It's about how hard you can GET HIT and KEEP MOVING FORWARD

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by EFS White, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. TruettW

    TruettW Active Member

    That is a good plan, but without decisive action worthless. There will be moments when you are in a crossroads. Both paths call to you. The one that leads to more rebooting and the one that leads to an excitement that's almost irresistible. If you start to think at that crossroads, you're a goner. You'll have to know the right choice in advance, now, so that when that crossroads appears, and it will do so suddenly, you will have made the decision on how to proceed immediately, disregarding whatever the excitement is. A simple principle, but notoriously hard to put into action if the mind, motivation, isn't firmly set in a long-term plan.
     
  2. Canada2012

    Canada2012 Active Member

    It's thursday evening on one of the later time zones so you must be working with her or done with session 1.

    I think your plan is totally well reasoned. It certainly goes beyond anything I might have had to suggest. The one thing that jumps to me is that I find it impossible (at this point in time in my reboot & life) to negate an attraction I feel for a woman. My only way out is 'acknowledge-release', which is to accept that I want her & blabla but look BEYOND that at what I want.

    That told, you are single and I'm not. I'm not you, but if I really wanted her the way you get across in your journal, I would quickly clear the skies by telling her I think she's too hot to be in the same room as I on any summer day, that her man is a lucky bastard, and that, unless she's into me, I will respect a gentle distance between I and her and I'm sorry because I should have said so before the project was underway.

    But that's ME. I just hate to be friend-zoned and would rather die alone. I want to be clear that it's not the only way to go!
     
  3. EFS White

    EFS White Member

    Nope, not thursday evening here yet. And I don't wish it were. I welcome this opportunity for learning and I don't want to miss it. So it's still about nine hours until this challenge will reach its critical stage, around fourteen hours when I will either claim victory or acknowledge defeat in this one skirmish.

    Canada, I very much concur with your "acknowledge-release". I am not willing to fight myself on this, I perfectly understand where this attraction is coming from, I think it is natural and normal. The challenge lies in avoiding inappropriate or straight up unhealthy coping mechanisms.


    --

    8 DAYS

    So if I don't fuck up tonight, it will have been 8 great, clean, porn-free rebooting days. I feel good about myself, have been both very productive and very social, put myself up to good workouts, kept busy and kept a very focused and non-permissive attitude toward my addiction.

    There are several reasons why I want to keep a safe distance to my colleague, and for sakes of my chances of succes I want to spell them out right here, right now.

    (1) She has been in a relationship for about four years. I have no intention on messing with that as I would be wary of a woman who'd cheat on her boyfriend and just as much of one who'd jump relationships straight from one to another. (2) I don't know her well enough to know whether I'd actually want a relationship with her. This doesn't justify making any provocative attempts on her current relationship. Plus, I want to make myself aware that this is more of a reverie than an actual infatuation, so I do not want to exaggerate the emotional impact of or get worked up about what this actually is. (3) I am neither looking for an affair, a ONS, nor heartbreak. I have a tendency to develop a crush that can be overwhelming which I will not allow for myself if circumstances are not right.

    That said I do not want to give this topic any more room at this point.

    --

    I am done with my paid assignments, which means I should have about a week before the materials for my next assignment will arrive. Lots of time for projects of my own, yet also usually a trigger to reflect upon my career > potential for frustration > danger zone.

    +++WARNING: POTENTIALLY MISLEADING THOUGHTS. TREAD CAREFULLY+++ I noticed another severe area of relapsing danger, that has been lingering for a while: I am not fully resolved about my actual goals of rebooting. Am I going for 90 days? Nope. For porn-free indefinitely? Dunno. Am I okay with PMO'ing every 14 days? Every 7 days? Something like that. My goal in rebooting isn't about a day count. I suppose my goal is to feel free of the grips of thrill seeking, of feeling hooked and addicted, or my addiction sabotaging my every day life. My goal is to be fully associated and incorporated with my mind and my body, to make wise and healthy decisions, and these should automatically excluded PMO'ing. I think the day count is a great instrument to get started but it's been discussed so many times that abstinence alone isn't a valid measure of success for us. It might not be necessary to elaborate on this any further. Suffice to say, at this time I have a vague idea of what rebooting actually means to me of what I will have to incorporate in my daily life in order to determine that my rebooting will have been successful. But once I look beyond the day count it gets a lot harder to grasp.

