A New Beginning

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

  1. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, thanks for all your nice posts. Today everything was ok. My parents, my sister, her boyfriend and me were making some barbecue on my mother's birthday and we were sitting in the garden for more than 7 hours until now. It was really nice. Around noon I worked a bit on my laptop and had some porn fantasies and urges for twenty minutes or so. I used some techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy I recently read about in The Happiness Trap. And it helped. Now I'll read for an hour or so and than I'll go to bed.

    @Living: I recently downloaded the Unlock Clock App you mentioned here and at first I was shocked. At the end of the first day the counter was over 70 if I remember correctly. But I can already see a positive effect and my phone use has dropped a good amount. So thank you very much for the tip! At night I don't have my phone at my bed. Since I'm also using my phone as an alarm this has another nice effect: When the alarm rings I actually have to get up (Sometimes I still go back to bed afterwards, but nobody is perfect).

    @Thelongwayhome27: One of the reasons I never told them is I know they don't really understand what addiction is (my uncle is an alcoholic). And to be honest, I can't blame them. Before I found YBOP and read something about addiction I didn't know anything about it. So I guess this discussion might be awkward.

    @Eternity: If "going around filters" was a sport I'd be in some pro league. I think the stimulus has to come from within. A filter can be helpful to get some clean days in but in the long run they won't stop us if we really want to watch some porn.

    @Shady: Using the laptop in another room is a good idea. While I'm at my parents and it's pretty nice outside I could take it to the garden. That's what I'll probably do tomorrow.

    @Gil79: Yes, it can affect me emotionally, too. My relationship to my father isn't the best but it could be worse. On a day like today everything is fine.
     
  2. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I have to be more on my guard today, because I slept terrible (ate way too much yesterday). Also installed an Ad Blocker. Why is there advertising for Victoria's Secret in an online dictionary?
     
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  3. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Because you allow tracking cookies and they know your preferences? :D

    Well-done on coming here and stay alert!
     
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  4. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Awesome! That definitly sounds like a good day. Did you sing songs that ridiculed your urges;) I think I should pick up The Happiness Trap again too. Defusion might be a good thing to work on right now.

    Cool that you installed the Unlock Clock. It really made me aware of my phone use and makes me rethink how I deal with my phone. I try to keep it at 10 unlocks per day, which for example means that I won't look at my mailbox while I know I'm going to respond at that moment. It gives a whole lot less stress:)
     
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  5. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Yesterday was good as well. Didn't have much energy and had some cravings, but I feel more in the present moment again and wasn't close to relapsing. Two weeks ago I'd almost be an automatism. Last night I slept better and after waking up I did some sprints and some body weight exercises. Good start to the day.

    @Gil79: Victoria's Secret advertising? Not in my house!

    @Living: When I read The Happiness Trap it made sense, but at the same time it was hard to implement the mindset. And it's a work in progress. Going from "I need to control my thoughts and emotions all the time" to "I can accept negative thoughts and emotions" isn't easy, but I think it's the right way in the end.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Well, only hours away from day 13 I relapsed today. Had strong urges yesterday and this morning but was able to resist at first. I think the problem was that I didn't come here like the days before to talk about it. I guess in the beginning I need to come here more often.

    I've proven to myself that I can break out of the cycle of almost daily relapses, now it's time to prove I can keep this at this one time. After March, April and most of May I feel like a beginner again, so why not keep the beginners mindset and learn something from it. In a few hours I'm going back home and then it's time to get some structure in the day again. If I let my guard down for only one day it can be dangerous. The last two weeks I felt a gradual return of self-control, but today it wasn't enough. For the next 7 days I'll restrict internet again to 30 minutes YBR a day.
     
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Well it happens. At least you got 13 days, that's not bad at all (and you were at your parent's which seems tricky). Maybe the fact that you did PMO a bit more then your normal in March and April makes the cravings stronger now. But for sure if you keep abstaining best you can, the "circuit" will loose it's strength again. So yeah keep going ! I think posting here often and having structure to the day are two things that help me as well get on a run - and stay on it actually. Another key element is to remember why I want to heal from my addictions.
     
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  8. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that, but I think you did great with the first two days at your parents! Now just get back up and get going again:)
     
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  9. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    @-Luke- so sorry to hear that. But don't give it much weight. Keep going.
    Onward and upward.
     
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  10. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Almost two weeks of no PMO though, which is good. And now you got even more experience.
     
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  11. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your encouragement guys, much appreciated. Didn't check in yesterday but I had a clean day. Just had some trouble with the Wi-Fi. A few moments ago I had a tough moment (and a nice little accomplishment), though. I was looking at a picture (of a basketball player, not what you thought) on my laptop and on the right side I could see the 20 or so last pictures I had opened with that picture app. And in that list were three pictures of some naked women I looked at weeks ago. Even though I deleted the pictures a few weeks ago I could still see them in that app. They must've been somewhere in the cache. I looked at the first picture for a few seconds and could feel a very intense dopamine rush. But with the last self-control I had left I deleted the pictures from the history and from the cache. So that would've been impossible two or three weeks ago but I have to be careful now. I can still feel the pull.

