Merton's reboot log

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

  1. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I was fearing it was over analysis and if there even was a point to my comment about sex addiction and porn addiction.

    I guess in the end we recognize it's a habit that is detrimental (I guess there are different possible personal reasons here) to us and when we try to stop it we see we can't.

    I can't even stop PMO for 6 months just to have a look at what my life would be like without this element in it.

    Personally I don't buy all that YBOP claims (though I don't reject it all either) and also I can see a lot of the negative aspects the "NoFap cult" has on my type of mind (becoming more obsessed with it then necessary, black or white thinking, even more negative emotions because of the relapses). But still, I want to see what my life would be like if I stopped porn. At least to test it.

    The constant trying to stop and slipping back makes me think a lot about all this. What is sex addiction, does it exist. Is porn really the problem. Etc. It's just hard to wrap my head around how something that I feel ashamed of after I'm done turns me on so bad a few days or weeks later.

    Anyways Merton, keep up the good work man ! I'm always happy to read your updates.
    Merton likes this.
  2. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 10: made it back to double digits. I am hoping that this time I will finally get off of the merry-go-round. No serious problems today. It seems like I go through about 2-4 weeks of no temptations so I am not so surprised that I feel pretty normal.

    I am grateful for this time of sobriety so that I can rest. Also for my wife being understanding about my mood swings. Last I am grateful that I got to take my daughter to fireworks. It was great to see her reaction.

    @Thelongwayhome27 thanks for so much support man! I totally agree with what you said. Particularly the confusion (what is going on, are we sex addicts, is porn the problem, etc). My therapist says that confusion is a big sign in me that I am having problems. On the other hand, it is totally unclear what is going on.
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  3. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 12: I somehow forgot to update yesterday. Usually when I don’t update it’s because I decide not to. I seem to have genuinely forgot yesterday. In any event, things went well and I took my daughter to the pool. I also watched this funny movie called What About Bob and then started another movie called High Noon.
  4. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 13: I am on my way to the hotel for work travel. The last couple of times (3-4) I have traveled there was no acting out. Of course the day after I returned from my last trip I relapsed. But anyway here are my plans:

    1. Keep phone in the bathroom at night.

    2. Keep laptop in backpack while in room.

    3. Under no circumstances can I turn on the TV.

    4. Try to spend a lot of time with other people and not in my room.

    I am pretty hopeful about the trip. The other guys in this group I am attending have been calling me daily to check in. I told them I am traveling so I will probably continue to call them, particularly if I feel like I am having any problems. These phone checkups have really helped in the last few days. I will also consider attending a group meeting through the phone or online.

    All goes well! I will have a successful trip!!​
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  5. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    Have a good trip, Merton!
    Merton likes this.
  6. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 14: up to two weeks. I have been at work all day on my trip and when I came back to the hotel, my mind drifted into porn land. Fortunately at this time a guy from this group messaged me and I spoke with him. He helped me to realize that I could easily go down into the pit in almost no time, and I can keep myself from that.

    So I feel much better!
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  7. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 15: went to a group and it was quite helpful. I have one more night in the hotel, and it will be a good one!

    It is incredible how quickly my thoughts escalated last night when I had this thought of taking out my computer. Fortunately I did not do anything. But the thinking is so sneaky.

    One more night and then back home. After that I travel with my family.

    @occams_razor thanks for the support!
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  8. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 0: Dammit another travel relapse. This time I got it into my head to check whether my phone blocked a certain site. This eventually led to the standard porn binge.

    I think this time my main problem was being very tired. I was slightly worried about having a problem, and so I called some guy in this group. This helped a lot, but then I kept getting more and more tired while on the phone. Afterward, instead of going to bed, I acted on my stupid ideas, and got zero sleep last night. What I should have probably done is talk on the phone less, then get ready for bed and get in it.

    I told myself that if I relapsed I would set up covenant eyes with accountability with another person. Unfortunately I found out how to go online without the eyes recording anything, so I think this would be pointless. I think I will have to go to my second consequence: spend 50 dollars on a gift for my wife. (Although I do want my wife to be happy, I hate spending money.)

    Back on the horse.
    occams_razor likes this.
  9. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    Yeah I've been there with getting around the blockers. I'm a computer genius when it comes to that kind of thing. Strangely enough I have much less motivation to use those skills in a productive way.

    Blockers, accountability, addiction forums... These could be considered "external" aids. They have their place.

    Maybe "internal" aids are more powerful. Interests, beliefs, attempts at emotional healing...

    It seems we need both internal and external methods. Or at least both types are useful.

