**Journal** Becoming a man of action / Starting Med School in new Country

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Apricus94, Nov 20, 2021.

  1. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Hey guys,

    after reading the long post from @TheUnderdog (https://yourbrainrebalanced.com/for...ughts-on-rebooting-extremely-long-post.15558/) I wanted to start with my own thread as well.

    My rebooting journey started in January 2020 - I did a lot of self talk writing, to improve my thinking.
    In short, my problem is PMO and getting lost in the internet. I have experienced myself, that I feel much better, when abstaining the internet. There are so many great things to do in the real world.

    While starting with my reboot, I thought about, who I want to be. I didn't like my job and I also was in a destructive relationship. In the summer of 2020 I decided to become a doctor. I want to work as an emergency doctor and go an services for the "Doctors without borders". Studying medicine was my childhood dream, but because of bad grades in the higher classes there was no chance to study medicine in my homecountry.
    The bad grades were, I guess, because I preferred jerking off, watching porn and escaping in youtube rather than studying. Regular porn consumption started in the age of 16 years. Now I'm 26 years old. Around the same year, kind of depression and feeling numb started. I think you all know, how shitty you feel, when being addicted to this stuff... Not good

    So - to keep it short: I got a degree in Biology and worked as a Biologist. When COVID started, I started working in a testing centre and became part of the management team. In the meantime I tried to get a study place in a med school, which is quite a struggle. But I managed to succeed in an entrance test, where only the best 10 % get the chance to study. This year we were 3000 applicants for 300 places. I'm very thankful for the chance. But I also put in a lot of effort, which was only possible, because my mental health got better because of the reboot and abstinance from PMO. But I didn' manage to fully recover. Relapses are still there.

    After moving to the new country and starting with med school this october, I thought of it as a restart. A whole new life. I had a streak of 45 days. But one day I relapsed - and since then I find myself in a downward spinal. More and more relapses happen, I find myself stuck in youtube.
    As well: While studying for the entrance test, I didn't work out and gained around 10 kg weight....

    Goal: With this thread I want to hold myself accountable, write about the steps I take forward to my goal. Hopefully some of you can get a bit of inspiration.

    There are a few things, that help me staying on track:
    - Studying (I count the hours of deep work)
    - Diary / Visualisation
    - Bodyweight training => getting back in shape

    I don't know, how this thread is going to be - but I will use it as an open journaling tool.

    Best regards - and keep focusing on the positive things.
  2. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Hei @HeyRevolver!
    thank you for your kind reply and the tips. I think I might try to reciprocate in the other threads as well. Have learned a vew things on the way already.

    Great to hear, that you achieved 120 days clean. But beside of the day counter, there might have been changes in your day to day life, which don't go away instantly, after relapsing. I know the shitty feeling - but as long as we keep going forward, it allright.

    What is your strategy for achieving the 120 day goal? With what kind of activities do you want to fill in the void?

    Yesterday I set up different kind of website blockers and a child safety programm on my computer and phone as well. In addition to that I set up the apple content and screentime restrictions. Because the 4 digit password is so easy to recall, I had my roommate pick one. So only she knows the password.
    Normally, I am not a big fan of this internet restriction, because it doesn't train my willpower / ability to control myself. But at the moment I'm kind of stuck in a downward spiral and in need of some additional help.

    To my expectations: I hope journaling in an open forum, where everyone can read the story holds me more accountable, than journaling on my own (which I do since 7 years). I want to write my success story and not a book of relapses and misery.
    And I kind of like the practise in english writing as well. Been a long time, since I wrote that much in english - understanding (reading, movies, etc.) is a daily practise, but creating english text is kind of challenging. So the practise is a good side effect.

    Things I want to do today, to better myself:
    • Exam is on friday 26th of november: Study 5 deep work ours (=> means: only true study time, the timer is only on, when I'm sitting and studying)
    • Do a workout
  3. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Hei and thank you for your kind words :)

    its evening and I'm very tired. I didnt even want to write, but I know the evening journals are the improtant ones. So I sat down at my desk.

    Looking at gernes I didnt go into strange stuff either. But I kind of slipped in an intermitted cycle, since starting the reboot in 2020. Now there are (normally around two to three weeks), but nowadays one week and then a few days of binging. I've read that this form is worse.

