2.8 years of sobriety- My journey in finding self-acceptance and inner peace

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Freedom from Servitude, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    20/08/2018

    Feeling still a bit low today, but it has been OK overall. I am still missing Wales. I have been occupying my time by going through my next actions list. I completed my Step 10 inventory this morning. It has been on the back of my to do list for some time and I have only just gotten round to doing it. I cleaned my room and reorganised a few folders. I have also started an application to a traineeship in the sector that I am interested in. It has been a productive day. I'm conscious that I am spending a bit too much time by my computer than I would like to, but this has involved doing worthwhile activities. I won't be spending as much time in front of it at all as I will be out during the week.
     
  2. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    21/22/08/2018

    Had a challenging day yesterday with my anxiety, depression and fatigue. I am proud of myself that I managed to push through to meet with my speakers mentor and pick up the bits I wanted around town. Some days are like this and they are inevitable. There is no point struggling with them, you can only do your best to surrender to what is. Today by contrast has been quite good. After getting over the usual hike in anxiety I feel first thing in the morning, I was feeling much calmer and in a positive mood. I had a careers meeting this morning. Finished an application to a trainee scheme, which I am pleased with and then headed off to the hospital.

    The results from the urology appointment were interesting. Against expectation, I apparently haven't got anything wrong with my prostate, but an overactive bladder. I had thought that in the old days when I used to edge and watch porn that I might have given myself Prostatitis. The treatment for overactive bladder is less clear and may involve a dependency on medication which I don't like the idea of . Nobody's quite sure of the causes of the condition in my case. The links of the condition to the nervous system have been established, so I wonder whether there is a connection somehow to this addiction?

    I tried my first sample of cider apple vinegar this evening. Its a health food that has virtual legendary status. I am aware that many of the health claims have been exaggerated, but there does seem to be some basis for some of the claims in scientific research. I am taking it to see whether it has a beneficial effect on my gut microbiome and my digestive system in general.
     
  3. jack91

    jack91 Find your way throuh Staff Member

    if i went to doctor i would be sure they dont find anything wrong with my penis. I think it was mostly brain / neurological problem. science doesnt help us much im afraid but common sense can maybe help. With you i always end up saying the same, you have great direction and means. Stop porn, its pretty much all that can be done. its too the scientific thing to do.

    And i too had, and still at times have overactive bladder, i think it have been much easier with pelvic exercise's.
    I started doing very simple routine few times a week, gave 15 minutes to it at time and it had lots of good results.
    Penis is a muscle, and porn + wanking for years had made mine very weak, i could felt it that i had every problem imaginable with my penis.
    I thought that mere abstaining is enough that it strengthen the penis and no more work is necessary.
    And later i realized that its a muscle too, and doing some work with it might have good results.

    As i said, back then i had every negative symptom in the books and overactive bladder too, but almost all my symptoms have disappeared. I can hold piss easily for great many hours, that strengthen the penis by itself, its not made to piss at any whim, few times is enough and longer the intervals the better, its muscle exercise by itself. In your case maybe you are too accustomed to piss at the moment you have tiny need to?

    Learn away from that, try hold it for much as you can and you learn away from that behavior without drugs.

    I dont know what your history is with pelvic exercise's but i strongly recommend it, helped me from same problem!
     
    ronkumar likes this.
  4. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Hi Jack, thanks for your suggestions. I have tried Pelvic exercises in the past, but I will give them another go with the hope to find similar positive results that you have had. My symptoms are not debilitating, they are just a minor nuisance and a bit of a mystery. It is certainly is a possibility that they could be addiction related. However, at 2 years 2 months of sobriety, you can understand why I am not fully accepting that.
     
  5. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    23-25/08/2018

    I felt a great deal of anxiety Thursday. I met my new boss for the first time. He seems a nice enough person. I then had to adapt around all the changes that had been made while I had been away. A slight mishap took place and I had to rectify it by adjusting my schedule after work before heading off to my Toastmasters club. It was a bit of a rush, but all was well in the end. I had been feeling apprehensive all week about doing my first evaluation of someone's speech at the club. Despite my frame of mind, I not only got up and delivered an evaluation that impressed my TM friends, and did the new member justice, I also volunteered myself to deliver a pretty good table topic too. I felt top of the world leaving the club that evening, immensely proud that I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

    Friday was generally good, though I did have a bit of social anxiety that crept in during the staff meeting at the end of the shift. This was obsessive thinking as to whether my colleagues actually like me, and whether I said enough at the meeting and the right things. Its just a nagging voice, nothing more.

