A Better Tomorrow

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by NewStart19, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. nuclpow

    nuclpow Active Member

    You say you have something incredibly stressful going on, life changes for you. It could be that you should deal with the stressful things now, before you try to quit porn. Is the stress of your life what is driving you to look up porn in the first place?

    My sympathies for any damage down there. I don't understand why you want to put distance between you and internet porn before you consult an expert. I am not even sure what you mean by "mileage". This is internet porn, it's in a lot of places. There might not be such a thing as getting away from it, only changes in habits. I am unsure whom to seek for help, could you ask a family doctor? "I've got some injuries to my genitals." "Have you been particularly rough with them lately?" "Yes, and I'm trying to quit internet porn."

    You say you are refraining from TV, video games, internet use and other entertainment. Howcome? Some entertainment and video games are good for you. Are you just being hard on yourself for no reason, or is it really wasting serious time or causing you to slip up in porn? Can you just not use Google Image search? I use https://duckduckgo.com/, and it has three levels of family-friendliness. Maybe the max setting might work for you, but I haven't tested it.

    I hope that helps. I get the feeling that you're being too mean to yourself, although I don't know your scenario.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  2. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    nuclpow

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response.

    First off, regarding stress, although I am sure it has had some role to play in my becoming an addict, I don’t think it is the only reason. It’s difficult to pinpoint what it was because I became a porn addict over two decades ago, but yea, I definitely think stress was one factor. As for the stress that I am experiencing right now, I think that avoiding it is not the way to go. From what I have read about conditioning, we condition ourselves to certain stimuli by associating/pairing them with certain responses. Although porn is one of the few (perhaps even the sole) addiction I have in my life now, I used to have a plethora of addictions I suffered from, and part of the reason I developed them was because I conditioned my brain to use them to cope with stress. Regardless of how difficult or painful I feel responding to powerful stressors with something other than an addiction may be, by doing this over time, I should be able to habituate myself to the feelings caused by stress (anxiety, anger, shutting down) and replace my old, detrimental responses with new, beneficial ones. It takes time however, and I am going through some tough growing pains. Better now than never though right? I am trying to get better at this by just taking each day as they come.

    Disclaimer: This next paragraph might be off-putting to some readers (it’s about the physical damage to my penis), so you may want to avoid it.
    Mileage might have been a strange analogy as it refers to distance. I was talking about time. Time away from intentional porn/porn substitute use, time away from the physical stimulation of my genitals, time away from orgasm, and time away from fantasy. While we may unintentionally come into contact with porn or sexually arousing triggers, I actually do think we can considerably decrease the amount of time we are exposed to them. As for the damage itself, put bluntly, there is a certain patch (ring might be more appropriate) on the shaft of my penis that has lost a considerable amount of tissue due to aggressive, unchecked masturbation over the last few years (i.e. it hasn't been like this throughout the entire course of my addiction). I could indeed see a medical professional now, but it would be clear to the both of us why I have this problem: too much friction from aggressive masturbation, which I have been compulsively doing because of my porn addiction. As for treatment, the first step would be to give it rest, though I have had a streak of 8 weeks in the past, and while the pain was almost reduced to zero with no physical stimulation, once I started masturbating again, it would begin to hurt. I also noticed that none of the tissue regenerated during that time. The skin hurt less and the damaged area returned to its original color, but that was it. There isn’t much out there on this issue, but my guess is that there are two possibilities forward: 1) refraining from rubbing that area for long enough will lead to a hardening of the tissue (since the tissue regenerating on it’s own didn’t happen at all after 2 months of no physical stimulation), which will allow me to have sex/do sex acts with a partner without being further damaged or feeling pain after, or 2) get a skin graft. But regardless of what possibilities are or aren’t there for me in the future, the first step of treatment is to leave my penis alone and ensure that I don’t further abuse it (which would be achieved through overcoming this addiction, something which I am committed to doing). In the past, during my early stages of recovery, I thought about this damage and some of the long-term repercussions it would have on my sex life. This would make me obsess about it, and led to multiple relapses. For now, I want to avoid getting sucked into this whirlpool of regret and negativity, and instead consider these thoughts about my future sex life once I have got more time under my belt (3-6 months, not sure yet...I think I will have a better idea once I have recovered more). I am not trying to run away from my circumstances. I just want to remove the cause of my damage before meeting with my doctor. I mean, he/she isn't going to be able to provide me with treatment that gets me to stop masturbating to pornography. Justly or unjustly, it is ultimately on the shoulders of the addict to beat their addiction. I didn't ask to be an addict when I was a little kid, nor did I know what I was getting myself into, but the fact of the matter is that I am an addict, and, if I want a better life, I have to take the slings and arrows of the initial and later stages of recovery. Thankfully, I am not completely alone, and YBR, other forums like this, and accountability partners have been providing me with some much needed support, something I have been lacking for so long now. And I really appreciate it. Everyone who comments, or even those that just browse, I am grateful to each and every one of you. I want to start repaying this kindness by inspiring others with my own recovery efforts, but I still got a long way to go before I can do that. And you know, as scary as the damage is, I am excited to getting to that day where I do meet with a doctor and hear what they have to say about the options available to me. Anyway, thanks for giving me an opportunity to talk about this...it is definitely something that has been on my mind, but I never had the courage to talk about. I don't suffer from PIED, but this is the physical burden I carry. It makes me feel subhuman at times, like I am defective, and I feel so ashamed about it sometimes. But it is my reality, and it's nice to talk about it with someone for the first time.

