10 Months of abstinence, then relapse

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

  1. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 17 - Success.

    Feeling a bit down today, a little touchy also. Could be the poor sleep from this week. I'm still within that 14-18 day range, so it wouldn't be shocking to me if this is the withdrawal symptoms.

    Emotions are a bit of an illusion. When you're sad, the world seems to be falling apart, and when you're happy, everything seems great and all the less-than-great things are seen in a positive way.
    Neither of those is fully true though.
     
  2. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 20 - Success.

    Was feeling irritable this weekend. Got into a regrettable argument with Mom. Girlfriend came over. I think i'm starting to get the flatline again. It's the best part of the reboot. Except what's weird is my libido just dies.

    I'll see an attractive woman and it feels like i'm looking at a nice tree. Still pretty - but no feelings of attraction whatsoever.

    By some miracle i'm still attracted to my girlfriend though.
     
  3. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    You've ben building the emotional and social attachment to the GF. That helps. The libido will return. Flatlining affect you both physically (no erection) as well as mentally (depression/mood swings) since the dopamine hits aren't coming. It's basically withdrawal from drugs. Power through and you'll be golden on the other side!
     
  4. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 21 - Success.

    Made some Asian-style chicken stir fry last night. Boxed it up so I'll have lunch for the week.

    Ordered some weights online so I can do some lifting again. Called a friend on the phone.

    It was a nice day.
     
  5. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    I like this day for you. Simple pleasures.

    Do you like music? Maybe working that into the lineup too? Pick an album and listen to the whole thing from start to finish. Few people do that anymore. I do it with vinyl and its always interesting to truly listen to an album. NOt just background, but to sit and listen.
     
  6. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    It's interesting you mention it, because lately i'm really listening and paying attention to lyrics of songs. Some songs I have known and loved for years have suddenly changed entirely for me. It makes me wonder what else I haven't noticed.
     
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  7. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 23 - Success.

    [Long post below, to put it shortly, it makes it easier to think about your problems with more optimism]

    One thing that helped is to change the way I thought about porn. It's not some unbeatable demon or some dark curse that runs through my veins. It's literally just a bad habit, that is reinforced by my lack of emotional support elsewhere.

    So, my prescription is to literally just do something else, that is also helpful for coping. I haven't seen a thread like this here, but I remember looking at another forum and some of the guys were acting like: This is it, my life is ruined because of this one thing. And like, listen. Over the years, I have probably wasted $5,000 on camgirls. I was deep in this also. Once I stopped acting like I was fighting satan himself in my computer, the issue lost power.

    About half of the battle is to fix your core beliefs, to believe you can be a worthy person, and to believe you are capable. And then a quarter of the fight is just reading about the nature of the problem.

    Nowadays I think of it like an eating disorder. You're always going to want food, the trick is to not overeat, or undereat. So, as a young man, i'm never going to stop feeling temptation, or getting aroused. I'm probably never going to stop dealing with sexual needs, but that isn't a bad thing. It's literally just learning how to shift that energy into something else.

    Sometimes, I shift back into my old ways of thinking. You can just look back a few days ago at my "slip" and how I reacted to that. Not great. But this is about growth, improvement, and getting better. So, if you failed 40 times this year, but last year you failed 50 times.. you're still improving. Last year I had a 10 month span of no porn. This year, let's shoot for that full 365. And if I stumble in the middle somewhere? i'm still doing much better than my early 20's when I was voluntarily engaging in that behavior everyday.

    I'm on the road to being a good man.
     
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  8. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 24 - Success.

    Feeling extreme stress today. Everything in the spoiler is basically an expansion of that first sentence.

    As mentioned before, my girlfriend and I share different beliefs. For the sake of keeping the peace, I'll try to keep things vague, but we are both Christians. And you may be thinking? Well Moses, is this your religious rambling or does this relate to rebooting your brain? My answer would be yes. and yes.

    Last year when I began that 10 months, I had incredible feelings of stress and doom. I would literally begin hyperventilating and would spontaneously go for a run to calm down. (quitting a 15 year porn habit abruptly will do that to you) So this stress could be from the withdrawal symptoms again. Thankfully, it is not as bad as last year.

    However, this could be part of a pattern. A pattern I seem to run into with girlfriends. She doesn't seem to approve or like a part of me, (it's usually the religious aspect) then I feel like the love is conditional, and then to feel better... guess what I do? I go back to porn. (I could expand on the process specifically but that would be a short novel.)

    So, what has to change? Well, this is one of those core beliefs I mentioned earlier. I seem to be under the impression that when my faith is rejected, it's like i'm being rejected as a person. And, let's face it. The whole reason I even discovered porn was bad is because of church. The church influenced my lifting, it influences my thoughts of self-reflection. It's the entire reason I ever learned to admit I was wrong! So this church is the entire reason I can even claim to have a backbone. So this girl comes along, we're dating for 5 months. She tells me she wants to get married, and she likes all these things about me as a person, but tells me she doesn't like the church. Which, is the entire reason I became this person anyways. And my first thought is: "She doesn't really like who I am." And to make it worse, i'm not telling her to come to my church, she's the one insisting we "find" a church together. Which is basically comes across as code-word for: "I don't want you going to the church that is a part of who you are."

    So, the challenge here, that was not automatic for me, was to try and think of a way this isn't a personal rejection. And that way of thinking is this: "She probably has no idea what she is requesting. She probably has no idea how important my faith is, because i'm not forcing it on her and we hardly even talk about it." And the stress is coming from the belief that i'm choosing between who I am, and a person I care about. But maybe, there aren't just two options. Maybe I can find a way to keep both. And this is how I break the cycle. I have to believe i'm lovable, and that she isn't trying to do this sinister thing, she's just a girl that can't read my mind but is trying to have a comfortable life with me.

