Journal to the Centre of the Self

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by TheScriabin, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Hi all,

    I just lasted a mere week with no PMO and am feeling pretty bad about it.

    Yesterday I busied myself volunteering to help a friend with moving, went swimming and at the end of the day decided to get an early night. So I'd made it successfully through day 5... so I thought.

    But then I couldn't get to sleep and just lay there for 4 hours and my mind was sending me nuts. Unfortunately I leave my iphone next to my bed as I use it as an alarm clock, but that also means the online porn, albeit on a mobile phone, is easy to get to and I hadn't considered this. I do not know WHY I did it. But I did a google search for a porn actress, read about her life and this lead to my curiosity about checking out the first film she ever made!! What happened next is pretty obvious. This is ridiculous, what is going on?! I have had the most determined week, reading, researching, taking the addiction seriously, keeping an exercise routine. I can't believe how easily the compulsion to use creeps in.

    I felt so disappointed in myself, but I think every relapse can only serve to remind me just how serious this thing this is, and how I am not at all crazy or delusional to want to kick the habit.
     
  2. darkwolf

    darkwolf New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I know this situation well. We are often ignorant to how weak we are when we believe our self control is good. We have to set up a virtual if not actual filter for what we allow into our minds. There are countless google searches I haven't done, links I haven't clicked, which would have been risky. But, no lie, there are also ones I did I shouldn't have and only luck or some hidden reserve saved me.

    Keep journaling and struggling!
     
  3. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Thanks darkwolf. You are an inspiration.

    But jeez, I did it again today. :-[

    I don't think I can quit porn. I wonder what others think of this?

    I am 34 and because of various life complications and emotional difficulties (social anxiety, depression) I have lost paid employment and I am living back with my mum. I had a good job with a slightly above average salary, but it all went tits up as I freaked out and left. Just vanished without telling anyone and this has probably seriously affected my reputation in the work world in which I am known.

    I also recently ended a 4 year relationship, have lost some friends, and my dad decides to reappear in my life only to vanish again on New Year's Eve without saying anything, so basically the last year has been pretty traumatic. My relationship was also shrouded in problems as I never really fancied my girlfriend, even though I like her very much as a person. I am reluctant to think this would have been different if I didn't use porn, as I never really found her physically attractive. What possibly would have been different is I may have had more self-esteem to chat-up the sorts of girls I really was interested in. I don't regret the 4 years with such a special person, but something just wasn't right and I grew painfully aware how painful I was making it for her, never being able to say 'I love you' or anything. So I know I did the right thing by ending it. There will be the right person for her out there. I don't want to be alone, but I feel I must be in order to help myself.

    Anyway, I don't think I am in a good situation to tackle porn addiction - no job, living with back mum (who is fairly critical and negative), and I really do not know what to do having such bad anxiety. I first attempted to tackle social anxiety about 10 years ago and did what you are supposed to - CBT group work, hypnotherapy, talk therapy - but I am convinced the SA has only grown progressively worse. This is extremely worrying. Though since reading on yourbrainonporn.com of the correlation between porn addiction and SA, you can imagine my excitement on learning this. It was the bolt of a reality check I so desperately needed, and I hope it will get better as I persevere. But as I say, I don't know if too many cards are stacked against me. This is a very big fear, and I am concerned no matter how much positive effort I put in, it is only a matter of time before I relapse.
     
  4. darkwolf

    darkwolf New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    You may be right. While it's good to abstain from PMO if your issues with depression and SA are severe enough perhaps those must be your priorities. All you can do is struggle where you can and hopefully note progress. Recovering addicts say "one day at a time" because if all we do is look at the big picture we can lose hope due to how big the problems seem. Prioritize.
     
  5. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Will try to leave yesterday on a positive note:

    At least these failures can help strengthen my resolve to quit for good, provided I learn from them. Every relapse and setback that reminds me just how real and serious an addiction this is is surely a good thing in the long run.
     
  6. boston

    boston New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Baby steps. Maybe setting an easier goal will help build confidence. Eliminate P, but allow yourself 2 MO quick sessions a week for a week or two. Then one a week. Sometimes sexual build up can cause major relapse, which is why I favor a little MO as needed (not wanted, needed) to keep the overall sex drive manageable.
     
