Recovery Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by Shield of Valoran, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. Hey everyone.

    I'm here for the same reason everyone else is. I've actually been trying to recover from pornography addiction ever since I realized it was an addiction, almost 4 years ago. It's been tough. Inconsistent. I think there was a time I just gave up, too. These last 6 months, however, I've had some of the biggest streaks I've ever managed so far. Not that the streaks are what matter, because by now I've learned the underlying behaviour and habits that make the streak a happy side-effect.

    The main reason I've decided to start a journal now is after gaining more understanding on how we work as humans, and the recovery process of addiction, I realize it takes a village.

    When addicts finally attend NA/CODA/AA, whatever form of anonymous meeting that exists, they all strengthen their belief in themselves through one another, through sharing their progress and what is possible. I think that's what's made it so hard for me to do this all on my own. I also think some of the most successful people were sharing themselves through the heartache and struggle.

    Personally, I remember learning to masturbate at a very young age. It wasn't until I got older and discovered pornography that it grew insidious roots into my life. Before I knew it, PMO became less about fun sexual expression like it used to be when I was a kid, and more about coping with stress. One of my biggest flaws is denying myself. I do this in a multitude of ways: not understanding my feelings, saying yes when I mean no, being as small and agreeable as possible. And these things have left their indelible mark on my personality, and I think I managed it well because, without fail, I'd go home, and let black out watching porn and masturbating. As an adult, this would happen more frequently, between meeting people, before I went out, after I came home, just... all the time. As a student, I would go and start masturbating as soon as I was struggling to understand something.

    And it does feel good. It's literally the feeling of nothing, mixed with the easiest euphoria your body can give you naturally. No wonder we all get addicted to it. Sometimes life is so hard we want nothing from it, but to feel good. But I don't want to feel good like this anymore. It's had a really awful effect on how I perceive myself.

    I suppose everything I'm rambling about has been said in some way or another by someone else here, but it still feels good to express it. I think self expression (particularly of the hard, vulnerable parts of ourselves) really does bring us back to who we truly are, or who we can be.

    Anyways, I'm not going to keep on rambling. I'll save it for another post.

    I have another journal I write daily affirmations in, where I really visualize the person I can become, and it helps a lot. This morning I wrote: 'I can change. I have an iron will and I can unlearn old habits to become the version of myself I wish to be.'

    I think this is true of myself and of you all, too. I look forward to reading your stories and encourage you on your journeys!

    Kind regards,
    T.
     
  2. So, I relapsed today. I'm not too hard on myself because it wasn't for the usual reasons like low feelings of self-worth or stress, although I do remember feeling those things throughout the day. I just got extremely bored watching lectures for uni, and ended up accidentally breaking my guitar by standing on the neck when I wasn't looking, so the relapse was because of boredom as I didn't have my usual fall-backs to rely on. I'll have to buy another one, which is the price I pay for being careless.

    I think I need to find another trick in the meantime. Maybe do a bunch of push-ups until I tire myself out?

    An observation I made while I was in the middle of my PMO was how aware I was of my feelings. I've been meditating a lot lately to try to be more conscious of my thoughts and I'm not at that stage yet where my willpower can override these urges and divert the energy elsewhere, but I'm trying to get there. Laced into the PMO spiral were feelings of inadequacy, and from that insecurity the need to do everything to 'fit a mould'. My experience watching P has made me feel pretty insecure with how I relate to people I'm attracted to. I feel like I need to fit a particular role to attract the right mate. I've started bodybuilding again to try and fit this image I have of what I'd like to be. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, but my intentions do need to shift. I want to be more attractive because I think I'm a handsome guy and I'd like be more attractive. I think that's a normal thing to want. With regards to how I perform in the sack... I think I need to reevaluate what I really want a little bit more.

    There's a lot I'm going through in terms of unlearning. I'm not not happy. It's just tricky. As a gay man and person of colour, I've always been perceived one way (or at least that's what it seems) and I think I'm at that stage where I don't want to be put in a box. I think P has this constant narrative about what type of guy I am, and I hate it. I hate that everyone is told this story and I hate that I've internalised it to a certain extent. I think at the end of the day, I want someone special, and I want all of this garbage to be put to the wayside. And I think mentally I'm already there, but there's a lot of prejudice in my community, and that makes dating hard. I suppose I can't hate what I can't control, because then I let it have power over me, but it's hard when I put myself out there and get knocked back because of my appearance. It's a gripe. I'm not going to let it get the better of me. I just wanted to put it out there because it's how I'm feeling and it's always better to get it out in the open than to bottle it all up. One day, I'll become so unbothered by it all because I'll be so comfortable with who I am, and I'll be open to someone who is just as comfortable with themselves, too. Race and physical appearances won't matter at all, and that's something I look forward to on this journey.

