Moving Forward: My Abstinence Odyssey - Volume 2

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by ee6, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    I have returned in time for New Years.

    I had a journal on here two months ago. I made to 21 days, which is my all time record. Then I relapsed to a silly"hypnosis" video, then after that I made it five days, and after that I was struggling a bit, and then after that I just gave up and stopped keeping track altogether and returned to PMOing ten times a week. I've decided to start from scratch.

    However, some of the habits and benefits I gained during that period stuck - I still get up a 6 am every day and I still write to a "positivity" journal, filled with affirmations and things I am grateful for. (Unfortunately, I sometimes PMO afterwards. Haha.)

    Recently my PMO sessions have been taking 1 to 2 hours. This is all while my room needs to be cleaned, my book needs to be read, and my friends want to socialize. Sounds like it's time to get my priorities in order.

    It's up to me. No excuses. No justifications. No slip ups. I can do it. I should do it. I will do it.

    I have come back to finish what I started. My goal is 30 days, no P, and no MO.
     
  2. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Half way there....

    I made the goal to get to 30 days. When I made it, the rule was that I don't care what happens afterwards. If I relapse, so be it. The reason for this: The idea that I'll never MO again, while at first gives me a strong sense of determination, ultimately causes me to relapse on day 4 or 5.

    If I do relapse, the next goal is going to be 42 days (My last run, before this one, was 21 days, and before that 15). See the pattern? I know I can get to 21 days because I've done it before. 21 is about 70% of 30 - and I read that usually if someone has completed 70% of something, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it gives them extra motivation to knock off that last 30%. That's not to say I intend to relapse - in fact, it's the opposite.

    Hopefully one of these days I will hit a goal high enough that it will illicit a shrug from me - "PMO? I don't even care about that anymore." My goal is to make my thoughts to PMO like my thoughts toward fishing. I'm not a fisherman and I don't much think of fishing. It's just not what I'm into. Sure, maybe I'll stumble over a documentary or movie that has the subject of fishing but later in the day I'll be eating something, doing other stuff, and not thinking or caring about fishing. I want to have a similar attitude toward PMO.

    I added a separate new counter and goal for porn. i found myself, a little too often, browsing porn sites when I was bored, even though I promised myself I wouldn't relapse yet again. I almost broke that promise yesterday. In a way, deliberately looking at a porn site is a little relapse and kind of defeats the purpose. (I also have this strange belief that one day I will see someone I know on a porn site.) The more I look at porn sites, the more I want to look at porn sites when I'm not looking at porn sites - and the real point of all this is to put as much distance between me a porn as possible.
     
  3. wwwilliam

    wwwilliam New Member

    Congratulations on making it halfway.

    You need to find something else then looking at porn site when you are bored. Looking at porn is very counterproductive to what you are trying to accomplish here. If you ever want to not care about porn you need to find a way to live without it and that means finding a way to do something else to fill the need porn fills.

    For me coming here is a way to keep my focus on recovery. I also work on my vision, keep my focus on my vision, like a mantra I'm repeating myself. The better vision you craft for yourself the better it works at keeping you focus on the fact that porn is no good and useless to you.

    A vision can be anything that allows you to see yourself living without porn. You can add things and refine it as much as you want, you need to make it work for you.

    You can do it!
     
  4. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    I'VE REACHED MY GOAL OF 30 DAYS.

    This is a tremendous achievement. This is the first time I've made it to a point that could be considered a significant fraction of a year. During this time I've experienced greater self-confidence and less self-consciousness. I'm talking to people in meetings and what not and I'm not at all thinking about how I'm coming off - I'm just thinking about the topic of the meeting. I'm also much less of an indecisive person. I have every reason to be happy about my achievement.

    Today I relapsed.

    I somehow knew this would happen. I've been thinking porn all day at work. The fact that this is day 30 was on my mind all day. This is the downside of setting a goal. However, I know from past experience that saying to myself that I will never fap again never works. I'd get to day 4 or 5, and then think to myself, "who am i kidding? why bother?" Even a goal of 90 days provokes a reaction like that out of me.

    The solution to this is to do things step by step. I've set my next goal to 42 days. Why? Because I know I can do 30 days, which is about 70% of 42. It's only 12 more days! (The next goal after that will be 60, and so on.)

    Now because I relapsed, I want to say something to myself, sort of a message to my immediate-future self, in a high-pitched screechy voice as if I've thrown all civility out the window:

    DDDDOOOOOONNN'''TTTT BBBBIIIINNNNGGGGEEEEE!!!!!!!!

    In the past when I've relapsed, I end up digging myself deep into a deep hole of PMO. I'd say to myself, "well since my counter is at 0 anyway, where's the harm?" or "I need to get it fully out of my system before starting again." This is not true. I've MO'd 4 times at the beginning of January, and once today. That's it for 2015 so far. I can count that on ONE HAND! My increased-confidence etc. hasn't magically disappeared because I relapsed today. I didn't throw my progress out the window. However, if I suddenly go back to PMOing ten times a week, I'll be back to my old dull self.

