Merton's reboot log

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

  1. mikehunt

    mikehunt Member

    Many books have been written about willpower in recent years, based on a small number of badly designed studies. It's been mostly debunked http://www.slate.com/articles/healt...n_psychology_may_have_just_been_debunked.html

    The psychologist who coined the term is still trying to make it a thing, and will probably engineer more studies that will prove his bias. Really bad science.

    The truth is, it's complicated. Simply having the right attitude and belief makes a tremendous difference. Believe that willpower is easy and infinite, and you'll have more of it than the guy who believes that his willpower is finite and wearing out. Someone made a great youtube video about this but I don't remember the name of the channel...
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  2. sveltest

    sveltest Member

    Lol.

    Science debunks willpower.

    Science debunks humanity.

    Science kills itself.
     
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  3. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Today has been much better! Finally got a good night of sleep. Worked out this morning. Although my weights did not go up much, it was not as bad as the workout last week. I am finally getting some peace.

    When I have gotten any urges, I have just thought as much as I can about how porn is a fake fantasy. This stuff from Underdog is spot on.

    I am living in a dream land, as he said. When I think about it this way, it is so clear. What am I really doing when I run to the computer and find a tube site? I am actually sitting in front of a metal box as a sad and pathetic man. I am imagining being in these sexual situations with complete strangers. This is not what the real world is. I am falling deeper into a land of lies.

    Thinking this way has really helped. I don't want to live a lie! I do not like everything about my life, but I do have some control over how it goes.

    I will travel on Sunday by myself for a few days. I was thinking of going to an open AA-type meeting while I am there. Have any of you been involved with SA or such programs? It seems like it would be of great help, but I am somewhat scared of them. I know a guy on another forum who went and he started doing much better.

    Anyway things are looking up.

    @mikehunt thanks for this. And also @-Luke- , thanks for the book reference! As you wrote Mike, it does not seem very clear what is the role of willpower, beliefs, etc. It feels like every time I nail down in my head what is behind the addiction, it turns out to be wrong, and the real answer is "well, its sort of a little of everything." For instance, addiction is not all trying to calm the inner demons, it also has a life of its own. It does seem to be true that as we get more addicted, our willpower gets weaker (at least from what I have read). How does this relate to recovery? Anyway thanks for the discussion. I agree a lot with what @Caoimhín wrote about practice, practice, practice. I really do think that the more we learn to deal with our triggers, the more distance we can get. As we get more distance, it gets easier.
     
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  4. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Day 3: feeling so much better. Got a good night of sleep with no PMO dreams. I just need to remember: porn is a lie. I do not want to be sucked down into a fantasy world.

    More later!
     
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  5. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Hey Merton I'm glad to hear you are building good days again. I like the fact that you identified 3 elements that you need to work on.

    I've also pondered going to a SAA meetings, especially during dark moments of despair after I relapse. The need goes away once I get back on a streak. I'm scared to go to such meetings. But to be honest, I think it would help.

    I read over some parts of TheUnderdog's long post that Luke linked in your journal. I realize I still have not defined a clear life vision for myself. Ever since I was a teen I have avoided the hard questions and decisions about life (work occupation, having kids or not, having a serious long term relationship or not, marriage or not, etc.) and I am just letting things be and drifting.
     
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  6. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Quick update tonight. I am traveling tomorrow for a few days. I will try to update more tomorrow. I am continuing to listen to these great SA audio files.

    @Thelongwayhome27 thanka very much for the support! I am happy to be back at 5 days. It feels like light years away from the pit. Of course I need to be very careful. As you wrote, it does seem to be very important to define a clear life vision. I am still iffy on what I want my life to be like, but it is clear that it needs to address those 3 points. If I go to an SA meeting I will definitely try to report on it. Let’s keep going!
     
  7. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    I think avoiding the difficult parts of life is the prime modus opparendi of the men on this forum.
     
  8. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    You can say that again!
     
  9. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    I am finally ending out week 1 now. I am in a hotel now listening to these SA audio files. It is interesting how wide the range is for sexual acting out. Many of these people talk about flirting, love addiction, sex outside of marriage, prostitutes, and so on. I notice that my problems are so confined to myself. Basically I have just masturbated to porn for years and years and years. I never did try to go to an escort or anything. In fact I am sort of terrified of touching other people. (I would not actually say terrified but more that it makes me feel uncomfortable.)

