A New Beginning

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

  1. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your thoughts, guys! Much appreciated.

    @birdsky: The phone isn't really a problem anymore. It used to be my biggest problem, but I basically made a dumb phone (with benefits) out of my smartphone again. I can use WhattsApp and a Habit Tracker App, but otherwise it's basically an oldschool phone again. Since I got rid of the App Store and closed the other gap yesterday, I can't install new apps. I cannot avoid my computer, though. I need it for work. My private laptop is pretty safe but the company laptop is only to a certain degree. I could do that on the weekends, though.

    @peacefulandfree: Thanks for dropping by! After we PMOd the damage is already done. So we might as well learn something from it.
     
  2. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Yesterday I wrote about the pattern, that the first day after a relapse isn't particularly difficult for me. And that has proven to be true today. No urges except for a short moment in the afternoon. If I can stay clean today, I can stay clean tomorrow. Bosses leave my alone most of the time at work. They aren't really interested anymore since I quit my job. I use the time to work on some private stuff. Since this is an anonymous forum, I can write it openly.

    Another hour and a half until the Wi-Fi goes off. Until then I will take a walk. I hope everyone is well.
     
  3. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @-Luke-

    It's strange isn't it. You work at a place for a while, but once it's known that you aren't working there anymore, people's attitudes towards you noticeably change. As if to show that your individual presence isn't of note, just your task-completing function as an employee. That's a bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but my experience so far corroborates this. If you work a job where you regularly interact with clients however, I've noticed that some are genuinely perturbed that you the individual--not the employee--will be leaving. But again, this is my experience. There are so many people (and jobs) on this planet that the overall trend could be quite different.

    I too often experience that the first day or two after a relapse aren't too bad, that is assuming I didn't have some type of streak going, otherwise they're particularly tough.

    How's the situation with COVID-19 out in Germany? Are the social distancing measures strict? I ask because I was wondering if you have the option of using IADs outside (Wi-Fi at a cafe etc.) when you are worried about using them alone at home.
    In my state in the U.S., things are loosening up, but I still feel a little guilty about spending prolonged periods of time outside.
     
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  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Working from outside the house isn't an option. In a cafe it's too noisy for me to work. Would also be kind of weird to sit there for 8 hours +. The public library also isn't an option because the visiting time is currently limited to 3 hours. Plus, I use a laptop but I work on my PC in the office over remote desktop. So I can use the internet there. I can't watch hardcore porn there of course (there are some filters), but I don't really need that. All I need is Google image search, instagram, reddit,...
     
  5. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @-Luke-

    Is that how the social norms are out where you live? I have only lived in two countries, so my breadth of experience is somewhat limited, but in general I don't think spending extended periods of time at a cafe was frowned upon in either. There were some cafes that were located downtown--they were busy and it was often hard to get a seat--that did ask customers to limit their time inside, but otherwise it was ok. And, as a customer, if you felt some sort of guilt for just getting a cup of coffee and using their facility for hours and hours, you could always just buy another item every 1, 2, or 3 hours. But I totally respect if that's how things are out where you live.

    As for the library, isn't three hours a reasonable amount of time to get work done/get out of the house/protect yourself when you're vulnerable to urges? But maybe the library is far away and you don't have a car?

    Lastly, any community centers you can take advantage of? That's the only other thing that pops into mind aside from cafes and libraries. Maybe some universities, but I am sure they are more restrictive with the pandemic.

    Sorry if I am coming across as a bit pushy. That's not my intent. I just thought maybe further reflecting on this could potentially unlock another resource you could use to make life easier, increase well-being or--in a more myopic sense--help deal with this addiction.

    Take care, and if you are willing, let me know what your avatar is from. I bothered a few other members with the same question, but it's something I like to ask from time to time.
     
    -Luke- likes this.
  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    They probably wouldn't throw me out, but I don't know how the rules are right now. Back in university I tried studying in a cafe a few times, but I can't concentrate there. It was too noisy and I was checking out girls all the time ;). Plus the Wi-Fi in public places is often very slow and without any filter.

    Yes, I don't have a car and it takes me 30 minutes to get there. I live on the outskirts of the city, the district is more like a small village. The internet filter in the library is also way less safe than my own.

