Bodhissatva's Journal: walking the path ...

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Bodhissatva, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Zed.

    Zed. Steady as she goes...

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Sorry to read that you're off, Bodhisattva, you're an inspiring dude and it seemed to me you were making progress.

    It's not a linear thing, it's a continually returning spiral, and the movement is ultimately up, but we keep coming back to the same place sometimes once, sometimes dozens of times, until the progress gets felt. I think it can be hard seeing guys who have gone in and seemingly nailed it straight off the bat, but most people here have been doing this shit for years! I know I have. I made my first commitment to stop using porn 18 years ago, and I've been here under various guises for almost a year, but I think I'm cracking it now, with help from everyone on the forum and being accountable. There is no alternative option as I refuse to get lost in the bullshit of pmo any more, and I hope you feel this too on some level.

    I really hope you can come back, knowing we're here without judgement and with only a desire to help support you as you support us.

    One day at a time dude.

    Be well and be good to yourself and do what you need to do.

    Hope to see you here soon.
     
  2. mcbc_rewired

    mcbc_rewired Active Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Hi Bodhi

    I really hope you are still here and reading. Your work so far on this has been inspiring, courageous, supportive and caring. Please come back. We need you.

    It sounds like you have let the relapses get personal.

    As others say its not about iron will. Personally I don't think its about surrendering to a higher power but I get that people do. My take its about letting go but I don't know much at this early stage. Just my guess.

    What I *do* know is that a relapse or 10 is not a problem. It just shows you are moving forward. It could be that, like me, you don't really deep in your heart want to let go of the "comfort" that PMO appears to be. Of course we know it is not but we think it is when we are in PMO fog. It requires a long quit to see it is not a comfort but a deeply corrosive drug. So we have to use other ways to keep away from PMO at the beginning rather than a real integrated understanding of the fact that PMO is not a comfort but actually the source of our need for comfort - i.e. its the source of the pain.

    Anyway more important to say is what this guy wrote in Number 2 of his 3 mistakes we make. Please read this if nothing else. Its about relapsing.

