10 Months of abstinence, then relapse

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Moses1991, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    So, I have never used this type of forum before.

    This last 10 months was the cleanest I have been since before I started. Today marks the 9th time I have failed in the last two months, starting late March. So, it seems the issue has come back.. and I was going to use this online post similarly to how I was using a paper journal. For my own peace of mind and maybe someone will read my ramblings and find something useful.

    So, today is Day 0.
     
  2. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 1 - Success.

    Was listening to a podcast on willpower today. It mentioned a book called "willpower instinct" by Kelly McGonigal. Might be worth checking out.

    Removed my computer from my apartment, and switched to a flip phone. I know that relying on willpower in the beginning of recovery has not worked in the past.
     
    igrow likes this.
  3. igrow

    igrow Member

    We have started our journey at the same time pretty much. It's also my first time using a forum like this.
    I wish you success!
     
  4. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    and to you as well!
     
  5. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    Best of luck gents! Let us know how best we can help. Blocking software can help support willpower shortcomings. Socializing in the age of COVID-19 is difficult, but can help with the rewiring portion of the process.
     
    Moses1991 likes this.
  6. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 2 - Success.

    A personal struggle of mine is that my girlfriend and I do not share the same religious beliefs. It's serious enough that it could cause the end of the relationship. We were planning on getting married this fall.

    It feels like my heart is breaking. Not sure if the stress from this caused me to relapse, or if the relapse increased my stress in this. Maybe both. But I know from past experience, porn use clouds judgement and weakens emotion control.
     
  7. igrow

    igrow Member

    Stay strong sir. The struggle will be worth it.
     
    Moses1991 likes this.
  8. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 7 - Success.

    I'm seeing that using porn comes from emotional reasons, and when i'm not part of a Church, or a good cause, or at least in good company, I find myself being tempted. Especially in the beginning, around day 7 and days 14-18 are always tough. I think it's the brain harassing the porn user. Needless to say, this stupid COVID-crap put me in the worst situation possible for me. Stressed by the idea of a breakup, isolated from friends, and then alone at home with nothing but a computer... I guess it's a good chance to learn from my mistake. I should have had a regular reading/prayer/workout schedule set up. Or called friends.

    This weekend me and my girlfriend went somewhere warm to relax. I got to meet the rest of her family. A lizard was trapped in her sister's apartment, it was a good time. This night i'm going to workout, read, and hang out with the family, and the rest of the week and weekend are tightly packed with things to do. It's necessary for the beginning.
     
  9. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 8 - Success.

    A lot of temptation these last 2-3 days. As expected. In general i'm having a shortage of willpower.

    This is all really familiar to what I dealt with the first time I abstained. It's like waiting for a hurricane to pass, it's just about waiting it out. Each month gets easier.
     
    igrow likes this.
  10. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    You're in the first wave now. The eye will appear and you will feel good. Things will be going right and all will be positive. And just like a hurricane, a second wall of storm will show up at some point. Knowing that is coming and that is when the relapses hit hardest is really important to internalize and focus on overcoming. willpower alone wont cut it. Building in good routines is another important step. Having the blocking software to catch you when you stumble. Having the network of contacts (friends/family) to support you: don't have to be aware of the details, just ahve to know how to help you out when you feel low.
     
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  11. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 9 - Success?

    The temptation today is overwhelming. I had forgotten how hard this was. I just need to remember i'm back at work in the office on monday, and then it gets better. At that point I won't have any access to internet whatsoever outside of work. Including a cell phone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  12. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 10- Success.

    Just 4 more hours of work, and i'm home free. Just like the first time, I won't even be relying on willpower. The only difference is that the first time I was going to strip clubs, and I rationalized to myself that I was doing it to check if I could get an erection, but lying to myself is not helpful. This time I will have to observe carefully if urges like that come up again. (I was single at the time.)

