Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by mindingmymind, Jun 6, 2018.
Taking the first step (of many)
Welcome and all the best for your journey. The decision is made.
I will discuss more of my journey at length as time goes on. I'm just getting started with the accountability that a journal here entails.
In line with that, I have redefined my measure of success. For me, at this point, avoiding the big P for a day will not be enough for me to be successful. It is what philosophers call "necessary but not sufficient". At this point I will only consider a day successful if I avoid P AND post something on this journal.
That way it isn't just a negative action--NOT doing something. There is a positive action I need to take as well. And it's something specific and measurable.
Some posts may be quick check-ins. Some may be long stories or reflections. But my intention for recovery is for posting here to be a necessary condition of my success.
I believe that this will aid in my motivation and focus.
Stay tuned to see what happens...
Another day on the plus side, in my book. I did MO, but that's in line with my goal at this point. That certainly may see revision as the process progresses but for now it's where I'm at. And I honestly feel good about the decision. The point for me right now is to be intentional rather than impulsive and reactionary (like, I don't know, an addict...).
And, again, one important way I'm being intentional is writing some of my thoughts down here. Before, my plans and intentions would remain in my head where they could easily be forgotten or ignored. Taking the step to communicate honestly and openly here, with myself AND others, takes it to a different level of recovery.
So here I am and I'm going to keep going.
I hope you are too.
A couple of minutes before midnight. Almost missed a day.
My wife and I went and spent an evening with friends, playing board games. Man, that was fun! Play a really long game of Cards Against Humanity and just laughed and laughed.
We don't do that much social stuff, but I really enjoy it and want to do it more. I think it's a great antidote to PMO. It fills lots of needs and laughing so much almost feels like the big O.
Congratulations on starting this journey! We're so glad you're here. Interested to hear more of your story whenever you feel like sharing it. This is a very supportive and encouraging community.
Thanks so much. I'm working one day at a time, as they say. I'm looking forward to getting to know some of my fellow travelers. Thanks for reaching out.
I'm trying to create good habits to replace bad ones. It's something one has to be mindful of every day. I'm not always good with things like that. But I'm building practices that will make me better at that.
I'm using a habit tracking app to help me record my progress. I think having progress in mind consistently is a good practice. That's why I'm writing here every day. I want to make THIS my habit.
You might want to visit jamesclear.com - he writes a lot of useful stuff on building habits. A few pointers I have picked up from him:
Start the habit so small you really can't not do it. So the initial habit is to open YBR and write one sentence in your journal.
Connect the habit with something already do automatically. So do it while drinking your morning coffee.
Do the habit in the same place and at the same time every day. In the morning, at the breakfast table, for example.
If you miss it one day, just make sure not to miss it two days in a row. Never miss your habit twice.
You can gradually increase your habit -- two sentences, a paragraph, etc. As much as you want.
There are keystone habits that have a ripple effect into other areas of your life. So journaling every day might be one of those. It helps you think through issues and make changes in other areas.
It's pretty effective. I think you are right to focus on putting good habits into your life rather than only focusing on removing bad ones. And I think starting with journalling has the potential to transform your life utterly. You're not going to recognize yourself in 6 months. I can't wait to see your progress!
Thanks, my friend.
I, too, am of the mind that skipping two days is not a good thing. I'm very much a creature of inertia. Once I start or stop something it can be hard for me to change directions. It's why whenever I would have a relapse on a given day, I would work extra hard to be clean the next day. It's two easy to let one day become two days become three days....
I think writing here is going to make a big difference this time. It's a really busy couple of weeks, so I haven't had lots of time or space to write in depth. But I'm looking forward to doing so.
All the best to you on your journey as well. If there's ever anything I can do for you, let me know.
There's a small feeling of success after 6 days. Not huge, but a general feeling of "Hey, not bad." I think the most that I've gone over the years was something over 100 days. Which, of course, means that there's a long way to go. Not for a specific number of days, but to make it a permanent thing. It's a mixed bag knowing you can go 100 days without. There's the sense of confirmation it gives you--you CAN do without it. But then knowing that you went back to it after 100 days tells you that you still have more work to do.
And it's really not about days but about the intention and what you do instead. What do you do with your time and your feelings and your desires? That's really more important that what you avoid doing. But small successes put you in the right direction and give you the confidence to make THIS day work.
I was getting ready to head to bed and realized I didn't journal yet today. I guess it's not quite enough of a habit yet. But it's only been about a week, so it's not surprising.
Today was a good day. Kept away from the big P. And I spent the day at home by myself, which is usually prime time for PMO. So, it feels like even more of a victory. It's much easier to avoid it when the opportunities are few. So, to me, it feels more successful avoiding it when it would be so easy to just give in.
So, yay for me today!
Hey MMM that's great!! It's really hard to resist when the opportunity is there like that. Do you find porn filters to be helpful? They've saved me from relapse numerous times.
I do. I have OpenDNS set up. It's not hard to get around, but it takes some time. And usually that pause can be enough to make me stop. But sometimes not. I also don't keep any electronics near my bed (or in the bedroom at all). That helps. Basically anything that puts a hurdle in the way is good.
Honestly, I'll say that posting here has become a great new motivator for me. Seeing that counter on my posts feels good. And then there's the accountability. I don't want to have to explain a relapse to folks here. I'm sure everybody would be understanding and supportive. But there's an extra level of motivation for me. I don't want to let anybody else down. And I want to be a success story that can give others hope. I'd love to have my counter say 500 days and for somebody new to come on and think, "Wow, it can be done. I want to do that." So there's the additional motivation of doing it for others as well as for myself. And I like that.
I keep my passwords for filters on a piece of paper at work. My danger times are in the evenings or on weekends so this helps me a lot.
So one of my inspirations is this friend of the family who has been sober for 44 years. He was an active and drinking alcoholic from 18 until 34. He's now in his seventies and hasn't had a drink in 44 years. That, to me, is just amazing and inspiring. Success stories like that show me that it can be done. And of course not every success has to be like that, but it's just good to know that somebody has done that. Or, I should say, somebody is DOING that. The work's not really over is it. There are plenty of people who relapse after long sobriety. The temptations are always around. But I imagine it's much easier to deal with after you've gone without it for so long.
Imagine, there was a time when that guy had gone just 9 days sober . . .
The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. The sobriety of 44 years begins with 9 days.
Of course the dangerous part for me is that I'm not one to stick with things. I try new things and move on. I don't have lots of routines that I do every day without fail. Discipline is not really a strength of mine. And, actually, something I'm pursuing is possible treatment for ADD. This might seem weird for somebody in their 50s, but it's probably something I've had for years but it wasn't really a thing when I was a kid. I have lots of trouble staying focused on work tasks. So I'm looking to see what I can do to be more focused. And I have to think that this will also help with my recovery. Temptation comes in moments of distraction, or at times when I'm LOOKING for distraction. So being able to focus better should help, I think.
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