     
  9. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    Yessir. Building in good habits to replace the bad one. The most important part is knowing the trigger that would lead you to the bad habit. And then adding in safeguards (block access to the site) so when you have a moment of weakness, you catch yourself.



    As for the second post about your faith: I think this is going to be a challenge for you. I do think you need to do what is right for you. Switching faiths is a big deal and shouldn't be based on a whim of pleasing a partner. It should be based on what YOU actually believe.

    Just my two cents. I am not practicing any religion myself. So there is a very good chance I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about and can't really empathize as I don't know what you are actually feeling.
     
  10. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    thanks For your reply! when I mention changing core beliefs, i'm referring to psychology actually.. I noticed I had a set of faulty beliefs that were self-defeating years ago. One of them was a sense of unworthiness. Like I was not good enough to even have a girlfriend in the first place. Or another core belief I had was that my willpower was just weak and there was nothing I could do to change that.

    Every addict, not just in porn, has a set of faulty beliefs or troubled lives that leads them to the addiction. These factors have to be changed if there is any hope of change.

    As for my faith, that's pretty solid. if you're actually interested in knowing what it's like, I made an attempt in the spoiler.

    Imagine you meet someone and it's like a dream. She thinks you're funny and you find her a bit ditzy but she's sweet and smart. And she's hot too, exactly your type.

    You start talking about the future and it all aligns perfectly. She wants just as many kids as you, same values, same political beliefs, even the same parenting style you were planning on using. You find yourself falling in love with her.

    and then.. you find out she believes the earth is flat. And she's not joking. And at first you're worried but you're thinking "it's fine, if i just don't act mean and explain, she'll question her beliefs or at least let me believe what I know to be true."

    but no. It doesn't go that way. She wants her future kids to grow up with parents that believe the same thing.

    So now you have to approach her views with respectfulness and an open mind, even though her beliefs seem foolish to you. And now your parents are breathing down your neck, pressuring you to convert her or forget the relationship, and this girl whose parents are pretty much doing the same thing.

    I think she is slowly starting to accept that I don't believe what she does.
     
  11. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 27 - Success.

    Had a lot of stress this weekend. Was spending time with the GF and her family. On a few nights, I couldn't sleep until it was very late. A constant feeling of anxiety. Not sure if it's a result of religious differences, or porn withdrawal. I did get into a big fight with mom last weekend, so maybe the stress is porn withdrawal.

    I just have to remember what I want. A family, a house, to be living my own life happily.
     
  12. igrow

    igrow Member


    Same here.
    Stay strong and keep moving forward.
    If its not clear now, stay the course, it'll become clear later.

    Good luck, friend.
     
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  13. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 28 - Success.

    On the bright side, with everything stressful going on in my life, at the very least I can say that the stress has kept my libido to a minimum, and porn hasn't even occurred to me in a while. So, in terms of temptation, this last week has been easy.

    On the other hand, I am doubtful my relationship will continue. I guess i'll just ride the sadness & stress wave for now, and when i'm alone, i'll find another thing to focus on. Perhaps i'll pick up a more interesting book.
     
  14. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    You are absolutely right. We each have some sort of core sense that led us down the path in the first place. It is also a product of our time (the modern age when the internet exists) as well as whatever life circumstances we had at the moment. At a certain point, we accepted this as our "truth" and ignored the consequences.

    For me, it was a belief that I could stop whenever I wanted and get a girlfriend, but that was coupled with a sense of "superiority" that I didn't need a girlfriend or didn't need one at the moment because I could get one whenever I wanted.


    Thank you for sharing. That's a lot tougher than I suspected. I've not met anyone in real life with that set of beliefs, so I'm not sure how best to approach that. I will say this: everyone we like/love has faults. There will always be differences and conflicts in a relationship. But if there is something truly significant about your gf that you wish she would change, then that is a red flag. You may be willing to overlook the flaw or even find it strangely endearing at first, but after several years, when the initial love chemicals have ebbed, this flaw may begin to grate on your soul. People seldom change. Marriage won’t make her change either. If there’s something about her that you know, truly know deep down, you can’t live with, than it’s time to move on. You’re wasting both of your times.

    Again, just my friendly two cents. I don't know you really, and I don't know her beyond the words in this thread. I've been in enough relationships, including my current one, to know the above holds true for me.
     
    Moses1991 likes this.
  15. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    You're probably right.
     
  16. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 29 - Success.

    Almost at day 30. Not much to report here, apart from general life problems. I'm still convinced those would have been handled better, had I not been dealing with withdrawal symptoms.

    I could probably switch back to the smart phone and be fine for a while, but it's better if I hold onto the flip phone for a while. Maybe for 2 months, or maybe i'll just go to day 100 and reward myself by switching? who knows.
     
  17. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    "rewards" can be dangerous. Push for a 100 days and see if you even need to "reward" yourself. You may find you do not need to at all?!
     
  18. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    You might be right?

    I just planned on switching back to a smartphone eventually. Maybe a flip phone is just what I need though. Either way, i'm not making that decision today.
     
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  19. Moses1991

    Moses1991 Member

    Day 30 - Success.

    Its definitely odd to be doing this again. The first time I got to day 30, I felt amazing. This time I feel good, but the highs and lows aren't as pronounced as before. I don't really have any odd fantasies or temptations. It's true that i'm busy with other things, but this last week I kinda just feel like a regular guy that has a flip phone and no internet.
     
  20. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member


    First off, congrats on getting back to one month!


    Maybe that's just what you need to be in your life right now, lol
     

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