    Let's talk about "something else" (yeah right) here for a second. In terms of diet I have cut out all artificial supplements and switched to a diet that is around 70 to 80 percent vegetarian. I have cut down on coffee, allow myself to one sweet treat a day, absolutely no soft drinks, upped my intake of fruit and vegetables as well as DIY fruit and vegetable juices. So I'd say I eat rather healthy and would probably give myself a 8/10 score for dietary choices. So about once every two weeks or so I make a dietary decision that could be considered "poor", like eating fast food or an extra serving of sugary sweets. At the moment I see the way I "use" porn similarly to my two-week burger. Anyone know what I mean??+++END INCENDIARY RAMBLINGS+++

    --

    Will do some cleaning and playing music now, go for a walk in the sun, then some Qi Gong and meditation. Other than that I have a workout and an extended mentoring lesson in place today... should be making more plans for Friday and Saturday a.s.a.p.

    Still on an anticipation cycle... but fuck it, will need to find a way to ease out of it without resorting to destructive behaviour.
     
  4. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    Without wanting to sound like a hardliner, I don't think that occasional use is possible. Maybe for 14, 28, 56, however many days, may well be possible, but then you'll just end up back to square one. It's so easy to get your fix, and it feels so good, that you'll be constantly battling to keep it to once per week. now, maybe you could MO to fantasy about real women, I'm not sure, but P definitely has to be out.

    I'm following a diet at the moment that stipulates 90% compliance to get results. This means that if you're eating 28 meals per week, 2-3 of them can be whatever you want. This gives you room for dining out, or even the odd treat during the week. You still see positive results.

    But the thing is, your cupboards are full of healthy foods, and you have to go out of your way to buy unhealthy food or go to a restaurant. I think that trying to do this 90% compliance with porn would be the equivalent to aiming for 90% compliance with your diet with a bowl of maltesers constantly within arm's reach. You know? When you work at home, P is only ever a click or two away.

    And yes, I'm not one to preach, but that's just my 2p.
     
  5. EFS White

    EFS White Member

    Thanks, HPMOF, for your post. I want to respond to it with the proper attention; so will have to do this some other time.

    --

    I am just really happy that my evening went well and I will write this post and turn off the computer... and I WILL NOT HAVE RELAPSED.

    Good stuff.
    Very happy.
    :)
     
  6. darkwolf

    darkwolf New Member

    You have a real "metacognitive" ability and that's a potential boost in your war on PMO. But be careful - even in evading mind traps, as you've found, we fall prey to them. The real way I find to help fight negative thoughts and mind traps is to focus on my body, to release its tensions in the moment, because the two always seem to go together. Practice it in any way that seems useful. Breath, posture, conscious relaxation, etc. Next time you feel this tension about your co-worker, try to identify that physical energy going along with the thoughts in yourself and instead of constricting it, see if you can gently usher it out somehow.

    I like what you said about mentoring that young man. It really is a sure-fire way to make us feel better about ourselves when we help others and just give.
     
  7. EFS White

    EFS White Member

    HPMOF, I appreciate your notes on this. It's interesting, I am actually not plotting to make PMO a once a week habit or anything like that. I did notice, however, that I do not have a distinct resolve of what my rebooting should look like and when and how I will know that I will have been successful; I do not have this resolve right now, I think I should have it in order to keep going and avoid relapsing on a whim (as it happens sometimes), and I wanted to take note of that.

    --

    Darkwolf. I think our "metacognitive abilities", as you call them, and a high degree of mastery in releasing tension are indeed two very important instruments at our disposal. I will keep working on both, until I have mastered them. Btw. yes, indeed, mentoring is a great thing: It's a very constructive use of my time, and it gives me a chance to contribute and do something for someone else.

    --

    9 DAYS

    The struggle begins.

