Merton's reboot log

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

  1. Merton

    Merton Member

    3- I am still here. I did not post this weekend because I was so tired. That is not really an excuse, but anyway I am feeling much better. I will talk soon about the relapse. I really wanted to make it through the travels. If I look at my major relapses over the last year (those that were not just trying to get out of the pit, but really after being away from porn for a few weeks), they are almost all from traveling. It was extremely helpful to leave my laptop at home, and I will continue to do this. It is my stupid phone. Of course it is really my choice to use the phone as a PMO tool, but it would help if I just went back to an old school phone.

    Anyway I'll try to update more tomorrow. Today I spent most of the day trying to play catch-up from last week.

    @Joshua Shea this is an interesting idea. I did in fact go through a period around September when I told myself it would be ok if I relapsed to MO with no porn. This proved to be difficult still. Although the MO relapse pit (for me) seems to be much more shallow, it is still very difficult to keep MO under control. Somehow I feel like if I could look at all the porn I wanted to but just not MO, I would still be in trouble. I have never tried to only MO. Maybe sometime I will try this.
  2. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    Travelling is definitely a big issue for me too. Only this year I succeeded in not acting out while doing so.

    In my case I think it's a combination of feeling uncomfortable for the meetings I go to, loneliness, and the opportunity to act out.

    The thing I kept focusingon this year while travelling, was the reward I would get from not doing it in the form of feeling better, and improved interaction with others.
    Merton likes this.
  3. Merton

    Merton Member

    5- Things are going much more smoothly. I have not had significant urges in the last couple of days. When I had some ideas to search for something online (it is usually thoughts of the form "I wonder if such and such is accessible through my blocker") I have read this online book related to Allen Carr's stop smoking book. This has done a great job getting me to have motivation to continue. I have found that I am not so motivated (unfortunately) by being told that I am ruining my life, or that my health will go downhill, etc. I get more motivated by thinking that life without PMO is much better than life with PMO. For example, if I read about how when you do not PMO, you have so much more energy, or that you are not enslaved, this seems to help. The Allen Carr book does a good job of presenting these sorts of ideas.

    I have also done a good job at putting my phone and computer in the drawer next to my wife's sleeping head at night. In order for me to access them, I would need to move my daughter's floor mattress, and probably wake both of them up. So it seems to be pretty much impossible. Anyway this is just a tactic to get my porn thoughts to stop at an earlier stage. If I get the idea to use porn, and I entertain them for sufficient time, I will actually use no matter what. If I think that the computer and phone are inaccessible, then I do not get as worked up, and I do not typically get to the point where I go after porn.

    @Gilgamesh thanks so much for the comments! I have had a great time learning from reading your journal. I am glad to hear that you are a fellow person with travel difficulties. Of course I don't want you to have difficulties, but it makes me feel less alone. I have a firend who had to travel and had PMO problems, and eventually transferred to a different division where travel was not compulsory. Unfortunately for me, I will need to travel for the rest of my career due to my chosen occupation. In this last travel, I was really happy the first night and second day that I had not acted out, and felt great. I was confident I would make it through the second night. It is strange how at night time I seem to become a different person. I will try to focus more on how much better I will feel if I do not scrape the bottom of the PMO barrel.
    Gilgamesh likes this.
  4. Merton

    Merton Member

    6- Today I watched this great video of Mark Queppet:

    It is about how to journal. I have never really thought about what I should be writing about. He states that you should try to identify a time throughout the past day in which you acted in a non-ideal way. Then you should explain what the lie was that you told yourself that got you to act in that non-ideal way. Last, you should describe how you should have acted. He also said you should write about something you did do well.

    I did not have any serious violations in the last day, so it could be hard. What I could do is to go back to the last relapse in the hotel room.

    What happened: I finished my travels, packed up my bags, and sat on the bed in the dark to read a book on my phone. Then I got an idea to look on my audiobook program to see if there was anything racy. I did this, got worked up, and eventually went down the porn hole. This ended up with me looking at porn for hours and getting no sleep.

    The lie: I do remember telling myself that "just one peek won't hurt,'' and that ''I had finished my travels, so I am free to do what I want in the hotel room far away from my family.'' Also ''I will not have this opportunity for a long time.'' These are lies because (a) one peek did hurt! I ended up looking at porn for hours, not for 5 minutes, (b) I did finish my travels, but wouldn't it be better to pack up, sleep, and feel refreshed to go home to my family?, (c) It is not actually true that I had an opportunity I would not normally have. I could easily go home from work in the middle of the day and spend the whole day looking at porn if I wanted to. It is not really an opportunity, but just a story I told myself to get myself to fall into the porn pit.

    What I should have done: I should have had this thought and countered it with "I will feel so much better if I go to bed.'' Also instead of thinking that I can only get sexual satisfaction from a two-dimensional screen, I should start thinking of getting it from another human being. (Probably this thought was down in there.) Then I should have gone to bed and woke up refreshed, instead of getting no sleep, and eating no breakfast, etc.

