Merton's reboot log

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

  1. 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.")
  2. 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
    TrueSelf and Living like this.
  3. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    In my opinion this is a subtle and key point you wrote here.

    I think being honest with ourselves about what we feel and think is really the absolute foundation.

    It doesn't mean that if we acknowledge a feeling or thought that's inside that we "agree with it". But we're like hey okay I'm thinking this right now, or feeling this right now. And that's okay. I have the right to think or feel this.

    But self honesty has to be the soil to build health on, not repressing thoughts and feelings.

    If I did make some progress in the last months it's in realizing how much I hide from myself inside. It's my automatic way of functioning. I believe the more I'll learn to be okay with what's inside, the more I will recover.

    I just hope I'm not wrong here ... and preaching a wrong path lol. :oops:

    Socrates (through the witting of Plato) was teaching "know thyself". Well I'll be damned if looking inside with courage and acknowledging what we feel and think about things isn't to examine and get to know oneself.
    Merton likes this.
  4. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 2: quick check in before my phone shuts off. All goes well.
  5. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    8:30 am reset last night. Feel like crap again. I started “testing” my phones settings at 9:30 and eventually looked at porn. I anyway blocked some sites and will start again. Although I went only 2 days this is actually quite good for me given recent behavior. I keep saying this but I need to keep my phone plugged into the wall starting at 9 pm.
  6. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    So things are improving for you!

    Maybe you could consider "testing" a reset, even if the device actually blocks whatever you're testing. It might help you avoid it. I'm doing that for chat rooms of all kinds. Even logging in to a chat room for a split second is a reset.
    Merton likes this.
  7. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    9:00 am feeling much better than I did yesterday. I am around a day and a half. I’ll try to respond to the great posts later on. I’ll continue to urge journal.

    4:30 pm good day with the family and no real urges.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    occams_razor likes this.
  8. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 2: I am on vacation now and things seem to be going well. I am happy to be feeling much better than I did yesterday. No serious issues and I hope to update more tomorrow.

    @Thelongwayhome27 this post you made was very important I think. I haven’t thought so well in this direction lately but it brings me back to my earlier days of recovery when things went better. As you wrote, we are not out thoughts and so we are not at fault for having negative ones. This is so hard for me to understand usually. I am ashamed of my thoughts and feelings and constantly hide them from other people. If I could be more honest to myself and others I feel like the world would open up to me.

    @occams_razor thanks so much for the support. This is where maybe the AA concept of circles could be important. One of the completely stupid testing activities I do is to check my spam filter. I have told myself that this is “middle circle” activity, since it will almost certainly lead to a reset. I should also place “see what Siri will pull up” in this circle, as well as any kind of behavior that only leads to the bottom.

    Thanks so much guys for your support. I am coming to realize that I need to cultivate deeper recovery relationships to make sure I have and also give proper support.
    TrueSelf and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  9. JD1981

    JD1981 Active Member

    I share the same feeling about being honest. I think too that a lot of my addiction issues stem from not being honest. For instance we just went on a cruise with four other couples and my friends wife drove me bonkers. She tried to be our cruise director... totally annoying and stressed me out beyond belief. When I was a smoker I would smoke when I got stressed but now I view porn to deal with it. When I think about it though if I were just honest with her and said I’m not in the mood for doing whatever I’d be better off. She may get a little upset but who cares better her upset than me spending hours in front of a computer monitor. I wasn’t honest though and we let her dictate a lot of our vacation and now I’m home and stressed and wanting so bad to hideout in my addiction. She is already hitting us up to book another cruise with her. We will never go with her again. I got long winded sorry but why in my case am I so afraid of being honest. I put other people’s feelings before my own. Maybe I too will work on being a bit more honest. Thanks for your post and keep fighting.
    Merton likes this.
  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Yes it's exactly the same with me.

    Sometimes, for some reason, I really can see/feel this clearly (at least it seems very clear in those moments), which is inspiring and gives me hope - and then I can manage to really practice this inner way of being honest. It's like a paradigm shift and things get simpler. It's weird but when I reach this state of inner honesty and self support all of a sudden I am more detached from how others perceive me (good or bad).

    But the trouble is that despite these small breakthroughs I usually/often resort back to the more automatic way of being. Especially under stress.

