Merton's reboot log

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

  1. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known 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.
    Merton likes this.
  2. 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.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  3. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known 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."
    Merton likes this.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Gil79

    Gil79 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!
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Great work. I'm also focused on something similar. I think we can keep going !
    Merton and Gil79 like this.
  8. 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!
    Gil79 likes this.
  9. 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.
    Merton likes this.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
    occams_razor likes this.
  13. Gil79

    Gil79 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.....
    Merton likes this.
  14. 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.
    SeekingWisdom and occams_razor like this.
  15. 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.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  16. 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.
    Merton likes this.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
    Merton likes this.
  19. 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.
    Merton likes this.
  20. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 14: I’ve made it to two weeks. I worked out this morning and then had meetings all day. I have not had significant temptations and continue to listen to porn free radio.

    My wife told her therapist about the porn addiction and apparently her therapist said that it was weird that my wife is not upset about it. I hope that she does not somehow convince her to be mad.

    Anyway all is going well.

    @SeekingWisdom thanks for the comments! Fortunately I am spared from most accidental triggers because I keep my browser (safari) in the “disable images” mode. Still some images get through but overall I avoid these thumbnails. I also it an app on my phone that disables images on safari. For either of these, I can easily enable images if I need to. In any event I still see some of them and am shocked by what the general public is ok with. It is funny that Matt D on porn free radio spoke of our heightened sensitivity as a bonus of recovery. I have never really thought of it this way since I always thing of it as leading me back down into the pit. But in a way it is actually good to live a life where I get excited if I see some girl in a dress, instead of being totally numb and watching horrific stuff on the computer regularly. It is a bit like getting super excited about the prospect of having a broccoli salad.

    @Eternity i know what you mean here. I do think that we will eventually have to deal with the triggers. What I experienced in the past is that as time goes on, although triggers affect me, they do not immediately lead me to porn. Instead of being linked to acting out, they instead just get me charged up. I guess it is a safer scenario.

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