    As for your last point, I think it depends on the person. Some people can use porn occasionally and not become addicts. Some people can drink and maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol. How nature and nurture combine and the effect that this has differs depending on the individual. I no longer drink anymore, but I used to have a pretty serious problem with alcohol. It was a long journey, but I realized I couldn’t have it in my life and was ultimately able to remove it entirely. It’s just no longer an option for me. The same with cigarettes and marijuana. Like alcohol, people can have a healthy relationship with video games, and (if I remember properly) it seems like you are experiencing positive benefits from games like Brain Age, Wii Sports etc. I think that is fantastic. I want you to find tools that make you feel better and aid in recovery. If they are helping you, then I definitely think you should continue to use them. But I have had an addictive relationship with video games since I was toddler (around 2 years old), which is even longer than my porn addiction (started at age 10). My relationship with games has changed throughout these almost three decades, and not all of my experiences with them were bad; however, the fact of the matter is that they can be addictive and they can hijack our reward circuitry. I want to focus on finding more activities that aren’t superstimuli hijacking my reward center. I think by removing these dopamine jackpots from my life and finding healthier ways to stimulate my reward circuitry, I will find more success with porn recovery and start feeling more fulfilled in general. As for other forms of entertainment, I don’t want to remove them entirely. But I do want to open up more time in my life for more fulfilling and productive hobbies, and, to be honest, I want to spend more time away from a screen, be it a computer, television or smartphone. If you want to hear more about this, I can try to elaborate, but I feel I have already written too much.

    Thanks for the duckduckgo recommendation, and yea, I should probably avoid google image searches since I have used that many times in the past to consume pornography. I could have easily just looked up the word on Webster or OED. Lesson learned.