    That probably wasn't particularly coherent lol.
    nuclpow, Merton and TrueSelf like this.
  10. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    I thought this response was both insightful and hilarious. Blockers are frustrating and I have a strong tendency to overemphasize their importance. I think I will try (at least sometimes) to end my discussions with people with “that probably wasn’t particularly coherent.”
    occams_razor likes this.
  11. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 1: checking in again because I fell off the rails for god knows how long. I am back.
    TrueSelf and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  12. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

  13. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Welcome back Merton ! You can always start again. Improve from here. Keep going from here. Start from this new place right here.
    Merton likes this.
  14. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 0 again: Thanks guys so much for the support. I will try to explain what has been going on in my life since I fell off of the site (a couple of weeks ago). As I wrote before, I have been trying to attend this 12-step group. I have also been struggling quite a bit. Instead of posting here, I have been communicating with people in the group. Overall, I am not completely sure how I feel about it. There seem to be some positives. For example, there are people I can communicate with immediately (via phone) if I need to. Also many of them are very supportive. Last, the meetings seem to help because they are face-to-face, and you get a sense that you are really understanding someone else's situation.

    On the other hand, there are some strong negatives. First of all, no one seems to want to talk about anything practical. Do you use a filter? When did you last relapse? No one will really answer these questions. They just keep saying things like "you need to focus on your powerlessness" or "think about the solution, and not the problem" or "the real problem is not the filter.'' I agree with some of these things, but at the same time, I feel like they are really avoiding some issues. I was told by some member there that "if I ever want to make it in the program, I need to stop analyzing and accept things on faith.'' This is not how my mind seems to work, and it feels very dismissive, as if there is only one path to freedom. Now that I think of it, it seems like this is my main gripe with the program: there is only one way forward, and everything else is thrown away. You are apparently not allowed to discuss materials that are not approved by 12-steps, and I find myself just saying things not necessarily because I believe them myself, but so that I will get positive feedback from others. And it is not like everyone there is doing so extremely well. This guy who told me I will need to change my thinking if I will ever make it relapses all the time.

    Maybe what I need to do is incorporate the good parts while at the same time not abandoning other things that are helpful for me. For instance, this forum!!! Just the simple fact that when I left for a week, people wrote extremely supportive messages makes me know that I did the wrong thing temporarily leaving. Although I do feel like some of what I say here is to get positive response from others, it is much less so (I can be more myself), and there are always new things to think about here. Furthermore, journaling here gives me an opportunity to think things out. (For example, that I am not so excited about the group I have joined.)

    Has anyone else out there had similar experiences with recovery groups? I know there are many religious people on these forums, and I have always had a difficult time coming to religion. I am not against it at all, but I have never connected with it. I feel some of the same issues that I have had with understanding religion/spirituality surface when trying to participate in these groups.

    I also removed my blocker in the meantime, but I think I'll reinstate it.

    Anyway thanks guys so much for the support. I have been seriously struggling the last couple of weeks. I am able to go a couple of days (sometimes) but then I fall back. Today I was starting day 2, but then got this text from the guy about how my thinking was wrong, and I felt bad, then relapsed. This is completely stupid because I just used it as an excuse to look at porn.

    In a way, I feel like there is a strange lack of honesty in the group I have been attending. Everyone is willing to be honest about certain things (childhood trauma, etc.) but will not really address anything else, since they think it leads them off track.

    Here is my plan for the moment (let's try to stay clean!!!)

    post here daily
    attend the group meeting once a week but avoid texts or calls of this frustrating guy
    work out
    play the piano
    reinstall my blocker
    make sure that if I have problem thinking, I post here immediately. Maybe this means I'll post a hundred times a day.
  15. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Ok having urges right now. I will bring my stuff somewhere else to work.

    1:30 more urges. I got the great idea to look at stuff on my phone. I won’t do it!

    6:00 I’ve managed to avoid any more porn behaviors. I’ll probably be checking in again tonight at least once.

    7:30 things still going well. Usually the test comes (at night) both when I put my daughter to bed (I sit and can browse on the phone) and when I am going to bed (again can browse on the phone).

    8:40 more mild urges. I was doing some Spanish practice on Duolingo in the living room and heard a tv show that my wife is watching. This show has attractive women on it and I thought of a video I recently watched. Then I thought I should look it up on my phone. Instead I came here.

    9:00 urge because I saw cleavage on tv.

    9 am made it through the night although directly before going to bed the urges were very high. Right now I had the thought “I’m going to the office. I wasn’t able to stay clean yesterday. I doubt I will today.” This is bad thinking.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  16. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Active Member

    Are there any other options for groups near where you live? Matt (Porn Free Radio) has discussed how finding a group that is a good fit is very important. Aside from the accountability (or at least phone/in person support) that your group offers I would think that it would also be very helpful that the group also offers inspiration. Is the group leader at least doing well?

    I think I would have issues with this as well. One book I read offered an interpretation that this is just acknowledging that what you have been doing before has not been working. This was a little easier for me to accept.

    Sounds like a good plan. :)
    Merton likes this.
  17. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I think it takes a lot of guts to actually take the step (pun intended lol) of going to these meetings. It shows you're serious about transcending the porn issue even if you're having troubles. I agree with TrueSelf in that I've herd as well that there are "good" and "not so good" groups. You gotta find the right one for you. Just keep going for a while before judging. It may be your inner resistance at first (which could show up in any group). On the other hand, you gotta listen to You first and foremost. I really think the only path is our path, for each one of us (sorry if this sounds vague or metaphysical lol).