    One of the things I had spelled out as a task for learning this time around was to identify the exact moment when cruising (a phase of days when rebooting is actually quite easy to do) ends and struggle begins again. Today is that day, and I identify five circumstances for this:

    (1) Anticipation cycle ended. I met my colleague last night, was a nice evening, went home and went to bed without relapsing. So far so good. I really must give myself a lot of credit for this because I know last night was typical relapse scenario and I managed to work around it. Nonetheless, this cycle has ended, and I have now nothing similar to look forward to. This typically leads to a downswing in moods for me, and may even dive all the way into a dead-end cycle. Indeed I do feel that my mood is just about cut in half as compared to yesterday, so I must tread very carefully to make sure I can turn this around.

    (2) Yearning for proximity, romance, intimacy. As side effect of spending time with an admirable woman last night is that of course I would like to do it again right away. This doesn't even mean a craving for sex or intimacy (although I wouldn't mind that), it's just as much as spending time together, laughing, talking, taking a walk. These simple things that make you feel a connection to another human being. I am strongly susceptible to quality time with women, and get attached to it very easily. It's no surprise, then, that today I feel a much higher degree of sadness and loneliness again, and a stronger yearning for love, trust, belonging and romance. Nothing to do with sex, still deep relapse territory.

    (3) Paid assignments completed. A very double-edged item on this list. I blasted through my last assignment with focus, determination, and am sure I have delivered a very high quality work. I must remember to give myself credit for that. Nonetheless, now I am looking at some time ahead with no paid assignments, no deadlines and no money again. Hopefully it will only be a couple of days... But I must be aware that this is also a very well known circumstance that could trigger a relapse.

    (4) No social plans. I have kept really social the last weekend and throughout this week... now I am looking at pretty much a blank weekend (except for sunday, and that doesn't even count, see #5). I will see my mentoring kid on saturday, will go for a workout. But I would love to have plans with friends, and must try right now to put something together. Better to be prepared than to be sorry.

    (5) Nervousness about a public appearance. I make extremely rare public appearances in my line of work, I only had about three public appearances in the last two years, and in terms of audience they were on a very small scale. This sunday I will address an audience of more than a hundred people — and the last time I have made a public appearance of this sort was... never. Well, I did a few similar gigs a looong time ago, but this one will only be about me with nothing to hide behind. I hate to admit it, to others or to myself, but there is a tangible degree of nervousness attached to this appearance, which is making itself known right now. I feel well prepared, probably at a 8/10 rating. Nothing much to say really, I just believe that nervousness = desire for relaxation = relapse territory.

    --

    So like I had said before: I strongly believe that we cave in spiritually, mentally and emotionally long before we physically relapse. In my self observation I would say today is a very critical day in this process. I want to make sure I can turn this around right now.

    ENDURANCE. FOCUS. STRENGTH.
     
  8. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    I think that you're right about needing resolve, and I also think that the lack of a clear vision is the reason we see so many relapses (at a whim) around the 90 day mark. It's happened to me when seemingly going strong after 56 and then 88 days. I wonder if one strategy would be to "recommit" every so often without having to experience rock bottom. I found that a couple of months in, the damage caused by PMO seems smaller from that distance, and is easily outweighed by the pleasure of "one quick tug"... it isn't really, of course, but it is easy to feel that way.

    I just wanted to chime in there because I work from home too, and there's no way I can stick to any sort of PMO "diet" for any length of time. It's just too easy to get your fix. I actually tried to do something like that after my last big relapse and it worked for a while, but here I am again collecting those little red "ones" on my counter.

    I like what you're doing with mapping out the possible red flags for a relapse. Often just acknowledging them is enough to get you through.
     
  9. Canada2012

    Canada2012 Active Member

    A quick word EFS to lend you support and strength on those public talks. I can relate to the nervousness and have nothing better to advice than to insure a good night's sleep on the day before. Nervousness is normal and can help when controlled. I don't where you stand on that. It gets better with practice, that I know.

    Good luck.
     
