhaps start with 10 minutes a day and see where that takes me by the end of the month.

Phineas 808

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Re: Resolved to conquer this
« Reply #91 on: February 15, 2021, 12:44:25 PM »
Hey, Leonidas!

Sorry about your struggle recently.

Of course you know that, despite having to reset, you're overall recovery is much more than the days that led up to it- you're no way, overall, at the beginning.

90 days, or so, free of this stuff is quite an accomplishment. This stuff is extremely difficult (but not impossible) to beat, comparable to cocain or heroine addiction. So, your efforts, especially getting up after being knocked down, is highly commendable.

You got this, as you walk this out.
My abstinence is currently at 112+days.

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