My Journey

Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by Robane, May 7, 2012.

  1. Robane

    Robane Member

    Well Day 5 turned into Day 0. Relapsed again. Sometimes I wonder if I want to give up P in the first place. This shit is so deeply enfgrained in my brain. I could have left he house today. I could have gone on a walk whenever I felt tempted. Why didn't I do it? Why can other guys on this forum do it? Why isn't my motivation to quit as strong as other people on this forum?

    Changed I've made in my life so far:
    Started taking cold showers daily; I have a more consistent work-out schedule; Have cut out edging to fantasy (esp. while in bed- that was a major habit for me); meditate daily.

    I'm tired of relapsing, and then blaming it on all the problems and failures in my life. I need to face the fact that I don't deal with stress well. Whenever I'm stressed, which was everyday this week, this thought pops up into my head saying that the only thing that will make me feel better is P. Or looking for "that one scene). THis has to stop. And the pitty party I hold everytime after a reboot has to stop. now. If I relapse, I relapse...It's all on me. I will make it 90 days this year

    "The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it." (Arizona posted this)
     
  2. Robane

    Robane Member

    Found these two really good articles on psychology today about Delayed Gratification and the benefits of Meditation. The second article recommended that 20-30 min of meditation is beneficial in that it enhances the Lateral prefrontal cortex... "the part of the brain that allows you to look at things from a more rational, logical and balanced perspective. In the book, we call it the Assessment Center. It is involved in modulating emotional responses (originating from the fear center or other parts of the brain), overriding automatic behaviors/habits and decreasing the brain’s tendency to take things personally (by modulating the Me Center of the brain, the medial prefrontal cortex)"

    In the past, i only meditated an average of 10-12 minutes every couple days. I order to change the brain, you need time. I simply wasn't dedicating enough time to training and developing the rational, impulse-controlling part of my brain. Now I will start to put emphasis on daily meditation. I plan to meditate at least 20 min. everyday. If I'll have time, I'll add in an extra 10 min. during the course of the day.

    Right now as I'm writing this post, I am in a highly stressed state of mind. Not too long ago I took up Day Trading as a way to make some cash while I'm not officially working or studying. Mad some good returns this morning, but now I'm contemplating getting into another trade. So, I'm under a lot of stress..SHould or buy and risk my morning gains, or sit on the sidelines and possibly miss a great opportunity to make more money? In addition to all this, I'm sitting at home alone with 2 computer screens glaring in my face. Guess how my addicted responds to all this. Ye, you guessed it. I start getting bombarded with flashbacks of P scenes and urges to PMO.

    Going to do some meditation and deep breathing exercises. Gotta get into the right mindset. Will also try to get in touch with a friend. Just going to break the cycle of becoming triggered...peeking...Relapsing...beating myself up...etc.


    Here are links to the 2 articles:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/use-your-mind-change-your-brain/201305/is-your-brain-meditation

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/obesely-speaking/201401/delayed-gratification-battle-must-be-won
     
  3. You're on the right track.

    Thanks for the links. Maybe the key to kicking this thing for good is meditation and the strengthening of our pre-frontal cortex.

    I'm struggling to get a mediation habit going. Got the daily exercise thing down so I should probably focus on making meditation a permanent habit.
     
  4. Robane

    Robane Member

    @davemustaine13

    You're welcome. I hope they help.

    I always noticed that meditation had made me more aware of my impulses, but I never really understood the science behind why it happened. What really hit it home, was when the author wrote that the more meditation we do, the more our lateral prefrontal cortex develops. So, although I had incorporated meditation into some-what daily routine, it was done on a minimal level. I didn't grasp the importance of it back then. Sometimes, whenever I would reach around 2 weeks into a reboot, I would go up to 5 days without meditating. I was always preoccupied with some other activity. I never took the time to slow down and just clear my thoughts.

