Merton's reboot log

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Merton, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Though it is still day 0, I am feeling somewhat better. I had this strong realization tonight as I thought back over the last week or so, during which I’ve been trying to climb out of the pit. I realize that I have been obsessed with porn or with avoiding porn. Why do I behave in these ways? If I were to compare my behavior to that of most other people I would see that it is very different. For example, I walk around trying not to look at people, I get no sleep, I hide for hours and look at the dark corners of the internet.

    It is funny that as things slide downhill, it is easy not to see that the slide is happening. (I guess it is the boiling frog problem.) probably not funny, strictly speaking, but it is certainly weird that we can be so unaware of it. I have experienced this unaware slide in other aspects of my life as well. Anyway I think tonight my head came up above water for a moment to see what my life has been like over the past week. It is pretty clear that I behave this way because I have an addiction.
  2. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you're done with the pit!

    But always be careful..

    Merton likes this.
  3. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 2: another day 2! Yesterday was quite good and I feel I will finally get over this day 2 hump and return to post-pit life. More later today.

    @occams_razor thanks for the support! Do you think that NBA still plays a major role in your ability to avoid the chaser effect?
  4. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    I think NBA plays a role, even though I haven't read any of it for a while. I just had a quick look at an old journal and found some quotes of mine which might be relevant:

    "You're obviously a "critical thinker". What if you apply that to other, non-triggering areas of life, not just PMO? Kind of as a hobby even. Might be a good distraction. I've been doing this recently, and finding out different ways of looking at things, and taking inspiration from people who call bullshit on stuff. Hope that makes sense."

    "Watch your thoughts. Recognise urges, rationalisations, "dangerous" thoughts (because they could lead to PMO, even if they seem fairly innocent at first) and so on, and do something about them. Question them, think critically about them, or just say to yourself, "This is a dangerous thought so I'm going to stop thinking about it". Maybe start doing something else instead."

    "Again we could make a comparison to mindfulness. You happen to notice an attractive woman => Some lustful thoughts might arise => See the thoughts for what they are, being aware that if you keep deliberately thinking lustful thoughts it could lead somewhere bad, such as PMO."

    Merton likes this.
  5. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    Another reason I've got better at avoiding the chaser effect is probably because I've avoided P sites for a long time.

    I've still got work to do though. I looked at some P-subs today.
    Merton likes this.
  6. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 4: things seem to be going well, but I think I might just be in some kind of flatline. I have little to no desire for sexy stuff. I have also been watching Noah Church videos and reading your brain on porn.

    I have been on this annoying medicine for several days since I have injured my back. It makes me not think very clearly. I am frustrated by it. I cannot wait until next Thursday when I can get off of it.

    I am continuing to check in on the app “fortify.” It keeps a log of successes and failures.

    @occams_razor thanks very much for the help! I definitely think a main reason you are doing so well is that you have not visited a porn site in so long. It is easy for me to rationalize when I look at something psubish that I might as well go all the way, but as you have shown, it really pays not to.
    occams_razor likes this.
  7. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 7: although I wrote that I would update every day, it seems that I have not done that. I mentioned before that I am on some strange medication for a back injury. One of its side effects appears to be loss of libido, so I have had some quite calm times. It has been good! I am getting a taste of what non addicts probably feel like.

    I have watched some great videos on Noah Church’s channel. There is a good interview with Gary wilson (YBOP) in which he is asked how his streak is going. He said he has not watched porn since 1984. He said he found it boring. It is amazing how little some people feel for it, while some others get so wrapped up.

    Anyway things are good and I’m staying on the recovery train.
  8. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    I have noticed that a lot of people tend to get worried when they enter a flat-line (granted yours in caused by another medication). But I've always kind of enjoyed the flat-line. It was always very kind of freeing and relaxing. Like my brain was getting a break. I knew it wouldn't stay that way but it always kind of got me hopeful for the future. The hope that my brain could be that relaxed normally and still have still have a 'healthy' sex drive at the same time.

    Keep up the good work sir!
    Merton likes this.
  9. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    Looks like you're one day ahead of me. Congrats on a week clean! Let's get through week 2 without incident and really start building those receptors back up, heal our prefrontal cortex and start whittling away at that delta fos b. We were meant for so much more than porn. Let's get it bro! I'd like to see that Gary Wilson interview, btw.
    Merton likes this.
  10. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 11: Things continue to go well. I always forget how much better I feel if I stay away from porn. I have continued to watch Noah Church videos and they are very inspirational. I have also been reading the YBOP FAQs. I did not realize how much information is there. There are also tons of great links.

