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

    Things I know for certain 1/28:

    I have so much to be grateful for. This addiction is about trying to supply something petty which I don't have - this is unnecessary when I consider all the rich, meaningful, plentiful things I do have.
     
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  2. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Things I know for certain 2/28:

    P can give us NOTHING positive, but gives us only what's negative, keeping us hooked. We turn to P or F because it will make us feel good for a moment, but, continued use makes us feel empty/low/FOMO between sessions. Eventually we are just using it to try and feel normal for a moment, while not enjoying much of the imagery we are exposed to - rather, we are repulsed by it and need to desensitise ourselves to worse and worse imagery to get our fix. It's not enjoyable in the way so many legitimate pleasures in life are enjoyable. So instead of P giving us a "boost", it is actually keeping us trapped feeling "low" for 100% of our lives as long as we keep using. The solution is not to keep turning to P but rather to avoid it altogether and start enjoying life the way non-users do until we are free of the "low" feeling resulting from continual use.
     
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  3. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    @Rudolf Geyse. Great post! Very well articulated!

    fighting a super strong urge myself from a very tough combination of personal triggers for me.

    but I’ve read your post 3 times today and it is definitely helping me fight harder!

    Trying to create a 72 hour rule as well for myself as an added safety value. If I feel a strong urge - I need to take 3 days to think it over before acting on it. I know from my past experiences - the urge will very likely be gone by then.

    keep up the great work! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2022
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  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is why it is critical to be part of the community (the journal's of others) and not isolate ourselves in our problems. I have also benefitted enormously by reading certain posts over a few times. Together we are stronger!
     
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  5. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Wow @path-forward that is the best kind of feedback. Thank you for taking the time to post.

    Things I know for certain 3/28:

    It's NEVER "just one peek." It's fuel on the fire of a destructive addiction. It's keeping you on the hook. It's never in isolation. You're going to want another one if you go along with this one. It's preventing you from flourishing. It's strangling the life out of you. Don't go there.
     
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  6. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Some urges but I'm fighting them with thoughts of being together with my wife rather.

    Things I know for certain 4/28:

    We need outside help to fight this. The foremost addiction recovery programmes all include the need to acknowledge a higher power. The truth is that God has broken the power of sin through Christ. We need to continually cry out to the good God - He is able to make all the difference.
     
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    True. We do the heavy lifting ourselves, but having outside support (like this forum) is critical.

    You're on track!
     
  8. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I've been fighting this thing for years. It's easy to feel like this is just always going to be the status quo, I'm going to be in the abstain-relapse-repeat cycle for the rest of my life. But based on all the data, I don't think it needs to be that way. I have goals. I have been under pressure lately and feeling unable to catch up after being out of town and then sick. There have been lots of curve balls and unforeseen interruptions. What I want is to clear the task list and tackle it into the future in such a way as to stay ahead of the curve, manage client expectations better etc. I also have other personal goals like regular fitness. I can't do it all at once, especially on days where I am feeling low. I feel really close to putting the addiction behind me. My track record validates that, relapses are fewer and further between. If I can hit this 28-day period and put a lot of energy into that, the data shows that my general mood may improve and that the hankering for PMO sessions will likely decrease. So the first step is to experience that for myself. This has to be the primary focus for the next weeks. Thereafter I am looking forward to putting that significant energy into some other goals.

    If I'm wrong about any of the above, well, it's still a worthy focus, to spend energy on uprooting this addiction. I also am under no illusion that all urges will magically disappear after a few weeks, I will have to guard against it for the rest of my life. But I want to live clear of the pervasive "low" feeling between sessions. Already I'm getting there, I'm feeling far better overall than when I started this journey.

    What will trip up the whole process is "just one peek". That will reset me back to square one. "Just one peek" is the formula for staying in addiction permanently. I will avoid this at all costs.

    Things I know for certain 5/28:

    P, fantasy, P subs is not worth it. It's not worth my time, energy and focus. There is something better to give myself to every. Single. Time. P, F, Psubs - not worth it.
     
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  9. Tomato76

    Tomato76 Active Member

    Just reading the above... I could copy and paste that into my journal as my own post... thanks for the link/ reminder about pornhub.
     
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  10. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I'm doing good, but here's a pre-emptive entry for the next time the urges hit. The urge is coming. Most likely it will be at a point in the work day when I think, oh man, I could do with some escape. Or if I have legitimate work to do late at night, which is likely, what with everything on my plate at the moment. I'll likely see an attractive woman on the street, or in a show. Or a fantasy scenario will present itself in my head. It may have been some time since my wife and I have had an intimate moment (her back is sore at the moment, we are looking into that).

    In any case, this is how I will rationalise: Just one peek. Or, it's been a while, let's just crank one out.

    This is total garbage. It's not just one peek. It will be throwing away all the gains I have made. Also it won't give me pleasure - it will take time which is far better spent elsewhere, and stir up images that I disagree with at my core, as well as extending and re-awakening the "low" feeling which at the moment, from experience, I am far better living without.

