My journal, age 29

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by jackal, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. jackal

    jackal New Member

    #day 1

    Hi! It feels ill-mannered to begin my journey on this forum focused on myself and not on other people, but I hope it's fine to be a little self-centered in a journal. I expect to be able to be supportive too soon ;)

    Long story short, I've been aware of a porn addiction for years. I have started consumption early in my teens. I think I'm trying to quit since around 2014 - and my life has certainly improved a lot since then. But I still relapse every month or two. It's clear to me that I want to stop, and this journal is a sort of commitment to take it "more seriously" this time.

    So far in my recorded history, my best streak is 108 days without porn, which sounds ridiculously low. This time I'm hopefully going to beat it on April 23rd 2020 ;)

    When it comes to current relapse, I fucked up. I mean every relapse is a fuck-up, but now ahead of me I have a week full of meetings, social situations, some public speaking. I'll probably avoid some of it, but I can't cancel everything. I can only hope that this time I'll have some luck and it won't be one of those hard recoveries where sleeplessness, depression, itching, brain fog and discomfort would dominate the entire week or two. Wish me luck ;)

    Thanks for reading and have a good day!
     
  2. jackal

    jackal New Member

    #day 2

    Every time I backslide, I'm trying to increase my chances of success the next time I feel the pressure to watch.

    One of the methods I embrace is looking for a technical solution for filtering content so I won't be able to access any of the hardcore stuff when I have a limited control of my behavior. So far it looks like an arms race with my other self - every advancement that my rational self makes is easily broken when I have the urge to access the filtered content. I'm trying to improve this filtering again this time even though I have not seen a big success with this method yet.

    This makes me wondering if this is even worth the effort. I think it should be, because creating or reducing friction is a good way to shape our habits. If circumventing the filters would take me 30 minutes or would require a trip to a distant location where I might store a password to my router, I'd have more time to cool down and back out. I guess this is rational - if I were using some addictive substances, I wouldn't want them at home easily available.

    On the other hand the difficulty of setting up such "safe space" at home at least is growing with each device I own.
    I'm sometimes wondering if selling my PC, laptops and maybe also replacing my smartphone with something dumb would not be a better choice overall.
     
  3. jackal

    jackal New Member

    #day 3
    Some of the lies I used to be telling myself:

    1. "I'll just have a super short glimpse and get back to doing other things within a minute" - never happened
    2. "Tomorrow I'll be fine if I get a good sleep (after relapse)" - nope, I won't. Now from my experience it takes 1-2 weeks to be back to relative normal, and who knows how much more for a complete recovery
    3. "It doesn't count as a relapse if I didn't end with an O" - well, that one was especially bad, as I was misunderstanding/denying what really causes the addiction and what is the mechanism
    4. "This was the last time" - turned out to never be true, but here I'm optimistic. This time I don't intend to lose ;)
     
  4. jackal

    jackal New Member

    #day 55
    So far so good, but I'm dealing with a first crisis today. I'll therefore use this journal today to strengthen my commitment to get through the weekend without watching porn or any triggering stuff.

    Why a motivation crisis now? Pretty standard set of circumstances in my case:
    - I drank alcohol before the weekend. I don't have an addiction problem regarding alcohol (actually I don't like it and normally avoid it), but it makes me tired and must have a significant effect on dopamine system. After drinking I'm less motivated, have less appetite and I'm also much more keen to reach for things that are more addictive to me.
    - I'm alone for a weekend at home (easy "opportunity" to do whatever I want)
    - the week was pretty disappointing, although this might not matter. I've done stupid things after some good weeks too.

    Anyway, I intend to survive this weekend abstaining.
    Good luck to you too with your commitments, stay strong :)
     
  5. hogus

    hogus Active Member

    What's happening now? Still 63 days without?
     
  6. jackal

    jackal New Member

    Thanks for asking, yes I'm still clean and motivated to stay this way :)

    I think that what keeps me in the upward spiral right now is sport (I train almost every day with some goal on the horizon). I'm still susceptible to crises, but also have some mechanisms that seem to keep me safe. For example:
    * The most risky time for me were weekends. Now I have some regular commitments on weekends so I don's see them as "opportunity" because I have to go to people
    * I'm using rigorous website filters on my devices, which also create friction. I know I could remove them, but it would require time and is purposefully inconvenient
    * Maybe the strongest weapon is that I'm truly fed up with years of relapses and I really intend to end this now. Rationally I'm 100% convinced that's what I want.

    Thanks for your support!
     
  7. hogus

    hogus Active Member

    That's good. Let's see how it goes.
     
  8. jackal

    jackal New Member

    Need to reset the counter after 99 days. I spent around 5 minutes on the tube sites, then backed off.

    Not as bad as it could be, but my target is zero, so I count it as a mistake and start the counting again. Funny that for some reason again I wasn't able to reach my all-time record of 108 days ;)
     
  9. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    Hey man. So first off, welcome to the god grind of beating the habit, though I know you've been working on this since 2014 or so, and here in this thread since January. Reading through the posts, seems like you haven't yet blocked the ease of access to porn from your life.

    Might I suggest checking out step 11, and also getting some blocking software?
    https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-quit-porn/

    ^This was step three for me once I admitted I had a problem, and researched what was happening. I know you said you've got some blocking software (and maybe parental controls activated), but maybe you need more of it or better versions to filter stuff? It doesn't necessarily stop you someone from just googling "porn" and clicking till they find something they can view, but I do think every inconvenience and roadblock buys you those extra minutes to step back from what you're doing and prevent the full relapse.

    Every relapse is also a new opportunity to learn, refine your process, and improve yourself again.
     
  10. jackal

    jackal New Member

    Hi, thanks for this advice! This helped me improve my blocking system on devices where access was previously too easy and this might make a significant difference "the next time".

    I agree that it's good to see opportunity to learn and improve with each relapse :)

    You might be already familar with this, but Google specifically can be forced into a "safe" mode with a proper setup too. Eg: https://cleanbrowsing.org/articles/configuring-google-safe-search-vip
    Not bulletproof (as no solution is), but learned it's a roadblock worth having :)
     
  11. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    Yeah dude. every roadblock helps. Level one is your own willpower, but when that isn't enough, you need to buy yourself time to come to your senses, so out think and out maneuver yourself to the point where it's just too damn difficult to get to porn in the first place to be worth the effort.
     

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