    Lastly, during this journey, I have heard from others that I tend to be negative (or, as you put it, mean) toward myself. It seems like this is something that I need to work on more. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  3. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    August 20, 2019 - Day 7

    Urges:

    The morning and afternoon were alright, nothing too terrible. The evening hit me with a couple of sucker punches though. The first was when I went for a walk to cool down from some earlier urges. It was then that I heard some noise coming from a nearby house and instantaneously became a thrall to my sudden urges. I creepily stood next to the house, transfixed on any sound coming from it, my heart pounding, my stomach tight, the yearning tearing at my insides, and I tried to catch anything I could for a few minutes. It was maddening…at some point I came to my senses, and realized I looked extremely suspicious, and, more importantly, I was violating someone’s privacy. I snapped out of my trance and walked away, and after I remembered that I had suggested putting earphones in my ears when I go for walks. I won't forget next time. I don't want to endanger myself, nor do I have the right to violate someone’s personal space like I did tonight. The second blow was when I tried to tackle a task that is a source of some anxiety for me. It caused incredible urges within, and I tried to handle them with self talk because I felt trapped and paralyzed. But this didn’t help much. It dispelled a little of the anxiety for a brief interval, but actually made things worse, because I have been almost entirely free of self talk for close to a week (a great accomplishment for me), and I felt like I was giving into pressure and letting myself down. I still felt I could salvage my progress (because I hadn’t been talking for that long..maybe 5-10 minutes), so I took a few deep breaths, silenced myself, and decided that I didn’t have to finish this task right now, and that there was nothing wrong with trying again tomorrow when I am in a different state of mind. The third haymaker came when I was watching a movie. There was an actress whose beauty hit me like a thunderbolt, and my mind was tractor-beamed into thoughts of wanting her. I wanted her so bad. So, as some of you I think are familiar with, I played the slippery slope game for a little, and tried to look some pictures of her up online. Nothing arousing or sexual there, but that’s not the point is it. My brain was trying to trick me with its rationalization, and I fell for it. “It's not porn, it's not even sexual. Look, stop overthinking things and just look it up. Need some help? Let me give you a little dopamine spike…yea that’s good. Now look up a few photos of her. See? Nothing worrisome. Alright now, let's just see if there are any slightly more revealing pictures of her. How about bikini pics? That's not too extreme...” Thankfully, I got myself to end it there, but I can’t do this to myself from here on. I can’t play with fire. I’ll apply take 10 or something like that next time. Anyway, I am just glad it was another PMO free day.

    Emotions:

    I was alone and inside most of today. Depression, regret, and worthlessness were my companions. But, if I were to make an analogy, I felt like I was being swept down this emotional torrent while clinging on to a single log that was keeping me afloat. This log was the determination that at least I know I won’t relapse. I can’t relapse. I might have days like today where I feel adrift in a sea of hopelessness, but things will get better. They'll get better because I won’t relapse. And on days where I am feeling better, I can make more progress and build on what I want to become. I just got to take it all one day at a time. For now, I just have to endure the pain.

    Cognition:
    Focus was fragmented. Memory seemed somewhat poor. Not sure about the rest.

    Pain:
    Had some pockets of burning pain, but the rest of the day was fine.

    * Something positive / something I did well:

    - Turning myself back in the right direction each time I was sucker-punched by urges.
    - Realizing that today is just one day so that I could deal with the suffering and hope for a better tomorrow, all the while being ok with not expecting it anytime soon
    - Finished almost everything I wanted to do today, even though I was pushed close to the brink by my urges. It was hard getting back on my feet, but I think I was able to regain most of my balance

    I feel exhausted guys. Show some love if you can. For all of you who have gone through hell today, I am sorry that I haven't said so directly in your topics, but it's terrible that you have to suffer like this. I just want all of us to get better and put this disease behind us once and for all. But for now, all I can do is hit the hay. Take care.
     
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  4. nuclpow

    nuclpow Active Member

    I respect your efforts to quit, mostly I just think you're being way too hard on yourself.
     
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  5. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    nuclpow

    Duly noted. You're probably right. I don't know where to draw the line sometimes, but better safe than sorry I think.
     
  6. nuclpow

    nuclpow Active Member

    I think you're being too hard on yourself for being too hard on yourself. :) Lighten up, dude. :)
     
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  7. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    nuclpow

    Will do. I'll try to take a break from mindfulness meditation and do some metta (lovingkindness) instead. I'm usually not successful at this, but when it works I definitely feel more compassion toward everyone (including myself). Some of my clients gave me some sweets today as a parting gift, so maybe I'll indulge in a little sugar high as well.