  7. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Very good idea, thanks boston.

    I was shocked by how strong the cravings got after only 5 days, and I have a tendency to binge when I do relapse. My progress spreadsheet typically looks like: several days of total abstinence and then all of a sudden 3 or 4 PMO sessions within a couple of hours.

    I have read that this binging is a classic symptom of most addiction recovery, and having experienced it myself I can understand why. The first relapse PMO session doesn't completely rid my mind of the cravings. They just linger around and it seems to take a few more sessions until it finally subsides, as though the porn dependancy is desperately trying to reassert its dominance in my brain. I guess it's the survival brain feeling threatened and throwing everything it has at me to keep me in check. The feeling afterward is one of having been completely possessed by the lust monster all over again.

    May I ask, when you allow yourself the occasional MO, do you feel it is important to refrain from fantasising?
     
  8. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Very interesting noticing just how many things can become a trigger for my porn use. Even a glossy magazine I was glancing through on the train journey home has so many images in it. It doesn't take much. We definitely live in a 'pornified' culture, and it is interesting that we barely bat an eyelid to most of the highly sexual imagery that now passes as normal. Shockingly, I think I can monitor my interest in an article in terms of, 'are there any pictures of cute girls that have drawn my attention to it?' It's as though for years I've not really been interested in any aspect of the world, unless there is a sexual angle to it. I simply put all this down to 'being a healthy red-blooded male', and never thought any deeper about it.

    I am researching and reading a lot to help me with my porn addiction, but I can't help thinking that even reading about pornography is gently enjoyable and triggering some dopamine response because it is exciting. Perhaps there is a degree of that, so provided I am able to prevent it from leading to searching for and using porn, it should be ok. I think the knowledge and learning is essential for gaining clarity and determination, because the pre-frontal cortex is literally being shaped to better communicate with the primeval urges.
     
  9. boston

    boston New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Yes, this is why I emphasize keeping the session quick. Basically if you can't get it up and done with in a minute or two, you can afford to wait longer. No fantasy. No thought. Just a quick release of pressure so your mind can stay the course. Once a week should be sufficient, but if you can go longer, you should. It's about preventing relapse, not about providing pleasure. If you don't have the willpower to separate the two, then you should abstain.

    If you can get actual sex during this time, and as long as there is no pressure to perform, then do it. Part of reconditioning involves the introduction of the correct stimulus.
     
  10. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Well, feeling pretty crappy today, but not going to use that as an excuse to indulge. I seriously don't know what I'm doing all this for, it's not like I'm ever going to able to talk to women. Why would I want to anyway? I have nothing to offer them, no ambitions no talents no career. This is seriously worth thinking about. Why would I want to quit porn and masturbation? Having had debilitating anxiety and depression my whole life, it is the only pleasure I have.

    One guy who reached 400 days reported that many of the benefits regularly discussed by the nofap community are slightly mythologized, and that life change has to come from within. A positive life, with positive experiences is going to strengthen our resolve to keep away from porn, and that is what scares me - there is NOTHING positive in my life.

    These are pretty dark times for me, not that they are new. It has always been dark.

    But I'm going to stick to no PMO regardless. Don't know why, just something to focus on, and I must say I have been more creative since quitting, composing more music. Though I don't think this is a side-effect of no PMO, but simply the fact I need to fill my time with something. But again, not so simple and well-earned happiness because what happens when I try to write music is I think it's all totally shit and pointless, so that doesn't exactly make me feel great.

    What is positive about me I wonder? I can bake bread! That's something.
     
  11. boston

    boston New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Wrong.

    PMO, and even MO, sucks the energy from you. Go a week without MO and see how energetic you become. Then when you MO it's debilitating. They've known this for years. In "Papillon" the warden advises new inmates not to MO because it saps their strength. If you stop MO for a bit you'll have the energy to spark ambition and handle career stuff. No woman worth having wants a guy with no direction. So become a guy with direction. Any direction works. See in which direction the wave of harnessed MO energy takes you.
     
  12. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I have a question. It seems, though I am abstaining from PMO and also avoiding all sexual fantasizing, I AM reading a lot about porn addiction.