    I admit a part of me is wondering if these deep mental patterns can actually be changed.

    But I guess these "glimpses" are progress. So should try to stay positive. Can't expect to change deeply ingrained patterns overnight.

    A New Man, in the 40s section, talked about Pema Chodron a few times, a Buddhist spiritual teacher. In one of her YT vids, she said that the way out of being "stuck" is a combination of two elements : radical self honesty and a mix of gentleness/kindness/sense of humor towards oneself.

    But yeah basically if we keep learning and practicing, through daily life, how to be not only very honest with ourselves but also how to be kind and supportive of ourselves, perhaps slowly we'll get better. And then addictions will lose they're grip on us, at least it will become easier to deny them.
    Merton likes this.
  11. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Active Member

    It seems like phones are often an issue for many people but not much for myself. I was thinking about why that is. I have never had an expensive/nice smartphone so I have basically never had the thought to use it for watching porn (screen too small, too slow for videos). How about just using a crappier phone?

    Full disclosure I have had issues with seeking behavior (reading stuff) on my phone.
    Merton likes this.
  12. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 3: quick check in today. No serious problems and I am going to focus on getting good rest tonight. When I have had urges I have thought “I have spent so many years looking at porn. What will one more session do? Let’s take a break.”
    TrueSelf likes this.
  13. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 5: Things are going well today and I'm trying to get work done. This annoying guy from the group messaged me and I did not respond, so hopefully that takes care of that.

    I have not had any significant urges. I had some good conversation with my wife today about how we have not been so friendly to each other. Hopefully this will help things get a little better. It all stemmed from a fight we had about a month ago. Since then I think both of us have been feeling bitter.

    @JD1981 thanks for all your comments. I totally relate to what you have written. I seem to always put other peoples' feelings before my own. It is as if I am saying "it is ok for me to be mean to me, but not to others.'' If I could just be honest a lot of things would be better.

    @Thelongwayhome27 I also really like this post you made. I have this exactly same problem with forgetting what I have decided already. I have a glimpse, as you wrote, but then after some amount of time, I am back to thinking the old way and just don't remember. Perhaps as you said it is progress to have these glimpses. It is important to be kind to ourselves and treat outselves the way we might treat others.

    @TrueSelf this is a good question. I have often considered the "light phone," which has just music and maps or something. It is funny that before I started trying to recover from porn, I never used my phone for porn. I also never used sites like youtube, reddit, etc. They all seemed stupid to me. Now I am hooked on them exactly because they allow the slow slide down to the more intense stuff.
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  14. JD1981

    JD1981 Active Member

    Your building a lot of momentum dude, day 5 way to go! Yeah that honesty thing is tough and I think maybe it’s more so the feeling of rejection from a peer if they don’t agree with my opinion. I’m getting a little more confidence with every day that passes so my hope is that soon I’ll be able to handle rejection better.

    Yeah dude your dead on with sites like reddit, YouTube. Instagram is my slippery slope and I justify it by saying they’re not naked so its cool but I start there and inevitably end up on porn. I had to delete the app. I wish I had better will power because these sites could be used to enhance life but I totally go off on a rabbit trail when on them.

    Keep talking to your wife things will get smoother. Does she know about your reboot?? Mine doesn’t I’ve kept my habit and the reboot thing from her. I’m guessing though she’s not an idiot so she might know why I was sitting in the bathroom longer looking at my phone. But yeah I kept the reboot thing from her because I don’t think that would have helped me, it would have just stressed me out more and drove me right back to find comfort in porn. I’ve tried to quit before as I’m sure you have too and it seems like that first week is a son of a gun. I’m so irritable and just on edge so any little twist up and I’m arguing with my wife and or kids. Sucks!! However it’s starting to get smoother here and I hope the same for you. Keep fighting dude!
    Merton likes this.
  15. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 6: All goes well. Went to the group again and it was pretty good. Not much to say right now since I am busy at work. But keep going everyone.

