Quitting

Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by BreakingtheHabit, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Day 39

    Rolling along. I've continued to have momentum going which is great. Mood has been all over the place this week due to lots of stress unrelated to PMO. Some mornings I've woken up with ridiculous morning wood and feel drawn to real women in day-to-day life.

    All in all things are going well I would say.
     
  2. Apeman

    Apeman It means you're a baboon... And I'm not

    It's interesting how this process isn't linear... Day 16 doesn't necessarily feel better than Day 15. This is a long, complex process. At 39 days, you've got admirable momentum. Keep it up!
     
  3. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Thanks Apeman! Agreed that this process is unpredictable. I'm hoping things will "even out" soon and feel more natural.

    Day 43 - mostly everything's going well. Looked at some triggering things today and am feeling a bit "shaky" - lots of cravings and some of the mental restlessness that can lead to relapses. I plan on switching off the computer for the night after posting here. For the last two weeks I've been porn-free and overall have had a nice sense of momentum going, but I've slipped back in to using the internet and my computer a lot more than I'd like. Last time it was heavy computer use that I partly blame for relapsing so I want to try to tone it down. Also in general it seems not great for my mental health to be on my computer and the internet all the time. It's sort of draining. And it's probably something I'm addicted or "dependent" on to some extent.

    Otherwise I'd say things are going pretty well. Some mornings I have crazy morning wood and sometimes this is paired with a strong urge to MO, though not often an urge to PMO. I've had a few "porn dreams" but none that have stuck in memory long after waking up.

    That's about it for now, hope everyone else is doing well.
     
  4. Apeman

    Apeman It means you're a baboon... And I'm not

    You're on a roll, BtH! You're paying attention to the warning signs and adjusting your course accordingly. Now you have the opportunity to refine your relationship with the internet. Carpe!
     
  5. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Thanks Apeman! I think that's definitely the next step.

    Doing pretty well today - last night I MO'd after drinking a fair amount earlier in the evening. In the past there have been a few nights where drinking triggered PMO relapses but this time I'd decided in advance to stay off the computer after going out. When I got home my craving was to MO rather than PMO, and while drinking certainly caused me to give in to the craving, I'm pleased I didn't crave PMO. MO'ing typically triggers porn cravings so I'll be careful these next few days.

    Resisting cravings when under the influence of alcohol is a tough one since alcohol lowers my level of "self regulation" quite a bit. I don't drink that often so it's not a huge concern, but something I at least ought to be aware of.
     
  6. Apeman

    Apeman It means you're a baboon... And I'm not

    You're right to be aware of alcohol's effect on your reboot. Alcohol decimates my ability to stay Fapstronautic.

    It sounds like you're prepared to face cravings in the coming days. Stay frosty, mate!
     
  7. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Driving apeman's point home, yesterday was a carbon copy of the day before - drank then MO'd.

    Still spending lots of time online but trying to keep it to an absolute minimum in the evenings when cravings are most likely. Also trying to readjust to the point I was at when I started this particular reboot, when I took a lot of days off from the computer especially when on my own.

    Mood seems to have leveled out recently, I haven't been as up and down as I was for a while previously. Hopefully I'm hitting a steady and sustainable point.
     
  8. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Last night I was hit by very strong cravings, which I didn't cave in to (thanks Apeman for a post in your journal that helped me get through!). I did look at borderline material and MO without P. In this case I know what the trigger was - normally I keep the computer off at night especially after drinking. When I got home tonight after drinking I realized that I'd forgotten to turn off the computer. I guess having the computer off is often enough to keep me from having the urge to turn it on and look for porn, but sitting in front of it late at night and somewhat under the influence was tough.

    Feeling somewhat tense and anxious today.
     
  9. Apeman

    Apeman It means you're a baboon... And I'm not

    Happy to help, mate! ;)

    You're feeling shaky now, but that just means this is your chance to LEVEL UP!

    DO IT!
     
  10. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Well, I'm ashamed to say that I relapsed tonight. Looking back the leadup to it is clear - I peeked at borderline material a few times, I MO'd a few times, ended up staying up late on the computer a few times. All of these are triggering.

