A New Decade - Let's Go

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Rudolf Geyse, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I've been experiencing what Matt Groening might call "unfocussed horniness". I'm happy with where my wife and I are, our sex life isn't in a bad place. But having cut down on P and my old fetish over the last months I have a vague hankering that is with me about 40% of the time... keep getting drawn back to it, like my brain wants me to pull on the loose thread of my old fetish. I haven't acted on it. I just don't want it to crowd out my thought life too much. There is plenty which life is throwing at me that I need to focus on instead.

    I haven't been getting quite enough rest lately, I'm sure this is a factor. I track how many "blocks" in a week I rest, and the last three weeks have been a bit low. (I divide my week into 21 blocks - morning, afternoon, evening. I shoot for at least 7 rest blocks in a week and have been averaging under 6.) So I am also taking it easier this week and not pushing myself too hard to crank out extra work.

    I also started some private journalling yesterday after not doing it for a while, focussing on great reasons not to go along with the vague urges. The journalling is both helpful and enjoyable.

    That's it for now, back to the grind so I can rest properly later.
    Thelongwayhome27, Libertad and -Luke- like this.
  2. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    So after that post, yesterday I played with fire. I downloaded a racy app and spent a couple hours on it. I'd call the app P subs. No MO, in fact I didn't feel much arousal, I was just playing on it to see what I could unlock. I could definitely see opportunity to MO as it went along.

    This morning I got up and I was standing with the phone in the kitchen. I thought, this can only go one way. Hesitated when I thought about losing the progress from last night. Made the right decision and removed the app.

    Having identified that I am having vague urges and even having acted out on them in this way, I think what I should do is, a phone detox for a couple of days, maybe a week. Let me try remove that rather than have in my hand the potential to seek out something that would take me down that well-worn path to smut and the same old scum. You can only block so much, but there is "fringe" stuff, P subs, that it is very difficult to block altogether.

    Biblical worldview stuff: What made me delete the app? All the lessons learned the hard way, of course, and specifically a verse came to mind: Matt. 6:24
    “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

    Here Jesus was applying the principle that we are all serving something, all the time. He was applying it to money. But it could apply to anything, including PMO.

    We might serve money with our loves in the sense that we see it as a good master - it gives us support, enjoyment, validation. We might serve PMO and see it as a good master - helps us to cope, makes us feel good, we can play into a pride fantasy where we are the boss, envied, etc etc.

    The problem is it's all crap. If money is our master, we sacrifice everything for it, relationships, working long hours, we don't go to church etc cos all that is sacrificed to chase money. It will suck the life out of us. If PMO is our master, we sacrifice work, relationships, real life for a fake petty disgusting version of life that leaves us ultimately unfulfilled. It sucks the life out of us.

    So it's not a matter of whether we are serving something, we all serve something - we are all motivated by something in all our actions - and so it's only a case of what or whom we will serve. And only Jesus is a worthy master - he is the only one who GIVES life. All other masters/idols take, and take, and take, and what they give - they do give rewards, make no mistake - but the rewards are fleeting and not worth it.

    It was this thought that made me remove the app this morning. I was looking at being enslaved to this app for how long? Weeks? Months? It's opposed to all my progress in other spheres of life, and opposed to my relationship with God.

    So there you go. I'll be reading paper books this week! In front of the fireplace here in the Southern Hemisphere, with a coffee or an Irish whiskey in hand. No mobile gaming or social media, I can leave my progress in my games where it is for a while. Looking forward to this experiment.
    mikehunt and Saville like this.
  3. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Going without social media and gaming yesterday was harder than I thought it would be. But actually it was great, I really enjoyed it. Did some good reading which is probably far better for me. It's making me think I should maybe use mobile gaming as a reward for great work done rather than a daily habit to fill all my downtime.

    There are a handful of things in life that I feel have taught me more about myself than anything else I ever experienced, and this journey of fighting against P addiction is one of them.

    I realise that when I come up against tasks that are tedious, or difficult, or frustrating, I avoid them, and P was a convenient way to distract myself. Today I woke up with dread about a particular job that I realised is about three weeks behind schedule. Instead of "running for the hills" I decided to tackle it head on. So far so good. MUCH better than distracting myself with a habit that was keeping me in chains.

    Let's go for it, boys - we're designed as men to tackle it head on rather than running away. Don't escape - engage.

    God speaks in Jer. 31:33 about writing his laws not on stone tablets, but in his people's hearts. I believe it's not enough to hold ourselves to a legalistic standard of trying to keep clean. I believe it's the work of God (when we realise He has forgiven us through what Christ has done, not based on our good works) to transform our hearts. Blockers aren't enough, willpower is not enough. I can stand here today and say I have lost my taste for P. Yes, women will always be attractive, certain body types will always do it for me, etc, etc. There will always be urges. But over the last three years, every good decision I have made with regard to this thing, all the ground I have taken - God did that. This journey was part of him writing the law on my heart.
    Thelongwayhome27 and Saville like this.
  4. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    So my break from social media and gaming was short-lived. Started up again to reward myself for a job well done yesterday. But my take-aways are that I want to:
    1) Avoid mindless scrolling. Avoid reaching for the phone at each and every break. It's an auto-pilot thing that doesn't add a lot of value to the day.
    2) Especially after work, let my kids see me reading a good book rather than being on the phone, as an example to them.
    3) Limit phone time when the urges are strong. I've seen now that it is just as enjoyable to read great articles online or paper books and these will give fewer or no triggers.

