Regaining the Will

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by ComebackKid77, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. tig

    tig Active Member

    Hey ComebackKid,

    I just want to begin by saying I'm impressed by your determination to keep going and keep working to quit this addiction after several years and several journals. Also, well done on all the little victories that you have achieved along the way, including going 150 days and 50 days, but also the smaller streaks as well. I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with this addiction but you clearly have a lot of strength within you.

    I had one thought for you based on the kind of language that often came up in your earlier posts (eg. telling yourself that you're a bad person). This is something that worked for me and helped me quit smoking cigarettes.

    I realised that the voice in my head telling me not to smoke was the voice of my mother telling the child me that I'm a bad boy. It wasn't helpful because what does a bad boy do? Be bad. When I realised this I started to speak to myself like an adult. I would say to myself:

    "I am an adult. I can choose to smoke cigarettes if I want to. I am allowed to. It is not illegal. I am an adult and I can make my own choices. But, I don't want to because its bad for my physical and mental health and its unattractive to women. So I choose not to."

    Saying that to myself gave me more self-control and will-power. I smoked about 10 cigarettes over the next 3 years. I "relapsed". I "failed". I'm not perfect. I'm only human. But eventually I quit. You can do the same with porn.
    ComebackKid77 likes this.
  2. ComebackKid77

    ComebackKid77 Member

    Thanks Tig, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and really appreciate your advice. I think you're absolutely right. I quite often deal with feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety when I relapse, which of course just makes me feel worse about it. And the worse I feel, the more I want to relapse to make myself feel better. If you frame it as a decision or a habit or just a distraction, it immediately loses its power.

    I read through your blog also and it's great to see you're having a really long and successful streak, hopefully applying the same technique. Please do keep on checking in!
  3. ComebackKid77

    ComebackKid77 Member

    Thanks Luke. It's great to hear that my posts are still being read by someone at least. Sadly it wasn't my last post but I still do find this forum useful to post updates from time to time.
    -Luke- likes this.
  4. ComebackKid77

    ComebackKid77 Member

    So I know my last post was meant to be last ever post but sadly it hasn't worked out like that and I have relapsed again.

    I did manage to go on a streak for about ten days, which is the longest streak I've been on for a while and it felt really good. To be honest, it wasn't even that difficult. I just had made the choice not to look at it, so I just didn't really spend much time obsessing over it or restraining myself. I just didn't want to do it.

    I think the key thing was, as Tig mentions above, you have to remove the habit of PMOing from all the shame, guilt, obsession, feelings of addiction and helplessness. Ultimately PMOing is just a habit. It's something we choose to do, like brushing our teeth or drinking coffee. So everytime I thought about relapsing, I reminded myself of what it actually feels like to relapse, what a horrible waste of time it is, and the feelings of shame afterwards, and then it didn't really feel too appealing anymore.

    Sadly this only lasted me so far and yesterday, I somehow thought that PMOing would be really fun and enjoyable, and I relapsed. And then today, I spent another THREE hours edging and relapsing. Both times it happened because I didn't take the time to think about what I was actually doing and remind myself that PMOing is really not an enjoyable thing to do.

    But I am at least clinging to the fact that I have gone ten days, and done a nice mini streak. Let's do that again, and then it will have only been two relapses in 20 days. I just need to take away its power. PMOing is not something I want to do. Therefore, there is no benefit in me doing it.
  5. DBA

    DBA Active Member

    The key is to identify the triggers (boredom, isolation, emotion etc) and plan beforehand what you will do when a trigger occurs.
    You can find advice on this in books such as Birchard's Overcoming Sexual Addiction.

    I don't think the key is 'will power'. We have all tried to control things and failed. Planning what distracting activities to do
    when a trigger occurs (sport, walking, anything) is the key.
  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey ComebackKid,

    it sounds like you found a good strategy during those ten days (reminding yourself of the negative consequences). The relapse(s) don't necessarily mean that it failed. It worked out for ten days and then didn't once or twice. That's still more wins than losses. So it feels like it wouldn't be the worst idea to keep going and practice that strategy some more, until it becomes more ingrained.

    All the best.
  7. tig

    tig Active Member

    Hey ComebackKid,

    Well done on reaching 10 days. Sorry to hear about the relapse but life does throw challenges at you, and sometimes they do knock you down, and the most important thing is to get back on your feet, dust yourself down, and keep on fighting for what you want.

    I really like this. It's obviously nice to get a long streak of 20 days (or 100 days). But PMOing only twice in 20 days (or, for example, 4 times in 100 days) is great progress and will rewire your brain and will make it much more likely that you will soon have long streaks of 20 days or 100 days.

    This isn't exactly what I meant. In general, its good to be kind to yourself, most of the time, and to focus on the positive (eg. well done I got to 10 days), but you also need to be real with yourself and not bullshit yourself. Also, humans have emotions like shame and guilt for a reason. It's important not to block them out. These emotions are here to tell you something (eg. I want to change my behaviour/habits/decisions). If you have trouble dealing with your emotions or if you feel excessively guilty or sad or helpless then I'd suggest seeing a psychologist. That's what I did and it helped.

    My original post on your thread was about self-talk. Do you berate yourself because you've been a bad boy, like a parent would? Or do you speak to yourself maturely, like an adult? Switching from the former to the latter helped me.

    I think its both. Willpower and pre-planned strategies. Willpower has been very important for me. Sometimes my willpower is strong. But sometimes my willpower is not so strong and strategies can help.

    Goodluck ComebackKid, you got this!
    Last edited: May 19, 2023
  8. Thatguy123

    Thatguy123 New Member

    Hey ComebackKid,

    About an hour ago I began reading all of the post in your blog and I created this account just to send you this message: Hold on. You got this. Keep going and you'll get there. Your blog inspired me a lot.

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