Merton's reboot log

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

  1. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    I have this EXACT problem too. Maybe SA is on to something with the lust issue ... I tried monk mode more or less in my last streak but to be honest I was quite often breaking the rules and looking anyways. True monk mode requires some serious dedication indeed.
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  2. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    I am somewhere in week 1, and things are going well. I have been practicing the "no arousal" method from the thread of bigbookofpenis. Basically, you try to never think about sex, porn, etc., and also do not look at attractive girls. This is a challenge due to where I work, but I have been making sure I keep custody of my eyes at all times. As he explains, this is a temporary measure to help your brain reboot. So far it has been going extremely well. Although it was difficult at first, and I am still only a few days in, I have found a couple of huge advantages to being on this plan:

    1. I constantly have practice staying away from triggers and dealing with urges. When I am in gym, there are women everywhere, but I keep refusing to look at them. If I notice that my eyes move to some woman, I move them immediately. Because of this, my mind is basically never on sex, and I have been much better able to deal with any pmo urges that come up.

    2. My brain is really getting a break from the constant ogling and fantasizing. I did not realize it before (although now it is so clear!), but my brain was getting small dopamine hits all day, nearly every day. This kept me connected to the dopamine feeling, and, when a triggering situation came up, I was often not able to resist. Now I feel very calm and rested.

    I realized that I am feeling so much better tonight when I checked the mail. For a long time, I was hoping that a Victorias Secret catalogue would come in the mail. This is so stupid, but anyway it was a fantasy. My wife shops there sometimes, so they send us some small pieces of mail. Whenever they come, it is a big struggle to keep myself away. Tonight, when I checked the mail, there was indeed a piece from VS. However, this time, it was not difficult at all to keep myself away. I just said "nope. I'm on the NoA method now." Actually, I'm not sure I even made a conscious decision not to look, since I have been training myself the last few days not to look. It was easy, whereas in the past it was so difficult.

    I remember telling my therapist that I was so confused because I did not want to look at attractive women during my year streak (at the beginning). They would come on the TV, but I would look the other way. Since then, I have had an incredible time keeping myself from looking. But my powers are coming back now! I did not realize at that time that I was keeping my eyes from all women. Once I have some practice in this, it is not that hard to keep away from triggers.

    In terms of recovery reading, I have been reading the SA green book, the Rational Recovery book, and the bigbookofpenis thread. I recommend all of them very highly.

    @TrueSelf thanks for the comments! I know exactly what you mean. It is crazy how much of our lives we lose to searching the view for women. Now I feel much more calm. I am hoping it will stay that way!

    @Intothewild89 thanks for coming by! These books have been really a big help. Let me know what you think.

    @Thelongwayhome27 I totally agree with you about the lust. It feels now that if we constantly keep a connection to the dopamine, we will never let our brains really heal.
  3. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Member

    Can you expand a bit more on this? When you were successful with doing this (No arousal method) did you essentially not watch any TV or movies? Like last night my wife was watching "Will & Grace" and one of the characters on the show always has her cleavage on display. It was very difficult for me to ignore this.

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  4. sveltest

    sveltest Member

    the sarcastic one thats always drinking?

    I find her really sexy for some reason.

    Probably cuz shes hot lol
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  5. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Member

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  6. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    After my post last time about the no arousal method, things went well and I remained free of bad urges throughout a couple of days. Then last night I looked at porn. For the first time in a while, I think it was motivated by feeling bad and hopeless. Specifically I felt bad about not having fulfilling sex with my wife. We have to have sex every other day (for baby making) and since I have not been doing the greatest since my 53 day streak (although I expect this to improve with the NoA method and all the literature I am getting through) I have had a hard time even getting aroused. So it was not such a great experience last night. This made me feel bad.

    Next I have been experimenting with different blocker situations. For the last week I have had my phone unblocked but with only an image blocker. This I thought would be ok but it turns out my addict wants to constantly bring up the fact that I could access porn when I want. So I got curious and check d something and then could not handle it. Of course this happened and I am an idiot.

    Anyway I recorded the drug use in the spreadsheet and made some concrete changes to my program:

    1. On my phone I have blocked all websites except for a short “whitelist.” I did not actually know this was possible. I would like to have a phone with no web browser, but I get several benefits from the smartphone, so this has kept me from switching. Now the only sites that I can access are addiction recovery. As usual, my wife has the password, so as time goes on, I will add more sites to the whitelist. In this way, I will be following a “food plan” like in NBA. I can only put a site on the whitelist if I make a careful consideration when I am not under the influence of the addict. I think this will help because nearly all of my relapses occur with the phone in bed while my wife’s back is turned. Making porn completely inaccessible on my phone will require me to actually get out of bed and go find a place to fire up the computer, and this is much less likely. The question of what to do about my computer is still up in the air. I might try something similar, giving my wife’s email for K9 and accumulating an increasing whitelist.

