A Better Tomorrow

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

  1. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @Gil79

    Thanks for the kind words. I agree with what you said but...

    I relapsed yesterday. While I am not pleased with what happened, I am pleasantly surprised with my observations.

    The session itself was 60/40 digital content (mostly erotic images with a little porn) and fantasy. The second part was fantasy because I knew that if I continued looking at porn it would just be click after click down a seemingly endless novelty spiral. While the session was definitely a heavy binge compared to what has become my new normal over the past couple of months, it was still comparably shorter than what used to be my average duration. What’s more, if I compared the amount of content I viewed during this relapse to an old relapse of mine of the same duration, then the amount of content viewed per a fixed unit of time would be considerably less. Also, whereas I would usually binge until oblivion and then pass out during the wee hours of the next day, this time I finished my session before the hour I would normally expect myself in bed. Lastly, before going to sleep I did manage to tidy up my living space and finish a few minor tasks before going to bed, which was basically unheard-of with the old way things were.

    In short, looking on the bright side, I strangely feel halfway decent about how things turned out. Like this was a worst-case scenario binge, yet it is objectively and noticeably better than my old normal. Gotta love progress.

    I don’t want to forget to mention what led to this relapse. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t uphold my shut-down/put-away time for IADs. This is something that I haven’t fully upheld from time to time, and while I have made it through without relapse, every time it put me closer to or directly in the danger-zone (what I like to call the “red-zone”). This has taught me an important lesson, one that is easy to uphold. I WILL always turn off and put away my IADs by my cutoff time, with the only exception being a legitimate emergency (i.e. someone is severely injured/dying etc.) I have built up a lifestyle that has made this possible, and have been able to uphold it for the most part. But it needs to absolute. And that’s something I can do.

    So with that, I wish everyone a good night. Back in the saddle again with clear vision. My destination is far off, but I know where I’m going. To a better tomorrow ; )

    Take care
     
    Pete McVries and -Luke- like this.
  2. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    This post is going to be a short one.

    Today was pretty good on the PMO-front, and I upheld my shutdown time for IADs. Only a few urges here and there.

    Gotta be thankful for the easier days.

    Take care
     
  3. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    And take time to thank yourself for not letting things get out of hand. What we're doing here is out of self love and that's a message we can't stress enough to ourselves.
     
    Living, NewStart19, -Luke- and 2 others like this.
  4. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @Gil79

    I’m trying to be more mindful about this. Enacting self-compassion is something I want to become more consistent with. It’s one of the responses to urges/withdrawals that I have listed down in my Porn Recovery Plan.

    As for today, another day down. Was pretty good at controlling ogling when I was running errands. Not perfect, but much better than last week.

    Urges weren’t light, but nothing too bad. Felt some irritation, but it was relatively minor. Had a porn flashback or two from the last relapse, but didn’t engage.

    To all those reading, keep up the good fight.
     
  5. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    Had a huge stressor spread out over a long period of time today that kept generating more and more frustration. Not saying it’s justified, but I had a FMO session that was under 10 minutes to try and make it easier to get through the rest of my task. It did make dealing with the rest of it easier overall, but I’m still not happy I did it. Aside from that, the day was okay. Time to turn off my IADs.

    Take care
     
  6. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Active Member

    It might not be perfect, but at least it was no porn or edging. Be mindful of the chaser. Stay strong!
     
    NewStart19 and Gil79 like this.
  7. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    This indeed. Most of us are ashamed of our porn use and the situations we have brought ourselves in with the use of porn, but when it comes to us dealing with our problems this is something that we can and should be proud of. Sure, we all wished we didn't have to travel this road and perhaps feel ashamed for walking this road when we compare ourselves to others that do not have these problems, but there really should be no shame in trying to make something out of your life no matter where you are coming from. All the steps you make towards where you want to go, they matter. Every time you catch yourself when you feel yourself slipping, that matters. And since slips are pretty inevitable in this journey, they matter to. Accept them and learn from them. Be proud of yourself for trying to be the man you want to be.
     
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  8. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @BoughtWithBlood

    Thanks for stopping by and offering some words of encouragement!

    @Living

    Appreciate you taking the time to write that. I think the biggest harm my porn use inflicts on me is the repeated damage to my self-trust and self-control. I do feel proud about making my compromised self-control less and less about the person I want to (and will) become and instead getting better at enacting self-compassion and recognizing that these violations of self-trust are caused by a diseased reward circuit. This helps me get better at returning to and progressing down the path of recovery each time a slip or relapse happens, which in turn allows me to make overall, albeit slow, progress, instead of being caged and stuck running circles in the same old exercise wheel so to speak.

    I remember back in September--before I took my first hiatus from the forums--reading about how you had reached a half a year clean, and then about how you experienced some difficulties with relapsing the following October and November. Whenever I would read a post from you mentioning a relapse, I'd think to myself, "don't worry Living you got this! These are just temporary setbacks!" Now I look at your topic, and I see you are already 5 months+! I'm aware streaks aren't fully representative of the journey, but still, it's fantastic how you countered a string of setbacks with an ocean's worth of sobriety. Wishing you continued growth and success.