    You can check out Freedom From Servitude's journal (25-30 section), he talks about his experience in a 12 steps group.

    Regarding the "powerlessness", the way I understand it is that we need the help of something greater then our selves to make it. Call it luck, waking up to the Beauty of the world, Nature, "God", the group's power, a loving spouse, a friend showing up out of nowhere, or an inner light that is inner but also greater then ourselves.

    It basically says that we can't just "willpower" ourselves out of this. If we only rely on our individual willpower and pride and try to make it on our own without asking the help of anyone, anything, it's very hard to actually figure it out. Well maybe this works for some, but it hasn't for me. I don't think it's then about screaming at myself "try harder". It's more subtle then that.

    In my opinion, just being on this forum, posting honestly, is working step 1.

    I realize there is a contradiction between saying our path is the one that we must take and that we "can't make it on our own". But the idea is that we have to call the shots of who's help we're asking for, taking. In the end we still call the shots. We need help but we decide what's the best help for us. Our will power may be limited and we need to find deeper ressources, but we are still pilots.

    Skill and understanding often helps more then willpower. Although willpower has it's place to, but is has to be properly sustained.
    Merton likes this.
  18. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    It's funny how people have such different ideas of what "powerlessness" is.

    I always understood it as, you're powerless over your addiction in the sense that you can't just have one "peek" or just one PMO or whatever it might be. You have to completely cut out all that bad stuff, you can't indulge in it all.
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  19. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 1: Thanks so much guys for your input. I was pretty annoyed yesterday at this person in the group for being demeaning to me. It is quite likely that I am too sensitive in this area. The group does seem to have some people with a lot of sobriety, but there are also many people there with much bigger problems (sex offenders and so on). Furthermore, sobriety is only defined however you want to define it. So for these people, maybe sobriety means not breaking the law. I have met a couple of people who have been off of porn for many months, so that is at least motivational. It is not clear to me that people do on average better there than they do here, or on nofap.

    I think I agree with your guys' interpretations of powerlessness (and share them). I feel though that the people in the group would say some incomprehensible stuff about how powerlessness involves also something spiritual which I cannot understand. Overall I have absolutely no idea what spiritual even means. It has been suggested that I need to accept things without any proof or arguments whatsoever. Well that would be nice (maybe, depending on what I am accepting) but I seem to be incapable of doing it! What does it even mean anyway? I accept that world war I occurred and also that Mozart existed, and that Jesus was a real person, but as we go futher back in time, I accept these things less and less (I guess). And there is actual physical proof for some of them! I feel like things that do not have any proof necessarily lie below these other things on my believability scale.

    Anyway that doesn't matter so much. I cannot change fundamentally how I think. The main frustrating thing about the group is that there is this cultish aspect to it. At least here or on some other forums people are not parroting the same phrases over and over and avoiding talking about things. If you don't accept things on faith you'll never make it! One day at a time! Keep coming back! Mostly this is the sort of thing you will hear from many of the people there. Maybe it means a lot to them. There are some who seem more connected to reality. When I was talking to this guy, I wrote to him something about how one day at a time seems good, and then I wrote to him an explanation of why I thought that. Then he writes back something like "your first response was perfect. As for the second, drop the analysis. You will never make it if you do not accept things on faith.'' This suggests to me that the point of the entire conversation is to say the correct things so that I will get a positive response from him. The content does not matter as long as I say the slogans. In other words if you say the right words, you get a reponse of "perfect'' and if you say the wrong words you get "you will never recover.''

    Ok I guess I'm done venting about this. I cannot really tell anyone about it, so it is useful to write here.

    Things seem to be going pretty well and I'm into my second day (finally over the one day mark!) It has been near impossible lately to get to two full days (this is ludicrous considering I have gone a year before). But in any event, the urge journaling I was doing yesterday and today seemed to help. I am sticking on my program and will go to the meeting today. Furthermore, I'm going to try to incorporate some CBT that my therapist suggested. Last, I guess I'm going to focus on the fact that I don't have to accept anything I don't want to, and I cannot force myself to become a different person (and shouldn't just so other people will give me text message rewards of "perfect response.")
  20. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    2:00 feeling better. I realize I did a lot of negative talk in the post about this group and feel somewhat bad about it. But I guess on the other hand I should feel ok just speaking my mind. One of the main problems that Matt at porn free radio mentions is that we are not the same on the outside as on the inside. I guess this is true. I want to give this impression that I am ok and easy going so that when I have an outburst, I feel ashamed. But these feelings are inside of me, so it is probably best to be honest.

    9:30 at the therapist and moving into day 2. Finally I feel like I’m getting a minuscule amount of peace. No major urges.

    7:30 had an urge in the car so wanted to document it here. It is amazing that I barely had urges today whereas two days ago it was a complete massacre.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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