    2. Continue with the no arousal method since it has made me have more serenity (as in 12 step). I will switch for the moment to reading the SA green book and the Allen Carr book, because these are great for motivation. I will also listen again to the SA tapes audio files. Then I’ll move back to rational recovery, which seems to be great for figuring out how to beat the addict when you are determined o.

    Last, I should try to list the lies my addict told me. He said: you will never have fulfilling sex. He also said you should just take a quick look and there will be no problem. Although I had dealt with a couple of fantasies in the previous days and shut them down by breathing, I did not this time.

    What is the truth? I will indeed have fulfilling sex when my brain starts to recover. This is one of the great benefits of getting complete rest, not looking at women as well. I remember when I started trying to stop porn and I did the NoA method. Then my sex drive did get better. Second “just one perk” is the stupidest idea in the world and never works. Of course it leads to a porn session. I need to get back to the Carr book which talks a lot about this.

    Last, I really wanted not to come here and report that I acted outC especially since I just started the NoA method and I want to convince others that it is a good idea. However, in the end, it is best for me to come and write what really happened, so that the addiction comes out in the light.

    @TrueSelf thanks for the question! I remember when I was about 20 days into my year streak, I was watching breaking bad all the time. There was a scene where a naked woman ran out of a house. When I saw this, I immediately averted my eyes instead of trying to catch as much of a glance as possible. (This sort of thing also used to happen with sexy stuff on TV or movies, and I would avert my eyes immediately.) One main reason, I think, is that I was always practicing no ogling. This makes it easy to react in this way. I wanted to stay as calm as possible.
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  7. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Hope things are going well with you.

    I'm bringing up a slightly "old" quote here. I thought you talked about it much more recently actually. My sense of time must be getting worse!

    Anyway... I started watching season 2 of a show recently. I wasn't anticipating triggers in that way you talked about. I wanted to watch the show for other reasons. I saw several episodes. The more "obvious" scenes weren't a problem. There was a clear buildup to them and I could make a joke out of it: "Oh, here we go again! Better look away from the screen and keep my finger on the mute mutton just in case!" etc.

    No, much worse were a couple of scenes where there was nothing too obviously triggering going on. Scenes that could be shown anytime on TV. They were scenes where I was trying to work out what was going on because there might be some relevance to the plot and so on. But there was subtle, triggering stuff going on.

    So I've stopped watching that show now lol. It was getting a bit silly in other ways as well.
    Merton likes this.
  8. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    @Merton, if you want a blocking situation that truly works, PM me and I'll explain my setup. I'm on day 6 right now and I literally have no way to watch porn until March 17th unless I go out and buy a new computer or buy a new smartphone. I've been kinda quiet on the board here lately because I wanted to give this method time to work. It seems to be the "real mcoy", if you will. Let me know. Best of luck!
  9. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Quick update tonight. Things are going well and I’m keeping my mind on rational recovery. More tomorrow.
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  10. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Thanks guys for the support. I will try to post more soon.

    Sveltest, Please do not post in my journal anymore. What you wrote is not helpful for me.
  11. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Finally I am feeling like I am getting some traction to get out of the pit. Last week was quite bad but it is all behind me now. I have been reading the Carr book and the rational recovery book and this seems to help. Also I have good music and things to do to occupy my mind. I cannot tell you how much better I feel simply from getting a full night of sleep.

    Somehow what happens to me when I relapse is that I get stuck in a multi hour edge fest, looking for that great clip. This is terrible and I feel so unbelievably bad the next day. It is sort of like a hangover but also with almost no sleep.

    But I feel better now! Let’s keep moving upward on this first week of sobriety.

    @occams_razor thanks for the comments! I know what you mean about the TV shows. It is incredible how suggestive they can be. Often I am even more aroused by such things than by porn.
  12. -Luke-

    -Luke- Active Member

    I know what you're talking about here. Did your porn use change after you realized you had a porn addiction? For me it definitely did. Before I watched porn every day, but no longer then half an hour to an hour. After that I didn't watch porn for weeks only to binge for hours after I relapsed.

    Feels definitely worse now than ten years ago. Just like you said: a hangover.

    Good to see that you're on the right track again.
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  13. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    I don’t have much time for an update today (although I spent 30 minutes reading the Carr book so I feel pretty good) but I wanted to say that you described me 100%!!! When I just PMOed every day, I rarely spent more than 20-30 min. Now when I relapse it is a multi hour edge festival. I think it really obliterated my brain and body and I get something like a hangover with muscle aches and fog brain. Fortunately I am feeling better now and am a few days into clean times.