    Thanks for the repeated input nuclpow. Wishing you the best on your journey. I want the both of us to make it through to the other side of this tunnel. I don't know about other people, but input from fellow sufferers really helps give me extra motivation to keep fighting this thing. I'm grateful that communities like this one exist.
     
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  8. nuclpow

    nuclpow Active Member

    Reading your journal you seem to have good character and are trying very hard to be good. I am thinking you need to change your daily and hourly self-talk to be kinder to yourself. However it may not be a priority for you.

    It reminds me to stay committed when people post to my journal, too. Since you're serious, I intend to dump everything I can think of for helping you quit. You seem to be in a tough spot.

    Have you read TheUnderdog's My Thoughts On Rebooting [EXTREMELY LONG POST]? There are the instructions for quitting porn there. I'd read it twice, or even every few days, for as long as you're trying to quit porn.

    You said you have K9. I hear that's an okay filter for Windows. Good. The psychological barrier of having filtering helps me a lot, although I don't know if it works that way for others. It also helps remind you that you do, in fact, have an inclination to look at porn, but also that you're meaning not to at this time. It's a confidence-booster anyway.

    There's dictionaries at https://www.m-w.com/ and https://en.wiktionary.org/. Why were even on the image search? It didn't occur to you that you should probably leave image search alone since you're addicted to porn? I'm a little skeptical. But don't be hard on yourself! You could have genuinely not thought of this. Do you have a plan for alternative methods of looking something up, since maybe you should probably avoid image search for a long time (or maybe the rest of your life)?

    I understand your conundrum that you might feel there is little point in going to see a urologist or doctor while you are PMOing regularly. I guess you're thinking it'll add to the stress and you'll PMO more.

    I'm glad you came to your senses and walked away from the house where you were starting to be a little voyeuristic. Can you keep in mind that you're not allowed to try to look in or listen from other people's homes, before you even go out? Can you walk in a (safe) business or industrial area where there's no privacy to intentionally or unintentionally behave? Do you want to bring a smartphone, portable video game, or listen to audio while you're out, this way giving yourself a distraction?

    I feel like you're in the very early stages of quitting internet porn. Keep working hard on changing your life and trying to quit. I've been there, and although I'm not healthy yet my life is about 6 times better. If you keep working at it, it gets better. If you've worked really hard all day and refrained from P and privacy edging, you may want to find things that reward you. I know it's tricky in the early stages, but maybe find something with no women in it. Watch sports? Play them? Cards? Fitting music? Put together a puzzle? Non-sexual TV show? Fresh fruits and vegetables?

    I respect it if you're saying that video games make things worse for you. Besides, there's no rule that says you have to play video or computer games.

    You also seem to have a lot of problems with stress. I don't blame you but I'll try to give what I hope are helpful suggestions:
    • Try to divide larger jobs into smaller ones, and tackle them one at a time
    • I hear mindfulness and transcendental meditation helps
    • Walking, like you do, and time in greenery (vegetation) are proven to help I think
    • Avoid relationships with insane people. Now, I don't mean mentally ill people, I mean people who are manipulative and it's always about them and they're bullying or abusive
    • Maybe keep in mind your end goals to help motivate you, and maybe prioritise
    I'd work on the Life Plan like TheUnderdog advises.
     
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  9. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    August 21, 2019 - Day 8

    Urges:
    Was able to keep almost all of my urges entirely in check, so nothing more than moderate cravings today. There was one time where I felt a stronger urge to fantasize because my coworker was being cold and unkind to me again, but, this time around, I let it drop and prevented the obsession train from leaving the station, even though there was a strong flash of desire in my mind to fantasize about her and her body. Clearly, how she treats me is a trigger, and while it is curious why this is the case, to be honest, this is my last week at this job and if she wants to treat me this way, so be it. I don’t need to be a jerk, and I sure don’t need to let something like this lead to a relapse. I just let it be and moved on. Gotta appreciate the small victories.

