Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by BreakingtheHabit, Apr 6, 2013.
Good job going one week porn free. The first weeks are the most difficult; don't give up.
Very strong porn cravings last night when I was on the computer late. The cravings were comparable in intensity to other cravings that have caused me to relapse. Though it was difficult I switched off the computer. I went to bed tense and had a hard time sleeping at first, but I was pleased that I didn't MO. It occurred to me to try to think of cravings as the feeling of the addiction being beaten. The addicted part of the mind only craves its porn because we're not watching it. That helped me feel more positively about the cravings - they're a sign of change in the brain. The feeling of healing. I did end up MO'ing after a while, I told myself I was doing it to relieve some of the tension of the craving so I could get to sleep. I'm going to try to cut out the MO'ing now too since I've been doing it a lot lately and at least taking a break from it should help in overall recovery. However I MO'd to fantasy rather than porn and I think there can be value in that so could be worse. Anyway today I feel pretty good.
Mild porn cravings last night and a few "porn dreams" since my last post, but overall things have been relatively mild and I haven't had any very intense cravings since the last time I posted. I did MO this morning when I woke up early with morning wood - something about that half-awake state of waking up seems to facilitate fantasizing and then MO'ing. I'm feeling (very) cautiously optimistic after having pushed through the intense cravings I had last time I posted - hopeful that I'll adopt the same mindset next time I feel intense cravings.
Remaining cautiously optimistic on day 18 of no PMO - optimistic because between meditation and some shifting away from heavy internet use, I've been feeling mostly pretty stable lately. Cautious because I don't want to become complacent and want to maintain a steady but sustainable effort to change.
Tonight I am experiencing minor cravings as I'm online later than usual, but they don't have the same urgent intensity of some of my past cravings. Ever since the very intense cravings I pushed through and described in my June 23rd post I've felt like other cravings haven't reached that same level of intensity, and it's been easier to ignore the ones that have arisen. I guess it makes sense that, like any mental habit, it takes practice to push past cravings, especially the intense ones. It was difficult but it's clearly an important part of the reboot process and I feel again cautiously optimistic that I'll similarly be able to force through the next cravings without giving in.
18 days and a relapse...looking back I could've seen it coming. As I mentioned in my last post I was indeed up late on the internet experiencing mild cravings. Rather than leaving the internet I continued to browse around while bored, which led to looking for triggering material which amplified in to a full search for porn. It's clearly the search I'm addicted to now more than the porn because on the last few relapses the porn itself has been boring, and it's the prospect of searching for it that's alluring. Bizarre, but common as I understand it.
This time around I made it past the 7-day point which is encouraging. I also rode out some intense cravings which increases my confidence about the coming weeks.
I assume my mood will feel the "hit" in the next few days after the relapse, so that's what I regret most about relapsing - that and breaking the streak when I was feeling somewhat optimistic. Still I'm encouraged by the things I mentioned before and will continue working on developing positive habits and avoiding excessive internet use...
It sounds like you've extracted valuable lessons from this last lapse, BtH. I admire your levelheadedness, in that you still sound stable (not going to pieces with useless self-flagellation).
Carry on, broheim. The road is rocky, but yours seems to still be a road of recovery.
Thanks Apeman! It's done more harm than good for me in the past to get furious and upset over relapses and I think I've started changing how I react, though who knows. One can't be too cautious with this addiction I guess.
It feels like it's been longer than 3 days since my relapse - I had a bit of post-relapse mood swings/anxiety/general ill-feeling, but not as intense as some other times. I'm anticipating the usual cravings around 7 days after the relapse.
I feel good about some things though - I've noticed that this year even though I still relapse sometimes I feel like I've changed, and that my sexuality feels "healthier." I'm more at ease talking to people including ladies, and I tend to get appropriately excited about real women. It comes and goes but overall I'd say I'm happier now with my sexuality than I've been in....years. This has just been dawning on me over the last few days based on my interactions with women and my overall sex drive which feels like it's more focused on real women. This has been reflected to some extent in my dreams - more of my sex dreams lately have been about real women. Last night I had a weird one about being with a real woman while watching porn....better than a wet dream exclusively about porn, right? Anyway, I feel like I'm making progress despite all the relapses that have happened this year, so that's comforting.
Seems that Sundays and mondays are my most high-risk days for relapse. Many of my most recent relapses have been either end of the weekend or the beginning of the work week. Perhaps it's because my weekends are more hedonistic (more time spent gaming and going to bars rather than working and getting to bed fairly early) so I'm in that kind of mindset. Perhaps it's that combined with some work-related stress. Anyway. Some mild cravings the last two days...as I approach day 7 I imagine they'll peak in intensity as they have in the past then subside for a while.
Have gotten through the week so far w/ no relapses. Have had some intense cravings and my anxiety levels have been quite high. Hoping after a few days more I'll feel less tense.
Took a peek at some borderline material last night while under stress and up late on the computer. It was very tame but still triggering. It didn't go very far - didn't escalate in to looking at anything more intense or going on a binge. In fact I turned off the computer soon after. It seems that after all this time I've started reaching the point where P and borderline material feel anticlimactic and rather boring - though I still relapse sometimes I don't feel as attached to what I'm doing and there's almost a reluctance mixed in with the wild craving. I take this as a positive thing and a sign things are improving for me. I'm also continuing to notice that this year I've been more socially confident than I have in the past, which is another positive sign. I'm approaching 7 days since the last MO which I assume will set off some cravings. Anyway, hope you're all doing well.
