Moving towards a more desirable future

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by chrism, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    This post turned out to be a little longer than expected, but the last couple paragraphs are a summary of the full post, in case you want the short version.

    I turned 30 on 23rd of February 2019.

    It’s time to make a new thread, which will in theory encapsulate and describe a set of methods and ideas, to help take my recovery to the next level.

    I have been recovering for about 6 years now. Through this period I have made some major improvements to the way I live my life.

    When I realised I had this addiction I was in a very bad place. Since then I have made several major changes (in some instances these changes have been incredibly difficult), and as a result I find myself in a happier, more stable position in my life.

    I still have a long way to go. I have flash backs to previous moments in my life that make me cringe, and if I’m honest make me feel the depression again. I’m sure I will go into these at some point in the future, but if you want to know more I have linked my previous threads in my signature. I may also add links to this post in the future.

    I have just made it past the 3 week mark of being clean (by clean I mean; no PMO, no MO, no peeking at anything that is related to P or P-subs, no social media (apart from work related because I do a bit of marketing in my job) and only O when being physical with my GF). This is really good for me and I have not had a streak like this for about 9 months. I had been stuck in a routine that would mean I lasted a week, maybe 2 then I would peek at P or P-subs which would lead me to edging which would then eventually lead to a PMO, and this would repeat every 2 to 3 weeks.

    I put my recent successes down to 2 things; 1, the fact I have turned 30 means I had a definite mental effort to ‘be a man’ and try harder. 2, I found a new blocker.

    The combination of the 2 has been great. Not only am I more motivated but I have set my blocker up so even if I do ‘slip’ it is very difficult for me to access things I don’t want to access.

    The blocker is called ‘freedom’ I have paid £15 for a one year subscription. It is well worth the £15 as I relate that to £15 to not feel shit about myself which I would pay way more for on shit I don’t need.

    In the past I have used k9 and I have used DNS blockers and web browser extensions such as ‘stay focused’. All of these did not work for me. They either did not block sites 100% of the time which meant I would go into what I call ‘testing mode’. This would lead me into the mind set of “if the site is blocked I will get on my with my day and ‘be good’, but if it’s not then at least I tried but it’s fair game to go and relapse. This was a terrible attitude and I’m glad to say that with ‘freedom’ installed on all my machines this has not been a problem because it just works. Another benefit of this blocker is that I can self moderate; I can add sites to a block list that is already in effect. This was a feature of k9 but I found it didn’t work very well.

    In addition to the above, I also try my best to practice the NoArousal method, exercise as much as I can (without over doing it), eat as well as is reasonable, not use social media in my personal life (it just makes me depressed), no shit TV, be physical with my gf as much as I can, and try to spend my free time bettering my life through learning new things in trying different activities.

    Now all of this sounds great, but the truth is I have my down days. I have dark thoughts and I feel extremely negative at times.

    In the past therapy has helped me so I am going to find a new therapist (the old one is just too far away now where I live), and do either weekly or every other week.

    Iv had three previous therapists, the first one was just because I had no drive or focus and it’s got me from finishing uni, having no idea what I wanted to do to getting a job and moving out of my parents house. Then my second one was specifically for P addiction. The third was because I feel into a deep depression, she helped me quite drugs and as a result get out of the group of friends I had that were bad for me, and get back to feeling a bit better about myself.

    Sometimes something will trigger memories that are painful, recently I had a night that was pretty bad, so before it gets worse I will sort this out.

    I am going to keep moving forwards, stay away from P, keep using my blocker, try to exercise consistently and be a loving and supportive partner to my gf.

    I keep a spreadsheet of my relapses, so will add the 2019 link to my singnature for anyone that is interested.

    Feel free to ask any questions, good luck everyone in your journeys!

    nuclpow, Pete McVries and Merton like this.
  2. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Belated happy birthday to you!

    Good to see that you turned your life around and made some progress over the last years. Seems that you are definitely on the right track.
    chrism likes this.
  3. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    I had the exact same problem with K9. It was just another hurdle. That's how I got addicted to Google images, which has been my worst enemy ever since.