    Not that I know of. I wouldn't get into the university anyway. They don't even really let their own students in at the moment. The whole semester is practically done online (shitty time to study...).

    Not at all. I'm always thankful about any helpful comments!

    This is the main character from a comic called "Lucky Luke". I loved it as a child and it fits my username.
     
    NewStart19 likes this.
  7. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    @-Luke- sorry to hear about your relapse.
    I know how it feels.
    I know how overwhelming the urge can be and how it can affect your work.
    Have you considered working outside like in a Cafe or something?
    This way you can finish your work and still avoid urges.
    Good luck

    P. S. I loved the Lucky Luke comic as a child too.
     
  8. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @-Luke-

    Thanks for the thorough response. It seems like you thought everything through. Wouldn't expect anything else from Lucky Luke ; )

    Take care
     
  9. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    4 days clean and had a good weekend. But today I gave in again. I don't know why really, the day was good so far and there weren't any emotional triggers. Wasn't stressed or anything like that. Just didn't have the strength when the thought hit me. I watch almost no "real" porn anymore, everytime it's reddit or instagram or some shit like that. Is that better? I don't think so. The motivation behind it is the same: novelty, escape from reality,...

    Hope everybody else is doing fine!
     
    NewStart19 likes this.
  10. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    Do you need Youtube/Insta/Reddit for your work or your private well-being? If not, is there a way to block it in a fail-proof way? If so, the next time you seach for PMO material, you will be granted a chance to think because your usual sources of this are not available (yet) and you can act in a non-habitual way. When I started quitting PMO for good and being 20-something days clean, I found out by accident that reddit has porn subs. Blocking reddit as a whole after peeking p-subs for two consecutive days was one of the final steps I did that paved the way to continuing abstinence.

    Might be worth a shot that helps you snap out of the autopilot-cockpit of your addiction a bit easier.
     
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  11. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    @-Luke- that's normal in the first few days after relapse. It happens a few times before you're back on track. You'll reset once or twice then you'll start counting the days.

    And I agree with @Pete McVries
     
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  12. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @-Luke-

    Thanks for being accountable. Stay positive.
     
    Pete McVries, -Luke- and Living like this.
  13. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I don't need that shit at all and all social media is blocked on my private devices. But I can't block anything on my work device. Well, it will be over by December 30th anyway, as this is my last day at work. Until then I have to find other solutions.

    I applaud everyone who gave up this stuff years ago. I remember the early days of reddit or twitter, when everything was still quite innocent. Nowadays these two sites are more or less porn sites.
     
  14. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @-Luke-

    I've definitely seen full-blown porn clips on Twitter (handjobs, blowjobs, penetration, etc.), and this was just by going down the rabbit hole of a binge. I don't even have an account. But is reddit that bad? I haven't used it that much, and while I have seen arousing images (definitely not helpful seeing them during recovery), I don't think I've seen any explicit content during my random encounters with the site.
     
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    It's probably not as bad as twitter, but I've seen hardcore stuff there. Years ago there were two or three subreddits related to my fetish, now it's more like 20-30. From what I've read, you can find basically everything on reddit. I don't know if they have any guidelines at all.

    Of course it also depends on how you define porn. I realized years ago that I only lie to myself when I distinguish between hardcore porn, softcore porn and just arousing pictures. I have only justified my behavior with it. I have never necessarily needed porn, pictures of women in bikinis have always been enough, but it was not just a few pictures, but thousands of pictures in the course of 3-4 hours. When I search the Internet for pictures, videos, etc. in order to arouse myself, that's porn, whether people are having sex on the screen or not.
     
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  16. axebattler

    axebattler Member Staff Member

    You could add Instagram to that list as well. I tried joining it once but deleted my account after about an hour.


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  17. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Today had the potential to replace stress and negative emotions with PMO. But I didn't do it. When I looked at my phone for the first time in the morning, I had a message that the father of a good friend had died. He was only a few months older than my own father. That made me quite sad. He and his wife were always very kind to me, I had spent a lot of time there when we were younger.

