Becoming a man of integrity and finally taking life seriously

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by NewHorizon, Aug 20, 2023.

  1. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Hi everyone! My name is Antoine. 30 years old student of computer engineering.

    I am starting a new journal.

    I want the new journal to be a positive place, not a place where I constantly rant about my failings in life and such. There’s room for that but I don’t want it to be the main focus. The main focus is to beat porn addiction once and for all (I’m so tired of that shit). The ultimate goal is to learn to manage my life and be proactive about it. I want to be fully honest with myself and others. A man of integrity and action.

    This summer I progressed a lot compared to where I was just a few months ago. I still have a lot to learn, and my actions are not totally in line with the kind of man I want to be. The reason I progressed at all is because of pain. My girlfriend of 5 years left me because she couldn’t take my crap anymore. It hurt so bad (and still does) it felt I had been shot in the chest with a shotgun. I took whatever was at hand to patch it and started walking through fire and smoke. I had and still have to keep moving forward. Else it was all for nothing, and I can’t handle that. She must've been in so much pain herself.

    When it happened, end of April, I immediately started to take action. I found a job, joined a men group, reached out to old friends to see if we could hang out from time to time, started running again and now a month ago I started lifting weights. I finally started to take life seriously and not act as though I had unlimited time on this earth to procrastinate and masturbate all day. It still hurt like hell, but it hurts less and I’m afraid I’ll once again fall back in my shitty habits. I am so tired of that. I can’t do that anymore.

    One thing that stands out after this progress : I’m still struggling big time with Internet addiction and porn addiction. After an initial 1-2 months without porn during May and June, I slowly started to watch it again. Mid-July I started doing the recovery workshop on because I knew the man I want to be doesn't watch porn and doesn't spend many hours in a row procrasturbating on the net. I’m at lesson 6 right now, procrastinating and I don't know wether it's a chicken and egg thing but it coincides with relapsing this week since thursday.

    When I take time to do the lessons, I find I take a proactive role in this battle, and everything becomes easier because I know why I’m doing it for. When I stop doing the lessons however, it becomes easier to shove my ideals under the rug and porn becomes increasingly enticing. My plan is to complete the lessons at a pace of one each day, as honestly as possible.

    I’m continuing university starting august 28th. My plan is to develop the skills to complete my courses efficiently. I need to learn to manage my time better.

    Porn and Internet addiction can’t be in the picture anymore. There’s too much at stake : my life.

    Moral is a bit of low right now after binging yesterday afternoon. My apartment is a mess, and I should probably start with that. Cleaning it up one thing at a time. I know for a fact I would feel better if there wasn’t all that mess around me.

    So, here I am! Thanks for reading. Let’s do this.
    NorwegianNurse and Joe Mitchell like this.
  2. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Fifth day under way.

    For the most part, I'm doing good. I have completed lesson 6 ( I hope everyone is doing good too.

    I'm a bit pissed right now, but it will pass. I was scrolling facebook just a moment ago and out of nowhere, a sexually explicit and degrading "meme" popped in my feed. It always makes my blood boil. The fact that this shit is normalized. Shit like this remind me why I usually hate social media and their attention-grabbing/anger inducing/mind numbing tricks they play on us.

    I have nothing against sex or people living out their fantasies in the confine of a consensual relationship, or consensual agreement. What I don't and will never get is why people assume other people want to hear or see their idea of sexuality. It's a mild form of boundary violation. Especially since we as a society are so out of touch that extreme pornographic content is normalized in the public space nowadays, under the guise of being funny. It's not merely suggestive anymore, it's explicit and degrading.

    I wouldn't be surprised the fb algo learned this material would piss me off and make me scroll more or something. It's not the first time I see content like this and it seems to be increasingly happening as of late.

    I need to keep my calm. Emotional turmoil like this is usually closely linked with relapsing. I think I did the right thing by coming here to talk about the situation I lived. I will complete lesson 7 today.

    So yeah, half of day 5 is almost over ! Amazing.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2023
    -Luke- and mailboxsam like this.
  3. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey Antoine. I remember your old thread. Totally agree with your post about sexually explicit content on the internet. Many people are so desensitized now that they don't even see it as explicit unless it's extreme hardcore stuff.

    The RecoveryNation workshop has a lot of wisdom. I hope it works out for you.
    NewHorizon likes this.
  4. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Thanks for stopping by Luke. I remember you too from a few years ago. I'm glad I'm not the only one who find it mediocre at best.

    Day 7 under way and it's looking great!

    I injured my shoulder a bit because I increased weight too fast in the weight room. I am eager to make progress. I need to heal it properly. I'm sure it's nothing, just the muscle cramping but it burns.

    After a copious breakfast, I'll do a lesson from the workshop. I like recoverynation workshop because it forces me to think about my future, my past, my values, who I aspire to be, etc. I'm in the process of writing action plans for my values right now.