    The Top 3 FATAL MISTAKES Rebooters Make | Your Brain On Porn

    Last week there was a comment made by a forum member here that bothered me a lot. He said:
    I know i will get hate for this but anyway, I must enlighten some of you. Most of the people on here will never fully quit PMO or make it past 100 days. I know people need to stay motivated but it's difficult.
    It bothers me because it's not true. And it bothers me because I want everyone in this forum to succeed. It's been more than 3 years since I discovered Reuniting/YBOP and it's been almost 1 year since I created this forum. I've seen it all. I've read it all. I don't consider myself addicted to porn anymore.
    Gary Wilson and Marnia Robinson are the true pioneers in this field. It is thanks to them that we have thousands of men around the world trying to quit porn based on scientific understanding of how it affects our brains. I will be forever grateful to them.
    However, scientific understanding is not enough, as evidenced by the huge amount of rebooters struggling and having a hard time with this addiction.
    What I'm going to share with you guys is nothing new. You probably already read it somewhere else. But it is not given enough importance around here. People are worrying too much about porn induced ED, dopamine this and dopamine that, testosterone levels, wet dreams, etc. But not enough on how to actually beat this addiction.
    This thread is not meant to be motivational. Motivation is temporary. You can watch a Nike football commercial on YouTube, get all pumped up and motivated, and then relapse 4 days later. It means nothing.
    This thread is meant to give understanding. It's meant to give you the final piece of the puzzle needed in order to beat pornography addiction.
    I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that anyone who understands and applies what I'm going to share here is going succeed quitting porn.
    All you have to do is avoid making these 3 mistakes.
    Please take your time to truly absorb what you're going to read next. This stuff is not obvious and many men are completely unaware of it, specially those who are new to rebooting. Successful rebooters probably won't benefit as much from this thread.
    Sit down, take your time, and go grab a cup of coffee or tea, as I'm going to share with you the top 3 fatal mistakes a rebooter can make.
    Mistake #1: Using Porn to Stop Feeling Bad
    People who are unaware of this mistake are going to have a very difficult time quitting porn.
    This is what usually happens:
    You're very stressed about work or school. You spent all your day working your ass under pressure and you know that the upcoming days are going to be the same. There's pain in your body. You're mentally exhausted. You want to relax and feel good. So what do you do? Watch porn.
    You go out to have fun one night. There's one girl you really like, so you try to talk to her, but she keeps ignoring you. One of your more outgoing friends keeps making her laugh with his jokes. You're jealous. You say to yourself "Fuck this shit" and start approaching other women right there. They all reject you. Even one of them said to you "Get away from me!". You go back home feeling incredibly frustrated. Your mood is very down. You start to wonder if you'll ever be able to get a beautiful girlfriend. You get temporarily depressed. It's painful. You want to escape these feelings. So what do you do? Watch porn.
    You went out drinking last night. You had a lot of fun, but now you're left with a terrible hangover. You have a headache, nausea, stomach pain. You can't concentrate or do anything. You're just lying there drinking some Gatorade. Obviously, being hungover sucks. You want to stop feeling bad, at least for a few moments. So what do you do? Watch porn.
    You're bored as fuck in your house. You and laziness become one. You're not in the mood for anything, not even watching a movie. Boredom, boredom, and more boredom. Who wants to feel bored? Nobody. Time runs slowly. Nothing is fun. You go to Facebook and there are no interesting updates. You refresh your favorite forums and there are no new replies to your posts. There's nothing to do. You start becoming anxious and restless. So what do you do? Watch porn.
    Please, stop this.
    You need to stop medicating yourself with porn every time you feel pain and discomfort.
    This is ignorance to the reality of life.
    Stress, depression, frustration, hangovers, boredom, injuries, physical pain, anxiety, embarassment. You know what they are? You know what they're called?
    They're called LIFE.
    Do not run away from life. Do not run away from reality.
    We will never become happy if we keep doing this.
    In Buddhism this is called aversion. Running away from pain. Running away from discomfort.
    All these bad feelings are temporary. Boredom, stress, hangovers, feeling down. They will all pass.
    If we keep taking refuge in porn and running away from pain and discomfort then we will never be able to grow as persons and become real men.
    We need to break out of this cycle. Or at the very least try to.
    Otherwise, what are you going to do when things get tough in life? Hide in your room? Become depressed?
    What are you going to do when you realize that hitting on girls brings up a lot of anxiety and nervousness? Run away? Make excuses?
    What are you going to do when you're stuck in a traffic jam for 2 hours and you're hungry as fuck? Complain? Hit the horn endlessly?
    What are you going to do when you realize that losing weight isn't as easy as you thought it would be? Give up? Binge on junk food?
    We need to stop using porn as a pain reliever.
    We need to face reality, not run from it.
    Please understand what I'm talking about here. If you do then you will be able to identify every time you're using porn as an escape.
    Read carefully the following text taken from In Buddha's Words:
    The first of these distinctions, drawn in Text I,2(1), revolves around the response to painful feelings. Both the worldling and the noble disciple experience painful bodily feelings, but they respond to these feelings differently. The worldling reacts to them with aversion and therefore, on top of the painful bodily feeling, also experiences a painful mental feeling: sorrow, resentment, or distress. The noble disciple, when afflicted with bodily pain, endures such feeling patiently, without sorrow, resentment, or distress. It is commonly assumed that physical and mental pain are inseparably linked, but the Buddha makes a clear demarcation between the two. He holds that while bodily existence is inevitably bound up with physical pain, such pain need not trigger the emotional reactions of misery, fear, resentment, and distress with which we habitually respond to it. Through mental training we can develop the mindfulness and clear comprehension necessary to endure physical pain courageously, with patience and equanimity. Through insight we can develop sufficient wisdom to overcome our dread of painful feelings and our need to seek relief in distracting binges of sensual self indulgence.