    Update on the CET method I was proposing on implementing:
    I'm definitely not going to expose myself to small doses of P or images of P like I was doing in the last reboot. It was too tempting. The essence of CET is, "to extinguish the addictive behavior by allowing the addict to be exposed to normal cues or stimuli that typically precede the addictive behavior, but preventing that behavior from getting underway."

    For addictions to external substances, the addict is exposed to small doses of that stimulus (i.e. small sips or whiffs of alcohol, a syringe filled with a placebo liquid) and is trained (or encouraged) to prevent the typical response of indulging in that stimulus. For porn CET must be approached differently because exposing oneself to images of P, even for short intervals, is already comparable to indulging in P. This is because P images become ingrained in our memories, and can later be played out in fantasy (which is basically like watching P in your head). Sexual fantasy can release the same type of neurochemicals that P does, albeit in smaller doses. I think it would be quite difficult to conjure up the memory of the exact taste or smell of alcohol or a puff of cigarettes. Images can be reproduced in milliseconds, and, in addition, they can be elaborated upon.

    So, when using CET for P addiction, Todd Becker advises that one be exposed to situational cues that usually lead to P use. The cue for me this week was sitting in front of 2 computer screens totally stressed out, while at home alone. There were a lot of instances when I thought of "easing the pain" by PMOing. The meditation exercises helped make me more aware of those thoughts early, so I could get rid of them quickly.
     
  5. djokovic

    djokovic New Member

    day 27

    so far so good

    hope i can make it to the 30 day mark at the very least
     
  6. Robane

    Robane Member

    @ djokovic

    Thanks man!. Congrats on making it to Day 30! That's great progress. I hope I can make it to 30 days in this reboot as well.

    Update: Had some issues with peeking yesterday, but I was able to muster up the willpower to take a cold shower and leave the house. I also added in a 5 min. walk around my block yesterday. Before I got back home last night, I challenged myself with a CET. The goal was to make it the whole night without peeking. Had some pretty intense urges last night, but I was able to stay off my device. I ended up baking some pizza and watched the movie "Taxi Driver" with De Niro. Unfortunately, I edged to fantasy for while in bed for 5 min. before falling asleep. About to leave the house now. Will go for a 5 min. walk around the block first.
     
  7. yearofchange

    yearofchange Your actions matter.

    Hey man, as long as you keep at it. Keep vigilant, don't forget why you're on this journey, you'll be doing well. Keep it up!
     
  8. Robane

    Robane Member

    Made a separate counter for peeking. I need to seriously cut it out. Will reset both counters (No PMO and No P) if I peek at P again during this 90 day reboot
     
  9. yearofchange

    yearofchange Your actions matter.

    I implore you to not just rely on willpower to prevent yourself from peeking. Something I'm finding useful is the nofap app, maybe check that out. It's free n stuff.

    It would be cool to reward yourself for every day that you don't peek, maybe a small chocolate piece or something like that. It seems to me your revised strategy entails a good amount of negative reinforcement (resetting both counters) but I don't see any positive reinforcement, and I know that for me would not be enough incentive to keep going. It might actually discourage me in the long run, but of course, we are different people and different things may fuel us and help us! This is just me sharing my experience.
     