    "What have you done today to better yourself?
    Starting with the things, which were most important:
    • I did do a workout. But I felt shitty and wasnt really motivated. Nice was the good weather and so I did the workout in the afternoon. Normally I prefer working out, after I´m done with studying. But this means to do the workout in the cold and dark at this time of the year. So a bit sunshine was nice.
    • Deep Work: That was the hard part. I did get 1 h 45 min in - but man - my brain was so tired, hard to focus and it felt like an old diesel cold start. Hope today will go better.
    Besides that, I had a few other things to get done (orginisational paperwork, laundry), which I did during the morning.
    • In the evening I prepared meals for tomorrow and had a good dinner.
    Plan for Mo, 22.11.2021
    In the last few weeks I tried to get back in a workout routine. I know the great flow feeling in a routine, but the first weeks are always painful. Therefore the workout tomorror is mandatory.
    • Workout
    • 4 h Deep Work + Lecture in the afternoon
    • Meal Prep for next day
    • Journal Entry in the evening - but awake, not super tired!
    Who I want to be:
    Consistency, thats the key. I have periods of great succes followed by negative spirals and hard fights to get out of them... I want to be consistent. I know I can do it.
    I want to do 4 workouts a week (follow the Mark Lauren Bodyweight Programm) in order to feel better on christmas.
    And I have to somehow manage all the topics for the exam on friday.

    Too tired now. Have a good start into your week!
  4. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    Hey Apricus,
    Welcome aboard! I find internet restrictions useful as a complement to the willpower; after all, they are all, at least that I'm aware of, reversible. But I don't like the idea of relying on willpower alone. Willpower needs to be complemented with other components (and, of course, the more days you have abstained, the lesser willpower you will need [in principle, because there will be some crisis and setbacks along the way]), otherwise stress, anxiety, distraction, boredom, etc. will more likely hijack your willpower. The Underdog post is great, because it focus on one's overall improvement in life, on having a purpose and working on ourselves. There is also a book that has helped me a lot (although it is not liked by some people in forums like this, I don't know why), called Easy Peasy Method to Quit Porn. It is available online for free. It may seem a bit simplistic and repetitive (the repetition serves a purpose), but it has helped my tremendously. Changing our mindset - the way we look at porn, the way we talk about porn and about quitting porn - can eventually help us to undo a certain "brainwash". When we are really addicted and craving we feel that we need porn in our lives in order to be happy; in fact, sometimes we cannot even imagine life without it. The book focuses on undoing this sense of "need", so that instead of feeling that you are doing an unbearable sacrifice, you realize more deeply that you don't need it in order to be happy and hence it ceases to be such a sacrifice. The cravings will be there, but more manageable; and one will not rely on willpower alone. But, although it seems to be working for me (along with other things), it will not necessarily work for you, of course. But it's worth a try, if you haven't already.
    I wish you a splendid week ahead!
  5. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Hei you all,

    thanks for your replies!
    @João Silva I downloaded the pdf file for the ********* method and I will definitely skim it and, if interested, read and apply it. I know that willpower alone is not working! Had to make my bad experiences with this. But for me it is really hard, to find the middle between putting in to much willpower and getting to loose... I think in this first days, I have to use a bit of willpower. Today I felt numb. Didn't want to do anything. But I went through the motions, did it anyway. And while eating dinner, I had a moment of joy :)

    The Underdogs post holds a lot of truth. I see my problems with PMO kind of as a signal, that says "Hey, here is something wrong with your life - fix it" Therefore I thought about my life, started changes. Got rid of the bad relationship, tried to get a place in med school, so I could quit my hated job. And here I am - in med school. Fuck yeah! Thats awesome! :) :)
    And on top of that, I met a great girl a year ago and since spring, we are in a great relationship! At the moment we make the distance relationship work. I see the opportunity, because it's possibility to abstain from sex for long periods.

    And to @HeyRevolver! - I don't know, its kind of strange. Sometimes I relapse, because I dont think about the reboot and start getting careless - other times I relapse, because I think too much about the relapse... Being invested in making your life better every day is good. Let's fill the void.

    For today, it got later than planned.
    I was unconcentrated. Working and sport was hard. Kind of forced myself through the day. I feel numb, but I know this feeling - and I also know the great joy and happiness I feel, after being clean for more than 20 days!

    Review of today:
    • Workout: ☑️
    • 4 h Deep Work: ❌ I was able to accomplish 3 h 30 min + Lecture in the afternoon ☑️
    • Meal Prep for next day ☑️
    • Journal Entry in the evening - but awake, not super tired!☑️ - naaah; I am really tired, it's later than I would like.
    Because I need sleep, I keep it short: Day could have gone better, but compared to yesterday, it was a success. "Marathon, not a sprint" - Hope to get more done tomorrow. The days to prepare for the exam are short - and I need to manage a lot of topics until then.

