Don't Ever Give Up

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by SeekingWisdom, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Nothing much to report. I was sick last week so was stuck at home most of the time. It wasn't much fun, but I was able to be productive during the day and get a few things done around the house.

    I wish I could say that at 90 days things magically got all better. But that has not been the case. I still have to fight off the urge to fantasize. I've realized that during my past long term reboot I was still using fantasy as a P-sub. Which was still giving my brain a type of dopamine high. I believe that has been the biggest difference between this reboot and the last. As well as being able to share with others my addiction. There is something to be said about getting it out in the open. Especially when it's something we have spent so much time hiding and are so ashamed of.

    One. Day. At. A. Time.
    Merton and Gil79 like this.
  2. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    I have not being having a good time. I have no idea where these cravings have come from. But I've been fighting urges to fantasize quite a bit lately. To top it off the cravings to play the games has returned. I know the games I was playing have been updated while I've been clean, and the thought of "new" content has been hanging over me. I don't remember it being this intense since I first started(read: relapsed). The difference was the I was expecting it then. Now that I'm 100 and whatever days out and I thought I'd be in a better place by now. No such luck. Just got to keep hoping that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel at some point. I've also had a crazy head ache all day today at work. It wasn't a stressful day or anything either. I don't know if it is my brain rewiring or what?

    On the positive side: I have more energy on a regular basis, except when I don't. When I'm feeling the laziest is when the urges are their strongest. But on the whole, I am much more productive and able to focus. I am much more comfortable in social situations and my 'wit' has returned somewhat. Also my eyes are much "brighter". I don't know how else to say it. Also my pupils seem to be dilated a lot. Either that or I just really like the improvements I see in the mirror! I haven't even been able to muster up the energy to start working out yet either.
    Merton likes this.
  3. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Maybe you came out of a flatline or something similar. The curiosity thoughts are the worst, I always lie to myself and say that I'm only going to take a look. It doesn't work like that. I even know deep down that looking is not all I'm going to do.

    Keep at it. Things will get better eventually, but it may take a long time. I know that that's not the greatest news, but I've always thought that patience is the key. If only I could live by my own advice...
    SeekingWisdom likes this.
  4. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    I've struggled a bit these past few days with fantasy. While this may not seem like a big deal, I know from experience this is the tip of the iceberg and it can lead to a relapse if I allow it to continue. To think that I can actually spike my dopamine just by my own thoughts. The ability to edge just with my thoughts. I am sure the dopamine spike is not as drastic if I were to actually to visually watching something. But I know that I can not continue to put my mind and body through that without a relapse at some point.

    I spent the past weekend playing in a 3 on 3 basketball tournament with some friends in a small town a few hours away. It was a good time, even though I did not shoot very well and was pretty(extremely) frustrated. But it was still fun to get out of town with some friends for a while. I am still not drinking so that made it a little different than in years past, but I know in the long run it is the right decision.

    I mention being out of town this past weekend because it seemed my ability to resist the mental edging was effected by the fact that I was not on my "normal" schedule and did not spend the same amount of time reading my Bible / spending time in the Word. This is a habit that has been very beneficial for me.

    This weekend I am going to be visiting a state prison. I am going with a group of guys to play slow pitch softball and to share the gospel of Christ. I've never been a real natural baseball/softball player. But I've always enjoyed being competitive and being outside in the warm summer weather. I'm excited to be able to do something I enjoy and using it as an opportunity to share about the gospel. But I am also nervous about going into a new situation that I have never been in before.

    I have not been on as much as I would like. I hope all of you are still fighting. I will be praying for all of you. I hope to jump on this weekend after I get back.

    Any soccer/football fans in here? Let's go Spurs on Saturday! I will have to watch the replay when I get back Saturday, but I'm hoping I can avoid seeing the final score until after I watch it.
  5. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Saturday's trip to the state prison for some softball games was a success! Had a lot of fun and meet some good people. I hope we made a different in the lives of those men. I will admit that it was mentally draining because it was my first experience doing this and it was out of my comfort zone. But I have found that most things that are worth doing, end up being out of my comfort zone.

    The Champions League Final sucked!