    Although my anxiety has peaked in some cases, the overall levels seem to have dropped over the last few days. I see a script running telling me that it has to be the apple cider vinegar. This script runs whenever I try something new.

    As I am off work today, I have been using my time to catch up and organise by working through my lists and continuing to implement the GTD methodology. For the short time, I have been putting it into place, I feel more powerful and in control. I just have to remember to schedule some proper relaxation timethough and not get too carried away working through my lists. I have managed to get a lot done this week, and make some progress towards the goals that matter in my life, like careers.
     
  6. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    26/08/2018

    I have had persistent strong cravings to act out throughout today. They started last evening and continued throughout the night. Porn flashbacks and fantasy type images filled my head. I found it difficult to resist the urge to masturbate. I had one wet dream and I continued to remain hard for the rest of the night. It has felt as though my body is dying to ejaculate. These cravings have come out of nowhere. I was briefly triggered by a thumbnail clickbait of a woman in a bikini while I was reading an online news story, but the craving then subsided. It may be because I have been pushing myself a lot this week, but, even still, it is unusual for me to be hit this hard by them. At times, it seems that I cannot survive without my fix. I reached out to my sponsor, and spoke over the phone to three of my SA fellows, and this has helped stop me from doing something that I would later regret. There was one moment when I found myself scrolling down on a TV channel catch up service as if to discretely look to see what triggering material there was to watch. I noticed that there was one documentary on the porn industry, and, after some effort, I resisted the urge to watch it and closed the window. I am determined that I will not give in. The consequences would be devastating.

    I have also had a lot of thoughts about entering a relationship. Even though these are sometimes mixed with lustful thoughts of having sex with a real life partner, there is a genuine desire to be in a healthy relationship with someone.

    My anxiety levels have been low today and I have felt relatively calm. I have probably spent more time by my computer than I would have liked to because of rainy weather outside. I had hoped to go for a long walk this afternoon, but I can still do that when my friend comes over tomorrow.
     
  7. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    27/08/2018

    I was in a near relapse situation last night after I had typed my previous entry. I found myself tempted to visit Gyfcat which I knew from the past that has a lot of porn. I scrolled down the web page for a bit before regaining my sensibility and closing the window. Naturally a bad move, but the cravings were absolutely vicious yesterday. I should have veered on the side of caution and refused to use my computer full stop. Rather than beat myself up, I choose to pat myself on the back to making the right decision not to look at porn however late it may have been.

    The cravings were a lot weaker this morning, but i still felt strongly tempted to act out. I spoke to my sponsor which was a massive help, and then read my reboot statements, some success stories and watched some motivational videos. Going for a contemplative walk also helped to renew my motivation to stay sober and contain the situation. After that, I felt reasonably in a control and much calmer.

    This afternoon a friend came round and we went for a long walk to the next village. It was good to catch up and spend time in nature.
     
  8. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    28/08/2018

    It has been an alright day. I have managed to get a lot done. I have put together a first draft for another job application and have started working on a new speech for the club. I have also been looking after the place while my family is away on holiday. I will be visiting them tommorow for a day out and then head off to the SA meeting afterwards. It has been a good few weeks since I last went to a meeting so I am looking forward to connecting again. I have been feeling a bit empty and low in parts, and generally I get the picture that I am trying to get fulfilment by keeping myself busy with various activities. I feel like a hamster on a wheel, continuously going round, but never quite reaching the treat that he is after. That's the point with my next action lists. Providing that I am diligent in keeping them updated, there will be no finishing point.There will always be something to do. Its all about learning to be at peace with the here and now and enjoying the moment for what it is.
     
  9. jack91

    jack91 Find your way throuh Staff Member

    Have you found girls from speech/work from any social circle. You sound a stand up guy that girl can get interested towards, have you noticed anything like that. Its fuel to me and if no girl take contact to me i get angry and lose my inner peace, least partly. Girls are important =)..
     