    I think we all have dark moments. Sometimes I feel a great hopelessness and how nothing is worthwhile. It gets better without PMO, though. Even though I may not ever be free of these negative thoughts, I'm convinced that I can live a life that's not controlled by them.
    chrism and Merton like this.
  4. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    This was a very inspiring post. I have thought about using freedom. How does it work?

    @Eternity i have also had this exact problem with K9 and it also led me to search engines. When I first started using K9 I thought it had saved me but whenever I tried to get around it I found it was not so hard to access something.
  5. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Dude, exactly the same with me. I once blocked google completely, but you will always find other search engines. The addicted brain will find it's way.

    I even aroused myself by using wikipedia or amazon, which would have been unthinkable years before.
    Merton likes this.
  6. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Hey guys, just wanna day iv read your posts and appreciate the responses I will reply to each of you individually when I get a moment and go into detail a bit more about how freedom works.
  7. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    chrism in this mf. Make your thirties an awesome time. You got all the tools in your bag!
  8. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Thank you for the birthday wishes, and yeah I just need to be careful and not get complacent, because that had been my downfall in the past.
  9. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Yes exactly! Using k9 worked for me to a point but it was just unreliable. I too have difficulty with google images... I now use ‘freedom’ to temporarily block google in time where I feel the cravings coming on. This is a separate block list that runs along side my ‘main’ recurring block list.

    Totally agree, when I am clean and away from P, I still have negative thoughts but they are more controllable and I am able to move forward from them more easily. I do find that in the begging few days of being clean, it can be worse, but you just have to push on past that hurdle.
  10. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Hey, so it basically works as follows;
    - install it on all your devices
    - set up a block list with all your major trigger and activate the adult category.
    - set up additional block lists for other sites that may be a trigger to you at times
    - set your main block list to recurr at an interval of time that works for you, I have it to start at 04:00 every morning and run for the day
    - lock this setting. With this you will need to contact the developer to turn it off
    - activate your secondary block list at time when you feel cravings coming on for a period of time that suits yourself.

    This is what I have done and since having it installed I am just under 4 weeks clean.

    Let me know how you get on if you try it.

    They have really good support as well, I asked them if I could do a certain thing and they said to add it to a request list so they could add the new feature... I still need to actually do that though...
  11. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Yeah man. In some ways it’s impressive how the addictive brain works. For me freedom has solved this because as soon as I start ‘browsing’ for a dopamine hit, I just add that site to my secondary block list and turn it on for like 12 hours.
  12. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    Guys, if you want K9 to work to your advantage, you need to make use of the hosts file in order to force google and bing safe search as well as YouTube safe-search. Without the hosts file, you’re going to keep resorting to google images and going around the k9 blocker.

    With blockers, you have to realize it’s all or nothing. For instance, if you want to enforce the google and bing and YouTube safe searches through the hosts file, you’ll need to alter your windows account so that it can’t grant administrator functions. This means you won’t have access to the administrator account. You also lose install privileges. I explained this in full with @Merton and even then you can boot your computer into safe mode in order to alter the hosts file and turn off k9 (although you’ll need Ethernet connection to use the internet). There’s a way to block booting into safe mode, but it requires installing software you might not be cool with. Also, you could always reinstall windows with a usb install disc.

    What I’m getting at is that you’ll never truly block porn from your life unless you get rid of your computer and smart phone. Having an accountability partner would be the much better way to go, because then you’d have to explain why you reinstalled windows in the first place.

    If you want a way that does work on PC where the only way you COULD access porn is by reinstalling windows, send me a PM and I’ll explain my method, but just know that all it takes is a few hours of buying a usb stick and putting windows on it to reinstall your computer (unless you don’t have access to another computer AND you’ve blocked all websites that offer the windows install disc download. THEN you might be porn free for a good while until you can get to another computer with install privileges). At any rate, let me know. I’ll explain it out.
    Merton likes this.
  13. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    This makes a lot of sense. One thing I was wondering, and this freedom app intrigued me about, is whether there are programs that will temporarily block essentially everything (say for 12 hours). If you feel like you are starting to get triggered a lot, you could hit the button, and there will be no way to unblock for, say, 12 hours. It sounded a little like freedom might do this, based on what was mentioned above.
    Intothewild89 likes this.
  14. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Hi @Intothewild89 thanks you very much for such a considered and detailed response.