    Something I did well: Last night I had thoughts to use porn when going to bed. I put my phone and computer in the drawer next to my wife, got into bed, and counted until the chemicals subsided. I then felt much better this morning!
  5. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    Interesting. Will give that a try as well.
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  6. MarstonS

    MarstonS Walking the longest walk...

    This is something I probably should do. Have to try it out. Thanks!
    Merton likes this.
  7. Merton

    Merton Member

    7- Thanks guys for teh comments! Today things seemed to go well without serious urges. I did not have any slips, and the only bad thoughts I had (regarding porn) occurred last night. When I was going to bed, again, once my wife and I put away the computer (that we use to watch a show), I could feel myself starting to get mild chills. This seems to happen whenever I get triggered. It is because, during the last part of the show, I was thinking a little about an old porn video I used to often watch. Whenever I have these thoughts, I go back and forth about indulging in the mind. That is, I think "I probably should not think about that.'' Then I think "well, just a little.'' And so on. In my case, this went on for a couple of minutes, and then I realized I was getting triggered. Then I put away the phone and computer and talked with my wife a little. This made the feelings go away.

    With these thoughts, I was probably thinking "It is not so bad just to think about these images for a little bit.'' This is a lie, since I know that once I start thinking about porn, it makes recovery that much more difficult. I think it makes me mentally transition from a state of progress to one of avoidance. It gets me to start wanting to avoid being triggered, rather than using those times to get stronger. So, it is in fact bad to dwell on these sexual images in the mind. What should I have done instead? When I thought of these images, I should have started a Collins-style dialogue with my addict. I should imagine that I am in the amphitheater, talking to my addict about why it is not the best move.

    Tomorrow we will go to the symphony and it will be amazing. I have been looking forward to it for a long time.
    Gilgamesh likes this.
  8. Merton

    Merton Member

    10- I did not post this weekend, but it was a good one. The concert was not so good because so many people were making noise. But for the rest of the weekend I got some good relaxation. Being at day 10 is truly so much better than being at day 1. Also I noticed my emotions returning yesterday, so it is a plus.

    I did not have any violations in the past day. I also did not have any severe fantasies. In the past, if I had been in this stage for long enough, then I would get "amnesia" and become lazy with recovery. This would often lead to me relapsing, being blindsided by an urge. So I need to stay vigilant. As I wrote above, the main lies I seem to tell myself (recently) are:

    1. I'll just have one peek.
    2. I am only on day x. I can make it back to that day easily.
    3. I will never have fulfilling sex with my wife and I cannot therefore go the rest of my life without porn.

    I need to counteract these lies with the truth:

    1. It is never one peek. This is really the worst lie. I end up pretty much always looking at porn for HOURS. I quickly tell myself that I don't care how long I am looking at it, since it feel sgood. This leads me to the middle of the night, skipping workouts and work the next day, and so on. I tell myself "it's ok since I can sleep between 10-11 tomorrow'' or something. Much better is to get a good night of sleep!
    2. Yes I am only on day x. However it is nearly impossible to get out of the pit. Not only will relapsing put me at day 1 and make me feel terrible, but also I will waste a week of my life trying to climb out of the pit, constantly relapsing.
    3. I will never have fulfilling sex with my wife if I don't try to. Things are actually improving, and I am feeling more and more attracted. I know I can get to a fulfilling stage, but using porn is just going to push me in the opposite direction.
  9. Merton

    Merton Member

    11- I was thinking about this line in the Allen Carr online book that says that PMOers use porn because they think they cannot stop. I wonder how true this is. Of course I get urges and think that it will feel great to PMO. But how much of it is due to the fact that deep down I don't think I can stop?

    Last night while sleeping I got strong urges. I think this was due to dreams that I had. I had to wake up several times to pee as well. Maybe I am drinking too much before bed. Anyway I did not act out and each time I just thought about something else instead of fantasizing. I also had sex with my wife last night and it was difficult not to fantasize while having sex.

    The thoughts and lies: When having sex I think my brain would tell me the following lies: "you will not be able to get it up if you don't think about other women or porn,'' or ''you will never have fulfilling sex if you don't think about something arousing.''

    How I felt: I probably felt annoyed, like I am destined to have unfulfilling sex forever.

    How I acted: In response to this, I did think about arousing images (not really porn, but real people) instead of trying to focus on sex.

    How I should have acted: I should have blocked out these thoughts and tried as hard as I could to have sex without any fantasy. This is difficult because I have done it for so long. The lies that I told myself were not true. I know that in the year of abstinence, I did not fantasize while having sex, and it was more fulfilling. Also I did manage to get it up. The problem now is that I will not kiss my wife, and this keeps me from getting aroused. I will not do it because I feel awkward and anxious. It somehow feels unbearable, like I am in a socially awkward situation. But it is true that I will probably never have more fulfilling sex unless I start to do this. So it is not true that I will not have fulfilling sex unless I fantasize. Rather, it is more true that not being close to my wife and kissing her is a barrier to having fulfilling sex.

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