A New Beginning

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by -Luke-, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    Hey Luke,

    good to have you back!

    Regarding the blockers, safe browsing and whatnot, I've come to the conclusion that they can be a major help but it wouldn't be advisable to depend on them in order to beat the addiction. I started rebooting without any blockers or protection. After a while, I stumbled into a part of reddit by accident that I didn't know existed beforehand (I had never been a redditor but during that time, I was reading the MMA sub a lot). So there was a lot of porn and fetish subs of general fetishes, like you could find anything and I found something that played right into the hands of my addiction. During that time, I was clean for a month or two. So, when I discovered that place I had to act and my solution was to put a blocker in place. The blocker is up and running to this date. I could get around it easily but just putting the blocker in place eased my mind a lot and took my thoughts away from it. It was like making a definite commitment to myself that I'm not going to that place anymore. Ever since, I have quit reddit for good and added a few other sites. It's a bit like fooling oneself but it definitely worked for me.

    So, I totally agree that they can't be the solution for quitting the addiction but they can work like some sort of a scaffold that keeps the whole building standing until all the nooks and crannies are fixed and the house is stable on its own again. In hindsight, I'm really happy, I made the decision to set up the blocker because that was a really critical moment during my reboot that could have derailed everything.

    Take care!
  2. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you're going through a tricky period but what matters is you're still fighting.

    If you are 5 days clean that's great stuff, even if you had a few binges behind. Do your best not to take another plunge down into the abyss, keep building those days, get busy, sleep, exercise (a lot!), meditate, eat well (cook for yourself) and come tell us on here how you're doing :)

    Yeah ... the cute paramedic. I have many "dreams" like that of a cute girl doing the move and making it happen. I think I agree with you, what we need to do is work on ourselves, our lives - gain personal power and then we'll also inevitably gain confidence around women. Maybe it shouldn't be the only reason to do this, but maybe just another one of the reasons in there hehe.

    Keep it up man, you are already leaving the pit.

    This being said, what's up with guys throwing glass mugs at football games ? LOL
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    -Luke- and Pete McVries like this.
  3. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, thank you very much for all your kind words!

    Thanks for welcoming me back. It feels good to have some clarity in my mind again.

    @Pete McVries
    Yes, you're totally right. I'm not against blockers. They can work great for many people and there were times they helped me in the past. The thing with my porn use is: I don't need hardcore porn. Most of the time I just look for pictures but I do that for hours and hours. All I need to satisfy my addiction is Google Image search. And I'll always have that. I also sometimes made a game of going around blockers. And I always won that game. If I could play basketball as good as the blocker game I would be a multiple all star in the NBA (I guess I'm not the only one here).

    Fortunately it wasn't a glass jar. Glass is banned in stadiums here. It was from plastic, but the hard kind of plastic (almost as hard as glass).

    But yeah, the dreams and fantasies. At some point we have to leave the waiting state and take action. There's no other way.
  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Yesterday I was sitting in the tram with a friend and an annoying woman sat across from us, she was clearly drunk. She looked at me and said loudly something like "you look wasted." Well, thank you. Yesterday it didn't affect me that much. Some time ago I would've thought about that remark the entire time. Maybe because I don' take it personally anymore and have become more stoic. I would like to say it's because my self-confidence improved, but that would be a lie. My self-confidence is still low and one of the things I need to work on.

    I realized I'm more afraid of the future lately. It might be because I have to make a decision on my living situation soon and I put it off. Also the rest of the year will be stressful at work. And my recent binge relapses didn't quite establish a notion of self-control.

    Therefore I remembered TheUnderdogs big post again and wrote down a life vision. I did that before but I lost sight of it and became unpatient. This time the vision is more specific and more realistic. I hope this gives me some direction and something to work towards. I want to read it twice a day, after getting out of bed and before going to bed.
  5. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    That's good man. Sometimes that's just the point of relapses. To show us what things we have forgotten a bit about and recorrect them.

    One of the frustrating things in self improvement, at lest in my experience, is how I correct and work on one thing and then when I get better at it, I naturally move to the next thing to work on. And sometimes, as I do this, the earlier thing sort of reverses back to the old unhelpful way. So then I kind of fall down again and then I see I have to go work again on that earlier thing.

    But I think it's not hopeless. The more we keep at it, the less the old ways come back. It's just that change probably takes longer then we think.

    Also, remember to connect with people if you can. I don't know about it, but lately for me this has been a BIG realization in the last days. How I feel the essence of healing is actually relearning to from healthy bonds with others (of course, ideally with a loving partner as well). But the key is that this relearning has to be gradual and realistic.

    Keep it up man ! I'm sure with your re focusing on your values you will move forward and these relapses will be a learning thing of the past soon enough.
    Living, -Luke- and Pete McVries like this.
  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% percent.

    When I think about it I realize my main problems with rebooting are a lack of patience, a lack of consistency and missing belief in the process. I’ve read a lot since I found YBOP for the first time and I tried a lot of different things. A lot of methods were helpful but I stopped doing them because of impatience. I feel like I’ve got all the tools, I just need to use them and trust them.