  10. EFS White

    EFS White Member

    Thanks, Canada, I appreciate it. Thing is, I am a show off when it comes to public talks, I am furiously good at delivering them. That's because with a public talk I have a topic to hide behind and I can prepare everything to excess to make sure it will be flawless. Tomorrow is actually an artistic performance of original works, nothing to hide behind and exposing my soul to hundreds of strangers. Nervousness is okay today, and I will keep it contained. I do agree it is normal to a certain extend, it's just shaky legs and that — but a great reason not to relapse today and instead keep my focus and strength all saved up for tomorrow's show. :)

    HPMOF,
    One hundred percent I agree with this: So many of us go for ninety days (I went for 96 on my first serious attempt) and then relapse, and I think it has to do with the simplified formula "just go 90 days no fap" — but hardly anyone tells you where to go from there. 90 days no fap doesn't do the work for you, all it does is to help you unhook and catch a breather beyond the hardest phase of acute withdrawals. The real work that needs to be done is to adopt a change of behavior and entrain a series of alternative coping mechanisms. Only by diligently identifying our patterns, our triggers, our mechanisms and circumstances that drive us to use porn can we gain the necessary understanding that is essential to making a meaningful change.

    To me PMO addiction was a coping mechanism for sadness, depression, helplessness in dealing with a sexually traumatized woman, and instant gratification against my inferiority/superiority complex. This coping mechanism I have carved into my brain for years upon years, so I understand it takes tremendous effort to rewrite those loops and create healthier ones.

    The question of how to uphold or renew the underlying vision for rebooting, therefore, I think is vital to me at this point. The "90 days no pmo" is a great catch phrase and it's an easy (while not necessarily easy-to-do) recipe. But beyond the 90 days, it's about developing and practicing healthy ways of coping with unhealthy emotions.

    Started rambling, but I do not want to forget to tell you: Thank you for prompting these reflections!


    --

    10 DAYS

    For once I am really thankful for living with my parents and the Soccer World Cup. I don't really care for soccer. But having failed (not for lack of trying) to arrange social plans for either last night nor tonight I am happy to know that I can always join my dad to watch a soccer match — and not bore myself to random browsing and eventually digging into the pseudo-glamorous filth that is porn.

    I feel good, I feel stronger for having conquered a really difficult test on thursday, have carried myself well and actually have a good feeling going into the weekend. A few hours of mentoring today, then an hour's worth of kicking my own ass at the gym, then soccer, then bedtime. That's the plan. Which hopefully doesn't allow for any loopholes.

    Dangers ahead? I have a high desire for a partner (a family and children) in life. These thoughts are alright, I do not mind them, but I need to be very cautious in admitting to them as they can turn sour very quickly. I had arranged for my pretty colleague and I only to work together on thursday, however we are still working on the project together today, albeit each in our separate offices. This means she's still on my mind, and I am catching my thoughts drifting to where they shouldn't be drifting... hoping by some chance I will see her soon etc. I must remain careful not to attach myself to such emotions nor to give them any room. I'll leave the house right after lunch and won't return until the late evening, so I know I'm covered. Only tricky part, really: Bed-time tonight. I ususally do fairly well. Just as a reminder: I should turn my computer off for good well before tonight's soccer game, and then just go to bed. No random browsing. Then I should have an excellent clean day today.

    --

    Ten days. Very thankful.
     
  11. Canada2012

    Canada2012 Active Member

    Good job EFS.

    I saw in your reply that you aren't one for whom public appearances are crippling. Good & I hope you deliver an amazing show out there!
     
  12. EFS White

    EFS White Member

    12 DAYS

    Today will be another crucial day of fighting back, for a plethora of reasons. 1) My mentoring commitment ends today, 2) currently out of paid work, 3) no social plans, 4) emotionally difficult moments yesterday, 5) romantic sexual dream last night (and waking up sad). Those are probably the major ones, and I do not feel like adressing all of them.

    These two stand out, and I will put my main effort onto defusing their explosive potential:

    My show yesterday went really well, I did extensive Qi Gong meditation going in and wasn't nervous at all, delivered wonderfully and received a great many compliments. Now, then of course my attractive colleague showed up — with her boyfriend. And he seems to be a really nice guy, too. So, the day was really great yesterday and I steered my ship clear of emotional turmoil as far as possible. I did experience moments of sadness welling up in the evening, went for a long walk to "walk them off", did an extensive set of grounding meditation in order to take charge of my energies and felt okay going to bed. +++TRIGGER WARNING+++ Last night, however, was the first time I have ever actually dreamt of my colleague — and it was a very sweet, romantic, intimate and sexual dream of her, touching her, her sitting down on top of me, kissing. +++END WARNING+++ When I woke up I felt a wave of sadness crashing down; certainly about her a little bit, but in a more general sense just the sadness of not having a partner, not feeling this intimacy and sharing life with someone.

