Journal to the Centre of the Self

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

  1. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day one.

    What did it for me this time? I watched a documentary about a guy who was suffering with porn addiction. You'd have thought that would be exactly what I needed to watch, but it actually just sent my cravings sky high because of the language and porn references. Big mistake, and I don't even notice it while I am doing it, but the interest in the subject was because of its relation to porn, so in a certain way it's really just more of the same.
     
  2. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Very strong depression and feeling hopeless.
     
  3. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Feeling strong headaches today, and feeling a bit 'meh'.

    Listened to the excellent radio show on YBOP with Mark Queppet: http://yourbrainonporn.com/mark-queppet-discusses-tips-eliminating-porn-use-show-28

    I started a new daily routine which helps with blood circulation that a friend learned from a massage therapist. So while it is primarily a techniqe to help people with bad circulation, there are definitely benefits for everyone, so I would recommend it to anyone who reads this. It involves the cold shower routine, already a well-known choice for killing those cravings, but with this technique it is important to go from hot to cold several times. I do it four - hot, cold, hot, cold, for about 2 minutes with each. It is important to finish with cold. It doesn't have to be freezing, but as cold as you can take is good. The cold water makes the blood move to protect the muscles, and I find it creates a warmth around the body for the rest of the day. The more hot/cold extremes you are able to take, the better.

    Woring on some music today. Lots of internet stresses with crap WiFi and driver problems. Though not necessarily a bad thing...
     
  4. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    It's my negative attitude. That's the problem!! I have to change this big time.

    I always disliked the saying: 'Your desire to change has to be greater than your desire to stay the same.' It is actually a brilliant and wise saying, but I naturally disliked it because I didn't believe in myself, and therefore needed to believe in miracles and the idea that things would somehow just get better for me, in order to comfort myself. It was painful to read this saying because it was true, and I couldn't face up to the fact I was hovering at a crossroads where the future was what I made of it, and it was entirely 50/50 whether it would turn out well or not.

    My belief in miracles is classic denial of the profoundly serious nature of my emotional problems. This is phase one, and a common defence against a painful reality. Phase two, while better, is more painful because it means acknowledging this denial and recognising that you really are the only one who can do anything about changing your life. While this is entirely possible, it is not guaranteed. During this phase we learn to say goodbye to wishful thinking, swallow a reality pill and put our faith in ourselves. Now we are in phase three and things can finally begin to move forward.

    The more shit you have, the more beautiful the flower will be!
     
  5. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    My counter was showing around 200 days but that wasn't an accurate reflection of my progress. I have only just changed it to the latest reality!

    At least knowledge gets better with each set back, with increased awareness of the danger zones, increased resistance to the many ways the brain tries to keep me addicted. I used to pick and choose the information I thought I needed from YBOP and the advice on this sight, but as time goes on it seems that there are never too many weapons you can have in your arsenal. Virtually everything others have reported is happening to me.

    1. Youtube can be dangerous because of videos shown in the sidebar that show scantily clad women, also Facebook for the same reason.
    2. Reading about quitting porn can also, occasionally be dangerous, because it can indirectly lead to p fantasy and cravings.
    3. All internet use is essentially passive, kills boredom and feeds dopamine. More proactive things such as exercise, meditation, socialising are essential and must be incorporated into an effective reboot lifestyle. This requires perseverance and even more self-motivation than not clicking on websites. But it pays off.
    4. As soon as you feel those nervous/anxiety/exciting/heart beating/anticipatory butterflies in your stomach, wherever they have come from, do something to get rid of them. This is the cocktail of emotions that is responsible for cravings and can lead very quickly to using if they are not stopped in their tracks.
    5. Documentaries, seemingly educational on the surface, can be a form of porn. Essentially the same dopamine fix, the same passivity and inactivity involved in viewing, the same attempt to stimulate those lifeless, attention-starved, depressed little brain circuits! Viewing endless images of negative world events, wars, serial killers can be stimulating and addictive, horribly fascinating, but ultimately unrewarding and mood-lowering.

    One thing I feel quite proud of is I am not using porn blockers and simply using will power to avoid clicking. I cannot avoid the computer because of work, and I always find I end up cancelling all the blocks anyway and relapsing.

    Onward!
     