    Today my brain was like a little monkey. I tried klicking everything - like my brain was missing the internet stimuli (Youtube, Series, P). My mood was down. So I still lost a few hours with dumb klicking and tapping on my phone.
    But I accept it. It's better than binge watching for 12 hours straight. And I know this behaviour will get better.

    Also I had to remove some parts of the Internet blocker, because it blocked my webcam as well - and I needet the cam for webex meetings.

    Tomorrow: 23.11.2021

    This morning I read the thread about NoArousal. Sounds very logical. I give it a try.
    • Focus on leaving the phone on the table - just do your 45 min blocks of deep work. I jump right into them - there is nothing I have to fear. Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing.
    • Between the blocks I take short walks around the block. This gets my mood up! I also like the cold wheather.
    • Workout
    • Meal prep
    • Post in evening
    • 5 h Deep Work - really focus, avoid checking my phone so often
    • 30 Min of freetime, doing nothing in my chari in the evening - maybe read if i like to
  6. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Good evening!
    Just finished studying. I got down the 5 hours deep work - but it was hard. In the morning I was procrastinating like hell. Started studying around 12 o'clock.
    What got my ass up? I sat down and wrote a self talk: I let my emotional side all out, whining about how hard everything is, how scared I am to get a bad grade (need good ones, because I want (NEED!) to get a scholarship :D ) - and then I let my rational self answer in a calm way and as a good friend.

    I started relaxing, then started with a first focus block of 30 Min. I made up little rewards (i.e.: vacuum the room after next block; take a walk around the block; ...). So I started accumulating focus blocks and soon I was hooked again and motivated to get down the 5 hours of deep work, no matter how late it was getting.

    Because of this I skipped training this evening.

    "What have you done today to better yourself?"
    • Workout: In ordner to focus on studying (like a sprint) I skipped working out.
    • Meal prep: I prepared breakfast. Had leftovers for dinner, so I didn't prepare food. Normally I cook in the evening (big portions), which I will eat for lunch the next day.
    • Post in evening
    • 5 h Deep Work: hard getting started in the morning.
    • 30 Min of freetime, doing nothing in my chari in the evening - maybe read if i like to: I sat down in my chair and read about the blood system - fair enough :D
    Tomorrow: Repeat! But do better!
    I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I am confident that I can start studying at the morning, without excessive procrastination. The pressure helps. But I'm also confident to build a routine.

    Whatever. Not much thoughts concerning the reboot. Thats okay.
    Mood was still grumpy, but got better, after I got hooked on studying again. It's like sport and I really like the challange.

    Goooooood night.
  7. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Got 4 days.

    Don't feel good today. Actually my mood is down - kind of on an emotional rollercoaster.
    So I started browsing the web. Procrastinated. Until now I got 2 hrs deep work done.

    I am a library guy - but because of covid you have to wear a mask, even at your place. So since last week I try to study at home. And I think I will stay a "homestudier". When I moved in I bought a really nice big desk and a great chair. My room is also super friendly - but right now, focusing is hard. The more I procrastinate, the worser I feel.
    And yes - studying in the library is easyier, but there can come days, where I dont have access to a library, and then, I am forced to study at home - which ends up being a disaster. But when I am studying at home all the time, I can build up a routine. Switching is whats actually hard.

    But I controlled myself. Went for a walk. Took a few deep breaths and now I'm writing this entry. And I think I will write a self-talk entry in my personal diary. This helped yesterday! Today I wrote already two entrys of this kind.

    Looking forward for better entrys here - and I know for sure that better days are coming! Thank you for this forum. It kind of gives the reboot an external meaning - is holding me accountable. I know I'm doing the reboot for me, for my family and for a better realtionship with my girl and friends - but helps to be on this forum. You guys are going through the same struggles. I don't want to leave HeyRevolver alone with his streak - I read 200DaysMissions Thread today and was fascinated of the great succes. It was also very nice to read (good written). So hey - heads up. Heart up. I can do it :)

    During lunch I took a long walk with a guy I met at the university. We are on the same wave and had great talks.

    Best regards!
  8. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    The evening was hard. I wasted a lot of time tapping mindless in the internet - thank god I had installed the blockers - I dind't slip - I didn't end up in a binge. This sucess is not all because of the content filters. The internet is so large and I can always finde some site to dive deep into a misery. But I tried to calm myself down.

    After a lot of time, I faced myself - and the messy emotions inside. I did a selftalk journal entry. And - hey- as it turns out: My life at the moment is pretty decent :) It's okay, I had a bad day - but I think I'm on a good way now. It's a great chance to start new in a new town, in a new country and also in a new career. And I've already met so many great inspiring people.

