Merton's reboot log

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

  1. 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, recoveredman.com. 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 recoveredman.com 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.
     
  2. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    I try to stay calm, not get melodramatic and remind myself that this is hard to beat and it's a process. But to be honest not sure how good my advice is since I had another bad slip last night. I do think it's better to forgive ourselves when we mess up, so that we get back on track sooner, but I'm not all that sure how to do it actually.

    I relate to the all or nothing mentality. I have the same thing. If I'm on a positive streak and mess up just a bit I lose all motivation and then mess up more and more. If I have one minor PMO let's say after many days clean, the next day I'll feel so disapointed I'll binge for hours. And once I'm done with the bigger binges if I think back to the initial minor slip it seems like it wasn't all that bad in comparaison and it would have been good if I could have put a stop right there instead of going more down.
     
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  3. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 2: quick update tonight. Things have gone well. A few minutes ago I tried to make sure that at night time (when my phone goes into screen time), YouTube is not accessible through the messages app. When doing this I saw some thumbnails of videos that I had watched a couple of nights ago. However, I am not going to let it get me down or drive me toward a relapse. I am going to keep the Thursday relapse to only one day for once!

    @Thelongwayhome27 thanks for the comments man. I appreciate the advice. I think that no matter how well or poorly we are doing we can always have things to offer others. You recently went over 50 days and this is a huge achievement! You were definitely doing something right and you have a lot of wisdom to share.
     
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  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Thanks man. Come to think of it I think what helps is self care, going back to the basics and nurturing oneself as if one is sick, after a bad relapse. Getting rest, sleep, eating well and balanced, trying to exercise when one has the energy (in proportion to this, gradually), meditating, journaling. Ideally doing something social that is positive if one has the good relationships that are needed for that.

    I wrote something recently in my journal about this earlier this week. I think the more we build the good habits, on top of simply abstaining from P, the more those habits will have the necessary momentum to help us pick ourselves up when/if we fall. I guess it's about 1) identifying the good things to work on or implement to our lives and 2) do it with consistence so it becomes a real habit, a force.

    This is the passage I wrote about this :

    "I think I may have mentioned this but I realize once again how vital it is to develop healthy habits, routines, on top of the simple act of abstaining from P. Developing these healthy habits will not only make a streak a more authentic effort of self improvement but they will also be here when/if one stumbles off the abstinence path helping one pick himself back up quicker. Stuff like working out or some other positive activities I have added to my schedule have helped me, I think, maintain a better attitude in falling off the 50+ days no PMO/MO streak. In my opinion, staying off the P is not the end goal but it's part of a larger process which is improving myself, my life. It sucks if I fall off a no P run, because it does seem to be a great booster for improving things, however it doesn't mean I need to abandon all hope and throw the baby with the bathwater as they say."
     
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  5. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 3: although there were fights last night with Mrs. M, and they led me to be depressed for half of today, I seem to be finishing off the day pretty well. Annoying sunbathing bikini girls by the pool, but I managed to get through that as well.

    I am continuing to listen to porn free radio and it seems to be helping. Also, although I am only at 3 days I am noticing that it is a very different 3 days than what I experience after a multi day binge. I guess this is because I only let down my routine and had porn festival for one day. It is a good sign!

    @Thelongwayhome27 i think there is a lot of important stuff in what you have written. After all, what is the point of what we are doing here? Make it to 30 days, to a year, etc etc? In reality it is impossible to keep ourselves sheltered from all artificial stimulation forever. As you said, we have to develop strategies and life outside of addiction so that we can rely on them (like self care) instead of escape mechanisms. If we have these, then we have less chance of being thrown back into the cycle when there is a little slip. I remember around 300 days or so in my longest streak, I accidentally saw a porn video when cleaning out my computer. Unlike how I would have behaved around 30 days, I got massively triggered, but then calmed down and went about my day. I did not get all of this internal struggle about “feeling wobbly” or being afraid that I would relapse. I had apparently developed the tools to deal with it.
     
  6. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 4: I'm still going! It is hard to believe that I relapsed for only one day. I realize I have mentioned this several times in the last couple of days, but it is good.

    I felt quite tired today but eventually got on with work. I also have been listening to the porn free podcast episode about the "mindful habit." I am interested to hear more. I need to get back into meditation. It seems like this might be one of the main things I'm missing.
     
  7. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    That means that you're in recovery and taking control of your life. Long term satisfaction becoming dominant over instant gratification. Keep on going!
     
  8. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Great work. I'm also focused on something similar. I think we can keep going !
     