    At work, a colleague of mine noticed that he and I made a pretty serious mistake at the beginning of the year. A careless mistake, but quite unpleasant (costs a few thousand euros, which are no more than peanuts for the company, but still). Well, I guess it's part of life and we reacted correctly to it. To block this out for a while before dealing with it I briefly had the idea to surf on Instagram or reddit again, but unlike yesterday I didn't do it.

    Stay strong everybody and thanks for all your good thoughts yesterday and today!
     
  18. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    I wonder where you've gone, Luke. Just know that you won't be judged, if you decide to return. We've all been to more or less dark places, no need to be ashamed in front of the bunch.

    I hope, you are doing fine, brother.
     
  19. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    @Pete McVries

    His absence could very well be because he's hard at work on starting his own business. I hope his endeavor is going well.
     
    Pete McVries likes this.
  20. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, Pete.

    At the end of last year, I was at a point where I had basically given up. Not completely, but temporarily. I felt like I had no self-control anymore and that it was pointless to even try. I had been in home office since the beginning of April, using a laptop from work. While my personal devices (laptop and smartphone) are relatively safe, I couldn‘t install any filters on the work laptop. Now, of course, I know that I shouldn't rely 100% on filters, but I was in the middle of a month-long relapse cycle and didn't seem to be able to get out of it on my own. So at some point I got to the point where I had sort of temporarily given up. I figured if I couldn't control it for the rest of the year, at least I'd try to limit the time I spent with PMO. That worked out pretty well,… for about two weeks. But for me it's mostly the novelty part that drives my addiction, and then that part just isn't satisfied when I spend 10 minutes looking for some image on the internet and then masturbate.

    This lasted for a while, but eventually the urges were too strong again. I just cannot PMO occasionally. If I’m in it, I’m in it. If I’m out, I’m out. There is nothing in between. Life usually is not black or white, but in this case it really is.

    But as I wrote last year, I quit my job at the end of the year. I now have only my own devices. I still have a way to look for porn, but it takes a lot more effort. In fact, I just PMOd yesterday, after I had a good week before. But it’s a different mindset than last yearand I feel more confident. I realize that I have a choice. Even if I feel like I’m completely out of control, that’s not true. There’s always more than one option. A few weeks ago I read the book "Sex, Drugs, Gambling, & Chocolate" by a psychologist named Thomas Horvath. He made me realize that the idea of „no control“ is bullshit. He explained this with two examples, one real example that you experience all the time, and one extreme example that is nonetheless eye-opening. We all have situations every day (or every week) where we would love to watch porn, but still don’t do it. We don’t PMO when we are at the office. We don’t PMO when we are in the car/bus/train. We don’t PMO when we are having dinner with our families. Even if we PMO three times a day there are situations where we have enough control not to do it a fourth time. The other example is a thought experiment: Imagine if someone put a gun to your head and said "If you watch porn, I'll pull the trigger". Would you PMO? No, unless you are suicidal and want to die. If someone held a gun to our head for the rest of our lives, we would never watch porn again. Never. So how can we think we are „out of control“?

    And now I’m back here. Yes, it was out of shame that I stopped coming here. Not necessarily because of PMO, since this forum is about exactly that. But because I had no hope anymore for the rest of the year and I couldn’t pretend anymore that I had. I can’t do anything about that anymore. All I can do is focus on what I want and keep going forward.

    Currently I'm a bit limited physically and can't exercise as much as I'd like (Ulnar Nerve Entrapment for the nerds among you). It probably comes from sitting in the home office a lot and in the wrong way. I hope I can avoid surgery. Overall though, this was a warning signal at the right time. Better to cut back a few weeks now, work on my posture and flexibility, than suffer a herniated disc in two or three years.

    I am also thinking about moving back to the village where I grew up. Due to my work I am no longer tied to one place. And if I'm honest: My biggest problem in the last 6-7 years has been isolation. And it's much easier to isolate yourself when you live semi-anonymously in a city where almost nobody knows you. Where I come from I have a social circle and still know a lot of people. Two of my best friends still live there or are living there again, and my family also lives there. The more I think about it, the more I believe that it would be a step in the right direction. Away from anonymity and back to where I know people and where people know me. It's hard to isolate yourself there.
     

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