    I left my computer at home and feel like things are going well so far. Tomorrow I will meet with a friend. At some point I will try to attend an SA meeting.
     
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  10. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    You're doing well man. I'd like to listen to those SA audio bits, where did you find them? I'm on day 7 today as well. I had the worst weekend ever. I overexercised last week and again I had a horrendous migraine that lasted days. Finally coming out of it now, but that coupled with a few days away from my last binge just compounded the physical hangover to an extreme. My anxiety and panic was through the roof for 48 straight hours (both anxiety and panic are symptoms of my pain phase in migraine). Do you find being away from home at these hotels makes it easier to stay clean? I also only act out to myself, never gone out and looked for sex with other people, I love my wife too much for that. Just pmo and hours to myself. Good call on leaving your computer at home. They say all addictions can only last as long as the 3 "pillars" are supporting it, which are affordability, accountability, and accessibility. If you remove one of those, you can end the addiction. Since porn is virtually free with an internet device and connection, and able to be done in secret, I've always found that accessibility is the only true way to remove porn from your life. If I had no means to get to it, I wouldn't watch it. Very hard in this day of technology. I wish I could go back to my childhood where nobody had cell phones and the internet didn't exist. I was so outgoing and carefree, traveled everywhere on my bike with kids in town. Nobody had porn to ruin themselves with. Maybe I'll save $300 and buy the new Light phone coming out this year. Check it out if you get the chance. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/light-phone-2
     
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  11. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Ok I’m into my third day of traveling and have not acted out. The main things I have done to stick to my plan:

    1. Wear earplugs or headphones while in the hotel room (so that I have no chance to hear sexy noises from adjoining rooms).

    2. Unplug TV upon entering. (So that I do not check for porn sexy TV shows.)

    3. Leave computer at home.

    4. Count backward and take deep breaths when I wake up in the middle of the night.

    I have not gone to an SA meeting and I will not be able to unfortunately. However next time I travel I will try to.

    @Intothewild89 thanks for the comments! I do find staying in hotels generally to be much more difficult than staying at home. I think this is because I am out of my routine and I feel “free.” I have to take much more extreme measures to keep from acting out. The app I have been using to listen to SA talks is called SA Speakers. It is great so far. Last, thanks very much for the link to the phone. This is a wonderful idea. I might seriously consider it. Congrats on a week!
     
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  12. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    I am packing up in the hotel room to go back home. I seem to have made it through the trip without any violations. This is the first time in recent memory (maybe a year?) in which this has happened. Although I feel sick, I do not have the additional pain of withdrawals!
     
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  13. occams_razor

    occams_razor Member

    That's great Merton, well done!
     
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  14. Antonius

    Antonius Member

    I heard there is a service at hotels to which traveling men can subscribe. Basically someone from the hotel comes to your room at 6pm and chains you to the radiator until 6am the next morning, thus preventing you from accessing your phone, tv, escorts, even the toilet! Have you heard of anything like this during your travels, Merton? It might be worth checking out.
     
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  15. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Quick update tonight. I am finishing up week 2 tomorrow, I think. Things seem to be going well. Each time I think of porn I tell myself “it is not real. You need to learn to live in the real world.” This is a perspective I got from those posts of underdog. I have also been listening to these SA audio files at night time.

    @Antonius I think I’ve heard of this important service but I haven’t been to a hotel where it is offered. Perhaps these days there is a mobile service that allows you to recruit a co-traveler, similar to a bag boy, who will chain you nightly. When a radiator is not available I heard that they will replace it with a large airplane battery.
     
  16. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Well I fell at week 2. I did not follow my rules and I brought my phone into the bathroom. Of course sometimes this is not a problem, but this time I got triggered by something I saw on the phone and it led to "one peek." Of course this is the stupidest thing in the world. I should fill out a Mark Queppet-style relapse analysis and also indicate what I will do differently next time.