    I still believe that in order to progress I need to improve myself. I guess more specifically I have come to believe that the main problem with my recovery efforts in the last couple of years is that I have just tried to remove porn without adding anything back in. As Noah Church and many others stress over and over, if you remove porn but don't modify your life at all, you will be left with a hole. This seems to make a lot of sense to me. I have been doing very regular exercise and have started watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9. (Not exactly the most noble of activities, but I think it is important for me to get very interested in something.) Also I've been practicing Beethoven's 6th sonata (F major) on the piano. It's pretty good.

    @SeekingWisdom thanks for the comments and support! I have also loved the flatline. I was never too worried about it. The first time I tried to reboot, I made it to 103 days and sex was basically impossible until around day 75. I guess I was not so worried because sex had been impossible for years and I had resigned myself to it. I did not expect abstaining to really fix the problem (although it did).

    @Intothewild89 thanks for coming by man! Let's keep increasing those numbers! Here is the Gary Wilson video I mentioned (at least I think this is it --- I'll have to check later):

    What's porn doing to us?--With Gary Wilson, founder ... - YouTube
  11. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 13: onward. Last night I had some temptations. I was in bed watching a movie with my wife and all of a sudden a scene from a porn movie came into my head. I did not linger on it too much. I eventually reminded myself that I would feel best if I remain as calm as possible. So I did a little bit of breathing and seemed to come back to normal.

    Today whatever girl is sunbathing by the pool again. It is really quite annoying. Anyway I have not been trying to sneak peeks.

    All goes pretty well.
  12. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Agreed 100%. You have to be looking will the void or otherwise we default to what we know. Plus it keeps your brain focused on the future and not dwelling on the past and trying not to look at P. It turns a "negative" statement and turns it into a "positive" one. Instead of "don't look at P", it becomes "do this other positive thing". If someone tells you "no matter what you do don't thing about a pink elephant" whats the first thing you thing of? A freaking pink elephant.

    I've read this in multiple places and by multiple people. But the thing that never seems to be brought up is how difficult that is. Because the addiction we are fighting makes us lack drive to begin with. Tack on all the withdraws and most of the time I felt too tired/lazy to do anything positive. The things I leaned on the most was exploring my faith (what I believe and why I believe it) and reading. I realized I really enjoy reading. It takes little physical effort and it keeps my mind working. Some things I read where in depth like my favorite Mere Christianity and some were children's books like Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia(both also great).

    Anyway, that was a lot longer than I was expecting. But I hope some of it helps. I just think this is a major difficulty to the recovery. The very addiction we are trying to free ourselves from, by it's very nature makes us lack the motivation that we need to fill our lives with something positive. Whenever I tried to quit, I suddenly found myself with loads of free time and no energy or desire to do anything but lay around and try not the look at P.
    Merton likes this.
  13. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 16: there have been some urges at night time but I have managed pretty well. I am also quite tired all the time. I am wondering whether it is withdrawals. I am really shooting for a long time without porn, and am trying to keep up recovery activities every day to make it happen.

    I am still watching Star Trek deep space 9 and enjoying it.

    One resource that has been helping us the faq section of your brain on porn. They have a section on the chaser effect that I read today.

    Not so much to report but I am still in the game.

    @SeekingWisdom thanks for all the support and comments! I totally agree with what you said about the pink elephant and filling your life with good stuff. I actually started reading the Harry Potter books recently and really like them. I have been alternating them with more substantial books. Now I am on infinite jest, which will probably take quite a bit of time. After that I’ll go to the 4th Harry Potter book. I should also try the other books you mentioned. These are also great points about motivation. It seems to be a central problem. As time goes on my motivation goes down. But not this time!
  14. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Nice Merton, you're doing good keep at it ! Trust me I have the ''pit's perspective'' lol ... Thanks for the post on my journal yesterday by the way. I did not reply on there but it made me think. Indeed ... when we fall off the wagon, gradually we do more and more addictive stuff and we get to that ''fuck I'm such an addict I have such a big problem'' realization again ... Kinda had that today on my part. When I get there I sometimes tell myself I need to go to a SAA meeting. Other times, after I stay away from the P for a while I start minimizing everything telling me SAA is BS. It's so confusing lol.
    Merton likes this.
  15. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 20: I’m coming up on three weeks again. Things seem to be going well. When I was working out yesterday, I rediscovered the fact that if I do cardio with very high intensity, then I feel even better when I’m done. This makes me excited about the possibility of challenging myself and improving my endurance. I have not been able to lift because of a back injury, so I have been doing core exercises and watching Noah Church.