    Sometimes it seems, like I am sabotaging myself, because I'm afraid, to feel too good, to be too good at something. Don't know. I think I deserve a great life - and my family deserves a happy me. A version of myself, that can be there for them! I want to feel good about myself - because than I'm a really kind person. I know how these good days feel. And I'd love to have more of them! I'd love to be more stable.

    Man, there are so many things, I would really love to be.
    I'd love to life. I'd love to feel more passion. I'd love to get my studies done in time, so that I can enjoy real freetime and get to know more people. I want to have a full social life.
    I'd love to love the workouts again! I'd love to get out of the shower, smiling, because I look great.

    And because of all that, it's okay, to have a bad day. I am pretty sure some urges and worse days will come along the way. But this time, I will handle them. One day at a time. I owe this to me.

    Keep going fellows!
  9. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    will keep it short.
    Had a few slips in the past days. But they are part of the process.

    I focused on socializing this weekend. I spent friday evening with a few colleges and we played boardgames and cardgames. It was delightful and I had a lot of fun. I really like the new city I life in.
    On Saturday I spend half of the day outside with another collegue from university. We went hiking in the hills around the city and also took the subway into the city centre and visited a local market for vegetables and other food.

    Also it's good to life with a roommate.
    Regarding studying: I have days, in which I achieve high amounts of focus time (5 - 6 hours) and also days, where I slip and fall into relapses and youtube binging. In average I achieved around 1 h 45 min of focus time since the beginning of October. I am trying to be more constant. I am trying to get down 2 hours of focus time every day. When I'm done with these 2 hours, its free, wheather I want to do more or not. But its alright, if I enjoy my day after these 2 hours.
    Goal: Have more real downtime, time to socialize without feeling bad and thinking that I still have to study.

    Hope you had a good weekend, HeyRevolver?
    Best regards
  10. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Hey A94, I hope you are still fighting this. Just passing through to wish you a wonderful December, be sure to keep it clean brother! Anything we do now, is one less regret in 2022.

    Apricus94 likes this.
  11. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Hei :)

    today is day No. 7 - so after today I achieved one week clean. That feels good.

    This week I started journaling more. I tried to do a reset entry every evening, in which I reflect the day and kind of "reprogram" my mind to a better thought pattern. This works great - but often I am too tired right before bedtime, because my girl and I phone each other in the evening. So I skipped a few times. Will try a few other time slots for this ritual - but in the beginning of 2020 this was the big game changer, and it is still working great today!

    The week was good. I focused on getting just 2 hrs of focus time down and often spend more. In average I had 3,25 hr focus time in the period mo. - fr.. I also set up a study plan and got an overview.

    All in all, I am focused on establishing a minimal baseline I can keep, even when I am feeling triggered or having bad thoughts. Trying to equalize the ups and downs to a more steady flow.

    For now it feels good.

    Best wishes and a great december to you all!
  12. Apricus94

    Apricus94 New Member

    Short update for now:

    I am making huge steps productivity wise! Studying long hours, scoring good points in the weekly tests.
    Had a bad grade in that one exam - but I think I will rewrite it, to better my grade.

    Kicking asses is whats happening. Working out intensively as well - and already lost 2 kg weight.

    Yesterday I relapsesd - I put it in as a PMO one, but I didn't watch P, just some hot pictures. Today I was also "horny" - I think I'm scared of these tests and exams. I am having 3 this week. The relapses are a way for me to deal with the stress and fear of failure (Not a good one, I know).
    "Normaly" I would slip off after a relapse - getting stagnant in the fear of failing, but these days I say "fuck it - get after it!".

    So today: Day 0 again - had a MO one.
    João Silva likes this.
  13. João Silva

    João Silva New Member

    Hey Apricus,

    I understand that relation between stress and fear of failure and the impulsivity to watch porn. Now that I'm on my 68 day free of porn, I still get the same impulsivity, but instead of watching porn I get distracted with other things. So it's all about procrastination as an escape from anxiety and stress. Of course, porn addiction feeds procrastination and procrastination feeds addiction. If one is neurotic, has strong negative beliefs and is not used to fail, things get more complicated.
    I'm also fighting escapism and emotional volatility (i.e. neuroticism). We'll learn how to deal with it and be successful in spite of it. And we'll quit porn.
    I believe in you! By the way, you're on the right path; I notice that you are not beating yourself up and that you're focusing on the positive things that you have been accomplishing. That is the right mindset! Glad to hear that you're doing huge steps productivity wise!

    Keep going, and Merry Christmas! :)

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