    An author I discovered recently is James Clear. He wrote a great book called Atomic Habits and has a website with a lot of interesting articles. He also talks about the lack of patience while seeking goals. Many people become impatient and they’re trying something new all the time before they see results with their old methods. Some thoughts he shares about this problem are:
    • Do more of what already works instead of trying something new all the time.
    • Be aware of the goal but focus on the process.
    • Avoid an “all or nothing” attitude. Meditating for 5 minutes is better than not meditating at all, even if you wanted to go for half an hour.
    • Don’t compare yourself to the person you want to be, compare yourself to the person you were yesterday or a few weeks ago.
    • Do small things consistently. You may not notice any short-term improvements, but if you get just 1% better every day you will see the results in the long-run (his thoughts are very similar to The Slight Edge in some ways).
    So like I mentioned in my last post I wrote a life vision again. Yesterday in the evening I started writing down everything I know, everything I tried and everything that worked in the past. That way I’m going to build a plan that will bring me closer to my life vision. I know all the building blocks already, I just need to put them together and to trust the process.

  7. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    My good old buddy insomnia paid me a visit again the last two nights. Last night around 1 AM I MOd and was able to sleep for four hours half an hour later. The night before was worse. Despite the bad sleep I got some things done at work.

    Yesterday in the evening I continued writing down a “plan” for achieving my vision and I realized how much I already know. All I need is consistency and trust, like I said yesterday.

    I already mentioned (when I was writing down my past) that I was at my best every time I was part of a team. I want to be part of a team again. So I set myself the goal to be part of the pool billiard team in my club within the next two years. That’s a long way to go and it won’t be easy. Right now I wouldn’t have a 1% chance to make the team. If I play against someone who is a current member of the team I may win one game in a hundred. It will require a lot of training and a lot of discipline. But I’ll have a goal that I’m working towards.
  8. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Last night I slept better, but now it feels like I'm getting ill. Throat is a little sore and my nose is blocked. I drank an awful lot of ginger tea at work and I hope that'll help.

    When I walked home from work I had a difficult moment. I walked to a store to buy something for my father's birthday on friday. On the way back I walked past the university and since it was dark outside and bright on the inside you could see everything that was going on. Students attending a lecture, students studying, students just hangig out and laughing. And when I walked by I felt terrible sadness and regret and I had the thought I had hundreds of times: "If I could only turn back the clock ten years." That moment passed quickly though and I see that as a sign of improvement. I didn't dwell on it. Now I'm preparing a nice dinner.
  9. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I think you handled it well in the sense that you acknowledged your feelings about it (the sense of regret) without beating yourself up, but in the same time you just carried on and let it go by itself, you didn't dwell.

    I don't know, I feel lately (in the last year) I've been getting these strong reminiscences for early 20s less, which is odd as I was very prone to this type of nostalgia. What I realize more and more is that we idealize that kind of life and it's not always that amazing (though of course it can actually be glorious, but only for some and only for a while). Another thing that helps but I don't recommend is that I kept trying to live that life over and over again in my later 20s even early 30s to some degree (this summer drinking and all) and I just saw how it was (usually) a dead end and wasn't working, and also was less fun then I thought. When we try to live the past we miss the possible present it's really true.

    And if what we are really sad about is the deep friendships and bonds we missed out on, well that part we can still find even now if we grow as persons and become more balanced and open.

    The cool thing is that it seems the more we focus on improving our present, our selves now, the less we have regrets about the past (without needing to repress it). I would think that if we get to a place we are genuinely content with now, we would even start being happy for the past missteps, because they led us here.

    So let's focus on our 30's and onward. We still got time, but we gotta act now :)
  11. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Pete McVries
    That's a good comic.
    In my case it's something like "nostalgia for what never happened". I don't look back at some great times but I look back at bad times and imagine how I would do things better if I could live that time again.

    But if I think about it: Do I really want to live again ten years ago und make things better? What would that even mean? That's a reasonable wish if someone did really bad stuff and feels very deep regret. But I didn't murder someone.

    That's why I really like something @Thelongwayhome27 wrote:
    I would think that if we get to a place we are genuinely content with now, we would even start being happy for the past missteps, because they led us here.

    That's absolutely true and sometimes when I think about it on a deeper level, I'm grateful about the addiction. Why? Because I learned a lot about myself and about things like neuroscience/addiction recovery/self-improvement since I started. I worked on myself for the first time in my life and I developed some ambition and goals in my life. When I was in school and until my early twenties I just didn't care what happened in my life. That changed.

    For example: When I was young I had acne and I experienced rejection and bullying because of it. I hated it. I hated every day I looked in the mirror. Today, as strange as it may sound, I'm grateful about it. It made me a better person. I'm more empathic and I don't judge people by their looks. I learned a lot about friendship and became interested in things like nutrition. And by the way, this way I found this forum, with some detours along the way.