    I'm working all weekend and I plan to do my uni workshops when I'm done. I have two major assignments due in a month and I'm a little stressed out, so I know I'll be in the trigger-zone. I've put on really good blockers on all of my devices for P and my game-plan is if I feel a trigger, be it stress, boredom, fatigue, I'll either meditate, exercise, or go outside and sit in the sun for a while. As for keeping up with this journal, I'll come back to it again tomorrow night.

    I just realized it's past midnight and I'm still up. I'm going to be so tired. It's like I'm doing Nofap on hardmode just for fun, sheesh. :p

    If you took the time to read this, thanks. Means a lot.

    Kind regards,
    T.
     
  3. Hey everyone.

    Second day since my relapse and I'm doing well considering I'm a little sleepy since yesterday. I had work, and meant to finish a uni workshop but ended up doing more research on how to complete it than actually doing the damn thing. While I was working out, I was listening to a few TED talks and a seminar David Goleman did back in 2013 regarding the topics in his book 'Focus'. He mentions how to get better at focus by strengthening your ability to concentrate on one task at a time whenever there's discomfort or unrest through focusing on our breath. There's a common theme in most impulse control methods and I think it all comes back down to being able to clear your mind through your patience, which is best practised through paying attention to your breathing. I try to be more mindful of this when I'm feeling distracted or stressed out by uni (this is the biggest reason I would wander off and PMO). I'm trying to be aware of when I procrasti-snack and wander the house aimlessly. I don't mind the wandering, but I come back to my desk and continue to procrastinate, either by sitting and scrolling through Spotify (I currently have most social media blocked, so looking for new music is currently my dopamine substitute) or daydreaming. Nothing NSFW, thankfully. Mostly just about the fun things I'm going to do once the semester is over.

    I think to overcome the feelings of distraction, which in turn dissolve the path to potentially PMO, is to do the difficult task so you don't need to be distracted anymore and can enjoy whatever it is you'd rather be doing without the guilt. I'm trying to figure out how to love study and uni, and so far, I can only remind myself of the reasons I picked them up in the first place. Namely, I would get a better career, find a fulfilling job, earn more money, and gain more independence. Those things are hard to remember when you're sitting in front of a 40 slide PowerPoint presentation and you just want to go outside and sit in the sun for no good reason.

    The brain could convince you grating your fingernails is a fun distraction if you absolutely can't be bothered with the work you need to do.

    Besides procrastination, I've been taking pretty good care of my mental health, but I've been proactively doing that since the beginning of the year, which is why I'm feeling more resilient these days. Probably why I feel more primed and confident about rebooting and hence why I've started this journal, to document the process. Lately, I've been remembering what it is I admire and respect about the people I would develop strong feelings for in any of my relationships and there was always an underlying jealousy that they had something I didn't. To diffuse these feelings, I remember all the times I exemplified the traits I most admired from these people. Usually, it's when I crack a good joke, help someone learn something, or tell a good story. It helps remind me that I'm worth the time, too, and the jealousy is irrational. Most of my hard days come from some core belief that I'm not good enough. I'm convinced overcoming these feelings is an impetus to beating porn addiction.

    Thanks for reading,
    T.
     
  4. Hey everyone.

    I had a few relapses. I've reset the counter to where I'm actually at. I was pretty triggered last week. I kept having rough days at work, and found it hard to get back into the recovery mindset, but I'm here again. I'm trying hard to listen to less music for the time being, because a lot of it makes me nostalgic and sad, and that leads to PMO. I've been enjoying the serenity, honestly. It's made deciding to meditate easier, and easier to transition into conscious deep breath-work. I've been future journaling in the morning and reflective journaling in the afternoon, which has also been really helpful. Every website which lead to my relapse gets added to the blockers on all of my devices, too. It also helps to reach out to friends and actively talk to people I'm attracted to as well. I find that latter part really important, because it channels a lot of that energy I'd contribute towards PMO.

