A New Perspective

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Shady, May 18, 2020.

  1. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Day 4
    Dopamine withdrawal is creeping in. I feel like shit, but I'm allowing it in with open arms like an old friend.
    It means I'm on the right track. It all feels familiar.
     
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  2. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    No man can rely on willpower alone. Willpower seems to be one of the big macho myths nowadays.
    You can will all you want, but if God puts a block roadblock its your will against His.
    Im pretty sure willpower got you in this mess, how is it going to get you out?
     
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  3. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Joost & @Living. You're both right.

    Is it darker today? It certainly feels that way and it keeps getting darker as my body loses more and more dopamine.

    The last few days, I made new friends and I've been spending time with them. This gave me a satisfactory feeling and I haven't felt like PMOing the past few days.
    The question now is, what will I do when they get busy or I get busy and we can't see each other. Will I fall back into the habit of PMOing
     
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  4. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Relapsed yesterday.
    I've been thinking and looking back at the past few weeks.
    Why am I doing this?
    If there's someone to blame, it's me.
    My PMO addiction has always been fueled by different kinds of curiosity.
    Back at age ten when I started this, I was curious about the whole thing and wanted to understand the whole sex thing, then it began.

    Now my addiction is fueled by a different kind of curiosity. There are certain websites I like to visit and they have constant updates. I'm aways curious about what they'll post next. I don't want to miss anything. So when I'm clean for a few days, I'm pulled back by that kind of curiosity not sexual desire. Problem is, I don't know how to fix this.

    The other thing is, whenever I have a new goal, I'm driven by the desire to achieve it till the point of obsession for some time then I lose interest.
    I'm guessing that's how I managed to do the 33 day streak. But if that's supposed to be a future lifestyle not just few days streak, then this is not going to work.
    I've been trying to understand if there's another reason I managed to stay clean for 33 days so I can replicate this, but I just can't find it.

    This is so frustrating.
    In my previous posts, I said I'll be sixty days free, but now I'm not so sure.

    Can anyone offer any advice?
     
  5. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    Hey Shady,

    You’re in a tough spot af the moment. I think one of the mindset mistakes you made, was treating this like an alcohol/ drug addiction with a scheduled relapse. There is no need for it since it’s not a physical addiction where it becomes dangerous to go cold turkey. With porn addiction cold turkey seems to be the best way to go about it. This is because studies seem to point out that chronic relapsing will accumulate delta fos-B. Increasing the strength of addiction pathways in the brain. I think you can find an article about it on YBOP.

    It’s like dieting, it only works for a while. People who get a good health and maintain it are those who make lifestyle choices.

    What you’re describing about going back to your websites for the ‘new’ is not weird at all, but pure dopamine related and not sexual desire. Dopamine seeks novelty, always leads to wanting to know/see/experience what’s new.

    Sometimes setting up filters can help you get a new streak going. An internet fast can help as well. Sometimes you just need a couple of weeks to not be able to seek it, in order to restore your resolve.

    Another great thing I recently found is accountability. Do you have someone that can help you with that? Ever accountable and covenant eyes are great tools.

    I hope this helps you man. You’re a strong person with a bright future ahead of you and I believe you can get yourself back together. I’m not talking down on you in any way, just giving you my advice from own experiences. I’ve been a chronic relapser myself for way too long. Don’t be like me by getting stuck in that cycle for years.

    Best of luck to you!
     
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  6. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    If your goal is to completely stop PMO I would be skeptical of the intentional relapse after a set day strategy. I don't feel like it could work. If your goal is to moderate your PMO usage, then sure maybe you can experiment with that. But many on here have reported that moderation is hard if not impossible to achieve. Many say that as "addicts" moderation leads to addiction.

    Maybe you can experiment with MO as a way to handle the cravings. Though here too many seem to say this doesn't work ... But you had mentioned how we give heroin junkies some drugs so they can handle getting off it. Well from my knowldge we don't give them a heroin shot. We give them something else (methadone I think). So for the analogy to be correct, you could allow yourself MO (maybe...) but I don't think you can allow intentional PMO. As soon as you allow intentional PMO you are no longer trying to QUIT and you are only in a MODERATION strategy.

    The only advice I think is good though is that you gotta focus on building up your life, not only on abstention and counting days. Abstention and staying off PMO is very important, sure - and you gotta do it as much as you can (therefore no intentional relapses lol) - but more importantly you gotta add things to your life. You gotta identify what is not working for you, what makes you unhappy or unfulfilled and slowly and gradually work on those. With a lot of self compassion and patience and humbleness.

    I think one trap we can fall into when we battle our P addiction is to only look at fixing our lives through this lens alone. By becoming overly focused on this alone, we don't pay enough attention to the other things. Such as underlying factors. People who successfully evolve in they're lives seem to tackle both elements, they decrease they're P usage as much as they can and they also build up they're lives or successfully identify and address things that are not working in they're lives and that are beneath the addiction.
     
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  7. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    I'd like to Thank you both for the advice.

    @BoughtWithBlood how do you set up filters?

    And BTW, I'm not going to fall into the relapse cycle because I'm already in it and I have been for more than three years.

    @Thelongwayhome27 congrats on the new avvie.

