Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Darak-Black, Dec 10, 2020.
Thanks I appreciate the words of support. Just taking it one step at a time.
Well, the way I see it, that is setting yourself up for failure. To use your analogy of the long jump distance; there will always come a distance you won't beat. Say, you're record is three weeks no pmo. If that's your bar, anything thats below the three weeks is irrelevant, cause the goal is to get past that. I'm not sure if elaborating clearly? The point is, you get caught up in this sidegame and lose sight of what really matters and that is the very day that is in front of you.
Anyway, to each his own figuring out. I wish you well.
Well it depends on the person I think. For some setting goals of abstinence help, for others spreadsheets help. I do agree that the current dat is the only day that matters though. You can only fight the battle of today and take it one day at a time. It’s just that goals can keep you motivated on the toughest of days.
Find out what works for you Darak. This is your journey.
you make some good points there is definitely potential for feelings of "failing to meet standards" type thinking with too much obsession with the counter. I can definitely see the downfalls to putting too much value in the numbers of days sober
thanks for the input
now a spreadsheet, that does sound like a good idea, it would produce some useful data, I am very much a data guy, so I might try putting one together. then I get to make a graph or two, which is always fun!
All joking aside, given that I have fallen off the horse already, after only a few days, it really might help to start graphic it, and aiming for trends and improvements on a trend, rather then all or nothing type thinking. I might give that a go. thanks for the idea
I originally posted the below in @Rudolf Geyse's thread, but since you expressed interest in experimenting with spreadsheets, I thought I might post this here as well in hopes that something will prove useful/inspiring to you:
"I'm one of those who recommends using spreadsheets. Yes for the addiction but also for other areas of lifestyle change. Using them has been a great addition to my life and has positively impacted my addiction (I'm not at the point you are, but definitely doing noticeably better overall, and the spreadsheet is part of that). Of course, it is up to you to determine how detailed it will be or not (e.g. Are you just keeping track of days you relapsed? How about PMO vs FMO or their ratio per session? What was the duration of your session? What was the time of day? What, to your knowledge, was the cause or causes of the relapse?, etc.), and while it can consist of some trial and error, it might behoove you to spend a little time setting the parameters of your spreadsheet so that you can optimize its usefulness. Also, I recommend trying to make a habit of filling it out quickly in the morning so you can quickly reflect on the day before and fill it out without sacrificing too much time (evening can work but then you are using your IAD late in the day...not sure how problematic that is for you but for me it should be avoided). One more piece of advice might be to create some type of grade or ranking system, although this is subjective and you'd need to spend some time getting a semi-concrete idea for what those grades/ranks are equivalent too (i.e. A is a "perfect" day, F is a relapse to porn, D is a relapse/slip or otherwise (depending on your mindset) to fantasy, C could be looking at P or P Subs without genital stimulation, B is some fantasizing, B+/A- is when you intentionally fantasized or ogled but only for a little bit throughout the day, etc; I don't use my system like that, although there are some similarities). Anyway, hope you find something that works well for you."
Best of luck with your recovery journey.
I am gonna keep this post short, it has been nearly 60 days since I last posted on here. I relapsed really bad, I masturbated and watched porn nearly every single day for the last 60 days. but I am back on to try for another streak of sobriety! already at 4 days, crossing my fingers I can make a few more.
I think the reason that counting days is so important to me, is that I notice huge improvements in my life when I make a certain count. like literally, just everything about my entire life gets better after I make even just 4 days. I tend to need to make about that many for things to start getting better. but once I do, my life improves so much. which is amazing to me, that is becomes so much better, and yet, I often can't even make it an entire day without looking at porn and masturbating. its become such an ingrained coping mechanism, that is so easily proven to be so self destructive.
On for 4, hoping for more.
Welcome back, I definitely remember you from around December.
I can relate. It can take a lot of time to ''undo'' a strong maladaptive coping mechanism. Unfortunately, for many relapses are part of the process so it's also about learning how to pick oneself up once one falls down and ''minimizing the damage''. Easier said then done though since it really is quite depressing when we lose a clean streak or see ourselves falling back into the destructive habit despite knowing very well of the dire consequences.
But the good news is that even for strong addictions, slowly we can start turning the wheel and teaching ourselves other healthier ways to cope. It just can be quite a long and grueling process - but it can give us hope to start noticing the progress. That's why it can help to only focus on today, on one day at a time. And try our best to cope with said days in other ways then the maladaptive behaviors. Every clean day is a win no matter what the counter says !
Thanks Man! I am glad to be back
its gonna be a rough start here, just relapsed last night, it was small, so I am hoping I can just kick that relapse to the curb and keep on trekking! so your comment about minimizing the damage really hit home today. I think I am gonna need to be ok with small steps in the right direction (sure ideally huge ones, but OK with little ones and longer and longer streaks, as long as i can make them)
thanks for the support man!