    First I downloaded the never binge again book to keep with me. Next, I downloaded the SA 12 step book to read through. I also started listening to more audio files from SA groups. I need to have a list of rules (I'll have to update them as I figure more out):

    NEVER:
    look at porn
    masturbate
    bring phone or computer in the bathroom with door shut
    sleep with phone or computer next to me
    bring computer into other rooms at night
    turn on TV while traveling
    think about porn during sex

    SOMETIMES:
    keep images blocked unless I need to see an image
    watch TV or netflix only non-sexual stuff
    do not bring computer on trips unless I absolutely have to

    ALWAYS:
    hold wife before going to bed
    read recovery book while putting child to bed
    update here each day

    So for the slip: I went to the gym and things went well. I videotaped myself doing an exercise so that I could check my form. When I came home, I went to the bathroom, and I brought my phone in. Then I reviewed the video and noticed that someone was in the background of the video. I zoomed in and got triggered. Then I looked at porn and did the deed.

    Lies my brain told me: It is ok to bring the phone into the bathroom because I am at 13 days and can handle it. (!) I can get right back on track after this.

    Why they are lies: Clearly I did not handle being in the bathroom with the phone well. I need to keep this on my never list so that I do not do it. Also getting back on track is extremely difficult! I always seem to forget how hard it is in the pit. I think "well I made it this far. I can do it again." But it is horrible.

    What I should have done: first I should have kept the phone out of the bathroom. Next, when I saw the person in the background of the video, I should not have zoomed in. Last, when I was triggered, I should have taken the phone out of the bathroom, or put it in a drawer until I left the bathroom.

    I also changed my counter to a spreadsheet (on my computer), recording the number of PMOs per day. This I think will be more motivating, since if I relapse I can keep the number low. Also I will not see a fat 0 on the counter.
     
  17. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    One of the most challenging parts of travelling, and staying in hotels, etc, is the added difficulty of maintaining healthy habits. Eating well often goes out the window, finding the time and space to meditate (often at different times and squeezed in between other things), temptation to drink (because it's kind of like a holiday to stay somewhere different)... I always look forwards to getting home and getting back into the good routines.

    Having been there and done that, the whole image of me alone in a hotel room wanking to pay-per-view porn makes me feel sad.

    One thing that I have been doing regarding use of the toilet is to try and be mindful about the "physical" experience. So, not only do I never look at a phone, I do not read. Being on the toilet is to physically relieve my bowel and bladder. It sounds funny, but try it: focus on the sensation of emptying your bladder or bowel. It is a mindfulness exercise and one that I got from a blog called Raptitude where he writes about how to walk across a parking lot as way of connecting to your body and world. If you are doing something, do it completely and don't do multiple things at the same time. If you walk, focus on the things around you - don't listen to music. If you piss... just piss! Don't multitask and check your e-mails. It seems we are always trying to distract ourselves and this is especially the problem with PMO addiction.
     
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  18. occams_razor

    occams_razor Member

    Sorry to hear about the reset, but you seem to have a good foundation now for some serious recovery!

    Good idea. And the chaser effect and the pit can absolutely be beaten!
     
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  19. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Feeling a million times better today. I have been getting a lot of motivation from this thread on no arousal that was mentioned in the underdog thread that was posted in my journal a bit back (possibly by Luke). It is very inspirational. Furthermore it is quite convincing that I need to finally give my brain a rest. I walk around and my eyes have laser focus on butts and body parts. A normal man should not have such crazy attention put on body parts. I do think, like the author bigbookofpenis of that thread, that this behavior has not allowed my brain to recover.

    In fact I went 49 days a couple of years ago without looking at any imagery or doing any ogling in real life, and I think it was one of the most peaceful times of my life. Not only that, but I also remember having renewed desire for my wife and intimacy. Last, this approach seems to be in line with the SA stuff I have been reading lately (the underlying problem is lust ...)

    So maybe I will give it a go. I also ordered the rational recovery book. Although it and SA seem to be at odds, I suspect I can get something useful out of both.

    Today I have not acted out and, furthermore, I will not act out!

    @Caoimhín these are great ideas to be more mindful. Back when I started abstaining from porn I was also quite interested in mindfulness and tried to meditate often. I have fallen out of practice with this, but it is probably time to bring it back. A meditative approach to the bathroom can certainly help me.

    @occams_razor thanks for your continued support man!
     
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  20. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf New Member

    I have noticed this same phenomenon. I'm married like yourself so there is zero benefit in doing this. This actually happened to me today where I had to stop myself from objectifying a woman at work. I saw her from behind as I was going up the escalator and my first thought was, "that's a nice ass". Have you noticed that this happens in porn "dialogue"? The woman will say, "you like that body part" not "you like my body part".

    Also thanks for referencing the no arousal thread. It's been helpful.
     
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