    Lately I've also been really damn nice to myself. I get closer and closer to feeling like my actions are more genuine. For example, I was having a bad day, and reached out to my friend, and we had a picnic at a park nearby and chatted for hours about life, shame, things we lied about, things that scared us, love, fears. It was... it helped me take stock of my humanity and made me feel connected. And it felt like a remedy to the slump I've been in over the last week. I need to remember that whenever I'm going through a rough patch, there's a friend nearby who wants to help. And if not, then there's someone else. I think at our best, people are good, and want to look after one another. At least that's the type of human I want to be.

    In my journal, I've been trying to unpack the narratives that are holding me back from accepting myself wholeheartedly. One of them was that I've wasted so much of my life already that I can't stand to waste another second of it. This story keeps me studying full-time and working part-time doing shift work which means my schedule is unpredictable and my social life becomes scarce. It forces me to think I need to get high distinctions and work on projects outside of uni so I can get a job immediately afterwards and... all of those things are nice, and probably are helpful, but it comes from a place where I don't feel good enough, and I want to get over it, so that I put less pressure on myself. Knowing it and putting it down in words makes it easier, for sure. I'm putting less emphasis on getting good grades and simply just passing. I think perfectionism is useful but in moderation, and right now producing my best uni work comes second to taking care of myself. If that means I simply pass my units this semester, then that's okay. I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

    Anyways, it's pretty late. I hope you're all doing well.

    Thanks for reading,
    T.
     
    UK Don likes this.
  5. Hey everyone.

    It's been a while. I thought maybe I'd feel a little more disappointed in myself when I had to reset my counter to the 10/10/2020, but I didn't. Either I'm desensitised to my own setbacks or I'm really good at managing myself these days. Let's look positively and choose the latter.

    I was relapsing because I didn't securely set up all of my devices to block out triggers. I ended up getting Blocksite on all the devices I own. It has a neat password lock which you can set yourself. I, very quickly so as not to remember what the password looked like, went to a random password generator online which allowed for numerous special characters and copy + pasted an individual one into each device. Then I saved that password in a google doc on my drive, but I think I may delete it, because Blocksite has an email recovery system. Having said that, I've not really been looking to PMO as a result of simply putting them on because I know I'll be hit with a roadblock. These past four days since my last relapse have felt that way.

    Other ways I've been managing my triggers is meditating daily, leaving the house daily if I'm not working-from-home (WFH), and watching comedy shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I never really watched a lot of TV prior to trying to reboot, except for the odd binge here and there when a story/TV was amazing. I also moderate it. Towards the end of the day when I'm fried after working on assignments in the library, I go home, exercise, and then chill out and watch something until I'm tired enough to sleep.

    This is a little strange to type out but I have this incredible fabric softener that I do my laundry with and yesterday I laid out on my bed and just smelled it for ages yesterday. While I was laying I really appreciated how clear my head felt after a few days. I really appreciate that side effect of rebooting. And maybe it's all the mindfulness practice I've been doing lately that makes something as small as fabric softener feel so worthwhile. I find I keep a mental tally of things to be grateful for all the time.

    The only thing worth noting is that a close friend who I had an intense crush/obsession for announced he'll be leaving for a new opportunity on the other side of the country. We've been friends for over three years. Prior to meeting him, I struggled with a break up and, unbeknown to me, serious codependency behaviours. PMO being a symptom of all of that, obviously. This year I've been able to address a lot of those thought patterns and behaviours and understand what my needs are in a way that's elucidated my path forward, and I expected at some stage it would mean departing from him in some way. I can only control what happens in my own life. I started this degree, worked really hard and saved a lot of money, learned new hobbies and worked on myself, because I was so insecure about not being enough, and because I wanted him to like me back. A big part of me is ashamed of that, but also grateful. I think all the things I've done over the past 3 years have been super beneficial for me -- I won't detail them all specifically. But it is hard when you're a codependent person. You can't help thinking everything you do is for someone else, even getting better for your own sake, which I have been. Some days I ache so much thinking about the things we weren't able to become with each other. But I'm glad enough to say those days are less common.

    I find myself asking where I go from here a lot of the time, and in asking, I feel so frail and uncertain. But I know I'll figure it out and that they're just temporary feelings.

    Anyways, thanks again for reading. I hope you're all doing well on your reboot journey.

    T.
     
  6. Hey everyone.

    I'm back, restarting again. I didn't have enough blockers on all of my devices. As soon as I opened it up and discovered I had access to different material, I immediately lost control.

    I'm trying not to beat myself up over it.

    Some of my biggest challenges: not having the blockers (obviously), dealing with stress when I came across problems with my assignments, difficult shame spirals I found myself in, committing to different mindfulness habits, anxieties about the future and where I'm headed, and being nicer to myself over all.