  6. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    I'm feeling very depressed and even frightened. My problems have severely worsened since I tried to quit pornography. Why, whenever I seek to make determined efforts to change something in my life for the better, do I succeed at nothing other than magnifying the problem? It seems to lead to nothing but obsession, which merely fuels the problem. I am trying to throw everything I can at this, but for ever step forward I take, I take two back. My problems have worsened in the 2 years since I decided I had a problem and resolved to change.
     
  7. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    I have a job which tends to isolate me. I work a lot on my computer so temptation is always there, even though I have installed various blockers. I do not have many friends so increased socialising is always difficult for me. This last year, in fact, I have been more social than I have in years, with weddings, holidays, parties and bbqs, and I struggled with every minute of it and do not feel better for having come through this. With every day, every encounter, every new experience, I am more convinced that I am stupid, ignorant, selfish, immature, a weirdo, a loser etc. 36 years old is not the same as 26. The topic of conversation my contemporaries have has generally shifted from youthful hope and hunger for experiences to day-to-day survival mode. Marriage, babies and mortgages, stronger political opinions, further entrenched judgements of the world and other people. I feel thoroughly bored, fed-up and sick of adulthood already, because I feel like a child trapped in the body of an adult. In my school of 3000 pupils, I am most likely the one who has failed most in life. I cannot imagine a person to have a lower annual intake than me.

    I have been involved with a rather intense therapy group in Italy on and off over the last year. It took a tremendous amount of courage to do this, not speaking the language for one thing, and facing fears on an unprecedented scale for me, especially with social anxiety. Talking about feelings to a large room full of strangers, emotional dynamics such as fighting, crying, dancing, hugging, screaming. I really felt I was finally taking a big step into a brave new world. It has revealed a lot about my family, I must say, because they are afraid of it and do not ask me too much about it. It has revealed a lot of my own fears and how I have learned my family's fearful ways so well. My ego can gloat that I had the courage to go, but that is not enough - it is never enough - and I still feel I am in a very adolescent stage of wanting to prove things to others, because I am so desperate to be noticed by very self-absorbed parents who do not understand me or have the time, insight or courage to really listen to me. They are not to be blamed, which could be so easy to indulge in, but it is down to me, and the more I know what I need to do but cannot find the courage to do, the more disappointed and angry I am with myself. My general feeling is this: that was the last ditch attempt to help me and it is not working, even though I see other people improve, slowly but surely, and change their life - so I must be the biggest, cowardly loser on the planet. The real fears involved in moving my own life forward in a positive way feel still totally beyond me. If what I managed to put myself through over the last year has not helped, what fucking hope is there for me?

    My inability to quit porn, despite repeated efforts, is reflected elsewhere with my inability to sort out any other area of my life: work, social anxiety etc. As of this writing I can safely say I am at my lowest ebb, and suicidal thoughts are a regular, even daily occurrence. The situation of my life isn't radically different to how it has always been, but the major difference is hope is almost non-existent now.

    My father confessed to me the other day - only because I pushed him to tell me the truth - that he had always been attracted to young boys. I always felt awkward as a young adolescent because his affection for me always made me feel awkward. He used to stare at me with these annoying eyes. This is why child abuse is so damaging. Even at 12 my deeper emotions understood that it was not right, because it didn't feel good, but I was too young to understand what was really going on and too afraid to react angrily. Embarrassing as hell. I was never made to feel, by either my parents, like they were proud of me. I was never made to feel intelligent, handsome, positive or loved, but simply a reflection of my pathetic father, who virtually all my family bad-mouthed anyway. He teased with me, joked with me, but it was all so childish. He was only interested in me at times when it suited him. After I grew up, he was not so interested in me and moved his attention onto my half brother who was now at the age of interest to me dad.

    I FUCKING HATE HIM SOMETIMES. I DO NOT WANT TO TURN INTO HIM.

    I feel I am living in a private hell. Therapy costs money I do not have, my girlfriend cannot always be a therapist to me because it is not fair on her and puts a strain on the relationship.

    I don't believe in God but my desperation has lead me to consider looking into Christianity. Desperation makes you question everything. I do not care about the afterlife, I care about this life, and if putting my faith in a higher power, superstition or not, will help me then I am all for it. But dear God please show me something. I am TERRIFIED FOR MY FUTURE.
     
  8. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    So, today was a better day. I wrote 2 handwritten letters, did 1 hour of pilates in the garden and went for a jog. I wasted a little bit of time watching stuff on youtube, but I'm glad I made time for some positives too. I felt better after expressing many difficult feelings in my post yesterday, and also in the letters I wrote today. I am now cooking for my elder brother and we are going to sit down to enjoy a movie together.
     
