Escape from purgatory

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Ereignis, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    This is a new journal I'm doing. I made an old one sometime in late summer or early fall 2016, which I can't find. (Maybe it got deleted somehow, but I'd like to read what I wrote again if it's still available.)

    Returning from the grocery story from my weekly Sunday trip this evening, I busted my tire open on the curb exiting the parking lot. What sounds like a mundane and easily fixed inconvenience actually turned out to be a dismal reflection on the extreme rigidity of the routine I have fallen into. I've busted the same tire open before, on the same curb, probably a year or two ago. (Thinking about how much time has passed between mundane events like these makes me nervous, but it's an obsession I can't avoid.) A weird parallel has happened with traffic tickets: In an intersection near where I live, I have gotten the same ticket for the same violation going in the same direction twice. Sometimes I wonder if I'm living in purgatory, or a computer simulation, or if life as I experience it can somehow isn't real at all, but no matter what conclusion I reach, the routine continues unabated.

    My previous journal was called "26 years old: Changes coming." (The bookmark I have for it now just leads to the homepage.) I'm 28 now, and closer to my 29th birthday than my 28th. I live in the same apartment that I had discussed dreading moving into in my first posts. I have the same 9-5ish schedule I have made so many diverse efforts to avoid sinking into. I have not had any love life or social life in the time I have lived here.

    To be fair, a few changes have occurred recently. I recently (late February) accepted a new temporary work assignment which bumped me up from poverty to a working-class wage. About a year ago, I started visiting the gym regularly, which has provided an extra structure for solving my dietary/digestive issues and has been a welcome method of channeling energy (more on that later). My mother has become very unwell, and will most likely not be well for the rest of her (possibly shortened) life. This has made my biannual trips home-the only reprieve from this suffocatingly repetitive cycle-very dark and depressing.

    This is day zero for me. I relapsed this morning. This has been a habit for some time now: Monday through Thursday are always safe, and then I usually relapse on Friday evening, or if not then, on Saturday. Binges have often followed.

    Mood: 2.75/10
    Libido: NA/10
  2. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 1

    Had to sit in the auto shop for most of the day waiting for a spare tire to arrive and get installed. Only got to work at 2:00 and worked 1h42m before my shift was over. Hit the gym and did deadlifts for the first time today. Form was sort of wonky, hope to get that straightened out soon.

    2019 has been a rough year for me, and so many bad things have happened that I can't even keep track of them all. A week before the year started, I had spent time at home over the holidays, visiting my sickly mother. It was depressing, to put it lightly. Starting Jan 3, I began a temporary work assignment at a mail-order pharmacy that was utterly miserable and depressing like no other job I've had in years. That lasted for about 6 weeks. Despite how depressing it was, when I got the call that it was over, I felt defeated, because I had hoped that at least my efforts there had culminated in a long-term position that would provide some stability. On Jan 10, I was at the point of saying to myself that at least I was still enjoying the gym, if nothing else-and I sprained my wrist that very evening. After that work assignment ended, I spent most of February unemployed, feeling increasingly nervous and frustrated each week that my efforts at finding a job were fruitless, and my money was slowly drying up. (I even had a rage moment of smashing things in my room, including my phone, which put another $350 hole in my wallet to replace, among other things.) I've gotten sick a second and third time this winter, after about a decade of perfect health. My new work assignment has had schedule change after schedule change forced on me, all of which are to my detriment. My new work assignment is much farther from home, and it seems that my dinner time now runs right into the time I should be going to bed. My still new-ish car has absorbed issue after issue, damage after damage, and it seems like I'm spending half of my weekends at the car dealership sorting them out. I've relapsed a bunch of times and haven't had any good streaks. Many more things that haven't immediately come to mind.

    I understand that sometimes people who have real catastrophes in their lives read this kind of thing and get irritated at what must sound trivial. But when it has been so long since anything good or happy has happened to you, the little things get to you, and for me, 2019 seems like a neverending string of these events, once every few days. At the same time, though, I believe that it has purpose, trying to lead me forward and provide impetus to finally fix my life. It's just very tiring. So very tiring.

    Mood: 5.25/10
    Libido: 3/10
  3. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 2

    Today was uneventful. The work day felt really long and slow, and I was constantly fantasizing about this coming weekend. I plan on doing something out of the ordinary. Try and escape purgatory. On the car ride home, the signal came on my dashboard that I have low air pressure in my tires; this is just one day after spending half of the day getting a flat tire repaired. I hope that message is an error, like it has sometimes been in the past. I really just want to get rid of this car and live a car-free life somehow. It's hard to describe how tired I am of taking it in for repairs. Gym session felt great, and lower back is very sore from Monday's deadlift session.