    Emotions:

    A bit of irritation because of my coworker, but I didn’t let it flare up and avoided externalizing it. I told a lot more clients today that it was our last day together, and a few people cried or got misty-eyed. One client and his mother started crying, so I walked over to him and gave him a hug and a pat on the head. Some people gave me farewell gifts, others told me they really liked my sessions and think I am a great employee, and one person even went out of her way to squeeze in a session and see me once more for the last time. Good vibes today for sure. After work, I went back home and spent some time reading through various accounts of porn addicts' experiences, and it made me feel this pervasive feeling of sadness. This wasn’t necessarily a negative sadness, maybe more of a sympathetic one. Fair or not, the bulk of the recovery pains have to be borne by the rebooter alone, and I know this can be a very empowering experience once he/she has made it through to the other side, but it’s also such a shame that so many people are being tormented by this, often getting stuck in cycles that just put the pain on rinse and repeat. I'm going through this. I know others are as well. Sometimes I just want to say I am sorry. I am sorry that you have to go through this. I am sorry that I have to go through this. I know it means little. I wish it meant more.

    Cognition:
    Verbal fluency and memory were mediocre. Confusion present. Thought speed and concentration were ok. Thoughts weren’t too hazy.

    Pain:
    Some aching here and there, but not noticeable for most of the day.

    * Something positive / something I did well:

    - Didn’t get caught up in a cycle of obsessive thoughts about my emotions (learned from my past mistake)
    - Redoubled my efforts today after yesterday’s lapse in judgement, and it showed!
     
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  10. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    nuclpow

    Tried out some lovingkindness meditation for the first time in a while. It wasn’t bad. Maybe I should start doing it more frequently than I have been. I like feeling compassion for myself and others. I wish I was better at the practice because I’d then be able to generate these feelings more regularly, but I'll take what I can get for now.

    I’ve definitely seen the name The Underdog pop up a few times on this site. Luke showed me the same link on Tuesday. Here’s what I told him:

    I definitely wasn’t scheming to push myself toward relapse by using google's image search, but there could have been something unconscious at work in the shadows. Who knows. Either way, I should have put 2 and 2 together and realized that obviously it was going to be triggering with how many times I have relapsed through it before. It’s been my porn go-to for a while. Definitely going to stay away from using it, and if I do feel some actual need for it, I’ll make sure to do so in a public space.

    I definitely want to avoid bringing any tech devices with me on my walks, but I should get my thoughts together before heading out, and I should always put my earphones in when going for a walk at night (this is when the inner voyeur really becomes active). Unfortunately, the closest non-residential area is a red-light district. I want to avoid this place at all costs. It’s bad enough dealing with my internally-generated urges. It’s even more difficult when I have people approaching me on the streets asking, “Want to have some fun?”, {while tapping their crotch} “How about some sex?”, or “All the girls here are young and energetic. How about a handjob?”. I think you get the drift.

    Six times better? That’s great nuclpow, congratulations man. Yea, I am only eight days in right now (with my last considerable streak ending about 2.5 months ago), so recovery is in its initial stages for sure. Things are a bit busy for me at the moment, so it is difficult to cram new hobbies on top of work and the mountain of errands I have, but some rewarding activities I have been engaging in are: meditation (been doing this 20 minutes almost every day for about six months now), picking up physical therapy again (twice a day), going for walks, reading and posting on YBR and RN, and texting my friends who live overseas a bit more than usual recently. When I have some more free time, I would like pick up where I left off in my OCD book, maybe even start the ADHD one as well (that might be overdoing things though to be honest: having too much on my plate has been the cause of many a relapse in the past).