    But people make mistakes and I'm going to be okay. I am lucky to have the chance to try again whenever I want, and I'm choosing to again right now.

    I haven't been meditating or journaling as much, but I'd like to again. After my relapse I went through every single device and added on a freeware blocker which should be the final straw, I think. I'm going to come back here again each evening to type out my challenges and what went well and what I want to do more in the future, so I can hold myself accountable, because I think that's something else I haven't been doing lately.

    Lately, I've just been super worried about the future, what I want from my life, what I want to become. It's been overwhelming. I don't like my degree at all, and that feels like a big mistake I've committed to, and my friends keep telling me doing the job (computer science, fyi) is much better than studying it, and there are ways to get into a fun field. I find myself poring through the internet for people talking about their experiences and this is to relieve the anxiety that maybe I haven't made a big mistake after all. I feel like I've sold out by choosing something I knew would land me a job or provide security. I think that was silly, but I can't undo that choice, and it's not like this didn't add any value to my life. I haven't even tried looking for a job yet. It's more so that... I don't know, do you guys ever just worry that you won't be happy? That this is it for you? Lately I keep having these weird fantasies about what my life could be like if I threw all of my savings into relocating, becoming something else, reinventing myself in some way. Obviously these are just ideas. I guess I just feel so lost lately, and it makes me feel so alone. I'm too young to feel this way. I just feel like banging my head against a wall, sometimes, to knock some sense into myself. Really I'm just looking for a way to change, and I've found it (I think! In doing NoFap, in doing the degree, in making goals, etc.) but it's so hard. It's so, so hard. And I look at people who have the things that I want or behave the way that I admire and I feel as if I might never get there, and I know that's silly and not worth my time and energy but I can't shake the feeling. I know it gets better and I'm the only one who can change it, but I wish people would talk about how lonely it is sometimes and how much of an uphill battle it is to try to change.

    If you read this rambling, I really appreciate it. I do read a lot of your entries and I want you all to know I'm proud of you for even trying.

    T.
     
  7. R3balance

    R3balance Active Member

    Honestly blockers never worked for me. I would always find an end around. And the challenge of getting around them would actually arouse / stimulate me. Would be similar to my edging for a better p scene or hunting for it you know

    I know we are all different.

    it’s kind of like living with junk food in house. Can you do it? Can you not go into the pantry and clear it out? Or do you have to keep it empty all the time.

    I think you just have to get to the point where you truly need to feel like it will be the end of life if you look again. It can’t be an option. You can’t miss old scenes, be curious about new ones etc. It’s all the same shit. And it’s poison for us. One vid is too much and 4 hours of binge pmoing isn’t enough etc. Like recovereing alcoholics say 1 drink is too much but 10000 could never be enough

    think it goes something like that.. don’t quote me exactly haha but I’m sure you get the point

    mad for your overwhelming career worries. I studied a field mainly for financial gain and not true interest. My true interest is arts and i studied business. I kind of regret it. But I realize I have lots of time in a day I could be putting into practicing the arts or starting something on the side and I haven’t been so that’s on me.

    I think it’s easy to overwhelm ourselves with self doubt and thoughts of the future.

    And I think the underlying issue is we cope with our anxiety and our stress by using porn to avoid / numb ourselves from our feelings. The hormonal and emotional impact affects us and lowers our motivation too. Also failing at trying to quit soemthing over and over must have an impact on us. I feel it did on me.

    infelt like I was coasting with my life on hold untill this part of my life could be fixed.

    be kind to yourself, always highlight the positives when you start noticing negative thoughts or self doubts and fake quitting porn extremely seriously.

    And these people you look at that look like they have it all they have issues too. No one has everything and no issues to go with them you just don’t know them well enough to know or see it. We are our biggest critics too btw.

    I’m 90 days into a reboot with a new partner failing to have sex with and my set doubts and feelings of being lost or hopeless come in big waves. Just have to tell yourself these thoughts are just thoughts, just visitor emotions that will come and go.

    I’m healing and trying my best to be better everyday.

    say good bye to porn forever and heal my friend!
    I believe in you.
     
  8. Hey man. I think I'm the same as you, blockers technically aren't working for me either - I always try to get around them, but I think I'm better for having them than not. And I think you're right. I've just been pretty unkind to myself lately, working myself up over the future when I have plenty of control over things right now. It was consoling reading that you wanted to do something creative, I'm the exact same. I chose my degree for financial interest only, and that might have been a mistake, but there's no use ruminating on that. I have so much I can do today to make my future better. Thanks for reaching out, I really appreciate it. I believe in you, too.