    “Monks, when the uninstructed worldling experiences a painful feeling, he sorrows, grieves, and laments; he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught. He feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, and then strike him immediately afterward with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by two darts. So too, when the uninstructed worldling experiences a painful feeling, he feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one.
    “While experiencing that same painful feeling, he harbors aversion toward it. When he harbors aversion toward painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion toward painful feeling lies behind this. While experiencing painful feeling, he seeks delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the uninstructed worldling does not know of any escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. When he seeks delight in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling lies behind this. He does not understand as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. When he does not understand these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling lies behind this.
    “If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it attached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it attached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it attached. This, monks, is called an uninstructed worldling who is attached to birth, aging, and death; who is attached to sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and despair; who is attached to suffering, I say.
    “Monks, when the instructed noble disciple experiences a painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament; he does not weep beating his breast and become distraught. He feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, but they would not strike him immediately afterward with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by one dart only. So too, when the instructed noble disciple experiences a painful feeling, he feels one feeling—a bodily one, and not a mental one.
    “While experiencing that same painful feeling, he harbors no aversion toward it. Since he harbors no aversion toward painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion toward painful feeling does not lie behind this. While experiencing painful feeling, he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the instructed noble disciple knows of an escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. Since he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling does not lie behind this. He understands as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. Since he understands these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling does not lie behind this.
    “If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. This, monks, is called a noble disciple who is detached from birth, aging, and death; who is detached from sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and despair; who is detached from suffering, I say.
    “This, monks, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the instructed noble disciple and the uninstructed worldling.”
    (SN 36:6; IV 207–10)
    Mistake #2: Being Hard On Yourself Every Time You Relapse
    Ok, so you just "relapsed".
    Calm down. Breathe.
    Stop the drama. Stop the "I'm so sick of this" comments.
    Don't get angry. Don't feel guilty.
    It won't do you any good.
    I made this mistake so many times in the past.
    Read my journal. I was a "chronic relapser" as others have said.
    Here's what usually happens:
    A guy relapses and masturbates to porn. He couldn't take it anymore and had an hour long porn session. After he's done, he feels terrible with himself. He comes to the forum and posts on his journal.
    "What a fucking pussy I am"
    "I can't believe I gave in, how will I ever beat this?"
    "I've had enough of this shit"
    "My life is a mess"
    Sometimes he feels angry. Sometimes he feels guilty. Sometimes he feels down. He takes relapse very seriously and ends up feeling very bad with himself. He then goes and commits mistake #1 in order to stop feeling bad, which in turn will make him feel more bad afterwards. So he binges until he's completely depleted. Then he tries rebooting again, remaining completely unaware of his mistake. Some days later he relapses and once again goes hard on himself, unable to break free of this cycle.
    Listen, the next time you relapse, don't be hard on yourself. Calm down. Open your "relapse spreadsheet" (which I believe everyone should have) and mark the current date with an X. Then calmly get back on track as soon as possible. Minimize your binge as much as you can. You're not back to zero every time you watch porn.
    There is this damaging belief in the forum that success is measured by how many straight days you go without porn.
    There's a Hall of Fame, yes, but this is just a way to encourage people. It's not an indication of whether you're successful or not.
    Please understand. Let's use some common sense here.
    If a guy goes from watching porn every day to watching porn 3-4 times a month, then he's already successful.
    Why would a guy like him be so hard on himself every time he relapses? It just doesn't make any sense. He's way ahead millions of men around the world who are completely hooked on porn.
    All he needs to do is keep trying to reduce the amount of relapses per month. That's why I believe having a spreadsheet is crucial. It will give him some perspective on how much he has progressed.
    With time he will discover that the chaser effect loses its strength. Getting back on track after relapsing gets easier and easier.
    He might or might not be able to get into the Hall of Fame, but it doesn't matter. The addiction no longer has control over him.
    That, my friends, is true success.
    And the mere fact that you're a member of this forum and you're trying to leave porn behind is enough reason to be proud and stop beating yourself up.
    Mistake #3: Focusing Too Much On NOT Watching Porn
    Guess what?
    If you're thinking about not watching porn, you're thinking about porn.
    As long as porn is in your mind, you will have a lot of trouble letting it go.
    The correct approach is to just forget about it.
    Stop obsessing about what day you're on.
    Stop posting on your journal stuff like "Omg quitting porn is so difficult, the urges are so strong!"
    Stop hanging out too much on this forum.
    Just forget about porn. Disregard it as an option in your life.
    Focus your mind on the stuff that matters. Your family, your dreams, your health, your career.
    When urges arise, watch them mindfully. Observe them. Do not react. Do not suppress them. Do not push them away.
    Just kindly smile and focus your mind on something else.
    Watching porn is not an option. It's not a part of your life anymore.
    It's a thing of the past.
    Read the thread - The Top 3 FATAL MISTAKES Rebooters Make
     