    Still fighting constant urges to fantasize. Got to keep a better handle on it. I think I may need to cut out video games for a while. For some reason I feel like it may be linked a little bit. Just a hunch though.
  6. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I know we all have different approaches, but perhaps it might be more effective to stop fighting the fantasies and instead take them less serious. I don't know if you are into meditation, but one of the things I have learned from meditation is seeing thoughts as things that just happen constantly and that if you let them happen they will also go away. You can't really push thoughts away, worse still by pushing them away you are giving them all the attention they need to stick around. Being thoughts (or images) I believe this applies for fantasies just as well.
  7. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    The more I think about it the more I tend to agree with @Living. I tried fighting the flashbacks and urges to fantasize for a long time, for many years. Never did anything good for me in the long run. They never disappeared. They never got any weaker. Even when I was porn free for more than a year this never changed. The more you try to avoid a thought the stronger the thought becomes. I guess what we should try is to accept the urges. And accepting doesn’t imply we should indulge in the fantasies.
  8. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Have been doing better this past week or so with fantasy. It is a very bad habit that was very difficult to stop. Especially at first, to break the cycle and get moving in the other direction was very hard. But once that happened it has been easier these past few days. Not to say that I no longer have urges, or wouldn't enjoy the dopamine rush. But after a couple of days abstaining, it has been an easier habit to maintain.

    @Living I'm not sure I can really agree with this. Although I think I understand the general concept you are getting at. Instead of fighting against your thoughts, you accept them for what they are and try to remove their power from them. However, I would much rather be in control of my thoughts. While you are correct that certain thoughts will appear and continue to do so. I believe that part of being self disciplined is being able to decide what thoughts I am going to dwell on or not. I cannot just let those thoughts happen, because if I accept those thoughts for long enough I will eventually break down and relapse.

    @-Luke- I think we may be on the same page here. I guess in my few "fighting" my urges to fantasize is to not indulge them. They may always be there, maybe they won't. But as long as they are, I must be dedicated to keeping my self discipline and not dwelling on those urges.

    Thanks for stopping by guys! I hope things are going well for you and your recovery.
    nuclpow and Gil79 like this.
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    About what to do with thoughts and fantasies. I don't remember where I read it, but someone once mentioned the term flash-fantasies. Maybe it was at recoverynation. Fantasies and sexual thoughts always come up. You can't fight that. But if you don't give them more power, they typically don't last more than a second. The same withe the urge to ogle for instance. You can choose not to focus on them. I noticed that fantasy is really an active process. A concscious effort to get the dopamine flowing. You can get better in not paying attention to them and that should only get easier on the long run. @Merton has his ogling rules. No oglinh longer than 2 seconds and never look twice. I find that this works well with fantasies as well.
  10. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    What I meant is pretty much what @Gilgamesh mentions in his last post. It's the difference between having a thought (or flash-fantasies) and dwelling on a thought (or fantasizing). The first you have no direct control over, the latter you can diminish by the not giving the first too much attention. Just acknowledge them and it's likely they will move on. I don't want to go as far as saying you can control your thoughts though. To me that's more the stuff of superheroes:) My point however was that by fighting your (initial) fantasies you give them way too much attention and that that will often only make the fantasies linger.
    SeekingWisdom likes this.
  11. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Been an up and down past 10+ days. Still fighting the urges to indulge fantasy. Some days are better than others. Not totally sure why that is yet. I am hopeful that my self control will become like a muscle that with time will get stronger over time the more I use it. I have noticed that the more I fantasize the more I miss those old games or think about what I am "missing". But really all I am missing is shame and regret.

    While I have been able to keep from relapsing with P. I am still fighting the dopamine rush and fantasy is the only option I have left myself. But I can not stay in the state permanently. My continued use of fantasy will either lead me to relapse as it has before or I will finally be able to say not to fantasy.

    I plan to continue to read the red letters in my Bible, continue to pray for my(and your) recovery, and will continue to abstain from drinking any alcohol.

    Thanks to everyone that's posted!
    nuclpow and Living like this.
  12. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    I've read at different places when I've researched rebooting that you can become much more emotional during the reboot. This is because we are so used to numbing our brains every single time we feel a negative emotion, that when we stop you start "feeling" again. I am not sure if I am having "stronger" feelings or if they are just normal feelings and they hit me harder now because I am no longer constantly numbing them.

    But at different points during these past couple weeks I have just felt a crushing loneliness at different points. It's not a constant thing. It just pops up every once in a while. Little things, like seeing a happy couple putting their arms around each other in public. Or families together at a restaurant or church. They just all serve as this constant reminder that I don't have that. And now, after I have used PMO for over a decade to deal with those negative emotions, I am forced to deal with them for the first time as an adult.

