A Pilgrim's Progress

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Squire, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Hey, Squire. Sounds like you've got the ball rolling in an affirmative way. You're posting on the journals of others and that is critical to recovery. As we give, we receive, is absolutely true here. Welcome to the board.
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  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Life IS good. :)
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  4. rami

    rami New Member

    hi squire
    I read your posts and I like the way you think and write
    have your tried do an exhausting sport 2-3 times a week
    I found it very helpful with anxiouty reduction and it really raise the mood
    good bless and guide you
    but I am not really sure that life is good
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  5. madman

    madman Member

    Squire, I appreciate you. I identify with you in so many ways. I too am a follower of Jesus, however I act out so much, I beat myself up all the time for my many failures. I admire that after all you've been through, you still follow of Jesus.

    I do too. I have considered walking away from Christian faith, but don't think I really would. The mental conception of what I think a Christian should be is so far from how I actually live my life, thanks to PMO.

    My parents both passed away in the last couple of years, and I am not happy with my life. A lot of bad things happened to me growing up, so I struggle to believe in love, faith, etc. All that. Like so many others.

    Your insight into yourself is incredible. I acted out, even today, before I got onto this forum. I'm glad I did.

    Your post helped me. I have had sexual sobriety periods of over 100 days multiple times, but at that point the urge to reward myself with some PMO is too much and I go for it, losing the long period I had going.

    This has happened so many times I give up. Lately I act out so much all the time, because what's the use? I can't beat this thing anyway. Why try?

    Your post helps me see that there are underlying issues. I have always thought that, but I haven't been able to see what they are.

    Your post has helped me somewhat. I don't understand myself as well as you do, or why I do the things I do.

    Thank you for sharing your spiritual journey and insights. You blessed me.
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  6. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Hey Squire-

    Pema Chodron talks about shame in one of her talks. The stuff about shame starts at 6:28:

    In another talk (I can't remember which one, and couldn't find it unfortunately) she talks about how shame is emphasized in Western culture compared to Eastern cultures (or at least Tibetan which is the one she is most familiar with). In that same talk she says incidents that cause shame can welcomed or even viewed with joy, because they are the "stuff" of awakening. If we can experience the emotional charge of shame in our body without elaborating on it mentally (by running the old storylines), we can use it to connect with other human beings who also experience this feeling. These common experiences are bridges that link us to other people and are a basis for growing empathy. Anyway she explains it much better in the video i linked to.

    I really recommend her stuff- it's from a Buddhist perspective, but really it's mind training. I've found the techniques very helpful in calming me down and reducing stress.
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  7. madman

    madman Member


    How did I go multiple 100+ periods w/o PMO? Thanks for asking. It helps me to rehash it.

    They were not consecutive. It was more like 100+ days. Then 20 days. Then 30 days. 2 days. 1 day. 100+. 3. 2. 0. 0. 0. 30 days. 100+ days. Binging for days.

    I think it helped to not keep track of the number of days, and not look at it all the time. I also got so low I was sick of acting out, so the thought of it turned my stomach. I was to the end of my rope so to speak. I had hit bottom. Or so I thought. The only way was up.

    I used to track the number of 'good' days religiously, but it got to where it seemed it was setting me up for failure looking at the tracker all the time. I obsessed over it.

    Like, on day 32, wow, how long am I going to go before I PMO again? Can I make it to 50?

    Of course I didn't.

    When I stopped thinking about it so much, I did better, even though I still had a tracker I could refer to on my cell phone. I could check it any time I wanted.

    During those 100+ periods I would occasionally glance at it every few weeks and then try and forgot about it. If I could geniunely forget about it, it helped. It was when I started obsessing about it, I gave in and PMO'd.

    I still couldn't help look at it every few weeks though because I wanted to know how I was doing.

    After so many time of 100+, and then PMO, I gave up. Frustrated, I began binging out, and that is where I am at today.

    I have convinced myself it's not so bad really, so I PMO, and then feel crappy for days. Weeks.

    I truly am a madman. The self destructive behavior I indulge in may do me in.

    I glad you find enjoyment in my screen name. No one has ever complemented me on it. I secretly like it too ! :)

    What a beautiful thing you shared about your faith. Wow. It touched my heart in a big way. Christians piss me off a lot (excuse me for the expletive) ... and I am one of them. I spend a lot of time angry at myself.

    But Christianity in its purity is a beautiful thing. Thank you !

    I struggle to believe life can be good, free of PMO. It has pretty much destroyed me. My mind is trashed.

    You've given me so much to chew on. Wow. Thank you.

    Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing.
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  8. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Active Member

    Squire, Thank you for calling by my journal. I like the reasoning behind both your name and the title of your journal. You have some really solid ideas that executed honestly should bring relief from our common affliction.
    Reading HTK's footer I presumed that the question was how well can you bear to sit in a cell for 4 hours without medication? I would say that I always score poorly on that and can only perceive that I ever would.

    I Look Forward to following your progress brother
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  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member


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  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Awesome that you made it through and that all of Canada is cheering for you! :)
    Squire likes this.
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is what I call the eyes glazing over. And, yup, p-subs and fapping take us back to P eventually.

    I do it all for myself. I've learned to be selfish in the right way, you might say. I didn't do it for my wife, or my marriage (which was shit because of my cheating), I only worried about getting myself healthy. I think this is important, because when we do it for others, we are saying "I don't count. My wants and needs take a back seat to everyone else." I have found that when I do things for myself that I am more open to the needs of others and more understanding of what God really is, and means, in my life. Just my thoughts on things.
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  12. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Well said
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  13. rami

    rami New Member

    why why why My man
    I was reading your journal and know I feel like somebody hit me in the face real hard.

    there is another way of counting, instead of counting how many day since your last relapse, count how many relapses in a month.
    and at my count you have a 1 or 2 a month rate. and that's fairly good,
    well it's better than mine which is about 4 a month.
    this way you can keep track of your long term progress and not focusing on the short term milestones, maybe it can help you with your post-milestones relapses

    another thing which might be tricky and risky ; does your wife know about your addiction.
    I don't know what kind of relationship or person she is but some times she can really help, or they say so.
    because it get the matter out of the unsociable secretive mode.
    and if she is not the understanding type have you considered telling a breathing human being about it , maybe a friend or religious teacher ware you attend

    p.s thank you for your support, yes it is Arabic
    I changed the footing
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  14. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Active Member

    Hey Squire, Very good to see you picking yourself up and getting back on your feet.
    For my part I am over my screen deadline and shall be turning off after posting here. I do not like consciously counting days because that can be a trip hazard whilst at the same time it is one measure of progress, and I love measuring things.
    Squire likes this.
  15. TJ3

    TJ3 Member

    What is your wife's supporting role in all of this?

    Does she know you are doing this? Is she supportive. Does she know you watch porn? Are you having regular sex?

    When do you find time alone to PMO with family around?

    I know you are tying to cut mo and pmo, but may I suggest mo-ing instead of pmo'ing. Maybe try to cut out one at a time, instead of both?
  16. TJ3

    TJ3 Member

    Oh, and sorry, I see you've answered some of the questions already. Just catching up.


    Also, what are your p-subs?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I'm older than you and my sex drive is high, much higher than my wife's. The further we distance ourselves from P, from fantasy, and from MO, the more alive we feel inside, which means our peckers feel more alive too. I thought I had a low-libido. I was wrong!

    This is a key element. Great work!
    Squire likes this.
  18. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    You have done well Squire. I remember the saying "keep quitting till you quit"
    Sometimes if we use it right a little shame can be a reminder and prompt us to do better
    You are getting up again. Commendable!
    Squire likes this.
  19. TJ3

    TJ3 Member

    Thanks Squire. Sorry, for the long post and I hope it's not rude to offer this suggestion. First a couple more questions:
    • Have you read through some of the blog posts on Your Brain On Porn about what's actually happening physically?
    • Have you made a list of triggers?
    So I am 23 days in no MO or PO. Last time I tried this I went 400+ days and only relapsed because I tried to re-do the reboot but with sex. Now that I'm trying it again, I have so far gotten through 23 days, and while there is obviously a chance I can relapse again, I am feeling more confident that I won't (of course since I say that, I will probably PO tomorrow LOL!). Since you're five days in and have tried several different things, if you're interested in trying my method, just to see if if works, here is what worked/what's working for me:

    So, for my method, I don't plan or regularly MO. I go the first month without PMO and MO. Then gradually return to normal MO over the course of 2-3 months.

    By gradual, I mean, I don't just MO when I feel like it, only when absolutely necessary, which after the first month or so averaged to about once a week. After a while I had absolutely no interest in porn.

    Also, very important, is that the MO is not a typical MO. I simply give myself a very simple realistic fantasy (based on a real experience), just to get the job done. Let's call it "no-frills" MO. I don't drag it out. It's literally just to relieve the tension and then move on. And for the first three months I never planned MO.