    @JD1981 thanks for the message! My wife does indeed know about the reboot. She is pretty positive about it. She thinks there is no problem with porn, so she doesn't quite understand the severity. It does help to know that I am not keeping secrets, though, and when I relapse I usually tell her. Matt at porn free radio says that you have to tell your spouse. I am not sure how I feel about this. I also totally understand your description of the first week. It is the absolute worst! Let's move beyond and toward recovery.
    JD1981 likes this.
  16. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 7: tonight will be a week. I am feeling pretty good and secure. I have not been urge journaling since I have not really had urges. About now is when the amnesia sets in. I need to combat this by continuing to urge journal when anything comes up.

    Going to bed soon so I’ll check back in tomorrow. Keep up the fight guys.
  17. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 8: Hey guys I am over a week now and feeling way better. My hopelessness is gone and I am ready to fight my problems head on! Ok maybe I am not that positive, but I got very inspired by the thread of @JD1981 and realized that I haven't been taking advantage enough of the great threads and people here. I took a couple of weeks off a few weeks ago when I was really spiraling into the pit, and forgot what a great resource this is. I have been going to the group and it is pretty good. I still do not buy a lot of the 12 step nonsense, but while reading the AA parts of Infinite Jest I really related to what he said. It was something like he doesn't know why AA works and you just repeat the same stupid phrases over and over until eventually you are somehow magically clean. I get this sense a little, like no one really knows what they are talking about, but there are tons of these guys with like multiple years clean. Of course some of them are just trying to stay away from affairs, which I would imagine is easier than staying away from porn (I have no idea actually).

    Anyway things are good! I am these days trying to get my personal connections through a couple of guys in the SAA group who I talk to on the phone (a couple of times a week) and also threads here. As I said in JD's thread, I highly recommend any group (although I don't buy all the nonsense they say at the moment) simply because you can talk face-to-face with others about the addiction. It is quite powerful. I was always so worried that they would try to sell me on a bunch of theoretical junk (which they actually are anyway), and that it would be a waste of time. Although they do this, it is actually very helpful anyway!

    Ok let's keep going. I am feeling pretty good these days and am excited about recovery. Next thing I need to do on this site is to read some very interesting threads (including the one that @Thelongwayhome27 mentioned above of @Freedom from Servitude ) and keep checking in. I should have urge journaled last night because I got urges around 9:30 when I realized that I was going to have sex with my wife and it was a prime opportunity to fantasize about porn. However I could not since my phone shuts off at 9 and I have not even been using it past that time (reading with a book light instead). We did have sex and although I was not able to keep my thoughts 100% clean (thought about real life women near the end), I managed not to think of any porn. So it is sort of a victory!
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  18. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 9: all goes well today and I’m down off of the excitement from yesterday. I am not unhappy, but just feel normal. It is amazing how after a few weeks of abstinence I decide to run back to the porn. Why can’t I remember that life is so much better without it?
  19. JD1981

    JD1981 Active Member

    Way to go on getting 9 days!!! Those first 5 to 10 days are the pits and although everyday is still a fight at times, you made it through. I read through your thread and it is annoying when people tell you that your going about things the wrong way, you should be more like me. It happens so often and it drives me crazy. We are all so different and what works for one may or may not work for the other. It would be a hell of a lot easier though if we were the same and we could just do x, y, z and be cured but where’s the fun in that right. When I’m in conversation and I feel I’m starting to get judged or criticized I immediately look for an exit and don’t engage. My thoughts are that if people are willing to engage then they are so set on their opinions or their style of doing things that no matter how much I argue my point or my way it’s not going to change anything. The only thing that is going to change is my mood from happy to mad. You have made it 9 days stick with what’s working for you. Do whatever it takes to Stay positive. Here’s to another day, I wish you the best.
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  20. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Day 10: all is still good. No serious urges. This seems to be how it goes. I have the most horrific urges for the first day or two (leading to multiple restarts) and then I get zero urges and completely forget about the temptation. I guess it is called the flatline. I am trying to avoid the amnesia by (each day):

    1. Review my plan.

    2. Write here.

    3. Check in with group in some way.

    4. Listen to an episode of porn free radio.

    5. Do my disciplines (piano, hang out with daughter, exercise, read).

    @JD1981 what you described is my number one problem. I have thought a lot about it recently. When someone bothers me I try to get a million miles away from them. In the case of my wife I cannot do that. So this leads to me feeling trapped and doomed. I don’t know why I am so intolerant of people. Anyway thanks a lot for the post. I hope all goes well.

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