  10. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    There aren't many girls my age that I come in contact with and that includes the speakers club. My friends are similar to me in that they don't mix much with the opposite sex. I am currently looking into online dating. First impressions are that I need to find the right one, with enough membership and good reputation. At the moment, I feel overwhelmed by the choices out there. I still would prefer to meet someone through a mutual contact.
     
  11. jack91

    jack91 Find your way throuh Staff Member

    Be careful in online dating. Many have lost the grip there. Its always better to find someone face to face. Maybe there needs to be long waiting periods but be happy and as you are. It takes the edge off. If you want your own girl, being without porn is great way to go. Nothing sounds more manly or adult to me. Its long work but it pays off!
     
  12. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    31/08/2018

    Wednesday was a nice day. Spent the day with my Mum, enjoying a meal and looking around the local attractions of a sea side town. It reminded me that we don't spend enough time together. I would like that to change. I had typical symptoms of depression throughout most of the day including emptiness, lack of connection with others. I also just wanted to escape the present moment. I nevertheless valued the time I shared with my mum. My mood picked up when I went to the SA meeting. It helped that I hadn't seen my fellow addicts for about three weeks, and it was great to reestablish the connection we all share over this addiction.

    I was feeling apprehensive Thursday about working with my new boss. My fears were unfounded as I knew that they would be. It was a good day overall, and we had the chance to get to know each other a bit better, which I enjoyed.

    Today has been productive and on ballance quite a good one. It is good for my self esteem when I can get through some activities on my next action lists. I am still looking after the house so quite a few activities have been domestic work. I cooked myself a delicious curry earlier. All of these activities foster a sense of independence, which is really good for me. Have also been working on another speech and a job application. As a result, I am feeling quite positive today, but, of course, low level anxiety remains in the background. I have been practising EFT with regularity over the last few days, having finally got round to putting together my own tapping tree from 'The tapping solution' book. The plan is to work through clearing the traumatic memories on my tapping tree on a daily basis. This is a method that is recommended by practitioners. I really do think that there is something to EFT, although I don't have sufficient personal evidence to decide yet whether I agree with the whole narrative in the book. I just find that it is helpful for getting less caught up in my thoughts, particularly if there is a worry that I can't seem to let go of.
     
  13. Johhny Bravo

    Johhny Bravo Every temptation is another chance of life revival

    "Day 33: This morning I woke up and deeply loved and accepted myself, regardless of my decision to use porn or not. I feel good with who I am. I don't base my identity anymore on being a virgin, I actually like it because it's my own inner nature and uniqueness. I love and accept totally who I am."

    Turn up the self-love, big time. Don't make it conditional on your choices of porn (or not)- selflove needs to be absolute.
     
  14. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Thanks for posting Johnny. As I have indicated in my post to your success story, I haven't used porn in over two years now.

    I continue to try a lot to cultivate self love and acceptance including daily affirmations, EFT, have been on CAT and CBT and have looked at diet and exercise too. All of these have helped me manage my anxiety and depression, but you cannot simply 'choose' to make it go away. It doesn't respond to normal rational thinking. Sometimes, like today, it can be experienced with just a raw feeling of energy with no conscious thinking behind it at all.

    I will try hypnotherapy as you have recommended, as I am always looking for ways to cope with my mental health.
     
  15. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    02/09/2018

    I enjoyed yesterday overall. I spent the entirety of it with members of my extended family who I don't see very often. After getting some shopping in the city on the way back, I came home early evening. I rounded off a few loose ends in the house and played a computer game with some friends of mine. Its not something I do very often these days, but its a good social opportunity. I had the usual feeling of social anxiety of wandering what my relatives were thinking about what I saying etc. I tapped on these feelings though, and this helped to clear them so that I could unwind in the evening. While waiting for my train, a lady started chatting to me (don't get excited, she wasn't my age!), she was experiencing some distress in her life, being in a foreign country away from her family compounded the issue. I tried to help her by listening. I felt good about helping a stranger.

    I didn't sleep well last night at all. I had strong cravings to act out and a nervous system that just wouldn't settle down. It seemed like the addiction was up to its usual tricks. The result is that I have been feeling quite low for most of the day. How I feel often is influenced by the quality of sleep that I have. The idea of working at a busy festival for work next weekend has been playing on my mind. I'm not looking forward to it, but I am trying to frame it in a positive way by seeing it as a growth opportunity and a challenge. I haven't allowed this to get in the way of making something of the day, and I have kept myself busy. I finished another job application this morning.
     