    Ok, that's the whole point of quitting and educating ourselves. But does anyone think a porn addict can have a tendency to over read because, in ever so subtle a way, he still derives a certain degree of excitement and pleasure from reading about porn, in WHATEVER form?

    This is troubling. What counts and what doesn't? I realized a couple of 'neutral' things I was interested in had an indirect link to a sexual subject. Is this the addicted brain keeping itself ticking over with the occasional tipple of a dopamine shot even when we aren't aware of it?

    I think this is a very serious point because it might mean we are keeping those addictive neurons firing - the excitement seeking - in spite of all the work not PMOing or even fantasizing.
     
  13. darkwolf

    darkwolf New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I had a similar concern earlier in my reboot and still come back to the question sometimes.

    Spending excessive time here or anywhere online is not good (guilty as charged). Simplest answer. If new things and pursuits and neural pathways aren't created, the old will work extra hard to reestablish their behaviors.

    Consider yourself sharp for noticing this and act accordingly.
     
  14. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I have made a terrible mistake, counting the days is fatal, and it defeats the object of quitting porn. I'm going to ask my brother to install a porn blocker for me and not tell me the password.
     
  15. boston

    boston New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    This x 1000.

    This is exactly why I support sex during a reboot. You have to introduce the correct stimulus and retrain your brain on it as you take away the bad stimulus. Think of Indiana Jones, when he swaps the bag of sand for the gold idol. A quick switch of stimuli so pressure doesn't build and cause a relapse (sadly, Indy had no idea how much that idol would weigh).
     
  16. darkwolf

    darkwolf New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Of course you're right, but even if (sadly) you take sex out of the picture for rewiring, simply taking up new positive things like hobbies, art, socializing, exercise, etc. can really help crowd out the impulses to relapse. Positivity feeds on positivity.
     
  17. Amp111

    Amp111 New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I have found that when you look at how much time a week I spent viewing p if you channel that into something positive you will be amazed what you start to achieve..... books melt away in what could have been one viewing session - once I passed the insomnia and not sleeping late became a breeze with more time to exercise

    I,m doing better socially but my natural inclination is still to not talk.... weird thing is how good I feel after I try talking to people.....

    I guess all I'm trying to say is once you remove p from your life you become a different person . Who that is is up to you....

    I have really appreciated the exercises on www.recoverynation.com I made some changes that seemed small and had to work at them but they have really helped

    Good luck
     
  18. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Ok, things going a little better this time round.

    My solution is to eliminate sex from my mind in all forms, and it has been fairly easy and felt quite good. I am silencing that little voice that might think, 'ooh great, all I need to do is quit porn and it'll increase my chances of doing all that crazy shit with real girls...' No, no, no! That doesn't fool me anymore, it's just the old insecure voice thinking that's the only way to being happy. It's a trick!

    Also, the internet is a wonderful resource but my use and time online MUST be gently controlled otherwise it eats the day away and really it's just more instant dopamine fixes.

    1. Checking Facebook once a day, at most twice
    2. Blocked all adult sites, also from mobile
    3. Reading a book
    4. Doing more exercise but not overdoing it.
    5. Trying to go to bed earlier - don't browse web with iPhone! Just turn out the light and get some sleep!
    6. Try to get up earlier - this is a real challenge for me, as I love a lazy lie in.
    7. Do more cooking.
     
  19. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Active Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Ok, I feel shit and worthless tonight, after a difficult social event. But I'm not going to give in. I've felt shit and worthless my entire life, I'm used to it. I'm not going to give in and use porn as a fix.
     
  20. Amp111

    Amp111 New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I dont know if this will help but when I've felt shit and worthless try to ask yourself why do you feel like that....

    Usually my answers are because i said the wrong thing or just because I've wasted so much time doing nothing - not really someone whose shit and worthless - more somethings that I've blown out of proportion.

    Then try and make a list of things that you do that are not shit and worthless - It;s your list I got no idea

    When you start kicking yourself start running through the things you do that make you worthwhile.... If theres nothing on the list start doing things that make you feel good about yourself....

    For more information look up Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) it has really helped me so far....
     

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