    --

    Hi everyone,

    Yesterday was one of my hardest this year. I woke up and I simply could not get out of bed. I laid there for hours, only getting up to drink water. I wasn't hungry, I just felt tired. I kept sleeping for half an hour to an hour, intermittently. And then when I slept, I woke up at 3am this morning and slept again. I was very depressed. I got up this morning and told myself I'd get out of the house, and that's exactly what I did.

    My main focus is to just submit these assignments, even if they aren't to the standard I know they could be. I think I'm too much of a perfectionist and that definitely caused me to procrastinate or fail to progress, because I'd get hung up on one part of the assignment that wasn't 100% correct and so I wouldn't touch any other bit of it. That's on me.

    Getting out of the house definitely helps my mental game. I'm lucky to be able to wander about the city. The sunlight helps a lot, and getting my body moving. I haven't been working out or climbing as much as I used to, which were my main hobbies. I think it was a poor decision by me not to commit to these past times when I'm stressed, because I think it had a compounding effect on my mood.

    So one big lesson is to remember to stay committed to physical movement and exercise when I'm going through periods of stress. It helps a lot, because I never experienced this slump when I was outdoors and rock-climbing with friends.

    Another one is reaching out when I'm feeling sad. I spoke to my dad about my anxieties about the future and it helped. I still felt rotten for the day, but I'm glad I spoke to him rather than bottling it all up. I think that can also really hurt us and lead us to old vices.

    Thanks for reading.

    T.
     
    R3balance likes this.
  9. R3balance

    R3balance Active Member

    happy I could help.

    mans yes prioritize daily exercise! Huge release and helps you in every way. Talking with family or friends won’t make things instantly better but overall if you share with the right people it will help you! I agree with you keeping things in will push you back to P and any other ways you would cope.

    stay strong!
     
    Shield of Valoran likes this.
  10. Hi everyone.

    I can feel myself coming out of my slump, which feels great.

    I'm trying to manage my stress a lot better because I relapse whenever I'm too stressed out. I keep trying to focus on my breathwork when that happens but it's tricky.

    It'll be a lot easier for me to solidify better habits once uni is over. I find that my brain gets dominated by the pressure of it, which I want to resolve ASAP.

    In the mean time, I have a few things to sort out: I want to have a clear direction, or vision, or I guess purpose-statement which gives me a plan for each day, and I want to develop a proper schedule for each day which maintains a morning and night-time ritual so that I can really solidify the direction I'm heading.

    Thanks for reading guys.

    T.
     
  11. Hey everyone!

    I'm about to hit day 3. I'm feeling very positive. I've submitted all of my assignments and this has significantly reduced the stress going on in my life. I've been able to beat urges more efficiently, even when I'm tired or hungry. I really do think the stress of assignments weighs heavily on my mind.

    How do you guys overcome this? I know time management is a good way of handling big projects/assignments, but even if I do start things early, breaking them down into smaller chunks, I always get this overwhelmed closer to the final deadlines. It's a huge reason I PMO and I'd love to handle it better.

    I'll think on it a little harder.

    In the mean time, I've been exercising a lot more, not thinking too much about old patterns of behaviour (codependency, loneliness, feelings of worthlessness), and I think I'm in the middle of a really positive high note.

    My challenges are the next few days I have off which will be completely free with personal time. I'm thinking of going outside and doing something, inviting a few friends and hanging out. I want to start a software project so I can up-skill myself in preparation for when I graduate, and I'd like to work on a creative pursuit outside of guitar.

    I hope you're all doing well. Keep strong, guys.

    T.
     
  12. Krebs

    Krebs Active Member

    Well, weight of assignments is definitely a problem and cause a lot of procrastination in my case too. The best strategy to overcome this is actually do what is necessary. Do not think about it, just do. That is easier to say than do but actually work. Time--management and self-negotiating are just tools, nothing more. And it is always hard. I think that it will not leave away. Every day is hard and there will not be easy days in future. Only easy day was yesterday. Just work every day like your last, not think abiut difficulty or importance.of your task. That is only working way.
     
  13. R3balance

    R3balance Active Member

    Gosh I have been exactly where you are honestly so stressed, relapsing every 1-10 days. Procrastinating. Avoiding. Shame.

