Into a Better Future! - Warded Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by warded, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. warded

    warded New Member

    [1 day clean]

    Hello everyone and noone,

    I relapsed yesterday and thought "Why not use this as an opportunity to start a journal?". I do not intend to write daily or all too often; I just wanted to create this and update as it fits. Maybe it can help me looking back at what and how I thought during certain times and maybe (far into my surely successful future) it can help someone else struggling with this addiction.

    I am 27 years old and have been using porn - more or less heavily - for over ten years. For the longest time I did not see a problem with it, as masturbation and porn use is so normalized in todays society. A couple of years ago I first began to be irritated as I noticed that I cannot quit this thing if I wanted to. I didn't feel negative consequences, but when I tried NNN or something similar, I could not get to a streak longer than a week or so.

    Over the course of time, my use of porn got worse and became more than a habit. At times I would regularly fap 3 times a day - often consuming porn without even masturbating or being in a private setting. After many half-assed attempts to quit this thing, I committed to ending this about three months ago. I achieved a couple of weeklong streaks but also kept failing. I view my situation positively, I think I am on the right path - but there still is a very long way to go.

    Porn for me is emotional comfort. In times that I am stressed or struggle with real-life obligations, I tended to use the most. Over a year ago I started pursuing my Ph.D. which also represents my greatest struggle. I have made nearly no progress in this time and I at least partly blame my porn problem. It severly damaged my dopamine-system and therefore my ability to focus. Ironically, it quickly became a vicious cycle: get frustrated over the (non-)progress with my thesis -> use porn/stay up late -> can't focus -> no progress with my thesis -> even start peeking at work -> and so on...

    The key to success is betterment in the rest of my life, which will hopefully stabilize me emotionally and make me able to withstand the temptations of porn. In the last weeks I have began working out again, I am experimenting with meditation, I set myself a strict (and healthier) sleep schedule to help me at work, I installed many blockers on my devices and I obviously try to all-in on my thesis in hope of finally seeing some progress. Before relapsing yesterday, which was a result of oh-so-innocent peeking, I felt a renewed energy that lasted for over ten days, that I haven't felt in years. I do not attribute this to the not using of porn solely, but to a better living situation in general.

    Input or questions are very much welcome!
  2. warded

    warded New Member

    [1 day clean] (again)

    Well, I certainly didn't expect to find myself here this early. Somehow very strong urges hit me yesterday, maybe also some form of the chaser effect.

    Anyways, of the things that I already do well (I think) is looking ahead in a positive manner. So let us start again and keep at it! Since I started tracking meticulously two months ago, I always increased my "clean percentage" every month. To achieve that again, I need to stay strong for the remaining days of january. Doable, but also not what I achieved in the last weeks.

    How do you see these percentages? I often see people advising others after a relapse like that, talking about how they at least fapped less than they used to. Which is certainly true and a good way to see progress and stay positive, even after a single (or a few) relapse(s). On the other hand I feel like that this way of thinking encourages relapses, as one can justify peeking or fapping with a good streak ("at least I fapped less than before, am I right???"). In a way I think this is a good measure of progress and one of the biggest streak killers at the same time.

    In the end, one can think an issue to death. What counts is staying clean and that is what I intend to do.

    Keep fighting!
  3. Lakaf

    Lakaf Active Member

    lets compete dude!
    Swimming in Circles and warded like this.
  4. warded

    warded New Member

    [1 day clean]

    Good evening, my dear readers and non-fappers.
    For some reason, the forum would let me post or reply - I had to change e-mails thrice. It seems to work now, so heres my post from yesterday.

    Yesterday I broke a nice 4-day streak. After a couple of days during which I felt like I was absolutely on top of things, the urges hit me like a brick wall yesterday. I happended to stumble upon an Onlyfans account (or rather the fact that she had an account) of a girl that I know. These „personal“ triggers are much harder for me to hold off than „normal“ porn.

    After a couple of days I always start asking myself whether one of the girls I used to follow on Instagram has posted something new. Any advice on how to deal with that? Obviously this is just my brain looking for new material, but I imagine this question getting stronger and stronger when I would hold off of peeking for a couple of months. It seems so innocent, too, like I am just having a look at their instagram, right?

    I have deleted and blocked all socials except reddit an twitter months ago, but sadly there endless third-party-sites that allow stalking their profiles.

    In the end, I feel very sure about the fact that my underlying problem is the stagnation with my thesis. I need to make progress on that. Still, it’s easier said than done. Most days I just leave working having stared at a blank screen for hours with no progress to show in the end. I will stop now – don’t want every post to be a rant :D

    Have a good one and much luck in your endeavours!
  5. warded

    warded New Member

    I'm here for it, Lakaf! What should we aim for, what are your goals?
  6. warded

    warded New Member

    [0 days clean]

    Welp... here we go again. There really isn't much I could say to justify it.