    Take care
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  9. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    Just posting to say today ended without incident. As mentioned earlier in my topic, since it is more beneficial for me to look at recovery as a long-term process that has ups and downs, I am no longer that interested in looking at my addiction as how many days since I've last looked at porn, masturbated etc. That being said, this information may be of interest to those reading, so I have decided to start using the day counter in my signature again, starting from my last FMO session yesterday.

    Take care
     
  10. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Thank you! That is a very nice thing to hear:) I really found that a tough period and while I often thought that 'I got this' too, it was also hard to believe at other times. Going from a really good streak to suddenly being completely stuck in a cycle of PMO is confusing. No matter how much I believe that slips are part of a reboot, it's still hard not to get pessemistic when you were doing so well and all of sudden seem trapped again. The good thing as that the longer I do this, the more I start to understand what this journey is to me. While I still find it hard, I think I'm getting better at accepting slips and not blame myself for it in the way I used to. The idea that there is a very realistic chance that I will slip again in the future is frustrating, but when I'm honest with myself I have to accept that this might happen. And I think that that might help. I remember this half slip on day 40 or so where I said in my journal that I'm not going to reset my days at that point because it wouldn't help me. To me that was a pretty big thing. I have blamed myself long enough. If I want to get through this I have to accept that no matter how hard I push at times it might not be enough and that that's okay.
     
  11. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    I wholeheartedly agree, even though it can be a very thin line. Because if one starts to legitimize relapses as slips and slips as nothing, you can end up being in denial pretty fast. Personally, I had two incidents in the beginning of my own recovery where I didn't reset my counter because it would have been so demotivating and probably had hindered me getting to the point in recovery where I am now.

    - The first one was waking up in the middle of the night masturbating already being seconds away from O. This was around day 20-30 and I didn't count it as a relapse because I wasn't consciously doing anything wrong and I have a history of sleep walking and doing weird shit while being asleep :D. I haven't masturbated ever since.

    - The second slip was around day 40-50 where I discovered porn by accident on a site I never would have thought porn would exist. After two days of consecutive peeking incidents, I decided to set up a blocker to block that site (and all pornographic sites in one go) so that I simply can't access this source anymore. It did the trick, I haven't returned ever since and helped me heaps in completely stopping the habit of peeking. Peeking is the absolute worst. It is also noteworthy that I can use this particular site again if needed without feeling the need to check out the section where I can find explicit images.

    Sometimes we gotta outwit ourselves a little, even if it sounds nuts. But it can actually work.
     
  12. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @Living

    That last sentence is something I have noticed I need to get better at actually accepting. Not just with this addiction, but other aspects of my life as well. Thanks for sharing.

    @Pete McVries

    It's crazy because the diseased part of our brain, which indeed is a part of us, is doing what it can to navigate us back to our addiction. It even co-opts the rational part of the brain to aid in its machinations.

    Thanks for sticking around the forum even though you're well over a year clean. I can understand the reasons why people leave the site after recovering, but those that stick around really do provide great guidance and support to rebooters--new and old--who are struggling with recovery. Not sure if anyone has directly said this to you, but I'm grateful that you give up some of your personal time still to help people like me.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Today was a good day for all things PMO-related. No slips. No relapses. I've been busier than normal and a bit overwhelmed for the past seven days or so. Hopefully things will start easing up a little sometime soon.

    My new computer arrived two days ago, and I finally finished doing everything (and I mean everything, even to the most inconsequential detail haha) to get it set up.

    Watched The Reboot Nation's new video on the flatline. Make sure to check it out if you're interested about the topic. I personally have never really experienced it, but I am one of those people who would actually welcome it for an extended period of time (using the definition flatline = little to no libido). I do empathize with those that experience a considerable amount of suffering from it though.

    Noah Church uploaded his most recent livestream a few days back. I'm looking forward to watching it soon.

    Take care
     
  13. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I've had a lot of flatlines over the years but I never worried about it. It's definitely harder on guys with girlfriends/wives. But it never helped with porn cravings etc either. These two things (libido and porn cravings) are not two sides of the same coin for me, but two completely different coins. I could have no libido at all for weeks, but would still get an instant erection when I'd see certain images.

    Nice job on setting the new computer up without any slips! I don't know about you, but for me that was always danger zone.
     
  14. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your kind words! I plan on leaving this site behind at some point in time as it will also feel probably like some kind of cutting the umbilical cord for me but it won't be too soon mainly for the following reasons:

    - Participating in this type of forum is giving and taking. If no one gives no one can take and vice versa. Moreover, I'll gladly share anything helpful from my own journey as I'm profiting at least the same amount from what other users share (no matter if 1 day or 1000 days clean).
    - I'm still recovering. My PIED is cured and I'm above 500+ days clean but porn is just one click away just like for everyone else. Reading and writing helps me staying clean as much as the next guy.