    One of the frustrating things about this whole thing. Is that I feel like I am going through things now in adult hood that I should have been putting myself through as a teenager. Like I'm a grown man that is going through adolescence. lol

    Anyway, things have actually been going really good other then these moments the crop up. I am truly blessed and know that I am on the right path now. Everything else was just a learning experience to get me to this point and help me in the future.
    Bezoechow likes this.
  13. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I definitely experienced that, too. I remember a few years ago, I was just taking a walk when I got a pop-up message that Flip Saunders, the coach of the NBA-Team Minnesota Timberwolves had died of cancer. I had no special feelings about him before that (I thought he was quite a cool dude, but that's all) and im not a fan of the Wolves but I started crying in that moment. In public. That came out of nowhere.

    I guess it's just another part of our brains that needs to rewire to go back to normal.
    SeekingWisdom likes this.
  14. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    It's been quite some time since I've been on the forum. My brain has not rebooted as fast as I would have liked and because of the up and down nature of my ability to avoid fantasy; I've avoided the forum for a little bit. Sometimes just the thought of being on here and discussing the addiction itself can be triggering. Or at least makes me focus on it instead of other positive things I'm trying to accomplish.

    I have been able to continue without relapse which has been great! But as I stated earlier it has been pretty up and down. I feel like I'm bi-polar sometimes. Down in the dumps when nothing notable either good or bad has happened all day. In fact they have been generally good days. The other day when I was really frustrated with my lack of "healing" I had to stop and actually take stock at how far I had come. I've made some really huge strides that have had some really major positive impacts on my life and I think sometimes I really tend to over look those in my frustrations in the moment.

    My biggest struggle at the moment has been my loneliness. I have been single for quite some time, but I've always been able to numb the feeling of loneliness away with porn. But without the dopamine quick fix it has forced me to really face this head on. Which actually is a good thing. This has made me more motivated to step out and do something about it. However sometimes I worry about the strength of my desire for a wife. I believe this desire is a good thing, a God given thing. But I also don't want to depend on someone else for my own happiness. That is very unhealthy. How do I get over my loneliness and reclaim my joy, without relying on someone else? I would rather be happy and whole within myself first and then find someone to share my life with.

    I am not a very patient person (who is really?), but if I can just keep on this road, keep moving in the right direction and keep my faith in Christ. I believe that in time I will look back 3-6 months from now and once again notice major positive improvements in my life, even though it does not feel that way now.

    Hope everyone is well!
  15. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Wow I relate so much to what you write. Much of it could have been written by me. The trying to make the good efforts, the feeling pretty low when things are all right overall, the necessity to look back and remind myself I'm in a better position then I tend to think and I've made progress. But despite all this still that general lack of satisfaction and impatience. I also often question myself if I have some form of bi polar (to explain both my impulsive nature at times and the general depression and melancholia at others).

    Anyways, I think our problems are that we would like a relationship but can't find the way to get there. We'd like to explore relationships with women or one woman in particular but we are isolated. And then, as you point out, we don't either wanna jump into the wrong relationship or grow overdependent on another person.

    Anyhow, I think best is to keep going, even if things aren't "perfect yet" it's important to remind ourselves of our efforts. We're still in much better places, even here, then we would be if we would stop caring at all.

    Keep going !
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  16. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    It's been almost a month since I've lasted posted here. Things have been going good for me as far as the recovery aspect goes. I seem to finally turning the corner on fantasy. I can't believe I've been able to avoid sexual fantasy for this long. It has slowly become easier as time has gone on and I've refused to engage in it. That's not to mean I don't still have thoughts. I have them on a regular basis. But lately I've been successful at not entertaining them and stopping them in their tracks. I believe this will be the biggest difference from my last 1 year "reboot". Knock on wood, I will be able to continue in this way in the future. But for now I am really excited by the improvement of my mind.