    No serious temptations lately. Around a week ago I had urges to fantasize. However I kept myself from it (mostly) and I found I have pretty much returned to normal. It is funny that when urges come by, if I indulge in them, they get so much worse, but if I stay away they eventually go away. It is hard to believe because they seem so urgent in the moment (and my brain wants me to think that if I don’t address them with porn they will get worse and worse), but it seems to be true!

    @Thelongwayhome27 i know what you mean here. My therapist tells me that confusion is a big sign for me. For long stretches of time, I think porn is bad for me, but after I use it I think I can partake in “controlled use.” Then I get confused until, like you said, I hit some sort of bottom and realize I’m a destroyed addict. I guess it is not so surprising that after we use once it is so hard not to use again. The surprising thing to me is that it tends to operate on such a sneaky mental level.
  16. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    I haven't gotten the chance to read a lot of this thread, but I thought I'd read the first few posts to see where you are coming from. This scenario-leaving PMO behind for a long time (a year!) and nevertheless relapsing-scares me to death. I can't think of a more demoralizing thing to happen.

    This really brings back memories. This is something I've definitely done before, but I don't think I've done this a single time since I got a smartphone.
    Merton likes this.
  17. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 24/0: I have not checked in in a few days and unfortunately I reset today. I made a note of it in the fortify app. My main goal is to reduce the amount of PMO and be porn free now and tomorrow. The same old crap happened to me. I woke up at 4:30 in bed and decided I could have a little touch. This quickly led to pmo and ruined my day. This sequence of events is really what seems to get me each time. It is very hard to convince myself that I cannot just touch when I am turned on and tired in the middle of the night.

    To try to combat this, I reinstated screen time on my iphone, but differently than before. I set it up so that during the day there is only general "limit adult websites" blocking plus a few others that I found porn through. From 9pm to 7am, my phone only allows a couple of apps: music, the phone, waze, etc. I will again need to have my wife put in a password, but since I will have pretty free control of my phone during the day, I hope not to need to bug her too much.

    I am also continuing with the self-improvement direction. I think that if I do not fix the underlying problems, I will never get free. One of my main problems is that I am lonely, so I will keep trying to talk to people more. I think I need to make a good friend like friends I had in college and high school. It is tough since I am older and have a family. I probably need to join a group that lines up with my interests.

    I have also switched to listening to this podcast called "pornfree radio." It is extremely good. The guy Matt D. has around 200 podcasts and I have listened to about 10. So far they were all very informative and helpful. One things that Matt discusses is making a consequence for PMO. For example, if I PMO, then I need to do X for 30 days. Has anyone on here tried that? I am toying with the idea.

    I think I was doing quite well in the past week. I started to get some ideas to fantasize around Monday. I managed not to pay attention to them until sometime on Wednesday night (last night). I mostly batted them away, but it seems they affected me since I woke up at 4:30. I am wondering why the fantasies came. Of course it could be something like withdrawals, but I am guessing it is a reaction to having fought with my wife in the past few days. Whenever we fight, I feel even more lonely because I feel we do not understand each other. I really need to do something about this loneliness.

    @Ereignis thanks for the support man! Yes it is pretty terrifying that you can go over 1 year and then relapse and be back in the pit. It is not all bad news. When I was around day 100 or so, the battle got WAY easier, and I barely had to deal with triggers. Over time, I started to develop a fantasy of intercepting a victoria's secret catalogue in the mail and I think I never let this go. Eventually when I was over a year, I decided to use porn because I thought it would be no big deal and I wanted to. I would say beteween days 100-300 were pretty much smooth sailing, although I had ogling problems. After the year run, I did one of size ~250 and relapsed. That run had occasional slips (looking at bikinis, etc.), unlike the year. After that run, the furthest I have gotten is around 60 days. In some ways I feel more addicted than before, and this might be normal. Since I have been effectively using porn intermittently (every 3-6 weeks on average I relapse in the last year or so), I think it trains my brain to think of it as being even more precious, and makes it harder to get out. I am continually working, though, and my numbers have been getting better since I started using this site. Before coming on here (around the summer and fall), I usually only went around 2 weeks. So I am hoping that continuing to work (and trying to check in more often) will pay off.
  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hey man sorry to hear about the slip up. Don't get too discouraged about this. It may sting a bit but it will pass (I had a pretty nasty relapse 2 weeks ago and now I'm feeling better). I think when we keep slipping it's a sign there are other things to address, other pieces of the puzzle to work on. I guess you know the story too. So I like what you write about looking for what other underlying stuff there is to work on out there. I totally relate to that as well.