  3. mcbc_rewired

    mcbc_rewired Active Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Sorry hard to read that last post. Here is the relevant bit:

    Mistake #2: Being Hard On Yourself Every Time You Relapse
    Ok, so you just "relapsed".
    Calm down. Breathe.
    Stop the drama. Stop the "I'm so sick of this" comments.
    Don't get angry. Don't feel guilty.
    It won't do you any good.
    I made this mistake so many times in the past.
    Read my journal. I was a "chronic relapser" as others have said.
    Here's what usually happens:
    A guy relapses and masturbates to porn. He couldn't take it anymore and had an hour long porn session. After he's done, he feels terrible with himself. He comes to the forum and posts on his journal.
    "What a fucking pussy I am"
    "I can't believe I gave in, how will I ever beat this?"
    "I've had enough of this shit"
    "My life is a mess"
    Sometimes he feels angry. Sometimes he feels guilty. Sometimes he feels down. He takes relapse very seriously and ends up feeling very bad with himself. He then goes and commits mistake #1 in order to stop feeling bad, which in turn will make him feel more bad afterwards. So he binges until he's completely depleted. Then he tries rebooting again, remaining completely unaware of his mistake. Some days later he relapses and once again goes hard on himself, unable to break free of this cycle.
    Listen, the next time you relapse, don't be hard on yourself. Calm down. Open your "relapse spreadsheet" (which I believe everyone should have) and mark the current date with an X. Then calmly get back on track as soon as possible. Minimize your binge as much as you can. You're not back to zero every time you watch porn.
    There is this damaging belief in the forum that success is measured by how many straight days you go without porn.
    There's a Hall of Fame, yes, but this is just a way to encourage people. It's not an indication of whether you're successful or not.
    Please understand. Let's use some common sense here.
    If a guy goes from watching porn every day to watching porn 3-4 times a month, then he's already successful.
    Why would a guy like him be so hard on himself every time he relapses? It just doesn't make any sense. He's way ahead millions of men around the world who are completely hooked on porn.
    All he needs to do is keep trying to reduce the amount of relapses per month. That's why I believe having a spreadsheet is crucial. It will give him some perspective on how much he has progressed.
    With time he will discover that the chaser effect loses its strength. Getting back on track after relapsing gets easier and easier.
    He might or might not be able to get into the Hall of Fame, but it doesn't matter. The addiction no longer has control over him.
    That, my friends, is true success.
    And the mere fact that you're a member of this forum and you're trying to leave porn behind is enough reason to be proud and stop beating yourself up.
     
  4. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Hi Guys,

    I'm back. It has been a rough couple of days. I just came across a forum dedicated to a fantasy of mine, and I just couldn't get the images out of my head. Still have a hard time. I even questioned my marriage. I wondered if I had chosen the right person. The forum had post from women sharing this fantasy, some of the posts really got to me. Kept thinking that if our fantasies matched, maybe it would be easier. That really threw a wrench in my resolutions.

    I am still in a kind of haze. I now realize that my last post was a cry for help. And you Guys really pulled me back in the real. Thank you for your kind words. As much as the fantasy was calling me, I wanted to go get back here to get help. I hope I will be able to get back on track. I will give it my best, but there is a part of me that really really wants to pursue the fantasy. I will do this one moment at the time.

    Thanks again guys.

    Bodhi
     
  5. better_reward

    better_reward High-speed connection is an oxymoron.™

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Glad to see you checking in bodhi. It might help to keep doing so no matter what. I understand the tug of fantasy, especially when reality seems overwhelming. But by checking in it might counter balance the fantasy (escape) with some reality. Im my experience, fantasy will never satisfy, but you may have to find out how you view it.
     
  6. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    The rewards for staying in the real are subtle, and take time to fully show. That "novelty" addiction is treacherous, because all the rewards are instantaneous. I have to learn patience. Fast.
     
  7. LOGOS

    LOGOS Personal Best - 233 Days PMO-free

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    This is brilliant.
     
  8. allpoots

    allpoots Guest

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Yes, the allure of fantasy can be completely compelling. I relate. When in the throes of PMO I was definitely fantasizing about throwing away my life and living in a new sex-centered world of my own creation. I even fantasized about leaving my children behind, leaving my work, everything. And it was so compelling!

    I knew that at if I lived the fantasy, I would end up totally demoralized, horrified and in despair. Hell, I even end up that way after the fantasies themselves have ended!

    I know this. I know how it always ends. I've known it for years. But that knowledge has never been enough to stop the fantasies. They are so compelling that they overwhelm all rational thought. And off I go. There was always one more attempt and one more failure.

    But that's not happening now. I attribute this to my daily quest to build a closer relationship with God. I'm not trying to avoid PMO. I'm not trying to get control of my fantasies. It's just happening.

    I'll close with a quote from The Message (Eugene Petersen's modern language paraphrase that attempts to capture the vitality and meaning of the language of the Bible as it would have sounded to the ears of those days):

    Matthew 6:32-33: "What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God reality, God initiative and God provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."
     