    Biggest game changers for me:

    - talk therapy and lifting the weight off by telling another supportive human being
    - dog therapy, walks the companionship and everything
    - new hobby / learning (kick boxing)
    - truly saying goodbye to porn and accepting ill never look again
    - blocking anything on IG that is inappropriate or triggering
    - limiting phone time by bed and plugging it in across the room
    - connecting with a real life girl that motivates me and releases oxytocin or whatever that hormone is. Always helps me I can feel it

    Good luck! The time we have here is limited make the most of it! stay strong
     
  14. I see what you mean. I think I put too much pressure to do something well, which is what makes me want to avoid doing it because I'd rather do it without the pressure of a deadline to do it well, and that makes it hard. I'm getting better at being patient with how I learn though, so I think that helps. Maybe if I remember the pain of not doing something hurts more than the pain of doing it? Thanks for your reply man.

    Hey again man. Reaching out is HUGE for me. I go to the park with a friend and we sit in the sun and talk about life, and I always feel so much better. You're so right about it. It's like the antidote to the poison that is the hardships of life. All of these tips are so helpful, thanks so much man. It also reminds me I miss having a dog... maybe one day, when I'm older and independent enough for that.

    I'm happy to say as well I had sex today which was great. It's still quite casual but having that physical intimacy really helped. Your advice and words of encouragement mean so much, thanks for your response man.

    --

    Today was excellent! I went outdoor climbing at a nearby quarry. When I got home, an old casual FWB messaged me and we hooked up not long after. I feel empowered today. S** definitely feels much more different than M and I'm very glad I had that experience with someone. Going on my 5th day, I feel very strong. Uni has ended (except for exams, but I actually do okay with exam stress) and I'm getting a lot more free time now. I feel ready for the weeks ahead. I have a small camping trip for Thursday and Friday, then back to work for the weekend, but it'll be fine.

    At the moment, I'm sticking to the same habits: journaling, getting outside, talking to friends. Some of my challenges are staying in bed as soon as I wake up because I'm not a good morning person, but I'm working on it by keeping my phone outside my room so the alarm makes me have to get up. It feels like crap but it definitely helps. I also stay up super late which means I have less will-power the next day, so I need to work on those morning and night-time routines.

    I'll be going outdoor climbing again tomorrow which means if I leave the house as soon as possible, I know I won't risk a relapse for at least 8 hours. I'm super excited to get out there.

    Thanks so much for reading guys. Keep strong.

    T.
     
    R3balance likes this.
  15. R3balance

    R3balance Active Member

    Honestly as sick as it is having a dog. A puppy has been a lot of work and very expensive. Hes increased stress to this point a little more than helped but I wouldnt change a thing. I have wanted a dog my entire life so just figured there is never a perfect time jsut have to do it, adjust and make it work.

    Thats AMAZING! Especially since you have had some relapses. Mind me asking how it was for you? Like did you have any issues and was this partner familiar with you at all before? I feel like when I was younger I could perform with partners after relapses better than I can now on this huge no porn streak which is hard for me to wrap my head around.

    Ya recognizing when you are most vulnerable to your addiction is key. Great work remoiving your phone from your room and forcing you to get out of bed to turn your alarm off. Having a real life sexual experience to I think is what its all about so more of that if possible! Really good motivation to not PMO. I think its the ultimate.

    Camping should be good too. I always liked social trips as I would never PMO on them.

    Keep strong too mate!
     
    Shield of Valoran likes this.
  16. @R3balance, you're totally right about having a dog. I definitely plan on it in the future when I'm capable, and I think I'm clever enough to know when that will be. Also with regards to sex, it was okay! I think there's a lot to be said about how PMO affects different people with different sexualities. I think there's a major psychological aspect that I don't understand well enough but can only explain anecdotally but I think being 'in the moment' is enough for me to maintain an erection, etc. because the intensity is different with physical touch from another person, which P simply can't replace. I think this isn't the same for everyone though so I'm speaking from my own experience.

    --

    Hey everyone.

    I came to reset my counter again, but I'm really proud to say I made a 10 day streak. This is the farthest I've gone! I'm so impressed with my hard work and dedication.

    Things that worked really well: getting out of the house, having a proper plan for the day, and having different goals to work towards each day that would leave me working on something when I had nothing left to do.

    Things that didn't work so well: being tired, sitting around idly, not having filters on, specifically ONE LAST BROWSER I FORGOT ABOUT (and my lizard brain took full control and hence I relapsed, but that's okay, we live and we learn).