    Yes host files are all well and good but I think we are all away that even with safe mode being forced we are still able to find P-subs.

    I tried k9 and it didn’t work for me. Very glad to hear it is working for you though. Keep up the good work.

    I have only recently found ‘freedom’ and I like the fact that I can moderate myself when I need to. Some day I’m fine, I can use YouTube and good with no worries, other days I feel cravings, and at that point I will set my second level block list to run for a day or so, depending on what my plans are.

    I can do this on my phone and within a few moments of applying the block list I now have those sites blocked on both my Mac, windows pc, iPad and iPhone.

    I feel like this gives me the opportunity to both build up my will power in the times when I am feeling good, but also gives me that ‘self imposed safety net’ when I really need it.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this approach.
  15. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Hi @Merton yes this ‘button’ as you describe it is exactly what you have with freedom.

    You can set multiple ‘block lists’ then activate them when you need to.

    You can also add sites to these block lists while your ‘session’ is running.

    For example, I am at home working on my pc, I have my ‘main block list’ running already that blocks P and adult sites (including ones I know are definate triggers for me like Flickr etc). I need to find a stock image for a project I’m working on, then while searching I feel a craving coming on. I immediately turn on my ‘second level block lists’ run this for say 4 hours. I carry on working, and find another stock photo site... begin thinking about browsing for P-subs, so I just add this site to my second level block list and can carry on working. If I find more potential triggers I add them so which ever block list is most relevant.

    You can set the timings as you need and you can ‘lock’ the sessions so you can turn them off unless the period of time you set has elapsed.

    It’s teaching me to be more aware of what I’m feeling and take action to avoid relapse.

    It’s is a paid app, but it’s only like £15 for the year, so in my opinion it’s oretty cheap.

    I am 1 day away from 4 weeks being clean, and don’t think I’d be at this point for a few reasons but one of the big ones is the ‘freedom app’.

    Please let me know your thoughts.
    Merton and Intothewild89 like this.
  16. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    If you're able to set your local account as "standard" user and yourself the administrator password, then you should have no access to the hosts files whatsoever. If you want to block safe mode for the local "standard" account, it's possible with a certain software, and by doing that in tandem with K9 set on the highest category (including proxy avoidance and social sites), you should have a very, very hard time finding porn without reinstalling windows. If you can, I'd like to hear how you did it so I can find a way to block it.

    I only use my hosts file primarily to enforce google, bing and youtube safe search. I also use it to block any and all proxy sites as well as other search engines I can find. I'll check out Freedom and see what you guys are talking about. I'm still standing by my decision to purchase the new Light Phone 2 when it comes out so I don't even need to worry about porn on my cellular device. (
    Merton likes this.
  17. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    I'm still investigating the idea of purchasing a lock box for my router/modem and using the parental controls on it to block all porn from my network. This will prevent me from hitting the reset button on the back of the router. I'd give the key to my wife and she could keep it at her work or something. This way, it wouldn't matter if I reinstalled Windows or not. I just need to know if the computer makes a new account on my router upon reinstall. Something like this --
  18. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    That’s a good idea to put your router in a locked box. It’s good to hear that you are open with your wife about all this.
    Intothewild89 likes this.
  19. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    Today I am 1 month clean (feb is a slightly shorter month, but still very happy with this).

    I am feeling very proud of this. I am also feeling a bit of withdrawal I guess you would call it. Bit down and last night had a pretty graphic dream which left me feeling tired this morning.

    Think I’m in a flat line. That would make sense as a reason for how I’m feeling.

    I think I am becoming more aware of the ebs and flows of this journey. Gonna turn on my second level block list now for 24 hours just in case.

    -Luke-, Intothewild89 and Merton like this.
  20. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    The tide can really turn fast, so that sounds like a good idea.

    Nice work on the full month, and even nicer work to be aware of the dangers.
    chrism likes this.

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