    The familiar sense of shame fills me now. shame and fear that I'll never be free of this crap.

    I'm encouraged to some extent by the length of time I spent without P. Almost 50 days this time. But discouraged that tonight when the cravings hit hard I ultimately gave in to them.

    I saw lots of warning signs as I looked at more and more borderline material but it's as if it doesn't matter how resolved I am the rest of the time. When I get in to that mindset of being excited about the prospect of watching porn I've really struggled to overcome it. In that moment I don't want to overcome it, I just want to watch porn. Every time I've relapsed lately I've entered in to it through that "out of control" mindset.

    Ending the evening tonight feeling defeated.

    And making it a goal for tomorrow to be porn-free.
     
  11. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Back on the horse.

    A few goals -

    1) keep trying a "one day at a time" approach.
    2) also try a "one craving at a time" approach, with the specific goals being...
    3) next time I drink I won't come home and MO like I did a few times this week, and...
    4) next time I see links to borderline material I won't click them like I did this week.

    I tend to set unreachable goals in the immediate aftermath of a porn relapse, presumably to try to compensate for my guilt. These ones seem reasonable to shoot for.

    Relapses suck. This morning when I first woke up I was thinking about wanting to watch porn again, and (this might be triggering) planning what searches I wanted to do on what websites. It's crazy how these things escalate from a few peeks at borderline material to a full relapse. Using the day-to-day "ticker" method has helped those patterns become clearer and made the importance of avoiding triggers clearer. For instance the pattern leading up to this relapse is very clear - lots of borderline material and MO before the PMO.
     
  12. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    This is interesting.

    Back when I was relapsing regularly, before this long ~50 day streak, I spent a lot of time in anxious, uneasy states. I didn't realize until I relapsed again how much of an impact it has. I felt sort of "wobbly" and anxious before relapsing but today I felt much worse. I had a hard time concentrating and feeling engaged at work, and generally felt uneasy and "off," in a way that was much more powerful than before the relapse.

    So this is a great affirmation that (A) porn screws not just with my sexuality but with my mood and (B) I can feel noticeably better even after a relatively short span of several weeks pornfree.

    I'm trying to be forgiving and compassionate to myself even with the relentless frustration that I relapsed yet again.
     
  13. Apeman

    Apeman It means you're a baboon... And I'm not

    Your ticker is giving you super-valuable information, BtH. There's so much we can learn about ourselves by looking at the data...

    Earlier this year, I went on my longest streak ever: 78 days. When I relapsed, I went back to Relapseville. For 2 months, I struggled to get back on the horse. So it was 2 months as a Fapstronaut, 2 as a relapser. Zero-sum. You know what I mean?

    So here you stand, with a 50-day streak stretched out behind you. You've had a handful of lapses in the past few days, sure, but if you get back on the horse now, your overall streak WON'T be zero-sum. You'll be very much in the positive.

    C'mon, BtH, LESDODIS
     
  14. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Thanks Apeman - agreed that there's always room to improve and there's always space for goals - in this case the goal will be to not slide back in to a cycle of relapses. I too was in a cycle of relapses before this ~50-day streak, and would be frustrated if I ended up cycling through relapses again. Gives me motivation.

    I didn't write about it but relapsed again a few days ago, and clearly have been MO'ing a lot.

    Triggering stuff is everywhere - even news websites can have it. Frustrating. I haven't deliberately clicked on or searched for anything triggering since the last PMO though.

    I've been thinking about the mindset leading up to my relapses. Lately whether it's been a day since my last relapse or 50, my relapses have always been preceded by a wild, intense craving accompanied by a struggle to resist the craving, guilt about the craving, etc. Often I'll be in front of the computer when this craving hits. I'll agonize - thinking, "I won't watch porn today," but also thinking, "I really want to watch porn right now," and excitement and tension builds. I'll stand up and walk away from the computer, agitated, thinking I should just turn it off, but leaving it on, and the longer it's left on the more the tension and the urge builds. Then I'll always start with something moderate - a triggering or borderline photo. From there the excitement is built up enough that I lose control completely and off I go to porn. This is the way it's happened every time I've relapsed, with small variations in the details, but overall a striking consistency.