    Video games can be dope don’t get me wrong. The last game I played was Hollow Knight. Beat all the bosses on the no-hit difficulty and beat the boss rush challenge that pits you against all the bosses in the game while simultaneously enabling some handicaps on my character. It was really tough but exhilarating, especially when I finally completed the challenges. But that was the last game on my list, and I am now ok with moving on. I am currently in the process of deleting my Steam account, and I will sell the rest of my game equipment either this week or the next. It feels like the right step forward for me.

    As for your suggestions:

    1) Totally agree. This is something I mess up a lot and it sometimes leads to a crippling paralysis
    2) I think I have this one covered already
    3) Definitely want to spend more time in nature, but my injuries limit the distance I can walk and there aren’t any natural spots nearby
    4) This is something I need to be on the lookout for. As a former sociopath, I unfortunately know about this all too well
    5) As I mentioned in my response to Luke, I definitely need to work more on placing urgency on my life vision. I am making efforts to transition to something big, but that is currently in the works at the moment

    Thanks for taking the time to reply nuclpow. Let’s keep on gaining ground against this addiction.

    Take care
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  11. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    Hey NewStart19, I see you're working really hard on your recovery. Good going. Hard work is always going to pay off!

    I really like self compassion and I'm sure those exercises will be helpful. It's often easier to be kind to others when we shouldn't forget ourselves. It's a lonely disease this is but this forum shows that we're not alone. Let's keep going forward, one step at a time!
     
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  12. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    Bezoechow

    Thanks for the comment. I am trying harder, but I still think I am making too many excuses. I'm not talking about things outside of my control that happen because of the vicissitudes of life, but rather about things I am aware of but allow to happen. But I am happy with the gains I make and the progress I have had. Plus, when I am in fact being too tough on myself, I have people like you and nuclpow around to remind me to take it easy.

    Yea for sure, let's do this! Time to leave this disease in the past and move on to something more enriching.
     
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  13. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    August 22, 2019 - Day 9

    Trigger Warning: Start
    Urges:
    Today was a bit more difficult than yesterday, but I made it through pretty well. In the evening, I went to the mall to get some farewell gifts for my coworkers. One shop I visited was the bookstore, and on my way to the section I wanted to go to, I passed the magazine stand, and my eyes happened to (this was not premeditated; I haven’t been to this bookstore before) fall on a magazine cover with a young woman sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall, wearing only a bra and underwear with her legs spread eagle. It’s like damn, how hard do the fates want to make this for me? My brain immediately thought, “I can only imagine the ecstasy I’d feel being between her legs”, and tried to get me to imagine her groin without any underwear on. But the dopamine spike the first thought gave me was a red flag, so I directed all of my attention to the task at hand. Afterward, on my way back home from the mall, I had a sexual fantasy for about a minute about an imaginary girlfriend I conjured up in my head. I think this was a result of the previous dopamine spike, but some of it was also due to the loneliness I was feeling at the time. I just reminded myself that there’s no reason to conjure up this fantasy woman. If I have a romantic, sexual partner in my life I do, and if I don’t, I don’t. And with that it faded into dust. Later on, I was watching a movie that had some sex scenes in it (oral, M&F rape, M&M rape), which was annoying to say the least, but I was happy that I just averted my gaze to the side of the screen and didn’t focus on them. I got triggered a little later by a nude photo in the film, so I went for a walk…but forgot to bring my earphones yet again! Thankfully, even though I hard urges to latch on to any possible sound or sight that might suggest somebody was getting it on, I kept walking and made it back to my house without any lingering. That felt nice and restored some of my confidence. That magazine was BS though. I am looking back on that memory now laughing to myself, thinking “haha wow that was a curveball”, and not obsessing over what I saw. It’s kind of a nice feeling. The last time I relapsed was due to a similar experience, so it feels like I got a second chance to show my antagonist that I still got some fight left in me. Oh yea, there was a small pocket where I felt some bad discomfort in my gut with nausea, and this really made me want to escape into fantasy. Thankfully, I told myself to use the discomfort and nausea as the focus of my attention. I didn’t add any thoughts on to the sensations. I just tried to ride them out and let them run their course. And they did.
    Trigger Warning: End