    So instead I will look at what's in front of me, deal with anything urgent for that day work-wise, and turn to a legitimate way to blow off steam: Lean into my relationship with my wife, or do something I actually enjoy, like exercise, devotional time in nature, reading, even gaming with a tasty coffee or even a whiskey... so many things I could go for right now that are enriching, where P subs, F, MO just aren't appealing for what they rob me of.

    Things I know for certain 6/28:

    Life is far more enjoyable when we live free of PMO!
     
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  11. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    @Rudolf Geyse. Some great posts! I truly respect your candor and your desire to beat this incredibly nasty compulsive addiction. And your emphasis on not peeking - very much spoke to me. It just extends and intensifies the craving for PMO itself. I have only recently learned that we need to fight against p subs and peeking as strongly as our fight against PMO. It’s all the same battle. Our addiction fights to find chinks in our armor - always looking for vulnerability.

    And your emphasis that there is always something more fulfilling to do is also a key insight.

    Keep fighting hard!

    one day at a time.
     
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  12. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I feel like that pre-emptive entry saved my life. Definitely felt triggered last night and would have gone along with it. But the more we journal like the entry above, the more we programme our brains so that we can make the right decision in the critical moment.

    I'm also having some success in facing up to my workload through just engaging rather than escaping. A lot of my procrastination can be dealt with by responding well in that moment when I feel resistance. Instead of avoiding the discomfort, I can jump right in if I remind myself it will be better to put the task to bed, or even just move it forward at least, rather than trying to dodge it. In trying to escape it actually just adds more stress later. Momentary discomfort, long-term enjoyment and improvement.

    Having said that, I was already stressed and overloaded, and over the last 2 days I have had even more stuff dumped on my plate... stuff breaking around the house, requiring urgent attention, etc. In the past I would have been running to escape! The fact that I'm doing better with this stuff tells me I'm headed in the right direction and I need to trust the process and tackle one thing at a time until there is some breathing room again.

    Things I know for certain 7/28:

    A pattern of PMO, or PsubsMO, or FMO, is not just a bad habit, it's an addiction. But not only that, it's sin. Sin is "missing the target" God has set for us, falling short of who God intended us to be. Every time we go along with P, we are not being who we were intended to be, we are not flourishing or thriving. (The solution isn't just to try harder either. It's in "repentance and rest" - Isaiah 30:15. Not trusting in our ability to save or prove ourselves, but trusting in God's finished work on our behalf. And turning away from sin on that basis.)
     
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  13. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    That is a really great sign, that your go to in stressful situation was not PMO, because that is when we get tested and tempted the most. Great stuff.
     
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  14. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I'm doing well with no peeking and no fantasy. I already started on the next habit I want to work on, which is getting up in the morning consistently on time. I'm 40 and still feel like a teenager trying to roll out of bed in the morning, oversleeping almost every day. If, instead, I'm getting into the office on time and not wasting time on distraction during work hours, I'll be able to take stressors off my list a lot more steadily than I have been, and hopefully start to chase down some of the medium-term goals which I've been putting off cos there has been so much on my plate. So far so good, I have been able to get up by putting my mind to it with some practical steps/routines to help me.

    Things I know for certain 8/28:

    Journalling is a powerful way to reprogram our brains to "show up" in the moment, rather than falling back into the same destructive patterns. Thoughts are cheap; we have 1000s of thoughts a day. But when we write down our thoughts it forces us to really articulate what we have deep convictions about. The more I write down the lies I believed in order to go along with P, the reasons why P is not worth it, and the better path which I know will lead to an improved situation, the less attractive the P route becomes. The practise of regular journalling was a life-saver for me.
     
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  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This!!
     
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  16. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Pre-emptive entry for next time the urge hits: Most likely will be late at night, it might be a case of feeling vaguely dissatisfied, then the thought will pop up "I'll get to sleep easier if I..." or similar. It probably won't even be a strong urge but just enough to get me thinking about where I could peek for P subs or what fantasy I could dig up.

    Lie: "It will help you get to sleep." Truth: Billions of people sleep fine every night without an orgasm. Close your eyes for twenty minutes. If you're still not falling asleep, do something legitimate like listen to a podcast or music or read. You know, something that isn't going to sabotage your life and relationships and happiness. Repeat until you sleep. (I'm also limiting caffeine intake after lunch.)

    Lie: "Psubs or F is easy to find/cook up, and will only take a moment of your time." Truth: To find something that will "work" can easily take hours. Even if it doesn't, let's say it takes half an hour. This quicker time to get to an O would be because of the separation already achieved from P - an achievement you are throwing away by crawling back into the toilet of Psubs and F. Plus, you know full well that it's NEVER "just one peek" - you would be keeping yourself on the hook of a destructive addiction. If it kills half an hour of your life this time, it will take hours the next time, and the next, and the next - it is strangling the life blood out of you every time you go there.