    Okay, so there's a reason I relapsed today. I had this pornographic image in my head today that I could not shake. I saw it over the weekend. Yes, during those 30 days, I would occasionally look at porn, partly out of boredom. I actually came close to deciding to relapsing twice. This is why I introduced a separate counter on day 15 for intentionally viewing porn. Without the porn, I would have not relapsed at all. The solution here should be obvious. From now on, as soon as I get a temptation to look at porn, it's cold shower time.

    Reminder to self: DON'T BINGE!!
     
  5. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Definition of Porn for my purposes

    I just looked up "Sexy" on google images. Big mistake. Although I didn't touch myself or anything, I felt a small pleasure hit and relief at seeing the resulting images. I have to set some rules. I've realized that my addiction isn't really to MO...it's actually Porn. In 2014, I think I've maybe MO'd five or ten times without the use of porn. The other 300 or so times it started with porn.

    I will reset my "Porn" counter if any of the following occurs:
    1. I willfully visit any site which has content designed to sexually arouse. This includes imagery, videos, sound clips, stories, etc. Even if I turn images off in my browser, visiting a porn site is a reset.
    2. I use any search engine to search for anything sexually arousing.
    3. I try to exploit a loophole in my own rules.
    4. I deliberately make myself sexually aroused in any way, shape or form while I'm alone at my computer.

    THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THESE. IF I DO ANYTHING THAT FEELS "WRONG" IT'S RESET TIME.

    Note: It's sort of interesting...yesterday was watching a TV show with a couple buddies and there was ample amounts of nudity in it, however while I was enjoying the show I wasn't aroused. But when I'm alone, just typing in "Sexy" in the google images gets a reaction out of me. Maybe I was getting excited at the idea of relapsing...
     
  6. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Relapsed again
    Yesterday when I was going on a bike ride a pornographic image appeared in my head that I had seen before. I couldn't shake the image, and, unfortunately, today I relapsed.

    Now on the plus side:
    • I only spent 5 or 10 minutes looking at the porn. Usually I'll spend at least 40 minutes, and sometimes hours. And then I'd be depressed, drained and tired afterwards because I not only relapsed, I wasted a lot of time.
    • I relapsed to the exact image I was fantasizing about. Usually I'd get bored of it and search for other stuff, and in my search I will refresh a repository of images in my head that I really don't want in my head, and therefore put the potential of more images that could pop up in my head at any time.
    • Last time I relapsed (8 days ago), I didn't binge, nor did I binge the time before. I've now had 8 PMOs and 1 MO so far in 2015. 4 of them were at the beginning of January, which means I've relapsed 5 times in the last 48 days. This is amazing. I WILL NOT BINGE.

    Now the reason I relapsed this and last time is partly because of boredom. This is the thing about weekends. People on these forums say, find something to do, but the thing is, I want to be able to be bored and not relapse. I like to be bored from time to time.

    I may remove the "MO" counter in the near future because my addiction is to porn and not masturbating. I've masturbated only once without porn in 2015. I think the emphasis should be on getting as much distance between me and porn as possible. In fact, I may go so far to say that even looking at porn without masturbating is worse than masturbating without porn.

    As I get further away from porn (relapsing less and less often), the emotions tied to the imagery in my head fade. For example, before my 30 day streak in January, I was incredibly turned on by the idea that I may see somebody I know in the buff on a revenge porn site (even though I had more chance at winning the lottery). This idea caused me to keep coming back literally every day. After the streak, this belief is now completely gone. Also, I can remember images of porn stars and videos I used to watch over and over, but thinking about them doesn't turn me on anymore and my brain moves on to other thoughts. I believe this is what "rewiring" is.
     
  7. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    Here comes the weekend again

    I relapsed the last two weekends. Third time's a charm. I WILL NOT relapse this weekend. I also will not:
    • Use google images at all
    • Look for sites that say "masturbation is OK"
    • Use porn stats to justify the reasoning, "Well, since everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't I?"
    • Sit at the computer for any length of time, unless I'm actually focusing on something and not surfing randomly or killing time
    • Fantasize about sex for any length of time

    The interesting thing about this is that I was actually looking forward to this weekend so I can ABSTAIN from relapsing. Hopefully when the urges come this gives me the added motivation to shut them down before they gain momentum.
     
  8. ee6

    ee6 New Member

    It's friday again

    As promised, I did not relapse last weekend.

    Right now I'm:
    • Happy
    • Energetic
    • Social
    • Calm/Relaxed
    • Positive

    And I owe it mostly to not giving in.

    The day after I relapsed last (the weekend before the last one), I was noticeably nervous when I had to speak in front of a small group of people. The funny thing is, I wasn't thinking about the fact that I relapsed at all. I was just nervous - but, from experience, I know that it was caused by the fact that I relapsed. It's a subconscious thing. After relapse, I experience a lapse of self-confidence and a surge of self-consciousness.

    That being said:

    THIS WEEKEND I WILL NOT RELAPSE. I CANNOT GO BACK!
     

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