    I also want you to understand that I'm not special in any way. My recovery from PIED is very special to me personally because it's like I have been granted a second shot at life. Therefore staying clean is still of utmost priority for me because I had to learn the hard way that it is the foundation of everything else for me. I have been to hell and back and I do not want fall down the hole ever again. But I do not inherit any special qualities no one else has. Everyone has the ability to recover and I hope you truly believe that because it is true. On top of that, you could argue that in the habitat of people recovering from porn addiction, I might be a shiny example in that regard but if you take the perspective of people who are successful professionally or who started families, or stand out in other fields I absolutely do not have a whole lot to boast about (yet). My ego is kept in check at all times ;). I have been unsuccessful for years And this is yet another reason why I'm (still) here because I feel that this place offers a very supportive and helpful environment. It's mostly focussed on porn recovery but a lot of other neighbouring topics of how to live a healthy life and how to accomplish goals are also discussed which I profit from, too. In general, I benefited from the supportive members on RebootNation and here a lot. Lastly, I like many guys on here and I would miss them to be honest :p.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020 at 10:58 AM
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  15. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Well-Known Member

    I wish more people would believe this and understand it to be true. I think porn addicts, like all addicts think that they are unique within their addiction and that while you and I may have extended recovery, it is impossible for them because of their special circumstances. Don't feel bad or hesitant about being a "shiny example" because I think the more shiny examples there are who are willing to share their stories, the more it will click with people who are addicts that recovery in possible. I had not been on a porn site in 6 years until a few months ago, when I needed some data for my new book. I was worried about going there and honestly didn't want to ask my wife to search certain terms and write down the numbers. I was making an argument that Pornhub may release some statistics, but they really hide a lot of others. I just bit the bullet and went there. Yes, I saw a lot of thumbnails...and it kind of just made me sad. I had no urge to start masturbating or watching the videos. It made me sad seeing all of those people's faces, knowing they couldn't take back what they'd done, it was out there, and that they were probably broken in some way to get to that point. I got my statistics, and clicked off, with no urge to go back. It is 100% possible to kick this. After 6 years, I was able to be on a site for 15 minutes and not engage and not fall into old behaviors...but more importantly, to not feel that pull in my brain. For the first time, I questioned can you go from recovering addict to recovered addict?
     
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  16. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @-Luke-, @Pete McVries, @Joshua Shea

    Thanks for posting. I'm a bit tired with a lot of tasks left to complete for the day, so I don't have much time to write. I will make sure to respond to both of you once I get the chance though.

    I had the worst night of sleep in recent memory last night, and this led to me sleeping in pretty late today. I haven't mentioned it much in this topic, but I have made incredible strides with my sleep schedule over these past few months to the point where it's consistently the best it's ever been in my entire life. The process has been hard and difficult, but waking up late in the day after having not done so for so long--while unpleasant and upsetting--has been a good experience in that it has shown me how far I have progressed and how a colossal setback like this hardly even dents what I've worked so hard on building up. I think there is a good analogy to be found here with porn recovery.

    I've also been thinking a lot about objectification, and how this term is often used in a limited manner to refer things like genitals, musculature, weight, etc., but it seems to me to that it is hardly ever applied to an important part of the body that--on a physical level--really isn't any different: the face. I really want to elaborate on this, but the clock's ticking. Maybe tomorrow.

    Take care
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020 at 10:58 PM
  17. Doper

    Doper Active Member

    The best way I have found to knock out your libido that wouldn't be net-negative like hormones or eating a big bowl of Finasteride would be simply putting yourself in a moderate caloric deficit. Works pretty damn well for me. Knocks out your morning wood every time. And this seems to be common if you go over to the bodybuilding.com forums, there are numerous threads where people state the same outcomes I just did. And I believe them since almost every dude on that site states they can bench 800 lbs for reps, has a 12 inch schlong and bangs at least a dozen sexy sloots a week, so if those guys say they are having trouble with erections and libido, I'm pretty sure they're telling the truth.
     
    NewStart19 likes this.
  18. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @Doper

    Thanks for posting. Pretty busy and strapped for time, but will reply soon.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another day PMO-free. Lots of negative thought patterns cycling through my head (not only today...I need to keep improving my ability to identify and rewire to more productive thoughts...they're really toxic), but no relapses or slips.

    Take care
     
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  19. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, I'm still pretty busy, so I am going to defer replying to the last three messages yet again (sorry about that guys).

    Without going into detail, last night was a complete nightmare for me (not PMO related). I've tried to take steps today to make up for the damage I caused yesterday, and thankfully it appears to be a good start. Suffice it to say, this incident didn't cause me to relapse, and I am still going strong on the path of recovery since my last relapse. But last night really was a disaster. I'm going to try my best to maintain stability and keep working on my life as I have been: slowly and consistently, without losing hope for a better tomorrow.

    Take care
     
  20. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Active Member

    Don’t lose hope indeed :)
     

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