    I definitely think that it is hard to be in recovery and not also turn pmo into a forbidden fruit. This is what Carr calls the sense of sacrifice. When I am doing well I do not have it and appreciate my life an sobriety. When I am not I have the sense of sacrifice.
  14. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    Glad you’re feeling better. This is me to a T as well. In my twenties, I used to watch porn and pmo for maybe an hour or two a few times a week. Now my binges last 5+ hours off and on for days sometimes. In the beginning of what I consider the “turning point” in 2015, I used to shake all over my body once a viewing session would begin. I would sometimes do this before sex and my wife would think I was really cold. This didn’t start until I discovered HD 720+ porn clips. I didn’t know why my body started doing that, but now I know it’s because I was overloading my body on dopamine. This still happens to me, even during my binge this past weekend. Looking back on 2015, that was also when I started downloading and hoarding videos. It was also the start of my post-orgasm illness symptoms related to porn. It’s like I can pinpoint exactly the months when my body switched over to being clinically “addicted”. Evil stuff.

    Good job on getting back on track, Merton. Keep the streak alive!
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  15. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Today has gone well, and I think I am into day 4 or something. I am getting work done and getting my mind off of porn. It is incredible how some days I feel like the porn beast is insatiable, and other days I barely think about it.

    I am still reading the Carr book and rational recovery. RR is getting quite good. More soon!

    @Intothewild89 thanks for the comments! I know what you mean man. I have this exact shaking in my body before a viewing session. For me, it feels like identical to fever chills. I have to hide under a blanket and tense all of my muscles (this is actually almost involuntary). I wonder why I react in such an extreme way? It is really drugs.
  16. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    I have not updated for a few days but I’ve been around the forum posting some. I have also been keeping up with reading Carr and RR. I started week 2 today and am still practicing the no arousal method. There have been many times when an attractive woman walked by and I have forced myself not to look. In the beginning it was only painful to do this, but now I have been getting a sense that I am doing these women a favor by not being completely creepy to them. In other words I feel more like a gentleman or something. I thought a bit about times in the past when women (or even men) have leered at me in creepy ways and it was always weird feeling. I have been feeling good not subjecting women to this.

    It is funny that when I am looking at a woman somehow my brain likes to believe that she is secretly very sexually adventurous and will act sexy for me. It is stupid, like a strange woman is going to bend over or something and then look at me and wink. This will never happen. If it did, then it might actually freak me out. Furthermore there is no point since I am married.

    Anyway it is completely stupid how far away from reality my brain can get sometimes. I am feeling pretty good these days.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  17. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Moving into the middle of week 2. Things are going well. After several nights of temptations, because I did not act on them, they seem to have lessened.

    I have to travel this week to the other side of the country. I do not really like traveling and it will start a couple of weeks with a lot of alone time. I already called ahead to the hotel and asked them to remove the TV from my room, and I will not bring my computer. I will only have my apparently unbreakable phone.

    I am still reading Carr and getting more motivation. When I am done I’ll switch back to RR.

    Strength to everyone!
  18. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Member

    I hear you on this. Like the other day at work this women said I was a "good guy". Would she still think this if she knew all the lusting/ogling that I have done while being a married man? It feels good to be able to be more in control and not have to constantly be on the lookout for certain visuals.

    I think this is definitely one of the techniques our addict self uses. It keeps things ill defined. The thought would just be "wouldn't it be great it women acted sexy around me". Sure that sounds good but what does that even mean? As you posted above when we give a concrete definition to the nebulous desire it likely isn't something we even would actually want. If the idea is left as hazy than it's easier to fall into the addict's trap. "Why can't women act sexy around me"?... "I know where they act sexy- PORN"
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  19. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    Things are going pretty well and I'm halfway into week 2. One thing I have noticed today is that I feel more stable and more confident. Around days 1-3, whenever anything bad happens (say I look closely at some thumbnail online, or I find myself checking out some girl), I get this panicky feeling and think "oh god, I'm going downhill. There is no stopping the descent." Now if something small happens, I feel more like I can move on with my day. For example, leaving the gym today, some porn scene popped into my head and I thought about it for a few seconds before I really realized what I was doing. I got a feeling of wanting to look at porn. In the beginning, I would have thought immediately something like "there is no way to stay away from porn forever, and I have a good chance to even relapse today." Today, instead, I thought that it is ok, and I can just forget about it and move on.

    @TrueSelf I totally know what you mean here. Keeping things ill defined is very important for the addict. For instance, with my panicking described above, what it is I am really afraid of? The addict just wants to put these vague fears in my head to drive me back to porn.
    -Luke- and occams_razor like this.
  20. Merton

    Merton Active Member

    I am traveling. Although I did not bring my computer and have no tv I still decided to MO to whatever I could find on my phone last night. It was a bad decision.

    That is the bad news. There is also good news and I think I have realized something that will help to keep me on track.

    After I messed up I, as usual, was distraught and searching for a way to once again bar myself from bad behavior. It was then that I started listening to the rational recovery audiobook. (There is actually no audiobook but I found on YouTube a series of videos of some woman reading the book out loud. It is not totally optimal since she had a strong accent (maybe Russian?) and she is not a professional, so there are many places where she stops and starts, as we all probably would if we were reading a book out loud.)

    Anyway what did I realize? I actually have to leave now but I’ll update this today. It is about commitment.

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