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

    Still the thought comes and goes, "wouldn't it be great to have a..." Chaser isn't all that strong today, but I need to keep riding out those stray thoughts and stay productive rather. I actually feel like I'm catching up on some tasks.

    Today I match my previous streak of reporting 14 days clean of all P, Psubs, peeking, and fantasy. Maybe not perfect (lingering on an image or a thought for a moment or seven) but good enough to call it a clean streak. This is wonderful. These type of streaks have been few and far between and to be hitting them more consistently, I see this as unmistakable progress.

    Now to get through this danger zone of the 2-3 week period, where I have the most relapses.

    I also hear habits start to form from 18 days onwards. Worth pushing through and being aware if there is any change to the wiring from then on. Definitely not worth blowing it now.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2022
    Mozenjo, Thelongwayhome27 and Saville like this.
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Just giving you a big thumbs up, Rudolf. Love what I'm hearing.
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  3. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Well gents. This is practically the very last thing in the world I want to do, but here I am reporting another relapse.

    The lie I believed: It's been ages since you did it. have a go. The truth: If it's been ages...good! It should be ages more. This is categorically HOLDING ME BACK.

    1. Confirmed yet again, as if I needed to, that this is not worth it!
    2. Beat my last streak by one day. Completely clean.
    3. Coming on here to report it. I really wanted to sweep it under the rug. But that's crap. Reporting it is a win.
    4. I look at the last 2 streaks. A totally clean 14 days, then another streak of 15 days. That means one relapse in a month, and not even any peeking or F the rest of the time. This is evidence that I'm doing the best I have ever done since I was about age 20. Even when I went 79 days with no P, I was still using P subs and fantasy. My trajectory shows me I am going to win, if I apply what I have learned.
    Negatives: I really wanted to complete "No nut November!" Now I will have to complete it with only one relapse as opposed to zero.

    What I will do differently: I already identified that at 2 weeks, some switch flips and I am much more prone to bad decisions in the moment. I already committed to bringing in more support if I continue the abstain-relapse-repeat cycle. So at two weeks, or if I am really struggling before, I will reach out to a couple brothers to pray with and check in on me as an added deterrent. Also I started a book which was really helping my headspace, I will complete the book one chapter a day.

    Hell! It's crushing me again, that I would do that - which is good, I need to feel that crush so I know to avoid feeling it again. Let's go
    Mozenjo, path-forward and Saville like this.
  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Have you ever considered 12-steps meetings such as SAA or SA or SLAA ? Those can be helpful in terms of support and community and digging deeper into what causes us to go back to our unwanted behaviours (beyond only the neurological explanation of addiction in the brain).

    I think this is really important and true. Overall progress goes beyond the single streak. It's also what keeps me going as well.

    Well, One Nut November is still a very honorable endeavour !
    realness and Mozenjo like this.
  5. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Rudolf, you are to be commended for your efforts. You really are making fantastic progress! As Thelongwayhome says, overall progress is not just measured by single streaks. I've been viewing without O, but feel like I've taken a step back. Your streaks of being squeaky clean are where the real work is being done. One nut November is nothing to sneeze at.
    path-forward likes this.
  6. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 @Mozenjo haha, One Nut November, that's a new one on me. Lol. I'll take it. thanks for the posts.

    I'd have to see what's available in my area. I don't know if I could get this to work for me. But even if it were uncomfortable I could see it being worth it in the long run. Thanks for saying something about it.


    Rebuilding is hard. All the more motivation not to relapse. Not worth it.

    Opening up about struggles is hard. We are programmed to think struggle is weakness. Struggle is not weakness. Struggle shows you are going against the flow. 'A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. ' (G. K. Chesterton)

    Imagine living free of pride. Free of feeling like we deserve something. Free of fear of opening up.

    Let's go, man, let's go!
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I guess some fantasy is bad, but I don't think all of it is. We have imaginations and they will imagine. I guess what I'm saying is we don't have to be perfect on every front. :)
    Rudolf Geyse, Mozenjo and StarWarsFan like this.
  8. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that @Saville . A difficult part of this journey is knowing when to go easy on myself and when to kick myself up the pants. My issue is with repetitive patterns of fantasy with solo MO which inevitably lead me back to looking for P or P subs. This type of F is unhelpful.

    Counter says 4 days, but I still feel like I blew it 5 minutes ago. My head is in a weird space. My focus is shot. Lots of journalling on the cards this week I think to get my thoughts straight.

    Riding the urge right now. If not for the blockers I'd be away down the river without a paddle! Thank God for blockers. Of course I could get around them. They just give me enough of a hurdle that usually I don't feel like I want to try to get around them. In the moment when I am considering going around them, it is so apparent that this would be taking back steps on what I am trying to accomplish. So they help me to make better choices.

    Ok, so if I'm not going to have a PsubsMo or FMO, let me jump into the fray instead. New week, lots of tasks. Let's get some tasks DONE. That will be more satisfying than that fleeting O anyways!

    Any fans of obscure metal? This says it well:

    "All I need is a good mistake // One more look at the devil's face"

    Of course we know it's a lie! It's actually many lies. It's not all I need. I don't need it. It's not good. It's not just one more. The truth is that none of us wants that look at the devil's face. There are better faces to look at.