    Emotions:

    Had a few points where I got misty-eyed thinking about the past and the present. Some feelings of worthlessness here and there. There was a point in the afternoon where I had this attack of irritation for a few minutes. I knew how childish I was acting and that there was no need for me to feel that way, but the feeling of being pissed off fed into the next one, and then the next, and so on. Sometimes, I think I just have to take my foot off the gas.

    Cognition:

    No work again today, so I didn’t pay attention to it. I should figure out a way to gauge this on days when I don’t have work.

    Pain:
    Less noticeable than yesterday, which is a plus.

    * Something positive / something I did well:
    - Responded to some devilish urges like a pro
    - Felt like I took back my belt from the trigger that did me in last time; confidence boosted a little

    EXTRA NOTE: I came across this video on Noah Church’s channel, and I think it is just great. He’s a former addict turned recovery coach, and the video manages to be funny, informative, and serious at the same time. Check it out if you’re interested, it’s pretty short.

    *EDIT: I was told of a technique by fellow rebooter Merton that I would like to try including in my journal today. This technique has you observe your thoughts, write them down, and classify them into a cognitive distortion (irrational patterns of thought that have been reinforced in your brain) you are using. After doing so, you then write down something that supports the thought and something that challenges the thought. So here I go:

    Cognitive distortion: Thought-Action Fusion. In an earlier entry, I mentioned how a frustrating experience with a coworker led to me thinking about forcefully having sex with her. Even though I didn't even consider acting on the thought, a part of me felt I was just as awful as someone who would actually carry out that action. I do think that there is some moral deficiency within for having that thought in the first place, even if it is influenced by an addicted = diseased brain. At the same time, the fact that the thought disturbed me and that I have no desire to put it into action counters the idea that this thought = action.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  14. JD1981

    JD1981 Member

    There are so many distractions everywhere you go, everywhere you look, and our brain knows exactly how to get what it needs/wants. It can be so difficult to not let them hi jack us. Good to hear you were able to stay focused. Keep up the good work dude.
     
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  15. nuclpow

    nuclpow Active Member

    I read your post and I feel like you're working hard enough on things. You seem to be doing a lot, I have no complaints. (Yes, my life is about 5 times better than it used to be.)

    Are the narcissistic/sociopathic personality traits you talk about having once the ones driving you to be voyeuristic for people in their houses? But, of course you should stay away form any red light districts. Maybe if you got a walkman with an FM radio it would be low enough tech for you to be comfortable in taking it outside. Maybe you can buy a little FM radio at a dollar store. It might not be a practical idea, but being creative in ideas for defeating porn might be a good idea.
     
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  16. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    @JD1981

    Thanks for the comment. It's tough in the moment, but I feel better about myself after the fact.

    @nuclpow

    Thanks for the recommendation. It is definitely important to come up with new ideas. Got to stay creative when our brains do whatever they can to lead us back down the path of addiction.

    I think the voyeuristic incidents I mentioned are more so rooted in my addiction, but who knows, there could be some connection. Either way, I just need to keep working on creating new responses to these feelings. My voyeuristic acts are a lose-lose for both me and the other people involved.
     
  17. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    August 23, 2019 - Day 10

    Urges:
    Was on top of everything at work. Once I got back home, things like being behind in the tasks I wanted to complete, a desire to procrastinate, feelings of worthlessness, and some pronounced pain in my gut all conspired to get me to fantasize. They kept chasing me upward and upward, but I was always one step ahead and didn’t let them overtake me. It’s tough, and I am not being overconfident. I just know this is the willpower I want. The willpower I need. I have to keep feeding this and not the urges.