  16. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    03/09/2018

    I had a porn dream last night that disrupted my sleep. It has been a while since I last dreamt of acting out. The dream finished with an ejaculation.

    I was watching a Spanish foreign language drama today. I knew that there would be some sexual content in there but decided that I would look away if any scenes came up. For the first couple I did, but there was quite a lot and eventually I couldn't resist the temptation to look. Like when this has happened on previous occasions, I didn't have the urges to watch porn. I felt the usual wave of anxiety that I always feel when I feel sexual pleasure in these situations. I took this as an opportunity to go for a long walk in the sun and contemplate what this was all about and I am glad that I did. I have conditioned myself to feel anxiety over the years by buying into the whole yourbrainonporn theory of this addiction. The problem is that there is a lot that we still don't understand about the brain science and this leaves some scope for uncertainty. when it comes to the details of the recovery process. And my anxiety thrives in uncertainty. I think there is also probably a limit to what I understand of the material available. I have developed then a hypochondria of the recovery process. Specifically, if any of the symptoms I continue to experience are in any way related to this addiction, then any prospect that I could have done something to slow down the process is alarming. Objectively looking at the situation, while there is a possibility that looking at those nude scenes in the drama may have done something to harm the recovery process, I have no clear evidence to prove that this is the case. Nor do I have a strong argument as of yet to claim that I am still being affected by PAWS. Worrying whether I may or may not have had the perfect recovery according to a particular narrative does nothing but wastes time and energy.

    However, I have two very tangible reasons to avoid those kind of triggers as much as possible. One is that they have addictive qualities. The image of a naked woman in the drama has been circulating in my head for most of the afternoon, however briefly it appeared on the computer screen. I also leaked some pre-cum and had a racing pulse for several hours solid way after the drama had finished. Now, that might be because my sexual appetite hasn't been fed in a very long time. Of course biologically speaking, I should be in my sexual prime at my age. My main and primary reason to do all that I can to avoid these sex scenes in dramas is because they usually lead to cravings to look at porn along the way. Porn is my enemy, and I cannot cross that line again. I need to follow the policy of always veering on the edge of caution again. Avoid all trigger situations as much as possible.

    Sobriety is not about numbers (I have been obsessed with my recovery streak) its about developing a practical vision. I have a sexuality and its thrown into a trap door in the hope that it doesn't cause trouble. I need to respect it and acknowledge that it exists. Those scenes were not a big deal and it is only natural that I would enjoy them, the problem is that they do make a porn relapse much more likely, which is why I have to avoid them. As part of my vision for sobriety, I need to carry on channelling this sexual energy into constructive activities and towards building a health relationship with a woman.
     
  17. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    07/09/2018

    It has been an incredibly tough week so far. I have experienced rampant anxiety and insomnia. Prior to last night i had barely slept at all 5 days in a row. The insomnia feeds into my anxiety and my anxiety feeds the insomnia. I have felt as though that I have been pushed to breaking point. So much so that a lot of my usual day to day activities have been pushed to the side while I focus solely on survival. I have been in regular contact with family members because I have noticed suicidal thoughts creeping in. I can handle the anxiety, it is the combination of both the insomnia and and the anxiety that is crippling. I spoke to my boss at work yesterday to explain the situation to them. We have a busy festival coming up and I was concerned that my current state of health means that working over the next few days full on may be too much. So, I feel as though I have been pushed to my limits this week.

    The insomnia has tended to improve gradually over the past few nights. I was also a lot calmer last night so that helped enormously. As it has been my day off today, I have been able to break from the usual routine and sleep in a bit to get the extra energy I need. On balance it has been quite a good day, I feel at least vaguely human again and I have had enough energy to do chores around the house and catch up on business.