    So the lesson is: I must tread very wisely today, adress the remnants of these emotions head-on and make sure I retain nothing of them.

    Challenge will also be to find meaningful things to do for the entire day.

    Other than that, I am extremely grateful for 12 clean days, I feel very pure and very good, and I want to use my energy working towards integrity.

    Let's have a great week!
     
  13. a short guy

    a short guy Well-Known Member

    Stay P-free today, stay feeling "pure and clean", grateful for 12 days, make it 13.
     
  14. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    Time on your hands and romantic turmoil... never a good combination. You've acknowledged them, though, and you know that they will pass.

    You have also handled two of your concerns successfully: you delivered a good presentation and remained in control of your feelings and behaviours with this colleague. Just ride out the feelings from the dream, it's just a trick of the mind in any case.
     
  15. EFS White

    EFS White Member

    Thanks for your comments, Tall Guy and HPMOF.

    --

    Wall of text ahead. Might want to skip this.

    --

    MUST SPELL OUT A MID-DAY UPDATE AS THINGS ARE TURNING SOUR


    So I am keeping a very close look on my emotional states this time around, and I know that I have crossed over into relapse territory this morning, definitively. All of last week things were building up, with nothing other than repressing anticipation towards my colleague, and I did alright all the way up to sunday. Now yesterday I saw her again with her boyfriend, and while I carried myself rather well, it seems I have been unable to shake some of the emotions associated with that. I suppose seeing them together made it clear that their relationship will not end any time soon (which I guess my subconscious had been suggesting to me); in addition having the first ever dream of that woman last night I think is a sign that no matter how much I repress my emotions for her intellectually and consciously, my subconscious lets me know that this is not resolved.

    Ever since this morning, so for seven hours straight now, I have actively sought to find ways to keep me busy in a meaningful and healthy way. I did laundry, cleaning, some correspondences, ran into a few frustrating or overwhelming moments in researching something so decided to back off. Ever since noon I could clearly feel how I become incredibly irritable. Random shits starts to piss me off and I feel a great degree of anger and sadness. It's interesting also: I have been in paid assigments for weeks now, which is rare in my artistic profession. Today is literally the first day without work for a client — and right on cue my parents get on my ass and give me all this shit talk about how I need to find a "real" job, how I am too old to bum around (?), how if I go on like this I will some day look back and regret that I couldn't achieve more in life.

    Now this was a real stab to my heart right now. I didn't listen to their monologue, which of course is rather rude, I just got up and left after a while. But the trouble is not what they are saying, the trouble is the things that these thoughts stir up. When I hear the phrase "a wasted life", I already think of my own. I don't need another two or three decades to think that. I feel that with my marriage I have fallen so hard, and I have lost everything I ever wanted. I have tried for a year unsuccessfully to get "a real job" — and I wasn't even called in for a face-to-face job interview one single fucking time. The irony of this is that in my University studies and my school diplomas my grades are so high above average, I'm easily in the top 2 percentile. And I am not writing this here to brag but to say every single person, friend, therapist, councelor or coach I have talkd to says they cannot understand how anyone would not hire me. From an outside perspective it's kind of hilarious.

    So, needless to say these thoughts are absolutely suicidal in regards to preventing a relapse: Anything that circles around me being alone, without a partner, without a family, without a steady "real" job, having failed in my marriage... all of this can crush me so easily, which is why most of my efforts in meditating and controlling my thoughts is not allowing myself to go there.

    Of course it happens on days like today, then.

    So anyhow, as of writing this, it is not too late to prevent a relapse. The challenge is this: I feel extremely weakened now, vulnerable, and I know that most likely the addiction just needs one or two more jabs right now to have me where it wants me to be.

    I have identified that PMO is a misguided coping mechanism kicking in. Now I am looking for something I can do that would help me deal with all this in a meaningful and effective way. I have already planned for a brutal workout in about an hour; right now I am thinking, maybe I should just make it twice as hard — instant pain instead of instant gratification.