    I'm pretty sure I'll look back on this addiction and all my struggles someday and will be genuinely grateful for the experiences. Is a life without struggles and obstacles even desirable? I don't think so. That's how we build character and grow as a person. A person who never experienced struggles must be the most shallow and boring person ever.
  12. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    A day like today would have been a recipe for disaster many times in the past. I'm at my parents because yesterday was my dad's birthday. Since wednesday I'm getting ill and yesterday and today it got worse. Pressure headaches, sore throat, blocked nose, coughing, you all know it. Therefore I was lying on the couch most of the day so far, unable to do much. And, like I said many times before, no blockers/filters around. But today I didn't use the internet much. And I wasn't even close to relapsing.

    That's a small step for mankind but a nice step for me.

    Feels good to be more than a week clean again.
  13. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Well done ! That's a good feeling indeed. You go this man ! Maybe watch a nice movie if you got nothing to do today and you're on that couch ? Can be cozy.
    -Luke- likes this.
  14. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks man. I decided to go to bed early. I looked up the TV programme on the internet and got annoyed because there was a clickbait article like „Best topless scenes in movies“. I didn‘t feel an urge to click on it but, like I said, got annoyed. Maybe a good sign.

    Today I‘m feeling a little better. A few things to accomplish and I have a perfect week on my habit tracker app.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Called in ill at work today. The other symptoms are better but now I have some pain in the ear. I hope it's not a middle ear infection.

    So another day at home on the couch. Used the internet too much but stayed away from dangerous sites. I hope I can go back to work tomorrow. I feel like I need some structure in my life right now. Even though I didn't feel the temptation to act out sitting at home all day on my own isn't good for me.
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  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Well done on not relapsing despite feeling bad physically. It can be easier to justify a relapse in that state. I guess this shows you are getting back on the wagon more firmly.

    Hope you're gonna start feeling better soon !

    Also, I hear you with the need for structure. When I don't have a lot of it, I am much more liable to stray.
    -Luke- and baywalker like this.
  17. Phoenix121

    Phoenix121 New Member

    Good stuff dude. Sick days are dangerous. Idle mind is devils workshop!
    -Luke- likes this.
  18. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 and @Phoenix121
    Thanks for your encouragement guys!

    I'm not back to normal but I feel better now and was back at work yesterday and today. Seems like half the department is ill at the moment.

    This morning I broke a rule I set for myself. I had my smartphone next to my bed and used it after waking up while still lying in bed. Just looked up NBA scores from last night and didn't do anything stupid. But I mention it to hold myself accountable. There's a reason I have this rule and while it may seem harmless it's something I don't want to do.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  19. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Glad it's weekend. A good opportunity to relax and recover a bit because my sinuses are still very inflamed. If it's better in sunday I plan to play some pool on my own for 2-3 hours and do some exercises to improve my game. Starting next monday until the end of the year there's a lot to do at work and I'll work some long hours. I see that as an opportunity because if I have a lot to do I won't use the internet at work.

    Today I logged onto the dating website for the first time in weeks. Wasn't a good idea. I didn't do it because I expected something good or because I wanted to make a move and send a girl a message. No, I visited the site out of pure boredom. I didn't stay long but I got reminded why I decided not the visit the site anymore. Even though it's a serious website and not a place to look for one night stands I use the site like I use explicit sites: Multiple tabs open with multiple profiles and without a sense of time. Even though I had good intentions when I created an account I use it more as social media. And social media always had been a waste of time for me and ended with my dick in my hand lots of times with me asking myself "How did I even get here?" Not worth the trouble. We cannot outsource everything to the online world when we are too scared to act in real life. It won't get easier that way.

    So long story short: I deleted my account.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  20. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I'm reading the book Mindfulness in Plain English at the moment and today I came accross a snippet I found interesting and I wanted to quote it here:

    "Discipline" is a difficult word for most of us. It conjures up images of somebody standing over you with a stick, telling you that you're wrong. But self-discipline is different. It's the skill of seeing through the hollow shouting of your own impulses and piercing their secret. They have no power over you. It's all a show, a deception. Your urges scream and bluster at you; they cajole; they coax; they threaten; but they really carry no stick at all. You give in out of habit. You give in because you never really bother to look beyond the threat. It is all empty back there. There is only one way to learn this lesson, though. The words on this page won't do it. But look within and watch the stuff coming up - restlessness, anxiety, impatience, pain - just watch it come up and don't get involved. Much to your surprise, it will simply go away. It rises, it passes away. As simple as that. There is another word for self-discipline: It is patience.

    He talks about feelings that may arise during meditation: restlessness, boredom, feeling of being lost and so on. But it's also about life in general. The urges could be urges to PMO. They don't have power over us. They will pass. We don't need to give in. I really like the idea of defining self-discipline as patience. When I think about my past choices, that's actually true. I stopped doing things that where good for me because of impatience and before I could really see the results.

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