  9. mcbc_rewired

    mcbc_rewired Active Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...


    When I read this I thought, yep Bodhi you have it in a nutshell. This is why we get addicted, why its hard to quit, and how to quit in one. Awesome. Stick this on your wall as I have mine.
     
  10. allpoots

    allpoots Guest

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    The rewards for staying in the real can also be instantaneous. If we look for them, they appear.
     
  11. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Day two is starting. What a difference a good night sleep makes. I have a busy day and it started well. The sexual tension I had maintained through fantasy for the past 3 days is now gone. I have energy, and I did put it to good use this morning.

    For that to be real, you have to let go of the fantasy. Now that my mind is clear, it is true. Couldn't see it yesterday. I imagine this will increase as I go along.

    There is still a part of me that says I can always go back to the fantasy world, a way for me to deal with the grief of not entertaining it. I am hoping to need that less and less. For now, I just want to do another clean day.
     
  12. Zed.

    Zed. Steady as she goes...

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    So so glad to see you back Bodhisattva, good for you my man.

    Whatever else goes on we're always going to have to come back to the real, it's not going anywhere, it's all there is. We can do it now and keep working and get deeper and deeper into it and discover its mysteries, or we can keep pinging back and forth like an elastic band and just keep whacking against the surface time and time again.

    Go well mate and keep checking in.

    Peace.
     
  13. better_reward

    better_reward High-speed connection is an oxymoron.™

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Both these statements are so true depending on my state of mind—which I am trying to change! I would say the reward to the former is an instantaneous mood alterer to my depression (a quick fix), and the latter rewards are much more subtle and nuanced—providing me insights and hope for a reality-based worthwhile life (long term). Patience is a valuable practicing after all.

    Keep checking in bodhi! No matter.
     
  14. imout

    imout Active Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Bodi, dont leave a backdoor open. Dont entertain thoughts of rewarding yourself later. NO MORE PORN EVER AGAIN. Not for us , bro, we are porn fiends, we cant handle just a wee play. Try it man. Say to yourself. Porn aint no more.

    But , be sure, Bodi, Ill support you regardless. relapse or not. The process counts; and you as a friend counts
     
  15. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Glad to see you back friend. I posted this on my own journal but I think it might help you so posting here as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX2btaDOBK8
     
  16. allpoots

    allpoots Guest

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    If you're continually relapsing, if you're demoralized or hopeless, you may be in a wonderful place. You may finally realize that you are unable to fix this by yourself, as you are. You may be ready for real change. And when that change occurs, you will do more than just leave PMO behind, you'll leave behind the old Bodhi, to be replaced by the true Bodhi, everything you were always meant to be. The more hopeless you are, the more ready you are ... are you hopeless? are you ready?
     
  17. Zed.

    Zed. Steady as she goes...

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Hey man, just spotted your counter there. Keep coming back brother, keep trying, you'll get there.

    Keep talking to us all, we know where you're at, it's just another hurdle.

    Be good to yourself Bodhi. Sending you warm wishes and good vibes.

    See you soon.
     
  18. Bodhissatva

    Bodhissatva New Member

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Hey allpoots and Zed, thanks for the message of hope. I am still here, and I am continuing on the path. I haven't been completely honest in the past 4 days, and I am paying for it now. I was being consumed by my fantasies, I was edging in my mind, peeking but not MOing. I had made a deal with myself that resetting my counter was when I was PMOing, not just P. Bullshit. The good thing is, I think I am passed that now. The last 4 days were spent with my mind not really in the moment. imout was right, again. No bargaining. Bright_eyes and Omega Man were right too, no peeking.

    I am passed empty promises. The only promise I am making is that I will never give up. I set my target to 7 days, no P, no MO and no bullshit.
     
  19. bright_eyes

    bright_eyes Master of My Own Mind?

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Never Giving Up = Victory. You're going to beat this thing, Bodhi.
     
  20. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    Re: Finally starting for real ...

    Keep at it brother. Relapses might just be the warm-ups for the big race for some of us (myself included). Yeah watch out for that bargaining, the real thing we are trying to fix is the excessive porn. Personally, although I am aiming for no MO, if I get into a serious danger zone I've decided to go the M route instead of that bullshit phase where I peek and escalate and eventually PMO. Avoiding the excessive porn is the key. And yes, fantasy or mental porn archives are P.

    Just keep coming back, eventually your frustrations with resetting the counter will lessen and be gone, and you will truly be on the path. You can do this!
     

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