    I want to be the guy with nothing to hide, to be the guy that spends his time learning, reading, working out and engaging friends. It's not about running from porn, it's about pursuing something better. I'm terrible at avoiding temptations in general, but my strength lies in chasing the good things.

    Plus, i'm dating someone. I don't want to be that guy. The guy that has a loving girlfriend but goes to strip clubs anyways, or has some secret stash of porn... I hate that guy.
     
    igrow likes this.
  13. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 13 - Success.

    Posting from work. The weekend was easy when avoiding porn, but I found myself thinking about it. Which isn't great, but it's like craving junk food. It happens.

    Finding myself feeling insecure and a bit negative today. Not sure if it's just me or the withdrawal.

    about a week before I began posting here, I read a book called
    Out of the shadows: Understanding sexual addiction by: Patrick Carnes

    Interesting read. I thought maybe my porn problem was something more, like a sexual addiction. Thought i'd mention it for others that could need it.
     
    Battlesword1 likes this.
  14. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 14 - Success.

    Obviously, only having internet access at work makes this kind of thing easy, but the withdrawal symptoms are scary, when they sneak up on you. Yesterday and today I was feeling stressed and pissed off. Had no idea why. Then at some point in the evening, I realized, i'm on day 14 and that's exactly what I mentioned in an earlier post about days 14-18 being tough. Usually between these days I get feelings of anger and anxiety. It was much more mild this time, since I didn't go back to square one, but it was still there. The brain fog as well.

    Long story short, the key for me was to give up on myself, and trust in my friends, family, and God. (through prayer)
     
    igrow likes this.
  15. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 15 - Success.

    Not much to add today. Had temptations last night. Doesn't matter, because the flip phone has terrible internet and a tiny screen.

    Life is kinda peaceful this way. I might hold onto this way of life.
     
  16. kopp

    kopp Member

    Cool journal!
     
  17. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    Keep up the good progress Moses. The emotional ups and downs are normal and can come out of no where. It's a result of the dompanine withdrawal. It may last for days to weeks to potentially months. Everyones biology and chemistry is different. When you start feeling down or angry, remove yourself from the situation as best you can and recenter yourself however best you can (meditation, going for a walk, going to the bathroom and splashing cold water on your face, taking a break from the activity, etc)
     
    igrow likes this.
  18. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 16 - ???

    Not sure what to call it. Last night a camgirl emailed me a video I commissioned back in May. I watched the 6 minute video, got off the computer, and went to my apartment to go to bed. (I was using my parents' computer do to some banking stuff) There was no M or O.

    https://medium.com/@chrishaven/the-difference-between-a-porn-slip-and-a-porn-relapse-4ae0ade6e7cf

    https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/reb...-must-i-avoid-during-my-reboot-did-i-relapse/

    Sources like those would claim it's not a full relapse, but a "slip." and i'm inclined to agree, but my actions were wrong. From the objective standpoint of rebooting, this was relatively harmless. If 6 minutes rewired our brains, most guys out there would be walking around with either PIED or blindness. But what bugs me is that I gave into temptation. And let's face it, my partner would be upset if she knew, so this isn't fair to her either. I'm not a monkey, so why do I give in sometimes? If this were a forum for drinking my numbers would be in the triple digits constantly. I don't struggle this way with anything else, so why does it have to be this?

    My only solace is that it's much easier in 2020 than last year, and last year was much easier than the year before. So, despite the shortcoming, there is still improvement.
     
  19. igrow

    igrow Member

    Stay strong and keep moving forward. One day when you're free from all of this you wont even remember the tiny blip on day 16 - when you're looking back from 365 days of strength.

    You seem to be doing a good job of being inquisitive to improve but not being too hard on yourself. In the past I've let myself down by thinking 'oh I already watched a few seconds so I may as well.....' and let it spiral out of control.

    Stay strong friend.
     
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  20. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member


    thanks igrow, i'm just taking it day by day.
     

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