    It kills me to notice how motivated I am starting from new, just to see myself fail again and again. It just goes to show that this really is an addiction and nothing less.

  7. Swimming in Circles

    Swimming in Circles New Member

    Hey man, I'm sorry to hear you relapsed. it's very hard to avoid what with being stuck inside more often these days. I've had to take the nuclear option and block ALL social media and most of the internet. Seems to be working for me though, and eventually you won't even miss it.

    Be sure not to beat yourself up over relapses. We're all fighting against something that's very powerful - bigger than any of us. Slip ups are to be expected while we figure out the changes we need to make to our lives in order to move on from it. Persistence, optimism, and reaching out to others for help are the antidote that the mindset that addiction drills into you.

    And I agree with Lakaf, let's compete!

    It's on.
  8. warded

    warded New Member

    [1 day clean]

    Thanks for the kind words, Swimming!

    You are absolutely right, killing social media is crucial. Partly because of other reasons I already nuked most apps a couple of months ago. In the last weeks I went a bit further and am now only left with youtube, reddit and twitter. Youtube has good use cases for me, as there is so much good content to learn and grow from. It is all about how you use it. On the other hand, we all know from this addiction that this is way easier said than done. For now I will try to use youtube very voluntarily without the classic social media "binges".

    Reddit by far has the most trigger potential as the site is basically 90% porn. Still, I have been on there for over 10 years now and feel very connected to the community. For the longest time (not anymore though) it used to be my portal to the internet so to speak. Configured correctly, it caters perfectly to your interests and has unlimited resources. This goes especially for the last months, where I began studying financial topics. Then again, I absolutely see your point and the dangers. My solution here was to uninstall the apps and only use it on my PC. Here I installed very rigorous blockers and only have an "allowance" of 30 minutes a day for browsing of all kinds (which I am now using to post here, so that's a good use I would say ;)).

    And for twitter... well, it only gets me worked up politically, if you know what I mean :D I am not addicted to it (definitely used to be) and just browse it for half an hour in the evening.

    Still, an important topic that I will continously have to have an eye on.

    Best whishes, and here we go again!
  9. warded

    warded New Member

    [1 day clean]

    Welp, here we go again...

    There's not too much I can report, I am still stuck. Recently I gave up the meticulous tracking as it became kind of pointless just resetting it day after day. My personal situation around my thesis has not improved as well (those two are definitely linked for me). Actually, it has gotten much worse because I am at the brink of having to abort the "project PhD". I am simply not making any progress. I literally go and sit in front of a screen for hours without writing a word. This has let to even worse PMO binges in the past few days with me doing it 3-4 times a day.

    On the other hand, this new low gave me the motivation to try quitting all this shit yet another time. I simply have to turn my life around, everything just lies in front of me. I. just. have. to. do. it. Easier said than done obviously.

    All in all I am still in good spirits though. I want to do this. Mainly just posting to be able to revisit it later.

    If anyone is reading anyways: Greetings and all the power to you! In some ways, we are all struggling and I feel you.

    Have a good one, whereever you are.
  10. warded

    warded New Member

    [2 days clean]

    Hey guys,

    just checking in to share a book I randomly found on google, which I kind of enjoyed reading. It changes the perspective around our addiction and promises a quick fix. I will try this for now.

    No ads or anything, I just really found this helpful.

    Greetings to all the struggles out there!
  11. 200DaysMission

    200DaysMission Active Member

    Hi warded,

    Thanks for what you've written so far - it's helpful to read, and I hope you're finding it helpful to share too.

    I'm curious, do you have any goals regarding relationships with women? Or is it all about abstaining from pornography and masturbation.

    Anyway, I hope you're doing well, and as an extra little tip for reducing triggers, I found that disabling images on some sites (especially Youtube) to be another really helpful addition.
  12. warded

    warded New Member


    Interesting question. I am in a relationship and (rather) happy, I would say. As I am lucky not to suffer from any form of ED, my only "problem" in that regard is waning sexual attraction to my GF. Obviously I hope that quitting porn will help with that as well. Do you feel like goals with women play an important role in your recovery?

    Thanks for the tip with the images. It's astonishing how many sexual triggers await everywhere.

    Good Luck to everyone.
    200DaysMission likes this.
  13. 200DaysMission

    200DaysMission Active Member


    Thank you for sharing.
    I'm happy that you're in a good place relationship-wise!

    Most single people on here do a reboot - where they abstain from porn, but also masturbation and any kind of orgasm too. Which is quite hardcore, but lots of the success stories make the point that this is a really effective way to reset the brain. Most people aim for 90 days. But of course, the first stage of this process is a very insular thing, and I've only read a few journals where members have tried abstinence while in a relationship.
    Then, a lot of members begin to work on building relationships, or reintegrating relationships with real women, and this process in total can be a very productive way to switch sexual urges from pornography to real women.
    And some members (like me) combine the two stages, and abstain from pornography or any self-administered sexual touch, but pursue relationships with real women. Maybe this is old news, though...
    But I've found what works for me, and it's a nice way of keeping me motivated too - with positive goals to work towards rather than just 'don't do this'. I wonder whether there could be some similar things you add to your abstinence from pornography that could work in a similar way. Something to that approaches making positive changes to your sexual relationship with your gf, rather than just quitting porn and hoping things fall into place by themselves (not to say they won't!).