    Have a beautiful day all !
  5. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Day 9 under way

    I've had some thoughts about sex lately like since 2 days ago it has become a bit more reocurring throughout a day. But it's manageable. What I do is I simply catch myself having this thought, acknowledge it, and refocus on something else as soon as possible. Completely avoid entertaining the sexual thoughts. It's a technique to rewire the brain. For me, I find the sex thoughts are not like natural pulsions because there are no receptive woman around when they happen. They're linked to boredom and other cues. They're mental, and lead to masturbation and porn, thus need to be rewired because I want to live my sexual life solely with a willing woman.

    I firmly believe all the sex thoughts I have througout a day are deeply related to this addiction I fuel since childhood, not some powerful sex drive or something. They're "pavlovian" if you understand what I mean. I've no intention to act upon them now. It's ridiculous how easy they can go away if I simply work on not entertaining them. It's ridiculous how more manly and alive I feel not having this running the show all the time.

    Boredom truly is the first step into this, and I'm sure most don't even realize it. When I was bored, tired or wanting stimulation in the past, it'd be so easy to entertain a sex thought like this without even realizing what I was doing and what it'd lead to, like imagining a naked woman and slowly turning up the heat until it's really hard to come back mentally from it. The strategy now is to catch myself ASAP and move on to something else. It works !

    We got this guys !
  6. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    And I should add that I'm in absolutely no hurry to do so.
  7. Jakovasaur_2019

    Jakovasaur_2019 Life is like a game of chess.

    Hey man! Congrats on hitting the 10 day mark!

    I agree with you on the sexual thoughts being pavlovian in nature. It's super easy to entertain it, and I myself have fallen victim to it more than my share, which is why I'm here.
    NewHorizon likes this.
  8. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Thanks man!

    Day 11 under way !

    The moment I let my guard down; the moment I start mildly fantasizing, is where the real "battle" is. Not when I'm on the brink of opening up a porn page. If I'm at this point, that means I lost the war. It means I lost all the other battles without even partaking in them and without even realizing it. It's like a shift of focus from "abstaining from porn" to being mindful of where my attention is at on a regular basis and when I'm entertaining sexual thoughts, cut it short as soon as possible.
    tig likes this.
  9. Jakovasaur_2019

    Jakovasaur_2019 Life is like a game of chess.

    Yes. I feel this a LOT. The quicker you can "dead" those thoughts the better off you will be in fighting. This is something that I have to work on myself. I've had many a streak stop simply because a thought popped up in my head, and it was all downhill from there.
    NewHorizon likes this.
  10. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Day 12 under way !

    Some arousing thoughts here and there, but still manageable. I think I'm just beginning to uncouple the state of being aroused as being a cue to think about porn and masturbation.

    I don't want to jinx anything but I remember reading the brain is going the extra mile during the 2 weeks to 3 weeks of abstinence period to have a hit of the substance, before the pull towards the substance starts to decrease around week 3-4. So I need to keep that in mind maybe for next couple weeks.
  11. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Day 15 under way ! Exceeded the 2 weeks mark.

    I'm having a little bit of difficulty today, probably because I procrastinated so much on youtube. I'm wrestling with the idea of masturbating since this morning. I have moments of victory where I'm convinced I will not, just to be hit with a wave of arousal 2-3 mins later. I need to start moving, do something that's why I came here to get out of this daze. I'm not tempted by porn, just starting to wrestle with the idea of "healthy" masturbation. The usual bullshit. I knew this phase would come eventually. My intention is to kill it in the egg.

    I'm doing no p,m and o because one leads to the other for me. The vision I have of a man for myself doesn't masturbate that's all. I'll eventually meet an incredible woman and I'll be glad I beat those demons then.

    What I notice from abstaining is I'm more engaged with life; with the world around me. It has more depth, more meaning. At uni, I'm actually interested in making friends, perhaps trying new things like joining a project or a competition of some sort. I actually believe in myself and my ability to take on the challenge of staying on top of the workload and ace my classes. I know I'm capable of that and that it'll be fullfilling if I do.

    I do believe my ability to take on the challenge of no pmo reflects in other areas of my life.

    Thanks for reading and the support.
    NorwegianNurse likes this.
  12. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Ok, so day 17 under way.

    I caved in yesterday and masturbated; did it again today. I didn't fantasize about porn or anything and was done really quick. Feels weird talking about that but I guess it's an anonymous forum... I was aroused all evening and thinking about sex, wrestling with the idea. Once in bed, it continued and I was wide awake and decided to let go. I was having difficulty since Sunday with the arousal. Today was similar and wrestled with the idea on and off all day until I caved in again. I don't feel like a loser or anything. I don't want to be ashamed and start a self-loathing cycle which will lead to more unhealthy avoiding/soothing behavior from my part.

    It happened that's all and I'm still on track. I was not expecting a 100% clean course going from watching hours of porn a day while edging to not watching any porn and not masturbating ever after. I'm still in the process of improving my life and working on becoming a man of integrity and action. I think that matters above all else. I have direction.