  9. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    I am suffering a lot - but it is an important learning process. Most significantly, I realise this quitting pmo thing is about a whole lot more than quitting an addiction, as it is about very significant, total life changes. This is both very scary but also a big opportunity. I can quit p any old day, but changing a life is something else altogether. Everything is connected. P is part of the old self.

    Porn is about fear: Fear of women, fear of men, fear of one's parents, fear of intimacy, fear of the getting older, anger and regret for the past, fear of the future, fear of sexuality, fear of living.

    When Yoda says his famous line, 'Do or do not, there is no try', it sounds great, but how should we interpret such Zen-like wisdom?

    It is in fact always determination, trying, and repeated effort that eventually leads to success. Failure, particularly with addiction, tends to come from setting unrealistic goals and hoping that will-power is enough. Worthwhile life changes are not like a movie montage. They are slow, like a snail.

    However, I believe Yoda is right if he is talking about resolve and decision making. We have to make a decision. We must never stop making decisions, even if we make mistakes. Staying in limbo, fear to move in any direction, that is no life. Yoda wants Luke to make a choice.

    Everybody has a mountain to climb and some people are inspiring in overcoming insurmountable odds: gay rights, women's rights, black rights for example. Sometimes, being a middle class white male, I feel like I don't have a right to have any problems. But everybody is fighting their own battle, and social phobia is fairly debilitating, and an addiction of any kind is not pleasant.
     
  10. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    2016!

    I don't know if anyone ever sees my blog, but if they do, I wish you:

    A HAPPY NEW YEAR :) and I send you MUCH ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOUR ADVENTURE INTO NEW TERRITORIES OVER THE COMING YEAR.

    TO AN ONLOOKER, A SNAIL TRAVELLING A COUPLE OF FEET DOESN'T APPEAR TO MOVE VERY FAR, BUT TO THE SNAIL IT IS QUITE A JOURNEY

    "There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time." - Malcolm X
     
  11. Thanks. Ive just read your posts and it really inspires me that youve managed to make it to a 109 days. Well done; youre a smart guy to overcome all that you have! Obviously im sure its still a struggle but you should be proud.
     
  12. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Thanks thedrownedworld,

    My counter doesn't reflect the honest picture as I got out of the habit of repeatedly updating it (too many counter resets!!!), and I prefer to keep physical diaries these days which I find more helpful.

    As others before me have pointed out, it isn't so much the number of days in a row that are important, but the accumulative days of progress, which should never be disregarded because of setbacks. We can really only fail if we totally give up, which I have felt like so many times. Each day I have to get back on the horse, each day I try to choose life, even though every cell in my body feels like choosing death, prefering to lie down or elope with the tempting 'sirens' of the online virtual world!

    All the very best to you, be open and honest, and don't devalue any failed efforts or suffering, as nobody is unique in this.
     
  13. I completely agree!
     
  14. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    I read an article about day planning in which the writer showed how they schedule their daily events. It demonstrates clearly that having a definite structure to the day can be significantly more productive than randomly seeing what arises. I'm sure addictions love people with a lack of structure and focus, because the more easily they can creep up unexpectedly and trap you again.

    This day planning is difficult without the regular structure naturally imposed either by school, uni or a job, and my being freelance means my days can be pretty erratic, and I sleep late far too many mornings when I don't have to get up.

    Anyway, this morning I set the alarm for 7am, had a nice breakfast and got on with some music work. This gave me 6 decent working hours to myself, and my own projects, before I had to catch the train to my evening job. Usually I would hang around waiting to leave and not achieve very much at all, because the thought of the journey to and the job itself, which I don't enjoy, always nag at me. Rather than distract myself, I usually fixate on what upsets me, which of course only makes it worse.

    So, a good day, and p cravings are not bothering me too much at the moment.
     
  15. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Yesterday I learned a valuable lesson: Anxiety can be as much a trigger for me to use, as feeling good about myself can!

    Trap 1:
    I naturally desire to feel better, but when I feel better, I can also feel more horny, so I have to be careful with this. It is well documented that within days of quitting our brains start to sprout more receptors (sorry brain scientists if I'm not 100% accurate with this!), it makes us feel better, so the cravings can come on stronger. So those good feelings have to be channelled into something else.

