Making the Journey

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by mindingmymind, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. mindingmymind

    mindingmymind New Member

    Okay, so now I have to test my commitment and come to a better definition of success.

    I did not post anything here over the past couple of days due to lots of family events and commitments (graduations, visiting family, etc.). However, I also did not PMO.

    According to what I said above, I should not consider these last two days successful. But, at the same time, I feel good that I was true to my goal of avoiding P, so I still really feel on track.

    So do I reset the counter to zero and commit to success having to include journaling? Or do I focus on recognizing the fact that I have not engaged in PMO?

    At this point, I think I'm going to focus on avoiding the addiction rather than the journaling as the success. While that may seem like backtracking and letting myself off the hook, I'm taking this position partially as a tactical maneuver. Setting the bar of success at the level of avoiding PMO AND ALSO journaling makes it somewhat harder to reach. I can avoid PMO, forget to journal, and then consider it a relapse. As we all know (I think), it's often those failures that make us resign ourselves and dive back into the addiction, saying "Well I can't avoid it so I might as well indulge." We all hate the voice. And I want to avoid that voice. I don't want the act of not journaling to take me to that place of failure where I allow myself to indulge.

    Am I kidding myself? It honestly feels right what I'm thinking but I could use another perspective. Am I just trying to go too easy on myself here?
     
    Squire likes this.
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Hey, bro. Welcome to the forum. 13 days clean is awesome!

    At the moment your brain is racing around, which what the addict part of you wants you to do. Two days off the journal ain't no thing to worry about. Be simple minded, don't think too much, and follow the process of no PMO/MO. Everything falls into place of its own accord.

    You're doing great!
     
    Squire likes this.
  3. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard.
     
  4. dig deep

    dig deep must stop wasting my life on porn

    Hi, you didn't relapse as you stated you stayed true to your goal of being PMO free:) which is the goal of all of us.Not being able to post in your journal every day is fine because that thing called life, real life not fantasy life but real life gets in the way and to me this is progress because every day you are porn free your getting your life back.
     
    Squire likes this.
  5. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Journaling here is ultimately a tool to overcome PMO. So I think you don't want to elevate the tool in such a way that it has the opposite effect, making it more likely to PMO because journaling adds to the difficulty of the task. So I agree with your current plan, of not counting this as a relapse.

    When making a new habit, one goal you can set for yourself is not to go two days in a row breaking the habit. And make the habit small enough that it's no big thing to do it. So journaling can just be a line to check in, doesn't have to be something profound. The main thing is to get the habit established, then you can grow it later.

    You're doing great. I hope you are as proud of your accomplishment as we are proud of you.
     
  6. mindingmymind

    mindingmymind New Member

    Well, I think you folks are thinking very much like I am. And I realize the whole question was a bit nit-picky in a way: "what counts...?" The focus should be on the ultimate goal and making progress towards it, which is what I'm doing. I want to prioritize journaling/posting, but it really is a means to an end and doesn't need to be the goal (or a major part of the goal) itself.

    The best part about the journaling for me, right now, is that having it my head definitely helps as far as keeping me clean. As I mentioned in a post above, I'm not just doing it for myself. It's something as part of a community and fellowship of fellow recoverers (I know that's not really a word, but I want to focus on the positive rather than calling us "addicts"...). To me, this makes it a higher calling. It is reminiscent of the principle in Buddhism of the Bohisatva vow. A Bodhisatva is somebody who vows to work not just for their own enlightenment, but for the enlightenment of "all beings". They aren't successful unless everybody is successful. It can be argued whether it's realistic to achieve this, but I do feel it is certainly a laudable goal.

    And so when I am abstaining, it is partly in support of you folks out here. Some folks might see that as a lot of pressure in some ways but I see it as a great motivator. So I'll do my best to free myself but also help free the rest of you.

    WE can do it!
     
  7. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Something I've been pondering recently is the fact that having a strong goal orientation can, paradoxically, contribute to relapse for me. So I'll think that 30 days is a significant milestone to reach for, for example, and then when I reach it I feel like relapsing because I reached my goal. A part of me starts to think it is inevitable to relapse at that goal. So @Bobo and others have encouraged me to think less about reaching a goal and more about the process itself, more about a daily lifestyle change. Does that make sense? So I don't need to set a goal to brush my teeth for 30 days. I have made brushing my teeth part of my daily norm and I don't need a reward for doing it. I need to make healthy eating, exercise, spiritual disciplines, abstinence from PMO all like that. It's just part of who I am, it's just what I do, not so much a goal I'm reaching for. I'm trying to reorient my thinking in that direction.
     
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  8. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    That makes perfect sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  9. mindingmymind

    mindingmymind New Member

    I think we may be saying more or less the same thing but meaning something different when we say "goal".

    The goal that I think I meant in that statement was the whole idea of being PMO free. It wasn't about a specific time period or number of days.

    But I'm glad you made the point about relapsing after making a goal. Glad to know I'm not the only one who's done that. "Oh, look! I made it to 60 days. I can do it. I have control. So let's PARTY!"
     