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  9. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 5: a quick update. Things are going well. I went to the dentist and then later on spent a million years trying to sort out my daughters dental insurance. US insurance nightmares are the worst.

    I worked out and listened to more porn free radio. The guy from the mindful habit shared his three tips to avoid ogling:

    1. Don’t look for more than 2 seconds.

    2. Don’t ever look twice.

    3. When you notice yourself ogling, take the opportunity to look around at everything else in the world apart from the trigger (trees, scenery, etc.)

    @Gilgamesh and @Thelongwayhome27 thanks for the support!
     
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  10. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Good job fighting the urge to binge after a relapse! Whenever I relapsed I was always good for 2-3 more solid binges afterwards. It's a very difficult mental hurdle. That's got to be a huge impact for your overall recovery long term.
     
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  11. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 6: last night was quite difficult. This was not due to urges but, for some reason, I woke up in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep. As I tried to sleep (for maybe an hour) I was anxious about various things: stuff that is coming up professionally, the possibility of relapse, interactions with other people. I kept trying to calm myself down by focusing my thoughts on three things.

    1. Think positive thoughts.

    2. Do not be afraid.

    3. Improve my personal relationships.

    I think that so much of my thinking is negative. It is not just of the form “such and such terrible thing will happen” but also just a general fear and anxiety. One main issue is that the recovery train and my failures have conditioned me to be afraid of being alone and being in certain situations. I am often worried that I will do things that I otherwise would not due because of circumstance. I think a positive step for me is to focus on trusting myself (of course this does not mean to be totally unaccountable) to make the right moves, and not to lie in bed in the middle of the night worrying.

    Anyway I really want to focus on those three points.

    More porn free radio yesterday, this time an episode about going porn free while single. He brought up some great points.

    @SeekingWisdom thanks for the support man! You are truly leading the way.
     
  12. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 7: I'm up to a week and am feeling pretty well. I think, again, this is due to the fact that the relapse was confined to one day. Tomorrow we travel for a few days. It will be with family, and I'll try just to relax. More soon!
     
  13. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 9: I forgot to update last night. My wife and I got in a pretty bad fight. However today I’m feeling somewhat better. There were some triggering people by the pool today but I tried to follow the ogling rules I wrote here a few days ago.
     
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  14. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    I am using thise ogling rules since I read them here and it is really helpful. It is nice to have a rule for this. Something to hold on to that leaves no option open. Sometimes I see my brain as an untrained dog that runs after every moving thing his eye catches. The rules are a good leash for that.....
     
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  15. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 10: still going. I have been watching this great navy seal documentary. It is very inspiring.

    I have not had any significant porn problems. There was some thumbnail I saw while watching this documentary online but I managed not to linger on it. It is incredible how many triggers there are out there.

    @Gilgamesh thanks for the support! I’m glad those rules have helped.
     
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  16. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 11: driving back home today. I am planning on alternating the art of manliness podcast with the porn free radio podcast. It is funny that apparently podcasting has been around for a long time but I just sort of discovered it.

    Still no significant urges despite some opportunities. Things seem to be going pretty well.
     
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  17. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    And for most people, I bet they're harmless. But even the most tame picture, on news sites etc, can be fatal. It's a treacherous world out there.

    I've considered podcasts many times, but never actually listened either. Perhaps I should.
     
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  18. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 12: I’m not feeling so great today. Maybe I am very tired from the driving. I am also feeling like certain problems I have will never go away. I feel a little like the guy in Kafka’s The Castle, in that there is some oppressive but invisible force I am pitted against but have no chance to avoid.

    @Eternity i hear you on that. It is amazing how sensitive we become. Matt D from porn free radio talks about how he gets triggered from dancing with the stars and must avoid it. If I had heard this several years ago I would have laughed. Also the art of manliness podcast is great! You should check out the episode on digital minimalism.
     
  19. SeekingWisdom

    SeekingWisdom Member

    Agreed. I've listened to his stuff every now and again. Some of them can be pretty long. But he's got a lot of good stuff on a wide range of topics. I really like podcasts although I don't always listen on a regular basis. But I think if I did more driving I would listen a lot more than I do already.

    So very true! Even "main stream" sites now have triggering ads on them. I have to be careful going on ESPN and other major sites even. Stuff that would have never been allowed on those sites even 5-10 years ago, is basically considered completely normal.
     
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  20. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Aye, I'm worried that watching women's sports may be too much. I enjoy watching athletics, but I may have to avoid that for the time being. It's hard when almost everything is a trigger, but rather than trying to avoid everything, it's better to learn to deal with it in the long run.
     
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