Pilgrim's Roadmap 2

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Squire, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Well-Known Member

    I really urge you to pick up Charles Duhigg's book The Power of Habit. It helped me a lot to kick my addictions, but also to understand the mechanics behind each. If you're just masturbating because that's what you do at night and when you're finished, you just move on with your life...it's probably a habit. There aren't negative consequences to the cycle of goal setting, action and reward. We have 1,000 habits every day. Your morning routine, the route you take to work, etc. It's repeated behavior that can become largely unconscious. And yes, habits can turn into addiction. Addiction is when you can't control the habit. It's when despite negative consequences, you continue to engage. It's promising yourself and others to curtail the behavior, but being unable to. It's a coping mechanism to deal with deeper issues that leaves you feeling worse about yourself. While there are slight variations, science has largely agreed on a definition of addiction vs. habit.

    You say:
    [QUOTE="Squire, post: 679018, member: 23222"We can learn to make better choices, build healthier habits, and reduce the frequency of PMO until it is eliminated. This happens as we learn to remove/avoid triggers, substitute new responses to triggers and form new neural pathways in the brain rather than continuing to reinforce old ones.[/QUOTE]

    In a perfect world, yes. But how many guys on this site are always resetting their PMO counters? Probably a lot less than actually cave and won't admit it...and these are men on a site trying to stop. Imagine all of them out there that can't even bring themselves to talk about it. You're dealing with the cream of the crop of guys wanting to stop on this site and look at the failure rates and reluctance to admit that their problem is more than just something they do that can be taken care of by sheer willpower. Yeah, sure, there's the guy that can do that. There are also people who go cold turkey from smoking...doesn't mean their lung disease is going to go away.

    We are the stories we tell ourselves, or at least we hope we're the stories we tell ourselves. If you're built in a way that you're going to fail PMO by calling it a disease, well, labels are far more important to you than they should be. By science standards, it's a disease, but if you want to call it a bad boo-boo, that's cool. By science standards, with me, it reached addiction, but if you want to call it stinkin' thinkin', then by all means.

    I'm not trying to come here and tell people that they shouldn't do what works for them in recovery...I'm saying when you're constantly failing, again and again, maybe it's time to recognize that your way of looking at things and your way of handling the issue might not be the way that is going to lead you to success. Maybe you need to try something else. Hell, I stopped doing the 12-step thing after 6 months, but I don't have a problem with those who go daily. I don't really have a whole lot of interest in the spiritual world, but if God is what's going to get you through this, then pray away, my friend. You do what you have to do and call it what you have to call it to get better. But if you're not getting better, stop holding on to the stories you're telling yourself, because they're not working. Maybe it's time to tell yourself a story that is true. Yeah, parts of it suck. Most of it actually sucks, but it's real. The placebo effect is impressive, but it's still only 30-50% effective.

    I can show you a brain scan of an addict's mind and you can't tell if it's alcohol, gambling, food or porn. You can explain it away if it is something you don't want to accept, but it's the best provable truth we have right now. So if that's the truth, deal with it. If your PMO is because of unresolved trauma (and most studies put 90-94% of porn addicts in that category) get to the root of that trauma and you'll probably find dealing with the addiction is easier. When you treat the problem, the symptoms become vastly more manageable. That's true of everything from your body to your car to the pipes under your house.

    I'm not the kind of cat who can easily lie to himself anymore. I'm skeptical about everything. I wonder about motive, incentive and desire. I think if you can tell yourself a simplistic, pleasant sounding story, or if you HAVE to tell yourself a simplistic, pleasant sounding story, it's OK. If it gets you there, terrific. If it's not getting you there, there's something wrong with your story and despite not being a Bible guy, I do know John 8:32 says the truth will set you free. I prefer using provable truth to address my problem, not theoretical philosophy.
    Libertad likes this.
  2. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Well-Known Member

    To your bullet points:
    1. Yes, although it's important to point out it's not eat-through-a-straw brain damage.
    2, 3. Yes
    4. In 90-94% of cases. If you're that 6-10%, then no.
    5. Yeah, but we should get on the same page with terminology because people misinterpret words. Call things what they are, not what you wish them to be.