    Trap 2:
    Anxiety, however, is ever more of a trigger, because I feel it is this one that opens up my wounds, the unpleasant emotions associated with my past that are painful, and that hence I feel very tempted to medicate away with pmo, and which has been my way for 23 years.

    Trap 3:
    I am more vulnerable and susceptible to experiencing this anxiety, precisely when I am trying to socialise more, in order to help myself. I didn't become socially reclusive for no reason at all, I did it because I often felt threatened, foolish, stupid, childish, inexperienced, uninteresting etc, when socialising. As in many jobs, after hours social chatter over drinks often turns to gossip, and people talk about 'who's sleeping with who?', and this links directly to my feelings of inadequacy. A picture is painted of everybody jumping into bed with everybody else, and I feel sick to my stomach, and for some reason this is the sort of negative experience that can escalate my pmo use. I am not a prude, judging people's behaviours or lifestyles, but I do feel inadequate. It is a feeling of being left out, not being involved, and I know this feeling well. The claims, however, that 'everybody is sleeping with everybody', are obviously exaggerated, but I feel it was a success to identify this as a key trigger for me. I want to feel that I also have a life, that I also belong, but due to my lack of confidence I go and retreat into my fantasy world to create it.

    Trap 4:
    This leads to more depression and my Charlie Brown victim thinking: 'See? Even when I try to help myself nothing works out for me.'

    Solution?
    Perhaps find different friends, or spend time with those not connected to work. Do not gossip so much, but chat about other aspects of life, passions, hobbies, anything else. Keep away from the downward spiral and keep moving up!!!
     
  16. I understand 100% of what you're saying.

    I've also had this feeling of inadequacy (like not belonging) many times in my life. For example, I like to have deep conversations about ... well, what I call meta-conversations ... why people think or act in some ways, how ads are trying to manipulate us and how many people are influence by them or by others, things like that ... but when some colleagues at work only want to talk about trivial meaningless things like who won the last Master Chef ... well ... I easily disconnect and get bored.
     
  17. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Thanks inprogress2015 :)

    It's always really good to know one isn't alone in these observations. I find life to be a great puzzle, the need to 'be oneself' vs the need to fit in.

    I think I've often made the mistake of expecting too much from the workplace in terms of emotional needs. Not having too big a social life, I am probably a bit needy, hoping I'll find love, life and friendship at work... but that isn't always the case! People are often on show, under a lot of pressure, playing a part, so its difficult getting behind these masks, and I now think work isn't the best environment for having heart to hearts with soul mates. The fact we are all connected by the job doesn't mean anything in terms of personality compatibility.

    I think I need to join more groups, find people with mutual interests, and those more meaningful relationships will happen as a result.
     
  18. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    There is a lot of nofap talk about the real escalation of the problem coinciding with the introduction of highspeed internet porn, and in particular the free tube sites. Gary Wilson also talks about the addiction to pixels and clicking, in order to distinguish this from 'sex addiction'. Yet, for 30+ somethings like me, the problem started way back in the days of magazines and DVDs. I am not addicted to clicking on amazon or wikipedia just for the sake of clicking and staring at the screen, so it is definitely the porn and sexual content that is arousing and addictive, not the constant clicking and pixels. Before the internet revolution, I still found myself going to adult video stores in order to buy DVDs, and I always felt fairly miserable doing so, despite finding it exciting and difficult to resist.

    It was also more secretive of course, and the tube sites have introduced a whole new world of millions of people doing exactly the same thing as me, even talking openly and proudly about it. My worry is that the 'it's all good' culture that the internet encapsulates, and exploits, is dangerous.

    Finally breaking free from the shackles of years of oppressive, conservative religious teaching has resulted in what...? Masturbating to as much disgusting porn as we can?! Progressive? I think not. Going mainstream may have removed a lot of the shame and guilt, but those are also our natural behaviour modifying emotions, the ones that makes you think, at some point, 'perhaps I shouldn't be doing this.'

    So it seems the impossible to ignore physiological and pyschological side effects, ED, depression and anxiety, for example, have come to save the day!! The body in all its infinite wisdom is telling us something is wrong!

    I don't exactly know what the point of this post is... just some daily musings.

    Mood is quite low today, but am currently controlling the urges well. Accepting the blues graciously.
     
  19. m4ngl3r

    m4ngl3r New Member

    what is the longest period of your no Fap
     
  20. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

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