  10. Robane

    Robane Member

    @yearofchange

    Will definitely check out that app. About the Negative/Positive reinforcement, for me, going to bed at night clear-headed, without blue-balls, knowing that I didn't relapse that day is enough positive reinforcement for me. Also, feeling more confident around people, especially women, serves as positive feedback. Last week I went to watch a movie and I spotted a really hot girl (I'm talking 10/10). She passed me on her way to the concession stand while I was walking into my movie showroom. My normal response would have been to just acknowledge how hot she was in my head, then convince myself that she's out of my league and not dare approach her. But that night I felt a burning desire to take a risk and approach her. Of course, the reptilian part of my brain was scared shitless and was in flight mode. But lately, I've developed a certain tolerance for discomfort. I think the daily cold showers has something to do with that. So, before I got to my seat, I decided to turn around and hunt down that girl down, so I could talk to her. When I got out of the theater room, I saw her by the concession stand, and I decided to wait for her to pass by me on her way back to her theater room down the hall (I know it sounds like I'm some crazy stalker, but I assure you I'm not). I saw her come back my way from the corner of my eye, and I pretended to be really involved in something on my phone)) As soon as she passed me I complimented her on her hair-do and I said something stupid like "I was thinking of doing that to my hair also.." She laughed, then played it off. I introduced myself, and asked her what her name was. Then I asked if she was with her boyfriend, and unfortunately, she said yes. Then I told her it was nice meeting her and we parted ways. Even though I couldn't get her contacts, I was glad that I was able to overcome the fear and discomfort and approach her. I wouldn't have done that if I had just come off of a P binge. I'm so anti-social after a binge. Also, like I mentioned earlier, the cold showers have helped me tolerate discomfort and stress a lot better.
     
  11. yearofchange

    yearofchange Your actions matter.

    Wow! Like, wow! Holy! That's amazing!
     
  12. Robane

    Robane Member

    @yearofchange

    Thanks man!

    Was reading through Omega Man's journal, and I stumbled upon this article: 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person. It was a blunt and humorous wake up call for me. There were some hard truths that i had to face up to while reading this article. Check it out.
     
  13. Robane

    Robane Member

    Relapsed yesterday on day 28. The night before yesterday I went to a party hosted by a Russian friend of mine. In addition to drinking beer and Ukrainian vodka, my friend offered us homemade vodka, "samogon", which basically is 70% alcohol. That night I was drunk, but not piss-drunk. But the next morning I had a really messed up hangover. Woke up around 1 pm. Lacked energy to do anything important. Decided to relax on the couch and come on here (YBR) and read other people's journals (bad idea at the time). Then that old familiar urge to "check out what's new in the world of porn" came up. In fact I had urges all week, but then I was able to process and eliminate them by meditating or deep breathing. But yesterday, I was too disinhibited to resist the urge, and basically relapsed.

    Before I went to this party, I told myself that alcohol had always been a trigger for me. So, from now on I'll plan ahead before going out to places that serve alcohol. I f I know that I will be drinking on a certain day, I will get rid of my devices BEFORE going to the venue. I'll just leave the devices at a friend's place, or in my car until the hangover subsides.


    Anyways onto a new reboot. In this last reboot I learned that daily meditiation (20-30min.) is crucial for avoiding urges. Meditation makes me more aware of all the feelings that I have throughout the day (ie stress, sexual arousal, urges, compulsions). Will continue to take cold showers. I also found it helpful to read through other people's journals. I never used to do that before this last reboot. Many successful rebooters have gone through what I'm going through.
     
  14. yearofchange

    yearofchange Your actions matter.

    I like the positivity and the proactive problem-solving you're doing instead of overthinking regretful faultfinding thinking. With this mindset, you will be able to progress leaps and bounds greater than the latter. Nurture this mindset, and protect it, because it will be your greatest ally in this journey. Glad to hear you are analyzing what works, what doesn't work, the preceding events, and what needs to be done to prevent this instance in the future. Like, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading that; it was just so nonjudgmental and full of positive reflection and 'doing' instead of just sitting down and thinking.
     
  15. Robane

    Robane Member

    @yearofchange

    Thanks man for the encouragement. Unfortunately I relapsed again after writing that post. Still have to be positive though and move on. I won't lie, though, right now I feel like shit)) But that's the reality of a relapse. Sometimes I wish that this reality would be revealed to me whenever urges to relapse pop up!