    Lie: "Psubs and F and will give you something helpful. You are missing out on something if you don't go with it." Truth: Any pleasure you will get is momentary, and in exchange you feel terrible and prolong a "low" feeling between sessions. This means that every session gives you a net loss. All it REALLY gives you is the "void". Only by pursuing legitimate pleasures you are gaining. These legitimate pursuits are worth your time, focus and energy - Psubs and F are not. Also, the people who are missing out on life are the ones stuck in addiction. The people living free from addiction enjoy much richer pleasure. You are missing out on this if you GO ALONG with the addiction. To abstain is missing out on nothing. We should have "fomo" when we go along with the urge, not when we resist it.

    Things I know for certain 9/28:

    The death and resurrection of Christ is God's masterstroke. Honestly, this blew my mind - it's a proposition that is unique to Christianity among all the other religions & worldviews: 1) How can a just God forgive sinners? We want a God who holds people responsible for sin (otherwise he might be ok with murder and rape. No-one wants this). 2) But, it is also a problem for us that He then must punish each one of us: If we are honest with ourselves we don't live up to even our own standards of goodness, and His are much higher. 3) But, God is also love and wants to show mercy. However, if He forgives us arbitrarily He is not just. 4) So how then is He able to show mercy? Through Christ's dying in our place for our sin. God is righteous - He demands righteousness - He provides righteousness to us through Christ. God is wrathful against sin - God takes the wrath intended for us so that we can go free. 4) The resurrection validates that the sacrifice of Christ is accepted by God and is effective to all who trust not in their own works to save themselves but rather in the finished work of Christ.

    Based on this I'm no longer trying to prove myself to God, or me, or society, or whatever. I'm set free from pressure to perform, free from guilt and shame over my many, many mistakes. And if the truth of the above hits home, I find I WANT to do better, not to earn God's favour, but rather because I see and agree that His ways are better for human flourishing, and I start to habitually make better decisions with thankfulness for what He has done.
     
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  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    ha ha I love this!

    So much good stuff in that post, RG. It's amazing how the message the Christian west has understood is old testament vengeance model. Even the Buddhists can't entirely get away from that kind of thinking, because they believe in karma. Realizing that it's ok to be happy with ourselves, in spite of our past misdeeds, is the real gift.
     
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  18. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I can't recommend this type of journalling enough. I'm more convinced than ever in the moment of the urge, that I don't want to go along with it. This really works for rewiring my brain for the critical moment. This has been maybe the cleanest 2 weeks I've had since I started.

    Battling with my morning routine. I think I need to write similar journal entries to help me in the morning, especially for those mornings where I have had interrupted sleep during the night because of the kids or whatever.

    Things I know for certain 10/28:

    Supporting the P industry, even if it's just with my clicks and views, means I am supporting an industry and side industries that are ruining people's lives, degrading women, and enslaving young boys into lifelong addictions. This industry wants to strangle the life out of everyone it touches, for its own profit.
     
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  19. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Pre-emptive entry for the next time the urge hits: Yes, you will see attractive women. They're everywhere. Women are gorgeous. It gets harder as you get older because older age groups of women are suddenly more attractive than they used to be, but younger women don't lose their physical appeal either. You'll see attractive women on the street, in shows, in games, all over. That beauty is something that can be acknowledged and appreciated. But it doesn't have to be "harem fuel", "smut fuel". The idea that the image of a woman can be appropriated for self-indulgent fantasy is juvenile at best, and violently destructive at worst. It's simply not what you want. What you want is real closeness with another live human being, emotional and physical intimacy with someone who is in your corner, who has seen you at your worst and still believes in your best, someone you can laugh with and whose truly and generously lovely physical attributes you can enjoy on a regular basis. Lean into your relationship with your wife. It will be worth it to avoid stolen glances, to avoid peeking and fantasy altogether. It will be worth it today when you reach the end of the day with confidence that you have chosen a path that is objectively far superior, strengthening your character and resolve along the way. It will be worth it at the next opportunity to wholeheartedly give yourself to your wife in sex. It will be worth it when you look back on your life and have set a positive role model for your kids. Peeking, P subs, fantasy - not worth it. It can't hold a candle to all the good stuff above, in fact it wants to steal your life. Why? Make the right decision. You have today - rock it. Let's go.

    Things I know for certain 11/28:

    "Satan gives Adam an apple, and takes away paradise. Therefore in all temptations consider not what he offers, but what we shall lose." — Richard Sibbes (1577–1635)

    THIS. P takes far more from you than it ever gives.
     
  20. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Jonesing a little lately. Staying the course. Will do some pre-emptive entries again when I have a gap.

    Things I know for certain 12/28:

    There are better ways to destress than PMO. Get outside. Listen to great music. Read paper books. Play on an instrument. Talk to a real person. Listen to some good comedy. Create something. Get tickets to a live show. Eat out, or order in. Get caught up in something bigger than your life and situation. Enjoy God, in music, Bible reading and prayer. Exercise. Tackle that stressful task head on and get it off your back.

    PMO is not a de-stressor. PMO actually adds stress through avoidance of facing up to life, and the social anxiety and awkwardness that it brings, and robbing you of the above legitimate de-stressors.
     
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