Sorry to hear of the relapse. It's good that it was a ''small'' one though. Sometimes that's where we can start building again.
So very true
Its been exactly 2 full days since I relapsed again. I think its really crazy how deeply entrenched I am, I can't hardly go a full day without relapsing. getting through 2 days, without relapsing is incredibly hard. I have been using porn to just check out of life, to give myself meaning and a sense of connection. When I am not using it, I become overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness, emptiness, lack of purpose and utter pointlessness to life. I feel like someone trapped in a cabin, hundreds of miles from civilization. I find I am lost, and alone. That sensation is incredibly hard to fight through, and I know I can artificially stimulate a sense of connection, delve into a world where I do not feel alone, and I do not feel that lack of purpose. But if i do, I will perpetuate the very world I can't stand to exist in. If it turn to porn I will find myself deeper down the rabbit hole, with further to climb before I can get out and actually get that human connection i so desperately need.
I say that, because the very few times when I have been sober for even a week at a time, I have felt so much more connected to people, and i have had so much success. The biggest leaps in my life always happen when I am off porn. I won't get into details, for I am still deeply ashamed of this habit, and hiding behind anonymity, is the only way I can open up. (although I do talk to my therapist about this habit too) but needless to say, I can count most of the big successes and steps to where I am at in life, to the times I was off porn. or at least, less engaged in it.
On the flip side I can point almost all my biggest failures, the moments where life gave me a big opportunity, and I did not take it. Where I failed to show up, failed to be the person I needed to be. I can count almost all my lost chances to times where I was deeply entrenched in porn.
I write this down largely as a meditative practice, thinking through my own thoughts that haven't completely sorted themselves out. But I also write this down to remind myself, why I am fighting to stay sober. To remind myself what I can have if I manage to keep good solid streaks of at least a week, or more, going on a consistent basis, or better yet, if I can kick the habit for months or years at a time. because sometimes its just such an incredibly hard fight, but I know it is so very much worth it.
I have felt a lot of rejection this week, I had a girl I was talking to online, that I rather liked, reject me. Predictable, its online dating, sure fire place to experience rejection, and she was very nice about it, but that is just how deeply I am alone and missing human connection, that this girl I don't even know, stepping out and saying goodbye, left me feeling so rejected and alone. I was alright with that, until I had my one weekly gathering with friends, a video gaming session, get canceled. Suddenly, two forms of social connection I had going were gone, and I didn't have anything else on the table, no other forms of human connection are in the future for me, at least not in the future that I can grasp in my mind, in any kind of hopeful way. Both those events left me yearning for porn so incredibly strongly, I needed connection, I needed escape, I needed that fake connection that porn gives you. But I held strong, and I am trying so very hard to hold strong right now. Looking back, thinking back, and reminding myself, why I am fighting so hard to quit porn, why I need to quit so much, is extra important for me, on weeks like this, because for me, getting a sense of "connection" is one of the biggest reasons I use it. in quotes because i know its fake, and it will fade into a bitter sweet and utterly saddening state in a matter of hours after, but for some reason, its still so incredibly hard to stay strong sometimes.
On the flip side, TV shows are way more engaging right now! its amazing how being sober for 2 days, and having only dipped my toes in the waters of sin after a 4 day streak, as apposed to swimming in it, has already left me feeling so much more engaged and connected in life, even if all I am getting from it right now is a more enjoyable TV viewing experience. Slightly higher highs, and much deeper lows, the benefits of being less numb are already surfacing, which is nice.
Yeah I can definitely relate to a lot of the thoughts you express.
I think loneliness and craving human connection is a big one for me as well in terms of why I get cravings. And how when I go to that world of addiction, for a small amount of time, I forget about my loneliness and it feels good for just a little bit. But then it leaves me in a darker place even.
I will experience that lack of human connection either when, as you mention, I feel like socializing but somehow it's not possible or available. Or, in a pretty different way, I can also experience that lack of human connection when my social anxiety is getting in the way. In this latter case, there may be opportunities to socialize but I don't feel comfortable in them therefore I don't feel that connection I do want or need (despite the social anxiety).
While knowing how to find that human connection is an important skill, another thing in fighting off the addiction can also be to develop other ways to feel ok alone, ways in which there is not addiction present. I guess hobbies, interests. Little by little we can learn to get a small form of satisfaction even here. It can even be something like video games, which is not necessarily absolutely ''healthy'', but it's probably more controllable then porn, or crack cocaine lol. But yeah, basically to learn to derive a sense of wellness, in a healthy enough way (non destructive), when on our own as well.
Congrats on bouncing back after that smaller slip back !
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