    Meanwhile here we are at 25 days no relapse. I want to pass my previous streak of no relapsing for 31 days which is right around the corner and then I'm almost halfway to passing my longest streak since I started tracking in 2019. Plus if you can learn anything from this forum, it's that i's not just about the streak - every day you make better choices is worthwhile.
  5. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Hanging on by a thread at the moment. Already spent some time "in the enemy camp" in my thought life. The only thing that's keeping me going is the though that it's not worth it. Finding some way around my blockers again? Not worth it. Wading through pages of mediocre images to find something "good" (awful) enough - not worth it. Avoiding already-overdue tasks - not worth it. Other "creative alternatives" (novel poisonous ideas) / fantasy - not worth it. Better I get to work - sort out those tasks that have been hanging over me - this is freedom, this is how I will feel better, this is how I will enjoy life today.
    mailboxsam and Saville like this.
  6. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Relapse at 29 days.

    My strategy worked yesterday - for a while. When it got to the evening I caved in to what I know is unacceptable behaviour. I didn't even want to come on here and report it. Why do I allow myself to relapse?

    I remember a time last year when I got stuck at this ceiling around 30 days and I'm back there again it seems. After that I got to almost 80 days, then it was always in the 10-20 day period that I would relapse, then at the start of this year I recall an awful patch where I couldn't get a streak off the ground at all... then 13 days, 31 days and now 29. I still think this looks like progress actually, but if I don't apply myself in that rough patch then I'm going to plateau here, or worse. Not acceptable! Once a month relapse is a far cry from where I started but I want zero times a month/year, not 12 relapses a year...

    I believe the system works, I know what to do when I'm heavily triggered - but I need to keep following through. Even though there is a lot on my plate, in that patch where I have ongoing urges I need to double down on my strategy to get through it.

    Let's go again.
    mailboxsam likes this.
  7. Kuhn

    Kuhn Member

    It's allright Rudolf. gather yourself and try again. Have you tried replacing the P habit with another hobby that takes your mind off things?

    edit: so while reading i saw that you had. maybe it's an idea to work towards a place where you are no longer dependent on a smartphone at all, and can do away with it? really hard i know, i struggle with it too. but one by one i'm finding ways to replace the things i need a smartphone for. eventually i want to switch completely to my ''dumbphone'' (can only text or call)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  8. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    @Kuhn that is so great that you are winning with the smartphone strategy. Keep up the good work. It seems that my trigger started off completely in my head as fantasy, but then led to me finding a loophole on my laptop to view dodgy sites. I've blocked up that loophole a couple of ways so it is harder for me to go that same route again. But that's only half the battle - there's always some way to get around blockers if you want it enough - so I'm also focussing on why I categorically DON'T want to go there again.

    Thanks again for the support and encouragement to get a new streak going.


    Update: Further thought on the relapse makes me think it's still the big one for me: work avoidance. Stressed out by tasks left undone or that have fallen behind schedule, leads me to trying to escape. The solution is to engage, this puts me in a much better and less stressful place. Hacks, like pomodoro timers and breaking the tasks down into smaller component parts which are less stressful, have helped me today.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  9. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Strong urges last night but I made better decisions in the end. Having blocked those other loopholes was very helpful. I woke up really appreciating my & my wife's physiology - why do I have to look anywhere else? For every time I look at my wife and I think, that part there is really not perfect, there is another moment where I look at her and think, wow, that part right there is really nice. I can in no way complain, I'm a lucky man. I need to lean into that when urges hit, not go searching elsewhere on devices I've already loaded with blockers.
  10. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Not a bad start to the streak... could be better... plenty of urges and I find my mind going there all the time, thinking of creative ways to seek out P subs.

    I'll plan to: 1) Stick to the system - Pomodoros, prioritising stressful tasks, knock 'em down
    2) Do some good viewing or reading on anti-P
    3) Private journal on my break time (with an open Bible)
    4) Push into any opportunity for time with my wife.
    Thelongwayhome27 and Saville like this.
  11. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Doing ok. I'm very happy that over the last few days/nights I've avoided P and P subs altogether. This, as usual when I do the right thing, is owing to a combination of repeatedly establishing why it's not worth it to go there, and also through tweaking my blockers to make it not worth it to hunt for P and P subs. I know if I want to go there it's going to be a long process, maybe hours, of getting around the blockers, then searching, then having just a moment of O which may or may not feel satisfying at the time, then the aftermath of feeling like a total fool, "the king of the dicks", to quote Murray from Flight of the Conchords. Never worth it!