    Mood: 3.5/10
    Libido: 1.5/10
  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I can understand the bleakness of your mood and life can be challenging on a routine day to day basis. I think there is definitely some negative thinking patterns reflecting in your writing on here (I think I can recognize some of my own way of thinking) but there seems to be also some kind of strength and will to find your way. For the tire I guess they didn't put enough air when they repaired it. You can probably get them to fix this for free. It sucks that you gotta go back though. But you're dealing with life, with your problems and that is commandable.
  5. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Thanks for your response. I try to keep it honest but not to be too negative.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  6. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 3

    Not a very eventful day. In the afternoon, I started getting some sexual fantasies that were hard to keep out of my mind. I need to start using that "trigger journal" I briefly kept again.

    Although it is not particularly relevant to today, one thing I should mention before I get too many posts deep is that I have been struggling with sleep position lately. I've noticed that if I sleep on my back for the whole night, I seem to be better off in terms of sleep quality as well as avoiding PMO triggers/relapse. The problem is that I find it so much harder to fall asleep on my back than my on my side. This might be a key to finally recovering, though.

    Mood: 4/10
    Libido: 4/10
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    For sure man! Sorry if I sounded condescending. You gotta write as you feel.

    And it definitely does seem honest.

    Most of all I was trying to say that I can see determination in there and I think that's good.
  8. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 4

    I had it confirmed fairly late in the day that my work site will be closed for the holiday weekend tomorrow. It was an audit day, so there was a bit of tension in the air. An unexpected 3-day weekend is a nice surprise.

    Something I've had an issue with for a while now is the evenings of the last day of the week (usually Friday)- once I get home from work (and usually the gym) I just collapse. I can be fairly industrious at getting things done Monday through Thursday but not on Friday evening for some reason. It's like my brain just shuts down involuntarily.

    "The product of the addiction is the purpose of the addiction." Very interesting quote I heard. Is it true? Something that I could spend a lot of time pondering.

    Mood: 3.75/10
    Libido: 4.25/10
  9. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 5

    Day off today. Slept in (which felt good) before eating a quick meal and hitting the gym. Workout started out rough, and when I missed the last rep on incline bench by just a few inches I punched the bench a few times in fury. It was probably just due to not eating enough this morning TBH, but I'll have to nonetheless wait a few days to try it again. In the afternoon/evening I got a mohawk haircut and I did a few errands. I got this strange feeling driving home about an hour ago. It's something I've felt a great deal over the past year or two, but have never heard anyone else describe feeling it. It's like a mix of boredom, exasperation and dread. At how boring and empty my recent life has been. At how I have wasted part of my youth gaining no worthwhile experiences or memories. At how I have made promises to myself about how I will change things before letting myself down. At how all of my recent efforts cast a dark shadow on the idea that anything in the near future is going to change things.

    If you go on a city bus in the early morning on a weekday, your main company will be sullen, sickly, depressed-looking middle-aged men on their way to work. These are where people with no dreams, no families, no social circle and no hope are, safely hidden away from the view of the majority of society. I frequently wonder if that's where I will end up.

    One thing I have meant to start incorporating is 3-5 minutes of meditation every time I return home. Since home is where I relapse, I think it would be wise to have this habit as a way of staying in a little healthier headspace here. It might even boost overall productivity.

    Libido was a little higher today than the past few days. I woke up to some fantasies, which has historically been a risk factor for relapse.

    Mood: 3.75/10
    Libido: 5.25/10
  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I think I can relate to this. I've felt this way quite often. It's a mix of depression, regrets about the past and doubt and fear for the future, based on analysis of past failure. One thing that seemed to motivate me (sometimes I would feel this clearer then other times) is that the only noble course of action is to keep fighting. Even if it's hard, the only thing to do is to keep going, keep trying. And for the fear of not making it (of not turning things around) I told myself I need to accept this uncertainty and still need to keep trying. To keep working towards change while somehow being outcome dependent. To make the fight in itself the goal. And take some pride in that. If we keep working on improving stuff, where we can, little by little we increase the odds of making small wins, making small victories. And then we keep building on that.

    Weekends are the hardest for me on staying off the PMO with the free time at home. Well done on working out and keeping busy !
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  11. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 6

    Took the train into the city today to look at coats. I don't actually need to buy a coat at this time of the year, I just find it useful to have some sort of "mission" when I'm going somewhere. I really was just enjoying the break from routine.