    MO instead of PMO as a way to push back when I'm close to relapse is a good idea or maybe intentional planned MO instead of the planned PMO I did after my previous streak. It's an interesting concept that I'm interested in experimenting with. I don't know if it'll work, but it's certainly worth the try. I have nothing to lose right now.

    Focus on building my life? Yes I'm already doing that and I have been for a year, so I'm not really worried about that.
     
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  8. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    On mac and ios it’s build into the system and fairly easy to set up under screen time. For windows you need parental controls, so somebody else should be the administrator. There are also browser extensions which you could try or software that blocks P sites. Often they have a blacklist for you to add sites that are off limits. Another good one is using OpenDNS family shield or CleanBrowsing.

    I’m currently using mac / ios build in systems combined with cleanbrowsing ánd ever accountable. This works quite well :)
     
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  9. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    That's cool. I think that if we focus on this part things will undoublty improve. The caveat is that it may take much longer then we would like or expect. Which I find is very hard to accept at times. It's not easy to truly "repair" a life or ourselves. It's a process, a journey and it makes sense that it takes time. If we recognize this we can have more realistic expectations and hence not suffer as much (or beat ourselves up) when things don't go as fast as we hope, or when we experience setbacks. I think luck (or destiny) also plays a role. Sometimes, for whatever reason, things will improve much faster. Life will give us a break. Other times we will fall back down. But yeah best of luck in abstaining from porn from here on and on working on your life. I'm doing the same. This whole thing takes a lot of courage so give yourself a pat on the back and don't put too much pressure on yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  10. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

  11. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Took @BoughtWithBlood advice.
    Downloaded a website blocker app and blocked them all.
    I wish I knew about this earlier.
    What's done is done.

    So I've been PMO free for 1 day and counting.
     
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  12. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    Just remember it’s only a tool. I’ve counted my victory many times too soon with filters, letting my guard down and my mind slip. Finding a way around it and then relapsing. Use it as a tool, not as a solution, and it’s very useful :)

    Goodluck!
     
    Shady likes this.
  13. Yeah, filters will throw a big wrench in your usual habit-routines, pulling up the same webpage as ever and getting a big fat NOPE is often enough to shock you back to your senses singlehandedly. From personal experience, I'd advise you to get off the computer the instant you test the filters or feel tempted to.
     
    Shady likes this.
  14. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    "I'm going to quit cold turkey and I'll never relapse" is a noble goal, but also pretty unrealistic. Here's the list of guys I can remember since I found this forum (and we're talking hundreds of guys here), who never relapsed after they decided to quit:

    GABE

    That's the list.

    There might be more of course, but this forum has/had more than 20.000 members over the years. Let's cut that in half to remove the users who never wrote anything or posted two or three times and never showed up again. So let's suppose we had 10.000 people who tried to quit porn. I highly doubt there were more than 10 users who quit cold turkey and never watched porn again. That's 0.1%, if any.

    At the same time I'm sceptical about planned/scheduled relapses, because I think that underestimates how much control you really have. What I'd advise people who are trying to quit for the first time is to go as long as possible. If they never relapse, great! If they relapse - which will be the case for the vast majority - don't beat yourself up, try to learn something from it and keep going. I also think people are putting too much pressure on themselves by trying to quit everything at once (porn and masturbation).
     
    Living likes this.
  15. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    You guys are right. It's not easy to quit cold turkey, but still not impossible.
    I was thinking, when I can't keep myself from PMO anymore after many many days without PMO, I might try MO. It's worth a try. The whole journey is trail and error. It doesn't have to be planned, but sometimes, it's just inevitable, so why not lessen it a bit.

    Few days clean now and my head is much clearer. From experience I know it'll get worse but I'm holding on.

    Thanks all.

    We're all in this together...
     
  16. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    I've lost track of the days. I know if I look back on my journal I can find out how many days I've been PMO free. Three? Four? Five?
    Point is, I don't care right know. Maybe I'll care later on, but I'm glad I don't have that distraction right now.

    Mood: terrible

    Anxiety: very high

    Paranoia: off the charts

    Hope: still exists

    Onward and upward.
     
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  17. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    Great to see you’ve stepped out of the cycle and started a new streak. The withdrawal will lessen, hang in there!
     
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  18. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    @BoughtWithBlood All thanks to your idea.

    Today when things got tough, I thought about P free MO, but then I decided not to do it.
    From past experience, I know when I MO, I PMO maybe few hours later or the next day. So I need to go hardmode.
    All trial and error.
     
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  19. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Day... I don't know.

    I fear that if I start counting I'd get bored with the whole thing and relapse so I'm just letting it flow naturally.

    So the past few days, my "libido" has been crazy. I'm fighting it.
    The weird thing, what I'm grateful for, is that I don't feel the desire to check the websites I've blocked. It hasn't even crossed my mind.
    So it's amazing how the mind works.
    I'm not consciously thinking about the fact that if I visit them, I'll be stopped by the blocking app, but I must know subconsciously about it and that's why I'm not even thing about visiting those websites.
    WOW! The human mind... Amazing.
    Still I'm never going to remove the block. I'm not going to test my willpower. I'm not taking any chances.
     
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  20. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Nothing new to report here. Same as my previous entry.
    Except maybe that I'm beginning to appreciate more things in my life and seeing the big picture.
     
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