    Shame and self-defeating thoughts are commonplace after a relapse, and they always lead me back to P. Immediately after PMO'ng, the shame sets in and makes me feel terrible and guilty. Then my addicted brain will convince me that the only way to alleviate the pain from the shame and guilt is to PMO again. I thnk this is especially true for people with a religious upbringing (like me). But at the end of the day, one has to break that cycle, and motivate oneself. The funny thing is that all of these feelings (the lust, urges, shame guilt, etc.) only last for a moment, and their gone. This is why I think meditation has really helped me become more patient with my emotions. I'm learning how to just wait and let them pass. Several times yesterday I successfully resisted the urge to relapse by doing deep breathing. What I should have done in addition to that was to leave the house,change my surroundings for at least 5 min. Then, while I'm outside, make a plan on how I will resist P once I get back to the house.
     
  16. Robane

    Robane Member

    I also find that a lot of my relapses happen after something really good has happened to me. For some reason I tend to sabotage feelings of elatedness by PMO'ing. The day before this last relapse, I reached a financial goal that I had been working on for the past 2 weeks. Once I had accomplished that goal, it seems that all of the mental discipline I developed during stress mode just became less important. The morning after my "victory day" I was slacking on meditation, I woke up a lot later than I normally do, and allowing fantasies and P flashbacks to creep into my thoughts.

    I need to stop sabotaging my success. My brain has to get used to feeling good and being at peace. I read that the brains of people struggling with addictions are so used to stress and super stimulation, that whenever we get in to a state of true peace, are brains can't handle the lack of stimulation and urges us to relapse. From what I've read from the journals of successful rebooters, all of us will go through this stage. So, I (we) have to be even more vigilant about keeping good habits when good things happen to us.
     
  17. yearofchange

    yearofchange Your actions matter.

    Just got to admit it and move on after a relapse. It's takes courage to live up to your actions, which you did. You've got Balls.

    In buddhism there is a mantra that they have, "May I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease." The buddha recognized that misery has a comfort to it, and people grow to unconsciously prefer staying miserable after a long period of time. I know this is true for me. I only 4 weeks ago realized that there is a inner resistance with being happy for an extended period of time.
     
  18. Robane

    Robane Member

    @yearofchange

    You're right. Have to admit to having that tendency to sabotage my success and try to gradually remove that mindset with each reboot.

    Now I've added journaling in a notebook to my morning ritual. So far it has helped me process my thoughts and emotions a lot better. However, I sometimes get urges and P flashbacks whenever I'm writing. I think these random flashbacks emerge whenever I'm processing a lot of thoughts, in order to transfer them onto paper. I find that it's somewhat similar to meditation, whenever random thoughts emerge while one is trying to concentrate on sensations external to the mind
    (i.e. breathing)
     
  19. yearofchange

    yearofchange Your actions matter.

    I totally feel the same! Journaling and meditation are almost one and the same in function for me!
     
  20. Robane

    Robane Member

    Reset my counter again. Having a hard time dealing with stress as usual. Yesterday it started when I lost a lot of money on a bad trade. I also had some other funds tied up in a losing trade. I was able to use willpower to ward off the urges for the most part of the day. But my addicted brain always seems to take over when I'm getting ready to leave the house. Everything basically spiraled out of control yesterday and into last night.

    Seems like I let my guard down whenever I hit certain milestones of the reboot. For example 7 days, or 21 days. My goal is to go the rest of this year without this artificial stimulation.

    Lately, I've been feeling very dejected about this whole struggle. Getting older, none of the goals I set for myself so long ago have been reached. My life feels like a song from the band The Wonder Years)) (they're having a concert in my city soon) J
    Anyways, I've been reading journals of successful rebooters, and some of them, who've gne 1-3 years no PMO, fought this addiction for as long as 5 years before succeeding.

    So what's my problem? What is keeping me from attaining this goal? That "porn is not an option" mindset seems unattainable for me. In between relapses I barely fantasize, and I don't edge. Whenever the triggers (stress, euphoria) are activated, it's pretty much a compulsion to do P rather than an option. So I guess I have to figure out a way to get rid of the compulsion. I'm going to do some research into how compulsions are usually reversed.
     

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