    The idea behind all of this, which I based on my readings of YBOP, is that I'm re-training my brain to see orgasm and sex detached from pornography. By depriving myself of all sexual activity for a month, there is a sexual energy that builds. By releasing this sexual energy through a "no frills" MO, I begin to associate the relief with a real experience. I let the energy build up again and repeat the process. After the first month, and only after the first month, I also allowed sex. The idea is that I am giving my body/brain a sexual release, but it isn't from pornography it's from phsysical experiences. Over time I completely lost interest in porn because my brain had been re-sensitized to the human touch. I personally think this is better than the cold turkey method because I am incorporating the neuro-science stuff I learned from YBOP. It's more of a physiological approach (or "trick" rather), rather than a psychological approach (trying to motivate and inspire yourself to quit, but not really rewiring things)

    By doing this, you are at least staying away from porn. I just suggest that next time you are ready to go back to porn, that you willfully choose to MO instead. It is better than slipping back to PO. Knowing in the back of my mind that if I get to that point, I can at least have MO, a non-hyper-sexual MO at that, helps me stay a way from porn. It's like an emergency button.


    The second suggestion is about triggers. When I did this last time, I physically made a list of triggers. You listed all your p-subs. My philosophy is that it is easier to avoid your triggers/p-subs than porn. You aren't addicted to Googling images, or Facebook creeping, are you? Imagine you are. In my experience it was easier to tell myself to never open google images. To not creep on my friends Facebook albums, to change the channel, etc. etc. than to do those things and then later try to talk myself out of porn. In fact, per my plan, the first entire month is strictly NO sexual stimulation at all (no sex, no MO, no lusting, no fantasy, no p-subs and not triggers--if getting sweaty at the gym is a trigger, no gym. If the cute girl at work is a trigger, don't walk by her desk). Sex is also a trigger. Maybe ask your wife if she is okay with not having sex or getting too sexual for a whole month.

    In sum. I suggest:
    • Emergency Button: Consider using a no-frills, only-when-neccessary, just-to-the-job-done emergency MO as an option for when you hit the point that your body simply cannot take not having sexual stimulation and you feel like your want to PO. Avoid it the first month, and never, ever schedule or plan as a regular thing.
    • Work on triggers: Write down all your triggers and p-subs and put more energy into actively avoiding those things than avoiding porn. Turn on adblock, stop following certain people on social media or reading what they post, block or mute them for a while, freeze your accounts if you have to. Sex is also a trigger

    Sorry for the long post and if you think this isn't for you feel free to just ignore, but I only stand by this method because I had tried to quit porn for YEARS and always failed until I tried this one three years ago and went more than a year with absolutely no interest in porn.
    Boxer17 likes this.
  20. TJ3

    TJ3 Member

    Hi Squire. Oh, I'm glad it was helpful. If you want to read my full plan, which I wrote a few years ago after the success, it's here in this link.

    The first month of abstinence is crucial because you are basically resetting your brain. There is a lot of information about that in the link I shared from YBOP--it's a long read but very very helpful in explaining the science behind what's happening to us. But the gist is that: Basically porn literally changes the pathways and nueurolgoical signals in our brain to want the thing that gives it the most pleasure. Those signals have been over-stimulated to the point that they only crave the "good stuff." The same thing that happens with drug addicts--the harder the drug, the less pleasurable the weaker stuff will be. For some people our brains have been desensitized to physical stimulation and hpersensitized to pornography. All roads will lead to that end.

    The philosophy of the reboot is that you are allowing those pathways to heal and become re-sensitized. Therefore you must stay away from any and all sexual activity and triggers so that your brain can take a break from stimulation, forget what it feels like (some people flatline temporarily) and then re-learn what sexual pleasure is. This includes, flirting, fantasizing, checking out people, p-subs, etc. etc. Think of allowing a cut to heal. Sometime the wound gets numb, but you give it time to heal and it regains sensitivity. If you were to MO everyday or engage with sexual activity, you are not allowing those pathways to heal and on top of that they are already damaged and use to the hardcore stuff so eventually the MO or the sex or whatever will not be satisfying. MO'ing during the first month is like smoking weed when you're trying to quit coke.

    In my experience of doing this once and now for a second time, the fasting period is a lot easier if you focus on the triggers more than the porn. Cutting out sex, MO, social media, etc. makes temptation toward porn much weaker. For me I only have to MO when my body just can't take it anymore, not because I "want to." This works better because then your brain will associate the release of the penned up sexual energy with something better.

    I really think you should try this. Great that you're now five days in. Start muting, blocking and freezing your social media. Always be aware of what you're doing online. Learn to say no to things and situations you know will act as p-subs or triggers. Then after a month, use the panic button only when you have to (about once a week for me) for 2 more months. But you can also start having sex during this time, as long as you limit masturbation and triggers. I would say after 2-3 months you will definitely see a decrease in appetite for porn! As I eased back into regular MO, I would try to make the MO experience more fun, thinking of real experience, but never using any artificial images and choosing actual sex over MO if possible.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018

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