    IMO, trying to stop PMO can be a double edge sword. On one hand the conviction we get that we would be better off without it, that it's not a good thing to do fires the motivation to abstain from it but it also comes hitting us right back when we slip. We "hate" P so this helps in not doing it, but then if we end up doing it again we feel like crap for doing something we "hate". I think this can explain why sometimes when we try to stop P it actually seems to make the addiction stronger. It makes us feel like crap when we slip and such negative feelings make us wanna PMO even more. Kind of like a smoker that tried to quit will be more disappointed if he smokes again then the happy go lucky smoker who doesn't wanna stop. Also, we become conscious of the shackles only when we try to take them off. We realize it may be harder to remove them then we initially thought. But this doesn't mean we can't get to it if we keep trying and keep improving our technique to take'em off.

    I've read once on a journal that the person was saying ironically that when he started not being so hard on himself when he lapsed that's when he got back on the wagon sooner. Personally I prefer this mentality then that of the self bashing when I fall.

    I think even the underdog in that great long post of his was saying being hard on oneself when we have a slip is one of the mistakes rebooters make, a mistake which often makes us binge a lot more then necessary.

    That's why personally I wouldn't go for the idea you mention of telling myself if I PMO I will do X thing for X days. I'm afraid such a strategy might make me an adversary rather then an ally. My old journal used to be called Me vs Me but now I don't try to see it this way. I see it more as me helping myself. As helping the "me" that keeps relapsing. I don't wanna punish him I wanna help him out, understand him. But I understand to each his own of course and one must adopt the route that works for him. This is my take only. On the other hand I also understand and have experienced that when I am too lenient this can also make me indulge more. It's a tricky puzzle :confused:
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    occams_razor and Merton like this.
  19. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear of the reset. I wonder if you were having one of "those" dreams, and then you woke up in autopilot.

    That pretty much happened to me this morning. I had a dream about a girl, then woke up and I was automatically fantasising. I snapped out of it fairly quickly though and got out of bed. It helped that it was time to get up anyway. The middle of the night is a bit trickier.

    Are you still watching Star Trek and playing the piano? Those seem like good ways to spend time!
    Ereignis likes this.
  20. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 1: I seem to have been able to go a full day. There was a mild problem last night where I looked at bad youtube videos and touched. But there are a couple of good things that came out of that situation. (a) I did not go through with it and called it off, (b) I did not give in to the lie "you messed up so you might as well go for it." So I feel better today. I did have some pretty strong urges about 20 minutes ago to look for a particular porn video. But if I were to do this, I would just be entering the cycle again. Not only that, but likely my whole night would be consumed with trying to act out.

    Anyway I listened to some more porn free radio today and it went well. He also has a website, One important thing is that I feel much better than I did yesterday.

    I was considering volunteering somewhere. Does anyone do this? It might give me a way to help people and to meet some others.

    @Thelongwayhome27 thanks for the support man! I hear what you are saying about the negative feelings about relapse. I watched these videos about relapse on and I think I am susceptible to all the lies. One of them is that I feel shame about relapsing, and this feeling seems to make things so much worse. I also have all or nothing thinking: if I make a mistake, watch a youtube video, or masturbate a little, I feel like I already blew it and might as well go for a binge. But he says the right way to think of it is that recovery is something worth doing, even if you are not doing well. If I were trying to learn how to control my finances, and I kept making mistakes, I wouldn't just abandon it and blow all my money. I would try again and make some updates. What do you do to make yourself stop being so critical of yourself when you mess up? Regarding the "consequences" that Matt mentions, I will need to listen to it again. I know he was trying to frame it not as a punishment, but I don't remember quite how he was thinking of it.

    @occams_razor thanks for the comments and support! It is a good question. I was sort of in the middle of sleep, but I don't remember any sexy dreams. I was having a difficult time fantasizing, so it is possible that this led to dreams. Great work on snapping out of the fantasizing! I am indeed still watching Star Trek and playing the piano. I should try to devote more time to the piano, and play more seriously. This would probably give me a good feeling that I am making progress.

Share This Page