    However. I'm still avoiding work. I'm seriously wondering whether there is a work avoidance/procrastination forum I can sign up on. I believe I have solutions for it. I am sold on Queppet's methodology, in fact the only time guys report that they are still battling with P and these kinds of issues is when they are not applying the method, sticking to it - exactly what I'm seeing in my own patterns at the moment. Gotta stick to it, man! No-one who has stuck to the methodology has reported that they are still battling. Gotta push through especially when I don't feel like it.

    So for a new week, here it is:

    1) Do some quality journalling on why I am battling to get through this workload and why I am delivering an unsatisfying output.
    2) Stick to my systems for prioritising and tackling tasks, I know they work.
    3) I also need to do some planning for those weeks in which I have major interruptions, the kind of interruptions that take out an entire morning, afternoon or day from work. I am noticing a pattern in which I really battle to get back on track when I have this kind of an interruption.
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't this be more work avoidance? :D

    As someone who has avoided work my whole life I can tell you that mostly we are just too darn hard on ourselves. I stopped reading self-help stuff awhile ago as I never ever found any answers. The best answers I've come up with myself are: walking, listening to birds, listening to music without headphones, smiling when I don't feel like it, and starting any task as soon as I think of it. Someone, somewhere, came up with the five second rule - probably from one of the self-help books I read. lol The premise is: if you wait longer than five seconds after thinking about something then you are unlikely to do it. One of the examples I believe was, say you see someone you'd really like to meet. Maybe it's for networking or just someone you admire. If you wait longer than five seconds you'll talk yourself out of introducing yourself. You'll come up with excuses (barriers) on why you shouldn't meet them, such as: they don't want to be bothered, why would they want to meet me?, what will others think if I walk right up, etc.

    I've used this as a sort of template. If I think about taking a walk I immediately get my shoes on and head out the door. If I look at a flower bed and it's full of weeds I go out and do some weeding. I don't commit to weeding the entire garden, just as I don't decide on how far I should walk. However, the habit has given me a certain discipline I didn't have before. Likewise, listening to birds, and other things that I like, gives me space within my brain to enjoy life. When we are enjoying life we always have more oomph to get things done.
    mailboxsam and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  13. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Haha. You got me!

    Thanks for the advice, I think you make some wise points. It agrees with my research about the right kind of downtime, away from tech. And the 5-second rule thing makes a lot of sense.
    Saville likes this.
  14. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Some more observations after cutting down all P use and relapses over the last 3 months:
    • I am experiencing much less pull towards F. The theory that viewing less P and P subs will mean less fuel for the fire of F is correct. Best way to cut back on the F habit is to cut out all dodgy intake.
    • We can either ESCAPE or ENGAGE with life. I find when I am engaging with hard stuff instead of trying to run away from it, it gives more opportunity for God to work. I believe I have experienced God guiding me through some difficult meetings and work tasks as I tackle things head on, rather than trying to run away.
    • This week, alcohol intake and gaming is slightly up. I suppose I had better watch out for just replacing one bad habit with other not-great habits.
  15. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Another solid week behind me. I've avoided P subs with the thought "nothing good can come from this" - from looking at a certain app or whatever urge is raging at the moment.

    Didn't get to tasks that I assigned myself yesterday and now I have to chase to catch up. This is a little stressful. I was pondering why I have been procrastinating like this, and it may be that since I am removing the crutch of all P / Psubs / MO, that I am acting out in other ways? This is actually encouraging to me because that means there is progress. So I want to stay the course and keep at it. If my life in the next season looks like victory over the P habit, and starting to work on other great habits, then hey, it's a bright future ahead. Consistency is key. Let's go.
    Thelongwayhome27 and Saville like this.
  16. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I dabbled some. I thought about calling it "not a relapse" but it's borderline. I spent several hours on the P subs "track", while trying to do some other tasks as well, and it ended with an MO, so I mean, what else is a relapse? I could call it "not a relapse" because it was isolated, not repetitive, and I feel like it's behind me... but I will rather reset now so I know my streak is clean going forward.

    Not cool.

    No idea where this thought came from, but the lie this time was in thinking I could "dabble on the side". I can't. My personality is too addictive/obsessive for checking in once a day on P subs, while focussing on other positive things the rest of the time. It's all or nothing. Either I'm going to focus entirely on good, helpful, productive, enriching stuff, or I'm going to focus on trash, on smut, which will keep me imprisoned. There's no "both-and". It's one or the other.

    Let's go again.
  17. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    I'm with you, Rudolf. It's all or nothing. Dabbling doesn't work. All in all, you're doing great, but it's time to take it to the next level.
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  18. Kuhn

    Kuhn Member

    relapses aside, at least you are aware and doing something. that already puts you ahead of all those masses who are still unaware (or willfully ignorant) about the issues of P. that's got to count for something.
    Rudolf Geyse and mailboxsam like this.
  19. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% @Mozenjo , thank you. Thanks also @Kuhn , that's awesome.
  20. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Not much to report after 4 days. I love having not much to report! Hope you are all doing well brothers
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.

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