    But, there are many ways to approach recovery successfully, I think.
    That's the reason I asked though! Just to hear more about where you're at, and what kind of recovery path you've taken.
  14. warded

    warded New Member

    [0,5 days clean]

    Well, here were are again.

    Reading my first post again, it is remarkable how little has changed. I still haven't made ANY progress with my thesis. The situation is reaching a critical point now, where I probablyl should have aborted the project a long time ago. I am aware of the sunk cost fallacy but still also really comitted to doing this somehow.

    I am just mentioning this because it has become even clearer to me that porn is mainly an escape for me. While binging, my head is numb, I am not thinking about my real life problems at all. I think most people here can relate - after a multi-hour session it is kind of like waking up from a trance.

    The aforementioned easy-peasy-method has not worked (yet), obviously. I still think that the "book" contains some relevant insights and the right mindset for quitting.

    I will try and post more often as I begin this journey again - winning this time.

    All the best wishes to everyone reading silently!
  15. warded

    warded New Member

    Thank you for input, 200! (and sorry for not replying for half a year)

    The quest to better understand ones own sexuality is absolutely essential to battle this addiction in my opinion. Personally, I feel like this is not the front where my war is decided though, if you know what I mean? I need to get my shit together in other areas of life, so I don't have to cope with or evade hardships by PMOing.

    Nevertheless you bring up some true points. In fact, there are some struggles in the sex life of my GF and I. They are "classic": she has gained some weight, routines sneaking in over the years, my sexual attraction for her lowered somewhat. With all of these, it seems at least very likely to me that they would improve with me quitting porn for good. This is also why I try to hold back with critizing her in that regard. I simply cannot rule out that the main culprit in these issues is my porn addiction. So in the end I do kind of hope that things fall into place as you put it.

    While I stagnate in beating this thing, I have made considerable progress in introspection and self-reflection. Which is I why I feel like issues with my girlfriend are secondary in this battle. When I reflect on the things going on inside my head, the number one "big thing"/elephant in the room is my thesis. That is where I have to make progress. For someone else it might be totally different and your points even more relevant.

    Enough of me, I see you are still in this thing as well. Sad - but this is how it goes. Wishing you all the best!
  16. warded

    warded New Member

    [0 days clean]

    Welp, here we go again...

    It's mindboggling how fucking addictive this shit is. I was SO dedicated.

    I am conviced that the easy-peasy mindset is the right one, but it looks like I need to white-knuckle it for a couple of days to get over the first hump.

    Wish me luck.
  17. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Good luck! All the best for your current streak and your journey. I enjoyed reading on the thread so far how you've acknowledged it's not just P... it's all linked... P absolutely holds us back from flourishing / thriving / reaching max potential. Go for it @warded
  18. warded

    warded New Member

    [1 day clean]

    Thank you for the kind words!

    Had a good and productive day today. Not thesis-wise sadly, but I got a lot done at work, which always feels good.

    It's amazing how much productive energy I have without PMOing. At least in the first couple of days - that's when I remember that I haven't had a long streak in years. Maybe this time :)

    People talk about these super powers... I often feel like it is the other way around: fapping makes you completely lethargic.

    Much success to everyone!
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  19. warded

    warded New Member

    [almost 2 days clean]

    Had two slip-ups in the last days, but I am already back on the wagon. Did not expect the urges to hit me so hard, but I am feeling good at the moment. Interestingly, I found that these relapses came very much out of habit. So there actually were no "urges" in that sense but situations in which I conditioned myself to always PMO. I didn't really enjoy doing it and even knew that going in. So I see this as some kind of progress mindset-wise, as I am already so far that I know how my urges work and that PMO won't satisfy me in the long run. It's just a way into an endless circle of relapse after relapse. Nevertheless I need to be paying attention to times where I know I will be weak. For me, that is usually when I come home on sundays with a hangover. Any tips on strategies for those times? I probably need another activity to replace PMOing with...

    It feels like this is another front than the one I am usually struggling with. This may change in a couple of days though, when I get hornier.

    Don't know if anyone can relate, but I have had really sexual/pornlike dreams in the last days. Maybe this means that porn is still really present in my subconscious.

    Best wishes to everyone struggling out there!
  20. warded

    warded New Member

    [0 days clean]

    Another setback. I want it to be my last.

    Kind of ashamed to post it here as I know how disappointed I can get reading of relapses in other journals. That is the point though, I guess.

    On to better days!

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