    Emotions:
    I am sure you all are tired of hearing this by now…but damn my coworker was being a real jerk again today. I am so tired of how her behavior and attitude fling me into the realm of negativity and despondency. But it isn’t all bad news. Just like the urges mentioned above, I didn’t feed any of the obsessive thoughts surrounding her behavior or how it made me feel. It was tough, but I have to remember that it is I who feeds these beasts, and, while I may never truly be able to beat them, I can strengthen other aspects of myself so that I don’t have to live in fear of when they strike. It’ll take time no doubt, but its on me to develop that which makes me stronger and starve that which makes me weaker.

    Cognition:
    Verbal fluency was somewhat poor. Brain fog present but not terribly debilitating.

    Pain:
    A few aches throughout the day, but the rest of it was fine.

    * Something positive / something I did well:
    - Getting things done
    - Keeping myself out of reach of urges and obsessing
    - Thinking about the future and not assuming that a negative outcome is what awaits me at the end
     
    Bezoechow likes this.
  18. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    I think you did a great job today. That coworker is just the worst, but it's one of those things we can't really influence much. I think your attitude towards her is admirable. That feeling of worthlessness is a little concerning to me because it apparently followed a good job at work. I noticed that you've come from much darker places so maybe it's connected with that. I've had feelings of worthlessness myself in the past so I can imagine how depressing that can be sometimes. Hope it will pass for you.
     
    NewStart19 likes this.
  19. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    @Bezoechow

    Thankfully today is the last day I have to work with her, so all that's left is to say goodbye with a smile.

    I think the feelings of worthlessness are a combination of recovery pangs (desensitization and withdrawals) and some other issues in my life I need to work out. I am trying to ride the feelings out when they come and slowly deal with the other issues when I am not overwhelmed by cravings/withdrawals.

    Appreciate the goodwill. Best of luck on your journey.

    Take care
     
    Bezoechow likes this.
  20. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Member

    Hey there fellow rebooters,

    Life has been pretty busy for me recently, so I haven't had much time to post. There are some tidbits I have noticed repeatedly popping up in informational resources regarding porn addiction (videos, text) as well as in advice I have received from successful rebooters. Not sure if any of this is landmark information for you, but I think they have given me some aha moments, so I would like to share them really quickly.

    1.) Addition over deletion. While removing this addiction from our lives is a top priority, many addicts who focus solely on deleting an addiction are statistically unsuccessful in breaking the cycle. Instead of focusing our attention on the addiction, we should instead try to implement changes to our lives so that the addiction itself doesn't seem that appealing anymore. I think this video series actually outlines a concise, detailed, and easy-to-understand approach about how to go about doing this. Please check it out if you are interested (I think the whole series is somewhere around 1h30m):



    I already meditate on a daily basis, and physical injuries prevent me from doing any exercise aside from moderate walking, so I am going to try to implement the reading habit into my life.

    Noah B.E. Church mentions how he every day, before going to bed, writes a message to himself to read the next morning, as well as a list of rules to follow and tasks to get done.

    2.) Focusing on the addiction gives it power. To be honest, while this forum and others like it have been great resources for me, I noticed that since I started using them over the past month, I have come to obsess about regularly checking and posting on the sites (not bad if you remove the obsessing component), and this was ultimately causing me to think more about porn and my addiction. I felt pressure to post in other people's topics, because I didn't want to be selfish and focus solely on myself, but this also made me spend more time on the sites and think about them when I wasn't online. This may sound selfish (I sure hope it doesn't, but it definitely could come across as such), but I think, at least for a while at least, I am going to limit myself to just posting my journal in this topic and staying in contact with my accountability partner. Once I have made more significant recovery, I might feel more comfortable posting in other's topics. Hopefully my recovery experiences will be useful to other rebooters later on down the line.

    In the meantime, take care everyone. Hope you all have a great PMO free day!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
    Living and Pete McVries like this.

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