    I had intrusive sexual thoughts all day long until I took the train ride home (10:40PM), ranging from vanilla ones in the morning to more extreme/fetishistic ones later in the day. I can't even estimate how many times the idea of doing some kind of inappropriate sexual behavior occurred to me, but it was probably at least once every 5-10 minutes for nearly the whole day. To make things worse, I probably saw more beautiful women today than in all of 2017 (one of my lowest and least eventful years). I caught myself leering a few times. At the worst of my porn addiction, I did this leering thing a lot. I thought I was over it but apparently it could come back in some capacity.

    Despite it all, today was a better than average day. I desperately needed that break in routine. I think being out of the area really helped me avoid falling into the same bad habits. I think this has been the hardest day of urges that I have overcome since late summer 2016.

    I'm worried about the next few days. If today is any indication, there will be a lot of distracting compulsions and feelings. I plan to break up my routine again tomorrow by doing something on my to-do list that I've been procrastinating for months (clean out my car, get rid of junk), and I plan to keep cold water showers as a backup plan for if I'm struggling with intense urges.

    Mood: 6/10
    Libido: 7.5/10 (yes, it gets worse)
  12. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 6 post script

    This is something that I should record while it's still fairly fresh in my mind.

    Throughout 2018, I hadn't been prioritizing overcoming this addiction like I should have. About a week ago, I came across a Youtube vlogger/disaster case named Amberlynn Reid.

    Amberlynn Reid is a morbidly obese food/junk food addict. The effects of her addiction, unlike ours, are very easy to quantify. She can just step on a scale to see how her weight has changed. But despite that, I was drawn into this rabbithole of her long-term food addiction and inability to lose weight because it spooked me. I was spooked by how much her behavior reminded me of my own. She makes all kinds of excuses about how, despite her trajectory actually being slightly increased weight over the time she has pledged to diet, she is actually making progress. Just the same way, I have made excuses to myself about how, despite being in this struggle for years, living the same degenerate lifestyle and making the same mistakes for years, I am actually somehow making progress. It's impossible to say where I am in relation to where I started; I'm probably better at some things and maybe worse at some others. It's quite possible that it will take a lot longer to recover from where I am now than if I had just given it up entirely when I first found out about NoFap. Only time will tell. But Amberlynn Reid spooked me and I know I need to take control of my life now.
  13. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 7

    Today wasn't as hard as I expected. I had some cravings but they were brief and less intense than yesterday. They were especially intense as I was waking up and getting out of bed, though. Something strange is that my cravings for the past few days have been skipping over all of the more mild and regular sexualized actions and going straight for the most extreme fetishes. It's like my scumbag brain will only accept the finest life-destroying relapses possible.

    Sundays are always depressing and unmotivated for me. Bleak, in a single word. While I did get a few things done, I wasted most of the day doing nothing. Something else I've noticed is not being hungry on Sundays. I walked about 12 miles yesterday without eating more than normal, so inactivity is surely not the reason. I always have to force myself to eat on Sunday evenings to avoid losing too much weight, like I am doing now, already an hour past when I should have gone to bed.

    BTW, I can't wait to move out and find a place for myself. I think this apartment and the routine associated with it is attached to all kinds of bad habits of heart and mind. Currently wondering when the best time would be. I expect to spend at least May in this place.

    Mood: 3.5/10
    Libido: 3/10
  14. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 7 post script

    It's a little past midnight now, way past time for me to get to bed to get a decent night's sleep. I've been experiencing a lot of lethargy doing anything today. This is generally a symptom that occurs when I reach the roughly 7-15 day mark of a streak.
  15. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 8

    This site has been finicky for me, and I just had to reload the page a few times in order to log in. I hope I don't see this thread deleted the way my old one seemed to be. I plan on saving it to my computer in text files soon.

    For an eighth day of a reboot, today was surprisingly easy. Easier than yesterday, even. I had some recurring thoughts a few times throughout the workday but they weren't intense enough to really distract me. Despite only getting about four hours of sleep last night, I had ample energy throughout the day and had a fairly intense session at the gym. I have heard some people say that their gym gains increased dramatically when they started NoFap and I am excited to see if I can experience the same benefits. Positive attitude overall.

    Something strange is that the focus of many of my thoughts was some random woman I knew from high school, who I haven't seen regularly in about a decade and probably haven't given much thought to in half that time. It's so strange that of all people my mind pulled up her image from the recesses of my memory.