    Squire likes this.
  10. mindingmymind

    mindingmymind New Member

    I missed a few days of journaling. I've been sick for a few days (spent 16 hours in bed sleeping yesterday!). Summer colds suck!

    But the good news is no PMO. In fact I woke up one morning and realized I hadn't even thought about it for a few days. Which was kind of nice. I don't want to do that too much because it could be tempting fate. But it's nice to know that there can be days when it's not something you're thinking about one way or the other--doing it OR not doing it. When your life is simply your life and sex and desire don't even come to mind. Pretty nice.

    But I want to write here regularly because it's important not to lose focus. I've been dealing with this addiction for many years. A few weeks isn't going to erase the issues that lead me to indulge. So it's important to move forward, ask questions, be accountable. To myself and others.
     
    Squire likes this.
  11. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Hope you're feeling better now.

    I know just what you mean about it being nice to realize you haven't thought about PMO for a few days.

    You really do have a healthy perspective on things and a positive attitude. I think you are truly on the road to recovery.
     
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    We really only need to be accountable to ourselves, but knowing I had to be accountable to the group here saved me a few times. I just didn't want to be that guy admitting I had fallen down, which is not a criticism of the men who have. Whatever keeps us clean!

    Ultimately, though, it's our journey and ours alone.

    Yes, keep posting and being active on the forum. No man is an Island...unless he chooses to be, in which case his island gets swamped by high seas.
     
    Squire likes this.
  13. mindingmymind

    mindingmymind New Member

    That's exactly it. And if I did fall down, I'd admit it and move on. And I know I'd continue getting plenty of support from folks out here. That's not a worry. But there's just the extra motivation of a relapse being something public and so there's more desire to avoid that.
     
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  14. dig deep

    dig deep must stop wasting my life on porn

    So true ,another weapon in our fight.
     
  15. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    If you fall you start again. There is no judgement here just people in the same boat. Here public dosen really matter.:)
     
  16. mindingmymind

    mindingmymind New Member

    I'm in a really crappy mood at the moment. Found out one of my kids had been keeping bad grades from me.

    I'm feeling disappointed, angry, and confused (about what to do/how to fix things). If I was home by myself, I might be tempted to relapse (but my other kid is here).

    I don't know that I would. In fact, I think I'm in a good place and would be able to avoid it. But I feel I just want to acknowledge those feelings here, just to sort of get them out and deal with them straightforwardly. No amount of endorphins will make the situation better (and will, of course, only make another problem worse). And we all know that, but when something hits us hard we want to hide from it and find solace in that familiar rush. But, like all addicts who use something to mask their feelings, it never fixes anything and ends up making us feel worse.

    I'm honestly good, as far as PMO goes. I feel quite confident I won't relapse (and saying it here makes it a more public commitment). I just needed someplace to acknowledge where I am so I can move on.

    Thanks for 'listening'.

    P.S. I hope your day is going well and you've found some strength that maybe you didn't know you had.
     
  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I did this. I knew my mom would flip out and so it wasn't safe for me to fess up.

    Your kid probably doesn't even know why he/she lied to you or hid things. My view is there are worst things to find out about your kid. Smile and breathe in three times and then just ask your kid "what's up?" They may lie, or make promises they can't keep, but it's a start. Next you need to spend some time with them and quite possibly hire a tutor. They won't want a tutor, but this will force them to do more work, and in the end feel better about themselves. When we PMO, when there's strife in the home, a lot of small things are left unattended. Don't blame yourself, you didn't have the tools. However, now you know that PMO and MO is a BIG reason things go wrong. We take care of ourselves and the things around us get better, including our kids. :)

    I hope yours is too, bro.
     
    mindingmymind likes this.
  18. dig deep

    dig deep must stop wasting my life on porn

    I like this it shows you have more power over you than the addicit,if this was twitter I would write this #yourwinning
     
    mindingmymind likes this.
  19. mindingmymind

    mindingmymind New Member

    I've been away from here for almost two weeks, which is a bummer. But the good news is that I'm still porn-free (34 days at this writing).

    There were some minor moments of temptation in that time, but I very successfully navigated them. Did not progress far at all. I was very conscious in those moments and felt a very clear sense of not wanting to go further.

    I successfully navigated some difficult conflicts with the wife and one of my kids, coming to some mutual understandings and communicating openly and honestly. That's certainly a win.

    I have been having some issues with procrastinating on this major project I have to do. Procrastination has been an issue for as long as porn has, so it will be interesting to see how I handle it without porn. I am also being treated for adult ADD, including taking meds. Not sure if that is having any effect on my sobriety here. I should poke around and do some research on the meds and see.

    But all is good at this point and I need to check in her more often. I want to hear how other people are and see how their stories can give me insight into my own issues. And I want to support my fellow travelers on this path, giving encouragement and feedback.

    I promise that my next post will be something more expansive--going into some history with my addiction and reflecting on some of that.

    Thanks for being here. I'm really glad you are.
     
  20. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    After 34 days is 35 !:D Good job!
     

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