    Yesterday I had strong headaches and today it's just a little bit better. Didn't hide from the outerworld though and took a few walks. I also need to work on my posture more. Had some trouble with the neck lately and I have a history with rounded shoulders and a rounded back. The last months I sat too much and I need to work on that again. I will incorporate a few exercises into my morning routine.
     
  12. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Way to go, man! I think it is instances like these where we make progress.
     
  13. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    @-Luke- keep it up
    And yeah exercise is always the best choice.
     
  14. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Active Member

    @-Luke-

    Well done resisting that rush. I know that for me a strong and unexpected dopamine spike can feel like a tractor beam out of a science fiction movie. I like that you used this experience as a signal to be more careful in the upcoming days. That's smart.

    I just wanted to stop by and mention that since our last conversation about binges, I have been really focusing on consistently reducing the duration of my sessions when I relapse. I try to keep data on relapses because I know that it can be so easy for me to forget about what is and isn't changing overall when the sea of the present turns into a turbulent maelstrom. I looked over the data from the last two months, and much to my surprise (and delight) I noticed that, on average, my relapse duration has dropped by more than 50%! There is more progress to be made, but objectively seeing the change that has occurred has definitely made me feel more optimistic about recovery.

    As an aside, from time to time I do some physical therapy for my neck and shoulders to relieve tension in the area. If you are interested in trying out the exercise, please feel free to send me a private message, and I will send you a PDF of how to do it.

    Take care
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
    Thelongwayhome27, Gil79 and -Luke- like this.
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey @NewStart19, nice to hear from you again! I'm glad you're seeing some progress. It's common for people to think "Well, now I opened that door again and I'm back at day 0, so why not stretch it for as long as I can?" That's detrimental but it's hard to stop. The most important rule regarding relapses is of course "Don't do it in the first place". But if you relapse, keep it as short as possible. So I'm glad you can take something positive out of it.

    I didn't have any problems yesterday, despite the headache. This morning it was hard to get out of bed and I fantasized a little bit while still in bed. Yesterday in the evening there was a big fire not that far from where my parents live. It still continues right now. My sisters boyfriend is a firefighter and he was there from 9 PM last night until 5:30 AM this morning. More than 600 firefighters working there the whole night, trying to keep the fire at bay. So I guess I shouldn't feel bad for myself for feeling a bit fatigued after waking up.
     
  16. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Some guys here talked about Recovery Nation lately and TheUnderdog praised it years ago. But even though I'm aware of that website for years I never really had a look at it. Yesterday I skimmed through some of the lessons and found some concepts really helpful and reasonable. So I think it's a good idea to give it a shot and work through the lessons, one lesson every day, starting today. It can't hurt to be open-minded and procative about it.

    Yesterday I was pretty lazy and unmotivated, but I exercised later in the day and worked a bit on an android app I want to develop. Last night was quite restless. I woke up several times and was more half asleep the rest of the night. Meditated and did some mobility exercises this morning and went for a walk for one and a half hours. It's a bit rainy and grey outside yesterday and today, but good to have some rain after a very dry period in April and May. The rivers here are low on water and the ground is very dry.

    Edit:
    Well, the first thing I read on RecoveryNation today was
    So I should value quality over quantity. I'll go from "one lesson every day" to "Work on it every day and take as much time as needed".
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
    Gil79, Thelongwayhome27 and Living like this.
  17. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Yeah definitely take your time on the first lessons especially. I tried the Workshop a few times and always stopped at one of the first lessons because I was not able to write my life vision. I was probably being too perfectionist about it.

    But many things I've read on the Workshop seemed reasonable and valuable. And it was written by someone who personally struggled with all this himself.
     
  18. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Probably. When I tried to write a life vision in the past I always thought it wasn't specific enough. Plus I got annoyed after a while because of a lack of progress. We'll see how it goes this time. I try to avoid the mistake I've often made in the past: unrealistic expectation. No cause-and-effect-relationship. No "I'll do A and then B (no porn anymore) happens, and if B doesn't happen immediately then A was worthless."
     
  19. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Even during the lazy days I find that I get plenty done during reboots. And I agree about the rain, I could be selfish about it, but it's very welcome. I really hope we don't get another 2018.

    Regarding life vision I should probably look into it, but I procrastinate a lot. And maybe I'm afraid to get serious, to dedicate myself wholly to recovery.
     
  20. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    There was a time when I would've been very selfish about it. I remember a summer, probably 2011 (?), where it rained a lot, and I was pissed about it all summer long. And while I like sunshine another summer like 2018 would be detrimental. I remember when you could see the bottom of the rivers and the bark of the trees was lying around everywhere, because everything was so dry.

    This morning I woke up at 5 AM and couldn't go back to sleep, but I stayed in bed until 7 AM and fantasized a bit about sexual stuff. I should probably just get up and go for a walk in the morning when I can't sleep anymore. That's what I'll so now.
     

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