    Something I noticed when I was having intense cravings on Saturday is the precise moment when a relapse happens. It is not when you actually begin the act of PMO. It is not when you have these intense sexual thoughts that you can't get out of your head, either. The moment the relapse starts is when you make the decision to look at the triggers you've been avoiding. That's when the process of PMO starts. It's that simple. I have beat myself up way too many times for not being able to police the contents of my brain like a monk; this is all folly. Just don't make the bad decisions. That's all.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Good days and bad days man. Tell me about it. Glad to hear you were sailing some decent waters yesterday. Thanks for your comment on my journal. I'm pretty busy these days so no time for a decent reply but I'll sure give that technique a try. Cheers and have a good week man.
    Ereignis likes this.
  17. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 9

    Woke up really tired and lethargic today, like I used to years ago. Don't know why, because the amount of sleep I got (6.5 hours) is on the higher side of what I can expect on a weeknight. Felt decent by the time I got to work, though.

    Intrusive sexual thoughts weren't really present until about 9AM, when they became really repetitive obnoxious. They were of a very dirty/fetishistic variety and repetitive, but they weren't really linked to the urge to do something specific, i.e. relapse behavior. The day at work went by fairly slowly but was otherwise normal. After that, my gym session sucked. I felt from the very beginning like I was sort of out of breath, sort of tired in some inexplicable way, even before I warmed up. I had to cheat on the last rep of the incline bench press, the same weight I was doing before (see day 5), and couldn't complete any more sets. I really don't have any experience getting this much weaker between at an exercise within one week. It's bizarre. Some of the other exercises went OK but I felt it took longer to catch my breath after each set. Worst gym day since the day I sprained my wrist. (I should note that Monday's workout went well and I could push myself hard.)

    Traditionally day 9 of a reboot streak has been when the really hard days start (roughly days 9-21). I can be grateful that it wasn't that bad this time. I'm not sure how this is different but it is going smoother than it has historically.
  18. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 10

    Woke up feeling tired and lethargic again, same as yesterday. The whole day, I had this pervasive feeling that it was a different day (Tuesday instead of Wednesday). I used to get those fairly often in high school, but they seemed to disappear in college when I had different classes on different days. I haven't had that feeling in a long time.

    Intrusive sexual thoughts were pretty much nonexistent today. It was a little hard to focus but nothing important really happened at work so it wasn't much of a problem. There was just a vague, extended blandness to everything I did today, but I can be grateful I wasn't dealing with urges like on Saturday.

    Eating and hitting my caloric goals every day has become tiresome. I have ended up stuffing myself every day for the last week or two. Stomach bloating has come back a bit and it seems like my digestion has slowed.

    I just realized I forgot to do the mood/libido thing for the past few days.
    Mood: 3.75/10
    Libido: 1.25/10
  19. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 11

    Same lethargy, don't know why this seems to be becoming a pattern. Really thinking I need to start that back-exclusive sleeping (which also might help with the frequent upper back/shoulder/neck tension and tight muscles). Sexual fixations were almost nonexistent until noon or 1PM, at which point they came, mostly vanilla stuff, at a very low intensity. A thought that has popped into my head a few times between today and yesterday is that my life experiences with isolation have become so extensive at this point that I will never be able to relate to a woman. Women don't seem to become loners, and definitely not attractive women.

    Day at work was boring. One of the big people in the front office sent out an email to everyone about how much they appreciated me spotting some error before an incorrect order went out, and people were all praising me and saying I do such a good job but I just don't care. Finished with a long meeting that lasted past when I was supposed to leave (34 minutes of overtime). I skipped the first half of my workout to compensate and only did calves/abs.

    Really not that much to talk about today at all. I wonder if I'm in some kind of flatline.

    Mood: 3/10
    Libido: 2/10
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Week 2 and 3 are pretty damn hard. Since you mention feeling lethargic for the past 3 days it's probably some kind of a flatline ?

    As they say though, you make real progress on the tough days more then on the easy ones.

    Isolation makes it harder to relate to girls I agree. Keep in mind I do think there are women loners out there. On the other hand, we can go through the process of starting to connect with them if we choose so, it just takes a lot of energy I think. Or you can try investing in your own passions and hobbies and end up meeting people that way naturally, without trying directly. I see you mention working out a lot, which is great. Do you rely on other elements as sources of stability ? In my case I enjoy movies and reading as well. But I admit that if I'm under sever urges it's hard to enjoy those. I think, in the end, the best cure for P cravings long term would be to develop fulfilling relationships, whether that is with girls or simply with friends. I think we PMO because we are lacking that element.

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