    At the same time I need to find a meaningful way to tip my scale back into positive, optimistic and grounded emotions.

    I've had two moments in the last couple of days that were easy to deal with at the time but that would be toxic and deadly right now: In the first instant I was thinking I remembered a URL for an artistic project by heart but it ended up being wrong by .org instead of .com — and without any called for reason at all that was a porn website. Since I had been cruising along with steady moods it was a bit of a shock for about a second, but I was able to close that browser tab right away, google for the right domain and not give a shit about it at all. Yesterday a friend send me this "funny" soccer-themed porn image, which again, everytime I am unprepared has a shock value but I was able to ignore it very well at the time.

    I'm just saying: A day like today? An hour like the one at hand right now? All it needs is some shit like that to crush my defenses. Right now I am too weak for something like that.

    My best option is to stay away from the computer for the rest of the day. My instinct tells me I can't do that because there's shit I need to get done... But maybe I need to be smarter today. I know being at the computer is the hardest trigger of them all. So maybe I'll do all my computer work on paper today? Or on my phone (I never browse for porn on my phone)?

    So anyway, fighting against the addiction has just ramped up to about 8/10 difficulty. Next few hours will be crucial. I need to find a way to wind down to about 3/10 or below.
     
  16. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    Grab your gym gear and get out of the house for the hour before you go to the gym. You can always take care of the other stuff after the gym when you might feel better.
     
  17. a short guy

    a short guy Well-Known Member

    You said it, get off the computer, get out of the house.

    Listen to supportive people right now, not to anyone giving you crap.

    You got 5 days, nearly at your 7 day goal. Relapsing will not help at all.
     
  18. TruettW

    TruettW Active Member

    "I have identified that PMO is a misguided coping mechanism kicking in."

    Could you recall this fact when it starts kicking in? I've found that a logical way of thinking about this thing is one of the best defenses.
     
  19. darkwolf

    darkwolf New Member

    Wow. I can't even imagine what a struggle it is when crap is coming at you that much that fast. A truly craptacular day EFS. I hope you're going to get better soon once you let that shit wash off of you. If you can be somewhere public, until you need to sleep basically, that might be the best option. Lose yourself in the crowd, or flirt with someone and boost yourself, I dunno, anything but the maelstrom.

    Try to remember that PMO isn't a solution for anything though...we know this!
     
  20. EFS White

    EFS White Member

    I feel overwhelmed by all of you checking in. Whenever I spill out a wall of text like yesterday I have a tendency to feel really bad about it, for taking up so much of you guys' time. So I appreciate it very much that you have made the effort to check in nonetheless and leave me encouraging comments. — Thank you all very much!

    --

    13 DAYS

    Yesterday was a very important day for me. I could see things turn sour before my eyes, yet I was still on that threshold where I knew that there was a possibility to fight back and prevent a relapse. I am very grateful that yesterday my defenses worked.

    My computer is usually either turned on or on stand-by throughout the day, and I identified that having access to the internet and being around the computer would have been a surefire way to sabotage myself yesterday. So even though it kept me from doing a bit more work, I decided to turn the computer off completely in the afternoon and work on paper for a while. Then I changed into my workout clothes and was getting ready for an exhausting HIIT workout. I had this thought in my head that I wanted to make that workout twice as hard in order to show to myself that I am not willing to go for instant gratification but rather will expose myself to instant mortification. So anyway, the "twice as hard" part didn't work of course. I extended the workout to about 30% more than I would have done but I was clinically dead after that. I felt so wasted and empty (read: good and relaxed) after the workout, commited to another round of Qi Gong and brought my rebooting difficulty level down to about 2/10.

    I watched soccer with my dad (which usually I would have avoided after our depressing conversation earlier that day) and managed to feel okay for the rest of the evening.

    --

    Today is a new day with many of the same challenges like yesterday. Difference is: I did not have a sexual dream today, and start into it feeling a little better than I did yesterday. Potential for work-frustration remains very high (received a rejection letter yesterday, too); emotionally very vulnerable to the desire for a partner in life. Other than that I do not see any red flags on the horizon.

    --

    Tomorrow will be 14 days clean. That's my next goal...
     

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