    Let's go! Will check in if I'm still battling.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  9. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Another day, another opportunity to kick ass and take names! To avoid the P trap and use these fleeting hours for what is meaningful and what will improve my future.
  10. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    No time for chit chat. Totally slammed at work. Instead of struggling with distraction it's at the point where I'm just trying to breathe and get through one task at a time, cos it's a lot.
    Mozenjo likes this.
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You can do it!
  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    I'm with you there, man. Dig in and get it done. I hope you're taking care of yourself physically. I know that when I'm slammed, which is also all the time, if I don't get enough sleep, the overwhelm is pretty bad. So get the rest you need and deserve.
  13. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. Thanks @Mozenjo . Yes I do get enough rest. I've had to be meticulous on this one otherwise I would have burned out long ago.

    I see the cycle is that I have 4-5 days where smut is on my mind constantly, I live in that headspace, which I don't want to experience anymore, and hopefully we are getting there. This is followed by 10 days - 3 weeks where it's plain sailing. Still have the odd thought, usually following on from some mostly unavoidable stimulus in the environment, but nothing I can't process through in helpful ways. Then the cycle repeats. If I think of 5 days out of 15 in a negative headspace which hurts my productivity, this is not something I want to allow for another minute longer. Even if it's 3 days out of 21, or 1 day out of 30 - not cool.

    But we're getting there. We are in the second half of "one nut November", still committed to finishing this one strong and then moving on from there, building more helpful routines. Let's go
    path-forward likes this.
  14. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Time passes. Thoughts pop up now and then. Mild urges. Not worth acting on.
    • The last times I acted out, the O was not satisfying whatsoever.
    • A big part of my stress is that I'm always putting out fires and it takes a lot of energy just to keep up with the deadlines. I need some time to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, revisit my budget, income & expenses. Every time I get close I either get slammed with more tasks which is stressful, and/or I opt to avoid facing up to reality by turning to smutty thoughts. I'm at the point where rationally I would much rather face the potential disillusionment and difficulty of dealing with my situation, than waste more time on P, supposedly a stress reliever, but actually a barrier to taking on my stressors and improving on them. It's not worth my time to go back to smut.
    • One Nut November. I want it, I want it.
    • Not feeling a high physical/intimate connection with my wife at the moment. Hey, part of marriage is persisting when the flames aren't burning hot, I accept that. And it will swing the other way in time. What will NOT help is squandering vital sexual energy on pathetic F or peeking.
    • My time is too valuable to waste on P. Even and especially my down time.
    • Romans, chapters 6-8. There is no need for me to follow those urges, they don't rule me anymore.
    Onward. Let's go
  15. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I peeked night before last. Not a relapse, but definitely a strike. And definitely not helpful. Another strike and I'll reset the counter, which I don't want to do at all.

    What am I thinking in the moment? It's opportunistic. I find myself doing activities (watching, gaming, reading online) which might expose me to a glimpse of something which might simulate arousal. "This won't do any harm, this will be quick." I've thoroughly debunked those and I still need to drill in the truth so that I don't go along with the lie in the moment. It does do harm, every time. It is not quick to overcome this addiction, I've been trying for years. The knock-on in terms of my time for keeping the addiction going is detrimental to my mental state, my productivity, my finances, my relationships.

    Let's go, man. End of November is in sight. Home stretch.

    Romans chapters 6-8 are amazing on this. But you actually have to go all the way back to Romans 1. Lessons from Romans:

    • All of us have blown it. From the most rotten, hateful, spiteful person you've met, to the most upstanding or religious, squeaky-clean person, our good performance is worthless to save us from well-deserved wrath.
    • God is not looking for us to "get our lives right" in order to spare us from wrath. We are unable to get our lives right (this is what is so offensive about the central message of the Bible - our own powerlessness to save ourselves). God is not looking for belief or trust in our own performance to save us, but belief and trust in Christ's performance on our behalf to save us.
    • If we have believed and trusted in Jesus, something has happened in our core identity:
      • We have died to sin, we are no longer ruled by it, our relationship with it has been severed.
      • We may still sin, and we probably will. But it is no longer a cause for condemnation, and we no longer have to let it steer the course of our lives.
      • God has taken us from the realm of the flesh (following appetites and cravings) into the realm of the Spirit (following Him). This is something that He has done - it's not our work to do this, He has accomplished it.
    • For the believer, you have this choice:
      • Carry on in sin which leads to death, or walk in the truth that you are dead (unresponsive) to sin. Don't respond to sin when it comes knocking on the door.
      • Keep on in old behaviours which will bear fruit for death, or instead build behaviours which bear fruit for God.
      • Keep on using your body parts as instruments for unrighteousness leading to death, or instead as instruments for what is righteous and good.
      • Live according to your flesh (appetites), resulting in death, or live according to the Spirit of God in you.
    • We are urged to choose the latter choice in all the above. This is what makes us thrive in life as human beings as God intended.
    • These things are not all up to us, as if God has left us to "fix ourselves". He has "fixed us", past tense, if we have believed in Christ. He has done the work on our behalf. We are called to ponder these things, fill our mind with these things, so that we start continually walking according to the new identity, not the old. He empowers us for this. At no point is it our doing alone. At every point it's God's work in us and through us to bring us to a place where we thrive in life, regardless of the circumstances - we respond well, rejoicing even in hard times.
    I'm amazed at how much a lot of this ties in with the literature on overcoming the addiction.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  16. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Right now? At this moment? I don't want to say another word until I have overcome this addiction.
  17. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Do we ever really overcome it? And if we do, what does that look like? I don't mean to be fatalistic about it. I'm a Christian like you and I believe that it can just, poof!, be taken away. But it seems much more common that this is an issue that will always be present in some way and it's how we address it that matters. Call it a flaw or a character defect I guess. Scripture calls it "the flesh" and for that reason, I believe that for many of us it won't go away completely.