    I've been putting off forming the key habits that would really shape how my days would look. Namely, I wanted to wake up early to plan what I wanted to do for that day, or plan it in the evening the night before. I think that way I have a clear direction on what I should do for that, or a plan B if I find myself not working on my main intentions for the day.

    At the moment, my current goal for the summer is to work on developing a good morning routine where I study something for 1 hour, with the intention of building this up to longer stretches of time. I want to be able to learn new skills pretty quickly. My alternative would be to hanker down on my reading list, and also work on developing my guitar skills. I tend to waste time by watching lots of pointless Youtube videos, but I could be priming myself for more guitar playing by watching tutorials or something.

    Mainly, there are things I could be doing to develop myself, and one of my key takeaways is that I should always focus on that rather than the tiredness or boredom which lead to a relapse.

    I've been taking good care of myself, bad habits aside. Mentally, I don't beat myself up. I have good self-esteem (and maintain it! Most importantly) by reminding myself of what I've accomplished, even if they're small, and I hear my own thoughts when I compare myself to others, and remind myself how to cope with those thoughts. Specifically, I remember everyone started from somewhere, and my current state is probably eliciting the same feeling I get from looking at someone else, so everything really is relative, and my source of shame could be someone else's source of envy. So ultimately, there's no use in feeling bad about where we're at, but to move forward knowing that we can always improve and that it's all about enjoying the process. And I've got to say, since starting this journal, I've definitely enjoyed the process of NoFap a lot more. Sure, I do feel a little disappointed in myself when I relapse (ten days and then back to 0? It does feel bad) but I'm also really happy that I got that far, and that happiness is greater than anything negative.

    Another key note is that I'm really working on making the relationships with the people I love and care about matter more. To start with, I've been trying to open up to my parents a lot more. This has been a lot of work, because I find a good relationship starts with you, and your willingness to push through the discomfort that is whatever social hurdle you're facing. This would apply to other interactions with friends and strangers and is really important to the NoFap journey because ultimately the point is to foster a more fulfilling life which I think requires good relationship skills. It also just feels nice. I like when my dad tells me what's going on in his life, and how excited he is about his future plans with his fiancée. And my mum gets so excited to see me and hear about what's going on in my life. I know there's a huge emphasis on people going out and talking to people and developing these amazing social skills with strangers, and that enthusiasm is well placed, but I think the easiest way to wean yourself into that whole process is to start with the people who are already there for you.

    I hope you've all been doing well. I mean that. Each day I feel like my cup gets fuller and fuller, and sometimes I think my heart spills over a bit. I know that's cheesy to say.

    T.
     
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  17. R3balance

    R3balance Active Member

    Ya honestly thats how I was when I was younger and with a longterm partner. I think now maybe the damage done to my dopamine receptors, without real situations just did a lot of damage. I think I took edging too far to and thats where I did the most damage. And in my mind when at my worst I threw a pity party and accpeting being alone forever.

    I am basically flatlined in person or not excited enough by real life situations now. It makes me really sad but I know it will never get better if I go back to P so I just have to stay true and keep on the path I am on. And one day it will be better.

    Its jus t difficult when you dont get rewarded on the journey the way you expect you know.

    Use me as motivation I believe I am a lot older than you now. So when you are younger you can rebound quicker. Make the most of this time and use your sexual energy with real interactions and not the interent.

    This is great mate.

    Be good to yourself, beleive in yourself, invest in yourself and your relationshiops. All really great stuff.

    I look at relapses like 10 days one blip is a lot better than 10 days 5-10 blips. The further you get away from the P tthe better you will be. Do you r best to not have a post relapse binge / chaser. That is what was always the most dangerous part of relapsing for me.

    Great attitude post relapse. REally great. Be strong and you got this!
     
  18. Krebs

    Krebs Active Member

    Good work, man. Making yourself better is not easy but worth it. Yiu have made 10 days streak. Iteans that you can make 2 more streaks to the end of November. Try to continue it next.month. 1 month=30(31) days= 3 your streaks. In January make only 2 relapses. The strategy is simple but is actually working.
    That great, that you are not beating yourself after relapses, I haven't achived such attitude until recent times.
     
  19. @R3balance, yeah, one thing I'm currently working on is reaching out to people when I'm going through the HALT emotions (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) because I usually don't feel that way much longer after. I do feel quite motivated to be better with everyone here for support. I recently started talking to someone for an accountability partner and it's been a big help. I'm still taking a break from dating and meeting new partners because I don't think emotionally I'm quite ready for it yet.