    I didn't go all-in watching porn and such, so in a way it's a win compared to past behavior. I stayed conscious and did it with the intention to be done with the intense arousal. I caved in because I was not prepared for handling the intense arousal. Even after a cold shower the arousal hardly decreased.

    I don't want to be lying to myself. I need to make the right decisions. How can I be prepared next time? I need to answer this question for myself.

    Thanks for the support! Let's resume the streak.
  13. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Day 19 almost over !
  14. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Wow day 26 is coming to and end.

    Things are starting to be mad busy at university.

    I had a crazy weekend because one of my childhood friend is getting married. I ended up saying all sort of crazy stuff to women I met through the night and ended up at a woman's place at 5 a.m. Nothing happened, I was not really pushing it. I was not really feeling it and I think neither was she. Also it was weird because she has like 4 children and they were sleeping in the house. We just had great fun flirting at the bar but I should've ended it there.

    The next day I was very hungover and anxious. I pushed things a little bit too far for my taste alcohol wise. I actually stopped drinking for 5-6 years completely in the past. Now it's under control and I rarely exceed 4-5. I guess this night was exceptional but I'll have to stay careful. I should take a break from alcohol for a bit. I usually drink 2-3 beers on thursday night and today I didn't.

    I'm still going to the gym and trying to build a more muscular physique. I am seeing results.

    Things are looking great, although I'm a little bit anxious because of university. I feel my brain is very slow and I've difficulty managing my time effectively. I made a friend and she's really hard working but also very smart and it's very unsettling. We're together on a project and I feel overwhelmed by her pace.

    I feel a bit out of my depth right now with the work load. I want to manage my time better and study more.
    Gil79 likes this.
  15. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Today, I stumbled. In fact, I almost did it again just now, but I set the timer to 45 mins on pluckeye (internet filter app) and it was enough to wake me up. Came here instead. I'm a little bit ashamed, I feel like I let myself down (again) and everybody who support me. I know self-loathing is a dangerous path so I'm doing my best to acknowledge the slip without beating myself for it.

    I am addicted to youtube and the Internet as a whole. I spend way too much time doing mindless stuff on the net and this morning it led to a pmo relapse. It happened and I wasn't ready. The battle was too hard at this point, I was overwhelmed emotionally. What's insane is I was back to my old habit immediately, not even really having fun just seeking and seeking the next fix, opening many tabs at once. To me it means the youtube addiction is holding me back, it's the same thing but a bit less potent. Both come from a place of loneliness and are a novelty seeking thing.

    I feel really alone these days, even if I try to put myself out there more. I think what I truly crave is intimacy with a woman and sharing something together. Right now I'm kind of lost in a weird place emotionally, after being dumped in april.

    It's not merely about time spent without porn, it's about time spent improving myself. It's a journey of a thousand steps which I just started to take seriously. It's a change of perspective, a battle with my demons, trying to accept them and become a more healthy person along the way.
  16. GreatE

    GreatE Member

    Hey, I understand your struggle. My five year relationship ended in May. It’s very hard to overcome this, especially with our porn problem. I hope that God will give you strength to avoid this shit because of course it only sets back the healing process. I can relate to your sentence “It's a journey of a thousand steps which I just started to take seriously”. I agree. Without taking serious steps and tackling the foundation of what leads us to relapse nothing can be achieved. Good luck man!
  17. dark red drifter vessel

    dark red drifter vessel Well-Known Member

    Yep. I think so, too. Porn has more devastating effects, but we can use the tube for soothing and numbing just as well. Which is tricky, cos yt is a bit more varied and there is actually interesting, valuable stuff on there. I have yet to watch a porn vid that broadens my mind. Or I have to not watxh ut, you know what I mean. :3

    Also, hi there!

    And please continue in your efforts. Its not over till its over and its never over.
  18. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Thank you to both of you for stopping by. It means a lot to me... I was having a tough moment just minutes ago and decided to come here instead. I was pleased to read your comments.

    Sorry to hear that man. I hope you are starting to get better. I'm happy to see someone relates to my struggle of the past couple months (5 years relationship breakup..) Good luck to you too!

    Porn is total non-sense. It really is the hardest drug to quit. As someone else put it, it's like trying to stop smoking crack but the pipe is attached to your body... I couldn't have put it better than that.

    Youtube on the other hand can be useful, but I know I'm using it wrong when I spend multiple hours having multiple tabs open just like with porn. I think for me trying to find the perfect video that's going to be both entertaining and interesting triggers the same urge for novelty as with porn. I think they share a path in the brain but I agree they aren't the exact same thing. But, for me, it seems if I stay addicted to youtube I won't make much progress with porn. Typically, I'll drain my energy on youtube for 3-4 hours until I'm mentally exhausted and need something stronger to stimulate me. Maybe I can go on like this for a couple days, but someday the huge craving will hit and I will be in no place to resist it...

    I think, for me, I need to find a balance where I eat correctly, exercise, sleep well, talk to people a bit at least each day... Having my stuff under control like chores... etc. This in my opinion is conducive to remaining on the right side of the track.

    Hi man!

    Let's do this !

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