    My favorite recovery author, Nate Larkin, describes his sexual addiction in recover as a still smoldering fire. I really identify with that. It is a well worn path of activity and coping that I will deal with probably for the rest of my life. That sounds pretty bad at first but it's been really good to discover how empowered I am to reduce the oxygen and fuel for the flesh urges that are inside of me. In fact, progressing in recovery has brought me into openness with other people that I am sure would not have happened without my issue and addressing it. I live out confession and integrity in ways that a lot of other Christians do not. I think they are missing out! I wouldn't say that I'm thankful that lust and sexually acting out have been an issue for me. But like the "thorn in the flesh" that Paul writes about, I see more and more why it's there and it can change me for the better in recovery.
  18. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    @realness Thanks for posting. I agree with much of what you said. What I want is that it no longer takes me out of commission for a morning, or three days, more than monthly. I believe this is achievable. This is what I mean by overcoming the addiction. It's still too close at hand. The fire is still raging too hot. At the moment I am battling to get past 2 weeks.

    Case in point. Counter reset. Last streaks have been 14, 15, 13 days. I don't like this. The number one reason I don't like it is because I'm starting to seriously believe I can't do it without reaching out to some kind of in-person support structure. I have no disposable income at the moment so it has to be a free option. I don't want to negatively impact the family by taking weekly time out to attend meetings. I need to figure something out otherwise I am going to stay here in limbo, reporting resets every 2 weeks. Don't want!

    Totally unable to complete No Nut November. That hurts as well.

    I'm a man, we make a plan. I have some ideas, I can figure this out. Let's go again
  19. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Some random thoughts here going into day 2 of a new streak.
    • A relapse every two weeks like clockwork. Unbelievable. I thought I was further ahead. I believe I have taken ground since the start, but I can't agree with a relapse every 2 weeks as a lifestyle. No chance. I want to beat this now.
    • I have been a big proponent for blockers up til now, but every time I relapse I have found another site that is unprotected, or a new way to access peeks or find fuel for fantasy. As much as ground is being taken against Mindgeek and Pornhub and that is awesome, there are new technologies and new sources popping up, much too easy to access. Certain of my blockers seem to lose their traction on certain sites, perhaps those sites are working around the blocking technology. Blockers saved my life, they got me out of the initial loop of automatically opening browser tabs by muscle memory. But I need to lean a lot more into the other methods of beating this addiction. There is just too much the blockers can't cover. I might take the plunge and go the accountability software route - but it's a drag. I don't want to recruit a buddy as a policeman.
    • It just goes to show how cracked we are as a species. We don't just sample smut, we give ourselves to it. We create whole industries, systems and technologies to peddle smut, involving thousands of producers and hundreds of thousands of users. God help us as a species, we are far, far gone.
    • Was hanging on by a thread last night (chaser effect?) but I managed to make better decisions.
    • Wouldn't it be great to live free of the chaser forever. To be able to appreciate a woman's beauty when I'm driving down the street, without it being fuel on the fire of lust. It's going to take a long period of abstaining from P and F for me to get there.
    • I am trying out a new strategy to move through the two week period but I'll rather write about it if and when I have success than writing about it now.
    Responsive entry: I want to go back and take another deep dive into P and P subs this morning. It is a strong urge to escape responsibility. If I do it will be hurtful to myself and I will have crushing remorse afterward. This is a critical moment. There are 2 MAJOR tasks at the moment, both of which will take hours and hours to wade thru. Avoiding these will incur loss of revenue as well as regret, guilt, shame and frustration. It will put my family in a worse off position. As uncomfortable as these projects are, I'm going to tackle them head on. Let me try to make inroads on at least one of them today, plus all the other interruptions and small tasks which are bound to come in. THAT will bring satisfaction which smut CANNOT. Let me make it more enjoyable with great music and decent coffee. Resistance only lasts until the flow state hits. Once I'm into it I probably won't feel the discomfort, it's only uncomfortable to face up to it until we get going. It's morning here now, will check in either here or offline again after lunch.
  20. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    So hey! Had another relapse this week as reported above, but got back on the horse fairly well and quickly so the whole week wasn't a write-off. Feeling like I should celebrate this weekend. Also feeling positive for this latest streak. Long may it last.
    Libertad likes this.

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