    @Krebs, thanks man. I agree with you there. At the moment, I try to see what went wrong and then eliminate that problem entirely. I try not to think about the numbers too much but use it as a way of tracking progress instead. I find working up to x number can place undue pressure when you're trying to recover, so I focus on eliminating what went wrong and working on improving myself.

    Big thanks for your responses guys. It means a lot that you take the time to message.

    --

    Hey gang.

    I hope you've all been staying strong.

    I know it's been a while since I've posted, and the reason for that is life has simply been busy. I'd rather not respond because things are going too well rather than when I've been depressed, which was closer to where I was when I started this journal.

    I did relapse a few times since my last visit, and have quickly resolved the issues there. Namely, I didn't apply the filters I was using well enough onto my devices, but I've since resolved that. I also had a big issue with waking up in the morning and laying in bed. This was a danger zone for me, so I'm trying to find creative ways to make my morning into a ritual that involves me leaving my bed as soon as possible. I suppose this means I have to become the morning person I've always wanted to be. No better time than now, right?

    As for my goal to start planning my days: I find sticking to a plan is really difficult because I like saying yes to invitations outside and to hang out with people, which makes the purpose of a plan redundant. However, I think a better approach is to have a time of day ritualised that involves me working towards some of my goals. I think doing an hour of study in the morning consistently every day is a better approach than saying I'll do something throughout the day and having a plan that will only be written off. This works for me because I'd rather live life than live for a plan.

    I've been working really hard on my self-esteem as well. Over all being much nicer to myself, avoiding things I know are going to upset me. Trying to be less obsessive about things. It's been a struggle learning to become disciplined but I'm getting there. I've kept applications on my phone uninstalled like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. It was important for me to take a big break from social media because I often fell into the comparison trap. I still like social media, and I'm happy to return to it only when I feel like I have a solid foundation of self esteem.

    I guess to summarise -- things that are going well:
    -Taking care of my risk-zone in the morning by getting out of bed as soon as possible.
    -Making sure my filters are bullet-proof so that I don't relapse when my lizard brain takes over (yikes, it's more likely to happen than we think!)
    -Prioritizing connections with people, I've felt my best when I'm reaching out to people and talking.

    Things that I struggled with:
    -Going back into old patterns of behaviour which lead me to a relapse because they often meant I was going to be triggered by my low self esteem. These behaviours were generally about how I would obsess over people (I've mentioned this in earlier entries) and generally meant I'd go onto social media to fuel that obsession by seeing when they were online or scrolling through their profiles.
    -Making and sticking to plans when I didn't have people who were available for social gatherings. This often meant that I had to work on the goals that would develop myself and I find that I come across a lot of resistance with this.
    -Forming good habits. I've watched a lot of videos on this so I'm pretty enthusiastic about it, but my current issue is prioritization of the habit to really crystallize it.

    How I plan to resolve the problems:
    -I'm trying to overcome the obsessive thoughts by looking at things in a different perspective. I would scroll through social media to find reasons people didn't want me. I would make up stories about my own unworthiness. But it's completely irrational, and social media is only exacerbating that for me. I want to take a long break from it for longer. I currently only use it for Messenger to stay in touch with friends and that's it. How people use social media is completely unrelated to their relationship with you. I tell myself people probably would want to hang out with me if I asked, but they have work, family, relationships of their own, to tend to. It's not because they don't want to spend time with me. I think once I learn this through I'll be okay to return but for now I need a big break.
    -I think I should plan less about doing one thing for an entire day and instead plan to do a little bit each day when I have the energy, preferably in the morning, and then let my day remain open. That way I work towards the things I need to incrementally. I want to prioritize habit-formation as part of my day. Generally, I can re-plan gatherings for the afternoon, while I spend my morning doing self-development.

    I hope everyone is doing well. Stay strong, guys.

    T.
     
    R3balance likes this.
  20. R3balance

    R3balance Active Member

    I think you have a really good head on your shoulders. And it’s a damn shame guys like us have had to deal with this shit in our young adult lives.

    really can relate to you in the way you break things down for yourself and plan.

    Self compassion is something I’ve worked on as well. It’s important, be kind to yourself!

    yes Halt is good. Interupt and distract, urges or feelings come and go. Whatever works for you!

    accountability partner is huge. One you opened up about ur problem to someone. Talking about our problems normalize them and make it easier to talk about. Also reduces shame. Good job man.

    keep up the awesome work!
     

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