One MO a little over a week ago, otherwise going well. Not been online much - probably helps. Probably will try to stay offline mostly. Hope yall are going well!
Killer cravings, feeling tense, looked at some triggering stuff online and it's late.
Planning to switch the computer off, but there's that lingering "craving" part of my brain that wants to keep looking at borderline stuff. What I say to myself is, "Oh just a quick look at something that's not really porn" and I go to certain sites hoping I'll find borderline things, all the while my excitement and anxiety levels builds and that urgent tense feeling arises.
Ended up MO'ing last night, but without P.
Relieved not to have had a full relapse because even the triggering material I looked at led to feelings of guilt and conflicted feelings.
I continue to notice a certain regularity in the timing of urges. Seems to be a seven-day cycle. I edged almost exactly seven days ago, and MO'd almost exactly seven days before that. I'm keeping better track of my weekly habits and it's helping me notice this sort of pattern - what to do about the pattern is another question. Perhaps seven days from now I'll be sure to be extra careful about going online, especially late at night.
Another close call with triggering materials tonight. Lately I've felt a bit more comfortable with my internet use - trying to do so more often in public places to control urges and add another buffer between cravings and relapses.
It gets tougher later at night, especially if some obligation causes me to go online.
Lately obligations have been the only thing to make me turn the computer on at night...but once it's on, I end up browsing online for hours. That's what happened tonight and I read some triggering stuff - not porn or anything close, but I guess it was close enough to get the gears turning.
These last two borderline material exposures and the recent MO could be an indication of another slip in to high MO levels, which last time led to full relapse. My next steps seem clear enough - try to decrease computer use esp. at night, and also avoid MO. I'm not overly confident after all the relapses I've had...but perhaps constantly trying to talk myself in to believing I'll have the perfect reboot might be a healthy thing, and cause me to let go of some of the pressure I put on myself.
Cheers, hope yall are doing well too.
Had another incident with borderline material this morning, after a wet dream about porn last night. I've had a few porn-related dreams lately.
This is happening about 7 days since my last MO, which seems to be a consistent trend for my cravings/relapses. I'll be careful about computer use these next few days.
I seem to get porn related dreams after seeing borderline stuff or peeking as well. I think it's due to putting your brain back into wanting the 'reward' again temporarily.
Yeah I think the borderline material definitely excites my brain in a way similar to a porn search, and that triggering effect puts porn on the brain.
MO'd again, again after about a 7-day space. Funny how much regularity there is to this once I start paying attention to the cycles. Didn't look at borderline stuff today but came closer than I have in a few days, due to being on the computer late at night which I know is a trigger.
I'm paying more attention to my mood from day to day - I've noticed that computer use tends to leave me restless and somewhat frustrated and unsatisfied a lot of the time. This is of course an observation I've made many times before and still I find myself sometimes sitting in front of the computer for long stretches. There are some days at least where I set a deliberate goal to stay off the internet when at home - today after work I ended up on the internet for longer than intended after I finished work, and that left me feeling sort of frustrated because I'd hoped to get home sooner and have a more free evening, but I got sucked in to internet browsing.
There are still some "small" cravings that continue getting to me - the aimless browsing which can lead to porn use, things like that. While the surface-level problem of watching porn hasn't happened in over 40 days, which is a good streak compared to some of the others I've had lately, some of the other impulsive behavior and inability to control impulses still remains.
Not feeling particularly wise or like I've had any new insights right now, just an update on where things are.
Not a bad week - I've stayed busy and off the computer and, as with my previous experiences, that made the week go by easily and with few cravings. Now, on the computer, I still end up browsing more than intended and getting a restless craving feeling. I need to find some way to balance being able to still use the internet recreationally and for work without losing control and browsing it for extended periods, or drifting towards borderline material or P.
Edit - nailing my point home about computer use: this morning while procrastinating on the computer I once again ended up looking at triggering material and getting excited and tense - first time in a week, and also first time in a while that I've been using the computer recreationally.
I can really relate to what you say about browsing more than intended or sitting up later than needed etc. Damn it's difficult to find that balance. I find that the more awareness I can bring into my actions, the less of a problem it becomes. With awareness I'm able to know when I'm done with what I intended to do, and when I'm starting to find excuses to stay longer at the computer "Let me just do a quick search for this unrelated thing..". Being aware is one thing though, gotta take action and walk away too, which is so much harder.. keep us posted man.
Thanks Dingofang - that helps a lot. I was aimlessly internet browsing this morning and bringing some awareness in to it is helping me unwind a bit. Mostly this week I stayed off the computer but last night I was browsing pointlessly, searching somewhat random things to try to entertain myself, occassionally thinking of looking for borderline material though I didn't do it.
I've gone past the usual seven day window of MO relapsing so hopefully I'll build some momentum there.
Hope everything's going well for yall - I'm getting offline again now but eventually will come check on all your journals and see how things are going.
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