    The question is why has it happened? I have three ideas. Simply it could be just anxiety. I have two triggering events this week. One was on Wednesday when I worked a type of shift for one of my jobs that I hadn't done before, another is the aforementioned busy festival coming up this weekend. Alternatively, I attempted to start a course of Sertraline ( an anti-depressant) this week to see if it would make a difference. I only took a half a tablet, but after I experienced chronic insomnia Monday evening, and I had learned that this was a common side effect, I decided it was prudent to avoid taking another one. This seems unlikely, however, as I only took half a tablet and I can't see the dosage really having a significant impact on the body in that time. I have always been hesitant about taking anti-depressants, though a few testimonials from people I know about how they have made a difference in their life now makes me feel its worth trying them at a less stressful time. Another more realistic possibility to explain how I have been feeling is that they are PAWS. When I watched that drama on Monday and couldn't resist the urge to have a look at the nude scenes, it was the day after I had a wet dream. Usually, being exposed to a trigger like that doesn't cause me to feel like this, but the timing of it may have poked the hornets nest. I have been very effective at avoiding triggers so far and have made the decision to avoid all dramas with scenes of a sexual nature in them.

    At the moment i am feeling much better about working at the festival over the weekend, and I think that candid conversation with my boss helped a lot with that, possibly because it helps ease those fears of rejection.
     
  18. Johhny Bravo

    Johhny Bravo Every temptation is another chance of life revival

    You are doing so well with your persistence. Well done brother, this is amazing.

    At this stage I would re-ask what your intention of doing nofap is for? (Im not asking you directly).

    I found after i was able to go a few days, my conviction to do the nofap item permanently for a period of time became attractive. I wanted a real life girlfriend and i had a decision to make; either fap and be single forever or otherwise persevere with this new style of energy and self empowerment and self direction i had.

    Nofap gave me an edge to life. Obviously i am accustomed to this feeling now but i certainly recall some major decision moments, rather, RE-DECISION moments.

    Stengthen your self determination; what precisly do you want by doing nofap? Concentrate on this answer and you will be able to coast through this entire journey effortlessly

    If you cannot answer this question for yourself and own your desire for xyz then for myself i found i was just a time bomb....tick tock tick tock.......well now the options of fapping look more prosperous....maybe my desires arent important....maybe im not important.....no girls will like me....oh i cant give this up.....

    If you are honest and watchful with yourself you can discover some really fascinating things.
     
  19. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    Thanks for your support guys

    Good question. My initial motivation was simply to feel better within myself. By the time I woke up to the fact that I had an addiction to porn in 2012, I was in a bad place with my mental health. This wasn't solely due to porn but my addiction was a big contributory factor ever eroding my self-esteem and blinding me to what was really going on. The loose vision that kept me through numerous failed reboot attempts in the past and through this successful streak is to feel a peace within myself. As I have got further into recovery I realise that I may have had a unrealistic vision to begin with. It really is all about just feeling good enough. Life is imperfect, it will have its ups and downs and that is all part of the human experience. Feeling good, though, isn't a clear vision. I needed something more tangible, like goals to chase after, and a set of values by which I can live my life by, also a healthy balance of interests. I think a big part of that vision, which I have so far yet to go about doing is a relationship with someone.

    Thanks, Raskolnikov. It seemed like I was going through withdrawals, though I make that statement with no certainty. I experienced shear panic for no apparent reason. I had already worked the festival the previous year, so could not really understand what I was so anxious about.
     
  20. Freedom from Servitude

    Freedom from Servitude Active Member

    10/09/2018

    I have had a lazy day catching up on what has been an incredibly stressful week that has pushed me to my limits. This is also my only day off this week as well so I have been easy on myself. I had a bit of a dopamine gorge by watching several episodes of a TV show, but I deserved it. As predicted, the festival was nothing to worry about. Although the trend of insomnia continued, I remained relatively calm throughout the festival. I did extremely well even and was complimented on the level of sales I was able to reach by my colleagues. If I am being honest, part of me even enjoyed the weekend. I felt a sense of community with my work colleagues and the other stall holders at the festival. We had a good team dynamic and got on harmoniously. I also had the usual sense of accomplishment that comes when going beyond your comfort zone. I am nevertheless glad that it is over because I hadn't slept properly in a week by that point and felt utterly drained. I am a little intimidated by the prospect of doing a six day week, but this will be the final push before the calendar becomes quiet for both of my jobs. I will have more days off to recharge and do the things that I want to shortly.
     

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