    I feel strongly that next time this mindset arises I need to find a better way to work through it. If only I'd had a way to work through those intense urges last time I wouldn't have relapsed. I have no idea what to do to try to address these urges though.
     
  15. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    I'm trying to address some habits I've slipped in to that I'm not so crazy about. In particular I'm working on the fact that every morning the first thing I do is switch on the computer and without a doubt I end up spending more time online than I'm comfortable with. I end up bored and just clicking on random things just for entertainment's sake.

    For a while this year I had the habit of always meditating in the morning, and lately I've been meditating around twice a week. So my goal for the next few days is to go back to meditating in the morning instead of using the internet.

    Among other things I'm hoping this'll be good practice for controlling my impulses and urges.

    I like to think that I'm now out of the "danger zone" for binging on PMO after my two relapses. I'll have to be cautious about computer use though, especially at night when I'm most likely to feel triggered.
     
  16. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Last night for once I had that surge of energy and craving that typically leads to relapse - but I didn't relapse, at least not PMO. Part of what helped was trying to channel the energy in to something else. I think perhaps part of why I've relapsed a lot when those urges hit is because I've tried to just avoid the urges entirely rather than acknowledge and redirect them. The urges themselves are expressions of my sex drive, just misdirected in to urges for porn rather than urges for real sex. Last night using that high energy as a launching point for accomplishing goals was helpful. I channeled it in do doing some random things around the apartment and setting some personal relationship-related goals. Felt like the first time in a long time that I was able to really ride out one of my stronger urges.
     
  17. bikeguy

    bikeguy Member

    Nice job man. Since you were able to resist this one, It should get easier and easier to resist any future temptations.
     
  18. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    8 days without porn and then a relapse - like clockwork. It's followed that kind of cyclical pattern before. About a week clean and then strong cravings and a relapse.

    Last night's relapse was driven by cravings set off by strongly triggering material I saw earlier in the day (I sought it out deliberately when I heard there were sexual photos). After seeing the triggering material my porn-addicted mind took over and wanted to go home and PMO right away, leaving me shaken and anxious for a few hours. I calmed down but when I eventually got home I had very strong urges. I resisted, but later in the night I went out drinking and when I got home I PMO'd.

    I PMO'd once, then started doing it again. The second time I ended up switching off the computer and MO'ing "offline" so I guess that's something to be happy about.

    Annoyed that this happened. It looks like I'm on the verge of slipping back in to a "one week clean then relapse" cycle, something I've gotten stuck in before. So I think my next goal will be to break beyond that cycle and make it past a week clean. Starting with today being clean.
     
  19. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Still not quite clear of a long streak of MO'ing (see all the red in my MO banner). Yesterday I saw a movie with some very triggering borderline material - rather than completing the cycle and looking up porn when I got home I MO'd instead, which is better I suppose.

    I've set out some goals for myself regarding changes in my daily routine which will put more emphasis on my health. Lately I've been meditating less and spending more mornings aimlessly browsing the internet. I've made a goal to make sure I make time for meditation each morning as well, and to try to take some days off of being online. Being online is definitely a type of dependence for me, but it's an important enough part of my social life that it feels more difficult to try to decrease my internet use. It feels less like a clear decision because, unlike porn, internet use does have some positive impacts on my life. I'm also trying to exercise more and read more.

    The journey goes on.
     
  20. BreakingtheHabit

    BreakingtheHabit New Member

    Going pretty well! I made it past the "7 days" obstacle of not watching porn, though I've MO'd. I've taken some steps to return to meditating every morning before turning on the computer, and trying to avoid the computer as much as possible on some days. On some days I still end up online more than I would like, but I'm glad to be meditating more beforehand. Not much else to report - mood has been okay especially considering that I'm in the time immediately following a relapse.
     

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