    And yes, I think that my point may have got lost in dueling terminology. The point is that if you're in this fairy land of higher consciousness, positive self affirmation and blah, blah, blah, but you can't last more than 3 days and you're not willing to change your strategy, you're either just destined for a life of PMO, so embrace it or you need to recognize you don't have the answers and try something different. When people bitch about their problems, but won't take the necessary steps to fix them after proving their current way isn't working, it drives me crazy. People who won't help themselves and continue ineffective techniques don't want recovery. They want drama. That emotion was what I was trying to share. I didn't have the answers for 20 years and it took some massive life-altering events to force me to change my tune. I hate to think other people may head down that road.
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    Squire likes this.
  3. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    dig deep likes this.
  4. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Well-Known Member

    Free books are welcome, but books that have been posted illegally aren't cool. You really think Duhigg or his publisher told a middle eastern website it's cool to post the book free of charge to the public? Maybe I take it more personally as someone with a book out there who has seen this same thing happen, but it's not cool.
  5. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    It's a sign of the times. It's becoming increasingly difficult to stop things being freely shared on the internet. Check out a book called the Inevitable by Kevin Kelly if you want to know more about this. However, I do understand the point you're making. Besides, even though I have access to the free book I decided to order a physical copy, others may do the same.

    Attached Files:

    Squire likes this.
  6. dig deep

    dig deep must stop wasting my life on porn

    I like this thanks for posting it Squire
    Squire likes this.
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I like what he says. Our fight is life or death. I've written about this before. If one is just going to do a bit better then all you've done is change the curtains in the prison. Quitting PMO, or escorts, or whatever, is the start, but from there we must be fierce, everyday. Do we just want to coast, have a bit more sex, make a bit more money? Fuck, that sounds awful to me. The monks taking a knife along to kill themselves makes sense to me. Fucking do it or don't, but please don't pretend it's going to happen.

    The end. :)
    Squire likes this.
  8. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I read somewhere that way to enlightenment is through our body. Our body is the tool that helps us open up the holy grail of our higher consciousness. But, we have to have enlightenment in mind. It isn't enough to just run ultra-marathons, to beggar our body because of a single-minded obsession. Religious fanatics are like ultra-marathoners. Their zealotry kills off the life-tree, because it is a fanaticism that is held in a box, a prison, and all they can see is blowing up what's inside that box. They start with closed hearts and end up with no heart. However, if we truly want to open our hearts then we have to listen to the ring inside our own minds and bodies. We all know there is a call inside of us, yet most of us spend a lifetime covering it up, pressing it down, trying to change it. We hate who we are because we were never allowed to express ourselves in our most natural way. This leads to anger, depression, anxiety, etc. Think about it. If you deny an essential part of yourself that is going to create tremendous resistance. It's like holding a beach ball under the water. The ball wants to be free, to float on top, as that's its nature. If that ball is a part of us then no wonder we are fatigued all the time. What tremendous effort it takes to suppress that part of us that makes us, us.

    The monks that undertake the challenge are unhappy...why would they do it otherwise? They believe there is something better, if only they can achieve it/find it. How is that different than how WE all feel? It isn't. For the poor monks who finish the 7 year task they probably want to kill themselves. The big event is over, so now what? They've probably physically wrecked themselves only to discover that they are still dissatisfied.

    The monks I would admire would be the ones who began the marathon, but then realized enlightenment comes through giving ourselves the gift of ourselves; allowing our ball to burst through the water and float. This is why no fap/no pmo, at first, is transformative, because it creates a paradigm shift. Instead of pulling at our cocks to pixels we have to face our feelings, often for the first time. We also have more time on our hands and, hey, we may as well use it to do useful things. We need the energy of the monks in order to start the marathon, but then we need to do the harder job of becoming ourselves. I'm trying to do this through the little things. Before, I was killing myself one cut at a time. Now I'm healing myself in reverse order by putting a salve on each wound, one hurt at a time.

    Our marathon, if you will, is tending to each bruise, each injury, and allowing ourselves to feel the pain of each one...some sting more than others. So, every day, for a hundred days we must tend a wound...and so on. If we fail, and by that I mean we continue to fap and PMO, and all that other nonsense, then we don't need to kill ourselves, because there will already be a sword above our heads waiting to cut it off.

    Every analogy is imperfect and I realize that I've gone from rejecting the analogy to embracing it in my own way, but life is filled with contradictions, because our hearts are always two parts: mind and spirit. The important thing for me is not to get caught up in making the analogy, the philosophy, the science of something, perfect, but to move forward with small, affirmative, actions. I know no other way.
    Mad Dog and Squire like this.
  9. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    The way to enlightenment is not thru our bodies but is our bodies. True consciousness comes from the 3rd tier. Tibetan monks understand this, specifically shaolin. Chi the power within that which gives you the ability to do what you do. I do not wish to disagree with anyone, I believe as, I do because in my life I have see it work unbelievable wonders that defy normal description.
    Squire likes this.

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