    @Thelongwayhome27 thanks for stopping by and the encouraging words! Even though I am not as active as I had hoped to be when I first signed up for this forum. As I've mentioned before it's been a little bit of a trigger. But I am hopeful that soon I will be more active and that will help me to stay up to date with more people here. Its tough to catch up on everyone's posts when you've gone missing for a month! lol. I hope your doing well in your journey!
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  17. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Once again it's been quite a while since my last post. I feel like a broken record on here. I do not have a whole lot to report as far as my recovery is concerned. As I've been able to control my thoughts for a little bit now, it has become easier as time has gone by. Now the temptation is different. While I am no longer participating in sexual fantasy, I do get the urge from time to time to play the old games that I used to play. It's a different than the need to constantly fantasize. But it cuts straight to the nerve of what I am trying to break free from.

    Yesterday I had one of the worst days of my life. My dog Chief (a rottweiler) has been my best friend since I got him over six years ago. But lately he's been very sick. I took him to the local college yesterday expecting to find a cure to the tumor in his intestines. Instead it had progressed to a stage that I had to put him down. I'm not sure why I am posting this on here exactly, as it is not necessarily on topic. But it has been a very difficult and major happening in my life. I am 34 and single and he was the one thing I had to look forward to each day. Even in my darkest moments he was there for me to comfort me. It was such a shock to me yesterday and I am still processing this.

    I suppose the point I am hoping to make is that if this had happened a year ago, I don't think I would have been able to handle this at all. Don't get me wrong. This has been crushing. I feel this pain much more than I would have in the past. But I also would have spent all day today numbing the pain as well. I mean, I cried like a baby in front of complete strangers yesterday. I would have never been able to mentally been up to doing what was right. Nor emotionally able to process the truth.

    The biggest difference from the old me to now. Is not that my life is magically great or anything. It's just that I am finally living my life. I am present. And sometimes it hurts. But I am also finally living in a way that I believe is right. And being present in the bad times, also makes the good times much more real.

    On the way home (I had over and hour drive) I saw a bumper sticker that something along the lines of : "God, please help me be the man that my dog thinks I am".
    And that is true. No matter how low I got. Chief was always there to help me get back up.

    Until we meet again Chief. I love you bud.
    Pete McVries, -Luke-, Gil79 and 2 others like this.
  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    My sincere condolences for your dog, Chief.

    I'm sad for your loss but I am glad you chose to share this here.

    The way you handled this very difficult thing is inspiring and also what you wrote about the meaning of being present to our life, being here, living accordingly to a way we think is right. In a way, it's nice that you were fully here and able to grieve him properly. And you'll probably feel a lot more pain about it and sadness in the coming weeks.

    You'll always remember the good times you had with your buddy and he will always stay as a part of you.
    SeekingWisdom, Pete McVries and Gil79 like this.
  19. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Thank you sir. I appreciate your kind words. You have consistently been a positive voice on this site, in the short time I have been on. And many of us here are better for it. Hopefully I can follow your lead and be more active soon. I am hoping that my recovery has progressed to a point that I can start being more active on this site. I think it would be good to have this as an activity as well now that the weather is turning here and I will have less options for activities outside. On the plus side it is basketball season and there will be more open gyms.

    Today has been pretty laid back, as I try to make all of my Sundays a day of rest. After church I went over to my dad's house to watch my Spurs play poorly again and have brunch. After that I got to watch my Bears play poorly! I think I may need a break from sports at this rate!

    This afternoon I took a walk around the neighborhood as it is a beautiful fall day out. It is an activity I usually did we Chief. I tried to use it as a opportunity to reflect and talk to God about my situation and my future. But most of the time I found myself just spacing out to be honest. The leafs changing colors was very beautiful and it was good to get outside and feel the wind on my face.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  20. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    I've been trying to keep busy these past couple of days. On days I don't have things planned I've been working on things around the house. I've spent the past couple of nights working on finishing a project I started over a year ago. I had sanded down an old wooden table I wanted to stain it. But it took me so long to sand it down, I ended up just letting it sit for years. But I've been determined to finish it now. I think it's just about down now, other than sealing it and putting it back together. It may not look perfect when I'm not, but it will be nice to finally finish something I started so long ago.

    I've had to fight a few urges these past few days to play those old games. They are coming a little out of the blue, as I had not thought of them in a while. I think part of it is that I am looking to distract myself from my current negative feelings. But I am determined to see this through and feel every bit of this.

    I have continued with my daily practice waking up early and reading the Bible each morning. I believe it's a daily habit that has made a major difference. It has helped me organize my thoughts and keeps me grounded in what I believe and what I value most before I leave my house and face each day.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.

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